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Best Served Cold
To Darnell's relief, Dan heeded his "order" without question, walking over to the fallen Eduardo and offering one of his massive arms to him. When Eduardo got a grip, Dan pulled him to his feet with ease. Moving slowly to provide support for Eduardo, Dan started to lead him out of the kitchen, Darnell stepping out of their way as they moved past, Eduardo asking Dan to stop at the far corner so he could get his supplies. Considering he had been the one who bullied Eduardo most often in school (from what Darnell could tell, the relationship between Dan and Eduardo was one of the strangest in the school), it was surprising to Darnell that Dan took on a gentle, encouraging tone as he spoke to the boy. He seemed oddly concerned, but Darnell wouldn't bring this up for now.

Of course, at the same time Darnell realized that Eduardo was technically using the biggest kid in school as a crutch, and as he fell in behind them when they moved through the kitchen doorway he restrained himself from chuckling at this. Adjusting the sword so that neither of his newfound companions would be hit by it in the narrow lunch line, he followed closely, keeping an eye on their backs. Eduardo was apparently too hurt to really pull anything, but Darnell just couldn't feel safe unless he had Eduardo in his sights. For now, anyway.

It doesn't look like he'll try anything, or even like he can, but I can't take my eye off him. The kid tried to kill me, after all.

Like Dan and Eduardo, the flow of sunlight from the windows caused Darnell to wince for a second when they entered the main mess hall area. They hadn't been here long, maybe a few minutes at most, but the sun was still bright. Fortunately, there didn't appear to be anyone else inside, something that made Darnell relax a bit. A shield, a sword, and a pair of hedgeclippers just wouldn't be able to stand up to a gun, no matter how big Dan was or how much skill Darnell had.

And Eduardo's gonna be useless in a fight until his leg heals, anyway.

That was the grim truth, Darnell supposed as Dan picked up Eduardo's pack for him and started to head for the exit, calling out to him (Darnell) as if to make sure he was still there. If they ran into a heavily armed player, they were probably dead. It was almost enough to make him wish he didn't encounter anybody for the rest of the day, despite the fact that he was currently ready to scour the island to find a handful of people.

"Yeah, right behind you, Dan."

After saying this and nodding in affirmation, Darnell headed out the door after Dan and Eduardo, taking a second to look around and take in his surroundings again. The foliage was dense, there was a huge amount of ground to cover, and one wrong step would turn them into gibs if there were more landmines than that one from the other night about, but he couldn't let that get in the way. Closing in with Dan and Eduardo as they broke through the treeline, he uttered one last thing before they made their trip to wherever the paths took them.

"Let's try not to stray too far apart, guys. It's way too easy to get lost in that jungle."

OOC: One day, I'll get rid of this writer's block. Anyway, Darnell will be continue elsewhere.

((Continued in Day by Day))

Salutations
V2 ended, we're in the middle of v3.

Best Served Cold
Turning around to see Eduardo as the boy's voice rang out after he was done talking to Boxer, who appeared to believe him, the first thought that went through Darnell's head was how pathetic he looked. The second was an admonishment to himself for thinking that way. Still, as he saw Eduardo struggle to prop himself up while shouting accusations that Darnell was manipulating Boxer just like all of his teammates had done since Boxer started attending Southridge, and then was sent to the floor by his leg buckling under him after he had tried to make a go for the hedgeclippers, Darnell had to admit that he felt the first stirrings of pity for the boy. Even when he fell, Eduardo didn't give up, crawling and squirming to reach the clippers. Watching Eduardo pull the clippers close to him, Darnell let out a remorseful sigh.

I did this to him...his leg's fucked up because of me.

Darnell hadn't meant to hurt Eduardo's leg as he apparently had, he had just wanted to stun him temporarily in order to get the sword away from him. Instead he had done some apparently severe damage to the leg, which kept Eduardo from walking. There was a part of him that said that the boy deserved it for attacking him, for killing Tanya, but Darnell tried to ignore it. After all, if he could justify (for all he knew) crippling a kid, what was stopping him from justifying just going "fuck it" and killing everyone he saw? It just wasn't right. He knew it wasn't right. No matter what he had done, killing or permanently maiming Eduardo just wasn't right. It would never be.

This is all so messed up. How could Danya do this to us? WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?! We're just high school kids! We shouldn't be forced to make life-or-death decisions like this? "Kill your best friends or die"? What the fuck kind of choice is that?!

Dan asked what to do with Ed, and for a second Darnell had no idea. On the one hand, Eduardo had admitted to playing the game, and had just tried to kill Darnell. It would be stupid to take him with them. He'd probably slice their throats as they slept, or at least run off the second he got the chance. He just couldn't be trusted. It would be too dangerous to bring him along, and he'd just be dead weight anyway if he couldn't even walk.

On the other, it wasn't right to just leave him here. The boy couldn't even stand, he wouldn't have a chance if Darnell and Dan just left him behind. The kid was fucked the first time some ambitious player strolled through, or the Mess Hall was made a dangerzone. Could he live with himself, if that happened? No, he couldn't. That'd be like killing him himself, for all the good it did. What harm could he be if he couldn't even stand up, anyway? If they kept an eye on him...

This is stupid. Why am I even debating this?

He rubbed his eyes with his left hand (he had transferred the sword back to his right already), before sighing a bit and nodding his head. Dan was right, they couldn't just leave him.

"Yeah, we'll take him with us. Get him outside, it doesn't look like he can walk. Don't worry, I'll be right behind you, I just don't want to be in a position where I can't keep both eyes on the little weasel."

Darnell, you're an idiot. Grade A.

Best Served Cold
Son of a bitch...

"Damn it, Dan," Darnell said, nearly shouting before he caught himself and lowered his voice, the sword still held in a relaxed but ready posture, "have I ever lied to you? Even once? Don't listen to Eduardo, man, he's trying to trick you! Think about it; if I was going to kill him, wouldn't I have done it already?"

His annoyance at Eduardo's lie and the emotional stress it appeared to inflict on Boxer put a bit of a strain on the purely logical tone Darnell took on, but he hoped his reasoning would get through to Daniel. His questions had been purely rhetorical; a man who prided himself on his honesty, Darnell had not once lied to Daniel or anyone else on the team, and when he put his mind to doing something he always went about doing it without hesitation. Daniel still seemed very conflicted about the clashing reports from Eduardo and Darnell, but he thought Dan was smart enough, and that Dan trusted him enough, that Ed's lie would be obvious. Especially since, while Darnell was calm, Eduardo was practically foaming at the mouth.

After shooting a quick glare at Eduardo and quickly going back to get his pack and sling it over his shoulder, he was confident enough to step forward, towards Dan. It was vital not only to his chances of making it out of the building but to his very plan of escape that he get Boxer on his side. To do this, and to prevent himself from being attacked by Boxer, he would have to convince the leviathan that he was right, ignoring the harsh reminder in Eduardo's statement of how close he had come to killing him. If Dan hadn't intervened, Darnell didn't know if he would have ever been able to wash the blood from his hands.

Switching the sword to his left hand once he got close enough, kicking the hedgeclippers to his side so that they were further away from Ed in the event that he decided to make a go for them, he extended his right to Boxer. Once the linebacker took his hand, he would step back while leaning a bit and pulling back to add momentum to his own impressive strength as he would literally pull Daniel to his feet. He knew the kind gesture would cement his credibility and back up his claim of not playing, as he made eye contact with Dan the entire time. He kept his ears out for any sudden movements by Ed, though, so he'd hear him if he made a move for the hedgeclippers to ambush him.

If he did that, of course, he was fucked; if Darnell survived the attack he knew he wouldn't be able to restrain himself, and he had enough trust in Daniel to think the leviathan would back him up. Darnell would let Eduardo keep the clippers if he wanted, but if the boy was as smart on the island as he was in class he'd wait until both football players had left the building to grab his means of self defense. Darnell just hoped Ed wasn't able to kill anyone with such a substandard weapon. From Darnell's own experience, the hedgeclippers were decent enough in defense, but would hopefully be almost useless offensively.

"Come on, Dan, let's go. We can beat this game if we try, I know it and I'm sure you know it, but we need to find the others first. If we work at this as a team, we can take the program down just as easily as the Northside defensive line."

A grin would be cracked at this little joke, both because of the humour of it and as a fitting last "fuck you" to the Patriots if he didn't get off the island.

OOC: Sorry for the uninspired effort, still working out how to balance punctuality with length.

Away
Chad wanted me to post here to say that his internet is down. He said around 3:30 PM that if he didn't post tonight, I was to leave a note here that he can't. I don't know when it'll be back up, since I'm just leaving a message.

Best Served Cold
In all honesty, Darnell wasn't sure what to do when he heard Eduardo simply tell him to kill him and get it over with. He knew he had to do something about Eduardo, to protect himself and make sure the boy couldn't kill anyone else, but he couldn't do anything. It was like Eduardo's words had frozen him, almost. He held Eduardo Trinidad-Villa's life in his hands, but he couldn't even move. His hands shook for some reason as he stared at the back of Eduardo's head, grinding his teeth a bit in frustration. Eduardo had to pay for what he had done, but...he just couldn't do it.

Even though Eduardo had tried to kill him, had insulted him and tried to drive him insane with rage, he just couldn't summon up the strength to push the blade through and end the boy's life. He found himself lessening the pressure on the spot on his neck where the blade rested as he felt his resolve weaken. He shook his head silently, disappointed at himself. This wasn't him, this was the pressure of the game. There was no other excuse for him having been ready to end a man's life not two seconds prior. Killing was wrong, and he couldn't stoop to the terrorists' level by playing their game.

No, I can't kill him. I won't.

Fortunately, before he could regain the killer intent he had possessed earlier, the familiar booming voice of Daniel "Boxer" Carvalho sounded out as he demanded to know what was going on. Darnell had to admit that, as he had not expected it and had indeed been focusing entirely on Eduardo, he was a bit startled for a second, and had jumped slightly, though not very noticeably. Still, as he looked towards the entranceway to see the biggest student in Southridge and the Rebels' most dedicated linebacker in his messed up jogging suit, a look of visible relief washed over his face. Now he knew that at least some of his teammates were still alive. Things might not be so bad after all. Boxer wasn't exactly the brightest of guys, but Darnell believed he was a good person under it all, and he'd be a big (no pun intended) help in taking the game down.

Trying to keep both Daniel (Darnell rarely if ever referred to him by his nickname, "Boxer". It just didn't seem right.) and Eduardo in his peripheral vision, he lowered the sword from its position at Eddie's neck and took a few steps back, giving Eduardo some breathing room while holding the sword ready in case he attacked again. He would never trust Eduardo Trinidad-Villa again. He had so many questions to ask Dan Carvalho; where he'd been, if he was alright, if he'd seen the others, if he knew where Kallie was...but those would have to wait. Dan deserved to know what had happened, and dodging the question would probably only anger him. Still trying to keep Eduardo in the corner of his eye, he looked to Dan.

"Eduardo's playing the game, Dan, he's already killed Tanya Bonneville. He attacked me, so I had to disarm him in self defense. I didn't want to fight, but he couldn't be reasoned with."

A simple, perhaps a bit bare-bones, explanation, but it was the truth in its most essential form. Eduardo had attacked him, so he had defended himself. He wasn't dumbing anything down for Daniel, he never did, simply skipping right to the essentials of the matter. He could only hope Dan would believe him even though he was holding Eduardo's blood stained sword in his hand. After all, if he had been playing the game, he would've simply killed Eduardo, instead of holding him up.

Best Served Cold
OOC: We'll have to wrap this up more or less now, so I'm PMing you my suggestions as to changing our plan for the sake of time. This post will be rushed, sorry. Especially for the abrupt ending.
IC:

Darnell hadn't expected Eduardo to make an attempt at a kick at the same time as he did, so he had been a bit surprised when their legs clashed knee-to-shin as they did, but his move seemed to work just as well. As Darnell snapped his leg back from the kick to recover his balance he heard Eduardo scream in pain as he fell back, tumbling to the ground after he released the sword. Ignoring the unexpected nature of this event, Darnell quickly opened the blades of the hedgeclippers, allowing the sword to clatter to the ground as he threw the clippers to the side and bent over to pick the sword up, trying to act before Eduardo got his bearings back.

I can't believe that worked.

Really, it had been a miracle that Darnell had timed his reaction correctly; if he had been off even by a microsecond, he would have been hit by Eduardo's attack, and probably would have been at the boy's mercy. Intercepting Eduardo's kick as he did had also been a stroke of luck on his part, and he couldn't help but wonder for a second how things would be at the moment if he had been just a bit slower. Of course, every fight had some element of risk to it, and as he wrapped his hands around the hilt of the fallen claymore and picked it up he noted that as long as Eduardo was still a threat he didn't have time to worry about it. Every second he spent worrying was a second Eduardo could start attacking again.

The dim light in the kitchen glinted off of the sword's blade again as he looked up at Eduardo, who seemed to be squirming his way to a nearby countertop, Darnell more or less directly behind him as he tried to crawl to it, his hands clutching his shin. To be honest it looked a bit ridiculous. Still, he couldn't let Eduardo bounce back so quickly, he didn't know what other tricks the boy might have up his sleeves. There wasn't much distance between them, but Darnell adopted a quick, almost dashing gait when he pursued the boy just to make sure he got to Eduardo before Eduardo got to the countertop.

If he made it in time, the next thing Eduardo would feel after his "fucking jock" comment would be the immense pressure of his own sword being pressed down on the back of his neck. If Eduardo had somehow made it to the countertop and pulled himself up before Darnell had gotten to him, Darnell would simply thrust the sword up to his neck.

"Don't move."

That was all Darnell said, but the ice cold tone with which he said it and the fact that he would push down a little harder on the sword after saying it would make the threat on his lips implicit. Through the adrenaline rush of a fight where someone was trying to kill him, his mind hadn't quite yet caught up with his body, which was probably the only reason he wasn't freaking out about holding a sword on one of his classmates, ready to end their life if he had to.

Best Served Cold
Eduardo...

Darnell had to admit that, in his current state of mind, he got a little satisfaction out of Eduardo's obvious anger, but he wouldn't have time to reflect on that. Eduardo summed up his rant with another insult, claiming that the only way out of the game was to play and that he didn't expect a jock to understand (the implication being that Darnell was too stupid to understand) before accepting his challenge and runnung forward. Eduardo's use of the Spanish word for "nigger" went ignored by Darnell, who had already primed himself for a fight and thus blocked out such attempts to rile him up.

I will win this fight, Eduardo!

It was clear to Darnell that the only way he would leave the building alive was if he fought and defeated Eduardo here and now. Knowing he didn't have a choice, he had held himself ready for Eduardo's charge, knowing that even with his reach advantage he'd have to move forward to have a hope of hitting Darnell with his sword. He didn't have much experience with weapons, part of the reason why the hedgeclippers felt so awkward in his hands, but he also figured that the way Eddie held his sword meant it was likely he'd bring it down diagonally, as it would be quicker that way. Typically Darnell tried not to assume anything about anyone, especially in fights, as he had learned it was very risky to do so, but this time the assumption paid off, as Eduardo started to bring his sword down in a diagonal arc.

Hope this works...

Darnell's reaction was one he hoped Eduardo would not expect. Instead of trying to dodge by stepping back, he rushed forward as the blade started to fall. Raising his hedgeclippers to meet the falling weapon, he closed the blades around the middle of the sword blade, intentionally trapping the weapon with his own, and then sharply pulled upwards and then around in a slightly arcing motion to his right, his left knee quickly shooting upwards towards Eduardo's groin as he tried to pull the weapon down and backwards. His hope with the sudden groin shot was that the hit would stun Eduardo, causing him enough pain to force him to involuntarily let go of the sword, allowing him to literally yank it out of his hands.

I don't care what you say about me, Eduardo, I always fight to win.

OOC: Short, sorry, trying to make up for lost time since we officially have less than a week to get this done.

Best Served Cold
"Fuck you, Eddie. You say you want to fucking kill me? Let's see you try! Or are you all talk? Some coward who only goes after the weak, people who won't fight back because it makes them feel big to hurt people who can't defend themselves? People like Tanya, who probably wouldn't have hurt a fly?! Come on, Eduardo, just try to kill me, if you've got what it takes!"

Darnell wasn't quite in one of the berserker rages he had been infamous for in his earlier years of middle school and high school, but Eddie's threat had snapped what patience he had left for the boy. It was even relatively safe to say that Darnell was angry. His words were definitely acidic enough that they could probably corrode the metal of the freezer door. Eddie had not only just insulted Darnell's lifelong dream and intelligence in the same breath, he had threatened Darnell's own life. There were no two ways to interpret Eduardo's statement; if Darnell didn't fight, Eduardo would kill him. It didn't help that, as the realization that Eduardo had murdered Tanya Bonneville in cold blood set in, he had already started to become angry, struggling subconsciously to keep his mind set on reasoning with the other man (was it still technically correct to refer to Eduardo as a boy? Darnell didn't really care).

He had always been protective of the school's female population, especially whatever girls he was close to, and when someone was going out of their way to harm a girl he always had a hard time keeping himself from intervening, as a few perverted Southridge students who had faced Darnell's angry retribution upon taking their sexual harassment too far while he was watching knew all too well. It wasn't that he was sexist or trying to shelter them or anything like that, it was just how he had been raised. He'd always been taught that women were to be respected and treated kindly, and that a man who intentionally harmed women was scum. A rapist, he had been taught by his father, was even worse than a murderer. Because of this, to hear that one of his classmates had outright murdered a girl was unspeakable to Darnell; it disgusted him almost beyond imagination.

The worst part was, Darnell had liked Tanya (though not in a romantic way, he was confused enough in that subject without two girls being in the equation). It was true that they were only casual acquaintances, but they had always gotten along well in school, and she'd always seemed easy to talk to. The thought of a kind, friendly girl like her dead, her life taken by someone like Eduardo, was hard to process. Still, that was exactly what had happened, and Darnell tensed up even more, his grip on the hedgeclippers tightening yet again as the familiar anger intruded on his mind. It was majorly overshadowed by Ed's threat on Darnell's life and obvious intent to try to carry out that threat, which temporarily clenched his stomach in fear and then converted it to white hot rage, but it was still a factor.

Bastard...and to think I had always tried to stand up for him in school. I had fought against some of my closest friends in order to protect him and people like him when they were bullied, and yet he turns out like this...how could I have been so blind?

The truth was, of course, that it was highly unlikely anyone saw Eduardo's sudden transformation into a remorseless killer (who even seemed to enjoy it, working off of his tone) coming, but Darnell couldn't help but kick himself a bit. He had always tried to be nice to Eduardo, regardless of whether or not his teammates wanted to bully the kid on a given day, and the recent events just seemed to spit in the face of anything he had done for him over the past four years. As his hard glare met Eduardo's emotionless eyes, he had to admit he felt a little betrayed. He had put so much trust in the other students, believed so strongly that none of them would play the game, and now he was trapped by a man he had always tried to help, who intended to murder him as if he were nothing.

I'll be damned if I'm going to let that happen, though.

March Mid-Month Rolls
Shit, sorry for the holdup everyone. I thought I would be able to write it just fine, but computer troubles coupled with an EXTREMELY rough week just made it impossible. I'm sorry, I should have done better. Maybe next time.

Best Served Cold
The first thing that shocked Darnell about Eduardo's reply was how the boy showed no remorse when he admitted he killed Tanya. Neither his voice nor his facial expression changed in the slightest, not even a blink. Indeed, Eduardo spoke about it as casually as he would about what he ate for breakfast that day. The only expression at all the boy made about it was a bored sounding sigh. A sigh! Darnell didn't know what was going through the kid's head, but it was deeply unsettling that he could be so...nonchalant about murdering someone he had gone to school with for the past four years.

He murders someone, presumably in cold blood, and the only thing he feels is boredom? What the fuck's wrong with him? And how did I miss it at school?

His subconscious briefly taking over, Darnell couldn't help but step back from the murderous student, his grip on his weapon tightening. But really, what good were hedgeclippers against a sword? Not much good at all, would be the logical answer. Swords were designed for one of two purposes; replicas, or to kill other human beings, and the sword in Eduardo's hand was definitely not a replica. In all honesty, a simple gardening tool just couldn't measure up.

There has to be a way out of this, though! I'm not going to die here!

Really, Eduardo's following comment about levels merely baffled Darnell, and the fact that Darnell replied by raising an eyebrow at Ed showed this plainly. However, Ed's next statement made it all too clear; Eduardo was trying to provoke him. He wanted Darnell to attack, maybe so he could try to murder him with a clean conscience. To his credit, he definitely seemed to know what buttons to press, as a stern look overtook Darnell's features while he tried to force down the stirrings of anger within him. It had been a while since anyone had directly threatened Darnell or tried to provoke him, and it was irritating to have such an experience again.

I'm not going to play his game, though. Maybe he can still be reasoned with.

"No," he said plainly, a sharp cutoff to Ed's question, "I'm not going to fight you, Eddie. Not if I have a choice. Don't you get it? I don't want to fight anyone! Man, you were always so smart back in school, don't you see that there's got to be a way out of this game other than killing? We get the right people together, we could be off this island in no time!"

If I can get him to see things my way, maybe this will end peacefully...

"But one thing's certain, Eduardo Trinidad-Villa: I'm not going to fight you. Don't try my patience, just put down the sword and walk away. We can both get out of this alive, if not on the same side."

March Mid-Month Rolls
No worries. It'd already be underway if I hadn't pulled a Homer and fallen asleep last night when working on the post. I am confident Ric will die on time.

Lady So Divine
Daniel had not expected Madison to turn around at the last possible moment. It was supposed to be quick, simple, clean, get-it-over-with-and-don't-look-back. He was supposed to just run up from behind her, put the spear through her spine, and then finish her off while she was paralyzed. No more bloodshed than strictly necessary, no fear, no remorse. She was supposed to just go out, never knowing what hit her. When she was dead, Dan would be free to take any supplies she had and there'd be one less of his betters in the world, one less person to go through in order to win SOTF.

Instead, she had turned around, briefly looking Dan square in the eye before gasping loudly and trying to get away. It was too late though, and he heard her scream in pain as the spear dug deeply into her left side, the improvised glass tip/blade proving surprisingly sharp as it pierced her shirt and flesh with little resistance, creating a massive wound as the piece of jagged glass stabbed deep into her. While she was on the ground, he shifted the spear a few times to try to dig it out, worsening the injury before he was able to pull the spear out of her, taking several steps back as he looked at the blood-covered tip and shaft.

So much blood...

The sun's rays reflected off of the blade, casting off a slight red glow as they (the rays) glinted off the blood. Blood was everywhere; on the blade, on the sand, on the girl's clothes, pouring past her hand from the surprisingly huge hole torn through her side (he was still bewildered about how a simple shard of glass, albeit a very large and sharp shard, had made that big a gash. Clearly he had made a better spear than he thought he had.), it just seemed to be all over the place. A bit of it had even gotten onto Dan's clothes, though only a little. It was shocking, even a little disgusting, how much blood was coming out of Madison Conner.

I mean, I stabbed Lance's corpse to test the spear, so I'm used to stabbing things and seeing blood, but the corpse didn't bleed THIS much! Didn't scream either!

Madison was still on the ground, and hadn't done anything other than rubbing her wound with her hand. Now was his chance to finish her off. He had to move forward, thrust the spear a few more times and he'd be one step closer to winning the game...but he couldn't. His gaze was transfixed on Madison and the red substance covering his spear's tip, and it was like he was stuck to the ground. Almost as if the sand, mixed with the blood, was sucking his feet into it. He tried to move forward, but something was stopping him. The body was refusing to listen to the mind, and he was helpless for it. He tried to force himself to finish the job, but all that came out of it was his hands and legs shaking a bit.

Shit, it's my fault she's like this, in so much pain. She'll probably bleed to death unless someone gets her medical attention immediately, and I caused it! This is insane...Why am I doing this?! I don't have the right!

Of course, the sudden attack from his conscience gave Madison the time she needed to rise to her feet, and before he knew it the girl had gotten up and was shouting at him. As tempted as he was to thrust the spear into her face, he wouldn't get the chance, as she suddenly brought her right arm around at him. Feeling himself being metaphorically "released", he reflexively ducked under the swinging arm and shifted his weight so that he quickly stepped to his left. With her arm coming around in an attempted slap, her entire side was left wide open, and he intended to capitalize on this. With some effort, he was able to keep himself from hesitating as he jabbed forwards with his spear again, the intention being to shove it between her ribs and into the lung. There wasn't much power or momentum in the strike, as it was designed to be a very quick blow, but he knew the resistance of the flesh was weaker in such areas.

Regardless of how far it went in, Dan would immediately retract the spear, take several steps back and step further to the left. The slap attempt was pretty quick, and he didn't want to leave himself too open for another counterattack. At the least his stab would slow her down, but he still had to keep on his toes if he wanted to win this game. He was about to raise the spear again to stab at her face, taking advantage of the distance between them, when he heard the shouting and turned so that Madison was to his left and the area behind him earlier to his right, turning his head to look at who had called out to him.

Fuck!

Usually, Simon Wood was not a particularly imposing figure in Dan's opinion, but he was the last person he would've wanted to see charging towards him now. Back in school he had heard the rumours that Simon and Madison were a couple, and it was no surprise to him when he found out it was true (not that he really cared beyond in a "oh, that's interesting" sort of way), and it made the fact that Dan was currently attacking Madison both awkward and very troublesome. Though from this distance Simon didn't appear to be very well armed (is that a laser dazzler he's carrying?, he had thought upon first spotting him), Dan knew he would attack once he got close enough, and he was rapidly getting to the point where he could be considered close enough, which would turn the fight into a two on one battle. Dan wasn't the type of person to stick around for a fight where the odds weren't in his favour, and two-against-one where he was the "one" was definitely a situation where the odds were not in his favour.

So what did Daniel Brent, also known as "rat boy" to some of the school's bullies (and surely to some of the crueller gamblers), do? He turned around so that his back was facing Madison and Simon and sprinted in the opposite direction, hoping to escape to fight another day. Putting a bit of a leap in his first steps to help pick up speed, he pumped his legs as hard as he could, putting his weight on the front leg and then immediately pushing off as the leg slid back, propelling him further ahead. Considering the terrain and the weight of the spear and pack, it was difficult to run quickly, but he was putting as much effort as possible into this sprint, and coupled with the fact that Simon was still relatively far away when Dan started running meant that he figured he had a good chance of getting away.

Have to get away...they'll kill me if they catch me!

Dan had always been good at running. He could always run fast and far if the situation required it, and he was glad for that talent now. Keeping his breaths short and quick, through the nose only, he continued to push off the ground with his legs. Sand was kicked up behind him as he ran, but he paid it no mind, not even looking back to see if he was being chased. All he cared about was getting some good distance between him and the other two players before he tried to get away. Once he believed he had gotten far enough away, he suddenly took a sharp turn to the left at a ninety degree angle, cutting towards the foliage he had emerged from not two minutes prior. Even the jungle, he supposed, was preferable to staying where he could easily be killed. He knew there was an overgrown trail that spanned most of the jungle, he had seen it earlier; once he was sure he had lost Simon and Madison he could get back on the trail and figure out where to go next.

OOC: Dan continued elsewhere. Sorry I took so long.

((Dan continued in Day by Day))

Best Served Cold
"'Bull-headed'? Is that supposed to be a pun, Eddie?"

Darnell was the type of person who, when caught off guard, tended to say the first thing that came to mind. Seeing as the last thing he had expected was Eduardo Trinidad-Villa to round the corner, weilding a blood stained two-handed Highland broadsword (commonly referred to as a Claymore) in a manner clearly intended as a threat and with a cold "I'm too bored to care whether you live or die" expression on his face, it was very safe to say Darnell was caught off guard. Really, Eduardo had probably meant something else by his statement, but Darnell couldn't help but wonder if it was a pun on his nickname ("The Bull"). Of course, Eduardo had never struck him as being very big on puns or humour in general. The only impression Darnell usually got from the boy was a pervasive, all-encompassing bitterness and hatred, especially of the popular students. Most of the time, the only real response Darnell got when he tried to get to know him was being coldly shrugged off. A bit ironic, he supposed, as he had always stood up for Eduardo on the rare occasions anyone actually bullied him (as far as Darnell knew, the boy wasn't tormented nearly as much or as badly as he claimed to be).

Regardless of how well he knew the boy, Darnell was not in a very good situation at the moment. According to the announcements, Eduardo had murdered Tanya Bonneville. Sure, it was possible to interpret Danya's words as meaning Tanya had attacked Eduardo, who was defending himself, but it was just as likely Eduardo was a cold blooded killer, playing to win. To make things worse, Eduardo was standing in the doorway that just happened to be the only way out of the kitchen, meaning Darnell was cornered. It was true that, while they were roughly the same size (Darnell was only "big" in terms of muscle mass and sheer strength; as far as height and weight went he was about average), Darnell was the stronger and more skilled man by far, and even with his inexperience with weapons would probably be able to easily defeat Ed if he tried anything, but he still didn't like the idea of being trapped by someone who was a proven killer.

This probably won't end well, but I've got to try to find a way around this. Preferably one that ends with both of us leaving alive.

Even in his most violent days, Darnell had always been good at talking his way out of a bad situation, and being cornered by a kid with a blood stained longsword was definitely a good example of a bad situation. He had to keep a cool head, though, if he wanted to make it out alive. So that's what he did; the slight grin didn't leave his face, and he didn't even tense up any more than he had. Indeed, he actually relaxed a bit, straightening up and loosening his grip on the hedgeclippers as he glanced quickly at the sword's blade.

"Well, either way...I guess I don't have to ask if you really killed Tanya, huh?"

The question would hang in the air for a few seconds, as Darnell would take no action until he had his answer. There wasn't any hostility in his voice, only a slight element of curiosity, as if the question were anything but rhetorical. His stance was loose, relaxed, while his eyes stayed fixed on Eduardo. While not staying too tense, he held his entire body ready to explode into action if Ed tried anything. He knew he could focus this way because Eduardo was blocking the only way in or out, making him the only potential threat in the area. He couldn't afford to take his eyes off of the other boy or lower his guard, as if he really was playing such a thing would be a fatal mistake.

And if there's one thing I'm not particularly big on at the moment, it's dyin'. I can't let myself kick the bucket yet, I've got to meet up with my friends.

Whatever Eduardo Trinidad-Villa did, Darnell knew he would be ready to react. He had promised to himself at the cottage not to let anyone get between him and his goal of finding his friends, and if Ed got in the way...well, Darnell hated to say it, but it was Ed's loss.

OOC: Sorry, I would've made this longer, but I ran out of ideas, and I figured you've waited long enough.

Favorite Fan Couple
Indeed. Speaking of which, if they slept together, isn't Adwin/Paul technically canon? :P

Favorite Fan Couple
I voted for all of them, because I could. However, I have to say:

BB + Kara + Sex = The FUCK? :blink:

V3 Characters
Neil Sinclair- This character I like. I have to agree with you here, Theseus, his whole idea with SADD is an interesting development. I see potential for them to become the next Intrepid Six (hopefully with...better fates), in all honesty. So far he is very well done; I'll be keeping my eye on this one. ;)

Lenny Priestly- So far not much has been done with him, but I like what I see so far. We've seen a similar angle to his before, in fact it's almost like what I imagine the Matthias/Jodeen Kovalenko situation would've been if she were on the island, but it seems interesting so far. Not bad at all.

Corbin Arlen- Sadly, I can't say anything for him since I haven't really seen much of him. In fact, my first thought was, "Corbin, isn't he the guy with the M16?". This is my own fault, though, and I'll be able to render a better judgment once I have read further.

Trey Leyton- This guy I can't even remember, unfortunately. However, once I've read his threads I'll be able to form an opinion.

I do not mean to bother anyone with this request, but I would like someone to do this for what has been shown of my two characters (Dan Brent and Darnell Butler) so far, as scathingly as possible without using insults. I would like to see an opinion on how (and what) I have done so far, which is admittedly not much at all.

v3 Couples
Yes, yes you did.

Best Served Cold
Whoever the person was had apparently elected to stay hidden, as there was no response to Darnell's call. Nobody came out, and there was no verbal response either. However, it was obvious someone was there, as he had heard someone directly behind him just before he turned around, and as he waited if he listened carefully he could occasionally hear the sound of someone breathing, though it was faint. The fact that they seemed determined to hide from him wasn't a good sign, but they had to have their reasons.

This lead to an interesting situation, as Darnell knew that someone was waiting there and was not willing to head out until they revealed themselves, as not waiting until they came out was just asking for an ambush, but the person refused to appear. Conversely, it allowed Darnell to relax, as he believed if the person really meant him harm they would have attacked already. Still, it meant Darnell was more or less trapped in the kitchen for the moment.

Heh, maybe they're not coming out because they think I'm a threat? They might be as wary of being ambushed as I am.

Darnell could understand perfectly if the person wasn't coming out just because they were being cautious, though he hoped the other students saw him as more trustworthy than that. Darnell was a star athlete and considered by many, especially after the Shooters tournament, to be the best fighter in Southridge. Darnell wasn't sure about that himself, but reputation was reputation, and it seemed that nothing Darnell said could shake the notion. Such a reputation carried with it a certain intimidation factor, especially in a "contest" where the object was to kill your classmates and the winner was the last one left alive.

Of course, it was also possible they were just waiting for Darnell to let his guard down so they could rush out and attack him. They could be an ambitious player who just didn't have a gun but was looking to up their reputation by being the one who took out "The Bull". It could even be someone out to avenge some wrong Darnell had inflicted upon them in the past; as much as Darnell hated to admit it, he still had some enemies, and there were people he had wronged in the past whom he had never been able to make amends to either through circumstance or them being the type to hold a grudge.

Darnell's nature was typically an optimistic one, though, and he preferred not to think that way. Still, the stakes were too high to get careless. He had to get out of this building alive, and preferably off the island in the same condition. Taking a few tentative, careful steps towards the short wall that separated the lunch line from the kitchen, he tightened his grip on the hedgeclippers just in case. One never could really tell what would happen.

"Come on, man," he said, "I know you're there. I heard you. Listen, I don't want any trouble. If I had my way this game never would've existed, or we'd at least all get off without having to hurt each other, but I guess that's too naive. What I mean to say is, I don't want anything to do with this stupid 'game', and I'm sure as hell not going to hurt any of my classmates if I can help it. Besides, unless you're a giant tree or something I don't think I can hurt you much with these hedgeclippers, and if you are I think you've got more important things to worry about."

Darnell chuckled a bit at his own joke, an attempt to ease the tension he could feel building up. In all honesty, he was getting slightly nervous, as he had no way of knowing just who was there, or if there even was anyone there and Darnell wasn't just insane, but he kept this under the surface. For now, all he could do was wait to see what would happen.

OOC: Short, sorry. Exhausted.

Best Served Cold
OOC: Darnell continued from Start - G07
IC:

The rays of the sun were already illuminating the sky, but the announcement was still ringing in his ears as he once again emerged from the foliage of the jungle to see a building in front of him. According to the map, at least when he had checked it earlier, it was the mess hall. The mess hall...if he was here, he had just missed Guy, that or Guy was still in there. His friend, Guy Rapide, had killed a kid in that building by locking him in the deep freeze, according to the announcement. Well, he hadn't directly killed him, but it had apparently caused Alex to accidentally kill himself. Guy was annoying at times, but a killer? Stopping his advance towards the mess hall for a second to shake his head at the idea, he tried to remind himself of how ridiculous it sounded. Guy couldn't be a murderer, he couldn't be playing the game, neither could Keith. It was stupid to even consider the possibility; he knew them, and that just wasn't the kind of person either of them was. Though there was that unsettling gleam in Guy's eye when Darnell had seen him with his bayonet.

I don't care what that sick fuck Danya said, there had to have been a reason! They wouldn't just attack our classmates for kicks! They're not monsters, I know it!

To say Darnell hadn't quite yet come to terms with the fact that nine of his classmates had been murdered over the past day, and that people were willingly killing each other, would be an understatement. He had naively thought that nobody would actually consider killing their classmates in this sick program, and his hopes had been dashed while he travelled more through the seemingly endless jungle, paradoxically desperately trying to block out Danya's horrible voice while at the same time trying to listen with the hope that none of his close friends (he liked to think of himself as being friends with most of the senior class, or at least acquaintances, but he was closer to some than others) would be on the announcement. It was almost wrong to describe him as being shocked and sickened by what he heard, and how much joy Danya seemed to have in the fact that nine seniors who should have been enjoying their senior trip were now dead, some of them killed in very grisly ways. The taste of bile was still in his throat from how the report had caused him to vomit. He had been intentionally trying to forget what Danya said about Heather and Lance, it hadn't really set in yet, but if he dwelled on it too much he didn't have many doubts he'd go from being sickened straight down the slippery slope. He had put his scholarship and future on the line in the Shooters tournament, and almost lost it all, for Lance, and it had all amounted to nothing. The only things that had kept him from losing it when he heard what had happened where that he hadn't seen it himself, the fact that he was trying to force it out of his mind (to the point where he had temporarily forgotten the exact details), and his repeated reminders to himself that it was Danya's fault, not theirs, that they were in this situation.

By now though the distant sounds of gunfire had already started up again, allowing him to fully decide that he had spent enough time in the open. If people really were playing, staying in the open for too long was practically asking to get shot. Keeping this in mind, he slid his right foot forward in a slow, deliberate motion. Gently setting it on the ground, he moved his left foot up as well when nothing exploded. Earlier, probably about three hours before, he had almost stepped on something in the jungle, only noticing it when his heel slightly nudged it as he turned a corner. When he took a closer look, digging up the apparently buried object, he discovered a Claymore land mine. He had come within a square inch of blowing himself to kingdom come, and never would have known until it was too late. He had been carefully monitoring each step he took since, understandably nervous about a repeat experience. The grass under his feet made a soft crunching noise as he steadily made his way to the front door, the hedgeclippers held in front of him in a defensive posture. He reached the door without incident, but found himself pausing in front of it. What if someone was inside? People were actively killing their classmates, he could end up running right into one of those people. And then what? All he had was a pair of hedgeclippers, and he had been hearing gunshots almost non stop. He could be killed, and then he'd never see his friends again, never go home to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL. Not that it was likely he'd be able to return to a normal life easily, if at all, in the event that he survived the game.

It's a risk I have to take.

He'd never get anywhere in the game, he supposed, if he never risked walking in on anyone. Especially in this instance; avoiding the mess hall would mean giving up his chance to find out what really happened. He'd be damned if he was going to take some...some terrorist's word over what he knew of his own friends. Besides, he could use some shelter for a while anyway, if only to temporarily get out of the heat (there was something ironic about a California resident who hated the heat). Thinking nothing more of it and gathering his courage, he walked inside, looking around once he got in. At this hour there was just enough light for him to see well, as it was still relatively early in the morning (by his estimate), and he could see nobody inside. There were many tables in the area, immediately in front of where he was standing (in the doorway), and looking over to the side showed the food line and kitchen. Presumably, the deep freeze was at the far wall, across the mess hall from where he stood, he gathered this from how there was nothing indicative of one in the immediate vicinity.

Overall, the area looked very similar to the cafeteria back at Southridge, though seeing as it was an old military mess hall, this wasn't really a surprise. Lowering the hedgeclippers and closing them, as he had been holding the blades open, he walked to his right and into the lunch line. Walking down this line to where he assumed the kitchen would be, the only sounds being that of his feet impacting the ground and his own breath, he could easily imagine how the hall might have been who-knows-how-long ago, vibrant and bustling with people, the walls echoing with chatter as the men ate their meals. Maybe they were exchanging the most recent rumours and bitching about the quality of the food just like students at Southridge had done. Either way, it only served to add to the eerie atmosphere of the abandoned building, how one minute a place could be filled with life, and the next everything was gone, and things were like nothing had ever set foot in there. A chill quickly went down his spine, but was soon gone.

I wonder how long ago it was that I would have had to wait in a que to move down the line like this.

Making his way into the kitchen, Darnell still saw nothing extraordinary, looking around and listening carefully in order to pick up any disturbances. He hadn't seen the shell casings on the ground in the main part of the mess hall, and therefore did not pick anything up at first. The only sounds he clearly heard were still those made by his own feet, but even those stopped as he got close enough to the door. The pack slid down off of his shoulder, landing on the floor once Darnell adjusted his hand

Darnell Butler had seen slices of Swiss Cheese with fewer holes than were in that door. There was no mistaking them for anything other than bullet holes, either. It was exactly as Danya said. Without a doubt, the corpse of Alex Steele was somewhere behind the door, too.

Fuck...it's the truth? Guy...no, it had to be self defense! He wouldn't murder anyone in cold blood...and besides, according to the announcement Guy technically didn't kill Alex.

For a while, all Darnell could do was stare at the door. He was wrong again. First about the existence of SOTF itself, and now about the truthfulness about the announcements (though in his defence he had never seen an SOTF game before and thus did not know that Danya never outright lied in the announcements). If it was true about Guy, then it had to be for Keith. How could that be possible? He and Keith knew each other, and Keith had never been the type to be violent unless provoked as far as Darnell could remember, and he had been in a sort of friendly rivalry with Keith for some time. He wasn't a killer, he couldn't be.

But the announcement said he shot Charlie Burchman. Twice.

Charlie was one of the only people in Southridge Darnell could not stand. A fat, rich, slob, Charlie had always been obsessed with himself to such a degree Darnell would have been surprised if the obese boy had thought of anyone else as a person (even more so than he had been surprised the kid could stand with that much fat). The boy never failed to make Darnell's mood worse on any given day, potentially disastrous on the few occasions where he was already in a rotten mood. He could never name any one thing that he actually liked about Charlie, especially since Burchman seemed to only deign to interact with others by treating them like dirt. He had never put up with it from any of the other bullies in the school, even brawled with his friends on the football and wrestling team over it at times, and he definitely wasn't ever keen on taking it from Charlie, of all people. It sickened him to say it, but he was almost glad he was dead. Darnell wouldn't be surprised if Charlie had forced Keith to act in self defense.

Still, if Keith shot Charlie, what would stop him from shooting other people? What, other than pure trust, could make Darnell sure Keith wasn't playing? Nothing, so far. For all Darnell knew, he was happily trying to gun down anyone who stepped within range.

No, I can't accept that. That's bullshit, impossible! It'd never happen! There's got to be something Danya isn't telling us. I'll find the truth, even if I have to beat it out of Keith.

This train of thought was suddenly interrupted when Darnell finally heard something behind him. Movement. Spinning around to face that direction, Darnell raised his hedgeclippers defensively again, reopening the blades. Someone was coming, he could hear them. Instead of waiting for them to appear in the kitchen, however, he stepped forward a bit and called out, his voice low and in a sort of bellow but also nonthreatening.

"Who's there?"

Oh, great, now if they're a player they'll DEFINITELY know someone's in here. Good going, Darnell!