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Hanley's Bazaar
(Max continued from Nobody Wants This. Sorry this is so brief. This will be my last Maxpost until I've settled in from the moving house and have a reliable means of getting online again. Until I'm back in action, Max will be written by Jonny.)

He wasn't quite sure how long he'd run. He'd eventually stopped noticing the lead in his legs, the fire in his lungs, the rattling breaths from pushing himself just one step further, the instinctive ducking and shielding himself from slashing branches and tangling bushes. He wasn't so much hurting as vaguely aware of the pain, and whenever he stopped to rest and eat or drink everything tasted like smoke and blood.

He saw white. White slowly being eaten up by red, to the sound of thunder. It made his rests anything but. So he kept running, keeping the red at bay.

It hadn't been his fault. What was he supposed to do when someone shoved a gun in his face and started taunting him, trying to break down everything that made him him before ending it all? How else would he have got out? Didn't that video make it clear it was him or her?

Shit, Becca. Why couldn't you have been smarter?

Why couldn't I have been smarter, found another way. His brain had thought and his muscles had acted, but the muscles had different plans and now his bitchy ex was very dead. The video played over his eyes, running red. He couldn't read lips, what the hell had she tried to tell him at that last moment?

Probably another crude insult, but she'd looked right at him, mouthed something impossible to hear over the incessant ringing. He couldn't stop seeing it again and again. Why couldn't she have had the decency to just close her eyes and fall over.

The trees had paper on it. The contents were murky but the context wasn't: people. At least one. He didn't know when the Anaconda slipped into his hand, but it did, running with him through the underbrush until trees parted for just a moment and a campsite appeared before him. He had the sense to step back.

Someone had already settled in pretty well, and what had just rushing into something done for Becca? Exactly. He wasn't going to turn red. He watched for a moment, praying whoever was there wasn't stupid.

(I'm not waiting two weeks for Brad to decide he feels like posting, especially since this thread's been held up enough already and nobody seems to've come forwards to watch Mike. This and one Max post are the last posts I will make until the situation mentioned in my Away post has settled down. Sorry it's so brief, Ricky can minorly GM Mike until I come back if he needs to.)

So the captain had put Tyler in his place, and instead of being a good trooper he was trying the tough guy act again. How couldn't he see that not only was nobody impressed, but this was the worst possible time for posturing? That was for locker room scraps, not situations where someone had already come within seconds of the great abyss. Pride and bullheadedness led to stupidity, which led to death.

He had no idea when it would drag Tyler down that road, but he wasn't going to take everyone else down with him. Team bonds weren't worth that much. He seemed to be backing off though, and to the fullback his captain's words had a ring of truth to them, that he wouldn't be taking the terrifying power that rifle gave him for granted. At least there was that. Cody was out of here and there wasn't much left to say, not to Tyler the drooling gorilla or to Rose, who was by all accounts pretty cool.

Since there wasn't much left to say, and no use stirring up trouble again, Mike Eastmund did what he usually did on the field back home. He followed his captain.

(Michael Eastmund continued elsewhere)

Urgent! Character-sitters needed!
Hey guys, so like I said in the Away thread, I have to move house tomorrow and have no idea when I'm going to have reliable internet access again. However, I don't want my people to just vanish into the ether, and I'm still worried about activity, so while I'm gonna get a last couple posts up tonight I would really, really appreciate someone who has a decent grasp on the characters and won't just use them as swap fodder or let them go inactive could watch over them until I'm reliably present again and settled in at the new place. My folks are Michael Eastmund and Max Sawyer; if anyone interested could read through 'em quickly and get to me on PM or the chat before I leave for good tomorrow (moving stuff will take a while) that'd be grand. Thanks for your time!

Edit: Jonny is taking care of Max, but any help with Mike is still appreciated.

Official V5 Away Thread
Handler: The Burned Handler
Dates Away: 30th July - 30th August
Days Away: 30
Reason for Away: I'm moving on Tuesday, and have no idea when I'll be able to get online again, so I'm making a high ballpark estimate. I'll probably assign a babysitter for my characters, and whenever it is I can get online I'll update the situation.
Characters: Michael Eastmund, Max Sawyer

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
In other news, how do you guys pick threads to join?

Okay, so nobody was dead yet, but that felt like it could easily change within the next few seconds. Especially when you had Tyler making things worse every time he opened his damn mouth. Apparently Eliza'd tried to rob him, and the captain wasn't taking that news well at all.

Keep cool, Mike, remember your job on the field. You cover the quarterback. The quarterback who really didn't need more excuses to blow off someone's face. Though would he really be acting much different if it were his hypothetical sister being threatened? Let's not find out. Sure, he'd never liked Eliza for reasons he couldn't always put a finger on, and with or without her Tyler was practically begging for something to blow up in his face, but nobody deserved the shit happening on this island.

Nobody deserved what happened to Davidge and the others, to those girls on the video, to all those kids in years gone by. Nobody deserved having their humanity stripped away, being reduced to a slavering beast that destroys all in its way because that's the only option left to it. They weren't animals to be tossed into a pit and made to rip and tear each other for some sick bastard's amusement. Fuck them, there was only one way to win this stupid thing - don't become like the people who put you here.

Easier said than done, he just had to look at things here to know that. He was suddenly too aware of sweat beads forming and trailing down his arms, born from nerves and summer heat, and every breath taken and word said by the bodies amongst all this green stretched on for days. The world hung on whatever Tyler chose to say and every hair standing on end told him any second could result in an explosion.

Years of training taught him to expect a ring of a bell and a punch to the face with tension like this, the kind that got every muscle in his body tightened up until the practise kicked in and loosened them, readied them to move and react. Funny how that made it easier to deal with. Just breathe, Mike, remember Knowles? Had him built up as a monster, local papers made him sound like the next big thing, an unstoppable shoe-in for the Golden Gloves and a long pro career after, and you stopped him cold halfway into the second.

It wasn't a perfect comparison, you couldn't duck and weave around a bullet or knock it out with a good uppercut, but that was beside the point. He had to find that same steel in him, or he was just sitting around waiting to die, hanging on every second in hopes the next word spoken wouldn't cause a firestorm. The air pressed him into the ground, and the plants circled the tableau, leering and trying to see who, if anyone, would become fertiliser...

But eventually, it became clear Tyler wasn't saying anything, and silence could be as bad as a full confession here. Time to move before anyone got too jumpy. Mike stepped up, conveniently blocking the rifle as he took in the little group.

"Guys, this is stupid; he's not saying anything, and Cody, I think we'd be better off looking for your sister and the others than grilling Tyler." Was he listening? Was Rose? He could be wasting his time, but if they could hear him maybe this could be okay. "How about we just get out of here? He's not worth it, and I don't know about you but I'm not buying into all this bullshit. We're better than this place."

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Pretty sure it takes place like midnight day two, you ninnies.

Project: Wiki
What edit was that, the Kim Nguyen trivia I caught that one time?

V5 Reduced Activity Notices
I might be moving/being kicked out soon, and with no fucking car and how long moves can take I have no idea when it'll be or how long it would be before I'd be online again/able to consistently get to a place where I can get online. Just a heads up. This will probably be upgraded to a proper Away once things are going and once I know what the hell.

Official V5 Away Thread
(Shit, wrong thread for this.)

V5 First Announcement
He used to write current affairs, now he's in the obituaries.

(Jesus, it's been for ever since I've written a death.)

Rebel Diamonds
Someone yelled at Miles off in the distance, a world away to his mind with Joe murdering people to think about. He looked up anyway, caught a flash of steel tha-


A huge metal fist caught him right in the throat, and he gasped for breath. It came out watery, more of a gurgle. Something wet ran down his neck, more of it pouring down with each heaving breath he took. He tried to cough, and it didn't help, just bringing something sharp and metallic up. He clutched desperately at whatever'd hit him, groping around until he felt a wooden handle. Pulling lit his body aflame, and his fingers came away red with blood.

The fuck...

The bones were gone from his legs, and the sand under his feet rushed up to meet him. He became dully aware of his face slamming into the ground, and the impact driving the thing stuck in his neck further in. He wanted to scream, but just wet the sand. Sand filled his nose and mouth for his trouble, and he hadn't even the strength to lift his head or try spitting it out.

It was the high point of summer, and suddenly everything was so very cold. Water streamed from his eyes.

In a story he might have gone peacefully, thinking about family and friends, saying goodbyes at least in his head and hoping Joe and Trav and everyone else would be safe. In a story there wouldn't have been pain.

This wasn't a story. He spent a few more moments sobbing weakly, fear and agony tearing through him, before the darkness filled his vision and took everything away.



Nobody Wants This
(I think I just got GMed out of my own thread. o_o Might as well officially leave then; this post is set BEFORE all y'all's posts.)


Smoke swirled round him, settling on his shirt, while cordite and sharp coppery blood mixed in his nose. The world had been swallowed by a persistent ringing in his ears, but he felt his legs wobble, still off guard from the blast forcing him back a step. The gun, still smoking, weighed a ton in his hand, but he held on all the same.

He'd shot her. White turned dark, dark red and brown eyes stabbed through him, full of accusation. Her lips moved, but he couldn't hear the words or read the movements, and then those eyes weren't full of anything at all. A few seconds ago she'd been a woman, with thoughts and dreams and the works, now because of the terrorists she was just meat for the worms.

An instant slower and it would be him on the floor. She kept staring at the legend she had been about to destroy, even now she was in the hereafter. He could have thought of something witty to say to that, something manly and powerful, but no words came to his throat, only acid.

His body was still moving on its own when he took up his bag, wrestled hers free while trying not to retch and got the hell out of there.

(Maximilian Sawyer continued in Hanley's Bazaar.)

V5 First Announcement
Because everyone got extensions, nobody's been disqualified from BKA/BDA, right?

Nobody Wants This
(Mild GMing for flow purposes approved.)

So now she was mocking him. Bit of cat-and-mouse, huh? Great, good knowing even on Murder Island she thought he was a damn joke. Well, screw her then. He kept his poker face up, nodding with a smile that didn't show teeth.

"Thanks. Hell of a situation we got into, huh?" The cigar slid out of his pocket, resting between two fingers as he went rummaging for a lighter. There had to be one somewhere in the pack, after all. What was a cigar with no way to light it? Clothes and extra food moved aside at his touch, in and out of the pack, but nothing until he found the first aid kit.

Ah, there we go. It opened up and there was his holy grail, much less impressive than the real thing but it would do for now. She was still watching him, gun still waiting for an excuse to tear him through. That thing looked like it would rip his arm off if it so much as grazed him, god damn.

Right, try not to think about that. His thumb went across the wheel, sparking the lighter once, twice. A third time and flame danced before his eyes, warming his nail impatiently. Becca was in the doorway, the cigar was in his left hand. He could light the cigar, then what? A first smoke wouldn't make this go away.

"Only one of you will ever see home again. Once on the island, you will have to kill each other until only one remains."

He knew that. She knew that. It'd been clear as day on the video, but hadn't he just said he wouldn't be their plaything? Eight people dead, she was looking at him like he was going to be number nine. What could he do?

Cigar, lighter, Becca. Cigar, lighter, Becca. She was several feet away, he was fast but she'd still have time to pick the gun back up and shoot. Cigar, lighter, Becca. His hands shook, he made them stop.

Idea. Crazy enough to work? He was strong, he could get the gun away with a distraction. He was holding a distraction. The flame kissed the cigar's end, turned it red and black and brought acrid smoke into his nose. He coughed. Now or never. One, two...

A flick of his wrist sent it flying at Becca's face, he saw the gun-hand twitch but too late-

Light and sound filled his eyes and ears, someone's shouting drowned by the ring ring ring after the blast. He stumbled, coughing out a swear, and saw metal on the floor, lunged for it. His brain said pick it up, say "fuck off, give me the bag and go", his brain said scare her away.

His muscles said no. On its own his body scooped the gun up in two hands, let the heavy metal settle in his grip. His arms swung up until a body was in the sights, his finger pulled back.

Fire and steel cut through the air, stifling all other sound with its roar.

Nobody Wants This
"Put that down, Becca. Come on."

If that thing wasn't so damn scary while being pointed at him, this would be getting on his nerves. It was just like before, she'd never listen, never show him an ounce of respect, never act like anything outside her dumb sport was even worth taking seriously for a second. Except now it would probably get his brains splattered all over a wall.

Give someone a few jewels, a nice dinner or three, they think they own you. Great. The store was starting to feel really cold now, impossibly cold given the summer morning, and he became all too aware of decades-old wood burying under his nails, his fingers digging deep as everything tensed up. His heart was a war drum.

Come on, Max, think. You've always had your brain, it's what's set you up for life. What do you have on her? How do you make this work?


"God damn, you make me need to smoke." A long shot. He reached up for his breast pocket and the cigar, trying to make eye contact with Becca and not the gun. "You mind?"

V5 First Announcement
We'll try not to use it, but I think we're gonna need an extra day for Becca.

Nobody Wants This
"Fine, but could you not treat that thing like a toy?"

Sure, things weren't exactly going to be sunshine and rainbows between them, but Max really didn't think he could be blamed for that request. There was something inherently alarming about someone who already looked bloody unhappy waving a huge gun around while they talked like pointing it at things was just a punctuation mark. Only an idiot wouldn't have it loaded in circumstances like these, and it was that thought that made him instinctively duck away every time it seemed to float near him while Becca talked.

Sure, she'd been a selfish bitch, but stupid had never really entered the equation before now. Now he had to question that just a little. Wouldn't do to lose his cool now though, so he just kept his hands where she could see them and gnawed on a bit of the protein bar. It tasted like nerves.

"All I got's this dumb cigar in my pocket, no need to have a gun out."

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Either one would get a real high schooler shoved in a locker.

Nobody Wants This

Smooth, Max. Someone like Becca Everett walks in the room and the best you can manage is hi? Even with a mouth half-full of protein bar there's no excuse, one can't help wondering how you landed her as a girlfriend to begin with. Another swig of water got rid of the mouth-is-full problem and also brought an extra jolt of awakeness into his brain, letting him take in the situation. There he was, still shaking out cobwebs, and this ungrateful bitch comes barging in, getting the honour of first person he's seen not just today but since the kidnapping?

Some luck he was having. There was a time he'd've loved to see her, but his eyes couldn't help wandering down to that massive gun in her hand, then back up to the look on her face, the look she'd worn most of the last few times he'd talked to her. Except now it had the added context of this woman having been explicitly told by terrorist thugs to blow his head off. He'd never been a gambling man, but he still found himself wondering about the odds of her having taken that command to heart.

She'd been beautiful once, but that look and that thought brought ice to his brain and chased the blanket of sleep away. This was a woman who'd tried to bleed him dry, and never shown him a moment of real love or respect for it, even after everything he'd done and everything he'd gave her. Most of the nice stuff she had were things he bought over those few months, and at the end she'd thrown him aside like he was some bauble and tried to make him look like the bad guy. Tried to ruin his reputation.

Fucking gold diggers. He couldn't say that though, neither time nor place. In business or in life you never let someone see you on the back foot, especially not if they already had a leg up. Like, say, they literally had a gun on you and were blocking the only exit. Play this cool, Max...

"I was just having breakfast. Want some?"

The trademark Max Sawyer Smile fell a little flat, this time.