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She Bop
((Maxie continued from: Alive Out of Habit))

Alone and lovin' it. Make my own way and not relyin' on..

Maxie stopped and froze as she cleared the treeline. Up ahead, it looked as if two people were fighting. At that moment, Maxie would have dearly liked to turn tail and melt right back into the jungle. After all, this obviously wasn't anything to do with her. But... she never could resist the lure of a good scrap, and this one was no exception, lethal or not. Of course... fists were more Maxie's forte, but she didn't doubt she could do some damage with the meat hook. Wait, was she thinking about fighting just for the sake of it?

You are so gonna get y'self killed girl.

She shook that thought out of her head and pulled the meat hook out of her belt before hurrying towards the commotion. Sure, Maxie liked getting involved when a brawl broke out at party - pretty much regardless of the instigator. In chaos, it hardly mattered 'who started it' still, she wasn't going to lay into somebody with a weapon just because she was feeling frustrated and wanted to vent it. That was probably about the worst reason to kill a person ever, and Maxie wasn't about to become a murderer for that kind of reason.

On the approach, Maxie cupped her free hand to her mouth and shouted out, hoping to distract the pair's attention. She couldn't make it all out from here, but it looked like the fight was somewhat one sided, which meant that one of the people had attacked the other... Well... what other situation would it be in SOTF anyway?

"Hey what the fuck d'ya think you're doin'!? Ain't bein' on this damn island enough for ya?"

However, even as Maxie spoke, she knew it would be futile, the one on the offensive was Melina Frost, and if Maxie could pick one person to play the game, it would be her. Both girls were packaged into the 'delinquent' zone, but where Maxie was chaste, and proud of it, Melina was about as promiscuous as you got. A basic clash in morals like that was probably the reason they had never become friends. That, and Melina was a massive bitch.

Maxie sped up, growing closer by the moment, hoping she could rescue Melina's unfortunate victim before it was too late. Better yet, hoping he would rescue himself.

Them vs. You vs. Me
"Whew," Sean dropped with a grateful exhalation, the poker landing in the dust alongside him. Sean looked up and offered Julie a weak smile. He had heard her talking with somebody inside, somebody who sounded very much like Adam, the guy who he and Andy had been planning to travel with. If Adam was there, then Sean was willing to bet that Julie was all right. "With all the ways to get yourself killed out there - and all the people willing to implement them... and I busted my head open on a rock, which has royally fucked me up... tch,"

Sean silently thanked Julie for getting Kyrie to turn off the megaphone, even if it wasn't entirely for the benefits to his own health, which Sean figured that, by this point, a well aimed poke would finish off. The Irish lad was hurt, miserable, and immeasurably worried. It had now been a long, long while since he had last seen Andy. With an island this size, that wasn't too surprising, but the longer he was out of Sean's sight the longer he was in danger, and the more likely it was that... It didn't bear thinking about Sean closed his eyes and shook his head, a bad idea. He found himself on his back again all of a sudden as he folded up neatly from the abrupt movement. Had this been under the surface all along? Just waiting for an opening, when Sean was tired and drained, to strike and sap his energy when he needed it most?

If that was the case, Sean wished it was possible to verbally abuse illness and infirmity, because he would most certainly have been venting his frustration at that point if he was able to. Unfortunately, it wasn't, and doing so would probably knock him out from the volume, regardless of what the others might have thought about his raving. Sean forced himself back into sitting position and swayed there for a moment. He needed to lie down. Badly.

Point of Collapse
((Waffs, there's no way Will could be where he was without being spotted))

Bobby paused for a moment, and chuckled.

"You must really think that I'm some kind of moron. You're standing directly in front of me and you thought you could catch me cold? There isn't much good hiding when you pick a spot which is virtually in plain sight," although he had been taken up with the kid on the ground, Bobby's attention had quickly snapped to the other guy who had somehow entered the storeroom - lugging another person with him no less. And with Bobby's attention had come the carbine. "Well looky here, we got ourselves a good old fashioned Mexican Standoff," a grin came onto his face, splitting the cuts again. Bobby distinctly felt the blood trickling down his face. "I'll tell you this the nice way shall I? If you don't want a bullet in your head, I would suggest you left. Now. I'm not in the mood for a fight. I came here to sleep, but so help me, you push me, and you're dead, and you're friend along with you. One chance is more than I've given anybody else so far, so I strongly advise you to take it!"

He really didn't want a fight, truly and honestly. This was probably about the only time Bobby would ever be willing to let a target slip away from him. Quite frankly, he didn't give a damn about the gun the other guy was holding. Obviously the range wasn't a great deal in the confines of the storehouse, but Bobby didn't doubt it would be more than enough to throw the aim of an inexperienced shooter off entirely. He was no marksman himself, but in that sense, the carbine gave him an advantage. A more stable weapon, a longer barrel, it could be put to the shoulder, making aquiring a target easier. The revolver the other was packing probably had more firepower than Bobby's carbine, but it didn't matter. A hit at this range was going to do some serious damage.

Bobby was glad of the reassuring bulk of the kevlar he was wearing. It wasn't exactly discreet, but the fact it was underneath his shirt would be enough to prevent a casual observer from spotting it. Of course, Bobby really didn't want to rely on the vest - getting hit by his own carbine had stung enough without having to contend with a more powerful weapon. Kevlar wasn't a magical suit of invincibility armour after all, merely good protection. Hopefully the guy threatening him would either be smart... or go for the larger target.

The boxer shuffled back slightly wear he was stood, trying to maximise the distance between the two of them. In a firefight, his opponent would have an intial advantage, since the carbine was bolt action. However... reloading for the revolver would be much slower, the trick would be in surviving the opening fussilade. Was it even a six shot the guy was using? Bobby dimissed the thoughts and remained focused on the other.

"What's it gonna be? Easy or hard?" Bobby shrugged, at least, half shrugged, with his left arm, a very small movement. "You choose,"

Point of Collapse
Urgh... what the hell? Who shouted?

Bobby was roused from an uneasy sleep unceremoniously. He didn't know how long he had slept for, but thanks to his rude awakening, Bobby wasn't feeling all that refreshed. However, since he was catching up on about three nights sleep all at once, that was perhaps understandable. Bobby only caught about the tail-end of what was spoken, but from what he gathered, there was not some kind of mortal combat going on inside the Storehouse, rather somebody was trapped. In a box.

He considered remaining where he was for a few moments, the guy sounded like an idiot, and stupid people went down hard in SOTF, Bobby had seen that already. Tyson, for example, had made the mistake of gloating whilst he held Bobby at gunpoint, a mistake, in the end, which had been fatal. On the other hand... if this moron kept blundering around bawling his idiotic head off, then undoubtedly other people would be attracted to Bobby's little isolated cave, which at the moment, he really didn't want. The fewer encounters he experienced in the game the better... less weight on his mind.

Bobby thoughtfully removed his scalpel from a pocket, then looked at it for a few moments. Punishment, Bobby considered, was once again required. 'Kenurton' and that other poor bastard who he had dug up to loot, and whoever the hell the guy who he had narrowly missed being shot and killed by. Three more marks against him. Deliberation over, Bobby brought the scalpel up, and added two cuts alongside the other three on his right cheek, and another to the cluster on his left cheek. That made seven: Straton, Tyson, Wolfe, Ric, CorpseA, Kenurton, hippy. He might not have killed all of them, but he had done enough.

Bobby knew that he was bleeding again, but didn't much care. The cuts were only small, they would clot in time - he was hardly going to bleed to death from a few cuts on his face. There were quite a few of them, that was true, but Bobby had taken care of them as best he could, even if he hadn't covered them over. Besides, Bobby was sure infection was going to be the least of his worries - when you had to contend with being shot at, that kind of thing was decidedly secondary...

Irritated still, Bobby got to his feet and kicked the office's door open with a huge boot. He saw a nerdy looking sort lying on the floor, he appeared somewhat dazed. What could have happened? They were the only two people there, as far as he could see, unless somebody had snuck in somehow... in which case Bobby would have seen them by now, or heard them. Either that, or it was self inflicted, and the idiot was so damn stupid he'd decked himself.

The boxer took two steps forward to close the difference, brought out his carbine and pointed it at the student with both hands firmly around it to improve his accuracy. He hadn't hit anything with it except when at literally point blank range, so his aim was highly in question.

"Okay..." Bobby murmured. "Give me one good reason I shouldn't put a hole in your head," he knew that he should really be shooting first and asking questions later, but Bobby found he just couldn't pull the trigger and fire. His third kill had been an exception... but only because that guy had fired at him first, and he had been immensely pissed off at the time.

"Your answer will probably be irrelevant by the way," Bobby added, after a moment or so. "I'm going to kill you anyway."

Role Player of the Month #2
I nominate Maka and Adam, both because I just love reading their posts - whichever character is in them - they just do a great job on posting, it seems all of the time :)

Them vs. You vs. Me
Sean hadn't been surprised that he had wound up on the floor, the whole world had seemed to be spinning wildly around him and as a rather disconcerting plus to that half of the said wildly spinning world appeared to have gone into grayscale. Lying face down with his eyes closed was almost a mercy... and then Kyrie had to ruin it.

"Ah...! Jesus Christ girl can't you keep it down for a couple of seconds?" Sean would have shouted, but he had the feeling that his head would take exception to that kind of display of volume and detonate his brain in protest. Sean instead managed to just about groan his protest as Kyrie flipped him over and caught a glimpse of her concerned face before screwing his eyes shut tight. Sean raised one hand to his head and felt around his temple. The bandage was wet.

Shit... bleeding again.

"Seriously..." Sean murmured, opening his eyes again and shuffling into a more upright position. "My head hurts like fuck, being loud just makes it worse..." Suddenly everything span again, Sean's eyes rolled back and he fell back with a thud from his sitting up position. Sean swore, rolled over, and levered himself to his knees with both hands, he reached out for his poker, grasped it like a lifeline, then used it to prop himself up.

Something trickled down his cheek.

Sean swayed for a moment, but managed to stop himself falling over again. He was next to doubled over, and something swung in front of his eyes, blurred and indistinct. It took Sean a few moments to realise it was the crucifix he wore around his neck. Even as he looked on, a bead of blood dropped from his face and splashed onto the small ornament.

He was less worried as to the religious implications of that than the fact that, after two - almost three days of sporting it, his injury had decided to cripple him. Why the hell had it started bleeding again anyway? Sean sighed as his vision did another barrell roll and caused him to stumble several steps. A well aimed poke would knock him down now. The way he was feeling, Sean wished he had fainted.

Fuck this...

Point of Collapse
((Bobby continued from: Soulless))

Bobby almost fell through the storehouse door, slamming into it and dropping onto his knees on the inside. Since the graveyard, this had been the very first building Bobby had come across, and he was more relieved to see it than he could say. He had enjoyed no more than a couple of hours sleep over the past three days, and it really didn't help that he had been involved in psyically demanding fights no fewer than four times already. Bobby was about ready to drop dead from exhaustion.

The building offered a measure of security to him. There was a body sprawled out on the floor but at this point Bobby really didn't care. He shuffled across the room, avoided the dead body and headed into the small office on the opposite side. Hopefully, lying down, he would be able to remain unseen.

Bobby ducked down, and sure enough, couldn't see out into the building itself. Of course, that might have been a danger - after all, it meant he couldn't keep watch. But he was willing to forgo that for a chance to sleep. After a moment's consideration, Bobby moved a chair inside the office to a position behind the door. Anybody opening it would be sure to mke quite a clamour and wake him up. As added security, Bobby lay down underneath the desk, virtually impossible to see from anywhere except inside the officer itself. Bobby kept one hand on his carbine even as he settled down, priming it and laying it alongside him before lying back.

He was asleep in moments.

((Well that's why I made the point of saying that he cut a slope into the side of the hole - so that he could actually climb out of it. If the thing was sheer, then I know he wouldn't have been able to get out else: nobody can jump four feet into the air after all. Still. If you have problems I'll nix the post and start over))

Character Discussion
Apr 19 2008, 02:25 AM
While I agree that Bobby is just playing to survive, the problem is that does that make him a bad guy? Also, I'm thinking that a lot of characters that're playing to survive just haven't had the chance yet. I'd bet some people would be willing to play who haven't admitted it yet. If Bobby's just trying to survive, does that differ from say, Adam Dodd, or Julie Mikan? Those two've already shown they're willing to throw things around and try and take people down before they're taken out. Does that make 'em villains?

It's a point to ponder.

I don't think the point is that they're all playing to survive, rather in the way in which they go about securing said survival. Adam and Julie are highly focused on self-defence and helping others. For example, Julie killed Owen whilst trying to take down his assailant, and Viktor because well... he was a lunatic. Then you have Adam killing Ivye (and indirectly Gabriel) because they were both trying to kill him. On the other hand, you take each of Bobby's kills. Alright, fair enough, with Tyson, the other guy shot at him first, so that's self-defence. You can use the same argument for Quale, but then it starts getting hazy. 'Self-defence' would be just killing him - instead, Bobby shot the guy twice, then broke his neck. It's Ric that clinches it though, that was all Bobby, that's the difference. Don't tell me Adam or Julie would challenge somebody they just happened to come across to a fist fight then stab them when they started losing.

Oh yeah, you also can't ignore the fact that Bobby has either attempted or has had intentions to kill every single person he has encountered on the island. Maybe he's not your blood n' guts slasher who makes every kill as gory as possible (yes, I'm looking at you Blood Boy), perhaps he isn't quite the same as anything we've seen before (heck if I know ;), anyone care to do a comparison?) but Bobby is still most definitely a bad guy.

@Bu: I don't know if you do, since as I said, Bobby is necessarily that brutal, but I would class Bobby as something as a game motivator. A player at the very least. However, I agree that in general, there just seems to be an absence of villains.

@Meg: Thank you. To be honest, that's kinda how I feel about Maxie too - she's just a lot more... interesting than Katie. Although if you consider that Katie was one of my very first concepts, and you stick in about four months between the two being created, then I think you've got the reason.

Okaay... characters - just random as they pop into my head pretty much.

Dominica Shapiro - I think the premise from which Ciel built Dominica is an interesting one, and coupled with the aforementioned 'lack' of villains, I know I'd like to see some more of her, since she has an interesting trickster type persona.

Neil Sinclair - He's something of a sad character for me. Obviously he's highly idealistc, but the reason it's sad is that it seems like every time he rallies a group, something goes wrong and it falls apart. Look at the first rendition of S.A.D.D - more than half the members (if you count Nadine and Nigel) were killed, and the rest scattered all over the place. I just get this feeling that he's just going to keep building up these groups and keep getting knocked back to square one each time.

Blood Boy - I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, I just don't like the psychopaths. Personally I think BB is very well written and Chad has done a good job with the guy, I just find it impossible to like him. His motives just seem to be 'I'm crazy so I'm going to kill everyone in as ridiculously over the top and squicky way as I can' maybe I'm not seeing something here, that's just the vibe I get from him. I think it's possible to be a killer, and brutal about it without falling back on the easy justification of them being simply crazy. It's exactly the same reason I didn't like Gabriel Theobaldt, Viktor Kurchatov and (reading back through the other versions) Cillian Crowe.

Kallie Majors - I like how you're going with Kallie Meg - the character's got a direction and she's sticking to it. There's one objective clear in her mind, and it's communicated in every post, and I find that it comes across as very realistic and vivid. Certainly a character I like to follow, as does, it seems, Matthew Wittany ;)

Alive Out of Habit
'Kay, enough's enough. This isn't workin'.

Once again, the situation just seemed to run right away from her. For the second or third time, Maxie was pushed into the background and isolated, it seemed, from the decisions being made. Obviously nobody gave a damn about her opinion, made painfully clear by the way the others were acting. Nobody looked to her for assurance, to check if she was okay, in fact, Guy appeared to be pointedly ignoring her. Maxie didn't belong here. This group wasn't about her, it was about Kallie and Keith and Guy - all looking for a mutual friend of theirs. Alice was the oddity, but it seemed as though Guy had taken the quiet girl under his wing. But that was the point, they shared a bond - they were friends, they hadn't just hooked up with each other by chance. Who was Maxie to them? To these guy's, Maxie was just an incidental arrival, probably seen as a temporary member of the group at best. If that was the way it was going to be though, then so be it. Maxie wasn't going to trail after them like some faithful dog following its master - that would be pathetic. Safety or no, Maxie wasn't going to be a fifth wheel, there simply because she was just useful enough not to be driven away.

Part of Maxie's ire came not just from the subtlties of movements - not looking at her, addressing the others as a group, but leaving her out, some of her anger stemmed from the words of the others. Keith was far from the worst offender, but the implication in what he said was clear. If it had been say, Maxie herself approaching the group at this point, she would have been turned away without a second thought. Like some kind of sick kid's game: 'Sorry, maximum of five people in a group, the rest of you have to strike out on your own and hope you don't get killed,'. It didn't matter whether or not Maxie considered the newcomers to be trustworthy, it was purely the principles Keith had based his refusal on. She was acceptable to him because it didn't bring the group numbers too high, but any others had to be turned away at gunpoint? It wasn't that he trusted her, it was that he was paranoid about others. Perhaps Keith had justification for that - based on his past experiences with groups, but who was to say that a group of his friends wouldn't encounter the exact same problem? Guy had flat out ignored Maxie, and considering that he was annoying her already, that didn't really help matters much.

The worst, though, was Kallie. On the face of things, what she had said was perfectly reasonable: if she didn't want a bigger group, then that was that. Kallie was concerned about her friends, again, nothing wrong with that. The context, however, was what moved Maxie to action. Kallie hadn't been 'looking' to take Maxie on, it had just happened, and what with Keith's arrival, she had somehow just been intergrated into the group. Again, it was that strange children's game, 'No room for you, this group's full,' Maxie didn't doubt Kallie wouldn't hesitate to dump her once they found Darnell. After all, that would mean there was six people, one too many evidently, and why would she look any further for a person to dump than Maxie? Certainly not a friend of her's, and with a reputation as a delinquent to boot. Nope, Kallie wouldn't hesitate to throw her out on her ear. The most important part though, was when Kallie mentioned she was only worried about her friends. For Maxie, it didn't get any simpler than that. They weren't friends, end of story.

Time t'speak up.

"Ya 'know what everyone? This isn't gonna' stick," Maxie said this loud enough that all of the people in the group, and probably Neil and Matt could hear her. She didn't care - they would figure things out for themselves even if they didn't hear what she had to say. "I'm not a friend of any one of ya," she told them all frankly, which was entirely true. Before today, she hadn't even spoken with some of those around her, let alone become close to them.

"Ya know me, sure, but we're not buddies. Tell me now if ya wouldn't be refusin' ta let me inta the group if it was me instead've Neil. Don't deny that. It's true," Maxie swept them with her gaze, looking from Guy, to Kallie, to Keith.

"Fact is, ya don't give a damn about me, I just happened ta turn up when the mood wasn't too hostile," Maxie smiled wryly. "Don't get me wrong, ya want to find a friend of yours, and I think that's admirable. Takes a brave person ta think about someone else when ya might get killed at any instance. I never wanted a group, just a little security, maybe get some good sleep in - shifts are always better after all. Figured you'd all know what ya doin'. But that isn't fair, not really. So I'm gonna' make th'whole 'trust' game easier for y'all and bow out now."

Maxie looked right, then left, then headed off - away from the hospital and the treeline Neil and Matt had emerged from. "Good luck with findin' your buddy," Maxie added as she departed.

Alone again. Just the way I like it.

((Continued in She Bop))

Day By Day
Simon was so caught up in the moment - the overwhelming need to put Darnell down and keep him down for as long as he could to buy some time, that he didn't even hear what Darnell said before he cried out. If he had done, then slowed down and actually paid attention to the guy he was currently trying to lay into for all he was worth, things might not have turned out the way that they did. But speculation was speculation, what happens, happens. Not everything that results from a particular course of action results in a faovourable outcome, but there was no way to change that - especially in the split seconds which were available to react.

The runner was correct in his guess that hitting Darnell with his becasted arm was going to hurt. Already tortured bones, fused and set hopelessly out of position, a disability which had screwed up Simon's life, they screamed with protest. Simon wasn't sure whether it was his arm of Darnell's jaw, but he heard a distinct crack. By the flood of pain which accompanied the sound effect, Simon realised that he had managed to rebreak one of the numerous injuries in his right arm. Not that it particularly mattered. The arm had been history ever since the motorbike accident. In fact, a lot of his life had gone up in smoke when that happened. It wasn't entirely due to a desire to hold Darnell off that Simon so readily sprung to the attack. An element of resentment was there. Before Simon got hurt, he was on the football team too. Perhaps not the star player, but good enough to be on the starting line-up. So where his disability prevented him from going on, guys like Darnell just kept on getting better and better. Much as Simon liked football, he couldn't watch Southridge's team play without a bitter taste in his mouth. Simon just couldn't help but feel that it should have been him out there. It was perhaps the one sore spot Simon had. In all other matters, he was friendly and lacked a mean bone in his body. (half of them were smashed to pieces as it was). As soon as the sport came into the equation, a shadow fell over his face and he became very difficult to talk to. Darnell was a nice guy, but in his own way, he attracted resentment, which was why Simon had few qualms about aiming an attack at him.

Keep it up. Keep on the attack. Don't give him a moment to breath. He's got a reputation as a fighter for a reason you know. Keep him on the backfoot, kee- ... ow ...

Simon froze where he was stood. His brain was telling him, rather loudly, that part of him was hurting rather more than it should be, considering the circumstances. What could have happened, Darnell had gone down, went for his sword, Simon had lunged forward again and...


He found his gaze drawn irresistably downwards, and sure enough, there it was. Blood streaming down the blade, the point end of which disappeared into his body just below the ribcage, Darnell's sword had just impaled him. Worse yet, it was his own fault. For some reason, then, the pain faded away, leaving Simon feeling somehow empty.

Well... I knew I was going to die here, I just didn't realise it would be in such a goddamned stupid way as this.

Simon tipped over backwards, hitting the ground far from smoothly, his glasses being dislodged on impact - throwing all he could see into a strange, blurry relief which made next to no sense. Nothing, barely, could be distuinguished from the background.

The sky sure looked beautiful though.

Simon had caught the surprised look on Darnell's face, and only now were his words recalled. It had all been... a big misunderstanding, and it had caused SOTF to claim another victim. A ridiuculous way to go, for sure, but at least the principle of what he was doing had been sound.

"Darnell," he said, voice surprisngly strong considered the fact that he was, well... bleeding to death. "I'm sorry," and those were to be his last words.

His head fell back, hitting the hard ground with an auidible crack. As he died, Simon had time for one last thought. As was fitting for him, it was self-depracating.

I was always was a bloody idiot. Getting myself killed is the crowning moment. I wonder... was that techincally suicide? An odd thing to consider... but since I'm bloody well dying, I can think about anything I damn well... please...


Them vs. You vs. Me
Sean was a little taken aback at the abruptness of the arrival of Kyrie Joseph, somebody who he considered to be a part of Southridge's resident hippie community - which included such names as Quale Hutchinson, among others. There seemed to be a lot of peaceful people at the school, and Sean took that to heart. If people like Kyrie were still going around, telling everyone their messages and refusing to take part, he had no doubt that the game's progress would be stymied. It was an encouraging thought.

Sean only wished that he believed it was true.

It was an impossible dream. Although Sean remained hopeful that there was a way to make it off the island, that by no means meant the game was not continuing. Fact was, no kills in one day meant island-wide death. Since it was Day Three, by default, the game had to be proceeding, otherwise they would all have been blown to smithereens already and Danya would have had a huge debacle on his hands. Funny that to cause the man behind it all a minor inconvenience would be to have every single member of Southridge High School's Graduating class killed at a stroke. Apart from, of course, those lucky few who were missing the senior trip. And that number would be painfully small, Simon knew: too much time and effort had been put into organisation and fundraising for this trip to just throw it all away. People would attend at all costs.

Kyrie's amplified voice made Sean wince. Lowest setting it may have been, but his headache was still punishing him. You didn't bust open your head on a rock - next to your temple no less, and not feel any adverse effects for it. Sean actually stumbled a little as his head pounded, and he bean to feel rather dizzy. He needed sleep. Hell, he needed medical attention. Being knocked out the way he was definitely wasn't good for you, and Sean was feeling it, feeling it bad.

No matter how bad he was feeling though, he couldn't help but raise an eyebrow when a familiar voice called out from the barracks. Julie Mikan. The last time Sean had seen her she was being dragged away by Adam after shooting somebody in the damn head. Amusing for her to be suspicious of people who were playing.

"Don't you think that's a little contradictory coming from you Julie? I mean, I distnictly recall you... oh I dunno, shooting somebody in the head the last time we met up," Sean staggered slightly, and only stopped himself from falling by jabbing the poker into the ground as a prop. "As for weapons... unless you think I'm going to pull a ninja stunt and javelin you from all the way over here with this poker, you've got nothing to fear from me. But if you insist..." Sean tossed the poker to the ground, almost falling over as he did. The glass knife joined it a moment later. "And if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to collapse now,"

Which he did, without ceremony, pitching forward to land face down on the ground, exhaustion and injury taking their toll.

Day By Day
Simon smiled.

"Thank you," he said sincerely. "That means... a lot to me - and so do you. I've never been too good at expressing myself, but that's the truth," Simon fell quiet, and was about to continue speaking when a voice interrupted them, calling a greeting. Simon swung around and replied. "Hey! W-..." Simon trailed off, transfixed by the bloodied sword that Darnell Butler was holding. Simon didn't know him well enough to be able to guess his motives, and had to go on the evidence of his eyes. The evidence was damning, and Simon could judge by it one very important fact.

He was screwed.

Playing the situation through in his mind, Simon could think of only two possible outcomes to it: He died, or Madison died. That was no choice at all. Sure, they could flee, but Simon would undoubtedly outpace the wounded Madison, and considering the psyique of Darnell (wasn't he on the football team?) that would leave his girlfriend to the tender mercies of a claymore. Or...

They could fight.

"Madison," Simon said calmly. "I love you. Please don't forget that. Now... run, get out of here," Simon turned again, back to Darnell, then sprung towards him, directing his lazer dazzler directly into his eyes, attempting to blind him to cover for his follow up. Landing just in front of Darnell, Simon then brought his right arm - the one with the cast, swinging around in a vicious swipe aimed at Darnell's jaw. If it hit, it would hurt, but it would sure as hell hurt Darnell more.

((Bobby continued from: Jah, Deliver Us))

A graveyard? Hm. I missed this on the way here. Huh... it's useless, the entire island is just one big cemetery. Death all around, 'Out, out brief candle'... But that isn't going to be the way. My way will be different, even if I have to make it so by paving the road with the dead...

It was still daylight, which was a small mercy. Bobby didn't even want to think about what kind of images would be conjured up by a cemetery at night when in something as crazy as SOTF? But then... all of a sudden, Bobby reconsidered his perspective. Spooky, even in cliche fashion, as graveyards were, whatever ghouls his imagination could come up with couldn't possibly top some of the things Bobby had already laid eyes on. He had seen someone's eyeball burst. Hell, in that instance, he'd been the one causing that macabre sight. He had seen a grenade roll into a student's mouth and detonate, showering the area with gore... No. His mind's machinations could not hold a candle to what he had already witnessed... what he was sure to witness as the game proceeded.

The thought was somewhat demoralizing. What new horrors, then, would lie around the corner? Certainly, if he continued on this path, Bobby was sure to see an ever increasing number of such. As the game wound on, desperation would set in, more people would be more violent and more willing to kill... And on and on until the inevitable conclusion of the game, which by logical progression, would be the bloodiest battle of them all. All in all, it was a grim thought indeed. If evisceration was the first tier, what the last would be didn't even bear consideration. Suffice to say, Bobby's didn't think his projections would come close to covering the true reality.

Bobby sighed heavily, drawing himself from his thoughts. He liked to think about things, worrying at a problem until it was solved, puzzling through difficulty until all the pieces fell into place, or even just dwelling on some hypothetical, obscure eventuality. But this wasn't Southridge High School, safe, secure and untroubled. This was SOTF, some hellish island in the middle of the ocean somewhere, danger lurking around every corner and in every shadow. Letting your guard down would be the equivalent to playing Russian Roulette with a shotgun. And loading both barrels. Bobby stopped in his walk briefly in order to swing his pack from his shoulders and open it up. Lying atop of the jumble of ammunition, weapons and supplies was Bobby's carbine. He hadn't yet used the gun, except to shoot a corpse, which hardly qualified as 'use' - even if Bobby hadn't known Dan Wolfe was already dead. In fact, Bobby considered, he had staunchly refused to use the weapon - did he shoot Ric? Did he shoot Adonis? No, he challenged them to fist fights. Bobby wondered if it was more or less cold blooded to stab somebody in the chest rather than shoot them. As far as his (somewhat flawed) code of honour dictated, sticking a knife in a guy's stomach - then chest, was preferable to merely shooting him in the head... He couldn't begin to justify it. As far as he was concerned, the gun was nothing more than a visual threat, Bobby would only be compelled to use it if he came up against another shooter. Until then, it was melee all the way.

Bobby was about to move on after taking up the carbine once again, but something halted him in his tracks. Right in front of his feet, the earth was disturbed - unless he was very much mistaken, this was a fresh grave. Either somebody had taken the time, and found the compassion to bury a dead body, highly unlikely in Bobby's book, or... his eyes widened as he recalled the last announcement. Although Danya's perverse sense of humour made Bobby close to physically sick, the information he imparted in his morbid daily updates was invaluable...

Then there was Burt... Ken... ahhh... Burken Larris! That's what I'm gonna call him, 'cause he can't seem to decide if he's Burton Harris or Ken Lawson. But yeah, this idiot managed to cheat death once before only to fall into an open hole at the graveyard and manage to get himself buried alive.

If that was the case - and Bobby saw little incentive for Danya to lie in this instance (even if he had twisted the facts of his killing of Tyson), then that meant, somewhere around here, there was a free weapon just waiting to be found. The logical, scavenging side of Bobby kicked in at this point. If he had been buried alive, it was highly likely that the unfortunate soul still had his weapon on him. Even if it was a prank, or otherwise useless piece of equipment, the opportunity to obtain a potentially life-saving (probably ending) for little more effort than a bit of digging was unmissable.

Good to see you're maintaining a sense of morals Bobby. He thought wryly to himself. You don't shoot anyone, but stabbing and graverobbing is a-okay? Bobby stopped in his tracks a second time, poised to begin digging, then turned away.

"I need a shovel," he murmured, conscience berating him. Don't try and ignore it. You know what's right, and this isn't it.

"THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU SPEAK UP IN THE FIRST INSTANCE!?" Bobby roared, disregarding the noise he was making. "It's a little late to have second thoughts about this. There's no reset button, I can't hit 'Load' and go back to my last saved game. What's the use of bringing up the moral implications of graverobbing when I have killed two people?" Bobby's guilty side fell silent. "Exactly,"

Near the grave, Bobby located what it was he was looking for: a spade. It was old, it was rusty, and it looked about ready to break. Even if he had intended to weigh himself down with yet another weapon, Bobby knew that it would be next to useless in a fight - loose dirt looked about all it could handle. Heck, Bobby was afraid to even test it on ordinary, undug soil. As he returned to dig, Bobby failed to recognise a number of tell-tale signs which would have alerted him that this was not the correct grave. For one thing, the grave was far, far too shallow. Somebody was supposed to have been buried alive in it, and for that, you would need quite some depth. Perhaps if somebody else had buried 'Larris' then the small grave would have been feasible, the fact that it had been an accident should have alerted Bobby immediately. A second factor was the lack of a headstone. If there had been an open grave, surely there would also be the stone announcing who was entombed within? Finally, there was also a broken shovel blade embedded in the soil of the disturbed ground, the most jarring clue of all. A lack of observation opened the door to a rather large amount of trauma, which could have been avoided had Bobby just been that little bit more aware.

Rhythmic digging motions allowed Bobby to quickly reach the body inside of the grave. The speed in which that occurred should have been the final hint, as it was, his only reaction was a small amount of surprise at the speed in which he had dug down. Worse yet was that the body was shrouded - but such was Bobby's eagerness for a potential new tool, that he failed to absorb this vital bit of information. The boxer bent down, and tugged the shroud aside, revealing the horrific sight beneath.

A cavity where the stomach should be, filled to the brim with earth, guts made of dirt. Dried blood splattered all across the skin which wasn't covered in the dark soil. Decay had set in, humidity and the heat playing their roles in turning parts of the corpse grey. Insects had done their work too, not majorly, but the preliminaries were most certainly there. Even as Bobby stared in abject horror, a bug of some sort flew from somewhere to land on the body. Worst of all were the eyes, accusatory, condemning Bobby for disturbing his rest, tracking him wherever he seemed to go. Even when he flung the cover back over the body, the eyes still seemed to be following him, if only in his mind.

Bobby turned away, collapsed to his knees, and promptly emptied his stomach onto the ground. This was not what he had been looking for. But then, who looked for eviscerated corpses to dig up? Evidently, somebody had been compassionate enough to bury a dead body. Finally, Bobby realised his mistake.

Of course... back at the end of the first day, it was mentioned that someone was killed in the graveyard. Must have been that poor bastard, and whoever he was with, or even perhaps, somebody who came along afterwards, was caring enough to lay him to rest. A sharp contrast to myself. They put the dead at peace, and I profane their tombs. What a nice guy I am hey? Hm... well, I made a mistake, but it won't be too difficult to avoid making it again, after all, aside from 'Larris' I only recall one person announced as dying here. Unless someone dragged a dead body halfway across the island just to bury them in a cemetery - highly unlikely, then there should be only one more patch of disturbed earth to give me the clue as to where he's buried. I hope so. I don't want to go through that again.

At length, Bobby managed to regain his composure, and was now faced with the task of wandering around a graveyard in order to find one specific grave. An unenviable task, but one that was to be expected. It beggared belief that the first place he checked would be the right one, so, carbine and shovel in hand, Bobby began his search. He wondered if the corpse he had discovered was intended to be some kind of cosmic Aesop, that profaning the remains of the dead was wrong or something similar. If so, it had no effect whatsoever. Indeed, it only cemented Bobby's will not to allow himself to die.

I don't care what I have to do to survive. The only way to make it is to kill your way to the end, thinking that you'll survive in any other way is the height of idiocy. Much as I would love to join a group and escape with them, logic dictates that it just isn't going to happen. Just examining the history of the game shows that. Nobody escaped in V1 or V2, nobody could have made it off the island in any tests Danya ran of this whole thing, which I presume he did. He couldn't possibly have got it right first time, not a project of this magnitude. Look at the V1 winner (on the island too, might I add) Adam Dodd. I've read accounts of the older SOTF competitions, he killed more people than anyone else in V1. Say what you like about self defence, and it's true Dodd is lauded as the 'hero' of V1. But that is only when you compare him to the guys like Jacob Starr and Cody Jenson. Just because he didn't rape anybody doesn't make him a good guy in my book. The man is no better than any other murderer, and that includes myself... his only redeeming grace is that he didn't go quite as far on the scale of slaughter as some of the others. Designated as the 'hero' of that version or not, the fact remains that he was an amoral bastard. He shot one of his friends in the head. Whatever the reason, that is not something a good guy does. Even if calling somebody 'good' is very subjective. The only difference... is that I'm forthright about it. Nothing more than that.

Nearly 45 minutes of searching later, and Bobby finally found what it was he had been looking for. Well, he hoped so at least. The ground, certainly, was disturbed, and the apparent grave had a headstone too, but Bobby felt that more evidence was needed before he blindly started digging again. He didn't want to unearth another torn in half corpse after all. The first hint that this was the right place was the item lying on the ground beside the grave. A map. Unless somebody had discarded it in flight from some terrifying adversary, Bobby couldn't think why a person would intentionally drop their map. Besides, it provided a handy explanation as to why 'Larris' would have fallen into the hole. If he was reading his map, he could easily have missed the cavity in the ground and fallen straight in, dropping his map in surprise. This of course, was highly theoretical, but it was the only possible explanation he could conceive of for the unfortunate death of the man whose grave he was now planning to loot. What clinched it for Bobby was the name engraved on the headstone:

Burton Harris

Coincidence? Perhaps it was. But what were the chances? These little quirks of fate were just whoever directed the universe's way of getting a kick out of what they had done...

Or maybe it was just an unlikely sequence of events brought about by mere chance.

Whichever worked.

And then Bobby began the long task of excavating the dead body, which took rather more time and effort than he really cared to spend in the place. Suffice to say, he was digging for quite some time before anything of note happened. Evidently, whatever had caused the collapse of the hole had been spent, because shifting the soil was easy going - there were very few slides of dirt, and if there were, Bobby made sure to jump out of there as soon as he could. He didn't want to end up going to same way as the guy he was trying to uncover. Over time, it became more and more difficult to proceed: in order to clear the dirt out of the way, Bobby was forced to either hurl it far clear of the edge of the hole - a task made hard by the depth of the cavity and his own fatigue. Or physically climb from the hole in order to dump it. Before long, there were sizable piles of dirt all around the hole, Bobby had stripped off his shirt due to the heat, and there was still no sign of 'Larris'...

Bobby's shovel hit something hard.

Or was there?

He bent over and brushed at the area he had hit with the shuffle, revealing what looked very much like hair. A quick excavation around it, and Bobby found himself looking at the contorted face of yet another corpse. At least it wasn't rotted, at least, not to the extent of the other dead body. A little more work was required, but soon the body was laid out in the bottom of the hole. It didn't appear armed, and Bobby was bitterly disappointed. All the hard work had been for no-... -thing... Bobby bent over and tugged aside the shirt the dead body was wearing, and there, like some kind of holy grail, was one of the last things he had ever expected to see.

"Kevlar," Bobby said with a smile, hesitating for barely a moment before stripping the corpse of said equipment and easing it on himself. Things were looking up. Bobby grabbed his shirt from the ground and brushed the dirt off that before tugging it over his head as well. All the effort had been worth it after all. "My thanks to you 'Larris' this will be invaluable," Bobby told the dead body, then turned away, and hurling his shovel in the air before raising his arms and smiling with his success. His mood was dented somewhat when Bobby chanced to look up and saw the shovel coming back towards him, slamming heavily into his mouth and cutting his lower lip. Bobby swore, clutching at the wound, then grumbling, started to climb the stepped side of the hole. A slope had been required when the hole was getting deep, otherwise there would have been no way to get out once he was inside. Bobby reached the top, and was confronted with about the worst eventuality he could ever have predicted.


((Quale Hutchinson continued from: Three Panel Soul))

Quale didn't even know where he was any more. Since encountering that terrible vision - a vampire no less, in the caves, he had been scared out of his mind. The fact that it was bright daytime outside did very little to alleviate his fears. The creature was still out there, and after a time... it got dark, and that was when he would die. And he was sure of that now. No matter what he did, he was going to die. The island was haunted by monsters, and as much as he wished that it was all just the result of some bad trip or crazy dream, that just wasn't the case.

The fact that he found himself wandering through a graveyard did very little to help his composure, especially when he stumbled across an open grave. Mercifully its occupant was covered up, but the fact remained that somebody had opened the grave... If the island was as haunted as Quale dreaded... maybe the body had dug its way out on its own... Quale was tempted to go across and drop his weight on the body to stop it from rising again. An inkling of rationality was enough to prevent him. After all, the vampire could have just been a figment of his imagination. He hoped it had been.

It didn't take Quale long to locate the excavation site. The large amount of dirt strewn all around it made it very easy to see. Quale wasn't sure what to make of it, but he was rather surprised to see a daypack on the ground beside it, and on top of that pack, a gun... Quale smiled for the first time in what felt like days. Monsters or no monsters, haunted or no, a weapon like that would ensure his protection. Quale bent over, picked it up and put it to one shoulder just in time to see somebody emerge from the hole, plunging him into an icy pit of dread.

Coming from a hole in the ground, covered in dirt like someone recently buried, blood all around the mouth. Fuck no! Zombies don't exist!

Quale pulled the trigger almost involuntarily, the weapon went off with a bang and the 'zombie', struck in the chest, was flung back into the hole. He kept tugging at the trigger afterwards for several taken, swept up in soundless panic - unaware that the gun wouldn't fire again unless he worked the bolt back. Obviously since he knew nothing of the gun, Quale had no idea why it wasn't firing. But after a moment, hearing no further sounds, he gasped in relief and fell back on the ground, dropping the gun beside him.

B06 - BOBBY JACKS - Eliminated?


Vest or no vest, being shot hurt. Still, Bobby was probably about the gladdest he had ever been in his life at that point. If 'Larris' had been issued any other weapon, anything else, and Bobby would be lying right alongside the man he had robbed. Killed by his own gun no less. Such carelessness was little more than taking the fast lane to death. Bobby doubted he would be granted such a reprieve a second time, in fact, he was sure of it. Being certain of your every move... that made you all the stronger, undoubtedly. The bullet had hit Bobby dead in the chest, holing his shirt, but the Kevlar underneath had done what it was designed to do, succeeding with Bobby where it had failed with 'Larris'. Bobby was in pain, pissed off, but very much alive. One more thing to be glad for: the Armalon PC was of pistol caliber, hence the name. Had it been a proper, rifle style carbine, which didn't fire pistol bullets, and Bobby would be dead. He couldn't expect protection from anything much more than a pistol wearing the Kevlar - he most certainly couldn't take up a 'Invincible' mentality. The vest protected his chest, sure, but what of a head shot? hat of his arms and legs? Protection is was, but wonder armour it decidedly was not.

But... would his opponent know how to reload? Judging by his futile pulling of the trigger, the answer to that was no. Likely he had only been able to fire it because Bobby had already cocked it beforehand. The other guy likely also thought he was dead, if only be his reaction to being shot. Bobby had literally hurled himself backwards: the impact was small - surprisingly so in fact. He hadn't realised how small the power of the bullet was. If he had really been shot, he might have just collapsed where he was stood. His playacting would ensure it looked convincing.

Ironic, that. Bobby thought wryly as he slowly got to his feet, keeping low to ensure he wasn't seen. The movies just don't show the truth. So much so that the reality becomes unrealistic. The boxer launched himself forward, tearing up the slope in moments and coming upon his opponent a second time. At this point, he was sat on the ground, breathing heavily, but as he saw Bobby, his expression became one of utter terror.

"NO!" he screamed. "I killed you! I saw you die! I shot you then and there!" he picked up Bobby's gun and futilely began pulling the trigger again, with no discernible effect apart from repeated clicks. He got to his feet to try and scramble away, but Bobby, pumped on adrenalin and pissed as hell closed the gap in a matter of moments, slamming his shoulder into Quale's torso and sending him flying onto a dirt pile, the carbine slewing away along the ground to Bobby's feet, whereupon he picked it up. Bobby smiled sadistically, pulled the bolt back, and bared his teeth savagely at the clunk of the next bullet shifting into place.

"This is my gun," Bobby snarled, smashing the barrel into Quale's stomach and doubling him over. "And this is how you use it," he pulled the trigger and the other boy choked out a gasp, a gout of blood bursting out of his upper back. Bobby pulled away the gun, and primed it again. Quale lunged forward, trying desperately to rid himself of his tormentor, but Bobby merely took a step back then drove the butt end into Quale's stomach, provoking a cry of pain and a bright trickle of blood from the mouth. Bobby reversed the gun and fired a second time, angling the bullet downward, emerging from the rear of Quale's back in another bright burst of crimson. Quale cried out a second time and managed to conjure the strength to punch Bobby full on in the face, reopening the slight cut which had previously caused Quale to jump to the fantastical conclusion he was one of the walking dead. The reality was perhaps worse. Not a monster, not some creature out of some story book or movie, but another member of the human race, possibly the most savage of all... as Bobby had contemplated earlier, no imagination held the candle to the real thing, and that held true here.

Quale stumbled forward in a lackluster attempt to capitalise on the momentary advantage he had gained from hitting Bobby in the face, only to meet the butt of the carbine coming his way from the opposite direction, smashing his nose to a pulp in a bloody spray. Quale fell then, sprawling in the opposite direction, a futile attempt to escape from the cold fury of the fellow student menacing him without compunction. The most frightening part of the whole ordeal was not the fact that he was surely about to die, not the selection of cuts which adorned his enemy's face, but rather the expression on his face: nothing but anger and ruthlessness, a cold, calculating look. Worst of all was the sadistic smile was appeared at times. Was this fun for him, somehow? For Quale, that seemed impossible. could anybody be truly that inhuman?

For Bobby, the decimation was not without stress. Certain parts of him were enjoying a certain savage glee at tearing this guy apart - which was at odds with his entire mentality on the situation. He was doing this - killing, because he had to, not because he enjoyed it. What kind of sick bastard found pleasure in the pain of others? Yet... yet, that was just what a dark part of him was doing - reveling in the helplessness of his enemy, urging Bobby to kill him piece by piece. The suffering could go on and on... and he could have... fun with it.

Go on it urged Bobby as he stared down at Quale's heaving form, now on its knees in front of him, facing away, clearly dreading the finishing blow to come. A foot next, that won't kill him. This won't last as long as it could - the shots through his torso will make him die faster. But there will be others... oh yes, there will be others. Imagine what you could do with that scalpel, that syringe... Bobby stood there, trembling, mind at war with itself once again, one part telling him to walk away - this wasn't what he needed to do, the other urging him to slaughter Quale in installments.

"THAT. IS NOT. ME!" Bobby roared, dispelling every thought all at once, looping the carbine over Quale's head, digging one knee into his back and hauling with all his strength. Bobby closed his eyes shut as tight as he possibly could as he heard a very distinct 'Crack' and Quale's sobs fell silent.

W-what a drag man...


M-maybe I-I should have ... done more...

Quale's body pitched forward, the dove of Southridge High School struck down, his broken form testimony to the slaughter which encompasses SOTF.


Both shell-shocked mentally and massively tired, Bobby retrieved his day pack and stumbled away, every thing he did just seeming to drain away his humanity and his compassion until he was completely and utterly...


((Bobby continued in: Point of Collapse))

Mid-Month Rolls
Before long, Simon Wood will meet his end here

As for Quale - I'll have him killed sometime tomorrow. No link as of yet, because I'm making a new topic for it and I don't want to spam the thing with multiple posts. Rest assured, his death is underway.

Quale's dead and stuff.

Simon's gone.

Three Panel Soul
((As per Ci's pass over))

Even whilst Quale was talking with Braden, he just couldn't help but feel that he an the other guy weren't the only people in the caves. The eerie echoing of their voices only served to cement his unease. He could swear that, underneath the reverberating sounds of his own words, there were whispers...

Quale suddenly felt incredibly claustrophobic, it was dark, it was cramped, and at any moment, some demon could emerge from the shadows and kill him dead. He needed space, he needed light.

His breathing sped up massively and his head whiplashed around, seeking the source of his discomfiture. Quale grasped his torch like it was his only lifeline then began to wave it around wildly, the beam illuminating dark corners. Then, without warning, the torch lit up something completely unexpected. A face

Quale looked at the figure revealed in stunned silence. The pale face, the dark clothes. It looked almost like some kind of...

"VAMPIRE! Waaauuuugggh!" Quale screamed. Freaked out already, seeing that kind of thing sent him totally off the 'freak out scale' yelling incoherently, Quale flung his torch at the creature and sprinted out of there for all he was worth.

Psychotic classmates maybe. Seeing a vampire out of some horror movie? No chance.

((Quale ended in Soulless))

Mid-Month Rolls
Ah what the hell, I was planning this shiz anyway.


Simon Wood in for Guy Rapide

I really like the plot development by the way Meggles! :)

Alive Out of Habit
Maxie didn't know where the whole 'find Darnell' idea had come from - it seemed to have just arrived, simultaneously, in the heads of at least three of the other members of the group. Alice was the only one who hadn't said something pertaining to finding the guy, and that, Maxie assumed, was because she was very quiet. Maxie doubted she would raise a protest with the plan put forward. She didn't really like being forced to go along with the preconceived idea - pretty much based off the assumption that if the group members didn't agree, they could either meekly fall in line or try and gun it solo. Nobody had said as much, but Maxie knew the score. It was irritating, but for the time being, sticking with these people was a better option than trying to strike out on her own. Much as she hated to admit it, she was much safer with the others.

It had been good to vent her frustration on Ketih earlier, even if it wasn't the best idea in the world to give it to a potential ally with both verbal barrells. Maxie knew that, without the opportune outlet, she would be feeling a hell of a lot more pissed off right now. She couldn't afford that. Already she was forced to qwell vague feelings of anger towards Guy, even though Maxie knew that they were entirely unwarranted. How much could you fault somebody for the way that they speak? Why was it whenever he referred to her, it seemed vaguely insulting?

Maxie shook her head, trying to dispel the thoughts. Those kinds of ideas would get her into a whole lot of trouble if she voiced them: it would be about the worst idea in the world. Moreso, even, than the decisions leading to several of the infamous scrapes her and Lucas had got themselves into in the fallout of parties and concerts gone wrong.

And that was saying something, considering these 'bad ideas' often culminated in violence. There was even that one time when Lucas was grappling with that guy... what was his name? Andy... Alex - Adam! But it wasn't Dodd, the dude who won the original version of Danya's sick contest. It was a different Adam... big guy, massive in fact. The pair of them had fought, and Lucas had ended up tearing through the guy's lip with his damn finger!

That was just how bad an idea speaking her mind about the whole plan would be: bad enough that it would eclipse one of the most vicious fights Maxie had ever seen Lucas start - or finish. It hadn't been entirely conclusive, one of the few times, Maxie reflected, that her brother hadn't finished the job. Although considering the damage he inflicted on his opponent, Lucas could probably count that particular encounter amongst his list of victories, even if it had been cut short by others intervening and breaking the whole thing up. Big Adam sure as hell hadn't tangled with Lucas after that, though if that was coincidence Maxie had no clue.

Maxie was still thinking on this - smiling as she thought of old conflicts and brawls. Ones she had participated in, ones she had witnessed, and others - though rarer, which had been instigated on her behalf. They were infrequent though, Maxie fought her own battles most of the time: she wouldn't have it any other way. Maxie was contemplating these, enjoying the brief moment of peace with her memories, when the calm was shattered by a chance glimpse of a figure in the distance. Maxie's eyes narrowed as she tried to make out who it was that was approaching them. They didn't appear armed, but that was no reason not to be cautious.

When Maxie's eyes focused on you, a perfect word for the effect they had was 'piercing'. Perhaps it was just the particular way she glared - more likely it was due to the colour of the eyes themselves: a cold, ice blue that could be very disconcerting indeed. On the other hand, what kind of weapon was a 'kinda disturbing stare'? It wasn't like you could kill somebody with a look, and Maxie would rather be hightailing it away from an adversary with a gun than trying to creep them out by glaring at them.

Maxie put one hand to her meat hook, her eyes still locked on the as-of-yet unknown student, and quietly murmured to Keith and Kallie, both of which were still nearby. Although the newcomer didn't look dangerous, basing everything off looks was a recipe for disaster. His sudden appearence warranted a warning, at least.

"Guys, I don't wanna shock ya, but there's some dude walkin' t'wards us. He isn't lookin' dangerous right now - but y'never know," even as she said the words, Maxie relaxed - finally managing to identify the newcomer. It was Neil Sinclair, she'd attended more than a couple of the concerts he and his band - the Headless Heroes, and they weren't bad, pretty good in fact. But that wasn't the point. Maxie knew Neil a little better than most of the others in the group, although she wasn't sure if Neil would recognise her, but the important thing was that Maxie knew him well enough to feel sure he was a good guy. Perhaps she was being naive, but Maxie was certain Neil wouldn't be playing.

He confirmed it moments later when he spoke out, and Maxie let her guard down a little more. Still, the element lof suspicion remained. You couldn't trust anybody fully in SOTF, to do so was to invite death onto you, and as Maxie had firmly established in her own mind: she was not going to allow herself to die. Whether by escaping - or by playing, Maxie was going to survive.

The next arrival - coming in right after Neil, was less welcome. Matthew Wittany had a certain something about him, a strange air which Maxie couldn't entirely place. He was... strange, it was all Maxie could say for concrete. Perhaps it was the way he went around with that camera of his, taking snap after snap... It was true he was incredibly talented with the camera, but there was something intrusive about it all. Wittany's reaction at seeing Kallie just made Maxie more uncomfortable - there was some kind of backstory here, events which they weren't all privy to... Maxie decided to stay quiet for now, and watch how events unfolded succeeding the newcomers' arrival.

Day By Day
Once again, Simon just allowed Madison to say her piece. It was clear that she had a lot on her mind: who wouldn't in this kind of place? Still, he couldn't remain silent all of the time, she could mistake his lack of speech for disgust, or revulsion at the things she was telling him.

"Of course it was exagerated Madi. Danya is a snake, and how else is he going to convince people that they have to play the game? Which sounds more troubling? 'This lone psycho attacked a group and they retaliated' or 'This poor kid was looking for help but the group attacked and murdered him'? I'm taking everything the guy says with a pinch of salt.

"As for you shooting... well, I can't blame you entirely, but you can't be let off the hook either. You panicked, you pulled the trigger on the gun, you hit somebody. They aren't dead, so as far as I'm concerned, you've got very little to feel guilty about. It happens. Not everybody can handle this whole thing. Okay so they told you to get the hell out of there, but at least nobody died!

"And you're right of course. There must be a way out of this which doesn't involve killing. I'm flattered how you describe my intelligence, but I'm not the brightest guy in the world by a long shot. Groups don't seem to go so well, so much as I hate to say it... we need to be selective. No dead weight, only people who we can use. But first... of course, we need to come up with some kind of plan. It's all very well mapping out your targets, but without the cogs, the clock won't run... I need some time to think..."

Simon fell quiet, frowning as the so-called 'cogs' of his mind began working to construct the 'clock' which would hopefully lead to escape.

Jah, Deliver Us
Bobby made a small noise of frustration at Adonis' agility: he didn't know how, but somehow, his opponent had known that it was coming. Still, it was nothing to be unduly concerned about, after all, Bobby had assured Adonis he was going to fight with him, the fact that he guessed correctly to dodge meant little: you couldn't keep relying on chance for long, if the other did, he would end up laid out on the ground in short order. Bobby wasn't so slow you could run rings around him, and sooner or later, he would land a solid blow, and when he did, it was going to hurt whoever took it.

It wasn't too difficult to bring his hand back from the punch he had already thrown, but by the time Bobby could have brought it back to defending, he would have already been hit. Adonis had followed up the dodge with a quick counterattack of his own: but if he felt that using his feet would put the puncher Bobby at a disadvantage, Adonis was sorely mistaken.

The problem with the attack was the distance between the pair of them. They were too close. Adonis had allowed Bobby to close the gap right from the start, and the boxer had only decreased it with his forwards movement. That meant the kick would be awkward and constricted, perfect for Bobby to drop his right hand and catch hold of Adonis' leg, pinning it.

Rather than following up with the move - as Darnell has done to him back in the Shooters tournament, Bobby proceeded to simply shove Adonis back, letting go of his leg in the process. He didn't really care whether or not he could maintain his balance, nor whether it actually suceeded in hurting his opponent. The important thing was that Adonis was away from Bobby.

The boxer smiled at his opponent, then turned away, calling out casually behind him.

"You're not worth it. I was looking for a decent fight... and didn't find one," Bobby paused only to pick up his pack on the way out of the chapel doors.

((Continued in: Soulless))