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Mano e Mano
Bobby didn't speak for a little while, not answering Shameeca's question but simply concentrating on rigging up a simple sling for Heath. It wasn't professional and it wasn't pretty, but he supposed it would get the job done for the time being. After he had finished, Rob gave Shamee a sidelong glance, then stood up, moving away from Heath a little to answer. Although he was pretty sure Heath was aware that it was he that had inflicted the wounds he was suffering from - and killed Petra to boot, Rob saw no reason to cause him more grief.

"Yes, it was me," Bobby told her shortly. "What else do you want me to say? I don't have an excuse, and no reason that is both true and you'd accept. If you're looking for somebody to tell you why a person would do that then don't look at me, because I couldn't even tell you myself,"

Rob glanced away, thinking on his words and just how true he held them to be. He couldn't explain it - he was no lunatic, but what justifications did he have beyond the conceited and the false? None.

"I take it you have a reason to talk to me further than trying to make me feel even guiltier than I already do?" Bobby said softly. "Because if not, it might be time for me to move on,"

Reality Bites Back
Personally I think we should call another set of the plastic hammer awards.

v4 Concepts Relapse
And here be the aforementioned triplets, which I must say I've been having great fun in helping create.

Bear in mind it's kinda late, I might have neglected some details through tiredness or simply forgetting.

As a bit of background, I'll give you some information on the family itself. The Fiamettas are a wealthy Italian family (stock, no?), who have obviously moved to wherever v4 is gonna be set some time prior to the abductions. Ilario Fiametta Jr (the triplets' father) is a wealthy business owner, who, although he got an easy path to wealth through inheriting a company from his own father, still believes in hard work and earning your way, and as such doesn't let his kids be spoiled. Junior is currently on his second marriage after his first wife died giving birth to the triplets (which evidently wasn't no picnic). The triplets' stepmother is hardly cruel, but prefers to keep them all at arm's length.


Ilario Fiametta III (Arch's triplet)

Nominally the youngest of the trio, Ilario is both lowest in the pecking order within the group and their father's favourite. He tries to watch out for his sisters on the command of Junior, who doesn't seem to realise they're not meek little girls needing looking after. Ilario suffers from anxiety (mostly due to the stress of having to cover up for his sisters all of the time) and has been perscribed pills to deal with this. His primary 'hobby' is business, having been roped into learning the trade by Junior, which he rather resents. Ilario isn't hugely close to his sisters, but cares a great deal for them both, and hates the thought of anything happening to them.


Franscesca 'Frankie' Fiametta (Mim's triplet)

Neither of the Fiametta girls like Ilario being the favourite, and both deal with it in their own separate ways. Laid back Frankie forces her problems under with the tired and tested method of drug usage. Frankie isn't a user of heavy drugs, but takes various softer substances, and has developed habits or addictions for a number of them. She's been arrested once for posession and is currently on probation after Junior bailed her out, an infringement which got Frankie kicked off the school soccer team, which she wasn't at all happy about.


Rosalia 'Rosa' Fiametta (My triplet)

Rosa is the top dog of the trio, by dint of having what you would probably term as the strongest personality. She isn't bossy or particularly domineering, but if Rosa takes the lead, it's a rare occasion when her siblings won't go along with her. She is a fiery and passionate individual, an aspect of her that can be a little overwhelming at times. However, whilst we're on the subject of dealing with issues... whereas Frankie turns to chemicals to solve her problems, Rosa has her own method which is more legal but perhaps less socially acceptable in some ways. Without going into too much detail, Rosa tends to sleep around... a lot, largely irrespectively of gender too. It makes Rosa feel that they really care.


I probably could do more but I'm kinda tired. Might update tomorrow.

#6: Freedom or Bust
((Maxie Dasai continued from: Desperation))

((Sean O'Cann continued from: New Paths))

It felt like she'd been walking for countless hours, but in actuality, it couldn't have been more than twenty minutes or so. Still, time, Maxie found, ran slower when you were trying to pick your way through a trap-ridden jungle without shoes or shirt. Her feet were a mess, mud-splattered and bleeding from her trek across the island, the undergrowth proving unkind to unprotected soles. They were scratched to shit, pretty much, and if Maxie were in any sort of state of mind to be worrying about them, she might have been concerned about the risk of infection.

But she wasn't.

Maxie felt numb, periodic shivers running through her that had nothing at all to do with the constant rainfall. The sharp, ripping pain at her core had subsided a little from before, but it was still the most agonising thing that Maxie had ever felt in her life. It was an awful, sickening ache, and Maxie found that her strides were curtailed by searing jolts whenever she tried to move properly. She'd cried herself dry, it seemed, but her normally implacable eyes were red and raw. Only one real thought was getting through to Maxie, the same that had been resonating through her every fibre for hours now. Run. Get away. Put as much distance between herself and Reeves as was humanly possible. She almost wished she'd killed him with that rock, hoped Keith had opted to feed him a faceful of buckshot.

A lot of Southridge students would have been surprised to hear how clean-cut Maxie was, given her reputation around the school. She was a wild child, a slacker, a party animal, the chick who fell asleep in class because they'd been raving until dawn. Such a delinquent, many of her classmates felt, had to have got into other aspects of that lifestyle. Substances, drinking... sex. Yet whilst it was true that Maxie smoked marijuana occasionally (and maybe, maybe once snorted something) and drank a lot more than somebody under 21 should (i.e. at all)... it was in truth lower than expectations. On the last though... Maxie was more chaste than some - hell, a lot - of the so-called good girls. That was her ...belief? Moral? Pleasurable or not, sex wasn't supposed to be... to be...

Maxie shuddered, then wearily looked up to see where she was going. Immediately, she was startled to see a building not far from where she was standing. It wasn't one she'd seen before, but without a map, she had no way of checking which it was. Given that her head hadn't been blown off yet, it couldn't have been a dangerzone. This, Maxie was relieved by, since she'd been rather... she'd been... yeah... whilst the announcement was taking place. Maxie approached with caution, stopping just outside, then carefully stepped in.

What she saw, shocked her to the core, yet sparked off a faint glimmer of hope that Maxie hadn't even known was there.

There, on the floor - a pair of deactivated collars.

The sight was almost entrancing, and Maxie stood in the doorway, behind a couple of other recent arrivals, for a good ten seconds or so before letting out a slight exclaimation and covering herself up with her arms, cringing away from the eyes of those assembled inside. Maxie had been so surprised about what she had seen that she had clean forgotten about her current state of undress.

"Um.. h-heya."

~*~

"Stop raining dammit! Do you realise how annoying it is to have nothing but fucking rainfall on you for three whole days?" Sean had once again slipped out of lucidity, his head wound aflicting him again, and causing him to throw caution to the winds as the landscape seemed to shift and spin around him constantly. Sean might have been sick if he hadn't already emptied his stomach twice beforehand.

Still, it was beginning to grow rather annoying. He'd hurt himself on the first day, couldn't this damn wound just go ahead and heal already? Sure, it was a deep gash, but surely to be affecting him this far along... then again, Sean wasn't exactly an expert on concussion, or indeed, any form of head injury, although he'd heard that the symptoms could be bizarre indeed. Certainly he'd seen a number of baseballs to the head on others, and they hadn't collected themselves for hours afterwards, perhaps it was just a more severe version of that.

Barely concentrating, Sean nearly walked into the wall of the armoury, to which he gave an evil glare, as if it were somehow the fault of the masonary rather than his own state, which seemed to fluctuate between absolute bitterness and out of control bonkers, though Sean wouldn't say he was crazy, it was just difficult to keep normal when the landscape looked like it was being reflected through a distorted mirror.

Sean blundered blindly through the door, pushing past the group gathered around it, and only stopped when he accidentally kicked something across the floor. He looked down. It was a collar. Sean glanced back up, then around at the various people also inside.

"If that's some kind of trick, your sense of humour has a lot to answer for," Sean told them, before sitting down heavily as his vision did another 360 turn around. "Jesus," he muttered. "Would you give me five, fucking, seconds without freaking on me?"

Halfway Mark
I would rather Eddie there than Morgan, to tell you the truth.

Halfway Mark
All I can say is that I kinda hope that v4 doesn't have quite this many students in it ;)

Desperation
((Sorry about skipping you Adam, but seriously, Maxie is on the edge of irredeemable inactivity here))

Keith didn't really seem to be paying attention - too concentrated on Adam apparently, for which Maxie couldn't blame him. If she'd come upon a situation like this she'd want to keep an eye on the assailant. However, even though Adam was far too great a distance away from her to actually do anything, Maxie nevertheless let a little whimper as he yelled out about his head injury. Her breath was still coming in great, gasping sobs and for some ridiculous reason, some little part of her was noting that this was one of the first times she'd ever cried. Another was telling said part that if there was any time for tears, it was now.

Maxie just... couldn't stay there. Keith might have been trying to reassure her, but somebody else being around hadn't stopped Reeves the first time, had it? He'd just shot Kathy dead and got on with... with. Yeah. He was still there, he was still right there, and as far as Maxie was concerned, anywhere on this entire goddamn island was too close, whether Keith was armed and protecting her or not. Concerning Reeves, Maxie felt nothing but fear, primal, sick fear. On the ground, Maxie scrambled back, behind Keith, before trying to struggle to her feet. She let out a anguished cry and dropped to one knee as the movement caused pain to rip through her. Trying to stop herself dissolving into a wailing mess, Maxie picked up her jeans and painstakingly reclothed herself. No top, of course; hell, no shoes or socks either, but all of these things took a backseat to the heart-pounding terror Maxie had as she regarded the stirring Reeves.

She whirled around and, as fast as she was able, stumbled off into the jungle. Anywhere was better than here, anywhere.

((Maxie continued in Freedom Or Bust))

Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer
Dacey gave Eddie a mute shrug as if to say 'go ahead'. She didn't care where he decided to go, or what danger exactly he thought Kimmy was in, aside from of course that which was already present in their situation, in which case both she, Rick, and Eddie himself were in exactly the same position as far as that peril went.

Dacey took her time answering Rick, but truthfully she already knew what she was going to do. She'd decided earlier she just hadn't... well, told him. Hunting down the players? That sounded like a plan to her, better, at least, than hanging around waiting for some enterprising soul wanting to make a name for themselves to come along and shot her down.

She ignored the new arrival, because what really could she do to help? Not a threat? Yes. Asset? No. Therefore nothing to be concerned about nor spend time on. Time wasn't a commodity they had to burn, not in SotF. There were better things to be doing than wasting it on unimportant matters. This girl? Well... she was one of them.

"Tch. Suppose I've nothing better to do," 'Dawson' told Rick, after a few moments, deliberately playing the nonchalence card. But then, that was what 'Dawson' was like, essentially, just a mask when it came down to it. Perhaps Dacey herself became the mask a little. Then again... if nobody ever saw your real face, then did the false become reality?

Mano e Mano
No! Ah fuck! She just- I just- eyes close and- fuck! I - ... RRGH! It was you! You've done it again! Killed somebody! Pulled the trigger, sprayed off a few shots and here's another dead body! Happy? Are you fucking happy!? One step closer to the end of this game, aren't you glad that you've made it just that little bit easier to survive!? Fuck! She doesn't deserve this! Nobody deserves this!

Though inwardly, Bobby was churning with rage, on the outside, not a bead of sweat broke, not a frown crossed his features - his face was set, like stone, expression grim but unchanging. Who was there to take his anger out on? It wasn't like his anguish had been caused by some external being, or even another person, it was all him, and there was nothing physical he could do about that. Mentally, on the other hand... well, there were limits to how much you could torture yourself within your mind.

... Yes, I think that's about enough. I've done what I've done, and I can't change that. I know what crimes I've commited, as does anybody else with the sense to actually listen to an announcement now and then. There's no use moping around about my actions, it's enough that I know, and other people know. Actions speak louder than words, instead of constantly apologising, perhaps it would be better to seek absolution through what I do instead of what I say. So far, it's been an apology then a gunshot...

As Shameeca walked off to be sick, Bobby headed quietly to the brook and cleaned his hands of Petra's blood, noting that, ironically, this was the first time he had managed to get blood on his hands both literally and figuratively. It was a little unsual, Bobby had fought, and yes, killed in melee several times on the island, and this was the first time he'd ever really managed to get himself dirty.

"Make it Rob, please," Bobby told Shameeca as they both returned to stand a little way from Heath. Was he simply fooling himself by asking for her to call him by his christian name rather than his nickname? Perhaps, but Rob Jacks had less blood on him than Bobby Jacks... somehow. "Okay, so what is it yo-" there was the sound of somebody falling, and Bobby turned, for a moment dreading that Heath had gone the same way as Petra. But no... he was okay, he had just fallen.

"I guess I can try hook something up for you," Bobby had seen slings made, and indeed had been in one more than once, so had just about enough know-how to try and make one. He busied himself in his bag once again, finding suitable bandages. He paused momentarily, seeing his gun on the grass alongside him, then picked it up, put it into his pocket and refused to think on it any longer.

#1: New Paths
"I think I got dropped on a rock or something. I woke up bleeding like hell,"

Sean regarded the pair, and at the moment, felt a trickle of water run down his back, causing him to shiver, despite the fact he was already thoroughly soaked.

"Know what? I'm not sticking around this place any longer, it's practically made of holes. Hole up here if you want but you're hardly gonna get any shelter from it," Sean walked past Brad and Ianto. "Later guys. Good luck in..." Sean hesitated. "Whatever it is you're doing," he shrugged and headed off into the jungle once again.

((Sean continued in: Freedom or Bust))

v4 Concepts Relapse
Also, there was already a character called Arthur Williams, though since your one is an NPC it shouldn't matter overmuch.

Mano e Mano
Bobby didn't miss the significant undertones to Shameeca's words, how could he? Psychotic though, he felt was giving himself too much credit, he wasn't deranged, simply murderous. But it wasn't important right now, she could point the finger after they saved Petra, although at this time it wasn't looking like they would be able to accomplish even that...

"Shit," Bobby muttered to himself, then spoke up more loudly. "Petra," - He was glad Heath had said her name, so he could actually speak to her with first name address. "I know you want to go to sleep, but you have to keep your eyes open, you drop off now and..." he hesitated. "You might not wake up again. There's three of us here giving everything we've got, you're in safe hands, we just need you to fight it,"

At least half of that was lies, but Bobby felt it needed to be said. Petra must have known the score, but with how she seemed to be getting drowsier and drowiser Bobby decided it would be best to remind her. He was deadly serious all the same. If she went to sleep, she wasn't going to wake up, and hell, even she didn't fall asleep she'd probably be a goner anyway. But they had to keep fighting for her life. Bobby couldn't leave somebody to die of wounds he had inflicted.

Bobby realised a few moments later he'd contradicted Heath flatly, but what with how Petra was fading, he didn't suppose it would make very much difference. Bobby returned to her, trying to pinch the edges of the wound together to help Shameeca in stitching it up, getting blood on his hands in the process, but it was swiftly becoming clear that it was too little, too late.

Eight. Then.

v4 Concepts Relapse
Mimi
Sep 19 2008, 11:19 PM
Just a little fyi, guys. The v4 characters aren't necessarily going to be seniors.

Heh. Funny how we made the same point independantly of one another within a couple of minutes.

And true Aaron, I thought I would just mention it, since some parts of the bios might depend on ages - Bobby Jacks wouldn't be a viable character in say, a Junior year because then he'd be too young to be a professional.

v4 Concepts Relapse
Thought I'd just mention, and I'm not criticising or calling anybody out here, that remember the ages also depend on the school, they aren't always Seniors, v3 is the eldest the characters have been in-game. They could well be younger (or heck, older, although I'm not sure how that would work) for v4.

Mid-Month Rolls
I'd be extremely surprised if everybody didn't see this coming.

Using my roll null on Bobby, unless of course anybody is feeling in a generous enough mood to lay a hero down.

Mano e Mano
((Sorry for holding this up, birthday and all that))

Even as he tried to staunch the flow of blood from the wounds he had inflicted, Bobby's heart was being wrenched again and again. Whilst the cruelly logical part of him was telling him that he could simply leave the girl to bleed out and kill the others - three less between him and safety, Bobby's conscience was taking a savage glee in pointing out to him that 'This was you,' 'You caused this'. He had shot this girl, and now she was bleeding to death, whilst thanking him for helping her! She had no idea that Bobby wasn't a philanthropist - he was trying to prevent another person's blood being on his hands!

Struggling to stop Petra bleeding (with the assistance of Heath - Bobby had shot him too, God...), Bobby didn't notice Shameeca until she was right on top of them, but instead of reaping the deserved rewards of not keeping a look out - an attack, or even a bullet to the head, Bobby simply found another helping hand to lend aid. Bobby didn't miss the sudden freeze as the light of recognition - and was that a little fear? Entered Shameeca's eyes. She knew who he was, unlike, it seemed, Heath and Petra. Bobby was vaguely familiar with Shameeca, though not on first name basis, certainly not somebody he'd talk to around school, but sometimes, just very occasionally, he'd catch her looking at him, just watching... Odd, but hardly the sort of thing he should be dwelling on while somebody was bleeding to death.

"Thanks," Bobby said curtly, taking the jumper and passing it to Heath - not really looking and hoping the other wouldn't just let it drop to the floor in surprise, before meeting the newcomer's eyes and silently willing her to keep quiet about who he was. "Okay..." Bobby breathed, then shook his head. "To tell you the truth that probably needs stitches," he motioned to the wound his free hand was currently compressing. "But needle and thread? I don't have the hands for that. Unless, um..." Bobby gestured at Shameeca. "You know your way around a needle, best thing would just be to wrap it as tightly as we can and hope that the bleeding stops,"

Stitches? Hell if he knew that's what the gunshot wound needed - he was probably barking up the wrong tree, but Heath was hurt, Petra was barely concious and Shameeca didn't seem to have any medical knowledge forthcoming, so it looked as though Bobby's own panicked determination to avoid having this girl die was putting him at the sharp end of decision making.

Just trying to stop this girl being number eight. I'm not a nice guy, I'm doing this for myself, when it comes down to it. Best thing would be to go before they twig it was me...

Mano e Mano
Bobby's head snapped up, and he listened intently for a moment to voices coming from nearby. One sounded strangely familiar, as if he'd heard it recently, but who had he spoke to a little while ago asides from himself and whoever that had been back at the cottage? Regardless of which, it wasn't that person, since this voice was most certainly that of a girl.

Oh... wait, fuck.

He remembered.

It was the girl who had snapped him out of his original revery and caused him to look at things that little bit differently. Shit. He'd shot at her hadn't he? Bobby hoped like fuck she wasn't seriously hurt, or wouldn't run away screaming the first time she saw him anyway. Then again... it had been dark at the airfield, and besides which, he'd shaved and actually cleaned up since then, although that would do nothing if his face was recogniseable. She sounded... faint, fuck, Bobby must have hit her, who knew what kind of state she would be in?

Then somebody called out, Bobby instantly assumed he was in for another fight and tensed himself to spring, but then, the words caught up to him.

... I'm being asked for help!?

What kind of a guy just casually asks a person like me for a hand?

I-I... should I just...?

No. No more. Haven't enough people been killed?

Let's rephrase that: haven't I killed enough people?


Bobby looked over at Heath and smoothly stood, picking up his daypack and opening it up as he dashed to where Petra was lying on the ground. He didn't say a word - not trusting that they wouldn't remember his voice from earlier (although in all fairness he'd been yelling himself hoarse, so it was unlikely), and knelt beside the girl, pulling his first aid kit from his pack, in the process dislodging the SIG Sauer, which fell to the ground alongside him. As Bobby looked at the girl's wounds (which he reminded himself, had been inflicted by him) the seeming impossibility of the task struck him.

What the hell am I doing? All I know about treating wounds is the random bits and pieces I've picked up from my cutman. I don't know how to manage a gunshot wound for fuck's sake! But... I have to try! I did this! I'm not having somebody else on my conscience!

He rooted through the kit and extracted which looked like it could be used for cleaning the wounds (incidentally right, but Bobby could have just as easily been hugely off the mark) and poured a little onto Petra's arm hopefully before getting out a pad and using that to rub away the blood and dirt where he could.

Except she's still bleeding like fuck, so... you're not really helping.

"I have no fucking clue what to do..." Bobby muttered, taking care to affect a slightly different intonation than his normal voice. Shit, what was it they always did in the war movies? "I guess we need to ... uh, put pressure on that then wrap it tight, maybe that will constrict the thing and stop it from bleeding." Bobby called to Heath.

Maybe.

Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer
"Who cares?" mumbled 'Dawson' under 'his' breath. "It's not like she's gonna bring the cavalry from behind the hill. Figure let her go wherever the hell she wants," Dacey couldn't really care less about where Kimmy was going: she wasn't a threat and chasing her down would be pointless, regardless of whether they managed to catch her or not. What purpose would it serve?

Dacey was about to say as much when repeated gunshots rang out - causing her to instinctively duck, despite knowing that it would be far too late to dodge. Fortunately it seemed that whoever the shooter was, they had a rather poor eye, as Dacey went unwounded, and as far as she could see, nobody else had been hurt either.

"Bastard," Dacey hissed, facing the treeline, but catching no sight of whoever the person who had shot at them was. "What Rick said. Anyone hurt?"

Mano e Mano
((Bobby continued from: Smooth))

Somehow, something as simple as having a shave had improved Bobby's mood immensely. Perhaps it was feeling more... civilised, if there could ever be anything normal about the island he was on. As such, he wasn't feeling too terrible for the first time in quite a while, reaching something of a peace whilst walking alongside the babbling broke. This persisted of course, only up until he stumbled upon something which was depressingly familiar. More specifically, someone.

Urgh. Forgot about you.

Even with decay setting in with gusto, the corpse was still recognisable as that of Tyson Neills - the first person Bobby had met in all of this. If it wasn't for him attacking Bobby (and his own panicked reaction) six people wouldn't have died. Amongst the ninety or so who had already perished, that number was small, but it was an immeasurable number chalked against Bobby's conscience. He stared down at the corpse for a while, fists clenching and unclenching, going on to take his carbine out of his daypack and hold it in front of him as he kept on looking.

"If you hadn't been given this Tyson, seven more people, including yourself, wouldn't have been killed during this 'game'. But then, they wouldn't have died if I had the strength to keep my finger off the trigger, if I had the foresight not to panic. Danya said that I attacked you first - what of it? It wouldn't have been anything huge to let the people I met know that he was lying. But what did I do instead? I decided there was no going back, and further than that I can't blame you for a thing,"

Bobby sighed, closing his eyes and looking away from the body for a moment, though the disturbing image was still engraved in his memory (although admittedly it didn't quite top the eviscerated Jason Foley) then turned back to Tyson.

"All along I've been saying I don't have a choice, I was somehow forced into this, but that's ridiculous. I've been fully aware of what I was doing every step of the way, and saying anything other than that is just making excuses. ... And aren't I the philosopher? All I can do now is try not to give into fear and temptation another time and just attempt to avoid any more bloodshed,"

He took a step towards the brook, then gave Tyson a sidelong glance.

"That rot looks good on you, maybe you should market it. Might catch on,"

Bobby knelt on the bank of the brook, swinging his pack off his shoulder and trapping it under one knee beside him. He took a glance in each direction before leaning over and cupping his hands to splash water on his face in an attempt to clean some of the blood from his (mostly healed now) cuts off and in general trying to stop himself looking like crap as well as feeling like it.

A rabid animal claws for its life, it doesn't trim itself and groom its fur or get cleaned. I'm not a wild beast. Thinking of appearances at a time like this? It's my mind I'm taking care of, not my body.

#1: New Paths
Sean's head jerked up, his eyes narrowing, but after a few moments, he relaxed. He recognised the voice: Brad Kavanagh unless he was very much mistaken (in which case he'd be very much dead too, but if that was the case, it wasn't as though he'd be missing much). He carefully levered himself to his feet, wincing as the movement caused his head to begin pounding once again. The deep gash in the side of his head still hadn't healed yet, and Sean was beginning to grow worried about infection, despite the fact the wound had been treated not once but twice.

But... damn, Pascal's dead, and he helped me out. Not only him but that Antonio, Anthony kid. What the hell happened after I left? Did somebody come along and take them both out, did they kill each other or something? Well, if Danya isn't saying what exactly how things turned out, heading back there is hardly going to help.

Sean moved out into the open, staggering a step, but managing to regain his balance without falling over, which would hardly have given off a good first impression. Then again, when had Sean ever cared what people thought about him? Well... post-Andy at least, before that he'd been ego central.

Come a long way Sean. A long way from the smug bastard who flipped out because of an accident. A long way from the lovestruck romantic looking to the future with his boyfriend. I don't think I could be further from that than I am right now, and every moment that passes I just get further and further away. Still, I've always been a traveller, guess this is just another new path to take hey?

Catching sight of the newcomer whose voice he had heard, Sean confirmed that his guess was right and it was indeed Brad Kavanagh. He seemed to have taken some punishment, sporting what appeared to be a broken nose, as well as numerous other injuries, some minor, some rather nasty. Sean stopped in the entranceway to the rundown building, half smirked, and spoke up.

"Brad," Sean said levelly, meeting the eyes of the other kid standing outside in the rain. "Did anyone chance to tell you that you looked like death warmed up?"

Laugh or cry.

Laugh. Or cry.