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Wind in the Willow
'What is this, some sort of convention? What's next? Is Danya himfuckingself going to show up to ask about the unconscious kid?' Michelle thought bitterly to herself as two others showed up. One was some guy yelling about first aid who seemed to know the scared chick, which was perfectly fine and just another cherry to top of the bitch of a time she'd been having so far. The other, though...the other was definitely someone to watch. She definitely recognized the other girl...Rachel Gettys, the preacher around school who managed to be way more annoying in one minute than Michelle would have thought possible. Michelle herself was Christian, but the way Rachel carried on bothered her.

But that wasn't the bad part. The bad part was that Rachel was a known killer on the island. 'Thank...heh, god, that I was paying attention during the announcements. Shit...and here I am without a weapon. Goddammit, if only I had my crowbar still with me...' She ground her teeth together, quickly taking a glance at the others to see if they had made the connection. Joshua didn't seem to connect anything but...'Heh.

The right side of her lips curved into a thin smile as she saw Aston react and move closer to Joshua. It was better than nothing, she supposed...and Aston did have a gun, so if Rachel decided to add to her kill count, she wouldn't be alive for much longer. And it seemed like Anna recognized Rachel as well...at least in terms of "What an asshole". 'There's no way this is going to turn out like at the beach, is it? Naaah...couldn't be.'

Michelle kept her place, though, once again wishing she hadn't lost her weapon as she kept her gaze fixated on Rachel. One wrong move...one wrong move and...well, Michelle wasn't sure what she would do next, but death was not in the picture. "No...like Aston said, he's just unconscious. No one's dead. We're trying to keep it that way..."

"Anyway uh...Anna's got a good idea. I'll help take the bo-Marty, because it was my fault he got in this mess..." She trailed off as she walked next to Marty, passing by Aston as she did so. Her voice dropped to a low whisper. "Gimme my crowbar. Just in case. You know as well as I do that Rachel is crazy...it's best to have a backup plan. Just in case."

Wind in the Willow
((Michelle O'Cain continued from Life's A Beach))

'Fuck that bitch...if she didn't have my crowbar, I'd be somewhere else doing something that might actually matter.' Michelle thought bitterly to herself as she tromped along with the others to...wherever the kid was taking them. Jeremy something. The name had been said several times as they were walking, but Michelle was too busy trying to ignore the aching pains in her feet to really remember what his clusterfuck of a last name was. She sighed inwardly, wishing she hadn't lost her head back at the beach. Hindsight was always 20/20. She just wished her foresight was also 20/20 instead of non-existent.

If it was, maybe she wouldn't be in this intolerable situation. They had been trekking for hours straight with no chance of rest and Michelle was starting to get a little stir crazy again. But after what happened at the beach, she had no doubt that either Jeremy or Aston would just fill her full of lead if she made one wrong move. The bitch probably wanted to kill her right now if those frequent lookbacks were any indication. She was tempted to just reach out and throttle the other girl and scream, "No, I'm not going to be fucking killing anyone right now! I'm tired, I want to rest, and so far, nothing I've wanted to work has worked! So point your eyes to the front of the fucking path or else I'll rip them out and shove them up your ass!"

Probably something with a bit less profanity. But alas, that had to be relegated to the realms of fantasy. 'What a shame...I bet that'd feel good.'

At least she had the shade to be thankful for. Nice, cool shade.

And, to use a tired phrase, a babbling brook. Despite her situation, Michelle couldn't help but be cheered by the fact that there was water nearby. It probably wasn't all that safe, but just having a natural source of water was probably an advantage most other students didn't have at the moment.

Good things apparently came in threes, because it was at this point that Jeremy finally decided that walking was for squares and stopped, placing his friend on the ground. And then came the question that she had been expecting. Namely what had happened to cause the whole goddamn situation in the first place. She kept her mouth shut, biting on her lower lip as she decided to let the others explain first. She didn't know if he'd believe a single thing she said...but if any of the others decided to color her in a more than unfavorable light, she wasn't going to be happy.

Aston began first and Michelle could only snort as she heard the other girl's explanation. 'A little stressed? I guess Danya is just a little evil and this is all some sort of little game that kids play when they're bored. You were freaking the fuck out as well, girl, and you were the one waving your fucking gun around the place.'

Michelle returned Aston's glare with full force, folding her arms as she narrowed her eyes. A brief flare of anger ran through her body as she heard Aston act all doctor-like, putting the somber soap opera lines to work as she offered to look at the unconscious kid. She grit her teeth, trying to calm herself down. 'Don't get pissed...don't last out. This is not the time. Save your anger. Savor it. Wait for an opportune time before unleashing it. There is a time and place for everything. She'll get hers, no doubt...'

The other girl suggested using willow bark as some sort of aspirin before immediately realizing just how dumb that sounded and crouching next to Marty. She also voiced concern over his status and Michelle bit her lower lip again. 'Come on. I don't think I hit him that hard...ugh...'

She hated getting painted as the villain...even though she was technically the villain. She still didn't regret hitting him. If it resulted in his death...then that was it. Marty simply had been unlucky enough to be caught in a situation caused by his own freaking out. And frankly, judging from his attitude, some other killer on the island, 'Maybe Maxwell or Sarah', would have made a show of him instead.

"Looks like it's my turn." Michelle said in a steady voice, turning her attention to Jeremy. "I came across your friend and her on the beach. I was curious to see what was going on, so I approached them. Your friend, to put it lightly, freaked out and started yelling and screaming at us. And Aston, as she so lightly puts it, 'got a little stressed', and started to wave her gun around and scream about how she would be alive because she had a gun. I was caught between two screaming little children and overreacted and hit your friend on the head with the crowbar."

"So that's it." She finished, her expression serious. "It was a mistake. I was angry and I wanted people to calm down, so I lashed out and hit the person closest to me. And that's when you came across us."

She looked away, a sigh escaping from her lips. "If it means anything, I hope your friend is okay and I wasn't trying to kill him."

Can't I Just Die A Disney Death?
"T-Thanks..." was all Melissa could mumble as she shuffled in after the other girls, shame turning her cheeks a shade of light pink. Samya was more than willing to welcome the three of them inside of the building and Melissa couldn't help but feel upset that she had been suspicious of the other girl at first. After all...Samya had every right to be suspicious of her, of everyone, but she had put away her weapon and even offered her some of the food she had. The offer was probably more directed towards Felicia and Aislyn considering, but that didn't make it any less generous.

But now that they had been invited into the shelter...it was like a weight was being lifted off of Melissa's shoulders. There would be actual beds to sleep on, four walls to protect the girls from the elements, and a ceiling to block out the scorching sun or, in a worse situation, freezing rain. As long as Danya didn't declare this a dangerzone anytime soon, it was possible that the four of them could stay inside here for quite a while. 'No more walking in the wilderness. No more worrying if the next shadow was a killer lying in wait. Just stay in here and tell the rest of the world to leave us alone. Please.'

She offered Samya a brief smile, shaking her head at the offer of trail mix. "Thanks...but I don't want to impose. Honestly...I just want to rest my feet for a little bit. We've been walking for a while...but um...thanks for the offer. It means a lot."

Can't I Just Die A Disney Death?
((Melissa Li continued from The Hills Are Alive))

Things were better now for the young Asian. Another day had passed and Samaya's death was farther behind her. Travelling across the island had gotten her mind off the base nature of this game and Aislyn made a good leader. She was capable, confident, and all-together perfect for leading this little ragged band that they made. She even had gotten some time to rest, no matter how short it really was. Sure, Danya's annoying voice had come back rattling more deaths on the island, but she didn't recognize any of the names beyond faceless classmates and that was fine to her. As long as they didn't have a face...as long as she didn't actually know who they were, she was fine. They were just some other person who suffered their own tragedy...there wasn't any room in her heart or her mind to mourn over someone else.

She supposed she was lucky. None of the few friends she had made at school were dead. A genuine smile worked its way across her face as she remembered the idyllic days in high school. There was Robert Jenkins, that baseketball player who always needed help in math. Peter Siu, the smart kid who was always her main competition for the best test score. Jennifer Perez, Rein Bumgarner, Ericka Bradley...there were a lot more than she had honestly expected. 'You really do never notice how lucky you are until you're in a situation like this...'

Nostalgia made her happy...hopeful for the future. Her self-esteem was still practically non-existent, but at least that self-recriminating voice had stopped yelling at her in her head. Yes, things were looking better for young Melissa Li, trekking alongside people she trusted with her life to help carry her off of this island and back to her normal life. Did she believe that they would actually escape? Deep down in her heart, hell to the fuck no. But she could hope...it was fake, forced hope, but it was hope.

Hope that was punctuated by the sounds of Mulan.



Melissa looked up to find themselves in front of hospital-like place, but what was more important was the fact that someone was singing inside of the infirmary. The paranoid part of her noticed that another girl had been singing a few hours before she had died from a snake bite, but she quickly brushed it off. It's not like something like that would happen twice in a row, would it? Of course not, that was like a one in a million chance. Just like how both of her partners seemed to know who the singer was.

Samya Franklin...was not someone Melissa knew well...hell, beyond classes the name really didn't ring a bell at all. So she hung in the back of the group, shifting her bag as she walked a little more slowly behind the others. It would be rude to echo their cries and pretend that the stranger was a friend or someone to get to know.

She wasn't.

Life's a Beach
(Sorry, skipping to get out of dangerzone cause yeah.)

Well, she was alive.

That was really the only good thing that came out of this new endeavor of hers. That new kid, crying about Marty this and Marty that, gathered the unconscious kid and just ran off, giving a sort of invite to the rest of the people gathered around here to meet up. And then the bitch with the gun came up to her and took that damn crowbar away. Michelle said nothing, just scowled as her only weapon was taken away from her. She then ran off as well, following the new kid and also tossing off some sort of passive-aggressive invite.

Of course she was going to follow along. If she still had her crowbar, sure, she might have just gone somewhere else, but there was no way in hell she was going to go back to being alone with even a weapon. She grabbed her bag and slung it over her shoulder, running after the gun chick to whatever their new destination would be. She'd find a way to get her crowbar back, no problem. Maybe even get one of those guns too. She'd find a way.

It was a minor setback but hey, she was still alive.

(( Michelle O'Cain continued elsewhere. ))

Life's a Beach
'How did it come to this? Hah, well that's easy actually. I hit the prick in the head. That's how all this shit happened.' Michelle thought to herself, beginning to think that she maybe shouldn't have resorted to violence. That was always the problem with hindsight, but in the end, the whiner wasn't screaming his throat out and she could have some moments of peace. She still didn't regret it. Regrets were for people who wanted to stare in the past and right now she had to stare straight forward. Straight forward into the gun muzzle that was wavering in front of her. It was kind of ironic that she had been looking so hard for a gun to call her own and now two of them, two, were pointed at her right now.

She wondered what would happen if they shot. She'd die, of course, another hapless loser in the game that Danya had whipped up for them. The chick or the dude would get congratulated by Danya over the radio and he'd have a couple of chortles before life moved on. And that would be it. Her impact on the island would be hitting someone across the head and dying as a result of it. A sliver of fear wormed its way into her heart. She would die unknown, unloved, and be nothing more than a bullet point in the annals of history. She didn't want that. She wanted to be remembered for something. Isn't that why people existed? To do something with their life. She didn't know what she wanted to do, but dying here wasn't it.

She had been called unmotivated. She couldn't even begin to count the times she had heard her parents say that it was okay to get a C or B, just as long as it wasn't failing, it was okay. She remembered her teachers telling her that she could really be something...really be a top star at school if she just put more effort into her work instead of just slapdashing it together and turning it in late or at the last minute.

Well, that was it. She'd have to stop being lazy. Fear was a powerful motivator. There was fear for her life, of course, but it paled in comparison to the realization that she really could die here. She had hit Marty because it had been the laziest, the easiest, method of shutting him up. Quick, painless for her, and all it took was one simple swing. And look where it brought her. Near death with nothing to show for it besides repeated failures at trying to gain something for herself. It was time for this to stop.

It would take planning...planning many moves in advance, much like the chess players she had seen in when she had walked in one of the club rooms. She had to plan for the future, not just the present and that...that would take effort. Effort she wasn't normally used to giving and effort she had very little drive to commit to an endeavor that would most likely end in her death anyway. But as long as she could accomplish something, whether it be a kill, an escape, or even protecting someone's life, she'd be fine with dying.

And so, when everyone around her screamed at her to drop her weapon, she simply did. The crowbar clattered down onto the rocks and she kept her arms at her side, not daring to move. She breathed softly, calmly, ignoring the pounding in her chest. 'Would they really shoot if I hadn't dropped it? Who cares? Better start planning if I wanna get out of this alive. What to do first...well, find a way out of this mess. I'm not staying here for much longer, that's true. Unless I can find some way to persuade them but...'

"There, I dropped it. Are you still going to shoot?"

Milk of Human Kindness
(Skipping Vanikoro to avoid inactivity.)

Kevin seemed to share his humor at their situation and Andrew's grin only grew a little bit wider. It felt good to have someone else share your opinion, even if the opinion was "We're so fucked." Andrew pondered on Kevin's question for a bit, slowly rocking back and forth on the sand. He never actually put much thought into escape. From what he knew about the game, they were all on some remote island and for the past couple of iterations, no one had come to the students' rescue. Escape attempts usually ended badly for the escapees and he doubted Danya would be so dumb as to leave a boat lying around.

As for survival...beyond the simple mantra of "Stay alive and don't piss anyone off", he didn't really have a plan. He wasn't even sure if you could plan for a game like SotF. To survive without killing your fellow students? Probably not possible.

So he just shrugged. "Nope. Well, nothing concrete. Just trying to stay alive. Heh."

"You got a plan? Something better than getting piss drunk, I hope." Andrew sighed and climbed to his feet, brushing sand off of his pants and shrugging. "Well...plan or not, staying in one place for a long time isn't going to help. It's time for me to scoot. You can come with if you want, but it's up to you."

With that, he turned and began jogging away.

(( Andrew Mitchell continued elsewhere. ))

The Hills Are Alive
Melissa watched silently as Aislyn continued to rummage around Samaya's belongings, her hands clenched at her sides. After her little private...episode from earlier, she had simply decided that it would be best if she didn't try thinking about anything important and let Aislyn run things. The other girl certainly was more confident and composed than she was...and at least she had a plan for things. All Melissa had done so far was...nothing, really. Nothing but hurt her hand and let herself freak out. Perhaps it was a good thing Aislyn was here too...give her guidance. So she simply waited for her new orders, trying to keep that cooperative smile on her face as she watched Aislyn weave a pair of makeshift shoes using one of Samaya's shirts.

One corner of her lips twitched in a crooked smile as she remembered that scene from the swamp. She had completely forgotten that Aislyn had trekked all the way from the swamp to here without a single pair of shoes. It was pretty amazing that she had done that, actually...and it really only made Melissa way more thankful that she hadn't lost her own. 'I wonder where those shoes are now...maybe we'll run into them again. Hahaha...I wonder what Aislyn would do if we ever came across that girl again. Probably try to stab her, screaming about her shoes.'

The thought was oddly funny in her mind and she had to resist giggling as she imagined a berserker Aislyn rampaging around the island, waving around her wooden spear with the shirts of her fallen foes tied around her feet. She began humming Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as she imagined it, but her reverie was suddenly broken when Aislyn began speaking to her. Blinking in surprise and turning her attention to the swimmer, she silently nodded and opened up her pack. Carefully stuffing the extra food into her bag, she gave herself a nod after she was done. "All right...looks like this is good."

She shook her head when Aislyn offered her the bottle and simply got to her feet, hefting the bag of her shoulder. She took in a deep breath and sighed, shaking her head slightly as the swimmer walked off. She cast a glance at Felicia, wondering what the other girl felt about all this. She seemed like she had known Samaya the most so...well, it really wasn't her problem or her place to try to offer any words of comfort or...anything, really.

Melissa turned and walked after Aislyn.

'Until help gets here? ...Fat chance.'

(Melissa Li continued elsewhere.)

The Hills Are Alive
"Look at that bitch...thinking like she owns the place. Where does she get off acting like the one in charge? This isn't some sort of boot camp and you aren't the drill instructor, so shut your goddamn mouth and stop acting like you're my father. I'm already sick and tired of listening to that bastard's shit, so why should I listen to yours?"

Melissa kept her mouth closed as she timidly sat down next to Aislyn, her gaze fixated on the ground and her fists on her lap. She was trembling slightly, hearing the anger and sternness in Aislyn's voice as the other girl explained her reasons. She realized the logic in those words...the reasons. Compassion had no place in a game like this. To survive was the point here...to continue living in this hellhole. As long as they survived...what? There was no way to actually escape the island unless they were the only one left alive. Being part of a group was an easily disposable means to an end. And even if somehow the three of them made it to that end...what would happen next? Aislyn probably would kill them both somehow...judging from her attitude at least, she definitely had the whole 'me first' thing down pat.

"And you're just going to let that happen? Hah, you probably are! What an idiot! For all your smarts, all your brains, you're nothing more than an idiotic follower begging for someone to give you direction in life. If someone told you to kill yourself, you'd gladly do it if it meant getting their approval. Why not just beg her to kill you now? That way she won't have to worry about lugging your useless carcass across this fucking island."

"Um...yeah sure." Melissa began, her voice breaking a bit as she tried to keep her emotions in check. She felt cold, angry, upset...cold because she had willingly agreed to follow this...this plan. This plan of putting themselves ahead of everyone else on the island. It was the cold, rational decision, and immediately her mind was acting on it, trying to shut down the parts of her that would scream and rage at the thought of heartlessly murdering another student...a possible friend. Aislyn never specified a target...simply anyone who got in the way of their survival was fair game. Broad...reaching...she wondered who fell under that category.

"Hah, looks like you don't even need me to give you the fucking guts to go out there and grab your destiny with your own hands. Your friend definitely has more guts than you'll ever have in your life. Be a good follower and keep her alive, huh? She actually deserves to win this game and not you. Hah, make sure you be her meat shield too! You've always loved being the helper, the martyr that sacrifices time to always be that nice little girl in class! I'm sure she'll thank you if you die instead of her."

Anger...anger at herself for being so weak that she couldn't think of anything to say against this. She could only accept it as the truth...as her one way of somehow getting back home. The voice was right...she was just some weakling who could only tag behind others who actually had ambition and drive. Self-recrimination was no stranger to her and it was back in full force, blaming her heart and her mind for being so fragile. 'Please...if my parents are watching...I'm so sorry. So sorry...'

"Yeah, your precious Dad and Mom will save you. Don't you wish they were here now? Them, you would listen to. I bet if you heard your daddy telling you that it was okay to kill people and that you should do it to further the Li name, you'd kill the next person you saw. You wouldn't even need a weapon. Blind loyalty is a weapon enough for you, isn't it?"

'Shut up, shut up, shut up!' She thought fiercely, her smiling mask breaking for just a moment to show the twisted anger that lurked within her. In an instant, it was back up and she took a deep breath as she tried to force calmness back into her body. She looked up at Aislyn, her expression serious as she gave the other girl another nod. "Yeah...um, I got it Aislyn. I'll give it my all, don't worry. We're going to get out of this...definitely."

"Step by step, heart to heart, left right left, we all fall down."

Life's a Beach
(OOC: Knocking out of Marty approved by Fioriboy.)

'Could the great strategists and commanders of the world have predicted this? Could Erwin Rommel, Zhuge Liang, Sima Yi, Mitsunari Ishida, Ulysses S. Grant, George S. Patton, and Heinz Guderian put their collective minds together and figure out how the fuck everything went to shit here? Because there is no way in hell I will ever piece together this puzzle in all the years...or days in this case, that I have remaining alive.'

The thought just drifted though Michelle's mind as what seemed to be a peaceful scene with a hopefully stable group just exploded in her face. The new girl seemed smart enough...at least she wasn't begging or bawling her eyes out and being an overly useless wreck. She would have said something back to her if it wasn't for the pansy-ass inside his tent suddenly losing his shit and unzipping the tent flap. Screaming at them about how they were in SotF and people were dying around them, Michelle listened to his rant with growing irritation and anger, wanting to shut the fucking idiot up. If they weren't already in enough danger, the little shithole was probably going to call every single killer in a three-mile radius over to this location.

She would have just slammed her crowbar into the side of his head then and there, but his rant only triggered replies from the other two girls and it was then that Michelle simply found herself at a loss of things to do. The new girl seemed to go the "Aww, it's okay, dear~" route of mothering the frightened little bastard, although her expression was in contrast to her words. And Aston, woo boy, Aston decided to just let it rip. She stood there in a stunned sort of daze as Aston screamed out all of her frustrations on the boy and then decided to kick the goddamn tent away.

It wasn't her leg strength that Michelle was concerned about though. It was the gun that Aston had whipped out of her bag that caught her attention. 'Perhaps it's a good thing I didn't attack earlier after all...she's gone crazy now though. No way to safely get that gun away from her without trying to kill her now and she's way too hyped up for anything like that to succeed. No...better keep playing it safe. And shut these idiots up.'

First things first, though. Tent boy had to be quiet lest he go on a return rant back at Aston. It was bad enough hearing the two of them buzz at each other like vultures and she didn't want this craziness to continue. She tightened her fingers around her crowbar, a dangerous look on her face as she screamed, "Everyone, shut the fuck up and calm down!"

She punctuated her words by swinging the flat edge of her crowbar right into the side of the boy's head, a dull thud ringing out as the boy collapsed senseless to the ground. Breathing heavily, she quickly turned the weapon to Aston, her eyes narrowed. "I didn't want him to keep spewing out shit, so I thought it would be best if he took a little nap. I don't regret hitting him. So are you going to calm down now or do you want to add your name to the list of Danya's killers, huh? If you don't, drop the goddamn gun so we can all just sit down, cool our feet, and make sure none of us die here."