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Everybody Loses
For a time, the moment lasted. It stretched, and Kimberly thought that maybe it would stick and things would all be fine. Maybe Ivan would just back down in some manner. Maybe he would lower his rifle and offer to wander off and fuck someone else up instead. Maybe she could strike a truce with each of the others, somehow, and not have to worry about anything until right at the end. Maybe there would be a happy ending after all.

It was nothing but a dream, of course. This late in the game, it seemed everyone was playing for keeps. She didn't know if she'd been expecting Ivan to be an exception. She didn't know if she'd held some sort of unconscious prejudice, some odd suspicion that anyone who could care deeply enough about someone else to merit taunting on the announcements wouldn't be tough enough to be willing to escalate a situation. Perhaps some last little drop of optimism had escaped being wrung out of her in her time on the island.

Before Ivan fired, though, Kimberly knew. She saw it in his eyes a split second before he even started to move. Kimberly had been on the wrong end of guns many times in her stay on the island, but she had been fired upon only twice. The second time, with Brook, she'd been too busy running to really appreciate the moment. With Kris, on the other hand, Kimberly had seen and felt it all unfold. She'd known then, too, that things had gotten serious.

Back on the beach, she'd still been pretending, and Kris had already had her gun at the ready. Here, neither of those factors were present. Kimberly wasn't all that strong or fast or tough in any physical way, but she had damn fine reflexes. The finger of her good hand, the one supporting the gun, instinctively tightened on the trigger with absolutely no result, even as she was spinning on her heel and running. In the end, it was probably the shitty traction on her boots that saved her life, as she slid and stumbled and lurched out of control and heard the crack of gunfire behind her. She'd moved in time, had dropped her profile low enough and moved unpredictably enough, that she was not caught in the spread of shot.

Of course, she wasn't completely without troubles. The sudden movement had wrenched her bad shoulder again, and it was hurting like a bitch. Things hadn't felt this nasty in days. She was off balance, scrambling for purchase with her feet, flailing her good arm and trying not to fall, panicking and hoping that her life wasn't about to end in a spray of blood and bullets.

She made it back around the corner of the building. The entire process, from the time she had realized that things were going to go bad to the present moment, had taken less than two seconds. Ivan would probably be after her. He would want her dead. Everyone wanted her dead now. It was just more naïvety to think otherwise. She knew way, way too much for that now. She was scared, terrified. She fucking hated this.

She didn't slow down. For once, Kimberly was at a total fucking loss as to how to turn this situation around and regain control of things. She had a shitty fake gun and a couple Molotovs and a lighter and only one good hand to juggle them all. She almost regretted not trying to light Ivan up, but the thought of him screaming, of flesh burning, of him not having a chance to even fight back or maybe of him emerging disfigured and livid from the flames like some monster in a bad movie, that was all too much, too awful. She didn't want that. She didn't want any of this.

All she wanted was to get away, to breathe and calm down and pull her composure back together. Maybe that was why she kept clinging to the house's wall, making her way towards the door. Maybe it was just one of the last vestigial pieces of her social conditioning. Houses were base when you played tag. Houses were warm havens in those cold Minnesota winters. Houses were cookies and blankets and safety.

She reached the door, sure she could still hear Ivan behind her.

If it was locked, she knew she was fucked.

Away
Aside from being gone next week, I'm going to be busy during the days for the next three to four days. This will not affect posting (I should be around in the evenings) but given the fairly massive amount of stuff going on, questions are probably better directed elsewhere if they require a speedy response. If you're cool waiting a day or so, I'm still totally in business. Just wanted to give everybody a heads up.

teamsleep makes music
Ooh, sounds interesting.

You may want to check out SOTF-TV, one of the games over on the Mini. Part of the premise is that the game is a huge media event, and bands doing songs about stuff have been referenced several times. You might be able to make something that actually existed/got referenced in-universe for it.

Away
Handler: KillerVole
Dates Away: January 4, 2012 - January 11, 2012
Days Away: Seven
Reason for Away: I am going to visit family outside the country. It's a twenty hour flight, plus jet lag and acclimating. In all likelihood, I will be back in business by the seventh or eighth, but I won't count on it.
Characters: Kimberly Nguyen

So... in all honesty, unless it happens to become my turn to post the hour I leave or something, there really should be no notable delays, barring maybe taking a couple days to post instead of a couple hours. This is more a notice for mod stuff/Mini/Mafia, and to cover the extremely unlikely event that I get stranded in an airport without an internet cafe or something.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all have a great time today.

Bear likes to draw
Oh wow! I don't check Artist's Alley enough. Those are really awesome! You're very good at dynamic poses.

The Great V4 Read-A-Thon!
'kay. Here you go:

Quote:
 
KillerVole (KillerVole) has entered the room. 7:34 pm
KillerVole 7:35 pm
'kay, doing this while working on a post.
Two for D/N:
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 7:35 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 162

KillerVole 7:35 pm
Liz Polanski!
And...
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 7:35 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 88

KillerVole 7:36 pm
Alex Rasputin!
One for Laure:
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 7:36 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 51

KillerVole 7:36 pm
Edward Belmont

KillerVole 7:36 pm
One for Flare:
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 7:36 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 87

KillerVole 7:37 pm
Lucy Ashmore!


D/N (round four): Liz Polanski (V4 Start) and Alex Rasputin (V4 Start)
Laurelana (round six): Edward Belmont (V4 Start)
Flare (round two): Lucy Ashmore (V4 Start)

The Great V4 Read-A-Thon!
Here you go!

Quote:
 
KillerVole (KillerVole) has entered the room. 11:25 pm
KillerVole 11:25 pm
Another for Laure:
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 11:25 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 158

KillerVole 11:26 pm
Winnie Clark


Laurelana (round five): Winsome Clark (V4 Start)

The Great V4 Read-A-Thon!
Massive, massive apologies for the delay. Last week was finals, graduation, a bunch of relatives being around, and spending time with a childhood friend I hadn't seen in half a year. Anyways, we are back on track, and I will not let us have gaps like this again if I can help it.

Quote:
 
KillerVole (KillerVole) has entered the room. 8:56 pm
KillerVole 8:59 pm
One for Ricky:
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 8:59 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 75

KillerVole 8:59 pm
reroll
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 8:59 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 226

KillerVole 8:59 pm
Thea Kairos
One for Laure:
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 9:00 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 57

KillerVole 9:00 pm
Brock Mason
One for Inky:
//roll-dice 1-sides 251

OnlineHost 9:00 pm
KillerVole rolled 1 251-sided die: 186

KillerVole 9:01 pm
Jasper-Declan MacDermott


MK Kilmarnock (round four): Thea Kairos (V4 Start)
Laurelana (round four): Brock Mason (V4 Start)
Inky (round two): Jasper-Declan MacDermott (V4 Start)

Project: Wiki
I added all the old data I could recover. I didn't bother with the mountains of links, since those take a lot longer. If anyone sees something that looks like it should have a link, go ahead and add it in.

Three Rounds
Things weren't quite as awful as they could have been. Isabel commented on the Coke, but that was a little misunderstanding Jennifer could live with. More than that, she had picked right. The woman was part of Isabel's group. Her name was Mrs. Hansen. The name sounded familiar to Jennifer, though she couldn't quite say from where. Then a girl in a wheelchair turned up, Ray's sister. Mrs. Hansen introduced her as Alicia, then moved off towards some other people.

Isabel said hello to the girl. It seemed like they'd probably met before.

"Um, hi, Alicia," Jennifer said, smiling. Oh fuck this was awkward. Jennifer always became very nervous about her mannerisms when dealing with disabled people, because she didn't want to cause offense. She tried to talk normally, but then came out sounding forced casual, which was probably worse. Inevitably, she ended up feeling like she had fucked up the interaction and offended everyone involved.

She was spared further discomfort by the announcer. The music was loud, and the whole thing seemed very theatrical. Ray had a nickname that alluded to his time on the show. Fucking good for him. Jennifer had grown to intensely dislike how everyone pretended like nothing had happened, how they acted like there was nothing to be proud about in moving on. Sure, she'd had more than her share of breakdowns. She'd finally realized that running just wasn't the right thing to do. What mattered was acceptance, making her peace with what had happened and living a good life, taking the sadness and the bad days along with the good. It sounded like Ray had found his way to the same path.

Ray got into the ring and took off his shirt. Someone started doing something to his face. Jennifer lost track as another familiar voice called out. Felicia, moving around so she could sit with them.

"Uh, hi, Felicia," Jennifer said. "Have a seat?"

She gestured to an empty seat nearby, then looked back at the ring. The proceedings there made absolutely no sense to her whatsoever.

"Um," she said. "What are they doing? How do they know who wins?"

Everybody Loses
Kimberly was right. It wasn't long at all before something happened. She heard the gunfire, a quick burst, echoing from somewhere in the direction Reiko had gone. The girl had been carrying some kind of machine gun. It wasn't hard at all to draw conclusions. The lack of return fire or secondary shots told Kimberly that someone had probably just died. It was quite likely that someone wasn't Reiko. She didn't know if she should feel bad about not intervening. Now wasn't the time to ponder the ethics of her situation, though. Now that the violence had started, there would be no shoving the genie back into the bottle. There were at least two people out there who would likely shoot Kimberly on the spot. There was probably Reiko, who would merely do her the courtesy of shooting her last.

Time for a plan, for a hunch, for something, anything. Time to figure out how to do this, how to come through this last hurdle with her body, mind, and morality intact. It was going to be tough, but she'd been in tough situations before. This wasn't holding another friend as they died. It wasn't screaming and bleeding in the sand. It wasn't being talked down to and treated like a helpless burden. It was just spending a little more time avoiding death. She'd gotten pretty good at that so far.

But of course, something just had to fuck it all up.

Kimberly was up against the wall of the alley, hiding in the shadows, keeping an eye out in front and back. She still nearly missed it. A flash of movement down at the end of the alley got her attention, though. Someone had passed nearby, and they seemed to be headed in roughly the same direction Reiko had gone.

Part of her wanted to be relieved. That was that, then. This person would go shoot Reiko, and Kimberly wouldn't have to worry about any eventual confrontation. Besides, there was no doubt the other girl had it coming. She had almost certainly kicked off the murder this time. She'd been killing since the first day. There had been breaks, but Kimberly wasn't about to assume any reason for them besides pragmatism. Reiko had probably just figured out that being a high profile threat wasn't a good way to stay alive. Kimberly's little hunt for Kris, much as she hated to admit she was at all like any of her classmates, had almost definitely not been an isolated incident. Payback seemed to be pretty damn universal common ground.

So now Reiko was probably about reap what she had sown. Maybe she'd even take the others out while she was at it. Maybe Kimberly wouldn't have to make any tough calls. Maybe she could just sit back and go home and try to pretend none of this had ever happened.

No.

There was no hiding from the past, and dodging responsibility would just mean survival wasn't worth it. She'd killed Aislyn and Kris. She'd hurt people. She'd done a lot of awful shit and a lot of better things. She'd never sat idle. Now wasn't the time to start.

Sarah had saved her life, and Sarah cared about Reiko. Kimberly still owed her one. Even if she couldn't see the other girl's appeal, even if she found Reiko at best refreshingly forthright yet moderately appalling, she could still do this for Sarah. She was moving before she could talk herself out of it, slipping from her hiding place, holding her fake gun in her trembling right arm. Down the alley, around the corner, and there he was. A boy. Not wiry enough to be Ilario. Ivan, then, the other one who might not be playing, the one who had lost someone. He was being very cautious, being so very sneaky. He was holding a gun. Kimberly's heart was hammering. This could well be the final few minutes of her life. There was still time to back out.

No.

Once, Kimberly had seen a western starring Clint Eastwood, one of those famous ones that everyone knew. She couldn't really remember the name right now, but one bit stuck damn well in her mind. This thug was walking along the street, when there came a whistle. He turned, and then Clint Eastwood shot him. It was a pretty badass thing to do, giving your opponent warning. Nice, dramatic, honorable. She hoped Ivan would appreciate the effort. She hoped he'd be confused enough not to shoot right away. She hoped he'd realize that he was stuck in a standoff because she was holding him at gunpoint.

She hoped he wouldn't call her bluff.

She pursed her lips and blew, but no noise came. Her lips were dry, chapped. She ran her tongue over them. It took a couple goes. She was a bit dehydrated. Nothing critical, just an itchy throat and a prickly tongue. In a few minutes, it probably wouldn't matter. She was probably about to make the biggest mistake of her life, for the sake of a girl who didn't come close to deserving it.

"Where the FUCK do you get off with this pretend badass act? It DOESN'T. FUCKING. WORK. And I hope to fucking GOD that you realize that by now."

Words from the past, coming back to haunt her now, to give her last second doubts, to make her wonder whether she was throwing her life away, whether she was giving up for something silly just because it was easier than actually trying. Words she had heard while lying in the dirt, after being kicked for daring to stand up for herself.

Thanks for nothing, Jeremy. Guess I'm pretending one more time. Just one more time.

Her hand was completely steady, the fake gun pointed straight at the boy who looked like he might be about to turn to check behind him. There was a good distance between them, plenty of room so Ivan could have his personal space, so she could get a head start if he wasn't feeling reasonable.

Last chance to turn back.

She gave a loud, two note whistle.

"Hey, Ivan," she called. "Didn't your mother ever tell you it's not polite to sneak around?"

Introduction Thread
Glad to see you back, Dodd!

The Great V4 Read-A-Thon!
That's a great idea, Dodd! I've been meaning to dig through old versions a lot more myself, as I've found some really cool stuff in the past. I'll see about getting those set up here soon!

Also, new rolls will be up tonight. Apologies for the huge delays on my end. I've been swamped getting stuff in order for finals, but they end tomorrow, and then I should be much more present.

Introduction Thread
Hiya, Joe! I know we've already chatted via PM a bit, but I just wanted to welcome you officially as well. Welcome to SOTF! As always, feel free to PM me or any other staffer if you've got any questions.

Introduction Thread
Hi, Aura, and welcome to SOTF! Be sure to check out the New Handler's Guide. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me or any other staffer (we have colored names). We hope you enjoy your stay!

Survivor Mafia: Sign-ups
I'm in!

I have never, ever seen even a single episode of Survivor. ><

The Mafia Waiting List
Yeah, I'm not on until Evo finishes or until after Decoy's V4 mafia (if that happens, I'm changing to SOTF-TV as the theme).

That means you're up!

Post-Game Planning
To my knowledge, the memorial stuff kinda fell through. If everyone wants, we can do a thread in the two-week period, though.

Larry King is live.

Also, if anyone wants to get some breathing room for threads in the two week period, I've written threads out over PM in the past and then just copied them to the board when the time for them came up. That's how we got the first nineteen pages of this Mini thread up in twenty minutes. Just a thing that's worked for me in the past that I figured might be of use. A warning, though: you can't retrieve formatting from PMs, so save a text document or send it in
Code:
 
code

Homestuck Mafia: Fallout Thread
This was pretty hilarious. T-Fox set me up perfectly to roleclaim without arousing suspicion, so that was nice. Survivor is actually pretty much the most difficult role for me, it turns out, because I tend to attract a lot of interest from everyone. Also, once again, I roleclaimed bulletproof when I wasn't. I actually planned for that with the messages from the future (that was just me screwing around 'cause I thought it'd be funny). Also, being instructed to be irritable is about the best post restriction ever. I had a lot of fun getting really grumpy at everyone (including myself).

Oh, right, and to avoid paradox:

SO, YEAH, IT TURNS OUT IT WORKS REALLY WELL TO MAKE SURE NOBODY WANTS TO KILL YOU, EVEN IF DOING SO INVOLVES MAKING FALSE CLAIMS. IT'S AMAZING HOW WELL THIS LINE OF REASONING ALWAYS TURNS OUT... AFTER ALL, I'M CLEARLY AROUND IN THE FUTURE TO YELL AT YOU ALL.

(Yes, I did shoehorn all my other future messages into posts throughout the game. ><)

So, yeah, good times. I got incredibly lucky with the doctor protection, since it actually "validated" my bulletproof claim to both mafias. Thanks for the save, Whirl.