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When My Fist Clenches, Crack It Open
((Aileen needs to live again. T_T)

Lily flat-out called the tall guy out on making jokes about killing people, saying that it wasn't funny at all. See? She was capable of expressing her exact thoughts without descending into sarcasm or outright insults.

The boy in the overly fancy outfit introduced himself as Milo Taylor, and the athletic guy as "an asshole". Aileen felt the need to make a comment here, about how they both looked like assholes to her, but stopped herself before any words could come dribbling out of her mouth. Okay, they could turn out not to be assholes after all, and actually be a good part of the group in the future. Heck, the guy in the business suit even asked if he could be of help. It was best to stay on the safe side, however, with both of them.

Aaron happened to agree with Lily, saying that it wasn't exactly a good first impression to make jokes about shooting people while being stuck on a deserted island where there are plenty of murderers. And therefore, pretty much gave the guy with the gun an ultimatum; leave or put your gun down. Simple really. Really harsh wording, but hopefully he would agree with one or the other. Although, Aaron was standing behind a tree this entire time, while she, Lily, and the two guys were out in the open, and Richard was god knows where. Which meant that if this guy with the gun attacked, Lily and Aileen were the first targets.

However, nope, gun guy was not cooperative.

He went on a tirade, about how having Milo around for ten minutes would annoy them all, about how he could have just simply shot them all while they weren't looking, and about how he wasn't going to put his gun down. This "Rob" guy was going on and on about how Aaron was the one looking for trouble and was a horrible leader.

It was as if he was expecting everyone to be happy and merry, and invite him to a magical tea party with My Little Ponies and Carebears the minute he cracked a joke about shooting people! Of course they weren't happy, they were stuck on a deserted island for Christs' sake! Of course they would be a little suspicious of him and that other guy. Of course, it wasn't a good idea for Aaron to ask one guy to grope at another on hindsight, but he could at least just follow the instructions and not make this hard.

Aileen's face looked like a speckled beet when the guy turned to address her directly. Rob was telling her that they needed a new leader if they wanted people to be nice to them, even saying that Aaron could just run off and play Dungeons and Dragons.

Her lips pursed as she resisted the urge to flare up at him right back. Oh man, was she pissed. Who gave this Rob kid the right to walk to their group, make a joke about people getting shot, and then insult people who make a simple request at him? At least just make it simple and easy for everyone!

But, her next words she managed to get out without yelling. "Hey... we've been through a lot. One of our group has already been killed, and we've been separated from others. Of course we'd be a little suspicious."

Although her voice was far from shouting, one could notice a bit of venom dripping off the tone. She was trying her best not to yell at people again, but it was pretty clear that she was upset.

She looked back and forth between the two newcomers and the tree Aaron was hiding behind.

"Everyone needs to put their weapons down and talk about this like civilized human beings. Okay?"

Too Late
And then Cisco crawled over to Katelyn- or rather, what was left of her- and started picking something up nearby her, acting like he just found something extremely precious to him. Josée went to investigate, and after a few seconds Cisco piped up with "Guys?! It's okay! I got my music back!"

As Remy went to take a closer look, he could see Cisco waving around what appeared to be an album sleeve with a shiny, bloody object of some kind sticking out of it. That... was the object that had been thrown at them? Really? This was like some bad Japanese cartoon, he swore to god. An album. He managed to kill someone with an album. Remy didn't even know that was possible. Or maybe it was something else, like that thing Xena Warrior Princess would throw at people, whatever that was.

He still felt anger towards Cisco, though. God damn it, no matter what happened, one thing was clear; he killed Katelyn. Remy tried his best to keep his eyes off her. And he knew that she still laid there, her last moments in pain. Even now, her screams echoed in his mind. He was just another murderer here. Really, he was lucky Josée was there to stop him from stabbing him

Was he...?

Speaking of which, Josée proceeded to bitch at him some more. Saying that killing him wouldn't be worth it. Saying that he was out of his mind. Well, it seemed that she finally realized just how out of it Cisco was right now. Saying to be calm and to avoid the people who really matter, such as those whose names had shown up multiple times-

... She was really trying to appeal to him, wasn't she? Josée heard the announcements too, so she would know what had happened. Remy's face contorted at the mention of the multiple time killers, then relaxed. Really, his odd facial expression said it all.

Josée had interrupted herself, and made a comment about her bags. Wait, hold on, someone took her things?! Holy shit, their things were gone! Not just Katelyn's either, but the twins' bags had made a disappearing act as well! Someone had taken advantage of their being distracted and started taking things away while they weren't looking! What's more is, they had taken from the dead! That was uncalled for! Really uncalled for!

Josée, as always, started playing the "in control" act by talking to Cisco and asking him about who he was working with and which way they went. And then suddenly, Remy remembered. Two voices. One was Cisco's, right? Who was the other? Presumably whoever Cisco considered "Death", then. So a player? Why else would they be called "Death"? Maybe Josée was actually right about him being manipulated in his... current mental state by someone.

Perhaps it was the person who had taken their things. Perhaps that's where they had headed after Remy had ran towards him. He still thought he was insane for the "she's taking my music" thing. Josée seemed to think that he had seen someone nearby when he was saying that, however.

Remy looked around him frantically as Josée talked to Cisco. Really, the thief could have gone off by now, going off to steal more shit, he bet. Seriously, who the hell did they think they were?!

"Guys, I'm going to check if someone is still here. Don't worry, I won't attack if they won't attack", he said to the two in a quiet voice.

Okay, that was kind of, sort of, a lie in some respects. But mostly, if he found the thief, and they just backed away and put the things down, he wouldn't have to attempt using the knife again. But for now, find out who the thief was.

He looked around again, and went over to some nearby bushes to see if anyone was there. Would they hide after getting their loot? He doubted it.

Wind in the Willow
Well, that was easy.

Rachel just calmly walked off, once again spouting some crazy religious nonsense of some kind. Saying that there was some kind of prophecy that was to be fulfilled in two days, and talking like some cliched anime or video game character. Maybe one who ran around with a sword, slicing and dicing into everything in her path, while praying to some evil god that needed sacrifices, human ones, the flesh and blood of man! She would then be killed by the hero and sacrificed to her own god.

Nah, that wasn't going to happen. This wasn't a video game, though she wished it was. Wished.

The other girl had grabbed Marty's legs, causing Chase to almost drop him and to rearrange how exactly she held him, so that two people could grab both ends. If there was one thing she did not want to do right now, it was to drop him. One, as noted it wouldn't help him at all. Second, that Retro-Guy might freak out if his friend was hurt again. She would too if- if-

Don't think about that. Don't think about them.

Marty's buddy started to comment that they should probably put him down since Rachel was gone now. Chase was about to respond, but suddenly a loud groan came out of nowhere. A quick glance down told her it was coming from Marty, and that he was starting to become more aware. He was awake? Or rather, just starting to?

A sad smile passed onto her face as his friend rushed to his side, tears on his face. It was good to see that Marty was just starting to wake up, and that he had a friend nearby. It was good indeed. And yet... it once again reminded Chase of her friends. She didn't want to think about it. She just didn't want to. And yet it came up in her mind every once in a while. She... kind of missed them already.

Within a few seconds, though, Chase snapped out of it.

"Hey... we should put him d-down so he doesn't think we're like... trying to rape him or something...." she said to the other girl holding him up.


And that's when it hit her.

That girl with the spiky hair gave it back to the girl with dyed hair.

The crowbar. She had it again.


Chase couldn't help but get worried again. Heck, worried? She knew what her having the crowbar meant. She saw everything. Every little thing on the beach. And just how that girl had attacked Marty just so he would stay silent. Chase had to admit, she did agree with her on some levels, but hurting Marty in a way that could kill him wasn't the way to go. They could have easily talked it over or something. And yet, she hurt Marty. He could die this way if they weren't careful.

Spiky-Head went on to ask for it back, after telling Ben not to follow Rachel. Now, Chase remembered her little rant about her gun and how they all lost their chance. So, either way, either one of them having it meant they were screwed. Either way, some potentially dangerous would have it.

And that's when it hit her.

"Hey... uh... girl with the pinkish hair? I... I c-could hold on to it for you and uh... Spiky-Head! Yeah! I could keep it on me for you t-two and then... uh... I'm n-not a player, trust me", she said.

When My Fist Clenches, Crack It Open
((LIVE AILEEN LIIIIIIIIVE))

Aaron immediately thrust the book right in her face, expressing his thoughts.

He had made the observation that there was no electricity on the island, even though the cameras were working just fine. So, there was a way the cameras were working, and not everything else here. So he wanted to figure out how they got the cameras working right now? A conundrum, indeed. Aileen had never really considered that, to be honest. She did know that it was being broadcasted all over the world, that various people were watching all of this. Whenever she thought about how it was being broadcasted, she would curl her lip in disgust at the thought of people laughing at everyone dying like it was no big deal, or worry about her mother, who was most likely watching her right now and freaking out.

So... no electricity. That actually was a good point. So that meant that they had to look into the power source of the cameras for now? Aileen pressed her mind for any potential power sources that could be used on the island, but to no avail. Seriously... no electricity elsewhere, couldn't be solar, obviously not battery run... damn, what could it be?

As the book disappeared from her view, her thoughts were interrupted when she heard... shouting? Was that it? Someone was yelling if anyone was here.

Oh great, another person they had to deal with. Another potential psycho, another person who might just wander in with no problems and bug everyone, only to leave when someone- most likely a certain bespectacled redheaded female- would yell at them. Aileen clenched her fist. God fucking damn it to hell! Were they some sort of magnet for random people to run up and say hi, only to leave when someone said "Fuck off"? Sure, Aileen was trying her best to cut that out, but sometimes she had to wonder.

Luckily, once more someone spoke up before she could say something inappropriate. Namely, Aaron. He was telling the person that they were armed but not planning on attacking anyone.

She could vaguely see the speaker from where she was standing. The guy in question didn't look like he had been planning to go on a school camping trip when he packed his clothes, much less running around on a deserted island filled with psychopaths. It looked more like he was planning to go to a fancy dinner party or something just before he got abducted or something. Seriously, this scene was more than a little absurd, even just for that little element.

Oh, and to make things more absurd?

Another guy stepped in, acting like the individual in the fancypants had followed him. This guy, though was different. Tall and athletic looking. And on closer inspection, he had a gun. Oh shit. Tall, athletic guy with a gun. They were fucked if he decided that they looked like things good for target practice or excellent punching bags. He didn't seem to like the other guy, even asking for Aaron to shoot him. Presumably, that was a joke. At least, that was what she hoped. Or rather, prayed to god that it was a silly joke.

And, Aileen spoke once more without thinking.

"And who... who are you two?" she asked, an odd, confused look on her face.

Really. Really. What was going on here, and what was about to happen? She didn't even know anymore.

Away
I'm not going on my trip after all. There's a storm at our destination. False alarm. D:

OFFICIAL SOTF CHATROOM
We got a new one a while back because Chatzy was being mean.

It is here.

Wind in the Willow
Rachel proceeded to ramble on about escaping and saving people and defending herself. Wait, so she knew a way off? Rachel Gettys, the meaniehead religious freak, knew how to escape?

... Nope. Apparently "leaving the island" translates to "going to Heaven".

As Rachel rambled on, Chase couldn't help but silently make the sign of the cross over her chest. If she was God, she would be having a conniption fit over this, right now. Seriously. By the sound of things, she had been going around preaching to people and killing them if they didn't listen to her. Go figure.

To make matters worse, Ben let Alex tag along apparently. He let Rasputin, someone who she had personally witnessed eviscerating someone with a chainsaw, come follow them. He said that he made him lose it, but that still didn't mean that he wasn't going to find another way to kill someone. He could steal a weapon or something. Heck, he looked like the type to able to break someone's neck with his bare hands, tiny little girls especially.

Oh, and to add a cherry to this oh-so-charming sundae?

Ben didn't realize what the hell Rachel was talking about. He thought that she genuinely had an escape plan, like SADD or whatever was that thing that Jon had told her about once. She didn't. She meant "saving them from their horrible, sin-filled lives". She didn't flat out say it, but the subtext, that little implication, was there. But what if Rachel had something planned to them to genuinely escape? Well, better safe than sorry, right?

Better safe than...

Chase put both hands to her face, and started trembling again. Oh god, she was screwed, wasn't she? Screwed screwed screwed to hell and back. It didn't help that she was still tired and hungry, as well.

Well, thankfully, Retro-Guy and Spiky-Head were taking care of things. Retro-Guy said that they already had an escape plan in mind, and Spiky-Head started telling them to take Marty downstream and wake him up. As she moved her hands away, she saw her pull out a piece of bread. Bread... oh god. Even though it looked stale, to Chase it looked like a medieval feast. Her mouth started to water at the very sight of it. It had indeed been a while since she had eaten, and for a few seconds her stomach started to lightly growl, as if in anticipation of the bread. It was Marty's though, apparently, which meant she couldn't have it.

Everyone was in agreement that they do the water thing, though, even if only in an attempt to get away from Rachel. Spiky-Head started to give instructions to Ben, telling him that he should go with them and make sure nothing happens. Looking closely, Chase noticed she was gesturing towards Rachael, as if trying to tell him that she was out of her gourd.

As dyed hair girl started to approach Marty, Chase stepped forward. "Uh... here. Lemme help you get him."

With that, she attempted to lift Marty up. Oh god, he was heavy! Sure, he wasn't as big as some of the other boys at Bayview, but he was still bigger than her, like most of the people she knew. Combined with the bag still on her shoulder, and needless to say, things were difficult. After a bit of fumbling, she could at least get him off the ground by hoisting his arm over her shoulders, allowing her to carry his weight a little easier. Even with that, though, she was going to need help, as she was probably going to drop him or literally drag him around, which was in no way going to help his condition. Hopefully dyed hair girl wasn't just going to leave her to carrying him around like this.

It was funny, wasn't it? Even with all the insanity around them, even as Chase thought they were maniacs, they were working together to not be killed by Rachel and to make sure Marty was alright. This was a major change compared to the beach, obviously. And of course, she simply wasn't crying and freaking out as much, and was actually doing something for once.

((GMing approved, by the way))

Away
I might make a disappearance next Friday. My mom and I are going up to visit my relatives, and I'm not sure how long I'll be there or how much access to the Internet I'll have. I'll give you guys an update once I get more information.

Too Late
Cisco, that asshole, was at his mercy. He can just stab him in the throat and be done with it. It was so simple. Cisco could just die for all he cared. Simple, simple. Remy knew he could stab this douchey attention whore in the throat and go about his way. What could stop him? Nothing. Katelyn would be pleased, right?

Well, something grabbed his arm.

Josée, of all people, was the one to tell him not to kill fucking Cisco Vasquez. Fucking Cisco, who had just killed one of their buddies. He couldn't believe it. Josée was always the one who always told him to man up. And yet she was stopping him.

And then Cisco, at her request, starting going on about doing "Death's bidding". Oh good, he was delusional. That made things so much better. Or was that someone named "Joe"? He mentioned both. Either way, oh yeah, that was definitely a good sign.

But at least he had no clue he killed her. Or at least, so he claimed. Remy really had no clue. Again, he seemed delusional and thought that he was off doing Death's work or something.

Josée yelled at him some more, calling him an idiot for tackling Cisco. Well, he was reacting to Katelyn's death, what else was he supposed to do? Just sit and cry in the corner? He had done enough of that already. Heck, he wasn't going to avenge Reika's death either if he did that. Kris was still out there, doing god knows what. Probably laughing about how he shot her and killing more people with a smile on his face. And Remy knew he must be the one to stop him. Add in the fact that someone threw something at someone who had been traveling with them that instantly killed her, and really, what was he supposed to do?

Josée seemed to think Cisco was a victim, that someone- an actual, physical person- had been manipulating him and using him to his advantage. Well, was there? He did mention that he was doing someone's bidding, but he said that fucking Death was his boss or whatever.

He reluctantly let his sister drag him off Cisco, looking for all the world like a grumpy child being dragged away by a frustrated parent.

And if they needed more proof Cisco was off his rocker...

"Oh God...she's taking it! She's taking my music!" Cisco yelled, coming close to tears.

Remy looked back at Josée, wondering if she was doing something that was upsetting him. She still had a grip on his arm, and wasn't taking any "music". In fact, there wasn't any music in sight. Seriously, the hell? This was infinite proof that he was out of his mind. Hopefully after this Josée would stop the "Oh the poor little murderer" act. After all, he was crying and carrying on about music in the middle of the woods. That also was such a good sign. A guy who thought he worked for Death and thought someone was going to take his music. A great sign of a sane person if he ever saw one.

Looking back at the crying person on the ground, he asked "Cisco... what the HELL are you talking about?"

When My Fist Clenches, Crack It Open
((Aileen Borden continued from Where Do You Go From Here?))

Oh god, ow.

Why did she think it was a good idea to go on the trip in Mary Janes? Seriously. True, she always wore those shoes, but she didn't think to bring any other ones for the trip. And now they were hurting her feet like hot irons because she didn't expect to be sent off to a deserted island where she had to kill her classmates. What's worse was, she couldn't take them off because there were probably all sorts of things that could hurt her feet much more worse, knowing the woods and the students and the insects and the possible traps and the-

Okay, she wasn't going to whine on about this like some preppy Beverly Hills girl. If she wore something that couldn't work with walking around in the woods, it was her own damn fault, seriously. At least it could be worse, like high heels? At least her shoes were mostly flat...

In any case, where the hell was Aaron? As always, he ran ahead, off doing whatever. Really, he needed to just fucking stop with his habit of running ahead of the group and then pausing, hoping that everyone would catch up with him. That's how people got lost, because they didn't stick with everyone else. And if they lost any more of the group... god, Aileen didn't know what to do. Enough people had died, she just wanted to go home. Aileen vowed that if she ever got home, the first thing she was going to do was curl up in a blanket, drink nice hot tea and go on the world's most extreme nap. No coming home parties, no tearful speeches, just sleeping, pure uninterrupted sleeping.

Really, was that so much to ask for?

Oh look, there was Aaron and Lily. They were safe again. But where was Richard? Hopefully he was having fun pretending to be Jackie Chan or something again and wasn't lost. At best, he was right behind them, yelling about getting rid of the psychos on the island with his ninja powers or something.

Another "running gag" of Aaron's that she had noticed was that whenever he did run ahead of the group as usual, they would catch up to him, only to see that he was jotting something down in his notebook. And oh look right now was no exception. He was writing in it. Smiling while writing, at that.

Now what? Aileen had no clue.

She gently placed her things on the ground, and stared at the two.

Really. On one hand, she didn't "get" any of them that well, Richard and Aaron especially. Aileen was never a people person to begin with, so she wouldn't get what made people run ahead of the group like this or pretend to be a ninja while people around them were fucking dying. On the other, she still felt that protectiveness towards them, and if they died...

"Well?" she said in a low voice.

November Mid-Monthly Rolls - with bonus fluff!
Poor Carol only wanted to be with her friend. D:

Thank You For Being A Friend
Suddenly, Carol felt a pressure on her back, forcing her stomach-first to the ground. Oh hell, what was happening now? What was going on? Did someone tackle her from behind or something? Did someone throw something at her? No, they tackled her and pushed her to the ground.

Carol struggled under the weight on her back, hoping to push it off. But, it was no use. She couldn't just push it off. The weight remained despite her protests.

Something slid under Carol's neck. She didn't have enough time to ponder what it was before it had wrapped around her neck and tightened.

Oh god, get it off get it off!

Carol's hands reached up to pry it away, but it was so tight... she could vaguely tell it was a chain or something like that. Oh jesus, she was being attacked and she couldn't fight it off. She couldn't scream for help or yell at them to stop. Her lips opened and closed like a fish, both in the struggle to say something and for air.

This was it, right?

No, this wasn't it! She was going to escape with everyone! She was going to be saved! Reiko would be with her! So would Ben, Jacob, Sarah, Kari, Rein, and everyone else!

The chain roughly rubbed against her neck and only got tighter with each second. It felt so cold and tight... her hands only trembled further as she attempted to pry it away. She couldn't. She couldn't pry it away.

Reiko. Was she doing this to her?

She couldn't be.

In spite of threatening her, she wouldn't do such a thing to her, right? She didn't really mean it. She probably meant something else, or just said that out of frustration. And Carol ran away like some coward. Yes, she was a coward. She ran away from Simon and their attacker, as well. She ran away from what was left of Hermione. This entire time she had been running away from her friends whenever something bad happened. And look how that ended up. Simon was dead, and she was being strangled.

She wanted to apologize to everyone. Simon, Reiko, Hermione, Rizzo... everyone.

The air was quickly leaving her throat, and Carol's struggles toned down, her hands falling away from her neck.

Her vision faded...

Suddenly, she was standing. She looked down at the ground, seeing a tomboy-ish looking girl being strangled with a chain and small yet dexterous hands. Was this... her? Was she standing outside her body? Was she dead? The girl's body was barely moving.

Carol felt herself being pulled away from the scene, the scenario seemingly disappearing down a dark tunnel until she couldn't see it anymore.

She looked around where she was now. And suddenly, she smiled.

Her friends! Everyone who had died, they were here! Wherever she was, she wasn't alone.

With the smile still on her face, she ran over to join them.

__________________

Elsewhere, in Nevada, she wasn't forgotten.

Mrs. Burke had tearfully called back home once the news of her daughter's whereabouts had surfaced. And needless to say, her friends hadn't been doing so well for the past few days. Every time the three remaining of the group of friends hung out recently, it was quiet, as if death itself was in the room. Alan, usually the energetic jokester type, was for once silent. All Whitney wanted to do was sleep, and it was hard just visiting or even just talking to her only to see how devastated she looked. Jake, however, was the only one who had bothered to look through what had been aired so far. And often, he wished he hadn't. Aside from all the myriad deaths and violence that he would see, occasionally he would find what he was looking for; his childhood friend Carol Burke in danger. The very first clip he had seen was the one where she had woken up on the beach and had a panic attack, only to be surrounded by students with guns. It was a good thing they turned out to be helpful. The next he had seen was one where she was crying, and soon another classmate had approached, only to commit suicide in front of her.

The clip of her that surfaced the day after that, though, had her pointing a gun at two people to protect her friend. He noticed that the girl she had been defending, Reiko Ishida, was currently one of the top killers on the island. He could remember Carol talking about her before. She often told everyone about who she met back in Minnesota, and what kind of things she would do with them. The two kids had run off, but they soon ran into another attacker (apparently his name was Maxwell or something?). He had tried to shoot them all, but one of the people Carol had met on the beach tried to fend him off while she and Reiko ran, only to get shot to death.

To be honest, Jake didn't want to view any more of this. Carol was in serious danger, and he couldn't do anything about it. All the death... the violence... it made him sick. Just the other day, he had snapped at one of his classmates who had been wearing a Survival of the Fittest T-shirt, as if nothing had happened. They didn't realize who these people were, who Carol was. Carol wasn't just some image on the screen, she was a good person who was in a horrible situation. They didn't know how much she meant to other people, and who would miss her.

But, he had to keep going and watching. Only because he wanted to make sure Carol made it out safely. If there was any way he could save her, he would. He'd give up anything to make sure she made it out alright.

So now, despite his wishes, he went to watch what was in store today. On the TV screen, Carol and Reiko were sitting down, talking... Reiko was doing jumping jacks... suddenly, Carol went to investigate something and accidentally set her gun off. Reiko pointed her gun at a guy who had been shot by the bullet, and fired.

He stared unblinking in horror as Carol and Reiko proceeded to have an argument. Carol wanted to leave, to be rescued and escape. Reiko didn't think this was possible. Carol had went over to her bags, and...

Right behind her, Reiko was holding a long chain. He knew what was coming next, but he didn't want to admit it.

Carol was knocked to the ground, the chain wrapping around her neck. He saw her struggling, trying to get Reiko off her. Her eyes bulged in shock and confusion. After a few seconds, her body stopped moving, and he could see her still face, her eyes losing the spark he always remembered her having.

With fumbling hands, he quickly shut the damn thing off.

That was it, then. Carol was never coming home. She was never coming on IM and talking to them. She was never going to visit them after graduation like she had wanted. She was never going to grow up and become a chef like she had planned. She was never going to live a long life. All those things had been taken from her, all because someone she once called a friend decided that it was time to take her away. No, because some terrorist wanted to send out a "message".

He could remember Carol. She, Jake, Whitney, and Alan had first met in elementary. Carol was always the cheerful energetic one, always believing in doing the right thing. They played together often, often card or video games. She and Whitney were particularly fond of them. They would often hang out together, and come over to each others' houses. Once Carol got an interest in cooking, she would often cook for them. Jake in particular was never good with that sort of thing, and to make matters worse, his parents often had to go out of town, leaving him to make his own dinner. Carol usually came over with some kind of food or another whenever this happened. He never asked for it to happen, it just did whenever Carol knew about it. And when it came time for her to leave, it was truly upsetting. Carol promised to come home once she graduated.

The last conversation they had with her over IM was fairly simple. Her telling them that she was going to be on the trip, Jake reminding her to be careful, she saying it was going to be fine, Alan cracking jokes, Whitney being the one voice of reason. Carol had said goodnight, and went to bed.

She never returned from that trip.

He had a phone call to make. He hated to be the one who broke the news, but he had to. He took out his cellphone, and started to call Whitney's number.

"Hello?" the girl's voice asked.

Oh god, how would he tell her? Her and Alan?

"... She's gone."

A silence. Then after a few seconds, she hung up.

Taking the phone away from his ear, he set it down beside him. Suddenly, he buried his head in his hands, sobbing.


A good soul had been claimed too early.

G015 Carol Burke- ELIMINATED

Thank You For Being A Friend
"Carol... Things... things aren't going to work the way you want them to. No-one's coming to save us. Even if they did, I'm not coming home with you. They'll shoot me on sight. I've... I've done horrible things on this island."

No, that was... that was bullshit! Someone was going to save them! They were going to escape and get out of here!

"You heard right? On the announcements. About Cyrille and Sally and what's his name and Raina? They all died because of me. Their blood is on my hands. I, I fought for my life, and I came out on top. That's what it's all about right? Survival of the Fittest. It's the name of the game. The strong survive and the weak die. And I'm not... I can't be weak."

Reiko... seriously believed this.

She seriously believed that if she wanted to live, she had to kill people.

This wasn't right.

Everything was going to be okay, right?

Any minute now the army will come in and do something, or one of her classmates would figure something out. And... and...

No. This stuff cannot seriously be coming out of her mouth.

"I've always been strong. Ever since I was a kid, everyone counted me out. 'Oh look at Reiko, she's so small, she'll never be good at skating. There goes Reiko, she'll never get a boyfriend with that face.' On and on and on and on. They didn't think I heard them whispering but I did. I used those taunts, and they fueled me. I vowed that I would show everyone that I was better than them, and guess what? I did. Every single little prissy bitch, bitches like Sally Connelly, I proved to them that I was superior. This is no different."

No.

Why did she seriously believe this? It wasn't true. There was no need to prove to herself that she was "the fittest". That was what that guy thought was good! He was just some terrorist, sitting back and laughing about people getting killed! Those people weren't just nameless faces! She was only proving that to him, and not to anyone else!

She sat in stunned silence.

What was she supposed to do? What now? Reiko seriously, genuinely believed all this. What was there to do? Here Reiko was, telling not only Carol but herself lies. She was so wrapped up in the "kill or be killed" mentality that she didn't understand that escape was most likely possible and that she didn't have to defend herself so much.

She was delusional.

No, she couldn't describe Reiko as that.

The world wasn't as bad as Reiko made it out to be. Simon, Kari, and Rein... they didn't attack Carol on sight. Hermione and Rizzo didn't, either. Even when there was bad people there were good people, right? There wasn't a reason to let this sort of thing happen...


"Look, Carol. You have to ask yourself. Do you want to die?" Reiko continued.

Her eyes widened.

Was that a veiled threat?

But, she couldn't do that to her friend! Friends were supposed to protect each other and make sure they were safe and be nice to each other and work as a team! If anything they were supposed to at least stick around each other to make sure nobody attacks them! They shouldn't threaten each other! That wasn't right! It wasn't going to get anything done!

Carol said nothing, reaching for her gun still lying on the ground, and lifting herself to her feet. It would seem that even after that harsh lesson, she still wasn't paying attention to where she was pointing it, because for a few seconds it was pointed in Reiko's direction as she fumbled with it. She stared at the smaller girl for a few more seconds before finally speaking.

"You know, you're not as strong as you think you are. Sometimes you need help."

She turned, heading towards the direction of where they had been sitting previously.

"I'm... I'm just going to get our things and head on out."

And within a few seconds, she had arrived at where the bags laid, still waiting for them after all that. Carol stopped and stared at the one labelled "B072- SIMON GREY". She could remember him asking that they took it and Reiko grabbing it in the commotion. He... he trusted them, trusted them with his life. There was a reason why he said he was going to hold the attacker off. He thought that they were worth fighting for.

But, this wasn't what he would have wanted, was it?

The thing that hurt Carol the most, though, was the fact that even though she wouldn't admit it, Reiko was hurting. She seriously thought that she had to compete to live by killing everyone. She kind of bought into the game without realizing it. What she didn't know was such thoughts were hurting everyone which included herself.

Carol wasn't a stranger to feeling pressured and alone, to be honest. When she first got the news that she was moving all the way to Minnesota because of her parents' jobs she was a wreck. She remembered feeling homesick a lot once she actually made it there, and often worried that people were going to bully the new kid. And the fact that she had left everything she grew up with in her home town- her friends, extended family, her favorite hangouts. But, she made it out fine. However, she didn't make it alone. She had her friends back home, she had her family, and she, most importantly, made friends with Amber, Paige, Ben, Jacob, and yes, Reiko.

Reiko wasn't the only one who felt pressured and alone. Everyone felt alone, didn't they? It's just that doing this sort of thing hurt everyone, not only the people she killed- the person's loved ones, Reiko's loved ones, and Reiko herself. This wasn't a good way to do things. There had to be a solution, right?

And suddenly, Carol didn't want to leave Reiko.

Maybe they could actually indeed find everyone who would help them. Maybe they could find Rein and Kari. Maybe they could find Jacob, Ben, and Sarah. Maybe they would be like Simon; at first suspicious of her but still help her. Maybe they could actually find a way out.

Perhaps Carol could just simply follow her, not alerting her of her presence, but sneaking right behind jumping in whenever she got into trouble again. She didn't want to lose Reiko so soon after finding her, did she? Did she?

Placing the gun onto the ground again, she reached for the bag, her fingers slipping from the straps each time due to her shaking hands. Her face and eyes were still red from crying, and her features were streaked with tears.

She didn't know what to make of her life anymore. Carol just wished this sorted itself out.

Thank You For Being A Friend
"It had to be done. He was going to die anyways, just like the rest of us. Saving his life would have been futile. He would have just been a burden."

No... he couldn't have just died on them.

He had a future, didn't he? And friends. Everyone had someone who they cared about and who cared about them, right? She wasn't sure who Rizzo was friends with, but someone out there was looking for him, wondering where he was, crying for him. She was sure he had a family and friends. He had to.

And Reiko... Reiko didn't seem to believe that things were going to be okay. That Rizzo was only a burden. That they were all going to die. That it was necessary. But... they could have patched him up, they could have just stopped the blood flow, they could have just tended to him until they were rescued...

It was her fault. She was such a clumsy idiot with the gun that she had no idea what she was doing. And now Reiko thought he had to be put down. If she had just been more careful, this wouldn't have happened. Rizzo could have lived. Heck, Carol might have gotten to know him better and they could've become friends, and he could've helped them get out of here. He was just minding his own business, he didn't need to be shot by a clumsy idiot and then mercy-killed by said clumsy idiot's friend.

It wasn't fair.

She just wanted to go home. Meet her Nevadan friends again. Go to college. Become a chef like she always dreamed. Maybe start a family.

She had a life ahead of her. Every one of her classmates had a life ahead of them. It was being taken away by-

No. She shouldn't think like that. It was horrible. She wasn't going to die here.

"Reiko..." she gasped between sobs. "It's... it's not hopeless."

She lifted her hands away and stared up at her friend.

"We're NOT going to die here. We're going to be saved by the military, they know things. Everyone who died... Paige? Reika? Amber? Simon? They're not going to die in vain. That guy... he can't get away with this a fourth time. They have a bunch of information right now, right in the Whitehouse. Plus, there has to be a loophole somewhere, right? He seemed pretty confident.... and..."

She took a deep breath and more emotions and more tears began flowing.

"We're going to make it. Not everyone is going to die here. Reiko, we can find Jacob, Ben, and Sarah, and we can escape. Never look back. It's what I want. Reiko, it's not hopeless."

A few more choked sobs.

"You don't have to fight anymore. I know what happened with those people, I heard on the announcement. But you know what? You know what? I trust you. I did wonder at times whether or not you did it on purpose to be honest. But, this entire time... this entire time..."

She couldn't get the words out again. After another deep breath, she got them out.

"... I thought you were still good, deep down. You're my friend, right? I could never see you doing those things on purpose. But, you don't have to fight anymore. I made a promise to myself to keep you safe. You just have to trust me."

Carol continued staring up at her friend, who was still holding the gun she had only a minute ago shot Rizzo with.

"You can do that, right? Promise me we'll make it. Please? Both of us will make it, and so will Sarah, Jacob, and Ben if we just find them. You just have to have hope..."

Hope.

Hope was what was going to keep them alive.

Even after everything she went through- woke up on a beach with a gun, heard about the deaths of her friends, watched someone commit suicide, had to scare off someone who was threatening to blow up a friend, ran away from an attacker who seemingly killed her new friend, and accidentally shot someone so they had to be put down- she still had hope. Not as much as she did back at Bayview. But hope was still there.

She was going to make it. They were going to make it.

Her and Reiko.

All they needed was to trust each other.