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Tears in the Rain
He just looked at her and shrugged and that smile again.

Mara was nearly angry. She might have been angry again if it hadn't all been drained out of her recently. Her head was clear again, like it had been before Katarina killed Finn. She stared at him and searched, looking for anything to add to that gesture.

Same dark brown teddy bear eyes full of amber warmth. He was looking at her with care. He didn't want to hurt her.

This was in direct conflict to everything she had heard about him from the announcements and from Maddie and anyone else she'd encountered who mentioned him. No crazed blood-lust. He wasn't crazy. In her search Mara didn't find mania in his face. What had happened? How did this all happen to someone who, it appeared, wasn't insane?

Moreover, how could after everything that happened could he sit there and not be some kind of savage animal? People had attacked her just out of the assumption that she was unreasonable and would kill them. Did that happen here too? Was he just less good at evading those people than she was?

She realized she had been staring at him and thinking all of these things, trying to decode the mystery that led him there and her heart sank. It dropped past her stomach and straight to China.

Oh no

She felt panic grip her. She cared. This would either be Finn and Summer and Miranda all over again or she would be dead. She had committed the fatal mistake of caring. After a moment, she resigned herself. There was nothing she could do, no way to un-feel something.

"This makes saints into sinner and sinners into demons, right Jesus boy?" she said with a harsh laugh. It was nice not to be alone, even if it was just for a minute. Maybe it was as important to be there for others as to have them there for you. She wished she'd spent more time with her friends that were gone. They were the only thing she really missed from home, she realized.

She moved in, looking at her hands.

"We're going to hurt each other," she said quietly, matter-of-fact.

Mara brought her head up a fraction and brushed her lips against his in light osculation, no application of pressure.

"Don't go easy on me, Heehaw. If I lose I want to know it's because the winner wanted it more."

As soon as the sentence had ended she was up and sprinted to her bag. Mara tossed a white med kit behind her shoulder at him and took off into the overgrown foliage of the park.

((continued in Endgame))

V5 Final Four/Endgame Discussion Thread
Thank you from me as well to anyone who has congratulated myself or the other endgame participants.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I will try as best I can to put in good work at the end here. If you've said something encouraging or kind or congratulatory you have my sincere gratitude.

Tears in the Rain
She had the sudden sensation of her body turning to jello from fear. Her face flushed pink and her eye lashes fluttered quickly just as he pulled her in closer. She was a puzzle piece fitted into the crook of his body. His fingers squeezed and his head rested just above her shoulder. Mara looked down at the grass.

I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid of him. I'm not afraid of anything. I'm not going to die afraid.

"Nuh guh-honna hurt..." she heard near her ear.

And he let her go.

Mara scrambled to get herself turned around to face him. She stopped on hands and knees, holding onto the dirt like she was afraid if she let go she'd fall up into the sky. She gawked at him when he smiled. This was perhaps one of the only times in her life she was at a loss for words. Her eyes slid over, realizing now without the mist of insanity that he had killed Katarina.

"I....wh-....what kind of muffins do you like?" she blurted out.

She shook her head violently and she resolved to try again.

"No. I mean.....I'm sorry....your head. No...."

She frowned at him through her nerves and confusion and advanced. She crawled forward, closing the real estate he'd put between them.

"I'm not afraid of you," she growled insistently. "Why don't you just try to kill me like a normal person?" she said, half baffled and half exasperated.

Tears in the Rain
She couldn't stop. Mara continued to abuse the corpse who of course couldn't feel anything, going full force on a speeding train that she had no idea how to get off of. She had no desire to get off of. Perhaps she might have kept going indefinitely until Katarina was scraps of bloody skin and hair.

Her throat was starting to get raw and her bandages were coming undone. The blood in her ears rushed to a fuzzy, blasting white noise that covered all other sound in static.

"You worthless stupid-"

And then someone hit the brakes.

Arms wrapped around her tiny body. Feeling like a God who destroys buildings under her thumb and toting around guns half her size had made her forget how small she actually was. Judging by the size of the arms the person could snap her in half with ease.

Moving backwards suddenly was disorienting. Her first thought that someone had yanked her backwards and her throat was about to be slit, but she opened her eyes and found herself unharmed. She was being hugged.

"What's happening?" she murmured, dazed.

She was pulled back off her knees and landed safely against someone's chest with her arms pinned to her sides.

There was the sudden awareness that she was breathing very heavily from her assault on Katarina.

Is it another dream? I've finally done it. I've gone totally crazy. That's the end.

Mara angled her body and tilted her head up to get a look at her human straight jacket. She became aware of the sound of nature again. Birds, wind, leaves.

"You" she gasped.

This did not help to decipher if it was real or not. More than that she was shocked by his appearance; he looked terrible. He was a gruesome mess. Her body went slack and she leaned backwards, resting her head against his shoulder.

Her left hand moved, lifted up a small corner of his shirt and felt skin against her fingers. The texture was unmistakably real. She was currently being enveloped by the deadliest killer on the island.

Her eyes went wide.

"Oh fuck," she whispered.

Tears in the Rain
((Amaranta Montalvo continued from Dominoes ))

Mara stood stock still. She'd ran again, her former most hated thing back when most hated things were inconveniences at worst.

She had heard the sounds of conflict and was drawn here by her insatiable wrath. She arrived just in time to see globs of dark shining blood running down the front of the girl she burned with hatred for. The scene was unmistakably familiar. The second body fell on top of the defeated just like she fell on Summer, but it was obvious there was no affection here. There was no final sweet goodbye or kiss on the cheek.

Overwhelmed by the sight, she walked forward as if bidden by the yank of an invisible chain around her neck. She was keenly aware of only two things: the dead body of Katarina on the ground before her and the weight of the metal collar. Everything else didn't register. She floated, not paying attention to her own footsteps.

There was no control. It had her and had bided its time until now, building. Now was the time to overflow. It cascaded out.

"I hate you," she hissed.

She kicked the unmoving girl.

"FUCK YOU."

Kick.

"FUCK YOU, YOU RAGGEDY ANN-LOOKNG MOTHERFUCKER," she screeched as she kicked her again, watching the body absorb the blow.

"Do you know what YOU PUT ME THROUGH, YOU VACUOUS CUNT? You…" she said as she drove her heel into her hand.

After a few more kicks Mara dropped to her knees and closed her eyes tightly, feeling tears of supreme anger start to rise up.

"You trash! YOU WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE."

She punched and shook the unresponsive girl. Panting, her nails dug into the flesh.

"Every moment of my life is worse than the last," she said flatly. "But you…you made me crawl through glass."

Her dark hair hung limply on both sides of her face. Her eyes were half lidded, besotted and her breathing was shallow.

Ask a Mod
I wear boxers to bed that I steal from guys. During the day I wear metal underpants to go with my suit of armor

Ask a Mod
NotAFlyingToy
Oct 29 2014, 09:27 AM
Question: Boxers or briefs?

Legit Question: What sort of protocols are in place to stop plagiarism, and what can the community expect the Staff team's response to be?
We have a plagiarism cyborg.


As far as plagiarism in posts, we're human-like creatures. If we notice it in posts then it gets addressed. This actually happened in v4. Someone was caught plagiarizing a popular author in posts. Not wanting to shame the person, a public warning was put out to deter plagiarism citing that we'd seen someone doing it. The person took that to heart and stopped.

Had they continued we would have started discussing punishment.


We've had some plagiarism profiles in the past. First one is tossed and the person is given a warning. We've not had repeat offenders, but it would probably be met with a ban.

Dominoes
She ran.

"Good," she said to herself.

Mara sat down in the dirt with her back against the wall. The fire was beginning to consume the building. Madeline has asked about the incident with Hansel and she responded with the truth; she didn't know. She had thought about it before, but not with much depth. He existed, but almost in a separate world. Most everyone was like that. She was aware of them existing having gone to school with them all for a number of years, but ones that didn't affect her directly or that she didn't see felt a bit less real.

In truth, she had no idea what Hansel was like. Maybe he wouldn't be so generous now and Madeline had given her a valuable warning. What did she remember about him? Any information about a deadly fellow finalist would be priceless information. Any insight into whoever was left could be life saving, especially someone with such a high body count.

Mara leaned with her head against the wall, throat exposed and eyes closed towards the sky which was being invaded with smoke.




Her first memory was gazing from the closet shutters, in regular life the image would hold the echo of a voyeur. It was dark; ironic for a lighthouse. The darkness tinted her memories a fuzzy purple with the faint light of the moon coming in through the windows.

She came out and got a clearer look. He looked surprised, muttered "Jesus" and put a hand up to his heart. In deep, resonating tones he told her that there was a lot of things to be afraid of, but he wasn't one of them. Maybe it was a lie to try and lower her guard. He wasn't relaxed or cunning looking, rather he looked tense and formal. Was it to distance himself from her? She took his hand. His calloused, crooked fingers were mismatched in hers, but they were warm. It was the last time she would feel that kind of warmth. Her hand in his left hand and a gun in his right.

He didn't trust her? So, he wasn't stupid after all. Dark brown eyes like hers. They reminded her of teddy bear eyes.

What else? What else....

She reached up and put a hand around his thick neck, brushing past scratchy curls at the nape. After pushing herself up onto tip-toes she had him on her lips for a moment. A second of shock passed. She felt a blush radiate from him onto her at the close distance. He slid his baseball mitt hand down to the small of her back, holding her possessively with fingers digging into her lightly.

"It was for real," she said as her brow un-furrowed and her shoulders sank down.

Her fingers felt light, like the blood had been drained from them. He pulled away for a moment. A bit of embarrassment registered as she remembered unbuttoning her shirt and pulling him back. Her chest was tight enough against his to feel his racing heart. His collar was in her hand, her hand before it was cut up. They moved together, touching and sighing. This was where the snow globe came in.

Wasn't it?

In the movie reel in her mind there was no snow globe. Her fingers hooked into the waist of his jeans. She couldn't stop smiling. Token hesitation on his part for an instant. A good Christian boy.

Such a good boy.

They hit the floor. There was a pleasant symmetry as they both worked at undoing buttons on the other. Skin on skin, a bashful grin. She looked up from her work.


And saw Mike over her, bleeding everywhere with her hand jamming glass into his throat.



Mara's eyes flew open. "That's enough." The dream was over and she was returned to her horrible pit of fire and misery.


(Amaranta Monalvo continued in Tears in the Rain))

Dominoes
Mara signed heavily and walked back to her bag. She inspected the gun slung around her for a moment before looking back at Madeline. She seemed as if she were looking through Madeline. Slowly she tilted her head.

"I don't know. I don't know why," she said as she thought back. In the darkness of the lighthouse he hugged her with warm hands and warm eyes and kissed her. It couldn't be that though. It seemed unlikely that something as incredibly sappy as that would have stopped him from shooting her. Doubly so because they both knew it was a ruse and she clocked him pretty hard right after. He returned her kindness likewise by kicking her head like a soccer ball.

Instinctively she rubbed the back of her head. Her brain felt like soup. It was becoming harder for her to think and articulate. She was tired, hungry and she still didn't have her vengeance. Burning down houses was only satisfying for so long. On the back of her neck she felt the warm sting of the nearby conflagration. She didn't have the words available to explain herself to the new found stranger, and truly, she didn't feel like she wanted to explain herself.

"No, I didn't," she said lifting the gun. Briefly she wondered if the girl was even real. Had she seen this person at the airport? She wasn't sure now. A few blinks. No, she had. The girl was real. She remembered her from school. Mara wasn't that far gone yet.

"I'm done here, but I'm not turning my back on you. You've got ten seconds before I open fire. Make fucking haste. Ten...nine...eight.."

Dominoes
Mara began digging around in her bag for something else. There was a small light of recognition in her face and she looked up for a second. "The girl with the ugly fedora," she said before returning to her task. "That was redundant. All fedoras are ugly," she said absently.

Madeline continued talking while she searched. Eventually she produced a small box from her duffle and hopped down from the low wall with a gun in hand. She walked nearby to a broken fence and pulled at a barely attached board.

"Well I'm obviously not either of them," she grunted as the board yielded.

She placed the small box on the wall and opened it, removing a match.

"I'm going to choke Katarina to death with my own hands. She killed my friend and she tried to kill me. If someone's going to try to kill me they better make sure it sticks. If someone gets her before me I'll....I don't know...give them a hand job."

For the first time she looked at Madeline, seemingly remembering her presence. "....or a muffin basket," she said looking the girl up and down briefly.

With one flick the mach burst into a tiny, flickering flame. "Hansel....he let me go. He said he didn't want to hurt me and when he could have shot me, he let me go," she said quietly.

Gently she touched the tip of the match to the wood and the fire transferred and grew. She tromped up to the house with purple clouds still rolling out and flung the burning plank into the living room, watching her ardor climb up the ancient furniture.


Dominoes
A figure moved in her peripheral vision as she got the next grenade out. Mara grabbed the nearest of her two guns and pointed it at the intruder, still holding on to the explosive with her right hand.

She targeted her sharp gaze at the girl, but it was clear right away it wasn't who she was searching for. Her stare became unfocused.

"Who are you?" she said calmly with a hint of urgency.

Mara looked around. There was no one else. It was just the one girl.

"If you so much as say a threatening word or move too quickly, I'll shoot you."

She seemed unconcerned again. With her teeth, she ripped the pin from the grenade and chucked it at the smaller of the two mansions nearby. Purple smoke began billowing out of the windows. Mara bit her lip and frowned.

Dominoes
((Amaranta Montalvo continued from Get Ganked))

"That bitch, that bitch, that FUCKING BITCH," she muttered. It was all she said for the last thirty minutes. It was the broken record in her brain that played as she ran.

Mara was perched on top of of a low stone wall. Next to her was her open bag. Below her were rows of houses that the mansions area overlooked not far away.

She had been alone and it gave her nothing to distract her. She stewed in her anger until it possessed her like a demon. She allowed it.

Mara could feel her face flush and burn with anger. In her chest she felt a bitter weight.

From her bag she selected a grenade, pulled the pin and chucked it as hard as she could down at one of the houses. It sailed easily into a window and within a minute, the house became a bomb. Bright light poured from the broken windows and the decrepit structure crumbled.

The shine in her eyes was gone as she numbly felt around for another grenade. For as long as she had been on this island, for the most part she'd retained her clear thinking. There were one or two fumbles, but she knew she was present and sane for the most part. For the first time that certainty slipped, however, it didn't bother her. Who cared about being above others or holding onto standards?

The rage had her and she couldn't care less. If she was shown the way to Hell she'd gladly stroll in as long as she could drag Katarina kicking and screaming by the hair, and she would smile a lopsided smile the whole way.

Her heart sped up as her fingers crawled over the surface of the next grenade, gently making the rounds.

"I'll bury her so deep in the ground not even the worms will get to her," she murmured.

The second grenade went flying into the second house. No light this time, just a loud sound and suddenly the house was engulfed in flames. It was one of the incendiary grenades.

Her anger made her godlike on this island. The tiny frame of this girl had the power to raze buildings and reduce them to smoldering ash, but as she stonily gazed into the crackling former home, it didn't feel like it was enough.

She began searching for another grenade.

Get Ganked
"Sorry, I have no idea-"

That was enough for Mara to disengage. She stopped listening, lowered the gun slightly and began moving backwards.

No need to waste more time here, her obsession hissed.


She started thinking of Maynard of all things. A flash of him, like a jump cut appeared instead of Matt. She tilted her head to the side and thought about his plea to her, desperate for someone who understood him. She was wrapped up in her own feelings at the time and dismissed it as him trying to gain her favor, maybe hoping for a protector. Now, she started reexamining the encounter, though he was long dead. She could relate now and saw that she'd been more closed to his request. If she could go back, would she do something different? Maybe not, she wasn't a great comforter. Maybe she would feel differently though, said a token nice thing perhaps.

Mara was nearly at the door when he said something to pull her back into the present. "Finn…" she said quietly.

"He wasn't that smart. That's a dumb plan. See these?" she motioned towards her bandaged hands and her face. "I got them all from people who were trying to kill me. They're all dead now. I killed them. That should teach you something about trying to kill people just to clear them out. If I tried to get rid of every person I saw…. I know I'm not that strong or fast or good with weapons. I'd be hamburger meat by now and darling Finn is currently worm food . 'Randa tried to kill Stacey and she got killed for it."

She seemed to consider something for a moment. Mara raised the gun at Matt, scanned him, eyed the gun on the floor noticeably, but ultimately lowered it again. If she missed or he didn't die it would be over for her. She recalled how Summer was able to still be partially alive after a grenade explosion.

"Finn wasn't that smart, but we cared…about each other. I don't blame you. He made his choices and Katarina made hers."

She stepped out the still open door, stepped down onto the porch.

((Amaranta Montalvo continued in Dominoes))

Get Ganked
Whoever it was was either hit or went down to avoid the barrage. She inspected the other house from her position for a few seconds, squinting through the dust she'd kicked up with her volley of shots.

Without hesitation she ran from her building and jumped down the steps landing hard, with the gun still firmly in hand. She sprinted up the steps of the other building and kicked the door in, trigger ready as she looked into the ruined home.

Halfway into another room she saw a leg. She marched up to the figure.

"Matt" she said bluntly, confirming who the other person was to herself. She'd seen him at the pond where she'd left Finn. One would assume he wasn't too faithful of a companion given how things worked out, however he hadn't given her any trouble when she left. It gained him a few slim points in his favor, but her aim would not be denied.

"I'm looking for someone," she said in a sweet sing song voice. "And the last time I did this people hemmed and hawed and wanted to talk it out and ask if that was really what I wanted, but you saw how that ended. I am done playing games with all you fucking people so I'm going to ask this once and if I don't like your answer I'll shoot you," she said, tipping her gun up slightly. "Do you know where Katarina is?"

Get Ganked
((Amaranta Montalvo continued from Under This Killing Moon))

Mara was never a runner. She hated running and even when coaxed to the gym by others, she preferred to just walk on a tread mill next to her gym partner was. It was sweaty, exhausting work that taxed her heart and lungs and she hated the burning feeling in her chest and legs.

But now she ran. She felt unlike she had ever before. A determination possessed her and lifted her up, gave her wings. She felt like she wasn't running, but hovered just above the ground.

I'll kill Katarina. She'll be dead before the end of the day, I swear it. I'll kill her. I'll kill her...

Suddenly a noise cut into her thoughts and she stopped, gun up, eyes searching. A door closed. She turned on a dime and rushed towards the houses. Mara threw open the door to the first house with her gun ready. It was empty. Carefully she stepped inside, sweeping around with the gun, making sure no one was in a corner.

It wasn't until she looked over and saw movement in the neighboring house that her nerves sparked to life. She started shooting, riddling the window across the way with holes.


Under This Killing Moon
((Runnin' out of the DANGER ZOOONNNEEE))

A memory resurfaced while she broke down.

"I have to go now, but you better pull it together, Miranda. You have to do it for yourself because no one is going to help you. Get your self in line and tough it out. I'm not saying that to be cruel. I'm saying it because no one else will."

Her tears stopped and she swallowed hard.

Is that me? I don't recognize myself. It was the last time we spoke, but did I say that?

She closed her eyes and blinked slowly. The empty misery felt like a rock in her chest, but what other choice did she have but to keep going? If she quit now everything would be pointless.

Mara stood up straight and her arms went slack. She swung her gun up and it came to rest on her shoulder. Her breathing was shaky, but she stood solidly with her gun up on her shoulder and her other hand on her hip.

"I have to keep going. I'm going to find that bitch that shot at me and killed Finn. No one shoots at me and lives."

She walked past the two boys and stopped when she was about to pass them.

"Don't forget."

((Amaranta Montalvo continued in Get Ganked))

Under This Killing Moon
She curled into herself. Some unseen force was trying to fold her body clean in half as if she were a sheet of paper. Again, as before she swung the gun in front of her and used it for support, hunching over it.

Mara's breathing was deep and shaky as tears continued to flow freely down her face. The hollow cavity that was her stomach went inward and it made her acutely aware of how thin and tight her skin was stretched over her protruding ribs and how angular and pronounced her hip bones had become.

She couldn't stop. The pain of an entire lifetime, swallowed down until now on the orders of others so that she appeared superior, spilled out of her heart and into her veins like acid. She felt it, cold and nauseating, hugging the curves of her limbs.

Hunched over her weapon-turned-crutch, she wretched, but there was nothing to expel. She shuddered and shook like an electric toy with a short circuit and cried loudly.

Someone said her name. Her own name sounded like a word in a foreign language.

When she tried to respond only a few creaky squeaks escaped. Her legs came together for support, refusing to let her fall to her knees. She haphazardly pushed her hair back, wiped her face with the back of her hand not remembering it was completely covered in blood. It gave her a sweep of brick red color across her cheek just below her eye like war paint.

Her breathing slowed down a little. She looked at both of them with eyes overflowing with tears, but sharp and wild like a feral animal apprehensive by the appearance of humans.

"What?"