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The Cloud Minders
Stay calm, just breathe, just breathe. You can get a handle on all of this, but you have to stay-

“Hey,”

Autumn whipped around and her beam fell on the top half of face in the darkness. Realizing the speaker was of rather small stature; she adjusted and moved the light down. The small girl was awfully demanding, but Autumn decided to keep herself in check, at least for the moment.

“Well, you did say please. I’m Autumn.”

Name, check. Number, she actually didn’t know. With her foot she nudged her bag, looking for any indication of what number she might be.

“Uh, number 78 I guess.”

Last was the grand prize, million dollar question; her weapon draw. Underneath her shirt and tucked into her pants she could feel the cool, reassuring metal touch of her gun pressing against her sticky skin. There was no way she was going to let some stranger in on her secret.

“I got a book of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. I ditched it a while back. It had a note on it that said I was going to need inspiration. That idiot thinks he’s so funny. Funny, funny, funny,” she trailed off, her forced chuckle died harshly, swallowed up by the empty, noiseless caverns.

“Who are you?”

The Various Downsides of Becoming "Paranoid as Balls"
A shot rang out and the sound of impact indicated they had been aiming for Teo. Nick crouched and saw Teo whirl around and fire back. At the same time Janet had her hockey stick at the ready, telling him to move. Another voice, Gracie shouting at them and Teo telling her to stay down. Teo was going for the shooter. His eye caught the blood covering the end of the hockey stick.

She’s made the choice already. Go.

“Sorry.”

He said it and he meant it. Not entirely just a “sorry” though. It tailed off as if to say “Sorry, but….” He put one foot forward hefted his weapon back and then swung at the girl’s torso.

CHARACTER OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER '10
START THE NOM


Liam Brooks by MK Kilmarnock. Poor thing, from the betrayal in the tunnels up into Everything's Nature to Fall this boy's had a bad run but he's just so sympathetic. His writting in Fall is great, spanning a large range of emotions as he sees the girl he's always loved and then dropping down to the lowest low when he realizes his best friend was the one who did her in. Every transition feels natural and is somehow gentle. I really feel his horror and I feel for him.


Feo Eleri Smith by Fri'Chickenisha. Allllriiiggght, I know I shouldn't nom someone I've been with since the start of the game but I think she really really deserves it. She's tough, but she has those little insecurities that become clear once you look deeper into her, but those insecurities just drive her further more. Her emotion was fantastic in the scene I was in with her and she is always entertaining. She seems like a person you'd really find out in the real world and though I don't always expect the reactions she has, they always make sense. Her determination mixed in with her saddness made for a really touching read. A+.

Leila Langford by Hallucinogenic. I like strong girls, I really do. Leila's always been fun to read but I think she went the extra step this month. She started out in the tunnels with the boys where she made off with a weapon and she was a fantastic bitch. Though all the while you could feel hints of her concern for her best friend which really paid off when it came down to the beautiful death she had a hand in. It was nice to see her soft, but when she needed to straighten up and buckle down, she's capable of that too. There are a lot of different facets to her and for that reason I'm thowing her some nom love.

V4 Theme Music
Isabel Guerra
Odessa- Caribou

Nick LeMonde
(Positive) Alive With the Glory of Love- Say Anything
(Negative) There's No Penguins in Alaska - Chiodos

Ethan Kent
The House of the Rising Sun- The Animals (Of course)

Sally Connelley
Lovegame- Lady Gaga

Faraday's Cages
((Isabel Guerra continued from Day of the Dove))

Isabel marched silently along with the group as they left the green and went in search of someplace to bathe. Bathing sounded good. She was dirty, the top of her head was greasy, her curls were frizzy and she was disgusting. Her face was stiff from all of the tears.

She didn’t feel much like talking. As soon as they had left she pulled her ipod out of her bag and left it on shuffle. She couldn’t hear anything outside of her music. She made a little world for herself where she could think. It was just as well, she was sure that if Dave tried to speak to her she’d snap at him. They had walked for hours, but she didn’t mind. She actually sort of liked the exercise. Isabel began to get hungry again, but she almost didn’t even care enough to eat. She was comfortable in her walking and she felt like stopping to eat would distract from her comfortable, numb world of one foot in front of the other.

And then they stopped. Charlie yelled something and Dave ran forward. Isabel picked up her head and tugged the ear buds out of her ears. There was a girl. She looked pretty badly injured. She just stood and stared as Dave took the girl down to the river. What else could she do? Dave was the muscle and Helen had mentioned previously that she was going to a good university to be a doctor. Isabel instead trudged over to the curious things that were beside the girl. A few soda cans were on the ground. She picked one up, it felt heavy. Isabel tipped it to the side and a bit of water came out. She put it down and picked up a knife. The knife had something lumpy and strange on it. She brought it to eye level, turning and inspecting it. She turned back towards the girl in the river.

It looks like she's got quite a story.

The Various Downsides of Becoming "Paranoid as Balls"
Nick tilted his head. Jay was acting pretty strange. He was screaming and flailing around and falling over. How strange. Why did he do that?

"We're not looking to hurt anyone just yet so just give us the supplies and we can part ways. No big deal. We don't have to make this a big thing."

Teo nodded. Nick's lips set in a thin line and he advanced a few steps.

His sight was focused on the girl. Hers was the weapon with the blood on it and despite the fact that Jay had a gun, the blood was evidence of the fact that she was willing to use her weapon. He was tense and held his hunga munga at the ready, just in case.

I want to make it out, but could I really attack a girl? I told Teo to waste Clio. I wasn't going to be the one to do it. I- I don't know if I can.

The Third Announcement
Ethan Kent has met his end here

House of the Rising Sun
Rewind several minutes. Back to the office where Ethan is sitting on the floor writing and Feo is looking around the cabin.

The pencil swooped and dipped, slinking across the lined dance floor. He wasn’t sure what to say exactly but he knew that if he didn’t say something, he would just sit there looking at the page and wouldn’t say anything at all, so he said everything. Everything he could think to write. It was his good bye so he had to make it good. Most of people get watch-out-for-the-bus-what-bus SPLAT but he was privileged to get this chance and he knew it.

Feo…

His heart sped up writing the name. Keep going. You have to do it now, there’s no more time. No more time to be uncertain.

Since you’re reading this I’m going to assume Danya’s taken the liberty of relieving my head from my body. That’s cool, I was getting bored of this place anyway.

A pause in his pencil’s movement. He was actually getting a little choked up. There’s no time for that either. Just keep writing.

I took out the cameras in the office. Those other two pieces of paper I left you are instructions on how to get the computer running without electricity.

If you follow the instructions you should be able to get into the computer for a limited amount of time. This is a ranger station, so there has to be weather reports, maps, anything that has our location. Look for coordinates or a name of the island. Once you’ve got that, get out of here. This place is likely to become a danger zone in the morning since I expect they’d like to repair the damage I’ve done to the surveillance in this area. When you’ve got the location, try to sneak it into the broadcast somehow. I’m sure the government is monitoring these tapes for anything they could use to find us but I also know this thing has fanboys and when fanboys like something they will tear it limb from limb looking for hidden stuff. Yeah, I spent my last hour planning how to make electricity, I’m a nerd.


You’ve left something out. Go on.

If on the off chance that this works out and you make it home, do you think you could find my sisters and tell them that I thought about them and y’know, that they are some kickass ladies that I owe them a lot?

And?

He bit his lip and glanced to the side. The memory of her flooded his mind and his lips pulled to the sides underneath his teeth. Good memories, great memories. The way she whispered his name, his fingertips grazing of the curve of her hip just before it sloped down into her waist. The best memories.

That goes for you too, Feo. I didn’t mean that stuff I said. I just said it to get you out of the house because I didn’t want them thinking you were in on the camera damage. Also I thought you might try to stop me. So, yeah. I just wanted to tell you that you rock, you really do. You’re sexy as hell and you kick ass. You can take care of yourself and you’ve got a great head on your shoulders. You’re funny and sort of bitchy (but I like that about you) and I’m glad I woke up next to you in the sawmill. This whole thing sucks, but it’s been a blast (get it? Blast!) hanging out with you even though I’m pretty sure you were telling me to fuck off in Portuguese half the time. I didn't think I'd like you as much as I did. You’re a cool chick.

For the first time since he woke up, he felt a little pang of regret. Why did he feel that? He wasn’t sure. Maybe it wasn’t regret at all, maybe it was something else. His thoughts were spinning too fast for him to catch them properly.

You meant something to me.

Was that the best he could do? Yeah, it was. He looked at it for a moment.

You meant mean something to me.

------------------------------------------------------

Feo approached him with her oar and her anger reaching it’s boiling point. He thought she was going to take a swing at him right then and there. He wouldn’t have blamed her and she deserved to get a shot in, but his eyes were trained on the oar and determined to dodge it. He needed to be awake to finish this. But she didn’t take the shot. She threw the oar at the door and walked away. The door slammed and he was alone now. Ethan wanted to call out to her, he wanted to say something so that she could hear his voice for the last time. He couldn’t though, it would raise suspicion. His palm curled into a fist until the feeling past. He was alone for the first time since he had woken up. Ethan walked to the door and picked the oar up. His muted footsteps against the carpet were the only sounds, though to Ethan, they were drowned out by the pumping of his blood that was making a racket in his head. He picked up the three pieces of paper folded together, picked up the pencil and wrote “Feo” on the top sheet. Ethan’s heart raced, his fingers became numb around the oar. He placed them on the table in the lounge area and looked up at the camera.

This is it. Show time.

“I’m alone….I’m stuck on this God damn island with no way home, alone. This is your fault.”

More, more. Keep going. What do people normally yell at the cameras?

“You cocksucker. Danya. I’ll kill you. I’ll find you and I’ll kill you.”

Good! Threatening to kill him. Perfect. Make them think you've lost it.

“I’ll find you, kill you, make your family watch as I cut you up and feed you to an alligator, then I’ll kill the alligator and make a pair of boots.”

This isn’t working, that’s just silly. Try something else.

“I’ll never see my family again. I’ll never see my sisters again. I had sisters. All because of you and your stupid fucking game. What the fuck is the point of this? You want to prove that all people are as sick and fucked up as you on the inside? Is that it? What is it? Tell me what it is?!”

Ethan swung the oar and it slammed into the kitchen window.

“Tell me, you fat fuck!”

The glass cracked. He swung again and again until the window shattered. The shards scattered all over the kitchen floor.

“I can’t even imagine what sort of people you got to work for you. This thing takes a lot of people to set up, right? I’ll bet. I was going to do something with my life! I was going to contribute to society and you fucked that all up! I could have done great things! MY LIFE IS WORTH MORE THAN THE LIVES OF YOUR WHOLE FUCKING TECH CREW!”

Ethan walked to the bedroom. He swept the oar down and broke through the screen of the small television set. He tried to pull it out, but it was stuck. His foot up against the t.v. he wrenched the oar out and black glass flew everywhere. Ethan pushed the t.v. onto the ground.

“Yeah, bet you got yourself the top graduates of the university of DeVry working up there,” he seethed. “Bunch of fucking geniuses.” He brought the oar down and started smashing the t.v. “You son of a bitch! YOU TOOK EVERYTHING! That’s what you do, isn’t it? You take everything from people. You take people’s families, their lives, their sanity, their FUCKING EVERYTHING and you leave them with NOTHING!”

He stopped. Ethan was breathing hard. His hands shook and he wiped his eyes under his glasses with the back of his hand. Adrenaline was racing through his blood. He walked to the office room.

“This is bullshit,” he said, looking up at the camera near the door. “If I’m going to die, I want to be taken out by the final boss, not by some kid from the chess club. I don’t want any of your circuitous bullshit about a classmate killing me. In the end, it’s you. If you hadn’t done this to us, they wouldn’t be killing. Even if they kill, it’s still you in the end. I don’t want you to be able to hide behind a scared kid. I want my blood on YOUR hands. I deserve to be killed by you.

He flipped the oar in his hands.

“You think it’s fun to take everything from people? Well maybe I should take something of yours.”

No turning back now.

With a swing of the oar he knocked down the camera. Quickly he ripped it away from the wall by the wires it still precariously hung by and moved to the second camera in the room. He swung the oar again, and the camera fell. He picked both up cameras, dropped the oar and leaped up onto the desk and out the window. Ethan’s legs flew, trying to get him as far from the hut as possible. He ran faster than he ever had before, there was no need to worry about triggering an asthma attack now. In the end, he wasn’t a player or a survivor. He took a third route and ditched out of the game early. He cheated his way out and left a way for the others to try and cheat as well.

“Always cheat, always win.”


Detonation of collar #B002 successful
B002 Ethan Kent: Deceased

The Cloud Minders
((Autumn O'Leary continued from Watch Your Step))

Autumn woke up in a haze of confusion for what must have been the hundredth time in the past few days. She opened her eyes, but was greeted only by darkness. Testing, testing. Blink, close eyes, open eyes. What had happened? She was running and then….

Autumn looked up and saw the hole in the earth she had fallen through. It felt like a little man was tap dancing erratically inside her head. Slowly she sat up and the rocks and dirt that had fallen on top of her were displaced by her movement, calling her attention to their presence. Autumn sucked in air through her teeth and jumped up. Bad move. The bruises and scrapes she had collected from her fall screamed at her in protest but the nervous tingle building up in her chest demanded she get rid of the dirt and grime. She furiously brushed at herself. After a few minutes she was in acceptable condition again. She sighed in relief and pushed her hair back to complete her appearance, making sure not a red strand was out. A deep breath. She had her gun and by her foot laid her bag. All in all, she would recover. The girl reached into the pack and felt around until she produced a flashlight. She flicked it on and the light illuminated the cavern.

I fell into a tunnel. That's just perfect.

Watch Your Step
Autumn ran. Running was all that she knew to do. Her legs swiftly pumped back and forth, carrying her straight and fast to nowhere. She wasn’t running to anywhere in particular nor was she running from any one enemy. All she knew was it was harder to hit a moving target. No one could get her if she ran. It wasn’t the best course of action, but at least it held some semblance of a plan and gave the appearance of productivity. She breathed heavily, every once in a while her right hand swung to her waistband just have the reassuring brush of metal scrape against her nails.

She had gotten separated from the group she had seen back near the house of mirrors. That was fine. She didn’t need them. In fact, she was better off like this. There was no telling when people in this game would become animals and turn on each other. They would eat each other, just like she always knew they could. Running helped her push pause on all the feeling she might have had at the moment. She felt no fear, no sadness, all she felt was the dirt under her shoes. What would she feel if she stopped running? Autumn preferred not to find out. And then suddenly she didn’t feel the dirt under her shoes either. Her foot hit the ground and the earth crumbled. Autumn’s stomach sank along with her feet and she screamed. For a moment she thought that perhaps Hell had opened up and decided to have at her early. She didn’t have long to think though as she was quickly swallowed by the island.

((Autumn O'Leary continued in The Cloud Minders))

Not What I was Expecting
((*Puts on her Ciel mask*))

The mirrors were making her nervous, especially in the dark. In her mind, Jessica knew they were mirrors. Of course they were mirrors, but some primitive part of her brain raised a tiny alarm every time she saw something move out of the corner of her eye. The mirror girls weren’t going to jump out and get her.

Alex turned on her flashlight and the light ricocheted from wall to wall. Jessica squeezed her eyes shut and rubbed them, having gotten an eye full of light.

Alex wasn’t going to budge, that much was clear. She couldn’t argue that the sound of food and sleep wasn’t enticing, and she wasn’t going to leave Alex and go off on her own. Jessica leaned against a mirror and slowly slid down until she was sitting. Her legs went slack underneath her once her bottom hit the floor. The muscles in her legs groaned and she tried to knead the back of her leg with her left hand. Her right hand stayed at the dart gun. She wasn’t going to let her weapon out of her sight, not for anything and even if she could see it, Jessica felt better knowing it was right underneath her fingers.

“Y-yeah. Really cool,” she sighed.

She closed her eyes. Her body relaxed but her mind stayed on alert, her fingers always trailing along the gun.

“It’s quiet in here” she said softly. If there was anyone else around, they were either hiding, sleeping, or…..

House of the Rising Sun
His insides were still buzzing, he tried to calm down before looking at her. “Yeah, me neither. They didn’t leave anything good. At least it’s empty. Would have sucked to walk into an ambush. Here, come on, I might be able to tear some stuff out of the kitchen we could use.”

Ethan dug inside his pack for the first aid kit. Inside was a small pair of scissors. Not big enough to really do damage to someone in a fight but still able to cut softer material. He took the scissors and walked to the kitchen, very aware of the girl behind him. He could see her in his peripheral vision; he didn’t let her out of his sight. It wasn’t that he thought she would do something, but that he was trying to think. He was trying to think about her.

I need her out of here. It’s just a game, it’s all just a game. How do you get a girl to walk away from you? This should be easy. I mean, I’ve done it a ton of times before without even trying.

He grabbed the refrigerator with both hands on either side and leaned back as hard as he could, shifting from side to side. Eventually he created a space behind the refrigerator big enough for him to slip into. It was a tight fit between the wall and the back of the refrigerator, but it was just what he needed. First was the condenser tube/grill. He dug his fingers in and started to pull. It gave a little; it seemed to be a pretty old fridge, but not enough. He backed himself against the wall as far as he could and started kicking furiously at the metal. Eventually he managed to wrench it off the back of the machine and throw it on the counter.

“We might be able to use this for something. I’ll figure it out. I always do..”

It was his game of cruelty.

Behind the condenser was the fridge compressor. He pulled the black, metallic piece towards him and took out the tiny scissors. He set the blades the distance of the inside of the screws holding the compressor together and turned. He would have preferred a screw driver, but this seemed to be working. Finally the last screw was out and he was able to carefully open the compressor and slide out the thing he had worked so hard for, the motor. The cameras couldn’t see him behind the refrigerator. He tossed the two pieces to the side in what he hoped was a convincingly haphazard manner. In reality he was carful that the motor landed somewhat gently.

“What a piece of crap. Everything’s already broken.”

He got what he wanted. Ethan walked over to the discarded condenser tube and pretended to study it avidly.

“The condenser tube is part of the coolant system...so if it breaks then there'll be a bunch of refrigerant everywhere. Refrigerant is kind of noxious….we could potentially use it if we were careful.”

He looked over his shoulder at her and laughed.

“Ahhh, why am I explaining this to you? Like you can contribute anything. Now that we’ve got machines I can toy with instead of sticks, it’s best if you just stay out of my way and relax. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it; I can take care of us. That pretty little head is all you’ve got left now anyway, so take care of it. I mean, before you might have been able to rise above what you lack in mental capacity to be a musician but unless you can play the sax one-handed you are SOL. That’s okay, pretty is all you need. It got you this far, didn’t it?”

And now he had to see if he had won and done what he set out to do. He would have to for his plan-




His plan was being laid out on the notebook paper. Back in the office just a few minutes earlier he frantically scribbled out his design. His head bent low over the paper and his tongue stuck out, he wrote out the instructions for Feo.


So the general idea here is to use the motor that powers the fridge's compressor as a generator. You do this by turning the motor’s shaft, thus generating an AC voltage on the wires that normally supply electricity to it.

You should find the wires that run from the controller (fig A) to the motor, and strip their ends (fig B).


He flipped to the second page and drew a picture of the controller and labeled it as “fig A.” He then drew the wires, stripped, with a “fig B” next to them.

I’ll leave you a pair of pliers I found to do it. There’s also some small scissors from my first aid kit I’ll leave you. Use a blade of the scissors to apply pressure on the wire, then turn the wire while continuing to apply pressure. You should be able to see a bit of the inside wire. If you do, grab the end of the plastic insulation and pull it off.

Next, take the motor and jam the motor shaft into the hub of the rear wheel of the bike (fig C). That way when you pedal, the shaft will turn.

Once you’ve got that, go to the computer and find the Uninterruptible Power Supply (fig D) and cut the cable that goes to the wall, and strip those wires too.

Attach the leads from the motor to the stripped wires from the UPS (fig E). When you turn the motor shaft via peddling the bike, you'll be generating AC power, a lot like what comes out of the wall, and putting it into the UPS, thus charging the batteries in the UPS. The electricity you generate will be much lower voltage and current than the wall electricity, but the UPS will have rectification circuitry to charge the batteries that will make that fine and the battery will charge.

Once you do that for a fucking while, the computer will power off of the UPS batteries. A decent ratio of on-time to cranking time is like 1:10, so if you crank for an hour, you get 6 minutes of computer time. After you work out those legs for a while, you should have yourself an island computer.


He sighed and wiped his forehead. The easy part was over. Science was easy. He flipped to the third page and started writing the last part.

House of the Rising Sun
Underfoot the dirt crunched as he approached the shack. He looked down and saw blood staining the ground. His fingers constricted against his stick and he looked at Feo. He went first, opening the door quietly. Taking a few steps inside, he found himself to be in a lounge/kitchen area. The sofa looked like it had been moved around, sitting at an odd angle to the rest of the furniture. Past that, the carpet changed to tile. There was a an oven, a sink and a refrigerator. He walked heel to toe past the kitchen to a small hall with two doors on either side. Ethan first opened the door to the right, finding an empty room with a dirty bed. Instinctively, he reached to the light switch near the door and flicked it up. Nothing.

Of course. They cut the power.

A quick duck down revealed no one under the bed waiting to ambush them. All that was left was the room on the right. He turned the knob and pushed against the door with his left arm and shoulder. It was a little office and it too was empty, meaning the house was safe. His eyes scanned the room and he saw the computer, his old, dear friend. He’d been without computers for almost four whole days and a rush of happiness flooded him. It was an old PC but it made him warm inside. It made him think of his babies back home. He missed his lap tops and PC. He knelt down the computer and turned the unit. It looked fine. He pushed the start button, but the screen remained blank.

“Right. No electricity. Okaaaaaay. Whatever, not like this place has internet access anyway. What the fuck did I think I was gonna do? Play minesweeper the rest of the time?”

He stood up and noticed the filing cabinets. Ethan yanked them open and started sifting through the papers. Campsite rules and regulations, shopping lists. Boring. He moved to another drawer and pulled out a handful of papers. They were all records for a logging operation.

Oh yeah. I woke up in a saw mill. That makes sense.

Much to his annoyance, the records didn’t have any useful information. There was no hint as to their location or names that he could recognize. It was all just records of the amount spent and earned and the amount they were producing He slammed the filing cabinet shut and went to the desk. He pulled open a drawer and found extra paper. He threw it closed. Another drawer, this one was totally empty, but showed signs of being formerly used by scratches on the inside. He shoved it closed as hard as he could. The last drawer was full of office supplies. Pencils, pens, white out, post it notes and erasers. Angrily he started sifting around the supplies.

“What the fuck kind of ranger station is this? Did they take everything that possibly could have been useful? Multi tools, pocket knife, emergency rations, radio, maps? That is fuckin’ weak,” he grumbled.

For all his searching, the only thing close to a tool he found was a standard, slightly dull, pair of needle nose pliers. He sighed, stuck them in his pocket and walked back out to the front of the station and dragged the broken bicycle inside to the office where he left his bag. He threw it down and looked at it.

“It’s going to be a pain to dismantle with just a pair of pliers. This sucks. This whole thing sucks. Maybe it’s old enough it’ll break into sharp metal pieces. Breaking shit with my hands, it’s barbaric. It’d much rather b-“

And then there was the spark. His eyes temporarily widened before squeezing tight. He shook his head and looked around the room. Every fiber of his being had gone into hyper mode and he coughed, hoping it would help reduce his nervous excitement. He bit his lip and looked around. Slowly, trying very very slowly, he reached across to his bag and felt around till he pulled out his backpack. He drew back the zipper, hearing ever individual track the zipper ran over and when it was wide enough he pulled out a note book and a pencil.

Stay calm. Don’t let them see. My god, I’m a fucking genius. I’m a god damn fucking genius. Though I’m kind of an idiot for not having noticed earlier, but we’ll ignore that.

He opened to a blank page. Looking up there were two camera’s in the room, one in the corner near the door where he had come in and one in the corner diagonal. Ethan scooted so that his back was against the corner of the camera across from the door and bent low over his note book, keeping it close to him. He wrote furiously, scribbled, drew. Finally he smiled. It was a long shot, but it might work. However there was one problem…..

The cameras. They’d push the “EXPLODE” button as soon as they realized what he was doing.

Ethan doubted Danya didn’t have at least one tech person who wouldn’t figure it out. He chewed on the edge of his pencil and after much thought, he understood what it had to be.

It has to be me. There’s no other way. There’s just no other way. I would get a patsy to do it if I could, but they’d hear me. No. They have to think I’ve just completely lost it. I don’t have to do this though. We can leave this hut and pretend we never found it. And then what would I do? Hang out with Feo for a while more until we got our asses killed by some psycho school kid? Let’s think about this. Sure, I’m badass, but is that enough for me to win? Before I would have tried for it at least, but this is a third option. Fuck me, I could never walk away from this place knowing I could have done something really cool AND MAYBE fucked the hell out of Danya’s plan. I…..I have to. I have to show that piece of shit what happens when you try to fuck over someone as awesome as me. Oh, and the rest of my class too. I guess. It’s a long long shot, but if it works…..well, they better fucking…name something after me or something.

Ethan looked up at Feo. Despite himself, he smiled a bit. He sighed and started writing in the notebook.

I have to get her out of this house. I have to do it without raising suspicion.
He was done. That was it. He ripped three pages out of the note book, folded them in half together and set them aside. Ethan took a deep breath and wiped he eyes underneath his glasses.

“Find anything good?”

Day of the Dove
It seemed the others had summed everything up pretty well. Brandishing a tire iron wasn’t how one typically made friends and could this guy please kindly leave without taking anything on the way out? The scared girl scampered over and Charlie declared that was that and went to sleep. The other girl seemed to pass dead out next to her and Dave along as well, after tossing a warning at Tyler and, of course, giving her first watch.

“Fine,” she muttered.

----------------------------------

Isabel was dizzy. She couldn’t see straight. She wobbled until she sat down and put her face in her hands. The smell. She pulled her head back and noticed her hands were covered in blood. Not only that, her shirt was soaked in it. Her skirt, her legs, and her shoes were all electrified in red. Bits of her hair were crunchy and stiff, coated in blood. Isabel tried to speak but no sound came out. The only sound was the high pitched buzzing of an empty room. Suddenly the silence was broken by a boy sitting next to her.

"I see your reasons," he said finally. "In the end, you simply did what you simply had to do to survive. It's as plain as that. You were able to do that, which was how you managed to come this far. You wanted to survive, and I can understand that. But it doesn't change all that you've done. People have died by your hand. One with cold blood, even."

He nodded at something behind her. She turned to look over her shoulder and saw a boy pinned to a tree, dead.

"The way I see it... justice needs to be done.”

He didn’t seem to be talking to her. It was like he was looking through her rather than at her. It was like she was staring at someone on TV.

What is this? What is he talking about?

And then he looked at her. Not like before, he was really looking at her now. His glasses shined when he moved his head to face her.

“She’s a killer. She doesn’t deserve to live. You’ll see. Justice will be served.”
-----------------

Her eyes fluttered open. There was just a bit of light peaking out in the sky which of course meant-

“ Ladies and gentlemen…”

Of course, him again. With more good news no doubt. She sat up slowly and stretched, but stopped when she heard Hayley’s name for the second time in as many days. Her mind was just beginning to try and figure out the likelihood of two accidental kills when she heard the name “Simon Fletcher.”

Simon. Simon’s dead. No. Why is he dead? He can’t be dead. Simon.

They were both in Alex’s house. She was uncomfortable and she was wearing that stupid yellow dress but he was so sweet and he was so nice. He seemed to be uncomfortable just like her. Immediately, she liked him.

"You're in my English class. We're both not big talkers in that class. But you seem like a nice guy....."

“Don’t worry, it's fine. You’re right about me not being a huge talker; I barely know much about some of the people in my class. That dress looks nice on you.”

Her vision got blurry. She tried to distract herself by digging her nails into her palms but it wasn’t working this time.

“It’s not mine. I mean, thanks.”

She was awkward, but he didn’t mind. She smiled at him and he smiled at her.

The floodgates broke, she couldn’t hold it back anymore and water splashed on her arm. Isabel pulled her knees towards her chest. Her hair fell forward and made a curtain that hid her face from the others. She tried to hold her breath, but the shuddering didn’t stop. When she finally opened her mouth her lungs took a sharp breath all on their own. The exhale came out shaky. She tried to wipe her eyes with the back of her hand and pushed her hair back. Isabel heard Dave get up and stood up as well, seeing as it was his intention to get moving. She sniffed and the tears started coming down again.

"Where the fuck are we headed?"

“I don’t care,” she said, trying yet again and this time failing terribly to keep her voice even. “Do whatever you want. You do anyway. I don’t care anymore.”

And with that, she walked.

((Isabel Guerra continued in Faraday's Cages))

House of the Rising Sun
((Ethan Kent continued from What Are Little Girls Made Of? ))

Ethan hummed a tune as they carefully descended down the mountain. They had been woken up by the horrible screeching of the announcements. More people were dead, more people had killed, but Ethan wasn’t paying particular attention to what the voice had said. He was mostly still groggy from waking up.

Would it kill these guys to make the announcements a little later? Like maybe around noon so I would be cognizant enough to register what hell they’re saying?

Going down the mountain opposite way they had come up, Ethan and Feo had spotted a small looking house in the distance. The map revealed it to be a ranger station and figuring they had nothing better to do, they decided to go take a look. Once down the hill it was only a short walk to the little house.

Ethan pulled out his inhaler and pushed down on the plunger, breathing deeply. He readjusted their two bags on his shoulders and walked towards the lone house. A little ways off a rusted bicycle with a slashed tire lay forgotten in the dirt.

I’ll come back and get it once I put these bags down. It looks easy to break and if I dismantle it, then we’d have metal, rusty, pointy sticks instead of wooden, regular pointy sticks. Yeahhhh, upgrade.

“Let’s check it out?”

Autumn O'Leary
I think I can find room in my heart for Autumn and would like to place a bid.

What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Ethan sat down on the blanket next to her. It was an especially beautiful night. Normally you couldn’t see the sky so clearly because of the light pollution from the city, but here everything was clear.

“My last name? My name’s Ethan Kent,” he said. It felt odd to say one’s own full name. It was like he was at school being asked something official. “It’s a pretty boring name. There are plenty of Kents around.”

He put an arm around her and looked up. Mixed in his fuzzy happy feeling was dread that was starting to weigh down on him like an anvil. Before all he had to worry about was himself.

“Feo Eleri Terrível,” he repeated, butchering the name with an American accent. “I think it sounds nice. I’d never know what it means, but it sounds cool. Bet there aren’t many of those. You’re probably the only one.”

Hu, this place will kill the only Feo Eleri.

“The sun’s going to be up soon. We should get some rest.”

((Ethan Kent continued in The House of the Rising Sun ))

What Are Little Girls Made Of?
“There is a house in New Orleans they call The Rising Sun. It’s been the ruin of many a poor boy and God I know I’m one..” Ethan sang idly to himself while looking just past Feo as she cleaned her wounds.

He felt…good. Strangely enough he was relaxed in this place. He reclined against a tree with just his jeans and seemed to be in a sort of comfortable state where he didn’t want to move. Ethan only wanted to watch her.

Flawlessly designed

“I don’t think we’re quite a mile up. I’m sure there’s some sort of award for fucking during Survival of the Fittest, though. It’s funny, in the traditional sense this is what survival of the fittest is. It is staying alive long enough to procreate and pass on the genes you proved were worthy by making it that far. Well, if I know my tropes, someone should be leaping out of the bushes sometime soon to stab us both to death. It teaches the kids at home what happens when you sin it up on a mountain during a blood sport on television,” he said with a contented sigh.


He opened his eyes and saw her looking at him. She had a gentle quality in her eyes that he just noticed.

She’s beautiful, isn’t she? She- wait, what the fuck am I doing? Fuck! I’m a fucking idiot! I fell for it! What do you think, lover boy? You think she really cares about you? You think you and her are gonna take down the big bad Danya and live in little house and some scientist is gonna build her robot fingers and she’ll overcome her disabilities to play the sax again? DO YOU?

Ethan shook his head. He grabbed his shirt and his sharpened stick and walked to her. He was close enough that he could end her swiftly.

You have to do it. This has gone far enough. Do it. Think about how stone cold badass you'd have to be to nail a chick, then kill her with a stick.

His brain communicated the message “lift the stick” but his arm was dead like it was made of lead. Not even a twitch of movement.

I…..I can’t. Oh God damn it. God damn it to hell.

“I….think you did a terrific job with those bandages.” He gave her a kiss.

You can’t do it. My God, you are screwed. You two can’t outrun death forever. After all, you’ve got asthma.

The Third Announcement
Using my hero to swap Alice Blake for Ethan Kent. Small request of an extention due to locational difficulties.

Character of the month #3: October #10
Hooorah, Ciel. Good work, bud!