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Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?
She felt him squeeze her hands and push back against her forehead. He blurted out that he wanted to be left alone to die. Her heart sank and she felt sick.

Hazel dropped down to her knees from her bent position, still holding onto Nate's hands. She looked down at the bridge floor.

Jordan asked why he'd want to do such a thing and that made Hazel feel a little better. To her it was obvious. He wanted to end it now with certainty rather than continuing to live in constant stress and anxiousness, never knowing when or how death would arrive but knowing it was coming soon. Giving yourself a controlled, mostly painless death if you did it right rather than wait for someone to come along and do any number of much worse things.

That Jordan didn't understand that meant he was probably a lot more mentally stable than either her or Nate.

"Nate, it's ok. Don't do anything rash. We can stay together. We can figure it out or maybe wait for rescue if we stay together..."

Lies, but it would keep them alive a little longer. They might not be able to live long, but they could cling to as much life as was left.

Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?
Hazel let go and drew back to see Nate burst into tears. Her eyebrows came together and she frowned with her mouth open slightly. She looked down at their feet and her mouth set into a hard line.

Her heart sank because she knew how he felt and it was easy to see why he was crying and freaking out. She and Jordan were basically being held together with duct tape, used chewing gum and birthday wishes. In other words, not particularly internally structurally sound. Her eyes started to well up a little as Nate's reaction brought the full weight of the situation crashing back down on them again.

Jordan had come up and was trying to awkwardly comfort Nate. His abject terribleness at dealing with upset people almost made her laugh a little and brought her back from the brink. Hazel clasped Nate's hands and bumped her head lightly against his. She closed her eyes and the slight tears that had started collected rolled down the side of her face.

"Hey," she said softly. "You're with friends. We're not doing much, but we're doing our best."

The V5 Read-A-Thon
Paulo Abbate

I kind of fell in love with this stupid jerk during pregame. He was very strong in his pregame run. He had a big personality that was goofy but also had an air of relatability. It was established early on that he fronts like he knows what he's doing with fighting, but actually knows nearly nothing about how to properly fight. He wants to be a fighter to be closer to the dad he never knew but his mother shut down any avenues he would have had to become a real fighter and so he has to piece together how to do it from youtube videos and books.

Besides having a very strong personality, a solid voice and an intriguing backstory (I am patron saint of kids with daddy issues) I have a personal bias in favor of Outfoxd's writing style. We write very similarly with a sparse, minimalistic style that isn't very descriptive but conveys a lot of character information. The reason why we're so similar in our writing is probably because we're both trained as journalists and both work(ed) at newspapers (Outfoxd got a better gig and quit the newspaper biz). Newspaper writing is very direct and any purple prose is beat out of you with a copy of an AP Style Guide.

Anyway, moving into the game proper, he meets up with Becca and it's a strong partnership. I wasn't super crazy about some slightly too silly moments (like him singing Baby Got Back and My Humps in his head while looking at Becca) but otherwise, good start. It establishes up front that he's actually scared out of his mind, but acting more matcho than ever to try and cover and he's all-around unsure of himself becaue he doesn't think he's clever enough to find a way off the island.

Then we hit a rough patch. After Becca dies Paulo suddenly drops off the next couple threads only posting every couple posting cycles while Rosemary and Meera do most of the talking and posting. There's still some good stuff as Becca's death kickstarts him into realizing people are really dying and he needs to find his sister ASAP as well as making him want to avenge Becca as the only girl who gave him the time of day. However, we see a whole lot less of him from here until his death and he suffers for it. Some OOC notes in the posts indicate that Outfoxd knows he's not posting enough and he tells people to skip over him.

The death is actually really good. Ian is great as the other half and I like how naturally it escalates. Paulo tells him to fuck off, Ian agrees to leave, Paulo makes a big show of his superiority so Ian says something sarcastic as he leaves and it enrages Paulo who wants to take his anger out on someone, anyone. There's even really cool symmetry in the match since both have some form of fighting training and both of those fighting styles relate back to their fathers. Both boys are worried how their fathers will feel watching the fight.

Paulo's death post itself could have used a little more, it's just a few lines about how he falls to his death.

All in all, Paulo had a really strong start and then kind of faded in the middle. I wish Outfoxd had kept it up and if he had, it would have been nice to see Paulo go farther since he had a lot of character stuff that wasn't delved into.

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The V5 Read-A-Thon
I finished Carlon

So more so now than usual, this one is down to personal preference I think. I did not enjoy reading Carlon. A huge part of why I didn't like reading Carlon was the writing style. The writing style is very dense and spends a lot of time inside Carlon's head without connecting enough to the external things going on in the scenes. However, though we spend so much time in his head the way it's written keeps the reader sort of at arm's length so it's very descriptive about his thoughts and thought process, but we don't really learn a whole lot about Carlon deeply. He has a habit of repeating the same thoughts, but nothing really progressing with them which can become boring. I think if he'd made it farther to a point where he'd start having more psychological trauma, it might have been more interesting then.

For how much description there is of Carlon, there wasn't a lot of external description and that meant sometimes I wasn't super clear on where he was or what he was doing. He also doesn't have a lot of dialogue with other characters and the dialogue he does have is very formal. That follows with his character as being like, a smarty pants but it's always super formal which I think someone might drop in times of distress like having someone shoot at your foot.

The style is kind of claustrophobic and there would be one paragraph relating to what was going on, then paragraphs of self-reflection which results in a scene that would take up about 5 minutes of real time seeming to be much much longer.

There were some things I did like. I liked Imehal's approach to Carlon's religious side and how he knew Hansel was a church going boy and wanted to believe he was good even after he shot Daniel who was also a friend. I thought it was interesting how he really wanted to believe the best of the people who had been named as killers on the announcements going so far as to not trust the terrorists's word on who was a killer. I liked his slight condescending attitude towards Alex, telling her they could "Talk like adults" about something later.

His death had a lot of the same issues that the rest of his short run had and I found Alex and Kam to be more engaging because their flow was much easier to read. Carlon had good character elements and wasn't bad, but some of the things about the way he was written made him somewhat of a slog for me.


The V5 Read-A-Thon

Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?
"Yeah, really. Have you?" she asked, without looking away from the water. Her feet continued slowly swinging back and forth until she heard Jordan again.


Her eyes opened wide and she picked up her head, sitting up straight. She turned and saw a figure, but it seemed a little bit too short to be Jeremy. Hazel squinted and put her right hand over her eyes to block out the late-day sunlight.


Hazel scooted backwards and folded her legs inward before awkwardly getting to her feet. Jordan had taken care of the more practical questions like asking how Nate was and if he'd seen Jeremy. Hazel walked forward and hugged him.

"Who would have thought the theater kids would be kicking around this far?" she said with a smile.