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A Human Work
She was out like a light. Perhaps it was from how completely depleted of energy she was, or perhaps it was simply a desire never to wake up again.

Her bandaged hands hugged the gun close. By now the bandages were stiff and coated with a dark brown color. The bandage on her left cheek was in better condition with only a few slight specks of color having seeped through. Visible on her left shoulder was the fresh wound, trickling fresh vibrant red through a tear in her black shirt.

Her straight dark hair spilled out on the dirty school floor, limp with a few twigs peaking up in the sea of black. Mara's face was sallow with dark lines under her eyes. She appeared about as lively as the rest of the corpses, but there were marks of suffering and weariness that served as clues that she was still alive.

There was a loud noise and Mara's eyes fluttered open. She looked up, moving only her eyes and saw Owen.

"Another giant meat head," she muttered.

Her hands tightened around the m4 carbine, but she found she didn't have the strength to lift it. It didn't feel like the gun was suddenly too heavy, it felt instead like her arms were noodles past her wrists. In fact, the feeling extended to most of the rest of her body. Her legs likewise simply didn't want to move.

The last altercation had taken too much out of her, she hadn't had even 10 minutes of time to recover from fighting Virgil and running away. She blinked slowly and continued gazing up at Owen.

Something Something Movie Reference
((Paris Ardennes continued from Schwarze Rosen))

Paris came up from behind and stepped out a bit in front of Joachim. He hadn't expected there to be people this soon, but he took the opportunity to step out in front of Joachim as the face of their small group. He could see how people from an outside perspective might not be especially thrilled to see him, what with having been featured on the announcements more than once and rather prominently.

"Hello Claire and Zubin," he said smoothly. "Please don't be alarmed, it isn't our intention to-"

He noticed the body and what appeared to be a burial in progress. Paris looked solemnly back up at Claire. He moved forward and placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Of course, it's only right that you give your friend a befitting farewell. That's very admirable of you to take the time to do something like this for him. If there's anything we can do to help you with this, it would be no trouble at all."

A Human Work
((Amaranta Montalvo continued from Miles Behind Us))

She'd run from that hulking boy who'd chased after her.

She was not an athlete by any stretch in her normal life. She abhorred physical labor and avoided exercise when she could, so the sprint had taken a considerable amount of energy from her.

She stopped at the school, satisfied that no one was after her anymore. Mara tried to gulp and trudged into the school.

Her back found a wall and she slid down it into a heap. There was a faint sort of sharp pain in her shoulder. Looking down revealed one of his bullets had grazed her. She gave a short, harsh giggle and looked up at the rotting ceiling. It was a drop in the bucket with the rest of her injuries. Her hands were in constant, stinging pain, but it didn't bother her as much as she thought it might. The old adage that beauty is pain was true. She'd been regularly subjected to waxing, plucking, bleaching, hot hair curlers, pangs of dieting hunger, eye lash curlers, painfully tight hair styles, towering spiky heeled shoes that hobbled her. It had given her a high tolerance for physical suffering and the ability to bear it while smiling.

Clutching her gun, she slumped to the side with her head on the floor. She would have sooner died than sleep on a floor before. Now it didn't matter so much.

"I want to go home," she whispered desperately. Her bandaged fingers curled around the barrel.

She hated everyone and everything that was left in the world. If there was something other than some inner steely resolve to live that was keeping her it was her intense hatred. She could feel it propping her up, moving her forward. Mara was tired of being blamed for everything that anyone saw fit to blame her with on this island. She didn't care about explaining herself anymore, it was obvious no one cared. Her previous wish to find someone who would was foolish, she saw that now. Hatred and numbness extended to even the things she coveted back home.

Her legs pulled up against her chest and she further wrapped herself around her weapon. A different sort of pain blossomed in her heart and her throat. She knew that she wanted to cry. It might make her feel a bit better to cry, she wasn't sure as it hadn't occurred in years. Mara bit her tongue and pushed it back. She refused.

Her bag in front of her went in and out of focus as her eye lids grew heavy. Soon she was indistinguishable from the dead bodies save for a slight movement in her chest.


V5 Seventh Announcement
(Fluff= Rugga Announcement =Toben)

THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012: UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, 7AM

Perfect crispy fried chicken!

380 reviews have given this a total of 4.75 stars.

"Recipe by Elaine O
"I experimented for many years before developing this recipe. It's bits and pieces of hints I had heard over the years. I have had many compliments on this chicken. Most of this recipe is dependant on your own taste. It's more a matter of preparation and cooking method!"

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 8 servings
1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour for coating
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying


"You know we've got someone who normally does this."

"I know. I want to do it."

Abby blew a strand of hair away from her face, but it didn't budge. She swept it away and a line of white flour streaked her black hair.

"Aren't you gonna bet on anyone? Tina's collecting for the pot," Lourvey asked, leaning against the counter.

Abby put a few shakes of garlic powder into the flour bag. It wasn't on the recipe list, it was something a little extra she liked to add.

"No. I don't learn their names. I would not know who to vote for. I make sure nothing is broken. The rest of it is not my concern."

He shrugged and wandered off with a short wave. "Suit yourself."

It was true, they had a cafeteria cook. Many of the other people in the office chose to utilize the cafeteria infrequently, prefering instead to fill up their desks and mini fridges full of high sodium chips, candy and energy drinks, only occasionally coming down to eat real food. The cook had made the majority of the best kill meal prizes, but Abby requested to make the lasagna and now the fried chicken. The request was not met with much resistance from the cook, who was more than happy not to have to wake up early to prepare the food for the island drop.

Some people had asked her why she wanted to do it. Her response was that she liked cooking. It was true, it was one of the things back home that she'd been good at and she liked to do. With her parents working she often ended up making dinner for her brother and sister. The truth of it was that it wasn't just cooking that she liked. What she liked more than anything was to make food and have other people enjoy it.

Abby had sold her soul to save the people she loved. She accepted that it was her lot in life to use her skills to damn others. As long as she knew her siblings were happy, it was something she was comfortable doing. She was fine with being selfish.

This act of making food for the kids might have been viewed by an outside perspective as an unselfish act, but that would not have been accurate. Making a fried chicken dinner in the kitchen, she could pretend for a little while that she was back at home, making it for her family. When she saw the kids eat it via the cameras on the island she still got that little rush of happiness that she used to, seeing someone enjoy the food she made for them.





THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012: UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, 9AM

"Good morning, kids." Tracen Danya's voice, as usual, echoed throughout the island, from speakers hidden throughout buildings and in nooks and crannies in the less developed areas. "After yesterday's showing, you picked up the pace a bit. Just over fifty of you remain. To those who do, congratulations. You've outlasted roughly two thirds of your peers. The end is in sight.

"But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's still work to be done, and all but one of you will go the same way as yesterday's unfortunates.

"First among them was Jack McDonald, strangled by his Jenna Rhodes, his erstwhile companion. Of course, since he looked about ready to do unto her first, it probably wasn't a friendship built to last.

"Zoe Leverett honored our request and removed herself from the competition, going for one last swim off the coast. Jessica Sanders slept too long and managed the same, getting herself caught in a danger zone. Get your pencils ready and your bags packed, because we'll be having more of those today, too.

"Maynard Hurst flipped his lid and stabbed Adam Morgan, putting an end to one of the longer-running remaining alliances. Good on him; I was starting to get worried he'd spend his whole time hiding behind whoever he could.

"And hiding doesn't work too well. Just ask Alice Gilman, who went skulking around and surprised Cody Patton. It's up in the air who got the bigger shock; Patton's bullets certainly made the bigger impression.

"This next one is a doozy. Rutherford Roger Junior was beaten to death by Veronica McDonald, but his body wasn't cold before he was avenged by Madeleine Wilcox. The whole thing was very tragic—you kind of had to be there, though.

"Our favorite renegade, Hansel Williams, continued his rampage, removing Logan Cadagon and Rebecca Kiesling from the running.

"Sharon Austin proved that it's never too late to get proactive, slashing Cammy Davidson's throat. Watch for the quiet ones, kids, especially if they've been pretending they're doing the right thing.

"Continuing the throat damage trend, Benjamin Ward slit Jainie Sinneave', and Travis Webster stabbed Aileen Abdallah's. It's not every day you get a three-for-one on discount tracheotomies.

"Corey Esposito and Jessica Murphy were less dramatic. The former didn't take care of some nasty scratches he collected running around, and the latter aped Ms. Leverett and drowned herself.

"After that, we saw a dust-up between two of our smaller-scale motivators. Benjamin Ward found himself having a harder time with someone who actually fought back, and lost his life to Joe Carrasco.

"Finally, Christopher Harlin beat Stephanie Wright to death with his bare hands, capping things off nicely with our one-hundredth death.

"With that out of the way, the promised places to avoid: for the rest of your time here, stay out of the Hotel, the Hospital, the Shipping Yard, the Eastern Inlet, and the Aviary. The one exception is Mr. Hurst, who's won our little pool of the day. He can make his way, briefly, back to the hotel to pick up a weapon, a nice basket of fried chicken, and a pitcher of iced tea.

"Stay safe. I'll be in touch again tomorrow."





DAY EIGHT: THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012

Weather: The sun is back, with hardly a trace of clouds in the sky. The breeze is gentle where present, though the air is mostly still except along the coast. Temperatures are notably higher than yesterday's, with a high of 68F, 20C at 4pm. Tonight is three nights after the new moon. The eighth announcement will come at 9 AM on June 22.





It wouldn't be an announcement without the rolls:

1. Eliza Patton (Skraal)
2. Cody Patton (MK Kilmarnock)
3. Ian Williams (VysePresident)
4. Andi Victorino (Mimi) - Phoebe Cho (Mimi, Swap Card used)
5. Sharon Austin (Jimmydalad)
6. Hansel Williams (NotAFlyingToy) - Alda Abbate (DocBalance, Hero Card used)
7. Miles Strickland (Psychedelic)

Logs


As always, three days for cards, and a further seven for deaths.


Schwarze Rosen
He asked him how they were to proceed. Paris practically beamed.

"I suppose just as we have. Find a place to stay indoors during the day and barricade it, then move at night if we run out of supplies. I think we'll be fine as long as we stay together and keep our wits about us."

He reached out one hand and touched the metal collar around the other boy's neck. His spider-like fingers danced around it, starting from behind his head and running down until they'd reached the front.

"I trust you," he said quietly.

His fingers close around the metal and he pulled Joachim in by the neck. He brought his head down and bumped it lightly against Joachim's.

"And you trust me," he said happily, eyes closed. He held onto the collar. Paris lifted his head and walked, holding onto it for a second so as to tug Joachim in his direction and then let go.

"Come, let's pack up and find somewhere to barricade," he said cheerfully.

((Paris Ardennes continued in Something Something Movie Reference))

Schwarze Rosen
Paris was outside the dome, legs crossed, sitting on a bench with his eyes closed. He'd looked around for maybe two minutes before deciding on meditating. He appeared to be utterly unconcerned with the possibility someone might walk up and kill him. He was fairly confident that no one would. It wasn't part of the plan. He had to be the survivor. It was the only thing that made sense.

For awhile, wandering alone after Sven had been killed he tried to understand why this had befallen them. Why would God do this to someone as good hearted, pious and faithful as he? It was similar to when he questioned why his father had died. That one had been much easier though. His father was a selfish, irresponsible, manipulative woman-using, bad person with many vices. He got what he had deserved.

It had taken some time for him to work it out, but eventually it was clear he was meant to be the survivor BECAUSE he was the most faithful. There were other good people in the class, there was no doubt. It was a shame they had to fall to prove the point, but when he emerged victorious, it would be an inspiration to people. They would see that living a good, Christian life would earn the protection of the Lord. That's how he knew no one would walk up and shoot him. That is how he knew he would win. Every time he'd been in a bind, he'd been provided for. It wasn't easy, hardship is a part the test, but he never felt like he'd been truly in danger.

And Sven's death was painful, but necessary. He did not begrudge God for it.

Paris heard his name called. Calmly he unfolded his legs and walked back to the dome with his things. He was unsurprised to find Joachim alone. Likely Rosemary had tried to convince him to run off with her and he chose to stay. Paris smiled.


"No, I didn't find anyone. Did you have a good talk?"

Miles Behind Us
It happened both suddenly and slowly. She announced she was leaving and then for some reason another meathead tackled her to the ground. Maybe this was a lesson, maybe she should have shot him when she had the chance.

They landed on a heap on the ground, him on top of her, and there was much more of him than there was of her. Instinctively she started trashing with as much strength as she had, kicking and punching whatever she could find.

Then dejavu set in. She felt around beside her. The gun had scattered too far away, but just like last time there was something else available.

The entire thing was very reminiscent of her fight with Mike. Like before she was just trying to leave and just like before a huge, much stronger boy had stopped her via throwing her to the ground. Last time she was dazed upon hitting the hardwood. She panicked, felt around and found a broken shard of snow globe glass and in a panic, she stabbed him, screaming for everything to stop.

Just a few days made such a change in the exact same situation. Again, there was something to aid her. At her side Mara found a rock and without hesitation she grabbed it and smashed it against Virgil's head. She wasn't panicked or scared, Mara knew she could get out this time, just as she had before. She didn't scream. Mara struck him a second time and he reeled back enough for her to roll out from under him towards her gun, grab it and push herself up into a crouched position in one fluid motion. She'd been dimly aware of the other two chattering during the altercation, but didn't know what they'd said.

"Crazy asshole," she whispered harshly, looking at Virgil for a second. She chucked the rock back towards him before grabbing her bag and sprinting off.


((Amaranta Montalvo continued in A Human Work))

Schwarze Rosen
Rosemary told her story. He had no doubt that the island was full of countless stories of equal or worse experiences. Joachim looked at him and internally Paris sighed. He was becoming tired of needing to bolster everyone. It was more beneficial to have calm, strong minded companions, but in truth the weight of the island and his own experiences were starting to wear on him.

But he still had it left in him. He looked at Rosemary with his big, green eyes all full of empathy. It felt slightly unusual turning his normal tricks on this girl given he knew that she was aware he had a penchant for pretending to be things he was not for his own ends. Perhaps she'd think that was exclusive to little pranks.

He took up her hand and continued gazing sympathetically at her. "I'm sorry that you had to go through that," he said earnestly while trying to remember what it was exactly she'd said a moment ago while he was more focussed on his own thoughts than listening to her plight. Paris leaned in to hug her and their metal collars clanked against each other. He looked at her collar, his eyes lingering on it when he pulled away.

"I don't want to be the third wheel here and it feels like you two might like a moment alone. I'm going to make sure there aren't any unsavory characters lurking," he said, picking up his gun.

Miles Behind Us
She stood leaning against the wall of the overpass, hands over the gun, but somewhat loose. Her straight black hair hung limply, framing her face. One of her hands fell to the side, hanging with a few bits of stray, stained bandage waving lazily in a light breeze.

"What do you know about anything?" she said in response to Maynard, though did not look at him. "You don't know anything about me or about the world, do you?"

Virgil made his plea to her and she finally shifted to look at one of them. Her left hand still on the weapon tightened. "Then you won't mind if I shoot you, will you?" she said, pointing the barrel at Virgil. "I mean, your goal is to die anyway, isn't it? What does it matter to you know you get there?"

She squared her stance and looked down the gun with one eye closed as if aiming, though at such a distance it would hardly be necessary.

"Simply saying, I don't care about anyone, but myself. There's no one left that I would stick my neck out for. Back home, I did everything for someone else. There's not one thing I did that was just for me. I said I don't have anything now and it's true," she said a bit quietly, sadly. "But I'm alive, I'll be damned if I give that up too. Staying alive is that very last inch and I intend to hold onto it if I have to kill everyone left."

Mara took a step suddenly and grabbed James by the collar, pointing the gun at him while holding his shirt. She looked at him a moment. Mara then grabbed his Clue board game and shoved the boy away, throwing the board game on the ground and releasing a spray of bullets into it.

"None of you have seen her so I'm leaving. Bye"