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Break Up And Break Down
Go in after her?

It was a stupid idea, one that would most likely get him killed, but if he wanted to do it, she wasn't going to stop him. Maybe he'd be enough of a distraction that she MIGHT consider getting Kyle.

Suddenly Roland was flattened by Dave. She swerved, kicking her trumpet and causing the glass to cut through the gauze, destroying her improvised weapon. She sighed, put her fingers up to her temples and crawled to the boys.

"Would you two cut it out!?" she hissed at them. "I agree that it wasn't a good plan, but if he wants to be a hero, it's not any of our business, is it?" she whispered sternly.

"And you," she said turning to Dave. "I think that a firm hold of his arm and an 'I think you shouldn't do this' would have sufficed! People are going to think we're insane" she finished, mumbling.

Isabel took a deep breath and collected the components of her shiv, shoving everything but the trumpet back in her back.

What am I doing here? I'm never going to survive this. I don't think that I can. God, it's not like anyone's going to miss me anyway. But still....why do I feel like I have to at least try?

Another deep breath. She closed her eyes and grabbed hold of her now average trumpet. "We need to communicate better."

All That I've Ever Known
Ethan heard someone scream something, a loud explosion, and then silence. When he came to his senses he found that he had been knocked quite forcefully into another work bench. Sawdust had gone flying everywhere, making the air thick with the particles. He groaned as he pried himself from the bench, but he couldn’t hear it. All he heard was a high pitched buzzing. Ethan licked his thumb and wiped it on the inside of his glasses. He pulled his inhaler out of his pocket and gave himself a quick pump of air, then straightened out his frames on his face. Someone had thrown an explosive, but thanks to the fact that he was already hiding behind the door to the sawmill and a table, he had escaped direct impact from the explosion. His back hurt like a bitch from being slammed against the work table behind him, but a few bruises were things he could deal with. Shakily, he stood up and started trying to see through the haze to his two companions. He coughed and pushed open the door.

“Hey!” he tried yelling above the buzzing in his ears. He could feel the force it took to yell, but it hardly sounded like anything came out at all. He clutched his head and looked around. A little ways away he saw a familiar, small body on the floor.

“Shit, shit, shit,” he mumbled. Ethan tried to wobble to his bag as fast as his body would allow and dragged it with him outside. Once near the body of Eleri he carefully turned her over and swept the hair from her face. Ethan lined up two fingers at her left ear and slid them down her neck. He felt the soft push of blood under his fingertips. Her chest rose and fell slightly. The buzzing was starting to die down now. He briefly scanned her face, torso and legs.

“Oh thank God. She’s still hot,” he said with a sigh of relief. He did not want to lose one of his nicest, shiniest tools that he had acquired. As long as she was still cute they could always set up another honey trap later when she woke up. If she woke up….

He started looked at her for injuries. Her formerly long, glossy black hair was now halved in length, the ends burned and frayed. Ethan tilted his head every which way, trying to see if anything else was off. The backs of her arms and legs were bright red; the first layer of skin had been burned off revealing a slick, pink layer beneath and the discarded outer layer bunched in some areas. The only major injury looked to be her hand. The girl’s right hand was short one pinky and one index finger. Ethan grimaced and pulled the first aid kit out of his bag. He took a bit of disinfectant, rubbed it on the stubs of skin where formerly there had been delicate little fingers, and started wrapping the hand in gauze.

He took out another roll of gauze and loosely dressed some of the burned areas.

“You are one lucky piece of ass,” he grumbled as he wound the gauze. “That close to the blast? All things considered you’re lucky to be in this good of shape.”


The dust was starting to settle once again. He turned to try and see if Duncan was around, but instead his he caught sight of something that portended much worse; a toppled, empty terrarium.

“Oh fuck me with a plastic rake,” he murmured and pinched the bridge of his nose. He slipped his fingers behind Eleri’s neck.

Rule number one. Do not move someone who you suspect may have a neck, head or spinal injury unless ABSOLUTLEY NESSICARY. Well, this time it’s fucking necessary.

He weighed the options and decided to pick her up. Ethan placed one hand under the bend of her knees and one hand under her back, and then hoisted her up bridal-style. Her condition seemed unchanged at being lifted. The buzzing was almost all gone now. It still felt as if someone had shoved his ears full of cotton balls.

“Duncan!” he called out.


Twists and turns
((Nick LeMonde continued from Resolve))

Nick took a moment to recover once they were outside of the building. He wiped his forehead and crept silently after Teo, trying his best not to make any unfortunate mistakes that would give them away. His streak was broken however, when he reached for his flashlight, fumbled and sent it rolling around on the floor. He smiled apologetically at Teo and picked up as quickly as he could. Inside he walked carefully around the building, looking at the stacks of crates. He walked up to one of the crates and pushed it gently. It didn’t seem to contain anything.

The soft waves of echoing voices floated into the room. Nick could make out two, maybe three voices, but there was no telling how many people were deeper inside the warehouse.

"Should we go check that out? If you want to, you take the lead and I'll cover you with the crossbow, just watch your corners. Or we could get out and try and make it to town before nightfall. Either way, I've got your back."

Nick nodded and leaned in close.

“Let’s go check it out quickly. If we don’t see anything worth hanging around for or if we walk into something we’d be better off not being involved in, we’ll leave. Maybe we can make it to that town like you said. I’ll go in first since I got the…..this thing and you got the range weapon,” he said hefting up his hunga munga.

Nick clicked off his flashlight, blinked a few times trying to adjust better to the dimmer light, and walked heel to toe trying to be quiet. As he got closer, one of the voices stood out to Nick from the others.

"I think I know one of them," he whispered back at Teo.

August Mid Month (ish) Rolls
My poor blonde girl is dead as a doornail. And she was such a sweetheart!

http://s10.zetaboards.com/SOTF_V2/topic/7287850/2/?x=0


Out Of The Darkness And Into The Light
“Let go of m-!”

Sally’s last words dissolved into a bloody gurgle. To her, the first indication of anything wrong was her inability to complete her thought, then came the pain. She couldn’t even crane her neck down enough to see what it was that was blocking her airway and speech; all she could see was the handle of the weapon when she lowered her eyes down to their absolute lowest point. She struggled to breath, but each attempt raked at the object lodged in her throat. It mocked her as she tried desperately to breath, speak, turn, do anything.

Sally fell backwards so that she was flat on her back. Somewhere up above her she could make out the face of Reiko, starting to slowly fade away with everything. The pain, Reiko, her anger was all slipping out from her grasp. Her hand which was up at the protruding object, feeling the thing, slipped down from her throat, down her dress. The most expensive thing in the entire world was now streaked down her front and pouring from her neck, covering her in her precious little life.

Her body began to shake of its own accord, realizing now that there was no air. The aching in her lungs overpowered the sharp sting of metal cutting into her. As everything swam in her eyes and things began to grow dim the one clear feeling that she felt beyond all others was the disappointment that sank in her chest like a rock.

But….she cheated. I was the best this time! I would have won! I was the best....

After a moment all movement stopped. As the light left Girl #119’s eyes all she could think about was how she had been bested by Reiko Ishida, despite wanting it more, despite being better skilled, despite being stronger and smarter.

Again.


FEMALE STUDENT NO. 119- SALLY CONNELLEY- DECEASED

Out Of The Darkness And Into The Light
Sally continued to draw back on the necklace, leaning all of her weight back to get the maximum pull.

“Oh Reiko. Didn’t you know? Little Asian girls are best seen and not heard!”

She felt the unexpected blunt contact of something against her chin and when she looked back down there was nothing where once there was Reiko gasping for air. She spun on her heels, not wanting to lose track of her opponent. Just as she did, she was greeted with a surprise kick to the knee. Normally she would have been able to gracefully recover from the blow, but she felt her legs get pulled out from under her. Sally screamed at the sudden loss of her prized balance and fell face forward onto the ground.

She pushed herself up and turned her head to see what had got a hold of her. It was the girl that Reiko had stabbed earlier. Sally seethed and threw daggers with her eyes at the girl.

“I’ll be happy to show you into the grave since you’re an impatient little cunt,” she snarled.

She kicked at the girl with all her strength. She felt as the pointed tips of her pretty shoes became stuck in sinking flesh underfoot. Sally couldn’t quite make out what she had hit in her flurry of anger and blonde hair, but the girl still kept hold of her legs. She balled her fists and whined.

“Arrg, Get your filthy hands off of me!” she screamed.

Sally reached out for her bag which had fallen near hear, unzipped and pulled out the violin. She twisted her body as much as she could with the other girl still holding her and brought the violin down on her.

“Let go, let go, let go!”

She seemed almost panicked now as swung the violin down on the girl in no discernable pattern, nor with any real goal except to hit her as hard as she could. Somewhere in her flurry of beatings she heard a “crack.” Whether the crack came from the violin or from something in the other girl, she couldn’t know, nor did she care.

Out Of The Darkness And Into The Light
Sally took slow steps towards the smaller girl as she started to look through her bag. A glimmer of satisfaction lit up her eyes when she dropped the bloody instrument. She walked up behind the other girl, bent down and put her hands on the girl’s shoulders.

“You know, I could work with you. I could watch your back while we make our way through this game. I could be your ally, I could help.”

Her left hand slipped into her dress pocket and pulled out the silver, Tiffany charm necklace.

“I could…”

Her free hand wound it self into Reiko’s hair, softly entangling her fingers,

“But I’m not going to.”

She put her left hand on the other side of the girl’s slender throat, tossed the chain the short distance to her right hand that had made it’s way down to the other side of Reiko’s neck and pulled back, tightening the little silver links against her skin.

Out Of The Darkness And Into The Light
(Continued from Where is My Mind? )

Sally had been walking for what seemed to be an eternity. She hadn’t encountered anyone since she left the group at the cabin and her feet were beginning to hurt. She was getting frustrated by constantly slipping around on the rocks in her shoes unfit for such strenuous activity. As she continued forward her dress snagged on a stray bush branch and ripped. Sally walked forward a few feet without noticing until she heard the unmistakable sound of a tear. The bottom of her skirt had ripped up to her upper thigh.

Sally stopped and stared at the offending branch. She walked back and stomped on the bush, breaking most of the branches off and cutting her feet a bit in the process. When she was done both she and the insolent bush were a mess. She huffed and continued walking, now holding and inspecting the ruined part of her garment.

A scream pierced the air, tearing her attention away from the rip. She looked up just in time to see Reiko Ishida stab a girl in front of the opening of one of the tunnels. The girl toppled over, but not before pushing Reiko. Sally slowly approached the scene until she was about ten feet from Reiko, now crawling towards her bags. Her eyes widened and a smile flickered across her face for a split second.

Reiko Ishida......

The name escaped into her mind like the sound of a busted gas pipe hissing into the silence. Her eyes zeroed in on the bloody knife type object in her hand. She bit her lip and tugged at a bit of her blonde hair.

“R-Reiko!” she stammered out. “I’m so glad to see someone I know, finally!” She conspicuously looked at the sai and tugged harder on her hair. “I know you aren’t a killer. You were probably just protecting yourself right? Right?”

That’s right. Put it down. Let me know I’m nice and safe. You aren’t a killer.

Where is My Mind?
Sally was getting rather annoyed that all Charlotte seemed to want to do was mumble about revenge and clutch her bleeding head wound. She huffed and stood up.

If she of the Russian had a good weapon then they'd probably have it out by now anyway. This is just a swaste of my times now.

She stood, dropping any pretense of helpfulness. She took up her violin, bow and bag an started out the door. Sally pushed roughly past the girl with the first aid kit and leaned against the door frame, taking one last look at the girls.

"Poor little Charlotte. It's too bad you're a dyke. I bet you'd be really popular with the boys now that you've got that extra hole in your face. But it's not all bad. Let me play you a sad song on the world's most average sized violin," she said, drawing the bow across the strings and producing a scratchy note.

With that she left the cabin and continued on.

(Sally continued in Out of the Darkness and Into the Light)

SOTF Characters (Taking Requests!)
Aw, he's so cute. Thanks Little!

Resolve
Nick felt a shiver run through his body. He released Teo’s shoulder and clutched his hung munga with both hands, bringing it up to his chest and slouching his shoulders slightly. He was still somewhat shaken by everything. His friend’s decapitated head still lay on the ground by the girl, but somehow more than that was his reaction to everything. Nick was never angry. He probably would have been less angry if Teo had shot him with that cross bow back at the entrance of the church. The feeling was foreign and disturbing; the way that it took hold of him.

He hugged the hunga munga close and took another, slightly shaky breath.

“I shouldn’ta done that. I shouldn’t,” he said in a quieter tone.

He looked up at Teo and saw him smile. Nick returned a weak smile; his former cheerfulness beginning to show through once again.

“Good idea. I’ll bet there are people in town,” he said, though really he liked the part of the plan that involved getting as far from the goth girl as possible. He opened his bag, stuck his hunga munga inside, knowing himself well enough to know that running with multiple weapons would be asking for him to trip and impale himself and took off after Teo.

((Nick continued in Twists and Turns))

August Mid Month (ish) Rolls
Death rights for Sally were claimed the second she existed. Sorry everyone!

Where is My Mind?
((Just sneakin' in here. ))

Sally walked over to the door, ignoring the other girl’s plea and leaned into the door frame. Inside she saw the girl from before clutching her eye and mumbling.

The other girl ran right past here and out of the cottage again. Her shoes clacked noisily against the wooden floor as she approached the other girl. She knelt down next to her and put her violin and bow down, but kept her pack on her shoulder.

“Goodness, look at you,” she said in her most sympathetic tone.

She looked over her shoulder to see if the other girl had returned. Seeing no one for the moment she put a hand up to the uninjured side of the girl’s face and peered up at her from below.

“Shhh, try to calm down a little. It's not going to be good for your injury. Where’s your bag?” she asked looking around the cabin as obviously as she could.

“I’ll get your kit out and we’ll see what we can do about that eye....”

Or lack of one.


CHARACTER OF THE MONTH - AUGUST 10
Okay so I know I'll do a crappy job for my "why" portion but here goes:

1. Sierra Manning: Because I think the writing on Mimi's part was lovley and because she does such a good job of breaking my heart. She's very vulnerable, but realistic and her thoughts and memories really give me a sense of who she is.

2. Phillip Ward: I think this is another good example of a realistic character. Sure he's a huge jerkface, but he's also scared. I think he's a fantastic villain and as others have said, love to hate.

3. Ilario Fiametta: So I've only seen the one post with him in the thread "Unquestioned Answers" but it was an amazing post. Not sure if that is a credit to Ilario or just Rosie in general, but it was so great I wanted to nominated Ilario. I could really feel the responsibility that his father was placing on him and even though I'm not sure what is happening with him at the moment, I sympathize.

So yeah.

Resolve
Nick was taken aback by the sudden blow to the face. The pain stemming from his nose stung and made him blink, but he shook the injury off and continued to stare at the girl. He was no stranger to bloody noses and had become accustomed to them over his long history of clumsiness.

“I didn’t kill him.” She spat in his face.

“Liar,” he growled at her. His own blood was lost in the brown-tinted blood already caked onto her skin and clothes.

He felt her buck forward with her knee and opened his legs slightly, then closed them tight in time to catch her knee between his thighs. This not having been the first time someone had attempted to knee him.

"Nick, drop her and back away. It doesn't matter what she did, don't do anything stupid!"

His hands shot out and wrapped around her neck. His fingers curled around the small radius and her soft skin bulged around his digits. Soon it was just muscle straining against his grip.

“It does matter.”

She deserves it.

"Who are you to judge?" she asked.

Slowly his grip became slack.

"We can all still walk away. We can all still walk away."

Nick removed his hands from her neck, finger still somewhat curled as he pulled them away. He took a deep breath, picked up his hunga mugna and bag and stood back up. Eyes on the floor, he shuffled over to Teo, put his free hand on the other boy’s shoulder and squeezed.

“I....I owe you one, man.”

Resolve
((GM with approval from Story))

“H-hey, wait!” he called after the girl. “That’s a lot of blood, are you okay?”

Nick took off after the girl. He wasn’t much for distance running, but with his long strides he caught up to the girl quickly.

“Just calm down a sec. I know Teo’s kind of scary with his whole ‘I’m gonna shoot you with a cross bow’ bit but I promise we’re not gonna-“

Nick reached out and grabbed hold of the strap of Liz’s duffle bag. Just as he did, he tripped for what had to have been the third or fourth time since he had woken up and pulled the bag down with him into a heap.

He rubbed his head and rolled over, knocking against the bag with his arm. Something large and round from within the pack pushed back slightly. He stared curiously at the round lump sticking up from the fabric of the bag.

“Heh, they give you a bowling ball or something?”

Nick unzipped the pack and reached in. At first it didn’t connect to him what the texture of the object could have been; only that it was soft and cold with granules of dirt sticking to it. He soon found himself face to face with Chris Davidson. For a moment his mind stalled. A second that seemed to last an eternity passed and the gears in his mind resumed motion and began passing the information through.

“You…did this?” was the soft question.

His heart began beating faster; a wave of nausea pushed at his throat from his chest and he began to realize what was in his hands.

“I….” he started, and then stopped. His fingers began to shake and it felt as if his heart had hit the bottom of his stomach. A strange, unpleasant tingle flitted in his chest and seemed to extend to his fingers, which were now digging so hard into Chris’ cheeks that he could feel the ridges of his teeth past the flesh.

The thing was obscene. A crusted bullet hole encircled in dried blood was the only vibrant marker on a lifeless face that had once been animated.

The parish, Chris. Nick had gone to the same church as him. They weren’t great friends, but occasionally they would talk about history together. Most people didn’t like to talk history with Nick, but Christ was a fellow enthusiast. He was.


“……I understand that this…..this is a game of death,” he pushed out through the rising disgust. “But why?”

His hands began to shake so badly the head rattled in his hand, making it seem that Chris was grotesquely nodding in affirmation.

“You did this,”now a hissed accusation.

Nick couldn’t anymore. He couldn’t look but he couldn’t will himself to relax his hands enough to let go. He squeezed his eyes together tightly and turned away from the thing with its eyes rolled half way back and mouth agape in a cruel imitation of the person he once knew.

Suddenly his eyes flew open. Nick dropped the head onto the duffle, grabbed Liz by the legs and pulled them out from under her. Not stopping to let go, he yanked her legs as hard as he could to pull her closer, grabbed her left shoulder and looked down at her. His unnatural blue eyes bore holes into the girl.

“YOU DID THIS! WHY IN GOD’S NAME DID CUT HIS HEAD OFF? WHAT THE FUCK?!”

His heart was racing a mile a minute and his teeth were clenched to the point of pain. He breathed as if he had just come from a marathon run, he pushed her into the dirt as hard as he could.


All That I've Ever Known
Ethan nodded at Duncan and took his place behind a table near the door. He gave Eleri a thumbs up at her performance and started looking around the room again for anything he could use. Actually, Eleri proved to be much sharper and more useful than Ethan had initially thought. He definitely wanted to keep his new tool around; who knows how many more honey traps they could set? Looking around, the sawmill was infuriatingly barren. Nothing much left except the tables and sawdust.

Fucking terrorists. They couldn’t have even left the tools? I mean, not a rotary saw or a hammer or anything? The only thing that even gives you a clue that this place used to be a sawmill is all this fucking sawdust on the floo-

The light bulb in Ethan’s mind sparked to life. He looked down and pushed a bit of the ubiquitous sawdust around with his foot and smiled. Ethan knelt down and started shoveling the wood dust and scrapings into his pockets. While he was down he waved frantically to get Duncan’s attention. He mimed picking up the sawdust, throwing it in his eyes and flailing furiously, then nodded and stood back up, now with a handful of sawdust ready.

Sorry dudes, but you gotta fight dirty if you really want something.

Away
Done packing all my things tonight and I'll be staying somewhere for Friday and Saturday, then flight on Sunday. I hope my internet is up and running in my new apartment within a week, but I will make my best effort to check once a day and post when I can.

Resolve
Nick clapped enthusiastically after the exit of Julian. He leaned down with his hands resting on his knees for a moment before picking his hunga munga back up off the floor.

Crazy Julian. Way to take one for the team, man. Good guy.

“I'm going to head to the town, see if anyone a little more sane is about. You're welcome to follow, just keep a few feet between us."

“Sure, man. Town seems like a good place to check out. You don’t seem too hot on me….dunno why… but if you don’t want to hang that’s cool. We can split once we get there. We should be good until we get to town. I doubt anyone’s gonna want to mess with two big guys like us with weapons. ”

Nick threw the odd weapon over his shoulder and continued into the small church after Teo. Inside the parish he began looking for anything useful. In the cupboards he found a few bibles still lying around. He thumbed through one of the bibles. It’s yellowed, crinkled pages yielded easily beneath his thick fingers and the smell of old library drifted up to combine into a comforting mélange. For a moment he closed his eyes and remembered the feeling of sitting in church on Sundays with his mom and dad and sister. He opened his eyes, gazed fondly at the book and gingerly put it, plus an extra bible, inside his bag. Nick dropped his bag for a moment and massaged his shoulder. He approached the pulpit; the floorboards creaked under the weight of his shuffled steps. He felt a little silly standing on that side of the podium in front of an invisible congregation. It didn’t feel right. Nick began to walk away when he hit something under the pulpit. He pulled the object out and marveled at it like he had just come down for Christmas morning.

“Score! They left booze in here! Here. We’ll drink to our health,” he said with a smile, tossing the bottle to Teo.

An odd bit of movement from the window pulled his attention like a dog hearing a squeaky toy. Making sure he had his hunga munga, he opened the parish doors to check and see if there was anything outside. From the parish he could just make out a small girl about twenty feet off covered in….blood?

“You…uh…you got red on you….,” he called out in his most helpful tone of voice.

Where is My Mind?
Sally’s eyes widened as the metal cut through Charlotte like a knife through premium clarified butter. She clamped her hand over her mouth to muffle her gasp, but under her fingers her mouth still twitched into a smile. With her empty hand she gently gripped the old wood of the window frame and squeezed.

Well, that’s what you get when your game plan is to run up against an agitated boy with claws.

She was so concentrated on the action on the other side of the window that she hadn’t noticed when another body appeared by her side. Suddenly a voice intruded on her space. "It...it's you..." followed by something in what she assumed was Russian.

The smile melted from Sally’s eyes, leaving something like surprise and horror in its place. A guttural scream from inside grabbed her attention and forced her head back in the direction of the cabin in time to see Charlotte become the perfect candidate for a monocle.

She grabbed her violin and bow, let her body collapse on itself and fell to the porch of the cabin, pushing herself close against the outer wall just below the window sill.

If he heard her….if he heard this commie bitch and he turns around, hopefully all he’ll see is ONE girl.

Even more of a disappointment to her was the appearance of one of the boys running out of the hut.

Really, Phillip? You couldn’t just off the boys on their way out?

This threw a kink into her plan to wait the fight out and then go in and recover whatever supplies were left. If he killed just Charlotte he’d probably take everything and there’d be nothing left to scavenge. Why did plans have to be complicated by people?

"Move. We need to get away from him."

“Worry about yourself,” she snapped, still angry that he had emerged alive. What nerve.

Even though he didn’t have the decency to die, he had somewhat of a point. With her bag slung over her shoulder and her violin in one hand and bow in the other, she crawled to the edge of the porch, careful that she was low enough not be seen through the window, and slipped behind the left side of the cottage. Sally leaned ever so slightly to see who would exit next.