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The Red Shoes
Alex had decided to take a nap while Sophie was trying to help comfort Megan. That left Grace sitting on a bed with nothing to do but twiddle her thumbs. It was a little irritating for her, to have so many people around but no one to talk to, but odds were, she would only be distubing if she went over to talk to Megan or Gavin.

She didn't like sitting around doing nothing and so despite her aching feet, she stood up, and decided to look around the store a bit. This was interesting for the half minute that linen could be interesting. She plonked herself back down back on the bed, staring intently at the couple. The two of them were being rather secretive, passing notes like middle schoolers.

It all seemed like a weird drama from where she was. A drama with the sound off. She plopped back down on the bed with a sigh. Perhaps Alex had the right idea. It didn't seem right to disturb them at all.

Good Day Sunshine
Stephanie honestly doubted that an escape was possible. She wanted to believe that there was a way, but honestly? They would have to do the impossible to make it happen. And the impossible was called just that for a reason.

But then, she felt bad about leaving Brian and Zubin, especially since Zubin looked so excited about his escape plan. But couldn't she say the same about Mallory and her plans? Whichever way she went, she was going to let someone down.

Stephanie looked between Zubin and Mallory. Brian seemed to be resigned to Mallory leaving, passing her a note to give Ruby.

"I-" she started, before realising that she wasn't sure what to say. "I think I'm gonna stick with Mallory. I don't think escape is safe. Sorry, Zubin."

She stood by the doorway and waited for Mallory to follow. Hopefully Zubin would understand.

The Red Shoes
"Oh. I did forget to introduce myself, didn't I? I'm Grace Faraday," she said a little absent mindedly, giving an awkward smile to Sophie's actions.

She stole a sideways glance towards the lovers reunion. Megan was sobbing into Gavin's arms and Grace felt a slight twinge of jealousy towards the pair. Romance, actually even normal friendships were a struggle at times for her and there the two of them were together in each others arms. Maybe one day, if she got off this island she might find someone like that. That was a big if.

"I wouldn't expect to find any shoes here." Grace tried to hide the wistful on her face. It wouldn't do to make them wonder why she looked upset. "But there must be a shoestore around here somewhere. Why did you walk here barefoot anyway?"

The Red Shoes
To Grace, finding Megan this fast was a little surprising. The island was large enough that even a hundred and fifty students wouldn't meet that often. Even less since they were probably all travelling in groups. But it was a good coincidence and Gavin knowing Megan made it much easier to talk to the other group.

She ignored Gavin and Megan for a second, deciding to let them have enjoy their reunion, instead plopping down on a bed near the other two. Alex was clearly recognisable; his white hair gave him away instantly. The other girl, Sophie, was less familiar to her, but making conversation shouldn't be too difficult.

"So what are you guys doing here anyway? I wouldn't think that shopping for beds would be a great plan for survival."

The Red Shoes
"What." Grace's statement wasn't meant for anyone, simply noting that she couldn't make heads of tails of the... joke? It was supposed to be one at any rate. Another voice had chimed in, devlarimg a joke competition.

"A hundred bucks for one joke. Really. Is humour that hard to find on this island?" she shouted backat the voices. But her statement was soon forgotten as a third voice called out from within the store. And whoever it was, she knew Gavin.

That in itself wasn't to surprising, given that everyone in school "knew" Gavin, but she had only heard his voice. The two of them must have been rather close.

She turned to Gavin to see what he would do, whether he wanted to play it safe or to move in. After all, Gavin was the ideas guy. She could trust him to do the best thing. But Gavin didn't seem like his usual self all of a sudden, his composed manner wasn't entirely there and his words didn't contain his usual rational calm. It was only when he said the girl's name that she understood. Megan.

All of sudden, Grace felt like giggling. "It's complicated, huh?" Grace quickly caught up with Gavin. " Let's go see what your girlfriend's like."

The Red Shoes
Of course there was someone else here. From the sounds of it, not hostile but just scared. But aje wasn't going to get up unless it was absolutely neccessary. She simply swiveled around to face the store where the voice came from.

Linen and Things. At least that was where she thought the voice had come from. Were they getting clothes or bedsheets? That didn't seem like a completely reasonable plan of action. Maybe he was just taling a nap? The place looked like it sold mattresses.

That settled it. Absolutely neccessary. If there were beds there, she wanted in. She stood up and walked over towards Gavin.

"Yup. We don't plan to do any killing," she shouted at the voice. "Do you mind if we come in?"

The Red Shoes
"Really? Thanks." Grace tried not to sound too happy to accept Gavin's offer but passed the bag to him almost instantly.

It only took another second to find a bench to slump down on in the middle of the concourse, happy to finally not need her feet to touch the ground.

"Thank God for benches," she declared, not quite caring if she was being to loud. Even the hard wood of the bench felt like the best silk mattress to her right at that moment. There was no way she was going to get up fron here, not any time soon.

Grace watched as he walked up towards one of the stores. Gavin really was a nice guy. Thank goodness it had been him who had found her at the docks earlier that morning. After all, she had been a sitting duck for some psycho with a gun.

She looked up at the upper floors for a second, wondering if there could be someone hiding there waiting for them to make a move. It was probably just paranoia. Besides, she was quite sure that most people would still be friendly. All that she needed to do was to keep an eye out.

Taking a look at the large empty space, that wouldn't be too hard.

Good Day Sunshine
It was a little surprising that it wasn't the jerks and bullies who were killing. But Stephanie understood better than anyone else here that, sometimes, people just snap. The atmosphere of this whole game was probably designed to facilitate just that.

Besides, who knew how much the announcements were twisting events. She remembered that they used to do that. After all, the announcements couldn't possibly contain the guilt and the anger and the sadness that most of them probably felt after doing something so stupid. It was of course, no real excuse, but at the least, Stephanie could symphatise.

And perhaps that was why Nina's cynicism had irked her so much. Of course people were dying. That much was a given, but then didn't that make it all the more important to find close friends, to give both them and yourselves a little bit of hope? That would probably prevent some needless deaths.

But if they were all going to die, why delay it? After all, only one was supposed to survive and it couldn't be certain that rescue would come. Why was she fighting against the inevitable? Was it strength? Or was it fear? Could they find their own way out of this hellhole of an island?

"I don't mind helping out, but I'm not entirely sure that there's still a way out. I mean, they've been doing this for years, right? We'd have to think of something completely ridiculous to find a way out."

The Red Shoes
((Grace Faraday continued from Red Skies, Red Hearts))

Grace had walked far further yesterday, but new aches and pains had led to journey being rather tiring. It had been a miracle that she was carrying so little, but even so, the strap of the bag had dug into her shoulder.

She had done her best not to complain, after all they were heading for supplies, but it was difficult not to think of the pain everytime she took a step.

And thus, she managed to take a few steps past Gavin when he came to a stop. At this point,she was quite ready to just give up and collapse on the floor, just as she had declared about a mile and a half back. At least they were finally here.

She nodded at his instruction and followed him in through the double doors. The sight was impressive, the place had been designed well, looking much larger than it actually was. The complete lack of people seemed to add to that effect, having a feeling of spaciousness that so few malls had. Which would have been great if she was shopping or hanging out with friends. Not now.

"We've gotta walk all the way over there?" she muttered, not wanting Gavin to think she was whining. The trip had better be worth it, otherwise she was going to have to-

No. That wasn't even funny to contemplate. Why did her head keep thinking this sort of thing? Grace ignored the thought and trudged along, following Gavin towards the stores.

Red Skies, Red Hearts
She pondered getting a rope too , but agreed with her initial opinion after watching him pick apart the ancient knot. Too much effort for too little gain. Besides, she didn't quite want to touch the rope at all. Gavin probably had more than enough for anything short of actually constucting something. And as far as she could tell, he wasn't planning on building a boat.

"I'm fine without any, " she said, she took a step towards the maze of shipping containers. "Let's go. You know where we're going next, right? Lead the way." Grace didn't seem to understand the meaning of her own sentence though, and without so much as a look behind her, she was already on her way out of the docks.

((Grace Faraday continued elsewhere.))

Red Skies, Red Hearts
"That sounds great." Grace returned Gavin's smile. Gavin had some idea of what he was doing, and seemed to have a plan.

"Trawling the mall and searching for supplies sounds more like zombie apocalypse material, but I guess this is sort of the apocalypse for us anyway. Just that instead of zombies there are-" She wasn't even going to finish that thought in her head and she stopped there, leaving the sentence hanging in midair.

"So, you've just been spending your time collecting supplies?" Grace changed the subject, not wanting to think more about what her other classmates were doing on this island. "Sounds much more productive than what I did. Gathering food would be really nice. The rations they gave us, they taste like crap."

"So you wanna get going, or do you have something you wanna do here?"

Red Skies, Red Hearts
"Emerson? Haven't seen her about. Wasn't part of the announcements either, was she?" Grace could see how much she mattered to him. Grace thought back to yesterday's confrontation. It was possible that he was faking it, but the face Gavin was making didn't suit what she knew about him, and his uncertainty here didn't match his reputation at all.

"You asked if I'm looking for anyone right? I was actually looking for a Jacquilyn, she's with a guy called Joachim. She conned me, wait no, she conned Matt and me, and then ran away with a gun. I tried to follow her, but you can see how well that went. God, I wouldn't even know what I'd do if I found her. Like a dog chasing a car, really. I really need to think ahead more, don't I?" Despite everything, Grace laughed a little.

If she kept this up, she was going to find herself dead. Gavin probably knew enough to think that she was an idiot. And given what she had done, who would blame him? In fact, at the moment, she wasn't even sure herself that she wasn't one.

"Anyway, if you want to find your girlfriend, I don't mind helping you out. I mean, I haven't got a clue what I want to do myself. Might as well help someone else out, right?"

Red Skies, Red Hearts
Listening to Gavin berate her wasn't at all what Grace had expected. She knew not to point a weapon at someone. Her father had told her that long ago, to treat a weapon as if it was ready to fire at any second. But she had panicked. What more was there to say? People were dying on this island and here she was getting a lecture on gun safety.

"Don't worry. I won't." she replied, pouting slightly. Gavin was still eyeing her carefully and she was rather aware that the stare was aimed not at her but the object in her hand. She wasn't sure what to do with it. She wanted to put it away but she didn't want to have to unceremoniously stuff it back into her bag as if she hadn't embarrassed herself enough by taking the pistol out in the first place.

She almost started another apology but she stopped herself. Why was her first instinct to say sorry over and over again? She was sure some people found that sort of thing irritating. In any case it wasn't going to help her out here.

"If you want to know what I'm doing here, well, I kinda have no idea myself. Sorta just wandered about and found myself out here. I ended up just looking at the ocean, that is, at least I was, up until you appeared. I've tried looking about but I couldn't find anyone. You're the first person I've seen since yesterday."

Red Skies, Red Hearts
"Oh." Grace sighed in relief. A little part of her mind told her that he could have been lying, trying to take down her guard but she didn't really care. Instead, she siimply trusted him and lowered her weapon.

She stood there for a second, unsure of what to do. After all, she just pointed a pistol at him, not exactly the best way to start off. At the very least she should apologise gor the whole fiasco.

"Um. Sorry 'bout that. Guess I kinda panicked. I'm really sorry. If you're looking for supplies, well,this isn't exactly the best place. Nothing particularly useful if you ask me. Try your luck if you want, you might actually find something."

Of course the terrorists had probably taken everything of use from here. Sure, there was some rope, and the odd loose plank but they seemed useless in her mind, or at least not worh the effort of getting them out. She decided to wait and ser what Gavin would do. Perhaps find some unorthodox use for something. After all, he probably had a trick or two hidden up that jacket of his.


Red Skies, Red Hearts
The sound was almost lost in the midst of the crashing waves, but somehow, Grace managed to hear it, the soft whistling much akin to wind flowing through a pipe.

She turned around, taking a moment to realize that the source of the sound was a person. At that, she fumbled, struggling to pull her pistol out of her bag, finally managing the bring the weapon to face him.

The boy was tall, he must have been over six feet, and his broad shoulders made him look exceptionally intimidating to Grace. But that wasn't his most distinctive feature. He was wearing a leather jacket that came down to his knees. That made him instantly identifiable.

There was no way for her to run. She'd have to get past him first. Jumping into the ocean could get her killed. Especially since his weapon was still hidden. She trained the pistol on him, ensuring that the iron sights kept him in the center.

"Y-You're Gavin, right? Gavin Hunter?" Crap. She had stuttered. There went every bit of authority she had in the situation. She took a step forward, ready to run if need be. All she had to do was get past him and into the maze that was the shipping containers. Once she got there, she would be safe. Hopefully.

"What's your weapon? And...Um... What are you doing here?"

Red Skies, Red Hearts
(Continued from This Ain't No Make Believe)

After the first thirty minutes or so, Grace had given up all hope of finding the Jacquilyn. Besides, what was she supposed to do when she met her? Confront her with a pistol? That would only have led to her being killed.

She had tried going back to the clearing, Leona and Matt were friendly after all, but when she did find it, two hours of blundering through the woods later, it had been empty, only trampled grass telling her that people had been there before.

She was scared. She was alone again and she had no idea what to do now. Should she stay here and camp for the night? Or keep moving and look for shelter? Should she continue searching for Jaq? Could she? Wracked with indecision, it had taken Grace a while to compose herself. Now there wasn't anyone to help her make the right choice. There wasn't going to be someone to help when she screwed up. She had to count on herself.

The map had ended up useless, after all, what use was a map when you had no idea where you were? She had ended up wandering, hoping to stumble upon something, someone. Somehow, she managed to reach the town, but the empty streets and abandoned cars had unnerved her and she continued on.

At one point, she had heard a gunshot far in the distance, from then on, she began holding the pistol in her hand. Just for safety, she had told herself, but she couldn't entirely believe her own words.

In the end, she stopped at the docks. The ocean was tinged slightly green, algae and barnacles coating the surfaces closest to the water. It had been reminiscent of home, the constant sea breeze bringing the smell of brine towards the shore.

Grace had looked around a bit, hoping to find a boat, or some method of escape. In the end though, the search was futile and whatever materials there were looked like they were on the verge of breaking apart.

The announcements had ended an hour ago. She had managed to fall asleep before them, a troubled sleep in a small room that she assumed was some office. She was on the edge of the docks now, looking out at the ocean, wondering what she should do. She looked behind her at the island. It didn't look very small, but she knew that it would still be difficult for them to be found. Wouldn't it be nice though, to think that there was someone on the way to save them? But wishful thinking wouldn't get her anywhere. Of that much she was sure.

Good Day Sunshine
((Stephanie Wright continued from May The Odds Not Fuck You In The Butt))

She had woken up early that morning, simply to have a look about. Some of the others were awake, but she didn't make the effort to speak to them. Instead, she walked up to a window and stared out at the landscape. A row of houses greeted her, looking as if they had been cloned from one another, a neat looking street that was caught in the midst of the disaster that they had all been transplanted into.

She was lucky. Despite having heard gunfire at least twice, she hadn't met anyone violent at all. Not everyone else was so lucky. She had every urge to just stay in this building, in this idyllic looking street until everything just ended. Perhaps they should, wait for someone to rescue them. After all, it had happened before. It hadn't occurred to her before now, but her parents must have been worried sick. Ryan too. Gran, neighbours, and everyone else who had cared for her. And here she was, stuck on an island in the middle of God knows where waiting to be killed by some psycho with a gun. Stephanie threw a wooden ornament out the window, watching it sail across and bounce across the lawn.

Her thoughts were interrupted by an announcement, the sound distant, yet seemingly everywhere. She didn't want to continue listening, not wanting to hear the names of the dead, of friends turned killers, but she simply stood there, transfixed by the smouldering train wreck that was the announcement. Eight deaths in a single day, lives and opportunities snatched away by the man reading them out. Not personally of course, but he might as well have gunned down all of them with his own hands. It didn't make any real difference to her.

Nina had seen something horrible. Brian was conversing with her but she wasn't sure that was helping. Stephanie wanted to say something to comfort Nina. But no, she stayed silent, uncertain of what to say, and not wanting to make a bad situation worse by saying the wrong thing. She looked towards the pair for a second, a pained look on her face, before turning back towards the window with a sigh. Why the hell was this so difficult?

May The Odds Not Fuck You In The Butt
Brian's punji stick reminded her of the shovel that she was still holding. She wasn't exactly sure why she was still carrying it. She might be able to use it for self defense in a pinch. She swung it around once, slightly dissatisfied with the way it turned.

But despite the array of bad weapons—every other person on the island had gotten guns as far as she could tell—things weren't going bad at all. They were now in a group, and while Stephanie would have been perfectly happy with less, there was safety in numbers. Her plan had met no objections, and to be honest, that little satisfaction was enough to make her smile a little.

"Let's start moving. If we wait any longer, she'll be halfway to town before we catch up." Stephanie said jokingly. With that, she hefted her bag and started running after Mallory.

((Stephanie Wright continued in Good Day Sunshine))

May The Odds Not Fuck You In The Butt
It didn't seem like anyone had any objections to moving, and frankly, and if there were gunshots, she'd like to be far, far away from the jerk, or the idiot, who had the bright idea of pulling the trigger. No one who wanted to shoot someone was worth trusting anytime. Good thing everyone here seemed to be nice enough.

Stephanie acknowledged Zubin's entrance with a nod, but she was now ready to leave. It would be dark soon and being out in the middle of nowhere at night was a horrid idea, especially with so little to defend themselves with.

"Um, no one here was shooting anyone, Mallory's a little panicked over some cowboy and our weapons are all definitively crap. We might as well start moving off now, right? If anyone here is good with a map, please, feel free to lead the way." Stephanie began taking a few steps towards what she was rather sure was west before turning back towards the rest, "Wait. You guys are coming, right?"

This Ain't No Make Believe
The outcome hadn't come as a complete sutprise, but it was still more than enough to make her doubt her decision.

What would running after them acheive? She'd probably get herself killed , or at the least in deep trouble. So why did she want to follow them? Did she simply want some misguided revenge or was there something else?

She wasn't sure of the answer to any of these questions. Maybe she didn't want to know.

"Well, I guess we part ways here. " Grace gave them a nod before starting off in the direction where the two had left. She looked back, just once, and wondered if this what she should be doing. It didn't seem like such a good idea after all.

(Grace Faraday continued elsewhere)