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Why We Fight
Kimiko stayed where she was, watching the scene unfold in front of her. Luckily it didn't seem like anyone had noticed her presence. She still felt like she was seeing something she shouldn't have been though. They were having a conversation not even realizing she was watching them. Not even aware of the killer only feet away. It was a strange feeling within Kimiko, not knowing whether she should have revealed herself. She was weighing up her options when Clarice started to break down.

Her legs moving despite herself Kimiko slowly moved out from her hiding position and approached the group. It was a terrible idea but Clarice was one of her best friends and she felt compelled to try and comfort her or do something. At the same time she didn't know how the whole group, or Clarice for that matter, would react to her presence. She made sure to make it obvious she meant no harm, the sword hanging harmlessly from her shoulder and hands empty of anything that could potentially cause harm.

She stopped a few feet away and looked over the group, waiting for their reaction. At the same time her body was tensed, ready to carry her away at the first sign of any of the group intending to do her harm.

They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Luckily Cass and Irene spoke sense and agreed that sticking together was fine and in another stroke of luck the boy agreed as well. It was a good thing everything worked out peacefully, there was still a shotgun in play. Trav stretched his arms out over his head, relieving the tension that had been building in his body, his muscles had been coiled tight like a spring, prepared in case he had needed to take action.

It was good it hadn't come to that. Trav was aware of the corpse lying nearby, and what it truly was; a warning to them and everyone else. A message. People were going to try and kill them and once they did there would be no remorse. Just the next victim.

Trav wasn't going to let himself or anyone be a victim, not while he could prevent it. He'd decided it during the conversation as he had been thinking about Cass' and Noodle's safety. Sure it was dangerous and dumb The better idea would be to just pretend none of it was happening but if he had the ability to protect people he thought it would be wrong not to use it.

Cliche hero thoughts. He lacked imagination that was for sure.

As things were however Trav was fine with him and Cass continuing as they had been. He didn't see much harm in having two others along.

"Yeah, no issue with you tagging along, just not whatever you were just talking about." Trav was grinning, probably nerves but still he had no idea what the boy had meant.

"What's your name anyway?"

Why We Fight
((Kimiko Kao continued from The Lagniappe))

After what had happened Kimiko found herself returning to the only other place on the island that she had felt safe. She didn't feel comfortable though, Kimiko found herself looking over her shoulder the whole journey, making sure no one tried to ambush her like on the previous day. Her back still had the occasional twinge of pain as she walked, an uncomfortable reminder of what had happened but also something that helped focus her. It also helped keep her mind off what had happened. She intended to make sure Caleb hadn't died for nothing, but she didn't know how to go about it. She couldn't shake the feeling that nothing she did mattered as much as what had happened in the cabin. But Kimiko knew she had to keep moving forwards otherwise she would find herself adrift and at a loss of what to do.

It was obvious that her first few days on the island had put a target on her back. People knew who she was and were planning around her. People were also out to get out, that much had become clear. She had to be much more careful and smarter then she had been. No more snap decisions, she had to think everything through and do it with a purpose. She wasn't just being selfish anymore, she carried Caleb's hopes with her. She couldn't let him down.

The storehouse came into her view, she could see the stairs leading up to the helipad, where she had collected the nodachi. It felt like an eternity ago after everything that had happened. This time however Kimiko intended to search inside. She had her supplies plus Caleb's but anything extra she could scavenge would only be beneficial in the long run. Kimiko made sure the tantō was secure in her pocket and took the nodachi off her shoulder, gripping it firmly in her hand. She had to be ready in case anyone was already there.

As she moved closer the question was answered. There were three people outside the storehouse and one of them was Clarice. Kimiko stopped and slowly crouched down, careful to make sure there was nothing nearby that could have given her position away like in the staff housing. From her crouched position Kimiko crept forward, using the bushes and trees for cover.

She wanted to attract Clarice's attention but stopped herself. There was no way of knowing how any of the three would react: Bart, Jennifer or Clarice. They could have shot at her as soon as she appeared, then Caleb's sacrifice would have meant nothing.

The other thing stopping her was the intense feeling of shame brought on by seeing Clarice. She couldn't bring herself to face her and doubt was starting to set in. Kimiko turned, intending to leave but as she did so some of the ground gave way under her foot. She managed to keep herself from falling by using her free hand to steady herself but her heart was pounding out of her chest and her breathing was ragged. As put her hand over her mouth to keep herself quiet it brushed something dry and brittle.

Caleb's blood was still on her face.

The Lagniappe
He let go, pitching sideways and she gasped for air, only to be greeted with a splash of his blood hitting her in the face. It was so warm. She saw what he signed as he lay on next to her on the bed but it didn't register, not at first.

It became clear what had happened as he continued. She was sobbing, watching him explain himself.

She hadn't wanted him to die. She had just thought he was trying to kill her, but that was what he had wanted.

Painfully he touched his hand to his lips and then to hers.

He gave her one final message, that brought a tearful smile to her face. Then he was gone.

Kimiko pressed her hand to her lips and gently placed them against his.

Then she buried her face in the bed and wept.

______________________________


Kimiko didn't know how long it had been.

She was sat knees pulled up to her chest in the corner of the room. Caleb still lay on the bed, his blood dried onto the sheets, she could feel it on her lower jaw and around her mouth as well. It had dried and become itchy but she hadn't touched it. Instead she just started at nothing in particular. She felt an emptiness she had never felt before. There was a longing as well, a longing for everything to be over. She knew that she couldn't give up though. She couldn't let Caleb's sacrifice be for nothing.

He had loved her.

He had given up his life so she had a better chance of winning; letting that go to waste would be an insult to his memory.

She had to make sure that didn’t happen.

Shakily Kimiko pushed herself to her feet and walked from the room. There was an emptiness in the way she walked, like a vessel that had been hollowed out and was waiting to be filled. She climbed the stairs and moved into one of the bedrooms, tearing the sheets off of it before heading back out and back down, back into the room with Caleb. She stopped in the doorway, not wanting to move any further. He looked peaceful, she wondered if he would have ascended to Tian.

She sincerely hoped he had.

There was nothing for her to give Caleb the proper funeral he deserved, on top of that she didn't have the time. Then again he probably wouldn't have cared anyway. She moved closer. Kimiko didn't want to cover Caleb with the sheet, it meant she would never get to see his face again but she couldn't bring herself to leave his body in full view of the cameras. Blinking away more tears Kimiko laid the sheet over Caleb, then she gathered up everything and left the room.

______________________________


Kimiko was sat with her back against the kitchen counter, hugging her pack to her chest. The nodachi lay beside her along with the tantō. She had heard the announcement come and go. Her name was mentioned again as they spoke of Bradley's death. Caleb's murder wasn't mentioned. Occasionally she would start to drift off to sleep but all she saw was Caleb's face and fresh tears would form.

The guilt was eating away at her, in her isolation she nothing to think about besides Caleb. She had replayed the previous day over and over in her head, embedding his eyes, his laugh, his smile. His final message to her. And whenever she closed her eyes she saw the moment itself in all its detail.

She hugged her pack tighter.

______________________________


Eventually Kimiko forced herself to leave. She had taken Caleb's supplies, the Nixon mask she had propped against her megaphone on the kitchen counter, next to the half-eaten slice of pizza. She was stood at the door, scared to open it and continue on down the path the stretched before her.

Make your life what you want it to be now. The rest will follow.

What did she want?

Taking a deep breath Kimiko steadied herself and opened the door, leaving the hunting cabin without looking back.

It didn't stop the pain she was feeling.

((Kimiko Kao continued in Why We Fight))

V6 Second Announcement
Spiral out

Shock Me
Through the haze of pain Cameron saw Vinny beside her. She tried to say something, maybe something comforting, she wasn't sure because no words came out. She felt bad that Vinny would have to see her die. She didn't want to be a burden like that. She was glad she'd at least found them though, she was lucky that she managed to find at least one of her friends. She hadn't managed that with Vanessa or Coleen.

That was her biggest regret. She hadn't found either of them. It was the one thing she had wanted to do and she'd failed at doing it. All she had wanted was to tell both of them how much they had helped her out when she needed it, even if they didn't realise. She felt so selfish and stupid about what she had done and how it had fucked up their relationship. Now she would never get the chance to try and fix that.

She coughed as something rose in her throat. Speaking was beyond her now, nothing she could do about it, her body was slowly shutting down. She was dimly aware of her parents back home and what they would do, then again they were busy sorting out a divorce. Cameron had never been close to them ever since the first issues back when she was fourteen, hell she spent more time in her basement alone than with either of them. Most of her time was spent with the band or Vanessa. Truth, was she was more worried about how Vanessa's mom Caitlin would handle everything.

Shit, Vanessa. She would be heartbroken. Cameron wished her throat wasn't full of bile so she could have asked Vinny to pass on a message to Vans...and Coleen, B.B., Brady. Fuck, she had let them all down, dying so quickly.

Slowly though her vision was fading, Vinny's face swimming in and out of focus. A numbness spreading through her body. Cameron didn't want to die but she couldn't find anything to help her fight it off. There was nothing left for her.

Then she heard the scream from her best friend.

Maybe if Vanessa had arrived a few seconds earlier things might have gone differently, but Cameron managed to at least see her face once more and as stupid as it was she didn't want Vanessa's last memory of her to be her lying on the ground bleeding to death.

Slowly and with great effort she managed to raise her right hand, palm and tattoo facing outward over her eye, a goofy grin on her face as tears ran down her cheeks. She forced herself to choke down the bile, managing to get enough air in her body for at least a word.

"S-sorry..."

Then her hand fell to the floor and she drifted away. An ocean of regrets left behind.

G048 - Herrig, Cameron: Deceased
86 Students Remain

V6 Second Announcement
Things are going well with the death but to schedules clashing it probably won't be done within time. If I could have a two day extension that should be enough. Thanks.

Shock Me
Cameron saw and heard the attack too late. The pickaxe flew out of the darkness like a ghost had taken control of it and embedded itself in her stomach. Belatedly she saw the hands and arms that belonged to the person that had swung it.

Al...what the fuck?

At first there wasn't any pain. Just a dull throb.

Cameron looked at Al in surprise. Then the pain arrived and she slumped over whimpering, hands feebly pawing at the pickaxe.

She had heard once that being stabbed in the stomach was one of the most painful ways to die, since there were a lot of nerves and you would slowly bleed out. It was living up to that because an intense burning was spreading from where the pickaxe was stuck in her. She could also feel blood starting to run onto her hands.

This was what dying felt like. Weird. She had always wondered. She was crying now. She'd had dark thoughts before but she had never wanted to die.

Her breath was ragged as her mind raced through all the things she wanted to do, too many things.

Most of all though she wanted to see Peyote Coyote one last time.

It didn't look like she was going to get that chance.

The Lagniappe
She felt the hands tighten around her throat and lashed out in panic, ramming her own hands into the wrists and arms, there was no give however. As Kimiko's vision came into focus she saw Caleb's tear covered face over hers.

Why?

She felt the pressure on her throat and the wetness as tears started to form in her eyes and roll down her cheeks.

Why was he doing it?

The pressure wasn't letting up and she tried to get him to stop, mouthing his name but he didn't let go.

She was crying openly now. She didn't understand why Caleb was doing what he was, but she didn't want to die. So she only had one choice.

Her right hand fumbled in her pocket until it got a hold of the tantō, she pulled it out and pushed the sheath off with her thumb, she felt a dull pain but ignored it.

She tried mouthing one more thing as she looked up at Caleb's tear streaked face through her own tear filled eyes.

"I'm sorry."

Then in one quick, jerky motion she ripped the tantō along his throat.

They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
The boys sentence was disjointed and broken, Trav's eyebrow went up. He wanted to work with someone, emphasis on the one. He wasn't sure what the kid was suggesting but it sounded strange and honestly like he just wanted to work with someone to kill.

Trav shook his head. He was sticking with Cass, no questions about that one. He wouldn't stop Irene, he guessed that was her name, if she wanted to go with the mystery man but he wasn't going anywhere. He guessed if Cass wanted to go with him Trav would follow, But he didn't think she would.

If he was being honest Trav knew that they had been very lucky in how little of the ugliness of the game the two them had encountered. It was why moving off the roof had been such a risk, it felt like whatever had been separating the two worlds; theirs and the games had been broken as they had descended the stairs. Now they had to face the facts of not knowing what way any given interaction would go. If he said or did the wrong thing would the shotgun end up being used?

It was hard to say. He had no insight into how others were feeling or what their mental state may have been at any given moment.

"I'm alright." He said. "Got someone I'm looking for."

The Lagniappe
Caleb didn't say anything more about the nodachi. The whole conversation was peaks and valleys, every time they seemed to be getting comfortable something else would pop up and ruin everything. Then it went back to square one of them falling into a silence that Caleb was forced to break. She hated that she was putting the pressure on him to keep the conversation moving but she couldn't help it. The physically and mentally she struggled whenever she was reminded of what she'd done.

She raised her hands to start to tell him how much what he was doing meant to her but he was moving a chair so she just let them fall down by her sides. When he turned around again he was already talking and the moment slowly drifted away, joining the dust floating through the room.

He made her smile again though. That was enough.

As soon as he mentioned sleep a wave of fatigue washed over her as if brought on by his words. She didn't treat it as a potential danger though. The door was barred and Caleb was with her. She was safe. Eventually she felt the overwhelming need to rest. There was a bedroom on the ground floor so Kimiko moved herself into it, dropping her pack and resting the nodachi next to the bed. Lying down on the soft bed she realised how badly her back hurt, she thought she may have jarred something in her back.

It didn't matter though, for one night at least she had friendly company and a bed. For at least one night she could have peace.

Mimi
We only do it cause we care, that and you keep moving house >: (

The Lagniappe
The pizza did not go down well. That was overselling it a bit but Caleb wasn't impressed that it was a vegan. Kimiko had forgotten about that detail due to everything else that had been happening. He took the disgust in stride though, spinning it off into another joke. This time Kimiko couldn't help herself and her body shuddered as she laughed.

Laughing wasn't something she did often, in fact she tried to avoid it as much as possible because people always reacted with shock or surprise. It was the combination of her body making all the movements and actions for laughter but no sound coming out so because of the reactions she always tried to contain it. Caleb had managed to break her down though and the relief of just being with someone she trusted and liked helped loosen her up. She stopped quickly however and took Caleb's hand to stand up.

It was reassuring to have physical contact with someone that didn't involve violence or the imminent threat of it. It brought into stark focus how wrong everything had gone and how quickly. Caleb's grip helped set that off, something tangible that she could rely on. Someone whose company felt removed from everything around them.

She knew she didn't deserve what he was giving her. Not after everything she had done. But she was happy to abandon any worries and enjoy the feeling of being taken by it all. It was the closest she had come to Wu-wei since she had woken up. She didn't want to do anything to break the harmony they had found.

Then Caleb asked about the nodachi and Kimiko's smile dropped away, as her hand left his.

"Yeah," She paused, hands hanging in mid-air as she thought about how to answer. "It was part of the prize."

Shock Me
"Yeah at least Brady and B.B. are alright." Selfishly Cameron had forgotten about Brady and B.B. until Enza had brought them up. She wondered how they were doing and coping with what had happened. She hoped they were alright and that eventually everything would turn out OK for them. Cameron didn't want what had happened to ruin their lives. They couldn't have done anything to chance or stop it. Cameron didn't want them to carry what had happened with them their whole lives.

"Is it a boy or girl day by the way? I want to make sure, y'know since don't want to be rude." Cameron's question may have seemed low on the totem pole of things they needed to worry about but she had always been careful to make sure to confirm. It just felt more polite to check and make sure.

Obviously the real reason she was asking was that it was something to talk about so they could stay distracted. Something they could hopefully spiral off into a fully-fledged conversation. Just something to take away from the oppressive silence. Cameron just needed some form of noise to take her mind off everything. She normally had music to listen too or at least have Vans around to talk too. Her mind being allowed to wander always lead to dark thoughts, and she didn't want to experience them in the situation she was in.

Letting out a sigh Cameron leaned back.

"I don't know what to do Human."

The Lagniappe
Kimiko appreciated Caleb not probing any further more than he may have realised. He didn't want to ask and she didn't want to talk about it. She was scared of how he would react when he heard about Bradley though and that tempered her feelings of happiness at them finding each other. Thankfully Caleb didn't dwell on the point either, quickly moving the conversation on before things became awkward.

She smiled at the frown he put on and raised her hands to respond.

"Is my company not good enough for you?"

Again she found herself escaping her surroundings, enjoying the moment briefly before everything snapped back into place whenever she blinked. Caleb rolled over and adopted a pose like a sleeping dog...or a lazy cat. Kimiko couldn't immediately decide which, but Caleb had always struck her as more of a cat. She smiled again at his question even though she knew that she shouldn't be losing herself in his company. Not after what had just happened on the slopes. But she was finding she couldn't help herself.

"It would help if I was because no offence, not sure the superpower of being able to vacuum up cigarettes is very useful. She grinned at him as she said it, to make sure he knew that she was only playing around with him. "But thanks for saving me back there." She meant that part.

Her ears pricked up momentarily until she realised it was just Caleb's stomach, which reminded Kimiko that she still had part of her prize left. Her pack dropped off her shoulders as Kimiko searched until she found the wrapped up pizza slices. Carefully placing them on the floor she unfolded their bandage covering and pushed it into the space between of the two of them. She hadn't been able to bring herself to eat all of it when she had been alone, but sharing it helped alleviate her guilt.

"Here they gave me this."

The Lagniappe
Kimiko allowed Caleb to gently guide her into the cabin and place her down. He followed it up by collapsing, and then making a terrible joke that she couldn't help grinning at as she sat herself cross-legged on the floor. It was pleasant to forget even for a moment that everything wasn't normal. Unfortunately, it was just that, a second. Reality immediately followed when he asked her how she was and her grin fell away with its coming.

It was a question Kimiko wasn't sure she could answer. Honestly she wasn't sure how she was, she wasn't good but at the same time things seemed good for her now. Caleb's appearance had made her happy and she felt guilty about it. She had ruined two families lives.

Kimiko raised her hands to answer but they fell limply into her lap. No words or ideas were forthcoming, just an empty feeling of regret at everything. Maybe she thought everything would have been different if she had woken up and found Caleb. It was an empty train of thought, she knew that.

Raising her shaking hands again Kimiko managed to sign out a response. It was the first time she had said something since they'd been kidnapped.

"Better now." She managed, a weak smile appearing again.

The Lagniappe
Kimiko let out a sigh of relief and tucked the tantō back into her pocket when she heard the voice. It was Caleb. She assumed he had been the one that had followed her from the slopes, which in turn meant he had saved her. After everything that had happened, despite her killing two people, when she needed help the most Caleb had been there to give it to her. She almost felt like crying. Instead a stupid grin tried to work it's way across her face.

Moving out of the corner Kimiko pulled the door open. There he was, tall as ever, she had to crane her head up just to see his face. Still it was the first person Kimiko was genuinely happy to see since she had woken up. It was good to know he was alright and selfishly she was happy that it appeared he didn't hate her for what she had done.

In a sudden rush of emotion that she couldn't help Kimiko dove forward and wrapped her arms around Caleb.

She wondered if he'd mind, but truthfully she didn't care. She was just glad he was there.

Shock Me
((Cameron Herrig continued from Call Me Maybe))

Everything had fallen apart. At least, in terms of the sanity of everyone on the island.

In the time since they'd left the pub Cameron and Enza hadn't seen anyone else. To call whatever they were doing organised was a stretch, they were just wandering. Eventually they had come to the asylum. Signs of life had been visible during their travels of course but another living person wasn't a thing they'd met. Ultimately it was for the best, Cameron only really wanted to find two other people. That sounded harsh and of course there was no real way to sugar coat, she felt dirty putting value on peoples lives the way she was but Vanessa and Coleen were the most important people on the island, Enzo notwithstanding as they were already with her.

Speaking of Enzo, Cameron was glad for the company they offered her. It was better than solitude by a long way. It was another layer of protection, both physically and mentally. Their friendly presence helped kept Cameron sane. As the days had gone by with them not encountering another person bar the occasional glimpse of a figure moving in a window and other sightings of that sort Cameron had seriously started considering the theory that the island was haunted. She had brought up as much to Enzo at one point but after a few minutes of discussion they'd both just let the topic drift away into the ether.

Eventually the asylum had loomed over them and they'd taken the plunge of entering its decaying structure. Quickly they had found signs of violence and bodies. Eventually they had set up in what was essentially a fat storage closet. The room was massive and full of random junk. Cameron could safely say it looked like shit, granted her hair was also going that way after three days of no washing and hard sleeping. Her pickaxe lay against one of the many metal shelving units in the room as she sat cross-legged munching on one of the random protein bar things they had been given.

She listened as the names of some people she knew and some she didn't were read out. Yep, things were well and truly enveloped by anarchy. Any chance of it just being a select few people killing was out the window as new names kept appearing. Thankfully neither Coleen or Vans made an appearance. In the meantime she decided to check how Enzo was holding up, since they had seemed beaten down by what was happening back at the pub.

"How you feelin' Human?"

Call Me Maybe
Enzo was coming with them. That was a relief. Cameron took the offered support and grabbed the pickaxe from where it sat by the door, she didn't know if she would needed it but it would have been foolish to assume otherwise. Everything was going to fall apart eventually that was certain. Still as things stood, nothing had gone too badly, obviously Tessa hadn't been the best company but it was better than sharing a room with someone who had gone nuts.

Cameron allowed a small smile to play across her lips. She was glad Enzo had chosen to go with her.

((Cameron Herrig continued in Shock Me))

The Lagniappe
((Kimiko Kao continued from Robber Barons))

The door to the hunting cabin gave a low groan as Kimiko pushed it open and crept inside. She had only slowed her run once she had come to the cabin. There hadn't been much hesitation in her decision to enter it, there was no other safe haven. The library and pub were too close to the gym and Kimiko didn't like the idea of that group leaving and searching for her. Instead she had retraced her steps nearly all the way back to the housing blocks. They had proven to be far less secure and safe then she had originally thought so that left the cabin as her only choice.

As things stood she regretted just walking straight in without properly checking the perimeter or through the windows for signs of life. Instead of that she had to settle for a different way of checking. Slipping the nodachi's rope off her shoulder Kimiko lightly tapped the end of the sword on the wooden flooring. When nothing seemed to stir, she did it again but this time harder. The noise almost seemed to echo through the expansive emptiness of the building but she knew that was ridiculous. After there was no response Kimiko finally allowed herself to relax, letting out a breath she didn't know she had been holding.

The encounter at the slopes had reminded her that there was no safety and that she needed to be constantly vigilant and alert to any threats. The whole thing could have been much worse for her if that other person hadn't shown up. Kimiko wondered if they were still behind her, they had followed her across the slopes she knew that for a fact but she had lost track in her haste to escape.

Her fingers played with the tantō that was in her pocket before closing around its handle as she withdrew it, removing the sheath which she tucked away Kimiko stepped to the side of the door and crouched in the corner waiting.

If they intended to do harm to her, she'd be able to strike before they could.