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血塗れ桜
There were so many things to considered. So many pieces she had to put together to get the whole picture, and someone had just thrown the whole box on the floor with frustration.

Jazz was here, and she was all around her, smothering the sense out of her mind. Jazzy was a murderer, she was covered in blood, she'd even seen the body, and she could just as easily kill her if she wanted to. A rush like that, a kiss, the total paralysis she always put her in, it'd be perfect for it. Not to mention the fact that she was talking to somebody who could come out at any second and kill both of them, or just her, or just Jazz, or....

There was also Oskar. Oskar could see this whole thing and freak out somehow. Or just leave. She needed him, she needed her little attack rat, and he was so unstable. If he flipped out he could just as easily kill her as Jazzy or Mysterious Murderer Number 3, and she was leaving herself completely vulnerable. She hadn't put the pieces together. She had no idea what would happen when they collided.

All the little squares were waiting to be put together in her mind's eye. The only problem was that as she looked down at them, she realized she didn't give a fuck.

She didn't care. Her mind reveled in the mental mess and uncertainty as she wrapped her arms around the smaller girl and pulled her in as tight as she could. All sense and survival instinct melted into their kiss. The rest of the world just wasn't present as long as she had her like this. Maybe she wouldn't even care if she died like this.

It was stupid. So, so stupid. But then so were most of her thirsty decisions. Why break the trend now?

Project: Wiki
I have to agree that SotF is about SotF. The value of pre-game/meanwhile, for me, is not that they're equal and interesting sections, it's that they're complements.

Pre-game is just that: a prelude. Practice. It's a place to get into your character's skin and establish relationships in service of the game later on. You get into your zone, you find where you fit with others, and then you leverage that information later on to form more connections and story-points on the island for a good old murdery time.

Similarly, Meanwhile is an informant. When I think about my favorite Meanwhiles, they're about parent reactions, old survivors, and completely new ideas related to SotF from people totally divested of connection to the students themselves. It's about the culture surrounding SotF as the game goes on and the way the world reacts to it. Meanwhile characters are supports to the main game in that they provide additional context, but without the actual game, there wouldn't be much purpose to it.

Lots of good characters come out of SotF. They can do interesting things outside of the context of SotF. I personally use my SotF characters for other projects. However, in the context of the site, everything really should filter towards the game itself, and the character pages are designed for game information. That's not really relevant for pre-game characters since they're not in the game and don't need most of that information. Maybe I'm coming from it from an odd perspective since when I pre-game only a character, it's just because they didn't end up working out for my Island Cast or someone else ended up working out better, and I'm not really that concerned about their representation? That feels like how it should be on my end, though, simply because pre-game isn't equal to the main game and hasn't been at least as long as I've been on site, it's always been the sort of "training wheels" to the main game while Staff gets everything in place and everyone figures out their characters, and I like it that way personally.

They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
We can't do anything. That was the message they both kept repeating. We're helpless. Things just keep happening and there's no way to stop any of it. And maybe they were right, at least for themselves. Maybe there wasn't anything that they could do.

Johnny Three pressed against her chest to remind her that she could do something. That if she'd been around, maybe she could have stopped people like Josh, and Jane, and the others from dying. But it also reminded her that stopping death might mean causing it. The image of the gouged earth, so close to where Jeremy had been standing, hung in her mind. It could have been any number of they.

Maybe it should have been.

She wasn't there yet though. Instead, they pulled her along to a new line of thought: Cass mentioned company. It was sweet of them, but it immediately brought to mind Hannah and Olivia, scattered out there wherever because she'd run off like a total ditz and left them to figure it out their little Scooby Doo Sorority Adventure for themselves. She'd really Daphne'd that up. "I, uh, lost some friends," she began as she started to sit up. Her eyes widened as the implication caught up to her. "They're not dead! I mean, I don't think so, I hope not, just, we got separated, and..."

Blabbering. Lots of blabbering.

"Just, like, as long as you don't mind me keeping an eye out for them is all, I wanna make sure they're safe..."

God. It hadn't occurred to her just how badly she'd screwed up until now.

血塗れ桜
"Jazzy."

((Caedyn Miller Continued From I've Got No Strings))

The ill-fitting dress clung to her in all the wrong ways. She hated it, but it was a trade up from shit and vomit covered clothing at least. Looking this ridiculous made this meeting even harder though. Three killers: Her girlfriend, her attack dog, and some bitch. Here she was in the middle, without the slightest idea what to do.

When they'd heard the talking, Caedyn had almost suggested they leave. Especially after recognizing Jazzy's voice. Caedyn had heard the announcement after all, she knew what her geeky little lover had done. Pragmatically, it wasn't safe to be around people like that. She should have just walked away and left her to whatever fate she'd bought for herself. Jazzy didn't matter to her anymore than anyone else here.

Except she did. She really did and she hated to admit that.

So here she was, standing in the hall and staring towards the still figure she'd spent so many hours curled up with. Was Oskar still behind her? She'd honestly lost track after she'd made the decision to confront her. Nothing else seemed to matter but figuring out what the fuck was going on here.

"Jazzy?" Her voice came out quite and hesitant this time. It was okay. Just a little vulnerability for the audience, that was all. She wasn't scared. She couldn't be scared. The Cassowary doesn't know fear.

In A World Of Shit
The girl was gone. Except she wasn't. He could hear her talking faintly with someone across the way with the bridge.

A low growl rumbled up out of his throat. "Too many fucking people."

He began to rise, eyes flitting in their direction.

They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
There was a lot of incredulity wound up in that they. Trav seemed to be taking the whole thing in a stride, but Cass had honed in on her, and it didn't take long for Irene to realize why. They implied an object, a person or group of persons in mind, which could shed light on this whole thing. Give them some advanced warning on who to look out for, all that jazz. It'd be nice to have something like that. They'd probably think less of her for seeing it and doing nothing, but at least she could help. At least she could tell them something useful.

Instead, Irene swallowed and squeezed Johnny Three a little harder, nodding her head. "They. Y'know just..." There was a group in mind. But it wasn't whoever had killed Jane specifically. Even if Irene wasn't the most popular girl in school or something, she felt like she knew almost everyone, especially among the juniors and seniors. The Cochise classes were a group, an us, a collection of people with a shared connection by proximity. There was fighting, and disagreeing, and cliques, but they were all still part of a group. Irene just couldn't conceive the people would murdered their classmates as part of us, though, and so they became they. "The murderers, I mean," she finished quietly. "I...Jane's not the first. First body I've seen, like, there was Josh, and..." She didn't know where she was going with this. She just curled up a little more and stared at the ground.

"I never thought any of us could do something like that."

And so us hadn't. They had.

They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
((Irene Djezeri Continued From Escape the Fate))

How many ways could you mangle and humiliate your classmates? Was that the contest they were playing? Everybody she came across seemed to have been ruined in a different way. Were there points? Was someone judging? Is that the kind of thing they took into mind when they squawked about a "best kill award" over the loudspeakers? How did that even work? They just crowd around and pick through people's darkest moments over and over again, and then, what? Whoever was the most original or horrifying got a pat on the head and a prize?

God. How completely fucked did you have to be to willingly put yourself through that? How fucked did you have to be to win it? After what she'd seen the last few days...Cristo must have been a real mess. It made her stomach turn to think of what must have been done to get their attention, and it was all on Kimiko. Yeah, Cristo was kind of a creep and a weirdo and awkward as they get, but he was harmless. An annoyance. All her anger at him and so many other people felt so petty now. Had Kimiko hated him so much that she had to kill him? Or did it just happen?

She couldn't answer that. But as she looked into garden at Jane's exposed corpse, she felt like she had a pretty good answer about what had happened here. This wasn't an accident. Someone hadn't just gotten scared and run. The wound was so close, so specific, and she'd been picked clean of everything but her bra. She couldn't look away. The others, maybe those had just been accidents, or maybe hurried, panicked moments, but you couldn't make any excuses here. And if there was one body, one murder like this already, then what else was out there?

It was only going to get worse. She could feel it in her churning guts, consumed by it to the point that Cass's horror barely stirred her from her spot just out of view on her bag. "Y-yeah," she called out weakly, clutching the shotgun to her chest. Johnny Three wouldn't help her in that position; she couldn't fire, or even aim. Somehow though, the gun was like a security blanket. The reassurance that she could do something, even if she wasn't, was enough. "It's really her. They got her too."

Cass might be shocked, but by her third body, Irene was starting to get numb to the idea. It was only going to get worse. There was a prize to chase, and the crazy people that did stuff like this were gonna chase it like an S-Rank.

Escape The Fate
Page after page in the dim light, as if everything was normal. There wasn't a dead body a few rows behind her. She hadn't abandoned her friends. They weren't probably dead or dying somewhere. An entire class hadn't vanished and wound up in some freaky abandoned asylum in the middle of nowhere. Everything was cool with her and her trashy little 1900s fantasy romance novel in space. That clusterfuck of genre was the weirdest thing going on right now. Definitely.

Johnny Three lay across her lap, and seemed to grow heavier and heavier with every line of text.

It wasn't until the dust settled that she was fully aware of what happened. A scream, a book flying across the room, a hand finding a trigger as the sounds of thundering shots tore through the quiet hideaway again and again until her ears rang and the only guarantee she was still firing was the flash of the muzzle and the heavy kick of the shotgun threatening to throw her off her feet. Bits of paper and binding and mildew mixed with the smoke in the air to clog her nostrils, but even as she hacked at the air, she didn't collapse. She stood there, trembling with the force of the recoil, and the fear, and her own impotent anger, eyes boring through the glass of the dome up into the sky.

Somebody out there would probably write something really big and important and thoughtful about this whole thing. They probably already had a bunch of times in the past. Some great truth about people or philosophy or life that was revealed by how humans behaved under a microscope when you put their lives on the line and left them unable to trust anybody or anything. The kind of distant ideological debate she could probably sink into really easily back home when she was way over her head and just kinda babbling to try and keep up because she wanted to connect and try even if she didn't get it.

She didn't get it here either, but there was no one to babble to. Just confusion, and fear, and disgust, and anger.

Another ragged scream tore from her throat as she fired into the air. The sound of shattering glass tore her back to reality, and she scampered away to curl up against the wall with her bag. Tears came again, hot and bitter, but this time a scowl froze on her face.

Her bag bobbed at her side and Johnny Three pressed against her neck as she wandered out of the library, filled with a boiling desire to do...something. Anything. It was better than trying to think the situation through anymore.

((Irene Djezari Continued In They Stumbled Into Faith and Hope))

I've Got No Strings
That's a good boy. It took quite a bit of self control to keep from saying that alone, or letting her warm smile turn smug. It wasn't time for that yet though. Right now, he was still vulnerable. He needed time to settle, but he would with the proper handling and an eye for more problems. This would work out splendidly.

"Promise," she cooed reassuringly, before turning her offered hand into a beckoning one. "Let's find somewhere a little less exposed. You deserve some rest."

Her eyes came to rest briefly on Jane's corpse as she paused.

"After I change."

((Caedyn Miller Continued In 血塗れ桜))

In A World Of Shit
That look probably shoulda gotten a rise out of him. He could feel the chill off of it even out of the corner of his eye. Probably deserved it too, though. He'd broke her boyfriend's arm and left him to die, and the little bastard deserved it after what he did to Harry, but...she was gonna hate him anyway. He could feel it in his bones. Couldn't blame her. If Bee had been holding him up somehow, and Clarice had done that to her...goddamn. He woulda just wished he'd died than seen it happen.

Bee. She was out there somewhere. He just hoped she was alright and that they'd find her soon. Couldn't think much beyond that. Heart couldn't bear it right now, not under all the sleep deprivation and grief.

Speaking of things he didn't wanna deal with, new girl sat herself down like she'd been invited and started stuttering on about...something. He couldn't focus on most of it. It was just empty babbling as far as he was concerned. The gist was that she wanted to stay and be all safe and buddy buddy. Kumbaya. Sounded real nice for her. Especially if for some reason she wanted to wait and get the jump on them later.

He could explain that their best friend had just died in front of them, or that Clarice was hurt real bad and he was dead to the world and neither of them weren't in no shape to be looking out for anybody else right now. That they were all strangers and it wasn't smart to go around trusting people as likely to kill ya as say hello. Or just that he didn't trust her, and he'd like her to leave.

"Fuck off," was all he grumbled, staring out over the water.

Never had much time for explaining.

I've Got No Strings
That's it. Let all those big, baby tears out to show what you really are. If she wasn't so deep in her role already, she would have grinned. Instead, she kept her face twisted up in comforting understanding. "Let it out. It's okay." She came just a little closer to him, keeping the pace slow and steady as the blood and tears mixed together to drip down from his face.

"Nobody knows why it's happening, okay? It's...it's just fucking crazy, right?" A little more. If he let her in, she could get her hooks nice and deep and make this something worth having. He wasn't her first, and he wasn't gonna be her last, even if the context was muddled up from normal. "But it's happening. It's still happening, and that means you need me Oskar." Sell it home with a little vulnerability, sister. "I need you too. I'm not gonna abandon you."

Caedyn offered a hand to him, nice and easy. "Take care of me, and I'll take care of you. Promise."

I've Got No Strings
Now. Now he chooses to grow a spine? Just all of the sudden? No. It didn't work that way. Oskar didn't know what he wanted, and that's why he had her.

"No you don't," she said quietly. "You really, really don't."

She didn't move. Just kept staring at him, at his gun, and trying not to tremble. "They're going to tell everyone tomorrow, just like they did today. Everyone will know what you did. And nobody will ever trust you again."

Her tongue slipped out to lick her dry lips as she stared him down. "Nobody but me. You don't want me to go. 'cuz I'm all you're gonna get. Do you wanna die alone, Oskar?"

He could act tough. He could hold up his gun and stare her down and make demands, but she'd seen him retch. She'd watched him tremble and stutter and founder, waiting for her acceptance and permission. He wasn't a tough guy. He wasn't even a killer without her, and without Jane being a stupid bitch. Oskar wouldn't shoot her. He just needed to be put in his place.

Escape The Fate
((Irene Djezari Continued From the way to dusty death))

At some point, the running had stopped. With it, the panting, wheezing, and heaving eventually stopped too. She wasn't too sure where she was, other than some sort of library, or where the other girls had been, but it had been enough for her to find a corner and curl up holding her bag until she fell into fitful sleep.

She hadn't cried. She woke up to the sounds of speakers coming to life keenly aware of that, and the fact that she didn't cry when it was over. How messed up was that? People were definitely dying, definitely killing, and a lot of them were her friends on both sides. Abby, Barry, Kimiko, Nancy, Cristo...so many others, and you know what was crazy? She didn't really know any of them. Not really, y'know? Kimiko was probably the one she knew the best, and she never thought...well, she never thought lots of stuff. But she guessed she didn't really understand any of her classmates. If she went home and had to look at their families, she couldn't pretend she had anything worth saying to them. No insight or reassurance about what went down like you saw in the movies, some hourglass girl or chiseled dude clapping a hand on your shoulder and summing up why everything was gonna be okay in anything from a sentence to a 30 second monologue. It looked so cool and confident in all the clips, but that wasn't real. And that's how she knew this was. There weren't any reassuring words or cleansing tears that could flush this away. Just anxiety, awkwardness, and confusion. It was a lot like the life she was more used to, so maybe it was real after all.

Joshua's corpse really drove that home. She saw this one. Looked it all over, as much as it horrified and disgusted her. She needed to know, and now she did. There was no question that it was him, and that he was dead, but she had no idea what to do with that information. So now she was just wandering the library aimlessly, Johnny Three in her arms, looking at the shelves for anything eye-catching. Eventually, her fingers found a dusty spine and uncovered a single, eye-catching word: Gathol.

Llana of Gathol. The cover said it was "A John Carter of Mars romance." That name, John Carter, was kinda vaguely familiar, she felt like it'd been a movie recently. This book looked way too old to be a part of that, though, and that pulled her in deeper. Sure, maybe it was just an old book they'd made into a movie...or maybe she'd glitched the Matrix and found a clue to tell her that all this was some weird dream and she'd be going home any minute now, without another thought of dead friends and inadequacy. She didn't have to think about who else might be in trouble, or the blood she'd seen around Joshua or the Asylum, or how she'd abandoned the girls. She could pretend, for just a little longer, that maybe there was some chance this was all bullshit. Irene collapsed in front of the bookshelf, cradled the shotgun in her lap, and blew the dust away as she began to read.

"No matter how instinctively gregarious one may be there are times when one longs for solitude."

In A World Of Shit
((Ty Yazzie Continued From This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe))

Tired. Wasted. Not the first time Ty hadn't slept, not even the first time 'cuz he was afraid of someone sneaking up on him in the dead a night, but first time that stealth was lethal. Lots of staring. Starting at sounds. Bumps in the night, flashes of light, killers lurking on the edge. Nothing really. Fuck. Who knew what real was right now. He was dead on his feet without much in the way of brain space and Clarice weren't talking.

Barely heard the announcements, if he was being real honest. Names. Words. Prolly terrible, but didn't tell him anything new. Harry was the only one that really mattered in the end, and Ty already knew he was dead. Harry...and Conrad.

Fuck him. Ty was glad the snapped little prick was dead. Shoulda killed him himself for what he did.

...Jesus, where did that come from?

He needed to rest, but it wasn't time yet. Didn't know when it would be. Wasn't now though. That was all that really mattered. Right now, he was just staring over the edge with Clarice, trying to feel human again. He didn't even look back when a new voice echoed out over from behind them. Right now, if they were friendly and unfamiliar, he didn't care all that much. All he did was grunt and give a weak nod as he kept staring over the edge.

I've Got No Strings
Hey, they had something in common. Sort of. Vomiting wasn't really a hobby she'd clicked on before but like, people did it at school, they could make it work here. Oskar just needed her to be all...safe and nurturing and stuff, probably. Build him back up so he could keep taking care of problems. Like a little wind up soldier. It was kinda cute. Yeah, cute. Not totally fucked, like everything else here.

She couldn't focus on the fucked up parts. That would make her weak. Jane tried to make reality work and she was dead. Caedyn wouldn't make that mistake. She'd just roll with the punches. This was her world now. Her role. Everything else could be sorted out when she was alive and home and safe, like she deserved to be. For now, she moved a little closer to him, holding out her hands and walking slowly to let him see she wasn't gonna be a threat. "Of course. You had to do it. It was us or her, Oskar. You did the right thing, okay?"

For a moment, she looked down at the dead girl's body, then at her clothes. They reeked. The dress wouldn't fit her right, but...blood was better than vomit and shit. "Oskar...look, I don't wanna do this, but my clothes are..." A hand waved at the clear stains of bile across her top with a shudder. "I...I think I have to take some of her stuff, okay? So like, if you wanna look away, or, whatever..." She let the words hang. Keep moving forward and engaging him. That was the only way.

I've Got No Strings
Twitching, grabbing fingers reminded her more of the death throes of a squashed spider than something human, or the kicking legs of a rat when you hit it in the head with something heavy. She'd seen stuff like that on the internet before, when she looked around places she should or got hit with a light shock gif, though it wasn't something she'd seen all that much in real life. The resemblance was uncanny though, and kind of appropriate. 'cuz like all of that kind of stuff, Jane was vermin. A pest and a drain that had to be dealt with for her survival.

Actually no, that wasn't right. Jane was worse than vermin. Vermin tried to survive. Vermin fought. Vermin didn't just stand there bitching and get themselves killed. She didn't know what Jane was, but it was something lesser. Something more contemptible, that she could hate. That wasn't crazy. It was just, just fact. She wasn't like that. She deserved to survive and she was going to fight for it, and whatever Jane was, she was sure there was a lot more of it here. People were going to keep dying, because they didn't fucking know how to survive, but she did. She could be better than them, and that meant she got to go home.

Oskar was looking at her now, all doe-eyed and spattered with the evidence of what he'd done. Honestly, he kinda made her sick too. The way he was looking at her made her feel like he hadn't done this for himself, like he couldn't, and he needed her approval and support to keep going. If that was true, he wasn't much better than Jane in the end. He wouldn't be able to survive on his own, and eventually he was going to die here. That was okay though. He didn't have to survive forever. Just long enough to keep being useful to her. She could pretend for him, and he could keep her hands clean. He was a rat, but he could be her pet rat, her attack tarantula, her hissing komodo dragon, and gobble up anyone that got in their way.

"It's okay, Oskar," she said softly, her face twisting into false compassion. "It's over. She didn't give you any choice, okay?" Her hands spread slowly to invite him in. "Nobody's gonna judge you, okay? I'll make sure they know what really happened." Strong emphasis came down on 'really,' with a knowing look in her eye. "Jane was dangerous. Unstable. She tried to lure you in so she could hurt you, and you saved both of us. Right?"

Yeah. She could make this work. Everything was starting to add up now. She just had to keep him on board.

the way to dusty death
It was a good show. A real good show, okay? Would they be happy if she just gave them that? If she just threw up her hands, looked at the camera, and went, 'you got me?' 'cuz for a second, all the pageantry, all the fanfare or whatevs, all the detail, like...it got to her. It looked real. Like maybe this was legit, they were abandoned out in the middle of nowhere and maybe people were dying, and maybe she'd taken the quirky aesthetic a couple steps too far because she was scared and everything was fucked and she couldn't breathe and and and-

But no. That couldn't be right. It was just a really good trick, that was all. She hadn't seen any bodies, right? Just a bunch of other scared and confused people, and some of them had bought in, but not her. No, they got her, but not for long. Just like, a quick moment of weakness, and now it was over. She was just glad that Hannah and Olive hadn't seen her crack, because she'd never live that down after this all shook out, y'know?

And it had to shake out soon. Nobody could keep this kind of thing up long before the strings started to show. The trick was figuring out exactly what it was. A prank didn't really add up, because man, who would air this? Career suicide right there b o y z, nobody was stupid enough to bank it all on that. Unless it was some weird internet thing. Oh god, it could totally be some weird internet thing. If somebody came out of the bushes screaming "JUST A PRANK BRO," she could actually shoot them, it'd be so lame. Was the school cringey enough to do something like that, or like, did someone just sink a ton of cash into this? That couldn't be the case, because if that was the case, she was gonna get gif'd to death for letting Johnny Three go off earlier. And also for whatever embarrassing stuff she did in her sleep. She definitely did embarrassing stuff in her sleep, and they'd probably caught some of it before she came to on that beach.

Was it bad that that felt worse than this being real? Like, that had to be messed up, right? She really should deal with that when they got home, girl gotta sort her priorities out. Death was not worse than Meme Hell.

...probably.

It was easy to keep that kinda manic energy going as they trawled through the place together. The three of them shining flashlights all over the place felt like something out of a cheesy Scooby Doo spin-off where like, Daphne and Velma go off to college and pick up a spunky third wheel to tag along with The Forbidden Ship. Mysteries by day, pillow fights by night, and like, probably classes in there sometimes too whenever it was convenient for the plot. What kind of ghost would they be looking for here? The Asylum Abomination? The Glasspane Ghoul? The Disorderlies? Ugh, that one was terrible, just terrible, she was gonna have to up her game for-

The flashlight dropped out of her hands and rolled across the floor into the pool of congealed blood around what used to be a person. A good enough look and maybe you could tell who it used to be. A good sorority detective would hunt for clues, look around for signs, push past the disgust to prove that it wasn't real after all and the dead body was just a lot of food coloring and corn starch and old man Jenkins hiding in a mask while he jerked off in the closet. Irene wasn't a good detective though. At the moment, she wasn't really conscious enough to know what she was, other than running.

((Irene Djezari Continued Elsewhere))

This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe
She was angry at him. Had every right to be, really. It was all one big fuck up and if he'd been a little bit smarter, a little faster, a little...something, maybe Harry'd still be around.

Piss in the rain. Maybe she'd forgive him in the morning, maybe she wouldn't. Maybe he'd see what she meant and come around to heading back here to take care of Harry. Didn't feel right at the moment, but hey, he had nothin' but time.

He wasn't planning on sleeping tonight anyway.

((Ty Yazzie Continued In In A World of Shit))

I've Got No Strings
He did it.

He actually did it.

It was hard to say how she expected it to play out before in all the whirling confusion of her brain as she flinched away. Maybe to just shoot her, and she'd grab her chest and fall down, like in the movies. When he started getting all close and personal, maybe she'd expected a fight. A struggle. For Jane to lash out at him and try to take the gun, not just stand there like that and try to talk him down.

She expected it to be more like Mr. Graham. Not so...personal.

It had happened in an instant, but they'd all known it was coming. From the second Oskar pressed the gun to her flesh, the only question was whether he'd have the resolve to pull the trigger. The crack of the gun firing resolved any doubt of that and brought her to her knees, holding her ears and staring at the ground. She didn't want to see it. She didn't want to smell the smoke or the blood. Not again. Both because this time, something was...different. The violence played out differently in her head, and she didn't wanna think about it, didn't want to examine it. It couldn't be helped though. The thoughts were there.

Jane wasn't helpless like Mr. Graham.

Jane wasn't a victim like Mr. Graham.

Jane was weak, and stubborn, and stupid, and she deserved to die.

That was an awful, awful thought, even for her. Like, she'd never really wanted someone to die before, sure she could be vindictive but she wasn't violent or anything. At least she thought so...but it wasn't just where they were or something like that. Jane didn't deserve to die here. Jane deserved to die, end of story. That's how her head felt, curled up on her knees and trying to block out the ringing in her ears with her cupped hands. No, that was wrong. She felt a lot more than that.

It felt like everyone else like Jane might deserve to die too.

She tried to push the thoughts from her head and struggled back to her feet, her eyes falling on Jane's bleeding body on the ground with a mixture of fear, curiosity, and disgust.

I've Got No Strings
She couldn't help but recoil a little as Oskar advanced. It was really happening, he was going to shoot her, or she was going to attack him, or...

What if Oskar lost?

Oskar couldn't lose. Then Jane would have a gun, and a lot of anger to work out, and she'd be pointing it right at her. Something had to be done, but she felt frozen, staring on in horror as the words caught in her throat. It was too late to move. Too late to say anything. Whatever happened next probably decided if she was gonna live or die, and she gambled it all on Oskar.

Fucking Oskar.

Her whole body tensed. If it came down to a struggle, if it looked like Jane was going to take the gun, or even get past him...she had to run, she had to make herself move, right? It'd be harder to hit her if she ran, and maybe Jane would be tired, and maybe, maybe, she could get away.