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The Faster The Treadmill
Sometimes, a plan was all one needed.

((Hansel Williams, Arcadia.))

He watched her for a time, quiet and contemplative, as she loaded the contraption, put it against her head. He waited, in case she went through with it, his finger playing with the safety of his gun as her palm trembled, the gun-knife... thing shook, her eyes closed.

He raised an eyebrow when Madeline lowered it.

Hansel knew that Andi was going to go looking for him back at the gated community at any time, but she had two guns now - whatever she got from the terrorists, plus his own win - so he figured that if he hadn't already outlived his usefulness in her eyes, the time would be fast approaching. She now had a kill under her belt, was better equipped than himself, and had no particular fondness for him.

His chances of being alive at the end were significantly decreased if he stuck with her, and judging by the viciousness in which she stabbed Garrett in the back, he doubted his own was much safer.

So he crouched, and watched, and waited as the girl failed to kill herself. Only then did he rise from his position from the relative safety of the shaded dog path behind the girl, step out onto the beach, and approach, his finger flipping the FAMAS from 'safe' to 'semi' with the all-too-familiar snick.

The sand parted in front of his boots as he walked, a dozen feet from her position, into her line of sight, the gun pointed at her from his hip, his hands curling tighter around the cold metal.

Over the sound of the crashing ocean, he called out to her, stance wide, gaze hidden beneath the brim of his hat, voice pitchy, crackling from lack of use.


The FAMAS dropped in Hansel's limp hand as the girl lurched forwards, gore remaining where there once was unkempt grass, the gun swinging downwards as he watched the blood pool and sink into the individual blades of green, darkening the lightened, dry soil. He stared as she stilled, body freezing in death.

Something about the way she didn't twitch, move, do anything other than become the very personification of dead, had his stomach lurching, rolling against his ribcage, filling his throat with bile. He let it come forth, turned to the side, allowed his energy bars, lasagna, and water come rolling up and out in a vague, tan blob.

He wiped his mouth with the back of his wrist, looked back at his handiwork, left shoulder giving a reminder throb.

She was number six.

Miles ago - days ago - he'd only killed animals, only hurt feelings and only harmed reputations. Now he was a six time murderer on an island where surviving was a day to day question, a constant thrumming in the back of his skull, an ongoing, incomplete sentence that hadn't decided on punctuation.

As he made his way back towards the original house, where Logan now lay dead, familiar words formed, words that made him pause to glance up at a camera, focused intently upon him, a stark reminder of who he was now, where he was now, what he'd done.

Why he'd done it.

You could be wrong.

He hadn't murdered Logan because he was gay. He hadn't killed Theo because he was bi-sexual. He hadn't held Garrett vulnerable because he'd disagreed.

You could be wrong.

He hadn't shot Rebecca because she was a non-believer. He hadn't ended Daniel's life because he'd devalued the bible. He hadn't punched Kyle's ticket because of theology.

You are wrong.

Hansel had removed them because they had all posed a threat. A threat to his supplies, a threat to his survival, a threat to his chances at escape. He'd removed them, not for morality or personality or ideology, but because in order to move forward, he had to.

The second they had boarded the plane, they had already died. Everyone had. They were all just wasting time until someone made it official.

And what was God to a corpse? What was sexuality, or opinion, theology, scripture? What was anything to everyone left, waiting to die so that one person could walk away?

Why would anyone want to?

A sense of peace stole over Hansel as he stared into the lens, adjusting his FAMAS over his shoulder as he envisioned everyone he was looking at - Dad, Mom, Uncles, Aunts, Teachers - staring back at him, judging him, taking stock of what he'd done. One by one, he envisioned them slowly disappearing, until it was just him and the lens, him and the island.

Him and the goal.

Because, he thought, as he tipped his hat towards the camera and turned to go collect his bags, that was all that mattered.

After all, corpses didn't worry about judgement.

((Hansel Williams, The Faster The Treadmill))

A Fall, A Descent
((Inspiration found here. Credit to Ciel for the idea.))

With shaking fingers, the man in the rain-slicked jacket punched in six numbers, letting each button push sound harshly into the earpiece of the little payphone. The receiver wavered slightly, the cause of trembling palms and frayed nerves as the phone rang once – twice – before letting out a click.

His fears, his anxieties, stemmed from an image of ineptitude – one born not from lack of experiences, but of time passed between them. It had been a long time – too long, he thought – since he had been instructed to make this call. Once, it had been an annual occasion, an occasion that he had started to feel competent, even happy, with his performance in. But between the last call and this one, he had found other ways to occupy the space that the phone call took in his life.

Now, he was making the call again.

“Speak,” came the voice – feminine, this time. Low, sultry, slightly raspy. Last time he’d made the call, it had been the voice of a child. The time before, it was the voice of an elderly man.

“I have them,” he said into the receiver, digging into a pocket of the yellow latex jacket and fishing for a small leather notebook, “and you may be surprised as to the results.”

“I am never surprised,” she murmured back, a low, throaty chuckle peppering the words, resulting in a lump forming in his throat.

Last time, the voice had been furious. Last time, there hadn’t been as many names when the dust was cleared.

Last time, some had survived.

“Yes, well,” he said, clearing his throat as he thumbed open the book, flipped past four pages, and held it open on the fifth. “I’ve delivered, as requested. Would you care for me to read them out now?”

Another chuckle. “No need. It is enough for you to tally.”

“Ah,” came his response. Of course, stupid. It didn’t need your help.

“Be aware of future tasks. When some remain, I will send you more directives.”


The line went dead.

The man in the rain-slicked jacket hung up the receiver, leaned against the cool plexiglass of the phone booth, and closed his eyes. In his hand, the fifth page of the leather bound book caught the light, revealing its contents to a harsh, yellow streetlamp.

B3: Matt Vartoogian
B4: Owen Kay
B5: Cody Patton
B7: Gray Emerson
B9: Zubin Wadia
B11: Finn Grant
B14: Joachim Lovelace
B15: Carlos Lazaro
B18: Paris Ardennes
B19: Michael Mitchellson
B20: Joe Carrasco
B28: Sean Mulcahy
B37: Ian Williams
B39: Takeshi Yoshikawa
B40: Tyler Lucas
B41: Virgil Jefferson-Davis
B44: Travis Webster
B45: Juhan Levendi
B47: Marcus Leung
B49: Maynard Francis Hurst
B55: Timothy Abrams
B56: Kyran Dean
B63: Cooper Komorowski
B70: Joey Grey
B73: James Wade
B76: Hansel Williams
B78: Miles Strickland
B80: Christopher Harlin
G1: Andi Victorino
G4: Ruby Forrester
G5: Madeline Wilcox
G6: Rosemary Michaels
G7: Rachael Langdon
G8: Makatala "Kam" So'oialo
G10: Iselle Ovalle-Vandermeer
G18: Claire Monaghan
G20: Stacy Ramsey
G27: Mara Montalvo
G31: Phoebe Cho
G38: Deanna Hull
G44: Sharon Elizabeth Austin
G54: Eliza Patton
G55: Leona Van Kamp
G56: Alda Abbate
G58: Jenna Rhodes
G60: Mirabella Strong
G61: Kathryn Nguyen
G65: Katarina Konipaski
G68: Yuan Stephanie Chan
G72: Ami Flynn

The howling had woken Hansel up - that and Jim's thuds on the wooden steps - at two o'clock in the morning. He'd rolled out of bed and shucked on jeans as Jim threw open the door to his room, fully dressed and bleary-eyed.

"They were going after the livestock," Jim said as he set a rifle down on Hansel's dresser and turned back to climb down the steps. "Get dressed - want to teach you somethin'."

Twenty minutes later, Jim and Hansel stood just outside the fence, a coyote lying on its side in front of them. Its breaths were quick, panicked, blood pooling in the grass, illuminated only in moonlight as it kicked its front paws. A bullet in the back prevented it from using its hind legs, rendered it useless, lame.

"Can't I just leave it? It'll die anyway."

Jim pinned Hansel with a hard stare. "Don't be stupid, boy."

Hansel sighed. Lifted the rifle, sighted the beast's head, curled his finger.

Prepared to squeeze.

Rebecca's head was in his iron sights, her wailing filling his ears as Hansel prepared to put a different kind of beast out of its misery.

The finger squeezed.

At five seconds, anything could've happened.

At fifteen, Hansel was leaning forwards, a runner off the starting block, eyes intent and alert.

At a minute, he was moving in a tight duck-walk that sent a phantom shoot of pain up his hip, a reminder of Garrett and the fight he had survived the day before. The memory served to feed his caution, temper his patience.

At two minutes, Hansel had his answer. Whoever Logan's allies were, they didn't have a weapon - not a good one, at any rate, or one they had confidence in using. They were either playing smart, or had headed for the hills. Either way, Hansel didn't have any problem playing the fox to their rabbit.

He glanced through the front windows of the house, Logan's dead body brushing against his leg as he peered through the blinds. Nothing obviously lethal waited on the front, the gravel road separating the house he'd chosen to its neighbour across the street clear of people-

A streak of gravel lay on the opposite lawn, as if dragged there by a foot. Another streak, to the right of the first, a little less noticeable.

Hansel's eyes trailed the path the two made, from the marred gravel to the overgrown lawn, to the bent sign that had once proclaimed the address.

To the corner of the opposing house.

Hansel moved through the front door, eyes locked on that corner as he made his way carefully towards the spot where Logan's allies hid, finger curling around the trigger.

The one phrase Hansel had heard more than anything else on the ranch was his father's gruff, gritty don't be stupid, boy. He'd heard it when he'd been holding a drill incorrectly when repairing a fence, or when he was trying to lift too many bags of feed at the same time. He could still picture Jim Williams' big body, hands tucked into smeared overalls, eyes level and solemn as he uttered the words.

Don't be stupid, boy.

He took two steps back and crouched, the FAMAS coming up and pointed towards the door as the voices pierced the hazy ringing in his ears and penetrated the mild shock and quiet doubt that seemed to follow him the past few days. Shifting, he went to a knee and scooted backwards until his back was against a wall and he had full view of the door. Apparently Logan hadn't been as alone as he had thought.

Patience was key, in situations like this. If Logan's allies had anything decent in the way of weapons, they'd probably come charging in after him, or gain entry somehow.

If they didn't, they had shit all.

And it was just a few more people out of his way.

Hansel watched Logan fall to the ground, three neat bullet holes in a line from stomach to collar bone. He kept the FAMAS up, kept his eyes on the boy's corpse as it landed like a marionette with its strings cut, crumpled in a heap. He waited for signs of movement, struggle.

Nothing came. No breaths, no movement. Another one bit the dust.

Hansel's lips quirked to the side as he straightened, the gun moving down by his right side as he eyed the body, and then his hand in quick succession. He curled his right fist, slowly balling it and working the tension from his knuckles.

No hesitation, this time. All he'd known was that Logan was between him and the win, unarmed, and alone.

At least, until he heard the shout.

General Video Game Discussion Thread
You WILL hear arguments?


No need for violence.

Hansel smiled, the flashing of teeth aimed inwards, sarcastic in nature, as the noble deeds he'd accomplished with his time on the island spread out before him. He saw them in the terrified eyes of Logan, sighted through the crosshairs of the FAMAS, saw them reflected back at him, judging him, condemning him.

His finger flipped the FAMAS from safe to burst, the switch from nonlethal to lethal signalled with a telltale click snick.

No need for violence.

Three rounds exploded in the confined space, the rifle bucking back against his good shoulder, as Hansel pulled the trigger.

Turtle Draws Things
I excel at mucking.

V6 Concepts Thread
I figure I should actually post my concepts, as the OP of this thread.

Kelsey Hamilton - Kelsey has known only one type of life - hockey. Since she was old enough to strap into pads and skates, she's been entrenched in the life of practicing daily, improving, studying, watching. With an assistant coach of an AHL team for a father and a professional trainer as a mother, it was near inevitable that she'd be linked to the sport in some way. And then the scouts came, national interest grew and grew, and by the time we meet her, Kelsey's a front-name for the International Women's team, and a favourite to take the second string position when she graduates. She's confident, composed, and very serious with very little time for social dalliances outside of her tightly scheduled regimen of work.

Jaden Bertelli - Ever since he was in middle school, Jaden has known he was gay. It had started with a simple crush on Gregory Perk in the 7th grade, and from then on he's battled and sought to control the knowledge that he was so fundamentally different from everyone else in his large family. It pissed him off a little, honestly, because he was already on the path to being everybody's stereotypical image of a gay man - he loved musical theatre, was a self-taught pianist, and had danced ballet since he was six. In sophomore year, he finally came out - first to his younger brother, then to his family, and finally to the world - and as an out gay man he's very eager to express himself and discover everything he can about the lifestyle, but isn't quite ready to be open and honest about said exploration. He's outspoken, growing in sexuality and confidence, and easy to get along with whenever he's not dancing. When he is dancing ballet, he turns into a drill sergeant - mean, strict, and to the point.

Robert Munnings - Robert's always viewed the world as slightly slanted as opposed to his peers. Overweight and short, he was often the butt of jokes and the target of bullies in his public school, coupled with the fact that he'd been raised almost solely by his grandparents. The parental abandonment and bullying produced a lot of anger in Robert, but rather than lashing out or being destructive, he channeled his negative feelings towards a bizarre series of comedic short segments on YouTube, achieving cult success and a small number of dedicated followers. Robert's interest in film, stand up comedy, and narrative structure has allowed him to do a variety of 'episodes', from poorly drawn and fully voice acted short cartoons to 12 minute long short films featuring himself and his small group of friends. He's self deprecating, lacking confidence, and afraid of confrontation.

Turtle Draws Things
Draw Vahka and Dougie playing tug-of-war with Regina.

"Let's meet at the Guh-gated community," he had said, "after yuh-you're done picking up your gun. Wuh-we can plan our next struh-hategy."

((Hansel Williams, All Battles Are Fought By Scared Men Who'd Rather Be Some Place Else))

Reading through Garrett's notes had Hansel feel discontent, restless. He sifted through the notes, a bruised palm lifting paper, squinting at it, spreading it aside. The notes were spread out across one of the bedrooms on the first floor of the house he had chosen for temporary sanctuary, white pages on dark, ugly mauve carpets.

Garrett had classified players.

He'd given them a few words each, then a recommendation of how he - or someone else - should engage and confront them. It read as a lunatic journal - some kind of bible for attacking and murdering killers on the island.

He'd even underlined and written in the margin's of Danya's survival guide that had come in the packs.

Hansel shook his head, tossing the paper onto the carpet floor of the bedroom as he rose to his feet, stretching his back from tension. His red shirt, one sleeve ripped off and fresh bandage exposed, caught the light as his boots made soft clop clop noises on the carpet, stetson settling back on his head. With his good hand, he snatched up his FAMAS, opened the bedroom door, and stepped into the hallway-

There was a boy stepping through the front door, walking towards him.

Hansel's FAMAS was up and at his cheek in a second, his stance widening in preparation for a shot.

V6 Concepts Thread
Have at it!

The only for sure concept I have for V6 is an aspiring goaltender for the Women's intenational hockey team.

V3 Read-A-Thon
Posted Image

V3 Read-A-Thon
Ooh. Pretty unnotable except for her death, which was pretty interesting. Only two threads and she was an adption (I think) so that's also neat.

Not much to say, here!

Roll me another cold one, barkeep.

V3 Read-A-Thon
Oh man, this is excellent. I don't even need to re-read.

I am unashamed in my pure and unadultered love for Bobby Jacks for a few reasons, and I absolutely adore him. He's obviously got a lot of flaws and his arc is nowhere near perfect, but through him you can easily see an eager spirit ready and willing to cash in on their first player in young!Elena. Bobby Jacks is everything the V1-3 players usually were - combatively competent, large, intimidating physically - but with this edge of rationality to his actions and a sympathetic light to his motivations. Bobby in many ways is kind of the prototype first steps to the path of villainy that's treated softer, as opposed to this threatening force.

Obviously he isn't perfect. He's got more than a few contradictory motivations in his story, and his characterization isn't always consistent. His death, too, kind of rubs me the wrong way. But for a handler's first attempt at a player and for someone that inspired my own writing a bunch in V5, you can't really ask for a better core concept.

Roll me another cold one, barkeep.

V3 Read-A-Thon
I know many of these start off with "X was interesting but", so I'll jump right into the chase - Shameeca was good, a solid character. But she got that way when she was picked up by a handler that wasn't her original. She bumped into two super interesting names on the island that I got a lot of mileage out of and took inspiration from for V5 - Bobby Jacks and Lenny Priestly - and she was part of one of the more interesting things to happen in V3 in my opinion - A hostage situation where she had to reclaim a kid from Lenny's villainous clutches.

The sequence of events is really solid for me if you kind of look past obvious flaws, but rather than recap it I'm going to offer criticsm to a handler who likely will never see this! Shameeca's adoption/switching hands was the best thing that could've happened to her. She went from a fairly no-narrative, lackluster voice kid to one that was swept along in these sequence of events that Lexi did an excellent job of handling. Her story ends with her attempting to end Lenny and failing. On her own, Shameeca wasn't that notable. But with the caveat of her being not Lexi's original work and coupled with her role in two impactful villain's stories, she makes a pretty good showing.

Roll me another cold one, barkeep.