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Ain't No Reprievement Gonna Be Found Otherwise
((Hansel Williams, Decathect))

It was the second day on the island, and Hansel felt like a wallet that had been shoved hastily into a spin cycle on a washing machine; beaten, bruised, ragged. His headache had dulled from a shrieking pain to a dull throb, at least, and his shoulder, too, approached the far more tolerable area of the spectrum of pain when compared to the day previous. Still, he was strung out and exhausted, having not dared to sleep after Mara had beaned him with the snowglobe and had also evidently knifed another kid while he had been out.

The thought of Mike lying there, blood cooling on the floor, almost had him throwing up again. But he forced it down, forced himself to keep moving, square his jaw and focus.

Hearing his name on the announcements had been a shock - one that had forced him to pause, listen to the words, his hands tightening on his rifle as the vicious tone in which Danya delivered the account of Daniel's death hit home.

Our resident cowboy.

He forced himself to nod, to accept the mantel. He had decided to utilize the fear of his being a murderer to his advantage, and now he had little choice in the matter. The news was out, the jig was up: Hansel Williams was a bad person.

Fine by him.

As he trudged through the overgrown grass of the quad, dark circles underneath his eyes, he became absorbed in his own thoughts. He thought he could successfully scare off any would-be killers now; having one very public kill and a comparably good weapon to his name. He'd just need to outlast, outlive, not trust anyone. If his time on the island had taught him anything, it was that he was in a class of psychopaths. Nobody would be allowed to

Smash.

Despite the feeling of grogginess that permeated Hansel's bones, his weapon was up, banging against his shoulder as he dropped to his knees, immediately making himself smaller. It sounded like something smashing - a dish, or a glass, something. Meaning he wasn't alone out here.

The crashing had brought him out of his reverie, and he frowned as he made out a girl in the distance, making her way into a playground area. She seemed alone enough, and he didn't make out any weapons on her.

Which meant that it might be time to debut his little one man show.

Rising from his kneeling position, he ensured that his FAMAS had the safety engaged before moving towards the playground at a dignified jog, the gun cradled at his waist, as unthreatening as possible. When she called out, he was behind her, slowing his speed so that he was quieter, easier to take her by surprise if she turned out to be dangerous.

"Don't move," he croaked, his voice forcibly deep, the words coloured in his Texas twang. The gun came up, butt in his shoulder, her back in his sights.

"Not an inch. Drop th' bag, kick it away."

No Whammies
((Brandon Baxter, from Shock Treatment))

Inexplicably, as Baxter traversed the island that had officially become the gravesite to many of his classmates, he thought of days where he would stay home from school sick. His stepfather had ensured that his family had a very extravagant cable package for the television, pushed by both his and Dave's love of football, high definition television, and mindlessly zooming through channels on lazy days.

So, naturally, with 400+ channels at his disposal, Baxter would curl up in front of the television, a blanket and soup contributing to a warm, sedated feeling that would settle over him, and would begin to channel surf.

He'd always settle on Wheel of Fortune, mostly because it was hard to avoid and it was soothing to see other people win. Granted, he'd get frustrated every now and again when the answer was so glaringly obvious, but generally, he'd enjoyed the time spent home, his mother calling to check up on him, a cell phone his only communication with his friends.

There wasn't any Wheel of Fortune on the island. He couldn't curl into the warmth and peace of mind of canned chicken noodle and a soft blanket. There wasn't such a thing as a mindless activity.

It was with these thoughts that he arrived to the greenhouse feeling raw, bruised in more than just his body. Dan's watery funeral had opened a harshness in him, a brutal self-look at who he was, what he thought he could do.

Baxter tapped the long branch against his hand as he stood outside the greenhouse, leaned against the glass on the outside, and rubbed at his nose. If only he could've found allies, partners. Someone to spin the wheel with and guess at vowels and consonants.

As it was, he was alone, he was scared, and he didn't know where to turn.

SotF Murdercast
Hey! Schedule permitting, I'd love to be a guest sometime.

Shock Treatment
As Joe left, Baxter remained standing at the cliff, watching the body fall and disappear into the frothy, angry waves that crashed over the jagged rocks at its base. Dan fell, shirt covering his face, limbs stiff and unwilling to yield to the wind that rushed upwards, ruffling his clothing and lifting his arm, almost as if even in death, he was trying to claw his way back up the rocky cliffside.

Someone had done this, he thought, grimly. Someone had killed this boy, without remorse or compassion, to further their own goals.

The silence chased the two as they stood on the cliff, Dan's body disappearing into the hungry ocean below, amidst rock and water, salt and sand. The silence permeated them, enshrouded them, no matter how desperately Baxter searched for the words.

What else was there to say?

Joe walked away, said something – and Baxter nodded mutely, his eyes remaining on the crashing waves below. Focused on the corpse that was no longer visible to him, he stood, buffeted by breeze and guilt, wonder and impatience.

Would he be able to do that? Would he be able to leave someone cold and clammy, lifeless and snatched away?

It was a long time before Baxter left the cliff edge.

He did so without any answers.

((Brandon Baxter, No Whammies))

V5 Third Rolls
Appreciated.

V5 Third Rolls
Requesting a five day extension on Baxter's death; I've been informed of a hefty project at work that I need to get moving on today and tomorrow, and so will be lacking in spare time.

Decathect
Hansel opened his mouth to fire back at Mara, but she was gone before he had formulated any sort of cohesive reply. He settled for a long exhale, ending on a grunt, before staggering towards his bag and snatching it up, frowning down at the chunks of bile that still liberally coated the bag.

“Fuck,” he snarled, before hauling it towards a sink, intending to clean himself up.

It'd be daylight before he moved on.

((Hansel Williams, Ain't No Reprievement Gonna Be Found Otherwise))

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Yeah, we can just say it went from night of Day 1 to morning of Day 2. Maybe Mike died at like 12:00:01 AM.

The Talkies
This basically summarizes why I like Outfoxd's opinion above; short posts mean more realistic conversation as a whole. However, most of what you're referring to, Nuggets, can be traced back to the failures of a forum medium of roleplaying in general. Where there are multiple characters present in a single thread, things get derailed quickly unless managed properly, and it only takes one misfire of roleplay skill (someone trying to take a leader role at an inopportune time, for instance) to have everything get gummed up and hard to push onward.

My golden rule for threads is three. Three people a thread is the maximum number I can think of that can still move forward a point/plot of the scene while still being spontaneous. Anything more than that that still moves with the same flow is usually planned by at least two of the roleplayers involved.

Here's what I find works, also; if someone has a dramatic rant going, feel free to adress the rant in your own post and have your character sneak dialogue in there. Maybe the character fires a one liner to another person in the thread while the speech-giver has paused, or mutters something under his breath as an aside. There's nothing that says you are obliged to allow the speech to play out without any input on your end; I would even argue that that's against the spirit of roleplaying as a whole.

As for the 'no ums in dialogue'... Well, that's hard to say. Some of our more eloquent characters (Naomi Watts, Summer Simms) probably wouldn't pause or 'um' during speeches, strictly based on their skill as a speaker. It's hard to say "That's untrue" because truly, only handlers know what their characters are or aren't capable of doing, and it's their job to communicate these strengths and weaknesses to the audience.

The bottom line for me is this: Going on a rant in the midst of a moment where it bogs down roleplay is a poor execution of characterization, but that doesn't mean that your hands are tied during the character's rant. If they do start ranting, you could totally rant alongside them; it'd be legit. While I have noticed more than one dialogue spot that goes on far more than necessary (I've been guilty of it, too) all we can really say is be aware of the scene you're in.

If it's an overcrowded thread, recognize that other handlers want equal say in the goings on, and find ways to adapt your character to those situations.

[/soapbox]

Decathect
Hansel was up, the FAMAS dragged up and pointed at her retreat, his eyes glazed, trying desperately to focus on her. His limbs felt heavy, tired, quaking under the gun as he grit his teeth.

“Already have,” he snarled back, circling to the right as she slid backwards. He didn't take his eyes off of her, kept her sighted as she slid backwards. His right hand stroked the trigger of his gun, contemplating, brown eyes glowering underneath a sweat streaked face, a bloody neck.

“We're even, now,” he continued, “an' that's the end of it. That's it. I don' want t'see you again.”

Decathect
Sounds invaded Hansel; scrambling, thumps, desperate movements permeating the air and sinking into his subconscious. He heard voices as though he were underwater; too far and too murky to make any real sense to them. There was a beat, low, pulsing, that swam through the visions in his head as light and colour exploded behind his eyelids.

His father's face emerged from the wobbly, swirling mass of smoke trails and light, his mouth opening and closing to the far away dialogue. Hansel felt as though he could reach him, reach to him, his fingers flexing through the smoke and haze. Pa's eyes lit up, shooting Hansel a feral grin, lips curling as he met his son's gaze.

You could be wrong.

He awoke to a thud, his entire body jerking in the span of a few seconds as two bodies fell to the floor in the darkened lighthouse, his eyes opening and making him aware of the pain in his shoulder, the back of his head. He blinked twice, trying to remain still, trying to regain his breath, control his panic as Mara slid closer to the other person, punching at their arm.

It was black on black; silhouettes in the moonlight as he blinked rapidly, trying to get his night vision back. Mara uttered a sentence to herself, sliding forwards, crawling towards something on the floor, taking her right past his feet-

Hansel reacted.

Rearing up and spinning on his back, he lashed out with both booted feet at Mara's side, pinwheeling his arms to get some distance. He was on auto-pilot, sensing danger and reacting, willing himself to fight through the harsh throbbing in the back of his head and the shrieking in his left arm.

Baring his teeth in a feral snarl, he reared both of his boots back again, and struck once more. This time, aiming for Mara's head.

Shock Treatment
With his shirt unbuttoned, Baxter pulled it off, revealing the muscular chest for a moment before slipping his jersey back over his head. He tugged the waistband down, feeling the breeze on his skin and sighing lightly before kneeling towards Dan.

“His name's Dan. Dan... something,” he muttered, wrapping the shirt around the dead boy's face. He tied the sleeves behind his head, knotting them loosely before standing again, fisting his hand against his mouth.

“Dan the man,” he said, voice hoarse. He cleared his throat, tugging at his collar, “I didn't know Dan from Jesus, beyond bumping into him in the hallways during lunch hour, but I know someone did. He had friends and family, maybe some pets, probably a girlfriend or something. Or maybe not. I didn't really...”

Baxter coughed into his fist, clearing his throat again. “It... sucks that he died. That blows, man. It blows even harder that he died here, alone, and that someone shot him. It'd probably suck getting shot. I don't know. Dan, uh... knows. Yeah.”

Kicking at the dirt at his feet, Baxter shrugged his shoulders violently. “Anyway, uh, God, if you're around or whatever, help Dan's family out. And shit. Amen. Let's get this dude in the ocean.”

Nodding at Joe, Baxter moved to grab Dan's feet.

V5 Third Rolls
Okie day.

Thanks for the death ideas, guys. Got something in mind, though.

Shock Treatment
Baxter raised an eyebrow, irritation bubbling from underneath the surface to simmer just below his tipping point. Hadn't he just fucking said that he'd seen her at the mall?

He tamped it down, exhaling quietly.

“At the mall,” he repeated, flatly. “Yeah, Lydia, I guess. I wasn't much interested in hanging out since Rodriguez has an erection for her or something.”

Rubbing at his beard, he stared down at Dan's corpse, mulling it over. “We should cover his face,” he decided, walking around the corpse. “I guess a water burial's the best it gets, since we don't have anything to dig him a pit. And we should... say something. I guess.”

Baxter looked down at his shirt for a moment, sighed out through his nose, and took off the outer layer – the large, blue 67 flashing in the light as it hit the ground.

As his fingers flew on the buttons, he raised his eyebrows at Joe. “Why do you want the scrawny fucker so badly? He shit on your breakfast cereal or something?”

V5 Third Rolls
I'm heroing Brandon Baxter for Miles Strickland.

PM me for ideas, please.

Shock Treatment
Everything answers for what they do. You can't change that.

Baxter nodded absently at the other boy, barely paying attention. “The only people I've seen alive on the island are Robbins and Rodriguez, over at the mall.”

He didn't mention Summer. Couldn't yet.

“He was a skinny pale guy. Wore a stupid hat, quiet type.” Baxter lifted his hand to simulate height. “'Bout yay tall. I wouldn't be too keen on tracking him down, though. Seems like he's conducting the crazy train."

At the conclusion of his words, Baxter glanced back down at Dan's body, his gloved thumbs hooking into his jean pockets as he forced himself to view the gruesome scene. A moment passed, and then another, before he glanced back at Joe, hesitance in his eyes.

"Do you think... should we do something for him?"

Official V5 Away Thread
As noted by the fact that I posted today, you can consider my away null and void if you haven't already. Situation is far less dire than I thought.

Shock Treatment
Baxter's eyes squeezed shut as he turned fully around, his broad back on full display to Joe. Staring down at the corpse, he mulled over the words that Joe said – the prize wasn't worth it – and frowned down at the mangled corpse at his feet. It was a poster board; a large danger sign that stated how their classmates were willing – able – to kill each other in order to be the last alive. He let Joe finish talking, absorbing the words, a rare moment in Baxter's life where he fully mulled the words of another before deigning to speak.

When he did speak, his voice would be under control. The panic would be fought down. The tears would be gone. When he did speak, he'd be every inch the commanding presence he insisted upon being.

It took him three tries to force the first words out. They were water logged, stuffy, and husky with effort, but they did not quake with the fear and emotion.

“Of course it matters,” he said to the ground, his blue eyes opening, willing himself not to sniff and ruin the image, “and you're already competing, Joe.”

No nicknames, now. Nothing but names between them. Turning, Baxter faced his companion, a small, sad smile working its way onto his mouth.

“Survival of the fittest. Survival, not biggest kill count. The game is to live to the end, and you're one of the people to prod it along.”

He stuffed his hands in his pockets as two more trails of moisture caressed his cheeks, the taste of salt dampening his mouth. Baxter let them fall.

“So yes, it matters why you did it. We all have to answer for – for something.”

Official V5 Away Thread
Handler: NotAFlyingToy
Dates Away: July 16th - July 21st
Days Away: 5
Reason for Away: Computer malfunction
Characters: Hansel Williams, Brandon Baxter

Hoping it's just the router, but seeing as I can't reset a router of the place I don't regularly live in, I'm anticipating this amount of away time before I can get back home. Expect posts never.

Obviously, if I get it working and post in that time frame, disregard.

Shock Treatment
It took the other boy's broken, scattered attempt at squaring off with Baxter to make him fully realize the gravity of his comment, remnants of shame from the previous night coupling with this fresh wave threatening to overtake him. Did he really just make light of another kid's death?

Another competitor's death. Jason was competition. So was Daniel, and Kelly, and Gabriella, and Dan. Each one that fell meant one less that was in his way to escaping the island. Clinging to the rationale, he folded his arms, shot Joe his best cocky grin.

“I would apologize,” he intoned, lazy satisfaction filling his voice to hide the mild quake that threatened to burst through, “but apologizing to a murderer doesn't seem my style. I will hand it to you, though – I didn't think you had it in you.”

Shrugging big shoulders, he walked around the corpse in slow, easy strides, his gaze down at the other boy. The quaking in his throat began to rise as his smile turned more into a grimace, a stinging sensation filling his eyes.

“So we're b-both competing for the same prize,” the larger boy forced out, his breaths coming rapidly.

Davidge shot. Dan dead. Summer's body beneath his fingers. Smell of smoke clinging to his clothes. His mom's face – her beautiful, weathered face – looking sadly on as Dave and him argued once more over household chores. The school he'd never see again.

The first tear leaked from his left eye, spattering against the shoulder of the body by his feet. Baxter angled himself away from Joe, keeping his head down.

“Why did you do it?”