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There are some things a man just canít run away from.
If there had been time, Hansel would have scoffed at Joe's melodrama, his over-acting and cliche response to a death. If there had been just Hansel and Joe, Hansel would've explained what, exactly, the point was to all of this. If there had been time, Hansel would've ensured Joe didn't feel any pain, didn't suffer overmuch as he put a bullet between the boy's eyes.

But then Maddie showed up, again.

With a loaded gun.

Again.

"Give me a fucking break," he said, keeping the gun pointed at Joe's chest.

"You cuh-han't pull that t-tuh-rigger faster than I can, and I'm a damn sight more experienced. How about you don't move, and you wuh-hon't have more blood on your hands."

He nodded at Joe.

"You're still fucking wrong. Ain't no meaning b-behind any of it. Why are you stuh-hill looking?"

There are some things a man just canít run away from.
Hansel's movements were fuelled by rage and struggle, now - a burning need to come out of this on top coupled with a want to see the attackers punished - to see them not just fail, but be crippled by this encounter.

He threw his head back into Joe's jawline, skull and teeth meeting in a painful burst, thrashing hard enough to break Joe's grip slightly, enough to get an arm free. The arm squirmed downwards, reaching for the gun tucked into his waistband. Joe squeezed harder, fought harder, digging nails into Hansel's neck in the struggle to stop him, pleading and begging for his partner to take the shot.

No bullets came forth. And his arm didn't meet wet red gore on its way to capturing its prize, either.

Unwilling to put two and two together, Hansel pulled the pistol free, half-turned, and slammed the butt of the gun into Joe's still-fresh face wound.

Gaining a little more room, Hansel shoved out with his foot, sending Joe and himself further away from each other, his back hitting one of the birdfeeders, knees drawing up in front of him. He used the resistance to stand, kept the gun in his right hand, his left fingers curled around the varnished wood.

"Stuh-hay the fuck down, Joe," Hansel gasped out, gun hand wavering, breath coming in short, exhausted gasps. Michael lay mere feet away from them, face down, a rapidly darkening pool of blood oozing out of his abdomen. Hansel gave the scene scarcely a glance, before returning his focus back on Joe.

"Should've kuh-hilled you."

There are some things a man just canít run away from.
Escape, strangely, was a notion that didn't register with Hansel. It was less about self preservation, now - he hadn't been good at that of late - but more about punishment, retribution.

His attackers needed to pay.

Right when he almost had his hands - both the hook hand and the complete one - around Michael's throat, the gun went off,

Hansel closed his eyes.

HANSEL WILLIAMS: DECEA-

No.

Not here. Not like this. Not to these two.

Ignoring the potential wound, Hansel jerked backwards just as Joe's arms came around his back - small, wiry, surprisingly strong - and wrenched Michael out of his hold. Hansel didn't look down, didn't see the extent of the damage.

Instead, he let his entire weight go lax, flung himself to the right, and took Joe and himself down into the dirt.

There are some things a man just canít run away from.
((The following post assumes actions of characters that are not my own. Do feel free to contact me with corrections.))

The knee to his stomach was winding, but Hansel forced through it, grunting in pain and surprise as he tried to fight off Joe, focus on Michael. Normally, he'd have fled from a two-on-one situation - the numbers just weren't there to support an easy victory - but there came a time when you just took the die you were rolled.

There were so few of them remaining, now. So little time left.

He had to beat this.

With a lunge, he flopped around, facing Joe straight on as they grappled on the floor, his eyes at Joe's cheek-level after Michael's knee attack. He bared his teeth as he struggled, trying to punch out with his bad arm, trying to keep Joe's weapon away.

When Michael moved to escape the hold, Hansel assumed he was trying to go for the gun, and desperation filled him. Desperation that made him squirm even harder, now more level with Joe's eyes in the struggle. Desperation that had him opening his bared teeth.

Desperation that had him sinking them into the soft flesh of Joe's cheek, tearing, filling his mouth with coppery blood.

He sprang away, then, diving for the shotgun, his body colliding with Michael's as he went.

New Official V5 Away Thread
Back with a terrible solution that I hate. May go away again as needed.

v5 Final Ten Congratulations/Opinions
Jesus, is it the final 10 already? Time sure has flown.

Congrats to everyone who's made it this far. It's a rare moment to see so many people be invested and follow through on a roleplay for over a year, let alone keep up a strenuous posting schedule for it. I'm really looking forward to the coming weeks, and seeing what sort of endgame shapes up.

New Official V5 Away Thread
Handler: NotAFlyingToy
Dates Away: Sunday, September 14th - September 28th
Days Away: 14
Reason for Away: My PC shat itself this morning, so I'm going to need to either do some emergency repairs, or buy a newer one. Since I was planning on the latter anyway (And also need to find the parts/actually build it) it may take quite a while, should I be unable to fix the old girl. This is more or less an advance warning that I could be incognito for some time.
Characters: Hansel Williams, Natali Greer's Ghost.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
That's it for the old queue! Bring on the new queue.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
NotAFlyingToy:

Nah.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Aaron Hughes:

Aaron's story is one that I think should be examined when you look at a player, and not because he's a super amazing example of one (he is good, though). Aaron is a character that influences arcs in an intangible way, manipulating the people around him in order to get further in the game, and as a result he's very one-note and finger-steeplingly evil without much else going on beyond the surface. That all said, he's exactly perfect for a major character in a large group, and allows the dramatics and tension come from the other characters and their reaction to him, as opposed to trying to steer the ship with his own narrative.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
VysePresident:

A pretty cool dude who wrote another pretty cool dude. Looking forward to see what he brings to the table in the next version. I honestly have zero idea what inspired his handler name, but google tells me Skies of Arcadia.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Matt Masters:

Really didn't dig the sex scene and the ensuing death, but it works out well-ish for Matt in that it doesn't completely undermine his character. He feels very early-game in that most of his posts aren't clear-cut or solid on narrative, and it feels like Aura was feeling out his character as opposed to going in strong. An okay read, but it didn't really blow me away on either side of the good/bad spectrum.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.

Zach Jamis:

I fucking hate Dead-End Scenario as a thread because so many really good dudes - Zach and Raidon among them - met their end in a pretty horrible way for a closing arc. Zach's great, from these two threads - lots of fun voice and narrative to be had - but the way he bites it makes me like, really grump at his killer. I'd like to read more of 'em.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Owen Kay:

Pippin wrote a lot with Owen for sure, but I had a major problem with him that basically undermined his entire character: his choice in ally. It was really really hard to believe Owen was a decent guy and a good fellow (as his narrative wanted us to believe) while Aileen basically runs around being chaotic evil and doing pretty horrible stuff. Good voice, but really really dissonant narrative and a lack of consequence in his arc makes me wish for an Owen that never really emerged.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Okay! After a short and unannounced hiatus (because this thread is the epitome of professional conduct) I'm going to begin tackling the new queue!

Marcus Leung

Marcus is ultimately kind of boring to me. He lived a long time and didn't do anything, really, to prove that he deserved to be past the halfway point - let alone like, final 30. Is the proud owner of one of my top 5 RP moments ever, but that was more OOC than IC and is a story for another day.

General Video Game Discussion Thread
Every once in a while, I replay the Mass Effect series.

Every time I do this, I try to say "This time, I will save Kaidan."

Every time, when push comes to shove, I leave him to die because I think he's totally useless

V3 Read-A-Thon
Lenny is a very long read, and a very satisfying read. I'd recommend him if you don't mind the browse (he comes across a lot of intriguing people in his narrative) and want to read an actually very fresh and new take on villain morality and what it means to make the game your own in order to justify your playing.

Lenny also has quite possibly the most hard-hitting stinger sentence in all of SOTF. It's pretty wild.

Roll me another.

Mass Effect Mafia Sign-up
Ten's probably the most we're getting, it seems.

There are some things a man just canít run away from.
The explosion of noise had Hansel flinching towards the ground as a shot came from behind him, turning his flinch into a roll that had him quickly moving a few feet away from the noise. His ears rang and his vision blurred as he fought through it, looking for the sound, the source-

There.

Michael and Joe, on opposing sides of where he was, sneaking up.

So that's the way it was, he figured, as he lifted himself into a sprinter's stance. Ambush tactics, hit-and-run. No more lengthy discussions about what a player was, no more hyperbole about what classified as heroism. No more waxing poetic on who - what -they were here, as opposed to out there.

No, they settled on murder as a first resort.

Fine.

Launching himself forwards, and aware that Joe only had a melee weapon, he prioritized Michael as his first target. He had missed at first, but he couldn't count on blind luck and the deaf boy's ineptitude for a second try. He had to isolate the threat, deal with Joe later.

He dove onto the smaller boy, slamming down with his full weight and shifting to drive his elbow towards Michael's face, then rolling with him, trying to keep Michael between Joe and himself, to discourage him from using that scythe.

V6 Concepts Thread
Here's some harsh feedback!

Don't let other people's opinions dictate your characters. Write what you like, and damn the consequences.

I'll play myself out.