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Open Your Eyes and Look North
Matt walked down the stairs. The bell tower was pretty interesting - maybe in the future if he had a rile of some sort he could camp out on the top - and maybe his favorite place on the island so far. He figured he had a special connection to it. He'd met Jerry and Toby - was that her name? Toby? - within view of it. The ocean view was a constant companion and it lost its appeal to him after a few days. The bell tower was different. From the top he could see for a little while around. Just enough in his opinion.


Matt raised the gun. What was that? He looked back, up. Towards the top. Nothing. He called out, quietly.

"Aiden - that you?" He thought for a moment. It probably was. Maybe he'd tried to get up and collapsed or something. "Just stay there," he said, starting to walk back down again. He was ready to meet Serena and what's her name? The other one. He couldn't remember their name. Whatever. Maybe he'd learn it soon. Maybe he wouldn't. Danya knew everyone's name and he had the most direct way of finding out in his hands.

Open Your Eyes and Look North
Aiden went down, falling forward and dropping the shotgun. Matt bent over to pick up his prize but heard him say something. He had nothing to say to Aiden and instead responded to whatever it was that he had muttered by bashing him over the head with the pipe again. He looked down at him. Satisfied, he put the pipe into his bag best he could and reached down to pick up his newest tool. A shotgun. Lighter than he expected. Aiden had probably already pumped it in a manner no doubt extremely dramatic so he decided against it, only checking to see if the safety was on. Click. Off. He glanced down.

Alive. Not a threat, at least not right now. He briefly considered doing the smart thing and killing him then and there but decided against it. It was needless. He figured that he'd wake up eventually and swear revenge or something along those lines. He'd deal with them later, assuming someone wouldn't already deal with them for him. He started to walk down the stairs, renewed. He felt powerful. Didn't have to sneak up on anyone anymore.. not that he'd put a stop to that field proven way of winning. 12 gauge buckshot to the back of the head was just a safer way of getting rid of a potential problem. Far safer than the pipe. The pipe had little sentimental value to him but he'd run out of bullets eventually. He'd keep it.

Open Your Eyes and Look North
((Matt Moradi continued from somewhere else. OP post is being edited - forgive any inconsistencies. GMing approved, too!))

He was waiting at the top of the bell tower. He saw the jeep coming. Aiden, Serena, who else? He couldn't remember their name. He didn't see Bart, either. So they must have abandoned him. Poor Bart. Probably didn't even put up a fight about it or anything. He didn't quite know what to think of them. They had a jeep, somehow. And somehow they had enough gasoline to drive the damn thing all around the island for over a week. It made absolutely no sense to him, but he accepted it because he had to. If he spent too much time thinking about the logical inconsistencies of this place.. nothing. This place was a surreal nightmare and that was all he needed to know.

He stayed away from the edge. He didn't want them to see him. Slattery had a gun - a shotgun - and he figured that it was high time that he liberate it from him. If there was anyone on this island who was in need of a gun, it was him. He looked at the pipe down in his hands. Three people in the same day wasn't a good look. He'd have to try and knock him out. Take the gun from him and then somehow make it out of here without his two friends running him over with that fucking jeep.

And then he heard him coming. Slattery. With the gun. Delivering it to him, he figured, in some weird metaphysical sense of the word. Matt held his breath. Slattery walked up the stairs to watch the sunset he guessed. He traveled eighteen years to get here and waiting for him at the end of that journey was a pipe to the back of the head.

Slowly, Matt approached him from behind. Quietly as he could. And then, when he was within swinging distance, he let out a short grunt - maybe the only warning Aiden would get - and bashed him across the head with the pipe.

This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes
Just a little bit over a week ago, Matt wanted to go to college and become a dentist. Like his father, who he didn't particularly like, who also didn't particularly like his father, who was also a dentist. He briefly considered the hilariousness of this entire scenario. His father, an immigrant from Iran, having crossed an entire ocean, something almost unthinkable a thousand years ago, wedded a woman of similar background and had a son, who went on to kill two people in the span of a few hours after being kidnapped by a group of terrorists with vague inscrutable motives.

Was that it?

That's what all this was leading up to?

He guessed that he was just born to die like everyone else who had come before him. What made him different? He had his back turned to Nate and Nate finally asked him what he was going to do. Was he going to kill him? It was a good question. Does he speed along the process or just leave it up to nature? Matt didn't believe in fate. He believed in doing. And by doing something - i.e hitting an abnormally short boy in the face with a lead pipe, stolen off of a dead man by another man who was now also dead - he would kill Nate. By doing that, he would render all the time his parents had spent raising him null and void. Change so many lives with so little effort.

He didn't say anything. No "yes" no "no" no "good luck". He left.

((Matt Moradi continued somewhere else.))

This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes
He didn't know where that had come from. It just came out that way.

But he figured that he was right. Winning was inherently more noble than losing. Nate questioned him, asking him why he wanted to be a winner "like that." There was no "like that." There was winning and there was losing. The stakes in this game, for example, were so high that winning proved to be preferable to losing, regardless of what had to be done in order to win.

Nate questioned him if he cared that all "our friends" were dead. Irene was dead. Darius was dead. Those were just about the two - out of what, a hundred? - people on this island that he knew all that well.

Matt just stood there, not facing Nate. Too paranoid to turn his back on the rest of the island.

"Yeah, well. That's how it is," he said. "None of these people are my 'friends', Nate. They're, uh.. you know. Competition. I guess you're competition, too." He figured that'd hurt more to say.

It didn't.

"So.. I guess that's all I have to say about that. I'm gonna try to win. If I don't then I don't. If I do.." He had no idea what he was going to do if he won. He guessed that he'd figure it out if it happened. When it happened.

"I guess I do. That's about it. Are you hungry, or.. what? I've got a lot of food."

This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes
Nate was asking him obviously rhetorical questions. He couldn't come up with much of an answer - at least not right now - but he felt like there was some kind of answer. Maybe he would figure it out but only after thinking further on the nature of this game. Matt heard Nate laugh behind him. Short and harsh. The laugh of someone who figured they weren't going to live much longer. Without turning around to face him, Matt spoke.

"You lose this and you're a loser forever. You're dead. You don't get any do overs." He thought for a moment. Maybe he should stop.

No. He had something to prove to him. "I don't wanna be a loser, Nate. I've been a loser my entire life. That's about it.. I mean, I don't wanna win because I want to get a job or get married or go to college." And then it came out. The real reason why.

"I just want to win because that's good enough. Just winning, you know? Making someone else lose. Living when everyone else died, even if it's for a second. That's good enough."

This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes
All things considered, Matt should feel pretty good. He was well fed and, surprisingly, he managed to sleep better here then he was ever able to at home. He didn't know why. Couldn't know why. It just was. He slept better here. Despite all that, he felt worse than normal. Maybe it was the constant walking around and the seething hatred he felt for his captors but every waking moment he spent here passed uneasily. Nate looked at him like there was something wrong with him. Maybe there was - he'd just killed two people in the past few hours and felt very little - but all he had to offer in response was a cough. A question. Why aren't I dead yet. Short and to the point. He liked that. No tap dancing around it.

"I've got no idea why you're still alive, Nate," Matt said, glancing over his shoulder. He had his back turned. Stupid. Slowly, he started to turn his back on Nate.

"Maybe you're gonna win, but... I doubt it. How long do these, uh, things, usually last? Can't be more than a few more days, right?"

This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes
Matt stared back at Nate, who belted out some incoherent jumble of words that could hardly qualify as a sentence. Questions that died in birth. Despite his best efforts, Matt could not discern the meaning of whatever it was Nate was trying to say to him. He wanted to say something, that much was obvious, but whatever it was it wasn't coming.

So Matt just stared back down at him for a few moments, not really sure of what to say next. Eventually, he decided that the least amount of words would be less confusing.

"Yes?" he asked. One word. All he needed.

This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes
Nate had turned around and all he offered in response was just staring at him. No words or anything. No I'm fine. Matt figured that the past few days must've been really hard on him.. Ben dying, dozens of dead people, and more. Matt guessed that Nate knew a lot of people.

Or maybe he just didn't recognize him because he hadn't bathed in a few days. He'd kill for a mirror right now. And a razor. His beard was out of control or as out of control as it could get after a week of not shaving. Nate opened his mouth and said nothing. Matt sighed. Guess he had to do the talking.

"Me," he said, sounding unconvinced of what he was saying. "I'm doing pretty good.. I got a lot of food. Lot of food." Food taken from the dead. He hadn't eaten Jerry's precious bread yet - the one loaf that took precedence over mourning Toby in his now dead ally's eyes - and maybe he never would.

"Things sure have changed a lot in the past week, huh?" He sounded painfully awkward. Trying to make small talk with someone he didn't think was going to last another twenty four hours. Maybe not even twelve hours. Hell, he had made it this far. Maybe he might win. Matt cracked a smile. Ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. He was going to kill Nate if he had to. He was going to win.

He scratched the back of his neck and looked down at the pipe in his hand. Still bloody. The first impression he left on the other Ben rapidly drying onto it.

"You hungry?" he asked. Oddly altruistic. He was in a good mood and he couldn't say why. "I'll share if you are."

This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes
((Matt Moradi continued from somewhere else.))

Directionless. Matt had absolutely nowhere to go. It was just him, this island, and a bigger ratio of rotting corpses to living people. He'd been alone before. He once went a whole week in middle school without talking to anyone. What a nightmare. Thinking about what he did and what he wanted to do before getting dumped onto this place made him feel.. something. He couldn't understand what. Depression, maybe. Something like that. Just this terrible sinking feeling that comes when your life goes from 'normal' to 'this'. This. He wasn't sure what to call it. Maybe it was a game, or at least it looked like one at a glance, but it felt like more than that.

He spent far too much time thinking about the motives of his captors. His torturers. Everyone's. Was it really just terrorism? Terrorism over what? American imperialism? Laughable motive. Stupid. Everything they did was counter-productive to that. Ever since this circus started, things had gotten worse. 9/11. Iraq. Several dozen to a hundred kids being kidnapped every few years. Maybe it was a commentary on human nature. Eventually, he figured, people would stop really caring about all of this. It'd just become another fact of life. Terrorism was normal, to him. Growing up, he was never not imbued with the vague idea that a group of people with some nebulous goals not worth understanding would kill people. That seemed normal. Terrorism - ism. Like fascism. Communism. Socialism. Republicanism. An ideology in and of itself. The perfect idea awaiting the perfect century.

It was normal. Terrorism was normal. It was normal before he came here. It would continue to be normal after he left. The only difference was that it had decided to personally affect him instead of some far off group of people he didn't know. Drawing the shortest stick. Like winning the lottery. Those were the chances. The odds. Like winning the lottery.

He wondered if he should feel lucky.

The island - maybe someday he'd know it's actual name but for now in his mind it was just the island - had more people dead on it than the living. Maybe in those first days he'd have felt something resembling fear that he'd wander into some hastily formed alliance of psychopaths and eager murderers. Isabel was dead. Nancy was dead. Alvaro was dead. He figured Alvaro would have already started to rot. Getting held up in that basement - Sandy Bricks, he remembered him, his only memory of Sandy Bricks was him as a rotting corpse in a decaying basement - seemed quaint now.

Right now he was alone. That was the scariest thing to him. Having enough time to think. Maybe about what he'd done or what he'd have to do in the future. And who he'd be facing in the future. People probably stronger and more ruthless than him. People who might have guns. Swords. Grotesque ancient weapons that his captors thought of as some hilarious punchline (the funniest joke - the one that ends a life). He had to be better than those people. Meaner. Worse. He was going to win, go home, go back to normal.

And then, he wasn't alone. There he was. Nate. Nate. Nate who shouldn't be alive. Nate who by all means should have died before Ben, someone who was a good person but also someone whose life he cared very little for. For Nate he felt much of the same. He'd known Nate for a few days. His most interesting feature, right now, was no longer the fact that he was an almost adult man in the body of a young boy, but the fact that he was alive. Nate was a good person. A Christian, Matt guessed. Matt was an atheist. Supposedly a militant one but it was funny how little your religious beliefs, background, and everything else mattered when you came here. Window dressing for either walking corpses or the victor.

Somehow, Nate had survived. Somehow, Nate had managed to make it where people who were more deserving of life had died.

And that made him feel pretty good.

It made him feel like he had a chance.

He hadn't walked all that long. Blood of the other Ben was still fresh on his pipe. He looked awful. Matt was well fed but he looked awful. He raised his voice and tried to make his footfalls seem louder than they were to alert Nate of his coming. Didn't want to surprise him. Maybe he had heart problems or something. It would be the funniest thing in the world to him if Nate won. Whatever it was that made Nate who he was - less than five feet tall at what, 16, he was only guessing - he figured it shortened his lifespan. He wasn't going to be a doctor. He was going to be a dentist. Medical facts weren't his forte, so he could only guess.

"Hey, Nate." he said. Then he just stood there, not entirely sure of what to say next. It wasn't good to see Nate alive. Seeing Nate alive meant that Nate was probably going to be killed by someone worse than Isabel, Nancy, whoever else. Someone ruthless. Someone who probably wouldn't have any problem with killing Nate if it meant going home.

"It's good to see you," Matt said, lying. "How has, uh.. how've things been going? Good?"

There went Ben. Two people in the same day, Matt thought. Only hours apart. He wondered if this would make him some kind of target in the eyes of self-proclaimed do gooders. He watched Ben fall down the hill, sliding towards the ocean. He could only guess if the second fall or the pipe was what killed him. The look in Ben's eyes right before he fell, at least, pointed towards the first one. He stood there for a few moments, back turned on everything else.

Then he turned back around, berating himself for letting his guard down.

((Matt Moradi continued somewhere else.))

Today was a learning experience. For example, Matt learned to try and stifle his laughter in certain sensitive situations. Another example - Matt learned what getting hit right in the face with a boot feels like. He let out a short yelp that vaguely sounded like him screaming "fucker" at Ben before managing to shake him off. It took him a moment to catch his breath after Ben went tumbling down the slope, to what Matt figured was either serious injury or death.

"Okay.. fuck, uh.." Matt wiped his face off with his sleeve. He was sweating like a fucking pig. Slowly, he bent over to pick up his pipe, hands shaking. So he'd just killed another person. If not now then Ben would be dead soon, anyways. Might as well check the body. Quickly walking over to the edge of the hill, Matt discovered something.

Ben wasn't dead.

In fact, he wasn't even that seriously injured.

He was just even more pissed off.

Actually, Ben was running right at him, this time looking like he was definitely going to kill him.

Matt raised his pipe and waited for Ben to get within a reasonable distance. Scrambling up the hill took an uncomfortably long amount of time but as soon as Ben came close enough to be hit with a pipe, Matt swung it down at him. Permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Just have to pick up the pipe. Give him a good whack and that'll get him out of here. He'll go running as fast as he fucking can ewhen he gets a taste of this and holy fuck. Wade.. no, Ben was on top of him, on his back, trying to choke him out, grabbing his arm, trying to hit him in the face. Matt let out a short, heroic shriek that vaguely resembled a little girl's and started shouting. "Get the fuck off of me!" he yelled, trying to shake Ben off.

There Ben was - just staring at him. It made Matt feel uncomfortable but not guilty. He wasn't expecting to run into what seemed to be one of Wade's friends. Being faced with the direct consequences didn't make him feel guilty. He just felt like consequences on the island outside of being murdered in retaliation put a bit of a damper on everything. Not this guilt tripping stuff. Matt coughed, uncomfortable, and stared back in return. It took him a moment to think of something to say and what he said was cut off.

"So, uh, is something wrong, or - "

Ben ran at him, screaming like someone who was about to murder Matt, boot in hand and fuck you in his eyes. Matt had precious few seconds to react and he used these valuable seconds bringing his pipe back, trying to raise it above his head as fast as he could. At least that was how he would've liked to use them. How he really used them was by sputtering out a garden variety of swear words hand picked for just such an occasion and by also dropping his pipe. The "oh shit" he blurted out in reaction to dropping his only weapon was the loudest of the bunch and the one that could've been most easily picked out by Ben. Matt was afraid.

He quickly bent over to pick up his pipe, still swearing, yelling at Ben that this was all just a misunderstanding that if he'd only listen for a moment he could fully explain away whatever it was that he thought Matt had done. Just give me a chance you dumb motherfucker, he thought. I'll lie my ass off to you.

Ben's only reply to Matt's question was a short, terse "I'm fine." that said more than that. Ben was pissed off. Matt could clearly see that on his face, and after that he didn't need to see anything. Ben was yelling at him, looking like he was going to do something crazy. That boot wasn't for walking, Matt figured, and he slowly raised his pipe. He wasn't going to use it, not if he didn't have to, but it helped to show that he was better armed than Ben. Try and persuade him to not do anything stupid that way. He asked him about the fictional other person that Matt hadn't spent any thought towards conjuring up aside from the fact that they supposedly existed and lost a fight with him. His reply was unconvincing at best and damning at worst.

"Uh, well - the other person. They're fine, actually. Just a little whack on the head and they ran away. That's all. What's wrong with you?"

Matt didn't feel ashamed. He just regretted killing Wade, now that there were immediate consequences. But mostly he just regretted talking to Ben. He didn't feel like he had to justify anything to him. Shitfuck Island didn't have any rules other than survive and it looked like Ben missed the boat on that.

Matt looked at Wade and saw someone who was about to make a big mistake. He wasn't stupid. Ben thought - knew - that he had killed Wade. He was already asking questions about the pipe which made Matt's heart stop for a moment. Son of a bitch. He knew. He had to explain this, somehow. He didn't want to get into another fight. Not here, anyways. Fuck him that hill was steep. Falling down that would get you real dead real quick.

Ben started to grab at the boot beside him. Matt idly wondered if it was a steel toed boot. If it was then he might be in some trouble.. if not, well, this was going to be an unfair fight. A fight he didn't want to get into, admittedly, not because of the unfairness of it but because he didn't want to risk it.

Matt looked down at his pipe. It was bloody - the single reminder he had of his victim was rapidly drying onto it - and then he looked up to Ben.

Matt chuckled, a little bit. Ben. Kind of like Ben Fields, only this Ben was still alive and not half as friendly to him. It struck him after a second of thinking that maybe laughing wasn't the right thing to do in this kind of situation. Trying his best to salvage the situation, Mat's defense started off slowly and not at all convincingly.

"Uh, well, I got into a fight the other day. You know how it is." Matt looked down at the pipe again. The blood looked way too recent to have been from the other day. He never claimed he was a good liar. "Yeah. So.. uh, how are you?"

The reality of what Matt had done a few hours ago had hit him - he had murdered Wade. Killed him in cold blood, not for any real reason. He couldn't help but think about what Wade's parents, whatever siblings he had, friends who weren't here would think about him. He figured that they wouldn't be too pleased, what with him being Wade's murderer and all that. They'd probably be pretty mad, actually. He had killed Wade for some nebulous, arguably not very good reason.

And, really, he didn't care that much.

He'd have had to kill someone sooner or later. If he didn't, he wasn't going to get off Shitfuck Island (population: him and a bunch of assholes) - he knew how this worked. So maybe killing Wade wasn't very justifiable. He didn't give a shit. He could dwell more deeply on his moral shortcomings when he wasn't in a situation like this.

Still, killing Wade only temporarily filled the Jerry Fury/Ben Fields/Nate Turner/Bart Capotelli (was that his last name? he could never remember) shaped hole in his heart. He was alone. Frankly, that wouldn't be an issue, but this was Shitfuck Island. Without any real direction, he wandered around. Maybe he'd find something to do, or a place to hide, or something.

He did find someone. Ben Lichter. He didn't know him that well. Had his back turned on him. Perfect opportunity.

Matt held the bloody pipe in his hand. As casually as he could, he said, "Hey."

Prey Empathy
Matt drew his pipe back. It had some blood on it, though not much. He looked down at what he had done - he had nothing to say. No gloating, no quips, nothing. There was nothing to be said about this. He didn't know Wade very well. He decided to enter Wade's life via a lead pipe to the face. This was the beginning and end of their relationship. The pipe, slowly, slunk back down to Matt's side. He looked around, wondering if anyone had seen him - any cameras.

He didn't figure there could be cameras everywhere. Maybe he had gotten Wade in a blind spot - no one would ever know. No one would start coming after him for randomly killing someone who wasn't doing anyone any harm. Better me than anyone else, Matt thought. Better me than some psychopath who tortured people to death.

Slowly, he ambled over to Wade's corpse and started to wipe the pipe off on his shirt. He took a closer look at what he had done - caved his skull right in. He rubbed the place where Wade had hit him in the chest, glad that he had put up some kind of fight. He could't figure out why, but the resistance made him feel better about killing Wade. He couldn't figure out why. The pipe was deadly. A lot deadlier than he'd expected it to be, all things considered. There was no knocking someone out with this thing, just beating them to death.

Matt stood up and looked around again. No one saw - he had to make sure of that. Quickly, he started walking away from Wade's corpse, making great haste to who knew where. Emptier places with less people to kill.

((Matt Moradi continued somewhere else.))

Prey Empathy
Matt swung the pipe, expecting - hoping - that it would crush Wade's ribcage or something and just finally kill him. It wasn't that easy. It would never be that easy. The pipe managed to hit a whole lot of air as Wade, surprisingly, managed to dodge out of the way. Matt stumbled forward, the fact that Wade was actually fight back coming as a surprise to him. He wasn't expecting this. He definitely didn't plan for this, but beyond hitting him once and hoping that he'd be knocked out, what else was he planning for? For him to have a gun? For him to win?

He didn't have any plans for any of that. He didn't have a gun, at least he didn't think he did all he had to do was just turn around an hit him and he did seem to be WHGNINGGG.

Wade just socked Matt in the chest. Letting out a short gasp of pain, Matt started swinging his pipe again, this time aimed nowhere in particular. Lifting his pipe after getting a few glancing hits on Wade, the pipe came crashing down directly into his skull. Crack.

Slowly, Matt started to back away.

Prey Empathy
Matt grunted when he heard the pipe smack into Wade's shoulder - crack. Crack. He'd managed to break his arm, or something close to it. He was no longer thinking about this, about the potential consequences. Right now, he was fully focused on winning. On killing Wade. He took a short step back and raised the pipe again, and paused a moment.

Wade was on the ground, writhing in pain. He wasn't a threat anymore.

Matt drove the pipe down again, hitting Wade in the chest, hard.