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Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
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(Alex Tarquin ENTER: from now is the winter of our discontent)

A true actor must master their stage entirely.

A million things may go wrong during a performance. You may be sick, but decide to carry on. Your other players may be sick, and forget a line, or a cue, or some part of their blocking. A light could go out. A prop could be unexpectedly broken. You must be ready to adapt to every changing circumstance. The show must go on!

And if you intend to play the villain? If you intend to be a figure of menace and dread, and inspire fear in those you face? If you intend to be the finest example of a monster preying upon the weak that this wretched game has ever known?

Alex Tarquin is facing a problem. The problem has truly, seriously occurred to him now, for the first time in his life. It has been attacked before, certainly. He no longer overtly professes his belief in the world of musicals and martial arts movies, of effortless choreography and moments of masterful movement too magnificent for mere reality. But he still believes it, on some level. In the idea of men and women who transcend reality's paltry limits.

Or at least, he did believe it. But the girl is dead. Rea was her name, apparently. That's what Tracen Danya said, droning on in those announcements. Rea, the woman he killed.

Rea, the first of many.

He sliced her open while playing pretend, imagining he could use a weapon made for slicing and killing for something besides slicing and killing. He imagined he could be such a master, such a hero. He understands better now. When the blade slices through the air, no one can really stop it cleaving flesh. It's kill or be killed. It's survival.

A hero cannot exist. But a villain might be equally impossible. To be intimidating and compelling, the villain must have a compelling allure of invincibility. In order for there to be dramatic tension, the heroes must think their cause is hopeless. They must face incredible odds.

But Alex is just a man. How can he become that villain? How can he be a creature of such terrible, fatal grace that he compels the attention of his audience.

The answer, of course, is in the stage. Master the stage, and you can adapt and improvise to the unexpected.

There are only two people on the island who know that he is a killer, that have borne witness to his start of darkness. That gives him time. Before word spreads, he must prepare.

He spent all that remained of his first bloody day wandering the island and studying his map. As he moved, he was gathering supplies. He had half-formed ideas already, though of course these would change based on the nature of the stage and the nature of the tools he might find.

Well. Truth be told, he already had a stage in mind.

As dark drew a heavy curtain across the island, Alex returned to the place where he'd found the leather jacket. He started to lie on one of the creaking, musty mattresses, then decided against it. Instead he rolled beneath it, pulling the mattress down so he was obscured. That was where he'd been when the announcements had started.

The world knew now. So it was time to get to work.

The asylum seemed ideal for his purposes. It had to have been built for security, he reasoned, and besides that there was the symbolism of the place. If he could master it, learn its ins and outs, he could use it as a weapon just as effectively as any of his swords. He wandered its halls, hesitated at the sounds of voices, kept finding new halls, new paths, until...

Until in a little corridor of heavy doors, he found Conrad.

He stared at the shredded remains of the man still pinned to the wall. He remembered the Announcements. Who had done this? Isabel? Did he remember an Isabel? He thought he recalled one, he thought--a small, almost mousy girl, who...

Who had done this?

One monster among many is part of the background. How to be a monster they can't forget?

He stared at the body, and thought of Isabel, and almost didn't notice that it was the shredded corpse of a man he'd once known.

He felt like vomiting, but he would not allow it. What monster would vomit? How to make himself stand out?

"Fascinating," he said, leaning forward and drinking deep of the blood-and-shit smell of the shredded, tortured corpse.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players

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This World Belongs to the Mad · Solitary Confinement