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Yugikun
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Alvaro remembered.

There had been an assignment, before this had happened. Social Studies. Junior year. They had to make a poster in groups about a major event that had happened in the past. They did fairly well. Alvaro couldnít remember what the exact score for it was but he remembered the teacher saying it was one of the best in the class, which was good. Especially considering how difficult it had been for most of the people there. The topic was Survival of the Fittest. The game in which he was in now. The incident in which over two hundred and fifty students - each like him, none wanting to be there - were killed by each other. None of them had wanted to do it. None of them were willing to do the research needed to do the poster, but they had to. The topic had been assigned to them, and if they didnít want to risk their grade they had to do it.

So Alvaro did it. When the day was over, when the cafe was closed, once he had done everything else that he possibly could have done within the day, he did it. He opened up the internet, and started researching.

And he hated it.

They were horrible, the stories that he saw. People dying. People murdering. There was one image he saw, of a kid covered in blood. He was in a garden, of sorts, filled with the corpses of his classmates. He was pretty sure that image had appeared in his dreams, at night. He couldnít recall. It was an image that he had chosen to forget. Information that eventually chose not to stay in his head, like almost everything else that he had learned.

There was one thing that had stayed in his head though, through the time that had passed since that day. There had been interviews of some of the survivors. They spoke of when they first woke up, in the dark room that Alvaro had found himself in just a couple of days ago. The man on the stage had said something to them, as part of his speech.

Look to the person on your right. They might try to kill you within the next couple of days. Look to the person on your left. You might have to kill them to survive.

((Alvaro Vacanti, continued from And What You Get, Is What You See))

Barry had a gun.

He had ran. Away from Scout. Out of the asylum. To here, a church. Or rather, the garden that laid behind it. There was a tree, in the middle. He had fallen down as he reached it, once again too exhausted to continue moving. Nobody was here. Nobody had followed him. That was good. It meantÖ something. Something good. He couldnít quite say what it was but if he was alone it meant that there wasnít anyone else. It gave him time, to think. To do something. To figure out what his circumstances were. He had lost one of the bags, so what did that mean for him? He had hoisted the one that he still had to his side, as he sat and opened it up.

That was where the gun was.

He had a gun.

And it was intact, too. The fall hadnít done anything to damage it. It was in one piece. Black. Thick. There were extra parts, further into the bag. Alvaro picked them up, looking at them. They seemed to fit in the gun with a click, under a part in front of the hold. He held it up, for a few seconds, before putting it down again. There was another part to it. A manual. Something by the people running this, telling him how to use it. It seemed easy. Apparently, he just had to hold it in front of him with both hands, before pulling the trigger. Then it would fire. Then it could hit someone. Then it could kill someone. It seemed easy, to use this gun. It seemed so easy, for him to just use it and take somebodyís life.

And it was his. He took it from Barry.

Or rather, from the person whose life he already took.

He shook his head. He didnít want to think about that. He had a gun.

So what did that mean?

He didnít know.

He could use it.

But no, he couldnít, couldnít he? He couldnít use it. He couldnít hurt them. Even if there were the people out there. Even if there were people like Min-Jae and Isaac and Scout out there, there were others, right? His friends. Lily. Barry. Oskar. Audrey. Jasmine. He couldnít use it on them, couldnít he? He couldnít hurt them. No. He couldnít.

But he had. They had. Barry was dead. Jasmine had killed. LilyÖ was different.

And they knew.

He knew that they knew. He knew what they thought. He knew that they thought that he was a murderer.

He knew that they were right. He knew that he did it. He wasnít going to try to argue against that.

He killed Barry.

Everyone knew that.

He just had to accept it.

The whirring of a camera took him out of his thoughts. His body jolted, he looked to where it was pointing.

A corpse laid where his eyes were, naked and cold and covered in blood.

He jumped. Looked away. What was that? Wait, no. Who was that? He knew that it was a corpse. He knew that there was somebody lying behind him dead? But who? Was it someone he knew? He knew that it was someone he knew but was it just someone who he passed in the hallways or was it one of his friends? He didnít know. He didnít like either of those two options. Even if it was only someone he barely knew - which he knew was a horrible thing to think - it was still something not good. Nobody deserved to be here. Nobody deserved to be in this game. Nobody deserved to have their death be something gawked at by the people in front and behind the cameras. But he still didnít know who it was, and he wouldnít unless he stood up and looked.

But could he do that? He didnít know. He didnít know if he could look. He knew that whoever it was wouldnít like someone to just look at their desecrated body like that.

But he had to know, didnít he? He was here. He was on this island. He was in this game. He had to be brave. But he couldnít, couldnít he? He didnít know. He closed his eyes. Squeezed them tight. He just had to...

Stand up.

Do something.

Be a little bit more selfish, for once.

Ö

So slowly, he stood up. Off the tree. He knew he didnít want to, he knew that he didnít want to look at the corpse, but he had to. He needed to. So slowly, he took his steps, from the tree to the corpse.

Ö

Jane Madison wasnít really someone he knew that well. He knew that she was in the same year as him. He knew that they shared one or two classes with each other. He knew her face and her appearance from when they passed each other in the hallways to each of their classes. Maybe she had been to the cafe, once or twice. With a friend. Someone who was a more regular customer and who Jane went along with one day. Maybe. He didnít know anything more than that, though. He didnít know her personality. He didnít know who her friends were. He didnít know what classes he took. He didnít know her dreams, or aspirations, or whatever had happened to her to make her pursue them. Even though he knew her, he didnít know anything about her.

And he never would. Because now she was dead. Her corpse laid below his feet, naked and cold and covered in blood.

And someone had killed her. He knew that. This wasnít like Abby. This wasnít herÖ doing what Abby did to herself. Someone had killed her. Someone had stabbed or shot or hit her in the neck, and had taken her clothes. Desecrated her corpse. Taken away any respect that they may have had for her.

Someone had killed her. Just like what Alvaro had done.

And Jane laid below him, the last expression on her face being one of fear.

His hands started to shake.

He closed his eyes. Squeezed them.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Breathe in, breathe out.

He stepped back.

No.

He didnít want to be like her. He didnít want to be dead. He didnít want his corpse to be dumped in the middle of the ground, naked and cold and covered in blood. Even though he didnít want to be here, even though he didnít want to be in this game, he knew he couldnít just leave. He knew he didnít want to die. He knew that he wanted to survive this game, now.

But they knew.

They all knew, at this point. They knew what he did. They knew that he had killed Barry. And he knew they wouldnít forgive him for it. Jonathan screamed at him. LilyÖ became different. Scout had tried to kill him. They knew he killed. He knew that they didnít like that. He knew that everyoneÖ everyone would treat him differently for that now.

And he knew that there was something from his research. A line that he remembered. The person on your right could kill you within the next couple of days. You might have to kill the person on your left to survive.

And he knew that he had a gun. Barryís. Now his. Even though he wanted to give it back. Even though he never wished that he could kill
Barry, the gun was his now.

And he knew that there was a corpse at his feet, naked and cold and covered in blood.

And he knew that he wanted to live. He knew that he didnít want to be this corpse.

But he knew that everyone else knew. He knew that they would try to find him. He knew that everyone thought of him differently now.

He knew that people were out to end his life, now.

Ö

Look to the person on your right. They might try to kill you within the next couple of days. Look to the person on your left. You might have to kill them if you want to survive.

Ö

He would just have to be that kid sitting on the right.

((Alvaro Vacanti, continued elsewhere))
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