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Why, hello there.
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Alright, so right off, we can see that Roland Kelly, also known as R.Kelly, is a Republican, and is written by laZardo. With that, you can tell that there’s no way that this kid won’t be an asshole. His profile doesn’t have much in it besides politics, though in one of the later paragraphs, it mentions that Roland is part of something called the “Valenti Syndicate”. I’m not exactly sure what that is, but I assume it’s yet another one of Denton’s many street gangs. As for his disadvantages, I don’t think “has never fought with melee weapons before” and “is accustomed to living in an urban/suburban environment” really count as disadvantages, seeing as I’d expect those to be the norm for most high school students. Then again, this is Denton, New Jersey, where every other person seems to be a gang member or a murderous psychopath inches from snapping, so what do I know?

His only pregame thread is rather confusing, with laZardo and Xaldien re-doing the opening posts several times, each time changing the manner in how Kristey initially approaches Damien. Damien is consistently terrified that Kristey is about to murder him, though her own narration gives no indication that she has anything close to that sort of intent. Shortly after the two of them meet up, all of laZardo’s other characters walk into the thread and immediately begin threatening to kill Damien for no apparent reason. Kristey stands up to defend him and stabs Roland in the neck with a pair of scissors. We don’t get to see anything of Roland’s reaction to this other than the fact that the other characters hear him scream. He’s basically an NPC in this scene, his lack of importance highlighted by the fact that his name is consistently misspelled by the other handlers and the fact that laZ directly refers to him as an NPC in the OOC notes. After a tense standoff, the bullies let Damien go, and imply that they plan to kill Kristey and Damien at some point in the future as retribution for standing up to them. Roland says nothing over the course of this entire scene. The whole event felt rather ridiculous and over the top, but given the overall tone of V2, I guess I’ll have to let it slide.

Shortly after the beginning of V2 proper, Roland wakes up in a confession booth in the church. The first half of the awakening post isn’t too bad, with Roland taking a while to come to his senses, trying to make out where he is as the knockout gas wears off. I actually thought it was interesting that his first assumption is that he’s been buried alive, and his first few paragraphs give a decent feeling of claustrophobia. Unfortunately, the trouble starts once Roland looks down at his bag and realizes that the terrorists have stamped it with the name of R. Kelly, the well-known African-American R&B artist. Seeing the name of a famous black man on his bag awakens Roland’s prejudice against ethnic minorities (because he’s a Republican, get it? >_<) and he loudly shouts out a racial slur, focusing his anger on an unnamed terrorist, who happened to be black, and Danya, whom Roland assumes without evidence to be non-white.

He gives a long and drawn out prayer, because of course he would, before exiting the booth. I did like that he does acknowledge that he isn’t too good of a person and feels regret for some of the bad things that he’s done in the past. He then quotes Psalm 23:4, taking care to mention that he doesn’t mean anything sexual from the use of the words “rod” and “staff”. I’m not sure why anyone would take the phrase in that way, but laZ seems to be quite concerned about the possibility, even mentioning in the OOC notes that he applauds anyone who doesn’t notice anything sexual about the phrase, “Tightly clutching his staff in one hand, Roland slowly pushed the confessional door open just a crack…”. This pointing out of double entendres in his writing seems to be a strange fixation for Roland’s handler, but I suppose it’s not worth dwelling on.

Roland watches the escalating confrontation between Mariavel and the others in the church from his hiding place, debating whether or not it would be a good idea to step in. He fears that he will get killed in the conflict, but on the other hand, he worries that letting his classmates die would reflect badly on his god-fearing, conservative image. This debate does not get resolved, as Roland pushes the booth’s door open by accident, exposing himself without actually having to make a decision concerning the morality of entangling himself in the conflict happening outside his hiding place. He remains frozen in fear for a while before trying to calm down the increasingly hysterical Adam Amato. Almost immediately after he speaks, the church is declared a danger zone. Roland gets out of there, worrying that Franco Sebberts is going to track him down and kill him, just like he murdered Marvin, another one of the minor bully characters from Roland’s pregame thread.

As an aside, though his was barely in his pregame thread at all, I like that the neck wound that he received in it continues to inconvenience him, giving his character a sense of continuity from that otherwise pointless scene.

Roland’s next post is a rather long songpost. He experiences a humanizing bout of survivor’s guilt as he hears Kasumi White’s collar explode. His internal monologue makes a brief reference to the Left Behind series as well as multiple mentions of how much he loves America to yet again establish that yes, this guy is a conservative evangelical Christian. He angsts over the fact that one of his classmates had just died and, prays for forgiveness for not attempting to save her.

Alice Nichols walks in and throws a frisbee to him from inside the slaughterhouse before promptly going inactive. Roland goes inside, looking for her, the smell of death inside the slaughterhouse causing him to reflect on how God probably isn’t happy with him for all the terrible things he did before he came to the island. For a while, it actually looks like Roland is going to attempt to redeem himself, experiencing genuine regret for his actions.

Unfortunately, this character development is cut short as he walks in on Alice and immediately loses his mind as the announcement starts. His eyes scan over her “voluptuous” figure and her revealing clothing, which freaks him out for by now obvious reasons, before mistaking her face for that of Damien Carter-Madison’s. Roland comes to the conclusion that he is in hell, and what stands before him is Damien, somehow magically transformed into the metaphorical Whore of Babylon, and sent by God to punish him for his sins. Roland charges at Alice, knocking her down and quickly executes her without much resistance.

His collar begins beeping, and Roland tries desperately to escape what he assumes is now a danger zone. He flees in a panic, before the narrative mentions an explosion, followed by the words, B57 - Kelly, R - DEAD.

Immediately after the death tag, it is revealed that Roland’s collar detonating was only part of his hallucination, and he thanks God for giving him a chance to redeem himself for his sins by committing brutal murder. Of course. No actual redemption arc for you, silly republican. He then runs off into the night, realizing too late that he forgot his supplies back in the danger zone that he escaped from.

After this scene, Roland’s narrative really goes off the rails. He believes himself to be in purgatory, and assumes that everything that happens after this point to be a simulation set up by God to test him. He happens upon a sobbing Michiro Duli, and attempts to comfort her in another rare moment of humanity. After Michiro manages to convince him that Dungeons and Dragons isn’t some sort of tool of the Devil, they sit down and attempt to play a game. This, of course doesn’t get too far, as Roland immediately begins to hallucinate that Michiro is actually Damien Carter-Madison, back from the “dead”. After a brief struggle, he mercilessly kills her and mutilates her body in order to ensure that she won’t somehow come back to life. He quotes the same verse as in his first post (though thankfully with no OOC note this time), as he bandages his wounds, coming to the conclusion that God won’t let him into heaven until he murders Damien Carter-Madison enough times to act as penance for his sins.

Roland then enters the Hospital, convinced that everyone on the island who isn’t him is actually Damien Carter-Madison in disguise. He refers to the flashbang grenades that he looted off the corpse of Tanesha Lexx as “holy hand grenades” and thanks the Lord for giving him better weapons with which to smite Damien.

He encounters another player, Dan Johnson, and a fight begins in short order. After stunning “Damien” with a flashbang, he rushes into the fight. As the stunning effect wears off, Dan quickly overpowers the heavily injured R. Kelly and breaks his arm. As Dan leans down to finish off his opponent, Roland pulls the pin out of another grenade with his good arm and sets it off mere inches from Dan’s face. Roland uses this moment of respite to roll away from Dan, scrabbling on the ground looking for anything to use as a weapon, terrified that he’s about to miss his shot at getting into heaven. As Dan descends upon him wielding a hockey stick (which Roland hallucinates as being a giant scythe), Roland’s hands happen upon the syringe that Dan used to kill Edgar Judah earlier. He injects air into Dan’s veins, causing him to collapse before Roland disarms him and again, brutally executes Damien Carter-Madison for the third time.

Roland then hallucinates a brief conversation with Lucifer who tells him that he never had a chance to get into heaven, and that he’s been in hell this whole time. Roland accepts this surprisingly easily. Soon forgetting about the seemingly earth-shattering revelation that he had just received, he proceeds to create a makeshift splint for his broken arm out from the aforementioned hockey stick and exits the hospital with “Damien’s” stun gun.

His next thread begins with Peter Rosenthal and Andi Ayala having an extremely awkward sex scene before killing themselves. Drawn into the house by the sound of gunshots, Roland looks upon the two bodies before him with disgust, not because the two characters are dead, but because Roland considers gay people to be “freaks of nature”. He grabs the gun that they had shot themselves with and quickly exits the scene without much reflection, following a trail of blood splatters which he assumes is a marker sent by God to tell him where to go next.

The trail leads him to the edge of a cliff, and Roland reacts with frustration at the dead end. He throws his weapons over the edge, concluding that Damien has been killed for good, and, despite this, God has no intention of letting him into heaven. This is supposed to be a massive shock, but if falls flat because we found this out about this two threads ago and Roland didn’t seem to care. Unsure of what to do next, Roland contemplates suicide, the pain of his wounds continuing to dog him. After a rather long songpost, Roland concludes that there must be another way for him to get into heaven, and leaves to go search for it.

After he leaves the cliffs, Roland comes upon the real Damien Carter-Madison, seemingly back from the dead for the third time. Roland immediately forgets about everything that happened in the previous thread and shifts back to believing that he’s in purgatory again. The two of them have a surprisingly calm and relaxed conversation, considering that the subject matter is mocking the students who have already died, followed by an agreement that only one of them will be able to leave this encounter alive. They agree to square off and fight, and before Roland can finish his final sentence, Damien pulls out his revolver and blows Roland’s head off. R. Kelly dies, feeling at peace with himself despite the fact that until now he had accepted that Damien murdering him would send him on a one-way trip to hell. The parts of the post written from Roland’s point of view are rather shallow and uninteresting, confirming the fact that his only purpose on this island was to be little more than an NPC within Damien’s story.

Overall, I was massively disappointed by Roland Kelly. His story didn’t start out too bad, really. He was kind of an asshole, and aware of that fact as he started to proceed down the beginnings of what could have been an interesting character arc. Unfortunately, this is then ruined by him going insane at basically the flip of a switch and spending the rest of his story obsessed with another one of his handler’s characters. My recommendation is to read his first two island threads, and just pretend that he died at the moment his death tag comes up in the second one. His character arc is still cut disappointingly short, but at least you won’t have to be subjected to the remaining story, which makes very little sense and contradicts itself many, many times, for the sole purpose of pimping how great Damien Carter-Madison is.

Alrighty, time for another character! Thankfully we've almost reached the final five.
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The V2 Read-o-thon · Roleplaying Discussion