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Blastinus
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That's Just Crazy Talk
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Oh. My. Gosh. After dealing with kids who are, at worst, well-meaning, I finally get an honest to goodness, no ambiguity, clear as day, grade A jerkwad! This is the best moment of my life!

Ahem. So...Miles Strickland. Right from the get-go, you can tell that he's going to be a real treat to work with. Upon entering a locker room, he reflects to himself:

Quote:
 
"Ugh. Smells like poor people."


Charming. And it kinda goes from there. I respect Cake's ability to make Miles seem real while also making him extremely vile. His high and mighty attitude is tempered with enough friendly moments to show that he's not some Chaotic Evil ignoramus doing bad things for the heck of it. Instead, he's a little politician, dissing folks when he can get away with it and otherwise exuding a kind of slimy chumminess that makes your skin crawl. It's to the point where his prom invitation, important and awkward affairs for Garrett and Maynard, was just him trying to win a pick-up contest. With every smug line or haughty gesture, he makes it more and more obvious that he's setting himself up for a fall, and it's going to be great!

That being said, Miles' last threads are kinda just him popping into other students' vignettes. He enters, says a line or two, then pops right back out. It's a shame that Cake went with that approach, since it means that he had a somewhat limited interaction with other students in the pre-game. But at least we got enough to get a picture of who he is and where he's going. Probably somewhere unpleasant.

Sure enough, first thing he does on the island is lord himself over a flock of seagulls. He meets some people and starts schmoozing them like a good politician would. He's no frenzied, mad killer. He's a thinking man, one that knows to keep your enemies closer and all that. To that end, he starts practicing with his weapon, the Hunga Munga throwing axe, only to be distracted by the appearance of Stacy Ramsey. The axe goes wild and finds a new home in Chuck Soileau's throat, Kat Tolstoff stabs him in retaliation, and just like that, any hopes of being political have gone out the window. I found that an interesting direction to go, because with his credentials, Miles could have been a schemer and alliance-builder, but instead, he's injured and on the run, albeit with Stacy's help.

One nice thing about being injured though, it's really easy to gain sympathy, so Miles meets with a group that mends him up, and he's back in action, more or less. For what it's worth, Miles' friendliness has paid off for him thus far, and he has the presence of mind not to curse out his benefactors out loud when they plan to leave him where he is while they go out. It's one of the first occasions where I've seen that happen, where a simple offense ISN'T blown up into a giant grievance, and I respect Cake for averting that. In fact, when Joe Carrasco wants revenge for Chuck, Miles doesn't fight and instead succeeds in talking him down and getting him to leave. Miles' tongue has been as useful a weapon for him as his blade, and it's quite remarkable to see. He's still a jerk, but he knows to dial that back when he needs to.

Of course, that being said, he's still human, as shown when he finally loses his composure with Rachael Langdon. Maybe it's the fact that people have been constantly trying to kill him because of an accident, or that he's been having to deal with difficult people for days, but when Rachael breaks down in apathy, that's when he finally storms out in a temper, Stacy following along.

Unfortunately, this is the end of Miles' story. He goes inactive at this point and he's picked up by SOTF_Help. He engages in a brief deathmatch with Andi Victorino that leaves both of them dead, and that's that. Which is a shame, because I found myself enjoying the guy's tale. He wasn't a likable person, what with being haughty and arrogant, but when you consider that everything that happened to him wasn't actually his fault, his attempts to rally from his mistake and try to survive are a very fun read. Unlike Maynard, who was lovable but had an absolutely horrendous journey, this guy was entertaining from start to finish.

May I have one more?
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