"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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((G063 - Ericka Bradley - Start))

Ericka had been one of the first to awaken on the island, or so she assumed. That she hadn't seen or heard anyone could easily be a sign of the opposite, just as well as it could support the conclusion that she had come to. Still, any advantage even, occasionally, one that was only perceived could, and should, be drawn upon.

Ericka sat between treeline and shoreline, surrounded by grasses and shrubs of many nameless varieties. The waves gently broke against the sandy beach and an occasional seabird could be heard or seen. The setting was calm enough that under normal circumstances it would be an ideal reading spot, but at the moment, under the current conditions, Ericka's mind was anything but tranquil.

She was repeatedly reading the manuals that were packaged with her equipment. Their pages were damp, moistened not by the nearby and ever-present seawater, but instead by the young girl's tears. Many questions and thoughts swept through her mind, so many that she could barely keep track of them. One, however, managed to stand out: He was right... as completely and utterly paranoid as he had seemed, Ericka's father had been completely and utterly... right...

Ericka gave another cursory scan of Danya's Survival Guide, and wondered; if she had listened to her father would he have given the same advice contained in the tear-stained booklet?

She gently touched her neck, and felt the collar. That damn collar that kept us chained here like a dog on a leash. Yeah... The students were no more than animals to Danya, and SotF his glorified and horrifying dog fighting ring.

Ericka stroked her one stroke of luck, the gun that she had been assigned. Although she would have difficulty learning to use it, it would still be easier than learning how to use a sword, a bow, or an axe. And the weapon use manual cleared up a few misunderstandings that would have led her to harm herself or to waste time, which amounts to the same thing on the island.

A noise came from a patch of tall grass behind Ericka. She quickly grabbed for her gun, scrambled to her feet, and turned around, gripping the weapon with both hands and aiming it at the grass. The noise could be the wind or an animal... But it could also be another student, a threat, and she didn't want to be caught unprepared.

"Wh-Who's there?" Ericka asked with fear and panic obvious in her voice, mustering as much courage as she could she added "I was assigned a gun and I'm not afraid to use it." She hoped that if it was a person that was there, and they were hostile, that the threat would drive them off, because Ericka was afraid to shoot, and she didn't even wanna think about what would happen if a hostile called her bluff.
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Droplets · The Woods: Coastal