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((GMing approved by Wheeler))

"Darren Locke, you sight for sore eyes."

Immediately recognizing the boy approaching him as Dallas Reynolds, Darren lowered the sword to his side and stuffed the compass into his back pocket. He had not been close friends with Dallas, but the two had always got along well in what few classes they had together. He smiled and nodded, glad that the first person he had encountered on the island seemed as relieved to see a friendly face as he was.

Dallas had the great misfortune of being assigned handcuffs and a ball gag as his weapons, but was clearly nothing but optimistic about putting a plan into motion for what they ought to do next. That was the wonderful thing about Dallas; it seemed as though nothing could dampen his spirits.

All too suddenly, Dallas screamed and looked down at his arm. A wasp sting. Darren's first thought was that Dallas should be so lucky if that was the worst thing to happen to him on the island, but Dallas' pale and horrified expression quickly suggested just how wrong that assumption was.

"What is it? Are you all right? Talk to me!"

But Dallas was not listening. With a furious determination, he began rummaging through his bag, tossing its contents every which way.

A sudden realization hit him. Dallas was allergic. Surely he would have packed an antidote? An epi-pen perhaps? Dropping the sword, he knelt down and began searching through the things Dallas had tossed aside. He would have to do his best to keep panic at bay for Dallas' sake, hoping that his companion's condition was not too severe. But there was nothing. Nothing at all resembling what the poor terrified Texan needed.

He looked up and saw that Dallas was now shirtless and gasping for breath. He had no idea what to do, other than to put both hands firmly on the boy's shoulders and tell him whatever he thought might calm his struggled breathing.

"Dallas.... Dallas! Listen to me! You need to calm down and start taking deep breaths. Long deep breaths, you hear me? I'm going to find help, okay? Just hang on for a few minutes, you got me? I'll be right back!"

Darren gathered up his sword and duffelbags, then began to make his way downhill as quickly as he could. He only made it a few strides.


His heart in his throat, his breathing suddenly as quick and terrified as Dallas' had been, Darren turned around and hazily stumbled back uphill. His neck severed, his face spattered with his own blood, lay the body of Dallas Reynolds.

The collar.

Dallas had been so delirious, his mind perhaps too unfocused to hear a word Darren had said to him, that he must have pulled the awful device off of his neck in an attempt to ease his breathing. He slowly brought his fingers up towards the cold steel around his own neck, barely daring to touch it. A mixture of shock, disbelief, and remorse threatened to consume him.
V4: B106: Darren Locke - Gladius
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Orientation · The Felled Forest: South