"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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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
Alex's stomach untied itself and his heart eased out of his throat, and he seemed to relax, at least slightly, when he saw who it was he was talking to; Not just who it was, but what they had. Nick was only holding a bottle with a rag, and Andrea wasn't holding anything; He hadn't seen the jug, but if she didn't have anything out, maybe she didn't get anything worthwhile. He ran with what appealed to him in that moment, the thought that she hadn't gotten a proper weapon just like him; The last thing he had wanted when he risked walking up to where they were was for one of them to pull a gun, or a knife, or anything of the such that could make his time in these woods very short.

"My weapon?"

He thought about letting his bags slip off his back, about showing them his pitiful excuse for a weapon; But he didn't want to risk it, not knowing how they would react. He didn't want to think the worst of his classmates, of the people who were standing before him in just as bad a situation as his own; But when the thought of revealing that he was, for the most part, unarmed came to mind... He didn't want to know what they would think or how they would react, or the assumptions they would make. But he had to make a decision, then and there, about what to tell them, about how to answer Nick's question without seeming suspicious; He didn't want them to consider him a threat, after all. He didn't want anyone to think of him that way.

"A pokemon toy. It's junk."

He told them the truth.

I hope I didn't just dig my own grave.

But lying to the first people he ran into, about a weapon none-the-less, didn't seem like the right thing to do; It certainly didn't seem like something to do if he wanted to avoid suspicion and avoid having people view him as a threat. But even if that possibility was still there, having people seeing him as a threat, one that could be removed, he knew that he could defend himself; And his grip tightened around the branch as he drew relief from its presence, knowing that it was going to serve him well if things got bad. It was big, and it was sturdy; And he was confident, if overly so, in its ability to protect him.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is all I needed."

He held out the branch to make a point that it was what he was talking about. Such a simple little thing, standing more than half his height and firmly planted upon the ground; To Alex, it really was all he needed. All that he needed to feel a semblance of safety and security, and it was the only thing he trusted; At least, for now.

All I can trust, huh?

Maybe he had too little faith in his classmates, if a stick was still the only thing that he felt he could trust; It was his first encounter with someone else after he had awoken, and already he could tell things were going to be tense. He stood far from them, a decent distance away and clung to his scavenged 'weapon' to dear life; He hadn't even stepped away from the tree he had stopped near, the only thing he really felt could have protected him from a bullet. And he could tell that they held him in the same suspicious light at this moment, with Nick standing as if he were going to attack a moment earlier; He still held that position, even if he no longer had his weapon brandished, apparently in case Alex wasn't going to be friendly.

I can't say I blame them.

His attention was drawn away from Nick when Andrea spoke up, adding what she could to the admittedly awkward and tension filled conversation. She looked a bit more disturbed than Nick did, and even more than Alex did; But the two of them had been arguing, and neither really looked too happy to be in the situation they had found themselves. An understandable situation, and perhaps the understatement of the year.

Of course they're not happy... who would be?

When Alex snapped out of his brief moment of thought, he couldn't help but bring forth an answer to Andrea's question; Her apology and apparent realization of her poorly chosen statement freeing him from his responsibility to do so, but his desire to cooperate bringing forth a new, personal responsibility. Everyone had been on edge, and talking was the only apparent way to ease tensions.

"I'm... alright, I guess. Could be worse."

How?

His answer and thoughts brought about a brief, quiet and stifled laugh. Really, how could things be worse? Sure, he could be injured, or he could have even been killed already; But aside from those morbid thoughts, how could their situation be any worse than it already was? Being dumped in the middle of nowhere and told to fight for your life against your friends seemed to be about the worst thing that could happen.

"Sorry, bad choice of words. I suppose things can't really get much worse, huh?"
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Waking Up is Hard to do · The Woods: Inland