"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.
[ *  * ]
A glint of light caught his eye, a reflection off of metal. He couldn't see who was holding it, or even what it was; The sole silhouette above the stumps was a person though, that much he was sure of. They were moving, and even if he couldn't make out who it was or what they were doing, he felt a chill run down the length of his spine and back again. A mix of fear and relief began to fill his mind, and he had frozen in his steps. The thought of calling out came to him, the desire to be with someone, anyone, was moving to the foreground of his thoughts; At the same time, he dreaded being with someone more than being alone. He knew what he was thinking, he knew how he felt and he knew exactly what he was going to do; He couldn't ever say the same of another person, no matter who it was. He didn't know how others had reacted to the situation, or how they would handle the realization that their lives were in danger at all times; He didn't want to think about it, about the potential horrors that could be caused or the lives that could be lost.

And most of all, he wanted nothing to do with any thought, any possibility however slight, that he might be killed by someone he knew, someone he trusted, or... someone he loved.

But before he could do anything besides stand there and stare at the silhouette, a new noise beyond the silence and the sound of the world around him filled his ears. A sound that gripped him with more fear and dread and panic than even his own worries, than even the thoughts in his head or the horrors he had imagined when he awoke. A single sound that had been so horrifying, so terrifying to William that it caused his knees to become weak; his resolve collapsed, his will to keep walking disappeared, as he struggled to remain standing in the face of apparent danger.

Someone had screamed.

He didn't know who had done it, or why; But the piercing sound was close, it was too loud to have been from further away. He didn't move, frozen in place, unsure as to what he should do now; His hand trembled, his fingers wrapping tighter around the grip of the gun in his hand as he looked down at the weapon he held. The gun in his hand still felt lighter than he thought it would, still loomed with the same terrifying connotations and unbelievable power that it had when he fired it the first time, just moments earlier.

My gun...

"That's right..."

He had power. He had the means to protect himself, to fight for his life if it came down to it; But what about others? What about his classmates who were alone, like he was? Who didn't have a weapon or a means to fight back, who didn't have any way of protecting themselves from those who did; Those who didn't stand a chance against the ones that he knew would participate in this game, the ones who were likely to die. What about them? What could he do?

I could help.

He had a choice to make in this world, in this place of chaos and despair; Did he fight for himself, or did he fight for others? Would he retreat from the unknown, from the dangers he perceived all around him? Or would he stand up and face his fears, and use his new found power to rid himself of these ever present horrors?

Before he knew it, he had made his choice.

He was moving again, resuming his pace forward, towards the silhouette in the distance and the source of the scream; He didn't know when the silhouette had started moving, started retreating from sight as fast as it possibly could, but that didn't stop him from continuing onward. He didn't know what he was going to do once he reached his destination, or even what he would do when he ran into someone else; He honestly didn't want to think about it until it was absolutely necessary, trying with all his strength of will to keep his mind from wandering, to keep it from fabricating scenarios. He focused on his feet, on the direction he was headed and the horizon in front of him; But his eyes caught more movement in the gradually decreasing distance.

Wait.

Something else, someone else, was moving now; Faster and larger than he had expected, still unsure as to who it was, but they had something in their hands. It wasn't metal they were holding, or even something with the silhouette of a dangerous weapon; From the distance that William stood at, it looked like... a stick? As he came ever closer, closing the distance with purpose and determination, moving over scattered logs and stumps that stood in his path, he could make out the figure much better; And it wasn't a lone figure that he made out, it was two. Neither looked to be much of a threat, not to him at least; One held a branch, and the other held nothing, not even a bag was within William's line of sight.

Is that...?

He stopped moving as soon as he felt he was close enough, standing roughly forty feet away from the two of them; The dirt stained boy with the branch, and the girl against the stump. He couldn't make out who exactly they were, but that didn't stop him from calling out, not after he had come so far; He wasn't going to back down, not now.

"Are you two alright?"

He didn't make a demand, he didn't simply shout a greeting; He wanted to know if they were okay. The reason why escaped him at this moment, unsure of why he chose that question or why he was concerned; Every thought he had earlier, of people being threats and of the fear that gripped him when he awoke, or the potential need to use the gun in his hand, it all slipped away when he saw the two of them. They were just as scared as he was and for whatever reason, it eased his mind to see that; Even when he saw the tear stained tracks on Dominic's cheeks, it made him feel... safe.

He wasn't alone anymore.
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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Everybody's Changing · The Felled Forest: North