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armeggedonCounselor
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D--> I need a towel
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((Awakening of [G053] Kayla McArthur))

Light filtered through the trees to awaken the still sleeping form of G053. She shifted slightly, uncomfortable with the heat and light against her face, before sitting bolt upright, breathing heavily. An awful dream, that's what it had been. She had seen SOTF before, just like everybody, especially people who went online pretty often. It was the rick roll of this decade, except less having a good song and more blood and sex and murder. She avoided those forums these days; even YouTube wasn't safe, especially after the third season ended. Then it struck her. This was not her house, and neither was it the badlands. She had been there once before, and this was far too forested. So where was she? And why did she have a tight feeling on... her... neck....

Her chest felt tight as panic flooded her body. She threw one hand to her neck to find the undeniable and unmistakable feeling of metal. A metal collar. The images from that one video she had seen flashed through her mind. The one from the auditorium.... The teachers. Oh God.... She felt sick and heaved slightly. She barely managed to keep her breakfast down as the memories flowed unbidden into her mind. She was not prone to panic, as she never would have survived childhood if she was, but the panic was beginning to make itself known. Tears flooded her eyes as the horrible realizations struck her. She was going to die. She would never see her family again. And... her classmates... would be the ones.... She laid back down and sobbed quietly, letting it all leave her body.

She was brought back to the present not by choice, but by the sound of Manic laughter somewhere to her left. She froze, expecting to hear a gunshot or a roar of anger or something coming at her, but she heard nothing. She wondered at the sound for a moment before she heard muffled conversation. She sat up, glancing around for whatever assets were left to her. In the underbrush to her right, she saw the daypack, which contained... everything. She crawled over to it, keeping low just in case, and opened it up to look inside. On the top of everything was a small booklet entitled, in a deceptively cheerful way, "Your Kampilan and You!"

She pulled the booklet out and flipped through the pages, reading quickly. It was about four pages long and gave instructions on the proper care and maintenance of her weapon. It also revealed that there was no way in hell the weapon would fit in here. So a more thorough search was necessary. It was also brief, as she found the weapon about five feet away from her bag. She stood up and lifted it. It was lighter than she expected, but still heavy enough to make her arms ache. There was no sheath for it, which was unfortunate because most of the care instructions emphasized the need to keep the weapon in a sheath, else it get banged around and dinged. Conspicuously missing from the booklet was instructions on the proper use of the exotic weapon, although Kayla thought she could probably get the basics down. She would never be as good as an expert, because an expert could probably swing it without getting swung in return, but she imagined she would be able to... to....

To what? Kill her classmates, her friends? No. She couldn't do that. But... she didn't want to die. It was a foolish statement, of course, because nobody... very few people actually want to die. But it was a goal, something to keep her mind on. Not dying. This weapon in her hands was her path to not dying. Her sword would be a shield, to protect herself and anyone else who needed it. 'Or it will just be a nice prize for the first person you meet who has a gun.' said her less optimistic side. She pushed the thought away. Positive thinking. Positive thinking would always be better.

With her resolve strengthened, Kayla gathered her daypack and hung it on her shoulder. She couldn't remember why she had gotten up to get this, until a voice yelled something about Dyslexia. That was when she remembered the voices. She turned toward the sound, swallowed, and started walking. Maybe it wasn't a great idea, but she was more likely to be safe with a group than by herself. Or so she hoped. It was a brief walk before she emerged into a clearing. Two boys were standing there, both of their names a complete mystery to her. She froze, Kampilan points down in her hand. She halfheartedly raised it across her body and said, "Um... hi."

It was really pathetic, she felt. Some little Irish girl whose first words to you are Um hi, and you're not going to pay them any attention.
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Words Can't Bring Me Down · The Woods: Coastal