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Pigeon Army
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is the Soul Machine.
[ *  *  * ]

Dustin's head jerked up as he caught himself nodding off for the fifth time. He always seemed to get sleepy after throwing up - not that he'd thrown up often, but he'd done it enough to notice the pattern - and it didn't help that he'd been tramping across half the goddamn island. Exercise that intense? Never kept anyone awake.

Dustin rubbed his eyes and spat a remnant of vomit into the puddle next to him on the concrete. The collection of spew wasn't exactly the most pleasant sight or smell in the world, but Dustin could think of worse right now.

Speaking of worse...

Dustin suddenly twigged to the silence. Maybe they're just doing some memoriam shit for the dead kid. He glanced around the plaza, but there were no students, no bodies, and definitely none of that memoriam shit. Everyone had gone. They'd fucked off and left him there.


Dustin pushed himself up off the dusty asphalt, brushing the dirt off his jeans and picking up the yatagan lying idly on the ground next to him. He was alone on this island now. A lone wolf. A renegade. A loose cannon, deemed too 'hardcore' for everyone else. He lived on the wild side. Nothing stood in his way in the pursuit of truth, justice, and the American way.

"You're out of control, Royal!" Dustin joked to himself, his fake Boston sneer as painful as his throat, rough and sore from the spontaneous mass regurgitation. He coughed for a few seconds, flinching and doubling over as the hacking took to his oesophagus like sandpaper. Straightening up, Dustin grabbed his guitar and slung it over his shoulder, then grabbed his daypack and slung that over his other shoulder. Like some sort of Chinese peasant carrying water to his family, Dustin started off, wobbling ever-so-slightly. Then, almost immediately, he stopped.

Was that...?

Dustin dared not look behind him. He could've sworn it was her voice, but she was the year below him, wasn't she? Besides, even if she was here, what were the chances of...

"Did someone . . . oh no, did someone die already?"

Oh. Oh no.

Ever since he'd shown an interest in girls, his awesome cousin in New York had told him all about them. Terriers, he'd called them. Every man worth his salt had one. The more appealing you were to women, the more you were likely to have. They always seemed to find you, no matter how much you tried to distance yourself from them, and there was a 99% chance that any interaction between you and them would be so awkward that you would throw yourself into a furnace if it meant getting out of the conversation. They tended to be girls you wanted to avoid getting involved with, sexually or otherwise - and if you did get involved, you had to make damn sure you had enough money to go to court and get a restraining order, because it'd spiral into some creepy Fatal Attraction shit soon enough.

Samya Franklin was, as far as Dustin could work it out, his terrier.

Dustin wasn't attracted to Samya in the slightest. She was dumpy, childish, was covered in pimple scars. Given the choice between fucking her and spending a night with St Paul's most famous homeless person, University Uder, he'd much prefer sculling back bourbon and eating rubbish-bin food with the crazy guy. It was clear to anyone with all five senses and a brain to process them, however, that Samya liked him in that romantic Prince-Charming-here-to-sweep-me-off-my-feet kind of way. That kind of way was a creepy kind of way, and not the way Dustin operated. He wasn't no-one's Romeo. He was temporary, not constant. He wasn't a fucking emotional bellboy.

But there she was. Bounding in his direction like some kind of high school Oompa Loompa. If he wasn't careful, he wouldn't just be the emotional bellboy - he'd be bellboy, check-in, room service, maid and hotel manager all-in-fucking-one.

Dustin recognised one of the other people Samya was travelling with. She wasn't looking particularly happy to see him, but it was Survival of the Fittest, and besides, she didn't look particularly happy to see anyone. Ever. Quickly, Dustin put together a play to avoid contact with the simpering overweight puppy in teenage form. Pulling his guitar to his front, he began strumming a little tune, humming along to it as he ambled towards Ash Morrison, the terse girl who was cute in the same way red wine was delicious - an acquired taste. Striding right past the terrier, he stopped in front of the button-nosed potential-paramour and bowed to her, the sweeping gesture as over-the-top as it was unnecessary.

He looked up, a cheeky glint in his eyes - as there always was when he was shamelessly flirting. "M'lady," he said, a grand English lilt in his voice. "May I be of service to you?"
G087 - Rachel Gettys / Tambourine / The Groundskeeper's Hut / Babysitter: Ciel
B027 - Dustin Royal / Yatagan / Residential Area / Babysitter: Hollyquin
B108 - Ma'afu Tuigamala / Astra 400 (9mm) [x3 magazines (8 round capacity)] / The Tunnels / Babysitter: Inky

B097 - Max Neill / The Lighthouse

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