"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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Tythanin
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Time to Spare
[ *  *  * ]
(Andrew Mitchell continued from My Kingdom for a Plan!.)

As Andrew walked down the sandy beach, he couldn't help but remember the only time he had actually gone to the beach with his family. To celebrate his older brother's acceptance into Stanford University, the whole Mitchell family had flown down to California and spent one whole month there. Both of their parents said that it was so Raphael had plenty of time to get acquainted with the area and find things to move into his apartment, but he and his older brother joked that it was so they could go soak up the sun and actually take a look at the ocean, a sight that their homes hadn't really afforded them. Her younger sister, Gabriel, definitely wanted to go spend time at the beach than 'some boring old school' and spent most of the time during their guided tour of the Stanford campus lounging in the library and surfing the internet.

'That was definitely a fun vacation...' Andrew thought happily to himself, remembering the framed photo he had kept on his desk back home. He let out a sigh as reality came back to smash him in the face, reminding him of just where exactly he was. He wondered if his parents were going frantic over him...they probably were, if he knew anything about them. It had already been a day since the game started and already so many people...He rapidly shook his head. 'No. No thinking about it. This is bad enough without thinking about the people who have died.'

When the announcements had started, Andrew had immediately tried to shut it out, for once thanking his daydreaming mind as he let it wander. Tuning out the smug sound of Danya's voice and letting it fade to the background, he had instead thought about his older brother and his studying in Stanford. It wasn't that hard to do. He had been tired throughout the whole day and he hadn't even taken the time to sleep ever since waking up in the woods. For the past...however many hours he had kept himself moving, running and walking across the island and hoping to find some people who were slightly more inviting than the ones he had encountered at his starting point.

He hadn't, for better or for worse, and he was beginning to think that he'd never find another living soul on the island, which honestly would have suited him just fine. If he didn't meet anyone else, he wasn't in any danger of dying by someone else's hand and he would never have to kill someone to protect his own life or someone else's. 'And,' a darker part of his mind whispered, 'you won't be tempted to shoot someone in the face for looking at you silly.'

Andrew shivered, his hand immediately going for the gun he kept concealed behind his back. He hadn't used it yet, but the temptation to actually take it in his hands and fire the weapon was growing with every passing hour. It was a gun, after all...he had never even touched a gun before his stint in SotF and immediately the childish, curious part of his soul was "Shoot it! Shoot it! See how it feels to fire! You're never going to get a chance like this again!" That had been easy to ignore and erase, at least. But then that dark side had spoken up, giving him easy justifications for firing. "You need practice. Just in case. Just fire it once, just to make sure you can aim it correctly. Just in case one of your classmates goes on a rampage and tries to kill you. Just in case."

That had been harder to resist. It made sense, after all. Even if he had read the manual, true learning didn't come from reading words, it came from actually doing the things the words were describing. It was something like that and Andrew just grumbled wordlessly to himself, scratching the back of his head as he continued on his solo journey.

It was only because he heard something that wasn't the endless pounding of the surf that he looked up and saw that he wasn't alone anymore. There were...three other guys on the beach, one of whom he somewhat recognized as a fellow sprinter. A name wasn't coming to mind and names nor faces were coming to mind for the other two there. Still, they seemed to be rather busy...trying to dig into the soft sand? He could also spot students that were just...lying on the ground and fear momentarily struck him. 'Oh god, did I just walk into the aftermath of some fight? No way...shit, shit! Why are they digging into the sand? Did one of them bury weapons or something?'

He quickly looked for a place to hide but the whole area was wide open, which was something he honestly should have expected considering he was on a beach. A hand whipped back to reach for his gun, but by the time he wrapped his fingers over the plastic grip, he realized that none of the boys he saw were making any violent moves. He doubted they even noticed him at the moment, so engrossed they were in their task.

Still a little cautious, he let himself calm down a bit and approach them, wondering if they would treat him with the same amount of standoffishness that the previous group he had run into did. He grit his teeth and shook his heads, slapping his cheeks to try to bring his thoughts back on the right track. 'Being suspicious of everyone I run into isn't something I need to do now. Unless the time comes, and I hope it never will...but until the time comes when someone I trust puts my life in danger, I'm not going to let my fears be my ruler. I've got to have hope.'

"Hey!" He shouted at them, waving a bit as he jogged over. "What's going on here? Can I help somehow?"
"Oh god dammit, I lost my sense of humor around here. Someone help me find it."

---

Approved V5 Pre-Game Characters:

Faria Young - Generals of Elysium (The Waterfront)
Annabelle Summers - Where Is My Muse? (Lunch Room)

"And who the hell came up with this play?! "Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet" ...Dude, THEY ALL DIE!"

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Milk of Human Kindness · The Beach: North