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It didn't make sense. None of this made any sense.

Daisuke Nagazawa never hurt anyone, had he? Mary-Ann recognized the name, and though she didn't know him well, he had seemed like a good person. And why did he have to die? Because someone, heaven forbid, try to remove the explosives wrapped around her neck? What sort of monsters were these people? Though R.J.'s arms had fallen to his sides, Mary-Ann refused to let go of him. Had her eyes not run themselves dry already, she'd have wept into his shirt right there. Was there really nothing that could be done to stop this madness? Did this really have to come down to one person? If she and R.J. were the last two standing, what then?

That train of thought was derailed for the moment, when the conversation in the distance suddenly became impossible to ignore.

"So what, that your prize you got for it, Ivan? Huh? What do I want? I wanna know if you're a killer or not, I guess that's it. I wanna KNOW what happened that got you that shotgun. Why don't you start with that?"

Tilting her head to one side as she loosened her grip, she looked past R.J. to see two boys pointing firearms at each other. The one who looked like the more likely source of the voice was, paradoxically, the only one who appeared to be holding a shotgun. The smaller one's weapon didn't look like anything that fired bullets, as opposed to, say, lasers or plasma bursts, something like that, strange as the idea seemed.

"... I got this shotgun..."

...It was a shotgun? That was- wait. Ivan? Hadn't she heard that name somewhere?

"... as a terrible reminder of what I've done. Yes, I'm a killer. I murdered Keith."

Oh. Oh. That was where. He had been "awarded" best kill. And now he was staring down the throat of a bigger fish, so to speak. Was this other boy out to kill the killers?

"But Tabi had nothing to do with it, so please don't shoot her."

Tabi. Mary-Ann hadn't noticed until that moment, but there was a girl with them as well. Did that mean Ivan had only been trying to protect her? Like he seemed to be doing now? Like R.J. had done for her? And what if the taller boy was unconvinced? What did that mean when he found R.J? She looked up to see that he'd turned around, and was following the conversation intently as well. Mary-Ann hoped the best for Ivan, she really did, but right now, she was concerned about saving who she could.

"I think it might be time we weren't here," she whispered.

It wasn't the words that caught R.J.'s attention so much as the guns.

The taller of the two was wielding a Remington Model 870. He could recognize one a mile away; it was essentially the Big Mac of shotguns, with over a million sold. His dad owned two, in fact. And it wasn't for no reason that it was so popular. As shotguns go, it was damn reliable, and not something you'd want to be on the wrong end of. If both guns had been Remingtons, he might not have even batted an eye.

The trouble was, however, that there was only one Remington, and one Pancor Godforsaken Jackhammer.

The Jackhammer, R.J. knew, had risen to fame as one of the few shotguns in the world capable of fully automatic fire. It was widely recognized for its futuristic appearance, and featured a unique rotating drum magazine that could be reconfigured to double as an anti-personnel mine. It wasn't the capabilities of the Jackhammer that unnerved him, however. Since its conception in the late '80s, the gun had never actually made it past the prototype stage. Fewer than twenty Jackhammers actually existed, and only two were capable of the full auto fire it was famous for. The price tag on just one was easily more than his mother made in a decade, and he imagined those two full auto models could run into seven figures.

These were beyond terrorists. If these people had the disposable income not only to put that much money down on a single firearm, but to drop it on an island for a bunch of angry teenagers to have their way with it, what chance did anyone have against them?

He felt Mary-Ann tug at his hand. Told him they should go. He winced as the knot in his stomach intensified. He wanted to help, wanted to defuse the situation between the two armed students, but what could he do? He couldn't well talk them down, obviously. Really, his presence could only serve to complicate things. There was nothing he could do. Nothing any of them could do.

Quietly, they gathered their things and headed inland. With any luck, R.J. could at least die in peace.

((R.J. Lowe and Mary-Ann Warren continued in They're Made Out Of Meat))
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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Keep Yourself Alive · Southern Cliffs