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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
So many people.

So much noise.

At every turn there seemed to be another member of the Happy Days gang, drfiting out of the woodwork like they were the fucking termites of bad timing. Her blowtorch wouldn't be enough, not if they all attacked at once, but then, who said they were going to attack to begin with? Fuck. What a mess. A giant unholy mess which she'd managed to drag poor old Mike into as well, faaantastic. The top lid of her eye twitched and bubbled, a sign that she was undergoing an enormous amount of stress. Keeping her eye on the girl in front, she rubbed at her eyes until the strange sensation stopped, and it was at this point when she heard another familiar voice call out to her - Madeleine.

"Violet! Y-You're okay! Thank goodness!"

She should've realized sooner; she'd been listening to the announcements just like everybody else but it hadn't quite clicked. Maddy had managed to take down that Jarocki kid, and then - by some freakish miracle - survived this long all by herself. It was weird how little she felt now, how small. Violet had been hiding behind Mike all this time while someone like teeny tiny Madeleine had been fighting her way across the island like a mini Arnold Schwarzenegger. Dammit.

"Is, uh...is everything okay?"

Then the guilt came, like a damn flood. It made her think back to the first day, when she woke up underneath the trees just yards away from the logging road. Everything that happened there; the talks, the plans, the defending, and what happened? Oh right, yeah, Jarocki happened. Fucked up everything like he usually did, only this time he made their lives a million times worse. However, it wasn't him that forced Violet to run, to ditch her friend - oh no. That was all her. All her stupid, cowardly fault. What if Madeleine had gotten killed? What then? What was she thinking?

"Hey Maddy, I-"

She heard Jessie talk to Mike behind her, but she had to ignore it; focus on Madeleine.

"Yeah, I've been okay, I guess. Could be better, could be worse."

Um, what're you doing?

"Right, god, yeah. Maddy, I'm sorry, we've gotta deal with these guys first. We'll talk in a sec, I promise."

Back to Courtney, who looked as awkward as ever. Still, she didn't pose much of a threat, she hoped. Turning round but keeping her weapon outstretched, she watched as two guys came near them - Alan and Jimmy - and wondered if all the noise had brought them here too. They really needed to be more careful about this, and stop having picnics out in the open like they were on holiday or something. Although one of the new guys, namely Jimmy, seemed to think that was exactly where they were.

"Oh, my God! You're the first friendly group that I've seen in a while."

Friendly? Really? Back-to-back paranoid as balls duo trying their best to prevent themselves from starting an unwanted fight with about a million people; yeah, real friendly.

"You're right, it's pretty much Thanksgiving over here!"

Unperturbed by her super witty remark, the other guy introduced himself (hello, we go to the same school; did you forget that or are you both retarded) and they started trying to make small talk.

Violet didn't think this was the best time for it, but whatever, she had bigger things to worry about - especially as the speakers started to crackle a little too early.


"Vi... did you hear that?"

Her throat felt tight.

What could she say to that? Everyone heard it. They all knew what had happened to Daisuke, and they knew who was to blame.

Her arms fell limply to her side, and she stepped away from her partner for a second to let it all sink in.

Hello again.
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Cool Ranch · The Felled Forest: North