"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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Namira
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Null sheen.
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It was like something out of a damn movie.

It was like something out of one of those TV dramas.

It was like something out of... well, Survival Of The Fittest.

But frankly, for all that chance reunions always seemed unlikely, contrived, Bounce couldn't give a flying fuck what the odds were. A sense of overwhelming, crushing relief hit her like a freight train, because dammit, this was Alice, this was her only real friend and the only person that Bounce knew, absolutely knew that she could trust. Victoria was sort've okay by proxy of being Alice's girlfriend, but from a personal, selfish perspective, Alice was the only person on the entire island that Bounce could be 100% solid guarantee sure of.

The anxiety and nervousness were blown away in an instant. Not destroyed or shattered, but pushed back to the furthest corners of Bounce's mind, back from the surface for the time being. She stopped trembling the second that familiar voice called out to her. Amazing, really, that anything of that sort could be so calming, but what the hell ever, Bounce wasn't about to complain. Anything that could stop her from coming apart at the seams was a-okay in her book.

Naturally, at that very instant, the little voice that wouldn't shut up was chattering away in her head. It wasn't a split personality, or a touch of schizophrenia. It was just knowledge. Plain knowledge. The result of having watched and rewatched, analysed and dissected, critiqued... of having done all these things to every series of SOTF to date. And this persistent little voice was saying something. Well, no. Reading something.

Funny thing I've noticed, actually. For how many people there are on the island, they always seem to manage to find their friends easily, don't they? Well, maybe it's just lucky coincidence, maybe the whole thing's fake, or maybe it's just a quirk of how the place works. You know, they find people because they're looking for them, and looking hard. Or maybe we just notice the ones that DO find their buddies, and forget to take into account all the ones that spend the entire time searching and never actually manage to succeed.

Anyway, quite a lot, I've noticed, this happens, and then what? Everything goes to shit is what. The reunion is broken up by an enterprising player, tragedy, people get killed just as they find who they're looking for, etc, etc. That seems to happen a hell of a lot too, even asides from when you get the archetypal devoted pair of travellers and/or lovers. See, I think it happens not because of some contrived set up by the 'directors (I think it's real, FYI), but because of how people react in that situation. They just found their friend or girlfriend or whatever, so what's their natural reaction? They switch off is what. Their suspicion goes, their alertness goes because let's be honest, they're just plain happy to see whoever they're meeting.

And in the crucial time where it's all relief and happiness? Well, that's when they present an ideal target.


Bounce stiffened in Alice's arms... then almost tore herself clean out of the embrace, the paranoia returning like a sledgehammer. Never drop your guard, NEVER drop your guard! As Bounce's eyes raked the area, panic gripping her... they alighted upon ...well it didn't matter who upon, somebody was there, and the only damn advantage that Bounce had was telling her that history indicated that their intentions were bad.

"Get down! Get down right now!" Bounce hissed, a fleeting thought crossing her mind that as greetings went, there were better, then hit the deck alongside the fountain.

It fucking hurt. Goddamn paving.

Bounce's hand was scrambling, scrambling, stuck behind her own back, delving into her pack. She'd seen something before, when she'd checked her bag out, something near the unwieldy can of gasoline. It'd tired her the fuck out for all this time, but damn if Bounce as going to throw away her only weapon, especially when it was actually useful. Especially when Bounce had - come on where was is - when Bounce had...

Her fingers closed on a small, metallic object. A cuboid of steel.

Yes.

A lighter.
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