"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
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"Yeah...I was thinking about that, actually." Melissa nodded at Jennifer's suggestion to boil creek water to get rid of things like bacteria and germs. The thought had lingered in her mind...but then she had looted some water bottles from the people at the infirmary so it'd be...at least a while longer before she'd have to resort to something like that. "I still have some bottled water left. ...Maybe I should just turn this off so we don't waste fuel..."

But she didn't. It just felt nice getting some use to the thing she had been lugging around for a week. Even if it was a use that probably wasn't going to get them anything at all, the soft sound of the burning flame was kind of soothing. In a whole campfirey outdoorsy type of way...when you ignored the fact that the both of them were inside a hall of shattered mirrors. She blinked when she heard Jennifer's question about what she had been doing on the island and Melissa offered a weak smile, rubbing the back of her head as she tried to think of the best way to put it.

"Well...I woke up in the swamp and um...found one of my friends." Melissa began, wondering if she should just leave out names or whatnot. It wasn't like she had hung out with any killers so there was no reason to hide it, but...she felt uncomfortable. She didn't want to burden Jennifer with her own problems and experiences...after all, her friend was already going through way too much as it was. She decided to just give names in the end. It'd make the whole thing easier to say. "We met up with another two girls...oh, my earlier friend was Aislyn...Aislyn McCreery. She uh...got announced this morning."

"Anyway um...we met with two other girls. Felicia Carmichael and Samaya...I can't really remember her last name." Blinking, she dug into her duffel bag and brought out Felicia's yearbook. A sad smile crossed her face as her fingers brushed against the cover...she wondered if she would ever be able to bring it back to the other girl. She brushed the thought aside as she cracked it open and began flipping through the pages. "This is her. Samaya Boen-Hilstrand. They were both really nice girls..."

"We kind of just...wandered around. Aislyn took charge...she was the one with the plan and all and she was trying to watch out for us, so I guess she got...kind of brusque and blunt at times, but she wanted what was the best for all of us, I'm sure." Melissa explained. She wondered why she had to add that last part. Maybe it was to convince herself of that as much as it was to help tell the story. "We went up the mountains and uh...that's when Samaya uh...she...somehow died. I...have no clue how it happened. It was just one moment she was fine, one moment she was on the ground."

She sniffed. Had it already been so long after Samaya's death? Actually...it hadn't been that long at all. She shook her head and continued on. "A-Anyway um...we kind of moved on after that. I mean...there wasn't anything else we could do, was there? So...we just moved onto the infirmary and met up with another one of Aislyn's friends. Samya. Uh...lemme find her..." She flipped through the yearbook again. "That's here. Samya Franklin. She was nice...somehow had managed to get trail mix with her."

She smiled at the memory. "Anyway...things kind of just started falling apart. We got into an argument with Aislyn and she stormed off and...uh..."

Melissa looked down at the yearbook, her finger tracing across all of the smiling pictures of their fellow classmates. How many of them were dead? A lot, she knew that...Felicia had wanted to cross out names. To mark everyone who had died in Danya's experiment. "Anyway um...actually you probably heard Felicia's name in the announcement too, right? That was um...it's complicated. But Felicia was trying to protect all of us from Sebastian...and she was forced to shoot him. He had already killed two people in front of us...and he was going to kill again, it was obvious..."

"I can still hear the sound of her gunshot...and the sound of that girl's collar exploding. It's a sickening sound, you know that?" Melissa said, blinking rapidly. She brought her hands to her eyes and began rubbing at them, soft self-recriminating laughter escaping from her lips. "S-Sorry I didn't...after that happened, I promised myself I would be stronger. We uh...me, Felicia, Samya...we just went our different ways, you know? Bad memories and stuff. And I told myself I would be strong enough to survive in this living hell. I would find a way to just live and protect the things precious to me but..."

The tears began coming out in earnest and Melissa futilely continued wiping at them, sniffing. "I don't even know why I'm crying! But I mean...I met so many new people and even in a dumb stupid crazy thing like this, I even made some new friends. And then they just disappear and just things happen and people change and...it's really not fair, Jennifer. How can people keep doing this? How can all those people in Danya's organization go out there and kidnap teenagers and tell them to kill each other? And why do the teenagers listen to him?! So many people die and they just keep killing and killing! Do they think they're having fun? That they're showing that they're superior to the rest of us cause they can kill?"

"Oh god...I'm ranting..." Melissa said, sad laughter still escaping from her lips. She reached in her bag again, pulling out one of her spare shirts and began cleaning her face. "I'm so sorry, Jennifer...I didn't mean to do this. You have your own problems and your own worries and I shouldn't burden with you with mine. It's so selfish...it's just that talking to you...you're the first person I can talk to like this and it just feels good, you know?"

She sniffed again. "I'm so sorry...I'm so sorry, Jennifer..."

She felt the tears again...tried to will them to stop. "God...I think I'm going crazy. Hahahaha...I'm supposed to have better emotional control than this. Oh god...I feel so stupid."
"Oh god dammit, I lost my sense of humor around here. Someone help me find it."

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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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