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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
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((Harun Kemal continued from The Ballad of Ackbar))

Harun Kemal wished he'd been a better runner.

But no, instead of spending all those years of mandatory gym in Minnesota actually doing exercise...

He decided to spend them trying to dodge it through any excuse he could come up with.

And, if Harun was too late for the boat and missed it by five seconds, well, that'd be the price he had to pay for being a fat lazy fuck.

When Harun had first heard the....what was the phrase they used..."friendly taxi service" arrive on the island and made their presence known with a rather boisterous, to-the-point advertisement of their presence, Harun had been in the rather undignified position of trying to distract himself from the horror of seeing a friend get blown to pieces right in front of his eyes by trying, in vain, to wash himself. He had no soap or anything else like that hidden untouched within his bag, so it was really just him wetting himself with murky water he found in a small stream-river-puddle thing.

But, hey, at least it served the purpose of cleaning off the blood and the other gunk and grime associated with murdering one of your friends and spending a week (approximately; Harun never was good at keeping time) living rough on a murder island. It also served the purpose of rather gratuitously exposing Harun's nude body to the world at large, despite his attempts to preserve his modesty, but, hey, the American public had seen him piss and shit; they'd seen everything Harun didn't want them to see already.

And, when Harun first heard the words "Good morning, death island" projected across the island in a voice and style that wasn't Danya, his first instinct was to freeze on the spot in fear and anxiety. Then, he felt a brief and all-too fleeting rush of inappropriate glee spreading through his body, as the possibility of being able to return to America and simultaneously both continue his life and start afresh dawned on him. Then, that was replaced by a jarring feeling of guilt and sadness, at how his life was still pretty much scarred permanently, and how most of his friends had died so unnecessarily, some (like Roland) shortly before rescue arrived.

And then all that was replaced by good old paranoia. It obviously wasn't a trap by Danya; it was a completely different voice and Danya had no motive to do such a stunt. But, then again, it may have just been an entrepreneurial psychopathic student who'd been able to get a megaphone and was now leading all the weak little lambs into a massacre and....

And oh shut the fuck up Harun. It's the only chance you got. Now get your clothes on, the public's seen enough of your penis.

And so, forsaking drying his wet skin and quickly pulling his dirty, unwashed clothes back on again, he climbed to his feet, absentmindedly slung his bag on his back (in such a manner that was both uncomfortable and stupid-looking), and gave a very brief glance around his surroundings to check he had everything and there was no player hiding in the bushes, before sprinting (or, more accurately, fast-walking) out of the clearing he was inhabiting towards the general direction of the voice.

As he ran towards the beach, so many thoughts ran through his head. The part of his mind susceptible to paranoia and conspiracy theories continuing bringing up the possibility that it was some form of trap, and a larger part of his brain was still stuck in survivor's guilt mode, but overall every brain cell in his skull was dedicated to one task; heading towards the voice before it was too late and getting the fuck out of dodge.

When Harun emerged onto the long, sandy beach, he looked around, immediately becoming disappointed. No boat or massive group of jubilant survivors in front of him, just sand, more sand and a shitload of sea water. Overcome with a feeling of depression and disappointment, Harun was about to turn back into the island's sprawling forests and carry on moping and pondering the worthiness of his continued existence.

Thankfully, Harun was one of those people who could miss something glaringly obvious right in front of him, and only notice it on the second or third glance.

In this case, it was the third glance before he noticed, at the opposite end of the pristine beach, something painfully obvious.

A boat.

A fully functioning, genuine boat.

A fully functioning, genuine boat that almost definitely was not a figment of imagination, and appeared to be surrounded by a small number of people, one of whom that did not appear to be one of Bayview's unfortunate students (though almost definitely looked too young and too...informal to be a member of any government agency, American or otherwise.)

And, at that point, despite his injuries, despite his lack of stamina, despite his hunger and his thirst and his long-running emotional scars, Harun shoved all those negative feelings aside, and for the most time in days, hell, months, he felt genuinely happy, genuinely excited and genuinely optimistic about his future.

It wouldn't last, but, hey, can't he have one moment?


Waving his arms around like an incompetent dancer, the elated Turk ran towards the boat at a surprisingly brisk pace.

"Hello! It's Harun Kemal! Are you the guy who did that whole announcement thingy with the death island and the Happy Meals and the...erm...yeah."

Having made his point, Harun stopped talking and paused for breath, his muscles aching. He must have looked like an amusing sight; a tall, large Turkish boy in a dishevelled state and with bandages around the fingers on his left hand, running towards a mere boat with an uncharacteristic level of joy in his tired, hoarse voice. Still, that didn't matter. Harun had survived. The antisocial nerd with an obsession for politics and a preference for video games over social interaction had survived, despite so many of his friends, acquaintances and enemies not.

Ohshit depressing thought steer away from that.

Suddenly, the thought occurred to Harun; he'd killed. They said no players. Now, he was sure to the casual observer his...unfortunate final interaction with Rashid looked like self-defence, and it made Harun look totally sympathetic, but Harun couldn't be too sure. Maybe they decided that because he hadn't cried enough over it and had poked Rashid's body disrespectfully with his sword that he was not worthy of rescue.

He hadn't been shot on sight. That was a good sign. Good place to start.

But, he couldn't be sure.

"Erm....I'll be honest. I don't think I'm on your list, but..." he gulped. The next sentence came out of his mouth rather fast, just in case they heard something incriminating but decided not to hear him out. "I killed a guy, Rashid Hassan, but it was in self-defence and he was my friend but he tried to steal my weapon, and, like, I can't prove it and I'm not really good at explaining things but...erm...yeah."

His voice faded away, and he stared into the ground.

Luckily, for Harun, he wasn't on the list.

He wasn't a bad guy.

He was safe.


Well, for now, at least, but you can't let little details like the chance of Danya's men successfully counterattacking spoil a good mood, y'know?
V7 peeps:
Nick Ogilvie
Ashlynn Martinek
Bill Winlock
Camille Bellegarde

V6 peeps:
Kiziah Saraki
Bradley Floyd
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