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I Would Walk Five Hundred Miles...; The Quartet Journeys Onward
Topic Started: Nov 4 2006, 06:45 PM (1,490 Views)
Megami
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Continued from: Empathies and Desperation))

((I apologize for the lag in posting, muchachos. I can always find something to do around this place, and my OCD dictates that it must be completed or it will nag on my nerves. ;) Without further adieu, I give you: LE POST!))

Maybe it was just his imagination, but the air didn't seem nearly as clear down here as it had back up in the little mountain ranch where he had first encountered Gail, Jackie, and John. Then again, Ricky Callahan supposed that he shouldn't be concerned with such trivial things as how breathable the air was, or the fact that even though this island had probably been abandoned for some time, the smog still seemed slightly apparent over what had to have been the city off in the distance.

He continued to meander at an almost leisurely pace down the seemingly endless stretch of asphalt that lay before him, the soles of his tennis shoes padding quietly against the road as he zig-zagged along the brightly painted yellow line, his eyes gazing off into the distance. Given the circumstances, he probably should have been a bit more precautious. He had to admit to himself that he didn't quite feel the same amount of safety and security as he had at the barn, but full comprehension of his predicament hadn't yet set in for Ricky Callahan.

It would.

So far, their little foursome had been very fortunate. They had yet to encounter any of the "players" of the game. Of course, Ricky had been victim to witnessing shotgun blasts in the early morning hours of the game. Of course, he knew that given that fact, it was only a matter of time before his little group stumbled upon someone hostile. Here they were, only a few hours into the game, and the resounding echo of gunfire throughout the island could already be heard. Slowly but surely, Ricky was coming to the obvious conclusion that some of these kids were already far too deep into the game to ever, ever turn back.

In a way, Ricky Callahan had never felt so alone. He took solace in the fact that three other students -- students he had never in his life encountered until just hours prior -- had joined in his cause and more or less put their lives in his hands. It showed that despite the disaster of a situation the students found themselves suddenly thrust into, people still had faith in one another... and at this point in time, faith was something that everyone in this game needed desperately.

There's no point in dwelling on it, Ricky. People are going to play the game. Even if they didn't, even if the entire island teamed up to take on Danya, not everyone would make it out. In a way, you should be grateful. It buys you time... in this place, time is something you just can't have enough of.

So what now, Mr. Genius?

The nagging voice in his head made Ricky sigh audibly. He wasn't cut out for this. He wasn't cut out for playing leader. He was never the leader of anything, ever. Even in team sports, Ricky was only a benchwarmer... only the name at the bottom of the list that the coach probably hoped he never got to. Shaking his head slightly, Ricky tried to shake the doubts and insecurities away as well. He wasn't doing this for him. He was doing this for Jackie. For Gail. For John. For... Whitney.

Hopefully, they'd run into her soon. She had to be here too, she was on the bus. They all had to be here. It was only then that the thought crossed Ricky's mind. What if she had her own strategy already planned out? She could've easily found her own friends and grouped up. They could already have some fantastic plan worked out that didn't include Ricky and his current entourage. Or worse. She could've teamed up with the person most of the ballteam had taken to referring to as her little boytoy -- Matthias. Ricky never had gotten confirmation on that situation, and let's face it, people talk. They might've just been friends, as Ricky liked to think, but he had his doubts.

Forcing thoughts of the girl and his friends out of his mind once again, Ricky figured that having a clouded mind would only impair his judgement. It was then that his rumbling stomach reminded him of something else that could quite possibly impair his judgement. It was nearly noon, as the sun looming higher and higher in the sky was easily confirming, and Ricky was starving.

"Hey guys," he chimed quietly, "You up for stopping and grabbing a bite to eat? Nobody's gonna be doing the team any good if they're so hungry they can't function."

Unzipping the pack he had thrown over his shoulder, he once again eyed the contents therein. He had to admit that the food looked a lot more appetizing than usual. Perhaps that had something to do with the fact that no other food was readily available. He grinned a bit at the trio that followed him as he inspected the food.

"Our menu today consists of bread, water, and crackers. Sounds like prison food."

The hispanic boy laughed lightheartedly at the thought. That was what they served people in the pen, wasn't it? It was quite ironic, now that he thought about it. Turning off the main path, Ricky headed just offroad into the bushes where he and the "team" wouldn't be spotted and readily picked off by some opportunistic young hunter. After surveying the area to make sure all was clear, he flopped down in the mossy undergrowth, his daypack containing his afternoon meal sitting in front of him.

"After this," he once again mused, "We should head to the residential area. They might've confiscated anything we had on us, but I don't think they could've possibly inspected every nook and cranny in every house in that place and retrieved everything. There's got to be something left, we've just got to improvise. That sound good?"

Not really waiting on an answer, the dark-skinned boy dove into his loaf of bread. It was still a ways to the residential district, and hunger wouldn't do any of them any favors. As the thought ran through his mind he subconsciously looked at Gail, who was by far the tiniest and most petite of them all. She probably had less endurance and stamina than the guys of the group, so they'd have to baby her just a bit more. Ricky had no problem with this, of course. He was rather glad to have at least one lady in their midsts.
Misa Achtland

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((Continued from Empathies and Desperation))

Jackie trudged along the expressway with all new confidence. He had known nothing of his three companions up until now, but during the walk he had done the best he could to lighten the mood by talking to the three of them. He tried his best to steer conversation away from the game. None of them needed to be thinking about that just now. Jackie felt that if they could think about something else they would all feel a whole lot better.

Gail generally lagged behind Jackie and the others. She didn't involve herself in the conversation much, but she smiled every now and than. Between the three boys one of them would always think of something to make her smile. She was glad she was with them, but she was still wary. She rolled up the sleeves of her thin turtleneck and kept pace with the three of them. She had no problem keeping pace, but she was watched her feet very closely.

Jackie and Gail both nodded in agreement with Ricky. Jackie hadn't eaten anything since he'd arrived and he had hurled up anything he'd eaten in the days previous. He only now realized he was hungry. Gail had never had much appetite for anything, but she knew she should eat something before she got tired.

They sat down with Ricky on the side of the road and began delving into their bags. Jackie produced his tin of crackers and his water bottle, and offered a few crackers to the other three. Gail ripped a small chunk of bread of the loaf and sipped at her water. They both listened closely to Ricky; he seemed to be the only one with any sort of plan of action.

“That sounds ok to me,” Jackie nodded and looked to the others. “I don’t think we’ll be getting very far with what they gave us. There has to be something here that we can live off of.”

Gail nodded and commented in her wispy voice. “Ok.”

That wasn’t a bad plan at all. Hopefully along the way they could convince some other people to join the resistance. If they got enough people they could potentially overthrow the terrorist who had done this. They just had to be very careful. Gail touched at her collar. She still wasn’t sure what to think of all this, but she couldn’t kill anyone. At least this way she wouldn’t be alone when the terrorists came for her next.

She didn’t understand why anyone would watch something like his. She had never seen the first SOTF until today, but she would not buy into it. This was a terrible thing they were doing and she could not believe that other people would buy into it either.
I eat alone in a desert with skulls for my pets,
I rate the days 1 to 10 with lead cigarettes.


v4

Jeremy Ressler
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[ *  * ]
John followed alongside the others, foot steps echoing along the deserted expressway. John looked downwards as he walked, at his own feet. It was a habit of his to not look forward when walking. IT was something about the ground go past you as you walked that made you wonder. Would I ever be here again? Will someone know I was even here?

John turned up his head as Ricky mentioned stopping to eat, this was the first view he got of the surrounding area. Roads stretching off into the distance, out of view. You could really see the island, trees growing among old buildings. How long had the island been deserted?

“Yeah, that’s a good idea...” John murmured as he dropped down to a sitting position and began to rifle his way through the contents of the day pack until he reached the tin of crackers and began to nibble on them.

“You should conserve your water until you’re really thirsty, water is a lot more important that food currently.” John spoke to the others, he wasn’t one to spout out that kind of information. He was reminded of his days before moving to the new town and going to Bathurst. He had lived in Toronto, and he wasn’t the most popular person there. He wasn’t very athletic, and not very good looking.

Thus, it resulted in some incidents involving other students. John grimaced at these memories and put them out of his head. That familiar pulse he could feel in his neck was acting up, he would have to medicate it.

“That’s another good idea, we could probably find tools down there too.” John said as he reached into his pack and produced his pill bottle, it was half full so he should be good if he took one a day. He popped one into his mouth and swallowed, that familiar syrupy taste filled his mouth. He made a face and put away the bottle.

“Alright, but what do we do if we run into someone hostile? It’s gonna happen eventually!” John said, the thought of getting attacked creating a very morbid thought in his head.
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Megami
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((I do realize that it's been a week since my last post with Ricky. I do also realize that we have sort of a posting order and I can't just break it. :P Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm not neglecting this topic, but someone else had planned on entering in with us and I'm sort of waiting on that.))
Misa Achtland

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((Fuck it. It's been a week, and I'm quite tired of being held up.))

Hostile... he's right, you know. It's bound to happen eventually. So far, Callahan, you've been lucky. You haven't run into anyone looking for a fight... but you will. Not everyone is as optimistic as you, after all. Not all of these kids have an unwavering confidence that you can all unite and face the program, and quite frankly Ricky, neither do you. Out of one facade and into another, eh? You've got this false hope of finding your friends on the island... seeking out the other baseball guys, finding Whitney... what do you do if one of the baseballers decides they're gonna play, Ricky? What if one of them decides to run the game... what if they all decide to run the game? You've been on this kick about finding and saving Whitney Acosta, some girl you've been crushing on since you moved here that you, face it, barely even know. What happens if Whitney doesn't want your help?

On the outside, Ricky Callahan's confidence was unfaltering. Internally, however, a war was raging in the back of his mind. Doubts, insecurities, dozens of possibilities of his imminent fate all dashed through his mind. So many things could go wrong, and truth be told, before it was all said and done, they probably would. Blind faith wouldn't be enough in this game. This wasn't a movie, some superhero wasn't going to swoop down to save them all. Ricky had, in a sense, come to terms with that. Still, the entire concept just seemed so surreal to him that he couldn't quite wrap his mind around the fact that people he once considered his closest friends might now be willing to stab him in the back, quite literally, for their own gain.

You've been doing it on a whim so far, Callahan, and so far you've been lucky... but that luck won't last forever, and you know it. Fate's smiled on you so far in the game, but it's only a matter of time before you run into one of those people that the game has already broken, and what are you gonna do then? You gonna smile at them and try to get them to "join you"? What if that doesn't work, tough guy? What if you find yourself staring down the barrel of a shotgun because you were trying to be an optimist and see the good in everyone? The fact is that this game is going to break a lot of people. People won't care about the safety of others, friendship and loyalty will inevitably become nothing more than just archaic words. You've heard the gunshots yourself. This game has already broken people, and it's just a matter of time before you run into one.

"Well..." Ricky mused thoughtfully in response to John's question.

And now, you've got even more weight on your shoulders. You don't just have your own safety and well-being to worry about, dude. Now, you've got to worry about Gail. You've got to worry about Jackie. You've got to worry about John. You're the one who told them they didn't have to play the game. You're the one who told them that they'd be safe with you. You're the one who told them that you'd find a way to get them off the island. So now, Ricky, they're your responsibility. You've got to take care of them now, you promised them you would. And they, being complete and total strangers, put their faith in you to make good on that promise... so don't fuck it up. You can't fail these guys, they need you, and quite frankly, you need them too. You're powerless by yourself. Your only hope of ever beating this game lies in a group effort, and if you can't do that, you may as well just give up now.

"Grim as this may sound," Ricky started, choosing his words carefully, "You all are intelligent people. You know that this game is going to affect everyone differently, and you know that some people are going to snap. They'll be so bent on staying alive that those survival instincts will kick in and they'll be so far into it that they'll be beyond reasoning with. If we run into those people... and don't get me wrong you guys, it will happen, it's just a matter of time... we're going to have to fight. I'm not going to bullshit you guys into thinking that we're safe in a big group, because we're not. We're safer than we would be alone, absolutely, because we have one another's backs and we're watching out for one another. But... I don't know about you all, but I saw bits and pieces of the last game. People go crazy. They stop thinking rationally. There was one girl... Daphne Rudko, I think her name was, out and out attacked this huge group of people... she actually killed two of 'em, almost more, before she got gunned down herself."

A light sigh escaped the hispanic boy's lips as he recalled watching the morbid incident on national television. It was actually quite a sad moment in the game. One of the students, Ricky couldn't recollect his name, but he was one of the twins on the island, actually spared her life even after she'd killed two of his friends. It was a touching moment, probably one of the few that the original Survival of the Fittest ever had. Sadly, as soon as the girl seemed to realize the error of her ways, she was gunned down by another player. Ricky could only imagine that most of them would face similar fates as well.

"If we encounter people that are gone, we're gonna have to fight, and I want you guys to know this. This isn't going to be a walk in the park by any means. Even if we find a way to get the collars off, or even to take on the terrorists running this game, it's not gonna be a picnic. It's gonna be a bloodbath, and all of us probably won't make it out alive. I don't want to sound grim and hopeless, but I want you all to know what you're in for. It's not... it's not gonna be all rainbows and butterflies, it's gonna be brutal. The thing is, we can either try to overthrow this fucked up game and see what comes of it, or we can all hope that by the grace of God Almighty, one of us survives out of the colossal number of people on the island. I just want you guys to know what you're in for... right here, right now. No matter what we do, it's gonna be rough. People are gonna die... we might even wind up killing our own friends... but this is the only way. We can't save everyone here, it's stupid to even try. If you guys don't think you can handle it, I want to know now. I'd hate to bid any of you goodbye, because I probably won't ever see you again if I do, but you need to know straight up that this isn't gonna be easy."

It was probably the most he'd spoken since he'd moved to New Jersey from Montana a year ago. Ricky had always been quiet, always kept to himself and never really expressed his true opinions on anything. Now, he almost felt odd giving a sort of "war speech", so to speak, but the fact was that they would be taking on the baddest of the bad if they attempted to escape from the island, and the honest truth was that it was, indeed, near impossible to do. He didn't want to give the people sitting in front of him false hope, he wanted them to know what they were in for. The fact was that of the four newfound friends sitting on the side of the road awaiting nightfall, most of them would probably be dead within the next seventy-two hours. Ricky tried to shake the thoughts from his mind and forced a smile. Absent-mindedly, he placed his belongings back in his pack as he awaited some sort of response from those who had gathered around him.
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Jackie looked over at Ricky. The thought had never occurred to him that over people might be playing to win. The scene on the plane had been brutal, but Jackie wouldn't reduce himself to killing after that. He knew that these guys probably didn't have every possible escape plan covered. There had to be some way out other than following there orders. Jackie thought that everyone else would realize this too. Ricky's comment had shock Jackie a little. People probably were playing; they would do anything to escape. Even kill.

He looked into the eyes other his compatriots. How could you look someone in the eyes and just kill them? They were all human beings. They were all capable of love and hate and other a thousand other things but they were all the same. They were all human beings.

Jackie sighed and looked at his jackknife. Up until now he had only imagined it as a survival tool. He had never dreamed over using it on anyone. If it came down to it, he could fight someone, he had been in fights before, but he could never stab someone. He thought of someone attacking Gail, or Ricky, or John. If it came down to it, Jackie would fight for them, he would do a lot of things for them. They were all great people in Jackie’s mind. They were all in this together, and they were worth fighting for. He would be fighting for a greater cause. He would be fighting for the good of his peers, and for life beyond the Island. Life they should all be living to the fullest. But that was as far as Jackie could go: fighting.

Gail just didn’t know what to do, or what to think. She just wanted to wake up. She just wanted to wipe away the fleeting terrors of this lingering nightmare and breathe in the waking air of home. She had given her weapon to Ricky already, she wasn’t going to fight anybody, she couldn’t bring herself to it. These people that had chosen to protect her, Gail wished them all the best and hoped they would all live and love another day, but she couldn’t fight for them, not for anyone. It just wasn’t right...

Sipping at her water, she carefully placed the bottle back in her pack under John’s advice. She sat back on the grass and took another deep breath and tried to remember a happier time. She remembered dancing in the studio with her friends. She had spent her whole life locked away in her room, hidden from the world in her ivory tower. Dance was a time she could let loose and express herself. She let everything come out when she danced; she was graceful and careful, but expressive and precise. She aimed to inspire something in someone else, to make them feel something deep and un-thought of. Most of her few friends were from the dance studio, but the Island was not a place for dancing. The Island was not a place for a lot of things...

Jackie and Gail both looked to Ricky. He was the push they had all needed. With him they could get through this. They could both see that he was scared just as they were, but he was going to do something about it. Without Ricky, and Jackie, Gail would have cowered in that barn until someone had come around and killed her, or until she starved. They had got her on her feet and moving, to get her home. Through Ricky, Jackie had realized there were other people willing to sacrifice for others, that he wasn’t alone, and that he had something to fight for.

“I think I’m ready for it,” Jackie looked to Ricky with his jackknife in hand. “I don’t know why anyone would want to play this game, but if they come after any of you, I’ll do my best to protect the group.”

Gail nodded slowly.

“I... I don’t think I can fight, but I can help with anything else you need,” Gail was quick to add the next part. She didn’t want them to leave her behind because she couldn’t pull her weight. She didn’t want to be alone. Plus she had to consider her condition, if she got badly cut, she could easily be gone. “My mother and father both work at a hospital and I know a lot about injuries. If anyone is hurt I can use my first aid kit.”

“Yeah,” Jackie looked over at Gail. “Don’t worry, Gail. We can all help out; no one is forcing you to fight.”

With that the two stood up and looked at Ricky, they were ready to go where-ever they needed to, to get out off this hellish Island.
I eat alone in a desert with skulls for my pets,
I rate the days 1 to 10 with lead cigarettes.


v4

Jeremy Ressler
Catherine Cowie
Haaziq Muhammad Sayf
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ZigZaggerty
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SOTF whore, courtesy of Slacker :).
[ *  * ]
John nodded while everyone agreed with each other, it was almost pathetic the way they all had hope. They were all blindly following Ricky and by the look on his face he had his doubts about it as well. John grimaced and stood up, for now he’d have to stay with these guys and see where it would take him.

“I’m in, I’ll take anyone out who tries to cause harm to us.” John solemnly spoke, the uncertainty clear in his voice. He looked over them all one last time, it seemed they would be moving on soon. It was the kind of moment where the fact that they all had that trust in each other in such a time and place. It was surreal, plain and simple. The kind of surreal you feel when the world is crashing down around you and you could care less.

I fucking love my pills.

John crouched down and fixed the contents of his bag. With a gravely sigh he lifted the bag and slung it over his shoulders, the weight was ominous.

“Well, here’s my weapon...” John mumbled as he pulled the rusty scissors out of his pocket and show them to the others. Again that feeling washed over, what was it again?

Oh yeah, Surreal.
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The faint beginnings of a smile formed on Ricky's lips as he stood up alongside his companions. Even though he felt like he was just reiterating himself over and over again with talks of escape and fighting, it made him feel just the slightest bit better to know that there were people who stood alongside him, even knowing the costs of their effort and the dire consequences of failure. Part of him was troubled that these people, people he hadn't known twelve hours prior, put such blind faith in him to lead the way and be their salvation, but despite himself, he couldn't help but find it comforting in some way.

Well Callahan... the ball's in your court now... so what are ya gonna do, hotshot? You had better come up with a plan, and fast.

Momentarily, Ricky's eyes caught those of John Matthews's, and despite John's response that he was in for a penny, in for a pound, Ricky couldn't help but allow a tinge of doubt to form within the confides of his mind. John hadn't outwardly done anything to trigger a sense of distrust and nervousness from Ricky, but it was the way he presented himself... his silence, the way he seemed more distant than the rest of the group. On some level, Ricky found it uncomforting.

"Alright," Ricky mused, a grin once again starting to formulate on his features, "We should head out soon."

The sun was just nestling over the horizon, and the moon had risen up into the sky, illuminating the island in a pale and almost serene glow. The chirping of crickets somewhere off in the dense wilderness on either side of the expressway offered a calming and soothing feeling in the night, but despite it all, Ricky knew better than to let his guard down. Just because the sun had gone down didn't mean that the danger was gone. Now, in fact, it was just harder to see.

"Let's head toward the residential district," he stated simply, "We'll find a house to rest in until morning. Searching around blindly won't do us any good, and even if by some miracle the lights actually worked in that place, we'd just be drawing a lot of attention to ourselves, and I'm willing to bet that it'd be attention we don't want."

Nodding to himself as if internally confirming his decision, Ricky readjusted the pack over his shoulder and set off down the expressway, his eyes darting back and forth on occassion as if searching for some unseen life force. In fact, that's exactly what he was doing... watching, scouting, keeping an eye out for the maniac who just might pop out of the bushes at any given time. Things hadn't been quite so eerie in the daylight, but now that it was dark, it'd be even harder to defend against someone they couldn't see. Against his better judgement, Ricky once again spoke out, this time in a lower and calmer tone of voice.

"I know this is probably a bad idea... but tell me about you guys. After all, I didn't know any of you before today. Like..."

On a whim, the hispanic boy placed his hands into the pockets of the khaki cargo pants he adorned on the day of the trip. Casual conversation probably wasn't the most intelligent thing to have when someone could easily be attracted to the sound of voices, but the fact was that Ricky felt that by talking -- about home, about the things he wanted to go back to, about his hopes and dreams -- it would help him, in some way, to retain some form of his sanity.

"I dunno... friends, family... just something. For the sake of conversation, you know? We've still got a bit of walking to do, and quite frankly, the crickets are getting on my nerves."

A playful grin formulated on his features as he continued his walk, hoping the others would chime in instead of allowing him to ramble incessantly throughout the course of their journey. He didn't know what, if anything, they'd find in the residential district, but it seemed like a good place to start, at least.
Misa Achtland

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Melissa Angelicchio

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[ *  *  * ]
Jackie began right away. He wanted to make sure these people could trust him, and he wanted to trust them just as much.

"I guess I can go first. Well, I just moved here to Denton," Jackie sighed at the irony of it all. He and his mother had left Montreal to get away from all the confrontation, but it seems he had run right into it. "I used to live in Montreal with my mother. She worked as a fashion designer. Dad was never around much. I guess I like to write and stuff. I paint and draw too. My Mom is a really good artist; she has to draw out all those designs and stuff. I guess I kind of inherited it from her."

He sent a small pebble skipping across the asphalt. He looked over to the other three members of the group, hoping that his example might open up the rest of the members.

"Not much else I can think of right now," Jackie looked down at his shoes, he didn't really know what to say aside from that. He didn't really want to list off his likes and dislikes off like a grocery list so he looked over to Gail, hoping she could contribute something as well. "Why don't you go ahead, Gail? I'll try to think of some other things."

Gail looked up at the three boys. She didn't want to tell them about her... condition. All of a sudden this had turned into an interrogation. She felt like she was being put on the spot.

"Um, I'm a dancer," Gail smiled lightly and looked over at the other boys. "I've lived in Denton all my life. My Dad is a Doctor. My Mom works in a nursing home. I help out around the house; I don't really get out much..."

Her response was quick and lack-lustre. She didn't know what else to say. He mind was racked with insecurities. What if she let them know too much? What if she said something wrong?

Suddenly Jackie didn't feel so bad about his 'short' reply.

"I, um, go to Bathurst," Gail looked down at her knees. They already know that. "I'm in grade ten."

She looked shyly over at Ricky and the others.

"What about you guys?"
I eat alone in a desert with skulls for my pets,
I rate the days 1 to 10 with lead cigarettes.


v4

Jeremy Ressler
Catherine Cowie
Haaziq Muhammad Sayf
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Megami
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Squishy
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Much to Ricky's surprise, Jackie jumped right into the conversation, volunteering tidbits of information on a life that never again would be. In a way, it was quite sad to hear the rather effiminate young man reminisce about having just moved to Denton from Montreal, about the mother he left behind, about things and experiences he would probably never again have. Inevitably, Ricky's thoughts returned to the past he left behind.

In fact, he had sunk so deep in thought that he barely heard Gail speak up and regale them with tales of her own life beyond the island. The only thoughts that really peaked in his mind about Gail's little life speech were the details of her father being a doctor and her mother being a nurse. At that point, Gail became a little less dead weight and a little more useful to the group, because although she'd said it before, Ricky realized the full extent of her proficiency in medicine.

When Gail's attention suddenly turned back to him, however, Ricky's thoughts drifted into the back of his mind. A forelorn smile spread across his features as he looked at the group standing before him. The simple truth was that all Ricky Callahan wanted to do was to go home to a life he once knew, and although the odds were stacked heavily against him, he was willing to risk his life to accomplish the impossible. Only then did it momentarily occur to him that even if they succeeded, nothing would ever be the same.

"I used to play baseball..." Ricky mused offhandedly, "Back home, I mean. I probably already told you guys that. I wasn't very good for a long, long time, but I've played ever since I was a kid. Life was... well, I guess it was pretty normal. My parents are still together, I guess that's kind of rare nowadays. Seems like all of my friends' parents were either separated or divorced... even deceased, depending on the circumstance. I was pretty lucky in that respect, I guess. Dad worked a lot, mom stayed at home. I've got a little brother... his name's Matt."

A fond smile formed on the corners of Ricky's lips as he reminisced about the brother that only days before, he had wanted to hop over the kitchen table and strangle. They say you don't realize how much you miss somebody until they're gone, and this was definitely the case for Ricky. Absent-mindedly, he drummed his thumbs on the exterior of his pocket, his hands still resting casually inside the hip pockets of the cargo pants.

"He's about a year younger than me, so we were pretty close growing up. We butted heads a lot, but he's a good kid. I moved to Jersey from Montana at the beginning of the school year... never was a very social person, so I had a lot of trouble making friends. If not for the rest of the guys on the team, truth be told, I probably wouldn't have any at all, ya know? And then..."

He paused momentarily, unsure if he should be delving so deep into his personal life with people he really knew next to nothing about. At this point, he wasn't really talking to the people around him, anyway. He was simply trying to sort out his own thoughts and motivations in his head, which was proving harder and harder because they just seemed to keep getting jumbled up into a tangled mess.

"There was this girl. It's probably really stupid, I've only talked to her a handful of times over the entire year, but she's just... amazing, you know? I always wanted to say something to her... at least sit down and have an actual conversation with her, but all my friends said she was way too hard to get to know. At the time, I figured that they'd been here longer and knew her better than I did, so who was I to question them, ya know? Pretty stupid in the long run, I guess. I think she was worth it... she's here somewhere, and I have every intent of finding her. I don't know what I'll do after that... I just wanna find her before something bad happens to one of us."

An embarrassed grin spread over the darker boy's features as he mused over past memories. Now that he recited his intentions aloud instead of in his head, he couldn't help but think that he did sound a little bit crazy. In a way, it was almost futile to seek out someone to tell them something you should've said long ago when the odds were stacked against you and the fact that both of you might die at any second loomed over your head anyway. Still, Ricky almost felt like it was something that he had to do, if only for a bit of closure on the matter.

Momentarily, his eyes trailed over to John, who had been rather silent for the entire conversation. He still couldn't pinpoint what it was, but he was rather uncomfortable around this boy. He didn't feel the sense of confidence and security that he felt with Gail and Jackie. John just seemed a little... off. For all Ricky knew, he really could've been. After all, he didn't know this boy more than twenty-four hours ago, and even though he and Gail had attended the same school, Gail seemed to know next to nothing about him, either. Ricky looked at him almost expectedly, somewhat hoping that John would speak up on the matter.
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John turned his eyes up and was met with the expectant gazes of the others, truth be told he wasn’t listening to their sob stories that much. He didn’t care about their pasts, all he cared about what was happening right now. But to remain social he managed to make some small talk.

“Well...” John began, realizing he was about to tell him about himself before the island. The thought crossed his mind that it wouldn’t be a good idea to give them his hopes in dream, so in a moment he grinned as he began to spill forth the most basic of information about himself and his past.

“Well, I’m John Matthews. I used to live in Toronto but moved to Denton to live with my aunt, she’s a cop. I attended Bathurst for while and I guess I could’ve been called popular, I knew a lot of people really.” John stopped for a moment, casting his gaze downwards, what else could he tell them?

“I was captain of the Basket-Ball team and a member of Student Council. And as for my plans? I wanted to be a police officer.” John muttered the last bit, anger evident in his voice. The fact that this completely ruined the future for him set his teeth on edge, he absolutely hated it.

“There, that’s my story.” John said before resuming walking behind the others, looking up at the stars and staring.

"It's nice out tonight, besides the whole killing thing that is."
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((Um... I was writing like they'd been talking the entire time, as was Nealosi. *shrug* Just pointing it out.))
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((Sorry, I'm the biggest idiot in the world at the moment. Changed to fit what's currently happening.))
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((In case you're wondering, I AM kinda trying to prolong this topic until we don't have five dozen topics in the Residential District. I've no intention of adding to the mess.))

Really?

The solitary word passed through Ricky's mind as John Matthews, surprisingly enough, spoke up and told his story. Ricky's eyebrows raised in mild surprise as tidbits of information on John came forth, and he couldn't help but be a bit surprised that someone who seemed so quiet and withdrawn was quite the socialite back at Bathurst, apparently. Of course, this brought up the question of why he and Gail didn't know one another, mainly on Gail's part. It seemed like everybody either knew the social elite of high school or at the very least knew of them.

In the end, it didn't really matter, he supposed. All they were reminiscing about was a past that was completely irrelevant now anyway. A light sigh escaped his lips as John commented on the night, Ricky adjusting the loose grip each thumb held on the exterior of his pants as the comment sunk in. He looked at John almost awkwardly for a moment, surprised that he could comment on the night... and the killing that was surely being done.

"It would be, I guess," Ricky mused.

The bad vibes that seemed to reverberate from John Matthews just continued onward as the group continued to meander their way down the seemingly never-ending expressway toward the smallish residential district in the distance. Ricky couldn't help but think that it was somewhat akin to his residence in Carrington Pointe back home. It wasn't an overly ritzy neighborhood, but it was far from a slum.

At least, that's what he could tell from the view he currently had as he stood atop a rather large hill along the road that inevitably steered down toward the town. It seemed as though they had been walking forever, though they probably hadn't covered all that much ground in all actuality. His thoughts returned to his friends, and he couldn't help but think to himself that he'd gladly give his right arm to have someone he could really consider a companion accompanying him at this precise moment.

Really, traveling with three complete strangers was awkward at best, even though they were all volunteering bits and pieces of their old lives. On some level he found comfort in the fact that they were willing to talk and discuss such matters. Still, he couldn't help but think that he'd greatly prefer to be traveling with Colt, or Gregg, or someone he had known for more than the span of a few hours. The light summer breeze ruffled the leaves in the nearby trees, creating a sort of ambience over the screams of anguish that echoed across the island.

The fact remained that although they were drowned out by the sounds of the night, the screams were still there, and it was something that Ricky Callahan wouldn't -- no, couldn't allow himself to forget. People were out there dying, and every other second that they wasted dawdling around meant that his friends could be dead, or that their window of time to escape had just elapsed. He was determined not to let that happen at any cost.

He didn't say much as he continued walking toward the residential district. He was far too preoccupied with other things, such as what they were even going to do when they got to the district. They were all under Danya's absolute control until they could find out some way to get the collars around their necks off. Reaching up subconsciously, he touched the elaborately decorated piece of metal, still dazed in silent contemplation. In a way, he hoped that the new day that was surely coming upon them would bring new answers.
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Gail's thoughts drifted off slightly. She found herself wondering about John. She had seen him in passing occasionally, but had never heard much about him. She hadn't heard about much of anyone from her class. She was never around enough to make a lot of friends in her school, nearly all of her friends were from the dance studio or from around town. She had met her other friends at church and places of the sort. She had heard the name in passing, John Matthews, but it had never really registered that he was from her school. With all the excitement and horror of the Island she had hardly taken the opportunity to look him in the eyes.

She looked around and hoping that the rest of the group wouldn’t tae mind of her feeble offers about her life. She was glad, once again, that these boys were around, but she still couldn’t help feel nervous. It was in her nature, for a long time Gail’s parents had drilled in the dehumanizing fact about the cruelty and danger of boys.

“Yes,” Gail looked up at John. He probably didn’t even recognize Gail; she seemed to slip under the radar for most of her school career, and this was no exception. “I know you. I think...”

Gail looked down to her shoes again. Her all white attire was slowly fading in the dying sunlight. She looked over to Jackie and Ricky; embarrassed at how much they had divulged compared to her. She felt selfish, these people were just trying to help her and she kept holding back out of fear of rejection. She figured it was time to come clean.

“Um, guys,” Gail looked up sheepishly. Her speech was stuttered but Jackie and the others seemed to let her take her time. “There’s something else too. I, um, I get sick quite a lot actually. I have a few conditions. I have haemophilia, and I’m an anaemic.”

Her next batch of words came quickly. She stuttered out her justification hoping they wouldn’t be put off by her sudden admission of weakness.

“But I should be ok! I’ve always managed to pull through before. I get sick sometimes, but I try my best!” Gail stood tall, trembling slightly. “I won’t let you down. I just wanted you to know...”

With that she trailed off and hugged herself around her white turtleneck. She stopped shaking and looked down at the asphalt once again. The night was chilling her to the bone, and she didn’t have a whole lot protecting her from the dark cold.

Jackie stared on empathetically as Gail shivered in the cold. He walked over and put a hand on her shoulder.

“Hey,” Jackie kept his voice low and calm. “It’s alright, Gail. We’ve all got our weaknesses and we’ve all got our strengths too. We are going to get out of here together.”

Jackie nodded to the rest of the group knowing. They would have to cater to Gail a little, but it was well worth it. She had medical experience at least, and it was comforting just to have her around. She provided humility to the group and a sort of grace in her presence. Just being around her Jackie felt un-confrontation but he could still sense a bravery in her that touched him deeply.

((Jackie continued in You Can Feel What You Don't See))
I eat alone in a desert with skulls for my pets,
I rate the days 1 to 10 with lead cigarettes.


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