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No Rest for the Weary
Topic Started: Apr 3 2007, 09:13 PM (3,172 Views)
Megami
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Squishy
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Ricky and Whitney continued from "A Brewing Storm".))

Finally, the rain that had poured down over the island and tormented its inhabitants for the past two days had come to a stop. In its place, a thick mist had come up, making their trek through the small town and to the hotel an even more difficult one. Whitney Acosta found herself practically riding the coattails of Ricky Callahan for fear of getting separated. Finally, after what seemed like hours of walking, the large brick structure that was the island's hotel appeared out of the fog. Whitney let out a relieved sigh... perhaps the only thing she had done, sans breath, since they left the shoreline sometime prior.

"Finally..." she stated quietly, getting no response from her hispanic companion.

There was something eerie even about the hotel. Maybe it was foolish to cross half of the island just to come to this location, in retrospect. After all, it was just as dangerous as the pagoda. They had the same chances of being killed, didn't they? If they took one of the room keys off of the shelf behind the desk, it'd alert any potential predators about their location. What if they'd locked all the hotel room doors or something? What if there was no way in? The questions plagued Whitney's mind as Ricky pushed open the doors of the hotel. He'd retrieved his gun from the blonde as soon as they'd set across the island, both of them being more confident that he could use it better than her. All of a sudden, he'd more or less become the group's "bodyguard".

No sooner than Whitney followed Ricky into the interior of the hotel, she wished she hadn't. The overpowering scent of death and decay assaulted her nostrils, nearly causing her to wretch in the process. The hotel lobby was a mess, with several bodies lying about in various positions. The scent of decay informed her that there were a lot more than the few bodies scattered within visibility located in the hotel.

"Holy Jesus..." she whispered quietly, "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea."

Ricky barely heard her speak. Instead, his eye caught onto something... something nobody else had noticed. It didn't follow them as they entered the lobby but instead stayed stationary, the prying black lens immediately catching Ricky's attention even through all the gore and violence that the hospital contained. It was a camera. Not one of Danya's cameras for airing this fucked up show across America. No... it was a security camera. The hotel's security camera. A huge grin spread across his features, despite the state of his blonde-headed companion.

"No, Whit... no... this was a great idea. You're a genius!"

His reaction caught her completely offguard, even more so when the hispanic boy actually turned around and embraced her momentarily. She simply stood there, stunned by the occurance, and stared in awe at the hispanic boy. Before she could inquire what on earth he was thinking, he indicated the camera swinging around above them.

"It works," he stated, "The electric works in town. We don't need to pick a room. We need to pick THAT room, the security room. We can drag some mattresses inside, barricade it up, and we can watch the cameras up there. We'll know everyone that comes in, where they are, and we can take the measures we need to to defend ourselves. This is fantastic!"

Finding safety had been on Whitney's mind when she suggested moving to the hotel, but she hadn't been thinking of anything that elaborate. Still, the genuine smile on Ricky's face was contageous, and she couldn't help but smile too.

"Well guys?" he questioned, "What do you think?"
Misa Achtland

Ayako Okogamine

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Melissa Angelicchio

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Nealosi
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[ *  *  * ]
Gail had followed Ricky and Whitney uncertainly as they approached the hotel. She had hoped to go to some place closer just to get some rest, and the hotel seemed kind of, in the middle of everything as they drew closer to the large building.

She let out a small yelp as the entered the building. The lobby was littered with bodies; the floor was covered with blood. Most of the bodies were indistinguishable and Gail was going to take the time to really check them anyway. Fear and paranoia took a grip of her once more as her heart plummeted into the pit of her stomach. She took a moment to recollect herself, the smell of the bodies was overpowering.

She missed the first bit of the conversation, lost in her own thoughts, but heard the last few bits. It was Ricky’s expression of joy that shocked her out of her meditation.

“Well guys? What do you think?”

Her arms crossed over her white sweater, in her typical protective stance, she surveyed the room once more, looked up to the camera and nodded in concordance. Gail let a small grin break her typically melancholy facade as she watched Ricky’s elation.

“Sounds like an excellent plan to me,” Gail shrugged. “But we’d better check and make sure that theirs no one else around still. This seems like a place that would attract the wrong type of people.”

It was getting harder and harder to determine who the bad people were now. Every time she saw a new body she became increasingly convinced that some of the students were the bad people, not the terrorists. It certainly seemed like some of the students were getting some sort of satisfaction out of this, given Danya’s tone on the announcements. She wondered if some of them were completely beyond forgiving, if they really deserved to live.

Gail shook the thoughts out of her head as she moved slowly to aid in whatever way she could. She couldn’t give up on everyone; she couldn’t start blaming them for all this. As she began to follow the others to work, she said the Lord’s Prayer under her breath, to strengthen her resolve.

“Our Father,
Which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done...”
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
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Alright..." Ricky muttered, still deep in thought.

Coming up with a plan of action wasn't easy. He had never been a leader. Always smart, yes, but never a leader. He narrowed his brows, focusing on a plan of action. Securing the area was a good idea, but securing the entire hotel was next to impossible. So long as the security room was clear, they'd be able to track any and every person that entered and exited the hotel. Searching all five floors of the building in every nook and cranny would be impossible.

Scratching the back of his head with his free hand, he let out a light sigh. Moving toward the main entrance of the hotel lobby, he let his gun-wielding arm fall lazily to his side as he looked out into the dense fog. His eyes went to Gail, then to Whitney, then to the counter. The security room was probably locked, and the key was probably inside that desk. Turning his attention back to the girls, he gave them a smile.

"Whit, the security room key is probably in one of the desk drawers over there. I'll stand guard here while you look for it. If you see anything, yell, and nobody venture out of my direct line of vision."

He couldn't help but smirk to himself. He sounded so... authoritative, if that was even a word. He actually sounded like he knew what he was doing. In reality, though, he didn't have a clue. He was just as nervous as the rest of them. For all he knew, someone could come around the corner at any moment wielding a shotgun. Still, at least he could protect the girls from any dangers outside coming in.

Whitney was more than happy to oblige him and immediately headed behind the hotel desk. The place hadn't been ransacked nearly as much as other places had. In retrospect, why would it have been? There wasn't much in a hotel drawer that could double as a weapon... a box of paperclips, a three-hole punch, a small stapler... just random odds and ends piled up on top of old papers and a log of the guests and room numbers they had taken before the evacuation. Finally, she found it... an odd shaped key with an orange tag on the end of it. It had to be that key.

"I found it, I think," she called back to Ricky, inciting a wide grin from the hispanic boy in the process.

"Awesome," he grinned.

"... Where's Kayla?" she inquired quietly, "I thought she was right behind us?"

Shit.

Ricky hadn't even noticed that their redheaded companion had gone missing. She hadn't said very much lately, nor even made herself noticeable, and through all the excitement, Ricky had all but forgotten that he hadn't seen her in a while. A frown formed on his features and he shrugged his shoulders. Should he go look for her? He was hesitant to do anything of the sort. After all, the last time he left his friends, he came back to find one murdered. All of a sudden, he was in a bit of a dilemma.

We should just go up to the security room... we'll see her on camera if she comes through the door... but what if she doesn't? What if someone, or something, got to her out there... what if she's hurt? Or dead? And... and I didn't do anything about it.

He sighed audibly, clearly frustrated at the new observation on Whitney's part. Whitney frowned slightly and returned from behind the reception desk.

"Should we... wait on her?" she inquired after a moment.
Misa Achtland

Ayako Okogamine

Kevin De la Torre

Melissa Angelicchio

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Croco
Meep! They're after me!
[ *  * ]
(Continued from A Brewing Storm)


Those that had gathered in the lobby were startled when the door opened to the front lobby...but it wasn't the dainty, petite figure of Kayla that stood in the doorframe. At least the figure had the same long hair that she did as it stepped forth and revealed itself...it was definitely not Kayla. The towering presence of Vesa Turunen had finally found its way to the hotel...but it was obvious that something was not right with him. He didn't acknowledge Ricky, Whitney or Gail when he saw them; more likely it was because he had his head down, the long golden locks shrouding his face as he went off down the hall and slipped undetected into a conference room.

Vesa hefted his sack off of his shoulders and opened it to look through it, the first thing on top being the flag that he had intended to fly proudly at his campsite. He set that aside and began pouring through the contents to see if he could find some dry clothes. A smile briefly formed on his face when he pulled out a pair of blue jeans, setting them aside while he continued to rummage. Not knowing or caring what he pulled out next, Vesa reached in and pulled out the first black article of clothing. He opened it up and another brief smile came across his face; it was his wolf-eyes T-shirt he bought the last time he saw Sonata Arctica in Helsinki.

The door was left open just enough for any curious gazer to get a revealing glimpse of the big Finn as he disrobed and put on the fresh set of clothes. And if one were to peek in at the right moment, they would see that Vesa was built way too well to be only sixteen; he didn't look like a Greek statue, but he was close enough to it to make people wonder what he was doing in his spare time. He slipped into the jeans rather quickly, despite keeping the boxer shorts he had been wearing on to avoid being overly revealing, then on came the shirt and he was ready to go.

"Great," he said to himself, "now that I'm somewhat fresh, I can get back to Ricky and Whitney and--"

It was at that moment that Vesa noticed something in his pack, taking to his knees to examine it. It was a picture of himself and his two brothers he had stowed away in his overnight bag for the Franklyn camping trip...one that he had intended to share in front of the campfire. Looking at it brought a tear to his eyes, especially the sight of then eleven-year-old Tuomas Turunen, the younger of the two...surely they were watching this play out, he thought as he began looking for more pictures. He knew he had more, specifically of that trip into the wilds of northern Finland, and started to rummage through whatever he could in his pack to see what he could find.

To his relief, Vesa was able to find the stash of pictures he had stashed away. Many of them were of camping trips passed with his own family as well as the trip he took with his adoptive family in upstate New York...but as he rummaged, he came across one that was out of place. It was a 5x7 of Vesa with his arm wrapped around a young man about his size as well. The only thing was that he was in a sport coat and slacks in comparison to the same wolf-eyes t-shirt and blue jeans he was wearing.

He knew the young man in the photo, and instantly his hands began to shake. He had heard the announcement...and as he slumped into a corner, the tears began to flow down his cheek. And it was painfully obvious as he saw the note attached at the bottom.

To Vesa -- Here's hoping to meet on the ice soon -- Alex The note was scrawled in Russian, a language he could read and speak well.

The young man in the photo was one Alex Ovechkin...and he was dead now.

Vesa didn't want anything more to do with the picture for the time as he buried his head into his open hands and began to cry. The door was still cracked open that little bit...enough to see and hear him as the crying turned to an agonized sob...enough to see that the towering beast of a boy still had feelings toward some of his fellow contestants. He slumped into what appeared to be a modified fetal position, not caring whether or not he was vulnerable...or who came in. All Vesa felt was pain...the pain of losing not only a friend, but someone he admired and wanted to be like as well.
THE HIT SQUAD
G16: Brittany Ashworth - CONDITION: Deceased
B44: Michael Neely - CONDITION: Deceased
B20: Peter Rosenthal - CONDITION: Deceased
B23: Vesa Turunen - CONDITION: Injured

FUTURE HITMEN
Corbin Barrett, Kazuhiko Takeda
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Nealosi
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Level 80
[ *  *  * ]
Gail looked up at Ricky as he issued orders around. Gail got to thinking, as Whitney scoured the desk for the security key. She had figured that this place was as good as any other initially, but once she'd seen the bodies in here, she wasn't sure if any place was truly safe.

“What if someone is waiting in here, Ricky?”

She paced about the lobby, searching for anything, peering in the dark corners and long looming hallways. Her worries weren’t unfounded, the corpses were everywhere, and she covered her face with a bit of her sleeve to cover up the smell. Her sweater didn’t smell much better, it was still stained with blood from when Jackie had died, and the stall smell of dried rain water complemented that.

She was puzzled as to where Kayla had got to, but her worry about Ricky, Whitney and herself outweighed her worry for Kayla. After all, the girl seemed like the type that could look after herself. She wasn’t even convinced that Kayla really wanted to stay with them in the first place. If she needed to find them, she knew where they were going.

“I’m sure she’ll be alright. She was around when we decided where we were going, so if she needs to find us, she’ll know where to go,” Gail nodded offhandedly towards Ricky and the others. “At least this way we’ll be able to protect her much better if she does arrive.”

Gail continued her scouting routine of the area until see came upon the huge form of Vesa Turunen, on his knees and weeping. She called out to Ricky and Whitney as she ran over to see what the matter was. She knelt down next to him and placed a frail white hand on his shoulder.

"Hey, it's ok," her voice was shaky but resolved; she stared done at the picture in his hands. "We'll get through this, you'll see. Ricky and the others, we can help. Come one."

Coaxing and keeping her voice low, she really did want to help the boy, but that didn't mean she still wasn't afraid of him. She stayed focused and despite her comforting hand, kept a reasonable distance from the boy. Not everyone had good intentions.
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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Croco
Meep! They're after me!
[ *  * ]
The horrible reality of the game had finally caught up to Vesa...

He never really knew the girl he dispatched in the forest, but he didn't really want to kill her either. It was a case of instinct kicking in to get out of a dire situation...but this was much different. He had just found out that he had lost a friend and who he had hoped would be a future rival on a different battlefield. To say that he took Alex's death hard would be bordering on stupidity; the way the massive hulk of a boy laid on the floor of the conference room suggested that it was he who had been dealt the fatal blow. At least for Vesa's sake his long hair served as a bit of a shroud to hide his face.

He was only vaguely aware of another person entering the room, not really hearing the door open as Gail entered and approached. Vesa could feel the hand on his shoulder, a gentle caress which told him that Gail was there to comfort him. It took him a while to do so, but he eventually rolled to a sitting position, though he immediately buried his head into his arms.

"Alex..." he sniffled, the boy's voice rising in pitch in his state of distress, "he...he was...friend...and..." Vesa shook his head and reverted to his native tongue, the shakiness in his voice quite clear. "...hän valmis ei ansaita jotta kuihtua. Minä pitäisi hankkia harus avulla hänelle...se on minun havaita virheelliseksi...että Alex on ehdottoman." (...he didn't deserve to die. I should've stayed with him...it's my fault that Alex is dead.) Of course, Vesa knew that Gail didn't understand a single word of Finnish, but it didn't matter to him...and if she was paying attention, she could pick up the added emphasis on certain words...the words that gave away the guilt he felt inside. That guilty feeling inside of him only fueled Vesa's piteous weeping, despite Gail's reassurance that everything would be okay in the end. He knew that deep down, things would not be okay...and perhaps he'd have to face rumors and accusations that he was the one that killed Alex out of jealousy of his success on the ice. Vesa knew that it wasn't true...but all he knew was that he had to figure out a way to escape this living hell before it claimed him as well.
THE HIT SQUAD
G16: Brittany Ashworth - CONDITION: Deceased
B44: Michael Neely - CONDITION: Deceased
B20: Peter Rosenthal - CONDITION: Deceased
B23: Vesa Turunen - CONDITION: Injured

FUTURE HITMEN
Corbin Barrett, Kazuhiko Takeda
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Megami
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Squishy
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The good news was that, at least for now, the hotel seemed to be proving a relatively safe place. It had obviously seen its share of the bloodbath, that much was apparent by the wretched stench coming from the building and the lobby full of corpses. Still, they hadn't run into anyon yet. It was a big place, granted, but no encounters are good encounters. It seemed like so much time had passed and Kayla still hadn't shown up. Although Ricky was starting to worry about the redheaded girl somewhat, he wasn't willing to go out and look for her.

What makes her life any less important? Maybe it's because you don't know her. At all. How much can you really get to know of a person in a few days anyway? It'd be suicide to go out there again and risk your life for some girl that you don't even know if you could call a friend.

It seemed like the whole place had gone topsy-turvy in such a short amount of time. Vesa had wandered down the hallway somewhere, apparently intent upon being alone for the moment. When his sobs were audible even in the front lobby, Gail had ventured down the hall to try to provide some sort of comfort to the large boy. Ricky, however, wasn't doing anything of the sort. The fact of the matter was that he didn't even know how to comfort someone like that, even if he'd wanted to. He wasn't good with things like that.

"Everything... everything sure is a mess, isn't it?" Whitney chimed in from nearby.

"Yeah," he sighed quietly, "I dunno what the hell I'm doing, you know? It seems like no matter what I do, it's wrong. I came here with the intention of keeping everybody safe, and now Kayla's gone."

"If it helps, I don't really think you can do anything right in this place. I don't think there's a right answer. The only thing you can do is keep on living. Everything's just so distorted... stuff that was black and white, right and wrong, it's all sort of gray here, you know?"

Killing is wrong. Thou shalt not kill. It's one of the Ten Commandments. It should be a fairly easy concept to understand. Still, what do you do when if you don't kill someone else, they'll kill you? Do you kill to win, kill to survive? It seemed like everybody else was doing it. Whitney's eyes traced over the corpses littering the lobby. People had killed them to survive. What had they done to those people? Had they played the game? Had they simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Ricky closed his eyes tightly for a moment, "I think we should head on up to the security room. We need to stay close together... shouldn't get separated again. This place is too big, you never know who else is in here."

"What do we do after that?" Whitney inquired softly, "Just hide up there until we're forced out? What if we stay hidden and it winds up being the four of us left alive? Twenty-four hours without a kill and we'll all die. If it worked out that way, what would we do then?"

"It's not going to work out that way," he replied stubbornly.

"How do you know?"

"I just do. I just... I have faith, I guess. It's not going to work out that way because I'm not gonna let it. If we can't figure out a way to get the collars off... if it does wind up being just the four of us... I won't go home. I wouldn't let you three die on my account. But that's neither here or there, because it's not gonna work out that way. I just need some rest right now... that's my first priority. We're all exhausted. After that, we can decide what needs to be done."

"I guess..."

Whitney ventured off down the hallway to the room she had watched the large Finnish boy and Gail disappear into. Ricky followed behind her, reflexively looking behind himself every few steps. Maybe it was the size of the structure they were in, but all the open space was really starting to get to him.

"Hey guys," Whitney called out to the two figures in the room, "We need to go ahead and head up to the security room if that's what we're gonna do."
Misa Achtland

Ayako Okogamine

Kevin De la Torre

Melissa Angelicchio

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Nealosi
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Level 80
[ *  *  * ]
Gail listened as the large boy mourned the loss of his friend. She didn't need to understand the language to know what he was saying. She patted his shoulder and took pity on the large boy. Someone this powerful and he was reduced to a weeping boy. Lost, weak and powerless in the face of a great evil. It was a description that could be accurately placed on any of the kids.

She stayed to comfort the boy. She could empathize with him, and there was a sense of pity there as well. Regardless, her trust was not easily won, and the young lady kept her distance from the hulking lad. She brushed a messy strand of platinum blonde hair for away from her face, she was becoming increasingly unkempt as the game had gone by, but she seemed to notice less and less.

Whitney made her way into the room as Gail gently rubbed his shoulder, trying to get him to his feet so that they could all get some things sorted out in safety, but would they really be safe in the security room? Would that really solve anything in the end? At the moment Gail’s fear outweighed her hunger and depravation, but what would it be like in a few more days? What would happen if nobody came at all.

A visible shiver overcame Gail as she listened to Whitney.

“Yeah, we’d better get going...”
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
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ricky offered a warm smile to Gail as she agreed that they should head up to the security room... at least, as warm a smile as he could muster, given the circumstances. His eyes traced across the room in front of him, to Gail, to Vesa, then to Whitney, who stood nearby.

What happens if it's only us in the end?

He'd answered quickly, but the words weighed heavily on his conscience. He was doing all of this, and for what? Even given the unlikely possibility that they did manage to get the collars off, what would he do then? Could he even go home? Did he have a home to go back to? He'd killed someone. Not just someone, he'd killed his best friend... the first real friend he'd had since he moved to New Jersey. Could other people forgive him for that? That didn't even matter. The fact was, Ricky could never forgive himself for what he'd done. He didn't expect forgiveness from others.

"Vesa..." he uttered quietly, his eyes slowly scrolling back to the large Finnish boy that sat curled up in a ball in front of them, "I know you need your privacy man, but don't be too long. The last thing I want is to come looking for you and find you dead. Don't get me wrong, I know you can defend yourself, but... it's just too dangerous to stay here for too long. You should head up too."

He gave a curt nod to Gail and turned back down the hallway. Whitney was quick to follow en suite, the prospect of being left aloen downstairs not being the most ideal of circumstances in her eyes. She could only assume that both Gail and Vesa would be trailing behind shortly. A light smile crossed her lips as she followed behind the hispanic boy. It was silly to smile given the circumstances, but she just couldn't help it.

"You know," she stated lowly, "You're nothing like I expected you to be."

Ricky's eyebrows raised slightly at the comment. He turned to look back at her but kept heading toward the stairwell.

"Yeah?" he inquired, "Why's that?"

"I don't know," she responded, "I just... never would've imagined you doing what you're doing in a situation like this. You just... don't take it the wrong way, but you never seemed like the whole... leadership type."

He laughed audibly at the comment and shook his head for a moment.

"I should be offended," he retorted, "but actually... I'm gonna have to agree with you on that one. I really don't know what in the hell I'm doing. What's the number on the key?"

She was lost in a reverie for just a moment. His completely off-topic comment sent her for a tailspin, and she stopped and looked at him dumbfoundedly for just a moment before finally processing the question he'd just asked her.

"Oh... I, uh... B14."

"B14?" he reiterated, "Means it's in the basement, I guess. Makes sense."

He approached the white door up against the wall marked "EMPLOYEES ONLY". It looked like it led down into the basement, but he couldn't really tell with the light still turned off. The door made a creaking noise as he opened it, causing him to tense up in suspense as he peered through the darkness into the corridor on the other side of the door. It took him a minute of fumbling around before he located the lightswitch on the wall and illuminated the corridor. Even the bright florescent lighting overhead didn't detract from the general creepiness of the corridor. He once again steadied his gun out in front of him and began to venture down the stairwell. Step number one was finding the security room.
Misa Achtland

Ayako Okogamine

Kevin De la Torre

Melissa Angelicchio

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Megami
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Squishy
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Sorry guys, but this topic is moving way too slowly and I'm getting frustrated.))

"Creepy," Whitney uttered aloud.

Ricky couldn't help but agree with her. Maybe he was letting paranoia get the best of him, but it seemed like every time his foot came into contact with the tiled floor below, the sound reverberated throughout the entire corridor. He was sure no one was in the security room. They would've had to get the key to enter. Still, it didn't mean that there wasn't someone lurking down here in the shadows ready to spring out and slit their throats at any given moment. He tensed up visibly at the thought of it and slowed his pace just a little where he was closer to Whitney. She didn't seem to notice and instead kept walking, her eyes scanning the area in front of them in search of the security room door.

"There," she pointed.

It wasn't anything particularly snazzy in appearance. It was just a white door, just like the other five hundred plus doors in the building. In gold lettering, it read "B14" near the top of the door, underneath which was a black and gold plate with the word "Security" printed on it. At least they knew they were in the right place. Ricky reached out his open hand, indicating to Whitney that he wanted the key to the room. She complied wordlessly, handing it to him without hesitation. Ricky approached the door quietly and scanned their surroundings once again before sliding the key into the lock and slowly turning the doorknob. It opened with a slight creak, and Ricky ushered the blonde-headed girl inside.

It was just what he'd hoped for. The walls were lined with security cameras, still operable. He could see all the hotel entrances and exits. He could see Vesa and Gail in the room they'd left them in upstairs. Unfortunately, he had just missed the massive bloodbath that had left four dead somewhere in the vicinity. If he'd seen it, he might've had second thoughts about remaining in the hotel. Unfortunately, he remained blissfully unaware of what was going on. He locked the door behind them, assuming that if and when Gail and Vesa headed down to the area that they'd knock to indicate that they were there.

A line of chairs sat in front of the security panel and Ricky lazily flopped down in the nearest one. It felt good just to sit down, even if it was just for a moment. He'd been on his feet nearly all the time since the game began, but here, behind a locked door with only one key, he felt relatively safe. Maybe they could just stay here. Nobody could get in, they could see everything that went on in the hotel... this would be perfe-- Whitney's voice interrupted his train of thought.

"Hey... that's--"

~~~

((Continued from Trying Hard to Breathe))

Matthias was an athlete. Still, the trek across the island had taken its toll on him, and by the time he forced his way into one of the side doors of the hotel, his face was red and covered in sweat and he was visibly winded. Still, he wouldn't let it deter him. Something told him that she was here. He didn't know what, or why, because nothing made sense anymore, but some primal instinct was screaming at him that there was something here that he needed to find. He could only assume it was Jodeen.

Matthias usually kept a cool head under pressure, but his time on the island was slowly starting to wear on that calm, collected aura of his. He had no weapon to speak of. In fact, all he really had to defend himself with were his martial arts skills... and let's face it, what good are martial arts skills when someone is pointing a gun at you? Still, it was like something in the back of his mind was screaming. Wordlessly, he placed his foot up against the first door in his path and kicked, causing the door to fly open. Nobody was inside.

"Dammit."

He'd search every room in this building if he had to. He wasn't looking forward to it, but it seemed like a necessity. He had to find his sister before somebody else did. He'd wasted a few hours of daylight crossing the entire island, and with things getting down to the wire, he couldn't imagine Jodeen surviving too much longer in a situation like this. Part of him was amazed that she'd made it this long. She was a smart girl, he kept reminding himself of that fact, but she was just a child. She was overemotional, she spoke before she thought about what she was saying at times, overall, she was just in a lot of danger, and the more Matthias thought about it, the more worried he became.

He moved to the next door, kicking it open before peering inside into the empty room within. Perhaps he should've been just a bit more quiet. Perhaps he should've used another method to search the rooms. Matthias wasn't thinking about the emminent danger he was putting himself in in his desperate search for his sister. He only had one thought on his mind, and that was finding Jodeen.
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
From: Poor Unfortunate Souls


She didn’t want to think anymore. She couldn’t. It felt as if she was being kept away from everything. As if nothing would let her breathe anymore. As if she was caught in a whirlpool of emotions, that didn’t want to let her escape. She had three targets left now, unless Ali was indeed dead. She somehow, even in her newly deranged mind, doubted it.

Mariavel Varella continued to stalk her way through the Hotel. She had nowhere to go at the moment, and it seemed like a valid idea to continue her stay. Carmen’s death took quite a big weight off her shoulders. As did Jenna’s. But, then again, just the idea of killing them over and over again. It thrilled her. And it also scared her in a long lost portion of her mind.

She suddenly was pulled from her thoughts by a loud slamming sound. She found herself drawn to it. Almost like a moth to a flame. She saw a boy, he had kicked one of the room doors open. He looked… familiar to her… almost… like…

“So you show yourself on the island as well…. Father!” She’d kill him… for everything. Even if this boy wasn’t him, she’d kill him. If only to relive the pain that man caused her.

“You bastard!” She pointed the pistol and shot.
The Dan: she won me over with card games, brownies, sex and handcuffs

Edited as of 12/1/11

Alive: Norelia Concepcion, Elliot Stone, Allegra Hoffman

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Croco
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[ *  * ]
((OOC: Everything in the italicized flashback is spoken in Finnish, unless noted. That is all. Oh, and sorry about holding off for so long...wanted some specifics from a V1 scene but I couldn't find what I was looking for. Oh well, I suppose.))


Though he knew that being alone for the time being would be the best thing for him, Vesa knew that he couldn't mourn the loss of his good friend forever. He started to slowly gather the things he had taken out back into his pack as he looked up at Ricky, nodding once in acknowledgment while wiping a tear from his eye.

"Yeah, you're right," he uttered weakly, "though with the state I'm in, you shouldn't be surprised to see me standing at the foot of a mountain of bodies." A smile forced its way onto his face, though he knew that it was probably not a good idea to be joking around like that. "C'mon...I'm ready." The strapping Scandinavian hefted the pack onto his shoulders with ease and followed the others down the hall.

But as the gang made their way down the hall and into the basement of the hotel, Vesa could hear a voice...and he cringed at what it said.

"Hah...you're pathetic. You'd stand up to someone three inches taller and easily weighing two-fifty on the ice...or that Barrett kid back in Denton that looked like he could bench press a Bentley...but all it took was the death of your hero to bring you to your knees and leave you crying like a baby."

He tried to ignore it, but the demon continued to taunt Vesa. His head began quivering lightly, forcing him to stop for a moment while it continued to lay into him.

"What about the time you sat down with Hannu, Saku and Moogle to watch the show? Don't you remember that..or more specifically, don't you remember your reaction when that Lucinda chick damn near cut off that druggie's head...oh, what was his name...ohh...ahh! Sven...yeah, that's it! Sven Kekule..."

"Suksi vittuun..." (Fuck off...) he said in an annoyed tone, but it was starting to come back to him...


***************

The original Survival of the Fittest competition had quickly become a worldwide phenomenon...and it was no different in Vantaa, Finland, a city in the network of cities surrounding the capital of Helsinki. And in a house on the northern outskirts of town, four boys were just settling in to watch what became known as "Lopullinen Eloonjääminen," or "Ultimate Survival." The show was about to start as Saku Karpela, Hannu Setanen and Vesa Turunen settled in at the home of a personal friend to Saku to take in the carnage.

Just as Danya's announcement began, there was a knock on the door, and the occupant of the home, a young man in his early-20's by the name of Arvi Lehtinen, went to answer it. He was surprised to see another member of the team, a lanky 17-year-old named Aarne Kuparinen who played left wing on the HIFK junior team in Helsinki. The others turned to see who it was, and immediately, their faces lit up.

"Hey! It's the Moogle...glad you could make it, Kupo!" exclaimed Hannu, adding extra emphasis on the 'Kupo' at the end. Aarne shot him a look as if to say, "Do it again and I'll kick your ass..." as the show started to pick up. And then, the thoughts started to come; naturally, just about every young male between the ages of 14 to 21 had the thought on their mind.

Just WHAT exactly would they do if their were on the island...

And then, someone asked.

"You guys are pretty tough," said Arvi, "so you think you could make it off without getting killed?"

"I dunno," Hannu replied, "I mean, they're literally killing each other."

"C'mon, Hannu..." chided Vesa, "I swear you'd never hurt a fly unless you shot a puck at it."

"Hypää vittuun Vesa!" (Go jump into a cunt, Vesa! - basically, he's telling him to fuck off.) Vesa only snickered as Hannu glared at him while Aarne spoke up.

"You guys would be the first to go," he said, "You'd be busy arguing among yourselves while someone else moved in for the kill. And I'd laugh...you think I'd forgive you for what you guys did at Euros last year?" Hannu and Saku grinned when he mentioned that...they took a pair of pipe cleaners and stuck one end through a fuzzy red ball, then wove the pipe cleaners together and stuck it in the hole in the top of his helmet. The pipes were fastened inside and they waited for Aarne to come and put it on, positioned so that he couldn't see the ball. When he did, Hannu, Saku and a couple other teammates started laughing while the two perpetrators high-fived each other.

"Oh, c'mon. We still love ya, man," said Vesa with a smile.

"I know...I'm just fuckin' with you, Katti."

"Shut up, guys!" barked Arvi, "I think something's happening..." There was an exchanging of words before they saw Sven try to throttle Lucinda. At once, the five young men started hollering at the television set as sides were being taken. The majority wanted to see Lucinda fight out of it and finish him off, with Saku remaining impartial to it all. The cheering grew louder as Lucinda began to turn the tide and raise her axe to his throat.

"You can DO it!" Vesa shouted in English, quoting a particular English-language movie he enjoyed before reverting back to Finnish to complete the line, "Cut his fucking head off!"

When she did...or nearly did, all fell silent. The raucous cheering had stopped as five looks of complete shock and disbelief stared back. About a minute passed before Aarne broke the silence.

"Unbelieveable..." he muttered.

"Yeah, unbelieveable," Vesa added, "unbelieveable that she'd walk away and leave the job unfinished. If that were me, I'd completely remove his head and use it for a football."

"Dude, you're a savage," replied Hannu, "Save it for Euros next month." Vesa turned away and sighed before excusing himself to look for something to drink...knowing that the European Junior Championships would be held at the end of July in Tampere, Pori and Rauma...and that they had their homeland to defend on the ice...


***************


Eventually, Vesa caught up to the others as he entered the security room, mesmerized by all the monitors for a brief moment.

"Sorry guys for dragging behind," he said sheepishly, "I...had a bit of a moment back there." He watched the monitors when he heard Whitney speak up, his eyes shooting toward the same one that she followed as...hey, does he know that boy walking into the hotel? It took him a while to realize it, but he definitely knew that face and its owner from a mile away.

"Hey, that's Matti!" Excited, Vesa repeatedly tapped Whitney's shoulder. "I'll be damned...I thought he was long dead!" But then something else came up as well...or rather someone. Vesa's excitement immediately turned to concern, then to all-out paranoia as he set his pack down and opened it. It took him a little while to find it, but he eventually fished out the Beretta pistol he took off Sylvea in the forest and unloaded the clip to check it. "Good," he thought, "just the one shot she fired on me is gone...something's telling me that that girl is bad news..."

If he knew that it was Mariavel Varella...the girl that had killed Alex...she would be in for quite a greeting as she set her sights on Matthias...

"Matti..." he whispered to himself, "Matti...EI!" (No!) He then made his way toward the door, cocking the pistol as he waited...and dared anyone to try and stop him.
THE HIT SQUAD
G16: Brittany Ashworth - CONDITION: Deceased
B44: Michael Neely - CONDITION: Deceased
B20: Peter Rosenthal - CONDITION: Deceased
B23: Vesa Turunen - CONDITION: Injured

FUTURE HITMEN
Corbin Barrett, Kazuhiko Takeda
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[ *  *  * ]
Everything seemed to pass by in an instant as Gail's attention waned into a twisted combination of deja vu, light-headedness and day time nightmare. Gail could hear Vesa’s worlds as if very far away, the girl charged into the room with a gun after another boy. It was Jackie Kovacs all over again. But this time it was happening too fast.

She darted to the side, she couldn’t decipher what she was doing before she had done it, but she grabbed Vesa’s arm and she was running for the security room. She didn’t know what was happening to the others. She just bolted for safety. She wanted to turn back, wanted to help them. Tears streamed down her face as she charged down the hallway.

It seemed so self-centered and so cowardly to run away for it all. She was leaving people behind, but she didn’t know what she could do. Maybe this is why she had survived so long, maybe all this time she was merely thinking for herself.

She found herself pounding on the security room door moments later. She wanted to be out of this place, she wanted to feel safe again.
I eat alone in a desert with skulls for my pets,
I rate the days 1 to 10 with lead cigarettes.


v4

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SOTF whore, courtesy of Slacker :).
[ *  * ]
((Continued from Elsewhere))

Debrah slowly pulled herself along until the large and looming building came into view. She couldn't discern much as she pulled herself along, her large axe dragging behind her. She had left the bridge, hoping to find refuge with someone. She barely realized she had passed through the door of the hotel. The only thing that tipped her off was the scraping sound had ended as the axe switched to a much more softer ground and began cutting through the carpet.

She tippd her head up and looked at what had must have once been a grand and luxurious hotel. Some of her own mind's haze lifted as she became aware of faint sounds within the building itself.

"Shit...What's going on..." She mumbled as she began to break out of her own stupor. She reached into her bag and removed the hand, becoming disgusted with herself. She gripped the bracelet and threw the hand away.

"What have I done..." She said to herself, slipping the bracelet onto her opposite wrist. She didn't think she could forgive herself, until she remember something.

I forgive you, I wanted to die.

And that was all she needed, anger flooded her body for the Program. She wouldn't have wanted to die if it wasn't for this. She would've been an Aunt. She was always so hung up on herself and couldn't be happy for her own sister's success and happiness until she was gone.

"Oh, I'm fucking angry." She growled as a gunshot went off somewhere in the hotel. Sounds like someone needed help. Debrah lifted the axe and ran off down one of te nearest hallways.
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Croco
Meep! They're after me!
[ *  * ]
Vesa stepped out the door and was ready to put a bullet into anything that looked remotely human. He hadn't gotten far when he heard the gunshot, hitting the deck as it could have came from anywhere. When he realized that he was safe, his mind turned to one thing and one thing only.

"MATTI!"

Gun pointed forward, Vesa ran toward the door leading to the lobby, where he ran unexpectedly into Gail. Only he didn't know it was her until it was almost too late as she ran right into the barrel of his Beretta.

"Eat lead, motherfu--...oh, shit!" He quickly lowered the weapon as his arm was grabbed, face flushed with embarrassment as he was escorted back to where he had came from. "I'm sorry, Gail!" Vesa pleaded, "I could've killed you..." His concern quickly turned from fear for Matthias' safety to that of escorting Gail back to the safety of the control room, which was an uneventful trek of about one hundred feet.

But when she started beating on the door, Vesa put the gun aside at his hip while reaching for the doorknob. The door opened instantly, which surprised him. "Whew...I thought they would've locked it by now," he thought to himself as he let Gail enter first at her own pace.

"I found Gail," he announced to Ricky and Whitney, then realized he left his pack and cursed himself in Finnish. Taking a moment to fish for his diver's knife, Vesa looked over the three to make sure that everything will be okay. "Are you guys gonna be all right? I'll be back with Matti and we'll go from there." He grabbed his pack and gave a reassuring smile to the three before heading off back toward the lobby, unaware of another new arrival...and frankly, not caring if there was another body in the way of him and his friend. All he knew is he needed to get back upstairs, and quickly.
THE HIT SQUAD
G16: Brittany Ashworth - CONDITION: Deceased
B44: Michael Neely - CONDITION: Deceased
B20: Peter Rosenthal - CONDITION: Deceased
B23: Vesa Turunen - CONDITION: Injured

FUTURE HITMEN
Corbin Barrett, Kazuhiko Takeda
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