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Wild International
Topic Started: Feb 2 2009, 09:48 PM (4,736 Views)
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do you want to go to war, balakay?
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Continued from the Showers))

Fatigue was beginning to set in for Ryan Atwell, and the more than he ran along the path, the more he wondered where he was even going. He'd barely slept within the last week, and his muscles were screaming something about shutting down and sleeping for a month. That would be downright ridiculous, though, and Ryan knew that his only option was to continue pushing himself forward.

What is it that they say? That I'll sleep when I'm dead?

He wasn't dead, though. In fact, he felt very, VERY alive. His lungs were on fire, his pulse was racing, and he planned to keep on living that way. He'd been running since he left the showers, ever since Danya's announcement had come on, signifying yet another day gone, and yet another mass of kids that were dead. It was all running together, now. Ryan knew that there couldn't be very many people left alive. He'd managed to go ahead and lose Shameeca and Emma, but who knew if they would be alive for very much longer themselves? If he ran into them again...that was great, but he couldn't count on it.

"You're on your own, Ryan. Better make the best of it."

All things considered, he knew that he was incredibly lucky. Aside from the fact that he was still breathing, Ryan was uninjured, sans a few minor scrapes and bruises, and had lucked out in the weapon department something fierce. When it came to lasting in this 'game', Ryan knew that his weapon gave him a distinct advantage over the others, but he had only fired it twice, and was pretty sure that he hadn't hit anything.

Danya had said something that had resonated with him, too. Something about there being barely fifteen percent of the students still left alive. Assuming that there were approximately two hundred people on the trip, that meant that there had to be...under thirty people left alive. As he made his calculations, Ryan found himself slowing down. Not only were his legs burning, but he saw a small structure had come into view a ways down the path. It seemed to look like a house, or a cottage, or something...any place that he could rest would be great.

Shit, thirty people? I've really managed to survive down to thirty people?

The thought resonated within his mind. Ryan had been talking to people about luck and about fate since he'd woken up and found himself in this horrible situation, of which there seemed to be virtually no escape from. Truth was? He'd been projecting onto everyone else. He'd been trying so hard to make other people see the bright side of the situation, that he was having a difficult time seeing it himself. He was alive, and he knew that he had to be grateful, but...

Thirty people?

As he came up to the front of the house, Ryan peered around, looking and listening for movement of any kind. Everything seemed dead, and judging by the smell, there was probably a significant amount of 'dead' around the area as it stood. At this point, it didn't bother him anymore. He was far too busy with staying alive. Stepping forward, Ryan pushed open the door a crack with the butt of his rifle. Nothing inside moved, and he pushed open the door all the way. It was dark inside, but he couldn't hear anything that seemed alive. Something seemed to pull at his mind, causing Ryan to hesitate as he was about to step inside.

"Jesus-titty-fuckin'-Christ."

The explitive slipped from his mouth as a shiver ran down his spine, and Ryan readied his weapon in front of himself, looking towards the door, debating whether or not to go inside. An answer didn't seem to be forthcoming, so he erred on the side of caution, and stepped away from the door, leaning back against the outside wall of the cottage. As he leaned against the wall, his back groaned in relief with some support for the aches that plagued him. Sighing a bit, Ryan glanced into the trees. The wind blew so that the trees were rustling about, but other than that, it was overcast, the sun refusing to show through the clouds. At this point, there was nothing to do, except wait. For what? He wasn't sure, but he'd have to figure out what to do sooner, rather than later.

Now what?
---
The Future

The Past

Meanwhile...
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it was a graveyard smash
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((Lulu Altaire continued from What you are, I was.))

Lulu had been walking for quite awhile. Her walk seemed to last forever, each step becoming more painful than the last. She glanced down at the rip in her capris to check the shallow wound. It had stopped bleeding, but it still hurt. She made a mental note to wrap the wound later.

She wanted to whine and complain. She wanted to give up and lie in the grass, staring up at the sun. Then it dawned on her that the sun wasn't even out. It was hidden behind clouds, unable to be seen. This fact put Lulu in a worse mood.

She hated weather like this. Almost as bad as the rain. It reminded her of those days that she would stay inside, reading or drawing. She wished that she were still at home, doing trivial things like that.

But that was then and this was now.

It was weird traveling alone. She had gotten so used to being with someone. But she didn't exactly feel afraid. Maybe she was still in shock from the array of deaths she had witnessed, but she felt slightly more brave. Maybe because she now had a gun instead of just her scythe. Sure, it was buried in her pack somewhere, but if the situation called for it, she could use it. Probably.

After some more walking, she realized that she was coming upon a building. She checked her map, then smacked her forehead. The cottage. Again. Wasn't she just here? What did she come here for? Was it because of...Anna?

The further she walked, the more of the cottage she could see. And if she strained her eyes, she could see Anna's corpse lying around in the front.

Part of her wanted to just go over to Anna's corpse and grieve some more. And the other part of her wanted to run, since Lenny used to be here. Was he still here? It was possible. Lulu was about to turn around and run off, when she saw a figure standing outside of the cottage.

At first she thought it may have been Lenny, but after closer examination, she realized it wasn't. But that didn't make things any more or less safe. This guy still had a gun. A powerful looking gun. He could shoot her in a heart beat and she hated to admit it, she didn't exactly trust most guys.

But how could she manage to last in this game being alone? The only reason she had made it this far was because of her friends. If she just went around not trusting anyone, she didn't think she'd make it too far.

As naive of a decision it was, Lulu walked towards the boy with his back to the cottage wall. He didn't seem like the violent, crazy type. But who knows? As she got to a reasonable distance, she waved very slightly at him. "H..hey there.." She looked down at her scythe and lowered it a little, so he wouldn't feel threatened. She didn't want this boy to get the idea that she was a killer or anything.
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♥Soon to come: Francis Scodelaris♥
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((Steve continued from The One Where Gabe Dies))

His ribs were hurting, his shoulder was sore, his head was spinning and on top of it he had to take a piss. Steve emerged from the jungle looking like the world's most defeated man. Gabe was right. They had lost all their close friends. Steve looked up to see the small cottage. The scene that led to Gabe killing Elizabeth Priestly. Steve had the Garand strapped over his shoulder and the revolver in his hand. He'd be ready in case someone was still there. Still, every ounce of him hoped that if there were people here they were of the friendly variety. He just needed somewhere to rest.

Slowly he made his way closer, revealing two figures standing outside. Steve kept his revolver lowered as a sign of peace.

"Hey." He said quietly, noticing that the people were Lulu Altaire and Ryan Atwell.

Steve had seen both on the island in the previous week, in passing moments, but he never had a problem with either. He stopped short of them just in case.
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do you want to go to war, balakay?
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A little surprised when two people came wandering out of the foliage mere moments after the other, Ryan kept himself on guard. He tried not to visibly tense up, but neither party seemed intent upon shooting him or maiming him, and both greeted him with the hesitancy that came with traipsing through hell and maintaining any small sliver of sanity. Ryan recgonized both people immediately, though he was not necessarily familiar with either of them.

Lulu Altaire was the one who Ryan knew better out of the two. She'd been in the same after-school art club as him, and while the two had exchanged a couple passing words and contributed to the same discussions, he didn't know a whole bunch about her. The weapon she carried looked somewhat like a grim reaper's scythe, and if that wasn't brutal irony for their situation, he didn't know what was. He had heard her name over the announcements as having killed someone, but with the way that she approached, she didn't seem the type that would go on a murderous rampage. His instincts told him to stay on his toes, however, and so he did. As she waved to him, he nodded back and smiled weakly at her.

"Hi there."

Before he could say any more, the two were then interrupted by the second of the new arrivals, and while Ryan didn't know him personally, he knew OF him quite well. Steve Digaetano was the star quarterback of the school's football team, and most people knew exactly who he was. Him and his clique of friends were commonly known as the 'popular' crowd, and along with Keith, Guy, Serenity, Gabe, Kallie, Kara, Darnell, John, and a few others, they were generally the ones that dominated the school's social scene, held the parties, and whatnot. As part of the student council, Ryan knew most of them by name, and had attended many social gatherings with them, but had mainly chummed around with Ianto, Andrea, and some of the others.

Nonetheless, Ryan couldn't help but think - out of that whole 'popular' crowd, only Steve and Gabe remained. To the best of his knowledge, all of the rest were dead. The whole football team, the whole student council. None remained...except the three of them. Like Lulu, Steve seemed to be someone who wasn't looking for a fight, and seemed to come into the area with his weapon not pointed at Ryan's face.

Which I think I can take as a good sign...I hope.

Like Lulu, Steve had also been said to have killed someone, so Ryan knew that he couldn't relax completely around either of them. Nonetheless, nobody had done anything potentially violent, so it was worth a try, especially this far in the game.

"Hey Steve."

As the two stood in front of him, nobody really saying much, Ryan scratched the back of his neck, and broke the silence. He'd been lucky, hadn't seen much in the way of battle, but these two both seemed to be a lot more broken down than he was.

"Are you guys okay? You both look like hell. It's nice to see a couple of friendly faces, but...I can say I've seen the both of you in a lot better shape."

Pausing, Ryan narrowed his eyes momentarily.

"You...ARE...friendly faces, right?"
---
The Future

The Past

Meanwhile...
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"Yeah." Steve muttered still looking down. He turned his head up to see the obvious skepticism on Ryan's face knowing full well that Ryan remember Steve's name being announced.

"I didn't kill either of those people cause I wanted to. I had to. Serenity was dying and asked me to, and Shawn attacked myself and a couple others, so it was defending them." Steve said completely monotone. It wasn't that he was sick of explaining the situation that gave the explanation a monotone, it was that Steve was busy thinking about all of the things Gabe had said to him before walking to the Chapel.

"Look, I'll answer whatever questions you have in a minute, but I have to piss. Anyone comes that you don't trust, yell for me." Steve said indicating the rifle he had strapped to his shoulder.

Steve went inside the cottage. He could hardly see as the sunlight of the morning had not fully lit the building yet. Finding a small toilet Steve relieved himself and made his way back to the door. However, before he reached the door, a ray of light came through the window illuminating the corpse of a girl.

Elizabeth Priestly...

Here indeed was the body of the girl that pushed Gabe over the limit. Steve could see the bullet wounds caused by the revolver. It was strangely frightening for Steve to stand there staring at the expressionless corpse of the girl that his best friend had killed. Part of him wanted to unload another bunch of bullets into the corpse out of the anger of losing Gabe, but the better part of Steve prevailed.

It's not worth it...she wasn't the one that killed Viki in the first place.

Staring at her though and noticing just truly how much Elizabeth looked like Lenny, part of Steve's inner anger was able to subside.

Maybe...maybe Gabe thought it was Lenny when he looked inside. That had to be it. He wouldn't have just flipped on Elizabeth if he knew it was her.

Steve turned back to the door and walked back out to join Ryan and Lulu again.
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Lulu turned around, realizing that someone else had approached. Another armed guy. She started to wonder if she was in over her head here, but tried to keep calm. They both seemed like they weren't playing, so she convinced herself that she was probably okay.

"Hi," Lulu greeted the boy who had just approached. She knew he was named Steve and he generally seemed like a nice guy. They had a few classes together, but they mostly led two very different lives in high school, with Lulu being the quiet, studious kid and all.

When Ryan asked if they were both okay, Lulu nodded. Her glasses slipped down her face a little and she quickly slid them up the bridge of her nose. It was a miracle her glasses weren't broken yet. "Yes, I'm fine. Thank you for asking."

Lulu knew better than to complain about her aches and pains. She could be in a lot worse of shape. She could be dead. The question Ryan asked about the two of them being friendly faces went right over Lulu's head. "Hm..well, yeah. I think I'm a pretty friendly person."

It wasn't until Steve began explaining his two kills when Lulu realized what Ryan really meant. He wanted to know if they were playing or not. She awkwardly stood there, wondering if she should explain her kills or not. The thought of them made her want to cry, and that would be completely embarrassing.

"Don't worry, I'm not a threat to either of you," Lulu finally replied, as if it were obvious. They were both bigger than her and well armed. If she tried anything funny, which she wouldn't, she'd be gone in a heart beat.

As Steve left to relieve himself, Lulu was thinking of some way to carry on the conversation. 'Did you a nice day, Ryan?' or 'Hmm, the weather's not so good today,' both seemed like inappropriate conversation pieces. Instead, she found herself staring over at Anna's corpse, while digging the tip of her shoe into the dirt.
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(Eris Marquis continued from I Love the Dark... But I Hate Nature)

Eris Marquis was trying to keep a clear head as she stumbled forward, which was admittedly difficult. In fact, she was starting to feel a little light-headed, almost the same feeling as when she still had the vodka. She could hear soft classical music in her mind as she walked, Brahms' German Requiem. Perhaps it was the melody that kept her moving, although she'd noticed a disturbing and expontential increase in the amount of Requiems she'd been mentally reminiscing about lately.

In the couple of hours since leaving the airfield and hearing the announcements she'd been waging a war within herself. One one side, she'd maintained her composure, her pristine, intelligent and logical side, telling her that she'd managed to escape with her life, that this was still her game to win, that none could come close to her. But something else was speaking deep within, trying to bring her down, telling her that she'd been badly injured, that she was going about this wrong. She shunted it aside, although it most certainly had not been lying about her wounds.

The cut on her forehead had been extremely stubborn, and despite pouring alcohol over it and wrapping her forehead, it had continued to slowly bleed, so that no matter how many times she'd tried to clean the blood off her face, it was still probably caked with crimson. It had finally started to stop as she reached the area she was looking for. What was even worse were the two gouges on her back and side. It seemed that they'd clotted gingerly, but barely being able to see or reach them, she'd been unable to do anything but wrap the area and leave it at that. At least she'd had plenty of supplies, having grabbed an extra kit back at the airfield.

The announcements hadn't done much to bolster her bravado. She'd silently raged for nearly an hour after hearing that Rick Holeman was still alive, her logical side trying to assure her that it was OK, it was all for the better that her name was still clear of being labeled a killer. But there were still others out there who were gaining more and more weaponry as they killed, and were becoming more and more dangerous.

Morgan's name had been there. Was he out in the forest right now, bleeding to death? Possibly. Possibly not. It didn't matter one bit. Whether she killed him or someone else finished him off, he was not going to win this game.

The rest of the annoucement had revealed a few familiar names, and a few surprises. Bobby Jacks was thankfully dead and gone, Lex Machina was still killing people, and apparently Lenny Priestly was right bonkers. Oh, and it looked like Rizzolo had knocked off Velvet Retsiloh. Should she get partial credit for that kill considering that she'd sent her off to die? Eh, didn't make a difference. Of course, most of the rest she couldn't give much credence to. Adam Reeves? That guy may have won a shiny new weapon, but he barely had opposable thumbs, let alone the intellect to contend with her. Jordan Redfield? Lulu Altaire? Were those names supposed to be some sort of a joke?

But never mind, she had things to do. There had been the good news that they were down below 15% of their original class, meaning her prior estimates had been right on the money. She was consciously aware that they seemed to be herding everyone towards some of the more settled areas of the island, and had headed for the cottage as it seemed to be at least somewhat set off from elsewhere. If she could find a mirror at least, she could help clean out the wounds.

Unfortunately, it seemed that others had arrived there first. Two armed figures stood outside the doorway, and one of them was Oh you've GOT to be kidding me how has he survived this long none other than--

"Atwell?"

Eris hadn't loathed Southridge's erstwile Treasurer as much as she did some other members of her Student Council (that bitch Vanlandingham first and foremost, it was almost too bad she'd died before Eris had been able to tell her just EXACTLY how much of this whole thing had been her fault), but she was still amazed he of all people had managed to survive this long. Probably by hiding. Hiding like a little rat.

"You know, I didn't think you had it in you."

The other figure was meek Lulu Altaire, who'd not only'd been back at the hollow tree, but according to the most recent announcement, had a kill of someone or another to her name.

"Hello Louise."

After speaking, Eris just stopped at the gate, trying to assess the situation. Well, they weren't attacking at each other or anything, but could she take that to presume that they wouldn't attack her? She couldn't but she could also tell that no, neither of them had it in them to survive, to realize just how down to the wire in this game they were. Ryan had a huge weapon with and the fact that he hadn't emptied it into Lulu and her ridiculous-looking scythe was telling enough.

She was holding the newly-loaded Taurus in her hand, and she considered her odds if she just brought it forward and emptied all nine bullets in their direction. Oh, it was tempting, but logically, she couldn't risk it. Not with Ryan's weaponry, and not in her condition. No, it was time to again play it slowly.

But what was worse was that she was now doubting herself regardless. After all, thus far she'd fired a full clip of bullets at people, and had hit ONCE, that being Liam in the damned leg. HOW? She was winning this, so how was it that she'd hadn't managed to hit Gorilla Rick in the back of the head? How had she managed to miss Morgan from a sitting position, if she'd just plugged him them she wouldn't have these injuries in the first place....



Even so, she still tried to maintain a proper look, despite the fact that her face was covered with blood and she was noticably weaving as she walked. She just needed to present herself, to show that Eris Marquis meant no harm to them. She needed to stay in control...

"Pardon my face. Morgan Green. Nasty piece of work, that kid. I barely escaped with my life. He... he just came after me, with this spiked weapon and..."

Oh god, why was she rambling like this? No. STOP IT.

A tear, that she again didn't notice, made its way down her cheek, cutting a line through the blood, and her voice seemed somewhat smaller.

"I'm not going to shoot anyone, alright?"

No, not in this instance at least. Especially not with that gigantic gun thing Atwell was toting around. No, she just needed to try to rest, and see what she could do about those claw marks on her side.

"I'm just going to rest a minute, if you don't mind."

She half sat, half slumped onto the ground, leaning against the well that jutted out of the grass nearby, making sure to lean against her uninjured left side. Gingerly, she lifted her shirt and the wrap, craning her head downward to examine the two ugly wounds.
v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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Ares
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Steve heard a voice as he neared the door, but that didn't stop him. Atwell and Lulu were both armed, and one person wasn't likely to take out both of them. The voice seemed familiar though.

Steve stepped back outside and the voice was coming from Eris Marquis. Now Steve knew why the voice was familiar. Eris Marquis was, for lack of any other term, a bitch. She was constantly trying to get the Student Council to police the activities of the football team, and she was always reprimanding them for the jokes they would pull and their attitudes. Specifically targeting Steve for a prank on the school band involving brass instruments and a bottle of liquid heat.

This day really can't stop getting better can it? Steve sighed as he made his presence known with a wave.

"I don't think we mind, at least I know I don't," Steve said half lying, "All I know is my day has pretty much been the worst day of my life. Actually when I think about it, the top 5 worst days of my life have been re-wrote since I got here. However, let's not discuss why I'm upset, it makes no difference after all does it?"

He didn't know why he'd said that, but Steve continued anyways.

"There really is no reason for any of us to share our stories anymore. Is there? I mean, logically speaking Atwell, you should be telling us three to go fuck our hats and leave right? I've killed two people, Lulu has killed and Eris has killed. I can stand here with these two all day long saying I didn't mean to do it or I was forced, and they can tell you the same thing. However since you seem to have not lost your sense of humanity and believe I'm jealous of that, you've welcomed us with open arms. After losing so many of your friends you can still find it in yourself to say to someone, 'Hows it going?' and offer them safety. Wow man, really, just wow."

Steve stopped at that point. His head was starting to hurt as half of what he said didn't even make sense to him. His head was still spinning with the combination of lack of food, water, sleep and thoughts of his now deceased friends.

Steve sat down on the small steps leading to the door of the cottage and placed his face in his hands.
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Ryan scratched the back of his neck, an uncomfortable silence having fallen over the area. Steve had a great point to what he'd said, and it was obvious that his fellow classmates were scarred in ways that he couldn't even begin to imagine. There were the obvious things - wounds, and such. All of them looked like hell, including Ryan himself; days without sleep and minimal food and water would do that to you. Then, of course, there were the images that they'd all seen. Permanently eched into their memories, visible every time that one of them would blink.

And then, there was the fighting. Ryan had been incredibly fortunate - most of the fighting that he'd done was with enemies that were in the distance, or were blessed with the gift of incredibly crappy aim. He'd fired his gun once, back when him and Portman had been traipsing through the jungle looking for friends. Back when they'd gotten seperated. But these people...? Steve was right. Ryan had no reason to trust them, no reason to treat them like people. They'd all killed, all of them. Except him.

But does it really matter...? They're still people, and I haven't lost sight of that.

Ryan stood for a moment, taking everything in. Lulu hadn't said much, except that she wasn't a threat. By her demeanour, which showed her to be a mixture of ashamed and frightened, he assumed that the kills attributed to her name probably weren't some that she'd hunted down and taken in cold blood. Steve's lack of giving-a-shit told him all that he needed to about those circumstances, and Eris...

Ugh, why is it that THIS bitch manages to be one of the last ones alive?

Sighing a bit, he looked over at Eris Marquis. A member of the student council, she was somewhat of a black sheep. Her and Andrea had gotten into it something fierce, and at basically every single council meeting, she'd gotten into an argument with somebody. For himself, it was generally guilt by association, as he'd tried his best to be civil and avoid confrontation with her, but damned if she didn't just ask for it sometimes.

"Oh, Eris. What a ...joy...to see you here. Y'know, out of everybody, I think that the only one I have a bit of a hard time accepting with 'open arms' is you. But..."

There was too few left to seriously consider making any enemies now. Doing so just didn't make any goddamn sense.

"...Steve's right. Everyone's done things that in a sane, rational time, would have me keeping a good five-hundred yards from at all times. There's no reason for me to treat you any better than I would a psychopath from San Quentin. But you guys are my classmates. We're all in this really shitty situation together. I'm no idiot, I've seen things like that, and I know that it was other classmates who did it..."

Ryan indicated Anna's decomposing corpse that Lulu was staring a hole in to.

"What else would you have me do? There's less than thirty people left alive. I'm not about to just go and start shooting every single person that I see. Sure, it might get me further on in this fucking game, but what is that worth? Is it really worth turning into a psychopath just so that I can go home and be shunned by everyone because I actually bought into it? You all have to realize, what's done is done. You've all killed, but you didn't buy into it. You've done what you needed to in order to survive, and nobody can fault you for that."

Ryan stopped talking for a moment, and looked at all of them, one by one.

"Sticking together's basically the only solace that any of us can take, here. Think about it, we've all heard the announcements. People like John Rizzolo, Wade Wilson, and Alexis Machina have gone off the deep end. They've given in, and they've been doing shit that I don't even want to imagine. You guys aren't like that, and that's why I feel that I can carry on a conversation with you, and offer you a temporary refuge from getting shot at. Who am I to judge? I've been so damn lucky, that I'm not qualified to do it."

He paused for a moment, then looked at Eris.

"Also, don't underestimate me, Eris. I know you hated the council's guts, but let it go. It's in the past; everybody's dead. If you're at all curious at how I survived, then I'll let you in that it's a fairly well-known fact that I go tree-planting every summer. I spend a good three months in the outdoors in a tent. I know how to survive in a forest, a jungle, whatever. How to move around, and how to do it without being spotted. If you'd stopped cussing everyone out long enough to get to know any of us, you might have known that, and not been so shocked."

Ryan bit his lip, shaking his head.

"Whatever. It isn't important anymore. Andrea, Ianto, all of them. They're dead. High school was in the past. We need to focus on surviving, now."

Straightening up, he ran his hands through his hair, wiping the sweat from his forehead.

I've spent the whole time trying to steer clear of anyone, but how can we possibly think to beat this whole thing without sticking together? If we break apart now, there's no hope for anyone.

"That's what we're all trying to do, isn't it? Survive? Come on, Steve. I know you've lost people. We all have. But wouldn't they want to you get out of this, tell the real story? Make sure that somebody remembers how we all used to be?"

That was the kicker. All that people would see of them was what Danya and his cameras allowed them to see. Whomever came out of it would be the only person alive who could tell what TRULY happened, and remember them as they were supposed to be.

"We're all that's left, and that's what is truly important. We're the lucky ones, and we have to remember that. As fucked up as any of us really are, or will get? We're alive."

How much else could he say? Everyone was demoralized, upset, and down on themselves. As Steve had said - Ryan was the only one who still had his humanity. He was the only person who could pull them out of it, at least, he could certainly give it the old college try. What did he have to lose? Sure, it was a naive attitude, but he hoped that his point was further made by the fact that he held a really big gun and they knew that he wasn't necessarily afraid to pull the trigger.

Of course, shooting into the bushes and shooting at someone else are two wholly different things, and not things that I think I'd like to try...
---
The Future

The Past

Meanwhile...
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
Lulu looked up, ripping her gaze away from Anna's corpse. A familiar female voice tore her from her thoughts. Looking in the direction of the voice, she realized that someone else had come upon them. But this person was someone she had seen before once on the island.

At first, she couldn't remember where. Her week or so on this island felt more like a whole year. After tapping her head in thought, she remembered. The hollow tree. This girl had just suddenly started shooting at Liam. Her name was Eris or something. Unfortunately, the memories were a little foggy. Was this person good or bad? Maybe both. Or maybe back at the tree, this girl actually had a reason for shooting Liam. But what did it matter if she did or didn't? It was all in the past and Liam was dead. From Lulu's hands too. She stared down at the dirt in thought for a few seconds.

When Eris greeted her, Lulu looked up and gave a slight, shy wave. "Hey there. You can call me Lulu," she told her with a nervous chuckle. "Hey, are you okay? You don't look so good.." she said, looking genuinely concerned. Her face was so bloodied that Lulu had to keep herself from visibly cringing.

When Eris proclaimed that she wasn't going to shoot anyone, Lulu nodded. "It's alright. I trust you. I can help you with your wounds if you want me to.." Even this deep in the game, Lulu was still overly trusting. She still had this feeling inside that she wanted to help people.

"Kill one person and help another, hmm? Oh, how this game changes people," Lulu thought to herself. She glanced over at Steve when he began speaking and felt relieved when he mentioned that there was no reason for any of them to share their stories. After he finished speaking, Lulu glanced at Ryan and nodded. "Yes, you are very admirable."

Then Ryan began to speak. He proposed that they should stick together, work together and survive together. He understood that even though they had killed, they were all classmates. They were in this together.

"I totally agree..I think it sounds like a great idea to stick together. We can all be friends for now and work together," Lulu said, sounding slightly cheery. Or maybe she was just loopy from dehydration, but she honestly felt better.

Just earlier, when Anna and Madison were killed, she thought that she would have to wander this island alone, watching out for potential murderous classmates and maybe even taking more lives if the need arises.

But now she actually had people to be with! Lulu couldn't contain herself from feeling enthusiastic about this. She knew that this situation was grim and dark, but now she had reasonably sane people to help her out.

Another part of her was a little afraid. The last group of people that she stuck with...most of them all died right in front of her. She prayed that this group would not fall apart. And if it did fall apart, it would fall after Lulu was dead. She didn't think she could endure any more stress than she already had.

"Yes, you are right. We're alive and that's what is important. What happened in the past and what will happen in the future...I think it's irrelevant. Now we have each other." Lulu walked over and patted Steve on the shoulder. "So..try to cheer up."
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Null sheen.
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((Dacey continued from: The Hardest Button to Button))

Dacey and Rick had never really travelled alongside each other per se. One or the other of them had always fallen behind and the one in front had always had to slow down and wait. It was what had happened pretty much every time they'd made it somewhere new. Get there, check it was secure, then wait for their partner. Even so, now that she knew that there was nobody to catch up with (or indeed nobody to wait for), Dacey felt incredibly alone and exposed.

It was odd, really. She'd spent longer on her own than with other people, but now Dacey found that she couldn't return to her previous mindset. Couldn't just fade into the background again. Whether that was because of the time she'd spent with Rick or the realisation of just how damn few of them were left she didn't know.

Rick... why'd that have to happen? You were just standing up for what you thought was right...

Funny, really. Dacey had finally started seeing what all the fuss had been about - just why those boys were always asking her out back at her old school. Then just like that: bam, the guy she was starting to develop some kind of feelings for... dead. Gone.

This isn't the time. It might never be the time. I hate to to be thinking this, but there are more important things to be worrying about than mourning Rick.

Dacey slowed down slightly as a telltale break in the undergrowth appeared. She was approaching a clearing of some kind. Knowing this island, it was probably one of the distinct areas. And a possible dangerzone. After leaving Rick's body behind, Dacey had almost stumbled into a dangerzone more than once. What with them being permament now, more and more of the island was being closed off to them.

Forced together.

Dacey's hands brushed the grips of her two pistols, the Type 77 at her left, the Desert Eagle on her right. It didn't really make much different which was at her strong side and which was at her weak - Dacey didn't plan on firing either gun one handed, especially the Eagle. It had nearly been flung from her hands the first time with a double-handed grip. One-handed would probably break her wrist.

She stepped out into the open, hands by her side, immediately spotting a number of people outside. Two... well, one looked to be a football player or something, the other... Dacey didn't recognise him. That was the two boys. The two girls, however, were both people Dacey was familiar with. One was the girl who had shot down a person at the field of flowers, the other, the person she'd met at the brook. Had Rick called her Eris?

Yeah... and who was it that shot at us both when we were leaving? I didn't see anybody other than her around. Tread carefully.

"Hey! Don't get excited, I'm not playing. Is it okay if I come over there?" Dacey figured just barging right in wouldn't exactly be a fantastic idea. This was one to play with caution.
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This was bad. This was really really bad, in so many different ways.

To say that Eris Marquis was not in her comfort zone would be putting it mildly. Her mind was screaming at her, demanding a dozen different courses of action, each one different from the last and each one impossible. She was facing people better armed than she was, at least two of which she utterly loathed. She was wounded, and she was doubting herself, and what could she do in this state?

ShootthemWorkwiththemHelpBetrayRunawayGaintheirtrustTellthemwhatyoureallythinkEscapeTruthLieLiveDie

While it had just been her, Atwell, and Louise, she'd caught a small glimpse of the wounds Morgan had left her with, and they were ugly indeed. Without proper care, they were certainly going to get infected, but it wasn't like any of them would be willing to---

"It's alright. I trust you. I can help you with your wounds if you want me to.."

And just like that, Lulu Altaire spoke up, cheerfully offering to help. It was all Eris could do to not gape openmouthed in amazement. Could she really be that stupid or naive? That.... goodhearted this late in the game? Help? Just like that?

She was about to respond, when the door opened, and she was disgusted into an immediate silence as the man who stepped out afterwards, a rifle slung over his back. DIGAETANO. Captain America, star quarterback. Frankly, he and his team of apes were just another reason they were here in the first place. Southridge's superstar football team, and the future college star leading the way. He'd get his free ride through life, and never once give one though to those that actually WORKED their way through the academic world. No, it was time for her to take her leave of this pack.

But incredibly, he just gave her a wave, a WAVE of all things, and she could see that this Steve bore nothing to the cocky jock and prom king who'd previously walked the halls of Southridge as if he'd owned them. He was a broken man. Perhaps this island had been just the thing to bring him down to size. He was ranting about how none of them were trustworthy but it frankly didn't matter, which was certainly the kind of thing she liked to hear. If she could keep an implicit trust without having to bother with the whole song and dance about how she wasn't dangerous, so much the better.

Then, as she'd feared, Atwell spoke up, and she was forced to keep a sour face as her fellow Student Council member started berating her. Like HE'D ever tried to understand her, her position on the council. Just because she'd run for the Student Affairs position unopposed did NOT mean that her opinion was any less relevant than any of theirs had been, after all.

ShootthemWorkwiththemHelpBetrayRunawayGaintheirtrustTellthemwhatyoureallythinkEscapeTruthLieLiveDie

Then Atwell was talking again, trying to.... convince them all to survive? And what, escape? She just shook her head, listening. And as he continued, she suddenly realized that her options were becoming very thin here. Atwell might be idiotically naive, but for her to win this game, what could her response to him be?

Lulu, of course, cheerfully piped up that surviving was a great idea. Gee, really? As she spoke, Eris was trying to think, probing deep, through feelings and doubts and convictions and hatred, and she let a few tears leak out once again, because she didn't know what to do. What was her best option? She could run. And in her injured state, could she take down people like Alexis Machina? Rizzolo? Adam Reeves? For that matter, could she take down a group as large as this one on her own, from the outside?

Think, Eris. You DO know what to do.

She couldn't open fire. She'd never get them all, not without getting killed herself.

Could she actually gain their trust? Use them to get rid of those most dangerous players, then get to the end without getting her hands dirty?

Or could there even be some truth in what Atwell had said?

How could SHE survive? What were her best options?

In the end, it was one more thought that did it. The thought of afterwards, after she was out of here, and how she'd get on with her life. She'd thought she was damned either way, but...

ShootthemWorkwiththemHelpBetrayRunawayGaintheirtrustTellthemwhatyoureallythinkEscapeTruthLieLiveDie

And for that matter, how DARE someone like Atwell think that he had some monopoly on survival? No. She could still keep in control of her own fate. If she brought others along with her, so be it, but her life was paramount here, and she'd be damned if she let some yutz like Atwell think he could just survive alone or without her.

So thinking, Eris painfully made her way up, and then began to step away from the well, towards the front of the cottage.

Another person had joined them and said they weren't playing, but she didn't give them much attention beyond that. Frankly, the more the merrier at this point. She spoke, carefully enunciating each word.

"Friends, Lulu? I think that's stretching it. Just a bit"

Atwell had his gun. Digaetano had his rifle. She was armed. Lulu was armed. None of them were in a position to attack another at this time.

"Look, Atwell. First, on the Council you were never THAT bad. Second, yeah, we're all sane. Well, I'm sane. I DO hope that you can see I'm not stupid enough to just start shooting at this many armed people simply because I... dislike you, or you dislike me. Digaetano...."

No, there was no point in rubbing salt in his wounds right now. Not because she particularly cared about his feelings, but because it simply didn't make any sense.

"same goes for you. Past grudges are just so... so childish. So, we've all got guns, and we all want to survive. I don't care what your reasons are, but I am still alive because I HAVE a future, and I'm not going to let THOSE people take it away from me!"

She pointed down at Anna Kateridge's corpse. Hacked. Mutilated. As she did, the bile, that guttural inner feeling built just every so slightly more in her throat. Not from disgust, but just rage at everyone who caused them to be here at this point in time. And that bile seemed to spew from her mouth in a way that amazed even her.

"The announcements. Lenny Priestly did that. And I am NOT him. People like HIM are the reason that we're here in the first place. People like Dodd. Or that FUCKING Blood Boy freak I mean JESUS CHRIST with people like him at our school can you actually be surprised that they picked us?! He ripped a girl's arm off and he, he... and he RAPED HER with it, who the FUCK actually does that sort of thing, what is WRONG with kids today?!?! They KNEW what those kids would do on this island! YES, I killed, OK? We all have. But I didn't draw the ratings I never did anything like that, what is the POINT of doing something like that?! I hope you think you're the same way, but I do NOT DESERVE to be lumped in with them!"

She turned, and glared at Ryan Atwell beside her. Her head was starting to pound again, a throbbing beat that actually caused her to pause and pinch the bridge of her nose for a second before she composed herself and spoke again. Had she really lost her cool in such a fashion? Had she really cursed like that?

"OK. My... apologies for the language there. But if you, or anyone else, have a plan to survive, and I mean a plan that goes a bit beyond "let's all be happy friends", no offense Lulu, I'd love to hear it. Because in case you all haven't noticed, half this island is a dangerzone now. They are herding us all together, for those people to kill us!"

She pondered briefly why she was saying all this. Perhaps it just needed to be said. Perhaps it was because this group seemed at least a step above the witless wastes of air she'd been forced to share space with over the last week. Idiots like Liam, Carson, Eicca. Jim. There were reasons, of course, that none of them had made it this late in the game.

"If we've got any ideas, let's hear them. If we're just going to wait here and think happy thoughts, I'll just take my chances on my own. I might SUGGEST that we think of ANY location that might provide us with a chance to do something about this game, assuming it's not a dangerzone already that is."

She was finished, and her head was pounding again, and her side and back were absolutely aching. She turned at the faces surrounding the cottage, finally getting a good look at the newcomer, and it was-

Oh god. Trannie Girl from the brook stood there, wearing two pistols on her hips like the world's most ridiculous Annie Oakley impersonator. No Rick. For an instant she wondered if she'd managed to peg him after all, and he'd just taken a long time to die. But the fact that the girl didn't seem about to pull out both guns and blast away muted those fears a bit.

So instead, spent, Eris sat down and turned to Lulu, lifting her shirt once again.

"If your offer still stands, I just need some....."

She pursed her lips and uttered the word.

"help with these here. I can't reach them on my own."

And though it pained her horribly...

"Thanks."

She'd wait. She'd see. At the very least, they weren't going to kill her at the moment. And against those like Machina, like Rizzolo, like Lenny, it only made sense to have them there. She'd give them a chance. And if they had nothing to offer?

Then she'd dispose of them like so much used tissue. One way or another, she would survive. Maybe they'd even survive with her. But they would NOT survive without her.
v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
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From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
What the hell? Cheer up? Does she actually realize what happened?

Steve's thoughts in response to Lulu's words were filled with nothing but contempt. He'd told himself since the day he'd killed Serenity that he wouldn't try and make feeling bad all about him but how could he not right now. Here is a girl in the same situation as him, someone who'd lost her friends as well and she is telling him to cheer up.

Where the hell does she get off?

Steve rose up to avoid Lulu's hand. It was becoming increasingly frustrating to see these people so optimistic about more than one person getting off the island. Steve decided against arguing Ryan's rallying speech that they all stick together, since there was no point. If Ryan truly believed that then so be it, Steve was not going to be the one to take that away from him. It would be someone else. Hell, if he had to guess, Steve figured Eris would kill him the minute they all dispersed or turned their backs. Steve perked his head up from his own thoughts the minute he heard Eris' voice say his name, taking a second to notice that Dacey Ashcroft had joined their group.

"Really Eris? Really? You have a future? And what is that future? As far as I know, everybody here hates you. I'm honestly shocked no one blasted your face in already, honestly. You've always been the same. The minute you can use someone as a stepping stone to where you need to go, you took it. In my opinion you do deserve to be lumped in with Harris, Rizzolo, Reeves, hell everyone who has said to themselves, 'These people are beneath me. These people don't deserve to live over me.' Fucking strutting around the school like you owned it. Nobody needs you here or even wants you here, and hell in my opinion you deserve every ounce of what is eventually coming to you."

Steve turned to look at Ryan then Lulu, finally returning back to Eris.

"What this now comes down to is do we have a plan? Do we have any sort of idea as to how we can get all of us off this island, because believe me when I say if the answer is no I am walking my ass back into that forest. There just isn't enough time left and with the people out there ready to blow our fucking heads off, I'm not going to waste my time on any sort of bullshit."

Steve grabbed his bag up on to his shoulder as he watched Eris lift up her shirt to take Lulu up on her offer.
Is in...
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ryan nodded to Steve.

"Of course we've got a plan. It's a longshot, but it might work."

Glancing around at the others, he made a point to ignore Eris. She was getting on his nerves, and even though she was being attended to, he couldn't help but wish that it was somebody else sitting there with them. No matter. He couldn't dwell on what he couldn't change.

It was time to move forward.

"Remember back on...the fourth or fifth day when Neil Sinclair and his group got called out for breaking down all of those cameras? They basically went through three or four different zones, trashing all kinds of shit along the way. I watched them do it for a good six hours before I decided to stop."

Pausing for a moment, Ryan took a moment and closed his eyes, trying to rid his mind of the pressure that was slowly building up within itself.

"Anyway, as soon as they stopped and Danya blew a few collars, it began to pour rain. I'm sure you all remember it well. They were some of the most unpleasant days of my life, for sure. It rained for a good four or five days, and only began to really stop raining a couple of days ago."

This was the part that Ryan was banking on. It was a gamble, but it was one that he figured that he could take. By his count, at least one zone was still a free zone, and it only made sense.

"You can't fix electronic equipment in heavy rain. It doesn't make any sense, it'll just short out again. Danya's crews are probably on their way to fix them right now. With any luck, if we storm the area, we can catch them by surprise, eliminate them, and find out a way to get out of here through one of them."

It was a risky plan, and one that relied solely upon luck, but Ryan knew that it was basically all they had to work with. The only other way to get out was to win the game, and unfortunately for them, there could be only one winner.

"So is that a good enough plan for you, Steve? Unless you'd like to take your chances with Reeves, Rizzolo, and the rest of them...? I'd say it's a pretty decent idea, given what we've got to work with."

Now I just have to hope that everybody gets on board with it, because this late in the game, everybody's going to be as unstable as they'll ever be, and I don't know if we can all survive a big blowout at this point...
---
The Future

The Past

Meanwhile...
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
Lulu glanced over and realized that someone else was approaching, someone that wasn't too familiar. She was armed, but apparently not playing. That was a good thing, but Lulu decided that Eris' wounds came first. She did agree to help after all.

Lulu glanced back at Eris, who appeared to be thinking. When she commented that being friends was just stretching it a bit, Lulu shrugged. "Maybe. But if we're all companions, we might as well be friends, right?" she asked with a hopeful grin.

She could tell that her cheerfulness was probably driving Eris mad, but Lulu just couldn't help it. Acting like this was the only way to keep the negative thoughts away. If she continued to mourn over her friend's deaths, she would never get far.

When Eris pointed at Anna's corpse and mentioned Lenny, Lulu's face grew slightly dark. Sighing, Lulu told Eris, "You're nothing like Lenny, I'm sure of it.." She shook her head, averting her gaze from Anna. "Stop looking at her, just stop it. She's not coming back from the dead. So.."

Lulu nodded at Eris and walked over to her, opening up her bag. She dug around for the lightly used first-aid kit and opened it. "Hmm..I'm not entirely..good at first-aid but..I'll try. I think we should disinfect it first..and then wrap it," Lulu explained. She had seen some of the others she had traveled with do it this way.

Lulu began disinfecting the wound at Eris' back, then used bandages to wrap it. As she did this, she looked up at Steve for a moment. He was one unhappy boy. Well, of course he was. Everyone was unhappy in this situation, but...something bad must have happened to him. But what he said did make her curious as to whether there was a plan or not.

Lulu tied off the bandage wrap. "Done..I think. I tried my best." She gave Eris a slight smile, then looked over at Ryan, listening to his plan. She wasn't sure if they could pull it off or not, especially Lulu, but it was worth a try, at least.

Lulu nodded in his direction, putting the contents of the first-aid kit back inside the box. "I say the idea is better than just sitting around."
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