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Waking Up is Hard to do; B055: Start - TOPIC CLOSED
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 06:31 AM (4,000 Views)
Dr. Nic
Member Avatar
How cute.
[ *  * ]
[Boy #14 - Alex White. Start.]

"This is bad..."

No shit.

"What the hell do I do?"

He had his back against a tree as he sat in the dirt and the grass and the leaves and whatever other detritus was scattered beneath him and around him. His bags were nearby, covered in copious amounts of pine needles and little twigs, probably sticky with the sap from the trees. But that was the same with everything. His jeans, his shirt, his jacket, all covered in pine needles that he was having a hard time picking off; They were annoying and incessantly poked him. There he was, in the middle of god knows where on a show where he knew his life was in rather extreme danger and he was preoccupied with picking pine needles off of his clothes.

"Damn it!"

He forcefully kicked his bags in frustration as he rested his head in his hands, muttering and swearing under his breath.

"Why do I have to be here. I just wanted to go camping."

He kicked the bag once again and put his head against the tree behind him as he stared up at the needle covered branches above him and the sky beyond. He tried not to think about where he was or about what he had seen when he woke up last time. All he wanted was to be somewhere else, but he didn't have a choice in the matter. He needed something to calm him down, something to help him focus. When his hand slipped into his jacket pocket and found nothing, he sighed and leaned forward to grab both of the bags. One was his own, he brought it with him, but the other? He hadn't seen it before, but it was with him, so he assumed it was his. He'd seen the show, but certainly didn't enjoy being a cast member.

He sighed again and unzipped his bag, digging through it in search of something specific.

"Where are they?"

His searching became a bit faster, a bit more frantic and concerned as he started to pull items out of the bag. He checked side pockets and the pockets of any extra clothing, he checked the bottom of the bag and emptied the contents into his lap.

"Fuck!"

His spare clothes were strewn about the ground between his legs, and yet he still couldn't find that little white container he so desperately needed now. He was so focused on finding that little bottle that he didn't even notice that his cellphone was missing, that his things weren't exactly where they had been when he packed the bag originally. He was too preoccupied trying to find that bottle of pills.

Did I even bring them?

Frustration set in as he up-ended the bag and prayed that the little white bottle would just drop out. But when it didn't, he was dejected. Hell, he was more than simply disheartened at that realization, he was furious and panicked, worried and anxious. He needed those just to get through school and now that he was in possibly the most stressful situation of his life, he needed them more than anything. And they were gone.

"Damn it, they're gone. Now what?"

He slumped back into the tree as he started shoving everything back into the bag. Now all of his spare clothes were covered in pine needles and little twigs, and as he put them away he tried to shake them off. His attention was drawn to the other bag that lie nearby when he was done, and he pulled it into his lap. He didn't know what exactly to expect when he opened the bag. A gun? A knife? Maybe a hatchet?

Zzzzzzip

"....The hell is this?"

Out from the bag rolled the white and red plastic ball. It looked kind of strange. But he didn't recognize it until he picked it up and got a better look at the front of it.

"Oh come on!"

Yup.

It's a pokeball.

"...This sucks."
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
Alex grumbled as he stared at his assigned 'weapon', almost tempted to simply throw away the brightly colored ball in frustration and anger, but he didn't; No, he simply shoved it back into the bag and pulled out the map. He didn't know where he was, but he had a guess; It certainly had to be somewhere among the green, but where, he didn't have a clue. The trees were too big and there were no discernible landmarks in sight; He would need to get somewhere else, somewhere a bit more open, before he could figure out where he was. A glance at the compass told him little besides his heading, so he simply stuffed the map back into the bag and zipped it shut once more.

What now?

He sighed to himself and muttered under his breath, silently cursing his luck and his fate, and all those involved in steering them in the direction they had taken. His clothes were still dirty, still covered in pine needles; Worst among them was his jacket, with bits of twigs and pine needles stuck to it with pine sap. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to rest against that particular tree. As he began to wonder where he was to go, and what he was to do, he listened to the noises that permeated the air. Some were natural. Some weren't, however, and that is what sent a chill down his spine. Voices in the distance, not far yet not close, barely audible among the wind and the trees and the rustling of the leaf litter; But one thing struck him as he fell silent.

Laughing.

Laughing?

Who the hell would be laughing?

Whoever it was, he didn't want to meet them if they treated this situation with laughter.

He breathed in sharply as he realized he had stopped when the laughter came about, but now that it was gone, he had to wonder. Who was laughing and why? Does this mean they're dangerous? Now that they were all fighting for their lives, would this person, this laughing person, be a danger to him? A sudden desire for protection, for an actual weapon, overwhelmed his mind as he feared for his life.

Desperately searching, searching and searching, panicked thoughts and faster breathing; His thoughts all drifted to those of fear and dread, not knowing what was out there or what was waiting for him. He didn't know what to expect, who to expect, and he needed to feel safe; Anxiously, he searched, slowly losing hope as nothing significant was found. He found a rock, but it was too small; He found a stick, but it snapped suddenly as he tested its strength. He tried to calm himself, tried telling himself that there was nothing to worry about; He tried to rationalize not having a weapon, reminding himself that his father taught him everything he needed to know, but the desire for protection was still there. But as his thoughts began to wander, distraction took hold.

His thoughts drifted to self defense, to his father and what he had taught him; If something happened, he could always rely upon that knowledge to save him, to defend himself from anyone who sought to harm him. But who would want to harm him? What would they have when it came to a weapon, and would he be able to defend himself then? It was possible his bad luck would continue, that if he left this place here and now he could run into someone who was better off that he was; Someone who had a weapon and wasn't afraid to use it. Someone he didn't know, someone who didn't know him; It wasn't guaranteed that he would run into a friend.

Friends...

That's right. He was alone, out in the middle of nowhere with no one in sight, with no knowledge of the area and no one to look to for answers. Where was everyone else, where were his friends? Where was William, or Colin, or Peter, or anyone else that he was close to, anyone that he could trust. If he ran into someone out here, what were the chances that they would be a friend? And even if they were... would he be able to trust them now?

"Damn it."

He felt alone, disheartened at that thought.

If I ran into someone, would I be able to trust them?

It rang in his head, clear as day, as he searched the surrounding brush. Trust. They weren't at home anymore, weren't at school. No, this was completely foreign to him, and he didn't know who he could trust in this situation. People were going to be killing each other, putting their lives into someones hands besides their own every time they trusted someone. Trust. That was one of the points they were trying to make with that video, that you can't trust anyone and if you do, they could kill you. He looked up at the sky as he wondered... about his friends, about his classmates, about which ones would join in on this and start killing each other. He wondered about those he was close to, and tried to think of them.

Would they be killers? Would they be able to kill me, or I them?

A faint opening in the canopy made him squint, the sun stinging his sleep filled eyes.

What about me? Would I be able to kill them, if I needed to?

His thoughts drifted away from the depressing notion of his friends betraying him, slipping to thoughts of him betraying his friends. That was no respite for his mind; His head began spinning with scenarios and situations, with potential dangers and risks and choices to make, with thoughts of death and destruction and sorrow and relief and...

No.

He put his hand over his eyes, staring up at the sun, wide eyed and alive.

No, I wouldn't do that. I couldn't. I don't care what happens, I wouldn't do that to them.

His fingers curled into his palm, his muscles tightened as he clenched his fist. It wasn't in him to do that to his friends, to betray them and send them to their deaths. But those who weren't his friends, anyone who did play this sick game, what about them? What would he do then?

I'll protect myself. I'll protect them.

He knew that it was foolish to think he could escape if he simply got his friends together. But even if he was going to die, he was going to die on his terms, doing what he would be proud to be doing; He wouldn't give up, he wouldn't give in.

"Huh?"

Within his line of sight, just off to the side of where he had been staring intently for a rather long time, he spotted something. Something bare of any green needles, stripped of shoots by time; Something low hanging and nearer to him than anything else above his head. Exactly what he needed, exactly what he was searching for.

"Perfect."

He didn't realize how long he had been standing there thinking, nor did he have any clue how far away those voices were. He could still hear noise, but it was nothing he could really pick out and identify; It could be other people, or it could be a squirrel in the leaf litter, or even something bigger. It could have been close or far away, he didn't know. But for now, he didn't care. He had his goal, however small, and as he moved his bags he knew exactly what he needed to do to achieve that goal. He needed something to defend himself with, and he was going to get it before he went anywhere.

He backed up.

He focused on the branch.

And he went for it.

He moved forward from his position, getting a running start, albeit a small one, for his jump. His goal wasn't distance, but rather height. He left the ground, and his hands grasped for the pine branch above; When he made contact, he closed his hands around it and hung on for dear life. He wouldn't hang long, however.

Crack!

With a loud crack, the wood split, splintered, and snapped. And Alex fell back to the ground, landing with a thud and falling unto his back. But he had what he wanted, and that was enough; For now, at least.
Edited by Dr. Nic, Aug 9 2010, 02:04 PM.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
More pine needles to brush off, more twigs to peel off his sap stained jacket; But that was a small price for the secure feeling that this stick in his hand gave him. It wasn't much, it could barely even be called a weapon, but it was something; Better than nothing kept ringing in his head as he thought about the 'weapon' that he was assigned and what he'd chosen to use. But those thoughts, drifting to ideas of weapons, had him shaken again. It was a stick. A big stick, but still a stick; There was little point in thinking that a simple stick would help him against a more heavily armed student. But it was the false sense of security it gave him, the fact that he had something to hold on to with dear life, that really made him feel more at ease now.

It's better than nothing.

It's much better.

He placed his foot on the other end of the stick, thin and frail and useless; He twisted and bent and broke the branch beneath his heel. He held the now reasonably sized stick in his hand, measuring it silently; He didn't have an accurate method of measuring it, and his guess was very rough, but it was better than continuing without even that little bit of information.

Three feet? Maybe four?

Either way, it was bigger than he had expected, and the sense of security and safety he got from it only grew as he scraped off the twigs and shoots, rubbing the branch against the very tree that had given it up to peel away the offending bits. It tapered off, ever so slightly, at the end; When he had finished scraping it, he held it at that end and gave a few swings at the air, getting a feel for where his hands should be.

This is good.

When he was finished, his focus shifted back to the noises that surrounded him, that scratched at his mind; The noises that told him he wasn't alone, that he wasn't safe and the same ones that insisted that he start running and never stop. But he needed to know who was making the noise, who it was that sat nearby; He needed to know if it was Colin, or William or Peter. He needed to know if it was someone he knew, someone he could feasibly call a friend... and find out for himself if he could trust them now; He needed to test the waters in reality instead of in his mind, find out what the truth was.

It's nearby... and more than one. A man? And... maybe a woman?

His thoughts told him little that he couldn't soon find out for himself; He swung his bags across his back, slipping the straps across his chest as he planted the end of his stick on the ground, holding onto the one end as if letting go would sever his ties to the world. He started walking, moving towards the source of the noise; He moved cautiously, but quickly, his years of hiking, of backpacking and camping, bringing back memories. He was careful where he stepped and careful not to stray from his course. He dragged the walking stick through the leaf litter, marking his path with a line; He was not about to lose his way now.

It was only a few minutes of steady walking when he could hear the voices clearly, when he could make out the shapes among the trees; Two people, one boy, one girl, but that was all he could make out at this distance. He didn't know who they were or what the boy was holding, but it didn't exactly look like a gun from this distance; Indeed, it looked like his assigned weapon was a bottle of whiskey or something of the sort, an idea that appealed to Alex right about now, something to calm his nerves and ease his mind being a welcome sight at this point in time. Their voices were clear now, at this distance, and there wasn't a lot of activity nearby; Not from other people nor from wildlife, all having been drowned out or driven off by the sound of their voices.

Are they arguing?

The distance drowned out most of the biting poison in their quips and remarks, drowned out the inflections in their speech and the emphasis placed on statements; He couldn't make out their faces and there wasn't a ton of body language, so trying to make out how they were feeling, what they were arguing about or even how heated the argument was, it was a lost cause at this distance.

In for a penny, in for a pound.

He resumed his steady pace forward, making sure that there was a direct line of sight from where they were to where he was; He didn't want to spook them, sneaking up and jumping out from behind a tree. He wanted them to know he was there, know that he was approaching them; He didn't want to lose his life to panicked reactions.

"Hey."

He spoke clearly and loudly as he got closer, slowing his pace and making sure that when he stopped, he did so next to as thick a tree as he could find without altering his course; Next to a tall pine, he stood, and waited. His heart thrummed in his chest, pounding in his head, as it climbed into his throat; His stomach twisted into knots, unsure of what was going to happen in the next few moments, worry and fear crawling back into his mind as he struggled to hold his ground, as he strained his muscles not to move. He was scared; Fear of the unknown, fear of the obvious, fear of the dark beyond the trees, fear of what ran through the minds of his classmates. It all gripped him, froze him in place, kept him from thinking, strained his will to go on; The only thing that rang in his mind now was one word.

Breathe.

He waited in fear.

He waited for fate to cast the dice once more.

And he prayed with all his might that his luck would change.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
Alex's stomach untied itself and his heart eased out of his throat, and he seemed to relax, at least slightly, when he saw who it was he was talking to; Not just who it was, but what they had. Nick was only holding a bottle with a rag, and Andrea wasn't holding anything; He hadn't seen the jug, but if she didn't have anything out, maybe she didn't get anything worthwhile. He ran with what appealed to him in that moment, the thought that she hadn't gotten a proper weapon just like him; The last thing he had wanted when he risked walking up to where they were was for one of them to pull a gun, or a knife, or anything of the such that could make his time in these woods very short.

"My weapon?"

He thought about letting his bags slip off his back, about showing them his pitiful excuse for a weapon; But he didn't want to risk it, not knowing how they would react. He didn't want to think the worst of his classmates, of the people who were standing before him in just as bad a situation as his own; But when the thought of revealing that he was, for the most part, unarmed came to mind... He didn't want to know what they would think or how they would react, or the assumptions they would make. But he had to make a decision, then and there, about what to tell them, about how to answer Nick's question without seeming suspicious; He didn't want them to consider him a threat, after all. He didn't want anyone to think of him that way.

"A pokemon toy. It's junk."

He told them the truth.

I hope I didn't just dig my own grave.

But lying to the first people he ran into, about a weapon none-the-less, didn't seem like the right thing to do; It certainly didn't seem like something to do if he wanted to avoid suspicion and avoid having people view him as a threat. But even if that possibility was still there, having people seeing him as a threat, one that could be removed, he knew that he could defend himself; And his grip tightened around the branch as he drew relief from its presence, knowing that it was going to serve him well if things got bad. It was big, and it was sturdy; And he was confident, if overly so, in its ability to protect him.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is all I needed."

He held out the branch to make a point that it was what he was talking about. Such a simple little thing, standing more than half his height and firmly planted upon the ground; To Alex, it really was all he needed. All that he needed to feel a semblance of safety and security, and it was the only thing he trusted; At least, for now.

All I can trust, huh?

Maybe he had too little faith in his classmates, if a stick was still the only thing that he felt he could trust; It was his first encounter with someone else after he had awoken, and already he could tell things were going to be tense. He stood far from them, a decent distance away and clung to his scavenged 'weapon' to dear life; He hadn't even stepped away from the tree he had stopped near, the only thing he really felt could have protected him from a bullet. And he could tell that they held him in the same suspicious light at this moment, with Nick standing as if he were going to attack a moment earlier; He still held that position, even if he no longer had his weapon brandished, apparently in case Alex wasn't going to be friendly.

I can't say I blame them.

His attention was drawn away from Nick when Andrea spoke up, adding what she could to the admittedly awkward and tension filled conversation. She looked a bit more disturbed than Nick did, and even more than Alex did; But the two of them had been arguing, and neither really looked too happy to be in the situation they had found themselves. An understandable situation, and perhaps the understatement of the year.

Of course they're not happy... who would be?

When Alex snapped out of his brief moment of thought, he couldn't help but bring forth an answer to Andrea's question; Her apology and apparent realization of her poorly chosen statement freeing him from his responsibility to do so, but his desire to cooperate bringing forth a new, personal responsibility. Everyone had been on edge, and talking was the only apparent way to ease tensions.

"I'm... alright, I guess. Could be worse."

How?

His answer and thoughts brought about a brief, quiet and stifled laugh. Really, how could things be worse? Sure, he could be injured, or he could have even been killed already; But aside from those morbid thoughts, how could their situation be any worse than it already was? Being dumped in the middle of nowhere and told to fight for your life against your friends seemed to be about the worst thing that could happen.

"Sorry, bad choice of words. I suppose things can't really get much worse, huh?"
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
His mind was clear; Of fear and dread, of thoughts of threats and paranoia.

He didn't see either of them as a threat now; Not physically, at least.

Nick had lashed out with his biting comments, and Andrea seemed to be distracted now; He knew they were stressed, he knew that this was the worst situation that they could have found themselves in, but he still took that spat venom as hostility. He didn't trust them, but they had more problems than even he did with his paranoia and his fear, with his stress and dread of the unknown around him; They weren't a threat to him. If anything, he was a threat to them; Either to the animosity they held or to their physical beings, he was a threat to the way things were as they stood and he knew it. Patience was in short supply, stress was already present and would only build if they took shots at eachother; Nick had fired the first volley, but would Alex return fire?

I shouldn't...

But the burning desire was still there; Nothing spread quite like animosity among a stressed out group, especially when it came to enmity aimed at one another. He was a friendly person though, wasn't he? He wouldn't sink to spite so soon, so easily, when met with little more than an antagonistic remark, would he?

I can't, not now.

He choked back the words, the remarks that had come to his throat ready to spew forth; He couldn't afford to lose his cool this soon, this easily, just because of some stupid comment. It wasn't worth it. He kept repeating that over and over in the back of his mind to drive the point home, all while his focus shot to another tree, maybe 10 or 12 feet from Nick and Andrea; His new destination when they had commented on his distance, on how he should come closer.

He didn't trust them.

I can't.

His pace was slow, always darting his eyes to each tree he passed and the ground in front of him; Always looking around to make sure no one else was there. The shadows cast by the canopy above hindered his line of sight, cutting it short, obscuring things in darkness; Bushes and trees in the distance twisted into unknown shapes, bombarding his mind with the dread of other people once more. But he pushed them aside, telling himself every time a shape in the distance looked humanoid that it was nothing but his imagination, nothing but the shadows playing tricks on his mind; But one object that caught his eye near his feet, slightly buried beneath the leaf litter and no doubt obscured by little more than a breeze moving the lighter detritus. A black shape, vaguely appearing to look like a foot, or at least a shoe; It wasn't something you saw among the leaf litter on an average day, and it caught his attention. He poked the object with the end of his stick for a moment before realizing what it was.

...Huh.

"Catch."

He caught the strap with the end of the stick, and flung the object towards Andrea and Nick; his aim wasn't great and the strength behind the 'swing' was minimal at best, leaving the object to land a few feet short of its destination. Pine needles and twigs went with it, but they mattered little. With but a few more steps left to take, Alex stood at his new destination; Less than fifteen feet from the two of them, and leaning against yet another pine tree. That was all that surrounded them; Pine trees and fir, undergrowth and leaf litter as far as he could see, all obscured in a dull dark by thick canopy above.

Pills?

Nick had dug into his pack and produced from it a pill; A name that was foreign to Alex, but it didn't match any he cared for or desired. No, his taste in drugs was more specific, but the thoughts were not something he cared to drudge up once more; Something he was failing at as Andrea dug through her own bag and also produced some pills of her own, apparently not caring for the bottle she found as she had thrown it to Nick. He wanted them to stop now, for the thoughts of pills to slip from his mind as they had done before; But every time he heard the rattle of pills inside those little plastic bottles, his focus slipped and his desire for his own built. He couldn't stand this stress, and he dreaded the inevitable fatigue that would come; It may be a few hours, it may even take well into the night, but the fatigue would come and this was the worst place to feel it. It weighed on his mind, heavier than the paranoia or the fear, clawing at him incessantly, demanding that he find his fix.

I can't.

He shook his head for a moment, trying to regain his focus and return to reality, shaking off his thoughts and shoving aside his clawing desire. His mind returned to focus on the task at hand, the lack of any task rather, mulling over what had been stated again, demanding that he do something; To take action or to speak, to move or to stay. He couldn't stand to just stand there in silence, left to his own thoughts. He drifted back to the mocking comments about the branch he held, and his fingers loosened from 'round the makeshift weapon; It really was the only thing he could trust, the only thing he felt safe with, and they were belittling his choice?

"It may not be much, but its better than what you've got, am I right?"

He glanced at both of their day packs, one left lying on the ground and the other upon Andrea's back, as they had both moved to take their respective seats; It would have been so simple to move forward, to stake his claim, to send at least one of them off with only what they had in their own personal bags. It would have been easy. From what he could spot, there were more bottles in Nick's bag, more of those flaming cocktails that were useless but oh so filled with potential. He still didn't know what Andrea held in her own bag, but he knew she had pills in her personal bag; He could take that, it wouldn't have been tough. Neither one of them were really armed...

My big stick, huh?

...And he did have a sizable advantage, his weapon in his hand; It was simple to use, just swing as hard as he could. He'd already practiced, already knew where his hand would go, it was just a matter of muscle memory if he needed to fight fast. But the stick wasn't his only advantage.

My hands...

He was as strong as he needed to be, as skilled as he wanted to be; It would have been so easy, so simple to take what they had, to disable them if they fought back. His grip upon the weapon tightened once more, the bottom half removing itself from upon the ground, moving into his left hand. He didn't know why he did it, he didn't know what he was intending on doing. But he stepped forward once more, away from his spot at the tree.

I couldn't... could I?

But that's what this was all about, right? Survival. But didn't he want to protect those he could, those he knew and called friends? Wasn't his main concern, just moments earlier, finding those friends? His mind was blank now as his body acted. What was he willing to do to protect himself, or others? Would he disarm the first people he met, for no reason that readily made itself obvious to his own curious mind? But he was protecting them... he knew what Nick had as a weapon, knew that those were dangerous; The boy could hurt himself long before he managed to hurt someone else. And if he didn't have a weapon, there wasn't a chance he could hurt anyone, himself or otherwise, right?

Right?

"Hey..."

His grip tightened. His mind went blank.

He came closer.

Weapon in hand.







...I could.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
Member Avatar
How cute.
[ *  * ]
No.

No. No. No.

Not yet, too soon, too risky.

Don't need to hurt them, just wait for the opportunity.

Deep breath.


Everything came back to him in that moment, realizing just what he was planning on doing, realizing just how close he was to committing himself to fighting in this 'game', to participating and putting his strength to the test against his classmates; The realization what he was willing to do weighed on his mind as he loosened his grip momentarily upon the branch in his hand, as he stopped his slow stride forward. Would he really do that? Would he really attack someone else to take their assigned weapon? He knew that he could, that it would be easy, simple, that he was confident in his own abilities, sure enough in himself that no one could stand against him; But was he really willing to use what he was taught, the techniques his father taught him to defend himself in this world, would he really use them without reason on his classmates?

His will wavered, his determination to disarm the two people in front of him unsure; They weren't dangerous, were they? How could he be sure that they would hurt someone, to be sure enough to do something about it here and now, to justify attacking them? But if he didn't, they could go on to do more harm to others, they could make use of what weapons they had been assigned kill another person. He didn't want them to have to deal with that, or for others to die from his inaction; He was the one responsible now, the one who would decide what would happen. It was his choice, and his alone.

Would he attack them, disarm them, prevent the possible deaths and injuries they could cause.

Or would he take the risk and leave them, unsure of what they were capable of doing.

I can't let anything happen to them.

Familiar faces flashed before him, voices of his friends passing through his mind, the ones he cared for and the ones he loved; The ones he'd spent time with, the ones he'd experienced the world with. Would he risk their lives by leaving a loose end, by leaving Nick with his molotovs and Andrea with her... what did she have? He didn't know, he didn't get a good look at what it was before he approached them, he didn't know what exactly she held within that pack with her name on it.

I never saw it.

He lied already, he had said they had nothing. Molotov Cocktails are not 'nothing'. Was Andrea's assigned weapon similar? Was she even more of a threat to Alex, to others, than Nick was? They already lied to him once, but could her weapon be worse than Nick's? His blank stare shot to her bag, the closed container upon her back, trying to make out a familiar form among the folds; But nothing matched what he saw, nothing he could think of made such an indentation to match. But he knew it was heavy, the way it hung from her back.

A large weapon.

Panic and paranoia washed over his mind, scenes of death and sorrow and pain filling his thoughts. His grip tightened again upon the branch, his brow furrowing. Anger and contempt and fear and worry and paranoia and rage and.... He couldn't let that happen. He knew they would do something, he just knew that they would be dangerous; Nick's attitude and Andrea's history with this 'game', they were flashing signs, warnings. His eyes narrowed upon the molotov that Nick held. He had to stop it from happening, to keep them from doing anything.

I have to. I have to.

He stepped forward once more.

The world was silent, the silence deafening, nothing moved and nothing remained in place.


His arms raised.



His body twisted.




He swung.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
This won't be easy...

Nick surprised him.

Alex didn't think he would have been capable of really putting up a fight, of defending himself in any true capacity, not with a brittle weapon and what Alex thought to be a lack of experience; But the way he fought, even with such brittle and almost useless weapons, meant he might have had more experience than Alex did in dirty fights. Everything screamed at him to push harder, to fight harder, to take those stronger swings and to keep pushing back, but Alex's will wavered when it came down to it; He wanted to disarm Nick, to take his strength and his weapon, to keep him from using either on someone else, but his resolve was not enough. His first swing didn't make contact, his second just barely, not strength behind the wild swing to catch his opponent; A glimpse of something came into view, a wild swing.

Crack!

It sent him reeling for a moment, the sound of the impact against his skull, the hard glass slamming into the side of his head; It was a wild swing, without strength or true intent, but it was a solid blow. But it was enough to bring the realization to light, that Alex may not win, that he may not succeed if he didn't step up, if he didn't ascend to the challenge; He would have to push back, to push hard, to fight and swing stronger than he intended. Seething, he swung. Again and again, against his better judgment, in anger and in fury he swung hard, swung wild, pushed back and fought; White knuckle grip on the weapon he relied upon, on the one thing he trusted in, not realizing his mistakes. The branch wasn't going to protect him, it wasn't going to fight for him, and it wasn't going to keep him alive.

...Shit.

But knowledge came too late.

Nick closed the gap every time, swinging and stabbing, trying to land another blow; They traded strikes, or they broke apart, seeking the upper hand on one another. The reasons for the fight escaped all thought, replaced by anger, by contempt and rage, by fight or flight and the will to survive; Every stinging blow was met with a fierce reply, every strike becoming stronger. Neither of them were holding back, neither wanting to die, neither knowing why they fought save survival and strength being put to the test; Do or die, a test of clashing wills, of resolve and survival instinct. An opening appeared, a fault in Alex's choice of weapon and his judgment of the fight; Nick took the chance, stepped forward, and struck.

A sharp blow.

A gasp for breath.

That hurt.

Unprepared, the blow to his chest took the breath from Alex, but a furious counter was at hand; Nick was getting away, breaking off and backing away. No quarter given, no restraint, Alex pushed forward and raised his arms; A look in his eyes like none other as he brought the weapon down, harder than he had before, with a deadly intent behind the blow. It came down fast, it came down hard, the intent behind it was clear and the strength invested was high; He wasn't going to hold back anymore, not now, not when he had the opportunity and the will to cash in. Nick tried to defend himself, moving forward, bracing himself.

It worked, to a point.

The sound of shattering glass broke the relative silence, the smell of fuel filling the air around them, the choking fumes of diesel filling his mouth and nose. Coughing and seeking a clear breath, Alex stepped back, breaking away from Nick, something he knew would come back to bite him; And sure enough, a voice called out, outside of his view, grabbing his attention. Alex turned, facing Andrea with anger in his eyes and contempt in his voice, with rage filling his thoughts and fueling his actions; He didn't realize what she was up to until it was too late, the black powder stinging his eyes and sticking to his sweat covered skin.

"You bitch!"

He coughed and cursed, his hand upon his face, removing the offending particulate as fast as he could. He released his grip upon his chosen weapon, wiping the substance from his eyes; Though stinging, he could see, his vision clouded and barely clearing when he spotted the movement off to the side. He had ignored Nick for too long, left him to his thoughts and his actions longer than he should have; Nick had a plan, had the means and the will to complete it, the rage that filled both their minds and their veins fueling his actions. Alex's opponent was dangerous now, far more than he ever had been; The faint glint of light reflecting off of the glass in Nick's hand.

He knew what was coming.

Shit!

Turning quickly, he braced himself for the coming attack, the broken glass showing Nick's intentions as clear as day; He knew he would end up hurt if he didn't try to stop Nick, didn't try to disarm him, but he didn't have his weapon. He didn't need his weapon. He had almost forgotten that brief moment of clarity, of the realization that in this fight, the branch would do nothing but hinder him; it gave him reach and gave his strikes more power, but it hindered him when Nick got close, it was too slow to combat Nick's comparatively unhindered, fast movements. In that moment, he realized what he was capable of, what he was being presented with, the opportunity that was in front of him; And he took it. His feet slid, his body shifted slightly, as he braced himself. He had to time it just right; Too soon, and he'd have a nice gash sliced into his arm, but if he was too late, he'd have a hole in his side.

He focused on the glass.

He watched Nick rush closer.

And he acted.

His hand closed around Nick's left wrist as his body shifted, the leaf litter upon the ground making his actions that much easier; His leg slid between Nick's, his hip moving in to place, and he pulled Nick forward by his shoulder. He used Nick's speed, his momentum, against him; He forced the opponent over his hip, off his feet, and unto the ground before them as hard as he could. It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't as strong as it should have been, but it would be more than enough; Knocking the wind out of Nick was what he wanted, was what he needed, and taking the broken glass was easy. But Alex didn't know what Nick was capable of, didn't know if he would counter right then and there; prying the broken piece of glass from his hand was quick, but he wouldn't remain next to the fallen opponent. If nothing else, he would at least be able to get away while Nick was knocked down, while he was out of it and unable to react. But something wasn't right, something was clawing at Alex's mind as he backed away from his opponent; Everything was screaming at him to realize what had happened.

He had made a mistake.

"Fuck."

His arm stung and burned; He hadn't pulled off the defense perfectly, and the shallow, bleeding cut was proof enough. His shirt and his jacket were torn, perhaps being the only reasons why the cut wasn't deeper, wasn't as serious as it could have been; But it hurt, and the pain broke his focus on Nick. The fight had ended, and reality was snapping back to punish Alex for his recklessness; His body was sore, his arm was bleeding, and he'd barely done anything to disarm either one of the people before him. He'd beaten Nick, but he wasn't in any position to take the pack from where he had left it.

He made a mistake.

He was worn out, sore, injured and regretting his actions; His own packs upon his back were heavy, and he knew that leaving them there during the fight was a mistake. Everything he had done was a mistake, all the things he had assumed and the actions he had taken, everything he had tried to do based upon nothing but his own paranoia, his own fear and panic; Mistakes that couldn't be fixed, actions that couldn't be taken back. The weight of his actions, the realization that he had just attacked someone, had even tried to kill him, it all hit him then and there as the pain in his arm dragged him back to reality and held him there.

Oh god...

He made a mistake.

How would he face the ones he intended to protect, what would he do if they knew what he had tried to do; Without provocation, he had attacked someone, he had tried to kill them. But he had a reason, right? It was a good reason, wasn't it? He wanted to protect the ones he cared about, he wanted to keep others from killing people. But as the realization of what he had done, what he had tried to do, slipped into his mind and invaded his thoughts, he questioned that resolve; They hadn't shown any intentions of harming others, had they? No... the only one to show hostility was Alex himself. But... he had to protect them, didn't he? He was responsible... wasn't he? He had to shoulder the weight of the decision, to carry that responsibility... didn't he?

He made a mistake.

"I... I just wanted to protect them."

No excuses.

He knew. In the back of his mind, he knew what he had done was wrong, that it wasn't necessary, that it wasn't needed. Nothing he had done would protect those he cared about, nothing he had done would prevent anything from happening; The only person who was causing harm now, who was threatening the lives of those around him... was him. No one else. He was responsible. He was to blame.

He was guilty.

"I'm guilty."


Yes.


"I'm to blame..."



Yes.




"It's my fault..."





Yes.







"I made a mistake."
Edited by Dr. Nic, Aug 28 2010, 04:41 PM.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
"I really did it this time, didn't I..."

There was no coming back from what he had done, no way he could make up for it and no way he could apologize. He made a mistake, a big one, and there was nothing he could do to fix it, not this time; Sure, he'd made mistakes in the past, but this was the worst yet. He'd tried to kill Nick just now, with his so called weapon high above his head, rage and fury burning in his veins, all telling him to bring that hammer down, to kill Nick then and there; There was no good intent behind that, he just wanted him dead in that moment, for everything he had done and everything he would do. But something wasn't right.

What had he done?

He couldn't answer that, not honestly at least; He could speculate and guess and worry and panic over what Nick would do, but there was no answer to the question of what he had already done. He hadn't done anything besides carry a bad attitude, and Alex attacked him for it. He hadn't done anything to deserve such reaction, and yet Alex tried to beat him, tried to kill him, tried to end his life with brutal attacks. He had no answer for his actions, no explanations, no excuses.

No excuses huh?

He had to take responsibility for what he had done, for his choice; It was his choice and his alone, and no one forced him to do it. Not Andrea or Nick or anyone he wanted to protect, none of them forced him to take action or make that choice; He didn't even know if the people he tried to preemptively were still alive or in the same situation. No, that's not right. He knew they were. This was Survival of the Fittest, that horrible show that everyone couldn't help but watch or take note of; The premise was always the same, the class was always taken in whole, and no one ever escaped capture. No, he knew they were there, he knew who he wanted to protect, but he didn't know if they were still alive and safe, if his actions were even justified in the slightest.

No! They're still alive, I just know it!

He lied to himself.

No!

Yes.

He knew it was a lie, that it was a desperate grasp at the strings, that he just wanted justification for his actions; He wanted his choice to be the right one, and to forget it was a mistake. But he couldn't. No, he couldn't forget it or try to justify it. He had to step up and take the blame; No one else was to blame for what he had done, only him. He had to take responsibility for his choices, he had to bear the burden of the mistakes he had made and would continue to make, and it the only one to blame was him. Only him.

Only me.

Yes.

He didn't feel like moving; For a long time, he didn't do anything, barely realizing that he was alone in the woods, that no one was around. When he finally came to, it wasn't because he had come to a conclusion, that he had ended his train of thought; No, the reason for him to snap back to reality was the searing pain in his arm, that cut from the glass and the biting breeze against the stinging wound. He had to do something about that. But what could he do besides... Wait, no, inside the bag. He lifted his daypack off his back, dropped it unto the ground, and tore it open as fast as he could; There, right there, was the first aid kit he had seen earlier. It would have what he needed for his arm.

"What was it she mentioned about pills?"

His arm cleaned, bandaged and out of mind, he had time to think back on what Andrea had said before she took off running; Why had she said anything to him after what he had tried to do? But the word she chose to use, what she told him about the pills, it got his interest piqued; He didn't have his pills, his personal stash, so those stolen from others would have to do. But did he really want that crutch now? The bottle was within reach, just there on the ground, surrounded by little white pieces of that ever present crutch in his life; There were still a few in the bottle. He outstretched his hand, grabbed the little plastic container, and picked it up.

But something shot into his mind, his memory, when he heard the rattle of the pills.

He had heard that noise before, earlier; When Andrea was digging through her bag, he could just barely make out the rattle of pills in their container, the tell tale sound of his addiction. She sold the same ones he took, she had done so for a long time; Selling to his classmates, to the people she knew, but he had never taken the chance for an easier supply. But he knew she had them, the ones he wanted, the ones he needed. He looked down at his hand. The name on the bottle Nick had wasn't right, didn't match the names he pulled from his memory. No, these weren't the ones he needed.

She lied.

Repeating Nick's action, he cast the bottle of pills from his sight, spilling the last of its contents onto the ground. The anger returned, the resentment and the contempt; She lied to him, kept it hidden from him. But she couldn't be far away now, he could chase after her, take the pills he knew she had; Retake the hold on his crutch and give in to his addiction, by hook or by crook. It would be easy, simple, and the choice was his to make. But there was something else; something in the air around him, something coming from the distance. He could smell it. He knew what it was.

"Smoke.... Shit!"

He made a mistake.

"I shouldn't have let him go!"

He made his choice.

He grabbed his day pack, ready to close it, to put it on his back and be on his way from this place, to chase after his mistake; But he stopped. He spotted the item Nick had left behind, the intact bottle on the ground. He must had dropped it when Alex slammed him, and forgotten to take it with him when he ran. Moving closer, Alex took the cause for his mistake into his hand; He stared at the bottle with contempt in his eyes, tempted to throw it, to be rid of it, to cast it from his sight and make sure no one else could make use of it. But if that smoke meant what he knew it did, he might need this weapon; This, and the piece of glass he had taken from his fallen opponent. It was in his pocket, the blood stained edge wrapped in a torn piece of his jacket.

He made his choice.

Sliding the molotov into his day pack, Alex removed his jacket and tore the rest of the sleeve from it; He wouldn't wear it any longer, putting the rest into his pack. He knew what he was doing; Picking up each piece of glass from the ground with cautious fingers, he placed them into the sleeve, holding them in it until he gathered every last piece. The diesel soaked shards in his possession, he cast his focus upon the last thing that still sat nearby; The branch he had taken from the trees, the weapon he invested his strength and his trust in. He made a mistake in using it the first time, but it was still his weapon, one he had taken up by choice; He made a mistake the first time, but when he met Nick again, he wouldn't hesitate. He wouldn't miss. With weapon in hand, with the diesel soaked shards resting carefully in his pocket, he swung his day pack unto his back.


He made his choice.



He wouldn't make the same mistake twice.




He followed after Nick.






[Boy #14 - Alex White. Continued in Hideaway.]

[End of Thread]
Edited by Dr. Nic, Sep 16 2010, 06:47 AM.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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