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Everybody's Changing; B091 Start - THREAD CLOSED
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 07:29 AM (3,574 Views)
Dr. Nic
Member Avatar
How cute.
[ *  * ]
[Boy #61 - William Hearst. Start.]

He'd been up for a while now.

He was alone out there, that much was obvious; He hadn't heard or seen anyone yet, and certainly didn't mind it. The last thing he wanted was someone coming across him, crying as he was; He hadn't moved far from where he woke up, only enough to pull himself up against a large stump and curl up, silently soaking the sleeve of his shirt. He had his arms wrapped around his head, trying desperately to keep his ears covered and his eyes sealed shut; After what he saw in the auditorium, after what he heard, he didn't want to see where he was or listen to the gunfire that he just knew was going off in the distance, to the screams and the shouting of his classmates. His mind had run with the idea of Survival of the Fittest, and any confidence he had in his classmates, in his friends, went out the window when he heard the first distant crack of gunfire or distinctive sound of an explosion. He had simply curled up and cried, shutting out the world as best he could.

But he didn't have any tears left.

His throat was sore and dry, the choking feeling having long before come about as everything seemed to climb up in his throat; He felt sick to his stomach at times, but strained to keep everything down. His eyes were bloodshot and stinging, his cheeks stained with the evidence of his break down; Beneath his eyes and around them, his skin was red and still wet. But he didn't have any tears left to shed, no matter how hard he tried or how desperately he wanted them to come. He had gone through the gasping for breath, the shuddering and the sobbing; He had gone through with cursing the world and everything in it, especially this damn show and the people who ran it. But now, there was little left and little point in continuing; For better or worse, he was stuck there, and no amount of crying would take him away from that reality.

He was now, for better or worse, a 'cast member' of Survival of the Fittest.

He was quiet now; No tears fell, his breathing had finally eased, and he started to think about his situation instead of trying to run from it. He knew that his life was now on the line, that much was certain; He'd seen the show, heard the rumors and listened to his classmates drone on about specific 'characters' before. He didn't want to accept the truth that it was real then, just like everyone else, but now? Now he had no choice; He was now a participant in Survival of the Fittest whether he liked it or not, and he would have to fight for his life. If he wanted to survive, he would have to question what distance he was willing to go; He would have to question which lines he would cross and which ones he wouldn't, and he had to acknowledge that his life was in his hands. If he wanted to survive, he had to make his own path.

He didn't realize that he had started moving, that he was no longer curled up and cutting himself off from the world, until he heard the zipper on his personal bag; His throat was sore and horribly dry, and he needed a drink. For a school camping trip, he had packed well. Extra clothes, personal snacks and drinks, even a couple books; But for the most part, his bag was a mess, missing many of his belongings. He noticed his cellphone was gone, and that someone had taken his watch for whatever reason; He liked that watch, and would likely miss it, but it hadn't been sentimental. It was just a nice watch; Stainless steel finish with a relatively wide, segmented band and a hefty weight to it. It was a really nice watch, and even now he could remember when he got it and why, how much he spent on it and how he had worked for weeks to get the money.

A fit of coughing brought him out of his thoughts, and he pulled a somewhat warm bottle of juice from his bag; He didn't mind the temperature, but a cold drink certainly would have been preferred. But it was a drink, and that was what he needed now; He didn't continue coughing, and his throat felt significantly better now, so it served its purpose. Slipping it back into the bag, he turned his focus to the other bag that sat nearby. The writing on it, and its proximity to him when he awoke, told him that it was his; He didn't want to open it, but his hands were acting against his better judgment as they pulled the provided provisions closer.

But he didn't expect to find what he did.

From within the bag, out fell his assigned weapon. A Kel-Tech P11 handgun; He discerned the name from the included manual. It was heavy in his left hand as he picked it up, and his fingers struggled to close around the grip. He closed his eyes for a moment and shook his head; shaking off his ambivalence about the weapon. He slipped the gun into his right hand and took a deep breath before closing his fingers around the grip. It didn't feel so heavy any more; Either in his hand or in his mind, it felt lighter than he was comfortable with. But it was his to use, his to defend himself with and his... to fight with.

But could he really do it? Could he really fight for his life, even against his friends? Against those he spent much of his daily life with, and those he loved?

I have to... right?

"That's right."

He held the weapon out in front of him, taking aim at a stump a few meters away. His eyes shot from the stump to the weapon, and then to the booklet in his left hand; He didn't know when he picked up the manual, or even when he opened it, but his eyes began to scan the pages. When he was finished with one, he flipped to the next; No matter how much he wanted to stop, no matter how much he wanted to curl back up and go back to separating himself from reality, he couldn't stop reading.

He checked the safety.

He located the magazine release.

He pulled back the slide.

"That's right..."

The manual was put down, and his hands curled around the grip; his right tightened around the weapon, his left cupping it from the bottom. His aim wasn't steady; Far from it, he could feel his hands trembling even now, even with both of them firmly upon the weapon.

Now the safety.

He flipped it off.

"That's right..."

Now, down the sights.

He leaned his head and closed one eye; He stared down the sights of the weapon, lining up the dots. It seemed so much simpler than he had wanted it to; He wanted it to be complicated, to give him an excuse to throw it away and rationalize his lack of need for the weapon. But it was simple.

You just aim...

"...and fire."

He couldn't believe what he was doing in that moment; It seemed so unreal, so slow and calculated. He felt his fingers tighten, he felt the trigger give way; He watched the hammer suddenly click back. He watched it suddenly disappear from its position, and he jumped as it cracked loud in his hands; His ears rang as the sound of the weapon going off was louder, far louder, than he had expect. It kicked in his hands, and when his focus returned, when his sight shifted from the gun to the stump he had taken aim at, he could see the splintered indentation he had made.

I... I fired a gun.

He had done just that; his mind reeled as he realized what it meant, as he realized that the gunfire was the very reason he had curled away from reality. But now he had fired a weapon. In his mind, he had cemented the fact that he was willing to fight for his survival, that he was willing to use his weapon if it came down to it; His trembling hands and his tear stained cheeks, his bloodshot eyes and his speeding heart all spoke differently as he sat there. He was frozen in place for a moment, not sure if he should remain there out of fear or out of uncertainty, but as time slowly clicked by, he body and mind began to ease.

I didn't hurt anyone, I didn't shoot at a person.

He tried to rationalize the firing of the gun now as he put the manual away, as he reached into the bag and pulled from it one of the extra clips. He didn't know why he put it into his pocket, or why he kept the gun out, but as he zipped the bags back up and finally pulled himself up onto his feet, he knew one thing.

He couldn't stay there.

It wasn't safe to sit in one place for as long as he had, and it wasn't safe to have made so much noise. He didn't know where to go or what to do, but the gun in his hand was the only thing he had going for him. He didn't know where his friends were, and without the gun, he probably wouldn't have a chance of surviving his first encounter with the unknown.

He remembered the map and compass, and pulled them out of the bag before he slipped the both of them unto his back. He may not have had much going for him, but he knew how to read a map; He knew what to look for in landmarks, and how to use the compass. But for now, there was little in the way of landmarks; He was surrounded by stumps and logs, dead trees and a decent layer of sawdust and leaf litter. He could see the mountain in the distance, the towering feature of the land looming above; But could he really climb it alone?

I have to... right?

"That's right."

He chose a direction, and slipped the map into a pocket; He had his destination in mind, now he had to reach it. So, he began walking. He didn't care where he was headed for now, as long as he was gaining ground and making an effort; As his distance away from where he had awoken began to grow, slowly, his pace quickened. He fell into a routine and rhythm with his steps, moving over logs and around stumps with gradually increasing speed and ease. Before long, he was making a decent headway.

Until he noticed the figures in the distance.
Edited by Dr. Nic, Aug 11 2010, 12:12 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
Member Avatar
How cute.
[ *  * ]
A glint of light caught his eye, a reflection off of metal. He couldn't see who was holding it, or even what it was; The sole silhouette above the stumps was a person though, that much he was sure of. They were moving, and even if he couldn't make out who it was or what they were doing, he felt a chill run down the length of his spine and back again. A mix of fear and relief began to fill his mind, and he had frozen in his steps. The thought of calling out came to him, the desire to be with someone, anyone, was moving to the foreground of his thoughts; At the same time, he dreaded being with someone more than being alone. He knew what he was thinking, he knew how he felt and he knew exactly what he was going to do; He couldn't ever say the same of another person, no matter who it was. He didn't know how others had reacted to the situation, or how they would handle the realization that their lives were in danger at all times; He didn't want to think about it, about the potential horrors that could be caused or the lives that could be lost.

And most of all, he wanted nothing to do with any thought, any possibility however slight, that he might be killed by someone he knew, someone he trusted, or... someone he loved.

But before he could do anything besides stand there and stare at the silhouette, a new noise beyond the silence and the sound of the world around him filled his ears. A sound that gripped him with more fear and dread and panic than even his own worries, than even the thoughts in his head or the horrors he had imagined when he awoke. A single sound that had been so horrifying, so terrifying to William that it caused his knees to become weak; his resolve collapsed, his will to keep walking disappeared, as he struggled to remain standing in the face of apparent danger.

Someone had screamed.

He didn't know who had done it, or why; But the piercing sound was close, it was too loud to have been from further away. He didn't move, frozen in place, unsure as to what he should do now; His hand trembled, his fingers wrapping tighter around the grip of the gun in his hand as he looked down at the weapon he held. The gun in his hand still felt lighter than he thought it would, still loomed with the same terrifying connotations and unbelievable power that it had when he fired it the first time, just moments earlier.

My gun...

"That's right..."

He had power. He had the means to protect himself, to fight for his life if it came down to it; But what about others? What about his classmates who were alone, like he was? Who didn't have a weapon or a means to fight back, who didn't have any way of protecting themselves from those who did; Those who didn't stand a chance against the ones that he knew would participate in this game, the ones who were likely to die. What about them? What could he do?

I could help.

He had a choice to make in this world, in this place of chaos and despair; Did he fight for himself, or did he fight for others? Would he retreat from the unknown, from the dangers he perceived all around him? Or would he stand up and face his fears, and use his new found power to rid himself of these ever present horrors?

Before he knew it, he had made his choice.

He was moving again, resuming his pace forward, towards the silhouette in the distance and the source of the scream; He didn't know when the silhouette had started moving, started retreating from sight as fast as it possibly could, but that didn't stop him from continuing onward. He didn't know what he was going to do once he reached his destination, or even what he would do when he ran into someone else; He honestly didn't want to think about it until it was absolutely necessary, trying with all his strength of will to keep his mind from wandering, to keep it from fabricating scenarios. He focused on his feet, on the direction he was headed and the horizon in front of him; But his eyes caught more movement in the gradually decreasing distance.

Wait.

Something else, someone else, was moving now; Faster and larger than he had expected, still unsure as to who it was, but they had something in their hands. It wasn't metal they were holding, or even something with the silhouette of a dangerous weapon; From the distance that William stood at, it looked like... a stick? As he came ever closer, closing the distance with purpose and determination, moving over scattered logs and stumps that stood in his path, he could make out the figure much better; And it wasn't a lone figure that he made out, it was two. Neither looked to be much of a threat, not to him at least; One held a branch, and the other held nothing, not even a bag was within William's line of sight.

Is that...?

He stopped moving as soon as he felt he was close enough, standing roughly forty feet away from the two of them; The dirt stained boy with the branch, and the girl against the stump. He couldn't make out who exactly they were, but that didn't stop him from calling out, not after he had come so far; He wasn't going to back down, not now.

"Are you two alright?"

He didn't make a demand, he didn't simply shout a greeting; He wanted to know if they were okay. The reason why escaped him at this moment, unsure of why he chose that question or why he was concerned; Every thought he had earlier, of people being threats and of the fear that gripped him when he awoke, or the potential need to use the gun in his hand, it all slipped away when he saw the two of them. They were just as scared as he was and for whatever reason, it eased his mind to see that; Even when he saw the tear stained tracks on Dominic's cheeks, it made him feel... safe.

He wasn't alone anymore.
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.
[ *  * ]
A familiar voice.

A familiar face.

Relief washed over William as he realized just who was before him, just who exactly was among the first people he ran into after waking up. Of all the people he could have run in to, he was relieved to find that one of the first people he did encounter was Tiffany; He could feel safe with her, safe in the knowledge that she was as far from a threatening person as possible. She seemed to be even more frightened than William was, either by the situation they were in or what she had seen after waking up; Whatever it was, seeing her as fearful as she was had been strangely comforting to him. He didn't know why, nor did he care to ask at the moment; All that mattered then was that he was no longer alone, no longer the only one so scared of what was happening all around them.

And then she screamed again, scrambling away from where she had been, as if the person who had jumped in to protect her was more of a threat than what they had sought to protect her from; With bloodshot eyes and a gun in his tightening grip, how could this boy with a stick be more threatening, more frightening than William was at this moment in time? But when he realized what she had shouted, why she had scrambled away from the dirt covered boy in front of him, William could do nothing but stand in disbelief.

...Zombie?

It didn't sound right, and it didn't make any sense. Something told him that perhaps Tiffany had watched too many movies, that she wasn't thinking straight in the situation they were tossed into, that panic and paranoia had taken hold and twisted her view of the moment. Of all the things that were going on, of all the horrors that they were to encounter over the course of this 'game', there was nothing brought forth but disbelief when he heard the word that Tiffany had uttered; It was impossible, ridiculous and didn't make any sense. But he could worry about that later, he could ask her why she had screamed that of all things when they were safer, when neither of them had to worry about their safety in the face of ever present danger.

No, for now, William had something more important to worry about. The boy in front of him had shifted, and William's eyes shot towards the piece of wood that was being held out at him with such hostility; He had taken a step toward William, movement that made William uneasy, fearful and worried. He raised his arm, holding his own weapon out in front of him; His fingers tightened around the grip, his finger playing at the trigger guard, threatening to slip into the opening, to land upon the trigger, to squeeze it and end a life. William stared at the boy, looking into his eyes; A wavering determination, a fear filled gaze, a building panic.

That's right...

He had felt relief when he originally looked at the boy, saw the tear stained tracks upon his face, the tell tale lines cutting through the thin layer of dirt and grim; He had felt safety and comfort knowing that he wasn't alone, that he wasn't the only one who feared for his life. Now, he held a gun on the very source of that relief, that comfort and sense of safety; He held a gun on one of the only other people he had met, the only thing standing between him and becoming a reason for others to fear for their lives being a simple movement, a small shift. It had been so simple earlier, firing at the stump.

So easy... So simple...

But his hand was trembling.

Don't make me do it.

He begged and he pleaded, silently staring at the boy before him as he trembled. He didn't want to shoot, he didn't want to become a reason for others to panic, he didn't want to become the source of fear. He didn't want to carry the burden of killing someone, of ending another persons life and leaving them to waste as he went on living; He didn't want to carry that weight on his mind, on his conscience. The thoughts weighed heavily upon his mind, the desire to live fighting with his willingness to fight for that right; It was heavy, too heavy, and his hand trembled. The boy before him had long since dropped his weapon, began to beg for a life; But it wasn't his own he had begged for, it wasn't his own life that he was begging to continue. He begged for Tiffany.

Saving another.

He didn't know how long he had held his gun on the begging form before him, how long he had threatened to take the life of the crying boy; But his arm was becoming weak, the weight of the realization descending upon him heavier than anything ever before. He lowered his weapon, his silent stare giving way to a glassy gaze, tears filling his own eyes as his arm dropped to his side.

"I'm so sorry..."

William stepped back now, towards a long since felled tree behind him; A remnant of a time passed in this place, a memory of a life that was long since missing from this surrounding.

"I don't... I don't want to hurt anyone."

William lowered his head and stared at the gun in his hands as he sat. Because he held this, because he had this in his hand when he ran into someone, he almost took a life; Fear and worry filled his thoughts, but anger and contempt for himself seeped into the forefront. How could he have done that, how could he have threatened to kill someone so easily, so quickly, that he hadn't even realized he had done it until it was almost too late? But no matter how much he wanted, no matter how much he shouted at himself to throw it away, to rid himself of such tempting power, of something that was too easy to use, he couldn't bring himself to do it. The weapon was his, the power was real, the responsibility and weight was his to bear.

Damn it.

He cursed his weakness, his wavering will, his overwhelming fear of the unknown, his unwillingness to give up his only means of fighting for his life; He couldn't stand to think of what would happen if he was rid of this weapon, of this power to protect himself. He had to keep that power to fight; To fight for his life, to protect himself... to protect others, and to fight for the lives of those who couldn't fight.

That's right.

He had forgotten.

This power was his.

He was the only one who could decide how it was used.

"I don't know what to do."

No. That's wrong.

He knew exactly what to do, but admitting it, to himself or to others, was something he struggled with. He didn't want to admit it, admit what his choice was or would be. But for now, tried not to worry about it. He wasn't alone anymore, and he couldn't sit with his thoughts forever.

"I think we should leave."

He raised his head, looked to Tiffany and then to the boy; The boy he didn't recognize, the voice he didn't think he knew, the face he couldn't make out behind the dirt. He focused, tried his hardest to conjure up a name, a face, something from his memories that would match, that would make things simpler for him.

Dominic. I'm sure of it.

"Dominic, Tiffany, I... I'm sorry. For what I almost did. I'm so sorry."

It wasn't needed, he didn't need to beg for forgiveness, he didn't need to apologize; but he did what he thought was necessary. He apologized for what he knew he should be sorry for.

He was guilty.


But he knew...


Above everything else, he knew...





This wouldn't be the last time.
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
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
Dr. Nic
Member Avatar
How cute.
[ *  * ]
Nothing seemed right anymore, nothing seemed to fit and nothing wanted to sit well upon William's mind. Dominic was fleeing, Tiffany having long since left them, and there he still sat, staring at the gun in his hand. This wasn't right, none of this should have happened. He shouldn't have this, he shouldn't have ever had to hold a gun or see a gun or fire a gun or point it at someone or... He closed his fingers around the grip of the pistol. Contempt was there, anger was there, but they had panic and paranoia to contend with; He looked upon the weapon, always feeling as if he was close to throwing it away but never quite capable of letting go of it.

I made my decision.

"That's right."

He had. Before Tiffany had left, before Dominic had fled from him, he had made his decision. The gun was fear, it was power, it was weakness and it was strength; It was everything he hated and everything he wanted. Everything he wanted to be rid of and everything he desired to possess. But he had already made his decision; It was his and his alone, and only he could decide how it would be used. The responsibility and the burden was his to bear, and whatever his choices to come would be, he would have to face them.

Abusus non tollit usum.

"Misuse does not remove use."

It was something he had heard a long time ago, something he had associated with his unfortunate business in the past, something he used to justify his actions. It took new meaning now that it had something to attach that meaning to; He had made a mistake, forcing Dominic to stare down the barrel of the weapon. But that one mistake, that horrible mistake, did not remove the thoughts from his mind. What if he could use it to protect others, to protect himself? A better use for the power he had been given, a purpose behind it and an intent to fuel him.

"Protect others huh?"

What was it that Tiffany said?

"Everything is going to be alright... is that right?"

He couldn't answer that. No matter how hard he wanted to, no matter how badly he wanted an answer to come forth and reveal itself to him, he couldn't answer that question. He couldn't be sure that everything would be alright, on his own or with Tiffany, if he used this power with good intent or if he gave in to the fear. The chances for something to go wrong were always there, always looming in his thoughts, hesitation slipping into his once determined mind. The same hesitation that kept him from putting away the gun, the same hesitation that almost made him kill Dominic... but it was also the same hesitation that kept him from killing Dominic, the same hesitation that kept him from firing upon Tiffany before he knew it was her.

Enough.

He lifted his head, looked away from the gun, in the direction Tiffany had run off in. He couldn't just let her go off alone, and sitting there wasn't going to get him anywhere. He pushed himself up, and straightened himself out. He'd spent too much time sitting there, too much time thinking to himself, and couldn't afford to get lost in his thoughts much more. No, he had to stick to his decision, for better or worse, and move on; It was the only thing he could really do now, just continue on and keep moving, and stop looking back. Nothing was going to change unless he changed it, and the first step of that was simply to start moving.

"Hmm?"

Over where Tiffany had originally sat was a bag, Tiffany's bag; She'd forgotten it with all that had been happening, left it behind without a thought, continuing on her path. He would have been jealous of that strength, of that resolve, if he hadn't seen the fear in her eyes before. She was just like him, no better, no worse, and the only difference was that she had made her decision sooner than he had. But that ended; He had a goal, a plan, and he was going to keep moving from now on. He would make his choices and face the consequences of them. And his first choice had been to follow Tiffany, to return her bag to her, to make better use of the power in his hand. So, he moved to where she had been and picked up her bag, the third one he carried, and held it in his once empty left hand; It was heavy, and carrying all that weight upon his frame would likely wear him out, but it wouldn't last long.

With determination in his eyes, he followed after Tiffany.


Gun in hand.



His choice was made.

[Boy #61 - William Hearst. Continued in Morning Comes Slowly.]

[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
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
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