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Droplets; G063 - Ericka Bradley start - TOPIC CLOSED
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 08:46 AM (3,385 Views)
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((G063 - Ericka Bradley - Start))

Ericka had been one of the first to awaken on the island, or so she assumed. That she hadn't seen or heard anyone could easily be a sign of the opposite, just as well as it could support the conclusion that she had come to. Still, any advantage even, occasionally, one that was only perceived could, and should, be drawn upon.

Ericka sat between treeline and shoreline, surrounded by grasses and shrubs of many nameless varieties. The waves gently broke against the sandy beach and an occasional seabird could be heard or seen. The setting was calm enough that under normal circumstances it would be an ideal reading spot, but at the moment, under the current conditions, Ericka's mind was anything but tranquil.

She was repeatedly reading the manuals that were packaged with her equipment. Their pages were damp, moistened not by the nearby and ever-present seawater, but instead by the young girl's tears. Many questions and thoughts swept through her mind, so many that she could barely keep track of them. One, however, managed to stand out: He was right... as completely and utterly paranoid as he had seemed, Ericka's father had been completely and utterly... right...

Ericka gave another cursory scan of Danya's Survival Guide, and wondered; if she had listened to her father would he have given the same advice contained in the tear-stained booklet?

She gently touched her neck, and felt the collar. That damn collar that kept us chained here like a dog on a leash. Yeah... The students were no more than animals to Danya, and SotF his glorified and horrifying dog fighting ring.

Ericka stroked her one stroke of luck, the gun that she had been assigned. Although she would have difficulty learning to use it, it would still be easier than learning how to use a sword, a bow, or an axe. And the weapon use manual cleared up a few misunderstandings that would have led her to harm herself or to waste time, which amounts to the same thing on the island.



A noise came from a patch of tall grass behind Ericka. She quickly grabbed for her gun, scrambled to her feet, and turned around, gripping the weapon with both hands and aiming it at the grass. The noise could be the wind or an animal... But it could also be another student, a threat, and she didn't want to be caught unprepared.

"Wh-Who's there?" Ericka asked with fear and panic obvious in her voice, mustering as much courage as she could she added "I was assigned a gun and I'm not afraid to use it." She hoped that if it was a person that was there, and they were hostile, that the threat would drive them off, because Ericka was afraid to shoot, and she didn't even wanna think about what would happen if a hostile called her bluff.
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The source of the noise introduced itself: Rena Peters. Ericka didn't recall ever meeting the girl, so it was hard to judge whether the girl was a threat...



... Come to think of it... How can you tell who's threatening, anyway? Does anyone really now another person that much? Actions show who's not a threat, and inaction can have a malevolence all it's own. Since Ericka couldn't see Rena well, she had to consider the girl a threat, Rena had to leave.

Just as Ericka was about to demand that Rena leave, another voice called out from the shadows, a boy from the sound of it. He claimed he was stuck. Ericka glanced back and forth between the locations of the voices. She couldn't see either of them, and she didn't like it.

Either of them could be setting a trap, Ericka thought, or both could... or both together... She didn't know who she could trust. Then she had an idea.

"I won't shoot either of you unless you try something," she decided out loud, " but that doesn't mean I trust you."
"Rena, you go help that boy if he tries to hurt you I'll shoot him, okay?"
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Still unable to see either of the other students, Ericka was getting fidgety. It was still possible that one or both of the others were setting a trap, and Ericka wasn't about to let herself get caught in a trap. If they were playing, then they probably didn't have guns, or at least didn't have a good shot, because then she would probably already be dead. Even if they didn't have guns they were still a threat, they could rush her, or... or... or who knew what. The only thing Ericka knew was that she had to get out of there.

While continuing to aim at the sound of the other voices, Ericka slowly bent over and picked up her bags. She took a few steps back and looked around for a way to escape.
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Ericka soon realized that escape options were far fewer than she previously thought. The tide appeared to be coming in, making the beach to her right almost non-existent. The beach to the left was wider, but it soon turned a corner making it's safety an unknown. She certainly wasn't going to go through where the boy's voice came from, and the woods to the front-right seemed to be thick enough to slow down her escape.

Ericka grimaced, although she might be wrong about it, there appeared to be only one way that was clear enough that she could mount her escape. Right in front of her, where Rena's voice had come from.

Only occasionally dropping her guard out of necessity, Ericka knelt down and reached into her bags. Since it would be cumbersome to carry both bags, she stuffed the contents of the day pack into her duffel bag, with the exception of one clip of ammunition, which she tucked into her right sleeve in case she needed to quickly reload. She also put her glasses into their case before zipping up her duffel bag. When she was finished she lifted her bag up on her left side and pulled the strap over her head, hanging in off her right shoulder.

Returning her aim to her front, fear and nervousness nearly overwhelmed her, but she knew she had to work through it. While Survival of the Fittest truly was a scenario to be feared, if she let fear paralyze her she wasn't likely to last to the end of the day. Ericka took a deep breath, to calm and ready her mind, before walking confidently through the tall grass into the woods.
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When Ericka emerged from the grass she realized that she made a huge mistake, the others were much closer than she had thought. Although the person who she had considered the bigger threat had his back turned, and neither he nor Rena appeared to have guns, Ericka still felt herself frozen with panic.

"Wait! Wait. Everyone stop. Let's not get this out of...out of hand." She heard Rena say, "You both know I'm Rena...so who are you?"

Ericka didn't know how to respond. Rena didn't need their names, she was just trying to defuse a tense situation. Ericka was well aware of that, it was the only reason to ask that question, but Ericka was only getting more tense. The only way she'd be less tense would be if the others left.

The boy began to answer Rena's question, his name was Alex. Ericka almost felt like Rena's attempt to make peace had worked, but then Alex lunged at the other girl. Ericka pointed her gun in the direction of the others, filled with fear over what might happen next.
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Ericka watched through the trees and grass as Rena dodged Alex's attack... and then they were out of view. She could still hear them struggling, but without context....

'Snap out of it and think!'Ericka thought, shaking her head, 'Which way is the quickest way to escape?'

She quickly came to a decision. Nervously glancing over her shoulder, she started moving in the direction opposite from where the others were.
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Ericka stumbled through the trees, her shirt and bag getting caught on tree limbs and bushes, she knew she wasn't making great time and that the other people, if they were coming after her, were likely catching up by now. She had to think of a way to get those people to stop chasing her, if only... 'There is a way I can get them to stop chasing me, at least for the short term,' she realized, 'if I shoot they might take cover long enough for me to lose them. No, I-I can't shoot at another person. They might... but....' Ericka stopped and looked down at her gun. If she wanted to survive, she would at some point have to fire this thing, at other people even. If she couldn't do it now when her life was potentially in danger then she had little chance of surviving much longer.

*crack*

Ericka spun around. She couldn't see them, but the sound seemed to say that they were closer than she thought. This was it, the moment of truth.

Ericka put both hands on her gun, aiming it toward location the sound came from. She put her finger on the trigger and pulled. Once. Twice. Three Times. Then she turned and ran.

((Ericka Bradley continued in Just Like a Hangover, But Without All the Fun))
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