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Orientation; B106: Start (THREAD CLOSED)
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 12:28 PM (4,449 Views)
Riz
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Aarrghhh.
[ * ]
Darren Locke's world was spinning.

Disoriented, half-blinded by sunlight, and sick in the pit of his stomach, he struggled to sit up. He found himself surrounded by trees, and the earth beneath him a steep slope. Glancing around for a moment, he crawled to the largest tree in the immediate area and propped himself up against it, the treacherous hillside now stretching upward in front of him.

Why did this happen?

Scowling and doing his best to rid his mind of panic, his attention was drawn to a pair of duffel bags propped against the root of a nearby tree. Straining himself in the reach, he caught hold of the larger of the two, his own, and pulled it towards him. He unzipped it anxiously and began rooting through his change of clothes, fixated on the one thing that could give him an honest shot of surviving, but it wasn't there.

Dad's pocket knife.... He's not gonna like this.

With a dejected sigh, he turned his attention to the other duffel. He pulled it into his lap and noted the "B106" marked in bold on the side. Unzipping the bag, he could see a folded up map, a compass, some sort of booklet, and....

This wasn't his dad's pocket knife. It was something different. Something much better. Taking a firm grip on the weathered hilt, he lifted it out of the duffel and gazed wide-eyed at the dirt-coated, but nonetheless silver blade. He knew what this was.

A gladius.

The weapon of the Roman soldiers was now his primary tool for survival. But killing his fellow students? His friends? He forced the thought to the back of his mind and instead focused on being dearly grateful for his own luck, for being given a real shot at making it home.

He lay the weapon gingerly on the ground and turned his attention back to the duffel bag. With another shot of relief he saw bottles of water and loaves of bread. He reached eagerly for one of the bottles and took a great hearty gulp. Rejuvenated, he closed his eyes and took a deep, measured breath. Not entirely sure of his long-term plan, he reached back into the second pack and picked up the compass. Holding it before him, unsure if it even worked, the needle told him that the steep incline before him was south.

A calm and profound desire to go home gave his legs strength and, using the great tree as support, Darren Locke stood up.
V4: B106: Darren Locke - Gladius
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Riz
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Aarrghhh.
[ * ]
((GMing approved by Wheeler))

"Darren Locke, you sight for sore eyes."

Immediately recognizing the boy approaching him as Dallas Reynolds, Darren lowered the sword to his side and stuffed the compass into his back pocket. He had not been close friends with Dallas, but the two had always got along well in what few classes they had together. He smiled and nodded, glad that the first person he had encountered on the island seemed as relieved to see a friendly face as he was.

Dallas had the great misfortune of being assigned handcuffs and a ball gag as his weapons, but was clearly nothing but optimistic about putting a plan into motion for what they ought to do next. That was the wonderful thing about Dallas; it seemed as though nothing could dampen his spirits.

All too suddenly, Dallas screamed and looked down at his arm. A wasp sting. Darren's first thought was that Dallas should be so lucky if that was the worst thing to happen to him on the island, but Dallas' pale and horrified expression quickly suggested just how wrong that assumption was.

"What is it? Are you all right? Talk to me!"

But Dallas was not listening. With a furious determination, he began rummaging through his bag, tossing its contents every which way.

A sudden realization hit him. Dallas was allergic. Surely he would have packed an antidote? An epi-pen perhaps? Dropping the sword, he knelt down and began searching through the things Dallas had tossed aside. He would have to do his best to keep panic at bay for Dallas' sake, hoping that his companion's condition was not too severe. But there was nothing. Nothing at all resembling what the poor terrified Texan needed.

He looked up and saw that Dallas was now shirtless and gasping for breath. He had no idea what to do, other than to put both hands firmly on the boy's shoulders and tell him whatever he thought might calm his struggled breathing.

"Dallas.... Dallas! Listen to me! You need to calm down and start taking deep breaths. Long deep breaths, you hear me? I'm going to find help, okay? Just hang on for a few minutes, you got me? I'll be right back!"

Darren gathered up his sword and duffelbags, then began to make his way downhill as quickly as he could. He only made it a few strides.

*BOOM*

His heart in his throat, his breathing suddenly as quick and terrified as Dallas' had been, Darren turned around and hazily stumbled back uphill. His neck severed, his face spattered with his own blood, lay the body of Dallas Reynolds.

The collar.

Dallas had been so delirious, his mind perhaps too unfocused to hear a word Darren had said to him, that he must have pulled the awful device off of his neck in an attempt to ease his breathing. He slowly brought his fingers up towards the cold steel around his own neck, barely daring to touch it. A mixture of shock, disbelief, and remorse threatened to consume him.
V4: B106: Darren Locke - Gladius
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Riz
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Aarrghhh.
[ * ]
"I suppose we really shouldn't mess with these collars, if our departed friend is any indication."

The voice brought him sharply back to reality. He turned towards the newcomer who he remembered as Alice Blake.

"I.... It was an accident. He- he just tore it off. Terrible allergic reaction and...."

He gestured in the vague direction of the spot on Dallas' arm, not daring to look at him directly. He was rambling, spouting off what must have sounded defensive. But how could he feel so guilty over something that wasn't his fault? He had no honest answer, no rational explanation at all.

His voice caught in his throat and, more to look busy than anything, he turned away from Alice and headed to the nearest gnarled tree stump. Kneeling down, he used the sword to cut two distinct parallel lines into its severed rings. He justified this impulse as making a landmark should he ever return here, but just as quickly it hit him that he never wanted to come back to this awful blight of land. Not if he could help it.

Darren shakily made his way back to Dallas' blood-soaked body, knelt down, and gently closed the Texan's eyes. A foot away was his oversized cowboy hat, which he picked up and gingerly rested on the boy's face. He admitted that the resulting image was not as dignified as he intended, but he felt a small weight lift from his shoulders as he stood up and wiped his eyes and forehead. He took a great heavy sigh, and at last turned back to Alice. Before he could say anything, he heard a shaky voice coming from a nearby tree stump.

"H-hello? Whoever's out there, I'm unarmed and I'm going to stand up now. Please don't shoot."
V4: B106: Darren Locke - Gladius
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Riz
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Aarrghhh.
[ * ]
Roman and Acacia.

Darren's better judgment to form a group clashed with his sudden and inexplicable desire to sit alone and clear his head if only for five minutes. The fact that one of the newcomers was carrying a gun helped tilt his next decision in favour of the latter.

"I'm sorry, but I haven't seen your sister. I only just woke up here and I was hoping to explore a little and get my bearings. I do remember a girl from class with purple hair, though. If I see her, I'll tell her you're here looking for her, I promise."

He bent down to lift his duffels over his shoulder. Using the sword, he pointed in the direction that his compass had indicated as east.

"I'm gonna start by heading that way. My friends are out there somewhere and I need to know they're safe. I'll see what supplies I can find, a good place to hole up, who knows. Anyone who wants to come along is more than welcome, but I'm not looking for a fight. Anyone else.... best of luck, and I hope you find who you're looking for."

And with one last glance at the fallen Dallas, Darren Locke strode off across the felled forest.

((Darren Locke continued in Walkabout))
V4: B106: Darren Locke - Gladius
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