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Ten Shades of Gray; B067 Start --- Private Thread
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 02:05 PM (9,386 Views)
Super Llama
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STILL THE BEST 1973
[ *  *  *  * ]
{{continued from Wood and Wire}}

Maria managed to catch up with Dustin pretty quickly after they left the Logging Happy Grand Time Adventure (or whatever it was called,) and as the two of them and Cass walked along, she fought back the silence with all kinds of important, one-sided discussions. Like how many ten year-olds Teddy Roosevelt could take in a fight, or whether Coke was better than Pepsi (it totally was,) or, best of all, that was she was thankful that she already had her period before the trip, so she wouldn't have to deal with it now among everything else. It seemed like her brain was just going everywhere at once, and...well, it was. The more distractions there were, the less she had to think about her present situation. Probably not the best thing, but it worked for her. She didn't give a damn about the game, or that she was expected to kill people. All she really cared about right now was gathering the rest of her friends, Duncan, Warren and Max. She'd figure out what to do then after that.

Finally, she saw a building off in the distance. "Oh, I'll go check it out." She said, running off for the building before her two companions could stop her. Fortunately, she knew to stop a good distance away when she saw people nearby.

"Hey!" She said, waving her arms as she approached in case the sudden 'Hey!' wasn't enough for some reason. "Are you guys playing? Cause it'd be really nice if we could run into somebody else who isn't playing, cause there's some people I'm looking for." Finally getting close enough, she realized that she recognized some of these people.

There was Fiona Sparki, the cheerleader, and another member of the rock scene, even if just a spectator. Though others would consider her fat, Maria found that that extra weight made her strangely huggable. Like Andy Richter.

And there was Alex Jackson, the wrench monkey and Roman Jackson's brother. She'd heard about how she'd fixed up a Ford Mustang all on her own, and thought that was pretty damn cool. She wished she could do something like that, but she couldn't even tell the difference between a spark belt and a fender stick. Hell, she didn't even know if those things were real car parts!

And there was Jessica Pentangeli. ...she didn't really know anything about her, actually.

And there was Nik Kronwall, the practically-pro hockey player. She had to admit, even though she had been dating Zach for much of the time Nik had been at school, she actually found him to be pretty hot. If there had ever been the option of a threeso-...Maria quickly decided to ditch that train of thought.

And there was Warren Brown, lying on the ground, covered in his own blood.

...

"Huh?"
Edited by Super Llama, Aug 18 2010, 12:23 AM.
Posted Image
Enough expository banter! Now we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! For Gilgamesh...it is MORPHIN' TIME!

V5 hopefuls:
Hiro Fukuyama: "N-n-no, I-I'm not scared."
Lucy Rosenberg: "If you're looking for friends, I don't think I can help you with that."
Angus McDonald: "To hell with you! If anyone here deserves to live, it's me!"


The Dead


banthesun
 
She wanted those horrible metal balls to stop banging against her legs

ZombiexCreame
 
But would Celeste even want help from a guy that whips out his pistol without a second thought?
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
Super Llama
Member Avatar
STILL THE BEST 1973
[ *  *  *  * ]
No. No, wait a minute, this isn't right. This couldn't really be happening. This was only the first day! Warren couldn't be dead yet! She was supposed to meet up with him, and then find Max and Duncan, and then they could just...just...

But it couldn't be real! This couldn't be real! Maybe just waking up and finding out this whole game was just a bad dream was too much to ask. But she was sure that in just a second, she'd wake up to find out that somehow she'd fallen asleep while they were on the move. Then she'd tell Cass and Dustin about it, and they'd share a laugh and continue on their merry way. That's how it was going to go, right?

Right?

A million thoughts zipped through Maria's head at once, crashing and smashing into each other in some kind of million-thought pile-up, and disappearing before she could even dwell on them. Finally, she looked back up at the four in front of her. Did they kill him? The people right in front of her? She heard Nik speak up, disclaiming any kind of responsibility. But if they didn't do it, then who did?

Omar? She thought she heard Fiona mention his name. Did Omar do it? She remembered Omar. Not very well, but she at least knew of him. A pretty stand-offish person; never seemed to get along with other people. Did he really kill Warren? She couldn't even be sure; All she heard was a name, without even any proper context.

She wanted to know who killed him. She wanted to know, so she could...so she could what? What would she do once she found out?

Hurt him.

She wanted to hurt him. Or her, whatever. There's no way Warren would play the game. No way in hell, especially right on the first day. It had to be murder. That was the only explanation. Somebody just walked up to Warren, and shot him. Killed him. In cold blood. She wished she could return the favor. Whatever the killer had done to him, she wanted to do back, tenfold. She'd make him sorry he'd eve-

Oh God, what was the thinking? Her train of thought was beginning to frighten her. Is this how it happened in the last three games? Somebody loses someone close to them, then something inside them just snaps, and suddenly it's perfectly okay to start killing now? No, no, she didn't want to think like that. Maria Graham was not a killer. But she still wanted to know who did it. She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. Like if she knew who it was, if she could put a face to Warren's killer, all those horrible thoughts would just come rushing back.

And then the idea of digging a grave for him was being discussed, points being made for and against it. As she thought about it, she really didn't want to dig a grave; not because of the whole "if we dig a grave for Warren, we're gonna have to dig a grave for everybody else" argument, or whatever it really was about, but because it just seemed so...final. Digging a grave was like the final nail in the "Warren is dead" coffin. Could she really do it, knowing that once she was done, that was it? Warren is dead, he's never, ever coming back? Ever?

But it was the truth. He really wasn't coming back. Digging a grave was the least she could do for her former bandmate. For her friend.

"Hey, Warren! I thought your bass playing was really awesome! Welcome to Blank Nation!"

"I-" Maria said, the words catching in her throat again, but this time, after a moment's hesitation, she forced them out anyway. "I'll do it." She says, her voice cracking mid-sentence, as if it was the hardest thing in the world for her to say. Her body stayed rooted to the ground, refusing to move at first, but even that passed as she found herself moving over to the next flowerbed, feeling so detached, as if her body was on autopilot, and she was just an observer.

"Warren! You remember that our first gig is on Saturday, right? Zach wanted me to tell you we're going to be doing that one song as the finale instead. You know, the one with the bear. 'Bear Rampage' or 'Bear Rocketship' or 'Bear-a-Gadda-Da-Vida' or something."

She reached down, pulling out a few daisies by their roots, and then a few more, and a few more, until enough of the flowerbed was cleared out for her to start digging. The soil was soft, easy to dig up, even with her bare hands as she was doing.

"Warren, our first gig's tomorrow! Are you syched? I'm syched! Like, super-ultra-mega-ultra syched! 9000! Part 3, the Search For Curly's Gold! ...wait, what?"

As she dug, only barely acknowledging anyone who would've decided to join in, her mind begin to drift off. Back to Blank Nation's first gig, at the White Stallion, as always. Though she had already been in a band and gone to gigs with them before, she was still nervous. This was a brand new band, a fresh start, and she begun to wonder how the audience would react. Those worries quickly dissipated, though, as they begun to play, and she quickly lost herself in the music. In the want, the need, to just belt out the best performance she could possibly give. And they loved it. The audience's cheering gave her the best feeling in the world. She could just die right there and be perfectly content.

And then Zach dumped her and kicked her out of the band, because he wanted to further his music career.

...no, that wasn't it. That wasn't it at all.

It's because, when it really came down to it, she was worthless.

Zach was right. She was holding the band back. When it came to playing the drums, there was just no restraint with it came to her. And what if they needed something that called for restraint? Hell, she couldn't do it. The only way she knew how to play the drums was to just go at it full throttle. And her bandmates? Hell, she was so scatter-brained the others were probably just annoyed to no end with her, and didn't want to say anything because she was dating the band's frontman. Even her own mother would rather just throw herself into her career than pay any real attention to her. She was just a liability. A selfish, incompetent liability.

And now that she was on the island, what could she possibly do? Even her goal of finding all her friends and bandmates and such was born out of pure selfishness. She just couldn't stand to be alone in a situation like this. Once she got together everyone she wanted, what then? She wasn't smart or clever enough to come up with an escape plan, and without that, they'd just be stuck watching each other die. Or worse, turning on each other once the fact that there could only be one really sunk in. They'd be better off just never seeing each other at all, but here she was, trying to bring them all together, just because she didn't want to be alone.

She was so worthless.

She was worthless to Zach.

She was worthless to the band. To Winston and Warren.

She was worthless to Duncan. And Cass. And Max.

She was worthless to her own mother

The only thing she was good for was digging this grave.

Digging this goddamn grave.

"It...it's done." Finally, she pulled back, surveying her work, only to find it sorely disappointing. It was so shallow; only deep enough to cover Warren with maybe a half-a-foot of dirt. But she couldn't dig anymore. Her fingers were raw; the soft topsoil having given way to the coarser stuff pretty early, with even a few heavy rocks that she had to pull out. It was the best she could do, but it just wasn't good enough.

Just not good enough.

Tears begin to pour down her cheeks that she could no longer stop, and she begin to sob.

Looks like she was even worthless for digging this grave, too.
Posted Image
Enough expository banter! Now we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! For Gilgamesh...it is MORPHIN' TIME!

V5 hopefuls:
Hiro Fukuyama: "N-n-no, I-I'm not scared."
Lucy Rosenberg: "If you're looking for friends, I don't think I can help you with that."
Angus McDonald: "To hell with you! If anyone here deserves to live, it's me!"


The Dead


banthesun
 
She wanted those horrible metal balls to stop banging against her legs

ZombiexCreame
 
But would Celeste even want help from a guy that whips out his pistol without a second thought?
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
Super Llama
Member Avatar
STILL THE BEST 1973
[ *  *  *  * ]
Slowly, Maria's awareness of her surroundings was coming back to her, and as she noticed Cass in tears as well, and Fiona reassuring her that she had done a good job, she began to realize how much of a selfish bitch she was being.

How could she just break down like this? She was supposed to be happy-go-lucky one that never let anything get her down. That's how everyone knew her. If she had to cry, she'd go and do it by herself, where no one could hear her. This was even more important right here and now. Here was Cass, bawling her eyes out (no thanks to her, she was sure), and she could be helping her, reassuring her, but she wasn't, because she was too busy letting her own grief take over.

If she was no good for anything else, she might as well be good for this.

Listening as Cass delivered her eulogy, she began to do what she normally did in situations like this: She buried all her grief and pain deep inside. She liked to imagine a little lock box that she just stuffed it all into, to just keep it there and let it out later. This time, though, it didn't seem like it would all fit. She desperately tried to cram it all in there, and after a while it felt like it would all spill out again, stronger than before. But after some effort, she succeeded. It was a heavy, painful weight in her chest, and it left her feeling numb, staring blankly at Warren's body as the tears dried up and Cass finished her eulogy. She felt like she should add something, but it took a moment before she could come up with anything.

"Yeah, Warren. You really were a great bass player. Blank Nation isn't going to be the same without you. Now that you're..."

Dead. Just like I'll be soon. And Cass, and Max, and Duncan, and everyone else.

Maria quietly grit her teeth. She could feel the weight getting bigger, and as Cass laid Warren down into the grave she tried to occupy herself with burying him. Her hands stung as she pushed the dirt over him, but she couldn't allow herself to stop. All this grief, anger, frustration, indignation, despair were only getting worse as she tried to hold them back, like water building up behind a dam. But she didn't want anybody to see them. Not anymore. She couldn't let anyone see her cry anymore. She had to be strong.

Dead. Just because someone had to be so goddamn selfish and kill right at the starting gate. If I ever run into him, I'll...

But she just wasn't strong enough. Already she could feel the cracks in the damn as she pushed the last of the dirt over Warren. It looked like such a pitiful grave. Just not good enough...

At least the picture made it look better. To be honest, Maria had barely noticed that Mizore was there. She was too busy grieving to really get angry at her or anything for asking for paint in a situation like this. But at least she did this. That was nice of her.

It wouldn't have even been necessary if it wasn't for that bastard...who the hell does he think he is...

This wasn't good. She had to get out of here. Away from this body, away from the group. Not away from the group PERMANENTLY, mind you, but at least away long enough to be able to vent. She noticed the other group taking their leave. She knew that they all knew who killed Warren, and part of her wanted to ask who did it, but another part was glad that they didn't. She was afraid of what she might do if she found out. Looking over at Cass, she realized that there was something else she should do before she excused herself.

She walked up, and she gave Cass a hug. A big, almost possessive hug, as if she was afraid she might disappear into thin air if she let go. There wasn't really anything else she could do. She couldn't save her, she couldn't even reassure her, not without looking like a hypocrite now. This was the best thing she could do. As she held onto Cass, not even noticing how long the hug was, she came to a realization.

She had to go to the bathroom.

Maria was taken by surprise. She wasn't expecting this to go to...well, that so suddenly. She would've laughed at the absurdity if she didn't feel like she was about to explode. What she wouldn't give to just allow herself to be the one to be reassured and comforted. To just let it out without fear of guilt. At least now she had an excuse to go off in a corner and cry now.

Reluctantly pulling herself away from Cass, she gave her a smile. A weak, almost pained smile, but a smile nonetheless.

"I...I have to go use the bathroom." She said, picking up her flare gun and tucking it into the back of her pants. "I'll be right back." She says, taking a look over at Dustin nearby, then back over, one more time, at Warren's grave, before heading off for the nearby treeline, leaving her pack behind.

Just a little bit further. She walked off towards the treeline, eventually disappearing into the foliage. She kept going until she decided she was far enough.

And she let the floodgates open.

{{continued in Woods of Paranoia}}
Edited by Super Llama, Sep 8 2010, 06:57 PM.
Posted Image
Enough expository banter! Now we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! For Gilgamesh...it is MORPHIN' TIME!

V5 hopefuls:
Hiro Fukuyama: "N-n-no, I-I'm not scared."
Lucy Rosenberg: "If you're looking for friends, I don't think I can help you with that."
Angus McDonald: "To hell with you! If anyone here deserves to live, it's me!"


The Dead


banthesun
 
She wanted those horrible metal balls to stop banging against her legs

ZombiexCreame
 
But would Celeste even want help from a guy that whips out his pistol without a second thought?
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
Super Llama
Member Avatar
STILL THE BEST 1973
[ *  *  *  * ]
{{Continued from Woods of Paranoia}}

Maria really wanted the world to just slow down for a minute.

Her frantic running had at least slowed down to a stumbling, hurried walk. Her body just ached all over, not just from her injuries anymore, but from the sunburn and her exertions from getting the hell away from the fire and the carnage behind her. She wanted nothing more than to just stop and take a break for a few minutes, but she couldn't. She didn't know why she was still moving, but she just couldn't will herself to stop, as if something was chasing her. But what? It wasn't like the girl was going to rise from her grave and come after her.

The girl.

The fire, and the heat, and the screaming, and the smell of burning flesh.

No matter how far she'd gotten, she couldn't seem to get rid of that smell, as if it had latched on to the inside of her nose and refused to let go. Refused to let her forget, even for a second, what she'd done. Her hand still gripped the empty flare gun. She wanted to just throw it away, to never see that damn thing again, but she just couldn't let go, and thinking about it only made her think more about what had happened.

"How does it feel to be a killer, Maria? You know you killed her. Murderer!"

That poor girl had died a horrible, painful, fiery death, and it was all her fault. What would Cass and Dustin think of her? Max? Duncan? Would they take her back? Would they even want anything to do with her now? Or would they just attack on site, thinking she had become a player? Maria began to tear up in panic. She didn't want to be alone out here anymore, facing anymore Phils and the like without anybody to back her up. She had already come so close to death, and it terrified her now that she reflected on it. If Phil hadn't let up for that moment, if she couldn't stay concious, that could've been it.

She shivered a bit as she felt a breeze blow through the trees against her bare skin. She really wished she'd held onto that shirt. She really liked that shirt. Fortunately, she was wearing a fishnet undershirt and a black bra underneath, so it wasn't like she was waking around the woods topless. She brought a hand up to rest against her shoulder, wincing as she felt a sharp pain in her chest as she did so. She felt like Phil might've busted a rib, though she hoped that wasn't the case while the skin just underneath the bra was starting to turn purple. She could only imagine what her face looked like. Come to think of it, she was feeling kind of dizzy as well, and her vision was blurring in and out at times. From the assault she'd been given, he could've very well have given her a concussion as well.

After a bit, Maria could've sworn she saw something off in the distance, and as she approached she broke out into a run as she realized what it was. She'd finally found her way back. She could already see Cass and Dustin, and...some other people that weren't there before, but it didn't seem like they were hostile, so that was good. Breaking out of the woods, Maria-

"Kids, I have to say that I'm truly impressed with your first day showing."

...skidded to a halt.

No!

Was it time for the announcements already? They were all going to know what she'd done, before she had a chance to explain herself. Instead, they were going to hear it from one of the people she least wanted them to hear it from. Danya's voice, and the glee in which he announced everyone's deaths made her sick to her stomach. Would that happen if she died? The only recognition she'd get was some vindictive mocking? Maria stood there, frozen in place like a deer in the headlights as she listened to the announcements. To anyone who hadn't seen her already, the shirtless girl suddenly standing there wordlessly, covered in bruises, with dried blood all over her face, clutching a flare gun and with a look in her eyes that made it look like she'd just gotten back from a dinner date with Cthluhlu probably wasn't the most friendly-looking sight.

""Third to die, as a shining example of why you really ought to keep good hold of your weapon if you were lucky enough to get a half-decent draw, was Warren Brown. Omar Burton shot him in the chest with his own gun, which would really have been quite embarrassing if he wasn't dead and all."

So that's what happened. Turns out it really WAS Omar after all. Any thoughts of revenge, though, were definitely put on hold at the moment. She began to break out into a cold sweat as the announcements continued. It was only a matter of time before Danya called her name. Probably with some horrid commentary.

"After giving us something of a show this morning, new fan favourite Maria"

There it was!

"Santiago was the next on the executioner's block"

...huh? It wasn't her? Instead, he was talking about some other Maria that had been killed, instead of doing any killing. Come to think of it, that was a red name, and the red names were the ones who got killed, actually. It was probably coming up any second, though.

"Jackie Broughten"

Any second...

"Colin Falcone"

The tension was unbelievable. Her heart was racing so fast she felt like it might burst out of her chest. There was one more, name, and it took everything she had to keep from visibly cringing as the last name was read.

"...Kris Hartmann"

What? That was 19 kills, right? (19 kills, holy shit that was a lot) Did she miscount?

...

...

"To keep you all on your toes, it's time for the dangerzones!"

Maria let out a deep breath she didn't even know she was holding. She didn't know what was going on, but it seemed that, by some grace of God, Danya had skipped over her for some reason. At least she'd get some time to explain herself. As the announcements wrapped up (thankfully where they were at hadn't become a dangerzone.) She looked back over towards the group, stepping forward.

"Uh...h-hi guys. I'm back." She said as she felt all the strength just drain out of her as the danger passed, wobbling a bit. "I see we've got some new people here. That's" She lost track of her sentence as she took a few more steps, her eyes getting too tired to see straight. "I...I'm kind of...tired...I'm gonna take a nap, okay?"

And then Maria fell over and took a nap.
Posted Image
Enough expository banter! Now we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! For Gilgamesh...it is MORPHIN' TIME!

V5 hopefuls:
Hiro Fukuyama: "N-n-no, I-I'm not scared."
Lucy Rosenberg: "If you're looking for friends, I don't think I can help you with that."
Angus McDonald: "To hell with you! If anyone here deserves to live, it's me!"


The Dead


banthesun
 
She wanted those horrible metal balls to stop banging against her legs

ZombiexCreame
 
But would Celeste even want help from a guy that whips out his pistol without a second thought?
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
Super Llama
Member Avatar
STILL THE BEST 1973
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Since Maria's all unconscious and shit, feel free to skip over her for the next round of posts))
Posted Image
Enough expository banter! Now we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! For Gilgamesh...it is MORPHIN' TIME!

V5 hopefuls:
Hiro Fukuyama: "N-n-no, I-I'm not scared."
Lucy Rosenberg: "If you're looking for friends, I don't think I can help you with that."
Angus McDonald: "To hell with you! If anyone here deserves to live, it's me!"


The Dead


banthesun
 
She wanted those horrible metal balls to stop banging against her legs

ZombiexCreame
 
But would Celeste even want help from a guy that whips out his pistol without a second thought?
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
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