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Rest and Relaxation; The Rec Center - NOW CLOSED
Topic Started: Aug 13 2010, 10:06 AM (2,171 Views)
Blastinus
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That's Just Crazy Talk
[ *  *  *  * ]
(Harold Fisher continued from And So it Begins, The Epic Struggle of Man And Bear)

Harold was beginning to get tired. No, more than that, he was absolutely wasted. Twelve years of sitting on his considerable hinders, and now he was being expected to run and jump and navigate through twisty and inhospitable forests. It just couldn't be done. Fortunately, after stumbling around like an utter fool in the woods, he'd come out into this small suburban area, complete with shops. The recreation center had been closest, making it an obvious choice for the winded fatty, and right now, that was exactly what he needed anyway.

Wait, are those...I'm in Heaven!

Through the center's transparent doors, Harold could see what were unmistakably couches. They may have been infested with dust, insects, and rats for all he knew, but that hardly mattered. What did matter was that there couches in there for him to rest himself on, and that right there was worth entering for.

The doors were sticky when Harold tried to open them, screaming and protesting as he slowly inched them ajar. With a desperation born out of a desire for couchy goodness, the fatty exerted himself enough to pull the door open enough for him to enter, and it stuck in place, unwilling to swing closed once more. This was worth noting, because it meant that if somebody else was in here, he wouldn't have to worry too much about the door.

As expected, the couches were as ratty as they seemed from the front door, and covered with a thick film of dust. He couldn't draw any conclusions about the vermin situation, but that didn't matter to him. Instead, sweeping away most of the dust on one side with his arm, he sat down and leaned back. As he did so, he suddenly heard an unhappy noise in his belly, and realized that he hadn't eaten anything all day, and he hadn't bothered yet to learn what his gracious hosts had left him for surviving this turbulent time.

"Bread? What is this crap!" Harold exclaimed as he dug into his daypack. Taking out one of the loaves of bread, he tore a large piece off the end and gnawed down, putting the rest of it back. Obviously, they hadn't considered the complicated palate of a man such as Harold, and as the bread went down, he washed it down with a few jellybeans from his student bag. The terrorists had been kind enough to leave him his candy, which he thanked them for. He didn't know how he would have lived through the game without it.
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banthesun
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I am but two years old, and a robot... It is hopeless.
[ *  *  * ]
((William Sears continued from Your Own Personal War Room))

The town made Will anxious. He was exposed enough in the forest, where someone could be lurking behind every tree, but here it was even worse. If someone appeared at one of the windows they could gun him down before he could do a thing about it. The streets held no real cover and he'd have no way of fighting back. The dull concrete bellow him could easily be his final resting place.

Will knew all this before he had entered the town and was presently hating himself for his decision. The town was a place you could generally find people. Well, in a normal situation it was, but since this was SOTF people could be anywhere. None the less, Will had wandered into town looking for Bounce or some of his other friends. He knew he'd made a mistake.

The town itself wasn't doing anything to help lighten the mood either, the empty streets reminding Will of the situation he was in. He wondered that if he entered any of the houses he'd find the dead bodies of the former residents sprawled over the kitchen cupboards or something. He hadn't seen any bodies of former islands' inhabitants back when he'd watched the show, but was too scared to check. Even worse than the body of one of the home owners would be the alternative, a friend draped out over a coffee table torn and lifeless. That's when things would go bad, when this whole game would become real, and Will didn't want to reach that point before he had a gun. Where he'd get one without running into someone first was a real problem for him though.

Not visiting any of the houses had more or less defeated the point of him exposing himself to the danger of the town, and he knew he should leave now. As he moved past a building on his way out of town, Will heard a voice from inside. Immediately he pressed himself against the wall, his right hand raised, ready to bring his stick down on anyone who appeared. He didn't want to fight, but knew it could all be over before he could even figure out who his adversary was. Trying to offer a truce would just give away his position, who knew whether the person inside had a weapon that could penetrate the wall. No, when the time came, he'd have to act without hesitation and try his hardest to explain it after.

When no attack came, Will's patience began to slip. This could easily be a trap, someone waiting for him to make a wrong move. But standing their waiting was more than he could take. Cursing himself once again, Will crept over to the window and peeked inside.

Before he could get a proper look at what was inside, his attention was taken by the figure on the couch. Panic shot through Will at the sight of the first other person he'd seen in his time on this island. He didn't even take the time to check who the person was before he flung himself back against the wall. As Will dodged back he heard the distinct sound of his stick smacking against the wall; he'd lowed his arm in panic.

Shit.
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Hallucinojelly
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
G056: Hilary Strand - Start

Her eyelids snapped shut. Opening them before had only lead to a blinding courtesy of the fluorescent lighting above, causing a sharp pain and a heated blur to strike the back of her eyes. Thoughts of blood and violence circled and surrounded her mind, clouding it to the reality of her current situation, and she only broke through the fog once her hand found something cold and metal to shy away from. Yes, that's it, work out where you are. Figure out that the surface you lie on isn't your softly-quilted bed, or the couch you sometimes crash on. Feel your way around as your eyes cling to the darkness, afraid of the pain the light will cruelly bring. Don't trust your memories now, just put faith into your instincts as your senses guide your fingertips ever so carefully along the smooth, icy tiles that cover the floor beneath you.

Tiles... yeah, she was... on the ground. That was right, wasn't it? A floor, with tiles that cooled her skin with every brush. Wherever Hilary was, it wasn't somewhere pleasant, she could tell. Her back throbbed with a dull ache as she began to lift herself up, wincing in discomfort as the pins and needles worked their way up her other arm - the arm she'd been lying on for quite some time. It flopped loosely by her side as her body emerged, almost sleeping still, from the unyielding hardness of her bed. A welcome hand shielded her vision as the light began to invade her shelter, and with gritted teeth prepared to open them for the second time.

She yelped quietly as her eyelids fluttered open, shutting and shutting over and over again until the light became less deadly, less poisonous, and it gradually wormed its way into the darkness, filling it with a calming warmth and ease. An ease which started to wear away, once she registered exactly where she had awoken. It appeared to be a large, almost industrial kitchen, in which she sat awkwardly while she waited for her back to adjust to its new position. Every wall was a dull, yellowed white and the mammoth sink and cooker both had the same impersonal chrome among them. She couldn't think of a reason why it was she'd found herself here, until a loud bang erupted from the back of her brain.

In the auditorium, she had been one of the few to suffer the full effects of the sleeping drugs used to knock out the students, and as such only recalled the muffled sound of gunfire before succumbing to the dreams once more. The last thing she really remembered was a short time before their bus was gassed, in which she sat next to her friends while her earphones whistled away the moments as they made their way towards the "camping grounds". To this end, it was fair to say that Hilary was more confused than most who found themselves around the island, but as of right now she had no clue there were even any others out there, or what "out there" even was.

But then she heard the ominous echo of footsteps filter in through the open door, and her mind fought desperately to figure out who it could possibly be. Maybe it was one of the teachers? Were they looking for her? They must've been worried. After all, it looked as though she'd passed out, so maybe she'd collapsed without knowing. That didn't seem right though. No, that couldn't have been right, or else someone would have taken her to the teachers, wouldn't they? And - who's bag did she have? It certainly wasn't hers, but it was right next to her duffel bag. Her mind began to flood with all the different possibilities, but having only just woken up it was impossible to even process one, let alone that many.

No, if she wanted to know who was there, or why she had collapsed, there'd only be one choice: She'd have to go outside.
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Blastinus
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That's Just Crazy Talk
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Not entirely unexpectedly, Harold's brief snacking was interrupted by the noises of people. In this case, a sudden tapping noise coming from just outside the doors of the rec center. Leaning over so that he could look around the corner of the doorway, he saw part of a person, huddled against the wall. Slowly putting the bag of jellybeans back into his student bag so that they wouldn't get accidentally ruined during any possible conflict, he shouted out, "It's all right, whoever you are. I'm unarmed!" This was true, at least momentarily, as Harold hadn't yet bothered to pull out his pistol. No, best to wait until the person was too close to run.

At that moment, another noise reached Harold's ears, this time from inside the building. Turning, he saw that a little further into the building, next to what appeared to be a one-screen movie theater, there was a small concessions window with the shutters pulled down on it. The noise was coming from the door leading to the other side of that window, where somebody was coming out. Evidently, the place wasn't as abandoned as he had initially expected.

Harold, being the calm and cool sort that he was, immediately scrambled for cover behind the side of the couch. While he figured that he could take on one person, two at a time would be a little dicey. Having taken his bags with him in his sudden exodus from his cushioned sanctuary, he began to wonder whether it was a good idea to not just pull out the pistol now and fire around like a maniac. However, his rational mind quickly took over control of his brain from the animal instincts that had momentarily set in, and even as his hand had darted into his daypack, he simply slid it back out again and zipped the bag up.

"Don't worry, come on out!" he shouted to the person in the kitchen. "I'm still currently unarmed!"

I wonder how many times I can get away with saying that before people catch on.
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T-Fox
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N-Nopony! Ah was talkin' to nopony whatsoever!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((B011 - Chadd Crossen Start))

"God damn this baby purrs!" The speedometer was edging 115 down route seven, nothing he would have ever been able to do in his Audi. A couple of pairs of headlights lit up his rear view, and a single pair of tail lights lit up his windshield. In first was the winner of the last two year's Minnesota Regionals, Joe Marqie. Cocky little bastard liked to call himself "The Stig" though. A bright orange Honda Civic with tacky black lightning bolts and a spoiler the size of an elephant's ass, an exhaust pipe to match. "Fucking Ricers..."

The sky was a strange hue of pink, and every time he glanced up, it seemed to get a darker red. The normally open, sweeping road felt tight and narrow tonight. There was barely even room to pass. The blue Camaro however soared up alongside it's competitor, the sleek blue vehicle shining in the setting sun. "I'm gonna pass him! I'm actually gonna win!"

The finish was in sight. A couple of extremely attractive girls in bikinis, holding large yellow flags. No this wasn't a legal race at all, but it was dusk, and there were never any cops on the road. The one on the left, the one that Chadd would roll right past to his victory was a very pretty particular redhead that he knew from Bayview Secondary. A grin washed across his face as he edged the accelerator the extra few inches to the floor, the car lurching forward as it approached top speed. He mentally checked that he was heading in a straight line and closed his eyes for a moment, basking in his upcoming victory.

Suddenly through his tight shut eyelids, he saw flashes of color. His eyes snapped open. Instead of Janet, in front of him lie a roadblock. Five police officers, five cars, five sets of flashing lights. "Oh shit!" He jerked the wheel to the right, his hand wavering to the Emergency break as he skidded the car around a corner onto a small side road. The headlights in his rear view had been replaced by flashing red and blues, sirens finally reaching his ears. Looking back down, the hood of his car was now quite a bit more curved, and a bright cherry red. A quick blink as the gears in his head turned, then he was off again. The speedometer was edging 100 now, the small Audi TT flying down a windy back road, the police on his tail. The sky had become a deep blood red, and as if out of a cartoon, everything that wasn't the blue and red flashing lights had become a silhouette, black against the blood red background. The woods he flew through seemed to bow in, bearing down upon the tiny car.

Suddenly, the road opened up. Even though it was twenty miles in the opposite direction, he was rolling up on the intersection of 63 and County Road. A painfully familiar spot. It were almost as if he couldn't control the car. His interior was perfectly visible, but the world around him was a mere shadow as he watched in horror, the tire getting stuck in that same pothole, his car losing control in the same exact way. His eyes shot closed as he heard a scream, much too feminine to be his own. His eyes shot open, and the vehicle had transformed yet again. No longer was the hood red, it was now sweeping, and teal. The intereor was a grey plush, and as he craned his head to the right, he saw Janet, screaming as she was tossed about the cabin of the vehicle. Everything occured in slow motion, every bit of pain shooting at lightning speed. The car bounced. One hit. His head bounced off of the passenger window, the glass cracking, as well as his skull. Two flips. He watched Janet fly from the front of the vehicle, his knee jamming itself through the front panel. Three flips. His face unceremoniously met the steering column. And everything went black.


----------------

As soon as his body was able, he shot bolt upright, screaming. "JANET!" He looked around, reality not having yet parsed itself from his slumber. He shook his head hard, feeling himself beginning to wear down from the adrenaline surging through his veins. His nightmare was nothing but a dream, he could only remember bits and pieces. However he strained to bring back the reality, the gravity of what was happening. He thought back, and his mind settled on a face. J.R, was it? Someone he knew only from the Television, a scene he'd actually watched already. The ultimate betrayal. Stabbing someone through the chest that he had been kissing so lovingly not minutes before.

And then he remembered watching five of his professors being shot. The warm blood spattering upon his face. He had been oh so lucky to get a front row seat. His hand instinctively went to his face to wipe the blood, it having dried long ago. On the way however he fingered the steel symbol of oppression latched firmly around his neck.

"I... Have to kill everybody? No!" He pushed himself to his feet, his hand instinctively going for his own backpack. Instead of plush and fabric however, it touched a harsher material. His eyes averted as he noticed a forest green bag in his hand, the letters "B011" embroidered on the front. "Boy 11... It's real. I'm really here." He shook his head again, hoping this was a nightmare inside of a nightmare. A quick self administered slap registered this as not the case however. He'd woken from hell, back into hell. His eyes frantically danced across the landscape, as he noted that he stood in the middle of a suburb that would be typical of any St. Paul area. Houses adorned the side to his left, and to his right was a Rec Center of some kind. Everything was abandoned; or so it seemed. Not even noticing his personal effects a few yards away, he stumbled towards that rec center, the nearest building in a stupor. His mind was racing as he thought back, trying to recall everything that had been said in that auditorium.

His mind then raced back to the first name that he had screamed.

What about Janet? Where the hell is she? He had been sitting next to her on the bus, so his first assumption would be that she was nearby. With a steely resolve, he straightened himself, slinging the green canvas pack on his back, walking directly up to the open door of the Recreation Center. Oblivious to both the boy with the stick hiding alongside one of the windows, and the words of boy on the couch not registering in his mind, he ran. Janet had to be in that room, he had convinced himself of it. She had to be there. Every piece of evidence proving him wrong was rejected, alongside any negative thought. He wasn't in his right state of mind at all, but then again, who was?

Upon reaching the door, he almost tumbled into the room. However disappointment shot across his visage, quickly followed by panic as he turned his head to the couch, seeing quite the large boy sitting there, chowing down on... Something.

"Shit! You're not Janet!" He scrambled back outside, running for the side of the building. A greater wave of panic struck him as he saw a boy peering into the window of the room that he was just in. He wasn't going to stick around to see if that boy had noticed him however. Skidding on the concrete, he did the fastest about face he could muster, and his feet slammed the ground. I've gotta hide. Speed is the only thing that matters right now. I need to move, fast. I need to find someone friendly, fast. I need to get off this island. Fast. While he ran, his feet took him where they chose. And they just happen to choose the absolute opposite side of the rec center. He hid under one of the windows alongside the opposite wall, panting. A soft panicked whisper escaped his lips. "I need a weapon... I need a weapon!" His hand reached down to a small chunk of concrete that had chipped and jarred itself from the sidewalk upon which he sat. When someone walks around the corner, throw it. Throw it and run. First though, he needed to try and catch his breath.

Somehow, he doubted that would happen.
Edited by T-Fox, Aug 15 2010, 01:34 PM.
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
Garry Brooks - Swave Countryboy
Jade Aurora - Tomboy Drummer
Jasmine Tolle - Pacifistiic Artist

Memories of those past:
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What is wrong with you people?!
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KingKamor
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((G088, Eva Lancaster, Start))

The movie theatre had an almost tangible darkness within it. Engulfed in said darkness was a blond-haired girl, sitting in one of the many seats facing a large blank screen. What movie did she just watch? Was it that one that Jen had wanted to see for so long? If so, did she always like bloody and violent ones? Maybe Eva just didn't know Jen very much after all.

A look around told the groggy Eva that she was completely alone. The theatre was not familiar in the least, and her head was pounding. With a swift exertion of her hands against the arms of the chair, she pushed herself to her feet, though still teetering around slightly.

"Don't they usually turn the lights back on when the movie is over?" She said to herself in an almost-childlike tone. "And why am I so tired...?" She looked around for her purse, only to find a much larger duffel bag parked in the seat next to hers.

Across the front of it read "G088."

Immediately, she realized that her teachers were not actors in the movie, nor was she in the theatre back at home. Danya had already told her everything that she needed to know: she was on Survival of the Fittest. Fear crept up within her as she snatched the duffel bag and nearly pried it open to see what was inside. Some food, some navigation crap that she didn't know how to effectively use, and a weapon. A surprisingly strange weapon. With instructions.

"Oh my GOD, seriously? A fucking handgun crossbow thing? The fuck do they think this is? Robin Hood: Men in Tights?"

Hearing her shouts echo throughout the room sent a jolt through her body. With several peaks around the room, she gathered up the food and map into the duffel. Beneath the large projector screen was a stage with some kind of cloth covering up the underside. Eva quickly lifted up the cover and slid underneath it. With the little light that came in through the door to the outside, she parts a section of the cover and begins to read the instructions.

She's going to need them.
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banthesun
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I am but two years old, and a robot... It is hopeless.
[ *  *  * ]
When Will heard the boy call from inside he let out a deep sigh and closed his eyes, allowing himself to relax. If this boy had wanted to kill him he could have already shot Will through the wall. Will couldn't rule out the possibility of it being a trap, but at least he hadn't shot at him yet. The boy repeated his greeting, as if trying to reassure Will. That was suspicious. Why did he have to reassure Will? Of course, he could just be scared, and wanted Will to come out of hiding.

Opening his eyes, Will received a huge shock. There was someone striding down the street towards him. The wall wouldn't provide any cover from someone coming from that direction. Immediately, Will dropped into a crouch, trying to make himself as small a target as he could, but strangely, the boy hadn't seemed to have noticed him yet.

Will recognised the boy as Chadd Chossen. He was one of Will's classmates. Will really was in this game. He had to kill people he knew. He was being forced to kill his friends. The thought made Will feel sick.

Before Will could come up with a plan Chadd had already entered the building. As much as the idea felt distasteful, Will was now using him as a decoy. Will would be able to tell whether or not he would be walking into a trap. Perhaps the boy inside would even think that it was Chadd who'd made the noise earlier.

The sight of Chadd sprinting back outside confirmed Will's doubts. It was a trap. If not for Chadd's timely arrival Will could be dead by now. That wasn't a pleasant thought. Chadd glanced at him as he burst from the doorway, and Will felt his breath catch in his chest. He could see the terror in the other boy's eyes. This wasn't going good.

As Chadd disappeared round the corner Will sprung into action. He'd been sitting paralysed for too long. The boy inside could already be coming out!

Keeping low, Will ran towards the doorway. He hoped his back wasn't sticking up high enough to be seen through the window; it definitely wouldn't be good to be stabbed in the spine. Taking shelter next to the door, Will waited with his weapon held low. Gripping the stick with both hands, Will prepared himself to spring up from his crouch when the boy came through the door. With any luck, he'd have come out before Will's adrenaline wore off.
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Hallucinojelly
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
The hallway rang with the noises of those up ahead, a tangle of shouts and slamming doors singing around the dilapidated building like the chorus of a broken home. Her shoulders struggled under the weight of the daypack and her duffel bag combined, as her legs tried their best to move after waking up from the deepest sleep she'd ever had. She'd only brought the mysterious daypack with her because she thought she might as well return it to whoever lost it, but now that it was beginning to slow her down she was considering leaving it where she was. It wasn't like nobody would come looking for it, so why should she be the one to deliver it? Sighing, she knew why she couldn't leave it; if she left it there, its owner might not find it, and it could contain something very personal to that person. If it had been her bag, after all, she wouldn't know what to do without it.

Somewhere nearby, she thought she could hear someone mumbling behind one of the many doors she passed, but seeing as the door was labelled "Theatre", she walked right on past. She wasn't just going to burst in on when a film was playing, she'd look like an idiot. No, she kept walking, one foot after the other as the bags swung lazily from her body. Whatever they'd packed in this bag, it was starting to peak Hilary's interest. How could someone pack so much for a camping trip? She'd only bought the basics - clothes, make-up, extra shoes etc., so why did this "G056" need so much stuff? Stopping for a second, she considered opening it for herself, just a small peek mind you, she wasn't about to rob someone's bag, but she found her hand wavering as she reached back for it.

M-maybe just... one little look. Just to see who's bag it is?

Her fingers slowly crept over the left strap, pulling it off her shoulder with a tug before she stopped what she was doing. Her neck felt strange, constricted, for the first time since she'd awoken. How come she hadn't noticed this before? Perhaps it was the after-effects of the sleeping gas, playing tricks on her mind; not that she could recall getting gassed to begin with. Moving it from the strap, she brought her hand to the base of the neck and began to feel what it was that now adorned her skin. "What - wh-what is this?" Panic was beginning to take a hold as her fingertips scrambled about the device around her neck, feeling every inch of it as she tried to tug it off. "No, what - what's - what?!" Breathing was suddenly becoming hard for her to do, and her hands became frantic, tugging at the collar as much as she could just to get it off. "Ah! C-come on! Get off! Get off - ungh! Get off me!!"

But it was no use. The collar was staying, and it didn't care if Hilary wanted it there or not. Frustrated tears now trickled down her face as her voice began to crack beneath the mountain of questions rising in her head. None of this made any sense to her, but how could it? The last thing she remembered is sitting on the bus, followed by the sound of gunfire, and then she'd woken up in the middle of what appeared to be a kitchen. And now, oh, now, she had some sort of collar around her neck, like she'd been made into somebody's slave, or worse. Not to mention one of the bags she was carrying wasn't even hers, with her only clue to its owner being that three-digit number printed on the side. Who was G056? Was it someone she knew? Was it Leila? Oh god, where was she, anyway? Why had she left Hilary all alone in here, in this run-down rec center? Her tears came faster now, raining down on the front of her coat as she slumped against the wall in defeat.

Suddenly, her wild train of thought crashed into a brick wall as the front door burst into life nearby. She immediately picked herself up, thinking somebody had come to rescue her, to take away the collar from her neck, but she soon realized differently. A voice she didn't recognize shouted at someone up ahead, and as quickly as they'd entered she heard them leave again, stranding her in the hallway. But wait, they'd been shouting at someone, which meant - of course! She'd forgotten all about the voice she'd heard call out before, something about... damn, she couldn't remember now. Her half-asleep condition as she'd left the kitchen had blocked out most of what had been said, so she couldn't even pin a face to the voice. This was enough, she figured, and she was soon directing herself around the corner to find-

"Harold?!" Not just Harold though. This Harold wasn't the same one she'd seen around school, the same one she'd sat across from at lunch sometimes. No, this Harold looked as confused as she did, but not just that... His neck, like hers, was wrapped in some kind of metal, and her heart jumped at the realization. "H-harold, what's," Her lips trembled as she raised a quivering finger at his neck. "W-what's that?"
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Blastinus
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Utterly perplexed by the arrival and sudden departure of Chadd Crossen, although he hadn't had enough of a glance at him to actually name him, Harold was completely off guard for the person who eventually stumbled out of the kitchen, looking close to hysterics. He was fairly certain that he had never talked to Hilary Strand before this day, but she seemed to know him enough to name him right off the bat, and what she had to talk about was not a comfortable subject.

"H-Harold?" she said, pointing at his neck. "What's...w-what's that?" The pudgy man felt an unexpected wave of pity for this girl who he couldn't place. She didn't know where she was, what was going on, or even what the stakes of this competition were. By all rights, Harold should have probably been freaking out as well, but he had forced himself to stay calm and collected. It hadn't entirely worked, and he could sympathize with someone who hadn't fully acclimated herself to the environment that she had been forced into. It was likely to be a hard road for her.

"They're collars, designed to force us to fight," he said, all thoughts of pulling out a pistol on her having evaporated. Right now, he just wanted to help her work through her hysterics, because it didn't feel right somehow to leave somebody so confused. "Clearly, you were not entirely awake during the briefing, so have a seat, and I'll run you through it." Standing up from his hiding spot behind the couch, the slovenly man indicated the spot on the couch that he had swept relatively clean of dust before. As he stepped back to lean against the opposite wall, he saw that the guy who he had told to come in before was still standing out there.

"For goodness sake, man!" he shouted outside. "Are you coming in or not?"

Geez, what's wrong with that person? You'd think I had plans to kill him or something.

Harold was now on the fence with that issue, actually. He wanted this girl to trust him, and plugging someone in the face right in front of her might not instill the greatest of confidence. It was probably best, for now, to let both of them survive until he was certain that he had worn off his emotional attachment to the issue.
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KingKamor
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Within Eva's curtain of darkness, she heard various stomps and crashes from outside the theatre. A cold sweat began to creep down the small of her back underneath her thin knitted sweater. She couldn't fathom what was going on out there, but she wasn't about to go find out. Either way, it looked like her pistol crossbow was able to retract the bow itself, so all she had to do was place the bolt in it, aim, and pull the trigger. If it came down to it, that is.

A cloud of dust billowed up in the beam of light that cut through her little black haven, which she tried to wave away with her hand. Unfortunately, that only seemed to stir up the dust even more.

She had to sneeze.

Crap! Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap! Was the only thing that she could think as she covered her nose with both hands. Despite her attempts to silence herself, the sneeze came out, nearly tearing her nose off with it's ferocity. The sound of it echoed throughout the entire theatre, and her thoughts went back to the people making noise outside.

If they're already making noise, then they might not have noticed me, right? They're all probably too busy killing each other to bother with me, right? Tears began to well in the corners of her eyes as the possibilities filled her head. I don't want to die!
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banthesun
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I am but two years old, and a robot... It is hopeless.
[ *  *  * ]
Will had thrown himself back from the doorway when the boy inside had spotted him. He should have known his plan would never work. He hadn't been able to come up with anything better and now he was a sitting duck. At least he could keep his cover, not pop out like that boy was asking him to. Sure, Will would need to talk to people sooner or later, but he'd wanted to do it on his terms. He had no way of knowing whether or not this was some kind of trap.

Pinned against the wall, Will was crippled by doubt before the realisation hit him.

Harold. The girl in there; she'd called him Harold. He'd talked to her and he hadn't killed her. It was Harold he was hiding from. Will knew him from time spent in the library. Fat and messy, people like him gave nerds a bad name. But he was a nerd all the same, and Will wasn't going to let physical appearance stand before that. He wasn't a bad person, and he wasn't just going to go around shooting people. Will's mistake wasn't going to be the end of him.

Standing with his back still pressed to the wall, Will threw his arms up in surrender so they could be seen through the door. His body was still covered by the wall, he hadn't let his guard down completely yet. That wouldn't do; he couldn't go round being paranoid forever. Reminding himself just who he was facing, Will spun out into the doorway, his arms still raised. Now he was trusting Harold not to shoot him in the face.

How'd it come to this so fast...
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T-Fox
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N-Nopony! Ah was talkin' to nopony whatsoever!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Uhh... I think ya'll skipped me somewhere in here.))

Chadd had heard almost nothing for what seemed like an eternity. His pulse was pounding as his knuckles began to whiten from the intense grip he held on the slab of concrete with which he placed his defense. The tension was overwhelming. However from his hidden location behind the building, he could do nothing to see that tensions were slowly beginning to die down. The boy with the stick he had seen earlier was finally rationalizing in his mind what was happening; just who it was that was in that room. However Chadd hadn't stuck around to register that Harold was the person that he was so afraid of. He didn't know Harold well at all, or even by name. However he had seen the boy wandering the halls, and he was quite the cathartic slob. Very, very little to be afraid of from someone who was as in shape as he was.

A heavy breath in. A heavy breath out. Silence. Inching forward to the front of the building, Chadd intended to peek around the corner to see exactly what was going on. The silence could either be a good thing, or a bad thing. However upon reaching the halfway mark of that admittedly short journey, his concentration was broken. By a shrill, powerful... sneeze? It didn't matter that it was the most innocuous thing that could have broken the silence, it still scared Chadd shitless. Thankfully not literally, however he did launch off the concrete, clutching his makeshift weapon to his chest, his bag rattling on his back. His eyes darted every which way, and he only began to breathe again once he had verified that no one was watching him nearby. At least, no one that he could see.

And his journey continued. Inching forward, baby step by baby step. He peered around the corner, just enough to see that the front door was still completely barren. Leaning back, he peered in the window just over the top of him, noticing a pair of hands raised in a submissive way through the window opposite his. The boy with the stick was giving up. Why? Did the person on that couch have a gun or something? Or maybe he had assistance. Someone hiding in the bushes, helping the ringleader in there gather up anyone who happened by. Shit. For some reason he couldn't seem to get a good angle to see the person waiting inside, some kind of counter in the way. He paused for a moment as he observed, attempting to crudely map out the building. There was alot he hadn't seen yet, but having some idea of what he was dealing with was a very good idea. Ensuring that his head was again fully hidden by the window ledge, he thought. Not only about escape routes and plans, but about who he could trust. What was about to happen to him. How long he would live.
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
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Jade Aurora - Tomboy Drummer
Jasmine Tolle - Pacifistiic Artist

Memories of those past:
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Hallucinojelly
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
"They're collars, designed to force us to fight,"

...Fight? What, each other? No, that didn't make any sense, who would make them fight each other? It must've been a prank - that was the only explanation she could give that didn't sound insane. Her mind skipped ahead of the important questions and landed on one stray thought in particular, concerning her friends. Were they in on this too? Leila, Violet, Trent; surely they were the ones behind this, getting poor Harold in on the joke just to wind her up. But then, they weren't the pranking kinds, so that confused her further. Perhaps it was the jocks? They had a reputation for being quite mischievous, but again, this just wasn't like them. It was too organised, too unbelievable. At least, that's what she thought before the boy behind the sofa got to his feet.

"Clearly, you were not entirely awake during the briefing, so have a seat, and I'll run you through it."

The briefing? What did he mean? The last thing she could remember was the bus, so when was there - and then she realized. She recalled hearing gunfire, albeit briefly, before waking up all alone in that unfamiliar kitchen. Looking around, she noticed that the entire place was foreign to her; she'd never been in a rec center before and couldn't work out quite where she was anymore. Was this the campsite they were staying at? If she went outside, would she see everyone else huddled in groups, setting up tents and laughing as Hilary left the building? Part of her wanted to take Harold's offer and sit down where he'd pointed to, and let him explain everything to her so she could decide if this was still just a joke. The other part, however, wanted to burst through those double doors and scream at everyone out there.

But then... if people were out there, why couldn't she hear them? There was so much wrong with this picture she assumed she must be hallucinating right now because it was far too real for it to all be just a dream. A prank then, seemed like the only suitable conclusion here, and maybe if she spied hard enough she'd find a camera or two relaying every ounce of her fear to everyone in her entire year. Oh, that'd be wonderful, she figured, if that was all this was. It would be horrible - the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to her - but at least it would falsify the boy's claims that they were being forced to fight each other. She felt her collar tighten as she held back another wave of tears.

But none of that made any sense.

She'd done nothing to warrant such a hazing in all her time at Bayview, and in an unusually catty moment she wondered why Harold of all people would be in on it and wasn't the one being hazed himself.

"For goodness sake, man!" he shouted outside. "Are you coming in or not?"

Her head immediately turned to the door. She gasped. Recoiling in shock, she saw a pair of hands emerge from the side of the door, raised in what she hoped was a sign of peace. Harold said they'd been forced to fight each other, didn't he? So what did this gesture mean? With no idea who the hands belonged to, and both herself and Harold wearing the most fear-inducing accessories she'd ever seen, she hoped to God that this person was about to reveal himself as the mastermind behind this little "joke". And if he wasn't behind it all, if he was wearing a collar exactly like theirs, then Hilary Strand would finally understand exactly what was going on, and her life as she knew it would be over.

---

William Sears.

18 years old.

Student at Bayview Secondary School, St.Pauls, Minnesota.

...

Wearing a collar.
Hello again.
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Blastinus
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That's Just Crazy Talk
[ *  *  *  * ]
Much against his will, Harold felt his eyebrows rise as he saw Will enter with his arms above his head. The pudgy man considered himself to be a number of things, but for a grand portion of his life, dangerous had not been one of them. Now, he could have all the respect that he needed, and more besides. The game had tipped the scales of power to those fortunate enough to have an actual weapon assigned to them, and for a brief moment, Harold considered laughing at the cowering boy walking slowly in through the front door of this recreation center, clearly afraid that nature's chew toy had now suddenly grown fangs.

Despite these tempting feelings, Harold let the temptation pass, and he settled back into his normal lazy expression. "Relax," he said to Will, "I'm not playing this game." Seating himself down into a different couch without thinking it fully through, he broke into a wheezing fit as a cloud of dust rose up and into his lungs. "Please, sit down," he coughed out at Will and Hilary, clearing the air with the hand that wasn't still clutching the strap of his daypack. As the cloud dispersed and Harold's coughing subsided, he placed both hands together and said, "Now then, where should I start? The beginning is probably best." Turning to Will, he added, "If you already know this, then you can chime in if you like."

The last time Harold had seen a school counselor, he'd been told that he had the potential to be a good teacher. At the time, he had thought it to be insulting, as a teaching profession had seemed to him like a dead-end career with no possibilities of achieving fame or fortune. Besides that, he hated kids. However, he forced himself to try, doing his best to recap the events of...last night? Yesterday? Last week? It probably didn't matter.

A muffled sneeze caught his attention halfway through, and he jumped out of his seat in surprise. Down a ways from the kitchen, he saw, judging by the direction, that the noise must have come from the one-screen theater. Clearly, the place had not been nearly as abandoned as Harold would have hoped. Motioning towards his audience to get down, he reached into his bag and drew out his pistol, placing in a clip as he slowly walked towards the theater door. It probably didn't matter anymore whether or not they knew he had a gun, seeing as he had had multiple opportunities to shoot both of them, and failed to do so.

"Whoever is in there, you can come out now," Harold demanded, his pistol held low so as not to accidentally perforate whoever was in the theater if his finger slipped by accident. He still had the safety on, but figured that a little extra safety was always worth it, given that he'd never actually fired a gun before. "Don't worry," he said, "I'm not playing."

Not that it probably matters to most people, given that I've got a gun. They'll probably just kill me on principle now.
V7 Kids
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KingKamor
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Leader
[ *  *  * ]
There was so much talking going on outside that it was possible that nobody was fighting anymore, if they ever were. Eva didn't know one way or the other, and made sure that she was able to fully load the crossbow pistol before she peered out from under the stage. With the duffel bag over her shoulder and pistol in one hand -- its weight was enough to make her wrist hurt -- she parted the stage's skirt and crept out, her eyes set on the exit out.

As quickly as she could, Eva ran towards the glowing open exit door and stopped to the side of it with her weapon ready, like they do in the movies. Maybe everyone had started talking because they just killed someone, and things have calmed down? No no no! That makes no sense. Gotta focus. She peered out of the door and looked down the hallway that lead to the entrance. The voices came from that direction, but she wasn't about to run headlong into that. The other direction lead to an EXIT sign, so she went for that. Being careful not to make any noise, she slowly tip-toed towards the door.

Just as her view of the entryway was eclipsed by the corner of the hall, she felt something under her foot give out a sickening crack. Her back arched like a scared cat. A glance at the dusty debris-filled floor and saw a broken beer bottle and its many shards scattered around the floor. A particularly large piece of glass had been placed where her foot had landed. "Shit." With that, Eva slammed her feet against the floor, running towards the exit door for all she was worth, crashing through it and running off in a random direction. She didn't care where she went as long as it was somewhere safe.

(Eva Lancaster, continued in Mad World.)
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