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Morning Comes Slowly; New day. New threats. New chances.
Topic Started: Sep 12 2010, 07:36 PM (1,657 Views)
Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Tiffany Baker continued from Everybody's Changing))

She had lost track of how long they’d been walking or how much her feet hurt from all the walking. They hadn’t been moving particularly fast or pushing particularly hard, but she was still not ready for a full day of hiking across the island. Several times, they had stopped to rest, fill up water, and trade conversation, but they never stopped for long. William was always urging them to keep moving.

William had caught up with her shortly after their meeting in the logged forest. In all the action and misunderstandings that had happened with Dominic, she had forgotten to retrieve her daypack. William had been a good person and brought it to her. Tiffany couldn’t imagine how long she’d last without the food, water, flashlight, and clothes that were in the daypack. He also suggested that they travel together for a while, an idea that Tiffany agreed with. He was, after all, somebody that she felt she could trust.

In another time, the journey across the island would have been a wonderful experience. The trees were lush with life, and towered up far higher than any tree Tiffany had seen before. Smaller bushes and ferns littered the forest floor, and in some cases, vines snaked through the underbrush and curled up around the roots of large trees. There were squirrels, or maybe some other small rodents, darting around and up the massive tree trunks, while birds chirped from their vantage point high up in the branches. It was a peaceful scene that Tiffany wouldn’t be able to find anywhere near the Twin Cities. Peaceful, except for the threat of death hanging over each of the poor students who were now on this island.

Eventually, the day’s worth of hiking was brought to a close as the sun started to set. Tiffany was glad she was with William; she would have been helpless in the dark. As darkness approached, William started to gather up materials to start a fire. They had gotten really close to the beach, which Tiffany could see not too far from where they stopped, and the thinning treeline allowed for a few more minutes of light than would be possible deeper in the forest. The fire William set was not a raging bonfire like ones Peter had talked about before, but was rather small and intimate instead.

Night fell and the pair bathed in the warmth and light of the small fire. It had been a long day, but Tiffany didn’t feel like sleeping. As they quietly stared into the fire, William started talking about his friends, their friends, who had also been on the trip. He was worried that they might be dead, or worse, that they had been twisted by the game. “I’m sure they’ll all be okay. They’re all good people. They’d never stoop to the level of what Danya wants us to do. They’re all okay.” Tiffany wasn’t sure if she was saying this to reassure herself or William. She badly wanted to be sure that Peter and Maddy and Everett and everyone else were okay. “God will protect all of us.” The invocation, almost a prayer in itself, was the only thing she had left to hold onto.

William took out a map and showed her his plan for the next morning. Tiffany wasn’t good with maps, and totally useless with a compass, so she just nodded in agreement with what he had decided. As long as they were looking for their friends. In a corner of her mind, Tiffany felt that she needed to find Peter quickly. Not just because she wanted to find Peter; Tiffany knew that Peter could make some really stupid mistakes when he was stressed. If she could get to him quickly, then she could make sure that nothing really bad would happen.

While she pondered this and stared at the map William had handed to her, he had gotten up and played around with some contraption to hang up a water bottle over the fire. Boiling it, she supposed. It was a clever way of doing that without the luxury of a pot or other similar container. He then went to his pack and pulled out some assorted snacks; not the bread and crackers that had been supplied in the daypacks, but food and drink that he had packed for the trip itself. He offered some of it to Tiffany, which she politely took and slowly ate as he continued to rifle through his pack. After a few moments, he came up holding a few books. Tiffany couldn’t really make out any titles in the dim firelight. Not that she was seriously considering reading a book while on this island. Still, she laughed at William’s attempt at humor. The trip had become anything but boring.

William sighed again, expressing his worries about their friends. Tiffany missed them too. As he used his stick to poke at the fire again, she reached over and lightly took hold of his hand. She didn’t know what to say, but she just wanted to make him feel that he wasn’t alone. They spent a few silent minutes, just holding each other’s hand, the only thing they had left in the night.

The silence was broken by another question from William. Tiffany hadn’t really thought about her weapon. Not since she had thrown it away. She considered lying for a brief moment, but that wasn’t fair. She trusted him, and he trusted her. “I… I threw it away,” Tiffany looked at the fire, so she didn’t need to see William’s eyes. “It was a g-gun.” She took a quick glance over to where William had lay down his own gun. It didn’t look like the gun she’d had at all. “It just didn’t feel write to be holding one. I didn’t want it, and I didn’t want anyone else to take it either.”

William recounted his own decision to hold onto his weapon. Tiffany didn’t think he was a bad person for keeping the gun. In the hands of somebody willing to use it, a gun could be a terrifying weapon, but it could also be used for good. She didn’t trust herself to be able to use it for a good purpose, but William was somebody that would be able to do the right thing. With her hand still lightly grasping his, she leaned over and put her head on his shoulder. “If you’re going to use it for a good cause, to save lives, then you’re doing the right thing.” She could feel William shift slightly under the intimate contact. They’d spent more time together in the past day than they ever had before back at school. “You need to be strong to do the right thing. I believe in you.”

They spent the rest of the night listening to the crackles of the flickering fire. Tiffany didn’t know how long it was until she fell asleep. Time had stopped mattering long ago.




((placeholdering the rest because it’s friggin’ late and I have school tomorrow, but Tiffany also goes inactive tomorrow))

The screech and crackle of the speakers littered around the island rang through the morning air. The sound was enough to wake Tiffany. Any sound probably could've woken her. The night had not been spent in a safe and comfortable slumber, but in wary fits of short rest that could be disturbed by the slightest sound. Now the sun was rising, reflecting its radiance off the ocean water by the beach. With the morning brilliance came the voice of the students' kidnapper, echoing through the trees around them.

The voice was too jolly, too enthusiastic for the situation that the students were in. Tiffany wanted to cover her ears, to shut out the sound of Danya's voice, but there could be no escape. Nineteen people were already dead. Tiffany didn't want to believe it. Each name marked one of her fellow students as either among the dead or among the killers. In a way, she was relieved that she didn't hear the name of any one of her close friends. As each name was called, she repeated the name softly under her breath, adding it to them to the list of people for whom she would pray for.

For some, she prayed for repose. For others, she prayed for forgiveness.

Peter was not among the killers nor among the killed. For this, she breathed a sigh a relief, the first breath she could remember taking since waking up to the announcements. It was then that she noticed William, huddled over on the other side of where their little campfire last night had been. His expression, of shock and disbelief, likely mirrored the features showing on her own face. Tiffany could not imagine that there would be many people that wouldn't feel the same.

Except for the people that had killed others. But maybe they hadn't really meant to kill people either.

She got up from the bed of branches and leaves, putting aside the jacket that William had given her to use as a blanket. She walked around the ashes of the fire and sat at William's side. Her arms reached out and wrapped around William's form, and she pulled herself up to him. She didn't know if she was trying to comfort him, or seeking comfort from him. She didn't know what else to do. Maybe she should be crying, for the loss of life around them. Maybe she should be strong, to do her best to support him for the coming day.

"Everything will be okay," she said softly, "Peter and Maddy are still alive." Tiffany wasn't sure if she should mention Everett. She couldn't imagine what it would be like to lose a good friend; she wished that she would never have to find out. If something like that had happened, she was sure she'd want her friends to do their best to cheer her up. "I'm sorry about Everett. He's in a better place now. All we can do for him is to pray." She let the silence reign, and William just sat quietly with her. It was a little bit of peace, the only little bit of peace they could have for the moment.

Tiffany wasn't sure how long they sat there in each other's company, but at some point she became keenly aware of the dirt that had gotten tangled in her hair and that stained her jumper and pants. If she was going to spend another day walking around the island, she didn't want to have to do it like this. She disengaged herself from William and went over to her pack to check what clothes she had brought with her. "I'll be right back," she said to William before retreating out of sight past some bushes.

Taking one of the water bottles, she poured a little bit to splash onto her face to clean off any dirt. After that, she tipped it over her head and let a small trickle of water run over her hair, rinsing out the large chunks of earth that were tangled in it. A little bit more water was rubbed onto her clothes, in a vain attempt to clean that as well. She was careful to not use too much. After making little progress on that, she retrieved a new t-shirt from her daypack. She could probably go another day with most of what she had on, but her shirt was definitely feeling grimy from the day before.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
A loud crack split the air.

Tiffany looked around confused for a moment. The sound was unfamiliar, but its volume was worrying. She couldn't figure out where it came from, but it was definitely somewhere close by. Whatever it was, Tiffany was sure that being alone would be a bad idea. Stuffing the old t-shirt and the water bottle into her daypack, she retraced her steps through the bushes to where William had been. If there was any danger, he could protect her.

What she saw when she got there made it hard to stick with that line of thought.

There was a head on the ground. Just a head. The body was on the ground several feet away. But the problem was that the head wasn't on the body. She didn't recognize the face on the head. Even if she could recognize it normally, the fact that the head wasn't on his neck made it impossible to think rationally. There was blood everywhere too. Tiffany turned away from the corpse and the head. If she kept looking... she didn't want to think about why she would keep looking or what she'd do if she looked again.

Her eyes met went to William. He was just standing there, his gun still held up. He was shaking. His eyes were unfocused, distant. "William..." Tiffany stopped herself before she could say anything that could shatter the fragile string holding William together. If she accused him of doing whatever he might possibly have done, then she'd lose him. "Are you... please put the gun down...."

Morbid curiosity nibbled at her mind, urging her to look back at the body. Tiffany fought it. Whatever had happened, there would be a time to address it. That didn't stop her from wanting to scream, to panic, to run away from what might be a killer not even ten feet away. But there was a fine balance to keep. If she lost it now, then William might lose it too. She had to trust that William wasn't a killer.

Trust.

That was the way to getting out of this game. Trust.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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