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They F**king Work Because Unpaired Electrons Spinning in the Same Direction; Create Lines of Magnetic Domains (Open)
Topic Started: Oct 21 2010, 05:12 AM (2,463 Views)
Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Nick Reid continued from Peacemaker))

Huddled uncomfortably in the shadow of a pile of logs, concealed from casual observers by their hulking mass, Nick surveyed his map and compass. They weren't infallible - far from it, really, but at least it gave him an idea of where he might want to go. Or, at least, it let him scout out his potential ideas. It wouldn't suggest them to him, which is why he was lost in indecision.

Much earlier - had it really been almost an entire day? - he'd realized how truly charmed his existence was. He'd met the baddest killer on the island, alone and unarmed, and walked out alive. In fact, he'd not only survived, he'd give him a verbal knee in the groin and commended his girlfriend (or whatever she was) for letting him get away with it all. Check and mate, Kuznetsov.

All the same, his exit had been somewhat less than cool and controlled. He'd barely had time to scoop up his bag and recover the hidden weapon that he now wore thrust through his belt loop. Running with a four-foot-long weapon in his hands was frustratingly yet not unexpectedly draining. There was really no good way to keep it. Thrust into his belt loop, his jeans sagged to one side and if the point wasn't busy catching on the ground, it could well just bury itself into his Achilles. Laying it over his should like a bindle was what he went with, though it scraped foliage and wore down his shoulder and arm. From there, he'd headed North - just simply North, which held the great attraction of being totally bereft of Ivans.

Leaving the secluded forest was a step down in terms of general safety for his unguarded rest, but his location was decent and the wooded areas didn't scream safety after all of his experiences. For a long while, he lay watching the precious hours of his life tick away - or rather, jump and jerk and stutter, slowing to a crawl one moment and speeding by the next. It was exhausting business, this survival, and Nick took to laying about like a fish to water. He'd done it back at home, back in his old life, sometimes. Much more often than he liked, often enough that his parents would give up after a half-dozen failed calls to consciousness and return hours later when the sun had moved more than anything else. Those days when he just couldn't be bothered to get dressed, turn on the light, set a single limb out of bed. The time went by then as it did now, paying no heed to consistency, a painfully slow dragging march along entropy's arrow interrupted by randomly spaced hours of blissful unconsciousness, where for just a little while he didn't have to think about psychiatrists and their insufferable expectant pauses, didn't have to think about missing lectures or failing to finish that essay he had "left in the printer," didn't have to think about anything at all.

Not that that was any concern to him now. His long repose was not, in fact, just a depressive slump, because there would be no more depressive slumps for him. He'd reached epiphany, the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel in this the darkest, bleakest of all games. Though his body was sore and bruised (hence the long rest), when he thought about it, he was really the best off out of anyone: Not only did he have a brutal equalizer for anyone else who dared to mock him, he was the island's Brain Trust. In fact, he'd formally created the Brain Trust during his down time, with himself as president, secretary, and first officer. The first meeting had been called for a celebratory nap, and he was just getting everyone back together now.

Back to the basics. How was he? "Sore and tired" came the immediate thought, but how was he besides that? He had three people who would most likely kill on sight. Alex, he knew nothing of. Ivan had a shotgun. And Maxwell had some sort of gun according to that morning's announcement. Speaking of which...

"MUCH more entertaining was our next kill, with Nick Reid doing the honours by smashing Tom Guthrie's face into a fine paste using a rock wall, so for those of you keeping count, that's two for Mr. Reid."

He was outed for good, probably. The first one was really an accident - voluntary manslaughter, maybe involuntary manslaughter in the useless courts of the world he'd left behind him. But the second one - well, there were some things that just didn't happen on accident. He could try the "vulnerable and downtrodden" act again, but it couldn't be his main strategy any more - a decent plan B, maybe, provided he had a plan C.

When it came down to it, there were only two things that would get him off the island: escape and victory. Neither was remotely likely. As far as escape was concerned, he had nothing yet, but he knew that an escape would not be built piece by piece but come together in a flash of inspiration, the ultimate manifestation of his ability to worm out of things he absolutely refused to stand for. Survival, on the other hand, was more given to careful consideration than sudden epiphany.

So, what did he have? Well, a large sword, martial prowess with said sword, blood on his hands (and on his face and on his clothing...), three molotovs (the lethality of which was backed by Danya himself), and a face that a mother would kind of quietly slip away from. He was, in short, horrible company. That was good. He could pick his battles. Approach on his own terms, go after who he needed to. And who should he go after? His track record with the unenlightened wasn't the greatest, and the deadly were only becoming deadlier. He'd nip it in the bud. Gather intel, wait for Maxwell and Ivan to expend their ammo and then make them beg for death before the end. And for direction? Southeast was out, and the only real alternative lay Northwest. Once he cleared the cliff side, he'd make the choice, East or West. For now, though, he just needed to move.

He walked among the stumps and broken husks of felled giants, checking the compass as his only real guide in the repetitive sea of dead trees. The sun was bright but not too hot, though, and the terrain, while uneven and loose in some places was perfectly fine to walk on. Taking a breather sitting on a convenient stump, he thought that it all would have been almost pleasant if he wasn't so hideously exposed.
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Nick's surprise quickly turned into fear, then kept going right into anger. What in the world did he think he was doing staring off into space like that? There was no doubt in his mind that he could take on Reiko or Kris or Maxwell or whoever decided to point a gun at him next, but he'd get nowhere if he kept forgetting the single most important part of survival - always always always keep your mind on your surroundings. He knew he'd have to face down a gunman sooner or later, and four feet of steel meant absolutely nothing if they picked him off before he even got close. Twenty-one feet, that's all he needed. Twenty-one feet.

Not that it all mattered now, because the pair was already well within the zone, and the fact that he wasn't dead now stood as good evidence against hidden gunmen. The girl's mannerisms - Yes, I know you're Fiona, and so do people a mile away now - would've violated his comfort zone in the best of times, but now he felt an urge to physically back away to lessen the force of her personality. A quick thought flashed through his mind (did that mean personalities followed the square-cube law?) before he answered.

"Ey."

Too bad Danya doesn't give out special prizes for being the worse conversationalist on the island.

He chewed his lip, considering his words and trying (without much success, he ventured) to size them up without being too blatant. There was definitely something about the boy. He could've sworn there was some connection with the announcements, but if there was, it eluded his mental grasp entirely. On a more tangible note, he did keep his hand in his bag, which probably meant he was either thirsty or armed. What most worried him though - or at least put him very squarely on the wrong foot - was the fact that Fiona had even gotten so close. Didn't she know who he was, what he'd done? Surely they'd heard the announcement. But if they just didn't know who he was...

"Uhh, Evelyn Reed?" Homophones could be so nice sometimes when you needed to seem to know someone. "Lemme think for a sec." Casting his face into mock thoughtfulness, he got slowly to his feet. Leaning on the sword was a gamble, but as long as they didn't see the molotovs or notice the specks of blood he felt so conscious of...

"No, I can't say that I have, sorry. Excuse me, it just kind of feels weird sitting with this thing on my waist like that." That would definitely qualify as a bad move. He wasn't fooling anyone "casually" leaning on something you could kill a freaking armored knight with. Sheer stupidity, that's what it was - he could draw it quickly now, but it was an astoundingly obvious and not altogether friendly move. He could smooth it over...

"Err, while we're at it, I'm looking for a few people as well. Alex white, Ivan, Jennifer Perez? There's been a bit of a, uh, separation, and I really don't know what area of the island they're even in."

He could've kicked himself for mentioning the BKA winner.
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Nick really just wanted Nik and Fiona to go away. He was feeling irritable enough, but Fiona having the nerve to act happy sent him over the edge. And not only that, but there was another kid there, and that set off an even more disproportionate response, and he thought he should just excuse himself bluntly and leave, because he was always rather blunt, maybe even churlish, and he didn't want to get involved in an endless stream of pleasantries and inquiries, and screw manners on this island and now Fiona was getting suspicious because he'd mentioned Ivan and-

Gun.

His thoughts snapped back into focus and whirled around that deadly little piece of metal. This was the third time this had happened (though only the second that he knew about), and he'd have to stare down the barrels of many more before the experience got any less jarring. Thankfully there was no hardened killer behind it this time. And if he'd survived back in the forest (he almost chuckled in spite of himself because seriously, how had he gotten away?) he could worm out of the situation now.

He thought about pulling some awesome action movie stunt. Grab the gun, knock it to the side, do a commando roll, whatever. There had to be some sort of dynamic reaction that he could use to take control of the situation. Nik was within the melee zone - if he dashed forward, accelerated like a jackrabbit, grabbed the heavy metal of the sword's hilt and swung upwards...

He would get shot, that's what would happen.

And then, suddenly, surprisingly, Nik was walking away. That was it. Threat neutralized. Sure, he was keeping the gun trained on Nick - but really, there was no way he was actually going to pull that trigger like that, much less hit his target. That was good. And yet...

Almost subconsciously, he traced a finger along the hilt of the estoc. He wanted to run after them, sprint flat-out until he could reach Nik, shove the sword right through his neck. And if he turned and fired? All the better. Because that meant he could sense Nick, sense the oncoming angel of death, feel that barrier between life and death grow hopelessly thin as Nick Reid, the most dangerous man on the island, came with the speed and fury of the devil himself! And then Nik would see, Fiona would see, every student on the island would see that they'd crossed the wrong guy. They'd take him seriously then. He'd be able to run with the big dogs. Maxwell, Clio, whoever - swap gore stories before fighting like equals, but Nick would come out on top, always on top because this was Survival of the Fittest and what was he if not the fittest...

And then he remembered that Orpheus was still standing there.

"Um, hi there," he said. "I- uh, yeah, you know, I'm a reasonable guy. No wanton raping and pillaging or anything. Look," he said, pulling the sword out of his belt loop and tossing it onto the ground, point lying next to the stump on which he promptly sat down. "I'm gonna be 100% honest here, I don't want to go after you or anything, I'm really going after those guys who can't keep it together. Maxwell and Ivan, guys with a screw loose. I mean, I got that sword," he gestured to it, "off a guy who killed someone with it. One less armed predator, yeah?"

Nick hoped Orpheus would buy the explanation. He'd embroidered the truth just a bit (but come on, how was Phil not going to die from that?), but on the whole he thought he was being pretty honest. After all, if he could best a fellow player, so much the better for his reputation. For now though, he really didn't want to go after someone just trying to enjoy their last days. Were OC to attack, of course, that would change in an instant. The sword was within easy reach for a reason, and he'd soon learn why the word pummel is derived from pommel.
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Everything seemed to be rolling along nice and smooth.

Nick found himself getting more and more irritated.

Orpheus seemed a little irritated too. Or maybe he was just trying to be both implacable and threatening at the same time. Either way, he wasn't acting happy.

Nick felt a little better.

All the kid wanted was to find some girl Nick hadn't seen. After briefly considering telling him that she was dead (his usual flat reply, though he was unaccustomed to situations where people might be inclined to believe him), he considered for a moment how to answer. He thought of Jennifer, standing in the gloom, telling him he didn't deserve to die, the only freaking person on the island who didn't seem to want him dead. Finding her again, begging her acceptance, letting his thoughts flow freely as his tears, knowing that there was someone out there who held more than just contempt for him, the closest he'd get to a friend until the brutal ending of his life...

He thought of Tabi, kneeling before him, coughing, as Ivan beat him to the ground. The fury in his eyes, his willingness to kill for her. And then Tabi herself, robbing him of his peace, taking away a chance to leave the island far behind him. He felt longing again, but this time a longing to see Ivan lying in a bloody heap, watching Tabi die in front of him, feeling the loss Nick felt. You could take your couples, he decided, and chuck them off the nearest convenient cliff.

"You know," he said, picking up the sword that OC had infuriatingly failed to attempt to steal, "I think I have seen her. Not up close, of course. No use patting down every dead body I come across, I'm sure you'll agree." The words didn't feel right at all. But as far as he was concerned, his conscience could go hang itself. Useless thing would only get him into trouble anyway.

The conversation was clearly over, but before he strode away, he thought, it would be cool to do some little flourish or whatever with the sword, demonstrate his utter contempt or whatever. Something that would get OC raving about how smooth and skilled and deadly he was.

The estoc flipped through the air, glinting in the sun, and then tumbled out of Nick's hands and onto the ground.

More agitated than ever (which made him feel a little better, because it was good old-fashioned self-hatred, the kind of rotten mood he could enjoy being in), he turned on the spot and headed back the way he'd came. If he wanted to find Jennifer again, maybe she'd still be hanging out near the tunnels. And if she was, he'd try to remember how bad of a catch he was before he did anything fancy.

((Nick Reid continued in Carpe Noctum))
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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