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Keep Yourself Alive; Whether you want to or not. (TOPIC CLOSED)
Topic Started: Nov 13 2010, 03:31 PM (3,789 Views)
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((R.J. Lowe continued from It Knows Nothing of Whim))

It was hours before R.J. and Mary-Ann came to a stop, and by that point, there was no farther to go. Nothing but ocean laid out in front of them.

Good a time as any to rest.

He dropped the two bags he'd been carrying. One was his own, one belonged to B100. Rekka Saionji. No one he knew, not that that made things any easier. Three people were dead because of his actions. Three people. Wait, no. No time to worry about that. The dead weren't coming back. Worry about keeping the living from following. Worry about Mary-Ann.

Deep breaths.




Okay. The bag. First thing was to sort through Rekka's supplies. Dispose of what wasn't needed. Consolidate what could be used. Clothes; too small, nothing he could use. Food; a bottle of water and a loaf of bread. Those would be needed. He took them. First aid kit; they had two already. If they suffered anything survivable, that would be enough. Leave it. Ammunition; two magazines. He removed a round from one to examine it. 7.65mm, by the look of it. That did him no good. The GP6 took 9mm rounds. Still, they weren't so cumbersome that he couldn't hold them, in case another, more compatible weapon presented itself. Once he had everything he needed, he hurled Rekka's bag, with all it still contained, over the edge of the cliff and into the sea below. He needed to be rid of it. The thing reeked with the smell of what he'd done, and he wanted it gone.

They weren't alone at that cliffside. Two other students, a boy and a girl, were resting there, same as them. For now, he'd leave them be. They weren't a threat to anyone right now. Keep an eye on them from a distance, but don't interfere. Just sit down, here. At the edge of this cliff.

Long way down, isn't it?
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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"There is no peace," saith the LORD, "unto the wicked."

Gazing out over the sea, R.J. wondered how long it would take before he had to move again. All this running around was starting to take its toll on him, and he hadn't had a decent enough meal to legitimately fuel himself. He could feel the acid eating away at his stomach walls already. Still, for the time being, things were as peaceful as they'd been since he left home. The only sound from where he sat was that of the waves crashing against the rocks below. It was a terrible analogy given what had just happened, but now, he was waiting for the other shoe to drop.


((Mary-Ann Warren continued from It Knows Nothing of Whim))

For a brief moment, she wondered if she was still looking at R.J. Lowe.

Once upon a time, the silent young man held a certain charm about him. Even only yesterday, when he'd confessed his love to her, he still seemed to hold on to vestiges of that charm that had won Mary-Ann over those few months ago. Now, he seemed little more than a somber husk of her one-time closest friend, ragged and broken by the ravages of this twisted game. On close examination, a handful of his black hair had started to go grey. His skin seemed to have taken on an unnatural pallor, even more pale than it usually was, which only served to highlight the bruises that coated his skin like spots on a leopard. His gaze was not unlike that of a soldier returning from war, thick bags weighing heavy beneath his brown eyes. His right foot was stained all over with the sickening red-brown hue of their attacker's dried blood. She hadn't been looking when he shined the light on the boy's corpse, but if his reaction, R.J.'s, the once-charming knight in tattered armor's, had been any indication, it was for the best.

As he sat there, feet dangling over the side of the cliff, staring out at the sea before them, she wondered if this was the same R.J. Lowe she used to know. She approached, kneeling down a bit further back from the edge, if he hadn't, perhaps, been replaced by someone else as they slept.

No, she thought. That would just be silly.

So how well did she really know this boy sitting next to her? The boy who'd claimed he loved her?

She placed a hand on his shoulder. "You know, it's not really safe, this close to the edge."

Yeah. I know.

He turned his head just a bit to the side, just enough to let her know that he was acknowledging her. That he was listening. Not enough to look at her, though. He couldn't bring himself to. She'd just seen him at his worst. Seen him take a life, right in front of her. Well, not seen, but the effect, the principle, it was all the same. But still, for whatever reason, she'd stayed by his side. There were voices in the distance. Probably the two students he'd seen further down. He wasn't really paying attention, just registering that they were there.

She should go to them. She'd be safer with them.

"Please... don't cry."

A single, tiny finger gently caressed R.J.'s cheek, wiping away the tears he hadn't noticed starting to slip down his face. He seemed genuinely puzzled when the fact dawned on him.

Wait... Mary-Ann... Was I crying?

"Yeah. You were."

She reached around to the other side of his chin, slowly pivoting his head to face her, so she could look him in the eye. Even with her on her knees and him sitting, slouched forward, no less, she still had to look up to do so. His eyes were Coke-can red from the tears, and she could see a bit of snot dripping down before he sniffed it back into his nasal cavity. For a moment, she looked down, just a bit. Before the other night, she'd never actually seen the scar on his neck, as he'd always worn a scarf to cover it up, and she hadn't actually taken notice of it until now. He'd always called it a scar, anyway; in reality, it looked more like a vaguely triangular hole. When he swallowed his sadness, she could see the organs in his throat bulge and contract. The whole thing only served to accentuate just how disheveled he was. As strong as he once seemed to her, now, he just looked so vulnerable. She looked him squarely in the eye, the same stern look he'd once given her now being returned in kind. There were voices in the distance. Probably the two students she'd noticed out of the corner of her eye earlier. She wasn't really paying attention, just registering that they were there.

She had to stay with R.J. She had to protect him, like he'd protected her.

With all she had, Mary-Ann embraced R.J, and though it pained his battered body, he accepted.

Whatever was going on in the distance, they both supposed it could wait.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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((Okay, it's been 11 days on my end here, so if no one minds...))

And then suddenly, the moment was ruined.

For a moment, the air was filled with the screech of audio feedback. The same audio feedback that preceded the announcements every morning. Since it was very likely no longer morning, R.J. was fairly certain this meant something had gone horribly wrong. He released Mary-Ann from his embrace, waiting for that sick bastard Danya's smug voice to pollute the air.

It would prove to be a longer wait than he expected, because that was most definitely his Algebra teacher.

"Good afternoon, students. I've been instructed to read out a prewritten statement from Mr. Danya regarding an incident that has taken place on the island,"

An incident. That was never a good word.

"And I quote. It's come to our attention that one of your number has been interfering with their collar. This is clearly unacceptable. After all, we wouldn't want anybody refusing to play ball, would we? The student in question is Liz Polanski, some of you might know her. I'm speaking to you in order to bring an offer from Danya."

Wait... interfering with her collar? Did she get it off? They wouldn't need to make an announcement if she hadn't. They'd just pull the trigger and be rid of her. R.J. rubbed his own collar. Could it be done? Holy shit, was there actually a way they could esc-

"Should anybody successfully kill Liz Polanski, they will immediately be awarded a weapon from our very own stash of best kill prizes as a bounty."


"Miss Polanski. If you instruct anybody, verbally or by any other method, in your techniques, we will immediately detonate their collar. If we see you persisting in trying to break our rules, we will detonate collars at random. If you remain at large, we will send in a team to hunt you and anybody found to be allied with you down. We may also... We may also see fit to eliminate your beloved teacher."


"It has also come to our attention that Miss Polanski has recklessly destroyed one of our cameras. As a punishment, we will now detonate a collar."

Wait, what?!

"What!? No! I - you can't make me-"

A thunk. They were going to have Mr. Kwong hit the button himself. That couldn't have meant anything else.

And for all he knew, R.J. was the one who had been condemned. For all he knew, Mary-Ann could die right in front of him and he'd be helpless to stop it. He trembled where he sat, eyes wide with terror.

"I... I will be commencing this punishment now."

He shut his eyes tight. Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit...

"B148, Daisuke Nagazawa, eliminated."

Oh. Shit.

"This is your teacher, Kwong Lei, signing off. Kids, I believe in-!"

Somehow, still being alive didn't make R.J. feel any better.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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It didn't make sense. None of this made any sense.

Daisuke Nagazawa never hurt anyone, had he? Mary-Ann recognized the name, and though she didn't know him well, he had seemed like a good person. And why did he have to die? Because someone, heaven forbid, try to remove the explosives wrapped around her neck? What sort of monsters were these people? Though R.J.'s arms had fallen to his sides, Mary-Ann refused to let go of him. Had her eyes not run themselves dry already, she'd have wept into his shirt right there. Was there really nothing that could be done to stop this madness? Did this really have to come down to one person? If she and R.J. were the last two standing, what then?

That train of thought was derailed for the moment, when the conversation in the distance suddenly became impossible to ignore.

"So what, that your prize you got for it, Ivan? Huh? What do I want? I wanna know if you're a killer or not, I guess that's it. I wanna KNOW what happened that got you that shotgun. Why don't you start with that?"

Tilting her head to one side as she loosened her grip, she looked past R.J. to see two boys pointing firearms at each other. The one who looked like the more likely source of the voice was, paradoxically, the only one who appeared to be holding a shotgun. The smaller one's weapon didn't look like anything that fired bullets, as opposed to, say, lasers or plasma bursts, something like that, strange as the idea seemed.

"... I got this shotgun..."

...It was a shotgun? That was- wait. Ivan? Hadn't she heard that name somewhere?

"... as a terrible reminder of what I've done. Yes, I'm a killer. I murdered Keith."

Oh. Oh. That was where. He had been "awarded" best kill. And now he was staring down the throat of a bigger fish, so to speak. Was this other boy out to kill the killers?

"But Tabi had nothing to do with it, so please don't shoot her."

Tabi. Mary-Ann hadn't noticed until that moment, but there was a girl with them as well. Did that mean Ivan had only been trying to protect her? Like he seemed to be doing now? Like R.J. had done for her? And what if the taller boy was unconvinced? What did that mean when he found R.J? She looked up to see that he'd turned around, and was following the conversation intently as well. Mary-Ann hoped the best for Ivan, she really did, but right now, she was concerned about saving who she could.

"I think it might be time we weren't here," she whispered.

It wasn't the words that caught R.J.'s attention so much as the guns.

The taller of the two was wielding a Remington Model 870. He could recognize one a mile away; it was essentially the Big Mac of shotguns, with over a million sold. His dad owned two, in fact. And it wasn't for no reason that it was so popular. As shotguns go, it was damn reliable, and not something you'd want to be on the wrong end of. If both guns had been Remingtons, he might not have even batted an eye.

The trouble was, however, that there was only one Remington, and one Pancor Godforsaken Jackhammer.

The Jackhammer, R.J. knew, had risen to fame as one of the few shotguns in the world capable of fully automatic fire. It was widely recognized for its futuristic appearance, and featured a unique rotating drum magazine that could be reconfigured to double as an anti-personnel mine. It wasn't the capabilities of the Jackhammer that unnerved him, however. Since its conception in the late '80s, the gun had never actually made it past the prototype stage. Fewer than twenty Jackhammers actually existed, and only two were capable of the full auto fire it was famous for. The price tag on just one was easily more than his mother made in a decade, and he imagined those two full auto models could run into seven figures.

These were beyond terrorists. If these people had the disposable income not only to put that much money down on a single firearm, but to drop it on an island for a bunch of angry teenagers to have their way with it, what chance did anyone have against them?

He felt Mary-Ann tug at his hand. Told him they should go. He winced as the knot in his stomach intensified. He wanted to help, wanted to defuse the situation between the two armed students, but what could he do? He couldn't well talk them down, obviously. Really, his presence could only serve to complicate things. There was nothing he could do. Nothing any of them could do.

Quietly, they gathered their things and headed inland. With any luck, R.J. could at least die in peace.

((R.J. Lowe and Mary-Ann Warren continued in They're Made Out Of Meat))
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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