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Cool Ranch; Day 4 - 2PM
Topic Started: Nov 22 2010, 01:04 PM (3,996 Views)
Hallucinojelly
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Violet Druce and Mike Moretti continued from Act I: General Anesthetic))

Both the second and the third announcements had been and gone since the two of them left the ranger's station; their spirits drained by the ever-growing list of the dead they used to call "classmates", and the stress of having to rely on each other to survive. Still, the company was more than welcome in the face of isolation, as they both knew that their chances of staying alive would greatly diminish were they to part at this point in the game. Although, she had to admit, Violet did like having Mike around. He was a great comfort to her when she needed it most, like the times of the day when the speakers sprang to life. She tried her best to hide it, but he could tell that the news was more and more crushing after each and every name, read out by that horrendous man. That voice. Danya.

Making their way through the woods, they found a number of ungodly sights, but managed to pay them no mind. There were many more bodies to find, like Easter eggs scattered over the island. It was wrong, but all Violet could think about was that one body: Jackson's, cradled by the hopeless Ilario. He'd looked so manic; it was heartbreaking. So on their travels, over the day and a half that they'd been walking together since, there had been an awkward, terrible silence. Neither Mike nor Violet had a single word to say to the other right now, leaving the pair wandering about, lost in their thoughts. Every time she looked at Mike she'd see the same look of remorse upon his face - one that she realized she must've been wearing too.

Hey big guy. Yeah, you. I bet you're getting a real kick outta this, aren't you?

Sick. You're a sick man.


Then came a rumbling - deep and loud.

They stared at each other in disbelief, before it came again. It sounded like the ground was gurgling, and it made the strangest bubbling sounds. Mike's gaze dropped. Violet stood a few feet away, clutching her stomach with the brightest shade of red on her face.

"Was that-"

He stopped.

Then...

They burst out laughing.

The two of them looked like lunatics, holding their sides as they erupted into an uproar of bellowing laughter which shook the forest around them. It was insensitive; it was inappropriate; it was spitting in the faces of all those who'd died, but for those few glorious minutes both Mike and Violet remembered what it was like to truly laugh again. No, it wasn't the funniest thing either of them had ever heard, and no, they didn't even know why they were doing this, but none of that mattered, not now. They laughed until every ounce of it had left their bodies, and left their bodies sore and gasping for breath, but it was worth it. Everything seemed to make sense again, if only for a little while. They were just high school kids - just like anyone watching from the safety of their homes - and if they couldn't enjoy the precious last moments that they had left, then what was the point of surviving at all?

Mike sighed, coughing out dry air as he slumped back onto the trunk of a nearby tree, his ribs aching as he slid down the bark and onto the patchy grass below. His guitar pressed against his spine, so he pulled it off his shoulders and laid it down by his side, then slipped the daypack off of his shoulders, letting his flop down to the floor without a care. Violet followed suit, chucking all three of her bags onto the green, then sat herself down opposite the boy with an exhausted smile on her face.

A few minutes later, and the two had almost caught their breath, which meant it was time to relieve that grumbling stomach of hers.

"Say Mike, you hungry?"

He opened his eyes, nodding with a tired grin, then relaxed again as she began to rustle through her belongings in search of something good to eat. The blue of the Doritos packet warmed her soul - a rare comfort around here - and she decided that now was the perfect time to tear into them. They deserved a treat, right? Then she turned to the other bags, wondering if it was okay for her to snoop around in Trent's duffel bag. She still wanted to find him, and once she did she'd hand it right over, but right now they really needed this, and she knew he'd understand.

Unzipping it carefully so as not to damage the bag, she felt guilt halt her fingers as she opened it further and further. It really wasn't right to go through his things like this, but she might as well check what he'd brought with him to the trip, she thought. Clothes, plasters, headphones; all standard, though she noticed his PSP was missing, which he'd really hate, and then she found a bottle of coke. It was luke-warm, and flat - ordinarily undrinkable, but given the situation, well... A pack of tissue, some underwear (he really needed new boxers) and then? The holy of all holies.

"No way."

Mike looked up.

"What's up?"

Without a word, she dug past the clothes and the coke and wrapped her hand around a small, heavy jar. Positively beaming at the sight, she pulled it out for him to see, chuckling in amazement.

"Dip."

She smiled.

"He brought dip."
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Namira
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Jessie Anderson continued from Promise))


It felt good in a lot of ways. It was almost like I was putting up my own miniature rebellion. 'Look here you, I know you're trying to foster suspicion and fear, but I'm not buying into it.' Some people would probably have called it naive... but I don't really think that's true... I knew exactly what the potential consequences were.

...I just relied on my faith.


~*~

Jessie's stride ate up the island's expanse with ease. Underfed and overwrought she might have been, but she was still in damn good shape. It was a big point of pride - that worst of sins - for her to be so athletic, coming hand in hand with her captaincy of the girls hockey team back at Bayview. Jessie had always been a bit self-conscious about her size, and had worked hard to make sure that her weight didn't get out of control. Jessie could only imagine how the non-sportsmen were bearing up.

She stopped, sighed, pushed an errant red lock from her eye. Because fatigue was going to be the number one concern for everyone right now. Sure. People had died - were dying out there. People like DK. But others too. All of them, even. Nobody deserved to be killed, nobody deserved being put in a position to commit suicide. It didn't matter who they were, or what they'd done. This was Bayview school's Senior year and although there were bad eggs, people who would probably never become goody-two-shoes law abiding citizens... that didn't mean that they had this island coming.

"Even the worst of us didn't deserve anything like this..."

Jessie looked up, kept walking and then saw something. A pair of people, actual people. They didn't look ar- No. She couldn't think that way. She couldn't base her trust on weapons. That was what the game was trying to do. Breed paranoia, turn friends against one another. Turn acquaintances against one another. It was a lot easier to see a killer in a face not so familiar. She took a deep breath, looked down.

"Please watch over me, Lord," she murmured, then looked up again. "Hey guys! It's Jessie Anderson!" Jessie spread her arms wide, making it obvious she wasn't carrying anything. Not everybody would be as willing to trust as her. "Can I come over?"
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((Courtney Bradley, continued from Just Close Your Eyes.))

Courtney kept walking. She was good at that. The only thing so far that she hadn't managed to cock up, in fact. She was okay at the whole walking thing, compared to the rest of the crap she'd tried to do. There wasn't much to screw up. She just had to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving.

Her tanktop clung to her body, drenched with sweat, mud, and anything else this place had in store for her. She kept it on, though. The alternative wasn't all that appealing to her, what with the cameras everywhere and all. The jumper still hung around her waist, hastily untied and retied as the weather had gotten warmer or colder.

She wanted to go home. She wanted to see Mike and her parents again. She wanted the hunk of metal and plastic encasing her neck to be gone... no, she wanted it to have never existed. She wanted to be able to go back in time so she could have just tell herself not to go on the trip, spent the money on something important. She wished she'd never left England, that the job opportunity her Dad had coveted so much had never come up.

Still walking. She debated starting to keep count of the steps she was taking. It'd give her something to do. She actually attempted it for a while, got somewhere in the hundreds before she noticed people, a sign of life. She lost count. Damn. Courtney moved around, tried to get a good look at the people who were there.

Violet Druce and Mike Moretti.

Violet she knew. She was the film maker. They'd spoken a few times, although both of the agreed for their own sake to never mention them again. Mike she hadn't personally talked to, but she'd definitely heard of him. She tended to steer clear, though.

A shout from off in a different direction. Jessie Anderson. She was one of the hockey players, very religious. Heart of Gold- She wouldn't hurt a fly outside of the ice rink. Courtney was surprised, really. Didn't expect to see her there. She honestly thought Jessie missed the trip.

She stepped forwards. Guessed she could make herself known.

"Hey! Courtney Bradley!" She waved her arms. "...The British one! Can I maybe come over too?"
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
Just as they were beginning to relax, and open up that sweet, delicious dip, someone came out of the woodwork to remind them that this wasn't the time nor the place to stop and have a picnic.

Aww, come onnnn. Really? Now? I just wanted to eat something nice.

Sighing, Violet shoved the jar back into Trent's bag, fastening it tightly to make sure it didn't fall back out again, while Mike huffed to his feet. The girl seemed friendly enough; they'd both seen her around school, generally being pleasant and god-bothery, but out here in the forest of the dead, it was so much harder to know for sure.

They watched as she rambled up towards them, unarmed and slightly wild, but otherwise they had to admit - she looked harmless.

"Can I come over?"

The two of them exchanged nervous glances. Could they trust her? What if she was hiding something? A weapon? Another lipstick gun... They couldn't take the risk, not now. It was just too strange for someone to be this open, to show themselves in broad daylight. Violet couldn't work it out, and by the look on Mike's face, neither could he. So, he did the only thing he could think of, reaching for his flail before raising it up beside his head. He didn't want to appear menacing, just scary enough that she'd stop where she was. This wasn't the time for playing nice, not when people were getting killed.

"Hold it - just stay right there."

His voice wavered a little; he wasn't used to ordering people about. Then again, he wasn't used to a lot of this. Luckily, Violet took a stand behind him, slipping her hand into her pocket, around her blowtorch. She didn't bring it out, only held it. Now the two of them stood together, ready to defend themselves against any sneak attacks Jessie might try on them.

Violet spoke:

"We're not looking for any trouble, okay? If you're gonna try and kill us, be ready 'cause we'll fight."

"Yeah, you can count on that."

She glanced up at Mike, who glanced right back at her. They weren't killers, but they both knew what they had to do to survive out here; to protect themselves until they got the hell away. That was all they needed to do, right? Good. Simple.

"Hey! Courtney Bradley!"

So very simple.

They turned quickly, with Mike's weapon still high in the air, and saw one of the few people Violet didn't actually get on with at Bayview. Courtney hadn't done anything wrong to her, but the two just never seemed to click, and every conversation they had ended up being long and awkward for the both of them. If ever there was a time for such a meeting, right now was most certainly not it.

"H-hey, stay right there!" Violet called out, hoping to stop her from getting any closer. She was hesitant to pull out her weapon - after all, the Brit could've had something much deadlier than a bottle of sparks. Back-to-back with her partner, who now faced Jessie alone, they stood their ground against the newcomers, hoping that they'd take the hint and leave without a fuss.

"Look, we're not gonna hurt you, and we hope you feel the same, but be warned: try anything funny and we'll defend ourselves. You got that?"

Mike echoed her sentiment.

"You too, Jessie. I'm sorry, but... I don't wanna die."
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Limisios
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"Sure thing, Dog Moon."
[ *  * ]
Alan Rickhall continued from Heartbeat Symphony))

Alan was getting sick of walking. It seemed all he did was walk, stop, panic, repeat. Alan was supposed to be sticking a metaphorical knife in Mr. Danya's eye, how was he going to do that like this? Danya had already taken one (probably) loyal member of the movement. Alan would have to get to the possible members before the Turned get them. But that was obviously easier said then done. A loud whining noise spilled out from the loudspeaker nearby, and the puppet master spoke once again. This time Alan gave no attempt to avoid listening to the announcement.

"First up, yet another waste of time decided to opt out, Hermione Miller making it easier on all the rest of you by setting off her own collar. Guess she won't be appearing in any more photo-shoots anytime soon.

So people were prepared to kill themselves over turning to Mr. Danya's puppetry. Alan didn't know any such person as Hermione Miller, but whoever she was, Alan suddenly held a lot of respect for her brave decision, if only he had met her, she would have wanted to join the movement... Probably...

But it was silly to find supporters in people who were already dead. The announcement continued.

"Brock Mason finally found a gun that he could operate

It was Brock! They had logged and tagged his death already, Alan hadn't been aware of the full extent of how well the cameras covered the island. That thought alone seemed terrifying.

although too bad for him it was pointing in the wrong direction. Seventeenth to be fitted for a coffin was Dominic

That was it?! Just a small joke and on to the next person? Is that really how heartless Mr. Danya was? Not even naming his assailant? Alan supposed it was better then letting the turned get publicity for taking an innocent human life. But it was sick. Alan was once again exposed to the full extent of Danya's puppetry. He was a soulless man, who's only desire was sit back and watch his human toys defeat each other. And the one who was left? No better in Danya's eye. Whether you were Remi Pierce or Adam Dodd, you were just a living straw doll to Danya. Alan chewed this thought over for a minute.

Realised where he and Jimmy were. They were right back in the destroyed forest; the sea of decaying tree stumps surrounded Alan. Then he noticed the group ahead of him and ducked down behind a tree stump. He was getting used to this procedure of hiding when he and Jimmy encountered people. He beckoned to Jimmy.

"Jimmy, look over there." He whispered. "There's some people over there, do you think they've turned, or are they like us. But you know what? I'm tired of hiding in places and putting you in danger like this, I'm going across with you." Alan got to his feet and started walking a few steps, then stopped nervously. "It's just Can you go ahead of me, I'll be right here behind you, I promise." Alan smiled nervously.
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(Madeleine Smith continued from...Fuck)

Last night had been a nice change of pace for Madeleine, as it was the first night since coming here that she hadn't felt worried about dying. Sure, she was probably going to be placed on the chopping block the first time she caught sight of somebody, but at least she was nice and rested for her funeral. She even allowed herself a wide contented yawn as she traipsed through the felled forest...and tripped over something. Thinking that she had stepped over a stump by accident, Madeleine prepared to fire off a minor expletive when she turned around and saw what her foot had found. Her prior contentment and satisfaction vanished in an instant.

Bodies. BODIES! They're just...lying here! What...WHY?!

While Madeleine didn't know Vera Osborne's name, the hole through her eye communicated vividly and gruesomely the means by which she had met her end. Skittering away from the body, Maddy placed her back to a nearby stump and held the sides of her head, holding back the dizziness that had suddenly set in. As she shivered in the noonday sun, her mind fought fiercely to prevent her from screaming or passing out, and she forced herself to pay attention to something else. Anything that would put her mind off of the thing she had just witnessed.

It was at that point that she heard a nearby conversation between a number of people. Turning to see where the voices were coming from, she saw a group not that far off, and suddenly had to also fight back the urge to spring up and start running for them, for in that group, she recognized someone very dear to her. Someone who had the very dubious honor of being considered her best friend.

Someone who, if you recall, ditched you the instant that danger struck. Now, what kind of dear friend would do that?

Maddy shook her head. She couldn't allow spite to overcome her any more than fear. Possibly even less so. All the same, the sudden temptation to pull out the loaded and unfolded SMG from her bag was quite compelling. Instead, she simply stepped towards the group and shouted, "Violet! Y-You're okay! Thank goodness!" She accompanied her shouting with waving momentarily before self-consciously withdrawing her hand and shrinking down a little.

As she came close enough to get a better look at the group, she noticed that both Violet and that other guy who had been at the truck (Mike, was it?) were tensed for battle for some reason. Was it because of her, or were the two people who she didn't recognize dangerous somehow? Whatever the case, she stopped a bit of a distance away and reached her hand over to her daypack. "Is, uh...is everything okay?" she asked, getting into a battle stance as well, or at least a close approximation thereof. If something went down, she'd be ready for it, but she hoped that it wouldn't come to that.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Jimmy Robertson continued from Heartbeat Symphony))

Unlike Alan walking in front of him, Jimmy's thoughts on the walk from the mine had been less fantastical. To him, saving people was a worthy goal, but the way Jimmy was thinking about it was simply Who's not crazy? It had been a long walk, and they had clearly lost themselves (although in fact, they had nowhere to go in particular), so it was almost surprising when Jimmy found himself back in the same wooded area that he had met up with David Meramac (actually, it was a different wooded area, but still ...), and then ...

KKSSSSSHHHH

"Kids, when I first looked through the dossiers we have on you guys, I was thinking no way no how were a bunch of saps like you going to provide much of a spectacle. I'm ever so glad you've all proved me so completely wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, as of this, the third announcement, a further twenty-three of your peers have bitten the dust. Outstanding, kiddies. Simply outstanding."

What? Twenty-three? That meant that there were, what, sixty people dead so far? How far were these people willing to go (Ahem ... Sarah Atwell?)?

... Deidre Paul, who took a tumble into the swamp and didn't come back out. For those of you keeping score at home, that's island four, dumb kids, nil. Next of the pathetic saps crew we had Simon Fletcher, who didn't even have the balls to off HIMSELF, and had to get Samantha Ridley to do it for him. Shame on you Simon, now Samantha has to live with shame and guilt tormenting her for the rest of her doubtlessly short life. Shame on you. Brock Mason finally found a gun that he could operate... although too bad for him it was pointing in the wrong direction ...

Deidre AND Brock were dead? Shit. (He didn't realize it yet, but he had also met Samantha Ridley on the very first day, although Danys's wording may have made Jimmy a little more sympathetic to Samantha) Things were going downhill for any type of fight (Although at this time, both Liz Polanski and Ethan Kent were both making attempts to escape, or at least screw with the game, but that was neither here nor there)...

... fat people are not in fact bulletproof and offing Craig Hoyle. That was not good. He knew Craig Hoyle from football. The guy didn't have a mean bone in his body, meaning either he snapped, which meant this game was really taking its toll on people, or even worse, that someone decided to up and kill poor Craig without provocation (the guy was way too nice to give anyone an actual reason to kill), meaning that there were people willing to do anything to win.

That had been the morning, and now it was the afternoon. Alan had gone into hiding by one of the stumps again, having noticed some people.

"Jimmy, look over there. There's some people over there, do you think they've turned, or are they like us. But you know what? I'm tired of hiding in places and putting you in danger like this, I'm going across with you." Alan whispered as he got up, and stopped, a little scared in that the students ahead of them were playing to win. "It's just ... Can you go ahead of me, I'll be right here behind you, I promise." Jimmy scratched his head for a second, mulling it over. (It's always me, right? Because I'm big and strong and have the good weapon.) This was, of course, his inner attitude speaking, amplified by the situation, and a lack of proper sleep habits.

"Yeah. Just stay right behind me." Jimmy peered at the group ahead of him. The group ahead of him seemed ... actually not that bad from seventy-five feet away (A closer look would have revealed some slight tension but nothing too bad). He just took a few steps forward, took a deep breath, and called out:

"Oh, my God! You're the first friendly group that I've seen in a while." (Which actually echoed his sentiments - he didn't see the mounting tension from his distance)
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Recognition. Wait she knew these guys. Well, Jessie really knew most people, insomuch as she could put names to faces. She had a knack for remembering people, probably had a fact or two in her head about most everyone at Bayview. Perhaps she was a little nosy, Jessie liked to think it was because she cared about everyone, not just say the hockey team or Imraan.

But the pair in front of her, now that she was a little closer, were familiar. Not well-known or close, but familiar. The girl was Violet Druce, dyed hair making her immediately recognisable. She, and Jessie felt a slight creeping of unease at this, made amateur slasher films. But no. Liking gory movies didnt mean you were a psychopath. Much as Jessie hated say, the Saw films, the people exiting the theatres hadnt suddenly turned into serial killers. Besides, she was with someone. Mike Moretti. Jessie didnt know a whole lot about his hobbies, he wasnt notorious like Violet. She did remember him from a couple of advanced classes though, he was an okay guy, she supposed. Had a bit of an ego, but that was nothing exceptional. Jessies immediate concern was the weapon he had raised above his head. Some kind of flail.

It wouldve been a lie to say that it didnt give her pause. It looked vicious, lethal. Mike wasnt the most muscular guy in the world, but a swing from that would be all kinds of bad news. Jessie forced herself to not think in that way. They were scared, just like everyone was scared they didnt know if they could trust her. Neither of them were going to act, just defend themselves which meant she had to make sure that she didnt act threateningly, or even in any way that could be interpreted like that.

Jessie started to step towards the pair, in spite of their warning, then stopped short when she saw somebody approaching from the opposite direction. Jessie didnt have such a good view of the newcomer, but when she called out her name, the hockey player immediately had a quick mental profile to draw on. Courtney Bradley, the English girl that had transferred into Bayview a couple of years back. Jessie was pretty sure shed helped Courtney make her way around the school a few times when she first arrived. It was a long while ago though

This made things a bit sticky. Jessie hesitated, now Mike and Violet had people on either side of them. That couldnt be a good place to be in, not one bit. Even so she couldnt bring herself to just turn and walk away. Step number one in this game was trust, always had to be trust, but she couldnt write people off because of justified suspicion. The olive branch had to come from her.

Jessie slowly turned 360 degrees, arms still spread wide, showing quite clearly that nothing was tucked into her trousers. She locked eyes with Mike.

I understand. But Im asking you to trust me anyway. Nothing more, for now. Just to trust me from what you know of me as a person, Jessie gave a little shrug. If you cant well, no harm and no foul, I guess. Please, just try.

Then, more voices.

Oh man. This was getting crowded in a hurry and tenser by the moment, no matter who these others were
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[ *  * ]
Alan followed, close behind Jimmy, every step closer he took felt like a train was being driven through his heart and out again; but Alan didn't run, Jimmy will protect him if anything went wrong, not that anything will go wrong. Alan kept thinking this over and over again as they inched closer to the group. Alan thought once again of Zoey, but before he could get into another long and rambling trail of thoughts, Jimmy spoke.

"Oh, my God! You're the first friendly group that I've seen in a while."

Alan chuckled slightly at Jimmy's joke.

"Indeed, I guess you are." Alan said nervously and impulsively, instantly regretting it after he finished. "I... We're not interrupting anything, are we? I'd hate to intrude on anything... Anything private." He continued in the weakest but most sincere way he could manage.
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((Sorry about this crappy post, but I'm on Day 12, and I should be sleeping))

"Violet! Y-You're okay! Thank goodness!" Jimmy hadn't noticed the third girl. In a way, it might have been best (said girl was Madeleine Smith, responsible for the death of Jonathan Jarocki). He noted Jessie Anderson (mainly due to hockey). The other three that he had seen originally (Mike, Violet, and Courtney) were a mystery to him as well.

"Indeed, I guess you are. I... We're not interrupting anything, are we? I'd hate to intrude on anything... Anything private." Alan was either trying to make inroads with the group or (quite possibly) backtrack for one of their comments. He looked around at the group that he and Alan had just come upon: the short girl that had called out seemed scared, Jessie seemed nervous (because seven people was pushing it for a group, but Jimmy didn't realize that), the girl in the black sweatshirt (Courtney) seemed nervous (because she wanted to join up with Violet and Mike) and as for the guy and the punky girl, well, they were suspicious (with good reason - they had witnessed Ilario Fiametta killing Jackson Ockley).

"Is everything okay? In spite of my weapon, we don't want to hurt anyone. I'm Jimmy, this is Alan," he motioned to Alan. He couldn't help it, but he was a little nervous as well. Please don't go psycho on us, we don't want to fight. Please ...
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[ *  * ]
Oh man, what have I gotten myself into now?

On one hand, he had to admit this whole weapons raised back to back thing was totally badass (note to self: high five Violet later). But on the other hand, they were suddenly surrounded by people. Last time this had happened they'd sat around arguing for what felt like two months and attracted a psycho with a gun.

Just like last time (Should I even be doing it like last time if it only got us in trouble? Oh well), he scanned the crowd before making a move. There was Jessica right in front of him, he vaguely remembered her from classes and whatnot; Violet had Courtney in the same position. Then there was ummm... Jimmy something and some other guy who looked a little crazy. Great. Coming in from the other direction was...

Maddy?

She'd made it. Shit, Mike hadn't seen her since... since she'd saved his life. He began to wonder about the others he'd met that first day. He'd heard Edward Belmont's name that morning... so that one was certain. Imraan he hadn't heard of, same with Vivien... and Violet was right here behind him, threatening a classmate with a blowtorch. Right! There was a situation at hand.

"Maddy! I-"





Kzzzzzsszzzzzzkt.


Wait, what? The announcement had already played that day-


"Good afternoon, students."


No fucking way.

Mike stood stiller than he'd ever been in his life, but his mind ran fast enough to win the Daytona 500. This couldn't be right. Kwong was dead. It was a prerecording or something, they'd planned this ahead of time to scare them or whatever, there was no way someone had actually-

"As a punishment, we will now detonate a collar."

What. Fuck, this was NOT a- shit, I'm going to die!

One, Mississippi.

Two, Mississippi.

Three, Missi- ok seriously, how long do they plan on keeping us strung up like th-


"B148, Daisuke Nagazawa, eliminated."

Fuck. They'd really done it. This was- fuck.


"Vi..." This was going to sound really stupid but anything was better than this silence-

"Did you hear that?"
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Hallucinojelly
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
So many people.

So much noise.

At every turn there seemed to be another member of the Happy Days gang, drfiting out of the woodwork like they were the fucking termites of bad timing. Her blowtorch wouldn't be enough, not if they all attacked at once, but then, who said they were going to attack to begin with? Fuck. What a mess. A giant unholy mess which she'd managed to drag poor old Mike into as well, faaantastic. The top lid of her eye twitched and bubbled, a sign that she was undergoing an enormous amount of stress. Keeping her eye on the girl in front, she rubbed at her eyes until the strange sensation stopped, and it was at this point when she heard another familiar voice call out to her - Madeleine.

"Violet! Y-You're okay! Thank goodness!"

She should've realized sooner; she'd been listening to the announcements just like everybody else but it hadn't quite clicked. Maddy had managed to take down that Jarocki kid, and then - by some freakish miracle - survived this long all by herself. It was weird how little she felt now, how small. Violet had been hiding behind Mike all this time while someone like teeny tiny Madeleine had been fighting her way across the island like a mini Arnold Schwarzenegger. Dammit.

"Is, uh...is everything okay?"

Then the guilt came, like a damn flood. It made her think back to the first day, when she woke up underneath the trees just yards away from the logging road. Everything that happened there; the talks, the plans, the defending, and what happened? Oh right, yeah, Jarocki happened. Fucked up everything like he usually did, only this time he made their lives a million times worse. However, it wasn't him that forced Violet to run, to ditch her friend - oh no. That was all her. All her stupid, cowardly fault. What if Madeleine had gotten killed? What then? What was she thinking?

"Hey Maddy, I-"

She heard Jessie talk to Mike behind her, but she had to ignore it; focus on Madeleine.

"Yeah, I've been okay, I guess. Could be better, could be worse."

Um, what're you doing?

"Right, god, yeah. Maddy, I'm sorry, we've gotta deal with these guys first. We'll talk in a sec, I promise."

Back to Courtney, who looked as awkward as ever. Still, she didn't pose much of a threat, she hoped. Turning round but keeping her weapon outstretched, she watched as two guys came near them - Alan and Jimmy - and wondered if all the noise had brought them here too. They really needed to be more careful about this, and stop having picnics out in the open like they were on holiday or something. Although one of the new guys, namely Jimmy, seemed to think that was exactly where they were.

"Oh, my God! You're the first friendly group that I've seen in a while."

Friendly? Really? Back-to-back paranoid as balls duo trying their best to prevent themselves from starting an unwanted fight with about a million people; yeah, real friendly.

"You're right, it's pretty much Thanksgiving over here!"

Unperturbed by her super witty remark, the other guy introduced himself (hello, we go to the same school; did you forget that or are you both retarded) and they started trying to make small talk.

Violet didn't think this was the best time for it, but whatever, she had bigger things to worry about - especially as the speakers started to crackle a little too early.

----

"Vi... did you hear that?"

Her throat felt tight.

What could she say to that? Everyone heard it. They all knew what had happened to Daisuke, and they knew who was to blame.

Her arms fell limply to her side, and she stepped away from her partner for a second to let it all sink in.




"Liz..."
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Badb
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Trained for combat by a cabal of hacktivists.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She was told to watch her distance, not to get too close. Really? She was the one to be worried about? The girl who was thin as a twig and twice as easy to snap? The girl who got given a pack of durex as a weapon, only to throw it away? Of course, they probably didn't know that last part, but hey. It wasn't exactly as if she was carrying a rocket launcher around.

Courtney stopped walking forward, though. The big old whatever-it-was- looked like a torch or something- that Violet was holding didn't look all that friendly, and if one of the other new arrivals managed to piss them off she'd most likely be the one in trouble, being the closest and all.

Oh yeah, right. Glossed over that minor detail. People jumped out of everywhere as soon as she and Jessie revealed themselves. Literally everywhere. Courtney was honestly surprised she hadn't been standing on like three people in Gillie suits all laid out to try and ambush her. That would be a twist, at least.

They weren't too bad, just... not exactly the crowd Courtney hung out with. Guys like the Jimmy that wasn't Brennan and Alan something-or-other. They instantly stormed up like they owned the place, started shouting and ruining the whole "awkward introductions at a safe distance" thing Jessie and her had going on. Great. Thanks for that one, guys.

There was something about them, though. Something that made Courtney start to tense up. She dismissed it. Probably the overcrowding or something. It wasn't too bad before, when there were just four there, but now she felt tense. That was probably the reason, yeah. Overcrowding. 'Cause now there were a bunch of people and it was awkward and she should probably get out of there because it was getting crowded and they all looked like they were going to kill her. No. Oh no. Now the paranoia was coming back.

Funny, really. She spent all that time trying to find people, and now all she wanted to do was get away.

---

Then the talking stopped. A stunned silence fell over everyone. Quiet. Paying attention. Just listening.

It finished with a name. Someone somewhere had just passed on. Courtney looked around, opened her mouth to try and break the silence.

"...What?"
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[18:10] <Laurels> WWJD? Fuck corpses, apparently

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Blastinus
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So it was a bit of a standoff. Maddy had expected that, though it seemed that most of the aggression was on the part of Violet and Mike. The situation seemed to be calming down a little though, as everyone else seemed to be stating their case and generally attempting to be amicable. With a shrug, Madeleine walked over to Violet, but froze suddenly when the island's loudspeakers sounded off...in the middle of the day.

Odd, that hasn't happened before.

As Maddy listened, she was equally surprised at the voice that came from the loudspeakers. Rather than the smug voice of the island's master, Danya, they were instead listening to an announcement from Mr. Kwong. "I thought he was dead..." she mumbled to herself, paying close attention to every word. Apparently, someone on this island had succeeded in removing their collar. Madeleine was amazed by this, and curious to hear how that was done, until Mr. Kwong detailed the punishment for this act. Just by associating with this Liz, someone could die. Maddy would have to be careful to get the name of everyone she ran across, because she, for one, did not feel like dying because of something that somebody else did.

Liz, you may have been a nice person, but if I ever find you, I might have to kill you now. So...congratulations, whoever you are. Good freaking work.

With that bitter note running through her mind, Maddy turned back to Violet and Mike. "I, uh...I'm glad that you guys are okay," she said, trying to switch gears from discussion of Liz. Looking at the other folks who had approached from various directions, she said quietly so that only Violet could hear, "L-let them come over. I...I've got you covered." She patted the side of her daypack to accentuate the point. If something happened, she would not hesitate to pull out an SMG in defense of Violet, and she was sure that Violet would be a lot more relaxed with that knowledge.
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Namira
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Null sheen.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Alan Rickhall, the guy with the slight accent. Jessie wanted to say drama club. Jimmy Robertson, footballer, got beaten up badly towards the beginning of the year. She knew him, at least a little. Even so... they weren't exactly helping things out here. Jessie was sure that neither of them meant any harm, but jeez, with tensions already high, the last thing any of them needed was for a couple of guys to stumble gaily in before the initial encounter had even been resolved. Bad timing, to say the least.

Mike looked like he was maybe about to say something in response to Jessie's bold (foolish? Naive? No, she knew the risks) when, of all things, the PA system rumbled into life. Jessie slowly let her hands drop to her sides, looking around in confusion, as if that would help her discover the reason for the abrupt change in schedule. There was a fleeting, very fleeting hope that it would be some friendly gentleman on the address, telling them that they needn't be worried, Danya had been dealt with and they should just sit tight to be saved.

No such luck.


~*~

It's cliche... but it was the last person I ever expected to hear speaking. How could any of us? So far as we knew, he was dead, gunned down w-with all of the others. Those weren't his words though... they were Danya's, Danya speaking through him. Not until the end did he let any of himself through.

In some ways... In some ways I almost think he had it worse than us.


~*~


And just like that, they'd blown Daiskue's collar. Daisuke Nagazawa, the kid that had only transferred into Bayview at the beginning of senior year, from... was it California? California sounded right. Jessie never really got to know him, he was... distant, even though she'd tried to make him feel welcome (like she did any transfer, a friendly face meant a lot). Not even killed in this sick game, just... blown up out of nowhere. On a whim, as a warning, almost.

Lord almighty... please give me strength.

Mr. Kwong had sai- ...No. Danya had said through Mr. Kwong, that they should kill Liz Polanski, kill one of the only people with the courage and the smarts to actually take on the game. Liz... nothing sprang to- wait. The short, gothy type girl, the one that aced every test in every math class. And now, now there was some kind of bounty on her head.

Would some people out there be stupid enough, selfish enough, to try and take Danya up on that? ...Yes, yes they would.

Which meant she had no time to waste here. This was foolhardy to the extreme, but there was no way - no way on God's green Earth that Jessie was going to let something like that fall by the wayside. It couldn't take a back seat (well... perhaps, Jessie was a little guilty to admit, Imraan). If Jessie could somehow help this Liz... heck if she could even find her...

Maybe... maybe she could prevent another DK.

Jessie stopped in her tracks.

"Sorry," she said flatly. "I can't ignore that. ...Good luck, guys."

Then she spun and started running as hard as she could.

"God protect all of you."

((Jessie continued in Shaker))
Edited by Namira, Jan 1 2011, 07:36 PM.
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