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Cool Ranch; Day 4 - 2PM
Topic Started: Nov 22 2010, 01:04 PM (3,961 Views)
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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.


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.


She smiled.

"He brought dip."
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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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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.

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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
Well, the announcement had really done its job, hadn't it? Everyone had been instilled with a brand new fear, which forced them to look at this entire thing in a whole new light. Random selection, their teacher, and any attempts at escape didn't result in punishment to those who "deserved" it, no. The punishment instead was handed over to the palms of fate, which meant that playing by the rules seemed pointless now. It didn't matter what they did anymore, not after this. Now they were playing a giant version of Russian Roulette, and Liz had a bounty on her head after somehow managing to break her collar. Which... was amazing.

Violet didn't have the know-how to work out her own way of doing it, and she didn't want to try in case she blew herself up. But knowing that girl was out there, changing the game, making a difference. That was brilliant. That was inspirational stuff, and if herself and Mike didn't take this chance to shake things up then they probably wouldn't get another one again.

With Jessie and Courtney leaving, and the other guys looking just as dumbfounded by these events as themselves, she took the opportunity to grab her things from the floor and work out a plan.

If she could find Liz...

If she could talk to her...

She felt herself stop suddenly, biting hard on her lip. If she went after Liz, would Mike come with her? How was he taking all of this? She hadn't even asked. They needed to move quickly though, in case somebody got to the girl first. They couldn't let that happen, otherwise all of her hopes would be lost. If they were going to get out of this place and survive, then they needed to find her. Sure, the girl would probably be wary of them, but they'd get her to come around. Her eyes fell to the blowtorch in her hand.

It was there, waiting, ready for her command. If Liz wouldn't tell them how she did it - how she freed herself from the rules - then they'd have to force it out of her. They didn't have a choice. It felt cold in her grip, and heavier than it did before. It was a proper weapon now, not just a tool. It was intimidating, and powerful, because it could hurt someone. It could burn a hole right through someone's face if she wanted it to, but she knew that she never would. Even if Liz resisted, she doubted she could bring herself to kill her. Just hurt her a little bit; scare her. That was all she could do.

"I'm going, Mike. I'll get it if you don't wanna come, but I need to find her. Just to talk. That's all."

At first.

God, she hoped he'd follow her.

She couldn't do this alone.
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
Nothing to lose...

That wasn't true.

Not for Violet.

She had plenty to lose, and the fact that he thought otherwise made her realize just how little they really knew about each other. The two of them hadn't even spoken before the trip, and she'd only seen him around school a couple of times - just another face in a sea of a thousand. But having him around these past few days... it was a comfort nonetheless. Did he really mean it though? Was he prepared to die for a chance to go home? What would they have to do in order to leave? Who would they have to fight? Their classmates? Their friends? Maybe it was that simple for Mike, but not for her. She had a home to go back to; she had friends that needed saving; she had all her life to live, and she wasn't about to let this girl slip through her fingers without a few words.

Her blowtorch shimmered in the sun - metallic blue and sleek, like one of the cars in her Dad's workshop. It was all well and good asking whether or not someone else could do this, but the real question was: could she? Honestly? Gearing herself up and mapping it out in her head was one thing, but to drag someone else along into her half-baked dreams... that was just selfish. He needed to find someone else; someone better. Someone who could help him survive, or at the very least knew what they were doing. Turning to face him, she tried her best to dissuade him, but it was no use. As soon as she saw that determined look in his eye, and he asked her what the new plan was, her doubts ebbed away and her director's soul began to glow once more.

With her heartbeat pounding against her chest, she swallowed her nerves and readied a steely composure - one that she hoped her partner would believe in, if this suicide mission was going to work - then turned to the two boys remaining. A quick headcount later made her notice that Maddy has vanished again, but she had a sure feeling that the girl would be okay, for now at least. She had a very nice gun, after all.

As for the others, she had to admit she saw them as a hindrance. They seemed to have the same goals in mind, but she couldn't trust them. Not this far into the game. From here on out it'd be Mike and Violet all the way, until she found Trent and the others (God I hope they're okay) and had everything she needed from a certain Miss Polanski.

Hitching her daypack up on her shoulders, along with her duffel bag and Trent's, she strained a little under the weight before giving them all a thumbs-up to show that she was fine.

"The plan, right."

Saluting Jimmy and Alan together, she then flicked a bothersome hair out of her eyes and started to walk the other way.

"The plan, Mike, is this:"

Raising her arm far out ahead, she pointed out at the hills in the distance.

"Me and you are gonna find that girl."
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