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Better to Have Lived and Lost...; Day 4, Mid Day [PRIVATE: B008 & G048] (CLOSED)
Topic Started: Nov 26 2010, 04:56 PM (1,317 Views)
T-Fox
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"Clio Gabriella stepped up to the plate and took out Luke Templeton for her fourth and our 60th kill of the competition."

"W-What? Luke... Shit, there's no way."

The announcement rattled on, but Peter couldn't make himself listen. He just... couldn't. Luke... Luke was one of his best friends.

There was no way he was DEAD. He just couldn't. His body shook as he fell to the ground, somewhere between here and there; somewhere between where they were and their planned destination.

Those danger-zones could be a problem. He missed them however, and right now, the last thing on his mind was caring.

Luke was gone. To... Clio. He'd seen her around the school before all this. Heard her name on the announcements before. What he remembered of her, she was a quirky girl that... well, he didn't know her well. Femme Fatale, huh... He just... couldn't believe it. Luke was dead. If he'd found him before... No, what good would he have done? She had a gun, he had a fencing foil and a watch. One that he hadn't examined yet. What was the point of such a thing? It was well crafted, gold plated at the very least. Seems like way too much for a joke weapon. He sighed.

And he sat. The tears began to flow, and instinctively he reached out to the closest thing to him.

That was Katlin. He wrapped his arms around her arm and wept into her sleeve. "W-Why... Luke was my best friend!" A quick inhalation. "I just wanted to see him again before... Oh god..."

---

The cafeteria was kind of quiet that afternoon. Sometime Sophomore year. Most of what was around was a blur, but the reflection of the sun in his eyes was quite prevalent. The smell of bad high school lunch and barbecue sauce assaulted his nose, and the white noise to which he had become so used to from going to such a large school for whatever reason made his head spin just a little bit. Maybe he should head home today... There must be something going around, that's why Ridley wasn't here. They were almost always inseparable. The two usually didn't socialize outside of themselves much, so this little corner of the cafeteria was theirs and theirs alone. Someone else was here though today.

"Hi, I'm Peter!" Wow, that was overly enthusiastic. He must sound like a reta-

"Hi Peter. I'm Luke. You're from my science class, right? Are you....interested in Science?"

Oh. Wow. He actually responded. And he seemed to be trying to make conversation... Just as awkward as he was. A small grin crept across his face, as he noticed his new companion scribbling something in a notebook. Very few kids at Bayview actually bothered to study, never mind do so during their one break for the day. However that question struck home. Science. Peter's one true love. Well, that and the outdoors. But still.

"I think that's a little bit of an understatement. I'm hoping to make a career out of it. I'm just not sure which science yet. I would love to make a breakthrough someday, discover something... Honestly, I'm kind of leaning towards Chemis- Er... Sorry about that. Tend to ramble sometimes." His hands awkwardly dove back to his lunch, jamming some food into his mouth in order to stop himself. There was no way Luke would be that interested in him anyways.

Silence for a moment. He had to speak up, and that notebook was really driving his mind to curiosity. What a better topic?

"So... Heh. I couldn't help but notice the notebook. I was going to guess you were new here, but I guess not if we've had a class together! I've never much been the social person either."

Nothing in response. Awesome. Fucking awesome. Make yourself sound like a nerd AND make assumptions about the kid you're trying to actually be social with for once. For that matter, why was he even trying to be social? He and Ridley had done just fine on their own.

"No, I'm not. I've been focused on my studies my whole life, so I never really bothered with anything outside of that. I have a similar goal as yours, but in the field of medicine. I hope to be a great medical researcher, maybe even a doctor like my father and mother. I have realized that maybe that isn't the optimal way to live and I should endeavor to have people around my life. Hence the notebook, so I'm writing down some thoughts on how to go about it."

A grin broke Peter's worried visage. He pulled out his own, and thus began an incredible friendship that lasted him through the entirety of high school.


---

No more words came, but he couldn't bring himself to move for what felt like days. He just needed someone to cling to, someone to comfort him. It just hurt. Everything he had seen up this point... He had known it was real, but none of it got to him quite as badly as this. Hearing one of his two best friend's names on the announcement just made everything else feel surreal. This felt surreal. That realization that he was in danger just took a back seat to everything else. And so for hours, he sat, trying to will up the strength to move, his mind wandering. Sometimes focusing on memories of the pair. Sometimes focusing on their plans for the camp-out. But eventually, his thoughts came full circle.

And by the time the midday sun began to approach, his thoughts finally returned to the present. I... I still have people to protect. Luke wouldn't have wanted me to do this. Y-yeah. I need to keep going for him. Another sniffle. "I... I'm sorry I've kept you for so long. I can't keep wallowing like this. Luke... Luke would have wanted to see me do something to help. He wanted to be a Doctor you know. To help people. Me and him were the same in so many ways." He reached into his bag. The notebook. It had been four days, and he had forgotten he had it. "See, we both had one of these. We were both really into science. Into academics." The words had never flown this easily around a girl before. Maybe the island had pushed them closer than he'd ever been with someone before.

Yeah. That had to be it.

"I'm sure you don't care that much... But hey. There might be something useful in here." He made a mental note to flip through to the other section. He had a couple of botanical notes back there.

"L-Let's go... I don't wanna stay here anymore."

---

((Peter McCue continued from Measure Once, Cut Twice.))

Since his break down, the pair had been walking for only a couple of hours. Even with his orienteering skills, he wasn't quite sure where the exact border between the arbitrarily labeled "inland" woods and "coastal" woods was, but based on the fact he could hear waves, he was sure he had made his way across that border. Thankfully as well, none of the areas they traversed happened to be danger zones. Yet again, he sat. Now with the memory of the notebook, his first reaction was to pull it out. It was a bit bent from being tossed about as it were in the backpack, but really no worse for wear. Flipping to the "other" tab, one of the first things he saw was his list of edible plants that he had been given during his First Class Hiking Trip in the scouts back during Sophomore Year when he was 14.

Damn. Had it really been that long?

His nose hadn't cleared, nor had his eyes. Dried tears still marred his cheeks, and the occasional sniffle to clear his nose was definitely in order. However by now, rather than look as if his best friend had just been viscously murdered, he looked something like a pet had died. Depressed and a bit worse for the wear, but able to carry on.

Gotta protect Katlin. Gotta find Ridley. He kept saying it to himself. Since their pit stop in the inland woods, he had kept telling himself.

"Katlin, come check this out." He motioned to the notebook. "It's the Botanical Stuff from back in the scouts." As soon as she made her way over, he pointed out some of the plants they could eat, and some of the plants they couldn't. "Guess you need a bit of a crash course in wilderness survival." He chuckled. In reality he could keep showing her things they could eat, since food was extremely low already. However, the real reason he taught her... What if something happened to him? She would starve to death without this knowledge. Flipping through the rest of his notebook, he found the odd tidbit here and there that could be helpful. How to act in case of a bear attack. How to make a makeshift tent. Even though they didn't have a tarp, the principal was the same. How to sanitize water with a sock and various plants that they may or may not be able to find. How to tell if a berry was ripe.

Unfortunately their little lesson came to an end much quicker than the boy would have liked. He wished that he could show her every single thing she would need to survive. But even with his advantage over all his other classmates, it still wasn't enough to whether all hazards that the island would throw at them. "Listen..." He slid the notebook back into the open bag. "Katlin. If something happens to me... Take the notebook. Not only will all that stuff help you to have... I have some things in there I've been working on. Some things I want the world to see." His head hung, unable to look her in the eye as he talked about his inevitable demise. "You have your martial arts. You have a chance of escaping. I... I just have my survival stuff, my knowledge."

What had happened to the boy that had cursed Danya's name almost 96 hours prior. He was buried in sorrow. Sorrow at watching so many class mates killed. Sorrow at losing his best friend. He felt weak. He felt alone, save for the only person near him at the moment. He knew there was no way he could make it off this island.

Like his mother would have said if he was home. He needed a swift kick in the ass to get back into gear.
Edited by T-Fox, Dec 30 2010, 10:04 AM.
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T-Fox
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
He was beyond in despair. His spunk, his determination from before had washed right out of him and into the ground as soon as he had heard Danya's voice announcing that one name.

"...took out Luke Templeton..."

Apparently however, Katlin was just the fuel to burn the fire yet again. He listened to her, the tears seemingly held on pause.

"So we'll help each other, okay? After all... ice cream was on me, right? So don't go giving up just yet, you hear me? We still have to find a way out of this, together."

His eyes turned to hers as she asked if they were friends, and he sniffed one last time. "Yeah... Yeah, of course... I'm sorry Katlin. I guess I just lost sight... We're gonna get off this island."

"We... We're gonna get the hell off of this island. Both of us. Whether Danya likes it or not." A soft grin broke from beneath depressed eyes. A new shine, a new fire burned within. The gears began to spin, and without even realizing it, his pen had hit the paper of his notebook. No time to care about classifications. He needed to come up with something fast.

A quick glance around. Camera there, camera there. Two cameras that could see him. If the bastard could see them, he was sure they could hear him. So, all he needed to do was to shut up, and to get the paper out of sight. A quick re-adjustment on the log atop which he sat, and the paper was angled just enough away that he could write in some semblance of privacy.

Idea... Idea...

What could they do? As long as the collars were on, he had nothing. The collars had to come off first, and then he could figure out a way to get off of this island. Not just for him, for her as well. A quick scribble or two. Peter had never been the best 'artist' in the world, but he could draw a decent schematic. Something workable at least. A ring, three dimensional. An arrow that pointed to a small block on the front. Presumably where the C4 or whatever they used for an explosive was kept.

If the circuit is broken...

A ring was drawn around the explosive on the paper.

Then the explosive detonates... Come on, think.

His eyes went wide. A lightbulb moment. He began to scribble on the paper.

"Katlin, don't say anything about this out loud. Odds are Danya can hear us. If we trick the collar into thinking it's still closed, we can pry back the opening and slip it over our heads." A finger ran over the metal of the deathtrap that held him prisoner. The accursed thing. He glanced over at Katlin's. It appeared that the almost invisible split between the metal sat in the direct front of the neck. With the right know how, he could find something that could complete a circuit. Copper wire or something would most definitely work, and he sincerely doubted that Danya had gone that far as to strip useful materials out of the buildings on the island. "Copper Wire. Keep the circuit complete. Play along. Follow my lead when we move."

That was it. But who did he know that had mechanical know-how... There had to be some way to use that copper wire and trick the damn things... It would probably read them off as dead when they were off. He did say they read vitals, right? Alright. That's an idea. But how could he study one when the- No. No, he wouldn't. He couldn't... bring himself to go back there... To Simon's body. He couldn't bear to see death, the results of this game.

But if he didn't, they would surely die.

Which to do? Disrespect the dead, or die? Besides, the collar would probably still go off if the circuit was broken and the person had passed... Still, there was only one way to actually know.
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T-Fox
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
More and more scribbling. Katlin was looking over his shoulder. Every little thing he wrote, she watched with rapt attention. And thankfully, she hadn't said a word yet. While he had no proof, he was almost sure that the collars had microphones. Hell, they may even have had little cameras in them too. There's no way Danya would ever pass up the opportunity for a full, guaranteed audio log of every scream as everyone he knew and cared about died.

Sick fucker.

Suddenly the pencil was out of his hands, and Katlin was leaning right over him, writing something down. He watched every little thing that she wrote down, poking her shoulder to get her attention and nodding when she wrote "We need more help to do this, don't we? And then we need to... And then we need to test it, right?" As unfortunate as it was... Yeah, they did. They had to either find a willing guinea pig... or a dead student. And the latter was gruesome. But the first was possibly murderous. Neither was exactly a fun option. His scoutmaster's words rang in his head.

"Always be prepared... and be prepared to do anything you need to. Wilderness survival isn't fun. You may even have to eat a bug or two!" Way back when, that was met with general laughter. He never dreamed he'd be where he was right now.

He glanced back down to see Katlin having written a bit more.

"If you're going back... I'll go with you. I want to help."

He couldn't say anything back. He was happy beyond measure that he didn't need to do this on his own. He didn't want her to have to see the atrocities that were waiting at the Sawmill... but...

Without thinking, he quickly gripped her into a hug.

And a few minutes after he had let go, Katlin brought up getting cleaned up. That was the last thought on Peter's mind for the past few days... Honestly he had been around worse when he was on campouts. Some kids seemed vehemently opposed to the idea of using a camp shower. But now that she brought it up, she was right. Very, very right. And he was kind of embarassed that he had let that one go for so long. Hell, no one could blame him though. Last thing he wanted to do was strip for the entirety of America.

One thing she said though made him go beat red.

"And we can hear the waves and stuff, so the ocean should be nearby, right? We could... um, use that."

The realization that they would have to bathe together, or at least in shifts. He tried to think of something to say.

"I'm just gonna... um... go? I won't be too long, I just... um... yeah."

She ran pretty quickly for a downtime situation on the island. He took a deep breath, and just as she was about to break the tree line, he called out. "Katlin, wait." His face was just as red as hers. "Um... I don't think it's a good i-idea to run off alone... We don't know how far the beach is... I... er... I'll come with you and then I'll go find somewhere to wait for privacy. I just wanna be there if someone tries something."

That probably hadn't made things any better. He just didn't want to take a chance of hearing her name on the announcements the next morning. He was being honest too. He really didn't want to be a peeper or anything, but he knew exactly how that could come off. EXACTLY how that could have come off. Especially with how embarrassed she was.

He just kind of stood near their bags, waiting for her reply. Probably a very scolding or angry reply at that.

Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
Garry Brooks - Swave Countryboy
Jade Aurora - Tomboy Drummer
Jasmine Tolle - Pacifistiic Artist

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T-Fox
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The amount of time Katlin was gone was driving the poor boy up the wall. Sure, he understood the need for privacy, but... With the amount of sickos running around... And... He knew you could hear the beach from close to a quarter of a mile away... He... Well, he was worried about her, to say the least. However with how quickly she had run off, it was everything he could do not to think that he had been too smothering. Or something. It seemed like she was beyond eager to leave him alone.

Well, more time to work on the plan.

Rationalization is a funny thing. Sometimes it can make a man more productive than he ever could have been before.

Sometimes it could be the biggest distraction in the world. And the entire time Katlin was away, Peter had been staring at a blank piece of paper, making no headway on any ideas on what to do about the collar around her neck, his mind focused less on her collar and more on her. Most specifically their time together. Was he acting overbearing? Was he acting too protective? No, she had seemed so on board with the idea of an escape plan... He flipped back to look over her words, confirming that he indeed had seen what he had seen.

Thankfully she returned sooner rather than later, and her voice was jarring. He jumped from his seated position on the log, his face beet read, having just become so on her approach. "O-Oh, Katlin! Welcome back..." He mentally smacked himself. She couldn't hear his thoughts, and even barring that they were nothing bad. He was just reminiscing, being critical of himself. Trying to read into her, her body language, her tone over the past four days.

Wow. Had it really already been four days?

"The beach is just down that way, if you want to... um... y'know."

"O-Oh, right. Yeah, definitely." Stooping to his bag, he rifled through the now seemingly deflated bag for ten minutes, finally locating the small travel bar of soap among the socks and supplies. Remembering how many he brought made him smirk, remembering a quote from one of the older boys back when he first joined the scouts. Elliot. "Remember. Always bring lots of 'socks' to every campout. Really he had been referring to pornography every single time he said that, but just the reminder of something from home was enough to give him that tiny jolt of a recharge; as abhorrent as the thought was. Really, why the fuck did the older boys always bring porn? He would never understand that.

Well... He may have if he had made his way to college, but now he would never have an opportunity to understand the mindset of an 18 year old boy.

"Sorry for running off so suddenly. And not saying anything when you called out."

He glanced up from the bundle of towels that had seemingly appeared in his arms. Really, he didn't remember grabbing them out of his bag. His blush had naturally faded, his heart only able to keep that level of pumping for so long without the fear of death. But he offered a quizzical look to Katlin as she made her apology.

Shit. She did hear me. But she's apologizing... What can that even mean? Over analyzing things again. That may work in Chemistry and Physics, but it did not work with the fairer sex.

"Oh, no, it's okay. I'm just gonna... Go do the same. Here." He pulled a fleece from his bag, and offered it to the shivering girl before him. That water must have been freezing.

The towels and fresh clothes bundled in his arms, he pushed himself from the log on which he sat and wandered over to the beach, finding that thankfully it was indeed only a five minute walk away. That reassurance in mind, he slowly, took the epee from his belt loop, setting it on the beach towel he had laid out. Next to it was the facecloth, his drying towel, and his fresh clothes. His eyes wandered about, and he slipped from all but his jeans, quickly remembering the gold watch that had been in his bag, which now adorned his wrist. Tugging it off led to a horrifying revelation. He had been given a weapon. The watch stretched as he tugged on it, revealing a thin wire. A garrote. Had been hidden on his wrist since day one. And he just sat there, his hair a mess, his scrawny body searing slowly in the mid summer heat.

And then a breeze caught his shirt, and wafted the stench into his nostrils, his body recoiling from the stench. "Right. Bath."

He slipped into the water, boxers and all, bathing himself slowly. He was no exhibitionist, and no one was going to see that much of him today. Whether he would ever see them or not. The water was freezing cold, so he relegated himself to the same strategy he used at camp. "In, soap up, rinse off, OUT." And not five minutes later, he was out, not smelling like much of anything. The salt water was heavy in his hair (damn him for forgetting shampoo), but the grime and grease had been washed away into the ocean. He felt a little more secure in the fact that he no longer smelled like an ape, he stared at the clothes laid on the beach. Wrapping the towel around his lower half, he slipped the boxers off and quickly patted his lower half dry, slipping the fresh clothes on underneath of it. He then draped the towel over his head, getting to work on putting back on his accessories, the watch and belt he always wore. Really even ignoring the true purpose of the watch, just knowing the time of day was beyond useful. And hey, if he could remember how, he could make a makeshift compass out of the thing.

Now wouldn't that throw Danya for a loop?

Either way, he made quick work of the rest of his clothing, and having not left a trace, returned. Unfortunately for him and his inattentiveness, a tree branch decided it would be a good idea to scratch the hell out of his face on his way by, so as he returned, greeting Katlin with a quiet hello upon his return to the clearing, he looked a bit worse for the ware.

"Think we should get moving now?" Really he wasn't looking forward to what was coming up. But they needed out, and he was sure that none of his fellow students would truly blame him for what he was about to do. He was reveling in altruism with his actions, while those who made these acts necessary were working out of dark desires, mania, and selfish greed. Yeah, sure. Keep telling yourself that. You might just make it through the next day.

A sigh escaped his lips.
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
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His demeanor changed to confusion as his simple question returned a very blunt retort, seemingly blurted in fear.

"I wasn't reading it! Um... I mean, uh... yeah, sure, we can get going I guess."

Reading wha- oh. His notebook was in her hands, and she was open to one of the pages on Biology. A small smile crept across his lips. "Oh no, go ahead. If it interests you at all, then please read it. There's nothing really personal in there." It was kind of funny actually. She had a reaction like a puppy who had been caught chewing on it's owners shoes for the 15th time, but he had even told her to take it if something had happened. "I just didn't figure anything in there would really interest you beyond the survival stuff I mentioned earlier." He was damn near beaming now, but they really did need to get moving. They were burning daylight, and it would probably be a good idea to be at some semblance of a building by the time that night fell; for her sake if anything. He knew she hadn't said a bad word about the sleeping arrangements yet, but she wasn't used to the outdoors like he was. Even if this farce stuck him on the island for two weeks, it wouldn't be the longest he had camped for. Or the most he had hiked probably, for that matter.

He slowly began packing his few things he had removed, noting what Katlin had earlier, that the bag was steadily starting to deflate. Hell, the campsite they had left on day one was probably still there. Or pillaged. Either way, he would have to start rationing what he did have left.

"What happened to your face?"

"Huh?" He glanced up at Katlin, his right hand involuntarily coming to meet his cheek, pulling it away to reveal a few little specs of blood. That probably... wasn't a good thing. He thought back to those damn branches that had been in the way. I'll take a shortcut back, I'll make it back faster! His thoughts were in a high, mocking tone, berating himself. Everything will be fine! Sure enough, one of the branches that he had to contend with had whipped back, and nailed him in the face. Just cause there wasn't any blood then didn't mean that wasn't what caused it. "Er... It was probably those branches back there. I figured I could get back to you quicker if I went straight from point A to point B... I figured you would be worried. Or something."

Great. Make it sound like you expect her to be worried. Again he began to internally kick himself, making his thousandth resolution to try and act normal around Katlin. He was a blubbering buffoon around girls and he knew it. He was honestly surprised she hung around him this long. Diverting the shame on his face by finishing up his packing job, his eyes every so often glanced back over his shoulder to Katlin, trying to sneak a glimpse of what she was thinking, what she was feeling. He was more worried about making sure she was doing well than his own well being, more so than fear of the killer that could be lurking around any corner.

"Alright... Are you ready to go?"

He closed his eyes, and pulled his bag over his shoulders.

"I mean... If you don't want to have to see this, if you changed your mind I definitely understand."

He still couldn't believe he was going to play with death in such a... real way. He would be the Mondino de Liuzzi of a modern time. Committing an immoral act for a moral purpose. Playing with death itself for scientific and selfish gain. But was it really selfish if he was going to save everyone he could?

Either way, it had to be done. "Alright... Let's do this." A deep breath, and off he went.

((Peter McCue continued elsewhere...))
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
Garry Brooks - Swave Countryboy
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