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Enter the Death Squad; =Terrorist Thread=
Topic Started: Feb 6 2011, 10:22 PM (1,866 Views)
MurderWeasel
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((Alrighty, folks. Here's the deal on the AT members: They are, for all intents and purposes, NPCs under the control of the staff. They are being run by staffers' accounts, rather than through SOTF_Help, to ease readability, since it's not just one persn taking them all, but they are not standard characters, and thus are not subject to rolls, inactivity, DZs, and the like. By this ruling, this thread does not count towards the thread limit for this area.))

Christina Stockton sat in tense anticipation as the helicopter descended, kicking up dust from the old logging road which had been pressed into duty as a temporary landing field. She was ready, geared up, armed to the teeth, and absolutely one hundred percent ready to go. A bulletproof vest, an assault rifle, a sidearm pistol, a couple fragmentation grenades, two combat knives (on in her belt, one in her left boot) and enough extra ammunition to give each kid on this island a shot or two. This was not going to be a disaster. This was not going to be a repeat of version three, where entire squads had been killed due to stupidity. Each of the team had a radio. They had a huge stock of spare cameras, in their backpacks and in the helicopter. The design was fairly modular; all it took to get a new camera going was yanking the plug out of the back of the old one and jacking the new one in.

They were landing on the logging road because it was close to the ranger station, which had been without coverage the longest. A group had holed up there, quiet and terrified, and done pretty much nothing until they got evicted by the morning's announcements. One of them hadn't even made it out. Christina didn't understand that sort of mentality, but, then again, she was the one with the assault rifle and body armor. She didn't have to get it.

After they fixed the station, it would just be a matter of following the trail of destruction Polanski had left, then cornering her like a rat at the end of it. After all, Polanski was a known element. She ran around, smashed cameras. She hadn't tried to fix anyone else's collar yet, so she could be considered fairly harmless. Likely, she was trying to work out a way to get enough privacy to do it. Christina sort of hoped that happened before they caught the girl. It wasn't any sort of specific malice, rather a general schadenfreude. You couldn't work this job without being a bit of a sadist, after all.

The helicopter touched down, the doors opened, and Christina was outside in a flash, rifle at the ready. She glanced at her left wrist, where a GPS unit was strapped. While a few students were relatively close, none were in the immediate area. Good.

"All clear," came the voice of Shamino Warhen, from the other side of the chopper.

"All clear," Christina confirmed. As the two more experienced ground-pounders on this mission, she and Shamino had point during loading and unloading operations, when they were at their most vulnerable. There would probably be a number of rendezvouses with the helicopter over their brief stay on the island, to replenish their stock of cameras and other equipment. It shouldn't be a problem, but, then again, a lot of things that weren't supposed to be issues turned into disasters.

Truth be told, Christina was actually rather excited about this whole thing, potential disaster or not. It was, in a way, counterintuitive; boredom was safety, after all. She hated sitting around waiting, though, hated doing nothing, hated that the biggest part of her job was putting up pointless little boxes that blocked cell phone reception.

Hell, she hadn't even been in full uniform in the field in a couple years. She'd only dressed out for exercises and training. Shamino got all the real jobs. He'd driven one of the buses, helped facilitate the extraction of the students from Minnesota.

Time for thinking later. The others were getting out.

Shamino came around the side of the helicopter, his bald dome hidden beneath a helmet.

"There are a couple of students fairly near," he reported, speaking both to her and into his walkie talkie. His other hand grasped his rifle, ready to fire at a moment's notice. "They may investigate the noise."

"Intelligence doesn't seem to run in this class," Christina said. "We've had, what, a dozen blow themselves up?"

"Just remember the protocol," Shamino said. "We're not here to kill people. We're not Kaige or Rice. We warn first."

"Yeah," Christina replied. Yeah, they'd warn first. That should end things. But if someone decided to press the issue, well...

She hadn't brought all these weapons out here just for the exercise. She didn't like killing. Felt sorry for the fuckers trapped on this island every so often. But she had a job to do, and she didn't really feel like getting wasted because some schoolboy with an AK got twitchy at the wrong time.
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Jim Greynolds did not fit in amongst the rest of the group clustered inside the helicopter. Superficially, he had a scruffy ponytail kept with an elastic band, spectacles, was wearing a hooded sweatshirt over bulky body armour. His appearance certainly didn't match that of the others. Asides from that, though, there was his demeanour. Greynolds wasn't anxious, nor was he tense, nor did he even seem to be particularly excited about the trip. He simply smiled to himself, nodding along to some kind of private rhythm. Somehow, this man was the team's leader, but you didn't reach the top of Danya's organisation without something beyond competence.

That, in many ways, was what was frightening about Greynolds. Not his disconcerting smile, not his abrupt snaps from jovial to deathly serious. Simply the knowledge that for all his eccentricities and quirks, Greynolds was probably the most dangerous man in the arthro taskforce, ahead of even Danya himself and men like Melvin Carter. Of course, there was also the fact that people rarely got the opportunity to see him in action, which was where Greynolds really earned his keep. He got stir crazy, cooped up in HQ.

As the helicopter touched down, Greynolds nodded first to Shamino, then to Domino. They'd dicussed their strategy along the trip, there was no neccessity to relay any instructions. Having them go out first simply made the most sense. Richards was inexperienced, as was Baines, the latter far too laid back for Greynolds to trust him to take point. As for Cecily... ha, wow, that was a disaster waiting to happen. Greynolds smiled crookedly across at the technician, and she glared at him, all the colour drained from her features.

She was wetting herself in anxiety, Greynolds found that hilarious.

With Shamino and Domino off the chopper, their voices filtered back to Greynolds through his headset, which resembled a set of old fashioned headphones with a large rounded earpiece and a big fuzzy mic. He'd eschewed a helmet, claiming that he only had a visored version, which just got in the way of his glasses. He listened for a short while, then nodded.

"Alright everyone, let's get moving. One warning, and one warning only. If you're feeling generous you can miss the first shot on purpose, but it's on your own heads."

Jim Greynolds stood and stepped off the chopper.

Onto the island.
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[Girl #101 and Gun #01 - Sofia Martelli and Tony. Continued from Read The Fucking Manual.

Sorry for the delay. Computer ate this post a couple times.]

"Mm, I had a great time tonight."

Sofia smiled brightly as she stretched her legs out under her dress, staring down at it and admiring it. Maria had helped pick it out and Mom had helped get it fitted just right. Sofia still felt a little guilty for getting the dress, especially since Maria made a point of picking out the most expensive dress she could find, but Daddy had insisted on buying it for her no matter what. She had to be prim and proper and have a pretty dress, a beautiful dress, for prom. That's what her dad had told her, at least. But as she sat there in the car waiting for Tony to talk, she couldn't help but admire the dress and enjoy how it made her feel. Judging by Tony's reaction when he first saw her, she was downright stunning in it as well. Yeah, it was a beautiful dress, but she was a beautiful girl.

Sofia expected Tony to answer by now and turned to face him. But she didn't hear his voice. Maybe he was still a little nervous?

"Best night I have had in a long time, bar none."

Sofia was glad that she accepted Tony's invitation to the prom, and she wished she could tell him just how much in meant to her. But she stayed quiet about that. They had been friends for so long, spent so much time together, that she feared he would be uncomfortable no, no, I was the one uncomfortable with a change. But she enjoyed the time they spent together, regardless. Every time she tried to teach him about cars, making him look like just as much of a grease monkey as she was in the process. Every time he tried to teach her how to cook, only for her to make a mess of the kitchen and ruin whatever it was they were cooking. But those were fun times. Looking back on it, she wished things would have always stayed that way. That nothing would have changed.

Sofia shook her head and looked back at Tony, still hoping he would come up with some sort of response. But she didn't hear his voice. Maybe... maybe it was the conversation? Yeah, a change to the topic might help.

"The music was a little silly, don't you think? But I suppose I can't really complain. Who knew so many people likes 80s music?"

Music was something they could always talk about, something that Sofia could always offer up a few thoughts on. It was something that didn't have anything to do with machinery or cars or construction, so it was a welcome break from her usual topics of conversation. Sofia and Tony could go on for hours together, always discussing some new metal band they had recently found or debating who had the best guitar solos or No, that's wrong. His taste in music was different and Tony would always be introducing her to new bands. Music was always a good subject between them and Sofia fully expected a response.

But she didn't hear his voice.

"Come on, why are you being so quiet?"

No answer. Sofia was beginning to worry. Had she done something wrong? Had she offended him in some way? Did she say or do something that she simply wasn't supposed to? What had she done so wrong that he refused to talk to her? She grabbed his arm.

"What's wrong?"

But still, there was no answer. She shook his arm. He didn't move. Something was wrong. None of this is right. It didn't go this way, it didn't--



"Good morning kids!"


"What? I don't... Tony?"

Sofia didn't understand. She barely heard him speak, but she was certain that wasn't his voice. It wasn't his voice at all. He sounded like... like...

Danya.

Not yet. Not yet! I don't want to go back!







"Damn it."

Sofia cracked her neck, stretched out her arms and tried to straighten out her back. It wasn't very comfortable, sleeping there on the ground among the countless logs and stumps of the felled forest, but it was better than sleeping on concrete or rocks. At least the ground here was soft... sort of. But hopefully, Sofia wouldn't have to sleep out in the dirt for another night. There was a road nearby according to her map and it lead in to the city. She was hoping to follow that, maybe do some searching there and find a place to stay.

"Ha ha, Mr. Danya. Ha ha. I'm sure the cliff dives get you a few extra points in ratings, so I'll say the build up was worth it."

Just an obstacle. Just an obstacle. But that Janet bitch should have gone over as well. She should have eaten that round of buckshot and bled out in the fucking ocean. Salt water should have stung at her fucking wounds and that bitch should be dead. Her cuts stung. That bitch and her nails.

"Sorry I couldn't give you two for one, but I'll get her. Next time. I'll get her and Colin, and anyone else who gets in my fucking way. Simple as that. Besides, Mr. Danya, I've still got to ram my caddy up your ass at the end of this. I hope you have plenty of lube."

She repeated the threat from her first day on the island. Sofia intended to make good on that threat if she ever got the chance and John could attest to just how strongly she was going to fight for that chance. But for now, Sofia was content to toss the occasional insult as she ran her hands over 'Tony', looking over the weapon and making sure the safety was turned off before she continued with her day. There was no reason to leave it on. If she left it on, there was time to hesitate, time to make a mistake. Time to think about who she was aiming at.

It wasn't long after her rather poor breakfast that she heard the helicopter.

A step up from just hearing it, she saw it. And she watched it as it came ever closer. In fact, she had to duck behind a stump and cover herself with her bags. It was slowing to a stop and coming down close by. Very close by. Something was up. Immediately, Sofia thought back to the announcements that were being called out while she was fighting with John. She hadn't paid much attention to them at the time, but now she tried to bring up anything she could. It was late when they made those announcements, out of the ordinary even for Danya and his game. The first one wasn't even Danya. It was someone else, someone familiar. What was the name? What was the name?

Kwong.

"Mr. Math, huh?"

He said something about Liz, when he spoke. That little slut of his. It seemed she was causing trouble for their esteemed host, and that Mr. Kwong was being held hostage. Probably with any of the other chaperons that survived the initial gunfire. But they were as good as dead by now, just like the students. Just like anyone who got in her way would be. Sofia had to say something about Danya, now that she thought about it. He was a prick and an evil bastard, but he didn't let anyone get in his way. If someone stood in his path, she expected him to be the kind of person to break them down.

Breaking down obstacles.

"Hey, Danya. You might as well kill Kwong. Liz may have been sleeping with him but if she hasn't stopped yet, she won't. She's a stubborn bitch. And kill her, while you're at it, if you're still capable of doing so."

She messed with her collar, that's what Kwong had said.

"Then again, maybe I'll find her. I could always use a new weapon."

And access to whatever fucking secret that slut holds.

But finding Liz, finding anyone for that matter, would have to wait. Sofia was watching as the helicopter landed and she wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to find out just what the hell it was all about. It could be her ticket home, for all she knew. It could be Danya's hit squad, out to take Liz's head and her secret. But whatever it was, Sofia was going to find out. One way or another.






It didn't take long for Sofia to find a good spot near the road, once the helicopter had landed and the first of the armored squad disembarked. Close enough to see just what the fuck was going on without giving away her position, or at least she hoped. Her grip on the shotgun was tight enough to turn her knuckles white. But there she sat, behind yet another stump, watching as the group stepped off the helicopter one by one. The first two were checking the surroundings, forcing Sofia to keep a far lower profile than she had originally expected. Every one of them was armed to the teeth. Assault rifles and body armor, pouches and bags full of supplies. Extra ammunition, she suspected. Probably enough for every single person on this island twice over, given the size.

Looks like a god damn SWAT team.

Sofia tried her best to resist temptation as she stared at the group. Such lovely weapons and that helicopter was just a beautiful machine. She couldn't imagine just what it would be like to pilot one of those things. Hell, just to ride in that thing would be a rush, let alone pilot it. God, just think about the power behind that machine, the sheer amount of horsepower it took to keep it up in the air let alone haul any sort of equipment. Forget muscle cars, aircraft had the real power. But it didn't look like they came to give her a ride home. They came to work. The best thing Sofia could do right now is sit and wait, watch what they were up to.

But really, did Sofia ever strike anyone as a 'sit and wait' kind of girl?

"Oy, Swat boys!"

At least she wasn't stupid enough to stick her head too far out. But her mouth was a different story.

"How's it going?"
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Greynolds hit the ground pretty quickly, the others piling out behind him. Christina did another check of the area, as well as the GPS on her wrist. No one closer yet. Still a few in the general vicinity. The closest seemed to have frozen. That was fine. Being watched served their purposes. Ideally, the students would know they were coming and would just get out of the way. It wouldn't go down like that, of course. Someone would try something. Someone would try to play hero. Likely a few of them.

Christina had fifty bucks on five. It'd been five in the briefing, and it was as good a number as any.

As the others got set up, she scanned the area again and again, cycling between the active observation and checking her wrist. She could relax more later. If something was going to go really, really wrong, it would do so soon.

Sure enough, complications sprang up. Shouting from the side, the direction of the nearest blip on her GPS unit. Damn, already someone coming around to cause trouble? The voice was female. Not very scared. That implied a certain level of instability. The casual greeting also rang some warning bells. There was something duplicitous here, something wrong. This girl wanted something. Weapons, a way out, protection, something. Perhaps she figured she'd be clever and offer to show the team around, stick with them and help them out, all the time using their presence as a sort of shield. It was a good strategy. It's what Christina would have done in her situation. It also went completely against the grain of things, against their goal here. They were preserving order and repairing damage to the game. Interference would just be doing more damage, shaking up the whole thing.

No. Time for this girl to beat it. Whatever she wanted, it was her problem. All the students here were going to die. They couldn't help any out. They could only offer stern warnings, and bullets if those went unheeded.

"Well, thanks," she called back. "Time for you to leave. This is your one warning. Scram."

Blunt. Quick. Precise. Maybe one of the others would elaborate. Wasn't really her problem. The snappy lines were their forte, after all. She was just the muscle.





As Domino responded to the student, Shamino was focused on something else entirely. He was speaking into his headset in a low voice, his assault rifle held at the ready. He also had a shotgun, a pistol, some grenades, and a knife. A good spread, useful in most situations. He'd eschewed a sniper rifle, since they were going to be staying mobile on this run.

"Reporting contact with a student," he said. One of the techs back at base was monitoring the team, keeping track of everything near them. It was a form of redundancy, an extra little safety precaution.

Silence for a second. Then a reply:

"G101, Sofia Martelli. One kill. Armed with a shotgun. Potentially highly unstable."

Good to know. He lined his rifle up, aiming at where the student's voice had come from, following Domino's lead. With her GPS, she could do a pretty good job of pinpointing the students. If it came down to it, at least a few of the team members could open fire. Likely overkill, but better safe than sorry.
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"Hey. Richards."

"Baines, shut the fuck up."

"...Bet you I can toss a grenade right on top of her."

"Baines, we're not here to blow them up."

"But they don't know that."

"What kind of insane fucking logic is-"

"Children. Pipe down... or am I going to have to come back there with my friend mister 9mm?"

"...Sir."

"...Sir."

"Exactly."

The short haired soldier glowered at his blonde counterpart, who merely gave him a lazy smile in response. Richards and Baines. Baines and Richards. With one always seemed to come the other, and with the pair of them, little more than animosity. In this instance... their banter was going to get them in trouble. It was rare that the two of them were out in the field, and Greynolds wasn't exactly a forgiving leader.

"Oh... one other thing people," Greynolds again. "Cecily's important. We don't want her pretty little head getting hurt. Wait no, let me rephrase that. She's important if you don't want to be getting Lourvey droning instructions at you. Let's make sure she doesn't die horribly, shall we?"

Naturally, Cecily bristled at this. Greynolds wasn't paying much attention though, instead giving a nod to the pilot of the chopper, who quickly got the vehicle airborne again. The terrorists' leader looked back to where Shamino and Domino were standing, tried to pinpoint where this girl could be.

"Listen, kid," he called out. "You're most likely fucked whatever you do. If I were you, I wouldn't be trying to hasten said fuckery by screwing with the guys with the big guns, alright? Get. The fuck. Out."

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"Oh, but getting lost is so boring. I was hoping to take that baby for a spin but it looks like I'll have to settle with take y'all for a spin. Besides, I really like those big guns, and wouldn't mind one for myself!"

Sofia wasn't one to just leave a good thing sit there if she had even the smallest chance at success. This was her game, after all. This was her gun and this was her way of doing things. She couldn't lose. She'd never lost before when she put her mind to something, so she couldn't lose now. This was her game and she was going to play it until the end. Until she won. Micheal would probably love the way she was thinking. Mr. Starcraft would have considered this an Easter egg, a hidden encounter, a special opportunity to get prime loot and tons of experience. Sofia saw it as just another obstacle, just more tools she can get her hands on. The more she could damage Danya's game, the better her chances would be.

If only she had the secret that the slut had. That would make this even easier.

Shaking her head, she turned her attention to the task at hand. Tony was beautiful, ready and raring to go. The safety was off, the selector ring in the right position. There would be no stupid mistakes this time. As they would say, it was time to lock and load. Sofia let her personal bag slip off her back and took hold of the strap.

Distract and then take advantage.

Swinging hard, Sofia tossed the bag full of clothes between the stumps and logs that lined the sides of the logging road, stretching on as far as the northern cliffs and toward the foot of the mountain. She'd spent so much time among these long dead trees and stumps that she'd grown accustomed to moving between them, judging distance and how much cover each stump and log provided. But she wasn't in a good location. She needed to draw their attention before she made any moves. So she swung hard and threw the large bag between the stumps, behind the logs. Hoping to draw their attention that way.

But she didn't move far.

Sofia slid down against the stump, lying out on the ground and hiding behind her cover as much as she could, her shirt pulling up and the wood scratching her back. But those little cuts didn't matter. She wouldn't be denied her chance. Not again.

"Eat shit."

Holding the shotgun above her head, resting on the stump and held as tight as she could as she expected the recoil, Sofia squeezed the trigger of her shotgun, aiming the weapon in the general direction of the group of SWAT boys and SWAT girls. She couldn't aim, not from this position of blind firing, but she didn't want to risk it. They were trained and she was just a wild tomboy armed with a stolen shotgun. She needed an advantage. She needed the first strike.

So she pulled the trigger, again and again, hoping at least one of them would get hit. Hoping they would be pushed back, that they would be forced to take cover just as she was. If she could just do that, she could get an upper hand. She could put them on the defense.

Her heart raced in her chest.


God, what a rush.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
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Moments like these were the ones that reaffirmed Christina's fundamental belief that there really wasn't all that much wrong with throwing a bunch of students onto an island to fight to the death. Seriously, how dumb could these kids possibly get? How did they not choke to death while flossing? Really, though, at the end of the day, it didn't matter. The girl was stupid enough to talk to them, to tell them she was planning something. Really? This was the equivalent of suicide by police. No one fucked with Greynolds. No one fucked with a squad of heavily-armed terrorists, at least, not if they wanted to survive.

There was a crashing sound as something set off downslope. Christina's immediate impulse was to jerk towards it and open up, but luckily she had training to quell those troublesome urges. She was intel at the moment, so she stepped back a pace and checked her wrist, trusting Shamino to cover the areas of potential danger. The girl's blip hadn't moved. This one thought she was so clever, didn't she? Thought she'd net a nice trophy or something? Trick the terrorists with basic games? Fat chance.

Christina would count on the others to provide cover fire and deal with things when stuff got nasty. For now, her job was to flush the quarry. Cover was a bitch in this terrain, but that was what fragmentation grenades were for.

As the bullets started flying, Christina and Shamino ducked backwards a bit, finding cover. The shots were poorly-aimed, likely completely harmless, but they weren't here to take stupid chances. They had all the time in the world. If this girl actually presented any trouble, Shamino could just call HQ and have her collar blown. Christina didn't really want to see that happen, though. This girl had dug her hole, and now it only seemed fitting to lay her out in it.

"Get ready to play duck hunt, boys," she said, ignoring Cecily entirely. With that, Christina unhooked a grenade from her belt left-handed, yanked the pin with her teeth, leaned out of cover for half a second, and sent it sailing up towards the girl's little nook.

Yeah, with a little luck that'd get her moving, and as soon as she popped out of cover she was pretty well fucked.





The girl decided to die here instead of somewhere else on the island. Shamino could respect that. He'd didn't really appreciate it, of course; it made his day a good bit more complicated. As she shouted, he checked his weapon, using the spare time to make sure the safety was off. When the crash sounded, he took a couple of steps, angling his body in between the point where the voice had come from and the one where the subsequent noise had originated. He watched Domino consult her wrist and return her attention to the first point, so he adjusted his aim towards it as well.

That was when the fire started. Shamino ducked back. Really, while an injury right now wouldn't be the end of the world, given their proximity to the helicopter, the last thing he wanted was to run this operation down a man, let alone sit it out himself. They were likely not in much danger, since Martelli had a shotgun, and they still had a good bit of distance between them, but it wasn't worth taking chances.

"Base," he said quietly into his headset.

"Yeah?"

Domino said something, and then sent a grenade headed towards the girl's location. Suddenly, calling for a collar detonation seemed rather redundant.

"Never mind."

He readied his weapon, still staying back a bit. Really, firing would be fairly pointless, with Baines, Richards, and maybe even Greynolds all taking their own shots, but he'd put in an effort anyways. All part of teamwork.
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[Skipping with permission from Clu. Gonna wrap things up here.]

Sofia refused to stop. With each squeeze of the trigger, her chances went up. She couldn't stop now, not after coming so far. Not after what she did. This was her fight and there was no giving up. No turning back. She emptied the shotgun. Her heart pounded. Her hands trembled around her weapon. She couldn't remember the last time it was like this. Her stomach twisted into knots. Hair stood on end. It was better than driving. Better than John. Far better than Janet. This was her strength. This was her fight. Break down obstacles and take freedom by the short hairs. If they died, she would survive. If they died, she could win. She could go home.

She could take him home.

Sofia had to act quick. It wouldn't be long until they opened up on her. They had the weapons. They had the ammunition. If they were so inclined, she would be dead already. But they were playing with her. Toying with her. Why hadn't they opened up? They could had ripped apart her and her cover already, but they didn't. Maybe. Maybe they didn't have the firepower she assumed they did. But there it was. Bouncing off of a stump, it landed and rolled. For a moment, she didn't recognize it. For a moment, she didn't see the danger. But when it registered, it hit hard.

...Shit.

No time. No time to do anything but stare. No time to throw it back. No time to guess how long she had left to live, or if she could possibly survive. All she could do was keep fighting, any way she could. She refused to die here. She refused to take no for an answer. This was her game. She couldn't let them kill her. Not now, not ever. Not here. She had to fight. She had to live! This was her game. No one was going to stop her. Not now, not ever. As long as she was able, she had to fight. For herself. For Tony. She had to live! But there was only one choice. Only one chance she could take.

Sofia jumped. Scrambled to her hands and knees, ran and dove far, to the nearest piece of cover that would keep her safe. She needed distance. She needed safety. She needed...




Silence




It is over?

Is this it?

No, it can't be over!

I need to fight!

I have to fight!

I... I have to get home.


Ringing. High pitched.

Can't hear. Can't see. Can't breathe.

Is this it?


Coughing and gasping.

No...

No, this isn't over.


The world came back into focus. Everything hurt. Everything burned. But she was alive. She was alive! But it wasn't over. Not yet. The obstacles remained on her path. There was still work to do. She dragged herself behind the log. The fight wasn't over. Sofia's hand found the bag. Nothing else mattered. Nothing else registered. One by one, she loaded her weapon.

One.

Pain.

Two.

It burned.

Three.

It hurt.

Four.

Oh god.

Five.

Sofia struggled to chamber the round. Why? Why was she so weak? She needed strength. She needed to fight. She struggled, but fought.

Six.

That was it. It hurt to move. But she was ready to fight. She couldn't give up. But reality came back. It hit her like a brick. Everything hurt. Everything burned. Her leg refused to move. Everything felt wet. Her arm hurt to move. Everything was red. She couldn't see properly. Her eyes stung. But she didn't want to admit it. She refused to admit it. But she knew what it was. She knew what was wrong.

Oh god.

This is it, isn't it?


She struggled to breathe. She struggled to move. Everything just hurt. She wanted it to be over.

Tony...

She wanted to be with him. It hurt too much. She wanted to scream. But she could only cough. Could only gasp for air. Was this it? Was this all she could do? The world felt distant. She was cold. But she couldn't give up. She couldn't! She refused to!

"Not yet..."

She coughed and pushed herself up. She needed to fight. She couldn't give up. This was her game. It took all her strength to prop herself against the log. She coughed and gasped. Everything tasted like copper.

"I am Sofia Martelli."

She forced herself to talk. She forced herself to keep fighting.

"And I refuse to give up."

There were five of them. Five obstacles. She refused to let them get in the way. She swung her arm over the log.

Just one good shot. Just one. That's... that's all I need.

The shotgun was next. She had to do this fast. This was her last chance.

One deep breath. Just one. It hurt to move, but she forced her body to obey. Hauling herself up, Sofia took aim. All she needed was one chance. All she would get is one chance. As loud and clear as she could, Sofia shouted.

"FUCK YOU!"

For one last time, she squeezed the trigger.

Always... always go for the weakest link.

The smallest one.


Sofia slid back down. There in the dirt, she struggled. But she wouldn't let them have her. She wouldn't let them take her down. She refused to let them have that. Clutching the shotgun, one shaking hand was brought to her neck.

"I love you, Tony."


She pulled.


Girl #101 - Sofia Martelli. Deceased.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Namira
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Cecily fell back onto her butt with a little scream at the shotgun blast buzzed past her, tugging at her sleeve (or at least, she'd swear as much) along the way. Wide eyed, she stared at her comrades, a stare which quickly gave way to quiet anger as Richards and Baines started snickering, then outright laughing at her. If looks could kill... well, Cecily's glare would've left the pair as little more than smouldering ashes on the rough road. Rolling his eyes, Greynolds walked over, giving Domino a nod of acknowledgement before turning to the rest.

"Nice work. That's economy of effort for you, huh? Hopefully that gave out the right message. As in, don't fuck around with us," Greynolds shrugged. "Either way, we need to get moving, there's a lot of wasted cameras around here, and a couple of blind spots I'd really rather we were without in the Ranger Station. Oh..." Greynolds smiled a little. "Then we've got a pest to deal with. Keep an eye on that GPS, Domino. If Santa has some little helpers, then we're going to blow the fuckers' collars."

He looked around at the rest of the team.

"We clear? That just there is exactly how we treat everyone. They get in our way, we mow them down. Domino, Shamino, take point. Cecily, stick with me. Richards, Baines, rearguard positions. We're heading into a DZ so there shouldn't be too much trouble, but that kid might be the rule, not the exception. Even when we're safe, we're not safe. I'm not having anybody get killed by some punk kids, alright? ...Move out."


((Death Squad continued in Repairs))
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