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Riddles Of Monsters
Topic Started: Apr 3 2011, 02:25 AM (3,618 Views)
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[ *  *  * ]
(Mizore Soryu continued from The Dead Flag Blues)

It was a place to rest.

The forest. Rough terrain. Not good for Mizore's ankle. Not good for Raidon's injuries--had the cut hurt his lung? She didn't know a damn thing about how organs worked. She could treat a sprained ankle, a bleeding arm, but not this.

Julian had been silent.

Come back.

She wished he would speak.

But he was carrying the bags, his bag and Raidon's. And he was carrying Raidon, in both his arms.

Killer.

But he looked like a broken doll.

Hold him and never let go.

That was a bad thought.

The inland woods was good. The inland woods was good because it was hard to find people in. The sawmill would have been better--dry wood, flat floors for Mizore's leg--but she'd insisted on going through the Inland Woods.

That way nobody could see Raidon and shoot him.

Yes. That was a good idea.

Julian had hardly protested. But he was pale and sweating now, and Mizore had been keeping her ankle in check and we need Raidon to walk if we ever want to get there so they stopped.

And Julian put Raidon down on a bed of moss, tenderly, and Mizore liked Julian a little more.

Which was odd.

Wake up, Raidon. Wake up.

Because Julian was probably going to betray them horribly and then wouldn't that be nice.

The woods, at least, were beautiful. Crickets, frogs, birds moist air, twilight, close to rain. Still misty, like the swamp, which should have made Mizore uneasy but there are so many things that should have made me uneasy and yet they haven't. Spanish moss, long from the trees, that wrapped around the glade they were in, tall twisted trunks, and Julian breathing heavy, and Raidon thank God still breathing.

Julian put him down, and Mizore went over to him, and touched his forehead once. Best not let Julian see.

So she went and set up camp like a good girl, the kind of good girl who doesn't have an overly large interest in keeping a serial killer alive.

I love you.

It was a delicate balance, that.

There was a stream nearby. They didn't have much water left. Julian suggested boiling the stream water to preserve their own. Yes, they'd have to do it in the canteens Danya gave them, and yes, they'd eat melted plastic and die of cancer in forty years, but really it was a good idea.

Mizore agreed. She did half the work, even with her bum leg. Insisted. Trying to be sweet. Get on his good side. Then he won't see you're in love with a murderer.

This didn't seem like a sustainable plan.

But being alone, by the stream, was nice, refreshing. Almost like meditation. Easy there, not to feel the two guns in her sweatshirt pocket. So easy to pretend you're innocent.

But she was not innocent. And she couldn't meditate, not now, not here. Not shepherding two killers. Not when Raidon could wake up. Not when Julian is alone with him.

So she hurried back.

Raidon was there, still safe. Julian was nowhere to be seen. She bent down over him, feeling the guns heavy in her pocket. Killer.

Beauty.

"Raidon." She said.

And he opened his eyes.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Naoko Raidon continued from The Dead Flag Blues)

He didn't remember her rushing to him--the pain had consumed him, eradicated any trace of coherent thought. It was all one heated, mindless blur of pulsating fevered waves. He mainly remembered the pain--driving into him, over and over again--and the fear that came with it. He was absolutely helpless; any enemy could chance upon him and all this ruthlessness and all these sins would have been for nothing.

So he'd clung to safety and security. So he'd clung to the gun Danya had given him, and with which he'd stolen so many lives.

The only reason he remembered her at all was because, for a brief moment, there had been no fear. There had been only all-consuming agony, an enormous crushing typhoon of suffering that had left him screaming. It had obscured his vision and his thoughts in a fog; through that fog, he'd lost his gun. And when at last the pain lifted with all the dull finality of a curtain call, he had found a brief moment of clarity.

"Raidon," he heard.

Soryu.

He opened his eyes, stared right into her face, and then without a word to her glanced towards Julian.

He didn't have his bag nearby.

The thought came to him and then flicked away. The pain was nowhere near as bad as it had been, but his shoulder still throbbed dully and he didn't imagine he'd be moving it much. That left him one good arm (though not much new there--it was the only intact arm he had, the only one with a full set of five fingers). Shock rather than infection, he hoped; at least, the wound didn't feel too bad...

Still kind of delirious, he thought distantly. That could be a problem.

He was trying desperately not to look at Soryu. He didn't want to see the judgment in her eyes, and he didn't want her to see the anger in his.
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Fiori
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[ *  *  *  * ]
((Maxwell Lombardi continued from Intermission))

Oh god...

It didn't take long for Maxwell to realise that, somewhere along the line, he'd made a terrible mistake. That all his most recent actions had led him to this point of no return, that he'd spent so long heading in the completely wrong direction. That he was too blind to realise what should have been such an obvious blunder, which could have been avoided so easily if he'd actually stopped and thought about it before it was too late...

...In other words, he'd managed to get himself lost in the middle of some godforsaken forest again.

...Where the bloody hell is the infirmary?!? Damnit, I knew I should have taken my father's advice and join the scouts back when I had the chance. I can't read a bloody map to save my life!

Tired and frustrated, the young Brit decided that it was best to once again take refuge underneath the faithful branches of a nearby fir tree that was seated at the edge of a flowing stream. Thankful for the opportunity to refill his nearly depleted bottles of water, he took the rare opportunity to quench his thirst without worrying about using up too much water again. His food supplies, on the other hand, were starting to dwindle somewhat. It wouldn't be long until he'd be forced to hunt and forage for his own food... Or, he could always simply acquire rations from the next person who crosses his path. That tactic had proven to be very effective in the past.

Anyhow, may as well get on with stitching up this injury whilst i'm still technically conscious...

After removing his top and the makeshift bandage he'd made for himself, Maxwell began to slow and painful process of treating the bullet wound in his arm. Thankfully, the bullet hadn't actually embedded itself into his arm. That being said, it still badly grazed it, and would need to be properly stitched up before he could carry on with the game.

Maxwell wasn't a doctor, but he knew the basics on how to treat an injury like this. After all, he'd once witnessed an injury not unlike this one being treated whilst he and his old colleagues had been out hunting one afternoon. After going through the process of cleaning the injury and making sure that it wasn't infected, the ambitious young killer then began to get to work on stitching the injury up. Little to say, it was an incredibly painful experience for him. Not to mention tricky, seeing as he wasn't able to use his right hand whilst his left attempted to stitch the wound up without any mishaps.

As he got to work, Maxwell took the opportunity to think back on a thought that had crossed his mind a few hours ago. Throughout his stay on the island, he'd managed to rack up a big enough kill count for even his most idealistic classmates to consider him as a huge threat. Undoubtedly, there were many players out there like the late Sarah Atwell who were specifically looking out for him. Not that he could blame any of them. He WAS the single most prolific player on the island after all.

Now that he thought about it, perhaps it would have been a better idea to have taken a more subtle approach to the game. Let other people play in his place rather than get his own hands dirty. That way, he would be able to stay innocent in the eyes of his classmates, which would instantly get rid of the problem of dealing with the hypocritical "moral high ground" player-hunters who were out for his blood.

At the same time though, he knew for a fact that it was impossible by this point to try and do that now, not after he'd already proven without a doubt that he was the most dangerous person on the island. Perhaps if he'd decided to play BEFORE killing Augustus he could have taken that approach, but ever since that moment on the beach where he'd found himself standing before two corpses, Maxwell knew that he had a huge target on his head. Sure, they were both out of self defence, but who on earth would trust HIM of all people?

Besides... In a way, he loved all the attention his reputation was getting him. After all, it wasn't as if he couldn't defend himself. Damn near all the morons who'd ever tried to kill him were already dead. Plus, he couldn't deny the fact that the thrill of the hunt was far too exciting for him to let some other schmuck take all the glory for himself. The more he thought about it, the more appalled he was to the idea of letting someone else take the spotlight whilst he cowers in the background.

If there was one thing Maxwell was certain about, it was that his reputation as the top killer on the island meant that everyone he met either respected his dedication to the game, or were terrified to be in his very presence. And, when it really came down to it, that's exactly how he liked it.

OW! Damnit, this hurts...
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
(Julian Avery continued from The Dead Flag Blues)

All the time in the world since that last gunshot rang out, all the reasons in the world to want to think of something else, anything else, and yet only three words in his head.

He killed him.

That was a while ago, now. Three more words since then.

I did nothing.

And that was pretty much it.

You alright with that, Julian? You gonna move past it that fast? Let it slide? Like, hey, sometimes even the best of us can't save a single person when we've got guns and we' apparently don't mind using them and all we had to do was point it, scare the one guy off, scare the other guy straight, or just say something, say anything, say anything at all.

It's not your fault, Julian! Anyone else would've done the same as you. Anyone else would have been scared and useless and frozen until the smoke cleared and there was nothing left but a small girl you could talk tough to.

But you can't even do that anymore, can you? God knows you want to. Just tear into her about the stupid bullshit decisions she's talked you into. Ask her how many people are dead because of words she said (the answer is one), and about how many people ought to be dead that aren't (the answer is also one). Give her some of that fire and brimstone we all know and love you for.

You can't and you won't.

It's like this: she's a good person. Fuck, she's a better person than you could ever hope to be. She hasn't killed anyone yet, and she's never gonna, so you can hop down from that molehill of yours whenever you're done pretending it's a moral high ground.

And also she cried.

Which is where all the resolve melts away and all the fire and brimstone simmers down just a bit. You tried the pissed off righteous man act and all you did was make that poor girl cry. And so you wanted to give her a hug and tell her everything was gonna be alright, but somehow there was the suspicion that it wouldn't really go over that well.

If Julian was going to carve a path of bloody self-righteousness across this island, he was determined to do it without making any girls cry.

So after making a little camp, after giving nice and reasonable and soft-spoken instructions about proper water purification, Julian fucked off. Give himself some time to breathe, give himself some time to think about something other than how hard it was to resist the urge to yell at her so loud right now. Give her-- and this was the least he could do for her after the unkind words-- a moment or two alone with the boy she loved.

Oh, right, that part. Julian had figured that part out a while ago.

It hadn't seemed relevant until now.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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[ *  *  * ]
He wouldn't meet her eyes.

Not that she wanted to meet his either. She knew she was judging, killer, player, scared and scared and scared and scared. She knew there were things she wanted to keep hidden. She knew my heart is on my sleeve, I've never been very good at this. Not meeting his eyes, was better, yeah? Better.

Doesn't mean it didn't hurt like a bitch.

And he was groaning now, in pain, and she was touching him, tiny touches, pushing his muscles, pressure points, gentle, to ease the pain. The knife wound was not wide, but deep, and I really should have stitched that up before.

But she hadn't been thinking, then. Not that that was any excuse.

"Hold still." She said. "I'm going to need to stitch you up."

And he was silent, cold and tense when she unbuttoned his shirt, ragged and filthy. Below that, his chest was shivering; back scarred and beautiful tattoos and I've almost forgotten how to paint.

She had a clean t-shirt in her bag. Knotted it, gave it to him. "Bite down."

Don't move, and don't scream.

He closed his mouth, silently. The first-aid kit was admirably stocked; she knotted the thread and kept herself from cursing as she put the needle in his skin.

He hissed, as she stitched, but nothing else happened.

And as she finished, she shook her head. Not for him, but for her, because I can't stay here anymore. She needed to get away from this boy who wouldn't say anything to her, and I would have let him kill again, because he had art on his back and pale lips and knew the implications of what he was doing and somehow I find that irresistible, idiot girl.

But the spray can was almost out and her wax pencils were ruined, and she couldn't use a goddamn painting to find herself now.

So instead she left Raidon, hissing with pain, bent over. Touched his back, picked up an empty canteen, said lamely "I'll be back," and left him, bent over. Ran--no, hobbled--to the stream.

Raidon could defend himself now. From Julian, from everybody. He was awake, and he wasn't looking at her, and she needed to think.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. And the stream was cool, and she could scoop water into her mouth, imagine it tasted faintly of lime. Like a messy girl, a child, because really I couldn't feel like more of a baby right now.

Only then did she realize she still had the tweezers, the needle and thread in her hand.

And she could see a boy, a reflection in the water. She looked up, and he was no longer made of splashes and ripples, sitting on a tree stump. His arm was bloody, and he was stitching it up badly, hissing curses while he did it, and she winced as he put a needle into his skin because you're doing it wrong.

And yes, he was probably dangerous, because at this point on the island, nearly everyone was.

That said, he shouldn't have to sew up his arm like that.

So she stood up, slowly. Put up her hands, showing the needle and tweezers and thread. The boy saw her, but didn't startle.

"Hey. I'm Mizore Soryu. I'm not playing, etcetera etcetera, you can see I'm not holding any weapons, but you're really screwing up what you're doing to your arm. Want me to help?"

The boy was looking at her, more fascinated than startled. Well, that was nice. It meant he wouldn't shoot her in a panic.

"I'm going to come closer now, unless you tell me not to. Are you alright with that?"
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Raidon suspected he had a higher pain tolerance than most of his peers--he was under no illusions as to the relative normality of his upbringing--but for all his cruelty Hayashida had been careful not to cripple his victims (he'd be under investigation if his marks were too obvious). This knife wound was something new; it was a sharp violation, desecration of his body, exposing his innards to the outside. These were abstractions to the central point, however.

It really fucking hurt.

Soryu--gentle, soft fingers (and even now he couldn't help but think of those soft fingers on his back, on his lips, in his hair and no!) slowly peeled the shirt from his shuddering chest. "Hold still," she said softly. "I'm going to need to stitch you up."

She seemed as keen as he was not to meet eyes; she made no effort to catch his gaze. She simply pulled a clean T-shirt from her bag, knotted it, and placed it near his mouth. "Bite down," she ordered.

This time you're trying to help me, right? This time you're not digging you're hand into my wound because I can see the truth and you can't?

He bit down, closed his eyes, and vented the mounting scream in his throat through a long hiss, pulled through gritted teeth. The needle itself was less of a problem then the wound she was working on; every touch set it to throbbing again, the waves of pain reaching out from deep in his chest, tightening around his lungs and his heart, making him feel weak and cold. He hunched over as soon as she was done, still hissing, fighting against the deep, cold pain knotted inside of him. She said something he didn't here and then left. He lifted his head and looked about; Julian was crouched over by a tree, staring fixedly at the ground.

Raidon was now alone with Julian Avery. Alone with Julian Avery, and quite defenseless.

The thought came to him, but he hurt too much to be afraid; he hurt too much for anything but anger. He looked up at the other boy, his eyes narrowed. He had only the haziest memories of leaving the swamp, but aside from the gun which he'd lost he remembered the dull splashes of something like rocks clattering into the water.

He couldn't think of a reason Soryu would be dropping rocks into the water. Which left only one alternative.

Julian seemed to have realized Raidon was staring at him; his eyes left the ground and found Raidon. They stared at each for a short while before Raidon said, "He was going to attack us." His voice came out in a rasp, and he closed his mouth, taking another moment to clear his throat. "You saw how he went for that knife, Julian. He was going to attack us."
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Fiori
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[ *  *  *  * ]
As Maxwell continued to treat his arm to the best of his abilities, his thoughts drifted back to the subject matter of who on the island posed the greatest threat to him.

After all, whilst the competition must have been reduced to half its original number by now, that still didn't change the fact that there were many fellow players like him who were out there gunning for the number one spot. Sooner or later, once all the pacifists and cannon fodder had been dealt with, he was going to have to face hardened killers and borderline psychopaths. And whilst earlier in the game it would have made sense to let them go about their business removing the competition, such as when he decided NOT to kill a certain Clio Gabriella, eventually he was going to have to take on his fellow players one-on-one.

With this in mind, Maxwell thought to himself... Who WERE his biggest opposition?

Well, there was Reiko Ishida of course. She was still the second most prolific killer on the island, although recently she didn't seem to be particularly busy. Perhaps she suddenly realised how much of a twisted bitch she was and decided to throw in the towel, or maybe she finally reunited with that Chinese girlfriend of her's whose stopping her from playing the game.

Or maybe she just sucked at killing people, and she just so happened to be lucky so far.

Apart from Reiko, a few other names had been mentioned on more than a couple of occasions during the announcements, such as Raidon Naoko and Hayley Kelly. Sadly, Maxwell knew very little about either of them, but from the sound of things they weren't the kind of people to underestimate. If only he knew what they looked like... Oh well, not much I can do about that. Although, judging from Raidon's peculiar name, he's probably a foreigner of some description.

Another name which seemed to get mentioned a lot recently was Liam Brooks. A latecomer, from the sound of things, and a bloody determined one at that. Perhaps he was some loser who finally couldn't take the stress of the game and finally snapped when the pressure got to him, or maybe he'd been pussyfooting about for the first couple of days before finally deciding to man up and start playing. Either way, the fact remained that he was racking up an impressive bodycount at a fascinatingly fast rate. Best to keep an eye out for THAT one...

Then there was Nick Reid, that son of a bitch. A part of Maxwell was glad that he hadn't killed him all those many days ago, after the fool had nearly burnt him to a crisp with a misaimed Molotov cocktail. Still, thankfully it wasn't too late to repay the favour JUST yet, and sooner or later Maxwell was certain that he would get the chance to take care of some unfinished business.

There were probably many others he should worry about... The number of people who'd killed had grown to a ridiculous number since the last time he checked. People who had probably killed by accident, or regretted what they were doing the minute they realised the full extent of their actions. But there were also those who had just started their reigns of terror, and those who were deliberately looking out for outright players such as himself. Not to mention the numerous students out there with INTENTIONS of playing, but had decided to wait for the opportune moment to strike once the majority of their classmates where already dead. They would be the kind of people he would have to look out for in particular.

Argh! God DAMNIT, this stings! Am I even doing this right? Bloody FUCKING hell...

It didn't take a genius to figure out that Maxwell wasn't doing a particularly good job sewing up his arm. After all, the young Brit's knowledge and experience when it came to medical expertise was exceedingly limited, seeing as it wasn't a skill he ever thought would come in handy. Now that he realized how difficult it was, Maxwell made a mental note to learn some basic first-aid skills once he finally made it off this rock.

Christ almighty, i'm going to be here for bloody hours sewing this thing up. Guess I should be glad that I don't have to pry a bullet from my arm with a pair of pliers, but still......

.................Wait, who the hell is THAT?


He only glimpsed her out of the corner of his eye, but that was all Maxwell needed to realize that he was no longer alone. Standing there, looking right at him, was the most peculiar looking Asian girl he'd ever laid eyes upon.

However, rather then immediately grabbing his gun and opening fire on the intruder, Maxwell couldn't help but just sit there staring right back at her. There was something about this girl that perplexed. Heck, there was something about the entire situation he'd suddenly found himself that just wasn't quite right, and yet he couldn't quite figure out what...

...It was only when she introduced herself and offered to patch up his arm that he finally realized what it was.

She didn't recognize him.

Any sane person who knew who he was would have gunned him down on the spot, or at the very least run screaming for the hills. Maxwell was so used to everyone he met already being aware of who he was that he didn't think that there would be anyone like him who wasn't familiar with the majority of their classmates. Then again, maybe she was just being particularly saintly (read: imbecilic) and decided that it was a good idea to help out your fellow man, even if said man was the most prolific killer on the island.

Either way, this left Maxwell in an interesting position... Here he has a girl who, for whatever reason, was perfectly fine to stitch up his arm despite the fact that he could potentially be a dangerous killer. On the one hand, he could act all aggressive and try to pry some information from her by force like he'd attempted to do with Whatshername... OR, he could do the smart thing and take advantage of the poor naive oriental girl and get his arm stitched up by someone who actually knew what they were doing.

In the end, he decided to go along the latter.

"Y-Yes, sure, go right ahead..." he replied to her offer, putting on the best faux American accent he could manage. Which, as it happened, was pretty damn good. After all, whilst she didn't immediately recognise who he was, if he revealed his English heritage to her it might give the entire game away. Assuming, of course, that she didn't realise who he was. In which case he would simply claim that he was worried that she might of misunderstood him if she knew of his reputation.

In a worse case scenario, he could always just kill her and get it over and done with. No need to rush, though...

"Its, um, Jonathan by the way. Jonathan Blake."
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Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
((GMing approved))

You're talking, Raidon. You're talking and Julian isn't particularly inclined to hearing you talk right now, mainly because when you open your mouth you are just dumb as shit.

What happened, man? What the hell happened to that badass bravado back between the fallen trees? Where's that guy, who stood tall and talked shit and sparred with Julian like some beautiful dark warrior poet? Where the fuck was the man who set off Julian's epic journey of justice and vengeance, that methodical assassin with the check marks beside his name going up, up, up? Hey you, scrawny asshole with the knife wound, help Julian look for his goddamn nemesis.

“Yeah, no, I gotcha. Roland was just being scary as fuck, all packin' a knife and plenty of distance away when there's two of us with guns. Shit, it was all I could do not to freeze up with terror.” But Julian, that's exactly what you did, you totally did that, did you forget that you “Don't gimme that bullshit, man.”

Not a villain giving his manifesto, not an unrepentant criminal spitting in the face of justice.

A small child. One who'd fucked something up at school and was trying to explain it to his papa.

“You know, Raidon, I don't think I've ever met anyone who's as goddamn scared of everything as you are.”

And all of a sudden a fist flying at Raidon's face, dangerous, brutal, about to hit home but- oh!- in the most clever of feints, stopping an inch or two before it met its target. And Raidon, still there, unmoving, looking pissed off at the world and at one of its citizens in particular. Unmoving, huh. Unflinching. That was honestly unexpected.

And so Julian shrugged.

It was just bullheadedness is what it was. The pathetic instinct to cling to a flattering self-perception. No, no, Raidon wasn't a coward, honest, just look at him stay steady while Julian was faking a punch on him. If he did that enough times, maybe he'd convince Julian that he had a reason behind any of his actions on this island besides pathetic selfish terror.

Maybe he'd convince himself.

“Damn. Aight, maybe you got some courage in there after all. Too bad it's the most useless kind.” And here he tousled Raidon's pretty, pretty head of hair a little. “I'm real disappointed in you, son.”

A few steps back now, but not enough silence to let Raidon get a word in edgewise. There were still words to say.

“You know why you're still alive? It's Mizore. After you passed out I was about to put a bullet in your head, but she stopped me. And she didn't even have to jump in front of any bullets. All it took was me remembering what she asked me not to do.”

“Funny how it is, right? All your kills on this island, they ain't done shit to make you safer. Ain't done shit to keep you alive. Little pacifist girl, though, shit. She's done a damn good job.”

“You say one word to me before you thought this all over very carefully, and I will beat the shit out of you.”
Edited by Jonny, Apr 18 2011, 03:01 AM.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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He sounded nervous as all get-out, which made sense, considering that Mizore had appeared out of nowhere brandishing tweezers and thread like a maniac. But he let her come closer. She knelt next to his arm to examine the roiled thread, and he obediently lowered his shoulder.

"I'm going to need to take this stitching out." She said.

He nodded, and clenched his teeth. And she had no blade, so she used the tweezers to pick apart the knots, pull out the thread, until there was nothing left but a bloody tangle of polymer fibers.

He hissed in pain, but didn't scream. The wound re-opened, and Mizore held up her hand in the "one second" gesture. Ran to the stream. Turns out, trying to tear off a bit of your shirt-sleeve is hard. She pulled a thick ribbon out of her hair instead. Soaked it in the stream. Went back to the boy, Jonathan Blake, who was holding his arm and shaking, a little bit. Sorry, sorry! Turns out pain can fuck you up.

She pressed the cloth against his arm.

"Thank you." He said.

And when he stopped shaking, and stopped clutching his shoulder, she started stitching again. Before she put the needle in, she told him to bite down on the cloth. She couldn't give him anesthetic, but on hellmurder island, screaming was a deeply stupid idea.

He bit down. She stitched. He breathed in and out, slowly, and didn't scream.

Talk. Talk, distract him, talk.

"I'm Mizore Soryu." She said. "I think I already said that. I'm an artist, I've been drawing stuff around here and will probably keep doing that until I die, although right now I've almost run out of spray paint, which is a problem. Back in the real world, I had a tag, Radio Asuka. It got me into college, which is pretty cool, or was, at the time. You likely don't care about any of this, but I'm talking to keep you distracted."

Maybe he'd know who Radio Asuka was. That would be cool. Between the player killer and the serial killer, she could really use a goddamn fanboy right now.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Under ordinary circumstances (and there was a thought, ordinary circumstances--what was ordinary about these circumstances, being trapped on this island, these goddamn collars, the goddamn killing?), Julian's fist would have startled Raidon into action; it would have forced him to his feet, forced him to Julian's throat, even knowing the other boy was stronger than him and Raidon was unarmed. But he was too hurt and tired and angry and aching to feel that much fear anymore; when the fist came forwards, Raidon just stared, eyes narrowed, teeth gritted.

And then, without hitting him, Julian lifted his hand and tousled Raidon's hair. "I'm real disappointed in you, son," he said.

Nothing snapped in Raidon, no barrier broke. He didn't lose control. But there swelled in him a mix of ice and fury, a sledgehammer transformed into a surgeon's scalpel. He stared at Julian, his eyes cooling, and reached for the wound in his shoulder.

“You say one word to me before you thought this all over very carefully, and I will beat the shit out of-"

"Shut your fucking mouth," Raidon growled. He braced his back against the tree he was leaning on and forced himself to his feet. He had one hand over his wound to steady it, not that it helped much--his voice trailed off into a low, extended grunt of pain. He spent two seconds panting, gathering his breath, his strength, his thoughts. "Don't project your guilt onto me, you miserable little cowardly fuck," he spat. Julian made a move towards him; without thinking Raidon's fingers darted to his bag. Julian was inches away when Raidon withdrew the knife.

"Come on," he said softly. "Please."

Julian didn't move, though there was more anger than fear in his eyes. They stared at each other for several long seconds.

"Scott McGregor didn't deserve it," Raidon said softly. "Alie Walworth didn't deserve it. Their deaths were the results of my fear, my stupidity, and my lack of control. I will have to live with that, if I live through this. But the others..."

Here was Julian, who'd killed a man himself. Here was Julian.

"I told you about Victoria Logan," he said, waving his fingers. "I hurt someone she cared about; she had every right to attack me. And then she found me. And then she shot at me. Am I getting through to you, Julian?!" He took a step forwards, so that the very tip of the knife reached up to Julian's throat. "I told you when you found us--everyone on this island is desperate, myself included, and I intend to survive. Defending yourself? Fine. Drawing your weapon? Fine. Those are signs of sanity. But we do not have the time or the luxury to be merciful or to pull our punches when someone comes after us." His eyes flashed. "I am not going to be diplomatic, I am not going to expose myself to danger anymore than I have to. Anyone who comes after me doesn't get to walk away."

He glared at Julian for another moment, then flipped the knife so that he was holding the blade and the handle was to Julian. "You think I'm such a coward?" Raidon asked softly. "You think Soryu's pacifism makes her invincible? I shot Jacob Charles while he was charging her, Julian. And if Roland was such a negligible threat, why did you come after me? Why didn't you just let me go to my death?"

He jabbed Julian's chest with the handle (it wasn't very effective, of course; his grip on the blade was precarious, and he was being very careful not to injure himself further). "Take it, if I'm such a demon," Raidon said softly. "Come at me. But rest assured, as soon as you do, I'll be doing everything in my power to kill you."
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
So cute when you're angry.

And so, so, so close to having a point. Well, fuck it. No reason to argue in circles like this. If the two of them wanted, they could keep this pissing contest up all day and all night. Back and forth about which killer here was worse, which one was the bigger coward. Both of them being macho assholes and insisting the other guy was the real demon here. Both of them knowing deep down that they were just as goddamn bad as the other guy.

Well at least Julian hoped Raidon knew.

Come on. He has to know. Guy like that, smart guy- yes, Julian was barely finished thinking to himself about how Raidon was just dumb as shit, but he was probably pretty smart when you looked at it objectively- he has to know how pathetic he is.

Otherwise Julian's pretty pissed off here. He kills one guy, one unrepentant fucking killer, and his stupid bullshit conscience has to spend the next few days making him angst about it. If someone like Raidon can get away with killing, what, six people now? And still cling to some pathetic idea that he's justified in any of it. That starts to piss Julian the fuck off.

You don't get to let yourself off easier than Julian, asshole. You don't get to- fuck it, Julian knows exactly how immature this is about to sound, but it's not fucking fair if you let yourself off easier than him. So yeah. Maybe it's pointless. Maybe it's just one big circle jerk. But until Julian knows for sure that Raidon has thought long and hard about what he did, he's gonna keep giving the guy a bit of a hard time. That fucking simple.

And so:

“Damn, son, you got a temper on you.”

Here was an offer from Raidon to end all this shit. Knife handle pointing towards you, nothing standing between you and a kill except a pathetic tiny little promise to fight back. Yeah, sport, sure gonna quake in terror here when you're giving me your only weapon. And when you're already hurt. And when you're some scrawny little chess club fucker who doesn't look like he's taken a punch in his life.

So what was a guy to do besides take the knife?

“I ain't gonna come at you, man. I know you're used to solving all your problems with violence and this has gotta be a tough transition for you, but you got a long way to go before you rile me up enough that I try and kill you.”

Oh, Julian, you incredibly petty asshole. Never change.

“And, uh, before I forget.” Twirled the knife around a little bit. Slowly, though, making sure he wasn't gonna cut himself and look like a total fuckup. “I didn't come after you. I was looking for Mizore, making sure she was alright. Not always about you, man, know what I'm saying? Might wanna try and keep that massive ego of yours in check. Just try, it's the effort that counts.”

And he threw the knife into the ground, not quite well enough that it landed blade-first or anything. Oh well, it was still far enough away from Raidon that he'd have to hobble over painfully to fetch it. Awesome.

“You can go pick it up if it's important to you.”
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Fiori
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The Fiorious One
[ *  *  *  * ]
As he bit down on the cloth Mizore had given him, Maxwell began to wonder whether or not letting this strange girl stitch his arm up really was worth the intense pain he found himself experiencing.

Of course, deep down, he knew fine well that the answer was yes. And that this girl's act of kindness towards him was a godsend considering his reputation on the island. But that didn't change the fact that he was under a tremendous amount of pain at that particular point in time, and that it was taking him a lot of willpower not to react violently to his temporary companion's attempts at treating his injury.

DAMNIT, this stings! This bloody nip better know what she's doing...

The fact that Mizore had began to drone on about her lifestory didn't help matters. In all honesty, whilst it was nice to be able to have a friendly conversation with someone for once, the young Brit couldn't help but find this girl to be UNBELIEVABLY boring. He couldn't have cared less whether or not she was an artist, or that she apparently had a tag back in the 'real' world by the name of Radio Asuke. Her only saving grace as far as he was concerned was the fact that she was somewhat cute... Well, kind of cute anyway.

Still, if he was to continue this facade of being some polite American suck-up by the name of Jonathan Blake, it would mean pretending as if he didn't find everything this girl had to say to be tedious drivel.

"Oh no, not at all. As far as i'm concerned, any kind of conversation beats having to dodge bullets, especially seeing as the last girl I met tried to blow my head off..." he replied, removing the cloth with his free hand. "Damn psychopath nicked my arm... God, if only I knew what her name was. All I remember was that she had blue highlights in her hair, and ran around with her shirt off for some reason. Apart from that, I can barely remember a thing about her..."

Of course, a part of him suspected that Mizore wouldn't know who the girl he was referring to was either. Still, there was always the small possibility that she'd recognize the vague description and mention a name, and it didn't hurt to try to use this opportunity to figure out more information about his chosen targets.

"Radio Asuka you say? Can't say I've ever heard of it... Still, you seem to be doing a much better job at surviving then I am. If you hadn't of shown up, I'd probably of messed this up and - AH! - gotten an infection or something..."

He winced again as Mizore continued to sew his arm up, telling himself over and over again in his head that this would all be worth it in the end once she'd finally finished her work. What happens afterwords, however, was something he'd yet to consider. So many options to choose from...

"So, you've be drawing stuff all around the island? What kind of stuff, dare I ask?"
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storyspoiler
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[ *  *  * ]
Oh no.

She was stitching up this stupid boy and--ugh, it was the kind of thing she'd been tricking herself, the entire island, telling herself she didn't have to worry about, and now it came up, here of all places, when she was already halfway through this boy's arm--

Mizore had seen it back in Saint Paul. The short-term boyfriend who'd called her sister a "nip". The old mayor's aide who'd refused to be treated by her father. The sneering parents at school who'd called her five-year-old drawings "Jap finger paint". Whoever this Jonathan Blake was, he was racist--not the loud, obnoxious kind, thank goodness, or she might have yanked the needle out of his arm right then, but the kind who flinched away from her touch a little too much (yes, even though I'm sewing his arm up) and made slimy fake conversation full of fake expressions like "I dare say", which really was something that no one except Brits and people pretending to be Brits said ever.

So now she had to make polite conversation with someone who was clearly like "yug, a Jap" in his head, which was annoying, but maybe he was redeemable, he probably just had crappy parents or something, and it's not like I'm going to start being uncivil on the island now, when I've gotten this far without being shot.

"I've been painting…pictures." She said, lamely. It was hard for her to talk now that she was this far in the stitching; even irregardless of the fact that this guy was a random racist, she needed to concentrate. "Place is--a memorial. Not going to--kill people. Not going to wander around doing nothing like a wanker either. So I--paint. After a few more days, nothing of us is going to--be here. But something will."

There. That seemed like a good enough explanation that had the added benefit of being true. Take that, racist Jonathan Blake.

Except being racist was kind of a worry, not even just an irritant, because perhaps Raidon and perhaps Julian would come looking for her, and one was a Jap and one was black and both were killers and that could be a problem. And Jonathan Blake had a gun too, she could see it when she twisted her head to see the upper part of the tear across his arm. It was where he could reach it, once his arm was no longer in pieces. So that was troubling.

Troubling.

She'd resorted to violence before. And Jonathan Blake already seemed to be in enough pain not to notice.

Be careful.

She pushed the needle in, a little harder, a little faster than necessary, just to make Jonathan go "Ah!" like he did, close his eyes. A moment's butterfly eye-flutter was all she needed. The gun was by her foot; she could put her fingers around it without looking. Best not to be looking while she did this. Best not to give him any clue.

She would have flung it into the forest, if she had time. If she could risk making any noise. Instead, she pocketed it, making sure it didn't clatter against Julian's pistol. Two guns in my sweatshirt pocket.

She would have to throw them away when she got the chance.

A mutter, a murmur, as Blake opened his eyes. "Sorry about that."

He nodded. Seemed to understand. There were tears in his eyes, and Mizore didn't feel satisfaction.

Instead, she finished sewing up his arm.

Done.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The knife hit the ground. Raidon, in spite of himself, relaxed: he'd been waiting for Julian to take him up on his offer, to come at him.

Was it what Raidon would have done, had their positions been reversed?

I wouldn't have stabbed him. But I'd have kept the knife.

"If I solved all my problems with violence, Julian," Raidon said tiredly, returning his eyes to Julian's face. "You'd be long dead by now." He made no move towards his fallen weapon: he was contemplating the other boy. The anger that had risen in him had gone flat: he didn't feel like breaking this boy with his rhetoric, he didn't feel like convincing him of anything. What the hell would be the god damn point?

Neither the time nor the luxury to be diplomatic.

He exhaled and lifted his right hand to his head, breaking his attempt at machismo as he massaged his temples. "What do you want from me, Julian?" he asked. "My guilt? My fear? Do you want me to be a coward?" He shrugged. "Fine, I'm a coward. I came here and I abandoned my friend and my ideals, and the only thing I have left is the vague notion of vengeance." He grimaced. "God knows I'm not better than her: I'm not even better than you." He shook his head. "I told you this two days ago, didn't I? I told you..."

All the energy went out of him, then--all interest in Julian Avery. "Survival's all that's left," he grunted, sitting down next to the tree once more and closing his eyes. "This is...this is just pointless."

This argument, devoid of meaning. His arm hurt, his finger hurt, his body hurt: he was tired, hungry, thirsty. He was losing Soryu, slowly but surely: he was travelling in the company of a man he simply couldn't trust. There was something safe, certain, or reliable here.

He'd made it so far on his brutality and on the weight of his certainty. Nothing had changed, except that the certainty had weighed on him--Soryu and Julian disagreed, and now...

On this island, everything is loss.
Want to buy my book? See my short stories? Read my fanfiction? Visit my website!

V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Fiori
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The Fiorious One
[ *  *  *  * ]
Maxwell continued to nod along to what Mizore had to say, still pretending that he didn't it all to be pointless drivel.

After all, in Maxwell's opinion, the idea of making random pictures all over the island sounded like a complete waste of time. Nobody was ever going to see them, after all, with the exception of a handful of students who'll be dead within a few days anyway. Unless someone managed to find the island after the game was over, all Mizore was achieving was making the island look a little prettier.

The fact that she didn't sound particularly confident about her own survival didn't help. Seeing as preserving his own life was Maxwell's No1 priority, the idea of accepting death with open arms was practically alien to him. Hence the reason why he never found the idea of sacrificing your own life to be as noble or courageous as many people seemed to think it was. If a person didn't care enough about their own life to waste it in such a senseless manor, then why did they bother living in the first place? Frankly, as far as Maxwell was concerned, such people didn't deserve the praise that so many people seemed to give them.

Of course, he didn't outwardly show his disapproval of Mizore's actions. If anything, in a way, he was quite glad that she was a definite non-player with no real hope of survival. That meant that as long as he kept this facade up, he wouldn't have to worry about her deciding to stab him in the back at some inopportune moment. Whilst he'd originally planned on simply killing her the moment she'd finished stitching his arm up, he was beginning to quite like the idea of sticking around with this girl for a little longer. He could use a meatshield bit of company after having to deal with the competion entirely by himself for the past week or so.

Naturally, he still fully intended on killing her the moment she proved to be of no use to him... Or the moment she finally grew a braincell or two and realised that he was that Maxwell Lombardi fellow who kept on getting mentioned during the announcements. Whichever came first.

Until then, he continued acting as if he was some naive yank instead of the dashing Englishman he really was (Although it had become somewhat evident that he'd accidentally let his accent slip one or two times already... Thankfully, though, Mizore didn't seem to take any notice.)

"I see... Geez, I wish I'd thought of doing something like that. All i've done so far is hide and avoid getting shot at, which until recently has proven to be a fairly good strategy. Fucking dangerzones... Still, I guess it must of been quite risky for you to do all those paintings whilst trying to avoid all the psychop-AH!"

Now THAT hurt. Probably a lot more then the others if Maxwell had actually been concentrating. It was so painful, in fact, that he barely even noticed that Mizore had taken the opportunity to tuck his pistol into her sweatshirt pocket. Which was quite lucky for Mizore, seeing as if Maxwell HAD noticed this he wouldn't have wasted any time in killing Mizore right there on the spot. Thankfully though, the young Brit was far too distracted by the pain to focus on his gun, and by the time he opened his eyes again Mizore had already sucessfully hidden it.

"Sorry about that." she said before continuing to work on his arm.

I should bloody well hope so...

Despite being thoroughly irritated by the painful jab, Maxwell stayed silent as Mizore finished her work, not even showing so much as a scowl as she made the last couple of threads. Once she'd finished, the ambitious young killer took the chance to look over his fixed arm, wincing when he realised just how obvious the injury looked. There was no way he would be able to fully recover from this. It was a scar, just like the one on his left cheek and the one just below his right ear. Yet another constant reminder as to what happens whenever he lets himself get carried away.

After flexing his arm a couple of times to test it out, Maxwell slowly got up and put his black shirt back on, making sure to place his red tie in his pocket without Mizore noticing. He wasn't sure why, but somehow he got the feeling that putting it on right now wouldn't be a good idea. The last thing he needed was to provide even more clues as to his actual identity.

Once Maxwell had put the shirt back on, he turned his attention back to the short asian girl who'd stitched his arm back and decided that a proper thank you was in order. After all, despite the fact that this girl happened to bore him senseless, the fact still remained that acting like an ungrateful bastard wouldn't of been the gentlemanly thing to do. Besides, in all honesty, a small part of him WAS genuinely thankful that she was there to help him out. Plus, it wasn't every day that he came across someone whose first instinct wasn't to point a gun in his face for once. Even someone like Maxwell wasn't cold-hearted enough to not appreciate selfless help when it was given...

...Especially seeing as he could now take full advantage of the girl's naivety to suit his own ends.

"I.... I know I must have already said this a hundred times by now, but... Thank you. You have no idea how grateful I am to see a friendly face right now. To tell the truth, you're probably the first person i've met on this island who hasn't immediately tried to gun me down on the spot. I guess that either makes me one of the luckiest guys alive or one of THE most unluckiest in existance, depending on which way you look at it..."

He paused for a moment, taking the opportunity to look over his arm again before he resumed speaking.

"Still, like I said, thanks again for stitching my arm up, can't imagine how I'd of been able to do it without your help... I just wish there was some way I could repay the offer."

Well.... One thing does immediatly leap to mind, but that would probably be taking this one step a LITTLE too far.
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Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
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