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Riddles Of Monsters
Topic Started: Apr 3 2011, 02:25 AM (3,640 Views)
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.
[ *  *  * ]
You can keep going long as you like, pal. You can huff and you can puff and you can go ahead and blow me. You can marshall all your words, but they will come tumbling down every time. Because your name is in Julian's notebook and there are six little checkmarks near it. Six.

Six good reasons to never listen to a word you have to say.

Oh, that is of course with the exception of four particular words and whoa, hey, look at this, they were tumbling out of Raidon's mouth in the right order and everything. Fine, I'm a coward. Aww, it was like Christmas up in this bitch. Clumsily gift-wrapped in some more meaningless self-justifying bullshit, but Julian couldn't really fault the guy for that.

We all gotta hold on to whatever scrap of pride we can, so if you want to start talking about vengeance, then you can put that word on a big huge banner when you host your pity party. And you can invite every other person on this island who lost a friend and used it as an excuse to throw a hissy fit with their Glock.

But for now? You told Julian exactly what he wanted to hear. So you guys are cool.

“Aight, we cool. No use going in circles like this, yeah? Just don't kill another man.” Please, Raidon. If there's anything that Julian says that you don't immediately dismiss as a petty taunt or a piece of smug posturing, let it be that.

And the one boy extended a hand to the other. To get the other boy back on his feet, lend him a bit of support. If you were far away, and you couldn't make out the looks on their faces, you could almost mistake them for friends.

“Come on, man. How about we go check on Mizore? She's gotta be ten times the company I could ever be.”

Oh, Julian and Raidon. That wacky pair, with their wacky misadventures and their threats of violence. And with someone else's blood still plain to see on Raidon. And with a pair of someone elses lying dead while Julian did nothing. Oh, Julian and Raidon. They'd been through so much together on this island, hadn't they.

And if you were far away, you could almost mistake them for enemies.
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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[ *  *  * ]
Jonathan Blake, Jonathan Blake--what to do with Jonathan Blake?

"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 existence, depending on which way you look at it..."

He looked at his arm, consideringly.

"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, that one was easy.

"You need to leave." Mizore said. She pocketed the thread, the needles, the scissors easily. "You need to stay away from the rest of my party. I'm traveling with some dangerous people, and you'll probably--you'll probably be shot again."

To say that, she felt like a vassal, a strange fairy. Something larger than herself. It was odd. The sort of feeling that made her want to paint again, get out the last of her spray-paint and cover the trees.

And he stood, achingly, and Mizore's heart leapt to her throat. Because she still had his gun, like she still had Raidon's and she still had Julian's, and like Raidon's and Julian's, she wasn't giving it back. And this man--this man was going to check for his gun, and he might panic. Become violent. Like you do, on hellmurder island, you know, when some unknown chick has just stolen your gun which for some reason you thought was a form of defense.

Oh crap.

How well can I lie?
--------


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
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Just don't kill another man."

Raidon couldn't help but roll his eyes. "How-" he started, under his breath, but then that same weariness stole over him and he shook his head. Julian said something and offered him a hand: Raidon examined it distastefully. "Right," he grunted. "Soryu." He started to get to his feet--quite ignoring Julian's outstretched offer of help--and then immediately sunk back to his haunches, his head swimming as low, throbbing pulses of hot pain worked their way out from his shoulder.

"Y-you should go," he managed, through gritted teeth (he felt weak--he was quite sure his face was pale). "She..." He swallowed. "She probably doesn't want to me now, anyways."

He leaned his head back against the tree and closed his eyes, trying to control his breathing.

And I'm not entirely sure I want to see her.
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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[ *  *  *  * ]
Well, this was disappointing.

As it turned out, little miss meatshield already had a couple of dangerous friends herself, and that there was a good chance that he could end up with another firefight on his hands if he didn't leave as soon as possible.

Pity. He was beginning to get used to the idea of having her around as well.

"Oh... I see....." He said, a crestfallen look on his face as he turned towards his belongings. "Well, I guess there's no point in trying to convince you to let me tag along anyway. Just hold on a second, I think I've got something in my bag which you could probably put to better use then I ever could..."

That was a lie, of course. He had absolutely no intention of giving Mizore anything that could actually help her. However, that didn't mean he wasn't planning on giving her anything at all... On the contrary, Maxwell fully intended to thank Mizore for all her selflessness with a quick and painless bullet between the eyes. There wasn't much point in letting her go unharmed, after all, seeing as doing so at this stage in the game would be rather counter-productive. But at the very least blessing her with a relatively painless demise was the least he could do to thank her for her generosity.

He didn't immediately go for the gun, however, instead opting towards grabbing his bag and rummaging through its contents to buy time. After all, where was the rush? He still had one or two questions to ask before removing her from the face of the isle...

"By the way, um. Theres this girl i'm looking for by the name of Tabitha Gweneth. I don't suppose you've seen her around by any chan....."

...Wait.

Where the hell is my gun?

WHERE the HELL is my fucking GUN?!?


He eyes darted all around the log, all around the possible places where it could have fallen. Nothing. He tried looking in his bag for it. Still nothing. He even tried looking UNDERNEATH the bag. Still fucking nothing. Where on earth had it gone? He was absolutely certain that he left the bloody thing lying down beside him, and now... It had completely vanished. Completely fucking disappeared! But... HOW? It was RIGHT HERE! Its not as if it could just suddenly sprout legs and walk off!

Unless...


Then it clicked.

...Oh, you sneaky bitch.

He slowly turned his head towards Mizore, a hateful scowl on his face. "Clever girl... For a moment there, you almost had me fooled."

Without wasting so much as a second, Maxwell dashed from where he was standing and slammed Mizore against the nearest tree, his hand clutching her neck as he pinned her against its trunk with all his strength. Meanwhile, his free hand grabbed her by the wrist and twisted it, making sure she couldn't draw his gun with her free hand as her other tried desperately to pry his fingers from her neck. However, Maxwell was much stronger than she was, and no matter how desperately she struggled he refused to yield as he continued to relentlessly scold her.

"I should have guessed that there was some kind of ulterior motive to all of this, nobody in their right mind would be so selfless at this stage in the game... You're just a thief, aren't you? A little con artist who's only real intention is to steal other people's things whilst acting all friendly and sincere. I'll admit, it was quite a devious ruse you nearly pulled off. What better way to get close to someone than to offer to treat a grievous injury? Then, once their attention is elsewhere, snatch their weapon and make up some bullshit about having dangerous friends in order to scare the victim off before he realises that he's been duped. I bet you came up with that entire story completely on the spot, didn't you?"

Admittedly, he was probably jumping to conclusions, seeing as there were probably hundreds of reasons why she'd decided to steal his gun. Not that it really mattered to him at this point, he was far too enraged with the fact that he'd nearly been robbed by to give a damn about the reasons why. As far as he cared, the fact that Mizore had the gall to steal from him in the first place was enough to earn her a significantly less painless death sentence to the one he'd originally planned on blessing her with.

"And here I was, thinking that I'd finally finally met someone with a conscience. But you're no better than everyone else on this godforsaken rock, are you? That's the way this game seems to work... You either look out for yourself, or die a martyr. And personally, I've got no intention of dying anytime soon, so that kind of narrows my options, doesn't it?"

Little did Maxwell know, however, was that what Mizore said about having dangerous friends was far from a bluff. A fact that Maxwell would soon learn the hard way.....
V5 Characters

Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
Ruby Forrester - Shopping Mall
Jenna Rhodes - Hotel

Deceased V4 Characters
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See, there had always been something wrong with this picture.

She didn't know many people at Bayview, but Jonathan Blake was not a name she had ever heard. And he talked oddly--she had put it down to racism, and then incredible stress, but it wasn't that at all. He was British, and he hadn't managed to cut the British-isms from his speech; not now, not on the spot, not when she had found him in the woods.

So now he was the person she absolutely didn't want him to be, the person she had prevented herself from recognizing he was. Maxwell Lombardi. The king of the killers. More dangerous, even, than Naoko Raidon.

The last person she had wanted to find.

See, now there were choices. One was to escape, somehow, and pretend she'd never found him. Currently, that would probably involve getting out the gun and shooting him in the leg--which would likely be a death sentence for him. She wasn't sure she was entirely comfortable with that. And that assumed that trying to get the gun out didn't result in her getting any more injuries (that Raidon or Julian might ask about), or worse yet, her accidentally shooting him someplace very fatal. The idea of randomly killing someone, even the King of Killers, by mistake, disgusted her.

Also, his hand was on her neck, and this was uncomfortable, and she wanted to use her free hand to try and get him off.

The other choice was to scream, and deal with Raidon and Julian when they got here. After all, of the four people who might soon engage in an altercation, she was the only one with anything more lethal than a flashbang.

Being a pacifist on this island was interesting. And to think, in the beginning, she had just wanted to draw pictures.

Trying to draw her gun now was too risky. And besides, this guy was annoying, and jumping to conclusions that weren't even true, and if she was going to be sympathetic to killers, she at least was going to favor the ones, like Julian and Raidon, who thought things through.

So she had absolutely no regrets about opening her mouth, and screaming, as loud as she could, in his face.
--------


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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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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.
[ *  *  * ]
Not so loud, Mizore, you'll scare somebody.

A hop and a step and Julian was there. Or hell, maybe he'd been there all along watching the two of them talk, standing back like the smug asshole he was. Aww, who can ever tell with these kinds of things? He probably just ran up at a lucky moment that let it be extra-special-dramatic when he said,

“Don't. If you're thinking of trying some I-got-a-hostage bullshit, just don't. You got nothing to threaten her with, and even if you did, I'd rather you both die than let your ass get away.”

Mizore. I'm bluffing. Can you hear me? Can you- you can tell, right? You know that. Mizore, I'm not gonna let him hurt you. I don't even- I don't know how right now, but just relax, just don't worry and relax because I won't let him hurt you. You know that. You know I'm bluffing. You have to know that.

“Here's how it's gonna go down. You gonna start running,” point over into the distance with your sword, so you can both suggest a potential running route and remind him that you got a sword, “cause that gives you a few more seconds before I start cutting you open. That's your best case scenario.”

Aww, did it go this well in your head, Julian? Did your grand plan for catching up to Max include talking like the lead in a mediocre action movie? Did it feature that really clever part where the kindhearted pacifist girl starts getting choked and then you tell her you're fine with her dying?

Or was that just improv?

Or was that just the kind of shit you defaulted to when your back was against the wall?

It was, it was, it was. It was, but it wasn't supposed to be, it wasn't supposed to be this way- there was supposed to be a gun. Where the fuck was the gun? Mizore had it, Mizore would never fire it, Mizore could never give it to him now without risking Max getting his hands on it, Mizore- fuck. Her fault?

Yeah, a little.

But only a little, don't go pinning this shit on her. Ain't hardly nothing more pathetic than playing the blame game when Max fucking Lombardi is in your crosshairs. Metaphorical crosshairs, fuck. Real crosshairs would be way nicer to have right now. Hear that, Mizore? They'd be real nice but for some reason Julian doesn't have any.

Yeah, maybe more than a little.

But it doesn't work that way and you know it. You get pissed off at her... after you save her. Not until then. Never until then. Not a word spoken unkind, not a stray thought of anger. You let that shit happen to you and next thing you know Max used his magic British kung fu shit to take your sword and run you through with it. Thou shalt not get angry at Mizore Soryu, for it is a completely fucked strategy once thou performest the risk-reward analysis.

So now you narrow your eyes and say,

“Start running.”
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
[ *  *  *  * ]
In hindsight, Maxwell probably should have expected Mizore to react by screaming right into his face.

He knew that she wasn't just going to stand there and accept the accusations he was throwing a her. However, he partly assumed that she was going to react by begging for her life, or maybe even trying to come up with some half-baked excuse for why she had the audacity to steal what was rightfully his. Hell, he had even anticipated the possibility of her going for her gun with her free hand, although he was quite confident that he'd easily be able to break her wrist first if she dared to try anything like that.

But when Mizore began to screech like a banshee right into his face, the young Brit was briefly taken off guard by the sheer suddenness of it. Jesus, I didn't even think it was humanely possibly to scream at such a high pitch!

However, it only took a couple of seconds for him to recover from the initial shock, after which he didn't waste any time in slapping her across the face as hard as he possibly could. "SHUT UP! Don't try that bullshit on me, its not going to work!".

That silenced her. There was now a big red mark on the left side of her cheek were his hand had made contact with his face, and her terrified eyes were now firmly focused on his.

"Now then, where was I... Ah yes, now if you don't mind, I'll be taking my gun back now......." he said menacingly, his hand reaching out for the inside of Mizore's coat. For a brief second, Maxwell considered the idea of taking his frustration out on Mizore in a manner similar to what he had planned with Sarah Atwell before he'd been so rudely interrupted. However, that thought never went beyond its initial stages, because the moment Maxwell began to reach his arm out he suddenly stopped as some unseen figure began to threaten him. What the?!? Well, I guess she was telling the truth about her dangerous friends after all...

He turned his head towards the newcomer, and irritated scowl on his face. Unsurprisingly, he didn't recognise the boy who stood before him. He seemed quite tall, and his ethnicity was up for debate, but apart from that there wasn't anything particularly special about him. That being said, the sword that he was pointing at Maxwell caused him to raise his eyebrow in curiosity.

If there was one thing Maxwell loved more in the world than good literature and classical music, it would have to be his keen interest in swords and fencing. He could recognise the make of this boy's sword just by looking at it. A Chinese jian, unless he was mistaken. A very impressive weapon by all accounts, and whilst Maxwell personally preferred something more along the lines of a rapier or an estoc, he couldn't deny the appeal of a weapon so masterfully crafted as the one in this other boy's hands.

So naturally, Maxwell had virtually no intention of running off like some kind of coward. No, that kind of action was beneath him, especially seeing as he could easily take this bastard out without him even realising what had happened to him. However, that didn't change the fact that he still stuck in a fairly sticky situation. He could try to grab his gun from Mizore's pocket, but something told him that doing so would leave him wide open to attack. Then again, if he was quick... No, it was far too risky. A much better idea would be to figure out some way of distracting him so he could make his attack whilst his guard was down.

It didn't take long for Maxwell to figure out a way to do so, a confident smirk on his lips. "Well, if you wanted her THAT badly, then here..." he said, grabbing by her shoulder and shoving her in the boy's direction. "...TAKE her!"

The boy obviously hadn't expected him to make such a move, judging from the way he clumsily opened his arms to grab Mizore as she stumbled over towards him. That was enough of a distraction for Maxwell to make his move, the ambitious young killer taking the opportunity to run up towards the two and deliver a kick to Mizore's back, pushing her and and his opponent over and landing on top of one another. As this this happened, the boy let go of his sword, allowing Maxwell to swoop down and make a grab for it.

However, before he could retrieve the magnificent blade, Maxwell was distracted by the sound of a second opponent running towards him, brandishing a wavy dagger his hand as his eyes locked onto Maxwell's. Great, another bloody oriental... Why is it that half the fucking island seems to be infested with the bastards?

Whilst this second opponent seemed quick, Maxwell's reactions were faster, and he easily managed to grab him by the wrist before he could bring his dagger down on Maxwell's neck. After taking the opportunity to note the vengeful look in his eyes, Maxwell quickly responded by delivering a brutal punch to his opponent's stomach, followed by a quick movement that allowed him to deftly kick his opponent in the back and send him flying face first into the ground.

However, Maxwell's victory was short lived, and before he could even begin to gloat Maxwell briefly spotted his first opponent out of the corner of his eye shortly before his fist made contact with the side of Maxwell's face.

The young Brit stumbled back, his hand feeling where he had been hit and he dodged the blows that his opponent attempted to rain upon him. Whilst he couldn't tell for sure, Maxwell was almost certain that the big lummox had managed to dislodge a tooth, Bastard! Oh well, nothing a little bit of surgery can't fix up within seconds...

Not wishing to be on the defensive any longer, Maxwell quickly began his counter-attack, delivering a harsh shin kick to his opponent's ribs followed by another to his leg. He jumped back immediately afterwards before his opponent could retaliate, a sadistic smile on his face as he circled his target. Of course, he hadn't forgotten about the other boy who seemed dead set on killing him, and anticipated the blow that he attempted to give him before delivering a painful counter-attack that sent his oriental opponent flying backwards once again.

It was at this point that Maxwell realised that it wouldn't be wise to try and take on two opponents at once, so ideally he should take one of them out quickly before they finally gain the upper hand and overpower him. After all, its only a matter of time before he'll begin to tire out and drop his guard, and the last thing Maxwell wanted was to give his newfound friends a chance to dogpile him.

After several minutes of fighting off two people at once, Maxwell eventually found his chance to take one of them out when he noticed that his first opponent had left himself wide open, giving him the perfect opportunity to rain his own series of blows on the smug bastard who had honestly tried to threaten him. To his credit though, the son of a bitch managed to block the first couple of strikes, but it wasn't long until one of Maxwell's punches made its way past his defence and struck him right across the face, followed by another swift blow, and another, and another...

Then, after landing a series of hard blows, Maxwell decided to finish it off with a vicious roundhouse kick to the face, knocking his opponent off his feet and landing him face down in the dirt. A victorious smile crossed Maxwell's lips as he admired his handiwork, taking the opportunity to spit down onto the body of his fallen foe.

"Well, one down, two to g-" WHAM!

The moment Maxwell turned to face his remaining opponent, he found himself on the receiving end of a particularly painful hook that actually managed to knock him off his feet, the young Brit looking up from where he fell to find the Japanese boy hold something metal in his right hand. Sneaky son of a bitch...

He clutched his recently stitched wound as a wave of pain suddenly flowed throughout his body, forcing himself onto his feet to face the enraged boy who stood before him. In all the excitement, Maxwell had almost completely forgotten about the fact that he still needed to recover from his injury, the pain of which only occurred to him after he actually took note of it. Goddamnit, I should be resting this arm, not getting into more fist fights... Damn, I'll deal with this guy quickly, kill Mizore, then head out. Sounds like a perfect plan.

There was something about the boy standing before him that intrigued him. It wasn't just the hateful look in his eyes, or even the fact that he was probably the fourth asian person he'd bumped into on the island, but judging from all the bruises and injuries on his body the man had obviously seen just as much action as he had. Was it possibly that the son of a bitch standing before him was one of the many fellow players he'd heard about during that announcements?

Either way, the fact still remained that he tried to kill him earlier, and as far as Maxwell was concerned that was a good enough excuse to show him what had happened to damn near everyone else on the island who had ever dared to lay a finger on him.

And so, the two began to fight one another once more, only this time Maxwell managed to toy with his opponent a little seeing as he didn't have to worry about his friend interfering for at least a while. He dodged a punch, attempted his own counter-attack, missed said counter-attack, blocked another punch, recoiled from a well aimed kick, delivered his own kick in response, and so on and so forth until the two of them were practically sweating.

Maxwell's eyes once again caught the metal cylindrical object that his opponent was using as a poor man's knuckleduster. Getting hit in the face once with that thing was bad enough, but getting hit with it twice was something he'd much rather avoid. So naturally, the next thing Maxwell did was make a grab for it and attempt to pry the blasted thing from his opponent's grasp.

But struggled briefly, but after one swift kick the chest his opponent had been knocked onto his back, and Maxwell held the cylinder in his own hands. Maxwell couldn't help but smile smugly as he noticed how his opponent began to grovel before him, blocking his eyes with his arm. HA! At least this idiot can tell when he's been beaten. Now I just have to...

...Wait, is that a pin in his hand?


He looked down at the cylinder, his confident expression turning into pure fear within seconds

It was a grenade.

And his opponent had the pin.

"CHRIST!"

Whilst Maxwell had been quick enough to throw it away before it could go off in his hand, it had only flown a few feet away from him before a deafening bang killed his hearing, and a bright white light blinded him to his surroundings. For a moment he just stood there, his hands covering his eyes as he screamed in agony. FUCKING HELL!!! Son of a bitch, where is he?!? I'll ripping his fucking heart ou-

He was suddenly and violently interrupted mid-thought as an unseen fist made contact with his face, sending his dislodged tooth flying out of his mouth. This was soon followed by another punch, and another, and a whole host of others as Maxwell found himself on the receiving end of a vicious beatdown.

He couldn't move. He couldn't see. He couldn't even properly hear what was happening around him. All he could tell was that someone (possibly even more that one person) was currently beating him to within an inch of his life.

And there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.
V5 Characters

Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
Ruby Forrester - Shopping Mall
Jenna Rhodes - Hotel

Deceased V4 Characters
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He was near-unconscious now, Maxwell Lombardi. Jonathan Blake. She hadn’t liked him.

The biggest secret is that people aren’t at all like iron.

Player. Serial killer. Rough hands around her neck, striking her face. She was, she reflected, a lucky girl. She’d never been physically manhandled before. Where he had touched felt hot and sore.

We’re quicksilver.

Raidon Naoko. On the ground. I’m surrounded by killers, and killers, and killers. She wanted to cry. She wanted to giggle hysterically.

But no. Keep your cool, Mizore Soryu.

There’s very little like iron in us.

She wanted him to die. Maxwell Lombardi. He scared her in every way Raidon didn’t.

Are you morally prepared to kill me, Naoko Raidon?

Raidon was prepared. Raidon, she could die from. Raidon knew what a kill was, what every kill was. He’d chosen to give up himself, to bet it all on a chance of surviving—but he knew what he was doing, and what waited for him at the end. Mizore appreciated that.

Maxwell Lombardi did not know what he was doing. He was playing, rushing, not thinking—not knowing what he took, not morally prepared to murder anyone. If she had died to him, her death would have been meaningless.

For some reason, that sickened her.

And she had to save his life.

There’s very little like iron in us.

In Mizore’s mind, there was no such thing as a moral compass. Nothing was conscience, nothing was inconceivable, unless you made it so. Yes, there was revulsion, instinctive disgust, to shy away from confrontation, to shy away from death, but there were mental gymnastics that made instinct irrelevant, every time.

He tried to kill me!

He doesn’t know what he’s doing.

The island would be safer without him.

I wouldn’t be the one hurting him.

He saved my life. I should let him have his revenge.

A gun kill. It’s quick and clean.

I couldn’t stop him if I tried.

Mental gymnastics. Every time.

Quicksilver.

She shook her head.

“No.” She said. “We’re not killing him.”

And the goddamn caveat, to make her feel tougher, to buy her more time.

“Not until we talk to him, at least.”

Because, of course, Raidon and Julian wouldn’t pay attention to her if she had said we just shouldn’t kill him, because we’re not going to let the game get to us. Because we’re going to stay good people, even if it takes all the willpower in the world to do so. Because we’re not going to let some terrorist dictate our actions, because every time he does that, he’s proved some bullshit about humanity that I don’t want to be true, that I want to throw some force-of-will at until it’s not true, because I will not accept the fact that every human is a monster, given enough opportunity. I will not accept this fact, even if you shoot me for it.

She coughed. Her throat was still sore. Fucking Maxwell Lombardi. Her thoughts came out inarticulate, stiff, a nasty approximation of the words in her head.

“We’re humans. We’re going to act like humans. I don’t care about what you said about Little Crow earlier, we’re not going to act like that. We don’t have to.”

Julian, or Raidon, had brought a bag. She unzipped it, pulled out gaffer’s tape. She was going to have the sadistic pleasure of tying strangle-man up, if nothing else.

And then, from the shore:

"Hello, students of Bayview Secondary School. My name is Jaxon Jeremiah. I'm here with a group of people who can get your collars off and take you home."



She wanted to laugh and laugh for the goddamn joy of it.

Because now there was no confrontation. There was no fighting Raidon Naoko and Julian Avery for something she didn’t want to do but very badly wanted to believe in. Or there was no inevitable hatred and disappointment, and the wounded look in Raidon’s eyes, you don’t understand, and the just-as-inevitable self-loathing for being in love with someone who had killed and killed and killed again and showed no signs of stopping.

Because now there was a rescue. A goddamn miracle.

And they could race to the boats.

“Let’s go.”

(Post-order-skipping done with the approval of threadmates)

(Mizore Soryu continued in The Cavalry Arrives)
--------


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
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It was past time he left.

Travelling with Julian was dangerous, no mistake--the other boy already disliked Raidon, although whether this was because of his status as a killer or their philosophical differences was a question Raidon was unable to resolve (there was something dimly funny there, but Raidon put it off for the moment). And travelling with Soryu...she muddled him, made it hard to work, hard to accomplish what he needed. Following their argument back at the house, he'd assumed they'd reached an accord--he had, apparently, been wrong.

Damn you, Roland Harte.

He dug about in his bag for a moment. He had his knife back (he'd need it, he suspected). He had five flashbangs, one gun with a single bullet, a bit of bread, two bottles of water...not exactly the best haul he'd ever taken in. He was going to be have to be careful--this would last him no more than two days.

Was he really going to leave Soryu?

He lifted his hand to the wound in his shoulder, applied a little bit of pressure. Fire rippled out from his touch: Raidon gritted his teeth to stop from crying out.

She did that to me. The pacifist did that to me to disarm me.

Maybe we're learning from each other after all.


And then the scream came ripping out from somewhere farther in the woods.

All pretenses to selfishness died in that instant--all pretensions that he could leave Soryu that easily, that he could go off on his own. He was furious, of course, because he was right--because they had to play by Danya's rules to have chance of survival, because he wasn't scared anymore, because he could kill, he had kill, and need be he would kill again. The player-killer, Julian, was just another facet of the game, pretending at justice; the pacifist, Soryu, was a powerless anomaly.

He knew Soryu clouded his thoughts--he'd stepped in front of her, risked himself against a much larger opponent, in order to save her. But what happened next was not a realization--it was pure, thoughtless, action.

He was on his feet and running, bag pulled over his right shoulder and knife in his hand, before he even realized what he was doing. The surge of hot agony that broke out from his shoulder was subdued in his panic--was it Julian? Had he been mistaken? Could the other boy have turned? Jesus, this was...

The scream cut off abruptly, Raidon felt terrified frost blossom up from his stomach, numbing even his pain--he ran on, heedless, mindless, panicked.

Not Soryu. You can't take her from me.

That was the fleeting nobility, the momentary goodness that would later surprise Raidon and make him wonder about himself. What came immediately after was far less sentimental but infinitely more familiar and comforting.

He broke into the open, found what he was looking for. Soryu was sprawled on the ground in one direction, Julian in the other. In between them was a boy Raidon recognized at once. They were among the wealthiest kids as Bayview, though their social circles (what with Maxwell being a spoiled asshole and Raidon being an emancipated antisocial orphan) varied wildly; they had crossed paths, here and there, and the unusual name had always stuck with Raidon. He'd heard it repeated constantly over the past few days, hardening the image in his mind; he had transformed it into the iron outline of hatred, the focus of his need for revenge, his fundamental compulsion.

Maxwell Lombardi.

He dashed forwards, knife out--in his rage he had forgotten that he knew relatively little about Lombardi, about his wound, about his complete lack of any athleticism save for what appeared to be above-average hand-eye coordination. One moment later, and the knife had flown from his hand. Raidon did not see where it landed--he had smashed into the ground himself, skidding a few inches on his left shoulder and yelping as pain geysered out from his wound. He scrambled to his feet immediately, his bag slipping from his shoulder as he attacked again. Julian, on his feet again, stumbled backwards, and without any apparent concern Maxwell turned and struck Raidon, sending him tumbling again with a fresh spike of pain in his chest.

This pattern happened, again and again. Julian could more or less hold his own against Maxwell, although the murderous sonofabitch was clearly the better fighter: Raidon's attempts to intervene ended inevitably with him sprawled on the ground, a new part of his body in pain. It was only after the third such fall that Raidon lay where he had fallen, his eyes closed, his mouth a white line as he felt the various aches over his body.

I can't beat him. I can't-

Focus. He's only human. I can do this.

He's stronger than me, even with that injured arm.

Lots of people are
stronger than you. Is he smarter than you?

Raidon cracked an eye--his bag was about three feet away. With a quiet groan he forced himself to his feet and staggered towards it, reaching in, digging around. He had one bullet left in Victoria's revolver, maybe he could-

Something hit the ground behind him. Raidon's eyes flashed wide and he turned, grabbing the first thing he laid hands on. He took off running before he had time to think; Maxwell look a second to spit on Julian's body and only then began to turn towards Raidon.

There was something in Raidon's hand--something hard and metallic, something that felt far stronger than his fist. He hurled another blow, smashed it into the side of Max's face. Maxwell stumbled, spat (and Raidon, with some satisfaction, noted the red tint to the saliva, the blood he'd drawn with his own hands), but did not lose his footing; without thinking, Raidon launched in again.

There followed a truly spectacular ass-kicking. Unfortunately for Raidon, he was on the wrong side of it. Even with an injured arm, Max was stronger and faster than he was. All Raidon really had going for him was a high tolerance for pain, and even that was subsumed in the blows he suffered--kicks to his legs, his stomach, his sides; fists to his face, his chest, his arms. He shied away from blows aimed at his weak left side, swung desperately with the metal thing in his right hand. It was this that forced Maxwell to duck and dodge, to weave about, to try and stay away. Two livid bruises had formed on Maxwell's face, and blood trickled from one of his nostrils.

Raidon suspected he looked much worse.

His eyes flickered to his hand. His lips curled back. He swung, a little weaker--Maxwell, as he had earlier, turned and caught the attack. Raidon slipped backwards, pulling until he fell backwards, and then immediately scrambled through the underbrush, closing his eyes and throwing his hands over his ears.

The bang was still loud enough to rattle the brains in his skull. He struggled to his feet as soon as it had passed and then limped forwards, his breath coming to him in ragged gasps. Maxwell was on the ground, hands over his eyes, yelling; without faltering in the least, Raidon kicked him as hard as he could in the side.

Over everything he'd read, authors had generally insisted that vengeance was never sweet--that it robbed its seekers of their humanity and their drive, and that it was ultimately poor compensation for what they'd given up. At the moment Raidon kicked Maxwell, he discovered that they were wrong--the low, short cry he forced from Maxwell's body was pure elation.

So he did it again--this time with his right hand. And again. And again. For twenty seconds he did nothing but rain blows down on Maxwell's body, aiming at everything he could reach--at his face, at his throat, at his chest, his groin, his legs and arms, at the recently-stitched wound on his arm. And each one felt good; each twist on Maxwell's face, each cry, groan, yell. The cold, brutal, ruthless certainty that had taken over Raidon was gone; so too the terrified fear in which he'd operated his first few days on the island.

He relished ever moment.

He broke off, riding high on this black joy, unable to shake it off, unsatisfied with what he'd done. He needed his knife, he could work with that--with his knife he could do more to Maxwell, cripple him, teach him-

"No," Soryu said. "We're not killing him. Not until we talk to him, at least."

He turned, eyes flashing and the image of an overweight red-haired boy imprinted in the endless space behind his eyes. The thoughts that came then had nothing to do with their argument--about human life, about morality on the island, all of that. Instead they were simple calculations. Julian still seemed somewhat incapacitated, and Soryu had a limp. If he moved quickly, he could lay hands on his dagger, force his way past her...he wouldn't be able to exact his full vengeance on Maxwell, but a blade across the throat is a blade across the throat regardless of pain inflicted.

Then came the Announcements. Except this time, they weren't hosted by Danya






"Let's go," she said earnestly.

I can't get out.

The thought came with brutal certainty. He looked down at the knife at his feet and remembered sinking it into Roland's stomach--he remembered carefully placing the gun against different parts of Maddy's body. He remembered too much--his whole time on the island, from start to finish.

I don't deserve...

He swallowed and looked to Maxwell. It might still be possible. He had killed Simon. He deserved to die, regardless of circumstance.

If you let him live, he'll be dangerous. Kill him now.

Practicality demanded Maxwell die. Vengeance--the ordinary compulsions of a human being who genuinely cared for those who had been killed--required he die. But...

But Simon Grey was already dead.

If you let Lombardi live he'll come for you. You remember Victoria Logan, don't you?

Damn right I do. I also remember why she did it.


Attacking for the sake of Alice. Attacking for the sake of someone she'd cared for.

Raidon bent over and picked up the dagger. He swallowed, forced himself to stay under control as he returned the knife to his waist. He looked over--Julian had gotten back to his feet and was moving to his sword. "Julian," he said softly. The dark boy looked up at him.

Simon's dead. She takes priority.

"You trust her that much?" he asked. "You think she's that right?" He nodded towards Lombardi. "I'll leave him to you." A pang in his heart, sharp as if he'd been stabbed.

Welcome to the island of loss.

"Do hurry, though," he said, offering a weak smile. "If it's any consolation, I really do think you deserve to get out of here."

If we're very, very lucky, we get to choose the things we lose and the things we get to keep.

He turned to Soryu and grabbed her shoulder with his right hand. "Lean on me," he said quietly. "Only way we'll make it with your limp."

The pacifist had a chance to survive. Raidon would be damned if she didn't make it.

(Naoko Raidon continued in The Cavalry Arrives)
Edited by Grim Wolf, May 28 2011, 04:38 AM.
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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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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 there was a fight at some point.

Julian? Yeeeaaah, he wasn't looking too good. Sort of in that bravely-soldier-on state, the one where you collapse out of nowhere a few days later and the doctor diagnoses it as He done got his shit fucked up. But hey, you should see the other guy.

Matter of fact, let's. Let's see the other guy, Max Lombardi, right now. Killed almost a dozen people so far, seemed like he was looking to make it fourteen, but we all know what happens when you get greedy. What happens is a Japanese serial killer throws a flashbang at your face and then some jerkoff with a messiah complex starts wailing on you till you nearly pass out from the pain.

This is literally the only possible result.

So shit's not looking too good for you, Max. Two guys who want you dead, right here right now, and nothing you can do about it. And even if some bright angelic mercy makes its ways into their hearts, you're not exactly good to go. Takes a little more than a band-aid and bed rest to fix what you got, son. Maybe find a naïve pacifist girl to patch you up while you put on your shitty Doctor-House-wannabe American accent? That should probably do the trick.

And then this happens:

“Let's go.”

Play a sad little trombone for Max Lombardi. Play that announcement in his ear, again and again, and again and again and again till he realized just what he missed out on. Just what he didn't notice in the midst of his two, four, six, eleven murders. He missed out on an escape. He missed out on life.

So Mizore was leaving. And Raidon was coming with her. And he was telling Julian that it was up to him what to do with Max. Huh, good to know, buddy.

And Max, for his part, wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Sorta just chilling out on the ground there, maybe a stir here or a spasm there. Wait, let's stomp on his ankle real quick just to see if he's in a moving sort of mood.

Yeah, no, he's good right where he is.

So then the other kid, the big meathead prick with the messiah complex, stoops over Max again, ready to deliver his verdict. Claps a hand on Max's shoulder. Looks him in the eye.

Says, “You're gonna be fine.”

And then he turns to leave.

And then Max is alone.

((Julian Avery continued elsewhere))
Edited by Jonny, May 30 2011, 12:40 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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Fiori
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The Fiorious One
[ *  *  *  * ]
And then, once again, Maxwell Lombardi found himself all alone.

He wasn't entirely sure how long he lay there on the brink of consciousness, the bright sky above him slowly dimming as an entire hour passed by without him moving a finger. If any onlooker were to see him right now, they would have assumed that he'd died from the vicious beating he'd received or was in the process of dying.

His body was covered head to toe in bruises, his lips split and a black eye ruining his once perfect face. His tongue felt an empty spot in his mouth were one of his teeth used to be, the sickening taste of blood coating the inside of his mouth. The threads holding his arm together had barely managed to survive the beating, although that didn't stop it from aching painfully. Every single part of his body felt as though it was on fire, and whilst he was fairly certain that nothing too important had been broken he knew for a fact that it would take time to completely recover.

Not that it mattered. The fact that he'd been beaten senseless by some random schmuck whose name he didn't even know was the least of Maxwell's worries at the moment. Nor was the fact that he'd been left completely weaponless by that thieving harpy Mizore, or that his ego had been thoroughly ripped to shreds by the whole ordeal. No, the subject that Maxwell couldn't stop thinking about as he tried desperately to get back onto his feet was the fact that throughout his stay on the island all he'd managed to achieve was demonize himself in the eyes of the world whilst the rest of his more "innocent" surviving classmates managed to get away scot free.

Whilst he'd barely been conscious in the minutes following his beating, he'd been conscious enough to hear that there was apparently a mass escape in progress. Not a theoretical one, or an optimistic thought, but a genuine escape plan. All this time, Maxwell had assumed that such a thing was virtually impossible, but from the sound of things that was exactly what was going on.

Which meant that all this time, he could have simply waited to be rescued rather than turn himself in public enemy No 1.

He thought back to that eventful morning on the beach, as he stood there on the sand beside the sea with a gun in his hand and two fresh corpses as company. Corpses who had died by his very own hand. It was at that moment that he came to the decision that playing the game was the most pragmatic option in his situation, seeing as sitting around and praying for some miracle to occur would have gotten him killed. Escape via nonviolent means, whilst ideal in the long run, was considered to be an impossible outcome back then. Now though, it became painfully obvious that if he had simply waited and focused on survival, he could have joined in on this escape and left the island guilt-free.

But instead, the only thing he'd managed to achieve was becoming the bad guy.

A myriad of thoughts and feeling began to swim about in Maxwell's head as he slowly moved onto his knees, his heart beating at an impossibly fast rate. He felt furious, shocked, terrified, distressed, confused and anguished all the the exact same time. What did this mean?!? What had he actually achieved after all of this?!?

Nothing, that's what. Nothing but the scorn of every living person on the planet who wasn't a sadistic sociopath like himself. He'd gotten so caught up in all the excitement, so focused on surviving at any cost that he had sacrificed his humanity for a cheap thrill. Even if he managed to win, everyone back home would curse and berate him, provided he wasn't executed on the spot for all his actions. If he had been the sole survivor, then at least he would be able to gain some sympathy for that very fact alone. But with this escape, dozens of others would have survived alongside him. And unlike himself, these people would have survived without having to commit a series of unforgivable atrocities along the way. They had all waited for this event to arrive, and had been rewarded for their patience with a trip home. Whereas he had taken the easy route and damned his soul to hell, enjoying the unprecedented pleasures that this game had to offer.

After an entire hour of nothing but silence, Maxwell finally let out a prolonged moan of anguish as he frantically clawed at his hair, a moan which soon turned into pitiful sobs as Maxwell began to cry openly for the first time in years. How could this have happened!?! A few hours ago, he'd been in more-or-less top condition. His determination was strong, his ego was confident. But now, he felt weak and puerile, like a shell of his former self. He wanted desperately to turn back time to the moment where he had made his grievous mistake and right what was wrong, change the past so that he could save his future.

It wasn't as if it was too late to redeem himself, was it? Make amends for what he had done, turn a new leaf so to speak. Save his soul before it was truly too late to do a single thing about it? Maybe he could try to protect others or something instead of killing them, try to find some way to look good in the eyes of the audience. Grovel for forgiveness at the feet of those whose loved ones he had harmed.....



.....No.



Slowly, but surely, Maxwell's repentant weeping began to take a more sinister turn. Instead of crying like a little baby, he began to chuckle, which itself grew in intensity until he found himself giving out the most demented laugh he ever had in his entire life. His tears had turned from those of anguish to those of sheer joy within seconds and he continued to cackle wildly.

Jesus Christ, what the hell am I thinking?!? I can't quit whilst i'm ahead! Why, doing that would be such a waste of time! I've already made it THIS far without breaking, so there's no point in pussying out now just because of some doomed rescue effort!

His confidence slowly returning, Maxwell finally managed to find the strength to stand up, briefly leaning against a nearby tree as he regained balance. His laughter had began to die down by this point, instead replaced with a particularly cruel grin.

Yes, that's right... Those idiots think that they can all escape and live happily ever after, don't they? That just because some megaphone says that theres a way home that it can be achieved with ease. Imbeciles. More likely, they'll all wind up dead before the end of the day. Which would just leave him with all the smart people who knew from that start that escape was nigh impossible. Not without earning it anyway...

Besides, why should HE care what other people think? The only thing that mattered to him was that he survives this ordeal, nothing more, nothing less. So why should he give a damn whether or not he fits in with their ill-conceived notions of morality? Everyone is someone else's antagonist in some way or another. He just so happened to be the bad guy for a lot of people simply because they're between him and getting off this accursed rock in one piece.

So what if I have to play the villain in order to survive? If I have to sacrifice my humanity to stay alive, then so be it. I'd rather live in infamy then die a martyr. One gets to enjoy living out the rest of their life in luxury whilst the other dies painfully for some naive cause, so its an easy decision to make as far as I care.

It was at that point that the burning pain in his arm reminded Maxwell of the fact that he was still in pretty bad shape after his little scrap with the Japanese boy, something which he hoped to pay him back for before someone else got the bastard first. For some reason, he doubted that the nip who'd proven to be a much more dangerous threat than he first realised would have been able to leave with the rest of the escapees. Maybe it was just blind intuition, but somehow he got the feeling that he too knew what it was like to have killed several people in order to survive. Who knows, maybe Maxwell had heard this guy's name on the announcement several times and never even realised it. Hmm, Liam Brooks? No, name doesn't really suit him. Chris Hartmann? No, that doesn't suit him either...

...Raidon Naoko? That sounds kind of Japanese-y. Hmm...


Either way, what mattered now was that Maxwell needed to find someplace to take a good rest and heal up, even if it was just for a single day. Thankfully, Mizore hadn't taken any of his bags along with her, which was good considering the fact that one of them happened to have a spare set of clothes for him to wear. His current attired had seen far too much action, after all.

And so, with his confidence firmly reassured, Maxwell gather his stuff together and slowly made his way in the direction of the nearest building he could find. Where that would lead him however was something he wasn't entirely sure of, not that it mattered. Soon he wouldn't have to worry about such things.

After all, whether this escape is successful or not, the fact remains that a good portion of the competition will be removed by the end of the day. They were almost certainly past the halfway point by now as it is already, so with any luck he should be off this island before the end of the week.

Now THAT was something to smile about.

((Maxwell Lombardi continued elsewhere...))
V5 Characters

Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
Ruby Forrester - Shopping Mall
Jenna Rhodes - Hotel

Deceased V4 Characters
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