Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to Survival of the Fittest, a RPing board loosely based off of Koshun Takami's Battle Royale, with its own unique plot and spin on the 'deadly game'. We've been around quite a while, and are now in our thirteenth year, so don't worry about us going anywhere any time soon!

If you're a newcomer and interested in joining, then please make sure you check out the rules. You may also want to read the FAQ, introduce yourself and stop by the chat to meet some of our members. If you're still not quite sure where to start, then we have a great New Member's Guide with a lot of useful information about getting going. Don't hesitate to PM a member of staff (they have purple usernames) if you have any questions about SOTF and how to get started!

Let the games begin!

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
Riddles Of Monsters
Topic Started: Apr 3 2011, 02:25 AM (3,536 Views)
Grim Wolf
Member Avatar
The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(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.
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."

V5 Players


V4 Players
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Grim Wolf
Member Avatar
The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
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."
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."

V5 Players


V4 Players
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Grim Wolf
Member Avatar
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."
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."

V5 Players


V4 Players
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Grim Wolf
Member Avatar
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."

V5 Players


V4 Players
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Grim Wolf
Member Avatar
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."

V5 Players


V4 Players
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Grim Wolf
Member Avatar
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.
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."

V5 Players


V4 Players
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you
« Previous Topic · The Woods: Inland · Next Topic »
Add Reply