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Everybody Loses; V4 Endgame
Topic Started: Nov 5 2011, 02:26 AM (10,285 Views)
MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Kimberly Nguyen continued from We Can Live with the Sadness))

Tomorrow was a strange word. For most of her life, Kimberly had taken it entirely for granted. Tonight, it was the most important word in the world. It was everything she wasn't quite sure what to do about.

Kimberly was hiding between two houses, crouched behind one of those big plastic trash cans you rolled to the curb every Tuesday, trying to ignore the faint smell of sour milk that emanated from it. It was strange, how a mundane odor could now cut through the jaded fog of her senses and turn her stomach in a way that rotting people could not.

She was on one knee, bad arm limp by her side, good hand on the gun in her pocket, like she knew what to do with it. Reiko was close, she thought. Good. She had to keep track of everything. The situation had changed dramatically in the last ten minutes.

Until now, Kimberly had been working on some basic assumptions. The first and greatest was that she was going to die on the island. This had shaped her choices ever since that day on the beach, every since Kris put a bullet in her shoulder. It had colored her decisions in ways she was only beginning to understand.

The truth of it all was that Kimberly did not want to die. She never had.

Death was a difficult thing to grapple with. Even before the island, she'd been a bit squeamish about the whole thing. That was a big part of what drew her to the goths and the emos. She had been able to talk about the futility of life and be taken seriously. She had never delved as deeply as her thoughts went, but that was to be expected. No social group could be perfect. It was also a part of what had, from time to time, driven her to get drunk or stoned, just to avoid dwelling too deeply on things that made her uncomfortable. Still, death had always seemed like a far off fear, along with getting old and living in poverty and all her other sources of hypothetical angst.

Since the kidnapping, things had not been so theoretical anymore. Dying—and, more, dying soon—had seemed inevitable. That simple thing was, in large part, the reason Kimberly had spent so much of her time on the wrong end of various weapons. It was why she had taken insane risks, why she had constantly pushed against the people she met. Lurking in the back of her mind, this whole time, had been the idea that she was doomed to die here.

This was part of why she'd spent so much time trying to goad people into killing her.

Death was a hard thing to face even in the best circumstances. As a helpless victim, it would be flat out intolerable. Better, she figured, to do it on her own terms. It was possible to die without being defeated, as long as it was all part of the plan. As long as she died how she chose, without regrets, she could go out believing she had won, no matter how stupid the reality.

But now, all of a sudden, there was another option, an option that didn't involve telling Liz to shoot her in the face, an option that didn't involve taking Steven hostage to provoke a psycho, an option that didn't involve a dance of death with Kris.

Maybe she'd always wanted this. Maybe that was why she'd taken such great pains to extricate herself from the crazy situations she'd ended up in. Maybe that was why she'd lashed out so severely when she heard that Sarah and Bridget had made it. Maybe she'd just been jealous. Maybe that was why she'd been willing to calm down when she was with Erik. Maybe that was why she could still be hurt by what happened to her friends.

Maybe none of that mattered, compared to the moment.

Kimberly had come to her decision. She wasn't going to play it their way, wasn't going to murder the others without provocation, but she sure as fuck wasn't going to roll over and die for them.

It was time to take stock of her resources.

She had a Molotov cocktail in the hand warmer of her sweater, all gasoline fumes and sloshes to match her steps and fidgeting. Its twin lived in her backpack, slung over her right shoulder. In her right pocket was a cheap bic lighter, a disaster waiting to happen. The combination suggested by these items was her only real means of self defense.

She had a fake gun, but it looked real enough that Reiko hadn't caught on yet. It was worth jack shit in a fight, but it was a tool, just like everything else. In this case, it was a tool for forcing a stalemate. Kimberly was the only one who knew she couldn't actually shoot anyone. She planned to keep it that way.

She had a grappling hook tucked into her belt. Without its rope, it was now nothing more than an awkward metal claw, one that might be able to hurt someone or jerk a weapon out of the way, but was unlikely to come anywhere close to lethal.

She had her boots. Long ago, when she'd walked out the door, when she'd called her last goodbyes, her grandmother had looked at them and asked her if she was sure she was wearing the right clothing for a camping trip. Yeah, Kimberly had said, her boots were fucking indestructible. Two weeks later, she'd altered her opinion only a little. The leather was scuffed, the laces frayed and worn, the soles ground down, but they were still holding together. She couldn't even begin to guess what kind of blisters and infections she had going on under them, but her boots still made her feel strong, even if it had taken her twenty minutes last time she'd retied the fucking laces, thanks to the fact that she couldn't use her left hand.

She had her secrets and her attitude, her suspicions and her determination.

She had Reiko, who she was trusting not to shoot her in the back of the head, and who was trusting her in the same way. Kimberly didn't like trusting people. In her experience, almost everyone was a liar. There were no other options, though, not now. Besides, Reiko was Sarah's girlfriend, and even if Kimberly sometimes hated Sarah a little, she still owed the girl her life. The least she could do was extend a little bit of confidence.

It wasn't a lot to work with, but she'd done more on less before.

Beside the trash can was a house, painted pale green, with nice wooden paneling. Kimberly had almost suggested hiding in it, but had changed her mind at the last second, figuring that the others were likely to search the houses first. From her current location, she could see the center, could see the statue and the flowers and the ground that was a grave. The light was not perfect, but the moon was casting enough of a glow that she would easily be able to see anyone traversing the open area. At the same time, it was dim enough for her and Reiko to lurk in the shadows cast by the other house (brown, dull except for the bullet holes in it).

They hadn't discussed their plan of action. Maybe there was none. Maybe they were just going to wait things out and try to pick off whichever of the other three came out on top. Maybe Reiko planned to go hunting. Kimberly wasn't about to start murdering people just because they were in her way. She hadn't shared this with Reiko, and hoped it wasn't going to become a point of contention. At the same time, if Reiko wanted to go on a killing spree, well, Kimberly didn't have the power or inclination to stop her. Everyone left was a killer. Everyone left had done horrible things to get this far.

Aislyn, in the water.

No time for regrets.

Kimberly kept her hand on her fake gun, kept her profile low, kept a watch on the section of the expanse of concrete she could see.

At the same time, she tried her hardest to enjoy the evening. There was a damn good chance it would be the last opportunity to do so she'd ever get. Tomorrow was still a night away.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Reiko Ishida continued from We Can Live With The Sadness))

Two weeks had passed since Reiko Ishida had found herself waking up on this island. Two weeks that had never felt that long in the past, but these last two weeks had felt like a lifetime. Back then, before the beginning of these two weeks, the girl had taken so many things for granted. Her sister, her relationship with Sarah, her parents, her home, the comfort of her bed she always complained about being too firm. None of those mattered nearly as much as the problems she had faced in the last fourteen days. And yet here she was, one of the last five people left alive on the island.

Her mind wandered as she crouched in that alleyway, Kimberly to one side, an open alleyway on the other. Her thoughts dwelled mostly on Sarah, wondering where she was now, how she was doing. If she would ever move on if Reiko didn't make it. The girl certainly hoped so, even if she was going to try her hardest to make sure that wasn't the case. She was going to get home, even if she had to kill every last person left on this island herself.

She shifted the weapon hanging off her shoulder, within easy reach but not in hand. Reiko made sure to keep her eye out for any suspicious movements. As it stood at that point, anyone who wasn't Kimberly was an enemy. In the back of her mind she knew that in short order Kimberly would no longer be an ally either. At some point one of them had to die in order for the other to live. With any luck, she wouldn't have to be the one to pull the trigger.

The silence was almost unbearable, but she knew better than to try and initiate conversation at that moment. Last thing they needed was someone deciding to find them and shoot them while they weren't paying attention. For now all she could do was wait for the others to show up and see what happens.
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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TDS
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((Ericka Bradley continued from We Need To Stop Meeting Like This))

It was almost over. They’d been here for almost two weeks but now it was almost over; it seemed longer.

Ericka entered the backyard of a house through its busted wooden fence. She was cutting through the town’s yards and alleys to stay hidden as she got close to the final battlefield. The yard itself was a bit too empty, no garden or children’s toys, just a small poorly-maintained lawn. Or maybe there was a garden and it got overgrown? There was a small gate on the side of the house that appeared to lead to the front. She turned slightly to the right and walked toward it…

*beep* ... *beep*

Ericka took several steps back in shock. She figured that she must’ve gone too far, and was now leaving the town center instead of entering it. That problem was easy enough to solve. She walked back to the breach in the fence.

*beep* … *beep*

She jolted back again. Maybe she did just enter but the side of the yard was out of bounds? She walked over to the door and tried to open it, but it was locked. There was a window nearby, though. Ericka searched for, and soon found, a rock with enough heft to break the window. The glass shattered loudly as the rock plunged through it into the house. Then she took a smaller stone and broke off any remaining glass that might cut her as she climbed inside. She stuck her head as far as she could inside the building to make sure she wouldn’t be stuck in a danger zone when she went in. Since she had enough room to maneuver, she began to climb inside.

The house was better furnished then a few of the others she had seen on the island, but then again, she could count the houses she had been in here on one hand. It came as a shock considering how neglected the backyard was. This house had chairs, and tables, and it was decorated; it even had a door! Ericka began to walk toward the front door.

*beep* … *beep*

“Again?” she thought out loud as she backed up.

She decided to give up trying to make sense of the danger zone situation for now. Her next step would have to be to find another way out. There was another window to her left, next to a camera. She didn’t need to break the window since she was on the inside, so she just moved to it and opened it up. She poked her head out as she did for the previous window. She took the rock she used to break the back window, and tossed it into the alley just in case. She brought a chair over and used it to go through feet-first; gently lowering herself to the ground.

The front of the alleyway appeared unobstructed, so she tried to walk out into the street.

*beep* … *beep*

After muttering a short expletive, Ericka quickly turned and walked toward the back of the alley. She had enough information now to figure out the nature of the nearby danger zone boundaries. She had gotten closer to the street in the alley than she had in the house. The corner of the boundary was probably in that yard. She entered into the town center when she entered the breach in that fence, and the angle of the boundary caused part of the house and the street-side exit to this alley to fall into the danger zone. If that was true she could probably run around the corner into the safe zone before her head came off, but she wasn’t enough of a risk-taker to try that.

She went to the back of the alley. This one had a gate too, but the fence and gate for this yard were chain-link instead of the other yard’s wood. The gate was locked, but it was easy enough to climb over it. The yard on the other side was a mess; it looked like someone salted the earth here, so that nothing would ever grow again. There was some rusty scrap metal that looked like it used to be a swing set, and a half-buried deflated ball of some sort. She tried to open the door, this one was locked too. The back window was too high up, but the door itself had a window. She unlocked the gate, opened it up, and retrieved the rock from the alley. The door’s window gave way easily; she reached in and unlocked the door.

This house was nowhere near as nice as the last one, but it was still better than the others Ericka had seen on the island. She moved through it quickly and exited onto the street. The street itself was narrow, so it was probably a minor side street. One car could travel along it at most, and it had most likely been limited to foot traffic. She walked along the street, away from the danger zone, and emerged onto another street with one house between her and the town square. Now that she had her bearings, it was time to find a base of operations.
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MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
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"Louis, if you're watching this, there's something I have to say... s-so, pay attention to your big brother for a second."

Ivan Kuznetsov sat facing the camera he had found in one of the other houses after leaving Tabi for the last time. He was glad to have found a haven such as this, free from dead bodies or other students trying to kill him. It was getting a little tough to find those who fit into that latter category. The announcements stated there were five of them left, and went into pretty good detail of who they were. An unknown factor laid here or there, but he did at least know who Ilario, the only other guy left on the whole island, was. From that bit of knowledge, Ivan understood that this wasn't going to be any easy battle reaching the end. However, as far as he was concerned, the hardest part of his journey was now behind him. Taking her away was going to be the biggest mistake any of them made.

There wasn't a lot of time left to do what he had come to this particular spot to do. Maybe four others remained alive, but Ivan considered himself truly alone. He had always wished to be alone rather than be around his peers at school, finding the spot of least traffic to stake his claim in Bayview's social network. Now he got what he wanted, but only after he had been given something much better. And then, that something had been taken away to be left with his original wish in a cruel display of false generosity. Soon, only one of them would be left alive and they'd have the rest of their life to return to. Ivan was not sure if there was much of a life to return to if he happened to be that one. With that thought, his right hand clasped the hair tie fastened around his left wrist and he stared at the camera in front of him. The instrument was meant to record death and violence and whatever other sick acts the terrorists might have lined up; if it was supposed to record pain, then it was pain he would convey.

"I've been thinking about what I would say to you if I had the chance for a while," Ivan began. His voice was already starting to break as he thought about how his brother might react when he saw the message, as well as how unbearable it was that this might be the last thing he ever told him. "And now that I... um, found this place here with a camera, and sat myself down to tell you, I really don't know still."

He took a breath and ignored how painful his chest felt when he thought about home. He could do this, he could power through all of this for everybody he loved.

"This is just for you, alright?" He had to force the words out at an unnatural pace, as they did not want to seem to come on their own. "I don't give a damn who else sees this... if you think this is entertainment, you can go straight to hell! You hear me? I lost her and you all probably think-" Ivan caught himself, biting his tongue. He had to focus, keep talking to Louis and not those who didn't deserve his attention. "Louis... your brother is going to do everything he can to come back home. I have something I have to do, and before I can win this thing, I'm probably going to have to kill somebody else to do it. I've already killed three people, and I really hope you didn't see any of those first hand." His hands began to shake a little.

"What I'm trying to say is... after this, I want you to stop watching. Keep mom and Aunt Vera company. ... I love you all. See you around."

Ivan turned away from the camera and gathered this things, walking out of the house before anybody else could see him cry. He had all he needed to win the game, now. Almost everything.
V6 Tributes

Spoilers, Ricky didn't win V5

Things We Say
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
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((Ilario Fiametta III continued from Some Kind Of Righteous))

Pressed to the wall of a building overlooking the town center, Ilario breathed soft and deep. The AK-47 nestled in his arms like a baby, spattered in blood and dirt and still shining dully under all of it. He had counted bullets over and over, each time he'd pulled the trigger standing out in his mind and outlined in red. Some moments were blurrier than others, but every count returned to him the same knowledge: he had enough. He'd been careful. All the action movies which sprayed bullets like rain were right enough, but he'd had to conserve. Practicality had won out.

He inhaled gunsmoke and the sick-sweet odor that had begun to permeate everything on the island, exhaled his resolve and peace. He had taken his pills for the last time and bathed as well as he could in the infirmary, swiping a cloth over the worst of the dirt and blood that stained his skin. His throat burned dully and the other wounds, bullet grazes and cuts and bruises still hurt -- but that was far away, somewhere he didn't have to worry. He'd left his pack a few feet away. He could come back to it when all this was over; for now a weapon was all he could afford to carry.

He inhaled, exhaled. The remaining students would be here, he knew. Or dead with collars detonated but he somehow doubted that. If they'd been smart enough and cold enough to make it this far, they would be here for the end. Three were women, he remembered the names like they were written in letters of fire. Ericka Bradley, who'd killed without a thought, who'd walked her path here over the bodies of her classmates. Reiko Ishida who had done the same, who had survived this far on the blood of all who had stood in her way. And Kimberly Nguyen, Kimberly who was -- a puzzle. Kimberly was the only one who made his stomach twist uncertainly because she had only taken down two, and one had been Kris but one had been Aislyn who hadn't killed anyone. But he would consider her later. There was no one left to save, after all. She would have to be guilty.

And Ivan Kuznetsov. He'd killed too. He'd been with a girl, Ilario thought, protecting her, but she was dead now. He had failed, and perhaps he had not done all that could have been done. Irregardless he had killed, and he would have to die.

They would all have to die, now. That was the only way. It was a sad thing, he thought, a thing he would regret, but it was the way of the world. He was the only one left who had been faithful and tried so hard to save people. He was the only one who deserved to live, who still had a soul and a heart enough to have life returned to him. He was sorry for it. He was sorry for all of it, for all of them. But there would be only one.

He pressed himself back into the shadows, and breathed. There would be time. He would wait and see who acted first. The world was clear and open to him for what felt like the first time, free of the blur and vertigo which had so plagued him. There was a clear path. All he had to was wait until the time came. And when it did come...

His fingers squeezed the machine gun lovingly. When the time came, he would shoot. And he would win.

After all, Ilario Fiametta III was the only hero now.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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The whole world was still and silent for a moment, as Kimberly inhaled the stench of garbage and leaned against a house whose occupants had probably been massacred and waited with a girl who had murdered more people than Kimberly could count on her good hand. Fate was a funny thing, sometimes. How strange that she should finally feel like a person again, that she should finally feel like she knew what she wanted. How strange that life should once again be a possibility. In the brief space of time they had been standing in silence, a lot of things had become clear. Kimberly had come a long way towards finally figuring herself out.

The complications were still mind-numbing. Kimberly wasn't cut out for murder. She was no instinctual killer, not the way the others must have been by now. She had the reflexes, sure. She'd sent Liz's knife spinning off into the darkness under the mountain. She'd ducked and dodged and dropped Rhory into the dirt. She'd slammed her knife into Aislyn's gut, on nothing but adrenaline and a split second to react. What she lacked wasn't the means, but the will. Self defense was one thing, but setting out to murder just because she was afraid, that was just becoming the same thing as Kris.

And it was funny, because she'd hurt people for just that reason, hadn't she? She'd spread pain and suffering for her own amusement, for her own benefit, because, fuck, hurting other people was a great way to feel like she still had some control over her life, like she was still in charge of her destiny instead of hurtling helplessly towards her end. The real thing, though, the real difference was exactly what Kimberly had told Liz, all those days ago. The awful people, the evil people, they weren't bad because they caused pain and death. It was that they stole futures, stole choices, stole options. Shooting someone meant they'd never get to grow up. It meant they'd never have the opportunity to better themselves, to realize their mistakes and turn their lives around. It also meant they'd never have the chance to become truly terrible themselves. Still a pity. People could be evil if they wanted, maybe. Perhaps sometimes it was even the right choice.

This was the wrong time for musings. It was the worst time in the world to second guess herself. Kimberly had a truce with Reiko. She had three people at a minimum who were hoping to end her life. She wanted to keep living. The differences were irreconcilable. Too bad. Some people were going to be damn disappointed by the end of the night.

She shifted, half-stood and shuffled her legs a bit, relieving some of the stiffness and tension. It'd be fucking awful to get killed because her legs fell asleep and she tripped over her own feet. She wasn't going to make it easy on the people who wanted to put a bullet through her head.

Somewhere, she thought she heard a noise, maybe a shattering of glass. That was ominous. Somebody was preparing something tricky, most likely, or arming themselves in some manner. These people would be tough. They would be the ones who had made their way to this point through luck and skill, through ruthlessness and careful thought. Maybe some of the others were flukes like she was. More likely, they were like Kris, just scared kids wanting to go home and willing to do whatever it took to get there, but horribly dangerous for precisely that reason.

Kimberly wondered about their families. She wondered who was watching, who was hoping that she would die so that their son or daughter could come back and nestle in their arms. She wondered what her grandparents thought. There was the possibility that they still cared, that even her parents still cared, in that strange detached way they must have viewed her in. She'd been a mistake, yeah, but they'd loved her anyways. They'd always loved her, even when she screamed in their faces, even when she cursed at them, even when she was twelve and wouldn't answer them on the phone for a month, even when she greeted her mom reeking of tobacco. Had she finally broken that, back at the groundskeeper's hut, like she'd hoped at the time? Had she alienated everyone? What would they even do if she came home? Would they throw her on the street, brand her the murderer she was?

How were Kris' and Aislyn's parents coping?

Didn't matter, not now, maybe never. Deep breaths. Don't choke. Don't fuck up. Don't let the tension become overpowering. No regrets.

It was clear, now, what she had to do. It was exactly the same fucking thing it had always been. She had to live like it was the last moment of her life, and she had to live without regrets. She couldn't throw her self away any more than she could throw her life away, survival be damned. She couldn't give up, either. She would take each moment as it came, and she would fucking own it. She would keep herself as safe as she could, and, if the time to die came, she would die laughing.

She pulled the gun from her pocket and straightened a bit, then moved forward a little and peered around the corner of the house, into the town center. Still empty. Were those footsteps echoing, or was it her imagination? A cricket chirped, probably from the flowerbed. The breeze raised goosebumps on her exposed arm. She should have picked more flowers for her hair. Too bad.

A glance at Reiko, then. She wondered what the other girl was thinking, wished she could know. She wished she could be Reiko, just for a second, to see what exactly she had fought so hard for, whether they had more common ground than she imagined. She wished she could be smarter, could be better, could walk into the middle of the square and raise her voice and say fuck it all, she had a way, she had it figured out, she knew how they could all go home and be happy and not have any more deaths.

Silly hopes and longings, but she could indulge the fantasy. She could endure. She had her fake gun, and she had her incendiaries and her little plastic lighter, and she had her hopes and dreams and, yes, even those little regrets she kept saying she'd avoid, and she didn't need anything else. So maybe she couldn't save anyone. So maybe she couldn't get everything she wanted. She would do her best, and it would be enough. It always had been so far.

She was smiling, though she doubted Reiko could see it with the shadows in the alley. The only thing she still didn't have was patience. It was going to start soon, and she was going to have to do something, to take some action. She couldn't sit and let the others tear each other to pieces, couldn't pick off whoever was left. It just wasn't right, wasn't her. So she waited, and she prepared, and she wondered just who was going to make the first move, and how long it was going to take.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
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Time passed, and not a word was uttered between the two. The tension of the night was compounded by the simple fact that nothing seemed to be happening. For someone who wasn't used to sitting still for more than five minutes at a time, this was torture for Reiko. She kept finding herself looking at Kimberly, who would occasionally be looking at her. She couldn't help but wonder what things would have been like if they'd met a week ago. Chances are one of them wouldn't have made it this far. No sense in thinking about it too much though.

In the distance, glass breaking. Reiko shifted her body slightly, her eyes focusing in the darkness. Someone was nearby, and coming their way. She found herself standing, gripping the strap of her bag around her shoulder. Her already restless body was compelling her to move, to investigate the noise. To find who was responsible for it.

It didn't really take her long to make a decision. "I'm going to check out what that noise was." She stated, nodding her head at her companion before walking out of the alleyway. Truth be told she was glad for any excuse to be on her own again. Making sure to stick close to the buildings, Reiko made her way towards the source of the noise.
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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Ericka moved to the front door of the house next to her and turned the doorknob; looking over her shoulder nervously. The door creaked open and she peered into the inky darkness, and it certainly was dark. It was darker than the last few houses, at least, probably caused by poor window placement, time of day, or both.

Ericka closed the door behind her and slowly began to explore the interior of the building. She kept her gun out in case someone was already inside, but she doubted that anyone would be. She found her way to a bedroom in the back of the house, which was much better lit than the other parts of the building.

She put her bag on the floor in the corner and opened it up. She took out a fresh clip and reloaded her weapon before returning the weapon to its holster. She took her switchblade and hid it in her sleeve.

Deciding that she needed a better grasp of her surroundings she left her bag there and walked back to the front door. Light flooded in as the door opened and Ericka stepped out onto the street.

A noise came from a nearby alley, so Ericka retrieved her gun from its holster and moved to the sound’s source. Peering into the alley was difficult as it was incredibly cluttered, but Ericka determined that it was unlikely that anyone was there. Seeing a rock, Ericka remembered all the times that a thrown rock was used as a distraction both in fiction and by herself, and she grew nervous. She turned quickly with her gun at the ready and scanned the area for someplace that someone could be hiding.
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MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
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The island had never been so painfully quiet to him before.

From the moment Ivan stepped out that door into the last area of the island that was open to him, he experienced nothing but dead silence from the outside world. The only thing that could quell the deafening, complete absence of sound was the crunch of some sand pressed between his shoes and the surface of the street. How fitting that, as the game drew to a close, anybody who was left would be restricted to the place on the island that was the strongest representation of humanity. That, or it was the strongest representative of the loss thereof.

Ivan was forced to progress towards the center of town from the residential area when his collar beeped a few times. He must not have been close enough beforehand; the way he was pushed onward by a mere noise reminded him of an ant being siphoned towards the center of an antlion's sandy den. The rim held no salvation as it was out of reach, and every step closer could only lead to somebody's demise. The beeping stopped, and Ivan felt that he could stop and rest for a moment.

A soft, high-pitched noise of something shattering... maybe glass?

He pressed himself against the doorway of a nearby building and sunk down low. No gunshots rang out just yet, not that it meant anything. Were there silenced weapons on the island? Ivan couldn't remember. He looked behind him to down the street, then back towards the center of the town. Nobody to watch his back now, he remembered.

Just ahead, he could make out what looked to be a town square of some sort, complete with fountain and flower garden. Bodies littered that area... Ivan could spot two just from where he was. It was an apocaltypic scene brought to life before his very eyes. His hands tensed on the shotgun as he decided to approach the perimeter of the square and head behind the buildings as opposed to in front of them, hopefully not leaving him as a target for anybody who might be sniping from a window. The shotgun went around every corner first, followed by the boy.

Just keep it steady... he could still do this.
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
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Ilario remained steady where he was. There were four others after all, and he thought they would be more impatient. They would charge into the fray with weapons raised and they would take care of themselves, he decided, they would not need the help of his bullets. Perhaps eventually, but he didn't want to waste any of the precious ammunition, not when they would likely be willing to rip each other to shreds without his assistance.

He settled himself a little closer to the shadow. If they came for him he felt sure that he could have the AK up and firing before they had a chance to do anything. Better to remain unnoticed for now -- they knew he was there, of course, they could count and they knew his name, his face -- but perhaps in the heat of battle that would be forgotten. He would not get so lucky, of course. But it was nice to consider.

He had a good view of the center. They would come, he knew. Like lambs to the slaughter, they would come.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Turned out Reiko wasn't the most patient girl in the world either. She curtly informed Kimberly that she was off to investigate the noise. Bullshit. She was off to find and eliminate whoever had had the misfortune to slip up and make a sound. She was on the hunt again. Everything else was just rationalization. It was interesting, in its own way. Kimberly had never entirely understood the mentality of the players. She'd not been able to correlate Reiko's generally decent personality with the list of names under her belt. Now, though, it all made sense. Kimberly wouldn't have been surprised if Reiko had spent the entire game going off to check out noises, then finding people who were dangerous or who became dangerous when faced with someone with a player's reputation. From there, it was all self defense.

That was a good bit of information to have. Kimberly knew it would likely not be particularly long until Reiko decided that Kimberly was a threat too. That little self defense insight could be something to spin, to use to cause doubts. Attempting that could also be a huge mistake, had she misread the situation. It could get her head blown off.

That was all assuming they ever ended up in conflict.

At the moment, Kimberly found herself faced with a bit of an ethical dilemma related to that potentiality. Reiko had wandered off, presumably with murder on her mind. She had not invited Kimberly along. Kimberly had no intention of assisting in random killings. She was not Reiko's ally. She sure as fuck wasn't Reiko's partner. There were three people out there gunning for Reiko, though. More than that, there was a good chance Reiko was about to stumble straight into a trap, given how crafty the others must have been to make it this far. Kimberly suspected that she was better prepared to figure that out, to assess the situation and make a good call. Reiko was a killer, but Kimberly was a survivor. She'd come through plenty of awful situations relatively unscathed. She had a knack for knowing when to cut and run. She could probably do a great deal of good for Reiko's chances.

On the other hand, by staying back, she could increase the chances that Reiko would get killed, ideally doing some damage to the others, and thus making her own survival more likely. She could weaponize Reiko and discard her when she was no longer useful.

And then there was Sarah, Sarah who was Reiko's girlfriend, Sarah who had saved Kimberly's life, Sarah who Kimberly didn't quite know if she hated anymore, Sarah who was almost certainly still alive somewhere. The key factor was the first day. Without Sarah, Kimberly knew she'd have died in the sand, screaming and crying and trying to stop the bleeding, cursing Kris with her last bitter breath and wondering how it had all gone so wrong. Even had that not happened, without Sarah's care Kimberly's wound would surely have become infected and killed her. Hadn't some boy died from that a few days in? Kimberly was, in the end, only here because of Sarah's kindness. Yeah, sure, Kimberly had said all debts were paid when she held Dutchy as he bled out. She'd covered up for Sarah's fuck up. That didn't really make them even. Not even close. It had just been a convenient way to wiggle off the hook, a way to die without regretting failing to pay her debts. Circumstances had changed since then. Kimberly owed Sarah her life, and now she actually had a chance to repay that debt. She couldn't do it at the cost of her own morals, though, not without throwing her own interests away entirely.

In the end, she settled for a compromise. Peering out of the alley, she saw Reiko vanishing into the darkness. She couldn't follow her, couldn't assist her directly, not without being an accessory to whatever the other girl was planning to do. What she could do, though, was stay here, stay here with her fake gun and stand sentinel. Unless the others were working together on whatever had caused the sound, they could be anywhere. Kimberly could keep an eye out for them, could get a warning out somehow, could give Reiko time to prepare herself without actually fighting her battles for her. That seemed fair enough. It seemed a noble enough pursuit, a decent middle ground.

She hoped like fuck she wasn't rationalizing, wasn't twisting her own thoughts to justify what she knew was wrong. Once, the world had been simple and morality had meant nothing. It would have been easy, oh so easy, to just go back to that time. It would have been wrong, would have made her worse than Kris.

This was too complicated. Kimberly gripped her gun, drew back into the shadows once more, and focused on listening and watching. The tension was stretched too thin. It wouldn't be long now before something broke.
V7:
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Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
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Reiko moved as quickly as she could away from Kimberly, trying her best to not make any noise. She knew what she needed to do, and she knew Sarah probably wasn't going to like it. Unfortunately, if she had any hope of going home, she was going to have to ignore any semblance of morality. Hopefully, Sarah would understand.

Reiko made sure to be fully aware of her surrounds. Her eyes caught any movements, her ears listening for every sound. She ducked into every shadow she could find, using her small frame to it's advantage. Every alleyway, every corner brought about new dangers. Any one of the other three people could be waiting around the corner, ready to blow her head off at the first sign. The constant danger of being killed was nothing new for her, especially since everyone had pegged her as dangerous. Now was different though. Now she was so close to making it home. All she needed to do was outlive four other people.

Ducking into another alleyway, Reiko game up to another house. The chances that someone was in the house were slim, but even so there was a chance. Without giving too much of herself away, Reiko glanced into the house, peering into the darkness to see if she could see anything.
Edited by Rocky, Dec 8 2011, 04:26 AM.
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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TDS
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Ericka walked over to each spot that looked like a suitable hiding place and checked them. She tried not to drop her guard, but her attention was divided.

There were too many hiding places, she was beginning to think that she wouldn't be able to check all of them before she got herself noticed, especially since she was making too much noise looking. It would be best to go back inside and hide until the number of survivors thinned a bit more.

She began to walk toward the building she was going to hide in when a thought struck her. She paused and reflected on the possibility that someone may have snuck in and could be laying a trap.

She looked around for other places where she could hide for an extended period of time.
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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
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Reiko spent quite a few minutes before she was able to determine no one was in the house. At least, not in a place where she could see them. The thought occurred to her that whoever was in there may be hiding on the second floor, but she wasn't exactly willing to enter any of the houses. A single loose floorboard would be enough to spell death for her. Instead, she would move on to the next house, see if anyone was visible, and move on. Even if she could get just one person, that would be one more step for her to make it home. One more step to see Sarah again.

The girl was about to move when she heard the soft steps on the ground around near the front of the house. Keeping her profile as small as she could, Reiko moved around the house, her hands gripping the large gun strapped to her shoulder. During her entire stay on the island she had never fired anything larger than a pistol, and even those she had to hold in both hands just to keep it steady, let alone fire. With any luck, this wouldn't be much harder, if she found the need to use it.

Crouching near the corner of the house, Reiko saw a girl approaching. It didn't take long for her to rule out who it was. The only girl remaining other than her and Kimberly was Ericka. She knew that any hesitation in dealing with her would probably lead to her death. After all, Ericka had killed her share of people before, and you don't do that by accident. Her back was towards the smaller girl, and before she had a chance to have second thoughts, Reiko raised the weapon and pulled the trigger.

The fire from her gun broke the tense silence in the air, as it spat out five bullets before Reiko let go of the trigger. Her hands stung from the recoil, but as she looked back towards her intended target, she found that she somehow managed to connect. Reiko sighed with relief. Even though she had done this before, she couldn't help but get nervous. Any mistake now would be costly, and the price could very well be her life.

After waiting for a few moments to make sure the girl wasn't going to get up, Reiko moved from her spot. She approached the girl, keeping her eyes on her in case she was playing possum the whole time. However, this didn't appear to be the case. Reiko approached the body without incident, and from what she could tell there was no signs of life in them. There was a gun lying about a foot away from them, probably dropped after she had been hit.

It was strange, actually having a chance to stop and look at someone she had killed. Every other time someone had come along to prevent her from doing so, but now she had that moment. Unfortunately by this time she had become too desensitized to the feeling of killing, the knot in your stomach as you realize you just took another life. Reiko didn't feel any particular remorse, not that she could afford to by this point. She knew someone else would probably be attracted by her gunshots, so she needed to get out of there quickly. Taking a moment to pick up the gun that was left behind, Reiko began to walk away from the scene as fast as she could.
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MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
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Making his way through the town was taking a lot longer than it should have, ideally. In order to get around to the other side of the town's center, Ivan couldn't just take a straight shot across the open space and hope for the best, since that was just asking to be shot. He continued around the perimeter of the town as he had been doing for a good long while, looking for the next short sprint he'd have to take to continue his path. If there were any blessings to be counted thus far, it was that his body showed no signs of being tired, as though the pain had just decided to give up and go home. Or at least, the pain was hiding somewhere that he couldn't feel it, if only for now. Just surviving to see the next moment, one second following the other, was all he demanded at the time.

It came to him as he was travelling undereath the extended eave of what may have been a restaurant at one point that Ivan really had no destination in mind as he travelled. He was simply moving from one side of the town's center to the other, trapped by the contraints of the game and the limits placed on them arbitrarily by a disgusting man (or men, a different one had been giving announcements lately) that none of them could see. He couldn't go anywhere else, and he did not see the point in standing still. Hiding in the top floor of one of the many buildings dotting the area would probably be effective to some degree, but Ivan couldn't stand staying in the same place anymore.

Standing still meant that he had nothing to do and would get bored. If he got bored, then that meant his mind would wander, and he might start thinking about things that he didn't want running across his mind at the moment lest they weaken him. The hair tie on his wrist served as a painful enough reminder, but as long as he was living that would be his cross to bear. He need not think more of it until he was down on the ground, taking his last breaths. And if he had his way, that wasn't happening just yet. Everybody on this island, as much as he hated to think of them in such a manner, was now a target. He wanted to get himself in to the mindsight that maybe this was all their faults, and that he was going to make them pay with some movie-inspired poetic justice. It would keep him motivated, for sure, to kill everybody who remained.

Yet, some part of Ivan... possibly his better half... made him think better of it. They were victims, just like he and Tabi were, and the act of killing them was really one of mercy more than anything else. All but one of them would die no matter how the pie was sliced, but that one person alive wasn't a winner. In a game such as this one, the only winning move would have been, as he remembered from some sort of pop culture, not to play. That move had been revoked from them, leaving them with no choice but to lose. Even the eventual 'winner' of the game would come out as nothing short of a loser, because in SotF, everybody loses. It's just that the person who got to live the longest would suffer the hardest. If that was the only way he could repay his failure, then Ivan would be that person.

A gunshot tore through the air, the sound bouncing off of the sides of buildings across the open square. Ivan resisted the urge to jump the best he could; he had heard his share of gunshots here, but each and every time he was only affected less and less to a diminishing degree until his nerves plateaued somewhere on the graph. He'd never entirely get over hearing the crack of a bullet being fired, and somebody possibly dying. Steeling his nerves to prepare for the rough road ahead, Ivan readied the Pancor and quickly turned the corner of the building.

Nobody was there. Just another empty alley.

He turned the next corner towards where he thought the shot might've been coming from, and still saw nothing. He checked behind him, as others would no doubt try to get close before taking a shot. Seeing that the close was clear at least for the given moment in time, Ivan pressed on. If he had to shoot somebody, well... that was just the way things had to be.
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