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Grey Skies, Grey Ground
Topic Started: May 29 2013, 02:13 AM (1,861 Views)
Namira
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Sunshine Cho Lee, start))

Cho could feel something tickling against her face. She could see trees, so she wanted to say grass, but her eyes were open, and the ground around her looked - and felt - too hard for that.

It was a good thought experiment though. She decided to keep at it. Feather? No, too soft, not a clear enough shape. Flower? Kind've the same issue there. Maybe it was a -

Sunny shifted around and pushed herself into sitting position. It was a distraction. A distraction from what she'd seen, from what was happening. There was a keening sound from the back of her throat as images flashed through her head unbidden - the tape, the men up on the stage, the way that Mr. Davidge had just been executed. And all that leading up to... this.

Her eyes blurred for a moment and she blinked fiercely, looking around. It was some kind of campsite, but it looked like it hadn't been touched for years, not by people, at least. There was a tent, one of those old-school picnic benches, and a firepit, which she'd been laying barely a couple feet from.

A thought occurred to her and Cho glanced down. There was a thin coating of ash around the pit, and a very distinctively person shaped indention in said coating. A pause, a finger went to her face, came away with a dark smudge on her finger. Pushing out her arm, she looked at that. ...Yup, it was all over her hoodie, too. Little specs of textured dust.

Somehow that was enough to make the tears redouble. Some marks on a top which didn't even really show up, since they were both black. It was probably pretty visible on her face though and, and...

Cho swung a fist, aiming to thump the ground. There was a muted clang and Sunny yelped as the unexpected impact jolted up her arm, sending pain shooting across her knuckles. She clung her hand to herself, cradling the protesting knuckles, wincing as a slight movement left a red smudge in her palm.

Another look down. Laid alongside her was a man-sized near-rectangular shield. Made of metal, as her hand could attest. Cho recalled what had been said at the 'briefing'. This was her draw, obviously enough; you wouldn't just hand someone something useful for no reason. It looked pretty solid and all, but with the size of the thing...

Sunny stood, then leaned down and picked the shield up by the handle, the action requiring a grunt of effort. Shifting her feet, she braced herself and lifted.

"Mmrm..."

It wasn't easy to lift, but it clearly couldn't be made of solid steel or something; the shield wasn't a tremendous amount heavier than her guitar, definitely not in its case. So it was... better than the scenario she was anticipating where she couldn't even carry the thing. Cho let it drop again, there was a thud.

A start, she supposed. At least she could try and protect herself from... from...

An ugly sob, and now the tears were falling in earnest.
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(Xavier Contel begins)

Here's the thing: all the most graphic fiction in the world, all the really bloodcurdling stuff, it doesn't prepare you for seeing someone die.

It gives you some visual reference. In a way, it's even worse sometimes. It grabs you by the throat and forces you down and makes you feeling a bit sick and weird. And sometimes it makes it seem like it makes sense, like it was necessary, but othertimes it just seems like brutality for brutality's sake and Xavier had never liked that.

So when Mr. Davidge started bleeding--and when Mr. Davidge died--he was sort of ready for it. For the visual. It was almost tamer in fact.

Except for that smell.

As Danya had spoken, a smell had started drifting out from Davidge's body. A weird smell. Half-shit and half-blood and half (yes fuck you math half) something else and Xavier couldn't put his finger on it even after Danya started talking and they all passed out again.

But when he had awoken beneath thick trees and intertwined branches it had come to him with the force of revelation. That smell was the smell of the unnatural. It was the smell of the stuff inside a person being suddenly outside a person. It was a fundamentally terrible smell because it meant that something had gone terribly wrong and someone was dead or close to it.

This was real. This was all real. This was all real and he and everyone could die, could end up as splayed and battered and wounded as any character he'd ever read, except they weren't characters they were people and they really really couldn't escape could they?

His straw hat was on his chest. He sat up without realizing that, and caught it just as it started falling to the ground. He draped it back over his neck without thinking. There was a duffel bag at his side, and he grabbed this too.

Then he started walking.

He liked walking. He liked walking far more than he liked running. He liked letting his mind drift through little half-stories he didn't want to share, both about the characters he loved and the ones he'd made up and was not yet ready to share. He liked to think. But this time he wasn't walking to think. He was walking not to think. He was walking because it gave him something to do rather than think about how royally fucked they all were, how he might have his chest ripped open like Whitebeard, how even if he survived his body might become a mash of scars like Vash the Stampede, how he might lose far more than an arm or a leg or an eye and there were no automail mechanics here no convenient robotocists in neighboring castles to fix this damage.

Walking wasn't helping. He was still thinking. He was still afraid.

He was crying.

He wasn't aware that it had started, and he wasn't sobbing, but the tears were dripping down his cheeks and his eyes stung. God, he wanted to sob. He wanted to fall to his knees and bawl like a child, like Luffy when his brother died, but if he started he would never stop and his brother hadn't died, no one he knew had died.

But they'd all die soon. Xavier included. So why not fall to his knees? Why not cry?

Before he could quite manage to do it, he heard someone sobbing.

He stopped. Looked up. Realized that the forest was thinning and he was on the edge of a campsite that had fallen into some disrepair. There was a girl hunched over by the firepit. He couldn't tell who.

Well, she didn't seem to have seen him. He'd go. Leave her to cry. Find a place to cry himself. No reason to deal with a girl who could kill him. No reason to bother her. No reason at all.

But she was crying. Crying in earnest.

What would they do?

Who?

Them. Strider Luffy Ed Ichigo Vash Robin Kenshin John Karkat Nyle Bleu any of them what would they do?

What a stupid thought. This was reality. Davidge was dead, along with the rest of the teachers. There was not getting out of here. What did it matter what some idiot fantasy heroes would do?

Luffy grinned when he was going to be executed.

Because he was fake.

Because he had no regrets.

Because he was a figment of someone's imagination!

So was every building and every car and ever tank and every weapon and every thing ever made.

Stupid stupid stupid.

But...but if he had to die, wouldn't he rather die grinning?

I'd rather not die. But if I have to...

He grabbed at the hat. The last of sixteen different attempts. The last two had looked good--he'd sold them later. But this one had felt right to him, somehow. Comfortable and durable.

He placed it atop his head. Forced a grin that felt like a grimace onto his face. But after a few seconds it felt a little less forced.

So he wiped one sleeve across his eyes, and shouted, "HEY! ARE YOU OKAY?"
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Will
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((Stacy Ramsey, start))

Stacy gripped her assigned weapon close to her body. It was a shotgun, not just a shotgun, but the shotgun previously belonging to Version Two’s winner Bryan Calvert. Stacy recognized the name, but didn't remember much about Bryan, however, she knew that this shotgun served him well, and she was hoping it would do the same for her. It was heavy and after only a short period of time it was already making her arms ache. She lowered the shotgun slightly, now positioned next to her waist and pointing outwards.

Half an hour had passed since Stacy had woken up and all that she had accomplished it that amount of time was getting lost in the woods. She had started to panic and floods of tears streamed down her face causing her mascara to run down her cheeks. Stacy walked in a semi crouched position, wary of her surroundings. Briefly stopping, Stacy looked around her; all she could see were trees, everything looked the same. Sniffing loudly, Stacy repositioned her duffel bag over her right shoulder and continued to walk.

Every sound that occurred in the woods caused Stacy to jump and look round to find the source. She was on edge, afraid that any moment someone would jump out from behind a tree and attempt to murder her with an axe.

Several more minutes of walking had passed and out of the corner of her eye, Stacy saw what appeared to be a small campsite. Stacy changed course and headed towards the campsite with the hopes of finding a place to rest and to gather herself.

Stacy broke into a light jog as she approached the camp and as she entered the clearing she came to a halt and released a small gasp. Without hesitation, Stacy threw herself behind a slightly torn tent as she saw two other people already in the camp. From her brief glimpse of the couple, Stacy could tell that it was a boy and a girl. The girl was a lot easier to identify as being Cho Lee, the boy on the other hand was harder, but she guessed it as being Xavier Contel.

Cho was crying and Xavier was walking towards her. Was she in trouble? Poor girl, he’s probably trying to kill her. She had to help her. No, no, no, no, no. She can’t help her, she’d get herself killed. She’d just have to wait here until they left. Stacy shifted herself closer to the tent’s canvas and brought her knees up close to her chest and held tight onto her shotgun.
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For a while Cho was just standing there, shoulders trembling, head down, as she tried to keep it together and didn't meet with much success. The best she could do was hold herself from going into hysterics, which balanced out to slightly less than breaking even. Her hand was still hurting, although now more of a dull throb, and in spite of the blood it wasn't anything more than superficial. Instead, Cho focused on that aching pain, tried to concentrate on that sensation as opposed to the hurricane of thoughts that were throwing her mind into disorder.

It was working. Sort've. Clenching her hand into a fist and watching the tiny red trickle trace its way down the back of her hand. If she just looked at that alone, she could almost block out the rest of it, force back the tears...

Somebody yelled from behind her and Cho yelped, diving instinctively for the shield, pulling it up, and then bunkering down behind it like some kind of terrified turtle. It didn't matter that they'd been asking if she was all right - they'd shouted the question, and with Cho's nerves already pretty thoroughly frazzled, that was more than she could take.

Cho peered around the shield's side, the weight balanced awkwardly in that crouched position, almost bearing down on her rather than held straight.

"The heck do you want!? Quit yelling!"
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(B042 Arthur Wells begins)

Arthur Wells was well and truly used to making mistakes. After he got his driver's licence, he had too many near-misses in traffic to count, mostly because of him zoning out. Now, sitting underneath a tree and staring into his back of supplies, he found himself zoning out again, retreating so deep into his own mind that he ventured into catatonia. If an enterprising player whose desperation to escape and get home outweighed their old morality and urge to preserve human life stumbled upon him, one pull of a trigger would end things immediately.

But would it really be that much different from how he ended up now? He saw his supplies. The only thing special about them was a fucking package of M&Ms. It wouldn't surprise him if those assholes in charge of this nightmare made sure that he ended up with him. He wasn't even that fat, god dammit. It was possible that someone could find his body attractive, or at least he could think of other aspects of his body much worse than his weight. Not that it would matter in a contest of weapon versus weapon.

They stole his life away from him, metaphorically if not literally. All he could hope for, in the end, was to have to kill only one person at the very end, relying on the anonymity of the internet to be able to find work as a writer or artist. Nobody else would ever want to hire a murderer to write stories. Maybe if he wanted to make rap music, this background would be an asset, but it had to be a detriment in every other creative field. That was how it worked, after all. THEY would jump at any excuse to shun him.

But speaking of his anonymity.

"Th-th-this... this..." The reason why he kept from speaking for so long, he learned, was because silence was the bubble that kept him from breaking down and blubbering. After a quick sob, he continued. "This is Undiscovered Countryman on Deviant Art. I... odds are I won't ever be updating anymore!" Sniff, gulp. "I w-want to thank my fans for being there for me and buying commissions and shit. Don't... don't worry about me, please. If you liked my stories and want to see them finished, well, I guess... I guess you can do a Frank Herbert or Robert Jordan with me and finish them if you really want to." He laughed and wiped his eyes. "I can't guarantee I'll make it out of here, so you'll all have to be extra-creative to make up for me. Start drawing and writing now and don't put if off 'till later because..." He broke out into laughter again. "Because they could fucking kill you on a whim and there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it!"

Only then did he consider just how much noise he could be making, and looked to find a good place to hide and cry. Might as well get all his tears out now, as much as he could. Jacuzzi Splot was really annoying at times, but in this particular situation, Arthur might as well take a leaf out of his book. And so he curled up in a hollow and sobbed silently to himself.

-----

It wouldn't be accurate to say that Arthur had regained his composure by the time he made up his mind to start walking. While he no longer wept like a baby, he still jittered and jumped at every noise or movement that could potentially be someone else according to the slightest whim of his imagination. With his terrible reflexes he needed all the help he could get, after all.

The best thing that he could think of to help would be to find a landmark. Knowing that he was in the woods and seeing that the woods only covered a small portion of the island on the map was a big help in that regard. So he picked a direction and walked, relying on the whim of chance to give him something to work with, and so it did.

"HEY! ARE YOU OKAY?"

"The heck do you want!? Quit yelling!"

Familiar voices, but not necessarily friendly ones. Arthur crept up through the forest, making noise as he walked, up until he poked his head from the trees into a campsite. Said campsite was ruined by time and neglect, unused to the presence of human beings like Arthur. Yet there were humans in there anyway. He saw a girl, the one who probably shouted in response to the other guy, a singer whose name Arthur could only think of as Cho Chang. He knew it wasn't her name, but with the way his brain worked and the associations he made, that was how he thought of her until she invariably corrected him on the matter.

Xavier Contel, by contrast, was the one Arthur knew enough to nail his name. The two of them were far better acquainted online than in person. At school, Arthur buttoned up and only said what he thought nobody would balk at if THEY overheard. THEY always overheard, because they were always listening, ready to laugh at the dork who liked nerd shit like ponies. Even though he knew hackers existed, worries about people butting in and listening instantly evaporated when he chatted people up on his computer.

But Xavier would never judge. He was in no position to. By contrast, the two of them loved bonding over the nerd culture they shared. Whenever Arthur drew fanart of comic book characters or wrote a fanfiction where Sabo lived and had adventures with Ace and Luffy, he knew Xavier's presence would guarantee him an audience of at least one. Still, sometimes Xavier's openness about his interests baffled him from time to time, especially when he confessed that he thought of these characters as role models. Arthur couldn't remember the last time he asked himself what a certain character would do.

Well, except for Twilight Sparkle. And Roland Deschain. And Kenzo Tenma and Kenji Endou and Yorick Brown and Spider Jerusalem and Mitchell Hundred and Lester Freamon. Maybe he and Xavier had more in common than he'd care to admit.

For the first time since he woke up, Arthur legitimately felt like smiling. If he had to die, at least he had good company. He stepped out from between the trees, in plain view with both hands up to show how unarmed he was. "Um, h-hi. I'm not yelling or anything, so I hope I can... stay. With you at least, Xavier. Assuming that's okay with you and you're still..."

No no no no no. If he is crazy, the one thing you do not ever, ever do is call the crazy person crazy. The word was insensitive anyway, Arthur knew, but in these circumstances social justice could wait. Probably forever.
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Stop yelling? Oh God he had been pretty loud. He hadn't meant to scare her.

"Sorry!" he shouted, and then put a hand over his mouth. "Sorry," he repeated, in a more normal tone of voice. "I...you looked hurt and I...I didn't want to sneak up on you."

He knew Sunny, vaguely--she liked to play guitar, and he thought she liked to tell jokes, but he was less sure about that part. Hadn't really interacted with her much ever.

"Just wanted to make sure you were okay," he said.

And someone spoke from nearby. Loud enough to be heard, but not as loud as Xavier had been. He looked up and saw Arthur Wells, hands in the air like he just didn't care.

That was a weird jump of thought.

"Countryman!" Xavier called, then put a hand to his mouth again and turned back to Sunny. "Sorry," he whispered. "Sorry." He waved at Arthur. "Come here!" he said, again in a normal voice.
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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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Namira
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Sunny only really had time to stiffly remark "I'm fine," before another boy rolled up behind the first one.

Now that her initial panic had quelled, she had the opportunity to pause and glance over the two of them. The one in front, with dark hair, was wearing some kind of homemade-looking hat. Was that his weapon? Cho kind've hoped that it was his weapon. She would feel a lot happier about the situation in that case. The other guy... well he was big, not like, stacked with muscles big, but 'three or four pies too many' big. He also apparently knew the first dude.

She recognised them. Knew both of those faces; names were on the tip of her tongue. Somehow not being able to remember what either boy was called made them both seem more intimidating. It was like there were without a face. Very different from seeing a classmate that Cho knew, with an identity and a name, that she could appeal to by said name and...

Sunny swallowed and straightened herself up, holding the shield in front in a more upright position. She still remained behind it, just poking her head out. All of a sudden, the fear was just, weirdly... dropping off. What, realistically, could Cho do in this scenario if anything went wrong? She was not precisely fleet of foot, and nor could she fight. So... may as well quit winding herself up. She'd know when and if it happened.

"Oh, it's cool," Cho replied. "Though if you could get like, a neon sign and a klaxon, I think that'd do an even better job of telling everyone where you are."
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Of course Xavier would toss around Arthur's online handle around in public, like it was no big deal. Of course. Then again, none of them would ever go on the internet again, so it's not like Cho could look him up online and see what he'd drawn and written. So maybe he didn't have to worry about getting his name spread around, if he ever did.

Still, this proved that Xavier hadn't changed, so Arthur walked over and sat next to him, pulling his legs in and wrapping his arms around them. Company he could trust hadn't made him stable. He still felt wound up inside, like a leather strap twisted around one too many times. "She's right, X," he told Xavier. "We gotta... we gotta be quiet. They'll hear us and they might shut us up. With bullets." He looked up at Xavier with a twitching eye.

"I'm, uh, I'm Arthur, by the way. Nice to meet you?" he told Cho. "You're Cho, right? I've heard your name before. Can't remember where. Sorry." Meeting new people was hard even when Death wasn't tapping him on the shoulder and telling him to get going whenever he was ready.

Arthur jerked his head around to look at a nearby tent. "It moved. Someone's there." He narrowed his eyes and shrank back from it, treating it much like a tiger staring him down. "I-is someone there?" he said, just loud enough for the tent to hear. "Please don't kill us. I think we've got you outnumbered. And we're armed, too!" Arthur didn't know what weapons Cho and Xavier had, just that they were likely better than his. "We just want to talk, alright?"
Edited by Solitair, Jun 14 2013, 10:18 AM.
WickedIcon: i just launched a baby wearing a denim jacket and a bowler hat across a hospital, through a window, killing several patients, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment, and finally coming to rest on the body of a presumably dead clown
WickedIcon: this is the best dollar i've spent in several years

chitoryu12I have yet to find gay sex that involves the men punching each other. I must not be on the internet enough

Turning Pages: Read some books along with me, why don't you?

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Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
Ilya Volkov: The Wrestler ... ... ... ... !
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Grim Wolf
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Xavier frowned. "Klaxon? I don't speak it. Never really got into Star Trek."

Arthur rolled over. Xavier lifted his hands. "Quiet," he said, still grinning. "Quiet. Right."

And then...

He twisted his head to stare at the tent. His grin flickered, and the terror of moments before reared up inside him, seized his heart, and squeezed.

Armed. Arthur said he was armed. Had he forgotten to check his bag?

He slowly hunched over, swinging the bag off his shoulder and opening it. the first thing he saw was the scratchy red coat he'd made, but he frowned at that and pushed it aside.

Then stopped to stare.

It was small, but silver and elegant. When he lifted it out of the bag, it was suprisingly heavy in his hand.

And it had two barrels. Like a shotgun.

He frowned at it, then up at the tent, then glanced at Arthur again. They were armed. They were dangerous.

And if the person in that tent attacked, would Xavier have to shoot them?

He swallowed.
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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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A third voice sounded from behind Stacy which she didn't recognise. There were three of them now and only one of her. If they were hostile then she would be in big trouble. Lowering her shotgun, Stacy clenched her legs together tightly and rested her head on top of her knees.

As the trio’s conversation went on, curiosity took the better of Stacy. Perhaps it could be a friend, someone who she could feel safe with.

Leaning forward, Stacy got on all fours and began to peer around the tent. As she put more weight onto her hands, Stacy suddenly jolted forward, causing the tent to rustle. Stacy swiftly picked herself up again and threw herself back against the tent. Glancing to her left, Stacy saw a large mud-skid where her hands had just been. Before she had time to do anything else, the third person called out towards her.

Stacy covered her mouth with her hand to hold back the sobbing that had begun to occur. He was threatening her. They were armed with weapons, more than likely with extremely dangerous ones. With one bad move she could end up dead.

She wiped her eyes, smudging the running mascara across her face. Picking up her shotgun, Stacy gripped it tight to her chest and turned around slightly so she parallel with the tent.

“J-just stay away!” she whimpered.
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Namira
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The pair of boys hugged. Cho just watched. She wasn't sure if she was more or less reassured by the fact that the two of them knew one another. It probably evened out to neutral, easing towards actually feeling a little bit better once the bigger guy said down. These were not the actions of people intending to harm her - or if they were, it was some kind of exceptionally convoluted double bluff. Cho couldn't really see any reason for them to attempt to trick her; it wasn't as if they had to be cautious of her pulling out a weapon from somewhere. Not unless they thought that riot shields were something Sunny regularly kept about her person, anyhow.

The big one - Arthur, introduced himself, and Cho nodded, hesitating for a second when he referred to her by name. It sometimes took her aback when people knew her and the reverse wasn't true. When you were a performer, that happened though. She wasn't claiming celebrity, not at all - people just remembered her now and then. In any case, Arthur got the point - and after communicating it to the other guy (X?), seemed to get the idea too. Great, forward progress, an awareness that all of them were liable to be in constant danger. Also an unawareness of what an alarm klaxon was. Whatever, more important things to worry about.

Taking a step back, her eyes were drawn to the motion in the tent... and then to the gun that not-Arthur pulled out of his bag. Said eyes widened, and Cho immediately moved back behind the shield, staring through the viewing slot and trying not to let it show that she was terrified. Even behind the bulwark, she'd never felt more vulnerable.
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A gun. A weapon. A tool for killing. A tool for inflicting pain and death on a fellow human being. And he was no Vash the Stampede--he hadn't spent those hours learning how to shoot safely, perfectly, precisely. He wasn't better than human. Just human. If he fired this gun, it would be to harm another person.

No. Not just a person. A student. Someone he knew, however distantly.

He swallowed. Reached into the bag. Found the clip amidst a smaller carton of bullets, and slammed it home.

This is someone you know, but you're not a hero, you're not an Edward Elric, a Monkey D. Luffy, a Vash. You can't save everyone and if you try you're gonna die you stupid stupid stupid stupid...

He lifted his gun.

Before sliding into the waistline of his jeans, like he'd seen people do on TV.

He stood up, even as his insides trembled and danced. He swallowed again, then forced himself to grin.

"Hey!" he called, in a conversational tone (remembering to keep his voice fairly low after everyone's warnings). Something in his chest and in his brain hurt at the cheerful tone he forced himself to make. "We'll stay away if you want. But no one here is gonna hurt you!"

He didn't look at the girl or Countryman. After all, Countryman had no weapon out, and the girl had a shield. No danger there.

"We're the same people we were before this happened," Xavier said, forcing a confidence he didn't feel into his words. He was surprised to find his voice wasn't trembling. "We're kids. Students. We went to the same school and we walked through the same halls and no one got stabbed or shot or hurt." He took another step towards the tent. "You can go if you have to," Xavier said. "We won't stop you. But you don't have to be afraid of us."
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Solitair
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Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
[ *  *  *  * ]
Arthur stared at Xavier's gun. He may have been hoping that his good friend would be armed, but to see it happen in reality was something else, something unnerving. That thing could do some serious damage if Xavier wanted to cause it, but Arthur was more worried about Xavier fooling around with it and shooting him in the face, Marvin-style, than Xavier going grimdark and turning against him. The guy was too good-natured to turn on them, wasn't he?

The fact that, instead of scaring off a potential predator, they unnerved a poor soul who was just as scared as they were made Arthur sigh and clutch his hair. Everything was just going to get worse and worse, wasn't it? Once the deaths started piling up there wouldn't be any respite or hope for anyone. Sooner or later, even Xavier would snap under circumstances like these, to say nothing of the Cho girl he barely knew.

He almost went to hide behind Cho's shield along with her, but he knew she'd just flip out and attack him. It was only fair, since it would be an invasion of personal space and she'd probably interpret it as an attack.

Still, Xavier sounded confident when he spoke to this mystery girl in the tent. Arthur almost believed in him. So he turned and took a deep breath.

"He's right. We're not gonna come any closer. We just... we're just as scared as you are. No need to kill anyone today." Oh, but he knew that was a lie. How many had died already?
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Will
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Stacy listened to the boys trying to reason with her, but she wasn't buying it. She had seen what had happened to the two girls in the video they were shown before they were put on the island. Those two girls were friends, yet the girl still killed her. If Survival of the Fittest could do that to two friends, she could imagine what it would do to two strangers.

“You saw what happened to the girls in the video, this place changes people, so why should I trust you?” They could probably hear the weakness in her voice, she was trying to sound confident but it wasn't working. “I barely even know you, who’s to say this isn't just a plan to lure me out so you can kill me?”

Shifting her weight onto her other leg, Stacy looked around herself. She was trying to look for an escape route, but there was no way she’d be able to get out of there without the other three seeing her. Stacy swore to herself quietly and slumped back against the tent, her only option now was to talk herself out of it.

Gripping her shotgun in one hand and her bag in the other, Stacy slowly began to rise up from behind the tent. When she was fully upright, Stacy turned to face the trio. Her eyes darted between them, scanning each person to see if they were a threat. The first boy, who Stacy now recognized to be Arthur, (although she couldn't recall his last name) didn't seem to have any weapon on him. Cho was hiding behind some sort of shield which Stacy assumed to be her weapon. At first glance, Xavier didn't seem to have a weapon, however, on closer inspection Stacy noticed a gun tucked into his jeans.

Stacy was terrified, she looked like a rabbit caught in headlights, it would only take a split second for Xavier to pull that gun out and shoot her. Stacy feebly raised her shotgun and pointed it towards her classmates.

“Stay where you are.” Stacy shakily threatened.
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Bit by bit, Cho was edging backwards, the base of her shield dragging along the ground and gouging little furrows in it with each step. This was beyond the realms of her capacity for problem solving. Her first recourse was normally to joke around, as if there was any humour to be drawn from impending death. It wasn't so much that she thought that these particular guys were going to come after her, just that some particular guys were, sooner or later, going to decide that they were more worried about dying than they were sure that there would be a rescue. If, or when that happened, Cho would rather be around people she trusted, as opposed to people she just kind of knew.

Bolting, however, was out of the question, given her burden. Cho was loath to leave the shield behind too - she was well aware that she didn't; every advantage she could get would be a welcome one. It really, really sucked to be thinking about things in that way. As if being in a place like this wasn't bad enough on its own... but just as some of her favourite comedians taught her humour, they also taught her cynicism. That could be funny in and of itself - but it was cynicism all the same.

Saying that her nerves were salved by the appearance of the girl with the shotgun would be highly inaccurate at best. Cho recognised the face, and a moment later the name Stacy popped into her head; right, a cheerleader, popular. Not a Cho kind of person, basically. Even less of one whilst wielding a gun like that. Pointing at them. Shit. She was freaking out, if things kept going the way they way the way they were going.

Cho took a breath, stepped to the side, rotating the shield to reveal more of herself. She immediately felt exposed, but there was a bit of distance. Hopefully enough. "Hey, come on. We didn't need to say hi first. Wasn't like we didn't know where you were. How about taking the foot off the gas. Unless, you know, you're worried I will use my bulging muscles to beat you up with a shield."
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