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Finding Center
Topic Started: May 29 2013, 03:00 AM (939 Views)
Iceblock
Survivor
[ *  * ]
((G069: Lauren Rowe starts))

At the beginning of the end of her life, Lauren Rowe was sitting cross-legged on the dilapidated harbor.

She blinked once, twice, holding back the tears. The tears didn't come. They still hadn't, and it was better that they didn't. Better that she stayed strong.

They'd taken her playing cards. She'd packed them, and they were gone.

They'd given her a syringe, instead, an empty syringe with a sharp needle that she didn't bother cutting or poking herself with. She'd just put it back in the bag. Sat down.

She closed her eyes, and she saw the blood again. Mr. Davidge. He was dead. Her teachers were dead. It was hard to accept. Everything was hard to accept. She'd come close to accepting her situation at points, or trying to accept her situation, but she was, she realized, also dangerously close to breaking down.

That was something she couldn't allow herself to do. Not with her family watching, especially not with Kaitlyn watching. They were watching, she was sure. Some camera was watching her right now, broadcasting her image all over the internet. This was how Survival of the Fittest worked. The government had said it was all over and it wasn't, but she knew how this game worked. It wasn't just kill or be killed. It was kill, be killed, and let the whole world know how everyone had gone to pieces. The terrorists had said as much.

Lauren wasn't about to give them the satisfaction of showing how much they'd gotten to her.

She just wished she had her cards. They were old, worn at the edges from all the use, but they were familiar. She could almost feel them in her hands if she imagined hard enough, the feeling of them bracing against her hands as she shuffled them, bridged them, spread them.

They weren't there, though. She couldn't imagine her cards into reality. She couldn't imagine herself out of the metal collar around her neck. She'd never been much of an imaginer anyway.

Just a little longer, then, to pull herself together.
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Maraoone
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COMIN OUT OF MY CAGE AND I'VE BEEN DOIN JUST FINE
[ *  *  * ]
(G067 - Carmina Maliksi - Start)
Carmina was in an abandoned restaurant, staring out into space.

She hadn't cried yet. If she cried, she'd turn into some blubbering mess and then try to off herself. She wasn't in denial. She knew she was in SOTF. She felt angry, horrified, scared. Yet she wasn't going to cry.

All she could think about was not her friends, not the fact that she might have to kill someone, not even her parents. All she could think about was Kate. She had no idea how Kate would deal with her death. She was Carmina's best friend, her companion. Carmina dying would devastate Kate. Then, maybe she'd regress, become a mess, become silent again. She couldn't afford that. She had to live.

There were some kids that escaped last version, right? Maybe she could do that. She couldn't remember for the life of her how they escaped, but she'd try.

It sounded ridiculous to her, however. A slightly chubby K-pop fan outwitting all the terrorists and rowing back to Seattle? It seemed like the sypnosis of some cheesy comedy film.

The only other way was to kill her classm- no, she couldn't do that. It was wrong. It was against everything she was taught. So, escape it was.

She finally got off the floor and looked outside. There was a girl sitting on the edge of a pier. The pier was made of wood that looked rotten. For a second, she thought the girl was trying to kill herself, but then she thought that if she was going to jump, she'd be standing.

She needed a few friends. No one ever survived long on this island by themselves. She decided to walk outside and go on the pier. She hoped it was someone she knew. "Hey! It's me, Carmina! What's your name?"



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G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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[ *  * ]
She opened her eyes at the sound of footsteps. Frowned.

Her eyes looked the girl up, then back down.

Brunette, large build, someone she'd definitely seen before. Lauren had no clue what the girl's name was, though, until the girl offered it.

Carmina. It sounded familiar, but not enough. The important part was that they weren't friends. Weren't even acquaintances.

If they were at Disneyland, Lauren wouldn't have given Carmina a second thought. Graduation had been coming up, and there was no point in getting to know people that she'd inevitably forget and move on from once college started. She had her close friends and the softball girls. Her mom, her dad. Kaitlyn. She didn't need anyone else.

This wasn't Senior Trip, but maybe the point still held.

The girl was looking back at her.

It could have been worse. Could have been somebody with a gun, filling her full of lead before she could even open her eyes again. Lauren was faintly aware of her heart beating faster at the thought, a trickle of adrenaline moving through her bloodstream as the fight or flight instincts kicked in. Next time, she had to be more alert. She couldn't afford another strike.

She sighed.

"Lauren," she finally said. Didn't offer much more.
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COMIN OUT OF MY CAGE AND I'VE BEEN DOIN JUST FINE
[ *  *  * ]
Lauren.

She didn't really know her, but when she turned around to look at Carmina, her face rang a bell. Was she on the volleyball team? Track? She seemed like one of those sporty girls.

Carmina awkwardly stood there for a few minutes. She had no idea what to say. 'Are you playing?' 'Have you met anyone?' 'How do you feel?' They all seemed like horrible ways to start a conversation.

Finally, she remembered something.

"Wait, let me get something."

She ran to the shop where she was dropped off and saw it immediately.

It was a large tank with a hose attached to it. A paper attached to it said it was a flamethrower. She attempted to lift it up and put it on her back and... completely failed.

She worked out every now and then, but she never focused too much on her arms. By now, she was seriously starting to regret not doing more push-ups. After 5 minutes of trying to lift it up, she decided to ask for help.

"Hey! Lauren! Could you help here?"

V6 Characters:
G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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[ *  * ]
Lauren let the silence stretch.

There was a tightness in her chest, as if she was cramming all her anxieties into that small region. It was the stress, the fear. She'd tensed up. It was an odd thing to realize that she'd done so without knowing it.

She still wasn't as collected as she was trying to make out.

Carmina made some excuse to head away, and Lauren didn't fault her for it. Polite, at least, but they hardly knew each other. There was no need to act like they needed to stay near each other. She didn't watch as the other girl hurried off.

Lauren stood gingerly, aware of the way her weight was distributed underneath her on the rotting planks.

It was best to stay standing. Sitting made her calmer, let her legs rest for a while, but it wasn't safe, not until she found shelter or some of her friends.

That was a goal. Find her friends, the rest of the softball team. The people that she could trust. And then... The image of the girl smothering her best friend came to mind. She pushed it away, blinking twice to stop any tears that might have had an idea to escape. Okay, there was no way that was anything near applicable right now. It'd been an hour at most, and if she couldn't trust her friends, she couldn't trust anyone.

She'd spent enough time thinking. It was time to leave.

She picked up her bag, took a few steps, and heard her name called. Strange. Perhaps she'd pegged Carmina wrong. The voice was coming from inside one of the run-down shops that littered the harbor, which could have been where the other girl had actually left her stuff.

Leaving was still the best option. It didn't sound terribly urgent. It wasn't as if she owed Carmina anything.

She took a few more steps, then pressed her lips together. Turned around, walked back, made her way to the doorway of the store where Carmina was struggling with what looked like a giant gun connected to a tank. She almost turned back around and left again. She would have, if it hadn't looked like the other girl was in no condition to actually shoot her with it. She might not have admitted it, too, but she was a tiny bit curious about what the weapon was.

Her eyebrows knit together as she looked the apparatus over. "I don't know. What're you trying to do?"
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COMIN OUT OF MY CAGE AND I'VE BEEN DOIN JUST FINE
[ *  *  * ]
Lauren didn't trust Carmina.

She couldn't blame her. This was an island where you were supposed to lie, betray, maim, kill, do anything you can just to survive. What she couldn't figure out was why she was scared of her. As far as Carmina was concerned, she was not an intimidating figure. She was large, yeah, but not the scary type of large. More like a fluffy-cute-teddy-bear type of large.

She shouted back, "I really need your help here! This weapon I'm trying to pick up? It's this really heavy flamethrower! You know, the really cool gun-like thing that spews flames? I swear I won't hurt you with it! We could even become allies, if you wanted!"

Shoot, she shouldn't have said that. She should've been all casual, she shouldn't have simply blurted it out. It seemed so clingy. It made her seem like one of those insecure people that tried to ruin your life if you left them for one second. But she said it, and now all Carmina could do was wait and see how badly she screwed up.
V6 Characters:
G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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[ *  * ]
Lauren's eyes widened slightly in surprise, couldn't help making the microexpression.

Carmina was really being sincere with her. She was telling her about the flamethrower, asking her to trust her. It didn't sound like the other girl was putting on a show.

Friendly ribbing? Kind of passive-aggressive ribbing? Softball had made those easy to deal with. Lauren could take all of those and sometimes even get in a word back. This kind of raw emotion, though, she had a little harder time with that.

She didn't want allies that she didn't know. On the other hand, she also didn't want to get killed, if the flamethrower was as deadly as it seemed. It only took her a couple of seconds to decide. The choice was easy enough.

Lauren nodded.

"Alright," she said. "Allies." At least until the flamethrower was on Carmina's back.

She got a little closer, made sure that the other girl was in no shape to pull the trigger on the flamethrower.

Getting a better look at the weapon, there was no flame lit anywhere on it. Safe, then. The tanks might have been filled with gas, but she didn't even need to know much science to figure out that there needed to be some sort of flame to get the flamethrower to work.

Her fingers slipped underneath the tank of the flamethrower, and her eyes locked with Carmina's dark brown ones.

"On three, then?"
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COMIN OUT OF MY CAGE AND I'VE BEEN DOIN JUST FINE
[ *  *  * ]
Lauren nodded.

"Alright. Allies."

Carmina was ecstatic. She had an ally. She had someone she could talk, live, and die wi- They weren't going to die. They would escape. How? She didn't know, but first, she needed to focus on getting this flamethrower on her back.

"On three then?"

"Yeah. One. Two. Three!"

The two successfully managed to lift the flamethrower onto Carmina's back. It was very heavy, but nothing that would crack her back.

Carmina decided to check her belongings. Her phone wasn't here, which was a shame. Of course, the terrorists would probably remove anything which could reveal their location. She was still hoping to listen to some songs from Boys Over Flowers, however. Her clothes, thankfully, were untouched. That was it.

She started feeling an itch in her neck. She tried to reach it but was blocked by a hard metal object.

The collars.

She'd completely forgotten about the collars.

She wanted to scream, but remembered that she had an ally now. It would be horrible to simply scare away Lauren just when they were getting close.

After 10 seconds of trying to calm down, Carmina spoke.

"S-so... do you have anyone you need to find? I could help you. I don't think a lot of my friends made it here... maybe Yukiko's around. I don't know, maybe we could find her along the way."
V6 Characters:
G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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[ *  * ]
Then it was done. It was over with, the flamethrower strapped securely on Carmina's back.

It hadn't been as heavy as she had expected from the other girl's description of it, but perhaps that was because all her softball work had paid off after all. Just so that she could lift things for a living. She would have smirked if Carmina wasn't there.

The flame still wasn't on, but Lauren could have cared less.

Stretching, she kept watch on the other girl. Carmina could defend herself just fine now. Lauren was the one without the weapon now, with only the syringe to work with. It wasn't trash; she could think of uses for it, but it wasn't ideal.

First things first. She needed to find her friends, and Carmina, it seemed, had much the same idea.

It was tempting to just agree, pretend like she was in this ally thing all the way until both of them found who they really wanted to ally with. Carmina didn't seem like a danger, but Lauren knew who she trusted. It wasn't strangers that she had just fully met ten minutes ago.

"No," she lied, then reconsidered as the stupidity of the statement occurred to her. "Well, maybe. I'll know them if I see them." She allowed the ends of her lips to curve upwards, in a way that she hoped was comforting, and nodded towards the door. "We should get going, though. If you'd lead the way?"

She didn't usually do this. She regretted getting involved in this situation, just a little bit.
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Maraoone
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COMIN OUT OF MY CAGE AND I'VE BEEN DOIN JUST FINE
[ *  *  * ]
Carmina was content now. She had a chanc- no, she would definitely survive now. She had someone who would look out for her. It was perfect. All she and Lauren had to do was make a plan, now. Wait, she hadn't even mentioned her plans of escape now. She'd get to that, once they arrived somewhere safe. Somewhere with enough shelter.

She checked the duffel bag the terrorists had given her. There was enough food for maybe 7-10 days, a first-aid kit (she almost visibly gagged at the thought of having to use that), 'Mr. Danya's Guide to Survival', a map, and a compass. She took out the map and compass and tried to figure out where they'd go. Shipping yard or aviary? Shipping yard or aviary?

"Kay. This way. We're going to the shipping yard." Carmina figured that the shipping yard had more cover. There, they'd be able to plan, eat a little, and maybe relax for a while.

She put the bag full of personal belongings on her right shoulder while she folded and placed the map and compass in her pocket. She then cradled the duffel bag they gave her. Afterwards, she got out and walked north towards the shipping yard. She looked behind herself. "Come on, let's get going!" There was some enthusiasm in her voices. She seemed so optimistic. They were far from figuring out everything they needed to do, but they were off to a nice start.

(Carmina Maliksi continued in Wish I Could Breathe)
Edited by Maraoone, May 31 2013, 09:39 PM.
V6 Characters:
G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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"Mara was a mistake." - Cicada, 2017
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Iceblock
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[ *  * ]
Shipping yard was as good a place as any.

Lauren followed, at least for a while.

The other girl looked back at first, once or twice. Lauren just nodded back and didn't attempt small talk. Carmina seemed enthusiastic, for some reason, as if everything was coming up just the way she wanted.

Lauren couldn't quite figure out her temporary companion. She didn't need to, though, didn't want to terribly much.

Carmina seemed like a nice girl. She had friends. Now she had a flamethrower to defend herself with. She'd be fine on her own. Lauren didn't feel any guilt about leaving her behind.

Any place was as good as the shipping yard.

At some point, when Carmina stopped looking, Lauren slipped away. Headed in the opposite direction.

((Lauren Rowe continued in This is a message from Lord Nergal. "I await you on the Dread Isle."))
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