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The two people in the distance were Paulo and Becca
Topic Started: Jun 3 2013, 12:12 AM (3,488 Views)
simpleinsanity
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Blueberry.
[ * ]
Cyrus stared quizzically at the girl shouting obscenities at him. From the second he heard her screaming outside, to the second she started screaming in her face, he felt sorry for her. Not that he would say it to her face, of course. The situation was tense enough without Cyrus appearing to hold himself superior to her. He let her continue her verbal assault until it got to the point about the weapon. Just as he was about to speak up, a skinny Latino came running up.

"Este...Estavo...Esteban! Or is it Steven? It's Esteban, but he goes by Steven...ugh, I should've socialized more." Steven started speaking, and Cyrus listened. This boy was in journalism, if he remembered. Social guy, has spoken to just about everyone. Cyrus felt relieved. This guy couldn't hurt a fly. He heard him say something about them not having weapons, which made him even more relieved. As he was about to speak up, ANOTHER person came up.

"Ian, I think...he's a nice guy too, so unless these three all cracked under the pressure at the same time, they shouldn't be interested in playing this game." Once they had all finished talking, he took a deep breath and threw his ice axe backwards through the door. He smiled widely, even laughing a little.

"You all have no idea how relieved I am, I totally thought you were going to kill me!" He laughed a bit more, stepping into the doorway. "Please, come in, I was just looting the medicine cabinet. The kitchen is on the left, if I remember correctly." He strode inside, not even checking if the three were following. He picked the ice axe up off the floor, tossing it into a nearby couch. "If none of you have weapons, I could help you make some makeshift stuff as long as you can help me scrounge up some tools." He thought he'd never have houseguests again.
Edited by simpleinsanity, Jul 11 2013, 09:37 PM.
V5: Cyrus White
Weapon: Ice Axe
Pregame: Debates and Discourse (Main Pregame), Nox Mirabilis (Prom), Sin and Sacred Light (Before Prom)
Game: One, Two, and Three.
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jimmydalad
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[ *  *  * ]
While she was annoyed by Steven's interruption, Sharon realized that it was a good thing that he did come in. She was in no state to calmly talk to anyone, her anger still steaming along. She hated when she got angry. It was something she couldn't really do anything about. She would always lose her temper and do something rash or stupid without even thinking about the consequences. She didn't want that to happen in the game.

While the others talked, Sharon took a few steps away from them and started to take deep breaths. She tried to clear her mind of her camera, which had been taken away from her. Unfortunately, that wasn't really something easy to do. It had been with her for years and it was a part of her. To be without her camera, Sharon felt exposed. It was her memories with her parents that got to her the most and the reason why she became angry. However, now wasn't the time to get angry. Sharon told herself this as she took the breaths.

After reaching a state of calmness, Sharon walked back to the group, adjusting her beret so that it felt a little more comfortable. She eventually reached Cyrus and gave him a sheepish look. She probably overreacted with her interaction with him. She didn't want him to be scared of her or see her as a threat. She knew that would be harmful in the long run and therefore, she had to set it straight.

"I'm sorry mate. I guess I let my anger get the better of me. The bastards took my camera and your weapon caused me to lash out." Sharon informed Cyrus, trying not to look embarrassed. She didn't like apologizing, but she had to do it. The game was making her do a lot of things that she didn't like. There was nothing she could do about it though. Just her luck.

"So what do we do now?" Sharon quickly asked the others, hoping not to linger on apologies and whatnot. It was getting late and Sharon let out a yawn, tired from the events that had occurred throughout the day.
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MurderWeasel
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((The loose outline of this timeskip and GMing has been approved by everyone involved. I'm keeping the specifics vague so everyone can fill in their own stuff, but if anything needs editing, let me know and I'll fix it. :) ))

"I think," Steven said, "everyone on this island is a little tense. I hope so, at least. Otherwise, something's wrong with them."

With the situation defused, the group moved inside. The mansion was large, spacious, all around a fine place to spend time indeed. Steven actually felt a little bit bad; here they were in relative safety and luxury, while outside in the wilderness their classmates might even now be fighting for their lives. At the moment, however, there was nothing that could be done about that, and so Steven contented himself with making the best of the situation and keeping the others in some sort of order.

They scoured the house for anything else useful, and at the same time took some security precautions. At any given time, at least one of the four would be on watch from the upstairs windows, ready to call out if anyone else approached. Nobody did, though, and soon enough night fell.

Steven was able to improvise a couple limited weapons. He spent some time working on a small wooden chair, and was eventually able to force one of the legs loose, giving him a hefty, solid, two-foot chunk of wood. He also found a pillowcase and filled one corner with small stones and pebbles from the garden, then knotted it, creating a rudimentary sort of flail.

They spent the night trading watches and talking, whenever anyone felt the inclination. Steven preferred conversing, because it kept him from sinking too deeply into thought. A few times, he heard what might have been gunshots, but they were distant and dim enough that he could tell himself otherwise, for his and Sharon's sake. It was strange, sitting in the near-total dark. Back home in Seattle, it was rare to open a window and not see some sort of unnatural light.

Steven slept, as well, and even felt rested when he awoke in the morning. All things considered, it seemed that everything might be, if not okay, then at least tolerable.

Until, that is, the voice rang from everywhere at once.





In the aftermath, Steven sat still and silent for a long time. He did not move because he was unsure if he could do so without shaking, and he did not speak because he was unsure if he could do so without shouting. He restrained himself only because there was nobody here to turn his wrath upon. Everyone in the room with him was as innocent as it was possible to be, and that only made things worse.

But after a time, with not too much shaking and a voice that was if anything a little too quiet rather than loud, Steven stood and spoke.

"This is fucked up," he said. "Someone has to stop them."
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Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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VysePresident
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ian was sitting in a rocking chair when the announcements came on, having volunteered to take the current watch. Earlier in the night, he'd had the notion that being well rested for the next day would be a good idea, silly person that he was, but that'd apparently been a bit much to hope for. It had always been hard enough for him to sleep in an unfamiliar bed, but with the events of the past day running through his mind, it was virtually impossible. For that reason, he'd probably taken the most turns watching. No reason not to let the others get as much sleep as they could. Occasionally, he'd exchange some small talk with one of them, but for the most part, it had just been him and his thoughts to keep him company.

Surprisingly, he felt little inclination to rail at his fate yet again. While the previous day had left something to be desired, not least of which was the eradication of all ants, he had to admit that there was a lot to be grateful for. Everything had seemed to move along smoothly after they'd started setting up base inside the mansion, and they were about as safe and secure as could be hoped for, under the circumstances. In addition to the watch they'd set up, Ian had taken the extra precaution of blocking up any entrances other than the front door with whatever furniture was handy. It wouldn't stop somebody who was determined to get in, but at least it would give them some warning, which meant it was probably worth the effort. He'd also taken a cue from Steven's chair leg, and gotten himself a shovel from the garden shed to defend himself with. It had clearly seen better days, but it had been reasonably well stored, and at least it didn't seem to be rusted or rotten.

While it was impossible to truly forget the grim reality of the situation, Ian slowly began to realize he was starting to have fun, as they all worked to make the most of their time. Perhaps it was just in his mind, but everyone had seemed to relax as they focused on the tasks at hand, and from time to time they'd chatted, and even joked around in a way that actually felt genuine. It was the closest he'd come to feeling a sense of peace since he'd woken up in the park, and he was only just now realizing that he'd begun to think of these people, who'd he'd barely known back at Aurora, as friends rather than merely allies.

That peace of mind had been shattered when the mocking voice of Danya burst out of nowhere, heralding the moment he'd been quietly dreading in the back of his mind. Even before their tormentor started listing off names, he'd stopped rocking, and was in serious danger of falling off his seat as he listened, fearing that one of those eight names would be a friend.




By the time it was over, he was vaguely aware that he probably ought to be feeling something. Anger, resentment, grief, anything besides the numbness and shock that had overridden everything. He'd known better than to hope that nobody would die. No, much as he'd wanted to be wrong, he had expected to hear that at least a couple of his former classmates were murderers, just like the other students who came before them. The first two victims had been sad to hear, but, in way that disconcerted him a little, he realized they'd only been names to him. He'd prayed for their souls, and even their killers, but it didn't have the same impact as if he'd known either of them. It was the third set of names that had left him stunned and shaken, barely able to catch that none of the other names were close friends of his.

Daniel and Hansel....

Of all his friends on this wretched place, he'd thought that surely Daniel, who was practically everyone's friend, would be the safest. Instead, he was dead on the first day, and the only thing that hurt worse than realizing he'd lost one his earliest friends from Seattle was when he registered the name of the killer. One of his friends had been killed by another, and however much he wanted there to be a more comfortable explanation for the deed, the fact remained that a headshot didn't imply an accident.

It was a lot to take in all at once, and he was just beginning to feel the first traces of rage and grief when Steven's quiet comment brought him back to the present. He nodded quietly at the other boy's words, and then, when he trusted himself not to let his voice shake, he spoke up. Out of all the things he could have responded with, only a few words seemed willing to come out.

"....Yeah, yeah it is. Daniel and Hansel were both my friends, back in Aurora." Lord have mercy on their souls.

It took him a moment longer to weigh his answer to the second half of Steven's statement. At first, he taken it as a futile, but ultimately harmless reference to the terrorists, but it had slowly dawned on him that his friend might have a different idea in mind, and it was one that made him desperately hope he was wrong, despite a sudden flash of sympathy for the thought.

"Who do you mean? The terrorists, or the killers? You do understand that's why they're announcing the names, right? If they can't get you to kill one way, they'll push you to do so out fear or anger."

No, not good. He was working from an assumption now, and one that he had no justification for accepting. He took a deep breath, and started again.

"Sorry, that's more me talking to myself than you. It's just...I don't know. There's a part of me that wants to get out there too, and to heck with the consequences, but we need a plan. If the idea is to wait out the storm in hopes of a rescue, maybe we should be trying to find more people we can trust. We'd have a better chance of holding out here, and maybe we can actually make a difference."

"Look, I know it's not much, and I'll be glad to listen to any better ideas, but whatever we're going to do, we need to think it through first."

It wasn't the best speech in the world, but it would have to do for now.
Constructive criticism is always welcome! Feel free to send me a PM if you have any pointers or feedback you'd like to share!

Character #1: Boy #37 Ian Williams - Now with 55% less self-insert.
Designated Weapon: Polaroid Instant Camera With Film (Enough for 8 photographs)

Past - | 1 | 2 | (Current thread - Birds of a Feather)
Pregame - None
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (Final Thread - Glass
)
Character #2: Boy #66 Chase Rodriguez - Adopted from Pippin.
Designated Weapon: Silver Pill Box Containing Three Cyanide Capsules

Past - None
Pregame - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (Last seen in - Diversions)
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (Final Thread - Drawing to an End)



(Relationships Planning Thread #Pi)
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Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Karen Idel advancing from Level 3)

After parting ways from Gavin, Karen Idel was determined to find new allies, new warriors, new soldiers to fight alongside her and make this battle a reality.

Except not long afterwards, she was exhausted.

One mild asthma attack. A long god damn time on her feet with a heavier load than she was used to on her shoulders. Chest felt tight all the god damn time, and her body ached, to boot. Tired. Very tired.

It wasn't even evening when she found an abandoned house. She spent the fifteen minutes it took to make sure there was no one inside, then rolled beneath a bed where she wouldn't easily be spotted. No friends right now, but that was necessary. They couldn't suspect she was forming a group. Absolutely couldn't.

So, tired and aching, Karen fell asleep.

She awoke halfway through the Announcements. Eyes wide beneath her bed, she listened.

It's begun.

People buying into the game. People believing their enemy was as invincible as the seemed.

Maybe they even think they're that invincible.

No, that was a stupid thought. They'd felt it, just as she had. That moment of confidence, bright and beautiful, certain. And then...

Then you're on the pavement, gasping for breath, dying.

They're just like me.

She forced herself awake, past this tumult of useless thought. There was work to be done. Plans to be made. People to be found and saved from their own stupidity.

She rolled out from beneath the dusty underbed, lungs and body both protesting, tired, strained, weary. She reached for her inhaler and puffed, relieving a little of the pressure in her chest but done of the exhaustion of her body. She almost wanted to drop her stuff, but she couldn't be sure which areas would be made into danger zones and...

Well, wait. Did she have a choice in the matter? Could she keep going like this? Anyways, if she understood the rules properly, it would only be an issue for a day. She could return after. If she lasted that long.

She moved some of her stuff out of her bag and beneath the bed, until the bag was about half as full as it had been. When she slung it back over her shoulder, it was much lighter, and her body protested much less.

She left the building, trying not to dwell too long on how grimy she felt, how dirty she was, and how easily she could get sick or get an infection. On a whim, ended up heading for the smaller of the two mansions.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


V4 Players
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simpleinsanity
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Blueberry.
[ * ]
Cyrus sighed deeply, shaking his head. Everyone who died, he didn't know them too well. He might've helped a few of them with projects or relationship problems. The morbid truth was that they all needed to die.

"I'm sorry to say, all, but if they weren't killed we would all be dead. They said at the very beginning, if someone didn't die every day, everybody would be killed instantly. Doesn't exactly make it right, but...yeah." He sighed again, getting up from his seat. He walked out into the garden without another word, ice axe in hand. Spotting a shed, he walked in and looked around. Pulling a roll of tape onto a stool, he grabbed a broom and placed it onto a wooden plank.

"Saw, saw, they wouldn't have taken a saw...saw!" Grasping a hand-saw, he put his axe next to him and begun cutting where the broom meets the handle. "Just need a good-sized shard of glass, and then I can-THIS ISN'T WORKING!" He threw the saw across the room, trudging outside. "Stop it, Cyrus, STOP IT! Stop trying to ignore the fact that your classmates are killing each other, stop trying to ignore that you need to have some kind of plan if you want to survive, just...just stop it!" Occupied with his thoughts, he barely noticed the girl walking towards the mansion. No gun, no real weapons visible. But who was it? A closer examination revealed it to be Karen...Idle..Idol...Idel...

"Idel! Right, Karen Idel. Quiet little pale girl, plays a lot of video games, doesn't take very good care of herself. Could really use a hug. Let's hope she hasn't gone off the deep end, yeah?" He didn't approach her. He didn't even move for a moment until suddenly sprinting inside.

"Hey, we got a new one coming in. Karen Idel. Pale girl, fairly antisocial. She doesn't look like she has a weapon, but her clothes are pretty baggy." He kept a smile up, despite being scared out of his wits. "J...just try ignoring it a bit longer. It's not good for my chances if I spend all my time worrying. Who knows? She might be both friendly and hiding a weapon." He sighed slightly, mumbling to himself as he walked back to the shed. "We are so going to die..."
V5: Cyrus White
Weapon: Ice Axe
Pregame: Debates and Discourse (Main Pregame), Nox Mirabilis (Prom), Sin and Sacred Light (Before Prom)
Game: One, Two, and Three.
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jimmydalad
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[ *  *  * ]
Sharon heard the announcements. It was hard not to. The loud deafening boom of the man's voice reverberated around his ears and served as a very unwelcome wake-up call. So people were killing already? Sharon wasn't sure whether they were desperate or stupid. Either way, all of the people who had killed just made themselves known as big targets and people to watch out for. It was a stupid thing, but that was the way things were. People were bound to freak out and Sharon was trying not to think about the emotions behind it, only the logistics.

"Well, they just painted targets on their backs. I am pretty sure someone is going to get them sooner or later." Sharon responded methodically to Steven. She couldn't let her emotions get the better of her here. She was known for being very emotional and emotions in this scenario were only a weakness in the long run. It was all too easy to get emotionally caught in the drama of the game, to declare yourself as a player killer and start killing in acts of revenge, not realizing you were becoming a killer in the first place. She was not going to let that happen to her. She was better than that.

Sharon raised her right eye in response to Ian's comment. She was going to make a comment about how they couldn't rely on friendships on the island, before remembering that her friendship with Steven was helping her keep in control. The next part of his commentary surprised Sharon. It had never occurred to her to think like that. Maybe Ian was smarter than she thought he was. This gave her confidence for the long run of the game. Well, minus the statement about not thinking about the consequences. Cyrus's comment also gave her pause. After a while, she came up with an idea.

"I agree with Ian. We should just stay out of everything. Don't get caught in the conflict and just keep to ourselves. With what you're saying, the others will probably just get to killing each other. There's nothing we can do about that. However, we can buy time for ourselves by using others. It's not the best plan, but it's better than getting caught in all of the shit that's happening around us. If we have time, we can come up with a plan to get help from there. If we can't come up with anything, at least we can survive." Sharon declared to the group. The plan was a bit grim, leaving their classmates to die, but it was the most logical thing to do in Sharon's eyes. She did not want to get caught up in the game. She didn't want to lose herself to the game.

"Hide close to the windows so that she can't see us." Sharon commanded as soon as Cyrus mentioned the appearance of someone else. Karen Idel? She barely knew the girl. She was a gamer and a girl. That was pretty much it. She didn't like risks though. She just wanted to stay out of the game and have time to come up with a plan to escape. Then again, Sharon knew at the back of her mind that escape was a very minute possibility. She didn't tell the others that though. If it had to come to it, she would need to come up with a plan to stay alive, possibly to the end.

"Steven, mind making your presence known? Don't take the pickaxe. Talk with Karen a bit first and we'll keep hidden. If she attacks you, we'll attack back. You won't be in any risk whatsoever. Trust me, I'm Sharon Austin. I know what I'm doing." Sharon briefed Steven, giving a cheeky smirk and wink towards the end. She wanted to keep him calm and being humorous seemed to be a good way of doing that.

"Guys, one more thing. If worse comes to worse, we might need to kill. Even if they are our friends. If they present even the slightest hint of being a threat, we should be ready to take them out. You guys ready to do that?" Sharon asked the others quickly. Ian's talk about friends and the current situation meant that she needed to confirm this with the others. "Of course, that would only be a last ditch effort. I just want to stay out of the game. However, if it comes knocking, I won't just lay down and die. I'll put up a fight. It's what I'm known for."

She waited for their responses, putting her back to the wall and making herself as small as possible to prevent being caught by Karen. She gave each of them a serious stare, making her intentions known. If they want to put up a threat towards their safety, Sharon won't let them do that. Ever.
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It was a testament to the degree to which Steven cared about the others that he didn't cut into their rants and lectures, because in an awfully short span of time they managed to stoke the embers of anger into a conflagration of rage. It was the little things that hurt and twisted, the things they took for granted.

So Ian thought that the terrorists wanted them to go after the killers. That was a fair and logical point, and probably true. And so maybe in this situation, someone with the terrorists so obviously on the brain would leap straight to their desired conclusion and assume that stopping the killers could only be synonymous with ending their lives. It was a stupid assumption, but not an unfathomable one, and so Steven did not begrudge Ian his misunderstanding.

So Ian wanted to gather people and wait. Maybe that would work, if someone came to save them. Maybe it would keep them all safe. But it sure as shit would not actually make a difference. Hiding was something that people could do fine on their own, and hiding did not solve any of the root issues at play. It did not increase their chances of being saved, and it did not do anything for the vulnerable, for those with nobody to protect them.

So Cyrus thought that the deaths had saved the lives of the rest of the class, and somehow that made things, not better, but no, really, Cyrus was saying it made them better. Because, hey, tough shit for all those dead people, but thank God it's not us dead, yeah? Thank God we can hide in this place and pray for our rescue and maybe collect some other people to do the exact same shit so we feel like we're involved.

So Sharon thought that the killers would get killed. She thought maybe that made things better now, because, hey, they sealed their fates when they started killing, might as well throw 'em under the bus and let them bleed out so everyone else could live another day. That's what was really important, scrambling for those last little moments like pigeons for crumbs or desperate homeless for a handful of loose change.

So Sharon thought they could use other people to prolong their own existences. So it wasn't the best plan, but at least they could survive, because that's what mattered. That was all that mattered to everyone, and somehow they couldn't see it, couldn't see that that was the exact same thought pattern that created the killers and couldn't see that it was a booby prize.

So Karen Idel was outside, and she didn't look like she was trouble, but they were battening the hatches anyways just in case, had a whole plan set up so that they could deal with her, dispose of her if she was a threat, and never—never they promised—never would Steven be in any danger, God forbid he be in danger. God forbid he risk his life here, because they had to survive, that was the Alpha and the Omega and man, fuck anyone who got in the way of that.

So fuck Karen Idel, and fuck all those kids out there killing, and fuck anyone who wasn't useful or didn't at least have the sense to shut the hell up and sit quietly while they all waited for their miracle.

So, now, fuck Steven, because his conscience wasn't good at shutting up and he had spent his life learning to pull the wool from his eyes and he'd learned to read between the lines. He'd learned to ask the right questions, and he'd asked them now, and the answers were as ugly as any he'd ever turned up.

They were Steven and Sharon and Ian and Cyrus and now maybe Karen. They were trapped on an island in the middle of nowhere, and more specifically they were holed up in a nasty mansion. It was mid-morning, and today was probably Thursday back in Seattle. They were, all of them in their class, to fight to the death, and they were, the four or now maybe the five of them, to hide out until all other options exhausted themselves.

But why?

Because. Because authority and biological imperatives conspired to thwart all things good and right in this world, and Death rode unchecked when no good man would stand and face him, knowing all the while that he would be cut down. Because they'd all given up, thrown away bright presents in the hope of maybe facing some dull future.

Steven tried not to break promises, he really did, but sometimes things didn't work out. Sometimes he made too many promises, and had to decide which to keep, and such was the case now.

"Sorry, guys," he said as he stood. Straightening, he felt a weight lift off his shoulders, a shiver run up his spine.

"I think you're wrong. I've been thinking a while now." And he had, because what else had he been doing but allowing his anger to ferment, to age and mature? He had said not a word while the others spoke and left and scouted and played house, not since his initial declaration, and yet all they had done was steel his resolve. Sometimes it was haste and hurt that spoke the truth, and even wisdom could recognize that.

"You can stay here, if you want, and maybe it'll keep you safe. Maybe you'll get rescued. I hope you do.

"I don't think we're going to be saved, and I can't walk away when my classmates are out there tearing each other apart. So I'm going to stop them. It's like I said: you can't hide from this, can't avoid being changed by it, so you need to make sure the changes are for the better. And if we're all going to die, I'd rather we not die like dogs. Seems a worthy enough cause to me.

"You can come if you want. No obligation."

So Steven stood and lifted his bag and his chair leg and he turned and got going, out a side door because he'd helped them barricade things and knew which one was the least heavily fortified, which would take the least time for them to replace if they wanted to bury their heads in the sand and survive. It wouldn't take him by Karen Idel, maybe through her field of vision, but he wasn't worried because he knew the names of those who'd killed and Karen Idel wasn't one of them.

More than could be said for five of their classmates. And however much he'd appreciated his cassettes and his notepad, Steven still had a reporter's mind, could still reel off a half-decent summary of an interview on memory alone, and he never forgot a name.

And there would be more than those five, he knew, a never-ending stream of anger and desperation and pain and that primal urge to survive, but what good was a task with an ending? What worked for Sisyphus would work for Steven.

((Steven Salazar continued in Messiah, Complex/Eat Your Heart Out, B098))
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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VysePresident
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Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It was funny to think how only a short while ago, he'd been feeling that everything was, if not alright, then at least tolerable. Now everything was falling apart, and Ian wasn't even sure if he wanted to save things, assuming that was even possible. Now, as Steven left, he just sat there speechless, not saying anything to him because he couldn't.

Because, even though he couldn't read Steven's mind, couldn't say for certain what had been the last straw, he was pretty darn sure he could take a guess. Both Cyrus's justification for the deaths, and particularly Sharon's obliviously selfish remarks had hit all too close to home. After all, what was Sharon doing but endorsing his own freaking plan? What was Cyrus doing but accepting it, warts and all? And what had Steven done, but refuse to be part of it?

Then, suddenly, after Steven left, the dam finally burst and the words he'd been unable to say before came flowing out, and he didn't care if anyone was speaking, didn't even know for sure because he'd shut himself out, because this hurt enough already. These were his friends, not close friends maybe, but still friends, and nobody seemed to care. Nobody was willing to talk it out, to stop for a moment and think that maybe all this drama was unnecessary, so to heck with it all.

"Right. I'm going to talk to Karen, and honestly, I don't give a darn if you guys want to tag along or not. If she's going to attack me, then to heck with it all. After that, maybe I'll keep to the plan, maybe I'll tag along with Steven, but no, I'm definitely not ready to attack my friends, and I hope I never am. Because you guys are right. That's the price of our safety. Thank you for helping me put it things into perspective, because, at the end of the day, we're all going to need to decide whether our skin is really more important than anything else. While I can't agree with just rushing out there like Steven, the truth is that I'd rather be stupid and trying to do the right thing, than trying to justify murder, even by proxy. Because when it all comes down to it, we're just playing the 'game', if you want to call it that, in our own, selfish way."

With that, he was up and walking away, not caring what they were saying, if anything, because he'd said his piece and didn't want to see the results of his rant. He wanted to hate them all for bringing things to this point, but he couldn't. Because, when it all came down to it, he could understand them all too well, and any resentment was to be directed at himself. Just because he hadn't accepted everything on an intellectual level, the way Cyrus and Sharon had, didn't mean he was any less a part of this. For all his talk of plans, both to himself and the others, hadn't he been just as willing to let it all go, to give up before he'd even tried? For all that he liked to believe he was generally honest with himself, the painful truth was that he hadn't been willing to face that fact, until the illusion had been broken beyond repair.

Maybe that was why he hadn't answered Sharon himself, hadn't called her out for her selfish remarks. Because he wasn't ready to call himself out yet, either. Oh, he'd nearly spoken up, but then Steven started talking, and maybe it was cowardly, maybe it was just polite, but he'd differed to the other boy. After all, what was Steven but a handy means to avoid dealing with conflict himself? It was a watertight plan to get the best of all worlds, and surely nothing could possibly go wrong.

Genius, Ian. Please grab a complimentary lollipop and report to the head patting station at once.

Okay, maybe that he was being a bit too hard on himself, maybe, but the fact remained that he'd allowed himself to forget that Steven was a person as well, one who had as much stake in this as any of them. But hadn't his plan only been a desire to be practical? Hadn't he already gone through everything, searched constantly and desperately for any other option, and come up short? What was there to do, realistically? Should he have charged out there with Steven, and never mind that they probably wouldn't accomplish anything before they died? Wouldn't it be more pragmatic to follow his plan, weak as it was, and hope for the best?

Except, as someone wiser than him once said, sometimes, to be truly pragmatic, you have to be more than a pragmatist. After all, to be pragmatic was to be concerned with what works, but it left open the question as to what ends should he work towards. When the subject of a rescue had come up, he'd latched onto the idea wholeheartedly, forgetting that he'd dismissed that same possibility earlier in the day. It had been all too easy to give up responsibility for a daydream.

At the same time, that didn't negate the need for a real plan. Steven was blind in his own way, whether he really was going out there to take on the killers, or just out of a nebulous desire to do something. While Ian could respect the desire to do right far more than if Steven had just gone along with everyone else, the fact remained that it was stupid to charge out there, replacing emotionalism for thought. If he really wanted to make a difference, he needed to have something in mind. It didn't have to be much. Even something small would do. What that was, however, he didn't know.

He reached the front porch without any signs of Steven, which surprised him a little until he saw the boy off to the side. Had he used one of the blocked doors? Why? Oh well. Not like it really mattered just now. Instead, he turned towards the girl - Karen - and waved.

"Hey! Are you alright?" Let's ask a stupid question. "The property values kind of suck, but if you're looking for shelter, I'm pretty sure you'd be welcome to stay."

It wasn't exactly his choice to make, but if the others wanted to argue with him...well...he might even enjoy the battle at this point.
Constructive criticism is always welcome! Feel free to send me a PM if you have any pointers or feedback you'd like to share!

Character #1: Boy #37 Ian Williams - Now with 55% less self-insert.
Designated Weapon: Polaroid Instant Camera With Film (Enough for 8 photographs)

Past - | 1 | 2 | (Current thread - Birds of a Feather)
Pregame - None
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (Final Thread - Glass
)
Character #2: Boy #66 Chase Rodriguez - Adopted from Pippin.
Designated Weapon: Silver Pill Box Containing Three Cyanide Capsules

Past - None
Pregame - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (Last seen in - Diversions)
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (Final Thread - Drawing to an End)



(Relationships Planning Thread #Pi)
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((Mirabella Strong, Juhan Levandi, and Takeshi Yoshikawa continued from The Real Folk Blues))

Considering the emotional exhaustion they'd undergone that morning, the journey towards the Northern Town was surprisingly easy. While there was a hefty distance between the school buildings and the residential areas, it wasn't one that proved too exhausting physically. And it'd helped clear her mind; the walk there had proved almost...therapeutic. For me, at least. I hope Takeshi and Juhan are coping okay.

She whirled around to whisper to the other members of the trio, slowing her pace as she did so.

"Are...are you holding up alright? This place ought to be comfortable without attracting too many people towards it. I think we made a good choice coming here."

Half a minute later the three of them reached the outskirts of the mansions, and Bella's presumption was quickly proved wrong. Two people? They should be able to afford a few more. Maybe.

Karen and Ian. On the plus side, neither of them seemed like they'd gun down her and her companions. One the down side...one of them wasn't Garrett.

Bella knew that Ian was quite the debater, but she'd never interacted much with Karen. Which meant that she wouldn't have any pre-existing reason to hurt her. Unless she'd inadvertently offended her once. I ought to be cautious, just in case.

Bella coughed gently, and took a step forward. While the pair of them appeared vaguely unantagonistic, she couldn't say the same for herself and the boys. A pair of scrawny guys and puffy-eyed girl. Hopefully it works.

"Uh...hello? It's Mirabella Strong, and I'm with Takeshi Yoshikawa and Juhan Levandi. We're...we're not bad guys."
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Considering the circumstances, Takeshi was doing rather well. The sight of Francis' body had jarred him in a way he couldn't quite describe. Francis and Juhan had been the first people he'd met on the island. He didn't feel particularly attached to Francis, no more so than any of his other companions. He hadn't known any of them well before they got to the island. He found himself recalling the St. Crispin's Day Speech from Shakespeare's Henry V.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;


Maybe it was because they'd been the first faces he'd seen that he found Francis' death harder to come to terms with than the names announced that morning. They'd traveled together, planned together, and then Francis was gone. Not even killed by some crazed player; Francis died in a stupid accident that might have been avoided entirely if he'd been a little more sensitive to the girls feelings.

What am I going to do when we run into a real player though? Ethics are great, but I've got friends to look out for now...friends... Takeshi supposed Mira and Juhan were the closest he'd have to finding friends on the island for a while. Maybe I should have joined more clubs. He allowed himself a quiet laugh at the absurdity of such a thought. He and his classmates were supposed to be killing one another, and there he was wishing he'd gotten to know more of them.

Maybe I should be glad that nobody I love is here. They're all safe at home. I wonder if they know what's happened to us yet.

Mira's voice snapped his mind back to attention. She was introducing their group. He'd of course seen the group they approached, but they failed to register until Mira spoke. He raised a hand in greeting and forced his thoughts to be still.
Takeshi Yoshikawa
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The trip to the suburbs didn't make Juhan feel better. The sight of Francis' mangled corpse was still fresh in his mind. He still felt the warmth of Francis' flesh on his fingers. The sound of him falling down the stairs was still repeating itself in Juhan's ears. There was also the fact that one of his friends had killed another. That was shocking enough.

By the time they arrived, his lips were bleeding profusely. He had spent most of the trip picking at and then peeling off the skin of his lips. It was an old habit of his from when he was 5 that had refused to go away, especially now. He had learned to control it over the years, but whenever he felt anxious or guilty, he'd bring his nails up to his lips without even realizing it.

He felt odd. What he was feeling at the moment was an odd mixture of anger and grief. One of his batchmates dying would be enough to make him depressed for at least a week. But eight? And at the hands of their classmates?

It took him everything not to break down and cry. Every now and then, a tear would leak from his eye and a sob would escape from his throat, but thankfully he'd suppressed it enough so that they didn't hear it.

When Bella asked if they were alright, he said "Yes." He said 'yes' even though every other part of him said 'no'. Because if he admitted the truth to himself and to the others that he wasn't okay, he wouldn't be helping matters. If he became another child crying 'help me, help me', it would quite possibly break the group apart and then no one would get the help they needed. Juhan doubted that Takeshi could prevent two people from breaking. He needed to keep it together for Bella and Takeshi. So if becoming useful meant bottling up his anger and his grief for just a few more moments or even a few more days, so be it. He couldn't be a hero, at least as far as he could tell. But he also wasn't going to be a victim.

When Bella shouted out towards the two people, it took Juhan a second for him to stop thinking before he looked up at them. He wasn't that familiar with Karen. All that came to him was 'gamer girl'. But the other guy?

"Ian!"

He cracked a smile for the first time that day. At least there was one bright spot.
Edited by Maraoone, Aug 22 2013, 07:26 AM.
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Someone moved. She saw him, immediately shouted, "Hey!" and lifted a hand. But the guy was gone before she'd quite spoken. Avoiding her? Or just avoiding people in general? Hard to blame him.

And then someone chose not to avoid her.

"Uh," she started, staring at Ian. "Uh, sorry, I-"

And suddenly there were a lot of people, more people than Karen could quite believe. She swallowed, looking about in some confusion. So many people, none of whom she really knew, none of whom she was sure she could trust.

But...but without a little trust...

She hesitated, then turned back to the boy who'd come downstairs to greet her. He'd given up safety and security, with an offer of kindness. He could be trusted.

"I, uh," she started. "H-hi." Her eyes flickered about, then she pulled out one of her notes and thrust it into Ian's hands. "I, uh..." she broke off, searching for clumsy words. "People are dead," she managed. "I...think I'm going to die, too. So...so if you make it, could you...g-give it to my parents?" She paused, peering into his eyes, and then set all the other notes on the ground. "Y-you all can take one too. If...if you want."

The notes read very simply. A first paragraph apologizing to her parents for being so distant. And second paragraph that said this.

I believe we can escape. I'm trying to gather people for that purpose. But I need someone who knows technology. If you think you can help, meet at the coast tomorrow night. I think that would be the hardest area to monitor. I'll gather as many people as I can. If anyone use the phrase, "You surviving?" answer, "Wish we weren't here." And if you come up with a plan tomorrow, say, "I think we can make it" when we meet tomorrow. We have to keep this as covert and quiet as possible. If you'd like to be help, scratch your chin. If not, cross your arms.

But she didn't think she'd stick around this time. They'd decide for themselves whether they wanted to come.

She smiled at everyone, but it didn't look remotely real. It conveyed all her sudden doubt.

People are dead. They'll keep dying. What if these guys...what if they can't be beaten?

And what if some of these people would kill me? Just for the chance to please these assholes?


"H-hope...hope one of you makes it," she said, and quickly left. Before one of these others could read her notes, and realize her plan, and turn on her.

(Karen Idel advancing to Level 5)
Edited by Grim Wolf, Aug 23 2013, 09:41 AM.
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"Hey, no worries. I won't bite."

Ian smiled, though it felt a bit forced, as did the canned words. Karen was clearly extremely uncomfortable, understandably enough, and he could only hope that he was helping. Of course, one could ask as to why he was even bothering to try. It wasn't like he'd managed to do anything right since this morning.

Of course, the sudden interruption certainly wasn't helpful in that regard for either Karen or himself. He whirled around to face the voices, berating himself for leaving both the shovel and his sense of caution inside the mansion, when their names finally registered. Juhan was a friend, and almost definitely trustworthy, while Bella was an acquaintance from Speech and Debate who at least seemed decent, and heck, odds were in favor of the other boy as well, even if he was yet another person Ian didn't really know well.

"Juhan! Hey, no worries! I'm glad to see you guys are still okay."

He was smiling now, the first genuine smile he'd had since the announcements had hit such a short time ago. For all that he was still feeling the same frustration that had overwhelmed him earlier, he'd regained enough control to appreciate the blessing that at least one of his friends was still in good health.

This train of thought was broken when he felt something being shoved in his hand, and he turned to see Karen passing him a piece of paper. Her stuttering explanation hit him like cold water, and all the drama of moments before seemed a little silly in comparison to her simple resignation. Their eyes met for a brief moment, and then she'd dropped some more notes on the ground and was gone before he do more than awkwardly mumble an "umm, sure."

He managed to catch the other notes off the ground before the breeze carried them off, and, as he gathered them up, his eyes feel on one of them. He wasn't sure if he was supposed to avoid reading it or not, but he didn't know what to do. As he read through the first paragraph, frustration mounted because he was hardly in any real danger of winning, and he what business did he have promising...umm, wait, what?

.....huh.....

So, she was trying to gather people for an escape attempt? That was...quite a lot to take in, actually. On the one hand, this was exactly the kind of thing he'd been praying for a moment ago, and then some. Apparently God had a sense of humor, and it was pretty cool. However, the more he thought about it, the more he realized that there were some serious problems with the idea.

It wasn't the danger that bothered him, nor even the fact that whatever they tried might not even work. He'd already resigned himself to the idea of dying on the island, and he might as well die in the process of actually doing something for the better, rather than just burying his head in the sand until the inevitable came to pass. No, the problem he had now was that Karen had asked for somebody tech savvy, and that was something he was most definitely not. It was the same problem he'd faced since waking up yesterday, and he was no closer to solving the issue of the collars than before he'd gotten to the mansions. Asking him for help was like asking a blind man to review a painting.

Yet, this opportunity to make a real difference had practically dropped in his lap, and he didn't want to just let it go without at least trying to make it work. Maybe he wasn't capable of dealing with the collars, but he'd at least had some thoughts on how to deal with the long term issues, after the collars were broken, and perhaps that'd prove to be helpful.

Then again, even if he wasn't capable of dealing with the collars, wasn't Cyrus supposed to be good with electrical stuff? Would he be willing to take that kind of a risk? Had Ian already burnt that bridge with his stupid rant? But then again, hadn't he left before Ian had finally let himself melt down? Maybe, maybe not, but he needed to figure out a way to try and make this all work. He needed to pass one of the notes off without looking like they were plotting something. Anything he did needed to have the appearance of neutrality towards the system, at the very least.

These thoughts all flashed by in quick succession, and then was back in the present. with Juhan, Bella, and...Takeshi, that was it. He considered handing the notes to them immediately, but perhaps it would be best to approach this challenge indirectly. No harm in seeming less interested in the notes than they deserved in reality. He'd just make some light chatter or something else, and maybe one of them would ask what they where, and then he'd have the perfect excuse. If only he could find a way to include Cyrus, it'd be the best he could hope for.

"What do you guys say to heading back to the mansion? You guys are welcome to rest there, if you want. It's just Sharon, Cyrus, and myself, if the names mean anything to you, and I don't think the others are likely to mind all that much."

He was rather surprised at how perfectly cool and level his voice was. The funny thing was, he didn't even have to act. This was just like any other challenge, helping him clear his mind and focus on the essentials, leaving no more time for the local drama queen parade. That was good, because he was going to need every resource he could muster for what was going to be the single greatest challenge of his life.
Constructive criticism is always welcome! Feel free to send me a PM if you have any pointers or feedback you'd like to share!

Character #1: Boy #37 Ian Williams - Now with 55% less self-insert.
Designated Weapon: Polaroid Instant Camera With Film (Enough for 8 photographs)

Past - | 1 | 2 | (Current thread - Birds of a Feather)
Pregame - None
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (Final Thread - Glass
)
Character #2: Boy #66 Chase Rodriguez - Adopted from Pippin.
Designated Weapon: Silver Pill Box Containing Three Cyanide Capsules

Past - None
Pregame - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (Last seen in - Diversions)
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (Final Thread - Drawing to an End)



(Relationships Planning Thread #Pi)
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Cyrus didn't ring too many bells for Bella, but she immediately recognised the name Sharon. Austin, no doubt. She was a studious sort, which only served to make the girl better in Bella's eyes. She was a bit temperamental, but that wasn't too bad, right? There were a quite a few flaws much worse than that. Like abandoning a friend... Oh shit, I have to stop thinking that. Grudges won't do anything. Megan was scared, is all. Maybe. I'm running with that theory.

And Karen had fled as quickly as she'd arrived, it appeared. Bella hoped she'd be alright - she appeared rather skittish in the brief moment Bella had seen her.

"Oh, sure! We've been travelling for a little bit - any rest would be greatly appreciated."

She began to move forward, but paused mid-step.

Ian and Sharon were book-clubbers, weren't they? They'd be grieving for Daniel as well. And so would Juhan... Oh god, I hadn't even taken Juhan's feelings into account. Oh god what the hell is wrong with me?

No. She had to stop wallowing in whatever she was wallowing in. It wouldn't help, in the long run. She took another step forward, with more confidence his time. She'd simply go along with whatever the others wanted. Safety in numbers, right? And she'd have a better chance of finding her Garrett if she was in a group as well.

To Bella, that was a perfectly logical plan.
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