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Good Day Sunshine
Topic Started: Jul 13 2013, 09:15 PM (2,379 Views)
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((Mallory McCormick continued from May The Odds Not Fuck You In The Butt.))

It had taken them the rest of the day to get the town, and there hadn't been much time for looking around. The northern part of the town had been closest by the time it got dark, so they'd holed up in one of the once-posh houses for the night. It had been mostly quiet except for some loud crunching noises coming from one of the nearby houses at one point. No-one else had turned up in their house, though. Which meant no guns. Which was the best they could hope for right now.

Mallory was a light sleeper at the best of times. But she only got, at the very most, an hour of sleep that night. She'd taken a turn on watch, but when her turn had been over she'd instead wandered into the other rooms and started collecting any pillows and sheets that no-one was using. Not enough for a really good blanket fort. She'd need to go to the shopping center for that, perhaps. Or raid all the houses. Shopping center would have loads, though.

She knew she should have tried harder to sleep, but she just didn't want to waste time that she could be spending being alive.

She'd been stacking the pillows she'd found in a neater pile in the corner of the room everyone had been sleeping in, wrinkling her nose because they were very dusty, when the announcements came on.

Eight dead. ...That was fucking... fucked up. Eight dead! Killed by five assholes! Mallory wasn't really good friends with any of them, but she knew them all... especially those who had been on the guy's soccer team, since she'd liked to see how they were going compared to the girl's side, and there'd been a whole bunch of soccer guys on there... and that was some sad shit. One part of the announcement stood out in particular. Mallory hadn't really recognised the name 'Hansel Williams' until the jackass announcing the deaths mentioned that he was a cowboy. The fucking cowboy! He'd shot someone in the head. And he really had been at the amusement park, it hadn't just been her paranoia. While Mallory was angry and pissed off at the guy, as well as all the other murderers, she was now also aware that she was incredibly lucky not to have died right off the bat.

"Motherfucking cowboy," she grumbled, after the announcements were finished, before looking around at the others. "...Balls, ain't it."
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((Nina Clarke's story continues from May The Odds Not Fuck You In The Butt))

Nina had walked mostly in silence to what appeared to be some wealthy-people section of town. She wasn't even thinking that much, mostly just stuck on one thought; how was she going to avenge her cowardice? She's run away from a murderer, potentially let two people die. Alex, she was a good person, Nina liked her a lot. Thinking back, she deeply hoped Alex wasn't dead.

If she'd been killed because of Nina, Nina wouldn't know what to do.

When they'd arrived at the "Gated Community" and holed up in a house, Nina had decided to take a middle watch, because logically that would be the most risky period. She'd had trouble getting to sleep before, but slept okay after that, though, mostly because by then she was completely fatigued.

Mallory had gotten up at some point and gathered pillows and blankets in a corner. Nina had no clue why, but she'd opted to not ask. If Mallory wanted to do something weird, it was fine, not like it was a dangerous or violent thing to do. Just some cushions.

Then the announcements came on, and Nina hurried into the main room where Mallory was. Nina had known there'd be a death, Daniel, but she was surprised by Theodore Fletcher killing two people. He was a nerdy guy, sure, but was he a psycho? And it wasn't like his victims were violent people either; Dan had always been polite to her in their limited interactions, and Gabby seemed like a nice Jewish girl.

Nina stood perfectly still and listened intently for Alex's or that other guy's name. Her name was not mentioned, nor were any of her close friends. Nina supposed she was lucky; all those dead people had friends, and now they were going to have to live without them. Sven Olson had a kid, so him dying really sucked. Nina wondered if Sven's baby mommy was on the island.

Nina realized, as the announcements ended, that Mallory made a comment on a "cowboy" presumably Hansel? She realized she hadn't mentioned her time on the island before to her little group. She spoke up, her voice slightly groggy from having just woken up. "I...I saw him kill Daniel. Well, I arrived right after he'd done it. He threatened with his machine-gun thing, and I ran. So, yeah. I also got robbed, so this island thing hasn't-" she snorted, "hasn't been going so well for me."

Nina sighed, and shook her head as she stared at the rather filthy floor.
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((Brian Zhdanovich continued from May The Odds Not Fuck You In The Butt))

Brian hardly got any sleep that night.

Whilst he generally considered himself to be a fairly light sleeper, he it was rare that he ever found himself unable to get a decent night's sleep. Sure, there were times where no matter how much he wanted to he literally couldn't get any sleep, but there usually there was a reason for his restlessness. He wasn't entirely sure what the exact reason for his lack of sleep that night in particular was though. Perhaps it was because he had let his friends use the best beds. Perhaps it was because he was worried about Ruby and everyone else on the island, not mention his own well-being. Perhaps it was because Mallory spent the majority of the night gathering up all the spare pillows and bedsheets. Probably a mixture of the above.

Ruby. Why did he think about her in particular? Stupid question, she was his best friend. Of course he'd be particularly concerned for her safety. That said, it didn't explain why she occupied his thoughts more than his own father, who he thought would have been on his mind more often. Maybe it was because unlike Ruby, his dad wasn't in any immediate danger, and thinking about him only reminded Brian of the fact that there was a good chance that he would never see him again. Still, even then he couldn't figure out why he seemed to prioritise her over the rest of his classmates, none of whom deserved this any more or less than Ruby or himself.

Of course, could be that there's something else you don't wanna admit...

It'd been over a year since the two of them had broken up. Within that time, Brian had seen other people, none of whom he ever spent longer than a week dating. It wasn't that he was going around deliberately breaking people's hearts or anything, it's just that...

He shook the thought from his head. Now wasn't the time to think about such things. Besides, he was finally beginning to lose consciousness, so perhaps he could get some shuteye after all...

For about an hour anyway, until the first announcement woke him up again.

He listened intently to what the announcer had to say, groggily getting up into an upright position as he took mental notes as to whose names were mentioned. Each of which struck him like a knife to the gut. Every name mentioned brought about a feeling of dread unlike anything he had ever experienced. From the names of the victims, several of whom were his own teammates, to the names of those who had taken their lives away. All of which served as a brutal reminder of the fact that no matter what happens, his life as well as the lives of all his classmates would never be the same again.

"Holy shit..." he said in response to Nina's revelation. So, turns out the cowboy Mallory mentioned actually made good on his threats, and that Nina had actually witnessed the aftermath. Christ, and here he was worrying about some stupid gunshot whilst his friends was in genuine danger.

"God damnit, can't believe something like that happened to Daniel. Good man, used to play soccer with him all the time. Jason and David too. And I remember racing alongside Sven and Dan just the other week."

He wiped what he thought was some sleep out of his eyes, only realising afterwards that it was actually a lone tear.

"This... This is really happening, isn't it? Our friends are actually dying out there, killing each other on live television. Until now, I don't think I really believed that anyone would actually have the guts to go through with it."

He glanced out the nearest window. Was Ruby out there somewhere, surrounded by killer cowboys and other assorted murderers?

"Jesus Christ, this is one messed up world we live in..."
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((Stephanie Wright continued from May The Odds Not Fuck You In The Butt))

She had woken up early that morning, simply to have a look about. Some of the others were awake, but she didn't make the effort to speak to them. Instead, she walked up to a window and stared out at the landscape. A row of houses greeted her, looking as if they had been cloned from one another, a neat looking street that was caught in the midst of the disaster that they had all been transplanted into.

She was lucky. Despite having heard gunfire at least twice, she hadn't met anyone violent at all. Not everyone else was so lucky. She had every urge to just stay in this building, in this idyllic looking street until everything just ended. Perhaps they should, wait for someone to rescue them. After all, it had happened before. It hadn't occurred to her before now, but her parents must have been worried sick. Ryan too. Gran, neighbours, and everyone else who had cared for her. And here she was, stuck on an island in the middle of God knows where waiting to be killed by some psycho with a gun. Stephanie threw a wooden ornament out the window, watching it sail across and bounce across the lawn.

Her thoughts were interrupted by an announcement, the sound distant, yet seemingly everywhere. She didn't want to continue listening, not wanting to hear the names of the dead, of friends turned killers, but she simply stood there, transfixed by the smouldering train wreck that was the announcement. Eight deaths in a single day, lives and opportunities snatched away by the man reading them out. Not personally of course, but he might as well have gunned down all of them with his own hands. It didn't make any real difference to her.

Nina had seen something horrible. Brian was conversing with her but she wasn't sure that was helping. Stephanie wanted to say something to comfort Nina. But no, she stayed silent, uncertain of what to say, and not wanting to make a bad situation worse by saying the wrong thing. She looked towards the pair for a second, a pained look on her face, before turning back towards the window with a sigh. Why the hell was this so difficult?
Edited by Randomness, Feb 26 2017, 05:58 AM.
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((Waited for decoy for a while, but we gotta get this moving so I'm gonna skip for now.))

"Jesus. That woulda sucked. I haven't actually seen someone kick it yet, but..." Mallory shivered and started pacing back and forth. She didn't even want to think about someone's head exploding in a red, gory mess of--seriously, she didn't want to think about it.

"I got held at gunpoint by the cowboy dude, but he was only robbing people at that stage. So he said, anyway. Asshole." She noticed that Alba hadn't been on the announcement, which meant he hadn't been shot by the cowboy either. As well as that he hadn't reverted into jackass mode and murdered people. That was good.

"I ain't surprised or anything. I'm just... I mean, I expected it to be the guys who were assholes back in school, y'know? I mean, I ran into Alba first thing and he was pretty alright, really. And the guys on the announcement... I mean, I don't recall any of them being jackasses, really. Woulda thought... you know, that it'd be bullies and stuff, they're already halfway there on the whole 'preying on kids that ain't up for that shit' thing."

She jumped a few times to try and shake out the nerves she was feeling. No time for nerves. Only time to squeeze in a few fun things before she... yeah.

"Anyway, me and Steph, we gotta get back to that clubhouse and do the tennis stuff. I, uh... I dunno if that's what you all got planned. I mean, I dunno about you two..." She gestured at Nina and Zubin. "But Brian, you'd be looking for Rubes, right?"
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Hmm, a good question. Did Nina need to find anyone? Did she desperately need to find one person on this hellhole before she croaked? Was there someone to be with once she was dead?

No.

Not really.

Nina was not an antisocial loner. She was not friendless, didn't spend all her time in her room playing video games, and she was not the nerdy girl in glasses who had trouble talking to people. Nina had friends, acquaintances, people she liked and respected, people who, before being kidnapped, she'd say she trusted.

But not anymore.

Nina had learned from Maddie. People who were good off the island weren't anymore. People who were bad off the island, who cared? Nina wasn't about to live in the past and pretend SOTF didn't change people. Of fucking course it did. So Nina decided then to make a promise; trust nobody, at least until she knew they could be trusted. Actions speak louder than words, and memories of a person's past are silent.

Nina shrugged, and shook her head. "I don't really need to meet up with anyone. It'd be hard, y'know? We're all dead anyways, why watch the people you like die before you get yourself killed?"
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((Zubin Wadia continued from May The Odds Not fuck You In The Butt))

And the results were in. Eight people down, five killers and one suicide. If the results were anything to go by, he especially had to watch out for Theodore Fletcher and the cowboy known as Hansel Williams, due to two kills and one kill along with the aforementioned robbing incident, respectively.

"Yeah, it is funny, but this game give everyone an excuse to kill, even if it's 'I wanna live.' Hell, nobody would have expected some of the previous killers in the game to have gone off the deep end, but we have J.R. and Liam and Sarah, so yeah."

He listened a bit more to everyone, and Mallory asked if there were any plans going on, in a roundabout way.

"Well, I'm looking for a few guys myself and hoping they're still sane." He counted people off on his hands. "Jaquilyn, Miles, Naomi, Edgar, Claire ... hell, I'd even settle for Mara right now." He looked around and lowered his voice. "If we get enough people and play our cards right, we might be able to find another way off this place." He'd actually been thinking about it for a while now:

RULE 6: Expand your definition of winning. Escape has occurred before. If you find a way out of the game, TAKE IT!!!
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Mallory and Zubin brought up some interesting points regarding the classmates who had decided to kill, and how they weren't the kind of people you would expect to start playing this early.

Whilst Brian initially didn't believe that any of his classmates would actually buy into this Survival of the Fittest crap, he had admittedly speculated on who of his classmates would be more likely to be players than others. The names that crossed his mind were all the usual suspects; bullies, jerks, creepy loners and even a couple of his more abrasive teammates like Adonis. None of whom had been mentioned on the announcement. It seemed like everyone had the potential to snap on this island, regardless of who they were back home.

In a way, Brian actually felt really sorry for all the jerks and bullies on the island. If someone as optimistic as himself suspected them of being potential players, Christ knows what his more cynical classmates much be thinking. Half of them will have probably written off people like Cody and Adonis as guaranteed players, even though they're probably no more likely to kill as anyone else on this island.

Of course, it could be that the jerks and the bullies still intended on playing, but just hadn't had any good opportunities to do so yet. And Brian was admittedly fairly naive when it came to judging people's intentions, seeing as he was the kind of person who believed even the worst people in the world had some good to them. Hell, he'd even asked Jasper Rourke of all people out on a date once, despite the fact that the guy was a well-known bully. Ruby gave him hell after she had learned about that.

Speaking of Ruby, Mallory asked whether he was looking for her. Whilst he was initially tempted to correct her by saying he was looking for all his friends, when it really came down there wasn't anyone else on the island whom he felt as determined to find.

"Yeah, suppose I am. I mean, I'm going to be looking for all my friends, but... Yeah, I guess finding Ruby's my top priority at the moment."

He listened to Zubin list the people he wanted find, as well as mention his desire to find a way off the island that didn't involve killing the rest of his classmates. Now there was an idea Brian could actually get behind.

"I couldn't agree more. Like hell I'm going to sit back and watch as the rest of my classmates tear each other apart! Soon as I've found Ruby and the others I'm gonna do everything I can to find a way off this rock."

He was beginning to get fired up now. Back in Seattle, he never really had anything decent to rebel against. Sure, the government kinda sucked, but when you look at the big picture it could be a hell of a lot worse. Now though he finally had something worth fighting for. It was like the inner rebel inside of him was finally given a chance to show itself.

"I mean, okay, I haven't a fuckin' clue as to where I would even begin. But I'm sure someone out there does, and I'd be more than willing to do everything I can to help them."

He glanced up at the nearest camera, watching him and the others have their little discussion. They were probably listening in to their conversation right now, laughing off his desire to escape. He was just a dumb teenager after all, what the hell could he do?

Guess I'll just have to show them...

"And if we can't escape, well... I'm sure we'll find some way to screw with the system. Better than doing nothing, right?"
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It was a little surprising that it wasn't the jerks and bullies who were killing. But Stephanie understood better than anyone else here that, sometimes, people just snap. The atmosphere of this whole game was probably designed to facilitate just that.

Besides, who knew how much the announcements were twisting events. She remembered that they used to do that. After all, the announcements couldn't possibly contain the guilt and the anger and the sadness that most of them probably felt after doing something so stupid. It was of course, no real excuse, but at the least, Stephanie could symphatise.

And perhaps that was why Nina's cynicism had irked her so much. Of course people were dying. That much was a given, but then didn't that make it all the more important to find close friends, to give both them and yourselves a little bit of hope? That would probably prevent some needless deaths.

But if they were all going to die, why delay it? After all, only one was supposed to survive and it couldn't be certain that rescue would come. Why was she fighting against the inevitable? Was it strength? Or was it fear? Could they find their own way out of this hellhole of an island?

"I don't mind helping out, but I'm not entirely sure that there's still a way out. I mean, they've been doing this for years, right? We'd have to think of something completely ridiculous to find a way out."
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Mallory made a face at the wall when Nina talked about not seeing people she liked die. “Not finding friends means dying alone, though. And who wants that?” Mallory certainly didn't.

Escape sounded nice. Hell, it sounded damn better than nice, that sounded like the bee's fucking knees. Issue was... how did it happen? Sure, it had before... but it just seemed so beyond her grasp. Maybe there were other kids who'd be bright enough to find a way.

Mallory wasn't one of those kids, though, and she knew it. Any escape attempts she'd likely slow down. She just wasn't up for... well, thinking much. And she didn't want to get on board with an escape attempt only to be disappointed or, worse, screw it up herself.

“I don't know if it's possible to get out of here. I know I'm not the sort of person who knows how to help. And I'd fuck shit up and got some stuff to do, besides. But....”

An idea popped into Mallory's head.

“Okay, so I got an idea. Not an escape idea, but it might help...”

Mallory waved her hand at Zubin. “You, uh... picked up paper, you said. Give me, like... half of a notepad and a pen or something. And write down anything you want to say to anyone. Same for the rest of you. I'll go off with Steph to do the tennis thing—long as you're still down for that and not sticking with these guys, I mean—and if I see them, I'll pass notes on. That can help, right? Help you guys meet up with people who know what they're doing?”

She was going to be running about the island doing things that she wanted to do before she... before something happened... anyway. She'd see people. Why not help them out? Be the island's maillady. That sounded like a good way to spend her last few days. Being happy and useful. Best of both worlds. And even she couldn't fuck up giving people things, right?
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So Mal was gonna deliver messages to people? Huh. Neat idea, but Nina wasn't sure how effective that'd be. Like, two people were better than one in this case, she supposed, but the island was probably big.

Nina wasn't really sure how to feel. On one hand, everyone was so optimistic, but Nina felt like she knew better. There wasn't going to be a rescue this time, because if their kidnappers had a single brain cell among them, they'd probably patch the security holes that led to the escape ASAP.

Nina touched her collar, tugged it lightly, and nothing happened. She wasn't sure what she'd expected; wasn't it supposed to explode if she pulled it too hard? A risky proposition, tampering with it. Nina doubted she was clever enough to mess around with it.

Nina stood, bag over her shoulder. Glancing out a window, she saw the sun rising above the horizon. Nina felt stifled, suddenly; she didn't want this, any of this, any of these people, kind yet naοve yet how could she trust them on this shithole, and Nina shook her head and said, "I need some air, I'll be right back".

She walked out of the door with no intention of returning.

((Nina Clarke's story continues elsewhere))
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So everyone was on board. Well, Nina decided to walk. It wasn't like he could force her into the plan. There were doubts, but hey, given where they were in this, it wasn't unexpected. Gone were the days where one could just take a laptop and hack the computers.

"Okay, Mallory, for now, nobody leaves the group. Being four strong is better than going out and risking divulging our plans to a psycho or a rat, especially now when we don't have a plan yet. What we need to do now is figure out what it is that we have to do to give ourselves a chance at escaping." Zubin took out the notepad and a pen and tapped the pen on the notepad.

"If we have any ideas, we can write them down. If we ever think we're a risk of being found out, we can burn the notes." Zubin stated as he wrote on the pad and threw it on the ground. "Any ideas?" Zubin pointed to the pad.

Biggest obstacle = collars. At minimum, tracking device and explosives in collar. Must figure out way to disarm collar devices WITHOUT GETTING CAUGHT!!!
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Brian was surprised to hear that Mallory intended to split the group up. After all, they had only just found one another, so he assumed that she would want to stay with her friends.

He could understand why she and Stephanie would be uncertain about sticking with people who had announced their intent to try and escape. Hell, he wasn't entirely convinced it was possible himself. Well, okay it was not impossible, but it sure as hell wouldn't be easy. Even his smartest classmates would have a hard time trying to find a way off, so what chance did a guy like him have?

That said, for Brian it was the idea of fighting back that appealed to him the most, not necessarily the actual result. The only pragmatic way for him to survive this mess was to play along, something he had absolutely no intention of doing. So if death was assured either way, he'd prefer to at least die fighting.

He hardly took any note of Nina as she left, seeing as his attention was diverted to Zubin. Whilst he didn't particularly want Mallory to leave either, something about his tone felt off. Sure, he would prefer Mallory and Stephanie to stay, but in the end it was their decision not his or Zubin's.

"You sure about this Mal? Not gonna lie, I'd prefer us all to stick together, safety in numbers and all that. I mean, if you really want to go that's your decision, and I don't want to force you two to stay with us or anything..."

He glanced at Zubin.

"...It's just. I dunno, I feel like if we split up now, none of us will ever see each other again. And after hearing about what happened to my teammates, I... I don't know, you know what I'm getting at."

He looked down at the notepad Zubin tossed on the floor. After a brief pause, an idea sprang to mind, prompting him to bend over and pick it up.

"Like I said, I haven't the slightest idea as to how to get off this island, and I'd rather find Ruby and the others first before making any complex plans..."

Brian briefly stopped speaking as he leant over a nearby lamp table, writing something onto the sheet of paper as quickly as he could.

"But... If you really must... Go... Could you...."

Eventually, after he'd finished writing his message he tore out the page and folded it up, handing it over to Mallory.

"...Could you give this to Ruby if you see her?"
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Stephanie honestly doubted that an escape was possible. She wanted to believe that there was a way, but honestly? They would have to do the impossible to make it happen. And the impossible was called just that for a reason.

But then, she felt bad about leaving Brian and Zubin, especially since Zubin looked so excited about his escape plan. But couldn't she say the same about Mallory and her plans? Whichever way she went, she was going to let someone down.

Stephanie looked between Zubin and Mallory. Brian seemed to be resigned to Mallory leaving, passing her a note to give Ruby.

"I-" she started, before realising that she wasn't sure what to say. "I think I'm gonna stick with Mallory. I don't think escape is safe. Sorry, Zubin."

She stood by the doorway and waited for Mallory to follow. Hopefully Zubin would understand.
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“Being four strong just means more people for a nutter like Hansel to shoot if he comes across all of us,” Mallory muttered. “Unless we're planning on killing or have more of a means of scaring people off besides yelling 'boo' really loud, I don't think more bodies is going to do shit.” Zubin's way of refusing her offer to leave and carry notes had rubbed her the wrong way, and so those words came out harsher than what they had been like in her head.

And his notes were just making her even uneasier about escape. At minimum tracking devices and explosives? How the fuck were they meant to fight against that? Without being caught? Meaning without being seen by the cameras? Hell, they'd have to be fucking invisible or something. The more he talked, the more impossible it seemed.

Mallory wanted to believe it was possible. She did. But actually squinting at what the terrorists had going made it seem less possible than ever, and she just didn't want to think about it anymore. It was much easier to deal with when it was a vague but hopeful dream.

The only thing that was making it difficult to leave was Brian. He was the closest friend she'd come across so far on the island. And he was... really, really right. She might not see him again. She could be dead before there was a chance. Maybe he would be. She didn't want to think about that, either.

Mallory took the note silently, looking unsure all of a sudden. She might have even decided to stay if Stephanie hadn't sided with her. That did boost her mood a bit. She wouldn't have wanted to be alone out there. She wasn't sure if she could have managed it at all. And what was the point in running away to play tennis if Stephanie wasn't with her?

“I'm sure we'll catch up to you guys later, don't worry,” Mallory said. The cheeriness in her voice was strained and quite obviously fake. She wasn't accustomed to lying. But it was easier to try and believe it was true. She forced a grin and hugged Brian quickly, also punching him in the shoulder in an affectionate way.

She grabbed the notepad and took some blank pages from it just in case. Underneath what Zubin wrote, she scribbled 'I'll send anyone who actually knows shit about electronics your way.' Out loud she said, “So yeah, I'm still heading off. Sorry, but y'know... gotta do things. But if we ever got a spare moment or no plan, maybe we can meet back here? Or somewhere else? You guys got a preference? And last chance for messages you want me to send out, yeah.”
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