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Poor Unfortunate Souls
Topic Started: Nov 12 2013, 11:37 PM (1,493 Views)
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Who is this sassy lost child
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((Natali Greer continued from Hanley's Bazaar))

The ringing in Natali's ears had faded slowly as they walked on, but it was only to be replaced with a steadily worse pounding in her head. Once or twice, the pain got dizzyingly bad and caused her to stumble, but she kept going and didn't say anything to the boys; they had enough problems without her whining about a headache and she'd tripped and knocked her head on a stupid tree, of all things. It was just silly.

All she needed was a good night's rest. Just a few good hours and oh god there was an overturned roller coaster car with a dead person inside it. Natali stumbled back with a pathetic squeaking noise and nearly ran over Adam.

She flashed a half-terrified grin at the boys, and if she was subtly positioning herself so that Adam was between her and the body, who could really blame her? "Let's set up on the other side of the coaster, okay? We might find a shack or something to hang out in."

The headache had to be worse than she was trying to tell herself, if it had taken her that long to notice a dead body just lying around their intended rest spot. Natali definitely needed that sleep, and she also needed that body out of her sight right now. She began edging her way around the roller coaster, glancing back to make sure that Adam and Maynard were still close and that the guy under the car hadn't decided to rise from the dead.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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((Maynard Hurst continued from Hanley's Bazaar))

"A shack sounds good. Maybe it'll be better...better...better lit than the offices."

Maynard followed suit as Natali edged around the shattered cart, his eyes firmly squeezed shut. He was cold and sore and tired, and he'd just seen his first body on the island. No matter how hard he closed his eyes, the image of Mark Little's corpse remained etched in his mind. His legs shook as he took stumbling step after stumbling step, with bile begin to froth in his throat. A boy a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier lay broken and bloody before them. He could only imagine what he'd done if Mark had been a friend of his, or someone who he'd had much interaction beyond the occasional "Hey."

Mark's death had been an accident, or so the announcements had said. In a way, Maynard was slightly glad of that fact, as horrible as the thought was. If Mark, a friendly boy of such grand stature, had have been taken down by a fellow classmate, what chance did Maynard have? Or Gwen? Or Natali? Or anybody else?

There'd been more killings. More killings than he'd ever had anticipated. Naomi and Carmina were dead. Naomi by Summer of all people. She was so sweet and friendly to everybody. Could that have all been an act? And if Naomi, their class president and a fellow book clubber, could be taken down so easily, by a friend of all people. Without Naomi, then their chance of escape had dropped, he knew. Naomi was dead, and Miles was a killer. I thought they were supposed to be our leaders. I'd hoped for them to be able to do... something at least...

The thought of his friends turning killer was even worse than them dying, in a way. Theodore had killed three times. And if Summer's niceties were all an act, then did that mean Joachim's were as well? Carmina was so innocent - she'd never given anybody any reason to hurt her. He could rationalise some justifications for the deaths of more disliked students, but for the nice guys, like Venice or Xavier... it was still difficult to fully comprehend. But it was getting easier. Gradually.

Maynard snapped out of his reflection as he continued to make his way by the cart. His heart thumped loudly and quickly within his chest, exhaustion mixing with horror at the body before them. In the darkness he clutched onto Natali's hand, his grip tight.

If they could get through tonight, then he'd be happy.
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((Adam Morgan continued from Hanley's Bazaar))

They had walked for a long, long while, and even with a few breaks, the fatigue was clearly weighing on all of them. The knowledge that so many of the others were now dangerous lay heavily over the trio, especially as gunshots could occasionally been heard off in the distance.

Natali was barely staying upright. She seemed the hardest struck by this, now, despite her initial resilience. It had taken Adam a long while to notice, because he'd been so wrapped up in not thinking. During those times when he had turned his attention outside, it had been with an eye towards keeping them safe from possible ambushes, especially during the night they'd spent on the move. It was almost night again, and they couldn't endure another without real rest. The offices, seemingly so sub-par at first, now felt like they would've been paradise. Returning to them wasn't an option, however. Adam didn't like looking back.

Mark Little was dead on the ground, apparently fallen from the roller coaster. Adam wasn't sure if that was a good or a bad way to die, given the circumstances and other options here. Probably, in the grand scheme of things, Mark had done pretty well for himself. It'd likely been quick, and relatively painless. Sure didn't look like Mark had tried to pull his crushed body free of the mangled car, at least.

Adam had ascertained this from a quick glance, after which he'd done his level best to look anywhere but at the body. He examined the roller coaster, the shacks, his shoes, the tip of Maynard's weapon. It smelled here. Adam dug another cigarette out of his pocket and lit up. It took three flicks before he could get the Bic to produce a flame. His hands were not steady. He took a little drag, just rolling the smoke around in his mouth like he'd heard you did with cigars.

"Yeah," he said. "Other side sounds good."

He stuffed the lighter back in his pocket, and held the cigarette with his teeth. He wanted both his hands free, just in case someone was waiting to surprise them. It had been a long time since they had directly interacted with anyone, and that made Adam worried. The possibilities for their next confrontation built up in his mind, the only way to silence them readiness.

"Try to move quietly," he said, his words slurred as he talked around the cigarette. "Don't know who could be here."
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That... honestly wasn't comforting. Natali would have happily collapsed anywhere they decided to stop at this point, and running into someone else wasn't on her list of things to do. She was pretty sure that she would lose it if they had another situation like with Alex and Cassandra - her and Maynard waiting tensely while Adam went to try and sort things out, trying not to make a sound but being on the ready to spring into a fight if they had to.

She stumbled again and just barely caught herself this time. God, she was so tired. Every once in awhile, little black spots flickered in her vision.

"Sorry I'm such a mess, guys..." she murmured as they made their way around the roller coaster. "I took a tumble awhile back, not feeling too hot. I guess none of us are."

Natali stopped when the toppled cart was nearly out of sight and leaned on a low section of the track, eyeing the little control shack on this side. The wood of the track was good and solid under her hands and made her feel a bit steadier, though she was still dead tired.

"Doesn't look like all of us could fit in there. Maybe two at a time..." Natali rubbed her forehead. "Ugh, I just really need some sleep. I don't mean to be such a wimp."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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"Huh? Oh, you shouldn't apologise, Natali. It's not really your fault," Maynard whispered, shuffling as quietly as he was able. Adam's words had spooked him somewhat. "I'm sure we'll figure out something to do here, even if we can't figure out some magical way off the island itself."

Maynard blinked in the darkness, his eyesight still struggling to fully adjust to the lack of proper illumination. This whole thing was worse in the dark, naturally, but he took comfort in the knowledge that he had two trustworthy companions alongside him. He didn't want to think about what it'd be like if he'd wandered in here alone.

"I don't really mind where we go. So long as we can protect each other and get even a wink of sleep."

Maynard took a tighter hold of his spear as he said "Protection." He didn't want to ever have to use it, but the fact that he mightn't be entirely useless when it came to a fight was slightly comforting. Pack bags and hide didn't seem to be enough.

He didn't know what'd happen to the three of them, but if they could all make it through this night alive, then maybe there'd be hope after all.
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"You guys can sleep first. I'll stand guard outside."

Adam was kinda tired, yeah, but Natali and Maynard clearly were in more desperate need of some time to recuperate. He'd be able to hold out a few more hours, while they might fall asleep on watch and get everyone killed. Besides, Natali was right; it didn't look like there was a whole lot of room in their chosen shelter.

Adam took another small drag from the cigarette, held the nasty smoke in his mouth, blew it out. He'd always sort of wanted to learn how to blow smoke rings, like in those old cartoons, but had never quite figured it out. Maybe it only worked with cigars.

He was trying not to think about what Natali had said, about taking a fall. It wasn't that he expected it to be particularly dangerous. He didn't see any blood on her, and she'd kept up pretty decently. No, what worried Adam was that he hadn't noticed it. He'd been so wrapped up in external awareness that he'd missed what could have been a very real threat to one of the members of his group. He'd have to find out when it had happened, what exactly had transpired, but that could wait until they were all in slightly better shape.

At the moment, Adam just sank down next to the control shack, squatting with his back to the wall, sword laid across his legs.
V7:
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[Originally posted by Zevon]

(Gabriel Lee Continues from Hermitic Ranger)

Gabriel trudged through seemingly endless underbrush wearily. He could feel the creeping grasp of exhaustion slowly taking hold, as was expected from hours of hiking through this ungodly forest.

Gabriel had nowhere else to go but towards what he hoped was the familiar roller coaster, as the clubhouse had turned out to be a pretty horrible idea for a hiding spot, unless getting shot at had suddenly become part of his survival plan.

Occasionally, a lone gunshot or what Gabriel could swear was a distant scream would give him pause, but for the most part he continued unimpeded through the darkening woods, back to the Amusement park, which he hoped hadn't become populated by a similar group of screaming psychos as those who seemed to be chilling in the golf course clubhouse.

As the woods started to thin out and the ominous, rusting roller coaster came into sight, barely visible in the early night sky; Gabriel's duffle suddenly felt a little lighter. Maybe this wouldn't be such a bad place to hide. There were plenty of carnival stalls that would be perfect to camp behind. Though the idea of hiding from murderous psychos in a amusement park seemed a little too much like a horror movie.

Gabriel walked slowly behind a shack that seemed like a good enough place to sack out, at least for tonight. It might just be safe here.

Gabriel screamed a single guttural curse when he rounded a corner and nearly tripped over a squatting, hippy looking longhaired kid with a kickass sword.

"Shit!"
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Natali started to relax a bit, ready to drop her bag and grab a few hours of sleep, and just like that things were out of control again.

Where on earth had that guy even come from? They hadn't seen anyone going around the roller coaster just a few minutes ago. Natali instinctively grabbed for her crowbar, but her hand only closed around air. With a groan, she realized that she must have lost it in the woods earlier, when she fell down. The list of reasons for her to hate trees was just piling up...

"What do you want!?" was what she meant to shout at the guy who had just stumbled in, but the throbbing in her head flared up again, and she just whimpered.

It probably didn't make any difference anyway. Adam looked about ready to wring the new guy's neck.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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A small yelp escaped Maynard's lips, try as he might to repress it. They'd been almost like in a bubble over the three days they'd spent on the island, scarcely interacting with anybody. That was good in some respects, given how Maximillian Sawyer had killed Rebecca Everett the day before; he didn't want to think about what might've transpired if the trio had lingered at the campsite.

But here, now, was someone threatening to pop that bubble. Maynard couldn't tell exactly who it was from the one word they'd said, but he vaguely recognised the voice from History class. That could either be a good thing - like Juhan - or a very, very, very bad thing - like Theodore. As much as he wanted to believe, a voice at the back of his mind was quick to destroy any optimism he'd had left. If Joachim could kill, why not Juhan? Or Gwen for that matter?

No. Gwen would never do that.

He shook his head, trying not to let his thoughts wander off. He needed to stay in the moment, not lose himself to self-pity and fear. That was how they broke you.

He turned towards Natali, fingers creeping towards the curved handle that lay beside him. She looked utterly petrified, and Maynard could only respond to her whimpering with a blank face and the gyration of his lips as he struggled to echo the words of comfort she'd so easily given earlier. When they didn't come, all Maynard could do was bury his face in his shaking hands and pray that Adam was a capable enough fighter.
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Adam wasn't expecting someone to come around the corner. When the boy pulled up just short of running him over, Adam's mouth opened in surprise. The cigarette dropped from his lips, and he instinctively caught it with his left hand, only to toss it to the ground half a second later with a hiss as the still-lit tip burned his palm.

Alright, this clown had officially become unfunny. All they wanted was a place to rest, but now, some asshole was tripping over them the second they took even a moment to chill. Adam bounced to a stand, a movement no less quick and graceful for the way it made his fatigued legs ache. His first impulse was to just haul back and lay the guy out on the ground, but he didn't. This newcomer, well, come to think of it, he hadn't done anything except get scared and surprised, and Adam had been guilty of both since the start of this little adventure.

The sword was in his right hand, but it was hanging at his side. He didn't move to ready it.

"Hey," Adam said. His voice was flat and his face was blank. He hoped his sudden and not at all collected physical reactions didn't completely spoil the effect. "You okay?"

He couldn't remember this guy's name, like, not even enough to take a wild guess. That was okay, though, because Adam could sort of remember all the people who'd killed, which meant the newcomer hadn't. Unless, of course, he'd murdered someone during the day.

"There's a couple others nearby," Adam added, because he was sick enough of surprises without making this into some kind of crazy conga line where Natali and Maynard each stumbled into the exchange in turn and started the whole process over again.
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[Originally posted by Zevon]

The calmness and neutrality of the longhaired kid's greeting had admittedly taken Gabriel by surprise. He struck Gabriel as a guy too cool to fuck with, and the curved sword he carried only added to the image. His first instinct had been to book it back to the woods the moment he had seen the guy, but for some reason, Gabriel stopped in his tracks after frantically backpedaling only a few steps. It was just too dark, and he was just too tired, to go back into that goddamn forest again.

"S-sup." Gabriel said in a weak stutter that embarrassed him more than it should.

"Sorry about your cig." He added quickly as he took a final shaky step backwards.

Despite knowing the names of a good amount of the Aurora seniors, Gabriel didn't know this guy from Adam. He was pretty sure the dude wasn't a killer as he remembered most of the murderers names from the earlier announcements. Though the sword in his right hand could probably get the murder job done pretty well. That wickedly curved blade could probably turn Gabriel into baloney slices if he pissed this guy off enough. Better play it safe, or this guy might decide to cut Gabriel a new orifice.

"Please don't... cut me," Gabriel said as he raised his hands slowly above his head.

"My name's Gabriel. What's yours?"
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Adam... was being surprisingly calm. Calmer than Natali was. On one hand, that was good. As suddenly as that guy, Gabriel, had come along, there was no need for anyone to get hurt here.

On the other hand, Natali had promised herself that she would be the calm one, hadn't she? Headache or no, the fact that she was so unable to keep her composure stung.

Maynard made a sound, turned towards her. "It's... okay." She whispered finally. "It's okay, I'm okay. We're okay. I just... need to sit down."

So she did, pushing away from the roller coaster track a bit and plopping onto the ground a bit heavier than intended. She cradled her head in her hands, the pressure inside almost unbearable.

"Just need to sleep." Natali muttered, trying to keep Maynard from worrying about her, trying not to distract Adam or Gabriel from whatever conversation they were having. "Then I'll be fine."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Maynard peeked up over the tips of his hands as Natali plopped onto the ground beside him, murmuring dismissals of his fears. She looked so tired, so broken. He turned and gave a quick glance back at Adam and the new arrival. Gabriel. Not exactly someone Maynard was friendly with. But even if he had been a friend, it wouldn't have mattered much. Friends had killed friends in this place. Any ties or bonds had been stripped from them all.

Maynard shifted to join Natali on the cold ground, deciding not to join in the conversation that was occurring just outside. He didn't want to ruin anything. Adam would sort everything out. He was strong and had protected them thus far - why would he stop now?

"Okay," he whispered, glancing over at the girl beside him. "It'll all be okay."

Maynard closed his eyes, fingers curling around his spear. Within seconds, he was asleep.
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"I'm Adam," Adam said. "Don't worry 'bout the cigarette. I've got more."

He didn't say anything about cutting Gabriel. Actions spoke louder than words and all, and Adam was pretty sure it'd make a better impression if he just avoided chopping Gabriel up rather than tripping over himself to promise the boy safety. Besides, until he knew the guy a little bit better, he'd reserve the right to change his mind and get medieval on his ass.

"My friends and I were just settling down. You want, you can stay here a bit. Keep watch with me, then they can take a turn and we can get some sleep without having to worry about getting stabbed."

Adam's offer was particularly considered. He figured he could stay up and talk to Gabriel, learn a little about the boy while Natali and Maynard slept. Then, he and Gabriel could get some rest at the same time, so that there'd be two people to jump the newcomer if he tried anything. It was a plan without too much risk, unless Gabriel had some sort of crazy weapon that could kill them all, and Adam figured he'd've seen some sort of evidence of something like that by now, given how scared the boy was.

Besides, if that was the case, they were hosed regardless of whether they were awake or not.
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((Skipping so we can get this thing rolling again.))

Natali would have nodded if not for fear of making her headache worse. "Yeah," she said softly, "everything's gonna be fine."

She wrapped her arm around Maynard's shoulders and closed her eyes, leaning her head against his. The ringing in her ears had finally started to fade away.

Everything would be all right.

A tingling in her hands and feet started up, but that eventually faded away too.

As Natali fell asleep, the last thing she was dimly aware of was the slow, steady sound of Maynard's breathing.

It was almost like the sound of the ocean.

G063 NATALI GREER: DECEASED
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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