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Big Stick Ideology; (Private. Content warning: Extreme violence)
Topic Started: Nov 16 2013, 08:20 PM (1,565 Views)
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"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." - Theodore Roosevelt

((Naomi Bell continued from First Page - Planning.))

Naomi's intention had been to check the hospital first, but it turned out Aileen and Owen had already been there. While that didn't remove the possibility of there being something useful they missed, it seemed prudent to check elsewhere first. Unfortunately, it was also getting dark, so the decision to head to the apartment complexes and find a relatively safe place to sleep had been made.

Well, Naomi had made the decision. She assumed the others would agree with her. There was nothing wrong with the apartments. Multiple exits, possible supplies if they hadn't been ransacked. Might find paper and pens, amongst other things. All that aside, Naomi really just needed to rest. She wasn't doing so well, stamina-wise. She wasn't unfit, that much was certain. She did yoga quite regularly. But she had never been subjected to having to walk so much, especially under such strenuous circumstances and with a very heavy weapon in her bag to boot. She was starting to realise why Gabriella had left the weapon behind to begin with, though she still thought it was an unintelligent decision overall.

She plodded ungracefully into the courtyard. As she walked, she said, "Do either you have an objection to staying here? It seems a bad idea to walk around in the da..."

She saw a body on the ground nearby. For one ridiculous moment, she thought someone had decided to have a nap in the middle of the courtyard. Then her common sense caught up with her. Naomi came to a complete halt and raised her arm to stop the others from moving. She meant to explain what she thought she was seeing, but instead of words she only made a strangled grunting noise.
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[Aileen Aurora Abdallah, continued from First Page - Planning]

Naomi seemed exhausted. That after such a short distance. Then again, relieving to know that Aileen had more stamina than Naomi. She was getting tired too, though. Not exhausted, mind you. It was because it was getting dark, which meant that it was dawn, which meant that soon it will be night, which meant that it was time to sleep. Good thing that Naomi lead them to the apartment complexes.

Aileen thought about who should stay awake to guard them. It seemed like a good idea to let Aileen stay awake first, then somewhen around midnight she would wake Owen and then a few hours he could wake Naomi. Although, she did not trust Naomi completely. Maybe it'd be a better idea to only split the duty between Aileen and Owen. Yes, that is what she would do.

It was only due to Naomi's unfinished sentence that there was something nearby. It was a body, which was likely not sleeping here. She stepped closer to the body and tried to identify it. Sadly, she was not able to do that. Partly because the corpse had a nasty head wound, and partly because it was dark.

She poked it slightly with her boot.

If she had gasoline and a match, she would have burned it. Just in case. People can survive nasty things, and people also can be very angry when injured. Or she could just check whether it was still breathing. She did the 'head tilt - chin lift' manoeuvre and checked whether there was breath. There was none, good.

"I think we can safely assume this to be dead."

She returned to her allies and put her bag down next to her.

"One of us should stay awake to guard the others. I gladly offer myself to be the first one. I shall wake one of you up in a few hours to change positions, accord?"
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((Owen Kay continued from First Page-Planning))

Owen was tired. Like, really, really tired. He was used to doing exercise, what with tennis and football, but his stamina had been shocking even back at home. Out here, it made things even worse. Owen hadn’t been able to sit down since his first few hours in the hospital, and his legs felt like he’d pressed them against a belt sander. His bags weren’t heavy on their own, but carried together for a few hours really added up.

Naomi had wanted to go to the hospital, but there was no real point. Aileen and Owen had thoroughly searched the bottom floor. Night was swiftly approaching, so a decision had to be made soon, which was why Owen found himself being towered over by the apartment complexes. Having lived in a three-story house in a village for most of his life, Owen had always found it a little tricky to imagine living in one of these concrete behemoths. The whole idea was a little alien.

Still, under the circumstances, Owen wasn’t complaining in the slightest. The buildings were secure and would provide the most basic sleeping accommodations at least. That was, really, what Owen wanted right this second. His earlier thoughts back at the garden had been wrong; pain could blot out thought. It just depended on the level of pain and exhaustion and general discomfort.

The trio entered the courtyard, Naomi asking whether there were any objections to staying there, with Owen nervously looking around the area. He was paying so much attention to everything except the area directly in front of him that he almost walked into the back of Naomi. Owen’s first thought was that she had noticed movement or something, and he hurriedly grabbed the scalpel from his pocket, movements even more skittish than before.

Then Owen realised exactly what Naomi was looking at. A crumpled mass on the ground. Human shaped. Not moving, not breathing. One of his classmates and very much dead.

And Owen felt those fucking tears falling from his eyes again and he didn’t want to be useless didn’t want to be weak but there was the dead body of someone Owen had gone to school with for the past two years lying a few feet in front of him and what the fuck could you do in this sort of situation but pathetically freeze and fret and break down?

“Wh-who... who is it?” Owen said, shakily. As if it mattered. As if who the body had once been somehow made it more or less of a tragedy. It still felt right to know who it was, though. Aileen seemed too busy investigating the body, talking about guard duties, things like that. Owen barely heard her; her words didn’t matter right now.

Owen’s legs gave way, and he fell to his knees, keeping hold of the chainlink fence for support, able to do nothing but stare wide-eyed at the body.
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((Timeskip with vague GMing approved by all handlers.))

Naomi felt a pang of jealousy at how... unperturbed Aileen seemed about the corpse. She wished she had been able to keep so clinical about it. It wasn't like she hadn't been expecting any corpses. She just... hadn't expected it right at that moment. Someone out there was definitely a murderer now. The game had properly started.

Naomi blinked a few times before rummaging through her bag and retrieving her flashlight. She couldn't tell who it was in the semi-darkness, only that it was a boy. She approached the body warily before flicking the flashlight on and shining it at what remained of his head. She recognised him immediately upon doing so. Sven. Had a child with Andi Victorino. Friend of Paris. Athletic. Rumored to drink a lot. Naomi shut her eyes and let out a long breath, then quickly switched off the flashlight, partly to avoid attracting attention and partly so she couldn't see the... details.

"Sven Olsen," she muttered. "Nothing we can do for him now, though. Let's just get inside quick. A watch does sound like an excellent idea."

She walked away from the body towards the apartment building.

-

The night was peaceful, all things considered, though it was certainly tense given the circumstances. They found a room that looked comfortable enough, but more importantly that had more than one exit. It would be suicide to bundle up in a one-exit room with no weapons better than an unwieldy ball and chain.

Naomi ransacked several rooms before they settled down in an attempt to find something useful, and came up with a notepad that someone seemed to have spilled coffee on, judging by the brown stains on the edge, and a few pens, most of which were dried out but a couple of which still worked. Hardly classy, but that was to be expected. She'd also found some empty bottles, but she hadn't found any string to set up a tripwire yet. Pity. That would have made her feel much more secure.

The night passed. Each of them took turns being on watch. Naomi didn't sleep much, despite exhaustion. She wasn't sure if anyone did. She spent most of the night either fidgeting while trying to sleep or staring at the notepad, trying to think of some idea to get them out. She came up completely blank for ideas of escape with no outside help, and while she thought of ways to show the people watching SotF where they were (landmarks, the stars, etc) she still had no idea how to communicate that information without the terrorists catching on, or how to find out their location more precisely.

Difficulties. But it was still early in the game.

Naomi was sitting in the corner with her notepad when the announcement came on. She'd been waiting for it. She'd known from her base knowledge of the game that they were coming, so she'd drawn a line down the middle of one of the pages of the notepad, written deaths at the top of one column and murderers at the top of the other.

The list of deaths and murderers was... rather surreal. She was mildly surprised to hear Travis wasn't on it. She was unsurprised to hear that Gabriella had gotten herself killed after leaving. Maybe if she hadn't been dumb enough to discard her weapon--

Daniel was dead. Naomi's hand jerked when she heard this, leaving a diagonal line across the deaths column. She stopped writing for a few moments, feeling like there was a large lump in her throat suddenly. Daniel, who'd started the book club with Michael... who'd been kind enough to explain sign language to her, who Naomi'd trusted enough to reveal her ignorance on the subject to... he was dead.

She'd known she would never be able to save everyone, but...

Naomi blinked very fast a few times (and would deny forever that it had been an attempt not to cry) before she started writing down the names again much faster, her handwriting becoming less tidy as she did so. Suddenly the pressure of how much time she had left felt much heavier. What if it was Miles next time? Or Mara or Summer or... no, it didn't do any good to think about it. ...But Naomi couldn't help it.
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Sven Olson. That name did ring some bells. Aileen knew who he was, vaguely, but she was not really close to him. Which is why she did not feel particulary sad about his demise. It was a bit eerie, though. That wound clearly indicated that he died a violent death. Unless he suddenly had a heart attack and somebody else just bashed his skull in for the amusement value. Aileen doubted that happened, though. Eitherway, there was at least on killer out there. At least one person who could stop Aileen from surviving. That meant that Aileen had to get better equipment soon.

Aileen looked at Sven's corpse for a while before taking her belongings and going inside.

-

Aileen spend her watch looking at her sleeping allies and their room at first. But that made her sleepy, so she decided to take a short walk. She walked around in the building with a slow pace, listening to the slight echo her boots made upon contact with the ground. She wondered what she could do if someone, like Sven's killer, just jumped out of a dark corner. If Aileen was lucky, the person would have a melee weapon. She was certain that she could deal with someone like that. But if that person had a gun, well, then Aileen would be powerless.

She hated not being in control.

Which is why she decided to get a gun as soon as possible next day. If she had a gun, then she would be a threat. Then she could grab what she wanted. Then she could command people, and if they did not comply, she would just shoot them. Not to kill, of course. Killing meant gaining attention and as much Aileen loved attention, being the goal of some revenge quest was not the kind of attention she would like to have. Still, if somebody attacked them, she could later claim that it was self-defense. An option she wanted to keep in mind.

-

The library of Aurora High seemed larger than Aileen remembered. It was also much emptier than she remembered. And apparently, the lights did not work either. Aileen walked to one of the shelves. She was not sure what she wanted to do, but she reached out for a book. When she touched the book, it suddenly bursted into flames. Aileen jolted back, but the flames jumped to the next book. And the next book, and the next book, untill the entire room was burning brightly. Aileen was fleeing the room, and as she dashed through the door, she found herself in the hospital. The place where she woke up. Aileen was confused for a moment, but then she noticed that this room was burning too, and the fire spread very quickly.

-

The first thing Aileen did when she woke up was checking her hands for burn marks, but she soon realized that she merely dreamed. She found Naomi sitting in the corner of the room. However, a loud voice filled the room before she could greet her. The announcements, most likely. Done by that surprisingly young Danya.

The first to die was David Russel. Who commited suicide, apparently. Likely sad in most circumstances, but for Aileen it meant one competitor less.

Theodore killed Gabriella, that very tall girl. Aileen was a bit surprised about Theodore. It seemed as if he murdered Gabriella even though she pleaded for mercy. He also had a gun. A person to avoid, for now.

Next killer was Hansel. Which did not surprise Aileen. Daniel Whitten was his victim and Aileen was a bit upset about this one, either because Hansel was the killer, or because she thought that Daniel was a cool guy. Mostly the former.

Theodore, now on Aileen's mental 'Danger List', killed Dan Liu. Which was unfortunate for Dan, she guessed.

Another surprisement, Joe Carrasco killed Jason Meyers. Aileen liked Joe, but as it seemed, he was betraying his friend. She looked over at Naomi and raised an eyebrow. Hm... she seemed rather erratic.

K.K. killed Kelly. Apparently with a scythe, and David Zimmer fell of a balcony. So many guys with D who died. Amusing, maybe, if it were not for circumstances.

Oh, Iselle Ovalle-Vanderthingydingy was the one who killed Sven. That was good to know, she guessed. K.K. got some prize for her kill - Aileen envied her a tiny bit - and some areas were declared Dangerzones. She was not in one of them.

"A good morning to you both. I hope you slept well."
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Owen sat and stared at Sven’s body for several minutes, even after Aileen and Naomi had gone inside, too stunned to move, too stunned even to cry. He hadn’t known Sven well; hell, he’d probably only talked to him once or twice at school. But he was a guy whose face Owen could attach a name to, a guy who Owen passed in the corridors every day, a guy who was now lying on the ground with wounds in his head. This wasn’t something Owen could easily recover from; he had no idea how Aileen was managing it.

Eventually, Owen picked himself up, legs shaking, and walked inside the apartment. He moved as if he was sleepwalking, face blank and dazed. He needed to get inside, to safety, away from Sven. Maybe sleep would clear his thoughts, maybe the morning would bring better news.




Those hopes were wishful thinking at their finest. Owen’s preliminary search of the rooms unearthed absolutely nothing of any use, so he had retreated to his room, hoping for some decent sleep before it was his turn on watch. The sleep never came, a mixture of paranoia and despair keeping his mind reeling and his body wide awake. This wasn’t helped by the constant feel of bile rising in his throat, which eventually culminated during his turn at watch. Owen had to run out of their room into a different one to throw up in.

People on the island, friends, enemies, people he’d only spoken to once, all of them were dying around him. As much as Owen didn’t want to believe it, he’d seen proof first hand. It was all so horribly surreal. The worst part was that Owen had no idea what was happening to his friends, wouldn’t be able to until the next morning. He could feel the tears in his eyes, and at first tried to wipe them away. Eventually he gave up, and some time later, finally fell asleep, more out of sheer exhaustion than anything else.




Owen was woken by a loud, strangely familiar voice filling the room. He sat up startled, briefly panicking at his unfamiliar surroundings. Again, his first thoughts were that someone had broken into the room, and was attempting to attack the group. When exactly did he get so paranoid, so untrusting? Owen reached into his pocket, searching for his scalpel, finding nothing but air. A quick sweep of the room showed it was lying next to the door, from when he’d been keeping guard, but it also revealed there was nobody in the room.

The announcements. That was the source of the noise, Owen realised now. That was the source of the voice, the voice that was still talking. Owen briefly hoped that there would be no names on it, then with a sickening realisation, hoped for the exact opposite. If no-one had been killed, then everyone would be. Danya was actively making them all hope for their classmates, their friends, to kill each other. The best Owen could hope for was that there wouldn’t be too many names on the announcements.

But Danya had already listed off two deaths, two that Owen had missed, and more were still to come. The very first name Owen heard hit him like a knockout punch. Daniel had been killed, Daniel from football. This time it wasn’t just a recognisable name, recognisable face. It was someone Owen knew closely, and he could already feel the tears start up again.

Daniel wasn’t the only name on the list. Jason had been killed as well. Owen’s face was as stunned as the night before, tears freely falling. He barely listened to the rest of the names until eventually the announcement finished. He knew who and where to avoid now. But it was at a pretty steep cost. Even aside from Jason and Daniel, Owen recognised every single name on the list. People he’d never get a chance to know better, or even to see for one last time.

Aileen suddenly greeted the duo of Owen and Naomi and Owen could only stare at her in disbelief. How was her voice still so level? How exactly was she retaining her usual collected state?

“I... no, I didn’t, I... How th-the hell are you still so c-calm?” Owen sputtered out at Aileen. He was trying to copy her image of coolness on the outside, even if slightly, and failing miserably. Surely he wouldn’t be judged for this, though. Surely mourning his friends’ deaths didn’t make him useless and pathetic, did it?
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"Calm is the best thing we can be right now," Naomi said. Her voice cracked as she spoke, however, giving away the fact that she didn't actually feel calm. Everything she'd ever done, she'd at least known exactly how much time she had to do it. Assignments, student elections, university applications, they all had their set dates and times allotted for them. But this game wasn't like that. It could end in a few days. Or it could last weeks if the killing was slow. All that was guaranteed was that Naomi didn't know when a 'player' would come along. It was rather like if she'd had to worry about assassins during the speech she gave while campaigning for student president.

She still admired Aileen's calm to a degree, and wished she was at such a stage herself. But at the same time, she had to wonder if Aileen was mentally subnormal. She was handling this all a little too easily. ...Well, she wasn't going to go on a rampage with some gloves. Naomi just had to make sure she didn't get her hands on anything too dangerous.

Naomi opened her bag and pulled out a ration bar, a bottle of water and her map. She spread the map out on the floor in front of her, dropped the notepad next to it and started to eat.

Between mouthfuls, she added, "We should stay where we are until we have a solid plan. No use wasting energy." She needed to think. She needed to think of a plan right now. Every minute that passed was one that was wasted.
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It always felt nice to get a compliment. At least that is how Aileen interpreted Owen's question on how she managed to be so calm. Indeed, she liked the idea of herself being like an unmoving stone in a bitter storm. It also had a hint of irony. Aileen being the calm one? That'll show everyone.

She did not get why it was so special though. Or to put it into other words, why being calm was extraordinary. They were alive, healthy, and had a good shelter at the moment. A shelter that was not a Dangerzone. Things were looking good, and Aileen was certain that it could only get better. All they needed were good weapons and other equipment. Then she'd be happy, then she'd be in charge. She could shoot Naomi, for example, if she decided to backstab Aileen and Owen.

"Thank you for the compliment, I suppose. I see no reason not to be calm, though."

Aileen moved over to her bag to get food and water. And her sun glasses, which she put them in there the day before. Naomi wanted to formulate a solid plan. That was a good idea.

"What we need..." Goodness, these bars tasted horribly. "...is a gun. No, we need a lot of guns." K.K. really got lucky. "Our minds won't be useful if they are full of lead." She poked at her head.

The question was, how would they get a gun? Surely someone was assigned a gun who was not ready to harm their classmates. Aileen could help them to relieve them of their burden. Or maybe some of the corpses still has useful weapons with them. That would be good.

One thing was for sure, Aileen decided. If they got a gun, she would get it.
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Some part of Owen wished he could feel as calm as Aileen apparently was right now. She’d somehow managed to interpret his blurted half-question, half-accusation as a compliment. It just about meant sense, by following some twisted strand of logic. Naomi was right in that staying calm was the best thing they could do, but Owen just couldn’t manage it. Not yet. In the space of a night time, he’d seen a dead body and heard news of the demise of two of his friends.

And if he took a step back to look at things more clearly, did Owen really want to be as calm as Aileen appeared right now? It went past calm into detached, judging by how casual Aileen was speaking. Owen really, really hoped that his initial judgement of her wasn’t in fact the correct one. He just wanted to be able to trust someone, one person, without the suspicion of ulterior motives looming over them.

Owen realised he’d been staring at Aileen for the past few seconds, stunned and dazed appearance only exacerbated by Aileen’s words. He felt his cheeks begin to turn red, despite how he felt, and despite the tears that were only just starting to dry up. He noticed that Naomi and Aileen were taking the time to eat some of the energy bars they’d all been packed. Owen didn’t feel like eating. A rarity, if he’d been in the right frame of mind to consider it. It wasn’t that he didn’t feel hungry, because he definitely did, but the thought of eating anything at that moment just made him feel like throwing up again.

Instead, he just remained still, knees tucked up to his chest, listening to the other two discuss plans. Aileen wanted a gun, a fact that sent another horrible pang of suspicions through Owen. A gun would be useful, very useful, given their current weapon situation. But there was just something about the way Aileen said it that unnerved him. Still, she was right; a gun would be immensely helpful. After a long pause, Owen spoke up, voice much quieter and shakier than normal.

“A... a g-gun would help... but... only for self-d-defense... r-right?” Owen said, looking from Aileen to Naomi and back again. “But... where... where w-would we find one? I d-doubt there’d be any... lying around in th-these buildings.” Owen paused again to think, rubbed his eyes with the back of a fist.

“F-for now, we could look around these buildings for... other supplies... food, medicine... things like that...” Owen’s voice trailed off towards the end.
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Naomi didn't look up from the map, though she listened. After swallowing a mouthful of rations, she said, "Having a gun would be good for self-defence purposes, yes. But finding one is an issue, since no-one's going to let go of a gun willingly. No-one smart, at least. The only likely option would be finding someone benevolent with one and inviting them into the alliance. After all, the only other way would be to achieve Best Kill, judging by the announcements, and not only is that a shot in the dark, but since players don't get rescued it would null any efforts towards escape, at least for us personally."

Her response to looking around the building was less eloquent, merely a 'hmm.' She didn't want to look until she knew what she was looking for. Judging by the state of the island, it would have been abandoned long enough for any food to go off. She'd rather not die from food poisoning. Same went for any medicine. She wanted to look more throughly than last night, but first she needed to figure out what she needed.

But the map was bothering her and she wasn't sure why. Her eyes flickered over the different landmarks... the amusement park, the nuclear power plant, the airstrip, as well as all the locations that made the island resemble a tourist location... and she realised what was bothering her.

"This doesn't make sense," she said suddenly. "They should have found us. Look at these locations!" She jabbed her finger at the nuclear power plant, then at the more tourist-like areas. "How many islands have nuclear power plants and so many tourist locations? How can they be taking so long to find us?" She wasn't even sure who they was. The American military, the mysterious force who'd rescued the students last time, or anyone else. "People have to be watching, it's Survival of the Fittest! One of the most infamous terrorist acts of all time. Come to think of it... the terrorists must be completely stupid to set the game here--"

And mid-rant, her voice stopped. Because there was one way no-one could have recognised the island. And one way the terrorists could cover up for how distinctive it was.

"...unless they're not showing the feed," she finished, her voice suddenly very quiet. "But that just... doesn't make sense..."
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She turned to Owen - Aileen could have sworn he blushed earlier when he saw her - who wanted the gun purely for self-defense. That was, of course, a completely acceptable condition. Though, Aileen hoped that she would soon be able to defend herself. It'd be awful to win only to participate next year again because Aileen killed nobody. Then Naomi responded nad Aileen's head jerked back to her. Aileen did not realize the potential to get a gun with the help of the BKA. Of course, seeking to kill someone could hinder escape chances a tiny bit.

"Owen, I can assure you. I would kill nobody but in self-defense."

Naomi then started a little rant. She wondered why nobody has found them yet, especially because the island was quite unique in its features. Naomi and Aileen realized what that meant, but Naomi called it first. Aileen could only agree.

"To put such a revealation of despair into a different kind of words:

We're kinda fucked."

It was what she suspected. The terrorists played it smart. Nobody at home knew that their children were on Survival of the Fittest. Maybe they thought that the plane crashed or maybe they even believed that everyone was in Dis- no, nobody would be that stupid. Still, there was no one who knew of Aileen's and the other students' fate. And Aileen knew that the students needed outside help to escape, since there was only so much they could do.

Which meant that there was only one way out.

Aileen's eyes shifted towards Owen and she realized the full implications. Aileen's eyes returned to Naomi.

"Alright, what shall we do now, Miss Planning?"
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Both Naomi and Aileen agreed that if they were to obtain a gun, it would only be used for self-defence. That was a good sign, and Owen nodded at both of them, not quite smiling. It showed that, on this subject at the very least, they were thinking along the same sort of wavelength, and more importantly, that none of them were planning on doing anything foolish. The issue of actually obtaining a gun reared its ugly head again, though. No-one was likely to give one up, trying to get a weapon from the ‘Best Kill Award’ was insane and terrible...

And though he was loathe to think of it, his mind constantly flashing back to Sven, if the dead had held weapons, then it was likely their killers had taken them already. That meant the only way of getting a potent weapon would be by allying with them. The occurrence with Cammy had just been a fluke.

Owen stood up, wearily and warily, legs still threatening to give way beneath him. If getting a gun gave them their best, or perhaps only, chance of surviving and escaping, then they’d need to get moving. They could ransack the building of anything useful, then get searching for someone with a gun. Owen was about to mention this, when Naomi spoke up, gesturing at her map. Slowly, Owen walked over to get another look at it. He’d only had a brief glance at it back at the hospital, and now that he had a better look at it, he saw just how many unique locations there were. An amusement park. A small airport, a school, a fucking power plant of all things. Owen wasn’t entirely sure what Naomi was getting at, but there was a horrible feeling in Owen’s stomach, and he looked over at Aileen for reassurance.

Then Naomi, quietly, softly, gave her suspicions. The terrorists might not be broadcasting the footage. It took Owen a few seconds to realise the implications of this, and as he did, his mouth formed a small “o” shape. If the terrorists weren’t showing the footage, then no-one back home would know that Survival of the Fittest wasn’t dead and gone. There would be no rescue, because for the people back home, there would be nothing to rescue. There would be no escape, no escape aside from being the last person alive, and Aileen’s continued calm was not fucking helping. Naomi had to have made a mistake, she had to!

“N-no...” Owen said. His voice was shaky, his face pale and eyes wide and panicky. More than anything, he spoke to convince himself. “No, t-they’ve gotta be showing the f-feeds... A-a hundred plus k-kids can’t just di-disappear... and sh-showing the feeds... that’s... That’s the whole point of this, right? To... To make an example...”

It wasn’t working at all.
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This was not a good revelation.

Naomi shut her eyes, thinking, as Aileen once again took the news disturbingly well and Owen started to go into hysterics. Not what she needed right now. Maybe she was just mistaken. Maybe the military just hadn't figured out a way of getting them off the island without everyone blowing up, that was just as viable a reason for them not arriving. Except it didn't account for the terrorists being incredibly stupid by picking this island. And the more she thought about it, the more it made sense.

"Maybe they know we're gone. But that wouldn't help them locate us," she murmured. "And the cameras... they're still filming us. I suppose it wouldn't be hard to... I don't know... maybe they're just going to send it to the government once it's all done. Much like sending a body part in the mail." Her voice shook a little at that last sentence, but she kept it quiet and mostly together.

After a few moments more consideration, she climbed to her feet. Time was still an issue. And now they were much further from escape. But that didn't mean it was impossible. They just had a lot more to get around.

"This is just a setback," she said. "There still must be a way. There has to be a way!" She was talking to convince herself as much as anyone else. "We just need to look. We search the complexes properly, as fast as we can for anything at all that might be useful. Then we move onto the next area and do the same. We gather whoever we can and whatever we can. We will find a way. We have to."
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[Originally posted by Bikriki]

"You seem desperate."

Aileen could not understand how Naomi would still believe in the possibility in escape. After all, it made sense for the terrorists to film that entire 'contest' and then show the footage much later, when everyone but one was dead. It wasn't like Aileen was particulary bothered by that. She expected that escape was impossible. Hell, she joined Naomi because Aileen thought that it still could be useful for her. And she only remained with them because Aileen was convinced that Naomi planned to use Aileen and Owen and because fuck Naomi if she thinks that.

Owen.

It was a thought she managed to shove aside for the past day. But it finally managed to beat her like a crazy guy with a sack full of doorknobs.

The people she liked were going to die too. It was a small list, a very small list, and if you count mutual sympathies, it became even smaller, but it still included a few people more than Owen.

She muttered a single "fuck" before going through the door. Her voice was now much harsher. Aggressive.

"Alright. Let's hope we find something."
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[Originally posted by Pippin]

Owen tried his very best to stay calm. He tried to control his breathing and slow it down, close his eyes, tried to find some sort of inner peace. Calm would be good, even Aileen’s eerily high levels of calm would be good right now. If he could stay calm, then he’d be able to think clearly, and maybe, somehow, think of a way to survive this whole ordeal.

He just couldn’t do it. He couldn’t find that calm. What might be their only avenue of escape had just vanished right before their eyes, and Naomi seemed to be doing her goddamn best to crush any of the hope he’d had, by providing further ideas to her hypothesis. Of course, if they were still filming then they could send the tapes at any time. Make the government, the whole world, believe there was some hope left, that Aurora High could still be saved, when in reality...

Owen placed one hand on the closest wall, hands bunched into fists. He was terrified and despairing beyond measure, but he was angry as well. The terrorists were taking hope, dangling it in front of people, and crushing it at the last second. Making them all hope that people had died just so they could live to see the next day. Providing an easy to find location, just to reveal there was no-one on it.

It was this feeling of anger that prevented Owen from just curling up into a ball then and there. Despite Naomi’s revelation, he was not going to give up searching for a way to get out. Hoping that a rescue fleet would come to rescue them all was easily their best option, certainly. But there had to be some way of getting out by their own powers, didn’t there? Some sort of craft they could build, some way of disabling the collars, right?

Some stroke of luck, because God knows, they all deserved some now.

This would make it a lot trickier to find all of his friends, though. But if they could find some way of getting off of the island, then finding a few people would be a walk in the park. Naomi seemed to be thinking along the same lines, too, and Owen nodded in her direction. There was an unavoidable sense of desperation to her words, but they were in a desperate situation, after all. This was a long shot, they all knew. But a long shot was all they had.

Aileen made her way out of the room, and after taking a few deep breaths and making an attempt at an encouraging smile at Naomi, all negative feelings towards her forgotten, Owen followed, speaking as he walked.

“Th-there’s gotta be something here... if not here, then somewhere... gotta be a way... gotta be a way...”
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