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Mischief Managed; The Monstrocity Returns.
Topic Started: Nov 19 2013, 01:43 AM (707 Views)
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Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Ian Williams, Cyrus White, Mirabella Strong, Juhan Levandi, and Takeshi Yoshikawa all continued from: The two people in the distance were Paulo and Becca))

((Credit for these posts goes to VysePresident, SimpleInsanity, SansaSaver, Maraoone, Zabriel, Grim Wolf, Ghost of Ravenstar, JillSandwich, Randomness, Laurels, and Firedog. All GMing approved.))

They'd made a major mistake.

At least, that seemed the most probable explanation to Ian, as he looked across the sands of the Western Beach. It was admittedly a rather idyllic scene that met his eyes. The sun had just started peaking over the edge of the horizon, casting a beautiful orange glow across the ocean even as the surf continued its timeless beat against the shore. Seashells were littered across the sands that had once attracted the rich and affluent to this now forsaken island, and the quiet roar of the sea would have lent a feeling of peace to most anyone.

Of course, appreciating the natural beauty was hardly at the top of Ian's mind at this particular moment, as he led his newfound group across the sands. No, the only thing he could focus on now was his desperate search for any sign that somebody was still here, anything at all to indicate that there was still some hope now that they were hours past the time set for their meeting with Karen. However, the long, empty stretch of beach seemed to doom that hope to disappointment.

To think how everything had seemed to be going so well, after they'd left the mansion...

Juhan, Bella, Takeshi, and Cyrus had all quietly chosen to accompany him on the long trek across the island. They'd made slow progress, of course, as none of them were in exactly the best condition to be hiking across the island. Ian fared better than most of the others, thanks to his old exercise routine, but to be completely honest, even he wasn't too unhappy when they took a rather longish break. Nonetheless, they still managed to find their way to the coast with plenty of time to spare before the evening, and had even found a nice hill from which to watch and wait. While the Northern Coast was far too long to patrol adequately, they had a good view over most of the surrounding area, all but guaranteeing they would see anyone who had come in answer to Karen's notes.

Of course, it hadn't occurred to anybody that maybe, just maybe, Karen had another coast in mind when she wrote her note. It wasn't like there was, say, a Western Beach clearly marked on the map. So they stayed on their rocky little hilltop through the cold night, setting up camp as best they could. At any point, one of the five was on watch duty, both for security as well as the unspoken hope of finding whatever group Karen had managed to pull together.

Except, of course, there had been no sign of either Karen, or any group of people whatsoever.

And so, they spent a rather uncomfortable night, for which Ian had apologized to the point of redundancy; there really wasn't much he could have done about it, perhaps, but he was still left feeling somehow at fault, which only served to make a miserable night that much worse.

By the early morning, he was left pondering so many unanswered questions. Had something happened to Karen? It was hardly unlikely given their predicament, but even so, wouldn't there still have been others who got her notes? Why were they the only ones here? It was almost like they'd gone to the wrong place or...oh.

Oh heck, no.

Sure enough, his worst fears were confirmed with the aid of his flashlight and the map, on which not only was another beach marked, but it was all the way across the island. Naturally, what else should he have expected?

At least it had been relatively easy, letting the others know. By then, most everyone was already awake; about half had already finished a breakfast of the delicious terrorists rations - truly, they must have broken their budget on the food, but that was neither here nor there.

He hadn't dared tell the others outright, not when the terrorists were so easily capable of listening in, and even letting them know about the planned meeting had the potential to be dangerous. Instead, since they were still nominally following the half-baked plan he'd come up with back at the mansion, he apologized for how clearly his plan had failed, and suggested that perhaps they should head somewhere like the apartments, with a little addendum that, if they weren't sick of the idea, perhaps they could give the other coast a quick sweep. It wasn't paranoia if everything really could get you killed, right?

Thankfully, they'd seemed to have gotten the hint without him pushing too painfully hard. Well, hopefully not too hard. Now, here they were, after hours of travel through the night, and so far...nothing. Not a sign that anyone had even been here tonight, with only the occasional bits of trash and broken glass to indicate the beach had ever been frequented by humanity at all. Still, he wasn't ready to give up quite yet. Oh, he wasn't oblivious to the odds, of course, but he couldn't just let this opportunity go, not without giving it everything he had, not until he'd searched every corner of this beach, grain by grain if he had to. And while it was fairly level, there were still piles of sand and other obstructions that could easily hide someone from view. It wasn't much to work with, but there was too much at stake to allow himself to turn back.

"Well, we're here." Ian said, turning to the others with a wry grimace. "Let's...let's look around a bit before we do anything. We're probably alone, but it can't hurt to check right?"

"Sure," Bella said, surveying what little of the beach she could see under the glow of their flashlights. She couldn't help but grin as their quintet milled around the beach; having made it there was the happiest she'd felt since waking up on the island, even more than encountering Megan and Juhan, or even when the plan of escape had been brought up. They'd actually achieved something in making it there, and if they'd achieved that much then they could achieve their next goal, and the next, and...


No, they had to find Garrett. There was no reason for them not to. That doubt at the back of her mind was wrong - Garrett had taught her that much. They'd escape together, and it'd be like all of the stories she'd read as a child. He'd rescued her, so long ago. Now she'd help rescue him.

The journey there hadn't exactly been without issues, even with the exclusion of their misdirection. More than once she'd whacked her foot against a piece of debris, and even in the dim torchlight she could see how matted and ruined her sneakers had become over the days they'd spent on the island. Having Francis's bags with her hadn't helped matters either. Having four bags strung over her back didn't exactly help her balance, she realized. There'd been offers of help, of course, but she'd refused them. She'd been the catalyst for Francis's death, and there was no way in hell that she was going to pass up on this attempt at atonement, however small it may have been.

Bella had clung to the others for most of their journey to the beach; initially for warmth, but after she'd taken advantage of their temporary sojourn to slip into a thick grey sweater her mother had plied her with the morning of the trip, it'd been more a matter of comfort and security than anything else.

"To think that we've actually made it here is just so..." She laughed, and gently swung her arms around. "...exhilarating."

"I'm just glad that we all made it here together," Takeshi said as he looked around. He was fortunate to have only lost Francis. Some of the names from his clubs may have come up, but he hadn't registered any he cared about, whether through preoccupation with the situation or just feeling unattached to anybody in particular.

He knew that they were doing something that might get them killed, but unless he was willing to take life he was going to be killed anyway. And better to die in defiance of evil than to succumb to it, he told himself. That being said he still didn't know exactly what they were doing, but anything was better than playing the game as far as he was concerned.

"The beach is beautiful. It could almost be just a normal day." Takeshi knelt down and picked up a seashell. It was about the size of a pedometer, fan-shaped, and bright purple. He held it out to Bella. "I'll trade you for one of the bags," he offered with a smile. He could understand why she had insisted on carrying Francis' bags, but she'd carried them long enough.

Besides, we're all in this together.

Bella managed a smile in reply to Takeshi's offer, before shrugging off her school satchel. While it was far from being light in weight, it was still a lot less heavy than the other bags she carried with her.

"Thank you, Takeshi. You're a sweetheart." She gently passed the satchel towards the smaller boy by the leather cord, and took the purple seashell in exchange, clasping it firmly. It was pretty, and almost her favorite color. She couldn't remember the last gift she'd received before this one.

"If I'd known that a seashell was all it'd take get one of those bags off of you, I'd have offered you one sooner." Ian said with smile, and at least it had come out as a grin this time instead of a grimace. "I don't have anything as cool as Takeshi's, but if you're willing to accept credit, I'll be glad to take one of those bags too."

Oh, well, I uh, I only gave it because, I..." Bella racked her brain, trying to come up with an adequate response. "I guess I subconsciously wanted to get rid of some weight, really. But, the lightest bag I've got now is Francis's personal stuff, and I'd like to keep his stuff with me. The alternative is my dufflebag, and it's quite heavy. I wouldn't... I wouldn't want to burden you with anything. You've helped so much already, Ian."

She suddenly realized what she'd implied, and turned to Takeshi. "Not to say that you haven't helped, Takeshi. You've been such a sweetheart, so far."

Takeshi smiled and bowed his head briefly. After a moment he made a suggestion. "We could probably divide up the edible stuff and then combine the rest into one bag. Should make carrying things a little less awkward, and then we'll have an empty bag for anything we might need an empty bag for."

"We could, actually. That's a smart idea, Takeshi! Maybe we should get our bearings first, though." Bella looked towards Takeshi again, and rubbed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "I appreciate it, really." She shifted the three remaining bags around, making the most of the weight off her back. "Now, let's see if we can find something to make those Mickey Mouse ears you wanted for your sister."

"Not sure we'll find much here. We could definitely make some pretty awesome seashell necklaces though." Takeshi replied, looking around the beach.

"For once my embroidery skills might have some use beyond making presents, then. Even if it is just threading seaweed or dental floss through a seashell," Bella said in reply. Making seashell necklaces was a rather interesting idea, really. It seemed to harken back to her childhood, but Bella couldn't remember if she'd made seashell necklaces before. She could remember daisy chains, though.


As the conversation continued on without him, Ian gave a quiet little sigh. Those two were so cheerful, so confident of success, and that made it all the harder for him, because they didn't seem to get that none of them had any right to expect Karen to still be here, or anybody else for that matter. They were putting so much more trust in him than he deserved, and he'd almost certainly let them all down with his mistake.

So, when he saw a flash of movement in the distance, he wasn't entirely sure it wasn't just wishful thinking.

Except...there it was again, closer this time, he thought.

It wasn't much, just a small flicker of motion near the edge of the beach, quickly obscured by the piles of sand scattered across the area. Even so, in that brief moment, he could almost have sworn he'd seen a person running...well, this was something he needed to check up on.

No point in involving the others just yet, not when there was still such a large chance that he'd been leading them on yet another wild goose chase. Besides, a quick glance back showed that they were starting to lag behind again anyway, so the idea of letting them rest again seemed a bit more reasonable at the moment.

"Hey, umm, guys..."

Such eloquence. Let's try that again, okay?

"Look, there's not a lot of the beach left to explore. Why don't you all rest here for a moment while I take one last look from that hill over there." He gestured at the nearby object in question as he spoke, though perhaps it was more of a glorified sand pile than a hill. Still, it offered a decent vantage point, as it wasn't so far as to leave him completely separated from the others in the event that something happened. That was what counted.

"If that doesn't work out, well, I think those building are the Apartments listed on the map. I guess we can at least try to find a place to sleep, if nothing else."

"Well, I'll be back in a moment."

With that, he was off, almost jogging despite his near exhaustion. Despite his best efforts to avoid getting his hopes up, he was more certain than ever that he'd seen somebody.

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of luck: bad and worse. Murphy's Law dictated that he'd either fail to find anyone...or that he'd find someone after all, named Theo, or Hansel, or anyone like them, really. But life likes to keep you on your toes, and sometimes...well, sometimes you get a third type of luck called 'dumb'. It was a foolish and unlikely hope, but when he crested the hill, he saw that it was one that had been completely justified. There, not too far in the distance, was the girl they'd all been looking for.

Allowing himself a quick, relieved grin, he went down to meet Karen. Hopefully she'd had better luck than he'd been having, up to 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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Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
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((Karen Idel continued from: Let the Idiot Sleep))

Idiot exhausted girl. Idiot, idiot, idiot. And now all her fragile plans were crumbling around her, and she'd die without even striking a single blow against those who'd harmed her.

Oh, she burned. Her lungs. Her legs. Her arms. Every part of her hurt. So few notes delivered. No real army assembled. No damage done. Yes, this rebellion required care, precision, grace, resolve. Yes, she needed to be patient. But...

But for this much hurt, shouldn't she have accomplished something? Shouldn't she have not fucking fallen asleep?

Useless, stupid girl. Every second counted, and she was wasting hers. She cursed the weak body that she'd been born into, cursed the weak mind that couldn't command the body, cursed the people who'd put this together, cursed the people who'd failed to protect them, cursed her parents, cursed anyone she could think of.

How could her stupid plan possibly run up against the men who'd trapped them here? Who'd designed these collars, who'd executed the perfect kidnapping of close to two hundred students, and who'd carried out similar operations four times before? She was a newbie struggling against professionals, and her quick wits couldn't possibly save her.

But she struggled against this cord of inevitability. She struggled against the dim ringings of failure sounding in her skull. She told herself that it wasn't over yet. That it was still night, and if she could make it to the beach, she could start putting her plan in motion.

Had to keep moving. Had to get this done. Otherwise, what was it all for?

Then, against all the odds there was a voice, calling to her.

"Hey, long time no see."

Despite himself, Ian was grinning from ear to ear, pausing only a moment to recall Karen's code.

"I wish we weren't here. How about you?"


Juhan was lagging behind the rest of the group when Ian left, not really aware of the conversations his friends were having or what was happening around him. All that was in his mind was putting one foot in front of the other and finding Karen. Also, he was regretting not placing much emphasis on PE back in Aurora. As it turned out, his body was simply not prepared for a hike across the island. This was exacerbated by the fact that he hadn't even had a wink of sleep for around twenty hours, more or less.

A sudden pang of pain in his stomach reminded him that he also hadn't eaten at all today. Remembering that he hadn't eaten any of his Oreos yet, he awkwardly maneuvered his hand through the contents of his shoulder bag and found what he was looking for. Pieces of heaven. After catching up with his group, he triumphantly held up the pack and said, "Anyone want a snack for now?"

Cyrus smiled slightly. At least everyone is being positive. He wasn't as tired as he expected himself to be, being in good enough shape that his legs were mumbling but not screaming at him. Bringing up two fingers to his collar, he sighed a bit. He had been walking only slightly ahead of Juhan, close enough to hear the main group's conversation, but too far to contribute to it. Even if he was close enough, he wouldn't have anything to say. He didn't have any real feelings about their conversation. Well, other than agreeing to some of what they said. He looked toward what he assumed was the Pacific ocean.

"No thanks, Juhan." He sat on the sand, happy that he could rest for a moment. He hoped he hadn't sat on a jellyfish or something.

"Oh, no thank you Juhan," Bella said, echoing Cyrus's sentiments. Bella's appetite always vanished in times of stress, and now wasn't exactly the calmest of times. "Thank you, though, for the offer."

Taking care not to sit on anything too wet or dirty, Bella delicately placed herself on the sands, leaning against her dufflebag. She looked out over the shimmering waters ahead of them. It was beautiful, even with everything that was happening at that moment.

"Suit yourself." Juhan let out a sigh of relief as he finally sat down and started eating the cookies. He normally wasn't a fan of Oreos, having found them too sweet. But now, they tasted like ambrosia. He lay down on the sand as he ate. He didn't really care about getting sand all over his clothes and hair. It wasn't like appearance mattered that much here. Also, it just felt so good lying down on the beach and doing...nothing. He could've stayed there forever.


But sooner or later, life moves on, no matter how much one could wish otherwise.

Ian was coming back now, followed by Karen and at least small sense of accomplishment. Not that he'd forgotten that finding her had only been the first step. They had to deal with the collars, and as always, that remained the trick. Still, they were allowed to enjoy their success, right?

However, before he could say anything to the others, even so much as offer an explanation for their newest member, he was interrupted by the crackle of the announcements coming on.

They listened in silence as the voice of Danya once again listed off the names of those who'd died the previous day, along with their killers. He only listened to the names, trying to stay focused and practical because what was done was done. He allowed himself a sigh of relief when no close friends were named this time, but that was all. It wasn't that he'd become callous, or even grown numb to it yet. It was just that anything more would be to allow himself to be overwhelmed with pointless guilt and doubts, and to break under the weight of his own sense of helplessness.

This was what you had to do when there was nothing else left. It might seem like shrugging the deaths off to some, and Steven's unspoken recriminations had certainly left their impact, but there was a world of difference between acknowledging what was happening, and accepting it. That was were he felt Steven had been wrong. He couldn't do anything to change the past, but the future was still open, however grim things looked.

Perhaps it was basically the emotional equivalent of painkillers. It did nothing to fix the underlying problems, but at least it allowed one to cope until there was something one could do about said problem.

But there were doubts nagging at the back of his mind all the same.

Of course, the announcements were hardly polite enough to stop for him to ponder these things, and so he was jerked back to reality once he realized the danger zones were being listed off. First there was the Lighthouse, then the Homestead. Nothing particularly concerning, at least.

Then the Western Beach was mentioned.

Oh. Wasn't that...?

"Beep", agreed his collar.

Ian felt a quick jolt of fear, which was relieved a moment later by the jolt of adrenaline kicking in as his body responded to the sudden danger, doubt and worry fading into the background as a sense of focused calm took command.

The first step in that initial moment of general confusion had been to get the others moving in the direction of the apartments nearby. Those marked the nearest safe zone, and that would serve them all better than running around in a blind panic. That had been easy enough, thankfully, as at least some of them seemed to have reached the same conclusion.

But he held back just long enough to see when something went wrong.
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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Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
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Naomi and Venice were dead, both killed by girls who seemed perfectly sane. Naomi hit the hardest - while she and Bella weren't exactly best friends, she'd been a nice enough girl, so smart and full of ideas. Enough to snare Bella's vote for Class President, in any case. And Venice...Venice was so upbeat and quirky; she didn't deserve to die. None of them deserved it. Naomi and Venice and everybody else... If they could be taken out so easily...

This was why they had to succeed.

They couldn't let those deaths be in vain.

They had to achieve something.

Even if it meant dying in the process.



Bella's hands instinctively flew to her collar, her fingers curling around the warmth of the metal.


No no no no no no no no no.

Bella relinquished her grip of her collar and grasped for the bags by her feet, her hands shaking and tears beginning to drip down her cheeks. Her breath caught in her throat as she swung the three bags over her back, the sudden return of weight loosening the grip her sneakers held upon the ground. She stumbled forward, managing only a few steps before slipping in the pale sands, coarse grains pouring in through the worn patches of cotton.

She didn't want to die. Not now, not without achieving anything.

Her next step forward lost any semblance of control Bella had as her legs turned to jelly beneath her. The sands, which had once been only a line on her vision suddenly became the whole world. Fingers grappled with the grains for support, nails digging deep into the dirt and broken shells, but she might as well have been trying to pull herself up on water. Bella was frozen in place, feet kicking and hands struggling, but even with the ever growing beeping in her ears, the knowledge that death was breathing on her neck, she couldn't pull herself up.

She'd vowed to never do so again, but she couldn't help it. Did promises mean anything here?

Bella screamed. And screamed. And screamed.


And then Ian was there, frantically working at the straps holding the bags to her back.

He'd seen her fall to the ground, thanks to the awkward weight of the bags she'd insisted on carrying. He didn't have time to process his decision, but he'd already come running back, letting his shovel fall to the ground in order to free his hands, and now the stupid straps were coming off, but slowly, far too slowly.

"Hey! It's going to be alright, just stay still for a moment and let me these off, okay? We're just a quick dash away, it'll be alright."

The collar's beeping was getting more frantic, but he kept on working, his rapidly fraying calmness replaced with simple determination. For a short time that felt like an eternity, it seemed like he'd never make it in time, but finally, with one last pull he was able to tug them off, and in one quick motion had the bags off of her and onto his own shoulder.

He reached down and offered her his other hand.

"Let's get going, okay?"


For half a second Bella could've sworn she heard Garrett's voice frantically call out to her, tugging away at the bags strapped tightly around her back. But it was Ian, Ian who was so friendly and kind and had managed to lead them all the way here in one piece.

She grabbed ahold of the boy's hand and allowed him to hoist her up. Bella's legs were still like liquid beneath her, but with an iron grip upon Ian she was able to drag herself across the beach, away from the incessant beeping that drummed rhythmically in her mind. Her breath was ragged and short; she was unable to manage any intelligible noises, her screams having dealt damage to her vocal chords.

Even so, she managed two choked, scarcely audible, words as they fled the beach.

"Thank you."

Ian didn't have the breath left to answer, only smiled slightly. Maybe he'd managed to make a difference after all.
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)
Online Profile Quote Post Goto Top
Member Avatar
Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
When he heard the announcements, Cyrus let them sink in for a moment, closing his eyes and listening for a moment.

Just kidding. The second that Cyrus heard the beach get mentioned, he picked up his bag, picked up his axe, and ran as fast as he could toward the apartments.

He looked back for a moment, seeing Ian and Bella not ten feet behind him. At least he wasn't abandoning them. He would probably have to explain himself later. Or lie. Hopefully after he figures out who died. He'd try not to say anything "insensitive" this time.

Once his collar stopped beeping, he sighed in relief. Sitting on the sidewalk, Cyrus stared at the beach.

"Well this sucks."

Juhan arrived right behind Cyrus, panting. He was consumed by guilt. Like Cyrus, he ran as soon as the beach came up, not even stopping to consider anyone else, like Bella or Ian. He tried to make up several excuses. It wasn't his fault, it wasn't his fault. He didn't cause her to trip, and it didn't matter because Ian helped her up anyways. But if he hadn't? He was selfish enough to leave everyone else behind. He didn't even think once about them while he was running. But he didn't know, he didn't know.

That's not a good enough reason, Juhan.

As soon as everyone else had gotten to safety, he walked slowly over to Bella. "Hey, are you alright? I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to leave, I just, I just..." None of the numerous apologies he had thought of while walking to her came up. He just couldn't get them out now.

Bella coughed, and swallowed back a trickle of spit, her chest still heaving from their escape. The beeping had cut off so abruptly it took her a moment to realise she was safe. She wouldn't die today. As Juhan walked towards her, stumbling over his words, she went to tuck back a stray wisp of hair, only to realise her hairband had slipped off in her fall. She could still see vaguely see it in the distance, half-buried beneath the sands.

She managed a smile, as difficult as it was. "I'm okay, really, Juhan. Don't beat yourself up about it. I don't blame you; we all do odd things when we panic. But I'm okay now, so there's no point in stressing."

Bella placed a hand on his shoulder and rubbed it gently, forcing the curl of her lips to remain upright. She'd been so scared before, and couldn't let it show anymore. She didn't want to be useless, and what use was a hysterical screaming girl? She'd be whatever they needed, and right now they needed the optimistic upbeat girl. The same part she'd been playing for years.

Meanwhile, Ian had taken advantage of the sidewalk to sit down and relax for a moment. Funny how comfortable the concrete seemed after finishing a sprint against death. The sight of the shovel he'd left lying in the sands of the beach was enough to bring a frustrated sigh out of his mouth. It wasn't so much that he'd expected the shovel to prove all that useful in a fight, but still, it felt wrong to just leave it lying there after all the care its owner had put into it. But he wasn't about to go back on those deadly sands to retrieve it, and so there were better things to focus on.

With a slight tug, he pulled himself off the sidewalk, shifting the weight on his back until he gave up on ever finding a comfortable way to carry it. How Bella had managed so long carrying four bags, he didn't know. It wasn't that it was too heavy so much as it was just so awkward. It messed with his posture, and he knew that if he walked around like this much longer, he'd have an ache in his back come tomorrow. He tried shifting them from one shoulder to the other, but that only did so much.

Bella seemed to be okay again, which was a relief, but he wasn't about to hand her all three bags again, not after what had just happened. The others had also all made it safely, which was a another plus. Now they needed to find somewhere to stay, a base from which to plan, not to mention from which he could get some much needed sleep.

"So...why don't we see if any of the apartments are useable? If we're lucky, they might even be a little more comfortable than the concrete."

So, he shouldered his new weight once again, and walked with the others down to the nearest building. There was more he wanted to say, questions he wanted to ask the others, particularly Karen, though caution and the ever present danger of their words prevented it. Of these, one in particular stood out, because of how little sense it made.

Why didn't anyone else show up? Surely Karen had passed the notes around to others, so where were they?

But of course, all others thoughts were put on hold with the sudden crack of an explosion came from the direction in which they were walking.
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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Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
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((Gavin Hunter, Grace Faraday, Megan Emerson, Sophie McDowell, and Alexander de Gaulle all continued from: I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.))

Earlier in the day...

Gavin Hunter watched the sunrise through heavily lidded eyes. He was splayed out on the bed, naked to the waist, a bottle of whiskey in one hand and his pistol in the other, his mind pleasantly fogged with the strong liquor he had been imbibing for quite some time now. There was nothing else for him to do at the moment. He had been awake since the first shades of predawn light had penetrated through the bedroom curtains, and since then had spent most of his time putting the various supplies he had spent the last several days scavenging for to good use. It had been hard work, done mostly via torchlight with improvised tools, but it had been done. It was out of the way. Gavin didn't need to worry about it any longer. He could relax and drink until the others awoke, secure in the knowledge that he now had both the beginnings of an army and the means to equip them. Not a particularly impressive army as things currently stood, but an army nonetheless. Come what may, Gavin was not going to have to face this fight alone.

"T'sall so bloody poignant, eh?" He giggled to himself, slurring his words more out of carelessness than intoxication. He was currently at that stage of drunkenness where he could just about convince himself that he could act perfectly normal if he really wanted to. He giggled again, and then lifted the 2011-A1 into his field of vision and attempted to twirl the beautifully lacquered handle through his fingers. It was a move that a sober Gavin would have slapped him for, and only resulted in the weapon slipping from his grip and landing on his stomach. He swore mildly and snatched it up again.

"You need a name." He said quietly to the pistol, this time making an effort to control his speech as he squinted at the silver patterns etched on the dual barrels. In his inebriated state he fancied that they looked like wings, though in truth they were entirely abstract. Gavin wasn't sure why he wanted to name the gun. Perhaps it was because he could imagine Xavier doing so. Gavin had never known Xavier personally, but he remembered him as being one of the more outlandish characters in Aurora and interested in much the same kind of things Gavin had been before he allowed himself to get swept up in the wonderful world of ballistics. He took another small swig of whiskey and tried to think of a name that Xavier might've approved of.

It should be something obscure, but fitting. Something that gets all the listeners wondering, but makes sense to the terminally nerdy part of the audience, like Berenjena! Wait, how the hell do I even know that one?! I need to drink more, seriously, I'm almost making sense.

Ten minutes and a few more swigs later, Gavin had run through a succession of ideas, each one slightly tackier than the last. At one point he seriously contemplated calling the gun Tarja, but then remembered suddenly that he already had a gun called that, which made him giggle even harder. Annette was the next logical progression, but for some reason didn't quite feel right.

I'm missing something. Something obvious, really obvious, like... something... obvious. No! No Buffy references! Fuck you, subconscious, we're not drunk enough to be spelunking that deep down the barrel yet, stop trying to embarrass me.

"Yes, I KNOW how weird that sounds." He said to nobody in particular, and then attempted to twirl the gun through his fingers again. To his immense surprise he succeeded and was treated to a beautiful cascade of reflections as the rays of early-morning sunlight caught the bright silver patterns on the barrel as it lazily spun through a full rotation in Gavin's hand. He was so surprised that he forgot to close his fingers on the grip and was forced to clumsily snatch the weapon out of the air before it landed on his stomach a second time.

"Woh," he muttered quietly. "That was really, really gorgeous and I totally didn't expect it. In fact, it was so unexpected that I find myself given to yet more spontaneous vocalisations regarding the sheer unexpectedness of the aforementioned event." He paused, thought, then concluded with; "I should drink more."

The bottle was halfway to his lips when he suddenly realised what had been nagging him about the gun for the past several minutes. The revelation caused him to pause, then slowly place the whiskey on the bedside table and push himself up into a sitting position. Cupping the elegant pistol in the palms of his hands, he examined the patterns again, trying to focus on them through the alcoholic haze that pervaded his senses. He still thought they looked like wings, but that wasn't the important part. It was something else, something very basic.

Silver wings on what is essentially a pair of M1911-A1's bolted together, which were originally created by John Browning. But what does it all mean? What am I missing here?! Come on subconscious, I'm at a loss; help me out for a change.

It took quite a long time for the pieces to click together in Gavin's mind, and longer still for him to follow the trail of inebriated logic back to its origin point, yet when he finally succeeded it was like meteors colliding. He let out a noise which was something between a laugh and a shout, then gripped the 2011-A1 in his right hand and thrust it out in front of him as though aiming at some distant target.

"I name you Platinum Lucifer!" He loudly announced to the room at large. "May you reflect your namesake and spread death to my enemies and confusion among the less nerdy portion of my fanbase!"

Then, unable to maintain either his posture or a straight face any longer, Gavin allowed himself to slump back against the pillows and let a fresh wave of giggles overtake him. He felt tired and sleepy, uncaring about the world around him. Another few hours worth of sleep probably wouldn't go amiss. The day was young, after all. He could afford to waste time.


Sophie groaned softly as she lifted her head off the bed. It was morning now, confirming her suspicions that the nap had actually turned into a long sleep. She looked around the room. Alex was still asleep on his bed. Grace was probably on the couch in the other room. Had Gavin and Megan ever returned?

Sophie stretched her arms in the air. She was hungry, something that didn't help as she realized the bad taste in her mouth. It had probably been a few days since she brushed her teeth, and they were feeling disgusting. Maybe the apartment had some running water.

Sophie got off the bed and left the bedroom. She'd have to check what their water situation was like.

Megan looked up from the duffel bag she was digging through on the floor as Sophie entered the main room of the apartment. Megan gave her a nod and went back to looking in the bag with the "G014" label, taking care not to wake Grace up who was passed out on the couch.

Too bad Megan wasn't able to sleep like these guys apparently did. She was still pissed at Gavin for pulling that shit yesterday and just found a random apartment to stay in by herself. Of course, said anger and guilt and fear and worry kept her from getting any sleep, so after some time she just went up to the roof to watch the moon go down and collect her thoughts and all of that shit.

"The door was kinda open, so I came on in," whispered Megan.

"Oh man, I thought we locked that," Sophie softly said.

Sophie grabbed her own duffel bag and began to search through it. She had to have some food and water still in the bag. If she could find her toiletry bag as well, she would be even more ecstatic if it meant she could brush her teeth and comb her hair.

"So, how are you this morning?" she asked Megan quietly.

"Oh, I'm just great, thank you," Megan replied with a sarcastic tone. "I had an epiphany last night, but besides that nothing's different." She pulled out a pair of light-gray cargo shorts and set it out on top of a white t-shirt.

Megan stopped for a moment and asked Sophie, "Uhm, would you happen to have a hair tie I could borrow?"

"Uh, maybe," Sophie said as she continued to search her bag. "So, what kind of epiphany did you have? Can it help the rest of us?"

"Nah, it's nothing important. Just realized I need to rethink who my friends are, that's all." After some more digging, she found her bag of toiletries and set it on top of the lumpy stack. "Nevermind about the hair tie, I found one. Thanks for looking, though," she said as she pulled herself up and walked towards the apartment's exit while carrying the pile of clothes.

"Well, I hope you reached a conclusion that helps you dearly," Sophie said, pulling her toiletry bag and an energy bar out.

"So, what are we doing today?"

"I dunno. Just chill here for a while, I guess. For now, I just want to get out of these clothes, maybe burn them while I'm at it. I'm thinking of going up on the roof before announcements and seeing if anyone else is in the area, long as Gavin's not up there, too.

"Anyway, see ya," Megan said before slipping out into the apartment complex hallway.

Alex's head jerked upward as he woke up. He had been well rested that night, unlike the previous when he had a rude awakening to the beeping sound on his collar. His hair was covering his eyes so that all he could see was white sparkling with the light shining in.

Alex slowly unwrapped himself from the blanket he was in, struggling several times until finally he was out. Scooting to the edge of the bed Alex began to take off his shirt before realizing he had nothing else to change into, so he just let it fall back down.

He allowed himself to wake up a bit more before groggily shouting to the apartment, "Anyone else awake?"

Sophie jumped in place when she heard Alex shout. She didn't think he'd be that loud in the morning. Most mornings, she couldn't even talk loudly unless she had a glass of water first.

Upon hearing the noise, Grace began to stir. She sat up and stared at the dust caked windows.

"Isn't it a bit too early for shouting? Use your indoor voice." she mumbled back at Alex. The sun seemed to have risen not long ago. Good load of help that was in telling the time though. Depending on where they were, it could be anytime at all.

"Ugh. Morning guys. Please tell me we have something halfway decent to eat."

"Hey Grace, hey Alex," Sophie said to the other two. "We've got plenty of mystery cans if you're hungry, or you can eat more energy bars and crackers. We're kind of limited here."

Alex took inventory of the voices that he heard and figured that everyone he had entered the apartment with was now awake. Nodding a few times to himself he got up and walked to the room Sophie was in. "Morning," Alex managed to grumble out before grabbing a random can off the ground.

He shook it a few times close to his ear before realizing that he was still too tired to really make out what sort of sound it was making so he proceeded to open it up and smell the contents. Smirking he said, "Hey, it's my pineapple chunks." He ate a few before sitting down next to Sophie and continued eating.

"So, where are the other two anyway? Did they even come back at all?" Grace picked up one of the crackers. Crackers were safe.

"I'm still not totally convinced that Gavin needs to sleep."

"Well, he's got to sleep some time," Sophie said. "It's natural."

Sophie unwrapped an energy bar and took a quick bite. It.....was not very good, but Sophie ate it anyways.
"I just hope Gavin has an idea for what we do next. I'm stumped."
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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Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
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The weather was turning overcast and cloudy by the time Gavin emerged onto the roof. He had been awoken by a solitary ray of sunlight peeking through the moth-eaten curtains of his apartment, and now it looked as if it would be the last such ray to grace the island for quite some time. Under the leaden sky the town had a distinctly sullen and decrepit air, the wind making a forlorn whistling sound as it sped through empty streets devoid of people. It was a depressing view if ever there was one.

Fortunately, Gavin was not in any kind of chemical state to entertain thoughts of depression. The pleasant buzz of intoxication still pervaded his brain, making him see everything almost literally through rose-tinted glasses. He hummed happily to himself as he stepped out onto the rooftop, yawning extravagantly and grinning amiably at nothing in particular. In one hand he carried an opened tin can, the lips battered inwards to form a crude seal around a short length of rope which protruded from it like a fuse waiting to be lit. In fact it was a fuse, and the tin can contained a small quantity of the blasting powder Gavin had spent most of the morning pounding out of the sulphur, charcoal and potassium nitrate supplies he had managed to scrounge up during the past two days. The can held only a fraction of what he had produced, nothing more than the scrapings that had been left over from the main batch. Gavin had done what he could with the tools he had at hand, now it was time to do a test run.

Of course, he wasn't actually in any rush. He could take his time; admire the view and so on. Gavin was in the kind of mood where he would consider it the most egregious bad taste to spend insufficient time appreciating the world around him before trying to blow it up. Nothing seemed serious at the moment; there was no urgency or rush to do or accomplish anything. Until the announcements came, Gavin's world was completely free of obligation or want. The only thing that soured his mood even slightly was the omnipresent itch of the collar around his neck, the rim irritating the stubble that grew low on his chin and giving him the constant urge to scratch. But not even that petty annoyance could detract from the overall sensation of wellbeing that moderate intoxication had wrought within him.

Staring out across the town, Gavin felt the sudden heart-lifting urge to burst into song. There was something about the sheer, almost grandiose decrepitude of the scene stretching out before him that made him want to enliven it with a hearty tune or soulful ballad. He would never have contemplated such a thing had his brain not still been liberally soused with alcohol, but now the urge was almost irresistible. There was no need to rush after all; the grenade in his hand would explode in exactly the same fashion five minutes from now as it would at any other time of day.

Grinning to himself, Gavin leant back against the side of the roof access building and let himself drink in the view while he thought. Now that he realised the desire to sing, he had to figure out what to sing. The trouble was that his source material was limited; there weren't very many heavy metal songs which translated well to the solo setting. The smattering of classics that Gavin could accurately recall didn't fit the scenery either. He wanted something slow-paced and contemplative, preferably with a hint of optimism and awe. He shut his eyes tight, trying to list and categorise the various songs whose lyrics he knew off by heart. The lingering effects of the whiskey didn't help matters, but Gavin preserved as best he could. It was something to pass the time, and that was what counted most of all.


Megan looked at herself in her apartment's dirty bathroom mirror, running her fingers through her hair. It was already getting so greasy by now, but not like there's much she could do about it. What she wouldn't do for a nice, hot shower right about now. Oh well.

She unzipped the toiletry bag and pulled out her hairbrush and vigorously worked it across her hair to get the knots out, so much that a few strands of hair fell over the collar and on the Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep shirt and the cargo shorts she had changed into. She had intended to wear it only for the sake of wearing a Kingdom Hearts shirt in Disneyland, but now she was glad she brought it. Hopefully it would feel better than running around in the hot summer heat in a hoodie and jeans.

After that struggle, Megan grabbed the black hair tie from her bag and made a loose ponytail around the center of the back of her head. There we go. Now she wouldn't have to worry about her hair getting in her way when she killed someone else.

...Maybe it wasn't a good time to joke about that.

She took one last look in the mirror, turning her head to both sides to get a good view of her exhausted face, and with a sigh, grabbed the bag and her hat and threw them on the couch with the toolkit from yesterday. She left the apartment, leaving the door slightly ajar.

Megan opened the roof access door and he wasn't there, thank God. She closed the door behind her with a strong push and walked over to the edge facing the beach.

The sudden harsh sound of the roof access door opening and closing mere inches away caused Gavin to very nearly jump out of his skin. He had just gotten an appropriate set of lyrics together in his head and been on the verge of starting to sing when the interruption occurred. The interruption was intensely irritating, and he twisted to peer around the edge of the access building to see who had just intruded into his domain.

It was Megan Emerson, standing at the edge of the roof and looking for all the world as if she was about to let herself pitch forward into the nothingness below.

For a few seconds Gavin just stared blankly, his train of thought uselessly spinning its wheels in a siding. Ohgodohgodohgodohgodoh- he thought in an endless alcohol-accelerated mental loop. This was it, it was all over, everything he had worked for and cared for, it was all for noth-

Wait a moment you idiot, she's not that close to the edge!

Gavin blinked. His depth perception had been sufficiently distorted by the whiskey that it had first appeared as if Megan had been poised right at the very edge of the building. Now he saw that she was in fact standing about a meter or so back, not in any danger at all. The realisation made him feel rather stupid, but in contrast to his usual reactions, this merely made him want to giggle again. Everything had an edge of humour when viewed through the neck of a bottle.

Of course, now he had to figure out what to do next. The sober (or at least slightly less pickled) part of his brain wondered why Megan had decided to come up to the roof, but the thought didn't make much of an impression on him. In the end he decided that there was no reason not to bid her greetings.

Still clutching the improvised grenade in one hand, he stepped out around the side of the roof access building and stood by the door. It was a little awkward to address Megan behind her back, but that just made it seem funnier.

"Hi there!" He said in the kind of incessantly chipper voice that would've made Navi become his willing love-slave in an instant. "What're you doing all the way up here in the clouds?"

From the rooftop's view, Megan could make out a couple of people moving around on the beach – not enough to make them out individually, but it had to be at least three or four of them. Looked like Karen delivered, but where was she? Wasn't she supposed to meet with Gavin this morning? Or was that part made up by Gavin, too, and they were supposed to meet at the beach?

Before she got a chance to think about it, someone called out behind her. Megan turned around, and... shit, where did Gavin come from? Was he just waiting to ambush her up here?

Megan folded her arms and stayed right where she was. "...What're you-" Her words stopped when she saw the suspicious can he was clutching onto. She unfolded her arms as she took a step back. "...That's not a... is it?"

Gavin had to think quite hard to understand what Megan was getting at. Then he looked out towards the seaside and light slowly dawned on him.

"Oooh... you mean this?" He held up the tin can. "It's an improvised grenade. Or a signalling device. Or something like that. What matters is that it goes bang, which is important for a variety of reasons!"

He paused, then blinked. He wasn't making much sense here. He started over.

"I spent the morning making explosives. This here is a test-thingy, just the scrapings and a fuse. I was gonna light it and chuck it off the edge of the building to see if I got the mixture right. It's complicated, you see. Only so much I can do with measuring jugs and so on. It should be a pretty good signal to the guys on the beach, too."

"It's... it's not gonna be big, is it?" Megan's words wavered. The last thing they fucking needed was to blow this place up and alert everyone in a five-mile radius.

"Naah," Gavin said confidently, suddenly back in his element. "This is black powder; it's a low explosive, propagating via hot gasses instead of a supersonic shock wave like high explosives. There's only enough of it in this tin to cause a very loud bang and a lot of nasty shrapnel fragments. The fuse is about four seconds, too."

Megan shook her head and threw up her hands. "So...what, you're just going to give us away that easily? What if, like, someone's in that building there?" she pointed her index finger at one of the other apartment buildings.

"Or do you just not care about drawing attention to yourself like with those cars yesterday?"

Gavin thought for a moment. Megan made a good point, and in a less inebriated state he might've listened to her. As things stood now, he just grinned and shrugged his shoulders.

"Let ‘em come," he said amiably. "Between you and me, I'm confident we can face anything the island cares to throw at us. Personally, I'd like to see who's down on the beach. The ‘nade will attract their attention and we can wave to them from there. Only other option is to fire in the air, and I don't want to waste bullets like that."

Megan scoffed and shook her head. "I'm sure the eight- no, probably, I dunno, fourteen people who've died by now thought the same thing. 'Oh, I'll be okay. There's one-hundred-and-fifty people out here murdering each other, but I'll make it! I'll find my friends, make a shitty escape plan, and everything will be right as rain!' Do you honestly think you're just untouchable like that?" She felt her voice crescendo into a forte.

"Shit, Gavin, you're more of a fool than I thought."

Gavin twitched as Megan's words struck home. His amenable feelings were suddenly gone, replaced instead by a rush of irrational anger that burned through him like white-hot fire. He felt a sudden egotistical urge to laugh, to preen, to admit that when all was said and done he was untouchable, that none of the clueless lemmings running around the island posed any threat to him at all. Not even the terrorists were a threat; they were merely an obstacle, and when they fell the entire world would know that he, Gavin Hunter, had been the one to outwit them.

He would be revered as a saviour, a light born from the darkness.

It would be glorious!

Time seemed to slow as he stared at Megan, his fist clenched and lips itching to open wide and spill forth the writhing mass of bile and vitriol that was gnawing away at the lining of his stomach like acid. But something stopped him; some tiny vestige of sanity still clung on through the twin intoxicating forces of rage and alcohol.

You aren't like this, said a tiny voice in his head. This isn't what you stand for. This is just the alcohol talking. It's alright, I understand, you let the pressure get to you. But this isn't the time to give in to such things.

I... Gavin thought dismally, I don't know how...

Remember your humility, replied the voice. It's not just your life and reputation at stake; everyone around you is as well. You didn't decide to try and escape for your own personal glory, but because it was the right thing to do, the noble thing to do, the thing other people wouldn't or couldn't do. You let yourself slip, but you can pull yourself back from the brink. Just because there's precious little hope to be found here doesn't mean there isn't any.

"You're right," he said quietly – though in response to the voice or to Megan he didn't quite know. "I am being a fool. A damned, bloody, stupid, headstrong fool, and I'm sorry..."

The anger was gone as quickly as it had appeared, replaced by a mixture of melancholy and the beginnings of a headache. Questions spun through his head, one of the biggest ones being something along the lines of ‘what the hell just happened?!'.

It was all too much for his poor alcohol-soused brain to cope with. Gavin felt his knees tremble, and then suddenly he was slumped down on them, no longer looking at Megan but just staring vacantly down at the ground. He felt horribly drained and tired.

"I... uh..." Gavin collapsing to his knees totally threw off Megan's train of thought, and she could only groan and look down at the ground – not at Gavin, but at her dirty green shoes. If this was his way of getting her to feel bad like he was some puppy that just got scolded, it was undeniably working. Maybe she needed to take a step back, too... but, then again, why should she feel sorry for someone who only seems to care about his own ambitions?

She rubbed her arm back and forth, unsure of where to go from there.

Gavin looked up at Megan again. There was so much he wanted to tell her; to say to her. Not just to her, but to everyone in the group. Except he couldn't, not without jeopardising everything he was working towards. There might not be any cameras on the rooftop, but the collars were still perfectly capable of transmitting his words straight to the terrorists. That couldn't be allowed to happen, but neither could Gavin simply remain silent any longer. He gritted his teeth and tried to organise his frazzled thought process into something coherent.

"I'm not afraid to die," He said when he finally trusted himself to speak. "I've never been afraid to die. What I'm afraid of is losing you, of losing anybody on this wretched island that doesn't have to die. That's why I'm working so hard to try and protect you all. It's a goal, an ambition, one that I can hold onto against the nightmares this place causes."

As he spoke, Gavin slowly lifted his head to make eye-contact with Megan. It wasn't something he often did, due to the influences of his autism, but now he wanted the gesture to lend weight to his next words.

"I've let you see more of myself than anyone else." He said quietly. "You know what I'm capable of, what I could do if I put my mind to it. Don't think it isn't tempting to abuse the power I hold at times. But that would be wrong; it would violate the fundamental principles around which I've built my entire life. Maybe this island will end up breaking those principles, but not before I expend every effort to help keep those I care about alive. I'm not a killer, but I will gladly die to protect you from harm."

His voice was hoarse and rasping by the time he finished the speech. Normally he would never have been so impassioned, but the alcohol had weakened his grip on his emotions, letting them flow freely in ways he would normally never have countenanced.

"...I...I wouldn't say that, about 'losing anyone that didn't have to die'," Megan spoke in a calm tone after listening to Gavin pour his heart out. "No one should have to die, not like this, or like the kids before us. No one deserves that. But I know what you mean, or at least I think I do."

Her feet moved on their own, shuffling left-and-right over to Gavin who was staring her down intently. If he was forcing himself to do it or not, though, was a good question...but she couldn't know. He at least deserved the benefit of the doubt. "I don't want to lose you, either, Gavin. Or Sophie, or Alex, or Grace, for that matter. Or Bella, wherever she is.

You don't have to worry about me, though. I'm a big girl; I can take care of myself. I can beat 'Through the Fire and the Flames' on Expert...though that was just one time, but whatever."

Now she was right in front of Gavin, about two feet away. "Listen, I'm sorry about how I've been acting since last night, but we need to talk about where we are. Where we are. I think there's been some miscommunication, so we need to settle this. But, we can do that later."

She smiled and extended her hand out to him. "Come on, let's get you up."

Gavin reached up and took Megan's hand as she offered it. The gesture was simple enough, but the contact between them still sent a strange, indescribable rush through him. Like many people who suffered from Asperger's syndrome, Gavin was an extremely tactile person, and his relative inexperience with human contact only served to further intensify the sensation. He took a deep breath, and then slowly pulled himself to his feet with Megan's help. "Thank you."

He wasn't entirely sure what he was thanking her for, but it didn't seem to matter anymore. A little bit of his composure was coming back by now, and he let out a long sigh as his feet took his full weight again. He groaned, then managed to return Megan's smile with one of his own.

"That was so much harder than I anticipated." He finally managed to say. "You must think me awfully melodramatic."

Megan's smile reset into a neutral position as she shook her head. "Uh-uh. I think it's great that you're showing emotion, or at least more than..." Being creepy? Being a massive flirt? "...Uh...nevermind. But I really do wish you'd show this side of you to other people besides me. I know it's ...uh... 'hard' for you, but people like being able to read others, ya know? So, yeah, not melodramatic at all."

Well...maybe it was; a little bit, at least. But, this was good. Seeing Gavin with feelings always felt good, even if it was drunk feelings...which he probably was right now, if he drank anyway despite Megan's refusal to join him. Whatever. That just meant it was uninhibited. Maybe she should've taken note of this for the future.

Her eyes fell out of lock with Gavin's. "If anyone's being melodramatic, it's me. I just..." she sighed, unknowingly throwing herself into a rant "...I don't know how I'm supposed to feel. Like, I know I'm supposed to feel terrible about Francis, and I do. I didn't have to push him down those stairs, and because of that I'm going to have to live knowing he fell because I wouldn't listen to him.

"I know I'm supposed to feel guilty that I ran out of the school like a pussy, just leaving Bella and Juhan and Takeshi with a corpse because I didn't have the courage to stay there. And of course I do; I'm a terrible friend. But maybe that's just me, since apparently everyone I talked to at Aurora is either dead or wandering around shooting everything that moves.

"And, of course, I'm glad you found me when you did. 'Nuff said, but... I feel like I don't deserve it. I really don't. People are getting killed off left-and-right, and a killer gets rewarded because luck has a sick taste of humor. It's not fair, Gavin. I didn't even think about finding you, not before helping Bella find Garrett. And now, because of me, she's probably lost on the other side of the island because I didn't have the balls to face her.

"I'm such a fuckup," Megan rubbed her face with her hands, bringing her rant to an abrupt stop.

Gavin listened passively to Megan's rant, hearing in it the exact same things he imagined had been said hundreds of times before in this twisted game. It pained him to see such a loss of innocence, but it no longer made him sad. Instead, he just felt pity. Not for Megan, at least not her alone, but for everyone on the island.

"You're right," he said bluntly. "You did fuck up, and pretty impressively at that. But you wouldn't be human if you didn't make mistakes."

He paused for a moment, giving Megan just enough time to absorb his words before he plunged recklessly onwards. If she wanted to see his emotions, that was what she would get.

"What you did was stupid and terrible, but at the end of the day it was an accident. You need to move past that just like I need to move past the fact that as much as I'd like to, I'm not always quite the perfect model of control and efficiency that I enjoy believing myself to be. If you want to cry, then cry, if you need to hit someone, then hit me! But whatever you end up doing, get your grief and your misery out of your system now, because I don't need a Megan Emerson plagued with insecurities. What I need is a Megan Emerson who can stand up for herself and tell me when and how I've managed to fuck up, as by goodness, I don't need to fuck up anymore than I have done already!"

Gavin was breathing heavily by the time he finished. There was something exhilarating about raising his voice for a change. It felt good. Though that might've just been the alcohol.


Another sigh left Megan as she shifted her feet in place. Maybe he was right, for once. She messed up big, but what could she do about it? She can't just hop into a DeLorean and go back in time, and she was getting sick of herself crying about it. Heck, Francis is probably bitching about her bitching up in Heaven now; "Damn, girl; just fuckin' get your shit together already," or something like that.

Fuck the past; keep on looking ahead. Yeah, that sounded nice.

"Okay," she nodded her head in reassurance, "I'll do that. But, you have to promise me something, first."

Gavin tried not to show his surprise at Megan's sudden change of attitude. Somewhere in the back of his head a voice went; holy shit, did you seriously just pull that off?!

"O-of course..." He said in a slightly bemused tone. "Anything you like, just name it."

"It's nothing big." ...Well, "nothing big" for Megan; it just might kill Gavin. "Just try not to be so ...what's the word, 'off-putting' to people here. Like, I know you think it's hard because you have 'social things', but I have 'social things' too, if that isn't obvious by now. But, like, don't be afraid that showing emotions would ruin how people see you. In fact, I'm sure you can get any girl you wanted if you showed that smile of yours more often, ya know?"

She smirked and lightly punched Gavin in the shoulder. "C'mon, what do you say? Show me that British smile that brings nightmares to dentists everywhere."

"Nightmares? I'll have you know that my smile in the very envy of the dentistry profession!"

Megan's infectious humour did its work; Gavin grinned. He couldn't help it. He looked away, embarrassed, and then felt himself starting to laugh. It was impossible to keep it suppressed, so he didn't bother. Suddenly all his worries seemed very far away, paling into insignificance when compared to the relief that was coursing through him.

Watching Gavin being so embarrassed caused Megan to break down and join in the laughter with him. "Yeah, just like that's perfect. Even the guys will want Gavin Hunter when they see that."

She allowed herself some time to calm down before returning into a default half-smile expression. "So... what do we do now?"

Gavin lifted the grenade he had somehow had the presence of mind to hold onto throughout this encounter into the air between them. "We try this out. After all, what better to compliment our emotional fireworks than some actual fireworks?"

"Mmmmmm.... okay, fine, you win. You sure it's safe for you to light that thing, though? Did you drink much since last night?"

"Uhm..." Gavin thought about lying, but decided against it. "About half a bottle. But I only started AFTER I had done everything I needed to do!"

Megan narrowed her eyes and raised an eyebrow. "You sure you're together enough to set that off? Here," she reached out with her hand, "let me try; just tell me what I need to do."

"Sure. Hey, you should do the honours anyway." Gavin handed the grenade to Megan, then took out a lighter from his breast pocket and offered it to her as well. "I'm sure you can figure things out from here. Just be careful not to burn your hand when lighting the fuse, I made them from a mixture of black powder dust and whiskey, so there's no putting it out once it's lit."

Megan accepted the homebrew bomb and the lighter, holding each in separate hands. She turned the battered tin can around, biting her bottom lip all the while. Would this thing actually fire, just like that?

"Man, I'm sorry, but this thing looks so ghetto," she commented to herself. "Anyway, what do I do? Just light it and throw it? Do I need to count to 3 or anything like that?"

"It's just a test. I haven't even begun making the proper stuff yet." Gavin said in a reflexively defensive tone to Megan's perceived criticism. "But yeah, just light it and throw it. But don't ever try and ‘cook it off' or anything like that. It's not worth the risk."

...Wait, what? "Cook it off?" The hell was Gavin talking about? Ugh, whatever. This sounded simple enough. Maybe not idiot-proof, but it was simple enough for her.

Megan popped open the top on the Zippo lighter and gave it a few flicks before a sufficient flame sparked. "Here goes nothing."

She took a few deep breaths and started a countdown in her head.


You can do this.


You totally got this.


Here we go.


Megan lit the fuse and launched the can without hesitation, watching it as it flew over the building before gravity arced it down over the side of the building that faced the beach. Megan quickly shifted back a couple of steps and braced herself.

The grenade's fuse burned fiercely as it fell, eating its way down into the neck of the tin can and catching light to the densely-packed powder charge contained within. Fifty feet from the ground, the grenade exploded with a loud crack, followed by a series of high-pitched pings as fragments of aluminium shrapnel travelling at hundreds of miles an hour struck off the exterior walls of nearby buildings or the road surface below.

Back at the top of the apartment building, Gavin cautiously advanced to the edge and looked over at the results of his work.

"Welp, I guess that proves we're in business." He said with a small grin.

Megan joined Gavin at the edge of the building, looking over the results of the bomb. "Shiiiiit, dude," were the only words she could say out of awe. The can actually exploded, just like that.

"Uhm...here's your lighter back," she held the lighter to him while keeping her eyes concentrated over the remnants of the explosion.

"Hah!" Gavin chuckled as he accepted his lighter back. "The real stuff is going to be far more powerful than that little tin. I just made that up with the scrapings to make sure the mixture was right."

"...Even bigger?" Megan let out a nervous chuckle. Christ on a bike, where did he learn about making bombs from?

Gavin nodded. "Yeah, but it's not the explosive that you have to worry about, it's the shrapnel that comes with it. That's what makes it dangerous. Anyway, you think we might want to head downstairs and see if anybody is mad enough to come see what caused that?"

Megan nodded her head in agreement. She turned to go to roof access door before she stopped in place and jolted her head up. "Oh! Did you notice if the announcements came on yet?"

Gavin paused, then shook his head slowly. "Uh, no, actually. I think we were a bit too far up for the speakers. Plus I was kind of in a world of my own until you popped in."

"Hmm. Good point," she replied with satisfaction. "Lead the way," she gave a sweeping motion with her hands and let Gavin take the lead.

"Sure, thanks."

As he began to descend the stairs, Gavin felt a wave of tiredness washing over him. It wasn't serious, but it did serve to remind him that when all was said and done, he still needed another few hours rest before the influence of alcohol was completely gone from his system. It was annoying, but he was sure Megan would understand.

Of course, resting right away wasn't an option. First he had to greet anybody coming in from the beach or other areas and deal with them, then he had to detail what the group was going to do next. All in all, it was a very long list, and Gavin was glad that the day was still young.
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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Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
This was what one might be tempted to call a bad day.

As a matter of fact, as he and the others tried to find what cover they could in the small rise the marked the boundary of the Western Beach, Ian was willing to make a bet that it was probably the worst he'd had to date. To be fair, he'd said same thing before, back when he was still a kid, but even putting it all in perspective, it wasn't that great. Between nearly missing the appointment that could possibly save his life, followed by nearly having his head blown off, and finally to be shot at while they were still on the edge of the beach, with nowhere to run and virtually no cover whatsoever, he was inclined to say that sealed the deal.

At least, he assumed that the blast had been a gunshot. His experience with guns was limited to the single time his dad had taken him down to the shooting range for his fifteenth birthday. He'd learned a great deal of things there, including his inability to hit anything smaller than a house, the rules of gun safety, and the fact that guns were extremely loud. Needless to say, he wasn't even remotely able to guess at the make and model that was being fired, or even whether it was a rifle or a pistol, but he was pretty sure that it didn't much matter. They were virtually sitting ducks, trapped between the beach and the apartment from whence the shot had originated, with no real cover worth speaking of.

However, when no shots followed immediately, and with no sign of the shooter, he was just beginning to believe that perhaps the shot had nothing to do with them when a figure emerged from the apartment. Ian instantly recognized him as Gavin Hunter, a fellow debate club member, and one of the more easily identifiable students that Aurora High boasted, what with the silly trench coat and all that. Right off the top of his head, Ian could think that he enjoyed discussing philosophy and science, was a little odd, as evidenced by the trench coat, and had a bit of an obsession with guns.

It was this last that confirmed they were in trouble. When the boy inevitably spotted them behind the inadequate cover they'd found behind the rise marking the boundary of the beach and the apartment, and started moving towards them, Ian was already shouting at him.

"Hey, Gavin, keep back! We'd don't want any trouble, but if you try shooting us again, we will shoot back!"

It was a stupid, desperate bluff, but he didn't have any other options. He knew that if Gavin wanted to force the issue, he and the others had no real chance of stopping him.

Fortunately, the other boy hesitated, holding back at a respectful distance as he shouted back at them.

"If you mean that explosion you just heard, that was us testing out a makeshift grenade. It had nothing to do with you. As a matter of fact, Megan and I saw you running a moment ago, and I was just coming out to offer you the pleasure of our humble abode."

"You can leave, if you want, but I was hoping you'd join us. There's power in numbers, and all that.."

Gavin's offer sounded nice, and Ian was admittedly tempted to accept it, but it seemed safer just to go their own way. He was just about to refuse when the matter was suddenly taken out of his hand.

Karen was walking quickly as her legs would carry her, forcing tired lungs to work, shouting at the other boy with breath she didn't have to spare.

"I...I'd like that. I'm glad to see you're surviving, Gavin. Do you...still have the letter?"

A moment later, Ian followed her, with the others close behind him. He'd finally registered what was going on, through all the adrenaline of the past few minutes - Gavin was with them.

Meanwhile, Gavin was patting his coat pocket in response.

"It's still there, don't worry. I've been surviving, though I can safely say I wish I wasn't here. Still, we've got food and supplies to last, and I think we can make it. Why don't you all join us?"

Six words in particular had caught Ian's attention, causing his hopes to rise for the first time since he'd found himself on this wretched island.

"I think we can make it."

Gavin had found a way out.

Due to DZ issues...

((Gavin Hunter, Karen Idel, Cyrus White, and Takeshi Yoshikawa continued in Resisting Against Fate))
((Alexander de Gaulle and Sophie McDowell continued in By the Time I Get to Phoenix))
((Megan Emerson and Mirabella Strong continued in The Verdana Sisterhood))
((Grace Faraday continued in Rendevous))
((Juhan Levandi, Takeshi Yoshikawa, and Ian Williams continued in Sleeper Cell))
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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