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Hollow Stars; Private
Topic Started: Nov 17 2013, 12:55 PM (1,168 Views)
Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Amy Bachelor continued from Dead End))

Things were going nowhere fast. Amy had found nothing but forest, forest and more fucking forest for almost the entire day. She was pretty certain she had passed by the tower in which she’d first woken up in, which meant that she’d literally walked in a complete circle in the past two days. She was pretty sure she’d been walking in even smaller circles, because the trees didn’t seem to ever end. It was preferable to the ocean or back in the tower, sure, but Amy was been feeling tired and sweaty, the multiple bags were heavy and digging into her skin, and the blackjack was in her pocket, and completely useless for self defence.

More importantly, she was nowhere near closer to finding Venice. To top it off, it was growing darker and darker. Soon, she’d have to stop and rest, in the middle of the forest with no defence, and having made absolutely no progress all day.

It seemed that life had decided to throw her a bone for once, however. Just as Amy felt like she would just collapse right there and then, she came across a break in the trees, and lo and behold, there in front of her was a building. Despite the growing darkness, Amy could just about see a few noticeable features; the many tiers, the rows of identical windows, the moonlight glinting off the barely visible pool.

Amy took a step out of the trees, then stopped herself. The sight of the pool had set something off in her otherwise exhausted mind. A pool... only one major building on the island was likely to have an outdoor pool of that size, and that was the hotel. That was another thing that had been on the announcement; the danger zones for that day, the hotel being one of them.

Amy swore under her breath, making up for the lack of volume with the extremity of her chosen words. So, despite finding somewhere comfortable and secure, she’d be sleeping in the great outdoors after all. God motherfucking damn it. Still, at least now Amy had somewhere to search, and hopefully stay tomorrow night in, preferably with Venice in tow. Retreating back into the treeline, Amy picked out a relatively secluded spot, and after gratefully dumping the bags unceremoniously on the ground, pushed them against a tree for pillows and laid down on the forest floor.

Amy’s second night on the island was just as uncomfortable as the first.




The sledgehammer feeling in her side was back. Her head was pounding and felt an hour behind the rest of her body. She could feel twigs and bits of bark stuck to her skin after sleeping on them. Amy sat up, shuffling so her back was leaning against the tree, and rubbed her bleary eyes. Her head was really killing her, and whatever that crackly, screechy sound was wasn’t helping matters eit-

Amy’s eyes widened, and she felt a sudden jolt of alertness cut through her fatigue and her pounding head. It was time for another announcement. Amy rubbed her eyes again, and sat up a little straighter. People had died, of course they had; it would have been stupid not to expect as much. The only thing she could hope for was that the announcement would be relatively brief; that Mike, Venice, Kathryn, Claire, all of her friends were left off of it.

The announcement was just as bad as it had been yesterday. Amy, again, did her best to stay calm no matter how horrible she felt inside. And again, the fifth name caused her mask to slip, just a little.

“Of fucking course... that stupid fucking idiot...”

Max Sawyer, her arrogant smug-as-all-hell ex, had gone and killed someone. Amy knew he was an idiot, but never, never at all, had she believed he’d actually go out and actively kill somebody. Whatever reason he’d had for doing so, there was no way to justify shooting Becca. The worst part was how amusing Danya seemed to find it. Yeah, how fucking funny. A girl with so much potential, so much to live for, gets killed on an island miles away from her family.

Amy punched the ground in frustration, ignoring the pain that instantly flared up in her knuckles. Her anger managed to carry her through the rest of the announcement, right up to the cluster of three names right at the end.

Venice’s name was first up. It was so simple, so quick. One short, simple sentence, telling the world that Venice Pennington-Johannes was no more. Amy sat there, stunned, mouth left hanging slightly open. She didn’t even need to try and hold the tears back. She was too stunned to even do anything for a few moments. All that Venice had done, all that time Amy had spent waiting and searching, and now... this.

Slowly, as if in a daze, Amy got to her feet, small bits of dirt and flora falling to the ground as she half-heartedly brushed herself down. For a moment, Amy’s vision drifted over Venice’s bags, and she considered taking any of her necessary items. It wasn’t as if Venice would be able to use them now. But no, somehow, the thought of doing so just felt wrong. It felt disrespectful to her. Amy took her own bags, slung them over her shoulder, then arranged Venice’s bags around the base of the tree as neatly as she could, still with slow, almost uncertain movements.

Amy made her way out of the trees, and towards the hotel. She wasn’t even sure why she was heading there. There would be no-one there to find. Even if Venice was still alive, the hotel had only just ceased to be a danger zone, so it was unlikely anyone would be there right now. But at the very least, the hotel would provide a place to rest, and a place to gather her thoughts. So Amy trudged onwards.

A short while later, Amy found herself in the expansive, elegant lobby of the hotel. Maybe at another time, with a different state of mind, she’d have marvelled at how kind time had been to the place, how welcoming it still seemed. Now, though, Amy wandered through the lobby, with no direction and no aim, heading in a completely random direction. Going from room to room lead Amy to a shallow, rectangular pit in the ground. She ignored it, carried on walking, until she found herself outside again and facing the outside pool she’d seen from back at the treeline. From here, the water provided a much less beautiful image, all green and even more uninviting than normal for Amy.

The sight of the stagnant green pool was enough to remind Amy of one of the few things she’d known about Venice back at Aurora. Venice had been a swimmer, part of the swim team if Amy remembered correctly.

For whatever reason, it was this that finally caused her to break down and for her tough shell to shatter. Slowly, Amy crumpled to the floor, tears flowing down her face. She hardly cared anymore. What point was there in trying to appear as though she was coping when in reality she was doing anything but? She just wanted Venice to be alive, for someone to be here with her. She wanted Mike here, for him to hold her and reassure her that everything was going to be alright.

She just wanted to get off this island. She just wanted to live.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(I was informed the thread needed to be restored? I dunno, I'm just copy-pasting my old posts because better safe than sorry.)

(Max Sawyer continued from Hanley's Bazaar)

This had once been civilisation. People who mattered once came here to get away from everything in the real world, without forgetting there was a real world. Here they could relax in comfort and luxury, on an island all to their own if you could ignore the little people in their town up the road. Anything they wanted was here to be taken, though not without proper payment of course - they weren't brutes. A nice little kingdom for lords of a world that had done away with thrones and crowns.

No more. Max's day had been spent in the forest, that maze of green that ate up most of the island, moving ever on after the pointlessness of his last stop. Better to meander in the endless rows of trees, the ups and downs and twists, than for someone to get the drop on him. He'd first seen the hotel when he came to the top of a slope, steep, obfuscated by foliage and littered with snaring roots and ditches waiting to snap an unsuspecting ankle. It was close, with its high walls jutting over a break in the treeline like some ancient fortress overseeing all for miles around for its masters.

No more would anyone reside in those halls without blood and death, and as its windows stared out like lidded eyes mourning that fact, every muscle in Max's body yearned to traverse the downward slope and get inside. He could sleep in a real bed, have an actual roof over his head, search the place to see if any food was left worth eating, live like an actual goddamn human being even if just for a few hours. It called to him, and the urge to answer dug to his very bones, to the point he felt pain. He even took a couple steps down the hill...

And then remembered it was a danger zone. Try to live like a real person and you explode. His swearing had been brief but cut through the air like gunfire as he trudged back up, each step made like it was a stomp down on the face of the smug bastard who'd put him here with this exploding leash. He was a Sawyer, not some pit dog meant to be eviscerated for some punk's amusement. Screw the whole lot of them.

There was another campsite on the top of the slope, smaller than the one he had left earlier in the day but serviceable. The tent was a sad green dome of fabric held up with metal posting, but it actually had enough room to fit him, and the bedroll, left here for God knew how many years, only looked a little eaten by insects. There was even a pit outside for a fire, which seemed on the face of it a bad idea but would probably be necessary. Exposure was exposure after all, wasn't it?

Somewhere in there he'd elected to stay the night in that camp on a hill, reasoning that the day was getting long and guaranteed defensible shelter was better than more aimless wandering, and that he wasn't going to sleep on a damn floor again. He sat down for a tasteless dinner of bread, water and a bit of protein bar, just like breakfast and lunch. His stomach groaned, or maybe it was just him at having to shovel that crap down his throat again. What he wouldn't do for a nice, grass-fed steak, a glass of red wine, hell if this kept up he'd settle for a goddamn pizza, not that he'd tell anyone that.

He had never considered himself a complainer, too busy being a doer, but the air around that camp filled with his displeasure as he finished dinner and realised the fire still had to be built. He muttered swears as he dug out the lighter, red like the blood it helped spill; he cursed as he went up and down the hill finding branches big enough to make a fire worth the name; he mumbled to himself about how much of a pain it was as he sparked the lighter and held it to his bounty... and cursed it out like a production manager before deadline when it failed to do anything. The tirade about the useless goddamn wood went on as he went for leaves, grass, smaller twigs etc. so there was tinder and kindling, or whatever his more camping-savvy teammate had been talking about that one game.

It took more sparks and more swearing, but eventually something caught, and he sat back as spark turned to ember turned to roaring flame, lighting up the top of the hill for anyone near. Now half the forest would know he was here, but fuck it, he'd know they were too, and hear them coming all the same.

He didn't want to have to think about that. Why had he even wanted to go to Disneyland? He could've done that any day of the week, and had a nicer room all to himself and maybe Zoe if she wanted to come. Damn, Zoe... where the hell was that girl? Why, a part of him asked, had he taken the better of two days to even give her a second thought?

The next couple hours had been spent at the fire, thinking about Zoe, friends and a home he might never see again. To give himself something to do, he'd finally set his and Becca's packs down and moved everything in hers he wanted or needed to his. No sense in carrying the extra weight. All around him was quiet, bar the sounds of the forest and the occasional distant gunfire, and eventually his eyes grew heavy and his ears dull to the world that had become a void around the campsite and its flame. Gun still in hand and bag over his shoulder, he ducked into the sad little tent and settled onto the bedroll.

It wasn't much, but that night's sleep had been somehow more comfortable than the last.

---

Morning brought a dead fire, forgotten dreams and a back less sore than yesterday into Max's life, and he was still emerging from the tent and rubbing sleep from his eyes when his ears filled with the terrorists' mechanical squealing. That insufferable voice picked up right where it left off yesterday, adding twelve names to the butcher's bill while making cracks about equal opportunity and lauding praise on the killers. He even gave doughnuts and milk to that one girl, Summer, the one who slaughtered that annoying bitch Naomi.

Also, "points for ingenuity"? Fuck you, Announcer Guy. Fuck you. Even sweet little Yukiko, that old friend from innocent days gone, had joined in the action, and imagining her pushing Stacey - a girl he would've desperately wanted on his arm back home if not for her being so fake - to her death had him walking down the hill in a haze. Everyone was dangerous, but then, he should know the announcements weren't always what they seemed, shouldn't he? They said nothing about how he'd been about to get his brains blown out after all.

The walk took longer than it felt like it should, and he led with his gun as the trees broke away and he went up the little road leading to civilisation, eyes darting back and forth. This area'd just stopped being a danger zone, so he doubted anyone was here, but he'd not been very lucky these past couple days and bullets flew faster than men could run. Yet mercifully, no swift death came, no challenge or vengeful friend of Becca's. Nothing so much as peeped until he reached those marvellously welcoming doors and slipped inside.

The lobby he stepped into settled like its last guests had only checked out yesterday. Hardly a dust mite had fallen, and not a thing seemed out of place - he almost expected a receptionist to show up at the desk and give him a key. Jesus, was that onyx? And these floors, scuffed up by the forest as they were his shoes almost didn't seem worthy of the marble. All the flowers were dead in their vases, the fireplace would never come to life again and there was a dread stillness to the air, but the beauty of the lobby hit him like a punch to the stomach and his legs, sore from days of constant walking and running, almost begged him to just throw himself on one of those white sofas and forget the island for a little while.

He just might have, if not for the fact in such a silent place any noise can carry for ages. He'd been about to sling his bag onto a sofa when a woman's crying flew through the corridors and lighted upon his ears. His hairs stood back up and he found himself following the noise, accompanied by his echoing footfalls and that familiar crying. It took him from room to room, each not as grand as the lobby but beautiful in its own right, but fear in his gut and steel in his hand didn't let him stop and look, urged him on. Someone'd beaten him here, and he'd already let his guard down once. At least make sure there's not going to be a problem.

Eventually his steps started leading him down a corridor to the outdoor pool, indicated by signage, and the crying woman got ever louder. This was the spot, no doubt. He steeled himself, gripped the Anaconda tighter, and thought to call out.

"Hello?"
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Even with the ancient, echoing halls of the hotel to amplify them, Amy heard nothing of Max’s footsteps. All she could hear was the sound of her own crying, great, ungainly sobs. Two days ago, her entire ‘game plan’ had been to avoid this at all costs, show her family and friends that she was still okay. But her family wasn’t here, her friends were gone. She wanted to get out of this hellhole of an island, but she didn’t have a clue as to where she should start. The only thing she could do right now was what she was doing; breaking down, completely and utterly.

The sound of Max’s voice, however, caused her to instantly look up, suddenly alert. At least now she wasn’t tricking herself into believing everything was fine she was more prepared for what might come her way. Quickly, Amy got to her feet, fumbling in her pocket for the blackjack, fumbling on the handle twice before pulling it out. Grasping it in a shaking right hand, Amy cautiously moved to get a better view of the corridor. She felt sure she recognised the voice, though she hoped to God she was wrong.

Of course, this was Survival of the Fittest, and anything that could go wrong almost certainly would. Amy could clearly see that the voice did belong to Maximilian Sawyer, and she raised the blackjack just a bit higher. Her first boyfriend, and the very last person she wanted to see here. God, what a mistake that had been. Amy had been happy for a few months, until he’d turned into a complete douchebag and kicked her to the curb. Ever since then, she’d tried to keep him out of her life completely. And now here he was again, now with a murder under his belt and a gun in his hand.

“F-fuck off, Max.”

Despite her shaking voice, Amy’s words were full of venom. She didn’t want to see him at the best of times; now that he’d killed Becca, she wanted him gone even more. She wasn’t going to kill him, she would never stoop to his or Theo or Lana’s level. She just wanted him out of here.

“Whatever you h-have to say, I don’t w-wanna hear it.”

Amy’s eyes kept flitting to the gun in Max’s hand.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
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Well shit, that's why the voice was familiar. The island seemed to like throwing his past in his face, didn't it? After all, she might have had half the forest stuck in her hair and on her clothes, plus looking like she'd been bawling her eyes out, but he could pick Amy Bachelor out of most crowds. That was why he'd gone after her all that time ago, and even though she looked like hell, even though he'd only just stepped out from the corridors and onto the concrete surrounding the pool, he had her pegged on sight. Sure, that striking, deep-red hair was fake, but she was still hot, and for a couple moments his eyes lingered on some very... prominent parts of hers that were definitely the real deal.

...Damnit, Max, focus. She was telling him to fuck off, telling him like he wanted to tell Becca, and he wasn't idiot enough not to know why she might not be happy to see him. Like it was his fault she wasn't grown up enough to stop being so damn annoying, and didn't know how to keep interesting after all those months. It'd been really fun while she was still worth the trouble, then he'd let her down light and never heard from her again. Hadn't she already moved on? He'd seen her all over that one football player during prom, the one who also punched people in the face for fun. Brute.

He wanted to say whatever, that was all the past, worthless, pointless to think about. It wasn't though, not when a girl lay dead in a record store over arguments from more than a year ago. Poor Amy was shaking and stammering, and he finally noticed how those pretty green eyes kept flicking to the steel in his hand. He almost heard the Anaconda whisper, oh-so-gently.

Good, it said, let her fear. Make her grovel and then tear her down. Had it said similar to Becca, in that store? If it had, it betrayed her in the end, and he wasn't going to become Becca. He strode forwards a bit more, until he came to a beach chair not far from Amy and the pool's edge, hand with bag up and gun lowered to point at the ground.

"You don't have to say anything, not going to hurt you," he tried. "Just gonna put my stuff down and sit for a minute, okay?"
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
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“No...”

For a moment, Amy said nothing else. Just let that one word hang in the air. She’d thought she’d made her intentions and desires perfectly clear by telling him to fuck off. Apparently Max hadn’t got the message, or was too dense to comprehend what she’d said. He’d just looked her over, almost examined her, just like he used to do, then kept on walking towards her. Amy had, instinctively, taken a few steps away from him, trying to distance herself from both Max and the pool.

“No, you’re g-gonna turn right round... and take y-yourself and that thing-“Amy gestured to the gun in his hand with her blackjack. “-out of my sight.”

The blackjack was shaking harder than ever, now that Max had stepped forwards. Amy tightened her grip, tried to keep it as steady as possible. God, why couldn’t he just get the picture? He was a douchebag, he’d killed somebody, Amy wanted him gone, now. Simple as that. Either he really was brain-dead, or, more likely, he just didn’t care. That was how he’d always been. He’d only cared about himself, and hadn’t given a shit about how Amy or anybody else felt.

Did he even care about Becca’s death?

She didn’t want Max to stick around long enough for her to find out. Amy looked directly at him, locking her eyes with his as she spoke her next words.

“Even if you weren’t such an asshole, even if we’d never met... you killed Becca, Max. So get the fuck out of here."
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: life observes itself - “Well, that’s a goddamn lie right there, isn’t it, Box?”
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: Flames on the Blue - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it
Current Thread: Just Chill - "How 'bout you try get it in the hoop from there?"
FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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[Originally posted by The Burned Handler]

"Hey, no."

Not about the leaving, that's understandable, but he wasn't a fucking murderer. No jury would've convicted him, and juries didn't matter here. Who was she to judge? Who was she at all? She let being Hot Girl On His Arm #Whatever get to her goddamn head, and now look at them. Fair enough, though - he'd been wanting to say the same at that store, and she just didn't understand.

"I didn't murder anyone. Becca cornered me in a record shop, shoved this gun in my face and was about to blow my head off; I did what I had to do. Yeah, I killed her, that's my fault, but you don't know the facts."

She never did bother with those inconvenient things, did she? She was barely holding onto that club in her hand, but any weapon was a problem here. That announcement'd showed even a little shove was deadly in this place. He kept bag hand up and gun hand down as he gave her a little nod. Keep things polite, keep them cool.

"Fine, though. I'll get going, leave you alone long as you leave me alone. Not here to hurt anyone."

He took his eyes off her for a moment, long enough to take up the gun, make sure it wasn't primed to fire and move to put it away.

That might have been a mistake, his gut told him.
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[Originally posted by Pippin]

He didn’t care.

He really couldn’t care less about Becca’s death, could he? He did what he had to do? What sort of fucking bullshit was that? Nobody had forced him to pull the trigger; from the sound of it, he hadn’t even attempted some other way of dealing with the situation. He’d chosen to shoot Becca for some asinine reason, and the worst part was, he didn’t even sound like he regretted it. All he did was try and excuse himself.

Himself. That was the only thing Max cared about, just like she’d said. He’d never cared about Amy, only her body. She’d had that gut feeling a couple of times whilst they were dating, but it had only been in hindsight that she’d truly seen it. Even now, even after everything that had happened, how distraught she clearly was, his attention had been on her body, not how she was feeling.

Everything was building up, everything about Max; his arrogance, his care for no-one but himself, the gun he was holding and the murder he’d committed, because no matter what he said, it had been murder, no questions asked. Amy was still shaking, but with anger now mixed with the fear. Max just needed to leave, right now.

And it seemed like everything was going to turn out okay. He was leaving. He nodded, said a few words, turned away.

Raised the gun.

Instinct took over. Fear, anger, hatred, all rolled into one drove Amy forwards. He’d never been planning on leaving, he’d just been planning a repeat performance of what had happened to Becca. Amy ran straight at Max, hoping against hope she’d catch him off guard. The gun was the most important thing, and Amy swung the blackjack in a wild arc, as hard as she could, straight onto Max’s hand. At the same time, she lashed out with her leg, her other arm, kicking and flailing.

Anything she could do to drive Max away.
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[Originally posted by The Burned Handler]

(This scene will have some GMing from both parties for flow purposes.)

Whoa, fuc-

The steel flew out of his hand and clattered along the ground, and Amy was a screaming blur that nearly beat him into the concrete before he even knew what was happening. Amy wasn't strong, she wasn't an athlete, she had never been taught how to fight that he knew of, but fear and anger led to strength and he'd somehow let himself be caught off guard again. His legs acted before his brain caught up, sending him back away from danger but not far back enough.

Suddenly, there was pain, what felt like the blackjack's edge cutting through his core muscles and turning his legs to rubber. He vaguely registered the air fleeing his lungs and the bite of the stone as he fell to a knee, and his eyes caught the flash of wood as Amy's club meant to crack open his skull and leave his brains to cook like an egg by the poolside. He flinched, shot a hand up and caught a wrist, and suddenly the blackjack was frozen but Amy kept going. Nails raked across his face and narrowly missed his eye, leaving vivid red lines while he kept the screaming girl at bay. He was lucky she wasn't strong.

"Amy, stop! Goddamn it, girl, will you calm the hell d-"

Something took a fistful of the hair on the back of his head, and his vision filled with black fabric before he saw stars and pain spread over his face like fire. He tasted blood rushing from his nose, sharp and metallic, and though it didn't feel broken he cried out. Nobody'd dared hit him like that before. He thought about that, then he saw red.

Fuck it, he'd tried being nice. Amy wasn't strong, and sure, Max probably wouldn't be winning any fistfights with football players any time soon, but he was an athlete. Practise had built up his muscles, his reflexes, turned him into something better, and in that moment the rational part of his brain shut down and animal efficiency said to make use of it. He was stronger, faster, tougher, and he wasn't going to get his head bashed in next to a stagnant pool by some whiny ex.

He let go of the wrist and threw himself forwards, coming off his knee and catching Amy at the midsection, then after a few paces the next thing he saw was the green water rushing up to meet them.
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[Originally posted by Pippin]

The anger that had fuelled Amy’s attack on Max swiftly turned to panic and utter fear as soon as he grabbed her wrist. That wasn’t supposed to happen, that wasn’t how it was supposed to go, he was supposed to back off, supposed to run, now he was just going to hold her there and shoot her and everything she’d just done would be fucking pointless.

So Amy did the first thing she could think of, the only option that seemed possible, and slammed her knee into Max’s face. She’d hardly heard Max’s attempts to calm her down, had only seen one way out of this, and she’d taken it. And for a moment, for a split second, it seemed to have worked. Max let go of her wrist, and if he wasn’t going to leave this place, then she’d happily do it. This wasn’t about pride, this was about life an-

Then all the air left her as Max slammed straight into her, carrying her backwards. For another split second, Amy’s feet left solid ground, and she felt herself falling. Then all the air was suddenly replaced with water, and it was only by some miracle that she didn’t open her mouth, but she couldn’t stop herself from flailing, panicking blindly at first, trying to find solid ground and air to breathe.

Somehow, that panicked flailing was enough for Amy’s head to break the surface of the water, wide eyed and gasping for air. She could just about touch the floor, standing on the ramp that signalled the shift from shallow to deep end. A couple steps the other way, and she might not have been so lucky.

And Jesus was she lucky, because somehow, despite being tackled into the pool, despite having to face her greatest fear, she still had a chance to get out of this alive. Max had followed her into the pool, and if she could get out before he realised where he was and what had happened, then maybe, just maybe, she could run, run and never look back.

Amy headed straight for the ladder at the shallow end of the pool, trying to move as fast as possible through the listless green water. It was ungainly and slow, Amy unable to swim and trying to attempt to run. But she was almost there; the water was getting shallower and shallower, and the ladder getting nearer and nearer.

And then Amy felt Max grab her from behind, and her head went under the surface once again.
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[Originally posted by The Burned Handler]

Max had broken the surface coughing and spluttering, soaked to his bones and spitting out blood and filthy water alike. Somehow he'd not cracked his head against the ramp on the pool's floor, and a moment's glance found Amy fleeing for the shallow end. For safety. For a chance to get her club or his gun and end him.

No.

He'd moved without thought, swimming as best he could while trying not to inhale any of the disgusting sludgewater around him, pushing himself harder and faster until he was trudging up the ramp too and, taller than her, able to stand up properly. Hurrying through the quickly-shallowing water was almost impossible, each step dragged back by the filth around him, but he kept going, moved by thoughts that weren't thoughts, the part of the brain that said "kill the fucking tiger before it eats you and your kids".

Then he was throwing his arms around her and pushing his weight into hers and feeling her fall before she disappeared into the water with a scream that never finished, and he felt her hit bottom and his hips and legs moving to straddle and pin her there, while her hands clawed and batted at his until somewhere in his groping around he took hold of that lovely hair and made it his saviour, almighty leverage to keep her head where it lay while his free hand found one of hers and seized it by the wrist and shoved it to the floor to stay.

She kept fighting all the same, and he felt and heard the water churning and bubbling while he found himself swaying back and forth to stay on. He had held her down before, but that was when she'd wanted to be, and now all 130 pounds of her thrashed around underneath him and her free hand scratched and tore at his grip. He felt her try to bend a finger back to where it would break, but the water weakened her grip even as it made his body want to float away, and he tore from side to side to try to dislodge her and could only think Hold on.

He kept repeating those two words even as his arms began turning to lead and his legs ached from kneeling on long-neglected pool tiles that would have sliced into him if he were wearing something thinner. Breath was already coming faster and heavier, and he pulled back on her hair until he heard the bubbling scream racing to the surface, and saw her hand rise from the deep to bat and tear at his sleeve, then he pushed as hard as he could against water resistance and her weight and the heaviness seeping through his arms and Amy's marked preference for not being down there to crack her head against those tiles.

Crack

Crack

...Hold. Hold and pray and beg her under your breath to just stop.
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[Originally posted by Pippin]

Pretty much every single book and film Amy had read or watched that involved someone drowning had always had a similar description, aside from the obvious. They’d all stated that drowning was peaceful, as far as deaths went. A final moment of calm, as you floated into nothingness, with peaceful last thoughts. Amy’d never believed that, had never seen how anyone could describe something so terrifying to her as “peaceful”.

Now she was experiencing it firsthand. And if Amy had been in a better state of mind, she might have remembered those movies and thought of how right she was.

But as soon as she felt Max grab her, the terror that had been so close to leaving her mind had gripped it once again. She was screaming as she hit the water, and the stagnant water flooded her mouth and throat. Amy could see nothing, eyes screwed tightly shut, but she could feel the hard tiled bottom of the pool, could feel the whole of Max’s weight on top of her, keeping her there, lungs desperately searching for air that would never be found.

Amy thrashed about wildly, aimlessly searching for Max, trying to hit him, hoping against hope for another lucky shot, churning the water, as all the while the pressure in her head grew and she felt herself lose focus. There was to be no reprieve, no copy of her earlier attempt at escape, as Max first grabbed hold of her hair, then her right arm, pressing it down hard against the floor of the pool.

Even as desperation gripped her, and she tried to thrash and flail even wilder despite the clouds filling her mind, some part of Amy knew it was all over. She was going to die here, drowning in a stagnant green pool miles from anyone she knew. There would be no poignant last words, no chance to see everyone she loved. Mum, Dad, Dale, Lilly, Destiny, Mike; all they’d have left of her would be a corpse floating face down in the pool.

The rest of Amy, however, continued to struggle and flail, doing anything to get Max off of her, his weight feeling heavier and heavier, knowing that there was always a chance, always some stroke of luck that could happen. She had believed she could get off the island, and she believed she could live. She tried to grab Max’s finger, tried to break it, to hurt him, to do anything to just get him off of her. And just like before, it seemed like that hoping and praying in fear had paid off. Max was pulling her back by the hair, to the surface, and-

And just like before, that hope was snuffed out instantly, as Max slammed her head down, through the water with terrifying force, before she hit the tiles with a sickening crack. Her thoughts blurred, her head and lungs burned, and that hope which she’d kept going right until the end finally died out.

No no no, please, no, I-

Crack

Mike, I... I don’t want to-

Crack

The third time was the charm. She stopped struggling, her vision and thoughts gone, and a few moments later, there was nothing left at all.

G041: AMY BACHELOR-DECEASED
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[Originally posted by Solitair]

((Ilya Volkov continued from Midnight, The Stars and You))

Ilya wanted to check the hotel to see if anything remained to salvage, and to sate his wanderlust. He never really told anybody this, but he had the tendency to get stir-crazy from time to time, especially when he was already under stress. This is why he went on so many nature walks, practically every day in fact, and this was why he chose, at first, to check out the stagnant, filthy pool outside the hotel, in the fresh, open air.

But when he stepped out into the open, he saw something coming out of the pool. No, someone. It was someone familiar, covered in sopping wet clothes and moist filth. Oh, and quite a bit of blood, too. Ilya was just about to name this kid, who climbed out of the pool, when he saw another form float to the surface.

A girl, this time. Face down. Not moving.

He felt his blood run cold. "Max?" Ilya asked, his voice cracking. "Who was that?"
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[Originally posted by The Burned Handler]

...Fuck.

He hadn't even seen the shape appear at pool's edge, preoccupied as he was with burning lungs and leaden arms and pinching his nose shut like they always said to do when it was bleeding. He couldn't remember who "they" were, but he'd kept his head down as he pulled himself up from the sludgewater and tried to ignore the throbbing memory of bone meeting cartilage with panic-born strength. Don't think, his body said, don't look back. Don't ask questions. Just stop the blood.

Then a voice. An annoying one, with its questions and its concern and its not seeing Max really wasn't in the goddamn mood. Couldn't they see he was hurt? Stupid, inconsiderate lowborn...

His eyes darted up, and it made sense. Ilya Volkov, one of the lugs on the wrestling team. Now credit where due, Ilya was one tough kid, Max made a point of knowing the other Aurora athletes at least a little and he'd seen that for himself. That didn't stop him from just being some dumb Russkie though, who'd either get a scholarship to some shit school on the Bible Belt for his skills at rolling around in spandex or never get anywhere in life at all.

The "Ilya Volkov is stupid" hypothesis really wasn't being challenged too much considering the kid was staring at him, standing in his way, asking what the fuck happened. But what could he say? There weren't very many slick arguments out of being caught climbing out of a pool some ex-hot chick had just drowned in. He kept it simple.

"It's not what it looks like," he managed through blood and pinching fingers and pain, looking up even as he kept his head tilted down and fought the urge to swear. "Just get out of here, Ilya. That's best for both of us."
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[Originally posted by Solitair]

Ohhhh, if only Ilya hadn't run into this preening, pompous, upper-class twit on the island. If he'd shown up as another statistic on the announcements, as a victim instead of a killer, he'd have given himself a silent, private laugh at some well-deserved karma and moved on with gliding above the carnage.

But actually talking to this brat in person made it damn near impossible to take the high road. Every single time they met, in attempt for athletes to meet with athletes, stick together or judge each others' capabilities for sports purposes, Maximilian never failed to insult Ilya's intelligence, condescending to him for carrying around James Joyce or Vladimir Nabokov books. Ilya might have actually preferred a Reagan-era mentality trying to start another personal cold war.

And now this son of a bitch was insulting his intelligence, too. Not what it looks like? What the fuck else could it be? Oh, this guy was just trying to hide a body under the water to spare the sensitive souls in the area who might faint at the sight of it, out of the kindness of his heart.

"No." He would not leave. And before Max could smarm his way out of that, Ilya rushed up to him and swept the leg.
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[Originally posted by The Burned Handler]

Suddenly Ilya was a blur, and Max was looking at the blue uncaring sky before everything went white and his spine cried out. Why, Max, why did you let Zangief throw me on concrete? Shut up, spine.

The world was the white, dots floating before his eyes, someone shouting at him from miles away, almost two hundred pounds on his stomach, the dull meaty thump of something striking him in the face over and over too fast for him to get his thoughts together. It was seconds before the white faded and he could think and throw his arms up, but his head was already swimming and Ilya's fists on his arms were as hailstones on a thin roof. He could feel them purple and ache and sag, even as he willed them to cover him from the barrage.

Breath came short and Ilya was still punching and shouting and swearing, and why the hell did this keep happening to him? Instinct curled his body inwards, made a smaller target and presented the top of his head instead of the more vulnerable face, and for an moment tried to shut down and wait it out, blood still pouring from his nose and creeping into his mouth whenever he tried to gasp for more air. Was this really it? He was Princeton bound, he was a Sawyer. Dad practically owned their damn city, was he going to have his brains dashed out by Ivan Drago on some shitty poolside?

No. No, fuck that, and fuck Ilya Volkov. He could feel where the hammer blows were coming down and turned his head just so, aiming his skull at a hand, and there was the familiar jolt again but lighter and he felt the hands withdraw and heard Ilya scream and curse. Max unfolded, darting hands up to grasp shirt and pull down while he pushed his torso up to sit. Their faces drew close, he saw blue eyes widen.

His teeth found cartilage, dug in, ignored the renewed, panicked blows as the lizard brain told him what to do and he tore side to side until he was dizzy and he felt something coppery fill his mouth and gave a mighty shove back on Ilya's shoulders. Just as suddenly as he'd got there the Russkie was off him, and something came away but he spat it out and tried not to think about it and remembered his only chance, the steel Amy had struck from his hands.

He was clawing along the poolside, throwing himself forwards as much as he could as his eyes fixed on the welcoming metal glinting in the sun. His champion, his equaliser. Ilya was running, he could hear the wrestler hurrying to stop him, but his hand felt the grip and he spun onto his back and lifted the gun with both hands, fighting shaking arms and swimming vision to line it up with the athlete who dared strike a legend.

There was a roar and a kick, and he begged it to be enough.
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