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The Faster The Treadmill; Day 7
Topic Started: Apr 26 2014, 10:53 PM (2,038 Views)
VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Madeline Wilcox continued from Dreams Walk On Powerlines))

Maddie sat and stared out into the ocean.

She looked tired, as if she hadn't slept in days. She was having trouble thinking.

She didn't quite know where she was. All she knew was that she was at a beach somewhere. Somewhere probably close to the scene of the two grizzly murders. One she participated in.

But Veronica deserved it.

Didn't she?

Maddie tugged on the bottom of her jacket, looking at it. Despite seeing it just some time before, she still had trouble looking at it. Being a mess of blood, both dried and fresh, made it difficult to feel comfortable looking at it. She brought her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. She shook a bit.

She was a monster. Maybe killing Nina could be justified with self defense. But Veronica? After she accidentally killed RJ, she was a defenseless wreck. And Maddie brutally murdered her out of rage in the moment. She didn't deserve to die. None of them did.

She held her face in her hands, suppressing the urge to sob. If she thought she might have been able to go home before, that was gone now. She didn't deserve to go home. She could never go back to regular society. Not like she was.

She unzipped her bag, slowly. She needed to get something. She pulled out the gun-knife, still coated with blood, hand shaking heavily. She loaded a musket ball into it, her shaky hands making it difficult.

Then, she brought the barrel of the gun to her head.

She could stop the tragedy that was her continued existence easily. One pull of the trigger and she would be gone. Her whole body shook.

Her finger slowly began to squeeze down on the trigger. One tiny muscle movement and she would never think another thought ever again. She breathed in and out quickly.

She let go of the trigger and the gun-knife, and it made a small thump as it fell into the sand. She couldn't do it. No matter how much she wanted to end it, death scared her too much for her to actually go through with suicide.

She trembled and started crying shortly after.

What was she going to do? All she wanted was to die, to atone for what she's done. But she couldn't bring herself to commit suicide.

Maybe she would work up enough nerve to simply commit suicide given enough time.

Or maybe she could intentionally look for dangerous people. If she did that, she could put herself in enough danger that she died. Suicide by player, so to speak.

Simple enough, and it would work.

But she was far too tired to seek anybody out right now; her body screamed for a break. She stayed sitting in the sand, closing her eyes, listening to the sounds of the ocean and the island. It was peaceful. She felt at peace.

She finally had a plan again.
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NotAFlyingToy
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Sometimes, a plan was all one needed.

((Hansel Williams, Arcadia.))

He watched her for a time, quiet and contemplative, as she loaded the contraption, put it against her head. He waited, in case she went through with it, his finger playing with the safety of his gun as her palm trembled, the gun-knife... thing shook, her eyes closed.

He raised an eyebrow when Madeline lowered it.

Hansel knew that Andi was going to go looking for him back at the gated community at any time, but she had two guns now - whatever she got from the terrorists, plus his own win - so he figured that if he hadn't already outlived his usefulness in her eyes, the time would be fast approaching. She now had a kill under her belt, was better equipped than himself, and had no particular fondness for him.

His chances of being alive at the end were significantly decreased if he stuck with her, and judging by the viciousness in which she stabbed Garrett in the back, he doubted his own was much safer.

So he crouched, and watched, and waited as the girl failed to kill herself. Only then did he rise from his position from the relative safety of the shaded dog path behind the girl, step out onto the beach, and approach, his finger flipping the FAMAS from 'safe' to 'semi' with the all-too-familiar snick.

The sand parted in front of his boots as he walked, a dozen feet from her position, into her line of sight, the gun pointed at her from his hip, his hands curling tighter around the cold metal.

Over the sound of the crashing ocean, he called out to her, stance wide, gaze hidden beneath the brim of his hat, voice pitchy, crackling from lack of use.

"Hello."
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VoltTurtle
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Maddie heard someone greet her. She froze, her instincts already kicking in. She quieted them to the best of her ability, turning her head to see who exactly was behind her.

Her eyes got a little wider when she realized who it was. It was Hansel. She wasn't sure if he knew her, but she knew him. He was one of the few kids she could actually put a name and face to at Aurora, mostly because she didn't like him. She also knew all too well that he had the most kills out of anyone still presently alive, as she had still been getting a general idea of who had been doing the most killing from the announcements, even if she had stopped specifically counting who had which kills.

Not only that but he had a massive assault rifle in his hands, pointed at her.

Originally, this is exactly what she wanted. Someone dangerous to put her out of her misery, but at the sight of the biggest still-living killer on the island and his extremely threatening weapon, she had doubts. Doubts mostly created by fear.

She slowly and gently raised her hands into the air. Her voice shook. "L-look. I... I don't want any trouble..."
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NotAFlyingToy
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"Seems like you had it before I came," was Hansel's reply, nodding his chin in her direction. He was thinking, working through his possibilities as she held her hands in the universal sign of surrender. If she was this close to killing herself already, what was the point of him wasting a bullet?

If they were all dead anyway, what difference did a method of delivery truly make?

"Wuh-walk towards me, luh-leave your stuff behind, and I wuh-won't give you m-more."
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Deamon
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Humans...
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Chris hadn't calmed down or stopped running. He hadn't puked either.

((Christopher Harlin continued from In Total Control))

He'd ended up at a beach though. So he'd gotten somewhere at least. He felt like he was a safe distance away from Stephanie's body. Not that the thought made him feel better. He felt sick to his stomach. He was no better than any of the killers on the announcements anymore. He was just like Mara, Theo or Hansel. Just another person who had killed one of their classmates. He hated himself and a small part of him hated Stephanie for losing it. But it wasn't her fault; it was only natural to expect someone to break under the pressure of the game. It was his fault, he had the opportunity to stop and walk away but he hadn't taken it, he had continued to beat her until she was dead. Chris didn't know how he was going to deal with that knowledge.

He slowed his run down to a walk as he reached the beach. He'd gotten lucky with the fact no one had attacked while he had been running in the first place. He dropped his bags and gasped for air. He had never been more grateful for the time he had put into the football and soccer teams in his life. He couldn't imagine trying to make the same run without the benefit of that sports practice. He pulled a bottle of water free from one of the bags, he didn't know if it was his or Brianna's and he didn't care anymore. He had more important things to worry about. He took three long gulps and finished the bottle, dropping it to the floor he looked out onto the beach.

That was when he spotted them. Two people out on the beach, picking his bags up Chris started to move closer but he stopped once he realised the context and who one of the people involved was. He recognised Hansel easily enough from the hat he wore. Chris had always thought it was the stupidest and ugliest looking thing back when they had been at Aurora; it was strange how it had now changed into an object that inspired fear in him. He knew Hansel was a killer, hell he expected everyone on the island knew Hansel was a killer. He was on the announcements enough.

Selfishly Chris' first thought was that he was being presented with an opportunity to make up for killing Stephanie. Then he saw the situation for what it was. Just another instance of the game they were trapped in trying to take someone else's life. Chris had seen it enough with Brianna, Jesse...and Stephanie. He didn't want to see it again. He thought he could dimly recognise the girl but no name was forthcoming. It didn't matter; he didn't need to know her name. He knew who Hansel was and that was enough. He dropped his bags and drew his pistol. It felt weird but it wasn't the first time he had held it. He checked and flipped the safety off, it wouldn't do him any good if a gun fight actually broke out if his gun was set to its safe mode and unable to fire bullets.

Luckily Hansel couldn't see him, meaning Chris could at least get a little close. He raised the pistol, holding it with both his hands, one eye down the sight. Almost like he'd seen the professionals do on the cop shows on TV, almost. Once he thought he had gotten close enough to Hansel he called out.

"Put your gun down." He spoke as calmly and as clearly as he could, his voice shaking a little bit. He was within firing range of Hansel after all and he didn't seem like the kind of person who hesitated when it came to shooting people.

Chris knew that there was only two ways the whole situation was realistically going to end and despite his fear earlier he was strangely at peace with that as he aimed down the sight of his gun.
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
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VoltTurtle
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((GM'ing approved))

Maddie heard what Hansel said and she had trouble believing it. She didn't trust Hansel's words. She was going to leave her stuff behind and then he was just going to shoot her after she got a bit closer to him and then leave it at that. Even if he did actually let her live, she would just lose everything she had. No weapons, no food, no water. She might be able to manage, but her chances of survival would be sorely diminished.

But isn't that what she wanted? She wanted to die, no matter the source, right? Survival didn't matter anymore?

She didn't know what to do or think. She stood up, like Hansel asked, looking at the ground. She guessed that this was it already. She wasn't expecting her new plan to come to fruition so soon. She heard a voice. Another voice, not Hansel's. Her head rose, curious to the new presence. It was another person. He was pointing a gun at Hansel.

She wasn't sure who this new arrival really was, or why he was threatening Hansel Williams of all people, but he couldn't have come at a more convenient time.

But Hansel didn't even turn his head. She didn't know how to react to this. A normal person would have tried to see what was behind them. Hansel obviously was not a normal person.

Maddie kept her hands in the air, albeit lower than when she was sitting down, contemplating grabbing the gun-knife the moment Hansel's concentration lapsed and he looked away. She just needed one good moment to stick Hansel in a worse situation, make sure another person didn't die to him, at least for now.

Until then, she would keep her eyes locked on him, now standing her ground. She had a chance to get out of this alive, and despite her desire for death, she couldn't bring herself to not try.

Maybe she still wanted to live after all.
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NotAFlyingToy
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Hansel's vision seemed to blur at the edges as the new voice spoke, sending a little jolt of surprise through him as Chris' command reached his ears. The FAMAS, pointed in Maddie's general direction from his hip, raised a little more, was held more comfortably.

His thoughts raced as he weighed his options - if he moved the gun from the girl to the new threat, he could catch a few bullets. If he didn't move the gun, kept it pointed at the girl, he may buy himself some time, keep everyone tense and frigid.

But he'd also be stuck in a two against one situation, and he didn't like the odds.

So, he took a third - lowered the muzzle to point at the sand, stepped back with his left hand raised upwards, and turned so that he could fit both Maddie and Chris into his vision. The FAMAS was held loosely in his right hand, fingers curled around the grip, trigger finger held straight and away from the guard.

"Easy, now," he said, just as loudly and a lot more solidly, his nerves too frayed to reach his voice after seven days of jump scares and death defying.

"Cuh-han't be too careful, is all. I don't wuh-want t-trouble."
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dmboogie
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
At this point, Michael was almost hoping to find trouble. Trouble was something, at least.

((Michael Mitchellson: Continued from Maybe You're a Joker, Maybe You Deserve to Die))

Poking around the city for two days hadn't turned up anything or anyone, so Michael figured that maybe his best bet was to head somewhere he hadn't searched yet. Using the time-honored method of "fuck it, that seems good" he decided to start heading towards the beach. There were weirder things than finding someone hiding out in an old boat, after all.

When he first saw the group of three standing out on the beach, Michael's first reaction was to do the same as he had done for the past few days and steer very clear. They didn't look like they were fucking around. He halted, though, as he got a closer look at exactly who was there. Though he could only see the boy's back, Hansel's hat was more than enough to give away his identity. Facing him were some kid Michael didn't recognize and Madeline Wilcox.

Maddie wasn't exactly a close friend, but seeing her reminded Michael of much happier times, killing time in front of the Guilty Gear cabinet at The Castle. Michael tensed, flashing back to his first encounter with Hansel. It was almost exactly the same situation, though the new, armed kid complicated things. Still, it was clear that things could still go very bad, very quick, and Michael couldn't just stand there and let Maddie or the other guy get hurt.

Slowly, deliberately, Michael raised his shotgun and crept closer to Hansel. He couldn't repeat the same mistake that he had made last time around. He couldn't fail. After a moment's hesitation, Michael switched off the gun's safety. He waited, eyes never leaving Hansel.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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Deamon
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He didn't want trouble. Said the guy who Chris had just caught pointing a gun at someone, with the intention either being to rob them or kill them and he didn't want trouble. Chris saw straight through Hansel. Not like it was hard by any stretch.

The adrenaline was really starting to flow through Chris' body as he stood there gun pointed at Hansel. His eyes darted between Hansel and the girl whose name he didn't know. That was the second time he'd not known someone’s name in as many meetings. In looking between them he noticed something about Hansel. He still had the gun in his hand.

"I said put the gun down." Chris repeated, making sure to keep his aim trained on Hansel. He was dangerous, he'd killed a lot of their classmates and Chris didn't want to give him the opportunity to add any more to his body count. So until Hansel's gun was down on the sand Chris wasn't going to relax. It was too dangerous to give someone like Hansel that chance.

That was why he kept his gun pointed squarely at Hansel's chest. It was the biggest and easiest target to hit. If Hansel tried something Chris wasn't going to hesitate putting bullets in him. Honestly it would be the best thing to happen to everyone on the island in the long-term. Hell it would make the island that much safer, but Hansel hadn't tried anything beyond pointing his gun at the girl. So Chris held off on shooting him, Hansel hadn't technically put anyone in direct danger, ignoring the fact that Hansel was walking talking danger of course.

So Chris kept the gun pointed at him, knowing that the way Hansel responded to his demand would shape how the entire scenario was going to play out; and he was strangely at peace with that.
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
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VoltTurtle
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Maddie scowled when Hansel said he didn't want trouble.

Threatening someone at gunpoint doesn't suggest not wanting trouble. And if he really didn't want trouble then he was very bad at avoiding it.

Then, a familiar face, Michael. She wasn't expecting to see him here. She tried to remember if she heard him on the announcements at all. She couldn't. She wasn't even aware that he was on the island in the first place, until now. Seeing him made her remember the time in the castle, playing Guilty Gear with him and beating him pretty much every time. She missed those days, and she wished she could go back to them. But, even if she did leave this island alive, that would mean that Micheal wouldn't. Those days were over, nothing to be done about it.

She brought her attention back to the present. Michael had a shotgun... and he was trying to sneak up on Hansel. She couldn't help but crack a small smile at that. People were helping her when she was helpless. She didn't quite know why, her jacket was covered in blood and that was probably a sign that she needed to be avoided, but people were helping her nonetheless.

She glanced down at the gun-knife. Still sitting in the sand, musket ball still loaded from her near suicide. She just needed one open moment...

Her gaze stayed on Hansel. She didn't think anyone else was willing to do anything until Hansel did something, the rest of them were all being reactionary to him. He needed to act, to make a mistake. And once that mistake was made, he likely wasn't going to get out of this alive.

If he really wanted to get out, to avoid trouble like he said, he needed to put his gun down and leave peacefully, she thought.

But for some reason Maddie doubted that was actually going to happen.
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NotAFlyingToy
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Shit.

"Alright," Hansel said, lifting his left hand higher - too high, wincing at the sharp reminder his wound gave him at the muscle strain - and lowered the FAMAS to the sand, crouching down to do so. The grains parted as the butt of the gun hit first, waves of tiny little specs that undulated outwards, leaving a light dusting on his boots, the bottom of his jeans.

His right hand was in the air, too, his gaze serious, focused on Chris.

"It's.... d-huh-d-d..."

Swallow. Start again.

"It's d-down."

The weight of the gun, a familiar thing, had always been somewhere on his body. Over his shoulder, hanging off of his right hand, firmly in his left and right grip, pressed against his right shoulder.

Kicking back in his grasp.

Now, it lay on the sand below his feet, and he felt the nakedness steal over him, the awareness, amplified by the gazes of Maddie and Chris, increased exponentially that he was unarmed, alone.

But it didn't matter, did it? They were all going to die here. It was only a matter of how and when.

Hansel nodded his chin towards Maddie, keeping his eyes locked on Chris'. "What now?"
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dmboogie
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Michael blinked. Holy shit, Hansel actually put the gun down on his own. Well, 'on his own'. Chris's gun hadn't really left Hansel with much of a choice, but Michael had still half-expected the cowboy to try and pull some sort of last moment desperation type of move. Like, "fuck you guys, I'mma go down in a blaze of assholish glory." He definitely wasn't complaining! Michael had seen more than more than enough corpses over the past few days, no need to add another to the mix, even if it was Hansel.

Wait. Shit. Michael quickly glanced behind him, then relaxed. For a moment, he had felt like he had just been caught in the classic "feign defeat while your buddies sneak around the back" ruse, but nope, there was no one in sight. No one sneaking up behind Chris or Maddie, either. That had admittedly been hella paranoid of him, but better safe than being filled with more than the recommended amount of lead.

Michael lowered his shotgun, now aiming it towards the ground. He still kept a tight grip on it in case things ended up being fucked after all, but for the moment it seemed that the danger had passed.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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Deamon
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Simple question. Tough answer.

What came next?

Chris was surprised that getting Hansel to drop the gun had been as easy as it was. He expected more of a fight. Not like he was going to complain. He had no experience actually using a gun so he was doubtful of how effective he'd actually be with the pistol he had in hands. Then again Hansel was close enough that maybe it wouldn't matter.

The important thing was Hansel was unarmed. Chris saw the girl smile he wasn't sure why she'd smile exactly but it wasn't that important a detail. Chris was more focused on Hansel standing in front of him.

The most obvious direction everything could go would be for Chris to shoot Hansel and be done with it. That would be the simplest, quickest and easiest option. But Chris didn't want too. He had already killed one person in the last twenty-four hours and he was hesitant to add another body to that total, even if that body would belong to a murderer like Hansel. Stupid reason? Maybe. But Chris wasn't sure he had the potential for another in him. The first time had been bad enough.

Chris opened his mouth to respond to Hansel's question but a faint movement out of the corner of his vision stopped him. He quickly glanced in the direction of it to see a guy with a shotgun. Chris would have paid more attention to who it was but he was distracted by the gun.

He whirled around and pointed the gun at them. This was bad.

"Stay there!" He called out.

The chances of things going straight to hell had just increased. If Chris had been in a better state of mind he would have realised that the gun was pointing down. But as things were he had been caught off-guard.
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
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VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Maddie breathed a silent sigh of relief when Hansel put his gun on the ground.

What next?

That really wasn't for her to decide, if she had her way she'd simply disarm Hansel and tell him to leave, but the boy who had ended up saving her might have different ideas. Regardless, Maddie was calm. At least now that the danger had, for the most part, passed.

The thoughts of suicide were also completely out of her mind once again, since she could now reconnect with Michael. She could have another person, another friend, to help keep her sane. She shivered a bit when the image of RJ's dead body popped into her mind. She wouldn't let that happen to Michael, she told herself, even if it had to happen if she were to survive.

But, she was rudely interrupted from her thoughts when the boy took his gun off of Hansel and pointed it at Michael. Her heart started racing. This was bad. First, nobody was pointing a gun at Hansel anymore. He could easily just pick up his FAMAS and mow them down in response. Second, Michael was completely innocent, he wasn't some crazed killer like Hansel that needed to be coerced into dropping his weapon, and he didn't need to get hurt.

Maddie needed to fix those issues, now.

She quickly grabbed the gun-knife out of the sand and pointed it at Hansel, hands shaking heavily. She shouted over to the boy on the other side of Hansel. "No, no, don't point your gun at him! He's fine, I know him! Hansel's the one we need to worry about! He's the bad guy here!"
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"Everyone, just kuh-calm the fuck down!"

It came out a lot louder than Hansel wanted it to, and he was momentarily taken aback at how loud his voice carried over the wide open space. But the words were out there, and if he wanted to leave this place, he needed to lower his threat level quickly.

Maddie pointed her weapon at him, and he wanted to squeeze his eyes shut. He didn't turn to look at the kid that new guy - Rick? Chris? - was pointing the gun at - just turned to Chris, addressed him. He seemed to be running the show.

"Wuh-heer all t-tense, and it's buh-been a ruh-ruh-rough week for all of us, buh-hut pointing g-guns at each other isn't going t-too undo the past wuh-hee-heek."

He took a step away from the FAMAS, backing slowly away from it. "Look. Look, I'm buh-hacking away from mine. I've guh-hot some lasagna in m-muh-hy bag. We cuh-han split it, a-and muh-hoove along. Nuh-hobody needs to die here."
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