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A Human Work; Open
Topic Started: May 24 2014, 03:15 AM (2,266 Views)
Ruggahissy
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Amaranta Montalvo continued from Miles Behind Us))

She'd run from that hulking boy who'd chased after her.

She was not an athlete by any stretch in her normal life. She abhorred physical labor and avoided exercise when she could, so the sprint had taken a considerable amount of energy from her.

She stopped at the school, satisfied that no one was after her anymore. Mara tried to gulp and trudged into the school.

Her back found a wall and she slid down it into a heap. There was a faint sort of sharp pain in her shoulder. Looking down revealed one of his bullets had grazed her. She gave a short, harsh giggle and looked up at the rotting ceiling. It was a drop in the bucket with the rest of her injuries. Her hands were in constant, stinging pain, but it didn't bother her as much as she thought it might. The old adage that beauty is pain was true. She'd been regularly subjected to waxing, plucking, bleaching, hot hair curlers, pangs of dieting hunger, eye lash curlers, painfully tight hair styles, towering spiky heeled shoes that hobbled her. It had given her a high tolerance for physical suffering and the ability to bear it while smiling.

Clutching her gun, she slumped to the side with her head on the floor. She would have sooner died than sleep on a floor before. Now it didn't matter so much.

"I want to go home," she whispered desperately. Her bandaged fingers curled around the barrel.

She hated everyone and everything that was left in the world. If there was something other than some inner steely resolve to live that was keeping her it was her intense hatred. She could feel it propping her up, moving her forward. Mara was tired of being blamed for everything that anyone saw fit to blame her with on this island. She didn't care about explaining herself anymore, it was obvious no one cared. Her previous wish to find someone who would was foolish, she saw that now. Hatred and numbness extended to even the things she coveted back home.

Her legs pulled up against her chest and she further wrapped herself around her weapon. A different sort of pain blossomed in her heart and her throat. She knew that she wanted to cry. It might make her feel a bit better to cry, she wasn't sure as it hadn't occurred in years. Mara bit her tongue and pushed it back. She refused.

Her bag in front of her went in and out of focus as her eye lids grew heavy. Soon she was indistinguishable from the dead bodies save for a slight movement in her chest.

things
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Owen Kay continued from Just Me, a Block of Dirt, and a Cavern of Danger))

It had quite honestly been a minor miracle that Owen hadn’t ended up wandering into one of the many danger zones in his travelling. He vaguely knew where he was forbidden to go from the announcements, but he didn’t know the exact boundaries of each area. Plus, his memory of the danger zones was a little foggy; he’d never been the best at remembering stuff, and he didn’t have a pencil or paper to write them down.

He guessed he’d have been able to run in the opposite direction if his collar had started beeping, but it was a risk he hadn’t wanted to test out. Thankfully, he had managed to wander into the vicinity of the school buildings, rather than, say, the hotel or hospital.

Back to school, then. A phrase Owen had never expected to have ever popped into his head again. School life seemed like an eternity ago. He had expected to feel that way after leaving for Uni, but...this was an even greater, even worse feeling than that. Aurora wasn’t just a relic from the past. It was a completely different life altogether.

But this was a different school, one that held no importance to Owen except that it looked like a decent place to rest for the moment. Because, really, what was he doing now but moving and resting? Before, with Aileen, he’d at least had a goal to find food at all costs, and to deal with Aileen’s injured leg. Now though... all he had left to do was survive. Just keep moving and live, for as long as he could.

Owen pushed open the front doors of the red brick building and instantly stopped in his tracks. There was somebody lying on the floor in front of him. A girl, cradling a gun. Dead? No, not quite. She was in poor shape, but she was breathing; it was almost unnoticeable, but in the stillness and silence of the school, Owen caught it.

Slowly, cautiously, Owen moved towards the girl to get a better look at who she was, and once again, stopped in his tracks, heart in his mouth. Amaranta ‘Mara’ Montalvo. She had used the gun she was holding. How many people had she killed on the island? Owen couldn’t remember. Too many for him to feel safe.

He backed away from her, hoping that he hadn’t made too much sound walking in. The entrance was closer than he’d thought. The bag he was carrying, filled with tins and cans, smacked against the doorframe with a dull thud and a clang of metal on metal.

For the third time, Owen froze. Fuck his clumsiness.
V7 BAYBEE

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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Ruggahissy
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She was out like a light. Perhaps it was from how completely depleted of energy she was, or perhaps it was simply a desire never to wake up again.

Her bandaged hands hugged the gun close. By now the bandages were stiff and coated with a dark brown color. The bandage on her left cheek was in better condition with only a few slight specks of color having seeped through. Visible on her left shoulder was the fresh wound, trickling fresh vibrant red through a tear in her black shirt.

Her straight dark hair spilled out on the dirty school floor, limp with a few twigs peaking up in the sea of black. Mara's face was sallow with dark lines under her eyes. She appeared about as lively as the rest of the corpses, but there were marks of suffering and weariness that served as clues that she was still alive.

There was a loud noise and Mara's eyes fluttered open. She looked up, moving only her eyes and saw Owen.

"Another giant meat head," she muttered.

Her hands tightened around the m4 carbine, but she found she didn't have the strength to lift it. It didn't feel like the gun was suddenly too heavy, it felt instead like her arms were noodles past her wrists. In fact, the feeling extended to most of the rest of her body. Her legs likewise simply didn't want to move.

The last altercation had taken too much out of her, she hadn't had even 10 minutes of time to recover from fighting Virgil and running away. She blinked slowly and continued gazing up at Owen.
things
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Mara opened her eyes and looked straight at Owen. He held his breath, waiting for her next action. Maybe he could have run, backed out the door behind him and just left this place, just run until he was back somewhere safe. But no matter how fast he could run, Mara could shoot faster. Something compelled him to stay, just for a moment longer.

Mara’s hands were around her gun, but she remained still, the only movement coming from her blinking eyes. There was nothing about her that suggested she was a threat, nothing that suggested she had killed three people so far. With cautious steps, Owen moved closer towards Mara. He’d vaguely noted some injuries on her when he’d first stepped into the school, but now that he was more focused, she looked, well... awful. Bandages on her hands and face. Blood visible through both, as well on her shoulder.

Owen was torn. Leave or stay? He didn’t know what to do. On the one hand, Mara was a killer. Owen still couldn’t remember everyone she had killed, but the gun in her hands and the wounds on her body were, he presumed, the results of what she had done. No matter what she looked like currently, she was dangerous. Wasn’t she?

Because Owen remembered one of the people the announcements had told him Mara had killed. Summer Simms. Naomi’s murderer. From what little Owen had seen of her body, Summer had been merciless. Had, then, Mara been forced to defend herself against Summer? Had the rest of her kills been similar? Somebody forced into a corner, with nothing left but the option of fighting to defend themselves?

Steeling himself for what could be a massive mistake, Owen knelt down, so Mara didn’t have to continually stare up at his tall frame. His reasons for staying outweighed those for leaving. It was a tiny, petty thing, but her comment a few seconds ago irked him. Maybe he wanted to prove her wrong on that point. Maybe it was the fact that Mara looked as though she might die without some help. Either way, she didn’t look like she could hurt him in any way right now.

“Hey... D-do you... are you o-okay?” Owen spoke slowly, trying to choose his words carefully. Baby steps, at first. “Do... do you need some food? I, uh... I think I have enough...”

Quite the reversal of fortunes. Two days ago, Owen had nothing. Now, he had a bag filled with tins and cans. Rather than going from person to person searching for help, he was the one offering it.
V7 BAYBEE

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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Ruggahissy
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She breathed rapidly, heart jumping. However, she was not moving, much like an injured animal, wild eyes furiously staring up at Owen.

Mara gasped and her eyes closed tightly as she urged her exhausted body to move. She rolled onto her front with her knees bent and hands pushing against the cement. The gun was underneath her.

"I"

Her hands with grimy nails and peeling black polish struggling to push herself up.

"don't"

Her hair fell forward, though between the strands her face was still half visible. Her eyes were closed tightly from effort and she was bitting her lip.

"need"

Mara had managed to push herself up into a crouched position. She reached up and grasped hold of the desk with her left hand. Dragging the gun up with her in her right hand she torturously, stumblingly pulled her up to a semi-standing position.

"your HELP."

She used the m4 as a sort of crutch, leaning hunched over on it and on the desk. "I'm going to live," she whispered to herself. "You want to help me? I don't even remember you."

Mara tilted her head a bit and looked at the bag he was carrying. It looked heavy and she couldn't deny that it would be stupid to turn away supplies at a time like this one in the condition she was in. She was not used to being offered any help. In her daily life, she made very sure to have a persona where no one would ever think she needed help. Her sister would never offer it, she could barely look after her self and her father would tell her to deal with her problems on her own. Now on the island, no one offered to help her. The overwhelming majority of people she'd met, especially recently, wanted to use her or kill her. Her suspicion and her pride were the main blocks to her accepting the assistance he offered.

"Food makes you fat," she murmured, almost as a reflex.
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Oh. Oh, shit. Yeah, this was looking further and further from being a good idea with every passing second.

Owen almost fell backwards as he scrambled to move further away from Mara. He returned to his standing position, ready to swing the table leg if she looked ready to make some sort of move, or if she looked like raising her rifle. The sight of Mara trying to stand was, honestly, creepy. She had looked half-dead lying on the ground, and her actions only added to that image. Each movement looked painful as she used the desk to lever herself into a standing position. Images of zombies rising from the ground from countless video games and movies flittered into Owen’s mind. With her hair a mess, her body covered in wounds and her taking each movement in steps, that was what Mara reminded him of.

But now that she was standing up, was she more of a threat than before? The answer was a resounding no. She was only standing with the assistance of a combination of the desk and the gun. She still looked as though a stiff breeze might kill her. But there was still a feeling of danger lingering in the air, thanks to the wild look in Mara’s eyes and her angry declaration. Maybe it would be wise to leave anyway.

Before Owen could make that decision, Mara said something. ‘Food makes you fat’, that was it. It took a couple of seconds for that to really sink in, and once it did, Owen let out a short, involuntary bark of a laugh. The sound surprised himself. It had almost felt like he’d forgotten how to do so. But it had been such a... bizarre, petty statement to make.

“You don’t remember me?” Owen muttered. “You and how many other people here? Pretty much... p-pretty much everyone who knows me’s al-already dead...”

It was true, after all. Owen could think of few people off the top of his head who were still around. Amy, Jack, Darren, Nina, Brian, pretty much everyone was gone. He’d only really spoken to Naomi, Edgar, Aileen and Joe on the island. His remaining circle of acquaintances was extremely limited. Maybe that was why Owen wanted to help, here. What else was there for him to do? He hadn’t succeeded in helping before, but maybe now he could do something for the people he came across.

“H-have... have you taken a look at yourself recently?” Owen spoke softly, carefully, not wanting to provoke another outburst. “You’re not... y-you’re not go-gonna live if you don’t get some help... so take some food. I, uh... I don’t have any bandages or stuff... just food and old clothes...”
V7 BAYBEE

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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Ruggahissy
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
When she looked up she saw him flinch. He moved as if frightened by her change in position. Mara was not sure whether to be offended by this or to be proud of it. Even dragging herself up exhausted, she was still frightening. She decided it was good.

She swept part of her hair back behind her ear, making her face more visible and cocked an eyebrow as he laughed.

To her great surprised, Mara laughed back. First a smile spread across her face. It was a pretty silly thing to have said considering the circumstances. She had said it in a daze, thinking maybe she was still at home where every calorie counted against her.

But she looked at him, and she looked down at herself and she laughed with him. Her laughter was clear and bright. He told her that all his friends were dead and that she should take a look at herself, saying she would be on death's doorstep without his help and she her laughter tailed off into a slight giggle. There was a certain absurdity about all of it that struck her.

Mara took a deep breath and calmed herself, giddy from the sudden outburst. "I accept your gesture," she said assertively. "If you try anything, I'll shoot you."

She collapsed into the seat, placing the gun on the desk. "If you knew, you would know why I'm slow to accept help, even now," she said quietly, harshly. "I got trapped in a room with Hansel the first night. I knocked him out, but Mike came in and when I tried to leave he threw me on the ground. He was so big and when I saw him over me I grabbed some broken glass and i stabbed him," she said flatly, holding up her bandaged left hand. "I sewed my own hand shut. I went to the hospital for supplies and that ghetto kid slashed my face," she said, looking down.

"I found Summer, but when I did she told me she killed Naomi. Naomi was a friend, I respected her. When I tried to leave she stabbed me," she said holding up her bandaged right hand. "She threw a grenade and killed three people I think. When I walked up to her she was a mess of missing limbs and even then with her last seconds she lamented that I survived the blast. I shot her in the head," she said quietly.

"I went to wash the filth off in some lagoon and creeper Zubin walked up and started talking about orgies or something, leering at me with a woody even though I was, still am, covered in bruises and wounds. Then some kids...I asked them if they'd seen Stacy who killed my friends. When they said they hadn't I told them I was leaving and just as I was walking away Virgil tackled me to the ground. I tried to fight him, but he's like some freaky giant. I managed to get away just barely and run as fast as I could until I got to this place."

Mara folded her arms on the desk and laid her head on them. "I'm exhausted. I just need to rest for a few hours. I'll be back in survival shape. You'll see."
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Pippin
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Owen hadn’t expected his laugh to be echoed by Mara. Hell, part of him had been certain she’d react angrily and that he’d be forced to finally leave. But no. Somehow, through blind fortune rather than anything else, he had managed to stay on Mara’s good side. For the most part, at least; he still needed to play everything safe unless he suddenly decided a bullet hole would enhance his new t-shirt.

Owen simply nodded in response to Mara at first, before he began to remove tins from his bag and setting them on the desk in front of her. She was explaining the reason behind her earlier reaction and at the same time telling him exactly what had happened to her so far on the island. Owen didn’t interrupt, only nodded and made little sounds to show he was still listening as he continued to place tins and cans down.

It was easy to feel as though your situation was worse than anybody else’s, and it was easy to forget that everyone else was going through hell as well. Mara had apparently been attacked over and over again, by Mike, by Ray, by Summer and by Virgil. The first and last names, Owen hadn’t been expecting to hear, but that was another thing he had to remember. Judging people off of their life at Aurora would result in incredibly inaccurate results now.

Was there a reason for Mara to lie? Well... yeah. Yeah, of course there was. But Owen still believed her. For one, he had always been the trusting sort. Naiveté, many had called it. There was more than a sliver of truth in that label. But he’d survived until now, hadn’t he? And if, in the end, it turned out that Mara wasn’t telling the truth, what good would arguing with her do, aside from give him another enemy on this island? Owen didn’t need another person to look out for, not another Hansel or Travis.

“Small world.” Owen muttered as he fished out one more tin from his bag, a small cluster now sitting in front of him. He quickly realised that he might have been a smidge too cryptic, and hastily elaborated on his comment.

“I met Naomi on the first day, uh, me ‘n her and Aileen. We decided to team up, had some sorta plan to... uh... well, I dunno... Summer found us before we could lay down anything concrete. Met Hansel too... he was holding, um, Claire... Claire hostage, and he robbed me and Aileen of everything. We spent the next few days just searchin’ for food, us two, and we finally found the shopping centre and all this, but... uh... you heard the announcements, right?”

Owen had spoken for longer than he’d wanted to. He’d just wanted to connect Mara’s story with his, but he’d lingered on painful details just a bit too much, and images of the apartment buildings, the golf course and the shopping centre made their way back to the forefront of his mind. He screwed his eyes shut and shook his head momentarily, before opening them and hastily taking the handful of nails out of his pocket.

“Alright. I‘m, um, sorry... y’know, about what you’ve been through. Trust me, I’m not planning anything, I’ve, uh... kinda learnt not to judge people based off of the announcements alone... Anyway, the only thing I have to open these tins are these-“ Owen dropped the nails on the desk next to the tins.

“-I had a scalpel ages ago, but...”

Aileen’s dead body flooded into view again, and Owen’s mouth closed. He looked away, staring through the wall at nothing in particular.
V7 BAYBEE

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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Ruggahissy
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Wordlessly she picked up a tin of the beans and one of the nails and started stabbing the top of the can until the metal began coming up. Her half lidded, dull eyes didn't stray from her work while Owen told her his story.

He said Naomi's name and she stopped, mid-stab. Her eyes widened for a fraction of a moment before resuming their normal appearance. The way he worded it implied he'd been there when Summer killed Naomi. She considered asking him a question about her or the circumstances of her death since the last time she'd seen her was on the airplane.

She decided against asking anything.

"I didn't pay much attention to the announcement the first few days," she said, turning the can upside down to drain the excess liquid. She leaned her head against her hand lazily while the other held the upside down can, bleeding brown liquid all over the school floor.

"Scalpel," she said, touching her bandaged cheek with one long, graceful finger.

"You can't judge anyone on their outside or their inside. They aren't the same people. They look the same. That's why I don't feel guilty about killing Summer. It wasn't Summer. I'm going to find Stacy and I'm going to kill her. She killed our friends. They weren't really Miranda and Kat anymore either, but I'm still upset about losing the shells."

She loosened her hand now that the water tapered off and allowed beans to come out of the can. Now that they were drained she forced the edge of the can open with the nail, revealing the beans. Mara shoveled them into her mouth. After two and a half handfuls the can was empty. She tossed the empty can behind her and licked her bandaged hand. " I'm not stupid, killing you achieves nothing and probably turns me into someone else's Stacy, wanting to come get me for disposing of your shell, but I'll kill anyone who gets in my way. I'll kill people if I need to."

Mara grabbed another can and started repeating her process or stabbing the top mechanically. The second can of beans made her feel like she'd eaten a brick and she allowed the empty can to roll slowly off the desk.

She was surprised that even now, she still heard something in the back of her mind. Though where it was once forceful and clear it was only a faint hint of a whisper now.

"What do polite young ladies say?"

"Thank you," she answered aloud.
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Pippin
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Thankfully, Owen’s mind was brought away from the disturbing images trying to break in by the sight of Mara finally opening one of the tins, draining the excess liquid out of it. He was curious as to what it actually contained; it could well hint as to what the rest of the cans contained. Tuna, maybe? Tuna would be good. In spite of himself and everything he’d been through, Owen found himself missing the small things. Tuna-mayonnaise sandwiches sounded utterly heavenly right about now.

Owen’s thoughts of food were briefly interrupted with a sharp pang of guilt when Mara indicated the bandage on her cheek and mentioned how she’d gained it. Of course, he hadn’t known about that, and there was no way that he could have. But the guilt was still there. Owen had always been like that. Even the smallest things could make him feel guilty.

Which, of course, directly went against Mara’s next point. It was similar to what Owen had been reminding himself these past few days; that people had changed since leaving Aurora. You couldn’t count on social norms to get by any more. What Mara said was essentially that, but twisted to justify her killing of Summer, and what sounded like her next move. But Owen didn’t believe that was entirely true; people had changed, but not irreversibly and not completely. Owen wasn’t a shell. Aileen hadn’t been a shell either. There had still been flickers of their old selves visible, no matter what they’d been through.

At least he had concrete confirmation that Mara had no plans on killing him, unless he decided to stop her going after Stacy. It took a second or two for the implications of what Owen was really doing to catch up to him. He was actively assisting in Stacy’s demise by standing down, by giving Mara food. It would be the honourable, decent thing to do, to try and stop Mara from going along with her plan.

But if he did try and stop her, what would that achieve? She’d kill him, then move on to try and kill Stacy anyway. If he wanted to live, then he had to sacrifice someone else. Albeit, that someone had killed two people. But, like he’d said, it was impossible to completely trust the announcements. It showed no difference between accidents and cold blooded murder.

So, in the end, there was always the possibility he was assisting a dedicated player notch up another kill of an innocent girl who had acted in self-defence. Owen felt sick to his stomach. The uncertainty of his actions was killing him. But if he took any other path, it would literally kill him.

Owen almost missed Mara’s last couple of words, so deep in thought was he. He looked at her for a second, before nodding quickly, a shaky smile creeping onto his face.

“O-oh, uh... no worries. Just sorry I don’t have any bandages...”

Owen studied Mara for a few more seconds, seconds that felt like years. There was one way to stop her. The table leg in his hand or the golf club in his bag. He could swing before Mara could get up or point the gun at him. He could stop this uncertainty, stop Stacy’s death, get the one kill he needed to get off of the island.

“I guess... I guess there’s nothing I can say to stop you, huh? I mean, sometimes I feel the same way about Travis or Hansel, but...”

Owen trailed off, words completely failing him. He couldn’t attack her, especially not after he’d given her food and stuff. He would live, and Stacy would die. Yet another thing to try and banish from his mind. His head was full to overflowing now.

“D’you think you’ll be alright, here on out, with some food and rest? It’s just... if you’re really going through with your plan then... it’s probably best we parted ways soon.”

There was a solitary half-bean nestling in one of the discarded cans on the floor. Images of lazy Saturday lunches and plates of beans on toast with grated cheese flooded into Owen’s mind.

It was always the smallest things that got to him.
V7 BAYBEE

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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Ruggahissy
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Mara blinked rapidly. The world was starting to blur again. Her half lidded eyes went dull and she slid to the side slightly. She managed to correct and pulled herself straight again by holding onto the desk.

His words washed over her. She looked sad for a moment.

"There is ummmm, ah, nothing" she said, starting to trip over her words. "Th-that you can say. To dissuade me, I mean. You are right. It's that, I need a goal for now. Something achievable, it'll make me feel better. I don't.....know what that is. I never did anything to make myself feel better at home. Now I have this. I am good at it. So I will do it," she said in a distracted way.

Slowly, she stood back up, alternating clumsy movements and graceful ones. Mara took a halting step forward, looking like she might topple.

"Guess you're smarter than you look," she said quietly. Mara closed her eyes and fell forward onto Owen, succumbing to exhaustion.
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Owen tilted his head slightly as he noticed Mara lean to one side, still managing to stay seated, but, by the looks of things, only just. Her actions were familiar to Owen; it was like whenever he’d stayed up late on a school night and was attempting to concentrate in class, when all he wanted to do was sleep. Mara had said that all she needed was some rest, after all. He just hadn’t realised how exhausted she must be.

Because Jesus, judging by the way she spoke, it was as if she hadn’t slept for days, instead of hours. Owen still felt tired after only having a few hours of sleep on rough surfaces for the past few days, but this was something else. Mara’s words moved from point to point, and only just sounded related to one another. Owen vaguely understood what she was trying to say; she knew what she had to do, and she was going to do it. At least, he thought that was what she was saying.

Mara began to stand up, and Owen took an uncertain step towards her, wondering what she was planning on doing. Surely she wasn’t prepared to try and leave now, not in the state she was currently in, right? Mara stepped forwards, and muttered something.

“H-hey, are you sure you ca-Whoa!”

Owen grabbed hold of Mara by sheer instinct as she toppled forwards onto him, out like a light. He felt the heat in his cheeks once again, as he lightly shook Mara, trying to get a response out of her. Nothing. She was completely gone.

Owen stood still for a moment, wondering what exactly to do now. Leaving was out of the question, unless he was prepared to carry Mara across the island along with both of their bags and weapons. He couldn’t leave her alone, either. She had no way of defending herself, and if any wannabe vigilante came across her whilst she was sleeping... well, her name would find itself on the announcements for the last time.

So here he would stay until Mara woke up. He was kind of a pathetic excuse for a bodyguard, but he’d be even worse if he just up and left. First things first, giving Mara a place to rest. There weren’t many choices aside from the floor, so that would have to suffice. After a few moments of adjustment, Owen managed to secure Mara so he could carry her bridal style. He found a decently large patch of carpet inside one of the classrooms, and gently placed her down onto the floor, before grabbing the bag which contained his old clothes to give her a makeshift pillow.

There. Hopefully, once Mara woke up, she wouldn’t be too confused as to where she was. Now, Owen guessed the only thing to do was wait. It wasn’t as if he had anything else to do, anyway. Owen’s footsteps were the only sounds in the school building, echoing throughout the many corridors and classrooms, as he took a quick detour, picking up both his table leg, Mara’s rifle and her bag. Then, he slumped against the wall of Mara’s classroom, right next to the door, and waited.

After just a few minutes, Owen yawned and rubbed his eyes. Maybe it was the sight of Mara sleeping peacefully, or maybe he was only just feeling the effects of just a couple of hours sleep per night, but he was beginning to feel drowsy as well. He blinked rapidly, and tried to focus on the pictures on the walls and the lights on the ceiling, and just as it felt like he’d driven away the urge to rest, Owen’s eyelids closed, and he too fell into an uneasy sleep.
V7 BAYBEE

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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BROseidon
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Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Matt Vartoogian continued from oh look my backend sucks again))
((Gonna time skip this b/c Will and I have activity to consider))

Matt and Finn spent the rest of the day holed up in a house near Sean and Gray's. Finn had been kind of annoyed that he'd given ground so easily, but Matt knew what he was doing. He'd remained almost entirely uninjured, despite how many chances there were for him to have gotten hurt or killed. Meeting Ben on the first day, the encounter with Theo, Jaq, and Joachim on the second day. The posturing with Joe and Aileen. Joe, who'd now killed what, three people? He wasn't the sort Matt would have pegged for a killer coming into this, and his encounter with the kid hadn't inspired any confidence in him. Despite everything, Matt remained alive and unscathed. He had a decent supply of food left, something others would surely be running low on. How many of them were even left? Not many.

Finn, by comparison, could barely walk.

After the announcements, the pair decided to keep moving. Matt wasn't sure why, but he didn't want to remain holed up in the town, even though it seemed like a potential spot they were being corralled to. Then again, the terrorists could have been corralling them anywhere.

And Matt was running out of time. He still hadn't killed anyone yet. Would he be able to bring himself to it when he finally had to? Would he even get that chance, given how long he'd stalled out on getting a gun? No, he was fine. Danya had mentioned stabbings in the last announcement, which meant there was still a chance for him to make something happen.

Eventually, the pair ended up at the high school, which seemed like a decent place to hole up to Matt. The winding halls and numerous rooms would be good for a while. It'd been a while since Matt had been to the school, way back when. He'd had such a great idea, self-igniting Molotov cocktails. Too bad the terrorists had fucking removed all the goddamn ionic compounds and sulfuric acid.

"Well, how about we bum around here for a bit? Should be safe."
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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Delroy
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Leader
[ *  *  * ]
((Travis Webster continued from The Mad and Hungry Dogs...))

After a lengthy chase, Travis had managed to lose his pursuer in an alley and escape Virgil's retribution. Travis had been surprised at the ferociousness of the boy. Clearly, there were contenders in the game who had yet to make themselves known.

When he'd made sure that he was alone again, he had hid in one of the numerous apartments in the town.

Nobody would go through the trouble of searching every room, right? I should be safe.

Within this apartment, he'd eventually managed to get his pulse to slow down and his adrenaline to stop pumping. He was shaking, both with fear and excitement, for what felt like hours. But once it finally stopped he had fallen into an exhausted sleep. A short while after, he awoke from the pain in his fingers and did not manage to doze off again. He did only sleep for a few hours, but it was all he could manage at this point.

As he looked up at the sky, he realized the announcement would probably not be for another couple of hours. Which meant most kids were probably still fast asleep. And so, he'd decided to leave the town and head back to familiar ground before the others woke up.

Why the schoolgrounds yet again? Well, this was where he'd gotten the supplies from Edgar. This was where he'd obtained his shotgun. All in all, the school had ironically become the place where he'd been the most successful.
V5 characters:

Travis Webster - Whistling party animal with a roguish smile, quick wit, and without a care in the world.
Spoiler: click to toggle

Pregame: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Island: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Back home: The Webster Household, and their reactions....
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Owen had only meant to rest his eyes for a moment. That was all. He couldn’t sleep now, especially not out in the open, in the corridor of the school. He had something he needed to do, and maybe now that he had both his table leg and Mara’s borrowed rifle, he could do a decent job of protecting her. But if he fell asleep, he was putting both her and himself in danger.

For a few serene moments after Owen’s eyes flickered open, his tired state led him to assume everything was going as he’d planned, and that he’d only closed his eyes for a few seconds of rest. But gradually he began to notice that things were altogether too different for that to be true. The amount of light flooding through the school, for instance, and the fact that the rifle he’d been cradling in his arms had slipped onto the floor.

Owen sat bolt upright at this realisation, staring wildly around the narrow corridor, heart pounding. Shit. Fuck, fuck fuck fuck. He was goddamn lucky to be alive right now, and he knew it. If Hansel, or Katarina or Travis, or any wannabe player had walked into the school while he was sleeping, then he would have been killed, no questions asked. Thankfully, the fact that he was still alive suggested that no-one had killed Mara, either. It was a grim thought, but there wasn’t much sense in aiming to kill one person and leaving an equally vulnerable person alive.

Owen had to make sure of that, however. He clambered up, using the wall for leverage and trying to ignore his body urging him to get some more sleep. The table leg was leaning against the wall, and Owen grabbed hold of it. He took a deep breath, before peering round the doorframe into the classroom. It took a couple of seconds for him to remember where exactly Mara was sleeping, but a wave of relief washed over him as he ventured further into the room and saw her, still undisturbed and breathing.

Thank God. Crisis averted. Owen walked back out of the classroom, stretching out his limbs as soon as he was back in the corridor. He had no idea of what time it was, or what day it was. He could only assume it was still June, as well. Sometimes, during holidays back home, Owen forgot exactly what day it was, but never to this extent.

He didn’t want to sit next to the classroom again, lest exhaustion decided to strike again. Owen began to slowly walk down the corridor, keeping an ear out for the sound of opening doors or other footsteps, and making sure he remained between the front entrance and Mara’s position.

Mara’s rifle lay forgotten on the floor beside his bag.
V7 BAYBEE

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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