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Multishot; Private for now
Topic Started: Sep 14 2014, 06:44 PM (1,331 Views)
Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Katarina Konipaski continued from All at Once, the Consequences))

Gunshots like rapidfire cannon blasts rang out through the streets.

Katarina inhaled deeply, spitting out her half-held breath and drawing in the cloud of heavy white smoke that wafted through her makeshift firing slit. Her eyes watered and she felt about to sneeze, but in that moment it was the most glorious sensation she could conceive of. It meant safety. Threat. Power. A whole pile of chips to throw down as the class of 2012 gambled ever more desperately for their lives. And, just for a few seconds, it meant her nostrils weren't clogged with the stench of her rotting friends. Every street a battlefield. The whole island a war zone. Were it some fantastic tale of good and evil, nothing would ever grow there again. But plants and rats and flies didn't have such scruples.

She shifted her weight a bit and sighted in again. The barrel of the gun rested on her bag, the muzzle poking in between an old rusting garbage can and the wall of the building next to her. She lay prone in the shadow of it, the door of one building to her left and the window of another to her right. The back of the alley was sealed off by the bulk of a third. It wasn't the best layout for quick escapes, but she'd played sniper enough back home, back when it was all just a game, to know what happened when you left your back exposed. At least nobody would steal her name and face here.

The bench set across from her was still littered with the subtle little trap she'd placed, undisturbed by her mislaid shots. Not the most cunning, she had to admit, but a half-opened ration bar and a bottle of water might at least earn a second glace from someone. She pulled the gun tight against her shoulder, took a breath and tried to figure out if your lungs were supposed to be full or empty or somewhere in between. The blur of the barrel in her peripheral vision level with this smudge or that branch for future reference. Twitching her brow and clenching her jaw, trying not to flinch as she curled the trigger in.

She fired, and the gun roared again so viciously her ears rang loudly in protest. Her shoulder complained a bit as well, but not too much. Daylight shone through the painted wooden slats of her target, and she smiled a little. Maybe someone would find that interesting later. Someone who hadn't heard the cacophony of the test and who wandered in instead of clearing out. For the moment, she pushed herself up and groaned a bit and brushed the gravel off her elbows. She slipped a water bottle from her bag. One that was quarter-full of the juice from her award and three-quarters cut with water like a drug. Whoever stumbled by, or didn't, she could wait.
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Will
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((Finn Grant continued from Ready Player 1))

A while after leaving the apartment complex, Finn began to wander the streets. He’d cooled down since his outburst with Matt, and he knew that he should have handled the situation better. He’d been acting first and thinking later, something he’d been doing quite a lot of over the past several days. He probably should have stayed with Matt and talked it out instead of storming off on his own. Finn had said it himself numerous times that it was safer in a group. In fact, it had been one of his goals for the majority of his time on the island to find people to ally himself with. However, Finn had made the decision to leave Matt for a reason, so Finn was going to do his best to prove that he was right and Matt was wrong.

The echoes of several loud gunshots broke Finn’s train of thought and brought him back into reality. Instinctively, Finn ducked down and threw himself against the wall of the building behind him. The shots sounded close, but they didn't seem to be firing in his direction. Once he thought the coast was clear, Finn straightened up, but still remained in close vicinity to the wall. Another set of shots pierced through the otherwise silent streets, causing Finn to jump slightly. Finn stayed where he was for a few moments as he weighed up what he should do. His initial instinct was to turn around right then and go the complete opposite direction to the gunshots. Guns meant danger. Guns meant death. These were the two highest things on his list of things to avoid on the island, so naturally he’d want to keep away. Finn couldn't do this though; if he did this then everything he said to Matt earlier would have been pointless. Finn needed to find whoever was firing the gun and kill them, it was the whole reason why he left Matt in the first place.

With hesitance, Finn began to approach the source of the gunshots, taking small and careful steps in order to remain as quiet as possible. If someone was firing their gun, it had to mean that there was another person on the receiving end of the shot. As a result, there had to be at least two people Finn was approaching, meaning he had to be extra cautious. The best outcome Finn could hope for would be for one of the two people to be dead, and the other being severely injured so that by the time Finn gets to them he could easily finish them off. A third set of shots fired, this one sounding much louder than the previous two. Finn had to be close now.

As Finn approached an entrance to an alleyway another bang rang out, followed by a whizzing sound and finally a loud thunk. Splinters of wood erupted from one of the planks of a bench that was situated in front of and to the right of him. Once again, Finn ducked down and frantically searched the immediate area for the gunman. Several seconds passed and no more shots were fired, which led Finn to believe that whoever was firing the gun still hadn't seen him yet. Unless whoever was firing the gun was just a terrible shot, then it appeared that there was only one student instead of Finn’s initial assumption of two. Finn couldn't decide if this was a good or a bad thing. On the positive side, it would be a lot safer for him going up against just one student instead of two. However, it pretty much eradicated Finn's hope of finding the remaining wounded student and giving him an easy kill.

Finn’s attention was then caught by the bench that had just been struck, which had a bottle of water and a ration bar placed on it. If he could get close enough to it to see how the bullet entered it, then he could figure out where his classmate was hiding. Although, getting close to the bench meant getting into the line of sight of whoever shot at it, so Finn needed to be quick and careful. Staying low, Finn took a step closer to the bench, then another, then another, until he could finally see the hole caused by the bullet. The hole was situated near the middle of the bench and it didn't appear to be at any sort of angle, which either meant that the bullet came directly from Finn’s right or his left.
V6 Characters:

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----Cassandra "Cassie" Venus--------------------------------Eleanor "Elle" Duval----------

V5
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Katarina sat crosslegged, leaning her back against the cool, dingy wall. She sipped a bit at the juice, stared a bit at the total lack of scenery, and sipped again. Not enough to spike her glucose, or to upset her stomach after the days of water and ration bars. She really hated the place. That made her almost laugh from the suddenness of it, and then she thought what if her merriment turned into a cough and a gag and cough and gave away her position, and that really got her going. Maybe she'd get a splinter from the wall, too, and then it would get infected and kill her. Had to be careful about the big threats like that. Constant vigilance, that's what kept you alive, sitting around when people were looking for you with guns and knives and worse and thinking about how a few sips of juice would kill you.

Probably time to give a check, though. She rolled her had to the side, peered through the gap between the garbage can and the wall. Without hardly thinking about it she was on the ground again, pressing her weight into the vest that itself pressed down on her back. Someone was there.

The guy seemed inquisitive. Well, not just the guy. Finn. One of her fellow track athletes. She thought of a place lush and green and secluded and the ripple in her gut ironed itself out. What was he doing, then? How was he going to move? Back she shrank, ever paranoid, begging him to step in a little farther. Her finger crawled into the guard around the trigger, stabbed itself on the point of it. Something about it certainly held his attention. She slipped her other finger in against the trigger for symmetry, propping herself alternatively up on one arm then the other.

But she couldn't yet fire, though he was maddeningly close. The barrel of the gun wouldn't swing far enough. She'd need to move out around her little blind to get an angle on the shot, but doing so would expose her. The blur of the muzzle in her peripheral vision could almost balance on his nose now. Almost she could be confident that her shots wouldn't sink themselves into the building that overshadowed her.

He seemed to lean in a bit - please, just a little more - and she took a deep breath and let it mostly out.
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Will
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Slowly, Finn twisted his head slightly to the left towards the alleyway. He continued to turn his head until out of the corner of his eye he could see down the alley. For the brief second Finn stared down the alleyway, out of the darkness he could make out a long cylindrical object pointing in his direction and slightly wiggling between a trashcan and a wall. He couldn't make any sudden movements or else whoever was firing the gun would realise Finn knew where they were and possibly run away. Whilst inhaling sharply Finn looked away from the alley. After a couple of seconds, Finn calmly took a large step back so that the cylindrical object was no longer in sight. Finn pressed his back against the wall that connected to the alley in order to minimize his chances of being seen by whoever was hiding in the passage. He knew that the object he had seen was the barrel of the gun which had been firing at the bench only moments ago. Finn was lucky to be alive; for some reason, whoever was in the alley chose not to shot him. Perhaps they hadn't seen him. If they hadn't, then it would make Finn’s next decision a whole lot easier.

Looking to his right Finn saw the door to the building he was pressed up against. The building had to have an exit out into the alleyway. If he managed to find it, he could sneak up on whoever was hiding in the alley and dispatch of them without them seeing him. He’d have to be quick though; all of those gunshots that had been fired thus far could attract more people to the scene, and the last thing Finn wanted was to be involved in a massive shootout.

Parting from the wall, Finn took his revolver from out of his pocket and crept through the doorway into the building. The building seemed to have once been some sort of gift shop. The small shop was filled with key chains, fridge magnets, mugs and whole multitude of other trinkets. Finn ignored these however, and headed straight to the back of the shop to a door that had ‘Staff Only’ written on it. He headed through the door and was greeted by what must have been the staff room. The room contained several soft chairs of different variety scattered around the edges of the room as well as small table, a fridge, a kettle and a few other kitchen appliances. To Finn’s right there was a door and a window leading to the alleyway, the former was shut whilst the latter was wide open. The door would be the easiest way to get into the alley, but he didn't want to risk it making a noise that would alert the person he was trying to sneak up on. Instead, Finn decided he would go through the open window.

For a moment, Finn stood completely still as he tried to control his heavy breathing. His heart was racing at the thought of coming face to face with his first kill in a matter of seconds. It scared him. Shaking the thought off, Finn made his way over to the window. At first glance, he couldn't see anyone in the alleyway. Whoever it was hiding in there had to be pressed up against the wall closest to Finn. In response to this, Finn leant forward and slowly stuck both his head and his revolver out of the window in order to get a better view of the whole alley.
V6 Characters:

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----Cassandra "Cassie" Venus--------------------------------Eleanor "Elle" Duval----------

V5
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Finn seemed to be curious and cautious in equal measure, to Katarina's dismay. Naturally, given that he was still alive. Dancing on the very edge of the zone she felt confident enough to fire into. A little nudge to the side of the garbage can, a couple more inches and maybe, just maybe. Her head was buzzing, ears still ringing from the residue of the cacophonous test-fire, the trigger of the gun yielding easily enough in her grip - but he was turning and raking the shadows of the alley, and it was one or the other, and she was downright dizzy with the heat in her cheeks, and she snapped her finger off the trigger like she was awakening from a falling dream.

Had he or hadn't he? The million-dollar question. If you'd take a million bucks to shoot yourself, she thought. That was a bit of an undersell. But she'd shrank back, withered under the very threat of his burning gaze, so stock-still and silent that only when he'd slipped back out of view did she give a little gasp and refill her throbbing lungs. It didn't seem likely that he'd seen her, especially given how completely nonplussed he seemed. But it left her feeling unsettled, almost dirty. Violated in her safety. And she clenched her teeth and thought about all the ways she could turn that back around.

Katarina sat up again, hugged her knees and tapped her toes together. She reached to collect the rifle and stopped halfway. Give it a few. Five, ten minutes. Because what was the worst-case scenario? What would he do if he had her number? Set up his own little stand, wait for her to squirm and wriggle out of her little hole. Or - she glanced sidelong at the door across from her - he might just try to get the jump, if he were truly foolhardy.

She shifted her weight around Rosemary's little knife in her pocket. The big, jagged one was still in her bag. The rapier laid out by her side. And the gun, pulled up now so that the barrel poked above her head, ready to fall in any way she needed to deliver its payload. A secure repose, if not the easiest. Thoughts of cats and pillows and nice, hot showers gave their leave while blood and screams and smoke filled her mind. She'd be prepared, or so she thought.

It was a paranoid look around herself. Call it chance if the behavior hadn't ingrained itself almost as deeply as the tics that ran across her brow. A gun and and arm and a face behind it. And a gun. She sprang up, letting her own weapon fall away, reaching out with fingers curled like talons. Her whole weight came down, and another body slammed onto the ground beside her. Without wasting a moment, she rolled around and pounced onto Finn.
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Will
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Before Finn could fully see over the other side of the window, a hand shot up from in front of him and clasped around his arm. Finn didn't even have time to react before the hand tugged down sharply, dragging him through the window. With a hard thud, Finn landed flat on his back in the alleyway. The landing caused Finn to whack his head against the asphalt and knock the breath out of his lungs. Ignoring the searing pain at the pack of his head, Finn turned just in time to see a girl with fiery red hair scramble towards him.

The girl clambered on top of him, and in response Finn gripped both of her wrists with his hands to stop her from doing anything. As Finn struggled to restrain the girl, he took the opportunity to study the girl’s face, and his eyes widened in horror as he realised who she was. Finn had bitten off more than he could chew. Katarina had the second most kills out of all of their classmates, making her one of the most dangerous people on the island. She had plenty of experience killing, whereas Finn had none, which would suggest she’d have a significant advantage over him. However, it wasn't all about amount of people they had killed; Finn was a lot stronger than Katarina and so far he was finding it relatively easy to keep her at bay.

Katarina was inches away from his face as she squirmed around on top of him. Her long auburn hair created a curtain around their faces which restricted his sight of the alley around him. Whilst gripping her arms tightly, Finn adjusted the position of his legs and with a mighty heave he forced himself upwards. As he sat upright, he threw Katarina away from him, causing her to fall backwards and land on her back. He had the upper hand now.

As he knelt above her, Finn clasped his revolver with both his hands and pointed it at her face. In that split second, timed seemed to freeze. His finger twitched on the trigger, but he couldn't pull it. Finn had been preparing himself for this moment for almost a day now. He’d gone through scenarios in his head dozens of times, but he’d never thought it would be this difficult to make the decision to end someone’s life. He couldn't kill her. With vacant eyes, Finn stared at Katarina as she continued to move all the while his gun was pointed at her. Suddenly, a sharp pain ripped through his arm and he screamed in agony.
V6 Characters:

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----Cassandra "Cassie" Venus--------------------------------Eleanor "Elle" Duval----------

V5
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Ruggahissy
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i'm not upset
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Amaranta Montalvo continued from Belgain Roulette))

Mara walked around the small parts of the island she was still able to. She was like a pet, put in a small space as someone watched her scuttle about.

Even inside her cage, it was very spacious. She walked around the crumbling, empty husks of buildings and homes where people once lived. By her calculations there were less than ten other people than her left. She pointedly avoided anything reflective. She could feel the bags under her eyes and her greasy, limp hair. No need for confirmation of her monstrous appearance. So when there was a sound outside of the rustling of leaves and birds, a human noise, it caught her attention.

Normally, she would have walked away. It was just good sense to walk away from a gunshot. However, a familiar voice floated by as she was walking away from the sound of the shot.

Finn.

Mara pinched the bridge of her nose, sighed and turned around. She could hear a scuffle taking place not far away and soon she was ten feet in front of a barricaded alley with the sounds of a struggle behind it.

She hefted the m4 carbine up, placing the butt against the space between her collar bone and shoulder. Her right hand cradled under the massive barrel.

"Start running," she said, seconds before squeezing the trigger.
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Katarina dove on top of Finn, but there was no real method to it. Only a tiny thread of a plan. She could only hope to smother him, bury the fight under a barrage of bites and kicks and scratches so that she never had to surrender the momentum of it, stall him out until she could gather herself and throw down the deathstroke.

But there were facts of nature to contend with, chief among them being that he was simply taller, heavier, and stronger than she was. Perhaps she still could stall him out, she hoped, but that was beginning to matter frighteningly little as he warded off every swipe. He forced her back, and then again, and she made a desperate move for the knife in her pocket. Easily, almost contemptuously, he grabbed her wrists in response. She struggled, tried to wrench away, but his grip was iron.

Desperation tinged her cheeks. The pursuing thoughts of what they might do to her finally caught up. Would a gun be enough in the end, or a knife, or even fists and fingernails? She gritted her teeth, stared at Finn's face tinted dark and reddish by the knotted, sweaty curtain around them, wondered what deep, dark depths he was capable of reaching in the name of justice.

She wrenched her hands toward each other, making to tear away at her meaty shackles, but with a giant heave her world upended itself and she slammed against the ground with a whimper all too much like that of a beaten dog.

The monster rose up before her. Waking nightmares incarnate. Jagged ground dug into her back, throbbing pain and redness and that unbroken shrieking note through her head. But even as her eyes uncrossed themselves she had to move, because it was the the dark O of a gun barrel that greeted her. That abyss would stare back with a vengeance. She wrenched her head to the side, but no report followed, no blast of sound and fire or spray of concrete fragments across her cheek. Continuing the roll, she reached above her head and grasped the object that had stabbed itself into the nape of her neck.

Katarina brought the sword clumsily to bear, forcing it down onto Finn's arm just behind the wrist. He screamed as blood ran down its length, and it truly was music to her ears. She heaved herself onto her knees and slashed again. The space was confined, her motion more like the paddling of an oar than a swordsman's calculated slash, but it did the job. Again she carved into him, and then again for good measure. The gun dropped. Percussion for the symphony. He wasn't going to hold it any more. He wasn't going to hold anything any more.

She rose to a kneel and shoved him roughly onto his back. Blood already was surrounding them, dark and shiny and pungent. If she ground her hands around the grip of the rapier it tacked and dried and crumbled like dirt in fast motion. Finally she reared and brought her hands together and drove the poi"Start running."word flexed like a great steel ribbon.

The strap of Katarina's bag caught around one ankle as she jumped. She stumbled over Finn's prone, bleeding form as the unmistakable sound of gunfire rang out from the entrance of the alley and hit the bloody ground hard. There was no time for it. She jerked her leg and bits of food cascaded out of the bag as it crested the oozing hill, an amber bottle, empty crinkling wrappers. The door across from where she'd sat swung lazily ajar, and she thanked anything and everything that crossed her mind as she collapsed in a lump behind it.

Bleeding and sweating, panting like she'd just finished a race, she dragged everything into the building. Finn was bleeding and dying, but she'd made it out in one piece. She hoped. Checking for bullet holes would come later. But, glancing over the scene, there was still one thing...

In the lull between earsplitting shots her heart raced so fast it felt ready to tear itself apart. Strains of should she and could she swirled through her mind, but there wasn't really any question. Finn's gun lay in the pooling blood just beyond the door, and Ami's precious, ponderous bullethose beyond that. There was no point otherwise. It would all be for naught. "Not yet," she cried in strained tone and leaped in, firing off two wrist-snapping shots at what she hoped was the new assailant's face before hurling the handgun against the wall. With that she braced one hand against the ground and closed the other around the barrel of her own weapon. She didn't spare a glance to see if she'd hit her mark, or even who it was. She simply heaved and pushed herself back in, gathering what remained and darting off through the building on bloodslick boots.

((Katarina Konipaski continued in Get Ganked))
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Will
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Finn’s revolver dropped to the ground as Katarina’s rapier sliced into his wrist. The blade scraped against his bone as she viciously tugged the sword in a downwards motion. Before Finn had time to grab his gun again, Katarina continued her attack. A flurry of red and silver flashed before his eyes. Katarina’s next two strikes carved him diagonally from the top of his collar bone across to the base of his abdomen, then horizontally along the width of his stomach, just below his ribcage. In an attempt to block her final strike, Finn lifted up his arms in a defensive position causing the blade to cut into his forearms.

As Finn writhed around in agony, Katarina rose up and violently pushed him to the floor. Whilst screeching in pain, Finn curled up into a foetal position. From a tear-filled eye, Finn watched as Katarina raised her sword above him. He’d had her. She was as good as dead. If he hadn't of hesitated then she would have been dead and he could have walked away pretty much unscathed. But no, in that split second his conscience had decided to waver, and now he was going to die because of it.

Just then, a familiar voice called out, followed by the deafening sound of gunfire. A frantic Katarina then began to clamber away, tripping over Finn in the process. In response, Finn roared in pain as his fresh wounds were ripped open even further. More shots were fired soon after, this time coming from Katarina as she dove next to him again in an attempt to retrieve her gun. Finn tried to grab the floundering girl in an effort to slow her down so whoever had just arrived could hit their mark, but Finn was too slow and he watched as she made her escape into the building.

Now that Katarina had left, Finn’s head lolled to the side to see who the newcomer was. To Finn’s surprise he saw Mara standing at the opening of the alley. She came back for him, to save him, but she’d arrived too late to be of any success. Katarina had done her job and there was no going back now. Finn’s eyes welled up as soon as they locked onto Mara. As tears streamed down his face, Finn extended a feeble, bloody hand towards his friend.

“Mara.” Was all Finn could manage to say as he began to sob uncontrollably.
V6 Characters:

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----Cassandra "Cassie" Venus--------------------------------Eleanor "Elle" Duval----------

V5
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Ruggahissy
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i'm not upset
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Not yet" was the reply which cause Mara to bristle, but that was nothing compared to when she heard a bullet whiz by and strike the ground next to her.

Her eyes were wide with surprise for two long seconds before she blinked and felt the blood rush to her face. This girl just shot at her. She tried to shoot at her from behind some ill-constructed barrier in an alley like some filthy rat and dispose of her like it would be just that easy.

"Bitch," she hissed. She felt her whole body flush with heat and sprinted to the alley. The barrier of junk was easily dispersed, but as soon as she was in the alley she heard Finn again.

Mara gasped and stopped for a moment. The scene was gruesome. Some noise from the building reminded her of the task at hand and she ran to the open door Kat had escaped through. She didn't want to be distracted by Finn only to have his killer double back and kill her.

"IF I SEE YOU YOU'RE DEAD," she shouted. Mara took out a grenade, pulled out the pin and threw it down the hall as hard as she could.

Knowing she had seconds to brace herself, she slammed the door shut and huddled near Finn with her eyes closed tightly and her hands over her ears.

The building shook and a bright light shot out of the window, but even after it was over her eyes were shut.
things
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Will
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Finn was unresponsive as the explosion caused by the grenade Mara had thrown shook the ground beneath him. Dust and small fragments of debris wafted out the open window and the crack beneath the door before slowly floating downwards and peppering Finn and Mara in a fine grey film. The dust mixed in with the thick, hot blood that covered almost the entirety of his body. The colour of his t-shirt and the top of his jeans were indistinguishable to what they were before, and were now coated completely red.

The pain was unbearable; it felt like his whole body was on fire. The more pain Finn felt, the more he cried, and the more Finn cried, the worse the pain got. His breathing had been reduced to small, rapid intakes of air as he struggled to breathe. His throat began to clog up with fluid, causing him to cough which sent a gush of blood into his mouth.

Through blurring eyes, Finn located Mara’s face and stared intently at it. For some reason her eyes were still closed. Finn wondered what she was thinking. Mara had forever been an enigma to Finn. She was a girl who kept her feelings hidden behind a mask. Finn had always hoped she would open up to him one day, though now it seemed that wasn't going to happen.

Using all of his strength, Finn clasped onto Mara’s arm as tightly as he could. He didn't want her to leave him again. He didn't want to die alone.

“Don’t l-leave me.” Finn managed to say between a series of shallow breaths and sobs. “I d-don’t wa-nt to be o-on my own.”

V6 Characters:

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----Cassandra "Cassie" Venus--------------------------------Eleanor "Elle" Duval----------

V5
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Ruggahissy
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i'm not upset
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Mara heard him choke and sputter on his own blood. She squeezed her eyes shut tighter and put her hands over her ears again as if she were anticipating another explosion.

She heard him beg not to leave him as he bled out. It was muffled but it was there. Wheezing, squeaking sounds of someone dying and then he touched her.

She screamed a long, ear-splitting single unwavering note of a scream.

"You asshole," she whispered. "This is some Greek tragedy Cassandra bullshit, do you know that?!" she shrieked. Her trembling fingers clasped hold of Finn by the shoulders. Her hands became the same red color as the rest of him, melting into him and becoming one.

"I told you that this would happen. I told you that this exact very thing would happen and that I wasn't going to stay with you because I didn't-"

She stopped. Her next words came out choppy, punctuated on the last word with an blast. "I didn't. want. to watch you. DIE!"

He was a complete mess of blood and torn flesh lying in a pile like a grotesque rag doll. This was pretty much the worst scenario she could have possibly envisioned when she first set her mind to preventing ending up where she was now.

"S-so you win. Here I am."
things
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Finn clenched his eyes shut as a long sounding shriek escaped Mara’s lips. It was quite obvious that she was angry with him, which he couldn't blame her for being as this was the exact situation she wanted to avoid when she left him the last time. Although, he would have thought that if her friend was mere moments away from dying she would be slightly more sympathetic. After all, it would be the last time she’d ever see him. He listened to her rant and flinched in pain as she gripped his shoulders, putting pressure near one of his wounds.

“I’m s-sorry.” Finn snivelled after Mara had finished with her outburst.

Was he sorry though? If he was to be honest, he cared much more about how he felt in this situation than how Mara felt. If he was going to die then he wanted things to go his way, not abide by the wishes of some other person just because they didn't want their feelings hurt. He believed that people should try and make the dying as happy as they could be in their final moments, and if that meant Mara had to stick around and watch him die then she should suck it up and deal with it. Finn didn't care about being selfish; he always had been and he certainly wasn't going to change how he was now.

As Finn continued to cry, he could feel himself getting colder. He could no longer feel the heat of the blood that he was soaked in, or the warmth of Mara’s touch. His sobbing subsided into an almost silent whimper as he began to experience himself getting weaker and weaker by the second. He began to panic as his eyelids started to feel like two heavy magnets that he was struggling to keep apart from each other. His eyeballs reeled around in their sockets as he fought to keep them focused on a blurring Mara. He was running out of time. He felt like he should say something to her, but he couldn't think what. Perhaps they could reminisce about better times, or ask her to avenge his death by going after Katarina, maybe even offer some words of reassurance. As his energy drained away, Finn could only manage to mutter one word to his friend.

“Win.”

Finn hoped that Mara would understand what he said. She was his only living friend left on the island, and there was no one Finn would rather have escape this place than her. Mara had done well enough so far and she had outlived their entire friendship group as well as more than 100 other people. If she’d made it this far, then she would be more than capable of defeating the remaining few of their classmates.

His grip on Mara became looser and looser until his hand eventually slid off of her arm and hit the ground. As hard as he fought to keep them open, his eyes eventually closed. Finn had always thought that in his dying moments he would think back to times he had spent with his family and friends, or he was even half expecting his life to flash before his eyes like people always said in the movies. These expectations didn't come true though. All Finn could think of was the pain he was feeling as he gradually faded into black.

B011, Finn Grant: DECEASED
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Mara sat on top of the trash can that had formed part of the blockade. She leaned backwards and looked at the clouds. Her feet dangled, not touching the ground quite. The sound of a bird somewhere-



She was back in the alley with Finn. As his grip on her became slack, her grip on him tightened. His eyes blinked slower and she watched him with fierce focus.



- chirped and then flew away. She shook her head violently and cradled her head in her hands. She took a deep breath. Mara hopped off the garbage can and reached for her bag. Her hand came into view. Where once it was coated in slick, wet blood-


It was so nerve wracking watching Finn slowly slip away. All of the other deaths had been quick, sudden and without doubt. Now she waited, and observed, wondering which breath was going to be the last. Was this the last one? She now had the time to consider she was holding and touching a soon to be former-person. Please, not this one. Not this one either. Or this one. Every heartbeat doubled down on a bet that she would inevitably lose. Did he even know she was still there? How long after his hand slipped down and his eyes close would he breathe? When it finally stopped she felt her stomach drop. She held on still for a few minutes, feeling his warmth and knowing it was the last time.

- it had turned tacky and dry on her skin and clothes. She leaned against the building and thrashed with her eyes closed. She was trying not to think about it, but it didn't work. She tried to push the realty of what was happening away while it happened, but it was only a delay.

Staring at the clouds, looking at her hands; any time she let her guard down for even a second she would see the scene with Finn played out again. And again. and again. The island had hollowed her out, taken away everything that she thought she had and inserted itself in the void.

Mara grabbed her bag roughly in her shaking hands, threw it haphazardly over her shoulder and started walking jerkily like a marionette away from the scene. Her m4 carbine dragged in the dirt behind her as she tried to focus on anything around her, for fear that her mind would be unoccupied and slip backwards to deal with the things she had put off facing.

((Amaranta Montalvo continued in Under This Killing Moon))
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