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Paradise; This one's for all the marbles.
Topic Started: Nov 4 2014, 12:14 AM (5,461 Views)
NotAFlyingToy
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((Hansel Williams, Tears in the Rain))

Four corpses were in sight from his perch on the railing of the gazebo, in varying degrees of decay. The stench railed and wafted into his nostrils, causing his eyes to water as his legs swung free, hindered only by the gun on his lap. He couldnt help but feel a kinship with the dead after eleven days of being surrounded by them, reminded of them, adding to them. Four didnt seem that significant of a number given the dozens and dozens of students that had fallen here - on the island that had once existed, drawn life, created. Once, this island had inhabitants - men and women and children. It was a place with beautiful statues, well-stocked hospitals, a power plant that had seen workers clock in, clock out, produce, contribute. Earn.

This once-functioning, breathing, creating collection of plant and animal and structure, reduced to a mass grave of over a hundred kids.

Hansel sat, his hands folded over his FAMAS - one over the other, rough skin on rougher gauze - and stared at the macabre sight, wondering about the last thoughts that ran through someones head when they died. Was there contentedness, any sorrow? Did you get a few moments - a brief interlude - to review and collect yourself before facing what followed? Or was it just blackness - candles snuffed in the wind?

If they had died for something, if there had been method to the madness, it was lost to him amidst the running, the fighting, the destruction and chaos. The once-habitable island was scorched earth and shallow graves, dark memories and landmines. All that had mattered, all that hed focused on, was standing on anothers shoulders until he could reach the top.

He turned the FAMAS over in his hands, feeling cold steel and polyester mingling together, running his calloused fingers over the sleek, streamlined design. He dipped into the trigger guard, circled the safety - now, forever, switched off - dragged nails down the stock until he circled the barrel. His touch was absent, scattered, his gaze on the body of Matt Masters as he felt the weight of the gun against his knees and the texture of it at his fingertips. With it, as he stroked and weighed, he felt six different gunshots - six moments suspended in time - that came with it.

He supposed that this gun, the gun they had given him, would be considered - what, his signature? Some sort of symbol, gained from his struggle against classmates for reasons that he didnt understand - couldnt comprehend?

He flipped the gun over. The other side was warm from his legs, sapped of body heat. He considered.

There was nobody else to blame for this - what hed done, what theyd all done. Presented with the option between all dying or most, theyd chosen the more pragmatic answer: kill or be killed, destroy or be destroyed. On paper, in the broad spectrum, it was the better answer, the morally just one. Save as many as you could, one life secured better than none.

Hansel hopped off the gazebo ledge and landed in the grass unsteadily, knees bending with the soft thud of boots on damp earth. In the process, in the journey from nobody living to one surviving, things within them cracked and moulded, shifted and changed in brittle chrysalides that leaked their former glory. In the mad dash to be the one - the single, solitary living amongst a sea of dead - theyd lost everything.

Hansel laid the FAMAS against the gazebo, taking care to ensure it was at a forty-five degree angle. The least he could do, the absolute minimum he could accomplish, would be ensuring that they got nothing back. No returning tools, no iconic weaponry.

No legacy.

The first time boot met metal and polyester, it resulted in a clang and a scrape - noises that he felt resonate up his leg. The second time, the dirt gave way, sinking the stock of the gun into the soft ground. The third time, the barrel of the FAMAS bent at a right ankle, sliding the rifle that had served him well, that had helped him climb the ladder of fucking bottom feeders all scrabbling for purchase on a wall paved with the worst fucking intentions, further down. By the ninth slam of boot on gun, the FAMAS was unrecognizable, unusable - a twisty, scarred mess.

He stared at it. Reached behind him to pull the Winchester from battered pack to battered palms. Slammed the lever-action back, primed the gun to fire. He took a moment. Sighted the sky. Drank down the putrid air. Noted the cameras and their beady, glassy eyes.

He took a moment.

Then, he pressed the Winchester against the FAMASs trigger mechanism, metal on metal, and said goodbye to the six faces whod fallen at the weapons maw.

He straightened, ejecting the casing with a click-clack of the lever, and looked around the park as the gunshot echoed, his location signaled to the others - Joey, Zubin, Mara - who were undoubtedly on their way. He shrank back against the gazebo, back to the wall, weapon at the ready.

Three more obstacles to overcome, he thought.

Then, for better or for worse, hed have his life.
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decoy73
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((Zubin Wadia continued from Pay the Piper))

Here he was. It was the end of the game. Just three more bodies to add to the tally, and he was home free. He could go home, talk to Mom and Dad, get therapy, and live some of the life he deserved. All he had to do was

Oof. Zubin face-planted as he tripped upon something. He looked back at what it was that had made him fall.

Oh. Hey, Ami. Ami was still there, killed by someone who didnt matter anymore. Zubin pulled himself up into a sitting position. Fancy meeting you here. Zubin looked down, attempting to ignore the fact that he was talking to a fucking corpse. You know, you really should have taken me up on my offer. I mean, its obvious I was lying about getting into a fuckfest. Now, only I get to go home. Regrettable, really.

BANG

Zubin looked over to the sound of the shot. Hed been focusing so much on Ami that he didnt see the guy right there, just about a hundred yards away. He might not have been able to se much, but the hat was recognizable. He was staring at Hansel Williams. Zubin just smiled and started walking, finger itching to pull the trigger.

Nothing else left for me to do.
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((Amaranta Montalvo continued from Tears in the Rain))


Mara was running through the overgrowth and had nearly escaped the outer confines of the park, when suddenly that familiar, horrible wailing started. It was the very last announcement.

Only four of you left.

Mara clasped a hand over her mouth and crouched to her knees. A nest of nerves exploded in her stomach. She felt tiny spiders legs squirming along her insides, making her feel jittery. She shook out her hands, trying to give the anxiety a place to escape from.

Only four. That was it. Shed made it to the end. She felt an overpowering desire to scream. Whether it borne from elation or terror, she wasnt sure. Mara hunched over with her hands on her knees. As she concentrated on regaining her composure, Danya continued to recount the deaths of the last day.

Madeline, the girl who had warned her about Hansel, was not one of the four survivors. Although she had been trying to acclimate to their dwindling numbers for days, it was still strange to think of how people disappeared over hours, minutes. She didnt know Madeline enough to mourn her and even if she had, there was no time. When the announcement finally reached news of Katarina, Mara regained some facade of control. She gazed pointedly at the speaker.

It was time to find out who else was still alive.

To her complete and genuine shock, the first name was Zubin Wadia.

Ah...haha.hahahaHAHA

She hiccuped and spasmed, laughing madly because it was the most absurd thing in the world. The sound bounced off the trees and echoed around her. Never in a million years would she have picked him someone to outlast all the other students. The fact that he had was some kind of cosmic joke. Mara took a deep breath, still giggling, and wiped her eyes.

No way. Zubin? The guy must have stuck a horseshoe up his ass before we got on that plane. I wished him good luck. Maybe Im a lucky charm?

Next, Joey . She tried to remember what she could of their brief meeting. He had looked at her with a mixture of apprehension and confusion, but said nothing. His reaction to her as if she were a wild, feral animal reminded her that in that moment, that is what she was. She stopped thinking about Joey, having no desire to relive that meeting.

Then, of course, there was Hansel. A potent mix of concern and denial was still leaking through and clouding her vision. At instinct, her fingers knit together in a faux orison, wondering along with Danya what Hansel would do and if it would affect her.
Those thoughts were cut short when she heard her own name. She was the only one to meet all the other remaining survivors.

Maybe I am a lucky charm.

He spoke about Summer and she felt heat rise to her cheeks. How dare he. How dare he talk to her about Summer. He saw fit to mock her decision to burn down a few of his stupid buildings. She imagined he was a toddler who was upset that shed pushed over his sandcastle. He didnt deserve an explanation of her actions.

Mara spotted a camera looking down on her near the speaker. She flipped her hair back over her shoulder and blinked coyly. Her lips pulled back over her perfect teeth and she flashed a dazzling grin. Mara beamed the same way she did for pageant judges right before deliberation. She stunned with her gorgeous smile and straight middle finger both pointed prominently for the camera just as the voice concluded its assessment of her.

You can suck my dick, she sing-songed cheerfully.


It was silent again. Everyone knew to come to the park now. She strained to listen, not knowing if at any moment someone would come bursting out of the brush, beckoned to the park by the announcement. Her eyes darted wildly with each step her bloody Mary-Janes took towards the the tree-heavy edge of the enclosing. Somewhere a shot rang out, but not close enough to be a concern.
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Ares
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((Joey continued from It Was Fear of Myself...))

There are only four of you left, and it's time to whittle that down to one...


Joey snapped to attention. Four people left. Quickly identified as Zubin, Himself, Hansel, and Mara. He paid no attention to the brief description of himself. He was busy focusing on other things. He knew that Hansel and Mara had killed. He had seen Mara recently. She looked like she'd stepped out of a warzone, and likely she would be ready to go right back in.

Hansel's name had been mentioned so many times over the time spent here that it had become second nature to hear the familiar greeting voice, followed by Hansel's name.

Zubin. Zubin was a mystery. What had happened since the school building? Joey couldn't recall Zubin being announced as a killer. Maybe he just bailed from a bad situation. Either way, if Joey ran into Zubin before the other two, he'd have to be on alert.

"Or maybe all three of them would kill each other? That'd be nice. I could stroll into the park to find out I've won." Joey's under breath muttering was laced with the slightest hint of sarcasm.

"Good luck. Oh, and remember: you need to score at least one kill if you don't want to star in the next act of our continuing drama. That means you, Grey and Wadia."

Joey stopped dead in his tracks. His mind began racing. His memory was trying to jog itself. Then he remembered. Last year, there was a news report that said the Kimberly girl had come very close to not being released. This terrorist group had a rule that if someone did not kill and won, they would be thrown back into a future game.

"Fucking god damn it." Joey growled as he felt his body drop forward onto his knees.

He'd have to kill someone. No matter what, he would have to take one of the three lives left to take.

Joey looked down at his weapons, both of them lay together on the ground to his right. They were great weapons. They would have been even greater in a different person's hands. However, he was bringing knives to a gunfight. Joey had had a horseshoe up his ass to this point. He was praying that the horseshoe was inscribed with clovers and best friends with a rabbit's foot. It would be his only chance.

As Joey neared the boundary line of the brush to the park, he heard a shot ring out. His heart began racing to the point that he was pretty certain the audience would hear it. The shot sounded like it came from the other side of the park. Joey moved along the brush line, trying to get a better view. He couldn't see enough of the park to determine where anyone else was.

This was it. He'd have to venture out. Joey unzipped his bag and finished off what little was left in his water. He left the bag on the ground. There would be no need for it.

Using the sword in his left hand, Joey pushed back some of the foliage and moved a cautious few steps into the perimeter of the park. The pounding in his chest was deafening, but for the first time since he woke up all those days ago, Joey felt ready for what was about to happen.
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NotAFlyingToy
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Through clenched teeth, Hansel watched Zubin arrive, a tiny person in the distance, stepping over a body, shit-eating grin attached to his face. He held his position in the shadow of the gazebo, gun pointed down, waiting. There wasnt any sense in firing wildly, now, not when his gun took so long to cock and reload, not when so much was riding on every shot. He waited.

He recalled a story in history class, about the American revolution and the generals whod order their men not to fire until they saw the whites of the enemys eyes. Zubins eyes were dark, framed by glasses, slightly shimmery. He couldnt see the whites yet.

He waited. Waited, even though his heart started hammering away in his chest, even when Zubins steady approach made his fingers itch against the smooth steel and wood of his gun, even when the other boy brandished a more menacing one.

Waited.

And when flecks of white showed around Zubins irises, when he could make out the essence of his stare, Hansel lifted his own weapon and fired.
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BANG

Zubin moved to his right as his temple started to fiercely sting. As he hit the ground, he brought his hand up to the left side of his head, and felt a wet line above his ear.

He shot me. The fucker shot me! Hansel was ready to go and kill him.

Just like all the others. It was starting to come to Zubin. Hansel was the biggest killer. He'd beaten Dodd in that area, even though Dodd had a reason. Hansel had none. He'd simply killed and killed just for the hell of it with no attempt at finding a better way.

Zubin had tried. Of course, now he was stuck here with Hansel, the guy who had killed most everyone who would or could have helped them get out of there.

No way. No way was Hansel living with all that blood on his hands. It was his fault they were stuck here.

Zubin got up and pointed his gun towards Hansel.

"So, how's it feel, cowboy? We might have been able to go home together, but you had to go fuck it up by killing everyone."
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Ruggahissy
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The park was their cage now and the foliage the bars. She tried to keep as open an eye and ear as possible while she weaved carefully around the trees and bushes. Mikes gun was held in her tingling hands. Each crunchy footstep in the grass was amplified by a thousand and she wondered if it was as loud to others as it was to her.

She breathed deeply and swept an errant piece of hair behind her ear. Just as she did she saw a figure pass by the trees twenty feet away or so. It was no breeze or wild animal. There was no doubt in her mind what it was. Mara strode with purpose towards the movement. Without the plants and the distance it was clear that it wasnt Hansel or Zubin.

Mara bit her lip and hoisted the gun. She tracked him carefully with her finger on the trigger. A wave of cold swept through her. Did he even know she was there? She was going to gun him down like a deer. Mara remembered the look he'd given her while she was in mid-breakdown.

"Hey.sorry" she offered, soberly.

She pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. Just like a boy to let you down when you needed him most. Thanks, Mike.
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((OOC: From this point on, GMing of Joey and Mara has been green-lighted)

Joey's eyes strained to make out the shape on the far side of the park, moving towards the gazebo. Another gunshot echoed across the park causing Joey to flinch. The gunshot and flinch caused Joey's failure to notice that he was being rapidly moved on.

He turned just in time to make out the girl from the Overpass say she was sorry. The face that Joey pulled as he Mara's finger found the trigger was probably a bit comical in hindsight. Something along the lines of biting right into a lemon. Joey heard a faint click, but no loud noise. No roaring pain anywhere on his body. No life flashbacks or tunnels of light.

Joey opened his eyes to see Mara looking at her gun with a very perplexed expression.

Now or never kid.

Joey felt the scream come from deep in his chest. Hookswords at the ready, Joey made a dash towards Mara.
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Even if Hansel could've responded, even if he'd not been shot in the face and had bandages wrapped around his head, their stench filling his nostrils and permeating his mouth, he wouldn't have. They were all way past words, now, far beyond guilt trips that added up to nothing more than hot air. Delusions of ever having had the opportunity, the means, the chance of escape did nothing for Hansel but make him feel a small pang of pity for this boy who had apparently believed, this child facing off against him who had at one point been naive enough or dim enough to feel like the power of friendship would see it through.

The rest of him felt anger - not at Zubin's words, but at the idea that he could've come this far, on the eve of the violence ending one way or another, unscathed in body and mind. He stood there unhurt and judgemental while Hansel had been stripped down of his health and beliefs and sense of security. Zubin stood there spewing idealistic bullshit while he was still on the cliff face, still stepping on his classmate's heads to try and reach the top.

So, he cocked back the lever on the Remington and fired repeatedly as he back-pedalled, keeping close to the gazebo, utilizing the limited cover.
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Hansel just said nothing and fired. Of course he would do that. So much easier than showing remorse. Zubin just dove for cover, or at least out of the way as he looked for Hansel as he was hiding.

"I noticed that you're a little hurt. Come out here. Maybe I can dull the pain." Zubin kept his gun at the ready.

Well, for certain definitions
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Her finger pulled back on the trigger a few more times, each more frantic. It was quickly apparent the gun wasnt going to be a part of the equation and he was still coming at her like a speeding train.

Fine! I can beat him without the gun! I can still win.

With a shriek of frustration she hurled the gun at him and shoved her hand past the zipper of her duffle bag in as fast as she could. Her hand found something immediately and she saw it was a familiar spherical object with a purple sticker on the front. Mara knew what it was.

Joey was nearly baring down on her with some crazy looking, giant crochet needles. Before he could get a hit she swung her bag at him and fell backwards.

She fell back onto the grass. Mara was unhurt, but all that was in her hand now was the pin without a grenade. She watched as purple clouds of smoke rapidly unfurled from their confinement. The violet smoke was soon everywhere, kept down in place by the trees and plants. The bag was gone, probably in the smoke somewhere. The entire scene of the park and the island were rapidly being erased and replaced with swathes of purple. She looked up and was able to see Joey for one more moment before he disappeared behind the veil of smoke.
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Joey was carrying more speed than he thought he could ever muster. The immense seriousness of the situation he was in provided the boost to keep his legs churning.

The gun came flying towards him. Dodging it caused him to stutter step. Joey's body contorted as he still attempted a swing of one of the swords. His off-balance strike was deflected by Mara's swinging bag.

There was a split second once Joey stopped moving forward where he could see Mara on the ground. She was prone and defenseless. This was his opportunity to strike. He had to. He couldn't do another round of this game.

"I won't..."

Joey felt his right arm twitch. He felt his fist clench the handle of the sword. As he was about to raise the sword and attack once more, purple smoke suddenly filled the area, swallowing Mara and any visibility Joey had.

"No!" Joey growled through his teeth. For the first time on the island, he had experienced a fight instead of flight response, and even that had gone wrong.

"I can't go back! I CAN'T GO BACK!"

The reality of what faced him if he did indeed let Mara live hit him like a truck.

"I WON'T!!" He screamed as he swung his left arm towards where he thought Mara was. The blade contacted nothing.

"I CAN'T!" He swung the sword in a different direction and felt it hit the soft dirt. He ripped back, pulling the grass with him.

"YOU DON'T GET IT!!" He hollered into the cloud of smoke.

"They are going to keep me." He said flatly.

"They'll keep me here..."

Joey took another swing at the air in front of him, hoping with every fiber of his being that his blind attacks would do something useful for once.
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Smoke billowed around them, seeping through the park with creeping, deep-coloured tendrils that whipped into the air at an astonishing speed. The smell of sulfur and ash clogged in Hansel's throat as the spectacle caught his eye for a fleeting moment - there, in the distance - before he re-focused on the task at hand, crouched in the shadow of the gazebo. Listening, he felt his ears burn slightly as Zubin's taunt floated, seeming to dissipate on air.

He wasn't sure where the other boy was, and didn't have sight on him - the gazebo loomed over him from his crouched position, blocking the view - but he found the statement trite, hollow. To him, it sounded like a bad line from a production, something that was just unrealistic enough to take the audience out of the script and explosions and make them realize that they were sitting in a theatre, watching a screen or a stage.

Slowly, it dawned on him that Zubin was... his father would say 'touched'. Hansel didn't know if he was more dangerous or sad because of it.

He backed away, still in the crouch, keeping the gazebo between him and where he assumed Zubin was, the gun at the ready as he eased his way towards a picnic table. Under his hands, the trigger was slick with sweat, the bandages constricting his breathing slightly, absorbing the rancid odour of his breath.

Three more, Hansel. You'll be free after three more.
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Shit, Hansel was getting away, and wait, where the hell did the smoke come from? And why was it purple?

No matter. Either way, Hansel wasn't going to get away from him. He had to take out Hansel. He had to take out Hansel.

Zubin moved towards the gazebo carefully, keeping an eye on anything beyond it, as well as the smoke to his left as the smell made him frown. God damn, it smelled wrong. And what was happening on the other side of that cloud?

"I can't go back! I CAN'T GO BACK!"

For a second, Zubin's head snapped towards the smoke. He didn't know that voice. It was a guy, so that ruled out Mara, and if he was talking about not going back, the only other person who risked that now was Joey Grey - okay, maybe Hansel was crazy and thought that they'd keep him in if he didn't keep killing.

Either way, what was Hansel doing? He had to have some sort of game plan, as well as more weapons.

Gotta get to him. If Hansel was lulling now, taking him out would be easier.
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She was alone again, enveloped in purple smoke that glowing slightly with the orange light; evidence it was nearing sunset.

Mara looked around frantically, but only saw the smothering blanket of purple which was both hiding her and trapping her. She pulled her shirt up over her nose and mouth to keep from coughing.

I WONT, sounded from somewhere above her. Mara got up on her hands and knees and started feeling around in the grass. She had to find something, anything to help her.

Even a sharp stick or a rock would do. As long as she could find something to help her she might still be in the game. Joeys yelling was echoing as if he were everywhere at once. Her hands swept desperately around the grass and she shuffled forward, trying to ignore the screaming. Somewhere not too far away was the sound of a dull plunk and she felt a slight vibration. He must have been swinging wildly in the hopes of hitting her.

He was acting chaotically and using up his energy unwisely. Mara moved cautiously towards the sound while staying low to the ground. It was about self control. It was about not letting your emotions get the better of you. She felt for him; how could he not let them take over? Mara knew exactly what that was like.

Soon the shouting became closer and she nearly ran into the side of his left leg. Mara slipped a finger between her shoe and foot and gently pulled her right shoe off. She repeated with the left and held both of them in her right hand. As slowly and quietly as she could she stood up, making sure that she was at the side where his back was, the side where shouting wasnt coming from. From this distance his back was visible now, as well as the swords. Mara bit her lip and threw her shoes up into the air knowing theyd land somewhere in the direction he was already facing, drawing his suspicion away from her.

Okay, one chance.

Her shoes clattered a few feet away in the smoke. He didnt know she was right behind him. As soon as he starting moving in the direction of the noise Mara grabbed the handle of the sword out of his left hand. With all her strength she pulled back, raking the hook sword across his midsection. Mara looked at him and felt nauseous.

Dont worry. You wont go back, she said breathlessly.
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