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Morphogenetic Fear; Open for everyone to be sad in~~
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 04:34 PM (663 Views)
Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Fear does strange things to people. It makes them do things they’d never consider doing normally, makes them think strange and unwanted thoughts, pushes them to their extremes. Fear is a potent force, a fact that so many dictators, tyrants and terrorists have acknowledged and used to their advantages, over centuries past and centuries to come.

Bryony Adams hadn’t yet been swallowed up by fear but with every passing second she slipped closer and closer towards its edge. She was still sleeping, sprawled out on the sand, face half buried in the side of a small dune. Tiny grains of sand flew away from her face every time she breathed out. The sound of the ebb and flow of the tide occasionally synchronised with her breathing before it fell out of time and created a low harmony instead. The sea breeze lazily ruffled her pigtails every now and then. Seagulls screeched as they flew overhead, oblivious to the horrors that were about to take place on the island below.

Slowly, Bryony’s eyes flickered open. Her mind was in a clouded, hazy state, and there was sand tickling her nostrils. She sat up. She coughed, throat as dry as the beach sand itself. She wiped the sand from her face and her hoody. She sneezed once, then a second time.

She wondered why she was sitting in the middle of a beach rather than on the way to a science museum.

As Bryony started looking around her surroundings, the hazy mess clouding her mind began to drift away, and memories slowly flooded back in. A bus journey. Falling asleep in the middle of the day. A hall full of armed men and women. Her teachers, all dead. An explosive collar around her neck. Survival of the Fittest.

Bryony Adams, G006, suddenly remembered exactly where she was and why.

“Oh no... no, no, no, please, God, no...”

Again, Bryony frantically looked around at her surroundings, falling faster and faster down into the endless depths of fear, not out of dazed curiosity this time, but out of terror and desperation. This wasn’t real. This wasn’t really happening to her. There had to be some way out, right? Some mistake the terrorists had made, some oversight, something that would allow Bryony to get off of this island. This would be the 6th time this had happened. Six times an entire class of children had been wiped off the face of the earth. There was no way they could do this without being stopped. There couldn’t be.

Bryony’s mind was locked into one train of thought; escape. She had to escape, somehow, anyhow. Her frantic gaze finally locked onto the vast, shimmering blue ocean in front of her, rocky outcrops in the water and the concave coast line preventing her from figuring out just where on the island she was. An idea, fuelled by that mighty force of fear, was beginning to form in her mind. She wasn’t a great swimmer at the best of times. She never tried out for the swim team, or decided to make plans to go swimming on her weekends. But she wasn’t useless at it, either. There had to be something just beyond the horizon, some strip of coast, an atoll, even some buoy she could cling on to. This island wasn’t hidden under some invisibility cloak. Someone would sail past, or fly overhead. Bryony just had to make it off of this island to somewhere safer, outside of the grip of the terrorists. The terrorists might try and stop her, sure. They’d warn her first, though, surely. Make the collar beep loudly, or something. That was one of the rules of their game, the game they were so proud of, and if that happened, Bryony could just swim back to shore.

The plan was stupid, hopeless and reckless. Bryony didn’t see that at all. All she wanted was a way off this island, and in her mind, this was it. She had nothing to lose. Every avenue of escape was worth a shot.

Hurriedly, Bryony ripped off her hoody, her shoes, and her socks. Carefully, she placed her glasses on top of the pile next to her bag. After a brief moment of hesitation, she removed her sweatpants as well, before the panic in her mind reached a crescendo and shut out any other thoughts. She had to get out. She had to get out now. Bryony ran towards the gently lapping waves. After just moments, she had hit the water, and began wading through it, slowly getting further away from land.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
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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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Bryony couldn’t remember the last time she’d gone to the beach. Years and years, that was about as accurate an estimation she could give. Vacations were scarce to begin with, having to fit around one of her dad’s expeditions or week-long fieldwork. Even when they did get to take a break outside of Kingman, the beach was never their first choice; going from 24/7 heat and sunshine to somewhere equally as hot didn’t exactly have the same allure to it. Whenever they did go, she spent the majority of time in the ocean, splashing about, taking a respite from the baking rays of the sun in the cool water.

Memories of those times occasionally broke through the barrier surrounding Bryony’s mind as she slowly waded deeper into the ocean, the water rising up past her ankles to her calves. This wasn’t like any holiday beach or long, golden strip of coast in someplace like Miami or Florida. The water was choppy and slate grey, shifting seaweed and other underwater plant life back to shore, occasionally wrapping around Bryony’s leg. It was also absolutely freezing to the touch, something only exacerbated by Bryony’s lack of clothing, goosebumps springing up along her arms and legs.

“..ey!... at are you do…”

The first proper wave that hit Bryony almost sent her sprawling as it crashed against her bare legs. So locked up was she in her own thoughts and need to escape, she didn’t even realise just how badly she was shaking. Somehow she managed to stay upright, arms cutting down through the surface, droplets of water catching in her hair. With barely a moment’s hesitation, she carried on, slowly but surely, deeper into the water. Past her calves to her thighs, then past that to her waist. A few more steps. A few more steps then she could start swimming. Swimming to freedom, swimming to safety, swimming-

“Stop!”

A break in the waves and a lull in the sea breeze were the only things that saved Bryony from her own idiotic plan. She spun around and squinted back at the coastline. There was someone else there at the water’s edge, calling out to her, but without her glasses, Bryony had absolutely no idea who it was. Somehow, her mind had even managed to shut out the knowledge that there were other students, other people she knew and called friends, on the island with her. Getting out of this place had been the sole thought that had consumed her.

And suddenly, the lock had broken, and Bryony was all too acutely aware of where she was standing and how fucking stupid her plan had been. Who had she been trying to fool? She was the only person stupid enough to have thought her plan of escape would work. She could swim alright, yes. But in a swimming pool, not through crashing waves and rocks, and not in the middle of the ocean. She wouldn’t even have lost sight of the coastline before she would have died. Either the terrorists would have blown her collar, or they’d have let her swim for their own amusement, waiting until she succumbed to exhaustion, leaving her as just another stupid joke on the announcement and an ‘I knew it’ to everyone who knew her, because if anyone exemplified ‘first day fodder’, it was Bryony Ellen Adams.

Bryony blinked rapidfire, sniffling, tears welling up and falling from her eyes.

“I… I don’t know…” Bryony tried to call back to the figure on the shoreline, voice high-pitched and strained.

Slowly, all too aware of how much she was shaking now, Bryony started to walk back to shore.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
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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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
As Bryony trudged slowly back to shore, the reality of her situation really began to sink in. She was standing in thigh deep, freezing cold water, dressed in just a short-sleeved t-shirt and panties. She was shivering uncontrollably now, alternating between wrapping her arms around her sodden body in a vain attempt to stay warm and having to throw them out to the sides in order to stay balanced whenever a wave splashed against the back of her legs. She could hardly see a foot in front of herself without her glasses; the girl on the shore was nothing but a vague and blurry human shape, and everything beyond her was merely formless blobs of colour.

It occurred to Bryony that she was damn lucky that the girl had been willing to help her out. For anyone else, finding a deranged girl wading out into the ocean by herself would have been like seeing a deer walk directly into their crosshairs.

The thought made Bryony freeze up entirely, her leg jolting to a stop and sending up a spray of water. She choked back a sob, tears flowing freely now, and dug her fingernails into her arms tightly.

“Oh god…”

Bryony brought her hand up to her mouth, trying to clean off the blood she’d drawn. The girl had turned away now, and Bryony’s heart leapt to her mouth as she realised that she was running in the direction of her bag, yelling about something that Bryony really didn’t think she wanted to know about.

“What’s… What’s happening? What’s going on?” she called out anyway, her bile fascination getting the better of her.

If her gut instinct was right, she might have been better of taking her chances in the ocean.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
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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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Bryony wasn’t sure how she managed to will herself to put one foot in front of the other and move forwards. She wasn’t even sure why. Her entire reservoir of strength and mental fortitude had run dry, drained away as soon as she’d snapped back to her senses and realised just how foolhardy her plan of escape had been.

She had been on the back foot the moment she had woken up on the island. She was small and she was weak. She didn’t have the extensive circle of friends like the popular kids did, and she didn’t have any skills that would allow her to survive on her own for more than a few days. She didn’t even know what her weapon was, but knowing her goddamn luck it was something as useless as she was.

And now she had been handed yet another disadvantage and expected to carry it with her. She hadn’t packed any food herself; this had only supposed to have been a daytrip, after all. She had no idea how much the thief had left behind, but it almost certainly wouldn’t be enough for her to sustain herself. And even if she had the ability to do so, she had no idea who the thief was, so she couldn’t try and track them down for some stupid act of ‘revenge’.

Bryony came to a halt just at the water’s edge, sea foam and salt spray washing over her feet and ankles. Water dripped from her pigtails onto her bare arms, running over the scratches on her right and sending small droplets of blood trickling down her bare skin.

“Are my… are my glasses still there? And the rest of my clothes?”

Despite how much she was shivering, Bryony couldn’t see a reason for her to step out of the ocean and onto the sand.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
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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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Bryony waited patiently for the other girl to collect her scattered clothing, rubbing her arm, the trickle of blood already having slowed to a few beads of crimson stubbornly clinging to her. Now that she was at the water’s edge, she could just about see the colours and shapes of her clothes on the sand. Her shoes there, her sweatpants over there, her hoody a few feet away, lying in a heap.

More importantly, she could now actually see what the girl looked like. The brief moment of hope that it would be someone like Alice or Sandra was quickly extinguished as soon as she started walking back towards Bryony. She didn’t recognise this girl at all, not even to the point of being able to guess what her name was. It wasn’t someone she could trust implicitly. She didn’t know whether she was friendly and amicable, or angry and rude. Or worse.

Right now, Bryony simply couldn’t bring herself to care anymore.

She took her glasses back from the girl, mumbling a ‘thanks’ before putting them back on. She blinked twice as her vision cleared and everything came into focus. She could see her surroundings so much better now, able to see the path leading up from the stone-coated beach, and up to the top of the cliffs surrounding her on both sides, the very top of unidentified buildings poking up above them.

Bryony considered the girl’s question. It would be so easy to lie. It was a question she had lied to so many times before, after all. But as she felt her lip wobble and her eyes grow damp again, she realised that there was no point. She wasn’t okay, and anyone with half a brain could tell that she wasn’t.

“No… No, I’m not…” Bryony said. She didn’t take her clothes back from the girl. Instead, she turned round, walked forwards a few steps, and sat down in the surf, numb to the cold water washing over her. She could see now just how far away she was from even getting off the island proper. There were huge outcrops of rock dotted out in the water, far further than she’d managed to reach. Even further out was a huge metal bridge, her gateway to escape, far enough away that she’d probably have drowned before passing under it.

“I’m… I’m going to die here. I’m going to die and no-one’s going to care. All of my friends are here, and they’re all going to get… to get… killed too… and then sooner or later it’ll be me and I’ll disappear without doing anything of any worth in my life, because I’m just so useless and I just… I just…”

Bryony sniffled and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, before wrapping her arms around her knees and breaking down into distraught sobs.
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
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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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Bryony barely heard the other girl’s words. She didn’t really need to; she could guess the general gist of them. That there was no point in giving up yet, that there was always a chance that they’d manage to escape or get rescued or that some other miracle would happen, that all Bryony needed to do was keep on hoping for the best. That sort of thing. The sort of thing you said out loud to convince yourself as much as anyone else.

You didn’t need to hear every single word someone was saying to you to figure out what their message was. The girl’s tone of voice was soft, calming; slightly firm and yet soothing still. Like her mom’s whenever Bryony had come crying to her as a little girl. Or like Alice’s when Bryony had broken down in front of her. It wasn’t the same tone as any of the bullies at school, piercing, direct and louder than necessary. Nor was it the tone Bethany used, close to normal were it not for the slight edge to it that let both siblings know who would always have the upper hand. No, this girl who was practically a stranger honestly wanted to help her out.

It was that fact, more than anything she said, that saved Bryony. She’d always tried to keep an optimistic outlook on life, no matter how much it tried to prove her wrong. No matter how much she wanted to believe there was good in everyone, there wasn’t. That was an awful truth. Some people were just assholes who’d kick you in the teeth at every opportunity they got. But there were good people, even if they weren’t good all the time; people who would do the decent thing when push came to shove.

Bryony lifted her head up, eyes bright red, tears sticking to the inside of her glasses and strands of wet hair plastered against her forehead. She was just able to hear the last part of the girl’s final sentence. Bryony looked at her for a few moments, looking like she was about to burst into tears again, but instead she bit her lip and nodded.

“Okay.”

Slowly, knees knocking against each other and legs feeling like they were made of matchsticks, Bryony clambered to her feet. She could feel the wind again, like ice on her damp skin, and she wrapped her arms around herself to try and stay warm.

“Um… I’m, um, Bryony, by the way… I’m sorry, I can’t… can’t, um, remember your name…”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
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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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Alba. That was the girl’s name. It wasn’t familiar in the slightest, but her explanation gave a good reason why. Bryony could probably give the names of just over half of her senior classmates off the top of her head, and could connect even fewer of those names to faces. It wasn’t for lack of trying, of course. But trying to lock yourself away from the world for a good portion of your life made it hard to get familiar with the classmates in your year; recognising the junior students was near impossible for Bryony.

And yet, despite their complete lack of shared history, despite the fact that this was the first time the two girls had ever talked to one another, Alba was willing to help her out. Despite the fact that their only shared ground, the only thing they had in common, was the fact they were both trapped in this living nightmare, Alba was still able to pick up Bryony’s clothes and give her an uneasy smile.

And somehow, as she shakily took her belongings back, Bryony managed to give a tiny smile in return.

“Thank you,” she mumbled, as she moved out of the water and onto the beach, towards her bag.

Her situation had hardly improved. She didn’t believe that the rescue boats were on their way right now. People were going to start killing, and people were going to start dying. People she was friends with, and people she’d never get a chance to be the same with. The reminder, gently pulsing inside of her head, had already removed her shaky smile. But she hadn’t been abandoned. For every murderer and wannabe ‘player’, there was someone who wanted to protect their friends and team up with strangers. For every thief, there was someone who reached out a hand to those in need.

Bryony looked down at the clothes in her hands, then lightly pressed her right hand against her damp t-shirt. God. It was completely sodden through. If she put her hoody on over this right now, then she’d just get that soaked too, and then she’d have to traipse across the island, wet and miserable again. Her panties were in a similar state, but, obviously, they were a lot smaller than a t-shirt, so with a bit of luck, they wouldn’t be so much of a problem.

Placing her clothes down on to the sand, Bryony briefly wiped down her patches of bare skin, trying to get rid of any excess droplets of water. She looked up and down the beach, making doubly sure that no-one was walking towards her, then triply sure. Then she made certain that Alba was looking somewhere else. As quick as she could, Bryony pulled her t-shirt up and over her head, the fabric doing its best to stick to her back. Dumping the sodden shirt onto her bag momentarily, she scooped up her hoody, and hurriedly threw it on. It felt weird, the slightly baggy clothing occasionally brushing against her bare skin, but it was a huge improvement, and she was already beginning to feel slightly warmer. Her sweatpants, socks and shoes shortly followed the hoody, and as if by magic, the only sign of Bryony’s grand idea was the strands of wet hair sticking to her face.

Bryony tried not to look at the handful of food bars as she re-opened her bag, but her eyes kept on getting drawn to it. Luckily, her instincts provided a fantastic solution; she screwed her eyes up, clenched her fists, then balled her t-shirt up and covered her rations up with it. Out of sight, out of mind. Hopefully her t-shirt would be able to dry fairly quickly in her bag. The only other thing of note in there was an ordinary looking pack of cards that had been a hair’s breadth away from flying open and starting an impromptu game of 52 card pick-up. They didn’t belong to Bryony. She’d made her own set of cards back at home, that were probably right now gathering dust on her desk. She’d made them RWBY themed, drawing little versions of the weapons on the back, and her favourite characters for the kings and queens and jacks. Someone else had to have put this in the bag, and after a few moments, the penny dropped, and Bryony realised that this had to be her ‘weapon’.

She snapped the bag shut, stood up and turned to face Alba, doing her best to push the familiar sinking feeling inside of her out of the way for as long as possible.

“Okay… I think I’m all dressed and… stuff…”
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
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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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Hmm. Maybe it would have been a good idea to have taken at least a glance at the map before closing her bag. She hadn’t really given it a second thought until now; she’d just wanted to get her stuff packed and ready to go. It wasn’t exactly easy to go anywhere, however, when you didn’t know where anything was.

Did that really matter too much, though? Maybe it would be to their benefit if they didn’t have a location to aim for set in stone. For a start, whilst she didn’t want to run around like a headless chicken, Bryony had a gut feeling that getting too attached to plans would only end in disaster. The longer this whole situation lasted, the more things would fall apart, and the easier it would be for your tightly wound strategy to unravel and scatter to the winds.

Maybe, too, if they spent a lot of time just wandering, walking the island until they tired themselves out, they would avoid the majority of unsavoury folks. They would go straight to any notable landmarks, right?

But then again, it would be a lot harder to actually meet any of her friends again, if they were intentionally avoiding anywhere that even looked like it would have groups in for as long as possible, and just wandering the island’s plains and fields.

Ugh. All this was doing was giving Bryony a headache. Maybe it would be for the best to put this all to one side for now and contemplate it when they had found somewhere to settle in.

“That, um, sounds fine to me,” Bryony said, nodding. She picked her bag up, now thankful she hadn’t been given anything particular heavy as a weapon, and slung it onto her back, just as a particularly strong sea breeze hit them, snaking its way through every small gap in Bryony’s clothing. She wrapped her arms around herself, shivering, and looked pleadingly at Alba.

“But, um, could we possibly try and find somewhere warm to go to?”

Somehow, a smile had crept onto her face as she spoke. Bryony tried to maintain it as she started walking. Smiles were going to be few and far between over the next few days. She needed to make the most of them whilst she could.

((Bryony Adams continued in The Gadfly Cometh))
V7 BAYBEE
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky
Current Thread: The Glorious Evolution - "Sorry, that was a little weird, wasn’t it?"
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one
Current Thread: V for Vend-etta - "Fuck off. Are you kidding me?"
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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