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New Destiny; hope you're not planning on dying of natural causes
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 05:01 PM (390 Views)
Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((ASTRID TATE, G034 – START))

Astrid wiped her left eye with the back of her right hand, and stared off into the distance from the top of the bell tower. She could see nearly everything on the island from here. Every building and every natural landscape was in her vision, from every angle. If she focused hard enough, and wiped the tears from her eye, then she could even see the tiny, ant-like forms of people in the nearby areas.

But everything Astrid caught in her vision became see through and worthless, because her mind was blocking everything else out and telling her repeatedly that she was going to die and there was nothing she could do about it.

She wasn’t too proud to cry. Not here. Not in this situation. Any of her classmates who claimed they didn’t feel like doing the same was a fucking idiot. Survival of the ‘Fittest’ was a misnomer, in her mind. Survival didn’t mean that only one member of a group got to live. It meant that the most well suited to their environment would live, and thrive, and prosper. In her class, there were plenty of people who could easily be described as ‘the fittest’, a class example of the prime of the human race.

In a few days, they’d be fodder for the worms and crows.

It wasn’t enough to be strong. It wasn’t enough to be fast, and tough. You had to adapt and even that wasn’t enough when only one of you could make it off of the island alive. Luck. That was what you needed to ‘win’ this game. All your strengths and assets could get you places, but if your back was turned to a desperate person with a sniper rifle, then it was all worth jack shit.

Could Astrid adapt? She wanted to think so. Her vision had been destroyed and her life had been changed, and yet she’d come out the other side. She’d made it through that accident, and the period of depression and fear that had followed. She’d made something for herself, a series of goals, something to aim for.

The fact that all it would take was for some cosmic coin flip to render all of that utterly worthless nearly caused her to set off crying again.

Instead, she lashed out at a section of the rusted, flimsy looking railings at the top of the tower, before instantly jumping back with a cry of alarm as it bent outwards, as effortlessly as if she’d kicked a tube of cardboard.

Taking several deep breaths in and out, Astrid turned away from the island, instead looking out towards the ocean. There was always a chance that a miracle would happen. That the terrorists had slipped up somewhere, left a paper trail or something, accidentally given the game away to let the government put a stop to this, once and for all.

If that happened, what was to stop them from just detonating everyone’s collars as a final act of defiance?

Astrid shuddered, instinctively reaching up to touch the metal ring around her neck, the coolness of it even more pronounced against her sweat covered hand.

She was making herself even more worked up, thinking like that. She needed to change that frame of mind, stat, or luck wouldn’t even need to come into play to eliminate her. Astrid stepped up to a different section of railing, wiping her good eye once more, then flipping her eyepatch up and using a section of her jacket to wipe it free of sweat. She placed her hands on the railing, and the gears in her mind started to churn, as she gazed out at the never-ending 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.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
After a few minutes, Astrid thought she now understood why so many great people had chosen to do their work by the coast. People like Dylan Thomas and Salvador Dali had so much shit go down in their lives – Thomas especially, now that was someone who she didn’t envy in the slightest – and yet they still managed to produce works of art and literature that enraptured the general populous and would remain famous for centuries.

The sea view hadn’t caused Astrid to relax or anything; far from it, she was still on edge, the numbing realisation that near everyone on this island would be dead within a week refusing to leave. She figured it was best to remember that. It kept her view in focus, that she couldn’t let her guard down for even a second. All of a sudden, her entire life had been slammed headfirst into the dirt, and she needed to completely adapt and stand back up. That much was clear.

Yeah. Clarity. That was what she had now. Not calmness, because anyone on here who said they were calm were either lying or had something seriously wrong with them. Either way, they weren’t someone who could be trusted. If they really were calm, then they had somehow grown numb or even content with the knowledge that people were dying around them. That wasn’t someone Astrid wanted to stay with if she wanted to secure her own safety. And if they were lying? Well, then they were a liar, and again, couldn’t be trusted to tie their own shoelaces.

A swallow darted past Astrid, just above her head, briefly cutting off her train of thought. It swooped up past the bell and into the murk of the bell tower’s roof. Astrid tracked its flightpath, and scowled up into the gloom.

“Lucky for some…” she muttered. She’d caught something else out of the corner of her eye, however, something she’d nearly forgotten to check. Astrid crouched down, and unzipped the duffle bag that had, she assumed, her ‘number’ stencilled onto the side of it. Of course the terrorists wouldn’t give them the dignity of being remembered by their actual names. A number, a hilarious quip on the daily announcements, and then all that was left was for their bodies to turn to dust.

The contents of the bag were better than Astrid expected. A quick glance through the first-aid kit was a positive bolster; she recognised all the tools within it and was almost certain she could use them effectively. Best case scenario, she wouldn’t need to use it all, but still, it was always nice to have a safety cushion, should things end up going pear-shaped. The pack of food bars looked revolting, but she’d brought along a chicken salad and a couple of cereal bars for the trip, so she could at least spend a day or so eating normally before resorting to… those things. All her spare clothes were still in there, along with a second eyepatch.

Most importantly, her weapon was lying on the very top of the pile. Astrid picked it up, getting back to her feet. It felt light, surprisingly so. Astrid gripped the handle and rested her index finger against the trigger. It nestled there perfectly.

Astrid had no idea what type of gun this was. The slip of paper had been about as much use as a chocolate toaster, telling her that she had been assigned a ‘Gun’. Her knowledge of weaponry was strictly limited from the medieval period to the late Stuart era, and this was no musket or flintlock pistol. What it was, however, was another arrow for her quiver. Not everyone was going to get guns; hell, not everyone was going to get an actually usable weapon. Getting something like this was the exact slice of luck that about half of her classmates would never get.

There was something niggling at the back of her mind, however, as she turned back to face the ocean. Something that had been creeping up throughout her quick search of her bag.

There was the obvious thought process, the heady realisation that she had a gun in her hands, a tool designed to murder, something that the terrorists were completely expecting her to do. But there was another thought, another realisation, stemming from her thinking session a few moments ago.

Who exactly could she trust out here?

Astrid’s thoughts were interrupted a second time, by the sound of someone attempting to introduce themselves behind her. Astrid spun around, pointing the gun directly at their face.

It was a small, skinny Chinese girl, who looked like the breeze atop the bell tower was about to send her toppling over the edge. She was vaguely familiar looking, but in the ‘passer-by in the corridors’ sort of way, not the sort of person who’d made any meaningful impact or impression on Astrid’s life.

She kept the gun trained on the smaller girl for another 30 seconds, whilst she scanned her body for any sign that this nervous look wasn’t merely an act. She wasn’t holding anything, and the only thing attached to her body was her own duffle bag. You could see at a glance whether a person had anything larger than a tube of lip balm in their pockets, and the girl didn’t look like she had anything in there. Slowly, Astrid lowered the gun, and relaxed her grip on it slightly.

“I don’t see why not,” Astrid said, shrugging. “Make yourself comfortable, I guess.”

Astrid looked down at the gun, then side-eyed the girl.

“I’m not gonna shoot you.”
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.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Astrid felt no joy in pointing the gun at the other girl. In fact, she felt like pure scum. It wasn’t even that Lili looked like she’d seen a ghost as Astrid lowered her weapon, all tears and shivers, although that didn’t help things in the slightest. About a third of her classmates, she didn’t respect in the slightest, and another third she flat out despised, but none of them deserved to have a gun aimed at their face. No matter if Lili had been frightened, angry or cautious at being held at gunpoint, Astrid would still have totally felt like shit.

The worst part was, if she wanted to stay alive as long as possible, she was almost certain she’d have to do this again, and she knew it would be just as awful the second, third, fourth, whatever amount of times.

Astrid nodded as Lili gave her name, before turning back to look out over the railings. The other girl looked like she needed some time alone to re-adjust herself. Once her back was turned, however, Astrid rolled her eyes and shook her head. Why had she pointed a gun at Lili? Wasn’t that obvious? If the other girl couldn’t figure it out, then things really didn’t bode well for her in the near future. If their roles had been reversed, Astrid would have completely expected the same scenario to play out.

The gears in Astrid’s mind continued to churn as occasional gusts of wind whipped her hair to and fro. The kernels of a plan were beginning to develop, momentarily interrupted by the sound of munching from behind her, then bolstered further as Astrid looked down with disgust at Lili stuffing her face. This was the opening hour of the very first day, and she was already eating a good portion of her rations?

Astrid knew it was an awful thing to think, but she just couldn’t shake the knowledge that Lili would be lucky to survive until nightfall.

She kept on staring out to sea, trying to narrow down her thoughts into a single, refined idea. There were several things calling out to her. Not a single one was an appealing thought. She was almost thankful to hear Lili’s cry for help. She felt like she was about to choke if she didn’t get some sort of reprieve.

“You and me both…” Astrid muttered, before sighing and turning back round to look at Lili. She placed her hands on the railing behind her, knuckles white against it.

What was she supposed to say to the girl? That everything was going to be alright? That they were all going to be rescued and live happily ever after with cocoa and marshmallows in the rescue helicopter? Bullshit. Six times this had happened, and only once had even a tiny portion of the students made it out alive and safe. Most of Astrid’s friends and classmates were going to die. Lili was almost certainly one of them.

Not even Astrid was heartless enough to tell her that, though.

“I pointed the gun at you because I had no idea who you were,” Astrid said. “It’s not a difficult concept. We all know by now this isn’t some sick joke. This is gonna be our life for the next week, at best, and some people are gonna adapt to it a lot quicker than others. There’s almost certainly people who’ve decided they’re gonna start killing each other. I’m not gonna… I’m not gonna take any chances…”

Astrid let out a shuddering sigh, not ashamed to hide the crack in her emotions. She felt almost as terrified as Lili looked. Part of her just wanted to give up now, throw herself off the side of the tower and remain a little of her dignity.

“This isn’t our class anymore. This is an island of scared, dangerous strangers.”
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.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Astrid studied Lili in silence, occasionally brushing away strands of hair that got swept in front of her eye by the breeze. She folded her arms and leaned back against the railing for a moment, until it creaked ominously and she hastily took a step forwards. Lili appeared to be looking out at the island itself, rather than out to sea, and Astrid attempted to follow her gaze to determine what she was looking at.

The tower they were both standing on seemed to be one of the tallest buildings on the island, allowing Astrid to look over the roofs of almost everything else in her vicinity. They were close to another, much larger building, that looked like some sort of old, stately manor house, although the crumbling architecture and barbed wire-topped fence didn’t exactly paint the most inviting picture. A little further away was a huge iron bridge spanning a wide strip of ocean, and across from that, was another bundle of buildings, a little harder to see from here.

Lili’s attention appeared to have been caught by a different location, however, so Astrid slowly walked closer to try and get a better look. At first glance, it just looked like a blurry, nondescript building, but as she leaned in closer and squinted at it, she saw what had grabbed Lili’s attention; a helicopter on top of the building.

Astrid couldn’t help but snort in derision. If that wasn’t the biggest trap on the entire island, she didn’t know what else was. Seriously, come the fuck on, place a bunch of terrified teenagers on an island, tell them to kill each other, then place an escape route in plain sight? There was no way the thing would work, but Astrid was absolutely certain that about a quarter of her classmates would make a beeline for it anyway, swarming over the place, just begging to be picked off by any player with half a brain.

Come to think of it, this place was nearly as bad. Astrid glanced at the titanic metal bell, rapping her knuckles against it, making a dull ‘clunk’ sound. She was almost certain that someone would get the genius idea to try and ring it for their own inane reasons; maybe to try and gather people for safety, for an escape plan, or maybe for more nefarious purposes. Whatever the reason, people would come. That she was certain about. As the days went on and survival looked less and less likely, any scrap of hope left would be gobbled up by those remaining.

Lili asked her a question, but Astrid stared at the bell for a while longer, not really studying it but looking through it instead. Eventually, she turned to face Lili again.

“I’m not certain. Probably some place close by, maybe the building next to us, or some place across the bridge. I haven’t decided yet.” Astrid gave Lili a strange look, a mix of dismissal and pity.

“Really, it’s not where you should be going next you should be thinking about, but what you’re going to do next. That should be your priority.

It was the simple issue of luck, again. You could find the safest possible place on the island, bolt the door behind you, lock yourself in solitude and hide the key, and find that you’d trapped yourself in a room with a family of venomous spiders instead.
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.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
“Bye.”

Astrid’s parting word to Lili, uttered when she was already heading back down the staircase, held no emotion or care for Lili’s wellbeing. Fitting, as that was exactly how Astrid felt about the girl. She knew it was wrong. She knew that there should be at least a small part of her that felt concern about this girl heading out into the wilderness on her own.

But the two of them had never even interacted back at school. They shared no interests that Astrid knew of, and had no common ground. Lili was just another stranger who would soon become another stone cold corpse, and Astrid simply couldn’t find it in herself to care too much.

“Hope I don’t see you again,” she muttered, turning away from the stairwell to gaze once more over the island as a whole.

There were a number of reasons for that sentiment. Some were obvious; the girl clearly wasn’t cut out for this, and her best bet of survival was through sheer dumb luck. If they did run into one another later on, then either Lili would drag Astrid down or she’d be forced to carry the other girl on her back for the rest of their probably short time together. Possibly literally.

Then there were the other reasons, reasons Astrid was still trying to tussle with in her mind. They were all logical. They were all the only things she could do to try and live, because God, she didn’t want to die. She would never let it show, and could bury it away in the back of her mind, but the thought terrified her. Even putting her hopes and dreams and aspirations of becoming a doctor to one side, even ignoring the idea that she’d never be able to see her mom or dad or Sophie again, that was the one thing on Earth that Astrid was frightened of. She had to live.

She really didn’t want to follow her train of thought to the very end, though.

But she needed to.

But she hated herself for even thinking of it.

Breathing quickly and deeply, Astrid wrapped her hands around the back of her neck and stared down at the floor.

“Fuck, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck…”

Astrid kept that up for a solid thirty seconds, interspersed only with a sudden bout of gross sobbing. She was silent for a while after that, wiping her eye and nose with the back of her sleeve.

There were still a few people out here that Astrid liked. Jerry, Mabel, Coleen, all of them had gone onto the trip alongside her.

Astrid rolled her head back and sighed, before slinging her bag over her shoulder and heading down the stairs, gun held tight in her hand, hoping she would never run into any of them again.

((Astrid Tate, continued in Thirteen Steps))
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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