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New Destiny; hope you're not planning on dying of natural causes
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 05:01 PM (392 Views)
CrossbowPig
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Overwhelming numbness, and then light.

[G051 - Williams, Lili: Game Start]

A jagged ache dug into Lili's back, and she woke with a start. For a moment, she had no idea where she was. She had signed up to go on a school science trip, gotten into the bus, and...then what? She had fallen asleep on the bus ride, and woken up...where, exactly? She still had the same clothes on that she did when she went off on the trip, and for the most part she had the same belongings she was carrying with her on the bus ride. Her glasses were still on her face, though slightly blurred with smudges. For now, Lili took a look around at her surroundings. She was laying down on a rough stone stairway, curled into a semi-fetal position on the ground. The walls of the stairwell were old and decrepit, though they still looked stable, as far as Lili knew. Perched on a step below her was a duffel bag with "G051" written on it in cold, businesslike script. "What could that mean?" Lili thought as she pulled the bag over to her side. As she did so, she realized just how sleep deprived she felt, despite having just woken up.

Lili unzipped the duffel bag carefully, still unsure of what she was doing. Inside, she found a myriad of items all bunched together. Slowly, she took them out one by one and put them in her lap. First, she pulled out a first-aid kit. The small green box with a red cross on it was vaguely familiar to Lili, as her mother's job usually involved such devices. She opened it briefly and took a look inside at the contents. The first thing that caught her attention was a lighter, which she took quickly out of habit. Upon taking it, she realized that she didn't have any cigarettes on her person. "Shit," She thought, "I gotta find some smokes, and soon. I know how I can get when I haven't smoked in a while." With that, she closed the box and left it in her lap, reaching back into the bag for her next supplies, which were an assortment of food and water. This she left in the bag as she began to sort through once more.

As Lili removed the map and compass from her bag, it all started to come back to her. She was on Survival of the Fittest. She had been kidnapped by terrorists to play in a sick game of cat and mouse on an island far removed from everyone else. She had watched one her teachers get shot through the head right in front of her, and then she had been outfitted with-

Lili felt at her neck. Sure enough, she could feel the tight embrace of a collar stuck to her throat. She couldn't see the collar, so she didn't know what it looked like, but she didn't need to look to know that it contained the power to kill her in an instant. Lili's left leg began to pump up and down uncontrollably, nervously twitching back and forth as she set the navigation tools in her lap. She was on an island dominated by a mental asylum and surrounding facilities, but she still had little clue where on the island she could be. As she took out the survival manual from the pack, she began to tremble further. Her backpack was somehow stuffed into the duffel bag as well, but it was empty except for several tissues and the lunch she had packed. "At the very least, I have extra food," She thought, "Even if it's a crappy turkey sandwich I made in two minutes." Beneath the knapsack was a small flashlight, next to...something.

Lili removed the black object from her bag. It was long and thin, dark as night, and had a small handle protruding from the side. Just beneath it was a small paper with the word "Nightstick" printed on it. As she held it by the handle and swung it back and forth, sitting on the step, she realized that this was her assigned weapon. Not that it mattered much. Lili wasn't planning on hurting anybody. The feeling of the nightstick in her hand calmed her slightly, enough for Lili to remember to breath. She put the stick back in her bag, stood up, clasped her hands together in front of her chest as if in prayer and slowly drew large breaths, a skill she learned in yoga class. After around five repetitions, she felt calmer, calm enough to begin to explore the immediate area. She put her stuff back into her duffel bag, but put the nightstick into her backpack for ease of access. "I don't want to hurt anyone," She reasoned, "But that doesn't mean they won't want to hurt me, right?"

With her possessions assessed and accounted for, Lili climbed the stairs to the top of the tower. She did not expect to have company. When she saw the figure at the top of the tower, she stopped, only her head peeking up from the stairway, and took a closer look.

A girl with long black hair stood facing the ocean, leaning against a fragile looking railing. Lili had no recollection of the girl at first, apart from having seen her several times before at the library, but what stuck out first to her was the girl's height. She dwarfed Lili by nearly an entire foot, a fact that almost made Lili begin to, again, tremble. Across the back of her head was a strap that went diagonally from one side of her head to the other. Lili tried to remember what it was that was attached to the strap, but drew a blank. Instead of looking at the girl any longer, however, Lili looked around the area. Above her was a giant bell, cementing in Lili's mind that she was, in fact, on top of the bell tower. All around her was a wide open view that stretched off into the overcast sky, but she could not see the pure expansiveness of the view due to being partially inside the stairwell. A gust of wind lightly brushed against her hair, sweeping the girl against the fence's hair to the side as well. Lili gulped, and moved back into the stairway to compose herself.

"Okay, Lili," She thought, miming hand motions as if she was talking to somebody else, "Think. This girl looks strong, and she's certainly taller than me, which would give her a good advantage over me. Still, it might be worth it to reach out to her, right? She could be friendly, as far as I know, but...am I willing to take that chance? I don't know half of the people here; it was a mixed grade field trip, and she looks older than me by a lot. Maybe it would be better to leave?" Lili paused, and pressed her fingers to her temple in thought.

"No," She reasoned, "I know for a fact that girl is the only person atop this tower. Outside, there are all sorts of untold variables. I don't want to stay down here and be found by someone else, someone hostile. I think that I'll take my chances with her. It's my safest option." With that, Lili took a deep breath and walked up the stairs slowly.

As she came to her full height atop the stairs, she took one look around and had to stop herself from gasping aloud. She could see the entire island from here, the small outlines of classmates scurrying about below sending new doubt into her mind. Abandoned buildings stood tall on the other side of the vaguely V-shaped island, connected by a long bridge. Off to another side was the asylum proper, looming over the surrounding landscape. Lili had to remind herself not to get lost in the scenery around her; she was here with a purpose, after all.

Lili cleared her throat to announce herself, then began to speak.

"Hi," She said weakly, waving a hand limply, "Do you mind if I sit up here with you?"
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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Having a gun thrust in her face sent all sorts of thoughts rushing through Lili's mind. If there was one thing she expected to happen, it wasn't to die this early. A wave of odd, crawling fear sank down into Lili's shoes, carrying her heart and stomach with it. Her left leg again tensed up, threatening to start shaking, betraying weakness and nervousness. The 30 seconds in which a gun was pointed at her face seemed to last an eternity, but strangely, Lili's life did not flash before her bespectacled eyes. Any regrets she had before did not well up and burst forth like water from a dam.

All that Lili really felt, with the muzzle of the gun pointed straight at her, was the weight of her situation crashing down on her shoulders.

"I'm going to die out here," She thought, her internal voice quivering, "Oh god, I'm really gonna fucking bite it out here." Lili's mouth dropped slightly open, and she started to breath through it heavily. Yoga training and kite flying had never, ever prepared her to die. She wasn't ready to go. As the gun remained leveled at her face, Lili considered running down the stairs, taking her chances with the outside world, but just as soon as it had shot up, the gun was lowered, resting now at the girl's side. Lili breathed a sigh of relief, her legs beginning to shiver from the cold wind. Tears began to form in the corners of her eyes, but the breeze licked them away

"I don't see why not," Eye-patch said, shrugging, "Make yourself comfortable, I guess." Then, she gazed down at her gun, looking it over, sending more chills down Lili's spine. Lili gulped as she looked around for a place to sit. The middle of the platform was dominated by a large hole over which the bell hung, leaving only the corners of the platform as places to sit. Slowly, Lili walked over to the corner opposite Eye-patch and took a seat, careful not to lean on the railing. As Eye-patch gave Lili another look, she added, "I'm not gonna shoot you."

Lili looked over at Eye-patch, dumbfounded.

"Wh-" Lili stammered, "Then why d-did you point it at me in the first place?" Lili looked down at her hands. In the dull morning light, they looked like the bones were already poking out of her flesh. Quickly she buried them back in her sweater sleeves. Then, Lili looked back up at Eye-patch, opening her mouth to speak once more. No words came out. Lili was speechless. "I could've died," Lili thought, "Right then and there. I could've been shot. Oh my god. I could've been shot." She pressed her hands again to her temples and stared down the bell hole into the tower below, searching for something to say to Eye-patch.

"Lili," She decided on, "My name is Lili."

Deep inside, Lili felt hollow. Slowly, the tears ceased forming in her eyes. Her nerves began to calm, for the moment. Lili felt empty, and she felt strangely hungry. She needed to eat something, something to fill her stomach, so she reached into her duffel bag without thinking. Lili pulled out a tin of crackers and opened it, scooping out a handful to stuff into her mouth. As she chewed the plain crackers, her eyes darted from side to side. She was at one of the highest places on the entire island. From here, she could see everywhere else that wasn't inside, every happening, every interaction, and, eventually, every murder. Lili never had a fear of heights, but the scope of the view she got from the tower made her nauseous. She forced herself to keep eating the crackers, not putting the tin back until she had swallowed them all.

After her last gulp, she turned and looked back at the bell, seeing her own reflection in the dull metal for the first time since she had awoken. To her surprise, she found that she didn't mind how the collar looked against her neck. It was solid black, without any kind of design, and, overall, it fit with the rest of how she looked. For the item that held the key to Lili's life and death, she had expected it to look more threatening.

Then, she remembered the cameras.

Lili's mother and father would be back home, watching her, and everything she did. Lili began to think about all the different things her parents would do when they found out she had gone missing, only to see her on Survival of the Fittest. Would they begin to sob uncontrollably, holding each other in their arms? Would her father have any time to watch her on the island at all, being so busy with work? How would her mother cope with the loss of her only daughter? Lili stared into the bell further, as if trying to see her future inside of it.

"I don't want to die here," Lili breathed, as her hands began to shake once more.
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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Scared, dangerous strangers. Lili thought back to her few friends at Cochise. Georgia Lee was nice enough, and Rea was pleasant company. There was Ben, who she knew from the library, and Scarlet who played Piano, and some others. Would any of them be the kind of person to turn on their entire class and resort to killing? As Eye-patch explained herself, Lili began to realize just how unlikely it was that one of them hadn't turned to violence yet. Slowly, Lili stopped picking out crackers from her tin. She had lost her appetite. The tin was already nearly empty, but there were still one or two crackers near the bottom. Lili decided that the crumbs and scraps were worth saving and closed the tin, placing it back in her bag.

She could really use a cigarette.

Sighing, Lili picked herself back up, brushing crumbs off of her jeans as she rose. Her hands were still shaking, but more steadily and at a lower, more manageable pace. Lili turned and looked out at the island with a new focus. She needed to decide where she would go next.

Almost immediately she ruled the Asylum itself out of the question. The old, rundown building looked scary enough, but what was even scarier was the endless possibility of what could lie within. Corridor after corridor, room after room, all with possible enemies inside. Scared and dangerous strangers, with the intent of killing Lili. Lili already made it clear how she felt about her own mortality, so she quickly crossed the Asylum off of the list of places she wanted to go, at least for now. Past the Asylum itself was what looked to be a chapel with a sizable garden outside. Another possible trap, but less intimidating than the monstrous fortress closer to her. Further down the island and at a lower elevation was a large warehouse situated next to what looked like docks. Lili figured most people would be drawn to a place like that, so she decided against going there for now.

Then there was the bridge. A wide open expanse, where Lili would be in plain sight. She already knew firsthand the kind of firepower her classmates had. Still, just across the bridge there looked to be a small compound with a radio tower. Given the state of her surroundings, Lili figured that the tower would be inoperable, so any hope of communicating with the outside world would be-

Oh. Now there's a scary thought.

What if she could escape? The odds were stacked far, far against her, but there was, for a moment, fleeting hope. On top of the storehouse, Lili recalled, she saw something, so she turned back and looked harder. Surprisingly, a helicopter was resting on the helipad, sitting out in the open. Again, Lili doubted it would work, but wouldn't it be worth a shot? Lili reached up to the collar on her neck and began to scratch its surface to calm her nervous hands. There must be something she could do to get off of the island alive, and without having killed anyone, right?

Then an even scarier thought came to her mind: Lili would have to, at some point, defend herself. Though she had, in her bag, a good club, it was a far cry from something like Eye-patch's gun. Plus, though Lili had physical discipline from several Yoga classes, she was nowhere near physically fit. There were trained athletes on this island for sure, people with the power to play the game and actually win. Lili turned and looked again at the girl behind her. Was she one of these future contenders? She didn't sound like it from her speech, but she said it herself. The island was full of scared, dangerous strangers, out to get her.

Lili turned back to face the ocean. The sheer overwhelming expanse of blue, swirling in the morning gale, did a good job of making Lili feel completely and utterly alone. Lili had been alone many times before, but this was an entirely different lonesome. If Lili was going to die, she didn't want to die here, on this island full of murderous, fear driven killers, and she especially didn't want to die alone. Still, she had very little clue what to do next. Lili turned back and looked again at Eye-patch, still contemplating.

"Wh-where are you planning on going?" Lili asked, lowering her arms back to her sides.

Shit, she might as well ask her what Eye-patch planned on doing. What was there to lose at this point?

She was a dangerous stranger, sure, but she was also just plain scared.
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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Of course, Eye-patch was right. Where she went mattered very little in a situation like this. She could go to the most innocuous place on the island, or she could stay here, and either way would likely end in her death. Scared, dangerous strangers. The phrase would likely stick with Lili for a long time. As Eye-patch gave Lili yet another odd look, Lili's eyes went to her feet.

What would she do? What was there to do on this island, apart from, well, dying? Lili had never put together anything resembling a bucket list before. If there was one thing she wanted to do before she died, it was to travel the world, but, obviously, that wouldn't be happening any time soon. What else had Lili wanted to do? Make music? That thought stuck out in her mind as a distant possibility. If she could somehow find some way to record something and get it off the island, and that something was musically, she knew for sure that she would make some kind of impact on the world of the music she listened to. An album recorded on the island of death by an amateur musician with numbered days. Lili knew she would listen to it, at least.

Lili picked up her bags, turning again to face Eye-patch. "Well," she said, "I think I'm gonna leave now. I hope we find a way out of this, some way or another." She walked back over to the staircase, took one last look over the horizon, and began her descent, not waiting for Eye-patch to say something back. The gun was creeping her out, anyways.

The stairs creaked as she walked, threatening to collapse underneath her feet. Lili was careful with each step, making sure that she wouldn't accidentally break through and get stuck. She knew that, if she was going to die here, she didn't want to die trapped in a staircase. That much was clear to her. What was also clear to her was how unfit she was for the situation she was presently in. She would need to find allies, and fast. She counted Eye-patch out of the list. The idea of trying to befriend someone who had just minutes ago shoved a gun in her face, even though it would probably happen to Lili again, was still unappealing.

As Lili stepped through the door out of the tower, she pulled her map out of her bag, taking another cursory scan of the overly colorful scroll. The bright symbols on the map reminded her of a tourist brochure she had seen once, picked up, and thrown away without a thought. Was that a warning? A premonition? Lili doubted it. As she walked, she matched the shapes on the map with her surroundings, making sure to remember them carefully. She also made sure to take the nightstick out of her bag, holding it at her side. She never knew when she might need to defend herself from a potential enemy.

Was she thinking like how they wanted her to? The monsters who put them on this island wanted to instill fear and mistrust. That's what led to murder, and murder was their goal. Was Lili indirectly playing their game? She dismissed the thought. Right now, she decided, she needed to get to some shelter, somewhere that she could rest. Somewhere that wasn't the Asylum. She turned to the bridge, the most appealing direction she could go in for now. The compound across the decaying metal bridge looked like it was decaying as well, but it didn't seem quite as bad as the Asylum. It also carried with it the merit of not being the Asylum, which helped Lili's decision.

"I don't have much of a choice, I guess," Lili said to herself under her breath as she set off toward the bridge, map and nightstick in tow. She began singing quietly to herself as she walked around the side of the decrepit manor. It made the bags strapped around her feel lighter, somehow.

"Spotted Pinto Bean is leaving,
Leaving on a midnight streaming,
Tears behind him all the way.

"And all the way arms are folding,
Handkerchiefs to pockets holding,
Holding yesterday."

[Lili Williams continued in Never Known Questions]
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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