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The Calm Before the Storm; Open, Tagging Medic~
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 05:50 PM (1,188 Views)
VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Isabel breathed an internal sigh of relief, letting her muscles relax as the tension evaporated.

Almost immediately Isabel went back to her normal casual nature. Slinging her makeshift flail over her shoulder, she cocked her head slightly and responded "Yeah yeah, of course that's fair." while gesturing with her hand. Isabel walked up the small hill towards the others before stopping and sitting down a few meters away from them.

Isabel let out a sigh of relief at finally sitting down. She had been walking for a long while. Her endurance was great, but her muscles still needed breaks. "Anyway, I hope we can put stuff in the past behind us. I may or may not have said nasty things about the both of you while we were in school, I wouldn't remember." Isabel shrugged. "But now none of that's important. What's important now is surviving."

Isabel paused for a moment. "So, what are you guys up to?"

Isabel didn't really listen to their answers as they responded. Instead, she began to think and consider, while keeping her eyes on the halberd that Conrad was holding. She didn't expect him to use it, since putting on a casual facade and sitting down should make the both of them consider her a non-threat.

The crashing waves were just as loud up here as they were lower down the hill she came up from. Isabel listened to them as she thought. Maybe, instead of focusing on how she's certainly going to die, she can pretend that she's definitely going to make it to the end? That's the only way that she could possibly get out alive and regain control of her life. The worst would then ultimately be behind her.

But... if she did get to the end, she would have had to kill someone. Otherwise she gets thrown back into the next game. It would be an awful shame if she somehow managed to outlast all of her classmates only to not get a kill in the end and have all their lives be wasted for nothing. She needed to make sure she got at least one kill, and soon.

Isabel blinked. No, no, what was she thinking? Killing is wrong. Any victims would have wanted to live just as much as she did. She bit her lip slightly while she looked between Conrad and Clarice. Still, one of the kidnapped students had to make it out. Why couldn't it be her? Better her than some raging psychopath that would go home and get themselves killed shortly after returning like that Rizzolo guy or whoever. It would just be one kill, then she could just hide out and wait for everything to blow over. One kill and she could rest easy knowing that if she made it out she'd be free and could go on with the rest of her life, free of her parent's tyranny.

Isabel adjusted slightly, wanting to hit herself. Really, what was she thinking? She was trying to justify murder. If she could put her face in her hands over her own stupid thought processes, she would, but she didn't want it to be obvious to Clarice and Conrad that she wasn't listening. Best not to think about it right now. Isabel pushed it out of her mind and started actually listening to the two of them. Best not be too obvious about everything, no?

Still, the thought crept back into her mind. Murder isn't right. What would her parents think if they found out she killed someone?

...

What would they think...
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Hmph. Clarice really could not forgive him for suggesting to do the thing the terrorists told them to."We are not playing", he confirmed. But, like Isabel had said, surviving was important, indeed. Perhaps the three of them could become a group of sorts.

"We are up to..."

Conrad had to think of a reply. What were they up to?

"We have no plan yet. No clue what we are going to do. We will not play, we will try to be peaceful. Other than that? No clue. Absolutely no clue. You have one?"

While he spoke, he grasped his halberd harder. He was unsure what to think about the talking trash about him. Conrad hated it when people talked against him. He absolutely despises it. But it did not matter, did it? If Conrad had known that Isabel was talking behind his back, he would have...

Don't be angry. Calm down. Having a grudge against someone right now is not good timing.

Still, if one person is not honest and honourable, why would they be in this situation?
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“Talking shit about people might not have made you my favourite person ever, but… well, it's a lesser evil compared to the assholes who run the game any day. So water under the bridge, yeah?”

She kind of wrinkled her nose at the word 'surviving.' Because, yes, obviously surviving was good. But in this context, surviving could mean… well, being the sort of person that puts themselves first, who'd do whatever it took to survive even if that meant hurting someone else. Or dozens of other people. Clarice didn't want to do that. Didn't want to be that kind of person.

While Conrad spoke, Clarice started fiddling around with her bag so she could pull the map out. Once she had the map out she sat down, examining it closely.

Not a big island. In theory, shouldn't be hard to find Scout or anyone else she needed to. Of course, if Scout was on the move or found a good hiding spot it might be different.

“Yeah, ideas are hard. I think gathering everyone who won't fight in one group is the way to go, but that'll take time and whenever we talk to anyone it'll be a risk. Not everyone's gonna stay sane about this.”

Clarice glanced up at the two. Now they were three, and that meant any one attacker would have that to consider when considering an attack at all. Could make them reconsider without ever resorting to a fight, just like having a scary weapon could. And unlike a scary weapon, there could no temptation to steal a person.

“But I think grouping up is the right move. It'll dissuade any attackers, and anyone playing the game will have a harder time finding allies,” Clarice said, looking back down at the map. “You can stay with us if you want.”
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Dannyrulx
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((Maria Cucinotta continued from Rolodex of Hate)

Jesus Christ the run had winded her, and it hadn't even been that far. She was too on-edge, her stomach was churning, and the sword kept on smacking against her thigh as she ran. She could smell the sea, the salty, bring smell that she had experienced so often, gone deep beneath over fifty times... Maria could handle the sea. If it wasn't for the collar she would have tried going for it, taking her chances and heading out for another island, but if she tried that, then her head would become salsa sauce and that didn't sound like her ideal goal.

As she neared the cliffs though, she saw that there was already a little party going on. The same size, infact as the one she had fled from, but since it didn't look like anyone was shooting, and it was far more open, she could go with it. She actually recognised them as well. Well, two of them.

Clarice was pretty cool. Had defended her from Bradley once, which had permanently put her in Maria's good books, and she knew that her and Conrad were a thing. Kinda. She was never sure how far they'd taken the relationship. The other girl was genuinely a mystery to her.

She left the blade inside its makeshift sheath, and put her hand in the air in greeting, shortly followed by a 'Hey guys' as she drew nearer. Conrad had... Whatever the fuck that weapon was. A halberd? Something like that. She didn't know what the other two had, but neither of them looked as if they were packing, so there was that.

Time to see if this would be another vomit-including clusterfuck of a situation that she'd stumbled into.
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Isabel's mouth pursed as she considered the last thing that Clarice said.

Isabel had only heard the very last sentence she said, but thankfully it was clear enough to let her respond without looking like an idiot. "Sure, I'm up for that, grouping up seems like a good idea. Gather a big herd together and flock around the island!"

Isabel wanted to continue with "...and then get picked off slowly by the wolves." but she kept that bit to herself, no need to offend the people that were more than capable of murdering her a lot more quickly than she could murder them. Isabel stretched her arms out. The best thing she could do right now is keep Conrad and Clarice happy.

Isabel looked up at the sky before hearing a faint 'hey guys' a little ways away. She turned her head to the source of the noise only to see-

Oh, this bitch, Isabel thought to herself.

Maria and Isabel had a fairly long and rather one sided history. For some reason, Maria didn't even seem to know that Isabel even existed, despite the fact that she was one of the most popular girls in the school. Maria constantly acted oblivious to Isabel's presence, prompting Isabel to spread rumors about Maria whenever she could. In spite of all that, Maria still didn't even seem to notice, and Isabel wasn't sure if Maria was extremely stupid, just that oblivious, or intentionally trying to annoy her by not acknowledging her. The mere sight of Maria's face made Isabel want to take a swing at her, preferably with her makeshift flail.

Isabel realized that attacking Maria in front of everyone else would likely result in her being attacked herself, so she kept her cool and quietly smoldered without saying a word instead.
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They were four people now. That should worry Conrad. The more people came, the more people came he had to be afraid of. He could trust Clarice. He wasn't sure on Isabel or Maria. But perhaps Maria did not want to stay. Isabel apparently did not want to go away, though.

"Greetings", he repeated to Maria. Conrad did not like so many people coming. But perhaps Clarice would be fond of it. Maybe it makes her plan of grouping up come true. What then? Conrad had no clue. But having a big group was a good way to keep themselves clear from attackers. Unless, the attacker was in the group. In which case it all was pointless.

Conrad tried to have a rather friendly face to Maria and Isabel joining. He did not want to think that they would not be invited. But he thought different. Conrad hopes Clarice to be less willing to invite new people to their party. Scout, Kizi? Sure. But people they did not know that much, people they weren't close with. It was not worth it, risking their lives.
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Isabel seemed alright with being friendly, with teaming up, so that was good. Clarice wasn't sure what would happen when people weren't amiable to teaming up. Would they just leave? Would they attack? Would they die elsewhere? Who knew.

As she poured over her map, Clarice heard a new greeting and glanced up. Maria. Clarice knew Maria, though not too well. Mostly, she knew that she had a cooking channel on Youtube, though Clarice had never personally watched it. Other than that, she seemed alright.

Clarice raised a hand. “Hey! We're friendly. Stick around, if you want.” Then she went back to her map.

Anyone open to teaming up was probably fine, at least for the moment. Safety in numbers. And if Clarice didn't go around trusting people, how could she expect them to trust her? Or anyone else?

That's how this game worked. She had never personally watched SotF—because ew—but she'd read a bit on it. It was, from a theoretical standpoint, a really good example of what the film medium could do. Main problem is that it was real. But she knew enough to gather that a breakdown of trust was a big part of it. She assumed it was the major point. After all, whatever the terrorists wanted, it probably helped if everyone back home was looking at each other and wondering 'would they kill me to save their own skin?'

This island didn't have all that much to offer. An old mental asylum, it seemed. Little else. But there was one place that was of interest to Clarice. The bell tower. A big, tall and noisy thing.

Clarice looked up and pointed in the general direction of the bell tower, although she had to ballpark it a little.

“I think the bell tower might be the best place. We want to gather everyone who's not willing to fight, right? So we need a big, noisy thing to draw them all to one place. Get up there, RING RING RING and everyone'll know something's going down, right?”

Whatever that 'something' was. But hey, one step at a time, right?
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Dannyrulx
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They seemed friendly, so Maria edged closer, one hand on her blade incase anybody decided that they'd want to actually attack her. She looked at the other girl, knowing her face was...

Fuck. It was Isabel.

The most malicious, stuck up bitch of a 'woman' that Cochise had ever had the misfortune of being stuck with. The girl who she constantly made a very pointed effort to ignore, and in response got rumours whispered behind her back.

The one about her being a junkie was bullshit, and everyone knew it. Even Bradley admitted that she'd never taken anything stronger than ectasy, and, at least when it came to drug consumption, people tended to trust Bradley, no matter how large of a pukestain he was on grounds.

But her circulating that she was some kind of... God she didn't even want to acknowledge the goddamn word. She admitted that her tendencies to go through boyfriends very fast, in no small part because she was simultaneously studious and party-like, and tended to throw too much into the pot too early, what that girl had insinuated was utter bullshit, yet had stuck.

She approached, glaring at Isabel, but otherwise not bothering to acknowledge her. Maybe this, she considered, was why SOTF ended in blood. High school rivalries supercharged with a lack of law and lethal weaponry...

But no. She wasn't going to just attack Isabel. She was pathetic and refused to talk to her face, but if she somehow picked up enough courage to attack her she would respond in kind.

Clarise had said something. Something about the belltower and ringing it to get attention. "There's a problem with that though. All the crazies who want to play will also come, and if just one or two people start fighting, then everyone will start defending themselves. Y'know, how the anti-gun argument goes that if one person pulls out a gun to stop a shooter and starts firing, he becomes the shooter?"

"Surely we'd need to come up with a little more subtle way than just inviting everyone to the tower, right?"
Edited by Dannyrulx, Aug 17 2016, 03:05 PM.
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Isabel glanced between Clarice and Maria as she listened to them speak.

Isabel didn't know what to think about the plan Clarice suggested. Try to gather everyone together and make a stand to not fight? There are only two outcomes to this kind of thing. Either the group gets together and then they get slowly picked off by the students that are okay with killing until the group dwindles or scatters, or they manage to get everyone together and then after a day goes by where nobody kills anyone else, everyone goes boom. Everyone from their class dies.

Isabel sat in silent contemplation. Isn't everyone dying objectively worse than one person being able to survive the ordeal? Sure they'd be going along with what the terrorists want... but isn't that still better than trying to take a stand and having everyone die when it could've otherwise been averted, at least for one person? Isabel never thought that those people under oppressive regimes who tried to peacefully protest and then got themselves killed were right. She just thought they were stupid. Better to do something else, anything else, than just stand there and get killed like lambs to the slaughter.

Isabel shook her head, she might as well weigh in. "No, Maria. I think Clarice will ultimately get exactly what she wants if she rings the bell in the bell tower." Isabel stood up and dusted herself off, while she continued talking. "Sure the crazies might come too... but it's the first day. We all know that people do snap when they're put in this game, we've all seen SOTF on the news... but people still take time to snap."

Isabel adjusted her posture and stuck her flail in her pocket. "The earlier she does it, the better." Isabel picked up her bag and slung it over her shoulder. "That being said... I'm not interested. Maybe I'll show up at some point, but for now... I think I need some time to think about everything."

With that, Isabel turned away from the group and walked off. She didn't want to be around them anymore.

Did Isabel actually mean anything she just said? No, of course not. She thought Clarice's ideas were too idealistic and ultimately misguided. Even if her idea did work out the way she wanted it to, everyone would just die anyway. There was no real point to it beyond sending a message. What would that message even be? Killing is wrong? Everyone already knows that already. Everyone gets told that all the time when they're young.

And it doesn't stop people from doing it anyway.

((Isabel Ramirez continued in Rückenfigur))
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((Posting before Conrad with R.C's permission to leave.))

“Huh? Hey, where—Isabel, wait!”

But she was already gone.

It kind of ruined the point of gathering everyone when people were already leaving the group. But Isabel said she might rejoin later. Clarice supposed that was something. She'd just have to hope no-one got to Isabel in the meantime. There were a lot of people who might take issue with Isabel out there. And even if she was a bitch, she didn't deserve to die for some petty words.

Isabel couldn't have put Clarice's view better, though. The longer they waited, the longer people had to snap and turn into the killers that Survival of the Fittest produced. But most of them didn't just start that way. If it was that easy, most of them probably would have already killed someone. Right now, people would be scattered, lost and scared.

And the sooner she acted, the sooner she could stop anyone from dying.

“It has to be done now. Before people have time to panic,” Clarice said. “I'm sure right now no-one wants to play. And there's just no time for subtle. By the time we think of something 'subtle' a good chunk of our classmates will be dead, and the others really will be playing.”

She looked between Conrad, who had yet to say anything—she was sure he'd follow her, though—and Maria—much less sure, given that they'd barely ever talked. She nodded her head at the bell tower.

“I'm going for it. If you don't want to come, that's fine. Hide or something. I'll come back if it goes okay. But I gotta do this while there's still a chance it might work.”

At which point, she started off on a brisk jog towards the bell tower. She could just see it in the distance.

((Clarice Halwood continued in 人生の曲.))
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Isabel left. Relief. One less person to be afraid of backstabbing him. Now, just Maria remained.

But. Clarice wanted to go to the bell tower to expand their group. Bad idea. More people meant more people meant more people meant more killers.

Conrad followed Clarice to their destination by sprinting to her to catch up.

"That's a good idea. We could use the bell to find the people we search for. Like Scout."

However, Maria was right. People with guns could come. Guns. They had nothing to defend themselves against guns. Maria's realistic. Maybe Maria's too afraid of the idea of the bell tower, that she leaves them. Then, it would be just him and Clarice. Then, there would be no strangers.

((Conrad Timothy Harrod continued in Jinsei no kyoku))
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"You guys head to the belltower then. If I hear the bell, I'll come running, don't worry about that." Maria gave a little salute before turning. The asylum beckoned, providing a tiny measure of saftey, whilst still allowing her to hear the bell. Then again, if the bell was rung, the whole bloody island would probably hear it. She shrugged her shoulders and started off in the direction of the building. "If I don't hear the bell, then at least I can tell your families that I was willing to help."

((Maria Cuccinotta continued elsewhere))
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