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State of Shock; Open
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 09:04 PM (716 Views)
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Bridgette thought of her life in milestones. Milestones like her bat mitzvah, or her upcoming high school graduation. The day she’d start college, or start graduate school, or become an independent adult. She’d mapped out her whole life, and worked hard to stay on the path she’d made for herself.

So far, things had gone smoothly: she was graduating in a month, and next fall she’d start studying biochemistry at UC Berkeley. All her hard work in high school was paying off, and soon that chapter of her life would come to a close. She was so close, but life had decided to throw her off course, disrupt her whole plan with one obstacle.

And that obstacle was Survival of the Fittest.

G003, Bridgette Sommerfeld: START

To say Bridgette was panicking would be a severe understatement. She’d almost had a heart attack when she woke up strapped to an electric chair. After a split second of sheer panic, she discovered that only her legs were actually strapped in. She’d quickly undone them and collapsed on the floor. It was just one of the terrorist’s cruel jokes; more salt in the wound.

Bridgette was surprised that she wasn’t crying. Instead, she was hyperventilating. It couldn’t be like this. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. This was supposed to be a fun field trip, a good opportunity to unwind and enjoy a day at the museum. But instead, they’d been kidnapped by the world’s most infamous terrorist group to become victims of one of the most atrocious acts of terror of the century: Survival of the Fittest.

Her first instinct was to sink into despair, to curl up in a ball and cry until someone came along and killed her. But deep down, she felt like she was better than this. She paused and took a deep breath. That type of thinking would get her killed, and while Bridgette didn’t know much about anything anymore, she knew one thing: she didn’t want to die. If she wanted to live, she’d have to pull herself together. Think clearly. If she could keep her wits about her, she was bound to last longer than those who simply gave up. And maybe she could outsmart those who chose to survive through senseless acts of violence. Bridgette thought she was capable of that.

Or at least, she liked to think she was.

She took a moment to steady her breath, breathing in and out. Her heart was still pounding, but she decided to shake it off.

She turned back to the electric chair. A bag had been placed neatly beside it, printed with her name and a number: G003. Bridgette wasted no time in crawling over and unzipping it.
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B004 – JOSHUA BRACEWELL: START

Joshua Bracewell had stopped wasting time on tears.

From the moment he’d awoken in one of the asylum's corridors, he’d spent a good while curled into himself, drenching his sweater as his entire body racked with sobs. He didn’t want to think about what awaited him once he stood up and fully let the situation sink in. At that moment, the knowledge that he and his classmates had been stripped away from their families and thrown into some foreign place, without anyone to turn to for comfort.

That alone was a harrowing thought, without taking into account what they’d been demanded to do.

His parents would be watching. His brothers, too. His mother would’ve barred Philippe from catching even a glimpse of the footage, but his younger brother was both smart and curious, and there was no way he would let himself be restricted like that.

Joshua wanted to yell, to scream for them not to watch. He’d heard what sort of horrors these ‘games’ brought out of people. The notion of them being exposed to made him feel sick. He even went so far as to make eye contact with the steely gaze of the camera planted against the wall, open his mouth, and intake a breath in preparation for his cry, but caught himself short.

They could watch if they wanted. They didn’t have to worry about any seeing any horrors, after all. They were from Cochise High School, and the terrors that had plagued the previous iterations of this act would end with them.

It was then that he’d stopped crying.

He picked himself up and stripped off his soaked sweater before throwing it into his bag. A few trickles of water had matted his polo shirt too; he was thankful it was charcoal, and they didn’t show up too well.

After a minute’s walking, he turned the corner to find a familiar figure and the first soul he’d come into contact too on the island, sifting through the contents of her dufflebag.

“Bridgette,” he said, softly, not wanting to startle her.

He meant to say something else, some other form of greeting or comfort. But words failed him.

Instead, he simply burst into tears.
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The bag was stocked with the kind supplies Bridgette expected to get: rations, a first aid kit, and the like. A small booklet marked ‘Survival Guide’ caught her eye, and she stuck it in her pocket for later reading. She did the same with the map and compass. As she got to the bottom of the bag, Bridgette couldn't help but feel like something was missing…

...where was her weapon? She suddenly remembered that weapons were assigned randomly, and her heart sank as she realized that there was nothing in or near the bag. Maybe she’d just missed it? She poured over the contents of the bag again: bottled water, flashlight, toothpaste, all pretty basic supplies. Had they forgotten to give her one? Had someone come along and stolen it before she woke up? Bridgette’s thoughts and heart started racing.

And then she wasn’t alone anymore.

Somebody said her name very quietly, but it still made her jump. Bridgette swore that her heart stopped as she swiveled around to find someone standing over her. She recognized them immediately: Joshua Bracewell, a junior on the student council and a good friend of hers. Or was a good friend of hers, in a time long past, when they weren’t supposed to kill each other.

She felt herself freeze up as they locked eyes, but then he started crying. Bridgette slowly stood up, clutching the bag to her chest. She wasn’t sure what to do. Her mind was telling her to keep her distance, but she also felt a little bit of pity for him.

Bridgette just stared at him for a minute before finally replying. “...Joshua.”
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B028: KEITH BAUER START

Keith had taken some time to wake up in the nearby underground corridor. He spent what felt like an eternity drifting in a distant, and surprisingly relaxing, haze. Even after he had stood up and grabbed his bags, no sense of panic had yet set in. His brain felt foggy, like he was forgetting something, and his wet clothes from lying in the flooded hallway had yet to provoke a feeling that something was wrong, or that he should be upset.

He slowly wandered down the hallway, vaguely listening to the splashy echoes his footsteps made as he walked.

He kept going until he saw a door, and feeling slightly curious, he opened it to see a couple of his classmates from school and a large metal chair.

"Oh...hi," he mumbled out in slight surprise.
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For a moment, Joshua stood speechless. Bridgette’s recitation of his name hung in the air while he tried to formulate what to say next. A part of him wanted to rush forward and pull her into an embrace, but the other just wanted to stand there and keep crying. The former could be dangerous – he didn’t want to give her cause for alarm just moments into this game, and given the wide-eyed clutching of her bag to her chest, he feared he’d already done so. The latter meant not doing anything at all, which was an instant no-no in his eyes.

So instead, he went for a third option: apology.

“I’m sorry,” he said, wiping his eyes with the backside of his hand. “Thought I’d gotten it all out.”

Taking half a second to steady his breath, he conjured the courage to take a handful of steps forward. His heart was still violently thumping within his chest, but he found his voice was remarkably level as he continued to speak.

“If you want me to leave, that’s fine. I understand. I’m just so glad I found one of my friends, especially so early.”

He pivoted around as another figure entered the room: Keith Bauer. Another junior; another pianist. Yet another of his classmates trapped in this place with him.

“Keith… hey.”

Another person he had to save.
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As her breathing steadied and the shock wore off, Bridgette sized Joshua up. He’d apologized for crying, and offered to leave her alone if she wanted. For a moment, the corners of her lips turned upwards. He was always so considerate, even in a situation like this. It reminded Bridgette of why she liked him so much. Back then, at least.

The smile left as quickly as it came, though, and she thought about his offer. Her initial reaction would’ve been a strong no. Her instincts told her to stay away from others, to avoid potentially dangerous people. But Bridgette was a social creature, and her sanity might not last long if she flew solo. Besides, Joshua wasn’t much of a threat - she doubted that he had it in him.

Before she could reply, however, another voice called out. Bridgette tensed up again as her eyes darted to the door. She’d seen the boy before, in the halls between classes and at lunch. She never learned his name, though.

The mysterious boy said hi. Bridgette took a step back and didn’t bother replying.
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The boy, Joshua, greeted him as he stepped inside. Of course that was his name, how could he have forgotten it? Keith felt satisfaction for a moment for having remembered what he had forgotten. But no, that wasn't it. He felt like he was forgetting something else, the girl's name maybe? That could be it.

He was about to ask as a reminder when his mind told him that wasn't it. Something bad was happening, he could feel it. After all that's why his classmates must look so sad.

He tapped his foot idly and bit his lip in thought. He didn't like not remembering things or this fuzzy-headed feeling.

His eyes went wide.

"Oh. Oh shit."
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A slight sense of foreboding crept upon Joshua as Keith’s eyes widened and his foot tapped against the linoleum floor. The curse that left his lips caused Joshua’s brow to crease and his heart to thump once more, as he remembered a situation all too similar.

He’d only been present to someone fainting once before. It’d been during his freshman year – though here it felt like a lifetime ago. His father had been out of town for the weekend on business with the company, and his mother had been on a brief getaway with one of her former co-workers from her modelling days. He and his brother, Philippe, had been home alone; Philippe in his room working on his paintings, and he studying for a Geography test. He’d found himself so caught up in revising sedimentary deposits and erosion theory to check the passing of time – or to prepare he and his brother food. It wasn’t until Philippe had stepped into his room, mumbling a complaint about headaches and hunger, that he’d even realised how much time had passed.

And it wasn’t until his brother had pitched forward onto the carpet that Joshua remembered how stubborn Philippe was about taking his insulin.

Philippe had awoken only half a minute later, back to his effervescent self and claiming to feel fine, but that thirty seconds of uncertainty and fear had left a mark on Joshua that was not so easily shaken.

Joshua let his dufflebag slip from his shoulders and land with a too-audible crash upon the ground, followed by his sweater. He couldn’t guarantee what Keith would do next, but given their situation he figured fainting wasn’t too far-fetched a solution.

He strode over to Keith’s side, motioning to catch him should his fears be true.

“Keith!” His voice shook as he spoke. “Keith, are you okay?”
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The boy, Keith, started freaking out. Bridgette didn’t think it was too odd; she figured that it’s just taken a while for the gravity of their situation dawned on him. She kind of envied him, actually, for forgetting their circumstances for the briefest moment. It must’ve been nice, to wake up without being aware of your impending doom.

Then Joshua started freaking out, too. The sound of his bag hitting the floor and the flurry of motion that followed startled her. She took a step back as he rushed forward. He was at Keith’s side in an instant, trying to console the boy. Even in a place like this, Joshua was a good samaritan, through and through. It was admirable.

Bridgette kept her distance, her heart pounding. There wasn’t much she could - or wanted - to do. She waited a moment before speaking.

“Wh-what’s wrong?”
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Keith's body started to shake as his hands squeezed each other like hungry snakes. His calm relaxed state was now replaced with overwhelming fear and a feeling of bodily lightness.

"Shit, shit, shit."

He could feel wetness on his cheeks, and they flushed with the shame of it. He couldn't cry, he never cried, and letting other people see that was almost as bad as this situation.

His voice had raised at least an octave from where it was before. "We're gonna fucking die, th-that's what's wrong."
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Bridgette kept away from him and Keith, and Joshua couldn’t blame her. Their interaction had already been thick with uncertainty, but the addition of Keith – whom Joshua was ashamed to say he didn’t really know all too well, all things considered – and his distressing behaviour could throw them into any manner of situations.

Keith began to shake, his hands tightening together like a vice as tears stained his cheeks. A muttering of curse words broke the silence, followed by a much louder cry. His words cut through the air like knives, each of them causing Joshua to inwardly flinch and send a surge of ache into his heart.

It hurt to see a classmate in such pain.

Not wishing to potentially distress Keith further through his sheer presence, Joshua opened the distance between them, backing away so that he, Keith, and Bridgette formed a haphazard triangle. As he did so, he realised that he had to take a stance now. To fully commit himself to the role he knew he needed to take from the moment he’d awoken, by vocalising it for them all to hear.

“We are not going to die. I’m going to make sure of it.”

As the words left his lips, Joshua realised he’d never been more sure of anything in his life.
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Keith wasn’t saying anything new. Everyone else in this predicament was probably thinking the same exact thing. She could understand why he was making a big deal about it, but he was getting her needlessly stressed over such a concrete fact.

But maybe it wasn’t as concrete as she thought. Joshua said otherwise, declaring that they weren’t going to die. She wasn’t sure if he was delusional or just lying. Everybody was going to die: all but one of their classmates. Sure, there was a rescue in 2008, but those people didn’t return the next time around. She doubted that those mysterious rescuers would return after seven years of inactivity. Bridgette and her classmates were all dead men walking.

“How are you gonna make sure of that?” Bridgette huffed, turning to Joshua. She’d understand if it was just said to calm Keith down, but he sounded so sure of himself. A part of her was curious, to see if he actually had a plan.

Bridgette doubted that he did.
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Keith wanted to believe what Joshua said, that they wouldn't die, that things would turn out fine. It was a reassuring idea, but he didn't know how they could do it. He knew that people had escaped at some point, but he didn't remember how they had managed it, or how long it had taken for them to figure out how.

The girl dispelled the little bit of reassurance that Joshua had given Keith. She sounded kinda angry, and it made Keith a little angry too.

"Hey we could manage it, you don't know."

Joshua had introduced the idea that they wouldn't die, and Keith really wanted to believe that. He needed to.
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“Manage what?”

What could Joshua possibly have planned? He was smart, but so was Bridgette, and tons of the other kidnapped kids. In the end, all three of them wanted the same thing: to survive. But unlike Keith and Joshua, she knew that there was only one way out of here.


“Whatever it is, It’s not gonna work,” she sighed, stepping forward. “It’s hopeless.” She brushed past Keith as she entered the hallway. She didn’t want to be around when their half-baked plan failed.

((Bridgette Sommerfeld continued elsewhere))
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
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Joshua's shoulders slumped as Bridgette walked onto into the hallway and out of sight. He could feel a tremor in his fingers. He dug them into his hair, raked the dirty locks out of his face.

A frown dotted his lips. He glanced around at his surroundings.

"... Forget about her, Keith," Joshua said, "she'll come around eventually. Let's just find some place to settle."

Joshua wavered. For only a second. He'd never admit it out loud though. Not to Keith, of all people.

(Joshua Bracewell continued in Helvetica Standard.)
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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