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Thirteen Steps; Open! :3
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 09:49 PM (1,154 Views)
Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Astrid Tate continued from New Destiny))

The walk from the bell tower round to the front of the asylum was a short one, about ten minutes at best, give or take a little bit of time to avoid thick patches of long grass and scattered bits of debris from the ancient asylum and bell tower. It felt so much longer, however, thanks to all the thoughts flooding into Astrid’s head.

The newest one was that, as far as she could tell, she had woken up early compared to the rest of her classmates. She had seen a smattering of students from her lofty perch, heading to the bridge and into the asylum, but as she trudged towards the huge building, she didn’t catch a glimpse of anyone nearby; not around the asylum and its associated buildings, and not on what little she could see of the beach.

Maybe it was due to her excellent sleeping schedule, making sure she didn’t stay asleep for any longer than necessary. Maybe it was due to being put at the top of the tallest building on the island, the chill wind and lack of shelter waking her early. Astrid didn’t really care about the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of it. It was the repercussions of such that she was concerned about. Was a headstart over a number of her classmates something that would give her a significant advantage? What could she do in that period of time whilst a few of them were still sleeping? Explore the island? Find any good, safe areas? Find someone’s bag and take anything useful from it?

Something else?

Astrid reached the entrance of the asylum with more questions than answers and no way of clearing her mind of any of them. She couldn’t stay on her own like this, not with her mind still a blur. She felt like she would go insane. She needed to find people just to settle her confusion and make a decision as to her future on this island. There had to be somebody inside a building this huge, right?

Still holding her gun in her right hand, Astrid trudged through weeds and thistles, glancing briefly up at the huge tree that had carved an opening in one side of the building. She pushed against the big front doors of the asylum, and they swung open with surprising ease, causing Astrid to wince at the loud creaking noise they made. She wanted to find people, but she wanted to do it on her own terms. She had to stay in control, or at the very least on equal footing, not with someone sneaking up on her or waiting for this new arrival to walk past the shrouded alcove they were hiding in, axe in hand…

Deeply regretting thinking of that, Astrid pressed forwards into the building, trying her best to banish those thoughts and being just as successful as the last dozen times. She had no destination in mind, so decided to stay on the first floor and headed towards the right. Left, after all, was bad luck, if you were inclined to believe the Romans.

Astrid did her best not to focus too hard on her surroundings. There was always something exceedingly eerie about abandoned buildings or other man-made structures. Shipwrecks were the things that got to her most; she couldn’t even describe why exactly they creeped her out, but they just did. Her mind already felt like it was being slowly crushed; she didn’t need to add another thing to that pile.

The corridor she chose took Astrid deeper into the asylum, trying her best to walk as softly as possible to hide her footsteps, the world inside the building a sea of shadows and dust, interspersed with shafts of sunlight from dilapidated rooms with opened doors and broken windows. As she came closer to another corner, she heard voices, too muffled to be distinct, but definitely the sounds of human life. Astrid moved closer to the wall, keeping fairly low, before poking her head round the corner.

There was a girl standing outside one of the many rooms. She probably wasn’t talking to herself, so Astrid assumed that the voices were coming from inside said room. Unless the situation on the island had already gotten to her.

… Actually, knowing some of her classmates, that wasn’t too unlikely.

As Astrid watched, the girl moved forwards to the entrance of the room and knocked on the door. Astrid’s brow furrowed at this act. At least the girl wasn’t insane, but…

Once whoever it was inside the room had replied, Astrid strode forwards, not caring to hide her footsteps anymore. She had the front foot, the upper hand. She had the weapon, this girl didn’t seem to have anything. There was a sense of power, no matter how slight, on Astrid’s shoulders.

“I’m pretty impressed you’ve kept your sense of general courtesy,” Astrid said, gun held up and pointed at the ceiling. “You hoping whoever’s in there is gonna invite you in for tea and crumpets or something?”
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.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
A wry smile appeared on Astrid’s face in response to the other girl’s reaction; an overreaction, really, as far as she saw it, and a reaction that showed a complete lack of awareness of the situation they were in. Was she going to react that poorly to every loud noise that occurred around her? Was she going to assume that every area on the island was a safe haven for her and get surprised every time someone barged in uninvited? Either this girl was naïve as all hell, or she was just stupid. Neither was a good luck for her.

The plan that had been forming since Astrid had woken up in the bell tower, thudding away in the back of her mind, was growing larger and larger with every second, looking like the only logical option, no matter how much she didn’t want that to be true.

There was a voice from inside the room, male this time. She recognised it, but that meant very little. Astrid could recognise the voices of most people in her year, but that didn’t mean she could put a name or a face to them. There were very few people who she could identify by how they sounded alone, and those were the few people Astrid was close to at school. This voice’s owner was completely unknown to Astrid, which meant they weren’t someone she had any reason to care about.

Astrid didn’t respond to the voice. She wasn’t prepared to yet. She told herself it was because she could hear someone else walking out of the room towards her, that she wanted to hear what they had to say first. But that wasn’t even close to being the main reason why she didn’t say her name just yet.

She was keeping her options open. Yeah. That’s all she was doing. That was a lie she could believe.

The new guy was another person Astrid didn’t recognise. She seen him around school, but that was the extent of their association. Another effective stranger. Another person whose fate, at this moment in time, Astrid had very little interest in.

Whilst Harold’s future was something Astrid didn’t particularly care about, right now, he was a figure in her own present, and that was something she did care about. Instinctively, she took a step backwards, getting a little more space between them both, glancing him up and down. He was big, tall, and obviously physically strong. On top of that, he was holding a sword, pointed down at the floor, a mirror of Astrid’s gun aimed at the ceiling. The worst part was that she didn’t know what this guy was like, emotionally. Was he laidback and logical? Or irrational and quick to anger. Astrid had no clue, and because of that, she had to assume it was the latter. A gun didn’t mean much if her neck was broken before she could pull the trigger.

“How about this?” Astrid replied. She lowered the gun, and stuffed it in her jacket pocket, zipping it back up. “I’m not here to start a fight or anything stupid like that, but I’m not letting this leave my side. You alright with that?”

Astrid didn’t wait for an answer, slowly walking forwards towards the entrance of the room. She kept the boy in her field of vision, turning her head slightly and looking him dead in the eyes. She was going to show this boy respect, but only to an extent. She deserved respect as well. She wasn’t just another number, ready to be shoved around and told what to do. That had never been who she was.

Astrid stood in the doorway, took a look into the room, and felt her heart sink a little. The other girl was in there, out of the way and irrelevant, but the third person was instantly recognisable, even if they didn’t share any of the same interests or social circles. Ty Yazzie attracted attention and notoriety like flies to a corpse. He was another big, strong guy, and whilst Astrid generally turned her nose up at anything that was brought up by the rumour mill, even she had heard that Ty had a tendency towards violence and aggression. This was definitely a situation she was going to have to keep her wits about her in.

She hoped, and feared, that Ty didn’t recognise her.
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 strode further into the room, still keeping a watchful eye on the three other people occupying it, doing her best to maintain an outwards aura of confidence, the same assured nature everyone back at school knew her for. She seemed to have been allowed in without much further questioning. Ty’s question as to what her name was had hung in the air for merely a few moments before dying away. Good. It was better that way, really, if her name remained anonymous to even a few people.

The arrangement of chairs in the centre of the room looked as though they were meant to emulate an AA meeting, like something she’d seen out of a film or a TV show. Thanks to the state of the asylum, however, with its dust and dirt littering the floor, and with walls that looked as though they would collapse under the slightest bit of pressure, Astrid felt more like she’d just walked in early to the meeting of some Satanic cult. All this room needed was a couple of giant chalk pentagrams, maybe a few candles and some decapitated goat heads.

Astrid took a seat regardless, directly facing the door, giving her a clear view of the room and her classmates within it. She leaned back in her chair, slightly, heart leaping to her mouth briefly, as it made a creaking sound in protest. She folded her arms and said nothing, simply keeping one eyebrow raised as she listened to her erstwhile companions.

None of what they were saying made sense to her. The two guys were talking to each other like they would have back at home, as if this situation had barely affected them, that they were perfectly content to stick together even with the knowledge that at least one of them would die in the next few days. As for Lizzie, she was just speaking in fragments, emotions changing from syllable to syllable, ebbing and flowing like the tides. Her mental state seemed just as stable as the water’s surface. Even with two imposing wrestlers in the same room as her, Lizzie was the person Astrid was keeping the most watchful eye on. The only thing she could trust the other girl with was being unpredictable, and that easily made her more dangerous than Tyler with his sword. The sooner she could get out of this room the better.

She’d just wanted to see whether this group could have provided anything for her. Aside from an insight into their mindsets, it didn’t look as though they would. Now she needed to make sure she didn’t get attached to them.

Lizzie’s final question piqued her interest, however. Maybe it was just the way it was phrased. It wasn’t ‘are you guys players?’ or ‘have you got any other weapons on you that you might try and murder me with?’ It was asking them to predict the future, for them to take their mental state and capabilities from the beginning of day one and apply them to further down the line, when God knows what might happen. Astrid couldn’t help but snort in derision.

“Let’s not make any hasty assumptions, shall we?” Astrid said, bitter humour etched into her words. She looked at Ty and Harold, fixing them with a hard stare.

“You two seem at least somewhat intelligent. Surely you both know what your answer should be, right?”
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 sat in her seat, the only movement coming from the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed, controlled and steady, another façade of calmness and an attempt at being in control.

She watched Harold as he spoke, trying to maintain a stoic look on her face, but she had never been great at hiding her feelings and views from people, and her stare had that familiar condescending, dismissive edge to it.

She felt the sinking feeling in her gut grow larger and larger as she realised just where Harold was going with this and that the next time she would hear about him it would be as a tally mark beside a player’s list of kills.

Astrid let out a long, disappointed sigh, still unable to prevent it from becoming shaky towards the tail end. She didn’t want him to die. She didn’t want anyone to die. She didn’t know Harold, but he didn’t deserve that, she was sure. There was almost no-one she could think of that did deserve to die out here, and the prospect of having to do that with her own two hands was something that would haunt her for the rest of her life, she was certain.

But that was the only thing she could do, and it was maddening that Harold couldn’t see that. It was physically impossible to get out of here without having to kill someone first; people didn’t kill? Then everyone died. You somehow, by some miracle, reached the end without killing anyone, without people labelling you an easy target? Astrid didn’t really want to think about what the terrorists would do to you in that case, after making a mockery of their entire proceedings. This was their game. The only way to win would be to play.

It’d be like ripping off a band aid. Do it quickly, and try to ignore the pain that comes with it.

“It’s funny, you know,” Astrid said, trying her best to recapture the way she spoke back at Kingman, but only getting a pale imitation of her voice instead. “How you say you don’t want to just lie down and die? Because to me, that’s exactly what it sounds like you’re planning on doing.”

Astrid tipped the chair back forwards, coming back to rest on all four legs with a gentle clunk sound. She locked eyes with Harold and fixed him with a steely glare.

“So you’re only gonna kill if you fuck up badly? What if someone brandishing a machete and more fluid morals is coming at you? Or at one of your friends? What are you going to do then? What if they can’t be talked down? Sooner or later, something like that’s gonna happen to you, and you know what? I really don’t want me saying ‘I told you so’ to be the last thing you think of.”

Astrid slowly stood up, still keeping her vision fixed on Harold. She didn’t feel safe seated anymore. She was too vulnerable, too much at ease, not positioned to reach her gun in time. Words tumbled out of her mouth like they didn’t belong there, trying to expel them as quickly as possible and not caring what they actually were.

“I’m going to end up killing someone,” she continued. “I don’t know who. I don’t know when. But it’s going to happen. I’m not… I’m not dying here. I can’t. I’ve…”

Astrid realised she was beginning to shake. Her breath was hurried and shallowed. She felt very cold all of a sudden.

“I can’t die yet.”
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 forced herself to take deeper, slower breaths, to try and will her heart to stop beating so fast and to build a wall in front of the emotional outburst that was threatening to overflow and spill out of her. She’d never been an actress. It was enough of a task for her to fool other people as to what she was really feeling, let alone trying to fool herself. So she didn’t, 99% of the time. Astrid spoke her mind, even when people didn’t want to hear it.

Now, she really needed to fool everyone into thinking she was that same Astrid, that same cold-hearted, stuck up, arrogant bitch, the way she knew people talked about her when they thought she couldn’t hear. Her breathing eventually slowed. She folded her arms, put the steely glare back on her face, and sat back down.

She still felt cold, a numbing frost running through her veins.

The other three were leaving, sooner rather than later, before she could even begin to form any sort of attachment to any of them. This was supposed to be a good thing, the best case scenario for everyone involved. It was hard not to feel angry at just how fucking dense they were all being, however, too wrapped up in their ideas of trust and pacifism to even want to look at the bigger picture.

You had to kill at least once to get out of here. Just one person. That was all Astrid needed to do, fuck, it was all she could bear to do. If you didn’t kill, then you were writing your own death sentence, even if you ended up being the only person left alive on this godforsaken island. What were Harold and Ty going to do if they were the last two people alive? Two best friends, working together to survive and overcome every obstacle in their way, and finally ending up with a choice; force yourself to kill your friend, force your friend to kill you, or force the terrorists to kill both of you and render this whole fucking exercise and the deaths of everyone involved absolutely fucking pointless.

Lizzie had said one single thing that made sense. None of them should die yet. Almost no-one in her class deserved to be put into this situation. And yet they had, and there was nothing any of them could do to stop this. People would die. People had almost certainly already died. No-one here with half a brain wanted to. No-one here deserved to. But this wasn’t a situation where you could stand up against your oppressors and topple them from the inside. Standing up to the terrorists and refusing to play their game didn’t make you a better person, it made you a fucking imbecile who might as well start digging a grave to save the terrorists the inevitable bother.

Astrid stayed in the room for several minutes after the other three had left, still seated, but her posture slowly relaxing until she was slumped in her chair, looking up at the ceiling. There was no point hiding it from herself. She’d admitted her intentions to a group of people already. It was out in the open. She was going to kill someone at some point. There wasn’t any other option in front of her that she could see.

She started laughing. She wasn’t sure why. It started softly at first, growing steadily louder and louder, tears rolling down her cheeks as she did so.

In the blink of an eye, Astrid was on her feet, chair now in her hands. She hurled it towards a section of the others, watching them crash into each other, clattering over, coming to rest on their sides and backs like some bizarre modern art installation. She was breathing heavily again. She cursed under her breath to the empty room.

She still wasn’t prepared for this. Not mentally and not emotionally. But she’d have to find a way to be when the time came.

There wasn’t any other way.

((Astrid Tate continued in Quickdraw))
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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