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Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying; [ASK FIRST] [Content Warning: Polite Conversation]
Topic Started: Aug 16 2016, 07:47 PM (3,438 Views)
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[[Fiyori Senay, continued from Zum Glueck In Die Zukunft]]

Well, now this was getting very eerie. Georgia Lee and Fiyori came to find some sort of abandoned building. A larger one, and you'd be guessing and you'd be right to do so if you said it was actually used to house a larger number of people. A hospital of some sorts, Fiyori guessed at first.

She didn't like it. She didn't like the prospect of entering. She didn't like the prospect of it's dark hallways flooded with dust and dirt. She didn't like to think about all the people who resided there once. Who worked there once, and who all were either dead or otherwise gone.

Hopefully.

No, she really didn't like it. But then they entered anyway. Because it was, all things considered, still 'inside'. And the 'inside' was a place of protections. Protection against the elements. Against the wind, the rain or the sun. Protection against people who snapped, too.

Hopefully.

Either way, they entered the building and found a larger room connected to a kitchen, and it would take a fool to not guess that that place had once been a cafeteria. A place to prepare food, a place to eat and a place to socialize. As Fiyori entered, she thought about all the souls who once sat there, and a shudder ran down her spine. It hit close. Way too close.

But maybe it was fate. She always liked food, no? At least, she always loved preparing food. Baking, cooking, steaming, frying, stirring. Fiyori loved to make food. And she loved it even more to share all of it. She tried to share her food with GLD as well. Twice. The first time didn't work out. The second time... it did, but that wasn't a particular pleasant experience either.

Fiyori took small, careful steps, until she found a table covered with a thick blanket of dust. There were benches next to it, just as grey, and she wiped a spot clean with her hands. The dust formed little balls and strings and Fiyori pushed it together. Some flew to the ground, some stuck to her hand and some stuck to her clothes. She still took the seat, looked towards Georgia Lee and nodded to her. An invitation to do the same.

To sit down, and if not eat, socialize a bit.
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[Georgia Lee Day continued from Zum Glueck In Die Zukunft]

There was a darkness to the island, Georgia Lee thought. She didn’t think of herself as superstitious; she had never once knocked on wood or thrown salt over her shoulder, and when once she had broken a mirror she had simply swept it up and moved on with her life. Georgia Lee didn’t believe in ghosts or magic or auras, but she still could not deny that there was something somehow sinister about the island. Something off.

She didn’t think it was just the purpose that the island was set to, either. There was a rugged beauty to it she supposed, but Georgia Lee was confident that even had she been here voluntarily, she would have found the island unsettling.

It was the structures, she decided, that were so off-putting. They were old, clearly, the architecture old-fashioned and outdated, and they were falling to pieces. The road they walked along was full of cracks, and grass and weeds grew out of them. In places, a root had broken through the cement, which bulged out around it. They came, eventually, to a large imposing building, where a tree had smashed its way through a window.

It was like the island was attacking everything artificial on it, like the ground itself was eating the roads and the trees attacking the buildings. She knew, from a rational point of view, that this reclamation had started after whoever had lived here had abandoned the place, but it was hard not to imagine it happening the other way around.

It wasn’t abandoned now, though. As they approached what transpired to be a hospital, Fiyori had asked her repeatedly whether she could see anyone, and Georgia Lee had told her that she could not. It wasn’t clear to her whether the girl was looking to meet these people or to avoid them, and Georgia Lee didn’t ask. For the most part they had walked in silence. The walk wasn’t short and the bags weren’t light, and Georgia Lee had spent most of the second half of their trip waiting for Fiyori to complain. She hadn’t, not once, and Georgia Lee had been impressed despite herself.

The building, once they entered in, was in a state of utter ruin. Jagged splinters of wood jutted from shattered doors in places, and a blanket of leaves, dirt, dust and broken glass coated the floor. Footsteps and voices echoed through the corridors, though it wasn’t possible to tell where they came from, let alone who was speaking or what they were saying.

The effect, needless to say, was disquieting. Georgia Lee had glanced at Fiyori’s face, but if the other girl was bothered at all she wasn’t showing it, and so Georgia Lee too tried to keep up an exterior of calm and confidence.

They found themselves, eventually, in a foodhall of some sort. Fiyori collapsed into a chair, her long limbs folding themselves beneath her poncho. Georgia Lee drew her lips tight, one hand on her hip, the other holding the strap of the bag slung over her shoulder.

“No sitting down, not yet.” She lifted the bag off of her shoulder and let it fall to the floor, with a thump that echoed throughout the large, still room.

“We need to get some tables in front of the doors, maybe some benches too. Barricade them up, make this place secure. Once we’re safe, then we sit.”

Georgia Lee moved to one of the tables and placed two hands under the end of it, giving Fiyori a look of expectation.
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So that was a no. That was to be expected, Fiyori guessed in hindsight. She didn't like the tone GLD picked. A 'please' would have been nice. But instead, she went for a commanding tone, almost as if Fiyori was some kind of dog Georgia Lee had to discipline properly yet.

'No!' or 'Sit!' or 'Play Dead!' or something else. Yeah, Fiyori could imagine her saying exactly these things without even changing anything about her tone.

Fuck it though, she wanted the doors barricaded, she got those doors closed shut. Fiyori slid her bag off, placing it with a thud to her side and hurried to Georgia Lee. Alright, she didn't hurry in any true sense of the world. She returned Georgia Lee's expecting eyes with a sigh and a slow stroll towards the table she was attempting to move.

It wasn't meant to be provocative. Fiyori realized it might have seemed so.

Georgia Lee Day was through and through an unpleasant person. Fiyori felt this truth to be confirmed the moment the young woman offered Fiyori an alliance. Seriously, there were like, what, a little short on 100 students on the field trip? And out of all these people, GLD figured that Fiyori Senay would be the ideal candidate for an alliance. Right. If the chick biting you from behind was one of the better prospects, Fiyori wouldn't even dare to think about what other students thought about GLD. And how they'd react to her.

Still. Fiyori didn't want to cause a confrontation over a silly matter, so she had to be careful. Georgia Lee was a person who got upset over silly matters. It was just who she was as a person. Fiyori would have to work with that.

The tables themselves weren't as hard to move as Fiyori assumed. She did notice that Georgia Lee's strength was greater than Fiyori's and for some reason that bothered the latter. That aside, Fiyori had to cough once or twice, thanks due to all the whirled-up dust and fuck-knows-what dancing through the air and getting into her lungs. Aside from nearly dropping a table because of that, they managed to finish their task without a hitch. The doors were barricaded. Shut. Closed.

Didn't feel like it would hold out a lot, but sure. It would suffice for the moment. They'd have to think about the window, though Fiyori didn't like thinking about the window. It was some kind of super-long window stretching along the wall. That was pretty inefficient, heating-wise, Fiyori figured. To combine a fireplace and such a large hole in the wall. It might get cold in the night. She might have had to snuggle up to GLD, she joked to no one but herself. She smiled at that, though, and she was sure even GLD picked that up.

Still. The tables were long enough to cover the whole glass pane, that shouldn't be a problem.
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The girls shifted the tables in front of the window and the doors, lying them on their sides. They'd proved heavier than they'd looked, though they weren't as heavy as she'd have liked. It hadn't been easy getting them in place, but it also hadn't been impossible, and it wouldn't be impossible for someone outside to push past their makeshift barricades; not if they were really determined to get in.

Still, at the very least it'd by them some time, though Georgia Lee didn't know for what, exactly. To escape maybe, or to make peace, or to push back - she supposed, really, that it depended on who it was that was trying to get in. The thought of anyone trying to break through their improvised defenses was a little frightening to Georgia Lee, but she didn't think it'd come to that. On their way through the hospital they'd tried nearly every door they came past, and a number of them they couldn't get open. When that was the case they'd simply moved on, and she imagined that anyone coming across this room would act in a similar manner. As long as they kept quiet, kept their voices down and kept out of side, she thought they would be safe her; at least for a while.

Georgia Lee took a seat at one of the remaining tables, placed the bag she'd been carrying atop it, and began to sort through her new possessions.

The compass and the flashlight went straight into her pockets, and the map and the two slim books she set aside for later reading. The first aid kit went aside too, so as to be inventoried later on, and the black case filled with delicate metal tools went on top of it.

The food she set out in front of her. The bread and the crackers were basically pure carbs; not great long term, but worth loading up on if there was a lot of exercise in the future. There was a calorie count on the ration bars that easily exceeded what she'd take in on any given day, and assuming they weren't really moving around too much, could probably be stretched to last for two without too much difficulty.

If they were smart with their food, and they were careful, this could be made to last weeks. The more pressing issue was the water. There were four half-litre bottles, coming to two litres total. This was what Georgia Lee would usually drink in a day, and it certainly wouldn’t stretch long past that. They’d need to find more.

She gathered the food and the bottles back up and returned them to the bag. That was the entirety of what had come in the pack, that she had inventoried, but it didn’t account for all her new things. She touched the collar around her neck, gingerly, like one touches a bruise or a sore that one expects to hurt. It was cool metal, solid and seamless all the way around. When she’d been doing things, when she’d been active and moving, it had been easy to ignore. Now, sitting here in the quiet it was impossible to get it out of her mind. Every time she swallowed she could feel it against her throat; a constant reminder of the sort of place she was in, and of what she’d need to do to survive.

The other reminder, of course, was digging into her ankle. Fiyori’s glasses were still safely hidden in Georgia Lee’s boot, and the way they had chafed at her foot on the walk over here had felt like a penance for her manipulation and her coercion. She supposed she should get rid of them – toss them out the window or something – but somehow she couldn’t quite bring herself to. Holding onto them for a little while was clearly not honest, but it wasn’t outright evil, he didn’t think. Getting rid of them altogether felt unjustifiable.

Fiyori was staring at her, arms folded, clearly expecting something. Some great plan, perhaps; some strategy to get them out of here. Georgia Lee wanted to grab her and shake her, scream in her face that she didn’t know what to do, she didn’t know what she was doing, she was doing the best she could and why couldn’t Fiyori figure stuff out, for once? Georgia Lee did not grab her and shake her, however.

There was something of an art, she had realized, to managing Fiyori. Too much pressure and the girl would rankle and rebel, but too little and she would sense weakness, and that would be the end. Fiyori was, fundamentally, a predator – if she smelt blood she wouldn’t be able to help but bite, and so Georgia Lee had made sure to keep her voice strong, keep her back straight and keep her feelings to herself. She hadn’t cried, not once, and she was fiercely proud of that.

Wordlessly, Georgia Lee pushed her chair back and walked to the kitchen. Crockery was strewn everywhere, and most of the drawers were pulled out. She picked up a kitchen knife and ran her finger along the blade; it was so dull as to be almost useless. Georgia Lee dropped it, and it clattered into the sink. She tried to picture this place as it had been before it’d been abandoned: sleek, clean, efficient. Now it was a ruin; it was the corpse of a kitchen.

The taps were rusted, and it took a lot of effort just to turn them. A few drops of brownish sludge spurted out, and then: nothing. This was going to be a problem. She returned to the dining hall, and took a seat opposite Fiyori, who was looking at her with a sort of bored bemusement. Georgia Lee indicated the water bottles.

“This is going to be a problem. The food will last two, maybe three weeks. The water’s going to last a matter of days, and I don’t have a clue where we’ll get more: there’s certainly none running here.”

It wasn’t enough. Fiyori wasn’t sticking around just for her to point out problems. She wanted plans and solutions and tactics. Georgia Lee leant forward.

“A place this size though, there’ll be water somewhere. Water heaters maybe, or a water tank. We’ve got enough time to look around, and if we go out at night, when people are sleeping and we’re extra careful, we shouldn’t be putting ourselves at too much risk.”

Georgia Lee didn’t think she was anywhere near as confident as she sounded, but there was nothing to be gained except strife, by letting Fiyori see her as uncertain or afraid. Georgia Lee would hacve to pretend not to be scared, pretend not to be lost and confused and alone. She would pretend so well that Fiyori would be completely fooled, and If Georgia Lee was lucky she might just be able to fool herself too.

Her voice was quiet, when she spoke, but Georgia Lee felt she sounded strong. She sounded like a woman with a plan. She sounded like someone who’d survive.

“Other than that, we’re in good shape. It’s not like this place is impregnable or anything, but nobody’s getting inside easily, and I don’t know that they’d bother to try. It’s enclosed, it’s warm, it’s safe. We’ll be okay here.”

She folded her arms, mirroring Fiyori’s pose.

“Now I guess we just wait.”
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As Georgia Lee decided to get a good look at her belongings, so Fiyori made sure to spend enough time inspecting the contents of her bag. This time, without looking for any glasses.

What she first noticed, noticed before but again more pronounced, was the shovel. From the mere looks of it alone it was different from what Fiyori knew about shovels, and as she could gather from the little piece of paper – probably some kind of manual? - was that this was a shovel used by the military to do shoveling. Sounded easy. There was more to the tool, of course, and there was more written in the little manual. But all the other letters were way too small to decipher so Fiyori did not bother. It was a shovel. You could shovel stuff with it. Easy enough.

Putting the shovel aside, Fiyori counted what she had to eat. Bread. Crackers. Food bars. There was a calorie counter on the bars, and after GLD's confirmation, Fiyori knew that these could last for weeks. Two, maybe three. As long as they don't end up working too much. Fiyori doubted they'd have that luxury. Still, food was aplenty, but water was not. Fiyori had four half-litre bottles, and that was way too little.

And as GLD just discovered, there wasn't any running water in the hospital either. Great. She proposed going out at night while everyone was sleeping. Proposed being careful about it. Fiyori was about to comment, say something about how they would surely meet their deaths somewhere in the darkness then. She decided to keep her mouth shut.

Then GLD commented about their fortress. Not impregnable, she said and Fiyori nodded. Why would people bother to enter, she said and Fiyori found herself shaking her head lightly. GLD herself just gave a bunch of good reasons. It was warm, it was safe, it was enclosed. No way they'd go longer than a day without someone trying to enter.

"Well..."

"I guess if you want to survive you should think about potential threats. Our fellow students, I suppose. Maybe you should tell me who else you got pissed off in these last four years."

She raised her eyebrow, drummed a bit with her fingers on her lap.

"You know, before they turn up and I get caught up in some weird shit."
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“Last three years, Fiyori. I’m a junior.”

The correction was reflexive, Georgia Lee couldn’t have helped herself had she tried, but the second the words were out of her mouth she could see Fiyori’s nostrils flaring.

In principle Georgia Lee was right, she knew; she was a junior, and why should she not be able to tell people that? Was it her fault Fiyori couldn’t remember her age? It was a service that one was given, when one was corrected – a mark of respect, almost. If nobody bothered to correct you, you’d just run around being wrong the whole time, and then where would that get you?

Still, now was not the time to be clinging to etiquette. She’d have to apologize. Georgia Lee looked down at the table, feeling deeply uncomfortable.

“Hey… sorry, that wasn’t necessary, I know. Force of habit.” She raised her eyes to meet Fiyori’s.

The temptation was to blame the situation, say that it was too stressful, too strange for her to be tactful, but this was deeply unwise. Fiyori wasn’t looking for excuses and she wouldn’t respond to professions of weakness. The best thing for Georgia Lee to do was just to acknowledge her mistake and move on. She cleared her throat.

“Anyway, I’ve had my differences with our classmates, sure, but… honestly you were the worst. I don’t mean offense by that or anything, but just that… look, if we can get along okay, I doubt any of the others are going out of their way to come after me.”

Fiyori’s face was a picture of doubt, like it was so hard to believe that people wouldn’t hate her. Georgia Lee felt her face beginning to grow warm, her temper getting sharper. How dare this girl think she knew her, when she had only ever seen her at her worst, and only then because she brought out her worst, with the teasing and the bullying and the constant harassment.

She paused for a moment, counting to five in her head before speaking again. She’d come to far to let her temper get the better of her.

“What about you, Fiyori? Any grudges that people have been nursing for you?”
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If there was the time for a spit take, it would've been the moment GLD said 'sorry'. Of course, Fiyori had nothing particularly wet in her mouth except her literal spit. And she'd rather not spit on GLD, all things considered. Still, it surprised her. Shocked her, even. Oh, sure, she was 'just some junior girl' and maybe Fiyori should have remembered. Well, it wasn't a big mistake, nothing to get upset about.

That GLD still apologized for her remark baffled Fiyori more and more. For a moment she even lost concentration, failed to follow what GLD continued to say, just so that her mind could replay the words she just used once more.

Still baffling.

However, Fiyori did react to the question posed to her. And for a moment, she had to think. Fiyori paused, met GLD's gaze and then hummed. Not a tune, more like a deep elongated sigh, but with your lips pressed together.

It took her only a little while, and Fiyori began to gesture at GLD herself.

"There is you, and out of everyone on this trip I'd figure you'd hate me the most. As for the others, Darius might still be pissy about a few things. I've been an ass to Bradley, but I don't think he actually registers that anymore.

And well there's a bunch of people who just detest me just because I smoke weed or maybe because I'm black or maybe because they get crept out by this long mess my limbs are. The perpetual grinning puts people off, too."

Fiyori instinctively touched her lips with her fingers. She didn't grin right in that moment. Did feel like laughing, but her body seemed to disagree.

"Otherwise, most people seem to hold no ill-will against me."

Ah, now she wanted to laugh even more. Who would have thought that her kindness in sharing her food might pay off in such a situation?
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Despite Georgia Lee’s best efforts, a smile crept onto her face.

It was hearing Fiyori and Bradley were on bad terms that did it because it was so normal and because they had that in common and because of course they were. Under the poncho and the cynicism and the permanent leer, Fiyori was still a girl, so of Bradley had been absolutely vile to her. If the old adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” held true, Bradley’s very presence on this trip would probably serve to unite everyone with a pair of X chromosomes.

She could see looking at her like she’d grown a second head, and Georgia Lee laughed out loud at the puzzlement on the girl’s face.

“I’m sorry, it’s just… do you think there’s anyone at this school who doesn’t hate Bradley? I mean he’s just so…”

Thinking of Bradley’s flat, hamburger face brought back memories of revulsion. Bradley was a festering sore of a human being, someone who lived only to disgust and outrage everyone around him, and women in particular.

“I remember once, we were in line at the cafeteria, and I notice him staring at my, y’know, at my crotch. This is freshman year, I’m wearing these… these light grey jeans, I don’t think I have them anymore, and I kind of… I guess I freak out a little. Just in my head I mean, I get scared, I think maybe I’ve torn them, or there’s blood, or I’ve left them unbuttoned or I’ve spilt something or I’ve wet myself or… y’know, whatever. A million things. So I look down, and they’re fine. There’s nothing wrong.”

Georgia Lee ran her thumb along her brow and tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear.

“So I ask him ‘Hey, what’re you looking at?’, and he looks me in the eye, and he says…” Georgia Lee chuckled, amused despite herself. At the time she’d been mortified, but now, looking back it was actually almost funny. There was nothing like the threat of death, she supposed, to put some awful lump’s adolescent cries for attention in perspective.

“…he says ‘You gonna eat that?’”

Fiyori smiled, and Georgia Lee smiled with her. Then one of them started to laugh, Georgia Lee couldn’t’ve said who, and the other joined in with her. The girls laughed and they laughed and they laughed, until Georgia Lee felt tears in her eyes.

There was something so comforting about thinking about Bradley, even in all his awfulness. It was because it was so familiar, she decided. It was so common, as much a part of Kingman as any other annoyance, like the mosquitoes at night or the heat in the summer, you had Bradley at the school. He was a pain, of course, but he was Kingman’s pain, for whatever that was worse.

Georgia Lee’s laughter faded, as she realized Bradley was probably dead by now. She couldn’t count the number of times Bradley had annoyed her enough to want to end him, even just by being present. Now he was around people not only permitted and equipped to do that, but encouraged? If he was still alive, Georgia Lee didn’t see it lasting.

She looked down, no longer finding anything funny.
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Bradley was indeed so very much repulsive. Seeing Georgia Lee share Fiyori's sentiment didn't surprise her. Everyone in Cochise High knew who Bradley was and everyone had a story to tell about him. The ladies even had two for the most part.

It was strange, but it was also adorable. Adorable in a very detached sense. Two young woman with no understanding for each other, but both of them felt so good with bonding over common ground. Even if that common ground was talking shit about another shit talker.

Fiyori could feel herself nodding along to GLD's exposition, she could almost feel the uncomfortable pressure GLD must have felt back then, and she did so because she could empathize. Because Fiyori too was a victim, more or less, of Bradley's pathetic attempts at self-serving humor.

She even groaned when Georgia Lee Day delivered the punch line. Yes, that was definitely his working. But for a moment, Fiyori wondered. Georgia Lee was more attractive than Fiyori, and while both of them definitely bit back, Fiyori could see harass Georgia Lee even more just because of that fact. She could see a girl becoming bitter.

And still, Fiyori smiled. And still, Georgia Lee smiled. And soon, they would be laughing. Together.

It caught Fiyori by surprise, as so many things did on that day. Yes, she felt like laughing. But her body had disagreed with her, barring that one break-out back on the bridge. That was a more painful laughter, as sand got in her throat, but now that she laughed together with Georgia Lee Day she actually felt genuine joy.

She wondered again. Bradley was probably dead. Or at least he was soon to be dead. It was strange to think about that. There were definitely enough times when Fiyori just wished to kick him to the moon. Or wanted him to get flattened by a SUV or something. She wished him gone or dead so many times and now it was time for it to come true. She would have loved to think that it was unfair, even to him. 'Even a repulsive person such as Bradley deserves no death' would have been nice to think, but what Fiyori found crossing her mind was 'Better Bradley than somebody else'.

Georgia Lee Day stopped laughing. Fiyori continued a while, but faded out of it soon enough.

"Still, fact is that there are people we trust and people we do not trust. I have a proposal."

She reached for her bag, opened the zippers and fetched the first aid kid. As she thought, she could find a pair of scissors in there. She wished she could have just used pen and paper. But pen and paper were nowhere to be found so she had to do with what she got.

"We could carve shit into the wall. 'Fiyori was here', 'GLD was here'. I think that'd be cute. Something to remember us by or something."

Fiyori smiled at Georgia Lee. She imagined that the woman frowned upon such behavior.

"Just kidding," she continued without greater pause. "we each make two lists, yeah? A list of trustworthy people, and a list of those who aren't. Then once we're done, we compare. Look for the overlap.

After all, we need to figure out who..." She paused, touched the blade of the scissors with her fingers and thought about how she could use her words most efficiently.

"...is a 'common potential enemy' and who is a 'common potential ally'."

Because all things considered, Fiyori figured, she knew that GLD would object to people entering their shelter whom Fiyori trusted, but GLD did not. Possibly just the same with GLD letting people enter Fiyori didn't like. They needed to find common ground, and she figured that would be the quickest way to do it.

Also Fiyori seriously wanted to see if GLD would really use a scissor to carve shit into wood.
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A silence seemed to stretch between them. Georgia Lee rubbed her temples, then slid her hands back, drawing her hair out of her face. Fiyori was looking at her hungrily, but no more hungry than usual, Georgia Lee thought. As for herself, she was looking… she didn’t know. Tired, probably? She tried to remember if there’d been anything reflective in the kitchen.

It was a good plan, but it wasn’t wise to tell Fiyori that. If Fiyori started thinking that she could make good plans, she might start wondering what she needed Georgia Lee around for, and that wasn’t a road that Georgia Lee wanted to go down. No, she needed to find fault.

“…The scissors will get blunt,” she said, finally.

She thought for a moment more, as the girls sat in silence. Then, Georgia Lee took the pair of scissors from Fiyori’s hand and placed them with one handle on the side of the table, and the other hanging off of it. She brought the heel of her hand down on the overlapping handle, hard, and the screw holding them together came partially out. She hit it again and the blades of the scissors came apart.

Georgia Lee handed one back to Fiyori.

“Here. This way only one pair will be ruined.”

With the other blade in hand, Georgia Lee looked down at the table in front of her, and thought about who she trusted.
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Georgia Lee Day voiced approval of the plan, and the Fiyori approved the approval with a hearty snicker under her breath. However, she also commented that carving names into wood would also dull the scissors quite a bit. A valid point, and Fiyori started thinking about alternatives when GLD simply broke the scissors up and gave Fiyori one of the blades.

That would do just as well.

So Fiyori started leaning over the tables at her side, dusting away the dirt with a sweep of her arms. She thought, and considered. She grinned, and she carved.

Aiden Slattery
Ty Yazzie?
Alice Baker
Danny Brooks
Abby Floyd
Enzo Gatti

She stopped grinning. No, there was nothing she could smile about. All those names, all those people. It is so easy to say that she does not care about life. It is so easy to say that nothing matters because all dies. Seeing those names, knowing that all of these people are fated to die, and at best one of them may live on. No, that was too much. She couldn't grin anymore.

GLD ; )

But she did so anyway. A chuckle escaped Fiyori at her own joke. It wasn't forced, and yet it felt so distant. As if it wasn't Fiyori that just laughed.

Fiyori thought some more, and carved some others names in. She wasn't sure if these were actually readable. She glanced over to GLD's work, and although she couldn't see exactly what she wrote down, Fiyori could see that the names she used were shorter. She probably didn't know their surnames. Or maybe not even their given names. At least, that was what Fiyori speculated. She returned to her own list, and thought about who she would without doubt distrust.

Bradley
Darius van Dyick

She wanted to write 'everyone who has a gun and is not on the upper list' but that was a very long sentence and she couldn't bother to do that. She glanced over to Georgia Lee's. The letters were big, and the bright wood stood out from the dark surface, so she could see them as long as she focused and was close enough. And for some reason, she was very impressed.
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frogue
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She thought about her classmates, and she thought about trust.

She could remember, about a year ago, sitting in some class. Which class it was exactly wasn’t clear to her – she thought it might have been calculus, or something along those lines – but it didn’t really matter. They’d been told to pair up, and Georgia Lee was sitting, waiting for people to come and ask to be her partner. She answered nearly every question that was put to the class, she was nearly a week ahead on her homework, and she was generally acknowledged to be far and away that class’ best student. Her classmates, she reasoned, would be falling over one another to partner up with her.

Georgia Lee had sat at her desk and she’d watched her classmates pair off with one another, and she’d started to wonder whether they saw her sitting there. Maybe, she thought, they didn’t see her at all; they’d somehow missed how she knew every answer and how she handed everything in at least three days before it was due. Maybe they somehow didn’t know her worth.

She'd stood up, to make herself more visible, and she’d looked around and seen girls she’d thought were her friends, huddled together, already talking about what was their project. Still nobody came and talked to her, and Georgia Lee stood, watching everyone settling into their groups, until she had realized it was only her standing and everyone else had started to work. She’d sat down, then, and she’d done the project on her own.

Her grade had been the highest in the class, but as they’d been informed of this Georgia Lee had looked around, and the eyes that met hers were certainly not filled with admiration.

It had been humiliating, when she was standing alone in that classroom. Georgia Lee could remember her face burning, her hands tense against the desk, her eyes not making contact with anyone else’s. It had hurt, being left out like that, and it had left her feeling lonely, and feeling unwanted. She’d closed her eyes as she worked that day, and tried to pretend there was nobody else in the classroom, just her, by herself.

The feelings of distress and embarrassment came back to her now, as Georgia Lee recalled the incident, but mixed in with them was a strange, fierce pride. It had been hard, and it had been lonely, and she’d wondered and worried so long and so often how much better and easier and nicer her life might be if she hadn’t set herself apart from her fellows. At times it had been awful, and what had she done? She had done nothing. She hadn’t changed and she hadn’t compromised and she hadn’t let all the ire and jealousy and insecurity in the world turn her into someone she wasn’t.

Georgia Lee liked who she was. She was proud of who she was. So some of her fellow pupils couldn’t see her worth; so what? She’d just add that to the already enormous pile of evidence of their idiocy.

Not everyone had been awful. Some of her schoolfellows had been smart, and kind, and friendly, and had noticed Georgia Lee and valued her for who she was. Theirs were the names she'd carved into the desk.
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Riki
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"So you did piss off a lot of people."

The number of names on GLD's 'no-trust' list surpassed Fiyori's number by quite a bit, and yes, Fiyori was impressed. It was nothing she wouldn't have expected, of course. GLD was a massive cunt. So proud in all her accomplishements, not seeing how other people were turned away by her attitiude. Though maybe she did see, but simply chose not to care. Maybe GLD thought that her reputation wouldn't matter in the face of her academic successes.

She was wrong, of course. Not only due to their current predicament, but even if GLD went on her usual life. Fiyori would have lectured about how advancing in a career was all about relationships and networking and even the brightest mind could accomplish nothing if you pissed off everyone who could give you power. But that wasn't the topic at hand, of course. And it would accomplish nothing. Strange, Fiyori thought, how much she cared so much about GLD's disposition when Fiyori was so quick to proclaim all doing in this world to be for naught.

"I see we have some common ground. And, I'll be honest, as long as these other people on your list don't turn out to be huge jackasses, I'll be fine with trusting them as well."

She trusted GLD, so technically, Fiyori guessed, she could just as well gift her trust to everyone.
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frogue
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Carving the names into the table had been hard work. Georgia Lee’s hand hurt, and she wiped it on the hem of her dress. Standing, stretching her back and ignoring the girl’s barbs, she peered over at Fiyori’s list.

One of the names on the list of people she trusted was on Georgia Lee’s own list. Three more were people she liked, and didn’t have a problem with, and another three she barely knew. The last name, though, was an issue. Georgia Lee tapped it with a finger

“Fiyori that’s… mmhmm, no,” she shook her head, “that’s not going to work. Look, I know you know him, I know you’re friends, but… I mean he’s unstable, right?”

Georga Lee was doing her best to be diplomatic. From what she’d heard, Ty Yazzie was more than simply unstable; the boy was borderline psychotic.

“Everyone else here, on this list… I mean you’re taller than all of them, and they’re… I know Alice. I know Aiden. I know Enzo, y’know, they’re reasonable people. If we get Ty in here, and he loses control, and he will lose control because even normal people lose control in this… situation, I mean… what can we do?”

Ty was a giant, a caricature of a “dangerous youth” with his mohawk and his piercings and his tattoos and his coke-can skin. Georgia Lee had witnessed his rage first hand once before, when he’d practically cornered her in the library after she’d noted how loud he was being. He hadn’t done anything there, but that was in a room full of people in an ordinary, peaceful school, and with his little girlfriend calming him down. There’d been circumstances where he hadn’t been so constrained, Georgia Lee had heard the stories, and she’d heard what’d happened to people who pissed him off, too.

“Everyone else on this list is fine, I’ll welcome them with open arms. But Ty… Fiyori, we can’t risk it.”
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"...yeah, I know."

She was right. Sort of. Ty was her friend. He really was, but Ty, too, had made his enemies. He had problems, that was true. He still had some of them, even in the present. It wasn't as if he didn't try to better himself. No, if anything, Fiyori had to compliment his drive to become a better person. A person who controlled his own ire. But the truth was that she, and she, and he were on this 'Survival of the Fittest'.

Fiyori didn't want to think or say that the stress of the island would inevitably undo all the work he did on himself. Not that she was deluding herself, thinking that her classmates were the ones to be above it all. And it was also a truth that even those who were meek or mellow or kind in school were just as susceptible to break and start skewering their classmates.

Yet, Fiyori could understand GLD's concern. And she agreed. Not because she was afraid of her own safety. Or because she was concerned for GLD's. Simply, because there was nothing to be won by disagreeing at that very moment. Whether she would still hold to Georgia Lee if it came down to it later on was a completely different question. Fiyori would see how she answered it then.

She sat down again, scratching her chin. She gave GLD another anticipating look, but she wasn't sure what she anticipated.

"But at least we talked about it, right? It's what they all say, communication's important in a relationship."
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