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The Brave May Not Live Long, but the Cautious Don't Live at All; one-shot, takes place after pippin's thread
Topic Started: Aug 18 2016, 03:08 AM (308 Views)
Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
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The hills had always been the hardest part.

((Jeremy Frasier, continued from I Say You Kill Your Heroes And Fly, Fly, Baby Don’t Cry))

Well, for Jeremy, that was. Maybe other people thought otherwise, but whenever Jeremy had to walk up a hill or a slope of more than a particular height he always found himself exhausted once he reached the top. It was probably his fault, considering his lack of physical fitness, but you would think that after going up slopes nearly every weekend for the last couple or so years you would become a little better at walking up them. Especially considering how many slopes there were in the suburbs. Seriously, nearly every route he went on had one, and the routes that didn’t have any had the asshole dogs that barked at him. Really, that was probably at least a small part of why he wanted to get out of Kingman as soon as possible back then. The grass was probably greener and the walking paths much more Jeremy friendly on the other side.

Back then. Two words that had a totally different meaning come now. He gave a smile; strained, fake.

Because really, there were going to be a lot of things relegated to the “back then” portion of his mind now. Anything to do with Kingman, for example. Or school. There were more things, too. Things that he couldn’t really describe using the words “back then” but that he’d still never be able to do again. Play games, for instance. Listen to music. Talk to his parents (though ultimately that wasn’t likely to be something he missed), his sister. Talk to BB, who he knew had been on the other day’s trip. Play an instrument. See or talk to anyone else he wasn’t currently thinking of who wasn’t on the trip. All things he wouldn’t do anymore. All things that his mind would eventually go back to whenever something partially connected came up in his mind. All things, some of those being people that he’d die without ever seeing again.

That was, unless he was the one deemed the fittest. But that wasn’t happening. He had covered this already. Jeremy Frasier, 0% chance or whatever, you didn’t need him to say it again. He was dying. That was how the story ended. The only thing to find out now was to find out how.

He stopped, panting as he slouched, hands on his knees. Case in both points, right here. The slopes were the hardest part of walking because they just stole all of his energy for some reason, and he wasn’t going to win because he couldn’t even walk up this slope without becoming tired. To be fair, though, it was a pretty big slope. He turned his head back. He couldn’t see the beach where he had come from, aside from a few traces of sandy yellow past the cliffs and the rocks. He turned his head back forward, looking up. The collar around neck made it feel a little awkward, but he managed. He could see the bell tower a lot more clearly now, which was good. He started moving forward again. Just a couple more steps and he’d be at the entrance.

He had decided to come here for a couple of reasons. The first reason was that it was the closest area to the beach where he woke up. The second reason was that a bell tower wasn’t a place that he had ever been to before. Although “a bell tower” wasn’t a place on the top of his list about places in the world he’d like to go to, he had to admit it was a location he was interested in. He had never seen the inside of one outside of the movies and the video games so he figured that seeing the inside of one for real would be at the very least interesting. It beat just standing around at the beach, at least. Maybe he would have stayed if it were somewhere else, but considering that it was a beach? Back then he hated the beach. Too much sand. Too much hard waves. He never went to it much but when he did it wasn’t really a time he tended to enjoy.

Back then, he dreamed and hoped that there would be something to take him away from his boring life. An adventure, or something. An event that would define his life and be something that he’d never forget.

Well fuck you too, fate.

He reached the entrance of the bell tower, and he slouched again, panting. Seriously, how could it still be so hard to just walk up a hill, after so many years? Whatever, didn’t matter, he was here now. He pushed open the metal doors and entered the tower.

...Goddammit.

That was a lot of stairs. He looked up, collar once again smooshing up awkwardly against the back of his shoulders as he saw the underside of the metal bell. Stairs didn’t really count as slopes in Jeremy’s mind but he was still going to have to take his time climbing up them. Didn’t really bother him, though. Maybe he could make something out of it. Give his ascent up the wooden and likely rickety stairs some meaning, or something like that. Maybe since he was on such a nostalgia bomb the past few minutes he could think up a topic to discuss amongst himself while he climbed the stairs, like what normally happened on his walks back then.

Wait, no, that was actually a good idea. Considering the company at the beach and the miniature hike on the way up here having some him time didn’t really seem to have too many downsides to it. Only real problem was that he didn’t really have anything on his mind to think about. Well, he knew that there was the pressing issue of the death game looming above his head but he already knew the end result of that. Death, yadda yadda yadda he had probably heard it enough times to become tired of him mentioning how many times he heard it.

What would happen before that, though?

He started climbing the stairs.

Because ooh, wait, yeah. That was actually a question. It was more about the journey than anything else, after all. He went back through the last hour or so in his mind. Was there anything there that could be helpful?

1. Find Friends???

Okay, maybe not helpful, but at the very least it was a good baseline. Now he just needed to figure out what to add to it so that it’d get a B or an A grade instead of the C that it’d currently be getting from the teacher right now. That was where he hit the brick wall. Nothing was really coming to his mind when he thought up the topic of his inevitable death the next few days, which was annoying. He figured that he’d be able to get past it, though. There were ways, probably. Ways that were pushed out of Jeremy’s mind because the whole leadership and organisation stuff the school sometimes enforced had always been kinda bullshit to him.

Still, there were parts of school that could help him. The bullshit paradigm, for instance. That was something he named up on the spot because he didn’t have a name for it before but that meant that it was perfect considering what it was. Basically, whenever he was in an exam and had failed to actually study for it, he just consulted what he knew and made points out of it. Worked surprisingly well! Sure he tended to get Cs from it from time to time (read: nearly all the time) but most of the time (read: some of the time) it gave him good grades! Okay, maybe it wasn’t the best track record to consult but he doubted he was getting graded on this. It’d work.

So, with that in mind, what were the facts for him? Off of the top of his head…

FACT ONE - HE WAS LIKELY GOING TO DIE: It sucked, but however much he didn’t want it to be the case it was still going to happen. Moving on…

FACT TWO - HE HAD A GUN: That did not suck. At all. Having a weapon gave him a little bit more power and gave him a little bit of a choice. Jeremy figured that there were two options for it.

Good?

Or eeeevvvvvil?

Let’s start at evil first. Evil, within this setting, meant for Jeremy that he would use the gun he had to kill his classmates, either because he sucked or because he wanted to live or maybe even both at the same time. Jeremy had to admit, the option was definitely there and it was kinda tempting. He had a gun, he could use it, and maybe he could take out a couple of people if he really felt like it. Thing with that: he didn’t feel like it. Although the gun was good it still didn’t improve his chances to win enough for him to be actually consider himself a candidate to win. Sure, he could use it to vent his frustrations and ruin someone else's chances of winning, but that was called “being a dick” and that was not what Jeremy was. Being evil was not the option for him.

The other option, of course, was to be the hero; which within this setting was probably something like “try to stop people from killing other people, using force and even killing as necessary.” Idealistically? That was a pretty cool thing to do! Practically? Ehhhhhhhh. Nobody could actively stop the deaths, that was covered in the rules. If no kills happened in 24 hours then everyone would die, and then their sacrifices meant nothing. He could try to protect his friends, but in the end only one could survive. There was also the idea of taking out the people who he considered to be evil, but that definitely wasn’t going to work out, just by the inherent hypocrisy of it all.

So, as he reached the top of the staircase, he realised that to be honest neither option with the gun was that good. He looked around. Now that he could actually see it from the top it was… actually kinda what he expected, but still slightly interesting. The top was made of stone or brick or whatever the grey stuff was, just like the rest of the building other than the stairs and the bell and the rope, which hung next to the bell and probably connected to some sort of mechanism. He would have imagined that the bell would have been rung by like, a stick or a bar or something you were supposed to hit the bell with. Pulling the rope to ring the bell was probably a blessing, though. The hole around the bell didn’t look like something he wanted to fall into.

There was another part of it that Jeremy wanted to look at. The edge. He took a couple steps towards it, not too many because that railing looked kinda shitty and that ege didn’t look like something he wanted to fall off of but he still wanted to look, just a little bit and… whoh. He didn’t really have a way of describing it other than beautiful or breathtaking or some of those other generic words, but honestly? The sea, the cove, the cliffs, the vivid colours of blue and green and yellow; he could see them all from up here. He wasn’t one that could look at pictures of things and be taken away by them, but this wasn’t a picture. This was real. He was here, this was happening, and for a moment he could ignore everything else and just be the top of the bell tower. Be this view.

Only for a moment, though. He turned around. Only view was of the bell and the rope to ring it.

Wait.

Could he ring the bell?

Oh my god he could. He could. He could ring the bell and everyone around the tower could hear it and they’d likely jump and react and it’d be great. Maybe it’d attract the wrong sort of people but who cared about that? He was a goner anyway, maybe it was better later than sooner but it’d happen anyway, so why even bother on trying to focus on that?

Wait.

He figured it out.

1. Have fun, above all else.
2. Find Friends?


Oh my god he had it. He had it. He knew what he was going to do now. These were going to be the last days of his life, so why not try to just make them the best of his life? He had nothing here. No parents, no school, no responsibilities. He could do whatever he wanted, within limitations. No killing, for example. This was someone else’s chance to live, he wasn’t going to ruin that for anyone. Maybe he’d help out one of his friends so that they had a better shot but if it was lowering someone else's? No way that was happening. There was also something else. Something he figured that he could add now.

1. Have fun, above all else.
2. Find friends, give last goodbyes.


Yeah, that sounded good. He knew that he was dying, and he knew that at best all but one were dying, so he may as well make the best out of that. Find the people who mattered to him and just show his appreciation. He didn’t know quite who, but he could think up of that later. He was alone. He had time.

And, while he had the time, he may as well just add one little thing more:

1. Have fun, above all else.
2. Find friends, give last goodbyes.
3. Pursue hopeless venture of survival, if first two options are no longer applicable.


Yeah, he knew. He had to at least consider it, though. In the situation where all the planets align and Chronos rises from the dead and somehow won the lottery in the exact same week there was probably enough inherent dumb luck there for Jeremy to maybe get out of here alive. Couldn’t count on it, though. That was why it was on the bottom. Don’t consider it too much of a possibility because that’ll make your inevitable death even worse because of the whole Seneca thing but at least know the possibility and that if you’re really lucky it might happen to you.

He was in front of the rope now. One pull and it was likely that everyone on the island was going to be alerted to his location, but hey, it could be a little interesting seeing how people reacted. If people came. From up here, he could see nearly everything. If anyone came, he’d know. And then he’d talk to them. See what they were up to considering the situation, and see how they were reacting to what he just did. That’d be interesting. If this was a mistake it’d likely result with him getting hurt or killed but at the very least it’d be a learning experience for him. Make the mistake so that you never make it again, or something like that. Well, it didn’t really matter anyway because regardless of what it would be he’d be dead, but hey. Maybe he’d learn something from that, too.

Plus, you never know what’ll happen until you do it. Ring the bell of fate, and see how circumstance falls for you, puny mortal. Good plan?

Yeah.

Good plan.

So, with all the strength he had, he pulled the rope and smiled as the music of the island chimed to life around him.

((Jeremy Frasier, continued in 人生の曲))
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