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Heel-and-Toe
Topic Started: Sep 2 2016, 07:47 PM (619 Views)
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Lillian ‘Lily’ Caldwell continued from Dramatica.))

Rats.

Both literally and figuratively.

Lily pulled her legs up so that they were off the floor, sitting on the chair in a cross-legged position, before going back to examining the controls for the radio tower. She was only half-sure she’d seen anything at all, but she was sure she heard skittering nearby.

She hadn’t had much hope for the radio tower, but she’d feel like an idiot if she later discovered the tower had worked all along. Even though she was skeptical, her heart has sped up (and was still thumping pretty hard) at the fact that the controls had looked intact and possibly useable. But on closer inspection, bits were missing here and there. Important bits.

Could she find replacements? Unlikely. And if she could, she wouldn’t necessarily be able to fix it.

Lily smacked her non-injured hand against the controls.

Well, worth a shot. This wouldn’t be a good place to hole up, though. Anyone hoping for an escape would likely head here, like she had done on a skeptical whim.

On further consideration, looking at the map for ideas was a Catch-22. Anywhere good that the map pointed out would be seen by other students and likely to be crowded, and anywhere good that wasn’t on the map… well, Lily wouldn’t know about unless she directly stumbled on it.

She definitely couldn’t keep running around. Even just lugging her things from the staff area to here had tired her out. She pulled out her map and started examining it again, as if somehow that would provide her with answers.

She still held the mirror shard gingerly in her injured hand. She’d stopped long enough to wrap some tape around the part she was gripping, in hopes that it might stop herself from cutting her hand open again.
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[Lili Williams continued from Never Known Questions]

The first thing that had caught Lili's eye on the other side of the bridge was the tower spiraling up towards the sky. It loomed over everything else on the island, stretching like the Eiffel Tower onward and upwards until it hurt Lili's neck to look any higher. She had put the white sneakers in her bag after she finished crossing over. They had probably belonged to the owner of the abandoned bag, G023. For the time being, Lili was keeping herself mentally occupied by humming more of her favorite songs as she walked. She had gotten used to her new reality as far as location went, but knowing that someone - someone that Lili could've known - had already succumbed to the sick game they were made to play? That was too much.

As far as Lili was concerned, Spiderland had yet to consume its first victim.

Lili walked through the gate to the utilities compound. Briefly, she glanced at the other two buildings inside. She thought back to her map, and realized that she must be looking at two warehouses, one for vehicles and the other for, well, whatever was worth storing. Lili made a mental note that she would pay the general warehouse a visit later for supplies. She figured that there would probably be something worthwhile inside. For the time being, Lili walked over to the radio tower and the building beside it. The tower itself had been overtaken by nature. Even if it wasn't, what would Lili do about it? She didn't intend to climb the damn thing, did she?

Instead, she turned her attention to the small building next to the tower. She thought that it must house the radio equipment inside, but she figured that anything that could be used to contact the outside world would have been cut off or disabled. They took her binders and pencils, for whatever reason, so why wouldn't they have the foresight to shut this place off, right?

Lili didn't really have any reason not to go in and check it out, so she walked over to the door and twisted the knob.

Perched on a chair at a desk full of levers and buttons was a small, impish girl. She wore an army helmet on her tiny head, stray hair spilling out the sides and back. Lili squinted at her and realized she recognized the Soldier as Lily Caldwell. Lili was roughly aware of her as her classmate who - phonetically speaking - shared the same name as her. The two had several classes together in the past, but as far as friendship went...they were on neutral terms. Lili was still yet to find somebody that she'd consider a friend. Of course, she'd take anybody who would be friendly to her at a time like this, anyone who wouldn't stick a gun in her face or demand that she trade. She feared that she was beginning to crack, despite the relative peace she had found in the past couple of hours or so.

Then, she saw the red-stained bandage on Lily's hand, and froze. That was, for certain, blood, showing through the bandages on her hand. Was it hers? Someone else's? Lili took a step back instinctively, her shoes scraping into the dirt. There was only one way to find out the truth about the red stained hand, anyway, and that was to ask. She cleared her throat.

Lili tapped her nightstick lightly, still in her hand, against the side of the door frame.

"Hey, Lily," She said, with a half-enthusiastic laugh, "It's Lili."

She couldn't think of anything else to say. Was there really anything else to say? Instead, she just looked at the floor. Her shoes. Anything but the crimson gauze tape.
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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First rule: don’t turn your back. And already Lily had messed it up. Just because no-one had been there when she got there didn’t mean she should turn her back to the exit.

The moment she heard that tap-tap, she dropped the map and jumped to her feet, fumbling with the mirror shard. Did she use her injured hand to hold it? That was normally her good hand, but her off-hand would be able to swing it better but—

After some fumbling, Lily held the shard with both hands. It was only then that she registered who she was staring at.

“Oh. Lili with an I,” Lily said. Her voice came out strained. She lowered the shard slightly upon seeing that Lili only had a nightstick on her. At least, as far as Lily could see. She still kept the shard close to her chest, just in case.

Lily looked around awkwardly for a moment before saying, “The controls are broken. The tower won’t work.” There was nothing else of use in the room.
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And then again, someone was pointing a weapon at her. Maybe she should stop sneaking up on people.

Spiderland hadn't been kind to Lily, it seemed. Her dress was flecked with more blood, and as Lily gripped the mirror shard with both hands she got a better look at her wrapped up hand. Still red. Still bloody. Lili shivered.

"Well," Lili replied, "I expected as much. First they leave a helicopter on the roof of the warehouse, and then they taunt us with this? It's just too much." She caught her breath, holding her free hand to her chest. Lili tried not to stare at the crimson splatters on Lily, but no matter how she tried to look away, she found her eyes creeping back towards the dots of blood.

"You..." Lili began, then stopped. The last thing this girl probably needed to hear was another word about the blood all over her. It wasn't going to do Lili any good to bring it up. Lili was scraping the bottom of the conversation barrel. She needed something, anything to blurt out to break the silence.

"...Fuck," Lili settled on, "That's a badass helmet."
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

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Lily didn’t say anything in reply to the comment on her helmet, but her eyebrows creased together and she gave Lili a look that suggested that she’d either hit her head or that Tina had started dealing on the island and Lili had bought something particularly potent.

There was an uncomfortable, tight sensation in the pit of her stomach as she thought about Tina.

Lily saw Lili looking at the blood. With a sigh, Lily shifted the mirror shard to her uninjured hand and lifted the bandaged one.

“I cut myself. You can stop...“ Lily waved her hand vaguely at Lili. “Uh, stop… that.”

She lowered the shard a little more, since Lili was clearly not attacking. She picked her map back up, from where it had slid onto the controls.

“If you knew it’d be broken, then why are you here?” Lily asked bluntly.
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"I mean, I might as well check," Lili answered, "Just in case." Lili didn't think that her real reason - that she just felt drawn to the tower, as if pulled by an invisible force - would be appreciated. As far as she knew, Lily was a very rational, studious person, and she wouldn't take too kindly to that kind of answer. It was a bit of a cop-out, either way.

She noticed Lily going back to pick up her map, and thought about where someone like Lily would want to go. The girl was smaller than her, and being the rational thinker she was she would probably want to find somewhere to hide and wait the game out for a little while. If Lili was smart like that, she would be doing the same thing. Instead, she was drifting around Spiderland like a paper bag caught in the wind, blowing back and forth until eventually snagging on a pole or coming to rest on the ground.

And paper bags tear easily, after all.

"I'm guessing you heard the bell earlier," Lili replied, "I'm guessing you aren't planning on checking that out?"

If she was going to drift, she might as well keep Lily company, right? Birds of a feather flock together, and the two were but one feather apart. Sure, it was kind of a stupid reason, but at this point Lili was worried that being alone wasn't going to be good for her health.

But maybe being alone was what she needed after all. Everyone she had met so far had messed with her in some way or another, so what was the point in seeking out more people? They'd just toss her to the side, or try to take advantage of her apparent weakness, or point more weapons in her face. Spiderland wasn't just full of scared, dangerous strangers, it was full of scared and dangerous enemies. Hadn't Lili learned her lesson by now? She had never been one to socialize, so why was she so desperate for company now? A band of pain swept across the back of her head. She needed a cigarette, and she didn't think Lily would have one on her. Nobody was being of any help to her, and everyone seemed to be out to get her.

She just wanted to prove that narrative wrong. She wanted to prove herself wrong.

"It's probably not best to go over there, anyway," Lili remarked dryly, "Just makes it easier for the people playing."
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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“I hadn’t planned on it, no. For all we know, the tower might be automated to ring every now and again.” Granted, everything else seemed in terrible condition, but the terrorists had clearly done a sweep of the island, judging by the missing equipment in the library and the missing parts from these controls. They could have rigged the bell to ring sometimes, just for fun.

Lily looked up from her map and eyed Lili for a few moments, sizing her up. If she did attack, it wouldn’t spell immediate doom. She had a nightstick, and she was skinny. Maybe even more so than Lily, although she was taller. And Lily’s weapon, improvised that it was, was sharper. A nightstick was not designed to kill, just to subdue.

She still wouldn’t be letting Lili within reaching distance if she could help it, but this was a milder danger.

“You may sit down, if you like,” Lily said, gesturing at the other chair. “But if you could not linger in the doorway? I’m not comfortable with the exit being blocked. No offence meant to you directly.”

Besides, Lily was too obviously a good target on her own, and she was still a little out of breath from traveling here. As a long-term companion, she didn’t know Lili well enough. Not enough to trust her while she was sleeping. But just for a few minutes? That was a different matter.
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Lili nodded, and took a seat next to the control panel. Everything looked perfectly fine on the surface, but Lili figured that the wiring had been cut, or the screws inside had been taken out. Could she fix it? Could anybody fix it?

"I woke up there, actually," Lili said, "At the tower. Didn't look like there was anything in place to ring the bell." Whomever it was, she felt like it was best she stayed away from them, at least for now. That kind of company could only drag her down. Lili noticed her company's eyes on her, but did nothing. It was only natural to check out whoever you might be with at a time like this, scan for threats and the like.

She set her bag down on the floor and reached over, unzipping it. She then pulled out a bottle of water, took off the cap, and sipped at it lightly, staring again at the controls. Something about this whole place just felt off to her, but for some reason she felt like she wasn't going to be leaving any time soon. It was just a gut feeling, but deep down she felt like it was true. At the very least, that truthful feeling was something she could rely on. Something to keep her strong. She stretched her arms, reaching forward as far as she could, interlacing her fingers and yawning. It felt good to stretch. Lili knew that she had the skills to keep calm, meditation skills and yoga poses that would keep her centered, so why was she still shaky? Even if it wasn't so much on the outside, she was still uneasy on the inside.

"Hey, I know it's a bit of a long shot, but do you have any cigarettes?" Lili asked. She figured she might as well. She knew that those could breathe some calm into her. Keep her rooted to the spot, at the very least. Something grounding. With her cigarettes, she could do much, much better here. She might last long enough until help came, or until something else put an end to things.

Something, or someone.
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

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SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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“Well, even if I wanted to take my chances and group up with a bunch of unknown people they’ll probably leave before I can get there. That’s on the other side of the island, isn’t it?”

She was coming up blank on where to hide, and panic was starting to crawl into the edges of her brain. She just needed something else to focus on.

Lily frowned at her map some more before putting it aside and pulling out the notepad and pencils she’d taken from the library. She’d prefer to take inventory somewhere where she was alone and in no risk of being intruded on, but there was no guarantee that she’d find such a place. If she was careful, and didn’t remove everything from her bag all at once, she’d probably be okay for now.

“No. I’m not a smoker.” Well, not much. Not tobacco. Only marijuana around Tina, or at the very occasional party. Not something she’d go for on her own. Just to prove she could.

Lily opened her bag and pushed most of the supplies to one side, before picking up the ration bars and placing them on the other side one by one, counting as she did so.

“So you’ve traveled further than I have. I woke up over there.” Lily nodded her head towards the building she’d come from. “What is happening over there? Has anyone started playing?”

When she was done counting ration bars, she noted on the paper how many there were, then started doing the same with the bread.
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No smokes. Figured as much. Lili was getting a little impatient, but it wasn't anything that she'd throw at Lily. She hadn't lost her self-control yet, not as far as anger went. Lili hadn't ever really had an outburst back home, and she wasn't going to let that get the better of her here. Plus, Lily had a shard of glass in her hands, and she didn't want to be on the receiving end.

"Nobody's started playing," Lili began, "But people have already started acting weird. When I woke up and went to the top of the bell tower a girl with an eye-patch pointed a gun at me, if you know her. She didn't threaten me, it was more of an instinctual thing, but...it wasn't a pleasant way to wake up. Then I was held up on the bridge over here by Kaitlyn, this Senior girl, who wanted to trade stuff with me. She called it 'Toll Booth', and if Alan, another Senior, hadn't come along, she probably would've tried to take my stuff. Oh, and Scout showed up too, but I left before I could really talk to her."

"Nobody's started to play the game, though," She continued, "Not that I've seen or heard."

She didn't mention the shoes. She figured it would be best to not tell about it.

"There's ten bars, by the way. Four bottles of water, two loaves of bread and two tins of crackers. I can vouch for the crackers, they don't taste all too bad. Helps if you've got an upset stomach, too." Lili rested her head on her hand, putting her elbow down on the control table, and sighed. It wasn't a bad amount of food, but they really skimped on the water. Would there be working faucets somewhere on the island? She doubted it. Besides, if they all had the supplies they needed, what reason would they have to fight? Especially with water, since you dehydrated pretty fast if you went a while without it. The decision to limit water to four bottles wasn't an accident.

"What about you?" Lili asked, leaning back in her chair, "Who'd you run into so far?"
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

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“Four bottles?” Lily asked, voice strained. Even just thinking about it made her mouth feel drier. “That… is not good.” Even as she said this, she was confirming Lili’s words by counting out the bottles. Letting out a sigh, she said, “I appreciate the information, but I’m going to count up anyway. Just in case.”

“I’ve seen Coleen Reagan and Jasmine Reed. Neither of them seemed particularly dangerous, although… things did get a little tense with Jasmine for a moment.” Lily looked at her injured hand and grimaced. “They were both in the library. Coleen left before I did. I haven’t seen anyone playing yet, but...”

Lily trailed off as she pushed the crackers to the side, writing down the total. The food would last. The water wouldn’t. Clever, really. If she hid somewhere, she’d never outlast the others. Not with only four bottles.

She pushed aside her tissues and sweater, noting them down too. Then she tugged out the first aid kit, opening it and writing down what was inside that. It was slower work. She had to check a lot of labels. Anything she’d used some of, she made a little dash next to.

“Toll Booth,” she mused outloud. “If she’d been trading her water, I might have risked it. But I suppose that was a while ago.”
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Coleen Reagan and Jasmine Reed. She knew Coleen's name and face from the arts department at school, and that she was the lead singer in a local band, but being in two different grades basically put a wall in between the two. Lili had seen Reed in the halls before, but her overly outgoing personality hadn't been very welcoming in the past. If she had run into those two instead of Eye-patch and Kaitlyn, Lili figured she would've had an easier time waking up, but ultimately she didn't really want to switch places with Lily.

"I got a third of a loaf of bread, for a protein bar," Lili said, "And I gave Alan a protein bar and a quarter for his weapon. Poor guy got a plastic light saber from Star Wars. He gave me a bar with his light saber too, so I didn't really lose much over there." As she spoke, Lili took the light saber out of her backpack and inspected the handle. The blade portion of the toy was retracted, a red button on the handle the trigger to open it. Lili tried to press it down, but nothing happened. Don't tell me this thing's defective, she thought, Such a waste!

Then she noticed that there was the faint imprint of an arrow pointing downwards on the button itself. Lili tried to move the button like a switch in the direction it was pointing, and the blade shot out of the handle, which made Lili jump a little. The plastic shaft was colored purple. Lili wasn't an expert on Star Wars, but she was pretty sure there wasn't anybody with a purple light saber. Lili found that pulling the plastic blade out a little further would fully extend it, keeping it in place, and that pulling the button down again would make the blade collapsible.

She swung it around in the air in front of her for a bit, distracted by how light it felt in her hand. At the base of the light saber was a small plastic clip, similar to one that you'd find on the cap of a pen. She clipped it to her waist, sliding it so that the light saber hung outside her jeans on her side. The feeling of the plastic toy on her hip was somewhat comforting. She found a new hope within herself, hope that maybe she wouldn't suffer as much as she thought. Of course, the threat of other students turning violent hung menacingly in the air, like a phantom. For now, though, Lili was content to sit and rest for a little while.

If I'm going to be a Jedi now,, Lili thought, I might as well be a good one. She turned and looked back over at the other Lily, returning to the conversation at hand.

"Hey, there might be running water somewhere here," Lili remarked, "It's a small chance, but it's still possible. I wouldn't get too worried yet."
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

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“Please stop waving that around,” Lily said quietly, as Lili waved the lightsaber around.

Sure, it was a fake weapon. But it was a horrible reminder that, should someone be armed with a proper one, that it wouldn’t take much. Just a few steps closer, and one swing.

The more Lili talked, though, the more… inane she sounded. Lily watched her talk, the same confused and wary look on her face, but it was only until the water comment that she spoke.

She had intended for her words to be polite.

“Yeah, why don’t we just put off worrying until we’re out of water?!” Lily asked, her voice abruptly high-pitched and strained. “That’ll solve everything. Nothing could go wrong with that approach. In fact, why don’t you just keep trading your few supplies for joke weapons, too? Did you hit your head? Did you breathe in too much sleeping gas and damage something?”

It may not have seemed polite, but it was better phrasing than what had originally been in Lily’s head. Which had also been louder and accompanied by the urge to slap some sense into Lili.
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Lily seemed like she was pissed off.

Of course, it didn't really phase Lili all too much. She should've figured that a girl like Lily would've been somewhat annoyed at Lili's seemingly illogical trading habits, but she was surprised that she didn't pick up that Lili had only gained supplies. Nothing of value was lost, back at the toll booth, but Lily didn't seem to care about that part. With her comment on the water, Lily made it sound like she heard a suggestion to just lay down and die, when the opposite was the reality. Lili just wanted to calm down.

"I'm not saying to just forget about the water, just that we should try to get more information before we start to panic," Lili said, shrugging her shoulders, unfazed by the comments Lily made about the sleeping gas. It was entirely possible that they gave her too much, considering her weight being under the healthy average for her age. She was going to add something on about the trading, but she figured that much was beside the point. "There are two warehouses on the island, and one of them is just down the road. There's gotta be something in there."

And, well, even if you aren't planning on killing, you could always just scavenge. Pick out the supplies from other people's bags that might have been left behind, she thought, but she didn't say that much aloud. It was tempting, but she knew that if Lily was losing her cool, it was all the more reason for Lili to keep hers.

~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

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“Unless there’s a river, and judging from the size of this island it doesn’t look likely, there isn’t going to be running water,” Lily said, voice strained. “This place is old. Any pipes would have rusted out. And the terrorists have clearly gone over the place, so I doubt they just left a crate of water bottles in the warehouse.

“And I’m not panicking. I’m thinking ahead. I’d rather be considering this now than when every other kid on the island runs out of water. Except anyone who’s been playing, of course, because they’ll be very stocked up.”

Lily couldn’t go that route, even if she was ready to kill a classmate. She was too small. Too unarmed. Stealing one bottle or two at a time, though… risky, but it could work. Provided the other person was unaware of her and she didn’t repeat her mistakes from the library.

Besides, too many others would inevitably head for the warehouse. And if there really were supplies there, what if there weren’t enough to go around? That was just inviting a bloodbath.
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