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Notes from an Even Smaller Island
Topic Started: Sep 23 2016, 08:47 AM (1,692 Views)
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((Amanda Tan continued from You Could Have A Dream About Losing Your Friends))

Sunlight was a welcome friend.

Whether it was in Singapore or in Arizona, the warmth of the sun was the one thing that was a constant in her life. To feel it now, dim as it was through the barred, broken window was like meeting an old friend for the first time in an age.

And yet, she didn't dare to get too close to the window to get a better view, too much grime, too many sharp edges, too much rust. So she simply stared out the window as they passed it.

Everything felt a little off about the view. The sky was an uneven blue, a couple clouds floating by without a care in a world. No planes, no ships, nothing. Even the sea seemed dead, it's unfamilliar blue, rather than the usual harbor green, a sure sign that they were far away from anything that she had ever known.

Emma was still gripping onto her shoulder for support. In all honesty, Amanda felt as if she needed some herself. Fear was nipping at her at the back of her mind somewhere, but she felt she managed to keep it under wraps.

It was the same fear of death, she decided, that made it so easy for people to kill on SotF. You don't think about shooting other people in self defense unless you're a complete gun nut. Guns were unnecessary in normal situations but this was the furthest thing from normal you could get. She likely wouldn't have touched a gun if she wasn't here, but it seemed like the only line between her and whoever decided to play the game.

Not that a gun would protect her all that much, she reflected. She didn't know how to shoot, she didn't know gun safety, she didn't know anything. But she didn't need to use it. Deterrence was better than war after all. If someone wanted her dead, she'd probably not make it, but if someone was already thinking twice, holding on to a gun might just make all the difference in the world.

"Guys, you know we can't move that fast over here, right?" Lucilly and Jaime were just a little bit ahead of them further down the hallway. It was probably annoying having to wait for her and Emma to move slowly, but really, her shoulder was beginning to hurt. This was a slightly worse idea than she'd thought it'd be.

But Amanda was too much of a bleeding heart to stop helping now, even if she had no clue why Emma wasn't feeling well. God be damned if she was going to leave someone alone when they were feeling unwell. Not on this island.

"How about we take a break around here. These are the wards, right? Betcha some of these rooms have beds."
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

Those no longer with us

It's the Grand Map of Doom! v6
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"Sure," Amanda replied, trying not to sound too relieved at the weight being taken off her shoulder.

She had been half-expecting an objection to stopping from Lucilly, who had been leading the way all this time. She had seemed determined to go somewhere, even if it seemed that the somewhere was as far away from that lab as they could.

They'd even continued walking when the bell had rung, the first sign that there had been anyone else apart from the four of them about. It might have been interesting to check the bell out. Then again, it might have been a trap. But, instead they had climbed the stairs once more.

Was she looking for some place in particular? Still, she was fine with them resting here. Amanda couldn't read the girl at all.

"Right," she said, grabbing onto the handle of the closest door. "Let's find out what's behind door number one."

She pulled the handle as hard as she could, but the door refused to budge. She rattled the door a few more times, hoping that she might dislodge something, but no such luck. The door was still as unopened as when she started.

"Okay, so maybe door number one doesn't want to be opened."

Was it locked? Or was it just another sign of how ancient the whole building was. It probably looked far older than it actually was, having been abandoned for so long. It was actually kind of sad, how the entire building was left a wreck, left to slowly return back to the earth it stood on.

"Ugh, guess we've gotta try other doors."
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"No problem!" Amanda returned Emma's smile.

The reply had been automatic, and while it couldn't have been further from the truth, it was good enough to see that Emma was feeling a little better.

Lucilly had stopped by another door, but she didn't open it. She was staring at the ground, her flashlight lingering on the spot where she stood.

Suddenly, Lucilly shouted, and before Amanda could really work out what was going on, she had already slipped by them.


She took a quick glance at the ground where Lucilly had been standing, but it was near impossible to tell any dark stain from another in this lighitng.

If that was blood that was a lot of it. And whoever it came from was in whole lot of trouble.

Emma started to go after Lucilly, but she still didn't seem well enough to run, holding onto a wall for support.

"Don't. I'll go." Amanda turned to Jaime. "Look after Emma. See if you guys can find whoever was bleeding. They need our help. And fast."

There was no time to wait for their responses, there was no way she was going to let Lucilly go off by herself. This island was already enough of a deathtrap without potential murderers.

"Lucy! Wait up!"

She ran after her like her life depended on it.
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They were too far from the others.

That was the first thought that went through her mind when she caught up with Lucilly.

It hadn't been too hard to catch up with her, but she held onto her shoulder anyway, partly as a measure of comfort, partly to ensure that she didn't run off again.

Not that Amanda thought that she would. Lucilly looked scared out of her wits right now, and was on the verge of, scratch that, in tears over the current situation.

"Yeah, you really shouldn't have," Amanda said, half-knowing that it wasn't exactly the best thing to say to calm her down.

She could still feel the adrenaline, she could still feel her heart pumping, her shallow breathing, everything telling her that she needed to keep moving.

"I don't blame you, though. This place is, like, seventeen different kinds of messed up."

Had the others found the source of the blood yet? Emma wasn't looking so good when they'd left either. And Jaime? She wasn't exactly Miss Reliable. God knew what was going on in that mind of hers.

She wanted to go back now. Make sure everything was alright.

She almost wanted to tell Lucilly to get up, that they needed to go back. That there was someone in trouble who needed help. And that there was no way that she was leaving anyone to bleed like that. Not even if it was someone like Isaac or Caedyn or whoever. Maybe especially if it was them. Even if all they ended up finding was a corpse.

But she didn't.

"So, don't worry about it, 'kay?. Most people would freak out too. Just take your time to calm down."
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"You absolutely sure?" Lucilly looked calmer now, but Amanda had no idea how much that translated to being fine. How much would it take for her to go running off like that again?

Any of a million hair triggers could set someone off like this and Amanda could't be sure how long they could avoid that. How close was she herself from going off like that and doing something stupid. It seemed unlikely now, but she knew enough about SOTF to know that people often did break down. Why wouldn't they. Terrible things were going on left and right, and there was nothing and no one here to stop them from going and doing something stupid, and the terrorists had probably done the absolute best to create an environment that pushed them towards worst-case scenarios, no society, no rules, no adults to police them.

All she could do was to do her best to not mess up. And that meant that she had to trust Lucilly for now. Trust her words that she was okay, even if she didn't look it, even if there was no way she could be okay here, no way anyone could be or should be okay with all that was going on, would be going on, and had gone on here.

She let go of Lucilly's shoulder, even if for some reason not absolutely certain that the girl wouldn't take the oppurtunity to run instantly.

"Come on. The others are probably worried too."

She took a tentative step forward, hoping that she'd follow.
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Her voice was wavering, Amanda was sure of that.

But Lucilly followed, and they made their way down the corridor. Amanda didn't know what to say now. Was there anything left to say? She could only awkwardly lead her back to to the others in silence, turning back every so often, just to confirm that she was still there.

The voices grew clearer as they walked towards them, Jaime insulting the terrorists, then Emma talking about escape, or rescue. There was slight irritation at that. Had they been talking the entire time? Every second that they were talking was another second not searching the rooms. Another second where whoever was bleeding was moving a step closer to dying. Another second wasted into nothingness, never coming back ever again.

"Hey, we're back," she said, shortly after rounding the last corner.

The bloodstain was more visible now that she knew it was there. It was a lot of blood. Too much.

"Did you guys find anyone?"
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They didn't find the source of the blood. Not for lack of searching, but several of the rooms in the corridor remained locked, and Emma had guessed that they'd hidden themselves in one of those rooms.

It was an exercise in frustration. It was just one person, and there were four of them, trying to help, but despite everything, they could get nothing done. She had expected them to come out of their hiding spot eventually, but even as night fell, they had found nothing, heard nothing, and Amanda was starting to get sick of nothing.

They retreating to a ward for the night, trying to get some rest despite everything. She managed to sleep, a few restless hours, but more of those were spent pacing outside the room, looking for more clues, looking for something that could help the group out, anything to just keep herself working.

The announcements were a blur, each of the names almost half-expected, as if she could have said, I guess if anyone was going to snap it was them. Kimiko was the real stand out here, Kimiko was way low on the list of people she expected to hurt anyone like that. And yet she'd won some sick award for that. People were dead and people were killing and she couldn't even help one person.

Were they dead? Was someone dead because she'd failed to do something? She didn't know, and it didn't seem that she'd ever get to know. She doubled up on her search efforts the second day, even breaking down one of the locked doors in frustration, receiving a shower of splinters as a reward. But no, nothing.

Not literally nothing, but there were only bits and pieces of what might have once been useful items, or things far too massive to carry around. The terrorists had done their job well. If you needed a pile of rotten boxes, they had plenty of those. But as for anything that they could use, anything electronic, anything sharp, it all seemed rusted, broken or useless.

They'd talked a little, to try and burn time, but that was all it was. It was hard to talk when there were so many things that seemed out of bounds. School, friends, college, jobs, family, each of them were iffy in their own way, and she wasn't going to think about it for as long as she could. Thinking too hard about what her family was feeling would just make her even more upset, and that was the last thing she needed on this island.

Time simply continued to pass and night fell and dawn came once more and Amanda found herself slumped against the bed when she awoke.

She was rarely groggy when she awoke, but she now felt like she was thinking clearly, perhaps too much so, things just a little too sharp, ideas making too much sense on the inside of her head.

It was the third day now.

They had been here for something like fifty hours.

But nothing changed, nothing seemed to change and nothing would change if they were just going to sit here in the ward.

They'd wasted two days and they got nothing for it.

At this point she needed to do something, anything, to change things.

There were people out there dying and she was in here crumbling away from the inside out.

The announcements made everything clearer to her, and when Emma stumbled back into the room she made an announcement of her own.

"We've gotta move." She was sick of this room. Sick of these walls. Sick of being unable to do anything in here.

"I don't think it's a great idea to stay here for much longer. There's gotta be a better plan out there than just sitting here, doing nothing, and hoping that we don't get killed by one of those guys." She looked at the others in the room, hoping that one of that would confirm or deny what she was saying. She wasn't talking out of her arse, right? She was making sense, right? She looked at Lucilly, at Jaime, at Emma, gauging their reactions.

"I mean our goal is to live. And if we just sit here, we're not going to get rescued right? We actually need to do something. If we want to live, we need to go and make something happen."

What was she saying? She just wanted them to get out of this room. She didn't have a plan or even a plan for a plan for a plan. She just wanted to go.

She'd gone too far. She knew it. But words couldn't be taken back, and she could only wait nervously to hear the reaction to her words.
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"Yeah. We need water, too. "

Amanda hadn't thought of that. It should have been obvious that her the remaining bottle wouldn't last too long, but somehow it had slipped her mind completely.

Somehow it seemed that her stupid idea wasn't so stupid after all. Obviously she wasn't the only one who wanted to get the hell out of there.

They weren't going to get water here. They weren't going to get any food here, they weren't helping anyone by doing nothing and they wouldn't be getting off this island by sitting here.

But what was the plan?

But where would they go? The aslyum was large enough to just find another room to hide in, but if they were going to do that, they might as well just stay here.

They needed to do something. But she didn't have anything beyond that fact. Her mind stalled at the word plan repeatedly, failing to come up with anything more concrete than the word 'plan'.

Escape sounded good on paper. It would be great, wouldn't it? If they could get some secret SEAL task force to pull them out of there like those kids six years ago. But they needed to do something to get it to happen, and she couldn't for the life of her come up with a hint of an idea.

"So that's four yes votes." Water. The only place with water she could think of was the beach, but that wasn't quite drinking water.

"We should pack up, get ready to leave." she said. They could come up with a plan after.

The contents of her own backpack had been laid out in somewhat neat piles on the floor. She'd looked through what they'd been given a few times, but there was nothing there that would help them escape. There were a few tidbits of facts in the booklets they'd been given, but they were largely of the, 'don't do this, or you'll die' variety.

She stuffed them hastily back into her backpack now, including a few wrappers she refused to leave on the ground. Sure, that hardly mattered now, but somehow it still felt wrong to leave them there. She acquised to her conscience, stuffing them in one of the side pockets of the bag, where they wouldn't get in the way of anything.

The gun was the last thing she remembered, having simply laid in the side of the room, unused and untouched since they had first settled down here. She was half tempted to just leave it there, and not have to worry about shooting anyone. But reason and paranoia somehow beat out anxiety, and she picked it up anyway.

She shuffled around near the door, waiting for everyone else to finish up their own packing.

She needed to come up with a location before everyone else was done. Come on, she needed to think.

((Amanda Tan continued in The Greatest Sideshow on Earth))
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