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In A World Of Shit; Open
Topic Started: Oct 11 2016, 11:22 PM (1,003 Views)
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((Clarice Halwood continued from This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe.))

Clarice didn’t remember the rest of the day.

She supposed she must have found her way to a bed somehow. Or Ty led her there. She must have been more exhausted than she thought. All she knew is that she woke up in a bed and thought, for one moment, that it was all a bad dream.

It wasn’t. Instead, she had been curled up in a bed that was sitting in an office. Nevermind the musty sheets and the fact that the wound Nancy had given her was both painful and itchy, she just wanted to keep sleeping. Normally, she couldn’t get out of bed quick enough. There was always so much to do. But what did she have to work towards here?

But once she was awake, getting back to sleep was an impossibility.

Ty had kept watch near the door the whole night. Fuck, she’d just passed out and hadn’t helped him with that. Had he been awake all night? She would have apologised, but something held her back from doing so. Maybe bitterness from yesterday. Maybe just tiredness.

They’d left the room soon after. Left the asylum. Clarice didn’t know where they were going, and she was sure Ty didn’t either. She’d shoved some food into Ty’s hands. She ate, too. Although food tasted like sawdust in her mouth. Maybe that was just leftover dust from the asylum clogging everything up.

They were walking across the bridge when the announcements hit. No words had been shared beforehand, none that weren’t necessary, but they both came to a halt once they heard the crackling of the speakers turning on.

The announcements came and went, and silence returned.

She could at least remember the faces of almost everyone on that announcement, even if she’d never had much reason to interact with them. Some of them were difficult to imagine as killers. Some of them it was hard to think of them as dead. But there were names that stood out.

Maybe parts weren’t a surprise. Like Nancy. Like Barry. Like Harold.

But Clarice couldn’t reconcile the imagery of murder with Kimiko, with bowling with her the times that Bradley didn’t ruin it, hanging out with her and Irene. Couldn’t process that Abby, the girl who’d been so kind, who’d loved animals and cooed over Grommit when Clarice was walking him, was gone.

But at least there… she knew what to feel. It was not so with Conrad.

Conrad was dead. Killed by none other than Isabel. The only double killer. The girl who Clarice had decided there wasn’t time to hold a petty high school grudge against.

Conrad killed Harold. He didn’t deserve to die. He did deserve to die. She hated him, and yet Conrad had been her friend, her boyfriend. She’d left him there and he’d been killed. It was her fault. But it was his fault for attacking Harold. Guilt. Disbelief. Anger. Grief. A tiny tinge of dark satisfaction.

Clarice didn’t move. She looked at Ty for a moment, and remembered him twisting Conrad’s arm. Conrad had that big halberd. He couldn’t have used that with that broken arm. Probably couldn’t have done much at all.

Clarice quickly looked away from Ty, staring off at the water that was sparkling in the sunlight.

Everything looked so peaceful. Beautiful, even, with the ocean right there. Clarice couldn’t help but take a few steps closer to the edge and glance down. She didn’t see any bodies. It all looked like a regular island, if she didn’t look too hard at the asylum in the distance.



The fuck was she supposed to do?
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((Natalie Winters continued from The Cuckoo's Calling))

Bright light.

After the sheer damp and dark walls of that basement-like place, Natalie finally found herself outside in fresh air. Honestly, this could be an okay spot for a vacation retreat, in a different situation. Right now, however, Natalie had to focus. Last time she got scared, she could've been killed. She was lucky those two were friendly. Or at least as friendly you could be in this kind of situation.

Now she was back on her own. Something she's used to doing. Being alone means you get to have much more freedom in your choices. The one person Natalie can trust in doing something is herself. If she screws up, well... that's on her. Someone else? She doesn't quite know yet.

But again, this kind of situation is different. She might just need some kind of help. Nothing too large. Especially if she's stuck with nothing here but a camera for defense.

Maybe find a partner. Three people is fine too. They'd have to be trustworthy though. Crowds might attract attention.

Then there were the announcements. So many deaths in one day. Natalie didn't know many of them, but the shock still hit her. This was real. There was death.

Too many things on her mind. Stress is bad.

Focus.

In her bag, they gave her rations. Food, some water, but not enough if this was going to go on for days. She had decided the best way forward is probably going to be in the staffing areas. There should be food and maybe a place to sleep there, right? Well, the first step is always the hardest.

Natalie had walked onto the bridge. It's fairly long, a bit abandoned, but this should be the right way.

Halfway across it, she spotted some people. Two? Couldn't tell from this distance. A repeat of last time? Hopefully not.

Last time, Natalie snuck in, last time Natalie probably screwed up and lost her chance for allies. This shouldn't be like last time. Let's try something different this time.

She figured one of them was probably a girl. It looked like she was staring off into the sea. As Natalie approached her, only then did she realize that the girl was apparently quite muscular. Natalie wouldn't last long in a fistfight with her if she's hostile, though she didn't look hostile at all.

God, I hope this is the right decision.

Natalie walked, as calmly as she could, and spoke clearly,

"Hey... Looks like I'm not the only one travelling this way. Don't worry, I'm friendly," she said, face showing a smile, hopefully getting the message across. She could only hope.

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((Ty Yazzie Continued From This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe))

Tired. Wasted. Not the first time Ty hadn't slept, not even the first time 'cuz he was afraid of someone sneaking up on him in the dead a night, but first time that stealth was lethal. Lots of staring. Starting at sounds. Bumps in the night, flashes of light, killers lurking on the edge. Nothing really. Fuck. Who knew what real was right now. He was dead on his feet without much in the way of brain space and Clarice weren't talking.

Barely heard the announcements, if he was being real honest. Names. Words. Prolly terrible, but didn't tell him anything new. Harry was the only one that really mattered in the end, and Ty already knew he was dead. Harry...and Conrad.

Fuck him. Ty was glad the snapped little prick was dead. Shoulda killed him himself for what he did.

...Jesus, where did that come from?

He needed to rest, but it wasn't time yet. Didn't know when it would be. Wasn't now though. That was all that really mattered. Right now, he was just staring over the edge with Clarice, trying to feel human again. He didn't even look back when a new voice echoed out over from behind them. Right now, if they were friendly and unfamiliar, he didn't care all that much. All he did was grunt and give a weak nod as he kept staring over the edge.
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“I don’t know where I’m going,” Clarice said quietly, not immediately that a stranger had spoken. When she did, Clarice abruptly turned, raising her hands in a way that made it impossible to tell whether she was trying to surrender or challenging the stranger to a fight. She paused before lowering her hands again.

She didn’t recognise the girl. Probably a junior. She said she was friendly. Seemed normal.

Isabel had seemed normal, too.

This girl wasn’t Isabel. It wasn’t her fault. She wasn’t Nancy, she wasn’t Conrad, she deserved to be treated as friendly as she was being.

Clarice frowned, averting her eyes for a moment. She shifted her injured shoulder a bit, trying to work out the persistent itch that was going on there without moving it so much that the pain got too much. The pain was one thing, but the itch was maddening.

“I don’t… I don’t know who you are. Your name, I mean.” Out of the muddle of emotions going on, none of them really were winning out over the others. Her voice came out mostly flat. Maybe a bit clogged.

She had to be nice. She had to… maybe not trust like she had before, she didn’t want to invite in another attack. Being wary, that was fine. But she couldn’t treat everyone like they’d committed the crimes that Isabel, Nancy and Conrad had.

That was what they wanted. Clarice would not do what they wanted.

Clarice gestured at herself. “Clarice, by the way. That’s Ty.” She waved her hand at Ty. “We’re...”

She’d been about to say ‘we’re friendly.’ But as she waved her hand at Ty, she trailed off. She looked at him, her gaze getting significantly colder. Could she really call Ty friendly? Ty had broken Conrad’s arm, and now Conrad was dead.

“...I’m friendly,” she said.
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((Wayne Cox continued from 白色雑音))

He didn't know what he was doing anymore. Or rather, he did, but he didn't want to admit it. He didn't know how to continue even if he did admit it.

He was working at cross-purposes with himself.

He'd thought - or had he said? He couldn't have - that what he wanted was someone who was worth it to make it out of this place alive, to go back and make something of themselves and make sure everything that happened here was paid back in full. A doctor, a judge, a teacher, a spokesperson to rally the masses and make a real change. Someone to give the world something that mattered that would make the loss of everyone here just a footnote to the things they would accomplish.

It was too high a pedestal. He couldn't name a single past winner who had done that much. He didn't know much about them, but he knew that some of them were dead, and others out of the public eye.

Out of everyone, anyone, Asha and Dorothy had deserved to make it to the end. This point had come up again and again, looping through his thoughts. He knew there had been more than good in them, more than noble intentions. Even they felt or would feel the same things under the surface. Hate. Fear. But those things were buried deep, not acted upon even when the impulse came - that was how they were different from him.

Wayne let the taser cartridges spill through his fingers into the open bag below. He'd been sitting here for a while, staying low, staying out of sight. Just a little distance away was the bridge, the only way he could get to the other side of the island without returning down the slopes that he had traveled with them and back to the beach where he had committed his first crime.

He'd eaten breakfast earlier, or at least what counted as breakfast. The bread was long gone, eaten on the first day before it would have grown stale and moldy. Today - a protein bar. Half a bottle of water. The ones that had been assigned to him. The ones that were untainted. He'd separated out the bars on top, the ones from the beach, and only taken the ones on the bottom.

He zipped Asha's bag and slung it over his shoulder. He'd considered dumping one bag into the other to mix the contents. To hide his guilt. It didn't seem to matter anymore.

People were dead. People were gone. Nancy was the one with the axe. Conrad, student council member, someone who was supposed to lead, had killed and been killed. So much for leadership. Kimiko had killed too, and won an award, and all he could think of was that day where he'd thought she'd been checking out Jerry's butt.

So stupid, to wish for the past. But there was nothing for him in the future.

Half measures, always half measures. All he was doing was making enemies. If he had really wanted an advantage, really wanted to win this, he should have gone all the way. He should have slit Asha and Dorothy's throats in their sleep. It would have been quick. He could have told himself that it would have been painless. It didn't matter that his name hadn't been read out this way. The next time they saw him, the next time the girl on the beach saw him, the next time anyone they met and told saw him - he was done for.

And all for bags that might be laying around everywhere as time went on and people died. Even a mass murderer wasn't going to bother to take the supplies of everyone they killed.

So what now?

Time to run from it a little longer. Time to move on.

He began walking across the bridge towards the three people he couldn't avoid.
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Natalie wasn't expecting any kind of response. If what the announcements said were true, then people have died, which meant that someone honestly snapped. This entire thing was already a gamble, as Natalie was hiding the fact that her heart beat fast at the unknown circumstances in front of her.

When she did receive an answer, she calmed down. The boy was grunting, but the girl seemed responsive. Or at least as responsive as she could be.

Clarice and Ty. Again, nobody she used to know. Natalie's starting to regret not being more sociable now. Then again, you never really expect that you'd be dumped into an abandoned island, anyways...

"I'm Natalie. You can call me Nat for short."

Clarice said she was friendly. That was good. Natalie didn't have anything to go on but Clarice's word, but it was still good enough.

Slowly, she took a spot next to Clarice, easing in so that it didn't seem like she was being threatening. Natalie folded her arms and sighed, staring off into the distant sea as well. It was beautiful, for one thing. With her polaroid camera, she might even want to take a picture if this were any other holiday. Better yet, she might even draw it. She already missed the fact that she used to just be able to grab a notebook and sketch. The little things hit you the hardest it seems.

About 5 or so seconds have passed in silence.

Last time this happened, Natalie got nowhere.

Not like last time. Not like last time. Do something different for once, actually talk to them.

She knew she wasn't going to get anywhere if she just waited for people to start the conversation, but at the same time, she didn't really know what to say.

To hell with it.

"Look... I'm not really good with all this small talk business. Never was, probably never will be. You two..."

Natalie trailed off a bit when she glanced and saw Ty's face. From the way he looks, Natalie could tell that something was a bit off. These two have probably been through way worse than she did.

She cleared her throat and continued,

"...You two look like you've been through a lot. Probably more than me. I'm trying to look for a place to stay for a few nights maybe. Shelter, food, all that stuff. I know it's probably weird to have some random girl show up and ask you this, but I think it's probably a bad idea for me to go alone, and you look like you're headed my way. I know you probably have no reason to trust me..."

She was rambling. She said 'probably' way too many times. She's running her sentences in circles.

Stop. Get to the point. Focus

Another deep breath.

"...What I'm trying to say is. I don't think it's safe for me to travel alone. Maybe I could tag along for a bit, at least until we find a safe place to part. If you're fine with that?"

There. She said it. It's off her chest.

Just when she thought she could calm down, however, she noticed from the edge of her vision, a boy.

Natalie's body remained calm and relaxed, but her heart was already beating rapidly again.
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That look probably shoulda gotten a rise out of him. He could feel the chill off of it even out of the corner of his eye. Probably deserved it too, though. He'd broke her boyfriend's arm and left him to die, and the little bastard deserved it after what he did to Harry, but...she was gonna hate him anyway. He could feel it in his bones. Couldn't blame her. If Bee had been holding him up somehow, and Clarice had done that to her...goddamn. He woulda just wished he'd died than seen it happen.

Bee. She was out there somewhere. He just hoped she was alright and that they'd find her soon. Couldn't think much beyond that. Heart couldn't bear it right now, not under all the sleep deprivation and grief.

Speaking of things he didn't wanna deal with, new girl sat herself down like she'd been invited and started stuttering on about...something. He couldn't focus on most of it. It was just empty babbling as far as he was concerned. The gist was that she wanted to stay and be all safe and buddy buddy. Kumbaya. Sounded real nice for her. Especially if for some reason she wanted to wait and get the jump on them later.

He could explain that their best friend had just died in front of them, or that Clarice was hurt real bad and he was dead to the world and neither of them weren't in no shape to be looking out for anybody else right now. That they were all strangers and it wasn't smart to go around trusting people as likely to kill ya as say hello. Or just that he didn't trust her, and he'd like her to leave.

"Fuck off," was all he grumbled, staring out over the water.

Never had much time for explaining.
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“Until we find a safe place?”

Clarice wondered, distantly, if this was how she’d sounded to everyone else yesterday. Group up and hope for the best? How well had that gone?

And maybe she wanted to punch Ty for his dismissive ‘fuck off’—although maybe she just wanted to punch Ty in general, and it didn’t have shit to do with what he’d said. She did grimace at the words. But she kind of agreed with the sentiment. But then she also didn’t. Everything was just so fucking… jumbled.

She turned to face Natalie. Clarice didn’t think the girl was trying to pull a trick on her, but she’d also thought Nancy wouldn’t attack her. That Conrad wouldn’t hurt anyone, even after all that shit about outlasting. What the fuck did she know about good judgment calls, when every one she’d made had been bad?

“Where, exactly, do you think we’re going to find a safe place? Do you think the terrorists set up a breakroom, in case we want a break from all the murder? There isn’t one. There just… there fucking isn’t, alright?” Clarice’s voice shook. It was impossible to tell if it was from anger or from being near tears. “And if there was, it wouldn’t be with us. Or… or you’d be talking to four people instead of two.”

She turned back to the ocean. Why did it have to look so fucking nice?

“Why couldn’t this happen yesterday?” she muttered, more to herself than anyone around her.

She wanted to believe grouping up for safety would help. She really did. But there would be no safety until the end of the game. And if it ended on their terms, that would be too late for it to matter.
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The tone of their voices told Wayne that it was best to turn back.

But there was nothing that waited for him back there that was better than what awaited him ahead.

He was running. Blocking off area after area of the island with tainted memories until nothing remained.

So it didn't matter much if he recognized Ty and Clarice. It didn't matter that he didn't recognize the other girl. It didn't matter that although he couldn't make out the words that they said, he could hear frustration and anger carried over the sound of the waves below. It didn't matter that Ty and Clarice were bigger than him, stronger than him, didn't matter that he carried extra packs so that his guilt was in full display. Look at the bags. Look at the knife on his hip. Look at the blood that should have been on his hands.

Those things didn't matter because he forced them not to. He just had to move, one foot in front of the other, over and over again.

Even as he got closer, he just kept moving at the same steady pace, his face like a mask, his hands hooked into his pockets. No eye contact. No acknowledgement.
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The two of them rejected her completely. Natalie was prepared for rejection, but she wasn't prepared for their tone. The boy, Ty, clearly had way more on his mind, and although Clarice was a bit more reasonable, she was also not in a good mood to talk.

Isn't there anyone on this place that's willing to cooperate for once?

Clarice mentioned something about there being four people before. Natalie didn't want to think about it, but the only logical way that conversation would go is that the other two may have...

died.

She didn't want to consider that possibility, despite Clarice implying it. Considering it meant accepting it, and that meant confirming Natalie's worries that people were out there and killing other people. She couldn't believe there would already be murderers in just a day. She didn't want to believe it.

Maybe they just had a fight, an argument, and left them? She wished that were true.

"Alright, okay. That's totally fine... I was just... y'know, just asking," she said as she raised both her hands up. She slowly walked back. They didn't look like they wanted to be bothered. Pressing them further might just make them angry. Clarice is bigger than Natalie, and could take her down easily. Ty could as well, probably.

Natalie could do it alone for now, again...

Another failed team-up. I guess it's what she got for not socializing much. The universe seemed keen to make her a solo drifter, which is not the best idea in a place like this. As she walked backwards and away from the two, she couldn't help but feel like her heartbeat continued to increase.

She thought the stress came from worrying about how Clarice and Ty would answer her request, but now she realized why. As she stepped back, out of the corner of her eye, she saw someone walk towards her. A boy at a steady pace, almost invisible until Natalie walked into his path. The same presence she felt a little while ago.

She stopped a bit and glanced at him, While she hadn't bumped into him, she didn't exactly want to bump into him.

"Oh, whoops. Uh... hey, sorry about that."

Shit. Why did she speak to him. He was obviously trying to ignore this whole situation. That's when she saw a knife of some kind on his hips. All that did was make Natalie freeze in slight fear, and her heartbeat increased.

Was this boy a threat? Following from what Ty said, she already thought of killers, and then this boy shows up with a knife, invisible. Trying to get a free kill maybe? No, he was ignoring them. The stress is making Natalie overthink things too much. Just play it cool.

"You, uh... headed across the bridge, too?" she asked sheepishly, not knowing if he would answer or not.
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The girl was gone. Except she wasn't. He could hear her talking faintly with someone across the way with the bridge.

A low growl rumbled up out of his throat. "Too many fucking people."

He began to rise, eyes flitting in their direction.
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“It’s fine. Just… you know, we’re just...” Clarice trailed off and shrugged, before wincing and remembering, oh yeah, the shoulder. Natalie backed off, and then immediately someone else turned up.

Clarice wrinkled her nose at Ty’s comment and turned towards him.

“What’s the alternative? Corpses?” Her tone was harsh.

She then turned away to look at the newcomer. She primarily knew Wayne by sight. Knew he was a basketballer. Knew he wasn’t a huge asshole. She thought, at first glance, that he looked weirdly bulky or weighed down or—

It clicked. He was carrying two bags.

That could mean a lot of things. He could have found them. Scavenged them. Stolen them. Murdered someone for them. He didn’t look like he was running at them with a gun or anything. But Natalie was already approaching him, and it sounded a little like she was about to go into the same offer she’d just shared with Clarice.

...Girl could not pick her targets. Clarice could just let it happen, but… well, her conscience would be rattling at her after. She didn’t want Natalie to learn a lesson about being careful the same way Clarice had.

So Clarice backed away from the edge of the bridge, and put herself between Natalie and Wayne, her good arm stretched out towards Natalie to stop her from moving past.

“Hold on.”

She shifted, trying to stare Wayne down. Hard when he was looking down like that. The sort of body language that, were Clarice watching this as a film, she’d go ‘that guy’s being shifty, he’s probably important. A minor villain or at least a red herring.’

“Hey. Hey, Wayne. Eyes up here, I’m talking to you.” Clarice snapped her fingers and then gestured at her eyes. “Where’d you get the second bag?”

Risky, to confront someone like this, but what could she really lose that the island wasn’t already set on taking away?
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No more pretending.

A girl was there in front of him, with curly red hair and a question in her eyes. The question she actually asked was dumb, he thought, but there was something else behind it. Something she wanted from him.

Like Clarice, who accosted him, wanting something from him, too. Wayne had looked down, yes, but he had mostly looked past her. At where he wanted to go. At where he wanted to escape. But there was no escape yet from this situation, and that was how he had intended it, because he had not hidden the extra bag, had not hidden his guilt. It wasn't fair that his guilt wasn't obvious unless he made it obvious. Unless he let his actions or words or face betray him.

So easy now, to tell the truth. He was caught out on one thing. Why not everything?

No more pretending.

He met Clarice's eyes.

"I found it," he said, and hated himself more. "Someone was dead, and..." He paused, filled with disgust - at himself, at the truth behind what really had happened, at the falsehood, at the thought of looting a corpse. "I took it. I guess they don't... I don't know who it was. Didn't want to know."

"And yeah," Wayne said, breaking eye contact to look at the other girl. He was tired of fighting himself. "I guess. I'm not here for the scenery."
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Natalie didn't even have to think. She immediately understood the situation that was happening.

At first she didn't consider it. How can anyone kill someone. Especially anyone from her school. That's why she'd ignored the fact that the boy had two bags, or the knife.

She wanted to believe that there was some kind of hope that people weren't insane.

Kill.

That word lingered in her mind.

The boy, Wayne, said that he found it, but the girl, Clarice, seemed to have thought differently. Natalie seems keen to believe that the boy just found it. If a student really did die, maybe it wasn't this boy that killed them.

"Wait a minute, we're not gonna do anything stupid, are we?" asked Natalie, looking at both Clarice and Wayne.

Truth be told, despite being okay with going on her own, she'd like a partner. But a partner who's a murderer? Not possible. She wanted so badly to believe in the more peaceful explanation.
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"Thank you, Ty."

"I'm here for you, Ty."

"I appreciate you saving my fucking life, Ty."


Clarice hadn't said any of this shit to him, or anything like it. It was all tense little nods and barely hidden contempt and nothing that did anything but piss him off more.

Fuck it. She didn't want him around. And he lived by a very simple rule to help him get by when he started getting too hot to control himself.

Walk away.

((Ty Yazzie Continued In Last Days))
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