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Be Prepared; Now Private
Topic Started: Oct 14 2016, 07:25 PM (890 Views)
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((Daniel ‘Danny’ Brooks continued from Companion Rectangle.))

Whoever had been here last had sure had a fun time. Danny didn’t know whether that made him feel better or worse. Did the beer cans and playing cards everywhere mean they’d had time to relax before leaving for whoever knows where? Or did it mean they’d all been murdered before being able to clean the mess up?

He liked to think it was the former.

Once they’d decided to stay here for the night, Danny had spent the remaining time awake collecting some of the playing cards off the floor of one of the kitchens. He and Bridgette had taken turns keeping watch. Danny had spent most of his time trying to play solitaire. Didn’t help that there were enough cards missing to make actually winning pretty damn impossible. But he kept playing anyway, because it was better than thinking about everything in detail. And it temporarily drove the image of Cristo sprawled dead on the floor from his mind.

That could be him. All it took was one asshole with a gun storming in. What good was keeping watch when the best he could do was maybe take a few bullets and let Bridgette escape? Granted, that’d be a baller way to go, but he’d much rather stay alive.

They’d both been awake, sitting at the tattered kitchen table and eating some of their supplies (would it kill the terrorists to leave a little jar of peanut butter in there or something, give it some flavor?) when the announcements came on.



Well, that made not thinking about shit impossible.

There were people that Danny knew at least in passing on that list. A lot of them. He always thought Nancy Kyle’s sense of style was kinda cool (though he’d never said it outloud for fear of his inner weeb showing). Conrad had been someone he hadn’t been fond of, because he was kind of a joykill. But even so, killing followed by death? Yikes.

But there were two names that particularly stood out.

One was Isabel Ramirez. They did ballet together. Danny… had mixed feelings about Isabel in general. She was mean, but she sure as fuck knew how to dance. Danny could respect that. But a killer? A double killer? Danny… wasn’t sure if it was unexpected, and honestly that was pretty fucked up.

And then there was Scarlett.

The last time he and Scarlett had spoken was back when they were still dating. Scarlett was nice. Friendly. She could tap dance really good, she liked Star Wars—who didn’t like Star Wars, fucking lightsabers and spaceships, what wasn’t to love—and they’d had a good time when they were going out. But she’d been clingy and jealous, too. Had kind of passive-aggressively got on his case when he spoke to girls (and yeah, Danny knew he had a reputation, but he’d never cheated and a lot of his friends were girls.) Their last conversation had been about that. Danny had quietly dumped her over text and avoided her afterwards.

After settling things with Fiyori, Danny had intended to eventually confront Scarlett and apologise. Same with his other exes. He’d meant to, he really had. Now he never would. He’d said ‘I’ll do that tomorrow’ too many times, and now for her there wouldn’t be a tomorrow.

Danny wasn’t sure if he could call what he was feeling outright grief. He did feel sad. But primarily, he felt regretful that things had gone down the way they did.

He’d lost his appetite. He lowered the bread he’d been chewing on and stared across the table at Bridgette. He’d rested the CD player on the table, too afraid to put it anywhere out of reaching distance.

“I… I think we need a plan, Bridge.”

Scarlett’s death had taught him one thing. If he wasted time now, he’d regret it for the rest of his short life.
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((Bridgette Sommefeld continued from Companion Rectangle))

They hadn’t chosen the best place to spend the night.

It was like someone threw a college party and left the mess to stew for decades. Broken glass littered the floor, doors were off their hinges, and someone had left a chair hanging in the wall. Bridgette hated being here, but she supposed it was better than sleeping outside. At least they had a roof over their head.

She didn’t get much rest that night. Her sleep was light and fitful, and she came to appreciate guard duty. It wasn’t enjoyable, but at least she felt productive - if she couldn’t sleep, she may as well stay up. She’d picked up a mostly-intact bottle during her first shift, figuring she’d need something to protect herself. It was a little gross, knowing it was covered in ancient saliva, but she had to suck it up. Anything was better than the toothbrush she’d gotten.

At one point she’d pulled the survival guide out of the bag - as vigilant as she’d like to be, it was still a little boring. It was a short little pamphlet, like the ones in doctors’ offices or hotel lobbies, but this one was detrimental to her survival. She spent hours pouring over it, partially out of boredom, partially out of interest. Mostly out of nervousness.

She was still reading it at breakfast, when the announcement came on. The sound of crackling speakers lifted a weight from Bridgette’s chest. She was lucky to hear it now. It meant she’d survived a day in Survival of the Fittest.

It meant she was still alive.

But then there were those who weren’t. Their names didn’t rattle her too much. Sure, they were tragic, but their deaths were good news, in a way. Ten people had died, but that meant ten less threats, ten less competitors, ten less peers to outlast before she went home.

Of course, some of them stung. She knew Scarlett and Conrad, but she wasn’t too close to either of them. She could handle their deaths. But then there was Joshua. The first face she’d seen on the island, the boy who supposedly had a plan - one that had fallen through. The last words he said to her echoed in her mind.

“We are not going to die. I’m going to make sure of it.”

Bridgette scoffed. He’d done a good job of that.

The room quieted as the announcement ended. The relief lingered, but there was an odd heaviness in her chest. She ignored it, because she had other things on her mind.

She had to deal with the killers.

Her suspicions of Isabel were correct, but Alvaro came completely out of left field. She’d written him off yesterday, designating him as a non-threat. But he’d pushed a kid off a cliff. Maybe he was a little more unstable than she’d thought. Goes to show how poor her judgement was.

Now there were six clear threats: Isabel Ramirez, Nancy Kyle, Kimiko Kao, Alvaro Vacanti, Alex Tarquin, and Jasmine Reed.

Isabel, Nancy, Kimiko, Alvaro, Alex, Jasmine.

Isabel, Nancy, Kimiko, Alvaro, Alex, Jasmine...

Bridgette muttered their names under her breath. She had to commit their names to memory, remember the killers so she could survive. She looked down at the survival guide, and got an idea. She instinctively reached for her pocket, but to her disappointment, remembered it was empty. They’d taken all her pencils.

She looked up when Danny spoke her name. He said they needed a plan. Bridgette nodded quietly. “Yeah, of course.” She said, glancing down at the pamphlet again. Another pause. “...We should go find pens.”
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“Pens? Oh, you mean for, like… writing down the names and shit, right? Yeah, that makes sense. Probably need paper or something too, right?”

Yeah. That was smart. Writing shit down so they don’t forget. Be super awkward to forget that someone was a killer until he’d been shot in the face. Bridgette knew her shit, even if her rereading that pamphlet over and over was kinda freaking him out. He’d glanced at it, but just kinda tossed it somewhere after. Didn’t look helpful.

“Well, there’s probably pens somewhere. Maybe. I mean, this place looks old as balls, so they’re probably all dried up. Oh, I stopped by a storage closet in the asylum at one point. Maybe that has some. It had paper. Like, old records or something, I dunno, I didn’t have much of a look before Sandy scared me. And after that—fuck, Alvaro could have killed me.”

Danny had totally blanked on the fact that he’d been on the announcement, maybe thinking too much about Scarlett and Isabel. But Alvaro had shoved Barry off something, and like… Barry was a huge goddamn dude. Not the sort of guy that could easily be shoved off stuff.

“Guess there was no cliff to shove me off,” Danny muttered. “You reckon he was lying about Min-Jae attacking him, too? Maybe he’s just been going around shoving people and Min-Jae shoved back, yeah?”

He hoped Audrey was alright after leaving with him, even if she’d been kind of weird. But she wasn’t on the announcements, so…

“But after the pens, like… I mean, do you have anyone you want to see? Or anyone that might, y’know… not be a dick?” Danny propped his chin on his hand, staring at the chunk of bread he still held in his other hand.

Goddamn, he really wanted some peanut butter. Such a weird priority, but it would have made this morning a little less garbage.
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Danny immediately listed off a couple of places they could find pens. Bridgette nodded along. “Good, good,” she reached for the map again, spreading it on the table in front of her. “So we're going back to the asylum again?”

She listened to Danny ramble on, and shook her head when he asked if there was anyone she wanted to see. “Not really. I think it's for the best we don't see anybody we know, actually. Because people will die, and…” she trailed off, remembering her encounter in the electroshock therapy room. “I’d rather not see friends right before they do.”

The weight in her chest grew heavier, but she shook it off. Joshua’s - and everyone else’s - deaths were tragic, but it was inevitable. People were going to die, and none of them were going to last long in a situation like this. It was just something Bridgette had to accept.

And if she could handle Joshua’s, she could handle everyone else’s.

Bridgette shifted the conversation topic. “And I dunno about Alvaro. You knew Jae, right? He was kind of a dick But I guess Alvaro still could’ve started it, but it doesn't change the fact that Jae beat him up.”
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“Ughhh, the asylum. I mean, I guess if we have to. But that place was creepy as fuck.”

Danny frowned as Bridgette brought up her perspective on friends. He… he didn’t know if he agreed. It was a good point. Meeting friends would hurt when the worst happened. But… fuck, the idea of never seeing them again hurt, too. Scarlett came to mind. Even just one more meeting. Enough to say sorry. Or one more meeting with friends just to… last moments were supposed to be good, not ‘later, dude’ or ‘haha, have fun at school, sucker!’ Wait, that’d been to Jacob, that would be his last words no matter—god, don’t think about that.

Still thinking on that even when the conversation had moved on, Danny registered a reply to the shit about Jae. “I mean, if someone punched me I’d punch him back. Just saying.”

Danny pushed back on his chair some, rocking onto the back legs before hearing the ominous creak that resulted from doing so and plonking all the legs back on the ground again.

“If you’re so set on not seeing friends… then why you still bothering with me?” The words spilled out as soon as they came to mind. Hurriedly, he added, “Uh, I don’t want you to leave! But… I mean. Y’know.”
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Bridgette sighed. “I'm not set on avoiding friends,” she replied, folding her map back up. “I’d just rather not, if given the choice. I can't control who I run into.”

“And like you said,” Bridgette continued, pointing the folded map in his direction. “Friends should stick together. There's no way either of us would survive alone.”

She paused for a moment, looking at Danny. Mostly meeting friends wasn't too bad so far - after all, nobody had tried to kill her yet. But she thought about her own words again, about his initial reaction to her. She knew he didn't have that survival instinct.

Would he end up like Joshua?

Bridgette knew the answer, but she didn't want to dwell on it.

She pocketed the map and stood up, glancing around the room. “Do you think we should search the place before we head out?” Admittedly there didn't seem to be much of anything of value, but it was always worth searching. Besides, they hadn't explored the whole building yet.
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Huh, that was true. Maybe. Danny didn’t know if the two of them stood much of a better chance together than apart. It wasn’t like they had weapons or mad kung-fu skills. Danny hadn’t really given a thought to how high their survival chances were beyond ‘everyone is fucked.’

“You’d rather avoid friends, but friends should stick together? You’re not making all that much sense. What does make sense right now, though?” Danny shrugged. He rubbed his face, trying to wake up a little better.

“Yeah, let’s search around. There’s gotta be some paper and stuff around here. I’m not really keen on going back to the crazyhouse. That place was way easy to get lost in.”

He picked up the CD player and got to his feet.

“Which way should we try first, do you think?”

-

Time passed. They searched through the dormitories, looking for anything useful.

What they found was a lot of random everyday shit, for the most part. At one point, Danny found an old, musty doctor’s coat in one of the cupboards and in his infinite wisdom put it on. But then it smelt like ass and made his skin itch so he put it back.

Overall, they hadn’t yet found anything useful when fate, destiny or whatever was in those damn protein bars intervened.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” Danny said abruptly, as they went through what felt like the hundredth trashed bedroom. “I mean, I know this place is abandoned and all that, but taking a dump on the floor just doesn’t seem right.” He paused, then added, “Too much info?”

He closed the drawer he’d been staring into.

“Bathroom’s only like a couple of rooms away, yeah?”
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"You're a happy accident I guess?" Bridgette responded, shrugging. "We both needed allies, and already being friends was a bonus." And probably her only requirement, she thought to herself. She wasn't sure if she'd trust an acquaintance, or worse, a total stranger. People like Danny were easy to trust. Maybe meeting one friend wasn't such a bad thing.

Danny agreed to search the dormitories. Bridgette stood up herself, grabbing the broken bottle. "Alright, let's start with the bedroom next door."

Hopefully they'd find something.

~*~

They'd found nothing.

Nothing of use, at least. They'd found beddings, old clothes, and other things the former occupants never bothered to bring with them whenever they left. The only thing of interest they found was a sleeveless leather jacket, laid out on a bed. One of these people had a poor fashion sense.

Spending hours rummaging through garbage creates mind-numbing boredom, and it felt like a chore. Enter room, check room, find nothing, repeat. When Danny asked to go to the bathroom, it was a welcoming break from routine.

Bridgette nodded, kneeling next to one of the beds. "Yeah, sure, it should be that way," she waved a hand at one of the walls as she lowered herself to the ground. Maybe, just maybe, something would be there.
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“Cool, cool. I’ll be two minutes, okay?”

Danny headed out of the room. He only briefly stopped to pick up his CD player from where it sat in the corner with the rest of their things. He wasn’t going to go undefended, that’d just be ridiculous.

He’d seen a toilet. Was it a couple of rooms back? Danny quickly peeked through the first couple of rooms he saw. No, no, no—yes, thank god, there it was. Danny bolted across the room, closing the door behind him—no working lock, great—and then came to a halt in front of the toilet itself.

Good god. And he thought public bathrooms were bad. Nevermind a toilet that had probably gone without cleaning for decades. Maybe even centuries. It looked like centuries. Was there even toilet paper? Were there even leaves outside?

There was more to think about than Danny had thought. He stared at the abyss that was this particular toilet, deliberating the pros and cons of putting his ass on that thing.

Danny bounced awkwardly on his feet as he stared down. This was inhumane. Fighting to the death is one thing, but not even providing a decent place to go to the bathroom? Not to even go into the awkwardness of the entire world seeing him take this dump.

This was the worst decision of his life.
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((Isabel Ramirez continued from 白色雑音))

Isabel walked through the halls of the staff dormitories, the heels of her converse shoes slapping against the worn tile floor.

It had been a little while since she left Asha and Dorothy behind, still slightly fuming. She couldn't believe someone she thought was a friend would try to hide things from her and say such awful things. So what if she killed people? They were going to die anyway, who murdered them didn't make a difference, be it her or some idiot from the robotics club. She didn't even feel bad about it afterwards, and if she didn't feel bad about it, how could it possibly be that bad? It wasn't like she stabbed someone who could've contributed to society. They were already worthless. Both of them.

Isabel stopped in her tracks as she heard doors open and close around the corner. She wasn't alone in here. Readying her sword, she peeked around the corner only to see the back of a familiar head, Danny. Another friend from ballet. Or maybe she should question his status as a friend. Danny was probably the member of the ballet group that she talked to the least, and Asha, the person she talked to the most out of the bunch, utterly betrayed her trust. Why should she think Danny would be any different? Isabel readied her sword. He didn't look like he was armed, he would probably be an easy kill.

Isabel lowered her sword just as quickly as she raised it. Danny was still somebody she knew. Not some random person that she didn't know at all, or someone she hated like Tina. Danny was funny, and she enjoyed his company like she enjoyed the company of all the members of the ballet group. Maybe Danny wasn't someone she liked a whole lot, but he was someone she liked, which isn't something that someone earns easily. A short term ally would be a benefit to her survival, and Danny was one of the few people left on the island that she could possibly trust, even if only for a few days. Presumably Danny could trust her too since they spent so much time together, and that would make it easier to convince him to stick around with her. It would be a waste of resources for her to just kill him now to get him out of the way. Better to get him to stick around as an extra pair of eyes and ears before stabbing him in the back when he outlived his usefulness.

Isabel walked towards the door that she had seen Danny disappear into before sitting down next to it, waiting for him to come out.

Today was shaping up to be a longer day than Isabel could have possibly imagined.
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……

……...Nope. He was not quite desperate enough to put his butt on this toilet. He’d probably take his chances squatting outside or something. Just… not that toilet. Ew.

Danny mentally washed his hands of this debacle—and wished the taps worked so that he could literally do so—before opening the door, CD player tucked under his arm, and almost stepping on Isabel.

She was just sitting there. Waiting. Chilling. Covered in blood. The blood of two people, judging by the announcements. And now she was here. Waiting and chilling.

Danny reacted like anyone would. He shut the door again immediately.

But, wait, fuck. Bridgette was out there. If Isabel just left—why would she leave, this door didn’t even have a lock—she’d meet Bridgette. Meet Bridgette with her sharp things, and… fuck, so much could go wrong there.

So Danny opened the door almost immediately after closing it again.

“Heeeeeyyyyy?” His attempt at being casual was belied by a shaky voice and an odd lilt to the end of the ‘hey’ that made him sound confused.

Be cool. Maybe she was chill. And if she wasn’t…

...Well, fuck, what would he do then?
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Isabel blinked a few times, unsure of what to say.

Danny had closed the door on her before opening it back up, and was obviously intimidated by her. She guessed that she didn't look too great with the dried blood on her shirt, but she was still a familiar face. It shouldn't be that hard for him to not be afraid of her. She didn't have any reason to be afraid of him, after all.

Still, he was at least talking to her rather than running away like she would expect most people to. Like she wanted most people to. The less conflict and less attempts on her life, the better.

"Hey. Just saw you walking down the hallway and looking in the doors. Thought I'd drop by and say hi."

Isabel stretched slightly, before continuing. "Been alone myself. Looked like you were too and I thought you might appreciate an ally or... something."
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“Yeah. Yeah, I… y’know, was looking for a bathroom. That’s all. Hi. ...It’s not a good bathroom, though, I’m just going to… to step out a bit.”

Danny shuffled a little forwards, closing the door behind him. He thought the fact that Isabel was being chill would be better, but really… it was kind of scaring him. Same way as Jeremy being way too chill about the whole death battle thing hadn’t sat right.

She thought he was alone. She didn’t know about Bridgette.

Danny looked at her for a moment. Took in the blood. The chill. Then averted his eyes slightly. He patted the CD player, giving a very forced grin.

“Y-yep. All alone except for me and, er, Tunes here.”

Terrible name. He could have done better.

“Tuney?”

Hmm. Maybe? Maybe it was short for Petunia.
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"Heh." Isabel chuckled at Danny naming his CD player. "I guess you still haven't lost your sense of humor yet. That's good."

Isabel hoisted herself up off the ground. "Can't really say I'm feeling all that humorous myself." She crossed her arms, looking at the ground. "Met up with Asha. She threatened me with a taser and essentially told me to fuck off."

"Really made me feel welcome, you know? Friends are important, even if those friends happen to have a few kills under their belt." Isabel's posture slumped. "I hope that doesn't bother you... but I can tell you're a bit nervous."

Isabel shrugged smugly. "You don't have to worry about me. I'm not planning on hurting you."

"Oh uh..." Isabel remembered Danny's need to use the bathroom. "If you want I could just... turn around? Let you go take a dump in the corner or something I dunno."

Isabel turned herself away from Danny. "Just... tell me when you're done," she called back.
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"Well, you know. Gotta see the humor in things, right?"

Danny wasn't smiling anymore, though. Isabel had met Asha. She had been rejected. And... well, maybe Danny could see a little sense in what Isabel said. Maybe even felt sorry for her. Friends were hard to lose, and how often had Danny told a lie or said a rude comment to keep a friendship? Or lost one just by being him? Ruined a possibility of friendship by not coming clean with a cool girl who would have been a great friend, like Fiyori? It wasn't the same as murder but the island was different, right?

So maybe Danny, for a brief moment, meant to do something else. Being kind. Showing mercy or friendship or something. But then... Isabel turned her back.

The weapon on her back... it jolted him back into reality.

She had still killed two people. Maybe more. She never said she spared Asha. And Bridgette... Bridgette was still near, and what if Isabel decided she wasn't as friendly as Danny?

So Danny stared at the halberd for a moment. Then he lunged. Not to hurt her . Maybe. Just... if he had the weapon, he could make sure Isabel wouldn't try anything.

He didn't take into account that the halberd was fastened onto Isabel. All his attempt to yank it away did was pull Isabel towards him.

And the look on her face... the sword in her hands...

Danny panicked.

"Bridge?" he whispered, before raising his voice and screaming. "BRIDGE!"

Whether he was screaming for her to run or rescue him was unclear even to him. Either way it was the last thing he said before there was a nasty squelch.

The sword in his chest made it hard to scream.
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