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Why We Fight
Topic Started: Nov 10 2016, 08:21 PM (1,287 Views)
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((Clarice Halwood continued from In A World Of Shit.))

Nothing else had happened the previous day. Clarice had needed time. But maybe… maybe that had been a mistake. Avoiding any figures in the distance. They could have been friends. Or they could have been Nancy. Or Isabel. Or Kimiko. Or Ty.

Clarice hadn’t been far from the supply depot when the next announcement occurred. She’d gone there afterwards. Now she sat on the rusted truck outside the storehouse. Staring ahead. Thinking. Trying to ignore the persistent itch in her shoulder. She’d tried changing the bandages, but it was difficult with one hand. She hadn’t wanted to look at the wound too hard, either. The job she’d done was probably worse than the one Conrad had done for her.

But… but there was a lot to think about. A lot more besides a bloody shoulder and… and Harold and Conrad and… she had to think of other things for now.

Names stood out on the announcements. Nancy, Isabel, Kimiko. They’d all murdered again.

Clarice wasn’t sure if she could call herself lucky for having escaped Nancy with her life, but… it was certainly something at this stage. And Isabel… well, what could she even say to that? Isabel was a murderer. Still a murderer. So were so many others, but…

And Kimiko. Kimiko had murdered Bradley.

Clarice had hated Bradley. Bradley had been a piece of shit who thought laughing at genocide was acceptable. Last time they met, she’d yelled at him and flipped his plate of nachos. She’d felt like shit after, since one of the employees had had to clean it up. Clarice could just see him doing something so stupid as to mouth off to a killer… but, fuck.

“Dumb shit,” Clarice muttered. Her words weren’t venomous. It was… fuck, she was weirdly sad about it. No matter what Bradley had been, he didn’t deserve to die. No-one here did.

She still couldn’t process Kimiko murdering someone. One person… maybe—just maybe—it could have been an accident. But… she wasn’t the sort who flipped out like that. She was the calm one. She hadn’t been the one flipping nachos at the bowling alley.

Clarice looked around. There would be a camera. There always was. A metal eye staring at her, recording what could be her final moments. Just like the one staring at Harold, still staring at him because she’d fucking left him there. Rotting in view of the world. She found the camera, glinting nearby, and stared at it.

They were dropping like flies. Harold. Conrad. Abby. Bradley. Nancy. Isabel. Kimiko. Clarice had never watched Survival of the Fittest, but she knew enough from some cursory wiki research. (From a purely theoretical standpoint, the concept was an interesting example of propaganda.) She knew that the rescuers from way back hadn’t taken killers. Nancy, Isabel, Kimiko… they’d all as good as killed themselves by murdering.

Not that it mattered if no rescue came. And if Clarice just sat on her ass, staring at walls and the ocean and being sad, how could she expect a rescue to happen?

She had to try something. Even if she couldn’t save anyone, she could do something. Fight back somehow. She knew laying down their arms and waiting for the terrorists to blow their collars… she knew that wouldn’t work. Not now. And even if it did… it wouldn’t hurt the terrorists. Not really. All they’d lose was a bunch of children who were going to die anyway.

But there had to be something.

There had to be.

“Fuck,” Clarice muttered. The anger wasn’t there like it had been yesterday. Frustration, mostly. Frustration that she wasn’t smart enough to find a way out of this. Every moment she sat here, with no ideas, was another moment where someone could die. Where someone could lose their head and doom themselves to dying on this island.

And even if she did figure out a plan, how could she do it under the view of the camera?

Clarice sat there, legs dangling off the edge of the rusty truck. She stared at the camera. And her mind ticked.
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((Bart Cappotelli continued from So, so tired...))

He'd made it. Once again, he somehow outran his collar. Having to start the first two mornings since the game started by running to avoid losing his head was something that he sincerely hoped would not become a trend. However, the fact that he was barely holding onto life despite not even having encountered an antagonistic figure yet came off as a bad omen.

Fortunately, the trio's trek for shelter did not take anywhere near as long as it had the previous day. Bart didn't know what was different this time around. Perhaps they somehow had more stamina, or perhaps they were a little more used to the terrain. Whatever the case was, they didn't have to take as many breaks this time around. Before the sun reached the peak of the sky, they had already made it back to the storehouse that they had initially intended to visit after leaving the asylum.

However, just because they had saved an incredible amount of time, that didn't mean that Bart wasn't ready to rest upon reaching their destination. He wiped his forehead as sweat continued to roll down, threatening to obstruct his field of vision. He couldn't help but see the irony in how they had spent the last day moving from one storehouse to another, and now they were moving back. It was an unusual turn of events, to be sure. He didn't particularly care too much about coincidence, however. At the moment all he wanted to do was get inside the storehouse so that he could have some shade.

At the moment, the only thing that could ruin that plan is if someone else had gone to the storehouse ahead of them. At the very moment Bart was thinking about that, he turned a corner in search of an entrance to the storehouse and was greeted by the sight of a girl about as tall as he was sitting in the bed of a truck. He had crossed directly into her line of sight, and now he felt obligated to say something. this was bad. Bart had never been much of a talker, and the island hadn't helped him with that at all.

"Um..." Bart's eyes became unfocused for a moment, looking at the ground, the trees, and the storehouse before returning to the girl in the truck. That combined with his shaky, uncertain voice gave away his timidity. "... Hi?"
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((Jennifer Wallace continued from So, so tired…))

There were some driving questions Jennifer had thought of. One was “where are we?” An island that consisted of primarily an old mental asylum was a pretty good start on answering that question. About half the island, the half they’d been avoiding, was the main asylum. So, anyone looking at the footage could examine various details, such as what the buildings looked like, and get an idea of where they were supposed to be. While the island seemed like no one had lived here for years, that didn’t mean that no one had been there, period. No boats, no explorers, nothing?

Today’s driving question was something else, and it was “how do the collars work?” Jennifer couldn’t find a mirror, but she did have two people that were wearing the same thing. A few times, she snuck a few glances at them as they walked and rested. Only a few quick glances, but still. Back when they were in the danger zones, it seemed like they had activated quickly to warn them. Which opened one possibility: the collars had two “phases”. One was the “beeping phase.” She wasn’t sure how long this phase lasted, but it was long enough for them to leave the area without any harm. Phase two is the “exploding phase”. Which was pretty self-explanatory. Multiple areas could effectively be sectioned off using them, as well, regardless of location.

Putting all of the information together, based off what the manual said and what she could glean, painted a pretty good picture for her. The collars were shock-proof, water-proof, and couldn’t be removed by hands alone. They could, at least in theory, be activated anywhere on the island fairly quickly. The way they were designed meant that there was a window of time for them to exit the area. They were also able to completely remove an area out of the equation.

Jennifer didn’t have an escape plan or anything, of course. That would probably require more resources that a group of high school students had on-hand. But, this was useful information, obviously.

There were several other questions, too. For example, "who is dangerous and who isn't?" Nancy Kyle definitely was, so was Kimiko Kao and Isabel Ramirez. That meant if they ran into them, it was best to get out of here. There were probably other names, too, but she didn't get them all.

Of course, the one driving question behind all of the others: “Am I going to get out of here alive?” And that was a difficult question to answer.

After the danger zone, they'd decided to go back to the depot. Hopefully she could get another look at the things in there. It would also be a good place to rest again, too. Bart seemed to get more and more exhausted by the day.

She tried not to think about the fact that people were dead. It seemed cold thinking of it like this, but they needed to focus on survival first. Grieving would come later. Her mind did wander a few times, though. Sometimes she thought of Jasmine or Sanford, sometimes people like Bradley. Sure, he was terrible, but did he deserve that?

Suddenly, Bart stopped, and with it, Jennifer's own steps stopped. She followed his line of vision to see Clarice Halwood sitting on a truck. Jennifer's feet awkwardly shuffled in place, and she wondered if it was a good idea to say something to her. She was the first person they'd outright seen, aside from each other.

However, Bart made that decision for them.

Jennifer cleared her throat.

"Clarice Halwood?" she asked.

Her voice came out stern. She stood tall. However, her fingers were wrapped around the bag strap over her shoulder, growing tighter with each second. Jennifer's eyes moved up and down, looking her over. She hadn't been on the announcements, she remembered, but Clarice didn't look happy. Of course, no one could be happy here.
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

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((Kimiko Kao continued from The Lagniappe))

After what had happened Kimiko found herself returning to the only other place on the island that she had felt safe. She didn't feel comfortable though, Kimiko found herself looking over her shoulder the whole journey, making sure no one tried to ambush her like on the previous day. Her back still had the occasional twinge of pain as she walked, an uncomfortable reminder of what had happened but also something that helped focus her. It also helped keep her mind off what had happened. She intended to make sure Caleb hadn't died for nothing, but she didn't know how to go about it. She couldn't shake the feeling that nothing she did mattered as much as what had happened in the cabin. But Kimiko knew she had to keep moving forwards otherwise she would find herself adrift and at a loss of what to do.

It was obvious that her first few days on the island had put a target on her back. People knew who she was and were planning around her. People were also out to get out, that much had become clear. She had to be much more careful and smarter then she had been. No more snap decisions, she had to think everything through and do it with a purpose. She wasn't just being selfish anymore, she carried Caleb's hopes with her. She couldn't let him down.

The storehouse came into her view, she could see the stairs leading up to the helipad, where she had collected the nodachi. It felt like an eternity ago after everything that had happened. This time however Kimiko intended to search inside. She had her supplies plus Caleb's but anything extra she could scavenge would only be beneficial in the long run. Kimiko made sure the tantō was secure in her pocket and took the nodachi off her shoulder, gripping it firmly in her hand. She had to be ready in case anyone was already there.

As she moved closer the question was answered. There were three people outside the storehouse and one of them was Clarice. Kimiko stopped and slowly crouched down, careful to make sure there was nothing nearby that could have given her position away like in the staff housing. From her crouched position Kimiko crept forward, using the bushes and trees for cover.

She wanted to attract Clarice's attention but stopped herself. There was no way of knowing how any of the three would react: Bart, Jennifer or Clarice. They could have shot at her as soon as she appeared, then Caleb's sacrifice would have meant nothing.

The other thing stopping her was the intense feeling of shame brought on by seeing Clarice. She couldn't bring herself to face her and doubt was starting to set in. Kimiko turned, intending to leave but as she did so some of the ground gave way under her foot. She managed to keep herself from falling by using her free hand to steady herself but her heart was pounding out of her chest and her breathing was ragged. As put her hand over her mouth to keep herself quiet it brushed something dry and brittle.

Caleb's blood was still on her face.
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((Kiziah Saraki continued from So, so tired...))

She regretted losing that bottle.

Her throat was parched, but she was being conservative with drinking. Forcing herself not to be too attentive to her needs - had to keep in mind she'd lost a bottle, had to ration things out accordingly. Not that she had ever constructed a rationing plan, not that she'd even thought about the concept until the need arose just then, but now she felt like an idiot for not working it out sooner. Bart and Jennifer had probably been doing it without a second's thought.

Even now, though, her rationing plan was subpar. It was still just "take a drink whenever the need emerged", the logic and intelligibility coming in subtly, just turning down every other mental request to take a swig, as if to compensate for the lost water. It wasn't effective, and she was working up the courage to ask her companions how to refine her system. Or actually make a system. That was the true need. She didn't want to intrude on their own thoughts without a good question already formulated, however, and that meant that, in practice, she remained largely silent, bar necessary communication, and whatever small talk her friends saw fit to initiate.

They hadn't even encountered any real drama yet. They'd been lucky. Privileged. The recipients of, by the standards of the game, good circumstances. Insulation from the true horrors.

The names hurt. Of course they did. Memories and regrets and lost potential came flooding into her mind with every name that Danya rolled out, not enough time to process even one properly before the next tragedy hit. But she couldn't complain. Hearing about tragedy was much more palatable than witnessing it. A nuance of human psychology, sure, a cognitive bias that served only to impede empathy, but one she was well-aware of. It was awful. The safety they felt, as flimsy and circumstantial as they all knew it was, even that was a lie.

There was something strange about going from a warehouse to a storehouse.

Or was it the other way round?

They were basically synonyms, after all. She got why they needed a way to differentiate between the two, but still. Certainly a storehouse was more general. Could be anything. Big, small, whatever. A warehouse was wares. Products. Raw materials, that kind of thing. But it was a minor difference, and one that she was actually surprised to see brought to the surface.

That whole train of thought was a distraction, of course. She liked not to dwell on things too directly.

And then they saw Clarice. Kizi was the last to spot her, but she broke into a sprint. Her bag and shotgun fell to the ground, at Bart's feet, as she sprinted towards her. If anyone needed a hug, it was Clarice. She'd heard Conrad's name. It hurt. Must have hurt Clarice far more.

And then she was about to throw her arms around Clarice in a hug but, midway through the motions, she stopped. Because that shoulder. Ouch.

"Oh God, Clarice, I'm so glad to see you."
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Clarice hadn’t been paying attention to her surroundings. She’d been too focused on the camera, trying to figure out how to beat it. The sudden greetings—one hesitant, one stern—made her jump a little. Made her start to slide off the front of the truck—whether in preparation for fight or flight, she couldn’t be sure—before she realised no attack was coming.

She knew Bart and Jennifer in passing. In Bart’s case, it was admittedly because it was hard to miss him in a crowd, even with her eyes closed. She knew Jennifer to be pretty smart, and not afraid of telling people when they were fucking up. Clarice wouldn’t pick either of them for players. But what the fuck did she know about that so far?

“Jennifer Wallace,” she replied in kind. She looked at Bart. “Bart—“ She paused for a moment, trying to recall what Bart’s last name was. “...Bart,” she finished sheepishly.

She heard a scrapey, crumbly noise nearby. Faint, but still there. Clarice’s head started to turn in that direction, but movement behind Bart and Jennifer drew her attention back.

Now, Clarice wasn’t in the most trusting of moods. But there were things that could make her sure that someone wasn’t about to attack. And Kizi throwing her shotgun on the ground while running at her was a pretty big indicator that this wasn’t secretly some kind of ambush.

Even if it was a naive move. Even if it was just so similar to Harold putting aside his sword and Conrad picking it up—

A split-second of horrified panic crossed Clarice’s face when Kizi carelessly tossed her gun aside.

But that was Kizi. That was Kizi and it had been Harold and it had killed Harold. But Kizi was alive and Clarice wasn’t Conrad.

And so Clarice slid off the front of the truck, feet hitting the ground with a thump.

“Yeah. Same, just… god, same.”

Clarice reached out and gave Kizi a tight one-armed hug. That’s all she meant to do.

But she also started crying like a baby that had just realised Santa Claus was actually a burglar wearing a red suit and stealing all its toys. Clarice hated crying in front of people. She hadn’t done this since… since…

Well, since she was ten, that night she’d run off from her parents arguing and gone to Conrad’s house. And goddamn if that just didn’t make her cry harder.
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Bart had always found the idea of watching someone else have an emotional moment to be uncomfortable. It wasn't that he didn't feel for them or anything, it just that he always felt like he was imposing on them by being present. Watching Clarice and Kizi have their reunion was no exception. He was watching two girls that he didn't know that well hug while one of them broke down crying. To say that he felt very out of place at the moment would be a gross understatement. He shifted his feet, tugged at one of his sleeves, and looked to Jennifer for some possible guidance on how he should react here. Sadly, he found nothing that would help him in that regard.

So Bart continued to stand aside while Clarice and Kizi had their moment. He didn't know what to do or say, and he wasn't sure whether speaking up would make the situation more or less awkward. He inhaled sharply through his teeth as he continued to weigh the situation in his mind. Although to be honest, the sight of Clarice completely breaking down right in front of him made it difficult to focus his mind on anything else.

"Uh... hey." Bart attempted, against his previous judgement, to get involved. "Is everything okay?"
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Clarice turned her head towards them, and gave a small greeting in turn. Jennifer noticed that she seemed to know her last name, but not Bart’s. But that was a small detail. Jennifer remembered a bit about Clarice. She was co-captain with Tyler Yazzie on the wrestling team, she recalled. Didn’t she have a bit of a temper, too? Jennifer remembered that she tended to argue with bullies. However, she did not remember her name being on the announcements, which was good.

What was also good was Kiziah bursting past them and swooping in to hug Clarice. Friends? Sure, looked like it. Clarice had returned the hug, with tears visible in her eyes. Well, it was good that the first person they saw, aside from each other, was a friend. It didn’t seem like she was dangerous, which was a definite plus. And if she and Kiziah were friends? That was even better.

Though… Jennifer couldn’t help but smile some. Maybe it was because there was something nice about what she was seeing. In a way, maybe? Though… she faltered a bit once Clarice fully broke down into tears.

Bart had noticed, and stepped closer to ask if she was alright. Jennifer stepped forward. She swallowed a bit. She wasn’t good at comforting people, was she? Maybe it was better if Kiziah did it. They were friends, weren’t they?

“Hey…” she began. But instead, she looked around, still gripping her bag’s strap.

What could she say here?
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
Roxanne "Roxie" Borowski- "Next video? Oh man, tons of ideas, dude. Lemme get the makeup for that."

In Loving Memory

Kami's Promise for v6 (doing this again)


Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V6. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.
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Kimiko stayed where she was, watching the scene unfold in front of her. Luckily it didn't seem like anyone had noticed her presence. She still felt like she was seeing something she shouldn't have been though. They were having a conversation not even realizing she was watching them. Not even aware of the killer only feet away. It was a strange feeling within Kimiko, not knowing whether she should have revealed herself. She was weighing up her options when Clarice started to break down.

Her legs moving despite herself Kimiko slowly moved out from her hiding position and approached the group. It was a terrible idea but Clarice was one of her best friends and she felt compelled to try and comfort her or do something. At the same time she didn't know how the whole group, or Clarice for that matter, would react to her presence. She made sure to make it obvious she meant no harm, the sword hanging harmlessly from her shoulder and hands empty of anything that could potentially cause harm.

She stopped a few feet away and looked over the group, waiting for their reaction. At the same time her body was tensed, ready to carry her away at the first sign of any of the group intending to do her harm.
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Kiziah had always been a good shoulder to cry on.

There was nothing judgemental. No inquisitive prying, no callous second-guessing, no heartless reminders they were all in this together, none of that 'just get over it' chastising. Those options didn't even occur to her. Were alien to her. Responding to someone in tears with anything other than a sympathetic look and open arms, that was unimaginable. Unthinkable. Something that, even on the island, she couldn't picture anyone doing. She just returned the hug, mindful of the obvious injury and gentle in movement in case there were other wounds concealed beneath clothing or skin.

Kizi knew she couldn't understand Clarice's pain. Knew she couldn't even hope to imagine a morsel of what she was going through. The physical trauma, the turmoil of bereavement, they had all hurt Clarice far more than they had hurt Kizi. There was no point in putting her on the spot. Forcing her to talk about her feelings. Clarice would talk when she was ready. She'd always been strong. She'll be strong again.

And she let Clarice get whatever she wanted out of that moment. She wouldn't pull away from the hug. If Clarice needed a long hug, she deserved a long hug. She was a good person, would do the same and more, probably show some helpful initiative, if the shoes were reversed. And so Kizi stayed still, gently stroking her back, letting her cry. Felt her tears seep into her shirt. No worry. It was good she was letting it out. That she was safe enough to do so.

And then her eyes came upon Kimiko.

Clarice and Kimiko, they were good friends! For a moment, a brief and fleeting moment, Kizi thought this was good news. A burst of comfort, a helping hand, that Clarice so desperately needed. And then, of course, realisation. Kimiko was a murderer. Even putting the announcements aside, her appearance was far from exonerating.

But the way she walked towards them was. It was disarming. Friendly. sincere. Kizi believed in the benefit of the doubt. Anything else was unthinkable to her.

"H-hi, Kimiko," she said, after that second of mental rumination.
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“How could anything be okay?” That had been what Clarice meant to say, but it came out water-logged and messy.

Kizi didn’t say anything, just hugged back, but already Clarice was starting to feel embarrassed. This was the exact sort of shit she didn’t have time for. She could cry and scream if she lived, but every moment she cried was a moment where someone else could die.

But stopping was hard. Near-impossible, in fact. Clarice couldn’t stop, until she heard Kizi speak to someone.

Kimiko?

Clarice turned a little to look, and sure enough. Kimiko. Blood on her face and a weapon in her hand.

Slowly, Clarice turned back. She still had a grip on Kizi, and she moved Kizi slightly so that Clarice was between her and Kimiko before letting go and facing her friend. As she turned back to Kimiko, she tried to catch the eye of Bart and Jennifer and jerk her head behind her. Trying to tell them, without words, that they should get behind her too.

She didn't know if Kimiko would attack. Maybe Clarice could stop her just by... fuck, appealing to friendship or whatever. If nothing else, Clarice could probably stop any of the three from getting stabbed. She wasn't going to watch anyone else die like Harold had.

Clarice wiped her eyes with her good hand, trying to stop. Maybe succeeding a little more, if only out of… uncertainty and fear and stuff about what would go down next.

She tried to sign, but just the attempt at lifting her arm sent a bolt of pain through her injured shoulder. Clarice looked at her one good hand for a moment, trying to figure out what she could sign with just one hand, before sighing and lowering it again.

“Kimiko.” Clarice took a deep, watery breath before flatly saying, “What the fuck?”

Maybe not the best way to ask ‘why did you murder two people?’
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Oh, uh... maybe asking if everything was okay was a bad idea after all, considering how Clarice reacted. Bart didn't even know if she was mad. She just seemed to cry even harder and loudly say something that he couldn't really understand through the curtain of tears and sobs. Bart took a short step back and held up his hands, not sure what to do with them. He shifted between a nervous defensive pose and some sort of half-shrug as he tried to figure out how to react to all of this.

Down. Just put your hands down. He ran that message through his mind as he slowly put his hands at his sides. Things were already awkward enough. He really didn't need to make things worse by making strange hand signals to nonexistent entities.

He heard Kizi speak up from behind him. Who was she talking to? Bart turned around to see what was going on... and promptly felt a twinge of panic run down his spine. There was a new girl here now, and she had a sword. Not to mention... oh no, was that blood on her face? Those two things combined were definitely not a good sign. Not at all.

Clarice and Kizi called her Kimiko. Surprisingly, Bart remembered this name. Had she been in a lot of his classes? That was the only reason that he could think of for her name to strike a note in his mind so vividly. Unless...

... Oh.

Oh crap.

Now he remembered. Kimiko was a murderer. And there she was, right in front of them.

"Uh..." Bart's teeth were clenched behind a nervous grimace and his eyes softened into a shape similar to those of a frightened puppy. He tried to say something, anything that might be useful, but nothing came out. He wasn't a great orator at the best of times, and he sure as hell wasn't going to be one now.

"Uh..."
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Something got her attention.

Jennifer snapped her head up as she saw someone else approach. It took a moment for her to process the information. Her brain was still sluggish from lack of caffeine and exhaustion. However, a moment was enough.

It looked like a girl covered in blood. Jennifer’s heart began to pound, this time not from exertion.

Everyone else confirmed who she was. Kimiko Kao. It wasn’t like Jennifer didn’t know who she was, though. Years of working on the school newspaper, of doing articles on the sports teams, meant that she was well acquainted with the fact that Kimiko was part of the basketball and gymnastics team. She was unable to speak, but was the gymnastics captain. And, most importantly… she was a killer. The names went by too fast, but she knew that Kimiko had come up. They even gave her a prize.

The blood was fresh.

Too fresh.

Jennifer’s eyes snapped around her. Bart was terrified. Kiziah was nervous. Clarice just let out a flat curse and tried to hide Kiziah behind her. Could they hide behind the truck, the crates? Could they run for it? Run the other way Anything, everything, to hide, run, escape. Anything.

And that’s when Jennifer saw it. Kiziah’s gun.

Her heartrate got faster when she saw it just lying on the ground just at Bart’s feet. A weapon laying in plain sight, where someone, anyone could grab it. Kimiko could’ve easily just picked it up and shot them, just like that, if Bart had moved. Even if she didn’t attack them, she could still use it on other people.

Jennifer’s head flicked towards the rest of the group for a second. She had to think fast.

She stepped forward, her heart still pounding in her ears. Jennifer stopped just in front of the gun. She looked to see that Bart was still standing nearby, just in case. Her vision blurred, and it felt a bit like watching something in a movie. But she felt herself stand with legs apart, her posture slouched like a wild animal about to strike.

“What do you want, Kimiko?” she snapped.

A split second told her that wasn’t the best idea. Kimiko couldn’t respond, for starters. But, also… she had a sword. That meant any bad decisions she made here, could mean her death.

Another look at Bart. If he grabbed the gun and kept it out of her reach, that would make things better. If he couldn’t, she could. No matter what, though, Kimiko could not have it. That was final.
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
Roxanne "Roxie" Borowski- "Next video? Oh man, tons of ideas, dude. Lemme get the makeup for that."

In Loving Memory

Kami's Promise for v6 (doing this again)


Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V6. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.
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Deamon
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Humans...
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Kimiko got exactly the reaction she had expected. Fear and anger. It made sense and she didn't begrudge them for it. But at the same time it still hurt to be treated as a monster again. Only Caleb had treated her as a real person. Clarice, one of her best friends, still shielded Kizi from her, as if she was a feral dog that looked like it was about to strike. That was all she was now to people, a threat, a danger, something to run from and have nightmares about. The feeling of shame returned.

Up close Kimiko could see that Clarice was injured, her arm had either been shot or stabbed, she didn't know which exactly. It didn't really matter. Even with that Clarice still tried to sign something, it was a gesture Kimiko appreciated and a sign that Clarice still saw her as a friend a little bit. The question was simple, blunt and delivered without emotion. Kimiko picked up on all of it, how could she have missed it? All of the signs every member of the group displayed showed nervousness. Whether they realised it or not they were sending a simple message to her loud and clear.

She wasn't welcome.

Kimiko began to raise her hands to form a response to Clarice's question when Jennifer lunged forward, moving to stand in front of a discarded gun Kimiko hadn't noticed on the ground. For a split-second she froze froze and her eyes widened. But when Jennifer didn't pick up the gun, she took a small step backwards and continued to raise her hands, this time in a placating gesture. If any of them did move to pick the gun up she was ready to run.

She didn't want to fight.

She also didn't know what to say, revealing herself had been a mistake. She should have stayed out of sight and moved on. Kimiko wished she had.

Once nothing further came from the group Kimiko began to sign.

"I wanted to..."

She stopped and tried again.

"Clarice was crying and..."

She couldn't find the right words. It was difficult, difficult to be there for someone when she wasn't wanted. Instead she decided to answer Clarice's question as honestly as she could. She turned her focus more onto her friend.

"I was scared and I was angry."

She wanted to tell Clarice about Caleb. Kimiko didn't want her to think she had been hiding it but she couldn't bring herself to do it. The memory was still fresh and painful. Kimiko lowered her head and took a shaky breath, regaining her composure before she continued.

"I just saw you crying and wanted to see you and maybe help."

It all sounded so childish out in the open, but it was the best reason she had. Truthfully she didn't want to be in front of the group anymore. She wasn't ready for interacting with others. But she waited for Clarice's reply all the same, keeping her eyes on everyone else, making sure they didn't try and attack her.
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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
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Kizi was not exactly fluent in sign language.

Maybe that was self-deprecation, false modesty. She understood most of what Kimiko was trying to communicate. But she knew the basics. There was no point in denying that. Denying that much would take self-effacing to the point of dishonesty.

She knew sign language pretty well, if she was to be completely honest. Not to the point of fluency or conversational prowess, but enough to get the gist. Had learned some of them from context, from seeing how Clarice and Kimiko communicated. Some from independent study. Linguistically, sign language was fascinating. It served as a brilliant case study for how linguists could help make the world a better place. The rest had been preparation, of sorts, for if Olabode's hearing deteriorated any further.

So Kizi largely understood what Kimiko was saying. There were two gaps that Kiziah couldn't fill in. 'Clarice was...' 'I was...' She didn't know what words went there. She could guess there were negative emotional states, from the context. In a way, it was a blessing she'd never had to learn whatever words they were before this point.

The first word was probably crying, Kizi guessed, when Kimiko repeated the motions.

What was more, was that Kizi believed Kimiko.

Kimiko's words had been addressed at Clarice predominantly, of course, but Kimiko would hopefully appreciate someone else in her corner. She stepped out from behind Clarice, and pulled out a tissue from her pocket. Laughably insufficient for the mess that was there. Kizi was under no illusions as to what it was. Bradley's blood, most likely. He had been Kim's most recent kill. "Do you...need a bit of help?"
V7 peeps:
Nick Ogilvie
Ashlynn Martinek
Bill Winlock
Camille Bellegarde

V6 peeps:
Kiziah Saraki
Bradley Floyd
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