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Rivers in the Desert
Topic Started: Sep 10 2017, 11:57 AM (6,086 Views)
Muninn
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[ *  * ]
((Candice Banks continued from Rain, Rain, Come Again))


If you had asked Candice about the number of students in her school, it would have been a topic that she didn't really "get." Sure, she probably knew somewhere in the back of her mind a rough ballpark of how many kids were enrolled, but it was hard attaching numbers that large to a crowd. Put a large group of people in front of her and it was hard to really say whether it was a hundred people, or seventy, or three hundred. It all just ran together into the same vague category of "That's a lot of people."

This trip had been one of those things. How many people had come along? Candice didn't know the exact number, but it was "a lot." More than a classroom, less than the entire school. That was the kind of vague classification that she had for how many people were on this island. That was why it had come as a shock when the new announcement had given a much easier to understand situation.

Four people.

It shouldn't have been as much of a shock as it was. For the past day everybody on the island had been crammed into a single building. Sure, the asylum was fairly large, but even with every living student concentrated into that single location, encounters with others had been almost nonexistant. It should have been obvious that there weren't all that many left, but still...

Four people.


That was the kind of thing that Candice was thinking as she obediently made her way to the top of the building. She opened the door at the top of the stairs to find nobody waiting for her. Well, nobody that she could see, anyway, though given the conditions it wouldn't be that surprising if she'd missed something. Seriously, who the hell had decided to send them up to the roof in the middle of a storm? Forget about getting murdered, it was like this stupid game was going to be decided by whoever injured the fewest vital organs after falling off the building.

She wanted so much to be able to just turn around and walk back inside, but that was obviously not an option. Staying right by the door would probably be legal, but it definitely wasn't smart. She wasn't sure how many doors led up here, but staying right next to one of them sounded like a terrible idea. She couldn't afford to hang around in the first place people would look at.

Candice cautiousy made her way out onto the roof.
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
Having no idea what to do, Candice more-or-less meandered about the roof. Strictly speaking, a more purposeful pattern of movement would probably have been better for accomplishing pretty much any goal, but since she didn't really have any goal in mind that was a moot point.

It might have been a smart idea to find someplace that she could defend, but she had no idea what kind of place that would be. Even just glancing around, anywhere she looked seemed to be some combination of "dangerous to stand on," "too open," or "too obvious." Maybe one of the other survivors could find someplace useful, but Candice couldn't even think of what to look for.

She'd had a brief thought that they had never managed to find Sandra's body, and that might be visible from somewhere up here. It wasn't like there'd be any point to finding it, though, since she couldn't leave the roof without exploding. And if it were visible from somewhere, it'd probably be from some point right on the edge where it was too dangerous to stand.

Pretty much everything she could think of doing was pointless now. Thus, aimless meandering.

Or rather, there was a bit of an obvious goal, that being the one that began with finding the others. She definitely didn't want to be found, but come to think of it, sticking near the entrance so that she could keep an eye on the other three was a way smarter idea than a rooftop stroll. Worst case scenario was that they noticed her and she'd have to try to run, which was a bit better than the current worst case of "get noticed, have nowhere to run." Okay, so the worst case for both was actually the one where she would get shot, but since the result of that would be the same no matter what she was in the process of doing at the time it didn't really help in making decisions. With that, Candice carefully made her way back towards the door from which she'd come.
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
There was somebody waiting there when Candice returned to the door.

Approaching them was probably not the best idea. In fact, the entire point of going back the way she'd come was to figure out where the others were without being seen herself. But Candice had underestimated how much the weather would impede visibility, and by the time she had realized that there was somebody there, she was close enough that they had to have noticed her already.

Or maybe they hadn't. One reason Candice hadn't noticed this person at first was that they weren't standing like she was on the lookout for, but rather slumped near the door. They also didn't seem to be moving.

Had the number of remaining students dropped yet again?

Drawing closer, she saw that the boy was still alive. Well, he looked like he should be dead, but was slightly moving regardless. Candice also saw that he was armed, but since she was within a few yards of him now he'd had plenty of time to shoot her if that were his intent. Besides, pretty much everybody was probably armed at this point, Candice being no exception herself, with her gun held firmly in her right hand despite how much she wanted a second free hand to stabilize herself on this roof.

She couldn't take the chance of being attacked while not on guard. Being unprepared was what had gotten people killed.

This person, however, seemed to be in no condition to attack her. He wasn't in good enough condition to do anything, it seemed. She closed the distance between them to a few feet, wanting to make sure she would be heard over the rain.

"Hey... are you okay?"
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
He didn't seem to be in great condition even by the loosest definition, but there was really no point in protesting his reply. If it was crazy for him to be claiming to be fine, then it was dumb of Candice to have asked him the question in the first place. Besides, there were more important things to focus on, like the fact that she had just walked up to someone who might be trying to kill her.

She hadn't much considered the danger when she was just checking on somebody who looked to be somewhere between severely hurt and dead. It'd been one thing under those circumstances, but now that she knew that he was, for lack of a better term, fucking great...

When it came down to it, the odds of any random person who was still alive at this point being trustworthy were low, and as it turned out the odds hadn't come out in her favor. It was obvious now that she got a better look at him. Even from a distance, she probably should've known -- if it were one of the other two, Candice would've recognized them.

"You're... Min-jae, right?"
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
It should have been so tempting to take him up on his offer.

Seriously, this was Min-jae Parker. Like, her second-least favorite person still left on this island. And this wasn't the petty, snide-remarks-and-social-ostracism kind of everyday hatred. This was a person who had earned legit, "the world would be better off without you in it," life-and-death hatred.

Min-jae deserved to die.

No, he had to die. It was an insult to his victims that there was even the chance that he might be the only one to go home. Somebody owed it to them to prevent that, and it was obvious who that had fallen to.


Candice had the opportunity. Maybe it was the karma of hiding out while dozens of people died, but you couldn't get a better chance than coming across him when he was just lying there.

She had the means, her as-yet-unused gun clenched tightly in her right hand. Candice had no experience firing it, and expected that she would probably be a terrible shot with it, but given the short range, no shortage of ammo, and a stationary, helpless target...

She had the ability to do so.

If it was a situation like this where the other person couldn't move, even somebody like her could make a difference.


All she would have to do is pull a trigger...
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
It wasn't right for a killer like him to still be around. He should die. It would be easy. He couldn't defend himself.

You could make sure this monster never gets away with what he did.

He was just lying there...


Candice's finger failed to pull the trigger. No, her mind failed to have her finger pull it. Even though he was a monster. Even though the world was a better place without him.

She had heard about what he had done. Knew what kind of person he was. Understood what he deserved. But still, she couldn't do it. She couldn't reconcile his reputation with the way he just waited for her to fire.

She couldn't shoot the boy in front of her who looked to already be dying. Even if he was a monster.

Why can't you look more like a villain, Min-Jae? It just needs to be one last time.


She lowered her gun, letting it point at the ground between her and Min-Jae. Even as he started to rise to his feet, she couldn't bring herself to be hostile enough toward him. Even though she knew in her mind that he might try something, her will couldn't overcome the discrepancy between the name from the announcements and the body in front of her. Knowing that he was probably a danger but unable to convince herself that he was an enemy, Candice resigned herself to keeping a close eye on him.

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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
Bullets flew through the air beside Candice, directed at a target somewhere behind her. Well, maybe they had been intended to hit her, and Min-Jae's condition was such that he couldn't even aim at someone right in front of him, but Candice rather doubted that that was the case. Sure, he was in bad shape, but at the same time he had managed to last this long, so he must be someone who could handle himself even in those circumstances. He would act the same as he had before.

A dying killer was still a killer. She had gotten too hung up on the first part.

While the fact that Min-Jae had not attacked her but instead this new threat may have been considered evidence that she had not made the wrong decision when she didn't take the chance to eliminate him, it was at the same time twice as much evidence for how much of an idiot she had been. He had gone from "almost dead" to "almost dead, but firing his gun anyway" before she could react.

Min-Jae hadn't shot her... but he could have.


This was the revelation that Candice should have been taking to heart. Yet even now, she pushed aside those thoughts.

When Min-Jae started shooting, I was distracted, I probably would have been fine if I hadn't been already caught off guard. This was the kind of lame excuse she made for herself. She probably wouldn't have been fine even had she not been distracted, and in the end Candice knew that this excuse wasn't any sort of justification. Even if she hadn't taken her attention away from Min-Jae in the moment before he began firing, she still wouldn't have been able to react. Her mistake had been from when she began interacting with him, when she treated him as a victim and not a villain. But none of this mattered. It wasn't important whether or not Candice would have fared better without her attention being divided.

The important thing was who had distracted her in the first place. The voice that she had heard briefly before the sound of gunfire had drowned everything else out.

She looked down at the weapon in her hands. Confirmed that the safety was off.

Thus prepared, Candice turned around, exposing her back to Min-Jae. Maybe he'd shoot her in the back after all. Even if he didn't, she'd probably whiffed on the chance to make sure he never left this island alive. She didn't really care at the moment. though, even though letting him win was the second-worst outcome left in this entire mess. It'd be a nice bonus if she were to get another chance to prevent that later, but Candice thought to herself that she could live with Min-Jae surviving if it were the price to pay to prevent the absolute worst outcome.

The price to hold accountable the girl that was now before Candice.

Fiyori Senay.
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
Candice didn't even register Min-Jae's departure.

Of course, it wasn't like she expected him to stick around, either. Wherever he decided to go, she considered it irrelevant. It didn't matter.

Nothing mattered anymore.

Where Min-jae had gone, what he had done, whoever the fourth person remaining was, where they were and what they might be up to, the terrorists, whether people back home were watching here, what the world thought...

None of that mattered.

For Candice Banks, there were only two people left in the world who needed to be acknowledged.


There was something that she had wondered several times over the past few days. This gun that she had been given... wasn't this weapon a bit too good for her?

Well, it wasn't like she knew much about guns. She'd never even heard of an AWC something-or-other before, so really she couldn't say for sure whether it was a good one or not. It seemed impressive, though, and the fact that it was a gun in the first place seemed to put it ahead of what lots of people had been given. But still...

Something like this, isn't it just a waste to give it to somebody like me, who just shoves it in her bag? Wouldn't it be better for this to be given to someone who'll go out of their way to protect people?

Is there even any circumstance where I would actually use this against someone?


Apparently, all that was needed was someone she hated enough.

The sound of gunshots filled Candice's ears, overpowering the constant background noise of rain hitting the roof. Even the relatively distant sound of Fiyori's weapon seemed weak after Candice had heard what it was like to pull her own trigger.

It wasn't just noises. Everything else just kind of felt like it was part of the background. Everything but Candice and her gun, Fiyori and hers. It was an eerie feeling, like the mental equivalent of if someone had come along while she was carrying a stack of heavy boxes and taken away all but one of them. Super clear, but somehow also a little dizzying, like she'd fall over if she tried running around on the roof in this state. Was this what people meant when they talked about an adrenaline rush?
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
Fiyori was still standing. Total miss.

Well, it wasn't like Candice was all that surprised. No experience with guns, no food in the past day... it would've been miracle if she had actually managed to hit something.

Just try again, then

She pulled the trigger again. And again. More misses.

How much ammo was in the gun? The magazine was kind of long-ish, but Candice wasn't familiar enough with bullets to estimate how many were in there. And of course she hadn't bothered taking it out to count them.

That probably wasn't the issue, though. Candice had thought that taking the time to carefully line up a shot would take too long, but the strategy of "just shoot in Fiyori's general direction" wasn't really working. She didn't think she'd run out of bullets, unless the terrorists had done something assholish like only putting a few bullets in her gun to start with. She realized that she was probably going to get hit before she got a lucky shot, though. Maybe doing this properly was the way to go after all. She put her eye to the scope and did her best to center the sight on Fiyori.
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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[ *  * ]
Fiyori was Candice's sight. Even with no real firearms experience, she knew that this one wasn't going to miss. All that needed to be done now was to make the shot.

Once more, gunfire drowned out the background noise of rain against the rooftop. Candice still hadn't pulled the trigger.


You can't let yourself give up this time. You can still take the shot. Candice fired back at Fiyori, but it was too late. Intense pain from the new wound in her chest had screwed up her aim, and the shot went wide. By the time she had even registered that she had missed, she had lost the strength to stand. Even trying to fire back from the ground was beyond what she could force her body to do at this point.

The outcome of the fight had already been decided.
Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V7. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.

V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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Muninn
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I made the same mistake again. Should've been more proactive.

Should have pulled the trigger sooner. Should have sought threats like Fiyori, instead of chit-chatting with serial killers while giving Fiyori the chance to see her first. Should have learned to defend herself earlier.

How many people had Candice "teamed up with" in the past week? If she had acted as she should have, weren't the odds pretty good that at least one of them might still be around as an ally?

This was just the last in a long series of failures.

It really does seem that this time is going to be the last one, though.


Bizarre though it was, Candice found it a little comforting. Almost two weeks had gone by, each day bringing the pressure that came with the potential for life-and-death decisions. Was today going to be the day she screwed up? What about tomorrow? It was the torture of being caught between the knowledge that you're doing everything wrong, and the fear that you might make a bigger mistake while trying to correct that. The worry that tomorrow you would find out that what you thought was "good enough" had really just been "lucky."

Now, though? She was already dying. It's not like she could fuck up any more than that.


Something impacted against her. Probably Fiyori. It would be nice to fight back against her, to tear her apart with bare hands if that was all she had left, but there was no point in trying anymore. It wasn't even a matter of being a graceful loser and letting Fiyori have her victory. Candice simply couldn't manage to drag her down towards mutual defeat, or even towards defeat and a slightly-more-injured victory. Even as her pain skyrocketed from the touch of Fiyori's hands near her would, she couldn't even struggle. Just the fact that she could still manage to cry out in pain at this point was a bit of a shock.

Really now... It's the first time in ages that I haven't had to worry about whether I'm trying hard enough. My last little consolation prize, so couldn't you just leave me alone to enjoy it?


G31: Candice Banks - Deceased
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G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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