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delayedMirth
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((Erik Lowell: Begin))

"I'd complain about how undignified this is, but this jacket is really warm, so I g-guess it works out in the end?" Erik muttered to the camera, drawing the pirate's jacket closer to himself. It had clearly been meant for someone much taller than him, and he was fairly certain that he looked like a complete joke to any of the people that were watching him, but it was still better than freezing to death. Barely. The shotgun was getting really heavy, too, but there wasn't really anything he could do about that.

He'd always enjoyed coming up with hypothetical ways to survive if he'd ever been thrown into the game. What SOTF fan hadn't, at some point? It was easy to come up with rules and guidelines for yourself from the safety of your bedroom. All you had to do was find a decent weapon, not even anything too flashy, secure supplies for yourself, and lay low for as long as you could. It didn't really make for good viewing, yeah, but it's not like popularity got you any points in-game, right?

It was a tad harder to stick to a plan when you find yourself waking up in a building you've never seen before, frightened and freezing half to death.

Erik had sort of just quietly freaked out in the corner for a while before finally managing to bring himself to his senses enough to at least check his pack. He'd been fortunate enough to get some good equipment, at least. The Blackbeard costume was really tacky, true, and he didn't think he'd be able to even carry his shotgun well, let alone fire it, but that was still a lot better than what most people got!

Newly equipped and slightly more optimistic than he had been a minute ago, Erik's spirits fell as he noticed the camera on the wall for the first time. He nervously fidgeted for a second when he remembered that his rather embarrassing reaction upon waking up had been broadcast for the entire world to see. He mentally took back all the (rather cruel, in hindsight) jokes he'd made in the past about the poor sods who completely broke down when they realized the situation they were in.

Alright, it wasn't too late. He could still recover from this. Being popular wasn't a priority, sure, but Erik really didn't want to be made a fool of on natural TV.

"G-good day, kind viewers!" He'd said, standing up straight and making an attempt to brush the snow off of his jacket. "H-hope you're looking forward to this b-brand new, exciting season of Survival of the Fittest! I know I certainly was-" he caught himself at the last moment, "Er, I certainly am! First off, I'd like to thank all the lovely followers of The Fittest Blog of All. It'd been a g-great run, you guys, and I look forward to bringing you one last f-feature from me!" Erik made a grand gesture, his confidence slowly building. He had this down. "I, your humble reporter Erik Lowell, will be bringing you live coverage from SOTF itself!"

The words were coming easier to him, now, even though the damnable stutter refused to go away. He'd always wanted to be a full-fledged reporter, one day, so why waste the chance to play the part while he had it? Talking to the camera was almost calming, in a way. It made him feel like he wasn't quite so alone. "I bet you're as b-bored of this, uh..." it slowly dawned on Erik that he didn't actually know where he was. A closet, somewhere? "This, uh, place, as I am! Yeah! T-time to go out into the world!"

He'd walked for a while, after making his way out of the building, making periodic remarks to the cameras as he went, going nowhere in particular. A true journalist had to be on the lookout for stories anywhere, anytime, after all!

After a while of this, he came to what appeared to be an outdoor stage, two figures coming into focus as he got closer. Erik didn't recognize either, which made him rather uneasy. His classmates? He could deal with them, sure! He liked most of his classmates! And the faceless masses behind the cameras were, well, faceless, so he didn't have to worry too much about them. Kids from the other school, though? Erik had no idea what to expect!

"Uh, g-greetings!" Erik called out as he came closer to the stage. "I'm, uh, I'm not g-gonna shoot you! D-don't worry!" He nervously fidgeted with the rose-colored bandanna he'd tied around his neck, realizing that it wasn't exactly the most reassuring thing to tell someone you're not going to shoot them before they have a chance to even react to your greeting.
we have built cities and dug graveyards on oh so many worlds
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