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Biting The Hand That Feeds
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((Alice Young continued from It Was Not A Dream, But All A Grim Reality))

She stared into the sun, and the sun smiled back at her.

She supposed the anthropomorphic sun on the sign to the Tour Guide and Transportation Centre was supposed to make it look more inviting and cheerful, but in the dead of winter the smiling mascot just looked out of place. Still, any building looked inviting in this weather; her cloak was helping to keep the cold at bay only in the sense that it shielded her from the wind, but the lack of any sleeves or even a way to close it around her body meant it did nothing to keep her warm beyond this.

Right on cue, a strong gust of wind blew past and she had to grab her hood to keep it in place. Her hands were frozen, numb and shaking; in this condition she wouldn’t have been able to use her weapon even if it was loaded.

For a while Alice had been worried she would never even see what lay beyond the boundaries of the orchard; although admittedly that might have had less to do with her fear of getting killed and more to do with the fact she had gotten hopelessly lost.

All snow covered trees tend to look similar and her ignorance of the existence of a compass in her pack had made navigating rather more difficult. In the end she only found her way because she stumbled across a small stream. She had followed the flow of water on the assumption that all streams had to lead somewhere and eventually she left the snow covered dirt of the orchard and reached the slightly less snow covered paved pathways of the resort.

Following the path she had found herself on away from the trees had led her here and although the plain looking building offered the promise of shelter and a reprieve from the cold, she found herself reluctant to enter.

Buildings meant people, and people had never been Alice’s strong point even before she knew they would try to kill her.

Alice may have found a new determination in the moments after she awoke, and the advice from her mentor had given her a plan, but it was one thing to think and another entirely to act.

She walked forward, approaching the building at a slow and cautious pace until she stood close enough to peer through the windows into the lobby. She could not see anybody from her position; nobody except her own reflection at least. She was hard to miss, with her bright red cloak she shone like a beacon attracting anyone who might be outside like her.

This thought was the last prompt she needed to get over her hesitation and she grabbed the door handle and pushed her way into the building, stepping inside before hurriedly closing it behind her, shutting out the cold and the sound of the wind she had let in with her.

She breathed heavy, hand still resting on the cold glass of the door as she leaned heavily against it. Well, the worst was over right? She had gotten inside and nobody had tried to shoot her or anything. Maybe it was empty after all.

Then she heard the voices.

They were quiet, not panicked or angry, and there was more than one of them. Two at least, maybe a third? At the very least there was one boy and one girl.

They may not have been panicked but Alice certainly was. For a moment she considered turning around and running right back out into the cold, but then she remembered the teams. More than that she remember her desire to do more than just run and hide in this game.

Shakily, she lowered her pack to the floor and turned so that her back was resting against the door. She could feel the cold of the glass seep through her cloak, her t-shirt and straight into her skin.

There was something comforting about having her back to the wall, literally speaking. Not having anywhere to run helped her to keep facing forward, helped her keep her determination from collapsing before she could do anything.

She slid down the door till she was kneeling and brought her crossbow forward and placed the front end against the floor to steady it. She wrapped one small hand around the string and pulled and while it moved she found she did not have the strength of arm to pull it back as far as it needed to go. She leaned forward so that her chest pressed against the butt of the weapon, pinning it between the floor and herself.

She grabbed the bowstring with both hands and pulled back hard and this time it kept moving further and further back until something clicked and the string locked into place. She carefully lay the weapon down on the ground and extracted an arrow from the quiver attached under the main body. It was one of four and Alice briefly found herself hoping that there were more in her pack before reminding herself she was unlikely to even use this one.

She placed the arrow in the groove along the top of the main body and found it fit perfectly into place with the back resting against the loaded string. She lifted the now loaded weapon up and pressed the butt against her shoulder experimentally; it had a compact design, which was useful because a full length weapon like a rifle would likely never fit in her grip.

She stood up and part of her realised that she now held a loaded and deadly weapon and that she was about to point it at someone. It worried her, even knowing that she had no intention or ever firing, that she would do something like this.

“He-hello? Who-who’s there?”
Program V3 Prologue
Michael Bair - Proud to be an American
Quote: N/A
Weapon: Brass Knuckles, Heckler & Koch FABARM FP6 Entry
Location: N/A
Status: Alive

The Departed
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Rosebud · Tour Guide and Transportation Centre
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