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It's Cold Outside, But I Have Nowhere To Go
Topic Started: Nov 20 2012, 08:36 AM (1,179 Views)
Aura
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((Yumi Nunes continued from Tears of the Hopeless))

Yumi continued to run from the cabin until her exhaustion prevented her from running any more. Panting, she looked back in the direction she had run from. The cabin was but a speck in the distance. She had managed to muster up the stamina to escape the aggressive students she had previously encountered, but it had come at a price. Yumi was now entirely too tired to keep running.

Shivering, she removed the coat from her bag and put in on. She sat down and bundled up under a tree, positioning herself so that the trunk of the tree would block the wind from chilling her further. She took a couple crackers from one of her assigned packages and ate them, washing them down with a very cold sip of water. Despite her usage of the tree to block wind, she was still freezing cold.

Yumi put her hand to her neck and felt her collar. The horrible feeling of the cold metal against her fingers and neck made her spine tingle in the most unpleasant manner possible. That collar made her feel like an animal. In fact, that was a good way to describe the Program in a nutshell. Everybody chosen was stripped of their humanity and forced to fight for the amusement of their corrupt government. It was sickening.

Yumi continued to remain under the tree, huddled up and shivering. Would anyone find her? And if so, would they help her, kill her, or worse?

Yumi didn't know. All she could do now was sit and wait.
Edited by Aura, Nov 20 2012, 08:36 AM.
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Brackie
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[[Erin Underwood continues from The Noise Before Defeat]]

If there was anyone who was dying for a glimpse of the sun, it was Erin. The time she had spent on her own in the pines trying to both simultaneously find a place to stop and stop thinking about the future of her life as well as how dark it was getting in there were slowly wearing down her resolve to find that elusive third option.

Because if there was anything The Art of War taught her, it was that there was more than one way to victory.

When Erin was younger, she found a book in her brother's bookshelf, a tiny book lacking fluff or long sentences. She wanted to sit down and indulge herself in the tactics she would bring to the battlefield in her future career as an officer, but after a short amount of research she found it was not actually written by Sam Thompson, but actually by a Chinaman with some gobbledegook name. She threw it away almost immediately and didn't pick up another copy for almost a year, where upon finding it being used in a recent season of The Program, she decided to give it one more go.

And despite the original author, it was one of the most informative and inspirational books she had ever read. Some of the tactics were simply vanilla instructions that everyone with a working brain should know, but others were things that she knew, reading over accounts of American army losses, would have worked to their advantage and helped claim the rightful victory that was stolen from them. She dedicated herself to memorising important and striking chapters, lines that would be useful in her every day life, and even thought about keeping a copy of the book on her person at all times, if she weren't so afraid of losing it at school or on the way.

It was the best book she had ever read. And damn her if it wasn't going to be useful now.

Her memory wasn't exactly eidetic, though, so she knew many of what she remembered would only come to her by chance or by freak remembrance. However, she knew enough to help her try and formulate one of many third options.

There were three options now: fight and win, fight and die, and get someone to fight for you and hide behind them, controlling their every mood. Which granted, was easier said than done. Some people probably weren't going to be as receptive to her bossiness in a situation like this. A bullet in the eyes was probably the solution to something like that. But she had plenty of time to think over how that bridge was going to be crossed without disturbing the angry troll underneath it.

Right now, it was about scaring people off. All she needed to do was find one unsavory individual and snuff their lights, to prevent anyone from messing with her. That's usually how it worked in this game. Two would be pushing it, since it was practically 5% of the grade. 2.5% would do nicely. Just find one foreigner who did their best to call America home and show them that there was no chance for them.

Of course, she could see one in the distance. It was hard not to notice a mongrel who tried to pass themselves off as a true American, even one that was a fair distance off, and this one was a particular thorn in the side of the mostly untainted Patriot High Junior class. Erin held off the urge to fire a round from far away, since it would do more harm than good, and bullets were a limited commodity. And who knew what the forces of luck were handling her, they could very well be more generous than the ones handling Erin.

But she did remember one thing, as she hid behind a tree onlooking the sniveling girl probably crying for her mother like the runt of the litter. She needed a plan. Tactics without strategy were the noise before defeat.
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Yumi continued to sit, huddled up for warmth under her tree. The only company she had was the sound of the wind blowing through the trees. Other than the cold weather and militaristic atmosphere, it was almost sort of peaceful. She kind of wished that back home, she could have listened to the wind blow, rather than the arguments of some neighbors that didn't close their windows often enough. She allowed herself to become briefly lost in the gentle melody of the wind.

After a few moments she snapped out of her brief trance and looked up. The winds had shifted, and her current positioning no longer allowed the tree to protect her from the cold wind. She grabbed her bag and stood up to more quickly shimmy around the tree to properly shield herself again.

However, she stopped when she saw a figure dart behind a tree. She had been too entranced listening to the wind to notice anyone approaching. Could someone really have snuck up on her without her knowledge? The thought brought a shiver down Yumi's spine. As far as she knew, there was a killer just a few yards away waiting for her to turn her back. However, it was just as likely that the person may be friendly. Even though Yumi had more experience with aggressive people than friendly people in her lifetime, she weighed both options in her mind. After hesitating for a moment, Yumi attempted to call out to the mystery figure. Her small, shaky voice barely made an echo across the clearing, and all her shivering certainly didn't help her speak clearly.

"H-hello? Is a-anyone th-there?"
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Erin's jaw clenched as she heard the girl speak. How could someone like her have such good vision with such squinty eyes?

I musn't be as good at hiding as I think I am.

Now there were two things she could do here. Walk out and shoot the defenseless little girl, or just stay here and hope she forgets about her. She could just as easily thought she was seeing something and forget about it. Then again, this wasn't hide and go seek, this was The Program, where your life was at stake.

For the moment, Erin was going to hide. A plan still needed to be made.
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No response. Either they hadn't heard her, or nobody was there after all. Or they could just be pretending not to be there so that they could shoot her in the back the moment she turned around. Yumi shuddered as she scanned the area from the safety of the tree. Nothing but snow and trees as far as the eye can see. Even though she didn't see anyone, she was still very uneasy about her current predicament.

"Hello? I-I won't h-hurt you! I p-promise!" She called out. She immediately mentally berated herself for her stupidity.

No, don't say that! Now they know that I can't fight, and they'll just want to attack me more!"

"Uh, w-what I mean is..." She crouched down to pick up her bag. She slipped the strap over her shoulder in case she needed to make a quick getaway. "I just want t-to get out of here, so if you would just let me p-pass, I, uh, would be very g-g-greatful."

Yumi stood up slowly. She didn't need to arouse suspicion in case anyone actually was out there.
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There were several pros and cons for using Yumi as a sheild of some sort.

Pros: her classmates would go for Yumi before they would go for Erin. She sounded scared, and if she really was scared if Erin treated her right she would have an ally and a meat sheild as well. And if she had a weapon well, if the previous two pro's worked out Erin would never even have to worry about being attacked or killing as she figured out her plan.

But...Cons: She was Un-American, and those kinds of people were always aggressive and untrustworthy. There was no telling how she'd act, especially since Erin knew nothing about her. And she was a runt, not even the least bit physically imposing.

Erin mulled it over, rubbing the skin of her neck near the collar, a sharp reminder of inaction or disobedience.

There were pros, but...ultimately, they were outweighed by the cons.

If the girl was true to her word, and she just wanted to leave, Erin wasn't going to stop her.

But if she even caught a glimpse of Erin's face, the girl was getting a bullet through her chest.
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Once again, Yumi recieved no reply from the trees. If someone was there, then surely they would have revealed themselves by now. A total non-threat like her would have been far too tempting a target for someone looking to kill. With every passing moment, Yumi became more and more convinced that she had just imagined the figure in the trees. She continued to look at the trees for a few moments more before taking her leave. She walked away from the trees, off to find somewhere else to hide until it was all over.

Everything seemed to be going fine, but fate had a cruel way of making tough situations even tougher. This time, it decided to have a large tree root directly in Yumi's path as she attempted to leave the scene.

"Uwaaaaagh!" Yumi screamed as she tripped over the root and fell face-first into the snow. Her foot wasn't injured, but the added weight of her bag made the fall much more painful. A few moments after the impact, Yumi's head shot up as she lifted her body off the ground, supporting herself on all fours as she caught her breath. Panicked, she looked into the trees, hoping that if there was already someone there, that they would have mercy on a poor, unlucky girl like her.
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Well, it could have been all so easy. She could have just walked away. Erin was perfectly willing to let her live if she would have just walked in a completely different direction, away from her.

But instead, the girl decided to just walk right over to the mysterious sounds she had no idea what they were, and as luck would have it she was being served up onto a silver platter. It was almost like God was tempting her down one of the initial paths laid out for her. Kill her classmates, instead of having them do the killing for her. An Erin with a clearer mind would have resisted, she would have run and jumped and skipped and hopped away because this was not how it was supposed to go.

But there was that operative word. Was. And here she lay on the ground, completely at the mercy of the girl with the gun. If she had only walked off none the wiser, everything would have turned out better for her. But Erin knew what she had to do now.

The young redhead pulled the revolver from her bag, already examined and loaded. She checked everything was going to go off how she envisioned it. The sights were no sooner lined up to the body of the girl. There should have been an apology in there somewhere, some of the girls she'd seen before on The Program always apologized before their kills. Some of them even said it to their Un-American victims.

Erin was not sure if she felt sorry yet. But she lined up the gun with the girl, and pulled the trigger.

However, instead of seeing a repeat of the same thing she'd seen on several episodes of The Program, a loud crack deafened her and sent her stumbling backwards in a daze, like someone had hit her over the head with a mallet. She felt the air disappear behind her as she stepped backwards into a log, sending Erin flying backwards, the gun from her loosened hands and all sense of balance and direction gone. Her eyes were unfocused, her temples tense and pained, while she had no idea what in god's named had happened to the girl.

The only thing she could recall as she lay dizzily sprawled on her back across the frosted grass was that she had missed Yumi Nunes by a long-shot.
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This time, Yumi did see something in the trees. A figure emerged from behind one of the trees, and she recognized it as one of the girls from school. Unfortunately, the girl pulled out a gun and aimed it at Yumi's head. Yumi was scared before that someone would try to kill her, but having someone actually aiming a gun at her was a different feeling altogether. Her muscles tensed up, and she was too scared to move. Unable to stop the inevitable, Yumi closed her eyes and just waited for the end.


*BANG*


...Yumi opened her eyes. She was still alive, and the girl was out of sight. By some miracle, the bullet had missed. She was breathing heavily as she continud to stare at the spot where her would-be killer had been standing previously. She had no idea where the other girl had gone, and she didn't want to stick around to find out. She had to get out of there before the girl came back to finish the job.

Yumi brought herself to her feet with some difficulty thanks to the weight of the bag. Once she was back on her feet, she ran off into the snowy wasteland, not looking back.

((Yumi Nunes continued elsewhere...))
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[[Garritt Baker Continued From: Vagabond Code.]]

Garritt ran and kept running even as he entered a clearing of some kind with badly misplaced stumps all over the place, almost tripping him up.

He was afraid to turn back, afraid that the Crazy Mexican was still running after him to punish him for all the mean things he may have said at one time. He still couldn't get it out of his head, the same words looping in his mind when he saw Caleb die still kept looping in his mind as he ran for dear life.

Still, the effect of his smoking made his lungs give out yet again, and he needed to stop to gather some precious air to breathe.

Garritt rested his arm to the side of a tree at the edge of the clearing, panting and taking in deep breaths. Shit, he wasn't made for running.

Though he realized something. There were no footsteps; no one was running after him. She was gone, he had actually escaped. He was about to throw his hands up in the air and give a shout of victory when out of nowhere a loud crack, just like the one he heard when Caleb was shot filled the air and his ears.

The bullet smashed against the bark of the tree right above his head and Garritt screamed.

"OH SHIT CLARA'S HERE! CLARA'S EVERYWHERE!"

Garritt took off running again. He didn't even notice the girl lying on the ground who had actually fired the bullet.

[[Garritt Baker Continued To: Real American.]]
Second Chances Version 2 Characters:
B14: Kyran Dean | Alive - bandaged cheek with diagonal scar, bloody nose | Whatever (Catchphrase) in: Hero? But I'm a Kid Like Everyone Else | AK-47
G29: Wendy Fischer | Alive | Pantsless in: Carp Diem | Frozen 25lb Carp with no head (Mr. Dolph)

Sotf-TV Season 65 Flagship:
Gold Team Member #4 (SDA Male): Shawn Morrison | One with the Universe | Being Real in: Oracular Spectacular | Brian Peter George St. John Le Baptiste De La Salle Eno, The Deceased Boa Constrictor.

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Erin could vaguely hear shouts and screams. She wasn't exactly sure where they were coming from, but it must have been fallout from her ill-advised murder attempt. She felt around awkwardly around the area where the gun seemed to have slid, and found the warm metal eventually.

She sat up. Yumi was high-tailing it in the near distance. That was one of the problems she knew she'd face if she chose the paths set out for her by her life - if she made a mistake, the repercussions would hamper her every step of the way. Now she was going to find people, single her out as someone who couldn't even fire a gun, and her third path was closed off forever.

Unless, of course, she finished the job.

Erin dizzily stepped over the log, bagged her gun, then followed the steps. She would have time to face the fact she was heading back into a place she didn't want to later. Right now, she had an Un-American runt to silence.

[[Erin Underwood continues elsewhere]]
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