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Gravity; Open
Topic Started: Apr 19 2014, 10:37 PM (1,813 Views)
Aloha
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honey nut feelios
[ *  *  * ]
((Leah Bissard continued from Lifdoff))

Leah had made only one rest stop since the encounter, and that was to bandage her shoulder. She had no idea how to handle it, though she tired her best using common sense and what she'd seen in movies: clean up the wound, disinfect it and apply bandages. Leah knew that she had to change the bandages at some point. Another thing to worry about. She brought her hand up to the bandaged area and caressed it gingerly. It stung a bit.

Her legs were still aching from the long run. A disadvantage of being out of shape, Leah supposed. After running for quite a bit she had stumbled upon a large sports complex, and without much thought she ventured inside for shelter. Luckily, Leah didn't encounter anyone. At the moment she was sitting inside of a tennis court, back against one of the net posts and bag opened up next to her. The gun was sitting in her lap, one hand placed firmly on the grip but no fingers on the trigger. She didn't need something like that happening again.

Before she could do much else, she heard a speaker turn on nearby. Turning her head to the source, Leah heard an excited voice fill the room as the announcer introduced herself as Ritzy Daggers and almost immediately start listing deaths. Leah turned to her bag and rifled through the contents as "Ritzy" fervently listed off names, most of which she didn't recognize. She heard the names of a few classmates and other kids she assumed were from the other school, though it seemed that the names she recognized were more killers than victims. Leah pulled out a half-empty bottle of Powerade and took a swig from it, trying to tune out the woman's voice to the best of her ability. She was about to succeed, too, when her own name was tacked into the end of the list in conjunction to another boy's. Damion Castillo.

So that was his name. Leah shuddered and took a deep breath. She had been trying to avoid the mere thought of the boy, one allusion to the whole ordeal making it resurface in her mind. Leah knew what she did to him, but without a name he was a little easier to deal with. Just a faceless stranger with no relevance to her life, with no previous ties or even a name to remember him by. Until now, at least.

The mention of "murdervision" suddenly made her aware of the camera in the corner of the room, a watchful gaze trained on her. Millions of people were watching her through that camera, millions of eyes scrutinizing and judging her. Leah wasn't familiar with the SOTF fanbase, though she had probably attracted some attention from her previous encounter. Maybe they were cheering her on, or booing her as they criticized her tactics or whatever. She only made brief eye contact with the lens before averting her eyes, looking down at her drink.

She took another sip.
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Shangela
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[ *  * ]
((CS5- Aidan Adelman continued from Speechless))
Aidan was trembling violently. Was it a fault in the LL.Bean peacoat? That was usually so warm. Sure this Oregon weather was particularly cutting, but he shouldn’t be shaking this much. Was he feeling guilty about what happened with Gene? Well, what the fuck was he supposed to do? Girl tried some shady, shady nonsense and was willing to let Laura and Aidan freeze to death waiting for some boat that would never come.

No. Aidan knew why he was shaking so violently. Ritzy Daggers. Aidan knew exactly who she was. Hell, Aidan even met her once. Dad and the glorious people at SotF TV had a very beneficial relationship; the producers wanted incentive to get people to watch the show, and Morty played upon their addictive needs. Everything was supposed to be going well. Morty’s inaugural casino party to start off each season was a phenomenal hit. Why? Why was he here, then?

Did Dad do something?

Aidan didn’t have the time to reflect on that thought. One by one, names were read. Names that weren’t familiar were drowned out by the constant list of names Aidan did know. People Aidan strutted past in the halls. People who’d gone to see Aidan star in multiple school plays. People who Aidan and Jaxon used to relish in gossiping about.

Davis Todd. Holy shit. Davis was so strong, so confident, and so able. He was the type of person this show was supposed to cast. Back at the Hunter’s Casino, someone was probably cursing under their breath as the bookie took their wager.

Lisa Toner. She was the perfect definition of a fag hag. Sweet as pie, supportive, and she was a big girl, which made all the gays around her look rail thin. She was annoying sometimes, but it really hurt to hear that she was dead.

Then the names stopped jumping out at Aidan. Taylor was dead. Taylor DeVasher. Aidan couldn’t believe it. Taylor was loud, eccentric, fierce, fabulous, but most of all, he was alive. They called him the “most flamboyant,” but that didn’t even come close to describing who he is. Or was.

Aidan’s lips trembled. Laura kept eye contact with him the entire aimless walk out of there. He couldn’t cry. Not while she was watching. Not while Dad was watching. Everyone had already seen him cry. He had to be tougher. He had to be a man.

Lucy was dead. Lucy Williams. Aidan could truthfully say that he loved Lucy. If anyone had ever made Aidan wish to be straight, it would be her. She was so sweet. So loving. Aidan couldn’t believe that she’d ever pick a fight.

No. They weren’t telling the truth. Lucy didn’t pick a fight with Gabriel. She wasn’t that person. She could get fiery, especially when Aidan and Will coaxed her fire out of her, but she always circled back around to calm. Lucy was supposed to have her shit together. Aidan could cry all he wanted, but Lucy was going to come in and help. There was no way that they could be dead. Aidan couldn’t let himself believe it.

The announcements hadn’t ended before Aidan tasted a tear. Shit. His tears flushed down the length of his cheeks and into his mouth. He hadn’t even noticed, or paid much attention to the blurred vision that slowly clouded his senses. His breathing became frantic and rapid. The more Laura looked at him, the more he tried to keep it under control. “L-l-let’s keep going. P-please.”

Aidan couldn’t do it anymore. His fists balled over his eyes, staunching the flow of tears. His body shook and jerked in inhuman expressions of grief. His shoulders struggled to rest, bobbing violently as each outward burst of anguish escaped past his lips. He took two steps before falling to his knees. His Hugo Boss pants, formerly pristine and unmarred, were horrendously stained by the freckled mud strewn across the path. They were starched to perfection. Fabulously pearl white with subtle accents of beige. And now earth covered the length of his shin. But Aidan didn’t care. He didn’t want to care that he looked messy and beat up. He just wanted to cry. He wanted this to be all over.

Aidan slung up his bag as they approached their destination. The sports center was the wrong direction from the tower, but Aidan couldn’t accept that Lucy and Taylor were gone quite yet. Deep down he knew that everything was falling apart. He knew people were dying. He knew that Lucy and Taylor were only the beginning of his dwindling friend group. But he just. . . couldn’t.

Carelessly and brutishly, Aidan pressed open the front entrance to the Sports Center. He didn’t care about survival anymore. How could he? He wasn’t doing it for him. Aidan knew that the second he woke up. It was all for them. He already fucked up and didn’t get to Lucy and Taylor in time. He wanted to hate Gene for keeping him in the casino and not by Lucy’s side. He wanted to hate his father for not buying his school and his friends the immunity from this “game” that Morty should have had. He wanted to hate the game itself for pinning his very real friends in this fucked up casting situation.

Aidan rounded a corner, being met by yet another unfamiliar face. "S-sorry. I didn't mean to... I didn't mean to come in and scare you. Sorry, girl." Aidan’s flamboyant and colorful voice was monochrome. Everything took a deep, low octave of seriousness.

Aidan couldn’t hate anybody else right now. Aidan only hated himself.
Edited by Shangela, Apr 20 2014, 02:06 AM.
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Credit goes to the talented BMO of the Marina and the Diamonds forum, the Marina Boards
But deep down, all you really want is love
The pure kind, we all dream of.
But we cannot escape the past,
So you and I will never last

NOTE:I'm somewhat self-conscious about my abilities as a role-player. If you happen to read my threads and have any input, I'd greatly appreciate hearing them. I want to improve and only your input will help me do so~
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((Lucia del Pirlo continued from Not Your Scheduled Programming))

It didn’t take too long for Lucia to start slowing down. She walked every day, and was slightly more fit than some of her classmates, but she didn’t run, not for great distances at least. And not in a skirt and sandals, with a heavy bag bumping around on her back. The chill of the winter air was hardly noticeable now that she’d been running. As Lucia came to a stop outside a large building, however, she was still shivering.

Her grip on her gun hadn’t lessened a bit since she’d left the diner. As Lucia slumped against the wall of the Sports Centre, her eyes fell upon it for what felt like the millionth time. Part of her never wanted to see it again. If she was on top of a mountain or by the side of a lake, she would have thrown it as far as she could, watched it disappear never to be seen or used again.

And yet, as Lucia shakily rose to her feet, using the outside wall for support, the gun remained in her hands. Slowly, after briefly checking to make sure she hadn’t dropped anything or accidentally opened her bag whilst running, she pushed the door of the Sports Centre open and walked inside. The main entrance area was unnaturally clean and quiet. It was as if the whole building had just been built and placed here for the participating students.

Yet it was still infinitely better than the diner; it felt less cramped, less stifling. Maybe it was the corridors and doors branching off. Lucia didn’t know. Her mind was too caught up in everything that had happened since she had woken up, as she threw her bag down next to the reception desk.

The announcement. That was what Lucia couldn’t stop thinking about. A sudden voice that had appeared out of nowhere whilst she was running. For a moment, Lucia had been terrified, certain that someone had found her and was ready to enact revenge on her for Austin’s murder. The truth was much worse.

Taylor had died. The words didn’t make sense to Lucia. Taylor wasn’t dead. He was talking to her in the park as she drew, admiring her art. He wasn’t dead. Neither was Lisa. Sweet, bubbly friendly Lisa, always there for words of encouragement. They couldn’t be dead. It was unreal, and yet the announcement had carried on and Lucia knew that what the woman said was real.

Her name had come up. That was the thing that circled Lucia’s mind now. People would have heard the announcement; there was no way of hiding from it. People would know that she had murdered Austin. Lucia couldn’t say for sure how people would react; everyone was unique, after all. But she just knew that from this moment on, she wasn’t safe. There was always the chance that people would try and seek her out, or attack her for what she had done.

It now dawned on Lucia exactly why she was keeping such a firm hold of the gun. She didn’t want to use it ever again. But if she was attacked, it would be the only thing to keep her safe. It would be the only thing she could use to protect herself. There was a very real chance she would have to pull the trigger again, and as soon as Lucia thought that, the scene in the diner reared its ugly head once again, images of Austin and the gaping hole where his eye had once been flooding her mind.

Lucia felt bile rising in her throat, and before she could make more than a few shaky steps away from her bag, she threw up. There were tears in her eyes and her throat stung.

Her grip on the gun never wavered.
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Aloha
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Today was just full of surprises. Leah really should really keep her eyes peeled.

Slightly spooked, she turned to the boy that had entered the court. Lean, blonde, not on her team and overall completely unfamiliar to her. Something about him reminded her of the other boy, the first person she'd encountered, though she brushed off their similarities. Leah stashed her drink away and thought about the situation.

This might be a good thing. He was unarmed, unfamiliar and seemingly pacifistic as well. To put it simply, she could just walk out of the situation easily without a second thought. If Leah was lucky, she'd never see the boy again, and without a name she wouldn't even know he died. Made things a little easier for her.

"It's fine," she replied, trying to sound nonhostile and adding a friendly smile to boot. She didn't want to fight, not unless she was attacked. Killing Damion- no, that boy- was in self-defense. She stood up and held the gun loosely by her side, hoping to look casual. Her smile faltered slightly as she heard the faint sound of someone vomiting nearby. That meant people were nearby.

Last time she was with a large group, several of them had stalked and ambushed her. Plus, with confirmed killers, that person might be a legitimate threat. Jewel, Vahka, Marcus or even the other school's killers. Maybe somebody had been motivated by the announcements, and was now hunting down people. Leah couldn't help but shiver at the thought.
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Impereld
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Laura Mason continued from Speechless

People were dying.

Of course, people are always dying, somewhere. People died on every season of SOTF, it was kind of the point. But there was a difference, a lack of a connection between the viewer and the victim. When the killers were people that you went to school with, who you passed in the hallways thousands of times or idly chattered at while waiting for a bus,

She should probably have felt worse about the dead kids, but most of them were still unknowns. They still had the disconnection, that buffer. On a deeper level then the abstract, they were not actual entities in her life.

Of course, they'd never get the chance to be more than that, now.

They had kept moving. Aidan wanted to keep moving and there was no way she was gonna deny him that. She didn't know where they were going, but she didn't much care. As long as they found somewhere to eventually stop, she'd be happy.

And they did. She had no idea why it was the sports centre, but she wasn't going to complain. As long as they got out of the cold, she'd be happy.

She let Aidan lead the way, left him to it. If he was in front, she'd watch the back. Last thing she wanted would be a knife in hers. Let him lead the way.Let him do the talking. Let him lead. Let him get too far ahead of her- okay not the best idea to accidentally misplace a teammate.

Wait, he was talking. Who- Ehh, he probably had it under control. She'd wait until he either gave the all-clear or called for help. Besides, she was watching their backs. That was important too. Probably.
Edited by Impereld, May 1 2014, 01:10 PM.
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Shangela
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[ *  * ]
Smiling was usually so easy. All it took was just a tightening of a few muscles. That was it. You didn’t need to be a rocket surgeon to go ahead and muster up a smile. Hell, it was an art form that Aidan perfected. Regardless of what he was feeling, Davison wouldn’t ever know that sunshine and sparkles didn’t come out of his ass. He spent so much concerted effort to keep it like that. But now? Who the fuck cared. Life was starting to mean more than what everybody thought. Well wishes didn’t keep you alive, otherwise Lucy and Taylor would damn well still be alive.

It was hard, sure, but this was Aidan. He could sell snow to eskimos. Aidan returned a smile. He wasn’t entirely faking the smile. It was nice to see a face that wasn’t actively trying to hunt or harm him. Even if she was a stranger, the fact that she hadn’t unloaded the gun into Aidan when he’d barreled his fabulously daft self in, was a good side.

As the girl stood up, his eyes fixated on something distressing – a bandage. They’d been here for only half a day, yet it seemed like the girl had already played her part for the cameras. “Love, are you alright? Those bandages look pretty intense.”

Pretty was the wrong modifier. In fact, they looked downright ugly. The poor thing.

Aidan started to walk towards her, adjusting the rainbow plumage on his chest. He could see the girl was wearing that brown-black shade. All of Aidan’s years as a gay gave him a number of abilities, but the most successful of which was to parse apart colors and hues better than the Benjamin Moore paint company ever could. The girl was on the ebony team. A small dark bandana hung in his chest pocket, tucked around with the plethora of others. Aidan didn’t say anything, but casually brought the bandanna to the front of the pile.

He’d thought to take another step closer, pausing briefly to say something reassuring, when someone was vomming it up. Jeez.

“I think that’s my friend. Laura. She’s from your school.” Aidan hastily added the last sentence in. Hopefully the bumblefuck school they all came from was as tight-knit as Davison.

“We’ve been through a lot. We’ve been running around aimlessly for a while now. I think it’s taking a toll on the poor doll.” Sympathy. “Do you mind if we rest here for a few secs? I promise we’ll behave.”

Aidan turned on his heel, steadily setting his bag down in the process. If it wasn’t immediately apparent, Aidan was completely unarmed. He had to put a lot of trust in a complete stranger. More than that, he had to put a lot of trust in his own abilities as a diplomat and an actor.

Aidan slowly peered over the corner. “Laura, are you alright? I know Subways is pretty ratchet, but try not to yak too much of it up!” What could Aidan say? He wasn’t a fan of Subways. Sue him. Unfortunately, if Aidan did make it out of here alive, they very well just might. Slander on tv, after all.

“Laura?” A face met him, a familiar face. However, it wasn’t one that he’d been particularly fond of.

Lucia. She was weird, quiet, artsy, but not in the fun way. She always seemed to have one of her paintbrushes stuck up her keister. Aidan guess that now was the time she decided to let her hair down. And by that, Aidan meant she went full on Karen Ruiz and capped a guy. A guy from their school, no less. There went that whole “we should stick together as a school” angle. It was a tempting thought, Aidan had been saving it for the imaginary conversations about the show he’d had in his head.

“A-are you alright?”
Edited by Shangela, May 6 2014, 07:41 PM.
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Credit goes to the talented BMO of the Marina and the Diamonds forum, the Marina Boards
But deep down, all you really want is love
The pure kind, we all dream of.
But we cannot escape the past,
So you and I will never last

NOTE:I'm somewhat self-conscious about my abilities as a role-player. If you happen to read my threads and have any input, I'd greatly appreciate hearing them. I want to improve and only your input will help me do so~
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It was only now that Lucia was at her most vulnerable, now that she felt like throwing up again, that her mind acknowledged that there might be other people in the sports centre. She hadn’t been particularly subtle or quiet, after all, and now that there was no music drifting from the speaker systems or people milling in and out, you could hear a pin drop.

And indeed, she could hear now that she was not alone. Scuffling, the sound of footsteps and, most telling, voices. Her heart froze and her eyes widened, as she attempted to force her shaking body to stand up straight. With one hand, she held onto the reception desk for support, with the back of the other, she wiped her mouth, still holding the gun.

Whoever else it actually was in the sports centre was calling out again for somebody named Laura. Lucia had never met anybody named Laura, but she could have sworn she recognised the voice. The important thing was that if he was looking for this ‘Laura’, he might not have realised Lucia was in here as well. Maybe she could sneak away, maybe she could escape, maybe-

A figure turned the corner, and as Lucia’s shaking hands aimed the gun at his torso, she realised why the voice had sounded so familiar. It belonged to Aiden Adelman, another one of her classmates. She didn’t really like Aiden. She was as polite to him as she was to everyone else, but, truth be told, he intimidated her. He was just a little too... exuberant for her tastes, and some of his comments fell on the wrong side of offensive in Lucia’s eyes. She didn’t like him. But that didn’t mean she wanted to kill him.

The same rule had applied with Austin, though. And yet everything that Aiden had no doubt heard on the announcement had still happened.

It took a few seconds for Aiden’s words to actually sink in. It hadn’t been an accusation, or a threat, or a cry of fear. ‘Are you alright?’ Those had been his exact words. Slowly, Lucia lowered her gun until it was pointing at the floor, still ready to be put into use at a moment’s notice.

“N-no... no, I... no...”

It took what felt like an eternity to say those four words. But Lucia didn’t know what else to say.

She didn’t know what to do.
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Leah tensed up. He'd noticed the bandages.

Those were hard to cover up. "Oh, uh, these are f-fine," She said, motioning to her shoulder. "I just got attacked. That's all. I, uh, managed to scare them off, though." She didn't want to draw attention to it. The less this boy knew about her, the better. The only reason he was being civil was that he didn't know her, after all. If someone recognized her from school and revealed her identity to them, she was toast. Leah was lucky that he didn't ask for names.

The boy began advancing towards her, and Leah couldn't help but back away. He noted the vomiting sounds as well, explaining that it was probably his friend Laura. "She’s from your school," He added.

Shit.

Leah thought long and hard, trying to remember if there was a Laura back at Whittree. Her first encounter from her own school might not go down well if she recognized her and told her ally. Yes, there was a Laura! Laura Mason: one of those names she just knew, without a face or person to connect it with. Leah thought she was blonde, though she wasn't sure if it was recollection or an assumption. Either way, she knew nothing about the other girl. But then again, maybe Laura wouldn't know her either. Before she could reflect further, he asked to stay before dropping the bag. Leah blinked and looked up, seeing the boy walking off, calling out to the girl.

She looked down at the bag again. First of all, this kid was putting way to much trust into a stranger he didn't even know the name of. Some nerve, trusting her not to rob him blind. This kid has to be a real idiot, leaving his bag with a girl who was clearly better armed. Maybe she could peek in and swipe some supplies, let him learn the hard way not to trust people in this ga-

She shook her head. No, she wouldn't do it. The last time Leah had encountered a robber, she'd shot him in the face. And now, less than a few hours after that, she was considering doing the same. Was this the boy's train of thought as he sneaked up on her? Was that what the girl was thinking?

She averted her eyes and shrugged, maybe to the audience or nobody in particular. Either way, it looked like Mr. Trustworthy and Laura the Sidekick were staying. She walked over and picked up her bag, slinging it onto her shoulder as she glanced towards the exit. The best thing to do was walk out.
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A voice quietly whispers from Leah's collar.

"Lll-l-lllll-llleah! These people aren't safe, you know that. Do not let them follow you back like the last ones. Your spear boo-boo should let you know what you have to do now, to make sure you stay safe."
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Impereld
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What the hell was going on in there? Something was going down, that was for sure. Probably something bad.

She took a little peek into the room. Three people. Well, she already knew Aidan was in there, that really wasn't much of a shocker, but there were two others. Two girls with guns.

That was bad. Really bad. Well, not that bad. One of them looked familiar. Well, if you looked past the big gun and the bandages and all that stuff. Hell if Laura knew her name, though. Sure, she probably should have been more worried then she was, given that most of the killers were from Whittree, but if there was gonna be shooting, they'd have started by now, right?

The other one she didn't know. Aidan probably did, if she was from the other school. And she wasn't waving her gun around either, so that seemed alright.

Hell if she was just gonna walk in there, though. All it'd take is for her to walk in, someone to panic and then they'd start firing. Nope. She'd wait this one out, thank you very much. If things seemed chill, she could just walk in and introduce herself after all the guns had been put away. Yeah. That was the thing to do.
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Breathe in through your nose. Out through your mouth. Repeat.

In through your nose. Out through your mouth. Repeat.

Or was it the “three rapid breaths in, one deep one out” method? Which was for nerves, and which was for those Lamaze classes? Aidan wasn’t pushing out a baby here, shit.

Calm down. A nagging voice in Aidan’s head tried to pacify the congregating voices that compelled him to lose his shit, figuratively and literally. If he were home, he could easy fix these nerves with a good old fashioned “Judy Garland cocktail.” Some of Mom’s champagne, which Aidan expertly tucked away in his bedroom refrigerator behind the Twinkies and six-pack of blueberry Redbull, and half of a klonopin. If he were home, the biggest concern would be about his role in the upcoming play, or something else so trivial. Back then, it meant something. Now he’d love to just be a background character. A starring role here wasn’t exactly something Aidan would love to put on his resumé.

For what it was worth, Lucia tucked her gun downward. It still didn’t mean that he was completely safe, but it was a start. Lucia’d up and killed somebody. That was a fact. No matter how, at this moment, she resembled Courtney Love with that whole vomit soaked look, she was still very capable of shooting Aidan.

Aidan needed a minute. If that girl in the other room could just stay put, he could focus on Lucia. She never liked him back home, but they weren’t home, were they? He could come up with some inspiring pitch, something for them to gravitate towards. They’d find Will, Jaxon, Sebastien, everyone else in his friend group who was still alive. Then they’d escape . . . somehow. It wasn’t fully planned out, sure, but then again, improv theater wasn’t. You had to think on your feet. He wasn’t much different. Except maybe instead of tomatoes, they’d throw punches.

“Hun, you should drink some water. Just, breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth. We’re friends here, okay?” Aidan didn’t mean that last line at all. In what world would they ever be friends. Lucia was cold, quiet, frigid and weird. Aidan was warm, sunny, and downright a peach to be around.

He didn’t look back at the doorway where he’d up and left the girl. He realized that he didn’t even ask her name. Dammit. He’d gone through laying those little seeds of trust, and he didn’t even do the whole introduction thing. He thought he was so clever leaving his bag behind. Sure she could go through his things and help herself to a subway sandwich, or an extra bottle of water. But she was hurt. Aidan was probably the first person to show this little Wendy’s mascot any kindness today. He needed her firepower around incase Lucia decided on an encore performance.

“It’ll be okay. We’ll figure this out, girl.” Out of instinct, Aidan always added a little compliment. No matter how shallow or empty it was, people liked being complimented. “I-I love your skirt. Giving me some luau realness.”

It might have, you know, before it was covered in more vomit than frat house bathroom.
Edited by Shangela, May 21 2014, 07:21 PM.
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Credit goes to the talented BMO of the Marina and the Diamonds forum, the Marina Boards
But deep down, all you really want is love
The pure kind, we all dream of.
But we cannot escape the past,
So you and I will never last

NOTE:I'm somewhat self-conscious about my abilities as a role-player. If you happen to read my threads and have any input, I'd greatly appreciate hearing them. I want to improve and only your input will help me do so~
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Lucia looked straight at Aidan, still shaking, suspicion now etched across her face. He looked almost as terrified as she felt, but the things he said were calming and reasonable. He was giving her advice, telling her to drink water, trying to help her. He was acting friendly towards her, despite their prior relationship being less than cordial.

Now didn’t this all sound familiar?

They were all friends here? Since when? What evidence had Lucia been shown to prove that? Everyone she’d met so far had either been completely unfamiliar or a threat. Austin hadn’t been planning on killing her, and her actions in the diner were never going to leave her, but he had still been trying to manipulate her. He had been using the remote to his advantage.

The point was... Lucia didn’t know whether she could trust Aidan. What did he have to gain in trying to help someone who had already killed? He seemed scared, yes, but so had Austin. And didn’t Aidan do acting as well? They hadn’t been friends at Davison, and yet now he was claiming they were? Was this whole thing an act?

But when Aidan mentioned Lucia’s skirt, and she looked down at it and the vomit splattered across it, she realised she had little choice but to trust him. He was right about the water at least; a drink would make her feel slightly better. And, although it seemed incredibly petty in comparison to everything else that had happened already, she wanted to change out of her clothes. Where would she be able to find some, though? Were there any in her bag? God, she hadn’t even had a chance to open it.

Lucia couldn’t keep running everywhere, away from everything and everyone. Now might be her only chance for some respite, with someone who, at least on the outside, did not seem to be planning retribution for her murder. The question of trust still hung in the air, though. Lucia took a single step back, stopped, then nodded slowly.

“A-alright... I... th-than-“ Lucia wanted to thank Aidan for the compliment, but it just sounded... wrong. Like it was part of a conversation from a different time and a different place. She needed to get straight to her point.

“D-do... what is your w-weapon? I-is there a-anyone else here?”

A small pause. Lucia’s throat was dry. Her words were hardly audible.

“Pl-please... I ne-need to know...”
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Leah took one glance around the room before spotting a blonde girl peeking into the room. She recognized the face from Whittree, and it was probably Laura. Thankfully, she didn't seem to recognize her (at least for the time being), but she was still staring.

She heard Aidan talking to someone else, and there was a distinctly feminine voice replying. Leah tensed up. So there were three people here now, making things a little more difficult for her. There didn't seem to be any other exit from the courts, and Leah couldn't exactly stroll past the-

Her thoughts were cut off by a familiar, sneering voice. It had only been, what, a few minutes since the announcement and her mentor had already used up her speaking privileges for the next twelve or so hours. Her advice this time around was equally as unhelpful and screwy as last time; her mentor had painfully reminded her of the last time she was in a group, pointing out the 'spear boo boo' the boy had left as proof.

Soon her voice faded out, and Leah was left to her own devices again. She listened to the muffled speaking and began walking towards the door.
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Shangela
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((Skipping to help get the death finished on time))

So she needed to know a whole laundry list of things in order to trust Aidan. It was funny, ironically of course, that she was the one who was all distrustful. Aidan had done nothing but plan to try and save lives since he’d woken up. Lucia, on the other hand, shot a classmate right off the bat. Jesus, she hadn’t even let the effects of the gas wear off before she’d decided to go Annie Oakley on Austin White. Aidan barely knew the kid, but his death hadn’t exactly made him feel better.

Aidan realized that he’d been quietly studying Lucia’s face. Quiet wasn’t the game Aidan usually played. Quiet was distrustful, unlikable. Aidan could pathologize miss Lucia all he wanted, but he needed her to both trust him and like him. She held the gun. Aidan’s safety, as well as Will, Sebastien, and Bella’s safety rested on him gaining an ally for the cause. Or at least the weapon . . .

“I-I came across someone else. Laura. I’m not sure if you saw yet, but there are kids from another school. Somewhere like Ohio, or Oklahoma, or something.” The key to a successful pitch was brevity. The less extraneous information you had to disclose or fudge, the better. Theater class prepared him well for a life of lying to his mother and father. From curfew to where Mommy’s Moet & Chandon had snuck off to (hint: Aidan’s liver), Aidan was a pro at the bold faced lie.

Unfortunately, no amount of theater could prepare Aidan for his actual starring role.

“I-I” Aidan pulled the sides of his peacoat open, flashing the colorful plumage of bandanas. “I got these.” Aidan clocked the fluttering white bandana that Lucia was wearing right away. The contrasting white didn’t match the color of vomit at all.

Aidan looked around briefly, making sure Laura was truly out of the scene. “I got the white one first. I guess I’m an Ivory Shark.” Sorry Laura. As much as he cared about her, a gun beat out gummy bears. Aidan was on a diet, anyway.

Aidan craned his head around again, looking around nervously. Aidan took a cautious step towards Lucia. Then another. The poor girl looked scared beyond all belief. Despite what she might have known Aidan as, he wasn’t a bitch. A diva, maybe, but not a bitch. He cemented his careful stride once he was within whispering distance.

“Actually, there’s a girl here. She’s probably from that same bumfuck town as Laura. Anywho, she looks injured. Like, bad.” Aidan was within whispering distance. “But she still has a gun. I’m trying to propose a little ceasefire. We can all be friends for a moment while we sort this out.”

Aidan pulled back a bit, allowing Lucia some room to breathe. Unfortunately, the girl had wandered her ass into a situation that was a total mess. Aidan was just going to have to unjam this ratchet situation. “I just want a pause in all the chaos, okay? Is that alright, Lucia?”

Aidan’s loud mouth would be the death of him, he swore.
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((Same deal here, sorry))

Lucia was half-convinced Aidan wouldn’t answer her questions. Either that, or he would take a while to do so whilst he came up with a suitable lie. The fact that he seemed to be stalling quickly unnerved her, and she hastily took another step backwards. What if he had a weapon on him? What if he had found someone like Jewel or Vahka and he’d formed an alliance with them? What would she do then?

Fortunately, the questions were moot. Aidan found his voice, and his answers were a lot better than Lucia could have hoped for. Apparently, the ‘Laura’ that Aidan had been shouting for was from a different school; that explained why Lucia hadn’t recognised the name. She guessed the trio at the diner had been from the same school too, so she nodded in response, a little too rapidly thanks to her nerves.

Then there was Aidan’s weapon. Lucia stared at the spectrum of colours that made up Aidan’s set of bandanas. She didn’t know what had been given out as weapons on previous seasons of SOTF, but she didn’t see any way that Aidan could have obtained them if they weren’t his assigned weapon. It was either that, or he’d have had to find dead bodies and... well, Lucia really didn’t want to think about that possibility.

Aidan’s responses should have calmed Lucia’s nerves, even just a little, but if anything, she started to feel even worse. It was bad enough that she had been forced into a ‘game’ where classmates had to kill each other. Now there was the revelation that she would have to encounter total strangers, people who would have no reason to keep you alive if they were ‘playing’. Then there was Aidan’s claim that he was on the same team as her. Truth, or not? She didn’t know. She had no way of knowing. There wasn’t anything he could exactly do to her if he was lying, though. There was little she could do but put some trust in him, and hope she was making the right choice.

Then Aidan began to walk towards her. There weren’t that many people taller than Lucia, but Aidan was one of them, and she took another nervous step backwards. All he was doing, however, was imparting another piece of information to her. There was another girl here, another girl from the other school. All that would have been fine if it was the only information Aidan gave her, but of course, it could never be that easy.

The girl had a gun. She’d been injured. Aidan wanted to call a ceasefire, some sort of truce, but Lucia just stared at him in terror and disbelief. If she’d been injured, then that suggested she’d been in some sort of fight. Even if she was injured, she had stepped away from it the victor. Maybe everyone involved in the fight had walked away, injured but alive. Or maybe the girl Aidan had found was Leah, or Alice, or Jewel.

Aidan stepped back, but the terrified look in her eyes was still there. She tried speaking, but her throat was bone dry and no words would come out. It took a few moments, but eventually, Lucia managed to say something.

“Th-the girl... who... wh-who is she?”

Lucia wanted nothing more than a pause in the chaos, too. But right now, that seemed horribly, horribly unlikely.
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