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...And in Her Self-Loathing and Despair, She Found Wrath; Open
Topic Started: Oct 13 2014, 02:03 AM (1,611 Views)
delayedMirth
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[ *  *  *  * ]
((Anzu Sakamoto: Continued from A Failure Played in Stereo))

She had abandoned Caroline. No, that wasn't right. Caroline was fine, she just needed some rest. No, that wasn't right either. She was in the middle of a danger zone, so she had obviously left along with Anzu. No-

Anzu had barely even noticed the cold as she tentatively crept out into the frigid evening. She was completely oblivious to her surroundings, and if a player had stumbled upon her, it would have been the end, right then and there. Even if an generic murderer had managed to catch Anzu's attention, she would not have been able to put up any resistance.

Instead, Anzu walked, and she thought. Instead, Anzu walked, and she tried to avoid thought. Her footsteps found the wood of the boardwalk, and she aimlessly followed it. Some part of her was still aware enough to know to avoid buildings, or any other places that would likely have people. All she had to do was follow the boardwalk until she reached the end; and then turn around and start the process over. No one else would be risking it outside in the wind that cut you to your bones, after all.

And if, when the sun rose, it found Anzu sleeping blue and peacefully in the snow, would that really be so bad?
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Ohm
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[ *  *  * ]
((Zoe Walker continued from House Edge))

Zoe was in one of the shops, looking around. The shop was full of gifts, postcards and some stuffed animals here and there, but nothing useful.

There's gotta be something good around here, just have to look.

As Zoe was getting ready to leave and search the next shop, she saw someone walking on the boardwalk.

It's Anzu, what is she doing here?, does that mean the other members of the band are here too?

Zoe hid beside the window and peered out the window.

Doesn't look like it, She doesn't look armed either, maybe this will go in my favor then.
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(Michael Continued from House Edge)

Michael had caught up to Zoe earlier, and was checking a shop opposite her. It was filled with candy and confections, and there was even a working Icee Machine, to his surprise. There was nothing that could be used as a weapon, though.

Nothing here either. He thought. He and Zoe had checked a couple of the other stores, and they hadn’t found anything in any of them. He was about to go and report his results to Zoe when he saw Anzu Sakamoto walking down the boardwalk.

He didn’t really know Anzu that well. He knew that she was a member of the swim team, and was in a band with Valerie, Sarah, and Caroline Leveson, but not much else. She often tried to push people away and stayed in the background of scenes, meaning that Michael had no opinion on her, and he didn’t know her opinion of him. He looked at her team mark.

Orange. She was an enemy if he wanted to get home, but he didn’t want to kill her.

He hid behind one of the windows, looked around, and saw that Zoe had noticed Anzu as well. He looked to her, and, assuming that she could notice him, tried to mouth the words “Hey, what should we do about this?”
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The Homeless Beard
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"Two plus two is four, minus one is three quick maths"
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Dougie Sharpe, Nobody Said It Was Easy))

Dougie couldn't have said why he was following the girl down the boardwalk, or why it seemed so important to him that she not throw herself off of it.

Since Lily and he had... seperated, he'd felt a little off-kilter, in the way he imagined people felt when they had a knot in their back, a familiar ball of pain that was almost comforting sometimes, one that you massaged awkwardly when you could reach it and worked it with three fingers, pressing against the pain. In a world that was ever-changing and fluid, the knot in your back was always there, slightly impeding movement until you adapted to its changes and sliding under your skin.

But one day, someone comes along, offers to give you a massage, and pounds the knot out of your body. Simultaneously, you feel a relief as you can move your arm without it digging at you, but also a weird sense of loss because the knot that had been there for years is gone, and now what will you do with those few moments of free time when sitting in class?

Dougie realized that the metaphor was flawed - Lily wasn't an inconvenience. If anything, he'd been the load that she had to bear, a big useless lug that stole her weapon when he left. But still, he'd felt lost, confused, without her there to anchor him.

So, he was now following this girl down the boardwalk. Like his goldfish had just died, and he was looking for a fucking replacement - someone else to ground him or keep his emotions in check or... whatever the hell he needed.

He was scared, he realized. Scared of turning into one of them - the Jewels or Vahkas or... fucking Pia's of the world.

"Hey!" he hollered, raising the pink bat up with his right hand, lightly jogging towards Anzu, his left hand tugging down his beanie so that it shadowed his eyes slightly.
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delayedMirth
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A voice called out, shattering the silence and stilling Anzu's steps. She wasn't quite sure why she stopped. The voice wasn't Caroline's, or anyone else that would have business seeking her out. No one important.

It would be easier to continue and disregard, to blindly accept whatever came next. Failing to gain Anzu's attention, would they just give up? Become more persistent? Shrug and take the opportunity to shoot her in the back of the head? Would it really even make a difference?

There was something naggingly familiar about the voice, however. Something that caused Anzu to, instead, slowly turn to face the figure of Dougie Sharp in the distance, waving something vaguely ridiculous and pink.

Ever since she woke up on-air, Dougie had never once crossed Anzu's mind. Even though he was counted among the few that Anzu saw fit to tolerate, they hadn't been friends, not really. He had been someone to idly converse with if they happened to meet up by chance, someone to work with in class if her friends weren't available.

Even that might have been enough to give Anzu some small amount of happiness upon their meeting, but now, she felt nothing.

Anzu stared at Dougie as he jogged towards her, meeting his eyes. "You shouldn't be out here, y'know." She mumbled, once he reached her. "Cold could kill you, easy as any one of us. Easier, probably."
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Ohm
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And now there's two, fucking great, day's just getting better, now who the hell is this guy?

Looks like he knows Anzu since he walked over and started talking to her, she doesn't look that happy to see him though.

It's Dougie I think, used to go out with Pia, a bit hard to miss, not really helped by the bat, haven't heard him on the announcements yet.

Looks like he's only got the bat, could be useful, sure it's Hello Kitty themed and not exactly threatening looking, but it's a bat nonetheless and right now we need something other than the net.

Michael was in the other shop mouthing something to Zoe, looked like he was asking what to do. Zoe mouthed back regroup while pointing to the shop she was in.
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And then Dougie arrived.

Unlike Anzu, Michael actually knew Dougie a bit. He often played soccer, Michael sometimes watching a couple of his matches; and he was successful in the practical arts at school, even working with Michael once or twice on a group project. They hadn’t talked to each other much outside of that, Dougie normally just reading to himself or playing cards on free periods. He knew that he was in a relationship with Lily (come to think of it, he should probably tell him that he saw her if this situation doesn’t evolve into a fight), but he didn’t know anything about his out-of-school life.

None of that mattered though, as he had a weapon, he had a turquoise bandanna, and he was stopping him and Zoe from effectively taking out Anzu.

Dougie started talking to Anzu, and Michael used this as a distraction to start paying attention to Zoe again. She was mouthing something to him, and she pointed to the shop she was in. Understanding what she meant, Michael rushed out of the shop and into the shop that Zoe was in when neither Dougie nor Anzu were looking.

When he was inside, he took the time to notice what was in this shop. It seemed to be a gift shop, selling postcards and stuffed animals that were made so that one could remember their time on this island. That didn’t matter either at the present moment, so he turned to Zoe and whispered.

“So what do we do about those two over there?” He whispered, pointing at Dougie and Anzu talking.
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The Homeless Beard
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"Two plus two is four, minus one is three quick maths"
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Dougie glanced down at his sweater at Anzu's words, then back up at her, a quizzical expression crossing his face.

"What? No, yeah - uh, it's not... don't worry."

He shoved a hand deep into his pocket, studying her out of brown orbs. He took a deep breath, let it go, took another one.

"Don't- Don't jump. Listen, I know that you might be... just... don't. I can - how about we go inside somewhere, out of the cold? I haven't seen any friendly faces - not really - since..."

The words died on the wind, and he shook his head, hard. "I just- here. Come with me."

He reached for her wrist, intending to pull her towards a nearby gift shop.
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delayedMirth
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"Don't fucking touch me!" Anzu snarled as she suddenly came to life, slapping Dougie's hand away from her. She took a couple steps back from him, glaring intensely.

"You think I'm out here 'cause I'm looking for fuckin' friendly faces, or some shit like that?" She continued, raising her voice until it could be easily heard throughout their surroundings. "Who the fuck do you think you are?" Anzu didn't give a damn about attracting attention, it was a relief to let herself explode. For the first time since... for the first time in a while, she felt as if her head had been cleared, if only for a moment.

"I had to abandon Caroline in that cesspit of a beauty parlor, and now you show up, trying to get me to come with you? There's no way in hell-" Suddenly, she stopped, cutting herself off mid-rant. Something wasn't right. No, something wasn't right at all. She'd let herself slip. The beauty parlor was a danger zone, but Caroline was still there, but Caroline couldn't still be there-

The clarity that came with Anzu's anger managed at last to shatter the fragile cocoon of denial she had hidden herself in. She had known the truth all along, inside. Known that she was being an idiot, that there was no real use in trying to pretend things were okay. But she had been weak. She'd made a deliberate effort to feign insanity, to try and delude herself into believing in her fictional reality, even abandoning Sarah. It had worked, for a time. Anzu had managed to make it through almost an entire day without giving in to despair. Now, though, there was nothing left. No denial. No comfort. No security. Anzu had to face Caroline's death head-on.

She broke. "Oh god, Caroline..." Anzu whispered, slumping down to her knees, all traces of fire lost.
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Ohm
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"Anzu isn't looking too good right now and probably isn't too keen on helping this guy out. Now all we have to do is walk over there, pretend to be concerned and helpful, then we take him by surprise and run off with his stuff, got that?"

Kinda like what Vahka did with us earlier, except he had a shitload of stuff already and a hostage. We've got jackshit.

Zoe looked over at the two, looked like they were just talking until Dougie reached over for Anzu's hand, then she started yelling at him and just stopped and dropped down on her knees.

Okay, that was something,... Don't know what happened there, but whatever, it gives us the opening we need.


"Looks like we got our chance now, let's not screw this up."

Zoe strolled out of the store and started walking over to Anzu and Dougie.

"Hey! You alright over there?"
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Michael listened to Zoe’s orders intently, and nodded. “Understood,” he replied. “But we shouldn’t try to get into a fight. We get the bat and then we get out of here. Got it?” He didn’t get a reply, as Zoe then started paying more attention to Anzu snapping at Dougie. Hopefully she listened. We should get this situation away from a fight unless we have to, he thought.

After a couple of seconds, Zoe said that she had found their apparent opening, and walked out of the store. Michael followed suit, using his acting skills to look calm on the outside as he tried to keep his composure enough to not mess this situation up for his team.

When he turned to look at them he saw and heard that Zoe was asking what was wrong. He didn’t say anything, but he moved closer to Zoe to indicate that both of them could be trusted. Don't you dare mess this up Michael. If you do, it might end up spelling the end for both you and Zoe.
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"Two plus two is four, minus one is three quick maths"
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Uh," was Dougie's eloquent response to Anzu's crumpling both inwardly and outwardly, seeming to tumble like a house of cards with the backdrop of the ocean spread out behind her. She fell to the frozen wood, on her knees, and he stood impotently above her - a big, looming goof. He didn't know her enough to reach out a hand to help, and so stood there.

Until a voice echoed over the line of shops, drowned out the gentle waves, the salty, bitter wind.

He automatically tensed, half-turned so that his face was tilted towards them, baseball bat hidden behind his thigh as two figures approached from the gift shop. He glanced down at Anzu's form, back towards the other two, and suddenly was struck with deja-vu, of a boy walking towards him and Jewel as she knelt on the cold stage, Erik reaching for a headset that he grabbed away from him, listening to the announcements as she murdered him.

He tensed, fully turned towards the two new people, and brandished the bat, gripping it tightly in both hands, raised it to his shoulder.

"Hey."
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delayedMirth
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Anzu wanted nothing more at that moment to be left alone, to erase the rest of existence, to be swallowed up by the earth. Caroline was dead. Her world was dead. Just a day before, Anzu would have slapped herself for even thinking something so melodramatic, but now? She had nothing left. Nothing to live for. Her friends were either dead or gone. She had no way to defend herself, or even the will to do so.

That is, until Zoe the bitch's voice rang out through the night, causing something to not that far below Anzu's surface. Years of pent up irritation couldn't be erased so easily, even in the middle of a deathmatch. For lack of a reason to live, Anzu thrust her palms into the fire to grab hold of an ember.

She got up to her feet. Turned to face Zoe. Glared. "Why the fuck are you still alive?"
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Ohm
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That didn't go too well, neither looks that happy to see us especially with Dougie looking like he's ready to throw down.

"Hey, we asked if you guys were alright, no need to hold up the bat like that y'know."

Anzu's response wasn't much better, outright asking Zoe how she's still alive.

"Luck I suppose, did help I found my teammate earlier, he's been pretty helpful."

Don't get pissed off, not worth making them more suspicious of us than they already are.

Then Zoe noticed the bandanna Dougie had around his wrist, a blue stingray.

That bandanna, it's the same as the one Vahka had on his shoulder, So you're on his team huh?T hat will make doing this much easier.

"Right Michael?"
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Michael and Zoe had successfully exited the store without attracting too much attention, and their plan was so far going ahead without a hitch in sight. They hadn’t attracted any negative attention so far, and Dougie, while he did raise his weapon in a guarding stance, felt seemingly warm to him, in a way. Now try not to alienate anyone and you should be fine, Michael. He thought. Hopefully Zoe doesn’t do anything stupid.

Right after he thought that, Anzu reacted negatively to Zoe’s presence, asking in a cold voice why Zoe was here. He assumed that by the tone of the voice and her eyes that she did not appreciate Zoe’s presence here (He didn’t know whether it was because of something at school or because of something in SOTF, he’d ask later). He hoped that Zoe didn’t snap back at her or attack her, as while she could probably win against her, it wasn’t necessary or needed here, and it might make Dougie run or attack. All we need is the bat, then we can get out of here. Nothing else is needed.

Luckily, and to his mild surprise, Zoe responded calmly. She said that she had survived by luck, and by finding her teammate. She then brought attention to Michael, and asked him a question.

“Uhhh…”

Okay, don’t say something weird, or else they’ll get suspicious of you. Try to confirm what she just said and don’t say anything out of place, or else they might notice it.

He nodded towards Zoe.

“Right.”
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