But She Locked the Door and Threw Away the Key

Mini Maestro
Mini Maestro
Joined: March 29th, 2010, 12:14 am

April 19th, 2011, 2:48 am #1

((Enter Karen Ruiz))

It was dark in the forest, even in the middle of the day. Karen didn't care. Dark, light, the visual world didn't make any difference at the moment. She had been chosen, selected to star in this season of SOTF-TV. It was an occurrence so unlikely, so implausible, even she hadn't worried about it. How could she have, when there were so many more pressing threats, so many serious issues to contend with on a day-to-day basis in Detroit? And yet, here she was, sitting on a boulder, the sounds of birds and insects heavy in her ears, shaking the fog of drug-induced sleep from her brain, planning.

Yes, Karen was already planning. She was already in full gear, her mind working as quickly as it could, with a single focus: survival. She didn't want to die. She didn't want to get raped and tortured and killed. She didn't want to end her existence in terror and agony.

The problem was, there was a word for girls like Karen, for quiet girls who flew under the radar and never said an unkind word to anyone. The word: victim.

Karen had victim written all over her, and nothing could change that. All her high school survival mechanisms had suddenly backfired on her, had turned her into the perfect target. Weird girl. Quiet. Weak. No allies.

She opened her backpack and withdrew her bandanna, folded neatly on top. Purple. With a few quick motions, she tied it around her left arm, cinching the sleeve of her trench coat close to her skin. It would be murder in this heat, but she needed her coat. It had made her feel powerful, once, and if there was ever a time to feel powerful, this was it. She wiggled her fingers, feeling the fabric of her brown gloves move against them. She had not dressed for this weather. This could get bad. She wasn't going to break into the clothes or other supplies she had been given, though, not yet. That was a great way to be robbed and killed at the starting gate. She wasn't going to die. That meant there was no room for stupidity.

It also meant no room for trust. No room for emotions or friendships. That would be challenging. She didn't have any real friends, but there was no one she exactly wished harm on. Certainly, none of her classmates had deserved this fate, and, unless the students on the other side of the room had been rejects from a penal colony, the same was true of them. This was awful and unfair, but it was life. It was all any of them had to go off of, likely for the remainder of their days.

She wasn't crying. No time for that.

She was fumbling in her backpack again, searching for her assigned weapon. They all got them. She had to hope for something good. Something to defend herself. Her hands closed on a box, a very heavy cardboard box. Blinking, Karen pulled it out of the pack.

It was full to the brim with bullets. She didn't count them, just closed the box, returned it to her pack, and started digging frantically. Bullets meant a gun, unless this was a cruel joke. A gun meant potential. A gun meant she might, just might, be able to stay alive.

And there it was. A gun, a spare clip (loaded), and a manual. The Glock 17.

Karen ducked behind her rock and read, as quickly as she ever had in her life. She turned the safety off. She held the gun up, practiced sighting. It was unreal. A joke. Why was she holding a gun?

But she knew. She was holding a gun because her class was full of monsters. She was holding a gun because they would corner and kill her, given half an opportunity. She was holding a gun because someone had seen fit to provide her with one.

She wasn't smiling. No reason to.

But the gun meant she just might be able to live. The spare clip was deposited in the left inner pocket of her coat. She only had one; she would apparently have to reload her clips with the bullets in the box. That meant she had to be very careful. She had to reload every time she got the opportunity.

Reloading meant that she would be firing. That was a disconcerting thought. Shooting people? Killing them? That couldn't be. That wasn't her. That was what they would do. It was what the monsters, the murderers, would do.

But how would she keep them away, if she wasn't willing to kill? How would she stop them from hurting her?

She had teammates, of course. Four other teens on this island, each of them wearing a purple bandanna. Told that they were to work together. Lies. Karen knew how things like this worked. Your teammates were there for you until the end. Then, it was announced that—oops—there was only to be one survivor after all. If Karen was going to live, she had to be ready for that eventuality. Ideally, she would be the only one of her team left standing.

An odd thought, that. Everyone else was cooperating, and she was planning on ensuring the elimination of the four people who were ostensibly there to help her. It was just because she was ahead of the curve, though. Ahead of the curve, that's it. She wasn't wrong. She wasn't overly suspicious. She wasn't paranoid or deluded. She was smart, and she knew what she wanted. She wasn't going to accept the label of victim. She wasn't going to let fate have its way with her.

The question: how? How to survive something like this?

She couldn't—no, she wouldn't go around killing everyone who crossed her path. That was not only twisted, it was idiotic. They'd said whoever killed ten people got home (specifically excluding team kills; more evidence that there was something up there), but ten people was nearly a fifth of the people in the game, if her estimate was correct. She'd been seated at the back. She'd seen the looks on the faces of the others. She'd seen the fear. The sadness. The despair.

The excitement.

Yes, there were sickos in her class. There were psychos, freaks, worse. She was going to be in big trouble if one of them got to her, unless she got the drop on them.

So, what to do?

But she knew. She'd known the whole time.

It was futile to try to avoid it. She wasn't that familiar with SOTF-TV, but there was only one way off. To survive, she would have to march over a bridge paved with the bodies of every other student here. To do that, she had to last out the game. To do that, she had to minimize her danger.

There were two ways to achieve that aim. She could hide. She could go back to what she'd done all through high school, close her eyes and plug her ears and hope no one noticed her. It was being a victim. It was delaying the inevitable, nothing more. She might make it to the finals, but then what? She'd die. No one would take her seriously. They would gut her and put her head on a spit.

The other option: get a rep. Get a reputation as quickly as she could, then coast off of that.

Two people.

That should be enough.

Kill two people by the first announcement, or, at the latest, the second. It was repugnant, but it would make her point. One person was an accident or self defense. Two people meant you were out for blood. She would have to kill exactly three people in this mess: two now, and the runner-up. She could do it. Pretend they were nothing. Pretend they didn't have families and friends, homes and hopes and dreams. Push all of that aside.

Two people.

Correction: two opponents.

Kill two opponents. Right now. She had a gun. It was loaded. No one would be expecting it. They were waking up, adapting, trying to puzzle things out, just like she was. Others would have the same idea, but, with luck, would be slower to act or less well armed. Two opponents. Bonus points if they're wearing purple bandannas.


Do it.

Two opponents.

Her decency, her morality, were screaming at her, telling her to stop before it was too late, to call it off, to find her teammates and escape, to make a plan or go and hide. Victim. Be a victim. Take the easy route. Die in a ditch. Scream as you bleed.


Two opponents.


She checked the Glock. Checked her spare clip. Distributed a handful of bullets throughout her pockets. Everything else, her food, her spare clothes, that could all wait. Two opponents, and then she was done. It wouldn't be easy. It would be the most terrible experience of her life. She would probably never forgive herself for this.

But they were going to die anyways, and she needed them to survive. She had to get rid of her teammates. She had to kill two opponents.

Time to get to work.

Karen heaved the pack onto her back, checked her weapon again, and set off. She'd find someone before too long. It wasn't that big an island.

And when you do? When you meet Brenda, or Kathy, or Alicia?

She'd just have to swallow her feelings, that was what. Just choke them down. Maybe give a warning shot. Maybe not.

Two opponents. Then she could rest easy.

((Karen Ruiz continued in Greetings, Reality))
Current characters:

The Program: V3 Prologue:
Mina Mashall - Digital Voice Recorder - Making a good impression - "I didn't know you felt so strongly about me."
Erik Bell - Jericho .941 - Having lunch - "May I?"

Assorted flora and fauna

EW4: Jewel Evans - Chatterbox Communicator Headsets (0/5) - Online - ELIMINATED - "Scars are just reminders to be better next time."
[+] Spoiler
The Program V1:
M06: Karl Chalmers - American Flag - The Mess Hall - DECEASED
F09: Nichole "Nikki" Campbell - 6 Pack of Beer (0/6) - Open Ground - DECEASED

The Program V2:
M08: Alexander Bonham - Steel Folding Chair - The Pine Stands - DECEASED
F20: Robin Pounds - Stress Ball - Mountain Track - DECEASED

PRP3: Karen Ruiz - Glock 17 (0/17 +1 bullet), WASP Knife, Swordcane - Over and out - ELIMINATED - "I don't find pointless death funny."
W02: Renée Carlson - Straight Razor - The Resort Beach - DECEASED

SS4: Austin White - Gold Retractable Spyglass - The World Oyster - DECEASED

Second Chances V1:
G16: Nicole Husher (thanks to TBH!) - Colt Single Action Army - The Makeshift Hospital - DECEASED

Second Chances V2:
B12: Richard Ormsby - x4 Flashbang Grenades - The Ravine - DECEASED
B22: William Lohman - Winchester Model 1897 - The Ravine - DECEASED

B15: Shuya Nanahara - No Weapon - The School Building - DECEASED
B20: Kyoichi Motobuchi - Bulletproof Vest - Tourist Association - DECEASED
G01: Mizuho Inada - Grenades (0/2) - Clinic - DECEASED

SOTF Evolution:
Subject C01: Samantha Reynolds - Facial Morphing - The Cove - ELIMINATED

M11: Richard Ormsby - Cowbell - The Corssroads Bridge - GAME OVER
M22: William Lohman - Hockey Stick - The Corssroads Bridge - GAME OVER
If you want an honest assessment of your character's storyline, feel free to PM me and I'll whip one up as soon as I am able.

Thanks to Bear/Frogue/Kotorikun/Ryuki for the avatar art.