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

December 31st, 2010, 4:28 am #1

((So, yeah, everything here, including lateness and posting in a DZ and content and whatever, has been cleared by Stef.))

((Samantha Reynolds continued from Miseria Cantare))

After leaving Kate and Taryn, Samantha wandered once more, lost and alone. It was strange. The second she parted ways with the others, she missed company, but when she was near people, they nettled her, and she couldn’t wait to get away. Her fatigue was catching up with her again. The island was quiet, calm, dead. Deathly. Not long, now. Not long at all. The dead just kept piling up. Many, so many of them. Twenty. Twenty people brought here, and only one would leave, and all for what?

“Now that’s out of the way, I can explain those troublesome marks on your arms.”

An experiment. A scientific experiment. Evolution, the man had called it. Evolution. The future. A change in humanity, a radical paradigm shift the likes of which had never before been imagined. A humanity that was more, better, different. She’d thought they were kidding. Thought they were lying, that there was some other purpose, that this was maybe just sadism, but now she’d given up on that theory. She’d accepted that it was an experiment, was genuine. Somehow, it didn’t sound so insane now. Not anymore, not after what she had seen, not after the painful facts of humanity had been revealed to her. Humans weren’t special. They were animals, just like any other living creature, driven by instincts and irrationalities, fears and desires. Above all, that final, all-consuming need to live.

“We are the beginning of a new era. We are the pilots of humanity, flying us all into a brave new world of technological advancements so great that the future will pass us by with a gasp.”

What had it all been for? What had the purpose been? Everything that had happened, every life lost, every bullet fired, for what? Data. Data and measurements and research. Cold, clinical precision. A love of knowledge overriding any humanity. And that was the real point, wasn’t it? Because they weren’t supposed to be human. They were supposed to be more. Supposed to be beyond all of that. And yet, at the same time, they were supposed to fight, supposed to kill each other. It was a paradox: the goal was to select the person who was least human, who was most something... else. And yet, the methods were so very human, so very geared towards those most basic, instinctual reactions. Would a truly superior being even be able to win this contest, or would they be unable to comprehend why their opponents fought so hard, unable to prepare themselves for that desperation, that willingness to do whatever it took to see another day?

“You will surpass us, and you will grow brighter than any one of us could dare to try.”

But if it worked... It seemed so sane, in retrospect. The chance to be free of all mankind's problems. And yet, at what cost? Faces: Pippi, Otis, the boy with the melted head, Cristo, Ashlie, the boy who had shocked her, Taryn, Kate. Her own face, twisted and distorted.

“You are evolution.”

She sighed, temporarily abandoning her musings on potential futures, returning her thoughts to the present. Walking, jogging, sitting, standing, it made no difference. It didn’t matter. Point was, it didn’t matter what the fuck Samantha did. She was dead. They were all dead, maybe not today, maybe not here, but it was inevitable. The end was barreling towards them, rolling full tilt along the tracks, and all her life, she’d never seen it. Never understood. Never truly valued what she had until it was flashing before her eyes, vanishing into the mist. Live. Such a simple command, yet so loaded. So difficult. In the end, impossible.

“Put simply, each of you has been given a gift. That gift differs from person to person, similar to a... raffle, I suppose, but you all entered the same one.”

Samantha wondered, in a loose and distracted way, what she had taught their captors, what they had picked from her brain. They were watching her, she knew. Watching and listening, always there, along with her for every moment of this crazy ride. Somehow, it made her feel a little better. Maybe it all meant something. Maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t be forgotten. Maybe someone would remember her, take something of her away from this besides her corpse and her DNA, remember that, once upon a time, there was a scared girl named Samantha Reynolds who tried her best to live, who put it all on the line, who never quite could make peace with herself, never quite could overcome the self-loathing and doubt she felt, never quite could bring herself to just reach out and grab someone else and hold them, just hold them, just to be close one more time.

“We have developed a serum which contains the key to evolution itself; a serum which reacts differently depending on the DNA of the person who receives it.”

They were all different, each and every one of them. Every person here, every single person she’d seen, they’d all had their own wishes, their own lives. They’d all lost them for this. All lost them to this research, all been sacrificed in the name of the common good. She could only hope it was worth it. Only hope that humanity really did advance, progressed past the level where this sort of thing could be allowed to happen. She hoped that whoever made it out was someone good, someone kind, someone smart and funny and polite.

“It’s still in development, but this way we can test its effects without fear of anyone watching over our shoulders. And the testing, children, is where you come in.”

And it was at this point that Samantha realized she had to make her choice. No more fucking around. No more playing the indecisive one. It wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t healthy. In an instant, it came to her, a complete and total cognition of her actions so far, their causes and meanings. She understood, in that moment of clarity, just why it had been so hard to make her decision, why she hadn’t been able to force herself to commit either way, no matter what she had told those she met.

She was scared.

Not scared of dying, though that was certainly there. She was scared of far more than that. Her fears went back forever, back to her childhood, back to everything she had once been. Memories: Middle school, friends, laughter. Jokes, games, boys. Secrets, stories, admiration. Loud music and quiet moments. Belonging. Then, all of a sudden: disaster. Something stupid, hardly even memorable now. The shattering of bonds. Rachel. Talks, quiet, private moments, love for her sister. Understanding, acceptance. Lost all too soon. Everything lost, discarded, abandoned. And at the end, Samantha alone, alone again, always alone, always lost within herself, within her hopes and dreams, within reality, within a wish to matter, to be something, and always in the background that awful, lurking realization, that certain knowledge that it didn’t matter, that it didn’t matter what she did because she was going to die someday, going to die and fade and be forgotten, no matter how high she climbed, no matter what she built, it would all collapse around her, and in the end she’d be in an unmarked grave, alone and meaningless, and worse than that, just the same, just like everyone else. She’d tried, oh she’d tried, thrown away everything chasing the dream of being the best, of forging herself into the right kind of person, the kind who mattered, the kind who persevered and endured, who carried herself tall and proud and never fell, never lost, never gave in.

It hadn’t worked. Nothing had ever worked. She just wasn’t good enough. Just couldn’t pull through. Maybe she’d started too late, enjoyed a few years of her childhood too many. Maybe she was just wrong for her dreams, cheated by biology, by the very evolution her captors sought to harness.

She was scared that she wouldn’t matter. Scared that the world would never know she had lived and died. Scared of her future, when she still had a future, and scared at its lack now that it was gone.

Decision time. She’d been joking around for far too long. It was time to make a final call. There were maybe half a dozen people left alive, if she had estimated correctly. It was time to stop hiding, stop procrastinating, stop putting things off for the future.


And yet...

The same old arguments, the same old logic. The same thought processes, the same old games she had been playing with herself since she had first found out she was doomed. So much self-deception. She wasn’t crying, but she didn’t know why. She was lost, confused, alone. So alone. She missed Otis. Missed Pippi. Missed her home, her acquaintances, her old friends. Missed her life.

She had to do it. She had to.


She had to try. She owed it to herself. To Otis. To everything she could have been, to everything she once was.


She smiled, a thin, sad smile. Liar. It fit. She was a liar, and one of the worst.

Because, at the end of the day, all her fears were absolutely correct. She wasn’t special. She wasn’t different. She was another scared girl on an island of scared girls and boys, and the only way to beat her fate, the only way to dodge the bullet, the only way to continue her precious little existence, was to kill. To take from others all she wanted to preserve in herself. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t right, or fair, or good, and yet she could do it. If she gave herself the chance, she would do it.

Time to choose.

She was standing on the viewing platform again, the cool Seattle winds whipping her hair, considering ending it all. Considering taking control of her life, grasping it with both hands and tearing it to pieces, scattering the shreds to the wind and laughing all the while. The pain of the memory was gone. Instead, what she felt was freedom, exhilaration. It was simple.

Samantha wanted out.

This life, this state of being on this island, it was wrong. It was wrong, cold, evil, and she couldn’t take it any more. It wasn’t the fault of the people who had thrown her here. It wasn’t the fault of the other people with her. There was no one to blame. It was just human nature, rearing its ugly head.

She was not in the least surprised to find herself once more at the edge of the zone claimed by the cove, the place where Otis had died.

It was forbidden. If she stepped in, she would feel that horrible vibration again. Feel that awful buzzing in her blood. Then feel nothing at all.

The realization was not a flash this time. It was no bolt from the blue, no spark of divine inspiration. It was a quiet whisper, a quiet whisper that had been there all this time. She could see the shack in the distance, could see where she had first met Otis, had almost held him at gunpoint, almost shot him in the back while crossing to land. She still had that gun, and it had acquired three companions. She carried it in her hand, her left now, her dominant hand taking a rest. She let the gun fall to the dirt, no longer caring if it broke, if it died. Her left palm was wrapped in gauze. Slowly, she unwound it, glancing at the burn, the line across her palm. It was thicker than the cut had been, probably less severe. But the real difference was, she hadn’t done this to herself. She’d tried to hurt someone else, and had been hurt in return. That was the law of the land. That was the way of the world.

Not now. Not for her.

Samantha wanted out.


She dropped her bag to the sand, pulled the knives from their holsters and dropped them on top of it. Walked, alone, always alone, along the edge of the area, staying just on the safe side, or so she imagined, trekking towards the sea, towards a level spot, towards one of those flat expanses of sand.

Finally, she found it. Looked around. It was as good a place as any.

She took a deep breath. It all came down to this.

“The people around you are not your friends; they are, in essence, your enemies. And though you may think of befriending them after this is all over, you’re merely deluding yourselves because the simple fact of the matter is this: after three days, only one of you will be left standing.”

She’d made it damn far. She’d proven herself beyond what she’d ever thought she could. For these few days, she’d been someone. She’d been herself, good and bad, even when she thought she’d lost track of it all.

“Not only that. But we want you to utilise your new-found gifts as much as you can, to give us a comprehensive look into each of your unique talents. Oh, and of course, there are a few rules.”

She had to be ready. Had to be brave. Had to be strong. Had to leave the stress behind.

“If nobody dies within 24 hours, we’ll detonate the tracking devices inside your bodies.”

Had to be her ideal self. Had to be calm. Cool. Collected. Otherwise, there was no way she’d go through with this. No way to make it work.

“Consider it an incentive.”

Count to ten. Prepare. They’re watching.

“This grid displays the different areas of the island. As you can see, each area is fairly large, but don’t think you can all hide out in the church and pray that your God will keep you safe. Every 12 hours, we will randomly make certain areas off-limits to you, giving you exactly one hour to leave the “danger zones” before they become inaccessible for the rest of the game. However, when I say “inaccessible” I do in fact mean that if you step into these areas after the one-hour time-limit, your tracking devices will automatically detonate, and you will be blown into a million pieces.”

Time for words, now.

"Which is a shame, really; your cadavers would be absolute treasure troves of data.”

Samantha opened her mouth and spoke to the air. Her words were completely calm and collected.

When she had finished, when she had said everything she could think of, Samantha waited a few seconds, then stepped clear of the safe zone, stepped onto the land where she was forbidden to tread. For a quick moment, she had a wild thought, wondering whether maybe, just maybe, the electricity that had been fed through her system had disabled the nanomachines in her blood, had removed the bomb that was a part of her.

She had gone five steps when the vibration in her arm jolted her, shaking her body.

She did not slow her stride. She tried to imagine the person on the other end, the person watching her, analyzing her actions, controlling that warning signal. There was a small chance that it was automated, that no humans were involved, but she doubted it. They were too interested, too invested. She would not have been given a warning by a computer system. It was not what they had been told would happen. They were trying to test her resolve. Trying to goad her, to scare her back, convince her to turn away from her goal, to return to the game of death and destruction.

She did not slow, did not falter.

The buzz again, stronger. She didn’t break stride. She had left safety far behind.

If she turned and ran now, then maybe, just maybe, she could make it back.

She did not turn, just smiled slightly, showing no teeth.

In the end, it all came down to choices, options, destinies. Murder or be murdered? A false dichotomy if she had ever heard one. Life or death? Could she kill to survive, kill to prolong her own existence? Could she have clawed her way to the top, done whatever it took?

Right now, the options she was faced with were simple. Die in an explosion, burn and flame and be over with, or live, live though it meant casting aside everything she was, abandoning herself, becoming something new and terrifying and very possibly evil, but maybe, just maybe, good, maybe worthwhile in some way she could not yet quite comprehend.

Of course, the choice was no longer hers to make.

The buzzing intensified, shaking her body, so she stopped walking, simply stood, stood and waited.


Maybe I’ll be seeing you soon, Otis.

No way to tell.

No way to know what comes next.



Stay strong.

Stay composed.

Do not flinch.

Do not show weakness.

Not one second of hesitation.

Not one second of doubt.

Not one second of regret.


The buzzing and shaking was building, building, building. Samantha stood, smiled, waited.

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.