Will Brackenrig was a boy with a plan.
He had to have a plan, didn’t he? As his school’s resident SOTF encyclopaedia, he had to have a plan. He’d been unceremoniously dropped into a situation he’d watched a hundred times over on television, something he’d mulled over in his spare moments, or discussed in depth over online forums, or chatted about in the schoolyard. For him not to have a plan was an impossibility, it had to be.
People would kill. He wasn’t going to let himself think for even a moment that that mightn’t happen. There’d been sixty-five seasons of this show before, and every time plenty of people had killed. They’d ranged from cheerleaders to jocks to bookworms to study-geeks, and everything in between. Will didn’t want to think about his friends killing, didn’t want to imagine Aidan or Lucy or Seb or Bella stooping to that level, but it was a real, legitimate possibility, one that he’d have to face sooner or later. Maybe he himself would kill - though his weapon, a full roster of his fellow competitors, seemed to make that unlikely. At least it wasn’t as useless as other things he knew the others would’ve been provided with; though its possible uses were unbeknownst to him right now, just like everything else. Any thought that passed through his mind slipped away as quickly as it arrived. Maybe it was shock, maybe he’d snapped, he didn’t know.
All he knew is that he’d been presented with two distinct endings for him and forced to pick without any chance to protest. The thought of killing sickened him to his stomach, in spite of knowing that it’d happen sooner or later, but so did the thought of dying. He didn’t want to think about his family having to cope with his death, didn’t want to think about his friends dying either. But they would, and he’d probably die too. And there’d be blood. So much blood.
Part of him felt like he should be crying, another part was supremely grateful he’d remained as level headed as he had, and the other part of him felt nothing at all. All in all, though, he knew he had to savour what he was experiencing at the moment. Who knew how long he’d remain in such a state, with the knowledge that his friends were out there, that there was a chance to gather them all up and protect them and stop them from killing? Who knew how long it’d be before he’d have to see blood, have to face up to the fear that’d once been a minor inconvenience to him but now could be so very dangerous?
All of this passed lightly through Will’s mind as he entered the Transportation Centre, barely noticing nor acknowledging his surroundings as he pushed the wide double-doors and stepped gently inside. He motioned quickly towards one of the nearest benches, the only thing drawing him towards it being its close proximity to the entranceway. Will let out a shallow sigh as he relaxed against the hardwood seat, only now enabling himself to linger on any thought that entered his mind. He pulled his backpack from his shoulders and dragged it onto his lap, once more sifting through his belongings as though he’d find some magical solution to everything hidden somewhere inside.
But there was nothing, and there never would be anything. Only the assigned rations and whatnot, the same things he’d seen pulled from competitors’ bags a hundred times before. Whenever he’d watched the show he’d always skipped these parts, wanting to get straight into the action and drama. He wished he hadn’t, now. Had they thought the same way he was thinking, felt the same way? He sure hoped they hadn’t, because if they had then the thought that he’d derived entertainment from this sort of thing made him sick to the stomach. But he couldn’t think about those sort of things now, he couldn’t. He just had to think about formulating a plan and implementing it. It ought to be simple, shouldn’t it? He’d seen it done hundreds of times before, thought about it twice as much.
No, Will Brackenrig was a boy with a plan. He had to be.
He just didn’t know what it was yet.