A sea view to rest the soul.

Malloon
Survivor
Malloon
Survivor
Joined: 1:51 AM - Jul 27, 2016

2:29 AM - Dec 19, 2016 #1

(Benjamin Lichter continues from You and me and the devil make three.)

He had been walking for most of the day. Looking for Maxim and staying out of sight both made any travelling Ben did take far more time than usual. Ben had accepted that. It was the price he had to pay.

Still, it would have been nice to just hike. The scenery wasn't that bad. It was both a little colder and a little more ocean-y than he was used to, but that didn't bother him too much

Take this view, for instance. There was the sea, which was a novelty in and of itself. Ben had never seen it before, having never ventured out of the landlocked state of Arizona in his life. How it moved, how it sounded, how it smelled. And in this case, how it swirled around the rocks that rose out of the water a few feet from the edge of the beach. Even further back, what must be miles out to sea, he saw other shorelines. It was quite picturesque. He would have compared it to something he had read, but he realised that he had never actually read a romance novel that featured the sea. He was even stumped trying to compare it to something out of a song. As far as he could remember, "Beyond the sea" was the last song of note that even featured it. And that was ancient.

It had a nice melody, though, so he started humming it absentmindedly as he ate his lunch. Ben sat on the shingle rocks that lay before the beach, having his first relaxed moment of the day. He wasn't being as cautious as he should have been, but he was eating, the view was nice, and he sat in what he thought was a rather secluded spot. It wasn't so much that he had decided to forgo caution, but rather that he had forgotten about it, momentarily.

The announcement that morning hadn't fazed him - rather, it had strengthened his resolve. He had been surprised that it had started off with a name he recognized, for once. Jane Madison. He had met her once or twice when hiking, though he couldn't really say that he knew her. Her death saddened him, though, since now he could put a face to one of the dead. Clearly, she hadn't been one of the people to fear. Or maybe she had, and someone had shot her in self defence. Who knew? He certainly didn't. All the announcement proved was that people were still killing. And that he had to keep avoiding them to stay alive.

Ben finished his lunch - which had been a piece of bread and one of his ration bars - and started to walk to the beach itself. He was about two feet from the sand when he saw something that made him cuss - which he didn't even notice any more - and crouch down in alarm. A footprint. No - multiple footprints. People had been here before. The place wasn't as secluded has he had hoped.

"Time to move on, then", he mumbled. I should hope so, replied the voice, which had started berating him the moment he had seen the footprint. Readjusting the bag over his shoulder, which was getting somewhat sore, he stood up and looked around, trying to decide on a direction he might take.
V6 Character:
Benjamin "Squirrel" Lichter [ ~ / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / > ] - You'll find him in the clouds.
V7 Characters:
Chloe Bruges [ - ] - You'll find her doing math.
Joseph "Joey" Quintero - You'll find him writing speaches.
Keith Rogers - You'll find him out with his gang.
[+] Spoiler
Putting this here, so people know, if it ever becomes relevant (unlikely, but still): If you want to use my characters for anything non-profit, you may, without contacting me even (though it would be nice regardless). All I want is a small mention that gives me credit for first concieving of them. If you want to use my characters for something for-profit, if it's just a cameo or similar, you also may, under the same terms; if it's a more substantial role, I don't want to chain myself to any statement - then contact me.
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Pippin
Winner
Joined: 11:57 PM - Dec 18, 2010

4:27 PM - Dec 30, 2016 #2

((Astrid Tate continued from Smoke Screen))

“Got somewhere to be?”

Luck came in many different forms. A blood-covered girl with a similarly bloody pickaxe and an eyepatch was, admittedly, not the form of luck most people would first think of. But for Ben, the sight of Astrid striding down the beach towards him was undoubtedly lucky. It had to be.

After all, if they’d both been here a day later, she would have been attempting to break his skull open with a pickaxe.

The walk from the asylum to the shoreline had given Astrid even more time to think, especially when she’d first been attempting to leave the building. It had taken longer than she’d have liked, adapting to walking with her stomach wound, her footsteps jolting the dull pang in her abdomen into genuine pain every now and then. The journey back down to the ground floor had been a stuttering affair, Astrid needing to pause multiple times to rest and gently massage the bloody reminder of her earlier misstep.

It was good to feel the salt breeze on her skin now, though. The chill from the coast made her unbelievably grateful for her jacket, but it was still much preferable to the stifling air of the asylum. She’d spent far too long in there already, and she’d almost certainly have to return there at some point in the near future, but for now, it felt almost good to expand her boundaries and wander the rest of the island.

And she could go into this encounter with Ben with none of the trepidation and doubt in her heart that had plagued her last two meetings with people, because she wasn’t going to harm him.

Another day, she had told herself. Another day before she did anything. The announcements would tell the entire island of what she had done, and the fourth, or maybe even fifth one, would be the only time that would happen. No doubt those who had intentionally killed would kill again, and it would be those names that would stick most prominently in her classmates’ minds, those who had cast their morals aside for whatever inane justification they had. A single girl with a single kill to her name would get lost amongst the bright, neon lights of the multi-killers and the players.

There was also, of course, the aspect of procrastination. Just one more day for all of those reasons, she told herself, just one more day for your own safety, to be smart, to put as little a target on your back as possible, a target that you can easily lie about to diminish. Just one more day, in reality, to put this thing off for as long as possible, and to totally prepare yourself for what you have to do.

Astrid stopped short a few feet away from Ben, letting the pickaxe drop to her side, the weighty head sinking an inch into the sand with a muted thump. She had absolutely no idea of who this boy was. If she had seen him around school, he’d made no impact on her, and for a few seconds she was convinced the terrorists had abducted the younger classes from school as well.

“What’s the rush? It’s not like anyone you’ve got to meet is going to escape.”

It was pure luck that Astrid’s line of questioning fitted neatly with Ben’s unheard statement. It wasn’t hard to tell he was planning on leaving, though. He was alone on the beach, with a bag on his back and a clear intent to head off. Most people were so easy to read.

Astrid left one hand resting on the handle of the pickaxe, and the other on her hip, as she stared Ben down.
[+] Spoiler
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky Land Ho
Current Thread: Lo Mein Event - ?Whatever you need, I've got you covered!?
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one Bastille
Current Thread: he let me set fire to a fleet of ships when no-one else would - ?Maybe we can trade. I get to watch you dance, you get to watch me work out.?
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it Memes
Current Thread: Clinging to Loss - ?Didja know this place is supposed to be haunted??
Dean Puchero - By July you'd made a whole bunch of brand new friends, people you used to look down on, and you'd figured out a way to make real money Keane
Current Thread: Generation Loss - ?Oh, and hey, don?t worry ?bout earlier, it?s all cool. I think you?d probably have been hurt worse than me if we?d collided, anyways.?
Aurelien Valter-It's deep in their bones, they'll run into smoke when the fire is fierce Football
Current Thread: I'M A SHARK, I'M A SHAAARK, SUCK MY DIIIIICK, I'M A SHAAARK - ?Goodbye, friend. I will miss you.?
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
V4!
George Leidman (Adopted from Blastinus)
Current location-Paint it Black-DECEASED-Neck broken by Maxwell Lombardi
Weapons-Wallet with German marks, Yatagan, guitar, Savage Model 1907 (.32 ACP)

V5!
B004-Owen Kay-?I don?t... don?t want to die...?-Weapons: Table Leg, Rusty Golf Club-Never Truly Had A Chance
Location: Finally finished in A Human Work

G041-Amy Bachelor-Mike, I... I don?t want to--Weapon: Blackjack-Can't Live On Hope Alone
Location: So near, and yet so very, very far in Hollow Stars

B024-Francis St. Ledger-?Megan, just... just fuckin? listen to me.?-Weapon: Insulated Blanket-Crossed The Line
Location: Made the wrong choice in The Real Folk Blues

V6!

G021-Mia Rose-You can't understand that I won't leave 'til we're finished here, and then you'll find out where it all went wrong
Died in: Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
Weapon: Uzi-Pro

G034-Astrid Tate-So what became of loving man, and what became of you?
Died in: End of the Line
Weapon: Pickaxe

G006-Bryony Adams-Burning bright until the end, now you'll be missing from the photographs
Died in: eternitybox
Current Weapon: Deck of playing cards, broken easel leg.
[+] Spoiler

Owen, Francis and Amy, all by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by Violent-Medic

Owen Kay, by Un-Persona

Amy Bachelor, by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by TurtleTyrant
[+] Spoiler
Garren Mortimer-Now you can't get mad, I'm only getting started, I won't blackout
[+] Spoiler
Beatrice Briggs and Timothy "Tim" Karim
Nothing In My Way Pippi Fontaine-I'll float on endlessly, senses eluding me, this long horizon to this open sea.
Jamie Mittelman-We will meet you where the lights are, the defenders, of the faith we are
Clover Crescent-Why would I waste another day whilst life just passes by?
Castlevania Ada Bentley-Save your cheers and my applause, I never was worth fighting for
Richard Potter-But if I had one chance to freeze time, and stand still and soak in everything, I'd choose right now
Kerry Gray-We'll finish what we started, so promise me that we'll be the Lionhearted
Marshall Nichols-Maybe that's how books get written, maybe that's why songs get sung, maybe we are the unlucky ones
Gregory "Greg" Gateshead-Built an empire of sound, as the bridges were falling down
Candice Bailey-I feel I can fly, I'm on 678 cloud 9, and ain't nothin gonna stop me
Patty English-We're all in the same boat, staying afloat for the moment
Ophelia Wright-If you're dreaming what I'm dreaming, close your eyes and feel at home
Marina-Cassandra Gro?-And we will never be alone again, 'cause it doesn't happen every day
Boyd Adkinson - And the lights, they glow, like I just lost the world war, and the scene slips away to the evenness I fake
"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Malloon
Survivor
Malloon
Survivor
Joined: 1:51 AM - Jul 27, 2016

11:57 PM - Jan 02, 2017 #3

Ben saw her immediately, of course. It wasn't as if she was trying to hide. Processing that fact, however...

Deciding what to do was difficult. There had been a plan of action for a situation like this, he was sure of it. And if he had had the chance, he might have even acted on it, but for the moment he came up blank, not devoid of thought, but rather stuck between several different and equally loud suggestions that were ricocheting off the inside of his head, each effectively nullifying any possibility that the others might have an effect.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on whose perspective you take, his instincts and the sudden, quivering masses of fear and panic that represented the entirety of his emotions at that moment, stepped in. He yelled, and took an involuntary step backwards, which was now defined as away-from-the-blood-soaked-girl-with-the-pickaxe, and then another in quick succession. Several steps later, he stumbled, his heel catching on a rock, but he managed not to fall on his behind, instead landing awkwardly on his bag and side.

It was at this point that the girl let the pickaxe drop into the sand, and asked him a question. A relevant question. A question he would ponder when his mind became unscrambled.

However unlucky falling down had been for his situation, it had narrowed down his options, which gave him room to think clearly, especially when the girl decided to glare at him instead of talking. And as such, he managed to form thoughts such as: "How the hell did she sneak up on me?", Why were you being so careless?, "I'm going to die!", "Mom!", Look where you're going when you run off!, "My thigh hurts..." and "Who is she?", several of which, including the last one, were uttered out loud, though he himself didn't notice which ones. After a moment one thought managed to worm its way into the forefront of his brain: You're on the ground. You should probably get up.

He quietly heeded the advice, scrambling to his feet by way of hands and knees, not taking his eyes off the girl. In the process his bag slipped off his shoulder, but he caught the straps with both hands and swung it in front of him. There he stood, hunched over somewhat and preparing to run, when he noticed something: The girl had an eye-patch. The girl who had pointed a gun at Lili had had an eye-patch. Which meant that this girl had a gun.

"Running isn't an option, then.", said the voice, stating the obvious.

Ben agreed. So he stayed put. The girl hadn't killed Lili. The girl hadn't shot him. And the girl wasn't attacking him.

And she had asked him a question. Fuck, answer it, quick! She wouldn't like the real answer, that he was trying to avoid people, since she was people. No, she wouldn't.

So, lie! Lie! Yes! Lie!

"Um..., but they could be in trouble!", he exclaimed, then gulped.

Or... tell the truth. Whatever works.
V6 Character:
Benjamin "Squirrel" Lichter [ ~ / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / > ] - You'll find him in the clouds.
V7 Characters:
Chloe Bruges [ - ] - You'll find her doing math.
Joseph "Joey" Quintero - You'll find him writing speaches.
Keith Rogers - You'll find him out with his gang.
[+] Spoiler
Putting this here, so people know, if it ever becomes relevant (unlikely, but still): If you want to use my characters for anything non-profit, you may, without contacting me even (though it would be nice regardless). All I want is a small mention that gives me credit for first concieving of them. If you want to use my characters for something for-profit, if it's just a cameo or similar, you also may, under the same terms; if it's a more substantial role, I don't want to chain myself to any statement - then contact me.
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Pippin
Winner
Joined: 11:57 PM - Dec 18, 2010

5:22 AM - Jan 10, 2017 #4

Astrid’s hand twitched on the pickaxe.

There was an unsettling thought running through her head, and no matter how hard she tried to combat it by telling herself that she’d promised herself she wouldn’t do anything today, and how this wouldn’t truly help her, it refused to leave. She would look at Ben and just see him for who he was, and then she would blink and all she could see in front of her was the easiest kill she could ask for just slipping away from her.

The guy was clearly petrified, and wasn’t even close to being a threat; he’d stumbled over backwards the second he had caught a glimpse of her, for Christ’s sake. He had spewed his thoughts out as he had scrambled his way back to a standing position, and now he was just about managing that, white as a sheet and ready to be knocked down should an ocean breeze hit him just right.

She didn’t know him, and he didn’t know her. Astrid had no ties to this nervous wreck in front of her. She could have just given in to the overwhelming voice in her head telling her to kill him, and it would all be done. It would all be over, until it was only her and three or four other people left standing in front of freedom and she’d have to do this again. It made sense. It was the logical thing to do.

But if she had really wanted to kill Ben, then she would have done it when he was still flat on his back in the sand, and she hadn’t made any motion to do so. Her hand twitched again, but made no further motions, and she forced herself to repress a sigh as she continued to stare Ben down.

Because there was one very simple and very obvious reason why she wasn’t going to kill Ben.

She wasn’t going to kill him, because there really wasn’t any point in doing so.

Make no mistakes, Astrid still didn’t want to kill if there was any other choice. But as she’d convinced herself time and time again, as she knew was the only logical answer, there wasn’t any other choice. There was no sudden change of heart, no backtracking on her own plans. She could let Ben live, and let him wander off, and hear his name on the announcements in a few days’ time, and in the meantime, she could find someone exactly like him. Someone she had no ties to, someone unknown, and scared, and who would put up little resistance. Someone else who Astrid could just close her eyes in front of and get it all over with.

So. For today, she would just stay for a while with Ben, and see where exactly this conversation took her. He could still be useful, after all. With the state he was in, he could easily be swayed into handing over some rations or anything else useful he had on him. Maybe he’d seen some of the psychos on the island, the Isabels and the Nancys, so she could find out where she should avoid.

After all, all those possessions and all that knowledge wouldn’t be doing him any good in a few days’ time.

Astrid rolled her neck, as her face took on a thoughtful look, as she pretended to digest Ben’s retort, if you could call it that.

“True, true, I suppose,” she replied, after a few seconds more of staring him down. “I can’t say I’d personally want to spend these days with someone I cared about if I knew they were gonna be in danger 24/7, but hey, I get the thought process.”

She brushed some windswept hair from her good eye. There was still a bit of matted blood she had missed the first time. She ignored it as she carried on talking. She couldn’t say the state of her hair was near the top of her priorities anymore.

“So who exactly are you worried about, then?”
[+] Spoiler
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky Land Ho
Current Thread: Lo Mein Event - ?Whatever you need, I've got you covered!?
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one Bastille
Current Thread: he let me set fire to a fleet of ships when no-one else would - ?Maybe we can trade. I get to watch you dance, you get to watch me work out.?
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it Memes
Current Thread: Clinging to Loss - ?Didja know this place is supposed to be haunted??
Dean Puchero - By July you'd made a whole bunch of brand new friends, people you used to look down on, and you'd figured out a way to make real money Keane
Current Thread: Generation Loss - ?Oh, and hey, don?t worry ?bout earlier, it?s all cool. I think you?d probably have been hurt worse than me if we?d collided, anyways.?
Aurelien Valter-It's deep in their bones, they'll run into smoke when the fire is fierce Football
Current Thread: I'M A SHARK, I'M A SHAAARK, SUCK MY DIIIIICK, I'M A SHAAARK - ?Goodbye, friend. I will miss you.?
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
V4!
George Leidman (Adopted from Blastinus)
Current location-Paint it Black-DECEASED-Neck broken by Maxwell Lombardi
Weapons-Wallet with German marks, Yatagan, guitar, Savage Model 1907 (.32 ACP)

V5!
B004-Owen Kay-?I don?t... don?t want to die...?-Weapons: Table Leg, Rusty Golf Club-Never Truly Had A Chance
Location: Finally finished in A Human Work

G041-Amy Bachelor-Mike, I... I don?t want to--Weapon: Blackjack-Can't Live On Hope Alone
Location: So near, and yet so very, very far in Hollow Stars

B024-Francis St. Ledger-?Megan, just... just fuckin? listen to me.?-Weapon: Insulated Blanket-Crossed The Line
Location: Made the wrong choice in The Real Folk Blues

V6!

G021-Mia Rose-You can't understand that I won't leave 'til we're finished here, and then you'll find out where it all went wrong
Died in: Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
Weapon: Uzi-Pro

G034-Astrid Tate-So what became of loving man, and what became of you?
Died in: End of the Line
Weapon: Pickaxe

G006-Bryony Adams-Burning bright until the end, now you'll be missing from the photographs
Died in: eternitybox
Current Weapon: Deck of playing cards, broken easel leg.
[+] Spoiler

Owen, Francis and Amy, all by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by Violent-Medic

Owen Kay, by Un-Persona

Amy Bachelor, by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by TurtleTyrant
[+] Spoiler
Garren Mortimer-Now you can't get mad, I'm only getting started, I won't blackout
[+] Spoiler
Beatrice Briggs and Timothy "Tim" Karim
Nothing In My Way Pippi Fontaine-I'll float on endlessly, senses eluding me, this long horizon to this open sea.
Jamie Mittelman-We will meet you where the lights are, the defenders, of the faith we are
Clover Crescent-Why would I waste another day whilst life just passes by?
Castlevania Ada Bentley-Save your cheers and my applause, I never was worth fighting for
Richard Potter-But if I had one chance to freeze time, and stand still and soak in everything, I'd choose right now
Kerry Gray-We'll finish what we started, so promise me that we'll be the Lionhearted
Marshall Nichols-Maybe that's how books get written, maybe that's why songs get sung, maybe we are the unlucky ones
Gregory "Greg" Gateshead-Built an empire of sound, as the bridges were falling down
Candice Bailey-I feel I can fly, I'm on 678 cloud 9, and ain't nothin gonna stop me
Patty English-We're all in the same boat, staying afloat for the moment
Ophelia Wright-If you're dreaming what I'm dreaming, close your eyes and feel at home
Marina-Cassandra Gro?-And we will never be alone again, 'cause it doesn't happen every day
Boyd Adkinson - And the lights, they glow, like I just lost the world war, and the scene slips away to the evenness I fake
"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Malloon
Survivor
Malloon
Survivor
Joined: 1:51 AM - Jul 27, 2016

9:37 AM - Jan 16, 2017 #5

(Sorry about the delay. Writer's block and a sudden decrease in my available time (read: lim time->0) are the causes, though I blame myself for not forseeing the latter.)

A lull in the action gave Ben some time to calm down. Time to think. Time to notice more stuff. Stuff like: The blood on the girl was at least partly her own - her head was bandaged. She had been wounded. Other stuff like: There was blood on the pickaxe. On the spike.

It didn't take a genius to figure out she had been in a fight. And, judging by the blood on the pickaxe and that she still had the pickaxe, she had probably won. Since she also had a gun, and she hadn't had the pickaxe when Lili had seen her...

Wait. Why do you suddenly trust what Lili said?

The voice had a point. She had abandoned Maxim and him. Who said she hadn't planned that? How could he trust anything she had told him? For all he knew, she had tried to make her day sound worse than it was, to make Maxim and him feel sorry for her. So much for friendship, right?


The girl rolled her neck. She was clearly thinking over what he had said. And she still wasn't attacking him. Ben shook slightly, his nerves getting the better of him. Why wasn't she attacking him? He had no weapon and wasn't exaclty intimidating and she had a weapon and had clearly used it... Was she... toying with him?

It's possible.

"True, true, I suppose," said the girl. "I can't say I'd personally want to spend these days with someone I cared about if I knew they were gonna be in danger 24/7, but hey, I get the thought process."

"Huh...?" stammered Ben. He didn't... what? How would someone he cared about being in danger make him...? He half-hoped his - what was it, his inner voice? Imaginary friend? - would help him out, but it didn't. It seemed as stumped as he was.

"So who exactly are you worried about, then?"

He glanced at the pickaxe. You.

I'm worried about you.

But he didn't say that.

He swallowed again. "Kim-- Kimiko Kao.", he stammered. Then he deliberately swung his bag back onto his shoulder, and repeated: "I'm worried... I'm worried about Kimiko Kao."

Then, cautiously and trying to be inconspicuous, he prepared to run.
V6 Character:
Benjamin "Squirrel" Lichter [ ~ / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / > ] - You'll find him in the clouds.
V7 Characters:
Chloe Bruges [ - ] - You'll find her doing math.
Joseph "Joey" Quintero - You'll find him writing speaches.
Keith Rogers - You'll find him out with his gang.
[+] Spoiler
Putting this here, so people know, if it ever becomes relevant (unlikely, but still): If you want to use my characters for anything non-profit, you may, without contacting me even (though it would be nice regardless). All I want is a small mention that gives me credit for first concieving of them. If you want to use my characters for something for-profit, if it's just a cameo or similar, you also may, under the same terms; if it's a more substantial role, I don't want to chain myself to any statement - then contact me.
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Pippin
Winner
Joined: 11:57 PM - Dec 18, 2010

1:11 AM - Jan 26, 2017 #6

There were a lot of things one could say about Astrid Tate, and a lot of things her classmates did say behind her back. A lot of negative things, remarks about her arrogance, her ego, her personality and her attitude. Things that ran the gamut from being steeped in truth and validity to exaggerated, malicious rumours. There was one thing, however, that couldn’t be ignored; Astrid wasn’t stupid. She was intelligent in many ways. She learned.

She felt like she had total control of this situation, but she’d felt the exact same way when she had been with Al in the library. She’d thrown that control away by underestimating him and losing sight of her goal, and it had cost her. The constantly present pain in her forehead and stomach was evidence enough of that.

She wasn’t going to let that happen again. She was clearly in control here, holding all the cards in front of Ben with nothing he could do about it. Nothing, of course, that she could actually see. So, she wasn’t going to drop her guard. She wasn’t going to let up with that control. Just in case he had his own trump card in his back pocket. Just in case he had a bookcase of his own.

Moving his bag onto his shoulder was an obvious movement, his shift in posture and subtle twitches were not. It looked like he was getting ready to run at the drop of a hat, and that wasn’t really what Astrid wanted. She wanted him to stay, just for a few minutes longer. Just one last meeting on this island with no threat or pressure lingering over her. One last meeting that wouldn’t end in confrontation.

Ben should have been grateful. This would likely be one of the last opportunities for civilised conversation before he died.

Body language wasn’t limited to just Ben, though. So Astrid hefted the pickaxe up out of the sand and swung it up so it rested on her right shoulder. The weight of the thing always took her by surprise, but she tried not to let it show as it pressed into her skin.

“Can’t say I blame you,” she said. “I think anyone with half a brain should be worried about her. Anyone who gets multiple this kills this early is almost certainly ‘playing’. It’s not a smart tactic. They just want to hurt or kill in order to fulfil whatever sick justification they have.”

Astrid rolled her neck to the left until it clicked, then took a single step forwards.

“Let me rephrase my question, though. Who do you care about out here? Who do you want to find so desperately?”

Astrid looked straight into Ben’s eyes, a smirk on her face. She gave it a second. Then the smile fell and her eyes turned cold.

“Unless both answers are the same. Then we might have more of an issue.”
[+] Spoiler
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky Land Ho
Current Thread: Lo Mein Event - ?Whatever you need, I've got you covered!?
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one Bastille
Current Thread: he let me set fire to a fleet of ships when no-one else would - ?Maybe we can trade. I get to watch you dance, you get to watch me work out.?
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it Memes
Current Thread: Clinging to Loss - ?Didja know this place is supposed to be haunted??
Dean Puchero - By July you'd made a whole bunch of brand new friends, people you used to look down on, and you'd figured out a way to make real money Keane
Current Thread: Generation Loss - ?Oh, and hey, don?t worry ?bout earlier, it?s all cool. I think you?d probably have been hurt worse than me if we?d collided, anyways.?
Aurelien Valter-It's deep in their bones, they'll run into smoke when the fire is fierce Football
Current Thread: I'M A SHARK, I'M A SHAAARK, SUCK MY DIIIIICK, I'M A SHAAARK - ?Goodbye, friend. I will miss you.?
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
V4!
George Leidman (Adopted from Blastinus)
Current location-Paint it Black-DECEASED-Neck broken by Maxwell Lombardi
Weapons-Wallet with German marks, Yatagan, guitar, Savage Model 1907 (.32 ACP)

V5!
B004-Owen Kay-?I don?t... don?t want to die...?-Weapons: Table Leg, Rusty Golf Club-Never Truly Had A Chance
Location: Finally finished in A Human Work

G041-Amy Bachelor-Mike, I... I don?t want to--Weapon: Blackjack-Can't Live On Hope Alone
Location: So near, and yet so very, very far in Hollow Stars

B024-Francis St. Ledger-?Megan, just... just fuckin? listen to me.?-Weapon: Insulated Blanket-Crossed The Line
Location: Made the wrong choice in The Real Folk Blues

V6!

G021-Mia Rose-You can't understand that I won't leave 'til we're finished here, and then you'll find out where it all went wrong
Died in: Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
Weapon: Uzi-Pro

G034-Astrid Tate-So what became of loving man, and what became of you?
Died in: End of the Line
Weapon: Pickaxe

G006-Bryony Adams-Burning bright until the end, now you'll be missing from the photographs
Died in: eternitybox
Current Weapon: Deck of playing cards, broken easel leg.
[+] Spoiler

Owen, Francis and Amy, all by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by Violent-Medic

Owen Kay, by Un-Persona

Amy Bachelor, by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by TurtleTyrant
[+] Spoiler
Garren Mortimer-Now you can't get mad, I'm only getting started, I won't blackout
[+] Spoiler
Beatrice Briggs and Timothy "Tim" Karim
Nothing In My Way Pippi Fontaine-I'll float on endlessly, senses eluding me, this long horizon to this open sea.
Jamie Mittelman-We will meet you where the lights are, the defenders, of the faith we are
Clover Crescent-Why would I waste another day whilst life just passes by?
Castlevania Ada Bentley-Save your cheers and my applause, I never was worth fighting for
Richard Potter-But if I had one chance to freeze time, and stand still and soak in everything, I'd choose right now
Kerry Gray-We'll finish what we started, so promise me that we'll be the Lionhearted
Marshall Nichols-Maybe that's how books get written, maybe that's why songs get sung, maybe we are the unlucky ones
Gregory "Greg" Gateshead-Built an empire of sound, as the bridges were falling down
Candice Bailey-I feel I can fly, I'm on 678 cloud 9, and ain't nothin gonna stop me
Patty English-We're all in the same boat, staying afloat for the moment
Ophelia Wright-If you're dreaming what I'm dreaming, close your eyes and feel at home
Marina-Cassandra Gro?-And we will never be alone again, 'cause it doesn't happen every day
Boyd Adkinson - And the lights, they glow, like I just lost the world war, and the scene slips away to the evenness I fake
"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Malloon
Survivor
Malloon
Survivor
Joined: 1:51 AM - Jul 27, 2016

11:25 AM - Jan 26, 2017 #7

"Not smart"? Try "wrong". Try "evil". Ben felt incensed at how skewed this girl's priorities were, and forgot about running. His fear and nervousness were momentarily subdued, replaced instead by a spike of indignation. His face twisted into involuntary disgust. Even if she called it "sick" - hadn't she been in a fight recently? Whose blood was on that pickaxe? Hypocrite.

Once she took a step forward, however, all that righteous indignition crumbled away. He winced, his abdomen twitching, his face again reflecting his fear. He should have run. He should have. But now he couldn't. What if he...

Focus.

"Let me rephrase my question, though," she advanced. "Who do you care about out here? Who do you want to find so desperately?" She smirked at him, staring into his eyes, confident and callous and evil and... Control yourself. Don't let your fear or your anger rule you.

Then she stopped smirking and looked at him coldly.

"Unless both answers are the same. Then we might have more of an issue."

...

"What?!" he sputtered. "No!"

Why would she think...?

...

Alright, it was understandable, he supposed. If he had been in her position, he would have wanted to know if any of her friends were bloodthirsty murderers too...

If he were in her position... "I would never be in her position", he countered, silently. It's because of people like her that we can't trust each other, he thought. If people like her didn't exist, we would never have to ask others if they were friends with murderers. Never have to suspect that they might turn on us. So she was worried about dangerous people? She was one, too. Her, and Kimiko, and Lili. One threatened, one murdered, one betrayed.

Threatened? Yeah. She had a weapon. She had lifted it to her shoulder and stepped towards him. She was threatening him now. He had to stop her from hurting him.

He had to find Maxim.

He had to escape the island.

And he had to go back home to his family.

But first, he had to survive. Which meant grovelling. Snivelling. Stalling. Waiting until the girl was distracted, until her back was turned, or something. Then he had to run. Or fight.

Ben was suddenly aware that he hadn't answered the girl yet.

"I want to find.. um", he said, hesitating. He couldn't say he was looking for Maxim; That might put him in danger. Yet Ben couldn't think of anyone else who might... wait. He had a thought. It was mean, and terrible, and made him feel guilty for even thinking it. Yet it also felt... just.

"I'm looking for Lili. Lili, uh, Williams. You-- You haven't seen her, have you?" His voice felt calm, with only a hint of twitchiness. He fixed his eyes on the girl, but avoided her's, hoping to hide that he was lying.
V6 Character:
Benjamin "Squirrel" Lichter [ ~ / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / > ] - You'll find him in the clouds.
V7 Characters:
Chloe Bruges [ - ] - You'll find her doing math.
Joseph "Joey" Quintero - You'll find him writing speaches.
Keith Rogers - You'll find him out with his gang.
[+] Spoiler
Putting this here, so people know, if it ever becomes relevant (unlikely, but still): If you want to use my characters for anything non-profit, you may, without contacting me even (though it would be nice regardless). All I want is a small mention that gives me credit for first concieving of them. If you want to use my characters for something for-profit, if it's just a cameo or similar, you also may, under the same terms; if it's a more substantial role, I don't want to chain myself to any statement - then contact me.
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Pippin
Winner
Joined: 11:57 PM - Dec 18, 2010

12:31 PM - Jan 30, 2017 #8

Almost as soon as the words were out of Astrid’s mouth, Ben spluttered, stammered, and spat out his response. He was just scared of Kimiko, he claimed, not searching for her.

Which of course meant absolutely nothing at face value. There shouldn’t be anyone on this island still concerned about Kimiko or Isabel or Nancy’s wellbeing, or trying to find them in hopes of friendship. If there was, they were either an utter moron with a death wish, or just as psychotic and twisted as the killers themselves. If Ben really did care for Kimiko, or one of the other murderers on the island, he still likely to let that fact slip.

However, even though Ben was terrified and worthless in the grand scheme of things, Astrid didn’t think he fell into either the category of ‘death seeking moron’ or ‘serial killer wannabe’. So, it was obvious that Ben either wasn’t associated with Kimiko, or he was on the verge of being another of her victims. Either way, he still wasn’t a threat, and he definitely wasn’t going to be a problem in the long run.

Astrid relaxed her grip on the pickaxe, but kept it resting on her shoulder, maintaining her show of dominance. It was harder than it looked, the pickaxe constantly digging into her skin, the tell-tale sting in her forehead and stomach where it had made its mark, and then with those combined, the emotional mark it had left her in the library, where one moment of weakness could have killed her.

“Lili… Lili, huh?” Astrid tapped her chin with her free index finger, still looking down at Ben. The name rang a bell, but for a good few seconds the reason why escaped her. It was only when she cast her mind back to the first day, the first few hours of awakening, that the penny dropped.

“Hmmm… I think I might have, actually,” she replied. “Small, mousey looking Chinese girl, right? Met her on the first day, in that tower next to the asylum. Can’t say I’ve got any idea where she went afterwards, though.”

There was no harm in divulging this information to Ben. She wasn’t hiding anything from him, or misleading him. Even if he somehow found his… friend? Girlfriend? Whatever. Even if he somehow found Lili, they weren’t exactly going to be a force of terror on the island. Neither of them had a useful weapon that she knew of. Neither of them looked like they physically could hurt a fly. They would meet up with each other, and be happy for maybe a day at best, and then they would die, together if they were lucky.

“I haven’t seen many people out here, honestly. Really, I think that’s for the best.”
[+] Spoiler
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky Land Ho
Current Thread: Lo Mein Event - ?Whatever you need, I've got you covered!?
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one Bastille
Current Thread: he let me set fire to a fleet of ships when no-one else would - ?Maybe we can trade. I get to watch you dance, you get to watch me work out.?
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it Memes
Current Thread: Clinging to Loss - ?Didja know this place is supposed to be haunted??
Dean Puchero - By July you'd made a whole bunch of brand new friends, people you used to look down on, and you'd figured out a way to make real money Keane
Current Thread: Generation Loss - ?Oh, and hey, don?t worry ?bout earlier, it?s all cool. I think you?d probably have been hurt worse than me if we?d collided, anyways.?
Aurelien Valter-It's deep in their bones, they'll run into smoke when the fire is fierce Football
Current Thread: I'M A SHARK, I'M A SHAAARK, SUCK MY DIIIIICK, I'M A SHAAARK - ?Goodbye, friend. I will miss you.?
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
V4!
George Leidman (Adopted from Blastinus)
Current location-Paint it Black-DECEASED-Neck broken by Maxwell Lombardi
Weapons-Wallet with German marks, Yatagan, guitar, Savage Model 1907 (.32 ACP)

V5!
B004-Owen Kay-?I don?t... don?t want to die...?-Weapons: Table Leg, Rusty Golf Club-Never Truly Had A Chance
Location: Finally finished in A Human Work

G041-Amy Bachelor-Mike, I... I don?t want to--Weapon: Blackjack-Can't Live On Hope Alone
Location: So near, and yet so very, very far in Hollow Stars

B024-Francis St. Ledger-?Megan, just... just fuckin? listen to me.?-Weapon: Insulated Blanket-Crossed The Line
Location: Made the wrong choice in The Real Folk Blues

V6!

G021-Mia Rose-You can't understand that I won't leave 'til we're finished here, and then you'll find out where it all went wrong
Died in: Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
Weapon: Uzi-Pro

G034-Astrid Tate-So what became of loving man, and what became of you?
Died in: End of the Line
Weapon: Pickaxe

G006-Bryony Adams-Burning bright until the end, now you'll be missing from the photographs
Died in: eternitybox
Current Weapon: Deck of playing cards, broken easel leg.
[+] Spoiler

Owen, Francis and Amy, all by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by Violent-Medic

Owen Kay, by Un-Persona

Amy Bachelor, by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by TurtleTyrant
[+] Spoiler
Garren Mortimer-Now you can't get mad, I'm only getting started, I won't blackout
[+] Spoiler
Beatrice Briggs and Timothy "Tim" Karim
Nothing In My Way Pippi Fontaine-I'll float on endlessly, senses eluding me, this long horizon to this open sea.
Jamie Mittelman-We will meet you where the lights are, the defenders, of the faith we are
Clover Crescent-Why would I waste another day whilst life just passes by?
Castlevania Ada Bentley-Save your cheers and my applause, I never was worth fighting for
Richard Potter-But if I had one chance to freeze time, and stand still and soak in everything, I'd choose right now
Kerry Gray-We'll finish what we started, so promise me that we'll be the Lionhearted
Marshall Nichols-Maybe that's how books get written, maybe that's why songs get sung, maybe we are the unlucky ones
Gregory "Greg" Gateshead-Built an empire of sound, as the bridges were falling down
Candice Bailey-I feel I can fly, I'm on 678 cloud 9, and ain't nothin gonna stop me
Patty English-We're all in the same boat, staying afloat for the moment
Ophelia Wright-If you're dreaming what I'm dreaming, close your eyes and feel at home
Marina-Cassandra Gro?-And we will never be alone again, 'cause it doesn't happen every day
Boyd Adkinson - And the lights, they glow, like I just lost the world war, and the scene slips away to the evenness I fake
"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Malloon
Survivor
Malloon
Survivor
Joined: 1:51 AM - Jul 27, 2016

4:14 PM - Feb 02, 2017 #9

...

Well, shit. Ben's jaw dropped and his shoulders sagged. She hadn't been lying. She hadn't been. She might have left and and betrayed him, but she handn't-- wait, betrayed? Had she really? He didn't know. He thought he knew, but he didn't know that she hadn't been lying, either. A small sigh escaped his lips, and he felt hollow. Guilty. Had... had he just betrayed her?

Yes.

"Maybe!".

Probably.

"She still left!"

But she didn't lie. Which means the scary girl with the eye-patch does have a gun.

Right.

Probably.

What?

Lili might still have been lying about that.

She.. she might have.

Because, if this girl had a gun, why would she be threatening us with a pickaxe that's obviously getting too heavy for her?

Yeah.

And if she does have a gun, how quickly do you think she could get it from wherever she's hiding it?

Not very fast. So...

Ben straightened. She hadn't seen many people out here? He could agree, that was for the best. And it was about to get better. He didn't feel like talking anymore, anyhow.
V6 Character:
Benjamin "Squirrel" Lichter [ ~ / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / > ] - You'll find him in the clouds.
V7 Characters:
Chloe Bruges [ - ] - You'll find her doing math.
Joseph "Joey" Quintero - You'll find him writing speaches.
Keith Rogers - You'll find him out with his gang.
[+] Spoiler
Putting this here, so people know, if it ever becomes relevant (unlikely, but still): If you want to use my characters for anything non-profit, you may, without contacting me even (though it would be nice regardless). All I want is a small mention that gives me credit for first concieving of them. If you want to use my characters for something for-profit, if it's just a cameo or similar, you also may, under the same terms; if it's a more substantial role, I don't want to chain myself to any statement - then contact me.
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Pippin
Winner
Joined: 11:57 PM - Dec 18, 2010

6:37 PM - Feb 05, 2017 #10

The ‘worthless’ part of Ben being terrified and worthless was raising its head in full force, now.

Her face shifted into a look of pure exasperation, as the boy stumbled and stuttered and blurted out fragments of sentences. He looked as though he was locked in a furious debate against himself; about what, Astrid really couldn’t care less. The important thing was that she had clearly reached a dead end with this conversation. She’d had two goals when she had decided to walk over to Ben and talk with him, and neither of them had been fulfilled.

The first goal was to get as much information as possible. Every advantage counted out here. Even something as small as finding out where someone had been a few days ago, or how badly in shape a potential player was, would give her a leg up over her classmates. But Ben didn’t seem willing to impart with any information, and the only thing he’d let slip was that he was looking for Lili from the first day, which didn’t help with shit; Astrid didn’t even know whether they had been friends back at school or whether they’d just partnered up on the island itself.

The second goal had been to try and have one last civilised talk with another person, before tomorrow came about and she put her plan into action.

That goal seemed equally as unlikely to come to fruition. Astrid was surprised Ben hadn’t died of fright the moment he caught a glimpse of her. He was wittering away to himself, he looked white as a sheet, but like hell she was going to put the pickaxe down again. Just in case. She wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice.

So, Ben had nothing useful to say to her. Better to cut her losses and just leave, really. Astrid hefted the pickaxe slightly further up her shoulder, trying to make it even slightly more comfortable.

“Right, well, anyway,” she said, turning to leave. “It’s been… fun. But I’ve got places to be. I’m not gonna see you again.”

Astrid nodded, rolled her free shoulder, then headed up off the beach. After a couple dozen steps, she stopped and looked back at Ben.

“Good luck. If anyone needs it, it’s gonna be you.”

Astrid shook her head, then carried on walking.

((Astrid Tate continued in Collateral Damage))
[+] Spoiler
Lyra Doyle-Let's live tonight like fireflies, and one by one light up the sky Land Ho
Current Thread: Lo Mein Event - ?Whatever you need, I've got you covered!?
Katie Agustien-If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one Bastille
Current Thread: he let me set fire to a fleet of ships when no-one else would - ?Maybe we can trade. I get to watch you dance, you get to watch me work out.?
Stepney Cruz-I'm taking back the crown, I'm all dressed up and naked, I see what's mine and take it Memes
Current Thread: Clinging to Loss - ?Didja know this place is supposed to be haunted??
Dean Puchero - By July you'd made a whole bunch of brand new friends, people you used to look down on, and you'd figured out a way to make real money Keane
Current Thread: Generation Loss - ?Oh, and hey, don?t worry ?bout earlier, it?s all cool. I think you?d probably have been hurt worse than me if we?d collided, anyways.?
Aurelien Valter-It's deep in their bones, they'll run into smoke when the fire is fierce Football
Current Thread: I'M A SHARK, I'M A SHAAARK, SUCK MY DIIIIICK, I'M A SHAAARK - ?Goodbye, friend. I will miss you.?
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
V4!
George Leidman (Adopted from Blastinus)
Current location-Paint it Black-DECEASED-Neck broken by Maxwell Lombardi
Weapons-Wallet with German marks, Yatagan, guitar, Savage Model 1907 (.32 ACP)

V5!
B004-Owen Kay-?I don?t... don?t want to die...?-Weapons: Table Leg, Rusty Golf Club-Never Truly Had A Chance
Location: Finally finished in A Human Work

G041-Amy Bachelor-Mike, I... I don?t want to--Weapon: Blackjack-Can't Live On Hope Alone
Location: So near, and yet so very, very far in Hollow Stars

B024-Francis St. Ledger-?Megan, just... just fuckin? listen to me.?-Weapon: Insulated Blanket-Crossed The Line
Location: Made the wrong choice in The Real Folk Blues

V6!

G021-Mia Rose-You can't understand that I won't leave 'til we're finished here, and then you'll find out where it all went wrong
Died in: Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
Weapon: Uzi-Pro

G034-Astrid Tate-So what became of loving man, and what became of you?
Died in: End of the Line
Weapon: Pickaxe

G006-Bryony Adams-Burning bright until the end, now you'll be missing from the photographs
Died in: eternitybox
Current Weapon: Deck of playing cards, broken easel leg.
[+] Spoiler

Owen, Francis and Amy, all by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by Violent-Medic

Owen Kay, by Un-Persona

Amy Bachelor, by Mimi

Amy Bachelor, by TurtleTyrant
[+] Spoiler
Garren Mortimer-Now you can't get mad, I'm only getting started, I won't blackout
[+] Spoiler
Beatrice Briggs and Timothy "Tim" Karim
Nothing In My Way Pippi Fontaine-I'll float on endlessly, senses eluding me, this long horizon to this open sea.
Jamie Mittelman-We will meet you where the lights are, the defenders, of the faith we are
Clover Crescent-Why would I waste another day whilst life just passes by?
Castlevania Ada Bentley-Save your cheers and my applause, I never was worth fighting for
Richard Potter-But if I had one chance to freeze time, and stand still and soak in everything, I'd choose right now
Kerry Gray-We'll finish what we started, so promise me that we'll be the Lionhearted
Marshall Nichols-Maybe that's how books get written, maybe that's why songs get sung, maybe we are the unlucky ones
Gregory "Greg" Gateshead-Built an empire of sound, as the bridges were falling down
Candice Bailey-I feel I can fly, I'm on 678 cloud 9, and ain't nothin gonna stop me
Patty English-We're all in the same boat, staying afloat for the moment
Ophelia Wright-If you're dreaming what I'm dreaming, close your eyes and feel at home
Marina-Cassandra Gro?-And we will never be alone again, 'cause it doesn't happen every day
Boyd Adkinson - And the lights, they glow, like I just lost the world war, and the scene slips away to the evenness I fake
"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Malloon
Survivor
Malloon
Survivor
Joined: 1:51 AM - Jul 27, 2016

10:11 AM - Feb 09, 2017 #11

And just like that, she walked away. He didn't even need to run. Ben stood there, stunned, unable to answer when she said goodbye. When she wished him good luck.

... Fuck. He really didn't understand people. One moment she was threatening him, the next... she was gone. Why? Had she got what she wanted? Had he given her information she wanted? He had only told her that he was afraid of Kimiko and was looking for Lili.

Why would she have wanted to know that?

His questions were fruitless, however. He got no answer but the quiet sound of the water moving at the beach's edge. He looked at the girl as she went, her pickaxe bobbing slightly as she walked. She hadn't hurt him. She hadn't been going to hurt him. And now she was leaving. He knew he should feel relief, but instead he felt bad. Guilty. Alone. For a moment he felt like running after her, to say sorry, sorry that he had misjudged her, to ask her not to leave him alone...

But he didn't. He stood rooted to the spot, as if he were buried up to his neck. He could only watch her disappear.

"She did threaten me with her pickaxe," he mumbled. That was true, at least.

He sat down with a plod. Again, he drew his knees up to his chest and hugged them. "Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry...," he muttered. Then he took a few deep breaths. He didn't cry.

Almost.

(Benjamin Lichter continues in Calvin and Hobbes)
V6 Character:
Benjamin "Squirrel" Lichter [ ~ / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / > ] - You'll find him in the clouds.
V7 Characters:
Chloe Bruges [ - ] - You'll find her doing math.
Joseph "Joey" Quintero - You'll find him writing speaches.
Keith Rogers - You'll find him out with his gang.
[+] Spoiler
Putting this here, so people know, if it ever becomes relevant (unlikely, but still): If you want to use my characters for anything non-profit, you may, without contacting me even (though it would be nice regardless). All I want is a small mention that gives me credit for first concieving of them. If you want to use my characters for something for-profit, if it's just a cameo or similar, you also may, under the same terms; if it's a more substantial role, I don't want to chain myself to any statement - then contact me.
Quote
Like
Share