Into The Jaws of Hell

Fiori
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Fiori
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Joined: February 25th, 2010, 7:15 pm

June 24th, 2011, 10:19 am #1

((Maxwell Lombardi continued from Paint it Black))

As Maxwell quickly moved through the woods in a generally eastern direction, eventually finding himself working his way up the tall mountain that dominated the centre of the island, he decided to check out the small gun which he had recently liberated from his would-be assailant.

It wasn't particularly impressive as far as guns went, he had to admit, at least compared to his old handgun anyway. It was fairly small for starters, and didn't look as though he could carry as much ammunition as his old gun. Its general shape vaguely reminded him of a Lugar, but something told him that it was an entirely different make of gun altogether. Not that he was the most knowledgable person on earth when it came to firearms.

Still, small or not, it made for a perfectly adequate replacement for his old handgun nevertheless. Even if his old handgun had proven to be such a handy tool on more than one occasion. Just thinking about it reminded him of all the times it had proven itself to be his single most reliable weapon in times of crises. He remembered all the times it had saved him in a tight spot, or when it had been used to dispose of his enemies in an efficient and well executed manner. Which made it even more annoying when he thought back to the moment when his favourite weapon was stolen by that thieving oriental bitch Mizore Soryu.

Mizore... Whilst a part of him was glad that she died on that boat with the rest of those assholes who thought they could escape, he was still disappointed that he couldn't have been the one to end her life himself. The same thing went for that Sarah Xu girl, who Maxwell was partially hoping to bump into at some point so he could leave Reiko Ishida a surprise during the next announcement.

Oh well... Still, on the bright side, at least now I have decent sword by my side instead of a clumsy shotgun. Can't wait to test it out on the next unlucky bastard I come across...


...Speak of the devil, there's one right up ahead.


Maxwell stopped suddenly behind a nearby tree as his eyes caught a peculiar sight directly ahead of him, namely a dishevelled-looking boy staring out into the distance. There was something odd about the way he stood there on the mountain's edge, as if he was trying to spot something floating in the vast ocean that seemed to go on forever in every direction.

Which also meant that he left himself wide open to an attack.

Anxious to take advantage of this perfect opportunity to eliminate the competition, Maxwell slowly made his way closer, making sure to tread lightly to avoid giving his next target a head start. He gripped the pistol in his hands tightly as he stopped behind a particularly large boulder, aiming his gun directly at the other boy's back with both his hands to make sure that he wouldn't miss. It wasn't often that he was able to find someone alone and unaware of his presence like this, and Maxwell was determined not to let this one get away should things go badly.

But then... Just as he was steadying his aim, Maxwell suddenly realised that he'd seen this boy somewhere before. He couldn't recall where exactly, but there was just something distinctly familiar about him. Something about his hair and clothing which reminded Maxwell of a person whom he'd recently bumped into...

Then it clicked, and a wide smirk appeared on Maxwell's lips.

Could it... No, surely not. The chances of bumping into HIM of all people must be astronomical. Then again, we ARE nearing the final stretch of the game aren't we? So perhaps this reunion isn't so unlikely after all.....

Either way, Maxwell couldn't just shoot this gun in the back anymore, not when he had the potential to taunt another one of the bastards who had crossed him and gotten away with it. He'd still be fully in charges of the situation of course, thanks to his trusty little pistol, but now that he recognised his target there was no way he could kill him in a manner as anticlimactic as a bullet to the back of the head.

And so, with this thought in mind, Maxwell stood up from where he was hiding and slowly made his way towards the other student with his gun trained at the back of his skull, making sure to walk silently until he was only several metres away from his target.

"Well, look who it is! Fancy bumping into you here of all places..."
V5 Characters

Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
Ruby Forrester - Shopping Mall
Jenna Rhodes - Hotel

[+] Spoiler
Maxwell Lombardi - The Suave Bastard {Shot off a cliff} [Kill Count: 12]
Marty J. Lovett - The Paranoid Pessimist {Stabbed in the heart} [Kill Count: 1]
Joshua Krakowski - The Living Anachronism {Shot in the temple}
Vera Osborne - The Pretentious Artist {Shot in the eye}
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Grim Wolf
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Joined: November 9th, 2009, 5:39 am

June 26th, 2011, 8:43 pm #2

(Naoko Raidon continued from Radio Nowhere)

"Well!" came the voice, but Raidon was already turning--he'd heard the light scratch of pebbles underfoot, the sounds of another soul making its way up this lonesome mountain. He felt a little light-headed and woozy from lack of food and from his recent bout with sickness, but the past few days and the injuries he'd acquired over their course had sharpened his instincts, honed them until he could react surely, confidently, without fail.

Except then it was Maxwell Lombardi and he couldn't fire because he suddenly felt the weight of the jacket around his shoulders and all his thoughts came whirling back to life.

He'd left the Logging Road in something of a daze, his dead friend's jacket around his shoulders, his conversation with God temporarily forgotten. By now he had a decent sense of direction--he knew where the Residential Area was, where he could enter the tunnels, he could have found the swamp and the different coastlines by instinct. There were too many memories scattered in all directions, and he was trying his very best not to think at this moment.

So, he'd gone somewhere no stubborn memories persisted. He'd gone to the mountain. Found an edge on which to sit, to stare out over the island that had brought the students of Bayview so much loss and tragedy.

He examined Maxwell Lombardi. Lombardi examined him. Raidon suspected they were both evaluating each other's wounds--the bruises all along their faces and arms. They'd inflicted those on each other; Lombardi was stronger than him and better in a figh, but he was also much less clever.

Keep that in mind.

"If I'd had time to stay behind, you'd long since be dead," Raidon mused, more to himself than to Maxwell.

"True. I guess I should be thankful."

They were staring at each other, but there was nothing knowing or familiar in Maxwell's gaze. Raidon waited a moment, struggled to figure out why. When it came to him, he could not quite believe it; no other reason, however, made sense. There was something both funny and annoying about it, but he had to confirm it first.

"You don't remember me, Lombardi?" Maxwell cocked his head, then shrugged. Raidon smiled, half in actual amusement, half in livid dissapointed anger--the man who'd become his target had no idea who he was. "Naoko Raidon. We had U.S. History together for a semester, before you transferred out."

He wasn't sure Lombardi had heard this second part; after he'd said his name, the killer's face had practically glowed with excitement, and a broad grin snaked its way across his face. "Oh, so you're that Naoko Raidon the Announcements keep mentioning!" Credit where credit was due, mentioning the announcements made Raidon's blood turn to ice in his veins; he swallowed and focused on the deadly weight of the gun in his hand. "How many has it been so far now?" Maxwell asked. "Five? Six? Damn, that's almost half as many as me."

Raidon remembered their fight--the thorough beating he'd suffered at Maxwell's hands, until his gamble had turned the tables.

"Fine by me," Raidon said coolly. "Means I've got enough bullets to finish the job." He waved the gun a little, just enough so Maxwell's eyes were drawn to it. They widened in recognition.

Neither of them moved for several seconds. Neither of them said anything, either. In those seconds, Raidon wasn't thinking about Maxwell Lombardi--at least, not directly. He was thinking about Peter Siu and his denial of any moral right; he was thinking about Julian Avery and his indecision; he was thinking about Mizore Soryu and the unparalleled commitment to her ideals; he was thinking about Simon Grey, waiting for Lombardi behind a truck.

"Why are you doing this?" Raidon asked, and when he had done so his question took on an importance every bit as fundamental as his urge to kill Lombardi and his urge to get Soryu out--it was related to who he was, and to what he had done. He did not merely want Lombardi to answer; he needed him to.

"Why not?" Maxwell Lombardi asked, shrugging, and the casualness of his answer made Raidon's whole body go numb. "I mean, let's face it, you heard how well that whole escape plan went, didn't you? The only guaranteed ticket off this island is by playing along like a good little boy and not giving a damn about who the hell you have to crush beneath your feet along the way." The words were different but the substance was not--Of course killing boosts my chances to survive. Probability alone dictates it will. "That's how I've played," Lombardi continued. "And apart from the odd mishap it's worked very well. Not that I have to tell you that, after all you've been doing a pretty good job yourself, haven't you?"

Raidon's anger and vengeance were giving way to doubt; he struggled to hold onto his cold certainty. "I'm playing to live," Raidon growled. "You're just playing."

"Oh, come now!" Maxwell scoffed. "Surely you enjoyed it to some degree? Hasn't the thrill of the hunt ever gotten you fired up?" He saw Victoria Logan fall as his cold certainty let him pull his trigger without hesitation; he felt the rush of air past his face as he leapt forward, racing Jacob Charles for Soryu's life. "Doesn't the sheer adrenaline of the kill make you feel more alive than anything else in your entire life? That sweet satisfaction of someone you hate lying dead at your feet..." He remembered Peter Siu; he saw Maddy Stone struggling beneath him, heard her satisfying screams as he pulled his trigger. He rained blows upon a fallen Maxwell and felt his heart accelerate as he thought of new ways to hurt him.

"N-no," Raidon started, and cursed his once-sure tongue for the stutter. "This isn't about enjoyment, it's...it's about..."

Maxwell's smile had widened. "You don't sound so sure."

Raidon swallowed, tried to ignore the doubts that now besieged him. He had given Maddy Stone stigmata wounds, and he had killed Victoria Logan so easily. Had Roland Harte really posed a threat, or had he just been desperately trying to justify his fear?

"By the way," Maxwell continued. "I couldn't help but notice that you didn't get on that boat alongside Mizore whatshername. Pity, I guess that means you weren't there to comfort her when she got blown to pieces alongside the rest of those idiots who thought they could cheat their way off the island."

There was something so petulant and petty about Maxwell's tone as he said this that at once a part of Raidon's confidence returned to him--he remembered that Lombardi wasn't some ideal killer, that he had until a few days ago been exactly the same as any other high school student. "Don't be an idiot," Raidon said, laughing. "They're alive."

Maxwell's eyes narrowed. "Oh?" he said, and Raidon could hear how forced the attempt at casualness really was. "What makes you so sure?"

"They're playing their own game," Raidon answered. "You don't tell your pawn there's a way off the board that doesn't involve getting taken by the opponent's piece." He thought for a moment--remembered Soryu facing off with the guards of the boat. "Not that it matters to us, I guess. We're in until checkmate."

Maxwell thought for a moment. "I suppose that's one way of looking at it," Lombardi conceded grudgingly. "Although, if you ask me, it sounds like you're trying to come with another excuse to hid the fact that you actually enjoy this game a lot more than you'd like to admit."

Raidon's mouth twisted to one side. "Why are you trying so hard to convince me that we're the same?" he demanded.

"Why are you so determined to prove we're different?"

Raidon wished the question had a complicated answer, an abstract philosophical point he could have argued about. But the truth was, it was frustratingly simple. "You killed Simon," Raidon replied, remembering the bloody, rotting pulp that had once been his face.

Maxwell cocked his head to one side, his brow creasing in thought. "Simon?" repeated the Brit. "Simon who?" A look of dawning realization. "You mean that fan ginger who didn't know when to run?"

Thank you, Maxwell Lombardi. Thank you because by saying that you'd temporarily banished Raidon's doubts and made this issue as uncomplicated as his answer to your last question. Whether or not you and Raidon are different is no longer the point; you killed Simon Grey, and you had the gall to disrespect him to Naoko Raidon's face.

Raidon pulled the trigger and threw himself to his right.
Want to buy my book? See my short stories? Read my fanfiction? Visit my website!

V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."
[+] Spoiler

G053 Karen Idel, DECEASED: Game over.

B040 Tyler Lucas, DECEASED: I had fun. You?

B046 Xavier Contel, DECEASED : "G-gotta...trust people, Arthur. G-g-gotta try. C-can't be afraid."
[+] Spoiler

B054 Raidon Naoko (DECEASED): "Dying like this isn't so bad..."

B072 Simon Grey (DECEASED): "I never was a hero, but, God help me, I tried."

B079 David Meramac (DECEASED): "Running towards nothing. Running from nothing."

G072 Mirabelle Nesa (DECEASED): "I'm a weak little girl who couldn't save anyone, even myself, but god damn it I beat you and god damn it you are going to remember that because I am Mirabelle Nesa and I am a hardened goddamn warrior and I am not going to fucking give up now!"
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Fiori
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Fiori
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Joined: February 25th, 2010, 7:15 pm

June 28th, 2011, 12:05 am #3

Maxwell hadn't expected his opponent to react so fast, and before either of them knew it the two killers found themselves staring down the barrels of each other's guns.

That was annoying. Maxwell hadn't really intended on finding himself in a Mexican Standoff. No matter, he was still in charge of the situation, and it wasn't as if either of them were going to open fire any time soon. In the meantime, Maxwell was perfectly content to stand around and have a little chat whilst trying to figure out how to get out of this mess.

And so, that's exactly what the two infamous killers did for the next couple of minutes. During which Maxwell learnt some very interesting information about the Japanese boy who stood before him, namely the fact that the same boy who had pulled that irksome stunt with the flashbang grenade happened to be none other than Naoko Raidon. THAT Naoko Raidon. The same Naoko Raidon who's name had cropped up during the announcements on several occasions, claiming at least five or so names during his time on the island. Which, unless Maxwell was mistaken, meant that he was quite possibly one of the most dangerous people on the island apart from himself.

That just made this entire situation a hundred times more interesting.

It was at that point that Maxwell then realised that the gun Raidon held in his hand was none other than his old pistol. The one which that thieving harpy Mizore had literally stolen from right under his nose. Seeing it being held in another man's hand caused Maxwell's blood to boil in anger at the thought of someone else handling his most reliable weapon, something which he only barely managed to hide from Raidon. As much as Maxwell would have loved to leave the fellow player to continue reducing the competition for him, there was no way in hell he was going to let him just walk away after what he'd humiliated him so thoroughly. No, Maxwell was going to make damn sure that the only way Naoko Raidon was going to get off this mountain alive was via a hundred foot drop to the jagged rocks below.

First things first though, Maxwell was going to mess around with his head some more. Bring up some unsaid points, maybe even hit a nerve or two. Anything to distract his adversary for as long as possible whilst he thought of a way to get him whilst he least suspected it.

However, whilst he was doing a decent job at first at unnerving the Japanese killer, Raidon quickly managed to turn the tables when he implied that the news of the escape plan's failure might have been a ruse set-up by Danya's cronies to keep the game going. Which, as much as he hated to admit it, made perfect sense. Why tell everyone on the island that there had been a successful escape attempt when you could tell them that everyone who tried to escape died in the process? Come to think of it, why hadn't Maxwell suspected that himself in the first place? Was he just trying to delude himself into thinking that all his actions up to this point hadn't been meaningless after all?

Son of a bitch, now I'M the one getting distracted. C'mon Max, turn the tables on this smug nip so we can get his over and done with...

And so he did, to which Raidon replied by telling Maxwell that he had killed someone by the name of Simon. Oh, NOW it all makes sense. Guess this Raidon fellow is just another would-be-avenger who assumes he has the moral high ground just because I happened to off a buddy of his. Shame, for a moment there I thought he was someone with a little more depth to him...

After taking a moment to figure out who the heck was Simon Grey in the first place, it didn't take long for Maxwell to come up with a way to insult his adversary's dead friend. He'd of come up with something wittier if he had the time, but judging from the fiery look in Raidon's eyes things were finally about to heat up.

Not that Maxwell had any problem with that. He'd become bored with this conversation anyway...

Just as Raidon pulled the trigger, Maxwell dived immediately to the left and rolled out of harms way, dodging another two bullets or so before firing an off-hand shot in Raidon's general direction. The two killers then quickly got behind the nearest cover they could find, which in this case took the form of two boulders large enough for them to hide behind. From there onwards, they took turns in taking pot shots at one another, each of them dodging and ducking out of the way of their opponent's oncoming bullets. Not wishing to be caught in a deadlock, Maxwell eventually decided to dash from his spot and slam his back against another rock formation several metres closer to Raidon.

However, little did he realise that Raidon had a similar idea, and as he moved from behind cover to take a shot the two killers found themselves both pointing their guns at one another once more.

Only this time, they both decided to actuallly pull the trigger...

...only to then realise that BOTH of them had run out of ammunition. Shit!

Quickly acting on instinct, Maxwell blocked the punch Raidon threw at him and lifted his leg to deliver a harsh kick to Raidon's chest, sending the Japanese boy stumbling backwards.

Right towards the mountain's edge.
V5 Characters

Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
Ruby Forrester - Shopping Mall
Jenna Rhodes - Hotel

[+] Spoiler
Maxwell Lombardi - The Suave Bastard {Shot off a cliff} [Kill Count: 12]
Marty J. Lovett - The Paranoid Pessimist {Stabbed in the heart} [Kill Count: 1]
Joshua Krakowski - The Living Anachronism {Shot in the temple}
Vera Osborne - The Pretentious Artist {Shot in the eye}
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Grim Wolf
Winner
Joined: November 9th, 2009, 5:39 am

June 29th, 2011, 8:12 am #4

He heard an answering shot almost immediately, biting into the ground where he'd been. Without thinking Raidon rolled, gritting his teeth against the pain in his left shoulder, and then scrambled to his feet, firing blindly in the direction of Maxwell Lombardi. He saw the vague shape of Simon's killer also moving, gun aimed in his general direction.

Raidon slid behind a large, near-at-hand boulder and settled in, panting. He glanced towards his bag, which appeared to be mostly intact, and then risked peeking his head around his cover. At once a bullet bit home inches from his face, sending jagged splinters of rock flickering out over his face. He cursed and, coughing from the dust, pulled back. He wiped the back of his hand across his forehead and looked down to see a thin smear of blood.

There was also a blossoming wet patch on his left shoulder. It appeared he'd torn his wound.

Raidon turned the gun past the boulder and fired three shots completely blind--he didn't want to expose himself again, given how close he'd come to death moments before. But he didn't know what new weapons Maxwell had managed to acquire over the past two days. He'd gotten hold of a gun readily enough; what else did he have?

Could risk a flashbang... he mused, risking a quick peek and pulling back before Maxwell had time to fire. He didn't know where his enemy was hiding, however--he hadn't been watching.

Don't know where he is. Shit.

Only one choice then. Had to get closer.

He dashed from cover, gun at the read, eyes flickering here and there and oh, hell, there he is. Maxwell was about thirty feet away, his own gun already moving towards Raidon.

Raidon pulled the tirgger, heard the dry click, of his gun, felt every inch of him go numb with terror. He threw himself forwards and skidded two feet along the ground, only then registering the clicking of Maxwell's gun.

Neither of them had any bullets left.

Raidon scrambled to his feet and reached for the knife at his waist, too late; Maxwell grabbed his wrist. Desperately Raidon hurled a punch with his weak left hand; Lombardi easily caught it and twisted to one side before kicking Raidon in the chest. Raidon stumbled backwards, gasping even as he reached for his knife. He took two steps backwards to open up some distance between the two of them.

On his third step, he found only empty air.

No.

No.

No no no no no no no no no no no no nonononononono-!


He threw himself forward even as he felt, slammed his chest into the raw cliff edge and knocked what little air he had left clean out of him. He dug his fingers (even the missing pinky, much to his agonized dismay) into the side, scrabbled to hold on-

Two of fingernails were snapped clean off as he fell; as he finally lost his purchase on the cliff, his head thundered into one sheer mountainous wall, and darkness took him whole.

(Naoko Raidon remembering in Original Sin)
Want to buy my book? See my short stories? Read my fanfiction? Visit my website!

V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."
[+] Spoiler

G053 Karen Idel, DECEASED: Game over.

B040 Tyler Lucas, DECEASED: I had fun. You?

B046 Xavier Contel, DECEASED : "G-gotta...trust people, Arthur. G-g-gotta try. C-can't be afraid."
[+] Spoiler

B054 Raidon Naoko (DECEASED): "Dying like this isn't so bad..."

B072 Simon Grey (DECEASED): "I never was a hero, but, God help me, I tried."

B079 David Meramac (DECEASED): "Running towards nothing. Running from nothing."

G072 Mirabelle Nesa (DECEASED): "I'm a weak little girl who couldn't save anyone, even myself, but god damn it I beat you and god damn it you are going to remember that because I am Mirabelle Nesa and I am a hardened goddamn warrior and I am not going to fucking give up now!"
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Fiori
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Fiori
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Joined: February 25th, 2010, 7:15 pm

June 29th, 2011, 11:56 pm #5

A wide, cruel grin appeared on Maxwell's face as he watched Raidon struggle to keep his hold on the cliff's edge, the look of desperation in his face making the eager young killer feel especially powerful as he slowly strode towards the helpless boy.

He was strongly tempted to do something to add insult to injury whilst he still had the chance, like stamp on his hand or pretend to help him up only to shove him over the edge. Maybe he could make some quip about his dead slut Mizore, or mock his dead ginger friend a little more. That in particular seemed to rile him up a lot. But sadly, in the end Maxwell barely had enough time to even utter a single insult before his adversary plummeted out of sight.

Still, not that it mattered. Naoko Raidon was dead, no doubt about it. There wasn't any way he could have possible survived a fall like that. Especially considering the state he was in. No, Maxwell didn't doubt for a second that he'd personally removed another thorn embedded deep in his chest.

And knowing that made him feel excellent.

Its almost a shame really. Here I thought I'd come across a decent challenge, but in the end you proved to be just as capable of defending yourself as everyone else on this damn island I've killed. Hell, even that crazy bitch Maria Somethingorother proved to be harder to kill than you!

He sighed, wiping perspiration from his brow as he looked down at the gun that lay at his feet, picking it up and expecting it in his hand. Yes, this was DEFINITELY his. The very same handgun which had proven to be so useful ever since he first came to decision that he was going to play this game to win. And now, almost as if by destiny, it was back in his capable and deserving hands.

And Maxwell was damn sure that he was going to put it to good use.

Speaking of which, he had a funny feeling that his next customer was just around the corner. Perhaps it was intuition, or maybe it was just his mind playing tricks on him, but for some reason Maxwell just had a funny feeling that he would soon require to make good use of his newly retrieved handgun sooner than he would have preferably liked.

With this in mind, Maxwell grabbed a couple of clips form his bag and reloaded his pistols, holding one in each hand as he made his way along the mountain trail once more.

And sure enough, barely ten or so minutes later, Maxwell found exactly what he was looking for...

((Maxwell Lombardi continued in You Already Know How This Ends))
V5 Characters

Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
Ruby Forrester - Shopping Mall
Jenna Rhodes - Hotel

[+] Spoiler
Maxwell Lombardi - The Suave Bastard {Shot off a cliff} [Kill Count: 12]
Marty J. Lovett - The Paranoid Pessimist {Stabbed in the heart} [Kill Count: 1]
Joshua Krakowski - The Living Anachronism {Shot in the temple}
Vera Osborne - The Pretentious Artist {Shot in the eye}
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