Naturally, Wade hadn't noticed his arms shaking. As always, he didn't notice the ADD rush his mind had clung onto until it had already taken hold. Presumably, it stemmed from the mental and intellectual buzz of arguing with others and actually having to use brainpower to engage in both receiving and transmitting ideas. No, he was definitely on it, or coming off slowly. His arms and legs were shaking, he could feel the start of a desire to get up and start... moving. Usually that would shortly result in acting pretty spastic.
And many, many small reprimands and reproaches had come his way when someone noticed that in normal life. Usually whenever he was engrossed by music or some powerful thought or not paying attention. Here, there wasn't anyone but his tired companions to notice, and they all seemed somewhat out of it themselves. Especially Cass; he pretended not to notice the choked sobbing noises and watery eyes.
Trav seemed the most focused. Relatively calm and collected, and he made a good point with that weapon. Not to mention his own body.
Unless someone had a large group, or was cocky, they'd be scared off attacking. Unless they had guns of their own - but that was certain death anyhow. Another chill. Wade really didn't want to lend too much thought to death. Cessation of existence was still terrifying to really wrap his head around. The afterlife was a long shot.
What was the right thing to do? Really, the best possible course of action they had available was to somehow formulate an escape plan - a workable one - without the terrorists noticing a thing. Even though that was even more of a long shot. Getting right with God, Allah, Vishnu or whoever started looking more and more appealing in comparison. Bleaugh, religion's aftertaste..
Well, the afterlife also involved dying and being incapable of accomplishing his dreams. That meant it was out anyway, even though it enabled him to continue existing in some form. Closing his eyes, he steeled himself, trying to deaden the movement, and tried to think systematically about the problem, the way they did in mind-game thrillers and cop shows. He tried to combine it with his intuition and, surprisingly, it would often work. On the few times he had the presence of mind to approach a problem deliberately, he felt far more clear-headed teasing things out that way, both when mentally weighing philosophical questions and when doing academic work...
They came fast and furious. First, as anything else, the collars almost certainly had to have been manufactured in pieces, then assembled together. The processes used to do so would have left seams in the construction of the collar, visible or otherwise. It was always easier, he realized, to tear along the lateral grain of a piece of meat or the connection between two different parts of a structure. The seams were the weakest point of any thing and any construction, and striking at them meant objects came apart faster.
But he couldn't feel any on the collar. Not inwardly, not outwardly. His skin, beside the stretch of it on the hands, had a low sense resolution. His throat didn't feel anything beside the almost crushing grip, and he didn't dare actually touch the thing - that would give the game away in a heartbeat. Even the dumbest guard would realize what he was doing if they were paying even the least attention to him. He glanced carefully at the others, slowly trying to visually analyze theirs --
He shimmied slightly closer to Cass and tried to subtly steal a decent glance at the thing, trying to make it look as though he were staring at her face and not her neck because then they'd realize. He didn't know where the cameras were - couldn't do anything about them - couldn't avoid their sight even if he knew because then the terrorists would know he knew, and so on. With how advanced camera technology was, tiny spycams could have been placed in all the rooms and walls and cliffs and beaches of this island in such a tight pattern and high density that they missed nothing. Unaffordable, maybe, but doable. He absolutely had to presume if the terrorists could have done something to stymie his escape, they would have done it. And piled on extra duct tape to make sure.
Even in the bad lighting and with the few glances he did manage to take that satisfied him, he could tell there wasn't anything. Nothing he could unscrew or jam a knife into for certain. The collars did seem fairly small, as he expected - probably using a shaped charge. He didn't know the details of human anatomy and the power of small explosives, but from what grenades could do it probably sufficed to sever his neck cleanly in half. Another shiver. He'd read about how one could remain conscious for several moments after decapitation, and-- yikes. It was chilling enough to remember Nguyen's account of the way collar-blown corpses looked, make a few inferences, and apply it to here. Well, he didn't have to dwell on it. It was enough to know that the terrorists would probably either observe him very closely or blow the thing if he made the slightest error.
He absolutely had to presume that if they found a good reason to kill him, they would. His fists clenched, but no tears or sadness came. Quickly, he'd broken his sight off Cass. That felt extremely close. As unhealthy as it was, he absolutely had to be paranoid about this. Again, the slightest error could bring it all crashing down upon him..
- [+] spoiler
- Boy #38: Wade Cartwright "Hey, do you read Sabrina Online? ... No? Uh, okay... see you?"
Starting Weapon: Adrenaline Needle
Before the Game: Discovery.
The Game: Anger. Fear. Flight. Collection.
Health Status: Full
Girl #64: Leslie Price "I don't go to the book club, prick. Now fuck off."
Starting Weapon: Whistle
Before the Game: Intimidation.
The Game: Apathy. Serenity. Hate. Sight. Pursuit. Error.
Health Status: DEAD