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|Character #1: Boy #37 Ian Williams - Now with 55% less self-insert. |
Designated Weapon: Polaroid Instant Camera With Film (Enough for 8 photographs)
Past - | 1 | 2 | (Current thread - Birds of a Feather)
Pregame - None
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (Final Thread - Glass)
|Character #2: Boy #66 Chase Rodriguez - Adopted from Pippin.|
Designated Weapon: Silver Pill Box Containing Three Cyanide Capsules
Past - None
Pregame - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (Last seen in - Diversions)
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (Final Thread - Drawing to an End)
I dig this in the vein of Michael and Zoe's dynamic. Hesitance, doubt, and regret have a tendency to haunt him a little more than they do her, which comes out in how often she flings herself into danger in one of their plans while he plays back-up and ultimately falters. Zoe has to keep coaching him and playing the muscle and fury to their game. I absolutely love how Michael flounders and plays damage control with Lily in Blue Moon while Zoe just keeps swaggering. It's delicious. I'd really like to see Yugi and Ohm write a pair like this again sometime, because I think they play well off of each other and experience is only going to ripen that.wrote:He stood up, clutched the bat in his hands, and rushed towards Dougie, hoping that it could do some damage.
He was right behind him at this point, ready to attack, he raised the bat, and
He saw Dougie working on the school project with him, he saw Dougie on the sportfields, helping his team. He saw Lily, hoping that she could find Dougie before she died.
He couldn't do it.
He couldn't kill a fellow classmate.
This is a big chunk quote, but the context of all of it is important. The disconnect comes in the way he frames his actions: The choices he's made up to this point in his narrative seem to fall, in his perception, on the path towards killing. He feels guilt over lying to Lily and staying with his team rather than his friends, choosing his teammates and their well-being over people like Dougie, Lily, and Valerie who he values as friends. In all of his previous threads, these actions were seen as nudges towards finally killing someone, both in his internal monologue and his exchanges with Zoe. Now though, at the end of his post, he seems to view them as choices to avoid killing altogether, rather than little steps towards becoming a murderer. Now, both views and interpretations are equally valid, and I think you can even spin one into the other, but the way it's structured here makes the ideas feel extra dissonant. I think it could have benefited from some more reflection towards how his actions kept people alive and kept Zoe in check. A callback to Lukas's suicide that he found so bewildering would also have helped flesh things out, since Michael is now viewing death as an escape from the game and even characterizes what's happening to him as a "choice," similar to the choices he couldn't understand Lukas making. Using other characters and their decisions as a sort of mental sounding board can be very helpful for maintaining internal clarity.wrote:During his time on the resort, Michael dreaded what he had to do. He didnt want to kill people he considered friends, as he felt that doing so would make him lose his morality, lose the people that he cared for, make people lose faith in him. But he knew that he would have had to at one point. Nobody got out of here without killing at least one person, and he knew that he couldnt pull off an escape attempt. He had made choices, all throughout his resort time. Bring Lily and Valerie with him. Go with his team rather than find Lily again. Lie to Lily.
But now he didnt have to kill. There was another choice all along. Die here and he didnt have to kill.
If this wasnt SOTF, and if this wasnt him, hed be laughing right now. He had acted like he was going to win all this time, and that death was something thatd never happen to him. He had acted like he had to kill someone all this time, but as it turned out, now he didnt have to. There was a choice all along, and he had now picked an option.
And he would now act on it for the rest of his life.
And as Michael Robinson bled out on the floor, he realized that he never had to kill, and that he had selected the right choice all this time.
wrote:Fuck it, got nothing better to do.
I really like this moment for Owen, because it shows the dual-sides he plays to make peace. Owen wants to prevent violence and keep people safe, but he's not naive about it. He understands at this point that some people are dangerous and cannot be trusted, and Travis is absolutely one of those people. It's a great bit of character growth.wrote:Theres p-plenty of shelter across the island Owen said. Cant be too hard to find somewhere else to stay, can it? So... no. Fuck off. Youre not coming in.
That's a lot of stuttering. It feels very unnatural to read, for me, and it stays that way most of the time. It's not always that pronounced, but Owen stutters a lot, and it only occurs when he's very afraid. Since it's not a natural part of his speech, it comes across as very forced, especially since most of the expression of his fear comes through his voice rather than his body language. Given how measured and free Owen is with his speech in pre-game, this didn't sit very well with me.wrote:He-hello? This is... This is Owen. Owen K-Kay! British Owen... L-look, whoever you are... you c-can come out from hiding... Im... Im pretty much unarmed... Owen paused a second. In that pause, he realised he was inadvertently holding onto the reception desk, as if to keep himself standing.
That... That and Im f-fucking terrified right now...
There's a lot to think about here. Is Cathryn being completely altruistic? Earlier, she states that she needs to prove that she's "reliable," so laying her cards out in this way could be a ploy to establish her honesty and offset Lukas's authority, since him being in control of the situation leaves it in completely unknown territory for her. There's also some implication later on that the exchange is more argument for argument's sake as a way to try and get one over on Zoe. This is the sort of complex, varied decision making I like seeing so early on in a character, because it leaves Cathryn with a lot of places to go. Her relationship with Zoe is problematic for reasons I'll get into later, but this is a really, really strong start.wrote:Cathryn turned towards Zoe. "Wait, I'm sorry, what? Zoe, look at me and listen carefully, because this is the only time I'm going to try to help you. This guy's plan," pointing at him, "is stupid as fuck. It's basically 'Have a cup of tea and wait for this to blow over.' I'm not sure if you watch SOTF that much, but I'm pretty sure that hasn't worked yet. I mean, even if you plan to escape or whatever, you need to put actual effort into finding the flaws. Waiting for everyone else to just kill each other and coming out as the last survivors sounds nice in theory. And I swear, if it actually worked, I would drop everything and join this plan. But it won't. If this is what you plan to do, you might as well start making your coffins already."
I love to see this sort of thing in TV, because it dances on the line of Orwellian Double-Think that the fluff of the TVverse implies. So many times I see characters who are just outright disgusted and appalled by SotF-TV, despite its vast cultural stranglehold, or characters that fully buy into it without a thought, but the most interesting place, for me, is a character who is somewhere in the middle. This "twinge," as Maraoone puts it, that something is wrong about this situation, accompanied by a sense of sheer normality that keeps it from becoming overpowering. Maraoone further sells this emotion when someone Cathryn truly cares for, Leah Bissard, ends up being read off at the tail end of the announcements in Don't You?. She can't be angry. But she can't really be sad, either. She just ends up in a state of suspended shock, and moves along. I like how Maraoone handles this, because it creates a compelling character built equally on both what she does and what she doesn't do. Restraint is very important for Cathryn, and I dig that. The following encounter with Jewel solidifies that base marvelously:wrote:Cathryn raised her eyes a bit at the number of killers from Whittree, but other than that, the announcements didn't really elicit any strong reactions from her. Sure, she felt a twinge of sadness and disgust at the fact that people were actually dying, but that was because she was human. It was like this every version, no matter what school you picked. Not really breaking news.
The underlined portion is especially important. Up until now, Cathryn has not wanted to kill. When Jewel kills Naomi, Cathryn feels sick, panicky, and out of control. But when Jewel offers her the option to live, it gives Cathryn her first taste of truly being in a position where she could lose her life, and being given a way out. From here, it's an easier and easier slide down to killing.wrote:Normally, Cathryn would have spat at her, shouted, maybe try to vivisect her with her words, because that was her specialty, and hey, an eye for an eye, right? No way she'd be humiliated on national TV, yeah? But why should Cathryn value her pride over her life? She'd gotten used over the past few years to being isolated, to being a pariah, so how bad would a few more days be?
Oh what a damned lie that ends up being. This scene is wonderfully crafted on both Kamikaze and Maraoone's part, and I'm only just now appreciating it fully. Cathryn makes the decision that she absolutely wants to live, and that means that she has to kill. Not only does she have to kill to survive, but she has to kill so that if she ever sees Lucia again, she won't let her walk away. So she smothers Nina to death.wrote:"S-same. Not anywhere close to playing. Uh, hey, do you have a-any blankets there? Kinda close to freezing to death here."
This is another well-written paragraph from A New Morning, and I think this feud could serve both Cathryn and Zoe well in the final stages of TV2. The only problem is that I have absolutely no idea where it came from or why it's happening without asking either handler. Cathryn and Zoe briefly interact in the pre-game thread Aqualung and Zoe's presence stirs up Cathryn's rancor once more, but again there's no explanation. There's no relationship between them in either of their profiles, so I was honestly stumped until I asked Ohm about it during Zoe's critique. I'm not going to go into the details here just in case they're purposefully holding the relationship in the shadows, but I will say that this was distracting for me. Cathryn thrives on relationships and this could have been another additive driver to her current arc, and instead it just sort of falls flat. I would highly recommend elaborating on this one soon once both characters are free of their current threads, because there is some great stuff that the reader simply cannot touch at the moment, and it'd be a shame if this plot point was never realized.wrote:Zoe's collar spoke, and Cathryn's breathing stopped. All the ingredients were there for a disaster. Two people on the same team were there, both with weapons far more fatal than hers. And now someone was telling them to kill. She raised her flamingo up, ready to smash it into Zoe's face. It wouldn't have killed her, not by a long shot, but it would've bought her time. Besides, it would be well-deserved, after all she'd gone through due to Zoe.
This is a nice touch, and it works well for the scene. I like Gray and Sean together, because Sean is the sort of person Gray needs most for his direction to work. It also allows a few cracks to show in his calm, with Gray reflecting on his anticipation towards violence and whether that makes him a broken person. Even with his own doubts, he keeps looking after Sean, acting in a sort of sponsor capacity. It's almost as if taking care of someone else allows him to maintain his calm and keep out his own niggling doubts. It's an interesting dynamic that he establishes with a variety of characters smoothly. Pretty impressive, all things told.wrote:"If you shot yourself you'd be a coward and pirates aren't cowards."