((Ivan Kuznetsov, continued from Peacemaker))
The forest was now far, far behind. With its disappearance was brought the flat, well-groomed appearances of a place that was once kept up and inhabited by those seeking pleasure from the terrors of the real world. It was therefore held with much irony that the same simple, unassuming grounds would see the blood shed from those who longed to return to the rest of the world, far away from the terrors held on this island.
Each landscape, no matter the appearance, was a new experience, a bustling source of threats. Anybody could be lurking behind a tree or rock, in an alcove, hidden in the shade of a building. The forest offered plenty of places for attackers to hide, but on the flip-side, provided shelter for those seeking avoidance of their would-be killers... the very same boys and girls who used to chat, play, and otherwise grace the halls the halls of Bayview Secondary School. This new solemn haven offered no such shelter, and was greatly foreboding in the sense that it granted sight to a great distance, but anybody in it was just as exposed.
This deadly, silent place could only hold one person, despite the expanse it offered. One boy walked across the grounds, the only soul permitted to walk the grounds on threat of death, as ordered by the terrorists. There were no questions to be asked; the rules were quite perfectly clear. There was a weapon dropped off at this location, and once it was picked up, the area would be hastily deserted of any students once more.
Well, living students, anyway.
The greatest sign of familiarity to be found in this place, peacefully dubbed 'the greens', was a comfortable-looking tennis court, all set up and just begging for somebody to play one hell of a game on it. It would likely never see another game, sadly... not with the body of a girl laid out across it. The sight was jarring, there was no doubt, but a quick inspection confirmed that the collar around the girl's neck had been detonated, tearing out a large chunk of the poor girl's throat.
The name had been somehow forgotten, but the memory of the face, attributed to a name, in turn attributed to yet another innocent person who should have been back in school within the week, and graduating within the month. She would now no longer do either. Would anybody, even the survivor, truly graduate? Perhaps they would just be left behind, permanently trapped by the memories of what went on in this hell. Such things were why survival was no longer important. There was nothing to be found after merely 'surviving' this.
A quick prayer was uttered, then the boy left the court, sweeping the area to search for his reward.
After the vigil had commenced, it was time to accomplish the goal this entire trip had been set up for. It was strange how, even though the court demanded a lot of attention and thus had been looked over, somehow there was a crate right up against one of the supporting poles of the net that had, before now, gone unnoticed. The silent, sleeping form of Dawne Jiang was the only witness to the lone living occupant of the court walking up to the crate, then stopping to look down at it.
Upon the crate was written a simple label: "Best Kill Award, Day 1". Given the context of the situation, it could have been enough by itself to draw a tear from the boy's eye. It almost did, were it not for the fact there was a job to be done. The purpose behind this morbid gift was dark, but good intentions were behind its use. A weapon, sword or gun alike could never be glorified, but the intentions the boy had for this gun were about as noble as this horrid game would allow.
The directives were simple. Go on living, until you are ready to die. If you are never ready to die, then... well, keep on living. While you're at it, keep your cohort alive so you have somebody to talk to.
But with this weapon, power would follow. The lesson had been taught to many on the island, even now, that power could corrupt. It had caused children who would never put a serious thought behind murder to kill, and because of this, 19 of Bayview's finest were now dead. No... it had to be more, by this point. Dawne Jiang was not listed anywhere on the list of those killed. On the flipside, she wasn't killed at all; instead, she had discovered the resolve within her to condemn herself to peace, never to harm another.
It was admirable, in a sense.
The crate could have gone unopened all day, but there was a job to be done, things to do, and somebody important to get back to. Without further ado, the lid was removed with a surprising amount of ease. There was no tool available for it to open with, such as a crowbar, so its ease of access was something of a godsend. Or... a terrorist send, but that was getting technical. As though it was necessary to make sure the girl sleeping on the court was not to be awoken, the lid of the crate was set gently against the hard surface of the court. Desperate hands poked around through the insides of the box, blindly reaching through the soft packaging until the feel of cold metal was realized.
With a tug, the girth of a large weapon, a shotgun of some sort, was unearthed from the crate. Attached to it by a small, easily-broken cord, was a manual identifying the weapon as a Pancor Jackhammer. An instrument of death, certainly far more lethal than an umbrella. Maybe it was even more lethal than a tree branch. Whatever the instance, it was time to get back to the safe haven of the woods, time to use the weapon to live out the rest of the game.
With a grim countenance, Ivan left the symbol of his old life behind.
((Ivan Kuznetsov, continued elsewhere))