Emily sat back, staring at her computer screen and lifting her stylus from the tablet. Shed finished everyone. Every single victim. Drawn, colored, memorialized.
When the terrorist act had been announced last month, Emily was naturally horrified. But apparently there was more cause for concern than shed anticipated, improbably enough given the awfulness of the situation to begin with. Not only was the so-called game happening at all, but supposedly theyd been disbanded and their leader killed. So the so-called Version 5 of the SOTF Act was a big surprise.
Emily hadnt known what to do at first. Her mom was pretty fragile; shed cried a lot when she found out. Emily didnt know why. Her dad seemed okay, since they didnt live in the US. As far as, well, everyone knew, the SOTF terrorists hadnt attacked Britain before.
Still, it was upsetting. A lot of Emilys online friends lived in the US, and a bunch of them were really upset over it. Emily didnt think she knew anyone whod been abducted, but she might have known someone who did. A friend of hers from Japan, who went by Pandora on the forums, said she knew someone who supposedly knew someone from Aurora High. It seemed like a long shot, but that kind of thing stuck to Emily.
It was pretty upsetting, still. Kids her age! Dying or murdering each other and inevitably both. It was awful, worse than anything Emily hoped would happen to her. Shootings, stabbings, apparently some explosions as well. One of Emilys guy friends, MythrilNight, was apparently a fan. Theyd argued over it after it aired. He said it was, just a show.
Emily wasnt talking to Mythril anymore. Still, he helped her decide.
When this kind of thing happened, usually there was a memorial and stuff. Emily figured she could help. She drew a lot, commissioned on occasion. What better way could she memorialize the victims of this attack than with her art? Preserving their images as they were before. Maybe it would help, maybe nobody would care. Some might dismiss Emily as a fan, drawing to satisfy some unhealthy attraction to this game.
But whatever. She wanted to help, and this might to just that.
It took a long time. Emily had to find pictures and references for each of her pictures. She went to some shady sites and saw some nasty people. People literally betting on the lives of the victims, deriding the contestants for not killing, even porn of the kids. It was sickening. But Emily found at least some images of everyone.
Then the hard part came. Drawing each of the 152 victims. It was exhausting; she was preparing for university at the same time, so a lot of work was piling up. She drew at least one person every day, sometimes more when she had the energy. Even then, she redrew a few of them she wasnt happy with. All throughout, she couldnt tell anyone out of nerves, and anxiety plagued her. She had trouble sleeping; she tossed and turned, unable to relax without feeling for those who wouldnt wake up ever again.
Her mom didnt seem as upset as shed been at first, luckily. She didnt talk about what had freaked her out, and Emily didnt ask. She made up with MythrilNight, though it took some prodding to get him not to watch SOTF anymore. Pandora turned out to have been mistaken, which was a relief but also oddly disconnecting. Emily started going to uni for her freshman year, which was exciting and terrifying all at once. She couldnt help but feel for people who didnt get the opportunity. Like the victims of the SOTF Act.
Still Emily drew.
It took 3 months.
3 months of stress, work and tears on occasion, but Emily had drawn every single person whod been victimized in the SOTF terrorist attack. Now she just had to upload them to her blog and her quest would be completed.
It was a big post. 152 images of smiling, happy teenagers who were now all dead save for one. Emily didnt know anything about them, but she couldnt help but wonder how they felt.
So she posted every picture, and took a moment to admire them. Full-body portraits, full color, names and everything. It was nice. Sad, too though. Like looking at an urn of ashes, acting like someone long lost was still there.
Underneath the post, Emily simply wrote;
IN MEMORY OF THE 2012 VICTIMS OF THE SOTF ACT
MAY THEY REST IN PEACE
MAY THEY REST IN PEACE