((All GMing and such pre-approved.))
For the second time, Ian found himself walking down the coarse shores of the western beach, cheeks still slightly flushed from the panicked rush from the Apartments that had followed the Announcements. It was a much more gloomy sight than yesterday, looking pale and almost restless in what dull light had managed to pierce the thick gray clouds above, and only the mournful cry of a lonely seagull echoed above the sound of the surf. It was altogether almost too fitting a background for his thoughts now, tense and restless as they were, as his eyes wandered the beach, until the glint of metal caught his attention.
The shovel was barely noticeable in the grey light, and he might have missed it, lost in thought as he was, but for the seagull that seemed to be trying to make a perch of the thing. The bird regarded his approach warily a moment before taking off, leaving Ian to his prize.
He smiled a sad little smile as he lifted it off the ground. He'd nearly forgotten it here, on the sands where he'd dropped it when Bella had fallen. It would have been a pity to leave it to rust, after its owner had put so much care into it. Besides, it was a quiet, comforting reminder now that he'd already managed to make some small difference for the better on wretched place.
Really, it was funny how Steven's parting words had stuck with him through everything that had happened. The rebuke had hit him harder than anything the island had yet thrown at him, barring Daniel's death, and Ian had even found himself echoing them not more than a couple of minutes ago to Gavin, as he'd explained his reasons for leaving.
"I've been thinking, and I'm sorry, but I can't be part of your plans. I can't just sit in our fort and wait for everyone to die, like you're talking about." he said, gesturing vaguely at the broken freighter. "I tried that already, and well...I forgot I had friends out there, dying."
Pause a moment. Take a deep breath.
"It's like a friend of mine said a while back; You can't hide from this, can't avoid being changed by it, so you need to make sure the changes are for the better. And if we're all going to die, well, I'd rather make it count for something."
"I wish you all the best, I really do, but...well, I need to get going. I already talked it over with Bella and Juhan, and I think they're waiting on me, and well..."
He'd hesitated a moment longer after that, listened to Gavin's curt reply, and was finally gone. This was the way things had to be.
They'd planned it this way, after all, ever since yesterday afternoon. They were going to escape, and for the first time in his life, Ian found himself almost overwhelmed with the stress of it all. It was so easy to find himself second-guessing their decisions, now that he had the luxury of hindsight, and there was so much to second-guess.
For instance, it had been his idea that had allowed them all to communicate with some degree of secrecy yesterday, using simple game, an ice-breaker that he'd picked up so long ago called Telephone Message. One person would draw a picture, and then pass it to the others in turn, each slowly adding details and guesses until it was finished. At first, it had only been Gavin, Cyrus, Karen, and himself, but slowly, as things took shape, they had added each of the others as the opportunity arose, until everyone was in on the 'game', and more importantly, the plan.
It was pure insanity; there was no denying that. Yet, between Cyrus' support for it, and Gavin's own convincing case, they'd come to see it as their best bet. From there, the other three had spent a long time discussing and modifying the exact stages of how to best carry it out. Ian hadn't had much in the way of earth-shattering ideas to offer, relying on Gavin and Karen for those, and on Cyrus for technical support and ideas for avoiding the cameras. Rather, he focused almost entirely on the minor details and minutia that the others were so often inclined to forget, pointing out flaws and slowly helping them turn a bunch of random ideas into the outline of a solid plan.
That didn't even begin to get into how much effort he had to put into curbing their apparently irresistible urge for pyromania.
It had seemed the perfect cover to discuss the plan safely, right under the terrorists noses, and even now, despite all the doubts assailing him, Ian couldn't help but feel a little sense of pride at having thought of it - and for having the sense to make sure a real game was going on the whole time, in hopes that it might keep things more believable.
In the end, they'd settled on establishing two separate groups, the first of would be led by Gavin and Cyrus, and attempt to initiate the escape plan immediately, in hopes of signaling for a rescue. The other was supposed to act as a recruitment team, bringing in as many of their fellow students as was possible, before playing out their own role in all this. Karen had been the one to point out that once they were freed, the terrorists would be striving to contain them, using dangerzones and the threat of collar detonation to prevent them from saving anyone else. Ian had volunteered for the job, and well, here he was.
That wasn't to say his words to Gavin had been entirely hollow. This was his change to finally make a real difference, to do more than sit around and hope for a miracle; he'd already been given this opportunity, and was going to make the most of it. That's why Ian was here now, trying vainly to keep the coarse sand from working its way into his shoes. He could have justified staying, sure, and it might even have been safer, but sometimes good enough wasn't, not really. Now that he had the means to actually make a real difference for the better, anything less than his best effort would be the utmost act of selfishness, and standing idly by as everyone died wasn't in the cards, not this time. All he'd needed was a plan.
After the game, they'd spent the rest of the day as they wished. The plan required them to wait until such time as the beach was safe anyway, and so they were free to enjoy normal human things, like resting or eating, and normal BatGavin things like making explosives and admiring guns. As a matter of fact, Ian had some of those bombs in his pack now, much to his dismay; Gavin had passed them around, each person getting two pipe bombs and two molotov cocktails apiece. The bombs were wrapped snugly in an extra shirt he'd brought for the trip, but still, he couldn't help but wince every time something caused the bag to bounce, as if the impact would cause them to spontaneously go off. He was already likely enough to get blown up without him helping the terrorists out by doing the job for them.
With his train of thought thus broken, he realized that Bella and Juhan had gotten even further ahead as he was lost in thought, and were now waiting some distance ahead. He picked up his pace a little when he saw that, breaking into a jog, forgetting his worries about the explosives, anxious as he was not to keep them waiting.
As he came up to the other two, a little winded from the light exercise, he smiled apologetically.
"Sorry. I got caught up saying a few last things to Gavin. Didn't mean to keep you waiting. Mind if I take a sec to catch my breath?"
For now, come what may, he was glad to have their company. They'd committed now and they'd play their parts to the best of their ability even as the soft whirring sound of the cameras reminded them that they were always being watched.