Joined: January 1st, 2009, 2:26 am

September 26th, 2010, 9:22 pm #46

((Christopher Carlson continued from Wakey wakey, sunshine...))

Chris felt like everything was in pain. His feet were throbbing, his bad leg had an ache that would give him a slight limp for at least an hour, and his lungs were burning.

The run from the burning forest alone was enough to leave him exhausted, and his fitful sleep did little to ease the pain. The long walk from the infirmary had also taken a toll on him, and he wanted nothing more than to rest.

As he finally reached the town, he slumped against the wall of a nearby building. Only then did he notice the grumbling in his stomach and the slight nausea of hunger; he hadn't eaten in a long time. He dug into his pack and pulled out a warm bottle of water and some bread. His throat was so dry that he almost coughed the bread back up, but a swig of water kept it down.

He polished off half the bread, then stuck the rest in his pack and started walking again, at an even slower pace. He rubbed his arm, where he still felt a slight burn from that fire. And then, he heard talking.

He stopped. He remembered exactly what happened last time he got involved with people; shit burned up.

So he crouched down behind the wall, his leg creaking and almost causing him to fall over onto his pack, and peeked around the corner.

It was a large group, and he counted about seven of them. Their body language didn't indicate animosity, so as far as he knew he wasn't about to get whacked in the face with a stray bullet. One of the girls, her shirt missing, happened to be unconscious. It didn't take long for him to recognize her black and blue haircut.


He was resisting the urge to run out there and see if the girl he just saved was okay, but it was hard. His protective urges were screaming at him to check up on her, but he didn't want to burn THIS place down too.

So, just like in the woods, he made a compromise: he shrugged his daypack off his shoulder and readied himself to jump out if there looked to be a threat, but stayed behind the wall, silently observing.

He let out a low chuckle. The events of the last time he made a "compromise" was still fresh in his mind. Was he really going to be that dumb and assume that he could keep making "compromises" with his actions? As if it made anything better. His last "compromise" didn't really change anything, did it? He still did exactly what he wanted to do: save the girl from the mean old killer. Then the woods catch on fire and an innocent girl blows up.

Fuck it.

Fuck it all.

He picked his pack back up and walked out, arms raised over his head in the general symbol for "surrender". If this was a book, English classes everywhere would be calling this a metaphorical surrender to my own urges over logic.

Fuck, maybe they're right?
Characters for v4

Christopher Carlson: B052
Weapons: Brass knuckles

Jake Crimson: B084 (Adopted)
Weapons: Cinderblock

Characters for v5

Clayton Leven: B050
Weapons: Handcuffs
[+] Spoiler
18:38 GeneralGoose yep. having sex with trees is SOOOO me
20:36 Ella I have had several threesomes with teddy bears
21:09 Bake I'll nom her.
22:53 Ruggadressed You've got to be like Brosidon, king of the brocean
11 GeneralGoose [516] [1288] [267] 2086 Geno, remember when I told you sleep was a capitalist scam?
24 Crash [165] [697] 873 wild, unbridled, rampaging weasel lust
00:07 BetaKnight open wounds and fecal matter is a no-no

Mr. Danya
Joined: May 26th, 2007, 12:17 am

September 27th, 2010, 3:15 am #47

Zach had this huge speech planned. It was going to blow the pants off of the jerk-off named Dustin FUCKING Royal, but that really depended on the guy actually disagreeing with him. Hell, Zach was so sure that Dustin would be an egotistical asshole and say "No, no way man, lemme go sit over here and drool Dauurggghhh!" No, he had to be a dismissive little bitch, leaving Zach biting his tongue. He was holding himself back. Zach really wanted to beat the shit out of this little bitch so hard.

No, he was a leader. Maybe bossing people around wasn't be as fun as he thought it would be. Bah. Then, thankfully, Aquafina spoke up and chewed Royal out. Zach grinned. Huh. Aquafina wasn't so bad after all. She said all he needed to say. The grin didn't last long, and it was replaced with his cigarette.

Zach just focused on the hole. Lame hole. Zach could have dug something much better with his bare hands. Yeah, damn well knew that. Heh. Bugs must be eating Warren now. Bad image. Zach closed his eyes tight. This cig wasn't helping him calm down. He was shaking again. God damn it.

That was when he came back to reality. He turned and noticed Maria.

The fuck was Raggedy Ann's problem? She looked like shit.

...Raggedy Ann? Jesus, she didn't even have red hair. You're losing it Zach. He shook his head, holding his palm to his forehead. He didn't say anything. This was rare but Zach thought it would be best to stay silent. Zach knew this wasn't good. They had a girl that was out of it, beaten to a bloody pulp. They were out in the open, slash that, they HAVE been out in the open for hours on end. Now Ash was asking what they should do and the last thing they should do is stay out here. Zach knew what they had to do. Seemed like the only good idea.

"Alright." Zach said. "This isn't a great place to discuss plans. We need to find a safe haven, some place to crash, whatever. There's a rec room not that far away, didn't check the place out but it looks completely empty. It's better than just staying out here. And with her around," he motioned to Maria, "it's important that we find a place that ain't so open. You got me? Only option we have, what with all seven of... uh, us?"

Zach just stared. Samya was in his line of view but he could make someone out. Jesus christ. Samya wasn't, uhh, fat, that wasn't what he meant at all. The thing he was trying to look at though was so far away. Wait, shit, that was somebody. Zach wasn't sure who. Fuck, he wasn't sure of the names of half of his group but at least he's seen their faces. Never seen this guy around. Ever. Frankly it was frustraiting. He had enough people to deal, what with a giggling girl, the Doc, Samya and Dustin fucking Royal. Kid raising his hands in the air. Hell was he doing?

"... Hey" Zach pointed to the boy. He turned to Samya. "You see that guy over there? What's he doing?" Zach shouted. "Hey. The shit are you doing man?"

Fuck peace. All Zach cared about was understanding what the hell was going on.

Joined: April 21st, 2009, 6:33 pm

September 27th, 2010, 8:06 pm #48

Samya smirked for a second. Zach was so consistent with a being a jerk, it was almost endearing. But he did have a point. There were so many people here already.

Dustin accepted Zach's offer (UGH). Then Maria came and went to sleep, which is what Sammy really really wanted to be doing right now. So they'd have to move her, and Cassie was coming too, and this was so confusing she wanted to run away.

She wouldn't, of course.

But that was seven people. That could be good, if they could get some teamwork going. It wasn't an army, but seven people ought to be able to get something done. But what?

Stop being a damsel and think, girl. You're not giving youself any credit.

She'd think of something after she woke up. And after they figured out who this guy was. Her hand was aching, as if it missed the security of the gun. She wanted to take out it, to be safe. But she couldn't right now. Couldn't risk everyone freaking out. She could see it out, Cassie running away with Maria, Dustin blowing chunks again. Chaos.

That made her smile, for some reason. Maybe she had already lost it.

She turned to Zach and whispered, "It wouldn't make much sense for him to try to attack all of us with nothing. But if he tries something, I'll . . . I'll take care of it."
She held her bag close, preparing for the worst case. She hoped she was just being paranoid. Samya had no idea if she had what it took to "take care of it".

She really didn't want to know.

The Fallen Everdreamers wrote:
[+] Spoiler

G43-Feo Eleri Smith got her revenge and her guy
G08-Samya "Sammy" Franklin wasn't the hero she wanted to be, but her best friend was
B39-Scott McGregor loved money but it never loved him back
B90-Orpheus Campbell was so lost he never found his way home
wrote:Egads Sunny
Egads You should be Cobra Commander
Sunny NO.
Egads But when you hit the moneyshot, you can yell "COOOOOOOBRAAAAAAAAAA"
wrote:SenatorGoose marriage
SenatorGoose is a sacred bond
SenatorGoose between a man, a woman and some shoes
mib_fy9526ask me a state
mib_fy9526I can name its Senatots
The New Doomed Kids wrote:
[+] Spoiler
Game Theory: Rochelle Ayers "So I guess that means we're headed to Sudden Death? Oooh, might be fun."
Running Rhythm: Rhiannon Santiago "Hey, don't hate me if you can't keep up."

Pigeon Army
Joined: July 21st, 2008, 1:59 am

October 1st, 2010, 4:47 am #49

Dustin had barely wrapped up his witty and brilliant retort when loud, screeching speaker feedback ripped through the area. Dustin spun around, his guitar and pack bouncing off him as he looked around for the source of the noise.

"Kids, I have to say that I'm truly impressed with your first day showing."

Oh hell

Dustin had completely forgotten about the instrument of death in his hands. It took the sleazy, mocking voice of Danya echoing across the town centre for him to remember it. He yanked the yatagan half-out of its sheath - something bad was going to happen. That shit wasn't going to let them have it easy. That was the whole point of the game. They wouldn't be hearing him if he didn't have some delicious twist to lay on them.

Dustin listened intently as the omnipresent voice brusquely rattled off the day's dead. Dustin caught a few names in the fray, but didn't pay any attention. Danya was probably just fucking with them, and besides, they wouldn't kill people, right? He'd only known them for a few hours apiece, but Dustin was pretty sure he had a good eye for psychos. He'd probably have lost his penis years ago if he didn't.

Danya rattled off the dangerzones, which Dustin passively noted, and then a short explosion of static gave way to silence. "Huh," Dustin said quietly. It was a bit of a shock, knowing that all those people had killed and had died. And that he'd had sex with them, or been in their classes, or seen them play instruments, or what have you. Dustin didn't vomit or cry or overreact - bass boy had immunised him to all that. Besides, Danya could be lying. He could be making shit up just to get at them and stir up some conflict, because that's how it worked, right? People fought each other and killed each other and holy crap is that Maria over there what's she doing she looks terrible!

Nice rack, though.

The punk girl, sans shirt, stumbled over to the group, bruised and bloody and altogether looking like the kind of woman Alpha Male over there would enjoy. Dustin stared as Maria stopped, swayed, introduced herself to the new recruits, and collapsed. He slid the yatagan back into its sheath and, not taking his eyes off Maria, stashed it back in his daypack. A low hubbub filled the air as the newbies began discussing what they should do, but Dustin just couldn't take his eyes off Maria. Where the fuck had she been? What the fuck had she done? Where the fuck had her shirt gone?

Another kid, a solidly-built guy, staggered into the island's CBD after Maria, but Dustin paid him no heed. Eventually, Jamis spoke up, and Dustin snapped out of his trance. It was almost as though Dustin's brain wanted him to be antagonistic.

"Alright, this isn't a great place to discuss plans. We need to find a safe haven, some place to crash, whatever. There's a rec room not that far away, didn't check the place out but it looks completely empty. It's better than just staying out here. And with her around, it's important that we find a place that ain't so open. You got me? Only option we have, what with all seven of... uh, us?"

Dustin turned back to Streetcar-Brando and rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I got you. Rec centre, shoot some hoops, do some domestic abuse, blah blah blah," he said, his voice saturated with snark as he turned back to Maria. "Don't think too hard, eh, probs not good for ya."

Guess it's settled, then.

The swarthy boy walked over to Maria, slid his guitar off his shoulders, and held it out to Cassidy. "I've got her. But I find one scratch on this when we get to the middle of Harlem, you're paying for the replacement."
G087 - Rachel Gettys / Tambourine / The Groundskeeper's Hut / Babysitter: Ciel
B027 - Dustin Royal / Yatagan / Residential Area / Babysitter: Hollyquin
B108 - Ma'afu Tuigamala / Astra 400 (9mm) [x3 magazines (8 round capacity)] / The Tunnels / Babysitter: Inky

B097 - Max Neill / The Lighthouse


Super Llama
Joined: July 20th, 2008, 3:52 am

October 1st, 2010, 5:14 am #50

((Since Maria's all unconscious and shit, feel free to skip over her for the next round of posts))

Enough expository banter! Now we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! For is MORPHIN' TIME!

V5 hopefuls:
Hiro Fukuyama: "N-n-no, I-I'm not scared."
Lucy Rosenberg: "If you're looking for friends, I don't think I can help you with that."
Angus McDonald: "To hell with you! If anyone here deserves to live, it's me!"

[+] Spoiler
Maria "Animal" Graham is dead at the Residential District.
Duncan McMahon is dead at the Residential District.
Sebastian Decartes is dead at the Infirmary.
Petrushka Ivanova is dead at the Groundskeeper's Hut.
banthesun wrote:She wanted those horrible metal balls to stop banging against her legs
ZombiexCreame wrote:But would Celeste even want help from a guy that whips out his pistol without a second thought?

Joined: November 17th, 2009, 9:51 pm

October 3rd, 2010, 1:02 pm #51

“The rec room sounds good enough. We’ll need a place to rest.” Simon looked around. There weren't enemies around, but it was a good idea to be careful. They were a large group, after all.

They had been on this island for longer than a full day, Simon knew that. He was currently feeling alert enough, with all the action that had taken place, the announcements foremost among them. However, they were going to need to sleep at some point. How long could humans go without it? Simon though he had read that it was somewhere between four and six days, but he wasn’t sure. Maybe that was how long you could go without food. Or water.

No, that was wrong. If humans went even one day without water, they were in trouble. Simon tried to think. How long had it been since he touched his water bottle? He had drunk some while he was walking toward the town center, but other than that…He pulled his bottle out and took a gulp.

“Guys? Has everyone had some food and water?” Simon didn’t generally like to speak up, and his voice was rather shaky.

He might have said more, but another boy walked in on the group, this one with his hands up. He was probably following Maria, but Simon wasn’t sure about that. All he knew what that the guy was Christopher, who did tech crew for the school’s plays. Simon was a stage crew guy, and he doubted the two of them had a conversation. Still, Christopher’s name hadn’t been mentioned in the announcements, which meant that he wasn’t running around killing people. Yet.

Simon let Zach handle the new person. God knows, when he had run into the guy in black, the other boy had only been traveling with Sam. Now, the group consisted of them, Ash, Dustin, Cassie, himself, and…maybe Maria? Who knew? It wasn’t like throwing another guy into the mix was really going to affect them that much.

He looked over to where Dustin was helping Cassie with the new girl. They might not be much, but they were a team, right? They could do this. Simon didn't know if he believed that, but it wasn't like he had any other options, really.
Version 4 Character:
Simon Fletcher (B104): Dead at The Sawmill

Version 5 Character:
Casey Malkovich (G037): Dead at The Farmhouse

[+] Spoiler
wrote:(13:22) Ruggahissy: Death rays that harness the power of friendship felt by a basketball team assembled at an alligator farm by a zombie eskimo and a pretentious prisoner of war
(13:23) Ruggahissy: The ultimate weapon
wrote:(23:51) wides: IT GON' GET SIG'D.

Joined: April 10th, 2008, 12:25 am

October 5th, 2010, 2:59 am #52

Their group had expanded to such an enormous size already. 7 people? That was certainly looking for disaster there. Their goals were not the same, that was certain. Ash was quite sure that the others wanted to simply survive instead of escape, which was much more practical given the circumstances.

Even then, she was reluctant to give up so easily on her goal. Only when the inevitable strife broke their group apart would she make her decision.

If even one of the others shared her wish to escape from this island, then she would stick to her guns and cooperate in order to try and find a way to break free of this horror.

But if they were all just going along with the 'game', then there would be no point in continuing. Freeing herself was impossible without the aid of others, no matter how she tried to spin it. It was a group effort or no effort at all.

She looked over the other people with a frozen expression on her face. Who among them were 'players'? Who would be the Judas of this motley band of students? The answer was still uncertain, but Ash knew that she would find that answer out soon. For now, it was time to focus on basic needs. Long-term thinking could wait until tomorrow.

"Until we find new supplies, we have to start rationing. We can go for a short time without eating." Her gaze turned over to Zach, her grey eyes seeming to grow dim in the light as she addressed the leader of their group. "If we don't, then we're going to be caught in a rut."
V3 Character
B88: Jeff Thorne - Dead from gunshot wounds.

V4 Characters
B103 - Kevin Harding - Killed by a javelin.
G035 - Ash Morrison - Tumbled down a hill.

Joined: April 26th, 2008, 11:42 pm

October 5th, 2010, 4:41 pm #53

It was a huge relief for Cassie to see Dustin offer to carry Maria. True, he did want her to carry his guitar for him, a task made difficult by her javelin and daypack, but she was up for it. As long as Maria was going to be safe, she'd work up the cash to pay for a Jimi Hendrix original to give to Dustin when (if) they got out.

She treated the thing with care, with a respect borne out of a fellow instrument owner. There was a strap around it, thank God, and she proceeded to loop it around her head and shoulder. One step taken toward her daypack and javelin, though, made her feel it bump against the ground. Her short height meant that the bottom of the guitar hung only a few inches from the ground. She'd have to keep it in a good position; the instant the guitar left her mind, it'd get scratched the fuck up.

Fine. Whatever. They were ready to go. Asshole Zach made a location suggestion and the group was ready to move. Everyone agreed to stick together. The Simon kid and that Ash girl's well-meaning concern about their water and food, though, basically ground on Maria's nerves, because the time everyone took to comfirm that yes, they didn't fucking chomp and chug through their entire supply in one goddamn day was too much time for her tastes.

"We're FINE," she said in response. "We've all got a decent amount of bread and shit with us, and even if we don't, we can talk about it THERE and not HERE." She pointed to woods and the town center, respectively, the latter point coming very, very close to Warren's crappy grave. She never wanted to see it again. Same thing for the graffiti. She wanted to sleep like Maria was sleeping. Everything else could wait.

"Let's fucking GO already!"
WickedIcon: i just launched a baby wearing a denim jacket and a bowler hat across a hospital, through a window, killing several patients, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment, and finally coming to rest on the body of a presumably dead clown
WickedIcon: this is the best dollar i've spent in several years

chitoryu12I have yet to find gay sex that involves the men punching each other. I must not be on the internet enough

Turning Pages: Read some books along with me, why don't you?

[+] Spoiler
B081 - Roland Hayes Condition: DEAD.
"Fuck it." c3< c3< c3< c3< c3< c3< c3<
G070 - Cassidy Wakemore Condition: DEAD.
"No doubts. No regrets." <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
G076 - Lillian Hayes Condition: DEAD.
"My best wasn't good enough..." <> <> <> <>
G079 - Eiko Haraguchi Condition: ELIMINATED.
"Is it really over?" <3< <3< <3< <3< <3< <3< <3< <3<
Arthur Wells: The Artist ... ... ... ... ?
Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
Ilya Volkov: The Wrestler ... ... ... ... !

Joined: January 1st, 2009, 2:26 am

October 7th, 2010, 5:49 am #54

"Hey. The shit are you doing man?"

Chris felt a tinge of irritation at this apparent confusion on the kid's part. He was hoping that walking out with his arms up would at least make it apparent that he was coming out peacefully and not holding any weapons. Guess the subtle approach wasn't working.

"Take it easy," he shouted back as he slowly walked to the group, lowering his arms slightly but still leaving them at jaw height. "Just wanted to come out and show you that I'm not coming out with a gun or some shit. Just coming out peacefully. This ain't an ambush."

He nodded toward Maria. "I just saved that girl yesterday evening. I saw how beat-up she looked while I was hiding back there, and wanted to come out and make sure that she's okay. That's it."

His arms slowly dropped to his side. "Just so you know, Phil Ward was the shit who did that to her. Nearly beat her to death. The goddamn fight burned half the forest down. Didn't even know she made it out." He continued walking until he was about a yard from Dustin and Maria. He let his eyes run across her bruised, burnt, and strangely shirtless body.

"Uhh, did she have a shirt on when she got up here? Because I remember her wearing one..."
Characters for v4

Christopher Carlson: B052
Weapons: Brass knuckles

Jake Crimson: B084 (Adopted)
Weapons: Cinderblock

Characters for v5

Clayton Leven: B050
Weapons: Handcuffs
[+] Spoiler
18:38 GeneralGoose yep. having sex with trees is SOOOO me
20:36 Ella I have had several threesomes with teddy bears
21:09 Bake I'll nom her.
22:53 Ruggadressed You've got to be like Brosidon, king of the brocean
11 GeneralGoose [516] [1288] [267] 2086 Geno, remember when I told you sleep was a capitalist scam?
24 Crash [165] [697] 873 wild, unbridled, rampaging weasel lust
00:07 BetaKnight open wounds and fecal matter is a no-no

Mr. Danya
Joined: May 26th, 2007, 12:17 am

October 7th, 2010, 5:49 pm #55

(Biggest GM of all time approved by all parties. I'm pretttyyy sure we're all in agreement here but if you guys want to make an individual post you're welcome to do so, just give a shout.)

Everyone was talking. Why the fuck was everyone talking? Did he need to hear what everyone else thought? Samya made a strong point but Zach brushed it aside.

"Just because it doesn't look like he has a gun don't mean he's clean, Sam."

Zach exhaled. This was just one big clusterfuck. Before he could keep track of everyone but now it was becoming a difficult task. A task Zach didn't want to fuck with. Doc and Ash were asking him shit. What the fuck was he supposed to do, just nod and say yes to make them happy? Zach never had to deal with this shit before. What was worse was that Dustin fucking Royal got snippy with him. It made him really want to grab the small-dicked fuck by the colar, lift him off his feat and scream.

"Royal, you're -this- close from earning a lifetime supply of knuckle sandwiches. Savy motherfucker?"

Course he didn't say that. He just fumed.

Doc seemed worried about food and water. More specifically, the lack thereof. Zach never ate much so the lack of food wasn't much of a change. He wanted a chicken, a roasted chicken with herbal spices and that shit, but it wasn't like he was worried about it. Not now. If he was hungry, he would eat. If he was thirsty, he would drink water. Simple shit. He would conserve his shit because Zach had the habit of always conserving his shit so it was only a problem of taste more than anything. Bread and water wasn't listed as the house special at the The Varsity but this shit was better than nothing.

That reminded Zach of the soup that The Varsity always served. With like cheese and crumpets or some shit. French Onion?

Zach... pushed that thought out of his mind and went back to Alfalfa. The dude was talking but there were five voices talking at once. Zach put a hand up.

"Ash, Doc, shut the fuck up. The man's talking. You deaf or somethin'?"

Alfalfa elaborated on how he was just proving how safe he was. Had the air of sarcasm around him. Zach didn't like it, and he bit the boy just as quickly as he reached his hand out.

"I can see that you ain't got no gun," Zach growled. "I ain't stupid. Don't have one in your hand at least. Could have one in your bag. Could have one in your backpocket. Could have one shoved up your ass for all I know. Waving your hands around ain't doing shit and it definitely ain't making me trust you any more."

Zach pulled apart the kids logic like any asshole would to a scared kid. Fuck this "I'm innocent, here, let me prove it" nonsense. Zach didn't give his trust lightly and frankly doing what Alfalfa did would make Zach even more suspicious. It was like Alfalfa had someone holding him up at gun point, and decided to just hide behind him until the right time presented itself. That was certainly fuckin' possible, what with Alfalfa being built like a goddamn tree.

Alfalfa went on to talk about how he had so-called saved Raggedy Ann. Zach didn't buy into any of that crap. Anyone who did a good deed for the sake of telling others was not being selfless. Zach did find it unbelievable that so much time had passed.

"Yesterday evening?" Zach held his head. "The sun set like a fuckin' hour ago. 'Least, it felt like it. My biological clock is like ten hours early or something."

Time flies when you're waiting to be killed, huh Zach?

He kept listening to the boy, giving a tiny sagely nod with every passing moment. It wasn't that he was growing to trust Alfalfa. He just listened, and he was still listening around the time Alfalfa lowered his arms and dropped the bombshell.

Zach knew that Raggedy Ann got fucked up. He didn't know by who though. Fuck.

"Phil Ward did that shit?"

Zach looked down at Raggedy Ann. Girl was a bruised pear. Zach felt... upset about this, for the girl or for himself he wasn't sure.

"Phil Ward?"

Zach had assumed that there were only fifteen people actually fighting. He had been stupid enough to assume the number of good guys outweighed the bad guys. Zach knew Phil Ward. The guy was a knobgobbler but hearing about him doing this shit blew Zach's mind. The guy was a complete pushover. He never SPOKE to anyone. He could see Kensrue ripping a kid to shreds but Ward?

"... didn't think the pussy had it in him."

Zach sat on this. He ignored Alfalfa's last question. He went to inhale again. The cigarette was down to the filter.

"... you gotta be fucking kidding."

Zach took it out of his mouth. He went quiet. Zach let the filter dangle from his fingers for just a second. It fell, bouncing on the ground, the orange strings of ash floating from the impact. His mind went back to what Alfalfa had said. Half the fuckin' forest? Smokey Bear must be bawling like a baby right about now. Zach crushed it with his toe and closed his eyes. He thought.

Well Zach. Look what you got yourself into. You're the leader of a group of kids. You don't know them, you don't want to know them, and all of them are looking at you like you've got answers. They could be playing you for a fool, like a sheep and you wouldn't know it. Up 'til now you thought they were just blind sheep. Now any of them could be wolves that bought sheep clothes from the Save'N'Mart. And you ain't got it in you to kill any one of them.

Nothing you can't handle though. You're the shit Zach, remember? You don't know shit about Da Vinci, you're IQ don't have three digits and school was never your bag. But you're fucking Zach Jamis. You see shit that's beyond everyone else. You don't read between the lines, you pull the lines out of the equation with your bare hands. You got logic. Shit Zach, if you can't turn this negative into a positive then no one can. Now whatchu gonna do Zach?

What 'you gonna do?




And Zach opened his eyes.


Aquafina looked up, a little surprised. "Me?"

"What's your name?"

Aquafina had a tiny little pout that Zach registered as a sneer. She opened her mouth, in order to complain Zach figured, but he quickly put up a hand up to stop her.

" 'Less you want me calling you Aquafina the rest of the day, I'm gonna need your name."

Aquafina stared at him. She stayed quiet for a moment. "Cassie."

"Cassie," Zach repeated. "Zach Jamis. Not good with names. If I forget, just remind me."

Zach turned to Dustin Royal. Dustin fuckin' Royal, the only guy he wished weren't in the equation at all.

"Royal, you go help Cassie, grab the kid up and carry her." Zach's face softened, just a tad. "Rec Cent' ain't far and Raggedy Ann don't look like she has a muffintop anyway."

Zach felt the urge to grab another smoke creep out but he pacified it. Not now. Not fucking now.

"Alfalfa," he pointed to the new boy. "You stay with them. If they need help you jump in, but otherwise you cover them and make sure no one's lurking on that side."

Zach turned to Ash. "You stay in the back. Need someone to scream bloody murder if someone's creeping up from behind. Think you can handle that?"

He didn't waste time and quickly laid his attention on Doc. "You're the only one with any experience with first aid." Zach wiped his nose. "Then again, you'd be an expert if all you know is how to slap a band-aid on a scrape. We're going to keep you in the middle, keep you safe. You stay alert though, keep your eyes peeled on our blind spot. If you see any shit happening, you let me know."

Zach finally arrived at Sam. Only real friend he had. Only friend with the gun at least. "Sam. Rec Center ain't that far but keep that pea shooter out. I'm putting you up here with me. You're the only one with a gun and if any fuckers try to start shit we need some insurance."

Zach turned away from Sam and looked out at the others. It felt like he had to give a motivational speech. This was a cheesy 80's college movie and he was the energetic newcomer who manages to encourage the rest of the gang to victory. Except Zach was a fucking negative nancy, and positivity (even thinking of that word left a bad taste in his mouth) wasn't this strong point. He was going to have to try though.

"Get your shit together kiddies. We get to the Town Center and we turn it into our hub. I ain't been in there. I don't know if anyone else IS in there. I can't tell you until we're inside. We'll figure out a plan then and if it turns out someone's crashing there... I'll figure something out. Don't worry."

Zach picked up his bag and flung it over his shoulder. "Till then, all you guys need to worry about is not wandering off. If you want to make it to the end of the day, you stick together and you stay alert. If anyone, and I mean anyone tries any funny shit, you say something. Scream, whisper, wave your hands, I don't care, just let us know. Got it?"

Zach hand tugged on his shoulder strap. His voice grew serious. He wasn't good with words. What he was good at was cutting the bullshit. Before they went ahead, he needed to cut some shit out.

"I feel the need to remind you that this isn't high school. Some of you might have caught onto this. Those of you who haven't need to learn. I don't know this show, never fuckin' liked it, made me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. The one thing that I do know is that here, in this hellhole, your friends from school can be your enemies. Yesterday's nerd can be today's Hannibal Lecter. It's unbelievable, sure, but remember the announcement. Think about that. So many dead in one day. Try to spin it all you like, but there has to be at least one person going out of their way to snap some necks. 'An with the amount of kids that went on this trip, I bet there are plenty more that just haven't gotten a chance to shed some blood. I put my life on that.

"So yeah, I'm a hypocrite. Asking you to trust a guy you don't even know. What's an asshole like me doing, telling you what to do? And to that, I ask another question. Why am I putting my trust in you. How do you know that? If I didn't trust you, I wouldn't be fucking leading you. Believe me, my trust costs more than a fucking Lincoln. So I ask again, why the hell am I putting so much trust in you?"

Zach simmered. "Cuz. I just am. I don't have a weapon out. Any one of you could have clocked me, just walk up and bust my head open. None of you did. So yeah, I trust you all without any fuckin' better reason other than 'I ain't dead yet'. I keep telling myself I'm an idiot for thinking this but I think I'm lucky for finding others who are 'bout as sane as me. So I'm putting that out there in the hopes that you'll do the same for the rest, just like I am. That's the only way we're going to get through this shit. We trust each other."

Zach stayed quiet for a moment, just looking at his companions. His group.

Buncha ugly mugs huh?

For the first time all day he gave a genuine smile.

"Got it? Alright. Let's rock and roll."

(The Rat Pack continued in The Moon is Laughing at You)