What can I say about Shae Arnav?
Well according to his profile, his only hobbies are reading and research. Okay. Appearance-wise you could be forgiven for thinking that some sort of terrifying cyborg was being described, what with a "cold light" resonating from his "optical orbs". But no he's just a wiry skelly-man, and usually dresses in baggy clothes so people won't be spooked by his skin-and-bones appearance. Supposedly wearing anything branded is against his "core beliefs" though. tl;dr he's average height and super skinny, blond hair, amber eyes, really unhealthy skin, doesn't wear logos. Moving onto the biography, we get more about his appearance; Shae has a moral objection to gluttony and is scared of the Illuminati contaminating his food, so he only eats what he prepares himself, and is super lazy so he doesn't eat very much. Apparently he doesn't skip leg day, instead he skips arm day, so while he has no stamina he can run fast and jump high... this athletics stuff feels like it should be in hobbies and advantages/disadvantages too, but whatever.
Oh good now we get to the good stuff, surprise surprise he has paranoia and schizophrenia, which is why he thinks the government is putting chemicals in the water that turn the friggin frogs gay. Unfortunately the writer doesn't seem to know what schizophrenia is, I'm no expert but I don't think it's this; "while the schizophrenia adds a whole new layer of complication to his emotions. It is essentially the more uncivilized part of him, the disdain for all human life other than his own, the anger at others existence, the lust to slowly peel the flesh from those around him and bathe in their agony." Anyway instead of seeing a therapist he decides to just not have emotions or talk to anyone. Healthy! Also his parents are distant because they work a lot, very sad. Apparently they're spooks though, which is his excuse for being paranoid about the Freemasons or whomever it is that's poisoning his food.
He goes off on a tangent at this point about the pregame murder, obviously he's a super sleuth who worked it all out by getting testimonies from multiple sources despite never talking to anyone because everyone thinks he's a scary emotionless skeleton man. Apparently he respects the killer for their ruthless self-improvement. What?
Anyway Light Yagami's advantages and disadvantages are about what you'd expect. He's wisely suspicious of everything and knows how to go it alone, but hes cuh-rayzee and the stress might push him over the edge. Yawn, I've seen premade psycho killers before. It's a wonder he hasn't already killed someone already, for being a Knights Templar spy or something.
He doesn't have a pregame, because doing all that L detective work for real must've been too much effort, so let's jump to the island's Expressway in the imaginatively titled B51 Start! Shae is an "entity enveloped in thought", yet again reminding us how not human he supposedly is. We're treated to a lengthy first person diatribe about his arrival on the island after successfully faking drinking the tranquilliser water with no repercussions from the terrorists at all. Being a super genius he immediately identifies his weapon not as a weird curved sword but by its proper name, a Da Dao. Guess that's his research hobby coming into play? There is a nice little moment where he sees his designation on the side of his bag, and dwells on how he's just a number to the terrorists, so points for that.
Anyway it seems this oneshot is in parallel with another thread containing some kids he's going to shadow for... safety? Not sure how he figures that's going to work, but let's have a look into You Can Feel What You Don't See... which I'm now finding is actually in the residential area. Was he actually nearby or am I going mad? Does V2 even have a map? Oh, from skimming the early part of the thread I learn that a group just came into the thread from the Expressway too, that must be Shae's so-called Quartet. He doesn't turn up until page 3, after a big fight broke out and Jackie Kovacs died. He just kind of stares at them from a distance, remaining dispassionate about the death and not speaking to anyone, true to his profile's content. Everyone else dutifully ignores him, and they all eventually leave.
Shae contemplates his next move, using lots of big words to show the reader how intelligent he is. He eventually settles on parting ways with the not-a-quartet-any-more and heads towards the Mall in search of shelter from the rain. He also decides to collect some rainwater in hopes of boiling it to drink later (how?) and briefly considers cannibalism because sure that's a sensible option instead of looting rations. He has no real objection to eating people other than that it'll turn on his schizophrenia evil side? What?
Final thread, Cyco now writes Shae at the School Building, appearing on page 3 of 5 of We survive by friendship. He does a good job of it too, even keeps the original handler's grey colour formatting for thoughts, which is nice. Not sure what a textbook example of a drowned rat is supposed to be though. Anyway we start with his journey; all his previous targets are danger zones so he heads east, and winds up following a guy in hopes of taking his gun. Gun guy makes it to a shed outside the school and holes up in there, and Shae decides against trying to attack a guy with a gun in a building with one entrance. So he heads into the school, reasonable, it's still raining and he's skinny and cold. He finds a freshly stabbed corpse and takes solace in the assumption that her killer didn't have a firearm, and goes to check if they're still lurking around before setting up camp. Sensible.
Except instead he then decides, nah, I've got a good viewpoint here, maybe I should carve up the corpse and eat it. So he strips off her jeans, pausing of course for Cyco to make totally unnecessary mention of the dead girl's panties, then tries to saw off a leg with his sword.
Here's where Bryan and friend start to notice the sound of Shae trying to snap through her femur by kicking it, and go out to investigate. Shae eventually succeeds, but feels uncomfortable. It's weird to think of your meat as formerly human, I guess, so he takes off the sock. Then decides he needs to take off the whole foot. Or maybe he should just halve it at the knee. This is written so matter-of-factly it's actually immensely disturbing, and props to Cyco I think that's intentional. Naturally he doesn't hear Bryan and his SPAS-12 en route to check out the noise Butcher Pete is making as he hacks, whacks and chops that meat.
Having gotten two bits of leg, Shae was going to pack up his grisly new rations, but why stop there? Apparently a heart is very nutritious. Thankfully he isn't into fondling corpses and leaves the dead girl's bra on in favour of going up under the ribs. Bryan appears here, still unseen and unheard by Shae, who yanks out the heart with some degree of difficulty, only to hallucinate it still beating.
Then with very little ceremony, Bryan buries a hatchet in Shae's jaw, splitting his head vertically from below and killing him instantly. A bit of an anti-climax after all that gruesome set up.
Conclusion? Shae was a cliched pre-made psycho killer, his handler presumably couldn't convince anyone to let him kill them though, so he goes inactive, Cyco commendably plays along with where his trajectory was clearly going, then very perfunctorily kills him.
Not that bad a read, quite short and sweet, with decent enough prose. The content is generically stoic disaffected automatic player fare, but in this version that's hardly offensive. Just bland. Shae's okay and has a bit of wasted potential, though not much of it. Meh/10, no great loss.
- [+] Spoiler
Heather Klein is channelling her aggression into constructive outlets.
Akiem Hampton is keeping cleaner than clean so he can chase the dream.
- Seems a bit of a neat-freak, seemingly needs everything of hers to be "perfect"
- Does wrestling, good at grappling... but she's got a mean right hook too
- Produces aggrowave music, releases it anonymously, never speaks of it; idolises Klayton, Bret Autrey and Daniel Graves
- Plays keys and drums pretty good, dabbles in guitar
- Speaks pretty good German, no comprend? romance languages
- Budding interest in fashion/design
- Liberal, leaning libertarian, no love for the Democrats or for the Republicans, likes her news sources "alternative"
- Atheist too; avoids saying so, being a Chicagoan down South and all
Robert "Don't Call Me Bobby" Briggs was this close to making Top 8 this time, he swears. (tentative)
- Chattanooga Owls' premier nose tackle, he's a Big Guy (...for you)
- At church in his best every Sunday
- Surprisingly bright, likes to study literature, maybe on the debate team, maybe not?
- Hits like a truck; but wouldn't hurt a fly off the gridiron
- 10/10 BBQ master, the manliest form of cooking... not bad in an actual kitchen either
- Lives and lets live, but he still thinks y'all LGBTerrific folks are sinners
- Politically apathetic, gets his news from the proverbial grapevine, would err on the side of Democrats if pushed
- Competitive grinder at Magic the Gathering, goes to every tournament he can get to
- Tops the more casual events, still hasn't managed to day 2 at a GP or qualify for a PT
- Nominally Christian, conservative background, apathetic enough to just roll with what his parents say
- A general-purpose nerd in terms of interests and school performance; not top of the class but not far off either, likes traditional games
No no no, you're shakin' it all wrong!