Violet was just about ready to leave, until Jonathan Jarocki decided to cut their adventure short.
Gunfire, sparks, shouts, Maddy, running, a hand, hiding, huddling, closing their eyes to the sounds of the song being played out behind the truck. And where were they now? That's right - hiding, like the helpless animals they were.
They had neither gun nor sling, no weapons suitable enough to take on a guy throwing bullets around like cheap confetti at a bad wedding, and yet they all knew they couldn't just sit there forever, especially when the most timid and nervous of them all had accepted the gauntlet so readily, so fiercely, and without an ounce of dread in her eyes.
That look had frightened her, as she watched the artist run off into the wild and flame. Her face had fallen away as though it were rotten, and beneath grew a visage much deadlier and ferocious than she could've dared imagined such a girl to possess. It was filled with the kind of hell-bent determination she only saw in the hardest of people, and to see little Maddy Madeleine wearing it, it just felt... wrong. Not minutes before had Violet been trying her best to protect her, when she didn't even need protecting at all.
Well now she knew. Now she had an idea of what her classmates could be truly capable of, and it struck fear into her very core. It was unreal. None of this could be happening right now, none of it. Jonathan would come walking up towards them, being his strange, awkward self, but they wouldn't turn him away. They'd be hesitant, but they'd invite him into their group if he co-operated well enough. Then off they'd go, the six of them, in search of somewhere to spend the night, and they'd be tremendous and exemplary - they'd find the best place to stay and they'd defend it long into the game's conclusion. They'd be winners, every one of them, and they'd kill themselves before turning their weapons on one another.
Except... that would never happen. She didn't trust them anyway, and now the guy had gone and wrecked their group. That single moment of madness had interrupted their journey so well that the only way out of this now would be to follow Maddy into the dark world she'd immersed herself in, or turn the other way. Could she do that to the girl? Simply ditch her out here in the vast stretch of nowhere to find herself facing the end of a smoking gun? Judging by Edward's hand, she knew they wouldn't let her walk over there without a fight, but now that Maddy had gone charging in all on her own, she just didn't know what to do.
"Okay, you guys. We need to grab Maddy and we need to get away from here. Maybe we could follow Imraan, maybe we could go wherever else you all please. What matters is we need to get the fuck out of here."
And Mike was right. In a single instant she figured out the best course of action for them all, and she jumped into action. Grabbing her gear and securing it around her shoulders by intertwining the straps, she lifted Edward to his feet while motioning at Mike to do the same. Eyeing the woods across the road, she readied herself.
"There's nothing we can do now, right? W-we're all agreed?"
She looked at everyone with stinging eyes.
"I wanna go and help her, I really do, but if we go like this we'll just end up dead - and I'm not
dying here! You hear me?! So if you wanna go and help her, that's your choice, but I am not
dying here! I won't!"
And with that she ran fast and blind, clearing the distance between the truck and the trees and running far as she could away from the horrors that would surely follow.
((Violet Druce continued in Breathe In, Beathe Out