Whistling in The Dark

MurderWeasel
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Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

September 19th, 2011, 6:40 am #1

((Aaron Hughes continued from Loyalty Rewarded))

It was interesting how unobservant people were, even at this late a stage of the game. Aaron had returned to the residential area, had returned, in fact, to the house where he had acquired wire all those days ago. His goal had been the same, and he had had an easy time claiming another couple lengths of cord. This time, he really was planning to use them as garrotes, if necessary. He wasn't looking for a fight or for trouble, but he knew that they would eventually come to him. It was now just a matter of choosing the time and place.

The ideal situation was the final area on both counts. He could sit things out until the end, keep calm and quiet and snatch anyone who passed by and didn't seem too psychotic. He was fairly confident he could still manage to win allies. He wasn't sure how many people were still alive, and how many of them were killers. That was one irritant caused by Aileen's little act of petty vengeance. His lists were gone, his data compromised. He could recall many of the killers, but not all of them.

It didn't matter. Aaron was on the second floor of the house, watching people. A girl had wandered into the movie theater side of the recreation center. Another had run from the other side of the building, pursued shortly by a boy who went in entirely the wrong direction, ending up following the first girl. Aaron made a note to keep his ears open for gunshots, and to watch who emerged from the building. Someone would probably die there. If not, he might have a new group already forming for him. Either way, attentiveness was important. It was time to start prioritizing, figuring out who was too risky to do anything but shoot on sight. Raidon had been ready for that particular technique, but Aaron was willing to bet that many of his other remaining classmates were not. Some people would be worth knocking out of the running prior to the finals, if he got a clear shot.

Aaron had also checked his ammunition. Thirty shots, spread between his gun and his spare clip. That was enough to put a bullet, maybe two, into every other person left alive. It seemed being frugal with ammunition was paying off. There was no reason to change his ways, though, no reason to pick fights he didn't have to. He also had his other weapons, his rock-filled sock and his garottes. He wanted a sword, had considered going to look for one, but it seemed improbable enough that he would have any luck that he hadn't bothered. Wandering aimlessly was dangerous.

The real problem was the boredom. Without company, Aaron felt twitchy and useless. He missed having a group of followers carrying out his commands, pointless or not. He missed having people to measure himself against, to outsmart and compete with. Upon reflection, he was inclined to deem the past day entirely unsatisfactory. Charlie and Aileen had both manifested sudden suicidal streaks, and had cost him dearly through it. They had managed to hurt him, even as all possibility of future defiance was removed. It was irksome.

So Aaron paced, and he checked the magazine in his gun every five minutes, and he strained his ears, listening for the sounds of gunfire, explosions, or other conflict. If nothing happened soon, he figured he would move out and find a better place to stay. The residential area was a sure bet for the danger zone treatment, based on the past trends. It was too large, too full of places to hide. The people in charge would want them out of it soon, and any players stupid enough to attack people directly but smart enough to employ basic strategy would camp at the points of egress right before the announcements and pick off everyone fleeing. It was what Aaron would have done if he was too stupid for the long view.

With a growl, he turned and stalked along the length of the room again. Who would have thought that winning could be so interminably tedious?
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Rocky
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Joined: January 22nd, 2010, 7:08 pm

September 22nd, 2011, 7:50 pm #2

((Madeleine Smith continued from Wandering Minds))

Maddy had been lucky as of late, that was for sure. Despite seeing other people running around the same area she was in, none of them seemed to see her. This was fine by her. Not interacting with anyone was preferable at this stage, something she had no doubts that others were doing as well. Of course, if they were all hiding in the same area, they might force people to move, to get people closer together. After all, things would be rather boring if they ended up having to kill everyone.

The girl came up on a house that seemed fairly good location wise. The view looked to be pretty good, and she would be able to see anyone trying to enter the house. Of course, unknown to her was the fact that someone else had had the same idea. She tested the door. Unlocked.

Maddy pushed the door in slowly, trying to prevent it from making any noise as she entered. There was still a slight squeak from the hinges, but that was to be expected. The door closed behind her with a soft click. Maddy simply stood in the front hallway, feeling a little weird about entering a stranger's house. Breathing deeply, she took a few more steps in.
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MurderWeasel
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Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

September 25th, 2011, 11:19 pm #3

Somewhere in the town, there were gunshots. Aaron was not surprised. It was inevitable that those remaining now would all be out to win. The key was to let them deal with each other. He could do that. He just had to find something productive to do to occupy his time, some way to bolster his own chances.

He wondered who had died. Probably one of the two in the theater. It didn't matter. If he saw either of them again, he would shoot to kill. Both had proven themselves potential hazards.

He decided that it was time to go. Sooner or later, someone would begin a systematic search of the houses, and he had no real intentions of getting caught up in another gunfight with Raidon or someone else like him. Aaron crept downstairs, and was heading to the door, when he heard the faintest squeak, followed by a couple of noises that could almost have been footsteps. They quickly stopped. Aaron froze as well. He was in a doorway connecting to the entrance hall, right out of sight. This was bad. Someone was there. Someone was probably creeping up on him, planning to take this house as a base and kill anyone inside.

There was only one thing to do.

"Hello?" Aaron called out. "Is someone there? This is Aaron Hughes. I'm not playing."

He gripped his pistol tightly. If nobody responded, he'd find some other way to leave the house. If someone did reply, he would assess them, and, if they were dangerous, eliminate them as expediently as possible. If he had stumbled on one of the few remaining innocents in the game, however, well, Aaron was feeling a little lonely. He could use a new team.
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Rocky
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Joined: January 22nd, 2010, 7:08 pm

September 26th, 2011, 5:25 am #4

Maddy felt her heart skip a beat as a voice rang out. She wasn't really expecting anyone else to be in there, and the fact that someone else was already there was almost enough cause for her to just turn and run right then and there. The voice introduced himself as Aaron, a name she was somewhat familiar with. He seemed like a fairly decent person she supposed. Then again, anyone who got this far had probably done something bad by now. Lord knows she had.

"Um... i-it's Maddy. Madeleine Smith." she said tentatively, tightening her grip on her weapon.

Maddy didn't move from her position, though she angled herself more towards the door. This close to the end of the game was not a good time to be overly trusting. Even so, it wasn't like this guy was Raidon. He was probably just as scared as she was. Then again, the last person she met that she thought was just scared ended up dead. All she could do was wait.
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

September 26th, 2011, 5:48 am #5

The girl identified herself. Madeleine Smith, alias Maddy. That meant absolutely nothing to Aaron. The name Madeleine rang some bells, but he could have sworn there were at least two girls called Maddy in the class, so it wasn't particularly helpful. He certainly couldn't say if she had killed or not. She sounded scared, but fear in no way precluded murder. If anything, it made it more likely. As far as Aaron could tell, there were three types of players: the ones who played because they wanted to live, the ones who played because they were afraid to die, and the ones who just enjoyed it all. Anyone could be neatly slotted into one of those categories.

So, he was going to assume that Maddy might be playing. He was definitely going to infer that she was armed. Aaron would have been very surprised if anyone was weaponless this late in the game. There were enough corpses about for even the most peaceful to scrounge a gun or a blade somewhere. If he did things right, though, armament would never come into play. It was now a matter of dealing with Maddy, neutralizing her as a threat, feeding her enough line to make her trust him and not try anything funny.

"I should warn you, Maddie, I've killed two people," Aaron said. "Self defense. They were both minor players. Fiona Sparki and Aileen Borden. I'm not looking for trouble, but I'm not afraid to stand up for myself if you want to fight. If not, though, would you like to come in? It's safer in here, and I could use some company."

The plan was simple. Aaron made a confession of his own kills because doing so would compel Maddy to return the favor. He had also managed to couch a threat in his friendly offer, noting what had happened to the last players to cross him and thus implicitly suggesting that attacking him was a very bad idea. At the same time, he also made himself out to be an appealing ally if Maddy was afraid of players, because he had the ability to defend himself, and thus could also protect her.

Now she just had to give him some information. If she was a player, and was willing to admit it and not pick a fight, he'd send her elsewhere. It would mean she was stupid enough to be of no lasting concern whatsoever. If she decided that it was time to have it out, well, Aaron would have to kill her. And if she really was looking for someone to team up with, he'd have someone to throw in front of the bullets again.

There was no way he could lose.
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Rocky
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Joined: January 22nd, 2010, 7:08 pm

September 26th, 2011, 6:37 am #6

Maddy's face formed a slight frown as she heard this new information. It felt kind of weird to her that someone would just come out and say they'd killed people. Of course, it wasn't like she was entirely innocent either. She had two names under her, and unlike Aaron, she couldn't really claim self defense for one of them. She wasn't sure if she was really willing to divulge her information back. Though Aaron did seem like the trusting sort...

No, she couldn't do that. Even if hiding out would be nice, or the company, or whatever, she still wasn't sure she should be trusting anyone at this point. The last time she did that.... it didn't end well. All she knew at that point was she didn't want to be stuck alone with anyone right now.

"Umm... I-I think it would.... be best if I left. N-no offense but umm... eventually only one of us would live, right?" Maddy shifted the weight on her feet, before starting again. "I mean... I'm sure y-you want to live, and stuff. And I'd rather not.... not be stabbed in my sleep or something. Not that.... uhh, you would do that! S-so I think it would be better if I just left...."

With her back facing the door, Maddy began to edge her way towards it. "I.... hope you understand!" the girl said as she reached the door. Turning the handle with her free hand, the girl pulled the door open and ran as far from the house as she could. She hoped that she wouldn't have to see him again, but if she did... she wasn't sure what she would do.

((Madeleine Smith continued in Friends Departed))
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

September 30th, 2011, 6:08 am #7

She left, just like that. Stupid girl, stupid reasoning. It was more irritating to Aaron than it should have been by any rights. She said she didn't mean to imply that he would kill her in her sleep, but she did exactly that. Most annoying was the fact that she was right. She had sounded fairly normal too, had potentially been one of the few remaining students who could reasonably join any group. She had perfect, and it had been ruined because she was just a bit too smart.

Aaron ground his teeth. Then he stopped thinking about how angry he was and focused instead on the other possibilities.

The girl could easily have been lying. She could have, for all he knew, been a player, scoping the houses for targets. She had his location now. If she was working with allies, she could be their scout. Raidon had had his ally. Who was to say he hadn't found another? Who was to say there wasn't some large group dedicated to cutting its way to the end, just to make sure one of its members got out alive? He might have just been pegged for elimination.

All of these things were improbable, but none were inconceivable. He had to get a move on, and soon. He'd wanted to do so anyways. He just needed a destination.

And there it was: the sawmill. It was defensible, with fewer access points and potential for complications. He could scavenge useful materials too, perhaps. It had served the group well enough. It would work just as well for a single person. He was sure there would be some sort of ambush point, too. Better still, while it was likely enough to be made into a danger zone, it had a safer mode of egress. The logging road was fairly narrow, and on either side were danger zones. That meant he could narrow down the potential ambush locations other people could use against him when he left. Also, if the terrorists decided to herd everyone into the swamp, he would be more ready than most.

Perfect.

Of course, there was the matter of not getting gunned down as he left the house. It would be just like someone to wait outside the door with a machine gun. Aaron slipped to the other side of the building, smashed a window out with his rock-filled sock, and hoisted himself through, carefully avoiding the glass. Outside, he took off quickly. He couldn't count on the girl not running around at the sound of the shattering window, ready to attack him.

He made sure to watch the area around him, though. Made very sure to be more aware than all the people he had spied on.

((Aaron Hughes continued in Everybody Knows))
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