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File 129894263749.png - (325.61KB , 768x1024 , A wish I may.png ) [iqdb]
32264 No. 32264
From the desk that brought you such fantasy adventures as A Scarlet-Stained Memoir, and A Fairy’s Tale, comes something… different.

**************************************************

I record this for myself, and for the future, so that there shall be a testimony of what happened here. So that others can see it and know that I am not lying when I say that everyone has a price.

Everyone.

As long as the soul is imperfect, and as long as the mind lacks omnipotence, there will be a price. They will sidestep their ethics and bend their morals, for a price. They will consider the inconsiderable and question the unquestionable, for a price. From the innocent child to the loving mother, from the model student to the man on the street, all have their price.

But this price is not simply a number. You cannot put a value on an idea, or a dream, or a life. No figure, no matter how large, will get them to change their mind on the Black and the White; on the desirable and the undesirable. The only price is priceless: a wish. A chance to ask for anything, and be given it. They will live for this chance. Die for it. Kill for it. Anyone would give everything, for the price of a miracle.

We are here to pay that price.

What we are giving them is a choice. A choice which they will constantly make every second. A choice which they can and will change as the gravity of their decision presses down upon them. It is the choice they make which will define them; which will motivate them. A choice to run, or to stay. To hide, or to fight. To defend, or to kill.

We will not meddle. We will not goad. We will not advise. We are not the game masters, we are holding no trump cards, and we are hiding no secrets. We have done nothing but give them an opportunity, and we shall do nothing but observe them with great expectations. What good would it do us to interfere? To us, the final score is but a pittance; it is the journey which is paramount.

They will know the rules. They will know the cost, and they will know the reward. Nothing will be hidden from them; all shall stand as equals, for this is a battle not of deception, but of conviction. They will know that everyone they meet has been given exactly the same terms, that everyone they meet has been given exactly the same information, and that everyone they meet is thinking exactly the same thing:

Is it worth it?


[ ] Clip
[ ] Chamber
[ ] Magazine
[ ] Bolt
[ ] Drum
[ ] Belt
[ ] Shell
[ ] Powder

**************************************************

I’ll keep it simple: You have eight protagonists of equal importance. You can control only one at a time, but can always vote to switch to another. More will become evident after the second update.

This is a rather experimental story in more ways than one, and it’s possible that the style won’t jive well with everybody. The emphasis is less on plot and more on mood and mentality of the characters. But, as long as I get even one vote, I’ll keep going.

Enjoy.

>> No. 32265
[X] Powder

Owen.

You're never going to have less than one vote.

...

Now I feel bad.
>> No. 32266
[X] Powder

I was worried you'd stop writing permanently.
>> No. 32267
[x] Powder

Just to get things rolling, since all the options are equally meaningless.
Good to see Owen hasn't changed.
>> No. 32268
[x] Powder

This guy gonna use a cannon? I bet he's a fatty. Or she. Who knows, we're blind here.
>> No. 32269
>>32268
I suppose you've never heard of Tristana, the Megling from LoL.

[x] Bolt
>> No. 32270
[x] Shell
>> No. 32271
[x] Shell

Waiting warmly.
>> No. 32273
[X] Shell
>> No. 32276
[x] Shell
>> No. 32284
[ø] Clip

Good to see you Owen, especially when the board is this slow.
>> No. 32286
[X] Drum

Because there's no such thing as "too much ammo".
>> No. 32293
[x] Shell
Yes
>> No. 32296
[x] Bolt

>But, as long as I get even one vote, I’ll keep going.
That's because of this that I respect you.
>> No. 32298
[x] Bolt

bang
>> No. 32302
>>32296

Is it because of that or just because it's someone who has a lot of people respecting him? Because there are more people who go on despite few votes. Do you respect them?
>> No. 32304
5 - Shell
4 - Powder
3 - Bolt
1 - Clip
1 - Drum

Calling the vote for Shell now so I can write a little this morning and try to finish the rest up in the evening after work. As a side note, I can’t promise any update speed other than I’m trying for more than one update a week.

Thanks for voting, y’all.

>>32265
Don’t be. As long as you keep voting, you’ll be that assurance.

>>32266
At this point in my life I believe that I am mentally incapable of not writing for more than six months at a time.

>>32267
Heehee… you think they’re meaningless~
And I’ve changed so much, you don’t even know. I was just some insane pretentious idiot back when I did ASSM. Past-Me is kind of a jerk.

>>32268
If you’re thinking about it that way, though, the Demoman is actually thinner than the Heavy, or even the Engineer. It’s best not to stereotype.

>>32284
I thought that in comparison to the other area-specific boards /others/ was pretty hopping. Perhaps THP in general is just slow.

>>32286
Then perhaps you should have voted for Belt.

>>32296
Thank you. You’d be surprised how many writers give up due to lack of votes even where they are still getting at least one.
>> No. 32310
>>32304
This has been one of the more lively boards, and it's good for experimental stuff. At least you didn't do the newbie move of posting on /th/.

/th/'s slower than typical due to its major stories taking longer to update.
>> No. 32311
>I thought that in comparison to the other area-specific boards /others/ was pretty hopping. Perhaps THP in general is just slow.
welp, I meant "the site" when I said "this board".
>>32310
are you saying Owen is new or something? That's just me reading the post incorrectly, right?
>> No. 32312
>Owen's writing again
Aw, hell ye-
>slowpoked
DAMNIT. Oh well, waiting warmly~
>> No. 32313
File 129902073169.png - (110.79KB , 800x500 , Shell.png ) [iqdb]
32313
8:15 A.M., Dawn of the First Day, 71 hours and 45 minutes remain.

Why does it feel like I slept on a rock all night?

My vision is as foggy as my memory as I finally come to my senses, that sedative She gave me finally wearing off. Hah, “she”. The only reason I have to go on that She shares the same parts as me is Her voice. Staying in the shadows like that… what’s She got to hide? Not that it really matters at this point anyways. I’m here now.

Where is here? All She’d told me is that it was going to be a place far away from any sort of civilization, a place where we wouldn’t be bothered. I sprawl my hands out on the ground and feel cold rock; that answers that question. Raising myself to one knee I take a look around. Looks like the edge of some kind of forest; trees struggle to find what root they can in the cracks of the stone, and they just get thicker further on as the terrain slopes upwards. Behind me I smell salt and feel a chill breeze on my back. At least the trees look familiar enough, pine and birch and such. The sky is a mellow blue; I see the golden haze of the sun on the horizon.

A travel pack lays on the ground near where I’ve woken up. She’d told me about this; I’d even seen the thing before She put me under. I zip it open and frantically look for it; I have to know. I have to know that it isn’t just a joke. That this is really happening. There; in a flat leather case. My hands tremble as I slide the single sheet of paper out of its sleeve, miniscule font wreaking havoc on my eyes in the morning light. The contract… I read it I don’t know how many times back in that office building. Practically memorized the thing. But I read it again anyways.

- - - - -

The signer of this document, hereafter referred to as “the contractor”, shall abide by the tenets stated below:

Section 1 - Name
The contractor shall be issued a confidential alias with which to be referred by for the duration of the engagement. If at any point during the duration of the engagement the contractor reveals to any other participant their legal name, they shall immediately forfeit the right to any and all payments they have earned or will earn pertaining to Section 3.

Section 2 - Supplies
The contractor shall be issued various non-combat supplies, listed as follows:
•1 canvas traveling pack
•9 United States Army K-Ration boxed meals (3 breakfast units, 3 dinner units, 3 supper units)
•1 insulated drinking canteen (capacity 1 liter)
•1 waterproof cotton drill overcoat
•1 handheld compass
•1 analog wristwatch (set to the engagement’s local time)
•1 map of engagement territory
•1 leather document case (containing a copy of this contract)

Each contractor shall also be supplied with a unique firearm and unique stock of ammunition in accordance with their classified name, listed as follows:
•“Clip”: Mauser C96 pistol, 4 stripper clips, 200 7.63x25mm cartridges
•“Chamber”: Colt Python revolver, 5 speed-loaders, 150 .357 Magnum cartridges
•“Magazine”: AK47 assault rifle, 3 box magazines preloaded with 30 7.62x39mm cartridges each
•“Bolt”: Lee Enfield No. 4 bolt-action rifle, 5x40 telescopic sight, 2 box magazines preloaded with 10 .303 British cartridges each
•“Drum”: Thompson submachine gun, 3 drum magazines preloaded with 50 .45 ACP cartridges each
•“Belt”: MG42 light machine gun, 2 feed belts preloaded with 250 8x57mm cartridges each
•“Shell”: Mossberg 500 shotgun, belt-style bandolier, 50 12-gauge shells.
•“Powder”: M79 grenade launcher, shoulder-style bandolier, 10 40mm fragmentation grenades.

Section 3 - Price
The contractor shall be paid for their services as follows:
•$100,000 U.S. dollars shall be paid for every firearm in the contractor’s possession at the conclusion of the engagement, excluding the one issued them in regards to Section 2.
•$1,000,000 U.S. dollars shall be paid for every kill of another participant made in self-defense. Self-defense shall be defined as a situation in which the contractor is not the instigator of combat and the instigator clearly poses an immediate threat to the contractor’s life at the time the kill is made.
•One wish shall be granted for every kill of another participant made unperturbed. Unperturbed shall be defined as a situation in which the contractor is the instigator of combat, or a situation in which the instigated target poses no immediate threat to the contractor’s life at the time the kill is made.

Section 4 – Time
The duration of the engagement shall be a period of 72 hours, beginning at 8:00 A.M. relative to the local time the engagement will be held in.

Section 5 – Bounds
If at any point during the 72-hour period of the engagement the contractor leaves the bounds of the map they have been provided with in regards to Section 2, they shall immediately forfeit the right to any and all payments they have earned or will earn in regards to Section 3. They shall retain the sole ownership of any bank notes or other possessions on their person at the time of the infraction.

Section 6 – Wish
If at the conclusion of the 72-hour period of engagement the contractor has earned one of more wishes in regards to Section 3, the contractor shall be given the immediate opportunity to present the wish or wishes in writing to their confidential sponsor. A wish shall be defined as a request of any magnitude that shall be unconditionally fulfilled in full. The terms and scope of the wish or wishes shall be clearly discussed between the two parties, and shall not be made official until both the contractor and the sponsor sign their full legal names upon the document containing the wishes.

Section 7 – Verification
“I fully understand the contents and tenets stated within this contract, and hereby agree to abide by them in full.”

Sign Here:

- - - - -


My brain blots out the red ink signature at the bottom of the page. I know my own name. I take pride in it, knowing that it’s not someone else’s name…

Why did he leave me, for the love of God why the hell did he leave me?! If I’d have just married him from the start, none of this would have happened. We’d have been a family, and… she wouldn’t have died, and… I wouldn’t have to be here right now…

I push back the memories of the past. For now. They never go away. I don’t want them to, not yet. Not yet. The memories are the reason I’m here. The reason I don’t look at my name on the contract. That’s not my name. Not right now. My name is Shell.

And I am here to earn a miracle.

The shotgun rests next to the pack. My shotgun. My identity. My magic wand that will grant my wish. The rosewood grip is smooth in my hands, polished and perfect, like those marble countertops I’d always wanted. The metal sends a chill through my fingers as I touch it, still holding the lingering cold of the night air. The weight of it in my hands doesn’t feel right. Not yet.

Not yet.

I look in my pack for the box of shells. My shells. Their cherry-red plastic looks almost too bright. Too cheerful for the purpose they were made for. I’ve never loaded a shotgun before. The shells fumble in my hands as I teach myself how. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. And pump.

I unfold the charcoal-grey overcoat She gave me, wrap it around my shoulders and thread it over my arms. The prickly sea breeze fails to make my arms shiver anymore. How thoughtful of Her to provide me with this small respite. As I learn back down to pick up my shotgun, my other hand subconsciously finds its way into my pocket and remembers that there is something inside. Something that seems so insignificant now.

I pull out the two bound wads of hundreds and stare at them. Twenty thousand dollars. A participation gift, She said, just for showing up. Off the contract. Under the table. Just like that. In another time and place, I might consider this small gift itself a “miracle”. She told me that I’d always be able to run away. Run off the map. I could keep the cash, keep the gun, keep the thousand-dollar wristwatch. No killing, no getting killed. In case I was having any second thoughts.

I toss the bills unceremoniously into the pack. I don’t have any second thoughts. Not now. Not yet.

I squat back down onto the rock, cradling my weapon in my hands. Thinking. Thinking about that contract. A wish. One kill, one wish. One kill not made in self defense. I still struggle with the idea of how She’ll know is was in self-defense or not. She said She’ll be watching everything. She said a lot of things that weren’t on that piece of paper. She said there’d be eight of us. She said we’ve never seen each other before, and we never will. She said we all signed the exact same contract, follow exactly the same rules. She said all our firepower was balanced and fair. She said we’d be at least a kilometer away from each other to start.

She said.

I don’t think about if She might be lying or not. Maybe She is. But I don’t worry about that. I signed the damn contract and now I’m here. I think about what I need to do. I need to find out where I am, and where they are. I need to kill one of them. No… not one. Two. I have more than one wish. The first one is for her, for us, but the second one… the second one is for me. I need that wish. It needs to come true, or I’ll never be able to live with myself. I can’t live with myself now.

But I’m not going to die.

I refuse to die.

Even if She’s lying, I will not die.

Even if I don’t get my wish, I will not die.

I will see my little Mariah again.

The map is thick and heavy, cast in sepia hues like maps ought to look. I’ve no idea where I am. No. That’s not true. I know I’m by the coast. I check my compass; I know I’m on the east cliffs. I look to the north; the land seems to drop off. I think I might be on the northeast corner. I look back at the map. One road, one abandoned town. A few houses on the road. Plenty of ponds. And nothing else but trees.


[ ] Don’t be hasty. Rest. Eat. Prepare. Check the supplies. Clear the mind.
[ ] Get to the town, immediately. Before they do. Lie in wait.
[ ] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.
[ ] Keep to the coast. Travel (south / north)
[ ] Go inland. Travel (south / southwest / west)

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder

**************************************************

Because precise movement and actions are rather important in this story, use write-ins all you want to be specific with what you want to have happen. My options are really just idea-starters.

The “switch vote” will be available every update to change to a different character’s perspective if you want. Vote for the current character if you don’t want to switch. The switch vote is counted separately from the main vote.

Hopefully, we’ll all get used to this in time.
>> No. 32314
File 129902085679.jpg - (1.20MB , 1876x3072 , Field.jpg ) [iqdb]
32314
For your convenience.
>> No. 32315
[ ] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.

>“Bolt”: Lee Enfield No. 4 bolt-action rifle, 5x40 telescopic sight, 2 box magazines preloaded with 10 .303 British cartridges each

This sounds like some sort of sniper class. I like the sniper class.

<Bolt>
>> No. 32316
[X] Don’t be hasty. Rest. Eat. Prepare. Check the supplies. Clear the mind.

<x> Powder

I want to see more about this Powder person.

Do we get proper names later or no?
>> No. 32318
>>32302
I respect people who can do what I can't. And I tried, but I can't write a story if I don't have "enough" votes.
I know it's pathetic, but... I can't help it.
>> No. 32319
[x] Get to the town, immediately. Before they do. Lie in wait.
<x> Bolt

Let's snipe Shell.
>> No. 32320
[x] Get to the town, immediately. Before they do. Lie in wait.
[x] Shell

Hot damn what I wouldn't give to be in that contract. Now, if we switch characters, do the others continue to move about? Or is this just an introductory phase where everyone wakes up in their respective areas?
>> No. 32321
Owen is writing again. Great news.
>But, as long as I get even one vote, I’ll keep going.
As long as i am around you will get that one vote.

[x] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.
<x> Chamber
>> No. 32322
Does everyone have a different sponsor?

I guess we'll find out when we switch.
>> No. 32323
File 129903515710.png - (63.94KB , 476x358 , MM.png ) [iqdb]
32323
>>32319

Good plan.

[x] Get to the town, immediately. Before they do. Lie in wait.
<x> Bolt

Also, >>32313
>Dawn of the First Day, 71 hours and 45 minutes remain.
I couldn't have been the only one thinking this, right?
>> No. 32329
>>32311
I said that as well people are prone to putting stories on /th/ when they're better fitted for other boards like here.

[x] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.
>> No. 32331
[ø] Get to the town, immediately. Before they do. Lie in wait.
<ø> Shell

From the 3 days time limit, it seems we'll get multiple loops of this event so we might as well stay with one contractor for a while.

Are the first set of choices for the current contractor or for the contractor that we want to switch to, if we do switch?

>>32329
oh I see.
>> No. 32334
[x] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.

<Powder>
An M79 instead of a M32 MGL? I guess that's fair.
>> No. 32337
>>32331
>From the 3 days time limit, it seems we'll get multiple loops of this event so we might as well stay with one contractor for a while.
You mean because it made you think of Majora's Mask, you assume there will be time loops?
>> No. 32339
[x] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.
<x> Bolt
>> No. 32345
[x] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.
<x> Bolt
>> No. 32347
>>32337

I'm also reminded of Dead Rising in regards to the time limit, but with the notice of being VERY particular about how certain actions could have a huge impact; There's a heavy feeling of Forbidden Siren [PS2 original version].

Think of it as a "Butterfly Effect"

That said...

[X] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.
<x> Drum
>> No. 32348
Battle royale meets Gantz? Count me in.
>> No. 32357
File 129911751230.png - (84.10KB , 852x479 , im in ur miencraftz.png ) [iqdb]
32357
7 – Approach
4 - Rush
1 - Rest

<5> - Bolt
<2> - Powder
<2> - Shell
<1> - Chamber
<1> - Drum

A clear outcome. For what it’s worth I’ll call the vote now so I can get started. Probably no update until tomorrow night, though.

>>32316
>Do we get proper names later or no?
Do we…?



I dunno. Maybe.

>>32319
>Let's snipe Shell.
I’ll use this as an opportunity to address a small concern of mine. Obviously as the reader you’ll know what multiple characters are doing and where they’re going, which is a big deal for a strategic survival story like this. As such, please try and curb the use of metaknowledge in your votes. As harsh as it sounds, I do reserve the right to reject votes if I think you’re deconstructively manipulating the protagonists against each other.

I’m not saying you’re doing it here. But I am saying that this kind of thinking is where it starts.

>>32320
>Hot damn what I wouldn't give to be in that contract.
Ahh, but don’t you see? That’s the point.

>Now, if we switch characters, do the others continue to move about?
Yes, to some extent. It’s rather difficult to explain, but whenever you’re watching one character, that does mean there’s seven other characters you are not watching, and I’ll autopilot their movements based on their personality. However, the timeline of this story is slightly non-linear. A perspective shift may take you slightly backwards in time from the last update (mainly because the person you’re switching to cannot possibly affect the actions of the person you’re switching from), in which case you may actually know what, say, Protagonist X is doing at the moment that you’re voting for Protagonist Z’s actions. It’s another reason I want to advise against overt use of metaknowledge; basing one protagonist’s actions on what you know another one is doing or is going to do is a black hole of thought that will only end up hurting that story.

Like I said, it’s difficult to explain. It’ll make more sense once the story is in full swing and you see how the updates progress. Just be patient.

>>32323
>I couldn't have been the only one thinking this, right?
I know I was~!

>>32331
>Are the first set of choices for the current contractor or for the contractor that we want to switch to, if we do switch?
Current contractor. Thus, taking this active vote as an example, we know that Shell will approach the town slowly, perspective will switch to Bolt, and then you’ll vote for what Bolt will do next update. However, you won’t see the result of Shell’s actions until either you vote for her again, or see her though another character’s eyes. Like I said, eventually we’ll all get used to it. Hopefully.

>>32334
>An M79 instead of a M32 MGL? I guess that's fair.
Indeed. Fairness is paramount to give all the protagonists an equal chance of success. The massive advantage of an area-of-effect weapon needs to be offset by its low rate of fire and vulnerability while reloading. Give Powder an M32 and the only disadvantage left would be the obvious lack of an eyepatch and Scottish accent.

>>32337
This man speaks truth. No time loops. 72 hours is all you get. People die when they are killed. You have no chance to survive. Make your time. Final destination.

Wait what.

>>32347
>>32348
At this point I’m not even going to bother trying to trace what subtle inspirations influenced me and what’s just coincidence; I’m sure there’s ample supplies of both. I’m not actively trying to base Priceless on any existing work; it just seemed like an interesting concept to write about in an interactive manner. If I tread into existing story concepts unintentionally, oh well; these days it’s impossible not to, and the sooner writers accept that the better off they’ll be.

Personally, I keep thinking it bears elements of Saw & Saw 2 (the only ones that matter).
>> No. 32362
File 129916328063.png - (54.74KB , 450x350 , Bolt.png ) [iqdb]
32362
8:00 A.M., Dawn of the First Day, 72 hours remain.

I’ve slept in worse places, I guess.

Find myself propped against a boulder, wind whipping in my face; it’s probably what snapped me out of them drugs. They said it might feel weird waking up in a strange place not knowing where you are; just like them suits to say that. Not like they ever got themselves so shitfaced-drunk they’re waking up on that bus stop bench two miles away from the bar. What do they know about not having a clue where you are? Don’t know shit, is what. S’that why they’re doing this, sending us lab rats out to shoot each other full-a holes while they watch from their fancy gold-plated satellite? To learn something about the little people? It’s some secret government conspiracy project. S’always the Feds. Behavioral studies; bet they’re gonna use this to prove that God is dead so’s they can take the name off their money or some shit. Throwing away good millions on folk like me; no wonder this country’s gone to hell.

But every country’s going to hell. Here, there… doesn’t matter where I live. Doesn’t matter. They don’t care about me. Just another rock on the side of the road.

They gave me a bag of supplies. Sure was nice of ‘em. I look through it; canteen, coat, map, boxed lunch, just like on that list. Bet the food tastes terrible. Nice watch; damn that’s a nice watch. Almost feel ashamed snapping such a fine thing on my wrist just so’s that I can see the time. Eight ‘o clock. I’ve got seventy-two hours, they said. Twenty bullets. So that’s supposed to be something like one bullet every some number of hours? Always hated math.

I take a look at that gun they gave me. Old looking thing, all made of wood like it’s a hundred years old. Good thing nobody got a flamethrower or some shit; I’d be afraid the thing’d catch fire. A fine, fine looking scope they put on it, though. So, this makes me some kind of sniper, does it? I let the idea just mull around in my head for a while.

The sniper…

I ain’t never fired no rifle with no scope before, but I remember stories my daddy told me. Stories ‘bout how entire units of big men wouldn’t move one inch because of one little sniper than no one could find. ‘Bout how snipers always shoot the officers, or maybe they shoot the first person after officer instead; nobody wants to follow the leader if they know they’re getting shot for it. It’s all in the head. Is there a sniper? Is there no sniper? You ain’t got no clue. But he might be there, and that is all that matters.

They hate snipers. They’re afraid of snipers. Afraid ‘cause they know they’re there, but they don’t really know. ‘Cause they don’t understand. You’re the only thing they think about, and they still don’t know a damn thing about you.

I start liking the idea more and more. I’m a nobody. Always have been. Just another bum on the street to them. No job, no house, ain’t never done nothing anyone’ll ever care about. And after all this is done, I’ll still go back to being that same nobody. Wishes? Cash prizes? Ain’t not gonna make me anybody special; lotto winners go broke in five years like clockwork, and who gives a damn? Money don’t turn you into a somebody. Don’t right know about that “miracle” business, but money, money’s shit. You’re still the same idiot nobody you were before without it.

But here… Nothin’ else matters here. I’m somebody here. For three days, I am the sniper. They all know it; they read them rules, they know I got this Lee Endfield whatever scope gun. They know I’m comin’ for ‘em. They know I can shoot them and they’ll never find out where from. Shit, seventy-two hours, I might get away with nobody ever seein’ me once. I am the most important person in this forest. I am the most feared person in this forest.

I like the sound of that. This might actually be fun.

I take it easy for starters. Ain’t nobody gonna be doing much at first anyways, I bet. They all gonna be doing exactly what I’m doing now; getting used to the idea of killing people. No sense rushing any of this. Three days is an awful long time, after all. I put on that coat they gave me. Nice and warm; can’t remember the last time I had a nice coat like this. Dark black… guess that makes me the bad guy, does it? Bad guys wear black in all the movies. But the good guys wear black too these days. Doesn’t matter. Still a damn nice coat.

Flip open one of those box meals that says “Breakfast Unit” on it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they say. Can-a ham n’ eggs, ‘bout a dozen crackers, some kind of fruit bar, load a good four cigs does me without any matches, what the hell are water purification tablets, I guess sugar cubes are all right, could go for a cup-a that instant coffee but still no matches, and some gum. Tastes like garbage. Figured. I keep the wrappers and tin can—you never know—pop the stick of gum in my mouth, and pick that rifle back up.

Lee Enfield No. 4 bolt-action rifle, .303 British shells. I get the names in my head. Gotta know just what I’m using here. Gotta respect the gun. The gun’s my name, after all. I’m Bolt. She’s Bolt. And if I don’t have her, we both ain’t much of anything. I never take anything seriously; no point. I don’t give a shit, and don’t ever got no one to impress.

I take this shit seriously this time. I gots me people to impress this time.

Pull out that map and compass and have a look-see around. Not a damn clue where I am on this thing; all I see is rocks and trees. Just walk another for a bit, looking for a landmark or something. Almost walk right off a cliff. Check the map again, check the compass again. South-side cliffs, I suppose. Narrows it down a bit at least. Gotta be careful; walk around like an idiot and I’m bound to walk clear off that map. No sense disqualifying myself already. Not like it matters much, but give me a day and maybe I start caring ‘bout them prizes. Try to find some pond maybe; maps full-a them, shouldn’t be hard. I get wise and start looking through my scope, saves a hell of a lot of travel time. Damn this shit’s gonna be hard to get used to. Don’t even know if I’ll be able to hit anyone for that matter.

But I got time.


[ ] Stay put. Someone will come. There is time.
[ ] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
[ ] Keep to the coast. Travel east-northeast.
[ ] Go inland. Travel (north / northeast / northwest)

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 32363
[x] Go inland. Travel northwest.
[x] Bolt

We are way out there in remote territory. We need to head to more frequented routes, and lie in wait. He may think time is all he has, but 3 days will pass by all too soon.
>> No. 32364
[x] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
<x> Bolt

If he knows where he is, he can just use the map to find a good sniping spot. Easier than walking around looking for one.
>> No. 32366
[X] Keep to the coast. Travel east-northeast.
<x> Powder

Coastlines allow easier access to supplies, or something.

Either way, that's important.

And damnit, I want Powder.
>> No. 32367
[x] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
<x> Powder

...I want to at least know something about all of the players here before we start getting them killed.
>> No. 32369
[X] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
<X> Belt

I'm interested in seeing who got Hilter's buzzsaw.
>> No. 32370
[ ] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
<Bolt>
>> No. 32371
Hm, Bolt is different from what I expected, not much in a good way at the moment. But I can come to like him.
>> No. 32376
[y] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
<y> Belt
I am not sure. I really am not sure.
>> No. 32377
[ø] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
<ø> Drum
>> No. 32378
[x] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
<x> Powder
>> No. 32382
[X] Look around. Find a landmark. Pinpoint the location. Location is everything.
<Powder>

>>32357
>the obvious lack of an eyepatch and Scottish accent.
and a badass claymore.
>> No. 32383
[X] Keep to the coast. Travel east-northeast.
<x> Chamber

Setting up a perimeter as well as nothing sneaking up from behind helps; always preferred revolvers over pistols as well~
>> No. 32446
8 – Location
2 – Coast
1 – Inland

<4> - Powder
<3> - Bolt
<2> - Belt
<1> - Drum
<1> - Chamber

A clear result; I’ll get this update out to you sometime today. I considered attaching a picture to every one of these vote-count posts, before realizing that doing so simply for the sake of doing so would be a hollow gesture indeed. Also I didn't make a joke this time, so the nonexistent irony cannot be improved by an imagerelated.jpg.

>>32364
Note that he has exactly the same map that you have. It shows terrain and elevation (even buildings), but not specifics like trees, boulders, and undergrowth, which are critical to finding a “good sniping spot”.

>>32367
Unless you throw caution to the wind and vote like idiots, I doubt that’s going to happen.

>>32371
Meh, I can’t win ‘em all. It’s still a step up from every protagonist being exactly the same.
>> No. 32447
This story is great, but out of curiosity, how will it eventually relate to Touhou? Is this taking place in Gensokyo, or does someone use a wish to go there?
>> No. 32451
File 129944860512.png - (69.16KB , 600x200 , Powder.png ) [iqdb]
32451
8:25 A.M., Dawn of the First Day, 71 hours and 35 minutes remain.

I find myself waking up on a rotting wooden porch, the planks no longer smooth and the nails no longer firm. A damp splinter lodges itself in my palm as I groggily crawl to my hands and knees. The prick of pain wakes me up slightly, though I’m still seeing the world in a haze from the sedative. The pain in my back is worse, but I’ve grown used to it.

Grown used to getting old.

I struggle to get to my feet, but after a few seconds lose interest and lean my back against the wall of the old cabin who’s porch I now occupy. Memories come back to me as the brisk morning air brushes against my face. Memories of an office building, conspicuously empty. Of a contrastingly-lit room reminding me of old police dramas. Of a contract I can still picture in my head, and a signature in rust-colored ink. And of the woman… no, the girl, she couldn’t have been over thirty, even if I never got a good look at her.

I still have difficulty believing it, believing this “experiment” she or maybe they wanted me to participate in. I rack my mind for a clue, a sign that perhaps it’s all just a dream, that it’s all in my head. I’ve been so desperate for a solution this past year I’m beginning to think I’m losing it. Reading too far into things. Telling myself what I want to hear. Hoping so hard for a miracle I’m beginning to make them up and believing they’re true.

It just doesn’t make any sense. I get a letter in the mail. Return address, corporate letterhead, all very official. Would I like to participate in a risk-free psychological trial that could pay up to twenty-thousand dollars in compensations? Simply answer the provided questions as thoroughly and as truthfully as possible. I read the questions. They’re bizarre. Questions about death and murder and ethics. Would I kill a man in self-defense? Would I kill a criminal breaking into a convenience store? What if it were a bank? What if it were a government building? I find myself wondering what possible sort of “psychological trial” would require such a grim survey.

But I answer them. Every night after the kids are asleep, after dear Samantha’s gone to bed, and when the buzzing of the evening news is the only sound in the house, I fill out another question. I never stop asking myself why I’m doing it. It’s clearly some kind of sick joke, or a scam, or yet another pipe dream of an ambitious dreamer, leading nowhere. My answers stretch on for pages as the survey becomes something of my own personal journal, filling the empty lines with my thoughts and fears and unanswered prayers. It won’t amount to anything, I tell myself as I slide the manila envelope into the postbox. I just wasted three perfectly good stamps.

Three months later some girl who’s half my age gives me a gun and is telling me to kill someone I’ve never met.

I reach over and look at the gun in question. Grenade launcher. M79. Made back in ’61. I know the weapon. Hell of a way to kill someone. The rounds are in the travel pack to my side, all held cozy in a plastic triangle like a rack of billiard balls. Ten rounds… My misgivings aren’t put at ease any. Ten rounds and nothing else. Dropped into some quiet forest warzone with seven other people probably just as nervous as me, and trigger-fingers just as twitchy. But knowing that contract I signed, they got bullets to waste on that finger. I don’t.

I rub my hands together and try to generate some warmth. I’m beginning to wish I’d worn something more than just my good flannel to that office; there’s a coat in the pack, but no gloves. I stare out past the decrepit porch railing. A rich green grass field sprawls out before me, cute little pond maybe fifty yards out. The trees get thicker further west as the hills rise up. An old dirt road nature is desperately trying to reclaim winds north to south right in front of the house. It’s the only house I can see from here, and it’s not much of one to begin with, roof fallen in and walls slowly leaning over log by log.

What am I doing here? I should be waking up with Sam and the kids right now. I’ll hug them, tell them to have a good day at school and study hard so they’ll get great jobs some day. Sam’ll try her hardest not to talk about the money again this morning. I’ll come into the factory again, wondering how much more gloom and doom corporate can give us without just shutting the plant down outright. I check the watch that was sitting at the bottom of the pack. 8:30. I’d have been on the clock for a half-hour already. Line 3 will already have a pile of reruns from Q/C a mile long, I bet. Graveyard shift not pulling their weight again.

I clutch the smooth wood of the grenade launcher to my chest. It reminds me of what I’m supposed to be doing here. Of a choice I stayed up night after night thinking about when I should’ve been next to my wife like a good husband should. A choice I’m still not sure I made the right decision on. A choice I wonder if I’ll be regretting when these three days are up.

I risk a quick walk over to that pond to fill my canteen, hoping that the one-kilometer window I was promised can buy me some small risks like this at the very beginning. I keep my back to a waterside tree, one hand ever on my weapon even though I’ve yet to load it. There’s no dense cover for a hundred yards in any direction, but any of the high-caliber weapons could easily shoot past that range. After I quench my thirst and top off the container I consider loading a grenade into the chamber, but I don’t. Ten rounds. Each one is precious. A slip of the finger during a jog, a panicked rustling of branches in the wind, and it goes to waste while giving away my location for all the world to see. My mind tells myself that this is why I don’t load the round, but my heart knows why I don’t. My heart knows it’s because even though I’m here, even though I went to that office and signed that piece of paper, I’m still wondering if I have it in me. A deer with a bow and arrow, I can do that. That’s one thing. A human being with a grenade… well, I don’t yet know if it’s another thing or not.

I’ll know for sure after three days.


[ ] Return to the old cabin. It is defensible. Wait. Someone will come.
[ ] The road is dangerous. Leave it. Travel (northeast / east / southeast / southwest / west / northwest)
[ ] Travel (north / south) on the road. Look for a more defensible structure. Hold up.
[ ] Get to the town, immediately. Before they do. Lie in wait.
[ ] Approach the town, slowly. It will be watched. Be cautious.
>> No. 32453
[x] Travel (south) on the road. Look for a more defensible structure. Hold up.

This guy seems like he wants to find a safe place to hide. I'm okay with that, but this cabin won't do. I can't tell where he is exactly, but there should be something nicer if we head south. Taking the road should be safe this early, and will be faster than staying off it.

<Bolt>

Let's let some time pass and see what the other protagonists do on their own. Starting out is getting a bit tiresome.
>> No. 32455
[x] Travel (south) on the road. Look for a more defensible structure. Hold up.

Well, I'll agree to the idea, but I don't know about protagonist change anymore. Perhaps another time.
>> No. 32459
[ ] Get to the town, immediately. Before they do. Lie in wait after getting a change of clothes.
<Remain as Powder>

All participants know everyone has a nice gray overcoat, so getting different clothes is a priority.

I also read all of Shell's dialogue in the voice of Daniel, from Amnesia, since they kept going on and on about memories.
>> No. 32462
I think this is where Powder is, assuming that light grey boxes are buildings as well as the dark grey ones. It's the only building about 50 m away from a small body of water on the North-South road.

[ø] The road is dangerous. Leave it. Travel (northeast / east / southeast / southwest / west / northwest towards that building 300 m to north from the current position.)
>> No. 32463
File 129946164770.jpg - (909.93KB , 1876x3072 , Powder location.jpg ) [iqdb]
32463
>>32462
forgot the image
>> No. 32465
Error on my part: I forgot to include the switch vote options in the last update. If I forget them again it's always going to be a mistake; the switch-vote is implied for all updates. Those of you who forgot to add it already feel free to add it now.
>> No. 32473
[x] Travel (south) on the road. Look for a more defensible structure. Hold up.
-[x]Shell

Changing perspectives is getting real old, real quick. I'm not very keen on any of these characters right now, but I like to stick to my guns.
>> No. 32503
3 – South Road
1 – North Building
1 - Town

<1> - Bolt
<1> - Powder
<1> - Shell

Traveling south on the road wins, though there’s a tie on the protagonist switch. As I kind of dropped the ball on posting the vote options, and since some of you seem a little weary of switching, I’ll just stick with Powder again for this section. Update tonight maybe probably.

Also, you don't need to sage your vote-posts; other readers are probably comforted by the knowledge that the story is alive and being voted on.

>>32447
This is one of the reasons this story is experimental: the emphasis is not exactly on Touhou itself. The presence of Touhou exists, but is subtle. To be honest, someone who’s never heard of Touhou before could read Priceless and never know it was even there to miss, because they’re not looking for it. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll start to see clues.

>>32453
>Let's let some time pass and see what the other protagonists do on their own. Starting out is getting a bit tiresome.
Fair enough, fair enough. I’ll consider starting new characters off in-media-res now that we’ve got the basic idea of the story down. I still haven’t gotten the hang of what’s appropriate and what’s not with the perspective switches; it’s a learning experience for us all.

>>32459
I must address two misconceptions you have. First, their overcoats are not all the same color: Shell’s is charcoal grey, Bolt’s is black, and Powder’s was unspecified. Second, I think I mentioned it in the story somewhere, but the town is abandoned and the buildings will be for the most part empty. You won’t be finding a fully-stocked clothing shop there.

>>34262
Good man; you’re learning to use the map.

>>32455
>>32473
>Well, I'll agree to the idea, but I don't know about protagonist change anymore.
>Changing perspectives is getting real old, real quick.
Again, this is another reason why it’s an experimental story. I knew eight protagonists was a risky business, and even said at the start that I didn’t think it was going to, quote, “jive” with everyone. But I do know that it can work, and will hopefully create a very interesting feel for the story once character interactions start happening. Still, If you feel underwhelmed with it, I won’t fault you for stepping away from the story and perhaps checking back in a few weeks or a month to see if it’s more to your liking then.

Never hesitate to tell me what you don’t like about my writing; it’s the easiest and best way for me to know something’s wrong. I may not agree with you, but at least I’ll know you have a problem, and will take it into consideration.
>> No. 32511
File 129955318722.png - (69.16KB , 600x200 , Powder.png ) [iqdb]
32511
8:50 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 71 hours and 10 minutes remain.

After waiting by the pond far longer than might be safe, I grab my things and take to the road. The map says there’s a town north up the road, but I head south. I know what everyone else must be thinking. Everyone is going to think everyone else will be headed to the town. The hot-headed ones’ll make a beeline straight for it, knowing blood will flow in those streets before the sun rises on the second day. Folk like me, though, we know better. They gave us three days for a reason. Seventy-two hours, each one of them more precious than my ten grenades. No point running into town and kill and be killed all before lunchtime. Once I’m in that town I have this feeling in my gut that I’m going to have a devil of a time getting back out alive. Cool head. Patient heart.

So I head south. Have a pretty good idea where I am on the map, and it looks like there’s more houses down the road to check out. I need shelter, and I need it soon. I am smack dab in the middle of this peninsula, and that means no matter which way I go, there’s someone waiting for me. Got to find someplace safe, defensible… some place I can see them coming from. Grenade won’t arm point-blank if I recall; needs space. It’s artillery. It’s meant to be fired from a fixed location, not mucking about in some woods where I can’t see a thing.

I shake my head in disgust. Look at me. Discussing military strategy with myself like I’m some kind of expert. Almost makes me sick. I tell myself not to get too comfortable with the idea. This here, what I’m doing, this is the exception. Not the rule. I’m a good man, a good husband, a good father. I’m not some killer. Dad, he was the warrior. He fought in the war. He knew how to deal with this stuff. Me? I’m a handyman. Give me a grenade launcher and the first thing I’d ask is what needs to be fixed on it. I never learned how to fight; too old to learn it now, at any rate.

But I got it to do.

I check my watch. Eight fifty-five. One hour since this “game” started. I do the math in my head. Slow movement on foot over uneven ground might be one, one point five meters per second. One hour… Anyone who up and moved right at the start might have gotten four kilometers. They could be anywhere by now; one kilometer away to start doesn’t mean a darn thing now. I pick up the pace. Gotta find shelter quick, before people start finding each other. Hold up, take it easy. Be patient. Wait for someone else to make the first mistake.

The terrain is flat everywhere around me, though with all the trees and fallen leaves it’s awful deceptive of the fact. Green leaves above, brown leaves below, every crunch my boots make on them agony to my ears. Loud… too loud. My eyes dart from one side of the road to the other, seeing a dozen different places where someone might be lying in ambush. I pray that, like me, they took their time waking up and realizing where they were too. My fingers start picking at the cotton bandolier slung across my chest, at the empty loop where a grenade once rested, now finally loaded into the barrel of my weapon. I didn’t want to. I might even unload it as soon as I find shelter. But I know I can’t afford to be an idealist. Not yet. Not when I’ve got no clue who I’m fighting, or where.

God… who am I fighting? Complete strangers? A complete stranger could be anyone. The man you bump into at the train station, the cashier who hands you your thirty six cents, some politician you’ve never heard of from a state who’s capitol you don’t remember… Christ. A sick feeling rises from my stomach to my throat as I realize I might be fighting kids. That girl never said how old… I pray I’m just paranoid. No kid would accept a job like this… they’ve got their whole lives ahead of them. Fifty years and they’ll be able to make their dreams come true by themselves, without all this killing! They don’t know a thing about death! God, please don’t let it be kids… Please let it be men who know what they’re doing, who know what they’re sacrificing… Please let it be men who have a good reason to die.

Check my watch again. 8:59. There’s a pond up ahead. Road turns into a bridge and goes straight over it; I wonder why it doesn’t just bend around, they’re not saving all that much time this way. There’s another cabin right on the other side. Looks pretty beat up, but better than the one I came from. I slow down well before I reach the bridge. Check the map. Another house a hundred fifty meters down the road from this one, labeled brown rather than grey. The label colors mean something? There must be some kind of difference.

I get off the road for now, give the pond a wide arc. If anyone’s in there they’ll be watching the road for sure. Might be listening for footsteps on the bridge, too. I keep one eye on that south road, just in case. Calm down, calm down. Get inside. The longer you take the closer they’ll get. Might be taking the road, might be coming in from the trees, but there will be people who think hiding in these cabins is a good idea. The worst part is that I’m one of ‘em. No… the worst part is that I overslept. I overslept and in one hour I’ve moved five hundred meters.

I’m too old for this.

No windows on the east side of the cabin, which is where I start moving in. I spend more time looking at the ground than at the log walls, doing what I can to avoid the bigger sticks. My launcher stays at my waist, barrel pointed forwards. As the distance shrinks my weapon feels more and more pointless. Why…? Why would they give someone a single grenade launcher and ten measly shells? She said ammunition rations were fair and equal. Bah. Fair and equal. In destructive power, maybe. I don’t doubt that once I dig in folk are gonna have a hell of a time digging me out, but ten shells is ten shells, and they know I’ve only got that many. Then again, they’ll be having to aim. I won’t.

Hell of a way to have to fight.

My back’s against the wall now. North road’s clear, South road’s clear. I inch over to the pondside corner. Peek around it. Window facing the pond. Peek again. Frame’s rotted out, leaving a gaping hole in the wall. I bring my weapon around the corner and let it drag the rest of my body with it. Inch closer to the window. My palm sweats against the wooden stock. How am I even going to flush someone out if they’re in there? Grenade won’t prime from this range; just a giant bullet now. If it’s the Enfield or the MG42 I might have a shot, but if it’s the Thompson? The Mossberg? I tell myself that if anyone was in there they’d have started shooting by now. It doesn’t help.

I silhouette myself in the window hole, gun to my cheek. Right corner. No one there. Left corner. No one there. Most of the roof’s fallen in on this one too. A thatch roof this time, though; the majority of it’s degraded into the floor. I finally allow myself to exhale. No one here. No one here…

I crawl in through the window; my back doesn’t like that very much. At least this place is better than the last one. Roadside wall’s seen better days, but it’s standing. I weave myself around the broken frame of the roof that’s scattered everywhere inside. Broken chairs, an empty bedframe, and a pot-bellied stove rusted halfway into dust are a vacant reminder that someone once lived here. That someone might have made an honest living here. Fishing, lumberjacking, maybe mining… A quiet life. A simple life.

I look out the south window. I think I can barely make out the next cabin in the distance. No way of knowing if it’s any better than the cabin I’m in now. I allow myself the comfort of sitting down, just for a minute or so. I’ve got four walls, four good walls that will stop bullets if it comes to that. They buy me time. Time I can’t afford to waste.

I just try to answer for myself how much time that really is.


[ ] Hold up here. Moving is dangerous. Defend the position.
[ ] Rest momentarily. Eat, drink. Then continue (compass direction)
[ ] Make for the southern cabin. Take the road. Move quickly.
[ ] Make for the southern cabin. Approach from the forest. Be careful.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 32512
>>32511
[X]Hold up here. Moving is dangerous. Defend the position.
[X]Chamber
goddamn glorious day today is. Managed to no life DMC 2 and 3 in less than 24 hours and look to THP to find Owen writing again, good shit.
Now i have some questions for you sir if you would be so kind as to answer them.
first off, would you believe that it would be better to limit the usage of protagonists for anon so as to prevent, as you stated earlier, the usage of metaknowledge to derail the story?
also, nice map, make it yourself?
>> No. 32513
[X] Make for the southern cabin. Approach from the forest. Be careful.
<Drum>

Always move, yet always be careful. Don't want to get someone get us while we're moving. The best always survive through moving as much as possible.
>> No. 32519
[X] Rest momentarily. Eat, drink. Then defend the position.
<Belt>

This man is more interesting than the ones we've seen, but I wonder what the heavy gunner is thinking?
>> No. 32524
[x] Make for the southern cabin. Approach from the forest. Be careful.
<x> Bolt

I will vote for Bolt until we are Bolt or he dies trying.
>> No. 32526
[x] Make for the southern cabin. Take the road. Move quickly.
[x] Shell

>>32524
Same, but with Shell. Bolt is a close second, though, so if Shell dies I got your back.
>> No. 32528
[x] Make for the southern cabin. Approach from the forest. Be careful.
[x] Belt

Powder should stay on the move, because I get the feeling staying in one position is just going to give him time to over analyze his situation, and whether or not he could really kill someone.
>> No. 32531
[X] Make for the southern cabin. Approach from the forest. Be careful.
<X> Belt

>>32528
>whether or not he could really kill someone
They're all probably going to ask if they can do that, unless one of them is a psychopath, soldier or lawman. It's just underlining the sick nature of this game. It's easy to justify killing someone when they're trying to kill you, but are you willing to kill in cold blood for a glimmer of hope?
>> No. 32716
>>32503
>Also, you don't need to sage your vote-posts
Very true.
There is, after all, no good reason to sage a vote, unless you're:
-Posting a silly/stupid/retarded vote.
-You have some kind of backward misconceptions about posting etiquette, which I can assure you are wrong, since this is what it has lead to.
-You're just an asshole, in which case, get the hell out.
>> No. 32722
[x] Make for the southern cabin. Approach from the forest. Be careful.

<x> Belt

I'd really much rather see all the protagonists from the start, first. THEN go ahead and join them at whatever point works best.
>> No. 32723
>>32722
If we do that, we're missing out on our chance to freak out when someone we haven't been attacks and switching to them.
>> No. 32758
File 129993338262.jpg - (1.03MB , 850x1416 , At first I was like.jpg ) [iqdb]
32758
5 – Approach
2 – Hold
1 - Hustle

<4> - Belt
<1> - Chamber
<1> - Drum
<1> - Bolt
<1> - Shell

Apologies for the long delay. I’ve been on Spring Break, being lazy. Just got a Wii and have been playing far more Monster Hunter Tri than is probably good for me. Everyone’s allowed a little time off for a new vijya game, right? I promise it won’t affect updates too harshly in the future. Speaking of updates, this one should be ready tonight, I think; I’ll be writing in the car ride back upstate.

>>32512
>first off, would you believe that it would be better to limit the usage of protagonists for anon so as to prevent, as you stated earlier, the usage of metaknowledge to derail the story?
No, I don’t think it would be any better. The heart of a CYOA is giving the voters the freedom to choose how they want to see a story progress. Priceless is about the characters, and thus the vote options need to reflect that. I’ve created eight unique characters that will view things in different ways, and I want to give the voters the freedom to choose which of these eight they prefer to see more of. There’s no point in limiting protagonist usage; once all eight have had at least one update a piece, it will be the natural progression of things to focus on the most interesting ones, and the “limiting usage” will happen all by itself. You’re seeing it happen already.

As for metaknowledge, I’m here to police that. I trust most of the voters to curb their metaknowledge use in general, but for the few that slip up I reserve the right to discount their choice if it’ll harm the story. Voting might be what makes a CYOA run, but the story must come first.

>nice map, make it yourself?
Nah. I’m a good map-maker, but I’m not that good. Found a map of an obscure corner of the world, edited out the labels, and added my own scale and building markers. It feels more interesting knowing it’s based off of a real location.

>>32513
Or, “the best” move around, get spotted by someone lying in wait, and get shot.

>>32531
>It's easy to justify killing someone when they're trying to kill you, but are you willing to kill in cold blood for a glimmer of hope?
That’s a question I sincerely hope you all think about in earnest as you vote through this story.
>> No. 32759
>>32758

It's been awhile since I've played tri...and by awhile, I mean months, at least. Is the online community still somewhat active, or is it dead?
>> No. 32774
File 129998207264.png - (95.87KB , 740x266 , Belt.png ) [iqdb]
32774
9:00 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 71 hours remain.

This is gonna be freaking awesome. And not all like, “ohmahgawd, toetahly awesome!” Those girls are friggin’ idiots. Give ‘em D’s and F’s all year and they’ll just smile and lean against their boyfriend who they’ve totally been dating for three whole weeks now! It’s true love! And then they’ll get all depressed in a month when they break up like they didn’t see it coming! I eat those girls like bag lunch. They’re the cheerleaders. I’m the athlete. I’m the star. Me.

And at least I see it coming, because I’m the one who dumps the jerk in the first place. They’ll get over it. Builds character, right? Least that’s what dad keeps saying.

But this is it, this is freakin’ it. My big chance. The world championship. The most dangerous game. And when I win, it’s gonna be me. They won’t call Rosalie perfect anymore; I’m gonna be better than perfect. She might’ve done everything before I did, did everything better than I did… but she didn’t do everything. There’s one thing I can do that she can’t.

She doesn’t have what it takes. She has everything she wants already: looks, money, degree, job, fiancé… She doesn’t have any reason to worry. Doesn’t have a reason to take chances anymore, either. She’s too perfect for her own good. Didn’t have to work like I have to. Didn’t have to live up to someone else’s standards all her life like I have to. She doesn’t know what it’s like to always be less that worthy. To be so desperate to be noticed you’d do just about anything. She doesn’t have what it takes to kill someone.

I have what it takes. And what I have is a machine gun.

I’m staring down the barrel of it right now. It’s beautiful. Black. Burnished. Deadly. Born to kill. I run my hand along it, pet it and stroke it like a good little puppy dog. We were just reading about these in school, for World War Two. The MG42, it’s called. But they called it Hitler’s Buzzsaw back then. Because it’s so fast you can’t even tell the difference between one bullet and the next. Just like ripping a cloth.

I want to hear if it’s really true. I want to hear my buzzsaw. My machine gun. My Belt.

But dang it he is a fat little puppy. I can pick him up all right, but walking around is another story. Can barely hold the barrel out in front of me, let alone keep it steady. And the belt itself, hell… Two hundred fifty bullets is a pretty big number, but once you hold it all in your hands and drape it over your shoulders that number’s ten times as big. But it’s not supposed to be like the movies, is it? Real people don’t walk around shooting giant machine guns. Real sixteen-year-old girls don’t walk around with machine guns period. Real sixteen-year-old girls don’t do much of anything with guns. And that’s why this is just so cool. Fight a three-day war with real guns and get to wish for whatever you want? Sign me up right now, Miss Mystery.

Come to think of it, I really would have liked to talk more with her. I bet we got a lot in common.

The cabin’s pretty cool, I guess. Ain’t really that dirty for probably not being lived in for years. Everything is brown; brown walls, brown floor, heck even the light feels brown. Gives it a real “you’re in a war now” feeling, I guess. I liked the first one better, though; floor wasn’t all covered with leaves and dirt and it actually had stuff in it that wasn’t all falling apart. I should’ve taken more of it; you never know what you’re gonna need in the wild! Couldn’t carry it, though. I wonder if Miss Mystery did this on purpose, give the little girl a big huge machine gun plus a big heavy travel pack to make it a real challenge? I bet she did. But at least I can lift it; nine years of swingin’ a softball bat add up! And you can’t be a sophomore on the varsity team and expect to be awesome if you don’t go to the weight room more than a few times!

…Rosalie made varsity freshman year, though…

I watch the dirt road below me, perched above on my cabin on the hill. Couldn’t ask for a better spot. The window I’m set up in has a beautiful view straight north, and it wouldn’t take long for me to drag the machine gun over to the south window and watch the back road. Anyone so much as walks on this path, and they eat belt. This is my road now.

The clock tells me it’s five after nine. Haven’t seen anyone yet, but we all started pretty far away from each other. I tell myself no one’s gonna want to move right at the start. Moving gets you killed. That’s why I’m gonna win. I didn’t just stay by that lake, no; I found a better place. A place where I can gun some other idiot down all while eating this nasty can of meat and crackers. It’s all reverse-double-unpsychology or some crap. You know there’s a town. Do you go to the town because it’s safe, or do you avoid the town because everyone goes to the town, or do you go to the town because everyone runs away from the town because everyone goes to the town? Heck if I know. But someone’s bound to take the road. Bound to. All I got to do is wait.

I take a look at those cigarettes that came with breakfast. Found some matches in the “Dinner” box, too. Never bothered to try smoking before. Not because of everyone saying “don’t do drugs” and “don’t give into peer pressure” and all that crap. It’s stuff like that that makes us kids do it just to spite them; they don’t care about us, they just care about our image. No… never smoked because Rosalie never smoked. You always have to try and be as good as Rosalie. Can’t ever do anything she didn’t do; look at how perfect she turned out! We only want the best for you, dear. We want you to become as good of a young lady as you can be. Once you’re older, you’ll thank us for being so hard on you. Rosalie hated it too, dear, but look at how happy she is! Wait until you’re older, dear. You can be whoever you want to be when you’re older, but for now, you need to be more like Rosalie.

I hate waiting.

The cigarette itself is pretty bitter unlit; I roll it around in my mouth and lick the end of it with my tongue. I don’t intend on lighting it, really; it just makes me feel older. Less like a girl, more like a woman. Sixteen… sixteen practically is a woman in some cultures. I’d be having daughters of my own by now. If I’m old enough to have sex, I’m damn old enough to kill someone. ‘Specially someone I’ll never have to care about. I couldn’t kill Rosalie; I don’t hate her. I just want to be better than her.

A wish shall be defined as a request of any magnitude that shall be unconditionally fulfilled in full.

You grant that wish for me, Miss Mystery. I don’t care how you do it; magic, money, secret legendary training in the mountains, whatever. I’ll give you your kill not made in self-defense. Just give me my miracle.

9:15. Nobody in front of me. Nobody behind. I check my map; I know where I am. There’s got to be people who woke up in the woods nearby, or up the road. Where is everyone?

I hate waiting.


[ ] Wait. Relax. Take stock of the situation. Impatience begets failure.
[ ] Switch gun to the south window. Wait. Someone will come.
[ ] Fire a salvo. Understand the weapon. Let the others fear Hitler’s Buzzsaw.
[ ] Leave the cabin. Travel (state direction or destination)

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder



**************************************************

>>32759
My parent’s internet downstate was too patchy for me to attempt much online play. I spent most of my time just getting used to the game and getting better-than-lame gear to start.
>> No. 32775
[x] Fire a salvo. Understand the weapon. Let the others fear Hitler’s Buzzsaw.
<x> Bolt

She needs to learn how to handle her gun or she isn't going to hit anything... if anyone has ammo to spare, it's her. And she's going to leave and get herself killed if she tries to force herself to wait.
>> No. 32780
[x] Switch gun to the south window. Wait. Someone will come.
[x] Shell

Found a protagonist I do not care for in the slightest. I guess it was bound to happen with so many to chose from. Part of me wants to see the exact moment this dumb broad figures out this isn't some game, and part of me wants to be the other guy shredding her apart.
>> No. 32783
[x] Wait. Relax. Take stock of the situation. Impatience begets failure.
>> No. 32785
[x] Fire a salvo. Understand the weapon. Let the others fear Hitler’s Buzzsaw.
<x> Powder
>> No. 32792
[ø] Fire a salvo. Understand the weapon. Let the others fear Hitler’s Buzzsaw.

<ø> Shell

can't figure out where Belt is on the map.
>> No. 32794
[x] Fire a salvo. Understand the weapon. Let the others fear Hitler’s Buzzsaw.
<x> Powder

Psychologically speaking, everyone else might think Belt is getting her first kill. Also, the mannerisms and age make Belt seem like a Scout getting a chance at being a Heavy.
>> No. 32821
[x] Fire a salvo. Understand the weapon. Let the others fear Hitler’s Buzzsaw.
>> No. 32878
[x] Fire a salvo. Understand the weapon. Let the others fear Hitler’s Buzzsaw.
<x> Magazine

One of these people is probably insane. I'm looking forward to seeing who it is.

>>32780
And not liking Belt was a good reason to sage your vote, amirite? You giant pussy.
>> No. 32883
>>32878
Of course not. Rather, I sage my votes because I am certain the writer person will see them regardless, and sometimes I have nothing of note to say. Unlike the trash who appears to have just recently came to this site, I have no strange misconception of what a sage does.

Here, since you appear to be a stupid piece of shit, I'll spell it out in a manner comfortable to you.

Sage for saying nothing of note, and being overly antagonistic.
>> No. 32884
>>32883
>Writer person

Around here we call them either writers or writefags, and sage votes are something of a dick move as with a busy board it causes some to overlook the story.
>> No. 32886
>>32884
>sage votes are something of a dick move as with a busy board it causes some to overlook the story.

You might wish to rethink your logic. There is no board on this site quick enough to deem this necessary. If there are people too lazy to scroll down a single story to check another, that is none of my concern, to say nothing of the watched thread box.
>> No. 32891
6 – Fire
1 – Wait
1 – Switch

<2> - Shell
<2> - Powder
<1> - Bolt
<1> - Magazine


Ties are for Father’s Day (third Sunday in June, don’t forget!), so I’ll give the switch to Shell since she’s had less screen-time. Still trying to get into the groove of managing free time between video games, writing, and social obligations, but I’ll get it under control eventually. I did only promise two updates a week, but it feels lazy for me to do the bare minimum.

I’ll try to get the update out by tonight sometime.

>>32775
She has less ammo than you’d think; Hitler’s Buzzsaw got its name for chewing through a belt at 1200 rounds per second.

>>32780
>Part of me wants to see the exact moment this dumb broad figures out this isn't some game, and part of me wants to be the other guy shredding her apart.
And what a wonderful story this is, where you get to choose something like that.

>>32794
>a Scout getting a chance at being a Heavy.
Interesting observation. I suppose TF2 analogies are inevitable considering the weapon-centric nature of the story. However, none of the protagonists have hats, so I’m not sure how far the parallels travel.

>>32883
>>32884
>>32886
Please don’t start this; it’s a rather trivial thing to argue about, don’t you think? Saging doesn’t hurt the story any more than not saging does. I made my plug about it back in >>32503, and I think that’s really all that needs to be said.

I’m more miffed at the people who vote for an action but forget to vote for a character switch, myself.
>> No. 32900
File 130032029958.png - (196.11KB , 800x500 , Shell.png ) [iqdb]
32900
9:05 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 70 hours and 55 minutes remain.

Right about now I’m wishing I had something other than a shotgun. Anything else.

My back grids against the wall, the doorframe just a few feet away, and me too wary to silhouette myself in it. I hug my shotgun tight against my chest, palms beginning to sweat already. Go to town… Brilliant idea a mile away from it. The closer I got, the slower I walked, until a ten-minute hike became a thirty-minute trudge of subconsciously placing myself behind trees and peering ahead for the first sign of a building. And now here I am, holding up in the house at the end of the road. I am officially “in town”.

It starts for real, now.

I try to remember the view I saw from outside the house before I ducked in. Two ruins of buildings up the road, one more on the beach. Map says the same thing. None of ‘em are really in a fit state to hide in; then again, all you need is one wall to block a line of sight. I peek outside the door for not even half a second, try to flash the image of the outdoors in my eyes and remember what I see as I duck back inside.

I think I’ve figured it out by now. The colors on the map. Light brown means the building’s in shambles, dark brown means it’s still standing. Doesn’t show all the old rubble and burned foundations of the houses that don’t seem important enough to make it on the map, though. I wonder what happened here, who knows how many years ago. Out West, yeah, I could see a ghost town, but this is some forest wilderness here. Fishing village, maybe? My mind ticks through some number of trivial explanations for why the town’s been deserted for what must be decades, only because I still can’t bring myself to move.

Someone has to be out there. In this town, right now. Maybe more than one. Held up just like me. Looking at me the same way I’m looking at them. I can only assume they fear for their life as much as I do. I can only hope. That hope doesn’t get me very far, unfortunately. For people to accept a job like this, they’ve got to be either confused, desperate, heartless, or just damn insane. Folks that probably don’t have a lot to live for, but have an awful lot to die for. They say there’s nothing more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose.

But I tell myself that’s what puts me ahead of them. That knowledge that I’ve got something to come back to. That I’ve got something worth living for. That I have a hell of a better reason to fight than they do. And that if this horrible “game” ends up going straight to hell and the word “victory” becomes nothing but a sick joke, I will have a damn good reason to get the hell out and never look back. Even without the money, without the wish… I will still have Mariah.

But she deserves better. I deserve better. And it is a parent’s obligation to provide for their child, to give them the absolute best they are able to give them.

50 yards to the next building. A whole lot longer than it sounds. No cover. The distance flies by like hash marks on a freeway. My shoes kick up wet gravel from the road before I veer off to the grass instead. Keep quiet. Sounds travels. No cover. Please don’t shoot, please don’t shoot please don’t shoot. I dive into the exterior corner of a roofless, near wall-less building shaped like a T, shoulder skidding across the dirt before I lift myself back to a crouch and slam it against the wall. Please don’t see me, please don’t shoot.

I wait. Hold my breath. Wait for him to fire an inevitable round. I call him a him only because it makes it easier to think about killing him. I don’t care what kind of him he is. They’re all the same, to me. Just one more man in my life that I’ll regret ever meeting. Proud hearts with weak convictions, able to care but unable to commit. I don’t mind giving them the justice they deserve. If they haven’t done anything to deserve it yet, they will. I don’t mind so much killing him. As long as he’s a him.

He doesn’t fire.

I let go of my breath, ease the grip on my shotgun. Take it easy. Dying from a stupid thing like a heart attack would be the most awful thing that could possibly happen now. One step closer. One building closer. I unfold the map from my pocket, hands shaking as I cradle my gun against my shoulder. Six dark squares in the town besides the one I just left. He’s got to be in one of those six. Only a fool would hide elsewhere, in one of those ruins that’s more of a tomb than a shield.

I realize that I’m currently hiding in one of those ruins.

I think about climbing inside the walls of this strange T-shaped house, but I don’t end up taking the initiative. I’m not ready yet. And the more pieces of wood between me and a bullet, the better. I crane my head up to look at those pieces of wood I’m currently calling a shelter. They run maybe four feet high before splintering off; shorter than that in some places. Any burnt smell of ash they once held has been washed away by a hundred rainstorms, leaving only the old black scorch marks. Once again, I wonder what happened here. One thinks of very strange things on the battlefield, I’m starting to realize. The silence of the trees and the air and stone all around me is infinitely more deafening than any roar of sound I can remember. Images blink through my mind, clips of war movies and flashes of myself killing and being killed in different ways. The weaker half of my mind tells me I need to keep moving, that the longer I wait the longer I’ll have to think about all of this.

I want to think about this. I want to soak it all in, understand every last little bit of it. The more I understand, the longer I stay alive. It’s easy to stop thinking when you have a gun in your hands. Easy to think you’re the queen of the world. Easy to get yourself shot running around out in the open like I just did. Dying is easy. Living is hard.

I wait. I rest. I stay alive. I will die if I don’t, stay, alive.


[ ] Stay put. Stay safe. Stay alive.
[ ] Check past the walls. Carefully. Observe the situation.
[ ] Fire a warning shot. Goad him to return fire. Draw him out.
[ ] Move inside the walls. They could come from anywhere.
[ ] Find a better stronghold. Run to (state destination)

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 32901
[x] Find a better stronghold. Run to the long, sturdy house to the west.
<x> Bolt

It's closest.
>> No. 32902
why didn't Shell just stay at the first (dark brown, aka decent condition) building, anyways?


[ø] Find a better stronghold. Run to the long, sturdy house to the west.

<ø> Shell
>> No. 32904
[x] Move inside the walls. They could come from anywhere.
<x> Clip
>> No. 32914
[x] Check past the walls. Carefully. Observe the situation.
[x] Shell

Caution above all else. With only a shotgun, it's a pretty sure bet that he has more range on us. We can't afford to run around between buildings.
>> No. 32951
[x] Find a better stronghold. Run to the long, sturdy house to the west.
<x> Powder

Now, is someone actually there, or is Shell just imagining a "what if" scenario?
>> No. 32952
>>32914
>Caution above all else. With only a shotgun, it's a pretty sure bet that he has more range on us. We can't afford to run around between buildings.

You do realize that Shell just thinks that there's a possibility that there is an opponent there, and whether one of the other competitor is actually there or not is uncertain, right?

>>32951
"He" might be there, might not be there. "He" could also be a she, or even multiple people.
>> No. 32953
[x] Fire a warning shot. Goad him to return fire. Draw him out.
<x> Chamber
>> No. 32954
>>32952
>is actually there or not is uncertain, right?

Of course I know that. Do I sound like some sort of fool? However, even if there is no one there, the mere possibility that there might be is call enough to warrant sufficient caution.

I would rather her be paranoid and alive, as compared to reckless and dead.
>> No. 32956
>>32954

(>>32914)
>With only a shotgun, it's a pretty sure bet that he has more range on us.
Without even putting quotation marks around the word 'he', it certainly did sound like you were referring to an actual individual.
As for caution, in my opinion, one has to take certain amount of risk in order to gain the upper hand in this situation. That is, take the risk of someone else being in town and take the risk of getting shot at, to take cover inside a more reliable building than the current one.
>> No. 32970
3 – West building
1 – Check
1 – Move in
1 – Goad

<2> - Shell
<1> - Bolt
<1> - Chamber
<1> - Clip
<1> - Powder

This one should hopefully be up tonight at some point. Can't promise any increase in the speed of updates yet; feel free to choose your own stock excuses from the myriad of ones writers tend to give.

>>32902
Probably for the same reason you’re voting to move to a different location yourself. Also because of what >>32956 said: “one has to take certain amount of risk in order to gain the upper hand in this situation.” Going to town means very little if you just sit in the outskirts and don’t move anywhere, especially since a shotgun doesn’t have the range to shoot from one building clear to the next. Shell needs to get closer to the center of town so she can leverage the main strengths of her weapon: Close-quarters combat.

>>32951
The cool thing is, all you have to do to find that out is to vote for someone who you haven’t seen yet. Which you… didn’t do, I guess?

And that’s all I have to say about that.
>> No. 32978
File 130058894037.png - (196.10KB , 800x500 , Shell.png ) [iqdb]
32978
9:20 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 70 hours and 40 minutes remain.

Can’t stay here. Too open. Can’t stay here. Too open.

I remain wedged in the corner of the two walls, the flat edges of the food boxes in my pack pressing against my back. I don’t dare peek out above my barricade. Not yet. Not ‘till I’m sure I know where I’m going. Check the map. Even in such a small slab of land, it’s easy to get confused if you don’t check your map. Just one more thing that’ll put me ahead of them.

I’m at the T. Came from the last good building in town. Nobody east. Somebody west… He’s got to be west. Where, though, where… Which building? Can’t stay here, too open… He’d want to be in the middle of town, if he’s smart. That square one on the coast? Maybe the rectangular one further south… That long thin one’s looking awful good to me right about now. Closer to the main drag. More defensible. Another 50-yard dash. God damn it, why do I have the shotgun? Anybody else’ll be able to hit me from a mile away and there’s not a thing I can do about it.

Then again… if they’re anything like me, I wouldn’t count on any of them being too good of a shot. A smile perks up on my face before I even realize it. The one good thing about a shotgun: don’t have to aim. Just need to get close enough, is all… just need to get closer.

I ease my body around and lift my head just barely over the wall, shotgun barrel poking up out of the wood next to me. Got to see my path. Got to see where’s safe. If he’s in either of those two houses, can he see me? I wonder whether it’s better for me to keep my head down, or keep it where it is. Could he detect movement from this range? One hundred yards from here to the danger zones. Surely he can’t hit a moving target from across a football field, can he? Not if he’s some duffer like me.

Unless he isn’t.

Or unless he’s sitting in that caved-in two-story deal right across the road and didn’t shoot me before only to wait for a better shot. It’s not like ammunition is exactly a bowl of complementary candy or anything.

Fifty shells. Fifty. When am I possibly going to find the time to use all fifty shells?

I move back to the safety of my wall. There’s a window on the second floor of that south one that can see clear down the road. Can’t take the road. Road’s suicide. But if I go around, go behind this one, use the trees… should be safe.

Why does it have to be so long ago since primary school? Since Hide-And-Go-Seek, since Tag, since Dodgeball? I begin to wish I still knew all the tricks I’d mastered as a child. We all knew how to play those games as children… we’re all champions of the playground in our own eyes. Me… I was the one who never wanted to get caught. Other girls ran faster, hid better, played smarter, scored higher, but they’d never get me out. One way or another. It wasn’t about winning for me. It was about not losing. As long as you stay in the game, stay alive while everyone else falls around you… that’s all you need. As long as you outlast them, outlive them, you’ve won. That is, of course, until you find someone else who’s not losing as good as you.

What happens when the Immovable Object meets the Immovable Object?

Not much.

That smile comes back to my face. More or a smirk, now, really. She’s good. Ohh, She really knew what she was doing, didn’t She? It’s not enough to just not lose in this game, nooo… She wants me to win. Turn my entire competitive philosophy on its head, why don’t you? It’d be easy to not lose. Find the most pointless, obscure corner of the map, cover yourself with tree branches, and sit out the next seventy-two hours in obscurity while the rest of them kill each other.

Wouldn’t be surprised if someone was doing that right now, actually. Be a smart move; wait until the dust clears, pick off whoever’s left standing, and behold, victory. Sounds so easy when I put it like that. But I can’t afford to try something that spineless. My wish can’t afford to. My wishes. I need him to stay alive, so that I can kill him before they do. Can’t afford to back down. Not now. Not yet.

Not yet.

So I run. Head down, back slumped forward, shotgun out. Hustle around the back wall of the house. Peek past the corner. Watch the window, the window! No one shooting; don’t give him time to aim. I run to the first big tree I can find, leaves shuffling and crunching around my feet like brown snow. Watch the window. Move to the next tree. Five yards closer. Watch that window! Next tree. Seven yards closer. My heart pounds even though I’ve barely exerted myself. The pack behind me feels like it’s trying to pull me backwards, pull me down, despite its weight being a pittance. Eyes forward! Next tree. The side door draws nearer. Closed. God, please don’t let it be locked, please… Next tree.

He shoots.

The dull crack rattles through the cold air into my ears. One shot. My breath catches. My shoulder twitches. I’m not hit, but my shoulder twitches anyways. My sweat turns to ice as the rest of my skin prickles like red needles. Where did it come from, where the hell did it comes from?! Why were my eyes not on the window right then?! My brain tries to interpret where I heard the shot from, but the echo is already poisoning my ears, washing out all sense of direction. One shot. Not two. Just one. He didn’t hit me… but he shot.

The door, the door! I sprint the last twenty yards to the wooden portal with reckless abandon, ram my should against the planks. Whether it’s locked or not, the hinges swing back and allow me entrance, a crunchy groan of wood emanating from the frame. Hand shoots out, swings the door closed again. Back to the wall, gun to my chest, finger to the trigger. My breathing won’t slow down. He shot. He shot. Don’t know where from… did he see me? Oh God, if he saw me… My breathing won’t slow down. He’s here. I wasn’t just being paranoid. He is here.

I don’t know how long I lean against that wall, or how long before my legs give out and I begin to squat against it rather than lean. Time suddenly matters very little to me. Distance suddenly matters very little to me. An hour inside this building means the same to me as the one second in which he comes in through another door and we both shoot each other; fifty pitiful yards separate this building from the two others I feared he was in, and right now a mile wouldn’t be enough for me. He shot. He, shot.

But… I am still alive.

The realization that I am still alive reassures me. It breaks me out of my initial languor. Living is the most important thing. It’s not the wish… I need to be alive to enjoy that wish. For Mariah and I to enjoy it together. Living is the most important thing. And I am still alive.

From where I sit I look at the building I currently inhabit. A workshop of sorts, I think it might have been. One long room running practically from wall to wall, littered with rotting, rusted frames of tables and machinery that I wouldn’t know the purpose of even if they were brand new. A large pair of sliding doors sit in the center of either long wall, doors I seriously doubt would slide if I tried to move them. Not a lot of windows; could be good or bad. It feels like a strong building. A good place to defend from, to attack from.

I keep watching the door, not sure what to expect. He shot… but did he see me? Did he see where I went? Would he go through the same door I did? Would he go for me at all? I don’t know… I don’t know if I know how to know.


[ ] The building is compromised. Move elsewhere, quickly. (state destination)
[ ] Guard the back door. He will come. The door is everything.
[ ] Barricade the back door. Make the workshop a fortress.
[ ] Watch the front door. It is closer to the center of town.
[ ] Fire a warning shot. Goad him. Draw him out.
[ ] Remain calm. Eat, drink, inspect the building.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 32979
[x] Remain calm. Eat, drink, inspect the building.
<x> Chamber

Isn't it best to find a central room and listen from there?
>> No. 32980
[x] Barricade the back door. Make the workshop a fortress.
[x] Shell

I have always been a fan of turtling. He knows we are somewhere around here, and he, presumably, has the same desire to rack up wishes. He will come calling, and we will be ready, shotgun in hand. We're only two hours into this three day game. We can easily afford to wait.
>> No. 32982
[X] Barricade the back door. Make the workshop a fortress.
<X> Chamber it was either chamber or bolt since it was one shot fired, and if it was bolt, he most likely would have hit her instead of warning shot. Doubt he missed by such a large margin that she would not have directly heard the bullet impact in the vicinity. Curious as to see if it actually is chamber.
>> No. 32984
[x] Barricade the back door. Make the workshop a fortress.
<x> Powder

Shooting will just reveal what weapon we have, encouraging the attacker to stay at range.
>> No. 33023
3 – Barricade
1 – Rest

<2> - Chamber
<1> - Shell
<1> - Powder

And a new character shall be seen once more! Makes me wonder how long it’ll take before all eight are revealed, or if all eight ever will. Updating either tonight or tomorrow morning.

>>32982
>It was either chamber or bolt since it was one shot fired, and if it was bolt, he most likely would have hit her instead of warning shot.
Technically, any fully-automatic weapon is still capable of firing a single shot, provided you’re light on the trigger. In which case the only people it couldn’t be are Powder and Belt, since you know where they are at around 9:20.
>> No. 33024
File 130076176576.png - (132.40KB , 700x750 , flan (12).png ) [iqdb]
33024
>>33023
but are our protagonists (antagonists/antiheroes?) truly that skilled with such weaponry. I find it difficult to believe that anyone without some form of proper training to have enough trigger discipline with a semi or fully automatic weapon to be able to fire off sort burst, let alone singular shots, simply due to initial shock or feeling recoil which makes your hand, and subsequently your fingers, grip the trigger for longer than necessary (personal experience). Forgive the mini rant, i just love this story and your work. As indemnification, have some flan.
>> No. 33030
File 130080611171.png - (121.93KB , 539x278 , chamber.png ) [iqdb]
33030
9:30 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 70 hours and 30 minutes remain.

“…G’morning.”

”Drop your weapon.”

I stare back at the man from across the pond, both of our weapons pointed directly at each other. “You know I can’t do that, sir.”

”I said drop your weapon.”

I try to reason with him. It’s only an hour and a half in; we can’t be that high strung yet that we won’t listen to reason. “Sir, dropping this weapon’ll just give you another reason to shoot me. And long as I keep this thing pointed directly at your chest, you shoot me, it’s self-defense. You won’t get your wish.”

He scowls as he tucks the stock of the grenade launcher against his shoulder. “A million dollars is a hell of a wish, son. At this range you really think I even need to aim?”

“Money’s an awful cheap price, Powder.” I use his given name, hope that it might ease some of this tension. They said we were complete strangers. Maybe we are. But no sense in being so cold about it. “You really want to kill me just for money?”

“I’m seriously considering it, chubby.”

I was really hoping I would have been able to get through a few more hours without being given such a stark reminder of my weight. “Powder, we could sit here for hours until our arms fall off and still not drop our weapons. Meanwhile one of the other six strolls in and shoots us both. You really want to die like that?”

He furrows his wrinkled brow at me, grizzled beard and rocky face making up in intimidation what his age lacks. He looks to be in his fifties, maybe sixties; I reckon he’s not much more spry than I am. It saddens me… I would have hoped that me at thirty-five would have been the old one; a sick game like this is meant for young people, folk that don’t understand how precious life really is. I pray that Powder’s age helps my cause rather than harms it. Man that old has to have a good reason for doing this. Can’t just be for money.

“I ain’t lettin’ you leave my sight,” he growls, index finger wobbling awfully close to that trigger.

I maintain my composure. “I have no intention of leaving, sir. Just suggesting that we move ourselves indoors.” My head nods over to the cabin I just came from.

His eyes flash over to said cabin, then back to me. “Son, you can’t be serious. We’re in the middle of a war and you wanna just sit down and talk about it?”

“You’re the one who’s suggesting that, Powder. Not me.”

The way he talks puts my heart at ease. The way he surreptitiously moves the conversation towards less violent directions, even if he outwardly doesn’t see it himself. I think he wants to talk about it. He just doesn’t want to look like he’s soft. Soft people get killed mighty fast in a war, he’s probably thinking. I’ve got a .357 magnum pointed at his heart. Do I look “soft” to him?

He shakes his head in frustration and levels the grenade launcher against his cheek. “Start walkin’, Chamber. I take one step forward, you take one step back. I ain’t letting you under the same roof as me until I’m in it first. Move.

A more stubborn person would object to getting pushed around like this. Asking why the old man gets to make all the decisions when we’ve both got exactly the same leverage on each other. But I ain’t stubborn. Heck, I been getting pushed around for so long I’m used to it by now. Can’t be a janitor and not, I suppose. You go where you’re needed, clean what’s dirty, fix what’s broken. You don’t have much of a choice; it’s your job.

There’s a heck of a lot of dirt in this place, that’s for sure.

I do as Powder suggests, walk backwards as he walks forwards, dragging his shoulder across the side of the cabin to avoid getting his shoes wet in the pond. I’m forced back to the road; make it quick, old man. The road’s straight enough for just about anyone to snipe down it. I have my doubts that even Bolt could hit us from that house a quarter-mile down the road, but sound judgments aren’t based on doubts.

Sniping… They say all is fair in love and war. Never believed that to begin with. But where is the honor in sniping? Killing men who can’t see you, who can’t possibly defend themselves against you. I’m pretty sure it’s a valued military tactic. But I’m also pretty sure there’s a reason officers tended to execute snipers on sight.

The sooner I find Bolt, the better off everyone’ll be.

Powder shuffles into the front door of the cabin before telling me to come in as well. He drags an old-yet-solid chair back with him with his foot and sits down at the rear of the one-room building. That launcher’s still raised in my direction. My arms scream at me to lower that revolver of mine, the weight of the cannon in my hands multiplying every minute. But I can’t. I mustn’t. I fully believe what I told him just a few minutes back. I know that a raised weapon and a lowered weapon is the difference between something that’s barely seven digits long, and something that’s priceless. I can only gather he knows it too. I’m counting on it. Just a handful of yards separates him from me, now; at this range if he looked close enough he might realize my Colt isn’t even loaded. Hopefully he’s too busy scowling into my face to notice.

I pull up a chair at the table with my own foot and sit down, finally taking the weight off my aching arms by balancing the Colt on the table instead. Even if he decides to shoot, indoors I’ve got a feeling the grenade will just blow us both up. There’s really nothing either of us can do to each other in here. Yet we both pretend like that’s not the case.

“Talk,” Powder commands again, voice made of gravel.

I tilt my head ever so slightly to the side. “About?”

“What’s all this pansy-ass crap about, sayin’ good morning and shootin’ the breeze like we’re just two boys at the water cooler?”

I hate to sound condescending, but he needs to know. “No reason we can’t deal with this civilly like grown men ought to, Powder.”

“This is war, son. Ain’t no time to be civil.”

I match his furrowed brow with my own. “You really think this is a war, Powder? Look around you. No flags, no uniforms, no front lines… this isn’t war. War means something. This… what does this mean? This doesn’t mean a damned thing.”

I can tell I’m reaching him on at least some level. A part of him seems to know. Seems to know how insane this whole thing is. He’s putting up one hell of a fight, though, as he levels the barrel of his weapon at me again.

“Means a hell of a lot to me, son,” he replies coldly.

“What’d you wish for?”

He stares at me, speechless. Certainly not expecting the question, or perhaps not wanting to. “What?”

“What did you wish for? If you survive this, if you get out of here with a kill… what is that wish going to be?”

We both watch each other for what feels like a lot longer than it actually is. I want him to think about this. Think past the paper and ink we all signed, to what this is really about. I want him to ask himself if he really believes it’s worth it. I pray that he realizes it isn’t.

The interruption doesn’t care about if it’s worth it or not. The interruption has no ears to hear us or heart to care about us. Bullets are nothing but bullets once they’re fired.

A sharp volley of rounds whistles through the trees and air outside like firecrackers popping in bundles. Feels like it’s from the south. With my back to the door I can’t tell where they’re hitting, or if they even are, but the mere sound of it causes me to seize up in my chair. The sound… Feels too strong to be the Thompson. Too strong to be the AK.

Belt.


[ ] Take cover. Get down. Forget about Powder right now.
[ ] Look outside. Discern the bullets’ direction and effectiveness.
[ ] Load the Colt. Return fire.
[ ] Leave the building. The position is compromised.
[ ] Use the distraction. Take Powder’s weapon from him.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 33031
[x] Look outside. Discern the bullets’ direction and effectiveness.
[x] Shell

Most of the other options remove the limited protection of self-defense from Chamber. His only saving grace is being too close in proximity for the grenade launcher to be effective. How unfortunate for Powder.

This fat man is dangerous though. He may not have the best, or most effective guns, but his silver tongue will get him far with the more philosophic contestants. He must be removed from this game early. Also, he is gunning for my home-boy Bolt.
>> No. 33032
[x] Use the distraction. Take Powder’s weapon from him.
<x> Powder
always wanted to see how the same action views from both sides.
>> No. 33035
[x] Look outside. Discern the bullets’ direction and effectiveness.
<x> Belt

At the speed those guys encounter each other, we may drop to 5-4 before the first day is even done.

Still, if Powder just want one wish then leave to survive, he pretty much has the best chance for one right now. Just blow up the idiot in the house.
>> No. 33036
[x] Use the distraction. Take Powder’s weapon from him.
<x> Bolt

>>33031
You should show your support by voting for Bolt instead of wishing his enemies death.
>> No. 33037
[ø] Look outside. Discern the bullets’ direction and effectiveness.
<ø> Powder
>> No. 33041
[x] Look outside. Discern the bullets’ direction and effectiveness.
<x> Powder
>> No. 33065
[x] Look outside. Discern the bullets’ direction and effectiveness.
<x> Powder

Switching now would show us what Powder's wish is; his thoughts will be focused on the machine gun fire, but he'll also be thinking about what Chamber said.
>> No. 33126
5 - Look
2 - Disarm

<4> - Powder
<1> - Belt
<1> - Bolt
<1> - Shell

Nothing much to say at the moment. Posting this before class to let you know I'll be writing soon; update will happen sometime this evening.

>>33024
You make a good point. I was just playing devil's advocate to say that it's "possible". Whether or not it's likely is a choice best left for people like you.

Indemnification is a word I should use more.

>>33032
I shall do my best to oblige. The structure of this story will allow me to do some rather unorthodox things, I must say.

>>33035
>At the speed those guys encounter each other, we may drop to 5-4 before the first day is even done.
Perhaps, perhaps. Planning this story, I had no real way of knowing how fast or slow the action would move; I still don't, for that matter. I just decided that three days was an acceptable length to allow for flexibility in character's actions, should some decide to bide their time or get scared and hide. If we don't end up using all 72 hours, then we don't. I'll write in such a way to make it work, no matter how long or short it is.

>>33036
He's got a point, there.
>> No. 33128
File 130135235652.png - (69.16KB , 600x200 , Powder.png ) [iqdb]
33128
9:30 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 70 hours and 30 minutes remain.

Caught.

Been creeping up on this damn house for the last fifteen minutes, no worries, and as soon as I jump out from behind the wall I see a magnum pointed at me from fifteen yards away. Guy holding it’s a chubby sort of fellow; balding brown hair, bushy moustache, all dressed in blue jeans and denim. Can’t believe this. Not even two hours in and already I’m staring at a gun that ain’t my own. Just my luck… Too fast. Done got caught up in thinking I was a boy again. Should’ve waited…

Moustache looks at me very plainly, very seriously, lips hidden behind that soup-strainer of his. He doesn’t shoot. Why doesn’t he shoot? Why am I not shooting right now? Come on, pull the trigger! At this range you can’t miss!

“…G’morning,” he greets jovially.

”Drop your weapon.”

He stares back at me from across the pond, both of our weapons pointed directly at each other. “You know I can’t do that, sir.”

”I said drop your weapon.” As this point my tongue is just acting out of reflex. I shouldn’t talk. I shouldn’t be doing anything except pulling this damn trigger right here. End it all, right now. Why the hell am I negotiating?

He doesn’t drop it. “Sir, dropping this weapon’ll just give you another reason to shoot me. And long as I keep this thing pointed directly at your chest, you shoot me, it’s self-defense. You won’t get your wish.”

I pull the butt of my launcher tight against my body. I tell him something like, “A million dollars is a hell of a wish, son.” But he’s got a point. Maybe that’s why I don’t shoot. I tell him the same thing I tell myself. A million dollars is a wad of bills. Old men like me can retire right there. Pay the mortgage off, fix the car—buy a new car--get the kids to college… Isn’t that why I came here? Pay the bills? Be a good father? Good grandfather?

Then why am I not just shooting him right now?

“Money’s an awful cheap price, Powder. You really want to kill me just for money?”

What’s he doing, calling me Powder like it’s supposed to mean something? Like it’s a name I want to associate myself with?

“I’m seriously considering it, chubby,” I spit back at him.

He shrugs. “Powder, we could sit here for hours until our arms fall off and still not drop our weapons. Meanwhile one of the other six strolls in and shoots us both. You really want to die like that?”

Confound it all… How’s he getting away with all of these points? What’s his game? Psychological warfare? Trying to get me to drop my gun and take away the self-defense clause? I try to show him he’s not getting to me, scowling and moving my finger closer to the trigger. “I ain’t lettin’ you leave my sight.”

Cool as a cucumber, he is. He motions over to the cabin. “I have no intention of leaving, sir. Just suggesting that we move ourselves indoors.”

I look at the cabin for a half-second. Go in there? Inside the house he’s probably camped in for the last quarter-hour? With my luck he’ll have rigged a tripwire, set off some kind of explosion with all that spare magnum powder he can throw away like candy. That or make me bleed to death out of my ears.

Don’t trust ‘im. Talks too much for being in a place like this.

I tell him as much. “Son, you can’t be serious. We’re in the middle of a war and you wanna just sit down and talk about it?”

“You’re the one who’s suggesting that, Powder. Not me.”

Again with the Powder. What is he up to? Something’s not right here. He knows something. Something more. That girl… she said we were all acting on exactly the same information. Am I supposed to believe that? It’d be just the kind of thing “they” would do, whoever “they” are. Toy with men who don’t matter, who’ve got nothing to lose. Break the rules just soon as you think you’ve learned them.

I need to find out what he knows. He wants to talk? Sure thing, “Chamber.” I’ll “talk.”

I brush the stock of the launcher up against my cheek, get a good firm grip on it. “Start walkin’, Chamber. I take one step forward, you take one step back. I ain’t letting you under the same roof as me until I’m in it first. Move.”

Takes me a few seconds to believe that he’s actually doing it, shuffling backwards towards the street. I don’t let him get too far away, and match him pace for pace. It’s not right, I keep telling myself. None of this is right. I shouldn’t be here… I should have tried to find another way…

But I am here. And there was no other way.

I divide my time between keeping an eye on ‘Stache and keeping an eye on the cabin. Very boring cabin. Old table, old chairs, old bed and mushy pile of an old mattress. All old. Would he really put a trap in here? Would he even have time to? Don’t know… The things I know seem to keep getting smaller every minute, or maybe they just matter less every minute. Guess it’s just one more thing to get used to, getting old. When you’re old, they don’t care about what you learned as a kid. Don’t care about doing things with your hands, or fixing things with your head. In the future, they say machines’ll do all that for us. Technology, good man, technology.

First machines start thinking, then men stop thinking. And where will we be when they break?

I stop thinking about the future. Start thinking about the present. Drag a chair over to the back wall and sit down; watch “Chamber” do the same. Still pointing that gun at me… Hey ‘Stache, you want me to buy what you’re selling, try putting the cannon away first, son. Colt Python, hell… Least they gave it to someone who can counterbalance the recoil, I suppose.

“Talk,” I order him.

“About?”

The gall. “What’s all this pansy-ass crap about, sayin’ good morning and shootin’ the breeze like we’re just two boys at the water cooler?”

“No reason we can’t deal with this civilly like grown men ought to, Powder.”

“This is war, son. Ain’t no time to be civil.”

He lowers his bushy eyebrows; probably trying to look intimidating. It ain’t working. “You really think this is a war, Powder? Look around you. No flags, no uniforms, no front lines… this isn’t war. War means something. This… what does this mean? This doesn’t mean a damned thing.”

I roll my eyes. As if he would know. Just ‘cause he looks like some out-to-pasture cop with that six-shooter and midnight blue overcoat don’t mean he is one. What is he, thirty-three? Try it for another twenty-seven years, son. You’ll learn.

We all learn.

“Means a hell of a lot to me, son,” I tell him. I wish I believed it as much as I sound like I do. Right now all this means is a great fat load off the ol’ checkbook. Suppose it does mean a hell of a lot when you got sons and daughters and a wife relying on you to keep that checkbook full. Wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them…

“What’d you wish for?”

I freeze.

“…What?”

He repeats it. “What did you wish for? If you survive this, if you get out of here with a kill… what is that wish going to be?”

Who is this man.

What is he doing here.

Where does he think he is coming from.

When am I finally going to pull the trigger.

Why haven’t I already done it.

I want him out of my sight. I want him to leave me alone. Want him to stop talking. I know he wants me to think. But how can I think when he won’t, shut, up?!

…What is my wish?

I realize… realize that I never picked one. Been putting it off. Ignoring it. Don’t need to choose it until the three days are over and that girl’s handing me a piece of paper to write it down on. Told myself that I’d think of something eventually…

Why must I keep lying to myself? Too old to pull the wool over my own eyes anymore. I know why I don’t have a wish. I know why I don’t pull the trigger.

Because I don’t really want to kill them.

I have to.

But I don’t want to.

And then… bullets.

A sharp volley of rounds whistles through the trees and air outside like firecrackers popping in bundles, like ripping cloth. My heart stops beating; my lungs stop breathing. The Buzzsaw.

It’s here.

But it’s not close.

I’ve got a perfect view out the south window and front door, and I can’t see a thing. I can hear it—Lord have mercy, I can hear that awful buzz—but there’s nothing to see.

He doesn’t know that. And so he turns away. The cannon remains on me, but his eyes are on anything but me.

I might only have two seconds. Hell of a lot you can do in only two seconds.


[ ] Shoot him.
[ ] Club him. Aim to kill.
[ ] Take his gun. Shoot him with it.
[ ] Run. Out the window. Away from this meddler. (State direction/destination)
[ ] Do nothing. He knows something. He is important.
[ ] Move up. Take his gun. Subdue him in any way possible.
--( ) Remain there. Demand an explanation.
--( ) Leave him there. Take his supplies. Head (State direction/destination)
--( ) Force him to leave. Remain there. It is defensible.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 33129
[x] Club him. Aim to kill.
[x] Shell

His gun is still leveled at us, though his attention is elsewhere. Would that still count as killing him in self-defense?

Anyways, we are too close to shoot him, and too old and frail to attempt a grapple. This is our only hope of success to end this bastard. Though we may not get a wish out of it, we will still get something of equal value in this game. His gun, and the ammunition that comes with it.
>> No. 33131
[X] Move up. Take his gun. Subdue him in any way possible.
--(X) Remain there. Demand an explanation.
<Powder>

No way we can face that machine gun alone.
>> No. 33132
[x] Take his gun. Shoot him with it.

Powder's doing this cause his gun sucks at close range.

Frankly, though, I'm voting for this cause I know Chamber's gun isn't loaded. It'll be interesting.

<x> Chamber
>> No. 33143
>>33132
Dangerous territory here. I warned you about directly using metaknowledge to influence your vote. Yes, I agree it would be interesting, and even here it’s not affecting a great big deal. However, there may be times in the future when acting on knowledge outside of a character’s perspective could cause them to do the impossible and break the believability of their actions. Please keep this in mind.

I’m not saying this is a bad vote. Just letting you know my concerns.
>> No. 33146
>>33143
Yeah, I agree that it's dangerous territory. However, from Powder's point of view, it's the only way to guarantee that he gets a wish. If he just clubs Chamber, it'll still be self-defense. Same for shooting him.
>> No. 33160
>>33146
And that's the sort of logical justification which makes it okay. Carry on.
>> No. 33176
Story needs votes badly.
>> No. 33179
[X] Move up. Take his gun. Subdue him in any way possible.
--(X) Remain there. Demand an explanation.
<Chamber>
>> No. 33180
[x] Club him. Aim to kill.
[x] Shell
>> No. 33182
[X] Move up. Take his gun. Subdue him in any way possible.
--(X) Remain there. Demand an explanation.

<Powder>

Really, really would like to see who Clip, Magazine, and Drum are.
>> No. 33194
3 - Disarm and demand
2 – Club
1 – Steal and shoot

<2> - Shell
<2> - Powder
<2> - Chamber

I was holding out for a tiebreaker, but looks like there’s not going to be one. As from before, I’ll break ties in favor of characters that have had less updates, which means Chamber wins here. I’ll try to write some tonight in between being distracted by friends, and hopefully there’ll be an update sometime tomorrow.

>>33129
>His gun is still leveled at us, though his attention is elsewhere. Would that still count as killing him in self-defense?
Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

>too old and frail to attempt a grapple
You can still do quite a lot when you’re sixty. Just not as much as you used to.

>>33182
>Really, really would like to see who Clip, Magazine, and Drum are.
You say as you vote for not Clip, Magazine, or Drum.

:|
>> No. 33196
>>33194
>:|
You may be a respected writer person round these parts, but that doesn't excuse you of faggotry. You know better.
>> No. 33200
File 130162953285.jpg - (35.74KB , 110x110 , srsbsns.jpg ) [iqdb]
33200
>>33196
You may be a respected reader person round these parts, but I excuse you of not knowing how often I make that face. You didn't know better.
Inside joke from my IRC days; couldn't help it. My apologies.
>> No. 33213
>>33200

Times have changed, Owen.

I shall excuse you for one moment, but I pray hope that you remember to restrain yourself from making such emoticons in the future. It will only sour the reader to writer relationship.
>> No. 33215
File 130167639516.png - (121.93KB , 539x278 , Chamber.png ) [iqdb]
33215
9:35 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 70 hours and 25 minutes remain.

I keep my gun on him. My head snaps around to look outside, expecting to see the puffs of dust from the ground as the machine gun’s bullets drive into the dirt road. Nothing yet… perhaps they aren’t aiming down the road? I turn my head the other way to look out the window—

My knuckles and palm sting in unison, the feeling reminding me of the pain when you hit a baseball wrong with the bat. Right hand’s flung to the side, and I look back in front of me just in time to see Powder pulling the stock of his weapon back and slamming it into my gut. My fingers lose their hold on the revolver as the wind wheezes out of my lungs. It’s a good hit. Portly though I may be, it is a good hit.

I start leaning down to pick up the discarded weapon, but neither my heart nor my lungs are in it. Partially because I know it’s not loaded, partially because I know from my seat in the chair I’ll never reach it in time, and partially because I realize that I blew it. Very first person I meet, very first conversation I have, and he clubs me in the gut within five minutes. Too late do I realize how cheap talk is. Too late do I realize how paranoid this sick “game” will make everyone.

My own gun is pointed at my head now, Powder gripping it with his left hand while still holding onto his grenade launcher with the right. It doesn’t matter if it’s not loaded; the image alone is enough to make me freeze. Powder glares daggers of fire into my eyes, looking frighteningly like an Old West cowboy with that grey stubble on his chin and rust-brown coat he’s wearing.

I know exactly what I have to do. It’s what I should have done the moment I saw him. The only question I ask myself now is why I didn’t do it on the first place… Doesn’t matter. I stop talking. I start saying something.

“Sean… Eckers.”

He continues to glare at me, not understanding. “Whah?”

I don’t give myself the time to reconsider. “My name is Sean, Judd, Eckers. ‘If at any point during the duration of the engagement the contractor reveals to any other participant their legal name, they shall immediately forfeit the right to any and all payments they have earned or will earn pertaining to Section 3.’ I am not trying to kill you Powder.”

He raises the corner of his lip in partial disgust, adjusting the grip on my Colt. “…And how do I even know that’s your real name, Chamber?

“You don’t. They do.”

He sets down his launcher and grips the revolver properly with both hands. He doesn’t believe me. Of course he doesn’t. Nobody is going to. But that doesn’t change the fact that I sure as Heaven and Hell know my own name, and it is Sean Judd Eckers.

“Shut up,” he commands me. “You start answering what I have to say, and you answer it properly, or I swear to God I’ll—“

Stop; don’t finish it,” I interrupt. “Don’t say something you’ll regre—“

”I said shut, up, fat man!” His finger’s already on the trigger, hands shaking; the revolver is raised right to his eye level. The only thing stopping him from realizing that it isn’t loaded is the fact that he won’t take his eyes off me. “Who are they?! You tell me right now, what do they want with us?!”

“I don’t know who they are, sir. I’m probably in the same boat as you right now. An anonymous survey in the mail, an office building with an empty parking lot, a poorly lit room, and some woman in a suit who I can just never seem to get a real clear look at. I signed the same paper you did; check my sack. My name’s on it, even. I’m in this same as you.”

“Bull shit, son!” he spits back at me, not conceding an inch. “You are damn too sure of yourself to be sitting here like that. What do you know that I don’t, huh?!”

This time, I try my very hardest not to sound condescending. “I know that that revolver you’re holding isn’t loaded, and hasn’t been since I woke up.”

His eyes flicker to the exposed chambers of the gun, flicker back to me, then back to the chambers. I can see it in his face; the realization. He shakes his head fractions of an inch back and forth as an even deeper scowl forms on his face. He probably doesn’t believe what he’s seeing. Or just doesn’t want to accept the fact that not only did I pointlessly threaten him with an unloaded revolver, but that he just did the same thing. My initial fear is that he’ll throw the thing away and go for his own weapon again, start bashing me over the head with it in a frustrated rage.

He doesn’t.

His head continues to shake back and forth as his feet autonomously carry him backwards in disbelief, until he flops down into a chair across the table. The fury slowly melts away from his face, but the uncertainty remains. And he still holds onto my gun, for better or for worse.

“Why… Why the hell are you carrying around an unloaded weapon in a place like this?”

“I told you, sir. I’m not trying to kill you. I’m not trying to kill anyone. That was my real name, I swear to God. I’m out of the contract now.”

Again, he asks, ”Why? Y-You, you come here, sign the damn sheet, and then throw it away…? Why’d you even come, damn it?!”

It’s a question I’ve already asked myself , back on the “mainland”, or wherever home is now. It’s a question I’ve already answered for myself, for that matter. But having another one of these poor souls actually ask it to my face… it puts a different perspective on it. Makes me think about how I’d word it out loud. For me, it’s just something I know. For him…

“I’ll be level with you, Powder—“

“Stop callin’ me that, damn it.”

“All right. Whoever it was that gave you your contract… I expect they didn’t explain a whole lot other than telling you this wasn’t no joke.” I pause for a moment, let him think about whether or not that’s the case. I certainly hope that’s the case. At least, that’s what that woman in black told me: “Every other candidate right now is in exactly the same situation, in a room just like this, talking to a person in a suit just like me.” If this game isn’t as fair as she said is was going to be, this all comes tumbling down like a stack of cards, and I’m just some fat preacher spouting dogma.

I continue. “My suit told me something. Something she said she doubted the other suits were going to tell their candidates. Something very simple. She told me that nowhere on that contract does it say that the contractor must attempt to go after another contractor.”

Leaning forward, I place both of my palms on the table, looking the man squarely in the eye. “Sir, I answered practically every question on that ‘psychological trial’ of theirs with a resounding no. Every one. No, I would not kill a complete stranger. No, I would not kill a man breaking into my house, or a convenience store, or a bank, or the White House. Yes, I would fight back in self defense; no, I would not attempt to kill my assailant in self defense. Pages and pages of reasons why, sir. Don’t ask me why I thought it would do any good; probably for the same darn reason that every time some survey asks me what my race is I write in bold letters ‘HUMAN.’ And despite that I still ended up here, same as you.”

I don’t know what good it’s going to do, telling his this. If it even will do any good. And like he said, how can he know any of it is true? Talk is cheap. He’s old enough to know that a lot better than I do. As I look as that gun in his hands, my namesake, I can only hope that what I’m telling him is helping, in some way, in any way. Because that’s the real reason I’m here. I don’t want to die. But if I can get even one person here to realize what that contract is going to turn them into, that’ll be enough for me.

“So, so… so what, what does this mean?” he asks, almost rhetorically. “You said no, mostly. You’re here. I… I said, yes. Mostly. And… I’m here.”

I sigh; what, indeed? “I suspect a lot of them said yes, mostly. I suspect people who said yes, mostly, are looking for a miracle. Life is a miracle, sir. I don’t mean to preach, but it is. I suspect that’s what this is all about. Trading one miracle for another.”

“To what end?!” he shouts, throwing up his arms and then letting them drop to his sides. “For the love of God, what’s the point?! Why’d they send us out here in the first place?! Why am I talking to you, why didn’t I plug you the moment I laid eyes on you?!”

“Do you want to plug me, sir?”

“That’s not the point!”

“I believe, sir, that it is.” I lean forward again, pushing my chair closer to the table. “They said they’d be watching us, didn’t they? Said that they would know if we broke the rules, or followed them; if we shot in self-defense, or unprovoked. Might be watching us right now.”

As expected, Powder’s eyes drift up towards the corners of the building and outside the windows. He hunches closer to me, his voice dropping to a whisper. ”You talking… cameras? Microphones? Bugs? Spies?”

I shrug. Because I don’t know. Are they using cameras and bugs? Or are they using the threat of cameras and bugs? Awful lot of trouble to rig up that many all the way out here. But… it’s possible. For all I thought I knew about this when that woman told me about what the contract didn’t say, I realize that I really don’t know any more than he does. I might feel better about myself for voiding my rewards, but that doesn’t change the fact that anyone else could kill me and claim theirs.

And three days is an awfully long time.

Powder returns to his state of paranoia. “Where’s the ammunition for this thing? I want it.”

“In the bag, by the bedframe. Want me to get it for you?”

“N-No, no, that’s… that’s all right. I’ve, I’ve got it.”

As he moves over to my traveling pack, I add, “Might as well take the cash too, while you’re at it.”

“The cash?”

“The twenty-thousand dollars. You probably need it more than I do.”

He scowls as he pockets my box of bullets and the speedloaders inside his coat. “You trying to bribe me, son?”

Another shrug. “My car’s paid off, and I rent.”

He puffs out his cheeks skeptically and shakes his head. But he leaves the bills alone. Sitting back down, he pulls a handful of cartridges out of his pocket and loads the revolver, one by one.

“So…” he asks me, “What now?”

What, indeed.


[ ] Attempt conversation. Stop being “complete strangers”.
[ ] Suggest nothing. Let Powder make a plan.
[ ] Suggest investigating Belt.
[ ] Suggest moving. Head (state direction/destination)
[ ] Part ways. Powder is nervous. Head (state direction/destination)
--( ) Ask for the revolver
--( ) Ask for the grenade launcher
--( ) Travel unarmed

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder


**************************************************

>>33213
Fair enough.
>> No. 33217
[X] Suggest nothing. Let Powder make a plan.
Do not try to be smartass with the gritty old man and an about-to-be loaded revolver. He's a captive right now. acts like one.
----------------------
Switch to [x] Drum

As much as I want to see Belt being all giddy with her shiny new MG, I would like to see all of the characters. Starting with Thompson-guy.
>> No. 33218
[X] Suggest nothing. Let Powder make a plan.
<ø> Drum

so, what happens when a character dies without us knowing of the death? Is the viewpoint selection option going to reflect that? (IE> the character's name will be crossed out)
>> No. 33220
[x] Suggest investigating Belt.
<x> Drum

As cool as suggesting nothing is, they were just shot at. I don't think Powder will take offense at wanting to go check that out.

And Chamber has a good shot at turning Belt if he can get to her alive.
>> No. 33228
[x] Attempt conversation. Stop being “complete strangers”.
[x] Shell

What a despicable piece of trash. I cannot believe he would enter this game just to stir up shit and preach to the other contestants. He's a bleeding heart fuck, and he makes me sick. I don't think Powder has it in him to shoot him. That is a damn shame.
>> No. 33235
>>33228
As expected of Byakuren's candidate. I bet she had to convince him. Or he's got a death wish.

I still like him, though. Silly motivation aside (that he's willing to risk himself for no compensation, not that he's idealistic), he's got more balls than anyone else so far.
>> No. 33236
[x] Suggest nothing. Let Powder make a plan.
<x> Belt
>> No. 33237
>>33220
they were not "shot at".
>> No. 33238
[x] Attempt conversation. Stop being “complete strangers.”
[x] Suggest moving. Head West, to the large lake.
<Belt>

I wonder how much ammo she blew through with that burst? I'm also not sure which pond they're currently at.
>> No. 33247
3 – Nothing
2 – Converse
1 – Investigate

<3> - Drum
<2> - Belt
<1> - Shell

Post #12, Character #6. I’d challenge you to see how long we can go without revealing all eight, but that would be silly, wouldn’t it?

>>33218
A character will never die “off screen” in this way, because of the nature of the perspective shift. Yes, a character may die during the timeframe in which you’re looking as someone else. But because the perspective shifts make the time progression of Priceless slightly non-linear, I will keep said character’s name open for a vote until you know they are dead. Voting for a “dead” character will let you see their final moments and thoughts, and only then will their name be crossed off.

This is more a strict guideline than a solid rule, and I might bend it a little for the artistry of the story. But you won’t be so blindsided by a death that it’ll affect your voting abilities.

>>33220
>And Chamber has a good shot at turning Belt if he can get to her alive.
Because we all know that headstrong sixteen-year-old girls are perfectly convinced by strange, portly middle-aged men, right?

>>33228
I’ll take someone who hates my characters over someone who’s apathetic any day. At least it means they have enough depth to be hated.

>>33235
Dohohohohohhh really~?

>>33238
The location in >>32463 was correct at the time. You’ll have to read up on Powder’s movement’s from there.
>> No. 33262
File 130195187936.png - (159.17KB , 800x289 , Drum.png ) [iqdb]
33262
10:45 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 69 hours and 15 minutes remain.

Once again, I hear a single report of a gun being fired from the town.

Once again, I must ask myself whether or not I will go down to investigate.

And once again, I decide against it.

I am no authority on arms, and would not even know the difference between a shotgun and a handgun from sound alone. But I suspect it may be one of those, or perhaps the bolt rifle, and possibly more than one. The rifle would make sense owing to the singular nature of the shots, though at the same time I doubt its caretaker would be so rash as to spend that many cartridges from such a small supply this early into the confrontation. An early end most likely awaits such a participant.

I know well my own supply. I know that a precise period of one bullet every twenty-nine minutes will see me though the seventy-two hours exactly. Obviously such a number is rather unhelpful during a life-or-death engagement, and the relative value of a single bullet changes with every second. But it is always best to be aware of the numbers.

Once again I find myself taking stock of the supplies I have scavenged from the three abandoned buildings I have visited, the third in which I currently reside. A quaint collection of odd ends. Trash, in the world I came from. Anything but it in this one. Every additional asset I possess is one they do not, one more unit of leverage which may decide my survival.

A stout pole, perhaps once a shovel’s handle.

Two glass bottles, corks long rotted away.

A thin, rusted knife, used in another age for scaling fish.

A ripped burlap sack, empty but for lint, and unreliable for carrying anything small.

One coil of horribly-frayed rope, effective length and integrity impossible to gauge.

A broken oil lantern, wick and fuel long gone.

A faded ring buoy, the red stripes also completely bleached away.

And perhaps the most important object aside from my weapon that I now possess: a rusty spyglass. The glass has sagged and warped in its age, and partially crusted over with some film I am unable or perhaps unwilling to remove for fear of damaging it, but with enough patience it is usable. I mold my eye to the peephole and spend the next twenty seconds attempting to get a clear view of the town from my roost in the lighthouse. As before, I make out nothing of note; no sign of activity or movement of any kind. Perhaps the shooter or shooters remain indoors, or perhaps they are too far away to make out clearly. I cannot say. And a few disjointed gunshots are not quite enough to warrant investigation so early in the day. It may be an unsure contractor attempting target practice as much as it could be one’s paranoia of seeing things that aren’t there.

Thus, I wait.

I lean against the guardrail at the top of an old lighthouse, one hand grasping the iron bar while the other grasps my weapon. The sun rises ever-higher, and soon morning will give way to afternoon. A pleasant day for a nature walk, in another life. To be alone with one’s thoughts.

I am intrigued by the kinds of things my mind wanders to while it waits, almost as if I am not in control of my own memories. It settles on a day approximately eight months ago. I am in the wretched cubicle I refuse to call “my own”, as I have been for the last seven years, and in jest I ask myself a bawdy question birthed from over a decade of annoyance:

“Who do I have to kill to get noticed around here?”

The question is without any merit save that of a hypothetical nature, and even now I frown upon it as below my standards of rhetorical humor. But I recall that despite this, it piqued my interest at the time, and was perhaps the initial catalyst in a chain of events that will culminate in approximately sixty-nine hours.

Twelve years of my life. Twelve. Three undergraduate, two postgraduate, seven employed. I devoted my heart and soul to the pursuit of success and excellence. I did not allow myself time for frivolity, or debauchery, or idleness. I sold my years as a young woman in exchange for the future of a stable career and the hope for a position of authority in which I might actively serve a greater good.

A squandered investment.

Not by my hands; I will never allow any man or woman to say that I did not try to achieve excellence. I have worked harder, and longer, and better, than anyone below me, around me, and in an ever-increasing number of cases, above me. I have been forced to do my own job and theirs, only because they themselves do not possess the initiative to perform it correctly.

Not from lack of competence. They are neither dim-witted, nor unintelligent, nor weak. But they are lazy. Complacent. Satisfied with the rung to which they have climbed, and content to fritter away the rest of their years thus seated, unconcerned, unmoving, and displaying no notable acts of skill other than the inexplicable talent of forcing my career to a standstill, like a traffic jam five miles long. My contributions have been underappreciated, misappropriated, or simply ignored, to the point at which I am beginning to believe I have slipped into the proverbial “crack in the system”. I might believe myself to have become nothing but an ephemeral illusion, if not for the fact that they managed to conjure up the common decency to give me a pay raise once, meager though it was.

For a time I considered the possibility that my plight was due to the infamous glass ceiling, and might have accepted such an explanation had I not watched women less qualified and less attractive than myself rise to the very positions I aspired to; I am not so humble as to deny the quality of my appearance, if perhaps my bosoms are less than satisfactory to the shallow men who enjoy such things. Indeed, for a time I seriously considered offering sexual favors to those very sort of men who possess the power to advance me, if I did not fear the possibility of being found out. Fate would of course conspire to make my invisibility count for naught the moment I attempted to utilize it for my own benefit. And I will maintain my standards of excellence. The truly skilled, the truly resourceful, will always be able to find an alternative.

How I have become invisible to them, I do not know.

As of three hours prior, I have also ceased to care.

The woman’s contract may be poorly-worded, legally dubious, and impossible to verify, but I am aware of someone with real power when I see them, and she is most definitely powerful. I do not doubt her capacity to grant what I desire; merely her ability to honor our arrangement. And yet, for reasons that I know are based on neither logic nor evidence, I find myself believing that she will honor it, provided I do the same. And I have no doubt that I shall. The life of a single stranger is a small price to pay for what I might accomplish with a miracle.

The ends rarely justify the means. But one should first consider what the ends are.

Another shot from the town. Singular, like all the ones before it. I must say, the situation in town grows more and more curious with each report. Once again, I must ask myself whether or not I will go down to investigate.


[ ] Decide against it. Wait. This position is secure.
[ ] Fire a shot towards town. See if the shooter will respond.
[ ] Move up. To the building at the north road’s end. Wait for another shot.
[ ] Approach the town slowly, until movement is discerned.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 33264
[x] Decide against it. Wait. This position is secure.
<x> Drum

I like her already.
>> No. 33265
[x] Decide against it. Wait. This position is secure.
[x] Shell

Is she supposed to be the intelligent, ambitious schemer type who believes they are absolutely better then everyone they meet? I hate those types.
>> No. 33270
[x] Move up. To the building at the north road’s end. Wait for another shot.
<x> Clip

Ugh. I don't like her.
>really~?
Really.
>> No. 33271
[x] Move up. To the building at the north road’s end. Wait for another shot.
[x]Bolt

Hate this bitch
>> No. 33308
[x] Move up. To the building at the north road’s end. Wait for another shot.

She sure seems to be a divisive character. Personally, I like her as well.
>> No. 33316
>>33308
I don't mean to harp, but don't forget to choose your character-switch! It's a four-way tie right now as it is; just think, you could be the swing vote!

Or you could make it a five-way tie. That's also an option.
>> No. 33318
>>33316
Considering ties work out in favor of Clip, I'd like that option~
>> No. 33344
[ø] Decide against it. Wait. This position is secure.
<ø> Clip

I hate this type of people in real life, but in fictions, oh are they ever fun to read about. However, I will vote for Clip, someone we haven't seen yet.
>> No. 33372
File 130223690232.jpg - (366.49KB , 850x1055 , The real hero of that show.jpg ) [iqdb]
33372
3 – Wait
3 – Move up slightly

<2> - Clip
<1> - Drum
<1> - Shell
<1> - Bolt


Drum’s actions are tied here, but Clip won the switch so at least I can start writing the next update. No sense in me breaking the tie until it’s necessary to, though; if you have not yet voted for Drum’s actions, the vote will be open until I post the next update. Probably Saturday midday; I’ve been being kept busy with tiresome homeworks. Also Clip is going to be an interesting character to write for, and is definitely going to take some time for me to get the hang of, even though I know the general idea I’m shooting for. No sense rushing it.

>Dynamic contrast of opinions on Drum’s personality
Well now… can’t exactly say I was expecting that. I think that means I’m doing something right.

>>33265
Well, she’s definitely at least the intelligent ambitious type. I’ll leave you to see if she’s also got the scheming superiority going for her that we all rolled our eyes at in Death Note and Code Geass.

AM I PURPOSELY MAKING A CHARACTER YOU WILL LOVE TO HATE AND HATE TO LOVE?!

The answer to the above is no.
>> No. 33384
[x] Move up. To the building at the north road’s end. Wait for another shot.
<Powder>

Simply because.
>> No. 33424
File 130239205483.png - (140.54KB , 578x310 , Clip.png ) [iqdb]
33424
8:04, DAY THE FIRST

“The game is afoot” - Shakespeare's King Henry IV Part I

She has held true to her word in illegally giving me a composition notebook and ballpoint pen with which I am currently using as I write and read these words.

Honesty in breaking the rules? A quaint subject. Must consider further.

Woke up approx. three minutes ago. Find myself lying on a sandy rock shore next to a pond. Various grasses around me, mostly green. Chilly climate, noticeably wet air. Dense forest to the east, less dense elsewhere, but existent. Trees are familiar varieties. Most likely still in Northern Hemisphere. Doubtful if location will be pinpointed further. Regardless, irrelevant.

This position is insecure. I see a road in the distance; will inspect it. Will resume once shelter is found.

8:12, DAY THE FIRST

Resuming.

Traveled northeast to the road previously mentioned. Discerned location using map of engagement field after discovering said road runs east to west. Am currently taking shelter in an abandoned log cabin on the outskirts of a town, also presumably abandoned.

Possibility of a deathgame being played in the midst of an already-existing society of civilians? Sounds not unlike how foreign wars are portrayed by naysayers of such. An interesting parallel. Must consider further.

Observation: She assured me that all participants would not start less than a kilometer from each other, relative to eight o’ clock. Inspecting the map I discern that as most only two other subjects can be within a kilometer of the town, if her word is to be trusted. An insidious game, this. Trust is a luxury difficult to obtain, if possible in the slightest. Can one trust someone they have never met? A rather obvious question with perhaps a more profound answer than expected. Must consider further.

I am poised to be in a strategically superior position should I act quickly. Basic psychology of the human condition dictates that they will inevitably be drawn to large landmarks as a point of reference. Other participants will at the very least consider approaching the town, believing that the majority will do the same. Seven participants, only two of which may be close enough to the town to be an immediate threat. Must assume that at least one will approach this position with notable rapidity.

Unsure of average landspeed of a human on foot over uneven terrain. Currently nineteen minutes since the beginning. Cannot afford to wait. Must seek out defensible vantage point inside town. Will resume once suitable structure is found.

8:41, DAY THE FIRST

Resuming.

Have made camp in a two-story building on the bay in the center of town. May have once been a store with living quarters above. Contains three separate rooms which together have windows facing all cardinal directions. Bay water is salty; nearest source of fresh water is a lake perhaps two hundred meters outside of town. Filled canteen there, but cannot expect it to last all day.

Town is predictably abandoned, and has been for many years judging by the deterioration of buildings. Several are burnt, partially or completely, making suitable cover difficult to obtain and hampering save travel from one structure to another. Irrelevant at the moment. Must focus.

8:45, DAY THE FIRST

I begin properly.

My name is Korinne DeHarte. I, being of sound mind and sound body, do hereby officially begin the documentation of my observations and experiences in this, the three-day war of the wishes. I write from a position of relative safety and will endeavor to do so in the future. Regardless of the quality of its contents, the continued existence of this notebook is paramount. It is this journal, and not the ephemeral promised wish, which I consider to be the prize to be strived for, in this land cast off from the rest of the world.

I am not a woman of action, nor violence. It has never been my primary objective in life to cause discomfort to those around me. I, like anyone in the world, am a scientist. I make a hypothesis, conduct an experiment, and observe the results. Science is occasionally tactless, and often emotionless; I do not deny that this is why I do not have many friends. But I can live with that.

I share this abandoned peninsula with seven other souls, like myself, promised what amounts to a miracle if they are able to murder a complete stranger in cold blood. At this point, there is no way of knowing what they are thinking or what their motivations are for being here. In time, perhaps I will learn.

They will believe that I am trying to kill them; it will not take much to convince them of that. Whether I am or am not is at this point irrelevant. Truthfully I do not yet know if I will be trying to kill anyone or not; I see no clear benefits of either option as of now. But I must make them think that I am, so that I may learn. Learn what goes through the mind of a hunted person, a person afraid to die, a person waiting to die. To see what such a person will do when given a place to run, or when cornered. Truly, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I do not expect that I myself will not be hunted, or that any amount of composure and superiority I currently possess will be of any benefit in assuaging the imminent trauma of war. I know for certain that in time I will fear for my life as much as they will, and that I will become the test subject of my own experiment. I look forward

Someone here.

East side of town running south. Too far. Female? Weapon… no. She’s gone. Another building blocking view. Cannot determine weapon. Potentially female, cannot be sure. Eighty, ninety meters distant.

Must resume later.

9:34, DAY THE FIRST

Resuming.

It was Shell.

Moved from far east building inwards to center of town at approximately 9:07. At 9:16, moved again using trees for cover, making for long slender building in center of town, down the road from my own shelter, not more than fifty meters away. Long brown hair, dark grey coat. Apparent age unknown, too far to see.

I felt compelled to shoot at her. A single shot, purposefully aimed far too wide and too high to possibly hit her. I have discovered how difficult it is in fact to aim a handgun, and the recoil for an amateur like myself is unexpected. I question my ability to effectively hit a target at any range of over twenty meters now. It was a learning experience for the both of us.

She now knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is in fact someone in the town with her. Her mind may have questioned the matter before, but I have removed that luxury from it. However, my wayward bullet will make her question whether or not it was aimed at her, or was merely coincidence. This doubt will perhaps confine her indoors for a spell, as she questions her next move.

My opponent carries a shotgun. Less than lethal at such a range, though I hesitate to champion my absolute safety. Again, I am no woman of action; even my own pistol is foreign to me, let alone the weapons on anyone else. I have no way of knowing if trace amounts of errant buckshot may still hit its mark at fifty meters. However, she also may not trust chance for the same reason. I doubt she will return fire.

From my south window I have a clear view of the large sliding door to the warehouse-type building she hides in, as well as a smaller side door to the west. All windows I can see have been long-since borded up. If there is a door on the south side of the building she might leave without my knowledge. I do not think that she will, knowing a shooter is about. The building appears very defensible, and I would certainly hesitate trying to lay siege to it knowing a shotgun waits inside. She must know this as well.

I have made my move, and I might wait for her to make hers. Or, I may ignore the illusion of a chess game, and move again. Will ponder the situation. End of thought.


[ ] Remain hidden. Wait for further development.
[ ] Shoot at the building. Let her know she is being watched.
[ ] Move to another location. (State target building/area)

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder

**************************************************

Note: "Move up" wins with regards to Drum; thank you >>33384
>> No. 33425
[x] Shoot at the building. Let her know she is being watched.
<x> Bolt

Cool. I like this character. I think she one-upped Chamber on the silly reasons for joining fight, and that's awesome.

Drum's update was at 10:45. She's from THE FUTURE! This must be a bitch to plan out.

I really want to know what Bolt is up to. I'm assuming Chamber is dead until further notice, and I'm not in a hurry to find out.
>> No. 33427
[x] Shoot at the building. Let her know she is being watched.
<x> Bolt
>> No. 33429
[x] Shoot at the building. Let her know she is being watched.
[x] Shell

Probably one of the more interesting characters thus far. I'm certainly anticipating how she'll fair against Shell. Alas, I will both root, and vote for Shell, now and forever.
>> No. 33430
File 130241305845.png - (311.70KB , 750x786 , KaBOOOM!!.png ) [iqdb]
33430
[x] Remain hidden. Wait for further development.
<x> Powder

Needs a smiley face.
>> No. 33431
[x] Remain hidden. Wait for further development.
<x> Powder
>> No. 33433
[x] Remain hidden. Wait for further development.
<x> Magazine

Ah, I like this one too. Participating FOR SCIENCE, eh?
>> No. 33434
[ø] Remain hidden. Wait for further development.
<ø> Magazine
>> No. 33435
[x] Remain hidden. Wait for further development.
<x> Bolt
>> No. 33474
[x] Remain hidden. Wait for further development.
[x] Switch to Drum.

The art of science is the art of careful observing and taking notes. This is probably what the scientist can do best.

Also, change to Drum because I will root for a fellow OL.
>> No. 33479
File 130266196658.jpg - (31.88KB , 500x251 , license to verb.jpg ) [iqdb]
33479
6 – Wait
3 – Shoot

<3> - Bolt
<2> - Magazine
<2> - Powder
<1> - Shell
<1> - Drum

And Bolt finally manages to get himself a second update, a fan-favorite character despite having only one update and struggling all the while to beat back his opposing candidates at the polls. Maybe this update will be out tomorrow sometime? Got a big take-home exam being assigned tomorrow, so we’ll see.

>>33425
>Drum's update was at 10:45. She's from THE FUTURE! This must be a bitch to plan out.
With a large enough chart, and with enough labels, even the fiercest of bitches can be transformed into a proper and classy lady.

>>33429
>Probably one of the more interesting characters thus far.
Hence why she’s difficult to write. Interesting characters take work to make interesting.

>>33430
No it doesn’t.

>>33433
Not only that, she’s participating to SCIENCE.
>> No. 33566
File 130314509620.png - (54.73KB , 450x350 , Bolt.png ) [iqdb]
33566
10:20 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 69 hours and 40 minutes remain.

Waitin’. That’s the name a’ this damn game. Waitin’. Waitin’ for something to move, waitin’ until you think the coast is clear, waitin’ to hear some bullets, waitin’ for your neck to get sore ‘cause you been holding it in the same damn position for too long. Waitin’.

I’ve gotten pretty damn good at waiting, I gotta say. There ain’t all that much to do but wait when ya don’t work and don’t got no home. Wait for something amazing to happen, maybe. Nothing ever does, though. Just you, alone, by yourself, and everyone else who don’t give a shit. They say they wanna fix the homeless problem, or that unemployment rate or whatever, but they don’t really want to. They don’t want to get to know you. They want to turn their head the other way and walk past you and pretend you ain’t there. Obviously you did somethin’ to deserve being a bum, else you wouldn’t be there. Like I care. You see me complaining? I been doing just fine. Odd job here and there goes a loooong way when the only thing you ever need to worry about is the next meal. They don’t understand shit about me. They too busy buying two cars and paying the mortgage and looking at that new giant-screen TV.

I bet all these punks out there in this forest are just like ‘em. Too busy thinkin’ ‘bout their fancy wishes and their fancy million dollars. Bet some of ‘em are already thinking about how they’re gonna spend it. Cocky bastards. You ain’t nothing for three more days. Get it in them heads of yours. You ain’t nothing but the gun in your hands.

Bolt’s been doing good for me so far. She’s a classy lady, I gotta say. Ain’t never had a woman what’d help me peep on folks. Terrible joke; deserve to get kicked in the balls for that. Nobody out there, though. I got it pretty much down to an art, now. Crawl up to the next hill, wait it out, sweep the arc back n’ forth, then realize the damn grass is wet and creep down to the base again. They started me out at the end of nowhere, those sons of bitches. Spooks didn’t even have the common decency to put in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, thanks a lot Madam President or whatever your name is. They ain’t never gonna put a broad in the White House during my lifetime. Won’t stop ‘em from trying, though.

This, though… now this is different. It’s a house. I can see it all from up here. Nice long lake nestled right between two hills, and a cute little two-story number right at the edge. Little dirt road runnin’ right up to the front door. It’d remind me of when I was a kid if I’d ever actually gone camping with the old man. Least I had an old man; I was one of the lucky ones.

What’s in the house, I ask? Hell if I know. Been staring at it for ten minutes now. You’d expect me to see something in there by now there if was anything to see. But of course, ain’t that easy. None of them windows are in the right places; can’t see shit inside. And if anyone’s in there, they prolly ain’t no fool; not gonna walk all about like they own the place. They wait. I wait. We all wait.

Waitin’ ain’t so bad. Gives ya plenty of time to think. Think about anything you want to think about; hell, you got all the time in the world when you’re waiting. Me? I start thinking about what they’re thinking about. Got to get inside their heads, I wager… Find out how to get to them. Find out how to make every shot count. Ain’t all just aim and fire. That’d be too easy. Nah… I actually want to work for this one. Probably gonna be the most fun I’ve had in years, tell the truth. First time in my life I actually mean something to someone else.

Then again, I still don’t mean shit if they don’t know I’m even here.

I ask myself… what is a sniper? What do they do? Who are they pretending they’re supposed to be? Hell of a difference between hearing Pop’s stories and being the best goddamn sniper on this island, or wherever the hell we are. Might as well be an island for all I care; ain’t nobody gonna climb up them high hills unless they givin’ up.

It hits me. Just sitting there, thinking about them thinking about me. I realize they probably still don’t give a shit. So there’s a sniper on the island. So what? S’a big island for eight people. He ain’t gonna hit me… He probably ain’t even close enough to. That’s what they’re thinkin’. They’re not afraid. They don’t care. Nobody ever cares.

It pisses me off. This ain’t some bullshit toy guns in the backyard with Tommy Henderson and Jimmy Smith. They should be afraid. We all should. I ain’t afraid, but… well, that’s me. I ain’t got nothing much worth livin’ for anyways. Alive… dead… What’s it matter, really? At least Hell’d be exciting, if there even is one. Them fools out there, though… They got somthin’ to live for. Somethin’ to die for. They got a reason for wanting to stay alive. They got a reason to be afraid.

But I know they ain’t. Not yet, at least. Ain’t got no reason to. Been a few hours; I ain’t heard no bullets yet. Nobody gonna be afraid until them bullets start flyin’. Bullets make you remember where you are, and what you’re up against. Bullets make this shit real.

Squint into my scope, check that cabin out again. Nothin’. I move around the top of my hill, try and get a better angle. Nothin’. Too many questions. Are they there? Where are they if they are? Do they know I’m lookin’ for ‘em? Are they hunting me instead of the other way around? Too many questions. Damn it, I’m supposed to be the one asking them the questions. Getting inside my head like this… could drive a man crazy if he keeps at it.

So I don’t. “What if?” What if don’t matter. Let them ask what if. What happens, happens. I do my thing. Let them do theirs. Let them drive themselves crazy. It’ll make ‘em easier to shoot.


[ ] Approach the house. Be careful.
[ ] Flush out the house; stop messing around.
[ ] Keep waiting. Something will happen… eventually.
[ ] Shoot into the (first story/second story) window. Provoke a reaction.
[ ] Shoot though the (first story/second story) wall. Hope it hits something.
[ ] Travel somewhere else. Go (state destination/direction)

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 33570
[x] Keep waiting. Something will happen… eventually.
[x] Shell

Like said, waiting is the name of the game. We've got seventy hours left, and people are already scurrying around, shooting their hands early. It's only been two hours in this game; we can't afford to let the ceaseless boredom drive us to reckless actions.

Cool, calm, and collected. That's the sniper.
>> No. 33571
[x] Flush out the house; stop messing around.
<x> Magazine

I have no idea what this option means. Charging the house, maybe? Sounds like a plan.
>> No. 33573
[x] Keep waiting. Something will happen… eventually.
<x> Shell
>> No. 33574
>>33571
You're mostly correct. The idea of "flush out the house" is to move up quickly and go room to room, looking for anyone who's hiding and "flushing" them out. It's not really about charging in or being reckless, but it's a lot more risky than just slowly approaching the house.

Sorry about the terminology; I can't always remember what phrases are common knowledge to everyone.
>> No. 33575
[x] Shoot through the first story wall. Hope it hits something.
<x> Magazine
>> No. 33583
[x] Shoot through the first story wall. Hope it hits something.
<x> Magazine

Man, I really do love Bolt. I am a total dialect whore.

>>33235
I shat a fucking kiln.
Now I have to go back and look at these candidates again.

...Though if this is both correct AND a trend (powerful Gensokyo figures choosing champions that are like them, in a way), then I wonder if Drum is Kanako's choice: Ambitious, proud, intelligent, resourceful, and ambitious (again). I also briefly considered Yumemi and AFT Patchy.

>>33228
u mad?

>>33247
> >>33220
> >And Chamber has a good shot at turning Belt if he can get to her alive.
>Because we all know that headstrong sixteen-year-old girls are perfectly convinced by strange, portly middle-aged men, right?
Hey, it seems to work pretty well in doujinshi.
>> No. 33584
[x] Keep waiting. Something will happen… eventually.
[x] Shell
>> No. 33593
[ ] Approach the house. Be careful.
<x> Magazine.

Snipers don't rush toward the frontlines.
>> No. 33612
3 – Wait
2 – Shoot first story
1 – Flush
1 - Approach

<4> - Magazine
<3> - Shell

And this’ll round out the cast then. All eight characters by Post #15; about what I expected, I guess. As before, writing a new character might take a little longer, since I have to finally get a grip on what I want Magazine to sound and act like. Also end of school term, final projects becoming due and studying for exams, blah blah blah; watch me pass this excuse off in a nonchalant matter to make it seem like its not a big deal so as not to be a horrid drama queen.

So yeah, hang tight and I’ll get it written by the end of the week sometime. Then you can feel happy for “unlocking” all eight characters, and promptly never vote for a third of them ever again.

>>33583
>Man, I really do love Bolt. I am a total dialect whore.
Don’t expect any generous portions of dialect suaveness from me; I’m pretty much just writing what sounds vaguely correct. But hey, if it’s working, I’ll keep rolling with it. Thanks for appreciating!

>I shat a fucking kiln. Now I have to go back and look at these candidates again. Though if this is both correct AND a trend (powerful Gensokyo figures choosing champions that are like them, in a way)…
Considering the gaping expanse of wiggle room there is with Touhou character interpretations, I’d have to say such a proposition feels horribly inordinate on the level of trying to guess the identities of the heroes in Fate/Stay Night. In which case I ask you, did anyone even know who Cú Chulainn was before they told you?

And by your theory, AFT Patches would have obviously picked Clip, not Drum. Because SCIENCE.
>> No. 33632
File 130361585421.png - (86.56KB , 650x293 , Magazine.png ) [iqdb]
33632
10:40 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 69 hours and 20 minutes remain.

I can do this. I know I can do this. It’s not that hard. Come on, I know it’s not that hard. I know exactly what a guy like me needs to do in a place like this. It’s easy. Stick to the plan. It’s not that hard. It’s not that hard.

Oh god why is it so hard.

I’ve found myself planted in these bushes for the last half-hour at least. Pretty well hidden, I’d say; wouldn’t find me at a first glance at least. My knees and ankles continuously complain at me to stop crouching and sit down properly. But I can’t. Can’t do that. Have to keep tall enough to keep an eye out on the open. Have to watch that town.

That town… what’s going on in that town? I’d have gone in myself by now if I hadn’t heard that gunshot. Just one shot… I don’t get it. Someone fired just one shot, once. No second shot, no return fire, nothing. Did they hit ‘em? No clue… I didn’t see anyone yet. Haven’t seen anyone period. Two hours of wandering through the woods like I’m lost, trying to steer clear of people and sweating buckets all the while, and now a half-hour of sitting here waiting for something to happen.

I guess I should be thankful. This is already getting ridiculously harder than I’d planned, and I haven’t even done anything yet. I relish this quiet, this time to think. I do better alone. A lot better. Nobody to bother me, nobody to worry about except me and myself. And that’s the hard part right there. Myself. I’m thinking too much. Imagining too much. Coming up with all these what ifs and what abouts, putting opponents behind every tree and boulder. It’s thinking like that that gets a guy killed.

But at least I’m used to it. At least when it’s just me I know who I’m up against. I can handle myself. They’re the problem. Not their guns, no… just the fact that people never seem to act like they should, never do what you’d expect. How do they expect me to be normal when they aren’t even normal? Like I said, I do better alone.

Alone… Just one big free-for-all here. Everyone I meet is an enemy. Someone wanting to kill me. Someone I need to kill to survive. That’s the only rule that matters. Kill, or be killed. Be strong, or the strong beat you. Be smart, or the smart beat you. Don’t care about them. Don’t worry about them. Worry about yourself. Only yourself. Just you, and no one else.

“Just me” doesn’t want to get himself killed. There’s only one of “just me”. And so “just me” keeps waiting. Keeps watching. Keeps planning. It’s the person with the best plan who’s going to be the person to stay alive and earn their wishes. Not the person with the strongest gun, or most ammo, or firmest resolve, or noblest cause… None of that matters here. You do the best you can with what you have. But if you don’t have a plan, you don’t have anything.

One kill. I only need one kill. One wish. Don’t need two, don’t need money, don’t need extra guns. Hide near the action. Hide, and stay hidden. Wait for someone unsuspecting to come along; this close to the town someone’s bound to. Get a good, clear shot. Unload as much as necessary to kill ‘em. And then run. Run, and don’t ever look back. Dig down, dig deep, and don’t let them ever find out where I’ve gone. Survive, and win. Simple. Safe. Easy. And efficient.

Contingency plan? Retreat. Always retreat. Never let them have their way. If the odds are against me, don’t play them. I play smart. I do the best I can with what I have, and I have seventy-two hours. Not twenty-four, seventy-two. If you’re smart, you’ll stay hidden. If you’re smart like me, you won’t play with your hand open. If you’re smart, you won’t gamble.

If you’re stupid, you’ll start shooting before we’re even three hours in and tell the whole world where you are. Whoever’s doing that isn’t a person I expect to live very long, myself. Maybe I’ll be the smart one that kills them.

I’ve got too much riding on this to be stupid. This is my life, my brand new life. My dream, come true. Won’t have to worry about all this old trash ever again. Clean slate, fresh start. And this time, it’ll be a life I’ll actually enjoy being a part of.

One kill. I just, need, one, kill…

Why is this so hard? It shouldn’t be hard. I shouldn’t have to worry. I’ve got a great view of town, far enough away to not get shot accidentally, well enough hidden to not be seen. I’ve got a good weapon with superior range and accuracy. I’ve got some idiot shooting in the town, meaning it can’t be too long before someone shows their face. I’ve got another sixty-nine hours to line up the perfect shot.

Why do I feel like something’s wrong…?


[ ] Nothing is wrong. Stick to the plan. Wait and watch.
[ ] Rethink the plan. “They” never do things according to plans.
[ ] Retreat. It’s too close. Too soon. Too stupid.
[ ] The forest… watch the forest, not the town.
[ ] The road… watch the road, not the town.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder

**************************************************

Uggh, I feel like something is wrong with this update, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s probably me just having to write a new character and not having a good feel of him yet. Or it could be finals bearing down on me. Either way, apologizes if this one feels “off.”
>> No. 33633
[x] The forest… watch the forest, not the town.
<x> Chamber

This guy is planning to face stupid people. That'll get him killed.

The worst part about only liking a few characters is that others like different characters. I guess that means you're doing something right, but it still sucks.
>> No. 33634
[x] Nothing is wrong. Stick to the plan. Wait and watch.
[x] Shell

We know for certain someone is in that town. It only makes sense to keep watch over it, instead of second guessing our decisions every step of the way.
>> No. 33635
[x] Nothing is wrong. Stick to the plan. Wait and watch.
<x> Clip

Eh, this guy does nothing for me, somehow. I don't even dislike him. Yet.
>> No. 33658
[ง่ำ] Retreat. It’s too close. Too soon. Too stupid.

Now I'll turn him into a paranoid-as-fuck man number two, following the shotgun housewife.

and as usual,
[x] Drum
Because I will vote for my fellow office lady.
>> No. 33666
[ø] The forest… watch the forest, not the town.
<ø> Magazine

>>33658
I laughed.
>> No. 33672
[ ] Nothing is wrong. Stick to the plan. Wait and watch.
< > Chamber

He is not greedy and is aware of what's going on. I kinda like him already, hope he gets that one kill (only one) he needs and survive the game.

Now, on an unrelated note...

I already know who I want to die and who I want to get their wishes. It was a hard choice, deciding who I want to live and who I don't care about enough to let die, as all of them have a valid reason to participate in this game/experiment. The hardest part is to make my (currently) favorite character lose a bit of their humanity in order to have their wishes granted; I like them enough to not want them to forsake the values they cling to.
>> No. 33673
>>33672
If you want Chamber to get wishes, too bad, he's already forfeited his chance.

And deciding who you want to live or die when you have little to no control over it seems just a tiny bit presumptuous.
>> No. 33675
>>33673
>If you want Chamber to get wishes, too bad, he's already forfeited his chance.

Funny, I never wanted Chamber to get any wish. Besides, even if he still could have a wish, I probably wouldn't vote for him to kill without a reason. After discovering what his answers were, I'm not sure I would have him kill even in self defense anymore.

Like I said, the hardest thing in this story, is to turn a good natured character into a killer.

Also, oops, I voted for the wrong character. But I will roll with it, for now.
>And deciding who you want to live or die when you have little to no control over it seems just a tiny bit presumptuous.

I know. Just consider it as "Cheering for X".
>> No. 33692
3 – Nothing is wrong.
2 – Watch forest
1 – Retreat

<2> - Chamber
<1> - Shell
<1> - Clip
<1> - Drum
<1> - Magazine

Apologies for the continued delays; been trying to move out of my college house and have been wasting inordinate amounts of time whilst doing so. Update sometime today I think.

>>33633
>The worst part about only liking a few characters is that others like different characters. I guess that means you're doing something right, but it still sucks.
Unfortunately, and fortunately. In theory it should goad more readers to vote, since the Switch Vote is always going to be razor-thin and a single vote can tip the scales. But at the same time it can become a guessing game of picking your favorite character that’s got a chance of gaining up additional support any given update. But I doubt there’s really any better way to do it, short of waiting until characters start dying, I suppose.

>>33635
Probably a symptom of me not understanding his character well enough yet. That, or he’s portraying the most normal and boring character in the engagement.

>>33672
>I already know who I want to die and who I want to get their wishes.
So soon? Then again, I did try and get the jist of every character defined within their first update, so I guess it’s not so hard to judge based on personality. This is the point at which, if I were a jerk like that, I’d start doing everything I could to make you change your mind.

>The hardest part is to make my (currently) favorite character lose a bit of their humanity in order to have their wishes granted.
It’ll be a lot harder for them to do the same, I assure you.

And of course, that’s the point.

>>33675
>Like I said, the hardest thing in this story, is to turn a good natured character into a killer.
Provided they are in fact actually “good”.
>> No. 33707
File 130400116521.png - (123.67KB , 539x279 , Chamber.png ) [iqdb]
33707
10:40 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 69 hours and 20 minutes remain.

I can’t get his words out of my head.

It’s poetic justice, in a way. I started off as the one trying to talk sense into him, and in the end it’s him who was the one making sense. It’s only fair. I tried to reason with him; it’s only fair that he should try to reason with me. Not like I didn’t expect it.

But I still can’t get Powder’s words out of my head. They hang over me as I sit in the empty cabin after Powder left, too unwilling and uncertain to move. They follow me as I sneak out the front door and bury myself in the ubiquitous sea of forest. They float around the edges of my vision as I spread my map and compass on a flat rock and sit against a tree trunk, still at a loss.

He asked me why I was here; I told him that I wanted to help people. He asked me why not volunteer at a homeless shelter or Alcoholics Anonymous; I told him it’s not the same thing. He said yes it is; I said not it’s not; he said yes it damn well is, and nobody here is going to listen to me when they’ve thought long and hard about what those prizes could do for them. I told him I have to try, because if I don’t, nobody will. He said I’m throwing my life away; I told him I’d gladly give it if it means less people die here… if less people will become murderers here. He said hundreds of people become murderers and die every day in the real world; go save them instead, and leave the people here who obviously have thought this through and know what they’re doing alone. I told him that I believe I’m meant to be here, that this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to save people that otherwise would never have a chance to be saved. I told him I know they might shoot me before I get close enough to talk to them, or they might shoot me as soon as I say hello. I told him that doing what’s right is worth getting shot for.

Thinking back on it, I suppose I understand why he wasn’t convinced. He make a good point; maybe I could save a lot more people’s lives in the long run working at some kind of shelter. Maybe this isn’t where I’m “meant” to be. Maybe I am throwing my life away. Just because I’m not married, don’t plan to be, and don’t have any family left doesn’t mean people won’t miss me if I die here, whether or not I actually make a difference to these people.

Which is why it nearly gave me a heart attack when he asked me, “Who are you?!”

”Who are you to tell people what’s right and what’s wrong, or to tell people what’s fair? What’s fair?! How do you know? How do you know who deserves to die out there and who doesn’t? Maybe some of them do deserve to die, ever think of that? Maybe these people you’re trying to save have being going to Hell since the day they’ve been born, and you trying to preach to them is no better than you getting hit by a car because you forgot to look both ways. Or maybe they’re not; hell, I don’t know. But who are you to say? Who are you to be the judge? And don’t tell me you’re not; when you come into a contract like this specifically to preach to people about right and wrong, you are calling yourself better than us.

“Truth is, Mr. Sean Eckers, you ain’t any better than anyone else here. We all got our reasons for bein’ here, they’re all just as important to us in our own eyes, and they all make just as little sense to everyone else. You wanna save people? You wanna be the arbiter? Then don’t talk to them about what’s right, ‘cause I guarantee if you do they won’t be buyin’ what you’re sellin’.”


I don’t know… I don’t know if he’s right or not. I don’t know if I really think I’m trying to be some kind of judge, or a savior, or if I think I’m just doing what I think is right. And I don’t know if I’m just paranoid about my beliefs and if maybe I should just ignore everything he said and keep going. I thought I knew what I was fighting for, but I just… I don’t know.

I know it’s wrong to murder people. I know it’s wrong. I know that above all else I want to stop murders from happening here. But the longer I sit here with Powder’s words floating around me, the more I start wondering if I actually know what murder is. I tell myself murder isn’t killing an attacker in self-defense, or killing an enemy troop in a war, or executing a criminal. A murder is when one person kills another without just cause. I know that’s what murder is.

But… what is justice?

I fold the map back up and head southeast into the trees. Closer to the sound of that machine gun. The first burst was followed by a second some time afterwards, I forget how long. No clue who’s shooting, or who they’re shooting at, or where from. Only that it’s south. If I wanted to save myself I should be running east into the forest, away from the sound. If I wanted to save Belt I should be walking south down the road, towards the sound. Guess it says a lot about where my priorities lie if I’m walking southeast.

I stuff both my hands into my overcoat. No revolver to hold in them anymore; Powder took it and all my ammunition with him after he left to go God only knows where. Finally took the cash, too; guess his wish isn’t to have an endless supply of money, in any case. No revolver… I can’t tell if it’s a blessing or a curse to leave me alive out here without a gun. At least I’m alive. Alive to try and talk to someone else. If I try to talk to someone else.

I feel like I should be more afraid out here without a way to defend myself. Certainly, I am; my eyes never stop moving around from tree to tree, and I can’t help but try and avoid stepping on dry twigs and giving away my position. Perhaps it’s just my conscience telling me nothing’s changed because I never much planned on using the weapon anyways. And I told him my name. I must never forget that. No matter how much my plans change from now until sixty-nine hours from now, I must never forget that I’m out. Or more specifically, I don’t have to play by their rules anymore.

After a time, my aimless feet carry me to the top of a hill overlooking a sizable lake. My eyes dart around the border of the water below and reaffirm that there’s no one there before carefully edging my way down the hill to refill my canteen. I sit silently on the gravel beach, water barely even trying to lap at my shoes. With nothing better to do at the moment I pick apart one of the K-rations and have a meager breakfast, if for no other reason than I feel like in this strange peninsula that feels cut off from the world, one might too easily forget that thy still must eat. The vittles are palatable; better than nothing. I feel a twinge of pity for the soldiers who lived on this stuff for weeks on end.

Wasting time. I just sit there, wasting time I shouldn’t be able to afford to waste. Every hour counts, every hour where people draw closer to each other and get that much closer to killing each other. But… I don’t know. Don’t know what the right thing to do is anymore. I consider the possibility that by meddling with the emotions of others I might only compound their anger. I also consider the possibility that someone out there is screaming, praying for a sign that there’s some other way. I can’t tell which possibility is more realistic; just my luck to question everything I stand for here before I barely even got started. I knew there’d come a time when my resolve failed; I’m no hero, I’ll admit it flat out. I just hoped it wouldn’t come so soon.

I don’t know what’s the right thing to do anymore.

I wish I did.


[ ] It won’t work. They won’t listen. Just go home.
[ ] Stress clouds one’s judgment. Calm down. Wait. Don’t be hasty.
[ ] Stand strong. Ignore the naysayers. Continue to save lives or die trying. Travel (state direction/destination)
[ ] There must be a better way… (write-in, or just leave as is)

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 33708
[x] Stress clouds one’s judgment. Calm down. Wait. Don’t be hasty.
<x> Bolt

He should go home. But I'd like to see him attempt his brand of reason with more people. I'll take the wussy way out and let him decide.
>> No. 33709
[x] Stand strong. Ignore the naysayers. Continue to save lives or die trying. Travel south, to belt
[x] Shell

What a piece of shit. I didn't think it was possible to hate that fat fuck any more then I did, but he proved me wrong. It's one thing to come into this game to preach your morality to everyone, but to not even have the courage and conviction to continue when things don't go as planned? Just die, you piece of trash.
>> No. 33710
I'm changing my Bolt vote to
<x> Belt

I'm curious how she's holding up. I'm pretty sure nobody other than me is going to vote for her, though. Poor Belt.
>> No. 33714
[x] It won’t work. They won’t listen. Just go home.
<x> Clip

Voting Clip again for now. Will vote Drum once I get some more Clip.
>> No. 33716
[เหยด] Stand strong. Ignore the naysayers. Continue to save lives or die trying. Travel south, to belt
[x] Drum
>> No. 33769
[x] Stress clouds one’s judgment. Calm down. Wait. Don’t be hasty.
[x] Clip

>>33709
Wow, we get it. You hate him. Lay off it already.

By the way, go ahead and keep saging your votes, chucklehead. I'll just ghostbump everything you vote in that I come across even if I don't properly vote in it.
>> No. 33783
>>33769
The true meaning of sage means that YOUR POST isn't worthy enough to bump the thread. It's ironic, because you think that you're insulting others while you're just, in fact, insulting yourself.

The sage feature was never meant to serve as an implied insult or general disagreement! Why people started using it that way is beyond me. There are plenty of reasons why one would choose not to bump a thread with his reply. For example, bumping threads with stupid one liner replies should be discouraged and those people should be coerced into using sage instead.

I want to use sage, yet I almost never do it on 4chan because people will jump on me thinking I'm insulting their post or something.


Here's the abbreviated version of the sage copypasta, just for you. Now piss off, you philistine fuck.
>> No. 33789
2 – Stand strong; travel south
2 – Calm down; wait
1 – Give up; go home

<2> - Clip
<1> - Belt
<1> - Shell
<1> - Drum

No problems on the switch, at least. As far as the proper vote, the next person who votes for either “Stand strong” or “Calm down” gets it. I’ll get Clip’s update out some time either tonight or tomorrow morning.

My apologies for having an awful update schedule lately; it’s been the end of the semester and between exams and moving out of my college house and saying goodbye to friends it’s been a little crazy. On top of that I had a big interview today for a job that, if I get it, will make things even more momentarily hectic. Transition periods are always a crazy time for me. Bear with me until normalcy is returned and I can focus again.

>>33708
If everyone who had a dream gave up after the first failure, the amount of good things this world wouldn’t have would be staggering.

>>33709
Am I allowed to say haters gonna hate here, or would that be misconstrued as offensive?

>>33710
It’s a sad symptom of the story format, especially now that all eight characters have been revealed and people will be playing favorites more and more. It certainly doesn’t help that there so few votes we keep getting stuck with these ties. All I can say is, if you really want to see a character, don’t ever stop voting for them. In this story more than many others I’ve seen, one vote can make all the difference.

>>33769
>>33783
Hey now, let’s cool down; this is how the proverbial shitstorms get started. Nobody’s hurting anyone by saging their votes, annoying as it may be. I’d prefer it if people don’t sage their votes, honestly, but if they sage, they sage. It’s not that big a deal. Let it rest, please, or at least don’t argue it here.
>> No. 33791
[ ] Stress clouds one’s judgment. Calm down. Wait. Don’t be hasty.
<x> Bolt

Hey Owen, you forgot to count the vote for Bolt. Which would be two now, but it has alrady been decided. Sure wish I didn't waste so much time before reading the update. Maybe I should kill someone to correct this.
>> No. 33793
>>33791
I didn’t miss the vote. >>33710 said that the previous Bolt vote was changed to Belt.

But yeah, don’t waste time before reading/voting. With my sporadic schedule these days there’s no telling when I’ll finally decide to start writing.
>> No. 33794
>>33789
>If everyone who had a dream gave up after the first failure, the amount of good things this world wouldn’t have would be staggering.
Sure, but it's not clear that he's really doing good at all here, whereas he could definitely do good at home. I'm glad he's getting some time to think about it.

And I should really delete posts when changing. Though, even if you had tied Bolt and Clip, he would still be writing Clip because Clip had fewer updates.
>> No. 33810
File 130446478586.png - (206.75KB , 722x387 , Clip.png ) [iqdb]
33810
9:50, DAY THE FIRST

Start of new thought.

One-quarter hour has passed since bullet was fired. No retaliation or evidence of movement. As expected. Hypothesis: fear. Ms. Shell perhaps was not expecting this and is coming to a point of self-realization. Hypothesis: caution. Unable to determine the direction the shot was fired from, she cannot be sure that any exterior position is safe. Walls are a safety precaution, keeping invaders and projectiles out. She clearly holds the advantage in short range and interior confrontations. Advancing is of course foolish. No need to rush matters.

What must she be thinking? It is perhaps the first bullet fired upon her, the first bullet she has heard since waking. She cannot be certain it was meant for her, but she will most likely correctly suspect it was. She knows, but does not know. She will wait. Wait, and hope. She will fear the streets all the more. She knows she is safe. She knows any who enter the building she resides in will be shot and shot quickly. She may also think the same thing of herself upon exiting said building.

She cannot stay there forever; she knows this. She knows she must kill someone before the three days are over, else why did she come here? To wait until nightfall she might do; none of us carry flashlights, and we are all aware of this fact.

Tangent: Nightfall. It is perhaps a great many hours off, but cannot be ignored. I’ve considered it only in passing before. When do I sleep… do I sleep? Will others expect nighttime to be more, or less dangerous? Flashlights we do not have, but matches we do, in our ration boxes. Very few, yes, but anyone resourceful could use but one to make a torch and care for it like a child.

Fire gives away your position, and yet gives others’ positions away. A double-edged sword that dulls or sharpens as your knowledge of warfare waxes and wanes. The darkness… humans fear it, and yet pray to it to save them, shield them, protect them. Considering the many philosophical applications of Light and Darkness, an interesting paradox. Must consider further.

Sleep will be initially inadvisable; anxious players will wait only until the last vestiges of sunlight vanish to move about, and little more. Tarry until the middle of the night, and rest later. Stay awake to observe what others may think the safety of night brings them. Sleep but a few hours yourself and rise with the sun. Sleep is a suggestion, not a necessity, and my college years have taught me well in that regard. How many nights will I sleep soundly once this is all over….

A thought. I say I will sleep soundly, but to what end? I came here for an experience like no other, to run a social experiment like no other, in order to have the wisdom and knowledge to write a thesis like no other. All students stress over their thesis; it is perhaps a simple, immutable fact of a postgraduate degree. I am not immune to the stress; the scope of a sociology thesis seems far removed from that of chemistry or engineering. A research project of Chemical X, designing Machine Y, working in collaboration with Company Z on their new launch product; they are defined tasks with defined goals. Sociology deals with people.

What can be said about people?

People are not defined.
People are unpredictable.
People follow no universal rules.
People cannot be trusted.
People are walking contradictions.
People are fickle.
People are… interesting.

But I digress.

10:14, DAY THE FIRST

Felt compelled to shoot at Shell again. Properly this time; aimed for the wall of the building which I know she resides in. I must attempt to keep my philosophical speculations to a minimum; wastes time which would be better spent reporting observations pertinent to the, quote, “engagement”.

It was obvious that Ms. Shell knew she was in danger and a gunman was about. My most resent shot changes very little, save to eliminate the doubt from her mind that the first shot she heard might have been errant and unassociated with her. Fear grounded in doubt, to be replaced with fear grounded in assurance. To know that one is hunted, instead of holding on to the fleeting hope that, perhaps, it was all a coincidence. Knowledge that she will rue if she is foolish, and cherish if she is wise.

I might also take solace in the same. I cannot forget that six others remain who’s locations are uncertain. A liberal estimation would put four of the six on the other half of the peninsula, but there is no room to be liberal here. My words are calm, yes. But I will not deny that I am not at ease. My shots may just as easily draw an adversary to me as push them away. I have ammunition, and limited accuracy, but neither speed nor power; I cannot hold off an assault should one come. I know this.

Perhaps I should not have shot…

10:39, DAY THE FIRST

Minor addendum.

Currently I wonder whether it is the world here, or the world back home which I am more concerned with. Through these journal entries I champion science and experimentation, for the sake of returning home and composing certainly one of the most pungent theses my advisor has ever laid her eye upon. I do not deny that it is primarily for this reason, and not the contracted “wish”, that I accepted the assignment.

Where then is my concern? I concern myself with observing the goings-on here, only because I am concerned with the quality of my thesis upon my safe return. Which takes precedence? If the destination contains a record of the journey, is it the journey or the destination which is more valuable?

The more I concern myself with my thesis, the less I concern myself with staying alive. However, the more I concern myself with staying alive, the less I concern myself with the betterment of my life back home. I am, in essence, caught in a balancing act between life here, and life at home. One must suffer at the hands of the other, and yet to grasp at both may be to gain neither…

A clever woman would at this point realize that “wishes” tend to solve such quandaries.

I consider myself to be ashot SHOT S|-|----__/\/


[ ] Away from the windows, immediately
[ ] Peek out the window; check for information
[ ] Get out; this position is compromised. Move to (state destination)
[ ] Gauge direction of shot and return fire
[ ] Keep writing; capture this emotion while fresh

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 33812
Hmmm... I would like to think a bit before voting. Clip seems to have been distracted when the shot happened so who did it? Bolt's waiting paying off or Shell forcing Clip to hide? Unless Powder stumbled on them and took a shot with the revolver.

Would be nice to take a shot out but if it's Shell moving in from another direction, this will be a bad move.
>> No. 33813
[x] Away from the windows, immediately
<x> Shell

Leaving this position would likely throw Clip right into the shooter's sights. If it was Bolt or Magazine, she'll likely be safe for a while. If it was Powder with the revolver, the extra distance from the windows would give a little more time to react to any grenades fired.
And voting Shell to see if she shot.
>> No. 33814
[x] Peek out the window; check for information
<x> Belt

Seems more like she's doing this for art than science.
>> No. 33815
[x] Peek out the window; check for information
[x] Shell
>> No. 33821
[ ] Keep writing; capture this emotion while fresh
<x> Shell

So many people to follow, why can't I have all their viewpoints?
>> No. 33822
[อาเบะ] Keep writing; capture this emotion while fresh
<X> Clip

Geek girl. Oh why I love you so.
>> No. 33824
[x] Away from the windows, immediately
<x> Shell
>> No. 33825
[x] Away from the windows, immediately
<x> Shell
>> No. 33828
[x] Away from the windows, immediately
<x> Drum

Voting Drum as precommitted, although I would be interested in seeing whether Shell shot too.
>> No. 33836
[X]Away from the windows, then write
<X>Shell

The science must keep happening!
(after we check the result)
>> No. 33837
Status Update: Didn't get the job I was interviewing for, which puts a damper on my plans since I'll need to go out and look for another. Been doing that most of today and will be doing it tomorrow as well. Update probably Saturday because of this. Don't feel sorry for me; it's an opportunity for me to try harder and become a stronger person.
>> No. 33838
[x] Away from the windows, immediately
<x> Belt
>> No. 33864
[X]Away from the windows, then write
<X>Shell
care to share what job it was if its not too intruding?
>> No. 33865
5 – Away immediately
4 – Write (combining “Away from the windows, then write”)
2 – Peek

<7> – Shell
<2> – Belt
<1> – Drum
<1> – Clip

Forgot to tell you I was writing, so I’ll post the next update within minutes of posting this. So sorry for the delay again; the extra freedom summer brings inclines me to often do a lot of things besides writing. I’ll get back into a more reliable schedule if I can manage to find a job and wrap my head around making the most of my free time.

>>33812
Bolt’s clear on the other side of the peninsula, or was as of 10:20, and you didn’t vote for him to suddenly run three kilometers due north, so it’s clearly not him. Make the most of your meta-knowledge, provided you don’t abuse the power too much.

>>33821
Because that would mean I would have to write eight full-length stories simultaneously. Obviously I can’t do that.

>>33822
The best kind of girl~

>>33864
3D CAD designing job at a local consulting engineering firm. I’m over it now; the past is past.
>> No. 33866
File 130482645498.png - (196.09KB , 800x500 , Shell.png ) [iqdb]
33866
10:15 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 69 hours and 45 minutes remain.

Bastard.

It’s all I can think about right now. That no-good cocky I-can-shoot-at-you-because-I-know-where-you-are bastard.

Just like last time, I plaster my back against the wall and clutch my shotgun to my chest; only difference is now I’ve got an overturned table between me and the wall that bullet came through. The blast echoes through my ears, sounding a thousand times nearer and more real than it did when it was outside. I wait for a second shot that never comes; my eyes stare at the door I left unbarricaded, waiting for that son of a bitch to bust through even though he never does. I know he’s not that stupid. I just wish that maybe, for as long as it takes for me to shoot him, he would be.

He knows. Maybe he was playing around last time, or maybe he’s just a bad shot, but he knows exactly where I am. He had to have seen me run in here, whoever he is, and wherever he is. Probably in that high two-story house I thought he was in the first time. What’s he playing at? What’s he planning? Nobody’s who’s in a place like this is going fire one lousy shot all by its lonesome. They’re either going to fire a thousand at once or none at all.

Can’t be Belt. Can’t be. Belt’d burn through his ammo tearing that wall to shreds if he knew someone was behind it. If it was Belt I’d be dead by now. But I’m not. Chamber? Bolt? Could be anyone. Damn it all, I don’t know a thing about guns. Makes me wonder why I’m even here.

My blood cools down as the minutes pass by without hearing a second shot. I feel comfortable enough standing back up, giving that north wall a wide berth. No sense wasting time looking for the bullet; wouldn’t do me any good even if I found it. Might be nice if I found the bullethole, but again, no time. I get to flipping a few more of the workbenches over, propping them up against the north wall. He wants to shoot at me? Fine, be that way. Don’t expect me to just sit here and take it, you bastard. You won’t be killing me like that. Not in three days, at least.

I survey my little fortress that I’ve started constructing for myself. Two heavy machine frames that still have some girth to ‘em are pushed against the door I entered, effectively preventing the door from existing. I’ve flipped tables over everywhere as shields where they’re not helping the old bookcases firm up the windows, even if they’re already boarded up. Practically the only table still up is the one I’m using to store any potential tools or weapons I’ve found that aren’t rusted straight through. A few wood saws whose teeth’ll fall out after three swipes, dull chisels, useless crap like that. Found a blunt hatchet that might still be good, though, for what it’s worth. I expect anything that doesn’t take ammo in this town is worth at least something. Not much, but I’ll take what I can get.

The longer the silence continues, the more it pisses me off. One shot? One shot?! What’s he trying to prove?! That he can do whatever he wants and fight however he pleases because he’s up there and I’m down in here? Because he knows I can’t hit him from here? If that was him before he knows I’ve got the shotgun; he knows I can’t shoot for shit across the street. He thinks he knows. He thinks he’s got it all figured out, I bet. Plink me all morning and get me so scared I run out of the building, then bam. Pisses me off. Who do they think they are, walking all over the little people just because they can? Deserve to get shot in the face, all of ‘em. Some of us weren’t born royalty, you bastard. Doesn’t mean you have to keep reminding us.

I don’t even bother thinking about the potential consequences of what I suddenly get it in my mind to do. I dash over to one of the north windows and look for a crack in the boards, a knot, anything. Find one; peek through it. There. That two-story shop-looking deal on the water. That’s got to be it. And at this point I don’t even care if it’s right or not. He wants to shoot at nothing just to get in my head? Then damn well so can I.

The blast is quieter than I expected; probably because I stuffed the barrel outside the window first. My shoulder aches with the kick of the recoil as the stock pushes me backwards ever so slightly; I nearly lose the grip on my gun. One more thing to get used to in this hell. I take just a second or two to look out the window again before shoving a table back up in front of it.

“You want to shoot at people, be prepared to get shot,” I say to myself as I back away from the window, smirking.

That felt good. Could care less if I hit the son of a bitch of not, could care less if somebody else watching the town knows where I am now; he had it coming. Let’s watch him waste my time with single pointless bullets now.

This is insane. I shake my head and keep telling myself that as I slide another shell into my weapon, replacing the one I just fired. This is the most insane way to make your dreams come true I think I’ve ever heard. Crazy game shows? Sure, okay; I can see that. Mob deals? Realistic; happens to plenty of desperate men and women I bet. Hell, at this point I’m wondering if selling your soul to the devil might be more believable than what I’m in right now. And this is just after three hours. Damn this thing’s going to take an eternity at this rate. I’d probably go crazy if I didn’t have something worth staying sane for.

Mariah… You just hold on, girl. Mommy’s going to fix this. She’s going to fix what they did to our family. And we won’t ever have to worry anymore… Just don’t ever ask Mommy what she did to fix it…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Can’t afford to do that, not now. Not yet. Live in the present. Stay alive. Rule number one: always stay alive. This workshop’s keeping me alive for now, at the very least. Isn’t doing much more than that, but I ain’t complaining yet. Take it slow. But… not too slow. I remember my goal. Two wishes. Two kills. And right now I only know where one of ‘em is.

I stroll on over to the tool table; take a look at my map again while pulling at the brunette strands on my head. There I am. And either there or there he is. So close… He’s just across the damn street for God’s sake. If I could only get inside, I’d have him. But he’d see me; no cover in any direction except backwards. Hate going backwards; feels like giving up. Feels like losing. I don’t lose. I might not win, but I refuse to lose.

What a fine piece-a-work chessboard I’m in now.


[ ] Stay put. Stay safe. Stay alive.
[ ] Shoot again, and watch the aftermath. Find the bastards’ location.
[ ] Move to the zig-zag building; slowly try to flank him.
[ ] Start yelling a conversation; gauge his response.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 33867
[x] Start yelling a conversation; gauge his response.
<x> Magazine

Everyone already knows where she is. Why the fuck not? It'll be interesting.
>> No. 33868
[x] Shoot again, and watch the aftermath. Find the bastards’ location.
<x> Clip

Because knowing his location is such a thing.
>> No. 33870
Darn... I like both Clip and Shell. I'll be sad when one of them bite the dust. Still, if it comes down to it, I think I like Clip more than Shell.

[x] Start yelling a conversation; gauge his response.
<x> Clip
>> No. 33874
[x] Move to the zig-zag building; slowly try to flank him.
[x] Shell

Well, now that we have a little handle on Clips character, we know turtling in our fortress won't do anything. We need to break this stalemate somehow. Fortune favors the bold, and all that.
>> No. 33888
[X] Move to the zig-zag building; slowly try to flank him.
<X> Powder
>> No. 33892
[x] Start yelling a conversation; gauge his response.
<x> Drum

Somehow I found Shell's outrage at the single bullet business quite amusing.
>> No. 33940
File 130506750497.png - (356.43KB , 678x885 , Agnaktor is serious business.png ) [iqdb]
33940
3 – Yell
2 – Move
1 – Shoot

<2> - Clip
<1> - Shell
<1> - Powder
<1> - Drum
<1> - Magazine

Well, now, this update’ll be fun to write. You’ll probably get it during the first half of tomorrow, I think, because I predict myself being lazy and not finishing it tonight.

This image is a completely unrelated Monster Hunter Tri reference, despite Mr. Nak being quite the suave and classy character. That is, until you realize that he bears a certain… similarity, to something a little more popular… http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004934NAK NAK NAK
>> No. 33961
File 130512420661.png - (207.11KB , 722x387 , Clip.png ) [iqdb]
33961
11:02, DAY THE FIRST

I have just been shot at.

For fear of my own life I did not continue to write. Must remember… Must remember what I felt.

Shock. Unexpected shock, first. Heart jumped, skin tingled. Brain continued to autopilot for several seconds; continued to write. Write until I realized I had been shot at.

Heard sound of buckshot against wood wall; impossible to gauge lethality. Was not hit… Might not have realized it if I was, at first. Surge of adrenaline, blinding the senses. It cools, now. Heart continues to race. Handwriting poor. Apologies.

Not invincible. Must always remember I am not invincible. Stupid? Stupid for goading the opponent? Stupid for pretending to be God on the battlefield?

…On the battlefield, who is God? Must consider further.

Records. Must keep good records. Can always edit later, but must keep coherency.

Shell fired at approximately 10:45 A.M. Considering distance of some fifty meters, could not have been lethal shot. Assuming she realizes this? Then why shoot? Rage? Revenge? Unless she knows more about shotguns than I; cannot assume she does not.

Cannot write faster. Wish to do so. Wish…

Hypothetical: What does it mean, to wish? A phrase oft taken lightly. In jest. Would perspective change if wishes held credence? Were more defined? Must consider further.

Plan of action. Have moved away from walls for time being. Balance shifted from life here to life at home. Currently one and the same. To sacrifice life here is to sacrifice everything. Everything in moderation. Must remain intelligent. Do not overstep bounds. Like all science, understand the danger of playing God. Provided God exists. And if he does not, what then is the primary danger of unencumbered science? Must consider further.

11:20, DAY THE FIRST

She is shouting at me now. Will transcribe as accurately as possible. (Addendum: commentary added during pauses in her messages.)

“Well you gonna keep shooting at me or not you son of a bitch?!”
It is a distinct possibility, considering your candid approach, which may or may not be silenced with another bullet depending on how much fear you hide behind your self-confident speech.

“It’s not like we don’t both know you know where I am!”
She accepts her situation as it is and is comfortable addressing it. Shows determination.

“Come on, we’re not doing anything else, you might as well say something!”
Saying anything will reveal my gender and my position, neither of which I care to disclose, which you will so pertinently address next. Self-confident she may be, but it is not rash to assume she still hides doubt, which will be further compounded should I remain silent.

“Oh, yeah, that’s right, you’ve got to be the invisible sniper shooting from on high! Can’t reveal your position!”
I believe I just said that. You are stating the obvious, Ms. Shell. This does not aid your cause in my eyes.

“Well you missed! And now there’s no chance in hell I’m letting you get another shot at me like that!”
There was a notable pause between this comment of Shell’s and the last. May be various explanations: did not plan her conversation beforehand, comes to self-realization during delivery, is stalling for time while she does something else.

“Damn it you bastard I’m talking to you!”
This comment was prefaced by yet another blast from her shotgun. Though I have no intention of responding in any way, the sound of gunfire remains disconcerting. This is I will admit alleviated by hearing the voice of another participant.

Comments on Shell’s voice: She does not sound young, though specific age I cannot determine. It is fiery, full of emotion and purpose. Her words are forceful even if her message may not be. She seems to me to know what it is she is fighting for. A valuable asset, to be sure.

For the moment, she is now remaining silent.

She is disrupting the experiment, if experiment this is. Not mine; I am content to observe anything and everything that happens, in whatever way it happens. I speak of “theirs”, of the person or persons who organized this, who put the eight of us here on this peninsula. I do not claim to know their intentions, but it was certainly an intention to make sure we were all strangers. Conversation destroys this. It turns each one of us from disposable wish-fulfilling targets into people, people with a voice and an opinion. Such conversation could create alliances between like-minded participants, or cause a personal hatred that will move people to murder not for the sake of wishes, but merely for the sake of a personal vendetta. It ceases to become about “the right price”.

I wonder right now who “they” are and what their purposes are. There is no doubt in my mind that what they are doing here is illegitimate; even a morally-bankrupt government knows how to wheel and deal with subtlety. They would never take such elaborate measures as this. No. This is private. This is under the table.

It amuses me… A challenge, within a challenge. The odds are impossible, of course, but there is no victory without risk, and no challenge without difficulty. To see if I really could do it. To see if I really could find out who is behind all this, from where I am here. It would greatly intrigue me to speak with such people, I think.

It would require cooperation from the others, yes, and of course they will not cooperate. This challenge is a pipe dream, something only to be considered in my spare time here, if indeed any time I have here could be called “spare”. But perhaps, if I continue to consider it, an opportunity may arise at some point. There is no harm in contemplating the matter.

But, to business.

Shell sits ensconced in a warehouse fifty meters to the southeast, a fortress I cannot hope to penetrate with only a pistol against a shotgun. She knows my current location; how I do not know, but it is irrelevant. She does not mind announcing her position to me or to anyone else who may be nearby, and I must assume that someone else has heard her tirade and will be all the more dangerous because of it. This town is becoming more precarious with each passing quarter-hour, and I feel that it is only a short matter of time before this will become a warzone in earnest.

Shell knows my position. If I am to move, I must move now. If I am to stay, I must commit to staying. I will consider the matter. End of thought.


[ ] Move now. Relocate to (state destination)
[ ] Stay put. Move only if the building is seriously compromised.
[ ] Commit to the long haul.

Also choose a more pertinent action:
{ } Remain silent and phantasmal, as before.
{ } Shoot at Shell’s building again
{ } Throw some piece of debris as a distraction

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 33963
[1] Move now. Relocate to (buildings from buildings, heading away from Shell.)
---[1.1] Move silently. Speed is not an issue. Secrecy is.
---[1.2] Hole up in the building when safe; must have flat, dry writing space.
{2} Remain silent and phantasmal, as before.

Someone will shoot Shell for her, eventually.
She also need time to consider lots of "Must consider further" notes in her book.

To be a scientist is to be an observer. Observe, and take notes.

[x]Belt
>> No. 33968
>>33963
Isn't 1.1 redundant, since it's the point of the second vote? Apart from that, I agree with your viewpoint.

[1] Move now. Relocate to (buildings from buildings, heading away from Shell.)
-Hole up in the building when safe; must have flat, dry writing space.
{2} Remain silent and phantasmal, as before.

<x> Powder
Let's see how the Belt-hunt is doing (if he is moving towards Belt). Now that got another weapon, Powder can relax a little bit on the ammo situation.
>> No. 33973
[x] Commit to the long haul.
{x} Shoot at Shell’s building again
<x> Magazine

Angry characters are more fun to read. This seems like the best course of action for pissing everyone off.
>> No. 33979
[x] Stay put. Move only if the building is seriously compromised.
{x} Remain silent and phantasmal, as before.
<x> Drum
>> No. 33981
[x] Stay put. Move only if the building is seriously compromised.
{x} Remain silent and phantasmal, as before.
<x> Magazine
>> No. 33982
[1] Move now. Relocate to (buildings from buildings, heading away from Shell.)
-Hole up in the building when safe; must have flat, dry writing space.
{2} Remain silent and phantasmal, as before.

<x> Powder
>> No. 33983
[x] Move now. Relocate to (buildings from buildings, heading away from Shell.)
-Hole up in the building when safe; must have flat, dry writing space.
{x} Remain silent and phantasmal, as before.

<x> Drum

Hey Owen: Any chance you could go back and fill in certain bits after this story is done? I'm pretty sure that by the end, some characters will have gotten more screen time than others, and it'd be interesting to see what was going on with them at certain intervals, as well as give you a chance to flesh them out a little.

Is that at all a possibility?
>> No. 34051
[ ] Stay put. Move only if the building is seriously compromised.
{ } Shoot at Shell’s building again
<x>Bolt

It's time for everyone's favorite sniper to act. No warzone is really complete without a sniper killing someone.
>> No. 34074
4 – Move
3 – Stay
1 – Commit

{6} – Silent
{2} - Shoot

<2> - Shell
<2> - Drum
<2> - Magazine
<1> - Belt
<1> - Bolt

Three-way tie on the switch, and this time Drum and Mag both have exactly one update. Going to employ a second contingency in this case; priority between a second-level tie will be given to whoever has gone the longest without an update. In this case, that’d be Drum. Personally I hate breaking ties myself, but I also hate postponing an update if I’m ready to write.

So, writing today.

>>33938
Ahh, hmm… Now this is a sticky wicket, here. You see, I planned Priceless knowing that the voters would end up gravitating towards some characters over others. I planned out eight characters of fairly equal quality and intrigue, and then leave it to the voters to determine who will become the more “main” characters, and who will be “supporting” characters. It’s never really been my intention to give everyone equal screentime. That doesn’t make any character any less important or fleshed-out, however; it just means that I need to make the most out of every update, never knowing the next time I’m going to get the chance to write a character. This is primarily why I tried to show each character’s motivations and personalities within their very first update.

So no, at this point I’d rather not do that. It’s too early to tell if such an action will even be required, honestly. Months down the road if I see a big diversity between how many updates each character has gotten, then I’ll consider it. But as of now, I don’t think it’s necessary.
>> No. 34080
File 130542503485.png - (159.17KB , 800x289 , Drum.png ) [iqdb]
34080
11:50 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 68 hours and 10 minutes remain.

For one of the few times in my life, my rashness has been rewarded. But it is truly a crime to act rashly on a reward gained through rashness. I cannot let it go to my head.

From my new position in the rafters of a seaside cottage at the end of the road, I peered out of a hole in the roof I poked myself using my pole. I must say the increased proximity to the town makes using the spyglass of mine all the easier. I saw the scattered houses and ruins of houses more clearly than ever before, counted them one by one. Seventeen that I could see were sound enough to act as shelter, though I myself assess but seven of them as defensible. The majority are decrepit, burned husks; structures whose walls I would not trust to stop a bullet.

But this is an irrelevancy. For I saw another contender.

I recall her appearance as she ducked out of a two-story building and scampered her way up the coast. Dressed in tan slacks and a black hooded sweatshirt, her long dark hair at odds with an otherwise pale complexion. The travel pack we all possess was snug against her shoulders, bulging with what I might rationally assume was her overcoat, as she was not wearing it. Her face was not hard to observe, for despite the number of times she looked back over her shoulder, she was moving north, right towards me. The face of a young lady, mid-twenties I assume, and wearing a pair of oval-shaped glasses. Her expression the spyglass was not clear enough to discern, though I would greatly liked to have seen it. She did not tarry long outside, and slipped inside the burnt shell of a building at the crossroads not two hundred meters from my current position. Her weapon I saw very clearly.

Her name is Clip.

A smile comes to my face for reasons I can’t explain, though I know it is not a matter of sadism. Perhaps it is the satisfaction of spotting a potential “wish”. I wonder what a lady such as herself is doing here, what aspirations she might have. Is she a student? Is she blue collar? White collar? What motivated her to come here? Is she prepared to take the life of another human being, as I am? Of course these questions and many like it are merely generic quandaries any brain might ask upon seeing another person in a situation such as this; I have no real desire to know her life’s story. I would be lying if I said I did not care about her in the slightest, but it is the nature of the game. Complete strangers, killing complete strangers. To get emotionally involved is to hamper my ability to pull the trigger when the time comes.

Still, this young lady’s appearance sets my mind to thinking of another young lady in my life, one I care about notably more. I try to push it out of my head as an untimely distraction, but memories are things not easily silenced. Yates… Chelsea Yates, age eighteen. Hired as a student intern six months ago and placed under my supervision without my knowledge or my input. Quite literally did I arrive at work to find her waiting on the doorstep of my cubicle, this freckle-faced little high-schooler who had just about as much knowledge of what she was supposed to be doing there as I did. As always, my appeals to those above me were either ignored or manhandled, to which my response was essentially to ignore any response they did happen to give me and train Miss Yates the way in which I felt she should be trained.

Parts of her remind me of myself, as I assume any supervisor’s protégée would. She is ambitious; ready to learn, and ready to excel. A faster learner than even I was at that age. Perhaps not as bright as I would hope, but we must all do the best with what we are given. It makes me sad that I have little practical use for her beyond clerical duties and mindless data entry. I was certainly the best hands in which to entrust the future generation to even if my superiors did not realize it, but when we are both slaves of the same system, it makes very little difference in the end.

But this is what wishes are made for.

I watch Clip enter the house, most likely unaware of my presence here. I dare not approach so suddenly; so soon after moving from one building to another I imagine she will be all the more paranoid of eyes watching her. This is a true gift I’ve been given, to have another so-called “contractor” so close to me a scant four hours in. I can’t allow myself to squander it. I have to do this perfectly. Approach silently, get in close, and use my weapon’s superior magazine size to my advantage. That’s not the difficult part. The difficult part is not getting shot by everyone who will know where I am afterwards.

I wait. Wait, and watch through my broken spyglass. Watch for anything at all. Movement from Ms. Clip inside her shelter, movement from the rest of the town, anything at all. It is a difficult thing, observing from so far away when my weapon is powerless to do anything as such a range. It makes me wonder what “Bolt” must be feeling right about now.

Bolt…

I suddenly pull myself away from the opening in the roof, out of sight. Bolt… My forehead breaks out into hot and cold flashes at the same time, which travel down my neck before long. I can’t tell how long the feeling lasts. Seconds? Minutes? However long it is, a sudden and stark fear sweeps over me. Common sense should have prevented such an emotion from grasping me, but irrational fear is neither common, nor sensible.

Bolt… The sniper. The watcher. The invisible death. Just as I was watching Clip, I suddenly realize that Bolt could be watching me. His telescope surpasses mine in every way; even were I to look in the right direction he might be no more than a discolored lump amidst the trees, and then I would be dead.

Dead…

The concept begins to plant its seed inside my head in a new way. I looked at my death before as a possibility, as a statistical chance, as the most unprofitable of ventures. Now… Now after seeing another, and after wondering if I myself am being seen, it becomes… more real. Something to be avoided at all costs, something to never stop considering. “Will moving at this point result in my death? Will acting in this way increase the chances that I might die?” These are the questions I should be asking myself first. To kill, I must first be alive. And to be alive, I must first not be killed.

But where, is, he? Past high noon… Four hours. Anyone might have traveled anywhere in four hours. Where he started is irrelevant now. Where would he go? How would he move? He may be an amateur, like I myself am an amateur. What would an amateur sniper think? Most anyone will have been deluged by the media’s interpretation of snipers; by Hollywood’s interpretation of snipers. They might try and mimic such an interpretation. Remain silent and unknown, shooting only when they are certain their bullet will kill. Station themselves on high ground overlooking an area where they know a target will eventually appear. And they would wait. They would wait an eternity for a target to pass by.

I pull out my map, my godsend to the logical mind. A hill, overlooking targets. The town… Everyone assumes someone will eventually come into the town. A sniper would watch the town. From a hill, overlooking the town. My finger traces itself across the contour lines of the map, stopping at a ridge to the south. Out of the way, high up, a clear view, a structure behind them to retreat to… perfect. A sniper would place themselves there.

The hill is three to four hundred meters from my current location. I can only ask myself… Would an amateur be able to hit me from such a distance? The chances are of course unlikely. But… could they?

I return to my spyglass and focus it on Clip’s shelter. No movement. How long had I ceased to observe her? My eyes dart away from the glass and instead to my watch. Twelve eleven. Six minutes. Six minutes where I did not pay attention.

“Damn it…” I find myself cursing unintentionally, gripping my free hand and thumping it into the rafters. She might be there. She might not. And because of that one simple flash of paranoia, that fear, I no longer know. I know she’s close. But I don’t know.

But… I know she’s close. If I close the distance now, I may redeem myself. No more mistakes. If I sacrificed my existence as a girl for the sake of my future, I can certainly sacrifice my sense of fear for it. I don’t need fear. With enough planning, enough wisdom, I can think of what fear my cause me to wonder, and more besides.

But it is truly a crime to act rashly on a reward gained through rashness. I cannot let it go to my head.


[ ] Stay put. Don’t be rash. Continue to observe.
[ ] Retreat. Return to the lighthouse.
[ ] Move quickly. Enter the next building down the road.
[ ] Move cautiously. Approach the next building down the road.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 34082
[x] Stay put. Don’t be rash. Continue to observe.
<x> Clip
>> No. 34086
[x] Move quickly. Enter the next building down the road.
[x] Shell

Sitting around will only increase paranoia for all involved. For the last couple of updates, we've voted to sit and observe the other party. Someone needs to break this deadlock, if they are to achieve their dreams.
>> No. 34091
[x] Stay put. Don’t be rash. Continue to observe.
<x> Bolt
>> No. 34193
[x] Move quickly. Enter the next building down the road.
<x> Chamber

What's everybody's favorite disqualified do-gooder up to?
>> No. 34196
[ ] Move cautiously. Approach the next building down the road.
< > bolt
>> No. 34198
[ ] Move cautiously. Approach the next building down the road.
<x> Bolt

About time for more Bolt time
>> No. 34204
[x] Move cautiously. Approach the next building down the road.
<x> Bolt.
>> No. 34236
3 – Move cautiously
2 – Move quickly
2 – Stay put

<4> - Bolt
<1> - Shell
<1> - Chamber
<1> - Clip

Once again, I’m sorry for the delay. I just haven’t felt in the mood for writing with all this job searching going on; really kills my mood. But, better than taking an official hiatus, I suppose. I promise that update speed will improve once I finally get gainfully employed. Counter-intuitive considering “free time”, I know, but it’s a matter of mentality.

Update will be out sometime tonight, I can promise that.
>> No. 34243
File 130585574544.png - (54.74KB , 450x350 , Bolt.png ) [iqdb]
34243
11:15 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 68 hours and 45 minutes remain.

Somethin’s close. I can feel it. Shit’s gonna be gettin’ real all up in this forest real quick, real soon. Why? Oh, I dunno, maybe that goddamn pokka-pokka-pokka machine gun I heard a half-hour ago? That shit sounded real close, too. If I hadn’t been watching that lakeside cabin right then, might-a thought that’s where it was coming from, but it ain’t. Someplace further up.

Still can’t see shit.

The dead leaves all stick to my coat like confetti as I squirm around on my belly, flickin’ my eyes from one house to the other. If anyone was in that damn lakehouse I’d’ve ‘spected that pokka-pokka-pokka would’ve flushed ‘em out; don’t know why I even bother looking at it anymore. But, who knows. Maybe they’re still in there. Maybe they know how to hide and wait. Maybe they’re smart. Hell, I ain’t smart. Don’t ask me what’d I’d do if some machine gun was trying to mow me down. I’ll think about that once it starts tryin’.

So there, Mr. Cabin On The Hill… You look like a place some dude’d shoot a machine gun from, donch’ya? Just sittin’ there, looking at the road, waiting to mow down the competition? Being all “Durr-de-durr, it’s just like D-Day!” or some crap like that? You just keep on doing that. Don’t look at me, look at the road. Obviously people are gonna walk down the road, right? Down the wide open road you can see coming a mile away? The road everybody knows is there on their damn maps?

I mean, why do ya’ think I spent fifteen minutes circling that lake like the paranoid bastard who’s still hiding in that house over there? If he’s even there, that is.

You don’t hide in the obvious places, idiot. You don’t walk in the obvious places. Everyone looks in the obvious places. Everyone thinks the obvious places are nice and safe with their nice and safe walls and their nice and safe roof. You don’t hide there. You hide in the places no one cares about. Places they won’t see coming. Bury yourself in some leaf pile somewhere, like this piece of shit thin leaf pile I’m buried in right now. Nice black coat didn’t stay nice and black for very long, I tell you what. Dirt brown’s better anyways. Everything is dirt brown. Buildings. Cardboard. Dirt. Air might as well be dirt brown these days for all the cigarettes and cars and factories around.

Blend in with the things no one pays any attention to, and they can stare right at you without a damn clue about who you really are. All they’ll see is another rock on the road, another bum on the street, another leaf pile on Hell Island. And if they do see me, all they’re gonna see is Bolt. Bad, heartless sniper who’s just here to screw with all y’all and make your life miserable. That ain’t me either. I’m jus’ playin’ the part to have fun.

I’m me. Twenty-seven. Unemployed. Homeless. Drifter. People-watcher. Works the odd job here n’ there to pay for food and booze. You see me on the street, you say, “Oh look, another black homeless guy, probably livin’ on welfare. Better get outta here; this neighborhood’s goin’ straight to hell.” You don’t talk to me. You don’t know how I got here or why I stay here. Shit, you don’t even know my damn name. All you gotta do is ask. But hey, if you ain’t gonna care, I ain’t gonna care.

I look back at Mr. Cabin On The Hill. Does Mr. Cabin On The Hill care? Does he care that he’s telling Mr. Bolt right where he is with that pokka-pokka-pokka? Does he care that Mr. Bolt might be looking at him right at this very moment?

…Shit. I’m talking to a house.

So, what’ve I got here? Got a machine-gunner machine-gunning it up somewhere close. Could be in the house. Probably in the house. Might not be in the house. He shootin’ at someone? Then someone else’ll be close too. My lucky day, then. Except… that was a half-hour ago. Hell if I know where they are now. Gotta be closing the knot now, though, just gotta be. It won’t be long now. Somethin’s going down. Whether or not I shoot is another story, but something is going to happen. Someone’ll get impatient, or think they see something, or really see something. Hell, if I’m talking to a house, no telling what the rest are doing right now.

I shuffle over to the right a few inches and get a root out of my ribcage that’s been there for longer than it should have been. I feel… I dunno. Exposed, maybe. Sitting on a hill right between two houses I haven’t looked inside. Bet some commando is yelling at me for being an idiot right now. Screw ‘im. I ain’t here to be the best. I’m just here to have a little fun. Still, easy way for a man to get himself shot. I should probably move. Except that’s an easy way for a man to get himself shot too. If anyone saw me move since the last time I moved, I’d be dead by now. And if they haven’t, they sure as hell won’t see me now s’long as I don’t move.

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Can’t shoot anyone if I can’t find them. Can’t find them if I don’t look. Can’t look unless I’m willing to stick my neck out. Makes a guy want to just camp out above that damn town and make it easy. But then again, if I did that I’d scare ‘em all away. And we don’t want that now, do we?

Damn it, I’m talking to myself again. I really need to shoot something already.


[ ] Move up to the hillside house. Approach from the (south/west/east)
[ ] Move back to the lakeside house. See if anyone is actually there.
[ ] Stay put. This is the middle of the action. Wait.
[ ] Circle around. Move to the big hill to the northwest.
[ ] Forget the pokka-pokka-pokka. Travel east then north, up the boundary mountains.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 34245
[x] Forget the pokka-pokka-pokka. Travel east then north, up the boundary mountains.
<x> Powder
>> No. 34246
[x] Move up to the hillside house. Approach from the (east)
<x> Belt

No idea whether east or west is better. Whatever.
>> No. 34248
[ ] Move up to the hillside house. Approach from the east.
<x> Powder

Totally forgot where Bolt is.
>> No. 34249
Oh right, if this house is belt's place, then approaching from the south would be dangerous to Bolt. She was watching the north last time, but it was stated she could easily switch to the south window.
>> No. 34251
[x] Move up to the hillside house. Approach from the (east)
<x> Belt
>> No. 34262
3 – Move up from the east
1 – Forget it

<2> - Powder
<2> - Belt

Another tie; Belt takes precedence. Update today hopefully.

Also I’m torn on whether to just tell you on the map where a character is at any given time. On the one hand it would make voting easier. On the other hand, idealistically, I’d like to treat this as a more professional story, and as such would hope that the clues in the text would be enough. However, perhaps they’re not clear enough, if people are forgetting where characters are. Any thoughts about this, readers?
>> No. 34263
>>34262
There's just a lot to keep track of. Most stories don't ask you to keep tabs on eight people's exact(ish) positions. I feel like dedicated readers can keep their own map if they really want to - or just scan for the character's last update.
>> No. 34270
File 130612280689.png - (95.88KB , 740x266 , Belt.png ) [iqdb]
34270
10:25 A.M., Morning of the First Day, 69 hours and 35 minutes remain.

Oh my God, I am soo bored.

I mean come on. it’s been like half an hour since I tried out my gun, and no one is coming to see what’s up. I even switched to the other window to make sure. Am I just missing them or something? Are they like in camo? Heck no, like that’s fair at all. Thought Miss Lady said this was s’possed to be a fair game? Fair my butt; fair is, like, chess or something, and all I see is a Red Queen. Which is me.

…Heck yeah I love my hair. Thought about dying it hot pink once, but that’d make me, like, a poser or something. Besides, blonde is just cute; red’s actually hot. Maybe in like two years I’ll actually start caring about that kind of crap, once I’m legal. Whatever. Back to killing people.

Except there’s no one to kill. Come on! Where are you people?! I’m sitting right here waiting for you! You’d think someone would have come close enough for me to see ‘em by now, right? Do I have the wrong window, is that it? Should I be watching the forest more? Is that where they all are, duking it out in the forest? Did I scare them away by shooting at ‘em?

Man, that was awesome. I’m not gonna lie, that was awesome. Just laying on the trigger and seeing those white-hot bullets fly out of the barrel, feeling the vibrations from the weapon in my hands… It’s like when you hit the ball just right, and you know without even looking you got it over the fence. That’s it, that’s what I came here to feel. To feel what’s it’s really like, having a real gun and really shooting people. Everyone’s imagined it; I mean, they’re lying if they say they haven’t. Everyone just wants to get that feeling of running out there and taking on all the bad guys at once without even breaking a sweat. Everyone wants to be the best.

Too bad. That person’s gonna be me. Have fun not being the best, everyone else. Red Queen checkmates all of you. At the same time. Game over.

Bored. Bored bored bored. I plunk my head against the butt of my gun rhythmically, failing hopelessly at warding off the doldrums with minute amounts of pain. Nothing is happening. Nothing, is happening. No one is shooting, no one is shouting, no one, is, here.

I think I picked the wrong spot.

That town, now that’s where it’s all gonna go down. Just like the Old West, heck yeah. Deserted streets, citizens too afraid to walk around in broad daylight, dodging from building to building as they shoot at you… Now that’s more like it. Really feeling alive. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind getting shot in the arm or something. Be a nice souvenir to show all my boyfriends and prove ‘em that I’m more manly than they are.

I lean back in my old piece-of-crap chair and think about it. They ain’t coming. I could sit here and wait all day, but I bet they really ain’t gonna be coming. Not fast enough, at least. Everyone’s all like, “Ooohh, waaah, can’t rush it, gonna play it all safey-like, wait it out, I gots three days, maybe if I just—“ Yeah, no. Screw that noise. Just get it over with, stop your whining, and get back to living life the way you wish you were living it.

I decide to bite the bullet. Pick up all the crap I got lying around and stuff it back in my bag. Look at the tools and stuff I salvaged from that lakehouse. I’m getting really sick of carrying all these. Do I even need half of a broken rowboat oar? I keep the old woodsplitter axe, though, or whatever it’s called. Heavy as hell, but it’s so worth it to keep. Just in case, you know… just in case.

The coat goes over my shoulders again; red like my hair, except like super-dark, like blood almost. Gotta remember to thank Lady-Girl for it when it’s all over; always wanted a big long badass coat. Wonder what it’ll look like when it gets blood on it. But that’s not going to happen; ain’t nobody going to get my nice coat dirty.

I pick up the axe and drag it over to the window, preparing to pick up the machine gun too. My hand’s on the grip, ready to pull it off the window, but… I stop. Not really sure why. I look at him again; my baby, my Belt. Not really sure what makes me pump the trigger one last time and spray a dozen bullets out into the forest again. Maybe I want to try and bring them over here again. Maybe I like the feel and sound of it. Make I’m just a jerk like that, I dunno.

Whatever it is, it’s fun. I’m having fun here. Freaking bored out of my skull, yeah, but… it’s fun, just being here.

I creep down the steps and out the door into the forest, keeping low, a weapon in each hand. Someone else’d think something like, “Oh yeah, don’t ever see anyone, then as soon as I leave the house I get shot.” Not me; I’m lucky like that. As long as that Rosalie isn’t anywhere involved, I’m golden.

…Goddamn it Rosalie why you gotta be so perfect all the time? Do you even have to try, I wonder? I’m working my ass off to catch up to you, and you just shrug it off like I’m no competition at all! I’m your little sister for crying out loud! Stop being so mean and older-sistery!

I sneak off up the hill, my eyes flicking around for any good hiding spots people might be using nearby. Nothing pops out at me; just forest and more forest. Sun’s starting to shine through the leaves now, sending little beams of yellow light showering down into the brown and slightly-different brown and also green of the woods. Feels like an enchanted forest or something. Turns this war game into some kind of fairy tale almost. Fairies, with guns…? Wishes are magical, I guess. It’s not that weird.

Once I hit the top of the hill I turn around and hold up for a while. Check my back, see if I missed anything. There’s the cabin through the trees, right where I left it. No movement. Nothing on the road, nothing down the other sides of the hill. I check my map. Another hill off to the east, one next to the road up north. Town’s forever and a mile away; I feel like it’ll take me an hour to get there with all this weight I’m carrying. Feel like I shouldn’t Like I should wait. Like maybe this time someone’ll come running after I shot stuff. And they’ll see the cabin and think, “Oh, machine gun Bob must be up there,” and off they go while I shoot ‘em in the back from my hiding spot.

Except, I hate waiting.


[ ] Dig in. Watch the house for a while.
[ ] Move northwards. Stay in the middle of the woods.
[ ] Move northwest. Hug those high hills.
[ ] Move east. Travel up the coast.
[ ] Move northeast. Check out that building on the road.

Switch…
< > Clip
< > Chamber
< > Magazine
< > Bolt
< > Drum
< > Belt
< > Shell
< > Powder
>> No. 34271
[x] Move northwards. Stay in the middle of the woods.

The woods should provide excellent cover.

>maybe this time someone’ll come running after I shot stuff

It didn't work last time, so what makes her think it'll turn out differently now? God, she's so naive it's painful. Perhaps she got one of the best guns to compensate for her immature attitude? I'll feel slightly bad when she is brutally murdered.
>> No. 34274
[ ] Move northeast. Check out that building on the road.
<x> Powder

Remilia recruited Belt?
>> No. 34275
[x] Move northeast. Check out that building on the road.
<x> Magazine

>>34274
Daiyousei recruited Belt.
>> No. 34276
>>34271
[x] Powder
Ahh shit, forgot to vote for perspective change. My bad.
>> No. 34278
>>34275
>Daiyousei recruited Belt.

Care to elaborate, please?
>> No. 34288
[x] Dig in. Watch the house for a while.
<x> Clip
>> No. 34294
[x] Move northeast. Check out that building on the road.
<x> Magazine.

So Belt is black, huh? Cool.

Also, voting for Magazine mainly because we barely know anything about him.

>>34278
I'd like to hear the answer to this, too. It reminds me of when that one guy thought the protagonist of The Game was actually Suwako.

Hopefully this person will respond sooner.
>> No. 34295
[ø] Move northwards. Stay in the middle of the woods.
<ø> Magazine
>> No. 34296
auto-sage limit reached. Interesting story so far: I was expecting the story to progress much quicker, but this is good as well.
>> No. 34301
[ ] Move northeast. Check out that building on the road.
<x> Powder
>> No. 34327
[ ] Move northeast. Check out that building on the road.
<x> clip.

I don't know if anyone has thought of this, but can't a wish be used to bring everyone back that died? I mean, if a character feels bad about killing, they could just aim to get as many wishes as possible, and use one to bring everyone back. Maybe it's too unlikely, but I might as well mention it.
>> No. 34362
5 – Northeast
2 – North
1 – Dig in

<3> - Magazine
<3> - Powder
<2> - Clip

Once again, I really dropped the ball on updating this week. In my defense it’s been a busy week; three interviews one right after the other kind of killed my mood to do much of anything creative. On the plus side I did finally land a summer job and have a good possibility of scoring something more permanent. I believe this will actually end up having me update with more frequency since I’ll put a higher value on my free time now. I’ll be shooting for every-other-day if I can manage it, actually.

Update sometime tomorrow; not sure when. Magainze wins the tie, by the way.

>>34271
Glad to see you’ve taken such a shine to her~

>>34294
>So Belt is black, huh? Cool.
Wait… what? I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that. Also dark-skinned redheads are extremely rare in real life, for what it’s worth.

>>34296
I know, I know. I was trying to push it along as well, but I couldn’t (and still can’t) find a very natural way to do it without chopping out large portions of time. As I’ve said, this story is experimental. I’m not used to writing this way any more than you all are used to reading and voting in it. It’s a learning experience for everyone, I guess. Perhaps Thread 2 will be better than Thread 1.

But thank you for sticking with it, just the same.

>>34327
This, of course, being based on the assumption that the wishes are in fact magical and can revive the dead.

But are they…?

>>34274
>>34275
>>34278
>>34294
And so it begins…
>> No. 35319
Link to Thread #2: >>34382

For those of you from THE FUTURE who are reading this right now.