(Continued from: The Tangled Web We Weave
Cody Jenson, also known as Boy #50 to the Survival of the Fittest program administrators, had been sitting in silent contemplation in the damp, mossy grass in front of Loretta since his disposal of Clemence Ceillet de Rousseau some hours prior. Only recently had he taken to nourishing his battered and beaten body on the many tins of crackers that he had accumulated from the half-dozen or so students he had viciously murdered during his ten-day stay in Hell.
Indeed, Hell was truly what this place was. Even in a place so peaceful and desolate as the ravine Cody currently occupied, a place left untainted by the hands of mankind for the eternity since its creation, even this
place seemed to be overrun with the horrid stench of death. Death, destruction, and chaos were all that had consumed this island in the past week and a half and, Cody reckoned, he had done his fair share to add to the mass genocide that had occurred in this place.
He continued to nibble lightly on the tin of crackers, every so often stopping momentarily to crumble up a cracker and throw it to the nearby birds who had accompanied him sometime prior, or to take a sip of his water in an effort to wash away the salty remnants and dry taste that had been left in his mouth by the half-stale crackers. The way he figured it, the faux tranquility and security that the ravine provided may also prove to be his final chance for rest and recuperation before the final battle, which was slowly forming a dark cloud above the remaining competitors. Indeed, what would prove to be the battle of battles was looming just over the horizon, Cody could feel it in his bones.
All at once, the loudspeakers that were situated above the ravine crackled to life, sending the birds fluttering away hurridly and causing Cody to drop his waterbottle and look up toward the sky in slight confusion. An announcement? Now? Time was certainly relative in a place like this, but if there was one thing Cody knew, it wasn't morning. Danya only made his announcements in the morning. That had been a given, and was now one of the few certainties on the island. The fact that Danya was messing with that certainty could only mean one thing: something big was about to happen.
A sly smile formed on the face of Cody Jenson as Mr. Danya's voice rang out across the island, confirming his suspicions. He had almost done it now, he'd almost made it to the end. Now it was down to four. Four more to go, and it was just a matter of time. Cody's face lit up and he seemed to beam with satisfaction at the fact that both Sidney Crosby and Adam Dodd had made it to the final four, along with some fellow by the name of Jack Spicer or Jack Connor or something. The underdog. Truly, he was the one to watch out for. The fact that this kid had even made it to the final four made Cody a little panicky.
When it came down to it, Cody knew just about all there was to know about both Adam Dodd and Sidney Crosby. Sidney had been his rival in hockey for years, the kid who always upstagged him, the kid Cody desperatedly, vehemently, desired... yearned for, needed
to put in his place. Here, on this island, that place was six feet under, or preferrably onto the burn pile with the rest of the corpses screwn about the island. As for Adam Dodd... Cody himself had searched through Adam's pack when he'd tended his wounds in the woods what seemed like eons ago. Cody knew exactly what Adam was armed with, and just how dangerous he could be.
But this Jack kid... Cody knew nothing about him. As Danya said, Jack O'Connor had slid under the radar and made it to the final four practically unscathed. This was the kid to watch out for. It dawned on Cody that he'd never, not once, come across this O'Connor kid on the island. He didn't know what he looked like, he didn't know what he was armed with, he didn't know how he fought or what he was capable of, and that fact alone frightened Cody Jenson. Jack wasn't just some other student like those two blonde haired girls Cody had killed with relative ease. No, Jack had accomplished quite a feat by making it to the final four, and that made him a foe not to be underestimated.
Exhaling audibly, Cody listened intently to the final part of Danya's announcement, instructing them all to head across the island to the river. Cody wasn't too far from the river here at the ravine, it shouldn't take him that long to traverse the terrain of the island and arrive at his destination. Sighing once again, Cody cradled his head in his arms and curled up into a fetal position. His body was failing, and the intense pain that his entire being was in had never left his mind, even for a second. Now, it was time for the final showdown, and for the first time since he stepped foot on the island, Cody found himself questioning whether or not he could handle this.I wonder...
Cody began to muse to himself, gradually unfolding himself from the fetal position he'd crawled into. Digging into the pack that lay close beside him, he retrieved the remaining bandages and the remainder of the first aide kit he had been provided with during the start of the game. Slipping off his shirt, Cody began removing the blood-soaked and reeking bandages that had covered his body in various places, crinkling up his nose a bit as he did so. Now would be the final time to worry about hygeine and keeping infection away. Much to his dismay, Cody noticed that some of the older wounds he'd received had since begun to fester over. Grimacing, he removed the remainder of the alcohol from the kit and began pouring it over his wounds to help disinfect them.I wonder where I'd be now... if I played the game differently. I wonder if I'd still be here in the final four... with the ticket out within my grasp, but all the while knowing that I'll never be able to reach it.
As Cody continued to rebandage his wounds, he paused a moment, feeling the warm metallic taste that he had almost grown accustomed to now rising within the depths of his throat once again. Coughing and sputtering ensued, and once again, the grass in front of Cody Jenson was painted with red muckus. In the back of his mind, Cody knew that there was a very definite possibility that, in all likelihood, he was bleeding internally. He knew he probably wouldn't survive much longer. But, he had to survive. He had to survive long enough to enact his retribution on Sidney Crosby for all of the upstagging, all of the times that Sidney showed the world how much better he was than Cody Jenson at everything. He had to survive... so he could send Sidney Crosby to his doom.I wonder... if my bullet had hit him instead of that Asian girl at the river... who would I be facing now?
And then there was Adam Dodd. Cody couldn't die now, because he hadn't had his epic battle with Adam yet. It was only right, after all. That was the way it was supposed to end. The villain takes and takes and takes from the hero until the hero is left with nothing. Then, the hero comes for the villain, and the two battle to the death. Cody had certainly taken everything he could muster from Adam Dodd. He'd taken away Madelaine Shirohara... he'd even taken her innocence simply to add fuel to the fire. He'd taken away the only person Adam Dodd every truly cared for, even though it had truly been an accident. The fact remains, Cody Jenson had killed Amanda Jones, and he was proud of it. Now, all that was left was to wipe Adam Dodd off the face of the planet, and Cody's purpose and life would have been fulfilled.I wonder... in a different time, in a different place... would we have been friends, Adam Dodd? Would you and I have shared common interests? Hell, I bet we could've played hockey together. Too late for that now, though. Our fates have been sealed in stone, I'm afraid. You can't change destiny, and my friend, our destiny is to battle until only one survives.
Once his bandages were changed, Cody took what was left of the water and carefully poured it over his form... from his hair down to his chest to his arms and legs. The cool feeling of the water against his dirty skin seemed to refresh him, and Cody smiled lightly at the first semblance of a shower he'd had in some time. He had no need for most of what was in his pack now anyway, it would just weigh him down. Digging through the bag, he put his desired weaponry aside: the shotgun he'd accumulated from Clemence, the dagger she'd stabbed him in the thigh with, his handaxe, his tire iron, and the small gun he'd accumulated sometime prior... by now, he didn't remember who it had come from.
Standing up, Cody placed the few spare clips of ammunition for the guns in his pockets, then used Clemence's dagger to shread the bloodied wifebeater he'd adorned throughout his time on the island. Using the strips of cloth, Cody was able to make sturdy slings for both his handaxe and the tire iron, and after a few laborious moments, managed to sling both weapons across his back via the use of these strips. He once again used the dagger to remove the fabric of his jeans from the knee down, figuring that perhaps they were a bit too confining for the battle that was about to ensue. Finally finished with the dagger, Cody shoved it down into his boot, concealing it with his sock.I lost my finger in this place.
It was an odd thought Cody mused as he looked down at his hand, finger having been shot off at the knuckle. It seemed like so long ago now. Muttering something unintelligable to himself, Cody reached down and picked up the small handgun, shoving it down the front of his pants promptly. After a moment, he grabbed Clemence's shotgun, also slinging it around him and clinging to it tightly. That would be his saving grace. After all, these were kids, not Gods. No matter who they were, they couldn't survive being pelted with shotgun bullets.If I'd played differently...
Cody found himself absent-mindedly looking down into the ravine. This was the last time he'd see this place. His eyes trailed over to Loretta, and a forelorn sigh escaped Cody's lips. In all of his giddiness and excitement over finally being given the opportunity to annihilate Adam Dodd and Sidney Crosby, he had completely forgotten about the fact that Loretta was out of gas. He supposed, this would be one trip that he would have to make without her. Maybe it was better this way. She wouldn't have to see the violence and carnage that Cody would reak upon the other contestants of the game. Sidling over to Loretta, Cody put a hand on the seat of the motorcycle, and a warm and genuine smile formed on his lips.Would I be here now? Would I be where I am... now? Would I even be alive?
"I... I guess, this is where we say our goodbyes," Cody stammered, sounding a bit upset and nostalgic as he looked at the bike, "We've had some really good times, you know? I'm sorry that I can't take you with me, but you'll only weigh me down now."
His voice became low and comforting as he looked at the bike, tears welling up in his eyes. Loretta had been one of the few constants in Cody Jenson's life for the past ten days, and it was hard to leave something that had taken on a life of its own behind.
"I'll never forget you, you know? I'll even come back for you, if I win this thing. I promise. If I leave this island, we'll leave together. Me and you. That's the way it should be."
Cody bowed his head apologetically, still fighting back the tears that threatened to spout at any given moment. Never had this boy felt such emotion, such passion. To anyone else, he probably looked deranged crying over an inanimate object, but for Cody, it tore him in two to have to leave the motorcycle behind. If he died, perhaps she'd be safe in this place, and she could rest here for the rest of eternity. Turning away, his head still bowed, Cody clinched his fists together and muttered one final word.
With that, Cody Jenson was off. This would be his final time at the ravine, that much was a certainty. Topping momentarily, his fingers slid down into the damp and muddy soil of the undergrowth and came up, placing two lines of deep brown dirt underneath both of his eyes. Turning and casting one final look at Loretta, Cody gave her a salute and a teary smile before heading off into the wilderness in the direction of the river. This would be the final showdown between the four remaining competitors on the island. Only one could outlast all the others, only one could survive. Only one could win. Now, like a soldier on the frontlines, Cody Jenson was headed off to war....Would we have been friends, Adam Dodd?
(Continued in: ENDGAME)