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 The SOTF Shockwave..., *dramatic music*
Posted: Oct 17 2005, 04:45 AM

Such a shame that I didn't know by now

Group: 20
Posts: 1,316
Member No.: 29
Joined: 2-July 05

Okay guys. So here's basically the deal with my next genius idea for another RP based in the SOTF-verse. Essentially the deal is very similar to the's not the afterlife at all.

This'll be a place where you post as the families and friends of your character. It doesn't necessarily need to be joined together in one place, but think of it as a place where you can write about how your character's family feels about the whole situation. Do they care? Then write about it. Does your character's mother hate him, and doesn't give two shits? Write about it. Get in-depth, give your characters a whole different level. Are they watching SOTF? Can they bear to see their precious child get maimed and killed? Let us know. If this takes off, it's possible we can open another thread where the families get to meet each other, but for now...just focus on the family of your character...

Only rule I'd say is basically limit it to one character per thread, except if your character has a twin, or something. (*cough Riser cough*)


LadyMakaze: So one character as in
LadyMakaze: one characters' family only?
LadyMakaze: or one family member only?
adamdodd77: One character's family. Like don't press Madelaine and Nanami into one post.

And with that...have at thee!
Posted: Oct 19 2005, 12:30 AM

just another daydream...

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“And with that… I raise you a bag of M&Ms.” The smirking Benjamin Faust mused, as he eyed down the oldest of the five Faust brothers, Matthew. Both where caught up in a heated game of poker, while the somewhat soothing sounds of a piano drifted in from the living area, mixing well with that of the loud snores of one Douglas coming from the cough from feet from where the Benjamin’s twin Robert played.

The four had always found it fun when they got together to house-sit for their parents, each having moved out of the nice home all but Douglas of course. But their mother thought it best if he stayed at home like they each had when they had started going through school. Matt and Benjamin for their degrees as doctors just like their parents and Robert for music.

Though none personally wanted to move out, they all couldn’t stay under their mother’s wing forever no matter how much their mother said it would be okay. All the Faust siblings where like, all except Haws of course… if there was one person that wanted to leave more than ever it be their younger red-head half-brother.

Couldn’t blame him… looking back on Haw’s childhood the kid had, had it rough. They as brothers, and being so much older didn’t help the kid out at all. Neither had their mother’s harsh words to her stepson, which she refused to accept with every fiber in her being.

After all, in her eyes her stepson was nothing but a piece of living proof. Proof that their father hadn’t been fateful, and with another person that not being the woman he supposedly loved and married… created that child, that grew only knowing hate from the woman he thought to be his mother.

Matthew could remember the night his father had brought the bundle of a crying baby home that night… October 22, he had been counting down the days till his sixteenth birthday when he would be allowed to get his license. Benjamin and Robert had been thirteen at the time, and Douglas had only been nine or ten.

He remembered it because he had been awake when his father had came home… and that’s when they had become to bicker. And the secret slipped, who the child was… who the mother was, a woman by the name of Lillian Griffin if he wasn’t mistaken, and who of course, who the father was.

After that their mother had locked herself away in her room, and didn’t come out for many days. But when she did finally return to the real world, she acted as if nothing was wrong… till of course, Haws came to be mentioned around her. Matthew and the twins all knew that the child couldn’t have been their mother’s… after all they would have noticed her pregnant.

Douglas maybe not as much at the time, he probably figuring mama for just getting a little fat is all.

But even with the fights and yelling… he stayed, and as he grew so did the rest of the siblings. The brothers all bus with something, Matthew with hockey and basketball, Benjamin with soccer, Robert and his music, and Douglas with baseball the four themselves hardly had time to worry about the fact that they had a toddler of a younger brother.

And with their mother’s hatred running deep for the child, it only growing more when she noticed that the child had indeed taken more after his mother than father in looks. Wanted nothing to do with him, so really all there was, was dad.

When Haws had been in sports as a child he was there for every game, one of us tagging along from time to time. But as time wore on, their father grew busier with work and found himself unable to every break away from anything. And without anyone there to cheer, Haws quickly began drowning himself in the text of different books.

Everything from the simple as a kid, to all their medical books when he has started middle school. Slowly, almost like a movie going from a happy child to the dark teenager he had become now.

But as he sat there, pondering all this for reasons quite unknown to him at the time Matthew slowly found breathing threw his nose harder all the sudden. His attention snapping up to Benjamin, who currently had his index and middle finger clapped about his nose. “Hello? Ben to Matt, come in Matt.” He mused out in a singsong voice, Matt raising a hand and waving him after the other sitting back in his seat with a grin, Matthew opening his mouth in protest, but found himself cut off as a loud rapping came from the front door.

Both brothers eyed one another lightly before raising themselves from their chairs, and making their way out of the kitchen area, past the living room where Robert watched them lightly from behind the piano he currently sat at. None of this seemed to have bothered Douglas out of his coma.

Matthew stopped some feet before the door; Benjamin clearly what distance was left as he paused at the door. Racking his mind as who it could be, their parents had told everyone that they would be away on vacation… and Benjamin was quite sure they hadn’t invited anyone/ordered anything…

Grasping the doorknob, he slowly opened it, blinking in light shock at what lay on the other side. Armed men… military men dressed nicely in their uniforms, guns held in both hands and pressed against their chests as another man. This one more lightly dressed in a suit; graying hair greased back while dark eyes staring at him stepped forward.

“I assume that this is the Faust residents, correct?” The man asked, Benjamin nodding slowly as he looked the man over carefully, something about all this just didn’t seem quite right. “Yes, well. My name is Mr. Murphy. We’re here on behalf of your younger brother, Hawley is it?” He asked lightly, flipping a piece of paper on a clipboard he held. “Ah. Yes, Hawley Faust. Ninth-grade honors student of Barry Coleson High School.”

This was all getting rather… strange for lack of a better term on his part, as Benjamin glanced lightly over his shoulder noting that Robert had now joined Matthew a few feet away from the door. Mouths moving as they silently talk to one another, as Ben turned to face the men. “What’s all this about… is something wrong with Hawley?”

“Quite the opposite sure, for the moment of course.” The man answered, flashing a toothy grin at the young man. “You’re younger brother, as well as the fellow students of the ninth and tenth grade class that attended the trip, as well as many others have been drafted in game known as Survival of the Fittest.”

“What’s tha…?” A sleepy voice questioned he once more glancing to find Douglas awake now, staring blankly at the armed men and the man currently talking to one of his older brothers. “Something happened to Hawley on the trip.”

The man continued to smile ever so brightly, he eyed all of the brothers; “Now as I was saying… You’re brother, as well as others have been drafted into the game Survival of the Fittest. Not many have heard of this… so I shall explain. We have taken the young ones to a deserted island, given them supplies and a single mission. To kill intill only one remains…”

Standing there, Benjamin went a rush of panic wash over him. But laughter from behind broke his thoughts, and took a glance back to the laughing Douglas who was currently walking toward the door to stand a long side him. “Really now… quit it, this isn’t funny anymore.” He muttered glancing over the man.

The man who had been speaking thus far looked over toward the second youngest of the family, grin growing as he shook his head. “This is no joke. There’s no hidden camera, no one is going to jump out and tell you this is all a game. You’re brother is the one playing the game… it’ll be his actions and choices that decided if you four shall be lacking one less brother in the coming time.”

None of them hardly any time to think time to responded before Douglas was moving. Out of the house, and strong hands grasping about the coat of the grinning man. Raising one hand prepared to attack, but halted when he found assault rifles pointed at his form, fingers on the trigger waiting to release a spray of bullets into the young man’s form.

“I don’t recommend that flash of violence there Mr. Faust, your family could be lacking two children before this is all done.”

Glaring down the men, Douglas’s hand released the coat he turning hotly and moving back into the house. A string of curses following him, as Benjamin watched this looking to the grinning man as he straightened out the wrinkles given to his coat, sighing a little as he ran a hand over his greased back hair.

“Ah. Expected… there’s always at least one in each family. I believe we shall be taking our leave now, but first let me give you this,” Murphy explained reaching inside his coat and bringing forth a small card. “Our show is broad casted on this station, do tune in and cheer for the young one. It’s a nice show of affection… and he’ll need it.”

Taking the card from the man, looking it over to some degree Benjamin watched as Murphy gave a light nod and turned returning toward the small car that sat in their driveway, the soldiers following along behind, piling into the car and driving away…

It took a good two minutes for all this to set in, the only sound going through the house was that of Douglas’s cursing and punching of random walls throughout the home as he moved between rooms. Robert looked as if he just witnessed his favorite cat be hit by a train, Matthew a close same…

Benjamin felt as if someone had just punched him in the gut, knocking the breathe out of him and blackening his world as he fought to understand all what just happened.

The kids had been kidnapped during their trip…

They where on some island in the middle of no where…

Supplied with weapons…

Dying, and killing one another…

With a promise to return home, to return to their families burning deep in their hearts…

They where kids… kids that where going to be killing other kids…

And their youngest brother, the baby of the family. Who they had pushed to the side as a child… and where more than the cause of the reason he had became what he had become. The reason he had almost taken his own life…

Running a hand through his dark hair, Robert glanced to his twin as he once again glanced over the card. “Wha – What’re we supposed to do…”

Hating the sentence that came to mind, hating it all… he knew it to be truthful. “What can we do?”

That meeting had been many days ago now, and since then the brothers would themselves watching the program whenever they where able too… watching for any sign of their brother. They didn’t have to wait long…

The images of him armed with a shotgun, firing a blast into the head of girl where flashed across the screen as if it was something they should be happy about. Their brother had taken the first kill of the whole game…

And taken the life of a teenager…

Someone just like him…

And even seeing this they didn’t stop watching, they had to see this… make sure it wasn’t a nightmare they all where sharing. But as more time passed on, and three more deaths where added to Hawley’s name the brother came to share the same thought.

This wasn’t a nightmare, a dream, anything… This was real and this was happening.

But still, they found themselves unable to contact their parents and inform them of what had happened to Hawley. Unable to put the thoughts, and sights into the right words… and instead they watched, and continued to watch.

And it was easy to see, three of them doctors, they could see that Hawley had slowly began to sicker and weaker as time passed by. And when the sight one early morning of him hardly able to move… blood spilling from his mouth whenever he coughed sent Douglas out of the room, with Robert following…

Matthew and Benjamin remained till he fell…

Till he fell and never got back up, Benjamin wanted to say something to the other in the room as he continued to watch the TV as the small group he had become part of began to react to his death. He found that he couldn’t act… couldn’t do anything.

Matthew had rested his forehead in the palm of his hands, it clear he was shaking even in the dark of the room. Benjamin watching this before glancing to his left and at Robert whom was also watching. Blinking lightly, before dropping his head.

Turning back Robert walked back of the room and away, moments later a loud curse coming from the kitchen as what sounded like someone hitting a door, followed by a somewhat loud crack. Benjamin frowning, before standing passing one look to the oldest brother before moving out of the room.

Robert stood in the doorway of the kitchen, Douglas lying on the ground cradling his bleeding knuckles as he rested his head against the wall, a broken piece of cabinet lying close by. Tears where freely falling down the other’s face. He lightly opening his eyes to stare at the twins… “Wh—Why couldn’t we have been better brothers to him…? Why’d we have to talk him into going on the trip… this’ll all our fault, it’s all out fault he’s dead.”

The tears came quicker at this point as he once again rested his head against the wall, Benjamin dropping his head as he moved crouching as pulling the crying man into a light hug.

‘Why couldn’t we have been better brothers – why couldn’t we have shown him that we did indeed love him as anyone else in this god damn family… now he’ll never know. And it is our fault…

Goddamn. Haws…’

Watching his brothers, Robert reached out and took ahold of the phone. Dailing a familiar number, before pressing it to his ear. Listining as it rang, before a voice answered... he closing his eyes, and breathing in before talking.

"Hey dad... I um, have something you need to know."

(( Alright, there's Hawley's brothers. I might do one for his father and step-mother, and mother later on. ))
Posted: Oct 19 2005, 12:44 AM

K08y0-67cv ;f09358234905h4et9069rghop3490t834000y954y-0hnrgu83ty

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OOC: Isn't SOTF a terrorist game? Why would government officials present the news like that? I doubt Danya's terrorists would have the bells to go that far into American Territory. Just saying though. Now if only I could decide which character's family to do first...
Posted: Oct 19 2005, 12:47 AM

Such a shame that I didn't know by now

Group: 20
Posts: 1,316
Member No.: 29
Joined: 2-July 05

OOC: Keep in mind, the terrorists could be masquerading as officials. SOTF hasn't exactly been hugely advertised by the government, so much of the public probably thinks that because it's on TV, it's legal.


Posted: Oct 19 2005, 12:48 AM

K08y0-67cv ;f09358234905h4et9069rghop3490t834000y954y-0hnrgu83ty

Group: Admin
Posts: 8,388,607
Member No.: 28
Joined: 1-July 05

OOC: I see, so most people would think that the Government is putting SOTF up, right?
Posted: Oct 19 2005, 12:48 AM

Such a shame that I didn't know by now

Group: 20
Posts: 1,316
Member No.: 29
Joined: 2-July 05

OOC: Ya huh. Those bastards, eh? ;)
Posted: Oct 19 2005, 02:51 AM

Savage Intent.

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Joined: 20-July 05

It was seven o'clock in the morning at the Shirohara household, half-an-hour past the regular cue for its occupants to get up and prepare for the day ahead. Normally, even this early in the morning, the household would have been filled with the lively sounds of bustling activity amongst each of its four family members: Jase and Shoko, and their children Madelaine and Miriam.

But a rather subdued silence had settled itself among the family members for quite some time now. Only the family's youngest daughter, Miriam, remained the same, looking cheerful as always as she wandered about the house merrily. Only recently had she learned how to talk, and now she seemed eager to demonstrate her newfound skills to anyone who would pay attention.

Now, she was being looked after under the watchful eye of her mother, Shoko. Though normally cheerful and a bit carefree, Shoko spoke very little even now, as she silently worked at the kitchen stove, looking rather troubled and distracted. Lines had formed underneath her rounded eyes, as though she had been crying the day before.

Her husband, Jase, entered the kitchen. Mother and father met one another's eyes briefly, with worried glances on their faces, before breaking away. Jase had always been the talkative, friendly type of guy, having the sense of humour of a young person even as an adult in his late thirties. Now however, his face was drawn in a tight frown, his normally young-looking face now looking aged and weary.

Both parents were no longer acting like their normal, cheerful selves, changing the once lively mood of the Shirohara household severely. But the most noticeable difference came from the unsettling absence of Shoko and Jase's eldest daughter, Madelaine.

Jase quietly made his way over the phone sitting upon the counter. Soon, the silence was broken by Miriam's audible musings and the sound of tapping buttons. Shoko, meanwhile, tried her best to ignore this as she began setting the table. Though she struggled hard not to think about it, she knew who Jase was calling, and more importantly, what he was calling for.

"Hello...Barton, is it?" Jase asked, his voice sounding oddly apprehensive. "Yes, sorry to bother you at this hour...yes, I was wondering you could tell me what's...what's been happening..."

An unsettling tension filled the air as Shoko listened, absently setting a flowered placemat before Madelaine's usual seat. When she realized how unnecessary it was, a look of dismay fell upon her face and she whisked it away quickly, pretending that it never happened. All this time, she continued to listen to the one-sided conversation.

She saw Jase's knuckles turn white against the counter. "No, I don't want to hear the details...just tell me if she's still alive or not..."

Shoko waited, holding her breath, dreading to hear the news she had feared all this time...

"....She's still alive?" Jase asked in an incredulous tone. He was struggling to keep calm, but Shoko could hear him breath out a sigh of relief. Quietly, Shoko let out her own relieved sigh as well " long as she's still long as she's still out there, somewhere...there’s still hope."

Shoko barely listened to the rest of the conversation that followed. Instead, her mind was filled with thoughts that relayed through her mind. She’s still alive, she thought to herself, feeling both relief and distress at the same time. But what if…she’s alive, but only barely? She could be out there hurt and alone, or even on the brink of death. What if someone suddenly found her and…?

Biting her lip to keep herself from crying out, she pressed a hand against her forehead, just as Jase ended the conversation with a quiet, “Thank you.” He turned towards the dining table, absently wringing his hands and adjusting the cuffs on his sleeves.

“She’s still alright…” he said, trying to sound cheerful, though his voice seemed horribly strained. “Dave’s been keeping up to date…he says they haven’t determined their location so far, but there’s always hope. Madelaine’s still alive after all…”

Shoko knew that he was struggling to sound hopeful, but both of them knew the circumstances too well to feel any strong conviction that their daughter would return to them in the end. Now, she and Jase simply gazed at each other silently, as though speculating in their minds as to what was to be Madelaine’s ultimate fate.

To think that it had all started less than a week ago while Madelaine was still with them, sparing a few precious moments with her family before joining the rest of her class to board the bus that would take them to the airport. Mother and father and daughters had all been present, all looking rather bittersweet at watching Madelaine depart for the trip. Shoko remembered the event vividly. Her eldest daughter was walking alongside them, the day pack slung over her shoulder swinging purposefully as she strode along. She held a suitcase in one hand, and with the other, she was holding it out for Miriam to grab and play with.

“You sure you don’t need any help carrying that?” Jase had asked. At that time, he had been clutching a squirming Miriam in his arms, a look of anxiety crossing his face as they neared the bus.

At this, Madelaine only gave him a wry smile. “I’m fine, Otou-chan…Look. Okaa-chan, Otou-chan.... I’m gonna be away for a while, so take care of yourselves and Miriam while I’m gone, alright? Set the alarm and everything. Turn off all the stoves after using them, close all the windows when you leave the house and all that. You remember that break-in we had last month, right? Oh, right…don’t do anything that would make me worried alright?”

Listening to Madelaine giving out the usual pep-talk to her own parents like this, Jase and Shoko couldn’t help but cast glances at one before breaking into chuckles. At this, Madelaine had raised an eyebrow and said simply, “I’m serious.”

Shoko had laughed aloud and replied, “No, it’s not that…usually it’s up to the parents to tell their kids not to get into trouble before they go away on a trip, right? Now it’s just the opposite.”

Madelaine let out a small laugh of her own and replied with a smile, “Yes…I suppose so. But really, just take it easy while I’m gone okay? I’ll be alright. I can take care of myself, so don’t worry.”

But it had not been Madelaine’s safety that Shoko and Jase had been so anxious about. The fact had remained that Madelaine had never been separated from her parents for so long, even on a trip, and the idea of spending the next few days without Madelaine had made both Shoko and Jase feel somewhat apprehensive.

Perhaps Miriam had been feeling the same sort of uneasiness as well, for she had taken a tight hold on Madelaine’s hand, and said in a plaintive voice, “Where is Maddie going?”

At this, Madelaine had smiled again at her younger sister. “On an adventure…perhaps? But Onee-chan will be back soon, promise, okay?” Miriam had smiled back, still looking rather anxious, but feeling better at Madelaine’s promise.


“Yeah… Be a good girl and take care of Okaa-chan and Otou-chan while I’m gone, okay?”

Well…all that had been in the past. This Shoko thought to herself as she finally drifted back to the present. Still, it was hard to believe that right now, at this very moment, while the rest of the family was peacefully sitting down to another ordinary day at breakfast, their daughter Madelaine was out there fighting a war unlike any other. She was a trapped hostage, though not at the mercy of her captors, but rather, her fellow captives. Given arms and left stranded on an island, these kidnapped students were being forced to fight one another to the death, all for the goal of surviving.

The very idea was just too unimaginable. It was like a mass execution made public, except with a catch. One person may end up surviving this twisted game, and that one person may as well be Madelaine... then again, it may as well be some other lucky student who would return to waiting, joyful arms…

Shoko thought she would faint. Just as she was turning pale, Jase suddenly held her close, holding her by the forearms.

“I know, Shoko…I know,” he muttered in low, shaky voice. “But we can’t give up hope… Madelaine’s a smart girl, for sure she’ll be able to think of something. You said so yourself, she’s more than capable of taking care of herself. Even…even in a situation like this…”

Shoko only nodded, trembling as she covered her face in her palms. Yeah…she’s a smart girl alright. She always looked after the entire family, took care of us even…She’d be the last person to panic, and always the first to see reason in things. And now…

And now, all of that may as well be gone forever, if not for the stroke of some miracle. But what were the chances, one girl out of a group of almost one hundred? It was like some kind of twisted lottery. The chances were extremely slim, but there was still always hope…

And always, until news of Madelaine’s ultimate fate arrived, Shoko would always hope for their daughter’s return.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a small voice coming from the highchair at the end of the table.

“What happen to Maddie?” Miriam was asking plaintively, now looking intently at her mother and father, who were now casting anxious glances between themselves and their daughter.

Shoko quickly made her way over to her youngest daughter, picking up the empty cereal bowl and spoon as though nothing was wrong.

“Onee-chan is still on away on that trip,” Shoko told her gently, feeling rather remoseful having to lie to someone as young and innocent as her own daughter, Miriam. “We’re just worried about her, since she has to go away for so long. But hopefully she’ll be back soon.” She turned to the sink, just as Jase was picking up Miriam and carrying her one-handed as he reached for his jacket.

“Well, I’m off…” he said quietly. “I can drop Miriam off at the preschool, so you can rest, alright?” He paused, looking over Shoko’s pale form and darkened expression.

“Alright…” Shoko told him. “Please take care, alright? That friend of yours…Burton…if anymore news comes up, I’ll…” Her voice trailed off, but Jase nodded, understanding.

“Yes, I know…” he said wearily, dressing a rather quiet Miriam snugly in a warm, toddler-sized jacket. “You take care too, Dear.”

After seeing the two of them off, Shoko returned to the dishes, silent in contemplation. Though she struggled to put her mind to other things, the thought of Madelaine always ended up returning to her. She was their daughter, always smiling, always cheerful, even in Shoko’s thoughts. Shoko herself had always been somewhat dismayed that Madelaine seemed to be growing up so fast, adopting the attitudes and values of an adult at an early age. Now, more than anything, Shoko simply wanted her back.

Will you ever come back to us, Madelaine? Shoko thought sadly to herself. Please come back…we’re all worried about you. Even Miriam misses you, you’re her only sister. You told us to take it easy…to not worry about you…

Pulling away from the counter, Shoko finally sank to the floor, her body drawn tight as sobs emitted from her lips.

Father and I…we’re all doing our hardest you now? We’re trying our best, really…but, we need you. Father needs you. Miriam needs you and I need you. So please…please come back to us.

Just outside the front door, Jase was carrying his briefcase in one hand and Miriam with his other arm, awkwardly making his way over to the front gate with both arms occupied. On his way to the drive, he overheard a phone conversation from the open window of one of the houses next door…

“…oh yeah, and did you see what happened on SOTF last night? …how can you say that? Yeah, I know it’s extreme…but it’s still pretty cool, you know? Anyways, you’ll never believe what happened…”

Jase quickly made his way past the gate before he could hear the rest of the conversation. Though he never looked back, he knew that the voice was that of their next-door neighbour’s daughter. She was a teenager too, about Madelaine’s age as well…

He struggled to put that out of his mind as he buckled Miriam onto the baby seat at the back of the car, though it was clear that she was beginning to grow out of it. He thought to himself absently, Kids grow up so fast..., as he slid into the driver’s seat and started the engine.

As they drove along, Jase’s mind was half focused on the worldly hell known as morning traffic. The other half milled over what he had heard from his friend Aaron only a few moments ago.

Due to Miriam’s presence, he and Shoko made it a point not to watch the program themselves to see how Madelaine was doing. Rather, he had arranged for a friend who was willing to stay up to date with the program to keep the family informed as to how their daughter was doing. Jase promised himself never to ask for details, only to be satisfied with the knowledge that his daughter was still alive, but still…

It was unsettling, trying to place his daughter in such a situation in his mind. This was a situation where she was forced to kill, or be killed, in a ruthless game for survival. Of course, Jase absolutely refused to believe that his own daughter, regardless of the circumstances, would allow herself to commit such an act as murder a fellow classmate. However, there was a small part of him that wondered faintly…

What would happen if she were to be driven over the edge? What if it came down to a matter between life and death, where she would be forced to kill for her own survival? Would Madelaine do such a thing? Would it ever come down to that?

Jase struggled to keep his mind focused on the traffic ahead, though he could not help but think about his daughter, who was undoubtedly living in a world of peril. Was she suffering right now? Has she lost her state of mind? Has she…become someone else by now?

If it had not been for the knowledge that Miriam was still in the car with him, Jase might have lost it there and then, and broken down completely.

Meanwhile, Miriam was lost in her own thoughts as they reached the preschool. Of course, she just wanted to share these thoughts with someone, but due to her age, she lacked the knowledge as to how to word such thoughts, and so she placidly kept them to herself as Otou-chan kissed her goodbye and left her with the preschool supervisor.

She missed Maddie, that older figure who was always with her, always looking after her. Everything seemed dull since Maddie had mysteriously vanished on something Okaa-chan and Otou-chan had called a trip, and now Miriam had to wait for her, asking everyday when Maddie would come back.

As soon as she lost sight of the familiar shape of Otou-chan’s car disappearing around a corner, she immediately wandered off on her own in search of her usual playmates. They were not far off in the distance, she could see them playing on the jungle-gym ahead.

Maddie was no longer around these days, but Miriam wasn’t lonely, or sad for that matter. More than anything, she was just confused, not knowing of the actual circumstances. But she was too young of mind to dwell on such things, so she happily made her way over to her friends, who greeted her cheerfully.

“’Morning, Miri,” they said together in a chorus.

“Good morning,” Miriam replied happily, clambering up one of the ladders of the jungle-gym. Even though individuals of Miriam’s age did not hold many memories, Miriam faintly remembered having fun at the playgrounds with Maddie, who had always been with her that time. They had built sandcastles together, played on the swings, ate lunch together, all sorts of fun things.

Even though it was uncomfortable, not having Maddie around anymore, Miriam still had other friends have fun with. She wondered briefly if Maddie was having any fun, or if she was feeling lonely at this very moment.

Maddie Onee-chan always worries about Oka-chan and Otou-chan, she thought to herself while playing on top of the slide. But Miri worries about Maddie, too…Maddie never brings home friends, and Miri never sees Maddie talk to anybody after school. But maybe Maddie has friends on the ‘trip…Miri hopes so. Miri isn’t lonely… so Maddie shouldn’t be lonely either.
Posted: Oct 19 2005, 04:07 AM

Such a shame that I didn't know by now

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Member No.: 29
Joined: 2-July 05

As he raised the cold bottle of beer to his lips, Paul Dodd looked around his living room, and couldn't help thinking that he'd give his left nut to turn back time. It was a crude thought, one that he inwardly should have chastised himself for having, but at this point, he couldn't help it, for he was already four beers into the case. The Dodd household was strangely quiet, however, the fact that it was absent of all but one of its members likely made for that fact. As he felt the cold liquid flow down his throat, Paul shook his head and sighed to nobody in particular.

Shit happens, yes it does, but this particular instance it seems like God has decided to rear his massive anus over our town and proceed to take a big fat shit all over the place.

It had been three days since the Dodd residence had been visited by an odd-looking man, wearing a suit and tie. This man, flanked by two large men, holding assault rifles, had informed Paul that his eldest son, Adam, had been 'drafted' into this year's edition of 'Survival of the Fittest'. The man had spat out many official words and terms, and had essentially told them that his son was now charged with killing his peers. His wife, Connie, had immediately crumbled at the news, and had run off sobbing, locking herself in the washroom, not to emerge for another six hours. Paul had sat, the blood drained from his face, as the man handed him a business card with a television station on it, and told to tune in, as the whole proceedings were being televised, live. The small man had informed him that Adam was doing a great service to his country, and in the instance that he died, he would be remembered as a hero who had done his duty to the United States of America.

For all the time I've got left in this world, I will never hear a phrase that reeks of as much bullshit as that one...

Of course, after the man had left, Paul felt as if he'd been punched in the gut. It was bad enough that his middle son was sitting in a mental-institution, somewhere in Canada, bitter and angry at the family for putting him there. It was bad enough that the youth had a temper that couldn't be controlled, and it had come to a head when he had attacked his older brother, almost killing him. It had been bad enough when they'd been forced to move to the United States by a company that seemed not to give a flying fuck about its employees, but only about the almighty dollar. It had been bad enough...but of course, as things go, you never begin to start back up to the top until you've hit rock bottom. Hearing the news that Adam could be dead at any time, and was essentially fighting for his life angered him to no end. He had half a mind to go out and attack the small, wiry man, and tell him that under no uncertain terms would he agree to this...but of course, thanks to the large men, with guns, such an action would only result in his untimely end.

Can't go about doing that, now can I...

He'd taken more than six hours to coax his wife out of the washroom, and it took even more than that to get her to stop crying. Connie had been absolutely devastated at the news, and much to Paul's dismay, it didn't seem as if she was capable of handling such information. Not knowing what else to do, he'd packed some things, pulled his other son from school, and put them on a flight to Canada. Connie needed support, support that Paul wasn't sure if he'd be able to give. To be with her parents and sister was likely the best remedy for her condition that she could possibly get, and to be in familiar surroundings would likely help her recover, if Adam were to die during this game.

Of course, after he'd returned from the airport, he'd driven right over to Barry Coleson High School, where the administration was in a state of near-panic. It was then that Paul's despair turned into full-fledged anger. The principal of the high school had made the announcement that this was not in any way a government related action, and in fact, four of the teachers at the school had been murdered in cold blood, for no reason at all. It was then that the realization had been made - the students of Barry Coleson High School were not doing a service to their country; in fact, they were more like prisoners of war.

Paul had returned home to his empty house to try and deal with the situation as best he could. He had made phone calls, surfed on websites, and emailed many a parent trying to figure out all that he could about Survival of the Fittest and what it was. He had even spoken with the distraught Vice-President of the United States, a man whose own daughter was actually a close friend of Adam's, and who was also among the missing students. He had confirmed that it was indeed a terrorist attack on the United States, and he personally promised Paul that he would do whatever it took to bring their children home safely.

As he took another swing of the beer in his hands, he sighed. For all of the promises that he'd been given, for all of the words that had been spoken at him, he didn't believe any of it. From what he'd looked into, it had seemed that the operation was fool-proof. This 'Danya' had the United States by the cock and balls, and he was holding a vice-grip over them for the world to see. Even if the military found where the operation was, Danya would just blow the collars, and...a crippling blow would be dealt to an entire country, weakening them more than any missile attack, any chemical warfare ever could. Nobody even seemed to know much about this Danya, not who he was, where he came from, or even with what group he was affiliated. He was simply a spook, a man so powerful he held the world at his fingers, but so mysterious that nobody even knew if that was his real name.

It was times like this that he damned his move to the United States, and longed to be living in a long cabin somewhere north, somewhere along the Canadian Shield. But FUCK, Paul. You're not. You're sitting in your living room, half-pissed, and there's absolutely nothing that you can do about it. Isn't that great. What a wonderful fucking father you've made. Your firstborn son is out killing people. Your middle son is in an institution, and your wife is falling apart. Who knows how Oliver'll end up fucked up, but of course, with your influence, how can he go wrong, huh?

But to that he shook his head. It wasn't his fault. None of that was. How could be possibly be responsible for chemical imbalances and terrorist groups? He wasn't. He couldn't. And he laughed. Hundreds of parents were probably telling themselves the same thing, that they were at fault for this, that they were the ones who could have done something. But they couldn't, really. All that they had done was allowed their children to go on an end-of-year trip, a school trip. It was supposed to be safe, it was supposed to be a fun time. Adam had always been all about having a good time, and so why was it that something so simple could have turned into something so evil?

As he stared at the television, finishing the rest of the beer in one gulp, he admitted to himself that he didn't know the answer to that question.

Grabbing another beer from the case sitting near his feet, he twisted the cap off and took a long drink. Coors Light was his beer of choice, and while he hadn't anticipated drinking himself into a stupor anytime soon, now seemed like a perfectly good time to do so. Paul had actually been watching the television at all times, hoping to see a sign of his son. Hoping to see anything that told him that Adam was still alive. While many, he knew wouldn't be able to bear looking at the program, Paul knew that he had to. With his satellite, he had found several of the different camera feeds available to watch, and he had been able to flip between many of the students, a good many that he recognized. At one point, he had watched a kid that he knew very well, Andrew Lipson; a good friend of Adam's meet his death due to a lightning strike. Pangs of hurt had gone out for the Lipson family, for he had known them for quite some time, and had basically watched Andrew grow up. The accident that he'd been involved in the previous summer was tragic, and to see the youth perish in the game was heartbreaking, for sure.

Paul had wandered into the room days ago and had been shocked when he saw his son on his television screen for the first time. Adam had been speaking with another boy, a red-haired boy, who wore a pair of glasses that looked cracked, as the two wandered towards a schoolhouse. It was to his delight that he saw that Adam seemed to be completely fine, with not a single scratch on him. He'd felt the first sense of joy ever since he'd recieved that awful news, and it was taken right back away from him as gunshot began to ring out on the screen, sending Adam and the other boy flying for cover. Paul had watched and waited with baited breath to see what had become of his son, and had been relieved to find that Adam was again, fine. From that moment on, Paul had hardly left the house, moving only to eat, answer the phone, and use the washroom. He slept on the couch, bathed semi-regularily, and had actually set up his laptop on the living room table in order to keep tabs on the online aspect of the game. As sick as it seemed, Paul knew that he was completely obsessed with SOTF - it had become his life.

Or maybe not. Perhaps it was his life to keep care of his son, to make sure that nothing happened; to watch over Adam, like he knew his deceased father was watching over him. Only problem is, Paul mused to himself, that I'm not dead, and I'm not the one who's even in trouble. And watch over him he had, as he'd watched and listened to all of the things that had happened to Adam over the days that followed. He'd seen him meet up with Amanda (that girl that he knew him to have a crush on, even though he didn't admit it to anyone), talk to Hawley (that was the name of that red-head boy, who looked so angry all the time, at least...he had), and get seperated from his group. He'd seen him find the body of his best friend, and seen him wander the island relentlessly looking for his group. He'd seen him shed tears of pain, and talk to himself, simply to keep himself sane. And of course, he'd seen the moment in which he'd found his friends, and the moment that he killed another boy.

Seeing Adam execute Blaine had almost broken Paul's heart, because of the ferocity with how he'd done it. For a second, he'd believed that Adam had given into the game, that now it was all over for him,that the well-adjusted boy that Paul had actually began to admire had gone away. But as quickly as Adam snapped, he reigned himself back in, and Paul couldn't feel more proud of him. For as he'd watched, he'd seen the boy that he'd helped raise, the boy that he'd fathered...he watched his actions, and his thoughts, and he'd actually been able to verify to himself that nothing that had happened was his fault. Nothing that had happened with Luke had been his fault. He'd been able to realize that he'd done a damn fine job of raising his children, and nobody would be able to tell him otherwise.

He'd watched as Adam had made choices that Paul himself likely wouldn't have made, and come out better because of them. He watched Adam help save another student's life by goading her attacker. He watched as Adam tried to lead his group, and tried to cheer those up around him. He watched as Adam dealt with death, over and over. He watched as Adam finally confessed what Paul himself had known all along, his feelings for Amanda, the vice-president's daughter, and she reciprocated them to him. He watched as Hawley passed away from his wounds, and he continued to watch, beer in hand, as Adam had just told the group that to euthanize their comatose friend might be the best thing for him. As he listened to the discussion between the youths, he couldn't help but feel a familiar twang to Adam's words, and then realized that the words that were coming out of Adam's mouth, the words that rationalized the decision he had made were his words. They were his, from ever so-long ago. That realization hit him to the core, and a tear ran down his face, the first one that he'd shed since this whole ordeal began, as he realized that his son was probably thinking about him right now. He took off his glasses and set them down on the table in front of him, paying no heed as they slipped off the edge of the table and clattered onto the hardwood floor below. The tears that he'd been holding back, the tears that he'd wanted to cry but had forced back into himself, they began to flow freely.

Paul had kept the radio on for any new information that might come along about the game, or any rescue that was being attempted, but at the moment, they were simply playing music. He recognized the song, for it was one of his favourites from when he was young, one that he hadn't heard in a long time.

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places
Worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going no where
Going no where
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression
No expression
Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
No tomorrow
No tomorrow
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very very
Mad world
Mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
Look right through me
Look right through me
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Enlarging your world

Mad world

As he wiped the tears from his eyes, he angrily muttered to no one in particular, "Yeah, it's a mad fucking world indeed."

Paul Dodd took another swing out of the bottle, and then finished his sixth beer off with one long drink.
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