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  1. #11
    Gossamer Portmore and Dora Brighten

    Gossamer's eyes flashed between Dora and Bianca, anger and betrayal reflecting in equal measures.

    "Fine," she said. "But if you two walk away, the alliance is off. You can't just come and go as you please. If you're leaving, you are leaving, do you understand?"

    Dora glared back. "Not a problem," she said coldly. "Not like we're going to come crawling back to your stupid alliance anyway. Bunch of weaklings. We don't need you or your big mysterious plan." Dora sheathed her dagger and grabbed Bianca by the arm - a gesture that could have been one of friendship had it not been for the ferocity in it - and yanked her away, off into the darkness.

    If Gossamer was worried about now being the only capable fighter to defend a badly ill tribute and a very young one, she didn't show it. Her confidence didn't seem to have faltered one iota. Instead, she smiled, put one arm around Mouse and the other around Lucretia, and said, "It's going to be okay. I promise."

    When they were down the corridor and well out of earshot, Dora stopped abruptly and faced Bianca. "I need your help," she said, and coughed a deep, wracking cough. "Whatever Lucretia has, I caught it. You gotta help me figure out what it is and how to fix it. And don't even think about ditching me like we're ditching Lucretia, because I'm not that sick. If you don't wanna help, I'll just kill you."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 08-13-2013 at 12:42 AM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea
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  2. #12
    Bianca Ashby

    Bianca looked at Gossamer, her eyes pleading for forgiveness. Gossamer must know that Bianca had no choice. Dora would kill her on the spot. She was starting to regret her decision to go with Dora just as the other girl grabbed her arm and dragged her off.

    When Dora stopped and explained why she had essentially kidnapped Bianca, Bianca's mouth dropped open. "What is WRONG with you?!" Bianca shouted, suddenly angrier than she had ever been. She wasn't thinking about the fact that yelling at her might incite Dora to murder. "Gossamer just said she wasn't leaving anyone behind. Your best chance of survival is with her, and now that's not an option." She wiped her hand across her forehead in frustration, sighing.

    "What do you think I can do for you? I'm not a doctor. I don't know what's wrong with Lucretia," she growled, glaring at Dora. "There are no plants here. There's nothing in my first aid kit that will make you better." She stopped her tirade, taking a breath and turning around in a slow circle. She rubbed her temples and turned her eyes back to Dora.

    "Fine. Since I'm dead already anyway, I say we go back to the Cornucopia. There might be a bigger med kit there with something in it that we can use." She felt more anger than she had ever felt. She stared at Dora, waiting for the other girl to respond.
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  3. #13
    Dora Brighten

    Dora didn't react with anger to Bianca's outburst; she seemed to expect it. She folded her good arm across her chest, and narrowed her eyes... but the expression on her face could only be described as speculative. Her eyes glittered in the dim light of the crystals on the wall.

    "You don't get it," she said softly, punctuating the statement with a faint cough that echoed strangely in the empty chamber. "A dinky little med kit from the picked-over Cornucopia is not going to do it. I need serious medicine. I need antibiotics. I need a sponsor to send antibiotics. My aunt can't just buy me everything with favours to the Capitol. I need real sponsors. The kind you get from doing crazy-brave things in the arena. I'm not going to get what I need if I help Gossamer play nursemaid to a bunch of tributes who should have been too weak to make it past the first day."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 08-14-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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  4. #14
    Titus Adamson

    Titus was relieved when Dash said he could reach Fayth. Climbing up there suited someone who smaller and more agile then Titus was.

    "I'll catch her."

    Titus replied and tossed a knife up to Dash. A little while he wouldn't have dared to give another tribute a weapon but after what Dash had done to help him get salve for his hand, Titus felt he could trust him a little.

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  5. #15
    Gossamer Portmore and Nicolai McBride

    When Gossamer first heard his voice, she thought she was hallucinating. That it was just wishful thinking, brought on by too much time in this relentless darkness. When Mouse and Lucretia looked around for the source of the sound, though, Gossamer knew she wasn't hearing things.

    "Goss?" The voice was tentative, but so familiar. So loved. "Are you there? Can you...?"

    "I'm here," she replied, without thinking. It was probably some Capitol trick, wasn't it? But somehow, she didn't care. She just wanted to keep him talking, so she could hear his voice.

    "They're hacking the audio feed," he told her. "The audience can't hear us, but we don't have long..."

    Not a trick, then, Gossamer realized. The Gamemakers were famous for screwing with tributes, playing with their minds... but never in a way that would suggest the Capitol was anything other than all-powerful. That would defeat the whole purpose of this bloody spectacle. Any hint of Capitol weakness proved this legitimate.

    "Are you safe?" Gossamer asked him worriedly. She knew he'd been taken prisoner. He must have escaped - but she also knew he'd lost at least one foot. Probably more, given the sadism of the Capitol torturers. "Is someone helping you?"

    It should have been her. It should have been Gossamer tending to his needs, when he couldn't do things for himself. But if she was with him, what would await people like Mouse and Lucretia, with no Career to protect them?

    "I'm safe," Nicolai assured her. "I've got people looking out for me. Try not to worry. Are you okay in there?"

    "Yeah," she said, not able to muster much enthusiasm but at least it wasn't a lie. "I miss you. But I'm doing alright. A lot better now that I know you got away from them."

    There was a brief silence, but Gossamer didn't rush to fill it, because she could tell Nicolai was thinking of how to word what he wanted to say.

    "Gossamer, I... they did things to me," he finally said. "I'm never going to be... how I was..."

    "I don't care," she said, and meant it. "You're mine. I don't care. I'm not letting you go."

    "But Goss, there are things I may not be able to do. Kids, and... in the bedroom..."

    Gossamer felt like she could cry. She didn't like hearing fear in his voice. It made her desperate to comfort him. "I said I don't care, Nicolai. Even if all you can do is lie beside me in bed, I still want you to be there. And by the way, since you're not a Peacekeeper anymore, you'd damn well better keep your promise and marry me."

    "I will." There was happiness in his voice now, and relief, as well as exhaustion. "I promise."

    "Nicolai, there are other people with me. Mouse is from a children's home. Lucretia's father beats her. I can't send them back when this is over. I have to... they'll be with us..."

    "I figured, Goss. It's fine with me. I love you."

    "I love you too," she told him, and wished desperately she could put her arms around him just once.

    "Daniel says we're out of time. I have to go. But Goss... be careful in there. Stay alive."

    "I will. And Daniel?"

    There was a slight pause, then another voice. "Yes, Goss?"

    "You take care of Nicolai for me, or so help me I will gut you. Do you understand me?"

    "Yeah, boss. He's in good hands."

    Boss, huh? She liked that.

    The connection dropped, but maybe it was better that way. She wasn't sure how she could have said goodbye. It was easier, perhaps, to avoid prolonging things. With a faint, reassured smile on her lips, she gave Mouse and Lucretia another hug.

    Nicolai was alive. Her world hadn't completely fallen apart. She would get through this after all. They all would.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 08-16-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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  6. #16
    Dorian and Maia McCarroll

    Maia's heart raced as they pulled the huge beast toward the slowly narrowing gap. It was all she could do to keep her legs moving. Dorian struggled beside her, the lizard proving a challenge even to his strength. They pushed through the gap, continuing to pull the lizard so their allies could get through as well.

    When he felt Shon and Mona drop their end of the lizard, Dorian set his down as well. Maia followed, sinking down to the ground and leaning against its monstrous leg. Dorian crouched, breathing heavily. "We're okay," he replied to Mona, answering for Maia as well. He could just make out her shape in the dimness.

    Maia fought to keep her eyes open. They hadn't rested much since the Games started, and this lizard was the first real food they had found. Her hunger and tiredness threatened to overcome her if they didn't keep moving. But she still felt that they weren't safe to stop. Uneasiness hung over her. But she didn't want to alarm the others or have them think she was paranoid. "Are we going to rest here?" she asked.

    Dorian furrowed his brows. It was hard to see anything around them, and the way out of this cavern wasn't obvious. "I suppose it's as good as anywhere," he replied to Maia, still leaving room for the other two to object.
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  7. #17
    Dash Wilsen

    Dash caught the knife. It was a strange feeling, trusting another tribute. This wasn't how he had imagined the Games would be. He had thought that he would simply outlast other tributes by staying out of their way. But somehow Titus and Fayth had drawn him in, made him want to help them. He felt connected to them now.

    He clamped the knife in his teeth, seeing no other way to hold onto it as he climbed. The wall proved an easier climb than he'd expected, offering good hand and footholds. He reached Fayth within a couple of minutes and leaned out from the wall, starting to cut into the webbing that held her. "Are you ready?" he asked, not sure what he would do if she said no. "It's going to be a long drop. But Titus will catch you."

    He heard the reassurance in his voice. It was strange to him, as he'd never had that kind of interpersonal skill before. The Arena was changing him, it seemed, for the better. He smiled a little to himself and continued to cut through the thick web.
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  8. #18
    Bianca Ashby

    Bianca took a deep breath, calming herself. Yelling at Dora would do her no good. Even though she was very upset at her current situation, she had no choice but to make the best of it. Steading herself, Bianca looked at Dora. She really looked at her, deep into her eyes. This wasn't just an impulsive move. Dora had been planning this. She already had an idea of how to earn the sponsorship she needed.

    "You're right. Of course," Bianca replied quietly. "So, what did you have in mind?"
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  9. #19
    Dora Brighten

    "You're not going to like it," Dora said matter-of-factly, with neither fear nor glee in her voice. "But I've thought about it, and it's the only option."

    She folded her arms lightly, still having to be careful of the injured one. It would take awhile for it to heal properly. Certainly longer than the Games would last, one way or the other.

    "We have to take out our former allies. It's the only way. The sponsors love backstabbing. Lucretia won't put up a fight, so we can save her for last. I can take Gossamer; I proved that a couple of minutes ago. That leaves Mouse for you. I know you're not big on killing people, but let's be real - she's gonna die anyway. It's almost like putting her out of her misery."
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  10. #20
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    The Great White North
    Another screech went up from the spiders when it became clear that they would catch up with their prey. Yvonne’s knife swipes cleared dozens of the mechanical monstrosities, but there were many more to take their places. Yvonne would likely be subdued similar to Fayth and the boys with a single bite sending her into darkness.

    When Yvonne awakes, she will find herself bound in spider silk with her face resting on a floor smooth as glass. As her eyes adjust to the darkness, she will see that it is in fact a globe-shaped room with herself lying in the bottom of the sphere. And most importantly, she’ll notice that she is not alone.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.
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