The Game

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Out of all the characters, who would y'all like to see more chapters focused on?

Dark
5
28%
Kevin
4
22%
Macey
0
No votes
The Predator
5
28%
Gavin or Gordon
2
11%
Cass and Maddie
1
6%
Townsfolk
0
No votes
Daemons
1
6%
Other [pm me please!]
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 18

The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:25 pm

So, I've been working on a sort of story for a while now and am looking for some feedback on it. Critique is welcome! Especially if you can help me with any grammar issues/if there's a sentence that just looks awkward/or even if everything is just too confusing and needs a better explanation throughout the tale.
As of right now I have the first couple chapters written out, and several random ones for other parts of the storyline, so I'll post rather frequently at first and then things get more time between them when I come up against writer's block.

Plot Summary
Earth was destroyed years ago by the New Ice Age. A few survivors went into space, to a planet far away that scientists had judged to be able to sustain life. It's an odd planet, the one they found. But it wasn't that bad when it comes to first impressions.
The humans settled down on one continent out of three. No one could agree upon a name for it, nor for the planet for that matter, so both were just called Nova Terra. New Earth
Within Nova Terra there were thirteen districts:
Inferno, Typhoon, Summit, Ghylls, the Valley, Silva, Ravine, Noctis, Caelum, Hurricane, Tempus, Maris Island, and the Alpine region.
The fourteenth, Trench, was considered foreign. It was separated from the others by a large mountain range that made travel between the two sides extremely difficult.
This was only one out of three continents though. While the humans got lucky and landed on the one that was relatively uninhabited, the other two had native life forms. These natives were unique in appearance and had different abilities than what humans were used to, due to their evolution and some unusual characteristics of the planet itself. When the humans found out about these other lifeforms, for it was inevitable that they did, they called them the Daemonis. Demons.
Image
Being a superstitious lot, these two lifeforms avoided each other for a while. But, as always, there were the ones that were curious and sought to know more about the other species. Some became friends, some became more than that. Children born between a daemon and a human were called 'abhuman'. If the abhuman had unusual kids then those kids would also be considered abhumans as well. But if the line became mostly human once more any unusual kids were just considered 'gifted'. Gifted folk often could not tell anyone who their daemon ancestor was as that ancestor was too far back in the family tree to be remembered. Abhumans could identify most daemons in their bloodline as they were usually closely related.
The humans had formed a government when they arrived in order to keep order from turning into chaos. As the years turned into decades, decades into a little more than a century, that government changed along with the time. It was the government that called all the shots now and most people just went with it. Any technology they had lost was restored and advanced. They had currency but mostly relied on trade. Each member of each district had a job. They had all grown up with the government in charge and it was just normal for them. So when the government proposed a new broadcasted show, called the Game, no one really objected.
The Game was basically a survival course built for competition and the top three finishers would win a prize. So it was just another one of those shows. Except this was for abhumans and gifted. Of course this just meant that the show would be more interesting with these people with magical powers/adaptations, right?
Wrong. In reality the government was testing its citizens. No one really knew what it was the magical part of their society could do. No one knew the range of their powers, or how many different types there were. The government wanted an edge in case the Daemonis ever attacked. So if they could find a way to train and use their supernaturals as soldiers without ever really appearing to do so...
That was the basic intent anyways. At this point in time the Game isn't quite ready for that. Right now it's mostly just for observation. This year's group however, the group of 2048, is showing potential. Some of these contestants have caught the government's eye and are going to be watched closely.


Edit: I just realized the title makes it sound like this is a game, like the playable kind, but it's not. It's a story.
I'm thinking of changing the title to something like Stage I : the Game because I plan on going through the evolution of this other world's government's plans in multiple stages. And that sounds a little less like it's a game to be played and more of a story.
Last edited by Scoinwolf on Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:10 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:26 pm

Prologue
The hammer fell rapidly with a loud clanging sound as the boy worked to finish the knife. He was determined to complete this task no matter how long it took him. His father sat on the bench in the corner, watching his son’s progress. Technically it was the man who should be forging the knife, but he had pulled a muscle in his arm and so was relying upon his son to do so. Neither noticed the group of men approach the front of the house.
A young girl greeted the group at the door. “Hullo.” She watched them with curiosity. “Is there something we can help you with?”
The lead man nodded. “Yes, indeed. We’re here on a search for contestants in a sort of obstacle course and we had received word that there is a young lad of about sixteen or seventeen who may qualify. You wouldn’t happen to know where he is, would you?” He pulled a photo from his pocket and showed it to her.
The girl nodded quickly. “Yup! That’s my brother; he’s out back at the forge.” She pointed the way. “Papa’s there with him.” The girl added.
The man thanked her as the other two went to locate the boy. “Is your mother home as well?”
The girl gave another nod. “Yeah, she’s inside. Would you like to come in?” She held the door open wider and stepped to the side.
“Thank you.” The man inclined his head and entered.
The girl let the door slam shut and she slipped past the older man, bringing him into the living room. “You can sit down if you’d like, I’ll get go get Ma.” She left him there.
It wasn’t long before the mother came to see who their visitor was. Coincidentally it was also the time that the father and son returned to the house with the other two men. The woman looked to her husband as he came in through the door. “Peter?” She asked hesitantly at his expression. A fear was slowly creeping its way through her heart, which was pounding rather rapidly. She thought she recognized these men and didn’t like what she recalled.
Her husband didn’t reply to her as he pushed past into the living room. “You’re here for my son.” His tone was flat. “Dark doesn’t possess the ability or skills to make it in your course, he’s just a blacksmith.” He missed the look exchanged between his two children.
The recruitment man didn’t miss it however. “Sir, I can understand your reluctance. But each district has to offer up a contestant, and your town decided upon him.” He gestured to the boy. “Dark, you understand what’s going on, don’t you? What are your thoughts?”
“Dark.” There was a warning tone in Peter’s voice.
The boy hesitated. “I… I know what is going to be expected of me if I run the course. Macey and I have watched the show before. I… We… believe I could make it. Pa,” he turned to his father. “I’m sorry. But if the town elected me to go then I’ll go.”
“That’s a good lad.” The recruitment man smiled.
Peter cut in. “No. I don’t know what you see in him, but Dark is a normal young boy. He won’t be any good. He’ll be struggling to keep up with the others.”
Now it wasn’t just Dark and Macey looking awkward, but their mother had guilt showing in her face. “Peter… This isn’t the ideal setting I had in mind, but there’s something you need to know.” She began hesitantly. “You know about my heritage.” She used a statement to start off.
“Yes.” Peter waved a hand impatiently. “But if our son was abhuman as well I would have noticed. Just because the blood runs through his veins doesn’t mean it’s dominant. Jamie’s kids show no sign of carrying his unusual traits. ” Jamie was his wife’s brother.
She hesitated once more. “But the blood isn’t as strong in Jamie. I know that now, just as I knew at Dark’s moment of birth that he was different. I tried to hide it, I never told him. But if others have noticed then he must have as well.” She was worried her husband was in denial. “They have the right to place Dark in this competition.”
Macey gripped her brother’s hand tightly. She was afraid her name would come up in this conversation. While she was positive no one other than Dark knew her secret she still worried. Dark noticed this and squeezed her hand briefly in an attempt to convey comfort.
Peter looked away in disgust. His wife laid a hand on his shoulder and he turned to face her. “I still don’t like it. What… what if he doesn’t come back, Abby?”
Abigale offered a small, sad smile. “I think that’s a risk we’ll have to trust him not to take. If Dark is willing to go then we should let him.”
“I promise I’ll come back alright, Pa.” Dark spoke up. “You won’t have to worry.”
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:55 pm

Chapter I
The boy switched his bag’s strap from one shoulder to the other as he stood still in front of the building. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t nervous. The structure itself was intimidating, let alone the task he had before himself. Letting out a shaky breath, he stepped forwards and pushed open the tall doors.
He entered the building without showing any of this inner fear. His face was void of emotion and he strode past the other contestants without even bothering to look at them as he headed for the front desk. Upon reaching his destination he dropped an envelope on the surface. The receptionist gave it a brief look before turning her gaze to his face.
“You’re the last to arrive.”
In other words – you’re late. But Dark didn’t appear to care. “The bus broke down at the foot of the hill. I hiked up here, which took a considerable amount of time when compared to finishing the trip by vehicle.” He explained, shrugging. “Aren’t you going to read the letter?”
“That won’t be necessary; I already know who you are.” The receptionist was impressed by the boy’s appearance; he didn’t look like he just hiked a few miles over rough terrain. But she hid the feeling. “This is your room key.” She placed it on top of the envelope and pushed the items back towards the boy. “This is your name card.” She handed it to him.
He accepted the tag and pinned it to his left sleeve before placing the key into his pocket and envelope into his bag. “Thank you.”
She shook her head. “Don’t.” There was a slight pause after she said that. “You may go to your room now and drop off your bags. After freshening up a bit, and perhaps changing into attire more suited for a nice dinner, you should return here.”
He nodded and left. It took a few minutes, but he found his room alright and opened the door. Walking into the place, he noted it was much larger than he had expected. The bed was in the center of the wall. He pushed it into a corner before dropping his bag onto the covers. Turning now, he located the bathroom and went to it.
After pulling off his shirt and draping it over the edge of the laundry bin, the boy turned on the sink faucet and splashed water into his face. He lathered up the soap and smeared some of that across his cheeks, forehead, chin, and into his hair. Rinsing his head off, he then reached for the towel hanging to his left and used that to dry himself.
The boy retrieved his shirt but didn’t put it back on. It smelled of sweat. So instead he removed the name tag and tossed the plain grey shirt on the end of the bed. He dug around in his bag and removed a black tee and a black button up shirt. His tan cargo shorts would stay; there was no way he was getting overly dressed up.
Once the shirts were on he began to button the button up. The boy left the top two undone and pulled the material a bit to the side so it was left open. He did so to highlight his necklace, the silver pendant showing nicely against the black. His sister had chosen the look for him.
He pinned the tag to his left shirt pocket now; it would look awkward on a full sleeve, and exited the room. It took less time to find his way back to the common room then it had to get to his room. He found a seat in the large area without speaking. The boy still didn’t look around at the other contestants. He felt no need.
Yet a girl about his age sat down next to him anyways. “Hi. I’m Madeline, but you can call me Maddie if you’d like. What’s your name?”
He gestured to his name card. “I’m Dark.” There was no nickname for that as far as he knew.
“Huh. That’s an unusual name, now ain’t it?” Maddie took immediate interest in that.
A shrug was all she got in response. “My Ma thought it was fitting. She said my hair was the purest of all blacks. So that’s where it came from.” It was clear he had explained this before.
Maddie thought that was suiting; his hair was unnaturally dark after all. “Cute. But I bet that you’ve got more going than just your hair. So what’s your hidden talent?”
Dark frowned. “Why should I say?”
“Everyone else here is talented like you and me. We’ve all shared ours already.” She reached over and stole his name tag. Maddie held it up to the light to examine it. “Mine’s that I don’t have to breathe if I don’t want too.”
The boy offered little resistance; she had surprised him with the move. “Oh.” Well if everyone else was sharing then he may as well do the same. “I can see in any lighting. Smoke and mist also hold little effect on my vision. So I guess you can say that there is no true dark for me.” There was a small attempt at a joke.
Maddie grinned, finding that funny. “Nice. Hey, I wanna introduce you to everyone. Let’s go.” She tucked the nametag into his pocket so that he had it, even though no one could see it now, and grabbed Dark’s hand.
He allowed her to pull him up out of his seat and be dragged over to a group made up of all the other contestants. They had arranged their seats in a circle and there were two empty ones.
“Alright everyone, this is Dark. Dark, you can sit there besides Connor since you’re both kinda shy.” Maddie instructed. “Now that we’re all here we can play the name game. Everybody say who you are, where you’re from, and what your power is. Then you gotta remember the info of everybody who came before you. I’ll start.” She sat down. “My name is Maddie Stone. I’m from the Inferno District and I have no need to breathe.” Useful, considering that her district was one frequently filled with smoke due to an unusual amount of wildfires.
Connor was next. “I’m Connor Malloy from Typhoon. I can breathe underwater.” A seaside district, so his evolution made sense as well. “And that’s Maddie Stone, the girl who’s from Inferno and doesn’t need to breathe.”
“Maddie has no need to breathe, she’s from Inferno. Connor breathes underwater and is from Typhoon. I’m Dark Smith from Summit, I can see in any lighting.” Dark added in.
Jason Hayes hailed from Ghylls and could set just about anything on fire.
Jessie O’Connor had an uncanny knack of understanding the signals animals gave and was from the Valley.
Tanner Carbon was a master of destruction, there wasn’t much he couldn’t demolish. This guy was from Silva.
Colin was Connor’s twin and he could use echolocation the same way a dolphin or bat would. This wasn’t something he had taught himself, it was just something he had always been able to do. He was also from Typhoon.
Trevor Hastings healed at an unnaturally fast rate, which he had inherited from his father. The boy came from the Alpine region.
Marissa Hawthorn was Trevor’s cousin, coming from Ravine. She could manipulate the flow of electricity.
Nathaniel Jackson’s hearing range was far more encompassing than average, he was from the Maris Island just off shore from Typhoon.
Seth Raydur had thermal vision that he could turn on and off at will. He was from Noctis.
Jacob Leicester had reflexes that outmatched anybody else, curtesy of his molecules being able to move faster through time and space. He never lost his footing or balance either. This boy was from Caelum.
Cassidy Depth had endurance and a bad case of insomnia, she just had no need to sleep or rest in general. Cass came from Hurricane.
Tempus had no candidate for the trials but was let off the hook since Typhoon had two.
The group of thirteen had just finished introductions when they were called for dinner. Dark had a feeling the staff had timed that a little too well for it to have been a coincidence but he let it be for now. Why should he care they were being closely observed? It was just to be expected after all. So he got up with the rest of them and they followed the track to the dining hall. When he went to sit down he found himself with Jason on his left and Maddie on his right.
Dinner was practically on a script. Their host spoke fluently and with a well-practiced air, but Dark didn’t really pay attention. He was more interested with what wasn’t being said. One thing did catch his attention though. When it was announced that the run would be a teamwork thing instead of everyone for themselves there was a general surprise among all the contestants. Apparently there was to be an increased reward tied to how many crossed the finish line. That was an interesting change. Maybe this course was going to be harsher than any previous ones then. Dark hoped so.
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:07 pm

Chapter II
Dark woke with a start, confused about where he was for a few moments before it all caught up to him. After that the events of the morning moved by in a blur. He selected black cargo shorts, a camo patterned belt, black tee-shirt and socks. The boy pulled on heavy black combat boots and clipped his knife onto his belt. He left the room and was directed to breakfast.
After breakfast the group was brought back to the common room and given hikers backpacks. Dark sorted through the contents of his pack. A multi-tool, some rope, a net, a wire saw, fire starter equipment, a black bandana, some medical supplies, and a change of clothes that matched what he wore currently. It must have been decided once the staff saw what he was wearing this morning. The boy found a pair of sunglasses and a hat in a side compartment along with a compass. That was all he had time to check as next thing he knew they were loaded onto a bus. After a long ride the group was switched to air travel, being divided into three helicopters to make the trip.
Dark wasn’t overly fond of air travel and so didn’t look out at the surroundings. He kept his focus inside the chopper.
When they finally landed it was in a terrain unfamiliar to anything Dark had ever seen before. The landscape itself must have been manipulated exactly for this purpose. Currently they were in a field, a forest in front and to the left. Beyond the forest was what appeared to be a vast stretch of desert, and then some mountains with a patch of trees at the base. A river snaked its way throughout the course as far as he could see. Geologically there was nothing even close to this in the entire continent so Dark’s guess of this being specifically modified was pretty accurate.
He hefted the backpack up further on his shoulder and slipped his left arm through the second strap. Dark debated with himself for a moment then buckled the clip across his chest. Normally he disliked this setup for a pack but found it to be rather useful in this case. He glanced around at the others.
Maddie was looking energetic and ready to go. She was chatting with Jacob and Seth, who were looking a bit apprehensive about the task before them. Cassidy stood silently with the twins while Jason searched the ground for a large stick. Jessie stood alone by the chopper, looking lost. Trevor and Marissa stood with Tanner and Nate but the foursome were slowly making their way over to join Maddie’s trio. Dark went over to Cassidy, Colin, and Connor.
“Hey.” He mumbled a greeting but didn’t expect one in return. The boy looked back out to the forest. “So how many kilometers do you think this is?” He wondered aloud.
Cassidy shrugged. “I’d say a couple hundred miles. But that depends on if you’re planning to go over or around that mountain over there.”
“Over might be safer.” Colin spoke up. He pushed his glasses back higher on his nose. It was a nervous habit that the boy had. Though Dark was beginning to figure it was also something he did when he was thinking deeply.
“Why do you say over?” Cassidy questioned. “Not that I doubt you, it’s just that we’re a bit far away to judge something like that.”
Colin shrugged. “I cannot see the left side of the mountain and the right has the river up against the base. So over would be the best way to go. You never know how long it might take to find the left side or if there’s any terrible currents in the water.” He explained.
“That… That actually makes a lot of sense.” Connor admitted as he took his brother’s side. He wasn’t sure what compelled him to say so. It was just that Colin’s logic made perfect sense to his overworked mind right now.
“Sense or no sense, we’ve gotta start going now, boys.” Cassidy tied her short blond hair back into a ponytail as she spoke. “Let’s try not to lose the group now, right?” She took off without waiting for an answer. The three boys hurried to catch up then fell in step next to her.
Jason watched the foursome before heading after them. “H-Hey! Wait up!” He called as he struggled to get the clasp on his backpack closed while running awkwardly. They paused to allow the boy to catch up.
“Thanks.” Jason smiled breathlessly.
“No problem.” Cassidy smiled back.
It wasn’t long until the other eight headed after them. Once it was established that no one really knew where they were going the talking basically dropped and the group kept on in silence. A great portion of the day was gone by the time they reached the forest, but then again the helicopter and bus trips used up most of the morning anyways. It was about midday as Cassidy and Maddie stepped into the forest, bringing the rest of the group along with them.
It was those two girls that had taken charge. Dark, Colin, Connor, and Jason had been content to follow Cassidy to wherever she led them while Jacob, Seth, Nathaniel, Jessie, Tanner, Trevor, and Marissa had deferred to Maddie. Thankfully the two unofficially elected leaders didn’t quarrel about who had the most power. They were likeminded for the most part and were more than happy to discuss a course of action.
Maddie suggested they should set up a camp before night fell since they were all unaccustomed to doing something like that. Cassidy pushed for traveling a bit further until they found an ideal camping site. She didn’t like the idea of sleeping out on the edge of forest and grassland since it looked like rain was on the way. Maddie agreed with her but also made it clear that that ideal site better make an appearance within the next few hours.
It was only half an hour before the thirteen stumbled across a relatively open clearing in the woods. Dark, Jacob, Seth, and Tanner were put in charge of constructing a lean-to for the boys while Cassidy, Maddie, Colin, and Connor went about making one for the girls. Jessie dragged Marissa and Trevor off to go find food after assigning Nate to water. So Jason got to make the fire, much to his delight and ease.
Everything went well that night. Both Cassidy and Dark had been camping before and knew how to build a quick shelter. Jessie checked with some local squirrels and rabbits to see if there were any predators around. As far as she could infer, nothing larger than a coyote stalked the woods. The food collected was edible and it filled their stomachs, the water was fine after it had boiled and cooled. Jason was confident his fire would last the night and if it didn’t then Cassidy would keep it stocked. She was also going to keep a night watch since she didn’t need sleep. Dark offered to help if she started having trouble seeing past the firelight so Cassidy promised to wake him if she needed to double check anything.
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:44 pm

Chapter III
Jacob yawned and rolled over onto Seth, who woke with a start. The sudden movement of the boy next to him caused Dark to sit upright, which startled Colin, who woke Connor, and soon the whole group of boys were up. Dark was the first to duck out of the shelter and cast his gaze around camp though Seth was close behind.
Cassidy had held true to her word and had kept the fire going. She had even taken the time to boil some more water and the bucket was off to her right as it cooled. Jacob pushed past the others to take a short trip into the woods. No one questioned where he was going; most of the others felt the same need.
Dark sat down next to Maddie on one of the logs they had placed a few feet from the fire last night.
“Morning.” She yawned.
“Morning.” He repeated in reply. There had been some berries left over from the night before so he reached over to grab a handful. From the considerable decrease in amount he judged the girls had been awake long before the guys got up.
Maddie stretched her arms above her head then poked at the fire with a sick. Sparks flew up into the air at the disturbance. “We need to head out again today, towards the mountain. Cass and I have been talking and we’ve decided that’s the best place to be. Even if the finish point isn’t in a direct path past it we can still get enough height to see wherever it may be.”
Dark glanced at a not-so-hidden-camera he spotted in a nearby tree. “Sounds fine.” He was prepared to fade into the list of undistinguishable characters; he had no desire to stand out.
“Great.” Maddie smiled at him. “Would you mind telling the other boys for me?”
-
It wasn’t long before they were ready to set out again. Dark, Collin, Connor, and Jacob were in charge of carrying the water for everyone while Jason, Jessie, Seth, and Nate were to take care of the food supply. Maddie and Cassidy had a map of the land that Cassidy had gotten in her backpack.
The backpacks were something that interested Dark the most. There appeared to be three different types. One was focused on the basic essentials for outdoors work, and some extra items, like his own. Another was set on more specific tools, such as the floatation device and ice spikes for boots. The third was filled with medical supplies and water purifying tablets. Each type appeared to contain the exact same contents, with the exception of the spare change of clothes. The clothes were set to match each contestant individually.
They had been on the march for no more than two hours when they reached the edge of the forest. Out on front of them laid a daunting stretch of sand without any cover until the second patch of trees at the base of the mountain.
Maddie readjusted the straps on her backpack. “Well, it’s no use just standing around. Let’s keep going as far as we can for tonight, maybe we can set a record for being the fastest group to finish the course.” She was right about keeping moving on. They still had the greater part of the day left and were prepared to cross the desert.
Cassidy glanced to her right. “We’re going to stay within easy distance of the river at all times, it will ensure we end up at the mountain without taking any sort of unnecessary detours by accident. After all, it does look straight for the most part.”
No one had any objections to that so they pressed on. Dark had just fallen into step with Colin when he noticed the boy was looking to the left rather often.
“Do you see it too?” Colin asked, pointing.
Dark noticed the tone of worry in the other boy’s voice so he looked over to the west as well and froze. “Sandstorm.” He breathed out softly. Of course the directors weren’t going to make this easy. This was a test, their first real test, and he was not about to fail it. “Tell Seth to get out his rope. We need to band together if we want to make it through this without losing anybody.” Dark had already dropped down onto one knee and was digging through his bag for his rope and bandana.
Colin nodded and ran off to point out the danger to Maddie and Cassidy. The unnatural sandstorm was moving rapidly towards them and he estimated they’d have about an hour before it was upon them, give or take some time.
Seth, Jacob, Jason, Tanner, and Dark had all received the same pack and had all taken the same steps. The five boys tied their bandanas around their mouths and noses to keep out the sand as best they could, and placed their sunglasses over their eyes to block most of the sand coming at them. They used Dark’s and Tanner’s rope to tie them five together along with Colin and Connor. Maddie, Cassidy, Trevor, and Marissa tied up then Nate and Jessi joined them as well.
Maddie counted them off. “Alright, we have all thirteen here. Let’s just hope that all of us are still here by the end.” At the end of that sentence the first winds hit them.

Edit: Corrected Spelling Error
Last edited by Scoinwolf on Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:02 am

Chapter IV
Dark couldn’t help it, as soon as the sand started being flung up around them, he started coughing. His lungs were burning from pain and his eyes started to water. On the bright side the sand was kept out of his face for the most part by the bandana and sunglasses. Dark had thrown up his left arm as well for added protection. But he was wearing short sleeves and shorts and the hot sand stung rather awfully when it hit him.
He staggered against the wind, struggling to keep standing. He thought it would have been easier to sit down and wait out the storm but knew he risked getting sand built up all around him that way. Cassidy had been yelling something at them but Dark couldn’t make out what it was she was trying to say. Did she want them to head for the river? It looked like she was waving towards it.
No, that wasn’t right. Dark knew Cass had wanted to avoid getting too close to the river in case anyone fell in. The current was really strong and everyone was tied together. That wasn’t really the best combo. So what could it be?
The young man lunged forwards and grabbed Seth’s shoulder. He gestured towards Cassidy but Seth gave him a negative signal, slashing his hand horizontally through the air in short movements a couple times. So Seth didn’t know what it was she was trying to tell them either.
Dark found himself oddly disappointed by this. He had been hoping Seth would know as the teen usually had a good sense for interoperating gestures.
Just as suddenly as it had appeared, the storm vanished. Dark looked around in confusion. The only sign that there had been a sandstorm was the new layers of sand upon which the group of thirteen was walking.
No - not thirteen. Eleven.
Nathaniel and Jessi had vanished. That must have been what Cassidy had been trying to tell them then, Dark realized suddenly. They must have been cut loose or something and had been forced into the river. Cassidy was standing there now, by the river that is. She was searching downstream from where they had been.
“Seth! Colin! Can you two –“ Maddie started but both shook their heads.
“I’m sorry, Maddie, but everything is spiking right now. Even if their thermal signatures could stand out they’re probably too far away for me to see them right now. Or their sigs could be… you know, different.” Seth explained reluctantly. He seemed to think the missing two were out of the Game for good.
“And even if we did locate them we wouldn’t have the chance to get to them before the next storm hits.” Colin added. “Look.”
The Game surprised them all again as they turned and saw he was right. A second storm was coming for them already.
Maddie cursed and Dark winced. The producers would have to cover that particular stream of words up with the censor sound. “Well, let’s make sure we’re all tied together properly this time. Nate and Jessi didn’t use a strong enough knot to stay tied to the rest of us.”
They battled sandstorm after sandstorm through the rest of the day and through most of the night. It all passed by in a blur for Dark, who was just focusing on each new step he took. A survival game, it just had to be a survival game. He scowled to himself. Why?
On reflection, he had been unreasonably willing to cooperate with the recruitment man. This game was meant to test their skills in the alterable landscape but in the end it wasn’t much. He and Macey would watch the show every night it aired and were always placing bets on who would make it the furthest. That seemed silly now. While it was always interesting to see who would fall out of the Game, it was just ridiculous now that he was in it. Not in the sense that he was laughing, but in the way that a simple thing would have kept Nate and Jessi in the running.
The survival skills of some of the people here were pretty bad. Not most of them, but some of them. In his opinion the producers were just playing around, throwing in some people they were sure wouldn’t make it just to keep things interesting. Dark found himself looking around with annoyance as he thought about it more and more. He’d have to show everyone how it was done, how to play the Game.
This was a test - nothing more. And he was determined to ace it.
Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:37 am

Chapter V
Kevin sat at the computer screen as he spoke into the microphone held close by. He was narrating the events happening as he made marks of his own on the paper. “And it appears that Jessi O’Connor and Nathaniel Jackson have been eliminated at the first trial. Man that has got to sting! Viewers, I suggest if you ever find yourself in a situation such as this that you make sure to double check the knots used when tying rope together. If we zoom in and slow down the footage you’ll see exactly how it is they failed.” He signaled he was about to go on to his closing remarks. “All in all I think we can conclude that the majority of these kids know what they’re doing. As a group they are organized and are pressing ahead with an amazing time record going for them. Let’s hope they can keep up the hard work. Stay tuned for previews of the next episode after this short break.” He paused again then but decided he didn’t need to narrate the previews.
The red light signaling he was recording switched off as Kevin pushed away from the desk. He scrawled a few more notes on his paper then stood up. “I don’t like that; can we do a second take tomorrow?” He called out.
A woman answered. “No, no I think you did just fine, Kevin.” She stepped through the doorway into the booth and closed it. She extended the clipboard she was holding to the man.
The host made no move to take it. “I dunno. I had no interest in narrating that part and I think it was noticeable.” He slumped back down into his chair as she pulled up a folding chair from the side of the room.
“You generally have no interest in narrating anything other than the opening episode and the closing Q and A.” The woman commented and waved the clipboard at him again.
This time Kevin took it. “I see no need to narrate their progress throughout the course. If it weren’t for the audience’s need to understand the details of each challenge, I’d not be doing it.” He usually only spoke up during each episode to give the summary at the end and when there was going to be a challenge for the contestants to go through.
Whenever a challenge was placed upon the contestants they always cut to an animation of the force of nature. Kevin would explain the dangers and give some pointers on how to go through the experience without getting lost. He’d leave it up to the audience to score just how well each contestant did. They’d call in after each episode aired with their evaluations.
If there was one thing he learned from this job was that people loved criticizing each other. People always had suggestions about what to put the contestants through next as well. Some of those people were downright bloodthirsty but others had good points.
Personally, Kevin knew it was more than just watching footage of a bunch of teens attempting to survive a trek through the wilderness. But he knew what he should be looking for. As one of the members involved with the production of the show, Kevin was filled in on the real purpose behind it. They needed their magical half of the community to be able to adapt and improvise when random situations were forced upon them. That’s what the government said. And when the men in black told him something he did it.
“Kevin.”
His trail of thoughts was broken and the man grinned slightly in embarrassment. “Sorry, sorry.” He looked down at the clipboard and scanned through the papers. “Huh.” His eyebrows raised in surprise once but other than that he simply mouthed some of what he was reading. When he finished he cleared his throat and held the clipboard back out to the lady. Normally cheerful, his expression had dropped into something unreadable.
She shook her head. “You can keep that. All I need is your notes.” She held out her hand and he handed the paper he had been writing on over. “Thank you.”
“No problem.” Kevin mumbled his response. It was clear he had been given something to think about and wasn’t sure if he was thrilled about it yet.
“We’ll be seeing you at dinner, Kevin. Don’t be late again.” She warned.
He cast a smile that never reached his eyes. “I won’t be.”
Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:56 am

Chapter VI
It took them the night, all day, and the next night to make it across the desert area. Dark knew the producers would have time-lapsed the whole scene and so didn’t really pay much attention to it. He occupied his time by searching for the hidden cameras and felt oddly accomplished when he spotted one.
So when they reached the edge of the woods and were finally able to rest he was surprised. The boy’s thoughts had been so preoccupied that he hadn’t noticed how much distance they had traveled until it was so apparent he couldn’t have missed it even if he had tried.
Yet escaping the sandstorms was not the end of their problems. Now they could gather more food and boil more water. That was the good side. On the other hand however there was now a mountain in front of them. Maddie and Cass were determined to show that teamwork could complete the course in record time but that mountain threw in a new twist to their plans. They couldn’t decide if going over it would be better than taking the river around it.
Going over the mountain would take time and resources they weren’t sure they wanted to spare. But at the same time it would allow them to get a clear view of their destination.
Taking the river would save time and they’d still be able to have most of their collected food and water available by the time they reached the other side. Yet the current was strong and not everyone was the best at swimming.
-
“We’re going to have to cross the river.” Cassidy announced suddenly.
Colin and Connor looked up in alarm. “Uh, that’s the worst option we had. You remember that, right?” Colin replied to that announcement as if he thought Cassidy had gone insane.
But the girl shrugged. “So? At this rate we know that the end point is on the other side of the mountain. We’re running a bit low on supplies and don’t know if there will be anything to eat higher up the slopes. There may not be a readily accessible source of water either.”
The twins still looked doubtful. “We know the forest continues around the base of the mountain, and that taking the river will save us a considerable amount of time, but the current is really strong. Are you willing to take that risk? We could easily lose someone in the water.” Connor shot back.
Cassidy hesitated.
“Yeah, I guess we are willing to take that risk. Of course we won’t force you to go by river though.” Maddie spoke up. “Everyone is free to take their own path. We know it’s a group challenge but no one specified how many groups there could be.”
In the end everyone had decided they were willing to follow the two girls once more. So they compared packs. Dark, Tanner, Jacob, Jason, and Seth didn’t have anything immediately obvious that could be used. Their gear was still focused on the basic survival stuff. Trevor also came up with nothing, having a pack suited for healing equipment.
Cassidy, Maddie, Marissa, Connor, and Colin had floatation devices strapped to the back of their packs. Those five noted that each float could hold the weight of two average sized people.
Dark and Cassidy paired up together, Maddie went with Seth, Jacob with Connor, Tanner was with Jason, and Marissa ended up sharing with Colin and Trevor since they were the lightest three.
It was decided that they’d make the trip in the morning when it was lighter out. Everyone, besides Cassidy, was tired anyways and they were more than happy to rest for the night.
Jason entertained himself, Seth, Tanner, and Jacob with some of his fire skills. He quickly got a large campfire going then proceeded to turn the flames into familiar shapes. There were wolves chasing deer, a tiger with shifting stripes, a phoenix rising from ash.
“I used to perform at a circus before I got called here.” Jacob explained as he let the fire settle into its natural patterns. “At first it was just about setting random things on fire, like objects that claimed to be fireproof. They would have volunteers come up to test each product and try to burn it themselves. They couldn’t but I always could. That was great but the boss quickly figured out that if I learned how to manipulate the flame then he could get a larger showing. So he had me practice and practice.” A flick of his wrist produced a single rose rotating slowly. “And now I can conjure up anything I can imagine.” A dragon spat flame at Seth.
Seth laughed. “That’s pretty cool, mate.” He grinned. “I’ve never been to a circus but it sounds neat.”
Tanner nodded. “Yeah, they’re cool. Most have talented performers doing stunts but occasionally a gifted person or abhuman will sign up. Their shows tend to gain a lot more interest but are introduced at random into the normal program so that they don’t entirely steal the spotlight.”
Jacob listened with interest. “So you’re saying that at first you could only set things on fire, but that you managed to broaden your skill through training?”
“Yup!” Jason confirmed. “At first they assumed I was a one-trick-pony, as most gifted tend to assume as well, but my boss wouldn’t give up. He was positive I could do more.”
“But what if you’re just special?” Jacob questioned. “Do you know if other gifted can do the same as you have and learned to go beyond your original ability?”
“I think it has something to do with how in touch each individual is with their gift, and what that gift is. Mine was something that could be used in several ways with the imagination, because I was already doing some manipulation to be able to start the fire I was then able to go further with it and mess with the fire itself.” Jason suggested. “But that’s just my theory. I don’t know anyone else who has suddenly been able to add to their definition of their ability as I have.”
They fell silent then as they watched the flickering flames.
Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Mon May 04, 2015 4:53 am

Chapter VII
Dark choked on the river water as yet another wave flipped Cassidy and himself over again. He came up for air while spewing up the water in his lungs with difficulty. Cassidy grabbed the back of his tee-shirt and pulled him back to the floatation device. Dark grabbed onto the cushion gratefully as he struggled for air. Yet as soon as he took his first clear breath it was knocked away as they were hit by another vicious wave.
“Your - knife!”
Cassidy was shouting something but Dark didn’t catch it fully. What about his knife? The boy readjusted his grip on the floatation device as they went under again. He managed to stay on it this time but Cassidy was flung free. They reached a calm patch just after that and he kicked his way over to her, pushing the cushion along in front of himself.
Cass took hold once more, coughing. “Cut a handhold.” She spluttered.
Now he understood what she meant. Dark shakily unclipped his knife from his belt and flipped it open. He pierced the cushion and drew a ragged line down through the top fabric. Another cut was made and now he could stick his hand in though the first break. Dark forced his fingers through the foam until they broke into the open space created by the second cut. This allowed him to clench the strip of fabric and part of the foam in his hand as a makeshift handle. He quickly did the same on the other side of the cushion for Cassidy to grab hold of. Now they at least had one solid handhold before the current claimed them again.
Once they reached a second calm spot in the waters, Dark swum towards the riverbank, pulling Cassidy and the floatation device along behind himself as he did so. The boy grabbed hold of the ground with one arm, his elbow pressing against the earth as he struggled to keep to the same spot. Cassidy caught on to what he was doing and took hold of the bank as well. She let go of the cushion and hauled herself up onto dry land. After relieving Dark of his hold on the floatation device she helped him up onto land as well.
Dark shrugged off the backpack he wore and pulled out some rope. Cassidy in turn strapped the mutilated floatation device back onto her pack. Together they stood and watched for the others.
They didn’t have to wait long to catch sight of Maddie and Seth struggling to stay afloat on their own cushion. Without hesitation Dark flung one end of the rope at them. Seth lunged for it and caught the cord as Maddie gripped his sweatshirt to keep him from being separated from her. Dark pulled them over to the bank and Cassidy helped them out as Dark casted for Colin and Connor. Once Seth was on land he brought out his rope as well to help Dark out.
-
“No, don’t eat that.” Maddie reached across Dark to knock the clam out of his hands. “That’s one of the poisonous ones.” She explained. “Colin and I will collect the food. You can focus on making the fire.”
Normally Jason would be the one to create the fire, but the boy had been lost back in that terrible river this morning along with Marissa. So now it would seem that Dark was to be the designated fire starter. Though no one trusted him to collect food it didn’t matter to him what he ate. His immune system was brilliant; one of the perks of being an abhuman, and Dark couldn’t be poisoned. Not that he had let anyone know that, of course. As far as they were concerned he was simply the kid who didn’t need full light to see.
Dark gathered some sticks and piled them up in the stone circle he had constructed. After tearing up some larger pieces of bark and throwing in some grass, the boy pulled out the magnesium and flint fire-starter he had on his pack. After shaving off some of the magnesium and striking a spark he blew gently on the newborn flame. Within moments he had a decent fire going.
The boy slowly fed the flames sticks and more handfuls of grass to keep the intensity going until the larger logs lighted up as well. He stayed there tending to the fire for a considerable amount of time before the others returned. When he first started to make out their figures turning to come back he fetched a pail of water from the river and set it to rest in the fire. It took the rest of the hunters and gatherers a while to get back since it was night. And at night they had difficulties maneuvering around the obstacles provided by the forest and river. So the water was close to boiling by the time it took everyone to be crowded around the fire.
Dark leaned back against the pile of logs he had gathered earlier for the fire. The boy stared into the flames, thinking to himself as he relaxed. When he and Macey had watched the show on television they never really questioned what happened to the contestants that were lost during each terrain change. They just conveniently forgot about them, only caring about whoever made it through the round. But now that he was on the show, now that they had lost a significant amount of their group, he found that it was the only thing on his mind.
They couldn’t be dead, could they? Dark had spotted several ‘hidden’ cameras but so far had seen no sign of any sort of rescue team. But the government wouldn’t let the people just die… right? The idea made him uneasy. There had to be something he was missing. There had to be something more to this game than what the public had been shown. He was determined to find out what it was.
Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.
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Re: The Game

Postby Scoinwolf » Sun May 17, 2015 5:56 am

Chapter VIII
They had been hiking aimlessly through the woods for several days at this point. No one knew how far the forest stretched or even where the end point was. Cassidy and Maddie argued repetitively about this but neither stayed on the same side consecutively. It was as if they were arguing just to flush out any possible considerations that had been missed previously.
It was Cassidy’s turn to be arguing on the side of continuing to go straight while Maddie pressed for splitting off into groups. The two girls were at the point where they had no more points to give that hadn’t already been said. Most of the group didn’t have anything to say either; they had all taken turns adding to the debate earlier.
“Hey, Dark, you haven’t said much so far. What’re your thoughts?” Maddie turned to look for the boy. She had often dragged him into any conversation that was going nowhere and so expected him to either offer a new alternative or just put a stop to the talking. But to her surprise, he was nowhere to be seen. “Dark?”
Cassidy frowned. “I saw him go off last night, but I coulda sworn he had come back around dawn.”
“He did.” Jacob added quickly. “I was awake at the time.”
“Then where is he now?” Maddie looked worried.
No one had an answer for that.
-
Dark cursed as he fell down the steep slope and landed in the muddy riverbed. He struggled to his feet and torn loose the vines wrapped around his leg. He was getting rapidly frustrated with this section of the forest and just wanted to get back to the others.
He had been going off into the woods during the night and exploring around to see if there was any hint of the finish line for the past half-week. So far he’d had no luck but he got the feeling that last night he had gotten close.
The only issue was that now he was lost. There was no way he could climb back up that drop now, it was all mud. So he had to find an alternate way back. In the end he chose to go to his right and jumped from rock to rock when he could to avoid staying in the thin sheet of water flowing lazily through the earth. He figured the reason there was such a large section of dirt carved out of the ground was due to flash flooding or something. This must have been a full river at some point recently.
The reason why he had ditched the others was because they argued too much. He and Seth were sick of it and so spent their time plotting with Trevor and Jacob about their own plans. The four boys agreed that Dark should explore at night while they picked apart his reports for anything he might have missed. They could hardly go about doing this in the day, they didn’t want to explain what they’ve been doing unless something important came out of it.
But he had had such a strong feeling last night – it just couldn’t be ignored. Look where it lead him though. More trouble he had to deal with.
-
“You know, he’s been awful quiet lately anyways.” Maddie paused for consideration. “I wonder if he’s feeling OK. Maybe he’s uncomfortable being with the group. Maybe we should pay more attention to him.” She looked worried still.
Cassidy shook her head. “He likes being alone, it’s who he is. I think he’s more uncomfortable being called into the spotlight than being left out of it.” She had spent a lot of time with Dark during the past few days and, while they hadn’t spoken much, felt like she had a much better understanding of the boy than Maddie did. Not that Maddie had no understanding – just that she spent so much time focusing on the group as a whole that sometimes she forgot to look at the individuals.
“I’m sure he’ll turn up sooner or later.” Seth spoke up with a glance at Trevor. “He probably just went off to find some food, he hardly ate last night.”
The two girls didn’t look entirely satisfied with that thought, but they let the subject drop.
Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.
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