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Alyce in Dystopia


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#1 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:25 PM

Alyce in Dystopia
Preface: The Awakening
"Welcome to oblivion, where panic starts to settle in. And I'm afraid I'm losing it."
-Welcome to Oblivion, Madina Lake



My eyes fluttered open, revealing three people leaning over me with wide eyes. They were gawking at something–presumably me. I just looked at them blankly, taking in the foreign feeling of being awake, the feel of the dirt of the ground on my once-numb and useless hands, and the dull pain that shot through my body. Even opening my eyes to the world again was unusual.

Blinking, I observed the three faces of the people above me, thrilled at the fact that I was awake and evidently well. They were all talking; I could see their mouths moving, but I couldn’t hear anything.

I started my analysis with the boy to the right of me. He had the skin of a South American—Mexican, most likely—with dark black hair and large, brown eyes that stared at me intently. His gaze was almost intimidating, but I detected gentleness in his face.

The other boy, the one on my left, was Asian. He had shaggy black hair that covered his brown eyes almost completely. His lip was pierced with a silver ring, and I couldn’t help but stare at it for a bit. My mother had once had a piercing like that.

But she was dead, I assumed. Killed by the disease that should have killed me.

The other was a girl, her side pressed up against the Mexican boy. Her facial expression marked her as disinterested, but her green eyes burned with curiosity. She had long, mousy brown hair that fell across my midsection as she leaned over me with the other two. She wore a too-large leather jacket, the hood pulled over her head.

Without any warning, my ears and mind began to buzz with noise simultaneously. Sound, unbearably loud at first, filled my mind and ears. I shut up my eyes abruptly and clenched my fists as tightly as I could muster, like it was really going to stop the pain.

Bits of conversation rang through my mind. I clenched my fists again and again, trying to ignore the pain of the loudness in my mind. Whatever was happening, it needed to end. And soon. The new world of noise I had suddenly been exposed to was unnatural to me after the time in my subliminal world.

Eventually, however, the loudness and pain died down. The sound of voices became like it always had–soft, even, like the three were whispering. I breathed slow, even breaths, taking in my rebirth into the world.

“Dude, she’s been out for four years,” the Mexican boy–probably in his young twenties, I guessed as I looked at his face – said in awe. He leaned over me and just stared at me, like I was some sort of new specimen in some crazy experiment.

“Yeah, and how much do you think she really remembers?” the girl with the elegant brown hair replied. Unlike the two others, her eyes weren’t fixed on me alone; she was watching the area surrounding us that I couldn’t see due to the fact that they were all leaning above me. “I mean, four years is the longest anyone has ever been in the coma that I can remember. And… anyone unfortunate enough to survive can’t be entirely sane. And they’re usually in the coma for only a few hours–a few days at most. But you said she’s been in there for four years… I’ll be shocked if she ever has a coherent thought again.”

The coma.

Painful memories flooded back to me as they spoke. Nothing was clear in my mind. It was all marred with pain and disjointed. Aside from it all, there was one thing I was sure of:

I wasn’t supposed to be alive. I should be dead.

The disease should’ve taken me.

The Asian boy, probably younger than both the Mexican and the American by a few years, spoke up next. He looked over at the girl and said, “Not much, I’d guess. Nothing much–if anything, that is. I dunno how she’ll adjust to things now. She’s probably a complete psycho. Nobody lasts that long in the coma and stays… normal. And if she does remember anything, it’ll probably be harder to get used to things. Especially if she’s still contagious, because then she’s stuck in the Confinement Camp with us.”

“Cato, she’s probably not even susceptible anymore if she survived the coma. Her immune system fought it off during that time. And if she is, we can’t have her tested for immunity. If she’s immune, she’ll be taken off to government headquarters. I don’t want to give up what you two forced me into actually caring about,” the girl answered.

The Asian boy–Cato, she had said his name was–snorted. “If me and Armando made it four years and they haven’t found out that we’ve been hiding a body, I doubt they’ll find her now, Ariadne.”

The girl, Ariadne, said, “Yeah, but now she’s got a mind of her own, Cato. Armando’s been thinking about this for a while. You never know; she could end up turning us in for conspiring against the Corporation. She could find out about the Resistance or the Black Market or Phoenix and…”

I zoned them out once I had officially lost what they were talking about. Corporations? Resistance? Black market?

Instead, I absorbed myself in the memories of my past, what had happened before now, before the coma.

My last memory was blurred and painful. In my mind, I saw the crowded hospital waiting room in downtown San Francisco, full of the sick, dying, and bleeding. Full of innocent victims of a highly contagious disease. This disease–one that rotted the brain from the inside out, one that killed you slowly and painfully, one that had been deemed incurable–had started somewhere months before, and because of its contagious nature, it spread virtually everywhere. Millions had died already, and millions were certainly going to continue to follow in the footsteps of passing.

We knew I was infected hours before the scene in the waiting room. When my limbs and extremities had begun to go numb, I realized what was happening. That was the first sign of the sickness. Once that started, you knew you were going to die.

The next thing I knew, my mother was rushing my useless little six-year-old body off to the hospital in our little silver minivan. I was unable to move at all, and the irises of my eyes had turned from their usual grey to a sickening white–the second sign of the growing severity of the disease.

Then the bleeding. There was no stopping the bleeding—unless you counted amputation, and even that was a useless waste of time. The victims would bleed internally and externally. It was disgusting and gruesome, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

After that, I went into the death coma. I had just been sitting in the waiting room, shivering from the fever, being bandaged by doctors, when it came. I had just blacked out, and I stayed like that for a long time–apparently four years.

The coma is what happened before a sick person is officially deemed dead. Few survived the coma to begin with, and they were weak and in pain if they did. The coma’s overall occurrence varied; some people who were the first to catch the sickness were still in it, while others died minutes after going into it.

But I had been in the coma for four years.

No one was supposed to survive that.

But, somehow, I had survived.

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

It's baaaaack! With a few minor edits in the prologue (like Alyce's age and some disease stuff, plus fixing the terrible contradiction of last time), it is ready to go. :D

To those of you who were reading before: I LOVE YOU ALL, SO KEEP READING AND COMMENTING. :heartbeat:

To those of you who might start reading now: I LOVE YOU ALL, SO READ AND COMMENT. PLEASE. :D

More for you all soon.

-Artemis
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#2 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:34 PM

CRAP. I said "six-year-old" in there... Dammit...

The next thing I knew, my mother was rushing my useless little six-year-old body off to the hospital...


Please disregard this. When I posted this on a different site, I edited that--but not in the Word Document! Geez, I'm not a dumb blonde or anything... :P

Should be fourteen, not six... WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!

-Artemis
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#3 24moon100

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 07:04 PM

^Oh, haha. I was actually going to ask you about that before I clicked to reply and saw your comment. Lol. Anyway it's cool. That stuff happens. :P

So hey! I can actually read this now! Whoo! Now that you are starting over again and all. :P I'm excited to follow along with you and everyone else as you update this time. I was actually going to read the whole thing anyway this spring break so I could get caught up like I promised but this works too. Haha.

Anyway, brilliant so far. Sounds quite interesting. What with the whole coma thing. That is curious. Oh and obviously she is special or something since she survived that coma. I like it when main character is special. Lol. Kinda like Harry in Harry Potter. You know, she's like the GIRL who lived. :lol: You get what I mean. I hope... ^_^

So CC? Man, do I have to? I really have no idea what to say...Haha. Hmm. Lets see...Nope. Can't. Sorry. I wish I was good with the whole grammar and punctuation stuff like you are but I'm not. I'm only good with the STORY part. Lol. Like for one: description, plot, theme, mood, vocabulary, sentence structure, ect. Get what I mean? :P

So for this comment all I'm going to say is that:

I love this. Love your writing. And I'd love to have an update soon. :D I really want to know where this goes.

PS: Really liking the dystopia theme. :) Dystopia's are always fun to read. ;)

-MEG

Edited by 24moon100, 11 March 2012 - 07:05 PM.

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#4 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 08:49 PM

^Oh, haha. I was actually going to ask you about that before I clicked to reply and saw your comment. Lol. Anyway it's cool. That stuff happens. :P

So hey! I can actually read this now! Whoo! Now that you are starting over again and all. :P I'm excited to follow along with you and everyone else as you update this time. I was actually going to read the whole thing anyway this spring break so I could get caught up like I promised but this works too. Haha.

Anyway, brilliant so far. Sounds quite interesting. What with the whole coma thing. That is curious. Oh and obviously she is special or something since she survived that coma. I like it when main character is special. Lol. Kinda like Harry in Harry Potter. You know, she's like the GIRL who lived. :lol: You get what I mean. I hope... ^_^

So CC? Man, do I have to? I really have no idea what to say...Haha. Hmm. Lets see...Nope. Can't. Sorry. I wish I was good with the whole grammar and punctuation stuff like you are but I'm not. I'm only good with the STORY part. Lol. Like for one: description, plot, theme, mood, vocabulary, sentence structure, ect. Get what I mean? :P

So for this comment all I'm going to say is that:

I love this. Love your writing. And I'd love to have an update soon. :D I really want to know where this goes.

PS: Really liking the dystopia theme. :) Dystopia's are always fun to read. ;)

-MEG


Yeah, I have issues with editing... xD LOL.

Eh, I guess I saved you some time, then. :D I hate catching up to stuff... And then you feel like one of those people who are late to join the party... Anyway, YAAAAY. You're reading!!! :D

Bahaha, the GIRL Who Lived. xD POTTER FTW! :D (What can I say; I'm such a geek. ;))

See, I'm just not great at proofing my own stuff. Because I can't take any of it seriously, and it all blends together because I am the one who wrote it, not someone else, and I already know what I want it to say... If you know what I mean, lol. But I shall be desperately looking forward to your critiques. :D

Haha, I will try to update sometime soon. I'm also working on something else right now, and it's more of a fun project than this depressing crap, lol. Really, I think this might be part of the cause for my partial depression going on. :P

Ahh, I love dystopia... Way too much... xD

WELL, I SHALL TRY TO UPDATE SOONISH. :D

-Artemis
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#5 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:57 AM

:aiwebs_014: Ah, I'm supposed to update this... Stupid Artemis... I'll try to get something up soon. :D

-Artemis
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#6 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:16 AM

YUS. FIRST CHAPTA, FOOLS.
Heh. Not too much different in this one; same sort of thing, but I improved some stuff. So it's still the extremely lame and boring chapter, but you learn what the Corporation is all about and you get to enjoy a Cato and Armando chapter, which means it's AWESOME. Because they are my FAVORITES. xD
Haha, please give me all the CC you've got; I neeeeed to improve. And I didn't proof this chapter because I'm so sick of it, haha.
Also, on a side not, "MGMT" is not pronounced "M-G-M-T," it is pronounced "management," which is what "MGMT" stands for. :D
And, um... Hm. I had something else to say.
DUNNO. ;)
Enjoy and comment, my people!
-Artemis


Alyce in Dystopia
1 – This Dying World
“I guess that this is where we’ve come to. If you don’t want to, then you don’t have to believe me.”
-Believe Me, Fort Minor


“Welcome to the West Confinement Camp of America—home to millions of the sick and dying, egomaniacal psychopaths, and pretentious control freaks who are out to murder us all!” Cato said sourly, his hands spread out wide like an entertainer after a final act. We had reached the end of a long and narrow path enclosed on both sides, where there was nothing but darkness, the sound of footsteps and the dripping of water from the rusty pipes above. The shaft that we had come to overlooked the grey silhouette of a city skyline against the misty, depressingly grey sky.


“Ah, home sweet home…” Ariadne muttered sarcastically, leaning against one to the vandalized walls of the concrete tunnel. She kicked a lopsided grey stone at Armando with the toe of her boot. It had been patched up with what looked like duct tape. I didn’t question it.


“You make it sound awfully bad, you know,” I pointed out, breathing in the humid air. The mist swirled around me, obscuring all the details of the world outside.


Ariadne snorted, amused. “That was putting it nicely.”


It had been roughly three days since my return into the world once plagued with disease, and no one had bothered to explain anything to me yet. Apparently, things had taken a turn for the worse over the course of my four years trapped inside my weary subconscious. I mean, if I was stuck in some sort of underground tunnel system with three random people with duct tape boots, things obviously could be better.


I had only started to actually talk a few hours before Ariadne, Cato, and Armando – three refugees in some dying world, they called themselves (and, not surprisingly, that was all the detail they had given me about the condition and state of the current world; what a pathetic joke)–decided to venture off. I had no choice but to follow, seeing as I had no clue where I was or what was going on just yet. I was bound to end up in some pathetic, stupid situation without them, and then I’d probably get myself killed. (Hey, you never know. Don’t judge.) Blindly, I followed them through a sequence of dark, unlit tunnels that my grey eyes–not very used to being open, let alone forced to work in darkness–didn’t necessarily like.


They had led me to the open concrete tunnel with the curved walls, randomly vandalized with multicolored spray-paint, carvings of names, eulogies to the dead, and big letters that read “WELCOME TO HELL.”


Well. What a nice welcoming gift.


A series of leaking, rusted pipes hung on the ceiling of the tunnel and showered us with a sickly wetness that I really hoped was water and not anything else. The tunnel was part of a labyrinth of more in the hillside. Because of the elevation, the view of the city was spectacular; our placement in the hillside allowed us to be level with some of the higher buildings in the distance.


There was a hint of sadness in the air as I looked out at the city. I couldn’t place it at first, because everything looked… normal. The harbor in the distance, the roads below, the skyscrapers standing majestically as they towered over everything, the beautiful bridge in the mist–it was all so normal looking.


But that was only the problem.


It was empty. No one was living in it. It was deserted, a reminder of the past.


Ariadne broke the silence as I stared out mournfully at the empty city. It had started to rain lightly again, growing heavier as time wore on. “You see that down there?” she asked, pointing on of her long, pale fingers at a fence. It blocked the hillside and a vast area behind it that we couldn’t see from the desolated city. I approached the edge of the tunnel and looked out, trying to see behind the hills at the rest of the fenced in area. The hillside blocked it, I realized as I looked down at the ground so far below. My heart skipped a beat as I imagined falling to my death.


“Yeah, the fence, right? What about it?” I asked quietly, returning to a place far away from the ledge. My head was dizzy, spinning as I tried to shake the terrifying image of falling that my imagination had conjured up.


“That,” Armando replied, “is the fence that serves as a border. It keeps us–the people whose test results declared them susceptible, the victims–from the outside world, and the outside world from us.”


“Thirty-some-odd feet high, barbed wire coils on top of the chain links, not to mention electrified 24/7,” Cato said enthusiastically. “Voltage so high that you’d die instantly if you were stupid enough to actually touch it.”


“Guarded by Corporation workers at every entrance and exit,” Ariadne added grimly. “Corporation workers with guns and the authority to use them at any given moment.”


Dumbfounded at their words and–once again–confused at the continuous mentioning of the “Corporation,” I asked, “But why? And what’s the Corporation, anyway? And why are they… What happened to my world?”


Ariadne breathed in deeply, inhaling the wetness of the air caused by the storm of last night that had carried on to today. She looked away from us, toward the depressing sight of the city skyline.


“You know, Alyce, I really don’t know,” she breathed, a hint of remorse–maybe even sorrow–behind her words. “I don’t know what’s happening anymore.”


“But… You have to know. Where am I? Who are you? And who am I?”


She looked up at me from the ground, her green eyes narrowed as she glared at me critically. It almost looked like she was sizing me up. “You can’t understand everything, all right? I don’t think you would understand. You’re just–”


Armando intervened before things got ugly. “Ariadne,” he interrupted warily. “Keep it cool and tell the story, okay? You’re freaking out again.”


“Story? There is no freaking story, Armando! Is that how you look at this? As a game? Like a story? Yeah, maybe life is a game, but I’m past certain that we’ve already lost. You need to–”


“Ariadne,” Cato said, looking at Ariadne firmly. “Ariadne, you need to calm down. You can’t start this again. We talked about thi—”


“We didn’t talk at all! I tried to talk, but you just refused!” she yelled, her fists clenched until they were white.


“Ariadne. Chill. Out. Just go and—”


“Go where, Cato?” she spat. “Like we have anywhere to go! We’re stuck here, held against our will, and I’ve had enough!”


“But that doesn’t mean you have to take it out on us,” Armando pointed out.


“You know what, you two?” she fumed, addressing Cato and Armando rather than me. She stalked over to Cato with her fists clenched, her face in a furious scowl, and a murderous look in her eyes that meant nothing but trouble. She put something–a box of some sort–into Cato’s hands with disgust and left. From the tunnels, we could hear her say, “I’ll go then! Enjoy your ‘story time’ while I go do something other than sit in my despair like you bastards! Have fun in hell! I won’t miss you!”


I was beginning to like her less and less.


Armando rolled his eyes and muttered something like, “Yeah, well, I think we just escaped the devil and her vicious claws of wrath, guys.”


Cato walked over to the edge of the open tunnel and heaved a sigh as he spread his arms out like a bird in flight. The rain flattened his hair almost immediately, but he didn’t seem to care at all. His face still turned from the two of us, he said reassuringly, “Don’t worry, Alyce. She’s just got some mental instability.”


Mental instability?” I mocked. “More like serious anger management issues and a temper that rivals the wrath of God.”


“Ah, that, too,” Cato said, laughing to himself like it was funny or something. Like Ariadne stomping off was a humorously regular occurrence. “She’s a bit… um, unstable, like I said. She’s pissed at the authorities and acts like all of us aren’t. She sort of thinks none of us want the oppression to end.” He rolled his eyes. “Anyway, don’t take it personally. Ariadne has… problems. She’s just been a useless, angry, conspiring pile of crap lately.”


I laughed, too. “Good to know, I guess. So I don’t make her angrier.” Cato laughed. I kicked a rock back and forth between my feet, watching bits of it crumble off as it tumbled along each time I kicked it with Ariadne’s huge pair of old, beaten up boots.


“I sort of think she won’t be coming back,” Armando said.


I turned toward him, my eyes wide from behind my tangled black hair. “Huh? Why is she not coming back?”


Armando shrugged. “She’s had it out for us long enough. Finally snapped. Just a burden off our shoulders now.”


I didn’t know what to think. I sort of guessed they had been together through everything. Or, well, that was the way they had made it seem.


“So you care to explain a few things to me, then?” I asked finally, breaking the awkward silence.


Cato nodded, his face twisted into a scowling expression that he seemed to wear fairly often. “I suppose if someone’s gotta do the dirty work, it might as well be me.” He sighed and turned back to the city. “What do you want to know, then?”


“Everything,” I blurted out, not even realizing I had thought it before it was out. Armando laughed at my wide-eyed expression.


“Well,” Cato began, his hand twirling the silver ring pierced through his lip. “I think you know plenty about the disease and what it does. How it–”


“Rots your brain from the inside out and eventually kills off all your brain cells, and then you die because you can’t function that way. Yeah, I know,” I interrupted. As of now, I just wanted to get the show on the road. Details could come later.


“Okay.” He tried to find among all his thoughts again. “So I don’t know what condition things were in when you entered the death coma,” he started, “but I’ll just assume things were still looking like they might be all right.”


“If you want my version, I can tell it,” Armando cut it. “Long story short, things aren’t okay, we’re all gonna die–the end!”


Cato shot him a deadly glance. “Just let me do this and stop cutting in, you two.” Armando got a kick out of that. Cato tried to let it slide. “Well, if you died when they said they might have found a cure, I’ll let you know that they never did, and that they still haven’t. In fact, due to the fact that they still hadn’t found a cure for the sickness, a whole lot of people kept dying.


“And they still are, because the government has no sense whatsoever. They tested everyone to see who was immune and who wasn’t—most people were susceptible, by the way—and then they shipped us off to these huge fenced in camps that they called ‘Confinement Camps’ in a way to contain the people who were sick or could get sick just to get them out of the way. Yeah, they didn’t even try for a name that doesn’t sound like prison. There are four of them, each in a different part of the country. You’re in the West one right now, right next to the empty city of San Francisco, as you can see a few miles away.”


So that was what the empty city was. The empty city of San Francisco, beautiful only a few years ago.


That was where I used to live.


“So they tested everyone to see if your results would come out as immune or susceptible, right? If you were susceptible, you were sent off to one of four Confinement Camps–North, South, East, or West. If your test results came back as immune, you’re automatically enlisted in the MGMT Corporation, a shady organization who claims to be ‘building a better future.’ They’re a bunch of fu—”


“They hate us all and want us dead,” Armando interjected, laughing at Cato. Cato looked as if he was about to knock him out cold. “Sorry, I just thought I could contribute a bit.”


“Not appreciated, Armando,” Cato said, inhaling deeply and trying to regain his composure. “Anyway, the MGMT Corporation–we usually just call them the Corporation, obviously, or just MGMT–was created by the government for two reasons: To keep the Camps ‘living in harmony’ as they ‘managed’ things, and to give the people who’re immune something to do with their unfortunate, miserable lives.”


“It’s ironic that you call their lives ‘unfortunate’ and ‘miserable,’ Cato, because I sure thought that you—”


Finally, I decided it was time to keep the peace. I stepped between Cato–who was turning toward him with his fists clenched and ready–and Armando. It made me vulnerable, but I figured it was worth keeping them settled down.


“Both of you, just calm down,” I said. “Let Cato talk, Armando, and don’t kill him, Cato.”


They both muttered and backed away from my outspread hands.


“Continue,” Armando muttered a little louder. “I was beginning to enjoy sitting in despair, as Ariadne put it so beautifully.”


“Pity you had to ruin that for yourself,” Cato shot back.


“SHUT UP!” I finally yelled as they started to go at it again. “You’re like bickering three-year-olds! Please!”


“Bickering three-year-old, Armando–same thing! I don’t see a difference!”


Before Armando could use one of his witty comebacks against Cato, I cut in again. “I am not here to be entertained by your with, you imbeciles. I am here to know what is going on. But if you’re going to be like this, I might as well—”


“Okay. Enough. I’m done,” Armando said. “I’ll shut up; you get on with your history teacher thing while I return to sitting in despair. Deal, fellow bickering three-year-old at heart?”


Cato smirked victoriously. “Sure, deal. Whatever.” He stood up straighter and looked at me with his big brown eyes. “Okay, where were we?”


“You were talking about the MGMT Corporation and why they exist or something,” I said, trying to calm down.


“Okay. So the government originally had them sort of watch over us and ‘enforce the law.’ It wasn’t too bad; they didn’t really do much. Of course, we still hated everything about them because we were naive enough to think that they were responsible for the Confinement Camp thing in the first place when, really, they’re just the government’s pawns. But it’s sort of hard not to hate them when you’re not contaminated and still in the Camp.


“Anyway, they actually completely abandoned us for a while. They just stayed off in their little headquarters in modern-day Los Angeles, doing whatever assholes like them do. We tried to get knowledge, but they just played innocent. They’re shady like that. Whatever it is, they’re still working on it, and it’s not going to be good for us, given the state things are in now. I’ve heard… a few things, and it doesn’t look good.


“So, eventually, we had no law in the Camps, so it was a free-for-all. It sucked completely, because we didn’t have any food rations, people were doing stupid things, and we were all at each other’s mercy. No one stepped up to lead, but little conspiracies popped up everywhere. Gangs. Ariadne called it an anarchist’s heaven, which is probably the most accurate way of describing it.


“Years later, while we were just minding our business, a load of helicopters from the Corporation filled with a bunch of workers. Evidently, the government found out about them neglecting the Confinement Camps–or at least ours, that is; I don’t know a thing about any of the others. Still don’t.


“So something obviously changed in the way they operate, because they’re pretty much abusing all the power they’ve been given, and it sucks. They’ve created their own dictator-like law, and they’ve recently gotten into some really creative punishments–no need for detail. So, yeah, while they are still ‘enforcing the law,’ it’s really their own demented, sick and twisted version of that.”


“And it’s a load of crap,” Armando added now that he realized Cato had finished.


I just stared at them, awed at how nonchalant they were acting about the whole ordeal. It felt like someone had taken me from one life and pulled me into another one with no warning.


Come to think of it, that was sort of what happened…


How ironic…


“So… That’s it?” I asked, still half in shock. “That’s what we’ve… what it’s come down to?”


Armando nodded. “That’s it. We’re stuck here, oppressed by a Corporation that’s likely developing some sort of weapon to kill us all, while the government is off in La-La-Land trying to ‘find a cure.’ I think they’ve ditched us by now. I think we’re all going to die soon.”


“Welcome to your new home,” Cato said, a hand on my shoulder as he ushered us out of the overlook tunnel. The glory San Francisco disappeared in the mist behind me as the blackness of the tunnels welcomed me eagerly, pulling me into the darkness of a new age.
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#7 Slaterlover

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:48 AM

I need Phoenix, so UPDATE!
-Sushi
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#8 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:56 AM

I need Phoenix, so UPDATE!
-Sushi


Ahaa, Phoenix FTW!!!

xoxo,
-A
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#9 Slaterlover

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

Still no Phoenix? :icon_mecry2:
-Sushi
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#10 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:43 PM

Daaaang, I totally forgot about this... I'll try to do some work today, guys...

xoxo,
-Artemis
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#11 24moon100

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

AHHHHH! I'm reading this this weekend! So...many...tests...

:heartbeat:
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#12 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:05 PM

AHHHHH! I'm reading this this weekend! So...many...tests...

:heartbeat:


Haha, I know what you mean. I have a crapload of homework right now and I have just about zero time to get on here. I promise to catch up with Crashed over break this next week!

xo,
-Artemis
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#13 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 07:13 PM

WHO IS THE BEAST?
Artemis is!
I got a chapter edited! YAY! I totally forgot about this, guys. Sincerely sorry. I'm very bad at updating... xD
But now I have this! I just did this in, like, half an hour, so it's still not great. Enjoy and give me feedback! :D
(Sushi: Also, no Phoenix... YET.)
xoxo,
-Artemis

Alyce in Dystopia
2 – Blackmail
“Life’s a game but it’s not fair. I break the rules, so I don’t care.”
–Run This Town, Jay-Z


Cato threw me the box Ariadne had given him earlier, when we had been up in the graffiti-filled tunnel that overlooked the empty city of San Francisco. He and Armando–after a long time of explaining more to me, including a bit about the infamous rebels and gangs in the Confinement Camp–had led me down through the tunnels, taking me to an area below a drain that supposedly led up to a food warehouse.

He grinned at me as I gave him a sideways glance. I fingered the box questioningly.

“Matches,” he confirmed, still grinning enthusiastically, almost like he was smirking at me. “You’ll like those once you get up there. Just… don’t tell Ariadne I gave them to you. Because she’ll murder me. Brutally. And then she’ll go after you. And it will be ugly.”

I didn’t smile back.

“And,” he added, “before you go, just remember that you really, really, really don’t want them to catch you.” I rolled my eyes at his over-the-top enunciation. “Because you’ll end up being killed by them or unmercifully tortured and almost killed, and then I’ll have wasted years of my life on an entirely hopeless cause.”

I gritted my teeth, adjusting the loose jacket that Cato had given me to wear over Ariadne’s extra pair of too-big clothes. “If anything’s a hopeless cause,” I said agitatedly, “it’s this.”

Armando laughed, taking the satchel he had been carrying around with him off of his back. He handed it to me stiffly, like he didn’t particularly like parting with it. It wasn’t professionally made; I could tell that much. But it would suffice for their plan.

“Just know that it’s all for the greater good in the end,” Armando said, looking down at me. I hadn’t realized how tall he was until now–probably over a foot taller than I was.

“Greater good, my ass,” I replied sharply. “Why am I raiding some food warehouse when you could be doing it yourselves, anyway? It’s not like you’re incapable of doing something that you claim to do all the time. I’d like an explanation.”

“Hey, I never do this,” Armando said in defense. “Cato and Ariadne always do it because they’re so much smaller.”

“Yeah, well, just think of it as… a… as your initiation into our little group. You make it back with some food for us, and you’re sort of with us then. Okay?” Cato said, obviously trying to cover for the fact that it was really just for the entertainment factor.

“Still, you actually know what you’re doing, whereas I am clueless. I’d guess you’re ‘experienced’ in this field since you’re keeping this criminal profile right now. I, on the other hand,” I began, “have never stolen a thing in my life, and I’ve never has to use a weapon for self-defense. It’s like you’re expecting me to be some… serial killer!”

No,” Cato said, laughing. “You won’t have to use a weapon for self-defense...”

“Wait, what? Then what do you expect me to use? My hands?”

Cato nodded impatiently. “Yeah. I think that’d do.”

I glared at him with wide eyes. “You’ve got to be kidding me. Alyce: The serial killer with no weapon…”

“That’s amusing,” Armando replied, laughing at the serial killer caricature that I had created. “Alyce the Serial Killer. Just minus the ‘no weapon’ part and… I like it!”

I punched him in the arm.

Hard.

“I seriously don’t find this funny. I don’t get any of this. So how about you two do something about this—not me.”

“Well, do you want to eat for the next week?” Cato asked. I nodded, still hungry. Cato and Armando had willingly (or well, sort of willingly, I guess) given me the rest of their food rations for the week. Still, my stomach was aching with hunger, probably due to the fact that my body had shut off for God knows how long.

“Well, then you’re gonna go get us all some food,” Armando finished as he laughed to himself. “And you’ll do it our way, or you’ll end up in the hands of the Corporation workers for sure. Not that you couldn’t this way… But it’s more likely if you try anything your way.” He sighed to himself, discontent. “Whatever. It’s just that you owe us. And we know what you’re doing. You? Well, you’re sort of stupid.”

I turned my head toward him harshly, not understanding the term “stupid.” What had I done to be deemed stupid?
“I’m not stupid,” I argued, crossing my hands over my chest.

“Okay. You wanna go out on your own, then. We’ll let you fend for yourself. See how you like that,” Cato said, sneering.

“So this is like… blackmail, then?” I asked, narrowing my eyes at him.

Armando shrugged. “Yup. Pretty much.”

“So if you want to keep on living for any longer than… oh, I don’t know… a few more hours, you should probably just do what we tell you and get off your ass. Go to Warehouse 7 and steal us some food.”

“Wait, they’re even in charge of the food supply?” I asked.

“Yeah, well they’re sort of in charge of everything,” Cato explained dryly.

“I hate this,” I whined.

Cato nodded, giving me the thumbs-up and looking mildly pleased that I had finally started to catch on to how things worked. At least I could please him I one area. “Now, are you ready?” he asked expectantly.

No.”

Cato smirked. “Just don’t do anything stupid and you’ll survive.”

“Maybe. Maybe you’ll survive.”

Cato sent Armando the death glare again. “Really, if you get things done quickly and quietly, it’ll all go fine. If worse comes to worse, we’ll be back at the overlook tunnel, okay?”

“I really don’t think I should be doing this,” I protested as they shoved me forward. “Really, it’s not a good idea. You don’t know what you’re getting yourselves into!”

Armando laughed as he pushed me forward enthusiastically. “I believe it is time for Alyce to channel her inner serial killer. Just think: stealth, speed, deadly accuracy–pun intended–skill, blood lust–”

“I am not killing anyone, for godsakes!” I spat. I tried to resist as they kept trying to push me forward. Still, I was useless and weak from the years in the coma. And now I was almost absolutely positive I was going out of my mind.

“Hey, you do what you’ve got to do up there,” Cato added, laughing at me like it wouldn’t hurt my self-esteem in the least.

“Are you implying that you’re expecting me to go up there and do some sort of machete-style mass-murder massacre thing?” I asked, horrified.

“Only if that’s what it comes down to!” Armando laughed hysterically as I glared at him with wild eyes.

“I am not killing anyone. I will not embrace my inner serial killer. Never. Ever. I mean, I can barely manage to get my mind around the idea of stealing, let alone the fact that you’re telling me to ‘channel my inner serial killer.’ What kind of twisted establishment is this, anyway?”

“It’s called America. Welcome to your new lifestyle – Alyce the Serial Killer.

Let me just say that I was very close to bringing forth my inner serial killer right then.
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#14 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:43 PM

Jeez, this is getting hard, guys. I'm going through so many problems right now. With my writing and outside of it as well.

I'm trying to find something to grasp onto right now. Nothing is working.

So you're probably either going to see a huge rush of crap updates here or nothing in, um, pretty much forever.

I don't even know anymore.

Woohoo. Yay. I am lacking all energy right now.

YAY.

Okay. Hopefully posting another chapter soon, and possibly another story because I can't freaking focus on a thing right now. Seriously, I am so pissed with everything right now that I am so surrounded by inspiration. And yet I can't write a thing.

This. Completely. SUCKS.

Okay. Well, I'll try to update soon.

xoxoArtemis
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#15 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:26 PM

Working on the next chapter. :D This next one is one of my favorites.

xoxoArtemis
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#16 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:33 AM

I was in a really good mood this morning. Don't take it for granted.

xoxoArtemis

---

Alyce in Dystopia
Chapter 3 – Warehouse 7
“Got to get away, ‘cause they want me alive or dead.”
-Warrant, Foster the People



“Ready or not,” I whispered to myself, “here Alyce the Serial Killer comes.”

I put the heavy rusted grate back over the hole that lead into the tunnels below. My fingers throbbed from the weight of the thing; I hadn’t really done much heavy lifting in the first place. Being a wimpy little fourteen-year-old girl with the world on a silver platter was much easier than living a life where everything was expected to come naturally in seconds.

It was completely do or die for these people.

Armando had informed me that there was a tunnel system beneath the Confinement Camp— one he didn’t think anyone aside from the MGMT workers were supposed to know about. Cato and Armando used it to get around from place to place, which is how they met Ariadne.

Apparently, Ariadne hadn’t been with them for very long–only a month or so. Still, her pessimistic attitude had damaged Cato’s motivation to get out of the Camp completely. He had some grand plan of revenge worked out—or at least that’s what I understood from the things he kept saying to Armando when the two of them weren’t forcing me to do things I wasn’t technically supposed to be doing because I wasn’t physically able. His plan seemed to involve detonation and a lot of death.

Go figure.

Ariadne must’ve actually known what she was doing down in the tunnels, because Armando and Cato seemed pretty lost without her. They said the tunnels gave access to places only the MGMT Corporation was supposed to have access to, but it sure didn’t seem like they knew where they were going at all. They had taken me down multiple wrong turns, to countless dead-ends and drop-offs into piles of sewage (ten out of ten on the nastiness level, by the way), and then they had found the grate that would lift open if you turned it the right way and pushed up. That had led me up to Warehouse 7, the main food warehouse.

Cato had said they had been getting–or stealing, for that matter–food from Warehouse 7 for the past two weeks, which is exactly how long they had actually known that the drain above the one concrete tunnel could be turned and taken out to give anyone with common sense access to an otherwise heavily guarded food warehouse. The food they had stolen wasn’t necessarily any good, but it wasn’t rotten, and there were no other places to get food that easily (aside from an apparent “Black Market” that was selling in various locations; they didn’t use it since they didn’t have the two thing the Black Market was willing to trade for–gasoline and ammunition).

They couldn’t raid the warehouse in groups, they said. Usually just Ariadne (she must have only been with them for a month or so then, since she was there for the two weeks they had been stealing) or Cato went alone; Armando was too tall and klutzy (Cato’s exact words; he got slapped for that) to do the job. They could only take the minimum quantity of food so that things wouldn’t get too suspicious. Besides, stealing too much food was stupid anyway; it would probably rot in the “disease infected” air.

*


The area above the drain was at a controlled temperature, obviously to keep the food edible. It was completely black–so black that I couldn’t see a single thing. I opened my eyes as wide as I could, foolishly thinking in the back of my mind that it would enhance my vision.

Well, let’s face it. You do some stupid stuff after waking up from a coma for… I don’t know—FOUR YEARS.

Feeling in the deep pocket of Ariadne’s bulky jacket, I found the box of matches that Cato had tossed me back down in the tunnels. I grinned, realizing the appropriateness of the gift.

I opened the box carefully, hoping it wouldn’t fall apart as I pulled one out, and lit one of the matches. It illuminated just a small portion of the warehouse; just the outline of two massive shelves that reached up to the high ceiling were visible. I held out the match, grinning ridiculously, and saw the huge containers of food.

I slowly inched forward in the semidarkness, allowing myself to move only so fast so that Ariadne’s boots wouldn’t make the usual loud clunking noises. I watched the ground for any unusual objects or obstacles that would prevent me from getting my job done, but my eyes always came back to the shelves that were so heavily stocked with containers of food. It was mandatory to watch both; if I found anything I could easily shove into Armando’s satchel, it was going to come with me regardless of it tasted like garbage or not. Besides, how was I going to be able to tell if it was even edible in this light? At least I’d have excuse for one thing.

As I stepped toward the shelves, my light flickered out, leaving me to fend for myself in the darkness of Warehouse 7. Panicking in the blackness, I lit another one of the matches. I breathed in anxiously and let the other fall to the ground. My heart rate increased by the slightest bit as it hit the floor. Even though I knew the sound and its source, the unusual sound of the match against the floor had scared me.

I trudged on through the warehouse, eyeing everything–the shelves, their contents, the floor, the area around me. Everything was either boxed or bagged in large masses–masses so large that it would be an impossibility to shove them in the satchel and run. I fingered the strap of the bag and started walking again, beginning to realize how hopeless things really were.

In my dismay, I came to a door at the end of one of the seemingly endless rows of shelves. It was–like just about every other metal surface I had encountered in the past day or so–rusted and decrepit looking. There was pealing light green paint behind the rust on the ostensibly forgotten door. A plaque mounted on the top middle of the door claimed it to be for “workers only”–obviously referring to the Corporation workers. The doorknob was completely nonexistent; an ugly hole where it should have been replaced it. Light shone through the doorknob hole and underneath the crack at the bottom.

The light of hope and all things good, probably.

I knew somewhere in my mind that going in would be stupid. Something Cato and Armando would probably think of me as an idiot for. I was simply here to be their tool, to find food for them. I was just supposed to grab something quickly and run back as fast as I could to Armando and Cato and possibly (a very disgruntled) Ariadne back in the tunnels below. I was here to prove myself to them. Prove to them that I could keep up.

Going in wasn’t going to help me. At all.

But a nagging curiosity stuck with me relentlessly, telling me to just put my hand in the hole where the doorknob was supposed to be and pull it open. Something deep inside me was telling me that the door was my best friend now, and that it was going to help me and make me happy. And that the light of hope and all things good was exactly what I thought of it as—hope and all things good.

Just for the record, your so-called “instinct” in situations like these is out to completely destroy your life. Just to let you know.

I figured that there could definitely be food behind the door. Like, what if the workers had some sort of individually packaged food that would be easy to shove into the satchel and not too heavy to carry?

Bingo.


I inched towards the door, silently willing my match to stay lit for just a little longer. Obviously, since light was shining on the other end, I wouldn’t need them for much longer. I shuffled my feet, my outstretched hand shaking as I reached for the doo–

The toe of my boot knocked something hard, round, and heavy, making a terrifyingly loud noise and effectively scaring the crap out of me.

I bent downward shakily to see what I had just hit. I knew I could’ve just drawn attention to myself to a guard or a worker–or even someone like me–in the warehouse. My heart raced at the possibilities.

I let out a hysterical laugh as I saw what the object was.

The doorknob.

I laughed again, grinning to myself as I blushed helplessly in the dim light. I almost hit it again as I returned to my original objective: actually opening the door and going inside the “workers only” room.

So much for “workers only.”

My free hand eventually found the hole where the doorknob was supposed to be. I held up the fading match, trying to eke out as much of the fading light as I could. Every single match was precious–a necessity for the completion of my “initiation.” I couldn’t waste any bit of the light I’d been given.

The door shuddered with an obnoxious creaking noise. I supposed the hinges were probably just as neglected as the actual door.

The door eventually swung open, and I was fully consumed by a bright white light. I closed my eyes as quickly as I could, rubbing the lids of them with the palms of my dirty hands in an attempt to shield myself from the brightness. Eventually, I was able to completely open my eyes once again. And I was beyond certain that I was actually dead and in heaven when I saw what was pressed up against the far end of the room, right next to a less rusty door.

An old-fashioned vending machine.

I said a silent prayer of thanks to the gods of vending machines and waltzed my way up to the gloriousness that was the vending machine in front of me. I passed a crooked table and rusty folding chairs–the only other things in the room aside from some (possibly empty; I didn’t care either way) cupboards on the left wall–on my way up to the shrine of the vending machine gods.

My grin increased when I saw the contents of the vending machine. I remembered, back before the contagion, that people were trying to make the things they sold in vending machines healthier than the usual candy and soda and chips. They had even started packing apples into them to support health movements.

I guess I did have a little respect for the Corporation despite the bad things I had heard. Anyone who, after an apparent apocalyptic disease, had the sense to keep a vending machine full of candy and soda on hand deserved my immediate respect.

Of course, I didn’t recognize any of the brands since they weren’t really official or anything, but I was elated enough to run up and hug the thing. And the fact that the thing’s contents were almost overflowing made me feel even luckier, if that was even possible.

But then again, nothing good can last. Sure, a vending machine full of candy and soda–one of many things any person would miss if it was gone forever–is great.

But not so much when you have no cash to get the stupid stuff out of the machine.

There was no way I could indulge in the magnificence of the vending machine.

No way at all.

I swore at the top of my lungs, kicking the vending machine with my feet so hard and so many times that my foot began to throb with agony. I knew that coming into the workers’ room was stupid in the first place, and that kicking the vending machine while cussing it out as loudly as I could wasn’t improving my ranking on the levels of stupidity either, but I honestly didn’t care at that point. The damn vending machine had just made me angrier as serving as a reminder of how pointless Cato’s plan actually was.

Somehow, while kicking it and yelling profanities at the top of my lungs, it hit me.

My eyes wide, I rushed over to the table. I halfheartedly wished I hadn’t been so stupid as to injure my foot despite how it felt so good to take out all my anger on the vending machine. I grabbed one of the warped folding chairs, and–in my state of madness–I knocked over an open, half-empty bottle of warm white soda, spilling it all over the concrete color below me. The plastic bottle bounced and rolled, and I kicked it out of my way triumphantly, disregarding the puddle of soda.

I ran back to the vending machine with the rusty metal folding chair, laughing evilly at the terrible fate of the lovely vending machine. I pulled the chair back and over my head, mustering all my strength as I lunged forward at the hopefully thin glass of the machine.

The glass shattered deafeningly, falling to the floor as it left its shards scattered across the ground. I stepped over all of it and began the raiding ceremony of the evil vending machine.

Well, maybe I was a serial killer.

Of vending machines.

I reached across my shoulder and pulled the satchel in front of me. My shaking fingers opened the clasp as I grinned my outrageously huge grin. Finally, something I hadn’t done completely wrong.

Soon I was throwing every last bottle of soda into the bag with an enormous amount of unusual vigor that I summoned from within. Channeling my inner serial killer? Maybe.

I laughed out loud each time I missed the bag and neglected retrieving the bottles of soda or packages of candy. I was high on success—something that was going to be rare in my new life.


I was almost halfway through my raid of the vending machine when some sort of noise interrupted me from behind, instantly scaring the crap out of me once again.

“What the hell are ya doin’, ya foo’?!”

I clasped the satchel shut, tried to regain my composure like Cato would’ve told me to, and tried to summon my inner serial killer like Armando would tell me to do. The man called in more men, all dressed in the same sort of grey outfit with all sorts of random patches with titles like “Manager” and “Shelf Worker” and stuff like that. I stood up, looked the tall guy who had yelled first in the eye, and yelled, “Me? I’m leaving. Thank you, please don’t kill me, have a nice day!”

And so became my death wish.

I rushed through the door conveniently located to the right of the vending machine–AKA the first victim of Alyce the Serial Killer. I hauled my satchel across my shoulders, grunting under the surprising weight of the stolen food. My pursuers were right on my heels as I entered the second half of Warehouse 7, navigating my way helplessly through the warehouse.

I turned sharply, running down one of the isles as fast as I could. At this point, I figured they weren’t packing fire, because there hadn’t been any gunshots. At least one thing was in my favor.

I tripped over my boots on the way down the aisle, sprawling across the concrete ground. My hands were scraped up now, and my forehead was gushing blood into my eyes. Regardless of injury and pain, I needed to move. Cato and Armando had made one thing clear:

They would kill me without hesitation.

I ran a little harder after that realization.

I heard them shouting behind me as I took twists and turns through the labyrinth that was Warehouse 7. I tried to lose them and create as much space between us as humanly possible. Anything to get away. After I was done with this, I’d go deal with Cato and Armando. They weren’t going to live this down.

I took a quick left down one of the aisles. I ran as fast as my feet would take me, but I was already beginning to tire. Between the weight of the satchel’s contents across my back and all the running, I wasn’t going to be able to keep going much longer.

My situation did not improve when I realized, once I had already reached the end of the row of heavily stocked shelves, that I had come to a complete dead end. The workers rushed toward me, yelling at me and taunting me.

That was when the first gunshot rang out.

And after that, more followed. Each time I ducked, afraid that my life was really on the line again.

But it wasn’t me that was being shot at. Every time a shot was fired, one of the guards dropped to the floor, moaning in their anguish as they joined the fallen.

“You owe me!” an unfamiliar male’s voice rang out from behind the dead victims of the shooting. “You owe me your life!”
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#17 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:51 AM

I JUST REALIZED WHAT THE NEXT CHAPTER IS.

GAH.

Um. You see, I have this really weird infatuation with my novel characters. Like, they are very real to me.

AND THE NEXT CHAPTER. AHHH.

...

Phoenix!! YES! I love the controversy he brings! I really do hate him, but I love him nonetheless... Is that possible?

OKAY. ENOUGH.

I'll just go edit now... New chapter today, then!

xoxoArtemis
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#18 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:57 AM

I never liked this chapter before. I like it a bit better now. It felt very choppy before. It's slightly improved now. Still short, but better.

:D And, SUSHI, there's Phoenix! So we can all rejoice! :D (And there's no Ariadne; even BETTER. xD)

Please comment with CC and feedback! :D

xoxoArtemis

---

Alyce in Dystopia
Chapter 4 – Phoenix Cortez
"Yeah, you've got my back against the wall!"
-Back Against the Wall, Cage the Elephant


“Who in the name of–”

The man with the gun didn’t stop to listen. He interrupted me and walked toward me as I lit another precious match. My last had been extinguished long before, and I hadn’t had the time to light another one before I had been rudely distracted from my candy and soda raid.

Yeah. “Rudely distracted”—as in “almost killed.”

“Phoenix Cortez,” he announced dramatically, walking toward me with arrogant swagger. “Savior of the helpless and gang lord of San Francisco.” As he drew closer, his face was illuminated in the light of my latest match. It revealed his slightly crooked nose, spiked up black hair, big green eyes, and an overconfident smirk that was casually plastered across his tanned face. “Rebel leader, member of the San Francisco Black Market, and face of the West Confinement Camp uprisings.”

I glared at him coldly from behind the long, stringy bangs of my dirty black hair. I didn’t like the looks of this Phoenix boy, with his nose piercing and egotistical words and expression.

“Well, then, Phoenix Cortez,” I began as coolly as I could manage. I adjusted Armando’s satchel over my shoulder, expecting my version of nonchalant to actually come off as nonchalant. It evidently did not, seeing as he gave me a very weird look. I tried to calm my uneven breaths unsuccessfully. “I guess you’re expecting me to thank you or something.”

He stared at me, a look of major disgruntlement crossing his face. “I really don’t give a damn about ‘thanks,’ to be honest with you,” he replied. His words struck me as irritatingly harsh, but the expression on his face was humored at the words of my apology. The exact opposite of how he sounded, I realized. “When I said you owed me, I was thinking more along the lines of… slave for life or something.”

Despite the fact that I was immensely uncomfortable with my messiah, this boy named Phoenix, I laughed. There was something about the way that he said things that gave them a sort of witty edge.

“Not so sure about that one. It’s not a very ideal situation,” I said laughingly as he observed my body with his dark green eyes. He was six inches or so away from me, not a distance I was very comfortable with. “I can give you soda, though. And candy. I’ve got food to spare,” I said.

“Yeah, says the girl in the middle of a food warehouse.” He still looked amused as he said, “You know, unless you can give me something worth it, there’s not much of a reason for me to let you go.”

“Wait, w-what?” I stammered, confused.

He stared at me like I was a completely oblivious moron. “You’re a threat, okay?” He pointed to the satchel on my back with quick, sharp movements. “There’s not going to be food forever. And why would I let a little thing like you have it when I have masses to feed? What use are you to me?”

“You’d… kill me?” I asked, my eyes wide in the dim light. “Just for… living?”

He leaned toward my face, his lips almost brushing against mine as he spoke. “Just give me one reason. One reason not to kill you.”

The calm air between us seemed to have vanished entirely, leaving me in yet another terrifying predicament with a person I didn’t know—and definitely didn’t trust. I clenched my fists and the match went out, leaving me in complete darkness with Phoenix.

Not a good scenario.

I stood silent for a while, not knowing what to say. I didn’t breathe, I didn’t talk; I just stared into his barely visible eyes. He hadn’t moved either. Only I assumed it wasn’t because he was completely terrified and because he wasn’t being threatened with death…

I could feel his slow, even breaths on my lips as he spoke. “It wouldn’t be hard,” he reassured me, his mouth still close to mine. “Not hard for either of us. Really, it wouldn’t. You wouldn’t even feel a thing. A completely painless death. And for me, it’d just be like killing another worker. Simple—something I wouldn’t regret.”

Was he convincing himself or convincing me?

I closed my eyes, trying to focus. I was pressed up against a solid brick wall with nowhere to run. I had just stolen from one of the government’s official warehouses. And I was being threatened with death.

Well, well.

“I really don’t have anything worth money,” I answered slowly. “I have nothing useful to you but food. Except a box of matches, and they’re not really even mine to begin with.” My voice was beginning to fade out now, terror taking over.

“So you’re a thief?” he asked, looking mildly impressed. “You steal stuff?”

I supposed I hadn’t really stolen them from her, but the matches I had been using were technically Ariadne’s. And Cato said I really wasn’t supposed to have them. So maybe I hadn’t stolen them from Ariadne directly, but I was sure she was still kill me if she found out that I had something of hers.

Like the coat. And the pants. And shirt. And the boots. And the matches, of course.

“Yeah, I’m a criminal,” I decided after a few seconds of critical thinking. Making the wrong move would be fatal. I needed to be on the top of my game, one step ahead of Phoenix. “Thought you’d have figured that by the satchel and the fact that I’m in this place in the first place.”

He said, “You could be some sort of rebel like me. Part of a branch of the Resistance Movement or something. Just out to cause some trouble. You never know.” He shrugged, backing up a little bit. I was finally able to freely breathe again.

“No,” I confirmed, sucking in air. If anything, I had just taken the step that would save me rather than kill me. “I’m only part of some private little resistance between me, myself, and I. Not some bigger picture or anything.”

“You’re a stupid bastard for venturing into the warehouse by yourself, you know that? Senseless thing to do, especially if you’re alone.” He paused for a moment. “You are alone, right?”

I nodded, breathing deeply. My head began to process things normally again. “Unless you count yourself.”

The smirk he had been wearing previously returned quickly. He looked into my eyes once more and said, “Well, I’m going to take you for your word. You do anything I don’t like and we’ll go back to this,” he said, lifting up the gun he had been holding. “If you recognize the position you’re in and don’t try anything, we can get out of here.”

I stared at him in complete confusion. “What?” I asked. “Get out of where?”

He laughed. “You’re really not very smart, are you?”

I glared at him. “What happened to you wanting to murder me?”

He shrugged lazily, amused. “It would really be a shame to waste such a pretty face.”
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#19 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:43 PM

Okay, well, I think I'm talking to just myself right now since I have gotten zero feedback for a while now, but ANYWAY:

Instead of working on this huge paper I have due very soon (the rough draft is due on Tuesday) this spring break, I have been doing random stuff like this and procrastinating. And though I doubt this thing matters to anyone but me, since all I'm doing is trying to become better at writing and letting out the angst I have in a very unusual way (i.e., dystopia and imperfections and really pissed characters), I am forced to stop production of this for a few days.

Since I have such a terrible habit of forgetting about this thing and writing all sorts of little chapters and scenes of projects I will never continue or remember (honestly, I thought that was what AiD was gonna be like, only it sort of isn't), this probably doesn't mean a thing. In addition to this thought, I apologize for going through little "writing mood swings"--where all of a sudden I update a bunch of stuff one day, and then I don't upload for weeks. Or just the general theme of the writing, even. (I mean it sincerely when I say this: I am a complete wreck when it comes to writing when I have my period; all I write is a lot of dirty stuff I'm never sharing with the world or really violent stuff--not that most of what I write, aside from this stupid project that turned into "the action story that never happened and was a drama instead," isn't violent; it's just not THAT violent. And most of it sucks because I either need to have brutal death or romance--sometimes even both, and that's just really weird and scary. But I pay NO attention to any detail or pay WAY too much attention to it, and then I freak myself out with A. how bad it really is or B. how screwed up my brain is. So it typically just means I write something super graphic and reread it over and over again and sob. That's basically what happens when I'm on my period, actually...)

Like that one time, in draft number one, when it went from Alyce spazzing out with the baby food to Ariadne having a major mental breakdown and half threatening to murder Alyce/half being on her period like Artemis was at the time.

You know. That sort of thing.

Anyway. What I'd like to say is that I have some problems with commitment to writing, I should never write on my period, I needed to have one of those "I vent about my writing to random people on the Internet even though they don't and probably will never know who I am mwahahahaha" moments, and that I hate school.

xoxoArtemis
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#20 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:47 PM

^Whoa. I just reread that whole rant that took place during major sleep deprivation. Sorry. Sometimes I go on weird little rants like that...

Also, I think I need to write a chapter RIGHT NOW. But it's sort of late right now, and I'm supposed to be asleep.

Oh, well. Preview for next chapter then:

Phoenix stepped out of the back room and into the moonlit room. In either of his hands he held two guns. I hadn’t touched a gun in my life, and now the serial killer dream was being forced down my throat again. I shuddered, terrified of what he had up his sleeves this time.


Not sure if it'll be exactly that, but that's the gist of the whole chapter right there. :D

Actually, that's a lie. That is NOT the gist of the chapter. Be prepared for what they call the Generic Artemis Chapter. Meaning the only important thing that happens is that the characters start actually doing something and that there's Phoenix. So yay.

xoxoArtemis
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#21 24moon100

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:40 AM

Omigod. I've been a horrible reader. So busy... :icon_mecry2: I need summer. Badly.

Will read soon. I promise. :P
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#22 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:24 PM

THIS IS SUPER DUPER EXTRA IMPORTANT!!

Not really.

But. It is still going to be a lot of fun. I am going to start doing little podcast thingies where I talk about Alyce and my writing and you people, like, whenever you have a question about AiD, can just post questions. And if I get more than one or two questions I will make you a nice video reply. Possibly featuring some of my sketches and spoilers and looks at the future. And stuff like that.

So. Ask questions. Request weird stuff for me to do. WHATEVER. Your requests shall be granted!

The only downside is you have to hear my voice and I'm sick-ish right now. And you also get to be jealous of my beautifully beutiful Midwestern accent, too...

xoxoArtemis
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#23 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:28 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moaANn07LXM&feature=g-upl&context=G2993929AUAAAAAAAAAA

I need a life.

I also happen to be majorly congested as I do this. I realize how I keep messing with my hair--which I totally hate, FYI--and I'm in a really crappy mood. BUT. I just need to kick this off somehow. Also, I hope you enjoyed the wonderfulness of Green Day in the background.

ALSO! Here: I Will Follow You Into the Dark

My voice in this video. Something is wrong with me.

xoxoArtemis
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#24 24moon100

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:11 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moaANn07LXM&feature=g-upl&context=G2993929AUAAAAAAAAAA

I need a life.

I also happen to be majorly congested as I do this. I realize how I keep messing with my hair--which I totally hate, FYI--and I'm in a really crappy mood. BUT. I just need to kick this off somehow. Also, I hope you enjoyed the wonderfulness of Green Day in the background.

ALSO! Here: I Will Follow You Into the Dark

My voice in this video. Something is wrong with me.

xoxoArtemis


Haha. That was awesome. You should do more of those. I like seeing what people are like outside their cyber form. Also it was interesting to know more about you. If that doesn't sound too stalkerish of me to say...:P
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#25 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:21 PM

Haha. That was awesome. You should do more of those. I like seeing what people are like outside their cyber form. Also it was interesting to know more about you. If that doesn't sound too stalkerish of me to say...:P


Ahaa, stalkerish. LOL. I did like four takes of that (the music was different every time...), and this was the only one that I didn't end up saying anything that I REALLY wanted to murder myself for. See, my voice sounds about 100 times different on video than it does in real life, and I also don't usually sound that stuffed up. I'm actually even more congested today.

I also rambled aimlessly. And had no clue what to talk about. And you can also see I overuse the same words all the time (i.e., "like" and "stuff," AKA the words that are just like shootmenowplz to the whole world).

But. I have many more important things to talk about, and you will probably end up seeing a few spazz attacks. I think that video right there was the calmest I have been in ages, so you're lucky. I sort of deprived myself of sugar so I'd act normal.

So. Since tomorrow is Saturday, you'll be seeing some super fantastically stuffed up and enthusiastic (probably hyper) Artemis via video.

Be prepared.

xoxoArtemis
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#26 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:57 PM

This is sort of just so you know my little sister, Katie. She's two years younger than I am. :D I also talk a little bit about the disease. Please bear with Katie's knack for getting off topic. (Also: sorry if I call her Kennedy sometimes; one of my best friends’ names is Kennedy. Or if I called Katie "KK," because that's her nickname. :D)
Enjoy! :D



xoxoArtemis
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#27 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:20 PM

Just an addition to that last little ramble: here is a link to my blog.

xoxoArtemis
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#28 24moon100

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:30 PM

Ha. Your sis is cute. I wish I had a little sister sometimes. Loved the vid. Keep em up. :)
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#29 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:38 PM

Ha. Your sis is cute. I wish I had a little sister sometimes. Loved the vid. Keep em up. :)


If by "cute" you mean "of the devil," SURE. ;)

Dude, I was so thrown off by her. She gets so off topic. I was so angry with her because I was hacing the PERFECT take, and when I was almost done talking, she runs out of the room screaming "I HAVE TO PEE!!!!" And the take before that she said what happens at the end of the novel (I told her about that before because I needed to tell SOMEONE; it's a really mean ending). I was really fed up with her, and she may not be appearing in any more videos...

And they're all so lame! I have everything perfectly rehearsed in my head and then it all goes downhill when it's time to actually talk, lol.

Well, maybe you'll get the one video where I know exactly what I want to say later today. Talking about the characters. :D

xoxoArtemis
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#30 ReitaBassist

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:07 PM

As I predicted, I'm liking this :)

- Emery
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#31 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:08 PM

As I predicted, I'm liking this :)

- Emery


xD LOL. Gooooood. :D
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#32 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:18 PM

I wrote a random scene with all the characters together last night, and I laughed so hard I was crying. If you ever get to read that scene, I hope you love it as much as I do. Because having all the characters drunk and partying is really funny.

xoxoArtemis
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#33 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:08 AM

This shall be slightly put on hold. Until I get my first chapter of "I Will Follow You Into Dark" finished, there shall be no Alyce. Sorry. D:

xoxoArtemis
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#34 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:33 PM

Follow updates on my writing here: Inspired, Demented, Probably Insane

xoxoArtemis
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#35 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:15 PM

Okay. So hopefully a new video and update tomorrow. :D I'm trying to be more active on here, since I'm so lame all the time. :P

xoxoArtemis

Edited by Pretty.Odd., 01 May 2012 - 10:15 PM.

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#36 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:31 AM

IS ANYONE OUT THERE?!

Seriously, it's so quiet I can hear myself think--and that never happens...

But today it is very stormy outside and all I have to do is read a little biology stuff and then I can write a bunch. I'm hoping to finish off the next chapter, maybe write another of my other story. I don't even know if anyone is reading that either, though, so maybe I should just do one chapter today and spare myself the grief of getting no CC. D: Really, if you are reading, please give me constructive criticism. I need it more than you know.

Also, if you want to: http://inspiredbyins...-paintings.html

xoxoArtemis

Edited by Pretty.Odd., 06 May 2012 - 11:32 AM.

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#37 24moon100

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:34 PM

I'm here! I'll be reading both shortly! :heartbeat: Just need to do my homework real quick!
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#38 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:37 PM

I'm here! I'll be reading both shortly! :heartbeat: Just need to do my homework real quick!


YAY! :D
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#39 24moon100

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:14 PM

Artemis! Good God, what have I been missing all this time? Lol.

I have been a disgraceful reader to you. You must hate me. :icon_redface:

But now I have surged up enough energy and time to bust through these new chapters you have so dedicatedly posted. :)

Chapter One Analysis:

Ah, see you are most certainly going to be annoyed with me from now on. Because I will inevitably repeat myself when I say this: you are an unbelievable writer. It's insane how amazing you are. And your in, what? The seventh grade? COME ON! You have to be kidding me. No one is THAT damn good at that age. Man, seriously, you should have seen the load of crap I was writing in seventh grade. It was literary GARBAGE. And moreover you seem to STILL bypass me. IT'S NOT FAIR. Lol.

Take that compliment however you please. Hopefully you treasure it. Because I meant it. :D

So the characters? I am liking Cato. He seems legit. Like the one that holds the group together, you know? Well, more or less. :P Armando also seems pretty funny. Thank god there is some humor in here! :)

But Ariadne...I dunno man. She's got herself a temper there. Maybe I'll come to appreciate it in the future? Lol.

Alyce? Eh. She's okay. Honestly, and hopefully you don't take offense, but she doesn't seem all that engaged in the story at the moment. Not that that is a bad thing. Just an observation. That is probably just because she's still figuring things out right now. So the other characters have to do the talking. :D

CC? Not much for this chapter. The only thing that stood out to me was some awkward italic uses. Like here:

“Ariadne,” Cato said, looking at Ariadne firmly. “Ariadne, you need to calm down. You can’t start this again. We talked about thi—”


Also here:

“Pity you had to ruin that for yourself,” Cato shot back.


See, I don't think it's all that necessary to use it here. Maybe I'm reading it wrong but I don't really get what you're trying to emphasize, you know? It would sound perfectly fine without it.

Just some food for thought. Maybe you can enlighten me? :D

But overall? Fantastic chapter! I really marveled at some of your descriptions in there and obviously you have a crazy impressive vocabulary. You can really write, Artemis.

Alright. I'm onto the next! I'll probably only have time for one more tonight. Hopefully that will be okay. ^_^

-MEG
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#40 24moon100

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:40 PM

Chapter Two:

Hey. So, got finished with chapter two. Awesome. :D

Okay, I take back what I said about Alyce. I find she is emerging quite well into the story now. :)

As for CC? Nothing major again. All I really caught were what looked to be minor typos.

I wonder where Ariadne went. It's starting to make me curious...

So next chapter looks like it will be suspenseful. YUS! They're gonna sneak into Warehouse 7 and steal some food right? I got a little confused. Is it just Alyce going in, or all of them going in? Because they made it sound like to was going to be like her initiation or something.

I don't know.

I'm sorry, I must sound utterly stupid for having to contemplate that. I guess I'll find out eventually. Lol.

Okay and LOL. Alyce the serial killer. Nice. That gave be a good laugh.

Especially how you tied it in at the end. Haha. Classic.

Will be reading other chapters soon! Just wanted to read SOMETHING to show you I still care. :P

-MEG
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#41 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:05 PM

Meg:

Your comments totally made today so much better. Thank you so much, first of all.

Ack, it's impossible to hate you! LOL. Don't feel hated! I am just one who lives off of CC. I aim to get something (just obviously not this; this is way too lame to be a published novel) published at one point or another, and the easiest way for me to get CC is with people on the Internet. I always freak out when someone I know in person asks to read something I write because... it makes me very uncomfortable. LOL.

And, whoaaa. I sort of don't think I'm that fantastic at writing for a seventh grader. But thank you either way. :D It's very considerate and kind for you, with your amazing writing skills (jealous! ;)), to say something like that. Believe me; it makes me want to write a lot more than I do when someone says something like that.

(Okay, just be prepared for a lot of this sort of thing in this reply; I have a knack for digression.) You see, I really started writing in fifth grade. Started writing fanficiton. Learned that I'm not into the fanfiction thing much anymore, messed around with fantasy and invented a whole other world called Darkwood (I think fantasy is the strongest form of writing used for escapism sometimes; dystopia just helps me cope and lets me be evil, haha), and started writing a real romance/fiction novel about a girl named Jessica that could read minds when I was in the sixth grade. It completely sucked, but I learned I had quite the aptitude for writing, and hence the real journey began.

After that, I thought I was hooked on realistic fiction (even though reading minds would be classified as FICTION, not realistic fiction, I was sure that despite that, the novel would still be realistic fiction because of the overwhelming other elements) and began writing the most dramatic, stupid crap the world has ever seen. I don't know how many attempts I made (still making?) to find another story that I could run with so well, but I probably could've made a few novels out of how many pages of efforts there were in that time.

But I sort of figured it out after that: My other novel, the mind-reader one, wasn't anything special, plot-wise. But there was more there than just me trying to be funny and being myself in writing (I learned that I'm never doing that again; being myself means some really weird stuff and a lot of jokes that don't make sense to anyone but me and too many pop culture references). It was me expressing my feelings.

But I got criticized so badly for that work (not to mention a lot of praise, but the criticism--and not of the constructive nature--stood out a lot because of the potent nature of it) that I figured it was time to try something else and get off the other board I was posting on because it was too restricted and because I couldn't stand the people.

So I came here, and the journey progressed. Blahblahblah, I'm here now, seeing that the current cliché of dystopia is very fun to write and that it helps me cope with my emotions that I rarely ever express to anyone. So yay.

OKAY, told you there would be a lot of backstory and digression... Anyway:

Cato. Oh, my gosh. Cato is psycho. JUST saying'. Armando (and I will spare you an epic backstory, because he has a really epic one--epic as in long) is my best friend's creation. I don't understand where she came up with him, but I promised to put him in one of my novels. Which is why he is here. :D

Okay, now onto Ariadne and Alyce. I told you that all my characters are my different emotions embodied as characters. Ariadne, obviously, is angst. She has an epic FICTIONAL backstory that comes around in about chapters 13 and 14, I believe. But she's a very important character to me, because I understand her the most.

And I almost KNEW you were going to talk about Alyce being disengaged! I hate to make excuses, but I don’t really think this is an excuse. It's a confession, if anything:

I get VERY caught up in what the characters are doing instead of what the protagonist is thinking. I am a very visual person, and therefore the thoughts are less important to my brain than the action taking place and the description of what's around them. But Alyce comes off as very passive in the beginning, and I am very sorry to the people who had to read it. But hopefully you can get where I'm coming from as an artist that I am all about the visual, haha.

Hope that made more sense than it felt like it did...

But, anyway, Alyce sort of adapts to the world too quickly, which is a major flaw of this plotline and of my writing. She needs to be a normal person with emotions, lol.

Also, by the way, all the characters are here for a reason. So you may end up appreciating them for all sorts of different reasons in the end. But the most important character is Cato, because nothing could happen in this plotline without him.

Oooh, I use italics at the dumbest moments. Like, I have no clue what goes on in my head when I'm writing, but thank you for pointing that out. I think either I talk weirdly and that should be italicized, or I was just very sleep deprived and was like, "Well, what the heck--WHY NOT?"

Ha.

And about the minor typos: I am queen of minor typos. Please adjust, because there will be hundreds. Pointing them out for me gives you free virtual hugs from Artemis. :D

Okay. Here's what's going on with the Warehouse 7 thing:

It is JUST Alyce going in, because Cato and Armando suck. And they're doing it more to laugh and her, because she doesn't really mean a thing to them. Yet. But she will be going alone. Here:

“...if worse comes to worse, we’ll be back at the overlook tunnel, okay?"


Just thought I'd point that little line out, because then it makes sense where they’re and everything. That they AREN'T going with her. And I don't blame you for being confused... Most of what I write is just trying to put my thoughts into words. And my thoughts don’t always make a lot of sense.

Thank you SO MUCH for everything you wrote. You have no clue how wonderfully helpful you are, Meg!

xoxoArtemis
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#42 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:22 PM

I decided, with this chapter, to bring out the emotional side of Alyce. It was, multiple times recently, brought to my attention by different people that Alyce is very passive. I agree, and I especially thank the wonderful people like Meg and others who pointed it out so kindly. I figured she had to have some sort of breakdown, and I put a lot more thought into being Alyce this chapter. So I hope you get to enjoy a little insight into Alyce's mind and her life and emotions. Though she comes off very wimpy this chapter, I thought it would make sense the way I wrote her. She’s not really supposed to be the character you just adore; none of these characters are. They’re all extremely flawed, I think, and not always the most likeable.

On an unrelated note, this chapter is probably going to be as disappointing as always, but there's a lot of detail involved this time. And they go into the actual Camp this time. We also see where Ariadne's been, what Alyce is dealing with emotionally, a few extra things (one stands out more than others, I think) about Phoenix that weren't included the last time I wrote this chapter. Originally, this chapter was about 2000 words—now it's over 3000. For me, that's a lengthy chapter. I hate writing long chapters, lol. But this one is on the longer side for me.

Okay! Now go read and give me CC! :D

xoxoArtemis


Alyce in Dystopia
5 – Vulnerable
“So he voyages in circles, succeeds in getting nowhere.”
-Poetic Tragedy, the Used


So far, I had woken up from a traumatic, life-changing coma that altered my brain and forced me into seeing things much less clearly than the average person. Because of this, I could not process things normally anymore. Everything felt like a dream; reality was a bizarre idea that I couldn’t quite grasp, even though I knew this had to be reality. I had been thrust into some crazy scenario that seemed more like a product of dreams than actuality and forced to cope with it all. The moment things began to clear up was when the guards chased me and when Phoenix threatened me. When I had been pushed toward death was when I realized that this wasn’t some sort of delusion brought on by brain trauma. This was real.

By then, I knew that escape was more vital than anything else—even my life. Death was an escape wasn’t it? At least it was better than this.

---

“So you’re just… voiding your threats?” I asked in my confusion as he grabbed my arm and pulled me forward by the fabric of my jacket. He maneuvered us around the five dead bodies easily. He didn’t even bother to look back at his bloody victims. I, on the other hand, kept glancing over my shoulder at them and slowing down our fast pace. “You’re pretending none of that happened? You’re not going to kill me?”

“Nope,” Phoenix said plainly. His pace started to pick up, turning from a jog to a run to a silent sprint. “Not yet, at least.”

I scowled, irritated. I began to breathe harder from the run. “Oh, very reassuring,” I mocked.

He shrugged. “Hey, you could definitely still be bluffing,” he said in defense. “You could be some sort of Corporation worker going incognito, your ambition to completely screw the Resistance Movement, and I could be an idiot for believing your made-up story.”

“Yeah, because I’d have been being chased through a warehouse by Corporation workers after stealing food from them if I were an incognito worker who’s bent on screwing your little resistance.” I rolled my eyes as he decided to actually grab my arm rather than just fabric. I tried to brush his hand off, but his grip just tightened. He grinned at me mischievously in the darkness. I knew one thing, and that was that Phoenix Cortez and I were not going to have a very happy future together if he kept things up.

“I told you, it could all be one big setup that I’m being completely oblivious to,” Phoenix replied, his free hand running through his spiky black-brown hair. “And, honestly, I’m not too convinced that you aren’t a worker. You strike me as very devious.”

“Just because I’m proceeding to plead innocent again? That makes me seem ‘devious’ to you?” I said, fed up with his persistent rejection of my identity. So far, I was pretty sure Phoenix Cortez was the antichrist, or at least something diabolical like that.

“Yeah, sure. I just have a bad feeling about you, that’s all.” He shook his head. I guess we both had bad feeling about each other. Only mine was less of a “bad feeling” and more of a hateful resentment. “And if you are a worker, you should run now, because the end won’t be pretty for either of us.”

“Well, I’d like to go either way, but it looks like that’s really not one of my options,” I replied, motioning toward his iron grip. The look across his face was of sheer amusement. I felt the urge to hurt him. Maybe then he’d understand that I didn’t want a thing to do with him.

“Your fault for being in the warehouse at the wrong time,” he argued. We came to a door at the other end of Warehouse 7. This door–which actually had a knob, surprisingly enough–looked like it wasn’t nearly as sad and abandoned as the one that led into the vending machine room. It was made of a shiny, polished metal that looked more than a little out of place. There was no plaque on the door, but above it a sign read “EXIT” in glowing read letters. I figured that was door to the world outside.

“What, so now this is my fault?” I said, disgruntled with his pleasure. Everything he did irritated me.

“Well, it sort of always was…”

If looks could kill, he would’ve sprawled over dead right there.

Instead, he just laughed hysterically and pulled open the door effortlessly, ushering me out. I shook my head and trudged along. Hopefully he’d ditch me soon so I could get the hell away from him and the Confinement Camp as a whole.

He smirked to himself, staring at the ground in delight. We began to run through what I figured was the actual West Confinement Camp of America.

The hum of the electric fence was strangely audible from wherever we were, filling my ears with a relentless taunting. I knew that getting out was no longer an option for me, seeing as we would have to surpass the obstacle that was the fence. My dreams of escape into the world outside of the Confinement Camp that had begun to form inside me were crushed before I even attempted anything. I cursed to myself, feeling the tears beginning to fall and the stinging in my throat. I clenched my fists, feeling the vulnerability I had promised myself to avoid. Vulnerable—wasn’t that all I was anymore?

Phoenix pulled me forward. I wiped the tears from my eyes and tried to follow him down roads of dirt and stone. Old, crumbling sheds of metal—or any other cheap material, I guessed—lined either side of the dusty pathway. None of them looked like they were made with carefulness, but more like they were about to collapse at any given moment. Most had no real doors, just gaping open areas in the sides. Some of them were open to our little alleyway, revealing empty space where bodies sat crumpled in misery, regardless if they were dead or alive.

Looking back, I noticed there were other tall, grey buildings with fencing around them, just like Warehouse 7. Each had a large number spray-painted in black on the side, indicating which warehouse was which. What could they possibly be storing in the other six?

I could see, every once and a while from behind the tears in my eyes, a nicer building made of stone. I knew that the buildings with their barbed fences around them weren’t for the sick. The MGMT Corporation workers needed a place to reside as they did their work, too. As I saw one of them behind the fence, distracted by something to the east, I realized how easy it would be for us to be caught and executed. The thought made me sick. I was trapped by both my defenselessness and by the force of man.

“So what are you, if you aren’t part of the Resistance Movement or the MGMT Corporation?” Phoenix asked as we ran through the back streets of the Camp.

“It’s what they call normal,” I shot back. I didn’t quite know what the so-called “Resistance Movement” was, but I got the general idea from the name. I’d ask him later. “But maybe you, of all people, wouldn’t understand that.”

“What’s your definition of ‘normal,’ then, if it’s something you are and I can’t possibly be?” he asked. I realized he was no longer holding the gun he had been using in Warehouse 7.

Great.

Now we were unprotected and defenseless against an army of psychopaths. Very fun.

“Um, well, I don’t… I don’t even know. I’m kind of… living life. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m not a rebel like you. I’m not part of the Corporation. I’m definitely not with the government. Maybe I’m here to help. Maybe I’ll end up being part of destruction instead. I guess I’m just… Alyce.”

“That’s your name?” he asked. “You actually stuck with Alyce?”

“Yeah,” I replied, disregarding his mocking tone. “Alyce, the normal person.” I paused for a moment, trying not to take offense at his mockery. “So your real name isn’t actually Phoenix?”

He snorted, glancing over at me. “You’re pretty naïve, you know that? No one keeps their real name these days. Too dangerous.”

“How can a name be dangerous?” I asked in confusion. I think Phoenix had a knack for making on sense to anyone but himself. Also, maybe, one for driving me crazy.

“Government has records of things. They know who everyone is, what Camp they’re in, if they’re susceptible or immune, what kind of crimes they’ve committed—all that pointless garbage. So it’s more of an act of privacy and safety than anything. Plus, I much prefer Phoenix Cortez over my other name. Much more badass, and it has a better ring to it.” He nodded like it all made perfect sense. I saw he was barely having trouble breathing in the humid air, unlike me. My breaths were short and ragged, and my lungs were killing me.

He made it sound much less ridiculous than it was. “I guess it makes sense, when you put it like that.” We kept running, unfortunately enough. I was beginning to hope we would slow down and rest, but he didn’t seem tired in the least. “What was your other name? You make it out to be pretty terrible.”

He sighed like I was stupid. I pursed my lips. “Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of it all?”

“I guess.” I grunted as he took a sharp right, dragging me along with him. The moans and whispering of the dying grew fainter as the sound of the fence grew louder. Now we were on a much more central road, leaving the alleyway behind. At the end of the road, orange in the setting sun, was the fence I had previously heard so much about.

They hadn’t exaggerated about it at all. Not about the height, about the guards, about the barbed wire, or about the electricity. Already, yards and yards away from it, the electric buzz was beginning to become almost deafening.

“Voltage so high that you’d die instantly if you were stupid enough to touch it.” Cato’s voice echoed in my mind as we ran toward it. The fear in the pit of my stomach grew with every step we took.

“You say you’re here to help,” Phoenix said. “But what can a worthless girl like you contribute to the aspiring Resistance Movement of San Francisco?”

We ran past another one of the tall, rusty poles with what looked like speakers mounted on the top. Though there were lights at the top of them as well, they weren’t on, which made running across the ground all the more difficult. My feet stumbled over Ariadne’s too-big boots. The dirt ground was covered in countless things for me to trip over: shards of dirty, broken glass, electrical wires, yellowed pages of old newspapers and people’s long forgotten possessions. Part of me ached at the sight of a dirty, bloodstained teddy bear lying torn ahead of us. I knew that at one time, some little girl or boy had held that teddy bear closely and waited for a new world to emerge overnight. Somehow I knew that there would never be a new life for them.

I shrugged to myself, blinking away the tears that constantly threatened to spill over like they had only minutes before, and he turned to face me. A smile was beginning to play on his lips as he loosened his tight grip. I lifted up the heavy satchel, feeling its weight once more and cringing.

“Not one little thing,” I replied loudly, attempting to speak over the hum of the fence. I tried to make myself sound hopeless and unstable so he would just let me go. Then I could try to escape on my own, leaving the godforsaken Camp that we were trapped in. I finally let the tears fall willingly. They added to my act of innocence and helplessness. “I can’t do anything for you or your resistance. I’m useless.”

“Pity. I thought you said you were a thief. A good thief would’ve been useful for how I work.” He looked at me, ginning. I knew he had caught on. He wasn’t as unintelligent as I had hoped. The tears were more real than I thought they were at this point. “But useless? Completely unusable?”

From my hysterical state, I almost laughed out loud. “Thought you’d have meant something actually useful. A thief can’t be useful. And anyway, aren’t we all thieves?” He contemplated this, nodding to himself. “But I suppose if that’s your definition of ‘useful,’ then I am that,” I finished with shaking shoulders from the crying.

“Good,” he said simply. “Because then we can actually use you.” He locked eyes with me for a second and silently signaled with his head toward one of the decrepit, broken houses to the left of us. He turned abruptly, leaving me behind him. I noticed he had chosen to disregard the tears.

“For the love of God, get over here!” he hissed loudly from inside the makeshift shelter.

Disgruntled at being openly insulted, I jogged over to the refugee house. I wiped my eyes and tried to stop my crying. He didn’t seem to buy into it, and I had to calm down before he got a bad impression of me. If I wasn’t going to escape, I needed someone to stay with, and my fate seemed to be with this Phoenix Cortez.

But, then again, I thought the same thing about Armando and Cato.

I took a deep breath. I had to be calm; I had to hide my emotions. It was for the better, even if it hurt. Nodding to myself, I slipped through the opening in the shed and practically fell over from the exertion.

As I almost collapsed, I found myself face-to-face with a very angry looking Ariadne.

It took a second for recognition to finally dawn on her face. I was hoping she wouldn’t remember me at all, since she had barely known me before. But she did seem to identify me after a few seconds of awkward staring. And when she did, she just looked even angrier. My tears were immediately replaced with, if anything more than a horrible hollow feeling in my chest, fear.

“Phoenix,” she snarled. “What are you doing with her?”

Ariadne glared at me critically, sizing me up with narrowed eyes. I tried not to move too much, just because I was pretty sure she would find a way to explode with anger and then murder me with her bare hands if I got on her bad side any more. Instead, I just stood motionlessly, staring at the floor blankly, pretending to be as innocent as possible.

Ariadne’s matches in my pocket began to feel a bit heavier right then.

That one?” Phoenix asked from a back room. I was shocked to find that there was more than just one room in the first place. “That Alex chick?”

“My name is Alyce!” I yelled at him. “Not Alex!”

Okay. Whatever,” he called back. Something large and heavy fell, clunking loudly against the ground. A long string of profanities followed, spewing out of Phoenix’s mouth in one large, fuming burst. “Yeah, well, when I was in Warehouse 7–getting material for the Black Market, since it’s out month, you know–she was ta–”

“Oh, my God, Alyce,” Ariadne interrupted. She stared down at me in that condescending way that made my skin crawl. I just stared back up at her, not smiling or frowning, just staring vacantly. It was the best I could do when I had no clue what she was going to end up doing to me. “Did Cato put you up to this? Is he trying to infiltrate the Resistance with his Corporation loyalties now? I swear to God, he is not going to see daylight again.”

I began to protest–despite the fact that it was very true that he had put me up to it–but Phoenix’s shouting from the back room (where he was still rummaging furiously) cut me off. “Cato Hahn? Do you mean Cato Hahn, that psycho genius kid you were looking for? You actually found him?!”

Ariadne yelled back, “Yeah! That’d be him! Son of a bi.tch still refuses to join us!”

Psycho genius kid? Sure, psycho could definitely be–but genius? And he refused to join the resistance that Ariadne and Phoenix kept talking about? Apparently I was missing a few things.

Again.

“And whatshername–Alyce, I mean–is, like, working for him now?”

“NO!” Ariadne and I cried at the same time. I almost laughed at the harmonic denial, but she was still standing there, scowling down at me like I was some worthless piece of crap. So, instead, I just shut up and tried to remain as serious as I could.

“Then what’s this about Cato Hahn? I mean, he’s sort of an important part of the rebel plan, right? And you’re saying he ‘put her up to something,’ which means she is working for him. Now fill me in.”

“He’s being stupid again, that’s all,” Ariadne replied distastefully. “Alyce… met up with them when I was trying to recruit him earlier. I left because I really can’t stand him and his defiant thing he plays at. At least Armando had some class.”

I picked up for her so they could both be fully informed. “Yeah, well, I was starving–literally–so they gave me their food rations for the rest of the week. Then, because they kind sort of blamed me for eating all their food when they had willingly given it to me, they forced me into stealing food from Warehouse 7. Probably for their own entertainment, more than needing food. And then Phoenix—he saved me, and now I’m here,” I finished, almost out of breath.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Ariadne started. “You said he saved you.” Then her voice changed from her surprisingly calm tone into the usual growl. “Phoenix, what did you do this time? You killed someone? Oh, my Go–”

Phoenix stepped out of the back room and into the dark room. In either of his hands he held a gun. I hadn’t touched a gun in my life, and now the serial killer dream was being forced down my throat again. I shuddered, terrified of what he had up his sleeves this time. I clenched my fists and held back the tears again.

“It was only five,” he retorted, acting as nonchalant about it as he could manage. I think he figured it might improve Ariadne’s anger at him, but I knew that nothing he could do would improve her horror at what he had done in the warehouse. She just stared at him menacingly. I was just glad her eyes were off me. “And, besides, there’ll be a lot more than five down by the time we’re out of the Camp.”
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#43 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:41 PM

Just FYI: I'm going to be going into super update mode soon, because I'm getting into parts of this I like better than others, and it's almost the end of the school year for me. So I get lots of free time, being only in the seventh grade. :D I am hoping to get this whole thing wrapped up in... six months or so, unless all of a sudden I am totally enlightened and can go for hours straight with no problems writing.

That's very doubtful.

But I do hope to get most of AiD done this summer, because that's when I have the most time and have more time to really think. And I don't feel nearly as stressed. Which, yes, may kill the emotional drama of the plot that comes from my social life/everything that happens to Artemis--but it may also open up a new world of things going on.

Another note to the people who read this before:

Expect... more Cato. Less Ariadne, maybe. And MORE ACTION. (Probably.) Maybe a lot more of the Just Phoenix And Alyce Time That I Had Originally Planned And That Ariadne Ruined. I do promise that Cato/Alyce and Phoenix/Alyce are going to have lots of time together.

So, thank the Lord, LESS ARIADNE.

Hopefully. If things follow in the path my mind is taking them.

xoxoArtemis
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#44 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:20 PM

Concerning Alyce as a character in YA fiction

xoxoArtemis
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#45 24moon100

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:42 PM

Chapter Three:

My, my, my. Lookie what we have here. A wonderful chapter. ;)

So...hi again! Sorry I have to be taking on these chapters ever so sluggishly but I am in a very stressful part of my school year (AKA EOC EXAMS). Bleh. But enough with my excuses. Here is what I thought:

Well first, so I don't forget, I'm going to start out with CC.

Since you said you would like me to point out the typos...

they didn’t use it since they didn’t have the two thing the Black Market was willing to trade for–gasoline and ammunition).


Instead of thing say things. :)

Okay and watch out for repetition in the part where she's talking about the darkness. Like here:

As I stepped toward the shelves, my light flickered out, leaving me to fend for myself in the darkness of Warehouse 7. Panicking in the blackness, I lit another one of the matches.


I feel like you can just say: Panicking, I lit another one of the matches. Instead of the first thing you said. I fell like you were saying darkness too much...

I'm probably sounding like a prude, I know. But I just had to make that suggestion. Because I thought it would sound better maybe. However little that information might have been of use...

BAM. That's it. :D

Okay. So now that that's over...onto the good stuff. :D Compliments! Yay! Hehe.

Alright. So there were a lot of things I appreciated about this chapter. Particularly the way Alyce had this mental thought connection with the readers. I dunno how to explain it really. It's just I love it when the character sometimes takes a moment to talk or address to the reader in some way (and usually it is in a funny way). In case you have no idea what I'm rambling on about here is a shinning example:

Just for the record, your so-called “instinct” in situations like these is out to completely destroy your life. Just to let you know.


You get what I mean?

*Smacks head.* I even confuse myself sometimes. Lol.

Anyway I also loved the part about the light. Here:

The doorknob was completely nonexistent; an ugly hole where it should have been replaced it. Light shone through the doorknob hole and underneath the crack at the bottom.

The light of hope and all things good, probably.


You are probably going to think I'm very weird for appreciating that but I appreciated it. So FEEL the appreciation. :D

More appreciation:

I said a silent prayer of thanks to the gods of vending machines and waltzed my way up to the gloriousness that was the vending machine in front of me.


Of course, I didn’t recognize any of the brands since they weren’t really official or anything, but I was elated enough to run up and hug the thing.


In fact the whole part about the vending machine was just awesome. :)

Well, maybe I was a serial killer.

Of vending machines.


Perfect. Just perfect. :lol:

Soon I was throwing every last bottle of soda into the bag with an enormous amount of unusual vigor that I summoned from within. Channeling my inner serial killer? Maybe.


“What the hell are ya doin’, ya foo’?!”

I clasped the satchel shut, tried to regain my composure like Cato would’ve told me to, and tried to summon my inner serial killer like Armando would tell me to do. The man called in more men, all dressed in the same sort of grey outfit with all sorts of random patches with titles like “Manager” and “Shelf Worker” and stuff like that. I stood up, looked the tall guy who had yelled first in the eye, and yelled, “Me? I’m leaving. Thank you, please don’t kill me, have a nice day!”

And so became my death wish.


Hey, I told you didn't I? I appreciated a lot of things about this chapter. Heck, I appreciated it ALL. ;)

However, there is one thing I have to say: WHAT was she THINKING? Seriously. COULD she have BEEN anymore LOUDER? The whole time I was all curled up in suspense thinking: she's gonna die, she's gonna die...

Because honestly? What did she EXPECT to happen after killing the vending machine? The light of hope all things good to rain down upon her?

Well, I give you props then for putting me on the edge of my seat. Thank you very much.

The real question is: WHO THE HECK IS THIS MYSTERY MAN? You know, the dude that saved her life? Yah, I wanna know who this fella is. And FAST.

Thus will be my motivation to read the next chapter. :hyper:

Anyway...

Will be reading the next chapters soon! Hopefully sooner than soon. If school stops being such a relentless insufferable pain in the--

You get my point.

-MEG
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