Promises, vows, and aligances are being made, but are they for the better?
My stage is shared by many millions
Who lift their hands up high because they feel this
We are one We are strong
The more you hold us down the more we press on
-"What If," Creed
"Good evening Little Warriors." Yamamoto tightened his arms around a sobbing Yoshimi. Poor girl, who would've thought that bad girls could morn death? Yoshimi always seemed to put up such a tough front, but then he wondered if just maybe her heart really wasn't into it. Compared to Mitsuru's sexy adult features and Hirono's punk look, she seemed more cute, almost innocent, than dangerous. "Today's victims are: Boy #8 Yoji Kuramoto, Boy #17 Mitsuru Numai, and Boy #20 Kyouichi Motobuchi. Let's see...one, two..." Yoshimi was trembling again at the sound of her boyfriend's name. "Eleven students. Not bad. Not bad at all. Keep up the good work."
"Pig." Yamamoto said under his breath.
"What did you say?" Her walls of toughness now shattered around her, Yoshimi pulled herself from his chest.
"Nothing. Now let's dry those tears." He pulled up his sleeve and dabbed at the wet spots. "We can still make it."
She simply looked up at him. If she could, she'd kick herself for being such a wuss. Mistsuko would never let her live it down. Maybe even kick her out, leaving her alone to face the wraith of every kid she bullied.
"I'll protect you, Yoshimi. I promise."
She smiled fully. It was almost as if her bad girl reputation never existed at all. "Yeah. Let's go."
"So what do you think?" Yukie asked as the rest of the White Team gathered around her, gazing upon the lighthouse she lead them to. All the endless walking, bland rations, worry over loved ones, and creeping paranoia was starting to wear on them all.
"Wonderful." In Sakura's eyes it was almost like the gates of Heaven itself. Her team was so patient in putting up with her constant hobbling from that trap, especially poor Yukie. Sakura was thankful that most of her closest friends were in other classes, but the possibility of having to kill them and finding out that three of them were already dead would've sent Sakura into a crying fit. But Yukie was much stronger than that. She held back her tears as best as she could and kept going on for the sake of their team. "If I could only be as strong."
"We can rest here, get something to eat, gather some of the other students, and find a way out of here."
"Yep." In Mizuho’s eyes, things just couldn't get any better. This was divine favor from the gods themselves. A fortress that would shield them from anything The Program could throw at them, bestow gifts of food and shelter from the rain, and serve as a beacon of hope for the other students that they'd have no choice but to rally under their banner. It sure would be good to see Megumi and Kaori again. "The Ivory Tower will protect us."
"What?" Tadakatsu and the others threw her a weirded-out look as she felt her dreams of divinity beginning to crumble away.
"I just thought it would be fun to give it a name. You know, our collars are white and so is the light house." There was brief pause. "Please let this work."
"I like it." Sakura and Yukie nodded in agreement. God, that was too close.
"Come on," Yukie signaled for her team to follow her into the Ivory Tower. "Let's discuss our plans over some nice hot soup."
"Dear God, I try to be good." Yuko squeezed her praying hands tightly to the point that it made her knuckles hurt. "I really do." There was nothing but silence, but her faith stayed strong. Pastor Min had always said that God talks to us silently, taking in our hopes and fears, and guiding us to the right course of action that we have to handle ourselves.
Maybe that was the reason her team had yet to come across anyone. Was this part of his plan? To influence the government to put the kids into teams so less innocent lives would be taken? And would that mean that Noriko, Yuka, and Haruka's deaths were to drive her team on and live for them? No, she didn't want to think any more about this. She was scared enough as it is. It was almost embarrassing how she burst into tears to the point she could hardly move when hearing of their deaths. Like her loving parents, the rest of the team tried to calm and reinsure her that things would be okay. They all knew it never would as the ground beneath them would run read with the blood of their classmates, but it didn't matter. She could still feel the hug Kayoto gave her as they both cried over their friends' deaths and Hiroki and Yoshio’s large, comforting hands holding hers until she felt secure enough to walk by herself.
Yuko discretely pulled her vial of cyanide from her bag and tucked it into her bra. It was a good thing her uniform top was so loose and billowy that she could just keep her weapon on her with no one being the wiser. "No one is going to hurt my angels, no one."
BLUE and YELLOW
As grateful as Takako was for the chance to get off this stupid island, why did it have to be with Kazushi? Great, the perv was seductively licking his teeth like he always did every time she walked by him and it never failed to make her stomach churn. Even after three years it still got to her: secretly rub his crotch in front of her in class (of course she was the only one who noticed it), bragging to his teammates how he "fucked that bitch hard," and every sick, suggestive comment he made. Yet if she were the one to punch his lights out, she'd be the one in trouble. Sure there were rumors of girls in other schools getting felt up with their teachers and men who would cop a feel off women in the subway. They had it worse, but still, why couldn't his collar just explode and put him out of his misery?
She felt a piece of paper being placed in her hand.
Takako, are you ok?
Yuuichiro greeted her with a shy smile when she turned her head. Pushing aside her repulsion towards Kazushi, she attempted to smile back, but it came off as awkward and forced. He pressed his diary pages against the concrete bellow him and scribbled something on sapphire blue colored pencil.
Is Kazushi bothering you?
She nodded. Sadly, all of her speediness went into running; rendering her handwriting to a snail's pace. At least the quiet gestures suited her and got the message across. He couldn't help feeling a little sad for her; it was his greatest weakness (next to Hayao Miyazaki films) to see a girl unhappy. Lord knows that every female cousin of his were using it to their advantage to get whatever they want.
I'd like to think that even he's not dumb enough to try anything.
Takako stopped in her tracks as a week-old memory came flooding back: the image of one of fellow track members hugging the rim of one of the toilets. If it was any other girl, she would've dismissed it as the after effects of partying too much. But Kyoshi was a nice girl, so pleasant, so caring and probably one of the few girls in the entire school who didn't think Chigusa was some "robo bitch" that had to be avoided lest you got caught in her icy grip.
"Kyoshi?" Takako said, trying not to startle her. Her trackmate responded by throwing-up again. The loud, wrenching sound forced Chigusa to step back with a similar sick feeling in her own stomach.
"Why did he do it?" Without looking up, Kyoshi threw her arms over the toilet lid and buried her face into them.
"Who?" She kneeled down beside her sobbing teammate, hoping that she was doing the right thing. While empathy was never her strong suit, all it took was one glance at Kyoshi's pale, shameful face to realize who did it.
"You bastard." Back in the present, Takako failed to notice that she was crumbling her diary page. Why didn't she do something about it? Given Kyoshi's reputation as a recovering compulsive liar, there was no way anyone would believe her. And all Takako could do for her was get her cleaned up and throw in some extra angry glares at Kazushi whenever they made eye contact. She tried to convince herself that it was all she could do at the moment and now she was stuck working side-by-side with the creep. Maybe kicking him in the balls after school like she originally planned wasn't such a bad idea after all.
Here, I want you to have this.
Takako’s eyes widened to the size of DVDs at Yuuichiro's offering; a S&W M19 .357 magnum. "But you..." It was like he was casually offering her his last cookie at lunch. "How can you be so naive?"
You need it more than I do. Besides, I'm a lousy shot as it is.
She gave him a silent thanks and relived him of his gun. Its raw power that could easily take an innocent life almost frightened her. She could easily put anyone in their place by raising her voice alone and could probably get a few good hits against some of the boys in her school. But did she have the guts to partake in her new offering? The temptation was already egging her on to try it out. No, she wouldn't cave in. Maybe just shoot near the pervert's feet to teach him a lesson and that's all. Even vengeance wasn't worth losing the chance to get out of this nightmare.
I already loaded it for you. I just hope that I wouldn't have use it.
The two parted ways and went back to finding some more rope for Mimura's plan.
It all felt too weird; like some horrible crack-induced nightmare running in Yumiko's head. The death, the insanity; these weren't the kids she went to school with. She sorta expected Hirono to act like a cold-blooded killer, but Kawada. He just went through the entire game without a single tinge of fear as if he did this for fun. Sure there were rumors, but Yumiko paid much attention to stuff like that.
"Got it." Hirono cheered, finally getting the front door of the hospital open after spending the two longest minutes of her life picking the lock.
Chisato grasped Kawada's shirt even tighter, burying her head into his chest to keep her mind off the blood rapidly leaving her body. She had been inflicted with smaller cuts that had sent her into a total panic at the mire sight of her own blood, but this time it was different. She had someone to hold and protect her through the whole ordeal. A boy that held her despite the blood and danger around him.
She eased her grip on Shougo, her prince. Childish, but she couldn't care less. It was the light of hope that always shined through in the darkest of situations; just like the ones in those romantic fantasy novels she loved so much. Hirono could be the wily rouge, Yoji the mercenary who died for love, and Yumiko as the white witch. She sighed, now she was being crazy.
"What's your blood type?" Shougo asked, kicking the door shut behind him.
"Hirono, I need you to get me as many blood packs as you can. And try to duck under any windows you come across; the less the other teams see of us, the better." The spiky-haired girl nodded, dumped the contents of her bag on the floor, and ran off.
He turned to Yumiko. "I need you to lock and barricade the door."
Yumiko only nodded and went on her way. Just how did he know about all of this? With the way all the other students were acting, nobody could be this competent. And it sure didn't help that Hirono had allied herself with him so quickly.
"Wait a minute..." The thought struck her as she started pushing on a near by desk. "Didn't Shougo transfer?" The school was pretty tight-lipped about it, but there had to be a reason. Was he a government soldier in disguise, a delinquent like the Kiriyama family, a closet psycho who entered the Program for fun? There was no time to start probing for answers for now, but she'd get her answers come Hell or high water.
End of Chapter 5. 31 Students remain.