Everything In The Palms Of Your Hands Part 3 Finale
rating: +15+x

Pierre takes one step, and then he takes another one. The echoes of his footsteps seemingly vanish as arcade sounds melt in with each other, filling the air with an annoying droning noise as he attempts to follow Ariel's trail. The look on his face is full of concern, but more notably, fear as he walks. He comes to a sudden halt as he steps on a patch of carpet that seems to squish.

His eyes dart downwards as he takes a step back to see what made the squish sound.

It's blood. Sure, it might not be much, but the fact it was enough to make a sound is concerning enough on its own.

Pierre: He shivers in disgust. Eugh… th-that's not good… he says immediately looking away from the bloodstain once again. A crumpled cigarette can be seen lying in front of the puddle. Pierre looks down at it and hesitantly touches it with the tip of his finger. The cigarette hisses like a snake and exudes a bit of smoke as what little heat it had left exits into Pierre's finger.

Pierre: Mmph! Mmphg!

He jumps back, barely muffling a scream before exhaling all the air he had trapped in his body and wincing as he tenderly stroked his newfound wound. "Should've seen that coming," He thinks to himself. The road ahead is gonna be long and probably painful, but he owes it to Ariel; After all, she's saved his life more than once. No matter what the case, he hopes she is still alive, because if she wasn't… he didn't even want to think of what that would entail.

Pierre shakes his head silently. He berates himself, willing himself to stay optimistic and deny the possibility. She couldn't possibly be dead, after all, she was capable enough to survive without him, right? But what if…

He mumbles and rants to himself under his breath about all the possibilities, as his breaths and footsteps get louder, faster, and more frantic. He curses himself for always being doubtful, and decides that he is to quench his curiosity once and for all, and find out if his friend is alive after all.

????: How much have we got dude? He says before shushing a person sitting against the wall.

Pierre immediately stops mumbling and listens intently. The conversation between the two continues to fail at drowning out someone's muffled screaming and insults, as if an ant was struggling to get the attention of two titans that were ignoring its very existence.

???????: Seven cans of food, ten bottles of almond water, one crossbow, a machete, and one arrow, He says as he rummages through his backpack

????: Dope. That should be enough for the week, I think… eh doesn't matter, this place is covered in vending machines. Snacks for days Leonard, snacks for days.

Someone begins to hyperventilate, before they begin to speak.

Ariel: Cough cough You fuckers! Lemme go!

It's obvious who this is, clear as day. It's Ariel, she's alive! Pierre opens his mouth nearly letting words pour out, but decides last second he doesn't wanna get kidnapped and lose all of his shit, but he can't just leave her here…

Leonard: Hold up, give me a second Will.

Leonard slaps a small strip of tape over Ariel's mouth. She struggles in response but her arms are bound together by rope. Ariel glares at Leonard but doesn't utter a word. Pierre's practically shaking in his boots as he watches. He glances towards his pocket, the only weapon he has is held within. He grabs what was once a gun out of his pocket, now reduced to a mere shank, its bottom half wrapped in cloth. It shines brightly as the ceiling lights reflect off of it.

Leonard: Leonard claps his hands a few times. There we go, perfect! His entire body seems to jitter a tiny bit as a grin grows across his face.

Will: Will looks dumfounded. Hey dude, uhhh quick question? Why the hell are we keeping the girl with us? Couldn't we just leave her here and keep moving? Drop her off somewhere safe, leave her to the Hounds, you know do something about this?

Leonard: You never know when we might need some food you know? If she brings nothing to the table, we cook 'er. He scoffs, looking at his machete like a madman.

Pierre quickly goes from confused to afraid as he clenches the shank. He feels as if he's watching an execution with his very own eyes, powerless to stop it. It's too late to go back now. Ariel won't let him hear the end of it if she gets out on her own anyways.

Will: His expression of concern quickly turns to one of disgust as he brandishes his crossbow. I've got no idea why I even bother with you anymore. He says with a sigh.

Leonard: He begins to cackle, but is quickly stiffled by a fit of coughs and wheezes. It's simple. You need me.

Pierre looks around the corner and finally gets a read on how the men look. Will seems to be a somewhat tanned man with black hair and blue eyes. He seems a bit lanky and boney. Leonard is a man almost as pale as paper, with grey hair to match. He seems to have a gaunt face and grey cloudy eyes? It's hard to tell, but Pierre guesses that maybe he has cataracts or something like that. Behind one of the men sits a girl with tape over her mouth. Upon closer inspection…

Pierre: Holy shit she's alive. This is good! He whispers, before coming to the sudden realization that her being alive also means it'll be his responsibility to lend her a hand in this situation. The weight of responsibility crushes down on him like an anvil as he begins to panic.

Pierre: Th-this isn't very good… He mumbles, gripping his shank with all his might, before quickly going back behind the corner. He's got to evaluate his choices here.

Pierre: Ok, ok, ok, Think Pierre, Think. Pierre says as he takes a few deep breaths to stay calm. He knows he can't keep losing his cool like this, this is what got Feurg killed after all. After a few seconds of thinking, he concludes that he has a few options. Option A: Run away from all this and leave her for dead- no, he can't do that. He'd be just as bad as the guy saving her for dinner. There's option B, save her while they're asleep. He hopes it's as easy as it sounds. The shank should do a good job of cutting the rope, making this the most practical option, or option C, violence. Both men look twice as strong as him, he can't even imagine taking them in a fight. So, that leaves option B. Pierre closes his eyes and takes a long deep breath. It's settled then.

Leonard: Then again, we might have to feed her though… so maybe it'd be best to get it out of the way sooner than later. Let's say tomorrow morning?

Will: Do I really even have a choice?

Leonard laughs as he grips the back of his machete with his free hand.

Leonard: Ahhhhhhh… nope. You're free to leave when we get to Level 11. Right now you need me, and I need you capeesh?

Will: Aight, aight, whatever.

Leonard: He pats on the floor before plopping down, seeing it's dry. "We're stopping here for tonight. Is that good with you? His eyes seem to glare into Will's soul. He's clearly not taking no for an answer.

Will rolls his eyes before nodding and plopping down beside Leonard. Where did everything go so wrong? He thinks back to how he got here, a skating accident gone wrong. He was about to pull what seemed like the sickest kickflip ever, before he faceplanted through the floor at least, so much for fame and recognition. After he got there, he traversed the barren moldy carpets of Level 0. Once he made it to Level 1, he met Leonard, a man far past his prime, and some company was better than no company. It's safe to say everything went downhill from there.

As the duo sits down, Will takes two cans of food out of his backpack, passing one to Leonard, and keeping the other for himself. They open both cans and begin to eat. Leonard seems to eat his food in mere seconds, practically devouring anything within his can. Will seems to be taking his time to eat his food. After eating two third's of what was within the can, he rips the tape off of Ariel's mouth and sorta just, pours the rest of it into her mouth. Ariel struggles a tiny bit but upon realizing its just food, she let's it happen. Leonard quickly slaps the tape back on her mouth soon after and glares at Will in complete silence.

Leonard: What the fuck do you think you're doing? He asks sarcastically.

Will: Keeping your "food" alive. He says internally smirking. This man is going to be the death of him eventually, so he might as well speed things up while he's at it.

Leonard: I should kick your ass. Should.

Both of them laugh awkwardly before laying down on the carpet. Leonard knows what he's doing tomorrow. This kid has lost his value. That food could've been used for something important and now it's gone. What a fucking waste. Tomorrow Will dies, the lady too. Will also has a plan and a simple one at that. Get the girl and get out. It'll be as easy as cake, right?

Pierre waits nearby, constantly trying to control his breathing and stay quiet. The two men out there clearly have conflicting morals, but will that stop him from being caught? Is he even good enough to do this in the first place? He's not intimidating nor brave, so how? What if he wakes one of them up, or even worse, both of them? Only time will tell. As the two men begin to snore, Pierre rounds the corner, and begins to walk towards them as quietly as he can.

As he steps towards the group, he begins to feel his arms waver and shake, but he needs to do this. Whether it's to get even with Ariel, save her life, or both. Is this what action movie characters feel like? If so, he pities anyone who has to go through something even half as nerve-wracking. His face is as pale as paper as he gets closer. Eventually when he gets close enough, he crouches down and taps Ariel's shoulder. Her eyes widen as her yells are muffled by the tape. Pierre's eyes dart left and right as he shushes her, seeing if she woke anyone. He waits for the men to start yelling at him, only to be greeted by an empty and uncomfortable silence. He begins to whisper as quietly as he can.

Pierre: We've gotta go like, right now. He says, pointing towards the nearest hall, hands still shaking. Now—now promise me you won't say a word, alright?

Ariel would do anything to get this damn tape off her mouth if she could. She really didn't expect him to come back for her. Pierre never really seemed like the brave type to her, but maybe she was wrong. Even if he isn't, it's clear he's something alright. After some thinking, she nods rapidly. The tape is slowly ripped off her mouth as she grits her teeth in pain.

Pierre: He wipes the sweat off of his forehead. There. Is that better? He mutters quietly, with a look of almost mother-like concern on his face.

Ariel: She nods, taking in the stale air. Yeah, I'm home free, so it's somethin' at the very least.

Pierre doesn't even bother responding verbally, out of fear they might wake up the men. He begins to cautiously walk away, gesturing at Ariel to follow him.

Ariel: Ariel looks at Pierre expectantly while tapping her foot against the carpeted floor. Wait hold up, hold up. Shouldn't we take our shite back? It's only fair.

Pierre: He looks back towards Ariel with a look of confusion on his face. Scr-screw the supplies! It'd wake them up, I'm sure of it man.

Ariel pauses for a second before slowly reaching for Leonard's bag. Pierre begins to lose his grip on the floor. Maybe his legs are giving out? It might just be his shoes, but who really knows.

Pierre: Are you crazy? Stop it! He yells as he claws through his hair, sweat beading down his forehead.

Her hands are right next to the zipper of his bag, before she suddenly stops and sighs.

Ariel: Aight, aight, fine, I'll stop. She says as she rolls her eyes

Pierre: He sighs in relief. He clearly didn't expect her to stop, even if he hoped she would. I'm not a genius or anything but we should really go. He says glancing towards the two snoring men on the floor. Despite being asleep, they still manage to look restless.

Will flips on his back in the middle of what seems to be a nightmare, mumbling incoherently as he does so. Pierre continues to walk away from the sleeping beauties on the floor, gesturing at Ariel to continue following him. After another long pause, she finally starts to follow him. Despite the risky move Ariel nearly pulled this rescue mission could be considered an astounding success, though Pierre clearly doesn't agree.

Pierre: That was way too-too close. Could we please just, stick together from now on?

Ariel: Whatchya mean? She says as she cocks her head to the side like a curious dog. It's clear she knows, but she'd still rather get it out of him.

Pierre: Like, no more running off on your own. No more taking fights you can't win. If you can't win it on your own, I sure as- Pierre's quickly cut off by Ariel.

Ariel: Ya need to keep up a bit more. I'm not tryin' to be an ass to ya but- Ariel stops talking abruptly and takes a long breath in and out. I gotcha. I fucked up bad, let's move on aight?

Though her statement is clearly hollow, it's clear that's what Pierre wants to hear. He wants her to improve. He wants to improve, it's the only way to survive this place after all. They need to learn to adapt and overcome, which is obviously easier said than done. Meanwhile, Will and Leonard finally wake up from their deep slumber. Will is clearly relieved to see the girl gone. Leonard on the other hand…

Leonard: He quickly yanks his machete out of its sheath and grips it tightly. Where in Sam Hill is the girl?! Leonard grits his teeth in anger, like a beast that lost its prey.

Will: Will immediately takes a few steps back and grabs his crossbow. Leonard is a bit unpredictable. He'd rather not incur his wrath, but if worst comes to worst, he always has his crossbow handy. Fuck if I know bro!

Leonard: Leonard takes a few deep breaths and sighs, putting his hands on his hips. Welp, I guess we got to go get our meal back.

Will: Will looks shocked at the implication that he'd even go along with this. What does Leonard take him for, a monster? Dude, no way in hell am I eating that shit dude. That's nasty.

Leonard: If you've got a weak stomach, that's fine. I'm gonna ask you one favor son, alright? You help me get the meat and in exchange, you get to live. I don't intend to take no for an answer, you understand?

Will: He raises his hand attempting to dissuade Leonard, but quickly puts it back down to his side. There's no reasoning with this guy. Sure he's human but he's way too far off the deep end. He's past the point of no return. Fine, you've got yourself a deal old man. He grins awkwardly as he cringes at the thought of eating human meat, but if feigning loyalty is what's going to keep him alive, he's got no other choice but to continue.

They both look at each other with awkward smiles as they clench their weapons in their hands, before continuing down the nearest hallway. Slight thuds echo on the floor within the hallway. Footsteps. This is the best lead they've got and they might as well follow it. The two groups keep on walking the endless carpet trail, as they slowly get closer and closer. Pierre and Ariel notice a new sound as the sounds of footsteps slowly arise from the chorus of humming arcades. The two quickly pick up their pace, knowing it can't mean anything but bad news. The footsteps become louder and faster as they pick up their pace. They turn every corner they find, hoping to lose whatever is chasing them, even if it sounds human, they'd rather not take the risk. As they dash around they end up bumping into a dead end. The footsteps behind them come to a slow halt. Pierre and Ariel turn around to face Will and Leonard. The two groups stare each other down in silence. Leonard breaks the silence by letting out a hearty chuckle, which is slowly ground to a halt by a fit of coughs.

Leonard: Y'all put in a good effort to get away. Especially you. He points at Pierre and scoffs.

Pierre: He points to himself in response. M-me? He's clearly intimidated by the man, but tries his best not to show it.

Leonard: Yeah, you. Why the fuck did you steal my meal. He mutters with bloodshot eyes, as he rests his machete on his shoulder. Will remains silent behind him.

Pierre: Ariel? He says with a wavering voice.

Ariel: I'mma fuckin person, not a meal dipshit. Get it right, and just fuck off. She spits on the floor in front of her and looks up at Leonard in pure anger. Kidnapping her is one thing, but trying to do it again? Why the fuck would you do that?

Leonard: Meat is a- He's cut off by Will, trying to get a word in.

Will: Are you really gonna cook a dude, Isn't that like- He's quickly cut off by Leonard.

Leonard: Simmer down boy. This ain't your choice. As I was saying, food is important. It's that simple. The more food we have, the better.

Pierre: He grabs Ariel's arm and slowly walks beside the wall in a poor attempt to evade Leonard. Listen, we-we'll just go. You can keep the canned food, alright?

Leonard: He has a look of bloodlust on his face. Canned food won't suffice anymore. It's better to be safe than sorry, and having as much food as possible couldn't hurt. Oh, I will, and you aren't goin' anywhere boy.

Leonard unsheathes his machete, its blade gleaming under the dim light cast over the level. Pierre looks at it in what seems like a morbid fear as he grips his shank tightly.

Ariel: She stomps her foot on the floor. Look dude, we outta here, end of story, so feck off already! She yells in a fit of rage.

Will: Come on man it's not worth it. We've got the canned food in the back. We're fine. we aren't just fine, we're super fine! We're well off enough… please, just drop it bro.

Leonard: Shut your trap. Stop talkin'. They're mine.

Leonard eyes Will. If they make it out alive, Will sure as hell won't.

Leonard: Cover me, we're eating good tonight.

Leonard quickly focuses his gaze on Ariel and Pierre as they promptly return the favor. For a split second, nothing but the hum of arcades fill the air as tensions between the three grow. Suddenly, he lunges towards Ariel in an attempt to stab her with his blade. She barely avoids fatal injury as the machete grazes her shoulder, practically shredding the surface layer of flesh, causing her to groan in agony. She can't give up now. Will watches indecisively as Leonard recklessly attempts to slash at Ariel, missing practically all of his hits. Pierre simply watches, practically shaking in his boots. He's never felt so useless in his entire life.

Will aims his crossbow at the two desperate survivors and looks at them, slowly swaying his crossbow left and right as he tries to decide who to shoot. Someone here might not make it back alive, and he has to be the one to choose.

Ariel: Lotta good gym class did ya! She says backing away from the range of his blade.

Leonard: He grits his teeth as he continues to slash towards her. Hold your tongue…

Ariel continues to barrage Leonard with insults as she keeps on dodging the edge of his blade. Leonard continues to slash at the air, slowly backing Ariel into a wall. Eventually, she bumps into something. It's the wall. End of the line. Leonard stabs at Ariel, completely missing, with his blade now stuck in the wall.

She lays on the floor, and pulls Leonard's leg, knocking him down. She quickly gets up and grabs the machete, only to be dragged back down to the floor, the machete flying out of her hands as she falls to the floor. Leonard gets off his knees and begins wailing on Ariel with his bare hands.

Leonard: He throws a punch at her face. "Lotta good gym class did ya!" He says in a mocking tone as he throws another punch while her nose begins to bleed.

Ariel coughs in agony as Leonard practically slams his hands on her face. Pierre is still there, just standing and watching. Will does the same, simply squeezing the grip of his crossbow in suspense. Leonard gets up off of his knees and grabs his machete. A small grin begins to grow on his face as he approaches the struggling Ariel.

Leonard: He raises the machete over his shoulder. Look where that mouth of yours got you brat! He yells sarcastically as he prepares to slam it down.

Pierre just can't take it anymore so Pierre finally makes his move. Standing around isn't going to cut it and he didn't come this far just to let Ariel die.

Pierre: You bastard, I'll fucking kill you! He yells in a mix of rage and complete fear as he charges at Leonard, knocking them both off of their feet and onto the floor. Despite his seemingly enraged tone, his facial expression is one of absolute horror.

Leonard: You think you've got guts kid? You don't got shit! He says, gripping his sturdy machete with as much force as he can. The palms of his hands bleed from the pressure of the handle while he crawls towards Pierre at lightning speed.

Will continues to quickly mumble quietly as he stares at the battle going on with all of his concentration, the amount of sweat on his face quickly growing.

Ariel lays unconscious on the floor. Pierre doesn't respond. He's got no clue how it was a good idea to tackle this guy, but he already went through with it. He's in for the long haul now. Leonard yells incoherently as he slams his machete towards Pierre, barely missing him while cutting off the edge of his shoe. Pierre continues to hyperventilate as the man approaches him. He begins to fumble with his shank while Leonard prepares to deal the killing blow. Leonard slashes his machete directly towards Pierre's head. This is it, the moment of truth. Pierre takes a breath in and out. It's as if time is slowing down around him. He clearly hasn't got a clue of what's going on but decides that it's best not to question it. Pierre clasps onto his shank and blocks Leonard's slash at a second's notice. Leonard looks at him in shock, this kid clearly didn't have the balls to do anything like this a second ago, so why now? Pierre takes this moment to try and stab Leonard in the chest, to little success as Leonard quickly regains his bearings and blocks the stab with the side of his machete. Pierre's eyes dart towards Leonard's face as he tries to stab him again. A loud meaty thunk echoes throughout the room as Pierre's shank pierces through Leonard's hand. Leonard grimaces in pain as he pulls the shank out of Pierre's hands.

Leonard: You… Little fucker! He yells as blood flows out of his left hand. He screams as he uses the knife embedded in his left hand to pin down Pierre.

Pierre screams in complete and absolute agony as the knife pierces his right shoulder, burrowing into his flesh. Leonard raises his machete in the air, prepared to deal the killing blow. Pierre cries out in pain, knowing this is the end for him. Suddenly a few select words make their way through the sea of screams and grunts.

Will: His eyes are watery as he aims his crossbow at Leonard. I'm sorry. He takes the shot. The bolt twirls through the air like a ballerina before running straight through the side of Leonard's stomach.

Leonard groans and falls on his side in agony as the bolt pierces through his stomach. He breathes slowly, occasionally coughing up a bit of blood as he does so. After a short while, he takes his last breath. Ariel is lying on the floor out cold from the blunt impact of his punches. Pierre muffles his own screams with his uninjured arm, slowly getting off of his feet and leaning on the wall. Will stares at the aftermath of the brutal battle as he takes a few deep breaths. Pierre's screams slowly come to a halt as he applies pressure to the gash in his shoulder. Will sighs and crouches down next to Ariel's unconscious body and checks her heartbeat. She's still alive.

Pierre: I'm… I'm so sorry He says under his breath.

Will: He turns his head towards Pierre under watery eyes and says It's not really your fault bro. He…. He was something. I don't know what this place did to him but… that thing wasn't human. He says in an attempt to convince both Pierre and himself that it was the right thing to do… They could've ran. Three young adults versus a middle-aged man seems like no contest, and yet he just stood there and watched. The fact he even had the guts to take the shot scares him.

Through gritted teeth, they sit down and stop for the night. This is the best chance they're going get to stop and wait for Ariel to wake up anyways. The two men sit down and quickly pass out as the smell of iron begins to fill the air.

A few hours later they all begin to wake up. Ariel sluggishly gets up and wipes the dried up blood on her face up. She's bruised and battered but she's alive. Pierre awakens laying against the wall as the bloody fissure in his shoulder slowly dries up, his body healing to the best of its ability. Will stares down at Leonard's lifeless body in sadness.

Ariel: She slowly stumbles over to Pierre and grabs him on his uninjured shoulder, shaking him. Wakey wakey dude! The hounds might be headed dis way, we gotta move! She says enthusiastically. Hol up… She quickly glances towards Will and gives him an angry look.

Pierre: He immediately jolts to his feet in a panic before taking a few deep breaths and regaining his composure. "Those things aren't good news. We-we've really gotta go.

Will: He rubs his eyes and turns around to see Pierre and Ariel. I've been here for a few weeks, so if there were hounds here, I'd know dude. Chill out. He says, trying his best to ignore the dead body in the room.

There's a long moment of awkward silence between the three before Will notices something.

Will: Hold up dude, we've gotta do something about that shoulder of yours. He says as he pulls out a cloth from his backpack and ties it to Pierre's injured shoulder. It's not much but it'll do for now.

Pierre: He exhales loudly in relief. He doesn't know much about medical care and such but hopes this will hold it from getting infected or something like that. You're a life saver, man.

Will: Just trying to help out, no worries. So- Will's instantly cut off by a loud slap to the face.

Ariel: Why the fuck did you kidnap me?! She yells at him in fury.

Will: He stumbles back and looks at her in confusion. Do you think that was my choice?

Pierre: Can you two just… cut it out please? I- Just like Will, he's also quickly cut off by Ariel.

Ariel: Listen bro, if he wants to fuck with us we aren't having that! It's that simple!

Will: He waves his hands as to shoo her away. Ok, ok, hear me out. I'll explain everything, just give me some time, ok? He might not be intimidated but it's clear she's making him very uncomfortable.

Ariel: And why the heck do I owe you the time of day for this?

Will: He begrudgingly points at Leonard's lifeless corpse, You owe me the time because I'm the reason you and your pal aren't his next meal anymore.

Ariel stares at the body and notices the crossbow bolt, so he's dead alright. She'd like to think Pierre is smart enough to not leave a threat to their safety around. Pierre looks at her and gives her a nod of confirmation.

Ariel: …Fine, but as soon as we find some place safe we're dropping you off, alright?

Will: He nods, just glad he was able to diffuse the situation. Fine by me dude, I just don't want another big fight that'll end like that. So, are we cool?

Pierre: He answers for Ariel, trying to stop her from saying anything stupid that'll get them killed. We're cool.

Will: Great, great. Will claps slowly and puts on his backpack. With that out of the way, lets get moving fellas.

A moment of silence welcomes the group as they pack up what little supplies they have. After getting everything they've got they get ready to head out, and begin walking.

Ariel: Hold up, is dis shit normal? She says as she points at the arcade machine.

Will: He shakes his head. I'm pretty sure it's not, but hell if I know.

Ariel: You think its safe?

Pierre: I really don't think its a good idea to try and find that out. He says while looking at Ariel in concern.

Will: The lil dude's got a point. Like you said, we don't have all day, so let's get moving.

Ariel pretends to ignore Will's statement as she grabs an empty can and tries to shove it onto the arcade machine joystick. Seconds later she is immediately pulled into the screen of the machine. Will and Pierre stare in shock at the arcade machine.

Pierre: He chuckles nervously, clearly distressed. Well, after you.

Will sighs and puts his hand inside of the machine's screen. The fact he isn't screaming in absolute pain convinces him he's safe as he phases into the arcade machine. Pierre pauses in front of the machine and takes a deep breath before phasing into it. The next thing they know, all 3 of them find themselves standing in a beach. The massive ocean of Level 121 greets them with several quiet and small waves.

Pierre: He chuckles again before smiling. Did we do it?

Will: Do what?

Pierre: You know… Did-did we make it out?

Ariel: Hell no we didn't! Look at that! She yells, pointing towards several small dead trees coated in spider webs. Alright people let's get to making a damn boat.

Pierre immediately backs up from the trees and gathers twigs to start a fire. Will on the other hand begins cutting at the trees using Leonard's old machete. It's slow but it gets the job done. After a few hours of work, they seem to have a huge stack of wood and webs.

Ariel: She looks confused. What the feck are we gonna do with this?

Will: He scoffs. Make a boat and get out or go into the woods over there. We've got no idea what's in either of those, but I'm pretty sure the ocean having no webs, and a tide is a good sign.

Pierre: He scratches at the side of his face. Doesn't that mean this place has a moon or something?

Ariel: She groans at Pierre's lack of knowledge and rolls her eyes. You ain't that smart are you?

Will: Come on bro he's close enough.

Pierre: L-look, I'm trying my best ok? Highschool didn't teach me anything about… whatever the heck this is. He says as he spreads his arms out gesturing to the entire island. He turns around and gestures at the ocean as well.

Will: He puts his hands on his hips and huffs. So, what'll it be?

Pierre: He answers for Ariel before she can even say anything. Let's get out of here please. I mean something had to make those webs, right? He seems to be looking left and right for any incoming beasts or monsters coming to get them.

Ariel: She rolls her eyes. Yeah, I wanna live with the giant spiders or whatever. An awkward silence fills the air before she clarifies. It's a joke, what he said I fuckin guess.

Will: Great, now would you mind helping me tie this raft together? An extra hair of hands is just what I need right about now. He says as he gathers logs of driftwood from the shore.

A few more hours of silence pass between the three as they finish making their raft. Thanks to Ariel's bravery, they managed to get Will checks his backpack for supplies. He's got three cans of imitation chicken and two bottles of almond water. He doubts this will last them, but it beats facing whatever the hell is in that forest. The three sit down on it to see if it can support their weight. It creaks under their weight before collapsing in to two pieces.

Ariel: Well that's just fucking great.

They all groan in distress, knowing this won't be as easy as they hoped. Though an abandoned campsite lays amidst the nearby sands, it seems relatively stripped of useful supplies.

Will: Alright people, you know the drill. Let's get some more web and wood.

Ariel: Damn it, fuck this. I'm gonna go get some more wood.

Pierre immediately works on starting a fire, he'd rather not get salmonella poisoning from eating canned fish. Ariel continues to chop at the trees while Will grabs clumps of web from them with his bare hands, tossing them onto the sand. Sweat pours down Ariel's face as she chops at the trees, taking seven hours just to chop down enough to make the raft. The supplies lay strewn across the camp as everyone finishes their business and sits down near the campfire. Each of them are slowly but surely greeted by the awkward silence that the island presents them with. Though a few birds chirp in the distance, they're slowly silenced by the crackling flames of the campfire.

Pierre: So… who are you? He asks, confused on what kind of person would kidnap Ariel, only to save her life.

Will: Just some kid trying to find his way.

Pierre: He shakes his head and coughs a bit. That's pretty neat, but I uh… I meant your name, If that's fine with you of course.

Will: I'm Will, It's a pleasure. He offers a handshake that Pierre begrudgingly accepts, hoping to god he doesn't have some kind of joybuzzer. Luckily for Pierre, he happens to not.

Pierre: I'm Pierre, same to you. He scratches his neck and looks away briefly. So… if you don't mind me asking, how'd you get here. I'm just a bit-bit curious is all.

Will: Well, I was trying to pull off a kickflip and I landed straight on my crotch. I managed to get up off the ground, but as soon as I did, I fell through the floor.

Pierre winces as he imagines the situation himself in his head. Ariel looks at the two, slightly angered.

Pierre: That's not very nice to imagine. He says as he scratches his arm. I've got a few more questions if you don't mind. Where are you fr- As per usual, he's cut off by Ariel.

Ariel: She groans loudly. Ok bud listen, why the fuck did you kidnap me!? I'm sick and tired of having to act like your buddy for even a minute. Pierre stares at her sorta hoping she gets the idea to stop it, without getting mad at him.

Will: He waves his hands around as to gesture her away. Holy crap, chill out man. I'll get to that in a second, aight?

Ariel: She rolls her eyes and groans. Make it quick dude.

Pierre: S-sorry, she gets angry pretty easily. He says as he scratches his neck.

Will: He coughs a few times. Anyways, I'm from Los Angeles, not that it matters much anymore. He spits out some phlegm into the sand. Soooo… Probably about time I explain the elephant in the room. That Cannibal's name is Leonard. We met a bit after I first got to Level 1, he was… different, back then.

Pierre: Not to butt in but, what do you mean?

Will: I was getting to that, just relax. We decided it was best to stick together, he was strong and I was smart, we were like brains and bronze. Everything was going so well, we occasionally even got to pick up a few other people. One night our group got ambushed by Hounds, killing most of us. Leonard wasn't so lucky, one of the hounds got on top of him and mauled the shit out of his head. It's honestly a miracle that they didn't tear through his face. One of my pals at the time slammed its head in with a pipe, serves it right. His body healed after a good bit but his mind never recovered, it only got worse. The Leonard I knew died that day. Slowly but surely, beasts picked off people in our group, until it was just us. The supplies we had lasted us a while but eventually we started to run out. Leonard was desperate, and to be completely honest with you, so was I, but I didn't sign up for cannibalism, nor kidnapping. The rest of it is history. He sighs loudly and smacks his lips as he looks down at the sand.

Will: There's your answer.

Pierre gives Will a distraught look while muttering incoherently.

Ariel: Annoyed, she rolls her eyes and groans. You mind speaking up a bit? I can't hear you for shit.

Pierre: He coughs, glancing up at her before raising his voice a tiny bit. It's just… It's just a bit fucked up is all, sorry.

Will: Sorry for what? You didn't do shit wrong. He says raising an eyebrow.

Pierre: I stabbed your friend and all, I-I just wanted to apologize for that is all. He says, scratching his neck.

Ariel: Dude he literally tried to stab the fuck out of us, no need to be sorry, he had it coming.

Will: He sighs and looks up towards Pierre. It's hard to agree on this but, she's got a good point, it was justified.

Ariel: She cracks her knuckles and stretches her arms. Yeah! If anything, you did the world a favor.

Will: Can we move on from this? It's not really a good topic and all, not to break your mood or anything.

Pierre: He nods a few times. Agreed, I'd rather not think about… all of that.

Ariel: Well then, what should we talk 'bout? She asks while dusting off her machete, expecting absolutely no answers.

Will: I don't think we're gonna find any new company any time soon, so maybe we could do something like icebreakers, maybe ask each other some questions?

Ariel: Oh hell no, I'm not reliving the first days of freshman year. She says, shaking her head and planting her feet into the sand.

Will: Do you have any better ideas? He comments, staring at her with pursed lips.

Ariel: She pauses for a few seconds. Fuck, ok fine I'll start. So. She grins. Any good personal stories?

Will: You've gotta be kidding me.

Pierre: He chuckles nervously and scratches his shoulder. Are you sure this is the best question? We're treading weird ground here.

Ariel: We gotta learn to trust each other somehow, aight?

Will: I think she's tryna say you don't have a choice in this. He remarks while he combs his hair with his hands.

Ariel: I-No… Come on, anyways it'll be fun, I promise. She says pleadingly.

Pierre: He takes a deep breath. Alright, let's get this over with. Does-does someone else mind going first?

Will: If it helps make you both comfortable, fuck it, why not. Back in middle school I kinda had a habit of doing really stupid shit that'd get me in big trouble, like lighting trashcans on fire or setting of smoke alarms. Life was really boring so I sorta felt like I had to spice it up. One day, back when I worked in the cafeteria, I got the particularly bright idea of sneaking sweet-tarts into the chicken sandwiches.

Ariel: She stifles a laugh. I'm gonna be real with you. That's fuckin hilarious.

Will: Will rolls his eyes and laughs. Well the school staff clearly didn't think so. It got me suspended for a solid two weeks, grounded for a month too. Sorry if that's underwhelming, I never really had many interesting stories.

Pierre: Don't worry about it man, it-it was a good story either way, alright? So, who's next?

Ariel: My turn! She says without waiting for any further input. Buffalo wasn't ever really a nice place to live, it wasn't a rare occurrence to get your shit stolen, and I just so happened to run into some assholes with baseball bats. Luckily I brought enough pepper spray to deal with most of them, but one of them got a good swing in on my leg with a the bat but it splintered in half as soon as it hit me. I mean it was kinda wack but I can't complain, some dude saw it all and got them sent to the slammer. So uhhh, yeah. Good riddance.

Will: How long do you think they'll be locked up in there?

Ariel: At least a solid few years, hope some fucker makes it hell for them. Not much weird shit ever happened in Buffalo, just alotta crime.

For a short bit, silence surrounds the group as they look at each other, waiting for someone to break the silence. Pierre begins to space out

Ariel: She stares at Pierre, waiting for him to say his story. You know it's your turn now, right?

Pierre: Pierre immediately jumps up a tiny bit, before letting out a sigh of relief, seeing that nothing happened while he spaced out. Oh shit!- Did I miss something?

Will: Not really, we just wanted to let you know it's your turn to share, don't feel pressured.

Pierre: He mumbles swears under his breath as he composes himself, eventually he manages to get a grip and a good idea of what he's going to share. He's needed to get this out for a while anyways. I… I hope y'all don't mind a story that's like, really personal.

Will: Hey man, I can keep a secret, not like there's anyone to share it with out here anyways.

Pierre: Well ok then, here goes nothing. Pierre cracks his knuckles and tries his best to get into a comfortable position before he starts. So, it all started back when I was just a kid, my mom wasn't even ready to have my brother yet, but I mean it happened either way. I-I'm getting off topic, ok, ok. Pierre's muscles begin to tighten as he takes a deep breath and continues.

Pierre: Back when I was a kid, my dad was out fighting in the French Military in some small country, Kuwait? It was really bloody and brutal, at least that's what he said or in his own words, "Kuwait's the scariest place you could ever be. The silence of the battlefield, the uncertainty of what's next, it all just makes for a horrible time." He never really liked to talk about it, it changed him. He acted really shallow. His love for the family just never felt genuine since he came back. I just- He's cut off by Ariel.

Ariel: Dude chill the heck out! I didn't mean your darkest secrets.

Pierre: Is it- would y'all be fine if I stopped there? He looks tired, clearly regretting bringing this up in the first place.

Will: Will shushes him and nods. Of course fam. I'm gonna be real with you, I barely understood any of that anyways.

Pierre: He sighs in relief as his muscles slowly loosen. Holy shit, thank you.

Ariel: Holy hell that went sour fast. She stretches her arms upwards and yawns.

Will: I've got no clue what time it is back home but I'm tired as fuck man. Anyone else want to hit the hay?

Pierre: I seriously, have never needed to just collapse and pass out more than I do right now, If you don't mind of course.

Ariel: Ariel scoffs. I don't think he even would've asked ya if he minded.

Pierre: He mentally berates himself for making the rather small and simple mistake. Yeah, yeah my bad.

Ariel: Actually, hold on a second. Shouldn't we finish the boat tonight? We could probably leave as soon as we all wake up again, right? She says, scratching her back.

Pierre: I don't mean to be rude, but what if we pass out before we finish?

Pierre and Will lie down on the sand, it's not necessarily a great cushion but it's better than sleeping on the logs and webs. The silence of the forest behind them both unnerves them and provides them with the comfort of knowing that nothing is out to get them. One by one, both of them slowly fall asleep. Ariel on the other hand, quickly snatches up some logs and webbing. She cringes in disgust as soon as she grabs the webbing. It feels extremely sticky and ropey, as if it were meant to be used to catch prey, though after a few seconds she quickly gets used to the sensation and gets an idea. Instead of tying the logs together elaborately, why not just wrap it around the logs, if it sticks to wood as well as it does to her hands, it should work the exact same way as rope, and take way less time to set up. "That's so smart why didn't we think of that earlier?" She mumbles to herself. With the large amount of webbing gathered, she manages to wrap it around the logs in about ten minutes. She dusts her hands off and looks at the raft, smiling in pride, it's good to know her handiwork won't go unnoticed. Ariel quickly plops down on the log raft and tries her best to get comfortable. Though it takes a good while eventually she gets into a comfortable position and passes out.

Ariel: With morning quickly arriving, she quickly hops up off the sand and rushes over to Pierre, shaking him around by his shoulders. Wakey wakey bro! We've gotta go!

Pierre: He jumps to his feet, fearing the worst is yet to come. Go where?!

Will: He rubs his eyes and slowly gets to his feet. What the hell is going on?

Ariel: Check it! She points towards the raft enthusiastically.

Pierre: Wait, what? You finished the raft? He says, clearly a bit confused on how she got it done overnight without passing out.

Ariel: Duh!, what's it look like?

Will: Will slings on his backpack. Damn, that was fast. Guessing you're way more than ready to ditch this popsicle stand.

Ariel: Hey you said it, not me.

Pierre: Pierre's eyes widen as he has a sudden revelation. Wait a minute, how the heck do we even know this ocean even goes anywhere?

Ariel: We don't, but there's only one way to find out, right?

Will: He nods in response. I know logic doesn't mean bull here but just think about the fact that this might be earth. In fact, it probably is! No other planet has a blue sky and breathable air, right? Just makin an educated guess. Not to peer pressure you, but I'm going whether y'all are or not, and even then, I'm damn sure Ariel wants to come along too, she literally made the raft after all.

Will: So, is everyone ready? He says, assuming Pierre wants to go as well. He walks up to the raft.

Pierre: As long as we're going anywhere but this island, I couldn't be more ready. He says, hoping Will's assumption is true as the three begin to push the raft into the water. They hop on as fast as they can after making sure they have all their supplies, and sail forward.

Ariel: So long spooky island. She says longingly.

Pierre: He looks confused. Why do you sound like you miss the island?

Ariel: Well ya see, it could've had spooky ghosts, food, shelter, everything we needed in there!

Pierre: Well-well if you ever come back here, don't feel obligated to hand me an invitation. He says sarcastically. Seriously though, let's just pl-please not do that.

Ariel: It's a joke dude, you honestly think I'm that dense?

Will: Alright guys break it up. We've got a long trip ahead of us I think. He blinks a few times and smacks his lips. So, lets do some more icebreakers. I bet you guys did some cool shit in your life, right?

Pierre immediately shakes his head, hell no he hasn't.

Ariel: In revenge for not letting her answer Will's sarcastic question earlier, she answers the question for both Pierre and herself. He's just some dip from Kansas or something and I'm from Buffalo, New York.

Will: He nods. Safe to say you dudes lived very different lives. Anything cool happening back on earth?

Ariel: Politics and crazy shit.

Will: Ah, so nothing changed.

Ariel: Yeeeeeep.

Will: Shit let me think. He pauses briefly. I've been to Japan before, it's a pretty crazy place. Speaking of that, have you guys been anywhere cool back home?

Ariel: Oh yea, I got some. I went to Toronto I guess. They've got Tim Hortons up there so it's pretty dope.

Pierre: I mean, I went to the Grand Canyon once… He looks down in silence. It didn't really go well.

Will: Oh. He pauses for a solid minute or two while trying to think of what he could possibly mean. I'm sorry to hear that.

Pierre: No, no, it's fine. Life deals you cruel hands sometimes. I've just got to learn to take them better.

They sit in silence for a while. Due to all the physical labor required to make a raft, everybody seems extremely tired and unwilling to talk much more. Slowly but surely each of them passes out, leaving the raft silent. When they wake up the next morning, they're shocked to find they've already reached land.

Pierre: What in the hell?

A small cityscape lays beyond the shore. The long road of Level 125 intersects between the buildings, going further than the eye can see. Will and Pierre cautiously exit the raft and step ashore while Ariel runs ashore, basking in the sunlight.

Ariel: Woooo, we're home-free baby! Eat it! Her screams echo through the air. Other than the waves pushing up against the shore, the area is completely silent.

Pierre: This doesn't sound like home. He says, staring at the city practically frozen in time.

Will: Well bro, home is what you make it, right?

After getting their bearings, the three follow the road through the city. The stoplights above seem to be changing at random intervals as they walk the lonesome road. After a bit of walking, all three of them stop in their tracks after noticing a building beside them. It's massive and wide, a huge sign labeled "COSTA GRANDE" welcomes them from outside. The three funnel into the building and are swiftly greeted by the inside of a seemingly abandoned mall. Sunlight peaks through the holes in the ceiling of the building, illuminating the dust floating through the air. Grass can be seen growing through the tile flooring, dew occasionally dropping from their blades. Pierre stares in awe. He feels as if the voice of Feurg is telling him "This is it". This could be…

Pierre: Is this… Is this…

Ariel: Come on dude spit it out, we listening.

Pierre: Well you know what Will said about "home is what you make it"? I-I mean it's cheesy but… maybe he's right.

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