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Private I Don't Like This Adventure

Discussion in 'Horizon' started by James Holden, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
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    JANUARY 11TH || YEAR 7
    TAG: @Jefferson McDonough


    When he finally came round the first thing he noticed was how much he hurt. Not just one specified regional section of his body either but all of it, some hurt more than others like the muscles across his stomach felt like they’d gone through some sort of rigorous workout and the top of his right arm was aching and sore. His head also hurt, his face felt bruised and scuffed and so did the rest of him, scattered pains where small booted feet and fists had clobbered him while he was down.

    He came round slowly and reached a hand to touch the side of his head as he pushed himself upright into a seated position. He was surrounded by foliage and sat on a dirt floor but that was secondary information to the pain he was currently mentally cataloguing. His vision was a bit fuzzy in one eye where he’d taken a glancing blow over the eyebrow ridge and it had swelled up enough to partially shut his eye. Black ugly bruising was coming out on it now and touching it felt tender. He had a bruised and split lower lip with dried blood on it, it still stung as he ran his tongue across it. But his arm.

    He pushed the sleeve of his grey sweater up a little to look at what the injury was that seemed to hurt so much. There was a grey-metal implant in his arm and it was blackened like it had been burned somehow, there was dried crusted blood around it and automatically he touched it and it moved, causing a stabbing pain in his arm. He peeled it off his skin, leaving a mark on the skin behind him and stared at it. What in the hell was that thing and why was it in his arm? He stared at it and then tossed it aside like it was hot. It wasn’t he just didn’t want to handle it if it was something weird.

    He looked up and round himself which as when he took in the surroundings. Trees, jungle-like, he was sat on dirt and there was a tree behind him. Some scuff marks in the dirt around him indicated someone had dumped him here and then taken off and that was it. He had no idea where he was. That wasn’t all though as it began to sink in. He didn’t know where he was…he didn’t know anything. Who was he? What was his name? Where was he from? He remembered the children and the taser and being beaten and robbed but he didn’t remember anything before that or after it! He didn’t know who he was! The panic started to set in at the realisation that he didn’t know anything, then to make it worse something started thundering towards him through the undergrowth…


     
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  2. Jefferson McDonough

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    Horizon. It was his first time here and he was scoping the place out. It had a hangar with planes in it and the thought that this was where he needed to be seemed a little bit like a stretch. After all, he knew where he needed to be, but the game had decided to take him to Pandora, which was ... not Jumanji. Or maybe it was a place in Jumanji. Hell if he knew what was going on anymore. Still, he kept going back to the hangar idea. He had to get past the next level and that level had to do with a hangar and a plane, and--

    And then he heard something.

    Drawn from his thoughts, Alex whirled around in his boots, brown eyes look toward the trees where the jungle started. He heard a shout and he swore he could feel the ground trembling just a tiny bit under his feet. And although his instinct was honestly to turn the other way, he stood there in pure conflict for a moment before gritting his teeth and jogging in that direction, passing one tree and then another and then another until the scene opened up to a huge hippo bearing down on some random guy he'd never seen before in his life. Clearly another NPC.

    Aha. He was supposed to save him. NPC's didn't get randomly attacked for no reason, this was it, this was his quest. Except Alex didn't really want it. He just wanted to sit in a treehouse and spray everything with bug spray and drink margaritas.

    Instead, he was tackling the poor confused NPC to the ground just as the giant hippo leaped for him. Hippos were already huge. This one was, like ... huge.

     
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  3. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
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    Why was there thundering? Why was the ground shaking? He pushed his current terror about not knowing who he was or how he’d gotten there aside because the crashing through the undergrowth was now loud. Instinctively he scrabbled back and up onto his feet. Everything screamed in pain and his vision swam for a moment behind his swollen eyelid. He grasped for a nearby tree and steadied himself in time for the biggest monster he’d ever seen to come crashing into the clearing. This was it wasn’t actually a monster it was a hippo…he just couldn’t remember what a hippo was. For him, this was the first time he’d ever seen anything like it and understandably his first instinct was to make a strangled scream of terror and try to get out the way.

    He tripped on a root, stiff muscles making the sharp tug at his foot hurt all they way up his thighs. He staggered backwards as the hippo opened its big mouth and roared at him. Stinking hot breath hit him square in the face and he grimaced and cringed back from it. A second later a solid weight crashed into him and took him to the ground. He ate dirt for the second time and all the air rushed out of his lungs. There was a huge crashing thud and he was distantly aware the hippo had lunged and just landed and was turning around again. He was also aware someone was on top of him, the solid weight that had collided with him and taken him to the ground was another person!

    Choking out a mouthful of dirt he scrabbled to try and escape whatever was happening, whatever kind of nightmare this was because sure he’d wake up any second now and know what the hell was going on right? Right?


     
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  4. Jefferson McDonough

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    There was definitely no gentle way to go leaping into another person, so the collision hurt a little more than just a little bit as the pair of men hit the ground and rolled into the dirt, Alex ending up half on top of the other guy who, staring down at him, he very quickly realized was already in pretty crappy shape. He was bruised, his eye was swollen up, and his lip was all split. He looked like he'd been in a fight and had definitely lost horribly. "Whoa, man, you have totally seen better days," he remarked, but he didn't waste any time as he pushed off of the ground, hands grabbing the guy by the collar of his shirt to drag him back to his feet

    "I'm guessing that giant hippo thing didn't do all that to you. I think it just wants to swallow you whole, to be honest." Already, he was whipping it's head around toward the huge shape which was currently righting itself since it had apparently somehow managed to fall, giant skid marks in the dirt, before it tumbled onto its back.

     
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  5. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
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    He’d thought everything had hurt a moment ago but he’d been very wrong about that. He’d been so wrong. The collision first with the other person followed by the heavy hit of the floor colliding with his chest made everything that already hurt, hurt more. He’d not really thought that would be possible until it did. Now he was on the floor spluttering and wheezing for air, his ribs ached with every breath and the weight of the guy on top of him wasn’t helping. He twisted slightly, coming face to face with some guy with dark hair, a leather jacket and a face he didn’t recognise in the slightest. He stared at him in bewildered confusion.

    ”What’s a hippo?” He asked in a voice pitched higher than normal, ”Who are you?” Another pitch higher, frantic now, ”What the hell is happening?!”

    He choked and made a strangled sound of distress as the guy suddenly clambered off him and then used the collar of his already ripped and torn sweater to haul him into his feet. He went clumsily, struggling to find his balance and windmilled his arms a little until he came upright, or at least upright enough to plant his hands on his knees and look at the huge beast rolling upright.

    ”What the hell is that?” He demanded, looking with wide eyes (or as wide as his swelled eye would go) at the hippo, ”Should…should we still be standing here?” He asked and straightened up to back off a few steps as it looked like the giant creature was getting back to its feet. ”Hey…hey uh-” He didn’t know the guys name, ”-whoever you are, should we still be here?!”

     
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  6. Jefferson McDonough

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    "Dude, are you on drugs?!" was the first thing he blurted out because, god, this guy had no clue what was going on. He didn't even know what a hippo was, apparently, and despite its size, the thing in front of them was clearly a hippo. A really, really big hippo that apparently wanted to murder them.

    Alex's eyes flicked from the creature rolling upright to the guy and then back again. Okay, he had a point. The hippo was now turning to set its eyes on the pair of them and as tempting as it was to try to play the hero, it was very easy to register just how big this thing actually was when it was right in front of them like that. And he was probably like a bug in comparison. So he backed up one step, and then another step, and then suddenly, he was reaching for the other guy's sleeve.

    In one slightly panicky movement, Alex whirled around and pushed against the guy's back to get him going. "We should totally be running, let's run, let's go!" he shouted with urgency. He really didn't want to die again. For good this time.

     
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  7. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
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    ”What?” He asked in high pitched bewilderment, ”No!” He protested defensively and then paused and furrowed his brow, ”I don’t think so?”

    Maybe that would explain this? Wouldn’t it? A drug. Had those kids drugged him or something else? He remembered them mobbing him and then they’d all backed off and there’d been a bright light and that was the point he recalled where it all changed. Then he’d woken up here and now this was happening. They could have drugged him but he didn’t feel drugged or lethargic, he just felt confused and sore. And terrified.

    The hippo was huge, he had no recollection of ever having seen one before and until the guy had given it a name he’d not known what it was. Even now he wasn’t entirely sure what it was, it just looked really angry and he didn’t want to be here! He felt a tug on his sleeve from the other guy and in the next second they were running with the other guy pushing at his back to get him going faster.

    That was all well and good if you were on a good day. He was not on a good day, he was exhausted, confused, sore and with every running step something else started to protest that it hurt too. He was pretty sure he was losing the vision out of one side of his face too because the swelling was closing his eye shut. Which meant his depth perception was out and he wasn’t used to running either. He was quickly gasping and struggling for air, tripping clumsily over roots and vines and occasionally being blindly thwapped in the face by them at face height too. After nearly faceplanting he decided he was done. He’d just die if he had to, it might be easier at this point.

    ”I can’t-” he wheezed and stumbled to a stop, bent forward, hands clapped onto his thighs as he gasped for breath, ”I can’t keep running!”

     
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  8. Jefferson McDonough

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    At first, Alex hadn't even realized the other guy had stopped, eventually skidding to a halt himself and whirling around to see him bent over, hands on his knees, wheezing as he tried and failed to catch his breath. He could already hear that thing rumbling toward them and it wouldn't be a minute before it would burst through the trees and swallow them hole.

    "What?! What, no! You-- We have to run!" he cried, scrambling back to his side as his arms flailed around in front of him. "Dude, do you realize that we are both gonna die if we stay here?!"

    He couldn't die. Not again. He didn't want to again. And so, after another couple of seconds, the sound of those giant feet thundering closer and closer, Alex looked him in the eye.

    "Get on my back."

     
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  9. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
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    Jim couldn’t breathe. Well he could but his ribs were sore and aching and he sort of wished he didn’t need to use them. He certainly didn’t have the energy to go running off through the jungle. It was hot here too and he was starting to sweat and overheat and now he though about it his mouth was dry and he was thirsty. Like he’d not drunk anything in a while. He couldn’t remember how long since he’d drunk anything. Or eaten either though he didn’t feel overly hungry right now.

    Jim pulled a face that said he did realise that he might die and considering how he was feeling it wasn’t actually sounding too bad right now and straightened up. He was panting exhaustedly and looked like he’d been run over by a truck, a couple of times. He’d straightened up because the other guy, whose name he didn’t know still, had just told him to get on his back.

    What? he said, face screwing up in horror as he caught his breath. ”No!” What the hell did this guy think he was going to do, carry him? For one he was not trusting some total stranger to physically carry him and secondly he was pretty sure this guy did not know what he was getting himself into. He didn’t know how much he weighed but there was no way this kid was going to lug him through the jungle.

    The thundering and crashing was getting closer again.

    ”You’re kidding right?” He tipped his head back slightly like he was looking for strength and took a deep breath, ”I can’t do this.” he groaned and then said, ”I’ll run…go. I’ll be right behind you.” probably lagging behind you, he thought to himself.

     
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  10. Jefferson McDonough

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    Okay, so he wasn't into the whole getting on his back idea. If Alex were in his shoes, he probably wouldn't exactly want to get on his back either, but desperate times called for measures and trying not to die was about as desperate as it got. Only this guy gave off the vibe of wanting to give up. Like hell was he giving up. This stupid NPC was the only reason he'd even come over here, this was his goddamn mission.

    There was an urgent look on Alex's face, the kind that said they really didn't have time to stop and think about it. And so, that look was relief and then determination once he finally made his decision. He didn't really trust that he'd be right behind him, but he decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and turned to start racing away in the direction they'd been heading in. "Come on!" he shouted over his shoulder.

    As though on cue, the giant hippo burst from the trees behind them, the ground trembling with the weight of it, and Alex felt himself stumble a little bit, his heart racing in his chest.

    Oh god, oh god, oh god.

    That was when he spotted the little gap in the wall ahead, the cliffside gaping overhead. There was a little cavern that the two could slip into, though it would be snug. Still, there was no way that hippo was getting in there. "Follow me!" he shouted, and within ten more seconds, he was sliding into the gap, having to straighten himself while watching his head in order to fit. And then he stuck his hand out from the dark, watching the guy behind him, wiggling his fingers and waving his hand around as though that might make him go a little faster.

    The hippo was gaining on him.

     
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  11. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
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    For a moment he was afraid the guy was going to push the whole ‘get on my back’ thing and all he could imagine was the other deeply regretting that choice within three steps and both of them ending up in a heap on the floor as the terrifying man-eating hippo broke through the undergrowth behind them. They both died, the end. Thankfully he didn’t, despite concerns, but he did look slightly frustrated by it and he did look urgent. Alright, so he got the message, no giving up and dying today even if it hurt and even if just laying down and accepting fate felt like an easier option right now.

    The guy took off and all he could do was pull a pained face, gasp down some more air and limp off after him at a slightly steadier pace made awkward by the fact that his muscles were stiffening up and the bruising was really coming out now. He tripped and stumbled over vines and did nothing to catch the other guy up but the roaring crash of the beast breathing through the trees behind them, making the earth shake under his feet was enough of an adrenaline boost to make him pick up the pace. Okay so he didn’t actually want to die. Good to know.

    He heard the other guy cry a distant ‘follow me’ and though to himself that he had been doing anyway and hoped he had a plan. He followed his course and then the other guy disappeared into the wall? For a moment he hesitated fumbled some vines aside, saw a hand jut out slightly to the left, found the opening and ducked inside himself. It was not made for tall people. He crammed straight into the other guy with a terrified ‘oof’ sound and then tried to cram in a little further because the hippo was still coming at the wall.

    He screamed about a second before the hippos head collided with the wall, making the whole place shake and loosening a couple of chips of rock overhead. Scrabbling backwards as the hippo went nuts at the entrance, he realised it couldn’t get through the stone. Finally, panting and chest heaving, he stopped panicking.

    ”Lets never do that again.” He announced.

     
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  12. Jefferson McDonough

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    The guy was definitely further behind him than he would have liked, but what was stopping to let him catch up gonna do? Get them both killed? Honestly, it was a good thing he hadn't because then he might've missed that little barely person-sized hole in the wall and they might not have managed to make it to safety.

    Though 'safety' honestly felt like a very loose term once they were both in there and the hippo was slamming its huge head against stone, their surroundings rumbling as though threatening to cave in on them. Okay, so they could die like this, too, and when he felt what was honestly probably nothing more than a pebble bump the top of his head, Alex suddenly screamed in contrast to the other guy's admittedly more calm reaction. He screamed and his arms reached for the nearest thing to hold onto, which just happened to be ... the other guy.

    And then there was another slam against the wall from the outside and Alex clung harder. "Oh god, oh god, I don't wanna die. You're just gonna regenerate for the next players, dude, if I die-- I'm just-- I'm just dead!" he rambled, his heart pounding away in his chest.

    The hippo was going nuts again outside, but it couldn't get in, and to be honest, it didn't seem like there was any real chance of a cave-in happening either the longer this went on. And the longer this went on, the more bored the hippo started to get.

     
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  13. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
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    Okay so they might die in here if the entrance caved in, they’d be crushed to death by rocks and suffocate. That was not admittedly a good end to what he was considering was a short life on account of not remembering anything else of it so far. He didn’t even know how old he was but this seemed unfair considering they’d gotten away from the hippo itself. Mostly. However with every bang of the hippos head against the wall it was definitely sounding like a better death than being chomped to bits. Also…the cave seemed to be holding. For that he was thankful and he settled a little.

    Then the other guy screamed, startling him so hard he flinched back and wondered what the hell was going on. Was he dying back there what was happening?! Suddenly he was being clung to and he, (he was going to have to think of a name for himself because he couldn’t think of his own name, did he even have one?), stared over at the guy with shocked wide eyes.

    ”What?!” He replied in bewilderment, ”What do you mean regenerate? Did this guy know something he didn’t? Was that why he couldn’t remember anything? Had he died in the alley with the children and the light was his death and this was his…regeneration. That was insane. Insane and ridiculous. ”Are you crazy?

    However the other guy seemed to be genuinely freaking out and he didn’t know where it came from but he knew how to deal with that. He twisted round and turned to face the guy.

    ”Hey…hey , you’re not gonna die. You’re just in shock.”
    You know the symptoms. He reassured the other guy, reaching out both hands to take hold of his shoulders firmly to ground him. He faced him and held eye contact, ”You’re going to be alright, breathe through your nose, calm. Deep breath…and breathe.” Behind the Hippo’s incessant banging seemed to slow. Then it finally stopped. He looked over his shoulder and then back to the other guy, ”Listen…I think it’s leaving.”

     
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  14. Jefferson McDonough

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    Oh god, he'd said all that out loud to an NPC. Of course he was gonna think he was insane. Who wouldn't? But Alex was honestly freaking out too much to try to defend himself, as though he was suddenly hopelessly tongue-tied. If they stayed in here, they might die. If they went out there, they might also die, and then it was a matter of which death was worth. Death by rocks or death by man-eating hippo? There was literally no right answer to that question, was there?

    Suddenly there were hands on his shoulders, forcing Alex to let go of the other guy and thus realizing he'd been clinging to him in the first place. Well, that was a little on the embarrassing side. Instead of focusing on that, though, Alex was staring at the other guy, his dark eyes wide as he gave one hesitant nod of the head and then another and then one more, working to consciously breath in and out through his nose to calm himself down.

    They could do this. They could get through this and live.

    For a moment, Alex dropped his gaze, yanking up the sleeve of his leather jacket to get another look at the one remaining lifeline, which looked nothing more than a black rectangle tattooed onto his wrist. It was still there. Just the one. Swallowing thickly, he looked back up, releasing his sleeve and then looking back out to the light on the other side of the wall where they could vaguely see the shape of the hippo getting smaller and smaller as it wandered in the other direction.

    "Okay," he muttered, hesitating and then moving toward the edge again, waiting until the moment the thing was out of sight and then even several seconds later before he finally started to slip back out into the sunlight. "Okay, we're okay. We're okay, everything's fine." Only it may not have been because Alex suddenly spotted a little black insect buzz past his face and without a second of hesitation but with a slight sound of distress, he was whipping out a little travel-sized container and aggressively spraying the air all around him, and then himself, and then he was whirling around and spraying his companion as he came out into the open, too.

     
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  15. James Holden

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    Thankfully the other guy, he really needed to ask him what to call him, had calmed down fairly quickly and once the hippo stopped assaulting the wall loudly and causing the whole place to quake and shake, it was easier not to feel that stab of terror in his own heart every time it collided too. He went quiet, straining his ears to listen for any sound of it coming back but it didn’t seem like it was going to try again and from the sounds of it outside, it sounded like it was giving up and leaving.

    Distractedly the other guy looked at his wrist and he wondered if he was looking at a watch or something before he covered it up and then left the cave. Hurrying after him, hissing in a low whisper that he was crazy if he was going out there, he slowly emerged behind him. Considerably more wary than the other guy was being, he edged out into the light, wincing at the brightness through his one good eye. He raised a hand to shield his face from the light and looked around the area expecting that thing to burst out at any moment.

    ”Everything’s fine?” He repeated in a low hiss because he didn’t want to attract attention to them and looked over at the guy, ”It’s not fi-” The rest of what he was going to say was lost in the hiss of a bug spray can being wildly sprayed in his direction. He took a lungful of it through his mouth, which tasted revolting and then started coughing and spluttering. Bug spray in the mouth was really just the icing on the cake of pain because it burned a little bit too. Creasing over at the waist he planted on a hand on his chest, one hand on his thigh and coughed the bug spray out of his mouth before spitting a mouthful out onto the floor.

    ”What is wrong with you?” he demanded once he’d stopped coughing, Who are you?”

     
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  16. Jefferson McDonough

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    The guy was still freaking out and, honestly, maybe Alex should have given him some sort of warning before he decided to spray him all over with bug spray. Things like that didn’t necessarily always cross his mind when situations were life and death. And while something as simple as a bug bite might’ve been harmless for someone else, it could have been fatal for him.

    “Sorry, sorry! I should’ve given you some warning, it’s just for-- for my safety, man, you know?” he said. But then he was hesitating, almost sticking his hand out to introduce himself as Alex. He couldn’t do that, though, this was an NPC who was expecting someone awesome and totally epic. So Alex cleared his throat, straightened up, and puffed up his chest. “I’m Jefferson Seaplane McDonough. Your hero.”

    Except nothing about the way he’d just reacted to what happened really implied ‘hero’.

     
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  17. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
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    Pulling faces because he could still taste the bug spray, did not ‘know, man’. He had no idea what this guy was doing or what he was now wildly spraying around himself aside from the fact that is tasted disgusting and just five minutes ago this guy had been border lining a panic attack because he thought he would respawn and he’d just die. What did that even mean?

    So he stared at him with a slight squint, only slight because one eye had closed up with bruising now and it sort of hurt to pull any kind of facial expression. But he was confused and he was a little bit scared and he was also angry because what the hell was happening?

    His expression didn’t change when the guy’s chest puffed up proudly and he announced his name in a way that probably should have come with a little fanfare. For some reason the word ‘seaplane’ really stood out because amongst the rest of the insanity how was that a name?

    ”Hero.” He repeated very slowly, ”Is that a real name because that sounds like a pretty bad fake name. Seaplane?” He asked and looked sceptical, ”Actually you know what, I really don’t mind what your name is or who you are but I would really like to know where the hell am I and how did I get here? He also wanted to ask who he was but that was not a question you asked crazy people in the woods.

     
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  18. Jefferson McDonough

    Posts:
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    Male
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    "I didn't pick it, dude," Alex muttered in response. This guy wasn't really buying it, the whole hero thing. Did he not look like a hero? The game had literally created him so that he would look like a hero. Distractedly, he looked down at himself as though double checking to make sure he still looked the same.

    Then, the more he spoke, the more it sank in what was actually going on here. He wasn't an NPC at all.

    He was a player.

    "... Holy crap, dude. Are you-- You're a player?!" Suddenly, the impressive he'd been trying to have melted away and Alex was perking up and grinning at him. "I am so stoked, do you know how long I've been here for? My name's actually Alex," he suddenly said, sticking his hand out for him to shake. "You're in Jumanji. Like, the game. You're literally in the videogame. I think this is a part of the game that takes you to some place called Pandora and now we have to get back to Jumanji so we can save the place and get the hell home. Seriously, dude, I never thought I'd miss sit-down dinner with my parents."

     
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  19. James Holden

    James Holden The Expanse
    He's an idiot but he's not stupid.

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    [​IMG]

    Honestly the more this conversation progressed the more tempting it was to just throw caution to the wind and walk out into the jungle and hope for the best, because even if the angry hippo came back it would probably make more sense than this guy did.

    Was he a player? He didn’t know, was, he, was that why he couldn’t remember anything, what even was a player? Then ‘Seaplane’ continued and he found himself stared at the guy with a renewed sense of concern for the guys state of mind. Jumanji was not a game he was familiar with, then again nothing was familiar right now, but what he did know was that he’d been in Pandora Town, he’d been attacked and now he was in a jungle somewhere.

    ”The…jungle is Jumanji?” He asked, attempting to make sense of what the guy was saying, ”I don’t- what do you mean in a video game?” he stopped and looked around with his one good eye because this did not look like a video game or anything but a plain old jungle. He looked back to Alex, as he now seemed to want to be called and looked confused again.

    ”If your name is Alex, why did you tell me it was…Seaplane?” He stepped back and rubbed his hand over his forehead delicately because things hurt and were bruised but he was confused and frustrated, ”Okay even if your crazy video-game story checks out, why am I in it? I was in Pandora Town I was-” He paused because he didn’t know what he was doing, ”How could I be there and then be here? I have to get back there, I have to…” -remember who I am? he thought and made an involuntary distressed sound.

     
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  20. Jefferson McDonough

    Posts:
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    25


    No amount of explanation was helping this guy. Everything he said just brought about more questions and more confusion, which was totally understandable in retrospect. Nothing about this situation was normal, but Alex also wasn’t really sure how to make it better. He’d seen in movies that sometimes you had to hit someone on the back of the head and knock them out a few hours, and then they’d wake up a little more chill.

    That seemed like a bad idea. Alex wasn’t gonna do that.

    “Okay, okay, let’s just calm down, okay? What’s your name?” he asked. That seemed like a simple enough topic to start with. He couldn’t even tell the poor guy his character name because he didn’t recognize him as one of the starters. Maybe it was better that way, though. Then they could skip the fake videogame name part and they could pretend that wasn’t a thing.

    He hoped he had some awesome skills, though. Like super kung fu fighting or something like that. Though if their encounter with that hippo was anything to go by, that probably wasn’t likely.

     
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