When the eerie song trailed after her like a lost dog, she only felt her panic rise. The killer had chosen to follow her instead of her ally, and while that did make since, given that she was injured, it was anything but reassuring. She bit back a cry of pain as he shoulder clipped the branch of a bush, fire shooting down her arm and through her chest. Blood spatters hopped after her with every movement a constant reminder of how vulnerable and weak she was. Not to mention, the liquid crimson gave away her position, no matter where she went. If she wanted any chance at survival, she needed to patch her wound.
Feng Min was completely and utterly lost on how to do that, when she couldn't seem to find bandages and that man hadn't bothered to help her. Not that she blamed him; she probably would've done the same thing, if he were in her shoes. It was funny, really, how things turned out this way and made you think, real hard, about the things you could've done differently in your life. Only, her thoughts were scrambled like eggs and scattered like confetti from a piñata, making it nearly impossible to focus on them, anyway.
The gamer spared a glance back; she could see the huntress now, hear her humming pounding around in her head like the static had done those few times before.
She hadn’t fallen for the bait. It made sense, to be fair— this was certainly not the firsts trial the Huntress had ever faced. Jake was a bit disappointing, maybe, but he knew better than to sit on it any longer than he already had. They had a generator to get done, after all.
He ran back to the half-finished generator and got back on it as quickly as he could, figuring he may as well use the time he had to finish it up. Maybe if the survivor could get away, he’d get the chance to get them both out. (She wouldn’t last a second with the Huntress on her tail; he knew better. He had no choice but to try though.)
He was— a bit more grounded now, more focused on just leaving than anything. He wanted to get the girl out too, but... He also knew better than to get between the Huntress’s prey and a hatchet.
Eventually, blessedly, the blare of a generator filled the air, and Jake looked around, eyeing the exit gates while he had a chance. (He prayed the other survivor would do the same.) After a moment of consideration, he ran toward one, forgetting about his fellow survivor for the time being. There was no chance of him getting her out if one of these damn gates wasn’t open, so again, he hardly had a choice.
The ring of the powered gates surge through the air. One kick hadn't been enough for the generator, but it's far too late to try and patrol the exits when there was bait so close to her now. Securing one last kill was enough. It had to be enough.
The last hatchet left in her belt is unloaded, and Anna makes sure it is with a terrifying force that she throws it, a yell tearing out of her throat as it's flung from her hand. It cuts through the air with a battle cry of its own, spinning and singing as it splits the air to meet it's target--
In that single moment, Anna does not hum. There is so much noise - the gates blaring, the howling of the Voice, the Prey's whimpering, the patter of rain, her Mother's song - that there is no focus left in her. She waits to hear contact. О Господи, there has to be contact, she cannot afford to miss--
-- The hatchet nearly clips clean through a tree beside her Prey as she slips behind it. It splinters the wood once it hits, and the crack of contact (wrong contact, wrong contact) echoes through the realm.
She had missed her mark. She had tried so hard to fix her wrongdoing, to meet the Voice's needs after so wrongfully disobeying it - and she had missed?
Anna's jog slows to a walk, which then slows to something short of a crawl. She never missed a shot. Never on purpose.
Startlingly, a piercing yet promising alarm went off. Around her, one of the few remaining generators lit up like a sparkler, chugging away without so much as a touch. That guy must have finished the objective; maybe she could get out without dying again. The problem of the huntress remained, though, and she turned her head just in time to see the killer wind up one of her deadly hatchets.
There wasn't much Feng Min could do at that point, so she watched, eyes wide as it came hurtling in her direction. Except, it didn't quite hit its mark, but instead, the tree quite near to her felt its wrath. She'd made a mistake, much to her delight, and it gave her a chance to slip farther into the trees as her persuer grew sluggish.
Jake gripped the cold metal lever of the door, facing away from it to keep an eye out for the killer, or perhaps a wayward hatchet. He’d played this game for too long to let something dumb like that be his end. For once the idea of sitting around the damn campfire sounded pleasant, a chance to get out of this constant downpour and warm up a bit. And he could at least catch the names of the new survivors, probably. That much could be excused as just something helpful for future trials.
One by one, the three red lights started to come on, the all-too-familiar sound of freedom blaring in his ears. (His trials had ended right here too often in the past, too eager to get out to keep thinking about survival. He knew better, now.) The third flickered on, and after what felt like forever, the heavy door forced itself open, offering him a way out.
Jake peered into the fog, halfway tempted to take his way out and hope the girl found her way to either the open door or the hatch. A moment later he hesitantly stepped back into the trial; the fire would definitely still be there if he waited a minute or two. He made no real move to go out looking for the girl or the killer, but if she did end up going down, maybe he’d be able to unhook her and get her out. He wasn’t always the most altruistic person in a trial, but there was no way he could watch somebody die if he alone had the chance to save them.
The further she ran, the less she saw of the huntress. It gave her a spark of hope, and as the gentle rain hit her face, she felt it growing into a flame. Distant blaring drew drew her attention, searching for its source in the blinding mist. Moments later, she caught sight of her ally standing in the gateway of an open door. The view fueled the adrenaline in her veins, pushing her forward as she clutched at her shoulder.
That gate must be an exit; a way out of the nightmare they'd been shoved into. It looked promising, with light pouring out into the fog from just beyond it. Somehow, it was almost beautiful, after what she'd been through. There was an aching feeling in her chest, however; a foreshadowing. Something told her this wouldn't be the last time she took part in an activity like this, not while she was . . . wherever she was.
Feng Min skittered to a halt in front of the other, legs trembling from fatigue now that the adrenaline was starting to wear off. Her breathing was shaky and a bit quick, eyelids dropping as she caught her breath. The guy, on the other hand, looked just fine; he wasn't injured like she was, and she also had a hunch that this wasn't his first time being in a situation like this. Either way, she was safe now. At least, she had that impression. Wherever the huntress had gone off to was beyond her.
It didn’t take long for somebody’s figure to come into view, and luckily, it was the survivor’s. She seemed to be alone, too; he kept waiting to hear the Huntress’s song trailing behind, but it never came. Jake eyed the girl, wondering if she had managed to lose the killer. She was learning, and quickly. That was always a good thing.
He sized her up as she stopped running before him. Clearly she was still hurt, and she seemed so, so tired. He’d have been surprised if it were any other way. “Come on,” he said, walking toward the gate, “let’s get out of here.”
The hope flashing in the girl’s eyes made him feel nothing but pity. She would learn, too soon, that there was no solace past this gate. Jake had looked forward to it once, too, had wanted nothing more than to get back to that campfire where he felt safe. He knew know, though, that it was all just part of the same prison. What did it actually matter if they were in a trial or not? But again, she would learn; he didn’t have to be the one to let her down. (He’d already let one girl down today, sat and watched as the Huntress killed her. It wasn’t the same, but he still didn’t feel like doing it again.)
Letting the other survivor follow at his own pace, Jake walked out past the exit gate, a small sigh escaping him at the idea of making it out alive once again. Now all he had to do was sit around and wait for it to happen again.
She was more than compliant to the other's words, ready to get out of the silent forest. For a moment, it looked like there was something on his mind, but she didn't pry; she barely knew him, after all, and she certainly wasn't his friend. As they crossed over what felt like an invisible boundary, she cast a glance back, half expecting to see a hatchet pinwheeling in her direction. But there was nothing, and she was grateful as her hand dropped from her shoulder to rest limply at her side. Her oily eyes turned to look ahead, and she felt herself let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding.
Although this only felt like the beginning, she couldn't help but hope it was the end.