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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
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((Astrid Tate continued from Thirteen Steps))

There was no point in leaving the asylum as far as Astrid saw it. Not yet, anyway. She didn’t have anywhere she urgently needed to go. There was nobody she desperately had to see. Quite the opposite, actually. Anyone she would have considered a friend back at school, she hoped would never end up finding her on the island. Having to be in close proximity with them and being reminded of just why she cared about these people, when she knew they would be dead in the next few days… Astrid didn’t think she’d be able to deal with that. It would be for the best if she never saw them again. Never saw Toby, or Mabes, or Jerry, or…

Melanie. Fuck.

Astrid hadn’t expected Mel to suddenly pop into her mind there. She’d compared the girl to an annoying puppy more times than she could count, always nipping at her ankles and saying exactly the right thing to get on her nerves. And yet, the more she allowed herself to think about it, the more she realised she was going to miss her. All that time spent together, whether willingly or unwillingly… Mel was probably the person Astrid was closest to.

She tried to expel that thought from her head as she trudged deeper into the depths of the asylum, down past the ground floor to the basement. It wouldn’t help her concentrate. Even now, some part of her brain wanted her to run back upstairs and go searching for her friends one final time. If she did that, though, she was as good as dead, even more likely to lose her composure and will to carry out this plan once she heard one of them had bitten it. Astrid soldiered on.

It was dark and still in the basement. In some ways, Astrid preferred it to outside. The wind flowing through her hair, the sky above her and the grass beneath her feet; it was too close to normal, too much of a familiar setting, twisted by the ocean surrounding them whichever direction they turned, trapping them in. Down here, she could close her eyes and everything would disappear and she could be at peace in her solitude.

Not right now, though. She needed to set herself up before she could do anything else. Astrid blindly fumbled around in her bag for her flashlight; by the time she eventually grabbed hold of it, her eyes had adjusted enough for her to see the outlines of the doorway to the Lobotomy Lab and a few items near the entrance of it. She flicked it on anyway and headed purposefully inside.

The cluttered piles of junk lining the walls, straitjackets and needles and other medical paraphernalia sticking out of it at odd angles, all surrounding the single operating table and tool cart in the centre of the room, sent a chill down Astrid’s spine. The outside world was a stifling cage of familiarity, but down here was an entirely different world, the implications of each room and all the devices within them sending horrifying images running through Astrid’s head.

Astrid worked quickly, doing her best to replace the sickening images of exactly what had happened on that operating table with what she needed to do to survive. There was an overturned table towards the far corner, resting on it’s side with the top facing the door, covered in old sheets and straitjackets, and nestled in between other piles of garbage. She grabbed the mishmash of fabrics in the hand holding the gun, bundled them up, and vaulted over the table, narrowly avoiding landing on one of the splintered-off table legs.

Removing her bag, and momentarily putting it on the floor alongside her gun and flashlight, Astrid replaced the sheets on top, creating a little hideaway. She sat down, knees tucked up against her chest, back resting against one of the piles of junk, turned off the flashlight and picked up her gun in both hands. Slowly, after being plunged into darkness, her eyes adjusted, and what little light had escaped into the corridor outside filtered its way through into the lab. There was a small gap between one side of the table and the pile of junk on the left, through which she had a perfect view of the entrance to the lab. Astrid took several deep, shaky breaths, before aiming the gun through the gap, both hands still holding it steady.

Now she just had to wait and pray her composure held.
V7 BAYBEE

FOLDER OF DESTINY

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Quickdraw · Lobotomy Lab