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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
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“No. I don’t want to do it. I especially don’t want to do that to someone I care about.”

Astrid spoke slowly and precisely, choosing her words carefully, trying to prevent any emotion from leaking into them, trying to further the divide between her and her friend. Penelope had figured out exactly what she had been trying to imply almost instantly. She wasn’t sure if that was a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, it avoided a lot more awkward discussion, stopped Astrid from having to outright say what her plan was, preventing her from hearing it come out of her own mouth.

On the other hand, it meant she had to watch her friend’s face shift from worry and fear for her safety, to confusion and anger.

Astrid folded her arms and let out a deep sigh. It shuddered. She really, really wished Penelope hadn’t brought up her friend’s death. She knew pretty much nothing about Cristo; the name was recognisable, but that was it, so she couldn’t feel too cut up about his passing. It was the reminder of how he died that struck a chord with Astrid, the reminder that she desperately wanted to avoid even thinking of happening, but now that it had been brought up it was impossible to remove from her mind. She didn’t want to think about what would happen if she botched the shot. She didn’t want to think about her victim slowly bleeding out, slowly growing colder, pleading, begging first for mercy and then to be put out of their misery.

She didn’t want to think about when that would inevitably happen to Penelope and everyone else she knew and loved.

“I don’t want to do this, but I can’t see anything else I can do, Penelope,” Astrid said. She had allowed emotion to enter the fray now, her voice mirroring Penelope’s louder, hardened tones. “If I could leave this place peacefully then I would, but that’s not a goddamn option.”

She ran her hand roughly through her hair. The three wastes of space upstairs hadn’t understood her point of view. Penelope was going to. She had to make sure of it.

“We all came onto this island on equal footing – well, most of us anyway – but you’re wrong in thinking I don’t mean more than anyone else now. I’m not out to kill someone who isn’t threatening me, not if I can help it. I see anyone whose name’s been on the announcements more than once, I’m gunning for them.”

It was a lie, a damn barefaced lie. Killing a player would, of course, be the most preferable option; if they were only looking to kill multiple people for whatever sick, twisted reason they could come up with, then it was highly likely they were planning on killing her too. She would be justified in that occurrence. But seeking one out for her, hopefully, sole kill of the game? No. She couldn’t lie to herself that that had ever been the main plan. She was going to find the first unsuspecting person she came across, and kill them without them ever knowing she was there.

“This shit has happened, what, 6 times now? You know how many times there’s been a successful rescue? One time. One time out of six, and they didn’t even rescue a quarter of the fucking kids then. There’s not gonna be a rescue, there isn’t gonna be some fleet of military boats sailing in over the horizon. Only way out of here is gonna be the last person standing. So, at one point or another… I’m gonna have to kill someone.”

Astrid fixed Penelope with a hard glare. Her voice had unintentionally grown louder as she had been talking, but now she dropped it to a tone barely above a whisper.

“If you’re not planning to kill, wouldn’t you rather see one of your friends be the one to survive rather than some murderer killing indiscriminately?”
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