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Brackie
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i love him, i love him, i love him, i love him
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And Maxim was standing over her body as the thumb came down.

He was already thinking of ways to leave without getting into danger when he heard the hit. It sounded like a piece of wood hitting a bag of meat, like a particularly good special effect. Being the particularly intelligent individual he knew himself to be, he put everything together and realized that the girl who had come in before was probably now attacking someone, or something. For all Maxim knew it was something. She could have been letting her bat meet the corpse of one of the many bodies hiding in the area, but lingering in the air. But then it happened again, and again, and again, and the voices became louder, and suddenly it wasn't just her voice. Someone was begging for her to stop.

There were two options Maxim could have taken as he stood there in the hallway, having vacated the office. He could have run, like he'd been doing for days now. He could find another place to hide. He could stick to the plan that had so far managed to take him four days into this game, a plan that had an endpoint but was still a plan nonetheless, a plan had structure. But what it didn't have in his future was food, something he was running low on. He had probably one of those disgusting bars left and probably even less water, all the foreign weight in the bag belonged to the bow.

So he tried to rationalize the other option, even though he didn't want to. He could find out what was going on, why this girl was attacking someone, why she wanted to end his life, or at least that's what he assumed her endgoal was here. He could help her in her goal, or at least pretend to purely from the fear of being next, and get whatever remained of his food. Or he could save this boy, whoever he was, even if he didn't know him - he would be so grateful that he would offer food, and possibly seal an ally. An ally that would never turn on him, because he saved his life, and even if he did turn on him this was an ally who was so weak he could not overpower a girl with a bat. What harm would he do to Maxim?

But that was not how he stayed alive, was it? He did not stay alive for those three days by depending on others, others whose projected endgame differed drastically from his own. So he could rule out that option.

That last option was a no go. The first and second options within this second option though...

They, of course, depended on his own theorized outcomes coming true.

And long after he made his decision, he realized he'd made the wrong one.

As he walked towards where an open door lay, he felt the force of the gunshot echo throughout the building, but particularly deafening in this hall. Were this back in his real life, he would have covered his ears, but here he had no such luxury. He needed to stay alert, in spite of the ringing, but beyond that he could hear the silence followed by the collapse of a body. Maxim weighed the options. All the logical outcomes. The one that made the most sense is the one he arrived on, and in spite of all his intentions to run he knew he had to see what happened here and who was dead. He turned the corner and saw the last seconds go down.

Along with the girl's body.

No, scratch that, there were two bodies there. But not in the conventional sense. One was the girl. The other was a bruised and bloodied but still very much living body of the one who had to have been pleading for her to stop. A boy he did not know, holding a gun in his hand. Were this a story, it would be smoking, but there was no smoke. Just the powers of deductive reasoning being applied here enough to know what went on here.

Maxim stared at them for several seconds, although for all Maxim knew it could have been close to a minute, before choosing his words.

"Do you think she's dead?"

Maxim did not care at the moment. He would have cared had he known her, but he did not know her.

He wanted whatever remained of her food, though.
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I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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Idiot Launch · Doctors’ Offices