"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
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Their emotions seemed to be on entirely different trajectories. Kizi's early rush of hope had been tempered by some obstinate doubts, some newly unearthed insecurities, by the increasingly poignant burden of the reasonable and the viable. Lili seemed to be just catching up to Kizi's earlier emotional state, of a somewhat heady enthusiasm, and Kizi hoped for everyone's sake that she wasn't doomed to follow Kizi into this more brooding mire of self-doubt and anxiety. Kizi's 'what then' had crystallised in her own head as the vanguard of those doubts. A nagging, vexing voice. Chipping away at her early confidence.

If they got everyone together, if they succeeded against all hopes?

Settle for Penelope's plan by proxy? Just with added partying flair? She couldn't speak for others, but Kizi was in no mood for partying. Granted, it was not her personality. She was no great reveller by nature. But she had had a relatively easy island experience. The more traumatised, the more scarred, they would possibly find that suggestion mad. Insane, even.

She kept these thoughts to herself. They were uncharitably phrased. Lili had done nothing to deserve a sharp tongue or a scornful glare. Nothing whatsoever. Lili was on Kizi's side.

Kizi watched, smiling, unable to mirror her beaming, unable to share Lili's newfound radiance. She tried. She really did. She leaned back, made sure to watch Lili's whole performance, even nodded at points. That much was genuine. It was a worthy goal. Probably a more realistic goal. And again, the moral victory would be won. The terrorists would be defeated. In principle, if nothing else.

"Yeah. That'd be great. Definitely the best way to go out, but..."

"Well, people might not agree to that. They might...y'know, try and fight. Or break everything apart. Try and save themselves. Maybe corrupt the community. Just...well, the terrorists want one death a day. What happens if we get to that point, of everyone being together, and nobody wants to fight or die, and everyone just begins killing one person a day? That'd be really messed up." If it meant survival for even a dozen, certainly, it may be better than the alternative. But that's just eleven more people forced to live with an unconscionable burden. "I wouldn't be okay with that. I know you wouldn't. But..."

She buried her head in her hands. "I can't help but think that if we expand slowly at first - which is what will happen, I'm not saying we should be unambitious in our goals or anything - we can drag this out even longer. Increase the chances of survival. But if we do expand quickly, if it is a couple of days and then bam, we're done, I'm not sure...I'm not sure it can hold together." The words of doubt felt toxic and foreign on her tongue. But she couldn't keep them in.

"Let's just...if we're the final two, we wait. Okay?"
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Minus Something · The Cafeteria