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((Clarice Halwood continued from Topic Title.))

Clarice braced her hand against one of the tubs in the water treatment room and stared into the murky, decades-old water that half-filled it. Water also soaked her feet, chilling them to the bone. That water smelt like bodies.

The announcements had come and gone before Clarice got here.

Kizi was dead.

Clarice stared at the water. She was so thirsty. She had no supplies. Nor were there supplies on the body she’d seen on the way to this tub—long since dead, bits of him probably floating around her feet.

Kizi was dead, shot by… by some guy. Ale… Alessio. She remembered, at least this time. She couldn’t remember who’d killed Bernie or Irene, and sometimes she forgot that Nancy was dead and expected to see her out of the corner of her eye. But right now she remembered.

Why couldn’t she remember the rest? Was it the thirst? Was her arm infecting the rest of her? When had she last checked it?

Kizi was dead.

Jennifer had died to keep Kizi and the others safe. Clarice had burned her safety zone to ashes. Kizi never killed anyone. Never hurt anyone. Kizi wouldn’t. Couldn’t. She was dead.

Clarice dunked her face in the tub of murky water, and she drank. She couldn’t describe how it tasted. The closest she had was mud, mushrooms, what shit probably tasted like, and a distinctive rust taste. She wanted to vomit, but she didn’t.

She kept her face in that tub for a little too long. Until her lungs started to burn. Almost reluctantly, she pulled her face out. Then she gripped the tub with her good hand. She heaved, and the tub and what little water remained in it tipped over, splashing out and mingling with the corpse-water that was probably giving Clarice trench foot as she stood there.

Clarice heard an angry shriek mixed in with the clang of the tub hitting the ground. Took her a moment to realise it was her.

She’d done nothing. She’d do nothing. She couldn’t find Scout, couldn’t find Ty, couldn’t find Kimiko, and she couldn’t remember if anyone else was left. All she’d managed to do was live instead of dying, but what was the point of that if her life wasn’t dismantling this stupid game?

There wasn’t anything she could do in this game.

Maybe she’d even killed Kizi by burning down what could have been a proper safehouse. A proper safe zone. She might have tried to stay out of the game, but Kizi was still dead. So was Bernie, and Irene, and Harold, and Conrad, and so many others. They were still dead.

There was no saving anyone.

By the end of it, they’d all be dead. All but one. And those motherfuckers would give the winner a pat on the shoulder and send them back, a piece of propaganda for whatever their goddamn pointless purpose was.

She’d pestered the terrorists. Maybe even forced a few of them on the island to clean up her mess. But it didn’t do anything, not in the long run. What she needed… she needed them in front of her. Needed that Danya asshole in front of her. And she might not stand a chance, even then, but even if it was one in a million…

There was only one way that’d ever happen, though.

That was the sticking point. The only way to even stand a chance at stopping even one member of that fucking group would be to play their game.

And even now, even with the name ‘Alessio Rigano’ echoing around in her head, she didn’t want to do that.

Clarice sat on the overturned tub, pulling her feet up and crossing her legs so they were out of the corpse-water. She pressed her hand to her mouth, partially in case her stomach gave up and let loose the water she’d drunk. Partially out of thought.
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Paths of Glory · Water Treatment