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Mr. Danya
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((Nate Turner continued from This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes))

He was still alive. Alive, and somehow, awake.

It was as if his talk with Enzo had sent him one way, down into the depths of bleak nihilism, and his chat with Matt had pulled him back the other. It was kind of funny, when you considered how both of the talks had gone, but Nate couldn’t deny it. It wasn’t that he had real hope, he’d never have any of that again, but he had something he hadn’t had in a while.


It was undirected, unclear, and pretty much every other word that wouldn’t normally describe purpose, but why bother trying to consider what was normal anymore? There was just something, a spark maybe, that Matt had put there, and then fuelled when his name had shown up on the announcements. Three times.

Maybe he just wanted to yell in Matt’s face to stop it already.

No matter how you cut it, no matter who had done what since then, these people were his friends from school, and Matt was one of them. If he was just doing this because he didn’t want to be a loser, and if he thought he’d have any kind of satisfaction when he was done, then it was up to Nate to bring him back to reality. He wasn’t sure where that resolve had come from, but who else was going to do it?

Besides, it sure beat the alternative of sticking around waiting for someone to kill him. And even if Matt did decide he was actually going to kill him this time, then at least he wouldn’t have sat around doing nothing until then. Thinking, maybe pretending, that he might actually have a shot at changing Matt’s mind was more comforting than suicide, it turned out.

He was tired, even after a night’s rest and his first meal in two days, but he pressed on into the depths of the asylum. Images of his encounter with Alvaro flashed across his mind, and they scared him, but he kept going. They’d said that Matt had won a prize (disgusting) in the asylum, so maybe he was still around. Still, Nate couldn’t risk stumbling into a danger zone, not right now, so it was best to keep a wide berth from that area and hope he'd find him somewhere else.

He wondered what Sandy’s corpse would look like. Ben hadn’t died here, he didn’t think (it was hard to remember all those announcements by now), but more people probably had. He was pretty sure that was death creeping up his nose.

He turned his way into the water therapy room, and quickly enough caught sight of its current occupant, a thankfully familiar face. He knew Clarice from drama, even though their roles took place on separate sides of the stage.

“Hello? Clarice? Are you ok?”

It was a dumb question, she definitely didn’t look ok, but the fact that he could actually start a conversation again felt like something of a relief. Maybe having a goal was actually working.
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Paths of Glory · Water Treatment