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Haruka shot out from under her. Liz startled, almost fell over before she could brace herself. The girl hid behind Duncan, crying still. The oar clattered to the floor, and Feo Smith picked it up.

Great job, Liz.

She was still covered in blood. And there were people around her, surprise, which meant she could feel a twist in her stomach. It figures, that she could survive a firebombing and near-strangulation only to have exhaustion hit her when some nasty people from school appeared and started surrounding her, noncombat, tense.

She was on the ground, four limbs touching stone, feeling like jelly. Frankie Fiametta was ranting. Haruka was crying. Great job, Liz. Great job. You really got this one down.

People. Who she was supposed to deal with. Like herself. It took real mental effort to remember who she was supposed to be. Liz Polanski, goth girl extraordinare. Drug dealer, gossip, universally hated.

That loosened her muscles, if not her tongue.

She stood up, took the knife out of her shirt again, and backed off. Frankie Fiametta was still going on. Feo, Ethan and Duncan were staring at her.

"What did you do?" Feo said nastily. "Whatever it was, don't try that shit with me."

Liz shrugged, feeling her stomach settle. She wasn't going to try that shit with Feo. It hadn't worked the first time, and Feo was definitely smarter than Milo Taylor or Alex P. White.

Instead she backed up, hands revealed, until she reached a wall in the camera's blind spot. Watched the others. Pulled the black lipstick out of her pocket, dumped the marsh water out of it, and wrote.

I AM LOOKING FOR RELAYS IN THE DEEPER TUNNELS.

Pointed to this, put her finger over her mouth. Then turned from them, and walked deeper into the tunnels.

Gravel slid under her feet. Were people following her?

I don't want people anyway.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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The Man-slut, the Cocktease and the Lover · The Tunnels