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i'm not upset
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((It's been a pleasure having you, Shake!))

Ethan watched the proceedings coolly. None of the new comers looked like they were ready to tussle, so as long as they didn’t attack him, what they did wasn’t a huge concern of his. He felt some small twinge of pity for the small Asian girl as she shot out from next to Liz and ran behind Duncan. That pity was mixed in with a good dose of disdain for acting like a scared child. He smiled when Feo grabbed the oar.

Sorry, girl. Feo just wanted it more than you.

“Frankie, ray of sunshine. We had some asshole with TNT run into us is what happened. I have to say, it looks a lot funnier on Looney Tunes then it did back there.”

Liz backed up and began writing something on the walls. He took a step forward to read the message and adjusted his glasses.

Looking for relays, hu?

He stepped back to his former place near Feo and didn’t move an inch towards Liz.

Stupid. Wasn’t she in the advanced math class? Even if there aren’t any radio relays down here to signal the detonation of the collars, and lets face it, these guys seemed pretty thorough so the chances of that are slim, but even if there aren’t, that wouldn’t be much of a help. I know a thing or two about bombs, and essentially we’ve got fucking bombs strapped to our necks. They probably designed it so that tampering would set off an internal detonator, so even if they can choose a collar to set off and blow a kid up via radio signal, trying to mess with it would STILL blow you up. And even IF they were stupid enough to make these collars able to blow up only at the call of a signal, then what? Remove the in under here and then? You’d still be stuck on this island with a shit ton of people who have already gone off their rocker. We have no idea where we are, and there are no boats. Is this girl planning on lifting a swan boat from the fun fair and sailing home in that?

“Pass. You have fun, though.”

Behind him the meek girl has some sort of freak out and ran off. He shrugged. It wasn’t his job to look after her and he wasn’t convincing her to stay if she didn’t want to.

Ethan looked at the words on the wall again. It was a stupid plan and it wouldn’t work, but the fact that she was willing to try stirred up some form of…..whatever was the opposite of contempt. What was it? He was-


“He’s thinking.”

“He’s nervous.”

“Shut up!”

The two girls giggled and watched the young boy scribble on the paper. He stuck his tongue out and hurriedly pushed his sliding glasses up with the edge of the pencil. Their father came by and hit the boy on the head with a rolled up magazine.

“Don’t talk to them that way,” he castigated. “And girls, stop trying to psyche him out. That’s not fair.”

“Everything’s fair when we play,” said the girl with long, dirty blonde hair. She grabbed his cheek in her thumb and fore finger and pulled affectionately. He swatted away her hand without looking up and grumbled a bit.

“Give him some space,” said the second girl, face resting in her arms. “Come on, baby brother. It takes Sam and me half this long when we’re the code makers.”

“I’m going, I’m going! You s-”


The girls giggled again. Ethan turned around the paper with letters that seemed to be gibberish and slid it towards them.

“THERE. Done. Ready, set, go!”
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