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(Alice Boucher continued from Can't Fall Down ~ All GMing approved by Fanatic)

Alice had just found her iPod in her bag (silver, weighted, an iPod classic, one of the things her parents had given her before shipping her off to the United States--though she resented the implications, she still loved the device). But--and she was very lucky--she didn't pull it out of the bag (put her headphones in, listen to some Anais, try to forget why she was here) before she saw the girl with the gun.

A girl with a gun--especially a large gun--was always an unfortunate thing to see on an island were everyone had a mandate to kill each other. And there were a lot of things that were extraordinarily unfortunate about this particular girl and this particular gun.

For one thing, the gun was one of those enormous 50 caliber sniper rifles. It could kill someone, Alice had heard, from nearly a mile away--one of those monster guns only allowed in America without a license. Danya was, of course, an American terrorist--he spoke with the ugly American accent and he had access to such a myriad of weapons that he had to be from either America or, say, Somalia or some place with pirates. For another thing, the girl was Sarah Atwell, one of those gregarious seniors who had gone around with cameras asking people how they felt about the class of 2008 (Alice vaguely remembered the other girl's name was somebody Druce). That particular bit of trivium about Sarah Atwell, however, was no longer relevant. What was relevant was that she had murdered Eve Walker-Luther, the older-looking dancer, cut her up in cold blood and apparently filmed it, in some sick murderous way. And now she had a sniper rifle for her trouble.

Alice Boucher had a cat o' nine tails never used in combat, no experience with violence, and no particular persuasive fervor. That meant if Alice Boucher didn't get moving quickly, she was almost certainly doomed.

Alice stood up slowly. The camera was watching her. She wanted to talk to it. For God's sake, I'm the surly European girl. If I was in one of those American slasher movies, I'd at least get a thirty-second fight scene with my whip and some insufferable comments to make before I was shot to pieces.

She was in the mines now. Lovely and desolate. If she ignored the nearby scrub, caught the cool dry air on her tongue, she could believe she was on the moon.

Bah, no. The moon was safe.

Sarah Atwell was in the rocky valley below. If Alice could climb out of the mine without being spotted, nothing would happen.

Yes. Nothing.

She began to climb.

And if only luck or skill had been with her, maybe nothing would have happened. But luck was not with Alice in the dim shade, and no skill she could possibly hope to have would have let her tell rotting rock from its safe counterparts.

So the rock broke under her, rattling and soft, and Alice Boucher slid down the mineshaft wall. Her shirt grew grey and her skirt rode up to her knees, but there was no harm done in the fall itself. It was a gentle fall, and she landed face up at the feet of Sarah Atwell.

Sarah Atwell jumped back. So obviously there had been two people who hadn't suddenly been expecting the appearance of a French girl at the bottom of the mine.

And Alice had no choice but to try to scare the girl off.

"Get yourself away from me, you perverted murdering bitch!" Alice snarled, trying to stand. Look fierce. Only after she had screamed did she realize the words she had said were in French. Oh hell. Hopefully she would sound terrifying and foreign, and not just deranged. Her sentence had not been put together well.

And the gun, the enormous monster gun, was swinging right near her face, and Alice saw her chance and grabbed the barrel, and swung it to throw the girl off-balance, for the gun was heavy, maybe seven kilograms, and the girl was light and unfit.

Sarah huffed, put her own hands around the gun, and looked at Alice like she was completely unreasonable.

"Don't touch this gun. The props people gave it to me. It cost, like, a thousand dollars."

She twinked the barrel so it pointed back down at Alice. She sounded so calm.

Don't touch this gun. The props people gave it to me. It cost, like, a thousand dollars.

And Alice decided that either she was going crazy or this girl was, and either way, a bluff was in order.

You think you're the director.

Alice Boucher was no technical wizard or a child prodigy, but she could be quite sharp.

You think you're playing in--directing this show. And perhaps you think I'm your next victim.

And there was no better time to try bluffing than when you were about to die.

I'll take another part for myself. And I'll pray to my secular Gods that you believe me.

So Alice Boucher stopped trying to wiggle out from under the barrel, and looked Sarah Atwell, filmmaker-dreamer, in the eye.

"Don't you know who I am? I'm your assistant from Cannes."

And she was here and she was calm, and her words came out level and fine, and her accent sounded urbane and sophisticated and rich.

And Sarah Atwell lowered her gun.
--------


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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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