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Yes. She was cracked. And Brock Mason was charging.

It was time for Alice to step in.

Her mind was scrolling, moving too fast; she was catching only a few thoughts at a time. She was trying to think about fights, and getting the voice of her school's unhelpful P.E. teacher, who had taught a mandatory lesson on women's self-defense every Tuesday for the first month of school. If you're ever attacked, don't hold back. Fight to kill. You're not used to violence, you'll probably hold back instinctively. Compensate for it.

Fight to kill, yes? Alice could probably do it on this island.

She flicked her whip out, and went to wrap his leg. But moving targets--moving targets!--were different from their still, sapling-tree counterparts, and the leather curled half a meter behind him.

And now he was on top Sarah, and for a moment, Alice wondered whether she should just let him kill her. He was raging, hitting her, and she would die, she would have her skull crushed and die--or maybe he won't let her die and she'll know where my colors lay and come after me.

She tried to remember whether Brock Mason was a nice person--one of those whose conscience would get in the way of killing even a proven murderer. He had a soft, dopey face. Alice very badly didn't want him to be.

But he is, he is… the panic welled up in her throat he's going to get a twist of conscience and then she'll come after me...

Safety. Safety. She just wanted safety. She wanted someone to worship, someone to protect her from the ravages of the island. A predator to hide behind, a madman who needed her, someone who thought of her as "assistant", not "prey"…

For now, for now, she wanted to be a precious part of Sarah's delusion. She wasn't thinking in the long-term, because the long-term just made her cry.

Oh Danya, you're going to love me.

Alice scooped up a rock, briefly worried that it was too thin or the crumbly grain before jamming it into the back of Brock Mason's neck.

It worked, sort of. He fell off Sarah (thank the secular gods she's safe), but didn't stop struggling or screaming. Should have thought of this. She jammed the rock into his spine again--I hope I don't break his neck--and again and again and again until she was sure he had stopped, and he was laying limp under her.

Sarah was okay. She was breathing hard, but she was okay. So she can't punish me--I wasn't too slow--right?

Brock's neck was red and streakily bruised, scrapes bleeding shallow. Her rock had red stains on the edge. Her stomach felt sour.

Closed her eyes. Blanked her mind. There were a lot of things she didn't want to think of right now.

She made sure to remove the tremor from her voice. "What do we do next?"
--------


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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Heartbeat Symphony · The Mine