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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
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Maybe time to freak out now. Maaaaaybe.

Well, by some liberal definitions of the word, Charlie had already started freaking out. There was that one moment where their new friend Liz had killed a camera with a pen, which had prompted Charlie to let out an alarmed little shout, not- not a shriek, definitely not a shriek and if anyone told you that she'd shrieked then they were... wrong. It was a bit of a weird-as-fuck situation, and nobody could blame Charlie if she just decided to get the fuck out of there before something dangerous happened, but... no, she was gonna stick it out, try to keep calm. Do her best. Her friends needed her to, right?

"Umm... okay. What we want is we were just trying to get-" Wait wait wait. Before something dangerous happened. No, too late for that. New friend Liz had just killed a camera with a pen. You didn't even have to watch SotF to hear about some of the things that went down on previous runs, some of the things like Did you guys hear that some kid was going around breaking cameras like he was rebelling against the system, and then the guy who runs it all just pressed some buttons? And he just flat-out killed some kids that didn't even have anything to do with it, just to punish the guy who was breaking cameras? Huh. About that.

"Okay, wait, sorry. Before I explain, I- we- we're a little concerned about the camera-breaking, I think. I mean, if- well, since you did... something to your collar and now it's... not working anymore? You can live through it just fine if Danya pushes a button with your name on it. We don't... we don't have that luxury, is all. So if you could... not..."

Liz blinked. Liz said "sure". Liz made a face. Huh.

That was it? Sure? And, well, the hell did that face mean? What a- okay, you know what, fuck it, not worth it, just go ahead and explain so you can get everyone out of here. They're all (probably?) relying on you to get them out of here, so this was not a time to get carried away. Not a time to wonder if a word and a face meant something bad, meant something nasty, meant something worth starting a fight over.

"Uh. Okay. Right. So all we were doing was we were trying to make it to the river, trying to get ourselves clean after, what is it, four days now here. Then all of a sudden I hear this screaming so we go decide to check it out and we-" Wait. Oh. Oh. Oh God. The face, the one word. That's what it- oh God. Oh no no no.

It hurt for Liz to talk, didn't it? Her neck looked like it'd been stuck in an oven so her throat must- oh God, how bad did it have to hurt just for Liz to gargle out a sure? You poor thing you- you big stupid fucking poor thing, why didn't you just nod! Nodding is even less words or- or if it hurts to even move your neck, just give a thumbs up! You don't need to fucking kill yourself just to say yes!

Don't say of that, Charlie. Don't ever ever say any of that. Instead:

"Okay. Liz, what's important is... we're not gonna hurt you. We're gonna help you whatever way we can, okay?" Kinder tone, gentler tone. Less shouty, less exaggerated. Not one she was that used to, but eh, whatever. "We, uh... we found you right by the river, and we... we thought you could use some help. That's Helen, she's our med student and she's the one who actually knows what she's doing and I think you... you maybe owe your life to here. And there's Dave, he was the one with the idea to dunk you in the water, so- so God knows he helped out a lot too. And that's Winsome, she gave you the sweatshirt, and... well, I think you and the sweatshirt are getting along pretty well already."

A little smile. A subtle implication that maybe the people just named deserved a bit of thanks. So why wasn't Charlie on the list? She'd been the one that had first heard Liz, she was the reason they all found her to begin with, right? So she maybe deserved a share of the gratitude, yeah? Weeeeeeeell, fuck that. For one, putting herself on the list would mean that Isabel would be the only one not on. The only one who hadn't helped. All alone. And Isabel did. Not. Need. To feel all alone right now.

And for two, Charlie didn't really feel like she needed any thanks right now. She kinda felt pretty good about herself anyway.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Faraday's Cages · The Woods: Inland