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SHIT. Shit, fuck, shit.

Helen's blood ran cold. That was Liz being outed over the tannoy, that was their Math teacher telling them to kill her and be rewarded with a shiny new weapon. Shit. She reckoned a free ticket home would be a more effective incentive for killing her, if that were the case Helen doubted that she would be able to stop herself. Clearly Danya didn't quite have them pinned down; if he wanted her dead that badly he should give them what they really wanted, and that was escape.

They had to get away from her. Helen had no desire for a fancy bazooka or whatever the going weapon might be, despite her poor draw, but she had even less desire to be killed for helping her out. But she couldn't leave, Liz was her patient, God only knew the full effects of the burn. But what could she do?

Perhaps if one of the others were going to help Liz out too she might have gone with them. But just her, and a girl she hardly knew with a price on her head? However much she wanted to disable her collar and somehow get home free, somewhere in the deepest recesses of her heart she knew it wasn't going to happen.

Also, what happened once you were free of a collar?

Sure, it meant that they could no longer blow your head to smithereens. It meant you could hide out in a danger zone. But, at the end of the day, they were all still stuck on an island that the authorities seemed to be unable to find, and Helen knew that Danya had no shortage of armed buffoons to come and kill any dissidents if the student body didn't do it for them. Hadn't that happened last time? The game wasn't as infallible as they thought it was. Countless times over the last couple of years, Helen had considered looking it up on the internet; ways to disable a collar, how to survive Survival of the Fittest. You know, just in case. But she never did. And now she was regretting it.

Ten minutes of her time, that's all it would have taken.

Dave, Charlie, Isabel, they were making their excuses, leaving the area. They were right, of course, the longer they stayed here with none of the cameras on them the more likely they were to get their heads exploded. Helen's fingers fluttered to her collar as she dithered. I want to stay. But I can't. I just can't. Liz was looking at her, mouthing, pointing after the others. Helen nodded, some kind of mark of solidarity. She didn't have anything to give her, her drawn weapon was beyond useless in this situation, drawing attention to herself with a glowstick was probably the last thing that Liz needed.

You know where she is going. You know her plan. You can meet up with her later.

Her plan was set in mind. Let Liz go and set things up in the tunnels. Accidentally on purpose wander back there again later, the tunnels were where she's started so she knew where they were, Helen felt that she had a pretty good hold on the layout of the island now. God knew she'd walked across the lower part of it enough times now. Turning to walk away, Helen paused and turned back to Liz, eyes shining with a thin film of guilt.

"If I were you," she said in a soft voice. "I would stick to the danger zones as much as possible. No one else will be able to get you there, and it's pretty much the only way you'll be safe until someone rescues us." Positive thinking, that's the way forwards. The others were getting away, Helen picked up her bag from where she'd dumped it, and chased after them.

((Helen Wilson continued in House of the Rising Sun))
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run

v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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Faraday's Cages · The Woods: Inland