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(Alice Boucher continued from A Moment Remembered)

Sarah had decided to go to the Residential District.

Alice supported this decision. Sitting there--in a house, in a room, maybe with a fireplace or a sunken leather chair--would make her feel clean. Real. She had never felt quite real in the wilderness. It wasn't a place she had gone much in her--

old life.

Odd to think of it like that.

I'm going to die on this island.

It could come through her thoughts now, with a clarity unclouded by horror. She was going to die, and soon. On this island. She would never see her Mama and Papa again.

Somehow it wasn't so fearsome anymore.

I guess I've seen much of what fearsome things there are to see.

That was a relief, she supposed. But mostly she just felt odd. Empty, but not in a bad way. Different.

I'm following around a half-mad sadist in her plot to murder the biggest serial killer on the island.

And I'm not doing it because I feel the need to redeem myself. I'm not going to. What I did was inexcusable, and nothing in this world or others is mad enough to say that one murder washes away another.

I don't know why I'm following her.

But she did know.

I'm following her because I'm protecting her.

Alice Boucher was no fine protector against serial killers, monsters, or sadists. Even with her newfound fearlessness, she wasn't a fighter. But damned if she couldn't protect Sarah Atwell--who seemed like a sweet girl, a sharp tack, and capable of doing more good than Alice ever would--from herself.

Somehow the surly French girl had ended up as Sarah Atwell's boon companion. Fancy that.

But when they wandered into the house, into a bedroom with a grotty mattress, Alice had sighed internally upon finding another person there. The boy was asleep. His name was--Tyler? He would probably wake up and start screaming as soon as he saw Sarah's face. This would all be very messy and unhelpful.

And then Sarah's hand reached for the blade.


Alice didn't rush, didn't hesitate. She took hold of Sarah's wrist, gently. Firmly. Waited until Sarah turned, then looked her in the eyes. Don't regress on me.

Sarah nodded, and Alice let go of her hand. Somehow this was all natural to her. Funny, the rhythms we find.

Sarah went forward now, grasped the boy by the shoulders, and shook him. Presumably, she was about to pump him for info on Maxwell Lombardi. Alice winced a little, anticipating terrified screams.

"Hey, hey. Wake up." Sarah said.

And Tyler Franklin opened his eyes.

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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Just a Kid, Napping · The Residential Area