"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Liz didn't want to shoot Kimberly.

At this point, tired, headached, and distantly intellectual, she hadn't expected any kind of instinctive morality to kick back in. It seemed like a thing she was, for better or worse, done with.

But now Kimberly wanted her to shoot, and she really, really didn't think that shooting was correct. Some of her was also wondering why Kimberly had given her this opportunity in the first place, but that seemed tangential.

So Liz held the gun to Kimberly's head, and focused on the number of times she could see the vein in Kimberly's forehead pulse. Heartbeats. The entire world felt very strange and distant now, peaked and motionless.

"Why would I shoot you?" She asked, finally. "You don't want to die. And you just gave me a gun."

Kimberly smiled crookedly. "Like you said, we're all gonna die sooner or later. Killing me serves as a deterrent. It shows the others that you're dangerous, can take some fucking care of yourself. Might keep the hunters away."

There had to be a reason why killing her was a bad idea. This couldn't be just instinct. Instinct didn't matter. There had to be logic.

"I think," Liz said slowly, "that if I killed you, it would just give all the moral people who haven't yet let themselves hunt me an excuse to. Also, I don't want to shoot you. I never said I liked being a serial killer."

That was probably not the best defense she could give, but with this entire confusing situation, and her head pounding and saying _you'll never smoke a cigarette again_ and the gun bringing unhealthy energy back, the sort of energy she could use to scatter plans and smash cameras, it was the best defense Kimberly was going to get.

So she removed the gun from Kimberly's forehead, and put it in her sweatshirt pocket. Another weapon for the stash.

And then, both of them heard it. Footsteps moving closer to them in the tunnels.

Liz tensed, glad her energy was back. Stood, slowly. Cocked the gun, in her sweatshirt pocket--the mechanism was frighteningly intuitive. Worked to wrap her burnt hands around the trigger.

"Looks like you need this more than I do." Kimberly said. She was grinning again, a little, as she dumped the spare clip out of her pocket. "Catch you later."

And she winked at Liz, and left.

What?

Liz was more confused than she had ever been in her life.

But never bloody mind that.

She kept the gun aimed at the dark.
--------


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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Blackout · The Tunnels