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Liz took the bread, and braced herself against the rock wall, lowering the gun. She was breathing a little harder than she wanted to, closing her chapped eyes, trying to ignore everything stinging. There were questions she could have asked, like why are you helping me? and will you get scared and run? but she kept them to herself now. Someone was helping her. It was surprising and unsettling. She'd probably have to think this through at some point. But now she was tired, too tired, and the relief of someone handing her a piece of bread, making her stomach stop gnawing and tying, was something she wanted to accept quietly, close-eyed. For now.

Scarfing food, next to Daisuke's corpse, she looked half-dead herself, hollow-eyed, plucking at the bread with agile, swollen fingers. Only the starved tearing at the bread was lifelike.

Mirabelle sat down next to her, Indian-style. Liz couldn't imagine how Mirabelle had brought herself to touch her; her neck was black red char veined ugly, infectious yellow Frankenstein monster part-dead. Liz saw herself as disgusting, even before the burns; after the burns, she could have been monstrous. Charlie's compact wasn't much of a mirror.

But Mirabelle had grabbed her, braced her, touched her. Liz didn't know what was driving her shit, but it had to be something big. She'd taken the bag off Liz's shoulders, and Liz had been grateful, not even trying to protest. Something bad's gonna come of this.

So she ate the bread, first savagely, then, when Mirabelle mutely handed her a second slice, trying to savor it, slowly. When she was done (and wanted to knock her head back, go to sleep) she pushed herself up on her own power, bringing her pad and pen with her.

I'M GOING TO KILL THE CAMERAS, OKAY?

So now she was taking a risk with her rescuer's life. If she were suddenly in Danya's position, she'd blow Mirabelle's collar now. But Danya had blown collars randomly before, not the collars of the people who'd rescued her from the river, given her weapons. It was a calculated--

This is bullshit. Remember the part where you're not a good person?

So yeah. If Mirabelle said it was okay it okay? she was killing the cameras.

Mirabelle looked at Liz's sign. Then nodded.

Liz took out her knife and killed all the cameras in the room. Mirabelle remained unharmed.

Killing the cameras is okay.

Liz balled up one of her last copies of the plan and lightly tossed it at Mirabelle's bag.

Then she wrote.

THAT'S THE PLAN. IT NEEDS TWO PEOPLE, OR ELSE YOU'LL GET BURNT LIKE ME. I ALSO DON'T HAVE MATERIALS--THEY'RE IN BUILDINGS.

LEAVE, IF YOU WANT, OR STAY WITH ME. I'M GOING TO KEEP BREAKING CAMERAS SO THOSE SHITHEADS HAVE TROUBLE MONITORING.

Maybe Mirabelle didn't want to plan. Maybe she was just here to come along for the ride, or to be saintly. But it seemed obvious.

Yeah. That was the way to go.

Liz's breath was shaky. She felt sick.
--------


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

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