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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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((Jennifer Perez continued from And A Buck Short))

Jennifer was running out of breath and sweating more than usual as she and Melissa made their way up the mountain. That wasn't a good sign. It spoke very clearly to the atrophy of her physical condition. At the start of the game, she'd been able to run around for hours and hardly feel it. She'd always been in good shape, at least when it came to walking places. Now, she was having to stop for rests every few minutes.

She had a stitch in her side, on top of everything else. She was so fucking exhausted, yet she didn't really feel comfortable voicing any concerns or complaints. After all, she'd outlived the majority of her classmates. She still had all her limbs. Fuck, she hadn't even bled on the island, hadn't even scraped herself up to any notable degree. Did that put her in the minority?

Right now, she didn't fucking care. They were heading to the top of the mountain, or as close as they could get. From there, they'd have an even better view than they'd enjoyed at the groundskeeper's hut. They'd be able to keep track of the other students, and maybe get some more rest. They'd be able to see trouble coming and escape before it got particularly dangerous. The biggest concern Jennifer had was that someone else would already be there, with the same idea. As long as they weren't hostile, though, that would be fine. Maybe they could even keep each other safe. It would make it important to convince Nick to stay calm, if he showed up, but she hoped she could do it.

They were getting fairly close now. She was sure of it. Then, she happened to glance up and notice a crutch hanging in a nearby tree. The sight was so incongruous that she paused for a second, blinking at it. It took her a full twenty seconds to examine her surroundings more closely, to note the ledge up above, where it had presumably fallen from. The world was almost blurry. Jennifer realized she hadn't had anything to drink in a while.

She turned towards Melissa, gestured to the tree, and said, "Hey, um, China Woman. Do you think we could maybe, um, take a break from fighting evil for a quick rest? Your, um, sidekick could use a drink."

She tried to smile and keep the tone light. No need to show that she was having trouble. No need to be serious. Everything would be fine.
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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I Will Follow You into the Dark · The Mountain