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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Autumn's reaction showed quite well the continued deterioration of her mental state. Even if her comments did make a little sense—albeit not in any logical fashion, but on an emotional association level—Claire didn't want to stick around to see what new insanity she manifested. Autumn hadn't become violent at any point, but she'd gotten close. She was now suggesting that Claire leave. That had been Claire's goal ever since she figured out that Autumn wasn't quite there.

The only trick was doing this safely. She had to be very careful. She had to make sure there was no opportunity to spring a trap.

"Do not let her shoot you in the back."

So Claire backed away, keeping her gun up and aimed. Throughout this whole encounter, violence had seemed nearly inevitable, but now they were done with each other, finished with this little standoff. Autumn could finish her silly plan, and Claire could get back to work actually making it out of here alive, making it home to her parents.

"Bye," she said. She could've said more, but brevity seemed politic here.

She kept moving backwards, not dropping her guard for an instant, until she was under the cover of the swamp. Once she was sure Autumn didn't have a line of fire, she turned and headed back towards the center of the island. She'd find somewhere better next time, somewhere without unstable people. Assuming, of course, such a place still existed on this island.

((Claire Lambert continued in So Close))
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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