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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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And so, this was what it came down to, in the end. Aaron couldn't say he was surprised. A little disappointed, perhaps. He'd really thought Aileen was smarter than this. Had he known how this would all turn out, how little use she and Charlie would end up being, he would have just sent them to the boats. He hadn't wanted to see them dead, not when it didn't have any advantage for him. They had been useful, in their own ways. That had let him sleep safely at night. For that, he bore them no ill will.

Aileen, though, she had earned his ire in many other ways. The number of marks against her was increasing by the second. Aaron let her rant, let her keep talking, let her keep digging her hole. All the time, his own anger was mounting. So, this was how it was going to be. Aileen was going to betray him, and, beyond that, she was going to threaten him. She was implying that she had some power over him, that she could maybe get out of this by making him worry that killing her would somehow hurt his chances, by making him think that she was going to mess up any hopes he had for life after the island. That was pretty clever. A good start. Maybe she'd learned something after all, but it was too little, too late.

And so, as she threatened to read out of the book, Aaron leveled the pistol at her. It wasn't like there was anything else incriminating in there. It didn't matter. That wasn't what this was about. Aileen thought she held all the cards, but Aaron had planned far too well for this to hurt him.

"I don't think you should do that, Aileen," he said, and for once his anger manifested in quiet tones. He'd been holding back a lot over the past few days, and he was done with it now. He decided, in that moment, that Aileen was dead.

"You're forgetting a few things. Our group, we've been pretty quiet. Everyone who actually met us and could identify us by name is dead now, or, if not, is playing. No one is going to listen to Raidon when he swears I'm the bad guy.

"More than that, you're right. I did kill somebody. I killed somebody who was allied with a player, somebody who, if I recall correctly, killed a couple other people. That almost makes me a hero, you know, taking down the people who are preying on the innocent. And it occurs to me, now that I think about it, that you killed someone innocent too. Why, there's nobody alive to say otherwise, and we all know how wonderfully condemning the announcements were when you killed Milo."

A grin, here. Aaron had always delighted in making the final move. There was a time for discretion, but there was also a time to allow the reality of a situation to sink in, to allow other people to realize just how badly they had lost. He made sure to keep his gun trained. If Aileen was going to make a move in desperation, it would be now. He had to be ready for that. Winning didn't mean he could afford to be stupid about it.
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
Library Vee
Misty Browder drawn by Ryuki
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