"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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MurderWeasel
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Somehow we drifted off too far...
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((Kimberly Nguyen continued from Everybody Knows))

Upon reaching the town, Kimberly chose to stick to the comforting and familiar, making her way towards the flowers and the statue in the center of everything. She was pretty sure the announcements had specifically noted that there would not be a weapon to find there. That was tantamount to telling everyone left alive not to waste their time. It suited Kimberly just fine. She didn't want to fight anyone, didn't want to get into yet another petty squabble over something unimportant.

There were twelve people left alive, maybe less by now. It was nearly unreal. She'd never imagined that she would still be breathing at this point. When Kris had shot her, Kimberly had assumed that the remainder of her life could be counted in minutes, maybe hours if she got unlucky and it took a while to bleed out. Sarah had patched her back together, but that had seemed such a temporary measure, such a fleeting hope. The island had never stopped reminding her that she wasn't in a good position. Jeremy Franco had been the first of many people to get the upper hand while dealing with Kimberly. He'd told her, way back whenever—could it have been only a week ago?—that she couldn't maintain on her own, that she couldn't afford to keep acting like she knew what she was doing when she so clearly didn't, that she couldn't spit in the face of charity and expect it to work out.

And yet, here she was, one of the final twelve living people on the island and still fit to do no more than pretend to be a badass, with her fake gun and her volatile chemicals and her cheap plastic lighter and her complete lack of any ideas as to what she should do next.

On her way to the town, once she had cleared the danger zone and her collar had stopped beeping at her, Kimberly had finally unwound the spare rope she'd been carrying for most of the game. She'd undone the knot she had made way back in the south-eastern woods, had eventually separated the hook from the rope entirely. She still kept the metal part tucked in her belt. It didn't seem like a good weapon, certainly not the equal of the knife she had left lying in the dirt next to Kris' body, but it didn't have to be. All she needed was something to maybe divert an attack with, something to make people think twice if she lost the fake gun and wasn't able to back someone down with the explosives. Besides, it was easier to travel light. Her pack had nothing in it now, except that one Molotov cocktail. The one stuffed into her sweater's hand-warmer, where the lighter clinked against it every couple steps, formed the other part of her actual armament.

All of this was a little bit silly. It didn't matter at all. She didn't give a fuck if she could back off the dangerous psychopaths. Kris was gone, and nobody else was quite that scary. What Kimberly wanted wasn't even to scare everyone away. What she wanted was someone to talk to again, someone to help her maybe figure the remainder of her life out. Erik had been different. He'd made the world real again, in some little way. He'd let her laugh at stupid jokes instead of pain. He'd let her talk about being crazy and feel more sane than she had since back home. He'd bandaged her wounds and she'd tried to fix his.

He'd died a pointless, arbitrary death.

That brought it all home again. That was what Kimberly was afraid of, why she needed a way to control any encounter she found herself in. She didn't want to bleed out in some near-stranger's lap. She didn't want to listen as someone futilely tried to patch her together again, as they lied to her and told her she'd be fine, as if that would make it any better. She didn't want to be prey for some newly-deranged lunatic howling for blood. She'd never let that happen, never again.

Really, she wished she'd been involved in whatever had happened a few days ago. It would have been a better way to go, if they were dead, and if they weren't, as Kimberly suspected, well, anything was better than this. She'd said her piece to Sarah and Bridget, but there had been others who had left whom she'd owed some words. Jeremy Franco, for one.

What are you doing now, Jeremy? Are you enjoying yourself? I hope you are.

I don't think I ever hated you.

And now Kimberly was back in her place, sitting on the rim of the fountain, surrounded by the flowers. Nothing much had changed from last time she was here, before Kris, before Erik. The flowers were a little more withered. The bodies were a little more rotten. She wasn't looking too closely. She didn't want to know if any bones were visible yet. There was a very good reason Kimberly stuck to the psychological end of the horror spectrum.

Idly, she realized that, before experiencing this herself, she probably would have found this corpse-covered island a wonderful setting for a story.
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