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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Kimberly was aware of the person nearby. She could hear the soft footsteps. The air felt charged. She willed herself to calm down. She wasn't going to freak out just because there was somebody there. The odds were pretty good it was a player. Most of the people left were probably playing. It was pretty fucking hard not to start thinking about the odds and crunching the numbers when you heard there were only a dozen people left. Kimberly had been trying, trying as hard as she could. She didn't need unrealistic dreams fucking up her attainable goals.

She still yanked the fake gun from her pocket. She left it in her hand, limp by her side, and waited a couple seconds until the voice came, then turned to face the speaker.

Whatever she had been expecting, she was still shocked. With her glasses gone, the entire world was still a little bit blurry, but Kimberly could recognize the figure before her from the general outline, from the voice and height and coloration. The facial features were identical. There was blood on the girl, but no one was in perfect health anymore. Kimberly suspected that, apart from the injuries she herself had sustained, she was also seriously malnourished. Her jeans didn't fit quite as snugly as they had a couple days ago. If there wasn't so much other awful shit going on, it would have been a big concern.

That wasn't really important. What mattered was that, for just a second, Kimberly was sure she was looking at Reika Ishida again. She was wondering whether, through some strange miracle, she'd been correct in her assumptions back on the first day, whether she'd hit her head and imagined everything since, whether their class really had refused to play, whether there had been some mix up with Kris' bags and she'd never shot her gun. Maybe Kimberly was just now regaining her consciousness to realize that it was all okay.

It only lasted a second.

"Reiko," Kimberly said with a bit of a smile. "I don't want trouble. Have a seat?"

She knew Reiko was probably bad news. She knew the girl had killed a lot of people, more than Kris, maybe. Kimberly had no personal stake in Reiko's actions, though. If anything, she was slightly curious about this girl, who it seemed she had been circling around even since before the trip, flitting at the edges of her life but never making an actual appearance. This would, in all likelihood, be her only chance to indulge her interest. No reason not to take advantage of it, except the danger, and there was danger everywhere.

Besides, she had a few tricks she'd figured out in case anything went wrong.
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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