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Clarice had been about to say something about how, sure, there were a lot of islands, but most of them probably didn't have enough intact structures. But Conrad trailed off before he finished, his attention elsewhere. Clarice moved away from the fence and took a step back so she could see.

Ah. Isabel. Clarice did not like Isabel, under normal circumstances. She was a petty bully, and there wasn't much Clarice disliked more than that.

But, even as Clarice moved forward a little, carefully putting herself between Conrad and Isabel—and she couldn't have really said who she was protecting, if anyone—she didn't think Isabel was the sort to fly off the handle too fast, either. She was a verbal bully, not a physical one.

So Clarice slipped the can of air freshener into her pocket before showing her empty hands to Isabel. Her expression was noticeably annoyed, but not hostile.

“It's fine. We're not playing. Are we, Conrad?”

That last sentence came with a warning glance in Conrad's direction, and a slight hint of steel in the tone.

“No-one's getting hurt here,” she said to Isabel. “Fair?”
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The Calm Before the Storm · Northwest Cliffs