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Jasper’s musing was interrupted by Henry handing him the bandage and alcohol pad. “Oh, thanks,” he said, putting the bottle down to take care of his wound. He took a moment to look at his bandaged palm and sighed. He’d just woken up and he’d already injured himself.

Then he remembered that it wasn't supposed to be a big deal. People got cut like this all the time at home, and it didn’t matter. But here, every little thing impacted your chance of survival. Everything he did here on out would decide whether he lived or died.

Jasper knew, deep down, that this was wrong. They were high schoolers, for crying out loud! They were supposed to be at school, studying, socializing, preparing for college. Their days weren’t supposed to be numbered, spent watching their backs around their closest friends. Survival of the Fittest was cruel, wrong, and unnatural. And Jasper wanted no part of it.

His thoughts drifted back to the bottle. It had been given to him as a weapon, but he knew that he couldn’t bring himself to hurt anyone. He wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Jasper picked up the bottle and rose to his feet, walking to the edge of the dock. Taking a deep breath, he raised the bottle above his head and threw it out into the bay with all his might. He watched it sail across the sky, getting smaller as it went farther and farther. It hit the water with a barely visible splash, and then it was gone. Out of sight, out of mind.

Jasper exhaled, and felt a weight in his chest lift. He walked back over to Henry, picking up his bag. “So what do we do now?”

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