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So Give Me Something to Believe; Open!
Topic Started: May 7 2011, 06:01 PM (2,185 Views)
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[ *  *  * ]
(Alice Boucher continued from Cracking)

Quincy Jones was not in the Swamp.

He was not in the Key, with the wreckage of the boat. He was not in the corpse-filled, danger-zoned Warehouses (though there had been an Uzi there, in a cabinet that Sarah's key had opened; she had given it to Aston without a word), or in the Felled Forest: North, or the Logging Road or the Sawmill or the Lighthouse, or the Church. And he was not here, on the Northern Cliffs, where two figures stood far away, windblown.

Joe Rios and Jackie Myrie.

She didn't know what to think of either of them. She hadn't been paying attention to the announcements, and wouldn't take them for the truth even if she had been.

She and Aston had their feet dangling from the cliff. Aston's mouth was twisting; frustration? Annoyance? Alice didn't really care. Quincy Jones was far away. He would come to them, maybe. As long as they stayed alive, as long as he stayed alive, they would find him, eventually. The island would grow smaller. And she would shoot him, like she told Aston she would, and it would be one more mission completed, one more person gone.

Aston hadn't talked much; that was how Alice liked it. She had touched Alice's shoulder once, impulsively and surprisingly warmly, when Alice had spasmed, shuddered, suddenly, thinking about Sarah, Sarah's body, Sarah's pleas. Alice didn't say why, and Aston hadn't asked.

So they had been together, for nearly a day now, like sleepwalkers. Exhausted walking--it was malnutrition--hardly speaking. And now, and now a metallic megaphone voice was whistling through the wind, and telling them--and telling them that boats had come. That they were being rescued. That all but--that all but the players could go home. Not Sarah Atwell. Obviously.

We committed a crime together. It ties us.

She wanted Mama and Papa so badly. They were out there, in the real world, past the boats and the waters, in France, with all the things she missed--real food, with the sort of unpasturized cream you could never find in the awful Americas, and proper coffee, and music, and francs. Mama and Papa. Warm bed. Home.

Not being afraid.

But that wasn't everything.

They had said--they had said they wouldn't take players. And Alice Boucher was a killer. French girl, alone on the island--she couldn't go.

This isn't my redemption, Sarah. You would know, if anyone would.

She wanted to go. She wanted to go home. And she would go home, now that she could see the rescue boats coming--the US army, or maybe it was the French, it didn't really matter. But they were hurried, these boats; they couldn't fit every student on the island, yes. And other students should go before her.

She couldn't leave yet.

Player.

Too much of a risk.

The man on the beach was saying what she was thinking.

...can get your collars off and take you home, on one condition: that you have not been murdering your classmates over the past week.

So Aston could go. Aston was not a killer.

And she was.

And Alice was glad, glad again, that she didn't have to make choices.

I can go later.

To Aston: "I can take you to the beach. But I won't go myself. I'm a player. I go last."

And somehow, these thoughts, these words, were so, so easy to say.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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[ *  *  * ]
I'm not going down there. Unless Quincy Jones is on that boat, I have no reason to be there. There's no point, don't you see? This place gives me some sort of purpose.

That made two of them.

You could look at Alice, look at her now, and she would be nothing. And in some ways she was. She was a vessel, a girl who had decided that getting redemption for a girl dead and gone was more important than--

--boats.

--rescue.

--freedom.

Because she could trick herself into thinking that they wouldn't take her, but in fact, she didn't know. She could go down, try to talk to the man, maybe win his sympathy. Maybe go home.

But that action--was not correct.

Not yet. Not yet.

When the boats came back, maybe she'd have her rescue then. Maybe she'd have her freedom. Or maybe she'd be a strange and lifeless corpse--that fate didn't seem so frightful to her anymore.

How I've changed.

But it was something to think about. That she was making her own choice not to go down to the boats, not to try and plead for herself, not to paint herself as not-a-serial-killer, renounce Sarah's ugly legacy.

Not yet.

"We should--" she said, startling herself with her own voice, "We should go to the East Beach. We've searched this side of the island, and Quincy isn't here. They are probably just as loud on the East Beach. If he's on the other side of the island, he ought to be at the beach. Or at least near it."

Aston and Joe nodded, and she realized, to her surprise, that that sounded logical.

"I am sorry, Joe." I don't know what I'm apologizing for. "You can come with us--or stay. Your choice."

And Aston gave her a look, and Alice wasn't sure how to interpret it, but she did not want to lower her head now.

They were going.

But the boats will come again, the boats will come again, yes?

And maybe, by then, I'll be ready.

(Alice Boucher continued elsewhere)
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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