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Sam listened.

He only winced a little inside as Renee ventured close to his lies by omission. Rivers and Clark. It seemed kind of cold, like how Renee had referred to Julia as just Wilson. Impersonal. Detached. That was just the way it seemed to him, the act of calling people by their last names. Sam was a Wilson as well. He was distracted from the thought, however, because now Renee was crying.

It was kind of uncomfortable. It reminded him of Delilah's fear and his continuing failure to find her.

Again, Sam would have approached, patted Renee on the back a little, but he couldn't. Or wouldn't. There weren't any tissues, either, so all he could do was stand on the spot like a fool. By all accounts, it was hard to believe that this might be a ploy designed to draw him into a trap, but he had a mission and he couldn't afford to die.

Maybe he'd become cold, stone-hearted. Maybe that was necessary, now.

It didn't matter how he felt about it. She just needed to let it all out, all that pent-up emotion. Sam understood the feeling, the twisting in his gut that never seemed to go away. It wasn't the time nor the place to discuss his own problems, though.

Somehow in the past few seconds he'd allowed her to approach him again and place her hand on his shoulder. As she apologized, Sam hesitantly lifted his hand, and placed it on top of hers, as if he were patting his own shoulder. He gave her hand a squeeze, then lifted it away from his shoulder and let it go.

"It's fine. I don't mind listening." He did mind the crying, but a half-truth was half true, and he'd settle for fifty percent. He hefted the shotgun a fraction of an inch higher, unconsciously. "It's a rotten situation, yeah. But I think we can make it 'til they find us, and if we die... we ought to be trying to do something to get ourselves out of this mess when we bite it. Doing something that matters."

"You looking for anyone now? Anything?" Hesitation, on his part. Maybe he'd already said too much. It was probably unwise to say the next thing he was about to say. "Because, uh, I am."

"I need to find Delilah."
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Program V3 Prologue:
Sylvia Veneski -- F32 -- Clothes Hanger -- Alive -- Stroke of Midnight

Auld Lang Syne
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While Rome Burns · The Saloon
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