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((Samuel Wilson continued from While Rome Burns))

They'd been walking, the desert heat intensifying. The sun had peaked; then, clouds. That had been a short respite- and then, the Sheriff spoke to them.

More dead, more killers. The Sheriff's voice had come out of nowhere again, telling them the classmates they'd never see again. Sam had listened. He couldn't have done anything else. Clair was the first to be mentioned, and that had been a painful reminder of his failures. Amelia Lennon and Brian Larke were killers now as well.

And then, Delilah's name. Not dead, which could only mean that she'd killed again. She'd started some sort of fire, and that had taken out Holly and Amanda. The Sheriff had said Holly had been a killer. Sam didn't really know what to think about that. The Sheriff had told only truth so far as Sam knew, and he wanted to believe that Delilah had killed in self-defense. A fire wasn't easy to harness. It could have been an accident.

It was too easy to justify. Fact was, more people were dead. Their class was dwindling. People he'd known for more than a decade were dying, their names read out by some impersonal sadist. He couldn't keep justifying, either way. When he found Delilah, that's when he'd have to get the truth, one way or another.

Renee was still following him, far as he knew. He checked back on her every few minutes, enough to check if she was okay. For other reasons too. He had to stay alive, and that meant no trusting, not anymore, no matter how hard-hearted that made him.

They had been walking. They were still walking. Slowly, the cacti appeared, and Sam knew where he was. The last time he had been here, he had been with Clair, looking for Delilah. Now, Clair was dead. Renee was following. He was still looking for Delilah. Things hadn't changed for the better; he hadn't changed for the better.

As his eyes scanned the surroundings, they lit upon a figure, seemingly busy with something. But he recognized the figure. Amelia Lennon. She'd killed.

He wondered, had anyone not killed by now?

"Hold it," he said, his voice a sharp whisper directed behind him. "It's Amelia. What do you reckon we should do?" In a few seconds, she'd probably recognize them too, and that plan'd have to be put into action.
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Program V3 Prologue:
Sylvia Veneski -- F32 -- Clothes Hanger -- Alive -- Stroke of Midnight

Auld Lang Syne
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Far From Home · Cactus Patch Springs
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