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master of sweg
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Will’s first night in the resort had not been an easy one.

Bella and Cathryn had been pleasant enough company and there were worse places to take shelter in than the museum, but as he’d taken watch and there conversation had trickled away into comfortable silence, his mind couldn’t help but drift away to everything that’d happened, every regret he had and everybody he missed. He’d promised himself he’d do better with Bella and Cathryn, but what if he failed again? What if that was to be his path in this game, a string of constant reunions with friends only for everything to shatter once they’d become comfortable once more. There was no way he could make it through something like that with himself intact, no way he could go through all of that and still be the same Will Brackenrig from back at Davison.

But as the day’s exhaustion finally enveloped him and he drifted into a welcome slumber, those thoughts were mercifully driven from his head.

He shot awake as a familiar crackle echoed throughout the building and the latest announcements were broadcast around him, accompanied by a sense of oncoming dread that nestled deeply within his stomach. It wasn’t unfounded. More and more people had died, and just as many people had taken to killing as well. Lucia, Gene, Shadi - they’d begun killing too, and Matthew and Riley had been killed as well - both by the same girl, someone from the other school. He had little sympathy for Gabriel’s death after what he’d done to Lucy, but the thought that he’d never see the boy alive again was still far too unsettling. None of that held a candle to another name on the list, however; Erik was dead, he was really dead, there was no chance for denial anymore, he was gone and Will had truly failed. That girl who’d killed Davis and Lisa had gotten him as well, and taken out Naomi just a moment before she’d ended Erik’s life. Ramón’s death finishing the quota, and with its announcement came the knowledge that Will and the other Naomi were the only members remaining of his team - the thought alone enough to churn his stomach.

Did he really need to think about his team anymore? What reason was there to prioritise a girl he’d never met before over the steadily-dwindling amount of friends he’d grown up with, just because they’d been randomly catalogued together? He wasn‘t going to last long here, he knew that, and if he was going to die he’d rather spend it in the company of those he loved instead of strangers. He dug his lip between his teeth as he fought back the tears that threatened to spill forth, and tried to think clearly beyond the emotions that tore through him.

He was broken out of his thoughts as Bella’s soft voice reached his ears, expressing concern that Eden mightn’t be coming. He’d figured as much, any hope for her arrival having gradually diminished with every hour that’d passed the previous night, but he couldn’t vocalise that to Bella, not now of all times. Optimism wouldn’t do anything for him, would no longer provide any comfort for him, but it was what he was good at and he needed to pep Bella up as much as possible. If he was going to protect her and make up for his past failures, then he needed to keep her upbeat and like the Bella he’d known back in Albuquerque. What was the point of protecting someone if they stopped being the person you wanted to keep safe?

“We don’t know that,” he said gently, forcing a smile that he hoped provided his friend with a semblance of comfort. “She might’ve just gotten caught up somewhere, that’s all. Don’t give up hope yet.”

He was considering making mention of Shadi, weighing up whether it was something he and Bella should talk about - the two of them were thick as thieves together back at school - but before he could manage much else the silence of the area was pierced by a muffled shout from the museum’s entryway. His eyes darted towards the doors that led into the building, the situation much to similar to what’d happened with Isaiah and Lucy for him to approach it with an entirely calm mindset. The voice that’d echoed around them was unfamiliar, but he immediately recognised the name that was mentioned within its words. Gene, a boy whom Will had been fairly friendly with back home - they’d met through drama performances and the like - and also a noted murderer. That knowledge gave him pause, but it wasn’t as if they could just pretend they weren’t there or demand the duo outside to leave, could they? He had to reply, as reluctant as he was to do so.

“Gene? Is it really you? I’m here with Bella, and...” He paused, breathing in deeply so as not to betray the uneasiness that raced through him. “Yeah, it’s just the two of us.”

For all he knew, Yagmur might’ve been the greatest guy in the world, but if the opposite was true he didn’t want to give away everybody’s position - Cathryn would likely know who he was, so if he was amiable she’d be able to confirm and if not, well, she’d have the element of surprise. It was sick to think about, but he needed to all the same. And who knew? Maybe his precautions wouldn’t prove necessary and their latest encounter would go off without a hitch.

You could only hope, right?
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The Jellies Experience · The Aqua-Museum
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