Rose sits down on a carpeted stair in the entryway and puts the bottle down by her feet. Running her fingers through her hair, she breathes, calming the thumping of her heart. She’s okay. She’s made it. She doesn’t have to see anyone else until…until they’re all dead? Until she’s the victor?
Finnegan ascends the cracked pavement steps, his hands trembling at his sides. In anticipation, he assures himself. He lifts a shaking hand to the metal frame of the door and gives it a shove, jumping backwards as the sheet of glass crumples inwards and shatters on the floor just inside the building.
Eventually, Carlotta’s laughs subside, and she uncurls on the slab of rock and turns onto her back, staring up into the slate grey sky.
When she wakes up, Feral is there, her hands over her mouth. Rosalie makes a tiny noise, but Feral shakes her head. After a moment, Feral removes her hands and puts a finger to her lips.
Kyrie is surprised, but not displeased by the silence as Feral steps away from the doorway. He crouches down beside the collapsed Rosalie and examines her peaceful face.
Jessalyn drops a load of items down beside the prostrate form of her useless ally. She stares at his placid face, fed up. “You going to stand up?” He looks at her, which just serves to frustrate her further. Suddenly, she can’t stand to look at him. “I’m going ranging.” She withdraws a walkie-talkie from her jeans pocket and tosses it onto his midsection. “Here.” She scoops up a switchblade and slips a hammer through her belt.
Jessalyn returns before too long, and she’s still furious. Castiel remains stretched out on the sleeping bag and ignores her as she drops an armful of items on the pavement next to him.
Linus crawls over to the other side of the building, where, just above the fog in the distance, he sees something that looks a lot like treetops. Perfect. The street below seems deserted—whoever it was that passed by earlier must have continued down another street. Linus only takes time enough to catch his breath before he climbs carefully down the pipes and sneaks across the street. From the shadow of a deserted strip mall, he darts down the next street, keeping a constant eye out for other tributes.
Feral stands up from the collapsed Rosalie and walks off into the dimly lit building.Aisles of books fade into her vision, shafts of grey light playing with swirls of dust rising from floor and shelf. Feral puts her hands to her forehead as she walks between two towering bookshelves, fighting an urge to cry, or collapse, or walk back out into the square to face Jessalyn’s fury. As the musty atmosphere and the scent of old books dull her boiling emotions, her thoughts turn to her allies.
Nessa stares blankly at the door for a long time, just sitting on the step and letting the metal edge of the crowbar bite into her tense palm. Suddenly she droops, and a shiver runs through her. Blinking and shaking her head, she stands and loosens her grip, glancing almost uncomprehendingly at the bar as it thuds into the floor. She sighs.