Penelope leaned up against Raina as the group rested, trying her best to keep her fear about what lay ahead of them under control.
Her thoughts strayed back to the uncertainties, to the people who had already killed. How long would it be until they ran into someone that words and offers of comfort alone would not stop? The list of known murderers had only grown as time went on, as more of even her good friends had succumbed to the pressure, to the allure of another chance at life, and had ended the life of another person. Even of the people that had not yet killed, how many of them were like Astrid, already convinced to take the plunge and simply without the chance to act on it yet?
Penelope munched on a calorie bar that she had absentmindedly pulled from her bag, doing her best to ignore the dry texture and unpleasant flavor. She rested her head on Raina, staring at the wall of the bedroom they were in.
She swallowed as she looked around the room and at everyone in it. There was little hope that her plan could possibly succeed when even some of her friends, even sweet Alessio, had gone off the deep end in a way that couldn't be reversed. There was little hope that they could possibly somehow outwit a terrorist organization with years of experience and a vast difference in available equipment and escape.
She stared at Ben, who was absentmindedly looking off in the distance. If they couldn't win, if they couldn't beat the terrorists, then how many of the people around her right now would she see die before her very eyes?
And if she died before them, how many of them would see her die? How many of them would have to live with her death until they died themselves?
She gulped and resumed staring off into the distance, doing her best to breathe and relax. Despite her best efforts, however, she couldn't ignore the gnawing thoughts in the back of her head.
She was afraid.
((Penelope Fitzgerald continued in Hyphaema