Joe woke up to Aileen leaning uncomfortably close and calling him a noble knight. Which was extremely weird and Joe was certain, for a couple of moments, that this was still some kind of dream. Which was only emphasized by the announcements crackling on and the wrong voice coming out. Joe sat up as the new voice explained that no-one had
Joe stayed still. He felt a slight chill after hearing the beep, but nothing else. No panic. Then the voice said it was a joke. ...What kind of joke was that? Was making children fight to the death not fun enough for them?
Then the names started, and Joe shut his eyes, hoping against all hope that Travis and Marcus weren't on there. That he wouldn't lose another friend today.
Travis and Marcus didn't come up. But others did. Brandon Baxter, trapped in a danger zone. If Joe had stuck with him, would that have happened? And Lydia... killed by Max Sawyer, who killed two others just before her at the hotel. Joe was at the hotel. If he'd just... stayed or checked the rooms a little better...
Joe felt much worse hearing about the deaths than he had about the imminent destruction of everyone on the island. At least it would have been over.
The area they were in was declared a danger zone. Aileen bolted, yelling at him to do so as well. Joe didn't move from the sofa immediately. It would be so much easier to just stay. To not think about this any longer. That threat of collar detonation had sounded much better than playing the game.
But he had Travis and Marcus to think about.
He clambered to his feet, grabbed his things and ran after Aileen.
((Joe Carrasco continued in The Things We Lost In The Fire