Maddie stood still and silent, still looking at the ground, as Tyler left. She thought about what he said. Was she really playing to win?
She supposed that she was. That was what she wanted, right? To win? To live?
At what cost? Her humanity? A happy life in the future? She moved her eyes to look at RJ as he came over to her. He said something. She wasn't sure what he said. She wasn't listening. Looking at him made her remember that in order for her to live RJ must die at some point. Who or what would be the one to do him in? Infection from his wounds? A player? Her? So many questions that, if answered, would probably raise more questions. She slumped and awkwardly sat down on the rotting boards of the abandoned harbor.
She had to really think, to consider, what she was doing here. She was trying to play smart, make it to the end that way. Playing smart, what a joke. There's no such thing as playing smart in this sick game, just not playing dumb. Now that she thought about it, the fact that she was playing at all was bad. A better person, a stronger person, would refuse to play. The people that this game deemed the most fit to survive aren't actually the strongest at all, if anything they were the weakest, the cowards. She was weak because she wanted to win, to play the awful game. She was a coward.
But, despite what she was thinking, nothing could change the fact that she wanted to live. She didn't want to die, she wanted to enjoy what little available time on this planet she had. She wanted it to last as long as possible. She didn't want to enter eternal dreamless sleep just yet. But in order to live sacrifices had to be made. That was the nature of the game. What would she have to sacrifice? Only time could tell, until then she had to keep pushing forward, making sacrifices, gaining a few more minutes of precious life.
And right now pushing forward involves getting her ally and herself out of here. She stood up and looked at RJ. "Let's get out of here. You lead."
((Madeline Wilcox continued in Affluenza