((Bernadette Thomas continued from Accept Our Ring and Join Our Fight))
It was nearing midday on the third day since Bernadette had holed herself up in this trashheap of a room. There had been a couple of times, mainly in the morning and early afternoon of the second day, in which she had considered the idea of moving around to reduce the risk of being found, but she had decided against it. After all, she was just as likely to run into someone while moving around, so wouldn't it be better to just stick with the slightly-more-familiar environment. At the very least, staying in one place would hopefully help her to recover her strength.
Today's pain wasn't the worst that she had ever felt. It wasn't "Oh god, get me to a hospital" levels of pain. Hell, if she had been back in Kingman, she might have even forced herself to go to school if there was an important test or event going on. It wouldn't have been pleasant, but she would have been able to manage. In the end, however, the thing that kept her from leaving her hideout was the same thing that had made her worry if she would be okay staying in one place.
In other words, it was those goddamn announcements.
Out past those walls, people were dying. More importantly, people were killing. She couldn't help herself from thinking of going out now and then... not just because of the concern that she might be found if she stayed in one spot, but also because it felt wrong to just sit in the corner while her classmates fought each other outside those walls. But ultimately, she always ended up putting those thoughts to the side. If her life was going to be in danger the instant she stepped through those doors, she couldn't afford to force herself. She needed to be in the best shape that she could manage.
Just a little bit longer...
((Content to be added later on, but actions and dialogue to remain generally the same.))
((Olivia Fischer continues from a concrete cave))
At first, Olivia was rather thankful that the body sitting in a corner was not, in fact, a body, but a person, a living, breathing person. Bernadette. Drawer, dancer. Brave. Not really a new beginning, but more like Hannah. Midway between. And guilt washed through her as she remembered Hannah, but she put it aside. Tried to, at least.
She'd been checking each and every room, trying to see if there were any bottles of water or packs of food scattered around. Part of her knew that she most likely wouldn't find a thing in these hallways, and she had planned for that. Across the bridge was the pub, and on the other side of the island was the storehouse. And if she somehow didn't find anything in either of those places, she could always try to distill water from the beach. How she'd manage that was an entirely different matter, but she'd cross that bridge when she got there.
If she ever planned on it, really.
Really, the only reason why she even bothered staying here was because in her mind was a sanctuary that she'd promised she'd return to. Once she found enough water and maybe some food, once she had that, she would let the four walls protect her and close in on her and encase her and hide her, hide her from the world, hide the world from her, she would eat her water and drink her water and accumulate dust on her skin and, until the collars told her to leave, she would stay. And if she ever had to leave, she would find some other asylum room, some other cave. She had a sanctuary, and she was intent on staying near it. The farther she went, by herself, like easy bait, the farther away from protection she'd be. So, maybe she'd get lucky, and find her supplies on the floor up. Who knew? Maybe God would just give her this. But instead of finding any of that, she found this new beginning sitting in front of her.
The easier option, as always, would have been to simply leave and go on her way. But she'd stood there for too long, and in the air hung this sort of expectation that one of them was supposed to say something. She wanted to do things different. Maybe Hannah had left her behind because she was too awkward, too shy.
So, she took a step into the room, and said, "Hey."