((Melanie Beckett continued from How Can I Take Off This Mask?))
Now she was alone.
Astrid would laugh at her if she knew how she'd gotten here. Mel could almost see the way that Astrid's lip would curl, that glint of condescension in her eye. The thought was comforting. The only option for her would be to return fire, to shoot off her mouth with whatever came to mind, to catch Astrid off guard and off balance.
It would feel good to fire back again, to poke and prod against an opponent she at least knew. Astrid was driven and arrogant and dangerous - acted tough, acted like she didn't give a shit. This place was unlikely to change her that much. She was out there somewhere and probably looking to get a kill and get out of here, and if they ended up running across each other there might be more than just words exchanged. Astrid of Locksley - and a free arrow in the head for Mel Beckett. Sure, why not.
They weren't friends, because she was pretty sure Astrid would never have admitted it if they were. If she had a list of people she wanted to look for, Astrid would have been third.
Alvaro would have been fourth. There had been a gunshot, a bullet flying blind in the dark. That had been the moment she had stopped chasing him.
She hadn't wanted to kill him. Not really. Only in the depths of her fury had she maybe considered otherwise.
When Serena had pointed the gun to execute him, when Mel had opened her mouth to protest, it was because of that idea, again - if there were no terrorists, if they were just stranded here and left to starve, would they have considered killing him? More likely he would have never killed in the first place, would have never felt the need to fight back if he was to be taken on his word. But if he had he would have still been a murderer, someone who needed to be contained before he hurt anyone else. Not killed, though that was the easy way out and exacted vengeance in a way that no other solution did. There was no way to call the police here, but they could have still tied him up somehow. Brought him along. And even though time would take its toll and they would die and he would die, every one of them being burdens on each other, they could have at least tried to make a change for the better.
It hadn't been a practical solution, but she had never wanted to be practical here yet.
This had turned out to be just as impractical. She had left behind her bag and her friends and chased down Alvaro only to realize that he was still fighting back the only way he knew how - and she had no weapon and no backup.
Astrid would definitely laugh.
There was a long walk ahead of her, and she bent down and brushed off gravel from her jeans, the knee sections torn up and scuffed from a stupid not-quite-fall. The slopes had not been kind on the way down, and she was going to hate going back up them, but it could have been worse. It was almost funny, to think that a chase between two sleep-deprived idiots on a rocky and treacherous incline hadn't ended up causing any more injuries than Cameron's one unlucky step on a staircase.
She'd had enough time to think now. It had been easy to think before, as easy as making a justification for any heated choice she made. Too easy. She'd thought chasing after Alvaro made sense, that she had a responsibility to fulfill. She hadn't taken in the big picture. Hadn't even asked that Serena and Aiden follow her, or even considered how they might have reacted to her charging off like that. Hadn't even checked that they hadn't been shot.
If she was really taking on her responsibilities, she couldn't duck out on them like she had Cameron. She couldn't very well contain Alvaro by herself in any case. She wasn't giving up on it, but if she ever had another chance to do so, she would need their help. Maybe they'd get a truck to run Alvaro over with by then.
She would have to apologize. When she found them. If they'd welcome her back.
Mel began tracing her steps back again.
((Melanie Beckett continued in Electric Dreams))
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Man in Three-Piece Suit Eating Omelette with Hands
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