They were going to end up the same way.
That was the certainty that sunk in deep, that came together as a hard, twisted pit in her stomach. She'd known her death already, even thought about it, but only abstractly, like a looming specter, storm clouds in the distance, the darkening of the sky after sunset. Seeing this was taking a soccer ball to the gut. When Serena spoke, Mel wasn't sure at first whether Serena was blaming Alvaro or Wade or the terrorists, but it was suddenly too hard for her to say anything in response.
No way to lighten the mood, really. And no honest answer that satisfied her, only imaginings of fear and anger.
"I don't know," she finally said, so quiet that her voice didn't feel like her own.
Alvaro had done this, and she thought she knew how that hurt - to see her classmates give in, to suspect that this sort of evil had been within them all along. But it always came back to one thing: the terrorists had created the situation. It was their fault in the end. Maybe that was some small comfort.
"But we can't stay here. We can't just give up." Mel held out her hand, though she hardly expected Serena to take it as anything more than useless solidarity. "You're with us now, so... come on."
For now, they'd go somewhere else. Even if they couldn't escape this, they could try.
((Melanie Beckett continued in Aluminum Bicycle Rods