The three of us load into the elevator, and I press myself up against the cold backwall.

"There's only two ways to stop her," Rivers says, pressing the button as the door shuts. "Kill her, or reveal the secrets of the reassignment system to the public."

"No killing," I mumble, closing my eyes.

The pain is in my neck now, giving me a splitting headache. My heartbeat drums in my ears, making my hands shake uncontrollably.

"Why not? After all the death she has caused, why should she live?" Rivers asks.

"Is she solely responsible for those?" I ask, opening one eye and glancing at him, "Because last time I checked, you didn't stop her. If we reveal her secrets, we reveal yours too. And mine."

I take a deep breath, clutching my arm against my chest. The exhale burns, and my ribs ache.

"She took it upon herself to decide who should live and who should die," I continue, closing my eyes again, "If I decide to kill her, I am just like her."

I feel a hand on my shoulder. When I open my eyes, I see Isaac, staring at me with his eyebrows turned down. .

"I understand," he whispers, breathy, "But we still have to get rid of her."

There's such kindness in his face that I smile, nodding.

"I agree, but that doesn't mean killing her. There's a whole world out there to set her loose in."

Rivers nods in surprise, holding the button to keep the elevator doors closed as we arrive at the intended floor.

"I suggest," I say, pushing off the wall, "That we capture her and throw her in the cells for now. Once the vaccine in finished, we can figure out what to do with her."

"What will you tell the compound?" Rivers asks.

"Nothing. Sometimes, withholding the truth is best for everyone involved. I'll have to tell them something, but not just yet."

Isaac squeezes my shoulder, making me wince. He grimaces, moving his hand to rest on my back instead.

"So, we capture her," he says, "I'll take down her henchman. I owe him for knocking me out in the first place."

I laugh, nodding.

"I don't think I'm going to be much help in this fight," I say, holding my limp arm up. Isaac pats my back.

"Don't worry about it. We can handle them."

Why is he being so nice to me? When did I do anything good for him? I brought him into this place; I told Toby to attack him. I designed the ambush on Compound 4, killing a city full of innocent people. He has no reason to be kind. Yet, here he is, ready to throw himself into a fight for me.

I don't deserve his friendship at all, but I'm selfish. I need him.

"When this door opens," Rivers says, pulling my attention away from Isaac, "It begins. You need to be ready."

Isaac smiles at him, pushing a strand of hair out of his face. The caked up blood crumbles to the floor at his touch.

"Let's have some fun," he says, waggling his eyebrows at Rivers.

Rivers rolls his eyes and releases the button, and Isaac braces himself for an attack, hands out in front of him, knees slightly bent.

It doesn't come, though. Not right away.

Kovach and Toby are standing a ways down the hall, staring at us. Toby's face is bright red, arms crossed over his chest as he glares at us. Kovach has her hands on her hips and a smirk pressing on her lips.

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