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King

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I opened my eyes once I felt the bike start to slow down significantly. From what I could tell, we were now in the middle of the forest. "What are you doing!" I shouted at Roe, both out of shock that he was slowing down and because Winder was still screaming.

"It's out of gas!" Roe answered as the bike came to a complete stop. It was good to know that my hearing was still in tact.

"Great, it would be out of gas," Winder muttered. Kanon climbed off the bike first.

"What do you mean it's out of gas? It can't be!" I said.

"Well it is," Roe answered.

"Never again," Winder said as he climbed off the bike.

"You got that right," I said as I stuck my finger in my left ear in an attempt to make the ringing stop. "Alright so ... I guess we'll take off on foot then?"

"We can't keep running," said Roe.

"What do you mean we can't keep running?" I asked.

"Didn't you hear the announcement on the street monitors?" Roe asked. I shook my head. "Word's already gotten out that we've 'gone missing.' The Queen has offered a reward for anyone who finds us and brings us back to the castle."

"Dead or alive?" Winder asked. I glared at him. "What? It's a legit question!"

"I didn't catch all of it, but she say something about you being a traitor to Hearts," he answered as he looked at me, "so my guess is, she could care less whether you come back dead or alive, since she can just find the kid that replaces you."

"Well gee, that's encouraging."

"Don't worry Lil' Missy, ain't no one gonna lay a finger on ya," Kanon said, tapping his backpack. "Still got my trusty hunting rifle loaded and ready to go."

"So if we're not gonna run, what else can we do?" I asked.

"Everybody's probably out looking for us," Roe said. "People were already shouting stuff at us as we drove through the Hearts Center."

"Great, we're gonna die," Winder said. For once I thought he was right about the whole dying thing.

Kanon suddenly started digging in his bag. "I think I hear somethin'," he said frantically as he pulled his rifle out.

"Ah! This can't be happening," I said, clearly frazzled. For once I was completely out of ideas. "What are we gonna do!"

"... I know what we can do," Roe said in a dangerously low voice. He then grabbed hold of my and Kanon's hands.

"Wha-what are you doing?" I asked as I quickly pulled my hand out of his.

"Look, it's either gonna be them, or us," Roe said simply.

"Well it's not gonna be me," Winder said grabbing my other hand. He had a firm grasp of it so I couldn't shake him loose.

Kanon placed his rifle on the ground. "He's right ya know," he said as he grabbed Winder's other hand. "It's always been about them, Lil' Missy. It's time that it was about us for once." Roe held his hand out towards mine so that I could complete the circle.

"Guys, this is nuts," I said. "We can't just blow up the whole world!"

"Yes we can!" Winder snapped. Roe's hand was still extended towards me. All I could think about were the what if's: what if we end up killing ourselves too; what if people don't actually die, but instead just get seriously injured; what if after we blow up the world, there's nothing left for us to survive on; what if Lark and Ilyx never forgive me (I'd still have to see them in the afterlife); what if ... what if we're doing it for the wrong reasons? Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to die ... but was it worth killing off the entire Drac population so that the four of us could live? Was it really worth it? As I really thought about it, I realized that there were a lot of things that nobody wanted: the aces of the past didn't want to get beaten to death; the Clubbers and Spadians didn't want to pay the price of a war that they themselves didn't start; the wild boar back in the Clubs forest didn't want to get shot; I didn't want to get shot; I didn't want to get treated differently for what I was rather than who I was; I didn't want to be born an ace. But life isn't fair. Life had never been fair to me, so why did I even consider the feelings of those who helped make my life so unfair? Of course I didn't want Lark and Ilyx to be gone forever ... but at the end of the day, they were just two people, right?

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