A Number's Game


"Eight! Eight!" One's voice comes echoing through the great hall as she dashes across the floor and to the doors of the vault. "Eight, is she…?!" But a quick look around and One can only see Eight in the vault, sitting on the pile of phoenix stones.

He looks up, smiling despite the sadness in his eyes. "She's gone."

"Oh," She walks inside, sitting down at the base of the large stack. "I wanted to meet her."

"I hope one day you will."

"You told her everything, then, right? We won't be able to do this again."

"I think so…"

"What do you mean 'I think so'?"

"I may have been a little vague."

"EIGHT! This was our one chance!" One stands up, trying to reach over and smack him.

"Hey," Eight rolls to the side to avoid One's hand. "She's smart! She'll figure it out."

One huffs loudly, blowing her bangs out of her face. "You'd better hope so. The fate of an entire planet is riding on it." Her tone is sarcastic but playful, and it makes him smile. "It would be too much to ask to know if you mentioned anything to her about telling my boyfriend I'm not completely gone?"

"She distracted me; you should have shown up sooner!"

She rolls her eyes. "Forget it, then, we'll get there soon enough. We need to go; Ra is back and Ella will be able to fix it as long as we get out of here. Henri's in the city, he's waiting for us."

Eight looks over at her. "Ra's back already?"

"What can I say?" One shrugs. "He's like a mosquito."

Eight doesn't respond, and allows One to help him to his feet so the pair can escape the vault. Eight can't help but think more and more about what he said to Marina, and all the what-ifs and all the things he probably should have mentioned. There was too much to tell her, and not enough time, and maybe he may never get the chance to speak with her again.

"Do you think we can win this, One?" Eight asks her as they walk.

"Well, we're already dead, so—"

"You know what I mean!"

"Well, I mean, look at everything we put Marina through. And she had fewer resources and less skill. You know how it goes: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

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