Amanda got back into the Black Room and felt her back, feeling each bump climbing up her vertibrae. She sighed in relief and then made her way back to the main island in the hope of finding Daniel. She saw him, sitting by the fire, watching it as if lost in thought. He didn't look happy.
“I'm back!” she called, giving him her most winning smile.
Daniel looked up at her and Amanda took a step back.
“What... what's happening to you?” she said, rushing to him and holding his face. Oh, his face... broken into pieces that shine with blue light around the edges. Electricity snapped at her palms, but she held on.
“Amanda...” he said, at a loss for words for a moment before he breathed, “I suck at keeping promises...”
“No,” Amanda said, shaking her head, “What the hell is happening to you? Talk to me!”
“I think the system has finally... recognised me. But...” he looked at his broken hands, “as a virus.”
“You can't leave me!” Amanda cried, “Not again! Not again!”
“Stop it,” Daniel whispered, “you have to let me go now.”
“I can't, Daniel! Not now. Not yet,” Amanda moaned, tears running down her face, “Please...”
“Listen to me,” Daniel said, stroking her face. The touch cracked like a whip against her skin, but she held his hand and pressed it against her cheek, “I love you. At least, this time, I get to say that. At least you're here with me, and not stuck somewhere else not knowing where I am, what I'm doing. I never would have left you, Amanda. You have to know that. You know that now, don't you?”
Amanda sniffed. She didn't know which was worse - being beside him or oblivious when he died. She looked at him with a hardened face, “I'm not letting this happen.”
“Amanda...” Daniel shook his head, “Stop.”
“I can't let this happen again,” Amanda said, looking at the fire, “I won't. You're coming with me.”
“What? What are you talking about?” Daniel watched as Amanda grasped his hand and put her other hand into the fire, “Stop it, Amanda!” he cried, realising what she was trying to do.
Amanda screamed as the false flames generated the pain into her hand, “I'm not leaving you! And you aren't leaving me!” she cried out, “I'm taking you with me!”
Daniel tried desperately to pull her away, “You'll get yourself killed!”
“Without you?” Amanda exclaimed, her torn screams of pain echoing throughout the island, “I might as well be dead!”