Rayna sat beside the brook and let vague disconnected thoughts about power and responsibility tumble through her mind. Perhaps it was a mistake, taking on zombie Jeff Fordham singlehandedly instead of running, but she couldn't see a better choice. Ever since the zombie epidemic had started, there didn’t seem to be any good choices left—just those she could live with and those she couldn’t. And this one?
She pulled a copy of Rolling Stone out of her bag, running her fingers over the cover. Things had been so much simpler when she was on the cover and the worst thing she had to worry about was how to apologize to Deacon for having let too much truth show. Now, as she tried to immerse herself in the familiar magazine, two pages in was an In Memoriam spread from the first round of attacks, and her attention was pulled right back to the issue at hand.
What-ifs kept running through her mind. What if Teddy was right, and hiding out in the government bunker with him and the girls was the right thing to do? What if Rayna’s course of action was the best one, but there would still be dire consequences—death or… worse?
Rayna looked at the glossy photos of famous victims’ smiling faces and closed the magazine. No, she decided, going after Jeff and the rest of his growing zombie army was the best thing to do, and she was going to do it. She had put herself into the eyes of the world and fought hard to stay there, spent her life both benefitting and suffering from that choice. She knew what being in the spotlight meant, and this, unexpected as it was? Was just one more piece of that. People would be looking to her, and they needed to see strength and hope when they did, so they could hold onto their own. What she did right now mattered. Maybe she would come back from this and maybe she wouldn’t, but either way, she could make a difference. She tucked the magazine back in her bag and stood up with all the practised poise of someone who had spent half her life walking onto stage. It was time.