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Origin of Symmetry
You know that thing in old movies that people parody nowadays? Where things get eerily silent in what shouldn't be a quiet situation? Where badness was just around the corner and the calm before the storm was upon them and then right after the fucking hurricane rips your roof off?

Yeah. That was Blair right now.

Walking into an enclosed building with Alba? Not a problem. Girl was cool. But Fiyori was still an unknown, and something about her tone made Blair uncomfortable. She was still enigmatic and mysterious, and not in a good way. The eerie calm of the pair made her feel weird about it.

"Uh, I'll stay over here. Sorry, you know how it is." Blair shrugged sheepishly, moving slightly closer to the building but pointedly not entering the tower.

Origin of Symmetry
Welp, Blair sure heard her name that time. Wiping her mouth and clearing her throat, she looked inwards at the building. She could make out Fiyori's distinctively tall, dark and intimidating appearance, but she wasn't sure if she'd heard the girl's name pop up at any point-

Wait, hadn't she killed someone yesterday? Wasn't it one of the people there when she'd shot Georgia Lee? Coleen or something? Damn it, usually she had a good memory for this, but with all the stuff from that day and the day after it'd blurred together.

Fumbling with the SMG, Blair tried to gauge the risk of approaching and/or conversing these two. On one hand, Alba had pretty much solidified as someone harmless. Well, not harmless; she was armed, and she'd killed Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn was crazy at the time from the sound of it, and Alba didn't strike her as the type to go out and murder people. She'd had opportunity to attack before, and at this stage killing people didn't make you much less or more of a target than doing nothing.

Speaking of killing, Fiyori was more of an enigma, someone Blair didn't know much about from before and whose presence had gone unnoticed for most of their time. All three had blood on their hands, but Fiyori's victim was an unknown. Self-defense, or an attack? It was important to know, but only to inform her further decision. If she was like Alba and killed someone to save her own life, then there shouldn't be too much issue. Then again, if Alba had been chatting for a while unharmed, it was probably a safer bet.

"You got me. I'm just hangin' around." Blair assumed a more flippant tone, but there was still an edge to her voice. And she had a nice gun, albeit one pointed at the ground and with the safety flipped on.

But they didn't have to know that part.

Origin of Symmetry
Hrm, Blair was having trouble making anything out. A part of her was telling her to walk away, find something else to spend her time on.

Still, she was curious. For some reason, Blair was legitimately interested in seeing what Alba had to say. It wasn't even that she wanted to make amends; apologizing was an option, but given Blair had killed someone in front of Alba, she doubted it was a good option.

Tentatively moving closer to the door, Blair thought she caught a glimpse of someone, but she couldn't tell for sure. As she did so, she took a deep breath-only to immediately begin coughing as the perpetual mucus in her lungs agitated her breathing.

She covered her mouth and stifled the sound as best she could, but even then she knew it was probably loud enough to hear. She started backing away from the tower.

Origin of Symmetry
((Blair Moore continued from Gran Torino))

Spotting Alba near the radio tower as she exited the depot was only the second-most absurd event for Blair, the most absurd being the encounter with Bart and Scout when she'd left the office.

Well, sort of. Their corpses, at least.

Blair had slept pretty soundly, having barred the door. She might have heard a couple of bangs and some thuds while she was sleeping last night, but it was hard to be sure, false memories and all. Either way, Bart had a few bullet holes in him, though Scout's COD was more uncertain. She had blood and shit on her mouth, and as best as Blair could guess she might've fallen down the stairs. But being less than enthusiastic about performing an impromptu autopsy, she decided to forget about it.

The disturbing but important part was that she wasn't sure how to feel about their deaths. Scout had been looking for someone, and now she would never find her. Bart had seemed like a sweet if strange and unkempt boy. If they'd been killed at home? Total tragedy. Here? It was just two people she didn't really know well laying dead on a floor, just like what must have been seventy other abductees by now. If anything the fact that they'd died without her being involved but still giving her access to their supplies was a boon.

Admittedly, Blair wasn't always the most empathetic person. She wasn't so unaware of her own actions to miss when she was nasty on occasion. At least, in retrospect, especially now. So going through the stuff carried by the duo didn't bother her too much anymore, but how hard would it have been in the first place? Blair didn't know. It seemed obvious that this island had made everyone on it more callous, more resilient, more cruel. To what degree, she couldn't guess. Perhaps it was best that way.

Blair now felt a little more secure in her food and water situation, though not by much. She'd taken Scout's MAC 10 which, with some test shots, seemed to be a handheld machine gun type of deal. Rene's gun went into her back pocket while she carried the MAC 10 in her hands. She also forced Sawlaska snugly into her bag, loaded with the sawblade. Noah had meant a lot more to her than she'd expected, after all. If she and Rene hadn't met with him, who knew where she'd be now. Dead, or worse.

Of course, on the way out of the depot she didn't make it very far in her aimless transit before spotting a familiar silhouette. Alba Reyes was alone, which struck Blair as odd. She honestly had no idea what Alba thought of her, but she didn't really care. Well, a part of her did, but another part was sensible enough to guess that a gunfight was not a good activity to engage in. Not if she wanted to live, of course, and by this point, what else was there?

She could see Alba standing in the doorway, and Blair approached slowly. Stealth was probably not a realistic option here, but it was worth a shot. Evesdropping might reveal something useful. And if Alba was talking to someone worth taking out, like Caedyn or Kimiko or Alessio (or any other big killers, but Blair's memory was shot at this point), it might be a good chance to hit-and-run. It was perhaps a little hypocritical to say that murderous crazies didn't deserve to make it home when that was still Blair's tentative plan, but whatever. She wasn't crazy, at least. Probably.

Anyway, back to trying to pick up any sound from what was going on in the tower. At least it was better than walking, her legs and chest and feet all ached to an extent and stamina was not one of her advantages.

Staff Responsibility/Accountability
This has been bothering me a lot, for a few reasons, so I wanted to post here just to give my stance and hopefully provide some reasonable solutions.

First of all, as someone just noted, I feel I have a degree of personal involvement in this, because it was in my thread that Scout and Bart went inactive and I feel responsible because I held up the thread for two weeks. Obviously that doesn't excuse Ciel and Aura entirely, but that's another matter that I'll go into later.

Also, I feel like this conflict is growing rather than being resolved, which is concerning. As a few people have said, everyone just wants the site to be a fair and fun place to write (about murder). The issue is essentially subjective, because it asks where the rules need to be drawn. If we didn't need rules, then everything would be fine, but as much as I love the people here (seriously, you're all great) unfortunately none of us are perfect, and we can't always universally agree, so consistent guidelines need to be in place.

As for the actual topic, I take the side of staff on this one, for a couple of reasons. For starters, I don't feel like staff is obliged to stay with an erroneous ruling just because it favors the member. In a perfect world, there would be no errors, but mistakes happen, and I think resolving them to be consistent is important.

The biggest thing that I think isn't being brought out to the appropriate extent is that Ciel did actually get a second appeal and made one, which was denied. I would absolutely disagree with staff saying 'well you made an appeal already' because it should've been obvious Ciel's initial message was not his proper appeal. But a staffer made a mistake, was corrected, and the system was followed appropriately afterwards. So as much as I respect Ciel as a writer and like him as a person, I don't know that I would rule differently.

That being said, I don't think this has been addressed by staff appropriately. As far as I'm aware, neither Ciel nor Murder feel that an official statement has been provided, and I think that needs to be done. This is a serious matter and it could absolutely end up a wound that never fully heals if there's no closure and the parties don't feel it was adequately resolved in either favor.

I also really disagree with the actual posting of the inactive kill. Since again, the whole discussion doesn't feel like it has been properly finalized and no staff decision was made in a public setting, it feels like staff attempting to say 'nope it's done they're dead move on'. I don't think that's the intent (I have much more faith in our staff team than that) but it's not the right way to handle this. To that end, I think the actual scene was rushed out, since it doesn't feel like it really attempted to meet the characters' desires. Aura, who admittedly is not directly involved in the primary conflict, has obviously stated that he feels the post disrupted his intents for the future (specifically meanwhile plans) and didn't feel faithful to the work he put into Bart's development.

These aren't issues that can be taken lightly, obviously, and I don't think this situation can just be brushed off. My suggestion would be to find a way to improve Ciel and Aura's feelings on the death, possibly by giving them a chance to be involved in discussing the inactive kill scenario. Obviously that's not normally how things are done, but this hasn't been normal since the beginning, and it wouldn't seem unreasonable to give some measure of involvement to an inactive character's death if that character's handler is still around and involved. The inactivity rules are important to keep things flowing and fair, but it shouldn't be at the detriment of a member who hasn't left the site and is still active themselves.

I also think this is a sign of a much larger issue, namely transparency in moderation. I think a lot of stuff has become enforced as official even though it's off the books (tangentially, the profile guidelines may need updating so that they can fully explain expectations). I think it needs to be obvious how staff will handle a situation based on precedent and rules as written, with an admitted need for some leniency when the situation can afford it. We don't need this to be a totalitarian state, but it does need to be fair and people shouldn't be able to break or even bend rules just willy-nilly.

That's basically all I have to say. I think staff has the right to change a decision when that initial decision was unfair, but I think handlers deserve some measure of understanding of what's going on at any given time.

Gran Torino.
Well. That was interesting and lucky.

Blair relaxed and fiddled with the safety of the gun again until it was turned off. As the two hurried out of the room, apparently in search of Clarice Halwood (a name Blair was unfamiliar with but she might be wrong), she sat back down in the chair at the desk.

There wasn't any paper or pencils as far as she'd found, which was unfortunate. She hadn't really given much thought to her hobbies back home, but sitting at a desk reminded her of scrawling or typing some kind of poem or something while scrolling through Tumblr or watching videos. That got her thinking about home, something she'd been unconsciously avoiding.

For one, she was probably never going to do any of that again. No more skating, no more BBC, nothing. Hell, for all she knew back home a miracle scientific breakthrough was rocking the world and she would never witness it. Would her online friends even realize what'd happened to her? People vanished from forums all the time. Surely a few remembered her name and hometown, enough to put it together. As for her parents and siblings...

If she died here, all that'd remain of her was her memory and what she'd written during her life. No great accomplishments, not even many fond memories. Miley didn't hate her enough to be pleased by her death (probably), but she didn't exactly have a close bond with Blair. She and Cynthia would be sad, probably feel bad, but they'd get over it. Her parents would struggle, but they were strong enough to handle this.

...Was this supposed to be reassuring? That they could live on without her? Fuck that. She wasn't some kind of cherished pet whose entire life was just a chapter in theirs. A footnote? Bullshit. She was her own person, and she deserved a proper existence too.

Did that mean murder? Well, yes and no. As disgusting as it was to think of it as such, she'd met the prerequisite for winning and going home. Georgia Lee and Rene's deaths meant if she was the last one left, they'd probably let her go. They'd done it to all the previous survivors, so she doubted that'd suddenly change.

That all meant she never needed to hurt anyone else. Yay. Of course, assuming arbitrary events didn't align in her favor, eventually it'd be her and one other person, right? If she had to kill them, could she? On one hand, what was one more victim here, and if it was her or them...

On the other hand, that mindset was more than a little fucked up. Did she value her own being over someone else's, especially if they had another fifty-plus years and she only had twenty or thirty?

Blair stood back up and closed the door. She'd rest here for today, then go somewhere else. It was too cramped in here to hang around forever, and she'd probably go stir crazy. Because more people needed to develop some kind of stress-induced homicidal tendencies on this godforsaken rock.

Blair leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes, hands clasped across her stomach, still holding Rene's gun.

((Blair Moore continued in Origin of Symmetry))