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Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
Fine.

Let's take a look at Alan. Take a long, hard look, because Alan was many things but he wasn't delusional, right? No he wasn't he was always ideologically consistent and preached what he practiced and, and what was it that he preached again? Utilitarian, greater good, badass motherfucker. And, well. Look at him now. Innocent girl murdered in cold blood, and it's all worth it, but how do you feel? Yeah, Alan, fancy that. How does it feel?

He wasn't the hero they deserved, but he was the hero they needed. Yeah. Real fucking clever, was how he felt. But seriously, let's take a moment now and

"Yes."

How does it feel when

"It really is all my fault."

Well. Turns out it feels damn good.

And here's a big stupid grin from Alan now, kinda delusional-- no, definitely delusional, make sure you show your teeth and really force the thing out and if he could he'd do a big stupid evil laugh that'd be perfect. But he wasn't quite buying it yet. He wasn't quite buying it yet, and you know why?

Ideological consistency. Preach it, brother. Then you can do your fucking evil laugh.

Okay okay okay time for Alan to be actually totally completely honest with himself and yeah let's get on with it let's take a look. Stop wasting time. Hey, look, he knows he's stalling. Motherfucker's gotten self-aware.

So for real this time

A lone badass never had a chance of making this shit happen. So, like, what. Get a team, right? And if he's taking this approach, if he's gonna rebel no matter what it takes then it makes sense to be, like, ruthless. Pragmatic. Utilitarian. So far, so good. Except, well, y'know.

Turned out Alan was just a lone badass motherfucker.

"Oh, yeah, fucking wonderful. My fault you went and pulled out a fucking syringe I didn't fucking know about and used it on Mia, huh? That's totally my fucking fault. Fuck you."

He could barely look at Kaitlyn. Looks like he still hasn't followed through all the way. Close your eyes, hold your nose. Swallow. What does it do to him? Transformation. He becomes a new man. A remade man. An ubermensch. Okay, so the last one's a bit over-the-top, but that's all Alan had ever wanted to be. Over-the-top. Badass. Motherfucker.

There. He'd gone and said it. Alan was rebelling cuz that's what he did. Come death or high water or especially hell, Alan Banks gonna rebel, even if it's doomed. But if success ain't his game, how he gonna justify all the shit he pulled?

Simple. It's the rebel way. Wind in his cape. Wind in his hair. Doesn't he look so fucking cool? Yeah. Don't even pretend you don't think it. Thing is, he wanted some more wind in his hair, and he knew what he was gonna do to get it. Repeat it to yourself. Again. Ideological consistency. What're your ends, Alan Banks? And how you wanna end?

Alan opened his eyes. Looked at his hands. That's what you do when you're remade, right?

"But hey. Fuck me too. I think this can be the start of a beautiful partnership. Eh?"

New dawn. New day. C'mon, smile. Do it for real. Don't force it. You're feelin' good.

You Gave Up Being Good When You Declared a State of War
"Nice knowing you too."

So it goes. Or something. Thanks for the chair leg and all, it wasn't like she could just get her own. It was sad because she probably actually couldn't.

Asuka trembled, felt her knees stutter. Her body could betray her all it wanted to now. Fall over, collapse against the wall, let the tear ducts open. It's okay. You can cry now.

Asuka's body wouldn't cry. Fuckin' traitor. She really needed a good cry.

"It's okay," she whispered to herself. "You're gonna be okay, kay? Kay."

Ah, here we go. Not much of it. Most of it came out as pathetic sobbing. But. Nevertheless.

And now what? Asuka knew, of course. Jerry had made that easy. She was gonna go after the Nazi and make him drop his Nazi gun. Yes. He was a Nazi. Might as well be. Not in the genocidal bigot kind of way, in the 'has a sign around his neck saying 'I'm the fucking cartoon writers come up with when they're too lazy to write a sympathetic villain'. And that was terrible. Very very terrible. Not the fact that he was an asshole. That part was definitely fine. Definitely. But was it too much to ask for a deep, complex, byronic hero of an asshole? Couldn't he have done Asuka that favor? At least?

Bet he'd give the terrorists exactly the kind of stupid drama they wanted. So stop him, right? Replace him with other drama. Your drama. Artsy, pretentious drama. That's your gig, your game, that's how you feel alive.

Theory. Heh. Asuka was all about theory. Theoretically happy?

Yeah. Something like that.

((Asuka Takahara continued elsewhere))

Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
What the fuck, Kaitlyn.

Okay, it's not like either of them had totally trusted each other from the beginning. Stay calm. It's not like an outright betrayal or something. She was just being smart. Being smart was laudable, right? So everything was okay. They got the gun. The revolution would live on.









Oh. Yeah. Then that happened.

"How much did you fucking put in her?!"

He glared at Kaitlyn. Mia's breath had slowed and stopped by then. Not much point in trying to revive her. You can't really CPR an overdose. Could you? Fuck it. Alan was too pissed to care. Yeah, he knew how dumb that sounded. He didn't care about that either.

"If you wanted her down you could've just clocked her in the face or something. Or at least read the fucking manual for the thing. Or, or--"

Okay. Damage control. He was an accomplice to murder. Everything was fucked. His name wouldn't go on the announcements, because what a big fucking comfort that was. He'd--okay, he hadn't really murdered someone, he hadn't even really been an accomplice to murder since this was definitely accidental manslaughter, it

No. Stop trying to avoid responsibility. So what if his motivations were alright? So what if he hadn't meant to, or hadn't been the one to push the plunger? Mia was still dead. And he'd almost always ran on utilitarian frameworks in debates. Cuz deontology was stupid.

Okay. Take a good long look. Take a good long look at Mia. Lock the picture in your memory. Take a good long look at yourself.

Oh. Oh oh oh fuck no.

You Gave Up Being Good When You Declared a State of War
"I still have almost all the ammo, you jackass."

Not much point in calling after him at this point. But she needed to undermine that bullshit somehow.

Well. It wasn't like she hadn't anticipated this. Jerry was a fucker. Apparently she'd somehow overestimated him. Bastard couldn't even be a dick properly.

Yeah. Fuck him.

Still, it was worth it. Right? Yeah, except the whole thing where she was getting an emotional high out of this was gone. Were you wondering how she was staying so calm after all that shit? Now you know.

She didn't even have to take deep breaths to calm down. Fuck.

Hey Jerry. Good luck with outliving everyone without killing people. Hope your shiny Nazi gun helps you with that. Who gave him that gun again? Fuck. FuckfuckfuckFUCK. It was all her fault, it was all--

She couldn't even convince herself she was really mad about that. Does she giggle over that?

Nah. Too drained. Too tired.

How about that? Does that merit a giggle? Or maybe the fact that she was creating a really dumb loop? C'mon, something's gotta get a reaction out of her.

She turned to Nadia.

"Hey. Um...I guess I'm supposed to go out and get it back from him or something. But before I go. Um. How the fuck did you put up with him?"


Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
Alan had plans.

Well, maybe not exactly plans. More like strategies. General objectives, and a good sense of what he should be doing right now to further those objectives.

See, this is why he did Lincoln Douglas. No dumbass partners. Not that he thought other people were stupid or anything, but they tended to fuck things up. Alan liked chaos. He liked things to be fucked up. He just wanted it to be under his control. Only he can protect the chaos or some shit like that.

What, you implying that Alan doesn't have a real plan? You sayin' his plan ain't good enough for you, Mia? Fuck you. Hey, get this-- we are the I-N-S-U-R-G-E-N-T-S. There. Spelled it out for you. Look, if you wanted a serious plan, you should've found a group that wasn't bent on blowing up the system. Because plans are for the system. Or something. And you really really shouldn't ask Alan do to plans. Cuz Alan didn't do plans. Oh, he could do plans. But he couldn't do plans. Make sense? No? Okay okay let Alan clear that up for you. The rebellion had to work without a real plan or it wouldn't be a proper rebellion. You're not cut out for the cause, kid.

Of course, he would've preferred to talk a little more before going all psycho on Mia, try to maybe get her in so they can have her weapon without a fight. Still a shitty thing to do, probably, but eh. At least everybody'd leave with fewer bruises. Yet another reason he didn't like having plans where he had to get people to do something other than fuck things up. Cuz then they fuck things up.

Couldn't exactly blame them, of course. Snap decisions were his style, too. The difference? His snap decisions were the right ones. Always. Because even when they fuck things up he still wound up happier than he would've been if he'd carefully thought things out and optimized something. Plus, they fuck things up in a fun way anyways.

Hey, this was kinda fun, right? Not that Alan liked violence. But conflict. Excitement. Chaos. He was drunk, stoned, tripping, high out of his mind. Never mind that a bunch of those were incongruous.

Mia was strong for her size. Shouldn't have been surprising. He'd even told himself not to be surprised by it, in the split second before he'd tackled her. And yet his body was still caught off guard a little.

No problem. Just hold her down, Kaitlyn'll get the gun, we'll be on our merry way with an apology and a promise to make things up to her later. They'd gone too far to take back his promise now.

Mia squirmed. Nothing personal, kid.


Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
Oh, fuck yes. Finally someone with a gun that he could bring into the fold. I mean, we're still a ways off from becoming a legit rebellion, but a gun was a start.

But first: Some polite conversation. "Like fuck you were. Not gonna lie, didn't always love the fucker, but still not exactly glad he's dead. Though I guess I feel more bad about not feeling bad than actually feeling bad. Or something."

Pleasantries accounted for. Now to get down to business, sorta. Didn't want to get too business-like, though, seeing as Mia seemed to be using goofiness as a coping mechanism.

"But it'll be okay. I have a plan, if you want in. And then we'll never have to feel bad about not being miserable when our most hated classmates die again. Or feel actually bad when someone like Jerry dies."

Wouldn't do to disrespect the guy, would it?

"And, like, obviously I want you in on the plan since you're the only one here with a gun. Cuz things are gonna get messy, and the rebellion needs soldiers, right? So we can make this all blow up in the faces of the bastards responsible for this. You can keep your gun or whatever, but I lowkey really need you in this right now, or none of this is gonna work. And, like, having this work is gonna be objectively good."

He smirked at the camera. Yeah. Underestimate me. Keep on doing it.

"You in?"

Zetsu's Stuff
For the first time in a while, I wrote poetry yesterday and I don't hate it today, so huzzah poetry. Even if it's angsty emo poetry. Also, there's a V4 shoutout somewhere in there! :)

Because Sometimes The Sun Never Rises

Elapsam Semel Occasionem Non Ipse Potest Iuppiter Reprehendere
"Yes, actually."

Alan said it reflexively. What did it say about him that the first thing to say off the top of his head was something witty? Cuz that was totally witty. Definitely.

"But, uh, seriously, did anything eventful happen here? Or, uh...anywhere else if yuknowutimean"

He trailed off, mumbled. Well. That was...new. Unusual. Exotic, novel? Not quite. Hey, it's not like you can fault Alan for losing some confidence. Couldn't even take down a little girl. A little girl who'd killed someone without the giant sword she was now carrying, true. And who had now gone on to kill, uh, Bradley. But still. His...male pride? Fuck, since when was that a thing? But yeah, his--let's do an exaggerated eye-roll here--male pride had been hurt.

She'd fucking deserved it, too, seeing as she'd gone on to kill...well. Y'know. Show of hands, how many people actually mourned Bradley? Like, trollface all you want if that's what you are, but could he not be an ass about it? Alan wasn't an ass about it. Right? Damn fucking right. But even if it was--if this kept up Alan's eyes were gonna roll right out of his head--just Bradley, she was a repeat murderer now. That made it all a little easier to walk away from that mess, knowing they'd gone and done the right thing. Or, well, tried. Trying don't count for anything, but hey! No more hesitation from now on. You're not supposed to angst about your past decisions. No. You put a bullet in their head, because fuck them, they're the fucking bad guy and if they weren't they wouldn't be dealing with you, and then you spit out a shitty post-mortem one-liner and the audience is all like "YEEEEEAAAAHH!" Sunglasses. Breeze in your hair. Sweet.

Which brings us to another point: what exactly the fuck was he doing here? He'd been having that little internal monologue go on for just a bit long, now. The awkward silence had stretched past awkwardness and was now turning into...something. Shit. C'mon, man, you still got this.

"Hmm. Well then. Who did you lose?"

Yeah, that was good. It was believable that Alan was reeling a little, struggling a little to find the right way to tiptoe around a difficult subject, or still coming to terms with something he'd heard, or something. It was believable because it should've been true. And it was. Kinda. But not as true as it felt like it should've been, though.

He thought about asking her if it was Bradley she missed. Decided against it on grounds of taste. Besides, you never know. Maybe she really did miss Bradley. And he was getting the rush that he got during cross-examination, now-- weighing, analyzing, brain going a million miles a minute as he found the angles, rooted out the weaknesses or made his own, and so what if that meant he was treating this little social interaction as a game? As a competition? Damn right that's what this was. And it's not like he was trying to hurt her, anyways. So we're all good.

Unless someone goes psycho, anyways.

You Gave Up Being Good When You Declared a State of War
((Skipping with permission.))

Asuka was calm now. Really. She'd hit her peak, and now that the throbbing of blood was fading, she didn't really care about any of the shit Jerry was spewing now. They were just words, now. And everyone knows that words never hurt anyone, right? Right.

Asuka shook her head. She was in a room. She was having a shouting match with Jerry. The fucker was pissing her off. He was really pissing her off. So pissed, in fact, that she was. Um.

But it was no good. Already, she felt like an actress dropped into the middle of some hyper-real set, and everyone was looking at her and she couldn't remember her lines. Figuring out what thoughts she should be having right now was just making her dissociate more.

Well. Only one way to change that.

Jerry Fury was a sociopath. Or not. If he wasn't, there'd be hell to pay. If he was...well. Asuka would rather not think about that possibility. She wasn't suicidal. Well, she was, but she wasn't that suicidal. She had her goal and her vision. She wouldn't stake her life like this if she wasn't pretty damn sure he wasn't actually that evil, which was actually a pretty risky bet if you thought about it because c'mon they were just kidnapped by terrorists the other day to play a death game, but anyways--fuck it. She had nothing to lose but her life, and if she was proven wrong then life would've been pretty shit anyways.

Only one way to find out.

"Okay. If that's the game you want to play."

She felt histrionic as fuck. That was okay. What she was doing was histrionic as fuck. Carefully, methodically, she took out the gun, checked if it was loaded. Safety off. Slid it over to Jerry.

"Prove it, then. Blow my brains out. One less person you have to survive longer than. Then you can go skip your merry way and laugh as you gun down everyone else. Or whatever."

Okay, so maybe he wouldn't actually do that. That didn't matter. What mattered was the implication that she actually believed he could be capable of doing that.

Try me.

You Gave Up Being Good When You Declared a State of War
Nope.







Asuka was on the verge of tears. Not at Jerry's words, though. She'd heard that line too many times to let it get to her. Really. Don't let the tears make you think otherwise. They're tears of rage. Asuka hated that. She hated how every time she got juuuust pissed off enough to unleash a brutal, no-holds-barred verbal beatdown her tongue tied itself into a knot and her tear ducts opened and what the fuck, she was mad, she was supposed to be fucking mad. Her body was a traitor. What's that, body? You're trembling? Fuck you.

Oh, and now they wanted her to hand over her weapon, too, huh? Did--did they actually think she'd do it after--like--all that? Was this real life? Was this just fanta--fuck, she was not gonna finish that thought. Even now, it seems, she's still incapable of keeping her mind from following dumb tangents. But seriously, was she dreaming? How the fuck did these people even exist? Answer her. Please just fucking answer her. No? Well. Okay then.

But first. Address Toby. "Wish I had something of substance to tell you. Good luck." And she meant it.

And now to talk to them. Well, mostly Jerry. Though Nadia wasn't exactly off the hook either.

"Fuck you. Fuck both of you." It was as good a start as any.

"Y'know, I always knew that assholes existed, but this is. Um. Kind of a first. Can you even fucking hear yourselves? Do you also steal food from orphans and kick kittens or something?"

Her voice was following a really weird cadence, alternating between 'coolly analytical' and 'inside-voice screaming'. Asuka hated it. Impossible to take seriously.

"You'd think the realization that the person you're talking to is gonna die soon would make you pause before you go and be a total dick, but nooo. You have to go and--and--like, you're not real asshole. You're the image the shitheads come up with when they make dumb PSA's about bullying. Did that sink in? No? Don't answer, because even if you do get it it's my fucking turn, and if you wanted me to have a different mental image of you then you shouldn't have made yourself look like a dumbass jackass. You're so ridiculously disgusting I can't even accept that you exist."

Jerry and Nadia, platonic ideals of the bully and the bystander. Oh, that was extra pretentious. Lovely.

Still, though, the logic checked out. Jerry was objectively an asshole. Objectivity didn't exist. Ergo, Jerry didn't exist. What, it doesn't check out? Shh, don't tell her that. She's feeling a tad emotional. She's venting. Actually having sound logic wasn't the point.

"Sit on that for a while. I hope I die tomorrow. I hope I fucking die and make you realize that you kinda helped kill me. Don't fool yourself by saying you couldn't have known what would happen. You have to know by now that my odds of making it alone are worse than if I'm in a group. So yeah. Not sure if you'd feel guilt over that. But I hope I die. And I hope you go and fucking win this thing, so that you can go home and realize that all the shitty things you may or may not have pulled but honestly I am so done with being nonjudgmental I'll go ahead and make that assumption BUT ANYWAYS I hope you go and realize that all that shit was way way way shittier than you ever thought it was."

Asuka turned to Nadia. "And I'm not giving this thing"-- she patted her gun-- "to players. Not to assume that y'all are gonna be players. But I pretty much am."

Asuka immediately regretted half the speech. It was too manipulative. Too calculated to hurt. Still, though. The other half? Totally worth it.

"Sayonara."

That's your cue. Apologize. You get one chance.