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A Delicate Machine
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Harold rested his back against the padded cell, guided by Clarice. Watched her put herself between him and Conrad. A simple, selfless gesture that was infinitely more righteous than anything Harold had managed to accomplish. He would have protested, had he been able - no need for her to risk injuring herself even further trying to shield him from his mistake. However, Harold couldn't find the strength for that kind of conviction.

So, he gave up. Let himself be protected. Tried to focus on the softness of the wall behind him, on Clarice's bracing arm. Years of absorbed narrative convention told him that he should place a hand against his chest, feel his life oozing out of him, stare in horror. He elected to not do that, vaguely thinking that as long as he didn't confirm how bad his wound was beyond "pain", he'd be fine. If only Clarice hadn't already used up the obvious Black Knight joke.

Justice hit Conrad hard and fast.

Harold couldn't help but feel a bit of vindictive satisfaction as Ty took Conrad down, sending the damned sword down to the ground. Couldn't help but think that's what he should've done to begin with, to hell with playing the negotiator. Couldn't help but think of how easily he could have avoided being stabbed, just by caring less.

The screaming and crunching of Conrad's bones jarred Harold out of that mindset. There was a fine line between using violence to defend or destroy, and Ty had had already sprinted past it without any intention of slowing down. Harold looked into Conrad's eyes and only saw a manic fear, colored by excruciating pain. He wasn't blameless, but Harold had to remember that it was Evil that had pushed him to this. He couldn't accept this blood being shed on his behalf.

Clarice was evidently thinking the same thing. She did what Harold couldn't by physically holding Ty back, though Harold wasn't sure that either of them could have fully pinned a berserk Ty, even under the best of circumstances. Ty would have to stop himself.

"Ty... please, this - this isn't helping anyone," Harold managed before breaking out into a coughing fit, each spasm shooting pain throughout his body. He could only hope that would be enough, only try to stay upright against the wall without Clarice's support.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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By the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you · Solitary Confinement