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A Delicate Machine
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The scattered parts of Harold's brain that were still concerned with morality instead of mortality were glad that Ty had stopped before he had done anything he couldn't take back. A person had to be strong in order bring themselves back from the edge of reason like that. No matter how loudly Harold and Clarice's voices had ultimately reached him, it had been Ty's decision to stop himself. Harold would've liked to say that there had never been any doubt in his mind, that Ty was one of the strongest people he knew; but that'd be a lie - the first part, at least.

When SOTF broke people, it shattered their legacy, forced everyone they cared about to view the good times in their past through a bloodstained lens. Reduced them to single words like 'murderer' or 'psychopath', no matter what their hopes or dreams had been. Evil could kill memory itself, at least in the public eye. Harold had been terrified that he had been about to watch Ty vault over that ledge, tear Conrad and himself to pieces with his bare hands. Under normal circumstances, he would have felt relief wash over him in waves, a sense of pride for that small act of Justice that had been done, proof that good could still win out in the end.

In the here and now, though, outside of the abstractions and philosophical musings being done in the corners of his consciousness, Harold just felt dizzy and tired.

He let Ty and Clarice put his arms around their shoulders, let them start to carry him away. Harold did the best he could to make it easier for them, but whatever strength he'd had was fading. He glanced at Conrad one last time. Saw him crying and writhing on the floor. Wasn't sure if he wanted to scream at him for everything or apologize for not doing better, and then scream at him for everything.

Hatred and pity and sympathy and pain all blurred together as they fought for dominance in Harold's head, and the carefully defined lines he had built his world around began to fade.

They left in silence.

((This Is Not My Country, This Is Not What I Believe.))
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