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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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Jae heard the crying as they approached the shack, and was just far enough behind Vanessa to only be able to hope that whoever it was in there wasn't in the middle of some kind of psychotic break with a deadly weapon as she barged in. Hopefully the pair of them were just threatening enough to discourage any attacks, but not enough to provoke more out of fear.

He limped the rest of the way over and leaned in the doorway behind Vanessa, fingers brushing the collapsed baton in his belt in a way that had almost become habit over the last day. He'd practiced unfolding and collapsing it for a while the previous evening; he was never quite able to shake the feeling that he looked like some kind of stupid discount jedi, but it was still a solid metal bar that was useful for smacking people upside the head if so needed. Get them some riot shields, and he and Vanessa were the cheapest SWAT team you'd ever need.

Lizzie Luz didn't look like she was in the middle of a psychotic break at least. She looked distraught and weak and frankly pretty pathetic, which was probably the best case scenario. It chafed at Jae somewhat, to be relieved at someone else's suffering. Some people considered him a bully, he was self-aware enough to know that, but he'd never hurt people for fun. Tears made him uncomfortable regardless of the reason.

Lizzie had some pretty good reasons to cry right now though, considering the announcement. Her cousin - sister? Jae wasn't entirely clear on all the crisscrossing Luz family lines in Cochise - had been the first person murdered. Who knew who else she'd been close to, she'd never seemed a social butterfly.

"Hey," he said shortly, unable to muster anything else that seemed appropriate. He felt like he had words filling him up all through the morning, waiting to spill out of his mouth, but this wasn't the time or the place, and Lizzie was an unexpected addition to the audience. Jae tapped his fingers against the baton and his tongue stud against the inside of his teeth and glanced around at the rest of the gutted control shack as they waited for Lizzie's response.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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