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A Delicate Machine
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Cass nodded slowly as Irene explained herself. That way of thinking made perfect sense, really. It was scary to think about the cruelty everyone hid in their hearts, to at least some degree. Intrusive, spiteful thoughts; harbored envy and wrath. That didn't mean humans were inherently evil, of course - most people wanted to be good, and thus acknowledged and dealt with those harmful impulses, hid them away so they'd never bet set aflame under the light of day. They could never go away entirely, though. Regardless, Jane's killer would have to remain a question mark, a constantly shifting silhouette that could bear anyone's face.

"There's not much any of us can do, anyway," Cass agreed with Trav. Even if Irene had known, what could they do with that information? Would either of them, spoiled by blissful isolation, have been able to fight for their lives at a moment's notice? Even Irene with her gun didn't seem prepared to use it, which was, for the moment, fortunate for all of their well-beings.

They wished they could echo Trav and Irene's sentiment and say that no, this wasn't normal or expected, that they could easily reject the others; but honestly? With the benefit of a day to prepare and think, Cass hadn't been surprised at all by the morning announcement's naming of killers, plural. The level of malice displayed by Jane's dead body had been a shock, but even that wasn't unexpected. It was the nature of the game, after all: reach deep into people's psyches and bring everything up to the surface. Slowly unravel some, enjoy a slow decay stretched across days of suffering. Sever others completely.

Instead, Cass looked at Irene, saw themself in her anxious, curled stance. She hadn't been spared any of the pain that they had lived above for a day. "Hey - you, uh, want some company? Trav and I, we're not really doing anything, y'know? Maybe we could, I dunno, find a better place to be," Cass said softly, leaving out the 'because there's a corpse and you really look like you shouldn't be alone right now.' They didn't want Irene to feel pitied.
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They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought · Crematorium Gardens