"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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shotgunkid
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not in a position to bargain anymore
[ * ]
First the boy had packed up and left. Then the wounded girl. Then Junko. Leslie didn't feel the need to chase after them this time. No, she was too preoccupied with the riddle she'd been left.

At first, she would've agreed with Junko. But why? Why was she - no, they, fighting to live? It was almost pointless! The questions lingered, grew, moulded itself into a tight vise around her reasoning mind and wouldn't let go until it had been answered. All she'd done up until now was let emotions and irrational preferences take control. There was nothing else to it. Everything was just a muddle of chaos and passing caprices. Without the answer, she knew the apathy would keep gnawing at her senses until she gave into it. The answer was paramount. But.

Why...?

Finding the answer actually didn't take very long. All it took was for Leslie to realize a few things:

She still enjoyed life. On some level, she still desired it no matter what, and wished it to continue. There were still things she wanted to fight for, to have, to give. Wasn't that reason enough? Even though her life would indeed end inevitably, game or no game--!

I'm not ready to die just yet. And that was how it all clicked. One way or another, she fought to extend what she had in the present, not an imagined future. They all did. The boy wanted peace a little more than he wanted life, perhaps, but he still valued it. The wounded girl seemed to be ready to give up on it altogether, oddly enough. Maybe she didn't understand. Junko was getting close, although she expressed it differently.

Leslie stood back up, grabbing her bag and slinging it over her shoulder.

She didn't find the conversation. But she'd found something more important. Clarity.

With energy and purpose, she walked once more. Into the light.

((Leslie Price continued elsewhere!))
2015: V6 Incident
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St. Patrick's Purgatory · The Cove