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don't take no guff
[ * ]
((Leslie Price continued from St. Patrick's Purgatory.))

Her resolve had not faded. The initial shock that came with finding it had, and consequentially she expected that energetic feeling to vanish. It didn't; the source of drive her introspection had tapped was something far more fundamental, far more powerful than mere emotion. Purpose. Justification. Reason. Even as she recognized how simplistic the survival instinct and a desire for revenge was, it didn't make any difference. The drive was somehow above mental criticism, immune to the vagaries of her internal self-doubt and reflection mechanisms, no matter how severe she tried to make them.

Inside her mind, it could only be seen as one of two things, depending. She knew for a fact now that her coping mechanism, the one that had gotten her through... six? seven? years of life after that day, was finally cracking and failing. The comfortable apathy was being steadily ground out of her and she now risked falling into a sort of madness. or worse, being forced into it by the raw power and gravity of everything happening.

Both of those choices were equally terrifying, in a way. If she became delusional, she might never recover, if she began to care about things everyone else would take advantage of that in an instant. Nevertheless, the drive remained. The drive persisted.

It made her walk, it made her move, it made her crawl all over the eastern side of the island in search of the answer, it made her hide in quiet stairways and hidden nooks and out-of-the way portions of rooms, it made her wander. All in search of only one thing: Kimiko.

Waking up again to the announcement, then hearing Tracen sound off the deaths and mock them, added to the fire. Not as it had the day previously, of course, but each and every name, victim and perpetrator, resounded in her mind. People she'd never see again except as rotting corpses, and people she couldn't bring herself to see again except as mortal enemies. There was a surreal lilt to his voice that she hadn't picked up on previously. There was a new, surreal air about everything now, really. Disintegrating apathy aside, it felt as though her mind simply wasn't entirely processing the scope of this tragedy - and she reminded herself it was a tragedy - as some kind of defense mechanism.

In all her searching, Leslie hadn't run into anyone both whose name she heard and who she recognized personally. But the drive still didn't die.

She wandered off the asylum's eerie chapels and rotting bell towers eventually, during the.. morning. The clouds had broken; maybe this wasn't taking place where she'd expected two mornings previous. The southern half of the island was now open, and the western complex now half-closed, but it was still somewhat 'forbidden' inside her mind. How many people would have gone there anyway, in the time between yesterday morning and now? How many of those were the people she was actually looking for?

The bridge was cast in a yellower and brighter light than yesterday, but other than that essentially the same as she had remembered it; it was only that the different light, and the new focus of her eyes, brought different, new, and previously forgotten features to her full attention.

Including those three figures, hanging near the edge, that she was steadily approaching.
2015: V6 Incident
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God in Three Persons · The Connecting Bridge