"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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Cicada Days
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👀 (credit to Kotorikun)
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((Ben Fields continued from Coming Out Of The Closet))

The camera considered him. He was probably something of an idle curiosity, like a mess of desiccated roadkill.

He didn't know what to say.

He didn't know how much time had passed. The sun had merrily taunted him every time he'd huffed and puffed his way past a window, in pink and yellow tone ribbons of sea to shining sea. At some point it had become a dour grumble of bulky thunderstorm heads and the tap of earthen tears against grimy glass. Probably more appropriate. Maybe. He didn't know. Really, he didn't know a damn thing. That much at least, he understood now.

Ben had bound the wound on his arm. Had just been one wound, as much as it felt like many. Even pain couldn't be trusted anymore. Pain melted his brain out of his ears, much like blood melted out of his wound and thickly soaked his clumsy attempts at first aid in a brackish strawberry jam. The ache wasn't dull more than it was impossible to describe. Words simply failed to make sense of the nerves of the limb he'd once thrown monster curveballs with.

They failed everything else, but that went without saying at this point.

So Ben just gaped at the camera like an idiot for a while before he fumbled a march onward. Left foot, left foot, and another fucking left foot for good measure.

The hall was just a line-em-up of metal doors. They looked heavy. Maybe once he'd have laughed at them for batting practice, but now the effort seemed a bit much. There was some vague stink in the area. Reminiscent of the corpse in the basement. He'd walk into it at some point.

Or at least walk past a door that was actually left open. If by a bit. He'd take it.

He could see a lot of black fabric, weakly trembling. Shaped like a person. Maybe was a person, but Ben was hesitant to be sure. If eyes were described as oceans and lakes his was the Dead Sea. Lifeless even before he'd found his game over. He could trust them as far as he could rip them out of his skull and throw them. So he had to be sure.

Ben pried the door open with a solemn carelessness. Good hand on the door, and a sort of halfhearted shove to make it's hinges obey his frail and irrelevant will. It was a person. Some girl, familiar in theory but not to his decomposed peat-fed memory. She was crawling serpentine, with something of a fetal flavor.

...

And Ben still didn't know what to say. He was going forwards, but it was sans even pretended assurance of a plan. He'd called in his brains for reinforcements, but the distress signal was ignored. That left Ben with chunks of a body and a clumsy mouth. Not much of an offering. And honestly, it wouldn't do. But here Ben Fields was, sitting his pasty ass on the ground beside the girl, just close enough that they could avoid each other's gazes, just far enough that it was awkward. And, oddly enough, Ben still didn't know what to say. Seconds worth of silence was all he could come up with. And the exit plan was several eternities additional. Mission fucking accomplished.

"... You okay?" Of course Ben managed to pick the vague coward question. Saying it in a weak tremolo that broke pitch as his arm sent him a neatly typed reminder of his agony in full triplicate 'fuck you'.
The Dies Before First Rolls Squad

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Haunted Reality · Solitary Confinement