"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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The anger was gone as quickly as it had come. After that Ben didn't have much left to feel, the numbness had also consumed his still clenched fist.

Duty beckoned, but it did so to a shambling corpse. Ben expertly spun on his heel with all the vitality of a dehydrated tumbleweed, then strode over to Penelope's side as Raina had. He would have offered his hand as well but he wasn't sure where it had gone in time and space, despite being right there.

'It's okay'. Probably not the best thing to say, but she'd said it.

"You didn't fuck up." A two-fer.

"You said it yourself... two days ago." It had taken him a second too long to remember. The time, the place, anything at all. "Once you fall off that cliff, once you let the terrorists have your name... it's not going to be so easy to claw your way back up. Maybe there's a future we can trust Kao in. She might still be by our side one day."

He hated using the murderers' name, but his hate was irrelevant as the rest of his emotions that didn't matter.

"Raina's right." Ben finally remembered that he had a free hand and offered it, tentatively clutching Penelope by her free arm. "Let's keep going. We're not out of it yet."
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Haemolacria · Northwest Cliffs