"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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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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"Penny, don't."

Raina's words went ignored, which irritated her more than it should have. Actually, no. It irritated her exactly as much as it should have, maybe even less, considering what Penelope was trying to filibuster on about.

Oh, it was a speech all right. Sincere and impassioned, the kind of speech that deserved rousing music in the background. In one of those shows where the bad guys got to redeem themselves, it would be the turning point, the former villain's first inkling of what it was to have trust and friendship and all that jazz. In Raina's favorite anime, this would be the part where Al's heart grew three sizes that day, and he pledged to lay down his arms forever so that he could prove himself.

Al didn't move or offer any words in his own defense.

"No, Penny, that's not how we're doing things." She didn't want to be harsh. She didn't want to hurt her best friend any more than Penelope was already hurting, but this was the point that Raina absolutely couldn't afford to compromise on. She had gone along with this charade long enough, and it was time to put her foot down now that it was actively putting all of them in danger. Penelope could talk all she wanted about changing Al as though he was some character whose settings she could change or whose lines she could rewrite, but Raina wasn't having it.

"Here's what I stand for: getting as many people out of this place as possible. In case you haven't noticed, if we keep hanging around and trying to place peacemaker, there aren't going to be any people left to rescue! And you know what else isn't going to keep people alive? Inviting somebody who's killed four - no, five people into our group. You really think he's just going to stop now, because you want to sit around with him and make friendship bracelets? Well, Kiziah did too, and look how that worked out for her!" Raina's voice cracked, her own words driving home the fact that Kizi was dead, and that her murderer was standing right there in the room with them, no words of repentance forthcoming.

She whipped around to look at Al, her voice rising as she continued to speak. She was blinking back tears now. "What about it, Al!? You let all the murder out yet? Just took five people for you to finally start feeling bad!?"

She stopped to take in a shaky breath, blinking rapidly to try and keep any tears from spilling over. She couldn't afford to lose her composure any more. "Too little, too late, buddy. You had your chance, and it was at number zero." Raina drew herself up as tall as she could, only pausing to quickly swipe her sleeve across her eyes. She didn't want to look away from Al for too long just in case he got any ideas, though he was still just standing there and not meeting her gaze.

"Now leave, or I'll make you." She didn't know what she would do if forced to make good on that threat. She had a sinking feeling that she might only be moments away from finding out.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Minus Something · The Cafeteria