"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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It was sobering, Raina supposed, to realize that as close as they were, as similar as they were, she and Penelope would never believe in the same things. There was a drama plotline, she supposed. A little character arc nicely set up for the two of them, and at the end they would either reconcile or go their separate ways. Or, if this turned out to be the prequel or origin story, they might become enemies. Or maybe one of them would be the tragic fallen friend whose sacrifice kept the other motivated long down the line.

Maybe they were just side characters and nobody would remember them when they were gone.

Raina sighed deeply, and it wasn't as steady as she wanted it to be. She wiped her eyes on her sleeve again (and wiped her nose, for good measure) and stared at her feet. Penelope had big words, maybe too big for who and what she really was: a scared kid whose reality could never live up to her expectations and ideals. It all boiled down to the same thing in the end: everyone would die, they would make their point one way or the other, and in a few more years this would happen again. It wasn't like the government could get its shit together, after all, and that vigilante group that had made such a splash all those years ago hadn't shown their faces either.

Raina still hadn't mentioned her backup plan. She still had the kindling in her bag. It was still so simple it was almost laughable. There was still a chance. There was another library right next door.

She wondered if anyone in charge of this sick excuse for a social experiment had bothered to read Lord of the Flies back when they were her age.

"If it gets to that, sure," she said finally. She couldn't force any conviction into her voice. "If we're the last ones standing, nobody kills. We end it our own way."

Once again, she could say she would go along. She still didn't think it would get to that point, not before she at least made her attempt, but she could say it. Anything to get Penelope to stop crying and preaching and go back to her old self for a while.
"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