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BetaKnight
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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
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((B051 Roman Jackson debut))

Roman tried to huddle down farther into the small depression at the base of the tree stump, as if making himself a smaller target would do anything besides preserve the illusion of safety. The detonation of Dallas Reynolds’ collar had driven home the knowledge of exactly how defenseless and helpless he was.

However, there is a world of difference between logically knowing something and feeling it. And the feeling of the wood at his back and earth under him provided a solid sense of security, one that he could not bring himself to abandon just yet. Shifting slightly, he curled around the pack that had been provided, hugging it to his chest.

An unfamiliar girl’s voice broke the silence that had settled since the horrific boom of the exploding collar.

“I suppose we really shouldn’t mess with these collars, if our departed friend is any indication.”

It wasn’t so much the choice of words as it was the callous, gloating tone in her voice that chilled Roman to his bones. She doesn’t even care that Dallas is dead. That he’s gone. She makes him sound like some kind of… object lesson rather than a person. He deserved more than this. He’s someone’s son.

Somewhere, someone is going to be devastated by his death. I don’t know how they’ll be…able to go on…


As that thought crossed his mind, his heart stuttered for a second before starting to race. Oh god. Where is Alex? Where is my sister? Oh god, where is my sister?! The sound of his pounding heart filled his ears as he fought the urge to retch. I have to go. I have to go find Alex. Oh god, please don’t let her be dead. Please, God, please! A wave of choking panic washed over him as he fumbled on the ground, suddenly as uncoordinated as a newborn calf.

Stop! Stop and THINK, his rational mind screamed at him. He stilled his movements as he realized the danger he was putting himself in. You go popping up from behind this tree like some kind of demented jack-in-the-box and what’s to stop those animals from shooting you in a blind panic? Do the smart thing. Call out first then slowly stand up. No sudden movements. Nobody needs any help justifying an itchy trigger finger. Then we will go and find Alex.

Forcing himself to take several deep, calming breaths, Roman slowly lifted his head to peek out over the top of the stump. “H-hello?” he called out, not caring that his voice shook. “Whoever’s out there, I'm unarmed and I'm going to stand up now. Please don’t shoot.”
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Orientation · The Felled Forest: South