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Mizore was cold.

Her lips were numb, light blue. They were stiff--slurred speech, no speech.

After they'd got a good way, the white bear said "are you afraid?", but she was not afraid.

She was afraid.

Who knew that blood stopped pumping when the heart stopped? She'd expected some affect of liveliness on the two bodies that were beside her. Instead there was nothing, pools of blood, motionless and calm. They say interred bodies look alive. But live people moved.

It was too, too cold here. Her fingers trembled. If she could think of something to say, she could try and speak, but speaking, she knew, was hard. She had no shirt on. Slowly she wrapped her hands around her chest, blocking out the cold, too cold, too cold.

If she cried, would the tears freeze on her cheeks?

She was heaving, spasming.

She hadn't eaten anything since the bread in the cave.

She was trying to vomit on the bodies.

It wasn't working.


Help me, please help me.

Raidon had killed them. Raidon, surrounded in vivid light. He was so bright, Raidon, Raidon.

You killed them.

I hate you I love you I hate you I love you I hate you I hate you I hate you

Raidon, Raidon, Raidon was putting his hands on her shoulder, and she was heaving, thrashing, trying to get away, her mind was thrashing, trying to get away, Raidon, Raidon tangled up in her brainspace, get away, get away! but she was thrashing, silent, because her lips were numb and she couldn't speak.

Get away!

But he wouldn't get away. She couldn't get away.

Help me.

Because they were dead, they were dead, they were dead.

Get away from me!

She thought I was Alice.

She tried to vomit again.

Raidon's hand was on her shoulders.

Don't die on me.

Something. Principles. Morals. All the things she'd thought were so important. Never leave her. They were her. She had them, only them, they tied her to the ground.

They hurt, it hurts, it hurts.

She pulled away from Raidon. Tried to speak through numb lips.

"Yyyyou're--you didn't need to shoot them." She was looking at him now, turning her head, glaring. "She-she-she-she was talking to me. You don't need to be so scared."

No. Not eloquent enough. She needed to get less sobbing, less cold. Stop hurting. Stop feeling the air squeezed out of her lungs, like toothpaste in a tube.

And I'm gasping and my lungs hurt.

So she sunk down. Quietly. And she breathed.

Radio Asuka

had never been quiet.


"Raidon." She said (still quiet, still breathing staccato, scared and heavy). "You shouldn't have done that."

He opened his mouth. She covered it with her hand.

"No. You don't get to do that yet." She stood up, took her hand away. "You-you-Jesus, Raidon--" and the words came out, angled, pitched oddly and there. "You're better than this! You're better than this! You know what you're doing! You know what it is to take a life away! That's them--now they're just a husk! They're not people anymore!"

She was backing away from him, screaming. "You know what you're doing! You know what you're doing! People here, think they're just playing a game with their guns and their stupid, trying not to think about it because they think they can avoid it but you can't! You know what this is! You know what this is! And yet you kill! Jesus, Raidon, I was talking to her! She thought--" a sob broke from her throat, let me continue "she thought I was Alice! I was Alice to her! And what do you? Trick yourself into thinking she and he are more cold-blooded than you? You know what you're doing, you know what you're doing, and yet you keep doing it because you're scared!" She grabbed him by the shoulders, pushed him back. "What are you scared of?"

And she was crying again, tears rushing down her cheeks, done with all her vaunted mental discipline. "Are you scared of death? Because you're going to die, just like them! Do you really trick yourself into thinking this kind of bullshit ups your chance of survival? It doesn't! We're all going to die--do you want to die doing this?"

And she was crying and crying and crying and crying, and she slumped down again, because standing was hard, standing was hard right now, and damnit, she didn't have a shirt on right now, and she was cold.

And crying.

And cold.

Death is just another country.

She pushed a gun toward him, ugly, skewed, sloppy. "What are you waiting for?"

Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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