"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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Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Naoko Raidon continued from The Dead Flag Blues)

He didn't remember her rushing to him--the pain had consumed him, eradicated any trace of coherent thought. It was all one heated, mindless blur of pulsating fevered waves. He mainly remembered the pain--driving into him, over and over again--and the fear that came with it. He was absolutely helpless; any enemy could chance upon him and all this ruthlessness and all these sins would have been for nothing.

So he'd clung to safety and security. So he'd clung to the gun Danya had given him, and with which he'd stolen so many lives.

The only reason he remembered her at all was because, for a brief moment, there had been no fear. There had been only all-consuming agony, an enormous crushing typhoon of suffering that had left him screaming. It had obscured his vision and his thoughts in a fog; through that fog, he'd lost his gun. And when at last the pain lifted with all the dull finality of a curtain call, he had found a brief moment of clarity.

"Raidon," he heard.

Soryu.

He opened his eyes, stared right into her face, and then without a word to her glanced towards Julian.

He didn't have his bag nearby.

The thought came to him and then flicked away. The pain was nowhere near as bad as it had been, but his shoulder still throbbed dully and he didn't imagine he'd be moving it much. That left him one good arm (though not much new there--it was the only intact arm he had, the only one with a full set of five fingers). Shock rather than infection, he hoped; at least, the wound didn't feel too bad...

Still kind of delirious, he thought distantly. That could be a problem.

He was trying desperately not to look at Soryu. He didn't want to see the judgment in her eyes, and he didn't want her to see the anger in his.
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Riddles Of Monsters · The Woods: Inland