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Viewing Single Post From: The Cavalry Arrives
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(Mizore Soryu and Naoko Raidon continued from Riddles Of Monsters)

He told her he wasn't going to talk to the guards, when they got to the boats.

He told her they'd probably shoot him.

She told him that they wouldn't shoot him, and that it was okay.

He was weak, now. Perhaps he was unconscious, when they talked. Perhaps he was merely silent.

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She supported him, when they got to the beach. It might have been a clever manipulation--to make him look weak, as harmless as possible--but it wasn't. She was actually supporting him, with his shoulder in pain, her knee stiffly bandaged and almost walkable again. With a dead-branch cane, she was some approximation of fine.

They were sending someone away. George-somebody. He'd killed three people. They had said it, on the loudspeakers, that they were sending away killers, and she'd pretended not to hear.

There's a way in which it makes sense. They haven't got room for everyone. They'll send more boats back later. But the killers won't have first priority.

You keep thinking that, Mizore.

But they will give him priority. He's wounded.

You don't leave wounded people on beaches.

She scanned the beach.

And if they would, I'll argue them out of it. I'll find the right thing to say.

Arm more comfortably around Raidon, she stumbled down to the beach. The boat guard asked her to hold. She held.

"Is there a problem, officer?"

He wasn't a police officer. But it barely made a difference.

The man who stopped them had calluses Mizore could see from a distance. "That guy's killed, like, half a dozen people. We're only grabbing non-mass murderers."

Only grabbing?

And Mizore's eyes widened. Maybe manipulation. Maybe not. "But he's injured. If you--if we leave him here, he'll die."

"We're sorry, but if we take him, if we loosen up, then if this game ever happens again, a lot more people are likely to die."

And it's not manipulation when her eyes narrow. "Do you not understand? He's going to die. I know he's likely going to federal prison when he gets home, but if you leave him here because of some--" her voice starts raising, and she forces her mouth shut.

Waits a couple of beats.

Starts talking again.

Softer, and stumbling.

"If we keep him here, he will die. I don't want him to die. If this is a matter of not-enough-seats, I will gladly give my seat for him. I don't--I don't know who you are, but don't--" she's less good with words now, when she's trying to hold her anger in, "--don't act like--you have--the legal jurisdiction--or moral authority to--to kill someone. Especially since it's--what you seem to mind."

She pauses a bit. And breathes. And looks at the man again, the boat guard, hopeful. The idea that her life is less valuable than his--that she'd give up her life for his--it holds traction, for some people. And he wants to live. He's so scared. She's not scared.

But the guard is not convinced.

"Look. I'm sorry. I really am. This... is not my first choice for how we do this, but it's important. This is a case of long term goals. We're--we know about this game. All about it. We know what you've been through. But we're trying to make sure nothing like this happens again. that next time, people think twice before they pick up a gun and shoot their friends."

He waits a beat, and frowns. "It's not about seats. It's about making sure that people understand what they give up when they take lives."

And Mizore now, Mizore is thinking, trying to figure out what this means. Because it's not about seats, and it's not about players are dangerous, and it's not merely about prioritizing the good 'uns over the bad apples. It's about something else entirely.

And then she gets it, and she thinks she might be sick. And she probably looks it too, but maybe queasy and disgusted look different, on some people's faces. All she knows is she doesn't bother to keep her voice down.

"And you'd KILL people to teach them this lesson?"

Her voice is surprisingly loud, ringing, for someone who hasn't drunk anything other than tepid water in a week.

The guard looks taken aback, and Mizore is glad. When he speaks, he sounds unsure of his words.

"We… we'd kill people to save more people. We'd let the guilty die to protect the innocent. If... if we can know that there won't be another incident like this, then... we'll come back for everyone. But I won't lie to you. It's highly unlikely."

She arches her eyebrow. "Another incident like this?"

"Another version. Season. Whatever you want to call it."

She nods. "And it's highly unlikely that you'll...come back for the people you don't take now?"

The man hesitates.

"I don't think we'll have the opportunity. If we do, then we'll…" He shakes his head. "...but I doubt it."

So perhaps these aren't the army, aren't the government at all. They aren't nearly so well-prepared. If the US government had found the terrorist headquarters, the terrorists would be gone by now.

And Mizore's eyes widen and widen and widen, and the hand she's using to hold Raidon up goes white.

"Then you have to take him. If you don't know when the next rescue is coming...I don't know if you understand, but he will die. Goddamnit, I don't care--" She looks frantic for a second, then shuts up, lowers her voice, "Smuggle him on. Say he's--say he's anybody. Say he's me, or--or Rekka Saionji, or someone. Do some bullshit--cover his face with a pillowcase if you have to. Just get him on. Let him live."

She tries, but the frantic look is not quite gone. She looks haunted.

And the man sighs. He looks like he's trying to marshal up anger, but goes with resignation instead.

"We can't. What about the... what, five, six people he killed? What about every other murderer on this island? If we're going to bend the rules, they're meaningless. If we're going to make a statement only to subvert it, why bother at all?"

A beat.

And she's whispering now, because she's trying not to scream.

"Then screw your statement! It's not humane! Aren't you people supposed to be, what--supposed to be the good guys? You can't--" she gasps, and there goes a sob, "--you can't kill people just to make a goddamn statement! That's what he does!"

And she jabs her finger towards the loudspeakers.

"He wants to live--he wanted to--let him live!"

Until now, Mizore Soryu has always prided herself on her cool head. But there are tears falling out of her eyes, and they won't fucking stop.

The man, the guard on the beach, matches her intensity if not her tone. "And those people he killed, they didn't want to live? The people next season, the ones who will die because someone else wants to live just a little too much, they're worth less somehow? Of course he wants to live. Everyone does. We're showing them that killing is not how you accomplish that end!"

"But you won't be able to pick him up!" She's truly crying now, but she's not letting it affect her voice so much as her eyes, which are scrunched up. "If you won't be able to pick him up, you have to take him now! You have room--you said you have room--how can you possibly--possibly not take a person when you could, when you have the choice, when--" Sniffle sob stops her, and she hardens her mouth, and her voice gets choppy and harsh again.

"He's going to go to prison--we both know it. Federal prison's a bitch. It seems like--it seems like, if you have enough room to take everyone who can get to this beach--that's just as good a goddamn message, that killing doesn't help. It's not like you're only rescuing the killers. The ones you're taking now, the ones who didn't kill? They're no more dead. And they're not going to be spending time in the lockdown. You've got room for him, and you're not the goddamn criminal justice system. Let them pass their justice. That's their job. Not yours."

"You're the rescuers."

She wipes her eyes.

"Right?"

Another man is hollering for this particular boat guard, but he's not listening. And Mizore is grateful.

But then he speaks.

"I... wish it was that simple. But, do you know what happened to John Rizzolo? The sick bastard from last season?"

Sick bastard? Mizore hasn't watched SOTF. She shakes her head.

"Nothing. He got off. He got off with torture and murder. And then, finally, someone went and put a bullet in his head. But he spent a year living like a king. The criminal justice system doesn't much give a damn, it seems."

And Raidon doesn't torture, Raidon just murders. But it hardly matters now, she knows, so she spits.

"Bullshit! It's different this time. There's not one--sick--winner--everybody knows--and besides--fuck it all--even if you think the criminal justice system is shitty--you're not the goddamn police. You people--you're against Survival of the Fittest, right? And you're really going to practice vigilante justice? That's--that's shitty."

She's not very good at keeping her composure. She's gasping.

"Just--" Wipes her nose sloppily. "Just take him! You have room. I can--I can tie him up if you want. Look, I'm an artist. I'm all for statements, yeah? But this is somebody's--" Beat, pause not to gasp. "--somebody's fucking life. It's not the medium to make statements out of. Not here. Not now. Not when we've just been here, where we've just seen everybody forever treat life so fucking cheaply."

And she wants to spit again, but there's not enough breath in her lungs.

The man, to his credit, looks a bit uncomfortable. But he keeps composed.

"I understand your point. Really, I do. We can't compromise here, though. You have to understand, statements can have effects. If people hadn't been so trigger-happy, if people like your friend hadn't been so willing to kill, then maybe we'd be pulling out a lot more people today. My goal is to see that happen next time. We can't take him. I really am sorry, but we can't."

He's awake now, he's been awake, but he hasn't said anything the whole time. He knew it was helpless. And she's trying to show him it's not, show him that humans aren't a shot in the dark, and she's frantic.

"But you're not going to come back! You said you weren't going to come back! You're just going to kill him to make your precious, precious statement?"

And she's not so frantic that her eyes don't narrow cooly at the last piece of what she says.

Look me in the eyes, you bastard.

"I... guess, well..." He looks distinctly uncomfortable, but makes eye contact."I wish we weren't going to, but... probably, yes. Maybe he'll make it. He knows what he's doing."

And he doesn't break eye contact, and she feels distinctly ill. Because like them, like her, these people know the moral implications of what they're doing, and telling this guy, this boat-guard that he's a murderer isn't going to do a damn thing.

But there's anger, still, and the strength of desperation, and Mizore, Mizore is petty and mad, and she just can't let this go.

"At least you have the guts to say it out loud," she says, but the speaking is really only a cover for what she's doing, which is slapping him full in the face, nails out, like every goddamn catfight, because he's disgusting, and she hates him, and she can't think of anything she wants to do in life more than hurt him.

And what stops her, of course, is that he doesn't stop her.

He could. It would be easy. Her wrists are shaky and thin. He's a soldier, and she hasn't eaten well in a week.

But he doesn't stop her, and she leaves his face bloody and skinned and a vicious purplish-red, and then she doesn't fight him anymore because she's so stunned he didn't stop her.

And another soldier looks over and asks what's going on, and this man, this boat guard, turns to the other soldier and says that everything is fine.

And Mizore still wants to hurt him, but she's not going to hurt a man who won't fight back. Not here. Not now. Not with who she's trying to be.

"You people are disgusting," she says. And she tries to say it with disgust, with the appropriate emotion, but instead it comes out hopeless, flat, nearly dead.

Her next words sound like all the air has been ripped from her lungs. "I'll make my own statement then."

And maybe her voice is shaky, but there's something like pride in there, something fluttering and broken.

"I'll stay."

And now Raidon's arms have tensed around her shoulder, and she shifts her weight to carry him, and she doesn't want to talk to this guard anymore.

He nods to her. "Good luck, then."

He looks like he's going to say more for a second, but doesn't.

"Thanks." She says, and it's barely a whisper, but there's a flicker of dryness, a flicker of smile on her face.

And she turns, and she's gone.

(Mizore Soryu continued elsewhere)

(All GMing staff-approved)
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Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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The Cavalry Arrives · The Beach: North