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[Originally posted by Imehal]

On day one he had seen a corpse of a friend, treated a bullet wound and prayed on his knees for a killer that he once might have claimed to understand. On day two they had made progress, found an ally – things had been looking up. No, he realised, eyes transfixed on Alexandria’s enactment of what she surely thought was justice. He had just wanted to believe that, and ignored the signs that something was unbalanced. She could call it whatever she wanted, but nothing good would come from the way that crutch came down and struck Makatala across the forehead.

Move, he told himself, flinching as the second blow came down, finding his feet again after being thrown aside in the wake of anger. Once more he was at Alexandria’s side, scared and confused and trying with all his mental might not to look at the red streak along the crutch that he had given her yesterday. With a vicelike grip, his hands held the improvised weapon firm as she tried to swing down again. He held his ground, stilling the curve of the intended blow with a grunt of effort and a glare of warning. Somewhere in front of him he thought he saw Camilla stir, a smear on clarity that gave him a near flawless focus upon Alexandria, trusting the girl at his back whom Alexandria had made her victim.

"This isn’t just, Alexandria. This isn't any-"

The first shot sounded, and then all the words that Carlon might have said were meaningless. It was alien, bewildering and, to him, tantamount to an explosion. One, two. There might have been more, but by then Carlon was aware of nothing but the fact that fire had erupted within him, searing agony piercing through his left leg and back as if he had been set alight. His grip on the weapon tightened, then slackened as the fire became a comfort; a warm embrace that took away the fear, pain and left him with nothing with peace.

Gracelessly Carlon's body collapsed, leaving him on his knees beside Alexandria, the blood from his leg smearing on the dirty tiles. His mouth moved as if he meant to speak, a look of disbelief as if he had just realised he had fallen. So many questions, and yet none of them seemed all that important as his whole chest became enveloped by the comforting warmth, his leg stubbornly unresponsive.

Alex. He fell forward, his last conscious thought an unspoken plea to the girl he had given his last days to protect. Don't do it.

[B052 Carlon Wheeler, deceased]
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