"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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NotAFlyingToy
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Southern motherfuckin' democratic republicans.
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Smoke billowed around them, seeping through the park with creeping, deep-coloured tendrils that whipped into the air at an astonishing speed. The smell of sulfur and ash clogged in Hansel's throat as the spectacle caught his eye for a fleeting moment - there, in the distance - before he re-focused on the task at hand, crouched in the shadow of the gazebo. Listening, he felt his ears burn slightly as Zubin's taunt floated, seeming to dissipate on air.

He wasn't sure where the other boy was, and didn't have sight on him - the gazebo loomed over him from his crouched position, blocking the view - but he found the statement trite, hollow. To him, it sounded like a bad line from a production, something that was just unrealistic enough to take the audience out of the script and explosions and make them realize that they were sitting in a theatre, watching a screen or a stage.

Slowly, it dawned on him that Zubin was... his father would say 'touched'. Hansel didn't know if he was more dangerous or sad because of it.

He backed away, still in the crouch, keeping the gazebo between him and where he assumed Zubin was, the gun at the ready as he eased his way towards a picnic table. Under his hands, the trigger was slick with sweat, the bandages constricting his breathing slightly, absorbing the rancid odour of his breath.

Three more, Hansel. You'll be free after three more.
A list of the dying, a list of the damned.

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Paradise · Central Park (Endgame)