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Cicada Days
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Chances were that the lot of 'em were already nursing broken tears and damp pants, straight up and down the cemetery bluffs of an island God probably couldn't even have been assed to forsake. Ben had occasionally pulled the 'we'll send you to a sanatorium' punchline on Lana, at least until she'd been old enough to ascribe to political correctness. Well shit, guess the shoe was on the other foot now.

Yeah. Let 'em all cry, scream, break shit. Slop up whatever bodily fluids they had to offer. It was fair, it was cool. Ben wouldn't blame any of them, at least he liked to assume he wouldn't have if he'd been around to see the birth throes of despair. Ugly, unbecoming as it all sounded, to him it was natural. No fucking way people weren't excused for losing their shit when it was this degenerate mess of a spectacle. But Ben?

Honestly, he liked to think he was counting his blessings. Who was on this island? Upperclassmen. Who wasn't on this island? Certain underclassman named Lana Fields. Couldn't ask for shit from the terrorists, whatever they were calling themselves now, but you could at least count on them to be predictable in their own fucked up way. The kids of the Fields household had one version under their belts. They'd been old and not-wise enough to weasel around the child locks, watching those poor motherfuckers from Seattle were on the chopping block. Ben had dismissed every pixel of humanity's dregs he'd seen that day, but somehow he could now starkly remember that he'd fleetingly invoked a prayer's worth of the old sibling code in a moment of bullshit sentimental weakness.

'Me, not her'. To think that would ever have become relevant.

So Ben was going to stand firm, put a fucking salute in that old step of his. Sure, this was the time when all the ugly ass truths he'd always been hesitant to sniff out in his peers were going to go rancid and stink up what had once been perfectly good island air. Yeah, there were names he'd known, faces he'd seen on that bus- fucking talked to- that he'd legitimately never see looking anything on the spectrum of lively again. Yep, he was pretty glad the cameras didn't go both ways because he fucking knew what was going to be burning a trail down his sister's face the moment the videos started hitting the web when he couldn't be there to stop it and-...

Too much to think about, honestly. Ixnay on that part of the internal monologue.




Ben saw Jerry in plain sight, lurking like a sore thumb in the shadow of one of those jagged metal broadcast towers. The tower had been first on the agenda because it stood loud and proud, not Ben was enough of a dumbass to assume it would in anyway be functional.

As for Fury, well. His reputation preceded him, for sure. Jerry was the sort of kid that would have been one of the kids in Ben's informal witness protection programme if he wasn't strong in spite of himself. One of those aspies, like Henry Spencer. Toss up as to which of the two was nominally the easier to deal with. Nah, but Jerry was cool. They'd made some killer plays last year between the both of them, if nothing else Jerry was on point when his cleats hit that white chalk. Ben wasn't going to stand around and pretend he didn't think the 'parkour' incident had been funny as shit, but he hadn't laughed. In public.

Ben hovered on the periphery a bit. Looked like Jerry was having a moment.

...

Pretty succinct. At least he'd looked like he'd had something to say. Ben approached from an angle that gave both of them at least a second's sprint of time to disengage, keeping himself outside of the tower's shadow. His presence was first the rattle of some pittance in a can.

"Before you start the whole paranoid 'is he armed am I safe' shtick," and Ben casually tossed the bag of chipotles Jerry's way. It splatted onto the ground between them, managed a single dry rustle of a somersault over it's own spine. Just in case any scorecards were watching, Ben guessed. Good for it. It had been less a weapon and more the sort of thing you expected to see abandoned and unwanted on a desolate Safeway shelf at two in the morning. "Could probably make the rations go down easier or something, at least."
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Rare Footage of Jerry Worried · The Radio Tower