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Broken Like the Sun; this is private, scram
Topic Started: Feb 4 2011, 01:36 AM (2,887 Views)
Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
((Julian Avery continued from Not What I Was Expecting))

So what's the word on compromise?

Well oh man that's complicated isn't it I mean oh gee you can't exactly sum it up so easy like I am sure there are times when it is okay like times when you would need to do it so you can achieve some greater thing because let's face it not every

No.

But hey Julian you just compromised didn't you? You were gonna be the big scary bogeyman. It was your job to make sure that when the innocent people came up to you they got nice and scared away. Can't have them sticking around, right? No no no no.

That would be bad. That would be dangerous. You can't let them stick around Julian because of all the violence that happens around him, all the killers he'll be hunting, all the bodies piled up nice and neat, oh hey somebody could get hurt.

Hey Julian where are those bodies.

Where are all the killers you said you'd bring to justice.

What is it now, the sixth day? When did you kill Omar? Three days ago? Yes. Three days ago. And since then? Nothing. What? Nothing. So what, are you fucking up now? Whole lot of killers still on this island, whole lot of killing still being done. None by you. That's bad, right? Yours is the good kind. And it needs to happen. And if it doesn't, that means good people are dying. And so you need to get back to killing straight away.

And when you get back to killing, no more of this bullshit where you're nice to people and you let them talk to you and you let them leave without them being afraid for their fucking lives. No wait this is serious I am serious! This is probably sounding incredibly silly all of this but this is all what you need to do Julian. Pay attention now.

You need to find people. You need to kill people. You need to ignore what they tell you when they beg for their lives. You need to tell them their reasons were not good enough (your reason is good enough) and you need to shoot them. If they look particularly repentant you can kill them quickly, else you And then! And then, when you find people that you don't want to kill, you need to scare the shit out of them.

You need to do all of this or else you are failing your moral responsibilities.

Yeah so uh how's that for mental gymnastics.

Hmm. Interesting. Some folks on the horizon in this field of stacked logs (because that is where Julian was having this soliloquy, you see). So maybe Julian ought to stop being painfully self-aware for just a moment and look at who this is. He might need to kill them, after all. Or he might need to be scary and spooky and ooga booga booga.

Okay. One of them looks injured and the other is helping that one along, looks like. Let's take a look here, the uninjured one looks like

Looks like

Oh. Huh. How about that.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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(Naoko Raidon & Mizore Soryu --> All's Fair)

Mizore and Raidon had made it to a field.

It was a field covered in logs, but also thickets, wildflowers. Wiry undergrowth, thicket flowers, columbine, sage and and indian paintbrush. Flashes of bright colors on a background of green and grey.

Mizore breathed and slumped to the ground.

---------

They had woken to static, announcements shrieking, Mizore's knee throbbing in pain. Danya had made a tasteless joke about Raidon's kills; Mizore had winced. And then suddenly, the Residential Area was a danger zone.

Beep.

Beep.

Fuck.

"Fuck!" Raidon yelled.

Because Mizore Soryu was in no condition to walk, so Mizore Soryu was going to die here.

Mizore struggled to peel off the bedsheets, trying not to put too much weight on her bad knee. If she was going to die, she was at least not going to do it tied down in bedsheets his arm was around me, wasn't it? But agh, no time to think about how much I liked that, she was going to die, and she had to make peace with that.

Raidon was running, checking his bag, throwing her a shirt (what?), which she hastily put on, buttoned up. And fiercely, she realized she didn't want to die--not like this, not waiting, with noises ticking down, until her collar blew her up. She'd been zen, accepting her death, done this right, been a good girl but she didn't want to die.

Well, that thought hurt.

I want to die better than this.

And Raidon was looking panicked, hardening his mouth. "Get on."

Raidon was slight, beautiful, unmuscled. He couldn't carry her. That wasn't even a thing.

"Raidon--" She started.

But he silenced her, and she pulled on his jacket, and pulled her on his back, like a backpack or a small child. Bags in both hands. Rest easy. And somehow he could still move, some insane combination of adrenaline and fear, and she stiffened against him.

And they left.

----------------

The logging road had been packed--well, packed by island standards--with people evacuating the Residential District. Mizore and Raidon had stayed back, hiding in the scrub at the side of the road, making slow progress; a murderer and an injured girl made too tempting a target. At some point, Mizore had insisted that Raidon take her off his back; she could hobble, using his shoulder as a crutch. They stopped once to wrap her knee. It wasn't a break, at least; Mizore was pretty sure that it was a bad sprain the kind that might need surgical repair if that were ever an option plus a vicious, swelling bruise to make the thing look even worse than it was.

She lied to Raidon about how painful it was.

They finally found permanent shelter in this old field, the splashes of color on the mural of sage, grey-green and smelling of sawdust. It was calm here; no one else was in sight. Calm

So she was on the ground. "You need to rest." She said. "And I need to eat. And I'm going to give you a backrub, because you saved my life, and I owe you that, at least." Even though you're a terrible murderer and I should be getting away from you, but can't I be in denial for a little longer, at least?

Raidon breathed. She pulled him down in front of her, turning him to get his back, fluttering touches on tattoos, scars, dark and faintly visible when his shirt touched skin. Pretty boy. He pulled the bag over to his feet, started mechanically unloading water and bread. His breathing was calmer now.

She could turn her head now, turn it to the outside of the field where the sun was spotting the high grass. A man was there now, a black man in a black t-shirt and jeans. She couldn't recognize him from far away, but--okay, he was striding toward them.

Raidon hadn't seen a thing.

Well, let's work under the assumption that the majority of people on this island are not murderers.

Plus he didn't look like he was going to stop coming toward them any time soon.

She waved.

--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Grim Wolf
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Mizore Soryu was skinny--skinnier, even, than Naoko Raidon, which was saying something. More wiry, certainly--far more of she was muscle than just lack of mass--but still, light as things went. Raidon could not help but be a little proud of himself on the way down the stairs and out the door. She didn't weight that much; he could do this.

Until his arms started to ache under the weight of their bags. Until his legs began to feel leaden with their joint weight.

Once they'd cleared the residential district--and the beeps had been getting frighteningly fast by then, so close together that Raidon swore he felt something stirring in the collar around his neck, twitching at his jugular, waiting to...

Well. Suffice to say he'd found it in him to put on an extra burst of speed.

Once they'd cleared the Residential District, they'd wandered farther north. At some point, she noticed him lagging and insisted he let her off. His protests were half-hearted; he simply wasn't strong enough to carry both her and the bags for long, and unlike the bags Mizore could, in a slow, hobbling sort of way, move.

She was lying when she said it didn't hurt, and the guilt and anxiety that thought brought with it stabbed into his lungs and nearly robbed him of his breath. It was his fault she had ended up hurt; his attack had startled her off the banister.

Victoria.

He winced.

Soryu sat without warning, by a pile of logs in the middle of a thick cluster of flowers and plants. He recognized none of them, but their scent was heady and relaxing; his worries and guilt drifted away of their own accord.

"You need to rest," she said.

"I need no such thing-" he started, bristling, but Soryu's implacable gaze and more-implacable words brooked no argument.

"And I need to eat," she added. "And I'm going to give you a backrub, because you saved my life, and I owe you that, at least."

He wanted to protest further, but he ached too much. It won't help at all if I wear myself out, he reminded himself. Rest is a part of travel. Otherwise I'll just get exhausted.

So he obediently sat, and buried his head in his hands as Soryu's nimble fingers worked out the kinks in his back. He would feel his aches (some, at least) ebbing away, driven out by steady outward pressure. He leaned back a little, into her hands--the last massage he'd received had been from a rather forward girl at a debate tournament, who had more or less forced him into the chair.

Soryu was not so forceful. Soryu was infinitely more seductive.

His mind went, after a little while, into the darkness his hands created. They smelled, on the surface, only of Soryu (paint and grime and sweat and of this odd, almost acrid smell he didn't quite understand but which he identified instinctively as her scent), but beneath that smell was something else--something horrible.

The smell of blood, and death. The smell of Victoria Logan and Jacob Charles.

I killed them.

Would that the deaths had been as frenzied as had their predecessors. The death of Scott McGregor had brought Raidon nothing but horror and guilt; he'd let his instincts overwhelm him. Alison, too, had suffered for his haste and stupidity. Jacob Charles and Maddie Stone had earned their deaths, but...

Alice had suffered for his stupidity. And, in the end, so had Victoria. They had been together for so long...

He could barely stand to let Soryu die, and he'd known her so briefly. He could understand now, finally, why Alice had refused to give up her gun, and why Victoria had fired without hesitation.

Soryu's hand moved away from his back. The second hand was not quite so hypnotic as the first, and he drifted out of his darkness and looked over. She was waving at someone; he frowned severely, hands trailing to his gun. They couldn't trust...couldn't she...

She trusts me. She can do what she wants.

He left the gun on the ground and got to his feet. Followed the direction of her wave. Saw the person walking towards them.

Shit.

He immediately fell to one knee, grabbed his gun from the top of his bag and brought it up. Julian Avery was about twenty feet away by this point--more than close enough to realize what Raidon was doing. By the time he'd aimed his gun, Julian had his own gun trained on him.

Raidon swallowed.

I don't want to aim this damn thing anymore.

But he'd heard Julian's name on the announcements. Julian had killed someone, and it had been someone armed--on their last encounter, Julian had sure as hell not had that gun.

Still. Neither of them had fired yet.

"I think the only way either of us walks away from this alive," Raidon said slowly, still on one knee as though he were about to propose with both hands around his gun. "Is if neither of us moves."
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V6 Players

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Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
So they can both walk away.

Oh thank you, that is a relief. Shoulders relax a bit, deep exhalation, bit of a grin forming on his face. Phew! Bit of a close call there, weren't it? This was exactly what Julian was hoping for because once the guns came out things got scary and things got dangerous and oh dear oh my oh goodness someone might get hurt if you're not careful with those things, please be careful with those things. Things got scary because nothing like this ever happened back at school, nothing like this ever happened before.

Because you pulled a fucking gun on Julian Avery and because nobody had ever thought of that before.

“Sorry man, not buyin' it. If you wanted someone to walk away, you wouldn't have pulled your piece on me.” Shook his head, but not enough to take his eyes off Raidon never enough to take his eyes off Raidon. “Nah, you wanna finish what you started.” And here he almost looked sympathetic. “It's okay, you can say it. I ain't gonna get mad.”

Which was the right thing to say, to a point. But probably a bad idea to rile the guy up too much, at least for now. Can't do that. If it was just the two of them, then fuck yeah, keep doing that. That was how it worked, right? You make him slip up. You get him angry, you get him shooting, and next thing you know he's sputtering up and you're victorious. That's how it worked, yes. You didn't get shot because you have a plan.

And the bullets fly straight from his gun all fast and cold as pissed off at the world, and you say wait. And they say yeah, what, and you say, I got a plan. And they put on their sad faces. Turn around, go live out their lives somewhere else. They can't do shit to you. Because you thought this out.

That wasn't how it was right now. None of Julian's plans had this girl in them. None of Julian's plans had measures to ensure she didn't get killed by a stray bullet or used as a human shield. None of Julian's plans ended with her, standing there, scared shell-shocked shivering but alive, still alive, still alive.

Which meant all of Julian's plans were shit.

“You wanna try and kill me again, that's fine by me. But we settle this just between the two of us. Aight?” Asian girl. About as big as he was. Looked like her leg got fucked up. Wonder who did that. “Nobody else needs to get shot. You think you can make that happen?”

Who was she?

She was, she was, Mizore Soryu. Sorta a hippie? No. Hippie was the wrong word. There were some very good words for what she was and what she liked to do, but they weren't coming right now. Maybe later. Maybe when nobody had a gun out. Maybe he'd even ask her- maybe she'd even tell him? Probably not. Hippies weren't the biggest fans of gunfire, even if it was for a very very good reason against a very very bad man.

That was okay, though, that was fine. Someone had to find out what a bogeyman Julian actually was. Someone had to spread the word. Someone had to shout it from the rooftops from the lighthouse from the mountain.

Someone had to make it so they'd just run away, they'd just turn and run, they'd just turn and turn away and he wouldn't have to see their faces.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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[ *  *  * ]
Julian Avery.

Mizore was trying to remember what she knew about Julian Avery. Because she was sure there was something to remember.

He was nice, she remembered. Complimented her on her art from art class, when it got displayed. A lot of people did that, but it was nice of him to notice when they didn’t really know each other. She got the impression he was someone on the student council, but that could have been completely inaccurate. And now she was wondering about him, because now she was wondering why he had come up to Naoko Raidon if he knew exactly who he was.

Raidon was on his knee with a gun, like a man proposing. And Julian was talking to Raidon like they'd met before.

“Nah, you wanna finish what you started. It's okay, you can say it. I ain't gonna get mad.”

And Mizore was confused, for a moment, for a minute. Looking up at Julian’s soft, sympathetic face. If Raidon tried to kill you before, why did you walk toward him? Are you trying to commit suicide?

But no, that wasn’t it. There was a game afoot.

I ain’t gonna get mad.

The idiot. He was goading him. This Julian Avery had come across the field of dead tree branches why are you here? for the sole purpose of goading Naoko Raidon.

Which is acceptable. He’s a killer. Part of her brain was moral and cold.

But not here. Not now. They were just supposed to sit, for now. There wasn’t supposed to be any killing. Not until Mizore could walk again. Not until she could stop thinking about the pain in her knee, remember Victoria Logan Alice with enough vividness to leave Raidon, make herself a makeshift cane with one of these fallen branches and walk away for good and ever.

There wasn’t supposed to be more death yet.

But here came this kid, Julian Avery, across the field to goad Naoko Raidon, and Naoko Raidon had a gun on his knee, and everything was suddenly terrible and why is he trying to rile him up?

Our twentieth kill was a little bit of justice, or at least that’s what the murderer, Julian Avery, would claim.

Omar Burton. Omar Burton had killed on the first day.

A little bit of justice…

Oh. Hell. No.

“Nobody else needs to get shot.” Julian Avery said. “You think you can make that happen?”

There was a tree branch next to Mizore, a dead tree branch, a bit shorter than her. The bark had rotted and fallen off one end. Perfect.

Mizore pressed the sturdier end against the ground and used the branch to heave herself upwards. There was pain in her knee. She winced and ignored it.

She was angry. It was pressing like a fist on her chest. And the feeling of command, the lightening, angry power she’d felt laying in the cream-and-gold guest bedroom—it was back.

Words spoken. Softly, intensely, hyper-articulated. Make them lean forward to hear.

“If anyone’s getting shot here, it’s me.”

She was keeping her eyes on Raidon and Julian both, narrowed, but not paranoid. She was not going to grab anyone’s wrist if they raised a gun. She was not going to shout, or duck, or pull a piece.

Nope. That wasn’t her style.

Raidon had been saying sarcastic things in the background, mockery to Julian's comments. He had stopped now. Julian’s face was impassive.

One thinks he’s a justicar. One just saved my life.

And the pacifist, the pacifist, the pretty little helpless pacifist, was not against using some pretty stupid emotional manipulation to make sure that no one else got shot.

“One of you is going to put down your gun.” That was Raidon. “The other one is not going to draw his.” That was Julian. “I don’t know what kind of bullshit is trying to go down here, but congratulations, it’s about to choke on itself.”

Fury added an accidental twist to the last line. She could have spit at their feet.

“I’m going to stand right here. If either of you try to shoot each other, you will shoot through me, and I will die. If either of you are okay with that, by all means, go ahead with your killing spree, but I’m being an emotionally manipulative person and banking on the fact that you won't. Moreover, if you try to move and have your stupid standoff of destiny somewhere else, that will just force me to limp after you with a bad knee and fucking catch your bullets for you. I don’t care what danger you think we’re in, or how right you think you are.”

Her voice was ragged. No more sorrow. She was standing, feet planted apart, hair fluttering like a flag in the wind.

She was thinking about Victoria Logan, and she was furious.

And Julian and Raidon were listening.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Grim Wolf
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"Try and kill you again?" Raidon repeated, face impassive. "I believe this is the first time I've ever trained a gun on you, Julian. Last time we saw each other, you ran like a scared rabbit at the first hint of violence."

The words came out of their own accord, quick and cutting. Raidon's voice was level, his mind racing; years of solitary debate against numerous opponents had taught him to use every fact at his dispoal, even before he had a clear picture of what was happening. It was unconscious and immediate; he was wired on adrenaline and guilt and clear, certain knowledge of his own lethality, and these things in combination allowed no room for hesitation.

What had Danya said? Something about Julian attempting to deliver justice?

"Nobody else needs to get shot," Julian said, voice crackling with energy. "You think you can make that happen?"

Raidon rose to his feet, gun still trained on Julian. "Did you grow a spine somewhere along the line?" he asked. "Pick up someone else's while you were running? More than a hundred dead at last count, so I guess there's no shortage." Justice, justice mean hero complex or did Omar kill someone important to Julian no fuck no don't worry about that now focus on what you know. "How did you kill Omar Burton, anyways?" he asked, remembering the note he'd made in his journal. "Did you trip over something?"

Why, why, why was he mocking this boy? Julian Avery had a gun, and there was nowhere for either of them to run or to take cover if they actually got violent. This wouldn't end in mutual survival; it would end in death, if only because they had nowhere to turn when their words failed them. The only thing he gained by talking to Julian like this was to piss him off and force him to act. Did Raidon want that? And if so, why?

Was it just because Julian was the last one who'd seen him before? Before Raidon had learned that he could pull the trigger, that someone could die not as a result of his self-preservation but instead of the permutations in his personality and his desperation? Was it because Julian had seen him kill a boy whose only crime had been to try and run when confronted with the fatal circumstances into which he had been plunged?

The bloodstained hat felt stiff on Raidon's head.

Shoot him now. Before he can do the same to you.

The little Type 77 in his hands wakened to lethal life, its icy touch numbing him with the death implicit in its weight, a cold breeze reminding Raidon of his own deadly potential.

Of course, Soryu had other plans.

"I don't care what danger you think you're in," she growled. "Or how right you think you are."

She wasn't in between the two of them. He still had a clear shot.

Take it.

Julian had killed before. Raidon had nothing left to lose, except...

Except if I kill him now, Soryu will never forgive me. And what happened last time I tried to bluff my way out of a stand-off?

Debate had been very useful to Raidon over the years, but it also came with its share of disadvantages. Every experienced debater knows that there are times when one's whole case falls to pieces based on a single thought or fact.

During his last stand-off he'd lost a finger and shot Alice Boucher, all without gaining the thing he'd been struggling for--that little addition of lethality. In so doing, he'd provoked such rage and fear in Victoria Logan that she'd been able to fire on him without hesitation--something Raidon had only managed so far in self-defense. She had sought him out and shot him without thought because Raidon had been unable to control his fear.

He could kill. He knew he could kill, and he knew he would kill again if he wasn't killed himself. He had nothing to prove here.

But Julian Avery had already made it clear he wasn't going to fight where Soryu could get shot. And Raidon knew from experience he'd put himself in danger rather than see Soryu killed.

"For the record, Soryu" he said, lowering his gun with his face still devoid of expression. "I sincerely doubt you could have limped in front of the bullets."
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
You can keep talking as long as you like, Raidon. Julian's not going to stop you. You can taunt and you can talk shit and you can try to rile Julian up and none of it will matter. None of it will matter because you have nothing to say and he has no reason to listen and you are a child you are a fucking child. And a child with a gun in his hand, so you'll have to forgive Julian if he focuses his attention on that over anything you have to say.

What, you're going to call him a coward? What, you're going to call him weak? You are out of luck, Raidon, because he's been doing that himself for a couple of days now and God knows he's more eloquent than you. Here is a suggestion: maybe you could, like, imply that your dad could beat up his dad? Or something. Maybe it would give you a tactical edge.

"I don't care what danger you think you're in. Or how right you think you are."

Okay on second thought you might want to actually shut up, Raidon. An adult is talking.

She wants you to put the guns away. She doesn't want anyone to get killed here. Cause for relief, cause for alarm. Yes, alarm. Julian let his guard down and not a second later he's bleeding out choking wondering where he went so wrong. Where? It was the moment he decided to trust her, of course. Because you can't trust her. Because look at who she's with. Because look at who she's not begging you to save her from. Can't be trusted.

So you know what to do. One two and they're both down and they're both dead and the good guys win again. Ride off into the sunset and know you made the right choice. Hear it on the announcements the next day, hear that Mizore and Raidon had gone and killed an orphanage right before you met. Her bum leg was from when one particularly scared-looking kid managed to fight back a bit. Go on. You know what to do.

No. You don't play that game. As long as you live and as long as you have choice, you never play that fucking game.

And so Julian Avery took his hands away from the gun and he put them up in the air. Because he was not the bogeyman he claimed to be and he never ever was.

And with a sad smile at the only adult in sight, “Okay, you win. Hey, uh. The gun's not coming back out, no matter what,” and here he probably looked at her hurt leg for a little too long, “so you don't have to worry about 'wrong answers' or any of that shit. But you mind explaining why? My man Raidon here ain't gonna quit till everyone's dead.”

“You... you are hunting down killers, yes?”

“Well.” He held up a finger. “Just the one so far. I was gonna try for a second, but then this girl with a gimp leg jumped out and... well, I won't bore you with the details.”

And a smile on her face too. See, things were getting friendly already. “So I assume you think killing is bad. Why do you think more killing will solve anything?”

Oh. You want Julian to explain. See, he didn't really think any of this through that far. He sort of figured that anyone he met would either be a big scary monster, or else he could make them run away real fast by making a spooky sound or two. But don't worry, Julian can improvise.

“There's what, maybe a hundred people left on this island who've all chosen not to kill. They just wanna live out the rest of their lives, say they goodbyes. But they havin' a hard time doin' that right now, cause they gotta look over their shoulder every five minutes for all the killers running around. Somebody puts the killers down, they can say their goodbyes a whole lot easier.” He shrugs. “Dunno about you, but I call that a solution.”

She looked down at herself, at her walking stick. “May I sit down? I'll only do so if you promise the guns won't come out again.” A pair of nods from a pair of gentlemen. And so she sat down. Shaking. “So you think you can, what--kill a few bad apples, that's the killers gone, and the rest of us will be a-okay, at least for a little while longer?”

"Naw. Not on my own. I mean, I thought I could make take all of them out single-handedly, but then Raidon said some pretty mean things and I just don't know anymore.” This was true, Julian had been devastated. “But... to a point, yeah. We been here almost a week now. I'd say most everyone's made the choice by now, how willing they are to kill. I mean, it's not gonna be a utopia. We all gonna die, pretty damn soon, but.... it don't have to be so quick. And it don't have to be so scary."

She looked down at her hands for a moment. "Noble." No, stop that. You are getting the wrong idea here. "But I think you're wrong." Okay, that was a little better, maybe. "What is the name of Omar's girlfriend?"

"Sierra."

“Sierra. I'm going to make some guesses about her state of mind now."

Okay. Go ahead.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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[ *  *  * ]
Mizore was sweating, shaking. Who knew a sprained knee could be so painful? And now, and now she could talk, say the things she'd wanted to say ever since she'd gotten on the island, before she'd gotten on the island, whenever anyone casually advocated killing people Victoria Logan, because this guy was asking her about it, so damnit, she could tell him. And she was a little afraid, because maybe she wouldn't do it well, but mostly she wanted to speak, and speak for a long time you'll put your two cents in, because you've got a gun, but I'll put in three because history owes me one.

Sierra Manning. How is Sierra Manning feeling?

And she spoke quietly, precisely. "I'm guessing she's shocked. I'm guessing she's sad. And I'm guessing she's very, very afraid. And I think I'm guessing she's angry too. And there are so, so many ways she could become a killer, now. She could come after you for revenge. It's classic. But perhaps you think that only ends with you. Only ends with you, perhaps, getting shot in the face by an enraged girlfriend. It doesn't. It ends, perhaps, with her getting paranoid--she's less and less safe now--shooting someone she thinks is you, reminds her of you, reminds her of someone who shot Omar. Or maybe just reminds her that the island is a terrifying place, because people hunt other people, good people, she knows he was a good person, in pursuit of some ideal of justice--so what does that say about her safety?"

Sierra Manning wasn't getting anywhere. Typical. Julian Avery probably thought she was talking in hypotheticals. Time to show him that he wasn't the only one paying attention to the announcements.

"You're going to say I'm feeding you hypotheticals, while I'm sitting in front of a real killer--someone who's killed before, and presumably has no qualms about killing again. But most of the murders on this island have been one-time kills--by people like my hypothetical Sierra, people angry or upset or fucking paranoid, acting in terrified self-defense, or what might be self-defense, or what might be pre-emptive self-defense or what surely, surely is justified revenge--I know how violence works." Not as well as Raidon did, not as well as those who'd known vicious violence in their pre-island lives, but life in a commune, police raids, protests, Black Bloc and keeping up with the newspapers had to count for something. "Omar was a one-time killer. Are you going to kill all the other one-time killers too? Or just stick to the three and five-time killers like Sarah Atwell and Raidon here?”

Pause, breath, furious and softer. "There's no such thing as a bad apple. It's a stupid, stupid concept. Every kill, and not-to-kill is a choice--including Raidon's choice not to shoot you, when I was not in fact standing between him and your chest." She waits a beat, to let Julian realize that yes, she's not actually standing between him and Raidon, and yes, the bad bad serial killer had the chance to murder him, but didn't murder him when he had the chance. And continues not to murder him. The biggest secret is that people aren't at all like iron. We're quicksilver. An edge slips into her voice, that comes out in too many curses, too much intensity. "So when you say people have made their choices by now--I disbelieve. They're still making their choices, every fucking day. And you think you can stop the island by killing all the bad apples?"

Many people believe there are no bad apples, in theory. Mizore believes it in all seriousness. This makes her different from the vast majority of people. Perhaps it makes her crazy. Perhaps it makes her wise. Perhaps it makes her impragmatic, or hopelessly naive. Un-debatably, it makes her certain when she speaks.

But now she is winded, from talking, from speaking, from all that certainty. So Julian gets to speak now, quietly, his voice sharp, cutting, trying to draw blood. There is no mercy here.

"He told me he was gonna kill as many as it took to make sure Sierra got off the island. And there was no way I was gonna talk him down from that. And you got Max and Reiko out there, killing as many as it takes to win this for themselves. So you and me can argue philosophy long as you want. But in that time, those pieces of shit are gonna be adding to their bodycounts. And until you can tell me with a straight face that the island is a safer place with people like those two alive than it is with them dead, I'll stick with my plan."

It is not obvious that Mizore is firing back. It is not obvious that she has a trap laid for Julian. But she is, and she does, even though she is as soft-spoken as he. But only he can tell she has met his eyes and will not let go. "And Raidon--the island would be better off with him dead as well?"

"I ain't worked out the math yet. And if you keep your promise about limping in front of bullets, I'm not gonna be thinkin' about that one too hard."

Mizore scowls. That's a coward's answer, a non-answer. Wimp. Stand up for what you believe. Don't think I'll back down because you're offering me a safe way out.

She has wanted to say what she has said now for a long time.

Bur ahe is scowling, still, to start. "Then the question still stands. Naoko saved my life. Back in a danger zone. What is a saved life worth? One dead? Two? Who are your bad apples, Julian Avery? How do you decide who can't be redeemed?" Break pause and then, yes, she's been paying attention to the announcements. She's been paying attention, wanting, for a moment like this, for a talk like this, because these words and a listener are what she's wanted since before the copters took them to the island. "Kris Hartmann--we haven't heard about her for a few days. Has she gone back to the light side? Is she protecting someone like me now? What about Sarah Atwell, the torturer? She isn't dead, and yet she hasn't killed. for a few days. What is she doing? If you find one of them now, and they're not the evil you thought they were--what will you do then? Will you kill them even so, to punish them for their sins? Have you decided they're your bad apples, never to contribute to the good of our short island lives again?"

Her face was twisted, in something not quite dissimilar to fury. Zealotry, maybe. But she still has her facts, her announcements she remembers, and she's still not done, she's not done yet, though her voice goes softer. She is, perhaps, coming to a close, perhaps preparing for another barrage. "Ivan Kuznetsov, the best killer on the first day. I've heard he's now protecting some wee girl. And Clio Gabriella's just been shot--this is good, yes? But I'll be surprised if her boyfriend, Simon Telemon, does not show up in tomorrow's announcements. And yet it has been nearly a week, and you act as though people have made their choices. You act as though killing murderers won't spawn more murderers, more fear, more revenge cycles gone wrong."

Radio Asuka, the communalist pacifist graffiti artist, has wanted to fight this war for so damn long. And it shows.

And Julian, Julian Avery, man with morals and missions and a mandate shaped like a gun, looks entirely appropriately overwhelmed.

Radio Asuka has to stifle a smile.

And Julian looks at Naoko Raidon and, in the politest tone possible, asks "What made you decide to save her, Raidon?"
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Raidon stood completely still, and kept his mouth shut, and listened. His body felt tight, tense, unstable--he imagined a volcano struggling towards eruption might feel the same way. Julian had killed, and as it turned out he did have a hero complex; he was standing there with a gun.

One move, that gun could be on Raidon. One move, and all the sins he'd committed would be null and void, because he wouldn't even keep his life as a result.

He relaxed as he listened to the two of them--as he listened to Julian's desperation to make the island an even slightly-more survivable place and Soryu's high-minded, unflappable and utterly certain rhetoric--and wondered idly whether other people on this island were having this conversation. How desperately they were struggling with their choices. It was precisely the abstract character of the argument that struck him--they'd encountered so few people, really. Those few they'd actually dealt with constituted the minority of the island's inhabitants.

But Soryu was right, wasn't she? Cycles of violence. Cycles of vengeance. He'd already engineered some himself.

His name came up. All the potential violence of the moment returned to him, and he went rigid.

"What is a saved life worth?" she asked.

Nothing.

His violence died as swiftly as it had come, and it left no sense of danger behind it; the last shreds of his fear were dispelled when Julian turned to him and asked him, with a politeness that was in no way forced, "What made you decide to save her, Raidon?"

Decide?

Saved lives. Decisions. Foolishness, stupidity, pride, desperation, life. Without his anger, fear, and adrenaline, his words weren't flowing like he wanted them to. He wanted to flabberghast them both, he wanted to make them understand...!

Soryu was looking at him expectantly. Julian was watching him with interest.

We could die at any moment.

"She keeps insisting," Raidon said thoughtfully. "That there are no bad apples. That we are only turning to killing because of the fear of our circumstances. She keeps believing in other people, and she keeps understanding why they do the unforgivable things they do."

Keeps understanding why I do the unforgivable things I do.

A moment of silence. Julian looked taken aback; Soryu had the faintest smile on her face, and the sweetness of it was such that Raidon ached.

"She's wrong, though."

Find the words, make them flow. "Not that the people on this island don't deserve to live," he said quickly. "But about what kind of people they are." He was thinking back to his last encounter with a fellow killer--with Clio Gabriella.

"I ran into Charles Dawson twice," Raidon said. "Once in the Tunnels on the first day we were here, and once..." He trailed off. "When Clio killed him."

And now Clio Gabriella was dead herself. Odd, now that he stopped to think about it.

"He was with Maddy Stone, that time," he added. "Before she tried to kill me. Before I..."

Don't let the words be stopped my memories, by thoughts of the gruesome death he'd inflicted on her--a bullet to each limb, mocking the stigmata, Christ, what had he been-?

"She and Charles had hatched a plan," Raidon said quickly, struggling to force the images from his mind. "They wanted to stop everyone on the island from fighting for a whole day. They wanted us to commit collective suicide." His fists tensed at his sides. "That was what they came up with. That was..."

What was he trying to say? Did he even know? It was nebulous, a Gordian knot in his heart and mind and throat, and the only way to untangle it was to keep picking at it. He'd held his peace; now he had no choice but to speak if he wanted to say anything worth saying.

"People have died by my hand," Raidon said. "Some of them died because I was afraid; others died because they were just as twisted as me. And one...one died because I hurt someone she loved."

Stay honest. This isn't for them, it's for me.

"People are going to keep dying by my hand," Raidon said. "Hopefully not...not as many. Scott..." He forced himself to look into Julian's eyes, saw the other boy stiffen and then straighten out, something hard and dangerous in his gaze. "Scott didn't have to die." He reached for the bloodstained hat on his head, his fingers alighting on the brim, and then retreated back to safety by his waist. "Neither did Alison. And Victoria Logan..."

He trailed off. From the corner of his eye, he saw Soryu's gaze narrow a little--saw the hurt and the mute accusation. Neither of them had spoken yet, though.

"Victoria Logan came after me, and I killed her," he said simply. "But she had every reason to come after me. If there is such a thing as righteousness in a place like this, she had it."

He looked down at his missing finger.

"The things we've lost and cannot regain leave nothing but regret and rage," Raidon said. "And regret and rage are the cornerstones of righteousness."

He stared at his missing finger.

"Loss is inevitable," he said simply. "No matter if we find some way out of this place or not. If Liz Polanski busts us all out, we've still lost over a hundred people. We've consumed ourselves. We'll keep consuming ourselves until we're absolutely sure we don't have to anymore." He paused, then offered Soryu a weak smile. "You're right, in a way," he said. "We're not bad apples. Just desperate ones." He nodded at Julian, then at Soryu, then indicated himself. "Out here, though, there isn't a difference."

His fear had cost two people their lives; his anger had cost the life of a third; his certainty had cost the lives of another two. Innocence was long gone, and God was nothing but a remote asshole who'd built flawed, wretched children and left them to destroy themselves. He'd lost his morality, his God, his finger, and his friend. And in spite of the breadth of it, he had still more to lose.

On this island, where only one person would walk away, and there was no chance of them doing that intact. On this island, everything was loss.

I don't want to leave her.

I don't want her to hate me.

I don't want to be alone again.

I don't want-

I need to survive.


Right.

"She's closer to it than you are, though," he said, jerking his head towards Soryu. "Towards good or...or whatever it is you're looking for."

Julian spoke for the first time. "Good?" he repeated. "People are killing, stopping them is good."

"There isn't any evil in this game, Julian," Raidon said. "Just people trying to do what they think is right. I think she's doing the best job. She's the only one who hasn't betrayed everything she was." He paused, considered his words. "Everything she is."

Do what you think is right.

"Someone's going to get out of here alive," Raidon said. "I'd like very much for that to be me. I don't think I deserve it anymore than you or...or any of the people on this island. But I'm going to try it anyways." He grabbed his bag from where it was and tossed it over her shoulder.

"You mentioned a name," Raidon said. "Maxwell Lombardi."

The name that kept coming up on the Announcements. The name of the of the man who was quite possibly the most dangerous person on this island. The name of the man who had killed Simon Grey.

He slipped his gun into the waistline of his pants. "Much as I want to live," he said. "I have to go put an end to him."

He didn't look at Soryu. He didn't want to think about cycles of vengeance just then. He didn't want to think about the violence she so hated.

"You're not going to kill me now, Julian Avery," he said. "We're going to walk away without hurting each other. You're trying to be a good person and you have a gun and an idealistic idiot like her is going to die without someone like you to protect her, so you're going to take her with you."

He forced his features to remain neutral, as something cried out insdie him.

"Because neither of us is going to make it if we stay together."
Edited by Grim Wolf, Feb 18 2011, 08:33 PM.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
Seems like the question here is whether Julian's ideology, his mission, his twisted disturbing monster-in-shining-armor complex, can survive contact with someone who knows what they're talking about.

Let's not answer that yet, yeah?

Let's look at Julian right now, the boy with the entirely appropriately overwhelmed expression. Let's ask him what he's thinking. What are you thinking?

Thinking about t-shirts.

Thinking about the line that was supposed to be on his. Y'know Omar, in theory I give a shit. But in practice, you killed a man who hadn't done shit to you. And there's no way I'm lettin' you off this island. Yes this is a good slogan and you should wear this shirt if you want your friends to know that you're dangerous and badass but also sensitive and you got a good moral compass and shit.

This shirt, yeah? It really summed up Julian and it really gave you a glimpse into his psyche and really told you where he stood on all matters moral and martial except that it didn't, it didn't, it really didn't. It- it wasn't- that hadn't been why he'd killed Omar at all! Right? It wasn't about punishment, it was about protection, it was about making sure these guys who'd killed before and had no qualms about doing it again didn't have the chance to.

So why the fuck had he said that?

Let's not answer that yet, yeah?

Let's instead think about the other part there. It was about protection. Which meant killing all the people who were gonna kill in the future unless stopped. Okay, so who was that? Well, uh, uh, it was Omar for one, because, well, he'd told Julian that, uh, he'd keep killing till Sierra made it off the island.

And you believed him?

Well uh yeah of course you believe someone like that and also, uh, the other people who need to be killed are everyone who'd been on the announcements, because that's a pattern of behavior, that's indicative of what they'd do in the future, yes. And everyone who wasn't on, they were squeaky clean for now, so don't kill them until you hear their name, then it's okay to kill them, because you know they're bad. And you know they're bad because you were told they're bad, Danya told you they were bad.

And you believed him?

Well yes he believed Danya but no he definitely didn't did he? He'd already had that evidence plain as day about the kind of lies Danya told, lies like Julian Avery is: Out for Justice (in theaters this summer). So he didn't believe Danya, nope, he knew full well that you couldn't trust what the guy had to say, of course he knew that, everyone knew that, and yet he believed him.

Why?

Because-

Why?

So here was Julian with his entirely appropriately overwhelmed expression and not a fucking clue about what he was doing and single answer in sight. So, so, so do what everyone does when they don't have answers. Ask a question.

"What made you decide to save her, Raidon?"

And get an answer.

Well. Lot of things to think about there. Which was good, since Julian had a whole huge list of things he didn't want to think about right now. So instead of those he could listen to Raidon talking about how Scott didn't need to die- was that supposed to be an apology, or... ? Nah, unlikely- and about how he had a new project on his mind.

Killing Max Lombardi, huh. What do you think of that, Julian?

... Yeah, now's as good a time as any to answer.

“So. You wanna go hunting Max down, that's fine by me. You got my blessing.” And now the hard part! “But you think you're gonna do it alone, that's tough shit.” Much as I'd be alright with one of you killing the other, “I think I'mma come with you. Hold you to your word, and back you up too. Much as I trust you got skills with that gun,” he specializes in shooting fleeing unarmed kids in the back, you see, “having two of us on it's gonna make the whole thing a lot easier.”

“If we take him down, what happens next is up to you. You wanna take a shot at me, that's fine. You wanna part ways, I won't put one in your back. Shit, maybe we even get to be friends by then.” The best friends. Swapping stories around a campfire of all the murders they'd done.

“Which leaves...” you, Mizore. Julian's looking at you now. “Yeah. You ain't exactly in the best shape right now, so... first order of business for Team Murderers has to be getting you somewhere safe. Sawmill's pretty close, we could give it a shot first. You, ah, you okay with that?”

Yes her answer will be a positive one with no reservations about the faultless plan you have just devised.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Sunset, now. Beautiful across the flat forest felled.

"How could you be so stupid?" Her voice broke. Mizore's preternatural cool was gone. "You think killing Maxwell--do either of you think killing Maxwell is going to solve anything?" Yes, yes they did. They thought he was a Bad Apple. Just like Raidon wasn't. "You think his death is going to bring less misery to the island? You think the number of murders here will suddenly, precipitously drop? You think you won't just be another two idiots waltzing to Danya's tune? I bet he loves it, you know, when people kill for 'justice'. When that cycle of violence, that I speak of so tritely, continues and feeds his fucking island." Pain shot up her leg, apropos of nothing.

But no. She was crying now, again, not out of fear but of pure frustration. They heard me! They listened to me! They seemed to understand! She sobbed, coughed, spat on the ground, cleared her throat. Venomous and soft-talk.

"Julian. Do you--" Hiccup, okay, she really wasn't as impressive as she wanted to be. "--you've suddenly gone off and decided, like a chump, that Raidon here, who you've met, is an okay guy, but this Maxwell guy, now he's a creep? If you still think taking out people with killcounts is going to save the island, shoot him, for God's sake. And shoot me, too. I'll limp in front of the fucking bullets, asshole that I am." Not venomous anymore. Snarling. "And Raidon, Naoko Raidon. Do you really think killing Maxwell Lombardi will get Simon back?"

And still there are tears. "You're not justicars! You're not Danya's goddamn police." Breathing. "Will you kill Maxwell Lombardi for justice then? For punishment? For sweet, sweet revenge? You're idiots."

And Mizore tried to heave herself up, tried to walk away, because these people are puerile, because you loved him, you loved him, and you failed, failed, failed, they still want to kill, because they're morons, and they just waltz to Danya's tune. But her leg was sprained, she forgot, and now she screams and falls.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Grim Wolf
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She falls, but she doesn't hit quite as hard as she would have.

She starts to fall, there's no way around that--Raidon's a weakling, he spent too much time on the computer or writing or working on different projects and scholarships. He never took the time to develop any of the athletic talent he may or may not have had. His hand-eye coordination is somewhat better than average, if the fighting on the island is any indication, but other than that he isn't fast and he isn't strong.

So she manages to take a step and starts to fall before he can close the gap between the two of them. And when he gets his arms around her, she's too heavy for him, and his legs are still sore from their earlier run from a danger zone; he falls with her.

Manages to get his body under her, though. Leaves him feeling winded and leaves his chest aching, but he manages that much.

Ow.

He just wished he felt more noble about it.

She scrambled away from him, as though his touch were diseased and repellent. He winced, feeling his self-hatred grow a little more--even she can't stand me anymore--and then straightened out, making his way to his feet.

He hadn't had time to respond to Julian yet. Soryu had reacted too quickly.

He looked between the two of them--the idealistic pacifist who was angry at him because the world did not conform to her expectations and the would-be vigilante who now wanted to accompany him on his quest for vengeance. Raidon was more under control now--barring any hostile encounters, he though they might be able to travel together safely. He could use the help, truth be told--based on the Announcements, taking Maxwell down was going to pose a serious challenge. He'd have to watch his bag constantly, of course--he was one of the villains Julian had sworn himself to fight.

And then there was Soryu.

"Did you ever take Mr. Crawford's American History?" he asked.

Soryu's anger, outrage, and revulsion was now tempered by confusion. Julian, too, looked puzzled.

"Crawford," he continued. "One fourth Ojibwe Indian. Always managed to insert the Native Americans into whatever god damn lecture he was giving."

He thought he saw a little more understanding in their gaze now. Alright.

"He told this story once about this Native American, Little Crow," Raidon continued. "He was a Santee Chief who led an Indian revolution against the American government because the Americans had effectively cut off the food supply of the Santee people. When the revolution failed, he fled to Canada, but he came back to deal with his people's plight."

Neither of them had been his class, Raidon knew that much. Had they heard this story? Did it matter?

"The U.S. government often offered a bounty for the scalps of rebellious Indian tribes opposing them," Raidon continued. The details were all there; he'd found the story fascinating, and read a few essays about the subject on his own time. "Trouble was, you can't really tell the difference between friendly Indian scalps and hostile Indian scalps, and some people couldn't even tell the difference between Indian scalps and Mexican scalps, and some people were more than willing to take advantage of that fact."

Oblique--always come at them from an angle they don't expect. People are smart, they'll have arguments prepared for everything unless it's something they don't expect.

"Well, Little Crow was hostile, they got that right," Raidon continued. "He was shot and killed, and his killers were paid a bounty for his scalp. And when they'd confirmed it was his, they put his skull and scalp on display in St. Paul."

Let that hang. Wait for a moment.

"People aren't evil because they're desperate," Raidon said. "People are evil because they were offered the opportunity to be so."

"I intend to get off this island," Raidon said to Julian. "If we manage to escape by some other means, fine, but if the only way out is by winning the game than I'll win the damn game." No dressing it up. "So I you feel you need to kill me after we take out Max, than I give you leave to try." He brushed himself off, feeling the ache in his back where it had collided with his bag. "If you draw on me, I'll do my best to kill you first, but you might succeed."

God, how miserable would that be? Gunned down by Julian Avery before...

"Max comes first though," he added immediately. "If we can agree to that, I suppose..."

This is a mistake, this is a mistake, you can't trust Julian and he's armed, you should just gun him down, but here's the thing; when Maxwell finally goes, you're going to be the most dangerous person on this island, and you know that for a fact. When that times comes, he'd much rather have Julian nearby, where they can settle it quickly, rather than have to hunt him down, worry about picking up someone else's weapon.

For now, Raidon was no longer a player. For now, Raidon was a hunter.

He turned to Soryu. "I'm not trying to turn over a new leaf, I'm not trying to be something new, something more heroic. I am not good and I never have been and I'm sorry-"

And god he was sory, the spear which thrust its way up through his abdomen and into his heart left no doubt of that, the nameless ache and the tidal fear which consumed him then at the fact that she might hate him, might leave him, and that he might never get the chance to kiss her all-too-sweet lips again nearly blinded him to all other possibilities-!

"-that I can't live up to your expectations."

He paused. "If I'm going to make it off this island, Lombardi has to die," he said simply. "And if I'm going to live with myself after this is all over, Lombardi has to die." He was armed, and he was unlikely (barring some sudden windfall) to be more ready than he was. He was strong, he was (comparatively) well-fed, he had an ally (albeit one on whom he could not entirely rely). "Vengeance, justice, something in me insists that I go after Maxwell Lombardi-"

Like his heartbeat, swift and steady, inevitable.(

He's got to die.

He's got to die.

He's got to die.
).

"-and that same something insists you come with me."

He didn't make a move towards her. "You can convince me I'm wrong if you like," Raidon said. "You can convince me that this will only fulfill some bullshit cycle, that I'm just playing Danya's game, that there's something better than survival. Or you can stay completely silent and try to kill me when I sleep, or you can run away at every opportunity. But until your leg heals you are going to come with me, if only because I will knock you out and force you to if you don't agree."

Keep this person he'd found to care about alive for as long as possible, in spite of the fact she hated everything he was. Go after the person who'd killed the last person he'd cared about in the company of a man whose code demanded Raidon die.

This isn't going to help you.

It isn't supposed to help me. It's supposed to keep me human.
Edited by Grim Wolf, Feb 21 2011, 01:16 AM.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
So you see the girl with the ribbons in her hair and the tears in her eyes and she's snarling, raging, breaking down, falling, scrambling away, and she's not well, not well at all, so you ask yourself, if you've even got a shred of human decency, you ask yourself who did that to her?

Because lord knows she wasn't always like this. Lord knows she was doing a whole lot better before- before what? Before the island before something before someone? And you look at yourself and you look at Raidon and you maybe shuffle around a little and point a finger this way, that way, cause nobody really likes taking the blame, but no bones about it you did that to her.

You did that to her.

And you want to make her better. You want to renounce everything about your killing and your mission and yourself and you want to look her in the eye and say I am new, I am new, I am someone else now and I am someone better. You want to throw down your sword and disassemble your gun and you want to fall to your knees and say you're sorry till you're someone else you're someone better.

And you want to look up, look over, maybe wipe your eyes off because something or other was in them, and you want to see Raidon doing the same as you. And you want for her to smile, you want for her to feel happy- or at least you want her to feel something else. Anything else. There's a whole goddamn range of emotions in this big beautiful world of ours, pick one, pick one, any one at all, and put it on so Julian can be glad.

It won't happen, no no, of course it won't happen because it'd take some sort of miracle- but just in case, please, in case anyone with a miracle up their sleeve is listening, if you could use it right here and make this fine, make everyone well, Julian would appreciate it. Anybody out there with a... with a miracle waiting to... waiting... no, not really, huh. Okay. Okay. That's fine, Julian can deal. That's okay.

What's the next best thing?

“Mizore, I...” The words fail, the man with all the words and all the charm and all the wit is standing here and choking on his thoughts and all that comes out is, “shit.”

No, don't give up that easy.

“Mizore. Can I get a word in private, real quick? Please?”

She nodded. No words for him, which was right and proper. And Raidon didn't seem to object to the idea, so... good.

“Hey, look, you're... you're right. You're completely right about everything. About everything.” Aww. You say that like you actually believe it. “I don't want to do this anymore, and I'd just walk away here, but...”

“Look, odds that we actually find Max are really, really low. Most likely, we just gonna be keeping Raidon outta trouble, which... it's good. I can get behind that.” Oh, you sly dog.

“And hey, maybe it'll end up that... he ain't done any more killing for a few days, and all of a sudden he realizes he ain't any more dead than when he was on his spree.”

“I... I know this is bullshit, this whole pretense, but it's the best I can do. And I wanna make it right. I wanna... make it right.”

And you look sad now, you look frightened, you look like someone else entirely, maybe. Like you actually believe any of it, maybe.

Wait, wait, wait. You do believe it.

Oh, then that's different.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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She had lost her composure, here on the island, in front of Danya's cameras, in front of two people who she could least afford to lose composure around. Some kind of artist pounding her fists against the world like a small child because people just wouldn't live up to her standards.

And crying. Let's not forget crying.

And now Raidon and Julian, far from telling her she was pathetic and leaving her, were trying to comfort her.

Why were they doing that?

Raidon wanted her to come. Come with them. Find Max. Hold them up, because she was a crippled girl. Maybe get them shot.

Julian wanted to talk to her. She nodded, held her head stiff as he came closer. No weapons drawn. He wasn't planning to shoot her. Good.

Instead he wanted to talk to her. About how they probably wouldn't find Max. About how this was all a ruse to keep Raidon out of trouble. She was fine with ruses to keep Raidon out of trouble.

And, funny. He sounded like he actually believed in her.

I'm not trying to turn over a new leaf, I'm not trying to be something new, something more heroic.

It could be a ruse. Trying to find Maxwell Lombardi. It's not like finding someone on the island was easy. They could only track him by his kills in the announcements, and only then, hours apart.

I am not good and I never have been and I'm sorry that I can't live up to your expectations.

She would be a crippled girl. She would delay them.

…if only because I will knock you out and force you if you don't agree.

And if they came upon another dangerous killer? They could cross that bridge when they came to it.

The killer, the player-killer, and the pacifist. A terrible team. They wouldn't get anything done.

But if the only way out is by winning the game, then I'll win the damn game.

She'd fallen on Raidon when she'd tried to stand up, fallen on him and scratched herself away before he could even pick her up. She didn't want him to see how helpless she was.

Radio Asuka.

"Fine." She said. "Let's go."

(Mizore Soryu continued in That Morse Code Thread)
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Private words.

Let them speak. Let them plan. Plan what? Who can say? What can the would-be vigilante convince the pacifist hippie of? What can they accomplish? And why don't they want Raidon to hear?

Larger questions, questions he should be ignoring, because Naoko Raidon is not trying to protect people and he is not trying to beat the game. Too many of the cards rest in the hands of the men working the system, and so Naoko Raidon is going to play by the system's rules so he can get the hell out of here, regardless of what these two have to say.

The witness to his first murder. The girl he'd killed to protect.

"Fine," he heard. "Let's go."

And she was limping off into the woods.

She limped off into the woods, and without so much as a glance at Julian Avery Raidon followed, because he was beginning to understand why, exactly, he'd allowed himself to talk, and why either he or Julian wasn't dead right now. It was related, in part, to Maxwell Lombardi and Simon Grey. It was related to trying to plan ahead--to understand that, after all was said and done, he would have to live with himself if he ever escaped this godawful island.

As long as she was injured, he couldn't let Soryu go.

"If it comes down to it," Raidon said, so only Julian could hear him. "You get her away from whatever we're fighting." He glanced down at his gun. "If it comes down to it."

(Naoko Raidon continued in -,-- -,-- --..)
Edited by Grim Wolf, Mar 12 2011, 10:14 AM.
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