It was foggy in here, foggy and full of bird-chirps, mist rising from the water as the night padded in. Tonight was soft, gradual, lovely. She had taken more rests than she needed to. The route through the swamp was hard, uneven, slow-moving--Julian had picked it. This meant either Julian Avery was an idiot, or he wanted their quest to kill Maxwell Lombardi to succeed as little as she did.
A copse of trees. The trees were full of birds here. Funny how an island full of corpse could be full of so much more life. An abandoned land, wasteland, could grow into an ecosystem. Something beautiful from a land of death.
Make it be so.
The trees were thick. This was worrisome. She'd wrapped her leg as tight as possible and taken four of Julian's painkillers before leaving--cutting off the circulation to the leg was probably shit in the long run, nevermind the possibly-too-large quantities of ibuprofen, but for now she just wanted to move.
She pulled her leg out of a tangle of undergrowth--and heard sounds.
" she murmured.
Too soft. No one heard. And then they emerged, and Mizore practically fell into the lap of a yet-as-unnamed Spanish girl.
This was startling. Open your mouth. Talk before someone does something stupid.
The glint of metal. The glint of a knife.
She knew what happened next.
Fuck, he's seen it.
Raidon had pulled a gun. A shot. At any of them? Oh Naoko, you don't do warning shots--
Grab the gun. She needed to grab the gun. Her leg was weak. She grabbed for Raidon, got caught, and fell, and Raidon was running, running from knife boy my love the serial killer, I will not keep making excuses for you
and Julian was nowhere to be seen, and the others, the group with the trumpet, were scattering like the birds in the trees, well-fed and disturbed.
No. The students, her schoolmates, they weren't well-fed. They looked like skeletons, tattered clothes, windblown scarecrows.
The ground smelled rich. Moss and loam and swamp-gas, witch-oil that would light up at night, that she could stir with her finger.
Her leg hurt again.
I have to get away from him.
Birds close to her now, curious about the girl laying down at the edge of the copse of trees. Raidon, Julian, scattered. Shouts nearby.
You don't give warning shots, do you?
A pacifist, lost on the island of death.
I can't just do nothing. Even now. I can't just do nothing.
(Mizore Soryu continued in The Dead Flag Blues