You are a killer. You walk into a clearing. There is a girl there. She says some things. A few minutes pass. You walk out of the clearing. You are no longer a killer.
How does something like that happen?
Probably best to just roll with it, right? This is good. This is a good thing you've got going here. This is walking around with your head held- well not high, but in a sorta middling position- because you're doing something to make the island safer and you didn't have to pull a single trigger. So don't doubt this, don't second-guess this. Don't pick at this scab because guess what, guess what, it's healing, it's getting better, and no reason in the world to see some ugly things right now. Don't second-guess this, don't
Oh god fucking dammit, Julian Avery. You're already second-guessing this, aren't you?
Back at the house where he'd first thought about t-shirts. There was a phrase that kicked around in his head. He'd treated it like an epiphany, because he was Julian Avery and he treated everything like an epiphany. Do you remember the phrase? Maybe it was I don't mind- no, no, not that one. That was a nice touch, a nice moment. Nice little way to give yourself a license to ignore any moral arguments leveled against you.
No, no, no, we're talking about I failed.
Yeeeeaaaah, that's the one. That's what all this is about. It's all about failing and failing and wanting to succeed, wanting to do something that leaves a positive mark on the island and so of course killing is what he ended up with, that must have been a great thought process. That's the root cause of all this bullshit, that's-
Oh snap! Looks like all of a sudden it's amateur self-psychoanalysis hour! Gather round, boys and girls, this is some Sigmund Freud level shit! This is a teenage murder getting all self-deprecating and self-referential, which is what you've all been waiting for!
It was just gonna go on like this. Thinking about it was gonna lead to hating himself for it was gonna lead to thinking about why he was hating himself was gonna lead to hating himself for thinking about it was gonna lead nowhere soon. Snake eats its tail and we call it meaningful introspection.
Well, fuck that. When the little part of his head, the shitty little self-deprecating part, came knocking, Julian knew what to do. When it taunted him, told him the new leaf he'd turned over stemmed from the very same fucked-up instinct that'd driven him to kill, he knew what to say.
I don't mind.
And here was Raidon asking him to, if it came down to it, keep Mizore safe from whoever they got into a fight with. Yeah, Julian could do that. He could live with that. He could keep someone out of harm's way just fine. And he could maybe even have a smile on his face when he did it.
Still no word on compromise. But I hear change is pretty good.
(Julian Avery continued elsewhere)