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I still feel sick from what I did. I can’t get that image out of my head. Tuck can tell I am bothered, but I am too bothered to address the fact that he is noticed. He keeps looking at me, his nose and whiskers twitching. His tiny nose.

That little nose.

Tyu watches me impassively and doesn’t say anything, just helps me when I stumble.

My eyes burning, I croak out that we need to meet everyone else. They are slowly making their way north, although Jondahar told me to expect some groups will splinter off. Most have either children or elderly relatives.


I stop to throw up. Tuck watches. I think he’s showing empathy, or sympathy or something along those lines. I throw up again for good measure. The vomit is mostly bile, thick and yellow. Haha, I am like an acid-spitting dinosaur!

“We need to hurry.” Tuck’s words are quiet but firm.

We do need to go, to catch up. I know Tuck had a wife and children.

The emotions I am feeling are just products of biochemistry, right? Complicated enzymes, hormones, whatever, doing a dance in my body. I can just teleport out some of the glucocorticoids and be fine right? Wait, what’s a glucocorticoid? Oh. I can see a small chemistry diagram, a latticework of vertices and lines, and there it is. I know that it contributes to me feeling excessively stressed, and that continually being stressed is bad for me. I can just turn the glucocorticoids into something else. I can make this feeling go away.

Instead, I push myself off the ground, stand up, and walk briskly.

“Let’s go. I’m fine.” Tuck can see I am not fine but says nothing and follows. Eventually, we see everyone a short way through the brush, following a meandering game trail. Jondahar says something to everyone else, causing a few of them to pause. It looks like everyone who has stopped is a man. I guess they are the guys who are in charge?

“We took care of things back there. The house is ruined, and the family is dead.” Tuck turns and looks at me. “He’s a bit squeamish.”

As that last sentence came out of Tuck’s mouth, my vision turns white around the edges, and I hear a dull roar, steadily getting louder. My head felt light, and I felt as though if I gave up all strength I could fly. The last thing I remember seeing, before I was swallowed by the roar, by the white, is everyone racing towards me.

1 Comment

  1. zavyyn

    Yoshiaki Kawajiri is a legend.


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