Round 6 Lynch

Armando sat with his elbows on his knees, staring down into his open hands and wondering what it would be like if one of them suddenly vanished. That was the closest way to describing how he felt, how he’d felt since the life went out of his twin’s eyes – as though he were missing a hand.

It was very strange to look down and find himself whole after losing so many. Surely he should stare in the mirror and find one ear lopped off, for gentle, sensitive Teresa. Perhaps he should have shaved his head to mourn Domo, shaved his head to drill a hole in the top and bleed out all of the mental anguish his friend had suffered.

And how should he mourn Jacob? Perhaps he should look down and find his fingers severed clean off; it seemed a worthy gesture, losing his digits to the dead mathematician. His closest friends in Dragon fell away one by one, and the murders he thought would bring satisfaction ended only in pain.

They were coming for him. He could hear them marching his way.

You couldn’t know what being a twin was like unless you were one – that was just the way it was. Always living in someone else’s shadow. Always blocking out someone else’s light. Constantly having to keep pace with someone who would always be just a little stronger, a little faster. Armando suspected that Emilio had been taking every advantage to best his brother since the womb.

In the end, though, Armando had proved to be the strong one. He had shown them all.

Shivs and razors in place of pitchforks and torches, but the effect was the same. They were coming to kill the monster. They filtered through the doors of the barracks, coming to pay their respects.

Armando smiled.

They started with his fingers, but Armando didn’t die until after they reached his neck, severed his jugular. The last thing he felt was his left ear being ripped from his head.

~*~*~

“I think it’s over now. Thank God, I really think it’s over.”

“That last one…”

“I know, I know. What a mess. Maybe that’s what it took to give these kids a wake up call.”

“I don’t know – I think I don’t –want- to know what made them come to us and ask to be transferred out. The important thing is that they’re ready to make an end to this.”

Graff stroked his chin, thoughtful. “I don’t think there’s anything we could have done, Dap. I think until they decided to stop the violence on their own…there’s nothing else we could have done.”

“Due respect, sir, but we made some horrible mistakes – we should have brought in the military police the moment Pinual was found. Now the scale of this…cover-up, there’s no other word for it…is completely beyond our control. There is no way to contain this!”

Graff sighed and leaned back in his chair, not speaking for several long moments. Dap tried not to squirm, but he could not avoid second guessing himself. Perhaps the ‘due respect’ at the beginning of his comment wasn’t quite enough cushion for what had followed. Finally, though, Graff voiced his thoughts.

“Find a way, Dap. Battle School depends on it. The world depends on it. Hell, -I- depend on it. Pick a reason and do it.”

A pause. “Yes, sir.”

~*~*~

Dimak sat at his desk, paging through his portion of the reports and carefully considering what his next step should be. His plan, to let the students aid in investigating the murders that effected them more deeply than anyone, had backfired spectacularly. But then, perhaps it had ultimately saved more lives than they knew. Innocent blood had been shed on all sides, yes, but maybe it would have been worse had he not interfered. If nothing else, believing that would help him sleep at night.

The reports he browsed would never go beyond Battle School – he knew that, even if Dap didn’t, even if Graff refused to admit it. This whole story would end up buried, covered up. The remaining children would ‘graduate’. Graduate, to Eros. They would never see an ansible. They would never see Earth again.

It was terrible, what they did to these children.

He closed the files, and dragged them into the trash folder one student had so carefully hidden. At least now someone else would know the truth, even if they could never tell a soul.






/ooc Sit tight just a little longer - there's an epilogue to come that will explain the other roles and what ever happened to those crazy townies who won the game!