“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” - Marcus Aurelius
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
Ezra, Troy, and Ahnette had been together for a while now, and all three agreed that the need for their alliance had passed. Troy's violent nature and Ahnette's vengeful nature didn't mesh well with Ezra's gentle and compassionate one. In fact, Ezra would be lying if he said he wasn't utterly terrified being in the other two's presence.
“I think it's time to end our alliance,” Ezra announced as the three companions finished up their breakfast of berries.
“Agreed,” Troy shrugged. “I've been thinking so since yesterday.”
“Me too,” Ahnette agreed. “No offense Ezra, but you aren't the greatest person to have around in these games.”
Ezra rolled his eyes, but didn't comment on Ahnette's insult.
“So it's agreed,” Ezra said. “We'll go our separate ways.”
No more was said as the three tributes set off in different directions.
Ahnette stumbled upon the girl on accident. She had only been focused on getting away from Troy (before he decided he could double back and get her since they'd formally ended their alliance) when Ahnette had heard a rustling that left her instantly alert.
Her careful inspection had rewarded her with the sight of the crazy girl Fayth in the midst of a panic attack at Ahnette's approach. Ahnette wanted to kill the girl, and most of her was screaming at her to do it. However, a small bit of compassion overwhelmed every other part of her. She couldn't kill the girl while she was in such a state. Ahnette wanted to retain some of her dignity.
“Here,” Ahnette whispered softly as she knelt on the ground. “Have some water.”
Ahnette had to hold the canteen as Fayth's hands were shaking, and water dribbled down Fayth's chin. Still, Fayth seemed to calm as she sensed Ahnette meant no harm. Ahnette pulled the other girl to her feet and ushered her on. She wasn't excited about her new companion, but for the moment, she'd have to deal with it.
Ezra watched Ahnette and Fayth closely. He'd been following them for a couple of hours now. After ending the alliance, Ezra had decided that he had better get his act together and actually get a kill. Going after Ahnette seemed easy enough, and he'd taken off after her only to discover her comforting the crazy girl.
After watching Fayth's panic attacks, Ezra came upon a new idea. He remembered his father explaining why sometimes killing an animal was better than letting it suffer. When Ezra was very young the idea that killing could ever be better than living had seemed preposterous, but it had started to make sense to him over the years. And now Ezra couldn't see why the same shouldn't apply to humans as well.
Fayth wasn't making it out of this arena. She couldn't be a victor, and every minute she spent in here she was just getting worse. Ezra had watched several panic attacks from his hiding places, and they weren't easy to watch. The girl was suffering. It would be a win-win situation. Fayth's suffering would end, and Ezra would finally get a kill.
He repeated it like a mantra as he came up behind the poor girl while Ahnette had left to go forage. Fayth never suspected a thing, and Ezra walked away from his first kill with the assurance that he had ended her suffering. An assurance that didn't seem so assuring now that he had her blood on his hands.
Demetrius watched closely as Etin wandered away from the others in his alliance. Demetrius had heard him mention that he needed to relieve himself, and Demetrius knew that this was his chance. He'd get his second kill in and be gone.
It was eerily similar to Boston's death if Demetrius really let himself think about it. He plunged his spear into Etin in just the same way, and he ran at just the same speed. Perhaps it made it easier that way, just repeating motions that he'd already gone through. It made it easier to forget what he had done, even as the cannon proclaimed Etin's death. Demetrius could pretend that he'd just been going through motions.