"I'm actually going to give you a choice about whether or not you ever want to see your family again, or since you seem so obsessed over the idea of Mira becoming some kind of royalty," Capri smirked, "you get to be queen of some realm, the Mary Sues, or the trolls, you do not get to choose the realm, or else we toss around other ideas and vote on what to do with you - and no, you don't get a vote."
"You'd really just send me back home?" Senna looked hopeful.
"Oh, I might," Capri said smoothly, "But not before they find out what you did with the whip and what that pack of yours is for, and, Mira can charge you for aggravated assault - "
"No! That's not fair!" Senna squealed.
"FAIR!" Capri roared before anyone inclined had a chance to mock the last of Senna's many "That's not fair"s.
Senna jumped back.
"Hey!" another shout, this time from NT.
Capri looked at her. "What?"
NT, looking as if recovering from a fright, appeared to shudder, and looked down. "Sorry, Capri, you just startled me."
Capri burst out laughing. "Sorry, NT." Turning back to Senna, she became stern again. "Either they find out what a monster you are, or you never see them again. Take your pick!" she snapped.
"They'll disown me! They'll be so mad, so ashamed!"
“And that surprises you?” Bez snarled. “You know, it almost sounds like you care about their opinions.” She smiled darkly. “Did you think they’d be proud of you? Did you think they’d just stick you on a pedestal and kiss your feet?”
“But- that’s not fair!” Senna whined. “Why are you doing this to me? You’re all so mean! How can I go back to my family if they know about this? You’re all ruining my life! They’re going to hate me- they’ll be so ashamed…!”
"So should you!" Madonna said bitterly.
"Well, who's fault is *that,* eh!?" Capri shot back.
"Mira Belle, can't you see she drove me to this?" Senna tried to sound like a pathetic victim, but only succeeded in further angering the group.
"Oh, you are insufferable!" NT rounded on Senna next.
"I see there's no getting through to you," Capri said grimly. "Well, whether you see your family again or not, they WILL find out what you did." She glanced at Ameh. "The Ipod, please, Ameh."
Ameh nodded and produced the Ipod with the video on it.
"That was your Ipod, Senna," Capri said firmly, scowling back at her once again. "You dropped it during the struggle when we caught you this morning. It is about to take a trip back home, where it will be discovered by people who probably cared about you very much - and there probably was a time long ago when you actually deserved that love."
"No!" Senna shrilled, flailing her arms about in a full on panic.
"Ugh!" NT cringed, putting her hands over her ears.
"Take it away, Ameh." Capri instructed.
Senna ran and lunged for Ameh and desperately grabbed for the Ipod.
Ameh held on.
The two fought over it for what seemed ages.
Senna kicked Ameh hard in the shin, causing her to cry out and momentarily loosen her grip on the Ipod.
Senna took the opportunity to wrench it out of Ameh's grasp and make a run for it.
Unfortunately, for Senna, Javert was on hand to grab her as she tried to run past.
"Stop right there." he said, holding her firmly as he applied a pressure point to her arm.
It took some time, but she finally couldn't hold the Ipod any more. She went to transfer it to the other hand, but Javert wouldn't let her do that either.
Pippi stepped up and wrenched the Ipod away. "Thank you, Javert," she said.
Senna burst into tears.
Rolling her eyes, Pippi turned and handed the Ipod to Ameh, who stared intently at it, then clicked on something in the settings.
In a moment, the Ipod vanished.
Javert released his grip, but did not take his eyes off Senna.
She hurriedly got out of his way.
"Now," said Ameh, "what're we gonna do with this wench?"
Hardly surprising by now, it was Madonna who piped up first. "I'd suggest having her for supper, but we already had supper, so - "
NT giggled, and then suddenly looked up. "Hey, wait a minute - Matrix, remember those things you used on Renee and Kerri-Lynn?"
Matrix nodded and grinned mischievously.
"Ooooh, this gives me an idea. But I think we'd need Indy to help out." said Capri.
"Oh! Hahaha, great!" Gretel grinned.
"Hey wait, you weren't there, how would you know?" Capri asked, frowning.
Gretel gave her a sheepish look. "I read about that on a web page."
"Oh, right, I keep forgetting about that." Capri nodded, but still looked puzzled.
"Reading a what?" Javert asked.
"Uh, just a story on something called a 'web page' we'll try to show you later." Gretel replied. Talk about slightly awkward moments, she was beginning to wish she kept her enthusiasm to herself and her mouth shut.
Senna, having caught sight of Mira Belle while looking around, had stopped crying and now her furious sense of pride came back. How could she let Mira Belle see her humiliated this way? Everything could've all turned out so different were it not for that meddling Bez and Capri and this whole group. Now, Javert of all people had helped them, which was the last straw. She was inwardly embarrassed and furious with herself for breaking down momentarily in front of Mira Belle. She found herself almost wishing it happened in front of Indy instead.
Senna turned her head, and in doing so, caught sight of her blue-black hair - Capri had not restored it to it's original color yet.
This only made Senna feel more angry and embarrassed.
She stared daggers at Capri.
The glare was returned in kind.
Senna, apparently figuring she had nothing more to lose, taunted Capri. "Well, so far you're all talk, ai'm getting out of here. With that, she made another run for it, this time, taking care not to get anywhere near Javert.
"Hey you little - "Gretel was about to start after her, but she needn't have worried.
Senna had forgotten about Thande.
He maneuvered quickly into position to cut off Senna's escape route with his tail
Several people clapped.
"Thank you, Thande." Capri said, smiling gratefully at him.
He responded with a slight nod.
Capri turned a baleful glare on Senna. "All talk, eh? Just you wait, because once it's all in place, you're done! Thande, Bez, Javert," she said calmly, "You can do without me for a few, right? I just want to go get Indy."
All affirmed that everything would stay under control.
Capri nodded, and approached NT. She took her hand.
NT flinched and nearly jerked away.
Capri gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. "You're as nervous as you were when I first met you." she said quietly to her. "Look, let's go get Indy."
NT still blushed, but nodded, and walked away with Capri.
Senna kept trying to run away, but she was always caught again by some member of the present company.
Figuring she had nothing to lose, she finally charged for Mira Belle, about to give her a beat-down with her bare hands.
Both Bez and Javert were on hand to stop her.
"Not this time!" Bez snapped, giving her a sharp punch to the jaw.
Senna shrilled something pitiful in response.
Bez repeated the undignified noise mockingly before giving Senna another smack.
“I hate you! I hate you all!” Senna wailed.
"Feeling's mutual!" Madonna snarled, shaking a tightly clenched fist at her.
"Knock it off!" Javert demanded, completely out of patience with Senna. "You brought this on yourself."
"We're back!" Capri called as she came into view with Indy. "Everyone ready?" she began. "Indy collected the Senna logs on her Ipod before being brought back here."
So they turned on a PDA that was used to store the logs, and brought up the files.
Matrix then fitted some small thought and emotion transmission devices to everyone.
Senna was the last to be fitted with one of these, and she put up a huge fight. It took considerable time and effort, but finally Matrix got the job done, with some help from Pippi.
And it began.
Now Senna was feeling no satisfaction in recalling the mean things she had done to Mira Belle online. She was seeing Indy's comments coming back at her, hard, and nothing from Mira Belle. In addition, Senna was getting sickened as waves of disgust were pouring in at her from all present.
When the log was at the comment where Senna had written to Mira Belle the words "I'll use your hair as toilet paper!" that was when Gretel suddenly rushed toward her. "I've wanted to rearrange your face since seeing that stupid, disgusting comment of yours, Senna!" Without warning, and before anyone could react, Gretel came as dangerously close to carrying out this threat as she could. She landed a solid blow to Senna's nose, causing the girl to wuf in pain as both blood and tears began to flow.
"You sadistic, foul - "
"Gretel!" Capri shouted, trying to get her attention.
Gretel either ignored or didn't hear, and continued the pummelling. "that's what you really were planning after half killing her with that freaking whip, isn't it? Well!?"
Senna struggled but Gretel held on.
"It was just a stupid comment!" Senna squealed.
"What we saw this morning WASN'T!" Gretel punched Senna in the stomach, causing her to double over. A violent shove from one side and behind, and Senna was sent sprawling in every direction.
Everyone was justly revolted by Senna's particularly tasteless comment, and now thanks to Matrix's transmission devices, they were seeing and feeling Gretel's outrage rising to a dangerous level. If not everyone had put the vulgar comment together with the lashing, she apparently had, and was clearly more than willing to give Senna some rough justice right here and now.
As she moved to begin kicking Senna, Capri jumped up and rushed toward her.
"That's enough, now, I think she got the message." She took a firm hold of Gretel and just stood there, waiting for her friend to subside.
It took a while, and Gretel didn't struggle to get away from Capri, but just stood there, breathing hard and glaring, until at least some of the rage in her eyes was replaced by a quieter expression, though still not what could be called calm.
Capri released her and motioned her to follow her and rejoin the others.
Senna sat up, worse for the wear, looking as if she had been in a bar fight.
Bez walked nonchalantly up to her. “Who’s all talk now?” She said with a twisted smile. “I’d offer ya a hand, but I don’t wanna git your filth all over me. Who knows what kinds of diseases I could get from a sick customer like you.”
"Obsessive Otaku Mary Sue Syndrome among them." Indy sniped.
This made Mira Belle wince slightly, because she had been guilty of that as well, which got her the run-ins online with Senna in the first place, though Indy had not been aware of it then.
“Stop it!” Senna whined. “This is so mean!”
"Hah! You're one to talk!" Indy spat back coldly.
"Oh, not again with you two!" Javert grumbled.
"But can't you see they're all just picking on me, Mr. Javert?" Senna tried to make an appeal. "What have I done to them anyway?"
Javert didn't get a chance to respond.
“Oh, you haven’t seen the half of it.” Bez hissed. She knelt down next to Senna, looking straight into her eyes. “You think this is cruel, oh I’ve seen things that’d make your skin crawl right off your bones. I’ve seen things that’d make your little torture kit look like a picnic basket. You know what, I bet when you go to sleep tonight you’ll have a nice little rosy dream about your little torture spree- but I bet it’ll go on a lot longer, and oh, I bet you’ll enjoy it.”
Senna squirmed uncomfortably under Bez’s gaze. Matrix frowned and moved toward Bez.
“You know what I’ve noticed about sick twists like you?” Bez asked, her eyes now glinting feverishly. “It’s all fun and games until your victim hits back. Oh, you’ll beat ‘em and tear ‘em and rip ‘em up, but say one word back and suddenly you’re the victim. I knew three brothers like you once, knew ‘em a long time ago, years ‘n years ago. Oh they had their fun-” Bez gestured to the multitude of scars that traced over her face. “They had a real ball, OH YES, what a gas! And you know what I did to them-?” Bez reached for the hunting knife tucked in her boot.
Pippi shuddered visibly. Gretel and Capri mirrored each other's darkening expressions. Indy gaped and muttered an "OMG." Madonna bit her bottom lip.
“Bez.” Matrix said softly, putting his hands comfortingly on her shoulders.
She looked up at him in irritated surprise.
“Come on- enough.”
Bez looked at him for a few moments as her eyes cleared, the feverish haze replaced by the usual cold sharpness. She shrugged Matrix’s hands off roughly. “I’m fine.” She said stiffly, standing up.
Capri shrugged, unconvinced, but said nothing.
Bez unclipped the transmission device and handed it to Matrix. As she turned to go, Matrix grabbed her by the wrist, looking at her sadly, as if asking a question. She nodded almost imperceptibly, and he released her. She strode away swiftly, heading toward the river.
He looked after her for a few moments before turning to the others. “I think- I’ll be right back. The devices shouldn’t need any help from me to function as intended, at this point.” He glanced in the direction Bez had gone and looked back apologetically at the group. “I’ll explain later, if I can.”
"Take all the time you need." Capri said, understanding.
He left to follow Bez.
After he had gone a distance, Senna shuddered. “And you think I’M the messed-up one.” She whined.
“Shut it.” Sigma said curtly. “For better or for worse, Matrix just saved your life. I’ve seen what happens when Bez gets like that.”
Senna tried to look haughty, as if she couldn’t care less. “You’re lying.” She sneered. “You guys wouldn’t kill me.”
“I probably wouldn’t.” Sigma said.
“And neither would I.” Criter put in, breaking his long silence. “But I know that there are at least two people here who, properly motivated, would.”
Thande let out a short, broken hiss that almost sounded like a laugh. Senna looked over at him with newfound, and entirely justified, fear.
“And what about that red-headed freak?” Senna said, trying, unsuccessfully, to create the illusion that she was above being afraid of anyone.
"Watch it, maggot!" Madonna glared.
"And just which redhead might that be?" Pippi sniped coolly.
“That’s not my story to tell.” Sigma said sharply. “And if I were you, I’d worry more about my own story.” She looked around at the others. “Do you think we could banish her?”
"Yes," said Capri, unable to hide the disgust in her tone, "I'm just trying to figure out where."
Senna burst into another fit of crocodile tears as the group began to discuss her fate.
"I still think we should take her to the Wood Between The Worlds and just leave her there." Indy suggested.
Capri shook her head. "It would end her, all right, but it isn't a place we should deliberately use for that purpose."
"But didn't some of the Narnia kids nearly do that with Jadis?" Indy asked.
Capri nodded. "That's different. They were trying to escape from her, not kill her."
"Does intent really matter that much?" asked Indy.
"Every bit." came Capri's serious reply. "Using such a wonderful magical place to cause anyone harm or death - whether they are evil or not - doesn't sit right with me. Not unless we have to go that route to avoid some kind of peril."
"Senna put her in peril." Indy countered, indicating Mira Belle.
"And we were not initially there to stop it. But we have. She won't be doing that again." said Capri.
"Well, since you're all so mad about the justice I dished out to Mira Belle - " Senna began, trying to sound like she thought she had a case
"Justice!?" Madonna shouted incredulously.
Senna continued. "maybe Mira Belle should be the one to punish me, and you all know she can't anyway, and doesn't have the guts, coward that she is."
"You stupid cow!" Indy flared up, throwing a rock at Senna. It nailed her on the chin.
"Time out, girls!" Javert cut in.
Senna clasped her chin in her hand, a wounded expression on her face.
"I say," Gretel began, "that since she misused this place to cause harm, that we turn her over to the authorities here and let them meet out whatever punishment they'd give."
"That wouldn't work," said Mira Belle, "She'd just make excuses and brainwash them into thinking I needed to get whipped into humility."
"Normally, I'd agree with Gretel's suggestion, but things are too up in the air around here with all this unrest." said Capri, frowning. "So, I have come to a decision."
Meanwhile, Matrix had followed Bez to the river. She sat on a large rock, staring into its churning depths.
“Bez?” Matrix began carefully. “Are you all right?”
“Just fine.” She said, her tone clipped.
He smiled sadly. "You know I can tell when you're lying."
She laughed softly, bitterly. "Of course. Of course you can..."
Matrix sat down beside her, eyes bright with concern. "Bez..." He began quietly.
She turned to face him, tears sliding down her cheeks. "Matrix, I- I can see it all...I close my eyes, and I'm back...the screams and the blood-reek and the Brothers- laughing- like it's all just a game..." She took a shuddering breath. "She's like them...in embryo...and if we hadn't stopped her-" She screwed her eyes shut, shaking her head. "I don't know if I can hold back- the next time she gets outta line..." She smiled bitterly. "I don't know if I'd even regret it. What's the difference? Another day...another death."
Matrix regarded her silently, a few tears of his own dripping down his face. "You can't mean that."
"You of all people should know me better than that, Matrix."
He shook his head. "No. I won't believe it. You're better than that."
Bez scoffed. "I'm glad you still think that." She stood, cracking her knuckles. "Well, might was well embrace the inevitable. B'sides...you and Thande can keep me out of any real trouble." She sobered, regarding Matrix evenly. "I'm counting on that."
As the pair approached the group, Senna’s shrieks became clear. “This is so unfair!” She wailed as they rejoined the group.
They were met with a few concerned looks. Matrix smiled reassuringly, and even Bez managed a stiff smirk.
“I hate you all! I hate-”
“Oh, blow it out your afterburner!” Bez snapped, roughly cutting Senna off. “So, I assume you’ve had plenty to talk about.” She continued. “What’s this little piece of filth’s fate?”
"First, I have something to show 'er." said Capri, standing up abruptly. "Senna," she looked sharply in her direction, "Come with me…and I'm only going to make this request once."
Senna stood defiantly where she was.
Capri strode quickly toward her, causing her to retreat.
A short chase followed until Senna got herself boxed in by thick trees, and Capri was blocking the opening Senna had pressed through. There was no other space large enough for her to free herself.
She felt Capri jab her on the back of the head, and then, she seemed to be somewhere else.
It was her old house. Several family members were sitting in the front room, looking devastated. The Ipod had just finished playing the whipping video.
An older woman, probably Senna's mother had her head in her hands and was sobbing, "No, no, no." over and over. An older man was visibly upset. Trembling, face contorted, showing a truly heart-sickened expression. A glimpse in the kitchen showed someone else, probably a sibling, looking mad enough to strangle something. "I always knew she was a freak, but this is the end!"
"How could she!?" The older woman wailed from the living room.
"Dear God, where did we go wrong?" the man's trembling voice was heard.
This went on for some time, until Senna cried out, "No! Please, I never meant to hurt you! Please, please, forgive me!"
The family's despairing only continued.
"I'm back!" Senna wailed. "I'm sorry! Please!"
No one responded.
"My baby - and she turned into a - a - monster!"
"I'm still your daughter! I'm not a monster! I was never a monster to you!" Senna cried.
Again, she got no response.
"Why doesn't anybody answer me!?" she screamed.
Still, no response.
The scenes came faster and furiously now, as she watched pictures of her being taken down and hidden away. Her room was locked up, and a couple of sheets were hung there, blocking the doorway completely from view.
The family was so distraught they moved out of the house and rented a hotel.
All the time, Senna called out and pleaded to them for forgiveness, and she even reached out as if trying to grab them, and only ended up grabbing at thin air.
Finally Senna slumped over and sobbed. "How could I have been so stupid? I've ruined my whole life!" And this could have almost passed for true remorse, but then she went and added. "All over that STUPID blue-haired Mary Sue freak Mira Belle!"
Senna felt another whack on the back of her head. The depressing scene vanished.
"Are you proud of yourself, little girl?"
Senna had been about to throw herself at Capri's mercy, but hearing her say that, and seeing the scowling figure look piercingly down at her, made her change her mind.
"You know, for a moment there, you almost had me," Capri continued. "But then you blamed Mira for causing you to ruin your own life - no, you're just too far gone."
"I really am sorry about what it did to my family."
"But you're not sorry about what you did to Mira."
Senna stuck her chin out, suddenly getting defiant again. "Never! Never! I'll never be sorry for what I did to her!"
"Even though it felt like this?"
For only a moment, Senna felt the extent of the injuries Mira Belle had sustained by the time Bez had reached her.
She cried out, and then fell silent. It had been only a fraction of a second, but it was enough.
"You're not sorry for putting her through *that* and all the other things you were about to kill her with slowly?"
"No! I just want my family to know that I never meant to hurt them."
"It doesn't matter whether you meant to hurt them or not," Capri said crossly, "You *did!*"
"They took all my pictures down. My dad was crying, my mom's so broken up - "
"So that fazes you, but seeing Mira in a state of sheer agony and fear doesn't."
"That's different, she deserves it, they don't."
"Indy said in one of her comments that you were just like a nazi, and you certainly proved her right."
"Indy's such a clued-out, intolerant cow herself and she calls me a nazi!? I'm nothing like them!" Senna yelled through tears.
"You're exactly like them." Capri repeated " Obviously something in your rantings made that clear to Indy even before this morning. Joseph Mengel, according to a biography special I once watched, was said to cry at beautiful music. Yet he got high on the agony of children. You are no better."
"Oh stop, stop!" Senna screamed. "What do you want me to do to convince you?"
"There is nothing you can do." Capri said firmly. "You can't reverse what you've done."
"You're just trying to get me to apologize to Mira Belle, aren't you?"
"Well, that would be nice, but it still wouldn't change what's already happened!" Capri's demeanour became almost savage in its fierce disdain. "The fact is you have it in you to do everything you did."
"Well, I'm not going to take it back. I'd rather die."
"Very well then, you die." Capri suddenly seized Senna around the middle and roughly hauled her out into the open.
Senna struggled and shouted a great deal, and Capri said very little as she marched the girl relentlessly on, up to and then on to the bridge.
Back with the others…
"Is it just me or is she taking a long time?" Madonna asked.
"Probably having a hard time making a decision about where to send her." Indy grinned. "I would, too, the trolls, the Mary Sues, both totally fitting."
"You don't think she's just given up and set her free somewhere, do you?" Mira Belle asked. "Senna can be pretty convincing when she wants to be. She sure got me feeling badly with all her cyber attacks."
"well she never convinced me." said Indy, "And I have a feeling Capri's an even tougher customer.
"Senna reminds me so much of Miranda, and neither of them could convince me either." Pippi added. "But yes, I'm for checking to see what the hold up is."
"I will help you look," Javert offered, "it is starting to grow dark."
So Javert and Pippi, and several others set off to try finding out what was taking so long.
After some time, they heard what sounded like shouting in the distance.
"What's that?" Ameh asked.
"Probably just Senna trying to convince Capri she's the victim again." said Gretel.
"It sounds like it's coming from over there." Javert indicated a direction, and they all followed.
Sure enough, the sounds grew louder as they went.
"I don't know about the rest of you, but this doesn't sound like she's acting." said Pippi.
"well, she would put on her very best dramatics when in trouble with Capri," Gretel said, unconvinced of Senna's sincerity.
Javert said nothing, but quickened the pace, listening and looking keenly about.
At the bridge...
"Here's where you depart this world, Senna Marie Jenny-ko Maxwell and whatever other names you call yourself!"
"No!" Senna screamed in terror.
There was a big struggle at the ledge, with Capri nearly succeeding several times to push Senna over, and Senna grabbing on to her in desperation, or grabbing the ledge, or trying to get her feet caught in the bridge work to prevent falling. Senna tried to push Capri over the ledge as well whenever she could get her feet anchored securely enough.
Senna struggled like never before, truly terrified of losing her life. She screamed again and again for Capri to spare her and show mercy.
Her pleas were ignored.
It was this scene that Javert and company came upon with shock and dread.
Javert took off running as hard as he could toward the bridge.
"OMG, she's really gonna kill her!" Pippi began panicking. "No, Capri, NO!"
"What the heck are you doing!?" Gretel shouted. "You'll get in trouble!"
"No, Capri, not that way!" Javert called as he came running toward her.
He just stepped on to the bridge, and several more strides would have put him in the position to prevent what happened next.
The part of the rail Senna was clinging to, cracked sickeningly and broke off, sending her screaming over the side.
A chorus of shrieks from the others followed as they all closed in on Capri.
Senna's screams were heard, but then it was quiet. There was no splash.
If the others had not been traumatized by appearances, they would've realized this, and that it was not a normal fall.
Javert took a firm hold of Capri and shook her. "You should not have done this!" he admonished in that inspector way he'd always had. "Now with plenty of witnesses, I will have no choice but place you under arrest."
Capri said nothing, but stared numbly ahead.
Pippi burst into tears.
"Wait, guys, wait!" Ameh called, coming up behind everyone else. "It's not how it looks!"
"What do you mean, it is not how it looks?" Javert scoffed at her. "How can falling off a bridge not be just that? We all saw what happened, we all saw Capri push Senna over, and even she isn't denying it."
"Listen a moment, you idiots!" Ameh's desperation and impatience getting the better of her.
"Oh, swell! Our friend just pushed our enemy over the bridge, and *we're* idiots!?" Gretel retorted.
"Are you calling me an idiot, Miss?" Javert turned his head to frown down at Ameh.
"Does the word 'magic transport' mean anything to you?" Ameh shouted.
"Should it? and I think that is a total of two words." Javert countered.
"Whatever, man!" Ameh huffed. "Look, didn't you notice no splash? Senna's not in the river! Capri sent her - into - probably one of those other places we were talking about back there!"
The sudden silence from the others gave Capri an opportunity to get a word in. She nodded. "Inverse reality." she said, and gulped, trying to calm herself as she trembled in Javert's grip. "She's going to experience what she's done - by her own hands. And then - she'll live with the trolls and Mary Sues and face her own nightmares until she gets a conscience."
"That'll never happen." said Gretel.
"Probably not, but it's the only chance she has if she ever wants to get back to her own world again." Capri replied shakily. She swallowed again and took a shuddering breath.
Now that everyone was calming down and the relief was setting in, it was also apparent how hard this bridge experience had really been on Capri. She looked about to be sick, and couldn't stop trembling.
After a few moments of stunned silence, Pippi was the first to react.
She moved up toward Javert, who was still holding Capri on the bridge. "Let her go now, Javert."
He looked questioningly at her.
"You heard Ameh."
"I don't quite understand - " he said, looking at Pippi, then down where Senna went over the rail.
"Then understand this." Pippi said, becoming suddenly stern. Both Javert and Capri felt themselves being lifted only slightly by a strong set of arms and carried off the bridge to safety.
"You can both let go of me now." Capri muttered as she felt solid ground beneath her again.
"Are you okay?" Pippi asked. "You don't look well."
"I'm fine - other than tearing my soul in half back there." Capri replied flatly.
"What brought that on" Javert looked at Pippi. "Why did you pick us up like that?"
"I wanted two things from you," Pippi answered, "One, that you both get off that bridge, and two, that you not arrest my friend."
But Javert was curious. True loyalty had been rarely seen in his line of work. "But what if she had killed Senna, would you still - "
Pippi cut him off sharply, and rather unexpectedly. "But she hasn't! So forget the idle what-if questions. You will have me to deal with if you threaten any of my friends with this again. Just don't try me."
Javert wasn't taken aback in the same way some of the others might've been. Instead of feeling put in his place, he simply observed in wonder at this fierce display of faithfulness to one's friends.
Pippi continued more gently. "Let's go back to camp."
They all began to move off, but Javert stood a moment, watching and pondering.
He didn't have long to do this however.
"You too, Javert," Pippi said, looking over her shoulder to make sure he was coming.
"Even now, after what almost happened?" he asked.
She nodded. "You only reacted at what you thought you saw. We all did until Ameh spoke up."
Javert stood for a moment, pondering.
"Back at camp, you did offer us your help. We are holding you to that, indefinitely." Pippi insisted.
Javert nodded and fell in with the rest of the group as they all made their way back to camp.
He pondered about everything that had happened within the past 24 hours. He still couldn't make much sense of it all or of his own feelings. How had he gone from being utterly alone and hopeless to becoming part of this group, who were inexplicably and unknowingly awakening ideas and feelings Javert had long since considered dead and buried? Even now, after what happened on the bridge minutes ago, they still considered him one of them.
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Senna Marie Jenny Ko Nahid Leila Maxwell etc the biggest Lady Une buttkissing otaku whose online bullying/harassment/stalking and otherwise profoundly desperate attention-seeking, trolling, stupid behaviour and all out bad-seed and Mary Sue personality inspired the story.
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