A sweating, wild-eyed Eth man thrashed violently against the best efforts of four grunting Bahami. Their efforts combined, the men held his swiping and clawing hands just out of the reach of a similar-looking-but-slightly-shorter Eth who stood, paralyzed with fear and indecision, against the dormitory's far left wall.
His shrieking - there were no words in it, only guttural mindlessness and sharp, jerking yelps as the Bahami forcibly tugged him back from his saddened, brown-haired target. The target, in his own right, slowly and discreetly slipped a gloved left hand down his side and further still, to the curve of his hip and the holster of a pistol, sized for Humanoid hands.
Would he be better off with a bullet to the head?
Rawjathor stood, fingers trembling over the holster's leather exterior.
Was it worth keeping him alive like this? Was it reasonable? Was it -right?-
The questions seemingly answered themselves: panting and exhausted, Buhirn began to droop in the Bahami's arms; they, in turn, took this opportunity to wrangle him down onto a bed in the corner of the room, two of them pinning his body by the arms while the remaining pair applied the restraints to ankles, wrists and waist. His head lolling around, blue-eyed, disoriented and snow-blind, he squeezed out one final moan from deep in his throat before the syringe stuck deep in his thigh at last took its effect.
Sleep, Buhirn. This life is no life for you.
It wasn't lost on him. This wasn't the last Defiant he'd see done in like this, madness in one way or another claiming their bodies and their minds and the -very things that made them part of the Defiance,- until all that was left was this. This howling and hallucinating, this crippling dementia, these homicidal bursts of uncontrollable, fear-fueled rage.
Mister Orphiel: was there a more laudable example of a Defiant in all of this hell-forsaken world? Doubtful, he thought to herself as his scraggly, brown-haired brother slept away his time. Mister Orphiel embodied all that was good about Defiance, all that was admirable and to be aspired to in this life: politeness, order, ambition, unbelievable intelligence and -pragmatism.- Pragmatism perhaps most of all. Even now, in his addled and half-mad brain, he'd had enough practicality and urgency to his thoughts to test and record results, to transport and hoard and hide, and pioneer one of the most incredible - and self-sacrificial - experiments of Defiant civilization. If only he truly understood. Maybe he did. Maybe he still had it in him to understand -how huge this was.-
Rawjathor relaxed his back and shoulders against that far left wall, gloved fingers still trailing delicately over the simple leather holster secured heavily to her side. The room had cleared of all but her and her brother, strapped down in his bed, heaving and tossing fitfully even in his 'sleep.' Chapped lips hung open, drawing the occasional sharp and startled breath, uttering something that couldn't be understood. His beard, matted and unkempt from years of neglect, lay stained with blood of unknown origin and bits of plant matter.
It's nothing personal, Buhirn. You know that. You would have known it, if you could. But this simply would not do.
The poker-faced scientist stood up straight, gaze turned first to the doorway of the dormitory hall, then back down to the crystal-blue eyes of the brother he knew and loved. Buhirn gazed back at his sister in crippling medical stupor; whether he actually saw him or recognized him for who he was, was significantly less clear. Fingers clenched around the gun in his holster. It was time now. No more dallying. It was time now more than ever.
In a swift, fluid motion, Rawjathor drew and raised her pistol to rest its muzzle gently between her brother's watering eyes. Turning his face away, the young Eth clenched his jaw and took a deep, deep breath.
He counted to one.