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I ain’t really sure what’s prompted this journal, or even why I’m leaving it behind here. I guess, I dunno, maybe for once I just don’t want to be forgotten? I want there to be something of me behind after I leave? A small piece of selfishness. After all, I ain’t really gonna be sticking around forever, I’ve never stuck around anywhere for long, here’s prolly the longest. Here. The hornpile. A place I would normally have just skipped on. Well, why not? There’s so few people here, trolls and humans both, someone’d remember me. So, if’n that’s the case, why write this? Well, because memory fades with time, and, I dunno, I want them to remember me like I’m still about? It’s all selfishness, but I can’t help that. I’ve found that I care about the residents here; I wanna be remembered by them. Some more than other’s, and I know that’s hardly fair, but that’s just the truth of it. I want a small piece of myself to still be here for them after I’ve gone.

 

So, who am I? Well, I’m called Kannus, Kannus Vertex, though I’ve kinda ditched my last name, I kinda treat it like it’s some kinda forgotten thing, well, I guess the joke is that I ain’t the only one that remembers it. Vertex, I name that brings me closer to the highbloods, the indigo bastards that treated everyone so badly back on Alternia, that use this power, they were granted just because of the luck of the colour of their blood, over the commoners to ridicule and hurt. I’ve only met a handful of them that I can actually stand being near, Gamzee Makara in this hornpile being foremost amongst them, most of the time I just wanna smash their faces into the floor until there’s nothing but bloody pulp.

 

The reasons for all this hatred?

 

Carrim. A teal-blood. The nicest lass ya’ll ever meet and a follower of the sufferers. She was a monk, a gentle and kind soul, charismatic and beautiful. She would give anything to anyone if she’d think it’d make their life better, and I really mean that, I’d seen her giver her last bit of food away. Just like that. No expectation of repayment, no expectation of thanks, just a smile and a pat on the arm and she was gone into the crowd. I had never seen such kindness from anyone before, Carrim was real special. To everyone that ended up following her, and she gained quiet the following.

 

Ya see, she came from a group of monks that continued suffering for everyone, but she wanted to do more than just sit in a monastery, she wanted to bring the sufferers teachings to everyone, high and low, and that’s precisely what she done. Her simple speech and undeniable charisma made it impossible not to be enthralled with her, like I said, she was real special. And I was real lucky in that I was among the first to follow her, me and three others, shortly after she left the monastery.

 

Ya see, I was the poor bastard she gave the last of her food to. At the time, I didn’t even thank her; I didn’t even look at her. Damnit, I told her that I wasn’t a charity case (I kept the food though) and told her she could go fuck herself if’n she thought I wanted anything from her. Yeah, I was a prick, but she just smiled at me, accepting the abuse I threw in her face and then, once I’d finished screaming at her, she just… she kissed my forehead, told me she wished me well and disappeared into the crowd. I was stunned, stood there with a damned sandwich in my hand, staring after the teal like I wanted to kill her.

 

I didn’t see her for almost a week after that, then, I’d been hunting out a couple of good caving spots down by the beach, yeah, that’s the reason back then why I’d always been travelling, I don’t think I’d seen my lusus for a few perigrees at that point. And she was there, with three people around her. I dunno what I was thinking I’d do when I walked up to her, but I kinda just stopped as I heard her talk. I musta looked a fool ‘cause when she saw me, she sorta giggled before motioning me to join them. I did. I just sat down with these people I didn’t even know and listened to her talk. It was just silly things; how she didn’t know it was so harsh out of the monastery, how she had got a taste for spicy food, how she’d spent sometime with some “sprogs” as she called children. Heh, guess where I picked it up? Yeah, she was just so ‘laxed, all the time, she just accepted what she couldn’t change, but she had real passion for what she could, she’d fight for everything she could change. She’d fight every injustice she saw, and in Alternian society, there was loads that were unjust, she’d just wade into the middle and talk everyone down.

 

In a word, she was amazing. So, how’d such a beautiful person make me hate highbloods so much? Well, it was my fault, I’d been hanging with some and I thought they’d benefit from hearing her, widen their minds to the idea of justice and equality. Jessum, a subjuglator, agreed to meet her. Sound good, right? Yeah, we all thought so too.

 

Well, we all went, I brought Jessum with me and we all sat down. He let us get comfortable, even let her say a couple of sermons, and the two, Carrim and Jessum, spent a great deal of time talking to each other. Then, some hours later, the bastard sprang his trap, we were all caught, many of the others ran, scattering to the winds never to be seen again, but myself and the other three stayed with Carrim, we were caught after she told us not to fight. She spoke with Jessum and begged him to let us go, just to take her. The bastard spat on her, which kinda made me rile. I’d broke most of the teeth in his head before being restrained, and dragged off.

 

I dunno how long we were held, not given food, only water, and only if we were “good”. Heh, how good do ya think I was? Needless to say, I was rarely watered, and often tormented worse than the others beside Carrim. Honestly, I think they were scared I’d break free if’n I wasn’t treated so badly I couldn’t stand, ya know, what with my strength being much more than the others. Korvus, the mustard-blood that travelled with us, was blinded to stop him from using his eye lasers; I’d had to watch every excruciating fucking cut, as they’d made his eyes completely useless. Just a pair of vacant holes in his face, blood streaming down his face. He’d screamed, damn, didn’t he scream. But then, I guess we’d all did at one point or another. I still scream, hearing Jessum and his fucking brothers’ laughter in my dreams while they beat and tortured us to insensibility. The worst was seeing Carrim so badly treated; she was almost unrecognisable come the end. Her beautiful face mangled, the bastards were careful though, she was always capable of talking. I remember her screams more keenly then any of the others, just as I remember her quiet, broken voice as she said the sermons each night, they kept her in the centre of us, thinking that we’d break as we witnessed her torture, which was worse than anything we’d sustained, but she remained our immovable centre.

 

After who knows how long, there was just three of us still living, Carrim, myself and Korvus, who was half mad with infection and pain. Well, Jessum had a rustblood servant, who had come up with a plan to get us out. She’d stolen his keys and some clothes for us, we were to disguise ourselves. Well, she came to us one night, Jessum had treated Korvus pretty badly, he was raving like a lunatic when she entered, and only Carrim’s weak voice was holding him back from the brink of a complete breakdown. Well, the servant undone my chains, and tried to support me as I collapsed to the floor, she was so gentle and kind, she reminded me of Carrim’s kindness in that moment, all thought of her being the bastard’s servant flew from my mind. It took a little while, but I recovered enough to stand, and I went to release Carrim. She was barely living, and we both knew it.

 

I cried like a child when she begged me to kill her, her eyes didn’t waver as I just crumpled against her. I couldn’t fucking believe she was asking me to do that, every part of me railed against it. It was almost an hour of her gentle coaxing and begging for me to stand again; I couldn’t look at her as I wrapped her hands around her neck. I’ve asked myself ever since if I’m a monster for depriving the world of her. I don’t think she thought so. I must of asked her for forgiveness, because all I member of that moment was her last words. “You are forgiven. Live well, friend.” Yeah, I lived so well after that. I refused to kill anyone else after that, so I released Korvus and carried him out, lead by the servant, wearing servants clothes, yeah, I didn’t care at the time that all the servants were female, or that I was wearing a dress and veil, all I wanted was to scourge the planet of every highblood I saw, and Jessum, I wanted to inflict every injustice he’d done to Carrim back on him with interest. A bullet to the brain was too kind a death for him, but that’s something for another time.

 

Well, the girl led us to some of her friends, and we hid out there for a couple of weeks. They seemed like good people, they were matesprites, I never got their names, nor did I tell them ours, through I guess they knew ‘em anyway, because they were scared of me. Heh, not many bluebloods attack highbloods around, like I gave a fuck. Me and Korvus left after a couple of weeks, after he was strong enough to travel and we went to the monastery, where I left him to be cared for by the monks. I was gonna go back, well, I did go back, but I was gonna go and kill every subjug I could get my hands on, I wanted to choke the life out of them, make them suffer like they’d made us suffer. I only found out that they fucking pair we’d left the girl with had ratted her in. She’d been executed in the street like some common thug. The only solace I took from that was that they were executed too, for harbouring criminals and not turning us in earlier.

 

I couldn’t face the place after that, so I left and started travelling. I dropped home once, just once. To pick up some things. My lusus was long since gone, there was no sign on him, just old fur and a cold, empty hive. I picked up a few things, travelling during the sunlight hours, wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses to protect my eyes, as I got away from there.

 

So, yeah, that’s the reason for my hatred of highbloods, and the Condesce, who made it this way.

 

I spent so much time, suffering the old nightmares, memories of Carrim and Jessum and the guilt of knowing I’d been the one that caused it all.

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