1. I didn't have school today, so I got to catch up on part of the sleep I've been missing
2. Alan Wake is as awesome as I thought it'd be.
3. My wife is supportive.
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You'll need to read Part 21 for this post to make much sense.
Stacey didn't move from watching the pirate ship go, he rested his forearms against the boat and stared into the frothing sea, out to where the bodies had been dumped, where the sharks were already feeding. Stacey couldn't make out the boy he'd killed among the trail of red. He didn't have to. He knew that his victim lay somewhere in the line. It made him sick to his stomach. So much so that he didn't notice Mattias come and lean next to him.
""Not what you thought it'd be, was it?"
Stacey looked from the crimson oil spills to Mattias's blue eyes. "No."
"It never is." Both men stood in silence as they thought about what the battle had looked like. Mattias finally spoke again, "Stacey, you did what you had to."
Stacey's chin bounced as he tried to hold back to tears, "But it wasn't right."
"No, it wasn't. Killing never is."
His chin stopped shaking as he felt both confusion and curiosity, "But you've killed dozens of people."
"I never said it was right. Each time I killed was a failure, either on my part or on the part of someone else. Sometimes killing is a necessity. That boy was on our ship, and though he didn't know you, he was trying to kill you. That's not your fault Stacey. You couldn't have prevented that failure."
"Then why does it feel so wrong."
"Because you're a good person. Because you know that life is precious."
"Are you sure you want someone like me fighting on your side."
Mattias stared into Stacey's eyes, "You're exactly the kind of person I want fighting on my side. We don't need murderers on our side, we need good men with hearts like yours. We need men who know that killing is wrong. We need someone who values life. I need to get back to the rest of the crew. What happened will still be raw for you for a while, try doing something to get it off your mind now, so you can come back to it when it's not so fresh."
Stacey had turned back toward the sea when Mattias finished talking and walked off. What he'd said helped, but he was right, killing that boy was sandpaper rubbing against a sunburn on Stacey's mind. Stacey was being asked to look at himself and change, but he had little direction. He wanted to be courageous, but not stupid, alive, but not bloodthirsty, and feeling, but not sad. After standing for a good while longer, he finally pulled himself down to the kitchen, where he pulled carrots our of his cleansing sack, some potatoes he had left over, and some beef he'd bought while in Andrill, and made a stew for the men. Cooking didn't cleanse his mind of the boy's lifeless face, but it did help him not to look at it so often.