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Sympathy for the Devil

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Bad-Anon had long been a source of support to villains from all kinds of games. Whether your game was played in an arcade, on a gaming console, or on a personal computer, it didn't matter what sort of bad guy you were. Tonight's newest members were no different.

"Hi. My name's Bendy, this is Alice, and we're bad guys."

"Hi, Bendy. Hi, Alice."

"My game is called Bendy and the Ink Machine. It's a multi-part game, with individual 'chapters' being released one at a time. The first one came out in February last year, the second in April, and the third in September."

"We don't know when the remaining ones are supposed to come out, but hopefully we'll see the next one soon."

"The game takes place in an abandoned animation studio, now filled with ink monsters. Although it's implied that the monsters used to be human, they're just playing the part, at least on our side of the screen."

A pause.

"Which brings me to why we're here. You see, the player's character--a former animator named Henry--was called back to the studio by his former boss Joey Drew, who created the studio's residents. My role in the game is to chase Henry down and kill him, while he's trying to find a way out. Yet, I don't hate Henry. If it were up to me, I'd let him live. And what's more, I still don't understand what my motivation is supposed to be. Am I a cartoon character brought to life, seeking revenge on my creators? Or am I a transformed human, wanting him dead for some other reason? There's still so much unrevealed, and we won't know more until the last two chapters come out."

"And then we have me. The character I was based on is a sweet, happy-go-lucky angel. But my character is that of a vain, psychotic murderess, who cuts open duplicates of Boris the Wolf--another character in the game--so she can use his insides to improve her appearance. It really hurts to do that, and I wish I didn't. Not to mention, at the end of the chapter where I appear...well, I don't know how you feel about spoilers, but it's not something I'm proud of."

"Basically, the question is...are we villains or victims?"

There was silence as everyone took this in. Finally King Dedede, the head of the chapter, spoke up.

"Sounds like you two got a lot weighin' you down. And like the founder o'this group says, first step is lettin' it all out. But step two is realizin' you don't have to do this alone. I know a thing or two about being an anti-villain. Most of the time, all I do is steal food and other small things, and when a real bad guy steps in, I throw my full support behind Kirbeh. In fact, we're more rivals than enemies."

"Same here." Ralph, who was visiting, stood up. "Let me ask you--ever hear of Turbo?"

Both nodded. "We've heard the stories."

"I knew him. He was nasty, even before he went game-hopping. Never stopped to think about what he was doing. You guys, on the other hand..."

"There's one guy in our game, who's based on the former music director of the studio," said Bendy. "He worships me like some kind of god, mainly because he wants me to turn him back to normal. But I attack him off-screen, possibly killing him. Is it wrong that I feel bad about it, even though he respawns?"

"No," said N. "And that means you're only a monster on the outside. My adopted father's a good example of someone who's a monster inside, given that he has no real sense of empathy or remorse."

Everyone nodded. Many of them were quite familiar with the Unova native's tale, and despite the fact that he was not truly a villain, they still welcomed him at Bad-Anon meetings.

"Alright everybody. Time for the affirmation."

The group stood and joined hands. Bendy and Alice took each others as the demon placed his other hand in that of Marionette, and the angel clasped that of the Neighbor.

"I'm bad, and that's good. I'll never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."

With that, the meeting was adjourned. Bendy and Alice left to return to the studio, feeling like their burden, while not completely lifted, had definitely been lessened.