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I Saw Him Shoot Her

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I saw him shoot her.

We walked in at the wrong time and I knew it. I don't know how I thought I'd get away with it.

She made her bold last stand, and Daichi tried to stop him.

He didn't even look at us. He just pulled the trigger, and bang, that was it. The wrong time. This was something that shouldn't have been happening. At the time, I said to myself, this isn't happening, this isn't happening. The words "too late" and "the wrong time" swirled around in my head endlessly. Some part of me died with Makoto there, I know it. I had averted every single death clip up to that one, and the shock felt so painful I might as well have been the one shot instead. Sometimes I find myself wondering if maybe I should have been the one shot, but of course Ronaldo wouldn't shoot me. Those are thoughts I've never had before. I told you that some part of me died with Makoto in that room.

When it was all over and my friends went back to bickering over the sides they were taking, I spoke with none of them. I didn't go to Yamato, certainly not to Ronaldo, and not even to Daichi.

I went to the strange man with the white hair.

My conversation with him is blurry in my memories. What I do remember is that suddenly, I'd formulated a plan for a route all to myself (that is, a plan to lead a route other than what my friends were sponsoring), and he was the one who could help me make it happen. It took some convincing, but by the end of the night, he agreed with me: we were going to overthrow Polaris, the cruel god whose order had twisted this world in the first place.

Al Saiduq insisted that he helped with the corruption by giving man culture and other things we take for granted, but I tried to shake that out of him too. He gave us things that allowed us to blossom, while Polaris clearly cared nothing for simple humans. That, I explained, was a key difference between him and Polaris. He would be a god that loved humans, and that, I feel, is the god we need: one that experiences our joy and sorrow with us instead of coldly filing the best and worst of humanity into the Akashic Record.

I have faith in Al Saiduq. This much I'm sure about. I tell him this whenever it seems right. Our road to overthrow Polaris... it'll be tough, no matter what demons we fuse or strategic configurations my brain manages to churn out. However, the most painful part will be seeing the friends I failed again. Daichi's group, Yamato's group, Ronaldo's group... I'll have to go through all of them. I'll have to face each and every one of them, except for one. One empty space in an otherwise complete group of twelve.

Makoto Sako is dead. She will not be there to "greet" me when I inevitably butt heads with the Merit System crew. I know Yamato would just smile and shake his head and note that his system was starting to filter out the weak before it had even begun. Maybe that's what he did. Maybe that's how he reacted. I don't know, and I'm afraid to find out.

I feel a catching in my chest when I think of the faces of the friends I'll face first: Daichi, Io, Jungo, Hinako. I can't help but see the disappointment in their faces not just at my failure, but how I ran away from them. Well, whether I truly ran away or not is subjective. They will probably think I ran away from choosing a side (but then why didn't I side with Daichi?), but I think I'm trying to do what's best for the world. I hope I can convince them that the new order will really be the best option for the world. I think they'd agree; after all, it doesn't involve the mind-warping that Yamato's or Ronaldo's plans do, but I imagine that killing God and replacing him with someone else isn't an easy concept to swallow.

I still can't get over the grayed-out face in my fate viewer. Everyone has a set of lovely 4s by their names, but only Makoto's is dead, grey, lifeless, gone. When I spent that night away from my friends, I didn't sleep; instead, I couldn't stop crying. I just stared at the grayed-out space and wept. I even apologized to the tombstone-gray representation on my screen: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I screwed up, it was my fault, I've failed everyone, please forgive me. Maybe it was pathetic, but I'm a guy who's honest with myself about my feelings. I couldn't hide the shock inside myself anymore now that I was alone. I'd never felt such intense shock or sorrow before; those feelings were what let me know that something crucial inside of me had shifted. I can't quite explain what it is, but I feel different somehow.

I still love my friends (hence all those 4s, even by Ronaldo's name- what happened to his head? Why couldn't I bring him to his senses?), and I hope I can make them join me in the new world, but I'm experiencing a strange urge or wish to just not see them again. It's the shame of failing them, I think, and then there's also a vicious cycle where I don't see them and that makes me not want to see them more and so on. I have to get past this, though. I need that new world, that new start for myself.

This is what motivates me to make my new world. I want to start completely fresh, in a world where it will not be set in stone that someone has to die. It's too late (the wrong time, the wrong time) for Makoto, but if nothing like the death clips ever has to arise again in the shining new world, that will be enough for me. When the new world forms, the first thing I will do is ensure that Makoto has a grave somewhere important, perhaps a memorial, though I doubt she'd want that (I can imagine her getting all flustered and flattered). People must see who died on the way to the new world. They must.

Rest in peace, Makoto Sako, the one I failed.