So there’s the pain. Pain he can deal with. Even excruciating, even with shattered bones and peeled skin and cigarette burns and probably internal bleeding. Always was cursed with high pain tolerance. And he’s pickled himself in enough alcohol it’s got to have had an effect on his poor nerve endings by now. So he’d been coping middlingly well with chronic injuries for years, before…before…well, if this’d been any other mission, he’d’ve survived the night. Even without using the rudimentary healing meditation techniques Storm had been teaching him.
But what would be the goddamn point?
Goodnight Robicheaux closes his eyes, too dehydrated to cry, too hurt for his body to muster the energy for it anyway. If he’s lucky, whatever’s bleeding will kill him inside of a decent timeframe. Or the cold desert night will freeze him before morning. Or he’ll choke to death in the next sandstorm. Either way, his body’ll decay to nothing but dust and ashes, heaped up next to the pile of dead tires they dumped him by, and Lord willing by then he’ll be far away scouring every fuckin’ corner of Hades, Diyu, Chiok, Yomi, or where the hell ever for that white-clad, son of a bitch, bastard of a ninja.
Because Storm Shadow is dead. Has to be. No other reason for them to let him go. Retired, aging, broken ex-Joes are not high value targets, anyone with two brain cells to rub together can deduce that. No, the only thing he’s worth these days is whatever value one particular renegade Arashikage had assigned to him for some unfathomable reason. And if Goody’s been released - means taking him hostage worked, and he’s back to being of zero use to anyone.
Didn’t even merit the honor of a proper execution. Got taken out like a goddamn bag of garbage.
So there will be no healing meditation. No gritting of teeth, no hitching up of bootstraps, no survival at all costs for God and country. It ain’t how he envisioned himself shuffling off this mortal coil - always figured it was either gonna be a grenade or cirrhosis of the liver - but it’s all right. This is about what he deserves.
He’s just gonna sit here with the rest of the trash, and let his life run out into the sand, and hope whichever divine judge rules the next dimension has enough mercy to at least let him be strapped to the rack next to Storm’s.
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