Bleed Like Me:
Hedonism, as an ethical theory, claims that good and bad consist ultimately in pleasure and pain. Many hedonists, in accordance with Epicurus, emphasize avoiding suffering over pursuing pleasure, because they find that the greatest happiness lies in a tranquil state (ataraxia) free from pain and from the worrisome pursuit or unwelcome consequences of pleasure. For stoicism, the greatest good lies in reason and virtue, but the soul best reaches it through a kind of indifference (apatheia) to pleasure and pain: as a consequence, this doctrine has become identified with stern self-control in regard to suffering. Jeremy Bentham developed hedonistic utilitarianism, a popular doctrine in ethics, politics, and economics. Bentham argued that the right act or policy was that which would cause "the greatest happiness of the greatest number". He suggested a procedure called hedonic or felicific calculus, for determining how much pleasure and pain would result from any action. John Stuart Mill improved and promoted the doctrine of hedonistic utilitarianism. Karl Popper, in The Open Society and Its Enemies, proposed a negative utilitarianism, which prioritizes the reduction of suffering over the enhancement of happiness when speaking of utility: "I believe that there is, from the ethical point of view, no symmetry between suffering and happiness, or between pain and pleasure. (…) human suffering makes a direct moral appeal for help, while there is no similar call to increase the happiness of a man who is doing well anyway." David Pearce's utilitarianism asks straightforwardly for the abolition of suffering. Many utilitarians, since Bentham, hold that the moral status of a being comes from its ability to feel pleasure and pain: therefore, moral agents should consider not only the interests of human beings but also those of animals. Richard Ryder developed such a view in his concepts of 'speciesism' and 'painism'. Peter Singer's writings, especially the book Animal Liberation, represent the leading edge of this kind of utilitarianism for animals as well as for people.
Alex was placed into protective care by Ella and Bette. They put him in the underground lab. They all assured him that he was same now.
“It’s okay,” Bette whispered to him. “Edward is in custody as we speak. He can’t hurt you. You’ll stay down here for the time being until they have him in jail. If there is anything you need, just let me know, okay?” Alex nodded at her. The graduate student smiled at him lovingly.
“Very good,” she said. “Just hit the call button if you need us.” Alex nodded again. Then, Bette left just fine. The lamb watched on as the door slid shut. He leaned back and sighed. He was alone now. Safe, but alone. But soon, that was going to change pretty quickly. When Alex leaned up again the controls, his hand accidently hit a button on the panel. He heard a rumbling sound behind him. Alex turned and saw a screen slowly raising behind him. “Hm?” the lamb thought as he watched on. “What’s all this?” The light flashed on the other side of the glass.
“Cut off that damn light!” he heard someone wailing out. Alex stared on in shock. Janine was lying down on the ground in annoyed boredom. She was angry to be woken up like this. The lamb just stared on in shock. He wasn’t expecting this at all.
“I’m sorry!” he said. “I don’t even know how I turned everything off.” Janine froze at the sound of his voice. She sat up quickly in surprise. She could even sense his high aura on the other side as well. Something was really off with this new stranger right here.
“You’re not one or Syd’s little watch dogs!” she exclaimed. “Who the hell are you?” Alex looked on in shock. He figured out this was just a two-way mirror. “Of course!” he thought. “She can’t see me!”
“I’m just here in hiding!” he said through the microphone. “What are you doing here?” Janine was very confused now. She didn’t know if he was new or not.
“Having you heard of me?” the half-breed asked him.
“No,” Alex said. “Should I know you?” Janine relaxed at that question. Clearly, this boy was telling the truth. Maybe… she could use him to get out of here somehow. It was hard to say. Well, it’s worth a shot.
“My name is Janine,” the half-breed began. “I am a half-breed that has been imprisoned down here for many years.” Alex stared at her in silence.
“So…” he said. “You’re half succubus?” he asked.
“That’s right!” she said. The lamb looked on in fear. He was panicking in silence now. Janine could sense his fear. She began to feel sorry for the boy right away.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. Alex looked at her with fear in his eyes.
“You’re one of them, aren’t you?!?” he cried out.
“Who?” Janine asked him confused. Alex was trembling in terror.
“Just stay there!” he pleaded. “I don’t want any trouble!!! I’ve already suffered enough because of them. I just want some peace now!” Janine was really lost now.
“Okay calm down,” she said. “I don’t know what the Hell you are talking about. But, I’m not here to harm you. I’m just a prisoner here.” Alex didn’t seem to believe her.
“How can I be this is not some sick trap that you are trying to get me in?!?” he asked in deep fear. Janine tried to look out of the glass. She was convinced now this wasn’t an act. This boy was suffering as much as she was. Now, Janine was curious. She wanted to know all about him. But first, she had to gain his trust in order to achieve that. The half-breed drew in a deep breath and waited for a few seconds.
“I was an outcast in my village because I was different,” Janine confessed. “I didn’t understand it at all. My mom died when I was born. Everyone bullied me around then. I didn’t understand why. I just wished they would all leave me alone. But then one day, I was taken away and placed here. And I’ve been trapped here ever since.” By then, Alex had calmed down and was listening to every word. He had his forehead pressed up against the glass and was leaning in.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” he said. “I had no idea.” Janine sat back in silence.
“So what about you?” she asked. “What’s your name and what are you doing here?” Alex backed up a bit. He wasn’t expecting all of this. Should he even tell her the truth? He didn’t have much of a choice at the moment. So, Alex turned on the microphone to talk again.
“My name is Alex Shepherd,” he answered. “I’m here in hiding.”
“In hiding?” Janine repeated. “From what?” The lamb froze up in nervous fear. He really wasn’t sure if he should keep talking now. Then, he realized that he had no choice now. So, Alex drew in a deep breath and collected his head for a second. Then, the lamb went into dark and gruesome detail about all of the torture that the Fallen ones had put him through. The story took close to two hours alone. Janine sat there listening the whole time. She didn’t say a single word at all. When he was finished, Janine sat there pale with fear. She couldn’t see his sad face, but he could see her face pale with fear and shock.
“Damn!” Janine said aloud. “Your situation makes mine look so petty. I now wonder what I have to complain about now.” Alex stared at her in silence.
“I’m so sorry to upset you with my tragedy,” he said.
“It’s okay,” Janine said. “Nothing really hurts me anymore.” Alex kept quiet and looked at her for a while. She was a strange woman indeed.
Over the next few hours, Alex and Janine talked to each other for a long time. For once, they both felt better while doing so. Janine had found a friend in Alex and Alex felt safe talking to someone else for a change. This was what they needed so badly. Right then, Janine decided made up her mind about something. She was going to help Alex if they ever got her out of this Hellhole isolated prison she was stuck in. It just wasn’t fair. Alex didn’t have to suffer like he did. It was just wrong. The lamb deserved all of the protection he could get. It was official, Janine was going to do everything in her power to keep this lamb safe at all costs.
Meanwhile in the integration room, Edward was smirking to himself wickedly. The plan was working perfectly. His arrest was only a decoy for Manami to fully spread out her poison. This was a good way to distract the military and the love deities long enough for everyone to be completely consumed by their lust and ever-growing desires. Edward looked down at the floor smirking again. “I’ve done it mistress!” he thought to himself. There was only one thing left to: sit back and watch the next act unfold for all!