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*locked from the eyes of the law and pretty much everyone who isn't a close friend or family*

You know what makes replying to this difficult? Not the human being part. I already know the answer to that one. The "own species" part.

When I grew up - both times - things were pretty simple. The way Connor Riley remembers it, Mom and Dad were against the death penalty, and self defense, or saving someone else from an immediate lethal threat, those were the only instances where you should kill someone. I grew up believing that, and I never had reason to doubt it until the mindwipe went away.

Things in Quortoth were pretty simple, too. As in: there were only two human beings around, and I'd never, ever kill my father. Everything else was a demon, and if it got close enough to be dangerous, killing it was the only thing to do, no questions asked.

Then I switched dimensions, and things started to spin out of control and got turned upside down. The first humans I met on my own were some guys trying to hurt a girl who didn't look like she could fight back. All humans. The first demons I met, vampires aside, were Lorne and Cordelia - in a half demon kind of way - , and they were trying to help me. Despite me, you know, trying to kill them. Plus there was the whole question as to what the hell I was. Other human beings didn't have the abilities I had, and you didn't have to be a genius to figure out that I got them because of my biological parents, who were vampires. Even my father said he did not know what I was, other than the bastard son of two demons. So did that make me human or demon?

I didn't want to be a demon, of course. So I tried to cling to what I knew, which meant that you didn't kill humans but anything demonic, vampires or otherwise, was fair game if it threatened someone; if not, like with Lorne and some of his clients, it was supposed to be a wait and see thing.

(Not killing anyone at all wasn't an option that occured to me then. I tried it after I got my memories back, after Sahjahn, and I kept it up for all of a year or so.)

During the time Angelus was loose, Lorne did a sanctuary spell in the Hyperion, which was supposed to make any kind of demonic violence impossible. The idea was to keep Angelus from slaughtering people in their sleep, not that he wouldn't wake them up and torture them a bit first anyway. Sure enough, he showed up after the spell was in effect, and I attacked him. The spell was strong enough to throw me down to the lobby. Which meant it had identified me as demon, not human.

I kept thinking then - and I still do: if I am not human, if I am, in fact, a demon, then what difference does it make whether I kill humans or demons? Why should I protect one species and hunt the other? (I guess the fact that the whole "protecting both" didn't occur as opposed to "hunting both" says something about me, too.) (Or maybe about how I was then. Maybe. I don't know how much difference there is now, when it gets down to it.)

But there had to be a difference. There had to be a line. Because if you can kill anyone, anyone at all, and it makes no difference, you will. Okay, not you as in all of you. But I think - I would. Not just because I can, or because I have so much practice, but because the whole thing, fighting, hunting, it's part of me. The longest I ever was without was when I was mindwiped, and after that not even a year.

The first time I caused the death of a human being, that was when I realized. What the line had to be. I didn't strike the lethal blow but I did everything else - kidnapped her, dragged her to the slaughter. So I did kill her, and I knew what I was doing, and that it was wrong. The point wasn't that she was human - the point was that she was innocent. She hadn't done anything to me or anyone else. It didn't matter whether I was human or a demon or both, killing her was wrong either way. I still did it, because I believed it was the only way to save my unborn daughter. It did save her, for all of a few weeks until -

Anyway. Yes, I would kill a human being. I would kill a demon. I try to limit it to demons who are busy attacking other people because I need to draw a line somewhere, and because there is no way I can bring back that girl, or the cop, or other innocent people who died because of me. But it doesn't make me less of a killer.
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abetterlie

July 2010

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