@datadogie Or, if you're a paranoid asshole. "WE should be sure." And just proceed to stab the defenseless body a bunch. Or burn it.
Edit: It honestly seems like it would fit... a Possum more. But eeh.
The worst part is that he has to wake up before he dies, if that's the case. He'll wake up and in that quantum-second of life feel all that pain before he dies. Ghastly.
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I think a good way to prevent his team from abandoning him if he folds is if he tells us about his semblance and how it works, maybe demonstrate it? And if I read Russell's semblance correctly, we COULD theoretically shoot or hit a non-vital area to see if it'll do anything, since it increases his body's durability as a way to test if he's folding or dead. I mean it would probably hurt like hell when he unfolded, but as you put it, better to be alive and in pain.
Telling his team how it works is good enough, because they'll see him lifeless and pick him up.
The problem with demonstrating the semblance is that he won't make it to class that day. Or perhaps even the day after. The time it takes to regain control over his body is not definitive. He can't exactly practise it, either - both for the length he'll be out whilst trying to practise regaining control over himself and for the distress and pain that he'll feel after awakening. Shoot him to test his survival, and he'll feel even more pain. That's not taking into account the fact he will hate you for a very long time. And cry.