Monday, November 5, 2012

Hello World.



Her eyes are wide open, pupils dilated and eyelids fluttering as her breathing comes out labored. She doesn't understand where she is or how she came to be in this place. All she knows is she doesn't want to be here anymore. Whatever happened before she cannot change -no matter how much she may wish to-, the fact is she no longer has the power to do anything about it. She broke and she has no one to blame but herself. Logic says otherwise, logic tells her she did all she could and that she shouldn't allow herself to feel guilty. But The Shady Lady feels so very guilty; she wishes it would all just end and that her world be plunged back into the abyss she takes comfort within. It can never be, though. The young thing knows this, she realizes she played a game there was no hope in winning. She knows she'll never go to heaven, if such a place exists. The crimes committed are far too wicked, her hands are stained. The people who surround her tell her she's done it for good reasons, sometimes she wonders. What is good? Everyone has the potential to be evil, it's in them. There's a spark in everyone, it's a matter of enabling it, encouraging it to grow brighter.

Is she still this good person for allowing the fire to grow, in the pursuit of some form of happy ending?

She doesn't know anymore, her heart is beating so hard it hurts. Everything seems like a blur. She's just here now, typing this with that same wildly beating heart while recalling said events. Last she remembers was the white bed in the white room. The name comes to mind, Limeport Asylum. Immediately she feels overwhelmed by the images that come flooding back. The white hunger with gnashing teeth, the thing that broke her. Then comes the torture and the abuse, oh how they remembered her, they recognized her. A previous patient to this facility. Her brother sentenced her there. How long was she gone for? Why is there so much blood on her hands? She woke up with someone there, someone in her room opening the door. A familiar face. A friend. Does she even have friends? Paranoia taunted her bitterly, almost as if to replace the Caged One. No one can replace the Caged One. She's was the first to have shed blood for this cause. Blood... Why is there blood here? It doesn’t matter; something shiny is in her friend’s hand. Words of care leave the woman’s lips as she places in her hand the master key to the asylum. I love you. The Shady Lady wants to say, the woman’s kindness reminds her of her old love. The girl who always smiled, Selene Coleman. Perhaps this is why she cares so much for this one, why they have become such good friends.

A moment later her friend is gone and she’s out the door. Screaming filled the halls; she had a knife in her hand only some of time. Her fingers curled around a man's jaw and the other behind his head, a sickening crack. She told him to stand aside... Why didn't he just leave her alone? She just wants to be left alone! Her mind keeps thinking the suit is beside her; her eyes are wide because she's searching every inch of her vision for the creature. There's a man beside her with a satchel, encouraging her to fight for her freedom. Reassuring her with small affectionate actions. What does this mean? Does she love him? Can she love? How can someone love when they are covered in so much blood! She's screaming, people in uniforms are collecting around them from every direction but she won't let the numbers stop her. She has places to be and things to do. So many things to do. What's the date? She can't be late. She promised. There are lives to save here. She has to at least get SOMETHING right. Anything. That monster took so much, and for what? To prove a point and get her attention? She isn't sure she understands, all she wanted to do was understand. Is it so wrong to seek knowledge? Is that her sin, did she transgress for wanting to learn? The Shady Lady isn't aware she bit into any apples.

A woman in uniform grabs her arm and yanks her; the girl whips her head around and glues her eyes upon the guardian. She can feel her blood boiling; hear her bones creaking as rage floods through her system. The girl who lost her name remembers this face, she remembers the brown doe eyes watching as she was strapped into a chair and electrocuted. Those eyes that look so innocent... But they're not. Innocence is something that died long ago in all of this. It left the scene of the crime when the first murder was committed. There's no hesitation when The Shady Lady's hand curls around the woman's throat, every bit of her weight pressing the guardian backwards until her footing was lost and they both collapsed to the ground. On her back the guardian loses the drive, fear spreads across her face as her hands attempt to pry off the cold hands of death. But the Lady dares not to release her; forest green eyes are currently caught aflame by the fire burning inside her.

Purpose. She has something left to do. Peace means nothing to her anymore; there is none for her to scavenge. She has to find it; she has to find what was long ago lost. Her wide eyes catch a glimpse of a suit near the end of the hall, when she looks up it's no longer there. It doesn't stop her from feeling watched and that alone makes her shake, warmth filling her as the rage burns hotter. She's screaming, "You made me! You made me this way!" and she can hear in the back of her head, "You've always been this way."

An arm wraps around her, prying her off the body that has long since stilled. She can feel the person behind her breathing and strangely enough takes comfort in it. The girl calms down, her breathing coming to match his as the warmth in her veins burns out. Coldness returns and she's released, her eyes glance up at the masked face and she touches it briefly. Reassurance. He's real, he's real, he's real. Insanity is real. He too is covered in blood.

She's losing her mind all over again. Wasn't she getting better? The young thing bites her lip until it bleeds, she doesn't even feel the blood slipping down her chin. A shudder runs through her as her eyes rake across the bodies that lie sprawled, some in pieces. It's not all her doing; he's taken care of most of it. He enjoys it. She takes no pleasure in anything anymore, does she? Or maybe she does and she just doesn't remember. The Shady Lady could have sworn she got her memories back so why is there so much confusion?

Confusion? No. Desperation. She has to get out, it had been too long.

Their footsteps echoed down the hall and suddenly, with a twist of the key her visiting friend had left, she felt fresh air. She understood what Lenore meant when it came to flying away from all of this. Part of her still wishes the dead woman could have escaped, pity and sympathy cutting through her like a knife. But then she remembers Billy, she remembers his ginger hair and bright eyes, every freckle on his face. The Shady Lady remembers her friend smiling, but she also remembers holding him as his life slipped away. The young thing will never forget the agony on Joshua's face as she watched from afar during the funeral. As he cried for her, wishing she was there, that she would come home. And she remembers leaving her brother there to suffer alone, thinking perhaps it would be safer. For a while it was. Sympathy can only last so long before its run into the ground and stomped upon. She swore, "Crush my heart and I'll crush yours." and Lenore did not heed the warning, she only heard a promise and decided to see it through.

Somehow The Shady Lady was still doing what the Road Runner always wanted her to. All this blood...

Breathing felt unnatural to her as she stood outside for a moment before being ushered away from the building. Her legs seemed to become weaker the further she got, it confused her for a moment but then she realized what she was leaving behind. This escape meant something, it was with reason. Purpose is a funny thing. She decided then she was the butt of some twisted cosmic joke that wasn't at all funny to her human mind. However, it didn't matter because nothing mattered anymore. She was escaping with a single purpose. All this time in there she had to discover the location of what they need. What Mystery and her set out to find in the beginning of everything. The Shady Lady figured it out despite being losing herself. Perhaps that's the only real way to discover the world's secrets, give up all you have. Those that surround her, the faces she had called family and friends, the ones she cares for she sincerely apologizes to. Yet she doesn't say it out loud, she will not shed anymore tears or waste any more time. There was a destination to go to. She would reclaim what they built together and accept nothing less, and she would recover what they have sought out for what seems like ages now.

Oh how she wishes for Mystery and dreams for her return. How she misses her so much it hurts. But that pain is a reminder to move forward, whatever hope is not yet crushed is begging that her partner be there when she arrives. She'd pray if there was anything worth believing in.

Tightly she holds onto the Advocate of her enemies, riding to the sanctuary together. They do not welcome them home; her precious one permits none to get in her way as she storms the place. From somewhere inside she can hear her ray of Sunshine crying out, screaming, and knowing of her return. There's a slam and a bang before the door to her room below breaks open. He's snarling like a feral beast and becomes a second defense, tackling down a soldier of justice that dared to try and bar her way. Her madman is laughing loudly, her beast roaring, silence is her gift to the leader of the fort. Words aren't needed as she climbs the stairs to what's left of the second floor, she can see Brood staring at her unexpectedly. What surprise is on his face fades and he ceases to show emotion.

But Joshua exits a room between her and him and his blue eyes shine in the light. She does not falter in her approach; he's not the target she's seeking. His hands grab hold of her shoulders and he asks her to stop, pleads, tells her he loves her and she's the only family he has left. He's shaking and she can hear him say how they murdered his family, his parents, his aunt is comatose, his goddamn dog shredded. It pains her heart to see her brethren suffering because of her, but she knows if she stops now that her escape would have meant nothing. It would just be like before she entered the asylum. Her arms shove his hands away and she grabs him, throwing him off the second floor. He’s screaming her name, “Adrian! Dark!” and she stills a moment, remembering her own forgotten name. Adrian Dark, memories of the origin of her alias The Shady Lady come to mind. Derived from her last name, a means to keep who she was always in mind. It didn’t work, obviously. It’s no longer a name of use, her past is dead. A sharp whistle escapes her lips before her brother can hit the ground and Sunshine moves like a blur, catching the young man safely and keeps him pinned.

And all she sees now is Brood.

He doesn't have time to get his gun out, forced to catch her fist. He's not a fighter; he's a clean shooter and the brains. He doesn't know the meaning of fighting for his life. She's relentless; she will not stop until his skin is colored black and blue. Against a wall and to the floor they fall, she's on her knees and staring as each animal punch lands into him. She will not stop until she sees defeat, witnesses his surrender. Until he denounces his throne and returns her crown. This was her home; the people who were here were her people in the beginning. Mystery and her made a home that they could feel safe within. He was here to assist, not take over. Not throw her out. Not betray everything they built! The man beneath her coughs, his breathing shallow as he looks at her and lifts a hand. She stops, staring at him and scrutinizing his sincerity.

"They wouldn't stop coming. The wards broke; we lost a lot of manpower." Brood is speaking to her; she doesn't hear him at the time until she's writing this. When her mind a little more clear. All she go on is the emotions filling his eyes. "I was wrong. I thought I knew what I was doing but I had no idea, because of it a lot of people died."

He's bloody; her hands are now freshly stained all over again. She can see regret in his eyes. That of a king who thought he was leading his people to safety, when really he was leading them into damnation. He has had his dose of death, he has lost so much and she can see him coming to realize that as his life lay on the line. But she understands and sees the cog wheels of his machine brain turning. She knows because she has been there. Her hands release him and she pulls herself shakily to a stand, staring down at him once more before turning and walking down the stairs. Her weight sinks on the final step and The Shady Lady finds herself sitting on the stairs of her ruined fortress. Her Sunshine comes to her side and rests his forehead against her like he always did.

Footsteps shuffling from above her, she glances at the agent as he pulls out a handkerchief and starts wiping away the blood. "What's your course of action?"

Once more leadership rested in her hands. For a moment she remembers her time alone and rather misses having no one to talk to. But then she sees a few familiar faces, of the people still alive, and she knows better than to be stupid and not value what she has. "I'm going to the mountains." She croaks, throat dry. It feels strange to speak. "Secure this place first, and then I'm leaving."

She can hear objections about going alone, but she doesn't care at this point. She's incredibly tired and it feels like something is trying to claw its way into her head. Pulling herself to a stand she offers her Advocate shelter in their sanctuary, her hand curling around the latch of the hatch door as she begins dragging it back to her hole beneath the mansion. She doesn't hear his reply, or if he even replies at all. Sleep is calling her, another visitor awaiting her. She can only imagine what the businessman could want.

Upon waking she reached over and grasped the technology she used to record her life. Opening it and turning it on she logged in to find posts that were not hers recorded. Writings from her brother during her time away. There were many that had yet to be posted, she could see he tried but lost his will very early on. Her lips formed a frown while reading the entries and the thoughts her brother had upon seeing her. Time spent locked up within the asylum becoming more vivid than the initial blur. What was cleared from her mind so she could think came back during her sleep and now everything was settled. She remembered just fine, especially her time in the asylum. She remembered the face of her psychiatrist and how she will not hesitate to elaborate on him when her time is more free. Instead she posts what her brother had recorded and left unsaid to the world, she posts his thoughts to be known before she posts her return.

Thirteenth visit 10/31/12

I visited Shady on Halloween, which I am to have done. Seems like she got into some mischief the night before. The walls were filled with color, the building less white. The scrubs of the nurses and orderlies as well as patient uniforms were a series of bright colors. The skin of the patients were colored too, it looked like the nurses had tried to clean them but it was going to be stained for some time. The crazies didn't seem to mind, they gleefully enjoyed all the new colors around the place and on themselves.

I asked her how she did it and she just smirked, saying the dye was self explanatory. The only other comment she had on it was, "I gave them the tools and a means to have fun, they eagerly accepted."

We stayed in the rec room and I handed out candy I brought with me, had them go on an Halloween hunt to find other pieces around. The staff wasn't amused but we didn't care, we weren't causing any harm. For once there was little to no extreme behavior from any of the patients. It was one of the rare times we stuck out in public in that place but it was a good evening. We had fun.

I could have sworn I saw something brooding behind her eyes though. Some kind of concern and anticipation. We haven't talked about anything in depth, her memory seems to be fuzzy and unclear for the moment. She tells me it's nothing to be concerned about and that it'll be back to normal soon, just some after effects. To what, I asked. She didn't have a reply for me and for now I accepted it. I'd ask her next time.

I'm going to dedicate a post about her psychiatrist to help clear my thoughts. Something doesn't sit right with me, that guy knows something he's not telling me.

Joshua

Twelfth visit 10/2/12

Prosper showed on the second visit I made to their graves. I didn't even know he was there until a heavy hand landed on my shoulder.

"What do you want?"

He patted the spot before letting go. "It wasn't me."

"You're all the same, so yeah it's your fault. You killed my parents and you're the reason I'll probably never see my aunt again."

"That's discrimination!" He laughed shortly. "It's better this way, Spencer. Now you're focused."

"What are you talking about?"

"You should let her sleep, that way she can't get involved. and you can give Him all your attention."

The way he said that reminded me of something. "Is this the Executor's doing? Is he keeping her in a coma?" The barest of smiles hinted on his face. "Isn't that disobeying your boss?"

He tutted. "She's out of the way, what does it matter?" Prosper rested his hands in his pockets. "Still following orders."

"Why didn't he just put everyone to sleep?" I shouted.

"That draws too much attention. Be smart, Spencer." He leaned over me with a wink, "Besides, we saved your favorite relative."

My hands balled into fists, "Why do this?"

"A favor for a favor."

"What kind of favor?"

"In due time." I didn't have a reply for him so he took it as his chance to leave with a wave. "Keep a close eye on my asylum girl."

I can see why my sister hates the Executor and his lacky.

I brought Shady the left over flowers I had and she was surprised to see them. We set them on the nightstand and sat side by side looking at them. We talk regularly shoulder to shoulder. It was a nice way to end the day.

Joshua

Eleventh visit 10/2/12

I went out grocery shopping and ran into that masked freak named Prosper. He had the mask tied to his belt loop so he could walk around publicly it looked like. He didn't try and hurt me, it happened when I was walking out to the car. I had to park near the end because people are stupid. Prosper showed up to my right and was following me on the other side of the cars, weaving through them as if to provoke me.

I put the groceries in the trunk as quickly as I could but it wasn't enough, he came to lean against the car as if he was an old friend saying hi.

"Shove off." I warned him putting the bags away.

The guy was calm and looking through my bags of food as if actually curious. "Your family is going to die."

I dropped a bag at what he said so abruptly. "What?"

His dead eyes looked at me. "Your family, Spencer. They are going to die."

"No... no they aren't. They aren't apart of this."

"Your colleagues weren't apart of this and they still died." Prosper said nonchalantly, the barest hint of a smile showing. "Everyone you know is involved, just like anything you have ever touched. Anything that can be destroyed is apart of this giant web, nothing is out of reach."

"Why are you telling me this?"

He bent down and began picking up my spilled groceries, handing me the bag as I tried to calm down from hyperventilating. "You help everyone in need but you're very picky about whose lives you're willing to save. Call me the curious cat."

"Don't you know that old saying?" I angrily replied. "Are you going to do it? Are you going to kill them?"

"That's a surprise." He patted the cart with a glance at the sky, "You should hurry, looks like it might rain."

I glanced up for a second before looking back to where he stood only to find him gone. Immediately I called Brood and asked him to send over someone to my house and he did.

When I got there my father was dead just a few feet from the front door. I could hear my aunt crying somewhere and ran to her, she was holding my mother who was covered in blood and twitching. I went to them only to be knocked aside by a masked woman, footsteps came up the stairs and a masked man stood there. I pulled out my gun and defended my family, it didn't matter. The sound of the door downstairs breaking open and loud voices came from below. The proxies stopped in their advancement on me and I felt sick and overwhelmed all at once.

I turned around to find the suited monster behind me, I tried to fire the gun at it but there weren't anymore bullets left. I don't know how to explain what happened, I was staring at it one moment and the next I was waking up on the floor as Brood shook me. My mother was dead and my aunt was in critical condition, the agent promised to see to it she had protection and care.

I didn't tell Shady when I visited her. I didn't know what to say to her, I think she knew something was wrong because it was me who wasn't talkative. She worked her word games to see how far she could go and when she realized I wasn't getting into what happened she decided we should play checkers.

I hope my aunt lives.

Joshua

Tenth visit 9/18/12

I haven't visited her for most of the month so far. The mansion was in constant need of help and repairs. We bought some supplies and were boarding up most of the openings. So far Brood hasn't lost anymore men, they have been injured but no deaths since we set up these temporary reinforcements.

I've been working with the doctor on board on helping everyone.

It was after the last guy was fixed up my phone began ringing. Mystery was on the other end of the line and I promised her to keep confidential. She has been logging in from time to time to read our posts, with Shady and her having joined accounts she has been reading mine too. The woman told me that my sister would know how to fix them because she can't spare the time, or I could try based on the detailed notes but it's unlikely they would really work. I'm more of a science guy than a magic guy, even if the two can at times be closely related.

We talked about my visits and thoughts, she confirmed some things based on her encounters with the Executor's clones and put to rest some more troubling ones. Shady... what are you up to? I'm reassured you're not a threat, that you're still a friendly so why doesn't that make me feel any better?

I saw her today briefly, we exchanged hellos and some basic conversation. Her mind was miles away and I could see I wasn't going to be having any of her attention today.

Joshua

Ninth visit 9/1/12

I went to visit her and she had set up a game of checkers. We played and talked. I asked if she was well and she said she was. I didn't believe her, I can see the dark circles under her eyes. She isn't sleeping still but the nurses haven't said anything about nightmares when I have asked. Shady isn't having them anymore so what is keeping her up? Her psychiatrist doesn't seem to know anything, says she's fine.

Is it the Advocate visiting? She said he hasn't been back yet which alerted me. He was obsessed so why hadn't he returned? I questioned it and she stopped staring at the board to look at me, there was something heavy weighing her down. She's planning something and I can see it in her eyes, I want to know what she's doing.

She never replied to my question so I asked about the Executor. Shady assured me things have quieted down but didn't clearly state whether he was still visiting or not. I'm going to assume he is, she wouldn't dance around the question if she had nothing to hide.

Shady became fed up with my questions and flipped the board across the room, "Can't you just be happy with this?"

It scared me to see her suddenly agitated, "Be happy when you're obviously not?"

"You should take what you can get, Joshua. We're having a good time and you just can't let these questions go."

"You're up to something, sis'. I'm worried about you like you were worried about me. Why can't anyone care about you?"

"It's not good for your health. If I have something in mind have some faith."

"Why don't you have some faith in me and just open up what you're keeping locked inside?"

"Because I don't know who you trust more right now, Brood or me." It stunted any response I had, I could see her shaking. It wasn't completely out of anger, I could see she was hurt too. "You should leave, take care of whatever is troubling you back at our home."

Shady shut off and began cleaning up the mess, I took her suggestion and left.

Joshua

Eighth visit 8/23/12

Some of the missing soldiers showed up again and they weren't Brood's anymore. They came with heavy fire and our wards were destroyed. I don't know how, only someone on the inside can disable them but all our people are accounted for. There must have been a mistake that caused them to fail.

I don't know what's happening or what we're going to do. Brood is stressed but keeping schedules balanced. We are always on watch. He doesn't think it's a good idea for me to keep visiting my sister but I don't care. Going to her is not up for discussion and I told him that.

She knew I was troubled and asked what was wrong. I couldn't talk about it because I was afraid what it would do to her. Instead I asked about her sleeping and she said the nightmares have gone away. I pressed her on the Executor and she said that he must have seen how much stress it was putting on her mind and body and didn't want to risk it.

I think she knows I don't believe her completely but she doesn't show it. Instead she placed on the table Apples to Apples and when I opened them I found she had written over the original ones. It was like our old set, it was like the old times again. The nagging in the back of my head wouldn't go away the entire time, something wasn't right. It reminded me of the quiet before the storm.

Joshua