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Mara LaFleur

"Sometimes I can't help but wonder if the dream will end and we'll wake up to something even stranger."

45 views · located in Demesne

a character in “Fragmented Sky”, as played by Spidermoon

Description

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞
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ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||






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{☛ ⒻⓊⓁⓁ ⓃⒶⓂⒺ ☚}
Mara LaFleur
{☛ ⓃⒾⒸⓀⓃⒶⓂⒺⓈ ☚}
Fluorspar | It's her agent name.
Flo | Her preferred nickname.

{☛ ⒶⒼⒺ ☚}
18 and all grown up now.

{☛ ⒼⒺⓃⒹⒺⓇ ☚}


{☛ ⓈⒺⓍⓊⒶⓁⒾⓉⓎ ☚}
Once upon a time she loved Pan. Is Pan even still alive?

{☛ ⒻⒶⒸⒺ ⒸⓁⒶⒾⓂ ☚}
Morgiana|| Magi




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❝ This is the face that she gave me.❞
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{☛ ⒽⒺⒾⒼⒽⓉ ☚}
Just as short as she always was.

{☛ ⓌⒺⒾⒼⒽⓉ ☚}
Still small and slender like normal.

{☛ ⒽⒶⒾⓇ ⒸⓄⓁⓄⓇ ☚}
Naturally a hazel brown that reminds you of the rustic countryside and simpler times.
She likes to keep it dyed a bubblegum pink to show her control over her body.
As Zinnia, it's naturally the pink she always loved.

{☛ ⒺⓎⒺ ⒸⓄⓁⓄⓇ ☚}
Amethyst eyes that peer into your soul.

{☛ ⒷⓄⒹⓎ ⓂⒶⓇⓀⒾⓃⒼⓈ ☚}
Other than the normal wear and tear from the scars of battle, of surgeries, of being harvested, what else are you asking for?


{☛ ⒼⒺⓃⒺⓇⒶⓁ ⒶⓅⓅⒺⒶⓇⒶⓃⒸⒺ☚ }

Just like before, Flo is small and looks weak. She has a small thin frame that's delicate and dainty, as if a strong breeze could snap her into pieces of a twig, let alone a full twig. Her limbs are slim, she's full of scars, her steps are light and you can barely hear them. On her back are wings, blooming and bright, almost as if they were flowers. She doesn't really have a preferred dress, though someone with her slender figure can sort of look good in most things provided they aren't too revealing. Despite the tiny flower she is, one thing is clear. Gaze into her eyes there's a sense of dignity, a strong gaze that does not look away from you no matter how she's hurting. Someone with great intelligence and trauma is there, hardened over the experiences she's been forced to live through. Still here, still surviving, in this tiny corner of the world.

Since being a captive of the Seylums her hair has darkened into a more reddish pink, her eyes too, have lost a lot of their light. The sarcastic smile she used to wear is more often a displeased scowl, as if she were cursing the world. Can anyone bring the light back into her eyes?

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♙Is it the happiness you dreamed of?♙
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☛ ⓁⒾⓀⒺⓈ
❥ Lies | It's entertaining when done right.
❥ Strategy| It's like solving a puzzle game!
❥ Safety| Too much danger for too long can break a person.
❥ Literature | It's like escaping into another world temporarily.









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❝Is the despair worth the smiles?❞
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☛ ⒹⒾⓈⓁⒾⓀⒺⓈ
⌦ Lies | They ruined her life, once.
⌦ Sympathy | Flo wants to survive on her own power.
⌦ Enemies | Trying to understand them only gives them another chance to hurt you.






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ⓆⓊⒾⓇⓀⓈ
Eye Roll| Even now, she still has it.
Tail Rub| Some things never change.
Mocking Laugh| Don't worry, it's probably not personal.


[center]


ⓌⒺⒶⓀⓃⒺⓈⓈⒺⓈ
Shattered| The Third Impact broke her and she needs to go back together again.
Conniving| Flo can't help but try to control others.
Paranoid| Trust is a luxury not everyone can afford to give.
Lungs| Messiah wanted her to struggle with Emphysema yet again.




ⓈⓉⓇⒺⓃⒼⓉⒽⓈ
Stubborn| Strong willed and determined to achieve her goals.
Intellect| Her mind is ever sharp, like it's always been.
Veteran| A veteran of the Third Impact, she's got lots of experience.
Pragmatic| It's always good to keep efficiency in mind.




ⒻⒺⒶⓇⓈ
Fear of being powerless| Those without power can never change anything.
Fear of being a burden| Flo has to pull more than her own weight.
Fear of her own self| Once upon a time, she hurt Echo. Hopefully, never again.

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♙ The divine comedy you keep on showing me♙
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{☛ ⓅⒺⓇⓈⓄⓃⒶⓁⒾⓉⓎ☚}
At the end of the world
The beautiful eyes looking
From the Ark of Naglfar
See inverted shadow pictures
The frozen cocoon breaks open
And the seven birds are hatched

If you look at the children
Playing with the stars
Inside the celestial globe model
For billions of years, you should see
The soaring ship Naglfar crossing
The sky of undimmed lustre
And the boundless land.

At the terminal sea
Aboard Naglfar, among the spread beautiful arms
Dance inverted shadow pictures
The frozen cocoon breaks open
And the seven wisdoms are born

If you look at the playthings
Inside the infinite corridor world model
That is not even dead, you should see
The shining fingerprints of the Gods
Taking a map of the world
And from the frozen cocoon
The ship Naglfar setting forth.




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❝I will show you Looking Glass House.❞
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{☛ ⓅⓁⒶⒸⒺ ⓄⒻ ⓄⓇⒾⒼⒾⓃ ☚}
London, England
{☛ ⒻⒶⓂⒾⓁⓎ ☚}
Addison LaFleur | Mother | Baroness Impati | Martin LaFleur | Father | Dead
Aidan LaFleur | Brother | Dead | Gerald Vale | Uncle | Dead
Pandora Vale | Cousin | Missing | Echo King | Soulmate | Rehab
{☛ ⒽⒾⓈⓉⓄⓇⓎ ☚}
Once upon a time there was a girl who fell ill. It was a tragedy of course and she lost most all of her friends in the years to come, keeping only a certain Harris Stanstead as the only one who cared enough to keep her around. She had a cousin too, who she had romantic relations with, Pandora Vale was a precious existence in her life. Supported by an overbearing brother Aidan and an overprotective father, no one believed she could be more than what she was. The Second Impact came as a tragedy. Pandora went missing, Martin gave his life to save hers, making a deal with the Baroness of Resurrection herself, Harris lost his entire family. London had become a city of tears.

Once upon a time a girl dreamed she could become more than just a statistic, more than just another number, another girl who died of illness. She rose above her status and joined the Tower Society, wanting to prove she could be more than everyone believed her to be. After the trauma that was the Second Impact, she knew what her calling was. Pairing together with a spitfire who called herself Echo, Mara decided to cast aside her old self. She would be someone new, someone strong, and thus, she became Fluorspar. The pair rose through the ranks, making friends, making enemies along the way. They struggled with Seele, joined Team Lupin, and fought for the sake of humanity's continued survival. But Echo made a deal with the Kings and Flo would forever be changed by that deal, slowly becoming a demon.

The Third Impact began as Baroness Zinnia let them loose and the war for the Yggdrasil Seed began. Flo and Echo suffered together under the Kings, who drove to separate them and break their bond. Echo became Nova, Flo became Zinnia, and both Baronesses were fated to be enemies. Under the remnants of the Tower Society they were forced to kneel and as adversaries, were forced to pretend to be allies. With many friends lost along the way, they finally fought against the Kings, dying and being reborn thanks to the wishes of a certain spider, lost to the annals of history.

Baby Flo and Echo were given a second chance. With much difficulty the babies grew into children, into fighters capable of their own fight. Echo paired with Hawk, Flo with her old friend, Harris turned Samurai, and the four traveled to Berlin to fight the Third Impact, only to be captured. Flo was harvested for her time crystals and Echo was made into Lipidus's bride. Hawk was now a vampire and Samurai, a forced breeding animal. Flo, a plaything for Baron Messiah, was one day freed by an orphan hybrid Dominic, and a new fate opened up for the pink girl now.





ⒸⓄⓅⓎⓇⒾⒼⒽⓉ: ⓉⒽⒺ_ⓆⓊⒺⒺⓃ



So begins...

Mara LaFleur's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




It was hard to travel through enemy territory. With all the activity recently, it was even more risky so Flame and Melody had to be careful. They got a phone call from Dominic that they were needed, and naturally, they picked up the package. Little baby Flo was in the back seat as the pair drove through the highways of Europe to get across the border. "Just like Echo, there's something wrong with her too." Melody sounded as if she were on the verge of tears as Flame handled the wheel. The sky was dark overhead and the wind was rushing by them. They needed to get back to Heidelberg, then they could meet with Wei and figure out what to do with the baby.

"She's not responding, Flame, not even when I sing." Melody didn't know what to do. This reminded her of that horrible day those years ago when the humans kidnapped baby Echo and Flo and traumatized them both. Now they were both broken again despite promising to never let them get hurt again. They all promised to protect the girls and they failed. "I know." Flame's voice was ragged in his throat. "But what can we do? We just have to get her back to safety." The vampires were withdrawing from the front line, but the demons were getting more aggressive. Ever since the Coronation of Queen Riven, Queen Kitra and Baron Messiah were organizing their demons even more than before. The demons weren't going to let the loss of their vampire allies break them.

This was still a war for Berlin.

Flo was unresponsive. She was simply staring at nothing, not reacting to anything anyone did. How badly hurt was she? "Her soul piece, there's something wrong with it." Melody realized in horror, eyes widening. "I can sense it. It's damaged." Was that why the vampires were able to stop time? So the rumors were true that they had been harvesting her soul piece after all, taking little shards at a time. "Wei can do something." Flame muttered, shaking his head as his foot hit the gas. "We just have to believe he can help her." What other choice did they have?

The car suddenly came to a stop. Flame slammed on the brakes as he saw the shadow appear in front of them. "It's Messiah!" Melody screamed, pulling out a gun, a Japanese model, borrowed from the Light Warriors. "We have to stop him! He's here to take Flo back!" Baron Messiah was menacing and it was impossible to read his faceless face. Flame jumped out, sword whirling, striking but then he was knocked backwards. This wasn't like Asmodeus. They all thought Baron Asmodeus was the strongest? Somehow Baron Messiah seemed even more unfathomable.

Before either Flame or Melody could move, Baron Messiah picked Flo up. The winged baby stared, eyes not flickering in the slightest. Did she even know what was going on anymore? "Queen Riven told me to extend this favor. In exchange for breaking my promise to her, I'll give her this." Light glowed and then Flo's body grew... grew... her wings vanished... her Soul Piece was extracted and was clasped firmly into her own hand. "You're human again... for the most part." For some reason they could almost sense a grin from the faceless demon. "I'm excited to see how I fare against the legendary Fluorspar and Echo team. Make sure they're well enough so I can see how that would go."

Against all odds, Flo was human again...

Yet somehow, at night, she still became her same old demon.

Catatonic and broken, she was still useless for now. Returning safely across the border, the decision was made. "We'll take her to Norway." Wei decided. "Flo will attend rehabilitation with Echo."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo sit upright in bed, feeling dizzy. Her breakfast sat uneaten on the table, the blanket warm. The room was quiet, the sound of silence a comfort. It allowed her to better think, even if her thoughts chased each other in circles like cat and mouse. She leaned back against the pillow, curling up in an attempt to go back to sleep. A soft knocking came from outside, Echo stiffening in fear. "Echo?" It was an unfamiliar voice, male. Echo balled herself up and hid beneath the blanket, not wanting to be seen. "I'm coming in," the door opened, two pairs of footsteps walking towards the bed. Echo trembled, her lower lip wobbling with the threat of tears. The blanket lifted, she was terrible at hiding. "Hello Echo," the voice was gentle. "My name is Elliot Abernathy, I'm going to examine you, alright?" Echo shook her head, she did not want this person to look at her.

"Oliver, if you would please?" Oliver sighed, his eyes glowing. Echo stiffened, her body moving on its own, like a puppet. She sat up slowly, her limbs shaking. "Thank you Oliver," he released Echo, the demon falling back against the pillows. "I'm sorry about that, but this is necessary." He checked her over, taking in her wounds, making note of every scratch, gash, and bruise. "Wei is a friend of mine, I'm going to take good care of you, alright?" Echo bit down on her lip, nodding slowly. Elliot was gentle as he took her blood pressure and checked her temperature. He pulled down her pants, having to examine her lower half. Echo was wearing a nappy, the surgery down below to remove her uterus meant that she was still trickling blood as it healed. Not to mention that the muscular atrophy meant she could not get to the bathroom on her own.

Oliver looked away, seemingly uninterested. This was something he did often, it seemed. "There's group therapy tonight," Elliot attempted to converse as he pulled Echo's pajama pants back up. "I would like it if you tried to come, but no one will force you. We'll be coloring," Oliver scoffed and Echo stiffened. "Sorry," the red haired demon muttered, his tail flickering. "D-" Echo began to stutter. "Di-did th-they thr-throw me a-w-away?" Elliot shook his head, sitting on the edge of the bed. "Sometimes demons, through no fault of their own, are hurt badly. Like you, Echo, so they send them to places like these to get better." Most of the time, they would be in places like these until they passed naturally. Many of the demons in rehabilitation facilities had wounds that meant their lifespan was drastically shortened.

Most of them did not get better.

"I'm going to go now, alright? But I would like it if you tried to eat something," Echo watched them leave, the door closing behind them. She sank back against the mattress, having grown used to the soft thrum of the machine that fed her through the nasal tube. She did not want food; the thought of it triggered panic and Echo began to sob, afraid that they would force her. She fell asleep crying, missing the nurse who came to check on her. She left coloring material and the weekly schedule, which would remain the same so that the demons could have a sense of security. Everyday were different kinds of group therapy, meant to make the demons interact with one another. Echo did not want to go, she was afraid of meeting new people. She did not leave the bed, the bed was safe and familiar.

"Echo, you have a visitor." The cheery voice of the nurse chirped. The door opened, a gentle set of footsteps practically gliding across the floor, the familiar clack of heels would have been comforting if Echo did not fear her older sisters. Melody was behind her, Echo could smell her perfume. "Echo?" Why had they come? Echo did not know. She hid beneath the blanket as she always did whenever someone came to see her. "Echo, it's us." They had come to deliver Flourspar, but were not allowed to tell Echo that in case it triggered any sort of panic or past trauma. "Wh-w-why?" Echo whispered as Doll lifted the blanket. "Is that anyway to greet your sisters?" Doll asked, gasping. The blanket fell, her two sisters stepping back. Echo closed her eyes, squeezing them shut tightly. What was wrong? What had she done? Melody lifted it, gentle. She drew Echo onto her lap. "It's okay, it's not you." Well, it was. Doll retrieved a mirror, Echo flinching away from her own reflection.

She did not recognize herself. Her hair had turned white, her eyes having faded to pink. What was this? Why did this happen? Tears brimmed in her eyes, Melody hugged her and Doll placed the mirror down, wrapping her arms around her sister. "It's okay," Doll said softly. "Sometimes when demons go through something traumatizing, their bodies change." Doll sniffed the air, wrinkling her nose. "Come on, let's get you cleaned up, you'll feel much better." Echo shook her head, she did not want to leave the bed. Melody lifted her, the demon sagging in her arms, resigned to her fate. They drew the bath and placed Echo inside, scrubbing her carefully. Echo did feel a bit better, in new pajamas, her hair smelling like lavender. "Do you want tea? I brought your favorite," Doll took earl gray out of her bag, but Echo shook her head, the thought enough to make her nauseous.

"We have to go now," Melody said softly, "but I'll be back to visit soon, alright?" Melody promised. "W-wait," Echo watched as the door closed, her sisters disappearing. Would they truly come back? She wondered, or had they simply said that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Flo felt cold and numb throughout the flight. Even with Flame and Melody and Doll and Christopher with her on the trip to Oslo, Norway's capital city, she felt numb. She stared at nothing, shutting out the world. While Echo as a baby would always cry and emote, baby Flo had been emotionless and cold. She could almost imagine a spider at her side, egging her on.... but there was no spider. There wasn't anything. Fluorspar was with friends, but she was also utterly alone. She watched the sky go by, but it was worthless. An empty sky that only she could see, an empty sky that wouldn't help anyone. "The sky is full of anxious words." She said in her head. "What is going to happen when the sky ends?" But no one could hear because no one was in here with her, it was just her.

It was just empty.

Empty like she was. Like a cup that you couldn't fill, a cup with a hole in the bottom so no matter how much you tried to fill it it wouldn't work. And maybe there was acid on the hole so even if you tried to tape it up or glue it shut the acid would burn through your attempts to fix it. That was what Flo was. She and Echo went to Berlin... and then everything was ruined. There was nothing that could change that. She looked down at her Soul Piece, more than half of it had been chipped away. The fact that she hadn't died altogether was a miracle. Her breathing was faint, her head spun, her lungs were back to the same old they always were. Messiah challenged them but they were broken. The heroes that saved the world from the Kings were not like they were.

Nothing would ever be like before.

She barely noticed anything Elliot was trying to say. Her mind was filled with the cloudy sky, endlessly raining snow onto them. For Norwegians it was par for the course but the rest of the world was not used to the downfall of snow. The endless winter was still a new phenomenon, but the world was empty anyways. "Useless." She said and no one could hear it, no one could ever hear anything. She didn't notice as things were done, didn't notice as someone took her hand, she couldn't even feel it happening.

Flo was processed through security and was marched down the halls of the place. Unfamiliar faces were around but she didn't look at any of them. One soul seemed so familiar but she knew it was Echo, but she also knew it was too late. They would never be like they used to be. They were both just shattered cups, unable to hold any water the world kept pouring at them. "Over, it's over." She said but no one could hear anything, no one ever heard anything she said. She was alone in this place, even though everyone was here. Could Echo sense her? Did it matter if she did?

The pinkette was put in a room and she could sense Echo's soul on the other side of the wall. They were right next to each other. "It doesn't matter." Flo slumped against the wall, not hearing anything the orderlies said, and anything she tried to say no one could hear. It was like she was in another world altogether, but the same world at the same time. Some thing can't be fixed. It would be better to just buy new cups that can hold water.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo tensed when she felt a familiar tug in her gut. She slid out of bed, crying out as she fell. Hope filled her, hope and something else. Dread, anxiety, terror. Echo hugged her legs on the ground; Flo would not recognize her. Echo did not recognize herself, Flo never would. Still, something in Echo had to try. She felt scared as she crawled across the floor, disconnecting herself from the pump. Formula spilled on the floor, but Echo did not care. She reached the wheelchair and pulled herself into, her arms nearly giving at her own weight. There was a remote, Echo tried it, the wheelchair jerking forward. She squeaked in fear and swallowed her terror. Echo shook her head, opening up the door. There was no one in the hallway, it was empty.

Echo slowly made her way to the next room, knocking. There was no answer, but she knew, she felt it in her stomach. Butterflies filled her, anxious, tense. Echo pushed the door open, not knowing what to expect. "F-F-Flo?" Echo stuttered, entering the dark room. The only light came from the window, Norway's sun did not set in the summer, they had an hour of darkness. The curtains were heavy to block out the sun, but Echo's were always open. "F-Fl-Flo, it-it's m-m-me. I-it-it's Ech-Echo," would Flo hear her? Could she still hear? Echo's heart thumped painfully in her chest. "Echo? You can't be in other patient's rooms," the nurse took the handles of the wheelchair, pulling her out. She set Echo back in her bed, side stepping the puddle of formula. "What a mess, I'll clean it up. Don't worry," she felt the familiar tug as she was reconnected.

"I'll come back to change you too, so don't try to sneak off anywhere." Echo sank back against the pillows, feeling strange. It had been Flo, she was sure of it. Her hair was darker than the bubble gum pink, but her features were the same. Had Baron Messiah told the truth? Was Flo truly alive? Echo's shoulders shook, a sob of relief making her hiccup. The nurse returned, seeming to misinterpret Echo's tears. "Oh sweetie, it's okay." She spoke softly, stroking Echo's hair. "Your sisters are gonna come see you again," she pressed the button for the bed to lay flat and changed Echo, checking on her stitches. "It looks like you're healing nicely," they hurt and itched, but Echo did not scratch them. She was used to pain far worse.

"C-c-can I-I s-s-see Fl-Flo?" Echo never spoke to the nurses, she never spoke to anyone. The nurse was surprised, she took pause, then shook her head. "I'm sorry Echo, but patients can't go into one another's rooms for their own safety." She pat Echo's head once more and began to mop up the spill. "I can ask Elliot if we can bring both of you to the common room though." She looked up eagerly, her nub of a tail swishing with hope. It really was Flo then, wasn't it? Echo swallowed hard. The nurse left and returned a few minutes later, Elliot smiling. Oliver hung out in the doorway, he did not seem to like Echo. "I heard you want to see your friend," Echo nodded, then winced and looked away. Did she have the right to ask for anything?

"Alright, I'll make you deal. You drink one cup of water and I'll let you two meet in the common room."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




A strange experiment was going on right about now. Fluorspar placed the soul piece on the nightstand, her move sluggish, as if she were permanently trapped in molasses, or trapped in a lower time. As she placed the soul piece down she could no longer feel Echo's presence. She let out a silent series of coughs, her vision going blank for a few moments until orderlies rushed in, yelling something but they were silent as they yelled, filling her up with the same medical mist that was always in the puffers. They pointed at her and continued speaking and then jotted things down. Flo knew instinctively that she was somehow human again. Yet, she wasn't at the same time. At night, she felt like her old Baroness self, she would grow her wings, her feet would become talons. She destroyed countless socks Melody lent her due to the night transformations. She slowly reached for the soul piece again, glad to feel Echo's -

Wait, Echo was on the move. But where was she going and why? Wheels spun into her room, Echo riding them. She looked - very, very different. Hair white, eyes marred by trauma and horror. Echo opened her mouth and Flo wondered if this was the deciding moment. Was she alone? Could no one break into her world and speak to her and hear her? Would she be alone and empty in this shattered place forever? For all her questions, Fluorspar was given a beautiful answer. Amethyst eyes lit up for a brief moment as Echo's words broke through the barrier. Everything else was empty, but Echo was able to speak to her. "I-" Wait, Echo was already gone. Everything was just so slow...

Time seemed like a blur around her as orderlies bustled in, changing her out of the night gown Melody had dressed her up in. Flo did not struggle, she wouldn't be able to even if she wanted to. Her body was permanently slow, her mind was as well, the world was always a step ahead and the cup with a hole in it was always a step behind, unable to keep up. It was scary. It was lonely. She was now in the pale blue outfit everyone got to wear and then someone came and put her in a chair. Flo was dizzy and her head spun as she was taken out of the room she still felt as if it were an alien's belly and she was in some other place. There were others but Flo did not care.

The pinkette only cared about that one specific person who was pushed to sit beside her. In front of them was some strange children's toy where you pushed beads on a rail track, as if it were a rollercoaster for the beads and bobs. "Only you exist." Flo said, speaking loudly knowing no one else could hear. Not one of the staff noticed at all. Did Echo hear? Were her words getting through? "Echo..." Every word she spoke was slow. Every movement was slow. She was useless now, but at least she wasn't alone. "No one else... can..." She barely even knew how to describe it. Even her movements to try to touch her old friend's face was nigh impossible due to how slow she was.

It was...

... probably for the best.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo looked at the cup of water and swallowed hard. Her hands trembled, acutely aware of their eyes on her. Elliot and the nurse watcher as Echo raised the paper cup to her lips and felt bile rise in her throat. She poured a bit in her mouth, almost instinctively recoiling as it tasted like blood. Echo forced herself to swallow, closing her eyes and drinking the rest of the water. She heaved, forcing herself to keep it down. Echo looked up at Elliot expectantly, who nodded. "Alright, I see no reason why you can't see your friend now. I would like it if you made an effort to go to group therapy, I think easing yourself in will be a good start. Only a minute or two, alright?" Echo barely listened, she was trying to keep her water down.

The nurse lifted her, placing Echo in the wheelchair. She was wearing the pajamas Doll and Melody had brought, a soft cotton night gown that felt lighter than air. It was white with ribbons on the sleeves, Doll had outfitted Echo with an entire wardrobe, it was clear that guilt was eating her older siblings alive, considering the stack of untouched gifts they had left in the corner. Patients were allowed such things of course, as long as they opened them under supervision and it was nothing that could cause serious injury to themselves or others. Echo had been avoiding the gifts, as they were out of reach and today was the first time she left the bed. The nurse placed the blanket around her shoulders, noticing the shiver that Echo was perpetually plagued with.

The nurse took the handles, pushing Echo to a room reserved for their meeting. They sat across from a toy meant for children, but Echo didn't care about that. She looked at the girl she feared would no longer recognize her, those amythest colored eyes unmistakable. Tears welled up in the corner of Echo's own eyes, her voice trembling. "F-F-Flo," Echo whispered, afraid to reach out. Afraid that if she tried, the illusion would waver and Flo would disappear. She was confused by Flo's words. "O-only m-me-me?" Echo whispered? Why could only she hear Flo? Echo swallowed hard. "Th-thi-this wh-who-whole t-t-time, I-I tho-tho-thoug-thought you-you we-we de-dead." Echo sobbed, a big, hiccuping, cry as she fell forward, relieved that Flo was okay.

She had not eaten Flo. She had not been forced to eat her. The shards of her soul piece that she had been given were not real. Flo was here, she was alive, in relatively one piece. The two of them were damaged, deemed broken beyond repair. They were sent far away, to one of the highest points on earth. The facility, while brand new and state of the art, had many windows that overlooked the Norwegian fields. There were mountains with snow covered peeks and sheep that roamed in the meadow. If you stood on the highest floor, where the windows were largest, you could even see a glacier.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo now had white hair, now had large soulful eyes rather than eyes that could peer at you and fill you with her endless sass. She still had the single tooth poking out from her lips. Echo was here, but she had changed greatly. Just like the time when she had become a dog, except now Flo knew better than to make the same mistake twice. She wasn't going to let the same pattern of tragedy happen... though, slow like this, she was never really going to be able to do anything again. "Don't.... know...?" It was hard to keep up, Echo was talking so fast. The pinkette was afraid, afraid that if she took too long time would pass her by and this chance would be gone. "Can't... hear... anyone else... too..." It was all a deafening heart pounding silence. Only Echo could she hear, only Echo could hear her.

The truth was that Echo really had been forced to eat pieces of Flo. It really was her tongue, her fingers, her eyeballs. But Baron Messiah would always give them back so they could harvest more for Echo's nutritional needs. Flo had been forced to hear it over and over again, Echo slowly breaking as she cannibalized her friend. No, this truth was one Echo would not be told. She wouldn't need to know that it really had been Flo she ate. "Not... only.... alive..." Flo's arm fought the temporal tide as it tried to move, so slowly, oh so slowly, everything was so dreadully agonizingly slow. Like a crab her fingers pried open, revealing the Soul Piece, pink and shining, yet shattered, cracked, large chunks missing. "I'm human... but at night, I'm... demon again." She didn't understand it. It didn't make sense to her. Had Echo ever heard of this before?

What was this strange place? She didn't know what it was or what purpose it held, only that Echo was here. It seemed that the orderlies were trying to take care of them but with how Flo was somehow cut off from everyone else, there was no way to tell them. "Where is... here? Are... we safe?" She asked, amethyst eyes looking as if they were drowning in confusion, in misery. She felt like a bowl of curry, except it was a sad kind of curry that didn't have any spice or flavor. She also felt like a cup with a hole in it, a cup that could not hold any liquid.

To the outside, unless you were Echo, you saw Fluorspar as any normal catatonic patient. Someone that was unresponsive, someone locked inside their own mind, someone that did not and could not move. Truth be told when Flo moved, her body wasn't truly moving .She could move her arm and pick up a glass but in reality that glass would not move and her arm would continue to be still. They watched as Echo spoke to Flo but they had no idea what was being said or what Echo could see. "Glad... to not... be with Seylums... never again...." She shivered, just remembering it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo listened with rapt attention, it was as though no one else existed in that moment. There were only two people, Echo and Flourspar. "Y-you-you're ca-cat-catatonic," Echo explained softly. She knew of course, because she too, had lived in a period of catatonia. The outside world did not exist, in this moment, it was only them. "B-but we-we-we're st-still con-connected," it was their soul bond. After all this time, the two of them were still connected. Even if they had no contract, the two did not need one. The red string of fate intertwined them, strangling them like a vise. Echo did not know if this was a good or a bad thing, but she was glad, at least, that she had the closure of seeing Flo again. If anything, some sort of invisible burden had lifted itself off of her shoulders.

The grief was still there, ever present, embedded in her very soul. Echo could not help but feel as though this was her failure. Not only in saving herself, in saving Hawk, but in saving Flo and Samurai. This entire time, she had been merely a dungeon away and yet, Echo had been unable to lift a finger. Paralyzed by fear, trapped in a dungeon of nightmares. Between the torture and being used as a toy to test Iflet's psychological drugs, Echo had not known Flo was even there until Baron Messiah had brought Echo directly to her. The white haired demon reached out at last, her hands trembling. She still felt as though this were not real, that this was all an illusion. They were being watched of course, by both the nurses and Elliot.

"Bu-but y-you ar-are he-here an-and th-that i-is en-eno-enough." She touched Flo's hand, then flinched and recoiled. What if she had scared her friend? Echo teared up once more, fearful that she could have unintentionally hurt her. "I-I've ne-never-" Echo stopped, she had heard of that, hadn't she? Her eyes widened and she blinked in realization. Echo bit down on her lip and shook her head, it wasn't the same. That girl, the witch, she had been possessed. Flo was not possessed by a demon, she was more like... a ware-demon. "D-don't kn-n-know," Echo shook her head once more. She was not hiding it, per say, she merely felt as though the information did not pertain to the situation.

"No-Nor-Norway," Echo's voice was soft, she wiped her tears on her pajama sleeves. "It-it's a reh-rehab ho-house." Echo attempted to explain. "We-we we-we-r-were retired." Did Flo understand? This was a place where they would be for the rest of their lives, a place no one expected to ever emerge from. Echo felt a sob hiccup in her throat, she had never expected to retire. She had always expected to be worked to death like the other demons, or sent to be a birth mother. She was no longer viable for children, it was the only reason she had been sent her and not there. In Flo's catatonic state, she too, was not viable.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




The word rang in her head and bounced around so that for a second Fluorspar could barely understand what was being said. It was a strange word, but as she heard it it resonated within her. It was the only thing that made sense with her strange current state right now. She didn't like it, but it had to be true. "Catatonic..." She rolled the word on her tongue, it feeling kind of like a crushed up pill of medicine, bitter and foul, yet forced down her throat. Flo looked as if she had aged then years just being told that. "That's... not... good. Sorry.... I'm still not back yet then." Echo was her lifeline, wasn't she? Echo was Flo's only link to the outside world. Echo was her only chance to escape.

"I... I'm counting on you. Echo... you have to... help me. Somehow." Flo didn't want to be stuck like this forever but she wasn't sure what else to do. It was good that they had their spirit bond, that they were so close that this was still possible. It was a miracle Echo had broken into her world. Just like always, Echo was going to have to save her. "Even... without your blonde hair... your spunky smile... you're still my Echo." The pinkette needed her former partner to know that they were still partners. That no matter how they may change, Fluorspar would never turn her back on Echo again. "We're together. We... can find... happiness." Echo touched Flo and Flo nodded, giving her a faint smile, trying to fight through the slow molasses feeling flooding her entire body. "Will... always... be... friends."

Echo didn't know what was wrong with her either, but the former spitfire did know where they were, did know what this place was and why they were here. A Norwegian facility for retired and damaged demons to recover and regain themselves. This was where they were. The Third Impact was still going on but no longer would they be taking part of it. Yet Flo was not satisfied with this. There were still so many unanswered questions. Where was Pandora? Where was Pray? Why were they still missing, all these years later? Why was no one able to find them? Would they ever find out the truth behind their disappearance? "Do you want... stay retired? Or... try to... heal and fight?" Flo didn't know what was best. What did Echo want to do from now on? "If together... we can always... return to the fight." If they were together, Flo believed that they could accomplish anything.

All too soon their moment was cut apart. The orderlies did not understand, they grabbed the handles and that was when Flo realized that she was still in her wheelchair. Her body was still there, no matter what her spirit imagined itself able to do. Maybe the closer her body came to being awake, the less it would feel as if she were perpetually drowning in thick muddy water. She was put back into her room, where she imagined no one knew quite what to do with her. How do you help a catatonic person if you can't get in? Echo really was her only shot, wasn't she? Flo began to stare at the wall because she didn't have anything else to do in here.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo did not know how to answer Flo's question. "I-I do-don't kn-n-know," she whispered, terrified of the prospect of the future. "Wa-wait wh-where a-are y-you tak-taking F-f-Flo?" Echo asked as the nurses wheeled her away. "Sorry Echo, but you're time is up," Elliot shook his head. The nurse took the handles of her chair, taking Echo somewhere else, somewhere unfamiliar. She stiffened, terror in her eyes as they entered a room full of others. "How cute!" The one with pink hair squealed, bounding over. Echo squeaked in terror, pushing herself further into the wheelchair to make herself smaller. "Stop that," Oliver barked, "you're scaring her." Echo looked between them, her eyes already brimming with tears. "Oh-oh, sorry," the pink haired one stepped back, the nurse parked the chair in the circle.

They were all demons, Echo realized, all of whom were broken, just like her. "Welcome to group therapy," Elliot took a seat at the head chair. "Why don't we start with introducing ourselves for the benefit of our newest addition?" His smile was kind, even if Echo was already crying. "My name is Elliot and my job here, as head doctor, is to make sure that you are all safe and comfortable for as long as your stay." His unspoken words were even louder, that this was a place Echo would be at indefinitely. Did she want to recover? The thought made her hopeful, but it also scared her. "Alright, your turn," Oliver grunted, "I'm Oliver and I'm here to make sure that all of you keep your toes in line," he sneered, but the pink haired one laughed, as though this was the funniest thing she had ever heard.

"I'm Gem," the pink haired one finally spoke, "and I'm certifiably crazy," she giggled. The next one's ears twitched, her ears as white as snow. "Allison," she spoke, her voice a low purr. "And I was abused by my Masters," she wore a crop top and sweat pants, her long white hair braided behind her. There was a large scar criss crossing her abdomen. Echo noticed the subtle flinch when anyone around her shifted. She knew, of course, because she did the same thing. "My name is Bex," Echo was surprised at the masculine voice that came from one who had such soft, feminine features. "And I hate humans," he bared his fangs, Elliot scratching his head. "Yes, yes, well, in a sense, most here hate humans." He shook his head, the last one, the one with horns that glowed in a soft pulse, was the next to go. "My name is Ash," that was the only information he offered.

It was her turn? Echo stiffened, her shoulders shaking in fear. "It's okay," the pink one, Gem, spoke, attempting to reassure her. "You don't have to tell us if you don't want to!" Echo shook her head, biting down on her lip in an attempt to fight the instinctual fear. "E-Ech-Echo," she whispered at last. "That's pretty," Allison smiled. Bex reached out, then thought better of it. "We're all broken Echo," he said gently instead. "We're all here for each other," Elliot tapped his pen against his clipboard to get their attention. Echo jumped back at the sudden sound, letting out a squeak. "Today we're going to be coloring," he announced, the nurses coming forward with materials for all of them. "Let's try to work to keep the colors in the lines, alright?"

The next morning, Echo awoke to a soft knocking. She pulled the blanket over her head, attempting to hide as the nurse opened the door. "Echo, you have visitors," came the low melodic tone the nurse carried. Echo did not come out of her hiding spot. "Be careful to keep your voice down," the nurse warned her guests. There was a shuffling as they came closer, "Echo?" A familiar voice asked. Slowly, the nurse removed the blanket to reveal her head, a gasp coming from whoever it was. Echo struggled to sit up, her arms shaking underneath her weight. "Echo?" Cal asked, "is that really you?" She nodded slowly, flinching when he came closer. Cal looked the same as always, but Shadow had grown substantially. He was much taller and had muscles, no longer so lanky. "We brought gifts," Shadow said, placing down a wrapped box. They did not know that Flo was here, naturally, as Flo was being largely kept a secret.

"How are you?" Cal asked, reaching for her hand. Echo squeaked in fear, moving away. "Sorry," he jumped back quickly, startling her again. "It's okay," the nurse said with a smile as she went about throwing open the curtains to flood the room with light. "She's always like this," Echo shook her head, fighting back tears. She did not want to be like this anymore, Echo decided in that moment, Cal's eyes filled with sorrow. She could not so much as look up to meet his gaze.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Unfortunately for Flo, her time with Echo was now at an end and she was forced back into her room. There was nothing to do, even as orderlies shoved something into her stomach to make sure she had nutrition and was eating, even as they put monitors on her wrists to check her vitals every time she swapped back and forth from human and demon. She felt it all but couldn't move, couldn't fight, couldn't even scream. She wasn't given the benefit of anesthetics, they figured that since she was catatonic it didn't matter. Was it standard practice to give anesthetics? Maybe they didn't bother because supplies were low. It made sense, but it still was frustrating to deal with. Flo was exhausted by the time she was put back into her room after the operation.

The moon was still looming over her as she awoke. There was a jukebox in her room, she could tell it was on, playing some song by Panic! At the Disco, but the pinkette couldn't hear it. It was disappointing, it would have been nice to be able to hear something like music to break her out of the monotony. It was simply not fun to have to live like this. Was Echo the key to waking up? Was Echo the only one who could save her? Flo sighed, curling up. Why were they even alive? What was the point of it all? Why was she trapped in this half dead state? She closed her eyes, wondering what would happen if she just never woke up. Flo had the feeling that it was possible. She could simply drift off and become brain dead. The more she thought of it, the more she realized it was true. This was her escape.

...But Echo needed her. Echo still needed her! She couldn't leave... not yet. Not until Echo was doing better. Not until Echo was back in fit condition. Even if no one else believed they could get out of this facility, the pinkette would always believe in her partner in crime. Echo would not have to spend the rest of her days here in the loony bin. One way or another she would be free. She could suddenly hear clapping. Was Echo here? Flo looked around... and saw someone else. She had green curly hair and a wide grin, looking amused. "I didn't expect to find another one of me. Another catatonic person. Furthermore, it looks like you can hear me! That's wonderful!"

Wait, she looked kind of familiar. Almost like someone Flo had met a few times before. "Are you... aren't you related to... Baron Wernicke?" The Baron of Confusion. Flo had seen him a few times, but she was never able to actually fight against him. They never had the opportunity. "Yes, that's correct. I'm his twin sister, but I'm nowhere near as powerful as a Baron." She drew closer, grinning. "You can call me Anya Anranrara." She said, beaming. "Let's escape catatonia together!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




"You don't want to open your gifts?" The nurse asked gently as she placed a cup of water down in front of Echo. She had to drink it if she wanted to see Flo again today. Echo shook her head, "That's okay!" Cal said quickly, he opened up the bag, opening it for her. "We thought you might like this," it was Harry Potter, a brand new book, but Echo did not do much reading these days. "We also brought this," a stuffed cat, Shadow revealed. He placed it on the bed, "We'll be going now. Um, Charlotte wanted to see you, but we told her she couldn't." Echo nodded in appreciation, unable to meet their gaze. The two boys left, Cal sparing a glance back as the door to the room closed. Echo's shoulders slumped in relief and the nurse laid the bed flat to change her nappy.

"Do you want to get dressed today?" Echo shook her head, "but your sister brought you so many wonderful dresses. Come now, you'll feel much better if you put some clothing on." Echo was not given much choice, she squirmed as the nurse changed her, but did not fight it. "See? Look how pretty you look!" The demon winced, leaning away from the nurse at the sudden inclination of an octave. She drank her water quietly, forcing it down her throat once more. "That's a good girl, I'm going to draw a bath for you later, alright?" Echo nodded as the nurse lifted her and placed her in the wheelchair, they were allowed outside for an hour a day as a group activity. They stopped just outside the door, where coats and snow boots were passed around. Echo was outfitted for an adventure with how thick of a down the jacket provided. "Good morning Echo," Elliot approached her, "I heard you drank your water."

Echo nodded, flinching away from him. "You'll see Flo a bit later, alright?" Echo nodded once more as the door opened, the cold biting into her skin. She saw a balcony, her only way out. She crawled, dragging her beaten, bloody body across the carpet and teetering on the edge. "N-no," Echo whispered. She screamed, clawing at the jacket, it was much too cold. The snow blew in her face, there were eyes on her. Iflet was going to drag her back down, Echo's heart thumped in her chest, she wanted to vomit. Someone was shaking her, the wheelchair was quickly brought back inside. "Echo, Echo, you're safe. It's alright," the demon choked on a sob. A needle went into her skin and the world slowed, beginning to spin. No, this was not castle Seylum, she realized as the nurse returned her to her room, where it was safe.

"Too big of a step, I think." A voice fell into step beside them, "we'll need to take it much slower," the nurse uttered something in reply, but Echo was hardly aware of what it could be. The jacket and boots were peeled off, she was placed back in bed, with her stuffed bear and cat. The nurse tucked her into the blanket to warm her up. There was another gift, this one from Charlotte. It was another plushie, this one a rabbit. Echo was vaguely aware of all three joining her underneath the blanket. Her mind swirled and her eyes closed, heavy and dizzy.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Even though they both had catatonia, this simply did not make sense. How could two catatonic patients be able to communicate with each other like this? What was going on? "This... doesn't make... sense." Flo winced, feeling an awful aching pain in her midsection. It made sense that it hurt, given the operation she was forced to undergo and the tube that was inserted to make sure she didn't starve. "Its not because we're both catatonic, though that is a part of it." Anya grinned, clapping her hands again. "My power is mental projection. It's just, I'm so weak right now, that you're the only one that was able to see me so far." It was probably because Flo was catatonic, so her mind was easier to access and project into.

Well, that was one mystery solved. "So, what happened to you?" The sun was rising, orderlies were coming in and doing their morning tasks. Yue tried to ignore the odd sensation of being sponged down while communicating with this apparent new ally. "Vampires. Me and my partner were tortured for years. I guess at some point my mind broke." Echo broke too, but in a different way. What could they do now? Flo partly wanted to die, but she didn't want to just abandon Echo like that and leave her here all alone. She wanted to escape here with Echo, with both of them fit and strong again. They were supposed to be the strongest pair! "I won't let us end like this." Anya looked at her with sympathy in her eyes. "I see. That makes sense. My story isn't quite so dramatic. But, well, I-" Suddenly Anya flickered out of existence as if she didn't exist in the first place. Flo stared at the space where she had been standing, but couldn't figure out what just happened.

Hopefully Anya would be able to project into her a second time.

Time floated by endlessly, seeming meaningless as Flo hugged her knees and closed her eyes, trying to fight the urge to fall into the forever sleep. When she closed her eyes she could see it, it was like a sparkling garden beckoning to her, so tempting, so longing. Flo kind of wished she could go back... but every time she thought of giving into eternity she saw Echo's crying face. "I gotta..." Flo shook her head, wondering where all of her motivation went. It came and went like a river that couldn't decide if it wanted to flow, or if it wanted to become a lake and stop there.

Some indeterminate amount of time later Flo saw the orderlies dragging her onto the wheelchair, loading the oxygen machines and the feeding machine onto the back of the wheelchair and they took her out to the table. Was it to see Echo again? Flo could barely even keep track of time. Was it tomorrow? "What... day is... it?" She asked, feeling bleary. "I feel... like I'm disappearing...?" She groaned, trying to rub the exhaustion out of her eyes. "There's another... catatonic... Anya Anranrara. Wernicke's sister." Wernicke... was that old bastard still at Castle Seylum? Was he still alive even now?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo took in a shuddering breath, uncertain when she awoke. There was someone sitting on the end of her bed, someone familiar. "Oh, you're awake!" Cress Winter chirped, as vibrant as the sun. Echo stiffened, but it was too late to hide. "Oh, don't worry, I won't hurt you. Keron and I brought you presents," the knight flashed a smile, placing the potted plants on the book shelf. "I know you probably don't remember me much, but I was in the area, well, Ellen and I both were, so we thought we'd come and visit after hearing you were admitted here." Well, in truth, a favor had been called in for Ellen Winter to take a look at Flourspar to see if there was something she could do that the rest of them could not, if the demon tech genius had a way to fix her.

"O-okay," Echo stuttered. A knock on the door made her squeak in fear, Keron strode forward, looking concerned. Echo looked down, twisting the blanket between her fists. The red haired demon placed a hand on Echo's head, the smaller one writhing in discomfort of being touched. "If there's anything I know about King's," she said kindly, "it's that they never give up." The two left, realizing that Echo would not do much more than tremble. The nurse replaced their presence, undressing the demon and sitting her in front of the mirror while she ran the tub. Echo examined her scars, the collection of surgeries, claw marks, iron chains, and others were a morbid collection. Even the nurse fell silent after unraveling the bandages. Thankfully they no longer bled, the stitches were healing nicely, but they were kept covered for safety's sake.

The bath was filled with pink bubbles and their presence was oddly calming. Echo shook as the nurse scrubbed her hair and washed her body. She sat her on the drier, warm air blowing on the demon from all directions. Then the nurse replaced the nappy, brushed her hair, wrapped her wounds, and at last dressed her. "Would you like to go see your friend?" Echo nodded, hoping that it was Flo she was referring to. The nurse set her in the wheelchair and connected the nasal tube to the pump so that Echo could be fed. Since she was at last getting nutrition, her hair was looking brighter, and her tail was beginning to grow back.

"F-Flo!" Echo was so happy to see her, the nub of her tail began to wag. "It-it's Tu-Tue-Tues-Tuesday," it had not been very long since Flo had arrived. Already, they were making certain that she was hydrated and had the proper set up. That was good, Echo would not want her to waste away. "Pl-ple-please d-d-don't di-dis-disappear," the demon stuttered, nervous that Flo would slip between her fingers once more. Her eyes welled up with tears almost instantly. She did not know who this Anya Anranara was, but Echo hoped that she could comfort Flo when Echo was not around.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




It was Tuesday now? Did Flo miss an entire day or something? She didn't know and it bothered her. She thought about shutting her eyes to mentally process this but realized that by doing so she was at risk of fading away down the stream into disappearance. She needed to stick around so she took a deep breath and imagined punching herself. It hurt, but was barely noticeable compared to the permanent throbbing pain in her stomach that tried to heal from getting a tube stuck into it. "I'm losing time." She said quietly. "Time passes that I don't notice. And then it's super slow otherwise?" It was frightening. How much time did she spend in mindless stasis? She didn't like this. Was it even possible to escape being like this?

Echo did not want her to disappear. Echo wanted to keep her here somehow, wherever here was. Apparently Norway, but there was no way to know. What if they were lying to Echo? How would she know? "I don't want to either. Anya's been stuck in for a while too." No doubt she had her own sets of trauma and tragedies to work through. It was all so annoying that she was like this, that she couldn't communicate to the order - wait. "I'm in pain... do you see the tube? In my stomach? It hurts and I wasn't given pain medication." Was this the right decision? Would it just make her mind even more loopy? "Can you... talk to them or something?" Flo felt dizzy so she curled up, not really understanding what was hap-

Her eyes opened. There was a familiar face in her room. Who was this per - oh, it was Ellen Winter. How had she gotten here? Ellen was scanning her with some strange machine that didn't make sense, as if she was trying to accomplish something. Hunting for ghosts, maybe? Flo didn't know so she watched curiously. Ellen opened her mouth and it was evident she was saying something but Flo could not hear it at all. She glanced at her device for a few moments and then shook her head, not getting the result she wanted. There was a strange insignia on the device - she didn't recognize the company. VorTech, apparently, helped supply electronics for Ellen to craft this machine. Too bad it didn't work.

"This happens sometimes." Anya said, popping in for a visit. "You missed three days. Echo's probably a wreck!" Flo stared at her. Three days, she lost three days? "Why? What's going on?" The pinkette did not enjoy this. What if one day she just didn't wake up? "For now, try screaming? Maybe Echo will be able to hear it." Anya suggested, eyes earnest. She knew Echo was both of their only hopes, somehow, somehow. "Echo!" Flo cried, trying to make her voice come out. Did Echo hear it? "I'm awake! I'm here! Wait, don't yell back, what if you get in trouble?!" Anya glanced at Flo and had another suggestion. "You guys should make a new blood contract. That way you can always feel each other, much stronger than you already can."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo nodded, she would talk to them, she would do her best to. "E-Elliot-" Echo tugged on his sleeve. "F-F-Flo is-s i-in p-p-pain," he quirked a brow. "How can you tell?" He asked, kneeling down to her level, which Echo hated him for. "Sh-she t-t-told m-me." Elliot rose, his expression curious more than anything. He had watched their interactions of course, noticing their one sided conversations. "I'll do something about it, don't worry." He assured her, the nurse taking Echo away, the demon looked over her shoulder, watching as she and Flo were separated once more. Echo did not like this, of course, but she knew that Flo was fragile and needed to be treated. Elliot wanted her to try group therapy again, even if Echo herself did not feel that she was ready for it.

They sat in the meeting room, coloring quietly. Echo was doing her best to keep to herself, attempting to keep her tremble under control. "That's nice," Allison came up behind her, Echo jumping in surprise and dropping the crayon. Allison knelt to lift it, handing it back to Echo, who hesitated, then took it. "They got you bad, didn't they?" Allison asked, her tail swishing back and forth. She wore a black shirt and sweatpants, her ears trained keenly on any source of sound they could pick up. Echo looked at her lap, feeling tears of shame sting her eyes. "They got all of us," Allison shifted, looking around as though someone one else could be listening in on their secret. "I can't even use my power anymore," she admitted. "Can't give birth, I'm basically a dead girl walking."

Echo swiped at the tears in her eyes, attempting to meet Allison's gaze. "S-sorry," the demon managed to whisper. "I'm just trying to tell you, we've all been dragged through horse shit. We've gotta stick together kid," kid. That was funny, Echo's appearance was deceivingly young. "Allison, what are you doing over there?" Oliver asked testily, "it's supposed to be quiet coloring, leave the new girl alone." Allison stiffened, Echo had noticed, she mostly did so when men addressed her. With her tail between her legs, Allison shuffled back over to her own corner. When coloring was done, the nurse brought Echo back to her own room, where it was mercifully quiet.

The little demon wanted to see Flo again, but Elliot denied her, explaining that someone was looking over Flourspar to see if there was anyway they could help her. Echo squirmed, but waited patiently, drinking a cup of water each day, just in case she could see her. Several days had passed when Echo awoke to her screaming. "F-Flo!" Echo panted as she sat upright, her head spinning. She looked around in a panic, sliding out of bed and collapsing against the floor. The bed alarm went off, as Echo was not supposed to leave it unassisted. "Echo!" The nurse ran in, as though she had been waiting. "What is it? What's wrong?"

"F-Fl-Flo is-is," she was lifted back onto the bed. "It's alright, she's the same as ever."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo stiffened when she felt someone settle on the bed. A hand touched her head, brushing her blonde locks back. “I told you I would come visit you silly,” Hawk spoke slowly so as not to startle her. Echo had been there for almost two months now. “I’m sorry it took me so long,” her red eyes glinted in the low light of the room. Echo stiffened each time Hawk’s hand touched her head. “Still that bad, huh?” She murmured, rising. Hawk opened up the curtains, allowing light to flood the room. Echo blinked, attempting to hide further beneath the blanket. “I don’t think you’ll ever get better if you just sit in the dark.” Gwenyth’s voice was soft, her gaze nothing but loving as Echo whimpered. After all, she had practically raised the demon. “You’ve been through so much, but you’ve recovered before. You can bounce back from this too and when you do, I’ll be waiting.” As though she were a dream, Hawk disappeared. Echo slowly sat up, reassured by the solitude of the room.

“H-help,” she whimpered, feeling the warmth beneath her as her left side grew weak. It was something that hadn’t happened in nearly three years, Echo was having a stroke. Her face sagged as she tried to get out of bed, her thoughts jumbled. She no longer knew where she was or what was happening, only that the alarm on the bed went off when she fell, collapsing on the floor. The door opened, Elliot rushing inside, Oliver by his side. “Echo?” Elliot asked calmly, kneeling down on the floor. The five year old demon did not respond, her thoughts slow. “Grrhhgg,” she gurgled, choking. “I read this in her chart, let’s get the nurse and bring her to the infirmary.” Her disease was rearing its ugly head once more, the thinning of veins in her brain. Elliot gave her something to relax, her muscles unclenching, her tongue still feeling heavy in her mouth. “Echo, if you can hear me, lift one finger,” none of her fingers lifted. “Alright let’s start pushing... we’ll get a scan....” his words faded as the world grew dark.

When Echo awoke, she felt disoriented and confused. How had she gotten here? Her head hurt, her eyes could barely focus on the figure sitting on the end of her bed. No, there were two figures. “We had a mission just over the valley, we came as soon as we heard.” Doll and Christopher were both wearing faces of concern. Echo whimpered, “It’s okay,” Doll said softly, crawling closer. Echo stiffened, but Doll wrapped her arms around Echo, rocking her back and forth regardless. Oxygen blew through the cannula in her nose, tickling her nostrils. There were more machines beside her, monitoring her. “You had another stroke, you haven’t had one in a long time,” not since the surgery in Boston from her trip in America, a long time ago.

“I wish there was someone to kill, I’ll hurt them for hurting you,” but Iflet Seylum was dead. Her and Gavyn had perished for their crimes, that much, Doll was certain of. “Wh-where?” Echo panted, coughing. “Shh,” Christopher shushed her, “you’re in the infirmary. They wanted to keep a close eye on you,” his expression, normally carefully neutral, had slipped into a mask of concern. Perhaps having a baby had made him go soft? Echo whimpered, looking between Doll and Christopher. “You’ll go back to your room soon,” Doll assured her, “they’re just monitoring you for another.” Flo, had Echo missed her calls of pain? Echo winced, her head throbbing. How selfish she was, to have a stroke when Flo was suffering even more so.

Elliot pushed the curtains back, Oliver right behind him. “Good morning, you’ve been asleep for a while.” How long was a while? “About a day and a half,” the sunshine entered the room, Echo wincing at how bright is was. “I took some pictures of your brain while you were out,” he pushed a button on the IV, the headache beginning to ebb, her head feeling dizzy. He held up the picture for them to see, but mostly Doll, since she was listed as Echo’s medical proxy if Wei could not be contacted. “It looks like your old shunt is infected and your disease is coming back because of it, more than likely it was during your captivity that it started.” Echo stiffened at the mention of it, Christopher shooting Elliot a look. “Wh-wha-what d-do-do w-we d-do?” Echo managed to stutter, surprising Doll. “For now, keep an eye on it, it was only one stroke, so it could be nothing, or it could be something. Either way, we’ll be keeping an eye on you.”

Doll carried Echo back to her room, Christopher pushing the pole that had the pump for her tube and the pain medicine that went through the IV. “H-Ha-Hawk?” Echo stuttered, wanting to know if her old jeager had come to visit. “Hawk is being holed up in London,” Doll said sadly. “She doesn’t qualify for another demon, she’s still too torn up about you.” Echo slumped in Doll’s arms. Why were there so many things wrong with her? She couldn’t help Flo, she couldn’t even help herself. “You’re going to be alright, okay?” Doll tucked Echo into bed, noticing the pile of presents in the corner that had yet to be opened. “You’re one of the strongest demons I know.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Big wide eyes, innocent to everything, looking up at her with nothing but trust. Flo slapped her away, her own amethyst eyes dismissive and cruel, kicking away the dog that just wanted to be loved. "Floo?" The dog asked, tilting her head, cute blonde bob bouncing, tail curling up adorably on her back. "You're not the one I want. You should go and kill yourself on the fence." The dog made a painful whine, but nodded. She trotted over to a fence, which buzzed with the power of an electric current running through it's internal wires. "You're useless to me, so just kill yourself." Flo said, disinterest clear on her face as she returned to filing her nails. The dog climbed up on the fence at the perfect time for the fence's voltage to run through her body, burning at her skin, her insides.

"Ohh, Echo." Flo said with a smile, watching the dog's body twitch and shake as it was electrocuted by the fence. "Where are you? Will the real you come back? Or will you stay a fraud forever?" The smell of betrayed trust and broken hopes filled the air, mingling with the sizzling of charred ruined flesh. Flo shut the fence off and took the dog's body off of it, kicking it a few times. "Well, Echo? Are you back?" The dog let out a pitiful whimper, almost like a last breath. Not dead yet, but soon it would be the end. Eyes full of love and despair stared up at Flo but she did not see them, she was looking for something that was not there. "Useless. You're so useless to me." It wasn't going to work, was it? Maybe Flo just needed to try a little harder then.


Flo jolted awake, feeling cold and sweaty. She looked around and her body was still there, unmoving, as still as a statue. "Dammit." She muttered, wishing she at least could hear the music being played so she wouldn't be stuck with the silence of her own thoughts. "Echo's different this time too." The old spunky fireball was gone, she was dead and killed by the vampires. But Echo was still here, just in another form. "I can't do that again." She rubbed at her throbbing head, trying to fight the pain in her skull. She probably deserved to be stuck in catatonia, didn't she? Even the pain of the tube in her stomach was nothing compared to the pain she gave Echo.

But this was her chance to apologize, wasn't it? If only, if only there was some way to make things right...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




”Do you want to see Flo?” The nurse asked, brushing Echo’s silver colored hair. She stiffened for but a moment, then nodded slowly. The nurse placed her in a wheelchair and rolled her out of the room, to the meeting area where she would await for her friend. Echo shifted nervously in her seat, how could she tell Flourspar that she had, had a stroke? She had been free of them since her surgery in Boston when the shunt had been replaced, but it seemed once more, Echo would be plagued by them. Would she always be a burden to those she loved? Perhaps it would have been better if the vampires had killed her. At least then, her siblings would be free of her. They wouldn’t have to constantly worry for her health and wellness. “Oh, you’re here.” It was a face Echo should have been able to place, but she could not, for the life of her, recall their name.

“Bex,” his voice was soft, the light illuminating his green hair. “Remember?” Echo shook her head honestly, even before she had been having strokes, her memory had been somewhat awful. “S-So-sorry,” Echo looked at her lap, balling her hands into fists. “Where were you today? We were waiting for you at group therapy, then Oliver said you weren’t coming.” Her nails dug into her palms, had her claws still been sharp, she would have cut right through the skin. “I-Infi-fir-firmary.” Echo whispered; still wearing the monitors that were carefully watching for any signs of a residual stroke. “What were you doing in there?” Bex cocked a hip, he was normally so quiet, but now that they were alone, he was curious. It was like that with many of their residents, quiet in group settings, not so much when one on one.

“S-str-stroke,” Echo felt tears prick at her eyes. For a moment, Bex was silent. “Shit Echo, that sucks hard,” it was not the response she had been expecting from the gentle seeming green haired boy. “But hey, that’s probably why you stutter like that all the time. I just thought it’s cause a human cut your mouth and it healed funny,no, that was exactly while she stuttered, except it was a demon. “Bex,” Ash walked into the room, he radiated an aura of maturity and grace. “Don’t bother Echo,” he glanced down at her, then took something out of his pocket. “We made friendship bracelets today, Gem wanted you to have this.” He placed it in her lap, a braided cord of yellow and red. Echo stiffened at first, uncertainty scrawled across her features, then, realization. It was merely a bracelet, she struggled to tie it around her wrist, but managed to do so.

“Boys, you know the rules,” Oliver stood on the doorway, cocking a hip. “No social gatherings without supervision,” he entered, behind him was a nurse wheeling Flo on a stretcher, Echo shifting in her seat as she tried to sit upright, barely managing. She couldn’t meet their eyes of course, she could barely look up from her lap. “You should come join us in the dining room,” Bex grabbed Ash’s sleeve, seeming to take this as their cue to leave. As soon as they were gone, Echo seemed to change. It was as though no one but herself and Flourspar existed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Finally, Echo said the magic words. Echo made her decision and she figured out that what she wanted wasn't to sit here in peace and quiet for the rest of her life. She wanted to get out of here, she wanted to maybe not fight, but at least regain some of her old self. She didn't want to be broken anymore. "Echo, that's good." Flo said, giving Echo a smile. Her mind was already spinning, trying to come up with a plan to help Echo on the road to recovery. "I'm going to find a way to help you, okay?" Even if no one else believed in them, Flo would find a way.

"You know Ayna, how she and I can talk to each other?" Ayna's ability was good, maybe it was the key to helping Echo get back to a little of her old self. Ayna was able to take Flo's mind and they can go on adventures. What if they did that to Echo too? Wait, something was wrong with that, something didn't quite make sense. "B-but, wait, Ayna can't see you, you don't see her either." This was terrible, her entire plan was ruined! Flo felt dizzy again, sitting down and shaking her head. Why couldn't she think? Why couldn't she get it together? She used to be able to make so many plans and strategies but now she was a braindead idiot that couldn't do anything? Flo shivered, head pounding. Once again, she was going to fail Echo. Once again, she was going to mess up when it mattered most.

She lowered her head, staring at nothing. "I'm garbage, I can't think! I can't think of anything but I'm supposed to be - supposed..." It was evident now that Echo wasn't the only one changed by their experiences. Flo had made so many plans to escape, to take Echo with her and escape Castle Seylum. Iflet would play games with her, giving her the hope of freedom only to have it crushed and taken from her. "I - I -..." Useless, Flo was just so useless! She wasn't good at anything! "I thought Ayna could have us relive... old battles where you and I were strong, but I guess that won't work, because you can't see her." While comatose, Ayna could only contact those who were also comatose like she was. It was a horrid flaw in her ability.

Defeated, Flo shivered. "I'm a failure, Echo, just like b-before, are you going to do to the fence again? Are you going to leave me again?" Why was Flo's only skill to fail Echo over and over again? She couldn't help her ebfore and she couldn't help her this time either. Stuck outside of her body like this Flo couldn't do anything.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo was relived. She was not sure why she had been holding her breath, waiting to hear Flo's reaction, but Echo released everything she had been holding in, tearing up as she often did these days. Flo wanted her to get better? But what if Echo left Norway and Flo had to stay here? The little demon hugged herself, "O-o-okay," Echo nodded, glad that her closest friend wanted to help her. Or at least try to, "I-I w-w-wan-want y-o-you to c-come to-too." Echo said quietly, but she knew that Flourspar's condition was a bit more complex than Echo's. Echo, after all, was not trapped inside of her own mind and body. Even if she couldn't look anyone in the eye, touch food, or speak without stuttering, she could still interact, somewhat with the world around her.

Echo nodded, Flo had told her before about Anya. Echo was glad that Flo did not have to be all alone in there, since Echo could not be with her all the time. "N-n-no, I-I've ne-never se-seen her." Echo fidgeted with her hands, she could still feel her legs of course, but with the severe muscle atrophy they were no more than dead weight. It was clear that Flo was struggling with something and in that moment, it became apparent that Flo too, as much as she pretended to be, was not okay. Echo's expression fell, just a bit. They were broken, the two of them. It was like looking in a glass mirror that had been dropped, shattered fragments in a barely held together frame.

"I-it-it'll b-b-be ok-okay," Echo was beginning to cry again. She looked down at her lap, her hands no longer fidgeting, but balling into fists in her lap. "Y-yo-you-you'll b-b-boun-bounce ba-back." Echo whispered, her voice hoarse. "I-I th-thin-think w-we sh-should a-ask El-Elliot f-f-for he-help." He was really nice, even if Oliver was always scowling at them. Echo had the distinct sense that Oliver did not enjoy working for Elliot and was only there because he was a forced contract. The demon shook her head, wishing that she was brave enough to reach out and touch Flo's arm, to try to reassure her friend that everything would be okay.

The demon stiffened, then shook her head once more. "N-no," Echo whispered softly. She remembered her past life of course, ever since the surgery. She remembered what past Echo had done. Flo had not wanted her, Flo was nearly a demon herself. In that mindset, Echo had not understood what was wrong with her, only that Flo had rejected her. She had thought herself to be useless and tried to scale the fence to freedom. "I-I did-didn't me-mean t-t-to d-do th-that." Echo had never gotten to explain her intentions, as she had died shortly afterwards and was reborn as Nova. "I-I wa-was tr-try-trying t-t-to es-escape. N-not di-die."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




She was an utter failure in the end. She wasn't smart enough to manuever around her mother, around Doll, around Seele's plots. She wasn't smart enough to secure freedom for Echo where she could live without being under control of the humans. Flo's original plan, all those years ago, was to order Echo to escape far away, and then she would kill herself erase the trace to find Echo. This is, of course, after removing any possible trackers within Echo's body. But it didn't work, she didn't even get the chance to try it because Echo turned her into a demon. Flo was just too stupid to do anything right. Even now, it was proving true again. For all of her so-called intelligence, she accomplished nothing for Echo, for Echo who did everything for her.

Echo wasn't even trying to die. She just wanted to get away.

Flo could feel her chest hitching and it wasn't because of her congested lungs. Her breath was painful, her eyes shaking, she was crying but there were no tears, in this strange mental form of hers she could not truly cry. Yet she had a feeling Echo understood. "I-if - please just don't... don't get hurt again. Don't die before me. I was always... supposed to die before you, wasn't I?" From the beginning Flo was the one with the limited lifespan, and Echo was the one who had many hundreds of years to go, potentially more even. Her head was pounding, it was getting hard to think, her chest felt as if it were bursting open into bits. "Can you ask Elliot... for us?" Maybe he had an idea. "I'll ask Ayna and see... if she can do anything?"

A doctor Flo didn't recognize came around then, looking surprised as he checked Flo's heart monitor. Oddly enough, she didn't even notice it but apparently it was beeping. "Her heart rate is spiking, and there's heightened brain activity." They said though Flo could not hear any of it. "Echo, it seems like she can hear you somehow, because she's reacting you your presence." Flo closed her eyes and felt as if she were floating, drifting. What was this odd weightless feeling? "Maybe we should make these visits more frequent, perhaps there's a chance you can get awake again."

In this form Flo couldn't really sleep. She could go dormant and be still for a period of time, but it wasn't exactly sleeping. It seemed her waking periods were connected by periods of dormancy where she floats there, unable to move or think of much of anything. "Won't ever... reject again... Kuuu...?" She was already barely conscious now, fading into a resting state.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo shook her head, crying once more. "I-I wo-won-won't." She stuttered pathetically, feeling like a child trapped in a high chair. "I pr-pro-promise." Echo reached out and took Flourspar's hand, placing it against her heart. She wasn't sure if Flo could feel it, but Echo could feel Flo's pulse beneath her fingertips and it calmed her. "I-I'll a-a-ask hi-him," Echo said quietly as a doctor strode in. Elliot, followed by Oliver, who was glowering. He gently checked Flo's heart rate, noting that she was responding to a presence for the first time since arriving. "Echo, what do you two talk about?" Elliot inquired and Oliver snorted in response. "F-Flo l-lik-likes t-t-to kn-know what-"

"Stop stuttering you stupid brat," Oliver hissed.

"Hey!" Elliot snapped to his demon, who flinched in response. "That's not anyway to talk to Echo, apologize."

"Sorry," Elliot grumbled.

"Nicer."

"Sorry!" Oliver stormed out, Echo tearing up once more. The nurse walked over to comfort her, patting Echo's head, who flinched at the touch. "He doesn't mean it, Oliver is just a big baby." Elliot tried to reassure her as he turned back towards Flo, "F-Flo do-don-don't go-go ye-yet." Echo begged, but she was already gone. "So you can speak to her?" Echo nodded in response, releasing Flo's hand. "W-we t-tal-talk al-alot." Echo whispered, "a-abo-about ever-er-everything." Elliot nodded, his smile gentle. "I'll make sure you two can have more frequent check in's then." He turned to leave, the nurse wheeling Flo away. Echo's nurse came to take her, it was group therapy time. She had made a promise after all and Elliot had aid that the first step to getting better would be to be around other people.

"Everyone we have a new face in the group today!" Elliot clapped his hands together to get their attention, Echo flinched, they were sitting around one of the circle tables today, their group having grown by one member. "Do you want to introduce yourself?" She was ethereal, one of the most beautiful demons Echo had ever seen. Her hair was white and reflected the sunlight, her eyes a rose colored red. "Hello everyone," her voice was heavenly and the whole table was enamored. "My name is Angel," she fidgeted with the white gown she was wearing. Everyone else wore their own clothing, but it seemed Angel had no one to bring her, her belongings. "I don't have any memories, but I'll do my best not to forget any of you!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

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❝Does the frog know what's beyond the well?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




The dragons grazed on the snowy grass of Sweden's fields. The battle was won, and humanity was forced to fall back. They would not get to save Europe, Queen Kitra was not going to let them do that so easily. "Sis, what should we do?" Lilim asked, twiddling her thumbs. Raphael was drinking tea next to her as the other demons cleaned up the battlefield. The angels didn't officially approve of this war, so Raphael had come wearing a demon costume to support his wife, and to help "What do we do with him?" She pointed at their prisoner who was bound and chained and forced on the ground. A tall lanky boy glared at them but remained silent. His demon was cursing a storm, naturally. "Calciferous Graves. Do you not know who your Queen is?"

Calciferous Graves did not seem very intent on listening to her. "I won't join you, Queen! I have a human to protect!" He struggled and thrashed but would not submit no matter how Minerva held him down. "I can see that." Kitra sighed, shaking her head tiredly. They were trying to capture the English Princess Charlotte as a prisoner of war this battle, but her guards, Calciferous and Shadow, fought nearly to the death. They were both horribly wounded before Lilim fixed them up with her magic, but now they weren't at risk of dying at least. "You tried so hard to protect that Charlotte girl. Why?" Calciferous looked at Queen Ktira as if she were crazy. "You think I'm letting you turn the Princess into a demon? No way! She's a good girl and she won't be one of us!"

Wasn't that so disrespectful? "I have no mercy for anyone who sides with the humans." Kitra growled, her scissor blades slicing Calciferous to ribbons, reducing him to nothing more than a soul piece on the ground. Messiah carefully lifted it up in a containment bag and sealed it shut. "What should we do next, Kitra?" Minerva asked, ever ready for battle. There was a reason she was the head of Hell's military. "Minerva, can you do something for me?" It would be good if they could add more demons to their roster. There were too many demons trapped on the surface, unable to return home. "Take Raphael with you and go to Norway. I heard there's a group of demons locked up in some sort of prison. We need to rescue them and take them home." Queen Kitra fought for the sake of all demons.

But even so, Baron Messiah was a mystery. He was immensely powerful of course, and a huge threat overall. But for now he was cooperating with her and working with her. If she wanted to beat Messiah, would she be able to? Honestly, Kitra wasn't sure. "Messiah, you should go with them to make sure nothing goes wrong." No doubt the crafty humans would have something planned to defend the prison facility in Norway. Messiah would serve as a failsafe to make sure nothing goes wrong on that front.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




"Lock down everything," the shutters were drawn over the windows, the rehab facility sealing itself shut. "Don't worry," Melody smiled, her sister trembling, she tried to sing a soothing song, but their sibling bond did not allow her abilities to work on Echo. "Everything will be okay," Doll's voice echoed outside, ordering the nurses to put things in order while Christopher did a perimeter check. They were defending their last facility in Europe, the UK having been won back, but the EU lost. "They'll target this place next, we need to evacuate everyone." Flame insisted, but Elliot shook his head. "The patients are very fragile, we can't just move them." The head Doctor could not simply uproot all of the mentally unstable demons they had contained here. Even now, just with the windows being closed, you could hear sobbing from almost all of the rooms.

Soothing music played through the speakers, attempting to quell them. "No one will hurt you," Melody rocked Echo back and forth in her arms, doing her best to keep Echo calm. "I promise, no one is going to hurt you anymore," Echo trembled in her arms, her hands clawing at her ears. Doll poked her head into the room, taking a break from barking orders long enough for Melody to give a shake of the head. Doll disappeared once more, Echo's hiccuping sobs quiet, as she had trained herself to cry quietly in the basement of castle Seylum. If her cries ever grew too loud, she would be punished. It was not always that vampire of course, there were plenty of demons that wanted the opportunity to pick on a King that was downed.

"N-n-no mo-more," Echo stuttered. Why was her world being shaken again? Why were things changing? Why were the windows closed? Melody slid Echo onto the mattress and tucked the blanket in around her, making sure she had her trusty bear and rabbit. "How about we unwrap presents?" They had been sitting in a pile, collecting dust in the corner. "Destroying something is a demon's first instinct, maybe ripping up the paper will help you feel better?" Melody brought over a box wrapped in silver. Echo's hands shook, weakly tugging at the gift wrap. Her tears dampened the paper enough for her to rip through it, a wooden box inside. "Open it, go on," Echo's fingers fumbled around the latch, a violin inside. "Remember how you used to play?"

The instrument clattered to the ground, Echo curling up into a ball on the bed and crying harder until she began to dry heave. "No, it's okay, hang on-" the nurse stood in the doorway, shaking her head. "That won't do," she said softly, kneeling by Echo's side. She pat her on the head, right behind her ears, giving a little scritch every so often. "Right there, that's the spot."

"I feel like a horrible sister," Melody hugged her arms across her chest. "Don't, it's my job to find out all of Echo's weak spots. The disturbance is upsetting all of the patients, but they'll get used to it within a few hours." The nurse made Echo sit up and drink a little paper cup full of pink liquid. The demon's insides felt warm almost instantly and her head began to swim, "it won't put her to sleep, but it will help her get used to the change." Echo lay back in bed, the world feeling slow and strange. She felt the tickle of oxygen in her nose and tugged weakly at the nasal cannula.

"It's okay," Melody stood over her, but she was a blur of bust and vibrant hair. A bear found its way beneath her arms, "I'll be back soon, alright?" Echo lifted a hand up weakly, watching as her sister's back turned.

"Pr-pr-pro-promise?" Echo stuttered, her sister disappearing behind a closed door.