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Gallius Dives

"My body's broken, but yours is bent."

0 · 649 views · located in Pleasantville Asylum -Flashback-

a character in “Dark Passenger”, as played by Yonbibuns


Gallius Dives
"It's a bad, bad ritual. Oh, but it calms me down."


Name: Gallius Dives
Nickname: Silk
Citizenship: Russia
Ethnic Race: Northern Gypsy and Finnish
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Single
Sexual Orientation: Asexual
Education: College
Employment: Mechanic and Part-time Stripper
D.O.B: 09/13/1985
Height: 5'11”
Weight: 165lbs
Eye Color: Amber
Hair Color: Carmine-red; unnatural
Handed: Right
Tattoo: Yes
Piercing: Yes

Outlook: Optimistic
Integrity: Conscientious
Impulsiveness: Spontaneous
Boldness: Cautious
Flexibility: Flexible
Affinity: Warm
Comportment: Agreeable
Interactivity: Engaging
Disclosure: Candid
Conformity: Heterodox
Criminal Class: Cat Burglar
Past Conviction: Yes
Correctional Facility: Juvenile Prison for Boys
Time Imprisoned: Two years
Inchoate Offense: No
Offense Against the Person: Aggravated Assault
Crimes Against Property: Yes
Crimes Against Justice: No


Whoever Gallius' parents were, they've lent him an acceptable assortment of genes. Distinctive cheekbones, non-cluttered lips, symmetrical features, an angular jawline and a pointed chin. It almost seemed as if he were stuck somewhere between man and boy, fretfully so. Though, it hasn't affected his nighttime activities any. It may have even added to his appeal. Gallius is tall and somewhat thin, with long limbs and large hands and feet. You may have expected him to dodder about like a clumsy hound, elbowing vases off tables and steering himself straight into counters filled with expensive dishware, but not so. He moves with an easy, practised grace. As if he were more of a dancer, and less of a two-legged creature born to remain anchored to the ground. Gallius almost looks like he glides, long legs closing the distance between you and him in seconds.

It’s rare not to see Gallius smiling. He is a happy creature (when on his medication) that is often humming and swaying to music that no one else can hear as he works. Disapproving scowl? Hardly. The only negative aspect Gallius is capable of displaying is looking like a drowned rat. All dragging hind-quarters, tail tucked beneath his rump and ears flattened to his skull. Everything about him seems extreme and forced. His expressions are outrageously passionate, as if he isn't really sure what he looks like when he's making them. He's extremely animated, not only with hand-gestures, but with his entire body, so if anyone's willing to stand close enough to him—be aware of flying elbows and clipped heels. Unusually, Gallius has a swarthy complexion that reveals a life lived outdoors, and it might not have been far from the truth. Even still, he's managed to keep himself clean-cut, hygienic and well-dressed. Thanks to the candy-ladies, of course.

Stylishly dressed, Gallius prefers clothes of the European variety. It suits him well. Physical perfection is key to keeping food in his belly, so he's meticulous in his habits. He always makes sure that he's presentable, or at least straying far from dishevelled. God knows that it's easy to slip back into his shoddy, crappy shoes. Long ago he'd learned not to slouch or else he'd receive a smack between the shoulder blades, which still, to this day, remains a deeply ingrained lesson taught to him by his wayward nanny. Casual mode typically involves an old pair of ripped jeans and a graphic tee, with a brown leather jacket when it gets nipply outside. After all, there's no one to judge him on his choice of clothing outside the workplace. He's pretty sure that he's spent more of his life naked than clothed, anyway. And his hair? It's red. Dark sanguine. Obviously not his natural hair colour, but it's striking enough to garner a few second glances. His eyes are peculiar enough. Copper peepers reflect and mirror whatever he's looking at. Absorbing flecks of this and that.


Gallius has always been unstable. Disturbed and detrimentally ill. There's an ugliness bellying his optimism, scratching just below the surface. Professionalism only comes with resolute, unbroken silence. Charisma follows suit, clicking at its heels like a jowly, taut-mouthed car salesman. But, once you've taken notice of him and forced him into an awkward waltz of conversation, that's when Gallius falls flat on his face. He does not like to socialize. He's never really understood how to navigate those waters. He drowns. He splutters. He loses his head. While he may insist that his poor social skills stem from a general disinterest in forming lasting relationships, or a steady perseverance to keep everyone at a lukewarm level—it's far from the truth and he's just terrified of everyone. There's a nearly nonexistent drive for friendship and romance because of it. His fears are heavier than he is. Much stronger and all-consuming.

Working to cultivate a mildly ditzy, self-centred persona surrounded by candy connoisseurs, prima-donnas, cross-dressers and shark-toothed investors has taken time. Gallius is as comfortable as he will ever be in the current position he's landed himself in. Change is horrifying. The very idea of change is horrifying. He's a stickler for routine rituals. Shirt first, then pants, then socks. Eating breakfast in a certain order; cereal, sausage links, bacon, juice. Specific sequences keep him grounded. It makes him feel like he has some small sliver of control in his life. It's not something he's willing to let go of, either. Patterns and constants make him feel safe, so if any of that's taken away, like an old blanket being ripped from a babes groping fingers, then you're essentially throwing Gallius to the sharks. He is a creature of many, many habits. With an unfailing obedience and need to follow a firm set of regulations, he's been known to lay down and act a place-mat. It's not that he likes, or wants to impress, those around him, but he'd rather bob his head, tuck his tail in and skirt around his differences.

He's always been a temperamental, finicky person. Unsettling at first glance, Gallius is easily misunderstood. He's not necessarily tough, but he's been characterized by unusually low expectations. A tough life lived on the streets—and previously spent in a home where your parents didn't have the time to understand your illnesses—tended to do that to you. Ramshackle dump-sites and abandoned buildings gave him an appreciation of what he has now. Despite Gallius' clear enjoyment of patterns and sameness, he's able to move onto things fairly quickly. Where others might spend time and energy on improving their surroundings to suit their tastes, he's more likely to spend his energy elsewhere. It's unlikely that he'd turn up his nose at what others find unbearable. Luxury, and needless flippancy, is unappealing.

Children fear the dark. Children fear bogeyman shirking underneath their beds, hiding in their closets. Children fear scuffling noises in the hallways. Gallius fears what he sees in people, what splits from their faces. Kaleidoscope-fleshy smears. Like an artist who got tired of faces and focused on the rest of their bodies, smudging eyes and noses and mouths with his thumb. People look like monsters to him. Without proper amounts of medication, it's much worse. He has a very low tolerance for fear. It strangles him, keeps him frozen in place. Paralyses his thoughts, mangles his words, sends him into a frenzy of violence. Because he's just a man who's defending himself against monsters, right?


Dark Passenger Name: He chooses to call himself Bezlican, which ironically translates to Faceless in Croatian. Empty eye sockets follow him, bereft of light and all-seeing. Following him wherever he goes and ceaselessly whispering nonsense in his ear canals, berating him when he trusts too easily and warning him when he's about to make a mistake. Gallius has never been sure where Bezlican stood. Was he a friend, a guardian, a protector, or a writhing leech bent on ruining what little grasp on reality he had? His intentions are fleeting things. There are certain things that aren't shared between them, secrets that have yet to be announced.

At times, Bezlican's whispers are soft things, barely audible. In other instances, it is a growing scream bellowing in his skull. He's mostly visited by Bezlican in his dreams, revealing themselves to be night terrors to whoever is watching him toss and turn, swimming in sweat. Though, he's able to expose himself in the form of hallucinations, conjuring horrifying messages and images to get his point across. What the Faceless one offers is freedom from his fears. A small taste of identification. Enough to keep him placid and obedient. Or, off-balanced and wounded.

Faceless does not wish to consume, nor control Gallius. He desires dreams. In essence, Faceless is nothing. Empty space and constellations strewn in the sky, enveloping a world that is filled with peculiar creatures. He is a spectator, born from childlike curiosity. Human nature, and all of their dream-spaces, keep him interested. Though, he'd been originally called by an unaware Gallius. Drawn by his cries, his nightmares, his fabled dreams and imagination. His fervid guilt and inability to cope with what was going on around him. Bezlican gave him the strength to survive. He offered him his own strength and offered whatever was needed at the time; friendship, guidance, or a kind word.

When everyone left Gallius, Bezlican was his only steadfast companion, weathering all of his sorrows and blanketing him with something much darker. Indifference, nonchalance, apathy. Everything he willingly gave, the Faceless One took. It was a mutual transaction. A willing parasite-host relationship of sorts. There is no struggle of control. They've moved beyond that. Cooperation only lasts as long as Bezlican is satisfied, and as long as reciprocation is honored, there's no need to make Gallius suffer. If he refuses him, then he can make things very uncomfortable, very quickly.

No one breaks deals with the Faceless One.

Dark Talent – Oneironomy: Allows Gallius to enter and manipulate the dreams of oneself and others, including modifying, suppressing, fabricating, influencing, manifesting, sensing, and observing dreams as well as nightmares and daydreams. It doesn't seem to matter whether or not he's actually conscious or not, though his control on his abilities is magnified when he is asleep. He's able to plunge into other people's dreams and walk through them, communicating with their subconscious. Bezlican has lent him his own twist of abilities, in order to better suit his needs. He can induce sleep in himself and in others, including dreams, daydreams and nightmares. Gallius can manipulate sleep patterns and induce instantaneous sleep with physical contact, or induce perpetual insomnia, remove the need to sleep or make them dreadfully tired all the time.

Dark Talent – Clairaudience: Since Gallius cannot identify faces, read their emotions, or understand expressions, he's come to rely on other means of identification. He tends to hear more than most people. Identifying people's voices always came easier to him. It's in the jingle of their laughter, ringing differently with each person. Or the velvet undertones, the giggling sopranos, and the thundering baritones. Accents, lilting expressions, jaunty symphonies that say more than they actually mean. It's a canvas of noise, melting together and puzzling apart into specific categories. He's able to hear in a way that isn't connected to his physical senses, on distances beyond their normal ranges.

Origin Disorder – Prosopagnosia: You may ask what came first. The disorder or the nasty little ghoul clinging to his shoulder blades, suckling out consciousness from peoples ears like delicious lollipops. His delusions and fears and inability to identify faces came at a very tender, impressionable age. People frightened him because they looked like the stray marks smeared across loose leaf sheets, ruined and rubbed raw by fleshy erasers. Remembering his mother's pouting lips, or his father's abhorrent gaze, was difficult enough. All of his sisters were strangers with frilly dresses, laced collars and red ribbons. Familiar voices but, all in all, they were complete strangers. Eyebrows puzzled down the slopes of their cheeks, blending into their ears and melting down their necks like candle wax. It was only when he came, drowned up by his pleas to escape, that Faceless appeared. Ironically, it was he who opened his eyes. Sometimes, Gallius can see a person's eyes. Beautiful, inescapable things. Never just blue, green, brown, pale, or light.

Tribute – Conscience-Eater: Bezlican feeds on thoughts and dreams, of course. More specifically, consciousness. The things that make humans human and not empty chaffs, robotic and stiff. In days past, Bezlican would take many, many forms in order to feed. He would sit astride a sleeper's chest and become heavier and heavier until the crushing weight would awaken the terrified and breathless dreamer. Unable to move, paralyzed and vulnerable. He was never a wasteful feeder, choosing to scrounge every morsel. Sucking them dry of their personalities, memories, brain functions, until they were a slobbering mess. Quite literally a vegetable. If he's feeling a little full, then he'd take his fill and leave his victim in a coma. Prone to suffer sleep apnea, frequent nightmares, and several other nasty side-effects when they awaken. Fleeing from Gallius' headspace is unnecessary. He's taken to using Gallius to replenish his sweet-tooth, offering him unusual abilities to attack his would-be victims.


Old Journal: Gallius has kept journals for as long as he can remember. Childhood, probably. It keeps him anchored in place, reminds him where and who he is at that given moment. It's the only effective therapy he's carried with him. Leather-bound with flapping straps and worn, dog-eared pages. They all usually look the same. When it's filled up and full of words, Gallius usually burns them and starts anew, like a great fiery bird rising from the ashes. It's important enough to him to keep on him at all times. Ripping it from his fingers will cause him to get extremely upset.

Bottle of Pills: Now, what kind of medication is Gallius taking? There's a hefty assortment to keep his symptoms in control, when Faceless sees it unfit to help him. If he takes enough of them, then he can identify eyes. The smudges define themselves, if only a little. He has thirty capsules of Geodon, a bottle of Tylenol, forty capsules of Ativan for anxiety and another bottle with a dozen Prozacs. He takes them on schedule, or if he's under stress.

Messenger Bag of Goodies: Slung over his shoulder, Gallius carries an army medical satchel re-purposed as a messenger bag. It was originally given to him by the neighboring Salvation Army, but he likes it well enough. It holds everything he can't stuff in his pocket. Pens, pencils, packets of gum, band-aids, miniature sewing kit, his pills, his wallet, documents, his phone, and an assortment of nick knacks he's picked up on his way to wherever-the-hell-he's-going.

KA-BAR Knife: It's probably his only means of protection. Gallius is stronger than he looks, but in an unintentional "I-don't-know-my-own-strength" kind of way. The KA-BAR knife serves as a means of getting people away from him when he's terrified. It's recurved blade is seven inches long, designed for slashing and outdoorsy activities.

Touchscreen Cellphone: Everyone has a cellphone nowadays, including Gallius. He needs a way to keep in touch with the candy-ladies. They're his employers, after all. No one outside of his workplace really knows where he lives, so he's got a means of open communication without speaking to them face-to-face. Because of his problems, Gallius saved up for a pretty spiffy phone. It's a Samsung Galaxy S4; newest model. Sleek as a whistle. He uses it a lot to listen to his music, ignore people and read.

Wallet: Nothing special, really. It's a leather wallet stuffed with scrappy-looking bills, unidentified cards and chicken-scratch reminders.


Gallius was a loved baby. Very much loved, in fact. He was the apple of their eye—beautiful, proportionate, destined for greater things in the world. He was also the only son. Born the youngest and succeeding three older sisters, Gallius was doted on not only by his parents, but by his overly protective siblings. There was nothing really wrong with him when he was an infant, beyond his inability to sleep the entire night without waking up, screeching and screaming and kicking until his mother swept him up, lulling him back to sleep with stories and lullabies. Apparently, it was normal phase. Something the doctors said he'd grow out of. Something like teething. They belonged to a middle-class family, with middle-class jobs. Comfortable, simple lives. Finances hardly weighed down on them. His mother was a well-to-do seamstress running her own little shop, while his father toiled away as an English teacher. They always made due.

And they lived in a wonderful city, on the outskirts of Moscow. Winters offered warm drinks, dog-sledding and a beautifully frosted landscape. The Dives had always lived in the countryside, making daily commutes to the city for work and still managing to keep a healthy livelihood by maintaining a lovely garden and a vineyard. They also kept horses, goats, sheep, and chickens. The rolling hills provided them with all they needed. Gallius grew up well-loved and learned early to appreciate everything life offered—all of its denizens, it's offerings, it's life-givers. He and his sisters were nearly inseparable, roaming the countryside like little adventurers. They pretended to slay dragons, monsters, and demons with twisted sticks. It was only then that Gallius began to notice that his sisters faces appeared different. Sometimes, he couldn't tell them apart. Sometimes, he couldn't remember that they were his sisters—but, they'd always laugh, thinking that he was joking. I'm your sister, stupid. Stop kidding around.

He went to school and excelled in his studies, garnering attention and pride from both his parents. At times, Gallius would act strangely, or fearful of them, but they just thought that he was afraid to let them down. What they weren't aware of was that every single time Gallius looked into their faces, every time he glanced up from his homework—all he saw were ugly smears, dragging down like melted wax. They were horrific to behold. But, he knew they were his parents. He recognized their voices, and their clothes. Plaid shirts, fluttering flower-print skirts and upturned, slender wrists. He recognized his fathers hands, calloused and strong. He recognized the melodic lilt of his mothers voice, spilling over with kindness and patience and a tolerance that left him reeling with guilt. Nothing made sense. Even at eight years old, Gallius understood that his peers did not see the way he did. School turned into a place filled with eyeless creatures, skull-mouthed and speaking without lips. He dreaded returning and spent more of his time on his own, tending to the animals and hiding in the stalks of wheat surrounding their homestead.

Trouble only really started when those unidentified smears became outright delusions. Terrifying hallucinations and conscious nightmares, stalking him when he wasn't squeezing his eyes firmly shut. It's worth mentioning that Gallius was the subject of bullying. He wasn't very strong and he didn't stand up for himself, either. Who would fight someone who looked like that? Hovering over him, fang-toothed and disproportionate. But, he was a little older, now. He was fighting back. Kicking and punching and throwing dirt like his life depended on it. It felt like it did. His fight-or-flight response was screwy at best. Heart palpitations, sweaty palms, jittery nerves and a sense of anxiety no kid should shoulder plagued him everywhere he went—often for no reason. Communicating with others became difficult. He avoided it at all costs, unless it was absolutely necessary. The school board contacted his parents on several occasions for the fights he'd been involved in, and he was taken out for the day, punished by his disbelieving parents. Honestly, it was his father that was the hardest on him. His mother would still sneak into his room and hold his hand as he cried about monsters monsters monsters.

When Gallius was twelve years old, he'd been in a particularly nasty fights. He was having an episode and the kid—who was later revealed to be one of his closest friends—had been trying to calm him down, but was rebuffed with a rock in the head. Gallius beat him down to the ground, striking him several times in the face until a pair of adults pulled him away. He hadn't recognized him at all. Roderick was sent to intensive care, and Gallius' parents were informed. His father had had enough of his behaviour. An ultimatum was posed. Either he was sent away to get help after the repercussions, or the family would fall into shambles. His mother hadn't wanted to make the decision, but tearfully said that she would stand by her son. Her baby boy. Either way, Gallius was sent to one of Russia's Juvenile Prison for Boys. Most of its inhabitants were scruffy-looking orphans, forced into lives of thievery or violence to keep themselves fed. The interior was nice enough: brightly-lit rooms, itchy sweaters and scarves, comfortable loafers and decent meals. Fit for children, as it were.

This was when Bezlican appeared to him, revealing himself in his dreams. Every single night. He whispered pleasant things, and encouraged him to be strong while he was here. Eventually, he'd help him out. Eventually, he'd bring him somewhere nice. Freedom would be his, if he only listened. He manifested himself while conscious, as well, but only Gallius was aware of his presence. No one else could see him. It didn't seem to matter whether or not he was having delusions, because Bezlican was the only face he could visibly see. He recognized him. He remembered his face. He could see him, always. The soft promises evolved into roars, growing louder and louder. If Gallius wanted to taste freedom once more, or see his mother and sisters, then he would carry out his simple request. Easy as silk, Gallius. Just press your hand there. Yes. Good boy.

Somehow, Gallius killed one of his cellmates. He'd held his hand across his throat, and before the sleepy victim had time to wake from the strange intrusion, he'd broken into a series of fits, seizing and thrashing against Gallius' crooked fingers. He watched as his chest heaved up, then back down—breathing his last wheezing breath. Gallius could feel his own heart in his ears, thumping like a bass drum. His eyes felt warm, teary but relieved. The ritual had been complete, and now, he felt a little less empty. There were spaces inside of him that had been filled. He felt Bezlican slither into his skull, settling down in an unknown location within him. It made no sense, but nothing ever did anymore. He was moved from his cell, and began seeing a therapist for witnessing someone's death. Just about procedures, of course. But, it was that therapist who finally shuffled him into a different category: mentally unstable. He had something called prosopagnosia and mild schneiderian symptoms. Unfit to remain in the prisons environment, Gallius was shipped to another one.

Pleasantville Asylum, New York. Fairly new. His mother still wrote him. He wrote back. Trust was a difficult enough word to say, but Gallius was surrounded by other people who understood where he was coming from. They didn't have the same kind of problems, but similarly, they did not belong anywhere. They heard things. They felt things. All of them were some kind of broken puzzle, hoping to fix themselves. Some didn't seem to care either way. Others had kindly voices, betraying their fears. Gallius couldn't see their faces, though. Not without speaking to them every day. Not without touching their faces, memorizing the slopes and imagining them in his minds eyes—if they let him, anyway. Most were happy enough to leave him be. Until the day that he, too, plotted to escape from the psychiatric hospital. It all went down so quickly. Disappointed? Or relieved? Gallius wasn't sure. He knew nothing outside of the hospital. So, Gallius returned to Russia. His homeland. He couldn't go home, so he lived on the streets for three years. Surviving and sleeping where he must. Stealing to keep himself from fading away.

The candy-ladies were the ones who finally picked him up off the streets, dusting him off and revelling in the natural angles of his face. Hold his chin that way, and Gallius was perfect. They checked his teeth, his eyes, his ears, and told him to strip. For whatever reason, he obliged. He let them look him over, titter over his body like clucking hens. Their kindly voices compelled him to obey. They belonged to a brothel of sorts—a strip club, actually. They were escorts, but they'd love if he tagged along and filled up an opening. He would have some place to stay and money of his own. He'd be his own person, and be free to do as he wished. Bathed, dressed and taught the arts of the trade, Gallius excelled as he always did. Dancing became an extension of himself. Faces could easily be ignored in the dimly-lit room. Bezlican agreed. Those who came onto him in alleyways, after he'd finished working for the night, could be fed upon.

Eventually, Gallius received the education he'd been cheated of, saved enough money for college, while working at Night Flight, and became a licensed mechanic. For whatever reason, Gallius hasn't left Night Flight. It may have something to do with his attachment to the candy-ladies. Silk, they'd called him. Echoing Bezlican. Good enough, then.

So begins...

Gallius Dives's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallius Dives Character Portrait: Maximilien Robespierre Character Portrait: Murtagh MacCaddoch Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Andromeda Snow
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Book 1: Darkness Rising - Chapter 1: Rarely, They Meet

"Over here my sweet meats." spoke a voice belonging to a young man.

The individual had a permanent smile on his face, but it wasn't because his life was filled with joy and happiness. To the contrary, his twenty years on earth were full of trials and tribulations that would break the psyche of a normal man. Yet, this one took it with a phlegmatic stride, trivializing every situation until he'd become quite blasé to death, danger, and debauchery. Lazy indifference, a persistent smile, and general optimism make this character similar to another thus awarding him the epithet, Cheshire. And presently, Cheshire's long red hair was sticking to his forehead due to perspiration. An unfortunate situation involving his biological father, Sebastian Castellan, and his untimely death has led to a rather fortunate opportunity. Said opportunity was the chance to escape from the asylum he had come to call home. However, the death of his father who was also the warden had complicated things. The irony of the situation is that it was Sebastian's idea to escape, he was even going to help Cheshire and a handful of other patients do so. So why'd he kill the only person willing to help him? The simple answer would be that he's crazy, but it's actually more complicated than that. Sebastian wanted to use Cheshire and his Dark Passenger as weapons to achieve his own personal goals. His father also revealed that this was the reason behind Cheshire's existence and that he had suffered to cultivate his Dark Talents. Finding this out enraged Cheshire and lead to Sebastian's very painful death. Now, here he is, accompanied by four perfect strangers all trying to break out from a prison turned mental hospital ran by a satanic cult.

"It isn't the way out, but we can at least catch our breath." Cheshire said, as he returned to the group.

He was leading them to back to a storage room, full of extra furniture, boxes of paper, and other miscellaneous crap. They had been exploring an unused wing of the building since it lacked cameras and the only plausible route of escape. But because none of them had ever been in the area, it was proving difficult to find an exit. Surely they had been out of their room for at least an hour now, dodging patrols and taking out lone guardsmen. It was only through a security exploitation that they were able to escape their cells in the first place. Soon enough, their luck would run out and they would be caught, it was only a matter of time.

Cheshire made sure everyone was in and the coast was clear, before closing the door and addressing the group. "We can't keep this up all night, it'll be morning soon. They'll find empty cells and tear this whole damn place apart looking for us. That's assuming we make it that long. Someone could find one of the bodies or us for that matter. It's now or never."

Cheshire & AliceMonday MAR 13 2006 1:43:11

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallius Dives Character Portrait: Maximilien Robespierre Character Portrait: Murtagh MacCaddoch Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Andromeda Snow
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Gallius Dives
Book 1: Darkness Rising - Chapter 1: Rarely, They Meet

Gallius picked at his fingernails, scrutinizing the immaculately-snipped edges. The unhinged cuticles smoothed down like fleshy ridges, scuffled with bite-marks. It kept his attention away from their ever-changing faces, moving around like Rorschach cards, slowly shifting into frog's legs, butterfly wings and the bottom half of a clown's face. Some of them looked more frightening than the others, but only when they were accompanied by harsh, edgy voices. Hoarse and dangerous—some of them looked less like monsters, and more what he imagined normal people looked like. In his minds eyes, Gallius pictured proper noses fitting along with proper eyes and proper ears, but whenever he chanced a glance in their direction, he shyly averted his gaze, staring back down at his hands as if they held the answers he sought. They looked like monsters, gnarled and raw. Their faces were unfamiliar, but their voices rung out with months of cognition. Each one was unique to its owner, and each one Gallius was able identify before they even begun their sentences.

He hadn't even been entirely sure why he'd come along with them. The mental asylum posed as the only safe place he'd been in for a long time—and it was the only place where they actually understood why he hid away, deflecting eye-contact like a cornered animal who'd been snapped on the muzzle far too many times. The nurses coddled him more than his mother had, toying fingers through his thick hair and braiding them whenever he could sit still enough. It was fine, as long as they faced away from him. It was acceptable as long as there wasn't a mirror in front of him. Too bothered to face what he looked like, and too frightened to wonder if he, too, was a monster, Gallius lived the majority of his adolescence facing the ground, grudgingly lifting his chin when he was told to. The letters his mother used to send him had stopped shortly after this little escapade, this escape into the night following a bunch of strangers who seemed as equally confused or lost as he was. Honestly, the only one with any semblance of direction was Cheshire. Guiding them along like this was planned from the start, completely nonplussed by the fact that they were on the run.

Anxiety coursed through his veins like a battering ram, threatening to spill out his frenetic thoughts into a whirlpool of dread. Sweet meats—the voice sounded jolly enough, almost like he was an overly happy tour-guide sweeping his hand out towards the horizon. Promising to show them only the best sights, because he wouldn't do it for no other group, nosiree. He still felt off. The entire situation felt off. Like they'd suddenly step onto a makeshift sidewalk, fall through a trapdoor and end up in the institutions office to be punished for their misbehaviour. He imagined being snapped on the wrist and coolly subjected to another diatribe of you're not getting any better because you're not trying hard enough. Everyone must have heard it at least once. They wouldn't be here if they hadn't. Even if he felt like he wasn't sure why he was out here, huffing quietly to quell the chills scritch-scratching down his spine, Gallius understood that he wanted freedom as badly as he wanted to colour their faces in, stencil in all the pieces of the human anatomy.

He passed through the open door, held by Cheshire and squeezed himself closer to one of the corners. Right, right—he'd helped knock out some of the guardsmen, but it hadn't been all that difficult. From his point of view, they didn't look human. They looked like roaring monsters, mouths yawning across where he thought their foreheads might have been. It took him a moment to tear his eyes away from his fingers, settling them resolutely to his sides to keep him from instinctively picking. He picked a spot above Cheshire's shoulder, staring like a blind man at the arrangement of boxes lining the shelves. Some of the tape was peeling down like clear orange peels. He mumbled something about map plans, but it came out as an incoherent squeak. Breathe, calm down, try again. Louder this time. The Outsider, as always, stood vigilant as a gargoyle, perched under his chin. “Is there a map somewhere, in these boxes? We can't keep stumbling around. You're right. They'll catch us.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallius Dives Character Portrait: Maximilien Robespierre Character Portrait: Murtagh MacCaddoch Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Andromeda Snow
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Andromeda SnowMonday MAR 13 2006 1:44:09

Little sweetmeats? Andromeda suppressed a snort of disgust, if only barely. He was aware that a sweetmeat wasn’t meat at all, wasn’t he? It was perhaps an inconsequential thing to most, but details mattered. Tiny pieces, tidbits of information that went unnoticed to minds so caught up in irrelevancies like emotion and adrenaline. She was no such creature, to be carried away by her fear or her excitement. Andromeda was cold, calculating, calm, and precise. She was, alas, also unfortunately dependent on these people until such time as they could actually get out of this damned building and breathe the outside air again.

This was her punishment for the few times she’d ever done things for someone else’s sake. Naturally—nothing she would ever do would be so suspicious as to land her in a place like this. There were no worse places. Andromeda could have handled a juvenile detention center, or even a prison. It would have been a matter of days before she’d established herself at the top of the food chain there, and she well knew it. Here was different—because here was run by a goddamn cult, and they didn’t succumb so easily to manipulation. She’d deduced that it was a cult within a week of being admitted. Rather slow, but then she had been quite a bit younger at the time, so perhaps excusable in retrospect.

She hadn’t seen the demon coming, but then, what rational person ever would?

Presently, the striking young woman looked a little worse for wear, tendrils of her white hair clinging to the back of her neck and her forehead, fallen loose from the ponytail that contained the rest. Her dark complexion bore a faint sheen of sweat, and there was a cut on her cheek. She’d had to get inventive with the lock on her door—they’d taken to denying her anything as simple as a bobby pin because they’d at last started to wise up to what a mind geared for ingenuity could do with even an implement so simple. It was then she’d known that getting out was becoming imperative. No longer was the simple interest of seeing what they would do enough to keep her here, nor the rather interesting cocktail of fear, dread, and misery that she could feed Lilith.

Leaning back against the door, Andromeda crossed her arms beneath her breasts and closed her eyes. It made this easier, not having the visual distractions. One day, she swore, she’d be able to do it as naturally as breathing, but today was not that day. Tuning out the pointless conversation going on around her, she tapped into the mental frequencies nearby. Ignoring Murtagh’s active paranoia was difficult, but she managed it, focusing instead for those people outside their little half-dozen. At first, it was only whispers, but then Andromeda exhaled, and the last of the goings-on in the room slipped away, granting her access to the minds of those elsewhere.

“As useful as I’m sure a map would be,” she asserted coolly, opening her eyes and flicking a clear blue glance from Gallius to Cheshire. “There’s no time. One of the guards has decided to check this very room for his stash of stolen medication, and he’s got friends with him. Five of them. We have fifteen seconds before they’re here.” Lilith was quite looking forward to it, of course, but Andromeda was frankly none too pleased. This would have gone so much better if she'd just tried it on her own...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallius Dives Character Portrait: Maximilien Robespierre Character Portrait: Murtagh MacCaddoch Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Andromeda Snow
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#, as written by Ezarael

Maximilien Robespierre
Book 1: Darkness Rising - Chapter 1: Rarely, They Meet
Monday MAR 13 2006 1:44:30

Despite the revolting presence of drab, white-washed, not that he had much of a distaste for the lack of color as he did for its blatant, uninspired overuse, and the horrifically disorganized furniture, papers, and garbage littering the room a young boy was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere of the room, and on that note the entirety of this wing of the asylum to be honest. It was hard to discern whether it was the soft moonlight drifting through opaque, dirtied glass, the chaotic state of everything located inside, most of it strewn about as if an earthquake had hit just prior to their entrance, the seemingly empty abandonment the cluttered, but empty space screamed of, or the dead guards which were littering the hallways and various rooms. Probably some combination of all of these elements were what sparked that inferno burning within his chest, and deepened Melpomene’s insatiable hunger, he had to take in every ounce of what the various rooms had to offer him, so that later he would be able to harness its raw essence into something of beauty, taking the raw materials provided and transforming the sum of the parts into something transcendent.

Maybe that was the reason Maximilien had crouched over the body of a slain guard, some fool who had been paying more attention to some filthy magazine and coffee than his job, a very dangerous decision given his employ within an insane asylum with characters such as Cheshire stalking about. That didn’t matter though, the guard was merely a supply of fresh sketching materials, the sticky substance being replenished at a much quicker pace than it was being utilized, which was quite a feat given the ferocity with which the artist stroked and brushed his fingers against the hard-wood of a desk, giving off the same appearance as a finger-painting child, maybe somewhat malicious, but still child-like none-the-less. Anything involving painting, sketching, drawing, or what-have-you were always his least favorite activities, they seemed so infantile and easily destructible that they weren’t worth the time or effort they took, but at times they served to put his thoughts to paper, materializing the mental images in such a way he could only manage.

Voices sounded off in the background, but they were of little consequence now, Maximilien had to finish this image, someone needed to bring it to life so that others could experience the grim beauty of this moment, and only he could perform such a task. Unfortunately for the artist though, his supply of finger-paints had run out, and a defeated sigh breathed out of his full-lips slowly, knowing full-well that the moment was lost and his current masterpiece would go unfinished. His mind changed its trajectory, turning to the conversation being had by his compatriots, motley to say the least, and for the most part incapable of producing any works of art such as he, except the one who was smiling, their “leader” at this point in time, seemed slightly different. His art may not have been as quintessentially pure and everlasting as his own, but the scenes he had seen him craft with the murders he committed were something beautiful in their own right, and the way he described gore was remarkable. Maximilien had spent many an hour trying to recreate the images painted by this smiling savant of murder.

A haughty scoff echoed through the quiet room after the artist registered their comments about a map, what amateurs could not merely feel the layout of a building from its design? This building was made for utilitarian purposes and to keep others in, it wasn’t very hard to figure out where they needed to go if they deciphered the designer’s creative process via the layout of the building, something that was rather simplistic given the complete lack of creativity in any part of this building. “Open your mind. Maps are only useful when you cannot see what is right in front of you. There is nothing special about this building; the designer lacked any artistic talent whatsoever. Figuring out the right path is but a trifle.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallius Dives Character Portrait: Maximilien Robespierre Character Portrait: Murtagh MacCaddoch Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Andromeda Snow
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#, as written by Arke

Monday MAR 13 2006 1:43:11
Murtagh MacCaddoch

This was a bad idea. This was a supremely bad idea. The young Murtagh MacCaddoch knew for a fact that this was a bad idea. Kicking himself the entire time, he continued allowed himself to be lead through the halls of of the strange Asylum by Chester. This did not stop him from flinching at every shadow or stifling a scream at every unusual noise. He recoiled at every body they left behind, fearful that they would wake up. While his mind was hardwired for the present, he cursed himself for being so weak to allow himself to be brought up to this point.

He hated everyone there. The only ones they kind of liked were those that kept to themselves, and left him alone. Every night as he went to sleep, Murtagh feared he would never wake up. People like Chester constantly kept him on edge, wondering if he was going to slip a knife between his ribs. He found no comfort in this enclosed hell, and with every growing day he felt more and more like he was going to explode. Not only this, by the voice that was "Myron" whispered to him constantly, demanding more and more vehemently to kill something. The babble about filling a void made no sense to Murtagh, and only sought to confuse him even further. Sometimes he was clear-minded enough to observe and maybe pick a few out that would likely kill him in his sleep, but most of the time Murtagh remained curled up in his bed trying not to sob uncontrollably. He failed occasionally. The nurses were of no help. No matter how nice they tried to be, Murtagh knew it was just a trick. They were fed up with that job they held of taking care of the crazy. He knew it, and refused to let them calm or comfort him. They set up a routine instead where they left necessary food at the foot of his bed and would take it once he cleaned the plate. No further contact was necessary, and Murtagh wouldn't have had it any other way.

Perhaps if he had stayed in the ward room instead of following Chester, he would be given his own little room. A place where he could finally relax. Those ideas were far gone now. He had reached his limit in staying in that room with his wardmates, and made one of his rare blind decisions instead of thinking things through. Now they were in a small storage room, awaiting their doom as they failed to properly path an escape route. Maximilien's words did not comfort Murtagh, who was beside himself with fear.

"We're going to die. We're going to die. I don't want to die. I won't die. We're going to die though. Oh we're going to die die die die die die die..." He trailed off, sinking into a fetal position as he felt the hairs raise on his back. Somebody was going to break even worse news, he knew it. The situation practically called for it. Then Andromeda, in her infuriatingly calm manner, announced the presence of incoming guards. Murtagh felt his stomach sink, feeling quite nauseous at the idea of being shot or beaten to death by guards. "Die die die going we're die to die die die going die guards die coming.." Murtagh whimpered, so shocked with fear that all rational thought flew out the window.

There was a sharp mental slap that brought him back to a poor semblance of clarity. The dark voice in his head demanding that he not give up now. It used a lot of words that Murtagh didn't understand, but it helped him stomp cowering just as the footsteps became audible. A new wave of fear washed over Murtagh, but even in this tense time he remembered his brothers words and slowly got to his feet, quickly shuffling to the back of the room and grabbing a couple boxes and pulling them to the floor to reveal their contents. Most of them contained hardware supplies- PVC pipes and the likes. Murtagh quickly snagged a pipe and braced himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallius Dives Character Portrait: Maximilien Robespierre Character Portrait: Murtagh MacCaddoch Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Andromeda Snow
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Gallius Dives
Book 1: Darkness Rising - Chapter 1: Rarely, They Meet

None of their responses did anything to stifle the blossoming burden of fear growling and snarling in the deepest pit of his stomach, threatening to heave its contents over his squeaky-clean shoes, which were freshly scrubbed and double-knotted to keep himself from tripping on his face in their maddening run, fleeing from everything that held any semblance of safety. He felt like a yellow-tipped bird teetering on a telephone pole, seconds away from being fried into a pile of melodramatic dust—and maybe he wasn't exaggeration, because if they were caught, they'd all go to jail. Everyone's hands were dirty and red with something they'd committed tonight, however literal it actually was. His own were busy threading through his pale locks, knuckling and clumping handfuls, smearing sanguine gore like flaky highlights. If pulling out his roots would make him feel any stabler, any calmer, then he would have done it long ago. But now, Gallius could only contend with picking and preening and distracting himself with anything else, other than these monsters.

Chester with his chiming carousel-voice, churning around brightly coloured balloons and cotton candy stalls. It was hoarse and musical all at the same time, revealing a man who killed optimistically. There was a breezy quality to his tone. He was guided by something. Some sort of drive, or perhaps, not. It was hard to tell without looking at him. There was Andromeda, as well. Coolly collected and firmly planted. Brisk in her manner, and seemingly all-knowing. Hers was the most pleasant to hear, even if her indifference sent disagreeable shivers down his spine, crippling his sensitive emotions. Maximilien's voice spoke volumes of his true nature—calculated and eccentric, spontaneous and devoid of verity. It was he who Gallius sidled away from, as he hunkered over corpses, painting pictures he did not want to see. Murtagh's fevered words, tumbling out like furious maracas, felt as if he were throwing wet blankets across them. Insistent and uncomfortable. All of them put together formed something entirely different. Not quite a family. Not quite strangers, either.

Monsters. That's what they were. That's what he was. Butchering guardsmen (he hadn't really meant to, but there were fine lines between putting someone to sleep and swelling their brains to disproportionate levels) only to reach an impasse. An old, chemical-scented closet with useless cardboard boxes and stacks of unwanted furniture. Gallius fidgeted in his corner, strenuously avoiding Andromeda's withering gaze. He could see the outline of her small face sweeping in his direction, accompanied by her steady, dispassionate riposte. If he were a small crustacean, he would've scurried away long ago. But, like a barnacle or a clam, Gallius was rooted in place, slightly trembling and folding in on himself. He felt like he was becoming smaller and smaller. Mouth promptly clamped, whittling itself into another small noise that barely sifted out from his lips. This was a mistake, he'd agree. Murtagh seemed to understand the dangers most of all, crouching low in the opposite corner and repeatedly mumbling something about dying.

Gallius did not fear death. He feared ridiculous things. He was afraid of getting into trouble. He was afraid of being alone, as well as being in the same room as people. He was afraid of saying something stupid. He was afraid of physical contact, of looking people in the face, of being coined incompetent. Bullets penetrating the fleshy lobes of his skull would have been a calming retreat—far out of his control, and at least he wouldn't have to make any burdensome decisions. Leadership did not sit on his shoulders, but simply slipped off like an ill-fitting dress. He wet his dry lips, and tried to swallow past the cottony lump in his throat. Maximilien was rambling about designs and feeling the architecture of the building and artistry and scoffing about a certain blandness that flew straight over his head. Gallius creaked in his general direction, wooden and stiff. He lowered his voice to a hoarse-whisper when he said, “Get us out of here, then.”

It was Andromeda's unhurried words that caught his attention, announcing that they'd have guests very soon. There were men headed in their direction. He strained his ears like a dog trying to figure out where the sounds were coming from. But, his abilities were trained for the unconscious. For rendering people unconscious, drooling and very brain-dead. Gallius didn't scramble over to the boxes like Murtagh had, because he'd never needed weapons before. His bare hands were dangerous enough. He held them aloft as the footsteps drew nearer, accompanied by brief spurts of boisterous laughter. Something about panties and stupid whore. Something else about pills. The timbre of their voices were shriveled and ugly; monstrous, even. Gallius braced himself against the wall, closer to Cheshire and on the other side of the door. It was only when the door swung open, stupidly kicked inwards, revealing three guardsmen, that Gallius budged from his hiding place, slamming into the nearest man. Sharp pain blossomed in the back of his head—batons, of course. His death-grip on the guardsman's collar forced them both to the group, where he fumbled his palm across the man's face, in the midst of a chortled shout.

No time for that, though. Blood leaked from the guard's ears in thin rivulets, tainting his red-rimmed eyes. Gallius desperately released his grip and covered his head to keep the blows from rattling his head like a drum.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallius Dives Character Portrait: Maximilien Robespierre Character Portrait: Murtagh MacCaddoch Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Andromeda Snow
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Book 1: Darkness Rising - Chapter 1: Rarely, They Meet

Here and now, in this moment, was a perfect example of why people refereed to the red-headed menace as Cheshire. Faced with adversity and certain doom, still this young man was completely calm in spite of his odds of survival. Sure there was sweat dripping from his brow, but it wasn't from anxiety but from exhaustion. Most obviously, was his smile; so wide and bearing teeth... If he were any other man, he might have accompanied Murtagh and cowered in a corner, fearing for his life. But like everyone else in the room, he knew this building was home to things scarier than conniving guards. Which is why he didn't fret over mere mortals and their sticks, instead he reveled at their perfect timing, hence his happiness. Fate saw fit to deliver unto him six men, all of whom were knowledgeable on his surroundings; he had to appreciate the humor in that. It was only then that he wished he was alone, being in a group made it hard to get optimal results. Such a delicate situation required stealth, precision, and time all of which he had none of. Cheshire wasn't a highly skilled assassin with years of training and advanced weaponry, he was something worse: a demonically possessed, cold-blooded killer who with a dark room, sharp blade, and restraints could make a person beg for the sweet mercy of death. Unfortunately for these greedy men, he had all of those things and just enough time to extract the information he needed.

Footsteps, he could actually hear them now. "Now kids, be on your best behavior for our guest!" he whispered jovially. A quick nod along with a mental command sent the girl who had become his shadow to hide in a wardrobe nearest Andromeda. She was ordered to stay there until he and no one else told her to come out. Alice, as was her name, made no sound to confirm, only scurried away to do as she was told. Unlike anyone he had ever met before, Cheshire felt the strange need to protect this child. He was connected to her, and not just by the mental link she formed between them; it was more than that. The anger he felt when he saw those damned cultists hurting her... Never, ever, had Cheshire lifted a single finger to help someone in need, especially if it didn't benefit him. Yet, without hesitation, he barged recklessly in a room, ignorant of the dangers hidden inside and risked his life for a stranger he had never even seen before? The severity of its obscureness was enough to withdraw him from reality, only to be hurled back by the recurring sound of conversation and laughter. Reentry to the present summoned a mischievous grin along with the parting present from his late father and warden, a uniquely crafted dagger. He held the weapon at his side as he pressed his body to the wall behind the door, opposite of Gallius, who was apparently volunteering for first strike. Now, they had nothing to do but wait.

Cheshire's heartbeat ran parallel to the proximity of the approaching group, increasing in tempo with every step that brought the men closer to the door. He was excited, feeling like the wolf as it stalks its prey. His heart was pounding like a madman banging on drums; he was surprised no one could hear it. And then, the moment of truth was upon him -- the door was kicked open simultaneously everything quieted and slowed. Cheshire grabbed the handle of the door, stopping it from rebounding too much and revealing that something was behind it. The guards had barely passed the threshold before Gallius' assault began and ended, resulting with the mass of them rolling around the floor like a dust cloud of fist and feet. There was a silver lining to this dust cloud, though. His allies misfortune presented an opportunity for Cheshire to ambush a straggler, "how predator-like," he thought to himself. The guard was moseying in to seemingly assist the other four guards, little did he know, he would end up condemning them instead. As the man cleared the door, Cheshire sprung his trap. He quickly shut the door, filling the room again with darkness excluding the slivers of moonlight streaming in from the window. Then, like a boa-constrictor preparing its meal, Cheshire wrapped himself around the unwary guard and pulled him in a secluded corner. Seconds was all he had to conduct his interrogation, but that was all he needed. These guards were not elite soldiers tasked with protecting their country, they were civilians here only for the meager pay. Tempt them with death and secrets would flow like water from a faucet.

In the quietest voice he could muster without hindering his words, Cheshire spoke in his hostage's ear, "Now, unless you want your insides to become outsides? I suggest you tell me what I want to know, and be quick about it. I'm in no mood to play." To demonstrate his resolve, Cheshire placed his knife just inside the man's stomach, causing him to twist and murmur a in pain.

Maximilien RobespierreMonday Mar 13 2006 1:45:00

Everyone seemed so concerned with the arrival of the guards, as if such flawed creations could possibly pose some semblance of a threat to them, as if the guards' obvious imperfections could possibly compete with the inherent beauty in their group, even if uncreative. The females moved away whilst the twitchy Mick rushed for a pipe, and the strange one rushed their guests head-on, leaving him to think how uninspired and lacking . . ., but not Cheshire, Maximilien knew that Cheshire could formulate an inspired plan of beauty quickly, and the execution would prove more than adequate to fuel the artist's creative desires. Before long the strange one was huddled within a pile of entangled bodies, lacking any capability of coming up with any original contingency, leaving the young artist to scream on the inside, his creative thirst being torn asunder by the actions of the incompetent fool. Cheshire though, what a thing of beauty, it had taken only moments for him to grab a straggler, obviously lacking in the foresight to consider the possibility of a lunatic waiting behind a door to snatch one of them. Time had slowed down to a standstill for Maximilien, as if this instant was supposed to be frozen in time so that he could properly inhale the essence of the scene laid out before him, feeling an invigorating wave of desire wash over his previously uninspired body.

Despite the obvious lack of talent amidst the majority of these comrades, if that word could be used here, there was some beauty to be had in the coordinated disarray displayed before him, they each knew what they were supposed to do, even if they didn't know it. There was a synergy between them, even if just for this one moment in history, and this moment would definitely need to be preserved in the annals of history, all he had to do was find some way to preserve it . . . Why don't you join in sweetling? These incompetents couldn't possibly compete with your brilliance, their spark pales in comparison to the flame burning inside you. Melpomene was speaking to him, urging him to become one with this moment, and as always his muse never let him down, she knew exactly what he would need to bring this scene to life later, and the only way to do so was to take part in the raw-emotion of the tussle. She was right, these simpletons could not possibly bring any harm to him, despite their size or armament, their moves were bland and repetitive, such lowly creatures could never comprehend the sheer brilliance that would accompany his actions.

"Yes, I must be a part of this if this scene is to be complete, it needs my talent . . . and I need supplies to finish my sketch."

As his body began to lurch forward, time started accelerating, until it surpassed where it had been prior to his muse's urging, but he knew exactly what needed to be done.The artist approached the oblivious group of guards pummeling the strange companion ceaselessly, blinded by their ignorance and simplicity, and he awaited for the right set of movemtents that he knew were coming, the repetition of their movements made determining their next move simple. A baton-ladened hand swung backwards, its wrist arching heavily and twist inwards slighty, greatly relaxing the hold his target had upon their weapon, and that was exactly the moment for which he was waiting. Maximilien snatched the weapon swiftly, twirling the end around just as quick and bringing the tip crashing down into the man's skull, sending splatters of blood, bone, and skull splattering across the room as Pollock would paint across a canvas. A surge of adrenaline fueled his movements, the boy backing off as the the other guards noticed his presence. They may be inferior beings, but taking advantage of sloppy, uninspired movements on an unexpecting target was much different than the current threat.

A smile almost threatened to don his youthful face, but the urge died down just as quickly. It was an unfamiliar expression.

Murtagh MacCaddochMonday Mar 13 2006 1:45:15

Murtagh, unsurprisingly, lingered in the back while furiously debating whether or not to rush in. The guards, upon inspection were of nothing to note. They were unarmored, and carried batons that the pipe out-ranged. Then, all of a sudden, the primary source of light was extinguished (no doubt by Chesire) and the guards were left in disarray. Gallius dove one, something Murtagh would never do. Chesire dragged one away in silence. As the fearful youth procrastinated, Maximilien had already moved forward and skillfully disarmed one. The resounding crunch made Murtagh flinch and Myron swoon. His grip on the pipe tightened as a guard broke free of the morass of limbs near the front and rushed for Maximilien to save his comrade. It was better to take advantage of that guard's brash move rather than engage a guard that would focus on him.

Just as the guard finished closing the distance to give the "artist" a swift canvas of darkness, Murtagh gritted his teeth and jabbed the pipe with both hands as hard as he could. The pipe connected with the guard's side, sending him stumbling. Adrenaline began coursing through Murtagh once more, leaping in and swiping at the vulnerable guard. The blow connected with his head, leaving him on the ground and moaning. Murtagh immediately knew the man was oblivious to the world now, and hesitated slightly. His ears continued to ring, the blood continued to roar, and now Myron interjected. Murtagh's look of tentative mercy became one of a wild animal as Myron poured doubt and anger into his thoughts. The man will get up and expose them. The man will live and condemn us in the end. The only way to ensure he stayed down was to hit him more. Murtagh's sight began to tinge with red as he descended upon the vulnerable man, whacking him again with the pipe. The pipe swung more, and more, the blows becoming more wild as Murtagh fought to ensure that the man would never tell a soul what happened here. It was only when a bit of blood got into his eye that he realize that the man's head had been completely mutilated. He wasn't incapacitated anymore, he was dead.

Cold realization set in not long after. Murtagh was a murderer now, in every form of the word. Turning slowly, he saw the other guards that were approaching him slowly. The only reason why Murtagh hadn't been clocked over the head yet was because of Maxemilien's presence and the intimidating aura he expelled after so easily dispatching their comrade. They kept a stern eye on the black youth, but this time they were now aware of the less-graceful animal named Murtagh. He was an animal now. The stained PVC pipe dripped with blood and flesh, and this time Murtagh had no excuse for so thoroughly ensuring a closed-casket funeral for this man. He couldn't summon any tears in his shocked state, and only the pure drive to remain alive caused him to clumsily dismount the man's corpse and back up to stand behind Maximilien. As he did so, the corpse of the man seemed to gain a stark contrast in the darkness, and the corpse began glowing a faint blue. The dark voice inside Murtagh was roaring with approval. Murtagh felt himself heat up, and looked at his hands. He was now a glowing blue outline in the faint darkness, the exact opposite of what he wanted. Confusion set in, and he shuffled back further. He had listened in on his ward-mates and knew about these Dark Talents, but he didn't know his until now. Both Murtagh and the corpse's glow faded after a brief moment, and Murtagh felt a hole he had never paid attention to before fill slightly. Suddenly some of the things Myron had said made a bit more sense.

There was no time to begin more experimenting, however. He regretted not doing so while still in the ward, but he didn't dare practice under the fear that his ward-mates would turn his powers against him. It was far better to appear a weak and insane fool that isn't worth the scum on the tile. Murtagh dropped the dripping PVC pipe, as it was going to only be slippery and hard to wield after being so soaked in blood. Sinking once again into the dark back of the room, he felt around the other boxes and found another weapon. Jars, beakers, and pipettes used for drug and chemical testing were stored here, and Murtagh found a nicely-sized jar. He hated having to kill these men, who never asked for this, but if he had to to escape and live, he would. The shock had worn off, and he shifted his grip on the jar to both hands and circled around the remaining guard approaching Maximilien and brought the jar down in a heavy downswing on the guard that was grappling with Gallius. The man staggered, his baton leaving his hand so he could clutch his head in pain. The jar had completely shattered from the force of the blow, and scratched the floor with glass shards. Murtagh felt cuts on his hands as the glass jar broke in his hands, but he then forced the guard off Gallius and stomped on the man's head repeatedly. The guard's spasms eventually ceased.

Gallius DivesMonday Mar 13 2006 1:45:10

Fortunately, the baton-inflicted beating seemed to subside, and Gallius was free to stumble backwards, away from the unorganized jumble that was taking place. Someone's face was becoming one with the linoleum flooring. Mashed against black and white checkered squares, which was quickly becoming spattered with grizzled gore, fleshy clumps and wads of mushed hair. More surprising was to find that the boot connecting with the bloody guardsman's face belonged to Murtagh, who'd given up his pipe somewhere along the line. He was thankful. His head felt heavy on his shoulders, like it was swaying on a pendulum. Something wet ran down his forehead, dribbled off his chin and pattered on his hand. The Outsider was a quiet citizen standing on the sidewalk of his thoughts, quietly watching to see what he would do without his aid, and coming up somewhat disappointed—releasing a child without fully testing any training wheels. He was not satiated by the meagre meal, hastily devoured. Noxious, pitted eyes looked into him and saw clear through.

It made him want to cry. Far worse was his disappointment, than the fact that a large gash had opened up across the right side of his skull. Battered and bruised and somewhat swollen. Though, the red streaked in his hair looked far better than the soft, plucky blond locks curled around his ears. He was not as quick as Maximilien, nor as creative as Cheshire was, because he believed that what he was doing was necessary. They were the monsters preying on the weak, trying to usher them into cages like animals. Manipulating them, using them to further their own means. He still felt something when he'd touched that man's head. Leeching out his subconscious, and fervid awareness, through a tube he could not exactly describe. He felt a light go out. He also felt his memories, like too-colourful, too-vibrant bonbons being popped into his mouth. Something about children on a beach, scurrying around with hermit crabs and sand castles. It felt like he'd been there, holding some strange woman's hand and laughing loudly, thinking nothing of the mental institution he worked at. It'd left him just as quickly as it'd come, leaving him gasping like a fish.

These memories were not his own. They were the lingering after-tastes, a little reminder that his own recollections were far less pleasant. He took a deep, lingering breath and looked up at them—these strangers who fought like demons, who moved instinctively, like they knew where to go and what to do when all hell broke loose. But, they were strong. Stronger than he was by far. If you were paralysed in all of your fears, then you might as well roll over and die. Even Murtagh had stepped up to the plate, utilizing his hands and feet and body as weapons. His fear drove him forward, shielded him from all of the badness in the world. Cheshire and Maximilien and even Andromeda seemed untouched by such things, moving beyond it with a certainty that left him breathless and frozen. He needed that. The Outsider tipped his head, mouth perpetually composed. Gaping eyes imperturbable and always-observing. No more kiddy floaters, training wheels or bed railings. No more, he whispered.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallius Dives Character Portrait: Maximilien Robespierre Character Portrait: Murtagh MacCaddoch Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Andromeda Snow
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Andromeda SnowMonday MAR 13 2006 1:45:00

As she’d thought, the room was soon invaded by a group of security guards, and though they were unprepared for the assault—spearheaded by Gallius—they recovered quickly enough, putting up at least a token resistance to their deaths, and in some cases quite a bit more than that. Andromeda was quite content to let the more violently-inclined among them have all of this particular brand of fun. She, after all, had no particular desire to know what it felt like for blood to dry in her pale hair. Nor, indeed, to have bruised knuckles or wounds of her own. She was not a trained fighter, something that she made a note to rectify as soon as she was clear of this place.

For there was no doubt in her mind that she would be free of it. The whole affair was only a matter of time. If this didn’t work, something else would. Perhaps something quieter.

Unfortunately, someone let a guard through at some point, probably not something that could be helped, though she certainly blamed them for it anyway. Unfair, perhaps, but then, so was life, as they all well knew. The guard, breathing a sigh of relief to be clear of the main melee, set his sights on the young woman and raised what appeared to be a nightstick, stepping forward menacingly. Her expression—cold, impassive, unafraid—did not change. Sociopaths did not feel much in the way of emotion, including fear, though Lilith was having fun with his. He knew he was going to die, but he was apparently determined to take down at least one of them before he did. How droll.

The demon's whispers were honeyed poison in her ear, promising power and satisfaction the like of which she’d never been able to know—not as a little girl in a dirty, poor household, and not as an unwitting prisoner in this place, watched over by white-clad wardens who knew nothing. Ordinarily, Andromeda did not pay the whispers much mind, because they came from that, and she didn’t trust it. It was an unknown quantity, the upper limits of its abilities were unknown to her. She knew not if it would one day overtake the sanctum of her mind, painting the crystalline walls of it a passionate red that she did not want, and this made her wary, like one predator circling another, fundamentally unsure of what territory belonged to whom, or if it must be contested at all. But today, today she would at least take the suggestion for what it was.

Suddenly and without warning, she stepped forward as well, placing the index and middle fingers of each hand on the corresponding temples of the guard, opening a telepathic link between the two of them. That much, she knew how to do, but for the rest, she would need Lilith’s guidance, and reluctantly, she surrendered her control. It was like something else slithered under her skin, fitting just as comfortably into it as she ever did—more so. Andromeda was pushed gently to some corner of her own mind, through which she could see the goings on, both inside herself and out in the world, but she had little control over any of it. She was a spectator in some grand theater, with the expensive seats but no real power at all. She watched dispassionately as Lilith called up the power they shared now, surging forward through the mental link and enveloping the lesser mind within her power.

Physically, Andromeda’s body leaned forward, a dark chuckle escaping her parted lips as the nightmare images Lilith so easily produced assaulted the poor fool’s consciousness. “Fear me,” she mouthed breathlessly next to his ear. And fear her he did—the healthy tan of his skin faded until his pallor was sickly white, and he tried and failed to swallow several times, Adam’s apple bobbing frantically in his throat. His eyes were unfocused, because what he was seeing was not right in front of him, but inside his head, and there was nothing he could do to rid himself of it. Lilith drank in the terror with undisguised delight, the wry little smile that took up residence on her face so very unlike anything Andromeda would wear.

He clutched at his hair, tearing it from his head and leaving bloody spears on his hands, the floor, his face. He picked frantically at his skin as she convinced him that there were things, dark things, crawling underneath it, and she would have been more than content to watch him destroy himself before the pragmatic voice in the back of her head reminded her with no feeling that they didn’t have time for that. Lilith pouted a bit, unhappy with this complete lack of appreciation for the subtle tortures of the mind—or in this case, the not-so-subtle. But she conceded that the host had a point. “Fine,” she conceded with a sigh, “Have it your way, then.” She withdrew, and with a bit of effort, Andromeda reasserted herself, looking down at the quietly-muttering man without any of the amusement Lilith had displayed. The voice at the back of her mind promised that this was just a taste of what she herself would one day be able to do, but Andromeda wasn’t honestly sure if it tasted sweet or bitter to her.

She’d never actually killed another human being before, though ironically enough, a murder was the reason she’d wound up here in the first place. It looked like she no longer had any choice. Glancing about the storage room, she found that there wasn’t much she could use, so she inspected the madman himself, instead. There was a utility knife on his pocket, more a boxcutting tool than anything, but she supposed it would have to do. Hiding the shake in her hand, she extracted it from his belt, flipping the blade into the extended position and contemplating it for a moment. The rest of the battle was dying down around her—she’d have to be quick. Though she felt no particular remorse for this, it did make her parents right about her, and she didn’t favor the thought overmuch. It didn’t matter.

Tightening her grip on the tool, Andromeda drew it across the man’s throat, silencing his incoherent babbling forever.

Retracting the blade, she looked at it with an air of academic inspection for a moment, then pocketed it, deciding that it couldn’t hurt to have it with her. The nightstick, she would leave alone. As the other fights stopped, she was already onto the next thing, examining the room with a calculating eye. They needed to find a way out of here, and quickly, but going back out into the hall would cut their time even shorter. Surely, there must—

She almost didn’t believe it, but she noticed an odd seam in the wall. Ignoring whatever anyone else was saying at the moment, she stepped past another pair of bodies and to the wall, running her hands along the seam for just a moment. Her brows furrowed slightly, and she rapped first one side, then the other, with her fists. There was a marked difference in sound. Withdrawing her new knife, she scored it along the wallpaper and peeled a bit, eyes narrowing with her satisfaction when she saw it. One part of the wall was indeed an ordinary plaster constriction, but the other was only a thin layer of the stuff over what had once clearly been a door. “I think I have our way out,” she said flatly, turning back to look at the others over her shoulder. “Help me get to this door—I’m guessing it leads somewhere.”

Perhaps, on an ordinary day, she would not have chosen the risk. Today, however, the alternative was an almost-certain death out in that hallway, and she was going to take the risk. Whether they came or not.