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Maximilien Robespierre

"Anything less than perfection is unacceptable."

0 · 619 views · located in Pleasantville Asylum -Flashback-

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


Name: Maximilien Robespierre
“Anything less than perfection is unacceptable."

Name: Maximilien Robespierre
Nickname: Mr. Guillotine
Citizenship: French-American
Ethnic Race: African
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Single
Sexual Orientation: It’s somewhat complicated.
Education: Home-schooled
Employment: Artist
D.O.B: 12/25/1989
Height: 1.88 meters (Approximately 6’2”)
Weight: 68 kilograms (Approximately 150 lbs)
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Handed: Left
Tattoo: Y
Piercing: N

Outlook: Pessimistic
Integrity: Conscientious
Impulsiveness: Spontaneous
Boldness: Cautious
Flexibility: Stubborn
Affinity: Cold
Comportment: Discordant
Interactivity: Engaging
Disclosure: Candid
Conformity: Heterodox
Criminal Class: Substance Abuser
Past Conviction: Y
Correctional Facility: State Correctional Facility
Time Imprisoned: 2 years (Prison) and 3 years (Juvenile)
Inchoate Offense: N
Offence Against the Person: N
Crimes Against Property: Y
Crimes Against Justice: N


Maximilien is a thin, wisp of a young-man who looks like one of those kids who could be blown away by a strong gust of wind, but that’s less from genetics and more from lifestyle, which you will find out about later on. Given his height, which he considers to be average despite being several inches greater than the average height of an American male, and weight, which he could care less about to be honest, his frame can be considered emaciated. Lanky limbs with knobby knees and elbows add to the already boney appearance of the Frenchman, as taut skin reveals much more than most would consider being in the “healthy young-adult” range.

The African heritage, being his only known heritage, is more than readily apparent in all of the more than stereotypical ways with a combination of near pitch-black skin, full lips, a flat nose, curly hair, and a broad nose to boot. Since he has been made painfully aware of these characteristics whilst living in the American Deep-South Maximilien has tried to stifle his natural appearance, to an extent, by keeping his hair short, avoiding exposure to sunlight to keep his skin from darkening as much as possible, and even keeping his lips pursed in, to an extent, so that they won’t stick out as far.

If anything this artist, as it seems only artists can manage, composes himself with the strangest combination of relaxation and propriety that can only seem appropriate with how unnatural it truly seems. A serious and determined, but polite and gentlemanly, look always graces Maximilien’s face, no matter the occasion or how rattled he may truly be, but the rest of his body is relaxed in such a way as to appear sloppy. Most of the time a look of disinterest dims his eyes, but every now and again a fiery determination blazes in them after setting upon the appropriate target.


As with his composure, Maximilien’s personality can seem a rather strange amalgamation of characteristics that shouldn’t work together, but somehow blend very well with one another. Being cold, but engaging, cautious, yet candid, while spontaneous and stubborn is only something François can do as well as he does, while still seeming a complete mess and out-of-whack. Conflicted is probably the best term you could use to describe him, if ever a singular word could do so for someone, and everything about him can be seen as the epitome of that word’s quintessential meaning. No matter what day it is Francois is both predictable and unpredictable, even if in a rather predictable manner, and you should always expect the most unexpected of the expected to happen on any given occasion.

Maximilien has always been passionate about artwork and the pursuit of creating something both beautiful, even if in just its own way, and perfect, or at least what he considers being perfection, or at least what he is told constitutes as perfection. This is where his engaging personality tends to come in, and all the more so it tends upon the obsessive than anything else, and obsessive is probably one of the other best ways you could describe his personality. His obsessive nature has always been somewhat of a problem though, especially considering his penchant for breaking the taboo in concerns to the practice of illicit drug use is concerned. Given that Talia, Maximilien’s Dark Passenger, has a peculiar knack for getting him to obsess over certain things, no matter what they are and the more relatively taboo the better, this is somewhat a problem at times. This is the main reason the artist happens to be as thin and frail as he is, what with a somewhat nasty habit of abusing illicit drugs, especially uppers that help him to stay awake for whenever he decides to go upon an art-crafting binge. His addictive personality extends far beyond the realm of both illicit and recreational drugs though, it also branches far into all aspects of his life, and too many to even consider listing at one time.

This obsession also tends to reach to other people as well, making it not very difficult for him to develop extremely unhealthy relationships, most of the time with them not even being desired or understood, and he tends to divulge much more information than most would consider desirable. These situations tend to be purely subjective though, as Maximilien tends to pick and choose his objects of obsession with a large grain of salt most of the time, and you can tell just how much he enjoys your presence by how personal the information he divulges becomes. Although he is a very cautious and suspicious individual, bordering upon paranoid at times, for some strange reason Maximilien tends to give out much more information about himself than most would consider appropriate at their respective level of friendship. Such a plateau is extremely difficult to reach though, as it is not only his personality in question, Melpomene tends to be a much larger factor in this equation and his drug habit as well when the development of bonds with another are in question.

For the most part the French artist can come off as cold and distant when first interacting with other people, which would probably not be the case if he had a choice the majority of the time, but he can also be a very warm and affectionate individual, at least during very sporadic occasions and when he is not preoccupied with any other thing at the moment. While he doesn’t understand the “good” feelings like happiness, friendship, love, benevolence, or any others, he does feel that he has “friends,” at least when described in the most basic of terms. You could probably say his pessimistic and cold attitude are the results of this particular aspect of his personality, it’s not that he wants to be this way, it’s just that he doesn’t know how to act any differently, and has no real desire to not do so.

Most of the time though, you are only going to find Maximilien under the influence of some illicit drug, one reason being that he does enjoy the use of mind-altering substances, and the other being the influence of Melpomene. For him the use of such substances is not only a way of breaking the psychological barriers restricting his talent and destroying his creativity, but also provides the only means he truly has for feeling any sort of emotion asides from apathy, it’s the only time he feels truly alive and part of the world. This can lead to a great deal of diversity in his personality and interactions with others, even over the course of an hour depending upon what his Muse feels like having him consume at the moment.



Sin-Eater - The Muse: Every artist has a muse don’t they? It’s just that in this case Maximilien’s muse happens to be a Sin-Eater that goes by the name Melpomene, a name often associated with the Muse of Tragedy, which could be considered quite appropriate given the circumstances. Given Maximilien’s natural obsession with creating only the most “perfect” pieces of art it seemed only fitting that such a being would be bound to him in a dark ritual, showing him how to take his artwork to the next level and transforming it into something much darker and grittier than it had been previously. The Frenchman never wanted to be rescued from the reality of life, he desired to harness it and turn it into a thing of beauty, something that could be fawned over and appreciated for centuries to come.

When it comes down to it, Melpomene is the more dominant of the couple, more so at the artists’ willing surrender to her desires, but that should not discount how much she prefers and aims at being in such a position. She delights in pushing Maximilien to the edge, and over, relentlessly, testing just how far he will push his own limits just to satisfy her desire, for the right compensation of course, but that’s beside the point for her, as most of the time it’s more of an a bonus than anything.

Pyrokinesis: “The ability to speed up . . . the naturally occurring vibrations of atoms in matter to alter temperature, possibly to the point of ignition if combustible.” Melpomene did indeed give Maximilien the power of pyrokinesis, but its application is much different than one might imagine in the scenario. Although he does increase the vibrations of atoms there are certain limitations to his ability, and it really serves as the basis for his true Dark Talent. Instead of inducing the combustion of a material, the intensification of the vibrations is for the purpose of breaking loose the atomic chains linking the molecules together, allowing for the shifting of the structure itself. Another factor is that Maximilien seems to only be able to use this ability on a limited number of materials being: glass, metals, clay, plastic, and rubber. While the rate of intensification works relatively quickly, taking only several seconds to loosen the chains enough to begin shifting the atomic structure on the surface, any deep change begins taking much longer, dependent upon the relative size of the object itself. For instance, Maximilien could take a typical engagement ring and speed up the vibrations enough within five seconds to make drastic changes, but it might take a couple of minutes for him to do the same for an ingot of metal.

Transmutation: The true power given to Maximilien by Melpomene was the ability to alter the structure and appearance of inanimate objects and should not be confused with alchemic transmutation, as his ability is psychic in nature the limitations are much greater than the “equivalent exchange” of materials and energy. While he very well could take a pile of materials and, after breaking down the molecular structure enough, “will” it into the shape of something else, such as turning a pile of clay into a pot or a hunk of metal into a sculpture, but the fuel and time necessary to do so, not to mention the volatility of the finished produced, make this much too bothersome to consider. Instead he takes finished objects and alters their appearance, such as tweaking a curve here or smoothing a corner there to better fit the image in his mind’s eye. While he can transmute smaller amounts of materials into an entirely new shape the finished product is very delicate due to how much the atomic structure was loosened and adjusted to achieve this result.

Obsession/Compulsion: While a person with an obsessive-compulsive disorder might not seem like the greatest of mental illnesses, anything that goes to the extreme and affects an individual’s health in a negative way can prove dangerous. Maximilien has always been overly-focused upon “perfecting” an image, from ensuring that his collars are not crooked to having the layout in his room prove both symmetrical and pleasant to the eye, so much so that everything else will take second-place to these requirements being met. This is the chief reason why he strives so hard with his artwork, putting everything in his life second-place until it meets his high expectations, something that is made quite a bit easier given his Dark Talent.

Feed The Beast: While the morality of any action is questionable, for most the over-indulgence of an action is considered a sinful act. As Maximilien’s Talent relates to the speeding up of atomic vibrations and manipulating them to represent an image in his mind’s eye, even if just to an extent, he must harvest energy to do so primarily through the consumption of substances which release such chemicals as adrenaline and endorphins into his system, or have hallucinogenic effects, and more than likely a combination is required. This isn’t just minor, recreational use, but a consumptive habit which lasts so long and takes him to the point of breaking and back which he might not be able to control if not for Melpomene holding the reigns most of the time. While it this requirement can be sustained through his own over-indulgence, it is greatly increased when he drags others down into this spiraling pit with him.


Cell-phone: A regular old flip-phone is all this Frenchman needs, not caring for the fanciness of the more modern mini-computers most everyone has with them at all times of the day. If the need ever arises, which it most certainly does, his cheaper phone is always much easier to replace should it need to be destroyed or abandoned.

Goody-bag: Only Maximilien and Melpomone know every substance hiding within this carefully concealed bag of treats at any given moment, and you would doubtless find more than just a couple in there. The size of the bag itself depends on how long the artist intends to work his magic and bring his thoughts to life, or conversely how long he has been going at it.

Notebook: Maximilien’s notebook is a tidy collection of sketches, or his "blueprints" as he likes to call them, and even though it sounds like a singular item, there are many such notebooks to be found in his apartment, and any one of which could be accompanying his on a particular day.

Number 2 Pencil: Just your regular, old, number 2 pencil, not the same one mind you, as much too much scribbling is down throughout the day for one to be feasible. More than likely it will be varying in length and sharpness throughout the day, and with a pink, latex-free eraser nearby for when the pencil's inevitably wears-out or breaks-off.

Backpack: Maximilien’s backpack is what he uses to store his notebook and pencils, as well as a number of materials which he could easily transmute at a given time. Generally speaking he carries with him a small pane of glass, sheet of copper, and variety of rubber and plastic baubles, all thin enough for him to transmute rapidly.


Maximilien Robespierre lived in Paris until 1996 until his family moved to New York for both financial purposes, but the transition did not prove nearly as difficult as one might think for a young, French boy of African heritage. What aided in this easier transition was his homeschooling, a circumstance which kept him sheltered from some of the more harsh realities of life in a country where his genetic heritage would be looked down upon by certain groups. While his societal skills did not necessarily progress and mature as other children who attended public school his parents made sure that he received a much better education and ensured that his studies were tied in with his extracurricular activities as well. Despite their attempts to raise the “perfect” child Maximilien’s parents were extremely displeased with certain aspects of his personality, such as his obsessive nature, constant questioning and contempt of arbitrary rules, and the dominance of his left hand.

After moving to states his parents developed a connection with a nearby church, which also seemed to assist in the operation of an orphanage and mental hospital, where both of his parents were employed. It was at this time that he started to take lessons with some of the orphans, his parents and the church leadership insisting that it would help to “curb” his disobedient inclinations and obsession with grim artwork. They had only lived there for three years when his father died in an accident, from what he was told a patient had grown violent and decided that blood would make much better ink than anything else, and a year later his mother died of mysterious circumstances, at least that’s what he felt as he was never told exactly what happened. It was quite unfortunate that he was placed under the care of this particular orphanage, but what made matters worse was his incapability to adjust to the situation. He had never been a socialite and was relatively sheltered until they moved to the States, and now he was being forced into a situation with which he didn’t know how to cope.

What did he do? He turned inwards, secluding himself within the constraints, or maybe the freedom, of his own thoughts, being absorbed into his artwork and obsessing about whatever he could to avoid dealing with anyone, especially the people of the church. He ignored their words, shrugged off the beatings, and recreated whatever they destroyed until finally they decided that he needed “professional” help. Maximilien was just shy of eleven years old when they decided that he needed psychiatric therapy and constant monitoring so that his “destructive habits” could be curbed and remedied. Their “attempt” to do so, or so they claimed, involved a lonesome room with a ritualistic circle carved into the floor, and they asked him to replicate the image with an assortment of materials. He was provided with an assortment of metallic wire and glass panes and bottles, but was left without any instruments to safely break or handle the materials, and his lack of clothing compounded the problem immensely.

It’s quite easy to lose track of time when you’re immersed within something about with you feel truly passionate, especially all the more so when you’re naught but a child, and the length of time that passed whilst Maxilimien worked on his project is still unknown to him to the day. Glass was shattered, wired twisted, and sheets of metal bent until they snapped while small, delicate hands began to bleed profusely, only stopping when the sensation of pain seared up through his arms and then only stopping until exhaustion overtook him for a few hours. By the time he finished the deeply-carved circle had filled with blood, taking much longer than if it were less than an inch deep, and something was different in the child, this experience had moved him, proved to him that he would sacrifice whatever it took for the sake of his artwork and succeed. He was not the only one made aware of this though, it had drawn the attention of a Sin-Eater, one that appreciated his undying passion and burning desire.

Melpomene was never the hesitant type, and she did not betray her obtrusive nature when first approaching an immersed Maximilien, a poor child devoid of all tears while still being consumed in his artwork, and embracing him at a moment when he was at his weakest. He had lost everything he knew, and all of a sudden a stranger appeared to soothe his aching soul, aiding to relieve all the frustration he had because something just didn’t seem right, showing him how he could truly take control and bring the artwork in his mind into the world. She explained how she would take care of him from now on, that even though his parents were gone and he was abandoned to this desolate place he could rely upon her when he needed a shoulder to cry upon, and for a child in such a fragile state this seemed like absolute salvation, and still does to this day. Sure, she may have a few minor demands for her assistance, but aren’t we all dependent upon one another in this bleak, lonesome world?

Eventually, Maximilien managed to escape the institution, with the assistance of several other patients there, and he was free to fulfill his destiny and achieve true artistic greatness, and it was all thanks to Melpomene, his wonderful Sin-Eater. Sure her needs in exchange for assistance changed and intensified after his escape, but now he could create artwork to his heart’s content, so surely the trade was even, and besides that his drug usage was a liberating experience, both mentally and physically. His habits led to time in both a juvenile and state penal facility, but that was only a small price to pay for beauty, and even then he could still continue with his craft behind bars, trading artwork, even if inferior, for the supplies necessary to fuel his hunger. By now this time though, Melpomene had started using other means to ensure Maximilien would push himself onto and beyond the edge, not only using the image of a motherly protector now, but by also assuming the role of a temptress to circumvent any other natural inhibitions that would keep him from feeding her dark desires.

So begins...

Maximilien Robespierre'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.