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Limerance

Sabrie

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a part of Limerance, by The_Queen.

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The_Queen holds sovereignty over Sabrie, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Sabrie

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Sabrie is a part of Limerance.

3 Characters Here

Doll [381] "I long to see the day where I will be free."
ZERO [359] "Family don't end in blood."
REN [5] Kid Brother // WIP

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Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO
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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


It was quiet in the kitchen; the Doctor had noticed on his way back downstairs. He glanced inside, finding beautifully frosted cookies with no Grell or Loretta. He shrugged, walking around the corner to see if they had gone outside and saw the door to the library had been propped open. No doubt they had gone in there, looking for a recipe book or something of the sort. The Doctor returned to his office, wondering what was happening to his adopted son and why he continued to push him away when he was only trying to help.

Had the Doctor walked any further into the kitchen he would have seen Grell laying on the ground, no sign of blood or trauma. There was a tiny needle sticking into his neck, paralyzing the red haired Being. Doll was gone, an expert team extracting her from the home, ensuring to put a loop on the security feeds of Grell and Loretta having fun in the kitchen. Doll's scream had been silenced before the sound could even come out, her body collapsing into the arms of a Being that could turn invisible. Her scent was covered up, the men having learned from Zero's keen senses that they couldn't risk angering him. He would have made them a fortune at auction, so the team would have to come back for him sometime or another.

Doll lay motionless in the arms of the invisible man who walked past the sleeping security officer at the gate. Her body was put in the trunk, the needle in her neck removed once the villa was out of sight. Doll felt as though the tension in her muscles had been unwound, her wrists and ankles had been bound together and she had very limited movement. In order to blind her from their destination, they lay a blanket over her that blocked out the light and the further they drove, the more hopeless Doll felt. Eventually, with the lack of light and sound, Doll drifted off to sleep and when she awoke, the blanket was removed and she blinked up at the sudden light, her stomach dropping when she saw it wasn't Zero, but two Beings. One had bright red hair, the other dark brown. The red haired one lifted her, saying nothing as they went inside. "Where am I?" Doll asked, receiving no answer.

It was a mansion decorated in bright Christmas lights, a fence disguised as a hedge surrounding the perimeter so no one without permission could think to come in. They were inside, a woman waiting for them in the living room. Her foot was thumping up and down impatiently as Doll was placed on the ground before her. "This is it?" She asked, turning to the red haired Being who nodded his head. "This is her," the woman unfolded something from her pocket, handing it to the red haired Being who left with their brown haired partner. The Being sighed and looked down, kneeling, her expression softening a tiny bit. "So it's true, there was one left." There was a spark of recognition in her eyes but Doll had never seen this woman before.

"My name is Madame Maddox, I am your new Master." She smiled, but Doll noticed there was nothing warm about it. As the woman reached out, Doll whimpered, trying to scoot away. Madame Maddox fastened a collar around Doll's neck, undoing the binds on her wrists and ankles. Attached to the collar was a leash and Madame Maddox tugged it, expecting Doll to follow but the blonde haired human stayed on the ground, her expression one of fear. "Come on little Doll, there's nothing to fear." She offered a hand up, but Yui did not take it. A shock was sent through the collar, jolting Doll as electricity made her head spin. Slowly she stood, following the sound of clicking heels and the smell of perfume that was scented with rose petals.

Upstairs a room had already been prepared, decorated in frills and pink.

Doll hated pink.

"W-what am I d-doing here?" Doll had managed to work up the courage to ask, hoping that this was some sort of mistake. Madame Maddox turned, cupping Doll's chin in her finger tips. "Your old family didn't want you anymore, you see, you were quite a burden on them. Don't worry though, you are most certainly wanted here." Maddox wrapped her arms around the human, hugging Doll's head against her chest. A burden? Doll's heart sank. Of course, no wonder Zero had went upstairs; he didn't even want to say goodbye. Doll had been a fool to think she could be friend's with a Being, to think that she could be happy. Her eyes dotted with tears that quickly spilled down her cheeks. "Oh don't cry, I assure you, you're going to love being my new pet."

"I-I w-want to go h-home," Doll stuttered, abhorring the way she spoke when she was scared.

"Oh but darling, you are home!"

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❝Sometimes it takes a poison to heal.❞

—CORNELIA FUNK, Reckless

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
DIALOGUE
#853c41
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Maria was up in one of the children's rooms. Zero's, in fact, she picked up toys, crayons and generally tidied up when she approached the windows and pulled the black out curtains apart. Wait. What's that unregistered vehicle below? She pushed the button on her blue tooth, "This is Redbird-one, do you read me? What's the status at the home front?"

"Copy, Hound Two, villa's been breached, I repeat the villa's been breached, counter measures immediately. The girl's been taken."

Damnit.

Maria whirled and slapped the button at the wall that sent alarms blaring. Every room was equipped with one just days before.

She approached the kid that was passed out in the next room. He looked like shit.

"Zero wake up!"

He didn't stir until she gave him a rough shake and he gripped at her tightly, gasped for breath and fixed her with wide crimson eyes.


A woman stared with stern golden hues and her pale, tense face said it all; something's up.

"My name's Maria Emeraude, I work with the security countermeasures on site, the estate home front has been compromised and Loretta—"

"Where is she...?" His entire body ached so much, he barely managed to get to his feet.

"I can't vouch for her yet. She's been abducted." Maria said.

Zero gripped at his head, hands all shaky. "...No. I shouldn't have left her."

"She's been chipped, we'll follow protocol and gather her coordinates. Don't blame yourself kid, not even our top agents were prepaired for there advancements."

Not exactly what Zero wanted to hear.

He pushed off the bed. His heart beat faster with every step he took toward the kitchen.

The sweet smell nearly choked him. His eyes found Grell

He was lying there. Too still.

Loretta wasn't around.

Zero moved, he knelt before Grell, touched his shoulder and then he noted the other's minuet gasps. Detected the thready pulse. He searched for its cause, found what looked like a needle of some sort,  acupuncture type thing at his neck. Zero plucked it out.

"...Shit." Grell said with a ragged gasp, and he shook as if his body were catching up then he pushed himself up and groaned. "Fucking bastards they just..."

"I know."

Maria stormed in, "Access the satellite systems and piggy back on the signal, we need a visual on that vehicle now." She spoke to the blue tooth at her ear. Then glanced up at the cameras, her features darkened, "We've been hacked. No surprise there."

"Doc, does he know what's happened?" Grell asked.

Maria turned to them, "He's going to now. We're gathering Intel on Loretta."

"...Have to find her." Zero staggered forward, his movements lacked the usual precision had he been at full charge.

Grell took him by the arm and Zero sagged against him, the burst of momentary energy drained and he  wracked in tremors. He white-knuckled through it and pushed away, he headed toward the door. Could his heart roar any fiercer inside him? He didn't want to think about the terror she must be going through, the same thing... No, he'd lose his mind.

"Zero you're not going at this alone. We're an entire network on this, we will get her back." Maria sounded so sure of herself and Zero wondered if she'd ever had to track an abducted person in her field. Maybe.

Maria nodded at the electronic voice at her ear, Zero couldn't focus enough to listen as clearly.

"We got a visual, let's go." She stormed out the door Zero was headed.

They grouped inside a large SUV, Maria took the wheel, Grell rode shot gun.

Zero sat in back doing his best to go by their book when every cell in his body revved up to just go after the tracks in the snow, the energy that lingered in the air in all its dark beckoning.

"Hounds Eight and Nine notified the task force, we're taking immediate action from here." Maria said, listening to the voices at her ear.



They followed hot pursuit of the unsub's vehicle. Until the perps pulled up at a highly decorated house. Zero noted other beings, hidden among them just outside the property line. Their scents had been masked, their focus on the house. But their energies were poised, what were they waiting for?

Maria cut off the lights and everyone watched as Loretta was hauled inside.

Zero nearly sprang from the back but Grell pressed a hand into his chest and looked him in the eyes.

"Stay put until you're given the clear, that's an order."

Grell was working a plan, he saw it in his eyes, his assurance was the only thing Zero clung to.

"...If they hurt her... I'll tear them apart."

Grell smiled it held no humor, "I'm sure you will."

Maria slipped out the vehicle. Grell and Zero followed her out.

In the trunk she kept an arsenal of weapons enough for twenty men. She handed a Remington toward Grell, to Zero a .42 calibur pistol.

He didn't take it. No need.

"You sure?"

Zero stared at the house with its fake Christmas glow, the rage was all the fuel he needed.

Maria nodded understanding, she turned her head at the voice. "We've got the team working on cutting their escape measures," She gestured toward a figure in black who had single handedly tore at all four tires of their unsub's vehicle, "in order to contain them."

Maria shut the trunk, "So far the team's managed to surround the entire property line."

"Then timing is critical, once they figure out they've been trapped they'll panic." Grell sad, his eyes on the point of interest.

Maria moved around the SUV, she whispered, "Hound Eleven, report your status."

Then she smirked. And glanced and nodded. She thrust a small object toward Zero, "Keep that on, I'll feed you the layout while you go in and extract her."

He took it without question and slipped it over his ear.

"Zero, do you copy?"

"Affirmative." He stared out to the house, his visuals bled deep crimson that nearly sent him into a blind fury but he took deep breaths. No, not yet, not now. Find her first. Make sure before anything.

Please be okay.

Zero grit his teeth, used the sheer pain rioting in him as a focal motivator, he had a better plan, "Don't die." Then he took off with sudden force, it shattered the asphalt.

The house no longer glowed, its light were cut. At the edges of his vision that was nothing short of shifting back, he caught movement of other beings, their energies controlled and precice countering Zero's erratic bursts.

They were the black ocean, the storm that'd tear apart anything in its path. Deadly and lethal with the cloak of night.

Zero slipped through the double french doors of the balcony, inside a master. He sensed one of thr unsub's energies, followed it.They weren't human. Their means of pursuit were far more primal. His kind were traceable when the physical sense such as smell or sight were compromised. Each being vibrated with a signature energy, it jazzed the air, danced across his skin and he fed off it to keep going. Last ditch effort no matter how fucked up he was.

He wasn't leaving without her.

Zero tracked the beings and found himself crossing through even grander territory than Doc's. He didn't know what door lead where, or know the blue prints but he didn't feel it necessary. He'd have to rely on the last threads of pure grit left in him.

"Hound Thirteen reported armed Beings, there's one within twenty meters." Maria's electronic voice came at his ear. He flinched having forgotten she's watching. He could sense it himself, she came off a tad redundant. Though being assured of his next target before it got the drop on him was always a plus.

Ok. Deep breath. Hold. Release. One more. Carry on.

He approached an armed being and with one stroke of his vector, made him drop. Zero pulled it back in, he'd use it when he had to, otherwise he might as well give up. The use demanded too much.

"There are two more ahead, armed. You want to go to the living room, it's below you."

Zero went along the length of corridors and with a little more care than previous attempts he ganked every being and cleared his way with the silence of Death himself. The pain numbed away and ice coated his flesh but again, he didn't care to stop and think. No time.

"The other task force are clearing the second floor, let them do it, move in Zero. Now."

Zero soared down the steps and nearly crashed into another being that sprang out of nowhere. Why hadn't Maria given a head's up? This one must have hidden his energy from being detected and that was no joke. Could Beings even do that at will? Scary thought.

"We've got him now." The being said and he lunged forward.

Zero tore him in half with a swipe of his vector and regretted it when pain throbbed across his spine. It was his injury that hadn't healed as much as he thought. He pulled in the vector.

Another one, five meters. He's a hulk too.

Zero sprang up into the air but miscalculated the height and crashed into the ceiling, stars shot across his eyes and something drilled through his chest. Of course they hit something. The bullet shocked him more than his late hurt. Shit.

The floor rushed at him and Zero managed to angle himself enough to land on his feet, hot plasma rose up his throat and he coughed up blood. No more sneaking around. He pommeled against the big guy and body slammed him into the wall, they crashed through and landed in the middle of the living room.

"Loretta and another Being—wait, Zero be careful that's Madame Maddox. She's an S-rank, like you, don't engage, do you have a clearing on Loretta?"

"Yes."

"Grab her and go. Now."

Too late.

Zero grit his teeth, the being he stomped on lay lifeless, why is Loretta in a fucking collar?

Where were they going? No time. He gave pursuit.


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Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO
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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B



"Here already? They're no fun." She pursed her lips, suddenly lashing out. Loretta gasped as her blood dripped between Madame Maddox's fingers, the chip in hand. "Idiots, I swear sometimes it's like they're beginners!" Loretta held her side as Maddox flicked the chip onto the bed, picking up the leash and dragging Doll out. "Oh wait, silly me." She leaned down, putting her lips to the wound, sealing it was a simple flick of her tongue. Doll felt violated, but she was given no time to think. Madame Maddox pulled at the leash, touching a panel on the wall that slid shut as soon as they were inside the secret corridor. "Come on, we're going on a little trip. You should consider yourself lucky, otherwise you'd just be sitting around bored." Doll stumbled, she was hardly able to keep up as the woman walked briskly up a winding staircase that spiraled towards the ceiling. She removed something on the roof, a terrible sound chopping through the air.

There was a helicopter, waiting for them. "Wait, I-I don't want to go!" Doll pulled at the leash, trying to go to the edge of the roof, knowing that if she jumped she could end it. What was the point of living anyways? Zero, the boy she had believed to be her only friend, was never truly her friend anyways. "Come on, stop making such a fuss." The woman clucked her tongue, grabbing Doll's arm and roughly pulling her into the copter. The door closed behind them and slowly they lifted from the ground. The sound was terrible, deafening like a grating in her ears. "Let me out! I wanna go home!" Doll pounded against the window but she was pulled back, her head forced into Maddox's lap, blonde hair spilling down. "Oh hush child, they don't want you anymore." Doll whimpered, remembering how Zero had seemed so flustered when he had left, turning his back. Grell's sympathetic smile, distracting her with baking cookies, allowing Doll to believe she would give one to everyone. Of course not, he had probably been laughing the entire time.

"Oh yes you're going to love your new home. It's quite lovely," the woman's accent was British, like a cat purring in her ears. "Once I make you over you'll be oh so cute." Doll could feel tears leaking from her eyes, trickling down her cheeks. There was no point in fighting it, they had handed Doll over willingly after all. Maybe her new owner would let her bake cookies? Maybe she would give Doll some sort of warning before giving her away?

Doll kept her head down, closing her eyes as Madame Maddox toyed with her hair. She shivered, curling up on her side in the seat. It was colder up here, as though the air was closing in around the helicopter. Doll couldn't sleep though, she had slept on the drive to the house and couldn't manage to fall under no matter how much she tried. So she stared at the seat in front of her, at least until Maddox took something from the bag beside her, handing Doll a clipboard. "It's not much longer, why don't you draw me a picture?" She asked and Doll looked down at the paper. There were markers on the seat beside her and Doll tried to think of something she wanted to draw. The only things that came to her mind were things Zero had taught her, lions, pyramids, Christmas.

She drew an angel like the cookies she and Grell had been making. No doubt they were in the garbage by now, Grell having a laugh about how he had kept her distracted while they took her out. Doll grew frustrated, tears blurring her vision again. She crumpled up the drawing and started again. Snow, yes, that was safe to go with. Doll recalled walking through the forest with Zero and- she crumpled up the paper, a pile forming at her feet. Doll was down to her last sheet and she drew flowers, that had to be safe, right?

Yes, the garden. Roses and daisies, poppies, and lilies. Doll finished and Madame Maddox nodded approvingly. "Very pretty," she stroked Doll's hair as the helicopter descended on the tarmac. There was a plane waiting for them.

Doll's stomach dropped. Her ears popped as they landed. She had heard of airplanes, but this was her first time seeing one up close. "Where are we going?" Doll asked. Madame Maddox smiled as she opened the door to the helicopter.

"Why, London of course!"

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❝Life shimmers so bright as the stars; death extinguishes it all in the end.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
DIALOGUE
#853c41
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"Zero cease pursuit, they're going via chopper."

What? Zero glared up at the ceiling mid-way. And they said they'd cut 'em off.

"Don't worry, we did our job, they're not going anywhere."

Zero touched his hand against the wall, fighting for breath, "I still want to... Kill her."

"Unfortunately that's not how it works. Come out, we're wrapping this up. Doc's on his way."

Zero gave a deep sigh and turned, then headed down the steps.

Outside he was met with Grell who handed him a bottle. He opened it with a feverish urgency and downed its warm plasma, fast.

Maria however stared up, "The trace is headed North East, let's roll boys." There was no time for further discussion, as they all went back into the SUV.

"You said she couldn't escape." Zero said, he slammed the empty bottle on the floor and glared at Maria.

Maria sent the SUV hurtling down the icy road, behind them a fleet of agents, as well as in front of them. She wasn't kidding when she said they were a team.

"And who said she's escaping?"

Zero stared, "Maddox gotta getaway chopper. No escape my ass."

Maria nodded, her gaze focused ahead , "And we have eyes in the sky, and her chopper's coordinates are accessible through our own advanced trackers. This is nothing more but a cat and mouse chase."

Zero gripped at the back of her seat, "Is this a fucking game to you guys? I don't play games. I want to ventilate her and get Loretta back."

Grell turned in his seat, "Well tough shit, we can't just shoot the chopper without compromising Loretta's safety. You got Maddox's signature energy read, that's about all we need."

How did he know that? Never mind, he scowled at Grell, "So I'm the crazy bitch's GPS now?"

Maria nodded, "If you want to call it that. It will help seeing as you've got untapped potential." Her lips curled up the slightest bit, then her features tensed at the voice. "Hound Eleven's just reported the landing. They're changing to a private jet line." Then her expression gave nothing, was that a good sign? Bad?

Zero nearly tore her seat, "What?"

"They're headed out of the country."

Grell glanced at her, "Where?"

"She's an influential entity with multiple contacts. Best guess is anywhere in Old Europe or the more foreign countries." She looked up at the rearview to connect with Zero's eyes. "We will find out soon as she lands. The next move is to reach out to our allies on the other side; she's not the only one with connections."

Zero exhaled a shuddered breath and sagged into the seat. The more he thought he had reached her, the more she seemed to slip away. Every inch of him screamed in pain but that wasn't anything compared to the one that rocked through him.

What if he lost her forever? What if they reached her but this crazy Maddox decided to kill her or fuck with her beyond saving?

What if, no, what if, she was happier there? What if by the time they reached her Loretta decided she wanted to stay?

And leave him.

God, no.

"No. I have to... Get her back."

Grell turned, "And we will, no doubt we will. Zero, hey, Zero...?"

His voice echoed off and it was as if Zero were underwater and his vision tunneled out. The last thing he remembered was the dim light above, and Loretta smothered in darkness. Gone.


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Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO
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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


It was five hours from New York to London. Time and space of course, were irrelevant to Doll. She spent most of the time looking out the window like an eager dog. Doll was finally getting to travel the world, although she had wanted to do it with Zero. He didn't want her though, Doll constantly reminded herself. All of those promises, the lessons, they had all been lies. Then why had he taught her to read and write? Doll wondered many times. Madame Maddox had seemed very pleased at Doll's ability to read basic human English, which of course was out of date but she had gotten a hold of something on her tablet and had Doll read it to her to pass the time. "That was very good," she would purr when Doll was finished and bring up another book.

By the time they had arrived, the sun was setting. Had Doll had a tail it would have been wagging in excitement. "Are we almost there?" Doll asked as the plane dipped downwards and a flight attendant came out to show her how to use the seat belt again. "Nearly," Maddox promised with a bob of her head, "it should only be another half an hour." Doll could hardly wait. When the plane stopped moving, she unbuckled and looked out the window, a light snow drifting to the ground.

Maddox took hold of the leash, dragging Doll out of the plane and down a set of stairs to an awaiting house. The woman had her own runway and everything. They were somewhere remote, the forest surrounding the large property. When Doll entered behind Maddox, there was a woman waiting to greet them. "Prepare dinner," Maddox said and led Doll upstairs, tugging her along. Doll wanted to look at everything, but there wasn't any time according to the woman. "Let's get you washed up." She showed Doll to her room, much like the other one decorated in frills.

"I hate pink." Doll mumbled as Maddox left her to get ready for dinner.

Doll went to the window, attempting to pry it open. It was locked of course and there was no chance of it opening. She had a view of the garden, which was covered in snow fall, once vibrant flowers peeking through dense layers of ice. The door opened and Maddox returned, attaching the leash to the collar once more and leading her downstairs to dinner. The table was set for two and Doll sat across from her, shifting uncomfortably. "What's wrong? You don't like pasta primavera?" In truth Doll had know idea what that even was, she just wasn't feeling well.

"No." Doll shook her head and looked up. "It's just, did they really give me to you?" Madame Maddox put down her silverware and stood, going over to where Doll sat and hugging the girl's head against her again. "Oh my dear human, they pushed you right onto me. The pesky Atarashi's hadn't known what they were getting into. I do though and I promise you won't be treated like that ever again."

Doll could feel the tears welling up in her eyes once more. Zero, Grell, Isabelle, even the Doctor. She would probably never see them again and Doll had never gotten to ask Zero so many things. Madame Maddox placed a hand on her forehead and frowned, kneeling to press her cheek against Doll's head. "Why don't we get you into bed? I'm going to have one of my employees come check in on you." Doll nodded her head, the will to fight leaving her. She followed Madame Maddox up to her room where one of the maids started the bath. Doll sunk beneath the warm water, wondering if she would get to go to Africa.

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❝Home is where ever you are.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
DIALOGUE
#853c41
¤¤
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He dreamed of her, the girl he adored. He dreamed he held her and that she clung to him.

They were in a strange place but it all seemed to blur.

"Take me home." She said. "Take me home."

But when he awoke she disappeared back into the shadows of all he held dear. She was just a phantom, always out of reach.

He'd die to be where she was.

_________


"Zero... You had me worried. I thought I'd lose you again."

It was a voice Zero couldn't recognize, but the energy. It shocked him from the void and he opened his eyes. He was swathed in white, something beeped faster and faster and he sat up.

Across from the room stood a boy much younger than he, but those eyes were unmistakable. Mercury hues much like his own, and yet so distant peered right back.

Zero couldn't move, much less speak or this dream would shatter.

The figure paced forward, sat on the edge of the bed and his lips twitched into a smile.

"I'm glad my blood helped. Otherwise... I wouldn't want to think otherwise."

Then Zero reached out and holy shit he wasn't dreaming.

"I'm here, I am."

He touched Zero's hand that trembled against the side of his face and he closed his eyes as though he were pained.

"...Ren." He gasped out, "Ithought you died."

He shook his head, "No. You did. And for hours I watched them struggle to bring you back. Nothing was working. Nothing."

Then his gaze settled on the bed, "Except that girl."

Zero glanced down, beside him was the Unicorn that still smelled of her. His chest hurt at the memory, she wasn't here anymore.

"Doc brought that in, but that wasn't all he brought."

Why did he sound so bitter? Zero didn't ask.

He let his hand slip to the back of Ren's neck and pulled him forward. Zero wrapped him in arms and held him tightly.

"I...lost you." And for a long time he was a ghost, never far from Zero's thoughts.

Ren hugged back, "Me too."

A few moments later Doc was inside the room, his expression was carefully set but his eyes were tired.

"I'm sorry to interrupt the family reunion," He looked at Ren, then at Zero, "I bring news."

Zero stared at him, "You found her?"

"Yes."

Zero sighed, a little relieved, "Ok, so, where is she?"

"London." Ren said, he fixed Zero with an odd look, "She's been well too, I'd say she's happier there."

Zero grit his teeth, what the hell? He stared at Doc, "I don't care, she doesn't belong there, she belongs here with us."

Ren shook his head, "Is she that significant?" Again there was that odd distance in his eyes.

Zero parted from him, it's as if the boy seated beside him wasn't Ren but an imposter.

She's slipping away.

"Miss Loretta existence isn't small, not to me."

He looked up, for once the being wasn't in a lab coat. For once he was normal. "Doc where did you... How did you?" He pointed to Ren.

Ren shook his head, "I found you. It wasn't easy, but I managed."

Zero didn't meet his gaze instead he held Doc's, "We're going across the pond."

Doc nodded with a resigned sigh, "If you're up for traveling."

_________________

Ren, Zero, Maria, Grell and even Doc all boarded the company private airlines. It'd take hours up in the air and the entire flight was a hurdle. Zero hadn't realized how much heights didn't agree with him until they took off.

"We've traveled before." Ren said, he sat beside Zero, as calm as a Hindu cow.

On the other hand, Zero gripped at the arm wrests and hummed some kind of old classic rock. He tensed when Ren poked at his shoulder. It still ached but he wasn't about to complain. Doc would worry. Or Grell.

"But it was always on land, we always drove to places."

"Your fear isn't logical brother, we've never had any bad experiences with flight."

Grell chuckled, "I doubt it has anything to do with being in the air, or the plane itself."

Ren quit poking, "Intriguing."

"Indeed." Doc said, and Zero didn't haven to open his eyes to know Doc watched him.

Hours later they landed and Zero was a little too happy to get off the plane.

The group met up with some uniformed beings outside the airlines and they moved on to an awaiting limo and drove to one of the grand hotels.

"Can we just go get her?" Zero asked, he looked around more in constant search of Loretta than awe by the newly structured buildings and other beings around.

"We're working on that." Maria said and she lead the group with her associates to a meeting room. More sitting, more talking, but at least this time they had their P.O. I. up on a holo board, and all the Intel they'd gathered on the elusive Madame Maddox.

"So, now, Doc, now that we've discussed just who we're dealing with, what are your thoughts on the matter?" Maria asked, she turned to him thoroughly attentive.

Zero stared out the large windows to the grounds below, that's where he wanted to be, out there searching the lines to see what he could pick up on.
Ren stood at the holo board, studying the profiled subject.

"We know she's got influence and power, especially here, her turf." He said, "Instead of talking we should take action, hit her at all her vulnerable spots. Take away all her supports, in a sense leave her cut-pff from everything."

Zero punched the wall, "I don't care about her, I just want Miss Loretta back." He pulled his fist from the hole in the wall, "We're wasting time here." He glanced at Doc, "Let's go to that house," he pointed to the marked map where the others had indicated was her dwelling, "And get her back."

Ren came to stand by his side, "I'll pitch in. I'd like to meet the Madame myself."

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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Doll had been locked in the room for days. Occasionally Madame Maddox would come in, bearing gift boxes full of toys that were left unwrapped in the corner. She didn't eat, food getting replaced but never eaten. Sometimes Madame Maddox would come and play with her, dressing her up like a Doll, show her off like a toy in a collection. The other beings would look at her with lustful expressions and Doll would retreat back to the room as soon as she could. It was impossible to sleep without Zero's presence and so every night she would be drugged, dragged forcefully into a nightmare that would never end.

Madame Maddox had kept her promise of making her over. She cut Doll's hair short to shoulder length, saying that in London that was how the humans wore it. In truth, it was probably just easier to stick underneath the wigs. "Alright my little Doll," Madame Maddox announced that day. She was tired of Doll simply sitting around, unwilling to be her pet. Doll was still mourning her loss of Zero, wishing he would have at least said something, had told her what she had done wrong. Madame attached the leash to the collar and dragged Doll to a room in the basement. It was a lab, set up like the one in her nightmares. "Come now, don't be shy." She tugged the collar but Doll didn't move.

A harder pull and Doll went stumbling down the steps. "I used to work in that dreadful zoo." Maddox spoke as she strapped Doll down to a table, humming to herself as she went. "Your genetic are what interested me, treated like a human and yet, you aren't one." Doll's heart stopped, her entire body freezing. "No, I am human." Doll said, her voice coming out small. "Oh? So no one told you?"

"Told me what?"

"My dear you're neither human nor Being! I'm afraid you've been rejected from both worlds!" She chuckled as though this were very humorous. "Quite often, the addition of human blood makes ones ability much stronger." Maddox pulled on a pair of gloves, taking out a needle. She stuck it into Doll's arm, draining a pint. Doll's head spun, she was already weak from not eating, this just made it worse. "I'm curious to see what yours will be." She poured the blood into a glass, drinking it like wine. "So fragrant and sweet, my your just a little drop of sweetness aren't you?"

"I don't understand." Doll cried. "You're a mutt Doll, not one or the other. In the meantime, while I puzzle out what you are, I'm going to start training you." She held up a picture of Zero. He was smiling gently in that way of his, eyes sparkling. Doll wanted to reach out, to take the picture and hug it. Instead, she received a shock. "This boy hurt you," another shock, electricity creeping up her spine. "No." A whisper, Zero would never hurt her.

"He hated you, tossed you aside like garbage." It continued for what felt like hours. Doll was crying, shaking, her mouth open in a silent scream. Finally, Madame Maddox unstrapped Doll from the table, "I'm the only one you'll ever need. Everyone else, they don't like you, but I do, I love you very much." She soothed, stroking Doll's hair. Doll couldn't really recall what happened next, she somehow ended up back in her room, an IV giving her something for the pain. They left her along in a pile of stuffed animals, so quiet it was almost like she wasn't there.

Slowly, Doll got to her feet. She went to the closet, pulling on a pair of warm pants and a jacket, tying boots on her feet. The door was locked of course, as well as the window so Doll picked up a chair, throwing it at the glass. It shattered, sounding an alarm. She took a running leap, falling to the ground and rolling into a pile of flowers and snow. Doll quickly got to her feet, running through the garden. There were shouts coming from behind her, Beings yelling at her to stop but Doll continued to run, reaching the edge of the forest when the collar went off, sending a shock through her body that paralyzed her. Doll collapsed to the ground, a pair of heels clicking on the trail behind her. "My, my. You're being such a bad girl today." Madame Maddox clicked the leash into the collar, dragging Doll like a stuffed on the ground.

"It looks like I'll just have to give you another lesson."

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❝A person can only change if it is within their will to.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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Today is a celebration, the workers on site ran around ants on speed, prepping, decorating, delivering. It was chaos, it was order, it was loud, it was, quiet. They were steadfast. Among the workers droplets of wine, its color spread and little by little it'd turn the tide.

"Don't pass out on me." Grell hissed through his teeth.

Zero kept watch, "Keep me covered."

"When can we have some fun?" Ren smiled, he almost seemed like his old self, almost.

The boys were disguised as workers in the kitchen crew. Bringing pastries from the truck to the kitchen. It was the only way in. From there they took orders, prepped the grand dining room, tonight's dinner would be the most festive of the eve.

"I can make way better pasties than this." Grell glared at the cake left on the counter.

Zero tapped his arm, "A little roofie slipped in will just about make 'em perfect, don't cha think?"

Grell looked at him with a raised brow, "You're wicked, kid."

Zero chuckled dark as the storm clouds that'd settled over the London horizon. "You don't know the half of it."

"Pick up on her yet?" Came the voice at Zero's ear.

"She's very close," He looked down, "underground." What the hell is she doing?

He started forward but a hand clamped over his shoulder. Ren.

"Hold it, we go at this together." There was something in those argent eyes Zero couldn't recognize. It made his blood chill but he shook it off.

"Alright."

Ren smirked, "Patience. Like dad always said, gets it done right."

Zero pushed his hair from his eyes and gripped at the damp strands before releasing. He took a breath, then another. Damn, dad always said a lot of things, but he wasn't here. Not for a long time.

"Let's just get this over with." And he picked up one of the too fancy cakes and went onwards.

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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Madame Maddox seemed to be having fun, drinking blood directly from Doll's shoulder like a juice box. She had been injected with something that made her nerves heightened and so every whisper of breath, the tiniest movement, it felt like thousands of needles plunging into her skin. Doll was breathing hard as the shocks continued, small at first, then growing steadily worse. Doll couldn't scream due to the gag, the torture a little bit of the everything from Madame's collection. Maddox was a Doctor too, however, the Madame had retired after she had gotten caught stealing human blood. After that she went into politics, working her way up to the top of London's social ladder and food chain. Even here, across an ocean, humans had little rights.

"So my little mutt have you learned your lesson?" She grasped Doll's cheeks, her lipstick flawless and not a speck of blood on her outfit despite the amount Doll had bled. Doll nodded her head and Madame Maddox smiled. "Good, but just in case." She raked her nails across Doll's stomach and the human screamed into the cloth, thrashing against the leather cuffs that held her still. "Alright, enough fun for now. Try to leave me again and it'll be much, much worse. Now, what do we say?" The gag was removed.

"Y-yes M-Madame." She tilted her head forward, clearly enjoying Doll's torture. "And?" She tapped the whip in her hand and Doll swallowed hard. "Th-thank y-you M-m-Madame.." The cuffs came off and Doll fell to the ground in a heap, clothing ripped, blood draining into a grate on the ground. "Alright, let's go get you cleaned up. There are going to be some important people here tonight, I need you to look your best." Madame Maddox pulled on the leash and Doll got to her feet, following her up the stairs and back to the room. Workers moved out of the way, clearly knowing better than to anger the Madame. The woman was a powerful Being, both physically and mentally and not someone you wanted to go up against.

She planted seeds in the mind with subliminal messages, turning people into her playthings. The world was her toy chest and those in her home her dolls. As her influence spread, so did her ability to control minds and puppet things from atop her high tower. The Madame locked Doll's door, unleashing the girl once inside. Doll fell to her knees, collapsing on the carpet. There was hardly anytime to rest though before she was called into the bathroom for a bath. At least there are bubbles, Doll thought as she tried to remain optimistic. Yes, things would be alright, she would be fine. Who needed to leave? To see the outside?

Not Doll.

She sunk beneath the water, soap stinging her wounds. Doll was scrubbed vigorously, as though the Madame didn't trust her to wash herself. Soon they were standing in the closet, wounds wrapped her body adorned in ribbons and lace, her collar replaced with one that matched the outfit with a little bell on it in case Doll got swallowed be the crowd. "I want you to stick by my side tonight my little Doll, there are going to be a lot of grubby Beings who would love to get a hold of you." She pat Doll's cheek and went to the mirror to fix her own lipstick.

"Yes Madame," Doll whispered, not wishing to induce Maddox's rage.

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❝And tonight we hid beneath the mask as strangers.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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"What's up, Doc?" Ren asked, he wore a flamboyant mask with rabbit like features.

"Lame." Zero said, he pulled a silvery mask over his eyes, it was odd dressing up like this. In clothes that weren't his, taking up a role that never suited him.

Grell was the last to emerge, him among many who'd take the opportunity to swap places with many folk. No one would miss them anyways. They were all robots, all dispensable.

"Don't cause unnecessary casualties." Maria hissed at his ear. Zero tsked, "We don't have time too play hero."

Ren nodded, "Whatever it takes to get the girl." But his smile was too eager. Zero would have to talk to him about the gap between them, Ren wasn't himself.

Grell was looking sharp, Zero barely recognized him, he wore a ruby mask, it made him look aristocratic.

"This is crazy." Zero would have opted for his own mode of operation, just go in grab Loretta, run.

"I'm sure you'll see her tonight, along with the Madame herself." Ren said, "She's got a tight leash on her, literally."

Zero hummed something by Led Zeppelin, it was the only way he knew how to keep his cool.

Grell lead the way, he listened to instruction from his ear piece, "Alright, gentlemen. Let the masquerade begin."

The main event began at the grand ball room, from there they'd gradually end up at the dining room, the entire event had been double-checked, everything precise so the evening would flow without a hitch by the being in charge to which Maria had managed to hack into their electronic event planner to get a glimpse behind the scenes.

This time they were going to end it all, the night of all nights.


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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Doll followed as Maddox tugged the leash, going down the main staircase nearly ten minutes after the party had begun. "Madame," a man greeted them at the bottom, "fashionably late as always." Madame Maddox laughed, the sound making Doll flinch. She kept her eyes downcast as she was led around a room while the Madame welcomed her guests, sowing her seeds in their heads. Doll for the most part was quiet, unless Maddox wanted her to meet someone. Other pets were here too, some led by leashes, others following their masters from experience of knowing what happened if they tried to escape. Doll could hardly remember any names, much less did she care to try. It didn't matter anyhow, it's not as tough she was likely to ever see them again.

"Hey," a voice came from behind her. Doll stood motionless, believing that like everyone else, they talked over her or about her, not to her. "Hey," it came again and someone nudged her side. Doll looked up, startled, which caused the leash to tug in Madame Maddox's hand. Doll waited with bated breath, but Maddox didn't move. She breathed a sigh of relief and the boy looked at her. "You new or something?" He asked, his voice lost in the sea of voices. "How could you tell?" Doll asked warily. The boy shrugged, he was wearing a pair of cat ears. The Beings were all dressed in fancy costumes with expensive masks while the humans had all been made up in animal costumes. Doll herself wore a pair of rabbit ears.

"Because I haven't seen you at these parties before."

"You go to a lot of them?" He shrugged as though he were being modest. "A few." Doll smiled, the first tickle of light in a time of darkness. "What's your name?" He asked, tilting his head to the side in question like an actual cat. "Doll," she held out her hand and he took it, kissing it, the two giggling as Doll curtsied a tiny bit, the two mocking the Beings. "I'm Xavier,"" Doll looked at his face, noticing the two colored eyes. One was green like summer grass the other blue like the stormy seas. Their leashes were tugged, the humans pulled apart. "I'll find you later!" He promised and Doll nodded. "Okay!" Madame Maddox led her away from the other human. "Doll, don't talk to that filth. He belongs to Lord Grace."

"But he's really nice and-" a loud snap smacked her face, her head practically spinning the slap had come so fast. Madame Maddox tsked. No one in the room seemed to blink at the abuse, most likely accustomed to this sort of thing. Madame Maddox turned as Doll's eyes watered, she straightened the girl, fixing the wig and rabbit ears. "Now look what you've done." She wiped away the impending tears and asked, "Now what do you say?"

"Yes Madame," Doll whimpered, delicately touching her sore face. Madame Maddox continued, tugging Doll along who followed in stunned silence. The Madame walked past a trio of boys, each shorter than the last. A wisp of bright red hair caught her eye, but Doll was pulled along and the wig kept visibility at a minimum, almost acting as blinders.

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❝No matter how the wind howls,
The mountain cannot bow to it.❞

—MULAN

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A spread of warmth unfurled within him and Zero hesitated. That only happened when—suddenly there was a slap, silence followed. And that's when he saw them.

She dared touch Loretta.

"I'm gonna kill her." Zero stepped forward but Ren caught his wrist and held him back, his energies wrapped him in an icy chill that worked to distract him—what the hell was that?

Then Madame and Loretta walked right passed them and he noted the wig Loretta wore, her dress, she looked like a stranger. They all were.

"Not ready to rock, just yet." Ren let him go after a moment.

"What's next." Zero was running out of classics to hum, and he knew many.

"There's supposed to be the grand dance, you should be able to get closer then." Maria said, "Many chances will present themselves tonight, don't screw up."

Chances. He didn't like this at all. It wasn't easy to roll with it when it came to Loretta now was it? Anything could down and if it that happened he didn't care, he'd just have to do things his way.

"Unfortunately there are other humans around as well, they could get caught in the crossfire." Grell of course took note of the number of humans that just had to accompany their being masters tonight.

"So? They aren't our problem."

Zero elbowed Ren, "Shut up. That's not a place you want to be."

The music started up and the others gathering began conversing among one another.

Grell tilted his head as he branched away, Ren turned to address a being that was giving him googly eyes. And Ren was easily blending in.

"Don't stand there Zero, move. Get me a visual of the ball room."

Right. They were still on a mission here.

He turned sharply and caught a being who crashed into him.

"...Sorry." Zero said, he held her up.

The girl in a bright flamenco pink mask and lace and chiffon gown peered up with large, emerald eyes. Her ruby lips curled and her apple cheeks turned bright pink. She gripped his arm, her other hand linked a thin gold chain to a human kid, also in a monochrome mask, long dark hair pulled back and tied by a ridiculously flashy ribbon.

"Oh, I'm so sorry, Mr..." Her voice too high, too eager.

"Fowl." Zero said, he made sure she was well on her feet before letting her go.

"Call me, Lady Rozenoir, it is a pleasure." She curtsied, then gestured toward the penguin at her side. "This is Blackwell, he's my dear pet."

The boy bowed silent, as if he were her shadow.

Such a pity.

"Where's your pet, Mr Fowl?"

Pet. The word made Zero cringe but he smiled, it came easy because tonight he wasn't Zero Kisaragi, tonight he was someone else a being who owned a pet. A pet!

"Actually she couldn't attend this eve, caught a bug, so I left her home to rest."

Lady Rozenoir put a dainty gloved hand to her chest, "Poor thing, you truly are thoughtful," She leaned in conspiratorily and Zero met her half way, he had to keep up with appearances. "There are Beings who don't care to bring their pets, even when they have the flu, that's just unclassy."

Zero grit his teeth, there was nothing classy about subjecting humans to this bull.

"How dreadful."

"There should be more thoughtful beings like us, see if my Blackwell was sick only the top physician could take care of him, you know..."

Zero glanced in the direction Loretta had went, isn't there a way he could get closer? Reach her some how? Signal her so that she knew he was here for her?

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{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


"Madame Maddox!" Someone called and Maddox stopped, allowing Doll room to breathe. The woman had been taking her along from person to person with hardly any time for Doll to keep up. Maddox turned stiffly, a sharp smile on her face. "Lord Grace, my darling it is a pleasure to see you again." Xavier stood behind him, the pet giving a short wave. Doll looked away, hoping Xavier wouldn't take it the wrong way. "And look at the handsome boy you've brought with you tonight."

"Yes, well only the finest in attendance for you, I had to do my best to show up all the other Lords." Most of the other Lords had brought female humans, some hardly covered at all, each one wearing animal ears. It was ironic really. "And show them up you have." Her smile was fake, words dripping with venom. Lord Grace noticed but he sent back a grin that was just as sharp. "I was thinking Madame, it is has been so long since we've danced." Doll pretended not to hear. The wall was suddenly very interesting. Behind Lord Grace's back Xavier was making faces, Madame Maddox noticed but she ignored it.

Doll stifled a giggle as Maddox tugged a tiny bit in warning. Immediately the human straightened, knowing what would happen if she didn't listen. "I was thinking, our humans, both one of a kind specimens could probably produce an exquisite product." Doll couldn't help but overhear. Her cheeks turned a bright shade of pink at the mention of such a thing. "I have no desire for your filth touching my sweet little Doll." Madame Maddox grabbed Doll, hugging her close to her chest, covering the girl's ears. "Just the mention of such things in front of her. You disgust me." Madame Maddox looked Xavier up and down, frowning. "No, I should think not. Come along Doll, there will be no dancing for us tonight."

And once more she was pulled away. Doll looked back at Xavier who seemed just as shock by what Lord Grace had said. "You need to eat," Madame Maddox chirped as she walked towards the table of refreshments, recovering quickly. "Otherwise your chest will never develop." For the second time in the last five minutes Doll's cheeks turned bright red. Yes, her chest was small but that didn't mean... The thought of such things made her face heat up more. Madame Maddox chuckled, touching Doll's shoulder reassuringly. "It was only a joke. You still need to eat, don't think I haven't noticed your skipping meals. Lose anymore weight and you'll disappear!"

"Maybe that's what I was trying to do." Doll whispered, her hands balling into fists. "Don't be so foolish, of course I'm not going to let you do such a thing." No, Madame Maddox had yet to have as much fun as she wanted with her new toy. Madame Maddox pushed something into her hands, a mini cake on a tiny plate. Doll nibbled on it but it tasted bland in her mouth and she got rid of it as soon as Madam Maddox turned her back. "You see that boy over there?"

"Yes Madam."

"You are forbidden to go near him." Doll looked at the boy from where she stood. He was wearing a suit and mask like everyone else but had no pet. He was young and so he stuck out from the crowd. "I don't like how he's eyeing you." Madam Maddox spoke simply, sipping the champagne in her glass.

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❝The sun dies every night, just so his Mistress Moon rises.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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Forbidden. Pfft. More and more annoying by the second, and yet she had a point. Zero averted his gaze, but then he realized there was a way. He just had to get closer.

"...And then during the summers I'd take my pet only to the finest resorts, you know there are places that cater to them, have you ever—"

"Lady Rozenoir, would you like to sample one of those mini cakes?" Zero offered his arm and accepted a glass of bubbly champagne for the both of them.

"Oh, such a gentleman." She giggled, and hooked her arm with his, they approached the table. He offered her the glass and she smiled more, clinked her glass with his and sipped.

Loretta's warmth reached him in feathery waves and he nearly melted, how much he missed just standing in the same room as her.

He was just a few meters from her, if he could just take her into his arms and hurtle out the doors. So close.

He brought the glass to lips but didn't drink.

"Oh, they all look so delectable." His company was too hyper, and she plucked up one of the triangle shaped cakes, popped it into her mouth.

She downed it with champagne.

Zero nodded, "Yeah. They do." He felt his tension ebb and flow, the storm within him simmered.

He wished it was Loretta holding his arm instead this twat.

"You haven't told me about your pet, what's her name? What's she like?"

Is this what beings like to do all the time, talk about people as if they were some sort of prize? And why the hell was it her business? He didn't even own a pet, or ever had a "pet" pet.

"Her name's, Lyra. She's a very energetic girl, she has a nice smile and likes books."

This got her attention, "Oh, she can read? How thrilling. What's her favorite book?" Lady Rozenoir fetched a plate and started picking through pasties and cookies.

Her penguin dude just stood there, his eyes cast low. The golden chain hung from the collar around his neck and Zero grit his teeth, not too long ago he'd been pulled by one. How humiliating.

"The Little Bird and the Colors, it's beautiful and tragic."

"A children's book, aw she must be so young."

Zero nodded, "Verily." Keeping this up was already so draining but he pushed through.

"Did you teach her to read? Oh, and have you ever been to the Golden Apple Hotel? That's the one that caters."

"Yes, and no. Never heard of it."

Lady Rozenoir touched his arm and Zero tensed but he understood she was just trying to show sympathy.

"I hope Lyra feels better, maybe we could later meet entre nous again sometime." She met his gaze, "I'd love to see your pet, we could have her meet my darling Blackwell too."

Zero nodded, another fake little smile, "I bet she'd like to as well, she loves making new friends." Yeah, not happening sister. He was tugged toward another section of tables, this one offering weird dishes, were they snacks too? It smelled weird. He gripped the stem glass of his champagne.

"Good, keep moving so far it looks like we got a full house of beings and pets this year. And our team are hidden among them as well, everything's checking out." Maria chimed in, at least someone was having fun.

Zero inwardly groaned, the warmth was beginning to fade a little the more Lady Rozenoir directed him off. How was he gonna shake her now?

"Have you ever traveled with Lyra, Mr Fowl, and what do you like to do?"

More questions? He caught Ren in the corner of his eye, two girls at each arm giggling and joking. Bastard. He sighed.

"Not until recently, I can't say it's been a great trip either. She got sick and all." Now he was beginning to feel sick, he wasn't much into opening up especially to her.

"I work with my dad, bio tech. Fascinating stuff really. You?"

Lady Rozenoir fluttered her lashes, did she have something in her eye?

"Oh, I'm always traveling, me and Blackwell, been all over the world. What's left of it anyways," She added one of the weird dishes to the heap on her tray, gave it to Blackwell to hold. "Bio tech sounds so complex, I work with jewelry, I'm taking up my mother's business in the wedding ring design department."

"So you're wearing...?"

She seemed to sparkle, "Yes, I'm wearing my own pieces, see this necklace with the opal stone, I designed it and this," She pulled Blackwell, "Show him the watch..."

Blackwell brandished a classical pocket watch, the light reflected off its polished surface like a knickle and Zero went still.

"...I'd happened to come across such a rare piece, had it fixed and..." Her words faded into the cacophony of voices around him, all he heard was the tic, tok, tic, tok...

"That's m...magnificent finish, so..." He wanted to snatch it, his hand trembled as Blackwell allowed Zero to hold it, examine it a little more. The diamond in the center of the hands, the roman numerals in gold, the inside cover with the insignia, it wasn't there. She must have covered it in the redesign. But the weight was the same, how it felt in his hand. No doubt it belonged to him, even the chain that looped back to Blackwell had that rustic and recognizable appeal. No mistaking it.

"How exactly did you come across this piece again?"

Lady Rozenoir giggled a shrilly sound, "I was having one of the most craziest of days..."

She explained about wanting to work on a site that'd been totaled, likely the last house where his family had spent the final holiday. He'd buried the watch and compass with the intention of getting it back.

Blackwell took the watch and put it away. His left pocket. Zero would deftly retrieve it soon as he got the chance. Either he would, or Ren.

"...So we found this busted up box and managed to pry it open, it was filled with this watch and a compass."

Ren's compass.

"I left it home, but I don't know if I should sell it."

"Don't be so quick to sell these things, they could be heirlooms, priceless treasures." Zero tensed under Ren's stare, dual daggers of fire scorched through him, "What if the owners wish to reclaim them, you could always bring them to someone who—"

Lady Rozenoir's lips persed, "I doubt that very much, I heard the owners to the house had passed or vanished. Who knows." She shrugged, "I'll think about it."

Zero sighed, "Well, if you decide to regardless, I'll take it off your hands and throw in a generous offer."

Then she turned to him, "How about a date then, tea at Café Nôit. And a dance?" She passed her glass to Blackwell and offered her hand.

Daring and troublesome.

"Zero dance with her, now." Maria said.

He took her hand automatically, "Dance we shall."

The music he'd let fill his head, make him forget about ditching this crap and doing what he really wanted to do. And since when did he dance? And why was this happening? Oh, right, just playing his role; doing it well.


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{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Doll spotted the bright red hair again, the familiar posture. Was that, no it couldn't be... Grell? But what was he doing here? Doll shook her head, no there had to be more than one Being with such bright red hair. Doll shut her eyes and when she opened them, he was gone. So it was an illusion after all. "Here, eat this." Madam Maddox handed her something else and once more, Doll threw it out as soon as the Madame's back was turned. She wasn't hungry, nerves burbled up inside of her the more she thought about how Lord Grace had looked at her with those leering eyes. A shiver crept down her spine. "Come along now little Doll." That was her cue to begin walking once more. Doll was growing tired, it was hard to stay on her feet. Normally she would have been asleep by now, but the party went on and Doll had a feeling she wasn't going to get to go to bed for a a while.

They stopped walking again. There was another human, a girl. She looked miserable, her hair tied up in a complicated knot dyed blue to match her dress. "Hello," Doll tried, but Madame Maddox gave the leash a tug, letting Doll know she wanted her to be quiet. Look pretty, but don't speak, that seemed to be her purpose. What was the point of her even being there? Doll began to wonder. A real rabbit would have given the woman less of a problem and served the same purpose. Doll's head swirled, she turned, catching sight of the red haired man again. Doll opened her mouth, but he put a finger to his lips, slipping away mysteriously into the crowd.

In truth, Madame Maddox knew they were there. She could sense which minds were there, which ones had her seeds sown into them. The woman had been leading Doll around in a seemingly random pattern, ensuring that each agent would hear her voice. Now they wouldn't be able to resist her command. Doll stumbled, it was hard to stand upright. "My, my I think someone has drunken one too my glasses of bubbly. I'll see you later darling, I'm going to take my pet upstairs." Thankfully, it was only a short trip. As soon as they reached the room Doll collapsed onto the floor, retching. "Madame, I don't feel well." Doll whimpered, her head spinning. "Yes I can see that. You lost a lot of blood today and then you refused to eat anything, it's no wonder you feel terrible." She placed a hand on Doll's forehead. "Oh and burning up to." One of Madame's servants arrived, wearing a sparkly gold collar. She lifted Doll into the bed, taking off her wig and shoes. Doll curled up on her side and Madame wrapped the blanket around her. "I have guests to tend to. They'll no doubt try to take her tonight, be on guard."

As the door closed, locking, the woman began to work. She took Doll's arm gently in her grasp, starting an IV. Doll had no will to resist, the Madame told her to stay here and so stay she would. Her body felt like led anyways and Doll doubted she could stand even if she tried.

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"Queen bitch has left the hive. Move in." Maria's voice came loud and clear.

Zero tripped and nearly toppled over Lady Rozenoir. "I'm so sorry."

Her shadow was quick, he'd placed the plate and champagne on the table to help her.

Behind him Ren passed and in a flicker of motion, swiped the watch, severed the chain and was gone with the breeze of passing dancers.

"The agents are in position, everyone's ready."

So was Zero. He apologized to the lady and vanished into a crowd of beings, he caught sight of another agent who's yellow eyes fixed him with that unhuman-like precision. He gave the slightest nod.

Zero tracked the path Madame made as she went up, dragging Loretta with her.

"Ren's ignoring me. Is he always so stubborn?"

Zero wasn't sure what that meant but something told him Ren was most likely covering his own tracks. The kid wasn't the same and they didn't even have time to get it together. Overall he was aware of the plan, knew what they were here for.

They'd cross paths eventually.

Madame Maddox lead Loretta into a room, Zero stuck himself into the corner when another in a golden collar entered after pressing a combo of four digit numbers on the numeric key login. Zero registered each one.

He resisted going onward. What with Maria telling him to not rush right in, not yet.

Then, Maddox withdrew from the room, the door clicked. Locked. Not an issue there. He watched her trot along down the hall.

Clear.

He approached the door and typed in the memorized combo. The little red light turned green.

He opened the door and slipped in.

The first thing he did was cut the lights, he worked better in darkness. Then he snapped the handle of the door, blocking the only way in. There's the window, it lead out into open grass below. And beyond that were the rest of Maria's crew, all waiting on the signal.

Gold collar lady approached, he wasted no time with her. He wasn't sorry for what Loretta was about to hear but he didn't have any other choice.

Heat prickled along his flesh and his sight shifted coming more naturally, easy. Parts of him were still sore but he managed to keep himself together.
He sensed Ren, fifty meters outside. What the hell is he doing? Grell was closer, thirty meters. Were they regrouping? Maria yelled for him, incoming.

Gold Collar rushed at him, Zero dodged the swipe of her clawed hands, he sent her a swift punch into her stomach that'd total her insides. It sent her flying across the room. She crashed into the wall, the force sent cracks along and it burst the windows. The glass thankfully enough was tempered and fell at their feet in tiny pieces.

But she got back up and came at him full force. She latched on to him and he plunged his vector through her as she forced him down. Her claws tore at his shoulders, tearing ribbons into his suit. He wasn't going to miss it however. He pushed against her.

Why wasn't she cringing in pain? He fucking tore a hole through her, her blood sprayed all over.

Why didn't Loretta get up? React? Wait, she's under? He took note of the IV on her arm. Shit.

Suddenly his breaths were cut off when Gold Collar pummeled him into the floor, one claw pierced through his shoulder sending stars dancing across his eyes, his mask slipped off.
She rose her free one, positioned it into a point, like a scorpion's tail, intent for the kill.

Zero whipped out his vector but shit, it hurt to move with his back pressed onto the floor, the pressure against his injury that hadn't fully healed made him nearly black out.

He was done for.

Then there was a crash and the night air chilled his skin.

"Hey!"

That voice. Holy shit.

Golden Collar didn't see it coming, and before she could even react, something sliced across her throat.

Zero stared too stunned to move as her head lolled off her body and she collapsed in a heap.

There stood a man, his glasses speckled with blood, his hand morphed into wicked looking incissor-like claws much more deadlier than hers.

"Zero, you okay?" He reaches out his normal hand.

Zero took and managed to get to his feet.

"...What took you so long, Doc?"

The older being turned his gaze from him to the girl in the bed across from them.

"Ren sent one the signals."

Zero pulled in his vectors with difficulty, he approached Loretta.

"Miss Loretta." He carefully removed the IV from her arm, then a bell collar thing? Like the last one before it, he studied it. This one looked new. Techy.

"I'm accessing its security protocols to disengage it." Maria's voice, followed by the soft clicking of her keyboard.

The locked collar suddenly sprang open. He grabbed it and tossed it away.

Finally, he wrapped her up in the blanket and held her close, "Come on, I'm taking you home."

Doc stared out the hole where the window used to be, "Ren's waiting." He pressed his finger to his ear, "Grell is also finishing up on his end. I'll meet him around. Just go."

Zero carried Loretta toward the windows and leapt out into the grass below.

Ahead of the property gates, the other agents rushed in, the British police lights flared like beacons in the night.

"Straight ahead, keep moving." Maria said.

Also he detected Ren, he must be nearly fifteen meters down, in one of the SUVs by now. He had to thank him later, after the talk.

"I'll give her to you, then go back and kill her." Zero spoke as he raced down the cobble stone path.

"Are you nuts, you can't tangle with Maddox, Zero, you just got banged up and we're apprehending her anyways." Maria sent back. She sounded concerned.

"There are just some lines you can't cross."

He neared the gates and cringed when Maria shouted. "Don't be stupid! Just get into the vehicle, let us handle her."

"I doubt you'll kill her, cause that's what I want."

"That's not how it works as I keep reminding you."

Zero crossed the gates and met up with the other crew members, he detected Ren who was waiting by the SUV.

He glanced up when they approached.

"She's cuter in person."

"Let her be, she's been through enough." But he flinched when something went off behind him. Holy—

"Get down." Ren gripped him and pulled him forward and to the other side of the giant vehicle.

One of the planted bombs detonated, from the east wing of the estate.

Those were all Grell. What had made him activate it?

"Maria?"

"Zero take Loretta and leave, Doc and Grell are taking it from here. That was distraction, remember the change in plans?"

"I don't wanna head out without them."

But Ren was yanking him through the door.

"I got them covered on my end, just go."

Ren shut him inside the back seat, taking charge, a side of him Zero had never seen. He slipped in shot gun.

"We're off." Agent Stiles lead the SUV forward.

Zero glanced out the rain speckled glass, there was smoke billowing up into the night sky. The screams echoed as well as the sounds of distruction.

Was Doc going to kill her, take her in? Would he be able to contain his own wrath? Zero had never seen that side of Doc and was hoping it didn't get that far.

After all, Zero wanted to have that right.


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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Doll didn't stir, she was out like a light, fever medication working to keep her down. Madame Maddox smiled as she heard them escape. It was too late though, they had heard her voice. Her mind control was something neither Beings nor humans could resist. Her heels clicked down stairs as a section of the house went up in smoke. She bypassed the fighting, going to room where her own security team worked. "Did you get it?" Maddox asked, sitting in a chair, leaning her head on her closed fist as though she were bored. The woman, like Grell, had bright red hair in fact they shared more than one of the same trait. "Got it." Her security team had wired into the earpieces in Zero and his little toy's ear. "Zero, hello there my dear boy." Madame Maddox grinned, her words already weaving further damage. "Unfortunately, if you so much as drive past the barricade in front of you, the chip inside my little Doll is set to blow. You'll go up in smoke, much like what you did to that corner of my house."

"Only I can deactivate it and if I die, the chip goes kaboom. If you so much as try to take it out or destroy it, it will take you with it." She sighed as though it were a pity, "I'm going to need you to return my little Doll and as compensation for my trouble, you'll have to come too." Her grin was wicked, almost able to be heard as she spoke. "Doll doesn't want to go home with you. Go ahead, wake her up, ask her. She's going to be very distressed that you've taken her away." That was thanks to a combination of torture and Madame Maddox's suggestions. She had trained Doll's mind to associate the image of Zero with pain. Whether it worked or not, Madame Maddox had no idea but she was pretty confident seeing as how she had also used it to ensure that Doll didn't try to run away again.

The door burst open, Doc and Grell bursting through at the same time. Their minds were weak, putty in her hands; it was a shame how little resistance they put up. "Both of you stop." Instantly the two froze, all it took was a little nudge. "Grell my sweet child, how have you been?"

"Fine Mum." He said through grit teeth, body frozen. "And Doctor Atarashi, I haven't seen you since the scandal at the zoo." Madame Maddox clapped her hands together as though this were a fine time for a reunion. She stood, heels clicking against the floor as she pulled out a needle from her collection, sticking it into the Doctor's neck. He fell in a heap of pain, his struggle fruitless. "As I recall, I'm also a much better doctor than you." She winked and turned to Grell, "why don't you ask your friends to come bring me my new toy back? After all I'm having so much fun."

"Never." Grell hissed and Madame smiled, "You've always been a bit rebellious. Go on." Grell's expression became pained, "Zero, come back. Please." It was a whimper, a plea as Madame Maddox stuck a pin in his neck as well and like a rag doll Grell collapsed. She sighed, "Alright I think that's enough testimony. The Yard should be here soon, you have until then to return her before I set it to blow manually. Oh and bring your little friend! You'll both make wonderful additions to my collection."

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Dear boy. What a bitch. He was about to pull the ear piece out and toss it out the window.

Ren however, gave him a look.

"It's about Lore, stop." He turned to Stiles who slammed the breaks. The barricade only a mere couple of feet away. So she pulled a page from Doc's book and chipped Loretta and made her a walking time-bomb. Really? She went all out to explain what would happen if they attempted to tamper with said chip. It'd blow 'em up. And she linked her life to it too, as insurance. Crafty, he had to hand it to her.

He remained silent, just listened. He and Ren and Maria.

And she mind-screwed Loretta? All that trouble she went through. Zero had guessed she'd go there but it only proved they were tangling with a real nut job. One of those. Not again.

Then Grell pleaded they go back. Then she spoke once more.

Zero tucked strands of Loretta's hair behind her ear, she looked so tired, and he was the same. Tired of the pile of crap that kept growing.

He had to turn around. Or she'd die. Then he and Ren would give in, why? Because she said so?

"Zero...?" Ren stared, his eyes hard set, steeled. Focused.
.
"Maria, you caught all that?" Zero asked. He stared at her sleeping face, he wouldn't wake her because why put her that trauma? That is, if she really was mind screwed as Madame said she was.

"Yes, recorded it too. We're also in her security system, her firewalls suck. X breached it no problem, I'm looking into that chip, so far zilch. If there is one I'll read the signatures within her programming to disable it from going kablooy." She said, "If that doesn't work, well, I can try another more destructive avenue. So no panicking."

Zero held Loretta close to his chest, if they could disable it then they were in the clear. If they could hack and shut down the signals and her base of operations even better. That was apart of the plan.

"I made a promise to you, Miss Loretta... But if I can't keep that promise... Then there's nothing I can do." He whispered into her ear, "I never give up, not without a fight."

And he looked at Ren and the sibling nodded.

"Hey, psycho bitch. You really are playing this game with the wrong bunch, you see, if we can't access the chip, if there is one like you so claim, then you're really out of luck aren't you?" He petted her hair, and grimaced as his thoughts raced ahead.

"For someone you say is 'your' little doll you must not care or value her life if you're willing to risk blowing us up to smithereens. Her going along as well. Because face it, I'm calling your bluff." He stared ahead, his heart lurched up pounding in his head. It hurt so bad.

"Zero, don't get reckless now." Maria cut in.

"No, I'm done. If this is it then I'm taking me, her and my beautiful mind brother and driving outta here and that's it, boom."

Ren fixed him with that look, the one that held a certainty. Like then.

Zero gasped for breath, pain rioting through him because he never wanted this for any of them. He laughed and it did little to relieve him. He's going through the motions.

"You wanna tangle with me, fine. Because I know you want her and I'm NOT giving her up, it doesn't matter if she doesn't see me as a friend, fear me to hell with it. We blow up, then what huh? You won't have her either way." But a part of him hoped the didn't and he was gung-ho on taking that chance. They were dealing with a psycho, what if this was her mind screw games and he was playing at her hand?

Stiles got so freaked he left the SUV. Later dude.

Zero glared at Ren, "Take the wheel, we're doing this."

Ren scrambled to the driver side the SUV still running idle.

"Think I've heard enough." Ren plucked out the ear piece and flicked it out the window.

"Maria, what do you got?" Zero asked.

"She's really coded this system with a mass of security fields, I'm working on it so sit tight."

"X is really on a roll isn't it?" Zero closed his eyes, and took a deep breath, then another.

"Top of the line. Just sent a present, she wants a bomb, she'll get one." Maria was just as relentless wasn't she? Able to hack anything without batting an eye.

"For the record, Loretta was never yours to begin with. She doesn't belong to you. Never will." Zero said. He waited, just a bit longer. It wasn't over.

"I couldn't find it, so I sent the next best thing." Maria said. "X nuked it."

Greenlight it is.

"Go."

Ren stepped on the gas, they hurtled past the barricade.

Even if they got a way it didn't mean much. Aside from having Loretta, they still had to go back for Doc and Grell. So this wasn't their last tango, no it's just getting started.


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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


"Wrong choice." The smile on her lips was vicious. Of course she wasn't going to blow up her toys, that would be no fun. Ren, however, was not her toy, not yet and his pocket watch happened to be laced with a little present she had her dear friend make. The talk of jewelry, the showing of the pocket watch. Yes, Madame's games go way back, she had been playing these sorts of things well before Zero was born. The pocket watch was set to blow and blow it did. With no warning, the car filled with heat and was ripped in half by the viscous explosion.

Maddox was already gone, leaving Grell and Doc to the Yard's authority. That is, if they got out before Maria's present. Her people were already on the scene, extracting Doll as well as subduing Zero and Ren with needles dipped in heavy sedatives. "Oh we're going to have so much fun." Maddox chirped, with a giggle. She had brand new collars for each of them, ones that she prepared specially for Zero and Ren.

When Doll awoke the next morning, the view from her room was different. Maddox was there, stroking her hair, reading a book aloud. "Oh? You're awake." She smiled and Doll nodded her head. "Yes Madame." Doll had, had a strange dream. She could recall falling asleep and then being carried through the window and to a car. After that things got fuzzy and the rest of the night had been dreamless. "Let's get you dressed for breakfast." Doll was pulled from the bed, her footing slipping quickly. "Come now, they'll be plenty time for games later." She led Doll to the closet, brushing out the girl's hair and choosing an outfit for the day. Doll looked in the mirror, wondering when she had gotten that scratch on her cheek.

Madame Maddox attached the leash to the collar, taking Doll downstairs. This morning Doll had a bit of an appetite and the breakfast spread, as usual, was a grand affair. There were two extra chairs at the table this morning however and Doll tilted her head to the side in question. "Are there guests Madame?" She asked, looking up at the red haired woman. Madame smiled, eyes twinkling deviously. "Yes, there are a few friends who are going to be staying with us."

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"Wrong choice." Maddox said, just before her voice cut off. The work of Maria's hack having killed her network. Totaling any tele signals she'd attempt or send.

The pocket watch wasn't the culprit. Actually, when Ren had swipped it he shocked the seemingly innocuous heirloom into uselessness. Someone was more paranoid than Zero. He didn't have to know that.

"Zero, that's not our SUV, get out, get out." Maria's voice nearly burst his ear drum. Shit. Why hadn't she notice til now? That explains Stiles's bailing. He should have realized that sooner.

"Poukeepsie!" Zero stumbled out into the moving ground.

Ren left the wheel when the SUV burst. It must have been rigged from the jump. Set to blow perhaps once they drove some distance their best guess. The force had sent both he and Loretta hurtling out into the street. Zero whipped out his vectors in an attempt to cushion their less than graceful landing. Fire and smoke clogged the air, He pushed off in wild search, "Ren?"

He staggered upright, having taken the brute of the fall, Loretta just got a small scratch. She was better off than the both of them.

Zero sought out the figure limping toward him. Ren!

"..." Ren groaned and fell against him, his labored breaths more telling than his silence.

"We gotta split."

"...My arm."

Zero looked again and there, the odd angle of his shoulder.

"Zero you got company, and it's not the nice kind." Maria said.

Zero grabbed his brother's arm, gave a sharp tug.

"Ah!" It popped back into place. Ren winced in pain then sighed then collapsed.

"No, Ren, c'mon get up, I can't carry you and her." Zero searched ahead if they could get another car. He didn't care to hijack one.

"Zero, they've gaining up on you. Go."

But something shocked though him, it pricked at his neck. His heart hammered fiercely. He put both down and swung at every uniformed stranger.

Until they pumped more needles into him and he tried to take another step when the world tilted and the ground came at him.

They took them away, the reapers in masks and black.

Loretta too.

"...We're in." Maria's voice faded into the noise. Then there was silence.


Zero awoke to find himself in a room, must be another one of Maddox's other, other grand estates. He had been dressed, that much he didn't mind. He didn't put up a fuss until the service women finished. He tore off the suit jacket, rolled up his sleeves, ripped away the ridiculous tie, pulled the shirt ends out and purposefully mussed the hair they'd combed back. The female beings wanted to mold him into something he could never be.

He wasn't playing into Maddox's hand, he wasn't her toy.

The collar around his neck...

He stepped toward the mirror, turned it over all the way around. It looked as ridiculous a it felt to wear.

"Did you get that?"

"Affirmative. It's been disabled."

Zero nodded and tugged at the collar. It clicked apart, he snapped it in two. "Ren's not far..." Relief flodded him and for a second he could breathe again.

"What happened to Doc... Grell?" Zero stared out the window, the day too bright, too cheery. Unlike London.

"We got them in the clear."

Zero slammed the door open and stormed through corridors. Of course he left beings at his feet in his wake. No mercy.

He found Ren at the corner.

And Ren wasn't Ren, just someone who resembled his kid brother. He wore the suit as if it were his own, again all to blend in. "Look at you, mini Bond."

Ren didn't even smirk, however, "You're a mess, no surprise there."

Zero grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, good, no collar. He let him go, not without ruffling his sunkissed locks. Then he crossed his arms, "Huh, who gives a fuck?"

"Try to take this a little seriously."

Zero turned, "I am." They approached a set of steps that lead down, and again, Zero wiped out every being in his path.

Ren however took note of the exit points, like a good soldier; memorizing escape plans.

"They're in the dining room." Ren met Zero's gaze. "She's there too."

Zero paces through without the hurry that sent his veins on fire. His eyes snagged on Loretta before skittering to the table.

He didn't want to see the look on her face.

"Don't kill her, I've relayed the same message with Ren. Whatever you do, don't kill her." Maria said.

Not the promise Zero nor Ren could keep.


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Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Doll could finally eat without everything tasting like cardboard. "Amazing what a little acupuncture can do." Madame Maddox laughed, sipping her coffee with a knowing smile. Doll licked her fingers, there was still chocolate left on them from the croissant. Two people walked into the room and Doll turned, her stomach dropping. Her eyes widened, her hands shaking. Why was he here? "Now, now look what you've done." Madame Maddox pulled Doll close to her chest, stroking her hair. "I've already told you she doesn't want to go with you." The woman's eyes had a keen, cat like intelligence.

Doll tried to stand, but there was no getting away. The boy who had rejected her was standing there, looking furious. Had he come back to hurt her more? Was he here to torture her again? Pretend he cared then throw her away? Tears stung her eyes, a reminder of what she had thought was real. Was it some cruel experiment, was he a "scientist" like his father that had just needed someone to test his theories on? "Oh hush now," Madame soothed. "Why don't you go the library and read for a bit?" Doll nodded ever so slightly and stood, keeping her head down as she went past them. So he had a new toy now? How like him. "He'll throw you away too." She whispered as she passed him.

Up the stairs, down the hallway, through the door. Doll went back to her room instead and locked the door, curling up on the floor, sobs racking her body. Why would he come here? Did he just want to play more of his games? He was probably bored, looking for something he could kick around and use his abilities on. If Doll wasn't so weak she may have been able to fight back, but Doll was human, there was nothing she could do.

Doll drew her knees to her chest, staring at her hands. "Why?" She asked no one, closing her hand into a fist. "Why, why, why!" She slammed it against the bed, something weird happend. The bed crackled, her blood forming into a knife of sorts and sticking into the wood. Doll jumped to her feet, backing up against the wall in terror. What had happened? The blood melted, forming a puddle on the floor. Doll clutched her bleeding hand against her chest, leaving a crimson stain. She ran into the bathroom, washing the blood off, as though afraid it would hurt her too. Neither human nor being, you belong in neither world.

Doll needed a distraction, she went to the shelf and stood on her tip toes, grabbing a book and settling into a pile of stuffed animals. Yes, Doll would read, just as the Madame suggested. She would ignore what was going on downstairs and stay in her own corner, where she could pretend to be whatever she wanted.

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❝Tonight I held you with my tainted hands.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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She was gone. As if the time they shared had been as real as dreams. But again, this was not on her, but the bitch with the power to mess up one's own thoughts. Such a cowardly convention, Maddox must be a lonley being if she had to resort to low means in order to have one remain at her side, work for her, become her pet.

Pity.

"That's not the real concern here, is it?" Ren said, having more control to actually speak coherently. He barely registered what Loretta had uttered toward him, those words held little meaning. "The cowardly old crone must resort to puppeteering otherwise she's as alone as they come. Fascinating. Only you've acquired someone of which doesn't belong. We're here to merely reclaim such." The being's eyes flickered toward hers, held her gaze unflinchingly.

Zero didn't allow himself to consider what that meant for them. He didn't want to remember the way she reacted the instant he walked in, because if he did he'd only end up hating himself more.

He should have been more careful.

"Zero you do realize she's not just a normal human right? That Maddox's influence can only reach so far?" Maria probed along, "Loretta's case isn't permanent just look at it that way. Also, the extraction phase is under way."

Zero glanced up toward the electronic eye in the room, how it watched his every movement. Was Maria there too? Observing them all?

"Maddox, we have come to realize you have a certain liking to collectables. However, Miss Loretta isn't a person who is regarded so." Zero said, though it would seem Maddox was beyond rational.

"But I also realize that words are futile, when it comes to beings of your type there is only one way to get meaning across." He took no chances and flipped the table over, food and dishes shot across the room and he bounded forward. Striking with everything he's got.

Ren sent a pulse of shock waves toward the entrance when several servicemen tried to enter.

"Not your fight, robots." He smirked as their insides got fried, extra crispy.


The window to Loretta's room sprung open with sudden force the pane shook. Her entire room darkened on cue and in came the beings assigned on bringing her back. While they slipped through and gathered her into their disabling net, the others sent signals outward, for the entire team to move in.

After all, it wasn't just Loretta they came for. The mission wasn'to complete until they apprehended the U.S. most wanted Being. Madame Maddox.

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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


At first, reading was easy, getting lost in a book always was. Of course it would have also been Madame's command that made reading go by swiftly. Doll's mind was weak, easily corrupted by Madame's threads. It only took one word and the woman could make Doll dance or sing.

Suddenly the window burst open, glass shattering, slicing across her arm. Doll screamed and jumped to her feet, but they came through the door and bathroom window as well. Who were all these people? What were they doing in her room. Doll covered her ears over her heard, screaming as they tried to take her, her blood shot in tiny needles in all directions, showering the men like a porcupine on the defensive. One of them grabbed her collar, ripping it off and causing both of them to get shocked. Doll stumbled backwards, falling through the broken window, shards of glass shredding through her dress. She landed in a pile of powder puff snow, her head spinning.

Doll got up and brushed herself off, confused. The men dressed in all black yelled at her not to move. Why? It was like they were talking underwater. Her head hurt, visibility at a minimum with all the blood running into her right eye. What was she doing here? Doll couldn't remember. Every cell in her body hurt, but she somehow knew it'd be much worse if she went to the edge of the property line. What was she thinking? Doll wasn't sure. Everything seemed swirled like she'd been spinning around and then stood still. The world tilted at odd angles and it was hard to get her footing. "Miss, you have to come with us." Someone put his hand on her shoulder, a knife of blood stabbing into his back. "Don't move! Don't come closer!" Their words hurt, it made her head throb.

Doll continued walking, well limping really, until she got to the forest. "I said don't move!" The man with the megaphone barked but he hesitated, clearly not wanting to lose anymore men. "Where am I?" Doll mumbled, a sudden burst of puppets in gold collars attacking the men standing on their property. Their orders were to kill them or die trying, the Madame didn't seem to care too much as to whether they lived.

Doll tripped, one of her legs no longer wanted to move. She got back on her feet, limping through the snow, the cold like needles against her skin. "It hurts," She whispered but continued to move, the estate now far from view. Who was she? The girl couldn't remember. Her body hurt and it was so cold. Her eyelids fluttered open and closed, her body shivering. She tried to raise her hands to her chest for warmth, but the thought of doing something aside from moving made her fall.

The child could no longer move, the snow wrapping in on all sides like a frigid blanket. It didn't help, of course, that her dress was white. Doll had already lost a lot of blood. She was scared, confused, lost, and so very tired. "Hey there little rabbit," a boy with two colored eyes approached, having seen the girl stumbling. Lord Grace's property was right on the other side of the forest. Xavier had left this morning on a walk while Lord Grace was at parliament. "You sure are far from home." He sat beside her in the snow, wondering how the girl with the nice smile had ended up so deep into the dense woods. He took in the torn dress, the blood dying the snow in crimson ribbons. Xavier knelt down, scooping up the limp girl in his arms.

"I guess she beat you huh? Pretty impressive that you got this far." He admired, walking towards Lord Grace's house. He would just take her there to warm up since he didn't know the way back to Madame Maddox's, only that it was somewhere in the woods. Lord Grace's property wasn't too far and they had a doctor who could fix her right up.

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❝All great journeys are made in faith.❞

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"Zero she's been moved, but not  to the exact coordinates planned." Maria's voice rang in his ears and he listened.

"We're following the movement of another Being who's obtained her, they're on the other side of the forest."

Ren sent a burst of energy outward as Gold Collars dropped in through the windows, having detected trouble most likely. Now it's a party.

"Ren." Zero turned to him, "Take it from here." Then he went out the windows, the chill of winter bit through his shirt but he didn't care. He bypassed Gold Collars, and remembered to keep low, they we're dropping like flies.

Something hot sizzled past, it's heat singed the hairs at his neck. Too close.

A Gold Collar collapsed into the snow at his left, its upper body burned to a crisp.

"Owls." Zero muttered and for once he didn't mind them. He shot out toward the forest, following her scent.

He wasn't losing Loretta again.

"She attacked our agents, Zero, that's sethinf you want to consider ainc she can't recognize you."

"Attack how?"

"Her blood crystallized, hit like bullets. It near killed them."

Her blood... And Zero recalled the time he'd kissed her in order to feed her his blood. No, that can't be right, after all, Loretta's file stated she was a variant. That must be all her.

"Hey, Maria."

"Yes?"

"Never mind."

Either way it didn'to change his course, he was bringing her back, kicking and screaming all the way.



Ren glanced out the window when something blue streaked passed. That was another agent, the Calvary has arrived.

He turned to Maddox, and sent her a shock that made her hair stand on end.

Blue hair approached the windows, followed by a fleet of armed beings that scattered the snow capped property like the blanket of night.

"Where did Zero go?" Ren reached for the being who slipped in, she held what looks like gold threads, they wove about her arm, shimmered at the light.

"After the white rabbit." Her heterochromic eyes landed on the less than pretty being with the wild red hair.

"The Red Queen isn't looking so hot now." She flickered her wrist and the golden threads snapped out, crackled like live wire. The threads unwound from her arm and shot out, they attached to Maddox's body, weaved into her muscles and spreaded. It'd make nearly every muscle vulnerable to control, even her vocal chords. It was how beings were arrested.

"The white rabb—you mean the girl?" Ren stared out into the window. He'd have to go back, he didn't trust Zero on his own. 

"Who else?" She made another gesture and the gold threads tightened, sent the being up on her feet. "Now we take you in for processing."

The other agents infiltrated the estate, they we're not leaving until it was secured by them. The house itself, evidence enough to put her away for life. No amount of influence or fortune could save her.

"Bring her out." Ren lead Blue and their captured Queen to the awaiting beings that had all pointed their weapons at Maddox.

From her she'd be transfered to the maximum security site, they had to be quick and efficient. Especially when dealing with their own kind.

"Im going after Zero." Ren said, once Maddox was taken into custody by the national security agents.

Above them choppers swept the area more beings arrived.

"Meet at the rendezvous point. Be careful." Blue said, then winked and twirled away.

Ren took off, becauae he wasn't abandoning Zero on this. Even if the older one told him to stay with the others, he couldn't shake the feeling that chill. The chill out uncertainty.


Zero found another stretch of property, this estate belonged to the fool who owned a human named Xavier.

With careful measure, Zero tracked down the kid inside, following him much as a shadow would. They we to the room for that was another fool in who smells like a lab.

There was only one Doc who took care of her and this bastard wasn't him.

"Touch her and you die." Zero stood at the door, vectors out and within perfect range of both targets.