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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.

1,703 readers have been here.

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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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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


The Doctor took the oxygen tube out, unthreading it slowly from inside his nose. "That's done," he disposed of the tube and checked the machines one last time before leaving. Xavier lingered, but followed the Doctor out. "Get better," he whispered, closing the door behind him. Doll's eyelids fluttered when Zero spoke, but remained closed. She wanted his warmth, it was far too cold wherever she was. Her fingers twitched when he lay his hand inside her's. She would reach him, maybe not now, but soon.

It was cold being stuck outside in the snow, a forest filled with endless trees that she couldn't find her way out of. Creatures would lurk around the corner, snapping twigs, their cries sending shivers down her spine in a way the cold couldn't do. Her footsteps left markings in the snow, red with blood that continued to spill from her lips. There was a knife in her stomach. She couldn't remember how it had gotten there, Doll could remember nothing. Why did this always happen? Why was her memory always taken at the worst of times?

The smell of blood made them come closer, the Beings that wanted to break her. She had reached a clearing, something shot of the bushes, grabbing her leg. Doll fell, the knife driving further into her stomach. "Oh dear, look how much of a mess you've made." Maddox threaded a needle, turning Doll over. "We'll fix that, once I'm done with you. You'll hardly recognize yourself!" She cackled, pushing the needle into the side of Doll's mouth, slowly sewing her lips shut. Doll couldn't scream, it hurt, but there was nothing she could do. Blood filled her mouth, spilling between the seams. "What shall I fix next?" Her needle hovered over Doll's eyes. "I know!"

When they opened once more, Doll was inside a glass case, puppet strings suspending her so her feet couldn't touch the ground. She looked around, trying to find a way out. The box began to fill with water, slowly reaching her legs, crawling up her stomach and to her neck. "Help!" Doll screamed, thrashing against the strings. "Someone!" Water filled her mouth, rising. Zero was suddenly before her, watching with a terrifying sense of calm. "Zero!" Doll choked, "Please," he shook his head, turning around. "Wait! Please!" It went up her nose, covering her head and eyes. It felt like she was drowning, her lungs burning.

This time she was in a cage, looking between the bars at an auction block. "The next human, number 462!" He opened the cage, pushing Doll out. The girl stumbled across the stage, aware that she was naked, her long blonde hair covering her chest. The auctioneer grabbed her hair, pulling Doll towards him. Her legs shook as she stood in front of the crowd of male Beings, their eyes taking in her naked form with a hunger she had never seen. "Why?" Doll asked, tears in her eyes. "Because you're not one of us."

The nightmare changed again. Two people stood before her with a startling resemblance to the child. "Mama? Papa?" Her eyes widened as she recognized the room they were in. Doll had only been a toddler when she had first been found in the basement, no other sign of life for miles around. "Don't be silly, we're not your parents." The man knelt forward, whispering in her ear.

"How could anyone ever love a monster like you?"


(Mind if I time skip a bit in my next post?)

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Zero grasped her hand, a little more when her fingers moved. He looked up, her stillness yet to change. He sighed, he wouldn't leave her side. When Doc left, Xavier followed, Zero wondered if he'd stick around or run away. If he'd find what he searched for, if it would wait for him on the otherside.

Does free will exist within them? Or did beings crush that? Steal it for themselves. Maybe God took it, maybe this was his punishment because it didnt' feel very free. Even beings could be taken in, trapped by other beings because that's life now. They could never stop fighting. Or they'd lose everything.


(Yes go for it)

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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


A week had passed, slowly coming up on two. There seemed to be no signs of change, aside from the fact that she had become a bit more stable. Today she had seemingly become restless, going into cardiac arrest twice. Doctor Atarashi seemed to be more worried by the day, he had been digging around in government files in search of a clue, something that could help. It wasn't needed though, as the sun came up, Doll rose with it. It began with her eyes, slowly opening, turquoise orbs staring at the ceiling. She tried to say something, but the tube in her throat inhibited any sort of speech. Her hand lifted, but she felt entirely too weak and it fell before she could even think of pulling it out.

Somehow, this little bit of movement had set off an alarm. Dr. Atarashi sighed and shut his computer, running to the room and finding what was perhaps a miracle. "One minute, let me take that out for you." He pulled on a pair of gloves, taking the tube out. "How long?" Doll asked, her voice quiet, as though she were testing her vocals. "Almost two weeks." Her eyes were clouded, most likely from all of the pain medicine. Doll swallowed, but her mouth was dry so it made no difference. "Dizzy." She closed her eyes, feeling like she couldn't breathe. "That's expected, it's a side effect of most of the medications." Doll opened her eyes again, there was someone missing, a warm presence that was gone. Perhaps she had dreamed it?

"Zero?"

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❝Take away everything, til there's nothing left to take.❞

[RED ¤ HYMN FOR THE MISSING]
DIALOGUE
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"Yeah, I'm here." Zero stepped into the room, its chill made him want to leave but he drew closer only because her heat bloomed a fire in him that he couldn't possibly resist. He hid his hands in the pockets of his jacket, they were still shaking, trembling, fists with knuckles that stung.

"I'm glad you're finally awake." He gave half a smile, hiding the pain somewhere deep, in his chest in the shadows between his rib cage were he kept all the things he didn't show. He gravitated toward her, til he was at her reach. His eyes focused on hers, they were oceans, the sky.

He stretched the smile a little more convincing, maybe with the action alone it'd smother the rage, kill the white-hot desire in him screaming for release. It was finding the balance, the calm, think of paradise, or swaying palm trees. Anything but that, anything at all.

A week branched into two, and it was like the most terrifying roller coaster, the deepest plunge to the bottom. That's what happens when someone ou love hurts you. When you hurt them. Being something else with different perspective but aware of the same things made no difference. Not to him. He almost turned. Almost chased after Ren. He wanted to punch. Or hold him, beg him not to go. But he made his choice. He walked out that door. And Zero couldn't stop him.

"You're not dad, stop trying to be." Ren said. He stood there, caught.

"I'm not dad, but I'm your brother, I have to protect you." Zero didn't think he'd ever say that to him again, here he was reminding him.

"You don't have to do anything."

"It's my job to look out for you."

They had been in the fancy hotel, where Maria had been going over the coarse of action, the entire team still hunting after Maddox. Ren had helped tremendously, gave them the twenty on their target. It's not like Maddox was hiding, she didn't seem to like to hide like a frightened insect. She was too proud. Zero found out Ren didn't want him in on the case. Ren wasn't shy to give his reasons for excluding Zero either. He wasn't focused on the case, not since Loretta was under and he couldn't leave her side. Zero punched him for pinning it on her, it wasn't fair. None of this was. And Maddox's voice in his head wasn't making anything easier and he was tired of it all.

Ren held his ground, didn't matter if she was not at fault or whatever, she was still his weakness. And that was still a problem, their problem. He didn't hold back his punches, nor his words.

"You shouldn't blame her, it's just me." Zero had said, "And I want you to quit acting like I'm not here 'cause I am."

"For a long time you weren't there. I had to take care of myself."

"That's on them, not me."

"Yeah, and they paid for it too."

"So that's where you've been all these years, hunting them like you're hunting Maddox?"

Ren kept quiet, but his eyes gave him away.

Zero punched him harder. "You didn't even care if I was alive, if I was out there."

"You didn't look for me either."

They crashed into a coffee table, splintered wood and glass a burst of sound between the crack of bone against bone. Hands grasped and pulled, teared and pummeled, and shoved and kicked. Until one was standing over the other.

"If you walk out that door, don't come back." Zero was a mess on the floor, the map riddled in crazy and red lines at the wall behind him. He watched Ren in all black, storm out, his foot passed the threshold, his body disappeared.

Of course he cursed out Maria and called her out for keeping that a secret from him, for not telling him when she had every damned chance to. He left the fancy hotel soon after and just walked. Until he was back at base, where he drained a blood bag to rid away the evidence of the fight. Changed his shirt to a black one, tossed the shredded one out.

Back in the realm of waiting and wary glances, beings aware of the silent storm that came and went, up and down the halls, until Doc was in her room, until he followed.

Zero held her gaze for a moment longer until his eyes burned and his throat tightened and he sunk into the long chair draped by the blanket he wanted to disappear into. At least she was awake, he could breathe a little better. She'd be okay.

"I missed you." He said, "So much."

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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


"I missed you," Doll replied, keeping her sentences short. It was hard to breathe when she spoke, as though her lungs wouldn't inflate all the way. It took a lot of work to push away everything Maddox had been trying to instill in her. The fear, the panic upon seeing Zero. Her dreams hadn't made it any better, it simply made her mind and heart feel conflicted. "It was lonely." Doll had an odd sense as though she had been floating in her sleep, watching over Zero somehow but that wasn't real, that was just her mind playing games no doubt.

"Alaska?" Doll asked, seeing the snow outside. The daylight had begun to filter in through the small window, the only sign of life in the whitewashed room. Doll reached out as though she wanted to hold his hand, hesitated, put her hand down. She had no right to touch him, not after what she had done. The more she woke up, the easier it was to breathe. Doll wanted to sit up, but that probably wasn't the best idea. Her chest hurt and she was numb from the waist down. Had Doll removed the sheet covering her body she would have seen a surplus of stitches and a few tubes going into her stomach, which was why she was numb.

"What's wrong?" Doll asked, noticing something in Zero's expression. He looked conflicted almost, as though something weighed heavily on his mind. Where was the little boy that looked a lot like Zero? Had he been imagined as well? Or perhaps a ghost. Weirder things have happened, Doll wouldn't doubt it if she began seeing dead creatures.

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"I hear ya." So damned lonely, he wanted to shout just so that he could hear his voice. So that he wasn't left with all this silence. He got Ren, then he lost him. Again. But this time, it was by his choice, not force. They weren't torn by death, just lies. Another quote from dad smoked out from the edges of his mind, "Truth unites; where lies divide." And it became a wall, this wall that Zero couldn't break through, but he'd try. He couldn't function like this, when Ren was away he was half himself, the stolen half went away with Ren, always with him.

"Not even close. We're still in London." Zero said to her question of Alaska. It would have been risky to move her there and pointless. She couldn't just suit up and go out to enjoy it, they were a long ways from that. But he would like to go, far away, forget all the crap that just wouldn't let up. A new place, new folks, a journey. He was used to traveling, well in the states, always hitting new towns, seeing new people and beings. That was when they were a family, mom, Ren, Zero and sometimes dad when he wasn't at a convention or locked in his lab. Why did Ren have to be so stupid? This wasn't his first time running either.

And Zero had to be the one to find him. Back then he'd known all the places he'd run to and hide, back then he knew Ren, his little brother. Now, now Ren is just a stranger, the kid who acted like he didn't need Zero to get things done. He was wrong, they needed each other.

Zero reached out and took her hand, her warmth and voice reminded him he wasn't alone, or trapped in a nightmare. Sleeping came difficult because her, she loved to toy with him. And now she'd have another angle to shoot with. Damn.

"Nothing, just be glad you don't have siblings." Then he remembered, he never got the chance to tell her Ren was here, well not here but around.

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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


His warmth was like a beacon cutting through the storm, a blanket on a cold winter's day. Doll wanted to move closer to him and she had the odd desire to curl up beside him like they had back home. Everything came easier with Zero, there was none of the awkwardness of having other Masters, no fear of asking questions, or being curious. Curiosity wouldn't get her in trouble with Zero, he seemed almost entertained by her thirst for knowledge. "Is it your brother?" She asked, looking at their hands. She tried to squeeze it gently, to reassure him that everything would be alright. The news that they weren't in Alaska was a bit disappointing, but it was to be expected.

"I saw him that day, in Madame's house, he has white hair like you." Speaking that much hurt, Doll would stick to short sentences for now. Her head lulled to the side as she looked at him, wires pulling uncomfortably. She didn't mind though, it felt awfully familiar.

"What happened?" Doll asked quietly. Unlike most traumatic things that happened, Doll had retained her memories, but they didn't make much sense. Pain, mostly, and some sort of emotion like anger or fear. Her head throbbed from thinking about it so she decided to stop. Yes, that felt much better, thinking of nothing was always easier. "Does it hurt?" She asked, knowing he had probably driven himself to the point of injury with worry. That was what Zero did, it seems. He would go crazy with worry, seemingly self destructing.

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And though he wanted to hide it all, the pain, the anguish, he wanted even more to drop the stones that pressed on his chest. With each exhale let the burden fall away until he was light, free, because she welcomed it. When her eyes sought his, when her fingers held him, tethered him to the world that didn't want him.

"Ren and I... We had a—disagreement." He didn't want to see the fight in his memory, in fact he watched her so that all he saw was her eyes, the depths of them clear as blue skies. "I don't want him to go, but he doesn't listen, not anymore."

She had seen them both, back when they had been caught by Maddox, back when she was compelled to see him as enemy. Then they were strangers, he was trying to save someone who no longer knew him.

Zero set his head on the edge and draped her hand over his crown. He couldn't hold her, so she could hold him. He closed his eyes and basked under the heat of her warm hand, he clung to it.

Did it hurt? She asked and his heart clenched.

"...I'm fine," He said, "really."

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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's head was spinning, he was so close, placing her hand on his head as he leaned down. He said he was fine, but Doll could tell otherwise. The brothers had a disagreement and Ren had left. Was he torn by this? Compelled to leave and go find his brother? Or had Ren made it clear he didn't want Zero around? His hair was light and fluffy, almost like the white powdered snow outside. She never got to play in the snow aside from those few minutes spent outside while transferring houses. What were they going to do now that the safety of both houses had been compromised? No doubt they would have to move again. A new house, a new start.

The door opened, someone with bright red hair stepping in. Doll didn't recognize the man walking towards the bed, his hair had been chopped short and he wasn't wearing his cooking clothes. "I heard you were awake, glad to see it's not a rumor." Grell turned to Zero, "haven't seen you in a while, where have you been hiding?" Behind him came Dr. Atarashi and Xavier, who had kept to his promise and stuck around.

The gang was all there, plus a new human. Doll remembered him, the boy from Madame Maddox's party that had tried to speak to her. His eyes were two different colors, glowing underneath the lights. He gave a short, shy wave, as though afraid Zero would bite should he do anything more. "Hello," Doll said to them all, giving a small smile. She looked back at Zero, her hand falling off of his head. She couldn't lift it much, so she settled for having it next to him.

"We have a bit of a problem." The Doctor started, crossing his arms. "Both houses have been compromised, so when we do go back to the states, we'll need to relocate. My thought was that it should be somewhere around central America, landlocked so there's no chance of a boat sneaking in although our worst threat is from the air."

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"..." Zero blinked and merely turned his head to regard Grell, the group that followed him. He sighed when Doc stated the obvious, "I knew that would happen... But there is one place. No one knows about." He glanced at Loretta, met her gaze, "You remember it, you we're there with me." Then he returned his gaze to Doc, "We can go there, the only problem I can think is the isolation. Unless we make some kind of line, we won't catch any signals from the outside."

Dad had been working on something down there, deep underground. He always said that soon, they'd be alright. Zero bet it had to be some kind of shelter, or something. It was the only thing he could think of, that place held everything. The life dad kept hidden. Maybe they'd also get the answers, and he wished Ren was here so that he could join them.

"Have you jeard anything from Ren?" Zero asked, "He just left... I don't want to ask Maria."

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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


"I'm sorry." Zero seemed different, Doll could tell, aged somehow. He sounded tired, like he had been awake for the past two weeks, watching, waiting, which he probably was. Doll felt bad, she didn't mean to get captured, or injured. She balled her hands into fists as much as she could, wishing there was something she could do, that she wasn't so useless. Maybe then Ren would have been found when they were all back home, they wouldn't have had to go to England and they could've been at the villa for Christmas. Doll hadn't realized she was crying until the tears rolled down her cheeks, no, she had no right to cry, not when she had put them all in this position. She turned her head away, tired of making Zero hurt.

Maybe it would've been better if she had never woken up, if she had stopped fighting so much and just gone with that old man. Then Zero wouldn't have to worry, she wouldn't be a burden anymore, just another human lost to the terrible way Being's treated their pets.

Neither human nor being, you belong nowhere.

The memory of blood filled her mind, strange occurrences before she passed out. Blood danced like needles, slicing through bodies and making them drop. Her eyes widened, the heart rate monitor beginning to beep. Dr. Atarshi came forward, taking out a vial, he seemed to mistake it for pain and so he injected something cold into the lines. Gradually her heart slowed, her head swirling, the pain medication making everything seem slow. She turned her head back to look at Zero, wanting to tell him something but unable to catch the fleeting thoughts drifting in her mind.

"Do you know where this place is?" Dr. Atarashi asked, he shook his head at Zero's second question. "I've heard nothing from him, I was hoping he'd contact you. I can ask Maria though, I'll do it as soon as we're done." Maria? Who was that Doll wondered. There were so many strange things. Strange people, places, smells, sights. It was all far too much and Doll closed her eyes, wanting to shut it all out.

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❝Try to cover all the cracks, but it won't stop the bleeding.❞

[RED ¤ HYMN FOR THE MISSING]
DIALOGUE
#853c41
¤¤
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Zero shook his head at her apology, this wasn't on her. He covered her fist with his hand, hoping she wasn't thinking the like. It was his fault, he should have protected, kept her safe, and he failed that. Again and again. He'd wanted to save her and he almost lost her, like how he'd once lost Ren. Suddenly something started beeping and he looked up just as Doc was injecting her with pain meds, more of those. He looked at Loretta, was she okay? Was it really alright for her to wake up? Didn't she need to rest a little more?

Zero stroked her hair, it'll be fine, they'd do better, he'd do better. He never wanted to see her like this again. So battered, teetering over the edge of no return. It was Zero who was sorry, and there was no way he could ever take it all back. He really is a monster. Then Loretta tried to say something, at least it seemed that way. Zero shook his head, "It's alright, rest." Don't worry anymore, he wanted to say but he wasn't sure if that'd be a lie. What good would that do?

After a moment, he nodded to Doc's question, of course he knew where it was. It was the family's shadow and would always follow them. It singed in their blood, his and Ren's. The one place they could go back to, their only home if ever they had one. "I doubt he would, he's pissed off, and I wouldn't want to talk to him either. He's an idiot." Zero couldn't help the bitterness in him, all this time Ren had been up and kickin' and he was more concerned with his own vendetta than looking for him. Sure they'd sworn to survive if ever they were free and not look for one another to reduce the chances of getting caught. But he knew he'd break that promise, he had hoped Ren would've done the same.

"Soon as we hit American soil, I'll lead the way."

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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's eyes dulled a little, losing their shine with the addition of the pain medicine. She coughed, a distinct coppery taste filling her mouth. The others were making plans, saying something about America. Was that where they had been the floor? Before they had gone on the giant metal bird? If Doll's memory served right that was called a plane. "What happened to Maddox?" Doll suddenly remembered to ask. The red haired lady looked suspiciously like Grell, but Doll doubted they were the same person. Her thoughts were incoherent and made little to no sense. Of course Grell couldn't be Madame Maddox, although they had a distinct similarity to one another.

Zero told her to rest, but Doll had enough of sleeping. She felt awfully tired, which was funny considering she had just slept for two weeks. "Thank you," Doll managed to whisper, remembering what she had wanted to say before the lull of sleep tugged her deep into the depths of rest. Her eyelids fluttered, turquoise orbs disappearing once more. Her lips had a tiny smile dancing on them that slipped away quietly. There were no dreams of disembodiment or nightmares of Madame Maddox, this time it was peaceful, dreamless bliss.

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Zero turned back to glance at her, he pushed his hair back, just the mere mention of that woman's name sent ice through him. He stared hard at the wires, the ones that disappeared under Loretta's blankets, the ones that made all the noise. It was that woman who put her in this bed, that woman who hurt her. Who hurt them. And Ren had taken off after her, to do with her what he did to their last enemies. "She's on the wind, but Ren had mentioned something about tracking her." He reached to caress Loretta's hair, trying to comfort her back into sleep.

Then a sound crackled and Zero flinched, it came from the solitary ear-piece in his left ear, "Zero. Can you hear me?"

Zero scowled at her voice, he'd forgotten he'd still worn the communicating device. "What?"

"Where are you?"

"Where's Ren?"

"It's why I'm calling."

Zero listened to her, despite wanting not a word from her it wasn't like he could ignore her if she had news on Ren and where the hell he took off to. Her words turned his blood to ice and all he could do was nod, "Yes, I understand." He stood. Turned, "I'm going for a walk." He wasn't about to worry Doc or Grell, nor would he risk them. Loretta was safe with Doc, Grell, the entire base. He walked out the room, passed the nurses, staff, scrubs, and other docs in white.

"Zero, it's a trap."

"Oh, I know."

"Then you know you can't go right?"

"She has my brother Maria, I won't let her take him."

He left the safety of Leon and stepped outside into the winter world that was London, he grabbed the first car available and drove.

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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


Had she been awake she would have protested, told him to not go, to not listen to the little voice in his ear no doubt laced with Madame Maddox's tricks. A new puppet to pull the strings on, exactly what the red haired fiend would want. Oh what a joy it must have been to have infiltrated so far into their enterprise, to have her claws sunken into the British secret service's clutches. Now toys for her to groom, now just an easier way for the Madame to get what she wanted. She would have them all Zero, Ren, Doll, Xavier, they would all be her toys for her to dress up and torture as she pleased.

Oh how the Madame couldn't wait to have them all in her clutches and the pieces were slowly falling into place. First her knight, then her rook, bishop, and pawn. It would be so sweet when they realized they had been tricked, caged and trapped like animals. Madame Maddox could already envision the outfits she'd dress them in, the games they would play. She would let them see one another of course, a happy puppet was a puppet easier to control.

A smile danced on her perfectly lipsticked lips. She stood, smoothing down the jacket she had been wearing. It was time to go greet her new knight.

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❝… Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.❞

—STEPHEN KING

[Oh, Death]
DIALOGUE
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Zero sent the vehicle hurtling down the rode, he blew past the speed limit and all was merely a blur. He was going to get Ren back no matter what cost. He had to. Then he'd kick his ass for all the trouble. He asked Maria where his brother was, his coordinates, anything.

She said it was at a park. Zero drove faster, a park? What was Ren doing there? Was the crazy Maddox there too? What the hell is going on? But he didn't have time to wonder for then he'd nearly crashed into a car and he swerved a sharp left. When was the last time he ever drove? Oh, right, never. Ren liked to drive, and Zero had only ever watched Dad or Mom, he knew where the key went, the gear shift, where you punch your foot in the darkness to move. There was never any time for learning.

So he'd learn today.

"Get the hell outta the road!" Zero swerved the rickety car before it struck a slow walker, and that person didn't even have the light. Or was it a being? Whatever, he continued driving until Maria announced the park was close and that he could make it on foot. Zero pulled her into the side walk, uncaring to the few others around that complained about his less than stellar parking skills. He stumbled out and ran.

And ran, through snow and slush, the ice freezing his sweat soaked shirt against him, and his eyes stared ahead the closer he got to a fountain, and the figure that lay in the snow.

"Ren?" The name choked from him and his boots clomped over slush and stone, sprayed wet icy snow over his jeans. The still form at his feet didn't react, much less stir. Pale hair flowed at the winds, snow curled into the folds of his coat. His eyes hidden beneath long lashes that caught tiny snow flakes.

"Zero, did you find him?" Maria asked, "Zero?"

Zero stopped dead, he stared, but Ren didn't wake. It felt like the world was grinding to a halt, his blood froze in him, he didn't breathe. He shattered into a thousand tiny pieces or at least that’s what it felt like. Zero dropped to his knees and stared. No. This couldn't be right. Yet, dark thoughts swirled around inside his head.

"Ren. Please."

Tears poured down his face, silent sobs rocked him. The world faded away from him, everything seemed like an inky black void. That was the only place for them now. Was he really gone, was he really dead? He reached out to take the boy into his arms, there was no warmth, no heart beat. But there was no blood either, no residual shock waves. Zero hugged him, "I'm sorry." He whispered, shaking.

"Zero, hey, I'm getting a screwy feed, I think I hear—" Her voice was interrupted by a sudden burst of crackling noice, Zero had to tear out the ear piece of he'd lose his ear drum.

Ren was.... Gone.

So why not retreat into the void of his own mind, no one could hurt him there. and most importantly he couldn’t upset anyone else anymore. Maddox did this didn't she? It was her Ren had been after, her he wanted to ventilate. And look where that lead him? Into the deep depths Zero could never reach. Lost. Again.

"Oh, my dear precious Knight..." A voice echoed from within him, from around him. And suddenly it was easier to let go. She was the reaper, her smile the scythe, "I've come to bring you home."



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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 awoke with a terrible headache. She tried to sit up, looking around for Zero but he wasn't there. The movement caused the heart monitor to beep and someone came in, but it wasn't Zero. Xavier glanced around the room, as though to ensure that someone wasn't there before approaching the bedside. "Hey," he gave a nod in her direction and sat on the chair beside her bed "Hi," Doll replied with a slight smile. She tried to sit up again, but all of her attempts ended in failure. "Hang on," Xavier pushed a button and slowly the front end of the bed rose so that she could sit upright. "Thank you," Doll smiled again. "Do you know where Zero went?" She asked, pulling the blanket over her chest since she wasn't wearing any clothes. She already had enough Doctors seeing her nude form, she didn't need others to see it too.

Xavier shook his head. "Sorry I don't, he left after you fell asleep and no one's been able to find him since." He frowned, leaning forward slightly. "I think he went after his brother." He spoke as though it were some sort of conspiratorial whisper. "Oh, but I thought they were in a fight?" Xavier shook his head, "I don't know mate, brothers are a tough thing to puzzle out. I've had two of them and I still don't know a thing that was going through their heads."

"You have two?"

"Had, don't know what's become of them now. Could be dead in a ditch the way these Beings treat humans. Even the human protection act does little to keep their grimy paws off of us." It was the truth, one that the two humans knew all too well. "How many owners have you had?"

"Just a few, three before Lord Grace. You?"

"I don't remember."

"That many, huh?"

"No, I just don't have most of my memory." Doll shook her head, hesitated. "Do you know what happened at Madame's mansion?" Xavier shook his own head in reply. "No, I found you in the woods outside her property, quite turned around I might add. You were laying in a heap in the snow, unconscious."

"Oh." She looked at her hands, her limbs were still weak and her torso still numb. "We all thought you were gone and I was just beginning to like you too." His smile was cheeky, he leaned his elbows on his knees. "You died quite a few times these last two weeks, I might add. Drove Zero to bits with worry."

"I'm sorry." Doll hadn't realized it was that bad.

"Don't apologize, it was the Madame's doing. The Doctor said you won't be able to walk for a while, something about going back to the state you were in before he first got to you." He scratched the back of his head, leaning back in the chair once more. "I can't quite recall his exact words."

"That's alright." The Doctor came in then, as though he knew that they were talking. "Oh, good you're awake." His expression was one of relief, he went to her bedside, checking the machines. "I don't want to worry you but Zero's gone missing, no one's been able to get in contact with him." He said as he took something from his pocket and administered it into the lines. Doll watched the blue liquid mix with the clear one and slowly go into her veins. Instantly she felt light headed, her arm burning. "I'm leaving Xavier with you for now, you'll both be safer in this room. There are a few guards around the perimeter, they're just watching for any sign of a threat so there's no reason to be scared."

"I-I need" Doll's mind swirled, like last night she could hardly keep her thoughts in order. "Just sleep," Doctor Atarashi lowered the bed so that she was laying down again and added another blanket over her, this one a quilt that helped keep the cold out. The Doctor nodded to Xavier before leaving, going to find his adopted son.

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Ren arrived back at base, he demanded to the staff there to le him through so he'd find Doc. Once pass the security he went up to the medical portion of the entire facility and found him about to leave.

"Doc, Zero went off looking for me, by he got himself caught by Maddox." He said, despite his calm ton he was shaking. "I can't allow her to live anymore, not with the shit she's putting him through." He brandished his cell, held it out for him to see, there was the live video feed of Zero's perspective, and Maddox's sadistic face. The room he was in appeared to be somewhere underground, perhaps a dungeon.

"When I get her she's dead." It didn't matter what the yard wanted, they could go blow themselves for all he cared. Guess Zero never saw the letter, the one that clearly said not to come after him. He met Doc's regard, "I have a plan on how to ice her, we just need to get her out in the open."

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Doll felt as though she were dying. Her temperature was running high, entire body far too warm. Normally, a fever was a sign of healing, it meant that the body was working harder to fix itself, now though, it didn't seem to be helping at all, only making the girl's condition worse. Her hands were balled into fists, clutching the blanket like a vise. Her eyes closed, breathing hard. She couldn't speak, pain filling every ounce of her being.

Xavier was looking at his hands, eyes wide. His head hurt, skull feeling as though it had been split in two. What had he done? He hadn't even remembered taking the vial in his hands. He wasn't even sure where it had come from. There was a voice in his head, sickly sweet as it told him what to do, feeling a desire to submit, knowing everything would be better if he didn't resist the voice insisting for him to do it.

Dr. Atarashi came in, Xavier got up and went to the bathroom, leaving them alone. "This doesn't make sense." He mumbled, watching the machine, he went through the cabinets, looking for something that could help, anything that could get her stable again. "Can you tell me where it hurts?" Doll shook her head, a whimper coming from her mouth due to the small motion. There was nothing else he could do, Dr. Atarashi went back to the table, taking something from his pocket. It was an opaque white liquid, simply labeled GHOST. An experimental drug not approved for either species. It only took a few seconds, but the Doctor could tell it wasn't working. Doll let out a sound that sounded like pure pain. Her back arched, lips pressed together.

"Stop," Doll managed to get out. They had exhausted their plethora of pain medicine, anymore and the dose would be lethal. A voice dripped into her head. Doctor Atarashi had to go, Ren was calling him about Zero. The words were sickly sweet, wrapping around her like and embrace. Dots danced in her vision when she attempted to open her eyes. Xavier returned from the bathroom, walking over quickly, eyes dull. He grabbed the oxygen tank, disconnecting it.

And then she was suffocating, attempting to draw in oxygen but it was like fire in her lungs. The voice in her head told her not to struggle, the dots growing worse. "Sleep," it beckoned, "we'll be together once more soon."

"No!" Doll cried, but her voice was weak, more a whisper. "I don't want to go." Doll could no longer see, her vision turning dark as her head spun. Finally she went limp, head lulling to the side. Quickly Xavier reconnected the oxygen, then crumpled to the ground. Madame's workers were on the inside, puppets who had heard her voice. It would only be a few hours before Madame had her toys.

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❝I'm not afraid, I'm brave enough.❞

[RED ¤ NOT ALONE]

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When human conventions failed, when the right way of doing things no longer worked, there was only one option left. Ren removed the wire from his ear, the lens from his eye. He let the phone clatter to the floor. He knew of father's experiments, of what he had discovered. The underground room, the disturbance of its opening. It was one of the clues that told him Zero had been near. It helped in finding him.

Ren approached the bed and slipped his secret into her pocket, she wouldn't know what the vial was for but he was betting her variant side would know. And it would tell her when to use it.

Xavier was on the floor, scrubs rushed in picked him up, another went to Doll's side, checked her machines, the drop in oxygen having set off an alarm. Were they all puppets too? Everyone? Surely they hadn't all heard Maddox's voice, gotten themselves compelled by her? It was risky, but he couldn't afford any more screw ups.

"Doc, what's the plan? We need to secure that boy, and that girl. Have others where ear plugs and communicate with gestures." He couldn't help his exhasperation, this was getting out of hand. They were at base, the most highly protected military base Brittain's got. They couldn't possibly lose it all over one crazed parasite in disguise.

"We're transferring her, now. Or things are about to get hairy."

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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


Normally, sleep brought peace. It allowed her to leave the pain behind and drift endlessly in a sea of detached thoughts. Normal dreams lasted thirty seconds, while in the mind it seemed to be an eternity. In the morning, one would wake up without a notion of what had gone down in their head the last evening. This sort of sleep was nothing of the sort. There were no detached whispers or false sense of security. It was a red sort of blurry, covered in a fog of pain.

A box, that's all it was. A cardboard box abandoned on the side of the road, splashes of rain drowning the contents inside that wailed, hardly heard over the thrumming of cars and thunderous rain. Doll couldn't remember where she had been going or why she had stopped, but she was little, only around 7 years old. Someone tugged her hand, a new Master no doubt, but Doll's feet were planted firmly against the ground. "They're crying," Doll's hand slipped out of the Master's grip. She went to the box getting tossed and splashed, otherwise ignored. She pulled the box back onto the street, under the safety and awning of a shop. "Doll!" He sounded furious, impatient, but she wasn't listening.

Inside was a kitten, abandoned and rejected, mewling and wet. "You're all alone aren't you?" She picked the cat up out of the box, holding it close. It's wet fur soaking into her shirt. "Just like me." She bound over to her Master, underneath his umbrella once more. She held out the black and white lump of fur. "Can I keep him!" He scowled, picking up the kitten from her grip and crushing its tiny body in his grip. Her eyes widened as he threw the bloody tiny body away, the kitten no longer moving. Not a one body stirred, they passed, the kitten crushed beneath the endless sea of legs. "Now look what you've done." He wiped the blood on the back of her shirt. "We're going to be late."

Doll was tugged along once more. She looked back in hopes of seeing the kitten, but it was already gone.

Somehow time had jumped. Doll was hiding beneath the bed, cowering in fear as she heard the footsteps of the eldest son coming closer. "Come out come out wherever you are you stupid dog." He opened the door, able to smell her fear. Doll moved further back, but he could see her. He grabbed her hair, yanking her out from beneath the bed. "It's all your fault you know." He grinned, the nails on his other hand sharpened like claws, he drew them against her skin, blood glistening like diamonds as it ran down her arm. "Stop, it hurts." She whimpered, struggling in his grip. He threw her down, kicking her in the side. Doll curled up in a ball, knowing that if she cried it would only get worse.

There was no one else in the house, the Master and Mistress had taken the other two siblings out to the movies, leaving Doll behind with the eldest son who had feigned a headache. Doll knew the truth though and she had hid as soon as they left. "You're not going to hide this time." He grabbed Doll by the throat, shoving her against the wall. He took a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket, Doll had no idea where he had gotten such a thing but he cuffed her hands together, throwing her over his shoulder. "I hope you've said your goodbyes you stupid dog." He pushed her hair aside, whispering in her ear. "I'm going to make you suffer."


It was dangerous to move her, the Doctor knew, but they had no other option. Madame Maddox wasn't stupid enough to come herself, but no doubt she had agents. It wasn't safe here and so they were going to risk it. He and his team prepared, two tying Xavier down to move him as well. He was easy though, most humans were. "We'll get Zero back, don't worry."

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❝I'm not afraid, I'm brave enough.❞

[RED ¤ NOT ALONE]

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Ren nodded, "Securing her and keeping that kid away from her is our best shot. Then we go after the bitch." Ren said, he smirked then, "Unless Zero gets her first."

_________

Wrists shackled to the stone walls, Zero sighed with a shuddered breath. Dried blood stained what was left of his shredded shirt, his jeans full of rips and tears and underneath his flesh was caked in dirt, blood and sweat. No wounds. With every hit his way, sure the pain made him want to pass out but he resisted, his body kept regenerating over and over. The bitch liked to grab ahold of him in his sleep, that's when she struck gold. He wasn't having any of it.

"Tell me, why won't you yield?" Maddox purred, she stood statuesque before him, her crimson smile impeccable, her eyes shimmered in a challenge.

"Bite me." He said, then turned his head to spit out blood at her crocodile pumps.

She chuckled, "Hun, I already have and you're not so tasty."

"Yeah well, I'm not gonna be your chew toy."

"Silence." She said, then snapped her hand across his face.

Zero glared back at her, "Screw you, bitch."

She slapped him again, harder.

Zero laughed, "You can't make everyone your puppet, I bet that just pisses you off doesn't it?" Then he coughed and spat out blood. This wasn't good, he couldn't keep taking her hits. He's already slowing down. He pulled himself up, stood on unsteady feet.

"What is this, huh? Some kind of kinky, 'clamps and feathers' kind of thing you got going on with us? I mean I'm not even human and you want me to be your toy, apart of your freaky collection like you were trying with Loretta?" Zero said, he pulled at the chains, if he could yank at them hard enough they'd have to give. "Yeah, I know who you are Madame Maddox, see, I did my home work." He smirked, and even winked.

"I know, you just get your kicks off this huh, you that screwed up in the melon, so you beat and torture cuz let's face it, it's all you got left in you. Like it's some runners high? And when someone don't bend to your wishes, try to crack 'em open." He yanked at the chain, putting a real show. He could break them. Anytime. But he had to get under her skin too, he knew how torture worked. He just hoped he didn't cross too far into the deep end.

"Guess what sister, I'm not a fucking piñata. I won't break." He said this and looked her right in the eye, "Beat me with a wire hanger, it makes no difference." There was nothing left in the cards, in order to win this, he had to meet her at her level. The chill in him spread, he let it consume him. For a moment, just a moment, and hoped someone would bring him back from it.

From complete darkness.

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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


"Stop hurting him!" Doll screamed, banging against the glass walls that encased her on every side. A leash tied her to the wall, metal collar digging into her skin. She could see it, the way Maddox was hurting Zero, making him bleed. The nightmares had cut short, Doll had been trapped for hours, watching as Madame Maddox tore Zero limb from limb, never enough to kill him, then allowed him to heal and tore at him more. "Stop," She couldn't be seen or heard, watching through Madame's eyes. A sob tore through her body, the collar choking her, but Doll didn't care. "Let him go!" Her throat was raw from screaming, hands bloody from clawing at every surface in the room, She didn't care though, Doll was trying to reach him through the barrier, knowing in the back of her mind that it was impossible. She could see him fading, she was losing him, Madame's torture winning.

"No," Doll whimpered, prying her eyes open. The lights in the room were bright, shining far too loudly in her eyes. Doll winced, squinting as everything came into view. Dr. Atarashi stood over her, some sort of paddle in his hands. He breathed a sigh of relief, handing the paddles to the nurse standing at his side. They had known it was a risk to move her, but they had to. Thankfully, the seizure had begun after everything was already set up and they had managed to bring her back quickly with the defibrillator. "Careful now," the Doctor spoke as they transferred her to the bed. Tubes were rearranged and reattached, monitors stuck back on her body, a blanket covering her nude from. The nightmare was forgotten as her eyes became dull, sedatives pumping into her veins.

"Where?" Doll managed to choke, her voice slipping away towards the end as it felt like she couldn't breathe. "I can't disclose the location," the Doctor replied. Something tugged at her wrists, they were strapping Doll's arms down. "Why?" She asked, tugging against the leather cuffs. There were too many sedatives for her to panic and so she simply tried to lift a weak arm, her hands falling limply to her sides. "It's a precaution," the Doctor soothed, stroking her hair away from her forehead. It was meant to be comforting, but the gesture only made her feel worse. "Zero?" His silence was all she needed.

Doll struggled against the binds and she suddenly realized what they were for. "Don't worry," the Doctor's voice was determined. "We're going to get him back." Doll watched as he left, going through a glass door. The entire room was made of glass, just like in her nightmare. Doll could see right into the next room, another made of glass. Xavier lay, strapped to the bed like her, some sort of device strapped to his arm to keep him out in case Madame tried to infiltrate his head again. "Zero," Doll whispered, his name tasting sweet on her lips. "I'll save you this time."

"I promise."

~~~~~

Madame could see it, the slight change, the flicker as man retreated, leaving a hard outer shell, a puppet for her to control. "Oh Zero my dear, you've finally become mine." She held his face against her breast and stroked his head, "they're hurting her you know." She said in a soothing voice, attempting to gauge his reaction. In Zero's mind his brother was dead and he would stay that way, seeing the brat may strike a chord and change the Being once more. Behind Madame, a projection played, his brother, laying dead in the park and his precious Doll, laying still, a machine breathing for her. "They did this," she let go of Zero and stepped back. "I can protect them and all you have to do is bring them to me."

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Zero could have stabbed her directly in the chest, ending her existence within a tenth of a second. So terribly close. And yet the slightest whisper of murderous intent would have also drawn her defense, he was just as open as she. So he resisted, he held on with everything he's got. He shook with the effort it took not to lash out, getting that grip was harder than it seemed and when his eyes fell on the image of his dead brother he simply took the entire image as a whole. A collection of electrical pigments projected via hologram.

Beside it another, there was Loretta, the numbers on the lower left of the projection ticking away, recorded in real time. Zero's gaze lingered, his eyes widened at that, she was worse than when he'd left her. And there was another tell, he'd just realized.

He sliced at the chains and they dropped at his feet. He barely managed to keep vertical, he had to feed. Hunger drove his cells into a frenzy, sent his internal system into starvation mode, his hands shook and his instincts kicked in. Maddox would have to provide him, she smelled of Loretta's blood.

Her blood replenished him.

They did this to her. Maddox's words were unnecessary. He could already see that they had.

Fact, Loretta was kept in a new room he noted, all glass, sanitary. She was moved. Another added stress to her system. At the very least, Loretta is alive.

He tore his gaze from the projection, stared at Maddox. "It will kill her, if she is removed from the machine that's sustaining her life." How was Maddox going to protect her if she no longer lives? And what did she mean by "them"? Did she mean Xavier as well? What was Maddox's definition of "protect"? To Zero it didn't look the same as his definition. If Maddox was going to hurt them like she did him then her reasoning was highly flawed.

Zero may have shut down most of the regions of his brain that dictated emotion and physical pain receptors but the logical aspects of his mental faculties remained intact, they were in fact heightened. He didn't forget what drove him there, what made him become this.

"Furthermore I am running on empty, I must feed. Now." He latched his hand around her wrist and without hesitation bit into the flesh, blood hot and flowing splashed across his tongue and he relished in its taste.

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Maddox stroked his hair as he drank from her wrist, it was hardly a bother, in fact, she relished in the pain. It had been far too long since she had felt pain like this, since she had felt as though she were alive. Oh what she wouldn't give to be young again! "Zero you still continue to doubt me." It wasn't a question, Madame Maddox could tell he was hesitant. She produced a device from her pocket, "I'm a doctor too, far better than that idiot Atarashi." Maddox Medical was a very well known medical technology developer, where did they think all of her money came from? Politics? That was a laugh.

"Place this on her chest, it wI'll sustain her long enough to move here." There was a catch of course, meaning their time was limited and they could only go in one direction. "I can protect her Zero, with your help no harm will come to a hair on her pretty little head." From the outside of course from Madame herself was a different story. After all, what fun was it to have a toy you couldn't break? Even after Zero's initial snapping, Madame would most likely continue to torment him to ensure he stayed under her control.


She gestured to the images behind her, "I can fix her." In what way Madame would never tell, her promises weren't ever empty though, she did intend to fix Doll but only so the girl wouldn't be dependent on those machines, if Zero didn't listen though, she could very easily take away the things he loved most. "All you need to do is bring her to me," She stopped, grinned, "and the boy too." Yes the boy with the two colored eyes would make a nice addition to her collection. She could already imagine the makeovers she would do to both boys. Nothing like that distasteful Lord that would sully his pets.