Limerance

Sabrie

0 INK

a part of Limerance, by The_Queen.

None

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

1,626 readers have been here.

Setting

Default Location for Limerance
Create a Character Here »

Sabrie

None

Minimap

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

Start Character Here »


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
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


Ren was running a tight operation and it made Doll wonder how often he did things like this. It made her uncomfortable to think of the things Ren had no doubt gone through to track down his older brother. The real question was, was why he didn't attempt to find Zero sooner? Why had he only popped up now, when it was convenient for himself? Did he not know of the pain Zero had gone through? She could recall the day she had met him, the sad look in his eyes, how he had spoken so fondly of hi brother when he finally opened up. There was a tense silence in the car now, their hopes running high, the odds stacked against them, as always. No one was tailing them, in fact there seemed to be no one else on the road. Suspiciously convenient, but Doll wouldn't question it.

After all, she knew nothing on how operations worked.

A neon sign, that was what Ren called her. She shuffled uncomfortably, her hand tightening around Zero. Cut the lights and dismantle it? Something told Loretta that, that was going to be a bit painful. There would be no easy ways on this trip, but even so, Doll was excited. "A real adventure," she whispered, most certain the other two had been able to detect the glee in her inflection.

A real adventure with the man that made her heart flutter and for a moment she was afraid that he too, could hear the rushing of beats through her heart.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

The heart that beat brimmed of more life and vibrancy than he could take. How suffocating. Ren gripped the steering wheel, glared daggers out the windshield. The roads were light on traffic and for the most part they'd reach the private owned airstrip on time. They'd of course arrive earlier than necessary and he had a reason for that.

"Ren, where are we going?" Zero watched the roads, also looking out for tails. "You really trust these guys?"

"Without a doubt." Ren stared up at the red light. If it was midnight, if he'd been alone...

"Must be pretty popular." Zero said.

The light turned green after a moment. Ren stepped on the gas and sped forward. If the two weren't strapped in, their problem. "It's got nothing to do with popularity. Just business."

He could feel Zero's eyes staring through him.

"Business, with who?"

"A guy who owes me." Now wasn't the time for mistrust, what else did they have but this? Everything riding on short notice and he had to not only ghost himself outta town but these two. One couldn't even hold her own and another who wasn't stable enough to rely on.

"Ren," Zero met his gaze in the review mirror, "are these... Dad's friends?"

Friends. What the fuck does that even mean? Because the word didn't exist in Ren's world. There was no such thing. He glared at the reflective glass. Sometimes he wondered whatever happened to the Zero he'd left behind. The kid riding in the back wasn't him.

"We'll be there in under thirteen minutes." Ren cut his eyes away and focused on the road. Traffic lightened. The roads however slick with a shower of rain coming through. "When I stop, just keep going. Grab the case and go. Don't look back, don't hesitate. Just move."

Zero's aura spiked and snapped. There's no questioning his instint. He already knew. What they were gonna do—what Ren was attempting could go wrong in any moment.

"What's in the case?" Zero asked quietly.

"Good question." Ren checked for tails, found none and continued onward.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
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


Tensions were high between the two brothers but if Doll noticed she didn't say anything. Instead she sat by and watched the landscape change outside as they grew closer to another private property. Her stomach fluttered with butterflies and she wondered if this was part of the adventure, or maybe just nerves. Did leaving Doctor Atarashi and going with Zero count as running away? Would Doll be like one of those rogue humans that lived in secret colonies? Except Doll wouldn't be living with other humans, she'd be a fugitive with Zero and Ren.

Doll had never seen herself breaking any rules. She had always followed the letter of the law, eating when told to, getting herded into the movie room with all of the other humans, letting herself getting tested on like a guinea pig. Perhaps it had all began when she had let Zero teach her to read. It had opened up Doll's world in a way she could never imagine. Or maybe it was the day she had met him, when he had taken off the collar and thrown it across the room.

The boys were fighting, Doll in took a quick breath. What was going on? Had something happened? She looked between Ren and Zero, tensions were running high at the moment. The air seemed to crackle with electricity at how the two continued snapping at each other's throats. The car came to a short stop, if Doll hadn't figured out how to use the seat belt then she would have been flung forward. There were so many things that she didn't know, it was a wonder what she would be learning out there. "I can't wait," Doll whispered excitedly, happy despite the fact that Zero and Ren were not.

Rain began to pound angrily against the window, as though to oppose their escape. Rain and snow, it would be a slippery slope if they weren't careful. What were the two squabbling about? Doll turned her head to see that there was a briefcase, locked tightly and sitting on one of the seats. She stared at it, blinked, then turned back to the window, uninterested in it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO
  1. //still no laptop, but I wanted to add this in again I'm sorry it took me ages!

    by Himekura

0.00 INK

Zero eyed the aforementioned object as it sat on the leather seat between him and the door. No way he'd miss it. The chrome case could be holding anything. Where did it come from and why was it their problem?

The car stopped. In a matter of seconds they were moving out into the flurry of snow and rain frosting everything it touched. Zero carried Loretta and went around to the trunk popping it open so he'd single-handedly pull out the wheelchair and gently place her in. Then he covered her head with his coat and wheeled her around. Eventually grabbing the case as he headed for the jet awaiting them.

Ren was exchanging info with a man in piloters uniform. He was then approached by a male clad in black. Zero regarded him briefly, no indication of any threats. Ahead, the ramp leading to the jet coated with sticking snow. He turned his gaze at the sky. Murky and grey, he wished it'd lessen and grant 'em a safe flight home. It didn't take long for him to lead her in and settle her into the seat, securing her in with the belt much like he would for Ren years ago. Back then they were less hostile, more alert. The black road ahead, open to infinity.

He set the case at his feet, whatever it contained had a certain weight to it but nothing inside rattled. No traces of any particular scent—unless that too had been deliberately masked. Zero glared out the small window, barely making out Ren and the guy that must be dad's confidantes. The kid gave his back to the guy and finally made his way to the jet. Zero's heart constricted painfully. He glanced at her.

She was calmer than he, anticipating their next destination. Would it really be an adventure for her? Revisiting ruined buildings hidden labs underground. Risking herself even more than ever just to be at his side? Why was she so willing to take on another burden?

Ren shut the door, it locked them all in. He sat across from them looking pleased with himself if the slight tilt on his lips was anything to lead on.

"Yo," Zero tapped the hard shell of the case with his booted foot. "What's in case number five or we're leaving."

Ren opened an eye. "Still training for the Marathon, huh?"

Zero frowned. "Five seconds."

The jet rumbled and started moving forward. He didn't have much time if they were to go. "Four...Three..."

The boy shook his head, "It's nothing harmful, so don't give me that look."

"Money."

Ren met his gaze with sharp, narrowed eyes. He gripped the arm rests till his knuckles blanched. "I'm not hanging off those branches, Zero. Quit offering."

Zero didn't move, but the crack of his aura made the younger sibling tense. Suppressing the eruption in him took everything he had. This wasn't how he pictured their flight back. He drew strength from the well of assumed weakness. "You've never struck me as a narrow-minded, ignorant brat. Don't start now."

The jet took off into the inky sky, less shaky as it sliced through clouds of snow and ice.

Ren scoffed, shaking his head as he picked up a water bottle and cracked it open, taking a swig his eyes glaciers. "They're all the same. Or did you forget the good ol' times?"

Zero closed his eyes at the jab of memory. He sought Loretta's fingers eclipsing them with his own. There wasn't much left to hold on to at this point. "You took much time dealing with that. The case. I won't ask again."

Ren shook his head. "The case isn't worth your paranoia, so focus on the matter."

"I am. Where's your focus?" He flinched when the world around him shuttered and a low groan reverberated from somewhere in the jet. Instinctively he shut his eyes and waited out the turbulence. He should have stayed in Japan. At least then he'd have a fighting chance, the beings and humans coexisted and understood one another. But Zero's thoughts sprang ahead and always not the trajectory he wanted. There was always the haunts that plagued and threatened to strip him away. That's when he remembered her hand in his, and it's significance. He had to fight it, even if the war tore him down. She'd never let go.

He forced his eyes open and focused on her completely. There was something else she taught him, he had to trust himself a little more.

"You alright?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
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 case between them sat untouched, silver and padlocked with a code. It was clear that whatever was inside of the case wasn't meant for their eyes and Doll had no qualms with leaving it shut. Sometimes things weren't worth exploring, Doll felt that this was one of those times. Instead she focused on something else; the way the snow fell, how it danced in the sky and rained upon the earth in spirals, each flake different than the last. Like a thumbprint, no two snow flakes were the same. Not that you could see it with the naked eye. To Doll it looked more like salt flakes that drifted with ease, landing in piles that bunched up on the sides of the road. Half melted slush froze up once more, coating the driving area with black ice that was precious to drive on, especially at night. In the distance, a vibrant city lit up with neon lights and large screens which advertised everything from love hotels to Coca Cola. Not that Doll could read Japanese, she wasn't all that great at reading English either.

The car suddenly jerked to a stop, coming to a halt on an airstrip. When the doors opened, the wind stung her face and bit at her skin, the cold making her shiver. "I can-" she started but Zero had already lifted her up. Doll huddled into his warmth, feeling his breath on her hair as he transferred her into the wheelchair. He seemed insistent on pushing her towards the awaiting airplane, despite the fact that Doll was perfectly capable of doing it herself. She didn't protest, it was so cold that Doll was almost afraid her fingers would freeze to the metal railing around the tires that enabled one to propel themselves forward. A strange memory inflicted her mind, one of those quick flashes that left her in pain. She shut one eye, pressing the heel of her hand into it as the image flashes before her.

A basement, cold, huddling into the corner to preserve warmth. Doll shook her head to clear the memory away, not wanting to see these strange things that made her eyes water and her mind swim. The interior of the airplane was much warmer than it was outside, yet Doll couldn't help but give one last shiver as she transferred herself from the wheelchair to a seat. "Thank you," she spoke in earnest to Zero, fumbling to pull the strap over her lap due to the fact that she was left slightly distracted. He was so near, just a whisper of breath could touch him. She closed her hand, tempted to reach out as he walked over to his brother, the two quickly bickering over what was in the case. Doll winced at the loud sound, focusing her attention on the window, steeling herself as they would soon take off. Up and up and up they would go, touching the clouds, but not yet, the cabin door had yet to shut.

It was around the same time that the door was closed that the bickering ceased. Doll felt as though she could breathe again, she turned back to glance at Zero who sunk into the seat beside her. "Are you alright?" Doll asked, placing one hand on the armrest between them. She used her other hand to tuck a strand of wispy blonde hair behind her ear. The ascent into the sky began, the three of them leaning slightly back as they shot off of the runway and into the air. Doll glanced out the window and for a moment she was mesmerized by the sight of the city growing smaller, becoming nothing but an insignificant speck in the vast universe. Just like them.

His hand touched her's, she drew in a breath, warmth crawling up from where he touched until a smile tilted on her lips. She turned back to face him, red eyes on her blue. "I'm fine," she nodded and for once it didn't feel like a lie.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Was he alright? He looked at her, caught the movement of her hand rising to brush golden strands back from her face. It was her oceanic eyes that held him steady. Then they cast to the world outside rushing below as they sailed above. At that moment nothing looked more breathtaking than the sight of her wonder.

Zero opened her fingers and gently caressed her skin with his thumb. There was a time when her hands were hidden under folds of bandages. He rose this hand, pressing his answer into her knuckles. His chest filled with what he could imagine was love. Something that encompassed his entire universe and beyond. For no other girl but her.

She turned back, eyes glinted in the dim light, shadows falling like dark silk across her face and when she smiled—when she smiled it struck him again. Because those smiles were the reflection of her heart. She truly shined tonight.

At her simple response he tilted his head to the side, "Indeed you are." He couldn't agree more.

*


Eventually they landed and Ren snatched up the case. He was also the first to get out, hitting the ground and sweeping the area with eagle eyes. It occurred to Zero then that they were still in danger and had to take extra measures. He helped Loretta into the wheelchair, covered her with his coat and a blanket before wheeling her out. They were welcomed by a chilly gust of pre-dawn, but with less intensity. He gripped the handles of the chair and pushed onwards.

"I gotta ride." Ren said. He stood ahead, a cell phone at his ear. "Keep up." He signaled Zero pursue him as he lead the way.

Easily catching up. Zero focused on the voice at the other end. A low, tired voice belonging to the last person he'd ever thought they'd hear again. Levi Keaton. "You called Levi?"

Ren sent him a side-ways glance. "Who?"

Zero ground his teeth, "Ren—"

The kid snapped the phone as his way of ending the call. He removed the chip and crushed it. "Welcome home, brother." It was the smirk that belied his inner nature. "Unless, you're fine with growing tails."

Zero shook his head. "I'd take em down, no contest. But he's family. Don't drag anyone else into our mess."

Ren glanced behind them, then stopped once they reached the road. He checked his watch and stretched his arms over his head. After all these years some things just never change. "He's ninety by wheels. Thirty on foot." He eyed the wheelchair with a frown. "I know you wanna protect her and I get that, but it's better if she sits this one out."

"We stick together, end of story."

"It's no place for sleeping beauty, you know that."

"You almost sound concerned."

Ren shook his head and glared down the deserted road. "Then why don't you wake her with a kiss and settle my nerves."

Zero let go of the handle and touched the crown of her head with one hand. It was a galaxy within her, vast, alive, receptive to his touch. She still held traces of his influence, and hers were just... dormant. He pulled back, he couldn't do that to her. There was no way of knowing how she'd react to the sudden change. And what if... She wasn't the same in the end? Was it selfish of him to want to keep her as just Loretta? Zero ran his fingers through her hair. He wouldn't force anything upon her, not like this. "I can't risk it." He spoke softly, "I doubt she'd want to."

Ren shook his head and tsked, "Sure, bet she enjoys being a useless little girl unable to fend for herself."

"Shut up." Zero turned the wheelchair, he didn't need any ride, "We're going without you."

Ren scoffed, "Careful brother, we're miles away from the city, sure you want to take that risk?"

"Like you said, thirty on foot." Zero picked up Loretta into his arms, her warm body against him felt good. He continued inward and then, took off.

Ren sighed, he plucked up the contraption left behind and folded it up. They'll just have to meet at the place.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
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


There were little moments that made up life. The way rain fell on the window, the smell of fresh baked bread or cake as it came out of the oven, the way someone looked at you with a certain glint in their eyes that made your breath leave your body and your knees feel weak. This was one of those moments, Doll thought. His hand covered her's, his thumb rubbing slow circles across her skin. His gaze so intense that for a moment Doll could do nothing but blush. She looked away, her attention suddenly captivated by something out the window. Rides by plane were something she had always enjoyed, but this one was different. The others held empty promises of safety that never came true, a haven, a new start. There was a certain buzz, an electricity that magnified the intensity of emotion flying between the three of them in the passenger side. Love, hate, devotion, despise, question, uncertainty, and most of all; excitement.

A sudden exhaustion began to creep over her. It was late, she was tired, by the time the sun rose again they would be on the other side of the earth. "Sleepy," Doll murmured. She leaned her head on his shoulder, trying to resist the temptation of closing her eyes. All attempts to stay awake were futile, it was minutes before his warmth drew her into safety and she dozed off.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She awoke when the plane began its descent. Slowly they climbed downwards, her ears popping at the lower altitude. The air was no less tense, it seemed a stare down had started between the two brothers and Doll wasn't quite sure if it was going to end. The wheels touched the ground, the plane lurched, then slowed. Normally Doll would have asked if everything was alright, but that was a box she didn't want to open. Not between these two, who had so many problems she wasn't sure how they agreed on this plane. It almost seemed as though every word between them was hostile, charged with unspoken threats that were just as bad as the vocalized ones. "We're in Sabrie?" Doll inquired, her gut telling her so. Well, that and the giant green and white sign that read, WELCOME TO SABRIE. POPULATION: 62,000.

Doll unstrapped herself, prepared to transfer herself into her wheelchair but Zero's arms quickly slipped beneath her. He carried her down the steps and into the frigid air, placing her into the wheelchair that awaited on the runway. Doll shivered, without hesitance he gave her his coat as well as a blanket from the airplane. "You need your jacket," Doll protested, holding it out to him. He would freeze out here without one, but Zero ignored her protests. She sighed, "You're so stubborn when you set your mind to something," the blonde shook her head, knowing she wouldn't be able to change his mind. They had returned to their point of origin, or at least, her's. There were only two bits of information about Zero's past that Doll knew. One was standing right next to them in the form of a little brother, the other was the abandoned house he had taken her to.

Almost instantly an argument broke out, one that Doll didn't understand. Zero had taken the handles of her wheelchair, leaving Doll to play with a loose string on the blanket in her lap. She looked up when she was mentioned and Doll was nothing short of confused. "I'm not asleep..." she trailed off, unable to recall the memories of when she had used her abilities. A safety measure put in by the two boy's father. Not that any of them knew this, but then again, there were a lot of things they didn't know. Doll had just about had enough of their bickering, just when she was at breaking point, Zero lifted her out of her chair and began to walk in the direction of the welcome sign. "Where are we going?" Doll asked, wondering if she would finally receive an answer to this question.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Be a gentlemen, be kind, smile, that's right, so beautiful. Always consider the others needs, put them first. Before you know it, you've formed a bond that can't be broken.

Those were her words, dancing in the spring. Whenever he asked about how they met. How they decided to be together. Mom and dad. They were summer and winter, black and white. Against all odds somehow they were in sync. They managed to work things out no matter what crap came at them.

Zero gripped Loretta in his arms, focusing. The road ending and curving into dark soil, encasing them in damp foliage. Nostalgia painted fragments in his mind. Memories that shouldn't matter but still haunted him—reminded him of what he'd lost. Ties that stretched and snapped him back to that place. The trees with their familiar scars, the weave and Bend of trails leading in all directions until...

Deep within the clearing, stood broken moss-covered stone pillars. The remnant bones of home. He slowed his pace, his breaths plumes of warmth in the chilled air and right in the center, under twigs and dead leaves. Glinted the stone that thirsted for his blood.

Zero adjusted Loretta in his arms, freeing his hand he bit into his wrist and let the crimson plasma drop. The ground beneath him rumbled and groaned, circular metallic locks unfurling to reveal stone steps leading into darkness.

His entire body trembled, fire ignited through his veins fueled by either excitement or dread. He took a step and hesitated. "Miss Loretta," He held on to her, taking one step down, then another. "Tell me a story." He whispered into her ear. Little by little the silent shadows enclosed them both. Little strobes of light flared indicating the path. The walls damp and cold brushed his shoulder, he tensed. The steps curved down, the walls narrowed over them. His chest tightened, the air cut at his throat. He froze when the bars of the cage slammed around him. No. An icy grip seized his chest and made his world tilt. He leaned against the wall, and shut his eyes. "Anything you can... Think of." He tried to keep his voice calm, casual, with his free hand he felt the wall. No bars. He pushed to his feet again but the low ceiling rushed at him. He didn't move. He couldn't move.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
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 breath was warm on her hair, his embrace tightening with every step. It wasn't uncomfortable, no, it was never uncomfortable with him. Even out here, with snow drifting down gently, frigid but not as much as when they were in Japan. "Zero," he was unsteady, he was worried, she could sense it. "Are you alright?" Perhaps it was deliberate, but every time Doll asked a question it seemed to be almost entirely ignored. Maybe it was better that way? Humans weren't supposed to know things after all. "You're tense, why?" If Zero was afraid of something then surely it was a something that Doll should fear as well. After all, Zero wasn't afraid of anything. He charged so recklessly into battle like a bull without a second thought. This was Zero, the brave, Zero the strong. He was a hero, or at least in Doll's eyes.

But even heroes had something they feared. They reached a decrepit, abandoned looking house in the middle of the woods. Doll swallowed hard, the wind had wicked the moisture right off of her tongue. "Zero, you should rest, you didn't get any sleep last night." He wasn't listening to her, he seemed to be in almost a trance of sorts. A shiver crawled up her spine as they approached the abandoned home. With a snap, Doll suddenly realized why it seemed so familiar. They had been here once before, Zero had taken her on a walk on a blustering day just like today. "This is your old home, isn't it?" Her voice was stolen by the wind. It whipped her hair across her face as Zero shifted her in his arms and bit down on his hand. "Zero!" Doll cried out in alarm, why was he acting so reckless?

The basement loomed ever closer, a feeling of oppression overcoming her. "Zero, why would you hurt yourself?" She took his hand, cradling it gently. Doll shifted herself in his arms and tore a strip from the blanket that covered her legs. She wrapped it carefully around the wound, her touch ever so gentle. "A story," Doll breathed, she had just the one. They stood at the edge of the staircase, beginning their descent into the basement. One upon a time there was a girl, who thought she was just that, a girl. There was nothing extraordinary about her. She wasn't beautiful, she wasn't smart or quick witted. She lived in poverty," a big word she had picked up from one of her books. "In a small house at the edge of the woods." Darkness closed around them, causing a shiver to creep up her spine. Zero banged into the wall, making her flinch. He reached out as though to touch something, maybe he could see something she couldn't?

"The girl was out in the garden one day, picking weeds from the ground when a handsome," another big word she had stolen from a novel. "Man dressed in rags stopped in front of the broken gate. 'Excuse me, do you know how to get to the village?' He asked her, the girl wiped her hands on her dress and stood. 'Yes, I was just on my way there, I'll show you the way.' She answered and opened the gate to step outside. Almost as soon as she did-" Doll stopped, Zero had stopped moving. "Zero, is everything okay?"

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

0.00 INK

"My head is pounding and my stomach is knotted, I don't like cramped places and it feels constricting down here." Zero looked at the torn fabric wrapped around a slow-to-heal wound. It'll be fine. No point worrying over that. But she had fretted over such a simple thing, he clenched his hand to keep it from shaking. At the disheveled blanket draping her elbows, he frowned. Picking it back up around her shoulders, as well as the hood that'd slipped off her head. "Try to stay warm...don't want you getting sick." He bundled her up and hugged her. "Otherwise I don't know what I'd do." Was she worried, scared? So keen on picking up his emotions... Emotions. Feelings. Fear. Wasn't that what made him human? Or was it all a learned skill? Years of watching people and picking up habits. Adopting behaviours like a trained animal?

No. He closed his eyes and rested his chin on her shoulder. Peace was being in her arms. Love was the smile that lit him up like fireworks. Her warmth and his passion that she awoke in him. The depravation of loss, the crippling fear of losing her or his little brother. The intense fire of rage that built up and turned his world a shade of red. And a host of other emotions. He felt those things. It was real.

He staggered up to his feet. "Damn it." He hissed, glaring into the darkness. He wasn't gonna let this stupid crap trip him up. All in his head. He had to keep trucking. He was strong enough. And he wasn't even alone. Not then and certainly not now. "Continue the story, we gotta lab to raid." He took another step down, then another quickly and kept his eyes down at the steps. He was gonna do this. He wanted answers and nothing was gonna stop him from getting it!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
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 story died on her tongue as they descended into the cavernous basement. The darkness was resolute, it was the kind that pierced you to your very core and made you shiver in a way you never thought imaginable. "I know this place," Doll whispered with a distinct certainty that made her tense up. She couldn't remember how, but it was all so familiar. She winced as a sight flashed behind her eyes, making her close them to see the picture more clearly. A cage, knocked over equipment, two people screaming. Her entire body trembled as though she were a sapling uprooted in a hurricane. "I hate the dark," she whispered, feeling as though she were floating. Where had Zero gone? He was still carrying her, she could feel his arms around him and yet he wasn't there. A sensation of dread pierced her stomach like a knife, stabbing into her gut and making her feel nauseous.

She knew this place, but how? Doll had no memory, so she couldn't have recalled it from her past. Unless this was where she was before the Zoo? No, she knew that wasn't it. The house before the Zoo she had flashes of, this was not that place. This one was different. Doll buried her face in Zero's chest for an added sense of comfort. His arms were safe, he would protect her from whatever was down here. "I-I'm sorry," she whispered, "I-I can't remember the rest of the story." A truth that feebly dripped its way from her mouth. Her hands balled into fists, taking the fabric of of his shirt in her hands. They were clenched so hard that her knuckles were white, not that you could see it in the dark. Did Zero have night vision? Or perhaps he had brought a candle? That was ridiculous, there was probably a light switch somewhere if the house still had power.

And where was Ren? They had left him behind, sure, but wasn't he supposed to catch up? Unless he had been caught?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

"You've been here?" Zero reached the bottom of the steps before he was met with another door. A scanner on the wall, he slapped a bloody palm against the dirt and dust smeared panel. Electrical impulses and heavy locks disengaged revealing the inner pathways into the underground lab. It felt like walking through a high security bank to a secret vault. Lights flickered, low beams indicating a path down to another scanner entrance. The glass was cracked and smeared with old blood.
"What the hell?" He hit the panel but the sensor wasn't reading, he stood back. These were double-solid steel doors. With the tips of his vectors, Zero pried the doors apart and was met with a fully lit room.

Glass and strewn documents littered the floor. Machines lay in pieces at their feet along with dark stains and the chill of death.

"You met dad before?" He let Loretta sit on the edge of metallic table and went on to pick up a data sheet. Numbers and graphs with formulaic info—only the data was riddled in other symbols. Of course dad would document everything in his signature coding. Something no one would understand except himself or mom. Maybe when Ren got back, he could decode it all. He held a page out for Loretta, "It's a mix bag of language and symbolism. Looks senseless right?" There was more of the lab left to explore.

*


Several Months Ago…

Ren tasted flesh tainted by madness and riddled with snatches of conversation. His latest hunt refused to speak. He had no choice.
“Doll…” A male’s cold, detached voice ghosted through muddled memory. “Yes, I tested the sample numerous times…” Definitely a researcher. Ren’s focus snagged a bit but he managed to get back on the reading. “...contains the Phantom Gene… Yes….Lost the subject…” The voice vanished as his prey’s consciousness slipped. He bit down harder, fangs clawing for more blood. What was a Phantom Gene? “...Doctor Atarashi reported the subject’ transfer... Unknown location… Find it immediately. Last sighting… Zero—” The voice cut short when searing pain ripped through him. It jolted Ren back to reality. He dropped the dead body that shattered at his feet. More red blossomed from his wound where he'd taken a stabbing round earlier. The wound hadn't healed as much as he'd hoped it would from feeding. He pressed his arm into the wound and glanced back the darkened forest.

“Ren!” Vakira called, her voice sickenly sweet.

Shit. How the hell did she find him out here? He had to lose her and fast. Tracking the area ahead, Ren activated his beastly nature and lunged forward at the tell-tale trail of blood in the air. Familiar because it was Zero. The scent twisted and trailed along the overgrown soil up to the remains of destroyed structure.

He struck his fingers into his wound, it came away wet with blood. Collapsing to his knees he touched the pale stone and watched it bleed silver to red. Then the earth shook and opened its metallic mouth. Zero had been here, he felt his brother's lingered presence. It was safe down here. It should have been. But for the last several weeks, Ren had witnessed his own brother slipping. And it was his fault. Really.


NOW

"Wake up darling, you'll miss the main event." Her voice grated at his ears, her knife-curved grin sliced into his optical nerve cementing itself into his brain. "Oh, you look like a ghost. Too early for Samhain don't cha think?"

Ren didn't respond. He barely held her regard. It was getting increasingly difficult to focus with just one strained eye. Behind her the giant screen awash in fuzzy grey. White noise nearly lulled him back into the empty void.

"What, now you want to nap?" She demanded, stabbing into his already exposed chest with a sharpened claw. "Turn it on."


“Screw you.”

She plunged her claw through his ribcage, sending a shock of lightning through him that knocked the air from his lungs. Heat burst through his lips, slipping down his pale throat in rivulets. Blood mingled with the dried stains on his clothes. He caught the shadowy figure of someone in the glass of the door outside.

"If he dies, you die." She brought her clawed hand up to her lips and licked at the red.

"...I die... He... Goes too."

She frowned, "The eye. Activate it."

Ren shook against the table, he shouldn't had let her damage his body like this just to see how far she'd go. But now that he was certain, Zero was alive. He could find him. Whenever he got out of this mess. But did Zero know? He had to know.

A part of Ren wanted to end it here. Take her with him. But the little voice in his head begged not to. The little voice wanted his big brother. The little heart, the one that bled. Wanted his family again. The buried core under wrapped thorns and brambles. Scratching at the walls he'd built around it.

Too bad he couldn't activate the right nerves that switched off physical pain. He eyed the clear, IV line clinging into his thin arm, sending a shitload of drugs into his system. Messing with his head and his cells. Or maybe it was her.

"Well, Ren, the eye." She prompted, jabbing at his liver with the sharp end of her small finger. "Garok already delivered them here. All he has to do now is eliminate the ties.” She kept toying with Ren's organs until the screen flickered and an image came into focus.

"Ah," She turned to the giant screen with a twisted smile, "back on schedule."

Ren watched the screen and froze. Levi was staring back, golden eyes narrowed in his familiar no-nonsense stare.

“Don't mess with him.” Ren managed to say, he tugged at his restraints. No budge.

*


Levi Keaton stared down at the boy that was like—no—was a son to him. He was holding a folded wheelchair, his eyes focused afar. “You guys separated?”

Ren nodded, “Said he'd meet at the lab.”

Levi sighed, “Explain the wheels.”

“Doll’s wheels, he left em behind.” Ren tossed it into the bed of the pick-up and slid into the passenger side.

He pulled off the shoulder and lead them back into the road. “Doll?”

“His pet.”

Levi scrunched his nose, “Since when Zi’s taken on human ownership?”

Ren shrugged, “Its a rich folk thing.”

Levi glared out the windshield. “Haven't heard from either of you boys in years. Why Al’s lab, what are you kids looking for?”

Ren watched the mirror on his side. The road was empty. “It’s not what we're looking for. It's what's waiting for us.”

“OK, so why bring the disabled pet along, isn't that risky?”

“All of this is.”

“You're telling me.”

They were silent for a long time. Levi watched the road and sped down the empty highway. He couldn't shake the heavy feeling in his gut. All this was wrong. And Ren… he just wasn't right. Too detached even for him. And his signature was a mess, nothing about it familiar. “You looking into your old man’s crazy research projects?”

Ren nodded, “I've heard some things about it. There's possible probability in his findings. I believe he left it behind for a reason.”

“So that you both pick up where he left off.”

“Naturally.”

Levi shook his head, “You even know what you're getting yourselves into.”

“I may appear young but my mental faculties are far sup—”

“Not the point, kid. This is the kind of shit that got Al killed. I'm not gonna sit around and watch you boys get yourselves killed.”

Ren nodded, “You don't have a choice.”

Levi glanced at him. “Damn right I do, you're not doing this. Both of you are coming home with me.”

Ren suddenly lunged after the wheel, but Levi was quicker. He struck the kid once on the temple and got control of the truck, righting it back on the road.

“Can't fool me, kid. I'm way ahead of you.” He slipped out the injection from his coat pocket and jabbed it into not-Ren’s neck. The cell rang and he pressed the blue tooth at his ear. “I got him down Grell, where are you?”

He listened to the other relay his coordinates. "Good, watch them, I'm on my way."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image[center]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


An intense feeling of unease settled in her stomach as they ventured further down the hall. An oppressive feeling of resentment joined the mix, one that Doll could not recall having moments before. It was not resentment for Zero, no, it would never be, but for this place. Doll swallowed, her throat suddenly felt dry. "I think we should go," she voiced quietly but lately it seemed that Zero was tuning her out. They ventured further inside, Zero managing to open the first set of heavy metal doors. He already knew her opinion, there was no reason for Doll to voice again that she didn't think they should go down this path. Nevertheless, they ventured forth and Doll had a sinking feeling that they were being watched. She shivered, not from the cold but from the sensation of eyes on the back of her head.

They reached the next door, this palm reader deactivated so that they couldn't pass through. Doll held her breath, hoping this would impede their journey. Instead, Zero, ever so reliable, pried the door open with those-those, well Doll didn't know what to call them. Vectors, niggled a voice in the back of her head. Vectors? Where had that come from? Was that what those things were called? They entered the second chamber, Zero placed her down on the metal table. Doll shivered once more, looking around. There was a cage in the corner, the door to it left open, chains still inside. Doll hugged herself, an image flashing before her eyes once again. She squeezed them shut, rubbing them with both hands so as not to look suspicious. Zero could probably sense it, there was no point in hiding it. The unease, fear, and uncertainty all swirling around inside of her. Zero had an inquiry, one that Doll was uncertain about. "I'm not sure, to be honest," she replied as he approached her with a handful of documents.

"I can't read this," Doll admitted, feeling slightly disappointed that she couldn't help. "But I've seen this place before, I know that cage. There were people, a man and a woman and they often whispered, but that's all I can recall." Just as the words left her mouth, Doll felt it coming on, another one of those strange headaches that left her breathless and made her head swim.

It was cold, it was always so cold. The cage was lined with blankets in winter, the only source of warmth aside from the large white shirt she sometimes wore. "We can't go on with this any longer!" Someone yelled, the sound loud and grating. It made her wince, normally when there were loud noises there were punishments. "You promised!" The other screamed, "you promised you would see it through to the end!"

"This is the end! Don't you see! If we don't put this to rest, they'll kill us!" Someone rattled the cage, she whimpered and hid underneath the blanket, shaking. "Get out of my way."

"Don't you touch this cage!"


Doll came back to reality with a snap, the headache fading. Yes, she definitely knew this room. "There were two people here," she looked around the room, feeling another shiver coming on. "A man and a woman."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

"The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness."
NORMAN COUSINS



This entire place was sealed and only opened to one specific blood. Theirs. But mom and dad, they were the good guys, weren't they? He stared at the old metal cage. His blood ran cold. No good came from trapping kids in a dog crate unless you wanted to use them—hurt them.

"Not people. Worse," Zero flipped the illegible data sheets in the air, "they're cold-blooded researchers who lied about everything." He couldn't look at her, damn, damn this hell hole. He kicked the cage over, the metal bent without much effort and crushed against the wall. Loretta was right all along, they shouldn't have ventured forward. He shouldn't have followed Ren here when they could've been safe across the world. Responsibility, putting others first, isn't that what Doc kept saying? Things he understood but didn't or couldn't ever put to use. Because it was just like him to head straight into things without a care for anything else. All just for answers. Answers that he wasn't so ready to learn anymore. Not like this.

"We're leaving, now." He approached Loretta and drew her into his arms, "I shouldn't have never come down here, I'm sor—" He tensed at a strange tingle running up his spine. Whatever hit him, struck hard. He gripped Loretta's arms and stared into her eyes. She couldn't run or defend herself. He had to shield her. So he did. He let go.

*


"I told you." Ren said, he spat out blood. The look of loss on Vakira was too much to pass up. The she-beast stared at the blank screen for so long, it nearly cracked. She swiped at her eye and spun on him.

"You won't be smiling when I rip out your heart," she said, "and crush it right in front of you."

Ren let out a croaked sort of laugh, "Are you waiting for an invitation?"

She remained stiff, watching the stack of security feeds. Her attention at the figure attacking a cage.

Ren sighed. "Well, isn't that a bloody waste?"

"Is it?"

"He loves her too much, he'll kill for her. Haven't you learned anything from spying on them these last months?"

"That he uses Doll as a blood supply and has her believing in this unbreakable love they have? Sure, but soon, she'll see him for what he really is."

He pulled against his restraints and his head spun. "Bullshit. He loves her. More than you think."

"Are you willing to stake your life on it?"

"When I get free. I'm coming after you."

Vakira made a face and shrugged, "This wouldn't be our first Tango. Now, sit tight." She shook her head, "Not that you're going anywhere." She stormed out the double doors and for a while there was no sound except for the whir of lights and hum of machines.

Then. Footsteps.

A pair of gloved hands tugged and tore at restraints, "Hurry up, we don't have much time." A man, large man, with wild blood-red hair and a bandana across his face.

"Who are..." Ren couldn't muster anymore than that. Something pressed into his lips, blood seeped through.

"This was for Zero, but you're gonna need it." He whispered, and then he freed Ren.

Across the room, the screen flickered, there was Vakira, she had shot something at Zero. He climbed on the table. Half crouched over the girl, all vectors. His eyes made Ren flinch. They reflected no light.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
"I know why the caged bird sings."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


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


Doll frowned, weren't at least one of those people his parents? "It's strange isn't it?" Doll asked quietly, "how fate brought us together?" She, the one who had been living in that cage for years she couldn't remember and he, who had been residing on top, getting to see the surface, learning to read, and allowed the general freedoms that all Beings had. Doll couldn't help but think that it was funny, they had never met up until when Doctor Atarashi had introduced them. Had he known? Had Doctor Atarashi been keeping it from them this entire time? "Is this what you were looking for the whole time?" Doll inquired, wondering if there was a way to regain her memories. Perhaps then she could be of more use? She could Zero about all that went on down below, in this dark and lonely place, inside of that cage.

"I'm sorry I can't help more," once again Doll was useless. Perhaps Ren was right? Maybe it was a mistake for Doll to come with them? She was nothing but a burden, why did she think that she could help anyone? Doll winced when h kicked the cage against the wall, the sound rattling in her ears, echoing until finally, silence. "It's okay, don't apologize," he picked her up off of the table, he was warm in this cold basement. Something hit them, Zero protected her, he shielded her with his body, glanced into her eyes, then released her. Doll fell to the ground and crawled underneath the table, she didn't need to be told to duck and cover, somehow having become used to the routine after being attacked so many times. "What do we do?" Doll asked in panic. She couldn't run, she couldn't try to fight, the most Doll could do was take cover and wait.

Zero shielded her on the table, Doll could now see the person that was attacking them so relentlessly, what looked like a woman, although it was hard to tell in this light. How would they get out of here? Doll looked around the room, finding an air vent in the ceiling. "Zero, above us!" She yelled over the fray, his vectors causing much noise in the mostly metal room.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

"Not so fast little mice~" Vakira said, she swiped a large vector out of her way, the kid had lost it. His hits were sloppy and uncoordinated. A chuckle slipped passed her lips. What a weakling, Ren gave more effort than this.

Zero hauled a bent office chair. She ducked out its trajectory and with expert hand, she shot him again. The blood soaked his shirt where he'd been struck but the pain didn't register. Interesting.

He pounced off the table and swiped at her face, but she latched onto his wrist and squeezed. He gasped, got him. Zero sunk to his knees and his vectors dropped.

"Your mistake was thinking you could possibly beat me." She cradled him in her arms, his body twitched and eventually stilled. She smiled down at him. "Little Doll, if you escape, he'll die." She stroked his damp hair, swept it away from his brow. "But then, you'll be free, isn't it your lucky day?"

*

Ren devoured the entire supply of blood his savior had managed to bring. Much to the other guy's chagrin, but did he have much options? Ren pushed off the guy's back, he could stand.

"No, just stay put. I'm getting you out of here."

"I can walk."

No point arguing, it was like talking to a wall. They were out of the lab and headed down the lengthy corridor. He picked up Zero's blood and panic raced through his veins.
"What is she doing to him?" He struggled from his savior but the guy held him down.

"Zero can handle himself. Don't worry."

"Why are you saving me and who are you?"

"Grell."

"Zero out you up to this?"

"Levi."

Ren let his grip loosen, he knew. But wait. "How did you get in?"

"Vial of Kisaragi's blood has its uses."

"We gotta get him and the girl and destroy this place."

"First we have to get out alive."

Point taken.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
"I know why the caged bird sings."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


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


"Why is she attacking us?" Doll asked over the hubub, not expecting an answer because Zero was a bit busy at the moment. If they could get to the vent above them, maybe they could crawl through? Doll tried to suggest it but he didn't seem to hear her. In the next moment, the shifty character had grabbed Zero's wrists. Doll screamed, uncertain of what was happening, but she knew that she needed to stop this. "Let him go!" Zero fell to his knees, quickly overpowered. It was a mistake to come here, she should have stayed home. If Zero wasn't so focused on protecting her then he could have easily gotten away; or at least Doll thought so.

"Let him go," her voice warbled, her effort not the most sincere considering how fearful she was. "Stop it, please, just leave us alone." Was that the best she could do? How feeble, even Doll thought so. The woman proposed her threat, that if she tried to escape, Zero would die. Doll could already feel hope sapping away. Perhaps Ren would come for them? Or maybe he had already high tailed it out of the area to save himself; Doll wouldn't doubt as much. It wasn't as though anyone else knew where they were, except perhaps that man they had referred to before entering the building.

"Please, just let him go," Doll said, a bit braver this time. That strange feeling rose up inside of her, where something was trying to shove herself aside and take over. An piece of her that could only be described as animal like, a side of her that shouldn't have existed. If she tried to escape, Zero would die; the words rang through her mind time and again, but Zero looked like he was already dying. "Don't kill him, I-I'll cooperate if you stop hurting him." How did this stranger know her name? Something terrible was brewing up inside of her, it made Doll feel sick. She blinked, pushing the heel of her hand into her eye to try and stop this headache. She couldn't get sick now, she had to-she had to what? Try to help? Try to fight? Her skill in such areas were laughable at best.

One of Doll's eyes had turned red, but Doll was fighting it. This strange hunger was making her want to throw up. "I'm sorry," Doll whispered, "I don't think-I don't think I can fight it. I'm sorry, please don't hurt my friend." A growl came from her throat, so detached that it took Doll a moment to realize it was herself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Vakira kept petting Zero, trust that if she wanted him dead, he'd already be. Doll chirped away, pleas that lifted in the air and plumetted at their feet. Those weren't getting her anywhere. But that growl, now that was quite a ring to it. There wasn't anything like watching a pure heart sink into darkness.

Yes, dearie, let it take you.

Vakira chuckled, "If you want to save him, you have to show me how badly you're willing to fight for it." She let Zero drop at her feet and straightened. It didn't matter if he died either way, she'd still get what she wanted in the end.

*


"How long have you been here?" Grell snuck passed a room, inside it a white coat busy with chemicals, test tubes, and slides he slid under a microscope. Searching for something. Ren hoped he'd fail. "Does it matter? We have to find them and then escape." He pushed off Grell and headed around the next corner, "It's not us she's after, she wants Loretta."

"How do you know?" Grell asked with a breathless sigh as he came close behind.

"Because it all makes sense." Ren checked for any guards before slinking into the shadows and approached a glass door that was coated in grime and dust. Inside he made out both Vakira and Loretta, but Zero was on the ground, bleeding.

"Wait." Grell clamped a hand on his shoulder.

"You lied, Red man, Zero's hurt I gotta help—"

"Just hold up a sec, look."

They both watched, Vakira towered over the two, a sinister grin curled her lips. She stared down Loretta, daring her.

Loretta's eyes were strange and yet familiar. That's when it hit him—The Phantom Gene, it's in her. She's the reason his parents had risked everything for. But why? What the hell was going on? All this time he'd never gotten a chance to figure out what this gene was or why it was so special. What if she killed Loretta for it? They had to do something.

"I think we should wait this out, let her fight."

"Can she fight?"

Grell stared with narrowed eyes, "She just might surprise you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
"I know why the caged bird sings."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


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


Doll could no longer fight it, it was growing stronger, releasing itself from its cage because Zero was in danger. Her other iris became a gradient of blue and red, slowly overtaken by the crimson. The change was instant, a snap to attention that straightened her spine and made her senses hyper aware of all that happened around her. "Don't touch him!" She growled, rising slowly to her feet. In this state, Doll herself was unconscious, when the monster took over it consumed all, which was why she could not remember these battles. It was almost as though her body had a fail safe to protect her, keeping this state hidden.

The monster rose to its feet, having no trouble compared to Doll, who could currently only walk assisted. "Thank you for releasing me," a sickening grin licked her lips. "I detest being trapped inside of this weakling's mind." Which was where it would go right back to once this fight was over. Those delicately long fingers ended in claw like nails, and the teeth were pointed ever so slightly. Otherwise, Doll looked the same as ever. "I hope you're prepared to give me back what is mine," with that the monster launched its attack, slicing into its own palm. Blood dripped in crimson lines, which launched with scary accuracy in small needles at the enemy.

With a burst of speed the monster moved forward, stepping over Zero to clash weapons. A small amount of blood had hardened into a spear that the monster could use to parry the blow's of the other. "Ha! Is that all you got!" The monster laughed, "Come on, challenge me! I dare you!" It grinned wickedly, taking over the features of someone who would never wear such a crazed expression. "I'll paint this place with your blood, it's going to be so pretty when I'm done!" The monster laughed, it was thirsty for blood and it was going to get what it wanted. If not from this enemy, well then, from the boy. He had fed off of this body plenty of times, it was only fair.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

"Alas, the Phantom has finally graced us all with its presence." Vakira parried along with Doll, revelling in the high of a well awaited fight. Her skin turned onyx-like, hardened flesh that splintered any blood projected needles shot. She met Doll at every turn, crossing blood spear to blades.

"Such a ravency sparking your eyes, it's to die for."

As good as it was, the fight was only part of the fun. Vakira let Doll take a few hits, give her the taste of blood. Give the audience what they wanted.

She came down hard on the girl, shattering her spear, "If it's a challenge you want, I'd gladly oblige." The maddening smile was such a dreadfully beautiful sight. Oh, she craved more. "And I thought you already liked what I'd done with the place." She struck the left wall, bent metal, wires sparked and dust billowed in the air. If they kept this up they just might destroy the place themselves.

*


"Where are you going?" Grell hissed, he tugged at Ren who shook free and snuck through the door.

"While they're at it, I'm getting Zi." Ren ducked when a spike of crystallized blood shot passed. He kept out of sight while approaching Zero. His body was covered in dirt and blood. Damn, was it too late?

He sunk to his knees and reached for his arm, pulled him back. There was an overturned table, he his behind it. "Zero?" Ren shook him, listened for his hear beat. Faint but beating too fast. "I gotcha, we're getting outta here." He hauled him over his back and checked for the door, Grell was still there. Now if he could make it back.

But he couldn't leave without Loretta. Or whatever she was now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
"I know why the caged bird sings."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


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


The Monster was having oh so much fun! How long had it been since it had last had an opponent worthy of battle? "I would have been here much sooner, if not for the deplorable pushover I became when asleep." the Monster's attacks were matched with equal force, a weapon that could counter the Monster's own without splintering. Metal, while reliable, could not be counted on for everything. "I'm glad you think so because you are going to be the first to go!" The Monster cackled, stabbing its opponent through the leg. The Monster got in a few more good blows, laughing in a crazed manner that did not befit its body. If the Monster could find a way to occupy this vessel during all hours, it would do a little redecorating.

Turn this spineless fool into something that could stand on its own two feet and what kind of name was Doll? It was as though she had acknowledged and approved the languid nickname that made her seem just as spineless and easy to puppet. "I'm glad you think so, you should be the first to succumb!" The next blow hit hard, the spear shattered, reforming easily into a new weapon, a two handed sword. It wasn't all that large, there was only so much blood the Monster could use before this body would collapse. Just under two liters, a dangerous amount considering anymore and the body would probably shut down.

"Yes, it's quite nice, I'd like to speak with the interior designer, however, there isn't enough red!" The Monster struck down hard, getting its opponent once again, but only barely cutting through its shirt. The smell of blood was intoxicating, the Monster wanted it, it wanted more!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image

Image¤ ¤

❝We always find eachother.❞

[]
DIALOGUE
#853c41
¤¤
Image



Black spikes shot out from the pierce of red. Wrapped around Loretta's weapon, splintered its crystallized blood and absorbed it. The more she was "struck" the better.

"Red is too flashy, I adore my monochrome design." She giggled at The Monster, her choice in weaponry diminished in size.

The rip of fabric caught her attention—little brat. Vakira slapped her across the face, drew lines of blood where her claws broke skin. "Ruining my best shirt, that's unforgivable, dearie." The girl was utterly laughable, so unaccustomed to power that it became a consciousness of its own. "My my, you're still clueless as ever." She shoved the young girl back, prolonging the inevitable. "You think that hiding in sleep will protect you, wrong. You won't be as strong until you embrace it."

At the corner of her eye she caught movement, "Stick around, boys." She sent a stream of inky webbing that trapped both Ren and Zero, pinning them us against the wall. "At least for the grand finale."

Then she spun back to the girl, "Is this all you got?" She said with a sneer, "Come on now, show me who you really are."

*


"Zero, wake up." Ren sliced his wrist and pressed into the others mouth. The blood flowed fast. But was it enough? Zero flinched a moment after, then his eyes fluttered but he didn't move. Not that they could do much pinned against the wall.

But then a low growl ripped through the older sibling and Zero tore at the webbing with bloodied vectors. He struck at Ren, snapping razor teeth into his neck.

"It's okay." Ren tugged him closer, wrapped him in a half embrace as his arm was trapped under thick black threads.

--

Flashes of light and sound filtered through the haze of emptiness. Zero saw the lab again, the chaos of files and shattered glass. The mess was disorienting but his hands grasped pages of data sheets, flipping them over and trying to make out the unreadable. He blinked away the muted colors that came with the change.

"What is this, father?" Ren's voice sounded breathless and Zero knew. This was his memory. Ren's hands rifled through the mess of torn metal and debres collecting pages that hadn't been ruined. On the table he flipped them around searching for something. Then a number appeared on the corner. 4.

Ren stared. That number wasn't there before was it? He searched the corners of other files and found a matching number, then another and one more. Something about the crinkled pages... His sight lost most of its color and a strange purpleish tint glowed from the page. He turned the data sheets backwards and the strangest lines and figures curved like half-moons.

"Ren, you can't hide from me." Vakira's voice sounded dangerously close.

He stood over the mess of sheets and spread the four purple ones each overlapped the other and that's when he saw it. The circular door. Father's vault. In the middle, another stone.

"Ren~"

He memorized the image before shoving it away, leaving a mess of scattered data sheets as he turned and stumbled out the room. She wouldn't think to search here for anything. He'd make sure of that.

The memory ended when Ren's mind changed it, flashes of images of his torment under Vakira's hold, all the way up to their current battle. Zero snapped out of it and pulled back, all this time he thought he'd been with Ren.

"We have to stop them, Vakira is toying with her." Ren pointed.

Zero sliced through the webbing, freeing his little brother. On his feet, he managed to keep upright long enough to plan out just what to do. Ren however kept backing away.

"Hey, get Loretta away from her." Zero gripped at his arm, ignoring the pain, he was gonna strike with all he's got left.

"But she's kinda busy." He stood back and there she was, unmistakable. Loretta was standing. She was fighting. But her movements weren't natural, or her voice. No, it happened! He couldn't believe what he was seeing. Loretta attacked as if she was out for blood. This wasn't her. This shouldn't have happened. "What's behind that door?"

"Something only we can figure out when all this is over."

Zero took a step, then another.

"No, I'm not loosing you." Ren grabbed at him but Zero kept on.

"You won't." Then he picked up a piece of bent table leg and sent it flying. It struck above Vakira and she glared back, "You missed."

Zero smirked, "Got your attention didn't it?" He had to take her down, because the only monster here, was him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
"I know why the caged bird sings."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


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


The Monster smiled, "Your mistake." The weapon had odd bulges, it rumbled as though something was moving inside. The blood burst out, reforming in the Monster's hands. It seemed as though the Monster was not the only one that had evolving weaponry, although it could bet its hat that it was the only one whose weapons were made of the same warm plasma that ran through veins. Perhaps that was why because it was so blood hungry? In using and losing its own, it wanted to consume more to replace it. "Boooring!" It whistled, twirling the weapon in its hands. A staff once again, the Monster grinned. "Predictably underestimating the little guy, or girl in this case."

The next strike prompted anger. Nails raked across the Monster's face, drawing blood. That wasn't good. A liter of blood returned into its vessel via the cut in its palm. "Only an idiot would wear its best shirt to a battle," it licked it's finger, the enemy's blood was passable, it would take more when the time was ripe. The Monster was shoved back, it quickly regained its footing, the two now circling as the enemy laughed, speaking words of what she most likely thought were wisdom. Too bad Doll would never hear it. "She can't hear you," the Monster licked its lips again, they continued to circle, neither attempting to strike the other down. "Not when I'm around." Blood dripped down the vessel's face, staining the shirt it was wearing.

The two brats were awake? Good. The Monster grinned, maybe now they would realize not to underestimate its power. It had been let out to kill before, but it had never been fully conscious. "Witness the power your Father made!" It laughed, turning back to its opponent. It was brave of the other, thinking they could look away in the face of danger. "With pleasure!" The monster leaped, slicing its weapon through the air. They were in a dance of death and only the strongest would make it out alive. Strike, duck, jump, leap, duck, perhaps not the most elegant, but the monster was a fighter not a dancer. They were so enraptured by their little salsa that neither heard Zero prowling around them.

The Monster and enemy both stared down Zero, who looked as though he was ready to tango. "I think there's room for one more." The Monster wanted the blood though, it was not going to let Zero have it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image

Image¤ ¤



❝We always find eachother.❞



[]


DIALOGUE
#853c41

¤¤
Image


Dad did this? What the hell? Zero sucked his teeth, surely his dad hadn't gotten that low. Using a defenseless human for his twisted experiments. But why else would he have kept her locked up in a cage? It'd explain why everybody wanted Loretta, for this thing, inside her? Something she couldn't ever know about, much less understand. Here he was diving in, defending her and he didn't know if he'd ever get Loretta back. But if this thing was apart of her did any of it matter? He made a promise and he was gonna keep it. He swept arching blows right after Loretta's hits. Not missing a beat.

Strange, it was, he never thought he'd be fighting at her side. But it was real and it was happening. Vakira had to divide her attention between the both of them now. Something purplish branched up the side of her neck, was that normal? Then her black fingers brushed his arm and he instinctively kicked off. Drew some distance.

She scowled and swept dark tentacle-like appendages at him. Then those very limbs seized up, shattered then disentegrated to ashes.

Zero stared.

"It's you." Vakira snapped, her eyes looked glassy more like an insects. She pointed a stick-thin finger at Loretta. "Y-you're a poison."

Oh, now she's poison.

"And you're dead bitch!" Zero moved to finish her when his wrist was caught by a tell-tale crimson vectar.

Grell was here, apparently he wanted join in too. "Don't get too close." He yanked Zero back.

"Giving up so soon? That's not fun." Vakira turned fully on Loretta, a crackle of pain struck through Zero. No. She's gonna kill her.

Zero tore off Grell's binding and raced after them but Vakira's wave of energy blasted him back. He hit the wall, metal bent and warped behind him. The breath was knocked from his lungs.

"Enough of you." Vakira's limbs gathered, forming giant scythes over Loretta. "The Phantom is mine."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO

0.00 INK

Image

Image
"I know why the caged bird sings."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


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


It was strange and rare occurrence when a monster hid inside of a human. Normally the monsters were the Beings, the ones who drank the blood and ate the flesh of the weaker species. To have one existing in a dormant state inside of a human was unheard of. Perhaps that was why the vessel was so valuable? The Monster laughed, that was one thing humans and Beings had in common, no one knew a rat's ass about how much value something had. The Monster was not valuable, why, there were billions of them out there! Just ask each species to look in a mirror, they'd see it clear as day. They looked at the Monster as though seeing it for the first time, they seemed surprised that such a corrupted thing could exist inside of sweet, naive, Doll. How sweet, the Monster wanted to puke. After all,t hey had to have seen it coming? The Father they so coveted keeping a deep, dark secrets from the family.

Still, the Monster did not find the feeling in its chest unpleasant when Zero joined it in battle. Were these the girl's feelings influencing it? As they fought, their enemy changed, it seemed that she too, was adapting to the situation. Anger, it rolled off of their enemy in waves. Was it still over her favorite shirt? How pathetic. When you became attached to materialistic things like people, you became weak. Tentacles rose out from underneath her shirt, the Monster watched as they popped out one by one, giving it more hands to battle with.

The limbs quickly shattered, becoming nothing more than ashes. "And you still think that you're strong?" The Monster asked with a laugh, the enemy blaming this on the Monster, or perhaps the vessel, calling them a poison. "Poison? Maybe." It didn't know, it had never had the pleasure of falling victim to its own attacks.

The Monster liked Zero's attitude, perhaps it could put up with this ignorant lovey-dovey punk. "I want to kill it," the Monster said, wound up and ready to pounce like a jack in the box. Someone grabbed Zero, dragging him back. Fine by it, the Monster wanted to be the one to finish this bitch off.

A blast of energy knocked the Monster back a few feet, it raised its weapons to protect itself, cornered by the enemy. "Kill the vessel and you will never have the Phantom," it hissed with a smile. That's right, the girl and the Phantom were one.