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Zara Rodsky

Gender roles are for pu---cats....

0 · 1,239 views · located in Psy Prep

a character in “Psy Prep”, as played by cirrus_sd

Description

Name: Zara Marie Rodski

Appearance: Zara has short brown hair in a boyish cut (due to an unfortunate hot-iron incident) that is naturally curly. She also has sharp brown eyes and a slight smattering of freckles over her small nose. She's about 5'6, with thin limbs and a lacking bust. She likes to refer to herself as "compact" while Mikhail jokingly refers to her as "Short and small." She dresses however she likes, sometimes in men's clothes, sometimes in women's. Her favorite combo is a large sweater with short, pleated skirt, and she adores her knee socks, along with her doc martens. She also has a thin, but long scar running down her back.
Image

Age: recently turned 16

Power: Zara has a knack for finding things. She never gets lost, and when she is in dire need of something, she is magically able to find it. She is also good at finding people and knowing exactly what to say or what to type to get the info she needs. She hasn't had much time developing her power, so it is limited to the above abilities. However, if she hones her power, she could develop the ability to instantly know where everything is.

EDIT: In the two weeks of training, Zara's ability has developed quite a bit. She can now find people easily, and knows where her classmates are at all times with a certain range, usually within a building. (with the exception of Danny and Chandler whenever they timestop or teleport, and of course April). She can't tell what they're doing, just their whereabouts. Her hunches are a little more definitive and descriptive, and she's gotten better at finding giveaways to a person's emotion, either through their writing, facial expression or behavior. She can also visualize certain places and know exactly where things are without actually being there, however the only places where she has this down successfully are her dorm room, Mikhail's dorm, and the inside of her purse.

Sexual Preference: Straight

Personality: Zara isn't a stickler for gender roles. She likes proving to boys that she is fully capable of holding her own. She doesn't like comments on her "acting like a girl/boy" and replies that she is simply acting like herself. She is typically a happy person, joking around and having fun, but is fierce in her beliefs. Unlike Mikhail, she does not have such a strong handle on her emotions, and is prone to emotional outbursts at times. She is loud in voicing her opinion, and very energetic, occasionally to the point of hyperactivity. She loves baseball, and sports in general. She can hold her own in an arm wrestle or thumb war, and is an avid player of video games. She doesn't like reading, and struggles in school. She is lazy, and hopelessly messy and unorganized (but of course, is able to find whatever she needs with no problem). She is trying to grow her hair out so she can "whip her hair back and forth", but it's taking some time. She spends a lot of time on YouTube, and is prone to believing Urban Myths and just about any tip on skin and hair care until she disproves it herself. Too focused on being her own person, she isn't all that interested in getting a boyfriend, and will tease or cock-block anyone who tries to make a move on her. A holder of a dirty mouth, she tends to curse a lot, and is prone to flinging around bizarre insults. She is also very, very stubborn, a trait that at times can be extremely infuriating.

History: Zara is of Polish descent. Like Mikhail, she too was recruited to be a child spy by the Russian Intelligence, under the Miscellaneous Intelligence Division (MID), a section usually known for developing new methods for gaining intelligence, but now primarily dealing with the idea of child spies. From an Orthodox Jewish family, Zara grew tired of the assigned gender roles, and retaliated by shaving most of her hair off at the age of 11. Enraged, her father beat her, causing the skin on her back to split. The abuse caused a permanent scar on her back. She returned to her family, but a week after she was abandoned at a mall and her family was never seen again. An agent for the RI saw her sleeping on one of the benches, and after she told him she had no family anymore, he brought her to Russia to train her. There, she met Mikhail, and they bonded quickly, taking on a brother-sister relationship.

Her ability has been present since her birth, but she simply called it luck. After Mikhail's disappearance, she looked up the details of his death. The search led to a series of articles discussing psychic abilities, and upon reading the entry for Serendipity, began to suspect she herself had abilities as well. Upon finding the webpage for Psy Prep, she requested that she be enrolled. After receiving a letter approving it, she requested a discharge from the RI and left for the academy.

So begins...

Zara Rodsky's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Daniel Black
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Zara

Zara could have snorted, but didn't. Instead she smiled, but as they crossed the hall she did shout to Mikhail, "Try not to break your last good leg!"

She slipped into Mikhail's room, closing the door quietly, though with how Danny was snoring she doubted it would have made much of a difference. She headed to the bathroom and winced at what she saw. She looked like a right mess. Dust and tiny bits of rubble covered her, and her eyes were still red from crying. And her clothes were unbelievably dirty...she shuddered at the thought of blood on them.

A quick search through the room turned up some of her old clothes she had left here--although whether they were clean or not was another question. She finally settled on one of Mikhail's undershirts and a pair of gym shorts that might be Danny's...whatever. She doubted he would care too much. And he was the closest thing to her size.

She returned to the bathroom, locking the door. After a few minutes she stepped into the shower, hot water streaming out.

Mikhail

He had wanted to take a shower, but it seemed Hallie had other plans. The kiss was a pleasant surprise, and he went with it.

Still, as she hugged him and talked, his foggy mind still felt like he was unclean, like he needed to rid himself of all the dirt, not just from the wing, but everything else. What exactly, his mind was too clouded to let him remember, but there was more that Hallie hadn't seen that needed to be clean.

There was another kiss, and then suddenly a question: "How long has it been? Exactly?"

"How...long?" he repeated uncertainly. He wasn't sure what, exactly, she was referring to. Was it how long she had forgotten him? Or how long it had been since they did...

A flash of red struck out in his mind before the clouds smothered it, but Mikhail still winced. He tried to lift a hand to his head, now dully pounding, but the cast weighed down on it.

"Sorry, I...I just need to take a shower," Mikhail finally said, pulling away from her. He turned the faucet, hot water gushing out and into the tub. Sitting on the porcelain, he didn't wait for Hallie to leave as he undressed. After all, they'd already seen each other naked. It wasn't until he had kicked off his shoes and socks and saw the black scorch marks on his toes that he wondered if he really wanted Hallie to see whatever bruises he had temporarily forgotten about in his sedated haze. His tongue lolled absent-mindedly in his mouth, feeling the absence of his back molars on both his upper and lower jaw. Eve had healed most of the damage, but there were still wounds, seen and unseen, that lingered.

Only clad in his jeans, Mikhail paused undressing to stare at the water. It still came out from the lower faucet, rather than from the showerhead, and in his state he completely forgot the transition between the two.

"How do..." he started, looking up at Hallie, a bit sheepishly. English left him momentarily, and he improvised by gesturing with his hand, providing appropriate sound effects.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Daniel Black
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Zara

Zara didn't know how long she'd been in the shower, but she knew it was at least half an hour, maybe 45 minutes. Half of that was just her standing there, under the water, thinking.

The other half had been vigorous scrubbing, her small hands determined to get every ounce of dirt, blood, and whatever else off of her. She had washed her face a little too hard, and a finger smashed against her nose, and when she pulled them away, it was covered in red.

"Shit..." she muttered, letting the hot water wash it off. She could feel the thicker liquid travelling downward, dripping onto the white porcelain below. Blood...she hated blood. It always made her stomach turn. Nosebleeds were the worst. And over the past few days, she'd seen enough blood to last her a lifetime.

She stayed in the shower until the bleeding stopped, then did her best to wipe herself clean. When she finally stepped out, steam had gathered and the mirror was foggy. She pulled a towel around herself and wiped at the mirror, revealing her face.

Her face...on a normal, happy Zara day, she might look at it and smirk, wondering cheekily what wasn't there to love. But today was not a normal, happy Zara day, and as she stared at her reflection, she looked with a more critical eye. Round...her face was round, with a small chin. Heart-shaped and small, with a small round nose that stuck up and out like a button, and a mouth that wasn't perfectly centered with the rest of her face. She'd been lucky in escaping the long face and hooked nose that the rest of her family had. Her mother, after all, had been a good Catholic Pole before she converted to the Orthodox faith to become a good Jewish wife.

Weak. Her mother was weak.

Her eyes were her father's. Dark eyebrows, and shadows and wrinkles below and above her eyes that would never go away. While Mikhail's eyes were milk chocolate and chestnut, hers were dark, dark brown. Piercing and almost black. Easy to anger. Easy to smile. Except her father only had smiles for her brothers.

The rest were her father's too. Light olive skin, the kind that tanned and never burned. And dark, curly hair. Hers was growing. Halfway between her chin and shoulders. Maybe she should cut it again. Or let it grow.

She frowned. Whatever it was that James saw that made him so wounded when he couldn't have it, she didn't see. There was nothing...nothing in the face, nothing in her scrawny body, nothing that could be desirable. She knew that. The only boy who'd ever liked her in that way was Trick. But Trick himself was scrawny. Small. Just barely taller than her, with knobby knees and freckles. James...James wasn't like that at all. James was tall. James was strong. Stupid, and cocky, and irritating, but also funny, and nice, and...

She shook her head hard, and then moved her towel up to her hair, drying it. No. Don't think about James. He just wanted to score. For whatever reason, she'd never know. Friends was hardly doable at this point. Anything more was impossible.

"Boys are stupid," she said, "James is stupid!"

She got dressed and left the bathroom. Danny was still snoring, and she was feeling a little tired herself, but her stomach demanded food. She didn't remember the last time she'd eaten. She tossed her towel onto him, but left quietly.

As she entered the hallway, closing the door behind her, she heard...noises. It took her a moment to realize it was a voice, and as she figured out whose voice, and from where, she smirked. Standing in front of her own dorm, she shook her head as Hallie's screaming leaked out. Combined with the bed springs, and Mikhail's own noises, it didn't take a genius to figure out what Hallie was being so vocal about.

For a second, Zara contemplated banging on the door, or just bursting in and yelling, just to mess with them. But she decided against it. The two had been through a lot, and she wasn't in the mood to see either of them naked.

With another shake of her head, she started down the hallway towards the cafeteria, their voices growing dimmer the further she walked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Chandler Makey
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James

Crystal in hand, he sensed her coming down the hall. He sensed other movement on the dorm hall as well, but focused on Zara. Not long after, he sensed her movement again. It wasn't difficult to lock onto her. Having her in his brain, engrained...

When she left for the cafeteria, he followed.

He was tired, so tired his movements were stumbling and dizzy. But he had to explain.

At the door, he stopped, watching her.

Just do it, he told himself. Explain.

So he took a breath and stepped inside, calling, "Zara?"


Chandler

When he opened his eyes, he was still in the movie chair, staring at a DVD menu for the horror movie he and Zoe had attempted to watch. It couldn't have been that long that he'd been asleep, but he already felt better.

And no visits from Fina.

Glancing over, he saw Zoe tilted in her chair, face serene and breaths slow. She was leaning on his arm, so he didn't move. He just watched her in his own sleepy haze.

They'd been through a lot...and maybe it was his tired mind thinking this...twisting his previous apprehensions...

He kissed the top of her head, smiling.

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Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zara

She knew he was following her. Tried to ignore it, but he was still there.

He doesn't want to talk to me, she thought, Just as long as he doesn't want to talk to me, I don't care what he does.

She felt him outside the cafeteria, lingering, as she scooped spoonful after spoonful of mashed potatoes onto her plate. That was really the only thing she was in the mood for. That, and turkey.

It wasn't until she sat down that he spoke, saying her name.

Just ignore him, she thought as she wolfed down the food, If I ignore him, he won't want to talk to me. If I ignore him, he'll go away...and if he doesn't...

She gripped her fork tighter, the knife glinting in the corner of her eye.

Setting

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Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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James

"Look," he started, taking a few steps closer. He noticed the knife though, gulping loudly. "I shouldn't have...I mean...I'm an idiot...You know that. I'm...so sorry."

How did he explain? How could he...Carefully, he sat down a few seats away, across the table. They were the only ones here so she would be able to hear him, whether she wanted to or not.

He folded his fingers together, nearly shaking. "My parents...I..." He had to catch his breath. Already! Yeah, he was so good at this.

"My parents are dead." He sucked in a breath. "I...didn't ever call them. Not since coming here. They were overseas. Military and...uh, all that."

Details were seeping into his mind. He winced against them.

"And...before...when I..." His hand gestured forward, as if to replace the words "almost hurt you" for him. "I wasn't...in my right head. I had just found out and...my memories have been...hazy..."

"Things are mixed up. I was drunk one night with friends and...I can't remember...I...they..."

He stopped, holding his head. Was he crying? He couldn't tell. But he had to get this out, had to make sure she understood. Maybe then she wouldn't be so angry and they could be friends again. Everything would be okay again.

James sat up straighter, breathing deeper. "I was at a party. A few of my friends had...these drugs. They slipped it into a girl's drink and...brought her up to one of the bedrooms.

He didn't dare look at her.

"I was...already really out of it. And they brought me up there. I shouldn't have drunk so much, but...that's what I get for being some rebellious...piece of shit."

His knuckles were white, clasped together in front of him.

"I thought, for the longest time, that I had done it. That I..." The word escaped him. "But...even though I was blacked out at that point...I found out, with this," he held up the crystal, "That I didn't."

"But when I was with you and learning about my parents...I didn't know. I thought...that's who I was. And...it came over me. Like some wave of...of darkness. I'm so sorry, Zara."

He hadn't explained it well. He was still so mixed up and tired. Everything about his brain ached and rolled around as if bits were loose and free. Nothing fit. And his explanation was terrible. She would never understand.

Setting

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Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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I don't want to hear this. I don't want to hear this. Zara kept thinking, chewing harder, as if it might drown out his voice.

But she heard every word. And with every word she gripped her fork even tighter.

She had sworn she wouldn't talk to him. Ever. But she couldn't stop herself.

"You thought you were a rapist, so you acted like one, even though it turned out you hadn't done anything?" she asked incredulously. She turned to look at him, glaring hard. "What kind of bullshit excuse is that?!?" She stood up, still gripping the fork, but now she reached out and grabbed the knife, wielding it. "Gee. I've thought about being a murderer, so I guess I'll start acting like one now! You know how stupid that sounds?! What a fucked up way of thinking!"

She stabbed the knife towards him, the tip inches from his forehead. "You..." she said, tone dark and menacing, "I'm sorry your parent's died. But what you did was inexcusable. And if you think you can just blow it all away with a few sorries, then you pissed off the wrong girl."

She paused. Her arm was trembling, and not from the weight of the knife. "I was only trying to help you, James. I just wanted to help! Because that's what friends do, James! They help each other out! But I guess being friends wasn't enough for you, was it?!?!"

Tears threatened her, but she hardened her glare, forcing them back. "You were right about one thing, and one thing only. You don't deserve to be my friend. You could say sorry a thousand times, a million times, and I still won't forgive you. So here's what's going to happen, just so it's clear in your stupid, fucked up brain. Once I leave this cafeteria, I'm not ever going to speak to you again. EVER. And you're not ever going to speak to me either. And if you so much as lay a finger on me, I'll tell Mikhail what happened, what you did, and he'll kill you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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Axel sniffed a bit, and sneezed, the sound reverberating through the school's courtyard in a way that would make any TSA officer crap themselves in terror.
"NYAGH-" he whined as the pain of such a potent sneeze came into play. However, once it had subsided, he was laughing like a hyena. "JESUS, that felt like I'd been holding it in for MONTHS! I was expecting another aneurysm from that!" he said aloud, the emo brooding over his powers that he had been just a few seconds ago already gone and replaced by the manic personality he'd grown in the short time he had been alive. His stomach growling from a lack of having not eaten in the past half-hour, he made his way to the cafeteria for breakfast, JUST in time to get the intense waves of rage coming off of Zara as she had finished her What the Hell, Man? speech. For fear of having the knife come his direction, he just slowly moseyed over to the food-getting area and grabbed some pancakes and hashbrowns, the squeaking of the wood floor underneath his feet only amplifying the fact that he was being as obnoxious as possible by trying to be inconspicuous. As he headed over to an unoccupied table, for his own sake, and so Zara wasn't expelled for provoked synthomanslaughter, he bit his cheek a little and made a dark red vicegrip over his mouth so the comments he was GOING to make were shut up rather quickly. And then realized that was going to make eating so much harder.

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Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zara

She had wanted to leave. To just mic-drop, stomp off, and never speak to him again.

But just as she was about to move, the second before her toe would begin to slide within her shoe to face the exit, it hit again.

The wave of information. No...last night had been a wave. This one was like a tsunami. A hurricane, an earthquake...a flash flood of names and locations. And this time, the scope wasn't limited to just the town they were in. No...this time the radius grew larger, larger...expanding like some giant bubble, spewing into her mind every single person within its influence and where they were in crystal, high definition brilliance. And they stayed there...constantly there...even as more and more piled on, they stayed and the numbers added and grew and grew and grew.

Someone was being held up at a gas station. A man had just been shot behind a school. A group of drunk teenagers had crashed in the snow. Max Pierce was sleeping with Linda Thompson, but Sarah Pierce was home by the phone.

"Stop..." she said, voice wavering, but they kept coming, the bubble growing larger. The entire county had to be in her head by now.

Ambulances, police cars, fire trucks. Someone else had been shot. Someone else had been stabbed. Twenty people had been stabbed. Another robbery, another burglary, another car jacking. An accident. One of the drunk teenagers was dead. Thousands upon thousands.

"Stop!" she cried out. Millions now filled her head, and the knife clattered to the floor. Her knees followed shortly after, and she squeezed her head with her hands.

The whole state was in her head now. Co-ordinates flew through her brain, listed with names. Like an endless search scroll, but instead of lazily skimming, each and every one was prominent in her mind, flashing for attention.

Her head felt like it was going to split. She saw blood drip onto the white floor of the cafeteria. The bubble ate up more states, growing faster exponentially. In the next second, the entire United States swamped her mind.

In that moment, she seized up and lost control of her body. She didn't even feel her head hitting the ground, didn't see the tables and chairs. Her eyes glazed over as more and more information popped up. Canada, Mexico, Cuba...more and more were sucked up in the bubble that wouldn't stop, no matter how much she might beg.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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James

Whatever was happening to her, James couldn't think anything else except he had to help her. The range of painful emotions that fluttering across her features before the collapse alerted him to the situation. But he had no idea what was happening. He fell tot he floor, scrambling to her and shaking with surprise and fear.

"Zara?" he called, wiping the blood away from her nose quickly, as if that would do anything. She was shivering. Cold. Gaze vanished from him, from the room. "Hey, wake up. Listen to me. Don't do this."

As if she had any control over what was happening to her. Shut up and think, James! He saw Axel and yelped, "Get Doctors! Now!"

He cradled Zara's head in his lap and smoothed down her hair. He'd never learned about strokes or fits or...whatever the hell this was. And with her powers, how was he supposed to? What was he supposed to do? Was this some adverse affect of being able to locate people? What was happening in her mind?

In all the commotion, James had forgotten his own ability. The crystal. It rocked against his chest and he twitched, seizing it in his hand. Would this work? He wasn't sure.

"Zara?" he tried again, holding the blue crystal tight in a fist. "Focus on me...c'mon. Look up. I'm right here."

He laid his other hand on her forehead and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath, and accessed what he could. The information. The reasons. The cause. What was making this happen to her?

Numbers fluttered past his eyes as he searched. From her or the cause, he couldn't tell. Nothing was solid.

"Come back to me," he muttered, searching farther into her past and trying to pin down a single image. A clue. Anything.

They were both shaking, as if an earthquake had erupted underneath them.

Setting

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Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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Axel's breakfast was interrupted by James calling for Axel to get the nurses. As Axel looked over to see the matter, his pupils shrunk as he realized what was happening, and he rushed over to Zara's side, checking her pulse and letting his aura drift around her gently, not acting as a solid yet, but ready for the moment it would have to.
"She's having an aneurysm from her power, something must have happened to overtax her." he said, his fear lacing his thoughts with clarity, "I know, I was the first of us to have it happen to. Maybe."

He paused for a second, then moved to place a hand on James' shoulder, Axel's aura taking Zara gently away from James and over to Axel, "Point being, we need to get her some help, and fast, or she might not be as lucky as I was and only wake up with rewritten powers. James, you're the one between the two of us who can hunt down people faster, I need YOU to run and get the nurses while I handle Zara. I know you're gonna say you can't leave her, but right now you're panicking and have adrenaline, and I know what to expect from her and have the sense to do it right. Now go, or I'm throwing you in the direction I think the nurses are!" Axel's last words carried a commanding tone to them, riding on the psychology of a panicked person to follow those who know what they're doing.

Setting

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Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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James

Numb on his feet, he nodded to Axel, not hearing every word. Doctors. Nurses. Adults. Someone who could help. That's what he needed, what Zara needed most. He stumbled, falling to one knee, but he pressed forward, out of the cafeteria in a panic. He tripped when the floor changed from tile to carpet. He collided with walls and scraped the heels of his palms more than once trying to steady himself.

Halfway there, or at least down a few different halls he slightly recognized, he fell to a knee again, eyes wide on his feet. He'd left her. With Axel. No. No, if she woke up, he needed to be there. What if she was scared? James didn't trust Axel to comfort her. He barely knew him!

He barely knew anything anymore and concluded he had to keep moving.

Then he made it to the faculty hallway. Knocking on doors.

"Zara," he said over and over again. "She's hurt. Cafeteria. Help. Please."

He followed someone back the way he came, blinking to focus more on the trek back. He didn't know who it was. When he made it back to the cafeteria, he fell next to Zara, but Axel's aura prevented him from touching her. "Let go of her!" he shouted at him. "I don't know what you're doing...just...you're not helping!"

Axel could have been helping the most. James didn't know. All he knew was that he was latched to this girl and if anything happened to her...

...he wasn't sure what he would do.

Setting

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Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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Axel's hand flew across James' cheek like a whip, with Axel wincing as he wondered if he slapped a little too hard. He quickly shook off the look and yanked James away with his aura after having handed off Zara to the nurse.

"Make sure she's kept in a stable environment, and whatever you do, don't give her any stimulants to try and help her wake up, she's going to have to come out of it on her own." he said to the nurse as they left with Zara in tow, then sucked all but the aura holding James' arm back into his body, collapsing as he did so due to the rush of blood to the head. He then got onto his good knee and braced himself on his prosthetic, turned weakly to James, and grimaced in anger, standing slowly as he spoke, rage building behind every word until he was practically screaming the last sentence.

"Alright, then. What would you have done, hm? Do you know the first thing about what happened to her? Do you know how much pain she must have been in before she dropped? Can you even imagine how scared she was before she slipped into something she was probably sure she wouldn't wake up from? BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT SHE HAD TO DEAL WITH, PAIN, FEAR, AND SHEER UNADULTERATED TERROR!" His tone dropped here, becoming quiet and tranquil, but no less furious. "No... You just want to be near her so you look like the hero when she wakes up... If you want to punch me now for what I've done, so be it, I don't have the stamina left to stop you, but you panicking while around Zara could have been dangerous, and I'm not letting any friend of mine die on my watch. So if you try to chase that nurse now, I will have to force you to sit your ass down and count to ten, SO. HELP. ME. GOD." He spread his arms wide, ready for James to throw the first punch.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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James

He couldn't react to what Axel yelled, well screamed, at him. Not that he didn't want to. His fists were shaking white at his sides. How could he not go after her? Be the hero? How could that possibly come out of Axel's mouth? That stupid, ergh! Stupid, stupid mouth? James couldn't even think of proper insults he was so jarred and angry.

And guilty. Somehow it was his fault, he knew it was. He couldn't abandon her just because someone threatened to fight. If he had to, he would fight through Axel to get to her. Sure, Axel had the obvious upper hand, power much more physical than James' own, but that didn't matter. This wasn't about liking Zara anymore. She was obviously not going for that. But Axel was telling him to leave her alone while she suffered. James wouldn't have that, she wouldn't wake up surrounded by strangers.

And then Mikhail opened his mouth. James whirled about, body melting from its rigid anger to shoulders up guilt. Hallie had to have something to do with it, standing a few feet back and eyes on him. At least she didn't look upset with him, only confused as she tried to mellow out the room.

James wasn't about to tell Mikhail the truth. But what was the other option? He'd seen Mikhail angry. Lying would only make the situation worse.

"Zara...something is going wrong...in her head." James breathed heavily, sifting through the images he had seen while attempting to scan her with his crystal. "Its not the first time," he added softly. He wanted to say she hadn't said anything to anyone, but that wasn't something he knew for a fact. What he knew was she hadn't trusted to tell him.

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Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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Hallie

Again, it was all falling on top of her, and not just the bits of ceiling. Mikhail was, power and emotion. She couldn't move her legs, glued in place like some statue. Fingers gripping her middle, she watched James go down as if on a movie screen, the volume muted and world swirling into energy around her.

He was gone again, so easily. Lost under his dark soul.

Leaving her alone right after they...and he promised...

Tears would have come from her eyes, but she couldn't muster even that. As much as she loved him...what was she supposed to do? Still holding herself and unborn child, she closed her eyes, reaching toward him. Everything felt heavy and hopeless, sinking. Bits fell on her head, nothing major, but major was coming. If they couldn't wake him up, the entire building would crush them all. Kill them all.

Hallie hugged herself tighter. It's okay, she wanted to tell him and the baby. Don't be afraid. I'm right here.

But she knew that didn't work. Crying out from struggle, she reached to him again, fighting her own reluctance. What was the point? Mikhail was either going to do it now or later. What was the point of holding on?

Idiot.

Who she was talking to, she wasn't quite sure. Latching onto James would have been easy, his thread of panic billowing back and forth around Mikhail's black monster. Weaving invisible hands, she dodged under and over everything she felt, searching for a tangible something, a landing.

"Come. Back," she demanded under gritted teeth. "You. Can't. Do. This."

And the latch formed and she grabbed hold.



James

Back probably split open from the edge of the table, James had a hard time reacting. Mikhail's words made no sense and finding any semblance of his friend in those eyes didn't exist. This wasn't Mikhail and when James felt the pain finally, he found a way to react. Panic washed aside, he focused on Mikhail's eyes...and then his nose.

His fist landed painfully. James managed to roll slightly to the side, but the gravity was fluctuating under him, above him, he couldn't be sure. "God!" he shouted at the Russian. "Wake up you-" Holding his hand as it pulsed, James lost his voice under the sudden pound in his ears. His back and hand combined were not in condition to deal with this and still put up a fight.

His leg was however, landing a less than swift kick to Mikhail's own leg. Man, gravity manipulation could be so cool, but this? This was bull shit. Mikhail wasn't even mad at him! He was mad at Trick!

"Open your fucking eyes!" James yelled desperately, spittle flying. He saw Hallie, bending under the gravity and trying to do her part. She shouldn't have to. This shouldn't even be happening! Axel wavered as well, strength depleting. What was he doing to them all?

And somehow all of James' guilt vanished. Sure, he had scared Zara, but look at her own brother. The one she actually cared for and what he was doing? Beating up on James and hurting his own girlfriend and kid. This had to stop. Now.

James pushed past it all, anger more fueling than anything else. Hallie would probably yell at him later, but he needed it.



Hallie

"Frickin..."

James was becoming an issue. Melting between the cracks of her already breaking resolve. She had to focus on Mikhail, not absorb more anger, but she already was. Angry. Furious. Scared. And, she realized sadly, alone.

She took in what she could, breathing hard and managing to open her eyes and see James' rebuttal. Violence and blood, of course. After all this, if they survived, she would have a stern word with him. Unhelpful...idiotic...

Mikhail pulled her back in, or his emotions did. She was drawn to them at this point, clinging to any particle she could. Taking it all in and wondering why it wasn't working. How far gone was he? Was there actually no hope this time?

Eventually, she felt the tendrils unfurl in her mind, seeping into her and leeching on the energy she used for her barriers. They crumbled almost immediately...and the flood gates dropped down.

She screamed in pain, Mikhail's pain, verbalizing what he must have felt. When she felt to her knees, the gravity increased the impact and the skin broke under her jeans. But she was lost to Mikhail, tossed around and consumed as even more barreled into her mental space. Even her own anger was gone.

He enveloped her...in the worst possible way.

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Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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Zara

The growing stopped at the edge of Europe and the Americas, halting at St. Petersburg, dipping down to Brazil and loping back up to Alaska. It pulsed, like a heartbeat, each and every life blinking and twinkling like a billion stars announcing its location.

She had since lost consciousness to the real world, stuck in this galaxy, coordinates, names, and locations buzzing in her mind like an old-fashioned airline terminal sign. Flicking and flipping constantly.

But then...loudly...stars started to flare up. The closest ones. Blinking rapidly. The others faded out as she zoomed in, pulled in, sucked in.

Mikhail. It was Mikhail. She could see him. Fighting and screaming and...

She flinched when she saw his eyes. So cold. Stone cold. Like brick. Like iron.

What...what had happened to him? Why was he so angry? Why...

And then James barreled into view. James. Why was she seeing him? She tried to block him out, but he was as clear as Mikhail, anger also written on his face, but in a different way. His eyes were still clear. Mikhail...he was gone.

She had seen this style of fighting...these movements...when they would spar, and train, back in Russia, she'd seen this...but never this ferocious. Never this desperate.

And why? For what?

Then she realized. It was all for her.


Mikhail

He was weakening. Both physically and mentally.

Adrenaline helped, but only went so far. Everything hurt, and blood was a constant taste in his mouth. The Trick he remembered was different from this...James fighting towards the forefront, but his mind compensated, memories colliding and combining. One second he was on a mission, the next on the streets of St. Petersburg, the next in the fortified walls of Vlad's bunker.

After a while he couldn't remember why exactly he was fighting. The reasons kept changing. The only thing he knew was that he was angry...so, so angry.

But even that was slipping, draining from him in a sensation that he knew but couldn't remember. As it left, panic, fear, desperation, and sadness threatened to take over, so he clung to it, knowing that if he lost it, he would be defeated.

But it kept tugging, trying to tear away from him as the physical onslaught continued. The gravity fluctuated, strengthening and weakening like a sine wave, controlled by his subconscious.

He fought like an animal, for his life, a way to get back at everything that had happened to him, everything that was being thrown into his face again. Finally, he gained the upperhand again and pinned James down, knees on his arms, and fist pulled back, gravity growing behind it as he prepared for the final blow...


Zara

It was her. It was all her fault.

For years she had always wondered what had happened between Mikhail and Trick, what had actually gone down, if it was really as scary as everyone said.

How she wished to stay ignorant.

She watched in horror, informed in their every move, every position, as the two boys fought. Hallie and Axel were blurred, present but not as clear. But Mikhail and James were high definition. And she hated it.

Stop! She wanted to scream at them, at both of them. She remembered her threat to James, and wanted to kick herself for it. How stupid! Threatening to sic her brother on him, like he was some animal...her pet...

Even loyalty could have its dark side.

This was too much. She had never wished Mikhail's anger on Trick. And now, she realized, she didn't wish it upon James either.

But Mikhail...how could she wish for him to be angry on her behalf? It was cruel. Cruel and mean and he didn't deserve it!

Stop! She yelled at him as he rolled on top of James. Stop it!

She felt herself crying as he pulled his arm back, preparing to punch. Zeroing in, focusing only on him, she screamed out at him.



Mikhail

"MISHA! NO!"

Zara's voice cut through his mind like a knife, clear and sharp. And he blinked. Paused. Hesitated.

He loosened his grip.

Feet kicked him in the stomach, launching him backwards. As he hit the ground he lost his grip entirely, and the anger sucked out of him so fast it left him disoriented. Confusion took its place immediately, and as it grasped at the fleeing emotion, clinging to its tail stubbornly, the gravity behind his fist shifted, centering on his hand instead, before imploding.

Mikhail screamed as his bones crunched and compressed in on themselves, folding into a gruesome fist, squeezing and squashing before fluctuating, forcing his mangled fingers outward, splaying them wide, ripping them from tendons and ligaments, before crushing them inwards again.

And then it grew, spreading up his arm, flattening his bones, breaking and splintering, like an invisible steamroller. And he screamed and screamed.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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b]Zara[/b]

She had watched the entire thing...from Mikhail stopping, to him suddenly dropping, screaming, to James and Axel carrying him down the hallway.

It was his screams, mixing with her own shouts of protest, that finally shut out the rest of the world, and she opened her eyes.

Sitting up brought on the worst of headaches, but she forced herself to keep moving, panic resting in her throat. James...he...he was taking him away...she had to stop him...

She ran out of the office, bare feet slapping the cold tile. She knew where they were...knew exactly where they were...cross-referenced Mikhail's location with James. Although the former's screams tipped her off just as well.

She found them, James in the doorway.

"Sedate him and put him in a cell away from everyone." she heard him say, "I know you have them."

"Are you crazy?" she shouted, sprinting over to him, small fist ready, but when she saw Mikhail on the ground she stopped. "Misha!" she cried, and tried to run to him, only to be held back by one of the adults. "Let me go!" she protested, fighting to free herself.


Mikhail

He could feel it slipping away...the anger, sadness and guilt. It was all flushing out, with only pain reigning king.

Yet still he clung to them....grasping at their strings like they were balloons in a windstorm...desperate to keep them. Almost out of spite. His. They were his.

But the wind was strong, and the more he pulled, the more it tugged.

It was the smallest amount of conscious thought that now kept the gravity field from travelling further up his arm, but it was the most control he could muster. He didn't know how to turn it off, didn't know how to end it. Didn't realize that the very emotions he held onto were fueling his pain.

A brief thought flashed in his mind, crystal clear, bright like a star. Hallie. What...what had happened to their precious moment? The pieces lay shattered, like broken glass in his head. The baby...Anya...what about her?

"No..." he choked out as someone knelt by him, needle in hand, "No, wait! Hallie!"

The field burst out, fracturing a path all the way up to his collarbone, snapping a few ribs and hitting the man with the needle full on the face. Mikhail shrieked again in pain, and the field shrank as quickly as it had lashed out, and the man keeled over to the side, blood pooling.

"Dead!" a voice cried out, panicked, "He's dead!"

...dead? He'd heard the word through the pain, and his mind ran haywire as it tried to comprehend.

He...he'd killed someone?

"Someone shoot the goddamned kid before he kills all of us!"

No...this couldn't be happening...he...no! NO!

Something whizzed into his side, and a numbing sensation washed over him. The pain finally faded, taking a backseat to the commotion mixing in his ears and the ground that swam and tilted before him. Was...was he on a boat?

What was happening? Where was he? Why couldn't he feel his body? Why was everything spinning?

His finger twitched, prompting a knee-jerk reaction from one of the adults, and this time blackness crept over him, filling his nose and mouth, eyes and ears, until everything blotted out.

Hallie...


Zara

Her eyes had widened when she watched the horror that unfolded. Mikhail...he had...he had just killed someone!

The person who had been restraining her released his grip, but she didn't move as they shot him with tranquilizer guns until he stopped moving.

The blood...there was so much blood...blood he had spilled...

"He killed someone." she whispered, fingers crawling up to her face, and she whirled around to face James, shrieking, "MIKHAIL KILLED HIM!" before burying her face into her hands, crying. "What's happening to him??" she sobbed, "What's happening to us??"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky Character Portrait: Axel Lerate
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James

Numb by his decisions, watching the consequences and repercussions appear as shining nightmares in front of him, James had no other responses to give. Not even to Zara. She sobbed in front of him, lost and in pain. And he had no words.

"I..." he tried, but that felt too thick. "He..." but speaking of him would only make the reality of the situation even more real. Blood had spattered on their clothes. A man lay dying. No...dead. Lay dead and gone and from Mikhail's hand. His bent and broken hand...

James hugged Zara, for himself and for her, trying to find and give comfort all at once. But he wasn't Hallie. He couldn't know what he accomplished when he willed his mind to Zara's, hoping to calm her down so that they could figure this out. What she said last hung in the air though, and James could see it on the adults' faces.

Something was happening to them.