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Sam Pravus

No one deserves anything from life- it simply happens.

0 · 484 views · located in Sam's Puzzle

a character in “The Human Puzzle”, as played by Shané

Description

Image


BASICS


Image




{ AGE }
27

{ GENDER }
Male

{ ROLE }
Facility Manager



SKILLS:


{ Psychology }
Sam has a diploma in Psychology, and uses his knowledge to gain exceptional results for the facilities owner. He's always been fascinated by the human mind, hence his decision to facilitate his own personal human puzzle. His interest and almost addiction in this field has allowed him to become extremely good at using his knowledge to his advantage. He also has some unique knowledge in the field due to the almost non-existent ethical restrictions that are normally placed on other scientists in his field. Sam understands people extremely well, and his acknowledgment that the Anomalies are in fact human allows him to understand and use them to the best of his ability.

{ Torture }
Through the facilities training he has also learnt the skill of torture. He has four years of experience in this field. He particularly loves the medieval techniques, though rarely gets to use these due to their debilitating results. Sam has a sick fascination for the way humans deal with pain and the way the body is knit together. Using a balanced mix of both psychological and physical torture he has become one of the those with the highest status in this field. Human pain has always been a curiosity to Sam and he indulges in playing with the limits of those beneath him.

{ Strength }
In order to be the best he possibly can be at his job, Sam uses a strict fitness routine. He uses it for the sense of peace and purpose it gives him, for a possible need of combat and also because of the evidence supporting it's help in mental strength. He has an incredibly strong upper body, and his endurance ranks fairly high even amongst the guards.



PERSONALITY:



{ Past Personality }
Sam was somewhat simliar to how he is now, however far less of a split personality. He was more moderate in his rather distasteful interest in psychology and pain. He was more like his home life as described below and even his more sadistic side was tamed down and hadn't fully developed. He was also more aware of the danger of delving in too far into his unwholesome interests, or at least not revealing that they fascinated him.

{ Present Personality }
Sam is a strange character. He almost has two personalities. To the world he's a friendly, gentle guy, if not a little reserved. He's cheery, has a good sense of humour and enjoys late nights out with his friends. He's a brilliant listener and often becomes a counsellor for those he is close to. He's known for his trustworthy nature and also known as a good keeper of secrets. More than one wonder at what his job really entails as he is very smooth at avoiding talking about specifics.
At the facility however he is downright sadistic. He enjoys playing with the anomalies minds and loves the satisfaction of breaking another. Deep down he's a little concerned about his own lack of concern for these people, however with enough logic and reasoning he's convinced himself that it's necessary. He believes strongly that in order for some to enjoy life, others must suffer. It's luck of the draw. As a result he's not one to go for revenge nor does he hold grudges. He accepts whatever his lot is in life, which he expects others to do also. He's always calculating and enjoys a sense of status when he's at the facility. Power is something he has become accustomed to and he loves wielding it. While mostly he can justify the various experimentation going on in the facility, it's taken him a lot longer to become accustomed to the idea of simply using them for fun. He's always wanted to have a few to have a little fun with for his own amusement, however there never seemed to be a good enough reason to overstep that boundary. However he's gradually stepped closer and closer to his moral line and finally he's managed to step over it with the explanation that they were to be killed anyway, so technically he is offering them life.


{ Passions }
~Psychology~
~Puzzles~
~Anatomy~
~Power~
~Order~


{ Dislikes }
~Anything out of place~
~When things do not go to plan~
~Mistakes~
~Ignorance~
~Compliance~


{ Weaknesses }
1. Arrogance
Sam is completely proud of his achievements and status. Once he has finished analysing a situation, he normally assumes that things will go to plan. Since he has always been a high achiever he is unaccustomed to failure and will not deal with it very well.

2. Organisation
While it seems like a strength, Sam is meticulous to a fault. Everything must be in order, and he has a particular quirk in regards to having everything even and in patterns. In the rather messy job at the facility sometimes it can bother him as things do not always remain scheduled.


{ Fears }
1. Making a mistake- It's not that he merely dislikes errors, but in his situation some mistakes could cost him his life and a lot of pain. Working with Anomalies with deadly abilities has not been easy and he's watched many colleagues fall due to unforeseen flaws in their plans. He's not a fool, he's acutely aware of human error and has no delusion about his fallibility.

2. To some extent Sam does fear the Anomalies he's testing. He's not really concerned with them at the moment, however it is more the fear that someday they may gain the upper hand. While he would have to accept it as a twist of fate, it won't mean he'll like it any more. Considering the damage he's done to them both on an institutional and personal level he's certain they won't kill him quickly- he wouldn't if the roles were reversed.

3. His work life becoming known- At the moment he lives a very tidy lifestyle. Spend time at work feeding the less socially accepted side of himself and then return home to normality. If ever his work life leaked to his personal life it would completely destroy all his relationships and the simple lifestyle he's attained.





APPEARANCE:


His most distinguishable features are his piercing blue eyes. They are a dark cobalt, and seem to stare through most people. His dark black hair is dead straight and is long enough to reach the top of his eyes. It sticks up around the sides and never seems to sit the same way. He has a narrow face with quite delicate features and his skin is quite an unhealthy pallor as it rarely sees the sun. Sam's upper arms are heavily muscled and his trunk is well defined. For clothing he prefers the neutral black and whites, though on special occasions wears blue to match his eyes. He's very fond of turned up collars and smart casual dress. When he's busy at the facility however he normally has shirts with the sleeves ripped off in order to avoid ruining nice shirts but also to remain intimidatingly well dressed.

{ Defining Features }
He has a few thin scars on his hands from incidents where he's nicked his hands with his

{ Weight }
80kg

{ Build }
On the slight side, but with well-defined muscular tone.




THOUGHTS ON OTHERS:



{ Damion & Ember }
He's been working with these two now for many years. He's particularly had fun toying with Ember's emotions playing the sincere, confident psychologist for her for her first two years. When he watched the relationship between her and Damion forming further possibilities of use for the pair came up. He spent his time patiently waiting for a sign that he could break her trust and use the couple for his own devices. Once Ember killed her first victim he had his opportunity. His plans particularly grew watching Damion reveal the true nature of his abilities to remain with her, and it was then he realised how easily he could make them obey him. He has taken particular pride in breaking the pair of them and completely twisting their personalities. It couldn't have worked out better from his perspective; to have them both renounce everything of their former selves resulting in their own kind hating them for it. He's a little frustrated that for his plans to work the pair have to be reunited, however he's sure that he can overcome the initial joy with his future plans.

{ Whispers & Delirium }
Of all the pairs, these two are the ones that simultaneously frustrate and cause him to thrive on the challenge of beating them. From the get-go both had separately continued to be an irritation to his otherwise perfect reign at the facility. At first he was certain he could break Whispers by causing him to destroy his sister. To both his fascination and annoyance it did no such thing. After watching Ember and Damion, Sam made one of his few large errors; he put the pair together hoping to create a new weakness. The plan failed rather miserably and infuriated Sam no end. The pair became a united force against him and refused to let him use their new friendship as a weakness. The two were not supposed to be part of his experiment as the facility deemed them far too valuable simply for his amusement. However with a new update in creating Anomalies, both of their powers have been replicated and therefore there was no need to keep the rebels alive. Therefore Sam bought them both thinking it would perhaps result in an entertaining bloodbath with the dark ones due to their less then desirable last encounter.

{ Pair Two }
Sam hates these two. They bore him. Due to their co-operation Sam has been unable to gain any fun from them at all, beside in the usual experimentation. As a result he's mostly left them in the hands of the white coats lest he lose his temper and cause them to be less compliant. Once both were up for execution due to their usefulness expiring Sam finally had the opportunity to pay them back for failing to entertain him. The nature of his puzzle will result in them having to do something, as compliance will no longer result in safety. Either they choose his wrath or their fellow anomalies- as long as it ends on blood, Sam isn't particularly bothered by which.





HISTORY:


After receiving his diploma, Sam got a job at as an assistant psychologist within the facility, mainly in the less secure areas in animal testing. Within a year he showed much promise and gradually he worked his way into the behavioural department with the Anomalies themselves. The next three years he gradually learnt the best way to gain information and to remove the fight from most Anomalies. He was then promoted and now holds the highest field job within the department. Technically the owner was considering putting him in charge of the department, but seeing Sam's skill in the field the promotion has not come. While Sam would enjoy having the high status position, not getting the job is life so he accepts it without complaint. After working for so long at the facility he's currently taken long service leave and is using it to create his own human puzzle.




OTHER



{ FACE CLAIM }
Unknown

{ COLOR }
#941313

So begins...

Sam Pravus's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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#, as written by Shané
The only sound to be heard from the floor below was the sound of static emanating from numerous screens. It was hard to see in the dimly lit room, the main illumination was to be found from the flickering channels. The light bounced off a still form, the only movement coming from the figures eyes which flicked incessantly between screens. Sam's elbows were propped on the desk, a pencil protruding from his mouth and half a page of scribbled notes before him. A look of intense concentration was prominent on his features, though occasionally a humourless smile tipped up the corners of his mouth.

Thus far the experimentation had proved to have both entertaining and fascinating results. From the beginning the emotional strain had been eating away at every participant. Starting with Ember and Damion's touching reunion so rudely interrupted by the fiery redhead's entrance. He'd half anticipated with disappointment that Delirium would be torn apart by the dark ones as Lydia and Rezia would certainly not intervene. However it appeared the girl was smart enough to scare Ember off allowing enough time for her partner to join her.

The following scenes unfolded and Sam's pleasure only deepened. It seemed all their reactions were just as explosive as he had hoped. He even moved so far to chuckle out loud at Ember smashing Whispers into the wall. It seemed that was the catalyst turning Delirium into the hallucinogenic nightmare he had known her to be. However it wore the girl out considerably, and to Sam's annoyance she retreated to her room. It seemed she'd let her normal fiery emotions overcome her logic and burnt herself out. This did not please Sam, as it could result in her not finishing her task on time. Which on one hand would be amusing to have Whispers down here to toy with, but on the other hand would deprive him from watching the silver-haired Rezia from having a taste of psychological torture.

His attention was drawn back to the group as he watched Rezia attempt his own task. Stupidity in Sam's opinion, though truly Rezia could not have known about Damion's immunity to poison. Still he had to step up to the taller male physically which raised his status in Sam's opinion. That was when Sam began to get a little bored. Lydia stepped up to her little speech and then Rezia followed suit with his. Sam glowered as the group began to get some order and he began toying with the idea of killing her in front of Rezia and watching the result. Instead he settled with the idea of sending Damion the muzzle. As he sent his instructions verbally to his guards, Delirium caught his attention again.

She was trying something certainly. His eyes narrowed trying to see, before making the camera do the work for him. She was eyeing Rezia and result was quite interesting. From the look of concentration on her face Sam had no doubt that she was preparing to complete her task, however something went seriously wrong. A look of pain came over her and her whole body recoiled from Rezia. Sam cocked his head slightly, chewing over this new turn of events.

It appeared he had miscalculated the consequences of pitting a psychological attacker and healer at odds and now he was left to decide what to do about it. Delirium was no longer physically able to complete her task…and that was no fun at all. Sam scowled. He'd have to give her another one- however she would need to be thoroughly aware that failure was going to cost her the ultimate price and that this kind of oversight would not be happening again.

He scribbled out another task he had considered for her and called another guard in. With a few sentences he instructed the man to use the concealed entrance to Delirium and Whispers private room that had been prepared in case of the need to intervene. As the man left to do this, his previous order with the muzzle was carried out. Sam watched in anticipation as Damion dove for the device preparing to take down Whispers. That was when Whispers opened his mouth. Sam let out a hiss as the irritating ringing came through the microphones. It obviously was hurting the Anomalies a lot more, however Sam hated the sound. Instinctively he turned the sound down, leaving his finger on the volume switch ready to turn it back up should someone appear to say something of interest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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#, as written by Haas33
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Coldness wrapped around Katherine like a pack of wolves nipping at her. She was always cold because scientists didn't really care about comfort when it came to imprisoning their creations. She stared gloomily at her walled enclosure. She was leaning against the wall closest to Stephen, as she normally did in case he wanted to talk. But today he was very silent. She slowly tapped out his name on the wall, a morse code of sorts, that they communicated with because his room was soundproof and she couldn't see him. They would listen for vibrations. A response never came for a long time, until finally he responded, She's gone. Katherine bit back a sob. Sarah. Yesterday's events still swirled in her head. Their failure. She quickly tapped back an apology, to which he didn't respond. She settled down onto the floor, sadness eating up her energy. They had failed and Sarah was gone. Why did she care about this boy behind a wall? She rarely ever saw him. She barely even know him. A tear rolled down her cheek as the memory slowly faded, something pulling her from her unconsciousness

Delirium woke with a start, and was momentarily confused, as she couldn't see anything. What the hell? She asked, standing up, completely caught unawares, and swiping her hand up to her face to see what was shielding her vision. Her hand suddenly blossomed with pain as a sharp crack echoed in her room; someone had hit her.

"Don't try anything. Sam has sent you a new task you are to carry out, as it has become aware that you have failed to be able to do the previous one. Your new task will be given after you are reminded for your failure." With that, she was meant with a hard blow to the back. She collapsed onto the floor, knowing that trying to fight back would only cause trouble, and she was in no state right now to fight back.

"I haven't failed my task, I was given an impossible one!" She yelled back to her unknown attacker. She received a nasty blow to the head in response. She gasped in pain and clutched her head, unable to stop the tears that pooled in the cloth that was covering her eyes. Her short nap did little to alleviate her headache, and the blow was suddenly bringing it back with force. She curled up defensively into a ball as she received several more blows to the back and head. Not the worst punishment she's received, but certainly not a walk in the park either. After shaking on the floor for several minutes, she slowly moved her hands to untie her blindfold. She coughed up a bit of blood and rubbed her head sadly as her vision slowly returned hazily. She looked around, now very confused as to how her attacker even got into her room. She glared at camera and flicked who she hoped was Sam, off. She'd have a lovely bruise on her eye, forehead, back, and top of her head. She grimaced as she prodded a swollen knot on her back. Now would be a good time to ask for Lydia's help. She wiped the tears that stained her eyes and looked around her room. On her bed sat a note like the one she had received earlier. She picked it up and looked at the few words there "Electrocute Rezia 3 times."

Delirium frowned confused. Electrocute him? How or what would I electrocute him with? She couldn't damage the cameras or anything to get to some live wires, so her task seemed almost impossible as that last one. A stroke of knowledge finally hit her. The doors, of course. If Delirium made Rezia try to open her door, he'd electrocute himself. It made sense. She rolled her eyes and tucked the note into her pocket. She was glad she wouldn't have to make an illusion for Rezia. She'd likely pass out before finishing it.

Delirium was about to go back to sleep when she heard loud noises from outside. Worried about Stephen, she slowly opened her door, and regretted it instantly. Loud piercing noises struck at her head, and she instinctively placed her hands to her ears, but it was no use. She was spinning in circles in side her own head, completely dumbfounded as to what she was doing, where she was, what was real or not. She backed up in a feeble attempt to escape the noise, and fell into her room. Blindly she reached for the door and pulled it shut. She released a breath of air she didn't know she'd been holding She was a coward for hiding in her room, but she knew Stephen wouldn't be able to control who he affected. Delirium only worried why he was doing it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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#, as written by Shané
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”…Stop acting like a child!”

Immediately Ember's eyes flamed red. Delirium didn't have a clue how terrifying it was to have your own mind used against you, to see and hear things that weren't there. If seeing Sam wasn't on the line, Ember might have attacked her then, but instead she mustered all her strength to leave the only sign that the comment had bothered her in her auburn eyes.

Whispers question allowed her to shift her attention, though she automatically bristled at his demanding tone. She was evidently hopeless at pacifying anyone. She'd only offered a little information because in the past people hadn't appreciated gory details and now she was being accused of deception.

"Three incisions straight to the bone. That's it." She had attempted to keep her tone neutral, but there was no denying the hard edge to her words, daring Whispers to ask for more information.

The tension of waiting didn't last long. Instead it skyrocketed into a tirade coming from Delirium. Ember's eyes widened in shock before narrowing into incontrollable fury.

"Selfish!" Her voice shook with rage. "Selfish to not allow myself to be tortured for the sake of my enemy."

Delirium was walking away, but Ember would have none of it. The words had hit home in a way she had not expected.

"You tell me what I was supposed to do!" Her voice was distorted with the strength of her emotion. "I refuse to do what I'm ordered to and it's not just me that gets mutilated. It's Damion and the other victim. I do it so they don't have to face Sam. I didn't choose any of this! Have you ever had to make a choice between murdering someone or watching them being tortured slowly to death in front of you? To know that as soon as they take their last breath that knife will turn against you and then someone you love? I kill to protect people from Sam."

Her words were bubbling with hysteria and then she went deadly calm.

"I'd rather die than face him again." This sentence was directed straight at Whispers, her eyes a flaming red against the sickly white colour of her skin.

Suddenly there was a screech of metal sliding open. Her head wrenched to the side in surprise to see Delirium stepping into the elevator.

“Don’t do anything stupid Stephen. Consider your task failed.”

There was moment of unreal stillness as the elevator doors slid shut again and then there was silence. Ember's mouth widened with shock and then her legs went numb and collapsed underneath her. For a while all she could do was sit staring open mouthed at the floor trembling in the aftermath. Why on earth had Delirium done that? It didn't make any sense….for a second there was a sharp pang of guilt, but soon it was washed away with an overwhelming emotion.

Twisted, sickening relief.







SAM

Sam watched the events without a change of emotion. However his eyes flickered with interest at the girls little feud. For a moment he remained motionless, hands clasped in front of him with his chin resting atop of them. As soon as the elevator door closed on Delirium the frozen form jumped into dynamic motion. Without hesitation he strode across the room and threw open the back door, striding into a plain white room with a desk to his left and the elevator door to his right. As soon as he shut the door behind him it became barely discernible from the paint work and suddenly the room had one exit; the elevator. There were two armed men in the room with handguns cocked towards the door, both had reflective visors over their eyes.

Sam did no more than glance at the pair before going to seat himself at the desk which faced away from the elevator to the back wall. The wall was covered with a floor to ceiling mirror. As though nothing was happening he calmly began to scribe some notes onto the pad in front of him. The elevator doors slid open to reveal Delirium. Both guards immediately tensed, training their weapons on her preparing to shoot if necessary. Sam didn't even glance up, but continued to write.

"And what, pray, brings you to interrupt my business?"

For a moment he continued what he was doing as though he had not spoken when abruptly he dropped the pen and stared straight at Delirium through the mirror.

"Your arrogance has been noticed Katherine."

His words were delivered calmly but had a threatening edge to it as his blue eyes roamed over her, assessing her current status. Finally he dropped his gaze back down to his work.

"I find it interesting that you can announce when Stephen has failed his task when I was the one who gave it."

Sam picked up a picture on the desk, holding it up as though he was studying it. It was all for show, as the picture clearly depicted Katherine's past broken form on one of his interrogation benches. Carelessly Sam held it over his shoulder indicating that Delirium should come and take it from him.

He continued to speak oblivious to whether or not she was coming.

"I suppose this is something of what you were expecting this time? I'm sorry to disappoint you my dear, but you see, Stephen has not yet finished nor failed his task. He will only do so once he successfully completes it himself, or I get impatient and press that button. In which case anyone who has not finished their task has failed. Does that make sense?"

He glanced back up at her, his tone condescending as he pointed to the small black panel on the desk in front of him.

"So you see you've merely decided to have a rather premature or else meaningless visit." He paused for a moment, staring coldly at her as if trying to decide to do with a new problem. Apparently he got bored with her as he returned to writing.

"However the visit may not be a complete loss." He said carelessly. "I could end the tasks now."

He took a sneak glance at Deliriums reaction.

"I'll begin work with you and send someone else to collect Damion as Ember has evidently not completed her task. Or I could simply send you back up to await when I press the button or Stephan completes his orders."

His expression suddenly hardened and he sent her a threatening, dark glare. Almost immediately the temporary malice dissolved and he asked casually.

"What do you suggest?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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#, as written by Haas33
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The sound of the elevator doors closing was a slap to the face. Her face became hot and red. She was angry, furious even. Sure Ember did everything to keep herself and her precious Damion safe. She would never do anything that might save the life of someone else. It all made sense to Delirium. All other tasks had not been immediately life threatening, just very unpleasant. But not completing a task would result in what? Something much worse. Or much better depending on how you looked at death. The fear of the unknown weighed down on her heavily.

She was stupid for doing this. But it was Stephen she was protecting, not Ember. She saw the look in Ember and Damion’s eyes. If Stephen even tried to get Ember in the elevator, both Stephen and herself would likely end up dead. The way she saw it, it was either both her and Stephen, or just her. Delirium leaned against the back wall of the elevator casually, and crossed her arms as it began its decent. She looked up and did notice one corner of the elevator had a camera. She was surprised, however, that they had made no attempt to restrain or subdue her. That likely meant there were guards waiting for her when the elevator door opened.

Should she attack them? Should she try to trick Sam with her illusions? She’d only tried it a couple times before and the consequences were brutal. However, when the doors finally slid open, she just stood there, watching as the guards pointed guns to her and Sam had his back to her.

“And what, pray, brings you to interrupt my business?” Delirium didn’t respond as she pushed herself off the wall of the elevator so she was no longer leaning against it. She slowly walked out of the elevator almost as if she was going for a stroll in the park. She immediately noticed the mirrors. Of course he would have mirrors. It was the one thing that seemed to make her illusions less effective. The brain did weird things when looking in a mirror, especially large ones. Delirium has noticed people becoming less confused and willing to accept her illusions as truth when surrounded by mirrors.

“Your arrogance has been noticed Katherine,” He continued while eyeing her in the mirror. She gritted her teeth as he used her real name almost like an insult. Katherine snorted some laughter as if they were old friends.

”Ah yes, just mark that in my file ‘arrogant and defiant,’ or don’t you have that in there already?” Sam continued his show of authority as he spoke again.

“I find it interesting that you can announce when Stephen has failed his task when I was the one who gave it.” Delirium again bit back her response as he held a picture over his shoulder. Taking that as an invitation she winked at one of the guards and then sauntered up to Sam, retrieved the photo and studied it as if deciding whether or not to put the photograph on display at some haughty new artsy show for photography. She picked up an extra pen from his desk and sprawled her signature in one corner like an autograph and handed it back to him. She couldn’t help but smile at her own defiance.

However, Sam continued on his tirade as he pointed out that since he hadn’t pressed the button none of the tasks were over yet, and she was down here for no reason, because Stephen hadn’t ‘technically’ failed his task yet. Which, granted was true, and also the reason why Delirum told Stephen not to do anything stupid like trying to finish his task anyway while she was already down here. However, one phrase hit her like a smack to the face.

“I could end the tasks now.”

Delirium new Ember hadn’t finished her task yet, and being the cause of Sam’s malicious button pressing could make the tension between them too much to bear. Hopefully, Ember would very soon, perhaps right this minute if Delirium was lucky. However, her only outward reaction was her shrugging her shoulders.

“Now why would you do that? I mean wouldn’t it be better to see us doing these things to each other rather than you do them to us. You torturing us must get old after so many years. Just seems like a waste of time when you probably know according to your cameras that Ember is about to complete her task. And sure, I could go back up and wait so Ember can hurry on up and finish but that also seems like a waste of time when you and I both know Stephen isn’t going to complete his task. So I’m just cutting out the middle man you know? Why don’t I just wait down here while Ember finishes her task? We could chat like old friends. I have to admit this new set up is pretty sweet.” She smiled sweetly at him, putting just the same show he was. She looked at herself and the mirror and began to pick at her teeth with a fingernail as if it were a bathroom mirror. She fussed with her hair a bit before turning back to him.

”But if I’m really such a bother I can go back upstairs if you wish. Or just wait here. I doubt you will have to wait long. And wouldn’t that make getting me down here easier? You wouldn’t have to drag me down or knock me out or anything. Wow blame a girl for trying to make your life easier.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Stephen Winters | The Rebel | Neural Disruption | #F70D1A


When strife unraveled Whispers tended to be in the center of it all, thrusting his viewpoints down anyone's disagreeable throat. The only time hesitation existed was when he had that muzzle clamped over his mouth and that quickly died once he got a hold of himself.

So where was he now?

The shell of Whispers began moving while Stephen Winters, the young boy who had seen his sister die only years ago seemed to come out and disappear from his form all at once.

"What the fuck Ember?" he yelled.

"Do you ever think about anyone besides yourself and your shitty partner? You have been doing nothing but bitch about your sad life in the name of survival and not getting hurt in the name of your enemy but to what end? You can't even admit how fucking selfish you are when we've done nothing but help. I didn't have to tell you about Sam being down there or even agree to that stupid solution. All you gave were vague threats, not even to Lydia, to me. But you know I was going to agree to it anyway. And for what? So everyone could let me down again?"

He laughed darkly.

Katherine had told him not to do anything stupid, but truthfully he'd already done so by trusting in those two dogs in the first place.

"You know sometimes I think about all those lives you two have taken and how much you value your own over them just because you can't take Sam's torture. Everyone at the facility thought you two were so strong when it was really just cowardice at work. Katherine didn't need to go down there. None of us did but she sacked it up because Ember couldn't. And now she's going to die because of it-"he paused-"-and you know what the worst part is? You don't even fucking care. You're just glad you lived another day."

Truthfully he didn't care of he was talking in circles at this point. He wanted Ember to hurt and staying silent wasn't making him feel better. At that point, Rezia and Lydia entered the room with no awareness of the situation but keen on the fact that Katherine was missing. Rezia was the first to ask and evidently it was a wrong question since it only cemented Stephen's anger more.

"She left because Ember couldn't do this one thing. This one thing."

He let out a primal scream and kicked down the door to his room, not unlike the ones his younger self produced when he was testing the limits of his powers. For the unprepared, they might have felt a harsh ringing in their ears if not a light headache. He didn't care anymore. Katherine was either dead or being tortured for her insolence (like she always was) and assuming all things remained, Ember was still standing here like the serial killer he'd known her to be his entire life. The fact that he could ever think that she was on his side, that she was trying to help him was weakness, the very weakness that got Delirium in trouble and the one that would take him to his grave at this rate.

Not that it even matters anymore.


All he could picture in his head was Sarah and how he'd allowed her to death to pass too because he couldn't win Sam's game. He couldn't even defy it. Even now he couldn't see a way to win regardless of whether he shoved her in the elevator or convinced her to go. Both of their wants were non-negotiable, but Sam's will overruled them all.

"Go ahead and mutilate Lydia or don't," he said finally, "I'm not going to be you."

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Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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SAM

Delirium simply shrugged her shoulders in response to his options, however Sam noted the thoughts rushing through her mind that her eyes couldn't hide. She was definitely thinking it all through. Her grand display of casual defiance wasn't fooling him. He'd played Delirium's little games before and was aware of the façade she used to prepare herself for whatever he planned. He glanced down at her photo and smirked. Ordinarily her sassy attitude irked him, however he couldn't help but laugh at how nicely the photo would fit in her file.

He was surprised at the girls argument. She had taken it upon herself to argue and thereby remain below with him. At first Sam had to admit he was a little baffled. He had half expected Delirium to want the tasks ended, enabling her to get revenge upon Ember and Damion. However for whatever reason Delirium would rather go back or remain down here. She seemed to be forgetting that the latter wasn't one of the options he had given her.

He ignored Delirium for a minute or so. Carefully placing the picture in one of the files on the desk, and adding a private note underneath before closing it and placing it perfectly in line before him. Finally he looked back at Delirium through the mirror.

"Both options amuse me Delirium. Torturing Damion and yourself results in a reasonable fireworks display when I return you both back up, as I doubt Ember will appreciate your choice and Whispers certainly won't let you die undefended. However I must admit sending you back up now would probably be more profitable."

He gave Delirium a wicked smile.

"I know why you're down here girl, and you make me out to be a fool when you lie. Stephen still may try and fore fill his task, and don't you dare try to suggest that he won't. Picture this Katherine: You return back up there battered and bruised and Stephen is informed that his task is not yet over. You think he'll just accept that and wait? I highly doubt it. Instead I'll watch as he attempts his task on his own to prevent the pain he's currently dealing with thinking that you're dead. And you my dear will be far too broken to assist. I hope you think this visit is worth watching the life pulled out of him if he tries to touch Ember."

"And now it's the time where you drop your bravado and wake up to what's really going on. It's my game Katherine, and there's no time when you are in control. I'll have both you and Stephen screaming once again before I decide I've finished toying with you."

He casually waved his hand over at Delirium. Instantly one of the guards behind her struck her hard in the side of the head with a clenched fist. Right on cue the other followed and smashed the end of a baton straight into her stomach. Without any hesitation another blow was landed on the back of her legs and both guards forced her into a kneeling position on the floor, holding her up with a fist full of hair and a knife pressed to her throat.

Sam picked up a pair of spectacles from the desk. He'd had them specifically made to combat Deliriums unfavorable abilities. He flicked a smaller switch on the bottom of the desk before slowly coming over to crouch down directly in front of the rebellious girls gaze. He pulled out a small recording device followed by his pocket knife from his breast pocket.

"I think I might send Stephen a little recording from us just to let him know what's going on. He's always seemed to appreciate the gravity of your screams."

Sam placed the blade of the pocket knife against her face, gently tracing the scar Ember had left on Deliriums left side. Without warning he jerked the knife down and dug in deep dragging the blade parallel to the mark. Deftly he removed it and wiped it clean on Deliriums clothing. Right on time two more guards entered the room through the elevator carrying a glowing brazier between them. Without a word they placed it on the ground to Sam's right and handed him a pair of gloves.

After donning the gloves Sam roughly grabbed Deliriums left arm, pulling it out in front of her.

"Don't ever forget who's in control."

His right hand reached into the brazier to bring out a glowing cylinder. He paused for just a moment to let it all sink in before pressing the burning metal straight onto the back of her exposed forearm.

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Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Pain was an unusual thing really. Even when you are expecting it, it still hurts no less. It was confusing, the fact that pain is merely nerve endings firing rapidly to the brain in response to physical touch. If she could just stop those nerves, she would feel no pain, and wouldn’t that be fantastic. Instead, she merely flinched and gasped suddenly as something struck the side of her head and her vision danced for a second. Immediately, Delirium tried to reach into her illusions to muffle the pain. Her concentration faded for a moment each time she was struck, and the pain flooded back.

She closed her eyes and began to hum, a tactic that infuriated Sam at times but helped her get through her regular beatings. She began the tune to a song that was ironic for what was happening

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
Crack! A pain erupted in her stomach.
You make me happy, when skies are grey.
You never know, dear, how much I love you.

Wham! As another blow hit the back of her legs. When they forced her to her knees she didn’t resist at all, and instead continued to hum.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

In the brief pause of pain, Delirium sucked herself back into her illusions, eyes closed so Sam didn’t know. She pictured a great grassy field lying on a blanket curled up with Stephen. She wasn’t hungry, wasn’t tired, wasn’t in pain.
The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping,
I dreamt I held you in my arms

The pain subsided for a second, as the illusion took over. She sensed Sam crouch down over her and speak about recording her. Again, she ignored him and kept her eyes closed while humming.
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head, and I cried

A cry escaped Delirium as her dulled senses were brought back to life as a blade sliced down the side of the scar on her face. Delirium opened her eyes for a second half expecting Ember to be standing over her, but it was just grinning Sam. She closed her eyes immediately and began humming again, picking the pace up to double time as her heart beat faster and faster.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are grey.
You never know, dear, how much I love you,
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

The pain finally eased as the blade was taken away from her face and she could feel warm liquid flowing down her neck and a stinging sensation coming from the fresh wound. Tears trickled down her face and pooled in the red liquid as she closed her eyes again.
I’ll always love you and make you happy.
If you will only say the same.
But if you leave me, to love another,
You’ll regret it all one day.

Again, delirium dulled her senses in the abnormally long pause between pain. She sunk back to that grassy field, eyes closed, humming peacefully, ignoring the blood dripping on to her clothing. The long pause, however, was concerning. She opened one eye to see a glowing container of hot coals. Her heart skipped a beat and the song sped up in her head.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Her heart sunk as the brazier was put down beside her.
You make me happy when skies are grey. A hand grabbed her arm roughly.
You never know, dear, how much I love you A glowing cylinder, and intake of breath, a sudden, cold feeling, or rather heat so hot it feels cold. She screamed out, unable to hold it in anymore. The illusion fell, pain flooded back in. Everything came sharply and suddenly. She could smell burning flesh. Her burning flesh. Her vision dipped and swayed. She greeted darkness as an old friend as she finally passed out.

Please don’t take my sunshine away.




She didn’t know how long she was out, but when she woke up she hurt all over. Her head throbbed from trying to suppress the pain with illusions. Her face was tender and still bleeding, stinging in the air. Her head was bruised, breathing hurt, maybe a cracked rib, her legs felt bruised as well. The worst was her arm, ragged, bloody, and burnt badly. It stung and throbbed. She couldn’t move her arm. Little had been done to stop bleeding. Her face still bled but not as bad as before, making her think maybe they had staunched the flow of blood a bit just so she wouldn’t loose an obscene amount of blood.

Looking around she realized she was in the elevator, unmoving, with doors closed. Delirium closed her eyes again and decided maybe it was better to stay in here for a bit.

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Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Sarah stood in the exact center of the elevator, stiff as board. Not because she was scared, no she rarely experienced such a strange emotion anymore. Rather she was stiff because she was tensed for a fight. It would not be in her benefit to be caught off guard the minute she stepped out. Her eyes shifted from the doors to the small rectangular device in her hands. An "ipod" Sam had called it. It was supposed to play music, and indeed it did as a classical piece of music was currently playing in her ears, the only sound heard as the large red headphones mitigated any other sound. It was also a communication device, so that she may send her observations to Sam at the end of each day.

She knew what the purpose of this rectangular device was, though. It was to give these noise-cancelling headphones a purpose, so that she might not seem like a threat to Stephen. Stephen? Where had she heard that name before? The name always seemed to bounce around in her head awhile each time she thought about it. Perhaps it was someone she had known in the facility before. Sam hadn't really told her much about the people he was studying. Just their names and what they could do. She was simply supposed to get a more in depth look on what these people were thinking.

She was worried that these creatures would have too complex of a mind to read. Sam had assured her that he had intentionally kept them all in a state of weakness, either by hunger, injury, or slept depravity to give her too much trouble when it came to reading their minds. Sarah didn't ask questions. She did what she was told.

The elevator shuddered slightly as it came to a halt. The classical music swelled in her ears as the doors slowly opened. Black combat books stepped out of the elevator, with exact precision to each step. Her fingers were ready to snatch her concealed weapons if need be. Immediatly, thoughts zoomed into her head. Anger, pleading, pain, anguish, revenge, injustice, love, protectiveness. They swirled around and she quickly pinned down the thoughts' owners. Her eyes quickly took in the scene with calculated intensity. A young woman with dark hair who must be Ember was standing behind a man with dark hair, looking rather frazzled from Stephen's noise, with her hands to her ears. The dark haired man was Damion, and had his arms outstretched, clearly protecting her from a red haired man. And the red haired man....

There was a slight hitch in her thoughts. A memory, a flash of a monitor screen. Seeing the same red haired man but younger holding a gun. Then it was gone. Stephen. Stephen. The name was jumbling her thoughts and breaking her concentration. She shook her head slightly, as if trying to shake off the name. Her mind returned to the task at hand. She took several more calculated steps forward as the music in her ears began to crescendo, reaching its final climax. She then spoke loudly enough over the racket that everyone could hear here.

"Stephen, I think that is enough."

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Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Rezia listened to his sister's shallow breathing and closed his eyes. She was having such a hard time. His poor sister. He needed to calm her down some way. If she kept breathing this shallowly, she'd end up passing out and she might bleed again. They couldn't risk that. And now she was telling him that she was hot. That wasn't good. Was she getting an infection? She didn't need another thing to worry about and if the fever got too high for too long she could end up with brain damage. Rezia took a deep breath to calm himself down then. His imagination was beginning to get the better of him.

"Hold on," Rezia said to her and slowly pulled away from his sister and watched a moment to see if she was going to topple over. When he was sure she was safe for the moment, he rushed to the little bathroom connected to their room and ripped at his sleeve until he had a good size piece of cloth in his hand and turned on the faucet. After wetting the cloth he got rid of the excess water before hurrying back to his sister and sat down beside her. He leaned back against the wall and slowly drew her into his arms to get her to rest against his chest and placed the cool cloth against her forehead.

"Just focus on breathing, Lydia. Listen to my heart beat and the rhythm of my breathing and try to sync your breathing with mine," he cooed gently in her ear. "Nothing is going to hurt you right now. I am here. You are safe. Just breath in, breathe out," he continued calmly. It was something that the two of them often did to calm each other down when they had stressed their bodies and power. He started to hum in her ear then to help her keep her focus and not worry about the periodic noises they could hear outside their door.

Rezia wondered what was happening out there. Were Whispers and Damion were going to kill each other? Would Whispers be successful in taking Ember down the elevator? He didn't know what was happening and there was little he could do to stop the fighting. He couldn't fight. It would just end up like last time with him injured and the two of them still going at it. No, he couldn't help that situation but hopefully he could assist his sister now. "I've got you..."

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Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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SAM

Sam had wanted a wild reaction and he was most certainly not disappointed with Whispers ravings. He allowed himself one of rare, thin smiles lazily watching the computer screens. Sarah was playing her part perfectly, though sadly she had interrupted the tension between her brother and the dark ones. But no matter, there was plenty of drama to come. His icy gaze returned to the sheet of paper in front of him. Its off-white surface was marred by his scrawled handwriting. Normally his notes were methodical and neat, however in his excitement he'd written haphazardly all over the page, with arrows leading in endless different directions and meshing into numerous different pathways.

He was still dithering about two options at the moment. He glanced back up at the screen, this time focusing on the compliant siblings. Lydia looked worse. Sam frowned. He didn't want to lose her just yet. He decided it wasn't worth the risk and called forth one of the medics. The matronly woman quickly entered his presence and waited for his instructions.

"Paralyse the blonde girl in the first room. She's going to split open her back and bleed out otherwise. Also, give her something for the fever. You'll stay with her until I return with the boy. You are not to answer any questions. If she dies it will cost you your life."

The woman gave no response to his threats and merely walked back out. Sam decided on his option and followed the woman through the small maze of doors and corridors. Finally the matron walked through the hidden one that linked him to the siblings room. Sam followed distinctly aware of the gun and knife at his hip. He watched coolly as the woman walked straight towards Lydia with her medics bag and began to tend to her.

"Don't do anything you'll regret Rezia." He said pointedly, looking at the grey-haired youth in front of him. "Best step aside. Despite your well-placed mistrust in me, today I've had rare moment of compassion. She'll make sure Lydia won't die….yet."

He said the words coolly, without any sign that he'd ever had his so called 'moment'. He quickly put that lie aside.

"Lets be honest Rezia- I would like to toy with you both a little longer."

His expression hardened and his eyes glittered with malice.

"I think you and I should take a little walk." He gestered to the door behind him. "For the little it's worth, I promise no harm will come to your sister while we have our little discussion. I can't say the same if you decide not to comply. I have a….proposition for you."

The boy wasn't an idiot. Despite Sam's seeming lack of brute force or back up, the front entrance to the room had been sealed off from the other Anomalies and Sam was quite prepared to shoot if he needed to. Sam didn't doubt Rezia was aware of his position.

He waited until they were both out in the corridor before he shut the door and strode down the corridor not bothering to see if Rezia was following. If he was stupid enough to run, he'd be met with guards at some point Sam didn't doubt.

"I want to know kind you really are. Do you believe you have the strength to do what it takes to prevent pain? You're going to have a choice to make very soon Rezia. Make sure it's the right one. But first-"

He suddenly spun around to face Rezia.

"What do you think of Ember and Damion? I'm sure you know a little of their history- killers and torturers the both of them. And I need you to answer this honestly…"

The barest hint of a smile played on his lips.


"Do you think I have the capacity to force you to follow in their footsteps?"

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Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Rezia held his sister as tightly as he dared and continued to run his fingers through her hair to calm her. He kissed her head and rested his head against hers and closed his eyes. This day just needed to end. His own emotions were still fluctuating thanks to having to take in the anger and fear from others and the headache was ever present. The headache would probably dull by tomorrow for today, he knew it was going to be a constant. He would get through it like he got through all the others. He'd remain strong for Lydia and she would lean on him until she could stand on her own again. It was the least he could do for her. "I love you to, Lydia," he cooed to her. After a moment he shifted to lean against the wall to put them both in a more comfortable position and started to hum to his sister.

Sadly, it didn't last for much longer. Rezia heard a door and looked up startled. He thought the others wouldn't be able to get into the room. But that was an entirely different door and what stepped through was much, much worse. His silvery eyes widened in shock when he saw none other than Sam. What did Sam want from him and his sister? It was usually his sister the man called for and he protectively wrapped his sister in his arms but the woman that had accompanied had a medical kit. He returned his eyes to Sam warily. What was all of this about? Since when did he come and doctor up his 'patients'? He swallowed hard before he slowly maneuvered himself out of the bed and rested Lydia down softly for the woman to tend to. Rezia turned his gaze to Sam's feet then. He didn't want to accidentally lock their gazes. He didn't have the strength for that and he knew that if he did it, the energy required would kill him. Then what would happen to Lydia? Sam was already hinting that he was planning on killing Lydia eventually even if it wasn't today.

"I think you and I should take a little walk. For the little it's worth, I promise no harm will come to your sister while we have our little discussion. I can't say the same if you decide not to comply. I have a….proposition for you," Sam said then.

Rezia tilted his head to the side. Proposition for him? Dread filled the pit of his stomach. What was this proposition that Sam was hinting at now? They were never good things. Damn it! He just wanted Lydia safe and he knew that regardless of what this was, Lydia's freedom would never be the result. He swallowed hard before he gave a nod. "Okay," he answered Sam and slowly headed for the door. He paused once there and looked at Lydia before he continued to follow Sam. His heart was hammering in his rib cage like a hummingbird's wings and it hurt. Was this his fear or Delrium's? His eyes fluttered all around trying to find any information that may be necessary for survival later or in this current situation. He didn't trust Sam and it was obvious that complying with his agenda didn't often provide safety. Sam wanted to break them after all.

Rezia halted when Sam moved in front of him and began asking him questions he'd rather not provide answers to. Shit. Sam was going to make him kill someone, wasn't he? Up till now, Sam had allowed him and Lydia to simply be healers but now... was this the reason why they were thrown into the pit with the other two pairs who were far more volatile? To see if he could make them into killers to? To see if he could push them over the limit? He wanted to be stronger to protect Lydia but he also saw how the killing destroyed peoples minds. Damion and Ember were perfect examples of this. All they had left was a thin thread of hope for the other and everything else was dominated by the dark emotions. He didn't want to kill. He didn't want to become someone people feared and called monster. He didn't want to torture or be a murderer. He started to shake his head lightly but stopped the motion as Lydia's broken body came to mind.

He didn't want anything to happen to his sister. Her power was not viscous. She could put up a fight but everyone else was so much stronger than her. She wouldn't last long if things continued the way they were. He wanted to say that no, Sam could not make him a murder but he knew he could. Could he be just like Damion and Ember? No. Could he end up killing for Lydia's sake? Yes. He had already lunged at Damion and tried to physically restrain him when he had tried to eat. Wasn't that proof hat he would eventually learn how to kill and maim? He'd do anything to see Lydia smile again. It was an admission he didn't want to face and it ached. Rezia closed his eyes as he tried to figure out what to say now. If he lied and said no, Sam would know it was a lie and even if he didn't realize, Lydia would be hurt or taken away from him. He'd lose her. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place and he knew it.

"I highly doubt you are asking this of me to stroke your ego, but you already know the answer to your question, don't you?" he countered. "I know that regardless if I have the strength or not, it won't change what you planned. If I don't muster up the strength, I can well imagine what you'd do to my sister. I will do what I have to do to keep her safe. You know that," he answered. It wasn't anything new. Sam knew he was devoted to his sister. The man had 'raised them' since they were babies after all. He knew Rezia loved her more than anything and he had little love for himself. If Sam wanted him to be a killer, Rezia would find a way to become so. What do you really want from me, Sam?"

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Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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SAM

Sam couldn't hold back a chuckle at Rezia's reference to his ego. The rest of his comments were usefully insightful Sam thought as he listened in silence to the boy's reply, though he inclined his head slightly in affirmation of Rezia understanding his position. Good. At the very least Rezia wasn't in denial, nor did he seem to have any delusions of moral grandeur. While the end result wouldn't really be affected by these factors, it did mean it would take less time and effort. At this point he was a little impatient and having to strap the kid down and bleed him was not really Sam's ideal option. He needed quick submission, and thankfully that is what he go.

And then he got the question he'd been looking for.

His thin lips curled up in a malicious smile.

"I'm going to need you to kill someone for me."

He watched Rezia's reaction carefully, his gaze focusing intensely on the young man's face.

"I'll make it easy for you, no one will attempt to stop you, and I'll have the victim restrained until you've finished. Obviously due to your lack of useful abilities you'll have to use something mundane like a switch blade. We can't have you using something too lethal, as I'm sure you may find me a more tempting target otherwise."

His expression suddenly went hard at this last comment, an entirely obvious threat hanging in the air.

"However if you do get a strong urge to do something stupid, know that not one of the people back there will survive should I be taken out of action. And I can tell you right now, I've planned some unpleasant ends for each one."


His face immediately relaxed again to his normal rather distant expression of subtle boredom.

"Now I suppose it's time for you to pick the victim. Which would you prefer to kill?"

He casually looked down at his nails, seemingly absentmindedly cleaning the already surgically tidy cuticles.

"And don't even think about asking me or refusing. I will have a name now or I'll make sure Lydia's screaming yours in the next fifteen minutes."


Goodness he was enjoying himself. It was always amusing to warp the character of those in his possession. Especially when he backed them into a corner of making their own decisions. That way, while he had forced them into it, they had chosen the particulars. It was so much harder to clear a conscience when you had choices, even if every option was technically as morbid and grotesque as the others. A sudden thought occured to him at the last minute.

"I might also mention that martyrdom is not an option either. To make it very clear you can remove either Delirium, Whispers, Ember or Damion. There's not much point in mentioning Lydia in those options I suppose."

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Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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"I'm going to need you to kill someone for me."

Rezia knew that would be the case and so it really wasn't surprising that Sam would ask that of him. His face remained passive as it usually was when dealing with anyone other than his sister. It was a look Sam would be familiar with that meant that Rezia was both unimpressed and calculating the options. Killing someone was going to be hard for Rezia. He knew that it was one thing to say 'why yes, yes I'll kill someone for my sister' and another thing entirely to go about doing it. Since he had lunged at Damion before, he knew that he was capable of more than even he realized if put in the situation to act without thinking. The problem was, Sam never taught Rezia to fight nor had he ever been given the opportunity to learn how to defend himself. He wasn't sure how Sam would want him to go and do the deed.

And Sam again seemed to have an explanation that the victim would even be immobilized for him. Oh how nice of Sam. The thought made Rezia squirm a bit on the inside. Not only was he powerless, but now he was going to have to gut someone who had to be restrained. He really was worse than Damion and Ember and the other pair. They did what they did to defend and protect. They didn't need to have someone restrained for them. He really was so pathetic. And he was going to be given a small blade. Wonderful. This task was getting better and better, wasn't it? He was going to have to be very close to the person to deal the damage. At least since Lydia was a physical healer, Rezia learned a thing or two about where the vital points were so he could provide a quick death.

All of Rezia's notes and ideas immediately came to a churning halt when Sam then announced that Rezia himself would have to pick the target from among those trapped with him in his little game. Damn it and damn Sam! How the hell was he supposed to pick someone to kill? He didn't want to kill them. In the short period he interacted with everyone made him realize just how strong they all were and he wanted to help them if he could, not kill them. Rezia would rather kill himself but Sam already took that off the table, knowing Rezia's past tendencies to try suicide. He would have succeeded on several occasions if his sister hadn't taken away his wounds. It was the only reason why he stopped at all. He didn't want her to bear his scars and his pain. And if he didn't say a name, Lydia was going to be tortured.

Who do I pick?

Now he had to try and pick life or death from his fellow cell mates based on logic.

He could say his sister's name and end her misery. Then she wouldn't have to be tortured anymore or lose her light completely as he had. She would be free from her broken body and then Rezia still had that knife he had given her. He could kill himself afterward like she had somewhat hinted at earlier. But even if that was a better end, he had that tiny spark of hope that maybe, just maybe, they'd find a way out and Rezia wanted Lydia to have that chance. Besides, killing was hard enough without trying to kill his own flesh and blood. He'd never be able to do it and then she'd end up tortured or killed anyway. So, Lydia was a no go.

Ember... Ember was dangerous. She could take the wind out of you and she was so very broken. Killing her however would lead to Damion's ire and Damion was also very, very dangerous. One touch and his poison would eat you alive. Rezia could immobilize Ember if he had to with his gaze, trapping her and himself in a healing stare but that only lasted as long as his strength would allow. Regardless, it would leave Damion who was the larger threat in the duo. If he killed Damion instead, that would leave Ember and he'd get the same problem as before. Besides, Damion was starving himself because Lydia had asked him and for some reason, he was helping Rezia complete his task. Similarly, Ember had been careful when she cut Lydia's back. He had to take that into consideration. Scratch my back as they say.

That left Katherine and Whispers. Now Katherine also had tried to help him and his sister in the very beginning and Lydia had ended up stabbing her in the back quite literally with the syringe full of hallucinogens or whatever the hell had been in that liquid that still made Rezia's head spin. Sure Rezia had returned the favor by pulling out a lot of the effects of that medication, but overall, she had been the most malleable and friendly of all of them. She was on their side and Rezia didn't want to kill the only person that he could actually talk to and work out a plan of action. Rezia thought she was dead but Sam's inclusion of her name meant that she was indeed very much alive. And secondly, her power of illusion did not work on him so she really didn't pose a threat to Rezia and he could keep Lydia safe with his own mental abilities.

Now Whispers... Whispers was the problem. He was extremely volatile and there was almost no talking to him. He was a very angry person, which was understandable, but in this game of survival, Whispers was the greatest threat. Every interaction up to this point had led to pain and he did not think about the others in the area. The first interaction Whispers instigated a fight that nearly cost Rezia and Lydia their lives and he had hurt his own partner with his screeching. Then he had come out of his room obviously going aver Damion and Ember but again, he had no qualms for him or for Lydia who were still in the vicinity. He could not be trusted if his own partner could be 'collateral damage'. Katherine would be pissed and hurt if they went after Whispers, but unlike Damion and Ember, her power was useless towards him which was quite the win. And sparing Ember and Damion and eliminate their threat... that could bring Damion and Ember closer to their side and they could create some sort of helpful truce between them.

Then that seemed to settle things. Whispers would have to go if he wanted the path of least resistance that would also help them all in the long run. He was a bit surprised how calmly and easily he had rationalized the worth of the lives he had come into contact with, but that was for later pondering. He needed to give Sam a name.

"Whispers." he answered then without batting an eyelash. "I will kill Whispers for you. When is this going to happen?" he asked then. He wanted to know if he was going to have time to ruminate on his choices or get thrown right in without much time for contemplation. He wasn't quite sure what he preferred. He did not relish the thought of facing Lydia before or after this event. He did kind of want to get this over with though so maybe the sooner the better?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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SAM

Sam smirked at the boys confident reply. He hadn't expected Rezia to be so logical and calm about the whole thing. Ordinarily this would have irked him, however something about the ease in which he had managed to tamper with Rezia's morals was stroking his ego.

"If I'd known it was this easy to manipulate you Rezia, we would have been working together much earlier."

The truth was that Rezia hadn't seemed the sort to be able to deal with such a drastic fall from grace. He'd simply assumed the boy would bend and snap under the pressure and he'd end up with two dead Anomalies. It seemed he'd underestimated this silver-haired youth.

"To think I spent so long crushing Ember and Damion's spirits, and all I needed to do was say a few words to get you on board." Sam's eyes lit up with malice. "I will enjoy watching your first murder. Follow me."

He turned and continued down the corridor, taking a few left turns as he did so. As he strode decisively forward, he pulled a small remote out of his pocket and hit one of the small black buttons. Soon he was standing in front of an elevator door.

"And now it's high time I think you fulfil your proposed plan, however I must mention; I had no intention of following your suggestion. Whispers will live….for now. However, I'm sick of Delirium, so you will slit her pretty white throat for me. Understood?"

For the most part he talked to the elevator doors, but now he twisted his head around to glance at Rezia.

"I've sent my guards ahead of us. I do hope you don't mind an audience."


With that, his left hand snaked out and grabbed Rezia tightly around the wrist dragging him into the elevator. In one fluid movement his other hand flew forward, jamming a thin finger into the bottom elevator floor button.

"What is your sister going to think."








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The rage didn't die down in her eyes, however now a strong sense of exasperation tempered it out a bit.


"I won't agree to it." Her first words were strong, defiant; but then they dropped in volume."But even if I don't agree, I will never ever hate-"

Without warning an alarm went off in the common area. A feeling of utter horror tore through Ember as abruptly a whole cluster of guards poured into the room. Before she could react, two slammed into her almost knocking her to the floor causing her to cry out in panic. Instinctively she attempted to stab one of them with the knife, however her aim was thrown off with a shout of pain as the one behind smashed his fist into her wrist forcing her to drop the blade. Instantly a strong arm wrapped around her thin waist and a hand clamped over her mouth. She started to struggle before cold steel was placed at her throat. Immediately she froze her frenzied eyes roving around the room.

Damion was now similarly restrained. She sent him a frightened look noting the gun positioned behind his head and the three men ensuring his arms were pulled painfully behind his back. She didn't have much more time to take in the situation before both she and Damion were dragged out into the common area only to find more of the guards holding the others at bay. Delirium had been dragged out of her room with cold steal pressed against her throat. Most of the men had been dispatched to Damion and Whispers. Whispers had six focused solely on him. Two holding his arms, another with a knife also to his neck and a hand over his mouth and three more hovering in case they needed to intervene. Lydia was carried out of her room by one of Sam's medical team, though the guard trailing them couldn't be ignored with the gun he was holding. Sarah was the only one who had been left unrestrained, though one of the men had pulled her next to Whispers.

For a moment nothing happened, all Ember could think of was trying to breath and refrain from struggling when suddenly the elevator opened. Immediately her legs gave way and the guard restraining her was forced to half pick her up from the floor. Sam.. Such a strong wave of panic rolled over her Ember was sure she was going to pass out.

"Well it is nice to see you all in person." Sam's tone was relatively neutral, however his eyes lit up in a flash of pleasure.

He paused for a moment, letting his gaze role over each of the Anomalies in turn, before it rested on Ember.

"Goodness me. Both of you can release her- she's not that much of a threat surely?"

Instantly the knife was removed and the men stepped back causing her to stumble forwards slightly.

"Come here." He barked at her like she was dog, pointing down to the floor in front of him. Trembling she obeyed. As soon as she got close enough he grabbed her chin roughly and dragged her forward within an inch of his face. She blanched, her eyes going almost pure white in her fear. He only laughed at her.

"Close enough to kill me Ember, and yet still completely in submission." He smiled, his cobalt eyes gleaming evilly before he forced her head to the side to follow his own gaze her cheek brushing against his own. Damion was before them and her breath hitched as she began to fear for what Sam planned to do next.

"Don't want your pretty boyfriend to end up with a bullet in his brain do we Ember?"

She tried to ignore him, instead locking her eyes onto Damion's.

"How's the shoulder Damion?"

As if on cue, one the guards immediately slammed his fist down on Damion's injured shoulder. Ember responded with an involuntarily cry as she started forward to go to him without thinking. Automatically Sam's grip tightened harshly on her chin and he pulled her back.

"Don't you dare." His voice was a hiss.

Terrified she complied, her lips pressed firmly together in her effort to refrain from giving him any satisfaction from her begging. Suddenly Sam's arm slipped down her side forcing her closer to him as she went rigid.

"How does it feel Damion?" he asked silkily. "She'll do whatever I want simply to save your skin."

There was a pause and Ember was stuck in Sam's dangerous hands for what seemed like forever before suddenly he thrust her from him. She stumbled at her sudden release before catching herself.

Sam was already moving on.

"Fortunately Ember I'm not here for you. Bring Delirium here."

The guards dragged her before Sam, the knife pointing just underneath her chin.

"Whispers: you have no idea how long I've waited to enjoy this. Ember was of course right in saying I wouldn't dare kill Katherine without you watching and now it appears I have the perfect opportunity."

His reckless grin was abruptly replaced by a dangerous scowl.

"You were a fool Stephen; you should have done as I asked. Why on earth didn't you just drag Ember down? She doesn't respond well to words and discussion- she requires an iron fist and a prod to get her to do anything useful."

He then appeared to forget Whispers existed and instead turned to Lydia's broken form.

"Lydia, your brother on the other hand seems to be quite the opposite. And he's not so taken with the idea of me using such a brutal method on you. As such, I've found a new skill set that I'm quite excited to develop in him."

He turned around to seek out Rezia, before gesturing him over. Ember had been entirely unaware of the healer coming in with Sam.

"I actually gave him a choice on who he wanted to kill. Apparently, Whispers, you were his first option." Sam threw a look over to Stephen again "However, I'm the one running the game here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Delirium's sleep was rudely awakened by rough hands grabbing her out of bed. She was so stiff from her beating earlier that she didn't even fight back, she just groaned out in pain. They blind-folded her, which seemed redundant as she hadn't even opened her eyes yet. She also noticed a thin piece of fabric covering her hands. Gloves. They weren't taking any chances. A sinking feeling in her stomach made her feel like this was something serious. Rough hands pushed her to the ground and she stumbled, crying out in pain, blindly catching herself. They yanked her back up and pushed her forward. She felt a cold piece of metal press into her throat and she didn't have to guess to know it was a knife.

She assumed they would take her to Sam, but she was surprised when they only led her to the common area. She could tell because there was loud noises of the others being led in. Delirium vaguely remembered that she was barely wearing any clothing, and blushed deeply, halting slightly. The blade cut into her throat, drawing a few droplets of blood, yet she barely flinched. Weak, she drops to her knees in the middle of the room. She senses that there are several other people in here, hears them shuffling around. Then the man of the hour speaks. Sam. Her heart drops into her stomach as her own fears are confirmed.

Today is the day she dies.




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Sarah is trying hard to grab something out of reach, and failing. Digging up her past is like trying to dig a hole with a toothpick; frustrating a unsuccessful. Just as she seems to be finally seeing clearly, an alarm goes off, derailing her train of thought, and that brick in her mind slams back into place. She looks around calmly. Did she do something wrong? Is the building on fire or under attack? Guards suddenly rush in and begin to restrain Stephen. She nods, remembering how dangerous Sam said they were. She steps back and lets them do their job. One of them directs her to where she should stand. She nods and greets him gently, politely asking what is going on. He responds by saying there is a demonstration for research purposes, and that Sam will explain further, and that she is reminded to keep tabs on the thoughts during the demonstration. Sarah thanks him and watches carefully as the others are led in.

Sarah makes a mental note as she recognizes Lydia and Rezia from Sam's notes. However, another girl comes in, one that had been floating around Stephen's thoughts. Katherine. Thoughts are swirling around the room, and per Sam's request she does not monitor his (why would she waste her energies on someone that is not a test subject?). Ember's thoughts are filled with fear for Sam and protectiveness over Damion, mixed with undeniable hatred for Sam as well. Katherine's thoughts are filled with utter hoplessness and defeat. This appears to be the end of the line for her, she has given up on everything, and has accepted defeat. She wants to die. Stephen is angry, confused, a mixture of emotions she can not exactly tap down. She moves on like that through the rest of the people, and even delves into how Rezia perceives the other's emotions.

She begins to realize that this demonstration is an execution. Somewhere deep in inside she feels remorse, yet she does not show it on her face. She looks to the girl kneeling on the ground before Sam, and she is crying. Katherine. A vision flashes again, and she snatches on to it, wanting to remember.

"Stephen will think he killed you. He won't remember exactly. My illusion, it will mess with his head. I don't know what they will do to you Sarah. I'm sorry. You might not remember me, or him. Stay strong Sarah."

She blinks, and the memory is gone. She looks over to Sam, wondering why he kept so much information from him. She turns to the guard next to her and nudges his mind, gently telling him inside his head that she has a lot of information to report to Sam tonight. He nods, slightly irritated, not liking being told in his mind but knowing she shouldn't do it out loud.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Stephen Winters | The Rebel | Neural Disruption | #F70D1A

Before Whispers could answer the elevator opened and the troops swarmed in.

Unlike the ladybugs that rested gently on Sarah's fingers these guards assaulted and disarmed everyone who wasn't dressed in uniform. Six guards surrounded him alone, provoking him to scream but a swift dive left him restrained, muffled, and on the verge of being slit in the throat. He struggled against the arms of the guards, but stopped when he felt blood trickle down the edge of his knife He couldn't breathe let alone move so he was left to watch as everyone else was brought out. Like him, Ember had a hand around her mouth and Damion had several guards trailing him. Lydia was carried out of his room (no surprise that they didn't take extra precautions) and Delirium? He would be lying if he said he didn't feel terror strike his heart.

Katherine! Instinctively he called her by her first name, something he hadn't done since they stopped speaking. Sure, it may have only been an hour at most but he didn't mean what he said. Not completely. He only yelled at her for trying to defend Ember. For all the terrible words he said he didn't realize that they would be put in this position again. He didn't actually hate her, not really. If things were different he might have told her that he reciprocated his feelings for her. Yet they were here, hanging on by Sam's mercy and soon to be made an example of by him. Whether that meant death or the same treatment they put Ember to was only a matter of time.

Releasing Ember made Stephen's heart drop as he noticed her obedience; she couldn't muster the will to kill him despite being only a breath away. He supposed that she was a lesser example herself. If they died here, their dreams would too.

"You were a fool Stephen; you should have done as I asked. Why on earth didn't you just drag Ember down? She doesn't respond well to words and discussion- she requires an iron fist and a prod to get her to do anything useful."

"Because..." he wanted to say, but he didn't have any words to follow. He'd regretted the fallout since the moment he revealed the truth behind the meeting, but deep down he didn't want Sam to have the satisfaction of sinking so low. He didn't want to help Sam do anything even if it was Ember, his primary abuser. For all that he hated her and wished her death and had visions of dancing upon her corpse (some provided by Katherine) he--in that moment--had a change of heart.

Because I'm not you. And that's not what Sarah would have wanted me to become.

He barely heard the next set of words from Sam's mouth as he turned slowly toward the girl he started to accept as his sister but found her completely free of the Facility's attention. She was free to move. She was free to use her power. Or maybe she was allowed to.
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Just like Ember.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Image Lydia was hardly aware of anything when the woman pulled her away from Rezia, but she did reflexively try to reach for him before she was laid on her face on her bed. Cool hands were touching her neck, sweeping the hair away, and she felt the faint prick of an injection between sections of her spine. Almost immediately she felt a numb warmth spreading through her, silencing the connection between brain and muscles. She could hardly move. A bandaid was pasted onto the site of the tiny wound, and then the cool hands moved on, but Lydia was already eagerly allowing her consciousness to slip. She didn't know what was going on, but this was the perfect opportunity to sleep.

What seemed like a heartbeat later, she was being woken up again, someone was speaking by her ear. She blearily opened her eyes, murmuring Rezia's name. Her body still felt heavy and still, she could hardly lift her head at all, but she no longer felt so feverish, and the pain from her back was all but numbed too. Her head rolled to one side as she was lifted up carefully, eyes still only half open as she tried to process the situation. Where was she? Where was Rezia? Where were they taking her? The man carried her with one arm carefully under her back, avoiding the sites of the wounds to prevent them from reopening, and the other under her knees. One arm dangled uselessly, the other tucked against her body. Her head was facing outward, thankfully, as she didn't think she could move it on her own. At least she could see where they were going.

When they exited the room, the first thing her eyes landed on was Sam, which pulled her out of her sleep-glazed fog immediately. Her glassy eyes widened, weak breath hitching in her throat. "Rezia?" she mumbled again, searching for him with her eyes. Was this why he'd disappeared? She vaguely remembered hearing Sam's voice in their room after she was pulled off Rezia... but why? Why had they taken him? She'd done her task, Sam had no reason to hurt her brother.

Sam was talking now, and she had to assume that there were others in the room, but she couldn't see more than their figures in her peripherals, without a way to properly turn her head. Ember came into view for a few moments, stiff as a board as Sam put his hands on her, before being pushed away. And then Delirium was pulled into her line of sight, a knife to her throat, wearing nothing but her underwear. The first thought that came to Lydia's confused, panic stricken, and groggy mind was that the girl was surprisingly more curvy than she'd realized. She didn't look as wasted as the blonde knew her own body did. The girl swallowed the moment of irrational jealousy as the red-head fell to her knees.

Then things started clicking. Had Whispers not finished his task in time? Did that mean Delirium was going to die? Lydia felt her throat well up with sadness. Delirium had been nice to her. She'd tried to save her, only to be stabbed in the back. She didn't deserve this. Lydia's attention was pulled from the girl quickly, however, by a pair of blue eyes fixing on her. She didn't...she didn't understand what he was saying. Was...Rezia going to kill Delirium? But why? He'd never killed anyone before. They didn't even have offensive powers. What was the point of weaponizing him? Other than to laden guilt onto his psyche?

And then all of a sudden Rezia was within her field of view. Lydia stared at him, the slim muscles in her neck standing out as she strained to move to little avail. "Rezia!" she cried out, feeling her heart throbbing in her chest. But what could she say to him? Don't do it? What would that bring about? Then Sam would just kill the two of them, wouldn't he. She wouldn't mind it so much, her own death, but she didn't want Rezia to hurt. He was too precious, too kind. He'd be corrupted by this, she knew. Killing was something he'd never be able to wipe from his conscience. She didn't want him to hurt that way. But what choice did they have? And she knew, despite any pleading on her part, he would rather kill someone else than let her die.

She hardly heard Damion's outburst, her eyes were focused on Rezia unwaveringly, despite the tears building against her bottom lids. Tears of grief, tears of hopelessness and panic, tears of fear. What if this made him a monster? Would he still be her brother if he was a killer? She understood, she really did, and she'd love him no matter what, but what if she wasn't strong enough to prevent herself from flinching when he moved towards her after this? What if she couldn't swallow this fear?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Rezia stared at Sam. Easy to break? Maybe, but it seemed that Sam didn't realize that he was already broken. He had broken his spirit a long time ago. Maybe that was why he didn't truly care about the others. He only cared about Lydia and yet he himself had considered ending her life just so she could escape this life. How much more could he or Lydia break? And he found it hilarious that Sam said he hadn't realized how easy it was to manipulate him. Really? Both he and his sister had been doing what he wanted every time he asked it of them. He highly doubted Sam didn't know. Was he trying to goad him or something? Sam never did get much of a reaction out of him. Maybe that was what he was looking for now.

Rezia's eyes did widened however when Sam told him he was going to kill Delirium and not Whispers. He wasn't all that surprised that Sam wasn't going to let him kill Whispers, but Delirium? He thought Sam would want her to stick around a while. His first guess was that he would want to provoke Ember and Damion into something. Delirium had been far from his mind. Maybe this was the consequence of her going down instead of Ember. Shit. He didn't want to kill Delirium. This was really going to suck.

But wait! There was more. There was always more. Rezia's heart just about stopped when he realized he was going to have an audience. Damn it! Damn it damn it! How was he supposed to do this with an audience? It was going to be hard just with Delirium and Sam watching! He took a step back in his surprise but Sam then yanked him into the elevator. More than ever before he felt like a jack-rabbit cornered by hungry wolves. There was no way out of this. His heart was fluttering so hard and so fast, he could almost swear it was a humming bird slamming around in there, not a heart. He tried to control his breathing, not wanting Sam to get the satisfaction of seeing him this flustered and scared though he knew he couldn't hide his shaking.

Sam then of course had to mention his sister as if he wasn't flustered already. "L-Lydia?" Oh no! Sam was going to have Lydia watch this? His heart dropped. He didn't want his sister to see this. She didn't deserve to see her brother turning into a monster. And there was no way out of this now. It was going to be either Delirium or Lydia. He couldn't make Whisper's mistake and refuse. If he did, Sam was going to do something worse to Lydia, just like he was doing to Delirium. Tears filled Rezia's eyes for a moment and the elevator ride felt altogether too short and far too long. Rezia quickly blinked away the tears as the elevator doors slid aside. And he may have had his own ideas of the scene he would find himself but it was far worse than his own imagination, sad to say.

All around the room, people were lined in a circle like a standard execution. Damion... Ember... Whispers... Lydia...Everyone was bound save for one girl. He did not recognize the girl with the red hair but she resembled Whispers. He thought Whispers only had one sister. Or so he had assumed. Was this another sister? He swallowed hard but his mouth and throat were still too try in his anxiety. No one had noticed him yet. Rezia watched a bit horrified as Sam turned Ember into all but a whimpering doll. Her pain and fear was as plain as day. He was happy no one was looking at him though. He didn't want their haunting gazes. Especially Lydia's. He slowly moved behind Sam to try and keep himself hidden as long as possible. Their emotions were thick but they were far more stable when not aimed at him.

That didn't last long however. Like usual, Sam seemed to know what you wanted and what you didn't want. "Lydia, your brother on the other hand seems to be quite the opposite. And he's not so taken with the idea of me using such a brutal method on you. As such, I've found a new skill set that I'm quite excited to develop in him. I actually gave him a choice on who he wanted to kill. Apparently, Whispers, you were his first option." Whispers was going to kill him. Whispers was absolutely going to kill him. Sam had just sealed his fate. Not only was Whispers going to murder him because of Delirium, but also for his comment. Whispers was going to see him as a threat and his enemy worse than Ember or even Damion since he was the one actually here to kill Delirium. Lydia was going to be left to fend for herself. He didn't doubt that Sam was going to let Whispers have at him at some point. He was a bit surprised when Whispers didn't even look at him though. His eyes were focused on Delirium and the red head. Maybe for now, he had escaped notice but he was sure that Whispers would eventually aim his ire at him when Sam gave him the knife.

Rezia fidgeted where he stood, now in the spotlight of the situation. He could feel everyone's stares and each one felt like a brand. He was a bit surprised when Damion came to his aid. Or at least tried to. He looked over at the other man and tilted his head to the side. Why would he try to spare him Sam's game? They had a rare moment to just talk and connect but there was no reason for Damion to try and defend him and risk his own life or even Ember's. They weren't friends. It was touching however and he wished he could say something to Damion, but he didn't trust the situation. He didn't want Sam to make this whole event worse than it already was. He was already having a hard time dealing with all of this.

His eyes fleetingly danced over to Lydia when she called his name. He was afraid of what he would see there, what he would feel coming from her. He could already feel the anger, the fear, the despair coming from everyone and some of it was aimed at him but most of it was towards Sam which was understandable but no less burdening. All of the emotions were already weighing him down and he could feel his stability teetering on the edge. He couldn't handle their emotions and everyone else's emotions on top of that. Then his gaze dropped to Delirium's feet. He couldn't even look up at her. "I am so sorry Delirium..." he barely breathed. It wasn't fair that he had to kill the one person besides his sister he would have called friend. Tears rimmed his lashes and he just stood beside Sam, waiting for the final play. Was Sam getting one execution or two?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Sick twisted relief filled her as Sam released her. Relief that she wasn't to be killed then and there, and relief that his dangerous gaze was no longer fixed on Damion. Again the old Ember shuddered at how acutely relieved she was currently feeling at the expense of someone else, but logic and self-preservation won out.

Sam would kill someone else and it would all be over for a little longer…Rezia. Slowly the name filtered through the dark euphoria of her release. She frowned, and dared to look up again at the horror show unfolding in the middle of the room. No. Abruptly there was an outpouring of grief so strong that the old Ember found herself re-emerging. Sam's new plan of twisting and corrupting another innocent into a killer was strong enough to break into Ember's past.

She was struck dumb for a few seconds. A shocked, empty expression masking her face as Damion shouted out his objections. All she could see was her earlier victims. She re-felt all the emerging horror of her initial murders; the slow deliberate action of wrenching the life from their lungs.

Sam was laughing at Damion now. His cold blue eyes alight with evil mirth.

"Please…" The word fell out of her mouth like lead.

Instantly Sam stopped mocking Damion and turned to her. She shrunk back like a wounded animal.

"Please what, Ember?" Sam spat out the words with force.

Unconsciously her eyes slid over to Rezia, before darting back to Sam. Her mouth went dry with her slight chest rising and falling at the edge of hyperventilating.

"What the hell are you both wanting?" Sam's voice was a roar this time. "Don't want him ending up as sick as the pair of you? There's no fear in that. He wasn't born with an ability with the only capacity to kill or torture people."

Ember wept then, uncontrollable sobs wracked her body. This only served to make Sam even more furious.

"Shut up Ember. You and Damion are pathetic. You think I somehow can twist Rezia and make him a monster like the pair of you? Fools. I didn't make you killers, you did that all by yourselves. It's in your very nature- both of you innate killers. What else can you use your precious ability for Ember? Ripping out the very air from someone's lungs? What else do you think you were made for? You-"

"Sam, stop!" Ember's choked cry cut him off.

Instantly Sam strode over and struck her hard across the face. She crumpled to the floor.

"Never interrupt me. And you-" he jammed a finger over in Damion's direction. "- don't you dare say another word. I am this close…"

Held up a finger and a thumb inches apart.

"This close to torturing her to death."

He left the threat in the air for a few seconds, his face the picture of thunder. Ember made no move to get up. Finally turned his back on her and made a bee line for Rezia. He jammed a small pocket knife into the boys hand, before shoving him in the back towards Delirium.

"I've had enough of this. Slit her throat open. Now."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Laughter. There was laughter echoing in the air. Bouncing around and around the walls of his mind. For a moment thats all he could hear was that sick, twisted, mocking laughter. There was nothing else. No one else. There was a small noise, almost incomprehensible to Damion's ear that pierced through the noise like a javelin rushing through the wind. Then it stopped It stopped and the fear running through his body freezing his very blood as is spread through his veins grew larger, and colder, and larger still. More so than when it began. Why had it stopped?

He forced himself to look up from the floor at Sam. He was glaring at Ember with a look that burned like acid on skin. And it was terrifying. He spoke to her like fire. And to both of them he spoke truth. An ugly, ugly truth but a truth nonetheless. Sam had asked them what they wanted. Said that they didn't want Rezia to be sick like them. And there was truth there. They were pathetic, they were monsters, killers born for nothing else but killing. They were just as they had always been from the moment they were born. There was truth there too. In the face of this truth he could do nothing but stare at its source desperate for words but too frightened to say anything.

Then there was a loud smack. He hit her. He hit Ember and his blood was as boiled as it was deadly. Yet he could say nothing. Damion had angered Sam enough. It was his fault Sam struck her. If he had just stayed silent they would have stayed safe. When Sam pointed a finger in his direction it might as well have been a gun pointed at his head. Oddly enough the actual gun pointed at his head didn't frighten him nearly as much as it should have. Sam had threatened to kill Ember if he spoke so much as a word and so he stayed silent.

He did however spare a glance first at Rezia then at Delirium. His eyes lingered on the condemned. She helped him, he was reminded of that from the hunger that still tore its way through his stomach. She made it bearable for a time. Delirium was good he could see that now. Far smarter and more reasonable than her partner. She was good. And she was going to die tonight. At the hands of a kid as innocent as they came. For a brief moment a thought passed through his head and was then promptly buried under ten tons of guilt. They could have prevented this. If he had pushed Ember harder been brave enough to tell her that they had to go down. Even if he had brought it up sooner perhaps Whisper would have been able to complete his task. Perhaps Rezia would be spared the blood on his hands, and Delriuem spared a knife to the throat.

What lay before Damion's eyes now was nothing but an execution, horrifying and terrible he did not want to look yet he could not look away. Some part of him was screaming to stay strong show no weakness no matter how much strength his previous displays had possessed. In the moment he told himself he would do nothing. He would not cry, nor look away he would keep his composure he would be exactly as he would have not long ago. But that man was dead and between the time it took for a blade to change hands everything was different.

Rezia was not Rezia and Delirium was not Delirium. He had black hair, wore black clothes, an aura of blackness almost seemed to follow him. She was small and svelte, innocent but eyes like a mountain. No older than thirteen yet she would not waver. Not as the man with trembling hands and leaking eyes awkwardly stumbled towards her. Not as black turned to pale white. Not as terrified hands gripped her throat. She did not waver.

Until the burning started. Mountains crumbled, forests withered, rivers blackened in an instant everything wavered. The smell of dying skin filled the air, silence was broken by unmeasured screams, like they were begging for death. But it would not come. Not even as the burning spread over her body, and what was beautiful and alive and full no longer was. Everything within the tiny room was breaking.

It was ugly, ugly, so horribly ugly. And in that moment he could do naught but turn and look away.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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#, as written by Haas33
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Sarah shifted uneasily on her feet. So much emotion was clouding the room, and though she filed it all away, each person having their own folder of thoughts and feelings, she didn’t understand it. She didn’t mentally or personally understand why Ember felt so much remorse over her life and how it was now being reflected upon Rezia. She simply felt the waves of sadness wash over her, and Sarah recoiled from them.

Her mind couldn’t comprehend the dark labyrinth that was Damion’s mind. She was almost stuck inside of it, as he was. It hurt to read his mind, and she pulled away. She felt wetness in her eyes and again began to wonder if maybe her body was reacting when her mind wasn’t.

Her throat felt dry, and she suddenly had the urge to flee the room. No, she didn’t want to see someone die. Killing was bad, she knew killing was bad, even if it was for scientific reasons. This was hurting people. Clarity flashed across her mind, lancing through her brain. She nearly cried out in pain, but she merely flinched, and then regained her composure.

She looked around, truly looked around, and wanted to drown in her sorrow. She saw the man she hated, and the brother that she loved. She had to do something had to stop this execution. It was wrong. A cruel voice in the back of her mind whispered It’s for science. They are going to die anyway. She needed to do something while she could still think straight. Gently, she reached out to Stephen’s mind.

Stephen, please don’t react. I don’t have much time, I don’t think clearly for long. I don’t remember anything. I- Sarah recoiled as Sam’s voice suddenly rang out

”This close to torturing her to death.” Sarah’s thoughts rattled around, her train of thought lost, already she could feel her mind slipping. She looked back to Stephen, but already she couldn’t remember what she had been talking about. Her mind went blank, and so did her face.

She went back to documenting thoughts of those around her. Her damaged mind wasn’t good for much else. In the back of her mind she might think that maybe it had been made for that reason. She didn’t react as a knife was put into the hands of Rezia.




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Kill me. Please kill me. Please just do it. Over and over the words tumbled in Delirium’s head. She was nearly crumpled on the ground, restrained but she didn’t need to be, she was too weak to fight back anyway. Sam was finally going to kill her. End her miserable life.

Her stomach turned over, however, as a name was called out. Rezia. Rezia would kill her. Not that she would care who ended her. She knew it was over. Her wild spirit had finally been crushed. But this would destroy Rezia. And Lydia was here. Sam was trying to break all of them to pieces. Delirium wished she wasn’t blindfolded, if only so she could communicate with Rezia, or attempt to create an illusion for him, so he wouldn’t have to see Lydia’s face during this.

However, she was completely incapacitated, and could do nothing but wait for the bite of the knife against her throat. She completely ignored what Sam and all the others were saying. It didn’t matter anymore. Nothing really mattered now. Delirium began to silently cry.

”I am so sorry Delirium..” She heard Rezia say. Delirium attempted to reach out to him, but the guards stopped her.

”Stay strong Rezia.”

”I’ve had enough of this. Slit her throat open. Now.

It is sad to think that all her life has surmounted to this. She never had a family, never had a normal life. Just this twisted version of life that Sam created.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Stephen Winters | The Rebel | Neural Disruption | #F70D1A


The realization hit him in waves.

It first started with the connection that Ember and Sarah were both free of the guards that held back everyone else. The implication of Sam's words (or rather, his lack of them) toward Sarah versus Ember who received an earful. Was she a dog like one of them? Was she one of those weak anomalies whose resolve couldn't hold against Sam's torture? He hated the thought. He couldn't conceive it. Sarah had been his rock for so long and her memory for even longer. To think that all this time she'd been broken too didn't make sense. If she had a breaking point would he as well?

More importantly what hand did she have in everything that has happened since?

Has she killed like these two have? Is she secretly a Dark One too? He bit back the urge to fight out of the guards' grasp and instead, locked eyes with Delirium who had been dragged outside for this spectacle. He shattered any trust he had in the redhead but with everything that happened he would not have been surprised if she played a role of her own. He had so much he still wanted to ask and here he was watching her die.

The second wave told him something simple; he was selfish.

After Sarah "died" he tried to turn Katherine into her replacement yet as soon as she showed signs of weakness he discarded her love. Worse yet, he'd said all of those terrible things and trusted Sarah at the first utterance of "brother" as though Katherine didn't matter anymore. Now that she was about to die he wanted nothing more than to have her back--to beg for her forgiveness because he knew that losing Sarah once was enough. He couldn't bear the pain of another execution.

I'm sorry Katherine. I'm sorry. For the first time in years he felt tears welling in his eyes and a weakness in his body from the pain Sam made him relive.

Stephen, please don’t react. I don’t have much time, I don’t know think clearly for long. I don’t remember anything. I-

The third wave hit in the form of Sarah's voice, something that despite his best abilities could not suppress his reaction. His muscles tensed with a mixture of anger and hope. Telepathy? She had telepathy now. She was also still "there" in the smallest bits. She might have been broken, but perhaps he could fix it--no they could fix it if they managed to escape. He kept his eyes on Katherine, but now thinking of some way to save her. If he were lucky Sarah could break free again or perhaps Rezia would go after Sam instead. He and Damion were too frozen to be of use but there needed to be a third option.

He had to pray that one of them would find it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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'What the hell do you even gain by turning this kid into a murderer you sadistic devil?'

'Rezia?'

'Stay strong Rezia!'

'I am this close! This close to torturing her to death!'


Rezia's head was spinning as the words ran in his ears over and over again as Sam thrust the cold steel into his hand and shoved him towards Delirium. He felt so sick to his stomach but even he couldn't tell what the cause was. Everything inside of him was seesawing. His own trepidation and disgust with the situation was overwhelmed by all the emotions in the room. They were a torrent berating the fringes of his senses and mind. Rezia was going around and around on an invisible merry-go-round and he was getting dizzier by the second. Was he hyperventilating? He couldn't focus on anything and every time his eyes did settle on one thing, someone else's emotions whisked him away. He couldn't find anything to center on to try and calm his mind. He just... he just needed something to cling to and rise his head above it but no one was letting that happen and the overwhelming feeling was beginning to suffocate him.

Sorrow, fear, pity, anger, disgust, horror.

It was rampant. Rezia's eyes filled with tears, his body beginning to shake from the overwhelming emotions coming from everyone. He squeezed his eyes tight and he bent forward, his hands flying up to cover his ears. He needed the music. He needed the music but there was none here he could use as an escape. It was the only noise that was ever loud enough to block out the 'voices' of emotion that flooded him. The tears now ran on his face, his heart rattling in his chest and boiling his blood. He couldn't escape it as it threatened to drag him down into the black hole he never wanted to return to but there was no stopping it.

"S-stop...." he whispered. "Please...I-I c-can't..." but no one took notice of his little please. The emotions were just getting worse. Even Damion's emotions had become directed at him, his anger and fear at Sam... And then Delirium herself was pitying him. She wasn't worried about herself at all. Rezia barely cut off the cry that threatened to bubble up. He forced his eyes open and he glanced up, his eyes locking up Delirium's open and tortured gaze.

"”I’ve had enough of this. Slit her throat open. Now,” Sam fueled.

His anger spiked through Rezia, and the poor boy squeezed his eyes shut. "STOP IT!" he cried out. His mind locked onto Delirium as she was the closest person to him and his eyes opened to lock their gazes as his powers reached towards her mind. This time, instead of pulling away all the negative emotions out of Delirium, Rezia's eruption of power tore through the woman's mind like wolf ravaging a kill. It thrashed the woman's mind and Rezia took the positive emotions inside Delirium's mind. And once the power had been unleashed, Rezia couldn't stop or pull away from her. By the end of it, Rezia felt... different. The emotions were still swirling, but it wasn't the negativity he was used to. It was bubbly and cheerful and he felt so alive. He almost felt rejuvenated. The multitude of emotions bubbled up inside of him and Rezia found himself laughing in elation. It was almost maniacal and he couldn't stop. His eyes were suddenly a vibrant gold as if he had been well rested enough to return to his full strength. He couldn't understand what was happening. All he knew was that for the first time in ages he felt happy. He felt happy and excited and full of energy. He liked this feeling.

Then he remembered where he was and what was happening. When he blinked, he still had the widest grin on his lips and little chuckles escaped him like he was high. His eyes settled on Delirium and his eyes widened. The smile faded and he just stared at her. Delirium was staring at him but her gaze was vacant. There was nothing there. No emotional flicker or recognition on her face. He had ripped away all her emotions and left behind nothing more than an empty shell. Katherine was gone.

"D-Delirium?" he called and waved a hand in font of her face. There was absolutely no response. "What... what have I done?" he asked softly, shell shocked. New emotions were rising. Fear and guilt at the elation he still felt even now faced with a Delirium he had destroyed mentally. He had never felt such power before. He never knew that he could do something like this. What was this going to mean for him here on out? Rezia slowly raised the knife he was still holding and pressed it against Delirium's arm and left a small scar just to see if he would get a reaction out of her but there was nothing. She really was dead while awake... a zombie. That was the only word he had for this new state before him.

What have I done? And why am I so happy about it?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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#, as written by Shané
SAM

Sam didn't react to Rezia's pleas for him to stop, except for the corner of his mouth to drop in a grimace of distaste. These kids never learnt; he didn't have an ounce of pity for their cries. In fact, if anything it encouraged him to do worse. However considering his previous display of loss of control with his temper at Ember, Sam decided to press his mouth in a hard, firm line and to just wait for Rezia's display of weakness to transform to one of despairing acceptance. That was not the expression from Rezia he got.

Sam's face became a mask of concentration as he watched Rezia's eyes lock with Delirium. This was no pause fueled by panic, something was definitely happening. Rezia's eyes were changing colour rapidly. This entirely unexpected turn of events caused Sam to immediately reach for his gun, preparing to shoot Rezia in case this sudden change brought an unexpected danger to Sam's person. A bark of laughter caught Sam off-guard and he paused, his finger slipping off the trigger and spared the boy's life temporarily. Rezia's laugh cut off he was left standing with a lopsided grin on his face. Then as his eyes began to focus again, the smile faded. One eyebrow cocked as Sam watched these changes warily. Rezia no longer was being fuelled by some strange euphoria, now there was realisation of some sort of negative consequence involving Delirium….

Abruptly Sam's cold blue eyes whipped over to the girl. And just as Rezia's smile had faded, Sam's now grew.

"Well well well." There was evident glee in Sam's chuckle as he pushed Rezia aside to have a good look at Delirium….or what was left of her. The shell didn't react to the seeping knife wound the boy had given her. Automatically Sam drew back his hand and struck her as hard as he could across the face. The body leant wildly off balance before righting itself shakily back on its feet. The face remained unchanged aside from the immediate redness and swelling caused by the blow. For a moment Sam stared thoughtfully at the figure, his hand bought under his chin as he considered this new result.

"Now Rezia that is dark, even for me." His words were plain, simply stating his thoughts without expression. Then his face brightened a bit. "Goodness me that will be fun to toy with."

He turned and looked over at Whispers.

"Just to make sure this isn't some sort of trick….you can come over and say hi. I'm not a fool Whispers, make one move that I don't like and you can rest assured this time I will make a point of actually killing your sister."

Nothing happened for a few seconds. Sam scowled.

"Let him go!" He snapped at the guards surrounding Whispers. Once they did so, he gestured over to Delirium. "Go on. I want to make sure she's as empty as she appears."



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Ember shuddered all over at Sam's threat to kill her. She felt stone cold as thought the floor was leaching all the heat from her body. She didn't dare move up from her position on the floor, instead drawing her knees and elbows in to a foetal position. She wished she hadn't fallen facing Sam, Rezia and Delirium, but she could wish all she liked, nothing was going to change that. Somehow she couldn't look away as Rezia was handed the knife.

He started to beg Sam to stop. A dull, warm aching started in her chest at that. Her head growing heavy and a wave of strong emotion making it feel thick and painful. The burning, pricking sensation of tears threatened to overflow, but she blinked them away furiously. Her tears were as useful as his pitiful cries- they only served to fuel Sam's fire. Then the pleas stopped. Silence. Rezia and Delirium were locked into some sort of weird eye contact, for a second Ember lifted her head up off the floor to try and understand what was going on. She wished she hadn't. What she saw made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, and a shiver of trepidation ran up her spine. He started to laugh…and the worst thing was it wasn't like Sam's cold, unforgiving laughter, rather it was warm filled with true pleasure.

Her heart was thudding violently in her chest; this was so wrong. She had to have seen it all wrong. But when she glanced back up his eyes were molten and Deliriums eyes were cold. So cold they were dead. The last remaining blood in her face disappeared as her veins constricted leaving her face ashen. Suddenly it was extremely difficult to breath, panic swirled into her head and her hands began to shake so violently she feared she was going to have a fit.

Sam released Whispers, but she couldn't watch anymore. The panic started to build upon itself forming another strong attack of fear and despair. The tension grew and formed up such a large battering ram against her fragile mind that her head began to ache abhorrently. All of a sudden there was a sudden click in her mind and the everything paused. Instantly her hand stilled, her breathing froze and her eyes stared vacantly ahead. Time was momentarily held in this strange limbo, before her mind caved in and gave up.



And there was simply nothing. Unconsciously her finger started to drum on the cold white floor. Twick twick twick. Her nail clicked cleanly on the white-washed concrete. Twick twick twick. Somehow that sound kept her in a lull and her eyes fixed on the white edge of her nail as it continued to hurtle itself down into the concrete floor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Sarah Winters Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Rezia Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Sam Pravus
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Rezia only looked at her for a few moments. His face was taut with obvious distress. She felt her own heart thudding in her chest, bouncing closer and closer to her throat, as if it were intending to suffocate her. How could he do this to Rezia? They always did what they were told; they never caused trouble, so why? What had they--what had he--done to deserve this? Lydia swallowed, trying to push her heart back down into her chest where it belonged, but she still struggled to breathe, her eyes fixed on Rezia. She didn't want to look, but she knew she had to.

So helpless...

A flash of silver signified a blade changing hands. Now Rezia was holding it. His body shook. Tears streamed down his profile, and Lydia felt tears burning on her own lower lids in sympathy for her brother's pain. He was doing this for her. She wished she could rein herself back, give him something calm to hold on to, but her own thoughts were eating their tails, circles and circles of fear and despair. She saw his mouth move, some small, quivering sounds emerging that she couldn't hear from her distance, over the rush of blood in her ears. Then Sam made his imperative.

Rezia cried out in anguish, a plead to stop. Why was this happening? Why them? They'd never done anything wrong. She wanted to go to him, do anything but hang limply in the arms of one of the security personnel and watch her brother struggle.

Then his body shifted slightly. She'd seen it happen enough to know that he'd accidentally connected with Delirium's mind. Silence. Silence. Silence. Then, all of a sudden, a sound. Laughter. Rezia was laughing? A waterfall of giddy sounds tumbling from him. He sounded relieved. Delirium wasn't moving. What was going on? What had he done? A flash of gold told her that his eyes were filled again--he'd been rejuvenated. What had he done? What had he done to her? Horror filled Lydia's chest and throat, pooling in her mouth. She couldn't speak, couldn't call out to her brother as she put together what must have happened.

He'd killed her. He'd killed her. He'd killed her with his mind, and it somehow restored his power. Which meant he had the power to kill. Lydia could hardly see though the blur of tears and the fear spinning through her. What was this? What was he? She wanted to vomit. Was that her brother?

His laughter, which had died down to occasionally hysterical giggles, was completely gone now. She could hear his voice speaking, but she couldn't hear what he was saying through the muzzy haze within her mind. She was breathing loudly, almost gasping for air, but she couldn't bring herself to speak. She dropped her eyes to the ground; she didn't want to look anymore;she didn't want to be here anymore. Maybe this was all a dream? A bad, bad dream. This wasn't Rezia. It would have been one thing if he'd used the knife, but he hadn't, he hadn't, and he'd laughed. It had made him feel better. That was the most terrifying thing.

The expression she'd seen on his face the moment before tears clouded her vision was one of elation.

Was that her brother?