And then there were four

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Interlude - And then there were four
Post by The Sacred Digits on Feb 16, 2007, 10:33am

«Note: This isn't a mission, but will have ramifications on an ongoing plot with a specific character that has been officially blessed by the player of the character in question. Also has ramifications on a few other characters. Therefore, it will be in the missions section solely for overall plot importance, so that it doesn't get lost in the social shuffle.»

«Additionally, this thread is designed for four (five) specific characters. If you are not the player of one of those characters, you are welcome to read, and even post OOC, but please respect the intention of the topic.»

Gerald Stryker

I know the end is coming. Which makes it clear what I have to do. He needs to be stopped. I intended to stop him, and I could have, but I hesitated.

Fortunately, I have friends. Friends who will be here and who will be able to stop him. Friends I can depend on. Anyone you fight a Demon Bear with can be considered a friend. I even consider him a friend still, which makes this even harder.

I need to do it now. This morning was a rough morning. I'm not sure I'll see another.

I call up Lex and ask him to come down.

Lex. I remember when he lit my shirt on fire because I made fun of Jubilee. I remember when I saved him from Exodus' influence. I remember when we blew off a mission to try to help Roxanne. I remember when he tried to help me with the Virus, and all I could think to do was knock him out. And I remember, most of all, having to screw up his life and mindwiping him. I owe Lex something, but it there's one thing I've learned, it's that we can't always deliver on the debts that we owe.

I call up Curt and ask him to come down.

Curt. I was never close to him, but he was there when it started. He was like me in some ways, a loner, uncomfortable with the group, but wanting to try. And he's also like me in that we were both devastated by the conflict with Apocalypse.

I call up Wreck and ask him to come down.

Wreck. There's only one thing I can remember. I know that there was much more, but whenever I think of Wreck, I think of one thing. I think of him saying that if I had the Legacy Virus, my telepathy would get better and better until my head exploded. He didn't know then, so I can't hold it against him. But I can't get past it.

And finally, I call up Roxanne and ask her to come down.

Roxanne. My best friend. And my biggest failure. That's all I can think of without crying. I cry anyway, but I hope she doesn't notice.

«Player note: you can feel free to not come. I won't be sad.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 16, 2007, 10:37am

[I'll be damned if I miss this! Just a question: We're 'coming down' to the infirmary, right?]


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 10:38am

«No, Gerald's in his room. Beast's hooked up stuff remotely for him.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 10:40am

«Yeah, no way I'm missing this. I was suprised to read Lex's name, but YAY!»

I'm really wondering what this is about as I walk down the hall to Gerald's room. I reach the door and knock.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 10:42am

"I apologize that I'm not able to get that for you…come in."

Gerald looks in REALLY bad shape, by the way. Limp, probably lost almost all his muscle mass, and covered in lesions.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 10:45am

I open the door and slowly enter. Gerald looks terrible, not that I'd say that out loud…hell he probably heard me think it.

"Hey…" I say as I sit down in a chair near his bed.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 10:47am

"Hi Lex. Now we just wait for the others."

I turn off the TV, which was showing MST3K. It actually takes a surprising amount of effort to hit the button. I glance over, hoping Lex didn't notice that.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 16, 2007, 10:47am

Every once in a while, I get these…feelings. It's subtle. My skin crawls, my heart beats a little faster, the hairs on my neck stand up - Rogue calls them 'premonitions', but I just call them creepy. It's kind of like a part of my mind is picking up on something that the rest of it just doesn't get.

As I walk towards Gerald's room, head hung low, feet shuffling, I'm seriously getting that feeling.

I spot Lex standing outside Gerald's door and walk in alongside him…and the minute I do, I almost wish I hadn't. Not because I don't want to see Gerald, not because I'm afraid, it just hurts to see him like this. It's hard to even tell he's the same Gerald I knew and hugged and loved. He looks like he'd fall to pieces if I just touched him now…but I do look at him. I have to.

I walk in slow, behind Lex, wave. "Gerald…I'm sorry."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 10:53am

"Hi Roxy. Nothing to be sorry about, honestly. I'm fine with what's happening…I just wanted to have a…reunion while there's still time. I mean, I've been thinking about the campfire…and the bear…and all of that, and something else too, but I really want to wait until everyone else gets here. And by everyone else, I mean Wreck and Curt."

I consider for a moment.

"But they might not come. We'll see."

It's hard not being able to tell those things anymore, not even being able to tell what Lex and Roxy are thinking. But it's for my own good.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 11:01am

God it's so hard to even look at Gerald right now…

"Gerald…I…" I'm at a loss for words.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 11:05am

I try to lighten the situation a little.

"Oh, don't worry. I didn't want to make you guys uncomfortable. If you want, we can watch some Mystery Science Theatre while we wait for them."

I try to turn the TV back on, but the remote falls out of my hand, hits the floor, and the batteries eject.

"Or we could just…not."

I turn away. In a way, I should have done this sooner, but I had to wait til the last possible instant. Good going, Gerald. They didn't need to see this.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 11:13am

Wow…this is hard to watch.

I grab the remote and pop the batteries back in, I put it next to Gerald on the bed but I stay silent.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 11:16am

«I'm headed home, I'll be back in like 10-15 minutes.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Wreck on Feb 16, 2007, 3:09pm

Wandering in as well, Wreck appears fairly expressionless. It dawned on him that he hadn't even spoken to Gerald in ages. So, he does the first thing that comes to mind.

"Hey, Gerald. Sorry about that whole Legacy comment thing ages ago. If I'd know this would have come of it, I might have held off for a few minutes on bringing it up."

Lame, lame, lame.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 3:12pm

"Hey Wreck. It's cool. In fact, I didn't even think about it until you just brought it up, really."

Damn it, it was a lot easier to lie when I was a telepath.

"Anyway, I don't think Curt is coming, so we have a quorum of what's left of…us. There's something important I need to tell you before I die."

I pause.

"That last sentence sounded much less corny when I rehearsed it."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 3:15pm

What is he going to say?

"Alright, we're listening."

Or at least…I am.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 3:18pm

I sigh deeply.

"It's about personal business and looking after our own. See, a few weeks ago…I spoke with Dillan, and he offered me a way out of this. And I took it. And then, after I took it, I realized that it wasn't worth it."

I look seriously at them.

"Do you have any idea what Dillan is doing? Because I do, and it needs to stop. I've told Xavier a little…because I had to…but I think that this is something that will be much easier for you…er, us."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Wreck on Feb 16, 2007, 3:20pm

"I'm fully aware," Wreck mutters darkly. "He can't leave well enough alone, even when apparently he's going to doom the universe if he doesn't."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 3:22pm

"Gerald…you're creeping me out, man."

I sigh.

"I really don't know what Dillan is up to…he's only told me bits and peices."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 16, 2007, 3:23pm

"Wait…what's up with Dillan? I haven't seen him around lately or anything." I hate when I miss out on stuff…I get the feeling there's a lot they're leaving out, too.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 3:25pm

"Well, Lex, hopefully you can forgive me for this as I'm on my death bed and all, but I've already had to mind wipe you three times to keep you from stopping him, back when I was convinced he was doing the right thing, although the main reason I was convinced was because of a miracle cure that wasn't quite a miracle."

I glance at Roxanne and Wreck.

"And once each for you guys, so you don't feel left out. I'm sorry, I really am. I was desperate, I didn't want to die, and Dillan…well, he said the right things at the right times."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 3:28pm

"Wait you…what…Jesus…this is fucking insane…"

I don't really know what to say. I should be angry, but I'm just…not.

"I..I guess…I guess I forgive you…."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 3:31pm

"Well, here's the best part, Lex."

I sigh.

"After I die, and after you put me in the ground, you will all remember it all. All of it. It was, at the time, well, I really didn't want to…I still wish I hadn't…it was…look, I was desperate and I'm sorry. Which doesn't excuse it, but please…I was desperate and I'm sorry."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Wreck on Feb 16, 2007, 3:34pm

"…..wait, when exactly did you do this to me? I'm extremely curious."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 3:35pm

"I just said I forgave you man, it's just…wow…"

I pause.

"What exactly is Dillan doing?"


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 16, 2007, 3:35pm

It takes a moment for that to sink in…it hits hard. Gerald's always been this beacon for me, really, and I can't - no, I won't think he'd ever do something that would hurt me. He wouldn't. "If you did that, Gerald…I'm sure you had a good reason. I mean…I'm sure. I forgive you."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 3:36pm

"Wreck, I can't explain now. Please don't ask me to. I want to go in the ground as a hero. That's all I want now. Let me be a villain later."

I'm almost pleading.

"Roxanne…just…if it's any consolation…you're the one who convinced me to do the right thing. But in doing so…I couldn't let you remember it…not yet."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Wreck on Feb 16, 2007, 3:45pm

"Man, I think I've said this a thousand times now, but…..I've already gone to Hell once. I think I've messed up things badly enough that I'm in no position to judge anyone, ever. Don't worry about it."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 3:52pm

"Right. I appreciate the vote of confidence. We'll see if you feel the same way when you remember."

I start coughing, and have a hard time stopping. When it finishes, I lay back, weaker than before.

"What Dillan's doing is, quite simply, trying to rearrange the timeline to stop all suffering. Or that's what he intended to do. When push came to shove, I'm not exactly sure if we averted nearly as much suffering as we caused. I should say he, because he did most of the legwork, but as I knew everything he did, I was as much a party to it as if I was beside him pulling the trigger. When I confronted him with the fact that we had done countless immoral acts to push this moral agenda, he told me that it didn't matter. He said that the people he was killing were just the bad people. But they weren't. They were just the people that were in his way."

I sigh again.

"It wasn't until I found myself chronically mindwiping my friends that I realized how low we'd sunk. I wore the rose tinted glasses for weeks."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 16, 2007, 4:02pm

"Gerald…I haven't even seen you in weeks. How exactly did all this work?"


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 16, 2007, 4:05pm

"It will all be clear to you in a few days, Lex. Just give me a few days to die, and then you'll know."

Am I being selfish? It would probably be better to get them on the case now, but I really don't want to die with them hating me.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:12am

Next topic.

"Lex, I need to ask you something…it might be kind of…a lot to ask."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:17am

"Uh…alright. I'm listening."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:19am

"Well…and sorry if this is morbid…but…I was talking to Professor X, and there was someone that I wanted to come to the funeral, and he said he'd try to arrange it, but that he felt that about a half dozen students would have issues with it. Now, most of them, I've never heard of…but then there was you."

I look deeply at him.

"Why would my father coming to my funeral upset you, Lex?"


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:23am

Uh oh.

"I hadn't planned on mentioning this, Gerald."

I sigh.

"I'm sure you know about the mission to your father's farm. Well, I stayed behind to get more information…he brainwashed me." I say bluntly.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:25am

"Brainwashed? I don't think my father would do that."

Do I? Who do I trust here? I mean, he did brainwash Xavier…but…

"I mean, I don't dispute you, but…look, I know he isn't a good person. Or at least, that he isn't what we would consider good. But…he is my father."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:26am

"He doesn't think so…"

I probably shouldn't have said that, but here goes.

"He denied being your father. I told him he was wrong, but he wouldn't budge. He was absolutley sure that you aren't his son."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:28am

"Well…he's wrong. And he knows he's wrong. It's just…I never told you about the time I met him, did I? It was weird. There's some kind of…link between us. I think it terrifies him."

Although I'm trying to play it off, what Lex said hurts. A lot.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:31am

"No, you never told me."

I pause.

"Gerald…I don't exactly know how to put this so here goes. If he's at your funeral….I won't be."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:33am

"That's your choice, of course. Although I hate it that you're making me choose between him and you. Look, all I want is for him to accept me ONCE. If that can't happen until I'm dead, then it can't happen until I'm dead. He probably won't come anyway."

I can hold it in. I can hold it in. I can mostly hold it in.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:39am

"I'm sorry. I see where you're coming from, I really do."

I sigh.

"I just…" I trail off, not really knowing what to say.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 19, 2007, 12:39am

I keep quiet during the whole exchange, but I can't help but remember the things Gerald's father said, the way he just flat out denied his own son…it won't stop me from coming, but I almost feel like Gerald's father doesn't deserve to be there.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:40am

"I understand. But it's probably just…you know…arguing about nothing. I mean, what are the chances he would come here? Slim, I think."

I sigh.

"Sorry to bring up a sore topic for nothing."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:44am

Can I really tell him that I want to kill his father? No…no I can't. I can't do that to him.

"You're right, this is pointless. Don't be sorry…"


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:47am

"Yeah. So. Anyone else have anything to talk about? I really think this is the last time we'll all be together."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:53am

I rack my brain trying to find something to say.

"The baby is a girl…"

Wow, great. I'm sure Gerald really cares.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:54am

"Well, I hope she takes after her mom."

I laugh a little, then start coughing again.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:55am

I laugh a bit, but I feel terrible. Way to make him cough….


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 12:57am

When I finish, I look back at them all seriously.

"I think our time's mostly up. I can't really be active for long anymore. Just…I was going to ask…any of you have problems carrying the box? I mean, traditionally, Roxy, you shouldn't, but I figure Golem is close enough to acceptable, right? And Colossus will, I know that…you guys have to make sure he doesn't do it solo, because he'll try."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 19, 2007, 12:59am

"I'd be honored, man."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 19, 2007, 1:04am

"I'll help carry it, yeah." I kneel at his bedside, looking at the floor. "Gerald…thank you. For everything." I'm not saying this just in case I don't see him again…I know I will. Somehow.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Wreck on Feb 19, 2007, 1:14am

"Yeah. Ditto."

Wreck cranes his head skyward, staring at nothing in particular.

"……shit. This is where I'd say something dopey to compensate for not really knowing what to say. But I got nothing."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 19, 2007, 9:34am

"Thanks guys."

I sigh again.

"Roxanne, I'm the one who should be thanking YOU. You helped me make the right decision. You'll know later. Just trust me now. You did something for me far greater than anything I ever did for you."

Then I smile at Wreck.

"The only reason I know what to say is because I can just lay here and rehearse all day. Don't worry. But, I should be getting back to sleep. Thanks for everything, guys."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 21, 2007, 10:11am

«The mystical fast forward. But not in the ways it's been used in the past. Shut up, Proto.»

After the other original New Mutants leave (and if they don't do it under their own power, Beast will show to kick them out), the door is locked, and a sign is placed on it saying "DO NOT DISTURB". Gerald stops responding to any attempt to contact him, by anybody.

Regardless…


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Almond "Current" Quimby on Feb 21, 2007, 10:17am

I just happen to be walking by. I'm thinking about quite a lot of stuff: Nephy, the fact that my conversation with Kidd caused an argument between her and Kalvin, whether or not I like Chinese food, and so on and so forth.
Then I spot Gerald's door. It triggers a memory in me: he called the remaining original New Mutants to have a talk with him… and then shut himself off. I'm almost offended. For a moment, I consider letting him be and not disturbing him like the sign orders… I even consider the possibility of being infected. But who cares about any of that.

Still. I step towards the door with a slight amount of trepidation. The click of the lock falling open seems almost unbearably loud. I refrain from looking around in the corridor and step inside.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 21, 2007, 10:30am

"I figured you'd stop by."

It's become a labor to even talk, and turning to face him is out of the question, but what's not out of the question is that my virus-fueled telepathy is at the level that Xavier's blocks can't really hold it anymore. It's leaking, and I can tell who it is, just from the interference.

"Have a seat."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Almond "Current" Quimby on Feb 21, 2007, 10:35am

I refrain from smiling. I look serious…

With a few long steps, I walk over to a chair at his bedside and sit. My robes swoop pleasantly while doing so, but I try not to think about it. I remain quiet for a moment, thinking of what to say. Something like "How's it going?" would be hilarious, but it doesn't quite seem right.

"I can understand you not inviting me with the others…"

It's a real cop-out thing to say.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 21, 2007, 10:41am

[Before Almond's appearance.]

I stand by Gerald's door, leaning against. Waiting. I'm still not sure for what.

Maybe I'm expecting some sort of miracle to happen. Like, any time now, Forge will barrel down the hall with some amazing machine that'll make Gerald better. Just like in the cartoons…a last minute save. The good guys always live. It's not supposed to be like this…

"Roxanne." I look over and see Rogue standing right beside me; was so wrapped up I didn't even notice her coming. "It's late, honey."

It really is, and it didn't even sink in until I saw Rogue wearing her nightgown. Sun was still up when I came here…how long have I been standing around? "Oh, sorry, I'll head to bed." I start to go, too…but I stop halfway down the hall. "Rogue?"

"Yeah?"

"I remember something…Bobby told me once. About people dying around here." I turn to her, slow, tempted to just cut and run. "He said that it was like a revolving door. I thought he was just joking back then, and I guess he kind of was, but, really…he was right. I mean, Almond died and he came back. Wreck dies all the time, and he comes back, and I hear Jean's done it a couple times, too. The bad guys come back all the time. So, I mean, there's a chance Gerald, when he dies…he can come back, right?"

"Yeah…death doesn't hold a lot of weight in this line of work, sometimes." Rogue nods as she glides towards me, her feet hovering inches from the carpet. "Kind of hate it, a little."

That…doesn't make a hole lot of sense, and my cocked eyebrow shows it. "But it's a good thing. I mean, I don't want my friends to die, but if they do die, I'd want them to come back."

"I'm not saying it's not a good thing, honey. Ain't saying that at all." She kneels down, meeting me eye-to-eye. "But, well…I've been to my fair share of funerals, you know? It's sad. It's always sad to see a friend go like that. But it's part of life. It's a cycle; people get born, people live, people die. You can't go back a step, and that's what teaches you to make the most out of the time you've got. You make it count, so that whenever you go, you leave your mark. But if you just keep coming back and coming back, you cheapen it. And the people spending their emotions when you go, they get a little cheap, too. It just kind of mucks up the process."

She stands, thinks for a moment, staring out into space before she goes on. "Like I said, I ain't saying I'm not happy when a friend comes back, and I'm not saying there aren't some people I'd like to see come back. Lord knows I'd give anything for Sam…but that's just not the way it's supposed to be." She places a hand on my head and rubs, feeling over the stubs where my horns used to be. "You get me?"

"Yeah…" It makes sense. There's a way things are supposed to be. I understand that. I just don't like it.

"Come on." She pats me on the back, pushing me along. "We'll practice your spelling a bit and then I'll tuck you in."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 21, 2007, 10:41am

"It's because I know."

I close my eyes.

"I know you aren't who you say you are, but I don't know who you are. So who are you? I know you weren't there in the woods the first day, that much I know. It's the rest that I can't put together. It's true, your newfound power upgrade makes you functionally immune to telepathy…still…there's something I can read…it isn't much…but it's something…off. And it's pretty convenient that you came back to a house full of telepaths with an ability to block telepathy, isn't it?"


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by K'lar on Feb 21, 2007, 10:43am

«Stryker should sell his soul to Apocalypse. Seems to have worked for Pyro »


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Almond "Current" Quimby on Feb 21, 2007, 10:46am

I cock my head slightly. My expression softens a bit.
"Poor Gerald," I say. The strain is audible in my voice. Some Master of Deception I am…
"Delusions and paranoia. What has happened to you? I curse this horrible disease…"


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 21, 2007, 10:50am

"Don't bullshit me, Almond. I have too little time left to waste any of it with bullshit. What's going on here? Who are you? And what do you have to lose by telling me? It's not like I'm going to run to the Professor. And it's not like he can read it from my head if I don't want him to."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Almond "Current" Quimby on Feb 21, 2007, 10:55am

"What I have to loose?" I wonder about it for a moment. It's a horrible realization…
"The freedom… to make a choice. Everything."

I wish… I wish I had my cane.

"The truth is, I don't think you could take it. Look at you! A ten-year old in a mask could jump out of the closet and you'd probably keel over. And your last action before you move onwards would be to give on your knowledge… because you couldn't afford it not to."

Blind is listening to this. I have to remember… to think of him.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 21, 2007, 11:08am

"Alright then. You don't want to tell me. I can appreciate that. There are things I have done that I don't want to tell anyone either. But that's what I told the others, so it would probably be fair to tell you. Even though you weren't there, and you don't know the players. Therefore, Cliff Notes."

I take a deep breath.

"My father…well, he's what most people here consider a villain, though he obviously doesn't think so. Lately, I've felt that I'm more similar to him than I wanted to believe. I made a number of…amoral choices to try to avoid my fate, and you know what I discovered in the end? Making those choices led me to a worse fate. The more I tried to find a magic trap door, the more I tried to make things better for myself at the cost of others…the more I lost the reasons that I had to live. I had friends. I had some really good friends. People respected me. After I'm buried, I'll have no friends and no respect. Everyone will know what happened, what I did to try to stay. It's fair to them…they need to know…it's unfair to them that I've forcibly prevented them from knowing until then. If I could, I'd let you know too, just so you could see…I have a feeling it might have some significance to you. But I can't, since I can't transmit to you."

I take another deep breath.

"Basically, what I'm saying, Almond, is that I've discovered that it's very easy to obsess about yourself and not care about other people. But it's much more rewarding to actually have friends and respect. I've discovered that, and that's why I can die in peace. Something tells me that it's something you need to figure out."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Almond "Current" Quimby on Feb 21, 2007, 11:32am

My face has turned rather blank. I stare at him quizzically for a moment. I'd never have pegged him down for amoral actions. This place and people here are just full of surprises…

After a while, I speak.
"Survival is over-rated," I say as nonchalantly, "Life is nothing but a prison… but everyone escapes eventually. Life is nothingness, beyond it is everything… People try to hold on, thinking they're safe and well. The harder they try to scratch their way out of the pit, the more they hurt themselves until eventually, there's nothing left." I sigh. "I'm a firm believer in death and rebirth. Nothing ever ends…"

I pause for a moment. Never before in my life have these words felt like nothing but meaningless rhetoric. Completely nonsensical sentences tacked together into a semblance of thought…

"White boxes…" I whisper before I can stop myself. I shake my head and move on.

"If you want the truth… I'll give it to you. I am Almond Quimby. I've always been Almond Quimby and I've always known it. But… at the same time… I don't know who I am. Or what…"

I look away from Gerald, at the floor.

"The thing you buried wasn't me. It was a replica, I think, and it was replaced with my body. I never understood it. I was captured, by someone… or something. It wasn't human… I was caught somewhere, but I don't know where. It was dark, and had a lot of red light. Everything felt strange. Whoever was there, kept telling me I was only dead by "our standards"."

I pause again.

"They changed me. There were no operations, or enhancements, or anything of the sort. But they did change me, somehow. I was made "better" in some ways. That's why my powers are different. That's why I'm young again. I don't know why they did it, but there was a lot of pain. I… Eventually, I escaped. But I wasn't the same anymore… I did things - horrible things - and I don't… want…

I just sort of fade off at that point, and stay silent for quite a while. Then I burst into laughter. It's not very loud or abrasive, but it lasts so long it must be more than a little irritating. For some reason, I find this story and the way I tell it ridiculous…

After a while, I manage to quiet down. My face is blank again.

"All right," I say, "Enjoy…"

With that, I turn off my bioelectrical protection against telepathy. It's as simple as flicking a switch…


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 21, 2007, 11:40am

Dead by our standards…who would believe a line of crap like that? Oh, it's a joke.

I probe through Almond's mind, intending to just do a surface scan…but then…I see what makes him different. He's a killer, or he thought he was. Maybe he isn't now, it's hard to tell.

I nod simply.

"Let me return the favor."

In the space of seconds, I download everything that I have experienced relating to the moral quandaries. The discovery of my father, my time as a pariah in the mansion, Roxanne (including, painfully, how I continually failed her). My discovery of the Legacy Virus, and how it changed me, made me more distant from humanity. Learning of Revanche, acting crazy around my teammates to cover up whatever personality I ended up with, and convincing Dillan to help me reenact the Revanche ceremony. Mindwiping Lex, and casually screwing up his life, and what I did to Addison, and, of course, the conversation with Roxy that led me back here, to this dying body.

It's all there, but it's not accessible yet. He has the same trigger everyone else does.

"You are now added to the 'learn how awful I am posthumously' list. Enjoy."


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Almond "Current" Quimby on Feb 21, 2007, 12:01pm

I raise an eyebrow and try to look amused. I can feel something… moving in my brain, but I don't understand what it is. It worries me slightly.

"Thanks," I drawl, "I must admit, I expected more of a reaction from you though. You wanted to know so badly, after all…"

«Thanks. And sorry again…>


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 21, 2007, 12:03pm

"It doesn't matter where we come from. The only thing that matters is where we go."

I close my eyes, and fall to sleep immediately.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Almond "Current" Quimby on Feb 21, 2007, 12:14pm

I stare at him, looking annoyed. As I restore my telepathic shields, I can't help but feel cheated, somehow. This wasn't what I expected. He didn't even try to make things interesting. I'd say… he failed me.

This was a very disappointing conversation, indeed. I stand up again and raise my hand slightly. I've always been a fan of merciful deaths. I reach out my hand towards his head, intent on putting him down with a quiet, fatal electric shock. It's easy… A right amount of volts in the right place. Would they even be able to tell it was me? I doubt it…

But I don't do it. I retract my hand, and stare at him for a while longer.

I shall let him die in pain, I think… Yes. That's it. It's a perfect punishment for him.

I turn around slowly and walk off. The door opens before me and closes behind me. There's another click that tells me it's locked again. There's no one around… It's like this conversation never happened… right?


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 21, 2007, 12:35pm

«And this is, officially, the last time any of the team members sees Gerald alive.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 21, 2007, 5:46pm

;_; Just read…the end. RIP, Gerald.


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Kelly Alecia "Star" Lisa on Feb 21, 2007, 5:48pm

«*blinks*
Damn you, Hav.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Chord on Feb 21, 2007, 9:16pm

« And now Dillan's life gets to go to shit »


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Last Hero on Feb 21, 2007, 9:17pm

[It wasn't there already?]


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Kelly Alecia "Star" Lisa on Feb 21, 2007, 9:18pm

«Haha. Well, no, he's happy at the moment, isn't he? Or, well, he was. Now Addison knows. Now everyone knows.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Protoman on Feb 22, 2007, 1:00am

«I just read it. So sad…»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Feb 22, 2007, 1:21am

«Last time, huh… I wish I had made it better on my part now.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by The Sacred Digits on Feb 22, 2007, 9:05am

«Oh hush up. You were fine.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Feb 22, 2007, 9:07am

«You don't need to lie on my behalf! ;_; I ruined his death! Waah, waah, waah.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by The Sacred Digits on Feb 22, 2007, 9:08am

«No, no…it works pretty well. I liked the way it played out.»


Re: Interlude - And then there were four
Post by Joseph "Warhead" Olson on Feb 22, 2007, 9:08am

«…is it too late to blame it on Dan?»


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