Saturday, September 15, 2012

Freaks and Monsters - Ch 5

So I've been in the middle of another storytelling contest since Spring, and with the last round's due date being within 24 hours photo bucket kicks my ass to the floor and laughs, leaving me without a place to host photos. Thats why this chapter alone is being placed on my blog. However if you want to read the rest, the earlier chapters can be found at the following links:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four

Summary: After being betrayed by her long time lover, Juliette Johnson finds herself alone and a prisoner for the organization she used to work for. Or perhaps, not as alone as she thinks thanks to a hasty rescue by her young partner, Denebola. However once free Juliette would take no more help, insisting facing their organization’s leader would be too dangerous, and heads off on her own, fighting her way through old allies before finally coming face-to-face with the big bad himself, Joshua Jacobs.


He can see it in her eyes without reading her mind, no fear but plenty of anger directed towards him. Its justified of course, considering what he’d done to her. Even before learning that he’d planned to sacrifice her, he’d always been harder on her than the other recruits. Was it jealousy? Even Joshua Jacobs, the leader of the Freaks Foundation had no idea. 

When he first met her she’d been pathetic. The shadow of a human being with powers she couldn’t understand. She’d had innocent blood on her hands, and couldn’t understand how. At first he’d thought it was fortunate for them both that one of the guards knew to call him. She was a psychic like himself, and their ability was as dangerous as it was rare. One of the few abilities likely enough to kill its owner as it was to kill anyone else. 

“So what am I, some kind of freak?”

“In a manner of speaking, but so am I, and many others like us.”

“Am I dangerous?”

Of course she was, but he couldn’t bring himself to flat out say it. He couldn’t lose this one as well. In his short time as leader he’d met only two other psychics, both children, both who’d fallen into insanity and then death before he could properly train them. “You don’t have to be. I can train you, keep you safe. I promise.”

In only a few months he’d begun to rue his decision. She was stronger than he’d ever imagined, even managing to read Liam’s mind. Liam saw her as a new experiment, and Joshua let him do as he wanted as long as Juliette wasn’t harmed. 

But then her powers increased... in no time at all she would be stronger than he was, and then what? He’d reached the peak of his powers at 25, and here this young woman was already nearing his peak with no sign of stopping. The decision to use her as their matyr had been made on a whim, but he stuck to it. He would not allow a... a common mutt to be stronger than him. Both Joshua’s parents had abilities, as far as he could tell Juliette came from human parents. She was the rarest of the rare, her abilities manifested from nothing, and she would be stronger than them all if he didn’t stop her.

“Put the gun down, sir. Let’s talk.”

Her voice brings him back to reality, and for a moment Joshua curses his scattered mind. In his moment of thought she could have attacked and taken the upper hand. He can’t take that chance a second time, but he does put the gun down, leaning back in his seat. “As you wish, my dear Juliette. What would you like to talk about?”

She gets straight to the point. “I want to know why you want me dead.”

“As you wish.” He says, standing and moving towards his bookshelf, watching her but not meeting her eyes a second time. The first time he spent only enough time to read her memories. Already he could feel her trying to catch the thread back to his own mind, but he couldn’t tell if she was aware of her own attempt. She seemed so calm and collected. Was she truly the threat he’d feared?

“I know what Liam told you while you were his prisoner, we are the next step in evolution. But we’re rare and scattered around the globe. Without the proper funds most Freaks will murder themselves or be killed by others before we can get to them to help. We needed an excuse politicians would understand, and when Liam showed me your recent spikes I knew you needed to be stopped. For a while Liam gave you nothing but sugar pills, but even then your abilities were progressing too quickly, so I decided to use your strength for the greater good.”

“I still don’t understand why you feel the need to sacrifice me.” She sighs, pleading with him. “I want to control this, and I know I can if you’d only help me.”

I don’t want to help the likes of you. He thinks, but doesn’t say out loud. Instead he grabs a set of files from the shelf and lays them down on his desk. 

“Juliette, we aren’t the kind of organization who can just grab a loan from the bank, and we need funds. The medication Liam gives everyone is only a single project, it wasn’t the only thing we had him working on.”

The title of one folder catches her eyes, Project: Orycalcos. She remembers seeing it a few times in Liam’s office, but she never ventured farther than the cover. Each folder always had the same symbol, a double helix in blue and red next to a face. The folder in front of her had Dene’s face. “What is this?”

“Project Orycalcos was named for my father.” He tells her. “A scientist who taught Liam everything he knows. He theorized there could be a way to give normal humans the abilities we develop, and years after my father’s death Liam found a way to do it. Your partner, Denebola, was one of our first successes. Unfortunately there are side effects... it doesn’t matter if you’re born a Freak or made, the stronger you are the weaker our health. Most females will never have children, and our numbers are already so small. Our research is important if we want to be able to protect ourselves.”

“This is wrong.” She whispers, holding herself. “We’re all just humans, no one is going to turn against us.”

Joshua’s already begun to lose patience. “The day before I met you I was in the city for a different reason, five year old twins who were supposed to be able to fly. They lived in a farm outside of town, and by the time I got there their neighbors had killed them both, thinking they were monsters. They were just babies, Juliette, defenseless and weak. I hate having to kill even one of our own, but without a real threat we will never have the money we need.”

Juliette’s nausea is quickly returning with a vengeance, and Joshua takes the opportunity to step closer. “But perhaps, the victim doesn’t have to be unwilling. You’re strong, Juliette, but you know full well that you’re unstable. Think of your child. Don’t you want the best future for him or her?”

Her blood runs cold when she hears his words. A part of her had put it together already, but to hear it said out loud... she isn’t ready to be a mother. Not yet. 

If happy ever after did exist there’d be no problem.” He whispers into her ear, right hand playing with a lock of her hair. “But it doesn’t. Be our matyr, and I vow to watch over your child as if it were my own.”

“Don’t you touch me.” She growls, pushing him away with a hand. “You’re sick, Joshua. Sick and wrong. You vowed once to protect me too, don’t you remember? You promised to take care of me, to help me control what I have. So why on earth would I take you for your word now?”

He grabs her by the left wrist, face even but rage radiating from his eyes as they meet hers. “Fine. Don’t take advantage of my generosity. I can live with losing two. We’re at war, and I’m not going to let a little wanna-be hero ruin the future I want to make. I’m not the bad guy here. I’m just trying to protect my own.”

“Funny.” She responds, breaking free and stepping back. “Because I’m doing the same thing. I’m not going to let you hurt me or anyone else.”

He tries to move towards her but finds he can’t. Her hand is up, but that’s not what’s stopping him, its her eyes. In the moment he met her eyes in anger she’d managed to knock down his defenses and lock into his nervous system. In a fight between psychics, strength didn’t matter. All that mattered was who moved first, and she’d won. She had him paralyzed, and soon enough he realized he couldn’t breath.

“No one threatens me.” Juliette growls, voice steady. “You’ve had this coming for a long time, Joshua, and I know I’m going to sleep well tonight knowing you’re gone.”

She doesn’t pity him in the end, forcing him to stay awake and feel as his body struggles for the air that won’t come, only letting go of his mind once she’s sure his open eyes will never come back to life.

She steps back, arms shaking at last as the adrenaline escapes her. With it comes the unease and guilt. Did she really do the right thing? Dene’s folder is on the table next to her, as well as a number of others. Some faces she recognizes, but others she doesn’t. 

They all have one thing in common, she realizes, they’re all like her, and with Joshua dead they’ll have no one to protect them. She isn’t sure if the story he told her of the twins was true, but if she leaves the Freaks without a leader the story will one day become truth. Her people need someone, and right now all they have is her. Like it or not there’s no running away now. 

The land they gave her has roads, a few signs left over advertising the upcoming condos that never began production. This was supposed to be the site of a new community set around a giant shopping mall, but the mall was found to be a scam, and the builders left without ever even breaking ground. It had taken three long years of work before Juliette had managed to convince the government to give her the land. 

Like Joshua had predicted, the president wouldn’t even meet with her until a rouge Freak had caused trouble. Somehow Juliette had managed to end the danger without any bloodshed, forcing the rouge to sleep and having the others rescue injured civilians. By then the president was practically begging to meet her. She’d refused his offers of money and power, instead asking for land to be given to her organization. They’d stay away from “normal” humans, train their children to be strong, and stop all the horrible research Liam had done.

Juliette no longer cared about being normal, about learning what made them different. She had better things to worry about, like her two year old daughter, Elena. She looked far too much like her father, but Juliette was confident she could raise her right. 

Juliette had become the Freaks new leader, not by killing Jason, but by earning their love and loyalty. Much of her time was spent training new Freaks personally, or helping build new homes. Elena would go with her sometimes, but otherwise she’d stay home and work on the small chemistry table her mother had bought her.

She’d inherited her father’s mind, science came naturally to her and Juliette couldn’t morally stop her daughter from embracing that genius. However, unlike either of her parents Elena had been born a mind reader, a powerful one. 

Her best friend Alex Mason was only a year younger than her but Elena could sense he’d never have gifts. He was human, just like his father.

His parents, Denebola and Daniel Mason married long before he was born. Dani stayed with Dene in the new Orycalcos Compound, being one of the few humans who felt comfortable around them. Together they had managed to have three healthy children, of which Alex was the oldest.

Alex was only 16 when his mother died. It’ been an accident no one had seen coming, even though it was the way everyone in her generation would eventually died. Her powers had consumed her, her inner heat exploding outwards and causing her to burn to death, taking the Mason’s home with her. 

Luckily Daniel had been out with the children at the time and they hadn’t been hurt. They’d only learned about Dene’s death upon returning home and finding the results. 

Eventually, they all succumbed to their gifts. Denebola was the first, still young when she died. The sliders would be found in their beds electrocuted, fire starters would burn down everything around them as Dene had, even Juliette had died only a few years after Denebola, first losing her mind and then dying from her brain collapsing in on itself, leaving only a trail of blood from her nose to show she wasn’t asleep. Much like the victims she’d left behind before she could control herself.

Elena was the first to notice the patterns, but what could she do to stop it? She was only a child after all.

She tried everything she could to find a way to slow down the progression of strength, especially with her own generation coming into their gifts so early. Would she only live to be thirty? Even younger? It wasn’t something she wanted to dwell on, but she knew she couldn’t just wait for death to come. If there was a way to save herself - and others - then she had to look for it.

Only days before Juliette’s death she began speaking of an underground laboratory in a secret building, just outside of the capital city and hidden by the trees. Elena attributed it to her mother’s insanity, but with research she learned of her mother’s fight and the direction the Freaks had been going under their old leader. 

Less than a year after her mother’s death, she found her father’s old laboratory, and the notes that lay in it.

She learned everything, the medical compounds Liam had worked on for years, the DNA strands that all Freaks shared, whatever their gift, how to give gifts to mere humans, and all the propaganda that came with it. She learned Joshua and Liam’s plans for their kind, how similar it was to what her mother had managed to accomplish with far less innocent bloodshed. And yet, Elena couldn’t quite be proud of what her mother had accomplished. She’d managed to save herself, but had she really given the Freaks a better life? She stopped scientific advancement for 25 years, letting Elena dabble only in what she thought was appropriate. How many more lives could have been saved by letting herself die and letting Liam continue his research? 

Further reading showed Elena her father had used humans and Freaks alike as guinea pigs, keeping them in his cage until he had what he wanted from them, but even then she couldn’t quite feel disgusted. No one was just going to give themselves up for the greater good, her mother had shown her that much, so why not pick sacrifices yourself? Her mother hadn’t been a hero, she’d been a moron. But her father... well, he might have been on the right track.

75 years later

Dawn Woods was your typical 9 year old. She was her daddy’s little princess, she had her mother’s bright blue eyes, had the sweetest personality ever... and yesterday during detention she’d learned she was a Freak. 

Her fingers had been the victim of her anger, getting crushed when she slammed her desk shut. The tip of her middle finger coming clean off, before growing back in less than a minute, successfully scaring herself and her teacher.

The only one to not be terrified was the school’s resident brat, Erisia Johnson. She’d been in detention too, and instead of running or calling the police (as they were supposed to when they believed they’d seen a Freak), Erisia simply walked over to their teacher, looked her dead in the eye and told her she’d seen nothing, and that she was going to go have some coffee in the teachers’ lounge. Their teacher left and Erisia helped Dawn clean up the blood, promising to explain everything later.

And so there they were, an hour before anyone else would be at school, with Erisia telling her everything. “Freaks are humans too, in a way. My dad says our family goes back generations, but you must be a first generation-er if you’re not with Orycalcos. My dad managed to get out, but it was hard. You could go to them if you want, they’ll keep you safe but they won’t let you go and if your parents are humans they’ll take you away from them.”

This was too much for a nine-year-old to handle, but Dawn knew she couldn’t go to her parents about this. “What if I don’t want to go to Orycalcos?”

“I could try to help you, but I’m still training. I was lucky Miss Potts was scared, it made her easy to control. But if you promise not to tell anyone I’m like you I’ll do my best to keep you safe.”

Dawn stands slowly, thinking for a moment before pulling her new friend in for a hug. “Why would I ever tell anyone? You saved my life, and we’re friend now aren’t we? Friends stick together forever.”

Erisia sighed happily. Her father always warned her other freaks were vile, evil things to be avoided. He’d flee’d from Orycalcos to keep her safe from their family’s legacy, but besides that he was no better than the propaganda they saw everyday on the TV. They had to be wrong. She and Dawn were both Freaks, but they were still just little girls. And while no one would dare hurt a little girl at least now they had someone else to rely on. Perhaps in that sense, Erisia was the first of her line to be anything like the great Juliette Johnson. Or at the very least, the first with her heart.


Current Events: Mysterious Past
Previous Events:  Embarrassing Rescue, Good is Boring, BLONDES ARE EVIL, Finding Judas, Get out of Jail Free
Word Count: 2975 words 27 photos 
Hero Type: The Knight in Sour Armor
CC Used: 
- Allowed: Skin by Ephemera, CC and store hairs, Poses, OMSP, Sets were made by me and are CC less.

Also: A big thanks to FukothePixie for a lot of the poses in this chapter. I just couldn’t find what I wanted for Juliette’s scene with Joshua, and she made every pose I needed in only two days. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sari Legacy - 2.1 (Part 1)

(Why is this being posted here? Because this scene was meant to be in chapter one of Serena's generation, but it is technically about the gen 1 characters so I didn't feel comfortable naming it the REAL chapter 2.1 and goddamit I'm not going over 20 chapters for Gen 1. I'll be reposting this section in the real chapter 2.1 once I actually get there in my real save game once my laptop is back from the dead.)


"What are you looking at?" Harris asks, smiling as he just enjoys looking at her. For weeks now he and Alex had returned to being lovers, and it was as if nothing had ever gone wrong between them. Still, every moment they were together he made sure to cherish. Apparently she was doing the same.

"The time." She seems annoyed, but not from his words. "I wish I could stay but this isn't my home, and your daughter will be home from school soon. It isn't right for me to over stay my welcome here so soon after Gwen left you both behind."

"Gwen leaving before we'd agreed was one of the best things to ever happen to me." He responds. "And Judith practically worships the ground you walk on. She made us watch your big debut film, Modern Amazons four times when I told her we were together. She won't mind if you want to stay for dinner-"

"-Or the night." He continues, moving to lean over her, pushing her back onto the bed slowly.

"Harris I really shouldn't..."

"I thought you said you loved me."

"That's not fair. I do love you, but this isn't right."

"What about this isn't right?" He asks, honestly confused as he pulls away from her. "I love you, and I can't image my life without you."

Her response is said in almost a deadpan. "We had a child out of wedlock, you tried to ruin every man in this city because you thought I'd slept with one of them, you have anger issues, your ex-wife only just left you, and now we've been screwing on the same bed you two used to share together."

He can't hide his grin. "The only thing I regret is not just grabbing you and riding off into the sunset together the first time I saw you in the film studio."

She has no idea how to respond to that because honestly that would have saved them both so much heartache and trouble. Instead: "I'm sorry, Harris but I really have to go. Still need to help Mel plan Serena's big birthday party."

He lets her get dressed before coming up behind her and pulling her close. "Melody has her husband back, she doesn't need you to babysit her anymore, Liam is full grown, and James is off at boarding school. What's really holding you back from me?"

She hesitates, but answers him anyway. "I'm scared you're going to break my heart."

He pulls away, as if insulted before reaching out to stroke her cheek, his eyes shining from his held back tears. "I deserved that, but I could never in my life betray you like you fear I will. After you hurt me I slept with other women, yes, but I never loved them, I could never even look at them without seeing your face and missing you. I've never felt that way about anyone before, especially not Gwen."

Alex can't hide her smile. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying you're my soul mate, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And only you." Reaching into the desk behind him he returns with a small box, getting down on one knee in front of her.

"You're my soulmate." He repeats. "And if you don't say yes I don't know what I'll do."

"I wouldn't dream of saying anything but yes." She smiles, holding back her tears as he slowly slides the engagement ring onto her finger with shaking hands.

For once, Harris feels like he just made a really smart decision. Everything is going right, and he'll do whatever it takes to give Alexandra her happily ever after.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Promised - Chapter Four

It all happened so fast after Tyler confessed to our entire plan. With every word I felt as if I were being stabbed and handcuffed, but soon enough the cuffs were replaced with four walls, and a locked door. My very own actual cage. 

I’d been given my nephew to watch over, and I named him Alexander Jacobs; the name my sister would have wanted. He was beautiful, with dark black hair like his father, but my mother’s light purple eyes. The eyes I remember only from photos of her. Often I wondered about my mother, the woman who died only a few days after my birth. She’d been raised by vampires, and was supposed to be turned upon her young adult birthday, but instead she met my father and chose to remain as a human. If only I’d realized how lucky I was to be a human for as long as I was.

Not long after my imprisonment, I learned that my father had been found dead in his room. They claimed it was of natural causes, but my father had always been so strong and healthy. It hurt me to think I’d been the cause for his death. 

Jude was apparently a lot higher in the vampire social chain than I had originally believed, as everyday without fail he would stop by to speak with me, keep me informed on that happenings above ground and on how my trial was coming. He was also the first to tell me that Tyler hadn’t been seen since my arrest. The popular theory was that he’d been killed for disrespecting his father and trying to take my side in the case... but I couldn’t bring myself to shed any tears for him. 

“So I notice you’ve been dealing well with the transition.”
I nod, not even curious as to how he found out. “Mr. Stone doesn’t want me sentenced to death, so he had me bit before imprisoning me here. The courts will be told Tyler bit me before Janice died, and at worst I’ll be given life in prison. I’m alright with that, it’ll be no different than my previous life after all. I just hope Alexander will be given to a good family.”

Jude sighed before pulling out a strange red vial and placing it on the table in front of me. “Becoming a vampire is a curse none should ever experience, not when they were born a human. That’s why I bought this for your mother when she was just a teen. When she married your father instead, I kept this vial for just in case. Now I’m giving it to you to use as you wish.”
“What is it?”
“The cure.” Is his answer. “Pulls the vampirism curse right out of you, and leaves you as your were, but a human. I’d take it myself but I’ve been alive for almost three human lifetimes already. I’d turn to dust in only a few minutes.”
Oh. Well, that was a terrifying thought.

My nephew aged up into a beautiful young toddler before my very eyes. He had Tyler’s hair, and my mother’s strange lilac eyes. Despite the nature of his birth he was such a silent and well behaved child. 

And only the following day, I had my own transformation. I felt dead inside and without Alexander’s smile to keep me going I don’t know if I would have kept my mind alive and well in the weeks that passed. 
Alexander was fair, and kind, and always happy. A breath of fresh life in this tomb.

At last he came, and judging by the smile on his face I knew the news would not be good for me. Luckily Alexander was down for his nap and no guards were near. If I played my cards right I might be able to save both myself and my nephew from further pain. 

“Mr. Stone... what a surprise to see you here. Can I get your anything?” Maybe a stake or some holy water?
Thankfully he didn’t read my thoughts. “A drink would be fine, Miss Jacobs. I have the results of your case and I would like to offer you a deal.”

I took a pre-packaged bottle from the fridge, puncturing the sealed hole and hesitating only for a moment before handing it to him. No going back now. 
Taking a seat from him I nervously folded my hands on my lap, trying to keep them out of sight. “So uh... what kind of deal are we talking about here? What exactly were my case results?”
“They’re not good.” He muttered. “You were found guilty and the judge is still contemplating a life in jail sentence for treason or the more expected death by sunlight exposure. 
I felt a shiver of dread. “But I thought you said I wouldn’t be sentenced to death.”

He shrugged, sipping from the drink I gave him. “I am your King, Jessica, not your judge. I am afraid that his decision will be final... although I may be able to sway his decision if I’m given the right incentive for it.”
I tried to keep the anger from showing on my face but I knew I was failing horribly. “What more could you want from me, sir? You’ve taken everything already.”
He smiled in a way that made my skin crawl. “The one thing I do not have is your vow of loyalty. Swear your public adoration of me and denounce Jude Campbell as the man who put you up to your crimes and both you and your nephew will be given a home of your own near my own.”

The decision took no thought. “I’d rather die.”
Jude had been my only ally in all this, to betray him was something I would not do. No matter how badly I wanted my freedom. And now more than ever I did not regret putting the vampire-be-gone cure into Edwin’s drink. 

He stood from his chai to leaving before stumbling slightly, as if in pain. I stood up as well although not to help him. I wanted to be sure the cure would work.

Quite a satisfying sight if I do say so myself.

I took no time in waking Alexander and dressing him for the trip. The night was only just setting down and soon Edwin would be missed. I wasn’t sure if he’d told anyone where he was going, but it wouldn’t take his guards long to guess. I had to take Alexander and get as far from this vile town as we could.

Stepping out into the fresh air for the first time in ages I couldn’t help but stop and stare at the wide open ocean before me. I’d lived by it my entire life but never truly imagined crossing it. I had no idea what lay on the other side but one thing was for sure. It was better than here. 
Anything was better than here. And for the first time in my life... I felt free.