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Below are the 12 most recent journal entries recorded in Demi Tasse's LiveJournal:

Friday, November 9th, 2007
10:00 am
Quarrel: The Hunt for Shadowfeline
 Paragon City Hall is located in Atlas Park.  It is here in the heart of Paragon City where many heroes conduct business.  Whether they are registering their Supergroups with City Hall, or are just starting out their crimefighting career, it is all done first in Atlas Park.  City Hall representatives are always available to help the heroes who protect the city.  This day, someone approaches City Hall with a quarrel.

A woman walked through the crowd of heroes and civilians towards the building located behind the great statue of Atlas.  Heroes, male or female are typically tall by nature, or perhaps they just seem that way.  This woman was as tall as those heroes who walked about City Hall.  There is a certain confidence in her gait that grabs the attention of the men all around.  Her sun-drenched blond hair is cut short, in a bobbed mod style.  Locks of hair hold tight around her face, save for the part that falls fashionably in a wave, that follows the curve of her face.  She has brown, expressive eyes that are accented with blue cosmetics.  Those eyes are further expressed with a pair of square eyeglasses that further compliment her already good looks.

She wore a white button-down shirt with black tie and white skirt, wrapped in a pink sweater.  On one of the lapels is a golden crown.  Her high heels click and clack on the marble tile of the atrium in City Hall.  She stops in the middle of the lobby and looked around, then approached the counter.  After a short conversation, she is led towards the rear of the building, where the administrative offices are located.  A City Hall representative spoke to her.

"May I have your name please?" asked the representative.

"My full name is Lady Nielles du Poitier, Duchess of Bourke, from the Besktari Empire."

The representative entered the information into his computer and found a match.  "How may I be of help today Lady Nielles?"

"There's no need to be so formal.  You may call me Nielles."

The representative noted to himself that she sounds quite pleasant.  Though she is obviously of royal descent, she seems very down-to-earth; very approachable.

"Nielles, how can Paragon City help you today?"

"I come with a quarrel.  I am looking for the villainess known as Shadowfeline.  She is a fugitive of justice from the Besktari Empire.  I have come personally to return her to the justice of our courts."

The represenative entered more information into the computer.

"Yes, Shadowfeline.  The last intel report from Longbow indicate she is currently active in the Rogue Isles, in the capital of Grandville."

"I would like to formally request assistance in the capture of Shadowfeline."

"I understand the delicateness of the situation, but I'm afraid we will not be able to offer much in the way of assistance."

"I see.  What resources are available to me?"

"Shadowfeline is a villain of the highest threat level.  She is an extremely dangerous individual.  According to records, she has escaped capture 10 times this month alone.  We simply cannot afford to send anymore operatives after her.  The loss of life was simply too great."

 Nielles took out a small handheld device and handed it to the representative.  "I understand.  Please download all your files related to the criminal Shadowfeline to this device, that will be of great help to me."

 

Nielles left City Hall disappointed.  She wanted badly to gather a small army and go after Shadowfeline, but she knew now that she would have to do it on her own.  She went back to her room at the hotel and decided to rest.

 

 Screams of men were drowned out by the charged buzz of discharged energy weapons.  They were gathered about in a circle, with one man in the center.  The lone man was the leader of the men who were now dying left and right.  All his soldiers were wearing battle armor, emblazoned with the family crest, a simple yellow crown.  Men leveled their energy weapons at something that was moving at great speed, of which they could only discern a Shadow pulsating with a rainbow of light.

 A flash.

A scream of pain.

Another man had fallen to the Shadow.

"Protect our lord!" yelled one of the soldiers.  

 Another man pleaded with the man in the center.  "Please Lord Felix, we must retreat!"

 Lord Felix, Prince of Bourke, agreed.  He was a tall man with brown hair and moustaches.  His battle armor was now smeared with the blood.

"Sound the retreat!  Back to the dropship!" yelled Lord Felix.

As the men began to step backward to their ship, more men fell to the Shadow and it's deadly flash.  Finally, only two men guarded the Prince as they ran toward the ship.

"Protect the...."

The last man fell to the Shadow.

Lord Felix drew his sword, prepared to fight, but looked around in confusion.  The Shadow stalked him from all sides.  Suddenly, there was audible hiss, like one of a giant cat, then a blade was found protruding out of the chest from Lord Felix.  He looked down at the blade, laughed, and fell to the ground.

 

Nielles screamed as she awoke from sleep.  That scene she had just seen was a video transmission from the dropship that carried Lord Felix du Poitier, Prince of Bourke, her beloved brother.   Memories surfaced in Nielles' mind like bubbles rising from a pool.  

 Nielles was the oldest of Duke Henri and Lady Mora's children.  Lord Felix was 7 years younger than she was.  She often remembered the two of them venturing into the forests of Bourke, exploring the elder woods, imagining invisible enemies and fighting them off with branches and twigs, made into pretend swords.

 After Duke Henri and Lady Mora had passed away, Felix was made Prince, and Nielles was formally titled Lady of Bourke.  King Dominic, ruler of the Besktari Empire, appointed Lord Felix, Commander of his Household forces, a title appointed only to the heir to the throne.

 His last assignment was to quell a rebellion in one of the provinces of Besktar.  Prince Felix was never a fighter, but was a fair and just man.  The rebellion had been put down, but only after the leader of the rebellion vanished.  Prince Felix had been in the process of sending his men home, when they had been attacked.

After his death, King Dominic summoned Nielles to show her what happened to her brother.

"So as you can see from the video, your brother was killed.  He and his men fought bravely, until the end."

 Nielles was in tears.  "Who killed him?"

King Domnic responded, "We believe it was Shadowfeline, my personal guard, who was behind all of it.  Only she is capable enough of doing such an act."

"Where is Shadowfeline now?" asked Nielles.

"After she killed your brother, she fled to a planet called Earth.  You don't plan on going after her do you?"

"I must avenge the death of my brother, and prince to our kingdom," said Nielles solemnly.

"Shadowfeline is a trained killer.  You can't expect to capture her on your own," replied King Domnic.

"I have my own methods, my Lord."

***

 

"Look Nielles, I've brought some friends for you to play with."

Nielles looked all around. All she saw was the field they were in. It was early morning and nothing else was around, save for the rolling green field and the misty, green forest behind them.

"I don't see anything Nanna!" said Nielles.

Nanna waved her hand in front of the small child and pointed a finger in the direction behind her.

Nielles hurriedly turned around to see. Out of thin air, three specters appeared. They were dressed in white and began to perform somersaults at once. She clapped her hands in delight. "Yayyy Nanna! How did you do that?"

"Dear child, when you are older, Nanna will show you that and more."

Nanna took out a book and held it open. An old finger pointed to one of the passages in the book.

"But for now, be good for Nanna and finish your school lessons."

 

Nielles woke up. Her head had been resting in the crook of her arm. She had fallen asleep doing research on Shadowfeline and her known accomplices. Nielles had some information from City Hall, but she needed more. She gained access to the libraries of Paragon University.

She learned that Shadowfeline first came to Paragon City, but somehow ended up in the Rogue Isles, and became a Captain of the criminal organization known as Arachnos. Along the way, Shadowfeline met several other criminals, whom she was thought to associate with even today. It was these criminals that Nielles was most interested in.

City Hall graciously provided those names: Jabawock, criminal mastermind of the group of the Cabal of 23 Stout Sticks. Aesis, dominator and mesmerist. Xoar, a sinister cyborg. Tialice, an angry young woman with slasher claws. And finally, the infamous, untamed Demi Tasse.

Paragon University's Library of Criminal Personas had little personal information on Jabawock, Aesis, and Tialice. However, there was an entire section of devoted to their criminal careers. Nielles was able to find enough information on Xoar and Demi Tasse, both known accomplices of Shadowfeline.

 

Nielles gathered all her documents and placed them into her bag. She checked the time. It was 2:00 AM. She left the library and began the long walk home to her room at the hotel. She went down a dark alleyway when a man jumped out from behind a crate.

"Well what do we have here? A schoolgirl!" The man was dressed in a red vest and a ragged pair of pants.

Nielles was surprised, but did not panic. "Please let me pass," she said.

The man blocked her path and put an arm out on a wall. "What's your hurry baby?"

She noticed how bad the man smelled and wrinkled her nose in disgust.

He produced a knife and slashed at Nielles. She jumped back, but he succeeded in slashing her bag. All her papers and books fell to the ground. Nielles bent to the ground and began to pick up the papers.

The man laughed. "Baby, while you're down there, I've got something else you can do for me."

Nielles had gathered some of the papers and tightly clutched them to her chest. "I see this is going nowhere."

The man mockingly waved his knife in the air. Nielles waved her free hand. Suddenly three phantoms appeared behind the man. One of them tapped him on the shoulder.

"Yes, that's the one," said Nielles in a calm voice.

The man turned around and saw the phantoms. One of the phantoms picked up the man by the vest and held him the air. Another phantom took hold of the man's feet and threw him several feet down the alleyway.

"What the fuck!" screamed the man. He was sprawled out on the ground, trying to get up.

One by one, the phantoms reached down to the ground and picked up sections of the pavement. They hefted the sidewalk section, earth and all, and threw it at the man. The man screamed in pain as the hard concrete hit him all over his body.

Nielles finished picking up her papers and books. The phantoms then walked towards her. She smiled at them and waved a hand at them. One by one, they disappeared, as strangely as they had appeared.

 

Nielles arrived safely to her room. She was exhausted and laid herself down on the bed. She closed her eyes. Nanna was waiting for her.

 

Nielles was crying. Felix had been teasing her all day long that he had been given a gift. She wondered why she had not been given any gifts. Nanna found her alone in a corner, facing a wall. "Dear child, what's wrong?" she asked.

"Felix is mean, he says Mama and Papa love him more now, since he has a gift. I didn't get anything, so they don't love me as much."

"On this planet, some children are born with a gift," Nanna explained. "Felix has it, but you, Nielles, you do not."

Nielles' eyes were sore and red from crying. "Why not Nanna?"

Nanna bent down to Nielles and hugged her close. "I don't know dear child, but I have a gift for you. One that was taught to those on my planet."

She looked into Nanna's old eyes. "What is it Nanna?"

"You'll see, dear child."

Nanna put her hands together, as if she was in prayer.

Nielles noticed how old Nanna's hands looked as they pressed together.

Suddenly, a light appeared in Nanna's hands. The light was shadowy, but glowed with an eerie light. Nanna's hand separated from each other and the light grew even larger.

"Nielles, this is the knowledge of my world. It is passed down to each member of my race. There are not many of us left. All that we once were, all that is, is now yours."

Nanna brought the light over Nielles' head. She pushed the light down, where it grew brighter, and brighter, until it disappeared. Nielles eyes glowed with same eerie light.

"Do you understand now?"

 

 

Nielles awoke to a bright morning in Steel Canyon. The sun was shining through the blinds of the window. Rays of light pierced the dark bedroom. She walked to the table and looked at the papers and books strewn about. She opened the file on Demi Tasse. In the file, was a photograph. Nielles looked at the photograph, then looked in a mirror behind her. She looked again at the photograph.

 

"Nanna, I understand now."



Current Mood: cold
Friday, October 12th, 2007
7:11 pm
Teek's Revenge

    "Come on team, we can do it!" said Miss Teek. 

    The winds and rain stung the small group of heroes trying to save the small levee at West Bank.  They were arranged in a line, each just a few feet away from the cement wall designed to keep water out of low lying areas.  Miss Teek stood in the rear, dressed in her trademark raven bodysuit and cerulean cape.  Her young face, normally covered with a hood, was exposed to the elements, due to the strong wind.  Hurricane Katrina had arrived just a few hours earlier.  The skies had turned from a deep ocean blue, to arsenic grey, mottled with scarlet.  

    "If we can just hold out a little longer, help will be along soon!  I'm sure of it!" said Teek. 

    Truthfully, Teek knew that any help would be late, if at all.  The other heroes sent down from Paragon City were scattered throughout New Orleans on their own team assignments to save the city.  Teek led a mixed group of heroes, though a few of them could control the Earth.  

    It was like watching a children's sand castle as it faced the oncoming tide.  Water soon began to lap at the top of the levee.  They all knew that sooner or later, the storm surge from Katrina would soon overtake the small barrier.  The Earth Controllers began to use their powers to raise the ground beneath the levee, but who knew how long they could keep it up.  Miss Teek could tell that they were all getting tired.  She put her hands together as if in prayer and chanted a spell to allow her and her teammates to keep their strength up.

    Just then, long cracks appeared in the levee.  Had the wind not been blowing over 100 miles per hour, they might have heard the cement actually breaking.

    "The levee is collapsing!  We've got to get out of here!" said one of the Earth Controllers.  

    "Too late!"

     That was the last thing Miss Teek heard before the water rushed in to swallow her up.



Current Mood: peaceful
Thursday, September 27th, 2007
12:51 am
Demi's Revenge
Shades of scarlet and amber danced on stone walls. Flame-lit torches rustled with the slight current of wind that blew through the chamber.

Something stirred on the bed of marble below. A woman lay on the dais, draped in a sheet of indigo satin. Her long auburn hair was out in a fan shape. She raised her arms above her head and stretched when she sat up. It felt good to stretch, she thought. It seemed as if it had been years since she had last done it.

She stood up from the bed and walked to her dressing mirror and table. A pirouette revealed that she was still in top, fit condition. On a wooden rack was her trademark outfit- a black halter top and mini skirt. The leather garb seemed to stick to her skin so tight, that it felt like a second layer. She ran her hands through her hair, teasing it into the shape she wanted. Finally, she was ready to go.

This was the third night in a row that she could not have a night of restful sleep. She constantly replayed images in her mind of what had happened only recently: Her death and rebirth. Demi Tasse had returned to the world of the living to exact a final revenge on her arch-nemesis, the Ghost Widow.

Demi noted that as she walked through the compound, a soft padded sound that occured whenever her heels made contact with the ground. Someone was following her, and he or she was in-step with her own.

Something was in the air that made Demi wrinkle her nose. It reminded Demi of wet fur. Just before she reached the outer exit, she turned around and placed her arm out, with a cupped hand. She felt purchase of something furry, but saw nothing. She gave a slight squeeze. In return, that something began to paw at her hand until she released it. Demi looked in front of her and out of a wavy distortion appeared a feline figure.

"Me-ow! What was that for?" asked the creature.

Demi Tasse recognized the voice of Shadowfeline, her faithful, feline friend from the planet Besktar.

"I'm sorry Shadow, I'm a bit nervous I suppose," said Demi.

"Master, where are you going?" asked Shadowfeline.

She did not respond.

"You have been gone for many months and now you return to us and you can't even say what it is you're doing or where you're going?"

Demi recognized the genuine care in Shadowfeline's voice, but could not bring herself to involve anyone else in her plans.

"Are you just going to stand there and stare or answer! Meow!"

Demi lowered her face down to Shadowfeline's face and moved very close, so close that whiskers brushed her cheek. A slip of pink made its way out of Demi's mouth and slowly and deliberately, licked Shadowfeline's nose.

Demi slowly backed away from Shadowfeline, eyes locked on those orbs of copper and green. Shadowfeline stood confused until Demi brought up a hand and slowly waved.

The ocean cooled the winds into Cap au Diable. Demi shivered. Shivered. The realization set in. She was alive!

Demi walked along the boardwalk enjoying the cool weather. She passed by a bar on the waterfront. Neon lights buzzed in the night. Muffled sounds could be heard from the outside. All those people inside having a good time somehow made Demi want to join them.

Demi walked in. The bar was filled with people drinking and dancing. The music that was playing had a beat that made Demi want to dance. She went to the bartender and asked for a drink.

A group of young people were talking to each other. A young man in a blue dress shirt and slacks was looking at her. He had dark hair and eyes and was well groomed. He sipped his drink while another woman continued to talk to him. He did not seem interested in what the other woman had to say, once he had seen Demi.

She sipped her drink and enjoyed the numbing effect it had. She noticed other men nearby who looked in her direction. The other women in the bar looked at her too, but not with the same admiration. She knew she was the most attractive woman in the entire bar.

Her drink soon emptied. She looked to her side and found the man dressed in a blue shirt beside her.

"Can I buy you another?" he asked.

Demi simply shrugged and then smiled at him. He ordered another drink for her and took a drink of himself.

"Hey, how did you do that?"

"What?" asked Demi.

"Look so good."

Demi laughed. "That's got to be the worst line I've ever heard. Sit down," she said.

He sipped on his drink before sitting down. "I really just wanted to make you laugh. You've got a wonderful laugh," said Rob.

Demi could see that the woman Rob was talking to was upset. She really had no interest at all with him, but just knowing that another woman was jealous made her feel good. Rob started to say something to her, but Demi cut him off with a passionate kiss on the mouth.

"Come on, let's go to your place," said Demi as she began to walk towards the door.

A few hours later, Rob rolled over with exhaustion. "Oh my God, that was the best I've ever had," he said. Littered about the floor was a pile of clothes, including Rob's blue shirt and Demi's skirt. Demi put her head on Rob's chest. She had no feeling of satisfaction like Rob had. Instead, she felt empty. She thought she might find solace in being with Rob, but she was emotionless.

Rob lit up a cigarette and began to smoke it. Demi took it from him and took a few puffs.

"Don't you have anything to say?" asked Rob.

"Not really," said Demi.

She picked up a blanket, wrapped herself up in it, and walked toward the window. She looked at the moon for answers. Rob coughed and Demi turned to see him. When she turned her attention back to the window, she noticed on a table by the window was a set of photographs. Demi heard the flick of lighter and knew Rob had lit another cigarette. Demi picked up one of the pictures.

"Oh, shit," said Rob.

The photo was of Rob and a beautiful woman. She was dressed in a dark jumpsuit. She held a helmet in her arm. Rob began to explain that he was not married nor did he have a girlfriend. Despite the woman's beauty, there was a certain cruel look to her that Demi found familiar. She turned and faced him, with her finger pointed at the woman in the photograph.

"Who is this?" asked Demi.

"No one," replied Rob.

"I don't care about that, who is this?"

Demi was about to lose her temper when she heard a cry from another room in the apartment. Rob ignored Demi's question and went to the other room. While Rob was gone, Demi dressed herself.

He came back a few minutes later with a small child in his arms. She had the same dark features as her father.

"I lied, I do have someone. This is my daughter Bella, she was named after her mother, who died a few years ago," explained Rob.

"Tell me about her," said Demi as she sat down on the corner of the bed.

"I don't know that much about her. I knew she was in the army or something. We met and had a short relationship. I had no idea she was pregnant until nine months later," said Rob.

He began to bounce Bella up and down in his arm, who fell back to sleep.

Rob continued, "She left me a note saying that this was our child and that she could not raise her herself. It all seemed so fantastic, but here she is nonetheless."

Demi looked at the photograph again. "What was Bella's mother's name?"

"Belladonna Vetrano."

"She lookes familiar," said Demi.

She lied. Demi knew that Ghost Widow's real name was Belladonna Vetrano. The photograph she had just saw was her as a Night Widow, before she turned into Ghost Widow. If that was true, and Bella was Ghost Widow's daughter, then it was entirely possible that Bella was her anchor in the world of the living!

Demi's mind raced. Everyone knew that the only reason Ghost Widow could not be killed was because she had some tie-in that allowed her to come back at will. She also knew that from saving Wretch long ago that he was not the anchor, despite everyone thought he was!

No one would ever suspect Bella could be Ghost Widow's soulstring! It was perfect! Except for one small detail.

Demi began to pick up her clothes off the floor and then put them on. Rob was still holding Bella in his arms, though she was fast asleep.

"Can I hold her?" asked Demi. She knew she was right as soon as Bella was in her arms. Demi walked to Bella's room and put her down on the bed.

Rob began to talk in a whisper, "You know you're great with kids." He started to walk over to Demi when she punched him in the face. Rob stepped a few feet back from the blow. Her eyes began to glow with a stream of fiery red.

"What the fuck?" asked Rob. He opened a nearby drawer and began to look through its contents. He pulled out a gun. He pointed it at Demi where she could see it tremble in his hands. His finger began to close on the trigger when she closed in.

Rob fired, but Demi was not there. Instead, she was right in front of him. Her fist glowed with angry blue spirals and connected with Rob's stomach. He flew back several feet into the wall, breaking the drawer and creating a long crack in the wall. A mirror fell from it's mount and shattered onto the floor.

Bella began to scream. It took several seconds for Rob to get up, but when he did, Demi was there. She grabbed him by the neck and lifted him straight off the floor.

"What...are..."

Demi closed her fist over Rob's neck in a bloody mess. His head dropped to the floor with a thud. She turned around and saw Bella standing in the doorway. Demi's arm was slick with blood.

"Where is Daddy?" she asked.

Demi said nothing and tried to pick her up, but Bella began to hit her with both fists. "Who are you, go away!" screamed Bella. The small girl continued to beat on Demi with both fists until Demi held her arm with her hand. Her mind was focused on only one thing, and looked around the room for a suitable tool.

Demi dragged Bella over to the broken drawer. There was a long, sharp piece of wood. Demi picked up Bella by the arm, then grabbed her leg and threw the child down onto the wooden spike.

There was blood, so much blood, from such a small child. Bella twitched for a few minutes, then was still. Demi fell to the ground on her knees. At last, she had done it. She had struck back at Ghost Widow, who could now be killed. Bella's head lolled and fell to the side facing Demi. Her small eyes, once full of life now turned bone white.

"Touche', Demi."

Demi began to laugh maniacally out loud. She rocked back and forth, basking in her victory against Ghost Widow. Then the laugh slowly turned into a cry. Demi felt pain all over her body, but worse in her head. She held her head with her hands and moved from side-to-side, as if shaking might alleviate the pain. Demi collapsed backward onto the floor, writhing. The pain moved to her midriff. She felt like she was on fire!

Tears began to cloud Demi's vision. She sat up and grabbed what she thought was a tablecloth with her right arm. She started to hit her stomach with her right arm, trying to put out the fire. Demi wiped her eyes with her left arm and noticed she was sitting in a large pool of blood. There was no fire.

She looked down and saw that it was not Rob's nor Bella's blood, but that it was her own. She looked at the cloth she had in her hand. Wrapped in the center of the cloth was a long shard of glass, from the mirror that hung above the chest of drawers.

Demi felt cold and knew she had lost too much blood. She lay back down on the ground. She exhaled and saw a blue cloud escape from her mouth. It floated in front of her and then was gone.

She knew why already, but decided to let it be.



Current Mood: cold
Friday, August 17th, 2007
6:06 pm
Reborn
    She leaned with her back against a wall, but somehow she felt weightless, as if she was floating in a pool of water. The air was cool and crisp against her skin. Her long hair fell down along her face, obstructing her view. She lifted her right arm up and looked at her hand. There was a long gash down the center of her palm. Her left hand had a similar gash. She felt a slight throbbing around her temples. She began to remember things as the throbs pulsed through her.
Right.
    That's where I held the glass with my hands.
    She began to remember more and more as time passed. Instinctively, she touched her stomach with both hands. She ran her hands around her stomach, as if she was looking for something. Just above her navel was a thin, red, vertical line.
    That is where I was stabbed with the shard.
    With a terrifying realization, she began to tremble with fear. Slowly, she touched her lips with her fingertips.
    This is how I said goodbye to the man I loved.
    And with this final epiphany, she painfully screamed out loud.

    Her thoughts floated in a sea of emptiness. They touched each other as they were tossed about in the current. They turned into small impulses of light- brilliant shades of blue and white. It looked like a cloud in the distance, but the lights turned into shapes. As they came nearer, they formed a pair of legs, arms, then a head, took shape. It was much larger and taller than she was. Finally, it looked almost human, except it had no skin, just brilliant white and blue pulsating light.
    For several minutes, it just stared at the woman. Occasionally, it floated around the woman, looking at her from different angles, as if she were some strange creature. The woman asked it, “Who are you? What do you want?”
    The being opened a space on it's face where the mouth would be, but no words came out. Instead, she heard his response in her head. “Who I am is not important. What I want is not important.”
    “I don't understand,” said the woman.
    It floated close to her and moved it's head close to hers. “Do you know your name?,” asked the being.
    Demi. My name is Demi.
    “Yes, your name is Demi.” said the being, and slowly backed away from her face.
    I'm confused.
    It tilted it's head slightly, but continued to look at Demi, as if seeing through her. It asked, “Do you know where you are?”
    “No, I have no idea,” said Demi.
“This place is exists and doesn't exist. We are neither here nor there,” said the being in a slightly airy tone.
    We? Who are you?
    It seemed to chuckle with laughter. “My apologies, I have not properly introduced myself,” it said. “I have gone by many names during my existence, and I doubt you can pronounce my given name.”
    “I don't understand,” said Demi.
    “Then this will help,” said the being. It reached out and placed it's palm on her forehead. Images began to form in Demi's mind. She saw nothing but a black void, but then she saw white lights passing by her. A small yellow dot appeared on the horizon. Demi felt the sensation of flight as she moved towards the dot. The lights swept past her at an amazing speed. The dot grew larger and larger as she approached it.
    The stars, a planet.
   
The yellow planet suddenly loomed in front of her. She stopped in front of it and gazed upon it in awe. Then, she flew right through the center of the planet. She saw luminous blue clouds, each flying about the surface of the yellow planet. One particular cloud saw her and floated toward her. It stopped in front of her and enveloped her.
    More images ran through Demi's mind. All the clouds gathered together and began to move off the yellow planet and into space. She was swept along with the clouds as they began their journey towards another planet, a blue one, with brown and green spots, swirling with white.
    The massive cloud descended upon the blue planet. Then, the clouds began to break up. The one cloud that singled Demi out moved toward a group of people. At the center of the group was a large, athletic, dark skinned man.  The cloud and the man became one. Demi understood now.
    Victor? Is he here? Can I see him?
    “No, Victor is dead,” said the being.
    “Dead?” asked Demi.
    “Victor could have chosen to have been reborn. I have that power within me. However, he chose not to. Instead, he wanted to tell you this.”
    Demi began to cry softly.
    And with that, the being pulsated and glowed once more, finally turning into the shape of Victor Riley. He stood before her and opened his arms. Demi stepped into his embrace and rested her head on his chest.
    “Oh Vic, what is going on? Where are we?” asked Demi.
    “Well babe, in the short of things, we're dead,” said Victor. He began to pace around. Victor's face seemed to search for a way to explain things to Demi. “You and I are dead. Right now, we're in a sort of in-between place.”
    “Dead. We're dead,” said Demi.
    “As doornails!” said Victor.
    Something stirred deep inside of Demi. It had laid dormant for a long time, so long, that she almost forgot what it had felt like. It was like a blanket that she could wrap herself up in. It could protect her from anything. She had not needed it in a long time, but it was always there. “That bitch got us didn't she?”
    “She got us,” said Victor in a passive voice.
    “Oh my God, she's dead! Dead!” said Demi and threw her arm up in the air threateningly.
    “Tut tut Dem, that's the thing. You're dead,” said Victor.
    “There's no way she's going to get away with that,” said Demi. “I'm dead, but I swear I will make a pact with the Devil just to come back and kill that fucking bitch!”
    “You don't need the Devil,” said Victor.
    Demi put on questioning look on her face. “Go on,” she said.
    Victor crossed his arms and cupped a hand under his chin. “The being you saw before is an old friend of mine. He can help us.”
    “I don't trust him,” said Demi.
    He placed her hands in his. “You can trust us,” said Victor.
    “Us?” asked Demi.
    “Us,” said Victor. “The being you saw before you is a Kheldian. His name is Blueshift. I was his host body, but now you can choose to be his host.”
    “Host? So he's going to live inside me?” she asked.
    “That's right,” said Victor.
    Demi felt renewed. She turned around and made a pirouette with her arms high in the air and stretched as if having woken from a long slumber. She completed her turn and looked at Victor, her eyes, burning with red fury. Her lips formed a thin line, which eventually turned into a smile of complete satisfaction. “So, how do we get started?"

Current Mood: content
Thursday, May 24th, 2007
7:22 pm
The Closure of Demi Tasse
Atlas Park lies at the heart of Paragon City. City Hall at the very center is distinguished by the huge statue of Atlas with the world on his shoulders. Surrounding City Hall are recreational parks. The city put many trees and benches for citizens and heroes alike to enjoy nature's beauty. Trees provide enough shade for lovers to lay on the ground and dream of their future. Most trees bear marks of carved initials.

Under one such tree, a man and woman are lying down on the soft, green grass. The man is lying down at the trunk of the tree, hands held behind his head. He has a bald head and dark skin. His face seems savage at first, but quickly diminishes as he smiles at the woman. The woman is lying next to the man, her head resting on his great chest. Her long hair falls softly on her back. She looks up to the man, smiles, and places her arm over his stomach. For once, the both of them can enjoy a deserved rest.

The man closes his eyes and appears to be sleeping. The woman gently rubs his belly.
"Don't you wish this could last forever?" asks the woman.
"I wish it could, but I have to go on patrol soon," says the man. He begins to stand up when the woman presses down on his chest with a hand.
"5 more minutes," she asks. The man settles back down. The woman rolls over to his side, and the both of them look up into the sky.
"It all feels like such a dream. It's so peaceful. I've always wanted this you know," says the woman.
"I know," says the man. The woman smirks, then pokes her finger hard on the man's chest.
"Alright, you'll be late for work," she says. The woman stands up and the man stands up as well.
"I'll see you back at the apartment," says the man.
"Be careful out there baby," says the woman. They embrace for a short time. The man makes two short kissing noises before leaving.

For many years, the woman spent her time off the coast of Paragon City, in an area known as the Rogue Isles. For many of those years, she spent her life as a criminal; the villainess known as Demi Tasse! She had been labeled an arch-villainess by Paragon City, but has now become one of the many heroes defending the city. However,she has done something in her life that not even Statesman can claim. She has defeated his arch-enemy, Lord Arachnos!

It all started long ago when she was labeled a "Destined One", a person who would defeat the greatest criminal mind ever. After having defeated him, Demi's life had taken a tremendous turn. She turned her back on the Rogue Isles after learning about her goddaughter, the Warshade called Marina Selby. Demi was drawn into a plot of Ghost Widow, Lord Arachnos' most trusted lieutenant. When it was over, Demi was forced to leave the Rogue Isles. She had nowhere else to go, but to Paragon City, where she accepted asylum from the Mayor. In turn, she agreed to use her powers for good.

She was first assigned to help protect Peregrine Island, but was shunned by the heroes already protecting that zone. Many of the heroes there had at some point, fallen to Demi Tasse in personal combat. It was then that Mayor placed her in charge of the protection of Overlook, also known as Faultline. There, she met Victor Riley, a Peacebringer assigned to protect Faultline. The two fell in love, though it was tumultuous at first. Both are fierce competitors, which have made for a volatile mix.

Faultline has begun reconstruction. While Arachnos forces attempt to gain foothold in this area, Demi Tasse has made the zone as safe as it can possibly be. Upstart heroes flock to Overlook to get their first look at Arachnos. There is also a certain fascination by these young heroes with Demi Tasse- a hero, who was once a villain. In many cases, she shares that same "rough edge" that many young heroes themselves possess.

For now, there is an eerie quietness in Faultline. Perhaps Arachnos is planning something in the future...
Sunday, December 24th, 2006
2:39 pm
The Trial of Demi Tasse, Part 3
The tall defender Asrial looked at me in disgust. She stood with her arms crossed as the clerk behind the counter doled off in a monotonous tone, all of my personal items taken from me when I was arrested. “1 black and white neoprene jumpsuit, 1 cape, 1 mask, 1 belt made of bone, and one communications device. Sign here,” said the clerk. My goddaughter, Marina Selby, stood by my side as I signed the paperwork. “OK, let’s get this traitor out of here,” said Asrial. “Before we go Asrial, we have to go over the terms of my godmother’s release,” said Marina.

Yes, that’s right- release. I agreed to help my goddaughter. It seemed like the only viable option. I couldn’t stay in prison, but I couldn’t betray Arachnos either. Now that I was free, I had time to think about other options.

We went to the Warden’s office. Marina pulled a document from a leather binder and handed it to Asrial. “Demi Alexis Raine, you agree to the terms set below by Longbow. You will agree to fully cooperate with the Longbow Taskforce and with Paragon City Police Department. Cooperation means your complete pardon, signed by the Mayor of Paragon City. You will be granted asylum in Paragon City and offered protection under the Witness Protection program,” said Asrial. I could tell how Asrial loathed to even offer such a deal to me.

I read over the document, just in case there were any loopholes. Marina gently nudged my side and said, “Mother, you’re doing the right thing.”

I leaned over the desk and signed the paper.

“But wait, there’s just one more thing,” I said. I remembered how Asrial let those Nullifiers loose on me. I began to mouth a word to Asrial, who was looking at me, waiting to hear what I had to say. I turned to Marina and could just imagine Asrial getting upset. “What is it exactly,” Asrial said before I turned back around and hit her. I sent Asrial spinning to the ground. “Guards! Lock this monster back up,” said Asrial before being interrupted by Marina. “Cancel that order. Asrial, we need Demi to do this for us.” “You hear that bitch? Don’t think I’ve forgotten,” I said. Asrial made a sound that sounded like, “Hmph!” Marina smiled at me. I felt better having exacted revenge on Asrial.

Marina took me to a base on Talos Island. Over the next few days, we went over our plan. Statesman himself was there, along with the rest of Freedom Phalanx. The capture of Ghost Widow must have been one of their biggest undertakings yet. Our plan was simple, yet bold. Statesman would lead the Longbow team, accompanied by a Marina and a special group of Paragon Police Department- the Awakened. We would travel by submarine to Mercy Island where we would enter Ghost Widow’s tower in Fort Cerberus. My job was to disable the security system in the tower. Once that was complete, I was to escape back to the submarine, and to freedom. Asrial had no part in the operation, citing “personal issues” with me being on the team. Marina admittedly told me that Asrial was back at City Hall, getting sensitivity training.

We had several weeks before we left for Mercy Island, so in that time I spent time with my goddaughter to learn what happened to Anne. She survived Tommy’s brutal attack and was taken to Chiron Medical Center in Skyway City. There, doctors were able to treat her and she made a full recovery. Anne’s physical wounds were healed, though her mind was fragmented. Numina was summoned to help heal Anne’s psyche. She was able to lift the bonds to the Carnival that held Anne. Once the bonds were broken, Anne emerged as the person she once was, but with a complete memory. Anne’s mask, once a terrifying source of power, was now a simple piece of ceramic art.

The doctors told Anne she was pregnant while in the hospital. Anne carried the child to term and Marina was born. Marina was a strange child in the sense that she matured at a terrifying rate. This was probably due to the mutated genes she inherited from her father, Tommy. My goddaughter lived a normal life until she entered a special program called the “Melding Pot”. This program was designed to combine the powers of normal heroes and heroines with Kheldians. Marina was selected to fuse with the Nictus known as Shadowblight. The two fused together, though Marina’s will was much stronger than her Nictus, and she retained full control over the combination.

Marina told me that Anne rarely spoke of me until the last few months of her life. She confided to Marina all of what happened in the sewers, her father, and me. My goddaughter found it hard to believe that I was a villainess- someone who shouldn’t be trusted because she is evil.

Perhaps even now when she looks at me, she wonders if I am truly evil. I hope she even realizes further that there are always two sides to a story, one of which becomes your perception of reality.

Still, I find it strange to have a goddaughter. She is not my child, but I wonder sometimes if I did have a child, could I raise her the way I was raised, considering the way my life has turned out?

Soon, the date of the operation approached. Our submarine surfaced off the coast of Mercy Island. The doors of the submarine opened. The Longbow troops disembarked, one by one in neat files. Each carried a small jetpack, which they all carefully checked before suiting up. Statesman and Positron needed no jetpack. Marina and her squad of PPD Awakeneds stood off to the side, quietly going over their plans. I stood alone, save for the two Spec Ops behind me.

Statesman held up his arm and whirled it around, signaling the beginning of our operation. He nodded to me first and I readied my own jetpack, given to me by Lieutenant Chalmers of the Sky Raiders. Marina came up next to me and wished me luck.

My jetpack sprouted wings and I lifted off like a rocket from the deck of the submarine. The two Spec Ops followed closely behind, hidden by their invisibility devices. There were only two guards posted outside the hatch to Ghost Widow’s tower. The guards were mere recruits and I dispatched them easily. I gained access to the tower using my own code.

My two cohorts followed behind me as I went inside the tower. I explained to them that it was dangerous to follow me and that they would be seen. I had to continue alone. They did not believe me at first and began to argue. I attacked them both. I did not kill them, but merely knocked them unconscious. After I had dragged them to a closet, I gathered myself and became invisible. I ran at super speed through the base, easily bypassing the base’s defenses. Pop up guns and turrets remained silent at my intrusion.

Finally I reached the security computer. I began to disable the security systems when I noticed a strange object on the screen. I could have sworn I saw a tail disappear behind the closing door of an elevator? Could it be?

I could not move as my finger hovered over the final key sequence. This moment would define the future for me. Would I abandon my life in the Rogue Isles? Could I leave my friends in the Cabal so easily? Was it possible for me to be truly accepted in Paragon City? Only time would tell.

I lifted the tiny plastic cover, revealing a small red button. It made a small click when I pressed it.

The base erupted into panic. I looked on the security monitors to see Longbow troops flying over the large wall with their jetpacks. Statesman and Positron touched down and entered the solitary tower. Marina’s Awakeneds arrived with their distinctive pulsating white flashes of energy.

Squads of Longbow proceeded cautiously along the corridors. Automated defenses sprang into action, cutting down many of the Longbow’s numbers. Statesman began to tear at the pop up turrets. From the opposite end of a corridor appeared the brute known as Wretch. Accompanying him was a squad of Bane Spiders. Behind them was an entire garrison of Arachnos soldiers. It was apparent what would happen next.

Longbow and Arachnos fought it out. I watched from the screen, but could not bring myself to take part in the carnage. It appeared for a moment that Longbow was gaining an upper hand. Statesman and Positron were handling Wretch, while their minions fought one another.

Marina’s team was nowhere to be found.

Then, Ghost Widow appeared with her group of Night Widows and Fortunatas. They mixed with those already fighting. Arachnos appeared to be winning when Marina’s team showed up. Bane Spiders and Huntsmen fell easily as the Awakeneds began to take over the fight.

Arachnos strength waned in the corridor. It was then that Longbow began to fall one by one. What looked like a small tornado were actually three stalkers dancing a deadly ballet. I saw a Longbow Rifleman take aim at two green lights in the far distance. He was about to fire when a hissing blur passed him by. He dropped his rifle in terror and looked at the security camera. Five perfect diagonal lines were drawn on his face.

A young woman with white hair wearing white straps beckoned a Longbow Ballista to fight one on one. Meanwhile, a man dressed in strange black armor was outnumbered by three Nullifiers and an Awakened. The Kheldian jumped in the air, fists raised threateningly, but landed back down on the ground and appeared to be asleep. A tall woman with a topknot from the far end of the hallway, who was dressed as strangely as the man, winked and smiled at him before disappearing.

Elsewhere, the fight was going bad for Longbow. Wretch himself seemed to gaining the upper hand on both Statesman and Positron. The brute glowed a strange green, but ignored any ill effects as the battle continued. Marina’s team of PPD Awakeneds was all but knocked out by now, Bane Spiders being the only ones able to take them on. Marina herself found alone with Ghost Widow.

I sped as fast as I could through the base to my goddaughter.

I arrived to find Ghost Widow taunting Marina. “Marina no!” I screamed. Marina began to shudder and shake in a wonderful purple flash. What emerged from that flash was a creature so terrifying it could only be alien. It was gigantic and emitted a strange purple glow. It had big plates of armor all over it. Two purple eyes glowed from beneath a strange visor. A single horn extended from the top of its head. This creature reminded me of a rhinoceros. It looked at me with its strange eyes. One eye went out for a second and then reappeared. It winked at me!

Ghost Widow summoned two Fortunatas that the purple beast easily tossed aside. Marina, in her strange form, appeared to be keeping pace with Ghost Widow. This however was an illusion. More Fortunatas and Night Widows appeared at their Mistress’ side and began to fight with my goddaughter.

“Activating emergency teleport matrix!” said Positron. Wretch had just sent the final blow to the techno-hero. I turned around to see a shocked Statesman. He renewed his brawl with vigor. Bodies of Longbow and Arachnos troops littered the ground. Salt and peppered throughout were PPD Awakened or Bane Spiders.

Statesman appeared to be tiring. “Ughh, Wretch no take no more,” said Wretch, and finally collapsed. Three wavy lines appeared behind Wretch’s still form. The first was a cat who licked her paw before drawing her sword. Next to the cat was the young girl in straps. She waved her arms in a downward motion as if she was annoyed at something. From her knuckles appeared a dangerous row of claws. The third wavy line to appear in view was the man with a topknot. A tall feminine figure, also with a topknot, appeared. Behind her in the darkness were the two strange glowing eyes.

“So, you are the Cabal,” said Statesman. The man with the topknot simply raised his arm, looked to his right, and dropped his arm. At once the three stalkers became invisible. Statesman spun around to search for his three newest threats. Only the woman with the topknot was before him. A rush of green clouds came from nowhere to envelop Statesman. The tall woman put fingertips to her forehead as if in a trance. Statesman began to run full on at the tall woman. Then he suddenly stopped and fell to his knees. From three sides appeared Shadowfeline, Tialice, and Jabawock.

Statesman looked at his left arm which had a small watch. He pressed something and then he disappeared.

The Cabal of 23 Stout Sticks looked at me. Would they attack?

Someone ran past me who now faced the Cabal. Marina looked tired from her fight with Ghost Widow. She stumbled into a series of pipes and fell to the ground. She was able to get herself to sit up with some effort.

“You were amusing at first, but now I grow weary of your persistence,” said Ghost Widow. Marina was trying to breathe rapidly, but she was having a hard time doing that. Blood trickled from Marina’s lip. “You will pay for your crimes you monster!” said Marina. Ghost Widow lifted off the ground and hovered over to my goddaughter. She began to chant a strange spell as she closed in on Marina.

I had to do something.

“No!” I screamed and began to hurl shards of ice at Ghost Widow. “You stay away from her!”

Ghost Widow began to loose mental bolts of energy at me. Most of them missed, but some enveloped me in a strange pink and gray light. The surviving Arachnos troops began to rally around Ghost Widow. Ranks of Night Widows stood dutifully by their mistress’ side. I think my friends understood what was happening then. They sprung into action, keeping the Night Widows away, and separating them from me and Ghost Widow.

“You sought to destroy me Ghost Widow! I can handle betrayal, but you will not harm my daughter!” Ghost Widow began sending her mental attacks at me again. Shards and spikes of ice responded to the pink and grey flashes. I began to siphon the power away from Widow. Soon I had absorbed enough that Ghost Widow no longer was a threat. My ice attacks began to find their way home.

She was beginning to tire. “Demi, wait, we can work out a deal!” said Ghost Widow. “No, there will be no deal! Let this be a lesson to you! Do not trifle with my friends, or my family,” I said. “You’re finished in Arachnos! I mark you now, as my sworn enemy! Now and forever!” said Ghost Widow. “I don’t need Arachnos to belong to a family. I have my own,” I said as I gestured to the Cabal. They stood behind me, having just won their fight with the Night Widows. “Ghost Widow , do not cross my path ever again,” I said. I siphoned a tremendous amount of energy and released it in a great blizzard that enveloped Ghost Widow. She began to shiver before she finally faded away.

“Mom… Demi…,” said Marina. “I’m here Marina,” I said as I knelt by her and picked up her hand. “This is your daughter?” said Tialice. A series of beeps and buzzes asked another question. “Yes, she’s my daughter,” I said. “Mother, I need to go back… I’m so exhausted,” said Marina. “Yes, I’ll send you home now,” I said. “Come with me, you can stay with me. Bring your friends,” said Marina. I smiled. “No, I don’t think it would work out. I think deep down, you knew it too,” I said. Marina smiled at me. She tugged at something on her neck. It was a necklace with a small gold cross which she then handed to me. “That was my mother’s. I think it belongs to you now,” said Marina. I took the necklace and smiled back. I held my daughter tight. “I love you,” I said as I pressed the small button on her watch. She disappeared.

I put the necklace on and got up. My friends were looking at me. “Meow, I missed you Master,” said Shadowfeline. “Oh come here, all of you,” I said. We embraced each other as I was welcomed back.

Back at the hideout, I sat on my bed, staring at the small cross. I felt eyes watching me. I heard beeps and buzzing; then I felt alone once more. The orange light made by my lamp flickered. Was Marina alive and well? I lay down on the bed and held my teddy bear. I stroked its head, pretending it was Marina. I whispered in her ear, “Everything’s alright now, everything is alright.” Somehow, I knew she heard me.

Current Mood: busy
Saturday, December 23rd, 2006
9:32 am
The Trial of Demi Tasse Part 3
My trial was a complete disaster. The judge found me guilty of course. I was sentenced to 99 years in solitary confinement, to be carried out at Ziggurat Penitentiary, in Brickstown.

My cell was small and everything was covered in white padding. I could deal with not being in the normal prison population but, I deeply missed my friends. Sometimes, late at night, when it was dark, I would wake up and bring my knees to my chest. I rocked back and forth, thinking about the Cabal.

I imagined that I was back in our hideout. Shadowfeline would be in her lab, concocting curious combinations of catnip. Xoar would be in his room, which was completely dark, except for the strange green glow of his eyes. Tialice would be propped up in a corner listening to him, for they had lots to catch up on. Aesis could always be found on her couch, reading one of her endless supply of floppy dog eared-books. Jabawock, our leader, would be in the meeting room, thinking of our next move.

I thought about the strange woman in the white mask. What exactly did she mean? Mother? She couldn’t be. There was just no way. Soon I would find out what she meant.

One day, I had a visitor. She was a young woman, accompanied by two Longbow Nullifiers. The guards placed me in handcuffs before the young woman was allowed in. They also brought in a small wooden table with two chairs, guided me to a chair, and then stood behind me. The young woman entered the room and sat down. She seemed to be a bit shorter than me. She wore a distinctive red and white jumpsuit- just like the ones Longbow wore. Her platinum white hair was tied in a ponytail. I happened to notice something strange about her- blue freckles!

“So, we finally meet. Face to face.”

I didn’t answer.

“Don’t you recognize me, Godmother?”

“What are you talking about?!”

The young woman brought out a small brown box, wrapped in leather. She opened the box. On a bed of purple silk sat a white mask with red markings. She handed the mask to me. I thought about the mask. There was only one person who could have worn it, but she was dead!

“No, this is impossible!”

“Anne was my mother. When you left that day in the sewers, she was close to death. One of the Longbow soldiers who survived found my mother and called for an emergency transport. She was taken to Chiron Medical Center where she made a complete recovery.”

“You can’t possibly be Anne’s daughter!”

“But I am. Tommy was my father. I can prove it scientifically, but look at my face. Haven’t you recognized my blue freckles?”

“You’re lying. This is some sort of trick!”

“Look at yourself Demi. All that time spent in the sewers changed you- mutated you. They have done the same for me as they have for you.”

“I still don’t believe you, whoever you are.”

“My name is Marina Selby. My mother’s last name is Selby. My father was a member of the Lost. You knew him as Tommy. You don’t believe me, but I speak the truth. Demi, I am your Goddaughter.”

This couldn’t be possible. Anne’s last name was Selby. Is she still alive, after all this time? Hope grew inside me, but I’ve learned over the years that hope is dangerous thing. It can either rise you up from the deepest depths, or send you spiraling further into despair.

“Anne is still alive?”

“Was. My mother died a few months ago. It was her wish that I meet you at least one time.”

A single tear found its way out and streaked down my face.

Marina brought out another small box, which was made of crystal.

“I know why you’re here. This is what you want isn’t it?”

In the box was a small brown stone. Could it be the Soul Stone of the Cabal?

“I don’t know what that is.”

“Yes you do! It’s the Soul Stone of the Cabal. Ghost Widow sold you out Demi! She told us that you might be coming after it.”

“I still don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Mother, don’t take me for a complete fool! I know this is what you’re after. But you can help us- help me take down Ghost Widow.”

My new title felt somewhat odd at first. The Infamous Untamed Mom? At least I knew she was trying to be more personal with me.

“I don’t know Marina.”

“Work with us Mom! With your help we can catch Ghost Widow and make her pay for her crimes and her betrayal!”

“Why should I help you Marina? This whole idea is insane. They won’t let me go easily. I know too much.”

“I am a high ranking officer in Longbow. I can grant you a pardon and asylum in Paragon City as long as you agree to help us.”

I thought long and hard about what this meant. What would happen to my friends? There would be tremendous repercussions if I betrayed Arachnos. Would Lord Recluse himself become involved? I feared the outcome. I sat there for a long time, staring at Anne’s mask. Marina knew I was in conflict, weighing the possibilities.

“Demi, my mother made you my legal guardian. You can live with me in Steel Canyon.”

Marina was the sole tie to Anne that I had left. She wasn’t my child, but I often imagined what it would be like to be normal- to live a normal life, rather than the one I had chosen.

“You don’t have to answer now. But this offer won’t last forever. You have 2 days to think it over.”

The two days were the longest and toughest days of my life. At the end of the second day, I told the guard to send my daughter a message.

Current Mood: crazy
Sunday, December 17th, 2006
11:57 am
The Trial of Demi Tasse: Part 1
Light. Blinding white light.

“The subject is regaining consciousness.”

Yes, I’m fine other than the back of my neck really hurts.

“The subject seems agitated.”

Oh, I am agitated alright.   My head tells me that my head and wrists are bound to something and that my arms are dangling. I seem to be on my knees. I would say this whole situation could qualify me as being agitated, wouldn’t you?

“The subject has opened her eyes. She has regained full consciousness. Alert the doctors as soon as possible.”

I see a Longbow Ballista staring straight at me. There is no mistaking his ridged helmet. I look to my left, then my right. I cannot move my head up or down. 

What the hell? Am I in a stock?

 Well, that explains why my wrists hurt. From the looks of the stock, the heroes are becoming more imaginative.

A man in a lab coat walks in the room. He walks over to a small box on the wall. A wire leads from the box to the stock. I hope this isn’t what I think it is.

Another man walks into the room. He is also wearing a lab coat. This one is actually a doctor. I see the medical caduceus on his coat pocket. He has a little gadget that he points over my body in certain areas. He says nothing, so I suppose that means I am OK for now.

The two men move to a corner of the room. I cannot hear what they are saying. The Ballista continues to stare at me.

Someone else walks into the room. It’s the tall heroine from Croatoa! She’s accompanied by three Longbow Nullifiers. Their rifles pulse with an angry blue signature. She talks with the two men in lab coats, then with the Ballista. The Ballista finally speaks.

“State your name for the record.” 

“Go to hell you giant tin can! I’ve got your cousin in my kitchen and he does a lousy job of making toast!” 

“That is not a valid response. Please state your name.”

I have a playful idea in mind.

The Ballista has a number right below his neck. It reads 715C. I politely respond in a fabricated technological voice, “I am Longbow Ballista Unit 715C.”

The tall heroine places a cupped hand to her forehead. “I see this is getting nowhere. We can do this the easy way, or the hard way.”

The Ballista asks my name again.

“My designation is Longbow Ballista Unit 715D. I am your sister model 715C. There has been a mistake, release me at once!”

I show a smarmy smile to the tall heroine. She responds by giving a curt nod to Lab Coat Number Two. She returns the smarmy smile back. Lab Coat Two walks toward the little box on the wall. There is a small dial that he begins rotating clockwise. A small hum begins to emanate from the stock.

The humming gets louder until I begin to feel the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. It shoots up and down my arms and legs. My hair feels as if it’s sticking straight out! The entire time the heroine looks at me, with the same smarmy smile. She finally nods again to Lab Coat, who then turns off the stock.

The doctor approaches and scans me again with his gizmo. “The subject appears to be recovering from electrocution.”

Really? Did 20 years of schooling tell you all of that or did the little box?

The tall heroine speaks again. “Now, why don’t you cooperate with us? We can do this all over again if need be.”

Before I can respond, the technician turns the dial again. He must have known what I was going to say already. The humming begins again. I shake my head in rage and scream. Screaming doesn’t help, so I clench my teeth. I grunt and growl as I thrash about in the stock.  Is something burning?

The Ballista asks once more. “State your name for the record.”

My voice is shaky; my breathing, labored. “I am Demi Alexis Raine. I am also called Demi Tasse.”

The questions continue on and on. What was I doing in Croatoa? Who sent me? Why? Was I aware that I was breaking any laws? Blah blah blah!

I may have told “Tall Girl” my name, but not the real reason for being in Croatoa. I am here to find Asrial and this “Soul Stone of the Cabal”. As soon as I can get that, I’m going home.

The doctor and technician leave the room. “Tall Girl” and Ballista talk while the Nullifiers and I exchange dirty looks. “I understand and will comply,” said the Ballista. “The information will be sent to Azuria at Atlas Park. Thank you Madame Asrial.”

What?! “Tall Girl” is Asrial? All I need to do now is get out of here. IF I can get out of here.

Asrial turns to me as the Ballista leaves the room.

“Demi Tasse, you are under arrest for violation of Paragon City Penal Code. You will stand trial for your crimes. You will remain here in your cell until the date of your trial. Do not attempt to use your powers. All guards are equipped with Nullifier Rifles. When we leave, the stock will open and you will be free to move about your cell.”

Asrial walks through the doorway, but stops half way. The three Longbow Nullifiers have their rifles leveled and pointed at me. “Oh by the way, this is what a Nullifier feels like.”

She turns around and walks away. Her pink hair seems to swish as she rounds the corner. The three Nullifiers aim their weapons and fire. Angry blue snakes of energy erupt from their barrels, aimed straight at my face.

I wish I could tell you what it felt like, because it was then that I blacked out.


Current Mood: chipper
Sunday, December 10th, 2006
8:08 pm
Betrayer!
Grandville, home to Lord Recluse himself, is the most fortified city in the Rogue Isles-and everyone wants to get in. Most people are turned away at the immigration lines, unless you happen to be one of the “Destined Ones” of Project Destiny. I am a Destined One. I am Demi Alexis Raine, known throughout the Rogue Isles as the villainess, Demi Tasse. I was once a member of the Lost, though now I have found myself a member of the Cabal of 23 Stout Sticks. I have also been kissed by the Spider- Ghost Widow. Ever since I helped Seer Marino and her brother, the brute known as Wretch, Ghost Widow has taken a keen interest in my future.

Since I enjoy the favor of Ghost Widow, Lord Recluse’s right hand, I enjoy free travel about Grandville. Today I have been summoned for a meeting in the central tower. You can see this great tower as soon as you disembark from the Ferry.

Upon entering the tower, I am greeted by Arbiter Daos, who is the Arbiter of Arbiters. I have had a few dealings with him the past. Luckily, all of them can be labeled as amicable. It is well known that Arbiter Daos’ loyalty to Arachnos surpasses all- even his own family. I know this all to well, since it was I who exposed Agent Deathstalker from the Malta Group as Daos’ own son. Did Arbiter Daos just give me a dirty look?

I continue my way to the elevators when I am accosted by a group of Night Widows, led by a Fortunata. It is no other than Kallinda herself!

“Welcome Demi Tasse. You have come a long way since Mercy Island. I personally thought you had forsaken us for that upstart Matthew Burke.”
I am quick to get down to business since I trust no one. “I have an appointment with Ghost Widow. Where is she?”
“Jumpy aren’t we? Ghost Widow apologizes for not being here in person. She has recorded her message on this information disc. I suggest you play it in private.”

I leave the tower for the base. I feel immediate relief, knowing that I am under the protection of some of the most feared Stalkers throughout the Rogue Isles. I enter the base and am greeted by a strange song- one that I have not heard since I was a little girl. Something about a bus and wheels going around and around.

Shadowfeline is busy in her laboratory, finding new ways of concocting catnip combinations. Bags without labels are strewn about the lab. There are brilliantly yellow and orange colored bits of fur all over the table tops. I do not want to disturb Shadow, since I know handling catnip from Besktar is something that takes great care. As I walk away, I hear a small explosion, like that of a firecracker. “Meow! That is good stuff!”

I need a computer. Aesis will have one that I can use. Her room consists of a desk and couch. Books are stacked by the ends of the couch. In one corner is a giant crystal. The tall Dominator is lying down on the couch, her face hidden by a large book. Oblivious to my intrusion, I turn on the mission computer and insert Ghost Widow’s information disc.
A three dimensional image of Ghost Widow with her trademark dark eyes and white face appear.
“Greetings Demi Tasse. I apologize for not being able to deliver this news in person. I need you to find something for me. It is called the Soul Stone of the Cabal. I believe finding this is beneficial for both parties. Seek me out once it is in your possession.”

Soul Stone of the Cabal? What is it that Ghost Widow is talking about? I must have said something meaningful, since the sound of pages turning behind me has stopped.

“What do you know of the Soul Stone of the Cabal?” I ask. I turn around to look at Aesis. The book descends, allowing me to see an almost bald head, with a top knot. Piercing white eyes appear above the pages of the book.

“The Soul Stone of the Cabal is a sacred stone, used to encase a soul. It is typically used in body transference. It was frequently used by the Cabal to place spies into the Red Cap Army,” said Aesis.

“Where can I find the stone now?”
“It was last seen in the hands of the Defender, Asrial.”

Aesis approached her crystal. She began to chant a strange spell. Immediately the crystal comes to life. It begins to spin and hover up and down with a blinding light. Rays of blue light emanate from the center of the light. “Asrial is currently on patrol in Croatoa,” said Aesis.

Now that I knew where Asrial was, how could I get to Croatoa?

I walked to the farthest corner of the base. This is where salvage from fallen enemies and inspirations are kept. This room is almost completely dark, except for two strange green lights. Sometimes, these green lights flicker on and off.

“Xoar, are you in here?”
I am greeted with a sound painful to most ears. The closest facsimile is the sound of nails being drawn on a blackboard.
“Yes, I am fine. Thank you for asking. I need a favor.”
I hear a faint buzzing and beeping. Xoar appears in front of me. He promptly turns around. From his back, a secret compartment drops down to reveal a keyboard. My nails make clacking sounds as I type my question.

Buzzing and beeping again, followed by the blackboard.

“You will modify the teleporter for me?”

A series of beeps followed by a long buzz.

“I’ll be fine. Tell Jabawock and Tialice that I am going out on patrol.”

If you’ve never been teleported before, I can tell you it is a strange sensation. You feel something growing inside you. It feels as if something wants to crawl out. Your back arcs painfully from lordosis. Then you feel yourself levitate and then your arms and legs are flung behind you. When you materialize, you feel tired as you come back to the ground. I wonder if heroes have the same feeling, or maybe they benefit from better technology?

I look around. This is Salamanca, the downtown district of Croatoa. I gather my energies and hide myself, though I can feel prying eyes over my body. Quickly, I run into a nearby warehouse to hide.

I turn to my right. An entire squad of Longbow troops, led by two heroines, is waiting for me with weapons raised.

The first heroine is the tallest woman I have ever seen. She is dressed in a white skirt and shirt. There is a red cross on her shirt. Is she a nurse? Perched precariously on her shoulders, is a small orange cat. She stands next to another woman wearing a strange white mask. She is not anywhere near as tall as the nurse. The second woman is wearing clothes that remind me of the circus.

“Perfect, just as you predicted,” said the nurse.
“The Infamous, Untamed Demi Tasse,” said the woman in the strange white mask.

I cannot win this fight, so I start to run. All of the sudden, I feel as if I’m being pushed from the back of my neck- but with such great force that I begin to fall forward. As I fall, I get a better look at the white mask.

The mask is porcelain white, with strange red markings and two completely dark eyes. I have seen this mask before.

“My mother sends you greetings from the afterworld.”
Friday, December 1st, 2006
2:00 pm
Return to Port Oakes
What a dreary place. It is always dark and rainy. I used to live here once, but that seemed so far away and so long ago. I wandered the streets, but usually ended up in a small park, close to the Arena. A small gazebo, a bench, and a wonderful view of the ocean seemed to bring me enjoyment.

I was sitting on the bench when I heard the scuffling of feet. I turned around to take a look and see what was going on. A man, dressed in black, with a white face and ponytail held a sword up to a man’s throat. He looked upset. Anger contorted the features of his face. He must have been in a rage because no one would have wanted to tangle with the other man. He was a large brute who wore a tank top and a small fedora. Smoke from his cigar hid some of his features from view.

“Where is she? Tell me where she is! Now!” said the man in black. The brute laughed and said, “She’s finished. Just as you will be little man!” I heard a strange rumbling then. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but the large man just picked up a piece of the sidewalk and threw it at the man in black. The man leapt into the air, easily avoiding the piece of earth. I had never seen anyone jump so high before. I thought he would have landed awkwardly when he came back to the ground, but the man in black landed with the grace of a dancer.

As soon as the man landed, he drew his sword and rushed at the brute. Just then, the brute brandished a gun. It reminded of guns used by mobsters in old movies. The man in black stopped, as if checked by the sight of the gun. It seemed as if the brute held the upper hand in this struggle. Just then, the man in black disappeared into thin air.

“Come out Jabawock! You can’t hide forever! Don’t you want to know where your precious Lychee is?” said the brute. He fired his gun in one direction. “Don’t you?” he asked again and fired in another direction. All of the sudden, the man in black- Jabawock, appeared behind the brute. Jabawock held his sword with two hands and prepared to strike, but the brute saw him and stomped his foot down so hard, it broke the sidewalk. The force of the blow knocked Jabawock back several feet.

Jabawock looked tired from the whole ordeal. He remained on the floor, kneeling and breathing hard. The brute closed in, gun held dead center on Jabawock. Soon, the brute was close enough to the man in black where he could not miss with his gun. “We certainly enjoyed her company. Do you think she enjoyed ours?” said the brute. “You’re dead Pitbull. Do you hear me? Dead!” said Jabawock. The brute continued to laugh. “Was the little bitch your girlfriend?” The last few words were said in such a mocking tone, I could see a rigor of hate swelling on Jabawock’s face.

“Well, she’s ours now. There’s nothing you can do about it.” said Pitbull. I heard a click and knew Pitbull was readying to deliver a fatal shot to Jabawock. I don’t know what happened to me, but I felt an urge to help Jabawock. I was careful to stay far away and I drained some of Pitbull’s energy and transferred it to Jabawock. The effect was instantaneous. Suddenly, Jabawock sprung up. With a wonderful spinning motion, he swung his sword and cut the mobster’s gun in half. Jabawock paid by receiving a two handed blow to the chest. “I see we’re not really tired yet, are we?” said Pitbull. The brute put two fingers in his mouth and whistled. Just then, other mobsters began to show up. Things looked grim for the man in black, but he too was prepared.

Jabawock snapped his fingers. I thought it was a trick of the eye, but thugs and mobsters began flying in all directions. Pitbull’s cronies were dropping one by one to an unseen force. I felt a gush of wind brush by me. For a moment, I thought I smelled wet fur. As Pitbull’s helpers dwindled, I saw that the gushes of wind were actually two other individuals. They seemed transparent at first, but soon came into clear view.

“You called master? Meow.” said one of Jabawock’s helpers. Perhaps I had been hallucinating, for I saw a cat walking upright, with brilliant orange and red fur and a dirty blonde mane of hair. I heard a satisfying moan from the other direction. “Mmmm, these were fun, but not much of a challenge”, said the other helper. She wore straps that covered some of her body and had hair whiter than snow.

One of Pitbull’s helpers still had some life in him and tried to sneak attack Jabawock. I heard a spitting hiss. The thug who tried to attack the man in black when he was not looking had a pair of wicked claws sticking straight out of his chest. The thug looked down in disbelief. His head lolled carelessly. “I am unstoppable! Meow.” said the cat.

Pitbull was seething with anger and seemed to be building up with power. “Wonderful timing as usual you two. Thanks for the help,” said Jabawock. The three began to walk towards Pitbull. He cowered before them. “Now, you were about to tell me the whereabouts of Lychee?” said Jabawock. “Go to hell,” replied Pitbull. “Perhaps someday Pitbull, but not today,” said the man in black. Jabawock’s two helpers lifted a sword and claw to Pitbull’s chin. “Talk to Verandi. It was his idea. He knows where your little girlfriend is.”

Satisfied with the result, Jabawock and his two companions turned their backs to Pitbull and began walking away. “No one turns their back on Pitbull! No one!” He pulled a small handgun and aimed it at Jabawock. I threw a long ray of ice which hit Pitbull straight in the chest. Spreading out from Pitbull’s chest was a wave of freezing cold, which soon enveloped him into a block of ice. As it froze the brute’s joints, the ice seemed to make a curious slick sound.

The group of three turned around to see what had just happened. Tialice and Shadowfeline approached the block of ice. Shadowfeline touched her paw to the ice. “Meow, he’s frozen solid,” she said. “Nice trick. He’s held, but for how long?” asked Tialice. “As long as I want him to be,” I replied. Jabawock stood off to the side and looked at me, as if trying to figure out my motives. “Who is Lychee?” I asked. “She was a close friend. She went missing a few months ago. I knew Pitbull was involved,” said Jabawock. “She meant something to you. Did you love her?” I asked. Shadowfeline and Tialice remained silent. “She meant something to me. I wish only to find her,” said Jabawock. “I will help you find her, wherever she is,” I said.

I knew what Jabawock felt. If I could help him find Lychee, maybe it would help me finally cope with the loss of Anne.

“Well, we would love to have you with us. I am Jabawock, leader of the Cabal of 23 Stout Sticks. Before you are my friends Tialice and Shadowfeline. There are others in our Cabal whom I would like you to meet.”

I formally introduced myself. “I am Demi Tasse.”

Current Mood: content
Sunday, October 22nd, 2006
12:51 pm
Coffee Talk
Cornered!

I was cornered. I should have run down the other sewer hallway, but I guess it would have just prolonged the inevitable. Running was so hard to do because my hands were tied behind my back. Scroungers and Headmen looked at me like hungry dogs seeking food. I took a step backward, then slipped and fell to the floor. I pulled my legs close to my body and closed my eyes, since I knew I could not bear what was about to happen.

One of the scroungers knelt close to me and brought his arm forward, dirty fingers reached out to touch me. The rest of the Lost formed a circle and began to move in closer. The reaching scrounger finally grabbed a hold of my apron strings and began pulling. I screamed. Hands began to grope and touch me. I started to shake and then I cried.

All of the sudden I heard a deep growling roar coming from behind the mob. The groping stopped and the Lost turned around to look behind them. A giant appeared at the back of the crowd. I saw a misshapen shaped head. It was a dull orange, with blue specks. Then, scroungers and headmen began flying in all directions. The lone giant was fought the other Lost. Those that did not back away were punched or picked up and thrown through the air like confetti on a windy day.

The scrounger who first touched me was grabbed from behind. A huge hand wrapped around the back of the scrounger’s head. The hand was so big that its fingers covered the eyes of my attacker. An arm, attached to the hand brought the scrounger up from the floor. He dangled in the air like a rag doll. Then, with a grunt, the giant flung the scrounger against the wall. I heard a sickening, squishy sound and looked around.

I was now alone with the giant. He knelt down to me and used a finger to tilt my head up so that he could see me. I whimpered. My eyes had been closed when I heard the squish, but now I opened them. Before me was the giant who attacked the shop. Before me was the giant who killed Mary.

“Are you alright?”
“No! I want to go home! Let me go!”

I tried to get up, but my hands were still tied behind my back. I fell back to the floor, face down. I tried to squirm away, but was picked up by the giant. He let me down to the ground where I could stand. He turned me around and undid the rope that bound my hands.

“Little one, you will not be harmed as long as you don’t try to leave. The Lost will not harm you, for I am their leader, Tommy.”

Over the next few weeks, I was allowed to wander around Tommy’s sewer. It was a rank place. There was trash everywhere and it smelled awful. The Lost called the sewers their home. It was a horrible place, but I became accustomed to it over time.

Tommy’s brutal beating of the Lost who tried to hurt me made it clear to all that I was not to be harmed. Unfortunately, that still did not stop all of the Lost. Sometimes I would wander into an area of the sewers and a group of Scroungers would corner me. I screamed for Tommy to come rescue me and sometimes he did appear, but not every time. I never knew what happened to me, for the next day, I always awoke in my cell.

My cell was not like a real prison cell, but just a small space in one of the hallways with a closed end. I had a cot and a blanket so bare, that not even a beggar would use it. My blouse and skirt from Aromatique was dirty and disheveled, just like me. I had scratches and cuts all over my body. I could also feel the grit and grime in my hair. I was disgustingly dirty.

I had enough. I knew I had to get out of the sewers. I began to search the sewers for an exit. I went down several tunnels, twists and turns, and finally came upon an exit drain. At last, I had found a way home! I was about to open the iron gate to the exit when I heard a voice behind me. “And where do you think you are going?” I turned around and saw a group of Scroungers.

The lead scrounger was holding a sledgehammer that he easily hefted up and down in both hands. “You know, ever since you’ve came here, Tommy has usually been around to help you Demi.” “You wouldn’t dare touch me,” I said. “Oh no? Tommy’s not here today sweet thing. You’re ours now!”

They closed in around me and it was then I screamed. “Help me! Anyone please help me!” They pushed me around and began tearing at what was left of my clothes. I could do nothing, so I closed my eyes and crossed my arms over my chest. All of the sudden, the pushing stopped.

I opened my eyes. All of the Lost looked as if they were sleeping while they were still standing! “Watch and learn, little one,” said a female voice. Out of thin air, three apparitions appeared and began to blast and pummel the attackers.

“Let’s get out of here! It’s Anne!” said the lead scrounger. But it was too late- for the scrounger. One of the apparitions picked up a section of the sewer floor and dropped it on the lead’s head. Then, a woman appeared at my side. She was wearing a gown that looked like it was from a 17th century ball. She wore a strange mask that covered her face. The mask had two eye slits and a small opening for her mouth. There were strange markings on the mask around her mouth.

It was too much. I fell to the floor and brought my knees up to my chest. I rocked back and forth. The woman knelt down to me and comforted me. “Tommy told me we had a guest. I suppose you are the one he was talking about. I am Queen Anne, formerly of the Carnival of Shadows.”

Anne and I walked back to her room, which she also shared with Tommy. Their room was like my cell, but larger. There was a pile of rags and carpets which was her bed. There were some strange artifacts strewn about like crystal balls, torches and desks with apothecary jars. She had a pile of clothes that she kept in a corner of her room, which she gestured for me to look through.

Most of the clothes were not any better than what I already wore, but I found a black jumpsuit with white markings on the chest, sleeves, and legs. I went behind a blind to change. Anne showed me a mirror that she had in the room. I looked into it. It was then that I realized I had been out of the sun for a really long time. My once fair skin had turned a darkish gray. My brown eyes had turned completely white. My black hair seemed to have stopped growing when it reached the small of my back and had faded into a shade of purple.

“That suit you’re wearing Demi- it once belonged to a Paragon Protector from Crey,” said Queen Anne. “It has a strange aura about it,” said Anne as she looked for other things I might want to wear. She went on to say that she was captured by Crey scientists and was experimented on. Tommy’s gang of Lost happened to find her during a raid of the Crey lab which she was imprisoned in. Instead of returning to the Carnival, the Queen stayed with Tommy as his consort.

“Demi, you can’t let these filth hurt you. I’ll teach you to defend yourself,” said Anne. “Please, I feel so helpless!” I said. I did not know that from this point forward, my life would be forever changed.

I am an empath. I can sense the emotions of others. Anne taught me to use this sense of emotion as a source of power. We practiced day and night. I became powerful under the Queen’s guidance. Always she crossed her arms as she watched me. It was easiest for me to summon water and make it into ice.

Tommy also began to notice me. Maybe he could feel my power growing, or maybe it was my clingy jumpsuit. We started to spend time together. I also noticed that I was spending less and less time with Anne. Tommy also spent less and less time with Anne as well.

He was a brute, but he was different. We could talk for hours about different things and for a while, I came to forget about wanting to leave the sewer and returning home. In my own way, I suppose I fell in love with Tommy. He was smart, funny, and witty. At times he could be brash and crude; he was also tender and kind. It was puzzling that he could change moods in seconds. Maybe that’s what attracted me to him- his unpredictability.

While Tommy and the gang were out, I would stay behind and continue my training. I found an open area of the sewers where I could practice. I made a training dummy out of the pile of clothes that Anne had saved. Sometimes I got so into training that every move was made out of instinct. Using my powers, I could jump and zip about the room at great speed, then use my ice powers on the dummy. I always worked up a sweat when I trained.

I had been training one day when Tommy snuck up behind me. I had just thought of a new way to freeze the dummy. Summoning all my strength, my arms shook as I brought them forward to loose an icy blast. Tommy could be quite stealthy despite someone of his great size. I had just blasted the dummy when I heard a deep growl behind me. I made an ice ball and turned around to throw it. Just as I turned around, he grabbed my arm, and the ice fell harmlessly to the floor. I summoned more ice shards with my other arm and began to bring it forward when he grabbed that arm too. I was held.

“You’re beautiful when you’re angry Demi,” said Tommy. I screamed at my frustration. He then brought his arms close to his body, which brought me along with it. He crossed his arms, which also crossed mine. I tried to squirm away from his grip. “Where are you going?” he asked. I looked at his huge chest, which was rippling with more muscles than I had ever seen. His skin, orange in color was dotted with little blue flecks. I looked up at him only to see that he was looking at my jumpsuit. Sweat glistened off my jumpsuit, making it appear like glossy metal. He let my arms go and touched my forehead. I don’t know what made me do it, but I put my hands to Tommy’s cheek and kissed him. His lips were soft for someone with such rough skin. He gently traced the outline of my face from my cheek to my chin. Then, he returned the kiss to me, with great passion. I felt warm all over.

The sound of steady dripping water awoke me. I slept on my side, hands supporting my cheek. The world came into focus. Eyes, tired from sleep opened. I was in our room in the sewers. I heard the shifting of a great bulk behind me. A hand as big as my head carefully crept over my shoulder to gracefully brush my cheek. I took his hand and squeezed it. His skin was filthy, but so was mine. I kissed his hand.

Then I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was like a blurry image. Suddenly, four Longbow Spec Ops appeared! “We’re here to rescue you ma’am,” said one of the officers. “Get up and back away from the Anchorite! He’s dangerous!” said another officer. I got up from the bracken and backed away into the hallway. All four Spec Ops had their rifles trained on Tommy. “OK boys, now!”

It was then that I struck. I rushed in and let loose a blizzard of icy rain. The Longbow were pelted with shards of jagged ice, freezing rain, and howling winds. They could not even stand on the ground, because I had turned it to an ice slick. Tommy was able to back away from the snowstorm and into the hallway. When the storm ended, all four Spec Ops were on the ground.

Tommy picked up one Spec Ops, who seemed to be regaining his consciousness. I walked over to the right side of the big anchorite. “Who sent you!” said Tommy. The officer remained silent. “Who was it?!” He turned his head to the side. I looked to my left and there was Anne. I thought it was Tommy who stood next to me “Her…”

“This is how you repay me Anne, after all I had done for you?” asked Tommy. I looked to my right. Wasn’t Tommy on my left just a second ago? “It wasn’t me Tommy, honest! How could I? You know I couldn’t have?” said Anne. “Enough betrayal!” said Tommy. It had been hanging on the wall like a decoration. I thought it was a wing from an airplane, but it was actually his sword. Tommy reared back with both arms and with one swoop; cut down Queen Anne. She flew backwards from the force of the swing and fell hard against a wall. Disgusted, Tommy walked away from the room.

I knelt down to the Queen. Her breathing was shallow and raspy. Blood dripped down her chin and bubbled black as she tried to talk. “Ever since I saw you Demi, I knew you were special. I saw you in the training room. You were magnificent as usual, little one,” said Anne. She lightly touched my forehead. It was then that I understood it all. “I love you, Demi,” said Anne. She shuddered and was still. The Queen would speak no more.

It was then I understood. In the brief second that she touched my forehead, I knew what she had done. Tommy, who was with me in the training room, was not Tommy at all. It was Anne, disguised as Tommy. It was Anne who was always watching me. Sometimes it was the real Tommy, but it was Anne who I had really talked to. No wonder why it seemed as if Tommy did not remember what we talked about. I was talking to two different people!

All the anger inside that had been pent up swelled up like a river dam about to burst. I let Anne’s body down gently. Tommy was still walking away, casually as if nothing happened. I touched him on the shoulder. He stopped and turned around. I put my hand on his chest. He looked at me and tilted his head to one side, wondering what I was doing. I brought my arm back from his chest. From the sweat on his chest, I made a thin rod of ice, with a wickedly thin point. I pushed forward.

The rod easily pierced Tommy’s chest. I felt it go through his heart. Tommy ran backwards, clutching his chest. He stumbled a few steps, and then finally fell on the floor. He breathed rapidly. I walked away to let Tommy die. Even with the assurance of Tommy’s death, I felt an emptiness in my heart. The only person I had loved was dead. Or was I even really in love at all? Nothing made sense. I was confused.

I left the sewer then and have not returned since. I found myself wandering the streets of Mercy Island, but traveled all over the Rogue Isles: Cap Au Diable, Sharkshead Isle, Nerva Archipelago, and even Grandville, home of Lord Arachnos himself.

I met many contacts throughout these zones, like Matthew Burke, Seer Marino, Hard Case, and even Arbiters from Arachnos. It was in Sharkshead Isle that I stole my first cape from a fledgling hero named Mr. Shock. Then, in Nerva Archipelago, not only did I rob the Great Spirit Tree, but I helped complete an arcane ritual for the Circle of Thorns. Completing the ritual gave me ultimate control of my empathy. I was seething with power- so much that even my eyes began to glow a blood-red color. Still, nothing I did, no matter how great could make me forget how lonely I was. Other villains joined groups and teamed up regularly against the Longbow and other superheroes, but I kept to myself, finding solace in solitude.

I never thought it possible, but I actually made friends after a while. It had been so long since I had a friend other than Anne. At Mercy Island, I met a strange man by the name of Jabawock. He had started his own gang- the Cabal of 23 Stout Sticks he called them. I was not sure what made me join his group, but it was decision that would affect me for the rest of my life in the Rogue Isles. There were many members of this Cabal, but only a few of them became my closest friends. The surging Shadowfeline, was a cat trained as a royal guard from the planet Besktar. The sinister figure known as Xoar, was a robot construct that could control radiation. Jabawock himself disappeared for several months, probably to conjure up a plan to take over the world. Shadowfeline and Xoar kept me company, though the loneliness still lingered deep within my heart.

Current Mood: embarrassed
Sunday, May 14th, 2006
8:32 pm
Demi's Backstory
"Come down every once in a while. It humbles you." my father used to say. I guess that is why I am still working at Aromatique, which is a small coffee shop in Port Oakes. We are famous for having small bands or poets come by and perform their latest works for the customers. My family owns the WSPDR building, so we are financially secure. I originally took this job at the coffee shop because of a minor car "incident". Instead of getting sent to prison, I ended up volunteering for community service. So here I am, heiress to a small fortune, serving mocha lattes and cappucino to lovers of the bean.

You do not exactly need a college degree to brew coffee, though there are some secrets to brewing the perfect cup. For example, if you can find water that has been filtered by reverse osmosis, you can brew a cup of "clean" coffee. When I say clean, I mean free of minerals present in plain tap water. These addiditves mix with the coffee, giving it an unpleasant taste. Unfortunately, the shop does not have these luxuries. Aromatique uses paper filters rather than metal sieves. Every connoisseur of cofee knows that paper filters add an unwanted flavor. Well, I do not blame Frank (the owner) for not using them. Sometimes the odd bit of "floaties", or fine bits of coffee grounds can get into your drink.

Work at the shop is easy. We brew coffee every twenty minutes. We have several hundred flavors of coffee from Columbian to Sumatran to Kenyan. Making espresso and cappucino can be tricky at first, but I have done it so often now that it is almost second nature to me. We work from 5AM to 12AM the next day. You would not believe who comes to our store sometimes.

It happened one night last Fall. People start coming in later and later as the season changes from bright, sunny days to cool, breezy nights accented by the reds and browns of Fall. For some odd reason, we did not get many customers that night. The hours passed and soon it was time to close. There were about eight or nine people savoring the last few sips of their drinks. Little did they know the horror about to take them.

I went in the back to get some cleaning supplies when I heard a loud crash. Someone had either dropped twenty cups or broke through our plate glass window. I was going to go back to the counter to see what happened when I saw a bright flash. Then I heard the screaming. I started to panic. What can I do? Where is the phone? I need to call the police! Where are the Rippers when you need them?

I suddenly thought of my best friend at work, Mary. She was at the sink when I saw her last, maybe we could run out the backdoor together! I crept on hands and knees towards the sink, then peered my head around the corner of a table. I looked for Mary, but did not see her. I saw these big black boots instead. Something dripped onto my head and I looked up. There
was my friend, held by an Anathema!

He looked at me and then dropped Mary to the floor with a sickening thud. He grabbed me by the throat and held me up like a giant lollipop. I was terrified. I did not want to look at his mishappen face, but even if I closed my eyes, I could smell him. I had never smelled raw sewage before and had never had the want to do such thing. His grip tightened. I tried to move his big hands away, but what could I do? I wanted to bite his hand, but then I thought
about the smell, and struggled instead. I looked left and right and saw bodies all over. Over to the right was the Anathema's group of mutates. They all smiled with the relish of a hyena seeing an easy kill. A Headman Swordsman drew what looked to be a small airplane wing, but was actually a sword! I suddenly knew what was going to happen next.

As the Headman began to swing, I heard a shout from behind me. "Stop you fool! Do you not sense anything? Have you forgotten everything I have taught? Or should I tell Queen Anne of your stupidity?" said the voice. Perhaps I had gone crazy, but my brain was telling me that I did not hear the voice with my ears. I "heard" this voice in my head.

"Put her down!"
"Yes, Tommy."

I fell to the ground. I sat with my legs to the side, both hands on the ground, arms supporting my body. I looked up and saw a bigger, uglier version of the Anathema. Most people know them as Pariah Anchorites.

"I may have saved you tonight my pretty, but you will not thank me in the end."

And so it began...
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