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The Herald's Calling
Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 4:03 pm
Timelined ... wouldn't you like to know ...
‘Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.' - Revelations 1:19
The first thing she was aware of (apart from the stinking headache) was the uncomfortable feeling of something heavy pressing down on the back of her neck. The second thing she noticed was that when she tried to move a hand to feel for what it was, was that she was restrained in the chair that she was sat in. She grunted and tried to yank her hands away, but the leather straps that held her in place had no give, and a quick struggle revealed just how secure she was.
She was strapped to the arms of the study metal chair with straps around her wrist, just under her elbow and across her upper arm. Over her body straps held her back taunt against the somewhat pointy frame, tight under her breasts and across her waist. The chair seemed to be bolted to the floor as it didn't budge as she moved, more straps securing her by her ankles, knees and thighs, she was trussed up like a thanksgiving turkey.
“Ah, good morning Herald,” Clarice hissed at the sudden light, she'd thought maybe she'd been blindfolded or something, but it just turned out that she'd been sitting in a pitch black room. She heard a door opening and closing behind her and someone moving about with what sounded like a trolley on wheels.
“Whaa-” she coughed and then yelped as the jerking of her head caused whatever it was around her neck to dig in.
“Ah, yes, the inhibitor collar,” the voice said and Clarice gingerly tried to turn her head to see who was behind her, she didn't know the voice, “it's function is to prevent you from utilising your mutant abilities, and we've also modified the standard version per your new master's requests. There are several metal rods protruding from it and pressing against your skin, whenever you do something counter to our work here, you will be administered a small but painful electric shock as punishment. Consider it obedience training, for you'll be required to be completely loyal to your master.”
“Master? What're you talking about?” Oh heck, she hadn't been grabbed by some kind of mutant slaving ring or something, had she? What'd happened? The last thing she remembered-
“Y-you came to my house!” Clarice renewed her struggle against her bonds, “at night! Where's my parents!? If you've hurt them I'll-!”
“Do what?” The man murmured dispassionately, “Your parents are of no consequence, I imagine they were disposed of.”
“D-dis ...” Clarice's eyes widened, “N-no … oh nonono ...” The man stepped into her eye line and she saw he was tall, older and with dark hair.
“Don't worry yourself over their fates, Herald,” he held a syringe in his hands which she tried to squirm away from with little success as he slipped it into the vein in the crook of her elbow, “You'll soon have more pressing matters to deal with.”
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:03 pm
The sound of something breaking downstairs and she was awake, hands automatically going for a crystal she kept in the sheath beside her head. People, not animals downstairs, no lights on in the house, not her parents. They knew practically everyone on the island and crime was almost non-existent … but she knew that there were still pirates out there in the sea. Armed, desperate men, probably with guns and knives. Her father kept a small handgun in his room, but she didn't need guns. She was the Astounding Blink! She could port down and surprise the intruders. She-
A painful shock of eletricity woke Clarice up with a start and she smacked her head off the back of the chair with a small “Oof!” She grimaced as one of the rods on the collar scraped against the skin on the back of her neck and drew blood which slowly trickled down the back of her shirt. She blinked desperately in the utter darkness and wished she could move her hand to rub at her eyes. Hell being able to move at all would be great right now.
She must have dozed off, how she didn't know, this chair was the most uncomfortable thing ever, they way they'd trussed her up she couldn't even shift to make herself feel more comfortable, she'd lost some feeling all over. In fact the only thing she could move was her head and she didn't like doing that since the metal rods in her collar pressed uncomfortably into her skin when she did.
Ugh … so groggy, it must have been whatever was in that needle, how long had she been out? Heck, how long had she been down here even? In this darkness she had no way to pass the time.
She closed her eyes (not that it made much difference) and took some slow, deep breaths. In through her nose, out through her mouth.
She'd been kidnapped by someone, she didn't know who, for some sort of function. It wasn't the man who had come to see her, he'd mentioned a master, so he was working on behalf of someone, and whoever that was wanted to … what, brainwash her? Was that was this so-called obedience training was? And what about her parents? Her heart started to race at all the horrible scenarios running through her head, no. She forced herself to be calm. These people were obviously the bad guys, and you could never trust what the bad guys said. They lied, that's why they were bad. He could just have been saying that to try and break her. No, until she got out of here she had to believe her parents were alive and well.
The question was, how did she get out of here? Tied up like this and unable to use her powers … then she had a brainwave, “Um … hello?” She called out to the room, “Hello? Umm … I gotta use the bathroom … please? Hello?”
There was no response for a few moments, so Clarice tried again, “Hello-?”
<Fabian> Fabian frowned as he heard the disembodied voice. He had known this owuld happen, of course, but the reality of it was still just sinking in and he had to admit that it was just a little bit on the creepy side.
<Fabian> Swiping his card through the reader, he opened the door to the cell. He had all ready been on his way to take her down to be worked through, after all, might as well not tarry. "Hello."
<@Clarice> Clarce turned carefully to try and see who it was, another man, but younger, he sounded much closer to her own age actually, "Oh ... umm ... hello," stay calm, stay cool, act like you're not planning anything "You're going to ... umm ... are there no ladies working here?"
<Fabian> "There are plenty, no worries about that." Fabian let the door seal back behind him as he went to take care of the straps and such keeping her in the chair. "I'll be taking you on down to the lab and then onto training. Then we'll take you onto your room."
<Fabian> He spoke matter-of-factly enough that, in any other situation, it might have been calming.
<@Clarice> Clarice hissed in pain as the blood started to flow back into her arms and she rubbed her eyes quickly before shaking her hands out and then feeling around her collar, just incase there were any faults or anything, and she was rewarded with a small zap for her attempted fidgiting, "Owch!" Lab? Training?
<@Clarice> She really had to get out of here, "I ... I'm Clarice, what's going on here?" She kept her voice meek and quiet, "The other ... the needle man, he just said that I was going to be made ... obedient?"
<Fabian> "No names, please. We'll stick with Herald." Fabian said just a bit rushed, finding it offputting to think of them as any other way. "I'm afraid I'm the only one here with a good enough name not to bother with a new title."
<Fabian> "Yes, Dr. Essex will be in the lab." Fabian pulled the hand restraints out, taking one of her hands to fasten first.
<@Clarice> Herald? And Dr. Essex was the man before? She filed all this information away, "Herald? Herald for what? And ... you're not going to have to like ... watch me ... in the bathroom, right?" She blushed, clenching her hands into fists and then loosening them.
<Fabian> "For Apocalypse." Fabian informed her though had to have a chuckle at her question. "I assure you, that is not one of my kinks, though it might be best to have some sort of connection during." He looked over to the straps, wondering what he could jury-rig for the situation.
<@Clarice> "... Oh good grief, you're not christian cultists are you? You seem so ... non-rabid," the worst of the pins and needles had gone in her arms, "can i stand up please, just for a moment?"
<@Fabian> He couldn't help but laugh at the question. "No, we're not." he assured her, fastening her other hand in the cuff. "Yes, you're free to stand up. I imagine it might take you a moment to be able to."
<Clarice> "So what are you then?" Clarice pushed herself up wth her hands and yelped at the sudden pain in the legs, grabbing onto the chair to steady herself, "Ugh ... and what do I call you? You're not a Horseman are you? And you seem to be a little bit short for a seven headed dragon too ..." Okay, presumably once they go to the bathroom she'd be unshackled and could make her break for it ...
<@Fabian> "Answering that question probably wouldn't disuade you from assuming we are some sort of religious fundamentalist but he's taken to calling us his Acolytes." Fabian simply stepped back for now, letting her have a moment. "Fabian will be fine and no, I'm afraid I'll not be turning into a seven-headed dragon any time soon."
<Clarice> "Don't think scales would suite you anyway," Clarice shook out her legs and gingerly tried a few steps, "You know, you sound kinda ... posh for an evil minion, and you're afr too polite too, sure you're in the right line or work," she rotated her ankles, "Okay, I'm good I think."
<@Fabian> "What can I say? Apocalypse makes a good enough deal that he can pull his henchmen from a higher calibre of person." Fabian turned, carding the door open again and stepping out into the light of the hallway, looking back at Clarice expectantly.
<Clarice> "... So Apocalypse is a person then?" Clarice asked, following him out into the hallway, of course it would have been too much to hope for that there'd be windows, but she couldn't see any security cameras, "What sort of deal did he make you then?"
<@Fabian> "Mr. Nur but you won't have any use for that name." Fabian added with a shrug as he led her along, leaving the door to seal shut after her. "To put it simply? Surivial of the fittest."
<Clarice> Clarice froze, her jaw going slack as she seemed to stare into the mid distance for a moment ... no ... it couldn't be, "Wh-what was that name again?"
<@Fabian> "Nur." he supplied again, stopping and turning to look at her quzzically as she paused. "I'm afraid we do not have time to daudle. Dr. Essex is rather excited to start his work."
<Clarice> "... En Sabah Nur, of Akkaba Oil? ... He's my mother's cousin, my uncle, he bought us a house ..." her voice sounded distant.
<@Fabian> "Yes, yes, that would be him, brilliant man, really."
<Clarice> Clarice was ... having a hard time taking this in ... her own Uncle, who'd reunited her with her family, bought them a home, housed all those refugees and spoilt her rotten had organized this whole thing? Her kidnap and ... whatever the heck was going on here? "Bu- ... why's he doing this?" She managed after a few moments.
<@Fabian> "I believe I mentioned survival of the fittest? We are the fittest."
<Clarice> Clarice walked up behind him, like she was going to follow him and when he turned to continue leading the way she raised her bound wrists up and smacked him across the back of the head, using her shackles as an improvised weapon, and kicking out the back of his knee to bring him down, "Sorry, you don't seem all that bad, but that philsophy's againts my religion," she muttered, before high-tailing it down the corridor to look for an exit.
<@Fabian> The girl knew how to hit, Fabian had to give her that. He was also rather put out with himself that he had been taken down so easily but he wasn't out as he picked himself up behind her, rushing after her.
<Clarice> Unfortunantly for Clarice, she didn't get much further than tn steps before the collar around her neck crackled with eletricity and she stumbled with a small scream, hands going to the collar automatically to pull it off.
<@Fabian> "Trying to teleport out with that on isn't really the best of plans." Fabian slowed down, sighing as he saw her.
<Clarice> Clarice hissed, "I ... I noticed ..." so clearly there were cameras, just hidden ones, and whoever was sitting behind them had the remote for her collar, "Can't ... blame a girl for trying though, huh?" It was never as easy as it was in the tv shows ...
<@Fabian> "Though, next time if you're going to try and make a run for it and the cameras don't get you I'd make sure to knock me out completely. I'd hate to take out the Herald before she made her announcements."
<Clarice> "Heh, tell you're not much of a brawler," she climbed back up to her feet using the wall as a prop, "head-blows are ... tricky things, you need to hit them on the back of the head, hit them anywhere else you're just gonna make 'em angry. Problem is that if you hit too hard on the back of the head, you can kill the victim, I always tend to ... veer on the side of caution there."
<@Fabian> "I don't think anything about that plan of yours can be called cautious. Now, shall we or would you like another attempt?"
<Clarice> "So I should have hit you harder? Maybe killed you?" Clarice shook her head, "No, there's no point, I'll come quiet now okay, pinky promise."
<@Fabian> "Maybe not tried to bolt down a corridor in a compound you know nothing about when you've got that strapped to your neck." Fabian shrugged. Maybe that was a good caution. He smirked at the offer of the pinky promise. "Right then."
<Clarice> Clarice stretched and cracked her neck, sighing, she'd have to think of a better plan, "Guess you'll want me infront this time, huh?"
<@Fabian> "Actually next time I'll make sure the Doctor gives me the damned chair or fetches his own patients." Fabian sighed and shook his head. "Shall we then?"
<Clarice> "Do I have a choice?" Clarice let her shoulders and head droop down, En Sabah was behind all this? What was going on? None of this made sense ...
<@Fabian> "Well, as I'd rather not burn you out and carry you down this is the easier choice, yes."
<Clarice> "... Burn me out?" Clarice asked, following him meekly, at the very least she might be able to get some infomation out of him.
<@Fabian> "Do you think you're the only person here with some tricks up their sleeves now?" Fabian rounded the corner, giving his passcard back to the guard stationed there.
<Clarice> "You're a mutant too then? What's your special talent then, apart from getting hit over the head?" Clarice looked around, trying to spot ... well ... anything that she might use to her advantage.
<@Fabian> "Power aplification. Not to worry, if everything goes well with the good Doctor we'll be working with it afterwards."
<Clarice> "Can't wait, so if they want me to pratice my powers what's to stop me from just teleporting away?"
<@Fabian> "I believe the Doctor did metnion obedience, yes?" The smile that accompanied the question wasn't one of Fabian's nicest but after the blow to the head he wasn't feeling his most charitable.
<Clarice> "Surely there's a range to the remote on this thing? What happens if I decide to pop over to Europe or something?" Clarice was having to resist fiddling with the collar.
<@Fabian> "We'll stop by home and I'll get some decent wine."
<Clarice> Clarice snorted, "You know what I mean, I mean, I'd rather be warned if it's going to paralyze me for a few hours in the middle of a field with cows staring at me."
<@Fabian> "You won't be leaving today, sadly. We've got a lot of work to do preparing you for your apperances. I promise even when you do leave the compound you'll not risk being grazed."
<Clarice> "No? That doesn't fill me with confidence I'm afraid," the came to a stop infront of a door, "where are we now?"
<@Fabian> "Here is where we part ways I'm afraid." He pulled the door open to reveal one of Dr. Essex's labs. "It's been a pleasure, believe me."
<Clarice> "Guess that makes you a sadist then?" Clarice smiled thinly, before squareing her shoulders and walking through the door.
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:52 am
“Om tare tuttare ture svaha. Om tare tuttare ture svaha.Om tare tuttare-” Clarice let out a low growl as an ear-bleedingly loud burst of white noise came over the speakers in the room she was in, throwing her off her mantra. Again. It was like they were doing in on purpose … which they probably were.
Clarice stood back up and paced the white room, trying to ignore the noise. Which was hard. Time had passed, she wasn't sure how much but it must have been a few days by now? She spent most of her time in this small room, the only furniture her bed, a toilet and a small sink. Sometimes the doctor would come to her, sometimes she'd go down to the lab and other times she'd be taken to some kind of gym and made to practice the various aspects of her powers, naturally the first thing she'd attempted was to open a portal out of the complex, but there was something about that room that stopped her from teleporting out of it.
At least it gave her something to do, the hours spent in this room were the worst, nothing to do but think and fret about what was coming next. Sometimes she slept, the drugs they were giving her made her feel sick and groggy. Other times she did some basic work-outs and shadow-boxed when she didn't feel sick. She tried to meditate, but they always did something to throw her off, loud noises, like this static, which they weren't turning off!
There were times where they kept her awake too, she tried to sleep and they'd shock her awake till she was almost crying with exhaustion.
She tried not to think about her parents, about the night they'd come for her in their home. How long ago had it been? Too long. She'd be missed though, her friends would worry about her, they'd come looking for her, this had happened before hadn't it, and they'd found and saved those who were missing.
They'd find her, they'd come.
The noise finally stopped as the door to her room opened. A woman stood in the doorway, dressed all in white with blood red hair and blue skin, reptilian yellow eyes cold, “Oh thank goodness, at least you're not snivelling,” she sighed.
“Who're you? Where's Fabian?” Clarice approached her slowly, carefully. This was an unknown and something about this woman set her on edge.
“The Spaniard? He's running an errand for our employer, I have been informed that I am to take you to Essex for further procedures Herald, and I warn you, you try any funny business on me and I'll have you taken back to the dark room and strapped in that chair for a few hours, you wouldn't like that, would you.”
Clarice looked away, when she hadn't been obedient before they'd taken her back to the room she'd first awoken in and left er alone for hours, unable to move in the pitch darkness and there'd been this … sound. Like water dripping, only irregular with no set timing, and loud, so loud that it seemed to pound through her. You tried to ignore it but it just got into your head, irritating moving onto maddening by the time they dragged her out of there.
It was insane, there must be psychics involved somewhere, messing with her head.
“Well?” The woman asked archly.
“... No, no I wouldn't like that, I'll behave,” Clarice said mutely.
“There's a good girl,” the blue woman smiled nastily, “come on then.”
As they made there was down the corridor in silence there was the sound of a distant alarm and Clarice jumped, looking around eagerly, her guard merely seemed irritated, “One of Essex's damned experiments must have gotten loose again,” she then caught the hopeful look on Clarice's face and smirked, “Oooh, hoping that the X-Men are coming to your rescue. I'm so sorry my crumpet, but that's just not going to happen,” she said patronisingly.
“They must know I'm missing by now, they'll come find me,” Clarice responded stubbornly.
“My poor, sweet child, no one thinks you're missing. Why would they, when you've been phoning and emailing them all this time,” at Clarice's confused look she just had to laugh, before mimicking the X-Man's voice perfectly, “Oh thank you for forwarding me the work I'm missing 'Riko, I'm having so much fun with momma and daddy, not sure when we'll be back from vacation but I miss you guys too, take care and all my love to Ankka!”
At the look of horror on Clarice's face she just had to laugh, “Oh, I'm sure they may grow suspicious eventually, but not for a good while yet between myself and your dear 'Uncle's' efforts. Face it, you're in here for the 'long haul', petal. Now come, we don't want to keep the good, mad doctor waiting, do we?”
It was only much later, when she was back in the relative safety and privacy of the white room, that Clarice crawled into the space under the cot with her blanket and cried herself to sleep.
No one was coming. She was alone.
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:14 am
Awww, it ends so sad.
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:53 pm
She wasn't sure if she was going mad, psychics were messing with her, the drugs she was being given or some hellish combination of all three. What she was sure of was that the giant, skittering black bugs she saw out of the corners of her eyes crawling all over the walls of the white room weren't real, but no matter how many times she told herself that it didn't make her skin crawl any less.
She was occupying herself currently with the confession of her evil karma, trying to list all the sins she could think of that went against the Five Precepts and confess them to the universe. The Buddha and Bodhisattva all went through their own trials and suffering and while she didn't consider herself anywhere near that enlightened at times likes this your karma could do with a bit of a polish, just in case the universe decided to be generous.
There was comfort in the Vows and Precepts, simple, easy to follow rules on how to live your life, you could take refuge in them, just like the Creed said.
“I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the Dharma; I take refuge in the Sangha.” She found herself saying, repeating the prayer over and over. She needed refuge. Respite.
Not just pirates, mutant pirates! The bottom floor of the house is trashed, her mother hiding screaming behind the wreck of the sofa. Her father has his gun and is shooting, but his aim is off, he's scared about hitting her in the gloom. Blood sprays into the air as she opens up one of her assailant’s cheeks with her crystal blade before diving across the half wall that separates the kitchen and tackling another figure to the ground. It's dark, so dark. They'd cut the power and there's no light except the moon.
One of them seems to have the ability to turn his arms into weapons, and he swings his arm down as an improvised club. She blocks with her crystal and it shatters, pieces flying everywhere. There's a cut off scream and an squishy, organic sound and she looses concentration, “Momma!”
Then there is pain and the world flashes white before fading to black.
And then, nothing.
Clarice woke with a start, the room was dark but not pitch black, the door was open … why was the door open? She got up from the cot and crept over to the door and peered out, up and down the corridor. What was going on? Was this a test to see how 'obedient' she'd become or had something happened?
Well, even if they shocked her and dragged her back into the dark room for a week, if this was a possible chance to escape she was going to grab it with both hands. She chose to go left, as right lead to the medical laboratories and if there was some kind of … break-out going on she certainly didn't want to run into any escaped experiments.
No alarms, no guards, and she hadn't been shocked so she had to assume that there was no one on the cameras. Maybe this was the real deal? Power cut?
She heard scuffling further down the corridor, around the corner. Skidded to a stop and peered around, and her heart leapt into her throat as she watched him toss the guard to the floor and turn to look at her.
“Clarice?” He frowned and then broke out into a wide smile, “Clarice! Are you okay? They didn't hurt you did they?”
“Jean-Paul ...” she ran over and wrapped her arms around him, burying her face in his shoulder and sniffling.
“Heeeeey,” his arms came around her, one petting down her messed hair, “Hey, it's okay, we're here now, everything's going to be okay.”
She lifted her head to look him in the face, “... Promise?”
He smiled down at her, “Promise ...” then a strange expression came over his face as he looked down at her, before he very gently leant down and brushed his lips over hers. Clarice's eyes widened in shock but her body reacted instantly, desperately, pressing herself up against him, hands going through his dark hair to grip at it, holding him close as his tongue flicked against her mouth. His arms going around her he walked her back till she hit the wall and pinned her against it, earning a small gasp from her.
As he broke off from her lips and started to kiss her just behind the ear, trailing down her throat tears pricked at her luminescent eyes and she moved her hands to his chest to push him away, “No … stop ...”
Jean-Paul moved back, giving her a hurt look, “Stop? Why?”
“'Cos ...” she took a deep breath, trying to keep a hold of herself and not just degenerate into a sobbing, senseless wreck “'cos this isn't real. The real Jean-Paul would never do that. You're either a shapeshifter messing with me, an illusion, or just some screwed up wish-fullfilment dream … and I'm not escaping am it?”
He gave her a very un-Jean-Paul like smirk and let her go, backing away, “Clever girl,” he murmured.
She wiped her eyes quickly and looked down at her feet, she didn't want to look at him. Embarrassment, disgust and a hollow feeling of defeat all churned in her gut, “I … I'll just go back to the white room now.”
“That might be a good idea, unless you want to go back to the chair,” he warned sharply as she slowly retraced her steps.
When she woke the door was open. She just closed her eyes and rolled over to face the wall.
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:59 pm
I had a good evil snort over that there.
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:55 pm
We're so mean to our babies. Good job at it though! Poor girl.
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:37 pm
“She's exhausted, both physically and mentally. Our tests indicate that the conditioning has been a success and we can proceed with phase two,” Essex said crisply as he and En Sabah watched the live camera feed from inside Clarice's room, the girl was kneeling next to the bed and seemed to be praying again.
Om tare tuttare ture svaha.
“Good, start your preparations and have the girl brought to the dark room, we'll begin immediately,” En Sabah said with a nod, “we can't afford to fall behind schedule.”
Om tare tuttare ture svaha.
The blue skinned woman opened the door to the room, “Herald,” she snapped, “it's time to go.”
“Om tare tuttare ture svaha.”
The woman snarled, “Ugh, still muttering that gibberish?” She walked into the room and grabbed Clarice roughly by the shoulder, “Don't you dare ignore me, you brat, now come!” She hauled the girl up to her feet and marched her out of the room. Clarice didn't resist as she was guided down the corridors towards the dark room, keeping her eyes downcast as she just focused on the mantra.
“Om tare tuttare ture svaha.” I pray to you, Green Tara, Liberator and Mother of all the Victorious ones, I am surrounded by demons and thieves. Give me strength and serenity, my heart is so tired. Whatever these people have planned I am sure it is evil. Give me the courage to resist, grant me your protection. Do not permit me to further their plans for I'm sure it'll bring suffering all. “Om tare tuttare ture svaha.”
“Shut up!” The woman snapped, as the door to the dark room was opened and she forced Clarice down into the chair, though this time only the straps around her wrists and ankles were bound, which did make Clarice pause, normally when they brought her here they trussed her up completely, something new was going to happen.
“Good evening, Herald,” a deep, male voice spoke from behind her. There was silence for a few moments before she replied in a dull voice.
“Good evening, Uncle.”
“You know, I rather expected a stream of curses or some kind of petty rebellion from you, isn't that the normal thing you X-Men do when captured?” He asked, moving to stand in front of her.
“Then you obviously don't know me very well, I don't cuss,” she said quietly, she was still in reasonable good health, not under nourished, no loss of muscle tone, the only signs of her imprisonment were superficial. Her hair had started to grease and there were heavy bags under her eyes, easy enough to deal with once she returned to the school, “You won't get away with this, you know.”
“Hmm?” En Sabah chuckled, “Oh yes, the classic hero line isn't it? Except I rather think I already have. Doctor, give her the final dosage.”
Essex appeared at her side with a syringe and forced it into her arm as she winced and looked away, “Whatever you're planning, I won't do it. I don't care if you leave me in here for months, or if you give me more injections, or even if you send me completely crazy. I won't help you, I'm not scared, and I'm not afraid to die either.” She said, sounding more resigned than defiant.
“And of course your little heroic speech, shouldn't you have mentioned something about the good people of this city and apple pie?” En Sabah chuckled to himself as he began his own preparations, “You are mistaken though if you think that we need you to be willing to perform the tasks I require of you, my Herald.”
“Mr. Nur is correct,” she heard the blue skinned woman pipe up, “what do you think all this has been crumpet? It's conditioning.”
“Silence, Mystique, I must be allowed to concentrate to do this correctly,” En Sabah snapped, reaching out to Clarice and wrapping his hand around Clarice's face, covering her eyes.
“Wait, what? What're you doing?” Clarice squeaked, trying to shake her head free. She was rewarded by En Sabah's hand clenching with super-human strength, increasing the pressure on her temples till she screamed.
The doctor had been correct, he could feel it, the procedures over the past few days had indeed broken down the girl's resistance to psychic assaults, there was a feeble push against his presence and then he was in. The girl's mindscape was his playground ...
By the time Nur had finished, Clarice had stopped struggling and her eyes had drifted closed, her breathing coming out slow and even.
“It is done, Raven, undo the straps,” he ordered.
“Of course sir,” Clarice didn't react as the restraints were released, her head remained bowed, she seemed almost in a trance.
As Raven stepped back behind the chair En Sabah commanded, “Open your eyes, look at me.”
Clarice's eyes opened and her head rose, and she looked at him blankly.
“Who are you? What is your name?” He demanded.
There was silence as Clarice seemed to considered before she said slowly, “I … am the Herald … the Herald of humanity's destruction.”
“Good,” En Sabah smiled, “and do you know me, Herald?”
There was another pause and En Sabah fancied he could watch the new memories and personality settling in behind her eyes before the Herald stood up from the chair and then dropped to one knee before him, head bowed respectfully, “You are my Lord and Master, Apocalypse, the saviour of the mutant race. How may I serve you?”
En Sabah's smile turned triumphant, “I would call that a success, wouldn't you doctor? Rise, my Herald, and come with us.”
“At once, Master,” the Herald intoned, climbing gracefully to her feet and following the two men and the woman from the room.
“I want you to escort the Herald back to Xaiver's, Mystique, take the form of her father and carry her to the room. She will be asleep, seemingly exhausted from the journey. Once you are back at her room both of her room-mates will be absent. Place her on the bed and then whisper the command phrase I will give you into her ear.”
They arrived at the garage and En Sabah stopped, turning to his agent fully, “When she awakens she will revert to the personality of Clarice Ferguson, with no memories of what has happened here. I have implanted false memories of her vacation with her family that tally with your own conversations with her friends, and we shall have our perfectly placed sleeper agent, not even she will know who her true master is. Do you understand, Raven?”
“Of course, my Lord, you can count on me,” she smirked.
Apocalypse turned to his Herald, “Now, my Herald, it is time for you to sleep till I have need of you, that is how you are to serve me. Rest and stay hidden till I summon you.”
The Herald bowed, “As you wish, my Master,” she didn't resist as he placed his hand over her head and sent out the psychic impulse. The Herald's eye's drooped and her body went limp, Essex catching her as she fell.
“Take her to the car, Mystique and then drive her to my personal plane, I want you back in New York within the next five hours, my pilot is waiting,” he watched Raven sling the unconscious girl over her shoulder and make her way to the car, “oh … and see if you can clean her up a little before she gets back.”
“Clarice! Clarice! You're back!”
Clarice groaned and flailed, yawning, “Huh … wazzat?” the blanket was pulled back to reveal a happy Japanese face topped by shocking blue hair, “Oh, hey Riko,” Clarice yawned again and half sat up, blinking. She was in her bed at Xavier's, her suitcase next to the bed, where … where had she been?
“You should have said you were coming back, I would have got cake!” Noriko exclaimed, “So did you have fun on your vacation?”
“Uh … vacation?” Clarice frowned sleepily for a moment, trying to remember, but there was nothing there. Then like a floodgate all the memories rushed in, of course, she'd gone on vacation with her family! “Yeah, I totally did … I don't remember getting back though, I musta been pooped.”
“Well I hope you feel rested, 'cos you're back just in time for us to go try out those Zumba classes we saw!” Noriko squeaked happily and Clarice grinned.
“Sure! Just let me catch a shower and unpack and we can get going.”
“Okay, I'm gonna go see if I can talk Ankka into coming, see you soon!” And with that she bounced away.
Clarice laughed as she climbed out of the bed and stretched, she could totally talk Jean-Paul in trying out zumba.
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 pm
"-But where would the fun be in that! Come on, you know you want to superhero." Jean-Paul called back to Reed as he hurried to the stairs.
Clarice snickered at Reed, "And if you don't, you can always ogle JP doing his thing," she said as an aside to him.
Reed snorted at her, “Well I do that a lot both ways, Clarice."
She blushed and giggled as they made to follow the speedster, "His hero thing!"
She heard Mayday pipe up from her chair, "S-seriously, should we check it out or...?" Clarice glanced to see the other girl watching her in a mix of admiration and nerves and she gave her an encouraging smile.
"Yep, we totally should," she said firmly.
En Sabah stood, staring out of the window of his expansive office and checked his wristwatch. The time for extraction had come. Time to contact the insider. He moved over to his desk and picked up the phone, typing in a very long number.
Clarice frowned as her phone went off, and looked at the number. Her Uncle really did have great timing, but it could be important, "Ugh, hold on, I gotta take this," she moved to the side and picked up, “Hello?”
"Herald, this is Apocalypse,” En Sabah's voice came over the phone line, his tone and the words seeming to pierce through her, “Begin Operation: Horsemen."
The slight frown on Clarice' face was replaced by a smooth, blank look, "Yes," she replied simply, before hanging up.
She turned back to the other students and smiled, "... I'll meet you guys down there, I have instant travel after all," she said before porting out.
En Sabah returned to looking out of his window and a few moments there was a flash of light, accompanied by a blink! behind him. He turned and beheld his Herald kneeling on one knee in the centre of the office, dressed in the black, hooded uniform that Essex's people had designed for his minions.
“Master, I live to serve.” The Herald said, her eyes averted from her Lord.
“As we speak the Marauder’s are causing the distraction necessary for your mission and retrieving their own targets. Your targets have been isolated, Malice will relay their exact locations to you when you make your move. You will bring them to me. You will have no witnesses.”
The Herald climbed to her feet and pulled the hood down low over her face, “As you command, Master.”
As the Herald vanished in another flash of light Apocalypse smiled to himself, sitting behind his desk. After so many years of preparations, his time had finally come.
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of his wrath has come, and who can withstand it?’ - Revelations 6:1-2, 15-17
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 8:21 am
Ooh wow, that's amazing, Pup! Fantastic fic!
Poor Blink, though. She needs hugs; and a pony.
Re: The Herald's Calling
Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:22 am
And I'm sure once she's been recaptured and de-programmed Clarice will be more then happy to accept all hugs, pettings, and ponies