Growing Pains

Seer

The Watcher
Residence
every place
Missions
1,294
For the first time in three days, an ominous silence began to blow through the halls of Hellfire America - bringing comfort to nobody. It had seen a weekend of passion, power and death, and while that was par for the course at Hellfire, this time things felt different. The Inner Circle had invited their counterparts to strengthen their own positions and to continue the path they had begun blazing since taking control from their predecessors, and soon found themselves in the midst of a brewing civil war. In an effort to ease tensions and save their Inner Circle, many decided that it was time for a break - to scale the walls of the kingdom and gain a little peace of mind. But it has long been said that those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it, and while The Inner Circle may have been off enjoying their vacations from Hellfire, none of them were able to venture very far from it mentally. When they returned - they were going to have to face an unstable court, outliers who might not wish them well, and hungry eyes just looking for a way to seize their own power. While our eyes may be shifted in many different directions, as always, so we watch.
 

Specter

Ghost Recon
Real Name
Griffin Ackerman
Missions
5
Ability
Intangibility
Belmont Stakes — Clubhouse, Champagne Room

Griffin arrived at the racetrack and made his way to the VIP section. He didn’t need tickets, all he had to do was drop Nefaria’s name, and he was given the red carpet treatment. I have a job for you, meet as per usual, the text had said. He found her waiting with Ettore at a table with some Tuscan wine and fancy little finger foods.

It had been years but she looked no worse for the wear. He sat down, and almost instantly a waitress was there, pouring him a glass of Woodford Reserve Kentucky bourbon. He looked out over the track as he lounged back in his seat, his hands interlocked behind his head. There wasn’t an official event today, but practices were being run, and season pass holders (or their guests) could still spectate. The horn sounded and the horses burst from the gates.

“Adriana, what a pleasure to hear from you after so long. I don’t really freelance jobs anymore.”

Adriana: Yet, here you are, and the pleasure is all mine. Nice to see you haven’t let yourself go.

He gave an amused harrumph and glanced over at Ettore. Were these two a thing now, or were they still keeping their relationship strictly business? Griff looked back at Adriana.

“Well, call me curious. What’s the job?”

She passed him a picture, and he looked at it curiously.

“Hot. Is that you?”

Adriana: It is.

“Material for the spank bank?”

Adriana: Don’t be gross. The important part is the mask. I want you to retrieve it.

He smiled with minimal guilt. He suspected she secretly liked his comment. Ettore didn’t react like a jealous boyfriend, that was the more telling response.

“Where from?”

Adriana: Hellfire, most likely. The White Bishop’s suite.

He whistled. He was White Guard, could access any part of the White Wing. Adriana had convinced him to apply for the job, and his time teaching Haleigh how to shoot had made it easy. He was reluctant to fuck that up, though he knew Gia’s standing with the White Queen was rocky at best. Last he heard, the Queen had sent the Bishop a bullet as a warning. Then shit went sideways after the poisoning, and now Red Praetorians surrounded the White Queen. He hadn’t seen her in the White Wing in days. He could easily infiltrate the Bishop’s suite, but in such times...

“That’s risky.”

Adriana: Then don’t get caught.
 

Madame Masque

Unknown
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Adriana Nefaria
Missions
13
Belmont Stakes — Clubhouse, Champagne Room

Their box was empty, except for them. A single waitress was on standby for them, on the other side of glass double doors. They enjoyed wine and hor d’oeuvres while they waited for an old friend. She was well dressed for the derby, in a pencil skirt and a silk blouse, of course with a floppy brimmed sun hat and some oversized sunglasses. And Ettore had dressed up as well, he even wore a paisley bow tie that matched his handkerchief.

Griffin came in looking like he was supposed to be at a Yankees game. Jeans, a v-neck tee, ball cap. Still, he made it look good. Clearly he was still working out. He was a rough around the edges kind of guy. She liked that about him. He was so different from the coiffed metro men around her usually. He sat down and tried to say he didn’t freelance anymore, but she didn’t fall for it. He was here, so obviously he could be persuaded.

She slid him a photo and he called it hot, which made her fight with a smile as she confirmed it was her. Then he asked a pervy question that had her rolling her eyes and redirecting his focus. They discussed where he could probably find her mask, which he declared ‘risky’. Naturally she advised him not to get himself caught, but she could see from his resulting expression that he’d need some more persuading.

“It’s made of solid gold and I’ll pay you three times what it’s worth.”

He stared at her for several seconds, and she stared back from behind her sunglasses.

Griffin: How much does it weigh?

“Several ounces, I don’t remember exactly. Let’s say ten.”

Griffin: And gold being around 1500 bucks an ounce.... a little mental math puts your offer at almost 50 grand, Madame.

“Yes. Why don’t we call it Fifty exactly, make it a nice round number?”

Griffin: 50k. How about a date?

“Deadline? ASAP.”

He chortled.

Griffin: No, not a due date, a date date.
 

Specter

Ghost Recon
Real Name
Griffin Ackerman
Missions
5
Ability
Intangibility
Belmont Stakes — Clubhouse, Champagne Room

He didn’t bite right away, when she named a price. Three times the price of gold could be a lot, depending on the weight, which he asked about. She estimated several ounces, then rounded up to ten. When he verified his math she rounded up again. Oh, she wanted this thing bad. He could’ve asked for a hundred thousand and probably haggled, but he wanted something else.

When he asked she misunderstood his question, but he didn’t think it had been done on purpose so he clarified. Ettore scoffed quietly, but Adriana held Griff’s gaze and the corners of her mouth twitched upwards, threatening a smile. Griff grinned wide and took his lowball glass in hand while she parted her lips with her tongue.

Adriana: Alright, a date.

Griffin nodded and threw back his whiskey in triumph.

Ettore: I’ll wage a hundred dollars he takes you someplace where you end up fighting a biker gang.

“I’ll call you when I have the mask. Dress casual and don’t bring the third wheel.”

He said, not even looking over at the henchman. Dude was obviously just jealous that he didn’t have the stones to take her on a date himself. Adriana looked over at Ettore, though. It was only a casually tossed glance, but it made Griffin wonder what she was thinking. Too bad he didn’t have the ability of his King, or that mistress Cameron had brought around a couple days ago.

The things he could accomplish with a dash of telepathy.... he doubted he’d even need his current skill set. But everyone had their talents, and Griffin was quite gifted with his. This mask she wanted, regardless of whether it really was in the Bishop’s quarters, would be an easy heist. Bank Vaults didn’t slow him down, and the Halls Of Hellfire were his to roam. A Captain in the White Guard wouldn’t even be out of place doing a security check in any part of the White Wing.

He took a second look at the picture, and then folded it up to stick in his back pocket, as the girl came around to refill his whiskey glass. He thanked her as he reached for the appetizer plate. It was basically a bunch of crackers piled high with fancy shit. He slid a few onto his own plate and set the rest back in the middle of the table.
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,034
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
The weekend had finally ended, yet its turbulent wake still haunted Ava's mind. She and John had been in Paris for three days, buying out the entire floor of a beautiful Parisian hotel that had the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. It should have been picture perfect; night and day alone in his arms, fucking until they fell asleep, staying in bed all day ordering room service and talking. But it was anything but. Since arriving Ava's mind was in a dark place. She went through the motions, fucking John hard, giving and taking the pleasure they both sought out...but she wasn't really 'there'. Sitting on the balcony that overlooked the park and tower, Ava's eyes were trained on a group of children laughing and playing tag, but her focus wasn't on them. Her mind was elsewhere, lost in memories that were haunting her since the moment she left Hellfire. Since the moment everything truly hit her from the weekend.

FLASH

15 years ago


The room was dark but she knew where she was. She could feel the strength of her father's arms holding her as he carried her down to the catacombs, Ava clutching onto his neck as she pretended to be asleep. She heard Diana's voice first, greeting Stavros. Then Helena, saying something snarky that went over her head because she was only a child. Then Kelly, who mentioned 'getting this over with' so she could take him back to her suite. Ava's eyes shut tightly in disgust. Diana directed Stavros to put her down on the floor, and that was when Ava lifted her head and looked at her father.

"Daddy?"

FLASH


Her eyes were blank, the coffee in her cup cold as she held it in her lap watching the children play. Laugh. No cares in the world. The dull throbbing of a headache pumped in her ears, all noises from the early morning streets disappearing.

FLASH

The Black Gala

Stavros: You are a Cassadine. NOTHING hurts a Cassadine! We are stronger than that. I raised my daughter to not be affected by the things around her. To keep her chin up and to know what was the most important thing. The bigger picture. And now here you are...[gesturing with dissapproval] A huddled mess. A CHILD. And I will not entertain the machinations of a CHILD. Especially when she has approached me like a Queen.'

FLASH

15 years ago

Stavros:
"STOP ACTING LIKE A CHILD, AVA!"

Stavros screamed as Ava clutched for him, begging him to stop. Tears falling from her terror filled eyes. She had overhead her father and the Queen's talking - their plans. She knew why she was in the catacombs, but she didn't want to believe her father would actually go through with it.

"DADDY PLEASE!"

Stavros back handed Ava across the face, her body falling to the floor in a crumpled mess. She could feel his presents above her as she hid her face and tried to control her sobs.

Stavros: "You are acting a FOOL and embarrassing the family name, Ava! This is for your own good! You will become a GOD and our bloodline will run thick with pride and glory! STOP crying and remember WHO you ARE! Who you will BECOME!"

Ava's breaths were shaky as she lifted her head to see her father's cold black eyes giving her a stern and disapproving glare. He had never hit her before...never laid a hand on her...and that all changed because of power. She could hear the soft clicking of Diana's heels as the White Queen approached her, Stavros stepping aside. Ava watched as he went to Kelly's side, taking the hand of the woman who was finding far too much joy in his daughter's pain and fear.

Diana: [scathing]"Now that the theatrics are over..."


FLASH

The screams of her childhood ending echoed in her head. Of her father's betrayal. Of the entire Hellfire regents raping her of her free will and choice, all because of her father's desire for power and prestige.

FLASH

The Black Gala

Archer:
"So weak. So helpless. This is who you ARE. Without the help of your parents, you would have been NOTHING, Dr. Doolittle. [laughing] I mean really. Your company? Your father's making. Your powers? Diana's doing. You've done NOTHING for yourself except benefit off the hard work of those around you. It's disgusting. YOU'RE disgusting."

FLASH


Ava shut her eyes tightly, a piercing pain shot through her head, causing her to fumble her coffee cup onto the marble tiled balcony. Grabbing her head in pain, the children's laughs were like nails on a chalk board, growing louder and louder, as if they were standing right in front of her, laughing AT her.

“John...”

She murmured, the pain in her head intensifying.

“JOHN!”

She heard nothing, saw nothing, just felt the raw pain envelope her like static noise, too loud to escape from. Gasping in, suddenly, everything was quiet and the painful headache was instantly gone - like it had never even happened. Only the sound of laughing children and the busy Parisian streets could be heard, the day untouched and perfect.
 
Clara Oswald
Clara Oswald
Holy shit that post Sam!

Scion

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,437
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Hellfire -- The Red King’s Suite

She didn’t have to open her eyes for her internal alarm clock to wake her. The past three days they’d slept in, gotten room service, and been blissfully left alone. But this morning Jasper was going to pay a visit, to check on her health, and that of the twins. So they might as well get up and dressed. She activated the coffee pot from the comfort of her bed. She wouldn’t drink it for the next few months, but he liked it, and having it already brewed for him could help convince him to get out of bed.

As far as waking him up, though, she had a different plan. She snuggled in close to his body, her hand traveling his chest gently as her knee went up on top of his thighs. He pretended not to stir, even though his breathing changed, so she smirked a slid a little further down his body, kissing her way down his chest and abdomen slowly.

Cameron: He won’t wake up yet, so you might as well stop trying.

“Fuckin A, Cameron.”

She lifted her head to spot him, leaning against the dresser across the room.

“What the fuck is wrong with you? If you think you’re going to join us you’ve got another thing coming. You blew your chance at that, along with everything else.”

Cameron: You always say things you don’t mean when you’re angry.

He replied, coming over to sit on the edge of the bed. When he reached for her she swatted his hand away.

“Go fuck your empanada escort, leave us in peace.”

Cameron: I have been. I know you’ve been watching. I want you.

“I don’t give a bag of dicks what you want anymore. Go fuckin want it somewhere else.”

His expression turned hard. Alek grabbed her by the wrists and rolled over on top of her, pinning her hands by her head. She looked up at him in surprise, and found a cold dead stare in his eyes. She asked him what he was doing, but he didn’t even blink. It was Cameron who answered her.

Cameron: I was never strong enough to make you doing anything. But he is. Is that why you want him, his strength? If you want him so bad, you can have him.

Haleigh considered struggling but she was sure he’d enjoy that. Alek’s grip was so tight her hands were tingling, falling asleep. Her gaze shifted to Cameron, who sat beside her now. He reached to caress her face gently and this time there was nothing she could do about it.

Cameron: For telepaths, living vicariously is not just a figure of speech.

“Stop this, I mean it. It’s not okay.”

Cameron: And If I don’t?

She put a gun to his head, and cocked the hammer. She didn’t need hands to do that. He just smiled.

Cameron: Shoot me in the head while I’m mentally linked to your big teddy bear, and he’ll get the brain damage too. He won’t be any good to you as a vegetable.

“Let him go, or your little jalapeño hussy will be staring down the long barrel of a pump action shotgun.”

Cameron had a ceramic blade at her throat, and a menacing look in his eye when he told her that one way or another he was going to get what he wanted.

“How very rapey of you.”

He sneered that he’d just brainwash her into wanting him again, and this time she’d want only him. He slipped her wedding band back onto her finger. The coffee chimed ready and Haleigh woke with a start, her heart pounding. She rolled over to hang her head over the edge of the bed and dry heave into a little metal pail. Even as she gagged she checked all the cameras in the Red Wing for her husband. She didn’t find him, but at least she stopped trying to throw up. Her tits were at least as sore as yesterday, if not more. She rolled onto her back again and looked at her hand. No ring. It was only a dream. Still, she edged closer to wanting to be rid of him once and for all.
 
Clara Oswald
Clara Oswald
That shotgun line is priceless!

Steel

Mutant Policeman
Birds of Prey
Real Name
John Steele
Residence
New York City
Missions
327
Ability
Body tranforms into organic steel
Paris

They had left New York almost the second the Europeans were out of sight. He could tell how much Ava needed this trip, and the chance to have her all to himself, away from prying eyes and obligations was like a dream. A week ago he couldn't have imagined that she would ever be his, but now she was. And they were back in Paris, their city in some ways, together. Every place they went seemed to hold memories of the last time they were there, and he kept catching himself smiling to himself.

John had gone for a run, giving her a little time to herself. The pavement of the old city rose up to meet him as he crossed the river and headed to the Arc de Triomphe before cutting back along the Champs Elysees to the Jardin de Tuileries. He remembered a picnic here, near a fountain, long ago. He wondered for the hundredth time if she had been happier then, if he was imagining that something was just a little off with her. Or if something was very wrong and he just didn't want to see it. She had almost died, of course it would affect her. But she hadn't been herself and he wished that some way he could help to lighten her load. But he didn't seem able to, and it hurt him, made him feel like a failure. He was determined to pull her through this, though, to give her the trip she deserved, and be the King she needed.

He stopped at the center of the Pont Neuf and breathed in the fresh air, looking out at the river on one side, the Ile de la Cite on the other. Yes, he would see the life back in her eyes.

He continued on once more, running back along the Seine to their hotel near the Eiffel Tower. He picked up a bouquet of flowers from a tiny woman in a tiny flower shop nearby, and smiled at the doorman as he entered the hotel and stepped quickly into the waiting elevator. He dropped his key card on the table by the door as he entered their suite.

"Babe?"

Ava: “JOHN!”

He dropped the flowers when he heard her screaming from the balcony, cutting across the living space and out to her. He could see her, tense with pain, but as he reached her her body relaxed. He enveloped her in his arms anyway.

"Ava, what is it? What's wrong? Are you hurt?"
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,034
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
Everything was so loud - so filled with noise - and then it wasn't. Ava hadn't even heard John, let alone register that he was in front of her pulling her into his arms until she felt his sweaty skin against her. There was so much pain, like her head was cracking in two, and then there was nothing. Not a dull ache, not a single reminisce.

John: "Ava, what is it?"

Ava felt a bit disoriented, her eyes shut and breathing slightly escalated.

John: "What's wrong? Are you hurt?"

Ava shook her head no gently against his shoulder, her face buried into his chest. She wasn't sure what to make of the situation, but before she could answer, the softest voice came from the room.

Housekeeper: "Pardon madame..."

The housekeepers thick French accent was coated with worry as Ava lifted her head to see her clutching a towel, looking at the both of them. Her eyes caught sight of the broken cup and split coffee, not remembering it falling or even breaking.

"I'm sorry...Je suis désolé [i'm sorry]."

The housekeeper shook her head, dismissing Ava's apology. Ava stood, with the assistance of John, and they both headed inside as the housekeeper began to clean the mess. Walking into their bedroom, Ava walked over to the beautiful mid century
provincial dresser, her back to John.

"How was your run?"

She asked, her tone pleasant but strained. But as she spoke, her eyes were cast down at her wrist, the all too familiar 'death' branding tingling like needles under her skin. She grabbed it with her other hand, roughly rubbing it as she turned around.

"Work up an appetite?"

Ava playfully smiled, though there was no ease behind her eyes.

"For me I hope."
 

Berserker

'bout to show you what Hell looks like
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Aleksander Hallbjörn
Residence
New York City
Missions
994
Ability
Strength
The Red King’s Suite

Alek was dead to the world. He slept like a baby with Haleigh next to him, their extracurricular activities providing ample opportunity to tire each other out and then nap the day away. He loved this feeling, like his only responsibility was her. And for the most part, it was.

He turned over onto his stomach as he felt her move beside him, sleep still wrapping her lovely tendrils around him, dragging him back under. Then he heard the telltale sounds and felt Haleigh lay back down. He reached out and found her hand, his eyes sleepily blinking open to look at her.

"Everything okay?"

He smiled, but she didn't look okay, so he pushed himself up onto one elbow, his body coming alert.

"What's going on?"

He moved to pull her into his arms.

"What can I do?"
 

Steel

Mutant Policeman
Birds of Prey
Real Name
John Steele
Residence
New York City
Missions
327
Ability
Body tranforms into organic steel
The Hotel - Paris

Ava answered that she wasn't hurt, but her head nestled in against his chest, and he could tell for sure this time that something wasn't right. Before he could ask her again, the concerned-looking housekeeper was speaking to them in her quiet French voice.

Ava: "I'm sorry...Je suis désolé [i'm sorry]."

It was only then that John saw the broken coffee cup, and he led Ava inside so the woman could wipe up the spill. He didn't let go of her until they were in the bedroom, but even though his hands did, his eyes never left her.

Ava: "How was your run?"

"It was good...refreshing..."

She turned to face him.

Ava: "Work up an appetite? For me I hope."

He smiled, sure he must be blushing. She had that effect on him. He stepped forward towards her.

"For you? Always."

His hands slid around her waist, but then the smile faded and he became serious.

"Ava...what happened back there? Please, I want to help."
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,034
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
Ava kept her back to John as she asked him how his run was, but the only thing she was paying attention to was the tingling sensation that overtook the branding on her wrist.

John: "It was good...refreshing..."

"Good.."

Rubbing her wrist as she turned around, she gave him a smile with no light behind it, asking him playfully if he worked up an appetite; specifically for her. John smile, blushing a bit which made Ava's eyes finally soften with warmth. She loved the effect she had on him, even now. Even after he had staked claim to her heart. But even behind his smile, she could see the worry in his eyes and it made Ava's stomach turn. She didn't want to talk about what happened.

John: "For you? Always."

That was when he crossed the room, his hands sliding around her waist - an act that would normally make Ava melt, but instead made her tense and uncomfortable. His smile faded and his eyes became serious.

"John..."

John: "Ava...what happened back there?

Ava tried to pull back from his grasp, wanting to put distance between them, but he kept his arms firm around her.

"I'm fine."

John: "Please, I want to help."

A switch flipped within Ava and her eyes went black as she yanked back away from John. Power surging through her - adrenaline coursing through her veins like electricity. Murderous feelings that burned within her, aching to be released.

"I said i'm FINE!"

But as soon as she snapped, as soon as she saw his reaction to her, Ava's mouth parted in shock, brows furrowing in disbelief that mimicked the look in her eyes. The adrenaline, the power, everything, all left her body immediately.

"...I'm sorry...I didn't..."

Ava shook her head, unable to understand why she reacted that way with John. She always had a short fuse, but with people who meant nothing to her. Pawns and minions. Hell, even inner circle members. But John? Never in her life. She reached her hand out toward him, wanting to touch him, but hesitated and retracted it back.

"John, i'm sorry....I don't know what's wrong with me..."

Raking her fingers through her hair, Ava shut her eyes with frustration.

"I just keep hearing their voices. Diana...Kelly...my father...Archer...."

Shaking her head, she finally looked at John with glassy eyes.

"I'm so sorry..."
 

Scion

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,437
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Hellfire -- The Red King’s Suite

Alek: Everything okay?

She jolted a bit, and looked at him in alarm. He smiled, and it seemed like him, but for a moment she searched his eyes. He could tell something was wrong, and pushed himself half up to ask what was going on. She rubbed her face with both hands, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly.

“Nothing. Bad dream. Your coffee’s ready.”

She could smell it scorching already. She covered her nose and mouth with her hand, as if that would help. She needed a gas mask.

Alek: What can I do?

She looked up at him with a wan smile.

“Do we have any leftover pizza? I need something solid to throw up.”

She joked, though really she wasn’t joking. Her queasiness at the farewell breakfast had been a false alarm, but the morning sickness had come on strong yesterday, and lasted all goddamn day. Either she was ravenously hungry, or she was puking it all up, there seemed no in between.

And it was strange, because everything she had read gave her the impression that it was way too early to be feeling like this. Of course, knowing Kelly she was probably getting plagued with the symptoms just for the old harpy’s amusement. She sighed again, knowing that she should have given this decision a lot more thought that she had. Too late to put the genie back in the bottle now, though. A knock came at the main door.

“And will you let Jazz in, while you’re up?”
 

Steel

Mutant Policeman
Birds of Prey
Real Name
John Steele
Residence
New York City
Missions
327
Ability
Body tranforms into organic steel
The Paris Hotel

As soon as his hand slipped around Ava's waist, John knew something was wrong. Her body tensed, like she didn't want him to touch her. But they needed to talk about this - she couldn't avoid it forever. So when she tried to pull away, he stood his ground.

Ava: "I'm fine."

He knew now that that was a lie. He told her he just wanted to help, which was the truth. He couldn't bear to see her hurting.

"Ava..."

And then a violence came out of her like he had seen many times, but never directed at him. Her eyes were black and menacing and she forcefully pulled away from him. His eye went wide as she shouted at him.

Ava: "I said I'm FINE!"

He didn't understand what he was seeing.

And then her face changed, became his Ava again.

Ava: "...I'm sorry...I didn't..."

"I know...I know..."

She extended her hand then took it back. He stared at it, like it was significant somehow.

Ava: "John, i'm sorry....I don't know what's wrong with me..."

"Shh...don't apologize."

He took a step forward, then stopped, not wanting to touch her if she didn't want to be touched. But for the life of him, he couldn't understand why she would feel that way. Not with him.

"Please, tell me."

Ava: "I just keep hearing their voices. Diana...Kelly...my father...Archer....I'm so sorry..."

Kelly. Was that bitch behind this? If she was, he'd do to her what he had to Helena.

"I told you not to apologize, my dearest Queen. We'll figure this out. Together."

He stepped forward again, reaching out his hand to her.

"Can I...?"
 

Berserker

'bout to show you what Hell looks like
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Aleksander Hallbjörn
Residence
New York City
Missions
994
Ability
Strength
The Red King’s Suite

The way she reacted to him, like she was on a knife's edge, made him sit up with concern. He asked her what was going on.

Haleigh: “Nothing. Bad dream. Your coffee’s ready.”

He didn't move, asking her instead what he could do, since something was clearly wrong.

Haleigh: “Do we have any leftover pizza? I need something solid to throw up.”

He frowned sympathetically at her, reaching out to gently rub her tummy.

"We always have leftover pizza. But how about some ginger ale and crackers with it?"

He knew from many a drunken morning after that pizza was not your friend on the return trip. He scooted out of bed, taking a moment to scratch his ass as he walked to the kitchen. There was a knock at the door.

Haleigh: “And will you let Jazz in, while you’re up?”

He came back out of the kitchen, coffee cup in hand.

"I will, but I am going to walk to the door slowly so you have time to put something on."

He grinned cheekily, hooking his boxers with his foot as he passed by the bed. As he made his way to the door, he grumbled under his breath.

"What kind of nickname is 'Jazz' anyway, for a doctor?"

He took a moment to slip on his shorts, hoping she was getting into a robe or something, but knowing that she probably wasn't. He took a deep breath, and opened the door.

"Dr. Crichton. Come in."

He took a sip of the hot coffee.

"Haleigh's in bed."
 

Prophet

White King
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Cameron King
Residence
New York City
Missions
2,271
Ability
Telepathy, Psionic, Telekinetic, Empathy, Flash Premonition
The White Wing

he quiet bothered some, but not The White King. He was a perpetually social creature, but he worshipped solitude. He craved any time that he could get with only his thoughts, and not the thoughts of others. Many telepaths were passive, taking on somewhat of a hipporcratic oath to not impede on the privacy of others unless it was dire. Cameron was not one of those telepaths - the circle of people who's minds he would not invade was barely enough to form the shape. An as such, being "active" for so long had left him incredibly drained. It was a trait that only Ava, his sister and his wife really knew about because he wanted the others to stay on edge, to assume that he was listening and watching. So he was soaking in a bath with the paper stretched out over him, smoking a cigar and sipping on a bottle of scotch - an anniversary present he and Haleigh had promised to open together at the end of the weekend, to celebrate their success. He figured that since he couldn't bare to drown himself in the bath, that he might as well drown himself in irony. He was also sweating the fact that in just a few hours his daughter and former fiance would finally moving into the Hellfire mansion, so he just wanted to spend some time doing what he loved most - reading the paper in the tub with a bottle of scotch.

Sharon Kelly mourns the loss of her son in a private ceremony at St. Andrews on Sunday Morning

The White King's eyes flickered with delight as he set the bottle down on the wet tile floor, rubbing water over his hairy chest with his hand for a moment before turning the page.

"And there is our in."

Cameron forgot that Ava's knight turned princess had taken out Kyle Kelly at the start of the weekend, but his recollection was well timed. If he wanted to make good on his deal with Liam, this was a good start. Sharon Kelly was a thorn in Cameron's side, at least in his day to day New York operations. She was a viper, but she loved her family, Cameron had always felt it in her. He could quite possibly get her to step down voluntarily due to the trauma of losing her son.

"Whoah."

He thought of Carolina for a moment. Thought of what he would do if somebody had murdered the way that Kyle Kelly had been murdered. He would scorch the Earth. He thought of his unborn son, if he was taken away. He'd take his own life. And he was met with the grim reality that he was now on the other side of the equation of morality. Before, he could act without remorse. He didn't have the same ties. It was nothing to kill one's child if it created the right outcome, but now - it felt different. But Cameron wasn't stupid, he knew that to survive in Hellire, you had to learn to compartmentalize, though The White King wasn't the best at it. He pressed a button on the wall next to the tub.

"Schedule me a meeting with Mockingbird, soonest available. A lunch. Find the whitest, waspiest eatery on the Upper East Side and make a reservation."

Erika had brought Simon Pratt as her escort to The Bacchinalia, and though things didn't end very copacetically, it meant there was still an in. He had waited to get in contact with Mockingbird, because honestly, Diana had always made him feel as if he couldn't. Mockingbird had always been Malice's ace in the hole, even if it were born out of indentured servitude. He had all but left Kristen Pratt alone since Diana's death, but perhaps it was time to bring her out of retirement and remind her that she was still called to serve The White Court whenever necessary. He close the paper and threw it to the side of the tub, before exponging his cigar, once again taking the scotch to his lips, and though he was trying to recharge, he couldn't help but sense his wife's distress from The Red Wing as his mind's eye reached out. He grumbled.

Alek: "What's going on? What can I do?"

For a moment his mind went wild. It would be very easy to end Alek's life, as well as his unborn daughter's and be rid of this whole mess entirely - but he would end up losing Haleigh forever, and despite the fact that she seemed okay with it at this point, Cameron wasn't prepared to let go that easily, but he wasn't sure if it was because of his already bruised ego, or because he truly didn't want to lose her.

"Carolina."

It was too painful to continue thinking of his wife wrapped around the torso of The Red King. There were more important things to focus on right now. The health of his son and the arrival of his daughter. As he thought of Carolina his heart swelled with love and pride, almost overriding all the pain, or at the very least, allowing him to get out of the tub and start getting ready for the day. Elena was another story altogether. He had made a mess of things, and he was worried he had promised Elena something he couldn't make good on, but he couldn't help it. Their chemistry was undeniable. She was brazen and oozed femininity. She was both dainty and strong and everything he loved about women, and when they were together, they had been incredibly happy. Maybe there was a reason she was coming back into his life? Maybe there was a GOOD reason for all of this mess.

Rising from the tub, Cameron walked across the bathroom, naked and dripping wet as he stepped into his closet, trying to decide what if any of his clothes could sell the dream that he was as good as a father as he wanted to be.
 

Pathfinder

White Princess
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Erika King
Residence
Newport Beach, CA
Missions
202
Ability
Witch
Park Avenue Princess

Erika had been up early, deciding to ease a bit of her tension and go shopping. And if she found something cute, she'd stop for a cocktail in a chic lounge and find her a nice young wolf of wall street to take home and play with. She needed a bit of a break, and genuinely for her mental health. She wasn't always this clear, and thankfully this time, she was beginning to recognize when she needed a break. The weekend had given her a lot to think about and had meteorically rose her stock within Hellfire. She was The White Princess, and for the most part? She had been good at it. She defended her court loudly during the "poisoning" event, held her own with the other royals, and single handedly saved the Black Queen from being murdered at the hands of Archer Fairchild. Oh yeah, and she killed Archer Fairchild. By all accounts, Erika knew she was fucking crushing it. Which is why she was worried about fucking it up.

Slipping into a white trenchcoat, a town car picked her up and took her to Park Avenue as she delicately began to walk the streets, passing boutique after boutique, half admiring the shoes, half lost in thought. Mindfulness.

"Hold up. Loro Piana Cashmere."

No, it wasn't a Drag Queen in Liberty Heights, it was some of the world's finest goddamn cashmere in the world, and Erika was not about to deny herself from it any longer, she made a left, heading into the department store, the staff seemly already aware of exactly who they were dealing. Sliding off her white gloves, she pursed them in her right hand and grabbed a flute of champagne with her left, taking a sip as the cold, sterile environment of the store gave her great comfort. She was after all, the daughter of one of the world's greatest doctors and geneticists. She had spent many hours in an operating room. She had gone through medical school. Sometimes, Erika felt as if that Erika was an entirely different person altogether, that it was just an identity she pursued to get her mother and her brother's attention. She knew she was smart, she just didn't believe that once she actually finished something before bailing when it didn't go her way.

"Is that - ?"

Salesperson: "The Giacca Macey? Yes it is."

Erika gave a smirk not disimilar to her mother.

"Perfect. I'll take that and whatever else you think I might like. And boys?"

The salesmen stopped in their tracks.

"Go slow. I've had a long weekend. And no credit limit. So, I'm gonna have to make you boys earn your commission today. Let me see what you got."

Slowly, Erika took a seat in a plush chair, crossing her legs, smoothing out her dress, sipping her champagne, taking a moment to relax. With Cameron and Haleigh's marital relationship on the rocks, she couldn't simply rely on her brother's protection for much longer. She was going to have to gain some power for herself. Without stepping on anyone's toes. If she had learned one thing from the million dinner parties she attended as a child it was that waiting to get dessert until everyone else has had their turn is just foolish. Nobody wants to end the night with butterscotch pudding. Erika missed the days she used to eat as one of the men returned with an entire rolling rack. The White Princess sat her flute down on a glass end table as she eyed the selections up and down, admiring the fabrics with her hands.

"Impressive start, boys. I'd like a room with a fainting couch and a full vanity please. It appears some pampering is long overdue."

Making her way towards her private room, Erika's attempts at relaxing were starting to feel futile, so she pulled a prescription bottle from her purse, and popped a blue pill. The ability to write her own prescriptions was just about the only reason she didn't let her license lapse. As badly as Haleigh had annoyed her over the years, she knew that both her and her brother were stronger with her, rather than without her, and she did have an affection for her that was stoked knowing she was carrying her nephew. It was the first baby in the family. Erika knew what it was like to be the baby of Hellfire, and she knew she had to protect him. Uncomfortable as it may be, she had no other choice but to forge a working and more intimate relationship with The White Queen. Conventional doctors would not be equipped to deal with this type of pregnancy - magickal children had a way of messing with things. Still the thought of playing nice with a woman who all but spat in the face of decorum and ritual and propriety.

"But what can one expect from a child that was created in a test tube?"

She downed the rest of her champagne, admired her manicure and exhaled deeply. She couldn't stay gone for much longer, but for now, she was going to rack up an American Express bill so hefty it could power a third world country for decades, and THAT was something to look forward to.
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,034
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
Ava felt a rage inside of her that had never been directed toward John the moment he tried to keep his arms around her. She screamed at him, pulling away with a darkness in her eyes....that was until she saw the hurt and shock plastered on his face. It was then the rage immediately subsided and she realized what she had done. Why was she acting this way with him? He was only trying to help her...like he had always done before. Ava's eyes immediately softened, her expression mirroring John's.

"...I'm sorry...I didn't..."

John: "I know...I know..."

But Ava could tell John was still taken aback - still hurt by her outburst. She reached for him but stopped, seeing his eyes look at her hand questionably which only hurt her worse. She didn't know why she was feeling so....off since leaving Hellfire. Yes the weekend was a fucking giant dumpster mess of epic proportions between Haleigh getting pregnant, her father marring Kelly, being nearly ostracized from the Inner Circle because Archer had framed her for Haleigh's attempted poisoning, and then Archer stripping her of her abilities and trying to kill her. Needless to say having a little PTSD would have been normal any other circumstances. But she was Ava Cassadine, Black Queen. She couldn't show this kind of weakness. She couldn't let herself be haunted by the pain of the weekend, and in turn, the pain of her childhood traumas that were drudged up because of the weekend.

Ava looked at John once more, tears making her eyes glassy.

"I'm so sorry..."

John: "I told you not to apologize, my dearest Queen. We'll figure this out. Together."

John stepped forward slowly, hesitating. It was like a knife in Ava's heart that he even felt the need to do that.

John: "Can I...?"

"John..."

His name was coated in pain and guilt as she moved forward to meet him, wrapping her arms around his body and pulling herself close against him.

"Always...yes..."

She whispered in his ear as she managed to keep the tears at bay, even when shutting her eyes tightly.

"I don't want to ruin this trip....I need it so badly.."

Pulling back to look into his eyes finally.

"I need you."
 

Scion

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,437
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Hellfire -- The Red King’s Suite

Alek was remarkably attentive, even after she shrugged off his questions about what was going on. Her soon to be ex husband was invading her dreams and making them nightmares, but she wasn’t going to tell Alek that. She’d deal with it herself, and keep him as far from the line of fire as possible. So she just told him it was a bad dream, and asked for some cold pizza to throw up. Something fluttered low in her stomach when he rubbed her skin.

Alek: We always have leftover pizza. But how about some ginger ale and crackers to go with it?

“Yeah whatever, it all comes up as little chunks just the same.”

She replied with a dry smile, shoving the pillows around until she was comfortable. A knock came and she checked the cameras, then called for Alek to let the doctor in. He came back into the room with a coffee cup, and though he was stark naked he suggested he’d walk slow so she could get dressed. She gave him the once over as he hooked a pair of shorts with his foot. She shook her head, though still she smirked.

“Jasper’s been my doctor for years. He’s seen me naked already and even if he hadn’t, he’s going to deliver our children so we might as well throw out the false modesty now.”

She told him, her volume going up as he got further away. She heard him let the doctor in, who replied with the customary good morning your Grace, before being directed to where she was. In the back of her mind, Haleigh found Cameron on surveillance, getting out of the tub in his new suite. Just last week the sight of him like that would have made her instantly horny, but today she was just nauseous.

Jasper: Good Morning, your Grace. How are you feeling?

She opened her mouth to respond, but then doubled over towards the little metal pail again, coughing and spitting bile into it for a few minutes.

Jasper: That good, huh?

He deadpanned, pushing a small armchair over to her side of the bed. He had a little briefcase with him, and first he pulled out a tablet, asking her to Bluetooth him. She grabbed the washcloth from the nightstand and wiped her mouth as she mentally linked to his device.

Jasper: I swear, this thing works so much faster when it’s connected to you. Your vitals look good. What other symptoms do you have?

“My tits hurt.”

Jasper: They are growing. It’s quite normal, if you are indeed pregnant. I know you said you were, but I still need to confirm it.

“My heartbeat sounds weird. Arrhythmic.”

Jasper: Hmm.... no, it looks good too. Oh, I think I know what’s going on.

He pulled out a little device that looked a bit like a cordless mouse, and his hand hovered over her lower abdomen for a moment or two before he pressed it to her skin and held it there. She looked at him quizzically. He smiled before looking down at his tablet and starting to explain.

Jasper: It’s a portable ultrasonography transducer. I use it in the field to make sure there’s no shrapnel or trapped fluids before I start healing people up. It’s pretty high tech— ah, yes. As I suspected. You haven’t been hearing your own heartbeat — well, not solely. You’re hearing theirs now too.

“What??”

Jazz smiled even wider, if that were possible, and turned the tablet to face her. He pointed out two little noodles in pockets and declared them to be twins, indeed. She stared at the screen.

“Are you sure those are babies? They look like melted gummy bears.”

Jasper: Yep, pretty sure. Well established, too. Six weeks along, according to the imaging software.

“Six weeks?! No, it’s been six days.”
 
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Cobra

Black Knight
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Amanda Soto
Missions
79
Ability
Mutagenic Physiology
Aman Hotel - Tokyo

Tokyo was so much more beautiful when it was raining. Something about the drops off water screaming across an almost neon and ornate landscape made the entire city seem like it was some kind of graphic novel. She had not been back since her father's funeral, and as she sat on the covered patio of her penthouse suite, her peace of mind began to wander. Her slender body slinked back into her plush patio chair as she let her black silk robe drape across her breasts, reaching instead for her glass of wine.

起死回生

Wake from death and return to life. It was something she had heard her father say many times over the years, though often she wondered if he truly understood the depth and beauty of their idioms, or if he ever knew that leaving Tokyo was her own version of escaping death. The Black Court had arrived in just before the rain came. The weekend left them drained and Amanda thought it a good idea to at least give them a night off, despite those not existing for The Black Princess. With her King and Queen on retreat, Amanda was currently in charge of The Black Court, and there was much work to do. Taking a sip of her chardonnay a pervase smile crept across her lips as she eyed the rainy city scape, admiring the royal gardens that seemed impossibly green against the steel of the city. This place was one of the few areas of the world that Hellfire America had not infiltrated, thanks in large part to Archer Fairchild. His death opened a new era for Hellfire, and Amanda had been instrumental in it, if not a bit sloppy. Her nose crinkled in disdain as she set the glass down on the table next to her and moved through the slide doors and into the living room, moving towards the bathroom.

"I let her down."

Amanda was still licking her wounds from Ava's attack. How could she have not known? How could The Black Court fail their Queen so epically? How could have Amanda allowed her Queen to be saved by Erika King. Though others had shown cracks the likes of which might not be repaired, The Black Princess had left the weekend feeling like a complete failure. She had slept with AJ, she had made a fool of herself at John's coronation. She started a romance with Ben. And worst of all - The Queen almost died under her watch. She felt like she was losing herself as her snake like almond eyes caught her reflection in the mirror.

"But how can you lose yourself when you've never BEEN yourself?"

There was nobody in Tokyo Amanda could go to - to show off. To receive congratulations for carving a path of true power out for herself. Because nobody knew Amanda in Tokyo - they knew Chuoko Soto, or more informally Cho Soto - porcelain daughter of Hiroshi and Catherine Soto. A socialite of the highest order, overeducated. A trophy. A talisman of her father's success.


そして彼の恥の
"Soshite kare no haji no." (And of his shame.)

Taking her robe off, her incredibly tall and slender, delicate frame filled the blank space of the mirror. Her body wasn't even her original form. She had always been beautiful, but under the careful precision of Kelly King's nice, she had been transformed into the true visage of a femme fatale. Amanda had been so grateful, but now, she felt something missing. It was why she jumped at the chance to return to a place she once couldn't get away from fast enough. Perhaps there was something about herself that only Chuoko could show her. Perhaps she needed to return home to find herself, like many of her favorite literary characters. Only time would tell.

Hiss.

She could feel her snake like nature wanting to take over, to turn off her emotion entirely, and for a moment, Amanda entertained the idea. Yes on top of being a woman who had lived many different lives as many different women, she was also consistently fighting her new hybrid nature. In short - she was a catch, which only made the situation with Ben more confusing. When her thoughts moved towards Ben, she shook her mind clean. He had not liked the idea of them staying in separate rooms, but Amanda wanted to maintain appearances. Gathering her robe into her hands, she stared at herself solemnly in the mirror for an undeterminable amount of time before turning the lights off and walking down the hallway to her bedroom, hoping to get a few hours of sleep before duty called once again.
 

Discord

Cruel Intentions
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Daniel Reed
Missions
77
Ability
Omega Level Illusionist/Empath
Aman Hotel - Tokyo

"I'm gonna cum."

Daniel's face grunted in pleasure as sweat dripped down his brow, a smooth young bellhop he had picked up in the hotel bar a few hours ago beneath him. His own smooth chest heaving up and down, as he collapsed on top of the man before rolling over to his side. The rain pounded outside as Daniel grabbed a cigarette from his night stand, lighting it up and taking a puff, wiping the sweat off his face.

"Arigatougozaimasu. Rirīsu ga hitsuyōdeshita." (Thank You. I needed the release)

His pedigree was infallible, but his Japanese was pretty much euro trash. But Daniel often didn't need words when he was on the prowl, not when you could make a man feel the euphoria of ejaculation with a glance. He sat the cigarette down on the ash tray and leaned back in the bed.

"Watashi o yurushite. Futatabi anata no namae wa nanideshita ka?" (Forgive me. What was your name again?)

Man: Haruto.

"The "John" of Tokyo."

Daniel smirked again as he began to take a look at his own chest against the moonlight. He would need to shower soon. In fact he showered frequently. Obsessively. Obsessive Compulsive to be exact, but that was a secret of his that didn't need to come out until it came out. He was a germophobe and although he loved sex as much as the next guy, he needed to thoroughly clean himself almost immediately after.

Haruto: "Anata wa machi ni nagaku taizai shite imasu ka? Watashi wa tsūjō, osoi shifuto ni imasu."

If there was something Daniel hated more than germs, it was conversations like this. He had been looking for a release and he had found one, but Daniel was not the type of guy to pursue things further than they needed to go. He enjoyed agency. Taking a long drag from his cigarette, he looked over at Haruto and his beautiful olive skin. He was a nice enough man - clean, hot and he could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch - one of Daniel's favorite American euphamisms despite never once in his life actually SEEING a trailer hitch.

"Sayōnara, Haruto."

The Black Bishop's eyes gleamed a bright red for a moment as a wave of panicked washed over Haruto's face as he lept from the bed, screaming and grabbing for his clothes as Daniel's power washed over him. Daniel watched him with steely eyes as soon his screaming deafened and he heard the door close behind him. Shaking his head, Daniel moved with almost as much speed as he turned the shower onto it's highest setting and began the sometimes time consuming process of washing himself. Sometimes his chest needed 45 seconds of scrubbing, sometimes it needed 90. Sometimes he couldn't get his hands clean and he stood there until the water went cold, scrubbing until he bled. It was a mixed bag. When he was done, he was done and that was about all he knew. Daniel didn't agree with modern medicine, it had turned his mother into a ghost and ruined many of his family member's life. He much preferred the free wheeling fun of such substances as cocaine and vintage Burberry. Thankfully, his good mood from the weekend allowed him a rather quick round as he began to towel off, playing a bit of music on his phone.

"These crazy days, city lights, the way you'd play with me like a child..."

Daniel sang as he began his night time routine which was a round of buffing and puffing, skin creams and shaving. He hadn't expected to be leaving the states so soon after taking position with The Black Court, but he was most certainly grateful. The hotel was austentatiously expensive and exactly Daniel's aesthetic. One thing he appreciated about the Japanese was their commitment to modern design. He hated clutter. He hadn't forgotten about his Queen or King though. They may have been on vacation, but they were in Paris - a frequent stomping ground for Daniel. He had eyes and ears all over the city. If they ran into trouble, he would be the first to know. This was his first time in the field, and he wanted to prove himself to both Ben and Amanda, though The Black Princess was definitely troubled. She was on the cusp of an identity crisis - Daniel could sense it. It was as if opportunity was just falling right into his lap ever since he arrived in New York. All he had to do was sniff out any potential cracks in the cogs of Archer's organization and keep the princess from falling apart and he would come out of this trip smelling like roses. He grabbed his phone, flashing a cheeky smile as an uncoutch song began to play over the speaker system as Daniel slathered an unfathomably expensive skin cream over his face. The Bishop bopped his head back and forth, singing along.

"Domoarigato, Mr. Roboto. Domo!"
 
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