The Pain of War

Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
79
Ability
Invisibility/Energy Manipulation.
Zizi was trying to help Alexis by not only offering to help with Helena, but offering her home as well. It made Alexis uncomfortable to be around someone so willing to help without anything in return. So willing to open their home and trust without even knowing who she was. Alexis had been surrounded her entire life by people who either burned her or made her feel like a failure for just breathing. The only person to ever believe in her and give her a true chance at turning her life around was Ororo, and THAT was a bumpy start to say the least as well. So to see the same type of openness and warmth coming from Zizi seemed almost surreal. But it also stung like hell because of what Alexis did to her. So Alexis did what she did best: bite. She warned Zizi of exactly who she was, and she wasn't lying. Alexis had done horrible things in the name of staying undercover. And she would continue to do whatever was necessary in order to track down her aunt and kill her. Right, wrong, moral compasses, none of that matter, not when Helena was still breathing. Alexis was a terrible person for all intents and purposes, a person that didn't fit in Zizi's inner circle.

Zizi: "A terrible person would have let my people die in that Mansion without a second thought. Zach brought you here. Vivica didn't suggest we let you die, or throw you out. Those are the people from your past whose opinions I value the most. If you really thought you were a terrible person, you would still be in a garden in Limbo."

Zizi's eyes were unwavering as she countered Alexis, and for a moment she almost believed her. Zizi raised a defiant brow as Alexis remained silent, their eyes still locked. She could have easily proved Zizi wrong by telling her exactly how Helena got Gabe, but hurting her would do nothing in this situation.

Zizi: "Maybe you owe yourself a little bit of forgiveness?"

"Maybe. Maybe not."

Alexis stood, allowing that part of the conversation to end there. She walked away to the window near by, but Zizi soon approached.

Zizi: "Maybe I don't know everything, but it seems to me that if a person is being controlled by someone else against their will, then the things they are forced to do are not their fault."

Alexis looked down at Zizi, her eyes very serious now.

"And what about the things that were done when I was in control?"

Alexis killed many people: nameless, faceless, people who didn't mean shit to her in the name of Hellfire. Killing wasn't what made Alexis feel guilty in that moment, it was knowing she helped kill the man this woman who was welcoming her without judgement, loved. It was knowing any help accepted was help that was stained red. But Alexis gathered Zizi wasn't the type of person to take no for an answer, so she conceded and said she would stay for a few hours to rest.

Vivica: "Personally, I never thought you were that bad. But then again, I never really knew you outside of a boardroom. But I can't imagine you'd be BETTER outside of one."

Alexis rolled her eyes. Vivica Lennox, yet another reminder of her past she wished she could erase. Alexis looked over her shoulder at Viv.

[evenly] "That was a long time ago."

Zizi: "Oh Viv, hello. Alexis and I were just getting acquainted. Did you get some rest?"

Vivica: "Not to ruin the moment, BUT...We aren't going to let her walk out of here without knowing what exactly the FUCK she's doing back here, right?"

THAT made Alexis raise her eyebrows and finally turn around, her sapphire eyes going cold.

"Excuse me?"

Oh this bitch was going to need more than her little Aussie boomerangs to stop Alexis from choking her, even with one bad arm.

Zizi: "There's plenty of time for that later. She needs to focus on getting well."

Vivica: "We've got enough balls in the air, Alexis. I'm glad you're okay. Hell, I'm even happy to see you..but I can't let you leave without knowing what exactly it is that you are doing BACK."

"LET me leave? Oh honey, it really HAS been a while if you think you can make me STAY."

Alexis hissed, that nice warm welcome Zizi had made quickly going out the window.

Zizi: "Vivica, really. She's not our prisoner. I don't think an interrogation is necessary right now, do you? Would you like some tea? Something to eat?"

Alexis didn't look at Zizi, her eyes still glued on Vivica.

"No."

Her eyes narrowing.

"Let me make this perfectly clear. If I wanted ANYTHING to do with YOU [Vivica], The Six, or the Birds of Prey, you ALL would have been well aware of my return two years ago. I don't give a damn about any of you anymore, that died ten years ago when I was abandoned and thrown into a FUCKING GARDEN to rot."

Alexis finally looked down at Zizi. She didn't owe ANYONE an explanation as to why she was back, because no one deserved one. However, she felt the need to at least give Zizi the same courtesy that Zizi had shown her.

"I came back to kill Helena. END of story."
 
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Recall

Belle Epoque
Birds of Prey
Real Name
Vivica Lennox
Missions
241
Ability
Total Memory Recall, Photographic Reflexes, Super Senses
The Clocktower

Oracle:
"Oh Viv, hello. Alexis and I were just getting acquainted. Did you get some rest?"

"Against my will, but yes. You?"

She already knew the answer to the question. Vivica was a bit apprehensive. She had wanted to give Alexis a gentle welcome back into consciousness and the garbage fire that was swirling around them, but to give her keys? Property? In a time like this? It was probably the right thing to do, but they had something right now The Six didn't - the opportunity to at least clear up SOME of the mess and Vivica wasn't going to miss that shot. Unfortunately for her, she came across a lot more confrontational than she meant to.

"Not to ruin the moment, BUT...We aren't going to let her walk out here without knowing exactly what the FUCK it is she's doing back here, right?"

Oracle: "There's plenty of time for that later. She needs to focus on getting well."

"Ziz, come on."

They didn't have the time they thought they did. Everything now just boiled down to who was going to attack first. Somebody would re-group, somebody would seek vengeance, and it looked like Alexis was already down that path. Not to mention that it was very clear that nobody knew she was here. That was one giant stink of a "Six" mess if Vivica had ever heard. Her eyes met Alexis' with a calm stare.

"We've got enough balls in the air, Alexis. I'm glad you're okay. Hell, I'm even happy to see you...but I can't let you leave without knowing what exactly it is that you are doing BACK."

Alexis: "LET me leave? Oh honey, it really HAS been awhile if you think you can make me STAY."

"Big talk from a woman who's quite literally done nothing BUT stand in one place for a decade, but go off, sis."

Oracle: "Vivica, really. She's not our prisoner. I don't think an interrogation is necessary right now, do you?"

"I never said anyone was our prisoner. I'm not talking about chaining anyone to a chair and water boarding them..."

Oracle: "Would you like some tea? Something to drink?"

Alexis: "No."

"I just want answers, Alexis. That's it."

She watched the metamorph's eyes narrow. It was as if Vivica was experiencing some kind of Alexis Quartermaine update in her brain as she began to archive and detail her facial expressions, cross referencing them with every other time she had ever seen Alexis. It really was her.

Alexis: "Let me make this perfectly clear. If I wanted ANYTHING to do with YOU [Vivica], The Six, or the Birds of Prey, you ALL would have been well aware of my return two years ago. I don't give a damn about any of you anymore, that died ten years ago when I was abandoned and thrown into a FUCKING GARDEN to rot."

"Two YEARS?"

Vivica blinked for a few moments, gathering herself. To know that Alexis had been on Earth for a good two years without the knowledge of The Six didn't sit well with her. And it made Vivica conflicted. Whatever mess Alexis was getting involved with would inevitably spill over. There was no way in hell The Six wouldn't be all up in her business from here on out. And she had been deeply involved in Hellfire. Vivica had been where Alexis was. It was like being fired from a job and still hanging around the office. She knew what it was like to be left for dead or forgotten, but she also couldn't trust her. Vivica needed information, if only so she could figure out how to better protect her teammates from potential fallout.

Alexis: "I came back to kill Helena. END of story."

"Yeah, no it's not. Sit your ass down and have some tea. If not for me but for Zizi."

Alexis wasn't budging.

"Seriously, Alexis. I want Helena dead as much as the next girl. But we're at a standstill. Everyone is licking their wounds, and off the grid. There's some time for you to breathe. You may have the gift of singular focus right now, but we don't. I just don't want your actions to cause fallout for us, so can you please just fucking humor me and tell me how this all happened?"

[pausing]

"And since you've mentioned how long it's been, Alexis, I'd like to clear something up for you too. The pushover who mumbled under her breath and took licks she didn't need to because she loved Cameron King is long gone. Those motherfuckers left me for dead in Greece years ago after blackmailing me out of Cameron's funeral. And while I don't hate all of them, most of them can fuck all the way off. I share this so you know that I'm not going to share anything you have to say, and outside of you ever talking to me again the way you just talked to me earlier, this is a safe space. If we can help you get your revenge, we will. But I need the origin story here."

Vivica took a seat.

"Earl Grey?"
 

Domino

Death Touch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Maxine Dupont
Missions
96
Ability
Superior Reflexes, Intellect, Super Strength, Ability to decay Organic Matter, Techno Organic Steel
Ava: "Double whatever she's having."

A nice little tingle ran up and down the perimeter of Maxine's spine as Ava arrived, her deadly scent filling the room masked as a beautiful perfume. Maxine's hawk like eyes laid their gaze upon The Red Rook's face with a mischevious smirk, lifting her highball glass in the air in welcome.

"Bonsoir ma jolie."

Domino sat her glass down on the table.

Ava: "Thank you for meeting me."

"I was worried you might stand an old stud up. I'm delighted to be wrong."

She had the Goddess of The Underworld right in front of her, vulnerable and afraid. She wouldn't be who she was if she didn't at least flirt with the idea of shooting her shot. At least ideologically - at first. Being a girl herself that could completely decay organic matter in her hands, she felt a bit of a twin flame spirit with Persephone. It had been part of the reason she had offered Alek a way out in the first place.

Ava: "Alek's gone. Helena has him."

"As in he did something to stoke her wrath has him? Or he left you has him?"

Ava: "Helena took him. He chose to leave Hellfire with me and that BITCH couldn't handle being second best. She disappeared with him before I even knew what was happening in front of me. Now she's dropped completely off the radar."

Ava exhaled as Maxine took a moment to admire being in the presence of Persephone's vulnerability when there was strength behind it.

Ava: "Haleigh hasn't found anything on her end: no pings, no information, nothing that could lead me to where they took him."

It was likely thanks to Kelly or some kind of Ahadi technology being harbored in the states.

Ava: "Alek considered you a friend, Max...is there anything you might know that could help?"

Domino appreciated the refill, taking a sip to her lips, enjoying the fire in her mouth for a moment before swallowing. She wiped the very corner of her lip with her finger delicately as she set her glass down on the table.

"If I'm being honest mon amour, it doesn't look good for our little knight in shining red armor."

She grabbed a cigarette from her rolled up sleeve and lit it with her gas lighter, exhaling. She had stopped worrying about people trying to stop her from smoking wherever she goddamn pleased in New York City. She may have been raised as a french aristocrat, but she immediately connected with the New York mantra of of "Fuck Off and Go Fuck Yourself!" If somebody had something to say to her, they were more than welcome to.

"This was brewing. But both of you knew that. I tried to give Alek a way out. He didn't say no, but he didn't say yes. But, it also doesn't surprise me...how much of his life he has risked for you in such a short time..."

She placed her hand over Ava's for a moment.

"I am making small talk because there are little in the way of answers right now. It is, however, a good time to build trust."

[pausing]

"I can return your vulnerability enough to tell you that I no longer wear any colors. In fact, I've come to the conclusion that my own legacy...is to see Hellfire implode under my boot. I was Ravena's right hand man. How do I know this isn't some of kind of clean up mission? Helena and Kelly just altered the geography of the Earth to be rid of Ravena, safe to say they wouldn't want to keep me around from much longer. And it stands to reason you'd be the one they send to kill me..I just..."

Her eyes locked with Persephone.

"I, too need information...I may not know where Alek is, but I can find him with little problem. I've been the Operations Manager for Hellfire for months now. There's not a lock turned I haven't known about. Talisman thinks she's slick with her magick, but she forgets she still trips sensors and key locks. If they left with a Hellfire asset, I can find them."

[she exhaled]

"But I need to know what happened in the last twenty four hours, and I need to know where you stand."
 

Fathom

Leviathan
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Heidi Scarborough
Missions
91
Ability
Omega Class Water Elemental
The Leviathan — North Atlantic Ocean

Heidi had not spent much time in the ruins of the Red Wing. Putting out fires there was a futile exercise. The only thing salvageable was the Red Queen’s dog, Coco. It was a hairy, yappy, spiteful little creature that normally Heidi didn’t care for. But despite all that, it still wouldn’t be wise to leave it behind to burn, and in the chaos it had given her the most pitiful little forlorn puppy dog gaze and whined to be saved from the countertop she was trapped on.

So Heidi had extinguished the fire that was singeing the little beast’s fur, and it had followed her everywhere from that second on. Now it sat next to her on the lounge chair of the observation deck as they sailed towards Sheena. A direct route at top speed would take a couple of days by ship, and then they could regroup with the rest of the Inner Circle and figure out what the bloody hell even happened.

Jack: “Heidi, I can make new Neptunes, Moreias and Mesonychs when I have a new lab. I was able to save all the DNA archives, among other things.”

He said gently, breaking the tense silence between them.

“Yes, you’ve said that already, haven’t you?”

She retorted in mild irritation.

Jack: “I know you’re upset, it’s hard to say goodbye to those one considers pets—”

Heidi scoffed.

“Oh bollocks, there are always more pets to be had. I’m not upset about ‘saying goodbye’.”

She corrected, looking over at him finally. He looked perplexed, like some specimen of his was behaving in an unexpected way.

“I told you I could keep them in hand if you released them in the wild. I assured you I would not allow them to run amok, and you didn’t trust me.”

Jack: “There are just too many unknown variables to make a decision so rash, I’m sorry, there wasn’t time to consider the potential consequences. It’s not that I don’t trust you.”

“You think too much, Jack.”

She said, still cross with him. The ship captain entered the observation deck with a sense of urgency, wringing his hands as he told her that they’d received a message from the port on Sheena Island. Apparently the security at port were saying that they’d been cutoff from Arklay entirely, The mansion was on lockdown and actively repelling any attempts by security to even enter.

Jack: “Perhaps the Queens have barricaded themselves in.”

“Such that they wouldn’t let their own security forces in? Doubtful.”

Heidi replied, and the captain asked her if she wanted to continue on to Sheena. She searched her handbag for something, and when she found it she withdrew it and turned it in her palm, opening the top face and watching the needle spin. Jack asked her what she had, and she explained.

“An antique nautical compass given to me by the Black Queen when I completed my rehabilitation. She said it was enchanted, and that it would help me if I ever needed guidance.”

She said, closing the compass up again and turning to the captain.

“We must change course. Head more southerly, 30 degrees to starboard. Call me if you see anything, I’ll let you know when to adjust your heading.”
 

Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,485
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
The Parthenon

Haleigh was trying to think, but she could hardly breathe. The situation seemed worse every time she considered it. She wondered what she would’ve done if she’d known the Six were planning to strike Hellfire this morning. Would she have made her mother aware on purpose? It would’ve completely sabotaged their efforts, but maybe if Hellfire had been prepared they would repelled the attack successfully. Maybe her ‘loyalty’ would’ve granted her some favor, like not being forced to kill them as Scion. Maybe the Six would’ve retreated if they’d hit a hard wall of resistance. Maybe Cameron wouldn’t be lying here, fighting for his life while Haleigh sat next to him helplessly. But were all those maybes worth giving Hellfire the upper hand?

“Please wake up...”

She breathed, her voice rough, desperate.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do if you die.”

Malice: You’ll stop being so pathetic and weak, for starters.

Haleigh drew back from Cameron’s body abruptly. She stared at him, staring back at her. Neither of them blinked, but in a split second, Haleigh was standing over him, the barrel of her handgun pressing against his temple. With her free hand she pinned him to the bed by his throat.

Malice: Well that’s a MILD improvement, but it still leaves MUCH to be DESIRED. You can’t do it, Scion. Even if you could, I’d just take possession of YOU.

I’m sure Delilah would leave me down here to rot if she thought something was wrong,
Haleigh thought back, somewhat bitterly.

Malice: Then we will convince her everything is fine. You will help me escape, and I will let her live. If you refuse, I’ll capture her mind when she arrives, and after she escorts us out of this little grave, I’ll make her commit suicide in front of you. AGAIN. It will be amusing to watch you try and stop her.

Haleigh stared into Cameron’s eyes, trying to outthink her mother. Cameron smiled at her nastily

Malice: YOU KNOW This will go a lot easier for you if you shut down your emotional core. Why refuse to do it and continue to torture yourself?

Why won’t YOU wipe out all my attachments and make me singularly loyal to YOU, as you once suggested you could?
Haleigh shot back. Cameron’s smile flattened.

Malice: YOU must choose that path for yourself. Mommy won’t step in and make things all better for you, Scion. You must defeat your own weaknesses and cultivate your own strengths.

Haleigh still held him at gunpoint, but Cameron still made no effort to move, just continued to wait while she calculated her choices.

Malice: WELL? What will it be??

Haleigh woke with a start, slick with perspiration, her chest heaving for breath she couldn’t seem to catch. She partially unzipped the top of her suit, venting it a bit better. I’ve got to stop sleeping again, Haleigh thought to herself. She had done that years before, when the nightmares had gotten to be too much. She would need to again, she couldn’t stand the places her mind went when her subconscious had control of her thoughts and fears.

She stood up and began to pace, redirecting her thoughts to something she could do: finding any trace of the Inner Circle members that survived, with hopefully a lead on Alek. In the back of her mind she tuned into the discussion between Ava and Maxine, In the forefront she searched the satellites. She got a hit on the new Masque, who was still in New York, out and about as if it were a routine day. There was no communication between her and the others. The last hit on the rest was Heidi’s ship the Leviathan, headed out to sea. Haleigh tracked it via satellite as they left the land-based grid. Curiously, the Cassadine yacht had also left the harbor, but Haleigh couldn’t find it anywhere.
 

Oracle

The Eye in the Sky
The Six
Real Name
Elizabeth York
Missions
355
Ability
Genius, Hacker
The Clocktower

Alexis and Zizi stood at the window of the Clocktower, looking out at the city in the waning hours of the afternoon. There was a weight on the blonde woman's shoulders, so present it was palpable. Zizi wanted her to understand that she deserved to forgive herself for the things she had been compelled to do by Helena.

Alexis: "And what about the things that were done when I was in control?"

"Were you really?"

Zizi tilted her head curiously. The question was rhetorical, so Zizi continued.

"We just went into the Hellfire Mansion to rescue Black Widow and Persephone, two people who were not exactly our allies. We can't very well let them walk free then deny you that same second chance, the same benefit of the doubt."

Vivica re-emerged from Zizi's room. She asked if Zizi had gotten any rest, and she shook her head in the negative.

"I'm not sure sleep would be a good idea right now..."

Vivica was being her tough, hard-nosed self, which Zizi loved her for, but she did caution Vivica that there would be time for questions and answers later, that Alexis needed to rest. She had nearly died, after all. Of course, that did not stop Alexis from bristling at Vivica's questions. Zizi reminded them both that Alexis was not their prisoner.

Vivica: "I just want answers, Alexis. That's it."

Alexis: "Let me make this perfectly clear. If I wanted ANYTHING to do with YOU [Vivica], The Six, or the Birds of Prey, you ALL would have been well aware of my return two years ago. I don't give a damn about any of you anymore, that died ten years ago when I was abandoned and thrown into a FUCKING GARDEN to rot."

This poor girl. She was hurting so much, and she had no one. So all she could do was lash out. Alexis' eyes looke down at her.

Alexis: "I came back to kill Helena. END of story."

Zizi nodded quietly.

Vivica: "Yeah, no it's not. Sit your ass down and have some tea. If not for me but for Zizi. Seriously, Alexis. I want Helena dead as much as the next girl. But we're at a standstill. Everyone is licking their wounds, and off the grid. There's some time for you to breathe. You may have the gift of singular focus right now, but we don't. I just don't want your actions to cause fallout for us, so can you please just fucking humor me and tell me how this all happened?...If we can help you get your revenge, we will. But I need the origin story here."

Vivica sat down.

Vivica: "Earl Grey?"

Zizi gave VIvica a smile and put her hand on her arm.

"Why don't you get the tea tray and we can all have some together."

Zizi gestured for Alexis to sit back down in the living area.

"I wanted...I want...Helena dead. I don't think I've ever wanted someone dead before. And I'm not sure how to come to terms with that. But perhaps that's why...well, maybe I understand the desire to do whatever is necessary no matter the cost. Maybe I truly understand that for the first time..."

She trailed off for a moment.

"This morning I asked Ashley to kill Helena if she could. I didn't do it myself. I brought someone else into such an awful thing. Two days ago I would never have asked that of anyone."

She sighed.

"Maybe I admire you, Alexis. Maybe I wish I had the strength to find her and kill her for what she's done."

She looked up at Alexis, meeting her eyes.

"You don't owe us an explanation. But when you're ready, we'll be here to listen."

She looked towards the kitchen and smiled.

"Ah, here's the tea."
 

Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
79
Ability
Invisibility/Energy Manipulation.
Zizi was once again proving that she was a far better person than she really should be. She didn't seem concerned or wary of the fact that Alexis was warning her of the things that she had done while she was in control.

Zizi: "We just went into the Hellfire Mansion to rescue Black Widow and Persephone, two people who were not exactly our allies. We can't very well let them walk free then deny you that same second chance, the same benefit of the doubt."

Alexis rolled her eyes at the mentioning of Haleigh.

"Please, feel free to deny Haleigh Davidoff anything."

She quipped with a tone that more than suggested her distain for Haleigh. That was when Vivica made her appearance, asking if Zizi had gotten sleep. The tone in Zizi's voice immediately changed, causing Alexis to look over at her and see her face change from warm to pain in seconds. This girl deserved none of this pain, yet it was all she was going to know for a long time. Vivica started to rail in on Alexis, acting like she was some sort of prisoner that HAD to stay until her questions were answered. THAT was when Alexis snapped.

Vivica: "Big talk from a woman who's quite literally done nothing BUT stand in one place for a decade, but go off, sis."

"Ironic how you claim to be nothing like The Six yet you're standing here acting EXACTLY like them. But go off, sis."

She mocked with a scathing tone. The fact that Vivica was standing there acting exactly like the people she claimed to be nothing like would have been hilarious if the bitch hadn't just played off Alexis' imprisonment like she was on a ten year vacation in Limbo. So Alexis shot back, telling her that if she wanted anything to do with any of them, she would have made herself known two years ago when she first came back. The Six was never on her radar. The Birds of Prey were never on her radar. NO ONE but Helena Quartermaine was on Alexis' radar from the moment she returned back to Earth. Not until fucking Haleigh Davidoff stepped foot into Hellfire claiming the White throne as Princess and caused this entire shit show to start.

Vivica: "Yeah, no it's not. Sit your ass down and have some tea."

"What part of I don't want any of your god damn tea don't you understand?"

Vivica: "If not for me but for Zizi. Seriously, Alexis. I want Helena dead as much as the next girl. But we're at a standstill. Everyone is licking their wounds, and off the grid. There's some time for you to breathe."

"You know nothing. I don't have the luxury of time."

She growled, this bitch literally acting like they had all the time in the world to figure shit out. Helena wouldn't stop or wait until everyone was ready to find her. She was already working on ways to rebuild Hellfire.

Vivica: "You may have the gift of singular focus right now, but we don't. I just don't want your actions to cause fallout for us, so can you please just fucking humor me and tell me how this all happened?...If we can help you get your revenge, we will. But I need the origin story here. Earl Grey?"

Alexis could feel the anger boiling inside her ready to fucking POP, her hand gripping around the herb mask she was holding on her bad shoulder. But Zizi wisely asked for Vivica to go get the tea, Alexis glaring at her as she walked to the kitchen. Zizi gestured for Alexis to sit, and though she didn't want to, she slowly exhaled and sat anyway.

Zizi: "I wanted...I want...Helena dead. I don't think I've ever wanted someone dead before. And I'm not sure how to come to terms with that."

"She deserves to die, whether you come to terms with it or not."

Alexis could tell Zizi was struggling with these feelings of hatred toward Helena, even though Helena deserved every single bit of them. For someone like Zizi, wishing death on someone was as close to being 'bad' as you could get. But what Zizi didn't realize was this doubt fueled Helena and made her stronger. She would use it as a weapon against Zizi if Zizi didn't understand Helena's death was the only option.

Zizi: "But perhaps that's why...well, maybe I understand the desire to do whatever is necessary no matter the cost. Maybe I truly understand that for the first time...This morning I asked Ashley to kill Helena if she could. I didn't do it myself. I brought someone else into such an awful thing. Two days ago I would never have asked that of anyone."

Alexis looked at Zizi, her brows furrowing just a bit as she spoke about how two days ago she wasn't someone who wished death on anyone, least of all someone who would actively ask a friend to kill someone. THIS was the type of person Helena was. She was a horrible, manipulative, evil woman who pushed people to turn into the worst versions of themselves. She pushed people into becoming someone they were not. She did this to Alexis a very long time ago, and now she was doing it to Zizi. Alexis looked away, wishing Zizi never would have involved herself with Helena, because it was only going to get worse before it got better.

Zizi: "Maybe I admire you, Alexis. Maybe I wish I had the strength to find her and kill her for what she's done."

Alexis remained silent for a moment, though there was a gentle shake of her head.

"I'm the result of what it's like to be pushed too far for too long. That's nothing to admire."

Looking to Zizi now.

"You have a strength in you not many have. You're not weak, Zizi. You just involved yourself with someone [Helena] who exploits and uses your doubts against you to tear you apart. Then hurts you just because she can. It's why I came back."

The only reason why. She had no friends left. No family. Nothing from her past that made her want to come back and reclaim it. All she had was a vengeance that burned inside her to make the woman who made her life a living hell pay.

Zizi: "You don't owe us an explanation. But when you're ready, we'll be here to listen. Ah, here's the tea."

Vivica returned with a tray carrying a tea kettle and three cups. As she began to pour the tea, Alexis remained silent as Zizi's words played in her head. This girl was going to become an even bigger target if she kept pushing Helena, and instead of worrying about protecting her, the Birds were focusing on Alexis and why she was back. As much as she hated it, she knew she needed to give them information so they would stop focusing on her and focus back on protecting Zizi.

"It's not what you would think. Being a statue in Limbo. You don't get turned to stone and wake up years later not realizing what happened or how long it's been. It's like being in a prison where you can't move or talk, but you're aware of everything around you. All I could do was think -- for ten years -- trapped with my own thoughts. So I thought about my revenge; how I would do it, where, when, calculations, back up plans for back up plans. All I had was time, until one day Ororo released me."

Alexis paused for a moment, her hand unconsciously going to the orb necklace that hung around her neck.

"She gave me a choice: either she could wipe my memories and return me to Earth to start a new life not as Alexis Quartermaine. Or, she could train me and teach me how to use my new abilities that the TO Virus altered in my body. She would send me back, put me in the perfect situation to get Helena's attention, and let me get my revenge."

Alexis let go of the necklace, finally looking up at them.

"Ororo gave me the opportunity to take my life back and kill the person who had destroyed it. She let me choose instead of making the choice for me. I didn't hurt her, kill her, manipulate her, or whatever you [Vivica] and The Six think I did. I came back for Helena and Ororo helped me. That's it."

Alexis took the compress off her shoulder and tossed it onto the table.

"And when Helena's finally dead, i'll disappear and no one will ever hear from me again."
 
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Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,077
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
Domino was as flirtatious as ever, but Ava had no desire to play her games of cat and mouse. Too much time had already been wasted...time that she knew Helena would use to her advantage. Her stomach turned as she gulped down whatever alcoholic drink she just ordered. She didn't care what it was, as long as it numbed the ache in her chest. She got straight to the point, telling Maxine that Alek was gone and Helena took him. It was a risky move on her part -- being so vulnerable to a person who would take great pleasure in stabbing her in the back. But at this point, her options were limited and she needed whatever help she could get trying to track down where Helena took Alek.

Maxine: "If I'm being honest mon amour, it doesn't look good for our little knight in shining red armor."

Ava didn't outwardly flinch, but she could feel the burn of tears behind her eyes build at Max's words. She stared forward, downing the last bit of her drink.

"I'm not asking for your opinion, i'm asking for you help."

She coldly responded, her dark eyes finally meeting with hers with no signs of grief remaining within them.

Maxine: "This was brewing. But both of you knew that. I tried to give Alek a way out. He didn't say no, but he didn't say yes. But, it also doesn't surprise me...how much of his life he has risked for you in such a short time..."

God damnit...

That wasn't what she needed to hear, the guilt already taking a hold of her like a serpent to prey. She knew this was her fault...everything he had done for her, everything he sacrificed...everything Helena was now putting him through...Ava finally shut her eyes in an effort to remain stoic in the moment. She wanted to scream, to kill the bartender, to set fire to the whole fucking city. Ava was standing on the edge of a precipice -- everything from Alek to Haleigh to The Six and the Birds -- threatening to push her off. It was then she felt Maxine's hand gently on top of hers pulling Ava from her thoughts and causing her to open her eyes.

Maxine: "I can return your vulnerability enough to tell you that I no longer wear any colors. In fact, I've come to the conclusion that my own legacy...is to see Hellfire implode under my boot. I was Ravena's right hand man. How do I know this isn't some of kind of clean up mission? Helena and Kelly just altered the geography of the Earth to be rid of Ravena, safe to say they wouldn't want to keep me around from much longer. And it stands to reason you'd be the one they send to kill me..."

"If I wanted you dead, you would be dead."

Ava stated evenly. If Domino was as privy to Hellfire intel as she claimed, she would know Ava wasn't the type to beat around the bush. However, it was useful information to know that Domino had also defected Hellfire.

Maxine: "I just...I, too need information...I may not know where Alek is, but I can find him with little problem. I've been the Operations Manager for Hellfire for months now. There's not a lock turned I haven't known about. Talisman thinks she's slick with her magick, but she forgets she still trips sensors and key locks. If they left with a Hellfire asset, I can find them."

Now THAT was what Ava wanted to hear, a glimmer of hope amongst the blinding darkness.

Maxine: "But I need to know what happened in the last twenty four hours, and I need to know where you stand."

Ava scoffed at that, the bartender wisely poured them both a refill.

"I stand no where. [taking a long sip] I no longer wear Red, and Helena made damn sure I was no longer apart of The Six when I defected to Hellfire. Every bridge has been burned in my regard."

Finishing her drink, Ava pushed the glass away from her.

"My only focus right now is finding Alek. I will work with whomever will help me, and I will kill whomever stands in my way."

Ava stood from her seat, her body turned to Maxine.

"I have no ill intentions towards you, Max...and any help you give me I will repay you tenfold. I'll text you a debriefing of the last 24 hours and we can go from there."

Ava slid the bartender a few hundred dollars, taking care of both of their tabs, plus some. It was a silent 'thank you' to Maxine because Ava couldn't bare staying there any longer without an answer, and she knew Maxine wouldn't have any answers just yet. It was a horrendous waiting game and she could feel her stomach turning and her chest tightening -- she could feel the tears threatening to fall from her eyes. Walking through the bar toward the exit, Ava pushed open the door as a blast of cold air enveloped her face and body, blowing her hair back behind her shoulders. It was enough to make her gasp in, only realizing then she had been holding her breath. Walking from the door to the alley way where she had arrived, her breath was becoming more rapid as she grasped onto the brick wall, holding her weight as she felt her legs become weak. Tears fell as she closed her eyes tightly, slowly lowering herself to her knees as she leaned her shoulder against the wall. The guilt was overwhelming, the pain was nothing she had felt before, and the uncertainty of whether or not she would find Alek alive was becoming more and more like a reality.
 
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Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,485
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
The Parthenon

Haleigh stood with her back pressed against the wall, her wary gaze on Cameron’s comatose form. Her hand rested on the grip of the pistol holstered at her hip, her thumb clicking the safety up and down. On. Off. On. Off. It had an audible and tactile click to it. It was soothing, this action. It reminded her to breathe. Safety on, breathe in. Safety off, breathe out. It was the only thing she could do besides wait.

Her mind churned with the issue at hand, the war being waged. Destroying Hellfire had been a small skirmish, and not one she would call successful. But there was nothing she could do about that. It was not her plan. She wouldn’t have made it as far as she had, if she’d had any real plan.

Her mother would’ve known immediately, whatever she thought of. So her tactics were to have no concrete objective. To simply adapt to whatever she faced and make decisions in the moment. The choices she made were the ones she could live with, or so she’d thought at the time. She wasn’t so sure anymore. Her choices had brought her here.

She didn’t want to believe in fate, but it was getting more and more difficult to avoid the reality that the precise thing she’d tried to avoid was the situation she was in. All she had really accomplished by going to Hellfire was to cause more pain and strife than necessary for herself and everyone she cared about. Despite her efforts to resist killing them or getting them killed, it appeared that was exactly what would happen in the end.

She wanted to believe Cameron could prevail, but she feared the possibility that he could lose. She knew her mother quite well now, and she knew that Cameron faced an immense and likely insurmountable challenge. She had to prepare herself for the risk they faced, that she would lose him and have to confront her mother again, either in his body or in her own.

She grappled with the idea that her mother was right, that it would be an easier problem to deal with as Scion. Also unsettling was the understanding that if she went Scion now, she would extract herself from this situation as soon as possible and leave them. She knew she should not be a threat to them, but she could not ignore the fact that she was. If she wasn’t here, her mother couldn’t use her against them. She could not bear to let her mother win. Safety on, safety off.
 

MorningStar

The Light in the Darkness
The Six
Real Name
Delilah Trelaven
Residence
The Parthenon, NYC
Missions
1,496
Ability
Transducing Light into Sound (and vice versa)
The Parthenon

Morgan was in no condition to transport herself let alone three of them to Limbo, so she had returned to Aerie to finish regaining her strength, promising to come to Delilah at the very earliest opportunity. Once Morgan had left, Delilah slipped into the hidden elevator, taking it down into the depths of the Parthenon. She still felt a little like the wind had been knocked out of her.

See her child? See Alexia?

Even now, she knew it was too good to be true. She couldn't be anywhere near her daughter. But it didn't matter, not really. Something had happened in Limbo. Something that Morgan hadn't known about. Because Alexis was here, and Ororo hadn't told them. Did that mean that Ororo couldn't tell them?

Images of a burnt and broken Limbo flooded her mind unbidden, the garden where Delilah herself has spent so much time in recuperation and reflection in ruins, everything dead.

Dead.

No, her daughter was alive. That much she knew. She squeezed the locket around her neck. Alexia was there, sleeping peacefully.

But then other thoughts invaded the peace the image brought her. Maybe it's a trick. Maybe Alison gave her a locket that would show her only what she wanted to see, not reality. But could she believe that of Alison? She didn't know. But the voice in her head contradicted her.

Yes.

Which brought her full circle to the question: where was Ororo?

The elevator doors opened and she prepared herself for being forced to deal with Haleigh. Why she had allowed this, she didn't know. She supposed she had been tired after the battle at the Hellfire Mansion. What right did Haleigh have to Cameron now, after all she had done to him? Delilah checked the feed to the camera inside the room from her phone. All appeared well. So she took a deep breath, and opened the door, shutting it behind her once she was inside.

Ignoring Haleigh, she went to Cameron's bedside, checking the bags and machines he was hooked up to. When she was satisfied that all was well, she placed a hand on his shoulder. She looked down into his face, and watched for a moment, looking for signs of a change but there were none. It was then that her eyes flicked to Haleigh, then back.

"Morgan came to see me. She didn't think Alexis' arrival here was nothing. We're going to Limbo."

Delilah eyes moved to Haleigh once more, just for a second, before they returned to Cameron.

"Unless you're going to use that gun on me, would you cut that out?"
 

Oracle

The Eye in the Sky
The Six
Real Name
Elizabeth York
Missions
355
Ability
Genius, Hacker
The Clocktower

Vivica wanted answers from Alexis, but not wasn't the time for them. She needed time, to heal her shoulder and her life. It wasn't important to Zizi to know the girl's reasons right now; the girl would share them in time, when she felt comfortable doing so. Right now, it was clear that the girl just needed help.

But Vivica was adamant. It concerned Zizi just how much so. Perhaps the old wound of Viv's relationship with the Six was still bothering her more than she cared to let on. Vivica and Alexis hadn't been teammates - not really - and they both had the poorly thought out behavior of the Six in common, so really, they should have bonded. And perhaps would in time, Zizi thought. But whether right now Vivica was projecting her own anger at the Six on Alexis, or whether this was some form of loyalty to that very team causing her to get her back up, Zizi wasn't sure.

But for now, Alexis needed calm, and so Zizi had sent Vivica off to contact Blaze regarding funeral arrangements for poor Cassandra Johnson. Zizi didn't like to think badly of people, but she wanted to ensure that the Six did right by their young teammate. And no one was better to ensure they got a swift kick up the you-know-where than Vivica. Zizi was sure Zach would have had Clandestine handle it, but it should have been the Six, and for once they needed to take responsibility for the fall out of their actions.

So now they were sitting quietly together in Zizi's living room, a fresh batch of Alix's medicine on Alexis' shoulder wound. She was giving Andrew a last check before she would return to her own home, and John was there with them. Zizi wasn't sure if it was Alix he didn't trust with Andrew, or Andrew with Alix. And Ashley had still not emerged from her own room. So there was as much peace as one got at the Clocktower, for the moment at least. Zizi was sipping a fresh cup of tea, which she cradled in her lap, letting the warmth from the porcelain spread into her hands and radiate to the rest of her tired body.

She finally broke the silence.

"What will you do?"

Zizi blew the steam from her cup, letting the question hang in the air.

"When you've killed Helena, and you disappear from all who knew you. What will you do then? A whole new life ahead of you. The stuff of dreams, to completely start anew."

Zizi looked around her.

"Sounds very dream-like, right about now. Wouldn't mind it myself."

She thought for a second.

"Being a ski instructor in Switzerland would suit me quite well, don't you think?"

The barest hint of a smile played on her lips as her eyes sparkled with mischief.
 

Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,485
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
The Parthenon

Haleigh was as far away from Cameron as the tomb would allow, for his safety. She stayed that way, for what seemed like hours. Finally, Delilah returned. Haleigh clicked the safety on, as she watched her former friend go to Cameron and check on him. She felt a distinct jealous instinct coursing through her body. She grit her teeth in silent objection. What if Diana got a hold of Delilah now? She clicked the safety off.

Delilah: “Morgan came to see me. She didn't think Alexis' arrival here was nothing. We're going to Limbo."

They made eye contact, and Delilah seemed like her normal, somewhat judgmental self. Haleigh felt automatically defensive, and her expression hardened.

“Good. Maybe you’ll chill the fuck out once you accept the fact that Alexia is fine.”

Haleigh said bitterly, clicking the safety back on.

Delilah: "Unless you're going to use that gun on me, would you cut that out?"

“If I wanted to use it on you, you’d be fully leaded already.”

She replied as her hand lifted off her pistol, her arms crossing as her gaze remained locked on Delilah. She had seen Delilah take his hand in the car, too. She suspected there was a connection that was more than platonic. She wouldn’t be surprised if they’d engaged in some revenge sex. She didn’t want to find out about it, didn’t want to think about it or even search for the video. Just the thought made her angry.

“Looks like you two need some private time. I’ll leave you to it, I need a drink anyway.”

She turned toward the door, which was shut. Only Delilah could open it. Haleigh’s fists clenched tightly.

“Let me out. Please.”
 
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MorningStar

The Light in the Darkness
The Six
Real Name
Delilah Trelaven
Residence
The Parthenon, NYC
Missions
1,496
Ability
Transducing Light into Sound (and vice versa)
The Parthenon

Delilah checked on Cameron, but there seemed to be no change in his condition. The battle still raged then. All she could do now was keep Cameron's physical body safe. She had to protect him, keep him safe - but there was someone else who needed protecting. And Delilah couldn't resist telling Haleigh how Morgan was taking the threat to her daughter seriously.

Haleigh: “Good. Maybe you’ll chill the fuck out once you accept the fact that Alexia is fine.”

"Well you'll excuse me if I don't take your word for it."

Delilah scoffed.

"Maybe I should have locked you out of here, and just told you Cameron was fine. I'm sure you'd have accepted it."

Haleigh kept clicking the safety on her gun on and off. It was fucking annoying. She finally asked her to stop it, unless she was going to shoot Delilah.

Haleigh: “If I wanted to use it on you, you’d be fully leaded already.”

"And then you'd be stuck in here until you rotted, so we'd both win."

Haleigh: “Looks like you two need some private time. I’ll leave you to it, I need a drink anyway.”

Delilah didn't move towards the door. She wanted Haleigh to have to ask her.

Haleigh: “Let me out. Please.”

"With pleasure."

But her tone was icy. She gave Cameron's shoulder a squeeze before she moved towards the door. She put her hand over the sensor, creating the correct pattern of her own energy signature so that the door would open. She let Haleigh exit first, then shut the door behind them, before doing the same process on the elevator.

She watched the elevator doors close behind Haleigh with her arms crossed over her chest. Before she turned to go back into Cameron's room, Delilah silently wished that Haleigh would drink herself into the path of an oncoming train.
 

Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,485
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
The Parthenon

Delilah was still hung up on the whole Alexia warning that she’d misconstrued to be an actual standing threat for some insane reason. Apparently Morgan was going to take her to limbo to check. Haleigh figured that was good, because Delilah just might relax when she accepted the fact that Alexia was fine.

Delilah: “Well you’ll excuse me if I don’t take your word for it.

Haleigh rolled her eyes at that, and didn’t bother to reply. Delilah supposed that she should’ve locked Haleigh out of here, and just told her Cameron was fine.

“Yeah, maybe you’re right.”

Haleigh admitted, clicking her safety again. Apparently every little thing she did annoyed Delilah, who challenged Haleigh to stop, or use the gun. Haleigh fired back that if she’d wanted to use it, she would have, and Delilah replied that then Haleigh would be left to rot down here, so they’d both win. Haleigh shook her head.

“I’ve never considered your demise to be a win, Delilah.”

She replied, but she didn’t expect Delilah to ‘take her word for it.’ She watched Delilah with Cameron, and was not particularly pleased with the closeness she saw. Haleigh suggested that Delilah and Cameron needed some private time, and that she should go. Delilah made no attempt to correct Haleigh. It didn’t surprise her, but she didn’t want to have to stand here and watch it either.

Haleigh turned for the door, but it was still closed. She wanted to knock it off its hinges, but instead she asked Delilah to let her out. Haleigh stared at the door until Delilah came over to unlock it. She was going to look away again, but she realized it wouldn’t matter if she saw the light pattern that unlocked the door. All Malice had to do was seize Delilah’s mind, and she’d waltz right out of this place.

“Delilah,”

Haleigh said, turning back to face her as she boarded the elevator.

“I hope your plan works.”

She finished, as the doors closed and the elevator took her back up above ground. She stepped out into a secluded offshoot of the lobby. There were two options for drinking, one was the sports pub, Bar Six. Haleigh wasn’t in the mood for such an energetic atmosphere of People laughing and cheering as their team scored. She turned for the Starlight Lounge instead, sliding into a small private booth. She sent her sister a quick text to check in.

To Ava>> Done with Domino? I’m in the lounge.
 

Titan

Mealltach
Birds of Prey
Real Name
Andrew Murphy
Missions
172
Ability
Hyperkinesis
The Clocktower - Guest Room

"But mammy, I don't want to go to school..."

Andrew blinked his eyes, then froze. Where the hell was he? And that was certainly not his mother standing next to his bed.

And then he remembered: Viv, snake, poison, leg.

He jumped up with a start and threw the covers off himself. He counted: 1, 2.

"Oh thank God..."

He still had both his legs. He wiggled them to make sure they still worked. He felt a strong hand on his shoulder.

Steel: "Calm down, you're fine, you're going to be just fine."

He looked up, to see a hulking mass leaning over him. John.

"Alright John?"

But wasn't there...?

He turned his head and his eyes focused again on a petite brunette standing at the end of the bed.

"I think you were in my dream...you offered to flash me..."

He felt John cuff him behind the head.

"Ow!"

Steel "Mind your manners. Alix here saved your life."

"Clearly my guardian angel then..."

He flashed her his most debonair smile.

Alix: "Let's see that leg."

"All you had to do was ask darlin'..."

He looked at John.

"AND she's posh..."

Her hands were already running over his wound, and she poked her finger hard against the tender skin.

"Ow! Tough crowd...jeeze...you almost die and no one cuts you any slack..."

The girl - Alix - slapped her hand against his leg.

Seraph: "I pronounce you with a clean bill of health. You might be a little more tired than usual for the next couple of days, a residual of the magick, but otherwise, good as new."

Steel: "Thank you - I can't say how grateful we are that you saved him. Even if he is a right tosser most of the time."

"Hey!"

He turned to the girl.

"But seriously, I thank you. And my leg thanks you. He's grown very attached to me."
 

Seraph

Almost is never enough
Birds of Prey
Real Name
Alix Osborne
Residence
New York City
Missions
9
Ability
Rune Magick
The Clocktower - Guest Room

Alix watched the big human - John, he had introduced himself as - sitting next to his teammate's bedside. She was in an armchair in the corner - might as well be comfortable while she waited for her patient to wake up. It was kind of touching, to see this giant who had just by all accounts helped take down the Hellfire Mansion, so worried about the boy who lay unconscious. He was going to be fine, but she felt obligated to stick around until he woke up, just to be sure. The obligation, of course, was to Karen Victoria, not to these people that she'd never met before.

Andrew: "But mammy, I don't want to go to school..."

Alix looked at John, and raised an eyebrow.

"Interesting."

She stood from the chair and watched as Andrew checked to make sure he still had two legs. She waited as John tried to soothe him, reassuringly putting a hand on his shoulder to still him. He looked at her then.

Andrew: "I think you were in my dream...you offered to flash me..."

The corners of her mouth turned up ever so slightly in amusement, but she crossed her arms over her chest. She took satisfaction in the smack that the big man gave him.

Steel "Mind your manners. Alix here saved your life."

Andrew: "Clearly my guardian angel then..."

"How'd you con your way into one of those?"

She had moved to the bedside.

"Let's see that leg."

She felt the wound to make sure it was fully healed.

Andrew: "All you had to do was ask darlin'...AND she's posh..."

She pushed her finger into the hollow of his leg - harmless, but bloody uncomfortable.

Andrew: "Ow! Tough crowd...jeeze...you almost die and no one cuts you any slack..."

She followed up with a hard slap on the bare skin of his thigh.

"I pronounce you with a clean bill of health. You might be a little more tired than usual for the next couple of days, a residual of the magick, but otherwise, good as new."

Steel: "Thank you - I can't say how grateful we are that you saved him. Even if he is a right tosser most of the time."

She smiled at the man - who was really much more polite than she would have expected.

"Yes, I can see that."

Andrew: "Hey! But seriously, I thank you. And my leg thanks you. He's grown very attached to me."

She rolled her eyes and shook her head.

"Don't use that joke again. Trust me."

Steel: "I'll see you out."

He opened the door and held it for her. She started to follow, then stopped.

"Oh, Andrew, one more thing-"

She turned back and lifted the hem of her shirt, giving him a quick flash. She had promised, after all.

John closed the door behind them. She exhaled deeply and ran a hand through her wavy hair. She needed a shower. And a bed.

Alix crossed the open room towards where she could see Zizi sitting with her other patient.

"Andrew's fine, no cause for worry there. I left you a supply of the poultice mixture in the kitchen."

Zizi: "Thank you, Alix. I don't know what we would have done without you."

She nodded, then pointed to Alexis.

"Put it on every two hours until all the poison's gone."

Her eyes flicked from person to person.

"If you need me, call."

Steel: "We can't thank you enough. He's cheeky, but he's ours."

"MmHm."

She pursed her lips.

"Keep an eye on that one - he's a magnet for trouble."

She picked up her things off the kitchen counter.

"Well, see you."

She gave them a little wave and let John show her to the door.
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,077
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
The New York streets buzzed with noise...but it all felt a million miles away. Ava remained on her knees in the alley way, her body resting against the wall as she stared forward silently. Her hand clutched the ring Alek had given her that hung around her neck. A rat the size of a raccoon was hesitant as it approached Ava, sniffing her knee before giving a little squeak. Ava didn't move nor acknowledge the animal, her eyes trained on the dumpster that was only a few feet in front of her. She couldn't get the words Maxine said out of her head.

"..how much of his life he has risked for you in such a short time..."

Alek had everything before she destroyed it all. He had a home, a life, a job he loved. He had respect and power. He never wanted love and Ava knew that -- EVERYONE knew that -- but somehow it happened. In a perfect world they could have been a force to be reckoned with in Hellfire if Helena wasn't the jealous psychotic bitch that she was. Yet Ava STILL couldn't stay away from him. She couldn't just let him be knowing exactly how Helena operated. Her selfishness put him in Helena's crosshairs, and now Ava didn't know if she would get to him in time before Helena pulled the trigger. Her love for him, it rivaled nothing she had ever felt before. A connection like twin flames becoming one. But she could feel his flame dimming....she could feel it in her bones.

To Ava>> Done with Domino? I’m in the lounge.

Ava had forgotten about the ear piece Haleigh had fitted her with, her sisters voice pulling her from the darkness of her own thoughts. Blinking once, then again, she finally let go of Alek's ring; the necklace dangling low on her chest. Ava began to stand, the rat quickly scurrying away before she disappeared in a tornado of winds and reappeared inside The Parthenon bathroom. An older woman was in there as Ava exited the stall, her eyes filled with horror and mouth agape at the realization someone just 'appeared' in the bathroom with her. Ava's midnight eyes met with the woman's giving her a steely stare as she walked past her and exited.

Walking down the beautifully decorated hallway of The Parthenon, it felt strange being back, yet almost as if she hadn't left at all. The familiarity of it was slightly comforting, yet she knew there was no comfort in a place that she was not welcome at any longer. Ava entered the lounge, the ambiance as dark and laid back as she remembered. She spotted Haleigh immediately, a bottle of some dark liquor with two glasses already at the table. Haleigh hadn't waited for her to open it, and Ava didn't blame her. Sliding into the booth across from her sister, Ava picked up the bottle noting it was one of the most expensive cognacs the hotel sold. She poured herself a glass, taking a large sip immediately. It felt like honey going down, but at this point it wouldn't matter to Ava if it felt like battery acid as long as it numbed her.

Ava's eyes finally met with her sisters.

"I'm surprised Delilah let you out."

Ava deadpanned, not wanting to ask how Cameron was because the answer was written all over her sisters face. Looking out at the Starlight Lounge, Ava's eyes shifted from the different couples to the group of girls gossiping at the table afar. Everything was so normal from the outside looking in.

"It's ironic. We're finally free..."

She turned back to look at her sister.

"Yet I feel more trapped than ever."

Ava softly scoffed despite herself and downed the rest of her drink. She tipped her glass toward the bottle.

"I'm glad you got the good stuff."
 
Clara Oswald
Clara Oswald
Great post!

Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
79
Ability
Invisibility/Energy Manipulation.
Vivica Lennox was and had always been a try hard. She tried hard to be accepted into The Six when she was Cameron's side kick, and she was trying even harder now to play the pit bull who was protecting the Birds. Alexis didn't personally know Vivica back when she was apart of The Six, but her job was to learn everything about everyone within the Birds of Prey as Red Bishop. She knew Vivica's faults, her fears, her anxieties. All of them flooding out as she demanded Alexis to talk. Alexis just narrowed her sapphire eyes, allowing Vivica to think she was alpha in that moment for Zizi's sake. Zizi wisely picked up on the tension, asking Vivica to do some mundane task which lead to her to finally leave. Rolling her eyes, Alexis took a sip of the tea she was "forced" into having before placing the cup on the saucer that sat on the table.

Zizi: "What will you do?"

That caused her to look at Zizi.

"What will I do?"

Zizi: "When you've killed Helena, and you disappear from all who knew you. What will you do then? A whole new life ahead of you. The stuff of dreams, to completely start anew."

Alexis was quiet as she stared at Zizi for a few moments. It was a reasonable enough question, but one that she really hadn't sat and thought about. Her whole life had revolved around Helena in some way, shape, or form. And the last two years were quite literally completely about her. The thought of Helena actually dead, gone, no longer a thorn in her side, seemed almost surreal. So Alexis answered honestly, her voice trailing off as she looked past Zizi toward the large windows that overlooked the city.

"I don't know.."

Zizi: "Sounds very dream-like, right about now. Wouldn't mind it myself."

Alexis gave a half smile.

"I haven't thought about it much....[shrugging] but i'd probably go to the top of some mountain and get snowed in for a very long time."

Zizi: "Being a ski instructor in Switzerland would suit me quite well, don't you think?"

Alexis smirked despite herself, noting the mischief within Zizi's eyes.

"If you were my ski instructor I definitely wouldn't miss a lesson."

The door to one of the bedrooms opened causing Alexis to shift her eyes over to see John and Alix exiting. Apparently Andrew was completely healed despite his run in with Ben. Lucky for him.

Alix "Andrew's fine, no cause for worry there. I left you a supply of the poultice mixture in the kitchen."

Zizi: "Thank you, Alix. I don't know what we would have done without you."

Alix: [pointing to Alexis]"Put it on every two hours until all the poison's gone."

For a moment she had forgotten about the throbbing pain in her shoulder, but it did seem to be lessoning as time went on. Whatever hippy witchy bullshit this was was helping. Alexis reluctantly gave a nod. Verbal admissions of gratitude not her strong suit. John escorted Alix to the door as Alexis removed the cold bandage from her shoulder with a bit of a wince before tossing it onto the table. She sat back against the chair and sighed.

"So, will the rest of your 'squad' be as welcoming as Viv was if I stay the night? Or should I pack that shit [gesturing with her chin to the bandage] to go?"
 
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Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,485
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
The Parthenon

Haleigh sat in the booth, staring down into her glass. She watched the liquid as she swirled it around slowly. For once, she didn’t care to pay attention to her surroundings. So what if she was blindsided by an attacker? She ignored anyone who passed by the table. She knew the sound of her sister’s gait, and didn’t look up until Ava joined her. She didn’t bother forcing a smile. They didn’t have to fake anything anymore.

Ava: “I’m surprised Delilah let you out.”

“Mm, I’m surprised she let me live.”

Haleigh replied honestly before draining her glass. She had seen the hatred in Delilah’s glares, the disgust her former friend now regarded her with. She had expected it, but she had not anticipated feeling so afflicted. She lifted the stopper of the decanter of cognac to reload her glass, her gaze dropping again to monitor the pour.

Ava: “It’s ironic. We’re finally free,”

Haleigh’s glance raised to her sister as she set the bottle upright again.

Ava: “Yet I feel more trapped than ever.”

Haleigh gave a grim nod.

“Like a nightmare, when you think you wake up, but the horror continues. If anything, it’s gotten worse.”

Haleigh agreed as Ava tipped her glass in silent request. Haleigh obliged without pause. Ava mentioned that she was glad Haleigh got the good stuff. The shadow of a smile passed over Haleigh’s face without even a hint of mirth.

“Well I was pretending to celebrate our great victory,”

She began mildly as she finished pouring for Ava.

“Hellfire has been destroyed, and we survived.”

She added, and then she audibly exhaled.

“I’m still alive, but only just, and honestly I’m tired of acting like I don’t feel utterly defeated.

She admitted before taking a drink, after which she returned to staring at her glass. When she spoke again, her voice was steely.

“I’m fairly sure the Queens stole your yacht to make their escape. It disappeared from the harbor and I can’t locate it anywhere. I tracked Heidi’s Leviathan on satellite feed out into the Atlantic. She turned southeast and has disappeared as well. I assume their position is being cloaked after regrouping with the Queens. If I had to guess, they’ll cross the Antarctic on the way to the Pacific. The Mariana Trench has got to be the place Heidi crawled out of, and all the little island chains provide low tech places to resupply without appearing on a camera. If they’re clever enough to split up their shipments to the multitude of commercial ports, it’ll be impossible to anticipate where they might dock at any given time.”

She paused for a sip, then forced herself to look up again.

“I’m sorry, Ava—”

She leaned back against the booth cushion slowly.

“I no longer think I’ll be able to find him.”
 

Oracle

The Eye in the Sky
The Six
Real Name
Elizabeth York
Missions
355
Ability
Genius, Hacker
The Clocktower

Right now disappearing off the face of the earth sounded like the best thing ever. She could forget everything. Everyone.

But she couldn't do that. She had to find Helena. Had to make her pay for what she'd done. Zizi wondered if perhaps the Red Knight would kill her, to protect Persephone from her revenge. Zizi quickly shook the thoughts from her mind. She focused on Alexis. It was clear she needed someone, even if she was unwilling to admit it. Zizi took a stab at a self-deprecating joke, which seemed to open the blonde up a bit.

Alexis: "If you were my ski instructor I definitely wouldn't miss a lesson."

"Well, when I take it up as a career, I'll give you first lesson free."

Alix and John came out of the guest room then, and the witch departed after giving some last instructions regarding Alexis' wound. She was a nice girl, and thank god Karen Victoria had sent her to them. Things would have ended much differently without her. She wondered what the girl would say if Zizi asked her again for help...

Alexis: "So, will the rest of your 'squad' be as welcoming as Viv was if I stay the night? Or should I pack that shit [gesturing with her chin to the bandage] to go?"

Zizi smiled and raised her teacup.

"Vivica is..."

She took a sip, as she worked out the best way to phrase her next statement. Finally she lowered the cup to the saucer in her lap.

"...protective. She's been let down in her life. Something most of the people who find their way here seem to share."

She looked up thoughtfully.

"I'm not sure why that is."

The guest room door opened again, John leading a bedraggled but otherwise healthy-looking Andrew, who came directly to Zizi and without warning leaned over and put his arms around her in a tight hug, surprising her.

"Oh!"

She let out a nervous laugh.

"I'm glad to see you're feeling better."

He then seemed to notice Alexis' presence, his head swiveling towards her while his arms remained wrapped around Zizi. The pose was awkward to say the least.

Andrew: "Helloooo."

His head turned back to Zizi.

Andrew: "Are we getting a new teammate?"

Zizi smiled and shook her head.

"She's simply a guest. Andrew, this is Alexis. She was also injured in the battle."

He seemed to puff up then.

Andrew: "Hey, if you ever want to compare scars..."

John cleared his throat loudly and grabbed Andrew by the back of the neck, pulling him to his feet and away from Zizi.

Steel: "I'm going to take him home if that's okay. He needs a change of clothes."

John made a face.

Steel: "And a shower."

Andrew turned towards John making a face somewhere between hurt and offended, before turning back to Zizi.

Andrew: "I'll stay with you if you want me to Ziz...if you don't want to be alone...or whatever..."

Zizi gave him a warm smile, then spoke to him reassuringly, reaching out for his hand and squeezing it. His eyes looked so sad as he looked at her, it broke her heart.

"I'll be fine. By all means, head home. But John?"

Steel: "I'll stay with him, don't worry."

Then he turned to Alexis.

Steel: "Glad you're doing okay."

He gestured with his head for Andrew to go with him. Andrew paused and leaned in to stage whisper in Zizi's ear.

Andrew: "I already like her better than Sharon."

Then the two of them went noisily out the front door, leaving her and Alexis alone once more. Zizi smiled at her.

"Well, I don't think you need worry about those two."

Zizi shook her head. She really was lucky to have them.

"That leaves Ashley and Zach, who I doubt we'll see before morning in any case. Though they did bring you here, so it would be rather strange for them to object to you staying the night. Also I can't imagine Zach kicking anyone out of anywhere."

She sighed.

"And Ashley will do whatever Zach asks, for better or worse."

Zizi took another sip of her tea.

"The more...opinionated of our membership who you may remember from your time with the Six - Sharon Kelly and Alycia Barnett - have decided we are not a good fit for them."

Zizi shook her head.

"The Six must have been very big on having a leader..."

Zizi exhaled, still not sure where it had all gone wrong. Her eyes flicked back up to meet Alexis'.

"So I think you'll find those that might have objected no longer have a say. And besides."

Zizi nodded towards Alexis' shoulder. She could see from her body language that the wound was still bothering her.

"Perhaps best not fall off the grid just yet...until that's completely healed?"
 
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