The Pain of War

Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
77
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
90
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
2,479
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
352
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
77
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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