The Pain of War

Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,510
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Parthenon — Delilah’s suite

Delilah had big feelings about not being told things by the rest of the group. Haleigh was not in the mood to be sniped at for the discretionary choices of other people, so she asked Delilah how she functioned with such a chip on her shoulder. Delilah deflected, asking Haleigh how she functioned with her ‘infallibility complex’.

“Flawlessly.”

Haleigh quipped, her tone thick with sarcasm that made it evident she found the suggestion ludicrous. She posited that maybe no one liked to tell Delilah things because they didn’t like to face her disapproval. Delilah’s rebuttal was that they shouldn’t do things Delilah would disapprove of. Since that was neither a feasible strategy for operation nor an argument Haleigh wanted to have, she let it go. There were more important issues, like Delilah being unable to check on Alexia at will. Haleigh found that to be unacceptable and insisted she would make Ororo aware of the changes that needed to be made. Delilah asserted that Morgan had taken the position that Delilah should ‘just get over it’.

“I see. Would you rather resign to her decree than agree with me that she’s mistaken and that we should do everything in our aggregate power to rectify this problem?”

She posed rhetorically. She did not expect Delilah to answer and didn’t waste a second shifting to recruit Alexis through Ava. Delilah was skeptical that Alexis would help, but it didn’t hurt to try. Ava had been very successful at gaining allies during her time in Hellfire. Haleigh could hear the phone conversation just as easily as the NSA, and right away she knew it was time to tell Delilah about their recent move, before it became a point of contention, before she thought they were ‘keeping’ it from her. Haleigh briefed Delilah on their ascension and invited Delilah to join them. Ava got off the phone and gave Haleigh a look.

Ava: “Really?”

“Well we don’t want to work with Kelly, the bitch wanted to experiment on children and didn’t hesitate to drown her own daughter for personal gain.”

Delilah rolled her eyes, not even giving the Queen title suggestion consideration. Instead, she expressed her disapproval. Haleigh listened patiently as Delilah asked what they were thinking. She was currently thinking that Delilah was as adorably naive as Zach if she believed they were going to get Ava and Haleigh ‘out’ so easily. Delilah asked what the plan was, suggesting a staff memo that Hellfire was now a force for good. Haleigh could hear her mother laugh at that, and she couldn’t stop herself from smiling. It was an amusing idea, after all. Her smile faded as Delilah alleged Haleigh and Ava would be a danger to their allies.

Malice: You KNOW how to retaliate.

Haleigh didn’t flinch or cut a sharp look at Delilah, instead she took a moment to mitigate her own indignation. She had to detach, emotions would not help this discussion. She let Ava respond instead. Ava’s motives were centered on recovering Alek. Haleigh, on the other hand, was able to be a bit more objective. She wasn’t in love with Alek. She liked him well enough, and she owed him for all he had done for her sister. Furthermore, she wasn’t going to leave her sister to try and save him all by herself, not when her sister had literally gone to hell and back with her. But those were not the only things Haleigh was thinking about. Ava highlighted the REAL problem when she mentioned that Helena attempting to reassert control of Hellfire would make the last battle look like Disneyland. Haleigh, now calm and collected again, uncrossed her arms.

“You want to know what we’re thinking? We’re thinking about the situation we’ve found ourselves in. Morgan got SHOT, Blaze almost DROWNED, Nic lost HALF his powers, Cass lost her LIFE, and Cameron’s in a fucking COMA.”

Haleigh started, delivering the casualty report with measured composure until she got to Cameron, where she almost lost her cool. She paused to regain self control before her mother could make another helpful suggestion.

“We haven’t disregarded what you went through in the least. The Birds paid a high price as well, we understand and appreciate that, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was an operation conducted under a complete misapprehension of the likely outcome. It’s like you all thought you were going to come in there and kill the entire Inner Circle and all the Queens and we were going to be free and nobody would be hurt and everything was going to be sunshine and puppies.”

She added without spite.

“Now I’ll give credit where credit’s due. You had significant impact. You hit hard and fast and burned the place down. You delivered us one HELL of an opportunity. The Queens are on the ropes. The rest, the ones that survived, are confused and reeling. If we want your plan to have it’s most successful outcome, then we need to be aggressive. Our PLAN must be to keep the Queens from reestablishing their control. No, Hellfire’s not going to be a force for good. It’s an organization full of racketeers, murderers, and corrupt power players.”

She stated neutrally, and then she paused to allow Delilah a chance to make some snide comment that she assumed was coming. It was best to let Delilah express her anger. It would facilitate the healing process.

“The difference is, with US at the helm, we get to pick the targets. We get to design the operations and direct the scope. So NO, our allies shouldn’t worry, because WE have our personal agency back.”
 

MorningStar

The Light in the Darkness
The Six
Real Name
Delilah Trelaven
Residence
The Parthenon, NYC
Missions
1,504
Ability
Transducing Light into Sound (and vice versa)
Parthenon — Delilah’s suite

As if it wasn’t bad enough that Haleigh had cooked up her first cockamamie scheme and dragged Ava along for the ride. They were doing it again. For fuck’s sake, maybe they shouldn’t have bothered. Maybe Morgan was fucking right. But no, it would have destroyed Cameron – almost did anyway – and Delilah couldn’t have abided that. But these two needed to stop throwing their damn lives away.

She asked them what the hell they were thinking.

Ava: "I'm thinking this is the ONLY way I can get the man that I love BACK from Helena. I needed an alliance with the European Hellfire Club in order to gain their connections and resources, and if that meant that I would have to waltz right back into that club, then that's exactly what I’m going to do. I won't let her take him from me. She took ENOUGH from me already."

She studied Ava. She was desperate, it was clear. But why was Haleigh all in with her? Even now, she could have a worldwide spy network looking for Ava’s knight, go in and extract him from wherever Helena was hiding him. Why was she taking this balls to the wall approach, instead of the stealthy one? Other than the fact that she was Haleigh and bad ideas seemed to cling to her like a magnet.

She liked it.

Ava: "I have no intentions of hurting anyone, least of all YOU, Delilah. But I will step into that throne to make sure that Helena doesn't again. Because if she does--WHEN she tries--this last battle will look like a fucking trip to Disneyland."

Ava was just caught up in this whole mess she’d found herself in. But not Haleigh. Haleigh missed it. Her little jab about Delilah’s disapproval had said it all: she didn’t like having rules to play by.

Delilah took a bracing drink from her glass and set it back down on the bar.

Black Widow: “You want to know what we’re thinking? We’re thinking about the situation we’ve found ourselves in. Morgan got SHOT, Blaze almost DROWNED, Nic lost HALF his powers, Cass lost her LIFE, and Cameron’s in a fucking COMA.”

“Yeah. And they did all that – willingly – for YOU. When you two get yourselves killed in there, then all that we’ve lost will have been for NOTHING. Do you think Cameron wants to come out of that coma if you’re dead, Haleigh? He didn’t do this for me, or for himself, or for the Six – he did it for you.”

Black Widow: “We haven’t disregarded what you went through in the least. The Birds paid a high price as well, we understand and appreciate that, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was an operation conducted under a complete misapprehension of the likely outcome. It’s like you all thought you were going to come in there and kill the entire Inner Circle and all the Queens and we were going to be free and nobody would be hurt and everything was going to be sunshine and puppies.”

Delilah scoffed.

“Can you seriously disagree that the queens needed to – need to – die? It wasn’t going to save the world, but Jesus, Haleigh, the world’s a hell of a lot better without Malice in it. You can sit there and say, ‘Just kidding’ after you threaten my daughter, but Malice would have slaughtered her in a heartbeat, and you know it. You know it.”

She choked on her last words, the idea so unbearable. But still, somewhere inside of her, she wasn’t sure Malice hadn’t done it already. Done something. Somehow.

Black Widow: “Now I’ll give credit where credit’s due. You had significant impact. You hit hard and fast and burned the place down. You delivered us one HELL of an opportunity. The Queens are on the ropes. The rest, the ones that survived, are confused and reeling. If we want your plan to have it’s most successful outcome, then we need to be aggressive. Our PLAN must be to keep the Queens from reestablishing their control. No, Hellfire’s not going to be a force for good. It’s an organization full of racketeers, murderers, and corrupt power players. The difference is, with US at the helm, we get to pick the targets. We get to design the operations and direct the scope. So NO, our allies shouldn’t worry, because WE have our personal agency back.”

Delilah was quiet for a long minute.

“Okay.”

She nodded almost imperceptibly.

“Let’s assume THIS plan of yours isn’t as insane as the first. How do you plan to get around the fact that two of the three queens of Hellfire are in fact, still alive? Your coup could get bloody fast. You need to decide who you can turn, and who you need to eliminate from the board.”

She refilled her glass and took a sip, then used it to gesture towards Ava, her hard gaze softening just a bit.

“You haven’t heard anything at all, then, about this knight? I still have some contacts at Interpol. I could have them quietly look into it, if you want.”

Maybe if they found him quickly they could all abandon this suicide of a plan.
 

Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,510
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Parthenon — Delilah’s suite

Delilah was predictably disapproving of their recent decision, and wanted to know what they were thinking. Ava was thinking about Alek, and Haleigh was thinking about them all. She ran through the casualty report to demonstrate her awareness of what the others had been through. She would not forget, but that wasn’t enough for Delilah, who drove the knife in deeper, talking about Cameron. Haleigh knew it was Delilah’s attempt to retaliate for everything Haleigh had said (and done) to hurt her. Cameron’s fate was a particularly poignant reality and Haleigh didn’t bother masking her reaction. Maybe if Delilah could see her hits were landing, she’d get her satisfaction and lay off for a bit.

Haleigh acknowledged what they’d given, told Delilah that she understood and appreciated it — and she did — but she couldn’t overlook the fact that it seemed like they all thought it was going to be sunshine and puppies. Delilah scoffed and asked if Haleigh disagreed that the Queens needed to die. Haleigh was blindsided by the implication. Why WOULD she disagree with that after what the Queens had put her through? It was absolutely INSANE that Delilah thought it necessary to tell Haleigh that the world was a better place without Malice. Delilah went on to assert that Malice would have slaughtered Alexia, given the opportunity.

“I know.”

Haleigh replied contritely. She gave a heavy sigh and continued on.

“That’s WHY I threatened. I wanted you to see it coming. I wanted to eliminate the element of surprise. I‘m sorry, I didn’t realize you’d be stuck in this living hell where you couldn’t easily CHECK on your own kid.”

She had failed to anticipate Morgan’s extended stubbornness and refusal to make accommodations for Delilah’s needs. Just get over it?? Haleigh knew she could be a heartless bitch sometimes, but how BAD was the relationship between Morgan and Delilah if even this issue couldn’t be solved? She couldn’t focus on that right this very second. She acknowledged that there was credit due, and that the opportunity they had now was something they had to capitalize on. She was mildly surprised that Delilah didn’t take a shot when one was presented, and instead just seemed to accept Haleigh’s logic. She asked how they planned to get around the Queens still being alive. Murder, but you don’t want to hear that. Haleigh thought but chose not to say. Delilah warned that their coup could get bloody fast.

“The bloodier the better.”

Haleigh interjected darkly, and then Delilah suggested they figure out who to recruit and who needed to be eliminated. A smile crept across Haleigh’s mouth. It really was a shame Delilah wasn’t interested in being the Black Queen. She clearly had the instincts. Unfortunately Delilah refused to get her hands dirty. She did, however, seem to have a soft spot for Ava, and offered to help find Alek. Interpol, that’s cute. Haleigh thought, but she wasn’t about to discourage Delilah from helping Ava, even if it was redundant.
 
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Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
86
Ability
Invisibility/Energy Manipulation.
Delilah: “You haven’t heard anything at all, then, about this knight? I still have some contacts at Interpol. I could have them quietly look into it, if you want.”

A condescending chuckle came from the darkened corner of the room as Alexis walked out from the shadows. Wearing a vintage t-shirt half tucked into her distressed jeans, it was a far cry from what 'Mystique' wore when apart of the Red Court. Helena had a dress code she expected her court to follow, and anyone caught dead wearing motorcycle boots and jeans that wasn't Alek would have been hung.

"That's cute."

Alexis' eyes scanned the framed photos Delilah had lining a table, resting her hip casually against the edge of it. She picked up a photo of Delilah and Cameron, examining it.

"Your contacts at interpol couldn't find their way out of a cardboard box, let alone find Alek."

Alexis lifted her eyes to meet with Delilah, then Haleigh, gesturing with the picture frame.

"You should probably up your security. Anyone could just stroll in."

Giving them a cheeky smile, Alexis placed the frame haphazardly back down in its place as Ava closed the gap between them.

Ava: "Thank you for coming."

[deadpan] "What can I say, being blamed for things I didn’t do is a favorite pass time of mine. Along with baking and murdering children in the nether realm."

The catty expression on Alexis face immediately disappeared as she shifted her eyes to Ava. She didn't forget WHY she was called here, or how Ava had the audacity to ask her. She narrowed her eyes at her friend.

"Your clock's ticking. [glaring back at Delilah] What do you want."
 
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MorningStar

The Light in the Darkness
The Six
Real Name
Delilah Trelaven
Residence
The Parthenon, NYC
Missions
1,504
Ability
Transducing Light into Sound (and vice versa)
The Parthenon — Delilah’s Suite

It was just so like Haleigh. She was the martyr, sacrificing everything for all of them because she always knew better. They couldn't be trusted to make decisions; Haleigh had to do it for them. She was just like Morgan. Worse even.

Black Widow: “That’s WHY I threatened. I wanted you to see it coming. I wanted to eliminate the element of surprise. I‘m sorry, I didn’t realize you’d be stuck in this living hell where you couldn’t easily CHECK on your own kid.”

"Do you honestly think I don't spend every day thinking about the threats to Alexia? That if I didn't see them coming, she'd still be in Limbo?"

It really perturbed her that Haleigh thought she was better and smarter than everyone else. That no one else had been around the block and knew a thing or two. As if the rest of them hadn't been there. Right beside her. Until she left.

But things weren't going to go back to the way they had been. Haleigh was as stubborn as Morgan, and Ava would go wherever Haleigh did. Delilah wasn't going to change their minds. Hell, no one could change their minds. In that kind of situation, there was some sense in having the Hellfire Club orchestrated by someone they knew. Even if Haleigh couldn't be fully trusted, it was better than letting Helena and Kelly run rampant. However, it needed to be done intelligently, not off the cuff the way the two of them had gone in before, spur of the moment with zero preparation. They needed to consolidate, get rid of the people that wouldn't flip loyalties.

She eyed Ava then, who was hiding her distress well - but not completely. She asked her about the knight, and offered what help she could.

Alexis: "That's cute."

Delilah heard the voice before she saw her. There was no mistaking it - it wasn't a voice she was likely to forget. Alexis.

She was looking at Delilah's photos on the table.

Alexis: "Your contacts at Interpol couldn't find their way out of a cardboard box, let alone find Alek."

Delilah's mouth was dry, and she started to reply. Something about how more eyes were never a bad thing when you were looking for someone. But the words wouldn't come out. Delilah just kept staring at her, at this ghost, in front of her. It was another lifetime ago, the last time the two of them had stood face to face. Delilah was a different person. But Alexis...she looked exactly the same. It was amazing, really.

Their eyes met, and Delilah felt a lump well up in her throat.

Alexis: "You should probably up your security. Anyone could just stroll in."

"Alexis..."

Ava: "Thank you for coming."

Alexis: "What can I say, being blamed for things I didn’t do is a favorite past time of mine. Along with baking and murdering children in the nether realm. Your clock's ticking. What do you want."

Alexis' eyes were shooting daggers at her, but it didn't matter. Delilah stepped forward, her own eyes tearing, and wrapped her arms around Alexis, hugging her tightly. It hadn't been an illusion at the Mansion. She was really here, standing in front of them.

"I'm sorry...I'm so sorry..."

Delilah had never discussed with anyone in the Six her guilt over what they had done to Alexis. There had only been one person she'd ever confided in, and he was unlikely to ever bring it up in conversation. Assuming he ever were to have an actual conversation with anyone in the Six. But, to be fair, he had surprised her on that front before, she supposed.

In any case, she had kept that guilt deep down inside of her. Tried to bury it. But she could never quite cover it over. She had followed Morgan and Alison so blindly back then, never questioned their judgment. But she should have, she knew that now. If only she had seen it then, so many things might have been averted. But she hadn't. And Alexis had been sacrificed to Morgan and Alison's hubris. It had been wrong. Alexis hadn't been in control of her actions. And they had punished her anyway. In an unforgivable way. An inhumane way.

And now Delilah needed her help, despite the fact that she had no right to ask for it.

Delilah cleared her throat, her eyes pleading, hoping against hope that Alexis wouldn't just spit in her face and leave.

"Did something happen to Ororo? Is that how you were freed from Limbo?"
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,096
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
The conflict between Haleigh and Delilah was heated, as Ava expected it would be. Delilah hated Haleigh, and Haleigh hated that Delilah did regardless if she understood why or not. So when it was revealed that they would be taking over the roles of Red and White Queen, Delilah was obviously pissed. She questioned it -- questioned their sanity. Frankly, it didn't matter to Ava what anyone's opinion was, this was the necessary step that she needed to take in order to get more help in finding Alek. It was tunnel vision for Ava. He didn't give up on her in Hellfire. He didn't abandon her even thought it was the easier option. He didn't leave her. And she wasn't about to do any of those things to him.

Ava remained quiet, allowing Haleigh and Delilah to go back and forth about the topic of Hellfire. She looked down at her Cartier watch, noting it had been roughly five minutes since she had gotten off the phone with Alexis.

Delilah: “You haven’t heard anything at all, then, about this knight?"

That made Ava look up, her dark eyes momentarily flashing with pain at hearing 'knight'. Even though Delilah wasn't the enemy, Ava instinctively shut her emotions down out of habit. Any weaknesses were used against her in Hellfire, it was hard to not revert back to those ways.

"His last known coordinates were off the coast of Panama. That's all we know so far."

Delilah: "I still have some contacts at Interpol. I could have them quietly look into it, if you want.”

That surprised Ava. She honestly didn't expect Delilah to want to help, especially after everything that had transpired the last few months, but more so because of her own rocky past with Bishop. Ava was about to thank Delilah and accept her offer when Alexis' voice rang out from a shadowy corner of the room. She immediately shot down Delilah's offer, suggesting Interpol couldn't find their way out of a cardboard box let alone Alek. Ava knew this as well, but frankly, she would take Helen Kellers help at this point as long as people were looking for him.

Ava could see behind the snarky expression that Alexis was pissed, especially the little side glance she gave Ava. It was chilly, but Ava didn't take it to heart.

"Thank you for coming."

Alexis rolled her eyes, saying something about her favorite past time being blamed for things she didn't do. Softly sighing, despite the former Red Bishop being confidently unbothered, she could feel the hurt behind her words.

Alexis: "Your clocks ticking."

Ouch.
She was pissed. Unfortunate because Ava had a proposition for Alexis that she wanted to discuss with her, but it seemed that would have to wait until the fires died down. Alexis turned to Delilah, her words razor sharp as she asked what she wanted. Ava's eyes shifted to Delilah, seeing her eyes filled with tears and her shocked expression. Then, in not even a move Ava expected, Delilah went over to Alexis and hugged her. Ava's eyes widened as she took a step forward, fully expecting Alexis to attack. Watching carefully, Ava was prepared to step in and pull Alexis off if it got to that point.
 

Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
86
Ability
Invisibility/Energy Manipulation.
Alexis saw the tears in Delilah's eyes. The shocked expression. The guilt.

Good.

She deserved every ounce of guilt she felt AND THEN SOME. But what Alexis didn't expect was what happened next. Delilah began to approach her, causing Alexis to stand in a more defensive stance ready for whatever the bitch was about to do. Then, she hugged her. Alexis remained stiff, her arms at her sides, unmoving.

Delilah: "I'm sorry...i'm so sorry..."

Alexis' breathing was slow, her eyes glaring down to the side to where Delilah's head was.

"Get off."

She hissed as she shrugged Delilah off roughly before taking a step back.

"You're sorry? Is THAT why you asked for me? To say you're sorry?"

Delilah: "Did something happen to Ororo? Is that how you were freed from Limbo?"

Alexis grinned, a low contemptuous chuckle deep in her throat.

"There it is."

Running her tongue along her bottom lip, Alexis shook her head as she closed the gap between herself and Delilah now. She could feel Ava close behind her.

Ava: "Alexis..."

Alexis didn't pay her any attention, her eyes laser focused on Delilah.

"Why don't you say what you really mean, Delilah? For once in your life, use your FUCKING backbone and say the words! [mockingly] 'Did. You. Kill. Ororo?' Is that what you really want to ask me? If I killed her, left your kid in Limbo, and came back to Earth to live another day? Do you want to solidify your decision 10 years ago that I really AM a bad person who deserves to have their life ripped away and imprisoned in an alternate realm? Will that ease your guilt? Will that make you feel like less of a judge, jury, and executioner?"

Alexis got right in Delilah's face, her own eyes wet with fury. She felt Ava's hands grip her bicep but didn't move back.

"I gave you [The Six] EVERYTHING and you spit in my face. You turned your back on me when Helena and Diana were mind fucking me! You thought, 'yeah...sounds about right! Alexis WOULD do that, wouldn't she?!' You didn't even give me the benefit of the doubt. You didn't even TRY to help me. You took my life from me, so why the FUCK should I give YOU ANYTHING?!"

Alexis' chest rapidly rose and fell with fury as the years worth of anger, resentment, hurt, and anguish that she had been holding in all released in one moment. It wasn't just directed at Delilah. It was for Haleigh, Morgan, AND Alison. All equally culpable, all equally to blame. But Delilah was the one asking the questions. She was the one who asked to speak to her. So SHE was the one within Alexis' crosshairs.

[heated whisper] "I should kill you where you stand."

Alexis eyed Delilah long and hard, the seconds passing by like minutes.

"But I wouldn't do that to Alexia."

Alexis felt Ava pull her arm, finally relenting and getting out of Delilah's face. Turning away, Alexis' sapphire eyes met with Haleigh, glaring at her with just as much MALICE as she had Delilah.

"Must feel great knowing you can attack your team, fuck her boyfriend, AND threaten her kid...and The Six will still go to war to rescue you. My how the tides have turned since The Citadel. Bravo."

Pulling away from Ava's grasp, Alexis walked to the small wet bar nearby and grabbed herself a bottled water, keeping her back turned to the others as she took a sip. The five minutes had long been up.
 
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Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,510
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Parthenon — Delilah’s suite

Haleigh tried to explain, tried to apologize, but Delilah was not having any of it. Haleigh could see it in her former friend’s demeanor, Delilah would never forgive her, never accept the premise that Haleigh had been doing the absolute minimum damage she could get away with doing. Her mother was laughing again.

“I’m sorry.”

She uttered again, hopelessly. The futility of it was enervating, but nothing was working.

Malice: I told you, HATE is all you will find.

There was nothing left to do but accept it and move on. She was at least able to get Delilah to see the logic in them taking command of Hellfire. Delilah also expressed a willingness to help Ava, which was unexpected. And even though the Interpol suggestion was redundant when compared to Haleigh’s own resources and abilities, Haleigh didn’t want to discourage Delilah from helping her sister, so she didn’t comment. She DID think it was cute though. Then Alexis turned up and gave a voice to Haleigh’s thoughts, which was an entirely surreal feeling, although Haleigh suspected she should start getting used to it because she wasn’t so different from Alexis after all.

Alexis: “You should probably up your security. Anyone could just stroll in.”

“Now Alexis, you know you aren’t just anyone to US.”

Haleigh quipped, and then Ava thanked her for coming. Delilah immediately apologized, going so far as to HUG Alexis, and then things got truly bizarre for Haleigh. Alexis was pissed, and had every right to be, given the circumstances. Her reaction was not surprising to Haleigh. Also, there was a small, bitter part of Haleigh that appreciated the irony of Delilah’s apology getting absolutely crushed and rejected by Alexis’ hostile resentment. So initially, she had no inclination to intervene. However, the bizarre part was not just that Haleigh agreed with Alexis —of all people— because logically one would after being made aware of all the details. No, the bizarre part was that Alexis continually gave breath to things Haleigh was feeling, deep down. Alexis was raging, and expressing feelings Haleigh was trying to suppress in herself.

Alexis: “I gave you [The Six] EVERYTHING and you spit in my face. You turned your back on me when Helena and Diana were mind fucking me! You thought, 'yeah...sounds about right! Alexis WOULD do that, wouldn't she?!' You didn't even give me the benefit of the doubt.”

Haleigh could relate, and so she made no attempt at rebuttal. It must have been cathartic for Alexis to get to say all those things. She let Alexis continue on, though she did feel bad that Delilah was the one taking the heat for all of this. It wasn’t exactly Delilah’s decision to put Alexis in stone.

“You’re not really going after the most appropriate target in the room, Alexis. Truthfully, Delilah was misled.”

Haleigh interjected calmly. It wasn’t until Alexis suggested she should kill Delilah that Haleigh showed any aggression towards Alexis, She drew her pistol and took aim before the woman even finished her sentence. Ava was holding Alexis back, though, and there was a long silence. Haleigh didn’t really want to execute Alexis, but she would if the woman became a threat to Delilah. It was an easy choice for Haleigh, even despite the recent turn of events. Alexis didn’t attack though, and instead turned her glare onto Haleigh.

Now you’re onto the proper target.”

Haleigh said, sticking her sidearm back into the holster on her hip. Alexis made some spiteful comment about how great Haleigh had it. Haleigh scoffed at that.

“Yeah, it’s been fan-fuckin-tastic to be the new and improved YOU. Ten out of ten, highly recommend.

She replied sarcastically. She watched Alexis go over to the minibar and get a bottle of water. There was a momentary silence in the room, and then Haleigh stepped up. She went over to the bar next to Alexis, because she wasn’t about to say this to her back.

“You’re right. Absolutely, unequivocally correct. We did you wrong. I thought you were a traitor, and I was completely wrong. I understand that now, but it took me going to Hellfire to really appreciate what you must have suffered. I know apologies aren’t worth a fat flying fuck these days, but regret is really all I have left to offer you, so feel free to take advantage. Honestly. Carte Blanche, you wanna get revenge on me, go for it. Just ME though. If you go after the others, I’ll have to retaliate.”

She leaned against the bar and gave a one shoulder shrug.

“The truth is you probably shouldn’t help us. We certainly don’t deserve it. However, we’re having extensive difficulties when it comes to checking on Alexia. Morgan’s giving us the silent treatment and we can’t reach Ororo. Delilah’s worried about her daughter, and you’re the next best option to make sure the kid is okay.”

Haleigh gave Alexis a sincere look.

“It would be one thing if you were being asked to help ME, I agree that would be heinous. But listen, of all the people responsible for putting you in the garden for ten years, Delilah’s the LEAST culpable. If you don’t want to help, if you want to tell us to fuck off, I get it. But what if something IS wrong in Limbo? What if something is wrong with Alexia, and that’s why we can’t reach anyone? Are you really going to turn your back on that girl, just because her mother failed to stick up for you ten years ago?”
 
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MorningStar

The Light in the Darkness
The Six
Real Name
Delilah Trelaven
Residence
The Parthenon, NYC
Missions
1,504
Ability
Transducing Light into Sound (and vice versa)
The Parthenon - Delilah's Suite

Delilah didn't expect Alexis to hug her back. It hadn't been something she'd planned. It had just happened, instinctively perhaps. Because that's what you did when your teammate was brought back to you, flesh and blood, when you thought you would never see her again.

Still, as much as she hadn't planned it, she was still slightly shocked with the force at which Alexis pushed her away.

Alexis: "You're sorry? Is THAT why you asked for me? To say you're sorry?"

"
I am sorry. We were wrong. What we did to you, it should never have happened."

Delilah wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, but not taking her eyes off of Alexis. It felt like she was staring at a ghost. But she didn't have time to waste; she knew they were probably seconds away from Alexis storming out. So she asked her the question that had to trump all others: whether something had happened to Ororo which let her escape her stone prison.

Alexis: "There it is."

The hurt in Alexis' voice was palpable, as much as she was masking it with anger. Alexis moved towards her, but Delilah didn't flinch. She just let her come.

Alexis: "Why don't you say what you really mean, Delilah? For once in your life, use your FUCKING backbone and say the words! [mockingly] 'Did. You. Kill. Ororo?' Is that what you really want to ask me? If I killed her, left your kid in Limbo, and came back to Earth to live another day? Do you want to solidify your decision 10 years ago that I really AM a bad person who deserves to have their life ripped away and imprisoned in an alternate realm? Will that ease your guilt? Will that make you feel like less of a judge, jury, and executioner?"

That took Delilah aback. Her hand went involuntarily to her chest. She stuttered through her reply.

"No...of course I didn't think that...I mean...I'm not Alison..."

But Alexis was in her face now, and she wasn't stopping.

Alexis: "I gave you [The Six] EVERYTHING and you spit in my face. You turned your back on me when Helena and Diana were mind fucking me! You thought, 'yeah...sounds about right! Alexis WOULD do that, wouldn't she?!' You didn't even give me the benefit of the doubt. You didn't even TRY to help me. You took my life from me, so why the FUCK should I give YOU ANYTHING?!"

Delilah shook her head sadly.

"You shouldn't. Because you're right. I should have questioned them. I should never have let them do it."

Tears welled again in her eyes.

"It's the worst thing I've ever done."

Alexis: [heated whisper] "I should kill you where you stand."

Delilah nodded once, bowing her head.

Alexis: "But I wouldn't do that to Alexia."

Delilah looked up at that, into Alexis' cold stare. She...she knew Alexia?

"Have you seen her? Is she okay? Is she still with Ororo?"

The frantic feeling had returned, the fear in the pit of her stomach reasserting itself as the alpha of her emotions. Alexis was targeting Haleigh now, which wasn't much different than how she had acted towards her before. And under normal circumstances Delilah would have taken pleasure in Alexis taking Haleigh to task. But they were wasting time - they needed to find out what Alexis knew before they lost their chance. But Delilah had no idea how to convince her to tell them.

Black Widow: “Yeah, it’s been fan-fuckin-tastic to be the new and improved YOU. Ten out of ten, highly recommend.

Delilah hadn't really gotten along with either of them, way back when. They had frustrated her to no end. But now, she definitely preferred Alexis and her venom to Haleigh's company any day. And now she could just see the enjoyment on Haleigh's face at having the opportunity to verbally spar with Alexis again. Not that they had anything more important to talk about, for fuck's sake.

Black Widow: “You’re right. Absolutely, unequivocally correct. We did you wrong. I thought you were a traitor, and I was completely wrong. I understand that now, but it took me going to Hellfire to really appreciate what you must have suffered. I know apologies aren’t worth a fat flying fuck these days,"

At least Delilah was trying.

Black Widow: "but regret is really all I have left to offer you, so feel free to take advantage. Honestly. Carte Blanche, you wanna get revenge on me, go for it. Just ME though. If you go after the others, I’ll have to retaliate.”

Once again the martyr. It was sickening.

Black WIdow: “The truth is you probably shouldn’t help us. We certainly don’t deserve it."

Thanks, Haleigh. Thanks a lot. Delilah crossed her arms, the anger and annoyance starting to bubble to the surface.

But then it stopped.

Black Widow: "However, we’re having extensive difficulties when it comes to checking on Alexia. Morgan’s giving us the silent treatment and we can’t reach Ororo. Delilah’s worried about her daughter, and you’re the next best option to make sure the kid is okay.”

Delilah's eyes moved to Haleigh, momentarily showing her surprise. Just a flicker.

She cleared her throat, shaking it off. Surely Haleigh didn't think it would be that easy to make up for what she'd done. But then again, she probably fucking did, the bitch.

Black Widow: “It would be one thing if you were being asked to help ME, I agree that would be heinous. But listen, of all the people responsible for putting you in the garden for ten years, Delilah’s the LEAST culpable. If you don’t want to help, if you want to tell us to fuck off, I get it. But what if something IS wrong in Limbo? What if something is wrong with Alexia, and that’s why we can’t reach anyone? Are you really going to turn your back on that girl, just because her mother failed to stick up for you ten years ago?”

Delilah's eyes flicked to Alexis, hopeful.

"Please, Alexis. I just want to know that she's okay."
 

Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
86
Ability
Invisibility/Energy Manipulation.
Haleigh: “You’re not really going after the most appropriate target in the room, Alexis. Truthfully, Delilah was misled.”

Alexis scoffed loudly,

"As far as i'm concerned, you're ALL to blame for what happened to me. Morgan ran the show and all of you blindly followed. And now this bitch [Delilah] is asking me for help? My target is VERY much on point, Davidoff."

Alexis laid into Delilah with the pent up fury and passion that had been laying dormant for the last two years undercover. She had to keep her focus - remain detached around Hellfire. She needed to play the perfect Bishop in order to keep her identity hidden, which meant she couldn't show any signs of emotion when The Six were mentioned. It was very much as if she were a shell of a person inside Hellfire as she worked, and now that shell was filled with all the repressed emotions and it was pouring out. She glared at Delilah, telling her that she should kill her where she stood. That was when she heard Haleigh's pistol click, Alexis' narrowed glare flicking up to see it pointed at her head.

Ava: [sternly]"Haleigh!"

Haleigh: Now you’re onto the proper target.”

Delilah: "You shouldn't. Because you're right. I should have questioned them. I should never have let them do it. It's the worst thing I've ever done."

Alexis rolled her eyes away from Haleigh and back to Delilah, seeing the tears in her eyes. Her remorse and guilt didn't phase Alexis, but for whatever fucking reason, she decided to give Delilah a small detail about her daughter despite the utter contempt and hatred she had for her. The expression on Delilah's face changed to that of desperation and shock. That was when Alexis walked away as Delilah was desperately asking if she was okay and what was going on. Walking to the bar as she shook her head, she picked up a bottle of sparkling water and opened it. Taking a swig as Haleigh approached, Alexis didn't bother looking at her.

Haleigh: “You’re right. Absolutely, unequivocally correct. We did you wrong. I thought you were a traitor, and I was completely wrong. I understand that now, but it took me going to Hellfire to really appreciate what you must have suffered."

Alexis laughed sardonically at the utter detachment of Haleigh's statement.

Haleigh: "I know apologies aren’t worth a fat flying fuck these days, but regret is really all I have left to offer you, so feel free to take advantage. Honestly. Carte Blanche, you wanna get revenge on me, go for it. Just ME though. If you go after the others, I’ll have to retaliate.”

"The martyr act iss getting old."

Turning to Haleigh now.

"It took you going to Hellfire to realize the mistake you made? Is that right? [shaking her head in disbelief] I was your FRIEND, Haleigh. I was HER [gesturing to Delilah] friend, Haleigh. I was CAMERON'S friend. MORGAN'S friend. ALSION'S friend. It took you getting tortured in Hellfire to realize your mistake? Not the fucking fact that I did NOTHING leading up to Helena and Diana controlling me that would hint me going rogue or dark? BUT it's not completely your fault, I'll give you that. I should have never put my faith and trust in any of you as blindly as I did. I was naive and stupid because I wanted so badly to be accepted and to be apart of a family that loved me. That was MY MISTAKE. I own it. I suffered the consequences of it. And i've learned from it."

Putting the bottle back down on the bar cart.

"I won't be making that mistake again."

Walking away from the bar cart as Haleigh began to state that she agreed that Alexis shouldn't be helping them, but that Delilah couldn't get ahold of Ororo because Morgan had gone radio silent. Alexis scoffed bitterly.

"And that surprises you?"

Haleigh went on to say that Delilah was the least responsible for what happened to her, to which Alexis rolled her eyes as she made her way to the front door. No one stood up for Alexis when she needed help. Whether Delilah made the choice to imprison Alexis or not, she STILL stayed silent.

Haleigh: "If you don’t want to help, if you want to tell us to fuck off, I get it. But what if something IS wrong in Limbo? What if something is wrong with Alexia, and that’s why we can’t reach anyone? Are you really going to turn your back on that girl, just because her mother failed to stick up for you ten years ago?”

Delilah: "Please, Alexis. I just want to know that she's okay."

Alexis' hand was on the door handle as she heavily sighed out, letting her head fall back onto her shoulders as she groaned. It was like listening to a toddler screaming bloody murder while simultaneously stubbing your toe in the corner of a door.

"My GOD nothing happened in Limbo."

Alexis finally turned around, exasperated.

"Nothing! Okay? Ororo's FINE. I spoke with her right before the battle at Hellfire."

Crossing her arms against her chest, Alexis let her back fall against the door, leaning onto it. She gently hit the back of her head against the door.

Why i'm doing this...

"Ororo freed me. It took a while for the TO virus that you infected me with to filter out of my system, that was why I was stuck as a statue for nearly a decade in that fucking garden. When she did, she gave me a choice. She could erase my memory of everything and everyone...you, Delilah, The Six, my aunt, my life, everything. She would give me a new identity and I could live freely and start fresh. OR, I could get my revenge on Helena and everything that she took from me. As tempting as the first option was, I couldn't bare the thought of that BITCH thinking that she got away with EVERYTHING. That she was walking around all high and mighty thinking that she won. So I chose option number two. The virus paired with being in Limbo altered my physiology and my powers, so Ororo spent over a year training me on how to use them - preparing me to come back as Mystique. I didn't DO anything to Ororo. I would NEVER do anything to hurt her. She gave me a second chance at life..."

Alexis lowered her eyes for a moment, her hand going to the glowing orb around that hung around her neck.

"She didn't judge my choices. She let learn from them. That's more than I can say for anyone else."

The tone in Alexis voice was more gentle as she spoke of Ororo. It was as if she was speaking of a mother figure - a friend. But the moment was fleeting as Alexis looked back up at Delilah and Haleigh.

"The reason Ororo isn't answering Morgan's beck and call anymore is because she's just as pissed off at Morgan and her decisions as YOU are. Every choice Morgan has made Ororo has had to clean up. The last straw was taking Delilah's child from her and sending her to Limbo."

Alexis shook her head, still in utter disbelief at the audacity of Morgan and Alison.

"Ororo has nurtured that little girl despite being put in a position she didn't asked to be put in."

Ripping the necklace from her neck, Alexis tossed it at Delilah.

"Alexia's fine, Delilah. She's sweet, and funny, and just as bullheaded as you are."

The necklace began to glow in Delilah's hand, creating almost a scrying pool like image that began to float in the air. It revealed memories Alexis held from her time in Limbo: training with Ororo, studying with her, playing with Alexia, and helping Ororo train Alexia. Images flashed rapidly, all held within the small magical orb that Ororo had given her as a gift before departing.
 
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Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,510
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Parthenon — Delilah’s suite

Delilah was trying to apologize to Alexis but it was not going well. To some degree Haleigh was amused to see Delilah get a taste of her own medicine, but then Delilah started to cry. Haleigh couldn’t bear very much of that, so she interjected a comment to distract Alexis and hopefully get her to leave Delilah for a more appropriate target. It didn’t work, as Alexis was too focused on unloading on a non-combative target. Haleigh was going to let it play out until Alexis suggested she should kill Delilah. THAT was crossing the line. Haleigh drew her pistol and took aim. Ava scolded her, but Haleigh didn’t even blink. Alexis was lucky Haleigh didn’t automatically provide Alexis’ skull with extra ventilation, at that point.

Despite her thorough understanding of Alexis’ frustrations, she would absolutely execute the woman in defense of Delilah. Delilah might not think they were friends anymore, but in Haleigh’s mind they had gone through far too much together to just quit on each other, and she couldn’t say the same for Alexis. Granted, it wasn’t Alexis’ FAULT she hadn’t been around, but that didn’t really affect the equation. If Haleigh was made to choose, she’d pick Delilah, even if they WERE having a bit of a misunderstanding at the moment.

Wisely, Alexis chose not to follow through on her threat. Haleigh immediately returned her sidearm to her holster and relaxed her posture. Alexis commented on how great Haleigh had it, provoking sarcasm from Haleigh with regard to how fantastic it was to be the new Alexis. Delilah was desperate for details on her daughter still, but Alexis was reticent. Haleigh could see more persuasion would be needed to get Alexis to cooperate. She took her usual approach, brutal honesty. She approached Alexis and started with a straightforward admission of error and expression of regret.

Alexis: “The martyr act is getting old.”

“And here I thought offering you a free shot at vengeance would be the most sincere apology I could extend, that it would be something you might appreciate more than easy words.”

Haleigh countered with a mild smirk. Alexis expressed more frustration, this time focusing on Haleigh and the fact that it took getting the Hellfire treatment herself to change her perspective on Alexis ‘betrayal’.

“Yes, and if I could go back in time and correct my error I would, but unfortunately I’m unable. So what do you want to do about it NOW? Would you really prefer to just continue to stew angrily and waste your time and energy being bitter? I can’t imagine you want another hug, but whatever, it’s up to you at this point.”

She replied, and then Alexis suggested that it wasn’t entirely Haleigh’s fault, because Alexis was the one who was naive and stupid in wanting to be accepted and loved in the first place. That was HER mistake, she asserted, that she’d suffered the consequences of and learned to accept. Perhaps that’s a concept I should consider myself, Haleigh thought. It was a depressing implication.

Malice: Your weakness is APPALLING.

Alexis: “I won’t be making that mistake again.”

Malice: Oh, look at our little recovering alcoholic with the sudden strength.

Haleigh tried to ignore her mother and instead told Alexis about the trouble they were having trying to get a hold of Ororo and Morgan. Alexis wasn’t really moved by any of that, and actually seemed to be trying to extract herself from the room, but Haleigh didn’t give up on trying to talk her into helping and Delilah wasn’t too proud to flat out beg. Finally Alexis relented and gave them some info. Haleigh went back to the window and just listened, as she considered her obligations here fulfilled.

Alexis mentioned the TO infection Haleigh had given her, and it piqued Haleigh’s interest, but she didn’t think Alexis would appreciate any of the questions Haleigh wanted to ask her, so she kept them to herself. Alexis walked them through her recovery options and gave them some insight on her relationship with Ororo as well as clueing them in on Ororo’s position on this whole mess. Then she tossed a necklace over to Delilah, providing a chance for Delilah to see Alexia’s limbo upbringing. Haleigh moved closer to Delilah and watched the scrying pool scenes play out, and then she looked over at Alexis again.

“So then do you think if we could solve the dilemma presented by Alexia’s powers that Ororo would be open to the idea of returning Alexia to Delilah’s custody?”
 
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MorningStar

The Light in the Darkness
The Six
Real Name
Delilah Trelaven
Residence
The Parthenon, NYC
Missions
1,504
Ability
Transducing Light into Sound (and vice versa)
The Parthenon - Delilah's Suite

Delilah didn't have much in the way of a response to Alexis; she of course was totally justified in everything she was saying. The Six had thought they had come such a long way - as teammates, as people - from where they had started, before even when Delilah had joined them. But looking back now with the clarity of being able to see Morgan and Alison as they truly were, they hadn't really. A snap judgment had been made by their "leader", and they had followed along, just like always.

Haleigh was drawing Alexis' attention - she probably thought Delilah couldn't take it. But she owed it to Alexis to take it, it was her penance. It was a small penance.

Alexis: "It took you going to Hellfire to realize the mistake you made? Is that right? [shaking her head in disbelief] I was your FRIEND, Haleigh. I was HER [gesturing to Delilah] friend, Haleigh. I was CAMERON'S friend. MORGAN'S friend. ALSION'S friend. It took you getting tortured in Hellfire to realize your mistake? Not the fucking fact that I did NOTHING leading up to Helena and Diana controlling me that would hint me going rogue or dark? BUT it's not completely your fault, I'll give you that. I should have never put my faith and trust in any of you as blindly as I did. I was naive and stupid because I wanted so badly to be accepted and to be apart of a family that loved me. That was MY MISTAKE. I own it. I suffered the consequences of it. And I've learned from it. I won't be making that mistake again."

"You weren't stupid...it wasn't your fault..."

Delilah tried to tell her, but Haleigh was already explaining about Ororo being out of contact. And then Alexis was leaving, and they were going to miss their chance. Alexis was going to leave and they would never know what was happening in Limbo. Where none of them could go except Morgan, who Delilah was beginning to feel had played a cruel trick on her, never intending to take her there at all.

Delilah begged Alexis - she just wanted to know that Alexia was safe. That Ororo wasn't missing or worse. That her daughter wasn't completely alone.

Alexis: "My GOD nothing happened in Limbo. Nothing! Okay? Ororo's FINE. I spoke with her right before the battle at Hellfire."

Delilah was taken aback.

"Really?"

She had expected something else - that Alexis had woken up and Ororo was nowhere to be found. Or Ororo was dead and the spell had been broken by it. But not that everything was fine. The constriction she had felt in her chest since she first saw Alexis began to loosen.

Alexis: "Ororo freed me. It took a while for the TO virus that you infected me with to filter out of my system, that was why I was stuck as a statue for nearly a decade in that fucking garden. When she did, she gave me a choice. She could erase my memory of everything and everyone...you, Delilah, The Six, my aunt, my life, everything. She would give me a new identity and I could live freely and start fresh. OR, I could get my revenge on Helena and everything that she took from me. As tempting as the first option was, I couldn't bare the thought of that BITCH thinking that she got away with EVERYTHING. That she was walking around all high and mighty thinking that she won. So I chose option number two. The virus paired with being in Limbo altered my physiology and my powers, so Ororo spent over a year training me on how to use them - preparing me to come back as Mystique. I didn't DO anything to Ororo. I would NEVER do anything to hurt her. She gave me a second chance at life..."

"Why wouldn't she tell us any of this?"

Delilah asked it quietly of no one in particular. Why wouldn't she tell the Six that Alexis was alive, and okay? They could have helped her - god knows, none of them had any love for Helena. They could have made amends...

Alexis: "The reason Ororo isn't answering Morgan's beck and call anymore is because she's just as pissed off at Morgan and her decisions as YOU are. Every choice Morgan has made Ororo has had to clean up. The last straw was taking Delilah's child from her and sending her to Limbo."

Delilah made a sharp intake of breath. The only thing that made this situation bearable was the knowledge that Ororo was the one taking care of Alexia. Ororo had helped Delilah once too, and there was no one she trusted more. The thought that Ororo wanted Alexia gone from Limbo...that she might feel that nobody wants her...it was too much to handle. Thankfully, Alexis put her fears to rest.

Alexis: "Ororo has nurtured that little girl despite being put in a position she didn't asked to be put in."

Alexis tossed something to Delilah, and she caught it, seeing it was the necklace from Alexis' throat.

Alexis: "Alexia's fine, Delilah. She's sweet, and funny, and just as bullheaded as you are."

Tears that had been welling in Delilah's eyes fell freely down her face at that. And then her eyes widened, because the necklace began to glow and then showed them Alexis' memories of Limbo, of Alexia. Delilah's hand reached out, as if she could touch the images, but of course she couldn't.

When the images finally faded, she sank down into the nearest chair, put her face in her hands, and wept. In relief, in pain and in longing.

Black Widow: “So then do you think if we could solve the dilemma presented by Alexia’s powers that Ororo would be open to the idea of returning Alexia to Delilah’s custody?”

Delilah lifted her head from her hands. The very idea. When Ororo had rejected her calls, Delilah had assumed she was on Alison's side, that she would flat out refuse to allow her to take Alexia back. But was there really a chance now? To bring her daughter home. The way she and Bishop had talked about...before?

But no...they couldn't, could they. Delilah's face hardened. The realization had taken her back to the beginning. Because, wasn't that the point of all of this?

"Not until we're sure Malice is dead."
 

Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
86
Ability
Invisibility/Energy Manipulation.
Reluctantly, Alexis opened up about her time in Limbo. Mainly to get Delilah and Haleigh off her fucking back so she could leave, but partially as a giant 'fuck you' to both of them for thinking she somehow had a hand in betraying and hurting Ororo to escape. She gave a quick run down, telling them how she had a choice to get her memories wiped or to exact her revenge on Helena. She explained that she had to relearn her new powerset due to Haleigh's TO Virus infection. And finally she gave Delilah the information she wanted and told her Alexia was fine and being nurtured and trained by Ororo. She hated it. She hated that she had to give them ANYTHING. That she had to give them pieces of a puzzle that was no longer their's to put together. But she didn't do it for Delilah or Haleigh, she did it for Alexia. She owed that little girl a life better than what her own family gave her. So Alexis tossed Delilah her necklace, the orb containing magick from Limbo began to play out Alexis' memories of Alexia like a scrying pool. That was when Delilah collapsed into a near by chair and broke down into sobs.

Alexis watched Delilah stoic and silent.

Haleigh: “So then do you think if we could solve the dilemma presented by Alexia’s powers that Ororo would be open to the idea of returning Alexia to Delilah’s custody?”

Alexis didn't answer immediately, her eyes trained on Delilah as she lifted her head up with hope in her eyes. She was a spineless, backstabbing bitch...but there was absolutely no doubt she loved her daughter. A love that Alexis used to chase after her entire life. Men, booze, self destruction, it didn't matter as long as she felt it for a moment. But now, that chase had long ended, her eyes opening up to the bitter world and the people within it.

Finally, Alexis shifted her eyes to Haleigh.

"Alexia's powers aren't the issue anymore."

That was when Delilah finally got it.

Delilah: "Not until we're sure Malice is dead."

"Bingo."

Alexis pushed off from the wall that she was leaning against and crossed the room, grabbing the necklace out of Delilah's hand.

"Diana, Helena, and Kelly have always been in the forefront of Ororo's decision to bring Alexia back. She knows [looking at Haleigh and Ava] we ALL know, the second that little girl steps foot on Earth, she would be targeted by them."

Alexis stepped a few paces away from them both, stringing the necklace back around her neck.

"Talisman would put her into a test tube and turn her into the next Kyle Kelly, while Malice made sure her mind was obliterated to the point of being nothing but a walking, talking weapon [gesturing to Haleigh with a smirk] kinda like you were Scion."

Alexis' face finally became serious again as she looked to Delilah.

"Alexia is strong and capable of controlling her abilities, i've seen it first hand. The issue isn't your safety anymore, it's hers. Why do you think Ororo gave me that decision in the first place? Beyond my revenge, she knew I was the opening that was needed to take one of the Queen's out. If one is gone, the other two flounder - look what's happening now."

Alexis didn't want to admit that she was doing it for more than just her revenge, but the truth was Alexia deserved a life beyond being stuck in Limbo - feeling like a prisoner who's family didn't want her. But the original plan went to shit, and despite one Queen being taken out, it was still far from a victorious situation.

"Now i'm two years deep into this, got close to Alek, don't want to see him die. Then got close to you [gesturing to Ava] and don't want to see you loose your shit if he does die. [waving off Haleigh and Delilah] AND I still could give two shits about the two of you, but Alexia deserves way more than being stuck in that fucking hell hole. SO here we are."

Crossing her arms, Alexis glanced down at her watch, then Ava.

[bitterly] "I gave you way more than five minutes."
 

Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,510
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Parthenon — Delilah’s suite

Alexis explained the circumstances of her departure from Limbo, and Delilah wondered out loud why Ororo didn’t tell anyone.

“Sometimes tactics require discretion in order to succeed.”

Haleigh replied, because she understood perfectly. Alexis went on to tell them about Alexia, and tossed a little trinket over to Delilah that projected images of Limbo and Alexia’s upbringing. See, it was entirely possible to get something like this for Delilah, maybe even something that would relay current events from Limbo. Haleigh made a mental note to follow up on that with Ororo as soon as possible. She watched the trinket play the scenes out. That was her goddaughter, practically exiled in Limbo.

Haleigh understood that she had a responsibility to make sure the girl was safe and that she had the BEST possible life. To Haleigh, that meant Alexia would enjoy the benefit of growing up with her parents, BOTH of them if possible. And while Delilah might not agree with the measures Haleigh took to ensure the girl’s safety, it didn’t deter Haleigh from doing whatever she thought was necessary. The secondary objective was doing whatever it took to get Alexia the best upbringing. While it was clear Ororo was doing an acceptable job as a surrogate, nothing would replace a joint effort between Delilah and Maxim, the two people in the universe who would love he girl the most.

Haleigh thought back to the nightmare she’d had about killing them. The memory of it made her stomach turn, but it did present a viable option. The girl could have a power suppression implant to manage her powers until she was taught to control them. Haleigh could easily make that happen, though she assumed it would be a unique challenge to convince Alexia’s parents that this could be a safe choice. Some detailed discussion and planning could make it work. It was all for naught if Ororo refused to release the child from her custody though, so Haleigh asked Alexis if Ororo would be open to the idea. It turned out, that wasn’t the issue anymore. Alexis replied that the girl’s powers weren’t the problem. Delilah added with determination that nothing could be done until they were sure Malice was dead.

Malice: So, NEVER.

Haleigh’s mouth tightened at the thought. Alexis elaborated, explaining what the Queens had planned to do if Alexia ever appeared in this realm.

Alexis: "Talisman would put her into a test tube and turn her into the next Kyle Kelly, while Malice made sure her mind was obliterated to the point of being nothing but a walking, talking weapon [gesturing to Haleigh with a smirk] kinda like you were Scion."

Malice: CORRECTION; like you ARE, Scion.


That cut particularly deep, but Haleigh’s face betrayed nothing immediately. Her countenance wasn’t completely detached from her emotions, though. She looked at Delilah with an expression of tenacity.

“What happened to me is NEVER going to be allowed to happen to Alexia.”

She promised. Alexis explained that Ororo understood the importance of the attempt to destabilize the Sisterhood by eliminating one of them, in this case, through Alexis taking revenge on her aunt.

“It’s unfortunate that you were ultimately unable to eliminate Helena. Solid effort, though.”

Haleigh commented, her tone commiserative. Alexis bitterly relayed her personal investment in this whole operation, and then sassed Ava, pointing out that she’d given way more than the agreed upon 5 minutes. No one’s holding you at gunpoint, bitch, Haleigh thought. She had the wherewithal to not say it out loud, as she knew there was no tactical advantage to further agitating Alexis.

“Well, we all appreciate your generosity, Alexis. If you ever find Helena’s new little hideaway, let us know. We’ll definitely help you raid it and eliminate her for good.”
 

MorningStar

The Light in the Darkness
The Six
Real Name
Delilah Trelaven
Residence
The Parthenon, NYC
Missions
1,504
Ability
Transducing Light into Sound (and vice versa)
The Parthenon - Delilah's Suite

Their reunion had been emotionally exhausting, on so many levels. Delilah hadn't really been prepared to see Alexis - to talk to her again. But her very presence here made it an immediate necessity, though, so there had been no time to plan what she would say. Not that she hadn't been thinking about it, for a long time. But thinking about and actually doing were two different things. And when discussion had turned to Alexia - when Alexis revealed the time they had spent together, that Alexia was perfectly fine and still under Ororo's care - Delilah was pushed past her breaking point. It was too much. The relief, the loss, the sadness, the joy. All at once.

The others were still talking, and Delilah registered what they were saying in the back of her mind, without reacting, her face in her hands. Until Haleigh asked if Alexis thought Ororo would return Alexia to her. Delilah looked up then.

Alexis: "Alexia's powers aren't the issue anymore."

That took Delilah's breath away for a moment. Alexia was so young, even taking into consideration that things were different in Limbo. Could she really control her powers already? Could she be just a normal little girl, back here with her? The hope she felt in her chest was snuffed out, however, by the realization that it didn't matter in the end. They couldn't bring Alexia home. Not until Malice was well and truly dead.

Alexis: "Bingo."

Alexis retrieved her necklace, and Delilah's hand felt cold where it had once been.

Alexis: "Diana, Helena, and Kelly have always been in the forefront of Ororo's decision to bring Alexia back. She knows [looking at Haleigh and Ava] we ALL know, the second that little girl steps foot on Earth, she would be targeted by them."

Alexis: "Talisman would put her into a test tube"

Delilah visibly flinched at that.

Alexis: "and turn her into the next Kyle Kelly, while Malice made sure her mind was obliterated to the point of being nothing but a walking, talking weapon [gesturing to Haleigh with a smirk] kinda like you were Scion."

Haleigh looked at her, and Delilah met her eyes.

Black Widow: “What happened to me is NEVER going to be allowed to happen to Alexia.”

Delilah nodded. She'd leave her in Limbo forever first.

Alexis: "Alexia is strong and capable of controlling her abilities, I've seen it first hand. The issue isn't your safety anymore, it's hers. Why do you think Ororo gave me that decision in the first place? Beyond my revenge, she knew I was the opening that was needed to take one of the Queen's out. If one is gone, the other two flounder - look what's happening now."

Black Widow: “It’s unfortunate that you were ultimately unable to eliminate Helena. Solid effort, though.”

They should never have made the truce. They should have killed them all years ago. Instead they'd waited and allowed the queens to gain in power. Stupid. They had been so incredibly stupid...

Alexis: "Now I'm two years deep into this, got close to Alek, don't want to see him die. Then got close to you [gesturing to Ava] and don't want to see you lose your shit if he does die. [waving off Haleigh and Delilah] AND I still could give two shits about the two of you, but Alexia deserves way more than being stuck in that fucking hell hole. SO here we are. [bitterly] "I gave you way more than five minutes."

Black Widow: “Well, we all appreciate your generosity, Alexis. If you ever find Helena’s new little hideaway, let us know. We’ll definitely help you raid it and eliminate her for good.”

Delilah rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand.

"Thank you Alexis. I know you didn't have to help us."

Thoughts churned in her head.

"And I know you probably don't want it, but I'll be there to help you take down Helena - just say the word."

She stood up, turning to face the others, her face hardening.

"Whatever it takes to see those bitches dead, I'll do it. We've waited too long already. No more distractions, no more excuses. We hunt them down and kill them all, one by one."

So that my daughter can come home where she belongs...
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,096
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
From the moment Alexis arrived, the tension in the room was thick. This was an issue that wasn't hers to interfere in, unless it turned bloody. So Ava stood a distance away and watched. Watched as Delilah shockingly hugged Alexis, watched as Alexis pushed her away and laid into her with zero restraint. Watched as Haleigh tried to divert the anger onto her instead of Delilah while strangely keeping a level head. Ava knew how much Haleigh couldn't stand Alexis, so to see her almost diplomatic with the situation was an interesting twist, and a nice foreshadowing to her Queenship within Hellfire. It wasn't until Alexis threatened Delilah in the heat of the moment that Ava's body straightened and tensed, seeing Haleigh immediately withdraw her pistol and point it at her.

"Haleigh!"

Ava chastised, going up behind Alexis and putting a hand on her shoulder. She could relate to the anger and frustration Alexis was feeling, so she knew she wasn't actually going to try and murder Delilah in front of herself and Haleigh. Yes, it was a very significant threat, but only a threat. Still, as Haleigh diverted Alexis' anger back at her, Ava remained close.

"You need to calm down..."

Ava warned slowly and easily, Alexis flicking her eyes over quickly.

Alexis: "Isn't that the pot calling the kettle."

Her tone was scathing - bitter. Ava knew it was hypocritical of her to stand there and try to calm someone's anger when Persephone was nothing BUT heated anger and death threats. Regardless, she'd rather everyone walk out of Delilah's without spilling blood. So wisely Alexis stepped back, making her way to the door as if she was going to leave. Haleigh and Delilah both continued with their questions until Alexis finally relented and explained to them the whole story as to what happened with Ororo, Alexia, and how she got out of Limbo. Apparently Ororo was pissed at Morgan and was distancing herself from the Sorceress Supreme, that perked up Ava's brows, glancing over at Haleigh. She knew Ororo played by her own rules, but it always felt as if Morgan had some kind of reprieve when it came to her choices and methods of doing things. But the biggest bombshell was the fact that Alexia was able to control her abilities and the reason she hadn't been given back to Delilah was because of the former Helfire Queens.

Ava sighed, rolling her eyes shut at the revelation. They were literally the fucking never ending thorn in everyone's side. Alexis began to show Delilah flashbacks and memories of her time in Limbo, Alexia looking both healthy and happy. Ava's eyes watched, the ache in her heart growing. She couldn't imagine what Delilah was going through...the pain...the anxiety of being away from her child. Delilah broke down in tears, sobbing as she sat down. Ava walked over to her, crouching down next to her and placing her hand on her back to try and offer some comfort. She knew they had a rocky road of recovery ahead of them, but Delilah had offered her help in finding Alek which showed she was willing to mend their relationship. So Ava offered the same support in return. Everything that was weighing on Delilah came out in that moment, but also a renewed strength as well. Ava began to stand as Delilah did, knowing that Malice needed to be confirmed gone in order for Alexia to come back to her. Alexis confirmed as much, explaining that Helena and Kelly did as well.

Alexis: "Alexia is strong and capable of controlling her abilities, I've seen it first hand. The issue isn't your safety anymore, it's hers. Why do you think Ororo gave me that decision in the first place? Beyond my revenge, she knew I was the opening that was needed to take one of the Queen's out. If one is gone, the other two flounder - look what's happening now."

"They're divided from their unlimited source of power [Hellfire], as well as any allies that would have helped them [Europeans]. They're more than just floundering, they're in hiding because of it. It gives us a window of opportunity to take them out."

Black Widow: “It’s unfortunate that you were ultimately unable to eliminate Helena. Solid effort, though.”

Ava gave her sister a 'really' look at the 'solid effort' part, knowing the exact tone of what she meant.

Alexis: "Now I'm two years deep into this, got close to Alek, don't want to see him die. Then got close to you [gesturing to Ava] and don't want to see you lose your shit if he does die. [waving off Haleigh and Delilah] AND I still could give two shits about the two of you, but Alexia deserves way more than being stuck in that fucking hell hole. SO here we are. [bitterly] "I gave you way more than five minutes."

Alexis began to walk back toward the front door, Ava following.

"I know. Thank you."

Black Widow: “Well, we all appreciate your generosity, Alexis. If you ever find Helena’s new little hideaway, let us know. We’ll definitely help you raid it and eliminate her for good.”

Delilah: "Thank you Alexis. I know you didn't have to help us. And I know you probably don't want it, but I'll be there to help you take down Helena - just say the word."

Piggy backing off of Haleigh and Delilah, Ava offered her help in killing Helena as well. She had her own reasons outside of Alexia where she wanted to see the bitch killed, especially if Helena....Ava stopped her thoughts from going to that dark place and simply nodded.

"That bitch deserves more than death, but to get Alexia back, we'll be more than willing to hold her down while you tear her limb for limb. Just leave a limb for me."

That was when Delilah began to speak again, the tone in her voice unlike anything Ava had heard, causing her to look over. She had never seen Delilah this bloodthirsty for vengeance before. It was a side to Delilah that Ava liked. A side Ava could finally relate to. She had always cared for Delilah and seen her as a friend and a teammate, but there was a small disconnect between them because Delilah always seemed so pure and good with her intentions, while Ava was enshrouded by darkness with hers. Delilah was always seen as the 'light' within the group, but that had been an unfair label everyone put on her. She had been through hell, she deserved her anger and revenge.

Delilah: "Whatever it takes to see those bitches dead, I'll do it. We've waited too long already. No more distractions, no more excuses. We hunt them down and kill them all, one by one."

"One by fucking one."

Ava smirked.

"Maybe Haleigh was right, you would make an amazing Black Queen."
 
Clara Oswald
Clara Oswald
Lol “it was a side that Ava liked”

Arclight

Sweet Revenge
Real Name
Alexis Quartermaine
Missions
86
Ability
Invisibility/Energy Manipulation.
Time was up and Alexis was pissed to still be in the presents of two woman whom stabbed her in the back deeply. She had held up her end of the bargain; she showed up, listened to what they had to say, and gave WAY more information than she felt comfortable giving, but in the end Alexia's happiness and well being meant more than making Delilah suffer. So while she let her have her moment of hope, it didn't deter Alexis hatred.

Haleigh: “It’s unfortunate that you were ultimately unable to eliminate Helena. Solid effort, though.”

At the door, Alexis scoffed.

"I did more in two years than you all did in ten, fuck you very much. But solid effort."

Haleigh was defined by the word underhanded, regardless if her tone sounded otherwise. Alexis knew exactly what she meant.

Black Widow: “Well, we all appreciate your generosity, Alexis. If you ever find Helena’s new little hideaway, let us know. We’ll definitely help you raid it and eliminate her for good.”

"Why don't you worry about mommy dearest, Davidoff. I'll worry about my own wire hangers."

Alexis deadpanned, turning the handle to the front door.

Delilah: "Thank you Alexis. I know you didn't have to help us. And I know you probably don't want it, but I'll be there to help you take down Helena - just say the word."

Ava: "That bitch deserves more than death, but to get Alexia back, we'll be more than willing to hold her down while you tear her limb for limb. Just leave a limb for me."

Alexis rolled her eyes, though a small smirk tugged on lips.

"I'll save you two as long as you don't ask another small favor."

Ava: "I actually do have one last favor, a more personal one if you're up for a bite downstairs?"

Alexis shrugged casually with a 'why not' expression on her face. That was when Delilah chimed in proclaiming murder and death upon the Queens.

Delilah: "Whatever it takes to see those bitches dead, I'll do it. We've waited too long already. No more distractions, no more excuses. We hunt them down and kill them all, one by one."

Ava: "One by fucking one. Maybe Haleigh was right, you would make an amazing Black Queen."

And that was when Alexis opened the door, a look of mocking amusement on her face.

"Riiight. And I would make a fantastic Mother Teresa."

Her laugh echoed as she disappeared down the hall.
 
Clara Oswald
Clara Oswald
Great post!

Black Widow

Twisted Metal
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Haleigh Davidoff
Residence
Hellfire New York
Missions
2,510
Ability
Earth Elemental; Technokinesis; Strength, Resilience, and Immunity due to the TO virus
Parthenon — Delilah’s suite

As they discussed the Alexia situation, Haleigh calculated the options and her parameters of responsibility. Priority number one was to make sure her goddaughter was safe. That would be an ongoing challenge, but it was currently satisfied. Priority two was to ensure she had the best possible advantages and opportunities towards leading a happy and fulfilling life. That was the current problem, that the girl was stuck in Limbo without her parents. At least Delilah was afforded something of an update on the girl’s condition. Haleigh briefly wondered whether Delilah would call Max and relay the update. She knew Delilah was shutting him completely out of her life, which in Haleigh’s opinion was a bit overkill. They weren’t even together at the time... She thought, and she wouldn’t care except that tangentially it affected other factors, the most important of which was how involved Alexia’s father would be. Haleigh knew better than to ask Delilah directly.

Malice: No DOUBT she’d accuse you of INAPPROPRIATE interest in Bishop.

Exactly. No, she wouldn’t make an issue of it. She would know, naturally, if Delilah called him. They all communicated on the same network and cell towers. The connection would become immediately apparent to Haleigh if it were made. Haleigh silently decided to give it about 24 hours, and if Delilah didn’t update him, Haleigh would bite the bullet herself and make the call. She anticipated a great deal of facetiousness from him, and did not look forward to the duty, but it wasn’t about her. He should know what was going on with his daughter, and Alexia deserved an informed father on standby until the second she could benefit from his immediate presence. Haleigh borderline hated Maxim, but she had not forgotten how dedicated a father he was. It was one of his very few redeeming qualities.

They would have to eliminate the Queens first, but that didn’t bother Haleigh. She had already intended to end each of them. She tried to throw Alexis a bone about failing to finish off Helena, but given that Ava gave her a ‘really?’ look and that Alexis clearly took offense, Haleigh surmised that her effort was misunderstood. Alexis shot back that she had done more in two years than the rest had done in ten, an assertion so absurd that Haleigh just returned an incredulous laugh. She wouldn’t dignify the idea with actual debate, and instead just took it for a joke. They all offered to help Alexis with Helena, even Delilah, which was a mild surprise. Alexis suggested that Haleigh instead worry about ‘mommy dearest’, and Haleigh’s mirth was suddenly deactivated.

Ava asked Alexis to slow her departure in order to get a bite to eat downstairs, and Alexis agreed, but Delilah was still focused on the Queens. She expressed a desire to not just defeat them, but hunt them down and kill them. Haleigh raised an eyebrow at that. Well look at Litebrite with her dark little turn... It was a pleasant surprise for Haleigh. Delilah was always the ‘good’ one, and Haleigh was given to worry that Delilah would not be able to do the dirty work when it came down to it, when her (or her daughter’s) life might depend on it. And yet with conviction, Delilah expressed a willingness to eliminate —to murder— the threat to Alexia’s well being. Now she’s speaking my language, Haleigh thought gleefully. This was an excellent development.

Ava: “Maybe Haleigh was right, you would make an amazing Black Queen.”

“Maybe??”

Haleigh challenged, but Alexis was snickering and making some sarcastic quip about how good a mother Theresa she’d be as she disappeared down the hall.

“Don’t listen to HER, I think she sustained a little brain damage during her stone coma. Certainly she’s still as neurotic as ever.”

Haleigh commented without any real rancor. It was water under the bridge, in her mind. If Alexis still wanted to be butthurt about it, that was not Haleigh’s problem. She had apologized, she wasn’t going to grovel.

It was time to leave, primarily because she didn’t want to be left alone with Delilah after Ava went downstairs to meet back up with Alexis. Haleigh glanced at the door and then back at Delilah.

“It’s not like you have to decide this very second, or at all. But if you actually consider taking a position of strength, Ava and I would welcome you. It’s a standing offer. Anyways, take care. Call if you need anything.”

Haleigh said, trying to sound casual and not at all like she was trying to egress a burning room. She turned to Ava with half a smirk, moving towards the door with her sister.

“So you gonna wine-dine-69 Mystique into resuming her role as Red Bishop for you?”

She asked, but the question seemed more a salacious, rhetorical joke than an actual query.
 
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