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Location: Southern Plateau - Pacific Royal Campus
Hope In Hell #2.0027: asunder.
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Interaction(s): haven. - @Skai
Previously: apparition.

How does one kill the likeness of a god?
How does one kill the multifaceted burden of their bitter heart?

How does one destroy the manifestation of love? Loss? Heartache?

Amma Cahors doesn't know the answer then, but she'll find it when destiny and fate collide and bring her to her knees; broken, spent, and alone. When the world grows weary of her malcontent - when a would-be almighty looks upon her and decides that she has had enough. When she no longer has the power to maim and all is for naught; the creature lain within finally lent to rest.

But now, the roaring betwixt her ears is a violent maelstrom that pillages through her lobe with the fury of a storm, the vibration of an unholy declaration sundered through the vessel known as the void that welcomes her into its embrace of nihility. She often dreamt of a netherworld where the forsaken and woeful found comfort in the caressing stillness, beasts of a prophesied hell cantering through her bones, marked in her blood, sluicing through her veins in phosphorescent fragments that shimmered and coiled. Wed to the HZEs that wracked through her, high-energy particles that were eternally tangible in whorls of scarlet liken to fated strings of life.

And through the darkness, they descended: the dragon of The Foundation and the could-have-been beloved of P.R.C.U. A princess now forsaken of her crown, her home, her will to be spent and lorn as she wept, screamed, and cinched crimson nails over the throat of the woeful creature that laughed and laughed.

And laughed.

Amma welcomed the prick of those damned nails to her skin, the loathed face that loomed over her, and the tears she spent as the eternal chasm of the deep seemed to stretch further and further. From where they had fallen vanished entirely, the lights guttered out in their wake as silver and red collided and wove together, their powers meshed to a singular unit of pain that wrecked through bones and flesh. She didn't know how long they fell through the ruin, but she knew the awaiting end would likely crush them both unless they managed to part. The sharp twinge of pain through her neck spoke otherwise of her likeness's agony and the unlikelihood she would allow her free and as the edges of her vision warped and faded, a roar split asunder the void and tore through her soul.

A hearkening bellow of something that never should have been, of something that should not have been part of this world. Amma remembers once the tales of another world, the christening of a god from the depths below, wreathed in death and life, a woeful creature bound in time and left to rot- an embodiment of vengeance and purpose for all the wrong done unto it.

For all the wrong done unto her.

"Why was it you that got to be true? Why did you get to live and not me?" A grin slid through the dark, a ridge of bone bathed in blood over the pout of her lip as she answered:

"Because I'm stronger."

The Foundation sought one end to the being that was Amma Cahors, the child they took, the weapon they created. The fabrication of the unknown that curled her arms around her opponent and switched their positions, the smile that foretold of hell, the smile that was Tiamat. She was stronger, for she was All, and she was Made. Her powers of decay spewed forth in plumes of black that shrouded the beloved in her grasp, snapping coils of obsidian wove to her body and slid through her hair, the putrid smell of rot permeating the air alive in red streaks of defiance and hate. From yonder the pit of despair, another cry sounded, a baying call that harmonized with the wails from those lips she had cursed with her kiss of death.

And there, she saw it. Fear. Reflected in her own eyes, a likeness of endless depths unburdened by rage but compounded by hate. Crimson swells of energy speared through her palms and visibly shuddered as they worked through her blood and flayed apart the wounds on her wrists and snaked over the split flesh at her chest, the fibers of her suit split down the middle, almost at her navel where the scythe of energy had cleaved down. Her fingers splayed, arched, claws against the skin slowly coming undone under her power of complete and total nihilism.

"No!" She screamed. "Not like this! Not after everything! The monsters are not supposed to win!" Red churned and sputtered and scoured over Amma's arms and impaled over her shoulders, it swept down the planes of her back and linked into her scars. She would not scream, she would not allow this weeping reaper the satisfaction of her anguish.

And with a sickening thud, they finally stopped.

What awaited them was an abyss that churned with thick remnants of that hated phosphorescence that clung to her pores, invaded her senses, and every lance and gaping wound and sliver of peeled skin that suddenly burned. Then Amma screamed. A lamented song of a siren not unlike her screech earlier when reality settled and she realized she was trapped, but lingering spools of pain wove through her throat and chest and another cry peeled from her full mouth. Something was broken by the hideous fire that quaked through her body, but it was the homage of misery that she knew, a remnant of her past where it was not only flesh that was marred but every link of marrow that had been snapped over and over. The threshold that most mortals adhered to, Amma had been spent beyond even that and once upon a time someone had muttered of hyper-psychosis: a term she recognized but knew nothing of its meaning.

Her likeness had taken the brunt of the impact and through the glow provided, she lay at an impossible angle, blood and tendrils of power churning through the liquid as everything broke and punctured within. Misery like she had known lay in her eyes unmoving and unwavering and Amma leaned over her, unable to shake the comparison.

"Maybe you should've been the one to be. That happiness?" A soft laugh eclipsed her words, a bitterness inflicting her confessions. "Maybe I should be the one trying to kill you in these trials." She tried to speak, blood that frothed black at her lips and nose choking her final whispers.

"I'm scared," she pleaded. "I don't want to lose them. Please. You don't deserve them! You don't deserve h-!"

"We never had them," Amma uttered, slid her fingers through her hair and touched her brow with her lips, a parting gift, a kiss of the final journey and her barriers- her walls of obsidian fell around her heart and soul, and she said:

"I'm sorry."

Life finally dimmed in those hated eyes and was swept away, her powers of destruction woven over her body until she was reduced to naught but ashen remains, her blood and bones and flesh lost to the leagues of black and red that slunk and snapped and warped over Amma's figure as she stood. Pain flared through her body but she bore the scorch of her wounds with cinched fists but as she turned, looking for a way out, she stalled at the rattling of chains in the gloom and what she saw that awaited her there.

Amma Cahors has known pain unlike anything in this world, she has known betrayal, she has known heartache and she has known death. But for the first time, she suddenly knows fear; the unknown, the in-between of this world, and something else that looms over her as the creature that also lurks within her soul. She is immobilized as it rises and with breath the color of the same red that warped the world at her feet, it exposes what lies within its massive claws. She is once again met with her likeness, but then not. Her eyes as pits of a forsaken hell snapped with wildfire in a sea of black; her skin alive with ink that roved and spun and moved; her hair bleached white at the ends and her entire frame wrapped in chains too thick for a mere woman. With a scar-riddled hand, she points over her shoulder, fingers extended into talons of black and stained in blood down her wrists and arms.

Be glad you did not stay, Tiamat.

A door she had not seen prior suddenly bursts open on a gust of unforeseen power and strength, tearing into the very walls that shudder under the massive strain. Amma doesn't hesitate and makes to leave, limping, but moving through the hated liquid pooled around her calves and clinging to her suit as if trying to prevent her from escaping. She does not look back, unable to witness she that is lost in the dark, chained to a beast and a void that they both knew as home. When she does leave that pit and all she has seen behind, the wall suddenly closes on screeches of metal, sealing shut as if it had never been. Harsh lights spear at her eyes and she glances down at her figure bloodied and stained, the yellow accents of her suit muddied in black and exposing her skin and the wounds she now bore. She caressed her scarred palms down, attempting to address herself into something proper, as another corridor loomed ahead and Amma didn't hesitate to move, eager to leave it all behind, to continue her search for a way out.

If there was one.

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In the distance she hears many screams, shouts, and voices that ping away at her ears, timbres she recognizes and names she now knows. Amma uses the wall as a crutch, stopping to address what she is positive is a broken ankle, the pain she can endure, but the progress she has made through the maze stalls nonetheless. Her wounded chest rises and falls on a quivering breath as she leans against the sterile wall now smeared in her blood, she wants to rest, weariness weighted through her limbs as she leans her head back and glares at the overhead lighting.

She would not be undone, no, Amma refused.

With gritted teeth, she continued on, up and up, left and right.
Right and up again.

And peculiarly enough, whorls of red, unbidden as always, suddenly sparked to life, these cords and whips of scarlet stirred into a frenzy as she was met with another section to continue forward, or to go left. Her powers bid left, the crimson sparks whisking away to silver at the edges and reaching, searching, seeking something that called to their manifest. Amma recognized the yearning that slid through her power, the undeniable magnetism that bore life in a clearing of just the two of them. A quiet trill of laughter spun from her bloodied lips, lashes fanned low on her cheeks as she twined her fingers through the cords of her potency, red flung away from her gestures as she stretched out her arm and through the ambient HZEs there, a banner of scarlet sundered away from her. Chaotic whips of energy speared down the corridor where many voices collided, where she felt herself drawn to.

But the terrifying screams that suddenly came from ahead stilled her intentions, screams she recognized of someone subjected to the helpless confinements of this hell. Amma flung another bought of her power after the first for good measure, not waiting to see if they reached their destination before she continued forward, those screams reaching deep and puncturing through her heart. A disembodied voice she recognized slid down her spine, bunched tight and tense as she pushed herself forward and with every panel her hand touched, a droning sound resonated, it vibrated through the halls as her abilities spun into a fever.

She saw the girl first, the wings next, the terrifying sobs that wrecked through her as bone and blood was shredded apart. Tawny feathers fell and a trembling hand reached out to her through the swarm of bodies bent over her, bloodied nails torn away to flesh as they cleaved through the wings stretched taught and bound. Amma stilled, recognizing the brunette hair, the manic eyes lined in red as sobs of pain tore away from her gaped lips.

She didn't hesitate.

Amma flung out her hand, fingers arched and bones aching, her nails raking through the air as spears of black and red came to be, the world trembling at her abilities as they dragged and impaled every masked figure. She bid them to be destroyed liken to the pain they inflicted. To be torn apart.

The girl on the operating table continued to wail and scream, her wings utterly destroyed and mangled, one nearly severed where downy feathers were matted and bloodied. She looked unto Amma with both fear and distorted hope, but there was no saving her, she knew. She begged for it stop, for everything to end and Amma granted her that single mercy with a flicked wrist, a cord a crimson snapped around her throat and looped down to her heart. She looked like Haven, but the color of her eyes told her it was not, but rather the former roommate of someone she knew that had been taken like so many others. At her feet, the masked figures wailed as they were rent asunder from within, but she spared little mercy for them as she finally looked up. A cage was suspended above but it was empty, the bars scuffed and familiar feathers spread across the linoleum below. Amma followed their trail to another room, a door at the back left ajar as more screams sounded.

There she found Haven much like the previous girl, bound and her wings stretched impossibly taught, masked figures prepping her for surgery in the impossibly sterile room, needles and tools and saws gleaming with promised malice. If this was the real Haven, she thought, her presence finally noted as one reached for a weapon, a gun hoisted forward and aimed at her chest.

Could she take that risk though? Even if she was a simulation, could she subjugate another to the same hell she had been put through as a child for so many years?

Amma lifted palms up, feigning compliance as the ground shook, tile broke and splintered as whips of silver and red rose up and up and bled black wherever they touched. She spared them a quick death as they fell, one by one, reduced to mere ashes that swept away into the void of nothingness before Amma limped to Haven's side.

"Be still." She commanded and made quick work of her bindings, slivers of her power breaking apart the manacles that held her down and making delicate attempts to unbind her wings next. She felt exhaustion loom just beyond the discharge of her usual breadth of energy, a first in many, many years that caused her breath to catch before she finally managed to free Haven.

"There," Amma breathed, stumbling back, her power refusing to abate as it pulsated down her frame as if poised and ready to strike should this Haven prove false.
Location: Southern Plateau - Pacific Royal Campus
Hope In Hell #2.0015: apparition.
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Interaction(s):&&
Previously: void.

Right, right, left.

A winding corridor lined in glass, a pitch that oozed, coiled, and slid against the silver panes, groaning under the considerable weight suddenly laden there. The ocean she thinks, or the void that lies in wait within. The beast hums away at her soul, a core of appetence that writhes against the figure lain and pressed against her bones, that crown of ash is all she sees and on her head, it is given. It thrummed and pulsated, it breathed and bore a sickening heartbeat that ascended with her own. A quivering tempo that galloped betwixt pained ribs, and at her breast did a churning whorl of red resonate, a thread of weakened contempt woven to her heart as the darkness loomed yonder, adorned in foreboding leagues of black.

Another hallway of rooms, each illustrated and possessed of a christening light; a stretcher; that sometimes laid broken and bent, misshapen by leagues of spiraling taint that infected the very walls, producing naught but revolting remains. Some rooms were rusted and worn down by time, blackened and smudged in soot and death, the edges of their domain bleeding red. Others were pristine and immaculate and hated all the more for their perfection.

Amma turns right, left, right.

Her name falls away into whispers, a voice that pings in familiarity but becomes lost with every pause of breath, her eyes spinning, lashes fluttering against the fixation of dread that weighted her limbs like stones. She could wade into the depths that squirmed and bayed and she would sink entirely into the awaiting embrace of oblivion. A nihilism that her struggling facade yet longed for, the mask that was no longer a mask, but the acceptance of her masochistic inclinations. The blood wash of anger over her teeth, tongue bathed in rubies that slid over her rouge-hued pout, lancing against the fragile barriers of the mundane. The harvester of greed, the one that sought power above all else, as her wanting will of life unbound and free compounded her in fragmented links of depravity.

Amma turns left.

There, a pointed ceiling rose, a spear into the awaiting darkness, the sky above devoid of stars. Not even the moon to mock her in all its resplendence cast from on high. She descended into that familiar conformance she had adhered to for so long, the product of her isolation to further nurture that manic complexion that dubbed her as pure chaos.

Here she remembers she had fallen, the child that wept, her body aflame in anguish, pocketed with black threads pinched tight, they always sewed her back up, stitched and glued and stapled. Sometimes a healer breathed over her mutilated pores, a whisper of warmth against her frigid skin, the flesh knitted with little to mark the cruelty done unto her. If it hadn't been for those fleeting moments of kindness, Amma was sure her entire body would've been marked in pale, silver lines, with little canvas left to commission the artwork purposely displayed over those that remained. Each beheld a story she refused to tell, to ward her trembling figure from the cruel whips of her betters, to ink the likeness of a netherworld onto her body to strike fear and promise of malcontent to those that did her wrong. Though she could not speak or act on her defiance then, she could at least show it, and with baited smiles of hideous desire Amma Cahors would stand alone.

Even against the world if she had to.

In the confines of her old dorm, Amma finally heard it then. The scraping of metal on metal, the sort of ringing and ping of ominous purpose slithering down her spine gone rigid. She panned her eyes over her hunched shoulder and saw --

herself.

A child, the one she once was, the one that knew only pain. The one she had sworn to protect, the one she had longed to redeem. To save.
The one she ultimately let die.

Was it worth it.
Did you find what you were looking for.
Do you remember me and the promises you made.
The vow you swore.
The oath you signed in blood.


She once dreamed of becoming important to someone. She once dreamed of love. To feed the void, to supply that ravenous chasm with just enough sustenance to soothe the eternal pain within and without. The air coiled, spun, the darkness thinned as the child lifted bleeding palms up and up, chains manifested, hoisting arms high above that tumble of black hair liken to her own. Laughter spun from those cherub bearings, the eerie trill reminiscent of her cruelty, when she had laughed at the dreams and hopes of others, as she laughed at their pain.

"This isn't real."

But it is.

Those chains warped, thinned, and bent around themselves till barbed wire hissed and grated and arose like demented serpents. They struck, one by one, and Amma allowed it. Sharp, burning pain tore through her wrists, and her arms, it coiled over her middle where she gasped, muscle taught and tensed and air ripped from her lungs as more slid over her thighs and legs and bunched tight. Metal bit and tore and reaped until she was forced to her knees, and there, a single wire looped around her throat and held fast; trapped and bound.

You like pain.
Don't you?
That's what you said
To him.
You said it made you feel alive.

Tell me.
Ammar -


"Don't."

The child slowly matured, her likeness spiraled and forced into adulthood, the visual evidence that Amma Cahors had been forced to grow up much too quickly. It was as Lorcán said, she had never used her powers for fun. She had never used any uniqueness of life for herself. And so before her stood a woman, a beauty of grace that smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, donned in silver, black, and red and her hair spun through with those striking hues, twinkling charms at her ears and braided through her tresses.

Do you ever wonder, what could have been?
Had Charlotte not given you to them?
Do you ever wonder, what you could be capable of?
If you had gone, stayed, if you had just been.


From her old dorm room to another classroom, this one elongated and warped, the only light offered to come from the multiple screens flickering before her prone position, bound in wire and scarcely able to breathe. She sat there, chin cradled in her hands, one leg crossed over the other at the knee, her heeled boot swinging to and fro, in tune with the delicate hum that spun from her mouth the color of bitten cherries. A gaze alighted in mocking warmth fell onto her, and she said:

"Do you ever wonder what it's like to be happy?"

The screens at her back buzzed and flickered alive, blackness oozed from their shells of bent and misshapen plastic with fissures of red spiraling away and impaled through the ceiling and floor, and there a hideous screech peeled through the air, causing Amma to flinch.

"Do you ever wonder what it's like to feel loved? To have someone want you? No? I do!"

What she saw next stole her breath, soul, her heart. It robbed her of everything.

She, as the one before her, was smiling in those projected films; laughing, swept into the arms of another, lost in love and warmth and kindness. Smiles traded with baited whispers and hushed cries, euphoric expressions across her face as she clung to broad shoulders. She was everything she was not, she was the completion of dreams and hopes and forsaken desires that Amma had long abandoned. Of what she had been denied from conception to damnation. Friends, she thinks, her teammates crowding around her with faceless smiles, her likeness cast a woman nurtured, desired, loved, and whole.

So that's what it was, that's what it looked like, to be known as beloved.

"Sadly, this too shall pass." Her voice dropped, a whisper of sorrow threaded through that voice like her own, a whispering of inflection, the slight husk she bore with a soft purr of her accent dropping off at the end of her words. "Because they, well -"

The scenes shifted, a kaleidoscope of color and imagery warped and malformed to sterile halls and hated rooms. Where she herself cried, where she clung desperately to another as her world was taken from her again. Again and again and again.

"They'll never let you go."

What came across next pillaged through her entire body, a shudder of emotion slithering across her spine where her back grew wet with blood, there a creature arose and stared on back from a myriad of glass with eyes liken to a storm wrought sea with endless depths and endless power.

"They still came for me, for you." She stands, her delicate fingers slowly working the sleeves of her augmented suit up, exposing pale scars so similar to her own, every cross and line a mutilated map to her past, but, where Amma had snakes and birds coiling over her arms, this woman had nothing to hide the anguish she must have felt.

"They always get what they want. Do you think, even now, you're free? Do you think they really gave you up? Why are you here, now. Why not then? Why not before."

"There never was a before -- " Amma whispered, mindful of the cord around her throat.

"Oh, you don't know! Do you? No, no you don't." She tapped carmine-hued nails against her temple, where the neural uplink would've been, where it was on Amma. "I know something you don't."

"Jonas knew about you, in fact, he sent a letter to Charlotte Cahors once upon a time, before The Alexandria Foundation."

"That's - "

"Impossible? No, nonono-ooo. Did you ever wonder why she gave you over to that awaiting hell? No? Maybe you should ask our father!"

The woman before her shifted, a hellacious wealth of power and energy surging forth, gales of black and scarlet churning through the air and striking against her, shoving her back and back where suddenly a pit peeled open on a shattering roar, and on that precipice of the void Amma balanced. Her figure was still bound, every pull of breath tightening the wires digging into her. Those tines sliced easily through her suit just as something - her power - suddenly lanced forward and cleaved down her front, a scythe of crimson and silver whorls penetrating through skin and poised over her heart.

"Though, I suppose you'll die before you even get the chance."

Was it cruel irony then or a demented form of redemption to be done under something she silently feared? The coils of crimson sunk into her breast, a thread of death loomed and spun and rose up and up, woven through the talons of her would be reaper that clutched them to her lips as if a sacred relic. Amma cannot contain the laugh that bubbles from her defiled chest, the warmth of life spread down, over her figure, her head arched over on the precipice of the void that awaited her. Her eyes aglow, she peered into that darkness, felt it call to her as the barbed wire slowly worked itself loose and free, her blood reminiscent of an oil slick that soiled the mane of her hair and pooled around her. Her laughter rose higher, a sound that shattered betwixt the waking world that held its breath on her whims, the same laugh that listed through eternity as the harbinger of rage; a woman that had nothing.

And therefore nothing to lose.

With that same spool of scarlet threaded to her chest, Amma pulled, she spun her own leagues of power, churned the HZEs to her command and yanked the other woman forward. Surprise flickered across the mirroring eyes of her likeness, their bodies suddenly flush, every expanse of flesh wed together with shackles of blood. Amma fisted her fingers through the damned mane of silver and red streaked hair, pulled that face she loathed close and slanted her mouth over her and inhaled deep. She stole breath, life, she tasted the fragile remains of hope and love, she tasted bitterness and she tasted fear. With her tongue she curled against bones and gums and every ridge of her mouth before she yanked back, her teeth dragging against her pout and muttered against the plushness of her lips and said:

"Show me what you got."

With a smile that bespoke of a promised hell, Amma held tight and hefted all of her weight back, pitching the both of them into that awaiting darkness below.
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Location: Southern Plateau - Pacific Royal Campus
Hope In Hell #2.004: void.
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Interaction(s):&&
Previously: vore.

The first injections come when she is ten years old— too many to count, too many to place. On the third night, Amma Cahors realized she wasn't going home, she wasn't going anywhere but spiraling into a sterile hell, her trappings came in silver and steel and polished linoleum. Suspended in a place over open waters, calm surfaces, and salt-tinged winds that banked over the underbelly of her waking nightmares - down within the confines of the ocean, no one can hear you scream. The Alexandria Foundation possesses their new weapon, their beast, and their creation and they gild her in black and silver and red, don her in darling phrases and whispers and promises of redemption. They collar her betwixt the void of heart and soul, the reasonings of self utterly stripped bare from her very bones. The creature contained within the frame of a child, the eyes of her mother, the subtle structures of her father, and the pale skin of pearlescent innocence soon bathed in blood and hate and taint. They had the prize, and it was time to make it theirs.

They even took her name.

The second injections come when she is ten years old- too many to count, too many to place.

But she remembers them all.


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It was a scene sundered straight from her nightmares; the blood, the fog, the banked darkness edging into the distance; the buzzing drone of static, down to the very color of the straps she could feel pulled taught over her flesh. The liquid pooled into a hated glass, the empty syringes that she had felt many times over, again and again and again, the bright lights awash over her prone figure as she screamed and begged and pleaded. As she bartered for an end, as she dugs nails into her bleeding palms and reached for the heavens whose gates were closed to even she. If there was a God, He had long forsaken Amma, and instead, the Devil whispered in her ear and held her close to the pits of Hell. But there were no rumored flames or shambling dead, there had been naught but emptiness that welcomed her in coils of dread. In her waking world, he showed her the too-white halls and the sterile embellishments, the cold steel that bit in her skin many times over, the darkness that loomed and whispered and screamed.

She wished for someone, anyone, but above all, she wished for her mother.

Slow tremors still worked down her arms as she walked, her pace deliberate, seeking, and searching eyes peeled wide in manic sweeps as she looked left and right. Each classroom was much the same, desks aligned perfectly and facing forward, walls bare, the broken screens flashing every few seconds to an image she thought lost in memorium. It was her in various stages of her youth, from the child she had been, to the ascending monster that they longed for, the glowing reflection that stood before her one drenched in black and blood that was not her own. The voices still pinged away at her lobe, her heart hammering away betwixt her ribs aching with every harsh pull of breath that shakily swept from her lips. From the images, others flickered across the static, their faces smudged and blackened, disappearing as soon as they came and flickering back to her likeness, her eyes hollowed and cheeks flayed open wide in smiles lined with scarlet-drenched bone.

She walked past one room where a gurney lay in the middle, surrounded by four walls, a singular bulb shone over the pristine condition of the stretcher, wherein the floor beneath was riddled with black and red; the edges still pooling outward and spreading far and wide. Amma entered with glassy eyes lost to the torments of her past, not seeing or hearing if others followed her, not caring if they did. This was her home, where she belonged, yes. This was her reality, her meant-to-be beginning and her soon-to-be end, she reached forward, palmed over the manacles lax and open, fitted her grasp to the thick restraints, and tacked her nails against the cold steel.

Whispers of her name enveloped her, shrouding and eclipsing her, her entire self suspended upon the threads of this very room taken from her fears and regret.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


The third injections come when she is ten years old- too many to count, too many to place.
They uttered of temperance, they uttered things of blocking and shaping and enhancing. They uttered of potential and intention and held palms over her trembling arms as they flayed apart the skin at her back, along the ridges of her spine, and witnessed those coils of red that rose and struck like vipers, the black that oozed and billowed forth and ate away at masks and coats of white and metal. The screams --


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Amma suddenly screeched, she pitched the gurney forward, nails against the bars meant to cage and withhold, she wailed her fury and hate and pain and launched herself upon the walls, clawing at the suppression containing her power in minuscule sparks of red that flew away at her arched and bleeding fists.

You wanted to be powerful. You wanted the power to find your mother. You wanted the power to find your father. You wanted the power to destroy them all.

And they gave it to you.


Her name blooms and roars over the symphony of rage in her head, over and over -- Tiamat, Tiamat, Tiamat.

"SHUT UP!"

Amma claws away at the name on her neck, hands bloodied, hands that still bore Katja's blood too. She was sure it was there still, she was sure her power continued to thrum and pulse with the essence of her pain and anguish and the broken heart that fed her malice.

She had left the tent last night without looking back at all, not hearing the words uttered there after, caring naught for it but felt the tremors of what was said all the same. She had walked to the edges of the cliffs, looked yonder to the storm that was approaching the campsite, picked her way down the rock, clung to the sediment, and worked her way down and down and down, piece by piece Amma climbed and descended to the frothing waves below that called and sung and tempted her to their darkness.

That morning was a haze of sleeplessness, she ate little, said nothing, dressed quickly and efficiently, and fitted the neural uplink to her temple as instructed. The Trials were new to her, but she cared little for them, cared for nothing as the dregs of her thoughts bled into incoherency.

Now she felt confined and trapped, her name still whispered over and over, welcoming her home, welcoming her back to this hell.

"I wanted it," Amma whispered, knelt before a wall marked by her pain, marked by the fury that still flitted away down to her mutilated core. "I wanted the power. I wanted it all." The soft breaths of her admission slip away into nothing, the creature that was she slowly rising up and up, hands on the wall with her head bowed.

"But I didn't know," she gasps. "I didn't know the price. I still don't know. I don't know what -- why --" She carves her fingers back, sliding through her mass of hair, black taint smudged over her temples and blood ran through the curls of her dark hair.

"They experimented on us, all of us. Some never came back. Those like," she paused, the name on her tongue. "Haven, Robert. Maybe they took Mei and Pallyx too."

"They take whatever they want, make you what you fear the most. All the power in the world and they use you for it until it turns to ash and death in your hands."

Amma moves back out into the hall, words lost upon herself, uncaring if they hear her, uncaring if she was the only one there. Eyes wild and lost, she continues down the corridor, penetrating gaze aglow in the haze of fog that reaches out to her, coiling over her arms and legs, spiraling away at where her scars lay and burn.

"There are many things I cannot remember, things I probably forced to be forgotten. Maybe they forced me to forget it. Or maybe... I don't know. I'm the monster they made, the dragon, the beast of Hell. Of the End. That's what they said."

She stops, left and right, the corridor splitting off into the unknown in either direction. The sterile wall at this juncture though is different than the rest, a line of black marring the otherwise pristine surface. She pauses, studies it, and reaches forward, but a lance of pain down her spine stops her, a wet gasp splintering from her mouth and coiling into a wince. Her name continues to sound in a chorus of whispers and wails, soft sounds that are barely there and then not, a droning resonation slowly working its way up her spine in ticking increments of pain liken to needles in her flesh.

Amma can feel them and coils her arms around herself, turns right, and continues forward.

She'll do it alone if she has to, she got away once before -

- right?
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Location: Southern Plateau - Dundas Island, Pacific Ocean
Welcome Home #1.107: vore.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Interaction(s): Katja - @Zoldyck.
Previously: in-between.

Katja beheld Amma’s awesome display of her powers with both a sense of trepidation and genuine awe. To her the dancing coils of raw power were a mesmerizingly terrifying thing to behold. The thought of going toe-to-toe with Amma crossed her mind for a fraction of a second, and while the tall blonde was confident in her fighting skills, she was uncertain what the outcome would be if she tried to face this foe.

As Amma’s powers ebbed back, the arcs diminishing slowly in their intensity, Katja locked her gaze back on those special eyes brimming with power. She took a deep breath to regain some form of composure, though there was still a trace amount of anger that could be heard, lessened though it was.

“This is the first time I’m even hearing of this, but why should I care what you do with Lorcán? Or with whoever else you feel like?” In her impassioned state Katja didn’t think before she spoke. In fact, she might not have even fully realized what she was saying. She was just spilling her heart out at this point, unleashing the emotions that had been clawing at her mind for the entire day. “Would I have liked it to be me instead of him? Yes, of course I would! But that choice isn’t up to me, and whatever choice you make is the only thing that should matter to you!”

Katja stood up from her cot, rising to as much as her full height as she could without damaging the tent. Even in this hunched state she still towered over Amma. But it was not meant to intimidate. Her eyes had lost the sharpness from mere moments before. The dominant emotion within them wasn’t fury or indignation, but sadness. A sadness that could also be heard in her voice, as it cracked when she first continued speaking.

“From the moment we first met I desperately, desperately wanted to be your friend. It’s why I’ve never treated you any differently from any of the others of Blackjack.” She paused for a moment, clicking her tongue as a thought crossed her mind. “And no, I don’t mean that in the sense that I intentionally didn’t treat you differently despite you being some sort of monster. Yes, you have a power that inspires both dread and awe at the sight of it. That doesn't make you a monster, not here, not to me!” A dry, humorless chuckle escaped her lips. I can rip a man in two by just jabbing my fingers in their chest and pulling them apart. If anything, that would make me more of a monster than you.

Katja slowly shook her head. “You are not a monster, Am. Mysterious? yes! Powerful? Certainly! And can you be a little creepy sometimes? Absolutely! But you are not an evil, soulless creature." For the first time since the start of their argument a soft smile tugged at the big South African’s lips. “You are Am, and you are my friend. Whether you like it or not, that’s how I will always see you.”

Katja leaned forward, bringing her face so close to Amma’s that their noses practically touched. She then attempted to lock her gaze with that of the raven-haired girl before she spoke next, her voice much softer than before, making her next phrase sound more like a plea than a demand.

“Look me in the eyes and tell me I’m lying.”

"Yes," Amma seethed, "We are monsters. Need I remind you," her pitch wavers, her penetrating gaze unflinching and without reserve as she locks onto the frigid determination drawn so close to her. Every sliver of color lain before her, like chips of a fragile heart desperately yearning and reaching out to her, a beseeching and pleading chasm that yawned before them. Whatever bridge had been seeded within the depths of her soul earlier in the forest slowly crumbled away to naught but fractured remains, instead an odious figure loomed, situated deep within and pierced talons deep and true, refusing to budge. A cage there was, one of bone and blood with weighted cracks and splinters, and there it churned and wrought -- biding its time.

"The world outside is dark and it is afraid." Amma reached out, fingers splayed, the red coils of her power sinking into the scarred flesh at her palm. "Afraid of you." She leaned forth, lashes fanned low on her cheeks and breathed. "Afraid of me."

And then she struck.

Her hands lanced against Katja's shoulders, crimson arcs lancing through the tent, scouring over the interior walls before sinking deep into the ground at her feet. She aimed to push her back wherein Amma stood from her cot, fingers arched and cracking, bones struggling against the confines of her skin as the ambient HZEs that toiled within and without bid themselves to her in shimmering capes of crimson lamplight. They wreathed through her hair, eclipsing the black strands as she hissed:

"You're not only lying, you're wrong."

Katja’s instincts rang all the alarm bells as the inevitable became obvious. Her hairs on the back of her neck rose as she saw Amma raise her hands towards her, coiled in that otherwise so mesmerizing scarlet energy. She only had a split second to react, which was all the time she needed to trigger her own HZEs reserve and fortify herself against the coming onslaught.

The shoulders of her shirt instantly disintegrated, exposing her hardened skin to the arcs of red energy conjured by the girl she loved so dearly. The pain was excruciating, as if she was being flayed and burned at the same time. Her skin slowly blackened as it began to form small splits. Yet she did not budge, she did not even make a sound. For the physical pain paled in comparison to the emotional torment Katja felt. It was as though Amma had not targeted her shoulders with her attack, but her heart. That was the thing that truly disintegrated at the moment of impact. And it was that feeling, that agony which left Katja stunned.

And thus, she did not budge.

She could feel Amma up the intensity of her attack. The splits became cracks, blood spilling forth from them, which itself was almost immediately consumed by the destructive power of the raven-haired one. She wanted to say something. Her instincts screamed at her to defend herself. But she couldn’t. Her spirit, so high mere seconds ago as she thought she’d finally break through Amma’s layers, was utterly broken. And to signify this, something happened to Katja that had not occurred since that fateful day in Bloemfontein.

Katja had kept staring into the eyes of Amma. Eyes filled with anger and hatred. Hatred towards her. Slowly the blonde girl’s vision became blurry. At first she thought it was the pain that caused it. That her brain had finally caught on to what her nerves were screaming at it. It had been so long ago that she had actually forgotten the sensation of what was truly happening.

For the first time in twelve years, tears welled up in the blue eyes of Katja Kruger.

A voice in the back of her mind told her to stand defiant. To not give in. But that voice grew ever softer the more she weathered Amma’s assault. Her heart had been crushed, and so had her will to fight. So she bowed her head in front of the girl to whom she had offered her unconditional love.

You are Am, and you are my friend. Whether you like it or not, that’s how I will always see you.

“I’m sorry.” She whispered meekly before finally stepping aside.

With the cruel red lightning no longer targeting her shoulders, the damage became evident for both to see. The hardened skin had completely disintegrated, exposing the muscle fibers to the open air for a mere second before blood started flowing through the nasty black wounds.

Katja stumbled backwards, disorientated by the whole ordeal. Bumping against her cot, she immediately proceeded to sit down on it. The poor camp bed didn’t stand a chance against the large girl’s increased weight and so it immediately snapped under the pressure. Though the fall was less than two feet, Katja’s impact still quaked the very ground they had been standing on.

But Katja didn’t notice. Head cast down, she ran her fingers deep through her long blonde locks of hair before gripping them tightly. Her flexing muscles showed that she was pulling at the strands of hair with incredible force. She sat like that for a few seconds before finally her muscles relaxed. And with that relaxation came a soft sob.

Letting go of her hair, she lowered her hands on her lap. Delicate streams of crimson ichor trickled down the contours of her powerful arms. But Katja did not heed them at all. It did not matter. None of it mattered.

Finally she looked up at Amma, the one who had hurt her so much.

The one she had wanted to love so much.

Tears flowed down Katja’s cheeks as she beheld the face of the girl who had been in her mind all day. The girl she had enjoyed spending time with. The girl she had wanted to love with all her heart.

The girl who had crushed her soul.

There was only one thought that crossed her mind. One that she spoke out in a soft, quivering voice.

“All I wanted was to be your friend.”

That meek voice imbedded itself betwixt her ribs where that harbinger of destruction reigned, where the ashen crown and the ivory manacles weighted themselves increasingly so. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, heavy is the heart that beholds the scepter, and heavy is the hand that reaps, pillages, and destroys.

Fissures liken to the voids in the sea quaked and peeled wide, pupils dilating to a sliver of recognition that is beholden to what she has done.

Again.

"I --"

But you did.
Just like you did then, just as you do now. Just like before and always will be. You did it. You did it.

You --


Cords of hate snap and pull and drag, posturing over her arms and slithering against the mural of skulls and painted moths, the gaping eyes that turned accusatory, the mouths cleaved wide in pleading wails and droning cries. Exoteric resonation splints through her entire being, whips of silver down the planes of her back and thighs that impaled deep to the cluster of scars that suddenly burn.

Destroy --

Nails slid against her palms in tandem to a tempo of renunciation pounding down to her core, a mutilated affair to the maelstrom that slid against her veins and pores, oozing forth as an obsidian wraith that spiraled over lithesome shoulders.

Everything.

She laughs.

It's a manic squeal that resonates with the encroaching storm, the Howling Cliffs wailing as a demented conductor to the siren heralding the reins of chaos. Who knew the formidable Katja would be so stricken! Who knew she would weep? Who knew that such power sluiced down into the thrumming underbelly of her fury and pain? The advocate for the deranged and the depraved. Those lost within and without. That harbinger that bore the mantle of she, the scion of death, the one they all feared.

Just as they had feared too, the name that she had inked into her neck, the letters unique, almost disfigured. The name that bespoke of irony and the cruelty of fate. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'msorryI'msorrysorry.

Amma snaps her lips shut, jaw flexed, grinding bone against bone, and says: "I don't need friends, Katja. That is not a part of my role to play here."

Even a few stolen moments in a forest, a sensation she had mourned the loss over, the warmth had faded away to naught. Though she longed for it, Amma knew she did not deserve it. Even if there was nothing that could stop her, even if there wasn't anything that could stand in her way. She was cold, lanced through with darkness, and tunneled into the frigid void.

And it was okay. She told herself, kneeling before Katja, something not quite there in her eyes, something that tilted her head and grinned.

"'Am' is not my name. My name is - " She pauses, words clipped in finality, she stirs, gaze fixated onto the damage she wrought.

And just as soon as she was there, she was then gone. Grabbing her jacket and fitting it over her shoulders, her sneakers next and laced tight. Simplistic and unhurried were her gestures as she fitted her ebony hair into a twist, looping it through her trembling fingers and sparing Katja one final glance. With a flicked wrist she gestured towards her cot, a silent offering as she stood within the entrance of their now-marred tent.

"Sleep. There's a storm coming."

And then she left.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Location: Southern Plateau - Dundas Island, Pacific Ocean
Welcome Home #1.106: vore.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Interaction(s): Katja - @Zoldyck.
Previously: in-between.

She had almost forgotten that she had agreed to share a tent for the night, the day's events replaying over and over, a jumbled mess of words, actions, power coiling betwixt her ears and siring a wealth of sensation that pricked her skin and inflated her ribs with every draw of breath — lost in the swath of fire that still sluiced through her body and writhed against the red that floated endlessly along her limbs. Amma noted the towels outside and allowed the symphony of the cliffs to still her thoughts before she found Katja already there, lost to music just as she had been, and oblivious to everything else around her. She said nothing to announce her arrival, rather she noted the belongings she had dropped off earlier that day -- it seemed so far away now -- and shed the outer layers of her clothing carefully, jacket discarded first, and worked her inked fingers through her mass of hair, disentangling the ebony pieces bit by bit, refusing to the break the silence that cast over them both. Soft hums slid through her throat, a similar melody she had conjured earlier, a haunting lyric heightened by the winds yonder that spiraled over water and rock.

Katja looked like she was in an oasis of peace and quiet. The only noise coming from her were her fingers, softly tapping in sync with the drum against her shins. Focussing on the high energy music that was blasting from her earphones helped her forget - or at least ignore - those tumultuous thoughts which had been brought up earlier by her peers. As the song built towards its crescendo, her head bobbing grew more vigorous, culminating in a satisfied smirk that graced her lips as the final notes of her favorite segment played out. But where there should’ve been silence, there was instead noise. There had been the cliffs in the background of course, only able to pierce through her earpieces on rare occasions. But this noise was different. Softer, yet in tune with the howling winds.

Curiosity of this strange new sound got Katja to finally open her eyes. When she did, she was greeted by the sight of someone she honestly should have expected, and the presence of Amma still surprised her. Taken aback by the sight of the tattooed girl, Katja let out a soft curse in Afrikaans under her breath as she tore out her earphones. God se Jesus, Am! The least you could’ve done is tap me on the shoulder to let me know you were here!”

With the initial shock quickly wearing off, Katja realized how she must’ve looked, prompting her to release her legs before shifting into a more conventional seating position. Casting her eyes down on the ground, she let out a soft sigh before addressing the other girl. “Afterall, now I missed out on most of your performance.” Katja said with playful disappointment, that familiar grin spreading across her face.

Amma stilled in her ministrations after working a particular knot free from those chaotic strands of hair, her eyes sliding over her shoulder capped in mostly black ink of an abstract series of lines that formed an intricate knot. Those lilting notes tapered off quietly, followed by a wealth of silence as she gazed on, a series of flickering hues shimmering within her stare and a weighted depth igniting the impact to a singular thing: detachment. It sloped along every limb and cumbersome lift as she seemed lost within the toils of her mind, a previous conversation, a previous occurrence, another time looming yonder into the night.

"Performance..." She whispers, "Right." A panning glance down to her palms then, fingers arched and flexed, tremors coursing through flesh and bone, her rings painful against the scars lined through her gestures as she slowly plucked them off - one by one. Coils of red slid and sluggishly warped around her, muted flashes of silver through the strands of hair and lash.

"Performance," Amma mutters once more, a vicious smile reigning over her lax features. “If one could call it that.”

Katja directed her eyes up at the black haired woman as she silently took her rings off. She saw how the tiny red arcs seemed to project from her hand towards the rings, as if her body did not want to part with the metallic bands. But while she saw Amma, she did not truly register her. Not the details that should’ve been obvious to an observer. Instead, as the silence seemed deafening, Katja’s mind was racing. She could've sworn that Amma was ignoring her, if not for the richly decorated girl's soft echoing the last word Katja uttered. To the South African this implied that it wasn't out of malice or even annoyance that the former Foundation scion hadn't addressed her initially. Still hadn't directly addressed her, in fact. No, it seemed worse to her.

It signified indifference.

The tall blonde's smile faltered slightly as that stinging realization hit. Her mind immediately flashed back to the beach the day before and how she thought she had finally made a breakthrough with the French girl. To earlier in the day, when she accepted her offer to share a tent for the night. What had changed since then? Had she messed up somehow, like with Rory earlier?

With doubt creeping into her thoughts, Katja looked up at a pale face and beheld a wicked smirk. Any other time, any other day, she’d chalk that grin up to Amma being Amma. But somehow, it felt different this time.

Katja next spoke uncharacteristically softly to Amma, almost meekly so. Her icy blue eyes staring up in confusion at that flickering gaze. “Did I say something wrong?”

"What?" Amma snaps back suddenly, a vibrating timbre annunciated with her usual measure, eyes slicing through the cape of her lashes bidden down low, a slow, churning coil of scarlet rising up and up, flush and pulsating till it corded tight around her throat.

"Wrong? Hah, is that what it is? Wrong?" A laugh snakes like a whip snapped forth, short and quick. The sort of bite and breadth of sound that hissed over the pout of her lip as she turned, gave her back to her and began digging through her belongings. Black and yellow accents, mocking ochre tones that seemed hideous against the pallor of her skin, her ink-emblazoned canvas of scars entirely too loud and too much. "No, Katja." Amma finally acknowledges her, arms crossed, nails scraping over her ribs as she lifts her blouse up and over, scars aligned on the lower half of her spine rippling silver. Liken to skeletal figments sired over her flesh, digging ivory claws into every link of bone and nerve.

"Though, if you do have something to say, then speak. Everyone else has. What's one more speculated whisper for the night."

Amma fits a loose tee-shirt over her body and finally feels those dregs of exhaustion pulling away at her limbs, peculiar still the low resonation of HZEs compounded through her entire being. Almost as if banked, scalding coals lie just there, wreathed in red and silver. She turns, arms crossed, and settles down onto her cot, gaze cutting and finally landing on Katja completely.

Katja blinked at Amma’s unexpected snap. Her mind instantly came back to focus on the here and now. Her eyes slowly widened as she endured a sudden tirade against her. It wasn’t due to fear, mind you. No, it was a genuine case of disorientation on Katja’s part as to why Amma suddenly exploded at her like this.

And if that wasn’t enough to send Katja’s mind into a state of turmoil, then Amma exposing her back to her most certainly would. The blonde’s eyes slowly gazed up the spine of the other girl. Where she had initially expected to be greeted by more tattoos she was instead met by a plethora of scars and mutilations. So many that she didn’t even begin to count the marks on her back. And even if she wanted to, she didn’t get the chance as Amma put a shirt over her body before – finally – turning to face her, clearly expecting a reply from her.

“Speculated whisper…?” She repeated in an incredulous muttering. The meekness from mere moments ago had completely faded away. Instead, there was legitimate confusion spread on her features, with a slight hint of indignation starting to burn in those icy eyes of hers.

“What are you even talking about, Am?” There was a genuine look of bewilderment on her face as she spoke, her speech regaining more strength with every syllable she uttered. “I have no idea what you are talking about!”

Her nostrils flared as the implications and accusations finally started to register to her. She had genuinely no idea what Amma was going on about, but she could not tolerate being treated like this. Especially not from someone she considered a friend.

“I would never, ever, talk behind your back, Am. The volume of her voice increased as she became more aggravated by the implications laid out against her. “I swear, if I ever had a problem with you, I’d tell it straight to your face.”

“Only cowards whisper about someone when they think they’re outside of earshot.” Katja’s pupils narrowed as she looked directly into Amma’s eyes, a look of ferocity within them that only genuine outrage could produce. With her fists balled on her lap, she exhaled sharply through her nose before she spoke again in a low rumbling growl of barely concealed anger. “Tell me, Amma,” tilting her head slightly, Katja uttered the girl’s full name, something she had not done since after the first week they had met, “do I strike you as a coward?”

“Do you really think so little of me?”

"Does it matter? You're in Blackjack, they're all in Blackjack. Even Firebird whispers about it. Everyone spoke about it like a great sin, even he looked so distraught about it." Black nails spindle webs of hated carmine and silver, coiling betwixt the air rife with her words, her name -- it's not her name though, it never was -- brandished like a weapon to strike against her, poised to maim. Fury and rage simultaneously reach deep, it punctures and bleeds through; it is sopping wet pleas against a frigid wall of obsidian; it is the christening of a long, forsaken entity that dons a crown laden with ash. A burden of the monarch both wretched and cruel.

"Was it so wrong that Lorcán and I went into the forest together, is it so wrong that even for one second, I was a normal woman? I know they want the monster, the beast, this creature."

Amma Cahors pitched open that gate of her soul once more, the quake of her power bidden on high, a wave of tumultuous crimson cresting over each shoulder like a great offender of old. She is a symphony of nihilism that accompanies the pitched cries that roll away from the Howling Cliffs, her waking world defiled by nightmares that galloped through her embodiment, the flames she had entwined with prior caressing over the mane of black hair and down her splayed arms, hands clenched and bleeding slick smiles of malice.

"It's funny, he spoke like we were friends too. But we are not friends."

That admission reigns in the vortex of power slowly, carefully, sluggish gestures carving one hand through her hair to fasten her leagues of control. Amma draws in a shuddering breath, sparks and fissures lancing down her body and up across her expression, puncturing through her skin like rabid vipers.
&

I want to write something with so much dread and angst that I need to seek therapy.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Location: Southern Plateau - Pacific Royal Campus
Welcome Home #1.090: in-between.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Interaction(s): gil. - @Roman lorcán. - @Lord Wraith
Previously: shameless.

Once more, Amma Cahors is confronted with the mundane: it is simplicity compounded by tradition and the methods of heritage she does not know, something bleak and foreign to her all the same. She has always been considered an outsider, the unknown, the enemy - if she were to submit herself to the crude observations of her peers, they'd herald her as the devil and be done with it. The whispered speculations cloaked her in refinement, the tacking stares crowning her the sinner - Amma would be that creature of infamy if they so wished it - the one who bedeviled the man who looked at her even now with those eyes. Oh, but he was hardly innocent, her gaze of intensity foretold such an acclaim: a christening of what she now knew lurked within the depths of those vermillion glares narrowed in her direction. Potential. He was aware of her now, and she of him — the mouth of the wolf and the eyes of the lamb.

She recalls once, many years ago, the tale of a lord's favored creation that plummeted from on high, suspended in woe and hate and misunderstood inclinations. The one that was illuminated as a paragon of blasphemy and a netherworld of darkness and hate and death. Amma was the champion of such a narrative, sympathetic to a forsaken subject that sought only to love and to be loved in return. Rejected by fate and the corruption of destiny that compiled rage and depravity, the dregs of longing spent on desires unknown and unsought. She knows she is selfish, she knows she is vain and stricken with sins of wrath and greed and lust.

She knows and does not care.
So, why did she care that Lorcán looked like a crushed dog?

Eyes averted, head downcast, lashes fanned over those molten depths; everything about him projected a shameful boy. The man who had spirited her away into the forest was traded for this guilt-laden character who hid behind the mortification of his actions. And what, she brooded over, did it matter that he had done what he wanted rather than what was expected? A year was maybe all Amma had to glean from his impression, but she was an intellectual creature, and beneath the exterior of charm and ignorance was something far more compelling yet completely contained.

She wonders if she can get him to break.

When Jim O'Neil makes his appearance, Amma is peculiarly quiet, and observant, hearing all that he isn't saying in securing the remnants of a future for those gathered. She can't help but think, what did he barter with The Foundation, what was the currency demanded and who would be forced to pay that ultimate price? She knows what happens to those who cannot fulfill the demands of Nakamura Yoshi and all those beneath him. The many faces she has seen and all the faces that still canter through her nightmares unbound and unchecked. Her gaze finds another in the distance, familiarity alighted there, but little else. Yes, she thinks, you see it too.

Amma performs, as is often her want when the eyes of her peers and enemies fall upon her at the announcement. When they look and study and try to decipher her exploits all the while she ponders: I am the monster you all want, the answer to all the wrongs and all the things lost, I am the creature you fear and the one you envy - I am me. I am The Foundation. Amma knows, deep within, that freedom was an illusion when graced with power and the most powerful were the ones often wrapped in eternal chains lain thick and cumbersome. When one was bound by such restraint it created something of little qualms and reflection, yes, it bred and sired selfish indulgence and an insatiable want of life. Amma was such a being who wanted to live and did so unforgivingly.

If there had been a line before, a fissure now embedded itself with jagged edges and pockets shadowed with mistrust. While loneliness did not paint her world in a monochromatic blight, Amma still felt the leagues of avoidance from the entirety of Blackjack. It was a profound chasm with such fragile constructs that threaded her to the unknown rejoinder of why she was here, and why them. Was such a placement randomized when compared to other teams, much like the group that joined their ranks for the evening. Oh, if only they knew, she thinks. But they'd never ask, Lorcán came close. But even his inquires had fallen short.

Amma's thoughts crest and fall as she mindlessly cycles through the motions: piling her plate with food and fetching herself a beverage. She hesitates, briefly, for the last time she had joined her teammates around a fire she had spoken the truth and heralded their faults and fear carelessly. What's more, Lorcán refused to look at her again and within the pit of her belly previously toiling with warmth and need, something else began to fester.

Was it misplaced anger? Was it something far seedier and more manipulative? Was it her tumultuous power turning traitor in her blood and causing her eyes to gleam like floes in a frozen sea?

Who knew a simple foray into the forest could sire such disdain?

Amma reclines to her seat nearby, close yet far, refusing to flit to the edges, and dines with a sense of graceful detachment. Her eyes spear through the flame, watching the sparks and ribbons of scarlet through half-lidded measures as she considers the night to come. Sleep seems like a far-fetched concept, even with the use of her powers in such quantities, she does not feel fatigued in the slightest. She was tempted to retreat to the forest where everything had been far simpler, more primal and raw, but so distant and so far from the world, she knew she could destroy that clearing and feel more at peace for it. Chaos could take reign and swallow the world for all that it lacked.

Alas, Amma picks away at her meal, her appetite deserving of something far more filling.

With a scoff that eventually whispered into a sigh, she finished what she could before disposing of the remains where proper and downing the Hyper-Aid nearly in one go, her fingers grazing over the pout of her lip to wipe away any excess. Amma reaches into the pocket of her jacket next to pluck the clove smokes tucked away for such an occasion, wrapped in black and vaguely sweet, with an attractive incense that feathers away from her lips with every exhale. She balances one on her lower lip and finds her lighter easily enough, however --

She notices him chatting away, seemingly mollified by the validation of his peers. Amma smooths black tresses behind her pierced ears, raking through the mass, and intercepts Lorcán at that moment. A small breadth of her shoulder against his and a fanning lash that shadows over the frigid glance she spares him. A delicate smirk curls over the fullness of her mouth, parting just so, and she said:

"Do you feel better now?"

She doesn't wait for an answer there, she tells herself she doesn't care.
She tells herself that over and over and walks away.

While the Howling Cliffs serenade her name, and to them she will answer, Amma glances around and pauses, her head canted to one side, and hums thoughtfully away into her throat before approaching Gil next. She thinks they are similar: just flitting shadows in the gloom, there and then not and muttered as once-upon-a-times. He had joined Blackjack the year prior, just as she had, and rarely have they spoken but small exchanges in passing. However, as everyone else was engaged in their conversations, Amma offered little more than a dignified sigh and took the empty seat beside their reigning celebrity who was cloaked as an enigma just as she was. Everyone else could skirt the edges of her impression, sure, it was fine -- didn't mean she always had to either.

"Hey there. Got a light?"
I will always preach communication and intention.

You can have the best narrative, the most thought-out cast, the most detailed setting and lore and characters.
It'll fall flat if you don't keep in touch with your players. People like to talk, people want to get to know their GM. If you're not engaged in the telling, then why should they be?

The hardest part of running a game, from my personal experience, is the intent of your setting and the plot. When do you drive it forward and when do you allow player influences? Too often will you intend for a linear story and it becomes lost to sandbox elements; suddenly you're stuck writing the same day and it drags on for far too long and now you ask - what else is there?

Players will be incredibly engaging in the beginning, they'll make the CS, they'll build relationships with other characters, and they'll hype it up endlessly.

Then they disappear. The first month is the most telling of who is in for the long haul and who is just there for the process of creating the character. Often all inspiration and thought goes into the CS and fizzles out too quickly.

Have the objective of your narrative already plotted out -- chapters, episodes, etc. It doesn't have to be written out from beginning to end, but I suggest having little blurbs or concepts written to yourself for reference.

You don't need the fanciest interest check or ooc, but players like looking at aesthetically pleasing things. Details matter.

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Location: Southern Plateau - Pacific Royal Campus
Welcome Home #1.079: shameless.
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Interaction(s): lorcán roth. - @Lord Wraith & rory tyler. - @webboysurf
Previously: in your heart.

He bid that she go first, and it had taken nearly a full minute to realize exactly why, and within her eyes aglow in spectral remnants of blue, Amma could not deny the telltale flush of her cheeks as she looked down. The parting of her lips, the heat that bloomed in her belly that was not entirely the fault of the flux of power that pricked her skin, the hesitation she felt in leaving Lorcán to his whims.

What would happen if she stayed? What would happen if their powers had merged for just a second longer? What would happen if she had been the creature that once took all and gave everything with breathless sighs and moans and cries of lust and greed?

But --

Amma had risen, so slowly and had left, just like that.

Taking the scenic route back seemed wise.

Her powers had only been intended and meant for one purpose: destruction. The type that rendered reality to ash, the type that had marred her dreams and waking world in tides of crimson and black, tainted was a word that had once been leashed around her throat. Power was a raw, primal force that corded her bones and blood and was illustrated in the whips of red and silver and plumes of obsidian that arose around her, swept through the air, and forced her chest to rise with the taste of death on her tongue. With Lorcán though, it had been different, it had been something powerful but there had been warmth and life that wove through the fringes of her chaos and amplified it to something - well, more. She shuddered at the loss, looked down at her hands, and could see the sluggish crawl of her power that refused to sink beneath her flesh or dissipate. Such was a common thing, as Amma was so deeply entwined with the HZEs within herself and her outer world that it was constantly in a degree of inundation like a rushing river that could not be tamed. Like the ocean that possessed endless depths and endless darkness.

Amma's breath came in a harsh gasp. To contain herself was a struggle, and it reminded her of a time she had been lain to a slab of metal and shot through endlessly with something that turned her power to one of cruelty and damnation, something that had ended --

NO.

Her arms curled around her middle as she shuttered her mind from those memories, the roar and whispers betwixt her ears going silent, for a just moment, as her teeth sliced into the pout of her lip and held. She tasted blood, but within the coppery taste: she also tasted temperance and life and the illusion of peace that held her fast and fastened her to reality.

That euphoric feeling that bloomed from her heart was addicting all in its own and Amma decided then and there that she wanted to feel it again. And again.
But would he want the same?

She remembers around the fire, as she sat across from them, the pretty redhead nestled against his shoulder. The picture of home, of peace, the couple of innocence. The two that framed this illusion of serenity now shot through with a vicious strike of scarlet.

Did she feel bad? No.
However, it did not mean that Lorcán wasn't marked with shame or guilt, but if such had been true, would he have taken her in his arms then and swept them away to a place to call their own?

Amma glanced over her shoulder, some feet away -- but he was already gone.

Her walk back to the field had been a slow meander marked by the strikes of red that fizzled away from her shoulders, time was irrelevant at this moment as others continued to work, seemingly picking up the slack they had left behind. Multiple pairs of eyes flocked to her immediately, distrust simmered there, banked behind distaste and some fringed in hate. Amma held herself high, gaze critical and fanned by her lashes as she dipped her chin, a silent challenge emanating from her posture as she flicked her wrist and allowed the manifest of red to curl within her palm. Some relinquished their glares immediately, others tensed, dropped their work, and faced her completely, but it lasted for only a few seconds as they realized she had returned after a certain Blackjack member.

Everything was slowly returning to normal - if there could ever be such a thing.

Amma released the tension that seized her muscles in a vice and made to return to her work, only for Lorcán and Rory to be surrounded by their own sphere of emotional strain. She caught some of the words exchanged and the efforts made to ease the sting of their sudden departure. Her eyes collided with the blue stare of one Rory Tyler and within those windows often alighted in exuberance, Amma saw the suspicion that manipulated that glare into one of warning. Carefully, she slid her eyes towards Lorcán, and through every plane of muscle, and flesh, she marked him with each sweep of her lashes before she slid that gaze back toward Rory. In much the same flourish, she tacked the steady glow of her regard down his figure and back up, a slow smile slid to punctuate each cheek, spread wide and marking where her teeth had previously bit into her lower lip. Familiar. Possessive.

She said nothing, for no words were needed before Amma made to grab the jacket she left behind and slid it on in deliberate slowness, making little effort to allow them privacy before she hefted a respectful amount of metal bars into her arms and moved some distance away, making sure to grab her own copy of blueprints along the way.

In no time at all, without much thought, she measured only once and sliced through nearly every single one with a drone of power that even scoured the very ground like the claw marks of a beast.
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Location: Southern Plateau - Dundas Island, Pacific Ocean
Welcome Home #1.076: in your heart.
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Interaction(s): @Lord Wraith - Lorcán Roth
Previously: I Want to Reconcile the Violence

It’s not something she wants to talk about, not while she watches him work with a sort of ease she envies and admires. Amma looks down at her own hands, tracing over scars muddied under lines of black and grey, the most delicate of work she commissioned, to smother those reminders. The harmonizing quality with which he works is something of a marvel all on its own, almost natural with minuscule concentration to harness those HZEs that were constantly abuzz around her, bending to her whims and spewing esoteric whips of power even without her consent.

"Destroy... Right."

Her fingers curl inward, nails scraping, bones cracking with plumes of red billowing forth like a crimson miasma. The air that is rife with manipulated heat beckons to her own, the acceleration of temperature reminiscent of the explosions she is capable of. Amma peels her jacket from her shoulders, finding it suddenly stifling, and carelessly tosses it aside to be retrieved later. She inhaled softly, so it wasn't a nickname, but an appellation befitting to all dames, somehow that made her feel lesser, but the admission was lost amongst the roars abound through her ears as she performed a series of stretches -- almost stalling.

"They're not wrong," Amma begins, slowly, mimicking his preparations and reaching for a piece of metal. "It's all grey, black and white." She measures once, twice, three times before she concentrates on the piece in her hand, laying it flat to caress her palm against the cold surface. "The dressings didn't so much as matter, as much as what was within those sterile halls." Crackling whips of energy spiral down, the HZEs surrounding her gestures alive in licks of scarlet and silver, fissuring into a line that Amma directs with a slight wince over her features.

"Torres values power, individuality, and the willingness to use that power." The metal snaps suddenly at her mention, the blue of her eyes lightened to almost silver, like the frothing waves of the ocean spiraling to and fro as she sets her pieces aside and reaches for another. She checks the plans next and says: "At least to their benefit. And that of the Foundation Force."

"I hated every second." The admission is sudden and illustrated in the vortex of red in her grasp, coiling wisps reaching forward, infecting the ground at their feet until they prod and dig and snap around another piece of metal and shatter it into various pieces intended for their purpose. "And while that may be so, I also know I wouldn't... be what I am now. I guess I owe them that much." The words are harsh and biting, curling around her teeth and lips that drop into a frown.

“Sounds like a total bumm-” Lorcán started, pausing, “No, it actually just sucks. I hate that. I’m sorry.” He muttered, kicking the dirt at his feet while haphazardly tossing his current piece of steel aside.

“You’ve never gotten to just use your powers for fun have you?” He asked, knowing the answer without her answering.

“I wish they weren't here.” The plasma blade surrounding his hand flickered to a blue flame before crackles of lightning were snuffed out by a closed hand.

“Slag.” He snapped, “This Foundation stuff already had me whelmed, but knowing this is the kind of stuff they do.”

He looked around before smiling at Amma.

“First lesson in fun, never be afraid to seize an opportunity for it. They have Hypes who can shape this stuff with their mind. Why don't we blow this off? I’m not getting a degree anyways,”

A piece of cold steel breaks apart in her hand, unbidden sparks flying away from her gestures.
"I'm -" the words fail to fly from her lips, a soft look of confusion crossing over her face. In what situation did one require or desire an apology? Would it prove anything beyond the hopeless situation and circumstance; the very occurrences she had warned them about carelessly and harshly the night before? To speculate the future and then to be proven right still sired breadths of rage through her body which she struggled to dispel even now.

She wasn't the only one affected.

"Fun," Amma tests the word on her tongue. "With, or without a degree. You'd still be stuck here, you know." She saw little point in feigning to his emotional state. "Might as well make it worthwhile, make a point. A mark." Amma shakes out her hands, silver and red sinking beneath her inked flesh and briefly highlighting the coils of snakes along her forearms. "Seize the opportunity. And make them regret it."

"In the end, that degree would've been a piece of paper." She supposed then, that it mattered not if they completed this current task or no. Amma stepped closer then, arms crossed over the other with her nails poised against the crook of either arm.

"Everything hinges on your actions and what you decide to make of them."

In hindsight, later perhaps, Amma will wonder what and why she was receptive to his words, every feature and display of power, every flicker of his molten eyes that she can’t help but capture with the depths of her own. She’ll wonder why she encroached that yawning chasm she kept around herself, why that distance shrunk just so then and there, as if a bridge had been laid to cross the void of her very soul.

“They can try and keep me on this rock.” Lorcán smiled, his hand dipped into his pocket. The warm pulse of Jonas's ‘charm’ vibrated against his palm.

“But I think I’ll find a way to make it out.”

Suddenly Lorcán scooped Amma up in his arms. It was only after he was already holding her that he realized he would never have had the courage to spontaneously do this to Aurora. Focusing on the ambient HZEs around them, Lorcán pushed off the ground, an explosion of flame beneath then, his own shield of energy extending to Amma in his arms as they launched into the air.

Clearing both the construction site and Blackjack’s campsite, they begin their descent on a pillow of hot air before Lorcán’s feet touched firm ground again. With a smile, he took a few running steps forward before jumping again with a rocket thrust of boost.

Three more jumps and Lorcán had successfully cleared the plateau and carried his new friend to the forest that separated the plateau from the campus. Setting Amma back on her own feet, Lorcán motioned for her to follow him as he entered the thick bush.

“So what have you always wanted to try, brah? You want to like cut down a tree? We can basically do whatever we want in here. No one can see us from the plateau or the campus. Couple of years ago, bunch of groms totally got busted in here for a dueling club.” He shook his head while continuing to speak.

“Kooks were just blasting each other till they were wiped out and pulled under.”

He was not what she expected and with her arms cinched around his neck as they suddenly were, Amma could only marvel at the rush of wind and flame that propelled them up - and up. Being at such a height elicited a gasp that rushed away from her as Lorcán ran on, the strength of his body cradled around her figure not going unnoticed and neither was the soft breath of a laugh that came after their second leap. It was a sort of rush that simmered away betwixt her ribs as she found her footing thereafter, her exhale swift and near breathless as she followed through the browse.

"More secrets," she mused aloud, taking the initiative to explore their surroundings, separated from the world, a hidden expanse of endless forest without the eyes of those who still saw fit to chain her. Contain and use. Where none can see. She tilts her head slowly, a grin curving against her lips at his words, she glances back towards Lorcán and keeps her stare pinned there.

That well and void pitched within, a baying call that rose from the depths of her power and sounded out in a low drone that vibrated the very ground beneath her feet. Amma slowly stretched out every piece of herself, as if her heart suddenly yawned open along with the fractured remains of her soul that glimmered black and red and smudged grey at the edges. Allowing that eternal containment and barrier to fall away, for just a moment, as the HZEs within a thirty-three-foot radius came alive in whipping lines of scarlet and silver, almost serpentine in grace until they dug themselves into the earth, and burrowed true and deep.

What did she always want to try?

Amma felt the quakes from below, fighting to control the hissing chords of her power demanding subjugation, and slowly expanded those throes of dominance until threads of crimson lit up every follicle of grass and dirt and rock - until a tree only a few feet away from him suddenly too was lit from within. It took only a thought, maybe a breath before it slowly began to fall apart, bark and leaves and branches and all. Fissures through the earth spread out towards where Lorcán stood as well, a soft challenge in the form of a singular strike.

“Did you bite your thumb at me?” Lorcán replied amused by Amma’s choice. He was anticipating perhaps carving a tree stump into a bear or the Venus de Milo.

“Sure, brah, we can throw down.” He replied before cracking his neck while bouncing on the balls of his feet.

“Just give me a second.”

Taking his shirt off, Lorcán folded it and placed it aside and quickly slid out of his shoes before spinning around on his heel. A boosted jump led to a kick that launched a small ball of fire from his foot towards Amma’s direction.

She waited until the last moment, the sphere of fire coming closer and closer until Amma simply stepped aside, allowing chunks of wood she had severed to receive the blow instead. She cannot help the laughter then, something true that punches straight from her belly, something she curls in on and attempts to smother beneath her fingers. Her eyes dance at the revealed expanse of bronze skin, tracing over every displayed inch of muscle.

"Couldn't help myself. Decent reflexes, though." She confesses and drops to her knees on the grass, concentration furrowing her brow as the tendrils of her power spiral up and out, until she curls her palms around them, cradling the energy within her grasp with a sort of reverence. It hums and spits like a rabid sort of creature barely contained by her touch.

"Here, try and aim your heat at it. I want to see something." Something she felt last night in the core of a flickering flame. "Unless you'd rather go blow for blow, to which I'll say - you will lose." The sphere struggling against her fingers seemed to wail in response, a haunting note of the arcane that was heralded as something otherworldly.

Lorcán hesitated for a moment, he had nothing to gain by going toe to toe with Amma and honestly sparring was probably the furthest from his personal idea of fun.

Matching her posture, Lorcán knelt in front of her and reached out. Igniting the air within the sphere as he felt the feedback of Amma’s own abilities begin to crawl over his skin, the vibrations reaching through and traveling his body. Silver and red alternatively glowed orange and blue as their abilities meshed.

It was an electric feeling. The power of two Hyperhumans coursing like an active current through his body was elevating. They of course had taught students in the wake of Hyperion how to bend HZEs against one another, essentially blocking the abilities of another. But they had also taught the students that when two or more Hyperhumans were in sync they could lend or boost the abilities of another.

This was still different.

Lorcán closed his eyes, reaching out through his abilities, he could feel Amma. He could feel all of her and he was sure she could feel him. Tendrils weaved their way through him, weaving along the nervous system and neural pathways. Exploding fireworks of endorphins and serotonin.

“There it is,” she breathed, almost as an afterthought, eyes suspended in a crystalline glow that speared through her lashes even as her eyes drifted shut. "I thought," Amma continued, her voice dropping to a near whisper as pure sensation ignited through the entirety of her being. Through skin and pores and every follicle of nerve, down to the very marrow of her bones that ticks up every notch of her spine. Within and without. "I felt something in the fire last night, a small piece of flame; a small little flicker even after I left."

She felt the sphere within her grasp beginning to pulsate in tandem with her beating heart, the sphere of influence that surrounded them also becoming lost within a quivering tempo. Amma felt Lorcán; felt every facet of his power, felt the coiling ambiance of HZEs that flocked to them and immediately heated in response. She felt her power curl and sweep through his own, conjoining as a singular construct of pure and raw origin that immediately swelled and grew and grew until she could barely contain it. It was a revelation that Amma discovered in the merging of their differing strengths: it was a sort of intimacy that she had never known. Not like this. Never like this.

And within that divulgence, she couldn't help the abundance of 'Whys' that speared through her lobe then and there. For everyone else was scared of her, some terrified, some wary, and some that barely acknowledged her. She was the unknown. She was the void. So why did he not balk or run or scorn her? Why? Was it displaced chivalry; or was he the knight and she the dragon? Amma wants to ask, but a small part of her wonders if she is ready for those answers.

Why did she even care?

With a gasp, their power pistoled from the cage of her palms and twined up both of her arms, eliciting a sort of euphoric expression that curled her lips and fluttered her lashes.

And just as quickly as the sensation came, it suddenly went, and it dissipated in glittering showers of red and silver and black sparks as grass and rock too disintegrated as if it had never been. The forest was a secret, a place he had brought her for fun, but she knew Lorcán was a man many were fond of, people flocked to him easily as many flocked to fires for warmth and comfort. The world outside, in this moment, is only so far away.

"I imagine," she almost struggled to say - breathless. "They will come looking for you soon."

“Uh yeah, probably.” Lorcán managed to reply between catching his breath. His entire being was numb, like his essence had been drained and returned.

“Brah, I’m just going to need a sec here.” He added after looking down and realizing that the athletic shorts perhaps could benefit from a compression layer under the outer fabric.

“You’re like free to go on ahead, I’ll catch up.”
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