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Old 05/07/2010   #58

It was almost odd, after all the flashing lights and explosive heat she’d been exposed to lately. It was almost kind, after the dirty smiles and intentions of the scum in the sewer. It was almost comforting, after the horrors of the nightclub, what with its thumping music assaulting the ears and its pungent smoke assaulting the nose and its strobes and bodies and faces and mirrors and everything everything everything assaulting everything else.
Almost almost almost.

But not quite odd, because the girl was used to darkness and had learned to embrace it a long time ago; not quite kind, because there was an edge of something ominous to it, like the front of a storm cloud.
And definitely not comforting, for the woman who had put Idris Savage in this predicament was shady at best.Woman? Or child? Or thing? She—it?—had never given any sort of indication as to what her true form looked like, but good lord had she looked like a monster anyway. Idris would have shuddered if there had been enough of her to shudder – as it were, she was… floating, almost, upon something invisible and cold. She was barely able to register what cold felt like, so dulled were her nerves. But she remembered what it should feel like, and so with the confused signals her body managed to grab hold of, Idris gathered that this was cold… whatever this was.

But suddenly, it wasn’t cold anymore. No, the temperature was rising all of a sudden and Idris had a sickening jolt of a premonition that whatever was making the heat rise was bad bad bad. She tried to open her eyes, not knowing whether they were already open or not, but it was hard and her body was still sending jumbled signals to her – hot cold hot cold. What was where?
The heat of licking flames was above her.
The cool, familiar feel of solid metal was beneath her.

The Destrillian opened her eyes and beheld something she never wanted to see again.
I recognize this place.
It took her by surprise that she did, for Idris had not seen her house since the day the fire had actually occurred. That day… today…? For some reason it felt like ‘that day’ was supposed to be ‘today,’ although a big part of her told her it wasn’t. It had happened years ago, she told herself, and yet suddenly the small woman wasn’t so sure. What was going on?

“Idris? Where are you?”
The voice, muffled and hoarse from smoke, called out in the hallways and Idris’ mind did something it had never done before. It shut out logic in favour of awful awful awful childish instinct. Here she was, eleven years old, and this was her home, and it was the middle of the night and she was tired and in bed—on the floor?—and there was a fire raging away and this was her home.

“Idris? Where are you?”
“I’m here,” she tried to call back, but instead she only breathed in a lungful of smoke. She coughed it out, feeling increasingly like there was something she should be doing, but she couldn’t figure out what. She just had to get out of there, and find her family. There was plenty of metal on the floor, that would make life easy to escape… wait, wasn’t her floor made of wood? And what did she even mean, metal made life easy?

“Idris? Where are you?”
And the third time’s the charm and Idris Savage called out like the scared little girl she thought she was, for her mother and father and big brother, but there was no reply. The smoke stung her eyes and her fright didn’t help and soon she was crying crying crying there on the floor. Some memory stirred in her brain that you were supposed to stay low while there was a fire, and Idris curled up on the floor.
The moment her cheek hit the cool, soothing metal ground, some strange and painful blast of clarity went through her like the floor had shocked her. The girl started, and then blinked. What was going on here? Why did this feel familiar?


Oh. That’s why.

The ceiling caved, and a team of men resembling the military reconnaissance team of your nightmares came crashing down into her bedroom. That was what really kicked Idris back to where she was supposed to be. Here she was, crying on the floor while people were trying to kidnap her and… and… and…


And take her to Viola.

That’s right. The small woman’s bright grey eyes flashed with sudden realization. This had happened before – this exact scene, playing out in front of her, was what had gone on almost a decade ago. She had been taken by Viola to begin treatment, honing her into a weapon, and her family…

Her family was dead. Not from the fire, ironically, but from circumstances unknown to the woman. They had died while she was at Viola. They had died, which meant that the cries of anguish from somewhere just down the hallway that she could reach if she just tried a little bit, didn’t mean anything. And now Idris knew what was going on here.
You’re trying to pull up my past against me. Well, it won’t do you any good.

“No.” Idris stood up slowly, brushing herself off despite the flames licking around her. This had happened before, which meant it wasn’t happening now. The urge to run to save her family was there, alright, and it was strong, but Idris Savage’s logic was stronger. And so was her cold, sad, resigned determination.
You’re dead. You’re dead you’re dead you’re dead. I’ve already lost you – nice try, woman, she thought viciously, cursing the thing that had done this to her, but you’ll have to try a LOT harder to get me that easy.

The team in front of her, however, with their stun batons pointed straight at her, were going to be a bit more of a problem. Idris closed her eyes, took a deep breath of the air and the smoke and the flames, and ignored the urge to cough horridly. She needed to concentrate. The only safe exit was the door—as safe as you could get in a burning building, anyway. There would be no getting out easy.

A swift glance around the room one last time – maybe to scout for possible openings, maybe because she knew she’d never see her room with this much clarity ever again and she wanted to remember it, burning though it was. And then Idris Savage dropped to the floor, grabbed the metal floor beneath her, and pulled the top layer off, like pulling taffy. It hung liquid from her clenched fist, dripping thick silvery ropes down to the ground, until with a flex and flick of her hands the stuff wound around her forearms in a hard, fluid metal shield. Another flick of her fingers and the metal had whipped out to cover her fingertips in wicked claws, three inches in length and dense as lead.

“You want me so bad?” she said, talking to both the men and to whoever was controlling the freakish flashback. She took a stance incredibly low to the ground, coiled like a viper. She took a preparatory breath for what was about to happen. And with as much malice as she could muster (which was a truly frightening amount, mind,) she snarled through a grim, feral smile:


Disappear with the stars and come back alive.
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