astronema: (Zap)
Astronema ([personal profile] astronema) wrote in [community profile] genessia2016-10-16 10:56 am
Entry tags:

[ action | closed ] and I couldn't stand the person inside me, I turned all the mirrors around

Who: Cole, Astronema
What: Astronema is experiencing a very long version of most of this. Unnaturally long, but she has failing cybernetic parts drilled into her, so. Toss that in with layers and layers of conflicting brainwashing, and we have a very befuddled Astronema. Cole does what Cole does... he helps.
Where: Genessia City
Warnings: (mild) surgical gore

xxxxxxxxxx[ OOC: current appearance is from the end of PRiS. ]

Search, said her instincts. For what? Astronema didn't know. Search, was all she knew, through the garbled static of her mind. And so she did, swaying slightly as she walked, the Wrath Staff lowered at her side. Sometimes, she reached out with her free hand toward something only she could see, her dark green eyes wide and unfocused. Wondering. Gloved fingers would flex, searching, and then her hand lowered again, each time.

Blood marked her path. Just a drip here, a drip there. Drip, drip, drip. Not enough to be dangerous, just a thin rivulet streaming down the side of her face from one of the places the defunct implant had been forcibly drilled into her skull. The cybernetics were half-crumbled, frayed and fried, with the occasional arc of purple energy leaping from wire to wire in a dangerous crackle. Now and then, the same thing happened across her shoulders; down her arms; across her torso. Everywhere the failing cybernetics had been installed.

The Queen of Darkness didn't seem very aware of her surroundings, and occasionally she simply collapsed mid-step like a puppet with its strings cut. Down she'd stay, for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, before lurching back to her feet with a crackle of power and a smear of blood left on the ground.


In one town, Astronema crossed the street in front of a speeding car. She had the reflexes to jump out of the way, swaying for a moment before continuing onward. In another town, this one dark in more ways than one, something leaped out at her, lunging for her throat. The Queen barely spared it a glance, white-hot purple lightning searing it to ash at her feet.

Destroy? Search.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-16 09:38 pm (UTC)(link)
"Who...? I can't- I can't see, it hurts. It hurts- I don't know. Something's wrong, I'm not sure- It's wrong, it hurts, who is-?" Cole's head ached in sympathy or perhaps it was in response to peering into her addled mind. He'd followed the blood trail for a while, picking up something in the distance that desperately needed his help. Her pain, physical and mental, was palpable, even if he hadn't been able to see it as clearly as he did. There was something terribly, terribly wrong. Even he couldn't piece it all together through the pain and damage and intense mental fog.

"You need to rest," he said softly, reaching out to touch her arm lightly. A light touch first, before he pushed his luck to try to support her. She needed his help so badly.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-16 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Cole tilted his head up so his face wasn't hidden by his hat, sad eyes peering out through stringy hair. He kept his hands curled to his chest, waiting for the right time to reach out again. She was weak and the smears she left on the sidewalk made it clear she'd fall again at some point. If he was patient, he could help.

"They're not here," he said, voice low and sad. "You're here. I'm here. You're hurt. Where is he, they left him- I'll kill him, I'll kill him."

Cole gnawed at the inside of his cheek, his hands twitching with the urge to reach for her or fidget. This was an injured predator, one that wouldn't take kindly to sudden movements, even when her mind barely worked.

"You're not on Earth, you're not on a ship. You're in Genessia. Genessia city. It's hurting you, the thing on your head. I'm here, I can help."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-16 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Cole jerked forward with inhuman speed to grab her before she fell. Everything in her mind was so wrong. That thing was crumbling, rotting away, poison and pain. He winced. It hurt, it hurt her and she already hurt so much.

He was beside her now, taking the place of the wall she thought was much closer. She wouldn't like being touched, but it couldn't be helped. He put an arm around her waist to steady her.

"That won't help," he said. "Killing him won't help. You're hurting yourself, now. You need rest, repair, you can rectify the wrong when you can heal. Do you know where you are?"

Focus on that, he willed, hopelessly. Think about where you are, what's happening.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-16 10:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Cole winced, but expected no different. She was dangerous, powerful, and very hurt. It would take more than a rough grip to drive him off.

"I'm Cole," he replied, worried but calm. "I'm here to help you. You're in Genessia. A city, not one you're used to. You're very hurt, let me help you and you can hunt the others later."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-16 11:50 pm (UTC)(link)
"You're seeing things you shouldn't, they hurt, hinder. I can't fix that. There's something there, stuck in place. It's harming your mind." Cybernetic implants were beyond Cole's current understanding. Nova city was still too bright, loud, and busy for him to stand.

"I'm Cole, yes. You are As- Astronema. You are injured, new here. You saw many painful things before you came here and now you need help. If you don't have the loud thing in your head anymore you can heal. Please let me help you." He held on tight, moving with her to try to maintain the illusion she had some control but still keeping her upright.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 12:01 am (UTC)(link)
Cole staggered and caught himself quickly, his concern for Astronema mounting. She was very sick. Almost to the point that he'd consider putting her out of her misery. There was still a lot of life yet, a fire she held in her chest that impressed him. She wouldn't die without a fight, even like this. He wouldn't let her go out, not yet.

"I will," he said softly. "I am, see, right now. You need a healer. You can see a healer, they'll help. I'll stay, you won't be alone. I'm here."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
"Can you walk?" Cole asked, voice bleeding with concern. "I can carry you, it wouldn't be too hard."

The grip around her waist was still firm. She was heavier than he'd expected at first. Was it all the metal inside her or just all the muscle? Alley was heavier than she looked too. Alley, yes, he'd have to send her a message later so she didn't worry. She would understand. He found someone that really needed his help!
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 12:31 am (UTC)(link)
Cole grunted at the sudden weight, stooping quickly to ease them both down. While he could have carried her in his arms, it would be tiring and slow going. Instead he nudged his hat off with his shoulder and carefully moved her around until he could pull her onto his back. His arms looped under her legs, her arms over his shoulders limply, he couldn't well hold his hat now. Oh well. He propped it up on his knee and grabbed the brim with his teeth.

Getting to his feet was trickier, he had to be careful, very careful, lest she slip off to the side and hurt her head. Eventually he managed it and set off for the nearest hospital he remembered. Slowly. If she panicked it would be bad.

"'ang on!" he said through a mouthful of hat.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 01:26 am (UTC)(link)
Cole spoke sparingly on the way to the hospital, low, soft words meant to keep her from panicking or rejecting his help. His stomach clenched whenever his gait stuttered, feeling the pain the sudden movement jerked from her. He wished he'd found her sooner. It would be much better if he had. Spots of blood dribbled onto his shoulder, the sharp, coppery smell spurring him on. His pace was a careful balance of urgency and keeping her steady.


Arriving at the hospital had been chaos. He couldn't make anyone forget he was there so he had to convince them to let him stay. Thankfully 'real' citizens with no family were so common, considering how things worked on this world, that it didn't take much. Cole felt tired even after that and had to struggle not to pick apart the nurse's marital issues. The man didn't like it when he started talking about his wife.

He squished himself against a wall while they worked to stabilize Astronema, scooting this way and that so she could see him if she wanted to.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
Cole winced at the fear and the images in the doctors' heads. There was blood, so much blood. Even if the cybernetics had been installed correctly, there would be a great deal of blood. That they'd basically been shoved in place and Astronema's incredible willpower did the rest, made this all very dangerous.

The spirit had to watch tests and discussions over her health, surgeries, so many things, through the minds of others. None of it was good. His stomach felt sour. He sent Alley a jumbled message that he'd be late, at some point during the wait.

There was relief when doctors settled on magical help. While the risk of the healing magic interfering with Astronema's own, this was still much safer than doing everything manually. He sighed in relief when the decision was made and the man a few chairs down from him gave him a puzzled look. He didn't need Cole's help, so he paid him no mind.

There were so, so many here that did need his help. It was painful, in a way, to sit here and wait for one person while there were so many others. The staff wouldn't let him near the rest or would kick him out for talking to worried friends. They already eyed him with suspicion. He couldn't blame them.

He would have left, she was in safe hands now, but he knew she shouldn't. She didn't want to be alone. She was afraid, mistrusting. He needed to stay and hope the others that needed help would get it.


Eventually he was allowed to sit in her room and wait for her to wake up. The nurse was tired enough to listen to his advice before he left the room.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
Cole scooted his cheap plastic chair closer to her and placed his hands on the side of the bed. He wanted to reach out, touch her untaped hand, but resisted. She was wary, very wary, with good reason. There was more tangled up inside her than he could easily manage and so much of it painfully fresh.

"They're not the only ones that might care," he said carefully. "You wanted me to stay. You've lost so much, what few might care. If it helps, I'm only partially human. but not all human. I'm a spirit. I used to be a demon. That is close I think. I'll stay here."
Edited 2016-10-17 03:15 (UTC)
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 03:42 am (UTC)(link)
"Ecliptor, your... followers." Cole was sure if they cared at all, but she thought about them, so he mentioned it. "They're gone, he's gone. I know. It hurts, it's so fresh, you're trying to hide it but it's there and it hurts. Your brother, he only cared you were human. He didn't want to see what you were, what your father was. But there's other that can care. I care."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 03:51 am (UTC)(link)
Cole pushed himself backwards, his chair rocking dangerously before righting itself. He curled in on himself, as if it would protect him from the suspicion that felt like a blow. With how many gave him that reaction, he shouldn't be surprised anymore, but she should be more tired shouldn't see?

"No one sent me. I'm Cole. I can see things, like that. You were in pain, you needed help, so I came to help you." He ducked his head low, hat hiding his face completely. "I'm not going to hurt you. I'm not going to tell others about it. I- I wanted to talk, help you not hurt so much."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 04:08 am (UTC)(link)
"No, no I'm not!" Cole whined, fearful she'd hurt herself, so soon after all that horrible mess was removed. "I'm not lying, this is what I am. I'm not here to do anything but make sure you're okay. That's all. I am, was, a spirit, Compassion. You're healing now, aren't you? Healing but still hurting, that's why I stayed."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 09:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Cole could see how weak she was, how much effort maintaining this look of calm took. If he was under serious threat, he could be out of the way before she could strike. It wouldn't be difficult for him, in so much better shape than her. What she said, however, made his stomach knot up in fear. Just for a moment, while he recalled the look in the eyes of the mages he killed.

It was scary to be on the other end of those words.

He did as she said, looking up at her through his hair, pale blue eyes wide.

"I am looking, not lying. I'm not lying."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-17 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Cole swallowed hard. This was far riskier than he'd expected.

"Yes. No- yes." He kept eye contact as he spoke, hoping it would convince her of something. "I was a spirit. It is was I can do. When someone needs my help, when they hurt, I can see what makes them hurt. I can see what's tied to that hurt and untangle it."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-18 12:35 am (UTC)(link)
"I expected better of someone who wants to avenge her family," Cole repeated, stumbling over his words to keep pace with the thought. It wasn't often someone deliberately laid the memories that hurt for him. It was much less clouded by other thoughts, this way.

"He was more family to you than the one you were taken from."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-18 01:56 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm sorry. I'd get you a shirt but I can't make the nurses forget. They'd be mad at me. Do you want me to stay?" Cole scooted closer again, the blade at his throat moments before not stopping him from needing to help. He ducked to get his hat and crammed it back onto his head.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-18 02:42 am (UTC)(link)
Cole saw what she didn't say and settled back in his chair, he was here to stay.

"I didn't choose to," he answered. He wasn't sure where she was going with that, she didn't like humans, he could see that. That was a thought he saw a lot.

"I came from the Fade. I came through- came through, there was a human, a mage, starving." His hands fidgeted in his lap, this was never a fun subject. "He died. I became him. I didn't even know that's what happened, at first. I was just... human. I could've been a spirit again, instead but... They wanted me to be more human. So I could grow. Spirits aren't the same as humans or monsters."

The monsters he saw in her mind were like demons but also like humans.
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-19 06:29 pm (UTC)(link)
"They don't hide what they are, they can't." Cole was uncertain what to say in the face of that. Evil was wrong, of course, but so were the 'good' ones in her mind. They left her father to die and wanted to force her to be 'good' too. It stopped being right.

"Evil... gave you more than good did?"
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-20 08:14 pm (UTC)(link)
"It's... not what you think," Cole said quickly, seeing assumptions roll through her mind. "As a spirit but not a spirit, they could bind me, make me attack, hurt. We had a way to make that not work but- but only if I was a spirit. I had to change. If I was more human I would be safe. If I was spirit, I would be safe. It was hard to choose. The Inquisitor chose."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-20 08:59 pm (UTC)(link)
"That's not true," Cole replied, voice soft. "You're human. It's not all that bad. I can learn as a human, spirits don't learn, not the same way."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-20 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
"Humans can be bad, where I'm from. Very bad. But not bad too." Cole carefully avoided the word 'good', she didn't like that word. He shrugged.

"Being human doesn't mean you are like the humans you don't like. There are many kinds."
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[personal profile] hugs_for_nugs 2016-10-20 09:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"You would be happier if you were okay with it." Cole looked down at his hands, fidgeting away in his lap. He was never quite sure what to say when someone didn't want to listen.