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Little Lost Doll, part two

Posted on 2006.08.28 at 04:31
LOCATION: an abandoned tow-... Wait, no. I'm in Brill.
CONDITION: unusual
SOUNDS: Nine Inch Nails - "Eraser"

Brennen jumped back, tripping and taking a tumble back down the steps outside as some of the ceiling of that tower suddenly decided to come crashing down upon her arrival.

What a coincidence, Brennen's agitated thoughts mused suspiciously. She picked herself up off the dirty stairs and brushed off her black dress. She took a few hurried bounds up the steps and the carefully crept back into the tower, stepping around the newly fallen rubble. Brennen neglected to notice that the thin rope around her neck had snapped, causing the small leather pouch attached to it to shake loose after she hit the ground. It remained hidden in the sickly grass as Brennen disappeared once again into the ruined building.

It was dark... darker than usual for all the gloomy but sufficient light pouring into the building. Brennen had seen darker, but... it was as if the shadows were absorbing the light. Brennen shook of the notion, but not without acknowledging that it was, knowing what kind of "person" Maybe was, entirely possible. She could see well enough, though there wasn't much to see. If there was anything salvagable left after the fire, someone must have made off with it. Everything was destroyed.

Brennen drifted silently across the room, trying not to disturb anymore sensitive portions of the building. She had almost passed into the inner room when a glimmer caught the corner of her eye. She turned and focused on the spot, a shimmering speck in the dust and ash on the floor near that corner of the room. She stooped down to examine it, and then carefully picked up the object with her two fingers and examined it closely. It looked like a jewel, no, a stone. A shiny green stone that looked familiar.

"Moonstone?" Brennen whispered a question, looking puzzled at the tiny stone used to contact other members of The Haven. What was this doing here, of all places? Had someone come here before her, and lost it? Where were they...?

Brennen looked around, feeling a cold wind suddenly whiched caused her to shiver. Shiver... that was new. Whatever she felt was unnaturally cold.

And it came from the direction of the inner chamber.

Brennen entered the room in the inner-most part of the tower on the bottom floor. The door had long since burned away, so she could already see that the room was surprisingly empty. Upon entering, however, the feel of the place drastically changed.

Brennen had a feeling as if she had witnessed something horribly grotesque, recklessly hubris, and inconceivably profane just occur all around her. It was a general feeling of disgust, and it was more than just a memory. It was as if, the further she stepped into the room, the more she was right in the middle of some site of despicable heresy, the afterthought of which continued to linger in this place like a restless poultergeist. On the floor was a strangely familiar circle, inlaid with various runes and symbols and more angles and circles within. It was hard to tell what shapes were within the drawn circle, since the floor was scorched and scarred, and much of the symbols were gone.

Brennen made her way to the center of the room, and the circle, and took a look all around her. It was a large room, and there were some bookshelves and equipment shoved against the walls that looked like they weren't suppose to be there. Perhaps moved out of the way to draw this circle? In any case, not much was left of them. Brennen noticed that awful feeling was strongest at this point of the room, and she shivered again. It may not have been a good idea to stand here. Actually, being in this room at all was a bad idea to her, but at least she was satisfied that there was nothing here to find. She turned to leave--

Suddenly, as she turned her gaze to the door from which she came, images began to flood her mind. The room around her began to blur, and in those skewed patches of vision were scenes from the past. Her past. The building, dusty and dark but still sturdy, the furniture, bookshelves, and alchemic equipment intact, the sounds of strange machinery filling her ears, the cold feel of metal shackles around her neck, arms, legs... Brennen started to feel lightheaded, and the room began to spin around her, the old, burned sections being restored before her eyes, but the whole scene so blurred now that the details were only noticed by her recollection of how the room should look.

Then, new memories, as the room began to changed again. Brennen stopped herself, still feeling dizzy, and a bright light overcame her vision, causing her eyes to have to refocus. She was aware, now, by the smells, sounds and sensations now realized as she came out of her strange stupor, that the entire room was on fire.

Brennen clasped her arms around herself, trying to stay as far from the groping flames as she could. As she did so, she realized, strangely, that she had no clothes on, and her entire body was wet with some strange, thin fluid. Brennen was lost in the madness of this scenario, and she began to likewise lose herself in the newly developing memories of it. She was lost, afraid, and she didn't know anything about herself, not even the language she spoke. This had to be...

Brennen shook her head, clearing the dense fog in her mind. It was a memory, only a memory. A memory of how she came to leave this place the first time. The building was burned, and she was left inside, but by some miracle she managed to get free and run out of the tower before it was too late.

Brennen opened her eyes and looked around. The fire was gone, and the same cold, sooty, destroyed room remained. She had made some progress at least, in remembering her past. However, lingering any longer in this room would be a mistake. There was something very bad about it, and the vision she had was far too real to have just been in her mind.

Suddenly, the tower began to rumble. Brennen, already started by her current situation, immediately assumed the worse: the building was about to collapse in on itself. Without leaving time for second thought, she dashed out the doorway into the front room, and made for the exit.

And there, in the trembling archway leading out of the tower, was the dark figure of a man.

And then a load of stone and wood crashed down on the back of Brennen's neck with a *crunch*, sending a sharp pain down her spine and causing her vision to darken and narrow. The last thing in the clear spot of her sight was the dark silhouette of that man, standing there so still, so foreboding, in that entranceway...

Brennen tumbled off the roof of the Gallow's End Tavern, and into a thankfully close-by bush, breaking her fall but tangling her dress in the process. Brennen was jarred by this sudden rush of awareness, as if she were blacking out, and then suddenly awake. As she reached around to pull herself from the bushes and tried to get her bearings, she felt as if she may have been asleep, and then a rush of adrenaline had caused her to wake so quickly.

But wasn't she really in that... Wasn't she in a... Didn't her back hurt?

Brennen shifted her weight around slightly, to check if she had damaged herself. Everything seemed fine; why did she think her back was in pain? She couldn't remember now.

I must have been half asleep and taken a fall off the roof. Really smart. She needed to find some cover before the storm started, she thought as she got up off the ground. Her dress was ripped pretty badly. She had to hold it together or otherwise expose herself, in fact. The bushes had destroyed the fabric more than she thought they should have. Well, anyway, now she REALLY needed to find shelter. The clouds would be rolling overhead at any moment...

Brennen looked up and noticed that, other than the typical fog of the glade, there were no storm clouds in the sky. None at all.

It must have shifted directions, Brennen shrugged, and ran off in the direction of the Undercity. She didn't want to go back into the Gallow's End with Aquenda's body and the others there.

Brennen didn't find out until a day or so later, that Aquenda hadn't been in the inn for over a month and a half...

Something to feel.

Little Lost Doll, part one

Posted on 2006.08.23 at 03:06
LOCATION: somewhere in Tirisfal Glades
CONDITION: unafraid
SOUNDS: VNV Nation - "Forsaken"
Two months ago...

The large tower was uninviting at best. At worst... it was a mess. The whole thing must have been burned, and it must have burned for a long time. It was still standing, but the overall stability of it was questionable.

This had to be it. Even so scarred by flames and practically falling apart, there was no doubt to Brennen that it was familiar. She had been here, so the answers she sought must have also been here.

There was no door. Brennen noted this and wondered if there'd be anything left to find as she stood before the stone arch of the doorway. Whatever wasn't totally burned could have been taken by looters. Nevertheless, simply having found the place after a little more than a week of searching the deeper parts of Tirisfal and the rockier Silverpine forests was reason enough to investigate. This was, after all, the reason she went searching. This was indeed the building she was seeking, the building that appeared from within the cloudiest recesses of her memories while she slept.

This was Maybe's laboratory.

Actually, to call it a laboratory was euphemistic. Dungeon... slaughterhouse... torture chamber... Such words came to mind as better suited to the emotions Brennen felt when she would remember the place. She knew she had been there. She knew Maybe had made her his mind slave, and done things to her... awful things... she could only barely remember, but Maybe had shown her everything when he possessed her the last time. When he was banished to some far-off wherever by Yes's evil book, nearly all those memories disappeared with his presence. But... not everything. Some of those memories came back as dreams. No, as nightmares.

But some of the memories were brought back in a far more horrid fashion, such as inside the Scarlet Monastery's "inquisition room", as some may vulgarly refer to it as. When Brennen saw those torture devices for the first time during a raid of the cemetary wing with Vaien, the memories flooded back with an intensity of force that floored her. She had once been in a place like that, and she could remember the pain...

Unable to suppress those memories of torment she slipped back into that awful past. She could feel the cold metal and splintered wood wrapped about her naked body, hear the sounds of her own screams deafened her in each of those flashbacks, as loud and real as if she were really there. Her screams were interrupted occasionally by choked gasps as a new shock of pain slithered up into her body, and then the sound of vicious, inhuman cackling was audible above clanking chains and the hum of some unfamiliar machinery... The memories all came at her at once, the sensations, the noise, the laughter...

It was Maybe, enjoying her suffering in such a grotesque fashion that Brennen felt more sickened by the memory of him now than the physical torment. How could someone enjoy the pain of another person in such a disturbingly ecstatic fashion? It just didn't make sense in her mind, and trying to rationalize such a heartless degree of sadism only served to sicken Brennen further.

She tried not to think about it all that much. This was mostly easy, except when she slept. At least she could control them a little better when awake... If only she could remember everything, the brief visions would cease to torment her in her weakest moments.

Or she could wind up going completely insane. She was unafraid to take that risk; if one thing was certain, it was that these visions would go away on their own.

Those memories, after all, were patches of something more important: her past. Brennen still could not remember who she was before that day she stumbled naked into Deathknell. She had flashes of memories of her brother, at least... that's how she thought of him. He had been in her mind as well, though she wasn't sure how or why. He had some greater significance, and several things had managed to remind her of odd events in her memory where her brother was present. Zerreissen... Zerreissen Rivers. Rivers... her last name. Yes, he was important. She had a profound connection with him. His memories made her feel good...

And sadly, that was why searching for him and those memories had to wait. Her memories of Maybe have been so intrusive and vivid that she can't ignore them. More importantly, what did it all mean? There was more to it than Maybe's sinister torture. He had done something to her... she had to know what. It could serve to explain her condition, and perhaps help her remember her life before he got to her.

And this wretched, damnable place was where it all occurred. The answers... whatever they were... had to be here.

And as she disappeared into the doorway of that decrepit tower, Brennen had a passing thought, if maybe her cryptic memories had led her to this place intentionally...

Something to feel.
Posted on 2006.07.01 at 18:59
CONDITION: unbalanced
SOUNDS: Negative ions in the atmosphere.
She dropped the glowing jewel into the small leather pouch, and lay the drawstring around her neck. Tucking the pouch into her dress, Brennen stood up from the roof of the Gallow's End tavern, and took one last look over the small town.

The sky was thick with fog, low cumulostratus she inwardly remarked. Counting the intervals between the lightning strikes and the thunderclaps indicated a heavy thunder shower over the village. Brennen decided it would be best to find some cover.

But not here. Not here.

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