View Full Version : Impure
04-09-2005, 09:31 PM
Life. You never really realize just how much that four letter word means to you until it's nearly snuffed out. Such a small word, such a huge meaning. My name is Mary Kate McClare-Baines, and I have died.
I remember the entire thing - it replays in my mind like a movie or theatre act; Corban and Halorin, both of them desperately trying to bait the spirit to leave me unharmed - using insults, saying how weak it was to rely on me and my powers. They didn't realize just how serious the spirit's death threats really were. It didn't like being taunted. So it killed me - or so my friends thought. An illusion was cast; I don't know how I managed to make it so realistic, but Corban and Halorin were convinced - and apparently, so was the spirit. I didn't like lying to my friends, but the only way the spirit would have left any of us alone was if it believed me dead; and for total believability, everyone else had to believe I was dead too.
In reality, I managed to crawl to a cave in Perez Park - where I lay, for days, weeks, months; simply building up the energy. I knew that the spirit wouldn't be fooled forever. I had to protect Corban and Leona from that thing. And I did. I killed it. It obviously wasn't quite that simple or easy - but darling, why bore you with the tedious details?
My feet are standing on air, and beneath me are the people who make this world worth living in. They too, can be snuffed out like a candle in a second, but they are not insignificant as their inability to survive might suggest. We need them, we need their faith and kindness to make this city the Paragon that it used to be, a long time ago - further back then I remember.
The ships in Talos Island docks slowly plow their way through the sparkling waters; and as I watch, I can already "see" that one of them will crash on the rocks - and lives will be lost. It will be in the newspapers for days - proclaimed as one of the most devastating disasters Paragon has seen since the Rikti War. And yet I do nothing. It's not my place. I am a hero, the public love me as Comet Woman, but I am not in control of fate - I am but another pawn for its eternal game of chess. Recently, I have found that all too true.
My mind is swimming with thoughts - some good, some bad. My husband, Christopher Baines, the hero Blue Bolt… I haven't seen him in a long time - even for a month before my death I hadn't seen him. I almost think it's a good thing. I'm not sure that I love him anymore - I don't feel anything when I think of him, or hear his name. Does that make me a cruel woman? Perhaps.
Corban. Every time I see him I'm devastated that Leona got him first. He's kind, compassionate, strong and loving - I can't imagine how much it will tear him apart if Leona does actually… die. Chris didn't even find out until two weeks after my "death". How could that happen? Did he not care that I wasn't with him for two weeks? Was it only when he realized that the food wasn't coming in that he went to ask where I was?
And then their Alistair. He was so reliable, loving and caring. Too protective. His feeling of needing to protect his Icons, and his lover was extremely difficult to live with. He was well intentioned, indeed, but sometimes, you just don't want to be protected. And in the end, I broke his heart. I left the Icons to focus on my business - and I left Alistair for something more exciting. I found that in Chris; and when my business was stable enough for me to return to the heroing career some months later - we were wed.
Now when I look back on it, I wonder if it truly was the happiest day of my life - or another bad decision. I wonder if either of us truly wanted this ring on our finger, or if the fear of being alone was enough of a reason for us to be together. I honestly don't know - and right now I just want to rest.
04-09-2005, 09:33 PM
I looked down at the newspaper in my hands. The bold title printed on the top of the front page? "Ship destroyed in Talos Island" "140 dead". It was written just as I had known it would be. How ironic, that when I began my heroing career, my ideals were to prevent all deaths that I possibly could - and yet I still let that ship sail out, despite my knowing of its fate. I myself don’t know how I can live with myself, knowing that information - it's almost like I don't care. In fact, I know I don't. I know because if I cared about anything very much anymore, I would still be wearing my innocent white and gold uniform which seemed so popular with the public at large - instead of this black, far more gothic attire.
The dawn was beginning to lose its gorgeous array of colours, and the pale blue sky began to crawl in to replace them. Most people were still surprised to see me walking around; many of my clients and staff would still come up to me and say, "Mrs. McClare-Baines? What on Earth? I was so sure… I mean… Well…". They were so intent on trying not to say dead, death or died. Sometimes I wish that they would just say it and move on.
I looked up at the billboard above me, pasted onto its metal structure was a poster of my husband. Oh, why couldn't I love him? Everything would be so much simpler - I wish that I could just go home, and sit in his arms, and forget everything. But I can't. We've had some great nights out, wild sex - everything that any fun loving girl would love, but something deep inside me just doesn't want that anymore. I want to be held, and told that everything's okay, I want to know that I have someone by my side all the time, and I want to feel loved.
The single time when I need him most, and Christopher bloody Baines is not here with me.
I can only think of one other time when I've felt this bad. I was just turned twelve, I was innocent, happy, joyful and I didn't have a care in the world when I skipped merrily out into the road. I didn't even hear the truck speeding towards me, I wasn't aware of it at all… until it had killed my best friend. George Beckworth - a twelve-year-old boy with so much bravery and courage that he jumped into the middle of the road and died in my place, the bravest little soldier I have ever and will ever know… and he was killed… just killed… by a drunk driver.
That was the first reason why I became a hero. The second was my Grandmother's death wish - she wanted me to become Comet Woman; she wanted me to take up the name that she had donned in 1939, when the World War first began.
George Beckworth and my Grandmother formed my ideal of protecting all citizens from death. But why bother? George… HIS LIFE WAS JUST ENDED! HE HAD ALL HIS LIFE TO LIVE, AND IT WAS ENDED IN A SECOND. All his hopes and dreams. Just shattered. Obviously our lives are all too insignificant to be saved.
"Mary Kate?" The voice pulled me out of my memories, "Mary Kate? Are you okay?" I opened my eyes and realised that I was now sitting on the corner of an alleyway, with tears streaming down my cheeks. I looked up, it was Leona. She was wearing her beautiful red uniform, and as I looked up I simply broke back into tears. How could I be such a miserable flower to even think about Corban, when this loving, caring woman was already there to be at his side, in sickness and in health. "Mary Kate… I've never seen you like this. Come on, hun, what's wrong?" She said, gently kneeling down and putting her arms around me, and I instantly embraced her.
"I… I… I was remembering… everything…" I said, my head now bowed into her shoulder.
"Okay, it's okay. Come on now, let's get you back home, okay? You can have a rest," I felt so stupid, Corban would never love me with Leona with him. "This is tough, I know. Now, come on, hun. Up you get."
And as Leona led me back home, asking if I wanted to talk about it - I looked at her, and I saw the bravest young boy standing in her place.
04-09-2005, 09:36 PM
Leona. She was just like George. Strong, brave, a great personality, and my best friend. She's always been there for me, when I first joined the Knights Sanctus, during my possession, after my resurrection as it were. I can't think of a single time when she hasn't done everything she can to help me, and everything else around her. And then I think of when I've done the same in return, and I can remember maybe one or two - and then I think of all the times when I have done wrong by her, and I can think of many. Sometimes, she doesn't know about them, and others they've been to her face - but I have to admit that I cannot think of many times when I have returned the kind and loving nature that Leona gives.
It's the same with Chris. I said I loved him, promised him vows, said that I would be with him for better and for worse, in sickness and in health - and yet now… they mean nothing. I've betrayed his trust and his love. The same goes for Alistair, I broke his heart. I'm just like some evil whore, I go through men like magazines, and just throw them away when I'm done with them.
Perhaps that is just the way it was meant to be, perhaps I will never be happy with a man.
I had told Leona what happened in the street. I'd told her about how I felt that my marriage was failing, and I told her about how I felt about my life in general. I also told her something that I hadn't, about these strange pains I'd been having in my stomache, and the sudden feelings of sickness that came and went randomly, and then the fact that I'd been putting on weight steadily. She'd sent me to the doctor, worried about all these different things that were suddenly happening to me - especially after such a traumatic event in my life.
I had sat, waiting for a long time after having seen the doctor. My fear growing every second that I had to wait. My heart beating faster and faster, my head throbbing, my hands beginning to tremble. I looked down, and my eyes blurred for a second. "Mrs. McClare-Baines? I'd like to call you back in, please."
I looked up, the Doctor was standing at the doorway, I didn't like the way she was looking at me.
As I walked into the room, the overwhelming smell of her perfume struck me.
"Doctor, is something wrong?" I asked, confused and upset.
"Well, Mrs. Baines, this is something that I really can't understand," The doctor replied. I was very scared now, "You said that you were possessed by a being of intense psychic energies? And that after this possession you were left lying in a damp cave for several weeks? Well, Mary Kate, usually such conditions would have meant that your baby would have died. But somehow it's managed to survive…"
"B… baby?" I gasped for air. No, this couldn't be happening. There was too much happening in my life now - I couldn't handle this.
"Yes, Mrs. Baines. You're two months pregnant."
04-09-2005, 09:40 PM
I'm so scared… how could this baby have survived my possession? And since it apparently had… what had the spirit been doing to it? Not only this, but Leona and Corban were both dominating my mind. Corban's injury had been worrying everyone recently, but there was something deeper to this. You didn't get injured by one of the most pre-eminent sorcerers in the Circle of Thorns and heal in the space of two weeks. To survive it at all was an amazing feat in itself - but to recover in a mere few weeks was impossible.
Something much, much worse - however - was Leona. She knew she was going to die. I knew she was going to die. Corban knew she was going to die. Her invulnerability was easily on an Omega-Scale, so powerful that she couldn't control it. So strong it was going to consume her. I had promised her that I wouldn't let her die. But she'd told herself so many times that she was going to die that there was nothing I could tell her, nothing I could show her that would make her change her mind. She wanted to finally meet the God she'd praised all her life.
You can't imagine the pain… I've lost one best friend in my life… and now I was about to lose another. I don't like losing people. I don't like losing my friends - and I don't intend to be losing any anytime soon.
I had asked Leona if I could telepathically scan her mind, and try to find out anything. She said she would really rather prefer that I didn't, and that she didn't expect me to find anything she didn't already know about… I was hesitent… but agreed. But I wasn't going to give up, I asked her who she thought would know anything. Anything that would allow me to help her understand her mutation, and the cure for it. She gave me a long list of people, some I knew, most of whom I didn't. But their were two people that were top of my list of suspects. Her parents.
I wish I hadn't asked. It pained Leona. It seemed her parents had always been honest, had always told her things she needed to know. She obviously didn't think they could hold anything from her. But it's usually those that love you the most - that also keep the most secrets.
There was so much going on in my mind. So much I needed to get off of my chest.
I needed to talk to someone. The one person I could trust, the one person who I felt shared a lot of my problems - and the man who I loved very much. Reaching into my pocket for my phone, I flipped the top back and began dialing in the number. The ringing stopped and I could hear background noise on the other side.
04-09-2005, 09:41 PM
I hadn't expected that.
I really hadn't expected that.
Wow... just wow...
Another problem added my list, just perfect. As if my life wasn't confusing enough at the moment, now he's back. My "husband" has just magically turned up. I cannot WAIT to hear this.
Did I mention how much I hadn't expected that? Yes... how bloody inconvenient of life to throw all of this on me now.
"You certainly did look bigger on television didn't you my reptile friend..."
"Easy for you to say, Mary Kate. You're not the one who's gonna be wrestling with that thing." Leona replied, briefly glancing behind at me.
"Hmph. Would you like to swap places? I'd gladly hold that things legs while you push seventy odd civilians with your mind."
"Pfft. Gladly. Thing is gonna hurt. Alot." Leona groaned, whilst rubbing an ache she'd gained from a previous mission.
"The civilians are all making their peace with God."
"Okay - thing came out of some dimensional rift in the air. We've dealt with worse. Best bet is to send it back." Corban said, looking briefly at the monster and then back at the team. "MK, Ben. Remember: Damage Control. Civilians are out of harms way, or calm enough to be getting there. Leona and I'll try to keep it's movement contained."
"I love it when he gets that tone."
"You love it when he does anything, Leona."
"Certain things more than others." Leona grinned.
"MK. Patch me into everyone's minds. I want complete contact with everyone at all times." Corban ordered.
“Ask for the bloody moon, Mr. Archer.”
It still feels strange. Strange to be out on a mission with the Knights again. Its been a long time. Too long.
The thrill of being in danger.
The perfect thing to take my mind off of my personal problems.
“Get ready, all. We’re going in.”
But like all the others. It’s over so quickly.
And then the personal problems flood back and I find myself in the Knights Headquatres with an unwelcome guest.
“Christopher bloody Baines. Where the hell do you think you’ve been?”
04-09-2005, 09:41 PM
~ Several months, heated arguments and marriage councilling sessions later~
What a delightful night out.
The fourteenth of February had never been a significant event to me - but this had been my first Valentines Day with the love of my life.
For the first time in too long, I feel that I can safely say that Christopher Baines is just that.
He's not a pathetic excuse for worm food, he's not a heartless monster. He's my husband. The man I married.
So much has been going on recently. So much I havn't had time to think about.
What a relief to be able to sit in the mansion that Chris and I share on the outskirts of Paragon City. A relaxing swim in the indoor pool.
My baby had been the prominent concern in my life for the past few weeks.
When the spirit had possessed me - I was unsure of what it had planned.
It didn't seem to have an reason behind it's actions. It managed to convince my teammates, however, that it's only purpose was to bring misery and pain - using me to hurt those I love. The spirit was just mad enough for them all to believe such irrational reasoning.
It wasn't until months later - after my "death", and after my return - that I discovered that I was pregnant. It was about a month later that I finally began to understand the true purpose of my possession.
The spirit had been monitering me for some time. Watching the way I fight, the way I think, the way I feel. It could sense two lifeforms. One was strong, one was vulnerable. Considering the amount of energy it would need to take possession of my mind, let alone sustain it, and using some degree of common sense - it chose the more vulnerable target for it's plans.
It modified the baby's genes. He would have already been an extreme force to be reckoned with - but for the spirits plans, he would have to be that bit more powerful. An heir to the most spiteful, cruel and decietful being. My baby would be born - and in an instant he would ascend to a higher being, whilst destroying all ties to a possible alternate life.
I wasn't going to let that happen.
Mary Kate McClare-Baines lets nothing stand in her way. Lets no-one interfere with her life.
And so I found a cure.
And my baby was saved.
A long, painful operation. Psychic Surgery is not an easy task.
I told him - Chris - the news last night. He nearly jumped through the roof when I told him he was going to have a boy. We've decided on a name. Max.
"Babe?" Chris' voice shocked me out of my thoughts.
"Hmm? Oh, Chris, darling. Come to join me?" I smiled as he began to walk down the steps into the pool.
"Well, why not. So, Mrs. Baines, how are you feeling?" He asked, wrapping his arms around me.
"Absolutely fabulous, Mr. Baines. Last night definately helped. On many levels." I smiled, kissing him lightly on the cheek.
"And how about my little man?"
"He's even better. I don't know how we'll survive another five months."
"Me too." Chris whispered.
For so long I'd been denying my love for Chris. Pretending that I was truely in love with Corban and another man that I couldn't even remember the name of. But this was the man that I'd married. This was the man I'd bound my life to.
It was time to stop denying myself happiness.
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