No matter how horrific the storm, the skies will always clear eventually.

Moderator: Issy

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Most likely Batten Tower or her apartment at Toujours le Vert


Post by Issy »

Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.

-Marsha Norman
Isuelt DeRomiano
Batten Industries

User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Most likely Batten Tower or her apartment at Toujours le Vert

Re: Dreamcatcher

Post by Issy »

As ever, my thanks to Renna is without measure.


Fire. A burning flame that sent a dark sky a deathly glow of orange, and darkened smog. Tall buildings of stone---almost Greek-like in their architecture were crumbling and bowing low, as if melting beneath a great heat. The streets were broken as many fled---women, children, or most notably, warriors. An Amazonian-like scream of voices that were cut down below an onslaught of dark, armoured figured, spraying hellish high-pitched whined gun fire into their fleeing figures, erupting them into scattered projectiles of purple and white crystalline shards.

There was an odor in the air: char mixed with incense, mixed with blood; and it was stinging Isuelt’s nostrils. The echoes rang in her ears, her hands instinctively raised up to cover them, to shut out the deafening noise. Out of the corner of her eye she saw something on her wrists. Blinking, she took a closer look; there was so much smoke that sentenced her vision to waver. But Isuelt could see the remnants of rope tied around her wrists, singed at the ends, still smoking.

Her eyes blinked against the smoke in the air as she slowly squatted down and tried to figure out where she was. This place was familiar to her. Instead of recognizing it fully by sight, she recognized her surroundings by feeling. She simply knew where she was. The Island of Shadow. She was having that dream again. The one where they were all under attack. But this time something was different, though she couldn't put her finger on it. Isuelt blinked up at the obscure blot in the sky, and although it was dark, she felt that she had to shield her eyes from it.

"When the sky came down..." A whisper came close to her ear. "When the righteous came..." It came as around her, the scenery transformed. The walls about her crumbled away revealing the horror of all those outside---they were cut down, they were shot dead. The walls of a perfect world decayed as the sky cracked and bled. It rained blood. "And they cleansed our sins..." Around Renna stepped, perfect and adorned in a cloak of black. "Have you ever seen death, or Gods? With your own eyes?" Crimson glowing orbs looked down at her. The world around them became a darkened expanse. Nothing beyond them. Just them existing in a terrible beyond. "Hello, Isuelt. I figured we could talk like this, properly."
A great exhale, perhaps it was relief?, left Isuelt’s lips. "Renna....you're here. At last." She hung her head. So many times the line between reality and dream were blurred for Isuelt. Ever since she'd had Renna inside her head and vice versa. She shook her head. "Is this really you?"

"Yes. You saw me at the bar when you talking with Batten." No sooner she had spoken, they were there at the bar, and she was seated right there where she was previously. Unbound. Unharmed. Like it was real. Renna was behind the bar, looking for a drink. "Whiskey?"

The breath left her body as the world around her abruptly shifted again. She caught herself, not knowing if she was dizzy or startled. Possibly both. "N- no...." She shook her head. "Not anymore..." She looked around, remembering well where and when this was. It was so recent. Her dark eyes snapped back to Renna.

"Oh?" Renna looked to her then. She stopped her searching. and moved to the bar, leaning over close. Her smile was genuine. "I missed you..."

Although Isuelt's breathing was more rapid than usual, she had control over it once more. She watched Renna. It was always a game of Russian roulette with her; one never knew what was coming next. Miss her? Truly? Isuelt kept her gaze locked onto Renna's, wondering if this was really her. There were several things that wanted to escape her lips, 'Why are you back?' 'What do you want?' 'Are you in my head?", yet none of them were spoken. Instead she worked to calm herself and look even more intensely at Renna, into her expression, almost as if Isuelt wanted to get inside of that mind just one more time.

"Why am I back?" Renna softly whispered. "What do I want?" She looked aside. "What do you think?"

Isuelt was absolutely puzzled at how Renna could hypnotize her with nothing more than her voice. She hung on every word, softly shaking her head.

A hand slowly curled around Issy's chin, drawing her face closer. "Ask me the fucking question."
"Why are you in my head constantly?" Her voice was a defeated whisper. Isuelt was finally confronting her ghost.

"I changed you didn't I?" She responded softly. "But I didn't think my actions would..." She pulled back. "Do this to you."

"You know, don't you?" Isuelt lowered her brow, her gaze trying to pierce through Renna's spell. "You know where it is, don't you?"

She stood back with a smirk. "I do." She looked to her. "But you? Well. You went through quite the shit, didn't you? I never wanted that. I never wanted you gone from what you love and yet..." Renna glanced aside. "They saw fit otherwise."

"You undid me." She said it quite simply. Ghost or not, Renna's power to climb inside of Isuelt's head was the reason her life was completely different now.

"I never meant it for it to be this way." Renna stared at her hard.

"You killed the me I knew." Isuelt paused for a moment, looking away. Her thoughts, although fuzzy, were coming back now. "I guess it's fitting. Considering I killed you once..."

Renna waved a hand. "Please. What you were doing was... right." She hissed. She then looked to her with an intensity. "What they did to you? Not justified."

"They...they...." She blinked and looked back to Renna. "They cast me out. Exiled me. Court martial. Crimes committed against the Daughters of Scathach..." She spoke as if she were quoting some news report.

Renna slammed her hand down on the bar top. "And now the only reason is gone..." She looked at her, seriously. "Should I wipe it out?"

"The only reason?" Isuelt canted her head. How was it possible that the only place she was ever able to carry on a conversation with Renna had been in her dreams?

"Producing warriors strong enough to even equal me?" She chuckled. "How many of your Sisters have I taken? The location of that Shadow Island of yours? Did it ever occur to any of them I already had it, with... what is it you called her? Lexi?"

Isuelt could have fallen through the floor just then. Her face paled as if all blood had drained from her body. Of course! How could she have been so stupid? Her hysteria where Renna was concerned had always been her handicap. And now? She had confessed to a crime, an egregious crime, that had not had any bearing on....well...anything. Of course, Lexi would have been compromised far before Isuelt was infected with Renna! Isuelt had thrown herself on her proverbial sword for absolutely nothing. Yet, she had still bled to death in front of her Scathachian High Circle, who saw it as a chance to cast out one of their greatest warriors who perhaps was getting too powerful, too full of herself…

"Ah, I think you see." Renna mused.

She gripped onto whatever was closest, and clung to it as if she had been hit in the gut with a moving train. Her life had been turned upside down and she had blamed Renna.... Yet, the only person that had betrayed her was herself.
Shaking her head, whispering to herself "no" over and over as the realization of what she had done wrapped its claws around her brain.

"Before you go blaming yourself..." She gripped Isuelt's hair to break her out of it. "ISUELT!" She slapped her. Isuelt’s teeth rattled, but she looked back to Renna now more present than ever. "Look at me." Renna pointed to her own eyes. "Right here." She smirked. "Look deep. Look true. And tell me the truth."

Isuelt’s mouth parted as she blinked and again turned her full attention onto Renna's face. She looked into her eyes, as if the truth of life, of existence itself, resided there.

"This is no mind-manipulation. All I can do is talk to you and see what you see. And yes, I have always been there. Inside of your head. Watching. Your nightmares? Were always my nightmares. It's an unfortunate side effect for healing you and your..." Renna indicated Isuelt’s stomach. "Well, or my attempts to fix you." She released her, looking at her darkly. "Now the only reason I have not torn that Order stands before me... so to speak, stands, exiled... it's fair game for me. I can ruin it. I can show you ruin. I can show you vengeance and I can show you true evil. A warsong. I can tear it wide open and make it all go away." She stared with a bloodlust in her eyes. A lust Isuelt knew all too well. But this was rage. "You might had cast yourself down on that path. But I can destroy them all... you need, but ask me."

There was a clarity that brightened a small corner of her mind, yet Isuelt used it to cling to. "You would destroy them because they cast me out?" She was beginning to see things clearly; more clearly than even her newfound sobriety afforded. "I....I did it. I finally did it. I ended my life. Illea of the Scathachian Nation is dead...she's gone. By my own hand." She marveled at the naked truth of this. "And now..." She looked down at herself and then back to Renna. "This is a new person. A new me." Something hummed deeply within her and while she would never assume she knew how Renna felt with clones and other interpretations of herself being created, she had to admit that what she was experiencing now was a curiously freeing sensation.

"You need but say the word and they? They're gone." Renna tilted her head. "The only reason they existed is because of you. If you did not exist? Then well, I would had destroyed but... I knew they meant so much to you. But now? Has it fallen down, Isuelt? Do you want me to make it gone? Is it over for them?"

"They will experience an extermination of their own. They will have to deal with the death of their ways. They won't be able to shut out the outside world any longer. They are going to have to face the future instead of hiding in the past. That is enough to send the High Circle into turmoil. That is enough for them. They will change or be destroyed from the inside. The blood circulation shutting off. No more new members means the Order dies out. They will have to open their walls, open their civilization. I'm done keeping their secrets for them." And with that, Isuelt was completely reborn. The butterfly had left the chrysalis.

Renna, stands, shocked. And the look is in her eyes. "Well, well... well. Something tells me Batten would not agree?" She tilted a brow.

"Why? Why would he not? Isn't he an agent of learning, growing, figuring things out? The future? These are things that have frightened the Scathachians for millennia. And now? With what crimes were supposedly done by me? Means they'll have to change. They'll have to adapt. Batten would applaud that. The time for swords and the quiver is over. Antiquated warfare is the losing side."

Renna looked down, then looked to her. "But my way?"

And perhaps Isuelt stood a little taller than she had before. Perhaps she had regained her statuesque aura. "Your way? It's over too quickly isn't it? Making them do this? It's far more painful."

A dark smirk spread across Renna’s face. "I'll tell you what. How about we do this, our way?"

Isuelt felt like she could breathe suddenly. Like she'd been holding her breath for nearly four decades. She raised her chin to listen further to Renna’s words.

"You are correct. I would end them. I would wipe them out. But allow me to suggest this..." She offered a hand towards her. "Use my power. Use my military. Use my technology. Wipe out their out-dated council and replace them new ideas." Renna beamed. "Replace them with you."

"With me?" Isuelt chuckled lightly. "I actually think I'd rather watch them suffer. Flounder about on their own." Her own words shocked her, but they were hers just the same. A complete break with the world that had meant so much to her was possibly the best therapy in the world.

"You are not a monster, Isuelt." She glared.

Isuelt took in a deep breath and let it out; complete catharsis. A smile developed on her lips.

Renna kept her eyes staring. "What, do you want me to do, then, Isuelt?"

"Honestly?" Another deep breath and a wider smile. "Nothing." This was the start of a new Isuelt, could it not have an effect on how she viewed Renna? Her eyes took in the woman before her and she thought for a long moment. "Renna?"

"I will do nothing then." Renna muttered. Somewhat disappointedly. She looked up, frowning. "Yes?"

She parted her lips and it was beat before any words escaped. "Thank you."

She offered out her hands. "As you wish. But I do hate the idea I don't get to show them true suffering. But..."

Isuelt blinked and looked to Renna.

"I am sorry." Renna stared. "I know how it feels like to be abandoned by those you once called family."

She drew a deep breath through her nostrils and regarded Renna for a long moment. It wasn't the first time these two women had ever come to an understanding, some common ground. Isuelt nodded to her slightly, acknowledging Renna. After all, she knew only a small slice of what had made Renna who she was. And that empathy had created a small spark of camaraderie. Who was to say how long the spark would last this time.

The darkness enveloped Renna. Swallowing her and Isuelt was left alone for but a moment. Then? Isuelt woke up. She stretched lightly and rolled over, staring at the wall over her pillow. A dream. Maybe just a dream. Maybe more. She hoped more. For the first time in a long time, Isuelt felt a weight had been lifted from her shoulders and it felt absolutely wonderful.
Isuelt DeRomiano
Batten Industries

User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Most likely Batten Tower or her apartment at Toujours le Vert

Re: Dreamcatcher

Post by Issy »


“Good morning, Nails.” Dr. Jack Adkinson was watching Isuelt exit from the elevator on Sublevel 2 of Batten Tower, like he’d been standing there for hours waiting.

“Good morning.” Isuelt replied after she blinked a few times. Her gaze focused beyond Adkinson’s shoulder to the hallway just behind him. She had never been on any of the subfloors before, although they displayed the same spartan design and modern sensibilities as the rest of Batten Tower. The walls were light gray, almost looking like they were metallic, the floor was a darker gray concrete. Any doors that Isuelt could see from here were sleek and closed in their frames. It was as tidy as it could be, but Isuelt also knew what happened behind most of these doors.

“Follow me,” Adkinson smirked and turned to begin down the hallway. Isuelt walked behind him. “How did your meetings go? I heard you had a few already this morning.”

“Fine. Wordy, but fine.” She grinned.

“Yeah, the up-toppers like to drone on and on.”

“Up-toppers?” Isuelt arched a brow.

Adkinson looked back over his shoulder at her with an arched brow of his own. He knew she was smart enough to understand his meaning, so he needn’t bother explaining himself to her. He continued past one more door and a long stretch of barren hallway before stopping and turning to her. “Some of them are morning people. Me? Not so much. It’s about 11pm for me. I’m hoping to go to bed not long after you’re finished down here.”

“I see,” Isuelt’s lips twitched into a smile and she nodded once. “Well, I will do my best to do my duty and let you go to bed.”

“Your duty, huh?” He turned at the door and looked at her. “That’s how you’re viewing this?” Isuelt paused, thinking that she had definitely said the wrong thing; maybe she had offended him? “Well, I definitely don’t think you’re one of the morning people upstairs who likes to schedule meetings and other bullshit sessions for before noon. So, ‘duty’ is probably what’s bringing you down here at this ungodly hour for sure.” He chuckled and was soon joined by Isuelt.

“Probably.” As she followed Dr. Adkinson inside the threshold, she was surprised by the decor of the room. It was as technologically sound as the others she imagined, but there was a softness to the modern cruelty here. Amid his monitors and computers were a wide variety of plants. Most of them were varying shades of green and only a few had blooms on them, but it was as if a breath of fresh air had hit her, forcing her to draw a deep sigh. “No,” she exhaled, “not a morning person.” But there was something about this room that helped her become immediately at ease yet immediately awake.

“Yeah, I’ll bet you don’t see the boss at any of the bullshit sessions, either.” He had gone to a cabinet that was recessed in the wall that wasn’t far from what Isuelt deduced was a sink of some sort. He was no longer watching her or her favorable reaction any longer, but busying himself.

“You mean Batten? No, not really.” Come to think of it, she hadn’t seen Ed at any meeting of any sort at the Tower, nor had she seen him around at all in months. She figured he was off doing his own research or locked up in the penthouse, possibly with Renna. And that was another thing. Was she up there? Had Renna lied? And if she’d lied about that, how many other things had she lied about recently?

“He much prefers to waste his time down here with the toys, you know.” Adkinson’s voice was trailing off as he had moved to a touch screen and was busily fiddling away.

“Is that so?” Isuelt narrowed her eyes slightly as she watched the screen and thought that some of the images that were coming up looked medical in nature, almost like the imaging that Batten had taken of her head and brain when she was suffering from the Rage virus. The file that Adkinson had opened and was now looking at seemed familiar to her.

“Dat’s pretty much da gist of it, deese days, chere.” Came a voice behind her. Isuelt whirled around with widened eyes, more than a little surprised to see Edward Batten standing behind her. With the shock on her face evident, he grinned. He loved having that effect on people. “G’mornin'.”

“Good morning, stranger.” Isuelt had taken a step back to regard him. She knew better than to ask where the hell he had been. After all, it wasn’t really her business. Still, her curiosity began to set fire to her insides. She opened her mouth, but edited herself and kept mum.

Ed’s brows rose slowly as he smirked, he figured he could give her some sort of explanation. “Ah’ve been workin’ on a few t’ings here and ‘dere. Sorry Ah haven’t been around much ta help ya out 'round here. But Ah t’ink you’re doin' jus' fine.”

Isuelt’s mouth remained closed, even if it curved into a smile. It was good to see him again, even if she had a hundred questions that she didn’t deserve the answer to. She’d had a taste of real panic when he was suffering from the effects of his suit. So much so, that he’d confided in her that he feared he was dying. That was something that had scared Isuelt more than she thought it would.

Adkinson spoke up suddenly and at a louder than necessary volume to jar Isuelt and Ed from looking at each other. “All right then, I think it’s time.” Isuelt and Batten looked to him as Adkinson approached. “Nails, go ahead and have a seat here.” He gestured to a chair on wheels that was close to another monitor. As she moved to the seat and made herself comfortable, she noted that Ed was nowhere to be seen suddenly. She was pondered where he had gone so quickly when she was startled by a sting in her arm. “Don’t worry about it,” Adkinson said as he continued with the syringe in her shoulder. “This is just, you…what? What should we call it?”

Isuelt thought for a moment that he was asking her and she was at a loss of how to answer him when she heard Batten speak for somewhere, “Vitamins, chere. Dat’s all.” Isuelt looked around but she saw nothing.

Adkinson nodded and finished up the injection, “Yep. Good ol’ vitamins.”

“Why do I need vitamins for weapons testing?” Isuelt turned a narrowed gaze to him.

He simply looked at her and grinned, lowering his voice, “Because this is one hell of a weapon.” There was something about his tone of voice that actually made Isuelt nervous.


The next thing Isuelt remembered was Dr. Adkinson’s voice and a tremendous weight in her arms. She drew a deep breath like she was breaking the surface of the water after a lengthy dive.

“That’s fucking fantastic! That will do.” He was laughing and seemingly completely satisfied. “That will do, all right!” He reached for Isuelt and she swayed just a bit, she was probably trying to flinch. She felt like she’d just woken up. “Easy there, Nails. I’m just gonna take this from you and let you take a load off. You are an animal with that thing!” Adkinson lifted what appeared to be a large gun, nearly a cannon, from her hands. She blinked a few times and did feel a bit better after its heft was gone. But she still felt like the old days when she had succumbed to her binges and would wake up after blacking out. So many questions. But of course, she was clean and sober now, so…

“You did great, chere.” Batten’s applause caught her attention next. She turned to look behind her shoulder. “Steady on, Iz.” He placed his hands on her shoulders as she swayed again. “First time’s always a doozy.”

She breathed through his voice and again questioned internally. First time for what exactly? “Yeah, okay.” She exhaled again and nodded. “Thanks.”

“No, no, Iz. T'ank you.”

Batten’s voice sounded odd to her again. She turned around to fully face him and his hands slid off her shoulders. Still he was wearing his signature smirk, almost roguish. “So that was uh..” She stalled trying to remember what the hell she just tested. “It was good? Worked out okay?”

His smirk gave way to a definite grin. “Ah should t’ink so. You surpassed m’expectations o'what Ah had planned down here when Ah spoke up ‘bout you transferring from up ‘dere.” He lowered his chin and looked her in the eye. “T’ank you, Iz.”

She had no idea really what he was going on about, but she knew she owed him for almost more than she could repay. “Of course, Ed.”

“You truss’ me, right?”

Isuelt canted her head and looked him in the eye for a long moment. “You know I do.”

“It’s somet’ing we got from Renna.” He paused as he watched her left eyebrow hook to new heights. He put his hand up, “Now, now, it’s not whatcha t’inkin’. It’s a new technology.”

Isuelt’s hand were on her hips. “Like the kind that almost got you killed?”

“Naw, naw. ‘Dis is something new, that’s not a part of my body at all. But Ah t’ink dat’s gonna be a new safeguard for de city.” He left it at that, not quite sure if Isuelt was buying it. “A’right ‘den. You go take da day off. You earned it. But ‘den we’ll see you down here tonight. Say…” His blue-gray eyes trailed off to Adkinson who responded loudly in kind from where he was vigorously entering information at a computer terminal.

“Before midnight. Wait. Make that before one!” Adkinson never even looked up from the computer, he obviously had much to do.

“Okay ‘den.” Batten turned back to her. “See you before 1am.”


The odd thing was that Isuelt didn’t remember getting home. She didn’t remember taking a nap (gods only knew why the hell she was so tired after a full night’s sleep. After all it could have only been mid-morning by the time she got home. Right?). She didn’t remember taking a shower or changing her clothes. But here she was, walking down the street from North Rhydin toward the Old Market district towards Batten Tower in her black leathers that she had usually only worn when she was out on a Scathachian patrol. Maybe it was the fresh air, maybe it was the bite on the breeze that roused her from her dream-like stupor. Or maybe it was the not-so-far-away voices that she heard coming from the alleyway she was about to cross.

“…Hey! Get that damned bag, too…”
“…C’mere you cheat…”
“…beat you senseless…”
“…kill you like a dog in the street…”

Isuelt’s brow lowered as she felt the old rush of rage build up inside of her. She headed down the dark alleyway until she heard the scuffling of feet.

“Shit! It’s one of those Scathachian bitches!”
“…get the fuck out of here…”

“What the hell’s going on here?” Isuelt’s voice rang out loudly, perhaps a little louder than she expected it to. Or maybe that was just the acoustics in the alley. There were two men standing that she could make out and another person on the ground, though they were quick to scramble to their feet and run off as well. So, Isuelt stood looking at the two men who she bet were the ones doling out the beating. “Care to explain yourselves, gentlemen?” Again, her voice seemed to be booming in her own ears.

One of the men stepped forward, “Hey, I heard about you. You’re not a Judge anymore. I heard they threw you out.” He was drunk, clearly, and began to cackle.

Isuelt only arched a brow, unimpressed.

“Oh yeah?” His comrade joined in. “Well, then they won’t miss her, and they won’t come looking for us neither.” He reached into the pocket of his pants and pulled out a revolver and pointed it at Isuelt. He wasted no more time with villainous speeches or victorious gestures. He simple fired it and shot her.

The alley was dark and the sound of the gunfire echoed through the narrow walkway. The smell of gunpowder hung in the air, almost creating a haze. The low and sinister laughter of the two men trickled through the smoke. Though their laughter ceased as the haze cleared and Isuelt stood in front of the two men, an expression of fury on her face.

“I shot her. I…I shot you!” He pointed at Isuelt, then looked almost apologetically at his partner. “I fucking shot her!”

His partner wasn’t completely listening. He was staring and beginning to point at the hole in Isuelt’s leather corset. “That’s impossible! So, what…you’re saying now that Scathachians are fucking immortal now?”

Isuelt’s voice came out in a low and menacing rumble. “I’m not a Scathachian anymore.” Before that last strange syllable was across her lip, a greasy black tentacle erupted from the bullet hole in her midsection. A whirring screech accompanied the organic material as another arm of sorts burst from her chest, this one of metal and sinew. Each of these appendages springing from Isuelt’s body grabbed hold of a victim. The two men screamed and gurgled as the tentacle and the robotic arm each worked to sever their heads from their shoulders. The splatter of blood against the concrete created a wet splash that was cut off by the thudding plunge of each lifeless body. Isuelt’s boots took a few steps forward, sloshing in the sticky mess. She licked her lips, surprised that she felt aroused by the gory scene she had caused. And just for an instant, she caught a glimpse of movement in front of her. She looked up and saw a window. It was the reflection of the arm, whirring with a slick screech, its dripping brother trailing alongside of it until they both retreated back inside of Isuelt’s stomach. But as she watched her reflection in the dark mirror, she gasped. It wasn’t really her at all. She was looking at Renna. Renna’s red eyes glowing. Renna’s laughter tickling her brain; she heard it echo in the alleyway. Renna’s appendages, bloody with their kills, tucked inside of her. Isuelt opened her mouth to scream, but she only heard Renna’s scream in her ears.

Isuelt was sitting bolt upright in bed. Her sheets were damp and her skin was glistening with sweat. She was gasping for breath in the darkness of her bedroom in her apartment at Toujours le Vert. Shaking, her hands went to her head, then to her stomach. Of course it was nightmare. She looked at the clock, innocently stating that it was 6am. She would have to get up if she wanted to be on time for her first day of Weapons Testing at Batten Tower. Maybe she’d have to take two showers this morning to wash that imagery away before heading into work.
Isuelt DeRomiano
Batten Industries

User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Most likely Batten Tower or her apartment at Toujours le Vert

Re: Dreamcatcher

Post by Issy »


She wasn’t sure if she was overstepping the line lately. Isuelt was thoroughly enjoying her new position with Batten Industries and she had come to take a liking to the stoic, if not off-kilter humor of Dr. Jack Adkinson. He was extraordinarily brilliant and maybe a little sheltered, though he didn’t seem to mind. Isuelt rather liked ‘playing in the basement’ as he called it. There was always some new weapon or an old one that Dr. Adkinson was modifying. Even simple things like thrusters were interesting to Isuelt.

That being said, Isuelt was worried that her dealings with the new Governor had landed her in even more unfamiliar territory. The Governor had referred to her as “Batten’s agent” and while she felt that she could perform well in safeguarding him and protecting his interests, she couldn’t help but feel that she was assuming too much. After all, she had only recently been promoted and she hadn’t even spoken to Batten in a while to officially ask his permission to act on his behalf.

It was that last sentiment that had her in the elevator, heading to the penthouse levels of the Tower. She had had her key ready, though the elevator had not required it went she punched the button for the top. Isuelt thought that was odd, but she only shrugged lightly. Perhaps Batten had some new technology to identify who was coming up? After all, there had been some pretty strange developments lately around here.

Isuelt was thinking about what she was going to say on the ride up. She would have to ask a forgiveness of sorts rather than permission since she’d already assumed on his behalf. It was entirely possible Batten wanted nothing to do with the Governor’s office, maybe he did and simply didn’t want Isuelt operating in his stead. She drew a deep breath as the elevator reached the penthouse level and doors smoothly slid open. After a beat, she stepped out. The doors shut behind her and she waited for a moment, expecting a greeting. He knew she was coming, right? She waited a moment more and then cleared her throat loudly. The silence was a little unnerving. Maybe Batten really was angry with her. She sighed and stepped away from the elevator and through the foyer to the living room beyond.

“Batten?” Her voice seemed to echo out a little louder than she thought it would. Her legs carried her through the living room as she looked around. She knew the layout fairly well, this wasn’t her first time up here. “Hey Batten?” After turning a corner and heading down to where he usually watched a few monitors of the city, she found them not on. Her brows knitted, thinking that was odd. Weren’t they always on? She was starting to get a bad feeling as her jaw set and her legs moved a bit more quickly. Down the hall, poking her head into a couple of rooms, she could feel her heart rate pick up. This wasn’t like him. “Batten?” Her voice began to echo a bit of panic. It was a shot in the dark but… “Hey, Diana? Is Batten in the Penthouse?” No answer. Isuelt was halfway between panic and guilt; she felt like a stalker. Another hallway and another two rooms. No answer from either Batten or Diana.

Isuelt stopped herself and took a breath. She turned, something told her to look behind her. There on the end table in the room across from her was a glass of whisky and a tablet which was left on. She sighed and headed slowly into the room. “Hey, Batten?” Still no answer, but he was here somewhere. “Batten, listen. I wanted to let you know that I talked with the new Governor, Jaycy Ashleana,” she continued to look around the room as she spoke. “And she had asked if the company wouldn’t mind…” The further she walked into the room, the more empty it became. Though her voice slowed, she still continued. “I’ve been…uh…the acting representative for Batten….Industr— Ed?” She turned a corner and her heart stopped. She saw shoes…legs… on the floor behind a couch. “ED!” She rushed over and nearly skidded to a stop as her knees hit the floor beside him. “Ed!” There was blood all over the floor and Edward Batten was face down in its pool. She gently turned him over by his shoulders and halfway onto her lap. “Hey! Hey, hey, hey!” Her voice softened as her hands wiped at some of the blood on his face. “You hear me? C’mon…” Isuelt’s dark eyes searched him over: he looked somewhat crumpled and he was bleeding from his ear, nose, and she was pretty sure his mouth. Her hand slowly cradled his jaw, her fingers feeling for some movement, a pulse, anything. She whispered, “You with me?” She couldn’t feel anything; she was silent there on the floor with him for another moment. “Don’t go.” Her voice was a whispered plea.

“Yeahhh….I may have broken him.”

The voice was loud and came from behind her. Isuelt’s head turned and her gaze sharpened like razors on the visage of Renna. Isuelt had no words, only ragged breath and disbelief. It wasn’t true. It couldn’t be true. None of it. Batten couldn’t be dead. Her head was spinning. She could sense anger rising in her.

Renna continued, “Seems like he wasn’t very resilient after all. It’s too bad, too.” Renna looked forlornly at Batten’s corpse.

“You’re dead.” Isuelt whispered to Renna with a stinging tone.

“Am I?” Renna sneered.

“I will gut you like an animal before you can leave this building.” She gritted her teeth until she thought they would shatter.

“Oh tut tut, little Isuelt. You’re always so curt and so violent. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were flirting with me.” Renna’s sing-song voice sent a volley of shivers up Isuelt’s spine.

Isuelt looked back down to Batten and laid him gently on the floor.

“He’s dead. Just leave him!”

Isuelt rose slowly and turned toward Renna. Isuelt felt the familiar rumble in the pit of her stomach, the yearning to spill blood. Wrath. Weren't Renna and Batten having a tryst? Isn't that what Renna had said? Isuelt’s head was pounding. Blood was rushing through her body with a fury. But when was Renna completely truthful? It really didn’t matter. Renna’d apparently just murdered Edward Batten and couldn’t care less about it. Isuelt felt it then, it was unmistakable: Rage.

Renna cocked a hip and smiled at Isuelt. “You’re thinking about doing something very bad, aren’t you, Issy?” Her smile widened as she whispered, “I dare you.”

There was only a moment’s hesitation before Isuelt charged at Renna. Her teeth bared, nostrils flared. In her mind, in a split second, she could see herself gripping Renna and tearing her limb from limb on the spot. Isuelt’s throat issued a guttural roar as her legs closed the distance and she jumped at Renna, her hands out.

Before Isuelt could get her claws into her old enemy, Renna vanished. Isuelt hit the wall of the room with such force that her teeth rattled. She yelped out in pain as she opened her eyes and was looking at the ceiling but in her own bedroom. She was on her back on the rug and saw the bedsheets had spilled onto the floor. She’d fallen out of bed. Her hand went to her face and she laid there on the floor, her hand covering her eyes for a time trying to catch her breath and calm the tumultuous wrath that was flooding her body. These nightmares were getting worse. And what was worse than that was that the rage she felt as of late was getting harder and harder to quell. It was a good ten minutes before she could drag herself off the floor and into the shower to get ready for work.
Isuelt DeRomiano
Batten Industries

User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Most likely Batten Tower or her apartment at Toujours le Vert

Re: Dreamcatcher

Post by Issy »

The Always-Companion

“Thanks for coming out. I’ve missed you.” Isuelt smiled at Katt Batten. The sun was out and shining on the two women, showcasing both of their hair colors: Isuelt’s looking more red than usual and Katt’s being raven black.

“Well, I don’t know why you would. I mean, I see you nearly every day.” Katt grinned and poked at the food on her plate. They had selected a sidewalk café along the river in Dragon’s Gate just near the Eastbridge.

“I know. But,” she pushed a forkful around as well before she continued. “Maybe I miss the old days? I don’t know.” She brightened suddenly as she straightened in her chair and decided to shift the topic. “How are you doing with wedding plans? You know, a long engagement is a sign of a confident and mature relationship!” How the hell would she know?

Katt rolled her eyes and shrugged. “Yeah, right. Like you would know.”

How the hell did Katt always manage to do that?

“Good, pretty good I think. I’m looking into food and catering right now. Which, as you know, is something of an easy topic for me. I’m just not sure if an actual wedding cake is the way to go or like something individual…”

Katt’s voice was lowering itself in volume; and at first Isuelt thought she was readying herself to impart a secret. But soon Isuelt couldn’t hear Katt at all. What was stranger still was that there was no noise anywhere. The birds chirping ceased, the din of casual diners around them was silenced. Even the street noise was mute. Isuelt felt a dull throb in her temples and along her forehead; and had the sudden unescapable urge to shut her eyes. It began quietly then, quickly reaching a painful crescendo: a ringing in Isuelt’s ears. She felt it would shatter windows around them and cause mass panic it became so loud. But as she opened her eyes and looked around Katt was still talking and no one seemed to notice a thing. The pain in Isuelt’s ears and head was nearly enough to have her stand up and scream. But she didn’t. She grit her teeth and against her will she winced from the pain.

After a moment she felt a hand squeezing her arm and she opened her eyes. It was Katt. Katt’s face was obviously concerned, yet Isuelt still could not hear the words she was saying. She tried to read her lips and Isuelt was fairly sure that Katt was asking what was wrong. Isuelt’s eyes fought to concentrate on Katt’s face; her attention was focused on her friend, hoping she would find her center. Katt looked so concerned, Isuelt felt flustered she couldn’t tell her what was wrong. Isuelt had found that her own tongue wasn’t cooperating either. Isuelt’s hands gripped the edge of the table, she felt paralyzed. Isuelt began to panic. This was not normal, something was happening to her and she had no way of knowing what it was in order to handle it.

Wide eyes looked to Katt, she would try to somehow communicate with her that she needed help. But Katt wasn’t looking so worried any longer. Instead, Isuelt watched her friend smile slowly and sit back in her chair. Katt almost…almost looked satisfied. Was that joy in her eyes? As Isuelt tried to comprehend what was happening, she watched Katt’s eyes begin to glow. They were turning red. She knew those eyes.

“What’s the matter, Issy? Katt got your tongue?”

What Katt said was lost on Isuelt. She still could not hear a sound save for the incessant and piercing ringing in her ears. She began to feel her body shake; it was like a tremor that started deep within and began to resonate to the tips of her fingers. Isuelt wanted to reach up and across the table and strangle Katt. Was it Renna? Was it Katt? She didn’t actually care at the moment. It was taking every bit of willpower she had to keep herself seated.


Katt sprang from her own seat and without warning. Sleek, black claw-like appendages broke free from her shoulders and stabbed forward at Isuelt. Isuelt remembered what Katt was, what she had been through in years past… But all of that didn’t matter just now. Katt’s assassin-like strike was aimed right at her. Isuelt jumped up and back, falling over the back of the chair, trying to use it as a shield of sorts. And just like that, all of the sound came back to Isuelt’s ears. The tumbling to the ground, the crash of plates and glasses from the table onto the cobblestone floor, the shrieks of people around them. Isuelt took evasive action and came up to peer over the rim of what had been the seat of her chair; to see what Katt’s next move was. But Katt was just sitting in her chair with a look of absolute surprise on her features as she blinked twice and stared at Isuelt. Isuelt, who had pulled the tablecloth off of their table, their food and drinks all over the floor in a mess of shattered glass and flatware. Two of the wait staff were behind Katt, both of them looking at Isuelt…along with the rest of the sidewalk diners at the little café. Isuelt alone sat on the ground in the midst of a mess of chaos, who suddenly felt very nauseous.

“No, it’s okay,” Katt was standing now and speaking to one of the waiters. “I think I’ll just escort her home. Thank you.” She stuffed some money into the hand of the second waiter. “Sorry about this.”

Isuelt shook her head, hearing all of the overlapping conversations now.

“…the hell was that about? She just flew off….”
“…drugs or drunk is what I’m thinking…”
“…think that’s that shamed Scathachian…”
“…so weird…”

“C’mon Issy. Let’s get you home.” Katt was stooping to help pull Isuelt up off the floor. Isuelt was shaky, but she did it; probably leaning on Katt a little more than she meant to.

It seemed like in just an instant they were walking along a quiet street, people had seemed to thin out remarkably. It was almost like it was just Katt and Isuelt in the entire neighborhood. Isuelt finally spoke up. “I’m…I’m so sorry, Katt. I…don’t know what the hell happened. I just…” She shook her head. She just what? She just imagined that Katt had the same glowing red eyes as Renna? She just imagined that Katt was reverting back to her Revi form and was trying to kill her? Just how in the world does one come out and say such things?

“It’s okay, Issy. Really. I understand.”

“You do?” Isuelt looked to Katt. Isuelt herself didn’t understand.

Katt nodded. “Mmhmm. You’ve been under a lot of pressure. I told you that I didn’t think that getting involved in the weapons testing at work would be a good idea.”

Isuelt just stared at Katt.

“I told you that, didn’t I?” Katt arched her brows pointedly at Isuelt. “You never know what my brother is going to come up with next, you know? When he’s left to his own devices…or you know…someone else’s devices…bad things can happen.”

Isuelt felt it again. A breathlessness that began as her heart rate doubled, a tingle in her gut and the tips of her fingers, the top of her head and her ears felt white hot. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Don’t you?” Katt stopped walking and glared at Isuelt.

Isuelt’s breath stopped in her throat. For some reason she felt as if she had been caught in the act. But the act of what?

“You know perfectly well what you’ve gotten yourself into. And it’s all because of her being in here.” Katt tapped at her own temple. “She’s got you. She’s never left you, you idiot! You’re such a stupid fool, Issy! You’re spending your days in that damn Tower, pretending to be something you’re not! Doing everything my brother says like you’re his dumb lapdog! You’re so blind to what’s right in front of you….right inside of you!” Katt was getting closer to Isuelt now as her words were biting at the air with a fierceness Isuelt had never seen from her. “You brainless whore! You are such a dumb ass! She’s never left you and what’s more, you moron, she never took that virus out of you! How stupid can you be? That virus is still inside of you! SHE is still inside of you!” Katt’s body was advancing on Isuelt as quickly and as mercilessly as her words. Isuelt backed up until she backed up against a wall. “You think she can just wave a magic wand and all of a sudden it’s gone? Just like that? Like it never happened? If you do, you’re more brainless than I thought! You just want to pretend that everything’s fine in your Swiss cheese mind?” Katt poked hard at Isuelt’s head and temples with her finger. Her voice was hitting Isuelt like an avalanche; Katt was yelling at her and it seemed to be ringing in Isuelt’s ears more loudly than the ringing she heard at the café. “Like you were just hanging out with my brother all that time when he was trying to save your stupid, insignificant life and all she had to do was come in and touch your head and it’s done? Gone? You’re out of your mind! SHE is your mind now, you fucking idiot!”

Sharper than Katt’s words was the plunge of what felt like a sword right through Isuelt’s midsection. Isuelt’s breath left her body as she watched Katt retract the black claw-like stinger from Isuelt’s stomach with a slow satisfaction.

“You stupid whore.” As Katt pulled back that appendage and take a step back, Isuelt slumped to her knees. She was finding it hard to breathe as she looked to the ground, seeing it run crimson with her own blood. Katt had run her through and she was fairly sure that she was dying. She couldn’t speak as she lifted her head, which felt heavier than it should have, and looked at Katt. Katt was smirking down at her handiwork as she folded her arms and leered at Isuelt. “Good riddance. Your part in this little play is over.” Katt shook her head, “I told you that you would be in over your head. I told you.”

A tremendous cold came over Isuelt, her body shivered involuntarily causing her body to collapse on the sidewalk in a growing pool of her own blood. Her dark eyes ticked up to Katt who had leaned in just enough to let Isuelt see that glowing red hue first behind her one blue-gray eye then her emerald green eye, until both of Katt’s eyes were seething with a crimson glow. Katt was nearly nose to nose with Isuelt now, her menacing whisper needn’t go far. Though it wasn’t Katt’s voice that Isuelt heard. It was Renna’s. “I will never leave you.”

Isuelt’s eyes opened wide. She was in the dark, staring at her blurry ceiling. Her heart was racing and it was all she could do to tumble out of bed and dash into the bathroom before she threw up.
Isuelt DeRomiano
Batten Industries

User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Most likely Batten Tower or her apartment at Toujours le Vert

Re: Dreamcatcher

Post by Issy »

How To Get Ahead In Business

The Bak’d bakery wasn’t particularly busy that afternoon, probably owing to the bit of rain that had fallen all morning. Still, the brunt of the storm had passed and it was now mostly overcast. Isuelt liked stopping by every once in a while; not only were the scents unbelievably heavenly, but she used to stop by here with Cullen sometimes and even ran into him once after New Year’s last year. That seemed like a decade ago. Time was weird. Isuelt hoped he was happy, she really did. Cullen was a good man, an honest man, a caring man. She couldn’t understand (at least consciously) why she couldn’t make it work with him. He would have given her the moon, had she asked for it. And now she had heard a rumor that he and Bernadette were engaged, or promised to be engaged, or something of the sort. While she had never met Bernadette, Isuelt knew who she was. She was sweet, kind and usually had a good word for everyone. Cullen deserved the best and Isuelt hoped he had found it with Bernadette.

Isuelt was studying her pastry and half-drained coffee when a thought suddenly occurred to her. She had always figured that she should be jealous of the two of them, but realizing that marriage was the endgame, she knew she wasn’t. In fact, she realized that she truly was joyful for them, especially Cullen. He deserved the moon, himself; and perhaps Bernadette would give it to him since Isuelt never could.

She had an absent smile on her lips and an easy expression that was abruptly interrupted by a familiar, yet fleeting sound. Thrusters. She blinked and glanced up from her coffee, thinking that maybe she had imagined it. After all this was the westside of Old Temple, this wasn’t near Batten Tower or even the Inn.

“Look, mommy! It’s the Ranger!” Isuelt’s gaze snapped to a table by the window just in time to see a little boy of about seven plastering himself up against the glass while his mother was arguing with him to get down. “I saw him! He flew to that big building!”

Isuelt thought for a moment with a slight scowl. What big building? There weren’t that many in this part of the city. She gave up on her self-quizzing and reached up to tap her right ear, speaking privately. “Diana? Can you tell me if Ranger is in Old Temple?”

There was a long pause as she waited for the AI to answer, though she finally did. “Affirmative, Nails.”

“Is he okay? Does he need backup?”

Another long pause. “Negative.”

Isuelt thought Diana’s voice sounded strange. While she was aware that the Diana of old, the sultry Diana, was long gone, this voice was still not the same as the elegant, yet clipped version of Batten’s AI. Yet, who else would it be? Isuelt shook her head at that, though she still couldn’t dismiss the gut feeling that something was off. A minute more and she couldn’t squash her curiosity nor her suspicion any longer; she left the table and headed outside.

The sky was still overcast, a dampness hung in the air. Isuelt’s gaze swept the horizon here in Old Temple, trying to ascertain which building the boy had been talking about. The only point against the sky that she could see was the far off Temple of the Gods. She shook her head to herself, thinking that couldn’t be it. She didn’t have long to formulate another opinion because the rumble of an explosion jerked her attention in the opposite direction. With wide-open eyes, Isuelt spotted smoke coming from the top half of a building that seemed to come out of nowhere. “What the hell is that?” She had never noticed that building off to the west, not far from the bakery. Had that always been there? That must have been the building the kid saw. Isuelt’s hand tapped at her ear again, “Diana, the explosion in Old Temple…” she had no idea of the name of the building, “...near Bak’d and Four Points, can you tell me if Ranger is in the vicinity?”

Again, it took far longer than usual for Diana to reply. “Affirmative, Nails. Ranger is in the building.”

Isuelt shifted gears to battle mode, “Walk me in.” Her long legs took up a run in the direction of the smoke. Diana was in her ear, telling her two shortcuts through alleyways to get her there more quickly. Isuelt came up on the building where a small crowd had gathered, all speaking at the same time.

“...fire brigade’s coming…”

“...loud explosion…”

“...thought it was construction…”

“...condemned building should have come down months ago…”

”Around the side, Nails. You will find a window on the ground floor that is not boarded up.”

Isuelt didn’t need to be told twice, her boots moved down the side of the building where the crowd and their voices and prying eyes melted away. She spotted the window and put her elbow through it, effectively opening up a way in. Her leather jacket felt not a scratch and she hopped in without much effort. There was no smoke on this ground floor but Isuelt knew that seeing in this dim light was going to be a challenge. “Diana, find him for me.”

”Up the staircase to your left for three flights and then right.” Isuelt nodded and followed Diana’s directions. ”Watch the fire, it’s on the fourth and fifth floors. It’s an old building, the structure is not sound.”

Isuelt’s steps on the stairs only slowed for a moment as she looked up. She took a deep breath and continued; the air was getting thicker. She had reached the fourth floor and was looking around. There was light coming from direction just off of the right side, exactly as Diana had said. Isuelt hurried in that direction. “Ranger?” Isuelt’s eyes squinted against the smoke as she ventured further. “Batten?” Her voice seemed to be lost in the structure and she could hear creaking from the floor above. Rounding a corner, she looked up and saw that part of the ceiling had given way; through the gaping hole above she saw the fires and figured that something had….fallen….through… Her eyes immediately searched the pile of rubble on the ground beneath the hole and she saw it. Silver and black and covered in boards and debris. “Ed!” She lunged forward and kicked the rubble from on top of him. “Hey! Hey, Ed! Can you hear me?” The Ranger suit was lying motionless, but she could still hear some clicks and whirs from it. Was he even in there? “Diana! I found him. Is he okay? Is he conscious?”

A beat. ”Running a diagnostic on the suit now, Nails. Please stand by.”

Isuelt wasn’t waiting. “Ed, c’mon.” She reached for the shoulders of the suit and tried to pull him up. It was heavy to say the least, and a bit hot from whatever had happened with the fire on the floor above. “Dammit. All right, c’mon!” She was speaking to herself as she strengthened her grip on the suit and dug her feet in. Isuelt managed to pull him to the sitting position when Diana finally reappeared in her ear.

”Diagnostics complete. The suit is malfunctioning, particularly the avionics. Life support normal.”

Isuelt thought that sounded mostly positive. “What does that mean exactly?”

The visor of Ranger’s helmet slid up and away. “Means Ah’m alive but Ah can’t fly.” Batten’s face lacked any visible signs of trauma, no blood anyway.

Isuelt was visibly relieved, “Let’s get you the hell out of here.”

Batten grunted and Isuelt looked back to him. He was shaking his head. “Damn leg Ah t’ink.”

Isuelt looked down and saw that the greaves portion of his armor looked hard-worn on the left leg. “I got you.” In a moment, she had stooped down on his left side and managed to hoist him up to a standing position. “Put your arm around my shoulder. Fuck, you’re heavy. C’mon.” Shouldering half of his weight, she steered Batten further from the blaze, across the floor to the stairs. She looked down and then looked back to him. “You're sure you can’t fly us outta here?”

There were a few more clicks and whirs from the armor, but no thrusters. “No ami, not dis time.”

Isuelt blew out a sigh. “All right then….stairs it is.” It took them far longer than it had when it was just her, but she had got him down to the second floor when she glanced at him. “What the hell were you doing in here?” She was breathing harder.

Batten opened his mouth and was about to answer her when Diana barged in and interrupted in a hurried tone. ”The structural integrity of the fifth floor is beginning to give way. And the reactor housed there is losing its stability. I suggest taking cover immediately.”

Did they have time to go down another floor?

“Ah got dis,” Batten began, renewing his fervor and wanting to support his own weight in a hurried descent down to the ground floor.

”You won’t have time.” Diana seemed almost worried. ”Boss, she doesn’t have a suit!

Isuelt and Batten locked eyes. Nope, that did not sound good at all. His visor slammed down, his voice taking on the deep, metallic tone of Ranger. “Ah got ‘er.” There was a thunderous rumble above them as his arms wrapped themselves around Isuelt. The ground shook, but thankfully did not give way. However the blast, paired with the fact that Batten could not put equal weight on both of his feet, jettisoned them through a brittle wall where they hit the ground hard on the other side.

For a moment, it was eerily quiet. Smoke that had nothing to do with the fire rose and the dust settled slowly after a few minutes. The voices outside seemed to lift in volume then, awakening the pair. Ranger lifted his head and looked at Isuelt who was beneath him. Her eyes were shut, her face was bloodied from two deep scratches on her temple and a cut along her cheek. He soon realized that it was his armor that had cut her face. The visor came flying upwards. “Iz? Issy? Hey...y’okay?” His hand went to her face to look her over. “Diana, talk t’me. She okay?”

Again it seemed to take longer than usual for the AI to respond. ”Her intercostal muscles are being constricted. Her diaphragm is unable to aid in pulmonary ventilation.” Batten blinked and looked away from Isuelt’s face to realize the full weight of him and his suit was on top of her.

“I...can’t...breathe...you’re too heavy…” Isuelt barely was able to lend volume to her feeble whisper, her lashes still shut.

Batten swore under his breath and after a few clicks and pounding his left fist on the floor, the suit peeled back. The armor, though not as smoothly as it usually did, reconfigured itself and retreated into the thick watch at his left wrist. The greaves on his left leg, however, lamely fell to the floor, unable to function correctly.

Isuelt took a deep breath, finally able to utter the words, “Thank you...” Her breath continued to come in gasps.

“Naw, Iz. T’ank you. Ya pulled me from dat burnin’ hell up dere...Ah owe ya.” He smiled down at her, thankful he hadn’t crushed her. Instead of the heavy armor, it was simply him in street clothes laying atop her now.

“Tell you what…” She was still regaining her breath, the adrenaline was still ramped up. “You could just lay here on top of me for a while longer and we’ll call it even…” A crooked smirk took his mouth and led to a grin spreading over his entire expression. He chuckled and was soon joined by Isuelt. The voices outside and the commotion downstairs signalled that the fire brigade had arrived. “Let’s get out of here.”

Batten nodded and got to his knees to let Isuelt up, each of them being stubborn enough to refuse help and stand on their own. He limped over and looked out the nearest window, they were on the second story, but there was a fire escape outside. Looking over his shoulder, he saw her nod. Better to not have to answer to the fire brigade or the Watch about what they were doing in here; though Isuelt was still curious as to why Batten was in an abandoned old building as Ranger and why there was a reactor on the fifth floor. But she figured she’d ask those questions at a later time as she arrived at the window. Batten lifted the sash and looked back to her.

Isuelt nodded, “I’ll go first.” She would better be able to help him that way. She ducked through the window and swung her legs onto the metal fire escape outside. “You good?” As she looked back to her boss. Batten nodded as he was able to climb out of the window with only a slight limp. Isuelt turned to the ladder that would go the remainder of the way down and hit the release, surprised it didn’t make as much of a clatter as she was expecting. Though she was disheartened when she saw that it didn’t quite reach the ground. “Crap...you’re gonna have to drop about half the way, okay?” She lifted her brows to Batten who looked a little less than thrilled, but it was doable. Isuelt was down first, finding the drop to be no more than about six feet. Though she looked up at Batten who was just beginning his slow descent on an injured leg. Isuelt looked around, they were on the other side of the building from where Isuelt had entered earlier. It was a back alley, though she could hear voices not too far off. Her dark eyes glanced back up and saw that Batten was at the bottom rung. “I got you. Jump.” She readied herself to take his weight, feet planted, arms out.

With a small grunt, he pushed off and landed in front of her, though she supported most of his recoil. He looked over his shoulder, “M’t’anks again.”

“Sure thing, boss.” Isuelt looked toward the entrance way of the alley and figured that getting him straight back to the Tower was probably the best thing. “I get a raise outta this, right?” She joked and eyed him as they started off.

Isuelt opened her eyes and rolled over in bed with a deep sigh. And for the next twenty-five minutes, she was obsessing over a tall building in Old Temple with an unstable reactor. Maybe Katt was right? Maybe this job was getting to her?
Isuelt DeRomiano
Batten Industries

User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Most likely Batten Tower or her apartment at Toujours le Vert

Re: Dreamcatcher

Post by Issy »

Longing and Losing

The city skyline was black against the meager light of the night. Only a touch of snow along the rooftops was helping the slivered moon illuminate the shadows. Each shadow threatened to overtake an alleyway here, a side street there, looming as if it knew that its darkness would prevail. There was a definite nip to the air, the full push of winter wasn't far off and the winds saw to it that everyone knew it. Isuelt's ears and the tip of her nose were just about numb; but thankfully they didn't feel cold any longer. She had lost track of how long she'd been up on the rooftop of the Crooked Hook, looking out at both the Dockside/WestEnd and the western side of Old Temple. She could hear far-off voices as she strained to listen for any distressing yells or screams. Thus far she hadn't heard any. Nor any alarms or sirens going off, no matter how far in the distance. For a moment she thought about when she'd been here, about how long it had been night...she couldn't remember.

A dream... This has to be a dream.

Since her last enlightening time with Renna, Isuelt had learned some things about herself and the power her mind now held. Was she able to coax her dreams and bend them to her will? Was she aware enough to do that? She was in the middle of pondering this when a man's voice snapped her out of her thought process.

"What the hell you doing out here, Iz?"

She snapped her face into the direction it came from. She saw a tall figure against the slim light of the moon, long coat on, no hat, a thin trail of smoke coming from a glowing cherry by his face. "Cullen..." The Watch lieutenant somehow always knew where to find her. It was an odd thing, but she usually felt better just knowing he was around. Like nothing really bad would happen if Cullen was nearby. Funny thing was, he always thought the same exact thing about her. Probably why they always kept running in circles around each other. "You know what I'm doing out here. What I'm always doing out here. Question is, what are you doing out here?" She arched a brow at him and then looked back out the cityscape.

"Well, I'd say watching you freeze to death, but I'm not that patient." Came his quipped reply and a renewed puff of smoke.

Isuelt chuckled under her breath, she couldn't wipe the smirk from her lips.

"Come on in," he gestured toward the small hatch in the roof that was usually fire access. It must have been how he'd gotten up on the roof. Or perhaps how Isuelt had gotten up on the roof for that matter. "I've got something I've been meaning to talk to you about, anyway."

Isuelt sighed and looked from the open hatch back to the city one more time.

"No, it's not going to explode if you leave it for three minutes and come with me." Cullen always had a way of cutting through bullshit. That was one of the things she loved about him.

She stood up and nodded as she turned to follow him inside. Her legs felt strange, or perhaps didn't feel was more accurate. She equated that to being in a squat out in the December night for goddess knows how long. Cullen had disappeared down the ladder and then it was Isuelt's turn. She placed a booted foot on the second rung from the top and smoothly descended into the golden warmth of the Crooked Hook's upstairs office....or was it? Isuelt looked around and while she was basking in the incredible temperature of her surroundings, it was definitely not the Crooked Hook. It looked more like a bedroom. Nothing lush, but definitely nice. It seemed like one of the rooms that the Dragon passed off as a suite back in the day. And the smell...was that cinnamon? Pine? There was a fire burning not to far off, that explained the glow of the room and the exquisite warmth. Was it possible that the Hook remodeled up here? "Okay...well whatever. What did you want to talk to me about, Richard?"

As she stepped away from the ladder, she turned right into his hands. His hands took her face and led it straight into his. He kissed her fully and deeply, taking her aback. In fact, Isuelt couldn't really respond to anything that he was doing, she was so shocked. Hadn't he gotten married last year? Wasn't he blissfully happy? He had been the last time they'd talked. Still Cullen was so locked onto Isuelt, she couldn't think clearly. All she could do was remember him. Remember the way he had always put her first, always showered her with whatever innate thing she required at the time. Remember the way he sounded, the way he smelled. She returned his kiss and that was all the permission he needed. His hands left her jawline and skated down over her shoulders until they passed each other along her back; he pulled her into him in a crushing embrace as if he couldn't get enough of her. Each of them taking little desperate gasps of breath where they could between kisses. Cullen and Isuelt started feeding their frenzies to devour each other. Clothing was pulled at, hair was pushed out of the way, limbs were impossibly intwined as the ex-lovers worked with needy fingers. Breathless, whispered musings were barely coherent as the two of them tumbled into their old ways as if not a day had gone by since their last intimate encounter.

There were the two of them, fumbling with clothing, belts, boots and underclothes. And then there was a bed, with sheets as soft as silk and smelling of lavender and lemongrass. It seemed to last forever, the feeling of home, of safety, of bliss. But it was over as quickly as it began and the two were laying in bed, draped lazily about each other. Isuelt felt completely happy. She couldn't get over it. How had she ever dismissed this elation from her life? She must have been crazy.

Isuelt looked over and caught Cullen gazing at her with contented, half-lidded eyes. She quickly mirrored the soft curve of his smile. "What happened to us? Why didn't things work out?" She mused in a whisper.

Cullen drew a slow, deep breath and held it a moment before letting it escape through his nose. His eyes never left her. "Because I know you. I know everything about you. I know how you think. I know how you move. I know how you taste." With the tone he employed, a soft rasp to his voice, it was one of the more erotic things Isuelt had ever been told. But there was more. It was really hardly an answer to her question; until he finished his thought. "And I know that you murdered people on my watch and I couldn't be moved to bring you in for it. My love for you was so great that I sacrificed my own morality to let you slip away from the responsibility of your actions." Isuelt's brows knitted and she turned fully toward him so that she was on her side, up on an elbow. Cullen continued, "Isuelt, you beheaded and gutted a man and left his corpse unburied outside the city gates for the birds to feast on for chrissakes! You go around slaughtering people and blame it on a....a dark influence or whatever. You know that's bullshit. You know it, love. You know you're a murderer, you've just always done it under the guise of being possessed, or influenced or under the mantle of justice! Ha! That's rich! Please, you're not a vindicator, Iz. You a damned cold-blooded killer. And you know it!"

Every word that dripped from his serpent-like tongue was brimming with disdain, and what was worse...truth. Isuelt's eyes shut as the pain she felt throughout her body was like icy razors slicing her open from the inside.

"The truth hurts, don't it?"

Isuelt knew that wasn't Cullen's voice, even as she was burying herself in self-loathing. She opened her eyes and was looking at Jason Tatopolous, the ex-police who was now the head of Security at Batten Industries and her one-time boss. Isuelt looked around. She was in his office back at Batten Tower, she was fully clothed and Richard Cullen was nowhere in sight.

"I can't have you here any longer, I'm sorry." Tatopolous continued. "You're a wanted man. The Watch reopened that cold-case on the Sanctuary massacre a few years ago. They've got evidence up the ass and your name's all over it." He paused, trying to read Isuelt's reaction. "I'm sorry. For what it's worth, I really liked you here. You were a hell of a soldier." Tatopolous sighed heavily and moved the short distance to the door in his office and opened it, presumably for Isuelt to exit. "But Batten can't have you around. You're a liability."

Still stunned from the sudden turn of events, Isuelt stood up on what felt like wobbly legs. She miraculously removed herself from Jason's office and heard the door slam behind her with a sharpness she couldn't put a finger on. It sounded more like...

A gun shot.

Isuelt turned and looked down the alleyway she now found herself in. It was night and the air was biting once more at her skin. Her eyes tried to focus on a figure at the mouth of the alleyway, a small stream of smoke rising from him. She thought it was Cullen. "Richard?" She started for him, but he didn't move. "Richa-?" A pain spread out along her stomach and chest, her legs halted and she looked down at herself. There was a smear of darkness spreading over her chest, pooling around the waistband of her pants. The pain became unbearable and as soon as she looked back to the figure, she saw the revolver being replaced back at his side. He turned and left the alleyway without a single word. "R-..." It wasn't Cullen, but Isuelt couldn't think of anything else to say before she collapsed and felt the blood leaving her body, creating a shiver that would not be quelled.

Isuelt watched herself die, in a pool of blood, in a cold and dark alleyway of Rhydin City. "Fitting. Absolutely fitting," she thought before she woke up with a start and a sharp intake of breath. She stared at the clock on her nightstand, finally recognizing that it was the middle of the night. There was a definite chill in the air of her bedroom and she sat up to realize that she had left the window open. She got up to close it and knew she would probably not be getting back to sleep tonight as she looked beyond her windowsill at the blackened skyline of the city.
Isuelt DeRomiano
Batten Industries

Post Reply

Return to “Renaissance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests