|Scene Title||Vette's Dark Hour|
|Synopsis||Vette enters the Dark Hour.|
Scary. Vette is wandering the Dark Hour by herself. It's not as scary once she gets in though. The Terra Incognita is no longer dark and gloomy afterall. There's a rather large zigurrat, which of course will take atleast an hour's hike up. It's hard and tough, and surely there'll be huffing and puffing, but buff Vette is buff!
The large archway into the parthenon-esque structure is for now, closed. Instead, there's an eerily familiar girl standing in a little goth lolita outfit with a bright and cheery smile. She waves all friendly like towards Vette as she smiles and bows her head.
"I've been expecting you!" she chirps merrily.
Vette tilts her head. Who is this girl? "You—have?" She asks cautiously. She takes a step closer at the friendly wave, though she's still cautious. Things that seem friendly have a habit of not being, and things that aren't friendly have a habit of turning friendly, and every way round in between.
This is the same girl that gave Vette the jewel. "What? You don't trust me? After I lent you a bit of my power?" she asks curiously, her brows furrowed as she lets out an impish chuckle as she scrunches up her nose just a bit. She smiles brightly and snaps her fingers as the doors inside starts to open.
"You want to figure out why this place exists, right?" she says as she motions at the archway with various sigils in Atlantean. Of course, there are other things that are noticeable. There's Maia's name in Japanese. There's Haldor and Preston's name in Old Norse. There's Jason and Gene's name in Greek. Jolie's name in French! Scott's name in Hieroglyphics. And of course, there are statues around. The seven Atlanteans, and the other eight who have passed the tests and trials of the Dark Hour.
"This is a very dangerous place. If you want to find out more, you will be tested. Are you ready to be tested, Miss Adams?"
"I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you right away," Vette says politely. "You looked a little different last time. I do apologize." And she sounds genuinely apologetic. She likes Mary. And in thirty seconds, she already knows very valuable information. "I am ready to be tested." At least this time she knows it's a test. "What of me is being tested, though? You can test many things."
"It is not for me to decide.." she says as she lets out a soft and amused chuckle under her breath. She reaches out for Vette's hand, letting her fingers entwine with hers if the older woman is all right with it. "I am not the one running the test. I merely serve as a guide. In all my years, only fifteen people have passed the test. Their names and statues, you can see. I have seen many go mad. Many who have been killed. Many who have killed themselves. Are you really ready for that?" she asks curiously.
Vette squeezes Mary's hand, and looks into the darkness. Mad. Killed. Rufus would grieve. So she's just got to succeed. She can't just back down now. Can't just walk away. Even if it were in her nature, the story would probably spread to Asgard and cause even more trouble. Lots of good reasons to continue. They have hundreds of problems on their plate. This might help with some. "I'm ready," she says.
And through the door they enter. They find themselves oddly enough at Vette's first foster home. Mary scrunches up her nose as they walk the decent neighborhood that Vette grew up in. They look around. Nothing seemingly really out of the ordinary. Until they start approaching the house. There's a small voice. A child's voice. Vette would recognize it as her own as it's disembodied and comes from the house itself.
"No one wants me." the voice can be heard from inside the house. "I'm all alone. The others, I was too much of a burden. I would even eat less if it means I could stay, but they gave me up. The one after that.. they just disappeared and had to go to another country. I know the truth. They didn't want me.."
Vette quirks an eyebrow, but looks…really kind of uncomfortable. "This place shows me things out of my own mind," she murmurs. "Fascinating." When in emotional doubt, pull a Spock. It's a technique that's been serving her well ever since she was given her birthrights, and she falls back on it now.
"No one loves me. But I'll show them. I'll be smart and successful and then they'll love me then." the voice continues as there's a bit of optimism in the young child's voice.
Mary continues tolead Vette through the door until they see heryounger self playing with a little doll. There's a gasp from the younger Vette as she yells at them. "GO AWAY!" she screams as she starts running out the back door.
Vette is blushing bright red, and her mouth is set into a grim line. Still, she follows, muttering, "Ha. If only she knew the three traits are completely mutually exclusive. Still, a reason for drive has served me well enough." She sniffs. She doesn't care any longer. She doesn't. She doesn't even think about it. Much.
"Should we follow her then?" Mary asks curiously as she blinks rather impassively while motioning for the door way the younger Vette just ran through. "It is up to you."
"Yes," Vette says, pushing her way through the door. "Yes, I think we shall. We must, I think. Or I must. You're being kind to accompany me." She braces herself for what she might find there, a little baffled by the runaway girl. Did she do that? Run away from people? She can't remember doing that.
And woosh. They find themselves in another time period. Vette's older now. She's just finished being taken care of by her third foster parent, and she's working menial jobs to attend the local dance academy. She's doing well for herself in the middle of the class and trying oh so hard to be a dancer. She's trying really hard actually, and soon she can see the other girls at the academy staring at her.
They're all younger. More sleek. More toned. If she was a car, they'd be the younger and newer models with all the right upgrades. As they continue to do the exercises and the pirouettes, she can hear their disembodied thoughts now as she watches.
"God, what a cow. She's fat. You can see her cellulite through the leotard. And really? Does she think she can be a dancer? What a dumb bitch.." It's the voice of one of the dancers who always appeared to be helpful to her and encouraging. She's much younger, a sleek Russian eighteen years of age. She stops and heads on over towards Vette.
"Oh, you're doing wonderful! Keep up the good work. And oh my god, you will never guess whathappened. I got into Harvard!" she squeals with delight bouncing up and down as she smiles rather cheerily with a saccharine smile of sweetness directed towards Dancer Vette.
"Yeah, I saw you looking at my college applications, ya dumb cow. I'm smarter, prettier and a better dancer than you. Eat this you cunt." Dancer Vette is oblivious to these thoughts as she just sees the happy cheery dancer.
The Real Vette can hear all these thoughts and more.
She remembers that day, how she'd congratulated that Russian and liked her so much. Those little kindnesses, and Vette never know. "God damn it, what the hell is wrong with me?" She mutters, her arms crossing over her chest. She actually checks her thighs, though you can't see cellulite through jeans. She'll just have to go on a diet when she gets out of here. No more donuts for Vette. What the hell is wrong with her? Two heads? Does she smell? Is she just this bad with people that they hate her like this? "Oh who cares? I didn't need her." Is she talking to Mary, or herself, or her younger self? Not even Vette is sure.
"Well, I'm sure you'll do fine. Congratulations on getting into the chorus of that ballet!" the Russian continues to chirp happily, still showering her faux-affection on the girl who makes her look and feel better. She pats Vette's shoulders as she chuckles softly under her breath, a wry smile forming that would seem, that it's like one of encouragement.
And then, Vette hears more of that girl's thoughts. "Chorus is all you'll ever get to be. I'm the star. I'm prettier than you. I'm a better dancer than you. And of course, I'm getting into a better school than you could even dream off."
Suddenly Vette just laughs. "She's insecure," she says suddenly. "Jesus, she's as insecure as I was." She keeps right on laughing, finding it suddenly hilarious. "Do you see this? Here's this girl, with everything going for her, everything. And yet she still had to convince herself by holding herself up to /me/ of all people."
"Well, everyone has their inner demons and issues to deal with." Mary replies with a warm smile as soon they fade out of the current scene and are soon somewhere else.
There's a large crowd of people. Oh look, it's Maia, Haldor, Jason, and the other Aesir. They're back in Gladsheim as Vette is fighting Mistr. It's living out just like she remembered it, as soon, there are voices that only Vette can hear.
"Stupid Odin, I wish they'd just go away and leave Rufus and I alone.." there's one voice, it should be terribly familiar since it's her own voice as it comes from Vette struggling with Mistr in the little arena. Then more voices can be heard.
Mary motions for the real Vette to look towards the blonde haired beauty sitting next to Thor. It's Sif of course, her lips pursed as she watches the fight, and soon it seems her thoughts become transparent as well though it's more of a conversation. Yay for telepathy. "Oh, I heard that Hephaestus' daughter is going to leave the Dodekatheon…"
Soon, Mary points towards Freya sitting at the opposite end of the table, watching asshe sighs and just shakes her head, facepalming as Vette starts to go into a rant at Mistr for not fighting back. "Oh, how could she be so irresponsible to leave them with Olympus suffering like it is…"
Then it's more of Sif's thoughts, "Poor Hephaestus… to have his own daughter leaving him and the rest of the family in their own time of need."
Vette stares for a moment. She shakes her head. "Poor Hephaestus? Hephaestus couldn't care one way or another," she mutters under her breath. She colors bright red. That character assessment at the end of that fight was worse than the fight. The whole thing was an embarrassing spectacle, but what was she supposed to do? Just roll over and let Mistr have Rufus just on Tyr and Odin's sayso? She only has two people in the world, and he's the one she loves the most. "Unless he just needs another tool. He made that perfectly clear, and perfectly clear he hardly thinks I'm adequate to help him at all. He could have helped me get a real family, too, but he didn't. He just left me as an F-kid, all my life. What am I supposed to do?"
As Vette starts to break, a predatory grin curls onto Mary's lips, if only for a few moments. Still, she makes sure that wasn't seen before she looks towards Vette and frowns, looking rather sympathetic as she squeezes the older woman's hand once more. "This place is reality for those that are here. And for those outside. The Dark Hour brings in the thoughts of others.. all is revealed. This is your reality…" she says softly as she soon points towards Hephaestus once more.
There's a bit of a grimace as Hephaestus watches the debacle going on in Gladsheim. He starts rubbing at his temples and sighs softly, taking a deep breath shaking his head as he mutters something to Tyr before looking back towards the fight. His thoughts become transparent as well. "What a troublesome child. Gods, how could I have a child that is so stupid? A child who is losing the honor and the glory of the Dodekatheon in front of the Aesir, one of our allies. How can we look strong when all they see is a petulant little brat who can't stand the decision of Odin." And he grumbles something under his breath before soon, the focus is on Mistr.
Even with all that Mistr whispered to Vette during the fight, there's a soft sigh as she continues to just merrily and easily evade the attacks. "She is so pathetic. It is so sad that I was chosen to fight her. I pity her. I will not use my full abilities on her. It would be a waste. Perhaps I should just lay down and let her win…"
Hephaestus' thoughts are simply no surprise, nor are anyone else's. "Is there a point to all this?" She asks Mary smoothly, all emotion gone from her voice. "Fascinating as this is, they can say whatever they want. I'll be happy to help Olympus, but the person I'm standing by is Rufus. Odin made a deliberately hurtful decision and tried to tear my world away from me that day. I don't care if he thinks I'm a brat, or petulant, or any of it. I'm not leaving Rufus behind just because gods are as petty as Russian dancers. At least Sif and Freya seemed to have some compassion, even if it wasn't for me. Good to know someone up there does.
And it's then that they disappear once more. They find themselves in another area. It's Vette and Scrivner's apartment. It's dark, and there's a little bit of light by the bed. There's a picture of Rufus and Vette smiling brightly together all coupley like.
The picture though. It's cut up. Vette's face is scribbled over, and soon, she can see Scrivner's sleeping body. He's asleep, but soon, there are his thoughts becoming transparent to her as well…
"I never had the chance to say it…I always wanted to tell Vette…"
And notice. Mary's gone.
Now this just doesn't make any sense at all. Vette goes to sit next to Rufus, stroking over his forehead. She can't really bring herself to say anything. Something's wrong, yeah, but here he is, and he's distressed. Whatever's wrong, she's just going to comfort him.
And more of Scrivner's thoughts can be heard now…
"That she was a real pain in the ass. I was nice to her cause she seemed competent and smart, and I could use her. That's all. But she took itcompletely the wrong way and gets all enthusiastic… what a dip…
Who cares about her anyway? She's useful. She's a decent lay, but damnit, I wish I had someone hotter. Who wants some plain Jane. Damnit, I'll get her into the Aesir just so I don't have to die. Ha! Because of her, mylife is ruined, my father hates me, the rest of the Aesir talk behind my back… I wish she'd just disappear…"
For a moment, Vette jerks her hand back like she'd touched a hot stove, feeling hurt and betrayal. And then, she stops. "Bollocks," she says, adopting his phrase. "That's bollocks. This isn't real at all." She stands up, shaking her head, backing away from Rufus. "Rufus chose me when he had plenty of choices. He could have dumped me at any time. He didn't. He could have gotten with Simone, who is much hotter. Furthermore, Rufus is not a manipulator. Rufus isn't like this at all. It might be my fault that his life is ruined," she believes that much, "but Rufus, furthermore, could bloody well tell me if he was ready for me to hit the road. He's done nothing but comfort me. Nothing but encourage me to think better about myself. This is ridiculous." Vette waves a dismissive hand. "And you know what? I think a few more of those just might have been distorted too, except I don't know anyone else well enough to tell. But if one is a lie, Occam's razor says the other is too."
"And she's so overanalytical. She tries to look through things. I just don't have the heart to tell her. Do I love her? I don't know. She loves me. And I don't want to be alone. I can stay with her until I find something better. Yes.. something better.."
There's a smile curling onto Scrivner's lips as he's sleeping, curling up in the bed and it seems for now, Vette's just talking to herself.
Vette rolls her eyes. "He proposed to me, you nitwit. Who are you, you second rate doppleganger?" She touches her engagement ring and holds on to its physical presence. "Babble if you want." She looks around for a door, just planning on walking right out of here. "First I'm dead, and he never got to tell me, then he's waiting for something better." She snorts.
And a door she finds! There's one out of the bedroom, and as it opens, there's another Vette, sitting down as she listensto the criticisms over and over again. Sif, Freya, Mistr, the Russian bitch, Hephaestus, Odin, Tyr and even Scrivner surround her giving their judgement.
"Pathetic. Ugly. Idiotic. Petulant. Brat. Troublesome. Not worth it.." The words are said over and over again.
For a moment she wants to just rage and lash out, but then she has to stop and think about this. "This is the inside of my head. It's reality for those that are here. It's only my reality because it's what chases itself around and around my own head. The crap I say to myself all the time, that I can't ever shut up. It's like someone slapped their faces on it. Or maybe I did it. I wish I /knew/ how to shut it up. I would if I knew."
Roxie looks at +event 6. "How do I reserve a spot?"
And with that, the voices disappear. There's only the other Vette right now, sobbing as she and the real deal are left in the darkness to face each other. She's crying as tears run down her cheeks as even the other voices disappear. She panics and gasps, running around spastically as she tries to find the other voices.
"No! No! Don't go! Why? Why are you leaving me here?!? Why am I always left alone?!?!? *sniff* It's so lonely. I don't wanna be alone!"
Vette grimaces and crosses her arms. "C'mon, Vette, we don't cry," she mutters. "We hardly ever cry, stop that. And we /never/ panic. We are as cool and calm as the winter sun. Most of the time." She stares down at herself, looking at herself like she might look at a strange animal she's never seen before.
The other Vette starts to move away as the real one approaches. She sniffles a little as she lets out a soft chuckle under her breath as there's her tone now dripping with sarcasm. She looks towards herself and smiles cheerily.
"I feel so sorry for myself… Boo hoo… No. I really don't. Scrivner? He thinks I'm a pain in the ass. Actually, I'm the one who thinks everything's a pain in the ass. Hahahahaha. This whole thing was a pain in the ass."
Vette continues to study the other her, like a puzzle. "Actually, right now what I'm thinking is that I really don't understand what's going on at all," she has to admit. "Is that you again?" The Gothic girl, the stompy Mary. "If I don't know my own mind, if I'm confused about some things, all I can do is try to reason it out."
There's a cruel laugh from the other Vette as she shakes her head and just stares towards the real one once more. She crosses her arms over her chest as she smiles in a predatory fashion at the real deal.
"Hahahahaha…. yeah, right. How long are you going to keep deluding yourself? I know why you're here. You're not some calm little girl. You showed your true colors when fighting Mistr. Screw the Dodekatheon and Hephaestus too. You're sick of everything.
You put on a good show of being strong cause you're so terrified of being alone. you've put all your eggs in one basket with Scrivner. He is your world. But you aren't his. Deal with it. No one wanted you. That's why you were in foster care going from place to place. That's why you were treated like a machine by your own father. That's why you're running away now from the Dodekatheon and joining nthe Aesir because you think they'll be accepting of you. Deal with it. You lost to Mistr. They think you're a joke. They'll /NEVER/ accept you.
And what's this about checking out this terra incognita for Scrivner and the other's sake? Ha! I know the real reason you came snooping…
You just came because you thought you'd be the first to discover something knew. Oh Vette, oh so smart. You can't do anything else. You're worthless in a fight. You're otherwise Scrivner's little damsel in distress. You wanted to be helpful. So you braved all this way so you can use your smarts to actually appear like you're useful to the rest of your band. A world inside Times Square… exciting! Obviously you'll be the only one who can figure it out. Well tough, bitch. The others figured it out already and know a LOT more. Way more than you. You didn't have any other reason to come here. You want to be glorified as the one who solves the problem of New Atlantis. Pathetic…
You're just trying to be a big shot. If all went well, hey, maybe you could even be a hero instead of some pathetic little twat that Scrivner has to save all the damn time. And hey, maybe the Aesir will even accept you!"
Long rant was long.
Frustration and anger paints a mask over Vette's face. "Oh, go to Hell," she snaps. "So what if I am sick of everything? I'm doing the best I can. If it's not perfect, well, nobody else is perfect either." She starts pacing around, really feeling like she'd just like to /shoot/ this other Vette and move on, save that it might kill her to do that. Or something. And I never asked for Rufus to make me his whole world. And of course other people know more than me, but they're not telling me, so I'm playing to my strengths. Look. Is there a point to all this? Seriously? Besides just flinging a bunch of nasty crap at me to see if I crack? Am I supposed to be actually doing something? Because if you think calling me names is going to stop me, you've got another think coming. I've been dealing with that all of my life. All I see so far is a smoke and mirrors game and yet another bully. What do you want from me?"
"Well, I'm here to replace you. I'm the /real/ you. I'm more real than you ever were. I'm everything that you suppress, that you hide from the outside world. It's quite easy to do so. You were always a pathetic little bitch anyway.."
There's a hearty laugh as she starts to approach, hoping to grab Vette by the neck. Or something like that.
Vette backs up, just trying to evade for now. "Oh Jesus," she mutters. "That's what happened when people came out insane. They came out taken over by their shadow side. She's not looking to engage a fight yet. "You're the real me, you say? Who do you say you are then? Everything you just flung at me? Or are you saying that's who I am, because I'm pathetic and you're so much different?"
"I am you. I am me." she says with a soft chuckle of amusement under her breath while she continues to approach Vette. "We are not different atall. Quite contrary, we are both the same."
"Ok, Alice, let's try to keep the Wonderland to a dull roar," Vette says sarcastically. "You know, we've done some pretty good things. And if our motives aren't 100% pure and if our actions aren't 100% successful, I still have good motives as well as shitty ones."
"So you have accepted that we are one and the same?" the other Vette says as she continues to try to make grabby grabby with Vette.
"I can accept that I have my shit, yeah," Vette says. "But I'm not interested in letting you take over my life. You'd make it out so that /everything/ we do is negative. That's not true. There may have been some subconscious motivation to be the one to figure it out, to be first, but I really was thinking of helping out my band with some new leads. If you're going to try to sell me on the notion that being helpful to my team is some dark horrible thing I think that's your opinion, because I'm not going to take guilt for that. I can accept that we're one and the same, but /I/ stay in charge."
And she keeps evading.
At the words that she can accept that they're one and the same. The shadow stops it's pursuit and just stands there.
Vette takes a few more steps back, warily, just in case. Have they been in a fight all along, her and this shadow? Is that why it hurts everytime someone hints that she might be like this person? This mirror image? She stares at the shadow for a moment. One in the same, but she'd like to be better than that. Is it possible though? Maybe. Maybe not.
And the shadow just stays there. Standing…
Vette glances around the room. Another door? Another way out? Another way forward? Should she touch the shadow? Maybe the shadow is trying to trick her. Better not leave her at her back. Is there anything to be afraid of if they're the same? She reaches out, tentatively, to poke herself on the arm. Like she's a specimen!
Still, nothing happens with the poke at the arm. Has Vette truly accepted her shadow?
Vette keeps poking at it. Just a few more times, because she's having a moment of emotional detachment. And she's not sure what to do with it. Finally she just takes it by the hand. "Come on," she says with a sigh. "I don't suppose there's any chance at just accepting we're the same but leaving you here, and emerging as a new paragon of moral awesome. But I tell you what we're going to do. We're going to go to Olympus and help out with whatever the mess is. I don't see what we can do that a bunch of full /Gods/ can't manage, but the point was never to /abandon/ Olympus. It was to /stand with/ Rufus. So we'll take care of that business first, and we're going to deal with our Dad. And they can just take our help, whether they want us or not."
The hand is taken, but the shadow doesn't budge. How else does one show acceptance. A hug perhaps?
Vette facepalms. Aw jeez. She only spares this emotional love and acceptance stuff for Rufus. She feels like a fool, hugging her inner child or something. She stares at the thing for a moment, then sort of edges forward. She gives it a quick sort of hug, then steps back just as quick. Accept herself, sure. Love herself? Ugh. The shadow was right about one thing. She's put her eggs so far into the Rufus basket that she even stuck her own in there. Not that she was ever very fond of herself to begin with, even before.
And with that, she accepts herself, she finds herself outside the Dark Hour once more, in the middle of Times Square.
Vette sits down on the curb. For a moment she just sits there, staring at the thing. Then she lets the emotional dam break. She lets the tears run down her cheeks, lets the stress make her shake. She wipes at her face with the back of her hand and then looks up again. Then she takes up her pack and starts heading home. Oddly she feels different. All of that rage has been drained out of her, all of that depression. She feels tired, but tired in the way you normally feel tired, not tired like she's been feeling tired.