Boiler Room

December 29, 2016:

Cutscene - Azalea Kingston loses what remains of the stalling effort to save her soul, and wallows in the aftermath of a meeting that was both success and failure.

St. Lawrence Cathedral


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Zatanna Zatara, Batman, The Winter Soldier

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Heat coiled, roiled, boiling under her skin. She'd had a break through, an accidental success, and no one got hurt. Not physically. And yet her anger had become the escalating pressure in a teapot, threatening to explode. The sensation of drywall crumbling under her fist was satisfying, enough so that she went back for seconds.


The drywall bits tumbled to the floor, and she could feel some of it still embedded in the scar tissue on her knuckles. These days she punched people with armored gloves, but she still had reminders of the early days. Early. As if she were some kind of pro vigilante. What had Batman called her? A rank amateur? She still wasn't sure if he was just trying to get a rise out of her, if his dance of accusation and threats had been meant to draw something out.

That didn't matter, though. He'd agreed to help her and train her. He'd told her she'd hate him. She already did. It was only part of the reason for the second punch. The rest of it was because of Bucky. The chance meeting with him in the church had taken all of her control, and every last wisp of Zatanna's stabilizing magic to keep her from running after him like he were her prey. It had been exhausting, and now that magic was gone. Azalea Kingston wouldn't have punched walls in the aftermath. The Devil Inside would have knocked them down. All she had left was the happy medium.

Trapped in her small room in St. Lawrence Cathedral's reliquary, she was every bit the caged animal, stalking, shifting, and finally staring at the tiny Christmas tree she had salvaged for herself from someone's garbage can. It was fake, plastic, and one whole side of it had suffered a horrible accident involving to much heat. It was fine. She just put that bit against the wall.

In the moments between rage and desire she wondered why she had bothered to bring the thing into her room, to fix it up, but it reminded her of a humanity she felt tenuously slipping from between her fingers. Heaving and straining against raw emotion, against success and failure, she reached for the paper star at it's top and stopped mid-motion as her phone buzzed on her nearby bed. It shook in her hands when she finally took hold of it, but it was not the buzz of an alert, but raw, impotent rage.

'Service unavailable.'

She'd ignored the payment cut off reminder - her parents weren't taking care of it anymore, and this had been the last month. She'd meant to buy a burner, but where had that money gone? Some place it probably shouldn't have. Coffee for a friend, maybe a new pair of gloves. Who knows. No one was there to see her shoulders slump, see the hope leave her eyes.

If her last text to Zatanna had made it to her, she'd never get a response letting her know. She would have to wait.

The phone shattered against the floor, and if it'd been a weapon used against another person it might have shattered bone. For all the power The Devil Inside gave her, it did not give her the control to use it, and the mad creature churned at her soul with a vengeance. It wanted so many things, but none of them were to consult Zatanna about Bucky. None of them were sitting here, waiting on that cold bed. Knees to her chest, she did just that, and the tick of the clock on the wall ground at her mentality as images of violence and debauchery from another time took over her mind's eye.

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