A Nu You

February 25, 2018:

Ardelle emerges from her cocoon after Terrigenesis, fleeing the site of her mentor's death. Coming upon Black Bolt, the new Inhuman vents her trauma and gets some small idea of who she now is.

New York City sidewalk

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been a long walk from the convent that Ardelle Arlea called home for over a year. The (now) Sister stumbles about in a half-lidded gaze along New York's sidewalks. It takes a lot to make the ever-present crowds actually part for someone like Moses and the red sea. But as it closes in to dark, they do.

She barely notices their confused, and then often frightened gazes. Murmurs and the occasional throw drink or other such object is met with cries of 'mutant' or 'disgusting freak'. The reason is obvious: she glows. Her eyes are a golden yellow, and her entire body lights up the darkness with that same particular radiance. Blonde hair is struck through with some kind of blackish substance, almost tar-like in quality. Indeed, that same goop, hardened clings to what was once a pristine nun's uniform. There's several tears in it, both from her months of struggling as the changes took her and from one or two muggers that tried their luck with the new Inhuman.

They were idiots. All it took was one swing, a ruined lightpole, and a dumpster slice in two for them to decide to find more sane targets.

That alone, with M-town about, might not get such a viceral reaction. It's the long, wide claymore-like sword the short nun drags behind her that gets all the attention. Made entirely of that same light, people are quick to curse or scatter.

The woman, barely an adult, mutters as she seeks…something. Given the glass to her golden peepers? Maybe it's something in her mind.

"Sister Anna…Father Ernest…come back….come back to me…" She mutters again and again, melancholy words of the lost and shocked repeated like a mantra.

*

Blackagar was just walking through the street from Titans Tower. Thankfully, they've been helping the reality displaced Inhuman King get his bearings. But with no apparent way back home, he joined the team…but now he's on down time, and with that, he decides he will go and learn more about the world. Walking through those dark streets, he wears the clothes of his royal line. that is, a long black tailcoat with the royal sigil (black bolt's logo) on the chest, black fingerless gloves, black slacks, combat boots, and a hood attached to his tailcoat that is presently over his head.

However, his attention is effectively snagged by the walking Sister that A) Glows, and B) seems to be discriminated against by just about everyone she crosses. Because she glows. So cool. Either way, Blackagar decides to approach…he sees the tears in her uniform, the hard-light claymore she drags behind her, so clearly she's special.

Alas, Black Bolt simply stands in her way. Though he offers no signs of hostility, rather, he offers her a kind smile. Though he doesn't speak. Not a single sound from his angelic voice.

Because that would be -very- bad.

*

Even for someone with newfound stamina, there's a limit. The pure trauma finally catches up, and as a solid obstacle stands in her way? Ardelle pauses. Golden eyes blink. Not much, but some of that fog actually lifts. That smile is friendly, not unlike the glares and eyes that have been tracking her. Not the greedy eyes of muggers looking to take from her.

"Who…are….you?" She finally manages to get it. Another breath, and she falls to her knees. The sword falls. Outside of her grip, it fades into specks of light that dissappear. Now she's just a slightly roughed up nun with a glowing aura.

Not an immediate danger, but definitely in trouble. "Where am I? Where's Father Ernest!?" As the daze fades, fear grips her. Tears start to streak down her cheeks. Hands tremble. The bodies, twisted, false visions of her mentor and friends run through her mind.

Her breathing starts to ramp up. Too much more and she'll start to hyperventilate. Black Bolt gets no recognition from the nun for that symbol, but he's the first friendly person she's seen. Hands reach out for him, as if reaching for some kind of lifeline, some kind of /answer/ to everything.

*

Black Bolt stays where he is. Hood up, but the darkness under that hood seems to make those beautiful ocean blue eyes glow. But she could still see his smile. Though what seemed to confuse him was that it seems that whatever state she was in, she seems to lose control of herself completely to her powers. A very curious notion as he sees that sword dissipate into just fragments of embers as a terrified and overwhelmed Sister knelt before him.

He still says nothing, because if he even whispered, likelihood she would be atomized. THat said, he simply approaches her and he kneels in front of her as she reached for him. wrapping his arms around her to pull her into the Embrace of the King of Inhumans. She would hear a voice inside of her head. «Do not be afraid. You have been through much, I sense it. But you must not be afraid.»

His voice was like an angles. It could calm a raging sea and quell the wrath from any individual. He keeps her held close to him to let this new information seep in.

*

Warm arms, and a gentle embrace are exactly what she needed. Her own are shaking, and finally? She lays her head into the young man's shoulders. He speaks into her mind, and she accepts it. She's in no condition to reject. And really? Would she reject such a kind, profound person?

Silence aside from her sobbing. At least to cry is to be human, rather than whatever dazed automaton she'd sunken into in the aftermath of her transformation. Her whispers are for him alone.

"…Why am I the only one that lived? I…what cursed demon has taken me!?" Only that calming presence is keeping her from sinking into mania, the confused nun gripping to the only other trauma that could possibly explain this.

A demon. Is she possessed? If she were rational right now, she'd know none of the signs are there. But she's far from that.

*

Lorna arrives from The Crossroads.

*

Blackagar Boltagon keeps her in his warm embrace. He can hear and feel the profound sadness that this woman is experiencing, and he can't help but be touched. He keeps her close to him. «It's okay to cry…it's what makes us who we are as people. Nothing is your fault. Will you speak to me?» he asks then.

«You can share it with me, you know…your pain, your sorrows. I will bear them with you as we stand shoulder to shoulder. Now, what is your name, my dear?» He asks with that soothing voice, keeping her close. He didn't ask her if she was possessed or asked if she was some kind of monster.

He wanted to know who she was.

*

"I…"

A long pause. The woman shudders, and then, finally just relaxes against the single person to not look at her like a freak since she emerged. A melancholy smile comes to her face. Eyes close.

"Ardelle. Ardelle Arlea. I'm…I was…a Sister in Training." She licks her chapped lips. 'Share'. It hurts. Her heart pounds.

She lets the memories flood her mind, and offers them willingly. Bolt would find himself in a building, a small parish, just outside of the Big Apple. A stranger on the outside looking in. The first few memories are pleasant ones: Ardelle, much less glowy, working alongside two older Nuns. A man in his sixties, balding, but a warm smile. Father Ernest no doubt. Months of working, of praying, of charity and love and faith.

But the Mists gathered unbeknownst to those in the parish. Finding exactly those who have the potential. And then, a single night of terror as men and women are blanketed in the dark cocoons of Terrigenesis. The world is darkness, months passing. Suffering, screaming in isolation. Time is meaningless.

And then the cocoon breaks open, producing the girl Bolt now holds. She looks around, the parish lit only by the light she exudes.

Two more bodies quiver on the ground. One, a furred beast, twisted at odd angles, gibbering. A failed Inhuman, what was once the kindly Father. To his side, the half-liquified body of a Sister. Still twitching, but not long to live.

"Kill…mee…." Mutters the Father.

Hands raise, a great golden sword rises. And then…falls behind her. She can't do it. Ardelle screams, and runs, until she can only walk. Haze sets in, and all is a blurr.

The memories end. Exhausted, Ardelle is a lump in her fellow Inhuman's arms.

*

Black Bolt sees these memories, seeing what appeared to be a Inhuman breeding place? No, no…this was an accident? Or so it appeared. He held her tight in his arms as he looked at these memories….oh no, Terrigenesis is not meant for the standard human genome. While a few humans will survive it….it's not..

Safe.

He sees what happens to the Father and Sister, a sad look on his face as their fates are given, alas, he also sees Ardelle scream and run, and it seems that Black Bolt is now at the present situation. His eyes on Ardelle as he strokes her hair. «My name is Blackagar Boltagon, I am the King of the Inhumans. What happened to you was Terrigenesis…and you are an Inhuman. On my word, I will protect you.» he says as he hugs her a little tighter.

*

"An…Inhuman? What do you mean? I'm a mutant? A King?" Confusion now, at least, more than immediate shock. The shock is still there, but she's simply gone to her limits of being able to process. She's shaking more. Thankfully she's not in any overt medical danger, but only barely. She looks famished, thinner than her frame should be, eyes gaunt from the Terrigenesis.

A swift shake of her head, and she gives up. There's no understanding in those golden eyes. But she latches onto that last sentence.

"I don't…" Gulp. "I want to believe this is all a dream, that I'm going to wake up and find it was just a nightmare. Mister Boltagon…if this isn't a dream, if this all really is God's will…" A shudder.

"Thank you. Please…help me." And then she passes out into his arms.

*

Black Bolt watches onward, but then he looks then to Ardelle…seeing her questions and at this point, she's still in so much shock about the whole situation, that it may not be wise to tell her much more then. So? He mentally speaks to her. «shh…rest now. I will take you home. I will watch over you.» he tells her then…but then she passes out in his arms after her statements for him to help her.

and help her he will.

He picks her up in his arms, cradles her in fact, as he uses his ability to control the electrons around him to fly into the sky. Where was he taking her? Titans Tower.

Then? things will be more carefully explained.

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