Not Every Caterpillar Becomes A Butterfly



Scene Title Not Every Caterpillar Becomes A Butterfly
Synopsis They can hope, though.
Date July 13, 2018

Stolichnaya Elit

Los Angeles, CA


The Olympians had left LAX a bigger mess than it had ever been. But, it was in the hands of the rebels now, and had been deemed good enough. Zeus and her people had fallen back and joined and encampment at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. Some of her people had never been to Los Angeles before and they took off to hit up the nearby sights. Seeing her city falling apart wasn't easy for Lynette and she slipped away into her assigned tent. Tomorrow, they were starting a trek east, clearing out the 10 freeway so their supplies could move again. The Olympians hardly seemed to need sleep. Fueled by anger, by power, by exhilaration. She'd fostered that in them, taught them to live for the fight, for the kill. It made war a lot easier if they didn't spend time humanizing their opponents.

Lynette drinks to prevent that in herself. She drinks from a bottle she's been holding onto for a special occasion. LA in pieces certainly earned it. She drinks until she passes out, until she doesn't have to think about the blood staining her clothes and hair, until there's nothing left of her that isn't numb.

She wakes up the next morning with a hangover. She drinks to fix that, too.


Somewhere in Texas


The bodies around her are marked with branching scars, Lichtenberg figures spreading up arms and legs, across faces. Hours ago, they were alive. Now they're dead. In between, they'd been caught leaking secrets to the enemy. The downside of being known as the most brutal squad in the war was that people assumed you'd be up for anything. Lynette did it herself. She didn't even let Nicole help. There were some burdens she couldn't ask her people to carry.

She's been told that the trial— such as it was— gave them enough intel to shore up the worst of the leaks.

People spoke to her now, as she stood there looking at them. She isn't hearing them, though. She's drinking out of a half-empty bottle that Artemis gave her before all this started. It says Jameson on the label. Lynette isn't at all certain that's what's actually in it. But she also does not care. It gets her so drunk that she never remembers how she got from the execution to her cot.

Potter's Rum

Boulder, CO


Everyone is dead. Nicole moved on. Lynette cannot. She finds herself fight after fight, enemy after enemy. It isn't about the cause anymore, if it ever was. It isn't noble anymore, if it ever was. Right now, it's about anger. She drank until it was time to go fight. It passed by in a haze. Now she's drinking to clear away the blood, the kind that never washes away.

It's about guilt. And loneliness. And living in a hole so deep all she can do is throw herself against the walls and hope the earth buries her.

It doesn't. It never has, no matter how hard she's tried.

In the meantime, she makes herself a monster for the cause. People tell her she's doing good work. People thank her for rescuing them. People ask her for help. It used to make her feel powerful, like a goddess, but now the words echo in her head and hollow her out a little more each time she hears them.

She drinks.


Los Angeles, CA


She written to her mother about coming for a visit. Karin replied months later. She had time during the summer. She'd come by. Stay for a few days. Lynette, young and full of hope, believed her.

When she'd spent a whole week waiting for the bell to ring, she called her best friend, sobbing. He came over with a six pack he was too young to have bought himself and they drank the whole thing between them. By the time her father came home, she was laughing with her friends and not concerned about her mother. She was numb. It was a good feeling.

She didn't write to her mother again for years.

Eighteen Days Sober

The Benchmark Center, NYCSZ


Sitting in the back of the room, Lynette listens to the stories the other addicts have to tell. She always comes, she always listens, but she never speaks. She never shares. There's a part of her that thinks it's stupid, although she hasn't said as much to anyone but her therapist.

It'll be good for you, she had said. It'll be good for the others, too.

The stories were all familiar, and yet not. Hers were intense, bloody, and a little too real. She started this facility for people like her, but for some reason, she bucked against the idea of her being a part of it. A real part of it. Even in the facility in Mexico, she never got involved. She barely tolerated therapy.

There's work to finish.

That was a different voice. Eve's. Lynette wasn't sure Eve had ever said that to her, but it rang in her mind as clear as a cherished memory. Perhaps sometime during the war. Perhaps she'd dreamt it. She wasn't sure, but it was Eve's reminder of the ever-present work that gets her to lift her hand when they ask for the next speaker.

Surprise flutters through the room, but she takes her spot at the front all the same. Her white suit is crisp and bright against her blue blouse and yellow heels. She looks at the others, at them looking at her, and fights the urge to run from the room and hide. She doesn't know how to begin, so she settles for a deep breath in, then out. She looks at the back of the room. She breathes in. She looks at the group. She breathes out.

And begins.

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