jonathan_icon.gif lucille4_icon.gif

Scene Title Munera
Synopsis Jonathan and Lucille find themselves pitted against one another.
Date May 1, 2019

Unknown Locale


They wake to the sound of a rattling, a key scraping against a lock. Somewhere below them, there is the erratic thrum of human voices — a multitude of them. The sound is reminiscent of the dull roar of a baseball game before the first pitch, the sound of an excited crowd waiting for the action to begin.

It isn’t unpleasant.

It is disquieting.

Jonathan and Lucille come to groggily — there’s no memory of how they came to be here: waking up in separate cages in a dark cavern of a room. Their limbs feel stiff, sore, from sleeping on the cold metal bottoms of their cage.

Except for one another and for the person who’s just unlocked the door, they are alone.

The door creaks open slowly with a creak. A figure walks toward them, silhouetted by the golden light from the doorway, nothing but a black figure — lean, possibly feminine. As the figure draws closer, as their eyes adjust to the darkness, they can see it isn’t a human face at all, but a feline one, mouth frozen solid in a snarl.

The cat carries two syringes. It might be then that the two captives feel that they’ve been negated.

Light blue eyes blink up towards the roof of her cage..

The long limbed woman grunts and maneuvers until she's in a crouching position. This would be a very bad time for a training exercise but she can't help but think of Avi. As she awakens. This had his stink all over it, she wonders where Colette is- Colette was leaving Wolfhound. Why couldn't she remember how she got here? Lucille's brow furrows in confusion and she blinks again as that door opens and the figure walks towards them. A cat.


The Wolfhound operative is not amused, cracking her neck from side to side. She can feel that she's cut off from her ability but instead of brisk panic there's a deep breathing and soothing calm that she tries to exude. The syringes in the mouth of the feline get a look from Lucille before she's looking over at the man in a cage across from her, "Wake up." Her growl is rough and she coughs after not being in use for however long. She tries again, "Wake up."

There is a twitch of fingers at the first demand to wake up and a soft groan from the man. Eyes blink open, as Jonathan slowly awakens, rolling over on his back. A hand brushes at his face, an attempt to brush at the cobwebs of grogginess. Fingers bump into the thick frame of his glasses and skewing them.

What had happened?

The hand drops to his side and for a moment he can only stare at the bars above him… what the… Was he seeing that right? Both hands lift to adjust the glasses, just in time for the doors to open. Startled by the sudden sound, his head comes up to get a better look at the approaching figure. Fear spikes through the man as he realizes that he’s been kidnapped. That thought has him sitting up and shuffling backwards until his back connects to the bars.

By the way the metal of the cage presses into his back, Jonathan knows something is wrong. That his ability was missing. What?!? Fingers cling to the wire on each side of him as he watches the cat-like person approach from the back of his prison. The fearful gaze only pulls away long enough to look at the woman in the other cage. He feels he should say something, but words fail him.

“Hello, little mice,” says the woman who is wearing a cat mask — this close, they can see it’s a mask, porcelain and grotesquely beautiful, something that might have been made in the early 1900s. The eyes behind the mask are fittingly olive green, though very human. “It’s time to play.”

Her voice would be sweet if she didn’t sound cruel.

She moves first to where Jonathan has pressed himself against the edge of the cage. The wire is thick and closely clustered — a pair of clippers wouldn’t break through, though a saw might, with time. There’s not enough space for a hand to reach through, but there is enough space for that syringe.

“Don’t fight this, or we’ll have to put you under again. This will make you feel better,” the cat says, voice sweetly cheerful, like a candy striper delivering jello. “The negation will wear off soon.”

Without his ability, Jonathan’s skin is as vulnerable as anyone else’s. Cat girl aims the syringe for a spot on the back of his neck. “It won’t kill you. You’ll like it,” she adds in that faux chipper voice.

Lucille keeps her eyes on the woman as she speaks

Jonathan being the first to be injected gives Lucille an advantage to look over and study what's going on, prepare herself. As best she could anyway. The sounds in the distance remind of her something and as the fog lifts more from her mind she locks onto that memory Crucible that's what that reminds her of. A game of some sort. The cat woman and her demeanor tell her they're dealing with people who clearly don't care who they are fucking with.

Luce curls in on herself in a show of faux fear. Willing tears forward to brim at her eyes. She'll stay silent for now.

Unlike, the other woman, the man in the cage has never raised a hand against anyone, never faced what she’s face. He’s always stay safe. Always, ran. So when he sees the needle and hears the cat-masked woman’s words, dread falls over him and finds himself Jonathan frozen in place. Only wide terrified eyes moving to follow this mysterious woman. When the woman moves behind him, the councilman’s breathing quickens and his heart starts beating against his rib cage; not unlike a deer as it faces a stalking wolf.

A part of him, in the back of his mind tries to reason with him, to get him to move. When Jonathan starts to jerk aside, it’s too late. The needle doesn’t find his neck, but the junction between it and his shoulder. The pinch of the needle as it punctures his skin gets a sharp hiss.

That sharp prick of pain, sends Jonathan into action. There is another jerk away and he tries to scramble way from the woman, away from the sting of the needle. A hand goes to his neck at he stares at her again… “W-w-what?” It is all he can manage.

The cold prick of metal is followed by the cold wash of something beneath his skin, beneath his veins. “Good boy,” the cat girl all but purrs, patting his cheek lightly before moving to Lucille’s tiny cage. Her eyes narrow a little as she draws close to the corner of the cage that Lucille’s pulled herself into — the cages aren’t large enough to move more than a couple of feet or so in any direction.

“Trust me,” she tells Lucille, her green eyes intently looking at the crocodile-teared Lucille. “It’s better to not fight me. This will help. You want this, where you’re going.”

As she speaks, her hand suddenly strikes out, to plunge the syringe into Lucille’s shoulder.

Those blue eyes meet the forest green and she doesn't break eye contact.

False hiccups and and she tries to focus more on the woman's voice, cataloguing, trying to place it if she knows it. When the needle pierces her skin she sighs slowly and lets whatever it is run through her system. Eyes still meeting those green ones and Lucille smiles slowly. She won't be here long she tells herself.

Lucille nods her head towards the feline woman. She'll come for her.

The touch makes him cringe and physically shudder, head and gaze ducking away from the woman. Jonathan just sits there huddled into a corner of the cage, trying to keep his nerves calm, but unable to do so. He was just too scared. What did they want with them? He finally manages to get himself to look up again, twisting in the cage to get a better look at Lucille and the masked woman. Then he finally focuses on the room around them.

“Where are we?” Jonathan finally asks his captor hoarsely, throat suddenly dry. It’s a standard question, even if he knows there is no true answer. Fingers curl around the wires of the cage; something solid to hold on too.

“Good girl,” says the catmasked woman, patting Lucille’s arm through the thin bars of the cage. Her green eyes dart over to Jonathan and narrow a little, as if she might be smiling behind the mask, though her mouth cannot be seen.

“You are where your presence is desired, of course. Just let that flow through you and enjoy the trip, hm?” she says in that low voice that would be pleasant if it didn’t belong to their captor — or one of them. “Enjoy yourselves, and all will be better soon — just a dream.”

She steps back, and moves to the side of the room where she flips a lever. A rumble fills the air, the sound of metal shifting, and suddenly the floor seems to be dropping beneath them, slowly drawing them downward.


“I find it very American of you. Charmingly so, cara, but a little expected.” A cultured Spanish accent comes, the man’s voice somewhat muffled, from behind the horned mask of a red stag. “What do you think?” The question is posed to the others sitting high in the top row of the stadium in what constitutes the VIP section.

The space is large, the size of a high school gymnasium. The metal walls are lined with built-in rows of benches, also metal, currently filled by an audience of several hundred. Each audience member wears a mask — some as elaborate and ornate as those found in the streets of Venice during Carnival, others as simple and cheap as those sold in a drug store in the month of October. They blur together in a dizzying and disorienting nightmarescape of distorted features and grotesque grins.

“Why is it when you say American it sounds like an insult?” says a woman, voice tinged with the hints of the southern states, bringing to mind magnolia flowers and peach blossoms, edged with something a little harsher. “I don’t think it’s expected.”

The man wearing the red stag mask laughs, a warm and fond sound. “He’s basically superman, cara. He is as American as you can get. Next time we should do costumes so you can put your next choice in red, white, and blue tights.”

"Because it is," An oblong mask with pointed ears and pointed nose intones from the other side. The fox's hat is cut to fit the wide, leaf shaped ears. Reflections of color from his ascot catch in the crystals that adorn one side of his silver-leaf mask. It’s as opulent as the suit he wears, full canvas with a sheen to the fabric that screams cashmere. It seems as though he dressed to suit the mask, rather than the other way around.

He's not paying attention to their conversation as much as he is watching the 'stage' in anticipation. Notebook and pencil in hand, there are already scribbles in a foreign language down one side of a fresh page. The Silver Fox turns to bow his head to the two, "Pardon the intrusion, I couldn’t help but overhear.” The general din in the room is almost deafening but his proximity in the VIP section allows for eavesdropping, at least by him.

The short man with curly, graying hair concealed by a black goat mask turns to regard the Fox with steely silence. His stare is heavy and shadowed by the deep eye holes of the mask. He doesn't say anything got je fox-masked man, but instead turns his attention back to the others. “Costumes,” he says with derision “would make this childish, wouldn't you think?”

The Red Stag laughs, dark eyes narrowing behind the mask in the way they do when someone’s mirth is genuine. “He said it, not I, cara. But if the shoe fits…”

The man leans over at the Goat. “I was joking, though I will point out that we are already in costumes, sir. But that is for our own protection. Still, it would be a very American spectacle to put them in tights and capes. Very… what was that show…American Gladiator?”

The White Rabbit’s feminine southern drawl, tinged with a naturally nasal quality, adds, “Quit saying American like that or I’ll get you on the no-fly list, señor.”

Above, a panel in the far-off ceiling slides open, and the two cages are lowered by cables and pulley to the arena below. It’s a slow descent for those watching.

For Lucille and Jonathan, the ground below rises up to greet them far, far too fast. Even as they descend, they can feel two things — one, the familiar comfort of their abilities returning as the negation wears off. The other, something more intense, familiar and yet not. A synthetic rage builds, burning away the cold residue of the drug forced into them moments before. Hatred fueled by the desire to hurt someone — anyone.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” a man’s voice booms out, “Today’s fighters are blessed with the gifts of resilience and biological manipulation. Will our strong, practically impenetrable He-Man be able to find a way to resist the spells cast on his body from the beautiful toxins or diseases this she witch throws at him?” He too is masked, a baboon’s face in colorful paint that contrasts with the three-piece suit he wears.

The cages rattle as they reach the floor. A mechanism whines, clicks, and suddenly all of the sides of the cages pull away.


It’s like rational thought is being stripped from Jonathan’s mind, even as he can feel the change in him body. Fingers clutch at his head, curling into his his hair as a mix of fear and anger course through him… What was going on?! His heart seems to thunder in his chest, picking up speed as fear slowly slips away leaving only the anger and the adrenaline that comes from it.

He… he felt so angry. Jonathan lets loose a roar of frustration, internally, the action startles him a little.. It was a rare sensation for Jonathan, one he felt only a handful of times, and he didn’t like it. This thought has him growling out in frustration. Vision edged in red, he finds himself staring at the woman in the cage across from him.

Jon’s anger needed an out and she was a convenient nearby target. The pacifist looked ready to murder Lucille.

As the cages finally hit the ground, he is thrown off his balance. He reaches for cage for balance only to have the bars lift away. There is a touch of surprise as Jonathan finds himself free, he can only stare at the animal filled bleachers. Was he seeing things? He shakes his head and turns away from the crowd… only to find Lucille again.

Almost immediately the anger takes the reins again and the man growls…

The well-dressed man in the black goat’s mask, situated in the proverbial barnyard of the audience, tips his chin up as he watches Jonathan with an appraising stare of equally dark eyes. There is an ever so subtle reflection of the arena’s ambient light in the shadowed hollows of his mask’s eye sockets. He raises one gloved hand, motioning with a curl of his fingers toward Lucille. A last minute bid placed before the fighting begins in earnest.

The cage descending has Lucille peering through half closed eyes at the sight below her. She almost laughs, a fighting ring. The announcers claims have her stiffening though, too much information. This man wasn't a fighter in The Crucible so her theory that this was some twisted "Play Off" game puppeted by John Logan is out. She's contemplating this when she feels the surge of amphetamines, something she is intimately familiar with and something else.

Rage was something she also knew, something she worked at along with the rollercoaster of her other emotions. This added dose though… it sends her over the edge and she eyes Jonathan with a low growl in the back of her throat before her gaze lifts to the stands around her. Lucille sees them to, for now at least.

Breaking what could be considered normal routine she runs away from Jonathan arms pumping hard at her sides, eyes flaring hot amber gold as Lucille runs and leaps at the small barricade between the ring and the bleachers. Agony ringing out around her, things seem to slow for the woman as she twists and plants her feet against the barricade and pushing herself off aiming her limbs towards Jonathan trailing pain around her general area.

The crowd roars its approval as Jonathan and Lucille take to the fight almost immediately, some jumping up to their feet when Lucille runs.

Beyond the barricade ring, a few masked guards lift weapons — ready to shoot if she tries to make a break for it or attack one of them. Her trained eyes catch sight of their arsenal — some are equipped with standard military-grade rifles, but others have tranquilizer guns — perhaps loaded with tranquilizers. Perhaps loaded with adynomine.

The guards nearest to Lucille hiss in pain when she throws her ability into high gear, the bloom of agony bringing a couple of them to their knees. Beyond them, on the first couple of rows of the bleachers closest to Lucille, others too gasp.

For Jonathan, physical pain is practically a distant memory, but his impenetrable body can’t fight off the flare of agony that shoots through his nerves within.

“Interesting,” says the southern woman in the rabbit mask, drawing out the word slowly before bringing a glass to her lips — a straw making it easy to drink from without revealing the face beneath the lapine features of the ceramic mask. “But fist to fist — he can still do more damage, can’t he?”
The dark eyes behind the Red Stag mask crinkle again. “If he doesn’t crumple first. Are you prepared to lose the first bout?” He looks approvingly at the goat’s bid, nodding once for the vote in favor of his candidate.

Unlike Lucille, Jonathan has never trained a day in his life for combat. So he can only watch dumbfounded as she flees towards the audience, unaware at first of what she is doing… until the pain hits him….

And then so does the woman.

The spot where she hits Jonathan, feels like she’s kicking a solid brick wall. His skin hardened against the impact, not unlike AEGIS armor… Protecting him. Surprising for him is the pain. It should be blunted, but the woman’s ability raises it up to levels he’s never felt before. He cries out in pain.

While his body protects him, Jonathan isn’t a true brick wall so the momentum is transferred from one body to the next… It pushes him off balance and he goes down heavily, head hitting the ground, dazing him for a moment.

The figure in the goat mask flinches, looking from someone in the audience back to the fighters. “He can’t be invulnerable everywhere,” the goat-masked man opines, “she’s a clever girl. She’s a Ryans. I’m sure she’ll figure it out…” Then, with his head tilted to the side and dark eyes focused on the stag-masked spectator, the goat adds, “I’m not saying she won’t die of internal injuries after the fight, but…” He shrugs, helplessly.

Lucille's foot connects and bounds off with a thick thud she falls to the ground but twists her body to catch herself on the ground, golden eyes flaring while widening in shock at the man's ability. …that would be a problem. As she pushes off of the ground, rolling in the direction of Jonathan as he falls to the ground.

Her long limbs stretch to straddle the man and she shoves her hand onto his chest, fingers splayed out as she drives the pain up a notch, reveling in the aggression. Her head thrown back amber eyes wild before Lucille switches tactics and takes the pain away, washing off like a cold bath, icy veins. The man beneath her goes blind as her heart pounds wildly in her chest.

She grabs hold of his sight with her ability turning of the biological functions with a jerk of her head and she leans in, "Come on." She growls into his ear, Lucille knows how this goes. She's just never been forced into this before. "…Put. On. A. Show." Taking his shirt to drag him upwards before she's trying to slam his head back into the ground. "It only gets worst if we don't." Her breathing is labored and she tries to access that part of her mind where her center is but she finds the path shaky and chaotic.

“Unfortunately for the Superman, I chose wisely,” the Red Stag says with a low chuckle to the Goat-masked man, those dark eyes crinkling again behind the mask. “Perhaps I am evolving myself and have become psychic, hmm carita?” His eyes slide to the woman at his side, before looking back to where Lucille has straddled Jonathan as he tries to get his bearings.

The White-Rabbit masked woman’s eyes narrow angrily as she stares at the arena below, disbelieving.

“Get up and punch her!” she calls out, voice shrill, drawing laughter from the crowd below them.

“She’s taking to it like a labrador in a bathtub,” she says, with a shake of her head. “I would have expected a bit of reluctance at hurting a fellow prisoner, wouldn’t you? I mean…” she waves a hand at Jonathan, her perfect French-manicured nails gleaming in sharp contrast to the gritty walls and dreary warehouse-like setting. “He is a schoolteacher.

The Red Stag laughs again, a warm and merry sound. “You should have perhaps taken that into consideration, cara.” He glances to the goat-masked man. “What would you consider the ultimate fighting ability? And does it require a costume?”

There is a growling shout against the pain, Jonathan’s back arching and fingers grab at her arms. In the back of his mind there was a part of him that was panicking… Confused and unable to understand what was going on, it drove that blind need for survival. He knew this was wrong, but it was hard to focus on that as Lucille takes away his sight and starts pounding his head against the ground.

No matter how much you can stand up to, that still isn’t fun.

Her words barely register, Jonathan’s fingers finding purchase around her throat and grabbing holding, with a fearful growl. Even as his fingers feel the pulse under his fingers and he digs in, that tiny voice was screaming how wrong it was. Maybe it’s the voices hounding him one, but with surge of energy, he tries to throw her off… to roll them over, but not so he can hit her… He does… and doesn’t want to pound his fists into her face… not that he can see them. Instead he tries to get away and break the contact in hopes of regaining his senses.

As he tosses her off Lucille rolls and lands on the ground on her hands and knees, looking down at the ground with wild eyes. That was better at least.

Taking a running leap at the man she sails through the air. Jonathan's vision is back but Lucille holds her palms out as she hopes to wrap herself around Jonathan. Slamming into him, "Fight me!" She roars, leaning into the anger that surrounds her, suffocating Lucille as she pulls up the least pleasant of her abilities.


"This is gonna suck. But go down after this." Lucille tries to whisper in Jonathan's ear through bared teeth. Fingers pulling at him wherever she can find purchase as her ability works it's way over the man's on the surface invincible body, luckily for Lucille she worked beneath the surface.

“Are you really surprised?” The goat-masked figure asks of the white rabbit. “Deep down inside, every one of their kind is like that. A genetic bloodlust— a filthy fucking pedigree made of murder and lies. Look what they did the second they escaped captivity. They overthrew the government, they started a war, they nearly destroyed the entire world.” The goat-masked man’s jaw sets tightly. “They’re animals, all of them.”

Déu N’hi Do!” breathes out the red stag as Lucille leaps onto Jonathan. The slim hands of the man come together to clap, then clasp together, looking quite the part of a pleased king at a joust. “She is something, isn’t she? Like a gazelle.”

The white rabbit snorts less poetically than her friend. “A bloodthirsty gazelle. Like those deer they found eating. “C’mon, professor! You can do better than that!” Somehow, even with stands full of people, her shrill voice cuts through the roar of the other spectators.

“It is ironic that we wear the animal masks, then,” the stag says. “I think perhaps your theory holds true for many of them — those with violent abilities. But what of the more cerebral types? I do not find them to be bloodthirsty, the psychics and the clairvoyants and the technopaths. But for all of that…” his fingers steeple, and the crinkled crows’ feet at his eyes smooth as a smile slips away behind the mask, “I find them more terrifying, I think. They can do as much damage to people like ourselves. Perhaps more.”

What the hell is with this woman?!? Jonathan’s brain can’t really process what is going on or what she is saying… all she does is succeed in pissing him off more. Fingers claw at the monkey of a woman as she climbs grabbing purchase here and there. It doesn’t hurt so much as it is annoying… He whips this way and that as he tries to find a purchase on the woman.

What is what is even worse is the rising nausea that starts his mouth watering and his stomach heaving…. What…? It makes it that much harder for him to concentrate. He can feel that moment coming. Yet, something cuts through the need to empty his stomach on the sands…. A voice. One egging him on. It’s enough to give him a moment of clarity and focus. Enough to formulate… not a not great strategy. It’s all he has…

Arms clamp around feminine legs, feeling like a vice, trapping her there against his body… She can feel the growl vibrate through Jonathan’s body, before he roars out with the effort he exerts to kick off the ground and thrust himself backwards. Lucille, suddenly, finds herself between the ground and Jonathan, as they both land heavily. On their backs.

Of course, as soon as they land, Jonathan is scrambling to roll off, onto all fours, and heave out what little there is in his stomach. Several times. It’s not pretty.

Lucille's scream pierces the wall of sound that is the cheers of the crowd and as she lands on the ground pinned to the ground with a loud smack and crunch. Lucille's arm was underneath the schoolteacher and as he rolls of she rolls over onto her side cradling the arm that's now bent at an awkward angle. Tears well up in the corner of Lucille's eyes but she stares ahead at dirty white barrier that stands as a perimeter around them.

Help me mom.

She always prayed for Mary when she was in a dicey situation even to this day. The locket that was a gift from her swings wildly from the hollow of Lucille's neck. Her body shivers and then stops as Lucille wrenches control over it, eliminating all of her sensation to feel pain.


Feeling nothing she takes her good arm and pushes herself up off of the ground rising to her feet and slowly turning herself to face Jonathan. All she feels is rage and though she wants to turn around and just attack the guards and possibly escape (or possibly die thanks to her arm) Lucille truly only wants to rip Jonathan apart. Which was proving difficult.

As the auburn hair woman turns her body, that broken arm is revealed. Hanging limply at her side, chest rising and falling rapidly. Lucille begins taking slow, stalking steps towards the man, murder in her eyes.

The school teacher stumbles to his feet and staggers a little away from the mess, giving his head a hard shake trying to clear it. Pressing a hand to his head, he turns back to look at Lucille, the rage still boiling under the surface. Anger that he was there and that she was forcing him to hurt her. He didn’t want to die, but this wasn’t him. There was a war of emotions going on within him.

However, it all changes when she turns towards him and he sees her arm. All emotions are washed out in an instant, eyes widen at the sight of the ruin he cause. “No!” he whispers out in shock. Like ice cold water being poured over his head, the hard truth of what he had done takes his breath away and leaves him motionless. All he could think was that: HE DID THAT. Him. No one else. HIM.

The rage he feels towards his captors and Lucille, induced by whatever they hit him with, it reverses and turns on Jonathan. This wasn’t him, he was better than his father. He could still remembered those beatings that he and his mother took. He had told himself he’d never become like him. He was furious at his failure to keep that promise.

And just like that, Jonathan simply drops to his knees on the ground, hands draping limply in his lap, head bowed and eyes closed.

He waits.

Jonathan is done fighting. In his mind, he deserved what ever came next..

“No!” screams out the White Rabbit, along with half of the spectators, jumping to their feet when the stalwart man falls. “Get up and fight!” the woman yells, pounding the back of the back of the bench in front of her.

Those supporting Lucille roar in triumph, also jumping to their feet, and the place is thundering with jeers and cheers. The baboon steps into the ring through a little gate in one side, much like an ice rink, moving slowly and carefully toward the fighting duo, before lifting the microphone to his mouth.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we have a winner! Team Priscus has its first victory!”

The guards lift their guns, watching Lucille warily. One throws a canister into the arena, the sickly yellow gas seeping out with a snakelike hiss.

Viciously shaking her head she almost continues making her way forward to make him get up and continue to fight, she wasn't sure if these people were the type to murder someone who couldn't participate but it wasn't like it would be easy to kill Jonathan but then again he did get drugged and negated like her. Lucille's teeth grind and and leans forward ready to charge at the man, maybe to save both of their lives.

But the announcer is declaring Priscus's victory and everything slows for the woman and she stops. Winner winner. Luce doesn't feel proud, she's even more angry.

The sound of gas makes her golden eyes narrow and she looks around at the guards. That gas.. will lead to pain. That pain… Lucille needed to be here. Now. Her heart races wildly as she snatches away the blanket that numbs her pain with a loud cry, what happens next sends blood trickling from Lucille's nose as she Boosts herself and clamps down on alleviating her pain once more. Everything is heightened, if it wasn't already. Dark eyebrows raise a tic as her eyes flare an even brighter golden hue. Quickly approaching overloading herself if she inflicts another change in someone, or herself.

That arm hangs limply at Lucille's side as she takes a running leap movements faster, eyes beginning to be bloodshot around those amber irises aiming for one of the guards chest with legs outstretched and feet angled.

The hiss of the canister bring the councilman out of his self-loathing, his head whipping up in time to see the sickly yellow fog being spit out. It was one of those distant memories from before the was and for a moment he watches it with horrified fascination. However, movement beyond the canister catches his attention and pulls it in time to see Lucille turn away and go for the guards.

What was she doing?

“Hey!” Much like she warned him to fight, Jonathan in turn warns her to “Wait! Stop!” He can feel the negation gas already starting to cling to him, his body tingling as it starts to normalize. Yet, without much thought to his negated state, Jonathan stumbles to his feet and attempts to stop the woman before she gets herself killed. Of course, he sadly comes up short as she leaps and his fingers close on empty air.

“You chose a xai when you should have chosen a lleó, carita,” the Red Stag says, a shake of his head as he adds his applause to those cheering for Lucille. “Brava!” he calls out, getting to his feet and stamping them a little along with some others in the audience.

The White Rabbit leans back against the wall, dejected eyes staring down — but then things get exciting again, and she perks up when Lucille goes running for the guards. “I at least put a down a bet that someone would attack a guard,” she asides.

The guards are quick on the trigger. The one who Lucille leaps at flounders, and gets knocked onto his ass where he bumps into another behind him, giving the angry Wolfhound some satisfaction of revenge. Unfortunately, the others are ready, and one with tranq darts shoots, the dart hitting her in the throat. It’s not enough to pierce her larynx or even make much more than a tiny pinprick in her flesh, but it’s enough to dump enough of the tranquilizing agent into her system. The negatio gas is taking its effect already, but the tranquilizer needs a few more heart beats to pump it through her body.

To encourage her submission, an assault rifle points at her as yet another guard steps in front of the two she’s knocked down. “That’s enough of that,” he says.

Jonathan finds a few rifles pointed at him as well.

“Back to the cage,” he’s told. Lucille will have to be carried out.

At the center of the arena, the baboon-masked man's voice booms out again. “We will be serving cocktails in an hour and dinner in two, ladies and gentlemen. Black tie required, masks are optional. Winners can claim their winnings before or after dinner. Losers, better luck next time!”

Quiet for some time, even over the cheers of others who made the same financial investment, the goat-masked man merely inclines his head toward the ring. “I’d hazard to guess you’re right about one thing…” has no ring of smug satisfaction on it, even if the masked figure feels it inside. “The cerebral ones? They are terrifying.” His dark-eyed stare lingers on Lucille as the guards begin to carry her out, then up to his masked peers in silent judgement of their choices.

The sight of the rifles has Jonathan paling and stumbling back , nearly falling on his butt in the process. Even if he had his ability, his reaction would be the same. He had never been the bravest of men, choosing to walk away from a fight… at least until tonight.

Jonathan is quick to duck back into the cage, moving to crouch at the back of it as far from them as possible. Non-threatening, unlike minutes before. Wide eyes move over the masked crowd and then falling on Lucille, where guilt knives through him. He moves to watch her, fingers curling around the wire of his enclosure. In the shadow of the cage, his chin trembles a bit and he can feel the prickle of shame behind his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he whispers quietly, but was it to her or to the fact he had failed himself? Maybe both.

"Well, shit. But it's the first of many." The white rabbit's brown doe eyes fall on the goat. "Perhaps you can advise me for the next match," she says.

"And you say I cheat," says the red stag. "I feel some champagne is in order… at least for some of us."

For Lucille and Jonathan, the last thing they see is the cat-faced woman with another pair of syringes.


Staten Island

Jonathan wakes face down on a rocky beach. Fortunately for him, the negation has worn off so the rocks that would dig painfully into anyone else's skin are instead a mild irritation. The headache, pounding in time with his pulses, is something different, something internal — from dehydration or drugs or chemicals, or some cocktail of all of the above, it's reminiscent of a hangover, and with that same uneasy feeling of not knowing just where he's been or what he's done.

Sitting up, his eyes can make out in the distance the familiar shapes of the buildings of Red Hook.

Which means he's in Staten Island — with no idea of how that came to pass.


Park Slope

The empty brownstone Lucille wakes in has seen better days. There's a strong smell of mildew mixed with urine, and the once-beautiful hardwood floors are covered in dirt, leaves, and trash — no surprise given that the front windows have been broken for some time, the shattered glass that should be there buried beneath all of the detritus. This sensory input comes secondary to the fact that her head is pounding and her arm aches with the distracting pain that comes from a fracture that's been dulled by medication.

Stranger is the fact it's splinted by a medical-grade air splint and held against her arm by a sling.

Strangest of all, she has no idea how it happened.

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