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Angelique
05-14-2011, 08:26 PM
The wine that was served in the house of stock broker Jean Debussy was fit for gods and kings, her servant Ella had assured her, but as Selene stood in Debussy's recently renovated patio with a glass of the fabled liquid in her hand, she found that there was little substance to the claims of the girl. The taste was dull and forgettable, wholly incomparable to the classic Bordeaux wines that the Hellfire Club used to serve to its many members. Yet she knew that even those offerings paled next to the drinks that were reserved for the club's Inner Circle, a secret cabal consisting of the most powerful and ambitious individuals who, unbeknownst to the normal members, determined the agenda of the club to suit their own needs. The concept of the club was hopelessly outdated and she had known its ruler Sebastian Shaw as the most obstinate of leaders, but Selene, during her tenure as the club's Black Queen, could never find fault with Sebastian's taste in wines.

A soft yet determined voice interrupted her musings. "My queen, I hope you are comfortable? Is everything going according to your wishes?" She turned towards her slave, looking to meet eyes with the girl that apparently knew nothing of fine wines. "My dear Ella, if that wasn't the case, you would be the first to know. And the first to suffer for it." The girl twitched."Go and let monsieur Debussy know that I am ready to receive him. I have spoken." Selene watched as the girl moved hastily to the door to fetch another of her servants. Debussy, however, aided her out of his own free will (or at least he thought so); Ella's loyalty depended directly on Selene's subtle hypnotic control over the girl. She had found the girl roaming aimlessly on the street, a young child that would surely have died a most wasteful death if she hadn't taken her in and given her life some purpose. Ever since their first meeting Ella had carried out menial tasks for her, proving to be most useful, if ever daft.

"Ah Selene, I can finally welcome you to my humble abode," spoke Jean Debussy, who had now entered the patio accompanied by Ella and carrying a glass of water. "You wished for water," he said as he offered it to her. "Did my wine not live up to its reputation?" The pompous tone in the man's voice did not sit well with Selene. Perhaps her influence on this particular cultist was not as strong as she had previously thought. Had his successful business contacts led him to forget his true allegiance? Maybe it was time to administer a long-overdue lesson in obedience. She glared at the corpulent economic as she accepted the glass. "Jean, if I was seeking the finer pleasures in life I would never have even thought about gracing this place with my presence." She directed the corpulent man to take a seat in one of the elaborately decorated fauteuils. "What I need from you is far simpler than the wines you offer... if such a thing were possible." She smiled as Debussy began shuffling in his seat, visibly uncomfortable now. His eyes were fixated on the ground before him, evading her gaze as he softly replied "I live to serve, my queen."Pleased, Selene continued: "Now, my pet... Give me all the information you have on Amara Aquilla."

Angelique
05-17-2011, 11:09 AM
Clouds had darkened the sky. Selene turned away from the window and seated herself on the futuristic lounge chair near the fireplace. A Perillo, Jean Debussy had told her, as if the word would somehow make it any more valuable or less hideous. Much time had passed since she had inquired him about the young mutant known as Magma, and even though she was immortal and had lived for many aeons, her patience was wearing thin. Retrieving the child was of paramount issue to her plans to rebuild her powerbase and, in a lesser manner, tie up some loose ends. To that end she had travelled to Paris, to meet Debussy, one of her followers, and gain access to his global network of informants. Waiting for his return with the requested information proved to be agonizing.

The sudden appearance of her servant Ella startled her. ?My lady, pardon my interruption, but monsieur Debussy has arrived. Will you see him?? Selene wondered for a moment how the girl had been able to move around so silently without her knowledge, but discarded the thought for this more interesting matter. A slight nod was her answer, and Debussy entered the room carrying some high-tech device whose purpose she couldn't divine. ?My queen, I have the the information you required.? ?Then share it with us, Jean. I am anxious to hear what you have learned.? ?Even better, my queen. You will see it.?

After putting the device on the ground, Debussy activated it with a remote control. ?I have saved everything in this computer. It will relay all information I found to us in the form of holographic projections.? As he spoke, transparent images began appearing before him. Selene watched as the life of the young mutant was enacted by the holograms before her. Amara's life was well know to her, for she had had a great hand in shaping it. But some time ago she had lost sight of the girl, and it was most interesting to see what the little Nova Roman had been up to.

?That was all,? Debussy said as he turned off the projector. ?Good work Jean,? Selene replied. ?Leave me now, for you have given me much to think about. I am not to be disturbed by anyone.? As her two servants left the room, she began to review what she had learned. So the girl was currently residing in Genosha, infected with the Legacy Virus? How the fates smile on me. Her current condition was as of yet unknown, but it was common knowledge that the virus acted unpredictably. She couldn't take any chances: there was no time to be lost. As she let her body relax, she closed her eyes and began focusing on tuning out the background to focus on her inner self. The release of her astral form was a technique she didn't use often, for it required much energy and concentration, yet she had little choice now. She felt the tension in her body building up as she collected her mental strength, before it suddenly faded away completely. Opening her eyes again she could see that she had succeeded: no longer was she bound to the earthly plane. Instead, the endless paths of the astral plane lay before her like a mad map, allowing her spirit to travel the world unfettered.

Locating the girl was to be an easy task. She knew roughly where Amara was and, having tasted her life energies in the past, it was easy to sense the girls singular mental patterns. The girl was moving, fast, but distance mattered little on the astral plane. Selene pursued the girls signature, thrilled by the sensation of seeking her prey. Then she saw her. Asleep, ill, her energy much diminished since she had last seen her, but it was undeniably her. In such a state she was absolutely useless (and defenceless) to Selene. The ancient sorceress easily slipped past Amara's weakened defences into her mind. She had been here once before, but the lingering feelings of longing and doubt where new to her. She would put them to good use though. Reforming her surroundings as she walked to mimic one of the Nova Roman temples that had once been hers to rule, she approached the figure of Magma, who was apparently still oblivious to her presence. ?Greetings, Amara Juliana Olivians Aquilla. I am Selene.?

Jubilee (old account)
05-17-2011, 11:31 PM
(Continued from X-Factor: Beta Squad Break Out (http://baku-panda.org/ux/showthread.php?p=43402#post43402))

The few moments she had in the comforting arms of her friend, Amara let all her tears out. The heartbreaking news of her condition worsening brought a sudden impact that sent her heart sinking to her gut. It was a moment of fear and uncertainty. Once the moment of crying passed, she laid back in her seat, only sitting in quietness with only the noise and breeze of the car air conditioner keeping the inside cool. The drive was going to be a while to Carrion Cove and Amara?s partner, the former Mojoworld gladiator called Shatterstar remained focused on the drive, determined to reach his destination to hopefully find long-time companion, Rictor.

Amara watched out the windows, seeing nothing but woods and road on the interstate. They passed small hills with brushes of forests and big hills. The landscape often changed during the drive. With her head resting back against the seat, the blonde woman began to feel her eye lids get heavy and blinking slowly, but repeatedly more and more. She would look out the window, seeing the land, but then darkness when her eye lids would close for a moment before opening back up. Without notice, Amara felt like she was still seeing the world, but the environment had changed and she was able to walk through it. No longer was Amara in the car, feeling the motion of a vehicle driving.

All around her, she?s sees beautifully tall and strong tress and the ground covered in perfectly healthy green, soft grass. The air was warm, the birds chirping in the distance or in the trees. Wonderfully amazed, Amara walked through what looked and felt like a forest or a jungle. A stream of water flowed over rocks and not too far away, she can hear more water crashing ? it?s a water fall! Approaching deeper in the tropical forest, she began to feel as though her body is different. She felt stronger and vibrant. She felt normal. The disease?it is gone, much to her surprise and very much elated!

Stopping at a river bank at the site of the water fall, Amara leaned down, sitting on her knees where she looked at her reflection in the water. She noticed a much happier and vibrant physical appearance. Extending her hand in the water, she felt the cool water ease against her skin and felt so soothing. ?It feels real. This place?it looks real?so familiar.?

Turning her head to look around her, suddenly where there were trees, now showed a village and up head, a temple. The young woman?s eyes grew wide and her mouth drops as she takes her hand to cover it. A shock rushes through her body ? ?Nova Roma! It can?t be!? she thought upon seeing the very existence of her former home. Villagers were moving about, doing their daily chores. All the villagers are in great spirit and neighborly towards one another. Standing back up, suddenly Amara notices a change in her attire, wearing a white Greek-like costume of ancient times. Golden jewelry adorn her arms and hair, and sandals on her feet.

Cautiously, Amara entered the main view of the village, passing by smiling and nodding villagers. But something?something about the temple was drawing Amara. She felt an instinct to go towards the temple. As she walked closer towards the temple grounds, the villagers were less and less seen ? almost erased. She was alone again in a familiar land. Glancing around the temple grounds, Amara remembered her youth in Nova Roma. It was at one time the only place she knew existed in the world. She remembers the strange visitors who in the long run became her friends, the New Mutants. The day they came to Nova Roma changed Amara?s life forever. She discovered she was mutant?thanks to one woman during battle.

?Greetings, Amara Juliana Olivians Aquilla. I am Selene.?

Spinning around at the sudden whispering-like voice, there stood the woman Amara was remembering. It dawned on Amara why her dream was feeling real and why things felt strange! It all made sense. ?You! What is this? Why are you in my mind, Selene?? demanded the Nova Roman. Fists formed on both sides of Amara with sparks of fire blazing around them and from the knees down. Her attired then changed from the Nova Roman garments to her X-uniform. Eyes were like daggers, starring at Selene ? a woman who cannot be trusted. All caution was heightened.

Angelique
05-18-2011, 11:24 AM
Selene was pleased to see that Amara had lost none of her fiery temper. Ever defiant, this one, just like her mother before her. Her mother had refused her until the very end, but Selene had learned from that failure. She would not allow it to happen again. ?Sweet child, you need not fear me. I have not come to fight you.? She extended her hand towards the enraged girl. ?I swear by my true name that I will do nothing to hurt you while I am here. Now come lady Amara, let us walk together.?

Walking through the streets of Nova Roma caused even Selene to experience some feeling of nostalgia. Nova Rome had been her creation, and she had enjoyed playing with its inhabitants for a while. The arrival of the New Mutants had ended her rule, and although they had also rekindled her curiosity in the world outside, she would never forgive them for that. She?d make sure that one day Amara and her friends would pay for their insolence. But right now she still had need for her. ?Do you not appreciate this?? she said, waving at the ancient buildings and the passing people, who didn?t seem to take notice of the strange couple. ?I did it only to please: this was, after all, once your -our- home. I thought it might be a a pleasant distraction from your current... predicament.?

Allowing some time to let her message sink in with Amara, she continued: ?Yes, I have heard of your troubles and it truly pains my heart to see you in such a sorrowful state, my child. You are Nova Roman - I created Nova Roma, and all who lived there owe allegiance to me, and I to them.? Suddenly halting her step, she turned to Amara to see the girl eye to eye. The time had come to offer her the deal. ?It is not just that you must suffer and I would see that error rectified.? She extended her hands once more towards the girl. ?Join me once more, and I will take away your pain. No longer would you have to endure this foul sickness, no longer would your days be filled with torment - all I require in return is your loyalty.?

Jubilee (old account)
05-19-2011, 07:09 AM
?Harm me? Try explaining putting me in volcanic lava. If I were not a mutant, I would be dead. Sorry if I seem to be a little sensitive,? sarcastically responded Amara to Selene?s swear from not harming her.

While Selene offered her hand, Amara looked at it and then refused. She chose to let Selene catch the hint, which she did because then the two were walking side by side on the streets of Nova Roma. Glancing around, Amara was amazed at the fine detail into creating Nova Roma ? albeit on the Astral Plane. Secretly, Amara had to give the former Black Queen her due. Being ?home? again was in some respect very nice. There was a time when Amara felt at peace in her former home. Of course, it all had to be a lie. Regardless, Nova Roman is home. It is the only home besides Xavier?s School for the Gifted Amara knew.

Looking over at Selene?s proud demeanor as she spoke about re-creating Nova Roma, ?It is beautiful. I have a lot of memories growing up here?but it does not exist anymore. It never really did in a way.? Then Selene mentioned Amara?s current predicament. Indeed it took a moment to sink into the blonde?s head, but she got what the gothic sorceress was hinting at. She knows.

?You know then, don?t you? Yes?yes, I am ill.?

Continuing on with her speech, Selene then stopped in her tracks which in turn made Amara stop as well. Face-to-face, the villainess spoke of Nova Roma being her creation and that everyone within it owe allegiance to her. But that is not all. Selene made the ultimate proposal, asking Amara to join her and give her, her loyalty. Quite frankly, Amara was taken back. She was surprised that her worst enemy of all the villains in the world she ever battled would ask her to join her. Allowing the proposal to sink in, Amara then looked down at the ground, shaking her head and putting her hands on her hips.

A small smirk crossed her face as she brought her head up to look back in Selene?s eyes, ?I cannot believe your nerve, woman. You tried to kill me and my friends. You made Nova Roma a feeding ground for your own as a means to sustain your wicked life. And now, you want me to join you??

?And you think by offering to rid me of my illness will convince me? How would you do it, Selene? There is no cure. You are crazy if you think I will be fooled by your lies.?

Walking up ahead of Selene by a few steps, Amara stops in her tracks. She closes her eyes, irritated at the dark woman who has invaded her mind. How can Selene be so blind and expect Amara to follow her? How can she expect Amara to forget the past? Amara knows Selene is heartless and cruel. Her word cannot be trusted. There is always a catch. Turning her body around to face Selene, ?You said because you created this beautiful land ? our home ? everyone in it owes allegiance to you. It was a lie and because it was a lie, you betrayed Nova Roma. I owe you nothing,? calmly said the former New Mutant. She turned her back on Selene and continued along the trail in the town, walking up ahead of Selene again.

Angelique
05-19-2011, 10:28 AM
The behaviour of the girl was as suspected. There was a lot of bad blood between the two of them, but at least the girl was willing to hear her out. Her initial answer was, of course, negative. A part of Selene found it amusing to see the girl ranting in this way against her, for she had every right to. In fact, she was completely correct, apart from one fact. Having stoically absorbed the girls accusations, she gathered her breath. ?Yes, Nova Roma was a lie. But if you think it was a mere farming ground for me girl, you are sorely mistaken. Nova Roma was more to me than that and it was the world to you.? Angered by the girl?s dismissal of her past, Selene continued. ?Tell me, Amara: did you enjoy your first taste of the modern world? Did you enjoy being despised and shunned, maltreated just because of who you were? Their mode of thought is poison, and has culminated in the very sickness that is now threatening to be the end of you.?

Though the girl stood with her back towards her, she knew that her words would ring true. Amara had always been proud of herself and her strength - to be viewed as weak and lesser by others had to hurt. ?Nobody lies for the sake of lying. You have experienced both worlds: can you truly say that your ?new life? is so much better??

As she looked around to see the villagers go about their day, simple and unassuming, Selene continued speaking, to herself now as much as to Amara. ?Nova Roma was brought down by a group of careless modern teenagers. It is the way of this time to trample everything that came before under its foot. They neglect their heritage, as you did, and have forgotten the old ways.? She threw Amara a teasing smile. ?You wonder how I could help you, Amara. Have you been so blinded by their science to think it impossible that there are other ways to achieve what you need? Where their science failed, I could succeed through sorcery.? Extending her hand to the child once more, she spoke in a soothing tone. ?Once more child, today I only seek to offer my help.?

Suddenly she fell her energy failing. It had taken great effort to release her astral form and send it this far; right now her form began to disappear slowly. it seemed she had stretched her limits here. There was no more time or energy to deal with the girl. ?I see you are still conflicted. You needn?t decide now: I will visit you again during the next full moon to hear your answer." While her form was dissipating into darkness, so was the mental image of the city. Villagers, cattle and entire streets faded to dust. As the last buildings disintegrated so did she, leaving Amara to her thoughts and with Selene?s last words echoing: ?Nova Roma was a glorious time. Together, we could forge the world in its memory.?

Jubilee (old account)
05-20-2011, 12:18 AM
?Yes, Nova Roma was a lie. But if you think it was a mere farming ground for me girl, you are sorely mistaken. Nova Roma was more to me than that and it was the world to you.? Angered by the girl?s dismissal of her past, Selene continued. ?Tell me, Amara: did you enjoy your first taste of the modern world? Did you enjoy being despised and shunned, maltreated just because of who you were? Their mode of thought is poison, and has culminated in the very sickness that is now threatening to be the end of you.?

The words struck out at Amara like a serpent?s hiss! For a brief moment, the girl felt the air escape her chest and the need to be ready to defend herself. She felt Selene?s agitation, knowing well what she told the sorceress struck a nerve. Still with her back turned, Selene added?

?Nobody lies for the sake of lying. You have experienced both worlds: can you truly say that your ?new life? is so much better??

Stunned, Amara spun around with an expression of irritation. It was amazing how this vicious woman could penetrate the X-Woman?s heart. Indeed, it was a low blow with words. Selene continued with words such as calling the New Mutants careless teenagers at the time that brought upon the end of Nova Roma. Because of them, Amara was introduced to the modern world and Selene was right about one thing ? the modern world has not always been so kind.

The modern world has presented many challenges than Amara has ever faced! It was much harder and cruel, but then there have been the good times. Thanks to the New Mutants and the X-Men, Amara has been able to travel the world and learn about new cultures. She was able to learn about new life outside what she thought was the only place on Earth - Nova Roma. Most importantly, Amara lived a life of freedom while gaining a new family. She realized at that moment, she lived a life.

?The modern world is tough. You are right about that, but I gained a lot and learned a lot because of it. I would never trade my experience, Selene. I lived a life outside a box.?

Probably some very strong words to sting at Selene, but it did not stop there. Selene does make a good point that despite it being a lie, Nova Roma was home. It was what Amara came to accept after Empath?s discovery and telling her that her ?real name? was Alison Crestmere. There was a struggle of identity for a while, but Amara overcame the obstacle and in her heart of hearts ? her true identity is Amara Julianna Olivians Aquilla. And like her experiences in the modern world, Amara would not trade where she grew up. Perhaps in that instance, she owes a thank you to Selene for a home.

On the discussion of Amara?s illness with the Legacy Virus flowing through her veins, it was a touchy subject. Especially more so now with the virus upgrading to a worsened condition! Her life is now in the process of ending and it is a very scary thought. ?There are other ways,? Selene teased Amara, grabbing the blonde?s attention. Flipping her head to look squarely in Selene?s eyes, Amara heard the woman talk about magical ways. The old ways as compared to the modern ways - she then accused Amara of being blinded by science and modern ways.

Amara couldn?t speak. Was Selene right? Did Amara really abandon all there was to Nova Roma, except her identity? Everything in Nova Roma was never all bad per'se. She can remember growing up in the town and having great times spent with her father. There were traditions and values that were never bad. Granted Nova Roma lived a life of the ancient times, Amara remembers miraculous things happening, such as people healing through prayer to the gods or through ceremonies. Is it ridiculous to believe that the ancient life - the old traditions - can be an alternative to saving her life? There are many alternatives people with cancer try outside of chemotherapy. Can Amara?s situation really be any different?

Just as she had come to be in awe of the re-creation of Nova Roma, wanting to see more it, the town began to disintegrate. Glancing back at Selene, the former Black Queen said she would return to Amara at the next full moon for an answer. Nova Roma was gone and so was Selene, leaving Amara surrounded in complete darkness. Falling to her knees, she gripped her forehead with one hand and took in a deep breath, ?Is she right? Can the old ways really be my only other alternative to explore?? whispered the young woman to herself as she herself became complete and total darkness.

Her consciousness was returning to normal. She was about to wake up.


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