(Just something that's been rolling around in my head for a while.)
It wasn't until she kicked off the last hook that she noticed the change. The wind had stopped.
Kidman cautiously opened her eyes and focused. It was still bitterly cold, but it no longer pressed against her body, seeking to push through her in a chaotic bid to flee itself. Now it just...hung. Silent. She exhaled and the sound echoed in her ears. Far, far in the distance she could hear gunfire, the shallow echo of wind, but here it was empty.
It suddenly occurred to her that those on the other ends of the hooks could be dead. Kidman inhaled sharply as a wave of cold heat washed over her. 'Did I... kill someone?'
But there hadn't been a scream, no sound of impact. She moved to peer over the edge when something brushed against her face. It was then that she noticed them; tens, hundreds, thousands of spots just hovering in space. Kidman gingerly plucked one from the air and examined it.
"Is this snow? Why is it just...?"
She stared at it and it remained the same, resisting the heat from her breath. She flicked it away with surprise but the moment it left her hand it froze in space again. The silence was deafening.
She looked over the edge with abandon now. Of the eight men climbing, only one had fallen, or was in the process of falling, the look of surprise still clearly etched on his face as the loosed brick held motionless in the air above him. All the others remained on task, unaware that their hooks had been moved several inches out from the wall.
"What, what is this?"
Kidman turned and ran down the stairs to her fellows, only to find the bird-faced doctor paused in mid-stride, his cape held aloft by something unseen.
The girl waved her hand in front of him, and even almost dared touch his mask, but declined. Even in this otherworldly state, it seemed a perilous thing to approach.
"ACMEs? Are you oka-? Oh no."
The other doctor and nurse were crouched by the desk, hand in hand, but still as stone. Kidman tried to revive the three; shouting, pushing them about, but it was for naught. After a few moments debate, she reluctantly moved on to the basement tunnel and was dismayed to find the ACME guards, Deric and Nace, both frozen in defensive stance against several mercenaries, who where thankfully stone as well. She carefully looked a stone hostile over. There was no heartbeat, no breathing, yet they weren't dead, and just like the others, they seemed to be caught mid-moment.
It was as if time had simply...stopped here.
The sounds of normalcy, for a raid, were stronger as she traveled further in, indicating that this event was not pandemic. How far the circle of timelessness extended or what held it was unknown, and it nagged at her that she might be caught in a bad place if it were to suddenly undo now. She returned to her fellows, still in the positions she had left them, and peered out the second story window. There were two figures standing in the snow, seemingly engaged in conversation. The one closest to the tower was obviously of the enemy, but the other...?
Kidman took a brick and released it over the first man's head, but it merely held in the air. She sighed and pushed it down as far as she could, but it would go no further than she did, and eventually the girl decided to make use of it by using the floating bricks as steps. Over and over she traded them until she could jump to the ground safely, then left one brick above the man's head while the other she took with her to examine the second figure.
"Hey!" She called as she brushed the flakes out of her path. "Can you hear me in there? What side are you-...."
Then Kidman saw her face and her fingers slackened around the brick.
"...Mama?" she asked in a broken whisper, but the woman did not respond.
Then the girl fell still as well, a cold stone forever between them.
[ Derringer ]: Carmen isn't ALL ACME agents think about, you know.
Kidman is suspicious.
[ Kidman ]: What else, then?
[ Derringer ]: There are other criminals out there too ;) Your boss doesn't consume all of our waking thoughts.
[ Kidman ]: Well that's good. Master needs to be free.
[ Derringer ]: Well I wouldn't go that far.
[ Kidman ]: You have no idea what chaos would ensue if she were gone.
[ Derringer ]: Enlighten me?
[ Kidman ]: Master is a cleansing element of the underworld. She keeps many things in check. Chase knows more of it than I do.
[ Derringer ]: Well as I see it, there's only one Carmen. I'm sure you'd agree no one could pull of the stuff she does or run VILE the way she does. so getting rid of her would leave you guys in a scramble.
[ Kidman ]: For many, Master is the third option between the black and white. There are many who cannot chose white. Without Master, our only choice would be black. Really, many of us are not criminals at all.
[ Derringer ]: That's a shocker.
[ Kidman ]: Is that sarcasm?
[ Derringer ]: Partly. Everyone has hard knocks. Not all of them are lining up to join VILE. There's always a choice.
[ Kidman ]: Not for me there isn't.
[ Derringer ]: Because you've convinced yourself to see it as such. But I know how loyal you are to Carmen so...
Derringer saves breath
[ Kidman ]: Perhaps, but I can't think of any other existence I could have where I could remain unmarked.
[ Derringer ]: ...unmarked?
[ Kidman ]: There's no record of me anywhere. It has to stay that way. Most people would just make a fake past, but I can't lie, so it's not an option.
[ Derringer ]: Hm I was about to suggest that. Is it wrong to lie to protect yourself?
[ Kidman ]: I'm not capable of it, mate. Design flaw, I guess.
[ Derringer ]: Well I'm starting to see your point.
[ Derringer ]: But not everyone in VILE is in the same boat, I'm certain
[ Kidman ]: I may seem straight up fanatical, but it's more complicated than that.
[ Derringer ]: Not fanatical at all. I see where your worldview is coming from.
[ Kidman ]: Lots of refugees, ex-cons, defects, exiles, ect. Society won't have us, but we aren't really that bad. Master runs a lot more than what you know. Take Anja, for example. She doesn't even know what Master really does.;-p But technically, she works for VILE.
[ Derringer ]: Oh please...there are tons of strays in acme as well
[ Kidman ]: Strays is one thing, people that need to stay off the grid is another. ACME is a law based thing. It's just not safe for some.
[ Derringer ]: I'm just not buying it completely. I dunno.
[ Kidman ]: Well some of us ARE straight up criminals.;-)
[ Derringer ]: It'd be fine and dandy if you guys were just laying low together. But when you start stealing things... Then I start to lose sympathy.
[ Kidman ]: Yeah... but you could argue that that is a service too.
[ Derringer ]: And how so?
[ Kidman ]: Makes people learn about things.
[ Derringer ]: lol! because I'm sure Carmen's aim is to educate the public on valuable objects ;)
[ Kidman ]: Hey, the Mona Lisa is only famous because it was stolen. Plus, it's far more entertaining to watch than most world news. A touch of fantasy in a mundane world.
[ Derringer ]: Entertaining for you, yes. maddening for other
[ Kidman ]: Oh come on. You always get the stuff back.
[ Derringer ]: Because what would she do with otherwise?
[ Kidman ]: Sell it is what most would do. Hold it for ransom. Blow it up for kicks.
[ Derringer ]: And that's something I'd seriously ask her if I ever came close enough....where do you even put things like the statue of liberty?
[ Kidman ]: MAJICK!
[ Derringer ]: well you can't really sell a lot of the things she takes. holding it for ransom seems like a viable option....and blowing it up is too crude for Carmen's taste
[ Kidman ]: You see?
[ Derringer ]: But to be fair, she's the only one who has the know-how to even pull these kind of thefts off.
[ Kidman ]: And if Master was gone, there would be a power struggle and lots of people like Contessa would be off the leash, which you DO NOT WANT.
[ Derringer ]: Still, you guys wouldn't be as organized. Much easier to round you guys up.
[ Kidman ]: Yeah, you'd think that...
[ Derringer ]: Even if you guys were to get a new head, they wouldn't be nearly as skilled.
[ Kidman ]: Things take on a whole new dimension when dicipline is thrown out.
[ Derringer ]: This is true.
[ Kidman ]: Go team Master!
For those of you who have never been, the website tvtropes.org is a page dedicated to breaking down every facet of storytelling across storytelling mediums. It is a highly addictive site. See if you can find your character in there.
I think this is fairly obvious; QuestForIdentity
TheWoobie - but cut her some slack.
MysteriousWaif - also, this.
WaifProphet - and yeah, this, though she's not too bad off.
Poor Kidman.. FriendlessBackground
She doesn't mean to be, but she is, though so far just in chat - DeadpanSnarker
Partly because of this - HopeIsScary
In chat, she mainly plays this as well - ObfuscatingStupidity
What Kidman fears most; TheyWouldCutYouUp
This is where all my lovely chat creations shall go.
Storm as Storm
Who took Storm's corned beef?
Happy birthday storm
More to come, I'm sure.
It's Kidman's tiny sountrack! Yeay!
Kidman in chat - 'Amnesia' by Chumbawamba
Kidman general - Mainly in the RP - 'You were there there' on the ICO soundtrack
Kidman serious/core self - Part RP, in chat to a certain few. 'Love' by Delirium
I find the videos themselves sort of distracting, so best to click the link and do something else while listening.
(ooc: Kidman's new at this 'RP' thing.;-p)
I've decided to stay away from the socializing portal for now. I don't regret experimenting with it; it was there and needed to be examined. Nothing terrible happened, not at all, but it did remind me of how... awkward I am around others. I envy them and their masks. Maybe if I stayed above ground for more than a few seconds I could grow one too. But then, how would I recognize myself?
The space was full of Acmes today! I know it says 'neutral ground', but a sign that says 'flame is not hot' over a candle gives me about the same amount of assurance. I've never even spoken to an Acme before. And yet, they were so relaxed. Just how deep in my cave am I?
I am the Quasimodo of VILE.
That fits. Perhaps I should change my name to that. What with this appearance of mine... No! I am proud of my appearance. I shouldn't even be alive. How I look is my reward for being able to look like something at all.
But in another context, Quasimodo had a certain affection...
But 'clingy'?? Of all the- at least accuse me of something I could feasibly do, if I wanted to. I am a being of small means. I carved out a peaceful existence in this bell tower. Should I be chastised for my affect and adoration of its creator? You're all liars if you swear you don't feel even the slightest reverence for Carmen. Such people command it.
And I, without a mask, without a network of locks, it all raises to the surface, an all too noticeable haze.
I fear that she would know of it and share their revulsion.
I don't usually think of these things so consciously. It is only now, as I try my hand at interaction with others, that my carefree surface buckles from the slightest touch.
So there is a choice to be made;
Continue to hide in my happy place under the stairs, or attempt to do... something.
I discovered the chat module last night, or rather, actually engaged the chat module last night. I've considered doing so many times before, but...
I've been here for so many years, and yet, where, or what, is 'here'? My daily actions revolve around serving her, for which I am paid. That much I know for sure. That would indicate a working relationship. I am working for her. Working for her means I belong to VILE, or does it? I'm not a thief, not by trade. Not for the challenge. I steal what I can't gain effectively with my budget. My happiness comes from well-sorted databases, well-tended machines, and those few, wonderful moments when I succeed in fixing something thought lost.
Of course, I don't know her.
Perhaps it is a sort of gratitude, that she created this rainbow in the grey void between black and white, someplace not only hospitable for me, but...happy. And yet, last night I found myself wondering; do I even understand the nature of this rainbow? I certainly don't trust the rainbow. Or do. I trust it not to be trustworthy. That seems reasonable, yes?
Am I too cynical, master?
I ask you, and call you master here, as a sign that you know this board better than I. You made this board, this rainbow, after all. That is no easy feat, no ordinary quest. Some part of you may be a fugtive like I am, but look what you've done with it! I honour you for that. Carmen, is it true, that all of VILE is of the best moral character? Am I wrong to maintain my natural distrust? I have become so comfortable with it.
What's more, am I correct in even... being here?
VILE is a group of individuals... that's what Joe Kerr had said last night. An individual, a self-contained vehicle of self-determined course. I'm more of a shadow. I never saw any shame in that before. Shadows are natural things with valid purpose, but perhaps...not here. No. Not true. If I left, I'm almost sure it would be noticeable within a week. Would it be of any consequence? I'd like to think so. I would like to continue to feel content with what I am and what I do.
But should I?
It is one of the many reasons I feel safer on this side of the law. Our names here are so transient. I never had a legal one. My designation was nicked from Nicole Kidman, as 'Batman forever' was popular when I was found and it fit my first name, which was simply what I was referred to most often; 'kid'.
If I lived topside, I might feel less for having such an forcefully constructed name, but below, he who has the least genuine history is the most secure.
We are all shadows here.