More Than Meets the Eye

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Amberflaxus11, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Sobriquet Duncan, better known to his associates as Ket, carefully checked the street address printed in neat block letters, one of the few still uncrossed by a black pen, before parking the rented car outside of the building, the shadows from the truck stretched and distorted against the golden light of sunset. <i>Aurora House for the Mentally Unsettled.</i> His lip curled, and he sighed, forcing his shoulders to relax. Getting angry wouldn't help anything now. <i>Sister, I hope you're here.</i> He'd best focus on the task at hand. After all, a single stray emotion and he could blow his cover. <i>Sure would be convenient for the Feds if I got caught outside of a paranormal prison, though. Would save them the trouble of carting me away.</i> No doubt he'd go somewhere higher-security, though.

    Slowly, attempting to give off an unhurried air, he opened the car door, stepping out onto the street, the smell of exhaust and dust overwhelming. He tucked the sheaf of paper under his arm, placing a nondescript bank statement on top and folding the entire wad in half, then closed the door, moving up the neat gravel drive and between rows of pungent flowers. Aurora House was a several-story, sprawling building that could easily house about a hundred inmates, but the street in front was notably empty of cars, with the only filled parking in the staff lot. Many people didn't want the reminder that a member of their family had developed a power, and very few of those came to visit.

    He pushed open the stainless steel doors to the building, every sense primed. A receptionist greeted him cheerily, and he responded with a slightly on-edge <b>"Good afternoon."</b> Forcing a smile, he walked forwards, stopping a few feet before the desk. <b>"I'm here to visit a cousin; I know it's a little late for visiting, but I got delayed."</b> Of course, this wasn't about a cousin, but he planned to bluff his way through the foyer and into the auto-locked doors at least. Smashing the doors down wasn't exactly efficient, and made rather more noise than he was comfortable with making. Asking for trouble also wasn't exactly efficient.
  2. She had been there since they captured her as a child. Casper, was what they called her. Her true name was Carly Seidel, though many wouldn't remember and those that did chose not to say her name.

    A protege, they had called her at first! A girl with not only a beautiful and alluring musical talent but also the ability to put emotions and power behind it. She was more powerful than they could ever imagine, and that had scared them.

    Casper was shaking in her corner of the cell, for how could she call it anything else? Now, almost twenty, she was captured at twelve so had more schooling than most proteges that were captured these days. She swept her blonde hair away from her face, her shockingly blue eyes piercing through the door. She still had her voice, they had allowed her that, but there were those that had the power to suppress it when they were around.
  3. The receptionist nodded and told him to head down the hall, and someone would guide him to the right room. Suspicious, Ket wasn't sure what to expect, but she only opened the door with a swipe of a keycard and waved him in. <b>"Thank you,"</b> he said with a wan smile, moving through the doors, which shut behind him with an ominous <i>click</i>. He sniffed; the odor of antiseptic was almost suffocating. He'd always hated institutions like this, smelling of cleaner and vinyl. But he had a job to do here. The only worry was getting out.

    As he approached the end of the hallway, he slowed, softening his steps, as he heard the sounds of loud conversation. Guards? He debated for a second, then decided on a tactic that had served him well in the past. He closed his eyes for a moment, concentrating, and then turned the corner, mind empty. <b>"Hello,"</b> he said, speaking softly to the guards, his power filling his voice, the scent of wintergreen growing around him. <b>"I'm visiting my cousin, but I've been here before, so I should be able to find her room."</b> Without waiting to hear an answer, he continued walking. <i>If I recall the floor plans correctly, those with indirect and nonphysical abilities will be in the left wing, and someone as powerful as she was-- is-- should be on the end.</i>

    As much as he hated his ability, it was terribly useful. The guards wouldn't remember his face well, if at all, and wouldn't question him. Though the side effect of the wintergreen was almost like a calling card, and he had to channel his power through his voice, eyes, or touch, it wasn't so bad, one of the more applicable abilities out there.

    He reached the end of the hallway without seeing any other guards, luckily. Feverishly, he checked the name plates, letting go of his power in his haste. <i>Not Silja Duncan... not Silja Duncan...</i> At the end of the hall, strangely, was one cell without a proper nameplate, with only an enigmatic 'Casper' written on the plate. He frowned-- it seemed unlikely-- but regardless, he knocked softly on the door, calling, <b>"Silja, are you there?"</b>
  4. Casper looked up, the knocking drawing her attention. She squeaked, coughing several times so her rusty voice could respond. "I'm Casper." She crawled over to the door, putting her hands on it and trying to get a feeling of who was there.

    "You're not my regular keeper..." She said, her voice showing her strain and fear. "Did you bring me my water?" Her throat was parched. In order to keep her from singing all through the night as she used to, they restricted her fluid intake. If they did not, her plaintive voice would cry and sing its mournful song through the halls. The cries of desperation welled up in her again but her voice had become rusty and strained to a point where even speaking was difficult.

    Casper sniffled, suddenly feeling the urge to cry at her pitiful state. New keepers always tortured her to keep from becoming entrapped by her "snares". When all she truly wanted to do, was sing a song the world could hear and enjoy. It was her passion and her drive.
  5. Ket frowned, listening to the voice. A girl for sure, but not his sister. He was about to turn away, ready to leave and move on to the next prison, when she spoke again. Water? Did she think he was a guard? And the next thing he knew, soft sniffles came through the door. Oh, damn. I didn't want to draw attention to myself, but... I should never have knocked on the door. Her voice was raspy and strained-- plainly, she'd been here for a while, but she still seemed to be sane and in control of herself. But if he left her here... Once they found out that you were a power user, things just got worse and worse. And he'd come prepared to break his sister out anyway...

    He looked down the hall. No one near, that he could tell. Moving regret firmly out of his mind-- "Just a moment," he said quietly-- he placed one hand on the lock, closing his eyes and concentrating on the smell of wintergreen. When he'd first gotten this ability, he'd thought he could only charmspeak people, but as time went on, he'd learned to talk to animals, plants, and eventually metal, stone, and plastic. But water, fire, and air eluded him; perhaps he could only deal with inanimate objects. He moved into synchrony with the lock, feeling the tumblers, then softly let out a breath, turning the tumblers slowly and steadily. After maybe ten seconds, the lock clicked open, and he blinked, slowly withdrawing back into his body. "That was a tricky one," he sighed, opening the door.

    "It's lucky for you that I have this ability," he said, forcing a smile as he stepped cautiously into the room. Impulsive, impulsive, stupid. Berating himself wouldn't do any good now, though. "Just call me Ket for now-- we need to get out of here, so if you need anything, pack now."
  6. Casper had rushed over to the corner, trembling in the blanket. She was awaiting the use of fire or saltwater to keep her at bay. She put both hands over her mouth, the way she had learned was the easiest not to get hit with something.

    Suddenly, Ket was standing there, comforting her and offering her freedom....and all she could do was cry and shake.

    How long had it been? How long since she was allowed out of this room? How long since she was allowed to speak? Could this be a trick? No, she could sense his sincerity...

    Casper stepped off the bed, her form lengthening and unfolding into its graceful limbs and balance that she had grown into while in this prison. "Freedom?" She croaked, coughing slightly. The guards often forgot about Casper...the girl that had been there so long she may as well have been a ghost...
  7. Ket leaned down, feeling a little concerned despite the current lack of safety. The girl didn't seem too well-fed, and flinched away from the slightest movement. <i>Damn, I really can't back out now.</i> He nodded, confirming, <b>"Freedom. You're imprisoned here because of your power, but I happen to disagree with the Feds on this one."</b> He leaned into the hall, making sure no one was coming, before turning back to her. <b>"Do you have anything you need to bring?"</b>

    While part of him worried about the girl, though, another was already planning the way out. Thinking on only one tack was dangerous-- it could lead to capture and the resulting slow death of a thousand cuts. <i>Bluffing isn't an option. I can't break through the walls.</i> He chewed his lip, thinking. <i>And she doesn't look in any state to use a power.</i>

    After a little more deliberation, he developed a simple plan. <i>Get as far as I can with a don't-look-here, which should at least distract the guards. Then, prevent anyone from stopping us with quick compulsions.</i> Making people sleep took too much power and concentration to be used on the fly. <b>"Out of curiosity, Casper, what kind of ability do you have?"</b> Utilizing present resources was a necessary skill, after all.
  8. Casper shook her head, gesturing to the state of the cell and its furnishings. She bent down, reaching under the bed to pull out an old worn teddy bear. "I'm ready." She croaked, walking over to grasp at his sleeve. She blinked up at him, hope and uncertainty in her eyes.

    Casper clutched her teddy bear close to her chest, coughing a bit. "If you give me water, I can help...My power is in my song..." She looked away bashfully, hoping that legend of her had not reached him...she couldn't stand more people looking at her with fear in their eyes.