[thoughtful] Reading the Road Map
Hermes msg_ina_bottle wrote in memebells
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670. Broken Meme

You may once have been a great hero, or a modest regular person. But something has pushed you past the limit. There's simply no going back to who you used to be. To be seen now, your friends, your family, would they even recognize you? Your savior was too late. The pain was too much. The pleasure was too intense. You've been short-circuited.

You're broken.

A. Post with the usual stuff! Note somewhere if there are any options you aren't okay with.
B. People can reply, with a roll for their characters or ask if you want to roll for yours in that thread.
C. Probably some triggers involved here. Read at your own discretion, etc.

  • 1. Pain.
    You've been pushed beyond your limits and become light-headed, 'floaty'. The sight of your own blood doesn't provoke a reaction anymore, and seeing a friend might cause you to smile, or talk strangely. You might not even recognize them. It doesn't hurt anymore. It's alright now.

  • 2. Lust.
    No, no, no became yes, yes, yes. Dignity and self-respect have faded, replaced by an insatiable and alien feeling of want. You've reached a point where shame doesn't even occur to you anymore. Your eyes seem out of focus and your smile doesn't look right. Look, I've made so many friends who like me...! Do anything to me if it feels good.

  • 3. Shock.
    What has been seen cannot be unseen. A revelation about a friend, a loved one, an enemy- something has shocked you in a way you can never reverse. It may change not only the way you look at someone or something, but also the way you see the rest of your life. I saw nothing, I saw nothing, I saw...

  • 4. Oppressed.
    What's it like outside my cage? Your spirit of rebellion or confidence has been cracked, and your rescuers might not be there in time to salvage what's left of your spirits. You've long since accepted that getting away from this oppression is impossible- Perhaps you've even become attached to it as the only way to live life. Yes, sir. No, sir. Sorry, sir.

  • 5. Corruption.
    Something has eroded you. You're not like you used to be. You're obsessive, your face is darker. You may even see who you were before as weak or useless. Whether it's a magic ring or Phazon infecting your body, you're going grimdark and it's looking a little too late to pull you out of it. This power is far greater than what I had before! To think I used to believe in justice!

  • 6. Hysteria.
    When you talk, you don't make any sense. Pure Charisma Break. Maybe you were a god stripped of your might, or you've suffered a terrible defeat. Either way your ego has snapped, leaving you a total mess and unable to function. But how could this be? How could I lose?!

  • 7. Desperation.
    Where before you were airy, confident, in control of yourself, you're now a ragged and fuming pile of hopeless anger. As a fighter you may have been careful or even graceful; now you swing wildly, strike without precision. You simply cannot accept the situation, cannot accept your own fall. It's not over! I'm still in control! I can still fix everything!

  • 8. Pick your own.
    Mix it up, roll them together, make up your own? It is all good.

    [Originally posted on Dreamwidth]

  • Ben Lockwood | OC | no smut | 4 | verse?

    [Ben has no idea how long he's been here. Days? Weeks? Months? A... year? The room is windowless and dark, the only light coming in when They open the door to take him out of the too-small cage to subject him to more abuse and torture. They feed him at odd hours, intermittently, and badly.

    He started off with panic attacks from the cage and the cuffs and the needle, of course. He has his buttons, after all, and those are three biggies. But it's not long before the cage and cuffs become shelter and refuge -- the only time They aren't hurting him, he's in the cage and wearing the cuffs, and the needle makes the pain stop. He's started to embrace the objects of his captivity rather than fighting them...]


    [And Guriel . . .

    Guriel is a mess, a haunted, hollow-eyed shell of the person he was six months ago. Searching for Ben has become his obsession, and he's killed his way across Los Angeles county with a ruthlessness that's outmatched anything he was capable of even in his hardest days in the pits.

    He doesn't go to the safehouse anymore. He doesn't go anywhere, or talk to anyone, unless he thinks they might have information about where to find his Pack. He has to find his Pack, because looking for them has completely destroyed what passed for a normal life. Finding them is all he has left.

    And finally, finally, after too long, he finds them.]


    [They've talked over him, saying how werewolf physiology is just fascinating, isn't it, and how they haven't had a specimen of this quality in quite some time. He's just Subject #147 to them, and nothing he says, or doesn't say, matters.

    Ben is half-conscious and delirious, fresh back from another round of them cutting into him juuuuuust to see what makes him tick. Curled up on his side, breath coming in hitching gasps, far more than half-naked, and protecting the cuffs for all he's worth, as much as he's able to with the chain looped through a staple in the floor of his cage. At least they cuffed him in front this time. They don't, always.

    He's forgotten how to pray. How to hope. His entire world has come down to this cage, these cuffs, that needle, those men. He barely remembers a life before this; Guriel is a distant dream he's not sure he didn't imagine to escape from the horror of it all.]

    Ben Lockwood. E5. 523-07-6323. Please...

    [The humans never even know what hits them; Guriel tears through the place like a tornado, violence at its most raw and unrestrained. Doctors, lab technicians, assistants -- they're all dead before they have time to be properly afraid, literally torn to pieces.

    Guriel is a lion, after all, and these days, he's more wild animal than person.

    By the time he's cleared the place of life he's soaked in blood, it streaks his hair and his face and his clothes. His wings are a dishevelled, gory mess.

    He kicks down doors with ruthless, methodical precision, rifles papers, scrolls through computers and then smashes them, breaks windows and racks of test tubes and anything else he can get his hands on. Destruction for its own sake, not to hide evidence or obscure the crime scene, just to feel anything except hopeless and powerless.

    The last door in the place has a placard on it that he doesn't bother to read. It's another dead end, they're all dead ends, they always will be.

    He kicks it in with the same ruthless, violent motion . . .

    And stops dead.]

    [Ben flinches against the back of the cage, shaking his head.] No, no, you just had me, it's not time yet, please don't, I can't-- [His voice is a bare, hoarse whisper, like he's just spent a lot of time screaming. He breaks off with a choked gasp and hides his head in his arms, or tries to, with the cuffs in that awkward position. New scars decorate the old, and cover him in places he didn't have any before. One through his left eyebrow and down his cheek is particularly bold; it had barely missed taking his eye out.]

    Please. It's not my turn. Please let me stay in the cage.

    [Guriel makes a broken noise, still frozen in his tracks. The words don't even really register, he's too busy trying to cope with the fact that Ben is here.

    Somewhere along the line -- somewhere not-recently -- he gave up on finding Ben. He's been doing this -- vicious, brutal, animal murder, rampant destruction, mindless slaughter -- because killing is all he remembers how to do.

    He didn't even realize that until right now.]


    [Ben's not a name anymore. He's a number. The litany of name, rank, social is as meaningless to him now as Swahili; it's what he says when he's on complete autopilot.

    Maybe, if he could smell Guriel, that would bring him back to himself, at least a little. But the last experimental protocol involved injected aconite -- which was a fresh horror he wasn't prepared for in the least, seeing as the needle, previously, meant relief rather than unimaginable pain. He's fairly certain that what he's seeing right now is a hallucination. It wouldn't be the first time. So he just squeezes his eyes shut and keeps shaking his head.] Please...

    [Guriel makes that noise again. His foot moves of its own volition, picks up, moves, falls like a lead weight to the floor. And again. And again.

    His steps fall heavy on the cracked, stained concrete of the floor. His mind still won't work. His heart won't beat. He doesn't feel anything.

    He was supposed to be happy when this finally happened. But he can't remember what happy feels like, or how to turn it on.]

    Ben? Ben. Ben, it's me, it's Guriel.

    [Ben whimpers down low in his throat. Still shaking his head with his eyes squeezed shut. Guriel is a dream, a distant one at that, one that he's increasingly felt slipping away from him as the days go by. He used to snarl defiance at Them, tell Them that his Pack was coming for him and they'd be sorry. But They just laughed and said it was impossible, that he'd be here for the rest of his life and They'd dissect him after he died. After they put him down like the dog he was...

    And sometimes, in Their psychological experiments, They'd make him think that Guriel was in the other room. It always turned out to be a cruel joke, and he finally stopped believing it.

    This? Is just another cruel joke.] Please. Please just let me stay in the cage for one more day, one more hour, one more minute, please oh please why won't you let me die...

    [Guriel shudders as the words finally take hold, and he sinks to his knees, his bloodied wings drooping. He keeps himself more than an arm's length away from the cage, and his voice is quiet. Timid, even.]

    I . . . I won't. I won't make you do anything. I won't hurt you. I would never hurt you.

    Ben. Ben, Ben, Ben . . .

    [The trickle of thought impinges on Ben's consciousness, and he frowns, even while keeping his eyes squeezed shut. It's... familiar, somehow. Comforting, in a place where there's no comfort to be had.

    Therefore, it has to be a trick. Or a trap. Because it can't be real. They told him he's going to die in this place. He might not believe much else They told him. But he does believe that.

    So he just hunches further into himself. He hasn't got much will left, but he makes a conscious effort and stops talking, after one last:] Please.

    [Guriel flinches and reaches up a shaking hand to try and wipe the blood off his face. All he does is smear it. Hopeless. He'll never get the blood off.

    He's starting to feel, a little. Not happiness, though. Just black, black despair, the kind that always settles in when he raids another place and slaughters another dozen humans and doesn't find Ben.

    But he's found Ben, only he's taken so long, Ben is so broken, he doesn't, he can't . . .

    He just wipes shakily and uselessly at the blood, and dredges up the memory of love and comfort and safety and pours what he can of it into the long-silent link between them.]

    Ben. Zev. Pack. Family. Love. Sorry, so sorry . . .

    [More frowning. He's whining on his exhales now, because this is fresh torture, why won't They just leave him alone and let him gather the shreds of his psyche back into some semblance of order before They hit him again?

    But the Pack link... They can't duplicate that, although Lord knows they've tried. Nothing else feels like that, and he finally cracks an eyelid open.]

    ...Guriel...? [The thought is thin and reedy and barely, barely there, and a sense of desperation permeates it.]

    [Guriel reels, physically wavers and has to catch himself with a bloodied hand on the concrete, but he catches that connection and holds on hard. God, he's been so alone, so alone, he drove Rachmiel off more than a month ago, even Zethel hasn't been able to get in lately . . .]

    Oh, God, Ben, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I didn't mean to take this long I'm sorry I'm sorry . . .

    [And Ben shivers, and moans, and hot, hot tears leak from his eyes, which he squeezes shut again.] Please...

    Please close the door.

    ...is it really you?

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