Thankfully, there's a potential cure for her foul mood waiting elsewhere in Mainframe. Enzo and Bob have gone home for the night, and Annabelle is traipsing through a not-so-good part of town. According to several scalawags at the hotel bar, it's also the haunt of large numbers of Neovirals...
Annabelle's guns were transformed into energy weapons with a stun setting when she was transformed, and she intends to put them to a very...thorough test tonight.
It's a nice suite, and the view from the couch includes Annabelle's wall of weapons, which may help Tanya figure out where she is. The arsenal includes the rifles Tanya gifted her with, a sawed-off shotgun, a small pile of grenades, the armored vest, and the re-painted Combine body armor.
The rest of the room doesn't provide much in the way of help, although Annabelle's pistols are slung, holstered, over one of the bedposts.
Someone appears to be in the bathroom, if the light under the closed door is any indication.
Am I dreaming? Does it matter?
He doesn't look much older than he did when Annabelle last saw him, for all that more than half a century has passed. "Hello Whitley," Annabelle says with a sad smile. He looks, she thinks with a faint sense of amusement, like he's seen a ghost.
"Annabelle?" he asks, with a faint tremor in his voice. "How...." he shakes his head, "I must be dreaming."
"I suppose that would mean I'm dreaming too, then," Annabelle replies, suddenly uneasy when faced with her old friend. She remembers what Michael told her about the others' response to her betrayal and death. She takes a deep breath, and says, "I'm sorry about the things that happened because of what I did Whitley, but I'm not sorry that I saved Michael."
Whitley Styles looks lost in memory for a moment, as if every year of his long life is weighing on him. "You know what's happened, then?" he asks quietly, "How?"
"Where I am now, time and space get a little....odd. I've met and spoken with someone who lived through the aftermath." There really is no explaining Milliways to someone who hasn't been there. She looks at Whitley, hoping that he'll understand, "I couldn't let him die, even knowing what I know now..."
Whit nods, he doesn't seem angry, so much as sorrowful. "There's no telling, now, how events would have unfolded without him. For better or for worse, Michael has shaped the world in unimaginable ways." He pauses for a moment, as if wanting to confirm something already suspected. "and you were in love with him," he says, quietly.
"I still am," Annabelle whispers. "It hasn't been nearly as long for me as it has for you. I last saw you five months ago..." Whit just stares at her in shock for a moment, mouth agape. "I told you that time and space are strange where I am now."
"There are more things in heaven and earth," Whit says with something that is almost a laugh as he drags his hand across his face.
"Beyond either, really. I don't know that there's any explaining it until you've been there."
Neither of them can think of anything to say for a long few moments. "This doesn't feel like a dream," Whit finally remarks.
"No, it doesn't. If this is real...." Annabelle's voice is suddenly deadly earnest, "There are things you need to know Whitley, terribly important things. Do you remember Max's Considerations for Moderation?"
"Of course," he replies, unsure what Annabelle is driving at.
"The war he was talking about....it wasn't World War Two."
He leans forward, "What war, then? he asks, suddenly feeling a terrible sense of foreboding.
"A war that hasn't happened...yet."
"I've talked to someone who's from farther down the time stream, Whitley. If events aren't stopped there will be a war between Novas and baselines!" Annabelle exclaims as her voice cracks. "I don't think I need to tell you what the death toll will be if that happens."
Whitley Styles goes terribly still for a long moment.
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. This can't be real. If it is, can you afford to fail again? You've seen the writing on the wall.
"I think," he says after the long pause," that I had better take notes."
It takes quite a while for Annabelle to tell Whitley Styles everything that she can remember about the future. Annabelle can't shake the feeling that she's running out of time. "Whitley, did they ever clear out a bank account of mine in Switzerland?"
"You had a bank account in Switzerland? I don't think so, why?"
"I know that you believe me right now, but I have the feeling that, whatever this is, we're running out of time. When this is over, you'll question the veracity of everything I've told you." She smiles wryly, "You always were the sensible one. Go and look in a certain safety deposit box, 2342A, at the main bank in Geneva. Hopefully, that will be proof enough that I'm not a figment of your, or someone else's, imagination." On impulse, Annabelle leans over and hugs a rather surprised Whitley Styles "...I miss you all so much."
After a moment, Whitley returns her embrace. "We miss you too Annabelle." Whitley Styles is not cruel enough to mention that Michael might not be among that number.
Annabelle says, sniffling a bit, "I am not crying, damn it."
"Of course you aren't," Whitley Styles replies, with mock solemnity. He's a bit teary himself.
"Be careful Whitley. You know the kinds of things that Proteus has done."
"I will. I was experienced in espionage before any of Thetis's operatives were even born."
"You had better not end up dead any time soon, or we're going to have WORDS, Whitley Styles."
After that, everything fades, and Annabelle finds herself sitting in a chair in her room at the End of the Universe.
"I'd like to see my safety deposit box."
Annabelle couldn't recall if she had ever told the anyone in Æon about her account here. In any case, it was far too late to tell them now. Annabelle carefully placed the unloaded pistol and a letter into the safety deposit box. Like a man on a deserted island casting a message in a bottle into the unforgiving sea, she would never know if it would reach its intended recipients.
"G'damn Edward, you look like death warmed over."
"I'm aware of that Tom," Edward Smithson remarked as he limped over toward Tom in an attempt to get out of the pouring rain. "I came as soon as I got the telegram in Mineola..."
"So you got the telegram? Thank God! We weren't sure where you were, and there was a bit of a tizzy over where to send a message..."
"Tom!" Edward barked in interruption. "How is she?" For all that a childhood bout with polio had left him with a limp that had rendered him unable to serve in the War, Edward Smithson could take on the bearing of a military commander when he felt the situation warranted it. His expression suggested that he was going to get an answer by God, come Hell or high water.
Tom blinked in startlement a moment, "She's been sleeping most of the time, but the sawbones Jeremy scared up swears she'll be just fine once she's healed."
Edward closed his eyes a moment and sighed in relief. "Thank God. What happened? The telegram didn't say much..."
"Some son of a bitch didn't take kindly to finding out that Annabelle was a better shot. Apparently, her act was drawing off his paying customers. He'd gotten on the outside of too many bottles of gin, and decided to get rid of his competition," Tom explained as the two of them moved from canvas awning to tin roof toward the center of the area where the circus had set up camp.
"How badly was she hurt?"
"Flesh wound in the arm mostly, though the Doc thinks it might have scraped the bone. He put her under with ether to take the bullet out. Good thing too, the police might not have been as sympathetic if they'd heard her her cussing like that. Don' know where she learned that kind of language," said the source of several of Annabelle's more...interesting epithets.
"Why would the police be unsympathetic? Was the man who shot her telling tales?"
Tom's grin at Edward's questions was sharp and not entirely friendly, "Oh he won't be complaining to anyone, save God almighty or the Devil. Annabelle put a knife through his eye at 20 yards before he got the chance to take a second shot. The police are calling it a miracle," he concluded, with a smirk.
Edward raised an eyebrow, "I take it no one mentioned that Annabelle could throw knives for a living if she had a mind to?"
"Didn't see the point of making things...complicated." As Tom finished that last statement, the duo finally reached the tent where Annabelle was recuperating. Tom turned to Edward, "John will be glad to see you, I don't think he's slept more than a handful of hours since she was shot."
"Worry is a father's perogative. Don't worry Tom, I'll try and convince him to let me spell him for a bit."
"Much obliged. Me and some of the boys are going to have a look-see here abouts and make sure no one's getting any...ideas." With that, Tom vanished into the downpour and Edward lifted the tent flap and went inside.
John Newfield looked up when Edward entered the tent and smiled when he recognized Annabelle's mentor in the art of shooting. "She'll be glad to see you Edward. She's been sleeping most of the time, thanks to the morphine, but I suspect she'll wake up for a little in a bit." Edward went to remove his coat, and couldn't quite hide the fact that his body wasn't responding as readily as it should. That simple act took nearly 5 minutes, as his muscles locked up or trembled in turn. "Edward..?" John started to ask, as he stood up in startlement, gravely concerned.
"There's nothing to be done, John," Edward said quietly. "The doctors tell me it's only a matter of time."
"Uncle Edward?" Annabelle asked, groggily, as she tried to sit up.
Edward smiled at her inquiry, "No sitting up on my account Annabelle, you might do yourself a mischief."
Annabelle's smile turned uncertain for a moment, "I wasn't armed and he shot me and I...I killed him," she said, all in a rush.
"Tom told me about what happened, " Edward said as he leaned forward to hold his honorary niece. "It's a terrible thing that you had to do, but no matter what happens, you'll always be my little Crackshot."
"Really?" Annabelle asked as she looked up from his shoulder, which was now slightly damper than it had been.
"Always." Edward reached under his coat, "I want to give you something," he said as a pistol came into view.
"But that was your brother's pistol!" Annabelle protested.
"Edward," Annabelle's father interrupted, "are you sure that's a good idea?"
"I'd feel better if she had a weapon that was easier to carry than the rifle." Edward's face turned grim, "There might not be a kitchen knife next time."
"Next time?" Annabelle asked as her fingers traced over the letters engraved on the pistol, the name James Smithson .
Edward's and John's faces were both sad when Edward replied, "There will always be people who hate you for being good at what you do. If those people decide to act physically on that hatred, I want you to be protected."
Annabelle's gaze was distant for a moment as she remembered that night, "I don't ever want to feel like that again," Annabelle stated, grimly.
Edward nodded, his hands shaking slightly as he gave Annabelle his brother's pistol, his most prized possession.
Annabelle was about to remark on the trembling when she suddenly felt terribly tired. "You should rest for a while, Annabelle," her father remarked.
"I just woke up," Annabelle grumbled.
"I'll be here when you wake up," Edward promised. With that, Annabelle nodded off.
Several weeks later, when Edward was getting ready to go back on the road himself, Annabelle couldn't quite shake the feeling that she wouldn't see him again. The shaking and trembling had gotten worse, though Edward refused to say anything about it. Thus, Edward got a tearful goodbye and thank you from Annabelle when he left for Oklahoma City.
She wasn't surprised when she got news several weeks later that Edward had chosen to leave this world on his own terms, rather than dying by inches. The loss still hurt.
Dr. Hammersmith: *Creates Telluric Engine*
Telluric Engine: *Explodes*
Maxwell Mercer: *Is Unstuck in Time*
Future!Maxwell Mercer: Welcome to 1942! Time to learn to control your Time Traveling Powers.
Maxwell Mercer: *Visits Galatea explosion in 1998* Lots of people have superpowers now!
Maxwell Mercer: *Visits 2061*... that didn't work out so well....
Maxwell Mercer: *Visits 2122* Let's create another wave of people with superpowers, because it worked out so well last time.
Maxwell Mercer: *Is back in 1923* *Founds the Æon Society for Gentleman*
Annabelle Newfield: I'm not a gentleman, thank you.
Æon: Let's recruit these new people with superhuman abilities, the Inspired, to work for the betterment of all mankind!
Maxwell Mercer: *Has secret time control powers and more money/influence than Bill Gates*
Dixon: *Has mad!science device making abilities and crazy ex-wife*
Whitley Styles: *Has psychic powers and L33t ninja skills*
Jake "Danger Ace" Stefokowski : *Has uncanny piloting skills, doesn't die even when he really ought to.
Harry Potter: Are you sure we're not related?
"Safari" Jack Tallon: *Has fists and mind of metaphorical steel*
Annabelle Newfield: I'm not surprised. Trying to change his mind is like arguing with a mountain, only less effective. You'd think he'd get used to the idea of women being part of Æon, but no...
Annabelle Newfield: *Is just that awesome with weapons, any weapons* *Is not so secretly in love with Dr. Primoris*
Inspiration Age: *Has Pulp Style Adventure*
Æon: *Are Big Damn Heroes*
White Wolf Editors: We need to make this flow into the events in Aberrant, somehow.
Annabelle Newfield: Wait, my unrequited love for Primoris is somehow supposed to lead me to betray Æon, resulting in my death, and that's all you're going to say about it!?
White Wolf Editors: Yes.
Annabelle Newfield: *Angsts* *Dies* *Contributes in an unspecified way to violent break up between Dr. Primoris and Æon*
Dr. Primoris: I think we should take an active hand in guiding human history.
Rest of Æon: We don't think so. *Violent battle ensues*
Dr. Primoris: *Disappears mysteriously during battle*
Maxwell Mercer: *Angsts* *Disappears in 1950*
New!Æon: Hey, let's keep all knowledge of Inspiration to ourselves!
Babel Dossier: *Holds secrets*
Dixon and Jack Tallon: *Presumably die off-screen*
Jake Stefokowski: *Leaves Æon*
Whitley Styles: *Angsts*
Readers: We're starting to notice a trend here...
Scientists: *Do experiments in space*
Divis Mal: *Does his own experiment in space*
Lots of People: We have superpowers now!?
New!Æon: *&^@!*&?&*%$! We need a plan B! *Develops plan for dealing with 'Nova Problem'*
Random Government Guy (Who probably got whacked): Didn't they develop a plan awfully fast for something that's brand new? Seriously, it sometimes takes us longer than that to find a missing file.
New!Æon: *Attempts to run the world* We're doing this for the good of all humanity, really!
Edited at 9:30 p.m. November 16 2008 Edited again on November 17 to fix an error in events portrayed.
Maxwell Mercer's time line is taken from here.
The last of the monstrous spiders spasmed once and lay still, but we had not yet achieved our aim. Annabelle Newfield was still in the hands of a madman who had stolen the face of Sir John Tavers, a long time friend of AEon, to lure her here. What we had found in our attempt to ascertain her fate was a man who, fancying himself a Sorcerer, had transformed the island to suit his own twisted fairytale vision. The spiders, though horrible to look upon, did not trouble me as much as the guards we had dispatched earlier. They had been men once, before the horrors that had befallen them at the hands of this madman. We had not heard them speak, though whether they remained silent because they could not speak or because they had forgotten the tongues of Men I could not say.
In our battles with the various monstrosities we had found both Annabelle's weapons and a prisoner by the name of Lord William Weston. Weston had shed some light on Annabelle's fate, although he had little reassurance to give us. It seems that our "Sorcerer" had drafted her to play the role of Damsel in Distress while Lord Weston's nephew was picked to play the role of Knight. There had been other prisoners, all of whom had been chosen to play one role or the other. None had returned. Lord Weston reported hearing the sounds of some great beast, at whose claws he presumed those unfortunates had met their ends.
We had, thank God, arrived shortly after Lord Weston's nephew had been chosen. We were presently racing through these labarynthine passages, hoping to reach both of them while they were still alive. As we reached yet another fork, fate took pity on us. We suddenly heard Annabelle's voice echoing clearly through the passages," OVER HERE YOU MISBEGOTTEN SPAWN OF A BAT AND A LIZARD!" followed by a terrible roar.
"That would be Annabelle," Tallon remarked dryly as we changed course.
"She's fighting that thing!?" Lord Weston interjected. (We had not dared to leave him alone with so many creatures wandering about.)
"I would have expected nothing less," Max told him, "our would be sorcerer made a rather unfortunate choice for his Damsel in Distress."
I could not help but smile a bit at that. Annabelle Newfield was perfectly capable of killing a man with tableware and mad enough to try and kill the creature with whatever was at hand. However, even with her considerable talents she was still in mortal danger. We finally reached the arena and beheld the terrible beast that our "Sorcerer" had created. It appeared to be a dragon in every way that mattered, including the ability to breathe fire. Indeed, we arrived just in time to see Annabelle dodge a burst of flame and stab the creature in the eye with a spear. It bellowed in mortal agony, convulsed and lay still.
Our "Sorcerer" had been watching the fight with an expression of horrified disbelief. "Inconceivable!" he shouted as the Dragon ceased its convulsions. He had not thought, yet, to set any of the guards that were present on Annabelle. We intended to see that he did not get that chance....
Annabelle has decided, after half a bottle of whiskey, that knowing the future is most certainly a curse and not a blessing.
Forgive me Lord, I know not what I do.
She hadn't thought that she'd come back alive from her last desperate mission to save Primoris's, now Michael's, life. She had believed that her own blood would be the last shed as a result of that particular Devil's bargain. It wasn't...
Midwife to an age both terrible and great. What have I bound, and what have I unleashed?
Annabelle had listened with growing horror and despair as Michael had told her of the events that happened after her death. Her death had spurred his desire to control the world, to make it be what he thought it should be. With the terrible clarity of hindsight, she could see how Michael's pride and desire to better the world had twisted into arrogance and a certainty in his own rightness...
Should I have known you'd scribe your name in blood and fire across the face of the world?
It was no surprise then, that it came to blows. AEon, after two of its founding members had betrayed it and one departed for parts unknown, had become the very thing it had long fought against. The Society had sought to control Inspiration, to make the world forget that it had ever existed. Then Michael had decided to create something that would be impossible to cover up.
He had found a way to create others like himself, more powerful than the Stalwarts of her own lifetime. The Novas were his children really, for all that they were not his by blood. The things his children would do....diseases cured, wars and famines prevented, unspeakable massacres, disasters and devastation...
We are too small to comprehend the consequences of our actions.
AEon had tried to control the Novas, even rendering them sterile. Michael had gathered Novas to himself and proclaimed them outside of humanity and unbound by its laws. Michael might not have ordered the atrocities some of his followers committed, but he hadn't tried to stop them.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Annabelle had asked him if there was anything left of the man she loved...
A monster can wear a beloved face.
quite forgetting that she'd never said those words to him before. Some small shred of pride had kept her from telling him for fear of being rebuffed. The look on his face... It had been answer enough.
That had prompted Michael to explain his own feelings. She'd known that her love was unrequited, of course. She wasn't blind. Michael was in love with Max and had been afraid to admit his feelings to the man he loved.
We were two damaged souls. The difference between us, in the end, was that you turned the knife upon the world, and I upon myself.
She supposed it was some small mercy that the rejection had nothing to do with her personally. She'd plead tiredness shortly after that, most likely not fooling Michael in the least. Annabelle had never been in the habit of showing weakness in public. Anger came to her far more readily than grief, but it was simply too much.
Tell me, would you pay the price again?
Annabelle put her head on her knees and wept for her own broken heart.
"We've got to stop meeting like this Miss Newfield, people will talk," said Dr. Gregory Moore.
Annabelle Newfield made a pained noise and without opening her eyes replied, "I don't get injured like this on purpose Dr. Moore."
The head physician at the Emily Mercer Memorial Clinic in Chicago had become Annabelle's unofficial doctor, much to the relief of the other physicians on staff. Perhaps they felt that since Dr. Moore had grandchildren who were older than Annabelle Newfield he was better qualified to handle the deadly 14 year old. (Annabelle still maintained that the unfortunate physician who had tried to physically restrain her had been lucky to only wind up with a broken nose.)
"Considering how much you hate convalescence that was never in doubt," Dr. Moore replied as continued his examination of his rather woozy and disoriented patient. "Dare I ask what it was this time?"
"Dunno, bloody giant plant thing. Tried to eat Stefokowski and the plane."
"Mhmm. Any difficulties other than the pain at the moment?"
Annabelle looked at Dr. Moore with disoriented misery, "I don't like hearing colors..."
"Synesthesia... lovely," Dr. Moore replied sarcastically. "Nurse, please see if you can get a hold of Mr. Whitley Styles. Yes, that Mr. Styles. He might know what species it was before someone started mucking about with it. It would be nice to have some idea of where to start with treatment for a change."
He turned back to his patient, "I will say this for treating members of the AEon society, it's never dull."
1. Annabelle has never had any formal schooling. Her parents taught her how to read, write, and figure, but the rest of her education was... eclectic. She has picked up a few things over the years , but they tend to be a bit random.
2. She lost her mother to the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.
3. By the time she was 12 years old Annabelle was starring in her own act, performing trick shots with firearms.
4.Annabelle first killed another human being when she was 12 in self-defense. Annabelle had shown up an older, male, trick shot expert whose career was on the ropes. As might be expected, he took this very poorly. He tracked her down later that evening. Annabelle did not have her gun with her and he would almost certainly have killed her if he hadn't been nearly too drunk to stand. Even so, she got a minor bullet wound in the side. Luckily, there was a knife nearby and she killed him by putting it through his eye. Annabelle has never been voluntarily out of lunging distance of a weapon since.
5. Unlike many Inspired, Annabelle discovered her talent gradually. She simply noticed that she was making shots every time that should have given her difficulty. Indeed, it almost seemed that she couldn't miss. Without the challenge of making ever more difficult shots she was looking for something more to do by the age of 14. Then Whitley Styles showed up with an invitation to join the AEon society. The rest, as they say, is history.
6. (This one is something Austin suggested via Jennifer Landers that I decided to incorporate) Yes, she can kill a man with at least eight different kinds of tableware. If you ask politely, she may even tell you how.
7. One of Annabelle's least favorite missions involved being stuck in a small building,in a blizzard, with Jack Tallon, for 3 days. When Tallon told Styles later that it had been a close thing he was not, in fact, referring to the gun battle.
8. Annabelle used to chew tobacco, but that changed after one particular adventure. AEon was investigating the strange, inexplicable behavior of the local residents in a tobacco growing area in Cuba. They found out that someone had altered the local tobacco plants to produce an additional compound that made people more susceptible to mind control. Unfortunately, they discovered this when a mesmerist forced Annabelle to shoot Whitley, who nearly died. Annabelle had been chewing the local tobacco for several days. This incident distressed her enough that she quit cold turkey.
9. When AEon finally caught up to the mesmerist mentioned above, Annabelle emptied both pistols into him at point blank range. Her teammates pretended not to notice that she was still badly shaken up even after said mesmerist was very, very dead.
10. She won't admit it, but she did buy a copy of Tales of the AEon Society whenever it came out, even the ones by Evans.
August 12, 1938 5 p.m. Rome, Italy
The various thugs that had been hired to guard the underground laboratory were twitchy tonight. It was clear that something was going to happen shortly. Annabelle was willing to bet that some of the thugs that had been hired to protect the laboratory were loyal to factions in the Contedorri that would like to see the project fail. Hopefully they'd kill each other and the resulting shortage of personnel would give her a shot at Zvarich without a large number of mooks breathing down her neck.
Sure enough Marconi, the greasy, pot-bellied waste of space, got a bullet in the back 10 minutes later. Luckily, Annabelle hadn't lived this long without being as adept at dodging bullets as she was at firing them.
From an experienced point of view the firefight that followed was a pathetic affair. Annabelle didn't even need to "help" any of them into the path of oncoming gunfire, they managed that on their own.
"Honestly, would it kill you lot to hire someone with more than two neurons to rub together?" Annabelle asked the three surviving thugs.
The young blond gunman in the back shrugged and said with a smirk "It's a shame there was only one survivor."
One of the other thugs who was slow on the uptake confusedly began "What you talking about Edward, there's four of us.." only to have Edward put a bullet between his eyes before he could finish his question. Annabelle and the other remaining thug moved to get out of Edward's line of fire. A bullet passed by Annabelle's elbow as she rolled behind a stack of crates, but the other thug wasn't so lucky, taking a hit to the heart. Edward grinned like he'd won a prize.
"It looks like it's just the two of us now Miss Newfield. I didn't want to kill them, but I couldn't have them contradicting my version of events. You see, I'll tell Zvarich that you turned on us and I finally brought you down after you killed all these poor devils. He'll believe that you did it easily enough. Some of them," he gestured to the bodies of the thugs," call you the Angel of Death. Your reputation is such that killing you will make me a god in their eyes." Edward grinned ghoulishly " I can't wait."
Annabelle used his little speech to get into a better firing position. He was just a kid, hardly more than sixteen (and when had that age become young to a warrior whose career began at 14) but he had the mannerisms of a rabid dog already. He was probably Inspired himself and thought he was the best to ever hold a gun. He wanted to become a legend, but the only thing he was going to become was a corpse.
Annabelle called out "You don't want to pick a fight with me boy, I was killing more dangerous things than you when you were still in short pants!"
He didn't listen, they never did. Annabelle somersaulted out from behind the crates firing both Hell pistols as she rolled. The poor son of a bitch never had a chance. He fell to the floor dead with a surprised look on his face.
"What happened?" Zvarich asked Annabelle as she entered the area of the Tesla earthquake generator alone.
"There was a bit of a dust up." Annabelle replied "Apparently some of your associates have taken a dislike to this little project and hired some mooks to solve the problem with gunfire."
"All of the guards that were inside are dead?!" exclaimed Zvarich as he stopped fiddling with something that crackled with electrical energy
"It's not my fault you hired incompetent help." Annabelle snapped " The goons that wanted to stop this project are dead and no one from outside has gotten inside the lab to wreck that damn machine. That's what I'm here for."
"Yes, yes I know that." Zvarich muttered as he fiddled with one of dials " I was just surprised that's all. What about that nice young fellow Edward?"
"He took on more trouble than he could handle."
"Ah, a great pity that. Are there any more guards that we can pull in to guard the machine itself?"
"Not without leaving the rest of the complex practically unguarded." Annabelle replied honestly. Admittedly, Zvarich's problems weren't going to come from outside the room, but he didn't know that. Zvarich grimaced and gave her a speculative glance. He clearly believed that Annabelle had sent some sort of signal to AEon and that the society would be showing up to crash the party. As if they'd trust me now after what I've done, she thought bitterly.
"Yes, well we can't have that now can we?" he said with a smirk "I'll just have to trust in your considerable skills and leave the guards to deal with any... visitors."
Annabelle walked slowly over to the machine and pointed to a piece of the machine that was spinning wildly and making an eerie humming noice. "What does that doohickey do?" she asked.
Zvarich winced in horror at Annabelle calling the whatever it was a doohickey. Zvarich strode over to Annabelle and away from the device that could be used to call in the guards, precisely as Annabelle had intended, with indignation plain on his face. "That 'doohickey' Miss Newfield is the gravitational capacitor, and I would ask that you refrain from touching it."
"I wasn't planning on touching it." Annabelle replied as she eased a throwing knife down into her hand. Zvarich must have sensed the danger, as he made a move toward his radio device. He wasn't fast enough. The knife hit him in the throat and he collapsed to the floor. The blow should have killed him instantly, but it appeared he had made some modifications to himself as Hephaestia had done.
"I'll give you anything you want!" Zvarich rasped in panic as he lay bleeding out on the floor gazing up at Annabelle, who had a fey look in her eyes now. "Anything!"
Annabelle laughed then, a sound bitter and sharp as broken glass. "You can't give me what I want" she told him sadly. Annabelle twisted the knife to ensure the job was done.
The machine whirred and spun oblivious to the death beneath it. Annabelle gazed up at it. The device was far too big to move and once the Contedorri found out what happened they would likely use the machine immediately. Annabelle couldn't, in good conscience, leave the thing intact. Annabelle drew her pistols and began to fire at anything that looked delicate or important, including the gravitational capacitor.
At first the machine buzzed like a swarm of bees and towards the end it screamed like a living thing. As the machine finally began to tear itself apart the underground complex began to shake and Annabelle could hear the stone in the surrounding rooms caving in as the electrical lights went out. Annabelle heard the machine finally die in the dark. Then, she heard the several tons of scaffolding that had been holding the machine tear loose from the walls. There was pain and the sound of wings and Annabelle Lee Newfield found herself somewhere else entirely.
AEon had battled both criminal organizations for years and the Contedorri had managed to land a telling blow at last. Dr. Primoris had been stricken by a malady that AEon's best had yet to cure. The Contedorri were attempting to blackmail AEon with his life. They would provide the means to drive their engineered malady dormant so long as AEon let them have their way. AEon stood for the betterment of mankind, they could not allow the Contedorri to grind the world beneath their heel. Annabelle had seen the strain on everyone's faces as they weighed the life of a dear friend against the fate of thousands. They had hoped for so long that they could find a way to save him without accepting that devil's bargain, but it was becoming horribly clear that they were running out of time.
It was unsettling seeing him lying there pale and unconscious. Primoris had shrugged off poisons that would kill a hundred men and blows that could cut a man in half, but this invisible foe was slowly claiming his life. It was hard on all of AEon's founding members to see a dear friend brought low, but Annabelle was losing the man she loved. She'd never told him that of course, as it was clear he did not return her feelings and likely never would. Nevertheless ,she reasoned that he knew. Anabelle grimaced, subtlety had never been her strong suit and she feared her feelings for him had been glaringly obvious. It was a wound that wouldn't heal and sometimes she wanted nothing more than to be able to hate him instead.
They say that love is blind.
She couldn't hate him, not for that. Dixon hadn't slept for days, trying to find a solution, and Annabelle had gone to visit Primoris after yet another unsucessful treatment. She thought she could almost feel Primoris's life slipping through her fingers as she rested a hand on his arm. In the end it didn't matter if he felt the same way. She couldn't let him die, even if the price was everything.
I will make a deal with the devil for thy sake.
Primoris needed time and Annabelle would buy it by making her own deal with the Contedorri. She would betray AEon, her second family, to save the man she loved. They say that deals with the Devil are signed in blood and Annabelle suspected that dealing with the Contedorri would be no different. The only question was who's blood and how much of it would be required to meet their price.
Is bending a sign of weakness or of strength?
August 12, 1938,
A deal had been struck in the end. The Contedorri wanted a device that could create earthquakes, a device that had been in the hands of the Ubiquitous Dragon Tong. Annabelle had assisted in its acquisition and now only its final setup underground remained. The Contedorri didn't trust her of course, they would have had to be fools to trust a traitor . They did have leverage in the form of Primoris's life, and that had reassured them enough to have her help guard the machine while it was being assembled by Dr. Zvarich in its new location underneath Rome. Unfortunately for Dr. Zvarich, Annabelle had made another bargain.
She wasn't entirely certain how Marcello had found her, but he had made an offer that she could not refuse. He was thin and delicate looking, with an uncanny knack for getting into and out of places without being seen. Annabelle had nearly shot him when he seemed to appear out of thin air shortly after she arrived in Rome. She remembered how the angry and bitter young man had made his offer.
" I do not trust money, but I will make you an offer for blood. A life for a life. Dr. Zvarich took my sister from me, take his life, and I will see that your young man gets the true cure for what they have given him."
Marcello wouldn't say what Zvarich had done to earn himself a spot in Hell, but Annabelle could guess. The lives of the poor and indigent were cheap,and more than one scientist had done unspeakable things to other humans in the name of research. Marcello had joined the Contedorri to gain information on his sister's killer only to find him within their ranks. Marcello claimed he could get into the laboratory with the cure easily enough (they had no reason to suspect treachery from him) while the Contedorri would destroy the cure rather than let Annabelle get anywhere near it. In return, Annabelle's skill in battle, which Marcello lacked, would give her access to the lab and Zvarich.
Annabelle checked her weapons one last time before heading underground. One way or another Zvarich would be dining with the Devil tonight.
" Max smiled. "We in the AEon society have our own aiming device, better than any artificial brain." "
pg 10 Adventure! PDF
"We were trapped on an island that was about to be fired into orbit.
And then I heard something yell "YAHOO!"
I stared. And couldn't do much more than mutter: "Oh...my...God."
Max smiled. "Our aiming system."
The Hawk's undercarriage was down. Hanging upside down from the undercarriage, legs wrapped around a wheel strut, hefting the Z-ray rifle and hooting and hollering: Annabelle Lee Newfield. The single best shot on Earth. Pretty as a picture, mad as a hatter, and, right now, all that stood between Max and me living and Max and me dying in a vacumn. "
pgs11-12 Adventure! PDF
LJ Name : amrin_20012002
AIM handle: none at this time I go by Amarin online.
Character: Annabelle Lee Newfield from the Trinity Universe RPG by White Wolf
Annabelle Lee Newfield was the daughter of an acrobat and a contortionist who grew up in the circus during the early years of the 21rst century. She was an exceptional shot even before the Hammersmith incident unleashed Z-waves and altered the world of the Trinity Universe and "inspired" some people, Annabelle among them, giving them extraordinary abilities. At 14 years of age she was invited to join the Aeon Society for Gentleman and would spend the rest of her life working with Aeon and occasionally saving the world, or at least bits of it.
Annabelle is very much an extrovert, and someone who thrives on narrowly escaping dangerous situations by skill and the skin of her teeth. She has also been a hero type for most of her life and likes nothing better than spitting in the face of danger for a good cause. This makes her a perfect candidate for getting involved in almost any plot that happens to come up in the bar.
I first wanted to play the character when I read through her cannon and she made her first appearance, other than the mention of her name, by hanging from the undercarriage of a plane. Why? She needed to use a superscience invention in an almost impossible shot to save Maxwell Mercer and Whitley Styles from a messy end. She was then shown cackling with glee as the plane flew off. That kind of confidence and glee in the face of such stacked odds appealed to me a great deal, and I wanted to play that character and see what other trouble she could get into and out of.
Despite her confident demeanor her major weak spot was her unrequited love for Dr. Primoris, who went on to become the super villain Divis Mal. Her canon suggests that this drove her to increasingly reckless behavior and was ultimately a factor in her death. I would like to allow her to deal with these feelings that obviously troubled her in bar in a less self-destructive manner.
I am new to RP and to using Livejournal, but I hope that you will accept this application. Thank you for your time.