(2014-06-19) Memories of Darkness Unveiled
Memories of Darkness Unveiled
Summary: Faced with the ripple of memories and the pain they are creating, Linda comes to Headmistress Emma Frost for help. Talk about desperate.
Date: 2014-06-19
Related: Paradise Lost, Memories Found
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Plot

"Ms. Frost?" Linda knocks on the door and peeks her head in without waiting for an invitation. She knows Emma's by herself and not on the phone thanks to her super senses and she knows Emma knows that she's coming thanks to that powerful, telepathic brain. Linda's in brown hair mode. Her hair's wet and she's wearing a pair of orange shorts and a Virginia Rampage t-shirt. "I need your help." The nervousness flows off Linda like waves pounding a shore.

"Come in, Ms. Danvers. Please." Emma offers, as soon as Linda knocks, meaning while she's opening the door and peeking inside. The blonde at the desk motions with her hand to draw Linda in, and direct her to a seat. "You know that I am here to help. Come, sit. When you're ready, I am listening." It is by no means warm or fuzzy, but Emma is absolutely welcoming and without judgement. Not even a biting comment about teen wardrobes.

Linda closes the door behind her. She walks over and sits down, gingerly, in the chair in front of the desk. "I need to know if I murdered someone." She says, blurting the words out. She pauses, wincing at her words, then continues. "I need to find out what happened during… I need to find out what happened during the months I don't remember."

Despite Linda's sudden outburst, Emma Frost does not seem upset, offput, or shocked at all. She takes it all quite calmly and in stride. A different person would perhaps gather Linda in their arms, hold and soothe her, brush her hair and try to relax her. Emma merely nods. "Very well." She had rather expected, based on what she'd been told, that others would handle this. Others deemed - as stated - to be warmer and more emotionally attached. But they have not, and now her student is in distress. Damn them all and their supposedly busy schedules. Now Emma will take care of it. Period.

And Emma will just have to stomach more commentary from Laurel about how altrustic she is and how much she loves her students. Poppycock!

"You do understand, Linda, that this may be very unpleasant? I have no wish to do you harm, but you have asked for my help, and I must do all I can to assist you in finding your answers." Emma offers, by way of warning. She is exceptionally skilled and talented, and will do all she can to minimize the harm. But she will do all she can to find what Linda is after, even when it hurts. She needs for her student to understand, and accept, that risk.

"… yeah." Linda understands. It is why she hasn't tried to remember. Has actively avoided it, in fact. She suspected it wouldn't be good and now, she knows it won't. "But I need to know." For her. For Mary. She needs to know.

"So, yeah. I know it won't be good but I need to do it. Need to get it done." She's as small as she can be, hugging her knees to her chest. Dropping her chin onto her knees.

Emma rises from her chair and comes around her desk, to stand in front of Linda. One hand reaches down, and gently crooks a finger under her chin, lifting up slightly, to let brown eyes meet pale blue. "Linda, you are a far stronger, far better young woman than you seem ever willing to give yourself credit. You can, you will, get through this. I will help you, because that is my job. Because I am damned good at my job. And because you asked me. I want you to know that I will support you. And that I will help you /deal/ with what we find in your memories."

That said, Emma sits in the chair beside Linda, and then extends a hand towards her. "Ready yourself. Try your best to relax. When you are ready, take my hand. Then, we will begin."

Linda stares up into those cool, blue eyes. Eyes that have stared down CEOs and destroyed minds. That have inflamed passions and smothered hope. And here she is now. Agreeing to help her. It is easier to have confidence when there's confidence personified right in front of you. "Yes, ma'am." Linda whispers. She uncurls, letting her legs unfold and her feet touch the ground. Slowly, she reaches over and Linda takes Emma's hand. "Okay."

That warm hand wraps around Linda's gently, as Emma's eyes drift closed. A few moments later, and a gentle compulsion to do the same will sweep over Linda, as Emma begins to set the stage.

« Just relax. Remember, this is your mind. You have absolute dominion, here. You are in control. I am here to help and guide you, to grant you strength and skill to defeat the barriers you may find here. But /you/ will do it. I am merely your 'adventuring companion' on this journey. » And guide.

An image coalesces in Linda's mind, of a long, endless corridor, its walls and ceilings featureless, unrelieved white. Inside that corridor, Linda Danvers appears, much as she appears outside in the physical realm. At her side appears Emma Frost, as Linda clearly remembers her that day on the rooftop of the coffee shop. Then, with a wave of Emma's hand, doors begin to appear along the two sides of the hallway. Instinctively, Linda will know that these are doors to memories. Pieces of her life.

« First, let us find the last memories you have from before your change. Back in Leesburg, months ago. Trust yourself, and you will know which door to follow. Let's take a look. »

Kryptonian minds are different from human minds. Perfect recall and lightning calculation. If most human minds go thirty miles per hour, Kryptonian minds race along at a few hundred mph. Still, a telepath of Emma's can adjust to this difficulty.

Linda stares at the doors. The pieces of her life. So many she does not know. But she should. She stares at the doors. They don't seem friendly. They don't seem nice.

Linda puts her hand on the knob of one door. She takes a deep breath and turns it…

Linda Danvers seems younger. Even though this is months ago somehow she seems years younger. With brown hair in a pony tail and glasses, dressed in boy's clothing. She's hurrying along to the home of the church pastor, clutching a sculpture of an angel. She's excited. The pastor's wife, a truly nice and wonderful woman, loved Linda's sculpture so much she offered to buy it. Her first professional sale! Linda hurries up to the door. Her hand lifts to ring the doorbell but she hears shouting. A man shouting.

Curiously, Linda moves to the side of the door. She peeks inside just in time to see the pastor punch his wife in the face. The woman falls to the floor. He doesn't stop hitting her. He doesn't stop kicking her. His rage is insane and blood flows.

The pastor looks up towards the door. Linda drops the angel. It shatters on the front step and she flees.

Thankfully, Emma Frost has been getting experience reading and dealing with Linda's Kryptonian-enhanced mind for months now. She can handle this, even if it can be challenging.

Emma stays with Linda, but does not judge. Does not speak. Not yet. Instead, she observes. Linda finds the door, and Emma follows along, into her memory. Her memory of that terrible moment. She does not gasp, nor does she tremble. Instead, Emma merely nods. « Alright. This, then, you remember. This, you know and has become a part of you. Terrible as it was, you are in command of this memory. »

And then, for a moment, in astral Linda's hands, appears the angel statue. « It truly was very beautiful work. Perhaps you can make something like it, for me. » Just that, nothing more. Then Emma takes Linda's hand, and guides her back out the door, closing it behind them. The door now has a label on it, detailing what memory it contains.

« Let us continue, then. You ran away to safety, as you should have done. Where did you go? Did you ask for help? » After all, someone Linda liked had been hurt, badly. The Linda Emma has gotten to know would have, at the least, told someone. Called for help. 911. Or a parent. Someone.

The next door. Linda opens the next door.

Linda stands in front of her mother, arms wide, gesturing as she speaks. There are no words but it clear that Linda's trying to explain what happened and that Linda's mother isn't believing her.

White flash.

Linda running. To the house. The pastor's house. There's a moving van out front. A carpet, rolled up, is being carried by several large men into the back of the van. The pastor watches from the porch. Blood drips from the carpet onto the ground.

White flash.

Linda walks out of church. The pastor is being comforted by her mother. Two women gossip nearby about the pastor's wife. How it is such a shame she ran off like a brazen hussy. Left him for another man. How sad and strong he must be to survive such a horrible betrayal.

White flash.

The pastor's hand on the ass of a high school student. The head cheerleader and Linda's arch-enemy. A real bitch.

Throughout it all, Emma is there to support Linda. Guiding her from each scene into the hallway, then back through another door, to face the next scene. As it progresses, Emma's countenance seems to change a bit, her white costume starting to appear more like crystalline armor than merely clothing. But still she supports Linda, and carefully guards her own reactions, refusing to let them bleed through. But Linda can likely tell that there /is/ a reaction, however stifled it might be for her protection.

Again, Emma guides Linda to the hallway, this ritual they repeat with each scene as it unfolds. « I am here, Linda. I will not look away. You are safe. You have already been here. You are in control. Take command, and we will continue. »

Up ahead, however, are doors now appearing to be covered with chains and padlocks. They do not wish to be opened. They will resist. Yet there is the sense that they will fall, they will fail, before the combined might of Emma Frost and Linda Danvers.

"I was lying a lot." Linda explains as she takes the next door knob into her hand. "About my grades. About school. About friends. About anything. I was compulsive. The only time my parents looked at me was when I was caught in a lie." She turns the knob. "If I was good… they didn't have time. Too many bad things needed their attention."

Linda steps through the door.

A man, tall and thin. An elongated face and pointed chin. Buck teeth. He isn't handsome but Emma can feel how compelling he is. Feel the instant attraction. What follows is a montage of moments. Linda shaking his hand. Linda at a campfire next to him. Linda kissing him. Having sex with him. An introduction to beer. To pot. To pills. To coke. Linda shoplifting. Linda boosting a car. Linda breaking into someone's house. Linda tagging the church with graffiti. Linda performing some sort of sex ritual. Linda covered in blood before a Satanic altar.

The man in front of Linda in a cave. A dozen other people here - the women naked, the men only in pants. A dwarf with pointed teeth holds up a knife. Linda takes it as the hood is pulled off the pastor's head and the head of the teenage girl. The cheerleader.

"Linda Danvers! I should have known. I am going to, like, make your life a living hell!"

Linda slams her fist into the cheerleader's face.

As before, Emma watches it all without letting her judgements be visible. She can tell how Linda was manipulated, played and pushed along this degenerate slide. She knows that Linda made the choice, but from a limited and slanted set of options. Emma knows this is bad, with the wisdom of the older, the more experienced, and the gifted manipulator herself. But she holds onto Linda and goes for the ride down the rabbit hole, protecting her as they punch through the barriers.

Even Emma's vaunted control slips when the hoods come off, sneering at the stupid cheerleader. Then hiding it. Control. Calm. Resolute. « Good that you stood up to her. There are better ways, but something is better than nothing. » Emma comments.

And closer still, now, to the barred doors.

Linda has to remove the bar. Undoe three deadlocks. And then she opens the door. For a long time, she pauses.

"What if I did it?" Linda asks Emma. "What if I see me killing them?"

Emma holds out her hands to Linda. « Then we will face that reality together. I will not leave you. I will not abandon you. » Emma knows, far better than many, just what sheer desperation can lead to. Her hands are not clean of blood, either. If Charles, who knows it all, can trust her to guide and protect the children, then she has to believe that any can be redeemed if they choose. And she knows better than most that Linda was pushed into it, manipulated and controlled. « I am here with you. I will support you. » Unsaid, even telepathically, and yet it echos from Emma's sheer presence: No matter what.

Linda stares at Emma's perfectly manicured hands. She's shaking as she takes them and, despite her strength which can move mountains, Linda's hands seem so small and so fragile in Emma's.

Then Linda turns, one hand still clinging to Emma's, and pushes the door open.

"I can't." Linda says as she hands the knife back to the man. "I can't. Let them go."

The man smirks. "Well, if it isn't them…" And then he plunges the knife into Linda's gut.

Everything turns red as Linda falls to the cave floor in slow motion. She sees the knife raised and hears a scream and then everything goes dark.

But it doesn't end there. Her eyes open again and she sees the darkness rising up to take her. Tendrils of shadow come to make her pay for her crimes. For her evil. Tendrils of… white.

Of white. A blob. Something disgusting and horrible, like rotting compost, bubbles over Linda. She would scream but she's so tired. So weak. She's going to die. She's already dead. She's going to hell. Hell. Hell…

And then it fills her pours. Her mouth. Slithers in through her ears and her tear ducts. Her nostrils. It fills Linda. Blends into her. Merges with her. Linda drowns in the thing and, as she drowns, she grows stronger.

She becomes Supergirl.

Through it all, Emma never lets go. If Laurel could see this, she would be so vindicated. The teacher, the guardian, the protector, holds Linda's hands and squeezes gently, reassuringly, following along. Giving the girl the strength to face … anything. Everything.

Even death.

« And now, you see the truth. » Emma intones, holding Linda's hand. « Despite all his manipulations, he could not make you someone you were not. You would not murder. Not even a murderer. Not even your worst enemy. /That/, Linda Danvers, is your truth. »

Emma won't pretend to understand the magical elements of all of this. The black tendrils. Or the white. Whatever transformed Linda into Supergirl. But to her, at least, none of that matters as much as the truth: Linda today is still Linda from before. Her heart is the same. She faced that darkness, and refused.

She has no right to it, but Emma is very proud right now.

Linda releases a sigh of relief. Every muscle feels like jelly. Even astral muscles. The thing is, there's still one more door. One door that's locked. "I woke up the next morning." Linda says. "I woke up the next morning and stumbled into town. If I remember that, why is there still one more door?"

And still Emma holds Linda's hand. « Shhh. It's OK. I promise, you are safe. You are safe here with me. Let's go find out. » the educator answers, as she guides Linda to the bars. Holding their hands together, she gestures to the locks and bars, their touch together far stronger than just Linda's mind alone. « We have come this far, Linda. Let's see the rest of it. See it, accept it, and move through it. You deserve that. »

Emma will catch sight of him from the corner of her eye. A boy, probably around ten years old. Dressed in an orange sweater vest, blue bowtie and old fashioned grey hat. He's got a baseball bat. And Emma will know, instantly, that this isn't a piece of Linda's psyche. This is… something else. Something that can only be described as…


He smiles and puts a finger up to his lips. Ssssh. Then he waves.

And with that wave, both Emma and Linda are ejected from Linda's mind and memories. Of course, they may not realize that right away.

Instead, the two women appear in a slightly different corridor, with dark cherry-stained chair rail separating a taupe-colored painted lower swath from a multihued papered upper swath, with matching highly detailed cherry-stained crown moulding and eggshell white ceiling. The floor is dark hardwood in excellent condition, with a wide taupe runner of carpet to soften footsteps. Most of the doors in the hallway are closed, but one stands open. Inside, a young man in his late teens stands at the shoulder of a younger blonde girl in her earliest teens. There is something hauntingly familiar about that teenager. In front of these two stands an older man, perhaps middle-aged, dressed in proper formality, business attire, with a stark severity about him. Behind him, on the sofa, sits an elegant older woman of comparable age to the standing man. There is great tension in the room.

"What do you mean, you know what the headaches are, Christian? Explain yourself." the older man demands.

"Emma and I figured it out, Father. We were worried because she was afraid she was hearing voices. But the voices she's hearing are us. Our thoughts." the teenaged boy explains, a hand supportively on the teenaged girl's shoulder.

"Is that right, Emma?" the older man demands, with a sort of empty, almost hollow tone to his voice.

The blonde teen nods. "Y-yes, Father."

The man considers this quietly, and then nods. "Very well. You still look ill. Christian, take your sister to her room. She needs rest." He steps forward, in command, resting a hand on his son's shoulder as Christian's hand holds his sister's shoulder. "Don't worry, son. We'll get Emma the help she needs."

As the two women watch, the teenaged boy guides the blonde teen girl out into the hall and towards the stairs, which only appear as they get close. The two observers are dragged along to watch as Christian guides young Emma to her room and helps her stretch out on her bed, even going so far as to tuck a teddybear into her arms.

"Don't worry, Emma. Dad will take care of everything. You'll see." Christian promises, leaning down to kiss Emma's forehead. He sits, quietly, at her bedside until she drifts off. The surroundings fade to grey and featureless as the girl clearly falls into at least a light sleep.

Moments later, however, the scene changes, as heavy footsteps are heard. Then Emma's eyes snap open, and the room is suddenly full of two large men in white coats, one of whom is already forcibly holding the girl down, as the other preps a needle and jabs it into her arm. They continue to hold her down until her eyes drift closed. Just beyond the two hulking brutes, in the doorway, stands the father from the earlier scene, looking on with grim determination and no concern whatsoever for the screaming horror of the teenaged girl.

"No." the adult Emma, at Linda's side declares. "No, not this. What's going on?" Her face scrunches up, as Emma is clearly concentrating, trying to stop what seems to be transpiring, as her memories spool out before them, thick with a teenaged girl's fear and confusion.

"This can't be what's on the other side of the door." Linda says, confused. Watching this scene unfold. The accents are wrong. More Boston than Southern. The house… she's never been anywhere so beautifully made up. Not until coming to Xavier's. And then things go from lifestyles of the rich and famous to american gothic.

"T-that.. That's you!" Linda says and before she knows it she's moving. She leaps at the two men. "Leave her alone!" She screams, trying to get them to stop. Relying on her powers to beat the men down.

Except, Linda passes right through the memory.

The adult Emma reaches out, laying her hand on the astral shoulder of her would-be protector. "Linda. Linda, stop. You cannot stop what is happening. It has already happened." She sighs, softly. "This … this is my memory. Obviously. I do not understand how or why we are here. But we need to get out. We need to …"

And then Emma Grace Frost just goes silent. Absolutely silent. The memory has continued.

The upper-crust Boston bedroom dissolves away, completely gone. What materializes next is is a stark, cold room. Institutional. The walls are a pukey green color. The ceiling is comprised of many-dotted dingy white ceiling tiles. The floor is dull grey linoleum. Teen Emma is on the only furniture in the small room, strapped down to the bed. Gone are the fine clothes. Now she wears only a thin hospital gown. Her beautiful long hair is a rat's nest. The girl's eyes are wide open, unblinking. Pure catatonia. She doesn't even cry out.

And the only sound is a cacophony of jibbering, senseless voices of all ages and genders. Some shout. Some scream wordlessly. Others sob helplessly. Others jabber about this or that. It's all a terrifying mishmash. And through it all is a wall of soul-crushing fear and loss and loneliness.

And the noise just won't stop. The battering ram of all of it against the senses just won't stop.

And adult Emma stares at her teen self, visibly struggling to keep it together in the face of this memory.

"No. No. This isn't right. You don't belong here. You have real powers! You're not crazy!" Linda says, horrified by what she is seeing. Something from a nightmare. No wonder Ms. Frost always seems so distant. So cold.

"You need to get us out of here. I shouldn't be seeing this." Linda turns to Emma, refusing to experience this. She feels like she just stepped into something very private. Sacred, even. Something she should never have seen.

The adult Emma starts to pull herself together, bit by bit scraping together what she can of the strength of her mind to resist the nightmare unfolding here. Even as she does, the din trying to deafen them, pounding at their minds, slowly abates, as the teen Emma presses her nails into her palms, struggling visibly.

« You are right. We should not be seeing this. But something ejected us from your mind and memories, into my own. » adult Emma offers, frowning. She pushes up to her feet, looking around herself, assessing the situation as she prepares to break them out of this.

Other images flicker over them, though they start to fade and become somewhat insubstantial, as Emma starts pushing to get them free.

An orderly in white enters the room, walking over to look down at the teen trapped in the bed. His eyes are lascivious, visibly dangerous. He leans close, his breath stirring her hair, as his hands touch her gowned form. She struggles, but that only seems to enflame him further.

The fading continues, as adult Emma reaches out to take Linda's hands in her own. « I am afraid this may be uncomfortable, Ms. Danvers. But please, hold tight. With your mind, if you please, and not your hand. I would prefer not to need to replace my bones. »

As Emma clearly is concentrating to pull them free, the half-faded scene continues to unfold, showing teen Emma shaking her head. She tosses a key from her mouth to the bed beside one of her hands, then struggles to unlock the binding on her wrist. Then she works the other lock, as the din of mental voices is almost completely gone. She gets herself out of the restraints, and makes her way to the door, then hops up and stands on the door knob, reaching up to pop open a ceiling tile, pulling down a small bundle of clothing, a set of keys, and a keycard badge. Then she hops back down, inches the door open, and sprints down the hallway.

Just as the scene starts to finally shatter, as Linda can feel herself being pulled out of this astral playback of Emma's memories, the half-faded scene shows Emma, skidding on bare feet in the hallway, coming around the corner to face that orderly. Sneering, he reaches for a baton at his waist. Then he staggers as a sound fills the air like the rush of hot water through a pressure hose. He clutches his skull and stumbles, collapsing as a nosebleed starts on teen Emma's face.

In the next moment, the scene is gone. Both women are back in the chairs in Emma's office, still holding hands together.

But all that they have seen still lies between them.

"Linda?" Emma's voice sounds. "Linda, are you alright?"

Linda's on her knees. The experience of reliving such horrible memories - her own and than Emma's enough to force even the teen of steel to gasp. "That… you… oh, Ms. Frost. I'm sorry." She lifts her eyes, tears running down her cheeks. "No one should ever have to deal with what you did. Ever." Her eyes burn red, quite literally, at the memory. With her anger.

Emma's hand - a normal, human hand - gently squeezes Linda's. "Shhh. It's alright, Ms. Danvers. What I went through is done and gone. I cannot undo it. Neither can you. Please … take a breath. Take a breath, and relax. Calm down." She waits for the red glow from Linda's eyes to fade. "I am very sorry that you had to see that. Especially that you had to be subjected to it, experience it. I do not understand quite what happened, but I apologize for that."

Linda closes her eyes and, for a moment, they glow bright orange. Than that fades away and she sinks forward until she can rest her head against Emma's lap. She closes her eyes, too tired to cry. "Now I know what happened." Or some of it, anyway. Just how she gained her powers remains a mystery. "His name was Buzz. He led a group…"

Unable to help herself, Emma gently brushes her fingers through the brunette's hair. "Yes. Now you know." And now Linda knows things Emma would rather no one at the school - other than Charles, who is on a many-months-long sabbatical - knew. "I would like to make a suggestion, Linda. If you will hear it."

Linda lays there, taking comfort in the touch of mother's touch. Even if her own mother is miles away. It is soothing and gentle and, right now, it seems like it drives dark troubles away and brings out the light. No matter how old a girl gets, sometimes that's something she needs. "What's that?" She asks, quietly.

Emma continues, feeling how it is easing the knot inside the brunette. "I think you should use your art, to help everyone. Make a bust of this man, Buzz. That way everyone can see what he looks like, and know his details as well as you do. Then, sketches of the cave, the others in the group, the scene as you remember it as you were fading out. Those will help the investigators. And it will be a way for you to take action, and prepare yourself for more." Because Emma isn't stupid; she knows Linda is going to get involved in going after this Buzz. She's just going to need to make damned sure the girl is as ready as possible for that confrontation. That, and be there to help. Damnit. "Do you think you could do that?"

"I'll try." Linda murmurs. She's tired. More tired than she's been since, well, since that day. Thanks to her Kryptonian powers she usually only needs a few hours sleep a night but tonight? Tonight she might actually get a full eight. "Not tonight, though. Tomorrow."

Emma smiles, and nods. "That should be just fine, Linda. Just fine indeed. Would you like to go to your room, now?" Emma is ready to help Linda get up to her feet, then, if the girl is ready. but she's not pushing her.

"Yeah." Linda says, quietly. "I think I need to go to my room." She can bend steel bars and fly into orbit but, tonight, she'll need help getting back to bed. Tonight, Supergirl just needs someone to lean on.

Noticing that Linda needs that help, Linda gets the girl to her feet, and then rises herself. She could easily summon any one of a couple dozen students or staff to help Linda. But instead, Emma just starts gently guiding the brunette out the door to her office and through the halls, heading for the student residences.

Just don't blame her for the fact that no one will actually be able to /see/ them heading down the halls together. At all. Period.

Office 1 - Xavier Mansion
This is a generous sized office. The lower half of the walls are a burnished blonde wainscoting with the upper half decorated with a pale blue multi-hued colored textured wallpaper. Covering the floor is a plush carpet that matches the wallpaper.

Tasteful landscape paintings hang in a cluster on the right wall and against the wall to the left is an eggshell white fabric-covered sofa with another painting hung above depicting the New York City skyline.

In front of the office door are a couple of wingback chairs in eggshell white that face a gleaming neo-modern chrome and glass desk on which sits a holographic projection monitor and other desk things. Behind the desk is a white leather chair and a broad credenza decorated with plants, personal photos and books, beneath the wide window to the outside, flanked by two hutch tops.

  • Obvious Exits:
    • [O] - North Office Suites - Xavier M
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