*In the farthest-from-the-door alley at Sal's Shoot-'Em-Up (a 24-hour indoor shooting range), Ted stood with his somewhat-shiny-but-mostly-matte-black Firestar 9mm pistol, holding it in a teacup grip (not that he knew what it was called, he'd just seen it on cop shows and stuff, and the teacher who'd been with him earlier in the night showed him how to do it right) and firing at a target at the far end of the range. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Tapping a switch next to him, he started the motor that would bring his target to him, and saw with pleasant surprise that he'd gotten one on the paper this time. With some fumbling, he took the clip out of his pistol, loaded up another seven shots, and slapped it home to try again.*
*Dusk fell, and Ted left the house. The bus, the driver, the rag-thing, the couple. All routine. Tonight, he hummed a show tune (of all things) as he stared unseeing out the window, occasionally murmuring a few singsong words. Every night was a routine.* My time of day is the dark ti~ime...
*Ted strode the halls of Arkham asylum, occasionally shining his flashlight at something or other. It was another quiet shift, at least for the time being, something he didn't mind at all. Under his breath, he sings to himself.*
...sure as you can steer a train, you can change your fate...
*Ted caught the bus as dusk tightened its grip on Gotham and slowly dragged the city into true night. He was dressed for work, although he wasn't entirely certain he still had one. Still, it wouldn't be failure to show up that would cost it for him. He had stopped playing "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'" after about a day, although he still hummed the opening guitar riff under his breath every few minutes. He hadn't really talked to Rosie, outside of her journal, and he wasn't sure she had forgiven him. He wasn't sure she ever would, really, and he didn't blame her. That was one more situation where he might end up out on his bony butt, but not because he simply walked away. He rode behind the driver, ignoring the pile of filth and rags that might be a person hunched near the middle door and the androgynous couple who were desperately necking in the back. They were familiar presences, there most nights, same as him. They all knew the metropolitan rule of "don't look at it, don't listen to it, for god's sake don't talk to it." Words to live by. Or, in Gotham, survive. It was with the usual sigh of relief that he stepped off the bus, leaving its stenches and its pallid, goggle-eyed, unblinking driver behind for the favor of... yeah, that sigh didn't tend to stay one of relief for long, faced with his place of employment. Arkham was lovely by day, he imagined, all the gothic arches and ornamentation, but night conspired with the dim light and shadow of the city to transform the edifice into something sinister, a hulking mass of malignance, waiting patiently for some unknown moment, some unknown purpose. Still, better than Generitech by a long way. Flashlight in hand, key ring jangling against his hip, he made his way inside, nodding a greeting to the night head nurse at her post behind the desk.*
"Evening, Sally. What's the word?"
*In the middle of the night, Alisa sits on her bed. Watching the walls, and the faint pattern of the outside shadows that play upon them. Eventually, she moves to turn on her light, to her table, to write a letter. Left on her bed, with the sheets carefully tucked in, made up as if to deny her existance within Arkham's embrace.*
To Rosie, Doctor Crane, Ted.
Thank you for trying to help - I've been thinking about things, and I've got more ideas on what's wrong - and why I can't sleep. I don't think I'm ready to share them, though - but I will, someday, if you want to hear.
For now, though - Paragon calls. I have to get back there - I remember it's scent, it's sight - and it draws me back, and promises answers that I can't find within these walls.
I promise, that if things change, and I need the help that you three can provide, I'll return. In the daytime. Through the front door.
Well wishes, and may you always remember good things,
Alisa McMillian - Rememberance
*With that, the gloves she wears hum into life. Her hands pull her goggles over her eyes, and she opens them wide, remembering the outside air, and the view from the Gotham bridge from those weeks before. A flash of light opens before her, a portal - and she steps through to the place that memory describes, vanishing from Arkham.*
((Thanks for letting me scene with you folks. Hope your community goes well!))
Jane sits in her cell, straitjacketed and half drugged. Staring at the ceiling and waiting for...something.
Not just yet, Da.. Five more minutes..?
For a moment, I almost forget that I'm not five anymore. In that muzzy moment between sleep and wakefulness, the scent of mint in the air reminds me of his pipe. A truly majestic thing, the way his strong hands would carefully pack the tobacco in and then light the match, the cherry embers atop as the fire settled in - and that first smoke ring.
I'd always giggle at it.. My father, so stoic and strong, making silly little rings of smoke that would bump up against my head. And then a hug, where I could smell the mint on his breath, and feel warm and safe..
And then, he's gone. And I'm awake - I don't quite remember how I got here, or why I'm in pajamas - but I do know that I'm better rested than I've been in a few weeks. And I don't remember any dreams. So at least things worked out okay there..
Time to check my gear - and get out my hero license. I wonder if Gotham knows about Paragon? I wonder if heroes even .have. licenses here..?
I remember their names. Ted. Rosie. Crane. .. I remember they helped, when I couldn't stop seeing things. Bad things. I'll remember to thank them, too.
*As darkness fell over Gotham, Ted bade Rosie and the other occupants of her home farewell for the evening, caught a bus, and rode to Arkham asylum. Slipping in through the front door, he made his way to the reception desk.*
Uh, hi, I'm Ted. The new night watchman?
Jane sits in the middle of her motel room, cutting faces out of magazines. Finally, she puts down the magazines and picks up her purse. Slipping the scissors inside, she heads out the door in search of a new "life".