|Identifying the Problem|
Tabitha sulks quietly on the couch, staring up at the window across the room. Since Sun left her alone she's tried to pick the mess up as best she can, the slightly damaged coffee table has been flipped back over and the bowl of food she can't remember starting to eat sits atop it, cold and congealed. Pulling her feet up on the couch, she hugs her knees grateful that she feels too dried out to cry anymore. Try as she might the nekojin only catches flashes of what's gone on in the past few hours as if watching someone else in her body do them. Darkness and flames snaking up her arms, setting someone on fire by accident. Everything before waking up in Sun's apartment is gone after she was taken by Caliga to the wastelands for training. With a heavy sigh she picks up the spoon from her bowl getting a flash of crawling across the floor like a child into the kitchen behind her and a smell of cooking food before throwing it back down in disgust. Can things get any worse?
Depends on what you mean by 'worse'. The ambient temperature in the area drops slightly. Within minutes, Tabitha would be seeing her own breath, and any fluids not resistant to cold bia nature of composition, like water, would freeze.
The wind begins to blow outside softly, enough to make curtains dance in the darkness. Strangely, lightening flashes out in the chaos, occasionally lighting up the darker places momentarily.
As Tabitha peers down the hallway, just as she starts to look away, she may catch a glimpse of a shadow moving briefly. Was it a curtain? Or something else?
Once at the window, tinks of hale tapping against the winds and roof begin. While peering, outside, she may also catch a glimpse of a small figure, mostly shrouded in the shadows, staring at her. After the next lightening flash, the figure is no longer there!
The girl jumps as she starts to see things. With a heavy sigh she rubs her eyes, "Great, that's /just/ what I need on top of everythin' else." Despite her ears standing at attention she tries to dismiss it by saying, "Maybe I do just need ta sleep..." She turns carefully, eyes darting around the darkness for another sign of movement. "...bein' unconscious should count as sleep, dammit." She pauses briefly just beside the couch, looking down at her bowl of stew and noticing from the shine across the top that it has frozen over. Instantly she tenses up. Her body no longer responding to the cold as she looks around the room again realizing this isn't just her broken mind playing tricks on her.
"Who are you?" comes a straight, serious female voice. Looking over to the hallway, still back in the shadows and only partially visible, is the small woman Tabitha saw outside. From where her eyes would be, a brief purple glow can be seen in the darkness. She doesn't walk into the light of the room, however.
Tabitha's eyes narrow at the sound of the voice and quickly she turns to face it. "Who th' hell are you? I thought it was just me an' the crazy lady." Funny she still calls Sun crazy despite her current situation. Her fingers coil around the hilt of the dagger by her side underneath the blanket she's wrapped in.
The woman tilts her head curiously "I wouldn't recommend using that. It has a.... sordid history, for both the target, AND the wielder". She puts a hand on the sheathed sword hilt at her waist, but does not draw it. Yet. "I ask again. Who are you?".
The girl lets out a short "Eeep" as she's called out on the dagger. "Who... are you?" Now more curious than ever she raises both hands to show her empty palms and finally introduces herself, "Tabitha Li-Bogard. Apprentice ta Senior Diablo an' retainer to the Council o' Twisted." Well, Diablo's certainly taught her how to give long winded introductions at least.
The woman seems to mull on this a moment "So... he has a hand in this.....". She lowers her hand from her sword. She abruptly vanishes, and the voice comes again from behind Tabitha. Looking back, she is now suddenly standing there a few feet away. Her piercing blue-eyed glare, though devoid of anger, almost goes through her seemingly. "Tabitha..... ". She approaches slowly, and seems to reach towards Tabithas shoulder. Suprisingly, the feeling of a touch comes from the OTHER shoulder, and if she tries to strike or grab the person she sees, her arms pass right through it!
Tabitha spins around, trying to follow the strange woman's movements. Turning to face her new position she raises an eyebrow before jumping at the feeling of someone grabbing her. "Wh-what tha...?" Her vision suddenly blurs and reality falls dramatically away beneath her.
The world becomes the inside of a well, falling down into the murky waters below. Shortly before the splash, twisted copies of the catgirl come crawling out of the water, ripping and tearing at each other in a struggle to be the one on top. Claws rip and tear and everyone is pulled deep under the surface of the water. Images begin to shimmer. A young Tabitha being taught by a dragon lady. A childhood existing in only a few fleeting moments. Gegoshi's face as Diablo digs a long claw into Tabitha's head. Johnny falling out of the world and two copies of Twisted collapsing on each other.
...and then darkness. The darkness of non-existence. The beginning of a universe, and it's all spilling out of...
Johnny again screaming, this time as Tabitha plunges the Dread Dagger into Samantha's stomach. The consciousness pulls away looking at the scene from the wrong perspective. It turns and sees other versions of the nekojin watching the scene in mixed reactions of horror. One of them, a small child with a porcelain doll clutched in her hands, hangs off the arm of the one Xue has just encountered. It screams in rage for the viewer to go away and everything spills backwards through the void, the water, and out of the well.
A gasp escapes Tabitha as reality comes back to her in Sun's apartment, seconds before she collapses into the floor drenched in sweat despite the chill still lingering in the air.
Xue looks down at the unconscious catgirl. The image she had been looking at then vanishes as the illusion is dispelled, and the real Xue's form appears on the other side of her. She lifts the covers enough to peer at the dread dagger with a concerned look. However, she leaves the weapon on the girl for the time being, since the effects of it being taken from her are unknown given her.... unique origin and composition.
Taking several steps back, she vanishes from sight, and a fresh illusion appearing in a chair nearby sitting down appears. With a wave of her unseen hand, Xue silently casts a spell to try to rouse Tabitha back to consciousness.
Tabitha begins to cough as she fights her way back. The image of the well still haunting her as she feels like she's just drowned. Pushing herself up off the floor, she glances around the room, spying Xue in a chair and wheezes, "Wh-what the fuck..." The girl clutches her stomach and points at the intruder before a brief round of gagging, "I want answers, goddammit. Who are you? What was that??" Tabitha manages to collapse onto the couch before spilling into the floor again. It's amazing Sun's slept through all this so far.
Xue says, "My name is Xue.... and that, was your memories. I released whatever blocks i found, and hid none of it from you". She gives a stern expression "I apologize for being so direct, but i had to be sure you were Samanthas killer, and not just some random lookalike or dimensional alternate"."
The girl's expression fills with confusion at Xue's words, "Samantha? Samantha is my grandmother! I mean, not literally my grandmother but..." She shakes her head as if to clear away the train of thought, "...but I couldn't have killed her! I would've been too young! I-" Her mind sends a shotgun blast through her skull and for the first time she realizes what the scattered memories and voices in her head truly are. Her voice is nearly a whisper, "Oh God. They where me. The girls in the well. Th-they where me..." The nekojin looks up at Xue, tears flowing freely from her eyes. "What's happened ta me? Who did this?
Xue says, "Harder to say. Diablo seems to have some hand in it. Johnny may as well. I've been looking for whoever did it, namely you, for some time now". She sighs "More importantly, how much control do you ultimately have over THEM, or at worst how willing are they to cooperate with you. That said, how much of a risk are you to those around you as a result of that lack of control or internal cooperation". She eyes Tabitha carefully."
Tabitha wipes her eyes as she shakes her head. "I-I don't know. I didn't know 'they' existed until now. I know I went with Caliga into th' wastelands and somehow I ended up-" she gestures towards Sun's bedroom with a free hand. "-in front o' that woman. She's been telling me I keep acting like I'm someone else... I guess that was them." Clutching herself tightly once again, Tabitha shudders. "I don't remember any of it. Just pieces." Her eyes begin to water once again, "Oh God... I really killed her didn't I? Have I killed anyone else?" A brief moment of panic washes over her, "Caliga! Could I 'ave somehow killed Caliga?!" You'll have to give her a moment, this is a lot to take in.
Xue raises her eyebrows "Caliga? Unlikely. I've yet to see anything truely phase or seriously harm him. If you DID, i would truely be concerned for the future.... " she shakes her head "If what i suspect is true, and these are personality fragments or past incarnations of your persona buried for whatever reason, then the you that exists now is not responsible for whatever has been happening. As for anyone else, if so i've not heard about it or found the bodies."
Her breathing slowing again, Tabitha nods her head grateful to hear all of this. "I... I think I need ta get out of here." She looks around the room one last time before going rummaging in the kitchen for something to leave a note on. Scribbling she writes a thank you note to Sun while she continues speaking to Xue. "So you're not here ta kill me or anythin' like that, right? Then do you mind if we do this again somewhere else, maybe after I clear my head or somethin'?" She leaves the note on the coffee table, replacing her bowl with it before carrying it to the sink. "'Cause right now I feel like you're the only one with any kinda answers..." She stops behind the couch on her way back and stares blankly. "Um... /did/ I know you? Before all this?
Xue eyes Tabitha for a few moments as she does all of this. Looking at her eyes you can see the gears turning *but honestly, when are her gears never NOT turning? darn archmages....*. "If i had wanted you dead, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now". Her tone for that is VERY matter of fact. "As for doing it again, i can try to go deeper and into further detail, as well as try to work with you to control or cooperate with your alternative personality fragments. It will take time". She stands, and the illusion vanishes, as the real her appears leaning against a nearby wall, where she has actually been the entire time.
Xue gestures towards a wall, mumbling a few words, a glowing portal appearing "If you wish to come with me, you are free to do so, if you so choose".
Xue says, "As for knowing me, Samantha and myself worked together a long time. You and i have never met directly, however."
Tabitha considers it a moment before glancing down at her clothes folded neatly beside the couch and sweatdrops realizing she's still in borrowed pajamas. "I..." She picks up her belongings. "Alright. I'll just have ta bring these back or somethin'." She adds in her mind, oO(I just hope this isn't a mistake.)