|Welcome to the Masquerade
Author: Captain Zombie PM
We all wear masks - only hers is of skin and bone. Eight years after the end of "Electricity", Jink's back on another whirl-wind adventure filled with music-based fun to save the world - and her sanity. T for the right reasons.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 37 - Words: 71,501 - Reviews: 68 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 03-25-13 - Published: 10-20-10 - id: 6412858
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
OH MY GOD I'M ALIVE. YOU MAY NOT REMEMBER ME . . . yes you do! Okay, so I decided to restart this whole thing. Sorry if you were in love with the last one, but I kept looking at it and thinking I could do better. So, this one is going to keep the SAME GENERAL storyline, but I'm tweaking it a wee bit. So read and enjoy. and REVIEW if you love it.
Chapter 1: Welcome To The Masquerade
We've got the fire, who's got the matches?
Take a look around at the sea of masks
Come one, come all, welcome to the grand ball
Where the strong run for cover and the weak stand tall.
~Thousand Foot Krutch
Guys, you would not believe what's happened to me - to us - in the past eight years. I barely believe it myself, and I lived through it. Not that it's something I'm all too proud of. But hey, the present's no place for regrets, huh?
So where did I leave you all off at? Oh yes, my marvelous spike in health. Ha, ha, ha . . . oh man, at the time I made the video, my life was going to hell. Proverbial hell in a hand-basket.
You wanna know what was happening? Daimio was leaving. No good-byes, no packing up and giving his two-week notice, nothing. The man basically walked out and and we haven't seen 'im sense. He just . . . disappeared. Gone. How he could leave without someone seeing him or stopping him was beyond me, but it happened.
When I found out - well, actually, when Manning found out that I found out - you know what those punks did? They stuck me back on fucking suicide watch. Yeah! Ain't that wrong?
But probably not misplaced. Four days later, I had an emotional breakdown. I'm not all too sure what the hell went on, and I heard from different sources what had happened. Some said I blew and fried the BPRD's lighting system. Some said I seized and shocked anyone within a five-foot radius. All I know is that one minute I'm eating breakfast, and the next thing I know, I'm back in the Vault.
The fucking Vault, people.
My progress back to full speed was slow; time-consuming. I had to sit in that room for a fucking year before they deemed me safe enough to be around people who weren't in rubber jump-suits. Don't believe I was that insane? Anyone here at the Bureau can vouch for it - I was grade-A bone fide coocoo for Cocoa Puffs.
I was seventeen, about to turn eighteen, when they finally let me go. It had all seemed so awing after a year in a metal room. The first thing I did?
I quit. Not quit-quit, like Hellboy quit, but Jink quit. I got a military grant to go to school in any city I wanted to. Any college of my choice.
Which is how I eneded up in the biggest city of Nebraska, at UNO, in my own (small) apartment, sitting in my own pool of misery and as drunk as a skunk.
You heard me. I was drunk. Tipsy. Smashed. Pissed. Wasted. Completely F) All of the above. I had a military badge that I fudged a little on my laptop so it said I was 21 (don't look at me like that, I fixed it when I actually turned twenty-two). And then I wasted twenty bucks on a case of beer. Forget school - I was doing pretty good - but memories had a hard time of letting go. I was totally sprawled out on my couch, with my eyes closed, mumbling under my breath.
Let's take a good, hard look at my apartment, shall we? My living room was half the size of my toom at the BPRD, with a couch, a recliner (I called it my gaming chair 'cuz I usually sat in it when I gamed), a small TV in the corner, and a small coffee table covered in books and comics.
Through the huge archway (which could have been a wall with a door, but the contractors got lazy, I guess) my small kitchen seemed to stare dejectedly at me. Through a hallway that started on the opposite wall, there were three doors: a bathroom, a closet, and my bedroom, which contained little more than a futon bed, a small end table, a dresser for my mundie clothes, and the closet.
The closet was my shrine. On the inside, I had all my photos taped up, and I had my BPRD vest and uniform in it, hanging dust-free as if it were just aching to be put back on.
That was what my life was condensed to, now. A closet. All my memories, all my pain, all my heartache had to be shoved into a closet with a new lock and key atop the old one. There was no way in hell I could relate to someone what I had been through; no way. No one would believe me. And if I have to spend another milisecond locked up in a room, I'm going to kill myself. I'm serious - I know three different ways to do it with my bare hands.
So, as I was saying, I was sitting near-passed-out on my couch when my doorbell rang one September night. I had to stumble to get up and actually get to the door, but I managed to do so without sustaining any major injuries.
I wrenched open the door, eyes half-closed, and snarled, "What?"menacingly. Yeah, another thing you should know - I get pissed pretty easily when I'm drunk.
Tom Manning was standing in the doorway of my apartment, looking all spif-an-span in his business suit. It was safe to say that all the malice I felt towards him had waned a couple years back, but every now and again it comes back with a vengeance. I didn't know if today would be like that, but I had prepare myself.
"Jink, we need to ta-," he cut himself off, "Um . . . are you drunk?"
"Way ta go, Cap'n Obvious," I slurred, leaning up against the door. My head was starting to swim. I blinked a couple times to clear my vision.
He sighed, walking into the room and taking a seat on the couch. "As I was saying," he started again, "We need to talk."
"'Bout what?" I asked. "I don't need to talk." I stumbled back across the room and practically fell into the chair.
He stared at me for a moment. "Jink, how long has it been?" he asked suddenly.
"Since Ben Daimio left."
Oh dear Lord. Just hearing his name seemed to tear a hole in my chest. I could feel my throat closing, and I sighed and closed my eyes in a hope that I wouldn't cry. When I finally spoke, it was wavery and trembly: "Eight years."
"Exactly," he said. "He's gone, Jink. And sitting here, drinking away your liver, isn't going to bring him back!"
"Who sai' I'm drinkin' 'cause of that?" I asked, slurring a little more. "Maybe I'm drinkin' to just drink."
"Well, then, I guess you won't object to coming back to the BPRD," he shrugged.
I knew it. I fucking knew it. "Fuck no," I growled. I crossed my arms. "Never."
"Jink, I hate to tell you this, but . . ." he sighed and was quiet for a moment before continuing. "Greg's missing."
Some part of me was like, "Oh no! Not Greg too!" But the bigger part of me was drunk and didn't give a flying fuck.
I shrugged. "Ya know what? Bully for him!" I uncrossed my arms and sighed. "He probably got out when he could like Ben 'n Hellboy, hm?"
Manning couldn't help but gape at me. "What the hell happened to you?" he demanded. "Greg was your best friend."
"Life happened, Tom. And life's a whore."