Summary: After her battle against the Dollmaker, Alice's delusions and hallucinations had became so powerful that were able to break the barrier between wonderland and the real world; what she didn't know was that even time could be overcome by the power of her mind. Now after a very stressful ordeal Alice would find herself stranded almost 300 years in the far future, not knowing if Shepard and his crew are real or just another figment of her imagination, she would have to trust in them in hopes of coping with her new surroundings. But; even the future has its own monsters that defy all comprehension and Alice will find herself in a kind of struggle by no chance unknown to her.
Author's note: Well here I am writing this crossover that nobody has thought about before, many of you will consider it weird, since this 2 series are totally different and opposite and may be wondering why in the hell I am writing this? The answer is simple; Why the hell not?
I was playing Alice madness returns (By the way nice win by EA for putting the first Alice alongside his sequel, I was so pleased when I discovered that I had bought 2 games for the price of one) I finished the game: I like it, nice art direction, great story though it can become a little heavy and tiresome in the gameplay department, I had not played a platform game since the crash bandicoots of psx.
Anyway, I notice the seal of EA in the box, I don't give much thought about it so I start to see trailers and videos of upcoming game releases; Deus Ex Human Revolution, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Rage and of course Mass Effect 3.
So I'm watching the videos then I noticed the EA seal appearing alongside the Bioware one. Then I remembered that EA had bought Bioware and all his licenses and works were now intellectual property of EA. So I started to think; can both games that belong to the same company be mixed? And that is how I got the idea for this crossover. It started as an afterthought, but then I got obsessed with the idea and well… here's the result. Now if anyone's wondering why I called this crossover madness effect; well… It sounds much better than wonderland effect, which by the way I found it so predictable and unimaginative; and of course there will be lot's of madness and weird situations.
Remembrance; How to pick the pieces of a broken life
It's been almost a month since Alice defeated the Dollmaker and of the death of doctor Bumby. For much of that time Alice has been trying to rest, to stitch back together the strands of her fragmented mind. Her wonderland was heavily marred by Dr. Bumby's manipulations, but slowly and surely it was beginning to show signs of recovery.
It was a delicate process, one that required extremely care if Alice did not want for wonderland to come crashing down along with was left of her sanity. The memory erasing of Dr. Bumby had almost succeeded in making her lost track of her very being. But thankfully all of that was now past, she could breathe with easy knowing it was over and left behind. She could relax and focus in the healing of the world inside her head.
With Bumby's death; the ownership of his orphanage: The Hounsditch home and refuge for wayward youth, was left vacant. Dr Bumby; that deluded arrogant prick was so full of himself, so enwrapped on his own pretenses and false righteousness, that he didn't even thought in the possibility of his own failure; the result was that there was no will for all his belongings and property. No one was there to handle the estate and the children. No one cared; except for her.
She had to work hard to ensure that the orphanage stayed open. Taking all manners of odds and menial works: from waitress to paper deliverer, to chimney cleaner, to fish gutting. Anything that could give her the income to maintain the orphanage and its children; She didn't complain, in fact, on the contrary she enjoy it. The physical weariness gave her peace of mind. Hard work kept her mind from wandering into dark places.
Besides; the children like it when she arrive back home bearing candies and traits for them. Her relationship with the orphans had improved greatly in the past month. After having released them from Bumby's mental control, the children were left aimless, lost and scared. So Alice took care of them and tried to undo the damage made by the doctor, she was no renowned psychologist with a fancy title, but she considered herself somewhat versed in the aspects of the mind, if her journeys through wonderland could be considered a learning experience. She used a thing which Bumby had never heard of, much less experienced. That thing was love, seeing the little ones in such state made something ache in Alice's heart, and so just like her sister had taken care of her during her childhood, Alice took care of the orphans in the same way.
She had to be patient, extremely so and comprehensive. She had to make them trust her, not shun her or fear her. She had to become their support, their lifeguard, the light that would guide them through darkness. It was ironic if you thought about it. A lonely, broken and mad girl taking care of an army of crying wrecked infants. It had not been easy, but she had managed.
Bumby had really done a work with their little heads. The memory of it just irked her and made her furious. Stealing the mind of children, erasing their memories and identities; breaking their wills and forcing them into slavery and a life of prostitution. Alice's blood boiled at the memory of those crimes. Even more so, when she remembered at how the leech had tried to do the same to her in order to hide his involvement in the deaths of Alice's parents and the rape and murder of his beloved elder sister; Lizzie.
She had to stop dwelling in that feeling, after all she had finally achieved retribution. She now had recovered all of her memories alongside her identity and had dealt with the murderer of her family with her own hands. She even had recovered the key that locked Lizzie's room, taken by Bumby that dreadful night. The key was now a memento, a reminder of her past, of her family, of her sister. She put it in a small, delicate chain that now hangs loosely from her neck; it looked nice if a little odd as a piece of jewelry.
But enough about that, right now all that Alice should be worried about is getting enough rest, for both her and the children and of course wonderland. Everything was more peaceful now; the children still believe she's a crazy girl, mad as a hatter they say, sometimes that makes her laugh. She doesn't blame them; she knows she is not completely right on her head, partially thanks to Bumby. But at least she is not a walking lifeless wreck as the good doctor had intended for her, and the children like her despite or maybe because of her craziness.
And why would they not? She had shared the memories and dream of wonderland with them. At first; when she had told them about wonderland while under the influence of doctor Bumby, her stories had beared odd results. The children made strange drawings and played in weird manners, a form for them to coup because they did not know what to think of her wonderland. Its true that in the past she had already tried to explain her wonderland to the children, but because of Bumby, those efforts were useless and only managed to make the children to shun her and pick on her.
But now, without Dr. Bumby manipulations and in order to break the spell he had casted upon their minds; she showed them her dream of wonderland in full, just like she had done with her sister a long time ago.
Lizzie saw, knew about her wonderland. She had played with her among those dream lands and kept the secret of her secret world. Now after so long, she remembered how to share her dream, ironically enough, thanks to Bumby. It was during the last moments of the perverted doctor's life, when she had claimed her vengeance. And so, Alice's was able to show others her wonderland, she brought the children with her during later trips and they were marveled by it.
It was a fascinating experience for them being witness of wonderland beauty, of his colors and his magic. After that they would play and pretend they were still in wonderland, imaging its vast valleys of colors and its endless fields. It gave the children a chance to act like children, to play in ignorant bliss of the harshness and cruelty of an uncaring world; a chance to be free and carefree. They were grateful to her for that.
Obviously; one young missy like Alice could not be able to deal with such a little army of toddlers all by herself for long. She required help, so she addressed the only person from her past that was willing to help her unconditionally; her nanny.
Regardless of Nan Sharpe being a prostitute and a tramp, there is no other person whom Alice would trust and go for help, and Nan could not refuse to lend aid to the last member of the family she once served so fondly and diligently. Nan Sharpe was always a person of strength and indomitable will. Refusing to bend down and break under duress, always finding a way to keep moving forward despite any setback, Nan would indeed be of great help; besides, is not like she had other places to go or better things to do, not since the fire that destroyed the mangled mermaid (Nan's Brothel) Alice's proposition gave her not only a place to stay but also a purpose, some people just need the basic things in life.
Nan proved a great deal of help for Alice during the following weeks. Having a great deal of experience in how to deal with children due to her days as Nanny, Nan Sharpe was able to keep the toddlers in line. When Alice felt like falter Nan Sharpe was there to be her support, she would not allow Alice to surrender, she had taught her better than that. Certainly the Nan was a remarkable woman.
Nan's help gave Alice the opportunity to dedicate herself more deeply to the task of securing a steady income for the orphanage. This endeavor proved quite a handful for both women. One taking almost over 3 different jobs at a time and the other dedicated to guard the children almost full time. So occupied was Nan that she didn't even had time to think of restoring herself into her previous profession, the oldest of all professions; the one that has maintained her all this years since the fire that destroyed Alice's life.
Of course most of the time it was not easy for the duo; more often than not the atmosphere inside the Houndsditch home was quite hectic. Amazing, was the fact that Nan Sharpe could make her voice be heard above all the chaotic cacophony of noise, made by a bunch of children screaming and shouting at the same time.
"Tomas! no jumping on the mattress"
"Benny, do not pick your nose child"
"Who leaved these toys in the middle of the stairs?"
"Elbows off the table, hands on laps"
"Why there is a doll hanging from the chandelier?... Sarah!"
"Vicky! Eat your greens or you will get warts, and stop tossing them at Billy; Are you some kind of savage or what?"
Situations like this were very common occurrence.
Nan Sharpe, despite her experience could not avoid of becoming a little bit overwhelmed sometimes, so she had to call for a little assistance. Having been one of the top Abbesses of London's underground for many years had gave her a great amount of loyalty and respect from the city's whores and prostitutes. So she simply sent word to her most close and trustworthy girls to lend her a hand. Of course she would not call every single Ladybird in London to help her. Not all would be forthcoming to her call; she just wanted those that had enough of a life selling their backsides and aspired for something else or those who were extremely fond of her. They proved a great deal of help for Nan despite what one may think.
Alice was surprised one day when she returned from work and found the refuge being now run by former prostitutes, despite her uneasiness, she didn't berate her Nan for it, well… At least not that much. Not after all these years and especially not after their little conversation.
It was late in the evening when Alice returned to the orphanage, filthy and full of grim in hands and hair after having spent the whole day working at the docks gutting fish or mopping floors and decks only to find Nan Sharpe slumped in a mattress.
"Nan Sharpe, are you all right" Asked the young woman in concern for her childhood warden.
"Huh?... Oh! Hello Alice my dear, glad to see you back home. But look at you girlie, in what manner you decide to arrive? What kind of image is that? Seems to me that working about double in brass is being quite rough on you.
"Well, it would seem I'm not the only one who's had a particular rough day, isn't it?"
Nan Sharpe made a tired laugh, showing her immaculate white teeth, many would found it a rare sight, a prostitute with a perfect denture, but Nan was always a stern person regarding oneself image if Alice recalled. She used to remind her at every opportunity of the importance of always looking proper and tidy, regardless of any personal issue or hierarchical position.
"That you are correct Alice; don't get me wrong, is nice to be able to tutor toddlers again, but it seems I had forgotten how tiresome it can be taking care of the little chaps. My old bones can barely keep up with them and those stories of yours about your wonderland can really get them all excited"
Nan Sharpe offered a tired smile to Alice. It did nothing to reassure her, on the contrary in only make her feel guiltier for making her former babysitter deal with all the children of the Houndsditch home by herself during the day. She offered her deeply apologies to her Nan.
"I'm sorry Nan for complicating your life with my burdens. I should have never insisted that you helped me. It's only wearing you down"
Nan Sharpe waved her off, the concern of Alice was touching but unnecessary "C'mon Alice, Don't be so dense. You know I'm glad to help you my dear. It's just this old laced mutton is no longer fit to be dealing with so many chavys anymore. I think I'm going to have to require some help to keep the toddlers under control…mmph… Yes, I think I would, don't be so surprised if you soon find the house a little bit crowded, alright?"
"Sure Nan, I'll keep it in mind"
"Good! Now girl, come over here. I remember the way in which I used to teach you and Miss Lizzie the magnificent language of music. Do you remember? The piano and singing lessons; you used to have such a melodious voice, dear. Oh, but I bet you haven't been practicing in all this years; your musician skills must be quite lacking as of late is it not?"
Alice rubbed the back of her neck, somewhat embarrassed that her Nan had remembered her music talents.
"I still know how to play the piano the way you taught me Nan, sometimes I play lullabies for the children in it or I just simply play it because I'm bored. But yes, I must confess that I have been neglecting my singing talents over the years. They must be quite diminished by now. I… I can't even remember the last time I sang"
"Well my dear, it seems to me we'll have to correct that, right? So come on. Come to your Nan and let's get starting shall we?"
End of Flashback
Of course the last thing that Alice would have expected was a squad of tuffers taking over the Orphanage. Again, Alice could not find the heart to berate her Nan for it, seeing as how she was in dire need for assistance. So she decided to make a little inquiry about it.
"Well? It would seem you were quite right about the house becoming a little crowded Nan. But, should I ask? Why all the help you acquired is composed entirely of Judies?
"Now Alice, you know better than most that appearances can be a deceiving thing, right?" Funny that Nan decided to use that particular sentence, it made Alice remember the admonishments of a certain cat "these lasses are all quite trustworthy. I should know; I was the one that teach them the ropes when they started in their careers as muttons. They all would be a lot worse for wear, if not broken, if I had not found them. Don't let their past deceive you; they are quite the dedicated lot, you'll see".
Alice could not found a way to contradict her Nan assurances, so she relented "Very well Nan; I shall trust in your judgment as always. I was only concerned that this may give the orphanage quite an unpleasant reputation and may attract unwanted attention of the troublesome kind towards us"
That made Nan thinking, it is true indeed that not many would look at this with kind eyes. People like to make the most outlandish gossip out of the most harmless of things. "You may have a point there my dear, but fear not. Your Nan will think of something as always. I will not let you and the children without a home and my girls without hope"
And so it all turned into quite the particular situation. The orphanage being handled by ex-whores and the one who brought the sustenance was a lonely -mildly off her rock- girl. Nevertheless things did start to improve after all. Eventually the problem of gaining income for the orphanage was resolved. Many of Nan acquaintances decided to help Alice in her quest to keep a steady stream of income; Working now in more or less respectable or at least acceptable trends of work. Doesn't mean that these jobs were easy or leaved them with as much as they used to gain before, but together they managed to scrap by and it was a lot better for their self esteem than working as whores.
The Houndsditch home and refuge changed with this new development, not only it became a home for the orphan children, but also a safe haven for the hopeless and weary. Especially for young women, who may now find a place where they could try to rebuild to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives, rather than becoming one of the lost souls that wandered the docks at night selling their bodies and souls for a penny.
Sadly, as Alice predicted, this brought the attention of the most shadiest and unsavory characters from London's society. Who were not happy at seeing their business suddenly dropping due to lack of labor, especially when the place in question that used to provide them with fresh merchandise and said labor; was now hampering their efforts instead.
Of course they tried to demand the closure of the orphanage, but Nan Sharpe knew how to deal with them. There was also the problem of dealing with the more dignified and respected members of society. That as predicted didn't saw kindly at the refuge new management. Lawyers, politicians, priests, law enforcement officers, even the occasional concerned citizen, all of them were troubles that needed to be addressed.
But Nan as always, had a solution. She had to call a few favors and get in contact with some people, doing what one would call rustling a few feathers; but in the end all of that pesky people was kept at a healthy length away from the orphanage. After all even prostitutes keep tabs of whom they serve. Being one of the most senior abbesses of London allows Nan to be privy to that sort of information. It is pointless getting in the details of what transpired and what dealings were made. It seems obvious enough.
But these little trifles showed that the refuge needed a more tangible way of being secured, not only in an evident way as keeping undesirables at bay, but also the issue of gaining the ownership of the place. Getting hold on the orphanage grounds would had been a lot more easier if Alice could had made use of her inheritance; sadly Wilton J. Radcliffe -Lawyer of Alice's family and by extension her lawyer and the holder of her fortune until she recovered herself from her mental strain- would never let the assets -that so justly belong to her- be spent in such a crummy transaction, as he deferred to their plans. Blasted sodding tightwad, Nan called him, she have always had a poor impression of Radcliffe, usually referring to him as a greedy sod. Not that she was wrong in any aspect; Radcliffe love for money had proved a major hindrance for their efforts.
Luckily for them the solution was going to arrive literally right at their doors, having returned crestfallen from their meeting with Radcliffe, Nan had to tell her assistants the bad news, she was rendered numb-struck at how quickly they mobilized to resolve the situation. They went out and spoke with fellow Judies, who even though they had refused previously to leave their trend of work to become one Nan helpers, by no means that meant they were not fond of the old Nan. They had heard about the good that the new management was doing for the orphanage and would not leave the old Nan alone in her time of need. Almost all of Nan friends, coworkers, acquaintances, those who were at once upon a time serving under her wing or had moved in the same circles as her, had come to lend her a hand.
They donated their savings to help the old Nan, no matter how hefty or meager it was; all contributed to ensure that the houndistch home would remain under its residents hands. Nan was relieved and Alice was awestrucked, she knew her Nan was an easily liking person but she never would have imagined how many people were fond or grateful of her Nan. It was such a pleasant surprise. By buying the state, the houndsditch home became a legal property for Nan to develop in any way she fancied it.
With that matter resolved there was still the issue of getting some form of protection for the refuge and its inhabitants. Luckily for Nan many of her mates that used to work for her in the mangled mermaid had not yet found a new place for work; or live as many of them used to have permanent lodgings inside the brothel before the fire brought the place down.
So Nan simply call them, exchange some words, laid a few promises here and there and pretty soon the orphanage had brand new caretakers securing and keeping a steady vigilance on the state grounds. Nan knew all of them, even Alice knew some of those faces too. Like little john, the younger brother of the late big John, who was murdered by Jack Splatter the night of the fire in the mangled mermaid. Little john knew both Nan and Alice, although he hadn't spoke much with them before. He knew his brother had been rather fond of the two women, engaging in conversation with the two he soon found out why. By his brother memory little John vowed to guard the two and his place of residence, just like his brother had done so.
Sadly, even though the orphanage was now up and running again; and in a much better fashion than previously before. That did little to stop trouble from coming knocking back into Alice's life. Ironically enough, thanks for the thriving of the houndsditch home. It came in the form of another figure from Alice's past. Priscilla "Pris" Witless.
Ms. Witless wanted to think of herself as an honest, helpful and charitable person who only wanted to receive her due recognition for treating and taking care of Alice during her illness. In reality she was little more than a bully. An envious and petty old woman who mistreated and abused Alice during her convalescence; later on she would still take advantage of her by blackmailing her in exchange of money. All that she really wanted was to get a hefty grab on Alice's inheritance.
Alice's inheritance has been a subject that had brought her all kind of troubles into her life. Even though, a few years back she had not yet come to age in order to claim it and more recently -despite already being of age- she has been diagnosed as mentally unsuitable to collect the entire whole of it. That hasn't stopped others from trying to get a hold over Alice in order to gain access to her family riches.
It has been a tricky and sometimes grim business. With the fire resulting in the death of Alice's family: this being her parents and her sister Elizabeth. Most all of their savings passed unto her, even though her mother and her sister had inheritances for each one respectively. But with their demise the assets were to pass to next of kin, that being her. For belongings there was not much after the fire, only the property were the state used to be, still intact except for the charred remains of what used to be her childhood home. Regardless, Alice had a somewhat sizeable fortune in store for her, because of this she became a target for unsavory individuals. Individuals like Priscilla witless.
The Old hag made her sudden entrance, uninvited one day; she was lucky to have found Alice still at home -much to her dismay- and intercepted her on her way out, Alice easily recognized her by her greeting.
"My Stars and garters! if it isn't Alice Liddell? What a surprise! It's been a couple of months since I last saw you child. If I didn't knew better I'd said you been avoiding me"
Alice was clearly not in the mood to be dealing with Pris right now, her new found insight would not allow her to leave the mistreatment she had suffered because of her, unanswered. But she knew it would be detrimental to face her in the open, so against her wishes she tried to hide her disgust the best she could with a false nonchalant expression.
"Well? Absence makes the heart grow fonder or so they say" she remarked.
"Yes, yes quite true" the old woman assented in a too much sweet voice "Is nice to see you again, dear girl –"I bet" Alice thought- I've heard of the passing of poor Dr. Bumby. Such sorrowful news, he was such a caring person. I must been difficult for you and the rest of those poor children to carry on without him"
Alice flinched a little at the mention of Dr. Bumby; but quickly reasserted herself. She could not let the old nurse to suspect that she was responsible for bumby's demise. She politely replied.
"Certainly, it hasn't been easy. His passing affected me and the children deeply, but we have managed to go without him somehow"
"Oooh! Not just somehow, if I dare say" countered the old woman with a sleazy grin on her creased face. It did not reassured Alice in the slightest. "I've heard that the old Houndstich home has been faring quite well as of late, if not better compared as how it used to"
Alice started fiddling with her fingers inadvertently. She knew what the old hag was trying to imply; that she used money from her inheritance to improve the orphanage. Alice was aware of the old woman intentions, she needed it to steer the subject away.
"Yes indeed, all of it thanks to Nan. I swear; if she didn't had stepped up, the orphanage would had surely crumbled down on itself"
Pris mood suddenly grew sour "Ah yes, her" she remarked, clearly not fond of Nan Sharpe "Well? I suppose it has merit that she has finally done something good with her life. Quite laudable of her to be aiding you and the little ones in your time of need. Although I can't help but wonder; what kind of image had she been giving to the orphanage? There has been so much gossip on the street and not all of it is good I'm afraid"
"Well, I wouldn't know anything about that" Alice said, trying to appear oblivious "Nan Sharpe is simply trying to keep us well fed and out of trouble. I don't know how can anyone think wrong from what she's trying to do?"
"Well, I'm glad to see you're faring well child" Pris decided to take reign of the conversation, not willing to keep talking about Nan Sharpe anymore. After all she had come with a clear goal in mind. "Say, I'm afraid I found myself in a rather tight situation right now, would you mind to help an old Lady to maintain her coots? They required the occasional penny to be spent here and there in order to function, as you know. After all you promised that you would help me, you've not been very diligent with your obligations".
There she is spewing her veiled threats and demands not so subtly. Alice was hoping that she could distract her and send her away. Oh but she forgot how narrow minded Pris is. Still, she had managed to stall the subject for a while. But now confrontation was unavoidable.
"Ah yes! Your coots; I was beginning to wonder when would you start demanding endowment from me"
"Demanding? Please Alice, don't overreact in such a way. I am merely asking you to lend a hand to this poor old woman; surely there must be somewhere in your heart with a shrew of decency. You have all this gifts and blessings given to you, all I ask is that you share a little to help me in my time of need. You would not send this old lady away on her own, wont you? Not after all I've done for you"
That was the straw that pushed Alice over the edge "All you've done for me?" she moved closer to witless looking intently at her eyes, it made the old hag feel uncomfortable "You know? Something curious happened right before the good doctor died. Doctor Bumby had finally managed to make a breakthrough in my condition"
"Really? He had?" Asked witless momentarily stunned by the revelation "Alice, those are wonderful news my dear. I knew the good doctor was going to be able to help you. Didn't I, had told you so? Now you see how a good thing it was that I had brought you to him in the first place"
"Oh! He really helped me indeed, mind you not in a way that he had expected to. You see I've managed to recall all of my memories and also I no longer suffer from an identity crisis either".
Alice voice and manners turned cold and harsh at this point "I remember exactly the kind of Help that you gave me. I remember what you and nurse Cratchet and her goons did to me all those years in the Asylum. I remember the abuse, the beatings, the unauthorized therapies and surgeries; I suppose I should thank you for all those threats about drilling a hole into my skull or all those times I got my blood being sucked out of my body. You're right witless, there is much to thank for. Don't you worry I will make sure you receive what you so rightfully deserve" she stated harshly.
Witless was sweating hard. She would had dismissed Alice's ranting by know, saying she was again in another of her loony fits if not for the cold focused hateful glare she was giving her. In all the years that she has been taking advantage of her, she had never seen her like this. That pure unbridled hate alongside the absolute certainty in her eyes.
"Alice my dear, you must be confused, I've always strived to do what was best for you"
"QUIET! Spare me the platitude" shouted Alice "We both know that you really don't care about me Pris. You only want to use me to get your feeble old hands on the money I'm entitled to. That is why you simply tossed me into Bumby's care" she berated putting emphasis in the word care "You're so transparent Pris. A simpleton old woman who cannot resist her urges of sucking the life out of other people. You really are true to your name Witless "
"You wretched ungrateful child" shouted back the old woman, losing all pretense of kindness "What would have become of you if it wasn't for me? You would be selling your behind like a common whore, just like your precious old Nan; alas it would seem that despite my best efforts you've still managed to dwell around such unsuitable company. Just like before, trying to help you is nothing more than a waste of my time; it was the same back in the Asylum. We tried to help you but you didn't cooperate, you just stood there unmoving and unfazed while good honest working people made their best efforts to cure you out of the goodness of their hearts without asking for nothing in return. It seems all those efforts have gone to waste, an ungrateful brat like you was not worthy of them. You're such a disappointment; I should not be surprised that you have let me down yet again"
"Best efforts? As far I can remember all of them were quite lazy and lacking in labor. The only thing you excelled at was at how good and quick you were to complain. Seems to me you have become a master of whimpering" Retorted Alice looking like if trying to carve a hole in Pris head with her glare.
Both women stood stiff at their places, staring at each other with venomous glares. Their standoff was broken thanks to the interruption of little john, who's attention was caught by all the shouts and ruckus of the two women.
"There be a problem here, ladies? Do you need a hand?" he asked.
"No, everything is fine little john" answered Alice without taking her gaze form witless "In fact Mrs. Witless was just saying her goodbyes"
Pris took a little glance at little John, taking notice of his burly complexion and how he looked more like a thug than an orderly. Knowing this was her cue to leave"
"Yes it seems I have overstayed my welcoming here. Is a long walk home, better be on my way then while there's still light of day" she turned around to leave before Alice called back to her.
"Do not be worried about your coots, witless. I shall take care of it next evening after I'm done at work. We shall deal with our business once and for all"
"Charming" Replied the older woman "I'll be waiting. Don't you forget" and with that the old hag stormed out of the house.
Alice released a deep sigh she didn't know she was holding. "You alright miss?" asked little john.
"Yes… I'm fine John, just a bit weary that's all. Is nothing that a good cup of tea will not fix. Thanks for your assistance john, you may go now".
"Oi! Missy. I'll be around if ye' need me" said the rugged man before departing.
Alice was starting to settle her nerves when suddenly, she hear a rich cultured voice behind her. She knew exactly who the voice belonged to.
"You sure that was wise? Taunting your enemies in such needless manner. That old woman will not let this insult pass" questioned the owner of the voice "I believe I had warned you before on how challenges rarely go unmet"
Alice glanced partially behind her; only to found 2 golden eyes looking straight at her intently and a long and impossible wide grin beaming at her. The Chesire Cat, since Bumby's death and the creation of the new place were her wonderland and the real world collides, the place she had dubbed Londerland. Some of Alice's imaginary creations and friends have beginning to make act of presence in the real world and started having direct interactions with her. At first it caused her so much hassle, not knowing if her hallucinations were able to affect the real world, or if she was simply getting worse in her condition. Highly upsetting since this had never happened before. She still didn't know whether they could be spotted by others or if it was just her, the only one able to see them. They had the tendency to hide or disappear when someone else was getting close. It leaded her to all manners of awkward situations with Nan and the other residents of the Houndsditch home. But since they were not particularly disposed to get spotted; Alice decided to get their apparitions in stride, most of the time it allow her to deal with the situation more easily.
"Tell me cat; why should I not? I have complete recollection of my past now and that old witch has done nothing but abusing and taking advantage of me at every turn. Why should I let her keep blackmailing me for something I didn't do?"
Chesire simply shook his head in refusal "It really does not matter whether you're innocent or not anymore, Alice. What does matter is the way the situation may look. Events and situations can be shaped to suit the needs of the molder. It can distract and fool the peasantry into believing anything that you may want. It's surprising how often people turn blind and deaf to the truth, even when is standing in front of them. I fear this little mishap of yours will bring terrible retribution"
"Well! I don't care how manipulative she can be. I will not let anyone walk over in such manner ever again. Don't you worry cat, I will make sure that she doesn't bother me anymore. I think it would be best for me to deal with this issue sooner rather than later"
The cat bolted quickly at her and stood in front of Alice, standing rigidly in his four legs "Careful, Alice. Do not be so quick and naïve as to think that you can get rid of all the unwanted baggage in your life without making sure it is feasible first. Remember! people often let themselves guide by the appearances of others and I'm afraid yours is quite stained already"
Alice pondered the statements of the feline before reaching a conclusion.
"Maybe, but still I cannot let this injustice continue. This only reinforces my resolve to dealing with this problem as soon as possible"
"So you think is a good idea to face your enemies unprepared? Suit yourself; I just hope you know what you're doing. It will be a shame to see all that you have achieved in the last couple of months had to be for naught"
And with that the Chesire cat disappeared with his smile being the last thing to fade away.
Alice entered into Witless's apartment from the back entrance and climbed the stairs up to the roof. As promised she had come to put an end to the ugly business that the old hag had on her. Even though she despised the old woman greatly, Alice didn't particularly desires to cause harm on her. She didn't find appealing the notion of harming a decrepit old woman, no matter how much a horrible person she was. But she needs to ensure that she would get her out of her back. She would confront her and demand her out of her life forever. With a bit of luck, all that would be required will be just a tiny bit of intimidation. Just enough to ensure putting witless on her place, If that failed, then the bottle of spirits that she had bought before heading in here may give her a chance to catch Pris in a more forthcoming disposition. After all, it was barely a secret that Priscilla Witless has quite the penchant for the drink. The vices of the former nurse may prove useful to her desires.
Reaching the end of the stairs; Alice found as expected the old crook on the roof tending to her coots. What Alice did not expect was the police officer standing alongside her.
"Glad you came with me officer; I'm sorry for having interrupted your patrol but I really needed to get in contact with a policeman" spoke the manipulative old woman.
"No problem at all ma'am, that's why we're here. To serve and protect" replied the officer.
"Oh, I'm glad then. You see, I been having so many doubts as of late. I know a very terrible truth indeed. A girl I know -such pretty and fragile thing- has committed a dreadful act. I have guarded her secret and kept my mouth shut for several years without asking anything in return; because I had faith in her. I didn't want to condemn her to a life with no future at such a young age; after all she has her whole life ahead of her. But lately I have seen her condition worsening. I'm afraid she has been unable to coup well with some changes that have occurred quite recently in her life. Is a hard thing to admit but, I fear she is no longer able to control herself anymore and as much as it pains me… I am unable to keep guarding her secret any longer. I feel I must do the right thing"
"YOU LEECHEROUS MACER!" screamed Alice.
The policeman and witless were left momentarily stunned by Alice's interruption, allowing her to close the distance between her and Pris unhindered. Once she was standing in front of her; Alice was able to gave her a more appropriate salutation"
"Curse you! You bloody downy, if you think I will simply stand motionless while you prattle such slander about me, you are so sorry mistaken" Screamed Alice in outrage.
Pris was astonished. How did the little twat dared to slap her? HER! The nerve, the ungratefulness, she couldn't believe it. She will not let this slide.
"You thankless misbegotten child! This is how you repay me after all I've done for you? I thought I had explained you what would happen if you didn't behave?"
"And that will be what?" berated Alice back at Priss "Only the ramblings of a troubled child after the dead of her family, wrongly blaming herself for their deaths? How you dare to judge me and convict me for my pain? You are indeed a despicable selfish woman witless. Maybe the good officer should take in consideration the source of the information; after all I doubt that the word of a well known kanurd like you should have the same weight as the diagnosis of well respected doctors. So how about you shut it and go back to your drink? Here! I even brought you some spirits that you can gorge yourself into"
Alice tossed the bottle of spirits violently at Pris feet. It shattered with a splash and leggings the hunchbacked woman dress and shoes with its contents.
"That's enough missy. You best behave or I'll have to run you in for assaulting an elder. So back off" ordered the policeman.
Witless on the other hand would have none of it. The trollop had called her a drunkard to her face. No one had insulted her so blatantly in her entire life. The outrage was so great, that she simply lost all semblances of integrity and shoots herself at Alice.
"You bloody, shameless lowly tail" she screamed while ramming at Alice, putting her old, feeble and slimy fingers around her neck.
Alice was so surprised and caught off guard by Pris sudden aggression. She stumbled and fell backwards dragging witless with her. Both women ended up struggling in the ground.
Fred was overly speechless by the sudden change in the situation. The old Lady Priscilla witless had stopped him and his partner while on patrol and had asked them for an interview with them back in her house. She had said that she was in need of contacting a law enforcement agent. All indicated that she had some information that wanted to divulge to them. It was not an odd thing for policemen to be approached by citizens demanding private meetings with them. Anonymous calls and declarations were well known to be part of the job from time to time. It was one way for concerned citizens to help in the upholding of the law.
Fred; believing that granting this old woman wishes would not be a particularly difficult thing to do, had agreed to her petition. He told his partner to guard and wait for him at the front of the building main entrance. The old woman had lead him to the roof of her house, telling him that she need it to check on her coops first before carrying on with her confession.
It all seemed as a common blow of information by a concerned citizen; until suddenly Alice Liddell that troubled young missy at the Houndsditch home appeared; flustered and throwing insults at the old lady. It was complete unexpected how the old woman responded to the insults with such viciousness.
Fred tried unsuccessfully to separate both women from their struggle. They were rolling and warring each other on the ground. It was quite difficult to get a hold on any of them. Finally he had managed to grab young Alice and restrain her somewhat from behind.
Problem was; Mrs. witless took advantage of that and tossed some cheap shots at the girl, she even tried to suffocate with her bare hands. Alice of course was not going to stand idle. She kicked at witless repeatedly in the gut in an effort to push her away, while at the same time struggling with Fred's grip on her, who found it most difficult to maintain it. Who would have thought that such a petite thing could posses so much strength?
With one hard and well administered kick. Alice sank her boot in the middle of witless ugly face, breaking her enormous and deformed nose in the process. The old hag was sent sprawling over a bunch of birdcages that were arranged at end of the rooftop. She slammed hard on them and the fragile coots groaned in protest.
Fred managed to finally subdue Alice who had stopped her struggle, now that she didn't had Pris on top her. Unable to oppose against the strength of the larger man; She eventually calmed down knowing it would be fruitless to continuing resisting. When Fred saw that the young woman had finally settled down, he let her go in order to check on Mrs. Witless. Unfortunately the precarious stability of the birdcages did not held long enough for him to reach her. As Mrs. witless was leaning in the coots trying to rise back on her feet; the fragile cages lost their balance and fell from the roof. Pris found herself caught in the sudden motion and tripped over to the other side and down to the streets she went. A frantic scream and a thud were the last sounds that were heard from her.
Both Fred and Alice merely stood there unbelieving of what had just transpired. They both run to the edge and looked down the other side. They saw the mangled and broken form of Priscilla Witless positioned in an unnatural way, layed alongside several trampled and bended birdcages on the cobblestone.
Fred's partner had run toward the body immediately after he heard the crash. Surprised to see that Mrs. witless had fallen from the roof, not wasting time he did a quick check of her vital signs. Finding none, he shook his head in resignation. Looking at the roof he caught sight of Alice peering from the roof and of his partner Fred a few paces away from her. The cop decided to address his partner with a shout.
"She's gone. There's nothing else that can be done fo' her. What happened?"
Slowly still a little shocked from the ordeal Fred removed his sight from the body of Mrs. Witless and looked at Alice intently. Realizing she was being observed Alice returned his stare knowing that this was going to fall on her. Realization dawned on Fred's partner down on street and his demeanor turned brisk and stern.
"Ye' be wearing the broad arrow for this, missy" he said.
Alice wasted no time and set herself in motion. She quickly crossed the length of the roof into the back of the building and jumped into the ceiling of a nearby edifice. The cop down on the street was already shouting his commandment.
"STOP! In the name of her majesty; I order you to cease and desist!" pulling a long whistle from his pocket. The policeman made a very long and loud whistling sound that would call the attention of any nearby law enforcement officer, prompting them to close on the location.
Fred tried to reason with her. He hadn't started to give her chase yet, having not much desire of do so since he was sympathetic of her. He shouted at her still from witless's roof.
"Alice please! Don't do this girl, don't run. We can find a way to solve this if you turn yourself. Please don't make me chase after you"
Alice stopped in her tracks. Taking note of the concern in the officer voice; she regretfully turned and addressed the cop hesitantly.
"I'm sorry officer, but I'm afraid that will not do. I'm guilty; I kill her. You've saw me doing it. There is no longer a choice for me; I am doomed anyway. Even if I managed to avoid the gaol; there is no way I will not to be sent back to Rutledge. I'm not going back into that awful place"
"Please girl, don't!" Fred insisted "this will not look good on you. Where you'll be going? What would you do?" That seemed to give Alice a pause in her thought.
"I don't know, but it doesn't matter. I will find a way as always, that's what I do. I'll survive somehow. All I know is; I'm not going back into the asylum. Anywhere else is a best choice just because is not there" with that Alice resumed her sprint in hopes of escaping from the police.
The policeman Fred was still indecisive. He had encountered Alice several times in the past. He knew she was a good girl. There was even a small amount of respect toward her because of the way she stood against the trash of society like Jack splatter; Fearless and without flinching. In the end he could only sigh deeply.
"Oh Alice! Everything has gone down the gutter".
Alice ran without looking back. Shad to keep moving, she had to lose the police. She could hear their frantic shouts and commandments coming from every direction. If she looked down to the street, she could see cops giving her chase from below. She jumped to another building and changed direction but still, she could see other officers coming from opposite streets to intercept her.
No manner at how many buildings she jumped or where she turned; there were always cops at the ready tracking her down. The evening was full with the loud sounds of the policemen whistles. More cops were arriving by the second and even some had managed to reach the rooftops and were giving chase, hot on her trail. There had to be a way to lose them before she get cornered? She was getting out of options very quickly.
She wasn't particularly seeing exactly where she was going. Roofs and chimneys simply passed in front of her vision without being acknowledged. Stopping was not an option, so she kept running. For how long? She didn't know.
Finally she realized that she was heading in the direction of the docks. If she reached them, it will be the end of the line for her. There would be no more places were to run. She had to try to go somewhere else. But that was highly unseemly now that there were cops chasing her practically form everywhere. From the streets, between the alleys and above the roofs they came. She had to leave them behind somehow. So she simply pushed herself beyond her limits and ran faster and faster, beyond any speed that she had ever managed to achieve. Adrenaline giving her that much need it boost.
She rounded the corner of an upcoming smokestack, only for her footing to slip. Not her fault, the roof was in a poor condition and it failed to hold her weight. There was a crack and she fell through the newly formed hole. She landed not much in a comforting way. She felt pain in her behind, but there was no time for that. Groaning and against the ache and protest of her muscles; she scrambled herself away the best she could from the impromptu entrance and headed into a dark corner behind some crates, hoping not to be found.
She could hear the voices and footsteps of her pursuers. Weariness was finally starting to catch up on her and her body suddenly refused to move. She could only hope that the police did not find the hole where she had fallen into.
Luckily for her, she had managed to gain an advantage from his pursuers before falling. Managing to leave them at least one rooftop behind, the smokestack had hidden her from view when she fell and it also obstructed the sight of the depression in which she had fallen. Soon she heard the voices going restless and confused from having suddenly lost track of her. Then she heard them trashing and rummaging abpout, obviously looking for her. She dared not to move or breathe, less she tipped them of her location. Finally after a while and to her satisfaction; the footsteps started to go away from her and the voices faded at distance.
Alice stopped holding her breath and released a long tired sigh. Finally at peace she decided to asses her surroundings. It would appeared that she had fallen into some old and dusty warehouse –if the crates stockpiled in there were any indication of it- it seemed this place hasn't had much activity for a while. Dust and cobwebs covered a great deal of the place and a lot of the woodworks looked rundown and decayed. Luckily for her the wood of the upper platform in which she had fallen looked fairly stable, otherwise her fall would had been more rowdy and may even had seriously injured her.
She was tired and it was late already. Night had already fallen outside. Moonlight was filtering from the hole in the roof and through some crevices in the stained windows. Maybe she could rest here for a little while until she recovered her strength.
In her musings, Alice didn't realized when the long smile appeared in front of her. Pulling her out of her thoughts; even in darkness the features of the Chesire cat were easily recognizable.
"I must say, this is a prime example for when things don't go according to plan" That was the last thing Alice heard before blackness overtook her.
Note: well there you have it the beginning of this story; I will start to introduce characters from mass effect in the next chap. I realize that if I wanted to fusion both universes I should treat Alice wonderland like one of the soft places in Neil Gaiman's Sandman. That way people from different times and places can meet each other, maybe even travel through time. The brief description of a soft place is a place where the boundary between reality and dreaming are not so clear as in most places. Since Alice wonderland seems to fit the description after the end of madness returns. I believe it is feasible to follow that trend of work. Although I'm not sure if I should make cameos of the endless, I don't think I could develop their characters pretty well. But we'll see.
Also I don't know how I should proceed. I've been writing this story since June, so I already have the next chapter ready. But I need to pass it on the computer, and it takes me a week or two to make the transition. I have a very tight schedule after all. It is easy for me to going around carrying a notebook and writing down my ideas every time I have an inspiration; but not so easy to pass it all in a row to the computer. So should I keep writing my ideas and only start to make the transcript at the end of the month or I start making the transcript now. But you will have to wait for me to write the subsequent chapter and make its respective transcription, that could take a while.
It does not matter. I will still be working in this story nevertheless. I would have to focus in this story for now, had to pause my other works since i can only put my attention in one project at a time. Don't know when I will retake them. Maybe after and when I advance in this story long enough.
At any rate, fare well and don't forget to review.
PS: I have Re-uploaded this chapter to asses some minor misspelling i hadn't spotted when i uploded it the first time. by the way the idea of Pris dying and Alice getting chased by the police through the rooftops; I took it from the beta of madness returns.