03-06-2012, 10:58 AM
Meanwhile, back at the BPRD, Morbidia bounced into the open front door of the waste-whatever-it-was-she-couldn't-remember plant that stood over the base. At a glance, you'd never have guessed she was a master necromancer; she was a petite goth girl in a corsetted shirt and skirt, wearing leather boots that came up over her knees. Her entire outfit was black. Of course. Her hair, which she had tied into two large tails that trailed down her shoulders from behind each ear. Her nose was far too small for the rest of her face, making her look a bit like some kind of strange dog. She wasn't a jaw-dropping, head-spinning stunner, but nor was she ugly by any stretch of the imagination. She had gone to huge lengths with her appearance, as it was one of her favourite hobbies. Her face was covered in meticulously done makeup that made her look paler than she really was, and she'd agonized with bleach and dye for hours to get the ends of her hair to fade from black, into grey and then stark white at the very tips. She adjusted her velvet choker as she walked towards the lift. It was a notch too tight. She'd randomly picked it up in the shops, because she was a compulsive buyer.
When people thought goths, or, if they'd been informed, Necromancers, they generally thought of a miserable, darkly-dressed and deeply unhappy individual who obsessed over death and other morbid things. You'd think that exactly if you saw Morbidia from behind- until she turned around and the perpetual little smile on her black-painted lips became visible. In reality, Morbidia was very happy with her life, and delighted in the little things that fueled her cheer. Her appearance, for one thing. The friends she held dear. And the sun. Yes, she liked sunlight. Loved it, in fact. Most people wouldn't believe her, but then, they didn't know her very well. In fact, she wished the BPRD had a HQ up high and above ground. With windows. Oh well. Best not to dwell on her bad luck.
She hopped off the lift before it reached the bottom, and whistled as she strolled through the base. She couldn't whistle in tune at all, but what the hell. She liked doing it anyway.
There'd been a time when she hadn't been so cheerful, or quite so immaculately groomed. Morbidia had been born into a necromantic cult, one of hundreds and hundreds that dotted the globe. Many of the large cults had numbers in the thousands, and many more had insinuated themselves in major religions, where they slowly won people around to their ideals and then indoctrinated them. The cults were just that; cults. The only difference was the magic the members practiced. All the usual checks were still there. Mind control. Closed community. Questionable moral standards. Greedy leaders. Et cetera. But she'd found her way out in her late teens. However, the guilt that came from the things they'd forced her to do wasn't so easy to leave behind. They murdered in cold blood, twisted the souls of the dead, and otherwise tortured anyone they could get their hands on. Literally, in fact. According to one of the clerists in her former cult, torturing somebody before killing them and binding their spirit caused greater release of energy. Years later, she'd found this to be a lie. The sick bast.ard had just enjoyed hurting his victims.
She was in her twenties now. After she'd escaped, she'd found her way to and worked through her issues with a psychologist who knew about the magical world, and was a contact of the BPRD. The man had convinced her that her crimes weren't her fault; she had no choice in the matter, and that she shouldn't blame herself. Slowly, she'd come to believe it, but she still felt that she had a responsibility as a survivor to try to help others. Disappearing into the night with all of the necromantic knowledge she'd learned in the cult (or stolen from it during her escape) would have been cowardly. She'd told him this, and he'd put her through to the BPRD.
Morbidia's name was the subject of much intrigue. It was the whacky name her enthralled parents had given her; many necromancer cults made their acolytes drop their last names and take a new one to use. Hers had been one such group. As she'd been born into it, she had no idea what her parents' last names might have been, and she didn't know what else she could call herself, so she just kept Morbidia. It was hers. Her identity. Forget about the connotations. She was keeping it. And the irony was fitting and kind of funny.
As a necromancer, she used spells that could control and bind the dead, but she instead of enslaving them, she mainly differed from the cultists she'd been taught by in that she made deals with ghosts, or spirits trapped in limbo. She had the power to help these lost souls find the afterlife through the mist of the hereafter; it wasn't really magic, though. She just talked to them and helped them get over whatever kept them unable to pass on, using psychology skills she'd picked up from her own docter, who she'd become good friends with, and later in a college course he helped her attend. She had a rudimentery high school education, because the cultists had made their minor members attend the local school to avoid suspicion or unwanted attention from civilian authorities. Back then, she'd been a bedraggled and slightly ugly little girl with a two-mile stare and a hammering stutter on the rare occassions anyone spoke to her. She would have been bullied, but the cult kids tended to just huddle together in total silence at lunchtimes, which made sure everyone was too terrified to go near them.
She'd performed poorly, obviously, almost never doing her homework or even paying attention in class, but the psychologist had helped her to fill the gaps in her education record and get accepted into her course. Necromancy had many forms and was a very expansive and complicated silence. There were many things you could draw power from; harvesting souls and using them for fuel was one option, but Morbidia never used it. It was a form of violation far more grievous than any mortal sin. Another was channeling the death energy that was released when a living creature died. While this energy was often lacking unless you were around fresh corpses, it could be captured and stored. Morbidia kept reserves of it on her person; the black ring on the middle finger of her right hand, and the small onyx studs in each ear, for example. Dense material was the best place to concentrate the energy, so Morbidia alternated between different items of jewellery, and sometimes small ornamental weapons. The power within made the dark stones shine purple rather than white when the light hit them. Other sources of power were strong negative emotions, which Morbidia was not able to draw significant kick from, as she had long since dealt with her own depressing thoughts. It was handy when dealing with aggressive necromancers, though, as she could drain and direct theirs. And they had negative feelings in spades.
Morbidia beamed at Ana as she passed her, then skipped into the control room. Oddly, nobody was home. The necromancer glanced at her watch, which matched the rest of her attire, and realised it was lunchtime. Everybody ran off to their break, it seemed.
As she was about to leave again, she noticed a small blinking red light on a computer screen. She leaned in to examine it, reading the line of text.
Agent 3894. Ghost. Cyril Emmerson.
And the light marked "distress" was blinking a steady red. All the other lights on the screen were green. Morbidia's mouth dropped open. Cyril was her protogé; he'd turned up at the base not long ago, and she'd taken him under her wing. She'd grown intensely fond of him, and had cast the spells that reversed his mental deterioration. She had taught him spells and had become fond of her diminutive, purple-eyed friend in the process. She had helped him prepare for his missions. One of which he might now be in lethal danger on. Her frantic worry showed on her face as she bolted out of the room and ran through the base, demanding to know where someone, anyone important was. Fern. The professor. Whoever the hell.
“I mean a weapon you hold. You have a gun, Tanith has a sword... I want a stick.” ~ Valkyrie Cain
“I’ll buy you a stick for Christmas.” - Skulduggery Pleasant
Last edited by AaronShadows : 03-06-2012 at 11:02 AM.