2 of Clubs / Just A Mirror... (selection)
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
"Just A Mirror..." ((Originally started by the player of Johnny Turbo and continued by various members of the The Action Pact. Revolves around a mirror that when viewed gives the beholder a glimpse at their most dreaded flaw. The following is the selection that I wrote for 2 of Clubs. I give credit and thanks to the player of Johnny Turbo for involving me and getting the story started! I also thank each member that participated...the stories were amazing reads! Anyways, hope this gives a little more insight to Clubs' personality and mind-set.))
Jerome had made it. He was now a member of the Action Pact. No longer was he alone in the struggle. He had friends now…a family. He also had a place that he could call home. Sure, he had his apartment above “The Lounge”. But that wasn’t much to look at, let alone really call it home.
As he walked through the Action Pact base, Jerome came upon the temporary infirmary. He realized that it was occupied, so he quickly tried to quiet his step and lower his heavy breathing. He contemplated going and checking on the person, but opted rather to let the individual get his or her rest. As he turned to leave, he noticed an object out of place against the wall. He thought he would be a good group mate and at least pick it up and find its home.
Walking over to the item, he realized what it was…a mirror. Out of habit, he turned it so that he could see his reflection. Expecting to see a brown face with a goatee, eyes covered by a visor and head covered by a black mask, Jerome was mildly surprised by what he did see on the shiny surface.
He saw a Bushi, of the Shimazu Clan. No ordinary Shi; he was in full battle dress. The same armor worn by his grandfather and all his ancestors of the Shimazu line since they first set out to claim the Ryuku Kingdom almost four hundred years ago.
The proud Samurai standing in the mirror was his grandfather, he was sure of it. He had to fight back a tear at the memories that began to run through his mind. Part of him was proud at the sight before him; the other half, remiss of what he may have very well become.
Suddenly, the warrior started to run, with a determined look in his eyes barely visible from inside his mask. The ground on the surface below was full of thick mattes of green grass. Even with the heavy weight added by the warrior’s shell, he seemingly glided along gracefully. Reaching the base of the hill, the armor-clad runner kept in stride, easily adjusting to the slight incline marked by the now rocky surface. Jerome watched from behind as the warrior unsheathed his blade and surprisingly picked up the pace to an almost sprint like charge.
With each step he seemed to draw nearer to his destination, his goal. At the top of the hill were his enemies, those that would bring harm to his family, his way of life. Upon reaching the zenith, he positioned his katana for first strike. As he ran directly through the throng of his opponents, his blade made contact slicing right through them and sending them to their knees. He turned, keeping his weapon in constant motion; not randomly flailing away, but gracefully cutting the air with precision before allowing his sword to reach its destination. His enemies began to fall. This warrior was the epitome of a true Bushi!
Then, Jerome noticed something. He finally got a good look at who the Samurai’s enemies were. He began to recognize faces: an unruly drunk that he once bounced out of a club in Seattle, his old boss from Vegas, some of those Hellion punks he ran into his first day in Paragon City. Oddly, he realized that everyone who met with the fate of this warrior’s sword was familiar to him. More and more fell at the Bushi’s side because of his deadly strikes. Jerome stood, looking at the mirror in shock. The warrior had worked his way through all of his enemies; all of Jerome’s enemies, for each and every broken body that lay strewn at the Samurai’s feet had a face Jerome could clearly identify.
With tears starting to well up in his eyes, Jerome shouted in anger, “But that’s not wh…what happened…I have never killed…and will nev…”
Jerome stopped mid sentence, for the mirror presented a new figure in the scene. With his vision out of focus because of the tears in his eyes, Jerome could barely make out a blurred image of something coming up the hill. He pulled up his visor onto his forehead and allowed the tears to run down his cheeks, never taking his eyes away from the mirror. The new arrival had his back to Jerome, but it was easy to see that it was an African-American, dressed in the green field uniform of a U.S. Marine.
Jerome struggled with the mirror. “Show me…c’mon…let me see his face. C’mon you da…”
A deep, dark pit began to form in Jerome’s stomach. He suddenly became aware of who the American soldier was. He swallowed deep and hard. It was his father, he knew it. He couldn’t see his face, but something inside told him that he was right. The man he never knew. The man who lost his life before Jerome was even born. The man Jerome had dreamed about meeting for as long as he could remember.
Then, just as quickly as his father came into the picture, the Samurai sent his katana straight through the stomach of his new opponent. Jerome’s heart dropped as he cried out in anger, “No…why…don’t take him!”
But, he sank even lower when two new figures appeared. The first was his mother, who was now positioned next to his father lying on the ground. She looked just like he remembered her when he saw her last. She was crying, weeping with every ounce of strength within her. Jerome wanted to reach out to her and comfort her; be the man that he was unable to be when he was a child.
His concern for his mother was immediately washed away when he heard the voice of the second new figure. “Yataro...Yataro!” It was his grandfather and he had a wicked smile on his face. “This day you are my son! You are now Samurai…Yataro Shimazu of Clan Shimazu!” The words rang deep in Jerome’s ears. He had ever hoped to hear his grandfather exclaim those words.
Then a question arose deep in Jerome’s sunken heart. He glanced at his grandfather and asked the mirror, “If my grandfather is here…then who is that?” He quickly shifted his focus to the man in question, the triumphant warrior.
The Samurai removed his helmet and mask. Jerome took a deep gulp of the saliva that had collected in his mouth. What he saw almost made his knees buckle because of the weakness in his legs. The Bushi warrior that had caused so much devastation, leaving so much destruction in his wake, once again taking from him the man Jerome so desperately wanted to finally meet…was Jerome!
Jerome felt everything boil inside as he gripped the mirror tightly and shouted, “No! No! That can’t be me!” Yet inside, he began to doubt who he truly was. “It isn’t me! It can’t be me? I’m not…”
Even though he wanted to throw the mirror as far as he could, it still held his tear-filled gaze. The Samurai Yataro, with Jerome’s face and physical characteristics, now stood alone on the hill. In a swift movement the once victorious warrior fell to his knees. Unsheathing his wakizashi, he thrust the blade deep in his gut, moving it from side to side before falling back limp.
Jerome could not look any longer. He dropped the mirror. It made a thud as it hit the floor. Unable to force himself to pick it back up, he quickly wiped the tears from his eyes and attempted to collect himself. There was much for Jerome to think about. So many questions mingled with the inescapable fear in what answers might be uncovered.