Crushing Violet/Postcards In Time
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
April 7, 1989
He stood pacing out in the waiting room as his wife gave birth inside. Anxiety plagued him as it had for the past 12 hours. He resisted the urge to send any mental probe to his wife, having kept himself committed to his hands off rule. He even resisted the urge to send any to the hospital staff inside that room. Eventually, after an agony of waiting, the doctor came out.
“Congratulations, Mr. Bardoux, it's a girl.”
Eric smiled at that, “Can I see her?” he asked, and the doctor of course said yes.
And so Eric walked in, seeing his wife, Prudence, lying in the bed holding a little baby in her arms. His wife, even all sweaty and worn out, looked so beautiful, especially with her red hair matted to her face like that. Prue smiled up at him, “Sweetie, look, say Hi to little Angelica.”
Eric looked at them both and smiled, closing the distance to the both of them. The name of the baby was a thorn in both their sides, as neither could choose, but apparently his wife had decided once she had laid eyes on her. And once Eric saw the baby, the few moments before the nurses were to take her away to give the mother some rest, he saw a name with his own eyes. And said softly to the kid, “Hi”, before sending a mental thought to her, “My little Violet.”
For so long Eric had his way, money flowing to him in a variety of ways, all due to little nudges here and there. He kept an office, for tax purposes and to make things flow easier, but did no real work. Life was his.
He should have expected it to end eventually. More and more people like him, and those who are just plain freaks, have started appearing. Using his powers in such a subtle manner would eventually be discovered. But he was too used to getting away scot-free and so didn't keep up a guard until one of his moles in the Paragon Police Department warned him that a team was coming to take him down. Two and a half minutes warning. With a scowl and a raising temper, he ran to his daughter's room.
“Dada!” Angie was always happy to see her father, and this was no expression, though she got quiet as she could feel the anxiety coming off him.
“Violet, sweetie...” His words trailed as he looked at her. He already knew odds are she was like him, a mutant. And in that moment, the side of him that just used others...the side he kept away from his wife and child, came out. He went into Angie's mind and started reinforcing the natural greed found in all small children, reinforcing the rebelliousness to authority that comes out every time they scream 'No'. He smiled at his work a little coldly and walked out of the room, and the nice house and faced the police, getting into his first real fight with his powers.
“I'm sorry, Mrs. Bardoux, but all property of your husband is being confiscated,” said the city employee who didn't look all too apologetic.
“But..where will we go? I have a 4 year old daughter! If ya take everything we'll have nothing,” screamed Prudence.
“That's not the city's problem. Your husband screwed over a lot of people. Everything of his is going to pay them back.”
Prudence stormed back into the house, sobbing. The man called after her, “You've got 48 hours.” And at that, Prudence slammed the door, causing 4-year-old Angie to jump Prudence stared at everything around her, realizing that there was precious little she could even pack by order of the city. And so, quickly, she called for a taxi and grabbed what little money she had gotten out of the bank before all the accounts were frozen, and picked up her daughter. “Sweetie, we're going to go on a trip.”
“Where to,” Her daughter asked, then gasped, “Disneyworld?!”
Prudence just sighed, “No, honey.” She walked out of the house, carrying her daughter and stepped into the taxi, “King's Row mission please.”
It was a bit of a drive, from Founder's Falls to King's Row, but they eventually arrive to the Mission. Prudence paid the man, and thus lost more of her money than she had gambled on. She entered the mission still carrying Angie. She came up to the first person she saw, a woman wearing a simple dress.
“Please, miss, my daughter and I need help, the city just kicked us out of our home.”
The woman looked over Prudence and her daughter, “Oh you poor thing. Come with me.”
The woman led her to a man wearing the priest's cowl, “Father Tim, this poor woman and her sweet child were recently evicted. I think this is Eric Bardoux's widow.”
Prudence stared at the woman in shock, she hadn't expected to be recognized so easily. Though what the priest said after shocked her more.
“You poor thing. To be taken advantage of in such a way and then for the city to punish you for it, denying you the recompense the rest of his victims are receiving,” said Father Tim, his smile too warm and his words too inviting, but Prudence just shook her head in confusion.
“Taken advantage of? Victims? He...he never did anything to me.”
“Are you sure, my child? He was a telepath after all, and took advantage of so many others. You know you can't trust those mutants.”
And that was it, the perfect out for all the guilt she had been feeling, all this time of losing everything. To blame him for not only ruining her life by doing what he did to others, but by doing it to her. “Yes....that makes a lot of sense, Father.”
Angie threw the finished cigarette down to the sidewalk and smashed it with her sneaker and says to the small group of girls with her, “'Kay, so we all know wha' we're doin'?”
The girls smiled and nodded, the youngest in the group rolling her eyes, “'Course we do, Violet,” the rest of them throwing down their cigs. The group of them went en masse into XtraMart, the man behind the counter watching them suspiciously as he's learned to watch all kids in the Row.
The group spread to various aisles, looking over things and slipping items into their coats surreptitiously. And after spending a few minutes in, they walked out...to find a police cruiser. Apparently the man behind the counter had hit the button calling them the second the kids had come in.
The two cops stared at the kids, “Alright, give up whatever you took,” said one of them commandingly. And just like that, all 7 of them scattered in different directions. And sadly, Angie drew the luck of the draw as one of the cops chased after her. And, even worse for her, he was new to the force and could easily pass any physical endurance test. He caught up to her quickly, grabbing onto her jacket.
Panicking she spun around and suddenly he found himself flying backwards into a building. She took off, running home.
Thirty minutes later, there was a knock on the door to the rowhouse her mother had her had been living in for the past 8 years. Angie stayed in her room and tried to overhear the conversation but it was in hushed tones. Twenty-five minutes later her mother came into the room. The years had not been kind to Prudence, gray-haired and only in her mid 30s.
“So you were shoplifting,” her mother stated flatly.
“No, those guys jus' lik'ta pick on us. I think they like chasin' little girls,” Angie tried vainly
“Angelica, stop with the lies. The cops told me that this was your last chance, and so it will be. Tomorrow you have an appointment with Sister Ann, and after that you'll be going into Catholic Central,” her mom stated, exhaustion echoing off her words.
“MOM,” screamed Angie, “Thas so totally unfair! How can ya do this ta me! I got friends at King High!”
“I don't care anymore, Angie. These friends are obviously a bad influence on you. And I don't want you ending up like your father. This isn't a discussion.”
Sister Ann was not, despite the title, a nun. But she did work closely with the catholic church in the area, and especially Father Tim. It was, in fact, Tim who got Angie the appointment with Sister Ann and the quick enrollment into the catholic school.
Sister Ann was a beautiful woman, the same age as Prudence, but no signs of wear at all on her. And she felt in her element dealing with rebellious children. And here sat one in front of her. “I remember you, y'know, Angelica.”
“It's Violet,” said the kid in a snotty voice.
“Compromise. Angie. I remember you. You were tiny when your mother came to us at the Mission. Your growing a lot.” And with that, Ann went to work. Unbeknownst to most, including her, Ann was a mutant. She just assumed, and Tim reinforced this belief, that God had blessed her with a gift. And Tim's persuasive way has gotten her to use it for the church.
And so she wormed her way into Angie's mind, determined to work her will in the service of Church and God. Another soul to put on the path of salvation. But what she finds first is signs of tampering, old tampering. 'Huh,' she thought to herself, 'Tim was right about her father.'
This work was too accomplished for her to be able to destroy, so she worked around it, building a wall and starting something from scratch. Ann had a template she liked to use on most teenage girls, and so she went to work on Angie, having to put in more work than usual. Walled off was Violet and her rebellious tendencies. Walled off was access to her sinful mutant powers. She worked hard to preserve the memories of all the actions Angie did, except for the recent one-time eruption of her mutation, but to introduce a sense of guilt associated with them, so she would not fall back in with her old group of friends.
And finally, as a finishing touch, she created a need to believe something. Ann's ethics didn't let her instill a belief in catholicism, but she at least tried to pave the way. Especially with Angie going to be surrounded with it.
A few minutes after it began, it was over, and she said to Angie, “So, Angie, are you excited about changing schools?”
“Sorta. Sorta scary too,” said Angie honestly.
Ann smiled, “That is natural, but I'm sure you'll fit in right here.”
Ah, the freedom of having a license. Angie was behind the wheel of her mother's car, finally. It took forever for her mom to consent for her to have a license, and now, nearly 18, she finally got it.
Sadly it wasn't to be enjoyed for long. Angie drove, a little recklessly, and almost went through a red light and saw at the last second a van about to cross in front of her. Angie panicked, as most teenage drivers would, but this panic lead her to lift the car up and over the van, landing back on the street. Shocked at what she did, she didn't regain control of her car however, and it slammed into a light post. The seatbelt and airbag system saved her from most injury, except pride.
She staggers out of the crash, staring at the car in shock, “fuck...wrecked the car, mom's gonna kill me,” she quickly thought, followed by “...Holy crap, I made the car fly for a second,” which was in turn followed by, “I'm a mutant...mom's gonna kill me.”
Angie walked out of Icon, wearing a skin tight suit with a color blend she had designed and spent all her hard-earned waitressing cash on. Smiling to herself at her choice of goggles to hide her identity, she vowed to help people and to make sure her mom would never find out. ... And to find out how to get into Pocket D, of course.
She flew to the tramline and got to King's Row, spotting a couple of Skulls harassing an old lady. She rolled her eyes and quickly stopped them in their tracks, “Your under arrest!” The skulls pulled their weapons and fired at her, the bullets racing fast to her...and dropping at her feet.
“Come on guys, surely you can do better than that,” she says with a smirk, then flings them both against the apartment building behind them, knocking them out and earning her a thanks from the old lady. The thanks from the old lady warmed her spirit and she smiled.
Ah, the D. Angie's favorite hangout ever since discovering they do not card. However it was an early morning and mostly dead, just a handful of people out. So Angie sat there, drinking her Orange Juice (as it was too early for alcohol, she was really there hoping to run into a friend or two), when she felt something on her shoulder and the few patrons around her laughed.
She looked at it in horror, a large flaccid penis, and with a fright she jumped behind the bar and looked at the thing that had pulled such a sick prank. The thing was in fact very feminine looking, except rather tall, wearing an Arachnos uniform, and having the aforementioned cock, now getting harder due to Angie's fear.
The thing smiled ferally and says in a threatening whisper, “I'm gonna rape ya,” and jumped over the counter as well, grabbing Angie's shorts and tights under them. The people sitting around the bar start hooting and cheering the Arachnos-creature on. Angie panics and flies up to the ceiling, but thing's grip was too strong. And so in desperation, Angie increases the gravity underneath the thing, sending it plummeting to the ground...with Angie's shorts and tights in hand. The patrons of the bar hoot and holler more, urging the thing to try again, and Angie flees for the elevators, not stopping until she's flown into her bedroom and curls up on her bed to sob. The walls placed by Sister Ann starting to break down.
Two weeks later
Angie finally gets the courage to put on her costume, more money down the drain to get replacement tights and shorts, and go fight crime. She immediately gets a tip of some Skulls holding a dozen people hostage in a warehouse, and Angie heads right there, shaking more and more with anger with every block she flies over.
Arriving at the location, she just sees red. Anger flaring in her strongly. She holds a hand out at the warehouse and concentrates, its rickety construction becoming evident as it shakes and collapses quickly, nothing running out. Nothing surviving.
Angie lands in front of the ruined building and stares at it shocked, her mind clearing. “Wha'd I do,” she asks herself, and keeps asking herself until Longbow arrives and arrests her for killing a dozen innocent people, and who knows how many skulls.
Short nebulous time later
The Zig. Angie didn't belong here, not one bit. Everyone tougher than her. So she let her anger get a foothold in her, become a permanent presence. Her mind starts focusing on Arachnos, blaming all of them for the action of one freak.
And after several days of this, her anger intensifying at Arachnos, the walls that unknowingly exist inside her mind crumbling more, an explosion rocks the prison and the cell doors swing open. “Whas' happenin',” she loudly asks. A passing prisoner shouts back, “Arachnos is bustin' someone out! Get ta the flyer!”
She stayed in her cell for a few moments, and then steps out of it smiling to herself. Arachnos has just delivered the perfect way for her to get revenge on them. And so she walked out of the Zig and got a place on the flyer, holding her strong desire to crush everyone in it back, biding her time until she could strike at them in the Isles.