Crushing Violet/You can never go home again
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
She stood staring at the elevator to Paragon, holding the card that Mina had given her. With a deep breath and with enough anxiety filling her stomach to ensure she will not need to eat for a few months, she slides the card through the scanner and steps through the opening doors. Emerging into the hallway, she runs quickly towards the door that leads to King's Row, before she can talk herself out of this. And she thrusts open the door and feels that particular twist in her gut that accompanies such dimensional travel as she steps through into the neighborhood she grew up in.
The anxiety in her stomach increased greatly as she stepped into the city. Her first instinct was to fly. Old neighborhood acquaintances wouldn't see her, she'd get to her mom's place faster. But. There are so many flying people in Paragon, Longbow and air traffic controllers keep constant track, and Angie was a little too terrified of randomly being looked into. And so she walked, strolling down the dangerous streets she used to patrol.
Memories filled her mind, mostly of her pre-teen days, as a little troublemaker with her group of equally trouble making friends. As she remembers, she stops in her tracks in front of the small store she had shoplifted from, the straw that broke her mother's patience. It is odd how memory works, along with coincidence. She gazes at the store for a few seconds, but walks on. It is already late at night, and she doesn't want to be noticed.
She continues on, not running into a single soul walking the streets at this hour. Even the Skulls must be elsewhere, she realizes, as she walks the steps to her mother's row house, thankfully undamaged in the recent Rikti attacks. She notes that the lights are still on and smiles as to her luck, and knocks on the door loudly.
Thirty agonizing seconds later, the door opens and Angie sees her mom for the first time in over three months. Her mom looks at her in shock, eyes wide-opened, “Angie?” And that was all it takes for Angie to rush two steps forward and wrap her mom up in a hug, tears of joy spilling down her face.
“Mom! Hi! Ohmigawd, I've been, like, so worried with all the Rikti attacks an' stuff,” Angie gushed out, letting go of the hug and letting herself in.
Her mom stares at her in shock and steps inside as well and points her finger at the door, “Get out.”
Angie stares at her disbelievingly, “Wha'? Mom...It's me...Angie.”
“I know who you are, you filthy fucking thing,” her mom spits out venomously. “You ended up just like your father! Now get the fuck out of my house, abomination!”
Angie kept staring in shock as her mother ranted all the things that she has heard Father Tim spew while on his pulpit. And after only a short time of this, Angie could take no more and fled, tears still spilling down her face but no longer of joy.
She ran, her mind still coherent enough to know not to fly. She kept running until she came upon a cheap motel and bought a room for the night. Though sleeping was difficult with all the squeaky beds and groaning customers. “fucking King's Row,” was the last thing she coherently thought before the abyss of sleep claimed her.
After a late start, and a side trip so she could purchase supplies and make herself look presentable, Angie came to the headquarters of the Modern Arcane Guild of Investigation. She entered inside and was struck by how business-like it looked. She was expecting robes and people having an air of importance and stacks of books. What she found was a modern lobby with a receptionist, wearing a business suit, on the phone.
She approached the receptionist, saying to him, “Hi. I'm a friend of Scarlett Defender's, I wanna know how she's doin'?” The receptionist looks up and presses a button at his desk, “Someone will be with you shortly.”
Sighing, Angie sat, waiting. Worried as she hasn't heard anything from Scarlett since she promised to check into this place to get the source of her powers removed before it tried to destroy the planet. After a long period, a man wearing a sportscoat walked up to her, “You were asking about Scarlett?”
Angie looked at him, rather disappointed in there still being no guys in robes. “Yeah, she's a frien' of mine. She doin' alright? I can't get 'hold of her on the phone...”
The guy adopts a look of regret and says, “I'm sorry, there was a problem. Your friend lost control of the being inside her and let loose. We had no choice but to end the threat in the most permanent way.”
Angie looks at the guy, feeling in her gut what he meant. “Ya...ya killed her?”
“I am sorry for your loss, but it was necessary.”
Angie doesn't hear his trite apology, as her mind quickly replays the last conversation she had with Scarlett. How hard Angie had pushed for Scarlett to go to M.A.G.I. and get help. How she had worn down Scarlett with all the talk of Scarlett being a villain if she had kept her powers at the cost of the world. The sadness that was welling up inside her mixes with the guilt that is now introduced, and combined together they create an explosive anger.
Angie rips open a hole in space and sends the man hurtling through it, appearing on the other side of the room, dazed for the trip. “Ya didn' have ta kill her,” she screams at him. As her anger rises, a gravitational anomaly is created right next to her, and starts attacking the man as well.
The two of them hold the man in place, slowly increasing the gravity field, making him weigh more and more. However, this man is no mere victim to be crushed by Angie's temper. He whispers a word...And suddenly Angie feels nothing at all.
No. Not nothing. Just not gravity. She tries to take a deep breath but finds herself without oxygen. She can't even hear anymore and all is blackness. So she's unable to hear as the man's legs finally snap as the anomaly strengthens its attack to protect Angie, as it has always tried to do. But before further damage is done to him, Angie passes out from the lack of air. The man reverses his spell and says to the terrified receptionist, “Get a grip! Page for a healer and get Longbow to take this girl into custody.”
As she woke up, she noticed something was missing. Usually the unique gravitational effects of everything around her, and of the sun earth and moon, make an imprint on her consciousness but now? Nothing.
She tilted her head to the side and opened her eyes wide in a panic as she feels a collar there. A fucking Longbow nullification collar. The sheer white of the room assaults her eyes as she takes it in, and she attempts to sit up quickly but finds herself strapped to a hospital bed. She looks around and sees she's in a small infirmary, and just outside of it is the sight she knew all too well. The depths of the Ziggursky Penitentiary.
The nurse attending at the moment looks upon the newly awakened prisoner and says, “Finally awake? You'll be taken to your cell momentarily.” And the panic that Angie was feeling intensified, and just at the edge of her awareness she could feel her sense of gravity, the panic and anxiety bringing it to her even with the collar on..
In a small panicked voice, Angie states, “No.” And the nullification collar rips apart and flies in two separate directions and a stream of energy flows from Angie, creating a free-floating gravitational anomaly. Angie looks at the nurse and quickly has the poor woman's body feel a great gravitational pull in two opposite directions, ripping her body in half. Security guards flood the room and the sphere-like anomaly just bowls through them, ripping off appendages like a child does with flower petals.
Angie walks out of the infirmary, walking into the Zig proper, surrounded by cells. The alarms begin blaring and she realizes it's only a matter of time before security and Longbow show up en masse and take her out. Before she ends up like Scarlett. She spins in place, taking in the location of all the cells near her and comes up with a plan. She summons the anomaly to her and floats inside of it, and concentrates.
It takes precious seconds that feel like hours but the building begins to quake around her. And the cell doors, with the bricks they were attached to, all rip off the building and fly towards her, cocooning her in a large makeshift reinforced steel ball. And finally the panic she was feeling begins to subside, and she flies straight up bursting through the top of the prison, turret fire unable to pierce the reinforced steel doors that surround her. And so she flies straight towards safety, towards family, and towards her love.
He first feels the cell vibrating and he thinks it is yet another Arachnos breakout, but he is quickly proven wrong as his cell door rips off the wall. He flinches instinctively but is quick thinking enough to look out and momentarily see the woman who caused it just before she is cocooned. He says aloud in shock, “Prudence,” before coming to his senses and realizes how foolish that thought had been. To be sure of his suspicions, he sent a mental probe into that cocoon, lightly touching Angie's mind. Refreshed by what he learned, he steps out of his cell for the first time in 15 years. Smiling as he waits for security and Longbow to arrive, he says to himself, “My little Violet, how you have grown.”