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The New Imbalance

 
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Choose your side: Team Jekyll or Team Hyde?
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Joe



Joined: 03 May 2016
Posts: 37
Location: Birmingham

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:47 pm    Post subject: The New Imbalance Reply with quote

The stranger walked across the empty beach staggering on legs as if taken newborn steps. The sound of the sea was familiar and the heat of the midday sun made the stranger squint. As he raised his hand to shield his eyes he stepped on something hard in the wet sand. Looking down, he saw a chess piece. He knelt down to examine it, buried under the one was another, one black king and one white king.

“They’re gone.” A voice whispered from behind in a matter of fact way. The accent fitted with Port Rabel which made perfect sense.

“Where to?” The stranger asked.

“As one ascends another descends, in that way the imbalance is kept and the war rages on.”

For the first time, the stranger felt abandoned. The voice belonged to a familiar figure but all the stranger could make out was a silhouette that now sat upon a rock with the blinding sunlight behind him. His mind was groggy, perhaps from sunstroke or something more.

“You’ve been tracking them for a long time haven’t you?” The stranger guessed as he reached for a pistol out of habit rather than aggression.

“Since they parted ways with the Foundation.” The silhouette agreed.

“Why?” Asked the stranger but the question died in the air.

“Why are you here?” The silhouette demanded.

“I’m searching for someone and I’m here to learn.” The stranger stated.

“Learn about what?” The voice hissed. The stranger held up the chess pieces.

“Let’s start with these.”

“Once upon a time, there was an alchemist and a lonely daemon…”

The stranger sat patiently and listened, never once interrupting. At the end of the story tears ran down his cheeks, he was visibly shaken. He got up to leave with a heavy heart.

“That’s not the end. We are only halfway.” The silhouette announced.

“Then tell me more.” The stranger demanded. “I need to know.”

“I paused because it may unravel your mind to hear the rest.” The silhouette looked lesser somehow, not smaller but somehow lesser as if unravelled. Yet the stranger was certain he spoke to no apparition.

“We seek the same people. Tell me more,” the stranger asked again. “I need to know more about Henry and Edward.”

So the silhouette obliged and span more memories woven with dreams and nightmares to dilute the sting. Tales of potions and guns with blood and gore along with so much loss and grief that the stranger felt the pain within his chest as if he experienced it himself. He heard about lost shipmates and brothers, doctors and lovers, demons and ghosts, Grasslich and hosts. There were friends and foes. Enemies as friends and friends as enemies. The plot thickened with betrayal and thinned with loneliness. In the midst of despair there was still hope. A coward became a hero and a hero faltered. By the time the story was finished, the sun had set dawn approached.

“So much loss. What of them now?” the stranger asked. “Where are they now?”

“Jekyll still hunts for a cure. Focused to a clear point, his intellect has opened up new possibilities that were never before imagined, not even by the Foundation. He raised his mind beyond Hyde’s reach and all it cost him was his heart. In order to become human, he must remove the last vestiges of his humanity.”

“Henry… What have you done to yourself?!” The stranger wept tears only released for those wept by someone who has known and loved someone all of their life.

“Hyde has more to lose than ever before. Where chains and steel failed to work, friendship and love have shackled the monster in ways that he is only just discovering. It will destroy him quicker than any canon ever could. He feels for the both of them now.”

“Oh poor Edward” The stranger’s heart sank as he saw the sad truth “I think I understand. The light embraces the dark and the dark embraces the light.”

“As sure as night follows day and day follows night.” The silhouette agreed. “The balance must be kept and so the imbalance remains.”

“It was never meant to be like this! It was supposed to be glorious! What about being a daemon hunter? They’re going to destroy themselves aren’t they?” The stranger said rhetorically.

“Perhaps.” The silhouette whispered. “Perhaps not. There are more twists and turns to come before the final revelation is revealed. The chaos in the order has had unexpected results.”

The stranger stood up and began lashing flotsam together across the beach with pieces of rope.

“What are you doing?” The silhouette asked.

“I’m going to find them.” The stranger replied. “They need my help.”

“They could be on any shard by now.”

“I know.”

“In any state of mind by now.”

“I know.”

“They will not welcome your interference.”

“And what of you?” The stranger snarled. “Don’t think I don’t know what or who you are! Clinging to the shadows to hide a face that probably isn’t even human. Don’t test me daemon!”

“Heheheh!” The silhouette laughed. “You heard my words but failed to connect them up. Call me whatever you will, I won’t confirm or deny your fears. I observe from a far, I have no need to risk myself. What they do leaves impressions on everything they touch and from that I piece together the story.”

“You must have a motive.” The stranger scoffed.

“My motive, like my face, remains hidden to you.” At this the stranger considered walking up to the silhouette but the idea died before it become action. Instead he continued.

“I’m heading out of here. You can stay here if you want.”

“Have you considered whether they even need your help?”

“Of course…” The stranger was interrupted by something that he saw in the sand. It was the locket of Teresa. Dr Jekyll wouldn’t have just dropped it so carelessly. While it remained a source of pain a grief it was a part of the doctor. It represented his first love. It drove him on. If he had lost such a valuable thing, what else had he lost? “I’ve tarried too long and this is the closest to a warm trail that I have had in weeks. I won’t let you delay me any further demon.” The stranger finished his raft with another lash and pushed it out to sea.

“Where will you go?” The silhouette called out.

“Somewhere far away from you.” As the stranger’s raft disappeared around the cove and out of sight, the first rays of dawn light up the shrouded black hood of the silhouette and the wind blew the hood down to reveal a face identical to that of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and yet the expression was of neither. The silhouette wore the face well or at least as well as the stranger had. People could be forgiven for mixing them up but the wiser fool would see the differences that normally manifested in twin brothers, and yet the lack of familiar ties made it a dysfunctional family at best.

“Oh my dear boy…” He sniggered to himself. “You can’t sail far enough away to ever truly be far from me. I’ll be watching you too now.” The watcher turned back to the beach and to the cliff edge where the hidden entrance to the deserted laboratory lay undisturbed and in the blink of an eye, he was gone.
_________________
OOC: Joe H
IC: Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde / Horatio
IC: Ichiro Kage of the Tanuki
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Joe



Joined: 03 May 2016
Posts: 37
Location: Birmingham

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doctor Henry Jekyll was home. He feared the coming heartache.

He had made it back to the beach and he had climbed up the unforgiving cliffs to the hidden path that he had known since childhood. Port Rabel looked familiar but different at the same time. He attributed it to the occupation of the Crimson Brotherhood. Homecoming was always a difficult event for him. He recalled returning as a certified young doctor back from training. When he stepped into port and off the ship he had aspirations to give back to the community where he had been born. To his dismay, so many of his peers had taken to a life of crime and couldn’t conceive the importance of science and medicine. He hadn’t seen it before but he recognised how he had outgrown their way of thinking. Their thoughts were just so simple, it was like conversing with children. It had taken him a while to find learned friends such as Lanyon and Utterson. Once again Dr Jekyll felt isolated by his boosted intellect and he didn’t know whether he would ever shift that feeling.

Dr Henry Jekyll opened the door to his house, he looked around the hallway and up the stairs. As he walked on old floorboards he recalled conversations with long gone friends. He looked into the dusty drawing room, furniture was covered with dust sheets, he recalled conversations he had had with Dr Lanyon and his old friend Gabriel Utterson. Scenes so fresh in his mind that he could almost watch them unfold like a ghostly theatre in front of him. Out of the corner of his eye, he spied a shadowy silhouette but as he turned to look he saw nothing. Henry Jekyll turned and left the room, she was not here and he had a promise to fulfill. She hadn’t been at the meeting place either but then it had been years since he had hastily made that arrangement. The rational part of his mind told him that she could’ve died that night or many nights after thanks to the Crimson Brotherhood. Before he could be overwhelmed with sadness, Henry walked to the cellar door and proceeded to go to the last place he recalled speaking to her; the place he made the promise.

Before he could descend the steps down to his laboratory he heard footsteps. As he swung around he saw Teresa standing in the doorway to the kitchen. Without a second thought Henry ran to embrace her. After wrapping his arms around her he felt overwhelmed with grief and relief. Nothing else mattered and he knew that for her, he would never touch another potion, never take another voyage, all she need do is ask. His time as a wanderer would be over. She looked and smelled exactly the same as the last time he had seen her. Living with the Crimson Brotherhood hadn’t changed her one bit. He pushed these details away to savor the moment.

“I told you I would find you.” Henry proclaimed as he fought back tears. “I’m sorry it took so long.”

“I always knew you would keep your promise.” She whispered back.

“How did you survive for so long in the house? Did the Crimson Brotherhood bother you?”

“Henry… It’s in the past. What matters is you’re home and we’re together.”

As he opened his eyes over her shoulder, Dr Jekyll saw the silhouette once again, at first he thought it was their shadow in the gloom but its shape was wrong. He jolted and it disappeared.

“Henry! What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Just a trick of the light perhaps.” He refused to accept it since the sweet scent of denial was far more alluring.

“Let’s go upstairs where it is brighter.” Teresa suggested.

Henry and Teresa sat on a pair of wooden chairs on the balcony to the bedroom overlooking most of Port Rabel as the sun set. In the orange light, Dr Jekyll could see the ironclads in the bay but other than that there was very little sign that the Crimson Brotherhood were even there, never mind occupying the island.

“I heard terrible tales of people being enslaved. Are my parents alright? I must visit them.”

“They’re fine Henry. After you left, everything became quiet.”

“But what about Daniels? What does he want? Have the Crimson Brotherhood mistreated you?”

“No. They’ve been strangely fair with us.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Whatever they are doing on the seas, they seem to treat Port Rabel like home. Pirates don’t pillage their own homes, I guess.”

“Well that makes a strange kind of sense.” Henry admitted as he reached out and held Teresa’s hand. Henry squeezed it gently and just as he was about surrender to bliss, a nagging thought crept into the back of his mind- an irritating question that had to be answered.

“Teresa? I have to know... That night that I left... How did you survive Hyde? He teased that you were dead.”

“Hyde?” She said.

“Of course, you probably never learned his name. The monster that had been stalking us all.”

“Oh that.” Teresa giggled nervously and strangely out of character. “I never did learn why you left us so abruptly.”

“I thought you were dead.” Henry confessed. “Or if not dead in hiding. I couldn’t risk it learning of your location so I sought to rid myself of the monster and now…” Again he sensed the silhouette watching somehow. “My heart tells me to forget it all. Treat it like a bad dream but my head is saying something else. What happened?”

“Listen to your heart my love.” Teresa advised.

“There was more wasn’t there. There was something else going on that I needed to confront.” Dr Jekyll was analysing everything. He observed the dilation of her pupils, he breathing and her pulse which was visible by the subtle movement of her necklace and locket. “What happened that fateful night, my love?”

“Well…” Teresa said but the pause was far too long and Dr Jekyll’s desire died as he realised this was not his Teresa. The locket was the giveaway. It was the same locket he had taken with him when he left. She could not possibly have it around her neck now. He sighed as he realised that this was nothing more than a dream and so the dream wouldn’t have anymore information than he would. He was in essence questioning his own subconscious and fighting his own wish fulfillment. A tear ran down his face as he stood up and spoke.

“You’re not real, and I will not settle for a dream. No matter how dark and terrifying the truth is, I must face reality. Goodbye.” As he finished Teresa faded away like an apparition being banished. She opened her mouth to speak but no words were heard, yet Dr Jekyll read her lips and as he did his eyes widened. Faced with such a parting revelation, he froze on the spot. Before he could process it, the silhouette crept forward from the corner of the bedroom.

“It’s time to put away childish things. Don’t you think?” The silhouette announced.

“That may be true.” Dr Jekyll replied. “It's not real is it.”

“You know the answer to that.”

“Was any of it ever real?” Dr Jekyll asked. “Because if it isn’t then there is no point to any of this, if I’m not real then why even try to be the good doctor?”

“You KNOW all the answers. You always have. But now, you’re in a state to truly understand them. So much potential, you cannot let it go to waste this time.”

“This state… It won’t last. I can feel the energy dissipating. My boosted intellect will eventually fail.”

“Then you know what must we do.”

“We must work quickly.”

Dr Jekyll walked downstairs with the silhouette trailing him as if it were his own shadow. He walked with an expressionless face, there was no one to make facial expressions for and so doing so would be as waste of energy. He walked without haste nor delay. He opened the door to the cellar and descended the stone steps to his old laboratory. The door swung open and revealed where he had left his old equipment, it lay under the dust sheets. The small window to the surface hinted at it being nighttime but the lanterns illuminated the room and the distant flash and growl of thunder and lightning heralded the foreboding threshold of a darker science.

“Shall we begin?” The silhouette asked.

“Yes.” Dr Jekyll agreed. As he uncovered his alembic and flasks from beneath the dust sheet. He turned to his cabinet and began to remove still fresh supplies of chemicals and herbs. He opened his true alchemy book and began to measure out the quantities needed to remake the serum. The knowledge flowed so easily that it was as if all previous alchemy was child’s play in comparison.

“You have a unique opportunity now,” the silhouette whispered. “For so long I’ve been unable to reach you, cut off through faulty design. Consigned to the role of a watcher. But now with my guidance you can reach the true potential we you were designed for. Freed from primitive fears of Daemons and Grasslich. Freed from unnecessary emotions. No more pointless morals and ethics holding you back. You can see it now can’t you? You’ve looked into infinity and you can see the connections. You know what you are truly capable of now, don’t you?”

Dr Jekyll nodded as he poured the substance into the flask, he turned and set up the sublimation process and prepped the alembic. Although the dream was ending, it gave him ample time to simulate the results over and over until he knew the precise method exactly.

“Nothing comes without sacrifice. I won’t falter this time around." The doctor turned to the silhouette. "Alchemy was merely the beginning, the vehicle to a greater understanding... a greater transformation. This is going to change everything. It’s going to change the world.” As he spoke the words, he realised that the silhouette was and had always been his own shadow all along.

Doctor Henry Jekyll wasn’t home. But the heartache was over.
_________________
OOC: Joe H
IC: Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde / Horatio
IC: Ichiro Kage of the Tanuki
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