STONERUE, AURORA Nov 25, 2012 4:32:33 GMT -5
Post by AURORA on Nov 25, 2012 4:32:33 GMT -5
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Aurora has been kept in captivity long before The Menagerie, and as a result has only known that kind of life. Somehow, she has retained innocence and sweetness. There has always been a strangeness about her, and much of herself has been undeveloped due to a lack of life experiences. There is a naivety about her that makes her almost childlike, though she is already a woman. She has never cooked, or cleaned past learning to keep her belongings organized. Aurora has simply always been taken care of, her every need anticipated.
She is very intelligent, and has always been very observant with her surroundings. She is a quick learner, and before her life in The Menagerie, loved to read, learn language, view art, and learned to play many kinds of instruments.
It is very clear the sheer angelic and guileless tendencies her nature possesses in absolution. Her manner and being does not suggest a lack of maturity, for a blossom cannot be blamed for the time it takes to open for the sun, but rather a spoiling of the blossom; The petals torn back, exposing the precious middle too early. It was now that will tell whether that flower might rebel in its treatment, determined stubbornly to live, or simply wither away. Before the Compound she had not known of nightmares, or hardship, or pain. She does not remember a time of wanting. The fingers of life seemed content to carve her out in but one shattering blow, tearing her open.
In turn she is remained kind, and gentle, polite, if not mistrusting. She has never been a chatterbox, but it is even rarer now when she speaks. Still, she loves to sing, especially to make others happy. Aurora is very open and not judge mental, seeing beauty in strange places and accepting oddities easily.
April 2302 Westminster, London England
The lights flashed slowly, signaling time for everyone to take their seats. The exclusive crowd of finely dressed ladies and gentleman took their places in the golden auditorium, whispering excitedly about the performance they were about to witness. The lights dimmed to black, and obediently, everyone’s eyes fixed to the curtain covered stage.
“I hear she’s just fifteen. What was her name?” asked an older man in the darkness.
“Aurora Stonerue. Her voice is unearthly!” replied a female voice, “and this is only her second performance.”
Part the of West End theatre on Adlwych, the guests were accustomed to the dramatic pause, and after a few more hushed comments were made, an expectant silence came over the Novello Theatre house.
Finally, the heavy velvet curtain was drawn and the stage lights came on. The set was dark, and empty save a small girl lit center stage. She was of a short height and lithe physique, wearing a modest dark purple dress that brushed the floor. Her black hair was pulled back, piled atop her head and cascading elegantly down one shoulder. Curled tendrils framed an angelic, alabaster face with high cheekbones, delicate nose, and large black eyes.
Music tenderly warmed the air, and after the haunting instrumental introduction the girl took a deep breath, closed her eyes and poured out a high soprano in perfect key, and pure emotion. The orchestra was no filler, and the piece was masterfully written to accentuate the girl’s ethereal voice in flawless measure. She swayed slowly in rhythm, her whole body seeming caught in her song. Time seemed to stop, and as the melody took form in blissful felicity the audience was mesmerized by the girl who now opened her eyes and, taking a last breath threaded through a resonance of final exquisite notes.
The lights dimmed, the music fading as the curtains closed and the audience was left stunned in darkness. Slowly, as many wiped tears with gloved fingers or sniffed into tissues, a few claps began – increasing in volume until the trance ended and the entire theatre erupted into a roar of applause. There were no calls or whistles, hollers, or howls only the pure appreciation of an audience that had heard something unlike anything they had ever heard before; or would again.
Among the crowd, a tall bobbed haired blonde donned her rain coat. Dressed in a grey blazer, pencil skirt, and heels she somehow managed not to stand out in the sea of lavish evening gowns and sharp tuxedos. While many of the guests lingered, speaking to one another about their love of the performance, the woman took her leave quickly.
Out on the street, her stride did not break as a black cellphone appeared from seeming nowhere. She held it up to her ear.
“Basilevsky,” she said her name with a professional tone, then was quiet while the voice spoke. “Correct. I believe she would be an excellent candidate.” She paused again while the voice rattled on and when she reached the corner, her hand went up to hail a cab. “Yes sir, it was a good tip. I’ll call you when I have more information,” she said crisply and hung up the phone before disappearing into the cab.
December 2305 Hampshire, England
“We have to be sure. No screw ups Hodge,” the woman said in a dead tone. She looked to the man in the driver’s seat. Hodge had been her partner for two months, and she didn’t like him. His hair was brown, his moustache red, and his skin was almost sickly white. Isn’t there ever any sun here? She thought to herself, but they didn’t have to like each other. It was the job.
He turned to her with a reproachful glare, his mouth a grim line. He didn’t like the yank, and although he had never been to the states, required no more proof that she was like any other American he had met; arrogant and infuriating.
“I’m quite sure Ms. Basilevsky,” he said quietly – his lips and tongue easily curling around her last name with tight control. He had imagined that she was first generation out of The Russian Federation. With a last name like that, how could she not be? It little interested him past the initial thought, and looked out the window again dismissively. Her eyebrow lifted, but resisted saying anything more. Instead she nodded curtly and, tucking a strand of short blonde hair behind her ear raised the binoculars up to her eyes again.
The begrudging pair had been sitting in the small, cold 2298 Forde Asterix for almost two hours now, waiting for the girl with the dark hair to arrive. They were part of the Field Ops team of UNIT, and had been paired for this assignment alone. After Stonerue was captured, Basilevsky was to take her to the Base Compound a-sap. Stonerue was the next project, and this one was very special indeed.
They had parked across the street from the park-viewed nineteenth century French style Chateau where the target and her possessor rented rooms. Only a few minutes passed before a car pulled up to the curb and deposited a small young woman from the back seat before driving away. Other than the servants, she was alone this evening; they had made sure of it.
Basilevsky hit the zoom on the binoculars, focusing in as the blue coated girl walked up the runner covered steps of the Chateau, the attendant bowing and opening the door for her. Reaching the top of the steps, the girl paused and, very slowly turned her head. The hairs on the back of the woman’s neck rose as inexplicably Aurora Stonerue stared straight at her with wide, guileless black eyes; her face expressionless. Basil gasped, dropping her eyes from the binoculars. How? Her brow furrowed, and she bit her lip, looking again. Stonerue had vanished inside.
“What’s wrong,” asked Hodge with bored indifference. He sipped his coffee. She didn’t look at him, and waited for the feeling of unease to pass.
“Nothing. It was nothing,” she said almost to herself, and fixed her attention to the square screen on her lap. She tapped the file labeled ‘Stonerue, A.’ and immediately the file opened to links of information, data, dates, locations and, in the top left hand corner – a picture. She tapped the thumbnail, and a hologram of the haunting dark haired girl popped up. How had she seen her? She stared at it for a while in thought, then shook her head with a sigh and closed the program. The sun was setting; time to work.
June 2303 Hampshire, England
Everything had been arranged for his guests. Tonight his little bird would perform, and oh was her singing something to behold. Her voice was absolutely halcyonic. It pierced the soul. She was an exquisite creature, like a rare animal – her hair and eyes as dark as pitch in equal measure. Aurora . His very own aniołek.
“Friends, thank you for joining me tonight,” he began in polish accented English. “It is my pleasure that she has set up a myriad of vocal delicacies for our ears tonight, and I cannot wait for everyone to experience her. Please, enjoy,” greeting finished, Albin Zsavago disappeared.
Albin mattered little enough to himself. It was life’s little pleasures that no amount of money could sate. He was overweight and bald, but could buy anything and that made the difference. After all, money had bought his aniołek, his Aurora. He sat in the shadows of the comfortable room, his few but very wealthy friends and guests lounging on plush sofas, warmed by the immense fireplace drinking Louis XIII Cognacs and smoking Opus X cigars. A few of his servants switched off the lights, giving an almost romantic ambiance to the room. After a few seconds, a pair of double doors opened, and Aurora walked into the parlor.
She was dressed in lovely dark olive green silk gown, low and off the shoulder. Her thick black hair was twisted atop her crown in curls and braids, swirls of jumbled tresses wisping past her shoulders. Her skin was roses and milk, her face painted simply with red lips, flushed cheeks and a smoky eyes. Those large black eyes were still, almost vacant as she moved across the floor from the dark empty room and into the firelight. Soft black gloves covered her fingers to the elbow, and from her left wrist dangled a tasteful canary diamond bracelet matching the beautiful 1.5 carat pair at her earlobes.
Astonished voices echoed quietly in the room, then silenced and as her lips parted to sing Albin swirled the brandy in his glass and took a sip with a satisfied expression. He had heard her singing for years, but never grew tired of it – and never would.
November 2306 Keepers Compound, On Location
Basil smiled and shook hands with white coated woman sporting a nametag saying, ‘Dr. Mora Kellick’ and a series of numbers. The woman showed her teeth in a fashion Basil didn’t consider nice, and introduced herself.
“Hello Ms. Basilevsky, I am Dr. Mora Kellick. Welcome back to the Compound,” she said tersely. “Please follow me.”
Basil arched a brow, but wasted no time following the brisk, blonde woman. Mora’s hair was a few shades lighter than her own, she had noticed, and spent the time it took to walk down the hallways to the elevator considering whether it was her natural hair color or not.
“You are checking up on which subject?” Mora asked distractedly as her fingers flashed over the flat, square screen in her hands. They entered the elevator, and she hit the button to the Observation Deck without looking up from her pad. Power play. Game on.
“Stonerue. Aurora Stonerue,” Basil said, watching the doctor from her peripheral for a reaction. She was not disappointed.
“Ah, yes Dr. Belzinhiemer is assigned to her,” she said feigning disinterest. Basil was sharp, and did not miss the Mora’s subtle twitch when she had said Stonerue’s name. Her eyes had almost risen, and her fingers tightened on the pad in restraint. The corner of Basil’s mouth twitched in satisfaction. She refrained from inviting Mora into further conversation, which she could see irritated the Keeper into rereading information trice times over.
The elevator chimed, and the doors opened. They passed a pair of scientists that were waiting their turn for the elevator and started down another series of white corridors before Mora broke.
“I’ve heard subject seems to be responding well to the treatment,” the woman said conversationally, baiting the Field Agent into telling her more. Bottle blonde, Basil decided and merely grunted in response. Mora pursed her lips, defeated, and kept quiet.
Without knowing it, Mora had told her more than she had heard in months. She had stopped receiving updates on the shifter, and although there was no rule against updates on subjects, it was unusual for Field Ops to keep tabs on them; especially after they were off the case file and in the Compound. For all she knew, Stonerue was dead. Subsequently, she had shown up at the Compound for the first time in over a year, just to check on her. Basil couldn’t say why little dark haired girl interested her so much.
Mora showed her to a small, plain room with a large two-way mirror. Basil thanked her, and waited for the other woman to leave before immediately turning to the window and looking for Aurora.
The room was small, and white. Everything in the chamber was white, including the table, chair, and bathroom fixtures in the corner. Across the room on a white covered bed, a splash of black like ink on fresh paper interrupted her vision. It took a moment for Basil’s hazel scrutiny to focus the blots into a form that made sense.
Dressed in a white backless gown, Aurora Stonerue sat on the mattress with her back to the window, chin on her knees and her arms wrapped around her legs. Her black hair was tied up, away from her shoulders where a mess of black and red marred her shoulder blades. Basil’s eyes widened in shock as she took in the black feathers that seemed to burst from the girl’s skin, some of the shafts still incased in a white sheath of growing feather. Foot long appendages that could only be the skin and growing bones of wings twitched intermittently.
“What the hell?” She said aloud, and drew closer to the glass to get a better look. Aurora’s skin was red, and bleeding. It looked painful. Basil stared for long moments, then, remembering herself looked around. The square screen she sought was on a side table. She took two steps, and snatched it up, tapping at the screen furiously in demand for information. It yielded little. She was not allowed access to full records, and she growled in frustration and looked up at Aurora again.
She sighed, and her face changed as anger turned into sorrow. After a moment, she noticed the girl rocked gently from side to side. She remembered when Aurora had stood on the Novello Theatre stage, her body slowly swaying gracefully. Her gaze narrowed in thought, then shifted to the sill where a large screen displayed commands. She tapped the “Audio” button, and the invisible speaker made a light hum of white noise. She tapped the volume button impatiently until it was as high as it would go and listened carefully, holding her breath.
There was nothing at first, then a small almost mewling could be heard. The sad sound took shape into a tune, then lyrics, and emotion welled up in Basil’s throat as she realized she knew it. It was an old song from a few hundred years past. Aurora had slowed the tune into an unhurried, mournful beauty. Basil hummed a few chords off key, then, uttered the verses softly.
“… singing in dead of night, take these sunken eyes and learn to see. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free. Blackbird fly, blackbird fly into the light of the dark black night.”
Even in the half whispered old Beatles song, her voice was heartbreaking, perfectly in tune and effortless. Basil inhaled deeply, letting out a shuttering sigh as she put her hand to the glass. Her eyes watered, but tears did not fall and she blinked them away.
“Basilevsky,” a voice snapped. She jumped a foot and whirled. Behind her, the floor manager she only knew as ‘That Marble Faced Asshole’ stood in the open doorway. She never could remember his real name, but knew she couldn’t stand the emotionless freak. The longer she was in the business the more she realized she didn’t like anyone she worked with.
“Sir,” she said in reflex and winced inwardly. He wasn’t above her and she didn’t answer to him. She expected him to sneer, or smile in greedy pleasure at her reaction. Instead, he looked at her expectantly. She cleared her throat, and took a few steps toward him as she straightened her shoulders.
“Ahem. Doctor,” she nodded in greeting. What the heck was his name again? She tried not to be obvious as she glanced at his nametag but couldn’t quite make it out. “What is to happen with this subject?”
“On watch,” he said flatly.
She resisted the urge to repeat him in confusion. It had always been her opinion that only the slow of mind or hard of hearing repeated words like a pet parrot. She was neither.
“For how long? Isn’t she to be released into The Menagerie?” She asked incredulously. At least there she wouldn’t be tortured any longer.
“No. Are you finished here, Ms. Basilevsky?” He didn’t answer to her either.
She wracked her brain, but couldn’t think of an excuse to linger. She had to be careful not to get banned from the floor. It wasn’t off limits, but she had no official business there either and had to tread lightly. She turned to look at the girl, and almost jumped a second time.
Aurora somehow moved to the two-way mirror, her fingers touching the glass where Basil’s had been only moments before. Her once normal sized, dark eyes were almost entirely taken up by depthless black, and they were staring at her … again. How the hell does she do that? Aurora’s face was ghostly white, and the purple under her eyes were so dark it looked like bruising. She was too thin, and the hand on the window was shaking. The look on her face was one of unnerving suffering. It chilled Basil to the bone.
She forced herself to turn back around before the man noticed anything. Basil clutched at her composure; she had heard about the subject testing, but being treated like this?
“Yes,” she said slowly. She had to find out more. “But, isn’t it customary to treat any kind of wounds for pain and infection?”
“No, is that all Ms. Basilevsky?”
Her temper spiked. She tapped her foot, eyeing him but couldn’t think of anything else. This wasn’t her territory; succinctly she was beaten. Basil would bow out of this one, but she wasn’t done here yet. Not if she could help Aurora.
October 2298 Wroclaw, Poland
“The Baranina was excellent. Now, tell me about this girl, Sasha,” Albin Zsavago said with monotonous effort as he settled back in the comfortable chair. He took a cloth napkin, dabbing at the imaginary leavings of the grilled lamb.
“Yes, well. She was found by an acquaintance of mine a few years back. She’s truly a wonderful little creature. The voice of a little angel, I tell you,” Sasha said sounding eager, a little too eager for Albin’s taste but no matter. Sasha was a provider of talents, and one of the best on the market. At least he knew how treat his guests. The Baranina was truly wonderful …
“Where did she come from?” Albin said tracking back to the conversation, and ordered a Cognac when the servant appeared, and whisked away their plates.
“Here, actually,” Sasha said with a knowing smile. It was no secret that Albin Zsavago was a patriot, though he homed in England for business reasons. “In Poznań. She was just a tiny little thing, singing on the street. Her mother parted with her for very little, considering. It must have been a fortune to a poor woman though.”
“How old is she now?”
“Ten. She would have to continue her training; her voice must be kept pure – though she’s quite the natural,” he said already seeing the złoty flow, though Albin would pay in pounds. It was one of his rules.
Albin grunted in thought, and sipped at his Cognac the servant had set in front of him. Training would cost him more money. If she was worth it, then he wanted her. He would have to see her…
“Would you like to see her picture?” Sasha tempted, reaching into his breast pocket and sliding out a square tablet. Before Albin answered, Sasha hit a button and a hologram video of a beautiful little girl hovered over the screen. He set it on the table.
The older man leaned forward, setting down his drink. He stared at the girl, whose angelic white face contrasted exotically with her jet black hair and dark eyes. The audio poured out such a sweet melody. Albin smiled. The tune was Na Wojtusia z popielnika, a very old Polish lullaby he had not heard in years. Sasha was good – very good. He knew his clients, and how to pull their strings.
“I want her. This aniołek,” Albin said. “Let’s talk price.”
Sasha smiled and sat back in his chair. He was going to make a fortune.
November 2307 Keepers Compound, On Location
“So you just put her out there? Without anything?” Basilevsky demanded in shock and fury. She had come back to the Compound to check on Aurora, only to find her gone. She had been coming every few months to see the girl. She knew it was stupid to get attached, that there were plans for her … but she couldn’t help it. She was just so … innocent.
“Yep,” answered The Marbled Faced Asshole. He didn’t bother to look up from the newspaper he was reading.
“You realize she has no skills right? She’s never done anything for herself! I’ve watched her for years! The jewelry that once hung from her throat was more than you made in a year!” she said, her voice shaking. Then, she whispered, “She’ll get killed out there.”
“Probably,” he agreed and turned the page.
“Then what was the point!? You guys tortured her to an inch of her life, made her a freak and then just sentence her to death?”
Finally, the doctor looked up at her with irritation.
“She was a freak to begin with, unnatural, an animal. She’s lucky to be where she is now, and will probably feed one of the others, maybe not. She’s succeeded in learning to fly – so maybe there’s hope for her. Doesn’t make much of a difference anyhow,” he said his tone flat and unyielding. He pushed out of his chair and stood, towering a full head above Basil looking coldly into her hazel hues.
“Now, if you get off my floor and stay off of it we will get along better. I have tolerated your visits for year. It’s over Basilevsky.”
Basil vibrated with emotion. She could hear what he didn’t say in his voice. This is why people like you are eventually eradicated from the project. You care too much for no reason, and cause problems.
Last straw. Damn it all she couldn’t do this anymore. Not after Aurora. The girl had been treated like property her entire life. Albin Zsavago had used her as entertainment for years, and her mother had sold her when she was five. Still the girl was kind, and sweet and trusting. Nothing had ever happened to her before the Compound. She had been practically kept in a glass box before a year ago; she’d never even scraped knees. She hadn’t screamed when Basil and Hodge had extracted her in England. She was innocent and they treated her like a lab rat.
“Fine,” she barked and grabbed her name tag. “For the record, you’re the animal,” she said with venom as she slammed the tag into his chest, and turned on her heel. She walked out of the room and down the hall toward the elevator, her high heels clacking loudly.
He stepped outside of the room to watch her curiously. She was already in the elevator, and hit the button glaring at The Marbled Face Asshole. Fury radiated from her.
“I quit,” she said just loud enough to echo down the hall back to him, and the doors closed.