2020-05-15 - Bad Memories


Another night, another dream. Is Isis doing this or is someone else?

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri May 15 04:54:28 2020
Location: Paragon Investigations

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Isis has not been settled since the invasion into their dreams and the upset with the Church and Lobo Technologies. Lobo Technologies had distanced themselves very quickly from Hadrick and that had made Isis more than a little growly. She'd been sure they'd got the information they needed to incriminate the company but … it wasn't to be.

Tonight she's been out prowling - along the roof tops and around - until she could sleep.

When she could sleep, the slim feline mutant had curled up in a restless ball and her dreams … they aren't at all easy. So uneasy, they've likely been affecting Nick.

Tonight the dream is particularly violent. Isis is hunting a … person. The feeling in the dream is sharp and feral - just the thing two animalistic mutants need.

Nick has been in these spaces before but not in dreams. It has been years since Isis has been this out of her usual state in dreams. The last time had been prior to her coming to work for him. He's with it enough to know that he's dreaming - the vague and somewhat surreal landscape tells him that. But he's not with it enough to put much more thought into it than that or he would surely recognize that his clothes are somewhat dirty and torn, as if he had been living in the woods for a long time.

As for where he is? That's not clear, but it's also not important. When it is important, it will become clear. Dream logic.

It's part of what terrified the Institute about Isis. That her dream power was so strong and she'd been trained to use it as a weapon. She'd never really spoken much about it, particularly after they had 'rehabilitated' her.

The landscape starts to solidify. A backyard, bordering the woods they're lurking in - they're? It's just Nick isn't it? This is his *hunt*, isn't it?

In the backyard a young man is working. About nineteen or twenty, perhaps - and he's mutant like Nick and Isis, with striped fur and lynx tip ears.

As Nick watches, the young man finishes fixes something under the hood, nodding in satisfaction as the engine turns over. Something pushes at Nick, get him now … before his prey runs. He doesn't have much time to catch this one and return with him.

Catch and return. That makes Nick pause. He has those kinds of instincts. Catch and kill. But catch and return? He's never done that. Not hunting. Why would he do that?

And why would Isis have a dream that makes him want to?

Nick surges forward even as part of him ponders why he's doing it. He's fast. Powerful. The dream is a blur. The opposite of a nightmare where all movement is slow and ponderous. Now he seems to zip across space as if by will and nothing resists his strength once he has his grasp on his prey. The only possibility is that his prey might escape. But… not now. Now. He hunts.

And what he hunts, he cataches.

The lynxes nostrils flare and he turns quickly to look as Nick closes on him. What Nick hunts, he catches but this lynx-man … he's well trained too. He's detected the threat but he doesn't run, just turns to face it with his claws unsheathed.

Claws that gleam as the sun catches them. "Come to take me back? It's not going to happen, I'll kill you if I have to …" he growl, eyes glinting. His fangs flash as his lips draw back and Nick can see they shine as well.

There's something about the scent of this lynx. The dream has captured that as well. It's not a healthy smell, there's the tang of reverbium in it, but there's also an odor of decay.

All Nick knows from the dream is that he *must* return this man.

Nick just snarls. He wonders why. But there's nothing about him right now that thinks this is more than a dream. Sort of an awful dream but a dream all the same. He's smelled decay before. He's smelled reverbium. He's never seen this catlike mutant before but that's okay. His mind might have made that up.

The sleeping mind that does not sound the alarm because after all this is just a dream. Fortunately for dreaming Nick he never hunts alone.

He lays into the Lynx, confident that he will have help soon. Those reverbium claws might cut, but he is stronger than Innus he knows that. How he knows that, and why he knows his name, isn't important.

Inuus, that is indeed the mutants name - Nicks dream fills in some of his memories. A voice in the dark, pressed against a hard cold wall, shivering after the doctors had looked at him - again. Someone he had come to … trust and in a way, rely on. If one could rely on a voice in the dark.

Inuus is well trained though and knows how to counter Nick. He's strong too, perhaps as strong as the wolf man. It's a flurry of fur, claw and fang - where Nick is trying to subdue, Inuus is trying to kill. He's pushing Nick to respond - and if Nick wants to survive, he'll have to.

Nick can feel the presence of Isis join him - she's watching though as the fight progresses, arms wrapped about her chest. There's fear and sorrow as she watches it unfold … which is likely confusing for Werewolf.

Nick… does not kill. Nick does not kill even if his life is in danger. This is one of his bedrocks. One of his touchstones. One of the things that makes Nick himself. Nick does not kill. And in the dream the urgency and urge to kill makes him hesitate. He fights harder for a time, trying to subdue his lynx opponent. But even here, in the dream, his mind will not give assent to the most dire of exigencies.

The sorrow, the fear, makes him falter and he takes a hit. Now he takes a step back. There's safety in the woods. Or… maybe he'll die here. And still his mind doesn't sound the alarm.

The dream falters as Nick backs off, the lynx doesn't follow and the woods he steps into becomes misty. Isis is there huddled against a tree - dressed in a yellow jumpsuit similar to the one that they found her in, three years ago. She's shivering, hugging her knees to her chest.

When she looks up, her gaze is tortured and she looks past Nick, back to that garden and the lynx.

When Nick follows that gaze, he says Inuus there - throat slit and bleeding out … and when he looks back to Isis, she raises her bloodied claws to show him.

"I killed him…" She says.

"You…" Nick looks down at the image of the lynx he'd recently been fighting. "Why?" He sounds stunned. He knows of course that Isis is capable of killing. But he's never seen her do it. Mostly because he won't let her and she won't cross him on the matter.

"What… stop it. Save him." It can't happen of course. And even if it did, in the dream, it wouldn't matter in reality. He's long since gone.

Isis dream can't be changed. Try as she might - and Nick can feel it shimmer and move as she does - she can't.

"It was an assignment." She says quietly. "I try to come back here and change it but I can't. I see his eyes often." And clearly more often lately.

But Nick hadn't killed him and the dream shifts a little … now Inuus is sitting on the porch with a beer. He doesn't look well and it's clear he won't survive but … Isis can imagine that at least.

"It's what I was made for." She says.

"It's what you were made for Isis, but it isn't who you are." Nick steps forward and takes the disconsolate mutant in his arms, hugging her. He knows she regrets what she did. That it fills her with fear and doubt and loathing. And it worries her that she might become that again.

Nick has never seriously considered that possibility. And he doesn't now. Which might be something of a weakness but he doesn't think of it that way. At least… not at the moment he doesn't.

"I'm so sorry, Isis."

Isis snuggles into Nicks arms, rubbing her ears under his chin. "You did what I couldn't, Nick." She says ever so quietly. "You changed my dream. Even when the blood lust was on you. You're stronger than you know."

And that's dangerous. For him, if AIM truly wants her back.

"Inuus wasn't going to come, Nick. He was sick but I didn't know it. Not until I got here and then they had me … he let me kill him rather than be taken back. He … he was my friend. I don't want to kill you."

"You won't." Nick sounds utterly confident of that. He isn't, and Isis may be aware of that due to her empathic abilities but he at least SOUNDS confident. He hugs the little feline mutant tight and look up, and then around. The dream is still misty. Still indistinct. The body is in sharp relief though. Killing him really stuck with her.

"How long have you been dreaming of this?"

It had. It might have been first though it's likely more that she thought of Inuus as a friend, such that Isis had them. Given she had been sixteen when Nick had rescued her, she might have been very young when this occured.

He can feel her head shake under his chin "I don't know. All the time really. It got better for a bit after you found me but worse since the time in the zone when I tried to join them …" when that wolf-like mutant played that sound that made her want to go with him.

"I … how did you get here?"

"You didn't pull me in?" Isis is usually aware when she pulls people in even when she does it on accident. While Nick has never asked her about it he suspects that something to do with her power tells here how people got into the dream spaces she creates and manipulates. The very fact that she's asking the question has Nick canting his head.

"Because if you didn't bring me here… how DID I get here?" Nick can't do that on his own. Some outside force would have had to bring him here and that's a bit of a disturbing line of thought.

"…. No …." Isis says slowly, looking up and about. "I …" she doesn't finish that thought. She's been trying to deal with this on her own. Her mind goes back to that other dream recently and she shivers just as a cackling laugh sounds out through the mist.

"Very good, Wolf-man. I didn't expect this at all. Next time - and oh yes, there will be a next time - I'll be sure to give you more a challenge." the laughter continues, nearly maniacally "And your Kitten there, she'll be tested as well. You're both so … deliciously … responsive."

Nick protectively pulls Isis toward him and looks around but there's nothing. "Who's there! Who are you?!" He challenges. He's not really expecting a response. This is like the script of some kind of episode of Supernatural but… it is all too real. Nick knows there are things that hunt the dreamways. He's even met a few.

They're terrifying.

"Can you push them out, Isis?" She might not be able to, especially if she didn't notice it was here to begin with.

The mist parts at Nicks challenge and … Isis walks out of the fog. She smiles broadly with that feline look she gets. "It's me of course … how do you think I know what she dreams?" Is it really Isis or is it some entity seeking to sow doubt about the slim mutant?

Isis buries her head in Nicks chest briefly, peering out at the image of her. "It's not me, Nick. I'm not doing this …" He can feel her dream shift as she tries to move it, it warps and then 'snaps' back to where it is.

"Did you think it would be that easy, little me?" The figure taunts. "I know your innermost thoughts …"

"Nick… maybe if we work together … " Isis murmurs.

"Oh by all means, do try …"

"Sure…" Nick concentrates. Mostly this is for Isis sake. Nick has no power or ability in this realm and he isn't a lucid dreamer, but he has learned that she can somehow harness his efforts. Or maybe it just reassures her, Dumbo's feather style. Whatever the case he lends her his aid and waits.

Is this the clone? Or is this something just wearing her skin?

"Why would you do this?" Wait… if this is a clone is it the same clone? Or is it another one? Sort of like… what's his name? Wayoun. That's right.

It might be a placebo effect but Isis has certainly drawn on Nicks strength before. It's not going to be easy breaking someone elses dream, but she's done it before.

The dream shifts and warps, a bit like an escher drawing, as Isis struggles to break the dreamhold. The visage on the 'Isis' in front of Nick, shifts as well - it's humanoid but that's about all that he gets before it settles again - this time into a likeness of him. Maybe it isn't the clone - it's hard to tell really. Isis would like that show, probably - Wayoun and the other clones.

"Why? Why does anyone do anything, really? Why do you hunt, dog? Why do you shelter the kitten from me? Why won't you kill when you could so easily? Because you can … it's that easy isn't it?"

The dream shifts and Isis growls, breaking the hold the creature has on them. They'll wake up, whereever they feel asleep … somewhat worse for wear.

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