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 FotM: Her Name Was Katja II [W.I.P]

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PostSubject: FotM: Her Name Was Katja II [W.I.P]   25.08.11 22:46

[Frankfurt International Airport]

The gate terminal seemed to stretch infinitely as the trio treaded towards the exit. The flight had been long but it had been worth it for deliverence into redemption. Udo held his head high, and filled his lungs with the sharp German air. He never forgot, not in the eight years he was gone, and now that he was back even the air seemed to embrace him like a warm blanket.

The sixteen-year-old's peers seemed equally elated to be stepping on familiar foundation, yet it was clear fatigue held them both like a vice. Gabrielle's golden hair was flat and seemed lost of it's natural shine, and her tall, fit figure seemed robbed of it's natural beauty through weakness. Katja, more conservative and proud, slated her discomfort under a listless glare she held forward, as if every ounce of her conscousness were adhered to coordinating each step forward. She let her deep-red hair cloak her eyes; holding her facade. It was to be expected; she didn't take as many packs before the flight as Gabbi. She refused, said it made her sick, but she was already feeling the effects again, and she was past the point of hiding it.

With barely a stumble, Katja fell forward and dropped to her knees. Udo grabbed her arm and tried to brace her, managing to at least keep her from falling completely on the ground.
"[Easy.]" Udo said, feeling the shiver running through her skin as she fought off the wave of nausea. She took a deep, hardened breath and fought to compose herself as she held on the Udo's arm with one hand for balance and reached for her bag. Udo took it from her hand with his right and quickly threw the strap over his shoulder before helping her up. Once on her feet, she released a sigh that fanned strands of her hair in lashes on the moving air and pressed on, forcing Udo along for support, although she would try to hide the dependence. Gabbi nodded appologetically to the sympathetic travelers piling up behind them before moving along as well. Udo stared at the back of the terminal, at the EXIT sign taunting them from a distance as a familiar fear set in; time was running out already, and they'd just arrived.

Ever punctual, Herr Frank was waiting for them patiently as they emerged from the terminal. The added grey wasn't enough to distort their memory of the man. Tall, and sturdy, with a round face and a warm grin.
"[It has been so long.]" Frank said with a smile, as he guided the three out of the airport to the waiting cab outside.
"[How was the flight?]" He continued as Gabbi and Katja piled into the cab and slumped in their seats while Udo helped Frank carry the bags to the trunk. "[How did you find American schools?]"

Udo's gaze snapped to Franks with a wide-eyed expression that was gone as quick as it came; The reaction caught Frank off-gaurd, to be sure.
"[Er.. I suppose you miss the friends you've made then?]" He continued, clearly confused.
"[Yes, something like that.]" Udo finally said, mainly in effort to humor the man; he had no idea what had truly happened; why they were there, and who they'd lost, and Udo had no plans on crushing Herr Frank's delusions.
"I've definitely gotten a handle on the English language by now." He added. Showing off what Molly taught him was a way to bring his thoughts around to a positive; a beacon of light that ended up guiding them home.

Udo shut the trunk, climbed in the van after and took a seat on the outside, Gabbi to his right and Katja pretending she wasn't going to pass out in the back seat. Herr Frank climbed in the passenger seat up front, and gave a silent glance to the back before giving the driver instructions to return them to Monikahaus; to return them, at long last, to their home.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Chapter 1]
[Monikahaus]

Getting settled in for Udo was much like putting on a favortie catchers mit; there was a familiararity, a feeling of worn in comfort. Udo spent much of his first night home in the boys dorm; just lying in his bunk letting his mind wander. A river of stress flowed from him, easing his troubled mind as he allowed himself to relax and re-embrace a simple life that was taken from him. Time slowed around him, as he gave his last waking hours of the night to erasing the last eight years of his life; he fell asleep around nine.



"[Alright, where is it!?]"
Gabbi was sitting at the communal vanity staring into her own relfection; the image seemed foreign, like looking at a portrait of a stranger rather than her own reflection. Suffice it to say she was currently oblivious to her surroundings, and the girl talking.

"[What are you talking about, Kristen? No one's been in your things.]", one of the other girls responded; Gabbi didn't recognize her.
"[Bull-shit!]" Kristen flamed in response as she slammed her palm on the far end of the vanity counter-top. "[I left it right here.]"

Kristen was beginning to shudder with anger; she had yet to say what she was looking for, but it was clear it was important to her; after a long uncomfortable silence, tears replaced the angry shudders.
"[Left what where?]" Another girl at the vanity spoke up; this time Gabbi did recognize the face, but the name still escaped her.

"[My mother's musicbox...]" Kristen finally plopped down in her seat, defeated, and tears she tried to fight rolling down her cheek. In this moment Gabbi seemed to receed out of her daze to turn her glace down to the end of the vanity table, to Kristen's pathetic face. There was no pity on Gabrielle's heart, she simply allowed her gaze to move past the crying girl, to the door leading back into the girls dorm, where the bunks were.

Through the opening, Gabbi could see Katja curled up on her side and shivering, back to the bathroom on her bottom bunk about mid-way down the row of beds; it was faint, in fact Gabbi was the only one who could've heard it from that distance, but Katja's shivering was occasionally broken by heart-wrenching sobs. As a few of the other orphans moved to console Kristen, Gabbi stood from her seat, the chair screeching loudly against the ground as she pushed it back, inticing looks of intrigue and confusion from the other girls, including Kristen's soaked expression. Gabbi didn't make eye-contact with any of them as she walked slowly into the bedroom, ignoring the murmered insults as she passed; in a way, the mutal distaste her peers shared for her made her feel more at home.

When she reached Katja's bunk, she simply climbed in the bed, layed in front of Katja and wiped the tears away from her eyes with a gentle thumb. Katja avoided eye-contact out of sheer embarrasment, but Gabbi didn't fight it; she simply wrapped her arms around her, as if she were simply inviting Katja to let it go, and she did. Sobs became open weeping, and Gabbi cradled her friend with a presence of motherly concern. Gabbi knew what she was going through; she had experienced it too.

Katja lost her mother, and had come to learn her mother's assailant was her own father. The very same man who put her and dozens of other orphans and delinquents through brutal and cruel experiments. Gabbi shared this twisted fate as well, and was the very same madness that drove her to kill someone she cared for, even loved. They recieved justice; revenge against the monster, and for Gabbi it did serve to heal some of the pain and loss she felt, but for Katja, the death of her father only meant she was that much more alone. Plus, she was weak, every hour that passed brought both of them closer to death, and Katja's time was running out again. Gabbi could feel it on her, and it filled her with dread; Katja wouldn't be able to resist much longer.

* * *

"[Please... Don't...]" The girl said, choking on her own histerical sobs and snot in the dark but it was as if there were no sound at all; Sound was an illusion not percieved; cloaked by heavy desire; by hunger.
"[I'm so sorry.]" Her assailant replied with gentle regret through a grievous breath.

"[Wait, please... No.. No!]"
Her vain pleas were followed by screams so muffled, so choked and gurgled by arterial fluid, that not a sound was heard in the darkness. Only the stone-layed echo of an uneasy mixture of crying, and laughter found it's way out of the bathroom and only Gabbi was awake to percieve it. She, as she clasped her eyes shut, and fought to keep her imagination and the foreboding knowledge of her own condition from filling in the blanks of what had happened; she opened her eyes to stare at the bed next to her. The bottom bunk that, now empty, had served as an alter in comforting her friend only hours ago.

After what seemed like an eternity in silence, and no sight of Katja returning from the bathroom, Gabbi took a deep breath to brace herself for what she knew would be gruesome and slowly and quietly climbed out of bed. Her footsteps made padded anouncements against the floor tiles as she entered the bathroom. Katja was sitting on the ground at the far end of the room to Gabbi's left; at the end of the long vanity table bridging the gap between the two. Katja turned her head away and held her knees to her chest as she noticed Gabbi. There was no more tears or laughter; Katja seemed as blank as her stare.

Gabbi sighed before taking another look; she could see a shadow just to Katja's right. Her eyes were adjusting to the dark gradually and eventually, she could see in detail what was slumped next to her. It was Kristen. Frozen in her last moment of wide-eyed terror; her skin pale, almost gray in the lack of light. She was slumped back against the wall on the ground, slid down as so only her shoulders and torqued neck made contact with the wall above the baseboards, legs sprawled in a uncomfortable posture that only the dead could tolerate. Gabbi wished she could erase even this much from her mind, but it was only worse from there. Katja hadn't been discrete in the least. Blood stains, still reflecting little glints of white light against the moisture, fanned the wall to the right of the body from a gaping tear in the side of Kristen's juggular. More blood on the floor, and most of the left side of Kristen's cotton pajamas were soaked; The effect was mirrored on Katja's blood-stained clothes.

Gabbi couldn't help but lose her self in the array; an entrapment, just as Katja experienced. After a timeless pause, she snapped back to her senses with a wincing roll of the neck, like she were massaging an imaginary muscle spasm. It was alright; she still had time. She was alright. She approached Katja slowly, and kneeled down in front of her. She took another glance at Kristen, and regretted it immediately. The close-range curiosity wasn't worth the added vivid detail.

"[How do you feel?]" Gabbi asked, her focus back on Katja. She didn't reply.
"[How about this. Did it stop?]" She tried again.
"[Yeah, it's done... for now.]" Katja replied, but she couldn't keep her calm facade going and began to break down again.
"[I can't do this... I can't. I can't.]" She continued between breaths, and opening weeping; her guilt oozing through every sob.
"[I know... I know. It's just going to take time.]" Gabbi said as she placed a hand on her arm and looked back at Kristen. "[Come on. We have to move her.]"
"[What?]" Katja asked through a sniffle as she looked at Gabbi.
"[You're covered in blood; she's covered in blood. We can't just leave her here, like this, or else you'll get caught. Alright?]"

Katja was probably more shocked at Gabrielle's handle on the situation than at the idea itself. She reluctantly stood to her feet. She looked at Gabbi who was staring at Kristen's body with a thoughtful gaze; after a few seconds she spoke up.

"[Alright. You stay here, and try to clean this blood up. I can carry the body out on my own. It's dark, and both our beds are empty, if someone wakes up between here and the door, I can say that I'm helping you to the infirmary; everyone saw how sick you looked earlier. If someone comes in here; you hide, alright?]"
Katja looked at Gabbi with a wide-eyed stare. "[R-right.]"
"[After you're done, get rid of your clothes. I'll be right back.]"

Gabbi nodded before leaning down and grabbing one of Kristen's arms and hoisting her up to one side. She draped Kristens arm over her shoulder and held her up so that it seemed Kristen's body was walking beside her, if only barely. She quietly moved towards the door, paused in the frame, and listening intently to the sounds of breathing sleepers in the room, trying to pick even the slightest irregularity out of the air; it was still quiet, and so she made the short distance to the door quickly and quietly, making barely a sound as she relatched the door. From here she hoisted Kristen over her shoulder with ease and moved down the hall to the stairway; all the while racking her brain of where to put the body.

She didn't know the place like she used to; time had robbed her of the detail she had so easily memorized so long ago, but like a bright light in the night, one spot in particular stood out. There was only one place she could think to hide Kristen's body; the abandoned sewer tunnel Udo showed her as a child.

After making it outside to the yard, she felt a sense of urgency and picked up her pace; she hoisted the body over the fence, which dropped like a full rucksack, before she climbed over and resumed her journey. It was like deja vu; she'd forgotten much of the building but the alleyway leading up to the manhole was like a picture from her head. She didn't have any choice but to drop the body in first before climbing down after; her heart skipped a beat when she reached the missing step in the ladder. Regret stung her; there wouldn't be anyone to catch her if she fell this time.

She didn't bother looking for the lantern on the wall. Instead she dragged Kristen the final distance until she reached the makeshift bedroom hidden in an enclave of the tunnel. Moonlight lit the way through each sewer grate she passed. She layed Kristen on the carboard-pile topped with blankets that served once as a bed for the decapticated skeleton sitting next to it. It was in this final moment with her, a final look that Gabbi truly took in the horror of what had occured. Kristen was a beautiful girl; raven-black hair and piercing green eyes; and so young, maybe a few years younger than Gabbi, but none of that mattered now and that was the horror. It was necassary, what happened to her, but was it right? No. Did she deserve it? Not in the least and that affirmation filled her with fear; she wasn't sure if she could handle the aftermath next time, when it was her turn. She wasn't sure if she could live with more blood on her hands. Before leaving, Gabbi took the time to rearrange Kristen's body, so that she at least appeared comfortable, and fixed her hair so that it was straight and hid the wound in her neck. She then pushed ole' Rolf's remains closer to the table where his skull gazed at her, watching her. She could've sworn she felt it's gaze judging her, but knew it was only her mind, and her guilt, playing tricks on her.

"[Not a word out of you, alright?]" She said to the skull as she rose to her feet and glanced at Kristen's body once more before returning to the orphanage's grounds.

Cleaning the walls and floor took time. Katja was paralyzed with fear; afraid to leave the task until she felt certain not a drop would be found to incriminate her. Of course, it wasn't a garunteed reassurance; it was too dark to be sure she hadn't missed something, still she had just managed to move on to changing her clothes when Gabrielle returned an hour or so later.
After carrying Kristen, Gabbi had to change too, and did so quickly. After, Gabbi left Katja to shower and put both sets of bloody clothing into a gym back and stashed it under her bed. She finally laid back in her bed with a sigh. Waiting patiently, listening to the sound of running water coming from the bathroom. Before long Katja finally emerged and returned to her bunk. She sat at the beds edge for several minutes before laying down. Niether one of them could fall asleep, and so they layed awake and shared the silence until dawn.


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PostSubject: Re: FotM: Her Name Was Katja II [W.I.P]   25.08.11 22:47

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Chapter 2]

By morning, both had been able to put the night behind them. They were quick to rise; eager to get a jump on the morning before their peers woke. It wasn't until breakfast that Katja or Gabbi heard anything about Kristen; whispers that Olivia, Kristen's best friend and one of the girls Gabbi had seen consoling her the night before, had been searching for her. The speculation so far was that she had snuck-out, allowing both Katja and Gabbi to breath a sigh of relief. It wasn't out of the realm of possibility for a girl their age to want to experience the world beyond the orphanage's gates. So far they were in the clear. No one but Katja and Gabbi knew the truth; so they thought.

"[Are you two alright?]" Udo asked, placing his elbows on the table and lacing his hands together over his tray.
"[Yeah, fine.]" Gabbi replied, distracting herself by poking around her food with a fork. Katja looked away towards another table. Udo glanced at her, before taking a closer look. Her skin, it seemed to glow with a healthy tone. A bright contrast to the faded, weakened state she had been in before.
"[You look a lot better, Katja.]" He said, lowering his eyebrow, intensifying his stare. Katja tossed a look of concern at Gabbi, who returned with a glance that screamed, "Don't." Katja could only look at Udo for a moment before standing from her seat and walking away with her tray. Udo simply redirected his stare to Gabbi.

"[Alright. Your turn. What happened? Who was it?]" Udo asked.
"[Look, Udo. We can't...]" She tried to reply before being cut off.
"[Don't do that. Don't shut me out. I'm on your side here. Who was...]"
"[We're leaving. Tonight.]" She interupted.
"[What?]"
"[I haven't said anything to her about it, but it's too dangerous to stay here... For everyone.]"
"[Gabbi, look. We can...]"
"[Udo, forget it. This is our problem. I don't care what you have to say about it. You need to forget about us; go on living. You were cured for a reason; you deserve to keep living. All me and her have is the hope to die before we've destroyed more lives.]"
"[Enough. I don't like hearing you talk like this. After everything that's happened. Damien and Sean, you really expect me to look away. Let you disappear to fend for yourself. Where are you going to go? How will you survive without money or a home.]"
Gabbi was silent for a moment but eventually she stood, just as Katja had, picking up her tray.
"[Like I said. We're not your problem anymore.]" She said before taking her tray to the trash and exiting the cafeteria.

Udo was dumbstruck; he glanced around the room in some vain attempt to find anyone who had witnessed what he just had, but to anyone else, there was no context; just two teenage girls skipping their breakfast. He looked down at his tray in disgust, now completely robbed of his appetite as well. Rolling Gabbi's words in his head, he finally took his tray to the trash and intended to find the girls. He would have, if the bell for lessons to begin hadn't sounded. A flood of children of all ages funneled out of the cafeteria after him, and Udo was swept up in the tide, eventually resigning to going to class as well; He'd have to wait before he could try to talk some sense into Gabbi.

Udo, as well as Katja and Gabbi, were in for a rude awakening when classes began. Niether of them had been exposed to formal education under their captivity. Thanks to Molly, Udo was able to learn how to read and speak, yet though he could boast a well read vocabulary in English, he didn't know the German translations for much of the more progressed English he'd learned. And that said nothing for Mathematics or Biology. Social studies and Geography? Udo was lucky to be able to say America was west without a second guess. For the first time since he'd been back, Udo didn't feel at home anymore, and he had no more mind for the pile of equations in front of him than pretending he did. He kept himself occupied through the first block of subjects by doodling discretely in a notebook tucked beneath his texts, and breathed a sigh of relief when they were dismissed to lunch.

Udo wasn't suprised to find that Gabbi and Katja chose against making an appearance, but he wasn't going to let it go that easily. He turned and exited the cafeteria before he had barely crossed the threshold, cracking a smile as he pondered the futility of trying to find Gabbi in this place and so made the decision to track Katja down; no easy task. What started out as asking for a girl named Katja, eventually regressed to "Das Maedchen mit Rotem Haar". Nobody knew who he was talking about, and he never expected his few leads to take him to the auditorium.

There she was, kneeled in front of the stage riser, but it was clear she didn't desire a stage but instead an alter; she was praying. Udo did his best not to disturb her. He walked inside and down the center aisle slowly, taking a seat on the outside of the second to the front row and draped his arms casually over the seat in front of him. He watched Katja pray in silence, making not a sound, but after a few minutes he saw her head raise, followed by a soft voice.

"[What do you pray for, Udo Weber?]" She asked without looking back.
Udo was quiet for a moment, curious as to how she heard him in the first place.
"[I, don't really know. I haven't prayed in a long time.]" He replied.
"[You know, God knows when you need his help, but how will you if you don't talk to him?]" She asked with a coy tone to her voice.
"[Who says I need help?]" He replied, standing slowly, approaching Katja and knealing just to her right.
"[Nobody if you don't say so, and that's the point.]" She said, opening an eye slightly to acknowledge his presence beside her before letting it shut to refocus on the task at hand.
"[Come on, it's easy.]" She added with a spark of enthusiasm. Without looking, she snatched Udo's hand in hers and began praying aloud.
"[Father, hear our plea. Your light is our hope. Our hope is of your strength. May by your will, shine light on us, so now our path be true....]"

Udo could barely keep his mind on Katja's words for the pounding in his chest; the touch of soft skin against his. As she continued, with fluition that could only be described as poetic, Udo's mind and memory replayed his life in reverse like a gallery of photographs, chronicling the series of events that led him to that moment. But as the moments of his life rewound and all the horror and the pain returned, the slideshow stopped on one particular memory, of a small red-haired girl in a green dress, swaying back and forth alone on an old merry-go-round. Like a beacon, a shred of good, and light peered through the darkness.

"[...Our blessings we owe to you, Lord. Amen]"
Katja's voice slowly faded into Udo's consciousness, melting away the memory as he came back to reality. He opened his eyes to Katja staring at him with a warm smile. "[There. That wasn't so bad, right?]"

Udo returned the smile with an intense stare; not angry or threatening but all the while piercing, like his line of thought had just uncovered some greater understanding that he hadn't quite deciphered.

"[Udo?]" Katja asked as her warm expression shifted slightly to one of amused confusion.
"[Are you alright?]" She tried to say, but had barely made it past the third syllable before Udo had slowly closed the gap between them and kissed her, laying the final brushstroke that painted the complete picture in his mind; adding to the gallery of still-lifes in his head. The reluctant flinch from Katja was one of suprise; one that soon melted into embrace and for a brief moment time stood still for them, giving a temporary escape from the black and gray that seemed to dominate their lives.

"[Katja, about this morning.]" Udo finally spoke minutes later, ending the comfortable silence. They were still in front of the stage but were now sitting and looking up at the cluttered stage.
"[I know what you're going to say.]" She replied. "[But before you do, I need to say something. I'm leaving. I haven't said anything to Gabbi about this, but I'm afraid of this place and what I'll become if I stay.]"
She turned her head to catch Udo's gaze. "[Who I might hurt.]"
Udo just sighed as he shrugged off the sense of deja vu.
"[This is crazy.]" He said.
"[What's crazy, is letting this.. curse slowly butcher everyone we've ever known.. If this is the life I have to live, It can't be here... I can't stay here.]" She went quiet for a moment, and Udo was at a loss for words.
"[It was Kristen.]" She continued. "[Last night... I killed her.]"

Deep down, Udo knew. Nothing was ever coincidence in his world; everything was connected. He expected it in a way; the Hemophage was a curse, and Dr. Schilling had ensured death wasn't an option. They would go on killing to live; all the while reaping the benifits of the Eden Serum; ensuring that even natural death was a garunteed delay. Udo was the lucky one; he would have surely died without Dr. Schillings work, and to add to fortune his experimental strand of the serum was deemed a success without the deadly side-effect Katja and Gabbi recieved. He didn't need the implants; those titanium fangs and the nano-technology beneath the surface that ulitilized them. There was no chemical mind control activated through vital readings that brainwashed him into taking the only thing that can save them like a bloodthirsty predator. Udo was now smarter, stronger, and completely healthy, plus he'd been given special powers he didn't understand, but his friends were now paying for it.


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FotM: Her Name Was Katja II [W.I.P]
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