Description: Hayley finds herself with a rough day. Her professor is picking on her, her dad is missing in action again, and she is forced to work and do school at the same time. She just wants to go home, say hello to her mother, and cry into a pillow on her bed. Except, of course, Jezebel is there. And Jezebel is not her mother. And Hayley finds herself battling against the center of her mind, as Jezebel finds ways to get what she wants from the traitor Spangles... as well as finally complete her family.
The professor's hand came down solidly on the side of Hayley's desk, causing her to jolt awake with a start. In doing so, the chair tilted back precariously, spilling Hayley onto the floor.
"I'm sorry Professor, I didn't mean to fall asleep in class again!"
"I'm certain you didn't, Miss Bretherton, but the fact of the matter is you did. If my class is such a good sleep aide for you, maybe it's best if you drop it."
"I'm sorry, Professor! Once I get my schedule in order, I promise it won't happen again."
As she walked down the stairs, Hayley's bag caught the handrail. With a spin, the girl turned to try and catch herself, grabbing hold of the rail by spilling the contents of her bag in the process. Books and papers scattered everywhere, as did her Wendy's uniform. Her water bottle unscrewed in the chaos, splashing water all down the front of her shirt and leaving her a soggy mess. As Hayley worked to pick everything up, she started to sniffle and dab her eyes with her fingers. Working part-time had made it hard to get enough sleep for class, but Hayley was doing what she had to to afford tuition with her circumstances like they were.
After a long trudge back home, Hayley opened the door and tossed her bag to the side.
"Mom! I'm home!"
Life was sometimes hard for children.
The tall, mousy-blonde haired woman stands barefoot in the kitchen, dressed in a long, lacy apron of a union jack. Her hair was tied in braids, but there was no jeans, no vests. Only a simple pair of comfortable sweatpants, and a loose blouse. She looks up, as the door is opened. She didn't know who it was, precisely, but she felt in her heart. It was too soon for her husband to come home. So that would only mean...
It was her sweet daughter, Hayley.
Jezebel smiles warmly, not stretched across her lips like a steady scar. Speaking of scars, there are absolutely none. The smooth faced mother, with no horrible whipped scars, and both eyes open, beautiful blue eyes that radiate a mother's warmth. Little freckles pepper her face, almost giving her a youthful presence in her age.
"Welcome home, Hayley!"
The voice rings out through the house, beckoning for the young girl to make herself known. Jezebel couldn't get up and go to her just yet. She was cooking! On the pan are hamburger patties, soaked in recently cooked bacon fat. The applewood bacon itself was on a small plate by the stove. Slices of american cheese, hamburger buns, and lettuce are on standby, with freshly mixed catsup and mayonnaise in small bowls. The rosy-cheeked mother looks into them. "I am making some Baconators for dinner! You can come on by to help out!" She calls out, as she delicately pokes the patty with her spatula.
"How was school, sweetie?"
"Thanks, Mom," Hayley says, moving down the hallway and pushing her bag firmly out of the way of foot traffic. She takes a deep breath, brushing her blue-black hair back and moving down the hallway and into the kitchen.
"Oh, it was awful, Mom! I fell asleep in class again, so my professor had to tell me off for not paying attention. Then my bag got caught on the stairs, and I had to clean it all up when everything spilled out. Look!" Hayley gestures at her shirt, still soggy from the loosed water bottle.
Hayley moves to wash her hands and help with dinner, her manners perfectly right even if she's had a hard day.
Jezebel hears the events, some of the light leaves her eyes.
"You fell asleep again, Hayley?" She says, as she lowers the heat on the pan. Flipping the burger, she lays the cheese on, as she frowns so much. "Oh, and your bag got caught on the stairs, what awful luck! My poor baby! I hate how that professor is so mean on you. I should give him a piece of my mind... oh, but that wouldn't help anything, oh sweetie, it would make it worse." WIth the cheese in place, she pulls away from the stove, as Hayley washed her hands.
And Jezebel embraces her daughter.
Clutching a towel with her hand, she pat-pats, to try and dry Hayley off. "oh, sweetie. It's okay. How were you so sleepy? I make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time; I know you are a grown woman, and you can make your choices yourself, but you're not. And the only other thing is that part time work..." And Jezebel trails off. The hiss of the burgers growl, as she furrows her brow.
"... It's your father again, isn't it?"
Hayley washes her hands like a machine. The use of the soap, the water, the way she dries them is all perfect and textbook exact. When Jezebel embraces her, Hayley tenses up briefly, then leans back into her mother's grip. She presses the back of her head against Jezebe's shoulder as she finishes drying her hands.
"Oh, well," Hayley says. What's my job again, Hayley asks herself. No, that doesn't matter.
"Well, you know how he needs help, Mom..."
Jezebel's concern escalates.
The reaction is subtle. Pulling away the towel, she tightens it, gripping it as she twists it tight. Stress. Pressure. Frustration. What the job was? It wasn't important. It was never important. Because Hayley talked about the most important thing. How he needs her help. How her -husband- needs Hayley's help. "But that's not the point." Jezebel says firmly, shaking her head.
"He's neglecting you, sweetie."
The room was a white room, clean and sterile. There was a strange purple light-fixture, situated high above the room. There, it was blasting a light hard into a table. Before, Hayley was strapped down. But Hayley was not bound down, she was never bound down. She never, ever, would be bound down now. But as the light was glowing hard.
And standing there, holding a towel, is Jezebel.
"He needs to help you, Hayley. He needs to care about you, he needs to focus on you, Hayley." Jezebel says. Here, in the real world, she isn't so perfect. Her face is still scarred, her eye is still missing. But at least, she was wearing the mom ensemble, with the apron. A one-sided mirror is peering into the room in on the wall, as Jezebel.... speaks with Hayley. She couldn't see the illusion. She couldn't. But she could listen, and improvise, and act. It was all on the seat of her pants.
She wasn't even supposed to be here, even.
Like with SErgei, Jezebel forced her way to the lab, forced her way in. She explained, just like Sergei, that the acting was important. ANd most of all, she wanted to work with Hayley. She -knew- Hayley. And she could fix her. And any objections from staff was ignored as Jezebel forced her way in, dressed in the apron, to begin the game of suggestion. They couldn't even tell if she was really helping. As far as they can tell?
Jezebel wants to fulfill some mommy fantasies before scrubbing the poor girl's head clean.
Hayley shakes her head as if she's trying to clear some cobwebs from it. "He is?" she asks, biting her lip. "I mean," Hayley tries to think. When was the last time she actually saw him? It was so long ago. Jezebel must be right.
"What should we do about it, Mom? Can you talk to him?" she asks, still pressed against Jezebel.
On the table, Hayley squirms, tugging against the restraints. It's brief before she settles down again.
It okay to struggle.
Even in the dream, Jezebel could feel it. Jezebel is always right though. She was mother. She is Hayley's loving, supportive, directly emotional mother who doesn't leave her for acting gigs, but is physically there when she feels bad. And yet, when she asks about what to do, Jezebel... Jezebel locks up. Something is wrong, something -pulses- in the illusion.
She had to unfreeze. ANd yet, as she stands there, the entire... play stops. Because she imagines it. She imagines her dreams, where she was... she relived that moment in childhood. She's been thinking more and more about her family. What Hayley deserves, as part of her future in a Spangles Paradise. But Jezebel had to do something. Anything. Because if she can't even perform this? She's not even useful. Jezebel focuses hard. She needed to draw from the well. Just imagine him like the worst parents you could even imagine, Jezebel.
Just imagine yourself like that mother you always wanted.
"No." Jezebel says, as she runs to the stove. She... she smashes the burgers together, into full baconators. She just packs up, as she shakes her head. Not in madness. But in firm, dedicated focus, in iron resolve. It was forcing in the context of the unreality, of the fantasy, so hard and powerfully. And yet, so real at the same time. "Come on. We're going to where your father works."
"You are going to talk to him, sweetie."
"You are going to make him stop everything, and make him listen to -you-" Jezebel says with the focused tones. "we're going to daddy's work, baby. We're going to his work- and we're going to make him listen to what he did to you." And Jezebel, clutching the homebrewed baconators, rushes towards the door. Not just Hayley's dream, coming to life.
In the dream, Hayley feels the pulse. Her head hurts. The world spins. For a moment, the play teeters on collapse as Hayley clutches her head. Can't think straight. Can't see straight.
But then it starts to make sense again. The world stops being fuzzy like a VHS with problems on the magnetic tape. Hayley shakes her head again. "--right. To his work, so I can tell him what he did."
"To tell him what he did."
Hayley tenses on the table, turning her head and biting her lip. She makes a wordless noise, as if she were trying to say something but the words won't come together.
She follows her mother like a girl on a mission. A mission to set things right.
Jezebel doesn't let it lay on the ground.
She refuses to let this happen. THey come out all together, the pair of a mother and a daughter. Through the hall, clutching the burgers. Everything was burning, in this beautiful fantasy world. Out in the open, you could almost feel the cool wind of evening blowing over the summer nights. Jezebel strides out into the street, as a car comes roaring in down the street. Jezebel doesn't even look as she comes out in traffic. Hundreds of hours of safety surges around her.
And it refuses to hit her.
There is a crash as it rips into the telephone pole, smashing hard into it as it does everything. Jezebel walks up to the driver's side, and pulls him through the broken window. She flings him away. Jezebel flips the car, and it tumbles over the wall, knocking it down. The pieces scatter and spread, as she carves it apart with her bare hands.
The entrance to the studio.
Jezebel was smiling, a real smile burning on her lips, as she charges forward, charges ahead past the security. The guard steps out of the booth. "Um, excuse me, do you have some ID? We are shooting right now, and you can't just barge in-"
And Jezebel drives his foot hard into his abdomen.
"Come on, Hayley!" Jezebel says brightly, as the guard collapses on the ground, writhing in agony. "We got to hurry! They are shooting right now! Daddy -has- to pay attention to you, Hayley." Jezebel gives a viscous drop kick to the guard as he is down. And then again. And then again. "These people are just in our way. And they have no right to stop us from coming to him. He -has- to care about you." Jezebel looks back to Hayley.
"Because he loves you, sweetie."
Hayley walks in synch with Jezebel as she walks into the street. It's a strange, unnatural sort of synchroncity. In the moment, all that Hayley can focus on is her mother walking in front of her, leading the way. (Mother? Is that her mother?) Hayley shakes her head, chasing those thoughts away. The car swerves, and crashes, and for a second Hayley stops. (This isn't right. What's going on? I should help that man.)
Jezebel extracts him, flipping the car and tearing down the wall. (This is so surreal. What's going on? Is this a dream?) Hayley hears ringing in her ears, growing, growling like an engine, like a generator spinning at full speed until there's nothing but that shrill, dull whine. Where was she again?
The studio, right. This is where her father works. It has the soundstages, and those blinding lights, and the cameras. Hayley pauses for just a moment to look at the guard, writhing there. (Shouldn't I--)
"I'm coming, Mom!" The thought passes. Hayley stares at Jezebel emptily for a precious moment.
She smiles. "That's right! Of course he does!"
"What should you do, Sweetie?"
Jezebel asks directly, the smile burning on her lips as she looks over her shoulder. "When you think about every single person who walked over you, how many let you walk over them? How many gave up a little bit of themselves for your sake?" Jezebel face keeps grinning, as she grinds the heel into the man. "Where is your piece, sweetie? When will people start doing things for you? They won't, Hayley. They never do, because nobody thinks about doormats until they have to wipe their feet That's why you have to take it. And if anybody stops you? You have to fight them. It's not about being a show, sweetie. It's about being a real person." Jezebel cups her ears. "Sounds like the show is starting, sweetie!"
"Lets give daddy a visit~"
Jezebel walks up to the massive double doors to the studio. With a kick, she stomps on it. Slowly, she walks forward, knocking the doors down slowly as she strides in. The interior crew doesn't seem to notice the forced entry, the door even smashing a pair of actors underneath it's size. Jezebel stands out on the stage, looking around, clutching is baconators obsessively. The crew continues their stirring, ignoring or oblivious to the violent entry. "What's going on in here, Sweetie? What's the show?"
"And is that your professor there too?"
How many did do that? Hayley asks herself. How many people let her gave of themselves to help her? Where IS her piece?
Hayley remembers fighting Abel, Raiden, Yun, Rashid, Mint, Clio. Did any of them really help her? What about Kelly? Hotaru? Everything is a blur. Did they help her? She remembers fighting them. (Didn't Raiden offer her...something? Advice? Didn't Rashid give her m--)
The world buzzes again. The steady thump of Jezebel kicking the security guard echoes in her ears. Is this what it takes? Is that what's keeping her from everything she wants?
Hayley rubs her head. What about her father, what did he do? Why can't she remember? Why does her head hurt? (This is wrong, Hayley, what are you doing. Everything is weird. Everything is--)
The slam of the doors draws Hayley's attention back to the present. Jezebel is talking to her. What is she saying again? Is that her professor? What IS the show? What did they do in the studio like this? (There wasn't a studio, it was always--)
No, no, focus. FOCUS. Jezebel is trying to help you, Hayley. Shouldn't they be doing demonstration segments? That's right. Actors are doing katas. Sparring with each other. It needs to look authentic, like a dojo.
But what about the professor? What about how he was so nasty to you earlier? (I'm not even in --)
"Yes, that's him." Hayley says, looking up with fire in her eyes.
"They are -all- there, Hayley."
Jezebel strides out amongst them, sweeping her hand around at all the katas, the actors sparring. Just like a dojo. "Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Bajiquan, Shaolan Style, Karate- all of them are there. Even the professor is part of it, they are all part of Daddy's real project, what he thinks about. What he always imagined was his real pride and joy. Showing off the world's greatest martial arts. But Hayley. But sweetie."
Jezebel whispers in her ear, so close, embracing her from behind as mommies do sometimes. "He takes and takes and takes, sweetie. But Mommy gives, Mommy Jezebel gives, and even he takes from Mommy. He is a taker, not a giver. And even when he takes... what does he take from you? He never gave you anything to grow and develop. You aren't even worth taking from anymore, now that you are all grown up. And everyone he takes from now... are just making fun of you, sweetie. Daddy just used you up. You can't make it big... not without Lightning Spangles... or unless you make Daddy learn a lesson. Your style is missing, Sweetie. The real style, that he taught and trained you in, that he claimed was to make you better." Jezebel's smile somehow gets so big, that is almost coils around Hayley.
"Why don't you show them yours, sweetie."
Where is her style? Her masterpiece, that she spent hours developing, practicing, and training to use? Is it not good enough? Is that what it is?
Hayley bites her lip as Jezebel keeps speaking. She's closer now. So close that it's uncomfortably close, but Hayley doesn't resist it. Isn't this what she wants? Doesn't Hayley need someone to take care of her? Isn't that what her dad was doing?
But she can see them laughing now. It rings in her ears, even over that weird, oscillating hum. Why are they all laughing? (Why is Jezebel smiling like that? That doesn't seem right, that seems--)
"No, no!" Hayley protests, she crouches down, breaking from Jezebel to cover her head with her hands. "Stop laughing! It's not funny! I've been working super hard! I'm getting stronger!" Are you really, Hayley? Or are you just helping them? Letting them feel better about themselves while they take what's yours? You couldn't even stop that green-haired woman. (Wait, where did she take--)
"Why are they laughing? It's not funny!" Hayley pulls her head down lower. "It's not a joke. I'm a serious martial artist! Tell them, Dad, why aren't you telling them? Why did you leave?"
"You're right, Hayley."Was that mommy spangles voice? Or was that Jezebel? A tone of pure... disgust comes from her lips, as she stares around. She couldn't hear the laughter, no, not really. But she could, she could imagine them. She could share the very same pain Hayley had. Even when Hayley breaks away, Jezebel felt everywhere. As they laugh... Jezebel places a gentle hand on her shoulder. "It's not funny. It's not a joke. You -are- a serious martial artist. I always believed you were. I..." The character might be breaking. But Jezebel... Jezebel had to tell her.
"You -are- awesome, Hayley."
"You aren't just stronger. You -are- strong. You are a- you are a very strong girl, and you have so much incredible potential. But all those sick and diseased people laughing at you? Laughing at us? They are afraid of our power. Even -Art- is, even Daddy is, because someday, you will become better than him. Someday, you will just ab-abandon him, because he is just holding you back. Someday, you will never ever talk to him, until he dies alone and in pain, because of how badly he treated you. And they deserve it."
Jezebel suddenly sniffles, tears coming down her cheeks.
Because they think we are just pretending a game. You know what, Hayley? I hate them. Every single one of them makes me so angry, because I see such a wonderful, passionate woman, who actually believes in trying so hard to make things beautiful. To make martial arts into an -art-. Not some commercial garbage where you wrap it up into some useless packaging." And Jezebel holds up the baconator at eye level to Hayley. "This isn't a corporate shell, this isn't fake fast food. This is lovingly made by hand, Hayley. Just like you. Just like everything you've done. You could break every one. You could make your daddy under your foot, make him stare. Show them what happens when you aren't pretending a game, and when you would do anything to win. But I have one question for you, Sweetie."
"Are you ready to make him learn his lesson?"
Hayley slowly rises without looking up. She sways on her feet like a punch drunk. Slowly, she lifts her head up, wiping her nose with the back of her fist. She sniffles.
"Y-you're right, Jezebel, I need to show them how hard I worked. They have to see why they shouldn't be laughing." Hayley clenches her fist so tightly it pops. "I need to show my dad that I'm good enough now, and that he shouldn't have left. I'll show everyone just how strong I am!"
Hayley powers forward and knees one of the stage hands in the stomach, buckling him over. She throws him across the stage, crashing through a wall. Another extra charges her, but Hayley lays him out with a solid right cross. Before a third can approach she's already on the move, turning on her heel into a spinning tornado kick that smashes the girl into the floor. And then, then Hayley kicks down another stage wall to where her dad is filming.
(This is wrong. What did these people do? Why is this--)
"Dad!" Hayley says, "Where have you been! I've been looking everywhere for you, and you just keep avoiding me!"
It was happening.
"Good job, Hayley!' Jezebel says brightly, giving a full force applause. The reality wasn't clear to her, but she could hear it. "Make them pay for laughing at you, make them understand just how awesome you are! How strong you are! Oh, Hayley, you are so wonderful, and I am so proud of you!" And then, the wall comes tumbling down... revealing the end goal for all this. The father. Jezebel gasps, as she is at Hayley's side. "He can't... He can't run away this time, Hayley. He can't run away. But..."
"What will your father do, now that he has seen just how -strong- you are!?"
Steadily, Jezebel releases the straps. She had posed Hayley in a sitting position; it wouldn't be long before she was in a standing position. This was it. Jezebel's heart was pounding. She was giggling. NOt out of joy, but nervousness now. This was... this was off script. This was against the rules. But Jezebel wanted Hayley to understand, to be a part of her forever. And there was only one way to do it. She turns to the mirror'd window, and nods her head to the unseen people on the other side. "Okay, this it folks!"
"Bring in Art."
The door to the interior opens wide, as the man is staggered inside. Shoved inside, as Jezebel walks to him. The same drugs, the same hypnotic effect. A bag over his head. And Jezebel, guiding him, spins him around, lets him dance almost, as she turns. She releases him, as she sends the man stumbling forward.
Right into her daughter.
"ART! STOP! HONEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?"
Art looks up at Hayley as she strides forcefully across the soundstage. Another extra charges at her, but Hayley catches the other woman, plants her hip against the woman's midsection and hooks her arm under the woman's armpit, then tosses her across soundstage to rip through another papery wall.
"I finally found you! You left me, Dad! You left me when I needed you most! I know I lost, but you should have been there! I would've had it next time, I just needed..." Hayley trails off from shouting.
Art just stands there for a long moment, like someone who forgot their line in a stage play. There's this empty air where Hayley, red-eyed and hoarse, is looking for her line. Art is silent.
In the lab, Hayley mirrors those movements. She walks across the room steadily, incoherent of the chill of the space around her. Unaware of the equipment, the scientists looking on with confusion. She walks toward Art in this space, still lost in her hallucination. That dream world pieced together by Jezebel's suggestions and Shadaloo's technology.
"ART! STOP! HONEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?"
Hayley's head jerks toward Jezebel's shouting, but when she turns back to her father, he's assumed a fighting stance.
"You lost, sport," he says to her flatly. "I had to leave because you couldn't win. I put everything on you, taught you everything that I knew, and still you couldn't do it, sport. Why are you such a loser? Are you any better now?" Art pushes forward, throwing a punch at Hayley.
Hayley bites her lip. Is she better? Is what he's saying true? (He wouldn't say that, this is wrong. Why would Daddy say that, he must--) NO, he left. Why wouldn't he say that? He said it when he disappeared on you. He said it with his absence. Of course he means it. He was using you. Using you for the money. Why else wouldn't he fight himself? Why wouldn't he--
The punch comes and Hayley ducks blocks it with her forearm on a well-trained reflex.
Hayley's expression sours. She raises her arm to block a punch that isn't there as her father staggers closer.
Hayley throws a knee like a cannon shot, using it to stagger her father back. "I've improved!" she shouts. "If you'd have just waited, you'd see how much better I am, Dad!" Hayley steps into the knee with a right hook, throwing the punch as a rapid follow-up. "I'll show you! You'll see how much I've improved!" Hayley is still shouting, getting hoarse now.
Jezebel clenches her teeth, as the blows come.
She feels herself giggling on the inside. On the inside, but not the outside. Not outside. Guilt and shame rush through her as Hayley -unleashes- on her flatfooted father. Both in reality, and without. The actress just forces the smile. Everyone would be confused. Everyone would not -understand- the madness. But Jezebel understood. So when Hayley tears into her father?
She lives through her.
Jezebel watches as Hayley continues, as she watches the carnage. "Good work, Hayley! Good work sweetie! He's... he's learning! Don't you see, Art?" She calls out. "Don't you see how you have been a bad father and husband? Don't you see how you mistreated the people you love? You deserve this, you deserve all this! You just had to love the people you always believed in! You -always- had to love them, Art!" Jezebel circles both Hayley and Art, eyes wide, as she keeps clear of the 'fighting.' "Are you even sorry, Art?"
"Aren't you even going to apologize to your wife and daughter?"
Art makes a startled, disoriented grunt when Hayley decks him. Still drugged, the man barely seems to comprehend what's going on. Barely, because one thing sticks with him even in this state.
"Hrgh. Hayley?" he asks, with vague understanding.
"Hayley?" Art says to his daughter. "What are you doing here? You shouldn't be here. You're not a champion yet. You're still just--"
Hayley punches him again, this time with her left. She snaps around with a side kick, slamming him into the ribs. "I'm doing my best!" she says tearily, "but I don't have a teacher!" She snaps with a second kick, grappling onto her father and delivering another, then another. Each kick punctuates. "I tried." Wham. "And tried." Thump. "AND TRIED!" The third kick is a walloping blow that knocks Art to the ground on his back.
"But you never came! I got better, but you just ignored me! You just---"
Hayley drops down onto her knees, hands between them. "You just stayed gone."
(This is a nightmare. This isn't right, this isn't---)
Hayley clutches her head and screams sharply. "You'll see, Dad! Everyone will see! I'll--" Hayley says on her knees and then topples over backward, her chest rising and falling heavily. She doesn't say anything else right away.
Art slumps against the far wall, bruised and battered. "Hayley...? Honey...?"
The scientists are speechless.
They barely can comprehend what was happening. Everything... everything would need to be thrown out. The entire procedure was comprimised. They would have to -kill- the subjects, all of them. They couldn't fix this. They could never fix it. And yet, as the screaming comes, Jezebel spins around, her face -burning- with a smile.
And Jezebel wraps her arms around Art.
She coils around the man, as she strokes him, descending on him like an angel. "Ssssssh... ssssssh.... it's okay, Art." She cools, as she gently brushes her fingertips on him. "Your sweet, sweet wife is here. Your new wife. Hayley's new mommy." Jezebel whispers, as she pulls away the bag. The woman eases herself, right in front of his eyes, looking to Hayley, and back. "Hayley's mommy. Your wife. Your loving... loyal... wife."
And there, she gives a kiss to the man.
"We can do this." She says, as she pulls away. "We can make this happen, in a new, beautiful family. Hayley, daddy will love an drespect you, as long as you do what you -need- to do, to make sure you are excellent." She dances, descending on Hayley, lifting her up. Was this reality? Was this fantasy? It was so.... so overlapping. The old life was ending. And a new dream was becoming born, pushed out like the Baconator Jr. "And Art, honey... honey, you need to accept this. You need to accept your daughter, and your family. Don't you see?"
"It'll all be taken away again, Art."
"It will all go away. You will hurt Hayley again, so much, so hard, and you will enjoy how much you hurt her. Because without your family, you are nothing but a monster. A horrible, horrible monster. You need us. You need us so much. And you will go away, hurting your Hayley, our Hayley." The haunting glow of mind control vibes thrusts in both Hayley and Art, the exhausted pair as the drugs sink in. The Shadaloo brainwashing getting a... saturation of Spangles.
And Jezebel opens her arms.
"Lets have a great big group hug..."
"... My darling, darling family."
Art groans groggily. His ribs and face ache. The whole world is a blur. Is Hayley here? Why is Hayley here? Where is here? Why is here? The bag goes away, and there's this woman. Who is this woman? Is this wife? What does she look like? His head is pounding, why is this all so confusing?
"Right..." Art says through a dry throat. "Hayley...what Hayley needs..." He doesn't complete whatever it is that he's saying, instead rolling into Jezebel's kissing and hugging like a ragdoll. Perfectly positioned, perfectly in order. Like the model husband and father of a Spangles
And Hayley? Hayley slowly rises to her feet, rolling her neck as she does. She obediently moves into the the group with her family, her "family" of her father and her mother, Jezebel. Hayley positions herself in the middle in the spot for a perfect family photo.
But her eyes are cold. Angry.
Only one of the scientists can make the phone call.
There was security on duty, somebody, anybody. But Jezebel was standing there, with two new Shadaloo recruits. Violent, obedient recruits. But the procedure was broken. Like with Sergei. It was effective, but... unlike Sergei, it was very clear what Jezebel was doing. And yet, only one scientist even bother to makes the call.
Because the others were staring.
Staring through the glass, at the perfect picture of a Spangles family. Jezebel was smiling, with the most plastic looking expression on her face, even amongst the hollowed out shells. A troubled daughter, a doting husband. This was it. This was her moment of Spangles paradise. An American Gothic, a moment of reckoning. "I did it." Jezebel says. "I finally did it."
"I finally got my family back."
Log created on 12:28:32 08/15/2018 by Jezebel, and last modified on 11:25:40 08/30/2018.