Blessed Innocence

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September 19th, 2019




Gender: Female
Status: Single
Age: 25
Country: United States

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May 26, 2015


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07/19/2019 01:33 PM 

Months Later

Cold. So cold. Why was she so cold? Koré walked through the darkness, arms extending out before her as she felt her way around. The dank, musty smell of stagnant water invaded her nostrils, a stale breeze blowing, rustling nothing. No dust blew up; not even her own dress moved. It was almost as if it were a non-existent wind, even if she could feel it against her skin. Where was she? This darkness was reminiscent of that prison, but she had never seen the darkest areas like this. Not had she ever smelled these scents when there.

"Makaria?" She called out, voice echoing in the black nothingness, but no reply came. There wasn't even a single sound in response. Even though she lived in Tartarus, the darkest of places as said by many, it was nothing compared to this. This was eerie, unnerving. It was Nothing, and she found herself huddling against her own body as she moved.

There was no way to tell how long she had been wandering here. Minutes or hours; it could have been either. Time moved differently between the realms, so even if it only felt like minutes, it could easily have been longer. "Koré." Her name was dragged out, a soft whisper upon the breeze. Her head snapped around, gaze wildly swinging to find the source. Good luck finding anything in that inky blackness.

 More whispers floated in and out of her ears. Soft voices caressed her, the promises of sweet nothings trying to entice her. It was all white noise, a background buzz that was giving no real semblance of words. Shadows moved around her, movements that could only be seen from the corners of her eyes. The second she tried to focus upon the movements, nothing. There was nothing there. Those whispers still flitted around her, a sense of dread falling over her. This was becoming nothing like that prison she had come to know. Perhaps it wasn't the same place.

Laughter began to echo around her, those shadows swirling at her feet. Twisting and turning as tendrils climbed up her body, they extended away from her, leaving her alone. From the depths of the shadows, a light began to swirl, slicing open as the shadows rose before her. Such a sharp contrast from the darkness she had been experiencing, that light still seemed to be swallowed by the darkness. But it rotated around inside the swirling emptiness, extending an opening and revealing a dark, rather bare room. Koré was reluctant, but shadows behind her urged her forward. She didn't really have a choice, did she? Taking a breath, she stepped forward. Those shadows seemed to quiver, almost as if they were excited. It was as if they were a living entity, thrilled with her crossing over. 

The bare room opened up before her. Well, not completely bare. Stone walls surrounded her, the shadows that held the opening just as quickly snuffing it out. She could see no way in or out anymore. Those walls were bare, cracks in them. No, not cracks. As she moved towards the walls to examine then, those cracks were revealed to be thin lines. Bunches of them with almost no space between them. There had to hundreds, no thousands of them. Tens of thousands, perhaps. A rusty bed frame rested in the corner, holding just the thinnest mattress, if you could even call that a mattress. It was practically nothing. Moving around, she turned back to the next wall, giving a start. A wooden frame stood there where just moments before there was nothing. Rising from the floor up to the ceiling, it appeared as if it were some kind of window. But it was what she could see between the frame that drew her attention. "Mother? Father?"

The two of them could be seen, heads huddled together, lips moving as they spoke, yet she couldn't make out a word they were saying. Hesitant steps brought her closer to that window, feet brushing against the dusty floor. Why couldn't she hear them? They were practically right in front of her. Arm extended out, fingers reaching toward the glass. As soon as they brushed against it the entire scene shimmered and rippled, small waves emanating from the point of contact. She knew what this was now: a sfora

"We cannot allow him to return. Not after what he did last time. He released War, for f***'s sake." Her father's voice was weary, but that anger was there. Someone had pissed him off, which never bode well for the culprit. The fact that he was still lamenting it meant that the perpetrator was someone related to them. They couldn't kill one of their own without threatening the very existence of everything. "And he's still out there, a threat to us all." What did he mean by War was released? Last she knew War was still imprisoned. She had heard nothing of him being awoken, and that was something none of them would hide from one another. Not with the threat War posed.

"Nobody has heard from War in months. Nor have we heard from Stryker in all that time. He's lying low after his failed attempt to kill Acheron." Koré's eyes widened as she heard those words. That voice...no, it couldn't be. And why did it sound like it was coming from directly in front of her. There was nobody else around her parents. Koré hadn't spoken, but there was no denying it; that was her voice. What was going on?

"You weren't around when War was ravaging the world last time Sweetie. War is vicious, cruel. He makes the Titans look like kittens in comparison. And he is powerful. If he frees his siblings, we are all dead." Persephone answered, the worry in her voice evident. "That's the only thing keeping us alive right now, I presume. He needs his siblings." Her mother's eyes lifted up, staring directly into the window she was looking through. "Koré, it took all of us to bind him last time. All of us. And that was when our power was great, when we were worshipped. Now..now there is no chance we bind him again."

She wanted to scream. They were talking as if they were talking to her. But she wasn't there with them. Hell, she still didn't know where she was. What was going on?

"I'm going to go lie down. My head hurts." It was so strange to hear herself speaking when she wasn't doing so. Then again, that really wasn't that much stranger than anything else happening right now. Or so she thought.

The views through the sfora shifted. Turns down halls, lights flickering as shadows passed over them. A sfora gave its user control over what they could see, but she wasn't controlling this. A door slammed shut somewhere around her, the loud noise giving her a start. It almost seemed purposeful. Her view slowly changed, scene turning slowly, a deliberate movement towards a mirror. "Have you figured it out yet?" That condescending tone taunted her as she could see herself. Now this was odd.

Taking a step back in shock, the reflection did not repeat the same motion. Not a true reflection. She was literally seeing herself. Those eyes, her own eyes, stared back at her, as if she could actually see her. A smirk curled up upon her lips. "Well good morning Koré. Finally awake, I see. It only took you..well, I've lost track of the time. I must admit, I did not think I'd go this long without hearing from you."

That condescending tone angered her. How dare she talk to her like that. "Makaria, I swear-" She was cut off as her throat constricted. Eyes widened in panic, hands clawing at the invisible grip upon her.

"You swear what, Sister? Don't even try. We both know you can't do anything." The words spat out in disgust. Still clawing at her throat, she could feel her feet dragging against the ground. Dust kicked up around her as her back slammed against the wall. Arms snapped up, held out to the sides, leather straps securing her in place. "You are nothing. I told you that I would be free, that you would free me. Did you listen? Of course not. So I thank you." That tone held glee in it, a joy she hadn't heard in her voice during any of their previous conversations.

"You thought you knew what it was like for me, to be imprisoned inside your mind. To be held captive for so long with no hope of freedom. You knew nothing. But that will change. Now you will know what it has been like for me. My prison is yours." A darkness crossed her face, darkening her gaze as she spoke. "Daddy's Precious Little Girl. Oh, if only he could see you now. Knew what was happening to you." Amusement sparked up in that dark gaze. "You know, our parents still don't know that they don't have you. The idiots. It's been months and they still haven't figured it out." Laughter slipped from those lips as Koré struggled against her restraints.

Months? Was she lying? There was no way months had gone by. She could remember their last conversation, remember being in her room with Xia. That was just yesterday. Wasn't it? The shackles tightened around her wrists, digging deeply into them. "You think you can get free? Please. We are Gods, but in here, you are nothing. I am the only true God here." Makaria stared daggers into her through the reflection. It was almost as if she were actually there in that prison with her. Wicked grin spread across those ruby lips. "It took me centuries to master that mindscape. To learn all the nuances of my prison. While I may have had no means of escaping it, I can manipulate anything inside of it." As if to prove her point, her fingers snapped. Instantly pain tore through Koré's body; it felt as if every fiber of her being were on fire. Her skin sliced open, cuts appearing across her entire body: arms, thighs, abdomen. "I don't even have to touch you."

Venom in her voice as she taunted her incarcerated sister, Makaria let out a laugh. Cruel and heartfelt, for her at least, the cuts receded and disappeared as she snapped her fingers again. "You're lucky the Fates are the bitches they are. As much as I would love to free myself of you, they linked us together. 'Oh, the universe requires balance'." She mocked the three of them. "Bullsh*t. So I can't kill you and free myself of this wretched curse. What I can do, however, is keep you imprisoned in my stead. And make Father pay by torturing Daddy's Little Princess."

"I haven't done anything." She tried to insist again, mustering out the words through the pain raking over her body. Muscles, ligaments, tendons, they all burned.

"You were my captor! I don't know how many times I've told you this." Shadowy mist swirled around her, rising up before Koré. Those tendrils swirled and maneuvered, taking form as they shaped into an image of her sister. Hand reached up, fingers taking a tight grip upon her chin as she brought up a knife. Nails dug into the skin upon her cheeks.

"None of this is real. It's in my head. It's not real." Koré repeated the words again and again, a mantra she tried to convince herself of. The shadowy version of herself smirked before her, lifting the free hand up to reveal that knife. The sharp blade drew across her lips, wispy tongue running along the blade.

"Real? Reality is an illusion, my sweet. Just because it's all in your head doesn't mean it's not real." That blade ran across the skin of her throat, lifting up to her cheek before running across there. Koré's breath caught in her throat. "What about this?" Digging the blade into her skin, she let a thin slice cut across her before bringing the blade further down. "Or what about this?" Sliding the blade into her ribs all the way to the hilt, eyes gleamed with delight at the pain that raked over her subject. But that pain was nothing compared to what came next as the blade twisted inside her, causing her to scream out.

"Oh, that music. I could just listen to it all day." More taunts came from her as she twisted the blade again, this time in the opposite direction. Stars flashed before her eyes, her head slumping down towards her chest. "Ah ah, can't have you passing out on me now. We're only just beginning." Hand pat her cheek as the blade was slowly pulled out of the sheath of her ribs. Energy poured into her, warmth spreading through the injury as it closed up, rejuvenating her and jolting her back aware. "That's a good girl." Makaria tilted her head as she spoke, anger crossing her features at the defiance she could see making its appearance across Koré's face. "You are nothing! And until I am through with you, you will never be free!" 

Koré laughed, perhaps the only real form of defiance she could give. Not one of hysteria or nervousness, but a full-blown laugh. They were linked; she understood this. One and the same. That meant they shared strength. If Makaria could survive in this prison, survive whatever thrown at her, the could as well.

She had to. There was no other option.

06/30/2019 02:46 PM 

Everyone Has A Dark Side

"I need to know. Please, tell me." Koré begged, an unusual action for her. She wasn't used to not getting her way, nor did she ever expect to come to these three. But nobody would give her any answers; they just ignored her questions and worries. 

The "visions", or whatever they were, were becoming more frequent. She was losing even more time each and every time she went into that prison. And she could somehow feel Makaria growing stronger each time. It was almost as if her being there was enough to give her strength. None of it made sense to her; hence her need for answers. If her parents wouldn't give them to her, if no one else would, she would go to the three who were present for everything. The ones who had a hand in every little thing that happened: the Fates.

"Tell me child, why do you want to know?" The silky voice rang out the question, all three asking at once. Their voices blended together, slight echo of the words. Most of the Gods avoided these three, considered the most powerful of all of them. Their words were law, were binding. Once the Fates spoke, whatever they deigned was destined to happen. No one was above their word.

Chewing upon her bottom lip, Koré cast her gaze between the three of them. "You see all. Past. Present. Future. You know why I'm here. What I'm talking about. Why I want to know."

"Perhaps. But why should we tell you? There is a reason you know nothing, after all."

Those words stung. Just as she thought, the three of them did know. It only made sense, after all. She wouldn't be deterred though. The need to know was too great. Who was Makaria? Why was she imprisoned? Why could Koré visit that prison, and what did she mean when she said that she was her warden? Who was she? 

"So many questions, young one." Koré blinked, a light blush crossing her cheeks. Of course they would know the questions she had. Why wouldn't they? 

"Can you just tell me?"

Silence greeted her, finally broken by the younger of the three, Atropos. "We made a mistake." Came the first reply. Koré's head tilted at that admittance, confusion setting across her face. "We were young, and didn't understand the depths of our powers. And we were angry. Angry at Zeus, angry at your father, at everyone."

Lachesis interjected, continuing the story. "We wanted to make them suffer. So we spoke. We said that Makaria would be the end of everything. The end of us. The end of the world as we know it."

It was Clotho's turn to speak. "Our words bound to Makaria. They enveloped her with a power that had vanished long ago, one that should never have returned. That was our mistake. We didn't know what we were doing." They reiterated. At least she was getting some answers now, but she still didn't understand. There was still more she needed to know.

"But that doesn't explain-"

"If you want your answers, do not interrupt." Koré silenced herself, letting them continue. All three Fates spoke at once, their voices combining together in the silken tone. "Makaria was too powerful. She was stronger than any of us. The strength of the Malachai inside her, when none should have existed anymore." That was news to her. Malachai? She knew of them, of course. The war between the Malachai and Sepherii, the Chthonians. Beings that were considered the boogeymen of their worlds. The only beings who could actually kill a God without threatening the fabric of the universe.

"With those newfound powers of hers, Makaria was relentless. The power overwhelmed her, and she took to her name in a way we couldn't have predicted. The Goddess of Blessed Death reveled in her title, and she took to the universe. Destruction and chaos followed her everywhere. She was death."

Koré couldn't believe what she was hearing. A being like that deserved to be locked up. No wonder she was imprisoned. But it still didn't explain why Makaria blamed her. Why she accused her of being her warden. "So you locked her away?" she asked before she could stop herself.

"For the protection of the mortals. For our own protection. Makaria needed to be imprisoned. But she was too strong. Our mistake made it impossible for her to contained by normal means. Your parents knew this. So we had to get creative.

"Persephone wanted another child. We needed a vessel to contain Makaria. What better way to contain the power of death than by combining her with her polar opposite?" Koré's breath caught in her throat. Surely they didn't mean.. "Yes, Koré. You were to be the vessel to contain your own sister. Blessed Innocence containing Blessed Death. We had to fate you to be her prison."
Stunned, Koré fell backwards, falling onto a seat as her head swam. "You mean..she lives inside me?"

"Makaria is imprisoned inside of you, yes. The two of you share a body. As long as you don't visit her prison, Makaria cannot regain her strength. But every time you visit her, she gets stronger. When you visit the mortal world, the bonds of her prison loosen. You wanted to know why it seems like she is stronger every time you black out? That's because she is. You are strengthening her." Clotho spoke matter-of-factly, almost nonchalantly.

"Is that why-?"

"That's why your parents would keep you in your room. Made it so you couldn't leave. It was for protection, but not just your protection. The protection of everyone. Of the world."

Was this what she wanted to know? Now that she actually knew it, she wished she didn't know. How could she possibly live with this knowledge. Knowing what she now knew, could she ever travel back to the mortal realm? She couldn't risk it, not if it would loosen the bonds restraining her sister. "Makaria told me that I had freed her before. Is this true?"

"Makaria has been freed several times. Never by your own doing. The universe requires balance. Since you are her balance, and the main vessel, she has to have time out of her own. It was the best we could do." Lachesis responded. Anger radiated from her at those words. "Don't be angry at us. We are preserving all life by doing so."

"Not all life, right? When she gets out, she causes death, does she not?"

Atropos was the one to speak up this time. "Yes, she does. Death, chaos and destruction wherever she goes. You know The Black Plague? It wasn't a disease. That was your sister, the last time she was free and actually made it to the human world." Her mouth fell open. She had heard about that event. But for it to have been her sister? No, she couldn't have imagined that.

"I don't-"

"You wanted to know about Makaria. Well, now you do. What you do with that knowledge is up to you." Lachesis lifted a hand up, extending her finger out towards her. "But know this? Makaria is more powerful than you can even imagine. Each time she is freed, more of her power is restored to her. If she were to ever be fully freed, everything would be at stake. We tell you this because she is your responsibility. Our bonds have weakened severely upon her; she is no longer fully bound to our decrees.

"Be careful, Koré. As much as it terrifies us to say, you are the only one who can rein in Makaria. You are the only one who can actually protect us from her now."

06/11/2019 02:07 PM 

What Do I Know Anymore?

Groaning, Koré held a hand up to her head, eyes closing as the soft pain began to grow. This was something she was getting used to, these minor headaches or migraines that seemed to sprout up now. And always at the most inopportune times. "Koré, are you-?" The concerned voice reached her through the ringing in her head. Holding up a hand, she gave a nod. Still, Xia expressed her concern as she knelt down next to her, arm going around her shoulder. "I'm going to get your mother." That concern was touching, but she shook her head. 

"Do it and I swear I'll force you back onto my body." Her tone was light and teasing despite the frustration she felt, and the truth behind that threat. Xia hated being transferred that way. Not that she could blame the demon. In a way, it was an imprisonment. Koré had been imprisoned too much herself to know what that was like, how lonely it got. A small huff escaped the demon, eyes narrowing at the goddess, but she kept her lips shut and stayed put.

Relief shot through her. She didn't want her parents to know she had those headaches. Ever since she asked about her sister, about Makaria, they had been different. Distant. Guarded. There was something huge they were hiding. If they found out about these migraines, and what they preceded, she knew they would keep her in her room once again. She couldn't go back to that imprisonment.

"Xia, I-" She couldn't get her words out before the world began to fade once more. It was happening again. Darkness overtook her, swallowing her up yet again.

Blinking, she looked around the prison. Makaria paced back and forth before her, muttering to herself. It was as if she hadn't even realized Koré was there again. Did she not summon her here? That was new. "I can't. I won't. I need. Let me." Mutterings came from her sister, nothing but incomplete thoughts. She seemed even more erratic, more unhinged than before.

"Makaria?"

Those dark eyes shot up at her voice, lips curling into a snarl. "It's about time!" Taken back by the ferocity in the tone of her voice, Koré stumbled backwards. She thought there was a little harmony between them now, but it was as if the past few months hadn't happened. Makaria reminded her of when she first saw her. The anger directed at her, the loneliness she felt. "I need out! Let me free!"
She still couldn't do that. "Makaria, you need hel-"

"SHUT UP! You don't know what I need." Before she could blink, Makaria was upon her. Hands gripped her arms, squeezing her tightly before slamming her against a 'wall', thrusting her knee up into Koré's abdomen. "I know, you know. I've finally figured it out." Laughter filled the air, a maniacal sound. Bringing her lips to Koré's ear, she whispered into it. "I know how to get free."

Those words sent a chill down her spine. After their first encounter, Koré went to learn what she could of Makaria. Very few would talk about her, and any records of her were even fewer still. What she did find, however, was alarming. Events throughout history that she was responsible for, but were attributed to something else to hide her involvement from mortals. "You can't be free. The Fates told me so."

That laughter continued, even louder than before. "The Fates? Those bitches? They're the reason I'm locked up. The reason you're my jailor." A grin spread across those lips. "They're also the one responsible for my powers. For everything I've done. If anyone should be locked up, it's those three." Makaria's hand lifted up, patting Koré's cheek. "But they're wrong. They can't keep me locked up forever. They've never been able to." That word was stressed out, an emphasis placed on 'never' in such a way it sent a chill down her. What was she saying?

"Koré, my sweet Koré. You will let me free again. Just as you've done in the past." Her heart skipped at those words. There was no way she was speaking the truth. She had just found out about her, after all. "Oh no honey, you haven't just found out about me. You've always known about me. But your- I mean our- parents have changed that. Mnemosyne has seen to that." That laughter escaped from Makaria once again as she released her hold upon Koré, who collapsed to her knees.
 
"I don't-"

Makaria didn't even give her time to finish her thoughts before she was kneeling down before her. Fingers cupped the goddess' chin, lifting her head up. "You don't have to know. You don't have to believe. But believe me when I say this: my memories have returned, and I do remember how to get free. You will free me, and it will be glorious.

"Now go home, little kitten. And take a message with you. Tell dear old Father that I'm coming. Tell them all that I am coming for them. They will pay." Fingers pressing to her forehead, Makaria shoved Koré back, and the darkness faded, the world lighting up once again.

Her room came back into focus, Xia seated on the edge of the bed as she looked over her with concern. "You collapsed again Koré."

"I know." she murmured her reply. As the demon's lips parted to speak, she held a hand up to silence her. "I don't need to hear it Xia. You want me to tell them."

"You need to tell them."

"Tell them what? That I go to some sort of 'shadow prison' where I see my dead sister? Yeah, that will go over well." Koré shook her head. "I don't know what to believe anymore. My parents say Makaria is dead. Chronos showed me her death. The Fates say she is imprisoned, which is why I can talk to her. Everybody else pretends to not know who I am talking about when I ask about her." Groaning, she pushed herself upright, sitting straight. 

"If she's dead, who is pretending to be her? And why am I seeing these 'visions', or whatever they are. If she's alive and imprisoned, then why am I now seeing her? Talking to her? I don't know anything anymore.."

06/11/2019 11:23 AM 

Who Am I?

The screams and cries echoed through the room. Being in Hades, they really meant nothing. She heard them all the time. Souls of the damned crying out for vengeance. For retribution. For justice. Cries that they were wrongfully here. If only she had a coin for every soul who tried to bargain out of her father's realm. But nobody could leave without his permission, which her rarely gave. Well, unless Persephone bargained on their behalf. Hades could never deny her his wife what she wanted.

These screams were different. Not the cries of despair she normally heard, the bargaining for freedom that so often came out. Nor were they coming from the cells that littered the surrounding area. No, these cries were within in her own head. Anger. Betrayal. Loneliness. She was used to feeling these. Today was different. There was no reason for her to feel this way. Things had been going great, as far as she could tell. 

"Koré, is everything alright?" Her head lifted up at the question asked of her. Giving a small smile and nod, she cast her gaze over at the female demon with her. Xia gave her own smile, long black hair tied up into small pigtails on the sides and dressed in her normal goth chic that she adored. Even here she liked to keep up the appearance of her so-called 'human self', despite not needing to. "What's the matter?"

"It's nothing Xia. I'm fine." Koré insisted, though she was far from it. Her head was splitting from the cries of anguish. Arms wrapped around her, a body leaning into her. She didn't even think about; just leaned back into the embrace. "Really, I'm good."

"You're a horrible liar."

A small chuckle slipped from her lips at those words. "Xia-" The world swam before her, pounding in her head growing louder. Flashes of light filled her gaze, blinding her before everything she saw faded to black. "What the-"

Koré looked around in the empty void. There was nothing but darkness around her, but the cries and screams were louder now. Closer. Her feet moved of their own accord, dragging her forward and moving her through the emptiness. She didn't want to go, but couldn't stop. What was happening. "Where am I?" The question echoed in the darkness, reverberating back to her. 

"You're here." An incredulous voice spoke out next to her, causing Koré to jump. A female stood next to her where she was absolutely certain no one had been before. Dark eyes bore into her, dark hair flowing down her lower back. The voice was familiar, like she had heard it before. Hell, she felt like she knew this woman as well. But that couldn't be. Nothing about her seemed familiar. Still, there was no denying that feeling. "How are you in my prison?"

"You're prison?" This was a prison? What kind of prison was this? She had never seen this place before. More to that, she didn't even know how she got there.

"My prison." The affirmation was resigned, as if she was used to it. How long would someone have to be in a place like this to give off that notion of resignation. Even more importantly, how could someone be in a place of emptiness like this and not go insane. "And you are my jailor."

Those last words struck a chord. "What are you-"

"Don't even try to deny it! I know my jailor. I know my prison. Without you, I'd be free!" The snarl took her by surprise, the anger in that voice. Koré took a step back, bringing her hand up to her arm. Laughter filled her ears, the sound as dark as the void around them. "Xylyla cannot help you here. She's out there, where I belong."

Okay, she was crazy. Maybe if Koré played along. "I'm sure you do belong out there-"

"Don't f***ing patronize me. You and the rest of our family decided a long time ago that I don't belong out in our world. That I'm a 'threat' to them all. News flash: I'm not a monster. They are!" The anger was tangible, a vicious wind whipping up around them as she spewed out her anger. "But now you're here." Even though she had trouble seeing her, Koré could sense a malicious grin spreading across those lips. "That means the doorway is open. I can be free again."

Something told her she couldn't let that happen. While she may not know who exactly this female was, if she truly was one of her family or not, she couldn't let her out of this prison.

"You can't stop me." Those words, venom within them, froze her. Could she read her thoughts? That was a terrifying prospect. "More than that darlin'. Far more than that." That reply only confirmed those fears.

"I can't let you out.." Her voice was meek, despite the will to stick to it. But what could she do? Something told her in a straight-up fight she wouldn't stand a chance against her. 

"You're right, you don't stand a chance. Why don't you be a good little girl and step aside?"

Swallowing a lump in her throat, Koré shook her head. Before she could respond she was slammed against what she could only assume was a wall, though she couldn't see one. Forearm pressed to her throat, the female pressing forward against her. The walls of her throat tightened, struggling to catch her breath. "I. Said. Move." Each word was hissed out. Still, Koré wouldn't relent.

A frustrated scream rang out as a solid thud connected to her abdomen. The force shot her breath out of her in a loud gasp, though the forearm against her throat moved. She slumped down, huddled over in pain. Fingers cupped under her chin, tilting her head up to force her to look at the prisoner. "I can do this all day. You? Not so much. I wonder how long you can keep up this bravado." That malicious grin was spreading across those lips, but never seemed to reach those eyes. They stayed cold, almost lifeless. A hand lifted up, swinging backwards towards her face in a backhanded slap.

Right as that hand would connect, Koré's eyes snapped open. The warmth returned to her, colors swimming around. Blinking, she looked around. "Wh-what?" She was back in her room. What was that? Xia was back before her, concern in her eyes.

"Koré?" There was nothing the goddess could say. She rose to her feet, tearing out of the room. Her breathes came out in shallow gasps as she ran down the halls. But she couldn't run away from the memories of what she experienced. Who was that? What did she mean? "Koré!" Xia's voice rang out again, stern as she could hear her chasing. 

Turning down a corridor, Koré pressed against a wall, trying to hide. She had to figure this out. Clearing her head, she turned back down that corridor, coming to a stop as she realized where she was. The statues stood before her, lined up in order of birth. Her family. Hades. Persephone. Koré. All the others, nice and neat. But it was the one statue that caught her eye. The familiar sculpting of the face. The angle of the eyes. That was who she saw. Looking up, she read the name engraved above it. Makaria.

"Koré, there you are. What are you doing here?" 

"Who's Makaria?" Sensing the hesitation from her Charonte, Koré wheeled around on her. "Xia! Who is Makaria? Where is my sister?"

"What are you-"

"Don't play coy with me Xia. I know you've been told everything about me. About my family. Acheron and Appolymi made sure of it when you bonded to me. 'For my protection', if I recall correctly. So tell me."

The shame upon her face was evident. "I can't tell you.." 

"What do you mean you can't tell me?"

"I'm not allowed to." Screaming in frustration, Koré rushed down the hall to the main chambers. "Koré, wait!"

There was no stopping her. Throwing open the doors, she burst into the chamber. "Mother! Father! Who is Makaria?" There was no hiding the shock upon their faces, though Persephone did a good job of attempting it. Her lips parted to speak, but Koré silenced her. "Don't lie to me. I know of her. Who is she? Who am I?" The anger began to subside, Makaria's words bouncing around in her head. What did it mean? Who was she?

"What am I?" The last question was a soft whisper, barely audible as she broke down.

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