Prologue: The New Dynasty [Katie]   Posted by Archival.Group: archive 0
 GM, 10 posts
Sat 2 Jul 2016
at 09:59
Prologue: The New Dynasty [Katie]
It started simple enough.

One morning, Katie woke up feeling better than she had in years. She was full of energy and ready to conquer the world (figuratively). Maybe it was just something she ate. She'd have to remember what it was, maybe it was worth having more often. Or maybe it was just the right amount of sleep the night before.

That day was a good day. The sun seemed brighter, the weather seemed nicer, and Katie would find it hard not to smile to herself when she wasn't paying attention. Maybe she'd even tried to strike up a conversation with Aunt Maylene or - god forbid - another student.

And the feeling just kept growing.

Little by little, every morning she'd wake up feeling better and better. It was like someone jabbed her with a shot of adrenaline each morning when she woke up. More confident, more powerful. It was a strange discord between her body and her feelings, as if she was somehow in the wrong body. She was supposed to be stronger than this, better than this. How could she achieve her dreams - really capture everything she'd ever wanted - in this tiny little body?

It felt like something was missing, and Katie was just inches away from understanding what it was.

But every mountain casts a shadow.

As Katie's state of mind improved, Aunt Maylene's physical condition began to deteriorate. It started simple enough, just as Katie's changes had. She seemed more tired than usual, more lethargic, more distracted. Katie began to see her Aunt less and less as she retreated to her room, claiming that she just needed to 'lie down for a bit', then seemed to sleep half a day away at a time.

Half-days turned into full days as she retreated to her bedroom for longer and longer at a time. Eventually she wouldn't even come out for meals, asking Katie to just leave them by the door. Every now and again, Katie would catch her stumbling out of her room for some pills, and she looked like utter hell. Her skin was off-colour and her hair had no shine to it. And then she'd disappear back into her room again.

But never once did Aunt Maylene try to go to the doctor, and every time Katie would suggest it, she was unrelenting in her insistence that it was just a flu and go away soon enough. Most of the time it seemed like she was trying to convince herself just as much as her niece.


It had been two weeks since the changes started. The Hong-Cho household had been a strange, swirling melange of Katie's heaven and Aunt Maylene's hell. The sun rose on yet another day of school, as her alarm kicked in however early Katie would set it to make class for 8AM.

And again, Katie woke with that shot of adrenaline. Her heart pounded so hard it felt like it might just punch right on through her ribcage and soar clear across town.

Everything was going to be okay. Everything was going to be great.

And if it wasn't, Katie would just have to change that.
 player, 2 posts
Mon 25 Jul 2016
at 00:28
Prologue: The New Dynasty [Katie]
In reply to Archival (msg # 1):

It was as though her life had turned upside down.

Katie hated mornings. Mornings were the harsh hammer of reality shattering the quiet bliss of night and sleep. They were the reminder that she had yet another day of school amongst the bothersome, staring masses. The loss of quiet sanctuary she had in the cozy two-bedroom apartment she called home.

Until two weeks ago, that is.

It was a sensation she'd almost forgotten. That sense of energy, that sense of thrill, the feeling of really wanting to do something and not just going through the motions. Ever since the fire that took almost everything away from her, she'd thought she'd never really feel like this again.

Not that things were perfect, per se. A sense of foreboding, so quiet she only heard it in her sleep, told her that something about all this wasn't quite right about this newfound sense of energy. It came out of nowhere and it probably wasn't natural, it whispered in worried tones.

The rest of her--the part of her that felt like it was drawing breath for the first time--told it to shut the fuck up. Katie, at this point, didn't especially care where this new surge of vitality came from, and until it went away she was going to make the best of it.

This was what was going through Katherine Cho's mind as she stared at herself in the bathroom mirror.


She cooked up a storm for breakfast, as she had been the past two weeks. Rice, salad with pickled veggies, eggs, sausage, and a whole grapefruit, washed down with a big glass of milk. A veritable feast indeed compared to the bowl of soggy corn flakes she usually ate. Katie was the de facto cook of the house--partly out of necessity, as Aunt Maylene was usually too busy with work to cook, partly out of a sense of obligation, as a way of showing thanks to her aunt for taking care of her, and partly because Auny Maylene literally burns salads.

Speaking of her aunt...

"Aunt Maylene?" called Katie towards her aunt's bedroom. "Breakfast is ready, oatmeal with eggs and a banana." Katie hated serving such bland fare to her aunt--she deserved far better--but with her recent illness she doubted Aunt Maylene could handle anything else. "Should I leave it in front of your door?"

Her aunt worried her, she really did, and her mysterious flu was the one blight upon Katie's recent upsurge. At first they thought it was just fatigue from a recent spate of mandatory overtime at work, coupled with a cold or a flu, but as the weeks progressed and Aunt Maylene's stubbornness against seeing a doctor failed to abate, Katie slept continuously worse at night.
 GM, 134 posts
Thu 4 Aug 2016
at 02:56
Prologue: The New Dynasty [Katie]
Down the hall, Aunt Maylene's door was still closed, as it was most of the time lately. The last time she'd emerged and Katie had caught a glimpse, it was pitch black in there. No lights on, curtains drawn. For someone who always insisted on getting at least a little bit of sun in, even on her worst days, it was more than unusual. Come to think of it, Katie could hardly remember the last time Aunt Maylene had fallen ill - she always took such good care of her health.

Katie's voice echoed through the apartment with no answer. That, also, was out of the ordinary. Usually she'd at least call back relatively promptly, even it had begun to sound rather pathetic over the past few days.

A few minutes passed and, eventually, Katie heard her Aunt's door creak open.

"Katherine..." Her Aunt moaned, sounding more zombie than robot. "...Can you come in here..?"

Distantly, Katie could hear the footsteps of Aunt Maylene retreating back to her bed. The door was left cracked open, not a single light shining through.
 player, 3 posts
Sun 7 Aug 2016
at 19:32
Prologue: The New Dynasty [Katie]
In reply to Archival (msg # 3):

Katie hesitated, torn between worry and confusion. Aunt Maylene's recent behavior was odd enough. This was beginning to take a turn for the strange--this just wasn't like her.

What on earth was going on with Aunt Maylene? thought Katie as the idea of calling an ambulance was growing more and more attractive. Paranoid thoughts--of dire illnesses, of tuberculosis or cancer or worse--filled her head and she almost went for the phone.

"Aunt Maylene?" called out Katie as she walked to her aunt's room. Her steps were unsteady, slowed by anticipation and uncertainty. "Is everything alright? Want me to get you some water?"

Upon reaching the door to Aunt Maylene's room, she pushed it open and fumbled around for the light switch. A part of her worried that Aunt Maylene had the lights off for a good reason, but Katie needed to see what the hell was going on with her aunt.

"Aunt Maylene...?"

Her eye--the dead one, milky and useless--began to itch, as it so often did when she was on edge.
 GM, 136 posts
Sun 7 Aug 2016
at 19:57
Prologue: The New Dynasty [Katie]
Just before Katie's hand reached the switch, she could swear she caught two glowing points staring out of the dark, like a cat's eyes catching the light.

As soon as the lights flicked on, Katie could see that things were not as they should be. Aunt Maylene - the neat and proper Maylene Hong - was living in a pig sty. Clothes were everywhere, and plates of her recent meals were stacked haphazardly on her desk and even a few on the floor. That alone was a sign of just how bad her condition actually was.

"Water..?" A lump on the bed asked. For all Katie could see, it may as well have been the old 'stuff a few pillows under the sheets to sneak out' trick, maybe with a tape recorder to make words. "Water would be good... If you could run the bath for me..."

Aunt Maylene paused and made a pained grunt as she shifted under the covers. For a brief fraction of a second, Katie thought she spotted a flash of blue under the covers before they were pulled back up. Maybe she just got a really bad dye job and was hiding. Or, more likely, it was just Katie's imagination.

"No... not right now," she murmured. Her voice wasn't quite hoarse, but it seemed like just putting her thoughts into words was an ordeal in itself. "How... How have you been feeling..? And... Could you turn the lights off?"