Ava Adore/Journal Entry - Reflections
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Entry by: Ava Mannheim - 03:23, 26 July 2007 (EST)
All around me I could see them, the faces of people I'd lost, the ones who hadn't made it through the first war with the Rikti. Everytime I ventured out I could see their faces, in the faces of the people I helped, in the crowds huddled into buildings and under overpasses. Its what drove me, the accusation, the accusal, I should have done more then, maybe then some of them might have survived, they weren't all dead when I crawled out of the rubble of my school.
But I left them anyway, too afraid to act, to afraid to stop, to help, to put them before my own selfish needs, to put them before my own desire for self preservation. I could almost hear Kimmy, her voice joking, but the aggravation was always there, "Mannheim! Always so smart but never one for action."
We had been the exact opposites, two people who probably should have never been friends, but we were the best of friends. Kimmy was like the sister I'd never had, she was the adventurous one, the one who loved to live on the edge, her world was filled with new things to explore and the unknown. She was all common sense and full of real life experience, the sort I didn't have, my parents didn't shelter me, but Woodvale wasn't exactly bad, it was that middle class haven everyone dreams of.
We'd both been in 7th grade when she transfered in to the school, the teachers doomed her when they said she'd transfered from a school in Kings Row. Most of the kids sneered at her, or turned up their noses at her, blue collar poor people, they were obviously better with their name brand clothing, large back yards and middle class lives. The worst of the lot thought she was going to be their new punching bag, just the new kid to pick on.
Then you had me, I was the smart kid, I had no enemies, which maybe had more to do with my reputation for the girl I'd beaten pretty badly last year playing lacrosse, but I was a neutral party in school. Don't get me wrong I wasn't socially inept, in fact I was told frequently I had a great personality, smart, witty, charismatic, but at the end of the day I was naive, and book smart. It wasn't pity that made me intercede before the 8th grade girls started hitting her after school that day.
Truthfully I was worried more about the 8th graders then Kimmy, she just had this look, the sort of look that tells you someone is more then meets the eye, a look that also said she'd have no problem wiping the floor with all four of the larger girls. I ran up laughing and grabbed Kimmy's arm, going on about how she promised we'd hang out this afternoon now that she lived here. I was so full of it, but I hoped the girls would buy it and not read to much into the shocked look on Kimmy's face.
She caught on quick and laughed, she made a smart assed remark about the girls wanting to shower her the finer details in the school floors, but unless they objected we could go. The 8th graders had been caught off guard, and I guess my reputation was good for something because they backed down with half assed excuses and we escaped. We had collapsed on the ground laughing a block away from the school.
"That was great! The look on their faces was priceless, almost like they were afraid!" Kimmy went on, tears in her eyes, "Thanks I owe you one, uh what was your name?"
I laughed a bit more and shook my head, "They were afraid of me, and its Ava," I stuck my hand out present my best serious face, "Ava Mannheim, scourge of Woodvale High."
Kimmy stifled a snicker and took my hand putting forward her best stern look, "Ah, and may I ask Ms. Mannheim how did you, such a small and demure girl get such a fearsome nickname?"
All I did was grin, maybe it was the sunlight catching my eyes, maybe it was an optical illusion but till the last time I spoke with her she swears I made my eyes glow, "Through mayhem and destruction, of course."
It was enough to make her pause and look at me curiously, the mock stern look gone replaced with true seriousness, she didn't tell me then, she wouldn't tell me till almost two years later. From that day forth however we were inseperable, I learned eventually that she transfered here when her Aunt took her in from her parents. Both of her parents were addicts, and she'd had to basically raise herself, dealing with her own problems, fighting her own battles. I never did know if she survived, to this day I don't know what happened to her, and I think that eats me up the worst.
She always use to tell me I never used my brain for anything that had real results, I wasn't a person of action she said. Never really thought much of it till those memories came flooding back, and she was right, I ran through the school and home without doing anything, without stopping to help anyone. For 6 months after that I did nothing but hide, scrounge, and do whatever I needed to do to survive, all while countless people died fighting the Rikti invaders.
And now I could see her, Kimmy telling me over and over about my inaction, so smart, and I don't do anything with it. I wasn't going to be that, not again, I wasn't going to see anyone I care about hurt, or worse in this because of my own inaction. I refused, I didn't care if it was going to kill me, my conscious would kill me if I did.
I'd been going for two days now on only the little bit of sleep I'd managed after the battle at Founders Falls, I'd been in and out of the city areas, fighting Rikti, time didn't really seem to exist, the skies were that sickly green for hours or end it seemed, and the aftermath was always the worst. Civilians, slowly coming out, you could see the fear in their eyes, some of them, many actually had lived through the first time around, managed to survive where many others didn't. Now they found themselves back at that point again, petrified of something they couldn't do anything about.
The fear was bad, it was hard to face that, and the accusation in their eyes, how could we have let this happen again, weren't we suppose to protect them? I found myself beginning to hate them for that, sheep the whole lot of them, always expecting some cape, to save them with no real concept of self preservation. But if the fear and accusation were bad, it was the violent ones that were worse, and even worst still, the suicides. You'd see them, fleeing into the panicked traffic, running straight into the vehicles, others flung themselves onto the rikti invaders, impaled by their swords or reduced to ashe by plasma rays.
After everything we did, after all the fighting we couldn't save everyone, and those suicides, and the violent people who had snapped attacking us was beginning to have a consistent impact on morale. Inside I could feel myself beginning to ice up, the lack of sleep, the lack of food, or a break, the insanity, the adrenaline, I was starting to break, but I couldn't, I'd failed everyone before I couldn't do it again.
I'm not sure if Brendan knows, he knows I'm not sleeping, he knows I'm pushing hard, but I don't think he really knows, I'm not sure even if he did if he would understand. He didn't even try to talk me out of it, he realizes the drive, and I'm told when I've decided on something its hard to steer me off course, I want him fighting with me, not against me. But I have this dreadful feeling about all of this, like I'm missing some piece of the puzzle.
God help me Kimmy I don't think my brain is going to help me this time...