From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
"Beneath the glow of this hanging moon
Lies a city still and cold
Our silhouettes walk hand in hand
The drunken jukebox serenade..."
She was making all kissy face with a catgirl. Yolanda couldn't decide to giggle madly or be offended. Yolanda's power gloves gripped the railing of the balcony so tight that her hands left imprints in the steel. That wouldn't make DJ Zero too happy, that's for certain.
Yolanda left Pocket D, not sure what made her more upset. The fact that mother was going out with a metahuman, her mother's sheer hypocrisy for dating a hero, or just how blatant she was about it.
'Don't let it get to you' Yolanda told herself. But... it didn't work. She knew her mother was baiting... even toying with her, that she shouldn't let her mother get to her, but she couldn't help it. She had to be the bigger person. This was her mother's revenge, she knew it! She'd better warn that poor catgirl... she could be in danger... her mother couldn't really have those kinds of feelings... could she?
Yolanda slumped back against the wall, sliding down to the floor. She sat, arms folded and head resting in her arms, sighing. Mother had been capable of it back in the old days, of course. Why not now...?
Dad would have told her to have faith in her mum. But... that was before he had died and mum had turned into a maniac. Her father hadn't planned for a lot of things to happen. That was it, wasn't it? She was angry because of dad. Seeing her mother in love... reminded her of how much she missed her father that had passed. Yolanda sighed deeply.
She had won... but at a price. Yolanda didn't feel very victorious... this time.
The bouncer tapped her on the shoulder. "This is the hero section, shouldn't you be on the other side, miss?"
Yolanda looked up at her with daggers in her eyes, pulling her Hero ID card from her pocket and hanging it front of the bouncer's face. "I am NOT my mother."
The girl stammered when she saw the similar sir name but different first names. "Oh, I'm sorry, miss Yolanda."
Yolanda snorted, standing and stomping out of Pocket D towards Talos Island.
There was loud rock music playing in the dojo when Lanara came looking for Yolanda. Her roommate was in her Gi, boxing with the air. The music seemed to be all that Yolanda was listening to, because Yolanda never noticed Lanara had even come in until the blue and white furred feline girl stopped Yolanda's music.
Yolanda blinked in the middle of her practice routine, looking up. "Lanara? Home from school already?"
"It's after five." Lanara pointed out.
"Really?" Yolanda looked up at the time. "I'm late."
Lanara watched her roommate as the young fae girl picked up her towel and dabbed her face silently. Yolanda looked at the oddly colored feline, feeling her usual feelings of guilt and protectiveness when she was dealing with Lanara. She knew Lanara wasn't her fault, but her mother's - but Yolanda felt responsible for her just the same. And perhaps on some level Yolanda knew that teaching Lanara was the best way to stick it back to her mother.
"You okay?" the girl was asking her.
Yolanda smiled. "I'm alright, just thinking. How was class?"
"It was fine. What's on your mind?"
Lanara was always inquisitive... and bright, Yolanda couldn't deny it. That was what attracted her mother to the young human that Lanara had been before. Still, after everything Rhiannon had done to Lanara, the girl remained inquisitive and bright.
"I went to the human's club last night. The one you showed me."
Lanara chuckled at Yolanda's use of the word 'human'. While ostensibly correct, Yolanda always saw Lanara chuckle when Yolanda said it. Lanara liked it, that was why Yolanda still used the term in reference to her. "Human? My ass."
Yolanda snorted playfully. While it was true that Lanara was no longer very human, being a six - almost seven foot tall part cat/part bird woman with blue and white fur, being called human helped Lanara feel less freakish. "Saw my mom playing kissyface with your old roommate."
Lanara groaned. "Ugh, not her *again*."
"Mum or Yuki?"
"Yuki! I'm glad I'm living here, but geeze I can't believe Yuki did that."
Yolanda sighed a little. She wasn't happy about it either. Lanara gets into an apartment with Yuki, Rhiannon starts dating Yuki, and as soon as Lanara found out she freaked out bigtime. Understandably, given what Rhiannon did to Lanara in New York a few years ago.
She'd known even then that her mother was up to no good. It was early in 2004, the first Rikti was was still fresh in everyone's memories, and Yolanda's mother had taken advantage of the chaos from the extradimensional invaders to establish a series of underground labs beneath greater Manhattan island in New York. Yolanda had known something was up when Rhiannon did that, and had investigated. That was when Yolanda had first found the young 15 year old girl that Lanara had once been, being tortured and mutilated magically by her mother's techno-magical genetic experiments.
Her mother had discovered that on the subatomic level magic itself and light literally shared many of the same properties, leading Rhiannon to assume that like light, magic was a form of energy sharing both wave and particle-like properties. She built these subatomic components into a molecule built of pure magical energy. From this Rhiannon was literally able build a new kind of DNA molecule structure using magical 'molecules' and chemicals she had created from this magical creation and weave magic itself into the very genetic structure of her horrific creations.
Lanara was the first human 'blank' that survived, making her patient one. The first successful blending of magical energy into a former human genome. From there Rhiannon had horribly transformed a poor street girl into a winged feline with magical potential.
But the human girl had resisted her captor. Lanara had discovered some small sapphires that Rhiannon had put bits of her power in as part of her experiments. The winged feline girl had crushed one in her hand while bolted down to a table. It had sent waves of magical energy into the girl in a way Rhiannon could never have predicted, enabling the former human to magically break her bonds, and break free of Yolanda's mother's control. Yolanda helped the girl escape out into the New York subway system, and then helped her hide out and give her story to the police. Eventually Lanara testified in court against Rhiannon Gladstone, and she was shipped to Zigursky.
Yolanda smiled a little. She was proud of everything Lanara had done. Even though Rhiannon had escaped, Lanara was going to the University of Paragon City going after - of all things - a nuclear physics doctrate degree. Lanara was bent on understanding - using science - the magical particles that were woven into her genetic structure by her former captor. She'd kept an eye on Lanara ever since, partially out of guilt that her mother had done this to her. But partially... she hoped that Lanara would continue to do what Yolanda could not directly do herself... stop her evil twisted mother.
"Hey... you are like... a million miles away." Lanara's voice broke Yolanda's thoughts. They had returned to their rooms inside the foundation where Lanara had already made dinner for them both.
"Sorry... feeling a bit out of it today. You already made dinner? Wow. Tomorrow I cook."
"If you want. If I ask Kera to cook, she'd order Pizza, and if I ask Shelly to cook, I think she'd turn 'dinner' into a four course feast. I'd just rather cook for us myself."
"What... don't like my Haggis?" Yolanda teased.
"You are NEVER cooking that ever again!" Lanara snickered.
Yolanda laughed and sat down to dinner with her roommate. She'd quietly asked to be roomed with Lanara to keep an eye on her, especially after that whole mess with Yuki had happened prior to them both moving here. Thank goodness this place was safe from her mother's malevolent aims. Yolanda knew her mother only needed her Patient One to replicate all her prior research and move forward on her plans to genetically engineer a magical virus capable of killing off or mutating all of humanity to her specifications. Sooner or later she'd stop her mother's evil, once and for all. But now... they had allies to help them.
"Who would have thought we'd fall so hard
Who would have thought we'd fall so fast
Clinging tight to all we never had
Cause I'm not capable of love
That kind of love
That I felt when I was twenty one
Take it back"
- Not Capable of Love, by The Ataris, from Welcome the Night