Those Who Are Dead
|Those Who Are Dead|
|Dates run:||July 9-12, 2009|
|Read the logs:||Those Who Are Dead|
Steven patted down his body, a gentle run of hands. He felt quite real, even though he was aware that he was dead.
A ghost from Adrienne's past returns to haunt her. Literally.
After some ill-treatment at a party of the Hellfire Club's Black Court by a man called Jason Wyngarde, Adrienne decides she is too embarrassed to return to the mansion and face the many people who told her she'd been crazy to join the Club, mostly Garrison Kane, who she'd gone to see prior to the party, hoping to be talked out of going in the first place, surprised when he'd brushed her off without fighting with her.
She moves into the penthouse above her New York 64 Square office, and though she sees it as an improvement over the mansion for the time being, Adrienne has been afraid to live there since her husband Steven's death, since the penthouse was the place where she foresaw her own death at his hands, and also where they were staying when she had him killed. Not that she believes his ghost is still inhabiting the place! Being in the penthouse prompts the resurfacing of old nightmares from her past, but Adrienne assumes they will fade in time.
Two weeks in the penthouse has Adrienne's nightmares growing worse, however, and she finds her energy greatly reduced, to a much larger degree than the sleep deprivation she's had in the past. She confesses her issues to Lil at Harry's, and after counseling Adrienne that she should make some good memories to replace the bad ones in the penthouse, Lil jokingly suggests she has a ghost at the place, and that she should hold a seance or exorcise it. Though she knows there is no real ghost, Adrienne invites Lil, Wanda, and Amanda over for dinner and warns them that after a few drinks the exorcism may be attempted.
As expected, after copious amounts of alcohol the four women attempt to banish the presence of Adrienne's evil dead husband from the penthouse. To Adrienne's horror, however, Steven appears and begins to taunt her. The other women cannot see him, however, so Adrienne is essentially on her own.
Falling easily into old patterns, Adrienne attempts to placate Steven and curb his violent tendencies. He focuses his attention on her until he notices her three friends. He cannot touch them directly, but he can touch the furniture in the house and uses this realization to trap Amanda and Wanda in the kitchen, which had been fitted during Steven's life as a sort of panic room, and Lil in the bedroom. Steven then returns his attentions to Adrienne, stating that he intends to kill her. Adrienne accepts this until she realizes both that she doesn't want to die and that through the help of her friends she's become a different person than who she was when she was married to Steven. She realizes how alike him she was during their marriage, how she would hurt people to take what she wanted from them, but how she is not that person anymore.
When she confronts Steven with her newfound sense of integrity, Adrienne breaks Steven's hold over her. Taking her strength back from him, figuratively, serves to drain strength from the ghost literally, and it departs after a last-ditch attempt to save itself, trashing her penthouse.
After freeing Lil, Wanda, and Amanda, the girls realize that the Steven ghost had been feeding for weeks off of Adrienne's energy, accounting for why she'd been so tired after moving into the penthouse, and that the ghost had come to manifest itself through a combination of Adrienne's memories in the penthouse, Wanda's chaos manipulation powers, and Amanda's spell.
Among the wreckage of the penthouse after her friends have gone home, Adrienne decides that the confrontation with Steven has given her the strength to make another long-overdue confrontation, and she calls Garrison over in the wee hours of the morning, where she tells him that he was right about the Hellfire Club and about her own aspirations for power, and that she is sorry she doubted him. Garrison admits things have been tense between them lately out of a sense of jealousy that was kindled when she began dating Jake. The conversation defuses the issues between them and allows them to return to even, friendly footing, and they clean up the apartment together.
Adrienne tries to get Garrison to talk her out of going to a Black Court Party, then Jason Wyngarde illustrates the way power works in the Hellfire Club, prompting Adrienne to flee.
Sleepless nights in her penthouse prompt Adrienne to crash on Jean-Paul Beaubier's couch.
Trivia and Meta
As a result of this plot, Adrienne announced to Emma Frost that she was staying out of the game of powermongering within the Hellfire Club, content to let her sister have the power and stay safe on the sidelines (though she eagerly offered to help Emma take down some of the Black Court's powerbrokers on Emma's behalf.)
All cut-tags were based on songs by Coldplay.