into the mouth of madness
october cv week

sinister's eyes are burning red pinpricks in his face. madelyne thinks about how it would feel to shover her fingers into those red eyes, how it would feel to have his eyes give way under her fingers until they sunk into his brain beneath her.

she clenches her fist, does not reach out to the food in front of her. her eyes move to the clone of her, smiling vacantly, her dress plunged low at her neckline. she watches the movement of her chest, how obscene it looks with mounting disgust as sinister says, "come now, madelyne. i know i gave you better manners than this."

"don't begin to pretend that you are my father," madelyne spits out every word with hatred, her ears starting to ring. molly shifts inside of her, incensed.

"denying what you are is amusing when i know exactly what you looked like when i made you," sinister bares his teeth across from her, his face stretching grotesquely. "a hair, from jean grey is what you started as. that's all it took to make you my dearest, precious clone." his knife drags across the bottom of the plate, the sound grating against madelyne's ears. her hands shake, anger rising inside of her, cheeks splotching with red. "drop the charade of girl power, please; i came here to have a civil conversation with you, not watch you sink into heroics."

the other madelyne comes forward, placing wine flutes on the table. her eyes are so vacant as she pours the water. the hot sting of tears press against madelyne's eyes as she watches her.

watching her placid face reminds her of the memories she'd gleaned from scott, how they had tried to contain the phoenix together, so many versions of her smiling vindictively. it makes her tongue taste bitter as ever when she says, "i'm not a hero. i just-- i'm here because i knew what would happen if i didn't come here. you would keep hurting people over and over. i came here to end it."

sinister laughs. no, giggles, really, with sick delight. "stop? stop what, madelyne? my plans for mutants, my experiments to make what is so necessary? don't be so naive."

the other clone straightens up, asks, "would you like red or white wine?"

sinister glances at her. madelyne understands instantly, that he hadn't wanted to see the flash of a scowl on his face when he looks back to her, face smoothing back into that horrid delight he's had since she entered the room. the irritation on his face....

why would it be there?

maddy has dealt with ornery lovers, fussy children, and petulant teenagers. she knows how to keep her face schooled much more than sinister does, her mind whirring away with this information she has now. the clone bothers him. something... something about her makes him angry.

"white," maddy looks at sinister, trying to work at the problem as fast as she could, at why his face made that expression. "i'm not naive--ther's nothing noble about your experiments. there's nothing about me that you--"

sinister leans forward, cutting her off, "there is so much about you that you don't understand. so much complexity inside of you that not even your powers can tell you. powers you haven't even discovered that are just waiting at your fingertips, madelyne. answers that we both could discover together, if you weren't so hung up on those morals of yours, those ideals." he leans closer, "secrets that this body, this universe could only unlock with a sense of guidance, if you allow it."

her stomach churns uncomfortably.

again her eyes flick to the clone beside her, the madelyne who is turning, reaching for another bottle of wine.

something about her... about the memories... "what about her? she's here. and that-- those tanks out there. there's more than enough genetic material here that you can use without needing to come to me, or threaten scott and i." or my children.

sinister raises his voice, cheeks definitely redder than before. the clone turns around her, smile wide, but her fingers seem to shake. "there is only so much--"

there's a shattering of glass. the clone doesn't seem to notice for a split second what she's done, the wine staining her front, the liquid getting everywhere. her hand do not raise to protect herself, and she doesn't seem to think much of glass underfoot, swaying for a moment before taking a step back.

it clicks into place.

the clones were imperfect.

she understands in that moment that the clones are acts of desperation, not of pride or convenience. there is something fundamentally with the clones he's made of her, and in her mind's eye, maddy gets an impression of molly's thoughts: copies of a copy. each one more deteriorated than the last, each one missing pieces of information from the original.

sinister's body tenses, about to lunch at the clone, about to attack, about to do something, anything.

maddy's eyes flare. a pulse of power leaves her, knocking out the power; and another one follows to force sinister into his seat, and the doors to seal. she can feel him strain against the power she sends out, uncaring for his pain or how it feels for his jaw to be forced shut.

the clone watches her with wide, frightened eyes.

madelyne looks back at her, standing up, her hands in front of her, open in supplication. the clone reaches out, slides her hands in madelyne's own.

those vacant, green eyes would have made her feel proud otherwise. hear, now, they make her feel sad. that this woman, with all her potential, was nothing. would always be nothing.

the phoenix makes itself known with the soft brush of it's will, it's power.

like the phoenix did so many years ago, maddy clenches the clone's hand, and pushes a spark into her chest. flares up the psionic part of her brain, tries to embed her with a piece of herself, of the phoenix, of life itself.

for a moment, those eyes flare. maddy feels herself brace, for a person to emerge, for the same accident that animated her to happen here and now. for confirmation that she could always be replicated no matter what-- and that she could give this woman, this doll, life, too.

those eyes flare--and then, alarmingly, maddy feels her nails dig into her skin. a scream, horrendous, guttural, and gut wrenching emerges from the clone's lips. she watches in horror, letting to as the clone burns, and burns-- until madelyne snaps to her senses, letting go. she watches as the clone sinks to her knees, bathed by phoenix fire until she is nothing.

the realization hits her in a punch: this clone was a husk. there was body, but no soul could enter, no soul could stay or be coaxed from it. there was nothing, there could never be anything. and that, as far it seemed...

there would never be another madelyne pryor. there would never be any replication of her, there would never ever be anything except husks, over and over again, each dimming out more and more.

she was genuine. real and always had been.

there is pain, there is ecstasy in this, in the moment. a sick triumph in her, knowing that she was true mixing with anger of what sinister would done, what he could continue to do unchecked. that is what makes her concentration falter, allowing sinister to stand up, a snarl leaving his mouth.

the power--goblyn and phoenix and molly's own will--mixes as she turns to face him, her mouth turned in her own feral snarl. madelyne forces him upward, suspended in the air. her will calls out, the lights flickering with the backup power afforded to the lab. "you're never, ever going to have me, scott, or nathan," she hisses out, hands rising, psychic powers constricting around him. "you can't mine me for your own ends anymore, you can't torture scott, and you can never, ever touch my children again. i am going to bury myself here with you if i have to do it."

sinister tries to open his jaw to reply.

she allows him to open his mouth and smiles with satisfaction as she forces his teeth to come down so hard on his tongue that it slices it in half. the viciousness, the anger feels so good coursing through her. the doors behind her open: every single clone of her he has made walks into the room. their faces are all in the same expression madelyne bears on her face, all of them vicious, hungry, and angry.

their hands reach up, voices mingling in a cry of rage and triumph and blood thirst.

madelyne lowers him. she feels glee, using them to tear him apart, tearing at flesh, at hair, at anything they can. she forces the back up power to overload, causes the laboratory to tear itself to pieces, determined to destroy it all as surely as she and her clones are destroying sinister.

it is her hand that hooks itself into his jaw, looks down at his terrified eyes, and allows him to feel the full brunt of the goblyn force. the magic, always eager to leave her, to be expressed as malevolently as possible, overtakes everything in a haze of green.

it's too powerful for her, too vast--

the haze of green takes everything, and madelyne pryor loses consciousness as she claims her soul, once and for all.