Categories > Games > Zelda > The Black Mist0 Reviews
Chapter IX of The Black Mist, in which Dr. Phillips questions the truth of Mireille's claims of possession while the girl's claustrophobia takes its toll on her mind.
-A Junctioner: Hylianis Story-
DISCLAIMER: The Legend of Zelda, and all related characters, places, concepts, ect., mentioned within are property of Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto. All other original concepts presented within are property of me, myself, and I.
Dr. Phillips didn't know what to think. As she stepped into the nearby elevator, her thought turned towards the strange woman who had appeared before them days before. She could not help but think about the harrowing tale the girl had told her the day of her arrival. Pressing the button on the elevator, she began her descent further into the shelter.
She had never considered herself a strong leader. Yet here she was, a woman of science, leading the survivors of Brume to safety against an evil only spoke of in legends and superstition. A leader in her field, she certainly was... but even with her knowledge, she was no closer to unraveling the forces that have consumed the city above and almost everyone in it.
Closing her eyes, she recalled the chaos of the town as the mist began to appear, consuming everything and everyone it touched. Everyone gathered what provisions they could and fled to this otherwise unused shelter. Like other cities of the 1950's, the fear of a nuclear attack sent everyone panicking. Brume was no different in this regard, as previous generations constructed the heavily fortified nuclear fallout shelter the survivors of Brume now called home. Over time, a power plant was constructed above where the shelter remained.
It was ironic how the sanctuary one generation of people constructed against a man made evil was now being used by another against one spawned from darker, more sinister forces that eclipsed the human soul. Yet just as with the previous generations, they too ran into the same dilemma—food, supplies, and the volume of people who occupied the shelter. This shelter was quite massive, but even by its standards, it could not sustain everyone forever.
She found herself at a quandary; though their supplies would soon run out, they could not leave the town. It was either die in the mist... or die in the shelter. The thought terrified the researcher as much as it did the surviving townspeople. The scenario of what would occur once supplies ran out played in her mind as the elevator came to a stop.
As she made her way through the elevator and down the hall, she found herself eavesdropping on the conversations of the other survivors.
"I hear the doc has him locked up down the hall somewhere. Should've seen him when they brought him down here, he looked like he was about to break down...."
"What if he's one of those monsters?"
"What the hell are we dealing with here...?"
The researcher-turned-leader made a sharp left into another concrete hallway as she began to reminisce....
Dr. Phillips gazed at the figure of Mireille. Around them was a small room covered in peeling white paint while the ground was little more than barren concrete. Only a small table and a pair of chairs served to furnish the room. Mireille remained slumped against the wall, her trembling arms wrapped against her legs. Her head rested against her knees as a sorrowful expression remained etched onto her features.
Once more, the transformed woman felt caged. For several days, the researcher had confined her to this small, suffocating room. She felt her bitterness toward the situation grow with every passing moment. A part of her wanted not to play the researcher's game any longer, while another wanted to prove she was not the twisted freak the residents of the shelter believed her to be. She felt herself hyperventilate as she tried to repress her growing anxiety.
"Mireille, I'm sorry about all of this, but I must ask you this again: where do you come from?" Dr. Phillips asked.
"I told you before, I'm from Ashland, Oregon!" Mireille replied as an agitated tone crept into her voice, "Do you think I'm some sort of alien? Is that why you don't believe me?"
"It's not that I don't believe you... it's just—"
"—Doc, you've told me that story before. I know everyone doesn't know what to make of me. We've been through this already."
The researcher said nothing as Mireille dug her fingernails into her legs. Feelings of resentment manifested in Mireille's thoughts. Dr. Phillips returned a concerned expression. Despite this, the transformed woman took on a forlorn expression as a sadness replaced her agitation.
"You know... it's bad enough you all wonder how I speak English... you really do think I'm some sort of alien...."
"Well, let me get one thing quite clear: I'm not an alien. I didn't arrive on a spaceship, and I don't fancy eating people, living or otherwise. I grew up just like anyone else. I had parents who were normal, just like you. I am just like you...."
Mireille lifted her head up and closed her eyes. Her voice took on a distant, regretful tone, despite the aura of confidence it often generated. Dr. Phillips continued to watch the girl, a cautious expression crossing her features. Though the person before her had made no move to harm anyone, she was not going to allow herself to be deceived. The number of survivors were few, and she wanted to make sure those who still remained stayed among the living.
"I know... I look like some medieval reject that got lost somewhere between Lord of the Rings and Peter Pan, but if you're looking for some sort of explanation for why I'm like this... I don't have an answer for you. I've been trying to figure that one out myself."
Dr. Phillips, feeling the tension in the air growing, relented. It was then that the researcher decided that it was time for a slight change of subject. Mireille was an enigma... and Dr. Phillips wanted to unravel the mystery surrounding her. She recalled what Mireille had said about her past in their initial meeting before speaking once more.
"Do you remember anything about the lab? The one you mentioned in our first meeting."
Mireille shook her head.
"I told you... all I remember is waking up strapped to a bed, followed by some guards attacking me."
Dr. Phillips closed her eyes as Mireille's expression became more and more agitated. The memory of her awakening struck her once more, like salt being poured on an open wound. It was a memory she wanted desperately to forget, just like everything else in the nightmare that had become her life. Mireille found herself unable to resist snapping at the researcher.
"Why do you keep asking me the same questions over and over again? I've told you everything I know!"
"Mireille... you must understand that I don't ask them to torment you. The survivors of Brume consider me their leader, and as their leader, I must do everything in my power to ensure their safety."
Mireille stared back at the researcher in silence as she continued. Dr. Phillips got up out of her chair and began to walk around the table. It was then that it dawned on Mireille. A worried look etched itself on the girl's face as her eyes met the researcher's.
"You think I'm one of those monsters, don't you?"
Dr. Phillips cocked an eyebrow at the transformed woman. The more she spoke with Mireille, the more the researcher realized just how bizarre her situation truly was. She had witnessed many individuals claim to be possessed, but she neither had the time nor the resources to examine her story further. Mireille Donovan was an enigma, one she could not discern as friend or foe to the people in her care.
"I don't know, Mireille."
"...That is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard, and you know it. I've seen those things, and so have you, so let's be honest with ourselves- if I were turning into a monster, none of you would be standing here right now."
"Then how are you able to conjure weapons out of thin air?"
"I don't know!" Mireille pounded her fist against the ground. "I just... think about it, and it appears in my hand! I didn't even want that stupid sword in the first place, and if I could, I'd chuck it down a river and be done with it. I didn't want this, Doc! How many times do I have to tell you that before you'll listen to me!"
Dr. Phillips said nothing as Mireille continued. A sorrowful expression formed on the researcher's face as she gazed into Mireille's eyes. Mireille returned her a look of indignation. She pulled at her hair as a familiar nausea overwhelm her senses.
"I feel sick. My stomach is tearing itself apart. Every time I go to sleep, it's like the walls are closing in on me. Let me out... please let me out... I promise I won't hurt anybody...."
In the face of her suffocating anxiety, Mireille could do little more than beg for her release. She did not know what else to do. The room had only one entrance and one exit. Beyond tearing the door out or obtaining permission from the older woman, there was no other way to escape the room and assuage the horror she felt towards her confinement.
The researcher closed her eyes, understanding full well the symptoms the young woman displayed. It was not the first time she had witnessed such claustrophobic anxiety in a person. Though she did not have all of the details, the researcher remembered the girl's words regarding the lab she had awakened in, and believed that to be a contributing factor to her current mental state.
The mind was a delicate instrument, and this teenager's mind was in shambles. Something or someone had torn the girl apart physically, mentally, and spiritually, and once it was finished the girl had been left to pick up the pieces. Dr. Phillips felt untold pity towards the stranger before her. In spite of her admiration towards Mireille's persistent courage regardless of her anxieties, the woman made her decision.
"I can't do that, Mireille."
Fed up with her confinement, Mireille glared up at the researcher.
"So what, you plan on keeping me cooped up in here until you guys decide what to do with me? Is that it?"
"Look, I've tried to be understanding about this situation. I mean, if a pointy eared freak of nature who is somehow unaffected by some mist that may or may not be spawned from Hell showed up on my doorstep, I wouldn't know what to make of the situation, either. I'm grateful you at least didn't try to kill me when I first showed up. To show my sincerity, I even agreed to this 'quarantine' until you've figured out if I'm going to turn into a monster and eat you alive. It's been two days now... and I've clearly not grown any black spots or fangs. Not to mention my ears...."
Mireille flicked her right ear with her free hand.
"...are looking about the same as they did when you just met me."
Dr. Phillips sighed. She admitted to herself that the woman's appearance was quite bizarre, especially the appearance of her ears. Even now, it was difficult for her to believe the person before her was from this world. Part of her wanted to believe the girl, that she had truly undergone some supernatural transformation, but she was a woman of fact... and she was not sure if she was dealing with fact or fiction. It was then that she made her decision regarding the girl.
"I'm afraid it's not time for you to come out of here, Mireille. Not until everyone is certain."
"Certain of what?"
"Certain that you are not a danger to us."
A distraught look formed on Mireille's face as her head sank back into her lap. She sighed, not wanting to argue any further. The transformed woman wanted nothing more than to cry. The situation was more than she could bear, and she did not know how much longer she could tolerate this imprisonment. Like a caged bird, she wanted nothing more than to be free.
"How long are you going to keep me here? What must I do to prove I'm not going to hurt anyone?"
Dr. Phillips closed her eyes, unsure of what to tell the strange woman. She made her way towards the door.
"I don't know, Mireille. I honestly don't know," the researcher responded.
As Dr. Phillips made her way out of the room, a sudden panic manifested itself in Mireille's mind. She stood up onto her feet as she raced toward the door. The door closed behind her, and with a click, the door was locked tight. In a fit of desperation, Mireille pounded on the door in hopes of gaining the researcher's attention once more. When she saw her disappear down the hall through the window, the transformed woman could do little more than surrender herself to the suffocating fear that had taken hold of her as she slid against the door and onto the concrete.
Mireille huddled herself into the back corner of the room as she rested her head in against her arms. Her knees remained tucked underneath her arms. She remained motionless, frozen like a statue. Her sleeves were wet, stained by soundless tears she had shed over the course of the several days she had been here. Confinement was something the young woman despised; if it were not for a desire to show the survivors good will on her part, she would not have agreed to this 'quarantine' they were putting her through.
She wanted nothing more than to cease this pointless isolation. Thoughts of escaping crossed her mind, only to be tempered by an inherent desire to prove her intention to the survivors. Yet she found herself at a standstill; she could not prove she was not a threat while she remained idle in this room. Part of her mind also felt relief that even in the midst of the destruction this vile mist brought, a few of the town's inhabitants survived.
The young woman understood their fear all too well. It reminded her of the night she escaped from that lab, being forced to flee like a panicked animal unable to fight back. The townspeople were in the same position... only for them, there was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. Even though they refused to tell her much of their situation beyond what the black mist had done to the town of Brume, Mireille could see the desperation in everyone's eyes.
This was a town that had been through absolute hell. In the face of the supernatural evil before them, it was difficult to trust others. Even as she remained trapped, a part of her empathized with their situation. She recalled the doctor's words to her upon her arrival.
/"I will not lie—like the other survivors, I, too, am unsure what to make of you. You are quite the mystery to us./"
She snorted, noting the irony of the situation. Her situation was just as enigmatic to her as it was to the survivors. Yet she was the one who had to suffer. As feelings of panic began to manifest themselves, she lifted her head up and looked at the ceiling with watery eyes.
Grandpa... what am I supposed to do? I feel so lost without you... please tell me what I can do to show these people I'm not one of the monsters that have taken over this town. Please... I need your help....