By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
Life and death exist on two sides of the same coin, similar without being exactly the same. For most, it's an inconsequential fact that balances on the precipice between fate and coincidence, the willpower to change and a desire to outrun the inevitable. Only standing on that fine line reveals the ugly truth for what it is. Mortality at its very worst, and death in its purest form that takes regardless of outside factors, indiscriminate.
Mercury paints Cinnabar's face silver, a pale reflection of the stars overhead. Pockets burst to land on the ground past their feet, leaves a trail that sinks into every groove and edge to turn any surrounding deadly. People come, they go, they stay and die all the same. Hardly matters who they are in the end, when a lifeless corpse of an inevitability will never become anything more than just that.
Staying in one place is not only dangerous to others, but also a detriment to their own safety. A matter of when rather than if others begin to catch on, and another when it comes to who (or what) gets tasked with dealing with the newfound threat. Regardless, it always, always ends the same way. Disappear, dead, or gone without a trace, and Cinnabar is left to wonder why they were even brought to this world to begin with once again.
@Mr. Bones hey! looking forward to threading with you. hope this works, but let me know if you want anything changed. <3 for reference, cinnabar's mercury 'powers' in work.
Elysium’s second implosion could cause issues for Pandopolis, thats why Bones decided to head up there. He’d made sure to find a way ti do it discreetly, a suit of Peacekeeper armor would take him almost anywhere and cover his appearance. It wasn’t long into his recon that he heard of some possible metahuman activity. Toxic environments forming on trade ships, a couple people suffering from mercury poisoning, some deaths but nothing seemed intentional. Still he was following a trail of some smugglers trying to get looted armor and guns off Elysium and into Pandopolis criminal hands. Couldn’t arrest them as no one was supposed to know Armour was up there. So his arrival on the Waycastle was silent, he docked, unholstered his pistol and approached the sound of gambling, the smugglers are playing a game. They don’t sound awful, just desperate but still a threat to Pandopolis. The door slides open and the men look up. At first they put their hands up then the first round leaves his pistol and slams into the skull of one of the players, then they all start to spread out.
Most don’t make it far as they’re dropped by more shots, bullets striking them and sending them sprawling over, dead. He chases the final one and he starts to notice something strange, little metallic orbs flexing in the air, he see’s the man he’s chasing start to stagger, his skin visibly pink, he scratches at himself, his skin pink at this point, and then he stumbles, he falls forwards and convulses until he finally expires.
The Meta. Bones slowly moves down the hall, searching everywhere until he comes to a small indent in the wall, probably was just a natural indent from how the hall supports were placed, he kneels down, and his suspicions are confirmed when he see’s a kid. “You’re the one making the mercury?”
"And what if I am?" Cinnabar hears evidence of another presence long before they come face to face with him. A gun shot in the distance, then two, three, more than don't matter at all when it comes to the grand scheme of things. Those that set foot near them seal their fate in that instance alone. Never a question of if, but when, stupid curiosity that serves as only one of the reasons death will never leave their side, not yet.
They turn around slow and purposeful. Back against the wall with nowhere to go, but more likely to shatter into pieces before Cinnabar will ever stop trying to get away and create distance. "Let me guess, you're here to stop me?" No room to gesture, so the terse motion of their head in the direction of silver pockets - like daggers - behind and around them will have to do. "Fix this somehow? You're only wasting your time. It's pointless." It doesn't matter who is he or where he came from. Cinnabar has seen enough to know that hope can only ever lead to consequences, even here.
"You'll end up like the rest of them if you don't get away from me right now." Fingers a vice around their arm with the raw hostility of a glare to match - it's a mask Cinnabar knows all too well, mercury pockets intensifying with their emotions until it runs rivers down a silver curtain at their back. "Leave me alone." More for his own sake than theirs, such a warning. Rather a chance at preventing the worst possible outcome than to not bother trying at all.
”Maybe I am, but I can’t arrest you, not my jurisdiction.” Bones look’s over the kid, they don’t seem to have any intent other than trying to get him to leave. Not that he planned on going anywhere without them. “I don’t think I’ll end up like them. I’m...different. Kinda like you.” Bones grabs onto the helmet of his disguise and slowly takes it off revealing his blackened skull. He can feel the mercury in the air and the curtain of it behind him, but it’s nothing he hasn’t felt before, every day. ”You can’t get close, because if you do, that person dies, you can’t even wear gloves. But I can.” He places down the helmet and pulls off a glove, showing off his seemingly skeletal hand and reaching to grab one of the floating spheres, letting it slip through his fingers.
”My body produces Cyanide, my skin secretes it and no one can tell until it’s too late.” He swallows, the motion invisible to the naked eye. “I had friends once, friends I’d call family, but we got sloppy...I was used to kill one of them and...we all couldn’t handle it, I haven’t seen any of them in years...isolated myself, but I help people now.” He reached out for the kid. “I wanna help you.”
Hope is like a storm, Cinnabar thinks. Here one second and gone the next, with an intensity that's almost unbearable at times. Always leaving behind a reminder of its presence in the form of either pain or what could have, might have been, given any other situation than the only one they had at the time.
Different, immune, or just plain ignorance - hear it enough times and even hope fades out like wisps in a gale, though fighting against the feeling proves impossible time and time again. "They all say that." Cinnabar mutters, trading vulnerability for hostility that glitters like the mercury reflecting off the sharp edges of their form. "If you're wrong, you'll die." Tighter still, the fingers wrapped around their arms as they cross over their chest. "Thinking isn't enough. You have to be sure."
But as always, they're powerless to fight against instinct which wants for company when they deserve none at all, hope that manifests in the smaller movements of their eyes as they follow the motions of someone similar in such a uniquely different way. "...It's useless." Instead of reaching out, Cinnabar shrinks back further to avoid immediate contact, though the set of their posture relaxes into something neutral, cautiously optimistic. "They'll only ever hate and avoid us until it's convenient for them." Like monsters. Like tools. "If you truly are how you say, then you should already know at least that much."
Silence for seconds that feel like an eternity, but then - "...Your family. What were they like?" Quieter than before, with the edge fading until it leaves them sounding tired and resigned. Cinnabar lifts a hand with the palm facing up, letting pockets of mercury gather there in a gesture as close to acceptance as they can possibly ever get.
Bones sits against the side of the child's hiding place, pulling a cigar from one of the pouches on the peacekeeper uniform and placed it between his teeth. He takes a silver lighter from his pocket, engraved with the presidential seal on it, a gift from his swearing in as head of the DEO, and brings it to the tip of the cigar and takes a drag. The thick bluish grey smoke descends down his invisible windpipe in a swirling column, only to rush back up and spread in a cloud around his face. "I am sure." He's certain he'll be fine, he hasn't died yet, not from years of pumping cyanide out of his pores. But talking about Infinity Inc. that is something else. "They were...when we first met some didn't trust me, I had been part of a group, dumb kids really, we wanted to be super villains, were mad we had been changed, given powers we didn't want...I was angry but too young to be jailed so they took me in to watch me." He remembers Sylvester and him were tense for a while, didn't think anything would come of it, that was stupid of him. "But they took me in, accepted me in the end...but someone used me, to kill a good man and we...couldn't handle it, we wanted to go on but we...we failed him."
Bones takes another drag at his cigar. "Listen, I can leave you here, but others will come, I have resources, if you don't want to hurt anyone, maybe I could find a way to make it that you can't but stay here, and someone might come looking to hurt you. Maybe you'll fight them off, but do you want that?" He reaches for the upturned hand, laying his atop the pooling mercury.
How he's willing to pour his heart out to a complete stranger is beyond Cinnabar's comprehension. It's been that way ever since they arrived in this new world, with humans always finding new ways to catch them off guard. They breathe in, then back out, a gesture completely useless in no other way than to express the emotions twisting knots into their non-existent heart. Plumes of smoke tangible as any, just another similarity to share in a silence that stretches just past the point of discomfort.
"What do you know about what I want?" Something always there to separate the words they say from their true meaning, though the bitterness with which they roll off Cinnabar's tongue this time feels genuine as anything that came before. "Just because we're alike, you think you can understand. But unlike you, it's never been about 'acceptance' for me. It doesn't matter as long as I'm useful." They frown. "And I finally was, for once, but now...they're gone, and there's no point in bringing them here when I can't go back."
"So what could you possibly do?" Instinct tells them to pull away, but in a rare fit of impulse Cinnabar lets his hand press past the mercury until it barely grazes their palm. "When I'm like this - " With a noise like stepping on glass, the break stems from that point of contact - however brief - and spreads until the shattered remains of their hand fall to bright red pieces by Cinnabar's feet. " - you'd just be wasting your time. And even if you did manage to help in some way...you'll just disappear like the rest of them and leave me behind."
Bones is happy for a moment, he think's he's gotten through to the kid as their hands meet. And then the hand shatters and he feels the cold form in his gut, this poor kid, this poor, poor kid is stuck living like that, maybe some bands of Prometheum Dust, something could stop the Mercury formation...but how can he help them with that? He withdraws his hand, not wanting to seem repulsed but not wanting to harm them further. "My God...you poor thing." He cant help but say it, even if pity to him is the worst thing you can show in this sort of situation. "Worth isn't everything, I can't offer you some goal to work towards...I could offer you a life thought." He knelt down in front of the hole, careful to gather up the fallen pieces of the kids hand.
"The people I work with have resources...stuff we can try to help you with, maybe a treatment to help...stop this." He steps back. "All you got to do is let me help, I want to help you I really do, I don't want to use you." Maybe they could become an asset at some point, but ARMOUR helped people, DEO was meant to help people, a lot of the time that meant large scale, for the greater good, sometimes though, sometimes they could try helping just one person.
Pity and disgust alike, misunderstandings built off foolish ideals of faulty trust - Cinnabar has seen it all too many times. Reflections of a similar build whether it be human, monster, or something in between that pulls back in the exact same way that he does, a similar narrow of their eyes that tries to come across as bitter over resigned to a fate impossible to escape.
"Why?" Adamant a sudden and fierce presence in their mind, though the memory of him has always existed front and center. Insisting that a life's worth exists in their capacity to live rather than die. "After all of this, why do you still care so much?"" The volume of their voice rises, crescendos and falls until it's barely a sound in what feels now feels like a vacuum of isolation, fingers curling at their side as Cinnabar's hair falls over their eyes in sync with their now sharp and uncoordinated movements. "The only good thing a useless existence can do is disappear." Nothing more, nothing less.
But there is such an obvious difference between him and the ones that came before him that Cinnabar can't help but gravitate towards it, ever a slave to their inherent want for a place to belong. "I won't believe you. Not yet." Even the act of picking up their broken pieces bears such a heavy weight, though there's little chance he understands the true burden of such a sentiment. "What you're offering - I want to see it for myself." Only the way Cinnabar's movements tremble slightly, terse with something not quite hesitation, gives their true feelings away.
"...Promise..." Cinnabar closes their eyes slow, opens them like a languid blink. Breathe until it feels like they could break apart, but press forward regardless. "...Promise me that no one will get hurt because you're doing this. Can you really do that?"
Bones has to think on why he cares. Maybe it's just instinct but no it goes deeper than that. "Because I know what it feels like to think the way you do. To think having no use to anybody makes you nothing. But I know one thing it's we make us matter, and I want to help you carve out that path for yourself." He nods, he knows trust is hard earned, especially in his line of work and sometimes he has broken trust to achieve his goals. But here, this goal required that trust to be locked in. “I know, but I promise, we have resources and I’ll personally oversee the research to make sure you’re treated properly. I’ll be there with you.” They’ll have to be careful, but plenty of non humans work for ARMOUR, plenty that can withstand exposure to mercury, He just has to oversee and get permission to put resources towards this.
”I promise we’ll take every precaution, no one has to die, not again.” He held out the shattered pieces he’d collected, carefully cupping them.
Cinnabar knows what it feels like to be alone, knows the feeling of isolation better than anyone in the world. But only now does the feeling of being useful for the sake of belonging feel so wrong, their siblings a sudden and sprawling shell of a memory that threatens to swallow them whole.
"I..." Make a choice now or live to regret it forever. If centuries have gone by in order to lead up to this one moment, then perhaps it'll have been worth it after all. "just want to belong somewhere. I don't want to hurt anyone. Find a place where none of this matters. I don't need pity." Cinnabar presses their lips together and forces it out in a thin breath, so quiet it almost doesn't exist past a mere moment's worth.
"Okay." The subtle tremble in their movements stops, settles, stabilizes. Decisive. "Okay. You can try. I'll let you." Cinnabar brushes their remaining fingers until they curl around the fragments and holds them close to the general area around their chest, mercury shattering to burst in pockets behind them until silver pools at their feet.