That's My Q #125 - "For Three Years I had Roses..."

(OOC: Sorry it's so long but this is just a part of the story I had to tell. If you have not seen the movie "V for Vendetta" you do NOT want to read this post. It has some major spoilers in it. Other then that I hope you enjoy it)

-={On}=- [The Shadow Gallery, Somewhere beneath London]

Months had passed, Evey had run off to a place unknown and several entities have tried to find her since. First and foremost there was V, she knew where he lived, and she knew where they could find him. Was she ever to be captured she would surely talk. She was a good girl, heart in the right place but she would buckle under the interrogation. He had found her though, and just in time. During a raid of Gordon Deitrich's house he was able to get a hold of Evey, who had been hiding there from the authorities. And now she was back, in his Shadow gallery, under his protection. But he was sure she wouldn't see it that way.

Curled up on the empty concrete floor Evey lay, hoping that they would just come in and shoot her then and there, it was hell. The only thing that kept her alive, the only thing that kept her breathing was that letter. Although even those words were beginning to fade now. She got up from her curled up position and crawled to the hole in the wall. With it in hand she crawled back to the window.

Unrolling the paper, having turned yellow by the moist in the cells, in the light of the single barred window her cell had she started to read again.

"I know there is no way I can convince you that this is not another one of there tricks, but I don't care… I am me…" Evey could swear she could hear the woman's voice as she read the letter "…my name is Valerie and I don't think I'll life much longer and I wanted to tell somebody about my life."

"This is the only autobiography I'll ever write, and my god, I'm writing it on toilet paper." Evey smirked a bit at the obvious truth of it. Valerie Her story began where all stories should begin, at the start.

"I was born in Nottingham in 1985, I don't remember much of those early years but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tuttelbrook and she used to tell me that god was in the rain."

"I passed my eleventh class and went to girl's grammar, it was at school when I met my first girlfriend. Her name was Sarah, it was her wrists… they were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that it was an adolescent phase that people outgrew. Sarah did… I didn't."

"In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina, That year I came out to my parents, I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My Father wouldn't look at me, he told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing…"

"I had only told them the truth, was that so selfish? Our integrity selves was so little but it is all that we really have, this very last inch of us. Within that Inch we are free."

"I had always known what I wanted to do with my life and in 2015 I starred in my first film, the Salt Flats. It was the most important role of my life, not because of my career but because that is how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again."

"We moved to a small flat in London together, she grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box and our place always smelled of roses. Those were the best years of my life. But America's war grew worse and worse and eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore not for anyone."

"I remember how the meaning of words began to change, how unfamiliar words like `collateral' and `rendition' became frightening. While things like `Norsefire' and `The Articles of Allegiance' became powerful. I remember how different became dangerous. I still don't understand it… why they hate us so much."

"They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life… Wasn't long until they came for me… It seems strange that my life should end in such a horrible place… but for three years I had roses… and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish… every inch… but one…"

"An inch… it is small and it is fragile and it is the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away, we must never let them take it from us."

"I hope that, whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you or kiss you ... I love you… with all my heart… I… Love… You…" a tear rolled down her cheek as she whispered the name signed under it "…Valerie" she leaned forward and kissed the paper, it gave her strength, it gave her hope.

[Some time later]

The black bag was pulled from her face and she blinked a few times rapidly to adjust to the light, looking down slightly to avoid eye contact with the man in front of her.

"I am instructed to inform you that you've been convicted by special tribunal, and that, unless you are willing to offer your cooperation, you are to be executed" the man, mostly covered by the shadows of the poorly lit room leaned forward "Do you understand what I'm telling you?"

Evey didn't move or cringe like she did last time she heard that horrible man his voice "Yes" she spoke, confidently, clearly and without fear.

"Are you ready to cooperate?" The man then asked, almost sounding a bit hopeful.

Evey looked up and looked him straight in the eyes, although there were none to be seen clearly she knew she was staring him right in the eyes when she told him "No"

"Very well…" stood up from his chair, scraping the chair over the floor as he did and he walked out of the door "escort Miss Hammond back to her shell. Arrange a detail of six men and take her out behind the chemical shed and shoot her"

[Another while later in Evey's Cell]

The doors opened, loud and eerie it sounded "It's time" a man stated from the door opening.

Evey was sitting in the middle of the room, knees to her chest and head on her knees, Valerie's letter in her hand, she looked up at the man "I'm ready"

The man got a bit desperate for this girl "Look all they want is a little piece of information, just give them something, anything!"

Evey sat, unmoved "Thank you… but I'd rather die behind the chemical sheds" her voice had a calm to it, something the man had never heard before.

"Then you have no fear anymore… you're completely free" the man concluded and walked off into the hall.

Confusion washed over her, there she was, ready to die and this man just told her she was free to go. Evey slowly stood up and staggered towards the door, looking hesitantly around the corner.

Slowly she walked towards the guard, who now appeared to be nothing more then a mannequin dressed in a uniform with a weapon slung around his neck. She couldn't believe her eyes, slowly she put out a hand and pushed against it. It wiggled a bit before regaining its balance and stood again unmoved.

Evey walked on to find a door at the end of the hallway, she pushed it and without to much trouble it opened. No locks, no guards, the doors just opened and what she saw beyond that door nearly knocked her over.

She stepped into the Shadow Gallery, she had been there, before she had tricked V and escaped him to seek refuge with Gordon, it was V his house, but if this was V his house then what had the prisons been? What was this? She was confused, her mind in chaos as she slowly staggered into the room.

"Hello Evey" V ran his hand over the piano top as he walked closer to her.

"You…" she stated in much disbelieve, keeping Valerie her letter close, as if it would give her strength. "…it was you…" she looked back a bit before focusing on V again "…this wasn't real…" she concluded, all of a sudden a burning question "…is Gordon al-…"

"I'm sorry…" V interrupted her "…I thought they would just arrest him but after they found a Koran in his house they had him executed… Fortunately I got to you before they did"

"You got to me? You did this to me?" Evey was appalled, flabbergasted, she didn't know what to believe anymore. Slowly the realization washed over her "You cut my hair? You tortured me? … You Tortured me!" she shook her head in disbelieve and whispered "Why?"

"You said you wanted to live without fear… I wish there had been an easier way but there wasn't…" V hesitantly stepped a bit closer "I know you may never forgive me… but nor will you understand how hard it was for me what I did." Only he and Caelen knew how true this was "Every Day I saw in myself what you see in me now…. Every day I wanted to end it…" this was more true now that Caelen was a part of him, he had thought about his daughter and the people back on the Starbase, how would they look at him knowing that he did this? He had to continue, he had to, such was the tale and he didn't want to upset this reality "…but ever time you refused to give in I knew I couldn't"

"You're Sick!" Evey shouted at him "You're Evil!" she added, rage now filling her.

V stayed calm "You could have ended it Evey, you could have given in, but you didn't… Why?" both he and Caelen wondered how a person could take this much without buckling, it gave him more then disgust for himself it also gave him hope.

"Leave Me Alone!" Evey shouted at him, stepping back now, wanting to get as far away from this monster as possible "Get away from me, I hate you!" she was torn between running and attacking, knowing that she could never handle this man in a fight she knew she wanted to run. But her legs wouldn't, she was too weak.

"That's it!" V suddenly shouted "See at first I thought it was hate too, hate was all I knew, it put was world… imprisoned me. Taught me how to eat, how to drink, how to breathe. I thought I'd die with all that hate in my veins" the intense emotions coming loose in V was something Caelen had never felt before, he remembered everything, Larkhill, the tests, Valerie… it was V his life but now it was part of him as well. "But then something happened… it happened to me… just as it happened to you" he said calming down again.

"Shut Up!" Evey broke the silent atmosphere with a shout "I don't want to hear your lies!"

"Your own father has said that artists use lies to tell the truth… yes I created a lie, but because you believed it you found something true about yourself"

"No…" Evey shook her head violently, she didn't want to hear this, and she didn't want to believe him.

"What was true in that cell is just as true now… " V pointed over his shoulder towards the cell "…what you felt in there has nothing to do with me"

Tears coming to her eyes, she felt so weak, so helpless. She wanted it to stop "I Can't feel anything anymore!"

"Don't run from it Evey" V stepped closer to her a bit, he knew how she felt, he had felt the same all those years ago in Larkhill. "…you've been running all your life"

Evey felt panic, she started to hyper ventilate, she wanted to get out of there but she couldn't, her legs gave out but V was there to catch her and guide her gently towards the ground.

"Listen to me, Evey, this may be the most important moment of your life… commit to it…" V might have been a harsh teacher but at least it was a lesson never forgotten, to both Evey and Caelen "…they took your parents from you… they took your brother from you… they put you in that cell and had taken everything they could take…" he put a hand under her chin, she was still clasping for air, "…everything but your life…" he looked her in the eyes although she could not see his "…and you believed that was all there was, didn't you… the only thing that was left was your life, wasn't it?" he slid both his hands on a side of her face and tried to held her steady.

The hyperventilating subsided only a bit as she exclaimed "please…" she wanted him to make it stop, anything that would help her make it stop. More tears rolled down her eyes as she had trouble getting oxygen in her lungs.

"You found something else…" V wanted to help her but she had to listen to him, he held her a bit closer now. "…is it not so that you found something that mattered more then you then your life… because when they threatened to kill you if you didn't help them they'd kill you…"

Evey was calming down a bit again, finding a way to get her breathing under control.

"…you told them you would rather die"

To be Concluded… -={Off}=-

Captain Caelen LaBrie/V CO/Anarchist Starbase Ronin/London "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."


Evey Hammond (NPC) Girl reborn The Shadow Gallery after all. "Anger at lies lasts forever. Anger at truth can't last."

Also starring: Valerie Page (NPC) Hope and Strength Larkhill Detention Centre "For Three years I had roses and I apologized to no one"

(All NPCs played by Captain Caelen LaBrie)