I advise you to read A Demon's Poetry first, but of course you don't have to. Reading out of order is something I'm known for. Some aspects simply won't be quite as elaborated upon as they were in ADP.
For pictures of Pain and Snare and others in this story as well as A Demon's Poetry check out Kqmagicgirl's DeviantART Account.
Maggie brushed a thumb gently over his hand smiling softly at him, though she knew he couldn't see. Grayson was only just recovering his sight and could hardly see anything but a huge blur. But that didn't keep him away from assisting the resistance that was now being led by his brother in their leader's temporary absence.
"The neuro-core is what we've gotta strike," seventeen-year-old Ray began. "But we'll have to figure out how to maneuver inside the TS Station without attracting attention or running into guards. We'll need a distraction."
"A very believable one. The distraction should look like a very serious mission with a solitary fatal flaw," Grayson suggested to his brother. "So that Alchem thinks he's thwarted us."
Ray nodded and paused to think. "…Question is, who'll lead that operation?"
One of the original female members of the resistance stood. "I will."
Hesitantly, Ray started, "Luna—"
Luna persisted, "I'll do it. You lead Squad 1, I'll lead Squad 2. No discussion needed."
"I think they did a lot of rearranging. Not just changing up the rooms but extending things and blocking off corridors," the youngest member in the resistance, only thirteen, put in.
Maggie nodded, "I noticed that a few weeks ago when I was trying to find Special Confinement USC-6."
Referring to the holographic projector in the shape of a ball that projected a 3D mapping display of the station, Grayson sighed, "I'm supposing my invention is now useless to your cause."
"Not if I can update it!" interjected the thirteen-year-old, Ash. "I'd just need a crude, sketched-out map of what it looks like now."
Ray arched an eyebrow. "Wouldn't that kind of defeat the point of updating it?"
"No—the 3D version is more helpful. You can zoom and see what it looks like put together and make a layout of your plan's course that'll actually show up," Ash explained.
"And where do you plan to get a crude sketch?" asked the redheaded leader.
"Well…" Ash left off, uncertain.
It dawned on Maggie… "I might have someone who can help."
Curiously, Ray looked up. "Who?"
"Uhm…" Maggie hesitated. "I think he'd rather remain anonymous. But I'm pretty sure I can get a basic design from him."
Grayson encouraged, "Then by all means…"
Nodding, Ray said, "Go on ahead, Mag's. We'll put the missions on hold until the mapping is finished. Everyone got it?"
Journal Entry 1
It's so hard to adjust to this new world. Yes, I had only been gone for a year or two, but I had never been to America or dealt with these sorts of people. I'm struggling, but I keep thinking to myself that it could be worse. And I'm very certain it could be.
Socializing had never been something I was particularly skilled in and certainly not in a friendly manner, but I'm expected to be so now. I'm curious as to how you become better. Is it simply that you are born that way or do you have to practice to be social?
"I'm telling you, this is supposed to be marked down," persisted a customer.
"And I'm telling you it's not," Pain said with a dull frown and uninterested look in his eyes. "If you aren't willing to pay full price you might as well set it down."
The woman insisted, "It was under the marked down section though! That means it's twenty percent off!"
Pain tried to swallow his growing irritation. "According to my register, it's still the original price. Are you going to buy it or not?"
"Where is the manager!" she snapped. "I want to talk to the manager!"
"I'll get him," said Pain in an annoyed tone. He turned around and went to the door behind him and entered into a storage room that was filled with all sorts of spooky things. His usual grim yet annoyed expression plastered onto his face, he called out, "Fill?"
Fill held a delicate brush as he painted fake blood onto a broken manikin. Without looking up from his work, he answered, "Yeah, kid?"
"A customer wants to see you."
Fill paused. "…it's my lunch break."
"It's five forty seven, Fill."
Irritated, Pain glared dully. "Fill."
Fill stood and started toward the door. "I'm coming; I'm coming."
As soon as the woman saw him, she planted a deeper scowl on her face. "Sir, this item was under the marked down section, and this young man is telling me that it is not marked down twenty percent."
"That's because it's not, ma'am. That's stocked on aisle six not aisle seven."
"Then I'd like to file a complaint!" continued the woman. "For disorganization!"
Pain resisted the urge to groan, and he could tell that Fillmore was doing the same as he tried to calm the woman and negotiate. This was going to be a long day.
Went for a ride. Don't burn the house down. Thanks.
Pain read the short note as he poured himself a drink. As he had presumed it had been a long day. Honestly, he preferred the night shift over the day shift because for some reason it seemed the people he encountered during the daytime were more nauseating than those at night.
Here he stood alone in a rented house. Silence had become his enemy over the short period of his stay. In the past, he had loved silence. But now, every time the room fell silent or he was left alone his thoughts took over. He reflected upon the six thousand plus years that he had made mistakes. Being a half demon with emotions was hard to endure.
Guilt and shame was now the emotion that tended to dominate him. Over the many millennia of his existence, he had murdered and tormented without feeling the slightest bit of remorse. But as his demon side grew weaker with the passing of time, his human side began to take control, and emotions reigned within him.
Ever since he developed these emotions, life had been a mysterious void for him. He was confused on many aspects. Much contemplation had been made inside him on things such as the purpose of emotions and his life.
Now in the company of other beings who felt emotions as well, he realized they were not meant to torment the souls but to shape the person they reigned within into the being they were meant to be. It was actually quite a beautiful thing. But for Pain, once a ruthless demon and tormentor, he would never become beautiful in that way. He would remain hideous inside due to the scars of wickedness that would forever remain.
Pain closed his eyes and sighed clutching his head. Oh, how he despised silence…
He couldn't help jumping. Quickly looking up, he saw the dark haired girl with dark shades that had rescued him from slavery—Maggie—stood before him on the other side of the kitchen counter.
"When did you…" he shook his head and asked a different question. "Why are you here? You made it bluntly clear you never wanted to see me again."
"Wanting to see you is one thing—needing to see you is a whole other thing," she pointed out.
Admittedly, he nodded. "Alright. Why do you need to see me?"
"You worked for Alchem, right?"
"Wrong. I was a slave to Alchem. There is a difference between an employee and a slave."
With a grim expression, Maggie said, "You know what I meant. We need a map of the remodeled Toxic Society Station. I was hoping you could help."
Pain arched an eyebrow quizzically. "We?"
After slight hesitation, Maggie admitted, "The resistance—Can you sketch a basic map or not?"
Touching his fingers, his elbows propped up on the counter, Pain pointed out, "You do realize I was locked in a cell that was unlocked only when Alchem wished it to be for the majority of my lovely stay in the TS Station."
"A yes or a no is all I'm looking for, Pain."
"…I could perhaps. But it would be lacking greatly in detail. I'm a poet, not an artist."
"Alright that's all I—you're a poet?" Maggie looked at him skeptically.
Pain acted as though he had neither heard her nor mentioned his artistic pleasure. "Find some paper."
As he pushed away from the counter, a large sheet of paper spread over the counter like a table cloth suddenly appeared out of nothing. Startled, Pain paused. Considering the number of times Alchem had teleported (or as Mindorian's called it, Flashed) objects and people even, it should not have surprised him as it did. "…How did you—"
Maggie held out a pencil to him. "Draw."
Pain took the pencil and set to work.