"I remember mornings," Mag began, staring sadly out the window that overlooked the graveyard of a city she called home. It was dark, but she was glad. It meant she didn't have to see all the corpses literally filling the battered, broken streets. But her eyes weren't focused downward anyway, they were focused outward, towards the endless sea at the very edge of her home. And she was staring at the starlit blackness that met the sea right in the middle of her line of vision. "I remember stars. I remember sunlight and moonlight and twilight and sky," she continued, though she was not just referring to the literal transitions between day and night across the world. This time, she was thinking about something different…
"I remember all these things, but why? This is no place for memories. This is no place for tears!" she shook her head, turning back to face the dressing room in which she sat. It was a luxurious little room, filled with anything and everything she could ever want, yet to her, she as might as well have been sitting in one of the city's many graveyards or junkyards for all the beauty she saw here. Gorgeous though her trinkets were, they were useless. Just like herself. Beautiful, but trapped. Gorgeous and adored, but entirely controlled by someone else. By someone cruel. By someone who did not allow for her to be anything other than his little songbird. This was no place for her, this was no place for human emotion, and this was certainly no place for tears.
"These long-forgotten memories must become forgotten years," she tried to tell herself as she sat alone, not even wanting to look in the dressing room mirror, lest she see her reflection and be forced to keep company with it. "Here no one has a past," she said. "Forget your memories fast. They'll haunt us if we let them last," but as good as this advice was… "But why do I remember mornings?" although Mag told herself all the time to forget her past and remember that that all ended the day she signed her life away to Rotti Largo, she could not totally wipe her mind clean. It seemed as though everyone else who worked for Rotti had. She hadn't been joking when she said that no one here had a past. They had all successfully forgotten theirs in favor of their future as Rotti's servants. But not Mag. Try as she did, she could not forget.
"And so in mourning still am I…"
Hours later, the show was over and Mag had left her dressing room for the last time that night. Instead of going straight home, however, she went to visit the graveyard, where her best friend lay sleeping. As she walked the last few yards from her heavily-guarded limo to her friend's grave, she could see other mourners weeping for their own dead. The dead were all fresh, most of them killed by Rotti's Repo Men, but some had died from the organ disease that had led to all of this mess in the first place.
"But this is no place for pity!" Mag sang sadly as she passed the mourners, tightening her grip on her tiny bouquet of roses until the thorns drew blood from her hands. "We're 'cured', this is the cost!" she added bitterly, thinking about herself and the mourners. Though she was as different from them as day was to night (they were dirty, poor, and still able to cry), she knew that they were still all the same on the inside, in both senses of the word. They were all literally the same on the inside, organs all stamped with GeneCo's logo, but even on the emotional level, they were very much the same. Though those people had nothing on the great and glorious Blind Mag, she knew she was just as much a slave to death and despair as they were. They had all paid that price when they had all fallen into the same trap of salvation all those years ago. It was not just those who couldn't pay that were ensnared, Mag was too, and she knew it, and she hated it. But there seemed to be no way to reverse the trap, for the man who created it all refused to allow for anyone to escape it. This world was no place for pity. This was all their fault. Every person alive was to blame for how the world was now…
Mag left the roses at her friend's tomb and headed back. As her limo driver escorted her home, Mag stared out the window and saw every type of person you could imagine, milling about the streets, but just as it was in the graveyard, so it was on the city streets. Though they were an outwardly diverse bunch, Mag knew all too well that they were all exactly alike on the inside: tainted, owned and guilty. But as the limo stopped at a red light, a gaggle of girls (some who looked drunk, some who looked high, some who were naked, some who were still stripping for onlookers) suddenly appeared, Mag heaved a sad sigh. The girls were laughing, having a blast. Something small and blue glowed between them. Despite what Mag had said about this world having no place for pity, there was still something in Mag that hated to see things like this…
"Yet every girl reminds me of the friend, and child I've lost," she sang softly, so that her driver wouldn't hear her. And suddenly, then, she wasn't staring at a bunch of junkies and prostitutes, she was seeing herself, and her beloved Marni, and Marni's baby: Shilo. Although Shilo was not Mag's daughter, from the moment Marni had first come home to tell Mag that she was pregnant, Mag had considered herself the child's second mother. She was more than just an aunt or a godmother, she was that child's parent, and when Marni died, taking the unborn infant with her, the loss had cut Mag just as deeply as if it had been her own daughter that died. She couldn't have shed anymore tears if Shilo had been her own.
Seeing the girls on the street corner, corrupt though they were, reminded Mag of herself and Marni, and what Shilo might've been. Not in the senses that they had been, or would've been, drug-dealers and strippers, but that there had been a time when they had all laughed and enjoyed each other's company the way these girls were doing now. Shilo would never have the chance to laugh with other girls, and Mag would never laugh with Marni again. These happy girls had something Mag could only dream of: a connection. No matter how fake or feeble, at least it was there.
But no amount of tears could change the past. Mag knew this too well. Marni and Shilo were dead. Those girls standing on the sidewalk were not her, or Marni or Shilo. They were strangers, though they would, doubtless, be joining Marni and Shilo very soon…
"I look the other way. Endure another day. Embrace the part that I must play," Mag muttered listlessly, seeing everything and nothing as she continued to stare at the group of laughing, screaming, naked girls. "But why do I remember morning? In mourning still am I…"
The stoplight finally turned green and the limo driver drove on. The laughing girls were lost to the darkness mere seconds later.
"And so I'll leave them as I found them," Mag shook her head, turning her eyes away from the limo window once more. The next part of town was far quieter, totally asleep, corpses lining the gutter.
"My soul has turned to stone," Mag was certain she had no capacity for real human emotion anymore, and she tried to facilitate this inhuman transition. It was far easier to be stone and ice than flesh and blood in a world as falsified and plastic as this. "But these cages that surround them, just as well may be my own," she continued. Although she wanted to become totally apathetic, she knew she wasn't. And she hated it.
At last, Mag reached her home, the ultimate gilded cage. It was a large and magnificent mansion, but heavily monitored at all times. Mag got out of the limo, listless, and walked all the way up to the bathroom beside her bedroom. Maybe before, in her dressing room, she had been unable to even look at herself. But here and now, in her own bathroom? She couldn't stop staring.
"Was I always gray?" she asked as she stared into the mirror. Though surgery kept her looking young, sexy and healthy, she was still certain that she could see wrinkles. "Was I always cold? When did I become so old?" she shook her head as the age became more and more apparent on her as she removed more and more of her stage makeup.
"Was I ever kind?" she asked next, seeing not a face, but a soul. It was just as old and gray as what she saw on the outside. There was little left of that soul, so frail and inactive it was. Had there ever even been a time when that soul had been alive and moving at all? Had there ever been a time when that soul had been good? Or caring? Or selfless? Or had it always been so… listless?
"Did I ever love? Did I ever love? Did I ever… live?" these were some of the questions Mag hated most to hear, and yet she could never stop asking them to herself even though she had not, in almost 17 long years, found a single answer for any of them. But seriously. Had there ever been a time when she had been happy? And free? Before all of this? Or had she been a slave from the start? A monster at birth? Had she been damned from the start? Had she ever been truly good or happy even once in her life?
"But I remember laughter!" the broken singer shook her head, whether to insist or deny, she did not know. What she did know was that, in her mind, she could, in fact, hear laughter. Was it hers? Or Marni's? Or was it even Shilo's? Even though poor little Shilo hadn't even taken her first breath before she took her last…
"And joy before she fell," Mag felt the tears finally starting to burn her eyes and rise up in her throat, threatening to choke her, to drown her. It was the tiniest of signs that she was not totally apathetic yet, and she hated it. But she was powerless to stop it, just like everything else in her life.
"This life that followed after, is no life!" she wept as she stared at the crying face in the mirror. "I live in Hell!" she despaired, finally turning away and fleeing to her room, only to stare once more out a window, overlooking the dismal world she lived in. There was no escape, no matter where she turned. Nothing but an endless hell-scape. "God save me from my past!" she sobbed, almost praying. "Let darkness follow fast! I've let her go, I've said my last goodbye!"
Mag was trying to insist that she had long since gotten over Marni, and Shilo, but she and God (if he even existed) knew otherwise. But she continued to beg through her lie, pleading for him to take away this pain from her heart. She was reaching 17 years of grief, would it never end? Surely the agony should've eased by now! Surely 17 years was long enough! Surely someone, or something, out there would allow Mag to move on and stop grieving! To stop remembering…
"But I remember mornings… Now I'm in mourning 'til I die…"
AN: Another Repo-EA song crossover fic. Originally, I was going to have Nathan sing this, lamenting how badly his life had become after losing Marni. And this would've coincided more with the movie, this occurring some time after "Seventeen" where Nathan realizes that he's starting to lose Shilo too, and yet he still cannot tell her anything.
But after remembering hearing EA say that she wanted Sarah Brightman to play Madam Mournington, it felt only fitting to give this song to Mag instead, though it still functions as a Nathan-song too. Shilo may not have been Mag's child, but don't tell me that Mag didn't mourn her the same way Mournington mourned Violet.
(I also considered writing it for Cora, to sing about June, just because I've already written an EA song-fic for Devil's Carnival, but that's ultimately why I decided to give this song back to Repo. June and Cora's song was "Gutter to the Stars", this one definitely fits Repo better, even though Cora has a lot to grieve, forget and fear as well, especially after June fell).
But read this fic however you wish, it seems that pretty much any Repo or Devil's Carnival character could sing this song, aside from the three I've mentioned here. Heck, even Rotti could sing it if one were trying to give him a sympathetic side…