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Raven Darkhölme doesn't care for anyone. She lives by herself, she keeps herself safe and that is the way it is going to stay. Peoples and connections are a liability, a risk that she can't afford, and she isn't going to make the mistake of attachments again. Good luck trying to get her to talk to you, Raven is far too busy working out the next place she is going to set up camp. She eats alone, fights alone, sleeps alone and most importantly -- survives alone.


Lærke Benedikte Darkhölme
Ravend

Born

Holstein-Glückstadt, Denmark
3 December 1921

Resides

Lightport, ME

Nationality

Danish

Alliegance

None

Powers

Shape shifting

Journal Name

darkholmer

Played By

Jennifer Lawrence

Written By

Cara

Early LifeEdit

Lærke Benedikte Darkhölme does not remember exactly when she was born, only that it was a long time ago. The children of danish farmers, Eberhard and Kadia Darkhölme, Lærke was born some time at the beginning of the twentieth century. Lærke lead a very simplistic, but thoroughly happy life is Denmark. That is, until she first started showing signs of mutation aged five. Her ageing began to slow first, appearing to halt altogether by the time she was seven. As soon as her ageing stopped, the healing kicked in and she seemed completely impervious to harm. Her parents were incredibly worried, but kept it a secret for fear of being shunned from the people within the village.

It was not until her tenth birthday, when her mother came to wake Lærke and found herself staring at a mirror image of her husband that Eberhard and Kadia knew they needed to do something. Consulting the village priest for advice, he was convinced that Lærke was possessed by a demon, the harbinger of death and needed to be exorcised immediately. Lærke did not agree. Sneaking out of her house in the middle of the night, Lærke left her village with only a satchel filled with a few items of clothes, a blanket, and enough food to last her a few days, and headed south to Germany.


Found by an elderly couple sleeping in a small shed in their backyard, Lærke was taken in and adopted her middle name Benedikte - ironically a Danish derivative of the name Benedict, meaning 'blessed'. The couple, far too old to conceive a child of their own, saw Benedikte as a gift from God and treated her as if she were their own child. Unfortunately, it did not take them long to wonder why their adopted daughter did not age, and only a few years later she ran away once more. Aged sixteen, Benedikte traveled through Germany and lived on the streets once more.

It wasn't until the outbreak of World War II in 1939 that Benedikte left Germany. A world war was not something that the girl could process at that point, still barely passed childhood despite having lived for almost three decades, and the atrocities of the war were more than she could bear. By 1941 she had managed to make her way to a small village in the Netherlands.


She quickly got a job, a farm hand was all she was capable of doing and so she threw herself into the job with an enthusiasm that the owner had not seen before. With the assistance of the extra strength that her mutation gave her, Benedikte became very popular within the village. Unfortunately, this was exactly the opposite of what she wanted. Unable to fly under the radar and therefore very conscious that she would not be able to get away with looking like she was a young girl still for long, Benedikte left the village only two years after she arrived, and kept moving west.

Eventually west brought her to France, and France brought her a lot of new opportunities in an unusual form. Picked up by the local authorities of Dunkerque when she was caught stealing in 1946, they could not simply throw an obviously homeless girl of 10 (or so they thought) into jail. Instead they took her to an orphanage who put her through school. For the next five years she learnt to read and write in French and English. Picking up the new languages very quickly, it only took Benedikte a year or so for her to become fluent in these two new languages. It was here that she learnt the French (and thereby English) translation of her name, and also here that she fell in love with America.

The library at the school she attended contained a small number of texts on America, as well as work by American authors and poets. Benedikte was transfixed by Edgar Allen Poe's work in particular and vowed that she would one day go to Boston, Massachusetts, the city in which he was born. She kept a copy of The Raven, unbeknownst to the librarian, and read it almost every night.

The opportunity to go to America, the land of the free, came much sooner than expected for Benedikte. Some of the girls in their final years of schooling had scraped together enough money to take a ship to New York to 'become actresses'. Benedikte found their ideas stupid, but when one of the girls dropped out she was only too happy to step in for her. A ready-paid trip to the land of opportunity? She wasn't about to turn down an offer like that.

AmericaEdit

America was not everything that it was cracked up to be. Mocked for her strange European accent and unable to find work with only experience as a farm hand and no paperwork to back up her identity, Benedikte turned to exotic dancing as a way of supporting herself. Going by the stage name 'Mystique', it was here that she finally learnt to control her ability to shape shift. Clubs rarely hired young teenage girls to work, you see. Taking on the appearance of a slightly older girl, she made a decent living for herself. Hardly anywhere near the best, in a nowhere near high class setting, she struggled by. Moving slowly from strip club to strip club, bar to bar as she kept herself in house and with food, her life became very mundane and she loved it. On the rare occasion that a man got too handsy, she could handle him much better than the security provided at any club. Every new joint got a different face and a different name, and by the time she made her way to the real deal, to New York, New York, she could barely remember which one was her.

New York, New York; 1985. The city so nice, they named it twice. New York was not nice to Mystique. The wages as a stripper and occasional bar tender were tight, and the pockets of the customers were tighter. She would go days without eating - something she had all but forgotten of her days in Europe and on the run. She was evicted from her apartment and began living on the streets again. Homeless, hungry and slowly losing the ability to hold up her human disguise for long periods of time the weaker she became, it was then that Mystique reverted to her life of crime.

Years of experience and a countless catalogue of faces to use, Mystique slipped back into breaking-and-entering and petty theft quite easily. Rotating through her faces, she was unsure just how many people she inevitably got arrested on her behalf. She didn't care, either. The eighties and nineties taught her how to be bitter again, how to hate the world for the cards that she had been dealt and, more than anything, to hate humanity for their inability to accept the as yet unknown as just that: Difference. Not something scary, or threatening, just different. Barely dodging the unknown men that seemed to follow her everywhere, and were whispered about by everyone, Raven didn't care any more. Thankfully the motions seemed to be enough to keep her one step ahead (and the plethora of flawless disguises didn't exactly hurt) and keep her alive. For years she moved in an unknown daze of people, bright lights and unknown places, never really sure what day, month (and sometimes year) that it was.

The MisfitsEdit

She was found high as a kite on some kind of opiate, morphed halfway between her natural form and one of her disguises, by a girl that didn't appear much older than her current form, maybe eighteen or nineteen. The strange girl took Raven's hand and, in no state to protest anything, Raven blindly followed. The girl led her back to an abandoned building and introduced herself as Angel. Raven knew an alias when she heard one, and just called herself Mystique. It was the only name she knew lately. Angel handed her the tattered book she had found next to Raven, and Raven promptly hugged the girl without warning. Her only possession, the Edgar Allen Poe book that she had taken from the library in France all those years ago.

The misfit crew took to Raven quickly. Self-proclaimed outsiders of society, the six of them had been on the run from a top secret government sector known only to them as 'The Shop" for years now. Raven told them what she knew about the men that had chased her through New York in the Eighties and the group confirmed for her that they were probably hired by The Shop. Angel, Mimic and Chamber had been on the run the longest, nearly three years together and with an additional two on Mimic's part. The other three, the twins Aurora and Northstar, as well as Wraith had met each other last year, and had all been on the run for as long as they could remember. Slowly Raven told the group parts of her own story, though she neglected to mention how long she had been alive for, nor ever mentioned anything prior to her arrival to America, and within months she couldn't imagine life without these six strange people. They protected each other above all else, slipped around the grasp of the shop and even made time to drink and laugh about it all. Raven had come to life again. Things truly were starting to get good.

Naturally that meant it couldn't last. Eight months and twenty six days after Angel initially found Raven in the gutter, everything fell apart. Angel had long enough to set the house on fire and use the threat to clear the house before she was tranquilised and hurled into the back of the van unceremoniously. Raven hopped a fence and shifted into a tiny young girl, watching with terrified green eyes as she slowly watched her friends caught, drugged and locked away. She wanted so desperately to help them, to do something, but in the moment tht could have redefined her history she froze, unable to do anything other than watch as the six people who had taken her in were taken away.

It wasn't until the vans were out of sight that the young girl Raven was impersonating burst into tears. She remembered the book and made a dash back into the burning shack of a house, managing to snatch it up and get out mostly unharmed, though the sounds of her violent coughing fit evidently must have awoken the owners of the garden that she was currently hiding in. Reverting to her brunette teenager disguise, Raven hid behind a tree and watched intently as a little boy, no older than ten or eleven walked out and looked around the backyard carefully. She let out a tiny sigh of relief as he turned away, and then froze all over again as she heard his laughter and a call of 'you can come out you know'. She walked out from the shadows slowly, carefully, and so Raven met Charles Xavier, soon to be the most important influence on her life to date.


CharlesEdit

Raven and Charles bonded instantly. She didn't know what it was about him, but he made her feel safe in a way that Raven had never experienced before. No longer on the run, with a room to call her own that - according to his parents at least - didn't exist, Raven allowed herself to finally relax. She blossomed with Charles' influence, growing into the girl that she was always meant to be. It was shortly after his eleventh birthday that he gently mentioned they choose a new name for her, and although he didn't say anything, she knew that Charles must have known her real name when he took out the book of Poe's poetry and suggested 'Raven'. He must have done, because she didn't even know she remembered her real name until that day.

It soon became clear that Charles was the mature one of the two of them. Finally allowed a chance to develop like a real human being, Raven relished in her chance at reliving some kind of a childhood. By the time Charles was sixteen, he had physically caught up with Raven's mental age well and truly, and in terms of mental maturity he far surpassed her. Charles became the older brother that Raven had never realised she needed, and she protected him fiercely. Shortly before he left for Oxford (Raven was of course accompanying him) he came out to her. Raven hugged Charles tightly and made him promise to never let anyone make him feel like he was worth less because of that, but even as she said it she knew they were empty promises. Packing his suitcase that night, Charles said nothing of the fresh bruises that had appeared, and in turn Raven said nothing as she walked into his step-father's study. No longer a slight teenager, but instead a six foot monster partially modelled on Wraith, she hit him once. A solid, forceful punch that broke the older man's nose, and then she walked straight out of the study again. She never told Charles of what she had done that night, and he never asked her, but the sight of the man with tissue stuffed up his nose as a nurse tried to realign the bone was something that the neither of them would ever forget.

Oxford brought out the reckless side in Raven once again. Now an eternal nineteen year old and a dark haired bombshell, naturally she wanted to exploit her pseudo-youth and extraordinary stomach for liquor. She managed to one night as well, drinking several well built men under the table before Charles arrived. Giggling like a lunatic, she kept shushing him as he tried to get her attention to inform her of something, and eventually he just slapped a pile of bills down on the counter and dragged Raven rather forcefully out of the bar. It was only then that she learnt that her eyes were yellow, red slowly creeping it's way up her steadily shortening hair, and that was enough to stop the giggling and the protests. Charles threw his jacket over her head and rushed her back to his dorm room, but apparently the damage had been done.


Whispers amongst the right people were made about a supposed shape shifted, and try as he might Charles couldn't manipulate the minds of these people enough to forget about Raven. In fact it just brought the attention to him, the startlingly powerful psychic that was trying so hard to protect her. That summer Charles suggested that they go on a road trip, and Raven found her latest disguise. Five foot seven, blonde with grey blue eyes. Charles smiled as she walked out from behind the make shift closet and gave a little spin for him. Of course he had suggested a new disguise for her. He could keep pushing the image of Raven as a short brunette and divert the attention from this new look.

It was a late night, full of more beer than Raven or Charles would like to admit to, failed attempts at chess and a lot of pizza when Raven asked Charles what they were running from. That night he told her everything, finally. It all spilled out in one burst dam of confessions and when he was done, Raven just had a determined look on her face. They were going to beat these Shop people, she insisted. They hugged tightly and she fell asleep in that position to the sound of Charles murmuring 'I know" to echo her whispers of 'we'll pull through'.

He left in the middle of the night, walked straight out to the front of the barn that they were staying in for the night and mentally shouted 'come and get me' for them all to hear. It took less than five minutes, and then he was gone. He had left his cardigan draped over Raven. She woke up that morning to find her whole world had changed.


The SuperfluEdit

It took months for her to accept that he was gone. She kept hunting him down, following any traces that she could find, listening to the whispers and making far too much noise herself. Questioning the wrong people and being altogether far too obvious about her movements caught the attention of the very people she was trying so hard to find, and she must have been on the right track because by the time she found herself back in New York she also found herself running for her life once more. Self-preservation instincts kicked in and she spent the next year in complete solitude, moving from abandoned buildings to homeless shelters to finally the woods just outside of a small suburb on the outskirts of New York.

It was there that she was chanced upon by what she still assumes to be an innocent man, and shot him in cold blood for simply breaking into her camp. If she knew that he was in fact another Breaker sent on a Search and Recover mission with Raven's name on the file she may have harboured less guilt over his death. Even so it still didn't last long enough for Raven to get caught, and if anything just meant that she was more careful. She never stayed in one place for more than a night, and before she knew it two years had passed since Charles' self-sacrifice. She hadn't said a word out loud in over a year. If it hadn't been for the outbreak of the flu, she probably would have continued this way until she died or killed herself from sheer madness.

Raven watched from the outskirts of society as people started to get sick. She observed as they started to get sicker, and she stayed silent as they started to die. She watched as the Government tried far too alte to do anything about it, and when the last signs of life dwindled completely, she ventured back into the city.

Raven is now roaming around the empty city of New York, New York. The city that once upon a time almost destroyed her is now her salvation, and although she is having vivid dreams about Maine she refuses to leave her new safe haven in the concrete jungle. Even if it means contending with a few less-than-normal threats running around unchecked.