Factions, Families, Clans, and Empires
Carson has dark hair, and slightly tanned skin. He has an athletic build, but isn't as strong as he looks. He is just under six feet tall, and tends to wear blue, casual clothing.
Carson is an easy-going, laid back guy. He wants to be everyone's friend, and avoids conflict unless he is absolutely has to. He will, however, defend someone who he feels is being treated unfairly by others. Just because he doesn't want to argue doesn't mean he lets people walk all over him. He is willing to tell a blatant lie if he feels it will cheer someone up; everyone who knows him knows him as perpetually mellow and calm guy, and very few have ever seen another side to him.
He believes the way to change the world is subtle, and requires you to make several small changes that people aren't even aware of, rather than a big, heavily-contested decree. Fame, to him, is the fastest way to become obsolete in the process of fixing the world.
Carson got on well with his parents, and rarely fought with his younger sister. Sure, they had things they argued over, but there were never any big secrets that kept them apart. They encouraged him when he decided to go to a technical college with an engineering focus; he also is very interested in the human body. He wants to develop the next MRI or similar medical device that would change the world; he spent a lot of time working on college projects with professors, doing research labs with grant money. He graduated in the top third of his class.
Carson wants to get a doctorate, but his family doesn't have enough money to pay the full ride. Instead, he took a few years off from school in a smaller job to try to earn enough money to be able to support himself through loans and his own income.
Carson woke up in a room much larger than the one in the apartment he'd fallen asleep in. He slowly raised his head and looked around him. He was in a bedroom; a really nice one, too. He sat up and realized he was still in his street clothes. He could feel his wallet and phone still in his pocket, but looking aroudn he didn't seem to see his jacket anywhere. He stood up as he heard a voice ring through some kind of intercom.
"[i]Please assemble in the central plaza," it said, prompting Carson to slowly get up and look around the room more. It felt like he was in a really expensive hotel. Checking his wallet, he hoped he hadn't checked himself in somewhere in a druken stupor he couldn't remember. See that his small amount of money was still there, he pocketted it and moved the the shower-like appliance, trying to figure out how it worked. Before he could, however, the voice rang out over the intercom again.
Carson listened to the explanation, along with the addendum that those who had listened to previous instructions had been awarded the tokens. He hurried over to the elevator that looked as if it were the only way out of the room, and rode it down. Other than the fact it seemed very cramped, the ride was smooth. He hoped he'd get down to the main room before anything else happened; he'd already missed out on 10 tokens (not that he knew how much that was worth), and if they were as important as the voice led him to believe, he didn't want to miss out on any more. Besides, the voice had implied that there were other people here as well.
As he walked, searching for the central plaza, Carson thought about the other things the voice had said, and what that meant about where they were. He remembered signing up for a psychological experiment at one of the local schools, but this seemed too intense to be funded by a college. This talk of superpowers confused him; no such thing existed, did it? He'd ask the people he met in the main plaza, see if they knew anything. Hopefully, someone would have an idea of what was happening.
He arrived in the main hall and saw that a large number of people had collected, and were now all talking amongst themselves in various groups. He looked around and saw one woman who seemed to be operating the screens at what looked like a restaurant, and assumed she'd know what was happening. He walked over to her and the two people she was talking to in a hurry, leaned in and asked, "Uh, excuse me. I got here a little late. I don't suppose you have any idea what's going on?"
"We could all go," Carson said, looking at the people at the table, "There's five of us here. We want to be able to make friends, if we're going to be here a while. Might as well do it with each other." He paused, "Of course, we should probably introduce ourselves. I'm Carson."
"That seems best," Carson said, "since most of us don't know our powers. Some of us might have powers that don't react well. If we split the group into two groups of four, then we reduce the chances of hurting each other. Even if we can have 10 people, it's not a good idea until we can get a handle on ourselves first." He looked at the group; there was Jessica, Aaron, him, Roselyn, Misha, Aphrodite, Liliana, and the girl with the coffee that had yet to speak up. Aaron and Jessica both seemed to have a handle on what was going on, since they'd been able to get themselves food, and Aphrodite at least seemed to know what she could do.
"What if Aphrodite went with Lily, Misha, and..." Carson pointed at the silent girl gripping her coffee, "Uhh, her, and Jessica and Aaron go with Roselyn and me. Jess and Aphrodite both seem to know a bit more about how this place works, so they can help the rest of us stay on top of everything, at least until we can get a handle on this."
Carson indicated to Jessica and Aaron, "After you," he said, making room for them to follow Roselyn into the pod. "I guess it starts once we all get into the pods?" he asked.
Carson followed Aaron into the pod, and saw his and Aaron's sillouettes light up on the wall. Suddenly, the pillar in the middle of the room lit up and a small globe appeared above it. Carson moved forward and read the message that appeared on the globe.
PLACE YOUR HAND ON THE GLOBE TO CONFIRM TEAM
He looked up at the rest of the group, "Should we go?" At the conformation of the others, he placed his hand on the globe, followed by the other three of the group. The message on the globe vanished and was replaced by another.
The door to the pod shut, and Carson felt it begin to move. He pulled his hand back, and looked at the others. "Well, here we go."
Carson stepped out into the room and listened to the instructions, looking over the array of weapons in front of him. Jessica took a large bat, and Roselyn took the piece of lead pipe. Carson looked around, wondering what the targets would look like, then started to pick up various weapons. They all felt weird, but he didn't know what he was supposed to do with them. He finally picked one up, and gave it a quick swing to see how it felt, before deciding he'd try it. He picked up the mace and walked into the main area of the room, waiting for Aaron to choose his weapon and the challenge to start.
Carson hoped the rest of them wouldn't get distracted by the blue one. Sure, it was 100 tokens, but if they got all the others it would be a hundred, and that would be much less difficult to do. They could focus on the giant snake after they had dealt with the other 55 orbs. He lifted his mace and headed down into the arena.
He kept the mace on his shoulder, keeping it easily accesible if one of the orbs wandered close enough.
He decided to start with the ones on the ground, since both Aaron and Jessica had longer weapons for the ones in the trees. He started at the top of the river, right by the waterfall, and swung for one that was sitting right near the pond. He misjudged the distance, and it slowly floated off into the water. He jumped out for it, swinging the mace and making a connection. The orb broke, and he sighed, slowly lifting the mace back out of the water. "Got one!" he shouted. He looked around at the others. Aaron was making his way up towards the snake, and the other two seemed to be wandering as he was. He saw an orange one poke out from behind a tree; it was as if it were looking him over. He hoisted the mace and swung out at it.
It stuck in the tree and the orb scurried away on its mechanical legs. Carson cursed and pulled on the mace to extract it from the tree. It took most of his strength, but he managed to pull it out and continue down the river. "Fun..." he muttered, hoping they didn't have a time limit.
Carson swung out for the orange one, managing to hit it, but it didn't shatter. He slammed the mace into the mechanical underside, and watched as it flew off to the other end of the arena. Hoping it would shatter, he turned to Jessica and listened to her suggestion, keeping his eye out for red ones the whole time.
"It's better than chasing them around for ages without a plan," he said, "I don't suppose either of you have guessed your powers yet? That would be incredibly useful for-" He paused for a second to swing at a red orb that had drifted too close, shattering it, "-if we want to get this done any faster. Or deal with that." He indicated Aaron and the giant mechanical snake.
"Ideally, we wouldn't even try until we got the rest of the orbs," Carson said, slowly moving his way over to them. He couldn't see any more orbs within immediate range, so he lowered the mace and joined the other two. "But he's going to get himself killed if we leave him to it. I'd say distracting it is our best bet... but I doubt it would fall for throwing rocks. We'd probably need to get it to chase one of us and have someone get on top if it." He picked up a rock from the river, "I don't supposed anyone plays baseball?" He tossed it up and down in his hand. "We might be able to shatter it from a distance..."
Carson nodded, "If we get all the red and orange ones, it's the same as the blue one with much less risk. Then, if we still have time, we can aim for the blue one." He moved off in the opposite direction of Roselyn, trying to cover as much land as possible before they ran out of time. He kept an eye out for orange ones as well; Whenever he got the chance, he swung at one, but he didn't make a point of chasing them yet. Hopefully, he'd be able to find the one he'd injured, and see if he'd broken it. If it was still operational, it would certainly be damaged enough to easily catch and break.
Before long, he'd made his way along the river up to the grate at the end of the room, hitting a few red ones along the way. The orange ones certainly were elusive; it would probably take more than one of them to consistently grab them. He returned to the rest of them, looking back up at the scoreboard, "So, does anyone know how those numbers work...?"
Carson ran through the numbers in his head, trying to come up with an explanation. "How many orbs have you managed to break?" he asked Roselyn, tilting his head at the board. "I have an idea..."
He turned to Roselyn, "Well, I think it might be available points left. If A means the blue one, we still have 100 points left from blues. You say you destroyed an orange one: That's ten out of the fifty for the orange, leaving forty points left in B. I don't know exactly how many reds we've destroyed, but the numbers up there look reasonable. I just can't figure out P..." He moved the numbers around in his head, "At first I thought it was our total score, but since you broke an orange one we should have a higher score than that. It seems like it's missing ten points..."
"You should be able to handle it on your own," Carson said, looking between Roselyn and Jessica, "I'll help them. Hopefully, we won't get anyone killed." He placed the mace on his shoulder and used his free hand to pick up several rocks, "We'll see how good our aim is, among other things. They did say it was target practice."
Carson watched the events unfold with a growing sense of doom. Aaron was being far too reckless; He climbed the mountain up to the snake and broke the orb. Suddenly, as the snake roared to life, Carson jumped back and watched as both Aaron and the snake plunged into the water below. He shouted out, "Rose, forget it! We've got the blue orb!" Now we just need to survive for twenty minutes with this thing, he thought to himself, reaching the edge of the lake.
Aaron was trying to free himself from the jaws of the creature, but he didn't seem to be having any luck. Carson threw the rocks, but the snake was too deep for them to have any sort of momentum by the time they actually hit the target. He sighed, and tossed the mace on the lakeside. This is an incredibly stupid idea he though, before diving into the water after Aaron and swimming to the snake. He positioned himself over the snake's head, and grabbed its upper mouth, careful not to catch his hands on the fangs. He then placed his feet on the snake's head and pulled, trying to loosen the grip on the struggling man beneath him.
As his teammates worked to part the snakes jaw, Aarón was finally able to to wriggle out. He gave a sort of wave to both Carson and Jessica to signal that he could still swim, and made his way up to the surface. It was slow going for the young man as every stroke on his right side was somewhat painful, and it appeared that while nothing was broken, he had been badly bruised, partly by the vice-like grip of the snake and partly by his own thrashing.
His lungs fit to burst, Aarón reached the surface after what seemed like an eternity and he began gasping for air . For a moment he just lay there at the shore of the lake, wondering how much it would hurt when he decided to get up. "Thanks for saving me", he croaked, "I'll try to be a little less eager next time". As he said the words however, he couldn't help but smile. Killing giant robotic snakes beat drug running by a long shot.
Carson couldn't see a thing in the muddy water; He felt someone join them and push up on the snake, but he couldn't tell if it was Roselyn or Jessica; The extra force was enough to loosen the grip, and suddenly he felt the frantic movement below him stop. Now that his lungs were about to bust, he assumed it meant Aaron was safe and kicked off, swimming for the surface. He broke the surface and saw Aaron crawling onto the lakebed. He followed him, and stood next to him, panting. "I think that's probably best," he said, reaching down to pick up his mace and rocks, "But there are still a lot of orbs out there. We should probably see if we can get any more before time runs out." He held out his hand to help Aaron up.
Carson watched the others split off. He turned to Roselyn, and made a face that said "Hoooo boy." Out loud, he said, "I nominate you to reconcile them." He looked up at the board, "I'm still confused on the math. That board is definitely missing ten points; and the hundred points definitly proves I was right about the score... So where'd the ten points go?"
"Yeah, I guess you're right..." he shrugged and moved on. "Let's see how many more reds we can get before the challenge ends." He started to walk perpendicular to the line formed by the other two; best not to try to talk to either of them right now.
Carson followed Roselyn out of the pod and looked over at the other group. He was still wet from his dive in the lake, and he was dragging his mace behind him. His arm was too tired to lift it up, and he just let it trail behind him as he walked over to a chair and sat. He called over to the other group, "So, how'd you guys do?"
"So, should we just vote on it?" Carson said, "Does anyone even want the position? Or do we have to nominate someone?" He wanted this decision to be over as quickly as possible; he wanted to get back to his room and check the BioTron. Given how far behind he was in coins, he needed some kind of edge on the others. The computer had said that there were 'practice scenarios' in the BioTron, so maybe he could get used to his power then.
"So, who do you guys think should do it?"
Carson was about to agree to be leader when Jessica ran over to Misha. He ran after them, standing over the group. "What happened to him?" he asked, letting Jess take his pulse. He looked around the room, "I don't suppose anyone here has a healing power they know about, do they?" He looked around the group, hoping someone could give him an answer. He leaned over and said more quietly in Jessica's ear, "Can I see him?" He wasn't exactly a Doctor, but he had taken a lot of the same classes as his fellow classmates going for pre-med. He might be able to help the man.
Carson took the bottle from Jessica and sighed. He put his hand under the man's nose to feel his breath, then checked his pulse. He seemed fine; Jessica was right. The cuts were superficial, but they should still be covered to prevent infection. Not that there's going to be a lot of infections around here, he thought, looking around the room. The place was cleaner than a hospital. He looked at the stores around him; one of them might have bandages. Turning to Aaron, he said, "See if you can get a clean, white cloth from any of the stores around here. We should bandage him up."
Carson tooked the bandages and looked over the antiseptic that came with them. "This is perfect," he said, lifting Misha's shirt and starting to bandage him up. He was covered in several scratches and cuts, but Carson's eye was drawn to one that seemed older thand the other ones. It had started to scab already, and looked as if it came from a different source. It had to have happened before he drank the bottle. He noted it for later and continued to wrap the deeper ones. He made sure to spread the antiseptic into the bandages, and was careful to remove any glass he saw before sealing them up. The last thing they needed was someone shredding up their internal organs whenever they moved. Soon, he had covered everything large enough to be dangerous. He leaned back. "That should be fine. Once the alcohol wears off he should be fine, as long as he doesn't drink any more. Someone should keep an eye on him until then. The alcohol will slow down the healing process, and I'll probably need to change the bandages sooner than usual." Carson took the bottle with him as he stood. "Wonder where he got it from..." he muttered.