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Takumi Kio

"There is no way to undo the past, so I must find a way to make it worth it by perfecting the future."

290 views · last seen in Ben Avon Heights
a character in “Demesne || Reboot”, as played by Shané

Description

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❝I was firm believer that peace was always possible now I realise it was a foolish, if not beautiful, dream.❞






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∞ Full name ∞
Takumi Kio

∞ Nickname ∞
Tak

∞ ID Number ∞
X42763

∞ Age ∞
23

∞ Gender ∞
Male

∞ Sexuality ∞
Heterosexual

∞ Face Claim ∞
Tatsuya Shiba







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∞ Height & Weight ∞
6', 180 Ibs

∞ Hair color ∞
Black

∞ Eye color ∞
Normally cornflower blue, but change in shade slightly to a soft sea green.

∞ Distinguishable Facial Features ∞
He has two pieces of hair that constantly cross themselves over his forehead, no matter how many times he puts them back in place.

∞ Birthmarks/Scars/Tattoos/Other ∞
He has a tattoo of his ID number, the reason he often has such high collars. He has no physical scaring as all his torture was mental due to his ability.

∞ Physical Description ∞
Takumi is a tall, thin young man. His relatively long dark hair hangs just lower than his eyes in most places, but thanks to his ever crossing bangs, Tak has no trouble seeing. No matter how much effort he puts into it in the morning, his hair remains loose and sticking out at different angles. He's often seen running his hairs through his front fringe in order to try and de-cross them. It's now become more of a habit than anything. He has quite a triangular face, and sharp chin. Most of his features, such as his nose and eyebrows are quite delicate and slender. He has almond eyes that depending on his mood and attire change from cornflower blue to an aqua sea green.

He's a very skinny guy. Partially due to his bad treatment and starvation, but naturally he's always been on the slender side. He has no muscle bulk, and without his normal attire you can see his ribs and collar bones. He's paler than most from his planet, but not to the extent that it is something you recognize immediately. Tak is also quite tall standing a little above most people.







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∞ Likes ∞
♥ Classical Music- Generally Tak is a classic kind of guy, and earths classical music inspires him
♥ The Violin- He's played it since he was young and loves the sweet, sorrowful sound.
♥ Puzzles- Anything that makes him use his head fascinates him, he loves the feeling of breaking through frustration to victory
♥ Overcast days- They are just what he deems the perfect weather, the time when storms begin to brew and also when they have just boiled over.
♥ Looking at artwork- While he can't do it himself, he has a passion for all types of art, and visual art is only second to music.


∞ Dislikes ∞
✖ Boredom| Tak always needs to keep his mind busy. He is in need of constant stimulation
✖ Headaches| He gets a lot of them now, but it doesn't make them hate them any less.
✖ Lack of Freedom| As an art lover, liberty is very important.

∞ Talents ∞
✔ Playing the Violin
✔ Solving mind games/puzzles
✔ Endurance

∞ Fears ∞
✘ Losing one of his companions
✘ That humans will one day take over his planet
✘ Going insane

∞ Flaws ∞
✘ An extreme over analyst.
✘ Non-decisive
✘ Physically weak- has epileptic seizures and sudden migraine attacks.







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∞ Abilities ∞Hosting: Tak can control a single person at a time. He uses his mind to sieze control of them. They are completely aware they are being controlled, and he can telepathically communicate to them as he controls them. He hates this particular ability as he finds it crude and abusive. Whatever he does with the person will seep away his energy as well and he becomes incredibly tired very quickly from using people.

Illusions: Takumi cna create any illusion he wants other people to see. They can be used on up to ten people at once. This is the ability that he does like to use as it can be clever and used benevolently. Since he loves music and art he usually incorporates these into his illusions. The downside to this talent is the harsh headaches he receives after it.

Procrastinated Pain: He can lock his pain up in his mind so he doesn't feel anything. The downside is that he will have to unlock it eventually, and pain builds a lot faster when it is locked away. So a tiny headache if locked away for four hours can become an incredible migraine.


∞ Personality ∞
Tak is a really intelligent guy. He's an analyst to the t. He's not arrogant though, he's more of a quiet, side-line kind of person. To strangers Takumi seems a bit distant, not exactly shy, but certainly not one to plunge into a conversation. He'll give a quiet smile, lean against the wall and just observe. His friends however know him to be quite funny. He's a gentle soul, and loves bring a smile to his close friends. He also likes a bit of harmless teasing, and throws in a few witty comments everynow and then. Since the torture he has been through on earth, he has become much more reserved and stony. He refuses to talk to most humans, and rarely smiles. He carries a lot of regret, feeling partially responsible for his comrades torture as he was not smart enough to escape nor negotiate with the humans. Tak is a very sweet and emotional person, but his regret and anger at the humans have begun to sour his once innocent personality. He will do anything for his comrades, even to the point of risking his life, but what was once a reason due to love, it is now only to pay a debt he feels he owes them. He has a lot of pride, not in appearance or intelligence but in honesty and the repaying of debts that he accumulates throughout his life. Once he owes someone he will do anything to pay them back.






Image∞ Romantic Interest ∞
At the moment he is too consumed by regret and a need fix his error.

∞ History ∞
Tak grew up in a high achievers family. Both parents worked in well regarded jobs within the society, and their children were expected to follow suit. From a very young age, Takumi dedicated himself to his studies in order to find his niche in his well renowned family. As he moved into high school he developed a sizable talent for research and after making a name for himself with various rewards he was contacted by the biggest research company on the planet. Finding the concept of an entirely new planet extremely exciting, Tak began the long process of beginning the detailed research that was needed before first contact could occur. He obviously worked in a large team of researchers, but after excelling in his field he was chosen to accompany the first group to earth. He was bestowed his mind abilities and was going to be the one to deal with the customs of planet earth. The split second before the craft was shot down, Tak remembered all the Earth films and legends regarding alien contact. He had always assumed such violent encounters were used as deterrents in case someone really did come, and that these were merely just stories. By the time he came to, he realized his horrendous assumption that the UN would remain humanitarian and the sudden guilt that this was his fault for making such a clumsy mistake. He tried desperately to reason with the astronaut clad humans that came to collect him, however he was thrown into a cell despite his best efforts. The full realization of this mistake came heavy upon him as they mentally tortured him for days on end trying to copy his gifting and enhance it to no avail. Now he suffers severe migraines randomly and uncontrollable fits due to the over stimulation they forced his mind to endure.


∞ Hex Code ∞
#60D4CE

So begins...

Takumi Kio's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Asuna Irsivil Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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"Come on, just one more blood sample and you can get in the fucking car and get out of here. Isn't that what you want you little freak?" The tech was attempting to grab any of Kou's limbs to hold her down, but the child had wrapped herself in a blanket and was hiding under the bed in her room. She could hear the orderlies stomping around, entering the area and lifting up the lightweight metal frame with ease. They grabbed Kou and unwrapped her from her protective layer, holding her down so that the tech could access the port in her chest and draw blood. She attempted to sit upwards in protest, but they slapped her harshly back down against the cold tiled floor. Kou had gone mute in protest a few months ago, around the same time they had put the port in. Many different techniques were used in an attempt to get Kou to speak from torture to bribery but the only sounds they could squeeze from her were cries of pain and terror. Kou's resolve to stay silent was rock solid.

"Done. Alright load her up boys." The tech closed the access tube in the port and the girl was abruptly lifted to her feet and shoved towards the door. Kou stumbled and caught herself before she could fall, straightening her shirt in a huff and taking about two steps before they grabbed her from either side and dragged her backwards towards the loading docks. There were two suits waiting as well as a white coat. "Something to make the ride a bit smoother," the white coat said and before Kou could react, uncapped a needle and stuck it into the port. She cringed as the cold liquid snaked its way through her veins and her body began to feel heavy. Kou's eyes widened as she lost all feeling in her limbs and began to sink to the ground only to have an orderly catch her before her hit could hit the concrete and load her body into the back of a government issued hummer.

It was awful being awake and having no control of your body, they strapped Kou into the back so that she wouldn't slid around and placed a blanket on her lap. Her head was tilted back against the headrest and angled so that she could look out the window, but her eyes were half closed so that she couldn't really see anything besides the light that filtered in through the now open garage. The drugs were beginning to take full affect and Kou's blue eyes slowly drifted the rest of the way shut, shunning out the light she had waited nearly a year to see.

When her optics opened again they were driving through the countryside, tires crunching across a stone and wood bridge that was built over a large stream. Her fingers twitched, her legs itching to move. Kou tested her strength, seeing which parts of her body were once more under her control. Thankfully all feeling had returned and she moved around quietly, rearranging the white sheet on her lap so that it covered her top half as well. Kou wanted to ask how much longer they had, but it had been so long since she had used her voice that she was afraid to speak. Thankfully the child did not need to as they drove down a gravel side road that led to a wrought iron gate where a beautiful brick mansion sat behind it. Opening the fence for them was a man with blond hair that smiled and waved as they passed by.

The car came to a stop and the suit in the front seat jumped out, exchanging a few words with the blonde before coming to the back to open Kou's door. She fumbled with the seat belt and untangled herself from the blanket, jumping out of the vehicle and running towards the grass; sliding onto the plush carpet of sod and staining her white shirt and shorts green. She was the first to arrive and Kou was determined to not utter a word until she caught sight of her friends. Hopefully that wouldn't be long as she did not want to be here alone with all these suits. The blonde approached her, his shadow blocking the sun and with his wide smile as bright as sunshine he asked, "So you're the youngest one? Kou?" The girl turned away and ignored him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Narumi was jostled awake and drug out of her bed, although unluckily for the orderlies ordered to take her out she knocked two of them unconscious. Unfortunately, three more orderlies came marching in and jabbed a needle in Narumi's arm.

"Look here bitch, you're lucky it was us. You're going to get out today so why in God's name are you struggling?" The orderly asked, she knew they had injected her with some sort of medication to keep her "quiet" but she hated these men and she hated needles. For a long time now she had been ogled by the orderlies and even some of the white coats, they found her attractive and played around with her as such. Mainly because she was one of the oldest ones here and they could morally rationalize it. Narumi felt her limbs becoming limp and she didn't particularly like using her powers so, instead she used her words.

"Oh excuse me for having a brain, people injecting me with stuff isn't what I think of when I hear the word luck! I think of all of you people dying horrible deaths when I think of the word luck!" With all the energy she had remaining she kicked an orderly in the groin and spat on his face. Then that orderly's buddy hit Narumi in the back of the head, knocking her unconscious.

When Narumi finally came to she was strapped down in the back of a car, blindfolded. They thought if she couldn't see them she couldn't hurt them. They were wrong but she didn't have time or energy to prove that point. They were riding somewhere, maybe that house they had been telling her about.

They rode on for awhile more and Narumi was getting twitchy in the back, but thankfully the car stopped and they took her blindfold off. When they did the sunlight burned her eyes, blinding her momentarily, when she opened them sure enough, there was an iron gate, and some weirdo blonde guy smiling. The house itself was nice, brick, it looked sturdy. The suits untied her and she stumbled out of the car, the gates opened slowly and the blonde guy approached her, he was going to say something but Narumi shoved him aside and bolted when she saw little Kou.

She had thought she'd never see her again, the youngest one among them, Narumi knew the boys were fine but Kou. . . She was tough sure, but she was so young. Narumi made her way over to where Kou was taking in everything on the yard.

"Kou! You're alive! Are you hurt? Those bastards didn't hurt you did they? C'mon kid how are you?" Narumi was a bit of a "motherly" figure towards Kou, or at least that's what Narumi had always told herself. Kou needed protecting, when she didn't, and Narumi decided she'd be the one to guard little Kou. Looking at Kou, she looked fine, tired and maybe a little pale, but fine. Narumi on the other hand, was covered in cuts and bruises from the many fights she would constantly get in with the orderlies, mainly because she thought they were all idiots and that they wanted to rape her, and Narumi was having none of that. So she fought with them, a lot, and it shows.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Rei Nanase




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Rei lay on his thin bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. Time had ceased to pass a long time ago. He didn't do much anymore. Sometimes he paced like a lion through his room, scratching at the burn scars on his wrists and hands. Sometimes he just lay in an almost comatose state, not thinking about anything, neither asleep or awake. Since they'd started the testing, he'd become mostly unresponsive. Many of the tech and orderlies who'd liked to prod him and tease him and hit him at first had long grown bored of him, because his only response now was to stare blankly at them. He did what they told him to, spoke when he was spoken to. He'd given up. If he died, it'd be no skin off his nose. He hadn't seen the others in such a long time. They'd been his reason for staying alive, continuing to fight, but now...now he wasn't even sure if they were alive. And what was the point if they were gone? Might as well just...fade away too.

"Hey, wake up." A pair of fingers suddenly started snapping in front of his open eyes, causing him to blink and flinch slightly. He slipped out of his reverie, looking at the orderly staring down at him, fingers poised to snap again if he needed to, or cuff him about the head if he continued to be unresponsive. "Sit up." Was the next order, which he complied to, his head feeling heavy as he moved for the first time in many, many hours. He had a port protruding from the upper right side of his chest. He hated the feeling of that bulging thing pressing at his skin, but it was better than before, when they'd just poked needles into him whenever they needed a sample, or to inject him with various drugs to measure his reactions.

This time a Tech drew several vials of blood and took a swab of the inside of his cheek. He sat patiently, staring blankly at the wall, as per usual. They talked to him, held up an ongoing loudness about something, but Rei was checked out. His mind was drifting slowly in the void. Until he heard one word. Leaving?

"Leaving, when?" He interjected, his face suddenly brightening slightly.

The Tech that he'd interrupted gave him a slightly sour look, but did not explain what he was saying. He just kept plowing on, talking about something to do with transportation procedure. "You'll sleep right through it." The orderly said as he produced a large box-like device. Rei had to stick his hands in it, and then it closed and locked over them, so they hung down in front of him and he couldn't use his powers to escape when being moved from one place to another. It was also very heavy, which prevented him from running. He had to bite down on a groan as they stood him up and immediately the thing pulled at his arms, making his back hunch as a result. It always did, but it made it no less painful. Especially with the thick, tough scar tissue on his hands and wrists, that didn't take kindly to being twisted or scraped.

He was escorted to a van, and once he was settled inside, strapped down like he was getting ready to be flung into space at high speeds, another needle came his way and its icy contents slithered through his veins. The Tech told him that he'd be asleep in minutes. It wasn't a lie. Rei let his consciousness fade away, concentrating on the heavy metal restrain clamped over his hands and resting on his stomach as he lost sensation and drifted off.

This time he was jostled awake by a crunchy gravel road that caused the van to bounce and quiver. His eyes lazily opened, and he stared at the ceiling as his body came back into consciousness too. He ached. His whole body hurt. And he had no idea where he was. He tried to move his head to look around, but the light from outside the van was blinding, and he only made the mistake of looking at it once.

Suddenly, the light became a lot more potent as the van came to a stop and the back doors were open. The orderly and the Tech helped him out of the van and took off his hand restraints as he blinked in the oppressive daylight. In his imagination he'd thought of how amazing it would be to see the sun again, in reality, he was disoriented, miserable, and underwhelmed by the ordeal.

Well, until he saw Narumi and Kou. He made a very slow, stiff bee-line towards them. Now he was self conscious at how much he walked like an old man, and made a fruitless effort to straighten his back and lengthen his stride, which was hindered by the burns he'd suffered to his legs. Quickly he remembered the state of his hands, and hid them behind his back. Despite how happy he was to see them alive, with the exception of Takumi, who hopefully was on his way, Rei couldn't bring himself to smile. The hollowness in his face wouldn't go away.

"Are you guys okay?" Was his first question. They both looked a little beat up, his eyes went immediately to Narumi's cuts and bruises, and the hollows under Kou's eyes. It made his chest ache, seeing them this way. What had they undergone in the compound? They'd have to share notes when Takumi arrived. Rei forced himself not to replace that 'when' with an 'if'. Then Rei's eyes landed on the blonde guy. "Whose that guy?" His voice dropped a few notes, grew softer, and wariness sprung up in his eyes. That man looked dangerously friendly in his opinion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Kou had been sitting in the grass for only a few minutes, ignoring the blonde who was trying to strike up a conversation. She could see he was beginning to grow a bit frustrated and was relieved when he left as the sound of a car rumbling over the gravel road approached. Kou turned to watch as the gates were opened once more and the sleek black vehicle came to a stop. The doors opened and a suit jumped out to release whomever was in the back. Kou stood, twirling her hair between her fingers as Narumi was released. She stiffened when the female bolted towards the grass where Kou was. "Kou! You're alive! Are you hurt? Those bastards didn't hurt you did they? C'mon kid how are you?" Her voice was loud and it made Kou flinch; she knew Narumi would never hurt her but it was reflexive.

"I-I'm f-fine," Kou stuttered quietly, surprised by the sound of her own voice. She had forgotten what it was like to speak and forming words was a bit more difficult then she recalled. Or maybe the drugs hadn't completely worn off? Kou bit back the tears that were attempting to well up in her eyes. She was so relieved to see Narumi in all of her beat up glory. Kou took Narumi's cut up hands and turned them over in her own, looking at the scars on her flesh. Most of what they had done to Kou was internal and so the scars were on her stomach and back in places that she could cover with her shirt.

What she had told Narumi was a lie, Kou was not fine. This past year had been so terrifying, from the crash up until now. Kou had spent everyday not knowing whether or not they would still find use in keeping her alive. She had, had countless sleepless nights that were filled with pain from experimental drugs and nightmares of the tests she had gone through. "They h-hurt you," she looked up at Narumi's eyes as the gates opened again and Rei stumbled out of another van.

"Are you guys okay?" He asked as he approached them. Kou let go of Narumi's hands and turned towards Rei who looked different. Not that much, but he was skinnier, his cheeks had a hollowness about them and his eyes had lost their twinkle. "Y-yes," Kou lied again and looked at her feet. "Whose that guy?" Kou looked up and followed Rei's finger to see he was pointing at the blonde.

"Jamie O-Oliver," she was beginning to grow used to the taste of words once more. "He's a ch-child psychologist." As if he could tell they were talking about him Jamie walked over. He had already introduced himself to Kou although she had simply ignored his attempts at conversation. Jamie had read all of their files, he knew what sort of horrors they had been exposed to and was prepared to go through the arduous healing process.

He stopped in front of them, giving them enough space so that they didn't feel crowded. "Hello, I'm Jamie Oliver, but feel free to call me Jamie. I'm going to be living here with you all so if you need anything feel free to ask. Why don't you all come inside? It's nearly lunch time. Takumi should be here soon, they got stuck in traffic on the way down." He gestured towards the large french doors that were wide open to allow natural light to filter in. Before they had arrived Jamie had gone through all of their rooms and taken out the security cameras; leaving only the ones in the living areas. This was his first government job and he was aware of their procedures, but he would not allow these children's privacy to be invaded.

"I w-want t-to wait for T-Takumi." Kou replied despite the fact that her stomach was growling. She wanted to eat of course and wanted to explore their new living space, but not until Takumi arrived. The first thing he should see is a friendly face, it wouldn't be fair if they went inside and ate without him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Narumi looked down at Kou as her soft little voice spoke out, it was a little scratchy but it was her. Narumi knew for a solid fact Kou wasn't fine, none of them were. Narumi knew Kou just didn't want to worry anyone, that's just how little Kou was. As the smaller girl took Narumi's hands in hers some of the cuts were open and so it stung a lot. Wincing behind a smile Narumi looked down at the little girl.

Before Narumi could console Kou over her own minor wounds Kou had released her as Rei walked into the yard. Narumi turned excitedly to meet his gaze, she knew he'd have a passionate light, one she'd be needing. One everyone would be needing. To Narumi's inner horror, when she met Rei's gaze his eyes were all but devoid of life. Inside Narumi a conflict struck up, Rei had always been so passionate, now what? Narumi would have to be the passionate one?

"Rei, forget us. . . How're you holding up?" She asked but he also asked about the strange blonde fellow, Narumi hadn't paid him much thought, she figured the suits had hired that joker to observe them and to make sure they didn't snap. However apparently Kou knew about him, a child psychologist. Then as if on cue, Mr. Sunshine himself strutted up and introduced himself, Narumi didn't like him at all, he reeked of slippery and untrustworthy. Squinting her eyes at Jamie with a lot of skepticism she stepped toward him. He was telling the group about his job, he told them all to go inside without Takumi. No way was Narumi leaving until Takumi showed up, if nothing else to prove he was alive.

"Listen here Jamie, I bet you are new at this. Also, if Kou here wants to wait. . . We're waiting."
With a huff Narumi folded her arms and plopped herself down on the lawn. She really didn't like this Jamie guy, she didn't trust him, not one bit. She wondered what all her friends had gone through at that place. . . Kou didn't have many wounds externally but that wasn't fooling Narumi, must've been internal torment for Kou, the thought of that made Narumi hurt inside. Then there was Rei, his wrists, he kept hiding them. Rei was too nice to tell them about his problems, they'd be lucky if he even thought about telling them.

None of us like worrying anyone else because we all figure if we share then the others would feel worse. So, naturally we all keep our days at the complex to ourselves. Sitting on the lawn of this place, with her arms crossed all these thoughts were flying through her mind. . . The horrors all her friends had been through, she attempted imagining them, but whenever she did she got chills, and it always led to remembering her own horror-filled time.

She then looked up to Jamie, his bright blonde hair was shimmering in the sun, Narumi didn't think she'd ever trust him. He was too friendly to be nice. With a soft scoff Narumi closed her eyes to wait for Takumi. Maybe a bit of her was silently daring Jamie to try and move her, but that's mainly because she had grown accustomed to fighting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Takumi's head pounded so heavily that he was sure everyone in the facility would be privy to his internal hammer's continuous, painful rhythm. The consistent drumming drew the ever-growing agony deeper into its skull the longer Tak was forced to endure it. His long fingers gripped his head so tightly that he was certain at some point his head which had been growing bigger by the second would burst from the pressure. For the thousandth time he considered siphoning away the pain into the little mental net he had at his whim. To push it to the back of his mind where it could no longer harm him….

Once again he rejected the idea. To put pain this great away behind his mental barrier could possibly kill him when he released it at greater strength later. And so he endured. Curled up on the concrete of his cell, unaware of his own continuous moaning Tak endured seemingly never ending pain and subsequent nausea.

Hours later the intensity began to ebb. Once more conscious thought became possible and his awareness and sanity slowly eked back into his now tender head. A groan that he was now aware of escaped his lips as he gingerly sat himself up, leaning against the brick wall. He wasn't 100% sure at what point the white coats had removed the strange new telepathic helmet and left him to grovel to his own torture, however at the moment it didn't matter. For now there was peace.

Of some sort. Tak closed his eyes, enjoying the momentary blankness of thought before guilt impeded his senses. He was a fool. All that research and he had failed to even comprehend this kind of hostility. He was responsible for the others, he was supposed to provide the information they needed to make this trip a success and instead it had ended in the dismal failure of the worst kind. Who knew what kind of torture they were receiving at the hands of these malicious humans.

A sudden clang echoed throughout Tak's cell, the sound smashing through his aching skull. He didn't bother opening his eyes, only wincing at the harsh stabbing pain that had resulted. So someone had entered. Typically Takumi was too tired to even bother resisting as a needle was stabbed into his port. Surprise filtered through him as the drug entered his system and he drowsily realised that he was blacking out. Logical thought deserted him instead leaving him with a drugged happiness at escaping his head for a while.

The bliss only seemed to last for a second when a sudden jolt beneath him tore him from his pleasant unconsciousness. Sleepily Tak's eyes flickered open, only to slam shut again. Why did the sun have to be so bright? He was about to roll over when this thought sudden rang alarm bells.

The Sun!

This time his eyes remained open. He was restrained within some sort of vehicle. The interior was empty, and there was a barrier preventing him from seeing the driver. A computerised voice echoed from one of the speakers.

"I believe he's at last awake." It seemed the female had finally decided to address him as she continued. "You are to meet with your companions during a recovery period."

There was a soft click as the intercom was turned off. Recovery? His eyes narrowed. Humans were not to be trusted- not anymore. However he couldn't see what would benefit them in lying to him. Therefore there was to be recovery, but a more important question was why.

The car stopped, and the doors were opened to reveal his team. The regret grew strong almost to the point of overwhelming him. Kou, so young, yet with eyes that now had seen and experienced things no one four times her age should ever endure. Narumi covered in cuts and various bruising and then Rei with no visible smile that previously was impossible to wipe away. One of the white coats quickly removed his restraints and suddenly he was face to face with them. He was unaware of walking over.

He eyes cracked as he gave Kou as ghost of a smile.

"Finally a chance to breath." His voice was wispy and his eyes sad, though his mouth's corners remained upturned. "We will get-"


His smile disappeared at the sight of the blonde. He didn't scowl or otherwise show distaste, merely he became passive with his eyes scrutinising yet another human to block him from speaking freely with his team.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Rei Nanase




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Kou's voice was faint and raspy, as if the words on her tongue were foreign to her. She said she was fine, but that wasn't true. Rei wasn't sure if they would ever be fine again. He didn't know the details of everyone else's torture, but he was sure it was terrible. Judging by the state of Narumi's body, she'd fought back, which probably made everything ten times worse for her. Had Kou fought back? Rei felt a slight flush burn in his face. He was such a coward for not resisting, not fighting to escape. These girls were braver than he. Narumi's response was to turn the question back to him, but he skirted around it and changed the subject. They didn't need to know his troubles. They had enough on their plates as it was.

Apparently the man was a child psychologist. Irony. So the white coats were acknowledging that they'd put them through incredible trauma, and were trying to fix it with their human children doctors. Rei narrowed his eyes with distrust as the blonde human walked over and introduced himself. His name was Jamie. And he would be staying with them. What kind of information would he attempt to weasel out of them? The man tried to get them inside the house behind him, but the others wanted to wait for Takumi. Rei agreed. Not having the whole team present was like missing a limb. Even if they were rag-tag and beat up now. It was their duty to wait for him as long as it took.

When the final car crunched to a stop, Takumi was unloaded and freed. He walked over as if in a trance. Rei shifted to give him room, still clutching his hands behind him. He began to speak, make a plan as he always did. For a moment things felt like they used to, Takumi taking charge and leading them out of a tight situation. At least that part of him hadn't been ripped away. But the moment the dark haired male spotted Jamie, he stopped speaking abruptly. Rei registered his annoyance. They were always being watched.They'd always be watched. There was no question about it. The humans were too nosy and controlling to ever leave them alone to plan to escape, or even try to commune with each other to relieve the great trauma they'd experienced.

Rei's dark eyes flicked back the blonde. A great urge to protect the others rose up in him. But there was nothing he could do. Other than making sharp, hostile comments at him. Which he promptly did. "Sorry to disappoint you, human, but there are no children here. Not anymore." he said pointedly, eyes narrowed. " Don't play games with us. We aren't stupid. You've tortured us enough, just let us go home." He didn't trust the man at all. He didn't trust humans at all, honestly. They were a cruel and heartless species. For this one to smile mean he was hiding something. He wanted to lure them into a false sense of security, then take whatever it was the white coats and the suits wanted from this little group, and leave them even emptier than before.

Maybe Rei wouldn't fight back for himself, but he would defend the rest of the crew tooth and nail. Seeing them this way, exhausted and broken, made his chest hurt. No one could have known that this would be the outcome of their mission. Yet Rei still felt guilty about it. Maybe he could have done something differently to prevent this outcome. Maybe he should have done more regular maintenance on the ship. Maybe he should have urged the crew that built the ship to do more tests to make sure it would work on earth. Maybe this, maybe that. His head always replayed all the different little mistakes that could have resulted in this situation.

But at least they were all alive. Maybe they could trick the human into helping them contact their leaders on Artemis for a rescue mission. Or maybe Takumi's plan was exactly what they needed and they just had to find somewhere without surveillance to make plans. Rei really just wanted to go home. He wanted to wash away the pain of his time on earth, clean and wrap his wounds until they healed, and forget about this terrible planet forever.

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Takumi arrived shortly thereafter and Kou was excited to see that they were all together again. She had missed them all so much that being reunited made her want to cry, but Kou did not want the others to think there was something wrong with her so she kept her tears in and stared at her feet. Kou's stomach growled and she brought her gaze back up, looking between Takumi and Narumi at the house with its wide open doors and the promise of food. "M-maybe we should g-go inside?" She shifted from one foot to the other as she contemplated whether to go enter the house or stay out here with all of them. Rei seemed to pick up on Takumi's unease and gave Jamie a piece of his mind.

Kou had made up her mind, or rather, her stomach had made the decision. She pushed past the group and walked towards the doors, peaking her head inside the large interior and walking in a circle to take it all in. The marble floors were cold on her bare feet but the furnishings were warm and the colors of the walls relaxing. The smell of food wafted from the kitchen and under her nose, the scent unfamiliar but recognizable as something edible. She walked towards where it was coming from and found herself in a large kitchen with a breakfast bar where food had been set out in large serving trays. Kou picked up one of the glass plates and looked at all the options they had offered, wondering only for a moment if any of it was drugged.

Again her stomach growled and Kou realized she didn't care, they had already injected her with so much medicine; what would a little more do? She put a little bit of everything on her plate and sat at the table, carefully pouring herself a glass of murky brown liquid (apple juice). She sniffed the suspicious looking beverage before taking a sip and to Kou's delight it was sweet so she poured a bit more and sat back in her chair, picking up a fork and digging in. Were Takumi, Rei, and Narumi going to come in? Or did they plan to stand outside all day? The weather was beautiful and Kou figured that when she was done exploring the house she would go sit in the garden and take a nap.

"Sorry to disappoint you, human, but there are no children here. Not anymore." Jamie's smile became a bit sad, he was well aware that Rei had given up during the experiments. Honestly he had thought the boy would be coming here as nothing more then a shadow of himself and would be pushed around in a wheelchair. Jamie had seen it, children who had given up on life because of a traumatic event. The trauma ward in the hospital he had worked in had been full of them. "Don't play games with us. We aren't stupid. You've tortured us enough, just let us go home."

"Whoa, whoa. Who said anything about torture? I'm here to help you heal, not to put you through more experiments. I don't work for them," he hooked his thumbs through the loops of his belt and rocked back and forth on his heels. How could he convince them that he was here to help? "The end goal is to get you home, but you wouldn't want to return to your planet in such a sorry state would you?" He looked between all of them and realized the littlest one was no longer on the grass but had disappeared. Great, five minutes into his new job and he had already lost track of one of them.

It wasn't like she could have left the property, it was fenced and monitored. He would have been alerted if she got out which meant that she went inside. "Now that Takumi's here, why don't we go inside and get something to eat? I'm sure you're all tired and hungry. I've removed the cameras from the private areas of the house so the only places you have to worry about them overhearing your conversations are the central areas like the kitchen and living room. The bathrooms and bedrooms should be safe."

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For a moment there was awkward silence. Tak began to lose focus on what was happening around him and slowly everyone seemed to fade into a blur of colour and light. In the back of his mind he was aware that he should stay focused, but he seemed to be stuck in some sort of limbo, flicking between seeing his surroundings and having them all mesh together into one giant puddle of incoherent shapes. Kou's small voice broke him out of his strange levitating trance, and he blinked once between gazing partially unseeing at her.

Abruptly he shook his head slightly, and forced another smile.

"I believe that is a reasonable suggestion Kou."

Rei's angry tirade made Tak flinch for a second, before he realised there was nothing to be alarmed about. His smile already melted off his face, he now simply looked tired and sad. He fully agreed with Rei, and after his own failure to keep the troupe safe he wouldn't dare assume he had the authority to tell Rei to speak more carefully. Therefore he watched the conversation between the blonde and Rei with a seemingly empty and detached air, but truly he was listening quite intently. In the back of his mind he noted Kou had entered the house, however Narumi was also in there so there was no need to follow immediately.

"Whoa, whoa. Who said anything about torture?-"

A stupid statement if there ever was one, Tak thought humourlessly. Obviously that would be what they would assume, they'd had to put up with it every single day since being on earth. It wasn't going to magically disappear. Surely he would be aware of the paranoia that would constantly follow the four after the trauma they'd been through. His suggestion that he was here to help and didn't work for the white coats also rang false for Takumi. There was no way that the white coats would willingly give up four extra-terrestrials to another organisation without any strings attached. Yes, he had botched up a great deal of important research, but he certainly knew that much. And why would they want them to return to Artemis in good condition? Artemis had much better medical facilities then here and the best thing for their psychological wellbeing was to return home. So therefore, what was the purpose of lying to them in this way? Where they not actually being returned? Or did the humans somehow believe that they could cover up their atrocious treatment and that none of the four would repeat what actually happened here? Neither explanation rang true to Tak, therefore there must be a bigger plot running beneath.

When the blonde started to suggest going inside, Tak immediately turned his back on him and walked in the house's direction. He didn't want to hear any more rubbish, though he inevitably heard the rest even as he walked away. Tak was still going to destroy his room looking up and down for any camera's.

When he actually got in the house he saw Kou sat down and tucking into a huge array of different foods.


Despite his stomach growling and his evident weakness from lack of food, Tak overlooked most of it, instead settling for the porridge. It looked the most familiar out of everything here- like a nicer version of the gruel he got in his cell. He didn't trust anything, but this at least hadn't killed him in the past. Although his stomach urged him to dig in, he found himself picking at the stuff, constantly twisting it about with his spoon and barely eating a thing. A large had lump was in his throat and its name was guilt.

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Such a sorry state. The phrase echoed in his mind after the blonde's response to his snap. He already regretted speaking out, he should have kept his mouth shut, but this man's words were only making his distrust grow. His fingers clenched behind his back, If he was back on Artemis they would be busy grafting new skin for him right now, and giving him medication to try and heal what they couldn't replace. There was an ulterior motive here, and it made Rei's hackles raise. The two girls had missed the exchange, Kou had wandered into the manor and Narumi had chased after her like a mother duck protectively following her young.

Takumi started to walk away right in the middle of Jamie speaking, and Rei wanted to do the same, but he wasn't as fast. His joints were slow and they ached. And he didn't trust the bit about not being under surveillance everywhere. For the duration of their stay on earth they'd been constantly watched, and there was no proof to say other wise now. There was no reason to trust another human. Especially not this one who seemed so earnest to capture their trust.

Even though the house was only a short ways away, his hunger, exhaustion, and wounds, as well as the stress inducing company of the human, made the trip arduous. He regarded Jamie coldly once more, then turned his eyes away and did not speak again. He didn't know what would happen here, but this place made his stomach twist. He wished again for whatever was in that injection that dragged him into the deep abyss of sleep. It would be so much easier to just lay quietly, not thinking, not doing much of anything.

When he finally made it into the house, which was slightly cooler than the glaringly sunny day outside, he joined the others at a table laden with food. He eased himself into an empty chair, sighing softly. The girls were completely invested in eating, and Takumi was staring into a bowl, pensively stirring it. Rei stared at the layout in front of him. He'd lost a lot of the motor function in his hands during his stay in the compound, and mixed with the stress of this new ordeal, he wasn't sure how well he could pick things up. While his fingers had been mostly untouched, his palms and the backs of his hands down to his wrists were ugly, scarred a shiny, deep red with streaks of dead white. Right now his hands were trembling madly as he hid them under the table and stared blankly at the food. He recognized proteins and carbohydrates, but despite the keening of his stomach, he had no appetite for them.

Takumi looked to be eating, or just staring at, a bowl of the same gruel they were used to at the compound. Well, it looked less soppy and chunky, but still the same color. It looked safe and probably easy to eat. Clumsily he served himself, trying to pretend like he wasn't having trouble. Then he clamped his spoon in his left fist, bending his arm at the elbow to eat because the range of non-painful motion in his wrist was very small. Though slightly unpleasant at a glance, the meal was more fragrant than gruel, and the flavor was softer. Rei ate as quickly as he could, leaning low over the bowl so his hand wouldn't have to do any work. he did his best to ignore the others. He didn't want to be looked at, he didn't want them to see how broken he was now. How useless. But if he didn't eat he would die a slow and painful death, and he couldn't let the others down like that, regardless of how appealing the thought was.

After he finished eating what small amount of food he felt able to stomach, he hid his hands between his knees again and looked around, taking stock of the others one more time. They truly looked the ragtag bunch now. Rei's memory wandered back to the first time he'd seen the rest of the crew. They'd been so young and bright, so excited for life. But now...would their families even recognize them anymore? These solemn wraiths?

"I missed you guys." He murmured in a sorry attempt to raise moral by clinging to the fact that their group was reunited. Maybe, just maybe they could face whatever terrors awaited them better together than they had apart. He forced a smile onto his face, strange as it felt now, and looked around at the familiar yet so unfamiliar faces.

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What was that odd tense Narumi had attached to the end of her name? Kou wondered and looked down at her food, then back up at the girl beside her. She nodded her head, black hair bouncing as she did so and finished the meal in silence. Kou was glad that they all ended up sitting at the table, it reminded her of meal time when they had been training on Artemis. It was quiet in the kitchen, the only sounds were those of eating and Takumi stirring his porridge. Rei broke the silence by stating that he had missed them.

"I missed you all too," Kou replied, glad to find that she could speak once more without stuttering. Kou noticed that each movement Rei made to get the food into his mouth was laborious, as if it caused him great amounts of pain to bring the spoon up to his lips. She frowned and looked at Narumi who seemed fine, happy even although Kou could tell it was a ruse, a mask put up so that they would not worry. Takumi seemed hollow, like a shell who would be blown away should a strong gust of wind come along.

Broken dolls, that's what they were. Kou might be the smallest and youngest one there, but she was determined to put them all back together. "If you're all done eating, why don't we explore the house?" She suggested, attempting to smile. It was odd, as if the motion of turning her lips upwards was foreign. Kou wondered if they were each going to have their own room or if they would be sharing. She wouldn't be sleeping either way, not unless they drugged her. Sometimes after days of staying awake she would fall asleep from exhaustion or the techs would give her something through the port because she would begin to go a bit crazy, but Kou always hated it.

"Or we could play a game?" They seemed a bit tired to play something, but Kou figured it was worth a try to ask. She was sure they would have some board games somewhere in this huge house. It was just a matter of finding them because Kou was not going to ask the human where they were. She had decided that since he was simply a supervisor she could ignore him and pretend that he did not exist.

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Narumi smiled lovingly down at Kou as she nodded so very happily, although she knew that was a facade. Then a pang of pain and sorrow clung to her heart as she watched Kou eat, this wasn't how it should have been. They should never have come. . . Then Takumi walked in, he was empty inside. . . A shot of pain struck Narumi as he blankly stirred some porridge or some thing to that like. Her friends. . . They were a sorry-sight to see indeed.

She was going to say something to Takumi but as soon as Rei walked in the words caught in her throat. His wrists were worse than she had originally thought. Tears welled up in Narumi's golden-brown eyes, her chin quivered slightly. She quickly hid it by shoveling more food into her mouth, ignoring the fact her stomach was crying out enough.

Thankfully Kou spoke up, explore or play a game? Narumi's go to mother hen smile popped up on her face.

"Sounds great! But hey, why don't we explore the house and look for the games, then we can all sit down and play? Does that sound fun? Just like old times! It'll be a great change of pace! No more moping." Narumi said clapping her hands together and laughing heartily, although it was a bit of a frayed laugh. She had been broken, she knew, those Orderlies, the white coats. . . They had broken the old Narumi, the only chance she had now was to swallow up her pain and be the mother of the group, she had to help the others heal. No matter what. She swore in her mind then and there to fight to the death for her family, right then, she wouldn't let anyone hurt them ever again.

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The one time Tak looked up from the porridge in front of him, he regretted it. Rei was evidently struggling with his heavily scarred hands. Tak looked back down at the stuff in front of him, grimacing inwardly. Harsh stabbing pains of guilt hit him hard once again in the gut. His knuckles blanched white as he gripped the spoon that he was failing to use for it's intended purpose.

"I missed you guys."

Tak paused his pathetic stirring. Kou piped up excusing him from a none adequate response that he was sure was coming. He turned to her as she suggested exploring. Her smile seemed unusually off, as though it was something she was unaccustomed to. His eyes dulled sadly at this negative, if not truthful thought. However, they lightened quickly when the suggestion fully registered. This was a good idea. They needed to explore if they were to debug their private quarters, despite what the blonde had told them. Even if he was telling the truth, they would need to confirm this and make adequate plans to do all their meetings in the safe spots. Tak was going to ensure they got out of here and in order to do this they needed to have open communication.

At the mention of playing a game, Tak flinched uncontrollably. Fear alighted his eyes before quickly dying down as he controlled it. He had played many of the scientists so called 'games' and each had been gruelling and resulted in fits. He hoped that whatever game Kou had in mind that it would be easy on the mind. Games were associated with his uncontrollable fits. Truly they could occur at any moment, and were not necessarily exclusively bought on by mental games, however too many had occurred after pushing his brain to the limit. At the moment, that limit was being harshly cut down as his exhaustion and trauma took their toll. Even simple mind games could result in the frightening seizures Tak desperately feared.

Nonetheless he quickly removed the fear from his face, even as Narumi concurred with Kou's request. Instead his put on a bright smile, quickly gaining strength as Narumi also put on her own charade. Fake it until you make it. Tak told himself as he pushed himself up from the table, ignoring the barely touched food he'd left on his plate. In other circumstances he wouldn't have coped with the waste, but his stomach was assuring him that to eat any more would still result in a waste of a different kind.

"Where to start Kou?" He asked gently, for the first time a more genuine gentle smile entered his eyes.[color=#60D4CE]"Which room would be the best to explore? Are we sharing or are we separate? Either way, any is welcome in my own at any time."

While his last sentence had the camouflage of lightness, it's essence held a sort of hidden meaning. The others would no doubt be similar in thought to his own; they had all been alone far too long and needed company. Beside, despite that, there would need to be a room known to be a place free of surveillance and open for discussion. Takumi planned to make that room his own, he needed any idea he could get in order to plan a way back home or at the very least away from humans.

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Kou replied in her small voice, which sounded much smoother now than it had before. Kou cracked an empty smile, which Rei felt mirrored on his face and Narumi looked painfully happy. It was all fake, and they all knew it. Only Takumi didn't smile, and his inscrutable mask of a face was just as empty as any other. How pitiful were they? Rei shivered, a sudden chill overcoming him. Instinctively he crossed his forearms over his chest, grasping at the air around his shoulders as if holding a blanket to himself. His eyes sparked, growing from a forest green into a lighter shade as he drew the molecules close to him to a fervor, warming himself up. It was more to comfort himself than any need, to keep him focused on reality instead of withdrawing into his own personal misery. Like he always did in the compound. He was among friends here, he had no reason to shut down.

Exploration sounded like a good idea. The warmth was loosening his stiff muscles, but Rei wasn't sure if he'd be able to keep up with the others, and that worried him slightly, but they needed to map the layout of this place. They needed to know the ins and outs of the place they were currently holed up in. This was an opportunity not offered to them at the compound, so they might as well take it.

Or a game? The suggestion took Rei back to when hew as a much smaller child and games were the most important thing in his life. They weren't children anymore. They had stopped being children the moment they were recruited for the mission to Earth. But that didn't mean they couldn't play at it, just like they were playing at being okay. And anything that they did together would be good. Rei was afraid of that foggy state he'd fallen into. He knew that if he spent too much time on his own, he'd slip back into that. But his friends were here. He had a responsibility to them. Rei gripped his invisible blanket of buzzing matter closer, which caused the air to grow warmer around him, in preparation for getting up.

Narumi praised Kou's idea, a broken little laugh dripping from her mouth that set Rei ill at ease. No one was trying harder than Narumi, and he couldn't tell if he appreciated her effort or was distressed by it. It was a very clear reminder that they were all broken now. Nothing would ever be the same as it used to be, no matter how hard they tried. It would only be a facsimile of the better times that had passed them by.

Takumi rose, his voice low and gentle as he deferred command of the situation to Kou. He brought up the question of where they'd be sleeping, and another little pang of panic rose in Rei's chest. He hated to admit it, but he was terribly afraid of the dark now. he'd developed it in the complex, from the tests, and it was bad enough that they left the light in his cell on all the time. He didn't want the others to know that, but at the same time he didn't want to sleep alone. A faint line of worry crossed his brow, but he focused again on keeping that layer of warmth around him and it passed. He stood up too.

" A game sounds fun." he agreed in a soft voice, a smile lingering vaguely on is tired features. He stretched his legs, shifting from one side to the other, trying to loosen his frame well enough to walk. Otherwise he'd lock up, and it would be painful to move faster than a shuffle. The extra warmth wreathing him helped, and it made his eyes glimmer green, even though his face only spoke of exhaustion. " But let's stick together when we explore. I don't want to get lost." His words held twofold meaning. Firstly, he really didn't want to be left alone here, not now, at least, and secondly, he wanted them to not run off without him, because he was almost positive he'd not be able to catch up if they went too quickly.

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Kou was glad to see they were all trying, if at least not mimicking her efforts. She also noticed that Takumi had an odd reaction and flinched at the mention of a game which caused Kou's smile to dip just a bit. Had they used games to hurt him in some way? Or perhaps it was a trigger word. Kou wondered, but didn't dare ask. There was no need to regale them in the horrors of what each had gone through as they had all been through something different but equally horrible. "Alright, let's go then." Kou pushed her chair back and stood, starting on their new adventure. It was simple sure, but for now this was their task; exploring the house. Hopefully it would be more successful then their first mission.

Kou lingered by the table for a few minutes and waited for the others to rise before exiting the room and heading towards the entryway where she had seen the large staircase that led upstairs. Kou grabbed the handrail and began to go up to the second floor, wondering what would await there. She was on the defensive, wary of any creaks that came from the wooden flooring or sounds the doors made when she opened them. "I found a bedroom!" Kou called to the others and opened the door wider.

The room wasn't anything special; the walls in this one were painted a calming blue with a wooden floor and squishy cream colored rug strategically placed in the middle. The bed was tucked into the corner between two walls and had silky gray sheets on it. Behind thick curtains there was a large door that led to a porch which was decorated with floors. Kou opened up the balcony door and leaned over the railing, pricking her palm on a rose thorn. She frowned, not having realized that the flowers were prickly and turned back to the room to finish her observation of the space. There was a bookshelf that was empty save for a few random items like a stuffed rabbit, markers, and a drawing pad. In another corner of the room was a desk and chair along with a mini lamp.

There were two more doors, one led to a closet stocked with clothes and the other to a bathroom. Upon seeing clean clothing Kou stripped herself of the hideous uniform of Area 51 and pulled on a cotton blue tee shirt and jean shorts. They were brand new and fit Kou perfectly. Was this meant to be her room then? She noticed a smear of blood on the new shirt and realized that her palm was still bleeding. Kou ripped a piece of cloth off from the clothing she had deposited on the floor and wrapped it around the wound. It would close soon enough, but for now this would suffice as a bandage.

"It's a nice room... Why?" Before they hadn't given them much more then a bed and a toilet, but now they had a full bathroom and plenty of space to move around. She went to look at the stuffed rabbit on the shelf and stood on her tip toes to grab it, pulling the bunny down and giving it a squeeze. Kou had, had one like this back at home except hers had been white not this odd shade of baby pink. "I'm going to call you Mii," Kou said to the toy and crawled onto the bed in order to place the bunny beside the pillow. Kou had completely forgotten about Takumi, Narumi, and Rei while she had explored the room. Kou went to the entryway, they should see what were behind the other doors.

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Rei trailed behind as they set off to explore the house. He couldn't take the stairs quickly, and it was a bit of a painstaking effort, even with the warmth wreathing him. Once he got to the top of the stairs, Kou had already disappeared into a room. A bedroom? Rei paused for a moment. So they each had their own rooms? "I'm going to see which one is mine." He told the others, starting off at a slow pace down the hall. He poked his head into one of the rooms. There were windows across the back wall, leading out onto a balcony. Even though the walls were painted a deep blue, and the floor was wooden, the room was bright. On one wall was a bookshelf and a desk with a lamp peering over it. There were a few odds and ends on the shelves, and a few human books. On the other side was the bed, encircled by a grey square rug that matched the curtains in the room. The comforter on the low bed was blue and green, like an underwater scene, and the pillows were grey.

He poked around some more, looking at the bathroom, which after all the time he'd spent on the ship and in captivity, seemed positively luxurious. The other door was a closet. He poked through the clothes, they were his size, in the human styles Artemis sometimes mimicked. He kicked off the baggy jumper he'd worn in the compound, and put on the clean clothes. he wanted a shower too. To feel the warm water pattering against his skin. But now was not the time for that. So he settled for a pair of black pants, and a long-sleeved maroon shirt that hid most of the scarring on his legs and wrists. The clothes fit well, and the softness of their fabric dazzled Rei, after so long living with the coarse texture and chafing of the stupid complex-issued uniforms.

A heavy sigh escaped his mouth as he returned to stand in the middle of his room. Part of him wanted to be swept away in the magic of having a wonderful place just for himself, somewhere where the sheets were soft and the fragrance of flowers and grass hung in the air. Where he felt alive again, not just hollow and broken. But he knew he couldn't let himself be tricked by the humans. They wanted them to let their guard down. To be enchanted, to fall into trusting them. What did they want?

Rei's fists clenched, and he dropped the warmth that he'd pulled to himself. his eyes lost their green spark, but remained light because it was nice and warm in the room thanks to the sun. He didn't trust this. But he didn't want the others to be anxious. He didn't want the humans to know that they were suspicious. They had to do this calmly, and find a place where they could talk, plan an escape, without being overheard. But where? The whole house was probably bugged. And he didn't trust the human that was apparently their caretaker in the slightest.

The boy emerged from his room and looked at the others. Kou was out of her room too. He wasn't sure if the others had explored their quarters or not, but he was ready to move on and get the gut wrenching suspicion out of his mind. " These rooms are really nice." he stated, looking a the others, an unspoken question in his face. Why were they being so nice? He hoped the others were questioning it too.

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Tak followed his friends examples and went to investigate what he assumed was his own room. As soon as he walked in he frowned in confusion and worry. This was not what he had needed it to be. He had needed it to be easily analysed; another cell or at best a very simple room. This was designed specifically for him and this did nothing to put his raw nerves at ease.

He gingerly moved forward a bit to gaze at the green schemed room. The bed was lined up against a sea-green feature wall with the quilt colours combining nicely to the effect. There was a soft round rug on the floor adding a bit of blue to the colours. There was a large bookshelf to his left filled with various human literature and to his left a small reading desk complete with necessary stationary and lighting. Tak let his eyes wonder over every inch of this suspicious extravagance. Then he took a deep breath and began tearing the room apart.

The bed was wrenched away from the wall and Taks itching fingers immediately traced the wall seeking out crannies where camera's may be hiding. Finding none he resorted to pulling off all the bedding carefully stripping the bed clean searching for any sort of technology. Again there was nothing, but that didn't assure Tak of anything. Next all the books were skimmed through and then chucked onto the pile of bedding on the rug. The skeleton of a book shelf then felt his eagerly searching fingers as they once again pressed into every dip and fold in the wood seeking out abnormalities.

The longer he searched the more agitated Tak became; nothing was right here. Where were the bugs? The bookshelf was torn down away from the left wall and again his hands pressed against the smoothly painted wall. Desk papers went flying quickly followed by pens and then the office chair. The draw was yanked out of it's place finding itself strewn across a growing mountain of sheets, papers, books, pens and furniture. With a loud bang the desk crushed it all. Panting and his whole body shaking slightly Takumi's wide eyes once again searched through everything. Again nothing met his keen eyes.

So he pushed all the furniture as far as he could in the corner. He pulled out a single cushion and sheet and spent the next few minutes painstakingly running his hands through the sheet layers and pulling out all the stuffing and searching through the stuff before he finally took it over to the opposite corner. He placed the pillow against the wall and laid the sheet out below it like a camping bed. Of all the things here he was certain he had searched these two items thoroughly enough. The rest could be engrained with bugs that he hadn't picked up on.

Then he walked calmly out of his room to look at Rei and Kou.

"These rooms are really nice."

"Hmm." Tak grunted in reply, nodding slightly, hearing the unsaid question linger in Rei's tone. "At first glance they are."


This last sentence was muttered under his breath, before he quickly looked up with a forced smile. He had forgotten himself for a moment, for now his friends did not need his cynicism nor his analysis. Tak failed to recognise that his analysis had gone far too far and was swiftly sinking into a deep paranoia.

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Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Narumi watched as everyone agreed to go explore the house, Tak and Rei didn't seem as gung-ho as little Kou did. Walking out of the kitchen to attempt and follow Kou she smiled at the boys before running off farther into the house. She then noted a room with a small metal plaque with her name on it. "Narumi Asama." She smiled a bit in spite of herself and pushed open the door. Inside it was pink and frilly. A queen sized bed with soft pink sheets accented with white lace, twin nightstands an ivory white, covered in beauty products. A vanity table and mirror with two lacy lamps encompassing it.

This is nice. . .Huh?

Narumi walked a bit deeper into the room and found another door. Opening it gently it led to a luxury spa-style bathroom with a marble lavatory. Her eyes widened and a small gasp escaped her lips, it was so much nicer than the place she was at before. She squealed and flopped down on the bed only to have it sink down around her. She smiled up at the ceiling but then she noticed something. This was too good. These were the same people who tortured her, who took advantage of her, who scarred her and her friends. She frowned and rolled out of the bed and walked into the hallway.

"Well, I'm done in there for now. Ha-ha it's almost too nice for me! How're the other rooms?"

Narumi called out, hoping someone would hear but, she felt trapped here. This house was no different than where she was before. It was still a prison and she wouldn't allow herself to become blinded of this.

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Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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"I'm kind of scared," Kou said as they gathered in the hall. She had thought she had left the stuffed rabbit on the bed, but it turns out the child had unknowingly taken it with her. This was a big change and it was a bit unnerving as to why they were being so nice when previously they had only been interested in dissecting the children. Then there was the promise of sending them home; being dangled in front of them like a carrot that was so close yet always just out of reach. Perhaps they had realized that the children held no strategic value if dead?

"My room is nice Narumi," Kou replied in response to the girl's question. Rei seemed to agree although Tak was skeptical, but the older boy seemed to be skeptical of everything now. They had all changed, being in that facility transformed them all for the worse. Kou rubbed her eyes, the rabbit swinging in her grip. "We should look at the other rooms," she said with a yawn, feeling suddenly dizzy. This whole change was throwing her off because by now in the facility she would have done a ton of tests but here they were giving them space and leaving them alone with only one supervisor.

Kou began moving again, using the wall as support. She opened one of the doors that was still closed and found a room stocked with books. "Is this.... a library?" Kou questioned, stepping out of the doorway and inside so the others could see. There were some weird screens sitting on a desk with little boards full of letters under them. "What are these?"

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Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Tak watched rather listlessly as Narumi and Kou mentioned how nice the rooms were. There was a deep dread filling the back of his head as he thought about the rooms. There was clearly something a lot more sinister going on, like knives hidden under pillows and frills. Since Kou and Narumi seemed to be enjoying their rooms, Tak was reluctant to admit how he had trashed his own. So instead he said nothing, watching them and trying to argue out in his head the ethics of possibly letting them be secretly watched or risking their present happiness.

Kou's clear exhaustion finally decided it. Evidently being watched wasn't a main concern to her now therefore his suspicions being voiced could wait. His eyes softened as he watched her use the wall to slowly guide her into another room. Carefully he followed behind, watching to see if he needed to intervene lest her exhaustion overcome her will. The next room was beautiful. Even his own paranoia took a moments break as he gazed over all the books. Unconsciously he trailed his fingers over their bindings as his eyes took it all in.

Then slowly the dark cloud that remained hovering over him returned and wrapped him up in a wet blanket. He promptly removed his hand from the shelves and shoved them in his pocket. At Kou's question he turned with a blank face and simply nodded finding his mouth no longer felt in the mood for communication.

That was until she went over to the computer. Immediately his research came to his mind and almost automatically he answer her.

"It's a computer. A piece of technology humans use for finding, storing and re-creating information."

Suddenly he realised he was standing over the equipment. He switched it on without thinking and immediately knew something was wrong. Suddenly his vision slid and the next minute any awareness was long gone.

His shell of a body collapsed and started thrashing around wildly. His arms and legs went haywire, madly being wrenched from side. His whole spine arched back forcing his back to come off the floor and all the time there was a mad shaking. Nevertheless the darkness won and Tak was completely oblivious to the trauma his body was suffering. Incidentally one of his limbs was flung so violently to the side that a whole bookshelf shook toppling a few books to the floor. And all the while his convulsions continued.

Abruptly it all ended. The slits between his eyelids let in a bit of light and all at once he was back. His whole body ached and there was such an intense fatigue he felt as though he had run a marathon. His eyes flew open only to be greeted by a great room filled with books. Panic immediately overtook him. Where am I?.....where the hell am I?


Slowly his memory eased through his panic and with gasping breaths he attempted to calm himself. Another seizure. There was no relief with this answer. Gingerly he sat up, deliberately avoiding the others eyes. Why did it have to happen here? Hot blood filled his cheeks and the shame and embarrassment of it all washed over him. His ears burned and in a childlike fear he pulled his knees up to his chest and rested his head on them, breathing deeply.

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Character Portrait: Kou Borne Character Portrait: Takumi Kio Character Portrait: Rei Nanase Character Portrait: Narumi Asama
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Rei Nanase




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Rei silently watched Tak watch the girls. He didn't look very happy. As they began move down the hall, Kou intent on exploring another room and the rest of them trailing behind her, Rei sped up his hobble a little and caught the taller male by the arm. "We need to talk," he said in a soft voice, his eyes going dark as a shiver rippled through his body, " without them." His eyes flicked towards the girls again. he didn't want to worry them if there was nothing to worry about, but he knew that Tak was already suspicious. They could probably find the surveillance cameras together without alerting either the girls or the humans watching them. Then he let go of Tak's arm, and continued his stiff-gaited walk towards wherever they were headed.

When they opened the doors, Rei's eyes widened. Look at all those books. He'd been an avid reader, once upon a time, maybe if this place turned out to be nonthreatening, then he could delve into these human books. They'd had some books by human authors at home, vintage types, they were called 'classics' on Earth. By people with strange names like Shakespeare and Plato, Dickens and Twain. Part of him was interested in learning more about human culture first hand. Surely all of them couldn't be as cruel as the ones he'd thus far encountered. But that would be for later, if there was a later. And if they managed to escape, maybe he'd steal some of the texts to take with them.

Kou was looking interestedly at a human computer. They were positively clunky compared to Artimisean tech. How fast did they run? Rei drew nearer to where they were standing as Tak leaned over to turn one one, interested to see how it worked. The screen immediately glowed blue and white, and Tak went down. Rei froze, unsure of exactly what to do. What was happening? Has something from the complex finally caught up with him? Had they all been poisoned and Tak was the first to go? Would they soon follow suit?

It took a few moments of watching Tak twitching on the floor for Rei to exit his feral panic mode and remember that Tak had epilepsy. He was having a seizure. One of his arms hit a book shelf, making it start rocking. Instantly and instinctively , Rei jumped over his body to catch the shelf and prevent any books from landing on their friend. What should they do? He knew that someone having a seizure shouldn't be restrained, and they should be put on their side so they don't choke or something, but he didn't know how to turn Tak on his side with the way his limbs were violently twitching. He cast a helpless look at the others, as if asking them what to do.

But then, just as suddenly as they'd started, the seizures stopped. Tak went still for a moment, his eyes opening. Panic flared across them for a second, then he calmed and sat up. Rei tipped his head slightly to one side, trying to look Tak in the eye, but he kept his head down. Ah, his pride. He was probably embarrassed. Rei didn't blame him. He felt similarly about the scarring on his body.

He wasn't sure exactly how to help. Maybe if he just made the air around him a little cooler to lower his heart rate? Rei opened one of his palms slowly, manipulating the heat around Tak to make it a few degrees cooler. He didn't want to overdo it, but he wasn't sure how effective it would be. Worth a shot though, right? He wanted to offer him a hand up, but he wasn't sure if he could keep his balance on his stiff legs. So he just moved over in front of the computer, using his body to block Tak from it, and pressed the button to shut it off. " This human technology is nothing compared to ours." He said, false bravado in his voice and his mouth thin. Anything to move the focus off of Tak so the male could recover. Internally he wondered if he could use the computer to access the surveillance mainframe. He wasn't any great shake at working tech, but it would be worth a shot, right? Maybe later.

Honestly, right now, all he wanted to do was sleep for a couple days. Wake up when this was all over and done with. His dark eyes searched the faces of those around him. How had they ended up here. Life was just not fair to this poor, ragtag group of youths.