Candles & Clockwork

Androria

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a part of Candles & Clockwork, by Fantastical-Ducks.

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Fantastical-Ducks holds sovereignty over Androria, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Setting

Default Location for Steam & Clockwork
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Androria

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Androria is a part of Candles & Clockwork.

9 Characters Here

Nina Crosby [6] Stormcloud
Isaac [ANGEL - XIII] [4] "Please remain calm and orderly."
Quinton Mylod [4] "Does it hurt? Does it hurt?! PUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Cyril Finnahan [3] "Aetherian scum... I hope you're ready for judgement."
Gladys [3] "What is it... that I can't remember?"
Callie Nickel [2] "I got this!"
Karl Twittz Fitzgerald [1] "Well, don't you say? I should roll out the red carpet? Get my butlers to serve you a few hairballs?"
Clara M. P. Heany [1] "I'm just a little baby doll only to be played with."
Jinji Ko [0] "Monsters come in many forms.."

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callie Nickel Character Portrait: Clara M. P. Heany Character Portrait: Nina Crosby Character Portrait: Cyril Finnahan Character Portrait: Karl Twittz Fitzgerald Character Portrait: Quinton Mylod Character Portrait: Isaac [ANGEL - XIII]

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[Dammit I was gonna post Saturday not 3am Sunday!!!]

The morning parades were beginning and all over Aether the excited screams were muffled by music and balloons. Aether Ascension Day as it was called was supposedly a happy day, a day to be celebrated by all no matter or age or class. But this was a false reality told by the rejoicing upper-class so they could excuse themselves for blowing a small fortune on overly frivolous party gifts. In reality the upper-class were the only ones who truly got to celebrate the day, with parades and tea parties in the morning and after noon then at night fireworks and parties. Meanwhile the middle class would toil preparing the party for the upper class before they would return to there own homes at 3am or if there were upper-class bachelors they would spend the evening in a middle-class island blowing money on alcohol and girls. And the lower class well they lucky to get to go home early. As for the surface well it was doubtful they would celebrate the day they got abandoned. And it is on this day amidst the innocence and ignorance that our story truly begins...






~ CALLIE NICKLE ~


'Happy Aether Day! Remember to grab your free balloon at the gate and thank you for flying-' Callie let out a sigh as the automated message repeated for the third time, the jingle of over happy music could have actually made Callie ill. Every year was the same, horribly joyful music, a slew of grinning faces and overly dressed people cramming close together to celebrate the joy and leaving behind millions to die. Though this year was different for Callie, previous years were spent in her hotel room watching the parades on t.v this year she was going to an upper-class island. Not by her own choice mind you. She had received a very sudden call from a previous employer asking her to pick up a job, it was sudden but Callie had been running out of funds so she had accepted of course once she accepted she regretted it. She was going to be in the engine room of a Surface Craft, aptly named for being bulky armored air-ships designed to fly down to the surface and bring back copious amounts of something. In this case it was Crawlers. The disgusting looking creatures were considered a delicacy by the upper-class and of course there weren't enough to feed everyone at her employers party so she was scrambling to send a team down to the surface to collect some crawlers for her creme. Sighing again at her misfortune Callie stood as the airship docked she had plenty of time to get to the next dock and onto the hunk of metal...

Admittedly Callie could see the benefits of this job. She had never seen the surface before and she had heard rumors of the beautiful Fractal Forests. But that did not change the fact that she was currently sitting in the poorly cared for engine room of the Surface Craft staring at what she could see through a small round window. The engine unleashed another hiss and Callie sighed to see that there was yet another leak. She would have to talk to her employer about actually fixing the engine instead of just patching it with duck-tape. Pulling out the duck-tape Callie patched the small hole before grabbing her tool kit, she had a good half hour before the ground party came back with there haul and then no doubt they would head straight back up so that the crawlers could get fried or however they were cooked. While Callie got caught up in her work she barely heard the sound of footsteps on the floor above her. It was only one set so it could not be the ground party return from there hunt... Curious and more then a little paranoid Callie stopped her work and grabbed her screw driver, [which made a surprisingly good weapon] and headed up the ladder to see who the other person was.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nina Crosby

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Nina stood in a small but well decorated room. The wallpaper was red and gold and the floor was made of spotless mahogany boards. In the distance Nina could hear the joyous noise from the Ascension Day celebrations. She wished she could be out there, drinking, meeting new people, exploring... Instead she was stuck in the Andoria Ladies' Academy, getting ready to sign her life away. Just then a spindly woman dressed in a lacy frock came into the room. She reminded Nina a lot of her stepmother, as many of the people at the ladies' academy did.
"Hello. I am Helena Rutherford. I will be handling your admission today." She said in a sickly sweet voice. Nina simply nodded, opting not to speak. Nina was a striking, pretty girl with brown hair that was just longer than shoulder length. She had pale skin and deep brown eyes, highlighted by a healthy dose of eyeliner and mascara. Her demeanour was cold, brooding, melancholy... pissed off. Once she opened up she was a perfectly pleasant girl and could have a perfectly pleasant conversation. But her default expression was one of annoyance, and she was particularly annoyed today. Helena held up a clipboard and fancy gold pen.
"Name?" She asked, her tone instantly becoming more blunt now that the formalities had begun.
"Nina." Nina answered.
"Full Name." Helena said, more assertively this time.
"Nina Kathryn Rachel Crosby." Nina answered. Helena nodded and scribbled on her clipboard.
"Age?"
"19." Nina replied again.
"Height?"
"Ummm..." Nina paused to think. "5'6?" She said, shrugging.
"Well that won't do." Helena answered. "We want to know in centimeters. Stand over there." Helena commanded. Nina did as she was told. Helena lifted a measuring tape from a shelf and drew it the length of Nina. "168cm." She said. "A little taller than average for a lady. Not a problem though. We have uniforms to fit all sizes."
"Uniforms?" Nina thought to herself. Nina hadn't been told this. As far as she'd been aware she was going to be allowed to wear what she liked.
"Dress size?" Helena asked.
"12."
"Don't worry, we'll have you a 10 in no time."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" Nina asked, a little insulted.
"We aim for all of our ladies to be size 10. You have nothing to worry about, size 12 isn't far at all. A little less at meal times and no snacking throughout the day and you'll be there within a month."
Nina scowled. She wasn't overweight. If she wanted to lose a couple of pounds for an aesthetic reason that should have been her choice.
"Bra size?" Helena asked.
Nina blinked in astonishment. "Why is that important?"
"It's part of your uniform. We need your sizes to get you a uniform that fits. Isn't that obvious?"
"Can't I wear my own... underwear?"
"Everything you wear is issued to you. Socks, shoes, dresses, even underwear. So, what's you size?"
"36B." Nina mumbled, avoiding eye contact.
"What was that? 36D?"
"B." Nina reiterated through gritted teeth.
"Oh yes, 36B. I didn't think you looked like a 36D. Now, shoe size?"
"7."
"7? Those are very big feet for a lady. Sadly there's not much we can do to help you there."
"Help me?" Nina asked. "Does it really matter?"
"Well larger feet are not usually seen as desirable, young lady. Smaller, more elegant feet are preferred by suitors. But anyway, Virgin?"
"Excuse me?" Nina asked in complete shock.
"Are you a virgin?" Helena asked again as if this was a normal thing to ask.
"I am not answering that. That has nothing to do with this at all."
"It will be easier to find you a suitor if you are unused, in your original state. Wealthy men don't want a second hand woman." Helena snapped her fingers and a statue behind Nina sprang to life a grabbed her. "These are Creepers. Machines disguised as statues that serve the academy. I am more than capable of checking for myself if you cannot tell me. Are you or are you not a virgin?"
"No, alright. If it really matters I'm not." Nina barked. The statue let her go and she slumped on the floor.
Helena shook her head. "Not what we wanted to hear at all I'm afraid. Now are you on any medication?"
"No."
"Excellent. So I'll just fetch you your uniform and then we can examine your ethnic classification and go through the personal belongings you wish to bring with you to the academy."
Nina sat on the floor in a state of amazement. No one had ever spoken like this to her. Was this how it was going to be for as long as she was at the academy? How long would she be at the academy? No one had cared to tell her that. And what was this now? Ethnic classification? Go through her personal belongings? It was a complete invasion of her privacy and she didn't like it one bit.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nina Crosby

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Helena returned a few minutes later with a selection of clothing.
"We are very strict about uniform and you will be inspected every morning to make sure you uphold our standards." She said. "On normal working days you will wear this skirt and blouse." She added handing over a coathanger. The skirt was a long sky-blue one with a white stripe running around the end. The blouse was plain white with a collar almost like a polo shirt. "On days when you need to be more presentable you shall wear a frock." Helena handed over another coathanger with a navy blue frock on it. It had a floral pattern too and a lacy collar. "That reminds me, when wearing your skirt it must be at least as long as your knees. Any shorter than that will be a breach of uniform code."
Nina raised an eyebrow. It all sounded a bit much. Nina was the sort of girl who wore trousers, but if she had to wear a skirt she would prefer to show a bit of thigh.
"Your brassiere and socks." Both were plain white and the socks were very long. "Your..." Helena paused. "Size 7 shoes." She continued, sounding a little disgusted by Nina's larger than average sized feet (for a girl of her size anyway). She handed Nina a cardboard box. Nina was struggling to hold the many items of clothing she was being handed. "And finally your chastity belt."
Nina dropped the pile of clothes. "My what?" She asked.
"Why did I have a feeling this was going to cause trouble?" Helena sighed. "Ladies of the academy must wear chastity belts, lest you be tempted by or tempt anyone."
"And what business of yours would it be if I was?" Nina replied angrily.
"Your life is our business. We are here to turn you into a productive lady. We can't have you running around getting up to who knows what? It's not painful, I assure you. A little uncomfortable perhaps but you'll soon get used to it." She showed the principle of the belt, how it fastened around her waist and whatnot. "A member of staff will unlock it for you in the morning to change the lining and then 3 times throughout the day so you can use the bathroom."
"And what if I need to use the bathroom at a different time?" Nina asked.
"You will soon adjust to our routine. Now we need to see what you're bringing with you." Helena said, snatching the bag from Nina's hand and opening it on the table. "Toothbrush? Not necessary. We'll issue you one of those." She said, tossing it in the bin. "Items of clothing and nightclothing? Again, we have our own. Makeup? That's fine, you can bring that but we'll be teaching you how to do a better job of it than that, and you are only to wear it on presentation days."
Nina's expression became one of even greater annoyance.
"These your parents?" Helena asked, stumbling upon a photograph.
"Yes." Nina answered sourly.
"You look very like your mother. What are these?" She asked, lifting out an unlabeled white packet.
"Sanitary towels." Nina answered, slightly amused. Helena dropped them and went a little pale before whiping her hand with a handkerchief.

"Okay we'll go over punishments then." Helena said happily. Nina got the feeling Helena took some joy in the misery of others. "Our standard punishments are extra chores, detention, food deprivation, beating, foot burning, head shaving and circumcision."
"Wow, back up there just a second." Nina said with haste.
"How far?"
"Everything after detention sounded... questionable."
"Food deprivation is witholding food from you until you learn your lesson. Beating is hitting you until you learn your lesson. Not too hard of course, we don't want to damage your value so it will all be open hand. We may have to burn the bottoms of your feet if you really break the rules though. Most of your work can be done sitting down and no one really sees the bottoms of your feet. Head shaving is mainly for 'right offs'. We'd have to be pretty sure you're not getting a husband to shave your head. Our most serious punishment though is female circumcision. It's only something we've done a few times in our history but believe us when we say it is very possible."
Nina could not believe what she was hearing. This was barbaric, how could a place like this continue to exist. Andoria had floating cities but still mutilated those who stepped out of line. It was stone age.

"Now as for our plans for you. Since you're 19 you have about 2 years to find a husband or be purchased for work before we send you off to the factories. Now you're celtic on your father's side and hebrew on your mother's so that probably puts you towards the top end of class 3. You are far from a perfect aryan so you can't be put forward for modelling and we won't make you a priority for partnering. Nevertheless we can reserve list you and make you a priority for working sale. But I would say you've got a reasonable chance of finding a husband. You're quite pretty even though you have a big nose and fat thighs."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nina Crosby Character Portrait: Cyril Finnahan Character Portrait: Quinton Mylod Character Portrait: Gladys

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Cyril Finnahan/Quinton Mylod

"Yoohoo~ Wake up, Rat." Cyril stirred in his sleep, rolling back and forth, before finally opening his eyes, slowly. Blinking away his drowsiness, Cyril mumbled a few incoherent curses before shifting his body into a sitting position and reaching into one of his pockets. A tinge of irritation lurking through his mind, Cyril hesitated before bringing a small mechanical device out of his pocket and raising a questioning eyebrow at the screen. "What do you want, Snake? Can't you see I'm trying to sleep?"

A slender man with green hair smiled charismatically through the screen, with his eyes squinted open ever so slightly. To most it would seem that his eyes weren't open at all. "Come on, pal. Is that any way to talk to an old friend?" At the mention of the word 'friend', the man's grin distorted into disturbing, toothy smile for a split second. Cyril merely stared at the man, expressionless. He's spoken with Quinton enough times to be used to the man's odd mannerisms. "Just get to the point. Do you have more information about Gladys?" Knowing the man no doubt had another mission for him to accomplish, Cyril saw no point in dawdling. He casually began suiting up for whatever crazy plan Quinton had in mind. "As impatient as always, I see. Very well, then..." Giving himself a few moments to collect his thoughts, Quinton continued his explanation. "I have one final task for you to do for me. Oh! And this is a big one, so make sure not to get lost during the rundown, alright? Just tell me if you have any problems keeping up." Cyril grimaced at Quinton's statement. While he failed to grasp the insult that was implied, he knew that there was definitely something he didn't like about Quinton's tone. Even so, he listened intently as he strapped a leather bracer to his arm.

"To put it simply, there is a certain individual I would like you to... take care of per say. She is a daughter of a prestigious family who I'm sure no one would miss." Quinton sported a cocky sneer before continuing. "If I were to be perfectly honest, she was a random pick out of a select few, but her death is quite necessary in order to further my goals." Cyril took a pause in his movements, feeling somewhat caught off guard. While he didn't have any problems with killing, this was unlike any of the other requests Quinton had asked of him. He contemplated asking him the reasons behind this request, but decided against it. He didn't really care why Quinton wanted this person dead. This was merely a means to an end. Besides, he knew by now that Quinton only told him what was necessary. Even didn't even uncover his real name after all the time he's known him. "Alright then... Who am I supposed to be killing?" Cyril asked, as he tied the ends of his hair in a short, messy ponytail. "The lucky girl's name is Nina Crosby. Here's a photo of her." At the end of those words, the screen flickered over to an image of a Nina. Cyril eyed it as if scanning every inch of it. After finishing his analysis of the picture, Cyril nodded, signaling that he understood who his target was.

"Whatta you think? Quite the looker, isn't she? Not that I can say she's really my type." Cyril ignored Quinton's comment. Right now, he was only interested in the important details. "I think you're missing something, Snake. How exactly am I supposed to get to the target from down here?" To this question, Cyril stopped what he was doing to look at Quinton directly. If this mission was impossible to accomplish, then there was no use in getting geared up for it. "Come now. Do you really think 'I' would make such a mistake? I've already made preparations for your departure to the Upper Class islands. You see, there is a certain cargo ship not too far North from your position that should be ready to take off any time now to said location. I'm sure you're well aware that after completing my task, you'll no doubt try looking for your sister, right?" At this, Cyril finished getting ready and grabbed the device as he began to walk out into the series of caverns that was the Underground, making sure to secure his hovel before leaving. "Alright. So that solves how I'll get there. But what makes you so sure I'll do this for you, now that I have my ride?" Cyril questioned, looking around for any suspicious characters; also know as residents. Let's see... For one, you don't know the island she's on, or even what level she patrols. You could spend your whole life looking for her up here, with no clear idea of her whereabouts. Another thing would be..." Quinton stopped himself, contemplating whether or not he should continue. "I guess I can let this one slip. Another freebie for old times' sake. Your sister doesn't quite look like her old self... You could say her appearance has changed drastically from the way it used to be." Taking in all of the information, Quinton soon made his way to one of the many mouths leading in and out of the Underground. He knew a long time ago that people don't look the same after they have been changed into ANGELS. But Quinton did have a point on both of those accounts. Cyril couldn't deny that. Over the year, Quinton has made sure to only give Cyril just enough information to seem reliable, while holding back as much as he could for future use.

"From your silence, I take it you have no further complaints? Alright, then! Make sure to tell me once you've reached the Upper levels, so I can tell you where to find the target. Just so you know, there is a set of clothes hidden underneath a panel at the uppermost right corner of the cargo hold. You'll need to sneak in there and dress into them. Oh, and make sure you're seen once you've killed her. That's all for now. Good luck~" With that Quinton blinked out, leaving the screen black. Cyril took a moment to think about this task. He noticed that Quinton had planned everything out up to the point where he assassinates Nina. He left out the part where Cyril is supposed to escape. Ultimately, Cyril decided that he would just have to improvise at that point. Rushing through the Fractal Forest, Cyril made his way to the Surface Craft.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callie Nickel Character Portrait: Cyril Finnahan Character Portrait: Quinton Mylod Character Portrait: Isaac [ANGEL - XIII]

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~ CALLIE NICKLE ~


Callie was more then a little relieved to notice that the noise she'd heard from below was in fact just a rat. Letting out a sigh of relief that she wasn't going crazy the sound of wheeze and loud pop brought her out of her thinking. Sliding back down the ladder she groaned as the room began to fill with smoke. Walking over to the window she'd been starring out of earlier she popped it open and began trying to shoo the smoke out, but she soon realized it was useless to fight the smoke when more kept boiling out of the engine. So she picked up her welding mask and dove through the smoke to see what the problem was.

After a good 15 minutes Callie was proud to say she'd fixed the engine and the smoke was almost completely gone. The problem as it turned out was a rock, lodged in one of the pipes causing the smoke to build up. Looking down at the little gray rock Callie could not help but wonder where it had come from. Few people had to be stupid enough to shove a rock in such a place. So the only thing that could really cross her mind was that it was done on purpose. Probably by someone thinking they were clever. Letting out a puff of breath Callie stood and made her way to the round window closing it back up. It was then that she heard footsteps above her again. Though she was quick to dismiss it as the rat again she could not shake the feeling of being watched...

It did not take much longer for the hunting party to return and soon the airship was off rising back toward the islands. Callie was mildly disappointment she had not got to see anything other then the engine room but she was rather pleased with herself to hear the engine purring. She really had to admit she was good. Rising took longer then descending so Callie was invited to the ships upper levels to enjoy the view, and of course the hunters seemed fond of Callie and she was on the receiving end of quite a bit of flirtation and more then a few stories. None of it really impressed Callie, these were after all the same men who were known to at times kidnap people from the surface and that just did not sit well with her. She also noted another man on the ship whom she had not seen earlier that day. But she shrugged it off and soon returned to the engine room. Even after they landed she stayed there fixing up the rusty old thing. After all she had nothing else to do today and hey, her employer knew her fairly well that if Callie mentioned fixing the engine problems she might get a bonus. She could use it if she was going to go visit Isaac later this evening.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nina Crosby

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With that Nina was shown to the dormitory where she would be staying. The other girls froze as she was brought into the room.
"Ladies, this is Nina Crosby. She is a new student of the academy and will be with us for up to 2 years." Helena said.
"Hello Nina." The room of girls droned back. It seemed greatly rehearsed as if they'd said it a thousand times before. Nina waved awkwardly a tried a closed-mouthed smile.
"I'll leave you to settle in and meet your fellow ladies. Classes have finished for the day so the rest of the evening is yours providing you behave." Helena said turning to Nina. Nina set her bag down on a vacant bed and sat down on it, turning to look at herself in the tall mirror. She didn't look half bad in the day-to-day uniform even though she would never have chosen to wear it. She felt a tap on her shoulder. It was one of the other ladies. She had bright blue eyes and golden blonde hair. She was about an inch taller than Nina and had a naturally even complexion with little evidence of makeup. Nina had a feeling she was scoring pretty highly on the ethnic classification chart.
"Hi, I'm Penelope. I'm the head girl and acting leader of the dormitory. I welcome you on behalf of everyone." Penelope said extending her arm for a formal handshake.
"Thanks." Nina said. "I was worried I might not fit in here. I'm not really disciplined or 'ladylike'."
"Oh you'll soon pick that up. I think you'd definitely find a husband in the next 2 years. You're very pretty even though you are not aryan."
"Uhhh... Thanks." Nina said. Penelope spoke reminiscently of Helena. "How old are you?"
"I am 14." Penelope answered. "I'm set to be paired off in about 2 years as well so we'll get to know each other quite well before that. I am prioritised as an aryan for the master race breeding program."
"Yeah, I think Helena mentioned that. What's the deal with the whole... 'aryan' thing?"
"Well as the master race our breeding is of great importance. The breeding of your kind is not deemed critical so the academy is happy to let you marry if the opportunity presents its self but working is equally valid. You see with the ever-evolving world of technology we need less and less lower class people to work in the factories. But we are not the barbarians you may have heard of. We will not execute the lesser kind. We will merely out breed them until they are extinct." Penelope said with great joy. "Your legs are very smooth." She added inquisitively.
"Yeah, I shaved them." Nina replied bluntly. She was starting to get annoyed with Penelope because of her prejudice, even if she seemed fairly pleasant. "Come to think of it I should have brought my razor."
"They wouldn't have let you. We are not permitted to shave our bodies." Penelope replied.
"Really? I thought you would have found that most 'ladylike'."
"Oh on the contrary, our bodies are not seen by those who would judge us so it is not necessary. For an unattatched lady to shave is to suggest there is someone she wants to see her body."

Nina turned as faced the other way. "This can't be my life for the next two years." She thought to herself. "I need adventures and excitement. I don't even want a husband, nor do I want to waste my days in a dull factory. I need a miracle to get me out of here and somewhere exciting."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Quinton Mylod Character Portrait: Isaac [ANGEL - XIII] Character Portrait: Gladys

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Quinton Mylod/Gladys


Upon hanging up, Quinton began chuckling, eventually breaking out into manical laughter. "At last. The fruits of my labor are finally showing. Its only a matter of time before these god damn islands all come crashing down." Snickering to himself once again, Quinton finally managed to calm himself. "Oh, that's right. I still have to move a few of my other pieces into play." Fidgeting with the main transmission dial on his device, Quinton finally got it to the frequency he wanted. After adjusting the middle and smaller dial, he raised the device to his ear. "Hey there, buddy! Get those weapons I asked for?..." A few moments passed after Quinton had received his answer. "Dear me. Now that's mighty unfortunate. You see, I'm running a very tight schedule right now and I'll need those weapons pronto! If you can't deliver..." After a few panicked ramblings and empty promises from the other end, Quinton continued. "Very well, chum! I'll give you one more day. Have them ready by then, alright? You know what will happen if you don't." With that, Quinton once again cut the connection.

"Now..." Turning his head to the two men and the abomination that was once a failed ANGEL attempt behind him, Quinton eyed them quizzically. "Did you gentlemen need something?" Quinton asked, not even pretending to be interested in their answer. "Hey, boss. We gotta get dis thing fixed. It almost ripped Jacob's leg off this mornin'." The generic grunt explained, pointing to the ANGEL behind him, cautiously. The ANGEL's gender was not even recognizable by appearance at this point. It had suffered results from both the experiments and mutation from Acid Rain, before Quinton's men picked it up from the surface. It merely stood there, it's deformed, red eyes fallen to the floor as it's bulbous face leaked a bit of pus onto the floor. Looking back, Quinton could see that a generous trail of the substance was made on the way to his establishment. "And pray-tell... How is this my problem?" Giving an irritated sigh, Quinton opened the middle drawer of the desk in front of him, taking out a sheet of paper from a scattered pile with three numbers written on it. "This is the frequency for a mechanic not to far from here. Do make sure not to be seen entering his establishment, alright? I'm short on tech suppliers and really don't need another one getting arrested." Taking a moment to consider something, Quinton added in another detail before dismissing the men. "Do make sure to take 'precautions' in case that does happen." With a sinister smile, the man replied. "Oh. Don't worry, boss. We'll make sure the snark don't say a word." With that, the trio exited the building, leaving Quinton to himself once more.

With a sigh, he dialed his device again. "Oh, hello! Remember what we talked about before?... That's right. So about it? Get me those ANGEL units, my good man?" The next sound that filled the air a was a thunderous bang. In fact, it had been Quinton's clenched fist that hit the top of his desk. "You do know how I hate to wait... You command those pieces of scrap, so WHY is it so hard to get them reprogrammed to follow my orders?... Enough excuses, old man. If you have to, get that damn figurehead unit to do the job. Or else." Having made himself clear, Quinton hung up. Immediately after, he grasped his head in agony. "AGH! Dammit! These useless cretins... Why can't they do anything right?!" Quinton exclaimed, banging his hand on the desk numerous times as he fought to focus the pain somewhere other than his head. Meekly reaching for the medicine in his pocket, Quinton brought it out with a shivering hand. Upon delivering it into his stomach, Quinton gasped heavily for a few more minutes before his breathe began to calm."Just a little longer... I'll become a god once more... In just a little while longer..." With those words, Quinton began to chuckle to himself again. Eventually, it transitioned into a noise that could be mistaken for sobbing.




"Hey lady. Are you dead?" Gladys winced at the sunrays that playfully danced over her eye, in between the cracks of a swaying branch. Opening it, she looked up only to meet the eyes of another. "Wha-..." Before Gladys could finish her question, a scream was heard from behind the figure before her. Her uncovered eye now fully opened, Gladys jerked up. It turns out that the one who woke her up was a child, no older than 4. Turning her confused glare towards the direction of the scream, a frightened woman came into view. She seemed startled, or and least deeply disturbed by Gladys' presence. Gladys moved to get up from the tree she had been leaning against, which caused the woman to stiffen. "W-we weren't breaking any laws. J-just on our way to visit our grandma. We decided to take a shortcut." The woman explained, trembling as she did so. She seemed to be inching towards the child ever so slightly, keeping her eyes on Gladys. Gladys tilted her head, still somewhat puzzled by the situation. Standing up, Gladys gave the woman one final cursory glance before speaking. "U-u-um. Protocol states that all residents must take public transport if their destination exceeds 2 kilometers from their initial starting point." Suddenly feeling a bit nervous, Gladys resorted to using her protocol to deal with the situation. "We know! We just didn't have enough money to get a cab. Plus... There aren't many people who would drive us to the middle of a forest..." Gladys stared at her, somewhat unsure on how to respond. Before she had the chance to, the woman dashed towards the child and man a B-line in another direction. Gladys stood there, watching them. She felt somewhat relieved having gotten through the awkward situation.

"Ah! Fuckin' finally! God. I thought this piece of shit would never work." Suddenly, a masculine voice roared in Gladys' head, startling her for a second. "Hello?..." Gladys cautiously greeted the voice, feeling some kind of familiarity with it, although she couldn't quite put her finger on it. "Yeah. Hey, dummy. You know how long I've been tryin' to get in contact with you? Five fuckin' hours. Newsflash, Bozzo. Ya need to stop turnin' off yer damn radio chip." Gladys' face lit up with cognizance. "Ezikiel!" Gladys replied, her only words a simple exclamation. "I know my own damn name. Wai-... Where the hell are you?" Gladys looked around her, slowly drifting her gaze over the landscape. "Um... A forest?" Gladys answered, although it seemed more like a question. "Are you freaking kiddin' me?! A forest again?! God! Who knew ANGELs could be such fuckin' airheads. Get your ass back to HQ NOW. I gotta check up on your circuitry. There's also supposed to be some dumb ANGEL formation in a few hours, so get here FAST!" The angry man hung up, obviously displeased with the ANGEL he was put in charge of.

Gladys slowly made her way back to HQ, her curiosity urging her to make little detours at the various places she crossed on the way. There was even a parade going on that she took particular interest in. There were ANGELs stationed at the streets, allowing the atmosphere to become cheerful but under control. Eventually, she made it back only an hour before the formation was to take place. Gladys was eager to see Isaac again. She wanted to tell him about the new flower she discovered on her trip to the forest and over her encounter with the child and his sister. However, Ezikiel had other ideas in mind before she was allowed to do so. "Welcome back, princess. Did you have a nice little trip? You were supposed to be patrolling St. Malcolm through Walburn street, you slacker. Ezikiel greeted, with a mocking tone added to his already sarcastic personality. Gladys looked down, feeling a bit guilty that she failed to follow her orders. "Whatever. Just com'ere and turn around. I need to make sure your modulator ain't shorting out." Obeying Ezikiel's orders, Gladys waited until he was finished fiddling with her machinery. "There. That should keep you from manually shutting off yer radio. Da fuck you doing that for anyway?" Ezikiel asked, annoyed to find that Gladys had consciously been blocking communication with him. She continued to stare at the floor, afraid to respond to the man's question. Finding that he wasn't going to receive an answer Ezikiel shook his head and returned to his chair. Look at me. Talkin' to a fuckin' robot. Jus' get outta here." Gladys left the room, closing the door behind her. While she didn't exactly dislike Ezikiel, she hated when he yelled at her for neglecting her duties.

Aimlessly wandering the halls, Gladys suddenly remembered the formation Ezikiel mentioned earlier. Realizing that she was about to be late, Gladys rushed to the formation area, only to find that the briefing was about to start. Most of the other ANGELs were already present, waiting for Isaac to show up and issue out their orders. Feeling embarrassed that she was so late, Gladys sprinted over to her spot at the end of the formation, a snicker or two escaping some of the other ANGELs who were more aware of her frequent tardiness record than the rest. She blushed slightly, trying to maintain what little composure she could muster before the meeting began.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nina Crosby

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Nina was woken by a piercing whistle. She sprang up and glanced around, not sure what to make of what had just happened. It was still dark outside. What kind of time was this to be getting up? But the other girls seemed well prepared and quickly got out of bed and stood to attention. An older woman came round and unlocked their chastity belts before ushering them into the showers. Penelope had been right, the other girls didn't shave. Nina was the only one without coarse hair on her legs. She heard a lot of whispering from the other girls. Was it about her? She couldn't tell. She didn't really care that much either. They'd only just met her so they couldn't really judge. Nina just tried to clean herself up but suddenly the sharp whistling noise sounded again and the showers quickly turned off. Nina stood looking in amazement as the other girls proceeded unphased by the rapid routine. "How could you possibly wash yourself in that little time?" Nina wondered. At home Nina was used to more lengthy showers if not proper baths. The contrast of life at the academy was already proving difficult to adjust to. The same woman came around again and re-fitted their chastity belts before saying. "You have 10 minutes before inspection. Get dressed, freshen up and do your makeup."
"10 minutes?" Nina thought. She usually spent at least 10 on makeup alone. She got herself dressed as quickly as possible, brushed her teeth at top speed to give herself ample time at the makeup table.

They were marched out into the courtyard. Nina thought she could hear the other girls whispering and laughing again. "If they're not even going to talk to me before judging me then I don't care what they think." Nina told herself. Helena marched around the courtyard inspecting their uniforms closely. Nina was pretty sure she'd followed the rules. Knee high socks? Check. Knee length skirt? Check.
"NINA!" She heard Helena screech from behind her. Helena grabbed Nina by the ear.
"What? What did I do?" Nina asked.
Helena pointed at Nina's skirt. Nina had thought the length had been appropriate and infact that wasn't problem. On glancing over her shoulder she realised in her haste she'd accidentally tucked the back of it into her chastity belt.
"Sorry, I'm not used to wearing skirts and I was in a rush to get to the makeup table." She apologised.
"Why aren't you used to wearing skirts? Trousers are for men, young lady. And don't give me that nonsense about the makeup table. I could have done a better job in 30 seconds with my eyes closed. You look like a harlot. Far too much around the eyes. As this is your first day I will let you off easy but usually this would be quite serious." Helena handed Nina a slip of paper which read. "Punishment - Beating x10" Nina stared at the paper. "Report to the punishment room at half past 7, once your lessons are finished." Helena said assertively.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isaac [ANGEL - XIII] Character Portrait: Gladys

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- ISAAC -


Isaac was intimidating, or so he'd been told by his supervisors. He was told this was a good thing and he should bank on the advantage fear gave him over others. Oddly enough he did not understand but he did comprehend that he was doing something that was earning him praise. That is why Isaac made it his goal to continue being intimidating, even to his own troops. It was a cheap facade really, he was actually quite kind to all of them but it did earn him a certain level of respect. Stepping out of the command room he marched toward the assembly of ANGEL's they were his troops, loyal to his command, and although he got his orders from an even greater source it filled him with pride to know they were on his side. Stepping in front of his troops he was silent for a moment they could not see through the red glare of his gas mask but he could see them and he took time observing each face, he spotted Glady's in her place looking frazzled. He was friends with her so he could not help but soften his resolve when it came to any discipline he might be ordered to give. She was one of them, an ANGEL not human and they had to stick together, because even if he'd been tortured he knew that things were going to start burning and no one would help them. Well, Callie might but she was a rare breed of human, hardened to death like an ANGEL but with all of her brain capacity reserved to herself. An admirable human being.

Pulling off his mask and pulling out a clipboard with the arm and hand that had not been turned into a weapon of death he quickly looked over the assignments. Today was important and he needed to make sure everyone was prepared for there job. Looking up piercing red eyes looked over the assembled. "Alright. I'm going to say this once so pay attention." He was proud of how his voice carried making all eyes shift to him and the entire assembly quiet even further. Good, they had caught his serious tone. "Today as you all know is Aether Ascension day, as we all know the Middle class islands will be quiet most of the day with perhaps the odd parade. However this does not mean you get to slack off, and doing so will result in a consequence from our makers." He always loathed saying that, but it was fact and unavoidable at best. "You all will be following your regular assigned routs until tonight where you are requested to team up with one other ANGEL, as we all know the upper class bachelors will be coming down in bulk to celebrate, they can get rowdy and disobey the rules and regulations." Isaac's voice took on an edge and the air got sharp. Every ANGEL had the desire to uphold the law beaten into them anything but was almost sickening. He shifted a little taking a moment to eye his troops again. "We will NOT be allowing any criminals to escape this night, you are to be deliberate and fair we've been given the right to use deadly force if they resist. Your patrols will cover wider areas and breaks are not going to be given." He eyed everyone making sure his words were clear, then he began going over the names of who was patrolling where and whom they were to team with for the evening, Glady's was going to be with him that evening patrolling the docks. It was an important task. When he was done he looked back to everyone. "Your dismissed, make plans with your patrol partner, rest for a moment and then get back to work."

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