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Nathan Devy

"I would prefer that I be left alone."

0 · 195 views · located in Earth

a character in “The Marigold Machine”, as played by Sonohra

Description

Image
Image

Name:
Nathaniel Jayden Devy
ImageNickname/Alias:
Nate
Age:
18 years
Quirks:
  • Tapping his foot when bored
  • Making an angry-looking expression when deep in thought
  • His skin will twitch when impatient and maybe turn black
  • Biting his lower lip when socially uncomfortable
  • Twitching his nose when onto something
Likes:
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Heights
  • Fighting
  • Sleeping (when nothing interests him)
Dislikes:
  • Lectures
  • Waiting
  • Spying on others
  • Secrets
  • Being lied to
  • Betrayal
Skills/Strengths:
Nathan has a keen eye. He can spot details from a significant distance away.
Personality:
Nathan is dedicated to finding the truth. It governs everything he does. And then he is very honest and straight forward. He hates it when people are 'beating around the bush' to tell him something important. All he wants to know is what the facts are. He's not interested in anyone's opinions. He'll make his own judgement. He doesn't need anyone telling him what he can and can't do. So in a sense, he's arrogant. He believes himself to be incredibly powerful, and while he is very strong, he's not invincible. He will never show weakness. Even when on the brink of death, he will never let anyone know how close to death he really is. He is very easily angered or ticked-off. Anything said or done that he dislikes will drive him nuts. He's a yeller. He will take you by the collar and scream in your face till you do what he wants. He's merciless in that sense. And once you have pissed him off, he will never forgive you. It'll stick for the rest of his life. I would suggest that you stay on his good side.
Theme Song:
Throw Away by Blue Stahli

So begins...

Nathan Devy's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Rachel Winters Character Portrait: Elaine Rowen Estin
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It was the last thing she’d been expecting to hear. Until now, she didn’t even realize that it was even remotely possible. But it was there all the same and no amount of denial and self-distraction would ever erase that fact. At the very least, she decided she wouldn’t dwell on it during her ride back home, keeping her mind unfocused and her gaze outside of the windows. It didn’t help much.

She stepped off the transport line, clutching her jacket tightly to herself as she was suddenly faced with a biting current of wind. She passed her tongue over dry lips, her eyes wearily darting about like she was in search of something. It was like the world had come under a new light all of a sudden, as though everything she’d ever known had been passed through a selective filter and she’d just now taken the brunt of the hit. She was restless, wary beyond comprehension and more doubtful than the cause had likely merited her to be. She would have liked to say that she was mentally exhausted, but it wasn’t so much that as being mentally unprepared. She didn’t want to think about it.

She hit the base of the steps, sauntering her way up before turning left upon reaching the top and stopping at the third door she came across. She wrapped her hand around the doorknob and a thin strip of light that circled around it immediately turned from gray to green. She opened the door and closed it softly behind her. Her father was the only one in at the moment. Rachel was already heading into her room when she heard him call for her.

“Rachel, how’d your evaluation go?” the low, soothing voice asked. “Ready to pick up the guitar again?”

The question was answered with silence as she stood at the doorway to her room, her fingers pressed around the side of the frame. She didn’t know how to respond. Was it really so bad to just keep her mouth shut, fall asleep, and never wake up again?

“Something wrong?” he continued.

Her fingers tightened around the plastic doorframe, feeling her heart rate beginning spike. He just had to say it. He just had to remind her right before she was about to sleep it off and figure things out once she’d calmed down. She bit her lip, her small frame visibly trembling. Even under these dreamlike circumstances, it was all too real. The machine does not lie. This was a foregone conclusion that all people have come to terms with ever since its conception. Her knees suddenly gave out and she sunk to the floor. Her chest bucked lightly and her hands were shaky, but otherwise made no indication that she was crying.

“Rachel! What’s wrong?” A pair of large, firm arms wrapped gently around her body from behind, his face beside her own. “Sweetie, what is it? You can tell me. Come on, stop crying. You’re a big girl now.”

“I’m scared,” she whispered hoarsely, her face stricken with faint tears. She slowly raised a hand, laying it on her father’s arm as she stared at him with reddened eyes. “What’s going to happen to me?”

“Nothing’s going to happen, honey. I’m here, everything’s fine. Just…just tell me what happened, okay? We’ll figure something out.”

“It’s too late,” Rachel answered in a choked voice, her chest heaving as she spoke. “It’s already decided.”

“Decided what, Rachel? What did it decide?”

Her next couple of words had an impact on her father that perhaps mirrored the same reaction Rachel had when she herself had initially heard the news. He embraced her tighter, closing his eyes and gently rocking her back and forth.

“Everything’s fine,” he said, his tone clearly showing that even he wasn’t believing his own words anymore. “You’ll be alright. I know you’ll be alright.”

“Everything’s fine,” she echoed absentmindedly, her voice almost too soft to hear. “Everything’s…fine.”

***

Children evaluated to be soldiers are given several days of preparation before they're finally sent off to a military academy, where they will be transported in one batch. Depending on the timeframe between each assessment, this time may be shorter or longer. Rachel didn’t have any friends to speak off, not when she spent so long away from society during rehabilitation. Everyone she knew had moved out of town or moved on with their lives. Other than her parents, there was no one to say goodbye to, no one to send her off and wish her luck for the days to follow. Perhaps it was this that truly broke her in the end.

It was hard to lay her head against the window, to stave away the unpleasantness from her mind and just forget about everything. Every bump of the road was a step by step reminder of how much closer she was to her impending fate. She folded her arms over her chest, cooped up on the small space the bus seat offered. It was a military bus, to be exact, reassigned to transport the future generations of soldiers to their new home for the coming years.

Wherever the hell that was.

A television mounted below the ceiling sparked into life and a suited man appeared in place of the black screen. Less than half of the passengers bothered to look up. Rachel kept her eyes fixed to it for a few seconds but it didn’t hold her attention for long. She briefly wondered if it would give any insight to the clouded future she was so afraid of, but in the end decided that it would only serve to reaffirm her fears. She paid no mind to the screen.

Her eyes flitted around, surveying the faces of the other children who would inevitably serve with her. Most of them seemed pretty shaken up about this whole ordeal as well, showing more clearly on the faces of some than others. For a majority of the children, this had to be something akin to a bus ride straight into hell, after all. Kids training for military service at the age of twelve? In this day and age? A few decades ago, people would’ve laughed at that prospect, but here they were now, ready to be suited up and sent off to their deaths.

It wasn’t like the country was caught up in some sort of dire international struggle, but domestic ones were terrifying in their own right and they knew exactly what that might mean for her and her peers. Flashbacks of the subway explosion crossed her mind before she forced the memory toward the back of her mind again. That was enough trauma for one lifetime, but this? This was absurd. She kept to herself, finding that, for the most part, the bus was quiet. A few children were already conversing with each other, though none of their discussions appeared to be particularly enthusiastic. She didn’t know anybody here and she didn’t have any real intention of making new friends straightaway.

Rachel yawned.

The road ahead was long, but she trusted in her father's judgment. He'd never been the type to be wrong, after all, especially not when he'd been there for her so many times. Yeah. Everything would be just fine. It couldn't be too bad. They were only children, right? She was sure they'd understand.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Rachel Winters Character Portrait: Elaine Rowen Estin
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Bloodied and bruised, Rowe made her way back into her dorm room. She'd spent nearly the entire afternoon with her trainer, if that would even be an appropriate word for their relationship, though it meant ditching her several afternoon classes -english, history, sculpting- as well as receiving a multitude of questionable wounds. Her fights were unlike any other, filled with an anger and hatred and power unlike any other. She fought, and she won, and Mike bought her ice cream. Despite the chill of the frozen, chocolatey cream, she could still feel the sadness seeping into her heart.

"What's wrong, Elaine?" Mike rested a hand on her left shoulder, being too tall to drape his arm easily across Rowe's fragile skin. "You won three fights today! You should be happy!"

Rowe's large, blue eyes studied the ground as she walked. She didn't have the energy to shrug off the large hand that was practically crushing her against him, nor the heart to chastise Mike for calling her Elaine; she'd made a large scene in a store several months earlier about it. Her parents called her Elaine, and no one else. Mike was not her parent, he was her friend, her business partner.

"The results came back this morning," her voice cracked, she fought the tears that were pushing fiercely to expel themselves from her eyes.

Mike kneeled in front of her, placing his hands on her arms despite the bruises that spotted the surface beneath her jacket. "Did you get the position you wanted, rockstar?" Mike's shaggy brown hair hung in his eyes and he huffed a large breath to blow it into its original place as he looked up at her with his pale green eyes, face filled with the worried emotion of a caring father.

"I-" Rowe fell into his arms, sobbing uncontrollably. "I'm going to be a soldier!"

Mike pursed his lips, biting them slightly to fight from saying something he'd regret. Instead, he stood up and started walking. They walked silently, hand in hand, as Mike escorted Rowe back to the academy as he did after every fight. Rowe watched her feet, watched the tears drop to the ground. They said nothing to each other, though Mike mumbled incoherent phrases as they walked. When Rowe glanced up, he seemed to be holding back his own tears, but he said nothing to her, nor she to he.

-------------------

Two days later, sitting at the small desk in her dorm room, Rowe let out a frustrated sigh. She looked down at the piece of paper she'd been mulling over for nearly two hours. Its contents were nothing more than "To the parents of Elaine Estin," and several erased sentences describing her hatred for them and all of their mistakes throughout parenthood. She couldn't bring herself to tell them, to let them know she'd be joining her brother in the military, but she knew deep within herself that they could care less. She tossed the piece of paper into the trash instead after scrawling a sloppy "I'm sorry", across its surface.

Her roommate, Lauren, had showered her with hugs and farewells, but had scurried off to meet friends at the library. Rowe was not sad about leaving Lauren. She was a nice girl, but held the normal naivety of a child of ten, so it was unusual for the pair to carry a conversation. In the past several months, Rowe had distanced herself from many of her classmates and former friends. She saw no reason, being twelve, to continue to smile in their faces when she knew that she would not see them again. She instead filled her time with training, spending time at the DJ booth, and getting to know the city she would be leaving behind. Her teachers had to monitor her schedule just to find a time when she was at the dorm so she could undergo the assessment. Rowe laughed at them, laughed in their faces. "How foolish," she'd mumbled.

It was a foolish idea; she'd been grouped according to a skill she'd built to survive. Rowe didn't plan on complaining though. Plopping down on the bench at the bus stop, she crossed her legs, right over left, and gave a devious grin. It was the last of her rebellion as she began her process of becoming a more intense version of herself. Her grin faded to awe as she saw the faces that gazed out at her from the bus windows. She would learn to know these faces through training and battle; she would learn to put her life in their hands. She did not have the same fears or pain as the other children; other than Mike, she was not leaving anything behind. Instead, she was morphing, steadily into a new being, a new character. They wanted a soldier, and she was prepared to give them a spitting image of perfection.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Rachel Winters Character Portrait: Elaine Rowen Estin
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A loud knock on one of the many doors in the mansion echoed throughout an almost empty room. Haizea's eyes fluttered open as a small groan escaped from her slightly parted lips. Another knock on the door had her sitting up. She then crawled out of bed where she met her morning image: loose, messy curls falling where they pleased, tired eyes, and an over-sized white nightgown. She gave one small thought about making herself look more presentable but then quickly buried that thought deep in the back of her mind. After all, she would be the only one at the breakfast table and even though it was too big, this was one of her favorite nightgowns.

She quickly tiptoed out of her room and into the hallway, where her bare feet hit the cool, linoleum floor. A few minutes later and she was close to the dining room and the smell of freshly cut fruit and the grease of bacon lingered in the air. While her mind was busy thinking about food her feet got tangled with her gown and soon enough she fell flat on her face. The smell of food called out to her but laying down on the floor reminded her of the joys of sleep so she burrowed herself deeper into her gown and she closed her eyes, falling into a soft sleep three feet away from the dining room.

"...ss....iss....Miss.." Called out a soft, female voice. Haizea slowly opened her eyes, looking up at one of the few maids that worked at this particular household. Haizea slowly got up from the ground, balling her hands up in fists and rubbing her eyes. She then looked up at the maid and smiled.

"Good morning!" She said, all sleepiness escaping her.

"Miss! Sleeping!? On an important day like this!" The maid said, placing her hands on her hips. "Get in there and eat your breakfast. And hurry. The results of your evaluation came in today and Mr. Grayson will be coming to see you personally." The maid then led Haizea to a giant table, sitting her at the end with all of the food then leaving her to eat by herself.

"Oh, right! My results..." Haizea said to herself in between mouthfuls of oatmeal, "I wonder what I'll get...Maybe I could design dresses! Ahhh! Or-" She quickly stood up in her chair and put her hands in circles over her eyes as she looked around the room, "I could be an adventurer! Or-" She grabbed the spoon that was covered in bits of oatmeal and held it high in the air, "I could be a pirate! Argghh-"

"Haizea Bolthausen."

Haizea jumped slightly and turned around to see a tall man with a hefty build and a face that showed no signs of laughter. She slowly worked her way to the ground, placing her spoon back into the bowl. She stared at him for another long moment, examining his black hair with tiny little gray hairs poking out here and there and pair of thick eyebrows that reminded her of something, she just couldn't remember what.

"...Mr.Grayson?" She asked, unsure. Even though he was the one that took her off of the streets she never saw him again. It had been at least seven years since she last saw him. She stepped closer towards him, and gave him a big smile. She then opened her mouth to say something but she was interrupted by his coarse voice.

"You're going to be a soldier." Mr.Grayson said.

Haizea looked up at him, her eyes wide with disbelief as he continued to speak, "One of the maid will fill you in on the specifics. That is all I have to say. I'll be going now." Mr. Grayson turned his back and began to walk towards the door. Haizea reached out and grabbed the end of his suit jacket, "W-what do you mean I'm going to be a soldier? There has to be some mistake!"

Mr. Grayson stopped walking, "You've been trained for this exact thing to happen. You are fully prepared and no mistakes have been made." He then turned his head slightly to where Haizea could see the corner of his dark eyes. "You didn't think you were adopted by me so that I would grow to love you, right?" He laughed to himself, "You are and will always be a pawn, my dear. Get used to it."

Haizea released his jacket and Mr. Grayson walked out of the door, leaving her alone. Haizea sunk to her knees, hollow eyes staring at the floor, "A soldier, huh...?"

***

Haizea stepped out onto the sidewalk, lugging a large suitcase filled with all of her favorite dresses behind her. Yeah dresses weren't the most suitable for being a soldier but she didn't care. She wondered if she was the only one there to have no one send them off. She took a deep breath and sat down on the edge of the bus bench. She swung her feet lightly back and forth for a few moments and then her eyes lit up.

"Caterpillars!!" She shouted, giggling to herself. That's what Mr. Grayson's eyebrows reminded her of.

She wanted to be slightly upset with Mr. Grayson but she didn't find his words completely true. The man that sent her presents on every one of her birthdays. She was a naive little girl who trusted people too easily.

She shrugged her shoulders and she slowly stood up as she saw the bus heading her way. As she got on the bus she smiled at anyone who would meet her eyes. This wouldn't be too bad, would it? It'd be like going to a summer camp- something she had always wanted to do. It'd be like going on some sort of...vacation. She would be just fine.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Rachel Winters Character Portrait: Elaine Rowen Estin
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#, as written by Rann
"Don't end up like me." Oren muttered, looking over his little sister before the actual whole thing. Philo just nodded her head; bored, not really all that interested, really. Why couldn't she just be like her big brother, who more or less completely ignored his assessment - a middle school teacher, really? - and become a delinquent? Sure, she's short, and... regrettably, female, but still. She could fight, push drugs, whatever. She'd already worked out a little bit. Chances were that she'd get something stupid and feminine like a nurse or something. And that's just shameful; who does that? Certainly not a manly person. It's like, the ultimate shame. And that's just ridiculous.

"Seriously." Oren paused before chuckling at the irony. "Okay. Okay fine, it's me saying it-"

Philo shot him a little teasing smirk, earning a noogie on the head and a poke to the ribs - making the androgynous girl almost flinch as sudden pain shot through her body. There was still a pretty bad bruise from her father earlier; but apparently Oren didn't notice. Or knew that Philo would deny everything. Things still weren't back to normal between the siblings, since she stalked and figured out Oren was in a gang, but that would have to be resolved later. Today's a big - insignificant, in Philo's eyes - day, so it wasn't time to dwell about things. Though the idea of rebelling against it and becoming a gangster really was pretty tempting. It was manly, right? Macho? It had to be. It seemed so cool.

Oren continued his little brotherly lecture. "Don't want my cute lil sis messing up her life. Money won't be a problem... and once I'm old enough, we'll move out together. Get away from dad. Whatddya say? It's just three mores years, we'll make it. I promise I'll prot-"

The girl stuck her tongue out at Oren, then socked him in the gut.

"Don't need protecting." She said in a bold voice. "Bro, you know me. I'm tough; I can take anything."

The fifteen year old boy chuckled, rubbing his belly in mock agony. "Yeah." He said, fondly. "Says the one who screamed at that spider the oth-"

Another punch.

"Shut up." Philo frowned. "Didn't happen. You're just making things up!"




Well. Fuck.

There it was, in any case. The assessment. Even after leaving and being more or less dragged to the park - one cute girl turned and loftily grinned in the sibling's direction - Philo was more or less unresponsive; hollow-eyed. She more or less ignored Oren's questions, and the brother was getting frustrated. It was already a burden for him to protect her all the time, but when she actively stopped cooperating, it just made his stress even worse. Even the crisp air that called for them to screw around with Oren's school friends in sports didn't help.

So Oren did something he never really did before; never wanted to. He punched his sister on the jaw, moderately hard, knocking her off the swing.

"Talk." He growled. "What the hell happened? Why are you all - he struggled with the words for a few seconds, wringing his hands, as the surprised but silent girl rubbed her cheek; getting back to her feet. "Like... this? If it was bad, you could just - if it's bad, you don't gotta go through with it. It's just - "

"Soldier." Philo murmured, trying to neutralize her voice. To be honest... it was a challenge. An intriguing challenge. For someone as short as she was to become a soldier. It stirred at the masculine facets of her psyche, really, and it was all raring to go. But on the other hand... to be a soldier meant to be sent away to some military school, right? And by extension, being separated from her only real means of support. One that was with her ever since her mother had abandoned her, her doting and loving big brother. And that made her feel weak at the knees; insecure, afraid. Sure, she could go around being as tough as she wanted, but at the thick of things, her brother would always be at her side. Now... that safety net was being stripped from her, and she had no idea how to handle that. But how the hell could she say such... embarrassing things to him? That wasn't... that wasn't tough. He'd think of her as weak and dependent. Like a girl. Like her own damn mother. "Hey. You pussy, you got a crap evaluation compared to mind, huh?" She grinned and ribbed Oren a little. Her brother just sort of stared down at her, feeling the same feelings of... fear, insecurity, at being separated from his little sister. So he moved to hug her, only to be pushed away fiercely.

"I'm fine." Philo stressed. "It'll work out. They won't even be able to tell I'm a girl there!"

"Maybe this is for the best." Oren said after a pause. He took a brave inhale. "Yeah. You'll be away from dad. You'll learn how to fight and take care of yourself... but not being able to take care of you. Shit, Philo. Don't like the idea of you by yourself in a strange place."

This time when Oren moved for a sibling's embrace Philo didn't fight against it.

"Any sis of mine'll survive anything." Oren sounded almost as if he was trying to convince himself of it. "Just make sure you get back to me. I.... shit, Gaia. I love you, you know?"

Gaia. The name she more or less stopped using. Philo just nodded in her brother's big, warm arms, taken aback by the use of her birth name, and the word 'love'. Wasn't that against being manly? Wes her brother not as tough as he let on?

"Love you, too." Philo said, not really feeling the skittish feeling she usually got when the suppressed 'feminine' side of her started acting up.




Donning her black sweater, straight jeans, signature beanie (with the cat ears! always the cat ears!) Philo looked like any other boy on the bus. Sure, a few years from now, her delicate facial features were going to show through, but for now, this was good enough, wasn't it? She saw a girl with long, permed blonde hair, swinging her leg back and forth on the bench - Philo wondered briefly if she was, possibly, rich - and sat next to her with the same cool, collected grin her brother always wore. It was comfortable. No one there knew she was female. She could totally blend in as a guy, and no one'd be the wiser. Her panic was still there, but she managed to lump that in with the girly part for now.

Almost like a fresh start, wasn't it? And there was always the bonus of, hopefully, not being beaten by her father. That's good too. She hadn't said goodbye to him. He probably didn't even know where she went. Did he even care? Philo sure didn't care if he did or not.

The girl beside her let out a shout, while giggling. "Caterpillars!"

"Hey." She nudged her elbow against that of the rich looking girl, before rubbing her hair with a mischievous and hopefully manly expression. "Soldering's for men." She spoke in as low a tone as she could, stressing her throat. "Sure the Marigold Machine didn't mess up and put you in the wrong place?"

Philo let out a bit of a chuckle, before getting a bit too close to the girl, in the ways she's seen other boys do. "Name's Philo. Hope you're up to this, little girl."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Rachel Winters Character Portrait: Elaine Rowen Estin
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Haizea jumped slightly, surprised to see someone talking to her. She listened intently to the person's words for a moment, her eyes widening, "That doesn't sound right!" She pointed out. "'Cause I'm a girl... and the Marigold Machine doesn't mess up.... I think..." Maybe it did mess up and she was actually supposed to be out hunting treasure somewhere, after all she never got to see the actual results. Mr. Grayson could have been lying to her the whole time and maybe she would be able to go back to the mansion later and would be there, telling a story about the big joke he played on her. She looked down at the ground for a moment, billions of different thoughts buzzing around her mind at once.

She quickly jumped to her feet and placed both of her hands on her cheeks, "What if it is wrong and this is all just a big mist-" She stopped herself and turned to the boy who called himself Philo. She pointed her thumb towards herself and put on a confident smile, "I promise I can handle anything they throw at me!" She said, mostly to reassure herself. "Even if I was just put here as a mistake... I'm ready." That's right. She'd been through hell, training for seven years and she was given no special advantage even though she was a young girl and so she shouldn't be expecting any special treatment because she's young or because she is a girl.

Haizea looked over at Philo for a moment, examining him closer. "You're kinda pretty for a boy." She said without thinking. Her eyes widened once again and she shook her head back and forth, "Gahh! I'm sorry... boys don't like to be called pretty.. I know that..." She looked over at Philo for a moment, her face tinted with embarrassment. It's not that Philo looked extremely feminine or anything like it was just something feminine-like about his eyes. Haizea looked over at Philo, "I'm sorry!" She said, apologizing once again, "Sometimes I just say too much-" She paused for a moment, registering some words he had said earlier.

"Wait A second!" She said pointing a finger at Philo, "Little girl?" Haizea looked down at herself then over at Philo, "I'm not much shorter than you are!" She argued.

"Oh, yeah!" She continued, as if all the fire from her earlier words were gone, "I'm Haizea!" One thing that she was unsure was a good thing or not was that she didn't really stay mad for that long but maybe that was because she got side-tracked a little too easily.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Nolan Jones Character Portrait: Rachel Winters
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Things change, your life changes. Nolan however wasn't ready for his life to change like it had. He was taken from home, whisked away to some academy to who knows where. He pushed himself against the empty seat in the back of the bus. Why was this happening? Where were they going? All questions would soon be answered... or at least that's bus driver said. The man at the wheel was nice enough to talk to the sacred out of his wits twelve year old before he enter the metal giant that was going to be his transport.

The slow lurching of the bus made him feel sick as it rolled on in it's never changing path. He pulled the bomber jacket he was wearing over his shoulders a bit more before hunching down in the seat. All these people around him and he didn't know a single one. Not one of them seemed to be spreading out either all packed into the front of the bus like this was some field trip. Nolan was smart enough to know it wasn't going to be another field trip.

He knew what a soldier was and what they did. He had seen those old documentaries about what they had to do as well and it made him sick to his stomach to even think about something like that. He knew one day he would have to be behind that gun...and pull the trigger. He shuttered as he looked around the bus as if looking for a spot to insert himself. It would be trouble if he plopped himself down with the wrong group. Nolan finally scooted his way into group of kids who looked friendly enough as he sat there in silence. It was a strange trip already, but he had to put a smile on his face or that was what his father would say.

He let his shoulders hang naturally as he leaned on the side of the seat. Fake it till you make it right? He looked at the other children listening quietly to what they where talking about. They seemed to relaxed and calm at the moment, but he could guess that every single one of them was scared.

Still it was still good to know he wasn't going through this alone. He shoved his hands into his jacket before leaning back against the seat once again looking at the ceiling of the bus. How did this all come to pass? It had only been a day ago since he had been notified of the machines choice for him. The boy let out a deep breath, home was long gone. His mother, father and two brothers where long gone and all that was left was the road ahead of him. He looked around him at the other children again before overhearing talking behind him about the academy. It seemed two girls where sharing gossip about the place and all the did was unnerve him to be honest. He waited for a moment before the bus stop and the children where getting up and getting off the bus before he talked just to shoot the breeze "Fun road trip huh?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Nolan Jones Character Portrait: Rachel Winters Character Portrait: Elaine Rowen Estin
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The academy's layout proved to be simple and logical, not much to comment about on that particular aspect. As for the barracks, the west end housed the girls while the boys would reside on the east side. According to Marie, they were to wake up at six o' clock the next morning for a brief orientation in classroom 11B of the learning center where they will officially begin their days at the military school. Until then, they were free to explore the campus and get to know each other, including the students who were already attending.

"And there you have it," Marie said, gesturing toward the end of both the left and right halls. "You are now welcome to head into your rooms. You can find your uniforms prepared in your closets; don't worry about the size, they've been tailored for you beforehand. If you have any questions or troubles, feel free to give the admissions office a call or ask one of the senior students if you happen to find them hanging around. Have a good day."

With that, she left them to their own devices. There were plenty of hours left on the clock, but Rachel didn't see any meaning in putting those hours into anything other than trying to make sense of everything that's happened until now. She was handed an electronic key to her room, the room's number clearly printed on its glossy surface. She briefly wondered what kind of people she would be sharing the room with before going ahead and opening the door. She noticed a small bar under the number plate. It was divided into four sections with three gray and one green.

As she had her key scanned, she noticed that a second one lit up. She accurately assumed that this meant each room is accommodated four people, with hers already being in use by one other person. Peering inside, it seemed that one other person wasn't here yet. Initially, her impression was that the barracks would be cramped with each room holding several people at a time, but she supposed this made more sense considering the fact that not many people were selected to become soldiers in the first place.

The covers on one of the beds was sloppily hanging over the edge. It appeared that whoever was using this room had taken full liberty of the fact that she didn't have to share it with anybody else, resulting in a bit of a messy living environment. She did a little bit of cleaning up and opened the closet, revealing four separate sections. Two, of course, were empty. She didn't need the digital nameplates to tell which uniforms belonged to her, noticing that there seemed to be different outfits for the different seasons. Each uniform was patterned in urban gray camouflage, as to be expected.

There was a bathroom in the back, but not much else could be seen of immediate facilities. As for personal touches, the other girl who should be living here had unceremoniously dumped a load of her belongings in various places, including a personal stereo system that she'd nearly tripped over, a wall mirror rested by one of the windows, and a handgun complete with strewn ammunition sitting on her roommate's messy bed. Rachel unpacked her belongings and took a seat in her own bed, hands folded between her thighs and a blank look at her eyes. No matter how she looked at it, she didn't feel like she was ever going to get used to this. Motivation had deserted her and a sudden apathy had taken its place. She didn't want to move. She didn't want to accept this fate.

But there was nothing she could do.

Rachel laid her head down in bed and tried to fall asleep with no luck. This really wasn't working out, in more ways than one. Suddenly frustrated, she sat up and retrieved her guitar before plopping down on the bed. If she was going to pass the time, she might as well do it with something she actually had passion for. The familiar feel of the strings felt pleasant against her fingers. She hadn't had to worry as much about chafing her fingers with her mechanical arm, but she still missed the way it felt in her left hand. As she began playing, she closed her eyes and began humming quietly along to the tune. She'd played every now and again in rehab, but only just enough so that she didn't become rusty. Still, it was better than nothing. Letting out a small sigh, her fingers continued strumming. At this point, anything was better than thinking about the future.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Jason Tetrick Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Nolan Jones Character Portrait: Rachel Winters Character Portrait: Elaine Rowen Estin
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"You play often?"

Rachel lifted her head up at the sound of an unfamiliar voice, though her fingers continued to pick on the strings. An older girl walked through the doorway and shut the door behind her, letting her ponytail loose. A wave of pearlescent black hair dropped just above her waistline; the ends were frayed and strands were jutting out either from negligence or simply a hard day at work. A pair of emerald green eyes looked down at her. She looked to be around twenty years old, maybe a little older, but her face gave way to a much more mature expression that suggested that she's wiser than her years, perhaps as a result of taking on such a career.

After all, if she was twenty, she must have spent at least eight years here and a number like that - to spend in a place like this - was almost unfathomable to her. But here was living proof, right at her doorstep, looking calm and at ease like it was nobody's business. The girl had a hefty looking bag slung over her shoulder that she promptly packed into a locker by her own bed. Judging by the remaining nameplate other than her own, her name should be Paige Mayfield.

Rachel stopped playing the guitar and paused a moment, nearly having forgotten the question amidst her thoughts. The impact of the strings felt fuzzy on her fingertips as she thought up a quick response.

"N-Not really," Rachel said quietly. "I don't get a lot of chances to play, but I play when I can."

"Oh," the older girl said, clearly not interested in furthering the discussion. "It's not a lot, but whatever I've got's yours. I'm gonna go hit the showers." She stepped into the bathroom without another word, the sound of a water spray starting up audible from behind the closed door. Puzzled, Rachel put the guitar down and decided to lay down in her bed instead. Aren't roommates usually supposed to introduce each other? She supposed they'd already figured out each other's names by looking at the nameplates but that was no reason not to formally greet each other for the first time, especially since they'd be sharing a room for who knows how long. She closed her eyes and willed herself to sleep, knowing she'd need every bit of energy when she wakes up the next morning.

Only, sleep didn't come so easily. She must've dozed off for a little while, but a sound awoke her. Rachel struggled to get her eyes open and she looked over to see Paige sitting on her bed, her head down and her mouth curved into a tight frown. Her arms were rested on her knees and her breathing was erratic. She was...crying? The girl said something inaudible under her breath and wiped away tears with one hand. She wanted to ask what was wrong, but she decided that it might be an insensitive time to do so and held her tongue instead, watching in silence. There was haziness in her eyes since she'd just woken up for a nap, but she noticed something in the girl's hand that she didn't recognize earlier. It took a few moments for her dazed mind to register what it was as Paige brought it up to her chin with steady hands.

A sudden burst of panic guided Rachel out of her bed and straight into Paige, tackling her with all of her weight. There was no resistance as the girl was laid flat on her back, her head turned away and the pistol still loosely gripped in her hand. The sound of their breaths filled the room and, despite the situation, there was no tension or awkwardness between them. Rachel gingerly took the gun from her hand and moved it away, pulling Paige back up so that she sat up straight on the bed. Their eyes briefly met but the older girl only moved her head away again, uneasy.

"Sorry," Paige said quietly, taking Rachel's hand off of hers. "That was insensitive of me. I should have done it in the bathroom where you couldn't see." She reached for the gun again, but her hand was quickly stopped and pinned to the mattress. She didn't fight back at all, her tall, imposing figure somehow entirely devoid of strength.

"Don't," Rachel said at length. "Please. It's not just about you. If it's...if it's really this bad, I might start having the same thoughts."

"Then you better get it over with quickly," she answered emptily, still avoiding eye contact. "Never mind."

"What happened?"

"I..." The older girl bit her lip, a tenseness in her muscles as she trailed off. "I made a mistake." She sighed and gestured for her to give her some space. Rachel obliged and inched away some. "This room was a full house a week ago," Paige said softly. "It was...it was me, Leah, Aura, and Jasmin. We've shared this room for eleven years. At least, if you count out Jasmin. She dropped in seven years ago, replacing Marianne. Poor girl fell down the stairs and broke her neck." She laughed a small, dry laugh. "Can you believe that? Y-You'd think she'd have died in service or something of the like, but..."

Paige shook her head. "Anyway, a week ago, it was a...we took part in a sting operation. At first, everything was going well, they took the bait, we have our backs covered, and then..." She sighed again and pressed her palm against her forehead. "And then I fucked up. They figured us out and opened fire. Aura died on the spot from a head wound. Jasmin was run over by one of the dealer's cars and Leah, she..." Her eyes grew wet and her voice began choking as she spoke, chest heaving as she recalled the painful memories. "She died in the hospital today. There were others there, too. N-Not a lot of us made it out and they...they were all so young...We got involved in something we shouldn't have. It didn't matter if it wasn't my fault. I was there and I ran away and I'll never forgive myself for that."

"Don't you have any parents?" Rachel finally said. "What'll happen to them?"

"Y-Yeah," she muttered, though her tone suggested that she was either lying or that she didn't care anymore at this point. "Yeah, that was...stupid of me. I shouldn't upset my folks like that. You're right." Paige lifted her head up and tried her hardest to form a smile, extending a hand. "I haven't really introduced myself yet. I'm Paige." She took the older girl's hand and nodded, giving it a gentle shake.

"Rachel."

"I hope we get along," she said, still holding that pained smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xaviar Phelan Character Portrait: Haizea Bolthausen Character Portrait: Gaia Philomel Character Portrait: Jason Tetrick Character Portrait: Nathan Devy Character Portrait: Harvey Silverson Character Portrait: Nolan Jones Character Portrait: Rachel Winters Character Portrait: Elaine Rowen Estin
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#, as written by CJL1290
Footsteps echoed throughout the somewhat quiet hall as Jason Tetrick lugged his suitcase, roller bag, and backpack around. His short black hair bobbed slightly with his movements, black eyes scanned right and left, taking in as much as they could. Unlike most of the new recruits who went straight to their rooms, Jason had decided to explore the grounds first, his curiosity leading him every step of the way. As he wandered from hallway to hallway, and room to room, his thoughts were more focused on his whole experience so far.

Like many children, he was surprised about his Marigold Machine results. His dreams of becoming a surgeon was dashed, and his parents had a hard time letting him go. He knew that the Marigold Machine was always right, 100% accuracy, so fighting it was pointless. He instead focused his efforts to become a medic instead, due to his knowledge of human biology. This way, he believed that his skills could still be used. He was nervous at the bus stop and the ride here, but he noticed plenty of interesting people.

The rich and charismatic looking blond girl with her... guardian? Best friend? Boyfriend? It seemed that someone that protective over someone else would be close in some way, but Jason couldn't tell. What did he know? He couldn't even tell if it was actually a boy or not from his position on the back of the bus. He also remembered the white haired boy and how he was examining a brunette's arm. He noted that she had a cybernetic limb, and the white haired one may have had some adjustments himself, but he wasn't sure if it was cybernetic, or genetics. As someone who studied human biology since he was young, he could tell cybernetic limbs apart from normal limbs, but Jason felt kind of weird when it came to the subject. He believed cybernetics and other adjustments really weren't necessary, that the human body is capable of repairing itself unless the limb is blown clean off. It was a mean to replace, not fix. Was the white haired boy interested in becoming a medic too, or just interested in cybernetics? He would be sure to ask him if he bumped into him again.

Jason pulled himself out of his thoughts when his feet brought him to the infirmary. He took a mental note on where to find this place; he knew he would be interested in exploring it more later. A bit of anxiety built in the pit of his stomach thinking about how bad an infirmary could look when its filled with injured people. It reminded him of when his father had brought him to the hospital to show him where he worked when he was younger, then injured civilians started flooding in from a subway bombing. It wasn't a very pretty sight, and his father told him to wait in his office as he tended to the patients. The sounds of groans and screams of pain throughout the building raked on his ears until he started to cry, and a nurse had to comfort him.

The boy shook it from his thoughts. That was the past, he needed to focus on now and the future. He was going to be a medic, and a damn good one. Speaking of the now, Jason felt it was time to stop exploring and get to his room so he could stop dragging his stuff around with him. He reached into his pocket to retrieve his room card and remind himself where he needed to go.

A small noise of confusion escaped his lips as he checked all his pockets and didn't find it. He quickly put down all his bags and opened them, hoping that he absentmindedly put it in one of his bags when he received it.

"Come on... where are you?" He whispered to himself as he rummaged through his belongings. He couldn't have lost it. It had to be here somewhere. After three more minutes of searching, he ran his hands through his hair with frustration and fear, his eyes widening at the results of his search. He had lost his room key, and he didn't even know what room he was assigned to.

Fuck.

He took a deep breath, trying to stay calm.

"Okay, just relax Jason. Just... backtrack and see if you dropped it along the way." He thought. He spun around to begin, when he realized he had idly walked around with no direction while he was exploring.

Fuck!

He started to panic slightly. He couldn't go request for a new one, could he? This was the military. Don't they punish such carelessness with push-ups or laps or something? What if they don't even allow him to have a room to teach him better responsibility? All these thoughts put him on edge, and he quickly grabbed his things and sprinted down the hallway, almost bumping into someone. He had to find that card. Why did he have to lose it?!

"FUCK!" Is the only word that occupied his thoughts.