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Shane Collins

A student from far across the sea.

0 · 344 views · located in Artificial Island Ariens

a character in “Under One Roof”, as played by Mustafa

Description

Shane Collins


Image
(I couldn't find anything more appropriate. There is one inconsistency - Shane doesn't smoke.)


Shane's motto:
Don't judge anyone only by its appearance, you could be surprised what sits inside.


Origin and meaning: His name doesn't have any special meaning.
Nickname: Shane doesn't have a nickname. He likes when people use his name when they talk to him. Any other aliases aren't nicely welcomed.
Place of birth: Midland
Gender: Male
Age: 17
Sexual orientation: Heterosexual
Current state: single
Role: Supporting role
Height: 179 centimeters
Eye colour: gray
Hair colour: dark brown

Physical description:
Shane looks like every average man but with some exceptions. He isn't extraordinary tall but almost every piece of furniture seems too small or too short for him. He is slightly thinner and weaker than his contemporaries but he substitutes his defects using his mind. He always wants to be a step before his competitors to achieve his aims. He sometimes try to improve his appearance using body building exercises, but currently he isn't definitely a master of weightlifting. But don't deceive yourself, Shane has big appetite despite he isn't too well build. He could wolf down everything in his fridge but he will never be thick.
Besides dark brown hair and gray eyes, Shane has a medium long nose, ears bigger than average human and thin lips. He almost never leaves his hair in disarray because he believes that how the other people see him, that's how they perceive him.
Shane prefers casual clothes in every day life, he doesn't like suites and uniforms. The most often he wears a black or green T-Shirt and blue jeans with a black leather belt. Sometimes he has a plain shirt and a black leather jacket.

Personality:
Shane doesn't often show his feelings, because being too emotional is a sign of a weak for him. He is mostly calm, focused on his target and patient but he isn't an angel, he could be a nuisance when it is really necessary.
Shane doesn't like to say about his past because he things that it's a waste of time and the future is far more important. He likes good jokes and interesting conversations, especially when he has to break the ice.
Shane doesn't believe in everything what people say, he isn't naive. Sometimes that could be a barrier to create relationships with new people. However he is able to create longer and stronger relations with others but he needs more time. He often wants to check some things before he will go to the next level of relation.
He likes to read books but only these specialized. He always claims that he doesn't have time for the other sorts like novels, dramas or love stories. If he had a table with one shorter leg, he would use such books as a support but not as something to read.
Shane has one disadvantage which could make him to be in trouble. He almost never forgives anyone his harms. He is absolutely sure that mercy is only for weaklings and he should avoid it. If he had an occasion to revenge, he would feel better. It doesn't mean that Shane will have an argument with everyone. But this feature of his character could be helpful if he needed to protect himself or his friends (if he had friends).

Abilities
Shane is good in microelectronics so he aspires to be a Machinist, but he isn't knowledgeable. He can't use for example a sew machine, the effects of his work on this device could be sometimes really hilarious. But he hasn't sewn a piece of cloth onto his finger yet. Shane hates to memorize a lot of information which doesn't have any practical meaning, he prefers to learn by practise. For that reason he can sometimes sleep (or try not to sleep) during a lecture which is extremely boring for him.

Description of Midland
Midland is a small land far behind Grand Sea. Its economy is based mostly on agriculture and mining. The surface of the country is formed by plains and several average mountains rising above their. Due to convenient natural conditions Midland specializes in food production and trading. The climate of this country isn't good for tourists, it consists long spring, short summer, cold autumn and freezing winter. Midland is a part of so called The Outlands.

So begins...

Shane Collins's Story

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Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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#, as written by Mustafa
"Welcome to the main airport of Ariens, the air temperature is 30 Celsius degree, the air humidity is low. Thank you for chosen our airlines and have a nice day." The artificial female voice awoke Shane. Shane has travelled to Ariens from Midland for almost 8 hours. In the end his journey was finished. He was tired and sleepy, but he had to quickly leave the airship. He thought that he stuck to the seat because during so long period of time he had to stay in sitting position. His body was slightly numb but he found a bit of strength to stand up in the end.

The airport terminal was quite crowded, many young people were waiting for their luggage. They were mostly students who wanted to start study in Ariens' schools. It wasn't surprising because the new school year was already established. Shane joined to the end of a long queue. After fifteen minutes he stayed in... almost the same place. The queue was melting extremely slowly because the airport's staff were examining every suitcase very carefully. They were behaving like they were wanting to find something. It was a real nuisance for Shane, but in the end he could take his suitcases. Suddenly he noticed something strange. "I had two suitcases, where is the other?!" Shane asked the employee with a bit elevated tone in his voice. It was an embarrassing situation because nobody knew what happened with Shane's second luggage. In computerized world it should be impossible to do so unwise mistake, but the reality was different. After some minutes the employee declared that Shane's personal property was put into the other airship and it flew to the neighboring island. "Very funny, really. I'm in Ariens but my luggage in Bermuda. It's the worst airlines in my whole life." Annoyed Shane told to the employee. Actually, it was his first flight so he didn't have other experiences for comparing. But nobody knew about it.

The airport's staff promised to retrieve Shane's missing luggage and that they inform him about this fact sending an appropriate message to his portable computer. At least Ariens' computer network works perfectly, perhaps, so Shane could be slightly calmer. When he left the airport's terminal, he felt almost immediately the hot Ariens' air. This morning was sunny and without any clouds in the sky. There wasn't any traces of mist yet. Shane thought that it would be in good style and could help to break the ice if he bought a small gift for his future housemates. He decided to purchase a box of chocolate biscuits. He hoped that the others won't treat this as a form of a plain bribe. Honestly talking, he was going to use the gift as a little bribe, because the aim was quite important for him.

Shane currently didn't have plenty of luggage, because one suitcase was on an aeroplane journey to the other island. For that reason he decided to take a taxi from the airport to Mayfield House. He didn't want to struggle with a large suitcase in a train, so a taxi seemed far more comfortable to him. After a short journey Shane stood in front of an entrance to his new home. He remembered that he had reserved a room number four on the first floor. He noticed that the door isn't locked, perhaps someone was inside. Shane pressed a doorbell several times and entered to the house, holding a chocolate biscuits in one hand.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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Walking around in a new place tends to be very unnerving to most people. There's always this very heavy feeling of unease. A fish out of water so to speak. As such, Aquina felt that she had made the right choice, traveling to Ariens as part of a group package--even if the group wasn't exactly the most welcoming.

"If there's one thing to say about older folks-- She sighed for the nth time, resting her hands on the rather large messenger bag she brought as a carry-on. "--they're very judgemental. They berate us for being so half-assed and lazy yet they're the ones who see a red lady and assume she's a devil of some sorts." She could literally feel the burning glares and whispered gossips the old folks were spouting behind her back as the monorail inches its way to their destination.

"Sorry that you came?" A man, slightly younger than the other folks on the ride asked her. Well, younger as in he doesn't have gray hair and too many wrinkles. Otherwise he's still older than the red lady on his right.

"Well--not yet." Aquina laughed. She didn't really expect someone to strike a conversation with the "devil", so to speak. "These folks are coming over from the same place as I am so, it's not as if this is all new to me. They'll gossip about me until someone brings up the topic of breakfast followed by a brief comment about how awful the food here is. You can always count on the older folk being forgetful. My grandma even fails to remember my name when I'm at her house."

"Sounds rough. So, how did you end up in this car?" The man implored further. By now it was clear that even he's having difficulty killing some time.

"Why don't you venture a guess?" Aquina dared the guy with a grin.

"Ok. There you were, walking around the connecting station from--what place did you say you were from again?"

"Zest. That station would be Martensia, in case you were wondering."

"Right. So, you were taking a stroll around Martensia, possibly browsing through the kiosks looking for exotic clothes like the one you're wearing right now when all of a sudden, this hooded guy ran headfirst into you, causing both of you to fall down and drop your bags. Before you can scold him, the police come waltzing up the stairs and upon seeing the two of you, started running towards the man. Guy gets up, takes a bag on the floor and started running again. You were about to pick up yours but you realize that the guy picked up the wrong bag. Apparently the dogs smell the suspicious luggage on you and started to snarl and chase after you. You see this enthusiastic group of old vacationers crowding a train so you leap onto the platform, past the guards and hide out among the thrall of old and greying people. Unfortunately, they were all pushing and shoving that before you knew it, you now have a bag full of whatever inside a car full of old people who think you're a lunatic and is now having a conversation with a guy you just met three minutes ago."

Aquina let out a slight chuckle. "Hah! And now I'm on an elaborate quest to search for the recipient of this parcel who, conveniently turns out to be this man who struck a conversation with the red lady. Kind of makes for a great story, why don't you write it down?"

"Oh, I will. After I figure out if the suspicious red lady is willing to give me her name and number." He joked, causing Aquina to laugh.

"Maybe. I'll think about it~ Hmm..." Her eyes wandered towards the windowsill. "Actually, you're not too far off."

"Oh yeah? What's bringing you to Ariens then?" All jokes aside, the man asked. Rather than explain it word for word, Aquina merely dug out the Twin Stars pamphlet and showed it to the guy. "Studies huh? Come to think of it, semester's already starting soon, isn't it?"

"Yeah. I went along with these folks since the station offered a cheaper rate if we're to travel as a large group. Luckily, three geezers bailed and I was able to get the last spot for myself. They're actually quite nice you know? If only they step out of the 16th century mindset."

"Wow. Didn't know the "devil" had a backstory similar to around 30% of the people on this train."

"Well--yes. But, I suppose my own motives differ--if only for a little."

"Really? Mind if I pry?"

"Maybe some other time. The stop is approaching." Aquina smiled as the train drew to a full stop at the station in Ariens. After retrieving their additional luggage from the compartment, the two started to part ways. "Thanks, it was starting to get a little dull at the ride."

"Likewise. I'll think about that story. About the runaway girl with a suspicious parcel." The man nodded as he bade Aquina goodbye.

"By the way?"

"Yes?"

"Would you happen to know where Mayfield is?" Aquina asked.

"Take a cab and get off around the 10th avenue. From there you turn right and keep going until you reach the plaza. From there, you just need to find the path near the coastal road. Place is rather difficult to miss so you don't have to worry much. Shouldn't take you more than twenty minutes and a couple of bucks." The man instructed her before going on his way.

"Merits of talking to stranger huh..." Aquina grinned to herself as she went on her own way, hauling a bulging messenger bag and a modestly sized suitcase with her.

She arrived at the Mayfield House shortly past lunch. Upon entering the house, she saw another person standing inside. From the looks of his age, he looks too young to be from management. Plus, he has luggage. Probably a tenant, just as she was.

"Excuse me? Tenant no.2 has arrived!" Aquina greeted the quiet dwelling, waiting to see if anyone else was there, apart from the other guy.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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#, as written by Dae Mec
Nikolai stared at the ramshackle house, noting the peeling paint and faded shingles. The house was just old enough to be unfashionable and ugly, but it wasn't yet old enough to be quaint or antique. The door—discolored in patches, due to its age—was slightly ajar. His roommates had likely arrived before him.

"Well, this is shit," he said, matter-of-fact. With a sigh, he adjusted the duffel bag slung across his shoulder. Most of his items had been delivered to the house earlier. All Nikolai had with him were the essentials. He took a mental picture of the Mayfield House. Nikolai would probably sketch it later. Though... he might add some flames to spice it up. With some extra pzazz, the building would make an excellent rendition of hell.

(Alright, maybe he was being a little over-dramatic. But still, the house was as ugly as sin.) Nikolai, finished with his examination of the exterior, pushed the door open and entered. The interior disappointed him further. It was dusty, with stains on the floor and cobwebs in the corners, and it really needed a good cleaning. It damn well wouldn't be him who cleaned it, though. And for now, it'd do. After all, it was his fault that he ended up in this place.

Though the house may have been run-down, it certainly wasn't empty. Inside were two of his future roommates. One was a tall girl with striking red eyes and hair, both features which were highlighted by her matching red clothing. Judging by her two heavy pieces of luggage, she appeared to be a newcomer to Ariens. Nikolai looked her up and down. She was quite attractive, in a unique sort of way. At the very least, she'd fit right in with the drawing he planned to do of the Mayfield House.

"Why, hello," purred Nikolai. "It's a great pleasure to meet you. You are one of my roommates, da? I'm quite charmed. Where are you from?"

He turned his attention to the other person in the room. In the stranger's hand was a pack of chocolate biscuits. How nice—it bordered on too nice, really. That didn't mean Nikolai wouldn't eat the offered food, though. The other man had average features, but he also had the unique combination of gray eyes and dark hair. The girl may be new to Ariens, but this guy was an outright foreigner. If Nikolai remembered his geography correctly (which of course he did, having a photographic memory), then his other roommate was from beyond the Great Sea.

"And are those biscuits for me?" His words were full of exaggerated pleasure and surprise. "I'm a bigger fan of strawberries, but I'll certainly say yes to chocolate." Nikolai winked at the other man. "How very, very kind of you."

He tossed his luggage at the foot of the couch and plopped down, glancing once at the dilapidated TV. As tempting as it was to start watching whatever shows the ancient device received, Nikolai decided that it'd be more fun to see what his roommates were made of. He hadn't yet decided what they'd be in his sketch. Would they be better as the tormented or the tormentors? (Nikolai certainly knew which one he was.)

With a gasp that was too drawn out to be sincere, he pressed one hand to his chest. "Forgive me for my rudeness. I haven't yet introduced myself! I am Nikolai Utkin. And may I know your names, as well?"

Nikolai's eyes flickered to the stairs. The thin layer of dust that covered most of the floor wasn't as uniform, there. Not to mention the unlocked entrance door. Perhaps someone else was inside. Or perhaps not. It could just as easily have been one of the two people standing in front of him.

"So," he said brightly, "was it one of you two that opened up our lovely new house?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Nadine M. Vallentin Character Portrait: Rook Foster Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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#, as written by Feyblue
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Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #0E00A8 || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #5C8AE6


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It had been a few hours, but Nadine had finally managed it. Looking around her, she couldn't help but feel a little bit triumphant. Granted, she'd vastly underestimated the amount of shelving space she'd need to store all of her many books, and had nearly caused one of the rather flimsy portable shelving units to tumble over onto her head when she'd been setting up, but still, at least she'd managed to find places for them all. Of course, part of finding places for them all had also entailed taking up so much space that there wasn't any room to lay out the portable quilted mattress she'd been planning on using as a floor bed... And space had only become a problem because she'd specifically requested the smallest dorm in the house... But she could always use her reading chair as a makeshift bed, anyhow! Right, it was best to think positive. After all, she had liked to nap in that chair back when she'd had it at home. It was comfortable enough to serve the purpose of a bed, too! And besides, this way, she had plenty of space to organize and store all of her favorite books! ...Speaking of which, had she ordered them properly? She'd sorted them first by topic, then by alphabet, when she'd been packing them to ship to the house in the first place. However, she couldn't be entirely certain that she might have unpacked in the wrong order... And now that she'd thought of it, she couldn't shake the possibility that she had. She spent the next twenty or so minutes painstakingly looking through every shelf, trying to ensure nothing was out of place. As it turned out, nothing was - she'd just been being paranoid. While this should have comforted her, it just made her feel stupid for wasting her time on such a baseless fear. ...Unless there WAS something out of place, and she'd just missed it?

...She dismissed this possibility as quickly as she could, ignoring the nagging voice in the back of her brain that told her to check everything over again. Trying to distract herself with something - anything, really - she then noticed something she hadn't really been paying attention to before. Namely, there were people talking downstairs. Had some of the other tenants arrived? It would appear so, at any rate. Considering that they'd probably be too busy moving in to be concerned with her, she supposed that this would be her best chance to see who they were without actually drawing their attention to herself. Reasoning thus, and unable to contain her curiosity - people watching was one of her favorite hobbies, after all - she decided she'd sneak a peek as unobtrusively as possible. So, opening the door of her room as quietly as possible, she slipped around the edge of the upper balcony, peering down from almost directly overhead to see a group of four people standing in the entryway. One by one, they moved over the threshhold, and into her view.

The first was a tall youth, with dark hair and a swarthy complexion. He didn't look Xeran, so perhaps he was from abroad? Curious, indeed. Sheltered as Nadine had been growing up in Agria, she had never actually met an Outlander. She wondered what kind of society he had lived in, and what interesting and strange customs they must have had. However, just as quickly, the next person behind him caught her eye. The second to enter was a girl with vibrant red hair, like the color of a cherry. Nadine quite frankly had no idea where she might have been from, as to her knowledge, that sort of color wasn't considered ordinary anywhere. Maybe she was some kind of ghost or apparition? She smiled at the ridiculous notion, already coming up with her own little "story" of each of the ones who entered.

The third to enter was much easier to place, by his voice alone. Smooth and low, the unique emphasis he placed on his words made it obvious that he was Fanish. He seemed quite at home already, introducing himself and striking up casual conversation in an instant. Given his blonde hair - one of the few things Nadine could make out, peering over the railing from above and behind them - and the distinctive green eyes which she could only assume he had, maybe he was one kind of ladykiller? Smooth, sauve, and confident - yes, that was the character she'd give to him, perfect for the leading man of some great adventure drama! And finally... And finally...

The last to enter, compared to the others, seemed impossible to place or identify. He was of average height, with his face concealed from view by his long, dark hair. He introduced himself in a simple and collected, yet friendly manner that made it difficult to guess what sort of person he was. For a few moments, Nadine tried to come up with a "story" for him, but couldn't really think of anything. There was just too little to go on.

She might have lingered longer, but, returning her attention to the Fanish boy, she noticed him turning towards the stairs. Wondering if he'd seen her while she was busy examining the last to enter, she decided that it would be best not to risk it, and slipped back into her room, shutting the door swiftly behind her with a quiet "click" as the lock slid into place. Breathing a sigh, she tossed herself down into her basket chair, the new centerpiece of her room, lying on her side at the bottom of a nest of pillows and blankets. Exhausted from both her trip and from unpacking after her arrival, she decided that it would be best to just rest for now. The Academy wouldn't be starting in earnest for another few days - unless one counted a few events to welcome new students, which she'd probably just skip anyway so as to avoid having to socialize. That meant she'd have plenty of time to grow accustomed to her new home, and, most importantly of all, observe the routines of the house's other tenants so that she could use things like the laundry room, the shower, and the kitchen without bothering the others. Once she could confidently settle into self-sufficiency, then she could focus her full attention on attaining her goals.

This wasn't going to be easy. But, at the very least, she hoped it would be livable.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Rook Foster Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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"No dice huh...?" Aquina sighed, having been met with silence upon yelling out within the house. In a way, it is quite disheartening to find nobody--save for the other tenant--around to at least conduct or orient them around the house. On another note, that may very well be a sign that they would be given free reign around the place. Which delighted the red lady's thoughts all the more.

"Why, hello--It's a great pleasure to meet you. You are one of my roommates, da? I'm quite charmed. Where are you from?"

Aquina pricked up upon hearing another voice from behind. Standing there was a young blonde man. "Another tenant, perhaps?" Aquina immediately concluded as any representative of the owner would've known her. She wasn't really surprised that he chose to approach her first, having seen that behavior many times back at Zest.

"Likewise. Not a roommate per se though. More of a neighbor really." Aquina replied promptly, reiterating that they were to stay in separate rooms. "I hail all the way from Zest, although the hair says otherwise." Aquina replied, flicking some stray strands of hair away from her face.

After her, the other guy immediately approached the earlier one for a biscuit. He appears to be rather energetic, although that could easily be a front. She realized that this boy hadn't introduced himself yet; a thought he immediately picked up on as he introduced himself to Aquina and the earlier guy. Apparently, his name was Nikolai Utkin, a native of Fane. Realizing that none of them have really introduced each other, Aquina deduced that now was a good a time as any.

"Aquina Rosenberg. I'm fine with just Aki though." Aquina replied promptly. "And no, the house was already open when I arrived." She turned to face the other boy in the room after answering Nikolai. "Was it you who unlocked the door Mr.--?" She asked, although she deliberately let her words hang as she didn't know his name.

"Hey, all! I am Rook Foster and I happen to also be staying here. I assume everybody here will be fellow tenants, so I hope you all the best."

Another boy arrives. Like Nikolai, he too seemed excited upon arrival, if only a little less playful than the latter. Seeing this tenant arrive, Aquina surveyed the surroundings. "So...will I be the only female within the bunch?" She wondered, her thoughts more curious than concerned. Besides, there were other matters she needs to sort out before anything else. She hadn't really unpacked yet, for one.

"Well, it's a pleasure to meet everyone here. I'm going on ahead to unpack, if you guys don't mind~ We can get to know each other better at dinnertime anyway...Ciao~" Aquina excuses herself and disappears with a wave, walking up and disappearing in the corridor leading to the rooms.

Her room was on the far left side of the right wing. It wasn't too big nor was it too small. She could probably fit a couple of power tools inside. Still, as she barely had anything on her in the way of luggage, she'll have to find a way to maintain her own keep. Maybe she can upgrade the room later on.

All-in-all, it took her just around twenty minutes to get everything sorted properly. Clothes were in their respective cabinets, with the uniforms arranged neatly. Other items were placed on the side table while her dresser had a toolbox for working with steel instead of a makeup kit. "Not really surprising, given that I barely brought anything with me. It would've been hilarious if the train guy's tale turned out to be true though. Who knows? Maybe the shady business will be of more help financially." Aquina smiled to herself before leaving her room.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Rook Foster Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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#, as written by Mustafa
Shane had been thinking for a moment before he answered. "Hello everyone. I'm Shane Collins from Midland. It's a land far behind the sea and... I will tell you about it later. Forgive me, but I'm tired after the long flight and I need to rest." Before he left his newly met tenants, he had reminded himself about his little gift - Nokolai's question was helpful. "I have a little gift for you," Shane said to his new friends, "I bought a box of chocolate biscuit, I hope it helps us to break the ice, bon appetit." Shane put the gift on a small wooden table near the old TV. He noticed that Nikolai winked at him. "Why are winking at me? Has something dropped into your eye?" Nokolai's behaviour was quite strange but Shane isn't going to care about it. "The biscuits aren't only for you Nikolai, they will be public goods. And don't worry, they weren't poisoned." Shane laughed a little.

Acquina asked Shane if he had been a person who had unlocked the door. He answered that the door was already open. During this talk someone entered the home and said that he is Rook Foster.

"Hmm... We have a lot of fresh blood here. Hi Rook, make yourself at home." Shane left his housemates and walked to his room, the room number 4 counting from the entrance. The room wasn't big, but it was enough for one person, at least he had a view of fresh green grass through the window. He could let his hair down in the end. He shut the door of his room and fell into the bed completely exhausted.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Rook Foster Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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#, as written by Dae Mec
Nikolai carefully watched for the others' reactions. He hadn't pushed very far, and the girl seemed fine with this behavior, though the other boy seemed a bit unimpressed—perhaps even taken aback.

"Likewise. Not a roommate per se, though. More of a neighbor, really," said the red-head. Despite her hair color, she was apparently from Zest.

"Oh, silly me. Neighbors, not roommates." He rain his fingers through his hair and gave a short sigh. "A Freudian slip, perhaps?" he said slyly. Nikolai looked at the other two. He wouldn't mind being roommates with them, actually. They were both pretty people.

The girl introduced herself as Aquina Rosenberg, though she also offered a nickname to use instead. Rosenberg... the name sounded awfully familiar. Something to do with engineering? Ah, he'd look it up later. There were plenty of people named Rosenberg. It was likely a coincidence. Apparently, Aquina hadn't been the one to open up the house, and neither had the other boy—who was a Midlander named Shane, according to his introduction.

"I have a little gift for you," said the Midlander. "I bought a box of chocolate biscuit, I hope it helps us to break the ice. Bon appetit." Shane set his gift on the table before looking at Nikolai with confusion. "Why are winking at me? Has something dropped into your eye?"

Nikolai laughed to himself. Shane was the oblivious type, then. Or perhaps naive. Well, Nikolai did like the accent. He was just about to say something that was a little more flirtatious—then another boy walked in. With dark hair and blue eyes, the boy was hard to place. He could have been from any one of the islands.

"Hey, all! I am Rook Foster and I happen to also be staying here. I assume everybody here will be fellow tenants, so I hope you all the best."

Oh, cheerful. And nice, too. After greeting Rook, both Aquina and Shane took their leave. Both of them had traveled today, and they were clearly tired.

Which left just Nikolai and Rook.

"Hi there, Rook." He gave the other boy a lazy smile. "I don't know if you heard, but I'm Nikolai Utkin. Where are you from? This your first year at the Academy, da?"

The newest kid was... interesting. (Well, they were all interesting, but Rook was the only one still in the room. Judging from his bags and the slightly rumpled appearance, Rook had likely traveled here as well.) Nikolai always found nice people interesting, and judging by his introductory statement, Rook was definitely nice.

But something else had caught Nikolai's interest, too. None of the two tenants before him had opened up the house. So, either the school was stupid enough to leave one of their dorms unlocked, or there was someone else. Nikolai hadn't bothered to see who he was sharing the dorm with before coming to Mayfield, but now he was curious.

"Odd question," said Nikolai, his smile becoming sharper, "but do you know how many people are staying Mayfield?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Rook Foster Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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#, as written by Mustafa
Shane has been resting for about a half of an hour. He hadn't wanted to get up but when he turned his head and looked at his luggage, he changed his decision. "I have to unpack my suitcase as soon as possible. Probably the others did it already while I was sleeping. If I don't do it, they will say that I'm lazy or even worse - clumsy," Shane thought. He remembered that his second suitcase had been sent on an aeroplane trip to the other island and that he will have an opportunity to take back his missing luggage tomorrow the earliest. More luggage means more work, additionally the room was quite dusty, it needed cleaning.

Shane has stood up in the end and has begun unpacking his luggage. He hadn't taken too many items, he had some books connected whit his field of study, some casual clothes among which was a black T-Shirt with the logo of his favourite microarchitecture - Snapdragon, a pair of shoes, his own cup and some less important things. After about fifteen minutes everything was arranged in the room. He could start looking for a vacuum cleaner.

Shane left his room and locked the door. Nobody was in the corridor at the moment. The house was also quite quiet, perhaps too quiet. It was a good occasion to see the whole home. After a minute he found the most important place - the kitchen. It was enough big for four tenants, so he thought that they won't have problems preparing common dinner or lunch. Unfortunately they had one problem, the fridge was empty so someone will have to go shopping.

After that Shane walked the lounge area and saw that there was one unknown person. Rook disappeared somewhere but Nikolai was still talking about something. Shane didn't care about it, he went upstairs. On the second floor was a lot of free space. All doors were closed, so Shane decided to check every room, he hoped to find a vacuum cleaner firstly, before the others. The first door was surprisingly locked, "OK. I'll check it later." Behind the second door was a small bathroom. The last room looked like a laundry room, fortunately there was an old vacuum cleaner. "I hope that it won't explode when I turn on it."

When he was going back his room, holding a vacuum cleaner, he looked at the locked door. There was something strange. He even tried to look through the keyhole but the hole was blocked by a key. He knew that all dorm rooms are on the first floor, so this seemed for him slightly mysterious. The room was locked from the inside and probably nobody was inside. He couldn't left this question without an answer, he just had to check it.

Shane put the vacuum cleaner in his room and went towards the entrance of the home. He suddenly met Aquina walking through the corridor. "Oh, you scared me. What are you doing here?" Shane asked. "But it doesn't matter. I have some interesting news. I found on the second floor a secret room that is locked from the inside. Probably there is nobody," Shane said slightly excited. "Now I know why this house was so cheap, it's haunted."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Rook Foster Character Portrait: Aza N. Merritt Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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Barely three minutes have passed since Aquina departed from her room when she met with Shane at the corridor. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the vacuum cleaner he was carrying around. Somehow it struck her as odd since none of the boys, with the exception of her father, were particularly fond of cleaning in her family. "Different strokes for different folks I guess. Maybe I can ask him to do mine once he finishes?" She entertained the thought for a while but ultimately decided against it. Girls shouldn't leave their cleaning up to boys is what she has been taught. Besides, her room wasn't that dirty. Ten minutes of light sweeping and scrubbing should do the trick.

The boy's mention of a locked room on the second floor caught her interest. Upon his mention of it, she realized that she hasn't been fully acquainted with house yet. She did find it hilarious that he thought it was haunted. She didn't exactly peg Shane for the superstitious type. Otherwise he would've already steered clear of the "red devil". Then again, he may just be trying to make conversation in which case, Aquina felt it more appropriate to go along.

"Cheap houses usually have that quirk associated with them. There's usually a catch like being the site where a murder or a homicide took place. On some occasions, it may have been used for illicit activities like--well, you get it." She turned to look at Shane straight in the eye. "Think a dead body will spring out if we open it?" Aquina suggested, half-teasing.

"Although it's probably the condition of the place that decreased the rate in the first place. I've seen some abandoned houses back at home with a much more sound structure than this one. Hey, if you're good with homemaking, you can probably do something to fix the place up~" Aquina finishes with a smile.

There seemed to be a new development over the living room so Aquina suggested heading over there in the meantime. "Why don't we greet our new arrival first?"

Upon arriving in the lounge, Aquina saw that another person had arrived to join them. She could also see that, like the first three who arrived the same time she did, this person was another boy. That leaves her to share a house with four guys. Already, she felt completely out of place. Fortunately, everyone seemed to be decent people. Seemed to be.

"So I just realized--" Aquina immediately started, skipping all the pleasantries and awkward moments of standing there with nothing to say for five minutes. She'll have to take the conversation somewhere, lest she gets drowned out. "I don't know left and right around this place. Shane here mentioned something about a locked room on the second floor; it might be worth looking into." She paused for a little to observe if they were listening and carried on.

"I think we should explore the place; familiarize ourselves with its bells and whistles and whatnot. See if there are any spots to beware of, places with creaking beams, leaking ceilings, floor boards that sink if you step on it." She enumerates some of the common problems she expects to encounter. "Familiarize ourselves with where everything is. Depending on how many bathrooms they have here, we may have to work out a schedule." She realized that she sounded as if she was trying to take charge of things. "Hope you don't chew me out for this; it's just a suggestion." She thought before shifting the flow of the conversation.

"Of course, we can also take this opportunity to see if there are any dead bodies stuffed in the closets or walls somewhere. Or if there are bloodstains that haven't been cleaned. Any of you have a motion detector or a compass? It could help us locate cold and warm spots around the house." Aquina joked, recalling Shane's suspicions of the house being haunted. "Hey, maybe the previous occupants had formed some kind of syndicate and was involved in illegal operations. They may have left their lab untouched with some of the substance still lying around in a secret basement or attic somewhere. We could sell it off, make some money to fix this place up--what do you think?" She finally asked, waiting to see how the boys would respond.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Aza N. Merritt Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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#, as written by Mustafa
Shane has thought that the others have started treating him like a ghost. He has walked the living room together with Aquina. He hasn't been saying anything for a quite long time. He listened what everyone had wanted to say and after that he decided to remind abut his existence.

"Здравствуйте Aza [Hello Aza]," Shane told Aza who was looking as if he had noticed Shane the first time in his life. If Shane had had a vacuum cleaner in his hands, he would have throw it directly into Aza because Aza was claiming that Shane could be Aquina, or something other similar. Fortunately, he didn't have anything heavy in the range of his arms. "Are you blind? Aren't you able to distinguish a woman from a man?" Shane thought. But he calmed down and said, "My name is Shane and this is Aquina. You told us that you are Aza Merritt. Hmm... Is 'Aza' really a name?" Shane pull out his mobile phone, he wanted to check something. Lists of students are publicly available as in every average school, he opened a web page of a profile of Mechanics and started looking for something similar. "There you are! You must be Azalea Noll Merritt because there is nobody with such surname like your." Shane turned off his mobile phone and put it into his pocket.

"You are Azalea so..." Shane have started laughing "...you have a name like a flower. Would you mind considering changing it into something more masculine?" Shane became a little more serious. "But don't offend buddy, I have some propositions. You could be... Ahmed. No? Right, you need something better. Maybe... hmm... İskender?" Shane reminded himself about one funny thing. He had an azalea in his garden but the flower was dug up by his dog a week ago. He wanted to say also about it but he didn't do that. It could be one word too many.


After that Shane turned his attention to Aquina. "You don't believe that this house could be haunted. Hmm... . Look at him," Shane pointed at Aza, "he was living here a year ago and he went gray at young age for fear." Of course that wasn't serious, Shane was joking. After a short pause he continued talking. "I agree with you that we should familiarize ourselves with the house. The list of damages dictated by Aza is quite long," Shane sighed deeply, "but I hope the most were fixed before our arrival. However, if we find something useful like, for example, a laboratory for production of...," Shane grinned, "...prescription drugs, we can always create a syndicate. I mean opening our own home business of course. Aza is experienced, so he could distribute our products in university, theoretically. Just think Aquina, we could help so many people." Aza started coughing when he heard this, so Shane gave him a slap on the back. Shane was very eager to see the reaction of Aquina. "Aquina, try to imagine that we could create an international company called 'Mafia Inc.' and you could be our Godmother in the future."

Shane was still curious what is in the locked room, he knows now that Aza was living here previously, so he decided to ask him. "Aza, do you know what is inside the room on the second floor near the stairs? There is a locked door and probably none of us has a key."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Nadine M. Vallentin Character Portrait: Rook Foster Character Portrait: Aza N. Merritt Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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"Bringing up the topic of possible house problems seems to have paid off..." Aquina smiled to herself, listening to Aza go on enumerating the common problems they may encounter. May encounter. Of course, it was entirely possible that the house had undergone a fix. It is the start of a new term after all, and these places need to attract blood. She also found Aza's mention of the previous tenants interesting though whether it was meant as a jest or something to be taken seriously, Aquina had no way to confirm save for asking him directly.

"Wouldn't mind the cats actually. Could do without any further eye irritation though." Aquina was in the middle of listening in on the conversation when Aza suddenly ask for her name. Or to be more specific, he asked whether she was Shane or Aquina. Before she could reply though, Shane spoke up.

Apart from clarifying who was Shane and who was Aquina, Shane had some light jabs at Aza, the old timer. Most were directed towards his appearance and his status as an old-timer. It was probably all meant as friendly jests and light humor. "Rarely do I get to meet two people who can go along with my stories...This is building up to be an interesting term and the day hasn't even ended yet." Aquina thought, smiling.

Shane joked about running their own laboratory and company, with Aza being their runner and her being a Godmother of sorts. "Hmmm... I don't know. Haven't really been in loop with business management for awhile. I'm just more into sightseeing now." She glanced at Aza for a split second before turning back to Shane. "Although if anybody's got any stuff they want to peddle, I may be able to lend a hand. It's what I do after all." She offered, intentionally letting slip her chosen profession in the process.

"Aza, do you know what is inside the room on the second floor near the stairs? There is a locked door and probably none of us have a key."

Ah yes, the locked room. It was the reason why they were talking about ghosts and syndicates in the first place. It was Nikolai who brought up the mention of a sixth tenant, which of course, is the most probable reason. All jokes aside, Aquina echoes the question directed at Aza, imploring with all seriousness this time. "From what I read in the brochure, the rooms Mayfield rents out to tenants are all on the first floor. And you normally don't lock up any utility rooms the day before you expect your boarders to arrive. The house was open before any of us could even arrive. Aza, is it possible that one of the spaces upstairs was renovated into an additional room, expecting the number of occupants to increase?" Before she could be graced with a reply though, Aquina headed towards the foot of the stairs.

"Why don't we try a good o'l fashioned knock on the door? Let's see how this mystery tenant is like?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aquina Rosenberg Character Portrait: Nikolai Utkin Character Portrait: Rook Foster Character Portrait: Aza N. Merritt Character Portrait: Shane Collins
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Aza bristled a bit at Shane's jabs, but reigned himself in. There was no point picking a fight, was there? Although Shane was obviously looking for one. Calm down, self. Clearly he's a cocky idiot who wants his face to be driven in a turd.

"Aza means 'strong' in hebrew. It's a real name with many different variations depending on language, dumbass. And like I said, I was checking to see what she goes by and if she was the mystery tenant. If you hear someone called Max, you obviously wouldn't have expected a girl now would you? And yet there are girls called Max and Alex and guys called Rowan and Taylor and who knows what else." Aza rolled his eyes at Shane, as if he was berating Shane for being an idiot. "There's no point assuming that just because its a feminine name that the person is obviously a female, and vice versa. It's a disservice to them."

And obviously he knew the difference between male and female - there were physical differences that made it hard not to. Girls had boobs, for one. Larger hips and longer legs, for another. Aza considered retaliating by saying that although he could tell a girl was a girl he'd had second doubts about Shane because he was... lacking down there, but eh. That'd be a bit below the belt.

And he wasn't looking to start a fight. If he did that, then everything would start becoming below the belt and that would... not be a good thing. Aza wasn't sure if the fridge had enough ice cubes for that situation.

When Shane made fun of his hair, Aza responded with an annoyed look. "Much like how you'd run screaming from a ghost if one appears?"[/grey] he asked archly, crossing his arms. [grey]"Don't bother, you blend in so well with the background that it won't even notice you're there. And my hair is genetic." He said irritably, resisting the urge to turn it into a comment questioning Shane's IQ.

Bro, I kind of miss you now. With you here I wouldn't have to deal with annoying first years.

That sentiment cemented itself further when Shane smacked him on the back. Aza scowled and elbowed him in the stomach, leaving him doubled over with a wheeze, but Shane still continued to talk anyway.

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

"Aza, do you know what is inside the room on the second floor near the stairs? There is a locked door and probably none of us have a key." Shane asked.

"From what I read in the brochure, the rooms Mayfield rents out to tenants are all on the first floor. And you normally don't lock up any utility rooms the day before you expect your boarders to arrive. The house was open before any of us could even arrive. Aza, is it possible that one of the spaces upstairs was renovated into an additional room, expecting the number of occupants to increase? Why don't we try a good o'l fashioned knock on the door? Let's see how this mystery tenant is like?" Aquina asked.

Hmm. Aza shrugged. "Sure, why not?" he answered, slipping his hands into his pockets. "It used to be a study room, but it could've been renovated to let the house fit six people. If someone's in there they'd open the door, and if its not, well." He grinned for the first time he had entered the house, although it was just a faint curve of the lips. "We can try breaking down the door or picking the lock."

Preferably with Shane's head as a battering ram. Walking to join Aquina at the stairs, Aza paused a few steps behind her and looked over his shoulder at the others, raising a questioning eyebrow. "You guys coming?"