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Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight

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a part of Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight, by Shi-chan.

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Shi-chan holds sovereignty over The world, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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The world is a part of Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight.

9 Characters Here

Timothy Arden [5] Deadly both up close and from a distance
Anna Hellsang [3] A strong but shy girl, who is very talented when it comes to melee combat with weapons.
Quinn Glanz [2] A Trigger Happy, Joke Cracking Guy with a Love for Weapons.
Viktor Lucair [2] [Spoiler Alert!]
Callen McDugal [2] A funloving and quirky girl with a strange origin.
Old Man Hellsang/Hellsang House [0] A man who is no longer seen, and a house that speaks with his voice
Gilliam Blake [0] "Call me Gill....you don't mind if I smoke, do you?"

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Timothy stood above Anna's prone form for a moment. If she was an enemy it was the perfect moment to bring the scimitar down. Through her chest, neck or into her already damaged features. Instead he felt somewhat foolish, collapsing to a seat next to her. His breathing was a little heavy and he calmed it, wiping away a little perspiration from his forehead. He looked down at her, somewhat concerned for she seemed a little stunned. He had realized his attempt was flawed even as he began to move in. She was good enough to counter it but missed the chance. Perhaps he had surprised her but she had seemed to falter. Either way it was nothing to be proud of. He looked around at her question, worrying even more. He hoped the fall had't intensified her bump from earlier.

"No, its just us." His voice showed he didn't understand why she asked, perhaps she thought their time was up. Although Timothy didn't feel he would have been any more attentive then her. "Sorry, I suppose. I've always learnt to take any advantage I could in a fight. You're better than me by far but you can't deny a blind spot is an advantage." He paused, not mentioning that he thought she faltered. He didn't know the state of her self confidence, typically he figured it would be fine. Yet with the experience with her father he wasn't about to point out mistakes. Looking back at Anna he grinned, letting the situation lighten, so many concerns washed away in the memories of the fight. "You know you look as surprised as Jones when I managed to beat him. I told you that before. It was something like this, a fight on a training mat with blades. He had beaten me every time so I requested one last fight without weapons or padding. Both of us were hardly able to move by the end of it but I put him to the floor first. He had a similar look, just before he blacked out. Suffice it to say it was a private matter and none of the instructors were all to happy." His grin dropped away from his lips but he forced himself to dwell on the past, before the disasters occurred. Sharing memories with a friend, with Anna, was a small taste of freedom and peace.
"You have any times like that? Or do you want to fight again?"

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She looked back up at him, faintly returning the smile. She understood what he was saying, she recognised the emotion he described. "I would be disappointed if you had treated me as if I am not your equal. I don't need special treatment." She said, as she sat up. For a few minutes she remained resting on her elbows, before wiping the sweat off her brow and finally completing the motion. She looked at the sword beside her, enjoying the adrenaline her body had released upon her defeat.

"Let's lose the suits and the swords then. No punches to the head or groin, anything else is cool. We're wrasslin' like classy people." She suggested, as she rose to her feet and begun removing her padding armour. She carefully removed the sword from the floor too, and looked at him to come to know if he agreed with her rules. "And then I'm done for now."

She assumed stance, this time awaiting his move first.

---

The robot informed Viktor that Callen had made a stop at her room, and was currently heading toward the front gardens. It could tell him no more than that.

Exactly what the redhaired girl was doing was difficult to determine. She walked hunched over, hands in pockets, a sour look on her face. Every few steps she took was abruptly stopped as she turned 180 degrees, and then, after about five seconds turned back again, and continued walking. "I need me some air." She whispered to herself, flustered, her cheeks red, and her voice nervous.

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Viktor didn't bother with a "Thank you;" the only robot with a personality had exploded (or imploded?). He tried to find his way outside, first finding the front door, and then one that led to a sideyard and the stables. "God dammit," he muttered both times.
Eventually, and quite frustrated, Viktor found the one of the doors that led to a path which would lead to the Gardens, however the path he took was wrong the first time, and took him far out of his way. Suffice to say, Callen had a good twenty minutes before she was finally spotted.

There she is. Viktor walked towards her and snagged his foot in the cleft of a root and dove into a bush just as she turned around. He sat up and brushed himself off, giving her time to turn back and start walking away. He got up and watched her silently, wondering what the hell she was doing. She turned back again, but he was obscured by the local flora well enough that he didn't think he was seen.
Rather than walk directly after her, Viktor went around a thicket of bushes growing wild berries to cut her off, and through accidental timing stepped into her path while she was turned away. "Hi, Callen. Can we talk?"

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Theo had forgotten how late in the day it already was; they had been called from lunch to Mr. Helsang's office, then he spent the last two hours with Viktor. He asked (very politely) for just a snack (as he hadn't finished eating earlier) and was refused. Then he changed tactics-"God dammit! I'm Theo Ackabecker, hand-picked humanity-savior about to embark on a life-changing quest for Mr. Helsang with no questions or rewards asked, and I am denied but the smallest amount of food? Well fuck your cooking then! Take cat of your dam menu and go turn off, would you? Bloody useless conglomerations of metal and cheap copper wires."

A minute later he was sitting alone and eating a cheeseburger; convincing the robot special-treatment was in order before a mission was so easy, Theo didn't know he had done it until he was half done. He held the burger in his left hand; his right arm was too shaky to stop himself from smooshing cheese and ketchup all over his lips. He sighed when he was done, wishing the joy of eating could be a more perpetual and less gluttonous state. "Hmm... cheeseburger."

Not long after that he was wondering through the halls with his eyes partially lidded; for as hard as he slept last night, Theo didn't feel very rested. The numbness of his arms and unconscious dragging of his feet made it feel like he was in a dream, almost.
---
Theo suddenly came-to giggling at a shiny, distorted reflection of his face in a mirror. His hands were gripping the edges of the sink very tightly and he was troubled not to laugh. There was a stern "Ahem," behind him, but he paid it no mind until a larger, metal reflection was superimposed on his own. "Oi?" He looked over his shoulder to see a displeased robot with a mop. "Sorry, h-how long have I been in here?"
"You feel asleep in stall number seven for ten minutes, then proceeded to breath and rub your hands on this mirror every time I wipe it."
"Oh, really?"
"Yes. Really. The bathroom is closed for cleaning; you managed to kick that sign over on the way in. If you are filling ill please report to the nurse's station and check into the infirmary; otherwise I suggest you get some rest before dinner, Mr. Ackabecker."
"Um, t-thanks?" Theo looked back at his reflection, which was now clear; his eyes must have been out of focus. Did look damned funny though. "Yes, well. I should be off, then." He let go of the sink and looked for the exit. "Um..."
"Do you need help getting out, sir?"
"What? N-no! No, not at all." He blushed, embarrassed by this little metal bastard.
"Then why are you still here?"
"Well, uh, because... I was going to... ask... that..."
"Ask what?"
"Uh..." He improvised. "That you send a student to me, at some point..."
"As to whom are you requesting?"
"Anna, uh, Ms. Helsang?" First name that came to mind.
"She is busy at the moment in the-"
"Well then when she's bloody unbusy, thank you!" Theo turned and (somehow?) found the exit in the first try. "I will be in the atrium reading a book!" He promptly forgot having requesting Anna's presence, poking fun at Karl Marx's misgivings over finite value and why his economic system failed at any point in history it was used, other than the first truly Socialist country, which was dissolved in WWII's post-war redistribution of land. (It is now part of Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic, and Yugoslavia)

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Timothy stood and started removing his own protection, it took him a little longer than her. After all he wore more, which could have marked him out as a inept compared to his opponent. Not that he believed that anymore than he believed he was a better sword fighter than she. He grinned at her comment. Speaking as he took up position opposite her, he had no clue how good she was with her fists.

"Are you sure?" He asked, grinning although the questions was somewhat serious. He doubted what he was going to say would have any weight. "Me and Jones split the fractures, excessive bruising and broken rib between us." It was a little exaggerated the way he said it, even though the broken rib was his own and their were a fair share of signs. He was merely enjoying the time, the same he had with the the late Jones. Their mutual friend, possibly he would've have passed this beautiful girl by if nothing had happened. He wouldn't have even noticed her looks had they not been burnt. His face dropped into a frown, memories running back to where he did not want them to be. He broke away from his overactive mind and moved into engage. At least he started to when an interruption sounded from the entrance. Something akin to a robotic impression of a cough.

He backed from his attack and looked over. A robot stood in the doorway, it almost seemed to be watching Anna exclusively. Timothy took the initiative , supposing this was their call to go. He didn't know how long the pair of them had been busy.
"I suppose you're here to collect us?" He asked, partly disappointed they didn't get to resolve the fight and relieved with the machine replied.

"No, Mr Hellsang sent me to inform you that your team's departure has been delayed until this evening or perhaps tomorrow morning and to take the necessary precautions." With that it turned to leave without so much as a goodbye. Timothy watched frowning as it left. It seemed her father made some effort to belittle his daughter, reminding them that he was watching. Still Timothy took some good news from the message.

"Looks like you're our unofficial leader again. I didn't doubt you before and I don't now." He smiled but his heart wasn't in it, his thoughts on all they had lost. She hadn't gotten all of them there, Quinn was missing and Timothy expected the worst. As soon as he was sure Anna was ready he approached again. Cautiously, he had the advantage with strength and size but that meant little. He had beaten her at her specialty, was her turn to beat him at his? The thought sparked another and Timothy's grin was sincere, accompanied by a wink. He gave her little incentive, at least he hoped so.
"If you can beat me, you'll prove that you're as good or even better than any son the old fool could have had. More attractive too." The last comment took him by surprise, it was going through his mind but he didn't mean to say it. The young man's fighting style favored up close and tight battle, elbows and knees playing as big a role as his fists. His size also paid off that close and he knew how to get it into play. He knew the basic premises of some martial arts and how to counter them. Unfortunately the surprise transitioned into his movements, making his step into to tight close quarters a little uncertain and he knew he was going to have a bad time.

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The noise Callen made when Viktor seemed to jump out if nowhere right in front of her, was like that of a drunken man, who by chance found enough money to buy a late night (for some, early morning) snack. Surprise at the joyful side of things, horror at just how surprised she was. "DON'TYOUEVERSCAREMELIKETHATAGAIN!" She yelled as her body instinctively turned to run away. She did get a little away before she realised that he hadn't been wanting to murder her and such, and turned again, walking back to him. She wasn't sure where to put her hands, so she kept fidgeting with the edge of the uniform jacket, not really looking directly at him.

"Sure we can talk. It wasn't fair to just walk out like that, I just... I dunno." She mumbled, wanting to explain, but not really wanting to seem like she was apologising to him. If anything, she just hoped that he wasn't going to yell at her.

---

The robot had done very little to phase her, and she'd only responded with a nod. At least it gave them time enough to finish this, possibly shower, and who knew, maybe a board game with Theo later? His leader comment made her squint her eyes, leaders were chosen by those who wanted a leader, no one had the right to just take the role, but still, she liked the notion of him supporting her.

The next thing he said, made her smile. She wasn't sure if he even knew he'd said it, but the thought of her, with a burned face and a missing eye still being prettier than most boys was funny. He stepped forward then, oddly enough, he seemed less secure in what he was doing than he had moments before, but she didn't waste time caring about feelings and all that stuff. Instead, she at once stepped forward to meet him, and in an improvised move tried to combine sumo wrestling and rugby into a possible move. She aimed to place her shoulder against his stomach, and in turn throw him over her back. She didn't even consider that he might be too heavy, she was no weak little girl. She believed him when he said that she could be just as good as any man. It was just about proving it to herself.

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The noise Viktor made as she screamed and ran was one of bemusement. "Eh? I'm not going to hurt you, Callen. Geese..." He waited for her to walk back and shook his head slowly. "Yeah, it was. Callen, if we're going to do this, all of us, we all need to be able to defend ourselves without relying on eachother. If we need to split up, even if you're back at 'base' and you think you're safe, you could be attacked. And when you're armed with nothing but a hairpin, you're going to wish you learned how to use the gun five feet from you." He pulled his hands out of his pockets (he regretted doing so when they met the nip of mountain air) and rubbed them together. "Why don't you want to learn?"

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Theo did little other than read. According to Karl Marx, value is a finite value; one apple will always equal the value of another apple. Thus, if five apples are taken to create an apple pie, that pie is no more valuable than those apples. However, this does not stand when the same baker takes the same apples and absolutely ruins them, thus decreasing their value to a person but maintaining it monetarily. If no one is willing to pay more than five dollars for a burnt pie, even though the apples together cost ten, than the value of the pie is only five dollars; value is relative to the pursuer, though Karl Marx begs to differ and say that a burnt pie is worth the original ten dollars, no less and no more. Quality was not an issue.
Suffice to say, the communist/socialist USSR fell, leaving all of its client states in poor shambles and social turmoil. Cuba doesn't mass-own cars any newer than the 1950's, the Ukraine had the Orly (Ukrainian for "Eagle") until 2002, their equivalent of the KGB, that operated as a political hit-squad without the consent of the Ukrainian government, and Yugoslavia has millions of IDPs and emigrants floating around after a few decades of racial-war. Good job, Karl.

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(I've actually been to Cuba, it's an interesting place. Extremely warm, especially by Scandinavian standards. Run down, nothing's new. :3)

Callen sighed at his words, her expression becoming that of a completely lost and broken person. She then pulled a picture from her pocket, looking at it for a few seconds before speaking. "I'm just going to tell you, then. When I was thirteen, I was not a very clever kid. I'm a middle child, from a very big family. Mom and dad didn't always have time for me, they had so much to do with everybody else. So, being the self-absorbed asshat that I was, I start that whole rebel business. Sneaking out, getting friends who aren't exactly good for you, you probably know the drill, right?"

She paused once more, this time to force back tears. She couldn't stop her voice from shaking, and it was hard not just running away. "And then one night, they tell me 'You know how to drive, aight? Get us down to the shop, we want crisps.', and I don't know what to do. I have no friggin' idea how to drive a car, but I want to keep being around these people. I try to sneak out of it, y'know, 'cause it just ain't right, but they just keep asking, 'why don't you wanna, why don't you do it?', and then I break, I crumble under pressure man. And I accept the keys, and I can tell that this is some sort of initiation ritual, and I don't want them to dump me, I just want some friends."

She flipped the picture to show him, and it was the same as he had seen earlier. She'd picked it up in her room moments before, because she knew that this conversation would come up. She knew that she couldn't just deflect every question about it any more.

"This girl is named Sasia. On that evening where I got in that car and tried to drive, she was out on a walk with her grandmother and the family dog. They were named Helen and Cooper. They'd just eaten dinner, and it had been a completely uneventful day. Until Callen McDugal mowed them down because she didn't know how to stop. And she was going much too fast. And she was very, very scared."

She licked her lips, no longer able to stop herself from crying. "I crashed into a lightpole further down the road. I pass out, and then when I wake up in the hospital, I'm told that Helen and Cooper are both dead. Sasia is so hurt that she ain't never gonna be moving. Numb from the chest down. I've hurt enough people, man. Enough."

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It was stupid, he should have seen it coming. He would have seen it coming and would have been able to break it had he not stumbled. It was his own fault of course, distracting himself. His uneven momentum brought him up and over. Backwards and airborne, almost as if she didn't have any difficulty with the maneuver. He hit hte mat with a thud and a gasp, breath knocked out of him. He smiled sheepishly, pushing him back to his once his lungs caught up. He didn't know how to feel, embarrassed and ashamed that he had went down so easily but at least Anna had got a win and a real one.

"That was quick." He shrugged, relaxed. He didn't take the failure hard, after all he had made the mistake. "Take any advantage in a fight." He said with a grin, quoting his earlier words. "Sorry, wasn't really fair." He looked away, typically he would more than a little angry as the lose, in this case he surprisingly wasn't more embarrassed. "Uh, I lose any filter between the brain and the rest of me in a fight. Even so couldn't avoid the tackle." He tried to excuse what he said before, although he didn't say he didn't mean it. Standing again he wasn't sure if they were going to continue. Anna had said one more fight and that could count as the one victory he said she needed. He wouldn't mind spending more time together, perhaps it wasn't the training he enjoyed most but the company.

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Viktor tried to nod at the first question, finding a person to be with who was a less-than-satisfactory-citizen. Of course he had made similar friends for protection and food, not loneliness.

And now, having come out here to tell Callen off for refusing to learn something extremely vital, felt very nearly a complete asshole; but not entirely, for no matter how bad she felt, "We're killing bad-guys, Callen. Make it up to Sasia and kill the motherfuckers that want her and the rest of the humans dead or herded like cattle."
Even as he said it, Viktor had a feeling he'd regret those words. It was still worth a try. He looked at her, then down with a sigh, and finally to the side where a rather confused-looking bird was hopping branch-to-branch in a fruit tree. Fucking stupid animals "I'm sorry that you hurt her, Callen, but isn't saving humanity more important than penance to one woman?"

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Anna jokingly flexed her muscles, satisfied with her small victory. There wasn't always a need for fights to be long winded and over the top. Most of the time, stuff like that wasn't needed. "Phew, short but good." She said, rubbing her forehead with one hand. She looked him over, and he didn't seem to have gotten injured, his pride seemed all right too. She glanced around them, making sure that they hadn't left bits and pieces and such all over.

"By the way, I don't think I ever got around to thanking you. You had my back out in the field, and I should have stayed back when you pulled me." She said, placing her hands on her hips, making her seem wider than usual, somehow. "I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't mind saving my ass once or twice more!" She chuckled a little, trying to postpone the awkwardness that probably would ensue.

"I," She started, looking to the door. "I'll go take a shower and have some wind down time, you come find me if you need me, okay?" She waved as she moved out through the doors, heading toward the medical wing once more. The trip was very uneventful, and when she arrived there, the remaining bandages on her face were removed, and she was told it wasn't going to get much better than that. She took a shower, a quick one, and when she was done, she took a few minutes to look at herself in the mirror. Her body was scarred, mainly the arms and torso. She thought the herself that she looked terribly mundane, as she stood there naked. Once, she had believed that her pretty face had made her more interesting. She'd realised that it probably didn't.

She ran her fingers down her cheeks, feeling the difference. One side was smooth, soft, it gave an impression of youth. The other was rippled, hundreds of tiny valleys and mountains crossing between each other. There was not much to note about the eye. It wasn't coming back. "Who can ignore me now?" she asked herself, daring a smile at her reflection.

Minutes later she left the medical wing again, eyepatch on, hair braided and hanging down her back. She had no destination, but instead just glanced out the windows as she passed them. Until she was stopped by a robot, which didn't surprise or mystify her at all. It had become routine.

"Ackabecker awaits you in the library." It simply said, before wheeling off. Perhaps this was one of those lesser kind machines, she wondered, as she walked to the library. Best not keep folks waiting. When she got there, it didn't take long to find him, almost buried in a book.

"Theo." She said, trying for his attention.

---

She smiled at him, faintly. "Helen haunts me. When I return to Scotland, she's there. She's just looking at me. She hangs on my shoulders, she grabs my ankles so I can't walk. I can't get her away."

It wasn't that Callen didn't know how to get rid of a ghost, in fact it was more difficult than just that. "Sasia's parents have known me always. They knew I wasn't a bad kid. Of course everything got reported to the police and all that, but they never told her that I was the one driving that car. They made me promise that whenever I could, I would be by her side. I would teach her about life, and be her friend. I'd call during storms, I'd take her to the cinema, I'd be her role-model. But I can never tell her that I'm the one who hurt her. That's my punishment. I must look at her and smile, I must laugh, and I must be happy. No matter how much it tears me up inside, no matter how hard the ghost pulls at me."

She looked up at the sky, blinking away the steadily oncoming tears. "And she looks up to me. And she smiles when I visit. She asks me about my life. She tries to hold my hand. And I can never ever confess, because it's not about me. I must, unselfishly, be her pillar."

She paused, trying to tie everything down to a point that he could understand. "She would be disappointed in me if I begun killing left and right. For all I know, they could have families too. Friends. Lovers. I'm not cut out for a life like this, I'm one of those people who want to save everybody. I'll be glad to tinker with cars and keyholes, make gadgets and all that, but the things you do are not for me. And that's final."

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Theo chuckled at an anology he had made between communism and Papa Smurf. He heard his voice and let his book drop. "Eh?" He looked over his shoulder (even though the chair was facing the door) and saw no-one. He closed the book and put it down, then yawned and looked back in front of him.
"Must've heard somethi-oh uh, h-hi?" Theo's confusion was obvious. "What are you doing here, Anna?" He got up to greet her more politely, which put him closer to her face. Sweet baby Jesus's Holy Diaper, what the hell happened to her? He tried to hide his discomfort by shoving his hands into his pockets and dragging his toes against the carpet but came out to be more of a nervous fidget. "Are you looking for some books? There's, uh, science fiction, and uh, nonfiction and stuff..."

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"What like, serious, legitimate ghost that's physically there, or like met... nevermind." Viktor looked back at her, a bit softer than before. "I understand your problem, Callen..." How the hell do I tell her she's being a pissant little bitch without being an asshole? "I..." He turned away from her, looking to the derpy bird for inspiration. It gave him nothing but a mean autism joke.
"Callen, it's not that black-and-white. You would never let her get hurt again, would you? Ever? Because that would be just as bad as the first time. What if something wanted to hurt her, and the only way you could stop it was to hurt it so bad it couldn't hurt anyone again?" He turned back to face her. "That's exactly what we're setting out to do, dammit. Every vampire, werewolf, ghost, banshee, nightmare, redcap, lepricon, dyna, and who knows what else that you don't kill could kill one of your friends, or two of them, or three of them because your friends don't have the training and rescources we do. Kill one bad guy, save your whole family. The only people you hurt are those that deserve it."

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Timothy frowned and shook his head, suddenly deflated. He know she didn't mean it but he couldn't help but think how he was to blame. "No. I should have stayed with you." He allowed a little flicker of a smile back. "Considering how quickly you took me down I don't expect I could have pulled you back if I tried." The weight of the words settled on him. 'If he tried.' He didn't try, he wanted to but he didn't try. Without an excuse, had he gone out and pulled her back she might have not been scarred. She may have survived, made it back to the train. Maybe they both would have died but he still didn't try. He moved to the side, leaning against the wall he managed to hold a smile, his back straight. Arden wouldn't slump, not now. He wouldn't let her see her see his doubt and despondency. Not after she had just gotten through one tough time.

He didn't find her request particularly awkward, mostly because his mind had started wandering. He tried to engage in the conversation, trying to find a small respite. "As many times as you need." He managed to say cheerfully enough but unable to ignore the fact that his offer may exhaust itself prematurely with this upcoming mission. At least it would expire on his end and not hers. No matter what, he would do what he could. "I'll train some more, maybe." He looked around, uncertain. So far that was pretty much the extent of what he had done here. It was fine enough for him but you could always have too much of a good thing. Not to mention he would get carried away, burn himself out. He wanted to spend some time with Anna, proper time, before the mission. Same went with the others as well, except that was a more professional level. He watched her leave. Her last invitation lingering in his mind. What really counted as needing? He sighed and pushed away from the wall. Could any of them expect to come back alive? Could they even hope for success? There was only so much determination and strength could pull through.

Ultimately he did retire from training but not after loitering a bit in the room. He wandered the hallways again, a little aimless. His expression was set in a dark frown. Eventually he pulled up a robot, asking where he would get a shower and a change of clothes. Thus far only the medical wing had been his home, yet seeing as he had recovered he had little desire to return. With fresh clothes to replace his no longer clean white, a set of the uniform the others were wearing, he didn't make any haste towards the shower. Nor did he rush the shower itself, letting the warm water run down his body. He could feel it trickling a little against the scars on his back, the healing hadn't removed those entirely, they had been bad originally and he had ripped them open in the fight for the academy. At least there was no adverse affect, unlike with Anna's. Even if the burns didn't make her life difficult the absence of one eye dragged down her considerate skill. He was lucky, or perhaps unlucky. I would have been better if it had happened to him, he had far less to loose.

The shower was long and drawn out. When he stepped out, dried himself and dressed he felt a little better than earlier. Still his mood was gloomy. He supposed he could find Anna or one of the others, something to distract him. Of course the mansion wasn't small and he had no clue where the others were. Callen had mentioned she was packing but that gave him no clues.

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Anna was quite surprised at his response. Hadn't he...? What? She squinted her eyes (seeing as she no longer could furrow her brows,) Suddenly she wasn't quite sure what to do with herself, was he messing with her or something. She quickly looked over her shoulder, wondering if the robot hadn't been talking to her after all.

"I thought that you'd asked for me. A robot said so. I guess I heard him wrong..." She didn't know if she should apologise for having disturbed him, but decided against it. Instead she straightened her back, and rested her hands on her hips, this time more relaxed than before. "I don't read much. Not a strong side with me. The letters have a habit of not looking like what they are."

---

Callen cried no more, instead she was just looking at him, her expression showing signs of mild annoyance. She drew a hand down over her face, and sighed, sounding more tired than angry or sad. "You're not listening to me. I've chosen, and if that means that I'll die defenceless in some mud or whatever, then that's fine with me. That's cool. That's the consequence I chose. We're different people, you and I, and we're not headin' the same place. That's life."

She flashed a smile at him, a glimmer of the usual Callen back, just for a second. "But I ain't gonna try and force my morals and ways onto you, and you ain't gonna try and force yours onto me. And now I'm going to go get a warm drink, before we begin arguing and make things more difficult than they already are. You can come along, but only if we change the topic."

She hid the photo away in her pocket again, taking in a breath of fresh air as she did so. There was some measure of cleansing in the act she had just committed, she felt. She had shared her secret, and it didn't feel half bad.

"Oh and," she said, as she remembered it, "I mean actual ghost. Not a metaphor. It makes family reunions very strange."

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(My browser has shut off and eaten two of my posts already. I'm really fucking frustrated, so I'm sorry if this is substandard)
If there was anything that Viktor's forgetful, neglectful father had taught him, it was in an inebriated, passing comment. "Never fight a woman... they're stubborn, and they have friends. And their friends have friends, and then they call their mom and their sisters... pretty soon Facebook is a one-sided bitchfest. And worse than that, the zzzzz..."
Viktor sighed. "I'd like a drink, I guess. Uh... So your family, they know all about the Scottish gremlins and whatnot? Why do the keep their silence?" He turned back towards the house (or hoped he did; the hedges wer almost too tall to see over. He either saw crestellations or some really decorative garden-spires) and waited for her to start walking first. "I can't imagine keeping everyone at a family-reunion quiet, with all the cell phones and shit that let breakouts become mass hysteria."

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Theo furrowed his brows for her. "Eh? No, I don't think... I'm pretty sure I haven't. Uh... n-no... well maybe... no... no definitely not. The last time I talked to a robot... was uh... earlier... in the b-bathroom... oh fuck." He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. "Y-yeah, I guess I did send for you. Uh, h-hi."
Theo reached behind him for the book he had and looked around, wondering if he needed to put it back soon or not. "Um... Letters look wrong? L-like dyslexia, or...?"

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"You'd be surprised at how calm Scots can be about really upsetting events." Callen responded, as she begun following their tracks back to the main building. "Besides, it's not all that strange up where I'm from. Everybody's seen ghosts or banshees or aliens or whatever. Besides from Ma, Da, and us kids, there ain't that much family around. And they've accepted what I've done. None of them are comfortable with it, but they know it can't be changed." She explained, desperate to return to her better moodset.

"I suspect that your family reunions are just about the same." She asked, thinking that silence was not needed.

---

Anna looked at him, and crossed her arms across her chest. "I don't know. I never had it checked. It didn't seem that important." She looked around, wondering if he had really forgotten that he'd sent someone out to find her. Maybe he'd been a bit too spontaneous, and forgot about it later. "I never developed a love of books. I prefer films. They're hardly ever better than the written work, I'm told, but I like not to think about it."

She licked her lips, and sighed lightly, not really happy with how she was suddenly explaining herself like that. "Did you remember why you needed to talk to me?"

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"Um, y-yes I do. Well, no. Yes! Maybe? Uh... I think I do. I was going... t-to say thaaat..." Theo hoped his stalling wasn't obvious. "...I really wanted to tell you..." He looked at her, saw the side of her face that was ruined, and looked away again. "...I think that... uh... the... thing is... y-you seeee... Well, I think that uh... the predicament... well... s-situation... of... y-your... um... pentagonular... trianguly... Is a truly... um... spectacularity?" Does that sound like a compliment? "Uh, yeah! And that's just fantastic."

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"No, not really." Viktor's angsty-hate-my-family-drama voice came back, and it was worse than the one she used to tell him about the car accident. "They a... my dad sent me off because it was one less mouth to feed. I told my sister all that I know since coming here so she'll be safe. The rest of them could care less that I'm here." He sighed and followed behind her. "It's good that your folks know; knowledge is power and all that." He fell into step next to her.
"Callen, do you want to talk? Like, get our drinks and go somewhere quiet, so we can talk about tomorrow. If you're not going to shoot, you still need to be safe, right? Just leaving you behind isn't foolproof. Shit happens you can't account for, right?"

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"Yep. Shit happens." Callen answered, straightfaced. It was odd, she thought, how so many of them came from unhappy situations. Perhaps it was a part of the required things to get considered to get into the academy. Perhaps someone from a happy home just wouldn't be as inclined to join their cause? It didn't take long for them to reach the main doors and pass through, and she smiled at his question.

"No. I'd like people around right now." She wouldn't want to go anywhere to be by herself, it seemed too sad. She liked the feeling that she got from the bustling of life, seeing people moving around. A part of her was really looking forward to seeing London and walking in normal streets once more. "Is there anything specific you'd like to go over regarding tomorrow?" She then asked, trying to turn the conversation in a more professional direction.

---

"What?" was the only thing Anna could think of saying. She didn't understand what the hell the boy was saying, and she wasn't sure that what he wanted to tell her was all that nice. It was obvious that he hardly could look at her, and when he did, his poker face wasn't that good. Still, she just kept looking at him, trying to keep eye contact with him. Why, she wasn't sure of, but she knew that she wasn't going to let this tiny kid make her feel bad about her face. "If you've got something to say, just say it, goddammit. I don't need to stick around for nothing."

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Viktor thought about it. "If you aren't going to do any hurting, I guess there's nothing to talk about other than keep limbered up; running should never be a forgotten option." So he had to stay around everyone else at the dinner table. Great; more of Theo's stuttering. Is Anna going to take charge? Her daddy's the boss man, but he didn't seem to inclined to... I don't know what happened before we got in there. Maybe she deserved it? I don't think it's bloody right to go slapping women missing half their face, but... I wasn't there. Can't judge. "Maybe you can just keep a gun on you, and I'll keep it unloaded? So if someone tries to fuck with you, you can at least bluff?" He offered her a shrug; it was better than nothing.
Viktor opened the door for Callen when they got to the building. The outside was, as some would say, "Cold as balls." Comparatively, the inside was "Fucking hot as Hell." He loosened his jacket and cracked his knuckles before sticking his hands back in their pockets. "Do you want coffee, tea, or...?" He looked at her. "It should be time for dinner soon, right?" He tried to remember the way to the dining hall. The house wasn't easy to traverse. "After dinner, we'll think of something to keep you safe. Mace? A taser?"

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Theo looked back at her, and focused on her good eye. "I'm sorry, Anna." He felt ashamed for not being able to face her without obvious distaste. "The robot was in the bathroom, a-and it was being all... smarmy. A right jerk, and it was like 'Why are you still in here' and I thought of an excuse, 'cause I didn't want the robots a-all thinking I was s-stupid'r somethin', 'n well the first thing I thought'a was to tell'em I needed I had a request'n'the only 'quest I could think've was that I wanted to s-see someone'n'y're the first name I thought'a." He looked down very slowly, hoping that would look more like shame than disgust, and his eyes found something that made him even more ashamed, so he looked back up. "'n'a... my folks tell me I start talkin' like'em when I'm angry'r'talkin' fast so I'm sorry ifa... if I sound like a hick. A lot'a my family's Hayseed material'n'I guess I get it from 'em. Sorry."
Theo didn't want to look at her, but it wasn't because of her face; it was because he knew he sounded like a stereotypical fat, beer-gut, farming 'merican with a beaten wife and hoodlum children on shitty reality TV. (FUCK YOU Honeybooboo, you fat, fucking little swamp monster bastard) "So'a... yeah..." He looked down at his shoes. "I'm sorry I wasted'er time on nothin' lass. It was an accident, really."

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Callen paused, placing her index finger and thumb on her chin, and seemed to mime that she stroked an imaginary beard as she considered the options. She lowered her brows, her expression becoming almost angry. "Cocoa. Hot cocoa. That stuff's good." She finally said, nodding her head as if to agree with herself. "And I could be convinced to carry a taser, those are hard to use in anything but self defence. Also, you don't have to worry about my bluff, this girl's gettin' good grades in diplomacy, and bluff's a big part of that." She winked at him, the sad look in her eyes having evaporated. Sad pasts weren't good to talk about for too long at a time.

As they entered the dining hall, a robot approached, empty tray in hand. It somewhat looked like one of those waiters in the expensive cafés, snobby and always with a clean apron on.

"Can I get you something?" It asked, sounding kinder than it looked.

"Hot cocoa for me, please. And," She looked to Viktor, not knowing what he wanted. He seemed like a coffee type of guy, she thought, but she wasn't going to order for him.

---

This guy made less and less sense the more he spoke, Anna felt. Still, something he said had made her giggle lightly, or perhaps it was closer to a scoff in disbelief. "So you're hanging out in the bathrooms, thinking about me? That's charming." She could only imagine what had happened, but in her mind it was greatly exaggerated, and much funnier than it actually was.

"If we were outside, I'd roll you in the snow as punishment for wasting the time I'd put off for doing absolutely nothing." She stated, sound dead serious.