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Welcome to the Institute

The Institute

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a part of Welcome to the Institute, by shadowseductress.

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shadowseductress holds sovereignty over The Institute, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

417 readers have been here.

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Default Location for Welcome to the Institute
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The Institute is a part of Welcome to the Institute.

14 Characters Here

Jacob Eli Mirana [16] "Just stop thinking for a bit."
Carmella Morelli [12] "Never pick a fight with people who by Ink by the barrel"
Shane Randal Sheer [12] Sometimes I wonder what the outsides is like. Other times, I wish to just stay in the darkest depths
Z [10] "Careful Baby, I wouldn't want to consume you"
Markus 'FlashBang' Westlake [9] "Well, as they say, let's 'go out with a BANG'!"
Spook [9] "Don't let the eyes freak you out....because you won't be able to handle my hands."
Joseph Colby Tiller [9] "I don't want to hurt you."
Dorothea Horn [7] "Ello, 'ow are ya deary?"
'Gabriel' [7] "Yes?"
Ren Asami [4] "I haven't learned how to punch someone with my mind yet. But I'm working on it."

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Character Portrait: Joseph Colby Tiller
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Joseph finished up his rounds, and retired to his room at the Institute. What Carmella had said was going through his mind over and over again. "If that is how you feel, why are you here? How can you stand there and say you hate what they do to us, but still follow orders?"

When he'd first come into the Institute's system, he'd been driven by the desire to prevent what had happened to his family from happening to others. Now, sitting on his bed, thinking it over, that no longer made as much sense. Shane had never been given the chance to try and exist outside of the Institute. Jacob had served spotlessly in the military, keeping order in what was now a chaotic world. The new girl, Dorothea... She'd been abducted, taken right out of a normal life, and thrown in here without having done anything. Surely, if the Institute was trying to protect people, it didn't need to remove the mutants that weren't a problem.

A thought struck him, a thought that quickly turned into an idea. He went to the computer, navigating the touch-screen fluidly as he accessed the Institute's data files on the mutants in the facility. He had work to do.

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Character Portrait: Jacob Eli Mirana Character Portrait: Markus 'FlashBang' Westlake
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"Haha, thanks for understanding." Markus nodded alngside his thanks and waited for a guard to pass. Markus eyed the guard as he passed by, an eyebrow raised at the difference in his walk from the other guards, but shrugged it off as his mind playing tricks on him, and turned back to Jacob. Pausing as he listened to gunshots, flinching as he muttered "Well someone got shot.", a confused frown taking over his face, but shook his head as he figured that Hey, we all had superpowers, and the Institute wouldn't just kill off one of their valuable subjects.

"Name's Westlake, er, Markus Westlake. Friends take to calling me by my last name or uh, code name." air quotes over code name, and Markus continued, "This one brilliant nerd-type of friend coined my power as 'visual-explosive teleportation'. Kinda heavy on the sci-fi but it fits. As the other name, er, code name is Flashbang. You know those grenades that soldiers or something use to stun people? That kind of thing happens when I teleport." Markus froze and continued, "Oh yeah, I can teleport. Not through solid objects, hence the plexiglass here." He knocked on the glass in front of him, sealed now that he was done testing for the week.

"You know that uh, big clap of thunder or something you might have heard a few hours ago alongside a thud? That might've been me. Not sure if you saw the lightshow either." Markus scratched his cheek and mulled over the events in the past few hours of testing. He focused on Jacob again and hesitated for a second before continuing with a question,
"Might I ask how you got here? A grizzled and what I assume to be experienced guy doesn't exactly just walk into a prison for supers. Course, you don't have to answer, just a bit curious."

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Character Portrait: Jacob Eli Mirana Character Portrait: Markus 'FlashBang' Westlake
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Jacob held in a laugh as Markus reacted to Joseph walked by, then listened as Markus, or 'Flashbang', as he put it, explained his power. Then, he asked the question that Jacob had been waiting for. "Might I ask how you got here? A grizzled and what I assume to be experienced guy doesn't exactly just walk into a prison for supers. Course, you don't have to answer, just a bit curious."

Jacob sighed. "To tell that story, I have to start with a different one." He walked to the edge of his cell, getting as close to Markus as he could. "See the scars?" He asked, pointing to the two lines near his right eye. "Momentos of a fifteen-year career in the Military Peace Corps. The bottom one's from a knife, top one's from a grenade fragment. There's more." He rolled up his right sleeve, exposing the second of three bullet wounds he'd received. "Second one I ever took. Shattered my humerus, but didn't net me my retirement. Now this..." He lifted his shirt, exposing the third of three on top of toned abs, "ended my career. AP round goes through my combat armor, then through my stomach, then through my armor again, and into the knee of the guy crouched behind me. Heavy combat situation means that I don't get medical until after we're not pinned down." He readjusted his shirt, and sat back down.

"So, I'm out of the military, and settle down. Soon enough, I get a family, and have kids. Then, about a year ago, I start hearing voices and seeing things. Hide that for about six months, then come clean to my wife about it. She thinks it's PTSD, so I go to get checked out. I'm clean. That night, the Institute comes knocking, and threatens to kill my family if I don't come with them." He sighed. "Naturally, I choose family, because then they don't die, because I'm getting taken away anyways."

He shook his head, and brought himself back to the present. "How about you?" He asked. "How'd you get here?"

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Character Portrait: Z Character Portrait: Dorothea Horn Character Portrait: Carmella Morelli Character Portrait: Spook
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Z watched the exchange between the Ink Girl, Carmella, and the guard. He did seem different from the other guards, but after everything she had been through she had a hard time taking him seriously. It had to be a ploy. He wanted to get close to them, learn something.

“Be careful Ink Girl, I wouldn't trust him.” She then collapsed on her bare cot. She couldn't bare to have any sheets or anything on it, her body was to hot for that.

Sometime in her waiting, one of the guards came by with meals. Her meal time was always a little stranger than the others. With most of the cells the guards would leave a tray of food and leave, they forced Z to eat hers. Sometimes she fought it, sometimes she didn't. Today she only fought a little.

They brought a black bottle, dark so the contents could not be seen. Then, and it took two of them, held her against the bars until she drank the full container. The taste threatened to make her ill, but when it was done she felt better for it.

It disgusted her to have to do what she did to survive, she had often tried to not drink so she could just die and escape into nothingness, but without it she would burn up. They were prepping her for another test, she could tell. They only gave her enough so that by the time she was done with the experiment she would be worn out to the point that escaping was futile.

As if on cue a group of guards came to collect her from her cell. She took a deep breath and then allowed for them to cuff her and lead her out of her cell.

“This one too,” one of them said, looking at his tablet like device. It was how many of the roaming guards received orders or schedules. They were talking about Spook, the man in the cell next to her. It wasn't often they took someone with her, it piqued her interest.

“I'm off on my date,” she called to Ink Girl. “Don't wait up.” her voice teasing.

They lead the specter man and the failed experiment into one of the combat testing halls, a sense of dread filled Z.

“You can't die right? I mean that is your thing, being shot full of bullets and all?”

She winced under the bright light of the testing area. They did this so she had no shadows to use, they wanted to test her physical strength only.

“Welcome back...Z is it? A pity you don't use your real name anymore, your father would be displeased.” Z could feel the range bubbling inside her.

'Keep your cool hothead,' she thought to herself. 'they want you angry.'

“You will be pleased we found you a perfect sparing partner, since you can't accidentally dispose of this one.” He chuckled. There he was again, trying to rile her up. A guard came up behind her stabbing her with a needle, injecting her with something.

“If I feel you are holding back on your cell block mate I will cause you a great deal of discomfort, not that you have any reason not to give it your all, he won't mind. Will you Spook? Begin on the buzzer.”

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Character Portrait: Jacob Eli Mirana Character Portrait: Markus 'FlashBang' Westlake
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Markus listened to Jacob's story intently, frowning at the scars and the reason he came here, but nevertheless let out a low, impressed whistle. Of course, he seemed hesitant to respond to such a past but nodded slowly as Jacob asked his own question,
"How about you?" was his question, "How'd you get here?".
Hm, do I tell the long or short story. Eh, he gave me his past, might as well give him mine. Markus mused for a while and shrugged, readjusting himself against the glass he was leaning on, frowning at the mark his skin was leaving, "Might as well tell you what led to my uh, powers as well. Nothing too flashy, just a bit of exposition, the boring kind." He crossed his arms and considered how he would go through with the story, he licked his lips and grinned at the memory of the party he was at and decided to tell it all, or at least a gist of it.

"I had a good life, I was a hitchhiker a bit after high school, y'know, to see the world, leave the big bustling city to see what's happenin' in the rest of the world. 'Course, I still had relations to people in Chicago, high school friends and all that, people who you could survive with in a gang ridden city." Markus paused at that and shrugged carelessly, but continued, "I was called one day out of the blue to celebrate one such friend's passage into adulthood, twenty-one and everything. He was two years older than me, and still talked like a five-year-old." A grin at that, and then a shake of the head, "Anyways, I make my way back to hometown Chicago through backpacking it out on the countryside and hitchin' some rides with truckers. Nothin' too harmless. Now, the party's where the real fun began. It's midnight, everyone's drunk off their ass, and I'm probably the most sober out of some fancy pants socialites that tagged along to the party. Of course there's always the rude side of the party, y'know, the sort, and they figured that I was some part of a rival gang or something and suggested to themselves 'Hey, this guy shouldn't be here, let's get rid of him!' I was doing the stupid thing at a rooftop party and sticking my head over the rail, and lo and behold, I was hoisted over the edge." Markus smirked at the sentence and it's simplicity, and continued,
"I figured I was going to die, and I guess I just thought, 'Hey, let's face death with open eyes'. That thought saved my life as I stared at the cement sidewalk I was approaching and soon, I just found myself standing on the sidewalk, staring at people panicking from some big 'boom' or whatever. Turns out, hey! I had powers, with a side of some serious crazies hunting you down!" Markus did a half-hearted jazz hand at that and continued,
"I ran, far, obviously. I tried to practice whatever power I had, but it was no use alone, so I snuck back into Chicago. Met a girl, met some guys who knew what they were talking about." A sigh followed by a snort escaped Markus as he recollected his memories,

"Long story short? The chick handed my name to the feds or whatever these guys are, and most of the people I know I heard are dead." Markus shrugged, it was fine to tell the story to someone, but honestly, it made his chest hurt to think about the ways he was betrayed, especially by some chick he considered marrying. He fingered a ring in his pocket and sighed.
"Well. Enough about that, what should we talk about now?"

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Character Portrait: Shane Randal Sheer
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"Sounds complicated," the explanation done by done by Jacob to describe the sky. The examples helped, but as a whole, it was still something a bit beyond his imagination. He hadn't voiced the thought loudly, resulting in Jacob being removed from his cell without the conversation continuing past that point. In fact, after Jacob was removed for his round of tests, Shane lay himself down on the floor and finally let the drugs in his system take over. He'd be woken for meals or tests, and had long since learned to be a light sleeper. Sleeping now still left him perfectly open to interact with his fellow prisoners should one decide he was worth a the conversation. Still, as his consciousness drifted away and he fell asleep, his body gave him warnings that this might not be an ordinary sleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Z Character Portrait: Dorothea Horn Character Portrait: Carmella Morelli Character Portrait: Jacob Eli Mirana Character Portrait: Shane Randal Sheer Character Portrait: Markus 'FlashBang' Westlake
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Carmella


“Be careful Ink Girl, I wouldn't trust him.” Carmella nodded but never broke her stare, her focus point being a spot on the floor just in front of her. Camella wanted to believe that the guard meant the best, though being useless in this situation, but she knew Z was right. She had to be careful.

With her head bowed, she heard the commotion and was able to break her focus to see Z and the male from earlier being escorted out. She furrowed her brows. “I'm off on my date,” Z called to her. “Don't wait up.” Carmella smiled and offered a wave before they were gone, a guard left in their stead to give her her daily gruel. Like she's been doing lately, she ignored the food despite the rumbling in her stomach. She loved food but she just didnt trust it here, too many times has she eaten a part of her 'dinner' and began to feel 'weird'. Carmella expected it was an experiment of some sort and she feared they were trying to supress or even take her power to give to a more.. willing soldier. In a slight rush of panic, like usual, she checked for her powers. Though the cells supressed them from being used, Carmella could feel the warm vibration of her tattoos trying to stir and meet her demands. Pressure seemed to consume her body, but she welcomed it, it proved that she still had her wonderful gift.

Relaxing, she only stared at the food a bit more before looking around her cell. With Z , erm Shadow girl, gone, the silence wasnt as comforting as it used to be. She pressed her back against the wall on her cot, her knees bent an propped up as she traced her tattoos outside of her sleeves.

"Im bored." She called out simply to the other prisoners, noticing that their current topic had begun to fizzle out in search of a new one. Like any teenager and young adult, this was an appropriate response. Carmella, trying to lighten her own sinking mood, then called out, "Who wants to play ISpy?"

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Character Portrait: Jacob Eli Mirana Character Portrait: Joseph Colby Tiller
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"I'm bored." Someone called out. "Who wants to play I Spy?"

Jacob was about to respond to that, when the guards finally came to retrieve him. Sighing, he stood, dusted himself off, and followed his 'escort' to the test chambers.

"So, what's on today's agenda?" He asked. "Permanency? Speed? Subduing?" He paused. "Beating me up once I've made a circuit and seeing how long it takes for the circuit to break?"
One of the guards smiled. "Oh, now there's a thought." The guard shook his head. "Luckily for you, no. That new guard, Joey, has something special in mind for you."

Jacob wasn't sure how to take that one. On one hand, Joseph didn't seem like the kind of guy to take pleasure in breaking Jacob before the experiment would end. On the other, he did seem... off, for some reason, especially when it came to mutants. He followed the guards into the elevator, which took them to the third-floor test rooms. Jacob expected them to take him to one of the ones they usually used, the ones that had been prepared with their miscellaneous 'experimental aids': Shock-prods, drug-mixers, and variable temperature controls, among other things. So when they went past those rooms, and took him further in, he mentally sighed in relief, but his curiosity was piqued.

*****

Joseph stood from the chair he was sitting in as the two guards brought Jacob into the room. "Thanks, guys." He said. "You can leave now. I'll take it from here."
The guards looked at each other for a moment. "Uh, you know protocol states that mutants out of their cell need to be watched by at least two people, right?" The first guard said.
Joseph smiled. "I think I can handle myself just fine in case he tries anything funny." He said. "Thanks for your concern, though."

The guards looked at each other, then Joseph, then Jacob, then back to Joseph. "Your funeral." The second one said. "Come on, lets go." The other guard nodded, and followed his coworker out. The door slid shut behind them, and there was a hiss as it sealed itself shut.

"Never thought I'd get a chance like this." Jacob said, taking off his gloves as he sat down in the chair across from Joseph's.
"Like what?" Joseph asked, sitting back down. "Being alone with a guard that doesn't hate your guts?"
Jacob shook his head. "No, getting a chance to find out just what the heck your deal is." He pocketed his gloves, then looked at Joseph. "Got any personal preferences as to where I grab to make the circuit?" Jacob asked. "Some seem to prefer the forearm, others like the hand."
Joseph pushed the small table away, leaving an open space between their two chairs, and removed his helmet. "Head's fine for me."
Jacob nodded. "So, what exactly am I supposed to be doing here?" He asked. "Anything in specific? Memories to erase or enhance, will to bend, thoughts to read?"

*****

"Just read my mind for now." Joseph said. Jacob nodded, and took a hold of Joseph's head with both hands, closing his eyes to concentrate.

Jacob was immediately taken aback by how difficult it was to traverse Joseph's mindscape. With the other scientists, it had been as simple as making the circuit, and he was in. But Joseph... He was something weird. It was hard enough to simply make the circuit, much less actually do anything with it. Focusing on his objective, Jacob tapped into Joseph's thoughts.
-mpr-ssiv- The thought was broken, not on Joseph's part, but on Jacob's. It was like there was some sort of static in the circuit, interrupting a clean read of Joseph's mind. If reading minds was like reading a book, then Joseph's mind was written in some alien language, and missing a few pages to boot.

Jacob let go of Joseph's head, and just stared at him. "What the hell are you?" Jacob asked. "What's your problem?"
Joseph shook his head. "That's the next part of the test. Figure it out on your own."
Jacob sighed, and held on to Joseph's head. Again, he had trouble making the circuit, but he managed. Then, he began sifting through memories. Birthdays, holidays, happier memories. He stopped when he reached one with an overpowering sense of sadness attached to it. Jacob mustered his will, and tapped into the memory.

The first thing that registered was the massive amounts of blood on the floor, pooled around their bodies. The second was the fact that his mother's severed head was staring right at him, eyes wide with horror as his no doubt were now. The third was the mutant, one hand holding a large, bloody butcher's cleaver, the other holding his mother's jewelry box.
"You shouldn't be here, kid." The mutant said. "If you'd been home just a minute later, you might've lived."

The mutant lunged, and Joseph leapt out of the way, and ran for the nearest window. He was on the second story of their apartment building. If he jumped, he could make it with just a broken leg and some glass. He cleared the sill, and smashed through the only glass window in their apartment. He winced as the glass tore open long gashes in his arms and legs, and braced for the impact onto the hard concrete.

His landing and subsequent roll found him on the glass shards from his window. He winced as they dug into his body, especially his back and neck. His roll stopped at the building across the street, where he stood, and ran. He lived in a pretty slummy neighborhood. He hoped he could survive.


Jacob let go of Joseph and stared. "The hell?"
Joseph sighed. "That's why I'm here." Joseph said. "To keep that from happening to other families."
"But I'm not a part of that problem!" Jacob said loudly, fighting to keep his composure.
Joseph nodded. "No. You had a record of honorable service keeping the peace." Joseph looked Jacob in the eyes. "You don't deserve to be in here. Not you, not Shane. Most of you deserve to be let out of this place, to be free."
"Not a lot of people see Mutants that way." Jacob pointed out. "It's hard enough for known Mutants to get decent jobs, much less avoid prison."
"Unless the decent job is in prison." Joseph pointed out.
Jacob took a moment to think that statement over, then his eyes went wide, and he looked at Joseph in a new way. "You mean-"
Joseph nodded. "I'm a Mutant."

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Character Portrait: Carmella Morelli Character Portrait: Jacob Eli Mirana Character Portrait: Markus 'FlashBang' Westlake
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Markus listened to a female, one of the talkers down the hallway, mentioned a game of I Spy, and a grin formed on his face, obviously not seeable by many. He was about to respond alongside his neighbor across the hall, but paused as he watched guards come for Jacob. "Well then." He muttered and nodded a good luck in Jacob's direction.

Picking at the fruit that must have been weeks old on his tray, one that he wasn't too sure was even clean, he called out to the woman, "I spy with my little eye..." He paused, looking around, What would be actually different than every other cell? Jacob's gone, and I don't think she could see him anyways, nor myself. I'd say gray, but almost everything here furniture-wise is gray. Huh.

Markus continued looking around, craning his neck to see around the corner, and spotted an older man, though what seemed by not much, well muscled and leaning in against the cell door, speaking to someone who Markus assumed to be closer than he or the woman was. More importantly, Markus observed his wings, "Something white." He frowned, and tried to think that was how people played I Spy, "Gosh, it's been so long since I've played... Something normal." He shook his head and continued to push the food around, watching as Shane receded back into his own cell, for what, Markus didn't know, but shrugged again, waiting for the woman to answer.

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Character Portrait: Carmella Morelli Character Portrait: Markus 'FlashBang' Westlake Character Portrait: 'Gabriel'
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Carmella


"Something white."

Carmella furrowed her brows before climbing out of her cot to look out between the bars. She strained her neck around to look around the cell, trying to see something white in this gloomy place. "Gosh, it's been so long since I've played... Something normal." Carmella paused a moment when hearing the voice respond again, her eyes soften as she lowered her head a bit. How long had it been since she'd done the same..? She was fairly new to the institute but it felt like she'd been here for years, not weeks.

Her furrowed eye brows took on a confused meaning when she noticed two guards taking one of the cell mates out. Were they still running test? She was sure that any test or experiments were done after lunch was served, or maybe it was breakfast? Dinner? Who knew? The food was the same and institute lacked windows and clocks, only doors and cells guided this place. Carmella turned back to the game after a moment of thinking to herself.

"Same here? What's your name?" She called out to him, her voice soft before continuing her search for something white. Her eyes caught something in a cell not too much farther down, a male with beautiful white wings. She noticed he was talking to one of his neighboring cell mates and couldn't help but admire them a moment before calling out. "White wings?" She questioned, though she was sure that she had been correct, unless her partner had been referring to their lunch trays. Sometimes they were black but other times, like now, they were white. At least hers were, she never really paid attention to anyone elses, she always tried avoiding food there anyway.

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Character Portrait: Z Character Portrait: Carmella Morelli Character Portrait: Spook Character Portrait: Joseph Colby Tiller
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Just as Spook was getting the last few .67 shells out of his torso, he heard someone start talking to the girl next to him about how pointless it is to escape. As well as he was different from all of the other guards out there. Psh, what a fucking puck. They always tried this trick on the new girls. Good looking male guard who's there to defend them when the time came, slowly earning their trust. Pathetic. Spook looked out of the bars at the guy just to confirm his suspicions.

But, when he looked at him, he could see the fluctuations and energy of his soul and he could see he was telling the truth. Huh......well that's a switch. though, it felt like he was more trying to convince himself. The most surprising thing about him...was that he was a Super. A mutant. A freak. Like them. The lowest pits of hell are reserved for the traitors and the betrayers. Oh, Spook might just need to do one of his "Escape Attempts" just so he can kill this guy. Whenever Spook made an attempt, it was for fun. Mainly because he doesn't care. He could just outlast this facility and leave when it's in ruins. He didn't think he would be dieing anytime soon, seeing as he didn't feel like he was in his nineties, nor did he look it. Spook had all the time in the world.........unfortunately.


Soon enough it was meal time. Usually they just brought him some odd protein paste stuff, mainly because He didn't need to eat, he just liked too. Though, today, no food came. Instead, was a clear plastic jug filled with a clear substance. He eyed the bottle, then eyed the guard who dropped it off for him. He leaned over and grabbed it, popped the top and sniffed. His entire body went rigid and then tingled all over. It was alcohol. Pure grain ethanol, moonshine, Triple X juice, Mana of the Gods! He immediately started chugging it. He drank about half of it in that time and he began to feel a bit human again. Alcohol doesn't affect like it used to, but its enough. He capped the rest and put it next to his mat. He laid there for a time, in bliss, but only for a moment. They never gave him alcohol unless.......it had been forever. There i literally no point in doing it again! How tedious.

Sure enough, the guards came and grabbed him and Z. "I'm off on my date. Don't wait up." said Z to the new girl who wouldn't stop screaming when he had first been shot. He looked over to her and grinned his wolfish grin. "I will just warn you that I am a classy lady, I spit and everything. Don't go telling all the boys 'round the pool hall that you got lucky." he said in a southern belle accent. He chuckled to himself as they left for one of the combat testing areas.

As they entered the area, she was looking actually kind of scared. “You can't die right? I mean that is your thing, being shot full of bullets and all?” Spook just gave her a grin. "Among other things. Not sure if I can die actually. I mean, I think I look pretty good for being a World War II vet, don't you think?"

It was at this time that Henry showed up. He began talking to Z as if she was her Niece or something. It was actually really creepy, and that's coming from the guy with the zombie eyes.

"If I feel you are holding back on your cell block mate I will cause you a great deal of discomfort, not that you have any reason not to give it your all, he won't mind. Will you Spook? Begin on the buzzer.”

Spook looked over to him. "Not at all Henry. Why, you could say I'm as willing as your wife was last week!" He stated with as much fake joy as possible. Henry simply stared at him and grabbed his sunglasses off of him and left. Spook immediately covered his eyes as they tried to adjust tot the very bright room. He could feel that the lights had Bet rays in them, so he couldn't phase and they didn't take the gloves off, so they definitely wanted her alive........maybe.

He finally looked up at her, awaiting the buzzer. "Honestly though, don't worry about me. You can't kill me, you can hurt me, but not kill me. Oh, hope you don't mind the eyes. Don't really have a say in the matter apparently. By the way, I won't hold back just because your a dame. I will warn you it's been awhile since ive done this, so it might take me awhile to get back in the swing of things."

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Character Portrait: Z Character Portrait: Spook
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"Honestly though, don't worry about me. You can't kill me, you can hurt me, but not kill me. Oh, hope you don't mind the eyes. Don't really have a say in the matter apparently. By the way, I won't hold back just because your a dame. I will warn you it's been awhile since I've done this, so it might take me awhile to get back in the swing of things." Z took a deep breath as he spoke, readying herself for the battle. This was part of her daily routine, she wasn't sure how many supers she had killed or injured to save her own skin. This guy was different though, a veteran he had said, he knew his way around a scrap, and he wasn't going to die. The bullets she watched him pull out of his still gaping chest was enough to assure her of that.

Z let the programing take over and small smirk rolled across her chapped lips. She looked Spook over, even with his decaying eyes he was a bit of a looker. This was going to be fun.

'Try and enjoy it,' she thought to herself. 'The man can take a punch.' Her body sunk down into a strong fighting stance.

“You better get into the swing of things fast,” Z said with a seductive purr to her voice. “I wouldn't offend you by going easy on you old man.” she said the last part with a laughing tone.

The buzzer rang loud in the sparing room.

She didn't hesitate. Lightly clothed, her body moved fluidly through the room. She was like water moving around him, slipping through attacks and keeping out of harms way. When she grew tired of testing the specter of a man, she moved in for the attack, a kick flying through the air with her entire body behind it. He moved out of the way of the downward kick. She landed effortlessly on both of her feet and flashed him a toothy smile.

“What's the matter Spook?” She mocked him. “Scared to be between a woman's legs?” Then she round house kicked and connected with his chest. He bounced back from the hit nicely, he was a worthy opponent indeed. It seemed that after being shot full of enough holes he was barely phased by her kicks, no matter what kind of power was behind them.

She connected a string of hits to him, jabs and uppercuts, she tried not to think of him as a person while she attacked, more of a punching bag. Then he caught her unaware with a nice hit on the side of her head. She staggered back clearly taken aback by the blow.

“Interesting,” said the scientist watching from behind some glass. “Let's make it more interesting shall we?” he nodded to the guards standing on the sidelines, they threw them both heavy wooden tonfias, much like nightsticks.

Did they want her to beat him to death? As close to death as she could get someone like Spook with nothing but a nightstick anyway. They had never had to give her weapons with any of her other tests.

She shot him a rather sexy smile, even through the mess of poorly cut dirty blonde hair that hung in her face.

“Don't worry, I've taken bigger,” she joked, nodding at his weapon and winked at him. It was a total lie, growing up in the institute she was pretty much as virgin as virgin could get, but what was life without a couple of crude jokes.

She lunged back into the fray, her new weapon in tow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jacob Eli Mirana Character Portrait: Joseph Colby Tiller
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Jacob looked at Joseph. There were so many different thought running through his head, he didn't know what to do. His mind was at a standstill.
One second, he was just sitting there, the next, his fist had flown, and connected with Joseph's nose. Jacob winced as he realized what he'd just done, but, amazingly (or perhaps not so amazingly anymore), Joseph looked no worse for wear. "I guess that I should've seen that one coming." He said it casually, as though he were simply talking about the weather.

*****

"You're something else, you know?" Jacob said, putting his gloves back on. "A mutant working in the Institute?" He laughed. "Traitor. Do the other guards even know that you're mutant?"
"Yes, they do." Joseph said. "And yes, I work in the Institute. At first, I thought that what I was doing was the right thing, that by doing it, I could save other families." He shook his head. "Now, I'm not so sure anymore. I mean, take yourself for example: Clean record, served in the military, family man. You don't deserve this." He gestured to the room they were in.
"Uhh, not so sure that you should be saying that out loud." Jacob pointed out awkwardly.
Joseph shook his head. "Don't worry. This isn't an official test. They're not recording, though I will have to write up a report later. But back to the topic at hand." He said. "I mean, you. Shane. Some of the others, too. You just don't deserve being in here." He shook his head. "I just don't know anymore."

*****

"There's something that you should know." Jacob said after a few seconds of silence. "Whatever you think that they're doing here, whatever they're telling you; they're lying their asses off." Jacob reached into his pocket, and retrieved the note. "I found this in my cell about a week after I got here." He looked Joseph in the eyes. "Joey, they're using us as materials to make the perfect soldier. If you're not careful, they'll use you as well."

*****

Joseph sat there, stunned into silence. It all made sense. The tests, the combat training that some of them received. It suddenly all clicked. "I'm not a prison guard." He said softly. "I'm a factory guard." He shook his head. "This is too much." He stood, and hit the call button. "I need to think things through." He said. "Head on back to your cell."