The Chimeras

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Sen, Mar 31, 2015.

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    Ever since he was little, Cedric Alston was surrounded by the labs. Entrapped in metal walls, with men and women wearing white coats pointing at him through glass panes or taking him into rooms with nothing but computers, sharp objects and a chair that he grew up to fear. They did tests and checks for the simplest things, looking at his eyes, checking his hygiene levels, scanning his saliva and making sure he was a perfectly functional human being. At first, the young Cedric didn't mind the lab, what he called his home, with the constant beeps and clicks from the machinery and the computers, even though he was never let out of his tiny room. These examinations were constant and happened almost every day, much to the displeasure of the human beings being kept near or in the laboratory. The scientist never conversed with the people unless they were told to, Cedric saw them as silent, hard-working people, tapping away at flashy keyboards or writing on clipboards, inviting each and every child and teenager into the special white room one after another. Cedric's entire world was this metal land of computers and people donned in white lab coats.

    But then he heard stories. Stories from other people held in the lab. Once a week, they were allowed to eat together. The men and women said that being isolated for too long wasn't good on their mental well-being. In a giant room, the people - all dressed in the same uniform - ate their usual meals, chattering and discussing the latest rumours. At the time, the young boy was only twelve, sitting on a table with a bunch of others, mostly teenagers. A female claimed that the men and women would take them into a special room and 'torture' them, put them under extreme circumstances in order to 'awaken' something. The Chimerans had powers, powers that normal humans could never achieve, that was why they were all kept in the lab.


    Cedric was told to train and build up muscle and a fit body at age seventeen. He wasn't told why, but he knew disobeying was not a bright idea. The scientist looked weak and defenceless, but in their special rooms they had plenty of sharp instruments to scare any man or woman, and they knew how to make one of them become submissive. Techniques and strategies with machines and pain could be applied. Not everyone liked the 'torture' they were being submit to in order to awaken their powers, the scientists knew that. Nevertheless, Cedric was afraid of his fate. He had made friends during the mass gatherings for dinner, but he slowly began to realize girls and boys who turned eighteen would disappear. Where did they go? The scientists kept their mouth shut. Soon it would be Cedric's birthday, one of the only things about yourself you were allowed to know.

    Little did he know, Cedric had been promised to another country, needing Chimeran soldiers with favourable supernatural abilities. They had been intrigued with his control over the winds, when put under extreme stress, Cedric could knock back very heavy objects with wind and willpower alone. Scientists considered him blessed to be able to go to this level, the foreign government saw him as a good opportunity to take down the enemy. Cedric had no say. He never had a say. Chimerans had no voice in this cruel world. He fought many battles, he had many victories, and the rather big squabble between two countries ended with many deceased. Cedric was among the living, battle-scarred and worn out. He needed to be sent back to be analysed and to recover as quickly as possible. Then Cedric would be given away to other countries needing a soldier, like an object.

  2. For a chimera, life was eating, sleeping, training, and obeying orders. There was nothing more to it than that, and for some that was easy enough to swallow, but others found it a little more difficult to submit to authority. It was no secret that many children disappeared in the early years of training, either dying in the process of their training, or else being culled for being either too weak willed, or just plain weak. It was something that one had to accept, or else cease to survive. There were many of these facts of life that a child within the compound had to simply digest and absorb, and for many it took its toll.

    One of these unfortunate souls was Riva, a woman that had passed all her training with flying colours, but somehow was still sequestered within the facility. She had always been popular during the weekly meals, having thrived on the social interaction throughout her life, and perhaps this was part of what had caused the problems that had arisen as the girl had blossomed into a young woman. She had lost her friends to ruthless efficiency, and slowly the seed of rebellion had begun to flower, until the earth wielding trainee had earned herself a place in the solitary confinement cells.

    These much smaller, more obviously prison-like cells were saved for those that rebelled, as their descent could not be allowed to bleed into the population at large. Some of the directors of the facility felt it would be easier just to kill these difficult cases, but more often than not they were otherwise sound individuals that had raw passion - something that could be harnessed and used in combat. Those that did not break during their treatment and were instead passed as fit for sale, went on to become their most lucrative soldiers. Sometimes, a little bit of fesitiness was a good thing, it would seem.

    Riva was seventeen when she was placed in solitary, after having refused to use her abilities to kill a donkey.There had been incidents before this, but it was the first time she had caused any actual harm. She'd gone along with the process of killing more and more complex animals - going from crickets, all the way up to a dog - but finally she had had enough. Rather than turn the full force of the earth on the innocent animal, she had turned on her handler, turning the ground into a quagmire that held him fast, soon causing him to sink. It was only a shame that a second handler had entered the testing area before his mouth was entirely covered, giving the rogue teen enough of a shock with a cattle prod to have her flat on her face, all but smoking as she was carted off to her first day in total isolation.

    Two years later, she had finally mellowed enough to be considered for release, first into the normal facility, and if all went well, she would be sold on within the next few months. The policy in these cases was for the difficult chimera to be placed under the guidance of one of the veterans of the force, those that had seen battle, as well as the outside world. These chimeras had a proven track record, and could usually sculpt the broken spirit of the previously headstrong into the perfect soldier. Of course, there were times when it went terribly wrong, but more often than not the process worked to bring out a single minded machine with no real thoughts of their own. It was the last test that always cemented the futility of rebellion, and was always worth it, even if they did have to swallow the loss of a valuable chimera in order to do it.

    It was the middle of the day when Riva was brought up to the groundfloor living quarters. She was dressed in the grey uniform that they all wore, along with black boots and hair tied back in a loose ponytail. This place was all about practicality. The door she was led to was at the end of the hall, a previously empty room that was double the size of the normal rooms. She was placed in there rather unceremoniously, though of course she was always watched by the camera that looked into the room. Shortly after this, a second male occupant was marched in there, though he was guarded far less closely than the female.

    Riva looked up from her place on the bed she had claimed, expression blank as she took in the sight of an equal for the first time in two years - well, one she wasn't supposed to be attacking. It was strange, and for a moment her mouth hung open like a deranged fish, before she finally spoke hesitantly, "What are you doing here?" She questioned, in a slightly hoarse voice that had been under used.
  3. Trusted not to be handcuffed, Cedric boarded the private jet back to his home country. A few guards and a scientist deployed from the lab had been sent to retrieve him take him off the hands of his commander, who surprisingly, was sad to see one of his soldiers go, Chimeran or not. Silently sitting in between two guards wearing his dirty, dusted soldier's dress uniform, hooded and lined with blue. He had special gloves on his hands, also blue, to lessen the impact of injuries and provide a better grip for weapons. Brown boots donned his feet, and blue leggings were to protect his legs. Cedric's grey hair was pulled back into ponytail, though a few strands of hair had been weaved into a tiny braid near his temple, a gift from a little girl he had met during the era of war.

    As they flew higher and higher, crossing lands in a speed a car or walking could not, he peered out of the window. The war had done considerable damage to his host country, farmers and their homes, their crops and livestock had either been stolen or destroyed. They were worked to death in order to feed the soldiers, and the enemy used the farmer's already low stock of animals and crops to their advantage. By upsetting the larder, the enemy had the upper hand. Fields that were once green and lakes that ran through the country, as he was told, had been burnt down and the water polluted. Families were separated, women were taken away, the once emerald and soft grass no longer existed. It was said this place used to be green, trees and flowers and plentiful crops, a big contrast to his home country where machinery ruled. But now it was all gone.

    It took little than three hours to return home. The vehicles of their country were fast and powerful, subject to scientists for many years until they satisfied the leaders. After a smooth landing, Cedric was ushered out of the plane. There was no warm welcome, he had no family. Cedric heaved a sigh, he was ready to welcome the pain and suffering again. Now that all his friends had been deployed to places he had not heard of, the soldier found himself utterly alone.

    They marched him in, their faces blank and void of emotion while Cedric took in everything. The building stood mighty and tall, the walls boasting their strength and how impenetrable it was. Electric fences, guards stationed everywhere outside. They stopped by the entrance hall, where scientists ran about busily trying to continue their work, none of them flustered nor did they look stressed. The woman in the lab coat accompanying him spoke to her co-worker by the main counter, who entered Cedric's details and his arrival into the system, before they continued to traverse deeper into the building.

    He walked past labs and other Chimerans being walked to their examination. A little girl bawling her eyes out, one of them blue and another brown, as a young man led her to the room with the chair he feared as a child. They walked past the 'cafeteria', empty at present, but it was the only place where things could get lively and normal, for once in their lives. At the back were the living quarters for most of the Chimerans. This research building had three floors, but Cedric had never been upstairs ever in his life. He wondered what it would be like, there were rumours about the scientists living on the second floor, the floor also housing even more high tech labs. Isolated Chimerans that were doomed to live in solitary confinement either permanently or for punishment were also on the second floor where they could be monitored. As for the third floor... no one knew.

    The guards led him to a set of changing rooms, where the scientist presented him with the customary grey uniform. The grey haired man blinked at it, before receiving it silently. "You may keep your dress uniform, if you wish to," the woman said, scanning over the white and blue uniform that he currently donned. She turned away from Cedric and left, possibly returning to her normal duties. Silently, he retreated to change, removing the clothes that he wore on his back for months, before changing into the grey one he knew so well.

    Instead of moving him to a singular room where only one person could be confined, they moved him to a bigger room lined with several beds. He cocked his eyebrows at the guards to question them, but they said nothing and dismissed the soldier as soon as he entered, the door sliding shut behind him. On one of the beds laid a figure, a woman, who looked up upon his arrival. Her head was crowned with a reddish-brown hair, and for a few seconds her brown eyes looked at him, her mouth agape. Cedric was surprised to hear her speak to him, the only times others regarded him was when the commanders issued orders... "I ask the same question to you." His voice cracked, Cedric had not spoken in a long time. She looked young, younger than he was, at least. Perhaps the deploying age already.
  4. It would seem that neither one of them had been told a thing about what was going on. Riva wasn't all that surprised by that fact, but it didn't help her orientate herself at all. She was confused as hell, having been upstairs one day, then this morning they had made her get up even earlier than usual, and after running a few drills, followed by a shower to get all the blood off, she had been sent to this room. None of it made any sense, and now this man had no answers, either. Maybe later someone would bother to speak to her, although the earliest opportunity for that would probably be when one of the medical staff came to assess her mental state.

    For some time, neither of them spoke, the void of silence creating quite an awkward atmosphere as two people with little experience in such intimate social interaction were forced to live alongside one another in this one room. There was little either of them could do to change what was in store for them, and it was doubtful that they had even considered what they could do in the first place. Riva certainly hadn't thought about rebelling, she'd been impeccably behaved for a full year now, and for the time being her headstrong personality had been quashed into a simply direct person that knew her place but still had enough sense left to remember how to ask appropriate questions.

    As the pressure of the silence became near enough unbearable, the female finally spoke again, "I came from upstairs. I assume this is where I live now." The girl shrugged, standing up from her position on the bed and stretching her arms above her head in what was a rather nonchalant way. "Anyway, aren't you a bit old to be in here? You look like someone's grandpa." At the moment, all she had taken in was the grey hair, and the strain that war would put on anyone's body. In all honesty, there was nothing about him that looked particularly old, but for the time being her observations were of the individual components of the man, rather than the full man himself. She was so used to analysing a situation like this, it was strange to have to talk to another human being, another person.

    The teenager abruptly turned away, just seconds after having insulted the man that was supposed to be her roommate. The reason for this soon became apparent, as her eyes widened in quite genuine glee. There was a window. It was such a simple thing, to have a small pane of glass situated in the back wall, but it was the first time in two years that she had seen the outside world. There was grass, and flowers. It wasn't one of those fake testing labs they so often sent her to. It was real, unadulterated nature. Riva all but ran to press her nose up against the glass, grinning like a child as she stared at the world outside, along with the people inhabiting it. The courtyard was surrounded by the living quarters, and those with enough clearance were allowed to use the garden as often as they liked. Generally only returning chimeras were granted this level of freedom to breathe fresh air at will, and even socialise, but at this stage, just seeing the sun was enough of a thrill for the young woman.
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  5. He could tell the female was surprised and confused, and so was he, in a way. Though he kept his face passive and emotionless like he had been taught to do on the battlefield. Enemies could take advantage of emotions if a soldier showed it, no one should show a moment of weakness to the enemy country, he had been told. Cedric followed the ways the Commander had taught him, plus, it had been said that some Chimerans turn into emotionless machines, brainwashed to do the biddings of their master. Cedric was glad he retained his humanity.

    Cedric moved to his bed and opened the tiny trunk at the end to store belongings, if the Chimera was required to do so. Tossing a neatly folded pile of his old uniform into the corner, he eyed the standard cup and toothbrush and the extra pair of clothes inside. All trunks had them, but barely anything else could be put inside, because they simply had no personal belongings. Females had a small bag of hair ties and a brush, but that was the only difference.

    Furrowing his eyebrows, he turned to look at the girl. "Upstairs? What have you done to upset the scientists to be locked in solitary confinement?" he asked, his tone flat. The likelihood of her being a scientist in disguise to keep an eye on him was quite low. A scientist would never be left unoccupied with a trained, past deployment age Chimera, unless they had a death wish. Her words could have made him laugh, but the man didn't. "I think twenty-three is a little too young to be a grandfather," he pointed out. "I suppose returning Chimeras are rare. Do not worry, little girl. I will be gone from here sooner than you think." A soldier who already had experience? A country would buy him in no time. It made the man feel sad, being tossed around like a doll by the scientists and the leaders of countries, like he didn't have feelings. He wasn't supposed to, anyway. "You look eighteen. Shouldn't you be deployed?"
  6. It took longer than was perhaps normal for her to respond to the questions that had been posed, mostly because she was somewhat enraptured by the thought of going outside, or at least being able to feel the heat of the sun on her skin from inside the room. Of course, in her two years of solitude, there had been plenty of artificial stimulation, including lights that simulated the changing of the days, as well as temperature changes, even varying surfaces in different exercise rooms. Although the people in solitary confinement needed to be isolated, it did no good to have them go mad through utter deprivation of all things that reminded them of humanity, and so they only truly withheld the reality of it, rather than the thought.

    Thinking of this, Riva eventually turned back to the man, speaking quietly to him, with complete honesty. She wasn't sure she knew how to lie, and she certainly didn't have the desire to, "I think I killed someone...or maybe I didn't. No, I think I wouldn't kill it. Something like that." She shrugged, not particularly caring about the reasons for her incarceration, only that it was over now, and she intended to win back privileges and remember what real life was like, even if it was just the life of a chimera.

    "Twenty three is still old. I'm nineteen, I've been upstairs for two years, so I missed out on being sent away." Well, she didn't know if that was a good or a bad thing, but she didn't hesitate to ask another question, "What's it like? Being outside, I mean. In the real world. Where did you go? Did you meet people that weren't like us?" She was somewhat erratic in behaviour at the moment, something that was common in those returning to the ground floor. It was a case of settling back in to life, and she would soon return to a more even keel, much like a boat coming into port off a stormy sea.
  7. From what Cedric could see, the poor girl had never been outside, or rarely been outside. The lab could make artificial plants and sunlight and all things natural with their technology, holograms of forests and deserts and the beaches and whatnot to educate the Chimeras about what the world was like, but nothing was real. Chimeras needed to learn about the world before being deployed, otherwise they stood no chance against the forces of nature and the normal society. After all, Chimeras were taken from birth and kept in labs for years and years in a damned building. There were a few patches of 'real nature' around the lab, but only those with clearance and well behaved Chimeras were allowed to use it, some could even tend the plants that grew there if they wished.

    He cocked an eyebrow at her, "Disobey the scientists? I am not sure if you are brave or just stupid." The soldier lay down on his bed, sighing at the comfort of having one after a few years of fighting in the war, sleeping in hard rock beds or even in the trenches. He had heard about defects, Chimeras who disobeyed the orders of the scientists. Some were locked in solitary confinements, but extreme defects were executed. A Chimera who won't listen is a useless one. Their bodies were usually dissected and studied, body parts preserved and all those unthinkable things.

    Cedric heaved a sigh, his face betraying annoyance. She talked a lot. But in a way, so did he. After seeing another Chimera, he wanted to warn her about the outside world. Chimeras worshipped the outside world, the thought of being released from these white walls was a dream among them. But it wasn't a paradise like all of them seemed. It wouldn't harm her to quench her curiosity. "The outside world is cruel. It's not all green and flowers and prancing animals like the simulations. I went to a place where men and women and children died every day, and most of them weren't Chimerans." The soldier turned on his other side to look at her with saddened brown eyes. "I will be honest, this place is the safest for us."
  8. Riva was unsure whether she should speak or not, sitting heavily on the edge of her bed as she thankfully took a breath, listening closely to what Cedric had to say, wondering if he was telling the truth, or if he was just trying to scare her. In any event, she took little notice of his account of things, feeling that he must just have a slightly skewed vision, or else wasn't strong enough to deal with the realities of the world. People died all the time, even good people could be struck down without warning, seemingly for no reason. But, those in solitary were taught an idealistic lie that stated they were a force for good, despite the fact that in some wars chimeras fought against each other, seeing as those that sold them rarely had any qualms about arming both sides in a conflict.

    With this void in her knowledge, the female spoke somewhat abruptly, "Chimeras only fight for the betterment of mankind. So what if we die? Or if other people do? It's all a means to an end, and if we didn't do it, who knows what the alternative would be." It was a line that she had become used to parroting to herself, as she had turned around into a model subject, striving to believe what she told herself, although in truth this willingness to believe what was so obviously morally wrong, and quite simply untrue, only ever managed to penetrate shallowly into her psyche. Riva knew that what she said was wrong, but for the time being she continued in her attempts to believe it, if only to have an easy life, perhaps one that involved sociability, not to mention the outdoors.

    "How many people have you killed? Is it fun? It seems like it would be." She'd killed animals, and she'd maimed other chimeras that had been sent upstairs, but those battles were always stopped before the victor stamped out the defeated for good. It was all a programme of conditioning to ensure the adrenaline rush was paired with more real rewards, be that food, an extra comfort, anything to make the violence a normal, rewarding experience. "I never thought people could break so easily, you know. I broke this guys leg last week, big, hulking bloke, and it just snapped. He looked so strong, but he might as well have been made of paper." The poor guy had refused outright to play ball in that particular altercation, and had paid the price for that. No doubt, he would learn to act without hesitation, just as Riva had done.
  9. Cedric almost laughed. "Is that what they teach you up there?" he asked her, the corner of his lips curling upwards ever so slightly. For the betterment of mankind? Chimeras were only seen as slaves, tools for the humans. We were nothing else, no voice to combat them with, with their brainwashing in the early stages and the intense training that could break an unprepared Chimera, we had nothing. Wars had been fought way before the discovery of Chimeras, yet they started and ended how wars should. Fighting ceased and many were dead from gunshot wounds and sword slashes and cannons and manmade weapons. These days bodies could be found charred in fire, or blown to bits, radioactive bodies... the Chimeras were a formidable force. But forcing them to do this to innocent people? Disgusting.

    "Fun? Little girl, I do not like killing innocent people. Soldiers are one thing, but villagers? What did they do apart from being in that country?" he snarled at her, his eyes flickering towards her direction. The poor thing had been taught to embrace the violence. Saw everything as something that could be hurt. Trained to show no mercy and only obey, kill everything. All of them were trained that way. Their only purpose was to serve. Animals were always brought in from the outside words, giant cats baring their sharp teeth, dunked in a tank of water with a giant shark, giant scientifically enhanced bugs, all sorts of nasty animals both in their natural state or altered. Chimeras were expected to kill them, or bring them close to death.

    He never liked killing animals, but Cedric obeyed everything they commanded him to do. He, too, thought Chimeras were like superheroes protecting the world from danger. He'd run around with the sheets over his shoulders like a billowing cape as a child, zooming about and laughing. He thought because of their powers, they needed to save the normal people, and that they were revered. How wrong he was. Cedric had prepared to fight. But he was not prepared to kill the innocent.
  10. She was somewhat taken aback by his reaction, and couldn't help but bristle at his reprimand. Riva scowled right back at him, appearing as though she was more than ready to try out some of that killing he found so abhorrent, or at least disdainful towards it. "You're too soft. It doesn't matter if they're not actively guilty, no one is ever totally innocent." Who knew what those villagers might go on to do or say? If they provided resistance, then yet more people would die, so wasn't it all for the greater good? Or, perhaps more accurately, it was any means to an end, something that only the truly ruthless would be happy with.

    After a moment of silence, the female once again spoke with venom that really shouldn't have been directed to her roommate, "Oh, and don't call me 'little girl'. Unless you want me to gut you, grandpa." Her words were spoken with no uncertainty, and it was quite clear that at the moment she was more than happy to take the necessary steps to damage the man opposite her, even if she was only confident enough to maim him a little bit, for fear of reprimand by those that handled the chimeras.

    From this point on the young woman that really was little more than a silly girl in many respects got down to the important art of sulking. She was fed up with this lout already, and after so long being alone, it was something of a disappointment to be faced with this guy, rather than someone that shared her own enthusiasms and eccentricities. However, it was thankfully not too much later that one of the many lower level members of staff made an appearance. The woman was not the evil caricature of a person one might have initially thought, just an ordinary woman, earning a living in whatever way was necessary.

    "You two have an hour of physical training. Up you get." She spoke somewhat bluntly, gesturing for the two of them to get moving, though she kept a prudent distance from the two of them, as all the untrained staff did. Only the security and scientific staff dared touch or approach the chimeras, well aware of just how dangerous they were.
  11. Cedric merely glared at her, not bothering to reply to the girl. That one was lost, probably grew up with that mindset, forcefed the ideals of the scientists and what 'Chimeras should be'. Becoming killing machines were all they were for. Even innocent lives wouldn't deter this poor thing. Was this the extent of their extra training in the isolation cells? He'd never been up there, had no reason to, except those who ever got to come out were broken or acted like robots. The scientist's pets. The soldier shook his head and relaxed himself, he had better things to do than to educate an undeployed girl about the outside world. "You say that, but who was the one who refused to kill an animal?" he questioned.

    He chuckled tonelessly, lifting his hand up to wave at her. "Any girl who hasn't been deployed is a little girl to me. You have yet to see the outside world," he said nonchalantly. She didn't yield the experience, all she knew was here in the white buildings of the government. With only other Chimeras, guards and scientists to be her companions. "In a way, I don't mind being called a grandpa," Cedric yawned and craned his neck to peer out of the only window and spotting the burning sun hanging high in the sky. The perfect hour for training.

    It wasn't a surprise to Cedric when one of the staff walked through the doors of their room, the door behind her sliding open flawlessly, two guards patrolling outside. She stood well away from them, and for good measure, he had heard stories of attacks that got the Chimeras involved thrown into solitary confinement. The soldier dutifully followed the woman out of the room, allowing her to lead them into the large training facility they had. Since he was a soldier, maybe Cedric would like training a bit more.

    They entered a big, oval shaped room. Lined with the familiar white walls, all sorts of equipment were littered about. There was a door connecting to the tracks, which were also the room for the holographic projections, used to create certain terrain for the Chimera to learn how to survive in. Whether it be a forest or the coast, wild animals and food were also created, making the room very realistic.
  12. Somewhat cowed by the glaringly obvious rhetorical question, Riva was glad when they were interrupted. She might spout a helluva lot about the ideals of a chimera, but she had rebelled far more than Cedric had, if he had even contemplated it at all. It was clear that he disliked what he was forced to do, but his dissent only went so far as thought, which was tolerable, as far as the owners were concerned. Meanwhile, he sat opposite a girl that was a supposedly reformed character, although she still sometimes felt the need to bite her tongue when the going got tough. But, so far, she hadn't made any error that had been noticed by those that monitored her, and so her freedom had come about.

    It was a short distance to the room in which they were to train. It was more of a gargantuan hangar, rigged with the latest in holographic technology, fans that pumped various environmental stimulants into the room, including the aroma of flowers, smoke and even the scent of putrification. One had to be ready for anything when in a warzone, so it paid to have a heftily suppressed gag reflex. It was significantly larger than what Riva was used to, simply because it was more difficult to sprawl out on the second floor, and also because there were fewer trainees to accommodate.

    As they entered the cavernous room, a mousy man with glasses precariously perched on his nose, spoke with a surprising contingent of authority, "You are to exercise yourselves physically. A full cardio workout is expected of you, and you must work together. From now on, you are a team. Is that understood?" He didn't really require an answer to that question, and in all honesty that was rather obvious as he retreated into a little booth,from which he would monitor the two of them.

    "Well, this is going to be boring." Riva complained, though she was already beginning to stretch her limbs, doing so languidly as she knew it was going to be a few hours of running in circles and climbing walls and other such pointless tasks. But, it was all to keep their bodies in peak physical condition, their regimes tailored to meet their specific needs, and rotated to keep them balanced.
  13. Cedric cocked his eyebrows at the 'commanding officer', the scientist who was to keep watch over them and issue orders. A team? The solider glanced at the girl who stood beside him. He was used to working by himself, solo, and the scientists had that in his data. Why were they making him try something new? Training with someone else was something he didn't mind, Cedric had trained with others by his side for a while now, but forming a 'team' with a girl that he was beginning to dislike and feel sympathy for her brainwashed state?

    But before he could ask any questions, the man had left, settling himself in the booth not far from here, protected in an unbreakable glass as defence against the Chimeras in case things got out of hand. There was equipment inside as well, monitoring and taking notes of every single one of their movements, what happened inside their bodies, the heat of their bodies and its temperature and even more statistic that the scientists gathered as their data.

    Sighing, he began to warm up, doing stretches and jogging on the spot to loosen up the tense muscles. "Training isn't so bad," he pointed out. For one, to the locked up Chimeras, it was some sort of freedom for a few hours. Most of the time they were locked up in cells, alone or with another one of their kind. And even though they were allowed to meet up once a week to eat together, they were all scrutinised by scientists and guards with hawk like eyes, making sure the cafeteria was in order. The amount of guards almost quadrupled every time the Chimeras gathered, armed to the teeth with weapons and not ever hesitating to attack. "So, what do you want to do first?" he asked her, continuing his stretching.
  14. Well, she couldn't help but dispute the idea that training was not all that bad. As far as purely physical exercise went, it was just pure drudgery, much like the vast majority of life in the compound. "It's bloody boring, is what it is." Riva snapped, with a tone that was far too icy, given that this was hardly a contentious subject. How they each felt about it was rather unimportant, seeing as they were going to have to do it for just as long, working just as hard, regardless of their own thoughts.

    "Training shouldn't be just running around and lifting weights, it should have a purpose....a goal." And by that, she invariably meant that it should involve some form of sparring, or violence in some form or other. It was a view that many of them held, as it was a way of releasing their frustrations that they could not otherwise express, and also of settling scores, if they were paired with the right opponent. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum were those that found these dull exercises a welcome respite from the more brutal routines. These were those that shied away from violence, those that were terrified, usually the younger chimeras that often disappeared without explanation one seemingly random day, though everyone always knew exactly what had happened to the offending person.

    Riva sighed, finishing off with her stretches and setting her eyes on the other chimera, proceeding to speak with a little more reason, "I'll race you. I know you're probably faster than me, but no one has more stamina than I do." She was smaller than he was, and of course knew that the likelihood of her outstripping him during a sprint was about as slim as them escaping this place. But, she knew she could maintain her activity for many miles. She didn't bother to wait for an answer, as she had already begun the competition in her head, and as such felt the need to head off at a brisk jog, clearly somewhat intent on winning whatever childish game this was.
  15. "Training does have a goal. Keeping you fit and healthy. Weak Chimeras are essentially useless to the scientist, and whoever you are sold to," Cedric pointed out. There was a reason why Chimeras were trained so well and vigorously. Their powers would go to waste, that was the thinking of the scientists. Weaklings were not appreciated, they were given extra training to bring them up to par with the others, or even injected with strange fluid to make them slightly stronger than they were before. And if there was nothing the scientists could do, they were shot dead. It was a cruel world for the Chimeras. But alas, what could they do about it? Even if they had the power and the training, overthrowing a population a hundred times bigger than them was impossible. They had their own weapons as well. "You are lucky you are being trained well," the soldier said, sighing as he finished his stretches.

    He nodded, "Around the track? How is five laps around?" he asked her, looking at the tracks on the floor of the gymnasium. It had all sorts of equipment for them to use, holograms for them to utilise and survive in realistic situations. No Chimera was to be deployed until they knew how to live through the toughest of conditions. There were lines for racing painted, bold lines criss crossing the floor underneath them. Training wasn't meant to be fun, there were no games like basketball or soccer, but lifting weights and running around again and again until you collapse.

    Cedric moved to one of the lanes and began jogging on the spot, "I never asked for your name. Shall I stick to calling you a little girl?" he murmured to her in a monotone, his eyebrows moving upwards ever so slightly. What was the point anyway? They were going to seperate soon enough. They may be a team now, but surely they wouldn't have the same fate. She would be deployed, he would too. There were many jobs out in the vast world, he would not see her anymore.
  16. What he said was true, but as far as she was concerned, this form of training was only good for those that owned their bodies, and as such, she saw no point in it. She did not enjoy it like she did the battle training, which was probably a testament to the psychological conditioning she had endured in the intervening years. A girl that had been born to fight, and had embraced the wrong opponent, had become someone that was so eager to get down to business, she was willing to do so to the exclusion of all other activities. With just a little tweaking, the person who bought her would have a truly devastating force on their hands.

    In response to him threatening to continue calling her 'little girl', she only growled quietly, "It's Riva." A long time ago she had wondered whether this name had been given to her by her parents or the official that had bought her. It had been an important question when she was around the age of six, but she had never been given an answer, and in time it had become a worthless bit of trivia, anyway. Her parents were pieces of shit, as far as she was concerned, and she had long since given up caring about them, or even thinking about their existence. Riva was of the opinion that she may as well be one of those that was bred in a secure facility, the second generation that the owners of the facility so hoped would show as much promise as the original, more organic counterparts.

    "Right, five laps it is. Let's go." She didn't give either of them much time to think about getting a good start, she only lined up in her own lane, gave the word, and flew off like a bat out of hell. Of course, her initial burst of speed was purely for show, as she had slowed down to a comfortable pace within a few strides, careful to match the male as he strode out. If she lost this race, she wasn't certain what she might do, but it would certainly not be pretty. At least she had shut up though, as for the duration of the race she was focused entirely on gradually notching it up a gear, until she was outright sprinting at the last. For the likes of them, this was just a warm up, as they were already conditioned to be incredibly fit, but that didn't mean Riva was going to let Cedric walk all over her.
  17. The ex-soldier nodded, committing the name to his memory. "And mine is Cedric," he replied in a soft voice, dull coloured eyes looking into hers. That was the name on his file if he had been known by another name before being sold to this place, he had never seen his parents nor had he known the name he was born with. His surname was also unknown to him, he had always been referred to as Cedric and that was the name he answered to. A long time ago he had been afraid of this place, hateful emotions sprouting from the things he saw and the knowledge that he had been given up to this monstrous facility by what he thought were his loving parents, but by now, he didn't care anymore. The world was harsh.

    The happiness and joy of living in this strange, technology ridden world, with the white walls and meeting other children. Some had different coloured eyes, some were strong and others were weak. At the time, he had no knowledge of his standing in society or what he was there for. He just knew he lived here, was fed well enough to live and given clean water. He didn't mind the observant eyes, he was innocent and happy. But the rumors that began to spread and the reality behind them tainted the innocent boy, once he was forced to learn how to kill and take down any opponent, sold off to some country in need of a talented slave, he knew this world was different than what he had initially thought. He thought the world revolved around the white walls, that there was nothing outside but danger and what the scientists showed him through holograms. Of green trees grown together in what they called a 'forest' and cities and towns... a peaceful and beautiful world. What a lie.

    Cedric lined up on the track and at her word, began to break into a sprint. He had higher than average strength and decent stamina, as long as he paced himself he would be fine. From the corner of his eye, he saw the girl dash straight forward like a bullet fired from a gun, before slowing down a little, allowing him to catch up. He kept his head forward, his arms moving in rhythm and matching his feet, running in a straight line before turning the corner, not wasting any time to look at Riva.
  18. As they ran, the only sounds were of their feet steadily pummeling the sprung floor, along with their controlled breaths that remained far steadier than one might have thought. They were athletes, born and raised to be lethal machines, blessed with physical and mental perfection. Or, at least they were perfect in the eyes of those that made them what they were. Any normal person would have balked at what these people were expected to do, but then again, that was what they were there for. It might have been distasteful, but on occasion they served a noble purpose, albeit in the same way a well made gun could end the reign of a tyrant.

    Riva didn't think about all that much as she made her way around the track, maintaining her pace carefully, hoping to match and subsequently beat Cedric. Her focus was exactly what was expected of a chimera, her thoughts not straying even for a moment. Of course, there were certain situations in which her mind wandered, but in this particular task she had nothing better to think about than crushing the man that had inadvertently become her rival.

    After a short time had passed, the two were on the final straight, and Riva was just as determined to win as she had been from the beginning. It was only unfortunate that height and stride length were rather important when sprinting was involved, and as such, the female was at a distinct disadvantage as Cedric pulled just ahead of her. She had no real chance, in all honesty, and as she realised that she would not win, she let out what was a genuine growl of frustration, and things only got worse as she came to an abrupt halt.

    "Come on, let's fight." It was her solution to everything, and somewhat understandable in some respects, although it was unfortunate that their physical training certainly did not call for full on fist fights. Riva knew full well that they were meant to be focusing on far more passive training, and was also aware of the two observers preparing to step in, but as anger flooded her veins, she was incapable of giving in. It was a flaw in her training from upstairs, as those that returned from there were often even more zealous than those raised in the normal facility. They were yet further brutalised into these powerhouses of rage and fear.