The Variable Project ~Episode Zero: Prologue~ August 15, 2100 "Pr-Professor Dray! You have to see this!" A voice of excitement rang through the facility. All the scientists within were running around in amazement. The 20-year-old that the term "Professor Dray" referred to turned his attention towards the one that suddenly exclaimed his name, then down to the small child sitting next to him. The professor's jaw almost dropped at what he beheld. Floating in the air by the child were the various wooden blocks they'd given her to play with. What they were now witnessing was what they had eventually expected, but to suddenly see it left them astonished. "Remarkable..." the professor whispered to himself. The male slowly approached the young girl, but as soon as she noticed him, the blocks instantaneously dropped to the floor. "Ah. I must've frightened her out of concentration..." Though the miracle had stopped, Dray was still smiling. The scientist from before was almost jumping ecstatically at this point. "We've finally done it, sir! We've proved it exists!" It's true that what this young child just displayed wasn't something they didn't anticipate. In fact, they were hoping one would eventually, as Dray already believed some of them had such a power within them. "Yes... Psychokinesis..." Dray took up standing next to the girl and sat himself upon the floor. He picked up one of the now dormant blocks and held it out to her. Almost instinctively, the girl began making it float again. 'An ability we'd never think possible. Not within any race, and certainly not within humans...' "So, sir," the scientist piped up. "What do we do now? Other than report on our amazing discovery to the world!" Dray stood up again and gave a wave of his hand. "We can't do that, Hiro. The world isn't ready for something like this. Not yet, anyway. I barely even want to tell the government, but that much we have to do." Taking one last look at the young girl, who was still levitating blocks in the air, the professor released a sigh and picked up his notebook, beginning to scribble notes in it here and there. 'God only knows what those corrupt politicians will try to do with something like this...' ~ Hope as he would for a desirable fate, only his fears were granted any solidity. Surely enough, with the world being declared as not ready to have the existence of Psychokinesis as public knowledge, the government deemed the role of these select few to be that of military trump cards. Because of this role, governments of other countries quickly became aware of Psychokinesis, and began their own research into it. The international use of Psychokinesis users, now deemed Variables, as military trump cards began in 2117. Despite this, Dray continued working on the Psychokinesis Project, that had since been renamed "The Variable Project" in the hopes of at least protecting his work, and giving these unfortunate kids as normal a life as he possibly could. In 2127, the first artificially created weapon built specifically for Variables was made, and dubbed a variable, just as the name given to those who would use them. In the beginning, they could only create ones that required the user to constantly be touching them, but by 2130, ones that could be operated from a distance were created. These two types became known as short-range and long-range variable types. In 2131 and 2132, mental variable types were created, which enhanced a Variable's natural abilities and sometimes even gave them an additional ability. Despite their strides, there was a great number of corruptions during testing, so the VECT was designed, a test that determines which variable a Variable will be compatible with. The number of corruptions greatly decreased, while the quality of skill in Variables increased exponentially. In some places, Variables would even turn and attack the researchers, and then escaped. Because of their lack of actual combat experience, those who escaped were quickly "terminated" to protect the society and keep the existence of Psychokinesis and Variables hidden from the public. In 2140, a third type of variable known as a special type was created. It resembled antimatter, and dissolved everything it touched. Because of the danger level posed by such a variable, they were internationally banned. Shortly afterwards, the International Variable Organization (IVO), a top secret group, was established. All regulations, policies, and laws regarding variables and their users were decided here, and thus peace remained between the various countries, for the time being. ~ January 22, 2138 Why? This was the only thought that passed through Merci's mind as she was seated in the back of an unknown truck, along with Esme, her best friend, and several other children. None of them had any idea where they were going, and no one asked. Merci couldn't understand why no one would say anything, and she found it weird that she was questioning it, as she wasn't saying anything either. Her arm was wrapped tightly around Esme's, who was maintaining a calm demeanor through it all. She could tell from the look on his face that he wasn't happy with their sudden relocation, and that he probably wanted answers, but he too seemed unable to find the words to ask the question. Why? After driving around for an unknowable amount of time, the back doors of the truck were finally opened. Two figures that Merci didn't know waved for the children to get out. Having not thought to count before, Merci noticed that there were seven children total, including herself. Once they were all unloaded, another unknown figure joined the group and the trio led the kids into a nearby building. The inside was very professional looking, much unlike where she'd come from. She couldn't help but wonder if they'd be staying here from now on, even if it didn't seem like an appropriate place for young children. "This is the newest group. Another one will be joining them as soon as she's old enough." One of the men was speaking to a man behind a counter, who was holding a clipboard and looking over the children. "Mordecai Booker, Blake Jermyn, Alexis Akiyama, Pyotr Malkovich, Ivan Jasper Muyco-Corell, Esme Jacques, and Merci Moreau. Yep, that's all of them. You can take them to their rooms for now. They'll need the rest." The male took a piece of paper from his clipboard and put it away in a manila folder, before pressing a nearby button. A door close to where the man stood slowly opened, and the three figures led the children inside. Two of the men left, while the one that remained with them showed them to rooms that they'd be sleeping in. Each of the children had their own, full with various toys and whatever else a child might entertain themselves with. Merci shook her head, disliking the idea of being separated. If they were put into different rooms now, there'd be no way of knowing what was next. The male that they'd been following moved to pick her up and place her in the room, but Esme placed himself between the two. The man sighed and simply picked Esme up first and brought him to his designated room. "You'll have to cooperate with us for now, even if it's scary," he told them. Once Esme was placed in his room, he locked the door so that the boy wouldn't rush back out. Merci was swiftly nudged into her room, feeling ashamed that she could only watch as all the other children were placed in their rooms and locked in. Even though they didn't need anything, she couldn't see why it was right. After all, they were all merely orphans. Children that were simply trying to survive, who were forcibly brought here against their will, for God knew what purpose. Was this what it meant to be found? Merci couldn't tell, but she could tell that whatever it was, she didn't like it. Her opinion of their situation didn't matter though. The man who'd brought them to their rooms told them good night and switched off the lights, leaving them only to themselves and their thoughts. That singular thought that all of them must've been thinking on that fateful day. Why? ~ October 4, 2146 Merci opened her eyes and looked at the ceiling above. The same man who'd brought them to these rooms was making his rounds, telling them to wake up. Though he seemed harsh the all those years ago, having known him for eight years, they came to find that he wasn't all that bad of a man. He tolerated their charades more than most of the other staff did, especially those of Mordecai. The girl sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes. As always, she didn't wake up feeling groggy. The staff always made sure they were in bed with ample enough time to fall asleep and get a good night's rest. The rooms had changed quite a bit since they first arrived here. The toys were replaced with various books, and the rooms weren't as colorful as they once were. The books they'd been given were their biggest source of education in the past eight years they'd been here. Merci read them whenever they weren't out training, so she'd become very knowledgeable over the years. They were taught outside of these books, but most of their time was spent training. They were given these spheres referred to as "variables". The power they came to harness over the years, known was "Psychokinesis" was what allowed them to control them. After changing, Merci opened the door to her room and stepped out. The man, who'd they'd come to know as James, was busy trying to drag Mordecai out of bed, as per usual. Other than being able to use variables, they weren't that much different from normal teenagers. Not that they really knew what a "normal" teenagers would be considered. This facility, their powers, variables; it was all they'd all ever known. They weren't taught much about what lied beyond the walls. Not much else other than the politics between the various countries. A young girl with dark brown hair came out of the room next to Merci's. Eva Castillon-LeBlanc - she first joined them six years ago. She didn't take being snatched up and placed in a room as quietly as they had, and it was understandable. She was all alone when she was brought in, but she had no one to fight for her but herself. She was the youngest of their group, but she probably possessed the best technical combat ability out of any of them, in Merci's own opinion. As she could've guessed, Esme must've woken up before any of them and headed to where the group always ate breakfast. They naturally weren't allowed to carry variables around with them, and they were supervised by a Variable named Silver whenever they trained. She was probably in charge of making sure none of them attempted to escape. Escaping wasn't something that crossed their minds as much as it used to. This was their daily life now, whether they'd been forced into it or not. 'Even when humans are in an undesirable situation, don't they cling to what they know for sure, rather than venture out to search for the unknown?' Merci gave a slight wave of her hand towards anyone that might've been looking her way. "Good morning, everyone." Her voice was soft, and she tried to ease off the serious tone she usually carried with it. Though she greeted them, she didn't have any plans on staying behind to start a conversation. After hearing any returned greetings, she began making her way to the large gathering hall where they'd be eating, which was through the double doors residing at the end of the hallway their rooms were joined to. The day began just as any other for her, but it wouldn't end as such.