The Variable Project

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  1. 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


    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.


    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.



    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.
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  2. Alexis slowly squirmed on his bed after hearing the loud shouts of James, commanding everyone to wake up already. He wasn't the type of guy that loves to wake up so early in the morning, so he always has issues to get out of his bed. He yawned widely with an adorable sleepy face, smiling. "Onegai... Just five more minutes," he mumbled and turned his shifted his body to his right, returning to his slumber. "Everyone that doesn't wake up now will lose his chance of breakfast," said James after stopping in front of Alexis' room. He knew how lazy Alexis was in the morning, but he always came with something that made him jump out of his bed. "It will be a shame. Today, we have scrambled eggs with ham and sausage, toasts with butter and fresh orange juice." After hearing the menu, Alexis quickly opened his eyes and jumped out of his bed. "I-I'm already wake up, James!" he shouted loud and clear, looking at his door. James chuckled and nodded, proceeding to check the rest of the teenagers. "Good. Just change and come out you lazy cat."

    Alexis pouted slightly after hearing that nickname James gave him after countless mornings he always woke up feeling lazy. This wasn't his fault, though. Alexis' long-range mental Psychokinesis power has a secondary effect that puts him to sleep if overstrained. In extreme cases, another effect can be dizziness. However, these effects can disappear completely if Alexis keeps training his ability.

    After a couple of minutes, Alexis finally changed his sleepwear and put on some kind of uniform the faculty gave all of the Variables. According to them, these clothing were more comfortable and suitable for their training. With a low sigh, Alexis stood up in front of a mirror that was hanging in on of the walls of his room. He glanced at his reflection for a couple of seconds with a calm expression, examining his bicolor eyes. He always makes sure to found nothing out of the ordinary on his right eye, which was red like blood. This changing happened the day his Psychokinesis power awake. He remembered the awful pain he felt, making him fall on his knees and cry for mercy, not understanding what the hell was happening. He also remembered the puddle of blood on the floor, the fresh blood stains on the walls and the three lifeless bodies laying in front of him. This happened in the Lunchroom of the facility he was held since he was 8 years old, but the incident happened when he turned 14. Everything happened so quick that he just couldn't realize that everything happened because of his power.

    Shaking away those memories, Alexis frowned, looking down while covering his scarlet eye with one of his hands, feeling once again how his past returned to haunt him.

    "You're an abominable monster...", "Look what you did to us...", "You'll pay for your sin one day...", "Nobody loves you, so why you keep living, freak?", "Give us back what you took from us...", "Your life belongs to us now..."

    As Alexis kept hearing those voices in his head, he was about to lose his mind and break out into a panic. Suddenly, a few knocks on the door brought him back to reality. "Hey, Alexis, did you finished already?" asked James from outside. "I swear that if I go in and find you still sleeping, you're going to do 50 laps around the facility." Alexis widened his eyes with a gasp. "I'm coming out now!" he said, looking at the mirror one more time before turning around and walking toward a small nightstand beside his bed. Laying on top was his VID tag, which was a metal collar with a small plate that had encrusted a big 8 number. Taking it with his right hand, Alexis opened the door and left the room, James finally escorting him to a Lunchroom big enough for all of the Variables. Placing his VID tag on his neck, Alexis proceeded to pick a tray and serve himself a good portion of scrambled eggs with ham and sausages, two toasts and a glass filled to the top with orange juice. He sipped some of it to avoid leaking it on his way toward an empty table.

    Once on the table, Alexis sat straight on his chair, closed his eyes and clasped his hands before saying happily "Itadakimasu". Then, he picked his plastic fork and began to eat. After a few minutes or so, he heard Merci's good morning, but Alexis was too busy munching some eggs and biting a toast. So, he simply looked at her, hoping she could read his mind and hear him say "Ohayo". Of course, there was a 100% chance that maybe she couldn't do that.
    #2 Shinku⭐Kun, Jul 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
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  3. What day is it? The Fourth...?
    Birthday's coming up next month...
    This one's gonna be boring isn't it? Nn...
    Everything's been boring lately.
    Haven't been able to fix it.
    I'll figure it out before then.

    A couple quick thoughts went through Eva's mind as she prepared herself for the approaching day. Mundane as it was, she still managed to find some entertainment in the combat training, and bothering all of the more serious members of their group. As the days passed, she still managed to scrap enough energy and fun from all of that, with the appeal starting to fade ever so slightly. She kept having this itching feeling that she needed to do something before she ends up exploding. Potentially literally. Likely metaphorically.

    Every day for the past six years, Eva had tried to make the most out of it. Had she put up a fight for the first couple weeks? Absolutely. Did she not like it at first? Of course she didn't. But as with her previous childhood 'friends', she was usually trying to get a bit of an edge over them in all they did, skills wise. That never quite happened. Here? She tried to do her best to get better. She had to prove she was worth something, and that's what motivated her. She tried her best to hide that part of herself, though there had to have been some occasions during training where she let her anger take over or broke down because she was incapable of doing something.

    That in on itself usually filled her time, and while she reverted from her usual bubbly personality, she bounced back quickly. She needed something to fill the rest of her time, however, and that's where the annoyances come into play. That's where she's trying to find at least something to do, and it depended on the day. Or the hour. Or the minute. Whatever she wanted to do at the time. And now, she was trying to stall for her own entertainment, trying to figure out how to use her time.

    Eva stared right up at the ceiling for the few moments which passed before she started her morning routine. 'No point staying here.' Was the usual thought that got herself out of bed each morning. No point of staying there, nothing really do do. She could pester some more people in the eating hall. Specifically? Well, Pyotr usually brought a smile to her face. Mordecai? Nope. He was mostly boring. Next two candidates were Merci and June, but first off Pyotr would be fun. A half smile shone on her face as the thoughts expanded on her morning fun, and as she basically jumped out of bed to rush out of the room.

    With a quick adjustment of her tie, enough so that the knot was a few inches under her chin and the two ends were separated in both directions, Eva took a step outside to the hallway. She stepped towards the cafeteria (if that's proper to call it), passing by Merci with a two finger salute from her left hand. "Moooooooorning Merci~ Mornin' everyone else. Hope y'slept fine. Y'know if Pyoti's eating already?" A small little nickname for the tall Russian she gave, Eva found his reactions to essentially everything she did to bother him quite amusing.

    Not waiting long for a response, she entered the room to go get herself some food. She'd figure out enough, but she wanted to see what kind of mood was in the air as of now. Taking a bit of everything and popping it on her plate, and an extra fork, the girl placed her food over on her usual table. Instead of directly sitting down, she took the fork in her hand and stood up. She excitedly skipped to where Pyotr was sitting, or if he wasn't already there, by the door. She awaited him to take some notice of her before extending her arm and poking his cheek with the fork. "Mooorrniiinng Pyoootii~"
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  4. He was usually up before James made his rounds. It was a habit of his that formed the moment he arrived at the facility. It primarily came about when a recurring dream kept waking him up -- in that dream, Merci and him were both placed in the truck like they were when they first arrived. However, instead of being half-consoled and then left alone, Merci was shot and was left to bleed out in Esme's lap. The dream woke him up quite early, and so the habit formed. Though, it also helped in a sense that he knew that most other recruits would like to sleep in, and thus by getting up early instead, he was putting himself in a position of superiority when compared with the others. When asked, the teen said it was the nightmares, though. He would never admit to his narcissism.

    His usual routine consisted of him staring at the mirror for a long time. It was quiet then, and he took his time in the most mundane things. Usually, he dressed himself slowly, occasionally glancing at the mirror as if he expected his reflection to change. Esme would grab a book from the shelf, maybe read a bit and then head out, or head out into the dining area right away. Even then he took his time, looking at the mundanely familiar scenery.

    He often thought, too. Esme would observe his surroundings and think. The teen often felt himself ceasing to exist. If not for Merci, he wouldn't know who he was. She was a remnant of home -- a reminder of who he was before both of their lives flipped. He has met many other people, too. But Merci was the only one who knew him before he ceased to be "people".

    This morning was no different from the rest of them. He stepped out quietly, cautious as to not wake his neighbours. He has made it far past the rooms as a familiar voice suddenly called his name. "Esmé," it said, "where are you headed?" The teen turned his head to the direction where the voice was coming from. James just began making his rounds, just like every day. And just like every day, he has asked him the same question, though he knew the answer. It wasn't out of curiousity, Esme knew that. James was just being polite; somehow trying to remedy the fact that Esme and the group spent their lives locked up like this. "The cafeteria," Esme replied calmly, pushing his glasses up with his thumb. "I'll be going," he nodded, turning back around.

    The cafeteria was quite empty as well. It was early. The teen took a seat at the usual spot, opening up the book he has brought from his room and neglecting to grab any food. Merci should arrive any moment, he thought to himself, flipping over the page. From there, the daily routine consisted of a waiting game.
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  5. October 4, 2146

    June knew that it was sort of childish of him, but he kept his room exactly like how it was when he was first arrived. He had requested the walls a soft baby blue and the paintings on it that belonged more to a toddler's room than that of an 18 year old. Mordecai always teased him about it and he knew that even Pyotr questioned it, but was it so wrong to want to be a child again, back when he was with mom? He sighed and hated the way the colourful walls seemed to be closing in, just like what happened last time he saw his mom. He closed his eyes and counted to ten. He was getting antsy just waiting for them to be released out of their room. He never like being alone.

    June knew that he should be getting better and he was. Until they did that experiment two weeks ago. They gave him a few variables and he scattered in the hallways with Silver looking. He was monitored but they allowed him to use these little orbs to track his friends or the orderlies. It calmed him. It was almost as if he was really behind them following them around. But they took it back last week. Silver noting where he had them hidden the first time. After that, he was getting worse, because he knew that he could use it but couldn't.

    This was his long distance mental ability, one that he hasn't told anyone in their group. It was a little secret that he hadn't told even Mordecai or Pyotr yet, but he planned to, eventually,
    maybe? Definitely maybe, it's a skill that may be needed one day. He scoffed at himself and pulled himself out of that train of thought. There was nothing for him outside these walls. All he ever needed was here. He'd only ever leave if they did.

    He noticed James yelling and June blinked and noticed that he was calm and smiled. He continued to hear yelling from Mordecai's room just right beside his and stood up, already dressed for the day. He looked down at himself and shrugged. He was dressed in a similar outfit from yesterday, so he supposes, it didn't look strange. He quickly grabbed his sketch pad and a pencil -making sure that there was an eraser on the tip-, and he opened his door, hoping that no one would notice his awkwardness on the outfit. He'll get Alexis' help later before curfew was placed, just to make sure that what he'll wear is okay. He couldn't tell if one outfit is the same as the rest. June doesn't know what they against the outfits prepared for them, dressing up was really hard work. It was really hard to think of it.

    When he came out, he saw Alexis and Pyotr already ahead and followed them quickly, glancing slightly at Mordecai's room where some sort of war between him and James was going on. He didn't want to get caught up in their morning routine. He shifted when he saw that Alexis and Pyotr were no longer in the corridor, he ran to catch up, ignoring the way James glared at him. "NO RUNNING IN THE HALLWAYS! YOU ALWAYS TRIP!" James yelled at him as he dashed passed the enforcer. June stopped and walked in a steady pace once he caught up to the two boys, happy to be in their presence despite them not talking to him and happily ignoring Jame's statement. He wasn't THAT clumsy. June thought, rolling his eyes at their handler.

    When Merci called out a greeting, he nodded back his. "Morning..." he responded, his first word for the day, as they walked past her towards the dining area. June wondered if they count how many times he talked in one day. He snorted to himself, he wasn't that important, they wouldn't be doing that. But it was a funny thought.

    He walked into the dining area and knew the exact position the little orbs that were his and the urge to reach out to them grew strong. He didn't see Silver, but that doesn't mean he should. He squashed the urge immediately. He shouldn't allow himself the temptation. Sighing heavily, he sat beside Pyotr's left and grabbed a tall glass and filled it with halfway with milk. Stealing the cereals quickly, he flashed a grin at Alexis. He poured a good amount in the glass and gave the cereals to the Japanese-American. "You should eat more cereal." He quietly instructed the Japanese. "It's not rice, but it's a good substitute."

    He drank a small bit of the milk and cereal, pleased that he didn't need to spoon the cereals out and began to sketch. Ignoring how strange his little breakfast looked, he allowed the hubhub of the rest of the world fly around him. He would join the conversation only if they called him to it, though most of the time, June just sat there, watching. June was always watching their backs.

    Looking up from where he was sketching Pyotr and Alexis, he smiled at them. He'd make sure he'd watch over them. Stretching before going back to his sketch, he made sure to that they all knew he was disposable after all. Humming a childhood song from that he recalled from his childhood, he reached out for his tall glass of milk 'n cereal and looked up when Eva arrived. Her devious smile present on her face.

    He narrowed his eyes at her, giving her a warning look but when she smiled wider at him. He quickly shared a look of horror with Alexis. Uh oh. Eva was being Eva again. When she moved her fork to the Russians cheek, June reached out but missed. He winced. He could anticipate Pytor's anger. He slowly inched away, being in Pyotr's vicinity during a hissy fit wasn' He looked at Alexis to do something, and looked down to his sketch pad. Curling into his chair, he began to sketch the general domesticity of the day. This was the reason why he didn't interact with people more. They were so unpredictable!

    One thing June hated as much as he hated alone was the unpredictable. One more reason he didn't even want to leave. The big great world was filled with things unpredictable. He groaned quietly. "The world is spinning and I want to know why." he sang to himself, thinking of the song he heard once before.
    #5 Boss Megu, Jul 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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  6. "Alright, alright, I'm up. Shut up already," groaned a tired Mordecai rolling over. He waved an arm in the air, half to drive back a persistent James, half to show that he was actually getting up now. "You better be up," responded James, slightly annoyed. "Most of the other ones are already having breakfast. You've been staying up playing games again, haven't you?" Mordecai quickly denied this as he groggily sat up in his bed and rubbed his tired eyes. "Hurry up, breakfast ends soon," informed the adult as he left the room to give the teen some privacy. The teen sighed and waited for James to close the door before climbing out of his bed. Reaching underneath his pillow, Mordecai pulled out his PSP and tossed it onto his desk. He'd have to charge it later. His room was not much to look at; white plain walls, wooden cabinet for his clothes, a desk with a computer on it, swivel chair with his green-white jacket hung on the backrest, a simple bed, and several wall mounted bookshelves. He stretched out his hand and mentally opened two drawers of the cabinet. Out flew a t-shirt and jeans out of one drawer into Mordecai's hand as he mentally threw the shorts he had slept in into the other drawer. He also telekinetically retrieved his jacket for the chair before heading to the restroom.

    Mordecai had been able to use his abilities for a while now. If he had to guess, his power was the reason he ended up in an orphanage to begin with. He barely remembered his parents as they left him to grow up friendless as a freak for the next five years. He gave made a sarcastic smile as he thought back of his time at those places. He had been moved from one orphanage to another multiple times, every time due to somebody getting spooked upon seeing him levitate objects or seeing him float down a flight of stairs. The adults were bad but children were much worse. Mordecai's smile grew slightly less sarcastic as his mind recalled the satisfaction of hurling objects at the other children that sought to bully him.

    He spat out a mouthful of toothpaste and looked up to see himself in the restroom mirror. Blue, black eyes looked back into his own bicolored eyes. Blue and black, thought Mordecai to himself. As opposed to Alexis' hazel and red. He gave a small scoff to himself. Seems like we really are opposites.

    Mordecai had never gotten along with Alexis. Their values were just too different. To Alexis, loyalty, harmony, and peace seemed to be everything. For Mordecai, loyalty was a meaningless facade and with it, anything that rested on loyalty was worthless as well.

    Once he had finished brushing his teeth and the rest of his work in the restroom, Mordecai found his way to the dining room. He grabbed a plate of egg, sausage, and ham, as well as a buttered toast. He skipped the orange juice for a cup of coffee. "Good morning, all," he chimed, settling down near the other kids and beginning to eat. "Did I miss anything?"
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  7. [​IMG]
    ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ¤ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ¤ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

    Tires squealed against the asphalt. The engine stuttered to a stop. At once, the dim compartment was consumed in silence, yet all seven children remained in their seats, huddled and seemingly unmoving. A sense of dread hung in the space between their unspoken words. Never before had Pyotr known that silence could be so deafening.

    The truck swayed with the impact of doors being slammed shut. There were footsteps, then the soft jingle of keys, then a slight creak as the doors to the back compartment swung open. Light surged in, so obtrusively that it took Pyotr a moment or two to adjust to the brightness, to see the men at the doors beckoning for them to move. Escape was not an option. A smart person would do as they are told, no questions asked. To survive, Pyotr must comply.

    But there was something different, something strange about the light that streamed into the compartment. It cast a red glow upon everything it touched, so that for an eerie moment it seemed as if the entire truck were bathed in blood. With some caution, Pytor stepped out the compartment, eager to find the source of the light, but at the same time terrified of whatever truth he might find at the other side.

    And that was when he saw it:

    Leaves, tinged crimson by the setting sun, slowly falling on the asphalt. Some, already fallen. At the back of his head, he knew that such a sight was impossible. It was late January—Winter, not Autumn. This was supposed to be a memory of that fateful day—yes, a memory, but at the same time it was an impossible dream. This was an altered version of an event that had already transpired, but why did it resurface now? What did it mean?
    OCTOBER 4, 20146

    There was some ruckus out in the hall as James began his rounds. Pyotr had woken not less than an hour ago from a dream, as he often did. It had become his habit to wake up early in the morning—much earlier than anyone else, at least to his knowledge—that James no longer bothered to think to rouse him. Pyotr was glad for it. He did not need anyone to tell him what to do. He did things at his own pace. Tying his hair with a loose band, Pyotr exited his quarters and made for the dining area.

    "Good morning," James called out to him in passing. The man did not wait for a reply but instead attended to the other captives. Smart of him. Pyotr would never reply to his greeting. He only saw him as the enemy, nothing more. For the past eight years, Pyotr had been on his utmost guard. The fact that his captors were nice to him only served to heighten his distrust. Not to mention, he and his companions were allowed to live as any normal child would, as if they were not the military's most valuable assets. The thought struck Pyotr as suspicious. If the government was training them to be ruthless killers, why were they spoiling them? Soldiers were not gifted toys. Soldiers did not need niceness. Soldiers had everything stripped away from them—empathy, love, warmth, their entire humanity—until they were nothing more than mindless drones, weapons of the government. For some reason or other, however, he and seven others had lived a normal life thus far. Or at least, as normal a life in this facility as was possible.

    Was it a flaw in the system or a trap? Pyotr had read about a psychological phenomenon known as the Stockholm Syndrome before. Could it be...?

    He sat at the table, pushing all his thoughts away for the moment. His mind had been traveling a mile a minute once again. Such was his curse: memories—good and bad—were permanently etched onto his brain, and his hankering for knowledge was so strong that thoughts consumed him every so often. Now, it was happening again. That strong tide was pulling him back in...

    Something cold touched his cheek. Pyotr gave a startled jolt, the cup in his fingers slipped and hit the table with a loud thunk. Coffee, black as tar, spilled all over. Pyotr faced Eva with wide, blood-red eyes and tried to grab her wrist, hard. "Do that again, I dare you." He spoke through gritted teeth, letting his nails sink into her skin for just a moment in warning, before attempting to slap her hand away. "Don't you have anything better to do, Eva?" Deep inside, he knew that it was futile. For one, James was likely watching their every move—ready to interfere at the first sign of commotion. Second, Eva was just too persistent. Pyotr had tried everything to make her back off, but whatever he did only served to entertain her further. The only way to make her stop was to ignore her, but Pyotr and his pride would not let him stand down.

    Eva was much alike his sister. Such annoying girls, they both were.

    June randomly broke into song beside him. Pyotr cast the boy a look of annoyance. "Stop that. Your voice sounds horrible," he commented, before cleaning the spilled drink with a napkin.
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  8. Waking up was always heavy. It was as if the weight of the world settled on Blake, pressing him down, as soon as he surfaced from whatever dream he'd floated in, stared at the drab white ceiling above him and remembered what his life was. A caged rat, sealed off from the world at large, prodded and messed with and used as nothing more than a living weapon, an attack dog instead of a man. Cold fury smoldered within his deepest heart at this, one that never went away no matter how many years tore off the calendar and drifted into past, even as he the others begrudgingly began to adapt. After all, they'd been taken so small, he was sure some of them couldn't fathom a life that wasn't run by these people, a family instead of instructors. But he knew there had to be something out there, something more than this... At the same time, a part of him wondered if he actually deserved that at all.

    He'd stayed there, laying in bed, staring motionlessly at the ceiling as his thoughts rolled over in his head, until he heard the familiar voice of James calling for him to wake up, banging on his door. A sigh as he rose from the covers, his inky hair falling in curtains over his face, his groggy voice calling out "up!" A shake of his head as he dislodged the hair from his face, dragged a comb through it before digging through his clothes (all black - of course.) He went next to his bookshelf, pored over the titles to find just what hit the spot. This, of course, was far more important than food: These books and the music he carried everywhere on his MP3 player were how he lived what he thought of as his real life. These were no political textbooks like the ones they'd all been given in school; Blake had never given a toss about the politics that made up so much of their education. What he wanted were the stories of the world outside, whether they be nonfiction or fantasy, horror, sci-fi, it didn't matter. If it was something far away from here, that he could dive into, escape into, then he was happy.

    A well-worn Clive Barker paperback pulled off the shelf and one earbud firmly planted in his left ear, then and only then did he slink out into the halls, try to creep unnoticed to the dining room. He liked it when people didn't notice him. He'd always been a black sheep, even amongst the other children. But then, how much of this was because of how he tried to frighten off anyone who approached? Saying the creepiest and most disturbing thing he could think of with a perfectly deadpan delivery was generally his method of making conversation, and while the responses it got were usually comedy gold, it tended to leave him without many friends. But that was alright. At least he had his books.

    He sighed as he caught sight of the already-full dining room, wondering if he could slip past the commotion and into one of the far, unoccupied tables without anyone drawing attention to him. Probably not, but hey, a kid could dream...
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  9. By the time she arrived in the lunch hall, everyone else had already risen rushed to their usual spots. Esme was reading quietly by himself, Mordecai was asking his usual rhetorical question, Eva was messing with the person she probably assumed she'd derive the most attention from today, Pyotr was displaying his typical annoyance at Eva's charades, June was making conversation with Alexis, and Blake was sitting off by himself. Nothing was out of the ordinary here. This was how it was almost everyday. The fact that they'd all, for the most part, grown accustomed to it was a bit saddening. Being trained as a tool of war wasn't something anyone should have to get used to, especially not kids as young as themselves. Yet here they were, each doing their own thing.

    Merci looked to her usual seat next to Esme, sighing at the sight that had become far too common. He was just sitting there, serious as always. He was serious for as long as she knew him, but he wasn't always so reclusive. Her face contorted into a pout upon noticing the male had neglected to, once again, gather himself some food. She made her way to where the food was left out for the taking and filled up two plates before walking towards Esme and placing one of them before him. "You need to eat, Esme. You'll get sick."

    The girl picked up a piece of toast and took a single bite. She disliked him neglecting himself, but it also made her sort of happy. Even though it wasn't much, it was something that she could do for him after all he'd done for her, and he always made sure to bring the food her brought her, even if he didn't really want it. 'Would you starve yourself if I wasn't here, or are you doing this for my sake, too?' she thought to herself, making sure not to accidentally relay it to the person next to her. "Did you sleep well?"
    #9 fol·ly·cle, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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  10. After finishing eating his breakfast, Alexis leaned back on his seat with a satisfied expression. He reached with his right hand a napkin that was beside his empty plate and proceed to wipe his mouth. Suddenly, he heard the soft voice of June telling him to eat some cereal. Blinking once, Alexis looked to his right and spotted a small box of sugared cereal on the table. On the front of the box, there was the image of a friendly looking tiger with a red bandana around his neck and holding a bowl of cereal while some milk was been poured into them. Observing the iconic character, Alexis remembered how much he loved these cereals when he was in the orphanage since he was 5 years old. He smiled a bit, some good old memories flashing on the back of his mind. He was really full after eating his breakfast, but because June gave it to him, Alexis took the box and stood up from his seat.

    "I'm already full, but I'll save them for later," he said, turning his head to look over at June with a wide smile. "Thank you, buddy. I appreciate it." Saying those words, Alexis picked his tray and began to head toward a square trash can that was beside the bar. On his way, he gave June a friendly ruffle on his hair, chuckling with a grin. From all of the males, Alexis thought that June was the was the easiest to interact with. He wasn't an egoist narcissistic like Esmé, an apathetic being like Mordecai, a kind of scary emo like Blake or a hostile person like Pyotr. In other words, Alexis thought that June wasn't a hard shell to break like them. Yes, June was a little introverted and get triggered easily but overall, he was like an adorable loyal dog that secretly cares for everyone to the point of not minding risking his life. That was obviously something exaggerated and stupid, but Alexis admired that. After all, he also cares for everyone even when they practically avoid to be that close.

    Throwing away the disposable plate, fork and cup in the trash, Alexis placed the tray on top of it and put the cereal box in his right pocket before turning to his right. There was a couple of window on a wall and through one of them, some sunshine passed by and landed on Alexis' face, making his bicolor eyes glisten due to a reflection. The morning outside looked fantastic and a warm breeze flew by, making the leaves of the trees dance at its rhythm. The summer was probably just around the corner, followed by really hot days. A couple of feet away from the main building of the facility was a big old wall made of concrete and beyond was the vast world where Alexis and the rest of the Variables were banished. "It has been 10 years, huh? I wonder how much everything has changed since then," he thought as he slowly walked toward the windows, placing his hands behind his head.

    He stopped in front of the middle window and stared at the distant wall, his expression serene. The government has taken them when they still were so young, so Alexis doesn't remember much of what was beyond that wall. Sure, he has read a lot of articles and watched pictures from the books James gave him but it wasn't the same seeing such places and stuff in person. A wave of melancholy also struck Alexis' heart as he began to wonder how was everyone in the orphanage he belonged. They probably didn't miss that much, but he was curious to know about them after all these years. "We will ever get the chance to go out from here at least once or they're planning to keep us for another 10 years or who knows if forever?" That question echoed on Alexis' brain as he kept staring at the wall, a slight frown on his face, thinking how unfair everything was. Not only they imprison them here by force but they're also training them for use them like some source of weapon the government can use at will and dispose of whenever they wish.

    Thinking about that fact only fed Alexis' frustration after feeling so powerless. He's always forcing himself to just live with it because that was his destiny, but there was a tiny voice deep inside of him that refused to be treated like that and craved for freedom.
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  11. The younger girl laughed slightly at the older one's reaction to her getting his attention. She winced slightly as his nails dug into her wrist, although kept up her general smiles against it. A tad painful, yes, though she did have many appearances to keep up. One being that she could take anything. Could she have avoided it? Maybe. Probably. She was more than capable of being annoying by just avoiding his retaliation whatsoever. Though letting Pyotr go through with his bursts of hostilities was just too fun to miss. His coffee on the other hand? Seemed gross. Eva sometimes liked coffee herself, but she usually has it with a lot more cream and a lot of sugar. So black? "That coffee seems about as gross as it looks. Blech. Smells disgusting."

    She stepped backwards a bit, twirling the fork between her fingers, giving it a bit of a spin before properly catching it in her hand. "Y'seemed kinda out of it, Pyoti~ I just wanted to get your attention, no need to be soooooo meaaaann. Could be eating right now, but I just wanted to be nice." Eva's arms crossed over her chest, tilting her head slightly downwards with a little pout. She huffed a bit, before taking a step away from the spilled coffee, more towards Pyotr's other side. Once again, appearances were key when it came to her. She knew that Pyotr loved her antics. So what was the point of stopping? For the past six years she's been here, the best entertainment she got was with her peers. Pyotr = Fun to annoy.

    Finding everything to pass the particular moments helped her distract herself with her own problems within. Her own incapability to do some things, her inadequacies, her occasional failures... Being sub-par to everyone around her. She hated not being entertained, because a lot of times that happens. Somewhat because she thinks back to the past a lot to try and remember what was fun. Happens more often than not. Her thoughts passed for a couple seconds as she paced around Pyotr, cleaning his 'toxic drink', before she found something else. She twirled the fork in her hand once more, flipping it over the back of her hand before aligning her left index finger with the prongs.

    Pointing it right towards Pyotr's head, a few inches away, and enough in his peripheral vision, she giggled to herself mostly. "Gotcha though, won't touch you." Eva stuck her tongue out as she smiled towards the older boy. It was clear she was antagonizing him again, although debated avoiding him or trying to take his reaction as to annoy him with his misstep in deterring her.​
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  12. Esme tended to shut himself out from other people, and this was no exception. Ten years he has known those people, but he never really bothered to really get to know him. He glanced up from his book, observing the people around him. He has spent ten years like this, dodging conversation, and only occasionally muttering a few words towards others. He wasn't shy by any means, but he never felt like spending too much of his energy on conversation. The teen didn't have anything to say anyways. Not being particularly fond of anyone didn't help. Esme did have a few conversations with Pyotr, but that didn't go far enough to evolve into a mutual somewhat-friendship. His interactions with anyone outside of Merci were painfully limited. He didn't mind though, assuming nobody else minded either.

    A plate of food was slid in front of him, snapping the boy out of his trance. "You need to eat, Esme. You'll get sick," a voice rang, and he knew whose it was without turning. Esme snapped the book shut, placing it by his feet on the questionably clean floor. He did not say anything back to her; inside, he knew she was right. When they just arrived, he ate sparsely, passing out during training several times. It wasn't a good look for him or for those designated to take care of the trainees. He assumed Merci picked up on the inconvenience of it all. He wasn't about to entertain the thought that people are actually capable of doing pleasant things for each other because they care.

    "Did you sleep well?" she continued. Esme half-glanced at her, picking up a small bit of food with a fork. "Yes," he lied, before pausing out of some feeling reminiscent of guilt. "Well, not quite." The blond rested the fork upon the plate, feeling the plastic material between his thumb and pointer finger. "I had the recurring dream again. The one in which you die," he stated plainly, in a cold monotone. He spoke matter-of-factly, as if stating the weather instead of discussing a personal -- and horrifying -- dream. "Otherwise, I slept well. Yourself?"
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  13. "Stop that. Your voice sounds horrible," Pyotr commented and June winced outwardly and fumed in his seat as he finished his cereals-in-a-glass. "Sorry..." he mumbled as he finished and reached for the napkins on his side of the table and began to help wipe the coffee on the table, irritated at Pyotr's words. He fumed silently as Eva continued to, for the lack of better words, "play" with Pyotr, missing their entire conversation. June did blinked and looked up as Alexis ruffled his head, smiling at him before leaving their table. And just like that, his anger left him. June sighed as he continued to help Pyotr wipe the mess on the table, feeling oddly weighted at his anger. Shaking his head in exasperation, June stood up to throw away the napkins and put away his glass. He was used to Pyotr and his general...Pyotr-ness, he shouldn't get irritated. He was guilty, he shouldn't have been so despondent. He wanted to properly apologised. After all, Pyotr accepted him better than the rest and for that June was going grateful. And well, there was Alexis, but he doesn't quite count. He was friendly to everyone, not just him.

    June turned around and winced at the atmosphere between Pyotr and their youngest. While he wanted to apologise, he wasn't quite going to go between Pyotr and Eva during weird bonding moments. Well, at least, that's what he thought they were doing. He didn't know why else they kept arguing. Looking at them made June's head hurt but he didn't feel comfortable leaving Pyotr alone, but he didn't want to stay there too. Glancing to the windows, he saw Alexis, looking melancholy. He's seen him that way for a few days now, and June knew better than to pry but it made him worried, even if it wasn't his place to ask. Glancing back to Pyotr, he sighed and decided he was going to give them a few more minutes. He mentally willed his pencil and sketchpad to him as he walked to where Alexis stood. Pyotr was going to be safe, at least for a few minutes more. It wasn't like Eva was going to actually physically harm him with James watching. Plus, emotional restraint-anger management- was good type of training too. Though June winced to himself, he didn't want Eva to completely antagonise Pyotr too much. The whole day wasn't going to be fun if she did.

    He also knew he was stalling (and he was going to apologise even more later) but he really wanted to see if the Alexis was okay. Walking along the windows made June wince slightly as the sun shined in his eyes and turned to windows to attempt to block it with his arm and paused. His blue eyes reflected back to him, but the red tinge in them, making some part violet, made him look away after a moment. His mom loved his blue eyes, he remembered her telling him that everyday, something from his dad she always said. But his eyes weren't the ones his mom loved anymore. They stopped being the eyes she loved since he was 8. Breaking his train of thought, thinking of his mom was going to get him nowhere but depression, and he'd rather not get panic attack here of all places, where everyone could see.

    "Alexis?" June called out as neared the Japanese-American. When the other didn't respond right away, he narrowed his eyes and raised a cold hand to the other's forehead. "You're not sick, right?" He asked, backing away when the other felt warm, but normal warm, not fever warm. "You're really quiet today," he commented softly, looking down to his sketchpad, "Not that it's a bad thing, I just...sort of...noticed?" He hunched to himself as he ended his sentence as a question. He looked back to the other boy and scratched his neck in embarrassment. "Never mind." he added and moved to go back to Pyotr. "We should get those two to stop. Pyotr's going to attempt to burn her by sheer will at this point." He muttered and started to jog back, not certain if Alexis was following or not.
    #13 Boss Megu, Jul 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
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  14. "Awww, is little pyro throwing flames around again?" Mordecai taunted Pyotr in his bored tone. "Then again, you always were the first to blow sparks at the slightest sign of kindle." To be honest, this was getting rather old to Mordecai. Pytor lashing out at everybody near him, Eva being annoying for the attention, June being himself but being abused one way or another, Merci and Esme acting like a couple, and, of course, Alexis being...Alexis. At first, Alexis would only space out for only a minute or two before returning to normal. Lately however, these episodes became more frequent and lasted longer.

    What could he possibly see out that window? thought the teen to himself. Does he think that if he stares at the wall hard enough it would crumble? He looked around the room. He could not deny that he hated this place as well. He also wanted to get out of this boring place. He shook his head and returned to finishing his breakfast. He'll dream when he's asleep.
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  15. [​IMG]
    ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ¤ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ¤ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

    From the moment the words escaped Pyotr's mouth, there was some tension in the air. Pyotr was taken slightly aback to see June wince at the statement, even though this was not the first time he had hurt someone with his words. Before now, he had been scrubbing the table with such fury, one might think it would burst into flames from the considerable friction. But as soon as June mumbled his apology, it was as though Pyotr had turned into stone just by the mere mention of that one simple word. Guilt weighed heavily on his chest. It built up when June reached for more napkins and helped clean the table. It reached to such heights that Pyotr had almost forgotten his anger. Squeezing his eyes shut, he let a sigh escape from his mouth—a sigh small enough that only he could hear its remorseful undertones. Had he been too harsh again? Pyotr could never tell. But what did it matter, anyway? Emotions never did anyone good, least of all himself. Logic was strength. For a split second, Pyotr's fist clenched over the napkin in his hand, and just like that, the guilt in his heart slowly dissipated. He must not show weakness.

    "That coffee seems about as gross as it looks. Blech. Smells disgusting." Just this comment from Eva brought back strong feelings of resentment. Then again, perhaps they had never left. It was true that black coffee was more of an acquired taste than anything. In fact, he too had despised it as a child, but as he grew older, he found a strange sort of likeness for it. Almost as if it were the depths of his own soul, stripped of passion, devoid of sweetness. For once, he could find no words to counter Eva's sentiments.

    "Y'seemed kinda out of it, Pyoti~ I just wanted to get your attention, no need to be soooooo meaaaann. Could be eating right now, but I just wanted to be nice." Eva continued.

    "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm always like this, you should be used to it by now." Pyotr replied, his voice cold as ice. He did not look at her but instead focused his attention on the plate of food that he had barely touched. Thanks to June's help, the spilled coffee was no more, and the table was as spotless as it had been just a few moments ago. The fair-headed boy had left his seat earlier to dispose the napkins and had yet to return. Was June mad at him? No, probably not. Pyotr had said the same things and worse to June even before this incident, yet the boy had remained unwavering in his loyalty. It was not worth getting anxious over, right?

    Though he had lost his appetite, Pyotr forced himself to finish his breakfast. But it seemed that, no matter what he did, Eva just would not leave him alone. The girl twirled the fork in her hand and then pointed it right at Pyotr's head. Pyotr could feel the metal's pointed end even if it did not touch his skin. His eyes grew large in shock—not for the first time that day—and suddenly he felt as if his life were in danger, as though the fork were more than just a utensil but rather like a threat. "Gotcha though, won't touch you." Eva stuck her tongue out, smiling. Pyotr stood up so quickly from his seat that he almost knocked it over. There was nothing he could do, though. He was weak, he could not use his powers, James was watching his every move. Still, she had hurt his pride. She had exposed his vulnerabilities, again and again and again.

    Oh, how he despised girls. Eva's jokes might strike others as harmless banter, but for Pyotr, who had suffered abuse at the hands of his sister, would not take them lightly.

    "Awww, is little pyro throwing flames around again?" Mordecai remarked, his tone as disinterested as ever. "Then again you always were the first to blow sparks at the slightest sign of kindle."

    It was clear that Mordecai had intended to anger him further, but Pyotr just saw him as a mild annoyance. If the same words had come out from Eva, Pyotr would have lashed out for sure. Mordecai just seemed emotionally detached, like he did not really mean the words he said. Still, that didn't mean Pyotr would let him have the last word. "Oh, are you jealous? If you wanted my attention that badly, you could have just said so." He replied in the same mocking tone. "Come on, fight me. I'm warning you now though: get close to the fire and you'll get yourself burned." It was barely a threat. After all, Pyotr lacked in physical strength. But he was intelligent. Resourceful. That much should be enough to make up for whatever it was that he lacked.

    "That's enough. Break it up, you three." James yelled, but Pyotr barely heard him.
    #15 FieryCold, Jul 9, 2016
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  16. He'd settled himself on the table by the window at that point, chin resting on one hand as he picked through his breakfast, chewing on dry cereal as if it were popcorn, far more interested in the world within the pages of his book than he was in the contents of his breakfast; after all, it was the same boring crap every day, was it not? That could be said of the whole situation, really: His fellow prisoners had split off into their usual social groups; Esme and Merci huddled close together, Alexis and June off somewhere together, Mordecai and Eva both bugging the crap out of the long-suffering Pyotr. (Not that Blake minded, Pyotr was a jerk.)

    He winced as said Russian jerk grabbed Eva a little too hard, making her wince in the corner of his eye. He liked Eva, somewhere deep down in the sad black pit of his heart, (at least he thought of it that way,) and a tiny part of him wished she'd chosen him as the pet target of her antics. He wouldn't have minded, not really, and he could always throw rubber spiders or something at her in an attempt to freak her out right back. Maybe he'd tried a little too hard to spook her those first few times, and she'd settled for the harsh yet predictable Pyotr over Blake's all-too-convincing crazy act. Maybe she could tell it wasn't all an act.

    Well, whatever the case, he'd buttered his bread and now he had to lie in it. Despite the forlorn nature of his thoughts, the little messed-up idiom always made him smile, and he chuckled into his cereal before chancing another look at the other table. And oh boy, what a sight greeted him. Mordecai was getting his kicks tormenting Pyotr, and Blake could feel the wrath boiling off the other boy. Maybe a fight would break out, that would certainly be something to entertain while he finished his cereal, and Pyotr probably deserved to be smacked around a little after being so hard on Eva...

    Sliding his way over a couple of tables, quiet as a snake, cereal in hand, Blake resettled himself juuuuust close enough to the budding conflict. A wicked grin on his face, he turned his gaze to Mordecai and Pyotr, and with a voice that was too soft for James to make out but more than loud enough for the people a table over, he began to chant. "Fight, fight, fight, fight...." His fork clinked against the bowl with each word, beating out a tiny war chant on plastic tableware as he tried to hold in his laughter.
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  17. "Oh..." Merci responded, almost not hearing the male's return question. "I'd have to say that I slept pretty well. Perhaps more so than you did." The girl's face was still somber, and she couldn't decide whether she liked or dislike how bluntly he'd told her about his dreams again. It made her happy that Esme felt he could at least confide in her, and it showed that he cared that such a dream interrupted his sleeping, but he also said it with such a monotonous tone that it was impossible to tell what he was really thinking. He didn't have a mental type variable, so she didn't worry herself that it might be some premonition bound to eventually occur. It was just a recurring dream of an event that took place eight years ago, but with a more tragic outcome.

    She herself naturally had dreams about what happened from time to time, but she was never met with a truly sad ending. The fact that they were here now was simply a fact, and there wasn't much they could do about it unless they planned on escaping. Silver always made it clear that such thoughts were to never be exercised. As well trained as they now were, their teamwork was still as greatly lacking as their social interactions, and none of them stood any match for her. Not as they were now. Merci didn't like to let her mind wander on such things, however. It only reminded her that she was without a means to combat other variable users without relying on Esme for yet more support.

    "I wish you wouldn't have such dreams. I don't think anything like that will happen to me. Even if we don't want to be here, we're still-" Merci was cut off by the growing ruckus behind them. Though she didn't dislike their presences, she was hoping to keep to herself and Esme. Such a hope was slowly being chipped away at though, as the atmosphere behind them grew ever more intense. Pyotr, who'd been riled up by Eva, as per usual, was now being coaxed by Mordecai. Alexis, who had moved to calm the two of them down, barely seemed to be succeeding. With any more pushing, a fight was certain to break out. 'They're acting out again?' This rhetorical question passed through Merci's mind, who was incapable of understanding why a man as intelligible as Pyotr allowed everyone to get to him so easily. Even after all these years.

    'Training will start soon,' she spoke to Esme, telepathically. 'Will you be alright today?' She knew it wasn't something she needed to worry herself with, but she had no doubt experiencing bad dreams every night did a number on one's stress levels. Luckily, Esme wasn't the type to worry himself needlessly about such things. "They're just dreams," he'd probably tell her. "Nothing more." James, who would be the one to guide them all to the training hall when it was time, seemed to be finishing his meal himself. He was eyeing the group with an amused sort of smile, the antics of the children never ceasing to amaze him. He wouldn't stand idly by for too long though. Not if things got too out of hand.
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  18. Alexis blushed faintly as June touched his forehead for check if he was sick or something. He got flustered not because he have feelings for him or something like that. It was all because he didn't expect him to do such a thing. Calming down, Alexis smiled, kind of happy to know that June cared and felt bad for worrying him. He scoffed and shook his head. "I'm fine, don't worry about it, June-kun," he said after a couple of seconds, batting his eyes back to the wall secretly. He could have told him his thoughts about how much he was dying to know the land beyond that wall and that he wanted to be free, but thought that the best thing to do was to keep that to himself. That way, he can avoid James and Silver to eavesdrop that conversation and other consequences. Besides, he guessed that everyone may be so accustomed to this place that they probably will mock him for having such illusions.

    "We should get those two to stop," said June, snapping out Alexis from his thoughts once again. "Pyotr's going to attempt to burn her by sheer will at this point." Alexis narrowed his eyes after hearing such statement and when he turned his head to his left, he spotted a pissed off Pyotr yelling at Mordecai, followed by James telling them to settle down, not moving from his seat. He even noticed an amused smile. Alexis sighed lightly and followed June from behind, thinking that James should do more to stop those two. He didn't expect them to fight, but after knowing Pyotr since they were in the same orphanage, Alexis knew that he will do anything to get rid of annoying people like Mordecai, not minding if he needs to slap or punch him. He could let June do the work, but he was afraid that he won't be able to do much neither the rest of the Variable.

    "I guess this is up to me, huh?" he thought and scoffed, shaking his head. Once he was near Pyotr and Mordecai, Alexis raised his hands with a calm expression, smiling nervously. "H-Hey... Why don't you guys calm down a bit, mmh?" he asked them, a drop of sweat appearing on his forehead as he realized he probably won't be able to do much. He stood up between them and looked at them, trying to keep his composure. "There's no need to fight for something so silly, Pyotr. Mordecai was just joking... Probably. Besides, we're on the same team here, okay. Fighting with ourselves it's pointless and I bet you'll regret it afterward. So, come on, let's just forget about it and get ready for the training, mmh?" Alexis looked at them after talking, hoping that he was able to settle things between them. His heart was beating fast and he was kind of afraid what could happen now. Also, he couldn't believe that nobody came in for help him. "Are they so bored that they just want Pyotr and Mordecai to rumble for entertainment or what?"
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  19. June froze when he saw that Pyotr and Mordecai were up and standing. He quickly walked closer, cautious. It wasn't that he was afraid to get in-between them fighting (though he was, June never liked sparring or getting hurt), he was more wary of approaching too fast and actually starting the fight. Coming closer the table Blake sat at, June mustered a glare his direction when the other teen started to egg them on quietly. Pausing beside Blake's table, June frowned at him. "Don't let them hear you say that," he said, "They'll turn on you, if they do." With that little warning, he walked back towards Pyotr's side just as James started approaching himself. "That's enough. Break it up, you three." he yelled at Pyotr, Mordecai and ...Eva? The little imp was still there?

    Blinking June, he shook his head and approached Pyotr, not quite close, but close enough to defend him, if needed. And he didn't see Eva at first. Scoffing to himself, he should've checked. While Eva wasn't a threat, at least, not yet, he should've expected her to stay. She loved chaos, but beside these two powerhouses, she was infinitely dwarfed by them. Wiping the amusement off his face, he kept his face blank. It wouldn't do if Eva heard that comment. June didn't know what she'll torture him with. He wasn't as friendly as Pyotr, he might accidentally make her cry. Pyotr and Eva always fought and he threw the worst insults back at her and she laughed. LAUGHED. And June wasn't smart or amazing like Pyotr (and by extent Esme), he might say the wrong thing and then where would that lead him? Dead. Pyotr would most likely butcher him for killing his ... whatever Eva was to him.

    While deep in his thoughts, he was startled at the sight of Alexis coming between Mordecai and Pyotr and James coming closer still. Rushing, June knew that Pyotr would most likely would feel threatened by all these people, he quickly made his way to Pyotr's left. It was his place, after all, the right hand was the adviser and the left was his assassin. While it mostly applied to the mafia; something Esme lent him awhile back, June felt it was the right comparison. June wasn't smart and he accepted that, but what he had, he could use to defend.

    June made his form as relaxed as possible, but ready, ready to defend if needed. June tried to catch Pyotr's eye but looked away quickly, slightly embarrassed. It didn't really matter what Pyotr said or did, June would always, always be there to defend him. After all, June had sworn to be both his shield and sword. Steel didn't bend at harsh words, nor sharpened under praises. Steel was steel, wielded by those that deserved it.

    Right now, that's what June was. Steel. He narrowed his eyes at Mordecai and Eva, keeping them in sight as James finally reached them. This was the calm before the storm. One wrong move will have everything fall into chaos. Chaos wasn't something June approved. Nope, that was Eva's league.
    #19 Boss Megu, Jul 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  20. The younger girl quietly laughed to herself for the quick moments between her taunting Pyotr with the fork and the chair toppling over. Refusing to submit to the intimidation, Eva took a step back and twirled the fork within her fingers once more, gripping it in the palm of her hand. "Whoooo, hello there! Hiyyaa Pyotiii~ I'm just having a little bit of a game here, you know this." It certainly fun for her, what else could be expected from the lil-ball-of-demon that was Eva's desire for entertainment. Currently though, she was interested in milking the situation for whatever energy she could find. With a smirk, the girl shot the taller Russian her content taunting gaze, before taking a step back at Mordecai's comment. Oh how that felt so right, getting other people dragged into her little fun. Eva gave Mordecai a head nod of approval, smiling to him contently. She knew that he likely would be focused on Pyotr, but everyone deserved approval for their actions.

    Next thought, shall we? Distraction. With a bit of a chuckle, Eva took a half dramatic stage bow, before letting those two sort out everything as they did. That, and James had requested so. So might as well, although that didn't mean she couldn't have just a bit of fun. "Thank you, thank you, my job is done here, Hm?" Her free hand snapped her two fingers into pointing towards at Blake with a tilt of the head. "A fight eh? That'd be fun. C'mon, go at it." The girl shifted her weight to turn towards her food, grabbing the plate in one hand, and taking pecks at the food with her fork. Her gaze shifted between people within the rising tensions. Oh, oh, how that would turn out. She's got her plate of food right here, ready to take some eggs and aim it at the not so hard to hit tall and annoying Russian. "Yo Blake, you taking sides, or what?"

    As for people stepping in, there was a bit of an... Unfortunate contribution to the conversations. Alexis stepping in to defuse the situation a bit. Can't exactly stop him, he's a relatively fun guy, sure. But him stepping in like this? He seemed a tad stressed out about stepping in, maybe he was trying to be Sweden for the hell of it? The girl had no clue, really, but the way Alexis seemed to talk. Eva really didn't know. She quickly spoke up, before wondering how else to fuel the fire and the flames. "Alexxxiss c'mon let'em at it." Then there was June, off to Pyotr's side. 2v2 right about now? Seemed fair. To an extent. Made things a bit fun. She hummed to herself, giving June a bit of a questioning look, although with a smug look on her face as she awaited what would happen next. Tensions were high, things ready to snap... What could be more fun?

    One more taunt. Let's see how that one goes, eh? Ahh this has been a fun morning so far. Fun, somewhat, sure. But nothing that special. If she could get one more laugh in before the fight, well that's perfect. Or, one more taunt before the lack of the fight, she still would win her game. She had her plate ready to throw the food at Pyotr if he directed the Cold Flaming Russian Fury towards her, knowing him she'd get a bit of glare at least. A little telepathic message can't hurt. That badly. "You know, Pyoti, I just enjoy the games we play. I also loooovvvee knowing that I win. Every. One." With that, she awaited the predictable demonic gaze, responding with a wink and taunt with the tongue, seeing how this all plays out.
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