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The Thanatos Effect: Chapter Two - The Drop

Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:29 am

2246, ten years ago

A flash of lightning lit up the sky above Celsius Corp., illuminating the interior of an otherwise darkened building. Down below on the city streets, pedestrians struggled as rain hammered the sprawling capital of Neo Thermopolis. High above the plebeian hustle and bustle, a faint glow emanated through the gray curtains of an executive office. Inside sat Celsius President James Declan, reviewing the latest sales figures. The company had been hit with hard times ever since the end of the Second War; at this rate, despite its lengthy resume of technological achievements, Celsius would crumble.

The realization was too much for James Declan to bear. At the edge of his desk sat a revolver, poignant in its solitude, with a single bullet loaded in the chamber. Declan eyed the object and grimaced, beads of sweat forming against his brow. Slowly – ever so slowly – he reached for the gun, and spun the chambers before snapping them into place. He held it up to his temple.


A misfire.

He spun the chambers again. Click. ”Damn it all!” the beleaguered man inwardly roared. He yanked open the top drawer of his desk and rummaged for another bullet, loading it into the gun. Declan raised the revolver back to his temple, clenching his eyes shut as he gasped one final breath.

Brrrriiiiiiiiing!!!!!! Brrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiing!!!!

The man's eyes shot open. He jerked the gun toward the window and pulled the trigger. A bang echoed through the room as the shot collided with bulletproof glass. Declan felt a cold shiver run down his spine as he turned toward the monitor. A video call at this time of night? He staggered across the dark office, still clutching hold of the revolver. As he tapped a button on the screen, the hazy silhouette of a man appeared before him.

“Hello? Who is this?” Declan grunted. “How did you get my private line?”

“Mr. Declan! It’s nice to meet you,” the figure bellowed, startling the president for a moment. “Sorry to interrupt you so late at night. We tried your home phone number, but it seems it was disconnected?”

“Who are you?” Declan's face took on a perplexed look.

“Ah yes, how rude of me. I am Representative Henry Sheppard, of the Republican Council.”

Declan’s eyes widened as the screen grew bright, revealing the councilman's face. “Representative! W-why are you me calling at this hour? I’ve done nothing illegal.”

“Oh, don't be silly, Mr. Declan. I wouldn’t make such a personal call if we were to arrest you. No, no, I am actually here because I wanted to discuss a little government project we’d like you to head. Interested?”

Declan was silent for a moment. “Of course. Anything for the Council. What do you have in mind?”

“Are you familiar with Dr. Alfred Quail?”

“I am. His research in prosthetics has led to the development of the modern SIREN. We’ve been working on a few designs ourselves, but–”

“But Celsius is on its last legs, and you’re no longer able to fund the research.”

Declan felt irate. “...That is correct.”

“Mr. Declan, allow me to be blunt. We are most likely on the verge of a third world war, and the Council is not convinced that current Republican technology is enough to stalemate with the Maldovans. Your company was one of the leading developers during the Second War,” Sheppard ran a hand through his silvery hair. “Mr. Declan, we would like to offer funding for your company's continued – and intensified – research into SIREN technology.”

James Declan couldn’t believe his ears. “That – would be very satisfactory,” He touched his face, shaking his head slightly. This was a CEO's dream. “We have a few bipedal prototypes in development. They still need to be tested, though.”

“Don’t worry about that, Mr. Declan. We will be able to provide you with all the necessary materials. We do have a rather pressed time schedule, though. Could Celsius produce a set of field-ready prototypes within the next decade?”

“Ten years is more than enough, Mr. Sheppard. I can have our development team begin immediately.” Declan grabbed the side of his desk, steadying his knees. This was like a miracle. “I would imagine we'll need to interview pilot candidates.”

“That will not be necessary,” Sheppard’s tone was stern. “This project must be kept as quiet as possible. We will handle all outside preparations. Your company should focus on SIREN development for now.”

Declan gritted his teeth. He wasn't used to being condescended. “...Of course, Mr. Sheppard.”

“Wonderful. I look forward to our business, Mr. Declan. You’ll be hearing from us again shortly.”

2256, One Week Ago:

“COOOOOOOOLE!!!!” Lieutenant Draza’s voice echoed through the barracks. Isaiah lay sleeping on his cot, a small puddle of drool gathering on his pillow. “Wake your ass up, Sergeant!!” Draza shook the man awake, causing Isaiah to flail his arms madly.

“What the hell, Lieutenant!?”

“You’re being transferred. Pack your bags.”

“Transferred!? Where?”

“Neo Thermopolis. The capital. Apparently they want you for weapons testing or some bull shit.”

Isaiah’s ears perked up a bit when he heard the words ‘weapons testing.’ It’d been years since he’d had an actual assignment so playing with guns was the most fun he got to have on the job. “What the hell are they testing in the capital?”

“If I had any idea I’d make sure they sent someone better than you. Get moving.” Draza ordered, forcing the Sergeant out of his bed. Within the hour Isaiah was packed, dressed, and out the door to the bus station. It was a five day trip to the next major city, then a night for rest, and a 12 hour flight to the capital.


New in town.

Isaiah stepped off the plane in his usual sneakers and military jacket. After setting his bag down for a moment, he pulled a single slip of paper out from his pocket where he’d scribbled the address for Celsius. “What the hell are they sending me to a civilian weapons company for? Bloody hell.” Isaiah sighed. After taking a look at the map the young sergeant came to realize that Celsius was on the complete opposite side of town, much to his dismay. “If I spend any more time sitting on my ass I’m gonna lose the use of my legs……” the jar head growled, hoisting his bag over his shoulder and heading towards the exit. After procuring a cab and throwing his bag in the trunk, Isaiah relieved himself of his heavy military jacket, tossing it in the seat next to him. “Get me across town to this address as quickly as possible, pal.” He stated flatly, handing the cab driver the address to Celsius.

“Da, comrade. Right away.” The cab driver replied pleasantly.

Isaiah on the other hand snapped awake and shot a stare at the cab driver. “You from Maldova, buddy?”

“Da. I moved hear when I was old enough to drive a car. It was how you say? ‘A royal pain in the ass?’”

At this, Isaiah couldn’t help but laugh. “I can only imagine. You had to go through Eutavia first didn’t you?”

“Da. To be honest I miss it there. No fighting. I come to this country to get away from the fighting in my own. But now that I’m here all they do is fight some more. When will it ever stop?”

“Afraid it’s never going to, buddy. Fighting’s human nature. As long as there’s people, there’s going to be a war.” At this the cab driver was silent. The two men remained quiet all the way to Celsius. “$32.50, comrade.”

“Here’s $40. Keep the change.” Isaiah sighed, stepping out of the cab and hoisting his bag and jacket over his shoulder. The young sergeant gazed up at the Celsius sky rise, whistling at the sheer height of it. “That’s a lot of stairs……” Gradually Isaiah headed inside, where he was greeted by a scrawny little man in a business suit.

“Greetings, Sergeant Cole and welcome to Celsius. If you’ll follow the signs down this hallway to the waiting room the others should be arriving shortly.”

“Others? What oth-“

“No time for questions, Mr. Cole, just hurry.” The scrawny man cut Isaiah off, annoying the gunman to some degree. Without another word Isaiah strutted down the hallway to the designated room, dropping his stuff off by the couch as he poked around the interior of the room. A vending machine sat near the back of the room while a television hung from the wall on the opposing end, surrounded by various black leather couches and chairs. Unsure of just how long he’d be waiting, Isaiah grabbed himself a drink and plopped down on the farthest couch, deciding to unwind from his rather long trip.
Last edited by Bolts on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:53 am

~ Melani~
~ Celsius Headquarters, Arrival ~

A handful of minutes after Isaiah had vacated the open airways for the meeting room, the petite blond came clambering along the same route he had taken, dragging a folding rolling cart behind her. Even lessening the gravity of her load by putting it on such a rolling cart didn't make the task of moving all of her luggage easy. The olive bag that was nearly as tall as she was was stuffed completely full, almost to bursting, and was accompanied by two rather large duffel bags, one a grease-stained denim and the other obviously a first aid kit.

She huffed out an intelligible greeting to the man in the suit, nodding and beaming despite the fact that her freckle-bedecked cheeks were flushed from the effort of moving her possessions. She leaned very far forward, as someone might when climbing a very steep hill, and trudged along, tugging the not-for-sale-in-stores cart behind her.

She had to pause for a moment to catch her breath at the door to the meeting room, pressing her forehead against the cool wood and trying to will her heart rate back down. It'd been way too long since she had to do hardcore PT...On the bright side, though, she was getting a workout!

She pulled herself away from the door, drawing a deep, strengthening breath, and smiled a smile that might well have been brighter than the sun itself as she pushed the door open and then 'muscled' her cart in behind her. She flashed her megawatt grin to the other occupants....occupant of the room. Oh my, but he was handsome.


Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:00 pm

Ren - Touching the sky

The reassignment was strange, to say the least. It wasn't uncommon to use fielded soldiers to test new weapons, but it was a bit suspicious that it came so fast after That mission. And what was with all the secrecy? It made her feel uncomfortable.

It had been such a long time since she had been to Neo Thermopolis. The last time she was here was back when she was 9 or 10, on a trip with her parents. She had fond memories of this city. All those little boutiques she had visited with her mom. It drove her dad completely crazy. It was perhaps one of the few times where they all had fun as a family.

The taxi had dropped her off in front of the Celcius building, Ren paid the exact price, not believing in tips - You do your job, and you get paid for it. It was quite an impressive building, reaching so high it almost looked like it touched the clouds. Of course she knew what Celcius did, what soldier didn't? They were probably the reason they hadn't lost the war yet.

She took her luggage, a single duffle bag - she liked to travel light - and moved towards the building. There was a representative awaiting her. "Good afternoon miss Ishii, I hope your flight was okay?" he smiled at her and even bowed a little, but Ren simply gave the man a cold stare. "Right... If you would follow me please, I'll take you to the waiting room." Still she didn't say a word, and simply stepped ahead of the man, making him run a bit to get in front again.

He led her through the main lobby, through a hallway, towards the waiting room. Ren could just see a large bag squeezing it's way through. "Those would be the other invitees." the man said. He stopped just in front of the door and turned to Ren, once more smiling. "You'll have to wait inside until all the others have arrived as well. Please make yourself comfortable, and get to know the ones who have arrived already." and with that the man sped off again, leaving a slightly confused Ren in his wake.

"Others?" she mumbled before pushing open the door. Nearly tripping over the suitcases that were stacked in front of the door, she stumbled into the room. There were a man and a woman present. It was pretty obvious that the man was military, but the woman didn't seem so. Ren simply gave them a polite nod, and sat down across the room from them. She crossed her arms and legs and just stared off into the distance.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:59 pm

~ Melani ~
~ Celsius Headquarters, Meeting Room~

"Ohmygosh! I'm so sorry!" she blurted out in reaction to Ren nearly tripping over her things. She turned quickly to tug her baggage farther out of the way of the door, cheeks flushing darker from the embarrassment now coupled with her exertion.

"Sor..." She trailed off as she realized that the girl had already walked away without so much as a word. Her shoulders slumped a little as a sigh left her, and she looked defeated for a moment. Suddenly, though, she straightened, smiling once more, as if she'd decided she wasn't going to let that little setback set her back any.

She manhandled her stuff into a corner of the room and turned about again to face the room. One hand went to smooth her unruly ponytail, and she cleared her throat. "So, um, yeah. I'm Melani."

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:10 am

-Corporal Kirill Galia-

Kirill watched the two women speak from the doorway. He has arrived not moments after the two. He flexed his mechanical hand softly and he walked by the two, one taller than him and one barely shorter. His coat flared slightly and he kept his head down. He didn't say anything to them but sat across from Isaiah, nodding slightly to the much taller man. Kirill rubbed underneath his green eyes, feeling the bruise coloured skin. He couldn't take his meds for another four hours.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:10 pm

Sergeant Isaiah Cole ~ New Faces

Isaiah had covered his head with his jacket moments after plopping down on the couch, thereby preventing any light from disturbing his rest and preventing him from noticing Melani's sickening grin. Before he could respond another woman entered, tripping over the first girl's bags which she'd carelessly left piled in front of the door. Despite not being able to see through his jacket, Isaiah could tell exactly what had happened. He'd been paired up with a ditz. "Great....." he thought to himself, raising up from the couch like a zombie rising from its grave. The young sergeant's tired eyes shifted to Melani who had again made an attempt to introduce herself to everyone. Like Ren, Isaiah too got the impression that Melani wasn't the usual military broad, despite her years of service. "Where were you stationed, Melani?" he questioned, not bothering to give his own name out yet. "Wherever it was; is it common for soldiers to act so informal?" By this point, Isaiah had slipped his jacket back on, revealing the three stripe insignia on his sleeve labeling him as a sergeant.

"Cole. Sergeant Isaiah Cole." Finally, a name. By now Kirill had taken a seat across from Isaiah. He wasn't much to look at but at least he kept quiet and formal like the girl occupying the other couch. A low sigh left the man as he leaned back against the couch. "I guess formalities aren't that big a deal right now though. Seeing as we're all apparently working in a civilian company. Frankly this all seems a bit ridiculous to me."

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:42 pm

~ Melani ~
~ Celsius Headquarters, Meeting Room ~

Her mouth fell open and her face illustrated that the sky was falling down around her as Isaiah chastised her. As the brightness left her eyes and the devastation grew, her shoulders slumped. And this was all in the space of a few words, the transformation brought on by his tone more than the actual words he spoke. By the time he was ready to introduce himself, she looked defeated, but pulled herself to a rigid salute, schooling her face into as much neutrality as she could, though there was still a fair bit of poutiness about her mouth.

"Corporal Melani Engleton," she replied, her voice ringing much more hollow without the sunshine and rainbows behind it. "I was formerly a Combat Medic in the 34th, Sergeant Cole, sir. You have my deepest apologies for my misconduct." She stared straight ahead at the empty wall on the other side of the room as she spoke.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 am

ZZ :Arrival:

Zirra sat in her seat quietly as the plane began to make its descent. The ride over was fairly uneventful as ZZ watched the clouds go by while sipping on some Jameson’s on the rocks. Finishing off the last of the whiskey, ZZ waited patiently for the seat belt sign to turn off indicating they had landed. She had been sitting next a few other characters that were fairly entertaining her on the ride over. A soft landing with the roaring sounds of a plane trying to slow down didn’t cause ZZ to budge from her seat. The plane eased into the gate, ZZ grabbed her trench coat and handbag, keeping it close to her as everyone began to get their things together and hurry off the plane. ZZ remained seated, waiting for most of the rushers to get off before trying to reach up in the overhead for her bag. By the time she got off the plane and into the waiting area for her gate, most of the passengers had left and gone home, most likely to their families. Sighing as she started the trek towards the front of the airport, ZZ kept to herself walking briskly towards the exit.

Hailing a cab down, ZZ climbed into the backseat telling the driver where to drop her off. The car was silent except the series of clangs and jingles that played in the background. The driver tried to make some small talk with her, but ZZ politely kept her answers short and simple. Upon reaching the destination, ZZ give the driver $50 dollars and got out of the car, heading towards the huge building. She looked up at the colossal skyscraper, captivated by its beauty and wonder. She ambled towards Celsius Corp., the glass doors opening for her automatically. There she met a small man who pointed towards the waiting room. Nodding in acknowledge, ZZ followed the man’s instructions to the doors of the waiting room. Pushing the doors open, she noticed right away that she wasn’t alone. Keeping close to the wall closest to her, she headed away from most of the people, sitting a few seats away from Isaiah and across the way from Kirill. She set her bag down next to her and held her coat across her legs, waiting for others to arrive. She glanced around with her eyes, wondering if anyone knew why exactly they were here.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:34 am

One week ago
Theme: "I'm Gonna Fly" by Sydney Forest

Early afternoon rays beamed down through a clear blue stratosphere, shining on the grounds of the SIREN Development and Testing facility. The tiny clump of buildings that comprised S-DAT looked positively miniscule in the wake of Celsius Corp. Gleaming brilliantly in the sun, the company HQ loomed above the researchers like a giant silver monolith.

Sharline glanced away from the skyscraper. Staring up at something that bright was like looking into the sun itself. “Sharline!” a man's voice called out from behind. She turned to see the hulking form of Grant Eckhart charging toward her at thirty-five miles an hour.

“Aah!” the woman let out a scream, a smile spreading across her face. She instinctively braced herself, jerking her arms up into an X. “Grant, stop!” The executive dug his metal heels into the ground, spraying up tufts of dirt. He skidded to a halt several feet away.

Encased in the massive Alexander, Eckhart towered over the brunette. He must be at least seven feet in that thing... Standing in the diminutive Sepia, Sharline had to tilt her neck back to look into his face.

Eckhart took off his helmet. “Killjoy,” the man ran his fingers through sandy hair, his locks gleaming in the noon sun. His skin, bright and browned, seemed to radiate with enduring youth. Sharline had to fight feeling a little mesmerized. Radiant...he's like Alexander the Great. Then she remembered a few seconds before, when he charged her in his bulky Assault suit.

“Grant...stop scaring me like that,” she tried to stifle a laugh. “You look terrifying in that thing.”

“I can't help it,” a grin spread across Eckhart's face. “You were so oblivious just now.”

“Hey you two!” a woman shouted. Sharline and Eckhart turned to see a female figure bounding towards them in a black Scout suit. The woman skidded to a stop and removed her helmet, letting thick mahogany hair tumble down her shoulders. Sharline squinted; it was hard to see the pilot's face through the bright sunlight. She edged behind Eckhart.

“Myra,” the man stated, somewhat flatly. “What's up?”

Myra St. Moritz flexed a large metal hand. “Nothing really, performance is fine. Dustin said we've received the profiles from the Army,” the olive-skinned woman nodded toward the facility behind them. Sharline turned; across the sprawling grassy field that was S-DAT's testing grounds, she could see the figure of Dustin Collier waving his arms. Eckhart let out a sigh.

“Tch. Alright, I'll touch base with him now,” Eckhart braced the ground. “Keep an eye on this one, eh Myra?” he flashed Sharline a grin. “If she keeps staring into the sky, someone'll snatch her up.”

“Pah!” Myra scoffed, Eckhart already halfway across the field. “That guy...I wonder what his wife would say.”

The younger woman fought a smile. “He's...he's just a flirt,” Sharline rolled her eyes. “Any woman could spot his line a mile away.” As she spoke the words, she tried to believe them herself as Myra shrugged and strutted away.

- - - - -

Later that day

Sharline looked at the oversized watch on her wrist. 3:05... She glanced around the room. All of the department heads in Project Epsilon were seated around an obsidian-black table. Myra was at her right, tapping her fingertips against a steno notebook. Several interested (and authorized) parties observed from the background; President James Declan himself reclined in a corner of the room. The man was leaning back against a wall, arms crossed over his chest. The door clicked opened.

“Alright, let's get this show on the road,” Grant Eckhart strode in, clasping his hands together. Myra shot Sharline an easy-to-decode glance. Fashionably late, as usual. “The Army's finally selected the participants for Epsilon. You know the rest,” the man's tone was casual as he took the head seat. “Dust, take over.”

“Right,” Dustin Collier stood up. The junior analyst hooked a lock of wavy hair behind his ear. “The Republican Army has selected forty of their best servicemen from each sector of the military,” Collier explained, passing out a stack of manila envelopes. Sharline looked over the folder that Myra handed down; “CLASSIFIED” was printed across the cover in bright red letters. Original. She tore it open and shuffled through the enclosed pages. Alvarez, Juan Carlos...Chevalier, Helene...Gong, Xiaoli... The profiles were a litany of ethnically-diverse names. The corners of Sharline's lips turned up in a smile. Did they have a quota to fill?

“...What? Is this a joke?” Myra's voice. Sharline looked over at the older woman. “Alcoholism...multiple personality disorder...previous addiction to – heroin? These people sound horrible!” A murmer of discontent arose around the room. The executives' expressions were a mixture of exasperation and disbelief. Eckhart hesitated.

“...I admit, the Army has certainly selected a – colorful, cast of characters,” he smirked.

Myra was irate. “They can't expect us to outfit these people with SIRENs. Half the candidates present serious liabilities.”

“It can't be helped,” Declan spoke up, his baritone voice echoing through the room. Everyone fell silent, heads turning toward the smooth-haired CEO. “This is their stipulation. From the beginning, the Council reserved the right to select Epsilon's participants,” he unclenched and rotated his jaw. “I've talked it over with legal. If something goes wrong, the Council will take responsibility for this shit.”

Angry objections shot up around the room. “What are they thinking? This is madness,” an aged executive massaged his temples; Sharline couldn't recall his name. “This is bullshit – we're taking on too big a risk!” a brunet man, Peter Donahue, slammed his folder down on the tabletop.

“People, people! Relax,” Eckhart's tone was indulgent, but Sharline could sense a hint of rancor. “Come on. These are the 'best of the best.'” Several executives scoffed, a few sneered. Eckhart grinned. “Let's welcome them to the family.”

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:51 am

Ren - At attention

A sergeant? That was odd to say the least, what would garner the presence of a sergeant? Ren gave the man a salute, it was custom after all, but made no intentions of introducing herself just yet. He looked pretty scruffy, but that could've come from a long travel. The fact that he had talked down that annoyingly cheerful girl brought a smile to Ren' face, if only for a brief moment.

So the girl was a corporal as well? A combat medic even. An odd selection of candidates so far. And what about that new girl? Would she be something... odd as well? It was pretty clear this wasn't going to be your every day weapon's test. But it wasn't her place to question all of this. And what did it matter? As long as she was getting paid, she'd be fine with it.

With a sigh she reached into her bag and took out a pack of cigarettes. She was sure nobody would object. And even if they did, she hadn't seen any sign telling her not to smoke so they could just stuff it. Tapping out one she noticed there were only three left in the pack Damn, gotta get a new pack soon she thought while lighting it with her special storm proof lighter. There was nothing as relaxing as having a smoke after a long flight. So she inhaled deeply and kept it there for a few seconds, before blowing the smoke towards the ceiling with a long, grateful, sigh.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:51 am

-Corporal Kirill Galia-

"Corporal Kirill Galia," said Kirill in a soft voice, watching the smoke from Ren's cigarette. "I am Artillery expert. Is very ridiculous. But is order. Orders must be followed, no matter how trivial." Kirill rubbed his arm where it connected to the metal. The pain was a low throb and in an hour it would be a small pain if he didn't ice it. Kirill pulled a small icepack from his pocket and fiddled with it, laying it on his leg near his left hip.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:15 am

Sergeant Isaiah Cole - Maldy?

Isaiah gave a tired wave to Ren as she saluted him. There were perks to being a sergeant. By now though, Kirill had started to speak, or at least that's what it sounded like he was trying to do. "Geeze, this guy has a worse accent than the cab driver." he thought to himself, breathing in some of Ren's smoke, noting the heavenly scent of it. "You a maldy, Galia?" Isaiah's question hung in the air for awhile before he reclined back into the couch. "Don't suppose that much matters. Either way your accent is atrocious though." At this point Ren's smoking was starting to make the young sergeant a bit antsy. Casually he reached for one of the metal cylinders in his front pocket, uncapping and pulling the cigar from it fluidly. After biting off the head and spitting it into a nearby receptacle, Isaiah pulled a box of wooden matches from his other pocket, striking one against the coarse edge before finally lighting the cigar.

One long drag later and Isaiah was in total bliss. "Nowuh dat dat's 'aken cur ub. Whas yer s'ory?" he asked, glancing at Ren, his speech discombobulated by the cigar in his mouth. After removing the oversized death stick from his mouth, Isaiah let out a long blow of smoke before turning to ZZ. "Same goes for you I suppose."

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:56 am

~ Melani ~
~ Celsius Headquarters, Meeting Room ~

Melani let her posture relax and fell out of her salute as she was completely ignored. She frowned, wrinkling her nose as Ren and Isaiah lit up. Piping up about the dangers of smoking would get her nowhere, and she had a feeling that asking for a little more respect to her person would be a request that fell on deaf ears. Instead, she just moved to open the doors to get a little more ventilation. She'd already ruined her first impression and none of these people were going to like her, at least at first. She'd grow on them, of course, like the sweet little fungus she was, but it would take a lot of time now, and that was disheartening. At least Kirill didn't seem like he'd made a judgment about her yet...and neither did it seem like he lacked basic human respect. And he looked like he was in pain, poor thing. She hoped she'd be able to do something to help him.

She took a breath--in through the nose, out through the mouth--as she propped the doors open, as if it would cleanse and strengthen her. She lingered a few moments longer than was necessary, then moved to lean against the doorjamb, crossing her arms over her meager chest and biting the inside of her cheek. Surely there was some way to salvage the situation. She just had to think of it.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:46 pm

-Corporal Kirill Galia_

"I am not Maldovian!" Kirill snarled at Isasiah, glaring at the older man, "I vas born here. I am in military to protect my country, do as told. I am not monster like them." He held up his left arm, showing his black prothetic, "They do this to me. I never talk." He adjusted his pink scarf and looked away from the dark-haired man, "I am not Maldy."

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:32 pm

ZZ :Wait, What?:

ZZ laced her fingers together as she waited in the meeting room for someone to inform them of what was going on. As Ren and Isaiah lit up, the smell waffled through the air and curled around her nose, lingering slightly. It reminded her of mother’s bad habit of smoking. The smell brought back memories, ones that ZZ didn’t mind, but it was only for a moment before Isaiah spoke to her, bringing her back from the past. Wait, what? she thought to herself. ZZ looked up from her hands and glanced over at Isaiah. Turning her body towards him, she looked at him without making eye contact. “Private Zirra Zahari, sir.” She nodded towards him with respect before continuing. “I am an artillery expert specializing in the flight path and behavior of proj-, ballistics.” She glanced to the side as she felt slightly embarrassed for beginning to explain what ballistics were to a sergeant.

A sharp pang of pain shot through her head briefly before throbbing on the right side of her temple. ZZ closed her eyes for a moment before opening them again and gazing back at Isaiah. In her peripheral vision, she saw Melani goes towards the doors, opening them. She felt a small breeze from the hallway caress her skin slightly, leaving goose bumps in its wake.
Last edited by Kyuu on Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:30 pm

-9 days prior to the current events-
*Viscont Slavik, Cernovia*

The constant patter of heavy rain hitting the ruined form of a concrete city filled the air, through the gloom created by the lack of light in such a densely situated area made the Maldov scout patrols nervous. More than three hundred years ago, Maldova laid waste to the once fair country of Cernovia, a land that had been known for it's large and connecting cities as well as it's manufacturing facilities. Now it's streets were debris filled, war torn buildings had either collapsed, thereby blocking entire sections of the road or simply crumbled in on itself.
The country appeared to be completely uninhabitable yet somehow the Cernovian people thrived by using these ruins to set up ambushes, bobby traps or simple use them as cover while they gathered intelligence on any advancing forces.
The crackle of lightening and the subsequent boom of thunder further intensified the feeling that the patrol was being watched but with so many ruins it was impossible to properly determine where their enemy could be hiding.

Unbeknown to the small patrol, the eyes of Cernovia simply watched them. The flashes of lightening allowed several observers to keep tabs on these interlopers. Viscont himself was one of them, his body was soaked as he lay prone amongst the debris, through his binoculars he could see the enemy slowly leaving his designated sector. This was the third patrol the Maldova had sent this month, it wasn't surprising. Ever since their expansion the Maldova had been at their boarders but due to Cernovia being part of the Republic could not risk opening a theater of war in such a hazardous location.

Besides him were two teenagers, barely four years younger than him, they were here to learn how to operate in such a situation. To learn how to observe the enemies' movements and to remember which sections of this city were bobby-trapped. Beneath the ruins lay the underground system that house the population, only those in the 'military' or who were allocated time inside the nations capital came above ground.
"Sector 25 clear, enemy forces moving outside of vision range." He whispered in his communication link before turning it off to speak quietly with the two teens, "Remain calm, always remember that. Use what our ancestors built, while they have long since crumbled they still serve practical use for our people." The rain continued to fall on them as they waited for their shift to be over, neither of the teens complained about the cold or about them being soaked.

It was his duty to help the next generation survive the war, to teach them to use their surroundings and how to thrive on the enemy's confusion. It was a grim task, teaching those so young the way of war. How to slit a man's throat in such a matter that they made as little noise as possible, to cut short a person's life. Like all Cernovian's they did not approve of death but did what had to be done in order to exist, to remember that those who they killed were son or daughters, fathers or mothers. To forget that was to forget you were human. One had to be taught that there were consequences when dealing in death to avoid them from becoming too distant.
An hour passed until the relief unit came quietly, Viscont led the two teens down into the underground systems, weapon raised to insure that none of the Maldova were leading another scan of the network. Even as they moved deeper down the complex network, he gave them quiet instructions on possible scenarios until they finally reached the alloted check-point.

As he lay on his bunk Viscont contemplated the news he had received earlier that day, that he was going to be placed inside a new unit, a research project that might shift the war. Naturally it was kept secret from everyone else in the barracks, too risky if too many people knew this not to mention the fact it might raise false hopes.
As the man began to let his mind wander his thoughts drifted to the patter of rain far above him, perhaps one day that rain would help cultivate his homeland... perhaps this project would aid that dream.

*Present Day*

"....errr...Mister....is...is it sergeant? Corporal?" A nervous man spoke inside the car that was being used to bring Viscont to the meeting. The man's left eye opened lazily for a moment, "Private." He simply corrected before closing his eye again.
"You...um... Private Slavik, we are about to arrive at the designated location." The man said trying not to look directly at the man's face. An hour before they began their journey to the Celsius sky rise the man had interrupted Slavik as he was reapplying his contacts briefly catching a glimpse to the another possible reason to why he wore the lenses, it had been somewhat unnerving. "D-do you mind me asking h-"
"Born like that. Nothing else. Keep it under wraps if you can." Viscont interrupted coldly opening his eyes as the car stopped, without saying goodbyes or well wishes he got out of the vehicle. He only had a duffel bag on him, there wasn't much in the way of fashion back in his homeland after all nor any reason for it. As Viscont moved forward he was greeted by a well dressed man who subsequently gave him directions and politely advising that Viscont tidy himself up before entering.

With a heavy sigh, the man did as was suggested; straitening the uniform he had been given by his hosts. It was a standard issue uniform that most of the Republic wore, his original clothing had been deemed not appropriate for the meeting by his superiors. Everything looked rather plain, considering the circumstances except for one detail. He still wore his combat knife, his hosts had been unable to convince him to remove it, constantly trying to assure him that the place was secure but a Cernovian never felt had the leisure.

After walking about he neared the appointed room, the smell of tobacco seemed to stem from the room. The door was slightly a jarred, it didn't seem prudent but Viscont simply took it in as a sign that the meeting had not yet begun, why else would they risk leaving the door open so that information could leak out due to such carelessness?
Placing his free hand on the door knob he turned it and moved to enter the room.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:54 pm

~ Melani ~
~ Celsius Headquarters, Meeting Room ~

"Whah!" The tiny blond lost her balance as the door that was bearing a portion of her weight suddenly moved and threw her off balance. She took a clumsy step to the side and slapped a hand against the wall as she craned her neck around to look at the new entrant.

"Ah...Hi. Sorry about that. Didn't mean to be in the way!" her embarrassment was colored with returning cheer, and she gave him a cheeky smile to cover her awkwardness.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:15 pm

Viscont Slavik, Celsius HQ

The startled woman was the first thing that greeted the man as he slowly entered, he altered his head slightly so that he could see who was apologizing to him before giving a calm reply, "It is not a problem." His tone was neutral as he hadn't a proper opinion on the woman, his face appeared somewhat gaunt but other than that he looked very much like your everyday citizen.

Taking note of the other members inside the room Viscont carefully placed his bag on the ground and snapped attention, "Viscont Slavik, Cernovian Resistance, Assigned rank; Priavte reporting for duty." He introduced himself with a dead voice, there didn't seem to be much enthusiasm in his voice even though his salute was precise and proper.
Without any further words the man picked up his bag and moved to the wall, once he made sure it was out of the way, Viscont simply sat down on the ground and leaned against the wall letting his 'brown' eyes roam around to observe the others interactions.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:43 am

Ren - Don't ask, don't tell

It sure was a colorful bunch. It was pretty obvious that this wasn't your average weapons test. It wouldn't be a vehicle test either, seeing as there were no mechanics present. Perhaps some new tactic? Naah, that didn't make any sense, why would Celcius have anything to do with that? No, this was something new. Why else all the secrecy?

Ren peaked her ears as the sergeant mentioned something about a Maldy. The scrawny man did have a very thick accent. She squinted her eyes a little, what would a Maldovian do here? Luckily, for the man that is, he was no Maldovian. A shame really, she could use a little work-out after such a long flight. The sergeant turned his attention to Zirra and her, how pestering.

She gave the sergeant a long cold look, not so much a mean look, more like a bored neutral kind of look. She inhaled deeply and blew the smoke into his direction. Leaning forward she said "Corporal Ren Ishii, former squad leader of the 403th regiment stationed at the northern borders." as if it was a line in a textbook. She made sure to emphasis the word former, as she wasn't planning on taking on any more leadership duties. She really didn't feel the need to tell any more, so she leaned back again and took another long huff.

The tiny blond girl let out a yelp and jumped out of the way. Couldn't she just sit somewhere, like a normal person? Another man entered the room, saluting and droning out his name and rank just as bored as she felt. Still, Cernovian Resistance? What were they doing here?

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:04 am

Sergeant Isaiah Cole ~ Emotional Damage

What the hell had Isaiah gotten himself into now? There wasn't a normal bugger in the entire group. Melani was still acting crushed after the formality comment, then there was Kirill. Oh lord, Kirill. "Listen, pal. I don't care if you're Maldovan or not. It was a simple question, answer it simply. I don't need to know your damn life story." Isaiah had a hollow glare about him as he shot down Kirill. If this was how he reacted to questioning then he'd have to keep a sharp eye on him from now on. Even still, he didn't like the idea of having someone in his unit outright despise him. Somehow, he had to salvage the situation. ".....Sorry to hear about your arm and leg." he huffed, holding little sincerity in his words. Kirill wasn't the first soldier to lose a limb. Hell at least a quarter of the modern republican army had had something replaced.

Next up was that Zirra girl. She seemed to be about as timid as they came. "Artillery, huh. Interesting." he stated flatly, shoving the cigar back in his mouth as Viscont entered the room, causing the bumbling Melani to almost fall over. Isaiah simply rolled his eyes as the girl began apologizing immediately. In a way he did feel sorry for her. Poor thing just wanted to fit in. "Have a seat, Engleton. Take a load off."

By now, Viscont had entered and started his introduction. After everyone else showing such informal behavior, it was nice that at least one of them acted like a soldier, even if Isaiah wasn't the prime example either. "At ease Slavik......everyone else is." The sergeant took another long drag from his cigar, blowing the smoke out towards the ceiling with a contented sigh. Yet at the same time another smell invaded his nostrils, blocking out the sweet scent of his cigar. It was Ren's cigarette, sweet smelling on its own but when compared to a cigar, ultimately just bland. This woman was sending him mixed messages. Formal, informal, formal again, just what was this woman? "Pleasure, Ishii." he said, blowing the smoke from his cigar towards her in a kind of returning fire manner. "Well for those of you that just joined us; I'm Sergeant Isaiah Cole and I have no clue what we're doing here."

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:16 am

~ Melani ~
~ Celsius Headquarters, Meeting Room ~

A relieved breath rushed out of her as Isaiah told her to sit, and she practically skipped to sit in the vicinity of the others. Well, not skipped, but there was a definite bounce in her step. She plunked herself down into her seat and clasped her hands between her knees, leaning forward slightly as she looked amongst those that were gathered, her smile brighter and more heartfelt than the truly nervous thing she was flashing before. There was still a bit of apprehension in her demeanor, but it was almost completely covered by her untenable cheer.

"Um, if it helps, I think I got picked because I'm not only just a medic...I'm kinda handy with machines...and stuff..." she offered, then pressed her lips together as though she realized just how idiotic she sounded.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:50 pm

ZZ :Thoughts:

ZZ let out a small sigh as the sergeant told them he didn’t have a clue as to why they were here. She looked around at her fellow “teammates” and surveyed what the situation was looking like. Seeing each of their personalities slowly surfacing, Melani’s more than most so far, she was beginning to get a headache. “I need a drink…” she muttered under her breath, hoping no one heard her. As she said that, she remembered what happened the first time she went out drinking with the boys. Of course, painful memories and embarrassing ones are not to be recalled often. Although she was sure that story of hers getting so drunk that she ended up pole dancing on top of a bar and then doing a strip tease would be a good ice breaker. Or just an awkward conversation to have with everyone including a sergeant. It didn’t really matter since it wasn’t going to come up anytime soon, unless she was in a whole life story telling mood one night getting drinks. 'Doubtful.' ZZ looked at the occupants of the room again, no one really standing out much. ‘This is going to be fun…’ she thought to herself.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:02 am

Welcome to the Family
Celsius Headquarters
June 12, 2256

As the recruits talked amongst themselves, a door clicked open across the room. A man strode in, followed by a woman on either side. At first glance, the man appeared to be some sort of executive. The light colors of his beige suit stood out against bronzed skin. His golden tan was further complemented by his hair, sandy and effortlessly windswept. The man's face was squared and handsome, the corners of his mouth sliding into an easy smile. He wore a chain around his neck, which dangled against a broad chest. Only faint lines around his eyes betrayed the otherwise youthful appearance.

The women behind him were similarly distinctive. The one to the left wore a forest green pantsuit, which perfectly complemented her olive complexion. The straight lines of the suit accented an athletic figure, while her face, sharp and angular, was unadorned by any makeup. She was quite tall for a woman, most likely in the vicinity of six feet. Her mahogany hair was clasped back by a barrette in a low ponytail. Although obviously female, with her dark skin and strong presence, she looked vaguely similar to the man.

The other woman was about ten years younger. Her body was markedly weaker in its dimensions, despite the structured blazer and pencil skirt she wore. The material of the jacket, sturdy and gray, contrasted against her pale skin. The woman's face, with large eyes and a light, curved jawline, was distinctly nonthreatening. She had applied a modest amount of makeup, but it seemed excessive in comparison to her colleague. Although she was several inches shorter, one could not tell as she tottered atop black high heels.

The man began to speak within seconds of entering the room. “Hello,” his smile was smooth. He took a seat in a plush recliner at the end of the coffee table. “Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to Celsius.” The women sat in wooden chairs on either side of the door. The one in the green suit glanced around the room at the recruits, scribbling in a steno notepad. The younger woman had opened a manila envelope and was shuffling through several papers. The man's expression became piqued.

“It looks like we're missing some faces... Two, right?” he glanced over his shoulder. The young woman looked up from her lap. “That's right, Gr–Mr. Eckhart,” she hesitated midway. He nodded. “Alright. I'd like to get this underway – I'm sure you're all curious about the situation. I'll begin the debriefing in five minutes.” He leaned to the side of the armchair, propping his head up against a large palm. Several gold rings gleamed in the light. “If they don't show...well, tough shit.”

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:27 am

Sergeant Isaiah Cole ~ Wrong Answer.

Isaiah had a deadpan stare fixed on Melani as the woman gave her answer. This girl was starting to touch nerves that weren't meant to be touched. The stare went on for what seemed like hours as the young sergeant sat, not blinking, not looking away, just staring. "Does anyone ELSE have an idea as to why we're here?" Isaiah was approaching the end of his cigar by now, taking in the final drag before depositing the smoldering remains in an adjacent ash tray. He heard the woman next to him whisper something about a drink. Either way it had nothing to do with the current topic so he'd just ignore it for now.

Then Eckhart entered, being met only with a slightly lighter stare from Isaiah than he'd given to Melani. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but there was something about this fellow that he didn't like. Maybe it was the fact that he was surrounded by far less agitating women than was the present company in the room. Either way Eckhart's presence irked him. Nevertheless, he at least seemed to know what was going on. Thus, Isaiah waited the allotted five minutes before moving to speak up himself. "Times up. The hell are we doing here?"

Before Eckhart could so much as register the question though, a loud thud emanated from the hallway as the door was kicked open. Standing in the frame was a man in his mid 40's who looked like he hadn't slept in days. He wore a long white lab coat over a set of casual business clothes. His dull brown eyes remained slightly hidden by the greasy black rug that was his hair as he shifted into the room gurgling curses as he did. "You tell them anything yet, Eckhart?" he spat, pulling a clip board out of his coat before going over it with a pen. "Nevermind I'm going to ask them anyway." he stepped over towards the center of the room, shins brushing against the coffee table as he struggled, it seemed, to stay awake. "Cole, Galia, Ish-.....how the fuck do you pronounce that? Isheeee." he slurred, crossing Ren's name off the checklist. "Slavik, Engleton, Zah-.....Damn you people and your screwed up names. Something with a Z are you here?" he glanced around the room before eventually focusing on Zirra. "Check. So we're missing Cross and Claus then. Well.....there goes Christmas." he said, throwing in what seemed like an attempt at a joke, though one wouldn't have guessed from his facial expression.

Isaiah was at the edge of his seat. If Eckhart made him uncomfortable, this fellow wasn't winning any awards either. "Excuse me." he interrupted the man's process. "What the hell is going on here?"

"I'm getting to it, shutup." the man grumbled, scribbling something next to Isaiah's name as he did. "Now then, I'm Dr. Damien Caldwell. Yes I'm that Dr. Caldwell. No you may not ask for my autograph, and no I am NOT your buddy." Damien continued scribbling on the notepad as he introduced himself, eyelids struggling to stay open as he did. "Now then, since Eckhart obviously hasn't told you anything yet I suppose I'll have to take care of it. But we'll do that later. Eckhart, is there anything you want to add before I get this show on the road?" he asked, shifting his gaze to Eckhart, the look on his face almost begging the man not to speak.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:34 am

~ Melani ~
~ Celsius Headquarters, Meeting Room ~

She wilted again under the oppressive stare from Isaiah, and looked down at her feet, picking at her short-clipped fingernails. She hadn't felt so out of place since Basic 5 years ago. Maybe if she just kept her head down and mouth shut like she'd done then, they'd get through whatever initial weirdness was going to be there and then she could make friends with someone....maybe.

And then Eckhard and his women entered, followed shortly by the good doctor...and none of any of it made her feel any better at all.

She closed her eyes, bit the inside of her cheek, and willed herself to be at least outwardly strong. She would never live it down if she burst out into tears here today, she was sure.
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