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Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:55 am

Sharline – Commuter

A bullet train streaked through the series of tunnels beneath Neo Thermopolis. The flash of silver began to slow down, and, after an interim of about ten seconds, glided to an automated stop through the stark lines and gray palette of Arcadia Station. As the doors slid open soundlessly, a bustle of people filed in and shuffled out. “Arcadia. Arcadia,” a female computer echoed from the inside of the subway car. As the last of the boarders streamed in, the doors slid shut once more.

The faces of the subway passengers were nondescript in their similarity – cold, spent, and aloof. One middle-aged man firmly grasped the metal railing, staring straight ahead. Dressed in a sharp suit, he knuckled a large briefcase in his left hand. Nearby sat an older woman, of about 80, crumpled in a seat by the doorway. Wrapped in a mauve cardigan, her gray curls and withered skin seemed to embody an era disparate with the modern, cybernetic world. Beside the dowager was a much younger woman, whose open countenance and alert eyes were distinct in the sea of hollow faces. The young lady shifted in her gray wrap sweater, shivering. She glanced sidelong down the cabin; an electronic sign was installed overhead, displaying the time in bright red text. 6:34 AM.

Sharline looked back down to her notes. She had copied several interesting points about the new transfers from their files. The analyst had known she would want to review them on the commute to work, but thought it would be unwise to read actual Celsius documents in a public subway. “Now approaching...Brandt. Brandt.”

Three stops later, Sharline had left the train and the dismally minimalistic station. Celsius HQ was only a few blocks away; as she entered the sprawling lobby, she showed her ID to the guard at the security checkpoint. Several people stood in line further ahead, each one momentarily placing their palms against a blood ID machine. When Sharline was next in the queue, she touched her palm against the surface of the device, aligning her pointer finger with the needle underneath. Ngh. She felt a pinch prick her skin, and a verification ding! echoed up from the machine. A small picture of the analysts's juvenile face appeared on the monitor, along with the word AUTHORIZED.

Sharline heard animated chatter as she approached the hallway to the group's barracks. She had looked up at the clock in the cafeteria as she passed by a minute earlier; it was 7:04. I guess Isaiah wanted to get started right on time. As she rounded the corner, nearly the whole unit came into view. Mel and Ren stood by their rooms in their pajamas – or in Ren's case, what sufficed as pajamas. Sharline snickered to herself. That said, it remained to be seen which was odder – Ren's lingerie-clad laissez-faire attitude, or ZZ standing at full attention, dressed in complete recruit regalia at seven in the morning.

Isaiah and Slavik stood nearby with the new recruits. The person who caught her attention first was a blond man, relatively slight in bearing, and probably a couple inches shorter than herself. That's...Drake Bauer. A taller, muscular male stood by him, as did an older man with five o'clock shadow and a generally coarse appearance. Richard Williams and Jens Makarov, respectively. It felt strange to have new people with them again; the analyst had grown used to the colorful unit. I wonder how this will affect our chemistry...well, here goes. She stood up straighter, assuming full height, and let a natural expression assume her face. It was something of a small smile. “Good morning, everyone. Isaiah, I see you've met our new recruits, huh?”

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:08 pm

~ Melani ~

Melani somehow managed to tear her eyes from Isaiah to glance at the others, first flushing at Ren's state of dress and quieting the jealous voice in the back of her head that said mean things about the woman, then paling at ZZ's flawless dress-out...Did they have to be in uniform? Was she going to get yelled at? At least she'd put pants on!

The panic that edged her eyes dimmed somewhat when Sharline appeared. Certainly, if any voices were to be raised...now, wait a minute, who'd be raising their voice? Isaiah was in charge, and he wouldn't yell at her--err, them--for being out of dress for answering such a surprise alarm...

She let out a breath that was audible, and raised a hand to wave to Sharline, coupling it with a bright bubbly smile. The lovely civilian's comment directed Mel's attention back to the new arrivals, and she turned that sunshine smile on them, too. "Oh! Welcome to the squad! I'm Mel, your Medic and Mechanic" she blurted out, the idea of formal introductions not even entering her mind.

Surely some fresh blood would revitalize the team, and they'd get out of their all-too-comfortable Last Place spot in the rankings...Right?

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:09 pm

Slavik, early irritations.

The man's eyes narrowed slightly at the salute, there was a moment of irritation on his face but he let it go and gave the man a surprisingly crisp salute, "At ease Corporal. In the future please refer to me as Slavik or if you must be formal, Sergeant Slavik would do. Cernovian Resistance so I'm not a sticker for the formalities, that goes for the rest of you as well. " He gave a light smile as he relaxed again, "I take it we are in a hurry for something Sarge? Or can we have breakfast?"

He let the smile hang for a moment before letting it slide off, the rest of the unit was still in their sleeping gear... except for ZZ it seemed. Mel still had her pajama's on at least... Ren choose not to wear them and wasn't even slightly ashamed... Then again who was to expect an early morning wake up call?

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:02 pm

Drake buried a light chuckle in his coffee, amused with the stark contrast of the heavily-female squad. One woman was trying hard, but the other two were almost laughably lax before their leading officer. He, otherwise, waited patiently as they staggered in, and asked their questions. He hadn't quite expected a female mechanic, but at the same time, was quite prepared for an unusual morning following this unit's reputation. He pretended to be ignorant during a long drink from his almost-empty coffee mug, and avoided a proper salute. He made a simple smile after Slavik dismissed their tense greeting, secretly glad he'd been so relaxed.

After a long delay, he faked a small cough, then cleared his throat before speaking up. "Yes, sorry. I'm specialist Drake Bauer. I've previously worked in computer programming, but I'm also well versed in electronics hardware. Pleased to be working with all of you." While he started with some fake enthusiasm, his voice quickly dragged into a dull drone as he named his profession, settling on a soft, but deadpan greeting.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:44 pm

Isaiah Cole ~ Clean Up the Riff Raff

While Isaiah and the new recruits waited for the first of their squad mates to show themselves, Isaiah had been mulling over the unit as a whole. They were being sent on the first official mission the Epsilon project had ever seen, and not of them were ready. Isaiah wasn't about to kid himself, he knew not one member of his squad was up to par. There was a reason they'd continually been ranked last and Isaiah felt it was directly related to his own failure as a leader. That needed to change. "I'm going to have to do a complete 180 with this group.....we don't have time to gradually improve anymore." Isaiah's thoughts drifted on when ZZ stepped out in full uniform. "Good morning, Corporal Zahari." Isaiah nodded pleasantly. "Maybe they're not a total lo-" Isaiah's train of thought was interrupted by Ren stepping out in her underwear.

"......" Isaiah was speechless as his gaze fixated on Ren. It was not a lustful glance by any means. Rather it was a deep rooted glare of pure contempt. He'd barely noticed Melani's entering the area, much less her casual smile in his direction. So enraged was he by Ren's dress that it immediately became the focal point of his entire being. "That's it. No more Mr. Nice Sergeant." Isaiah growled under his breath. He waited, giving Ren more than enough time to correct her obvious mistake before finally lashing out. "Corporal Ishii!! Just what the hell do you think you're doing!?" Isaiah's voice carried a tone it hadn't maintained since his earl days in the military. "You think it's alright to greet your squad, much less your commanding officer in your skimpies!? What if General Rourke was here!?" By now Isaiah had already crossed the gap between himself and the woman. He now stood towering directly over here. "Tell you what! Since you're obviously so comfortable with other people seeing you like this, why don't you go run the obstacle course dressed like that? Get your boots on and get moving!! Don't worry, I'll let Dr. Shaw know you're coming." Isaiah practically shoved Ren back into her room before making his way back to the control panel, again entering a seemingly random sequence. In time an image of Dr. Shaw appeared on the screen. "Dr. Shaw, Corporal Ishii will be at the obstacle course in approximately five minutes. See to it she hasn't put on any pants while she's running it." Isaiah cut the call off immediately afterwards, leaving only a severely confused Dr. Shaw on the other end. "The rest of you report to the briefing room on the double. Except you, Mel."

Isaiah's gaze shifted to the other woman in his squad. At least she'd had sense enough to put on pants. "Finish getting dressed and meet the rest of the squad in the briefing room. I'll be along shortly." Isaiah's tone had grown significantly softer during his address to the girl, though it was obvious this was not one of his more pleasant moods. "Ms. McGovern, walk with me. You and I have some very serious matters to discuss."

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:18 pm

Ren - Involuntary mud bath

She was slightly taken aback by Isaiah's sudden outburst, it somehow felt unlike him. She tried to voice her opinion "Hey, wait a minu-" but Isaiah was on a rampage and cut her short, not wanting any backtalk. She gritted her teeth in anger and deliberately didn't make eye contact as the man approached her. She had expected this to be the end of his little rampage, he'd made his point towards the newbies "Hey guys look at me, I can be a rough guy as well". Instead he pushed it even further, not only sending her to the obstacle course alone, but in her underwear?

Once again she tried her best to intervene "Whoa wha-" but was this time cut short more violently, as Isaiah pushed her back into her room, causing her to stumble. She blinked a few times as she regained her footing The fuck is his problem? she thought as she quickly grabbed her shoes. For a fleeting second she thought about quickly putting on some pants, but that seemed like admitting she was at fault here and she was in no way giving him that pleasure. So she took her shoes and went back outside, giving Isaiah a cold glare that would put the arctics to shame, and brushed past him, making sure to clip his shoulder as she did.

Obviously she got a few odd looks from the various Celsius employees, who were either just rounding up their late night shift, or starting their early morning one. But she didn't care, she was seething with anger at this point and it was a good thing that nobody decided to ask why she was walking these hall in her underwear, because she was liable for murder right now. Luckily there weren't that many people out at this time.

Her mood did not improve when she finally did get to the obstacle course, for one very big reasons. "My, my, my, is this what we consider official dress code these days?" Dr. Shaw semi-jokingly said as he checked her out from top to bottom, not really trying to hide it. Ren was clenching her teeth hard enough to give any dentist a heart attack. "Not a fucking word Shaw, not a fucking word." she hissed at the man with so much vile, it even made him raise his clipboard in defense. Honestly, him? Of all the fucking people, him? That was a low blow by Isaiah, very low. "Let's just get this over with." She said as she put on her shoes and walked towards the start of the course.

Dr. Shaw coughed, regaining something of his original stature. "Right, I won't ask why you're dressed... or undressed like that. Just run the course a few times, I'll tell you when you can stop." He said as he moved towards the observer station, where he would have a good view over the entire course.

She had run this course so many times now, she could run it blindfolded. Not that she wanted to give Shaw any ideas. Of course, running it in your underwear was something different all together, and she was not looking forward to it. The mud chafed and felt cold and running without a sportsbra was just painful. But she bit the bullet, even with Shaw's jeers about making this regular or that the other girls should be joining in. If this had been any other day, maybe she would've even enjoyed this in some strange way. As long as it had been her own choice, not forced on her as some form of sick punishment.

She had no idea for how long she had been running now, but Shaw finally whistled. "Okay my mudbunny, that's enough." He came down from the observatory to meet up with Ren, who at that point was thoroughly covered with mud and had scrapes and bumps all over her body. He was smart enough not to push his luck any further, given that Ren was more likely to rip him apart. "Clean up and meet the rest of the team in the briefing room." He simply said and turned around, leaving Ren to herself.

Ren noted that by now almost an hour had passed, and that her anger still hadn't diminished even a little. In fact, all the mud only made it worse. And she couldn't even take a shower here, since she had brought no clean cloths, meaning that she had to drag her mud covered ass all the way back to the barracks, to shower in her own bathroom. By now more people were up, all watching the odd mud covered woman smear the once so pristine halls. By the time she finally arrived at her own room, the others were long gone.

The shower helped little in easing her mood, the water only washing off the mud to show the many scrapes she now donned. But she tried to calm down, she really tried. Isaiah had all the rights to reprimand her for her actions, but this seemed too much, much more personal. She sat down in the shower stall, letting the water run over her head as she collected her thoughts. Obviously she couldn't do anything against Isaiah, no matter how much she wanted to. He was her superior officer. So she had to swallow this bitter pill and don't complain about it. "Fucking asshole."

She entered her bedroom again and sat down on the bed, still damp from the shower. She pulled her revolver from under her pillow, it wasn't there because she was paranoid or something, it helped her sleep and force out the bad dreams. It was a talisman of some sorts. She spun the chamber around a few times, enjoying the ticking sound and the heavy weight of the piece, before looking up. Across the room was a life sized mirror, where she could see herself. It was such a strange sight, not even a year ago a completely different woman had stared back at her. One who's eyes still had some tint of life to them. She hardly remembered her. Now, the only one staring back at her was a woman who'd spend 8 months in an underground hole and still hadn't managed to make a single friend. She raised the gun and pointed it at her reflection. "Bang, you're dead and no one would shed a tear." she mumbled before lowering the gun and decided to get dressed.

By the time she finally joined the others in the briefing room, she still hadn't exactly cooled down, but she was very quiet. At least Isaiah wasn't there yet, so she had no reason to lunge into a murderous rage. It was in everybody's own safety that they'd best avoid her for now.
Last edited by Asmodai on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:04 pm

ZZ : As Smooth as a Criminal :

“Good morning, sir.” ZZ stated in a louder-than-normal voice. She didn’t move quite yet until she saw her friend walk through smoothly. As Sharline came in, ZZ’s mood brightened immensely. She wondered when she could get a chance to talk to the girls about her dream she had. She gave Sharline a smile and slight wave as her hands fell at her sides. This brief moment of ease was short-lived as Isaiah burst his bubble. Her head turned towards Ren and their leader as he laid into her a new one (gasping laugh). As the scene unfolded, ZZ bit her lip since she felt awkward and uncomfortable. Moments after Isaiah had finished his lecture to Ren, ZZ immediately headed to the briefing room once they were dismissed. Since she was ready, she dashed down toward the briefing room, stopping briefly to grab a power bar from their rec room and munching on it as she made her way there. Once she reached the room and sat down at the table, she realized that she had left everyone without thinking about how she could have waiting for Mel and talked with her briefly on the way here. “Damn it!” she said a bit too loud and let her head fall onto the desk. “Ow…” she muttered, a bit muffled with the table in her face.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:21 pm

Jens sighed heavily as he sat down in the briefing room. He was slightly surprised by how assertive the younger sergeant had been with the scantily-clad woman, but felt that perhaps this was a part of how he tried to command the respect of the new recruits. The Eastern Anatolian made his way to the Briefing Room where everyone was told to report and stood about awaiting his orders.

He waited silently and decided to watch, Jens was a silent type of person and oftentimes waited for other people to make the first move before talking. Especially while in formal military structures. He was much more comfortable in open-spaces and with plenty of space to move about.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:13 am

Teo Dalakis - Insomnia and cigarettes

The arrogant young man hadn't been in his room at the time his alarm was set off and thus missed the introduction of the new members and Ren's scolding (which would have been amusing). He hadn't been able to sleep much the last few days. His mind kept wandering, keeping him awake at night. What was worse was he couldn't even pin down what it was that kept bothering him, preventing him from cynically glossing it over until it seemed irrelevant. Teo took another drag of his cigarette, blowing the smoke up at the ceiling of the rec room.

Suddenly ZZ rushed into the room and grabbed a energy bar. The woman hadn't noticed him standing against the wall on the far right side. 'Odd. She's in uniform.' Teo rolled his eyes, realizing they had all probably been woken up for some stupid reason. ZZ then left as quickly as she had arrived. Teo put out his cigarette and stepped out into the hall, only to catch the door to the briefing room closing shut.

He sighed before stepping into the room. His clothes were casual and he reeked of smoke, then again it wasn't like he cared. At the moment there were only two people in the briefing room, ZZ and some older man he didn't know. 'We got a new Sergeant.' A cynical smile shone on the Private's face. Quickly returning to his usual look of discontent and disapproval, Teo spoke in a bored tone to the new recruit, "Who are you?" The young man took a seat and yawned, as his lack of sleep began catching up with him.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:55 pm

Isaiah's rage etched face was what he had been expecting to see, but the full force of the annoyance directed at the nearly nude female member of the crew was just the assurance that Williams needed to clear the thoughts of whether he had made the correct choice by joining the squad. 'Yep... this guy means business'. On the inside Richard was happy to be under the command of somebody that reminded of him of the hardass he had been under the command of at basic training. He listened intently to her punishment, 'ouch.. half dressed laps? cruel...' not that he felt any way sorry for her, a man in Isaiah's position needed to be treated with respect.

He managed to watch Ren leave for laps (making sure for her not to catch him looking this time) before heading to the meeting, he quickly entered and sat down without making a fuss. He brushed down his combat fatigues making sure his badges were straight before looking up sharply as he heard the thump against the table. 'Ah, its the one who managed to get dressed..' after he heard her say something (muffled by the table) he looked quickly for a name tag, not finding one he looked for ranks and finally not finding any of those he simply blurted out "Uh, Are you ok... Miss?"

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:14 am

Drake strolled in to catch ZZ's frustration, and made an awkward face. Moving carefully, he approached the table with a tray with a pot of hot coffee, some disposable cups, and sugar.

"I fetched this from the nice folks down at the mess hall, it's undoubtedly better for the morning than banging one's head on the table." Drake paused as gently set down the tray, and resumed as he quickly poured himself a fresh cup. "Anywho, I have a friend with the staff there that got used to me fetching the morning supply for my previous unit, so I swung by this morning as well." Drake's usual dull tone was lightened by the smell of coffee, and he took a strong waft into his nostrils before taking a sip from the cup. Absurdly hot as it still was, that was what he cared for.

Drake pushed the tray to Teo as he yawned, then took another scaling hot gulp. He walked lazily around the table and took a seat , then watched quietly as the rest filtered in. Seeing the fuming Ren walked in, he took a moment to lean forward and push the tray her direction whilst he finished the bottom of his cup. His senses re-energized, he hoped that the Sargent could come in soon, while he was at the top of his game.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:07 pm

~ Melani ~

The transformation on Mel's face was startling. In the space of time it took for Isaiah's mood to change, she went from happy and awkward to wide-eyed with what looked like expectant terror. She just knew that he'd turn to her after he was done dressing-down Ren and yell at her, too.

But he didn't, which made her blink and finally breathe again. His mercy toward her was both good and bad, though, because as she ducked back into her room to get dressed, she began to think. Did he go easy on her because her offense wasn't as bad as Ren's had been? Or was it because he liked her and was playing favorites? Or maybe it was because he didn't have the same respect for her capabilities as he did for the more irreverent woman. Maybe it wasn't mercy. Maybe it was outright pity.

It was so confusing! She paused in her undressing to scrub at her head, tugging on her unruly hair for a moment. "Gah! Get it together, Melly!" she chastised herself, then dressed hurriedly and winced as she brushed at her hair, pulling it into what passed for a ponytail with her. She stepped into her shoes, crouching to tie them, and dug around for her medical text before hurrying along to the briefing room at a pace just under a run.

She bit at the inside of her cheek, hugging her book to her chest as she paused inside the room, looking for Isaiah. When she didn't immediately find him, she moved to sit at the table, worrying at her lip as she stared at the tabletop, firmly deciding to own up to her mistake an apologize to him at the very first opportunity she had. Maybe if she did that, his opinion of her wouldn't be irrevocably soured.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:14 pm

ZZ : Can I Get This Coffee Intravenously? :

More muffling came from the table as ZZ’s arms began to move around her. Her body shook as her arms moved round her and her legs spread apart in frustration. She kept her head on the table as she tried calmed herself down before making any more movements. Taking a heavy sigh, she raised her head and leaned back in her chair. “Thanks for the coffee…” she said in a soft voice. Grabbing a cup and filling it with coffee, ZZ placed the cup near her nose and took a deep breath. “Aaahh…” she sighed as the heavenly smell calmed her nerves and put her at ease. Taking a cautious sip, she let the warm liquid travel down her throat and set down the cup. She then proceeded to fix her messy bun that she had hastily put up earlier in the morning.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:45 am

Sharline – Sarge's Smooth Moves
Theme: “Smooth” by Santana

Both Mel and ZZ's expressions noticeably brightened as Sharline entered the hallway. The young brunette smiled to herself, feeling the rush of validation. She gave them each a beam and a wave. Sharline opened her mouth to speak, but before she could introduce herself to the new recruits, Isaiah suddenly let out a startling growl. “Corporal Ishii! Just what the hell do you think you're doing!?”

Sharline started. She glanced toward Ren, half expecting to find her flashing or mooning the new members. The corporal looked just as surprised as she did. As Isaiah continued to chastise her, the cause of his censure became clearer. Sharline's brow furrowed. Why is... As the group had grown more comfortable in each other's presence, they – in the privacy of the barracks, granted – had probably done worse than walk around in their underwear. Sharline's eyes steeled over as she ascertained his intent. ...It must be because of the new people. She looked over to Drake, Jens, and Richard, realizing Isaiah wanted to make a good impression on them, and had been embarrassed by Ren's blunt irreverence. Sharline glared at the sergeant's back. Isaiah! You dummy. This isn't doing any favors.

The analyst almost let out an audible guffaw when the man told Ren to run the obstacle course in the tank top and panties. Besides being completely unprofessional – even more an affront on the sergeant's image than Ren's original disrespect – the instruction reflected horribly on Celsius. As the squad's corporate representative, she knew the unit's image among the company was ultimately her responsibility. Grant Eckhart's irate face flashed across the canvas her mind. God damn it... The girl's manicure dug into her palms. Fuck. Relax, Sharline. Play it off.

Sharline remained silent as Ren stalked off and the remaining recruits dispersed; she didn't want to delegitimize the sergeant any more than he had himself. Maybe they didn't notice. Sharline doubtfully thought on the initiates. Richard's youth and robust looks vaguely reminded her of a blind follower in a GI movie, but the two older men looked astute. Her shoulders slouched. When the two were finally alone, Sharline let out a low sigh. This isn't a good time. Instead of criticism, the young woman's voice rose up an octave – a behavior she learned usually allayed upset or aggressive people. “–What's up, Sarge?”

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:12 am

Isaiah Cole ~ Questions

Isaiah grunted as Ren clipped his shoulder in an almost childish attempt to get back at him for his outburst. The sergeant remained just as cold and stone like until the last of his squad members departed for either the briefing room or (in Ren's case) the training grounds, leaving only himself and Sharline standing in the small corridor outside the barracks. As if an internal switch had been thrown, Isaiah let out a very visible sigh, patting himself on the chest as though he were having heart trouble. "Bloody hell I haven't screamed like that since basic training." Isaiah ruffled his hair a bit before glancing at Sharline. She'd only said a few words to him but he could tell by her tone she wasn't pleased. "Typical civilian.....," he thought silently to himself before crossing his arms across his chest.

"Before you even begin what I'm sure will be a fascinating lecture about proper behavior and leadership, you and I need to talk." Isaiah motioned for the analyst to follow him as he stepped over to the squad's lounge area. After swiping his key card, the door clicked open and he was able to enter, making sure to hold the door open for Sharline as any proper gentleman would. Once they were both inside and Isaiah was sure no one else was around to eavesdrop, the young sergeant produced the two manilla envelopes he'd been given earlier that morning. "Did you know about this?" he questioned, sliding the classified mission folder across the table towards her. "Is this supposed to be some kind of joke? Because it's not in the least bit funny." Oddly enough, Isaiah didn't have to wait for an answer. He could tell by Sharline's expression that not only did she already know about the mission, but also that one of the criteria was for her to be involved in it directly as a field combatant. "......What the fu** are they thinking?"

Isaiah's fist slammed against the table, not in a violent way, but more out of frustration than anything. "What was it you told me the first day I met you, Sharline? 'Epsilon's objective is simply semi-closed field testing?' When the hell did that become front line combat?" Despite his outrage, there was a legitimate look of concern in Isaiah's eyes. Contrary to what was likely the popular belief at this point, Isaiah was very much in his right state of mind. He knew full well what could happen to even the most unified squad in a real world scenario. God only knows how much that same fact applied to a squad with as poor a performance as his. "Nevermind our piss poor evaluations, but what's the logic of sending you with us?" Isaiah had by this point fallen back into the sofa in what seemed like a vague attempt to relax. "Not to insult your ability but I'm going to have a hard enough time getting that bunch out there ready with just a month's notice. How the hell am I supposed to prepare someone like you?"
Last edited by Bolts on Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:52 am

Sharline – Answers

The door automatically slid shut behind them. Isaiah walked toward the center of the room, placing a manilla folder on the coffee table. “Did you know about this?” the man began. As he talked – his tone at first incredulous, then frustrated, and then distraught – Sharline felt the tension in the room dissipate. Her body relaxed, stress easing down from her chest, through to the soles of her feet. The feelings on Isaiah's face were visible, and genuine. She hadn't expected his concern, especially in light of his previous reaction to Ren. When Isaiah was done speaking, he fell back into the plush material of the sofa.

Silence hung around them for a few moments. It was pleasant, in a sense – it felt like a sort of release. Sharline sat down in the armchair beside the sofa, leaning forward to pick up the folder. The word CLASSIFIED was splayed across the cover in red ink. She massaged the manilla surface with her thumb, wondering how to respond. “–I learned about a month ago,” the younger woman's tone was still. “Grant told me. I admit, I was kind of shocked,” Sharline paused, slowly glancing up to the ceiling. “ –Scared shitless, too,” she let out a sudden laugh, the sound like a series of high-pitched gasps. Her shoulders eased back as she quieted down. She took a breath. “...It was scary. We took a pretty robust course before we piloted the SIRENs for S-DAT, but...you're right. That doesn't compare to first-hand experience,” the girl felt tired as she admitted it aloud, the smoky gray eye makeup flushing the color from her face. A pause ticked by. ...But then again, Mel – or that guy, Drake – don't have first-hand combat experience, either. The thought surprised Sharline, and sparked inspiration back in her eyes.

“Our 'objective' isn't to help in firefights, per se,” Sharline looked back up at Isaiah. “The Council is really gung-ho about these SIRENs. They've pumped so much money into Celsius for Epsilon to happen,” she had no qualms naming the company's more unscrupulous benefactors. She felt at ease in Isaiah's gaze; there was something about the soldier's manner – his straightforwardness? – that was so agreeable to her. “They want first-hand descriptions of performance in real-live combat. They don't think you guys could both complete missions and record that kind of qualitative data,” Sharline propped her palm against her chin. “If things get really bad...for example, an injury – or a fatality – then yes, we're supposed to substitute the man down. But unless that happens, analysts are to 'observe the engagement from an appropriate distance,'” she broke eye contact with Isaiah, looking ahead. “–I'll probably be with Mel a lot,” she said thoughtfully. The brunette couldn't picture the plucky girl diving into the front lines of battle, commando style. She'll probably stay back, wait for an injury or malfunction.

As Sharline talked, her left hand clung the sweater tighter and tighter around her body. Explaining the analysts' mission only made her lot in this feel more real. And although she thought the worst had subsided – she hadn't cried for at least a couple days – it was as if heavier realizations kept sinking in. She stared at the wall across the room – a blank, slate-gray partition – as the worst case scenario flashed across her mind. Her pupils dilated. She could feel her heart begin to palpitate. Sharline pressed her hand against her chest. I'm making peace with myself. Her eyes glazed over, looking on the surface of the coffee table. ...I don't think death would be scary.

After about a minute, the analyst blinked, and her neck snapped back toward Isaiah. “Uh...s-sorry. I'm still processing all this, too," her brow knit as she remembered how distraught the man looked earlier. “I'm sorry that we – that Celsius – dragged you into this, Isaiah,” she said. “It's a lot for one man to handle, you know?”

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:20 pm

-Williams- Hello anybody out there?

Richard blew air out of his nose in mild annoyance at the woman, He didn’t know whether her mumbling was a response to his concern or if she had just passed over it entirely. No matter she was up and didn’t seem to want to give an answer as she went to fixing her hair ’Women…’. His eyes casually flicked to Drake as he spoke, still trying to decide what he thought of the man “Thanks for the coffee, err” Realising they hadn’t been formally introduced “I don’t think we have had the time to exchange pleasantries, Corporal Williams… or just Richard, nice to meet you all” He lifted his cup to gesture he meant everyone in the room before taking a few sips of its steaming black content.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:25 pm

Jens stared in surprise at Teo as the young man approached him. He responded abruptly and quickly "Corporal Jens Makarov" clipped, he continued, "I've been assigned to this unit recently for this upcoming mission; and you are?" He asked Teo as he continued to wait about for Isaiah. He wondered what was taking the sergeant this long to make an arrival, but arrived at the idea to distract himself while he waited.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:24 am

Isaiah Cole ~ Prepare for the Worst

Isaiah felt a mixture of emotions as Sharline began her explanation. So he was right, she had known for quite some time. Putting aside the fact that she, a civilian, had been informed of the mission before he, the squad leader, was, Isaiah still couldn't help but feel like they were being used. It was one thing to be treated like a pawn in the great chess game of war but this was different. Even pawns were treated with care, and moved with caution. No, they were less than pawns now. They were as specks of dust on the board, easily wiped away without a second thought. None of that mattered now though, nor would realizing it help the situation. Isaiah understood that much at least.

Sharline's mention of the Council having a hand in all this caught Isaiah off-guard admittedly. He had know idea this project went so far up the chain of command. "Why would the Council want to send a civilian in? They've never done this sort of thing with past weapon advancements so why start now?" Isaiah pondered this little thought for awhile before dismissing it in light of more important matters. It was becoming blatantly obvious that not only did Isaiah need to change his behavior around the squad (as he'd attempted to do with Ren that morning) but also his attitude towards Sharline. It was obvious this woman lacked the mental state for an actual mission. Whether she realized it or not, even Mel was more suited than the analyst. Maybe it was the basic training, lord knows drill sergeants had a knack for teaching fresh recruits to build a hard outer shell when it counted. Either way Isaiah's mind struggled to come up with a proper response to the woman.

Before he could think of anything to say though, Sharline shifted the focus of the conversation to him, causing the slightest pause in his manner. "....No, it isn't," he responded rather plainly to the woman's sympathy. "I'm a soldier. A cold, calculating, red blooded soldier. There's only one thing that separates me from the rest of my squad." Isaiah took in a steady breath. "The burden of leadership is mine to bear. Where my squad shows fear, I must show courage. Where they fall short, I must push forward. Where they break,......I have to stand tall." Isaiah's fingers interlocked into a conjoined fist as his forehead propped against his thumbs. For a moment, it seemed as though he might have been praying. "My squad's performance....every piss poor rating up until now....is my fault. I didn't push them hard enough. Now the price for my failure could be their lives. I refuse to let that happen." Isaiah's head lifted from his hands. There was a determined fire in his eyes the likes of which hadn't been seen inside the walls of Celsius. "If I have to become a tyrant, I will. If I have to become the most hated figure in their lives, I will. Mark my words in one month they will be a proper squad....and we're all coming out of this mission alive." Isaiah rose to his feet, taking in another steady breath before his more laid back nature again took control. Isaiah pressed a single hand against Sharline's shoulder before moving to speak one final time. "Now then, let's make sure they get the memo."

Quite some time had passed since Isaiah had initially dismissed the squad. No doubt by now they were growing restless. No matter, they could stand to wait. Right now Isaiah wanted to make sure Sharline had regained some of her lost composure before they confronted the recruits. At this point he simply couldn't afford to have her breaking down on the side whilst he tried to give the squad a much needed attitude adjustment. So, rather than head straight to the briefing room, Isaiah dragged Sharline off to the mess hall to snag some breakfast. It was amazing what a hot stack of pancakes could do for one's mood. Isaiah used this brief period to read through the mission folder once more. Just enough so that he wouldn't be too in the dark about its contents before presenting it to his team. Once their plates were clean, the two finally began making their way to the briefing room.

Upon their arrival in the briefing room, Isaiah had already donned his serious masquerade. He could practically feel the unrest in the room, no doubt some of the recruits were questioning why he'd kept them there so long without showing up. "Glad to see all of your bright and sunny faces again," he stated flatly and with a hard scowl on his face. "It is my extreme displeasure to inform you all that we've been chosen for Project Epsilon's first ever field operation." Isaiah took a brief moment to let the statement sink in before continuing. "That's right. No more tutorials after this. Now it's the real deal. For that reason, I'll be implementing a few changes around here. In my opinion we've all gotten a bit too soft around here, and, in all honesty, that's my fault. I've let you all become.....civilians," he said the last word with just a hint of disgust. "Not anymore. Starting today you're going to experience of living hell of training and preparation the likes of which none of you have seen in your entire military career. When I'm done with you you will be a proper unit or else I'll take you out back and shoot you myself."

Without another word, Isaiah produced the manilla envelope once more and slapped it down on the center of the table. "Our mission will be to infiltrate a secluded Maldovan mountain base. It'll be hard for us to reach and even harder for Maldovan reinforcements to do likewise. Geographically the base holds no tactical advantage whatsoever. That alone should make it fairly obvious to you what kind of mission this is." Isaiah took a moment to glance around the room to see if the others were catching on. "Standard snatch and grab. Intel believes the Maldovans are developing new and advanced SIREN type weaponry similar to our own there. We're going to steal it before they're finished." The young sergeant took a seat at the head of the table, once again interlocking his fingers before resting his chin upon his hands. "Before we continue.....any questions?"

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:45 pm

~ Melani ~

"Sir...H-how long do we have?"
she asked haltingly, her eyes wide as she stared at Isaiah. His behavior earlier made much more sense now...and she felt double-bad about showing up in her pajamas. But Melani definitely had her practical side, and if they were sending the last-place group on an actual mission, they were either getting some time for special training or...it was a suicide mission.

The tight knot in the pit of the bubbly medic's stomach said that it had to be the latter, but she was ever the optimist...Maybe they weren't doing as badly as the 'rankings' showed...

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:13 am

-Williams- *gulp*

So that was the long and short of it then, Richards former grin dimming down to a cold seriousness. He span the folder to face him and gave it a very quick glance over, not wanting to deprive anyone else of the important information. "Have we got any Intel on what we will be fighting Sarge?" He span the folder back to its original position, looking up to Isaiah.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:09 am

Hearing Richards' comment, Drake quickly cut in, removing himself from his now-finished coffee mug.

"Hold on just a minute, that. I'd be interested in learning the details myself, too, but are we going to work approaches and scenarios right now? I'd rather like a day to look at what we have, myself."

Drake reclined back into his chair again, slightly annoyed with himself. It wasn't a problem that he'd stayed up all night, but certainly, he'd like to be working details of something mission-critical at his absolute peak, as well. He also thought some time for his hot-headed Sergeant to cool off and look at this reasonably before he really tried to make a mess of his squad.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:22 pm

Sergeant Isaiah Cole ~ Short and Sweet

Mel had been the first to speak up, not surprising given the girl's chatty nature. Even still Isaiah waited for the others to speak before first turning to answer her. "We've got roughly a month to prepare, strategize, and get our boots on the ground." Isaiah next turned to Drake. "No, no we will not. I've barely had time to go over this document myself, much less work on a plan of attack. There will be time for that later so for now just focus on your physical training." Once Drake's question was cleared up, Isaiah finally turned to Richard. "Like I said, we're targeting this facility for the specific reason that intel believes they're developing SIREN technology similar to our own. So far there's nothing conclusive to suggest that Maldova has a working model as advanced as the ones our team will be using but be prepared for it just in case." Once everyone was finally settled away, Isaiah gave a glancing nod in Sharline's direction, indicating that it was alright for the woman to speak up now.

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:10 pm

Sharline – On Behalf of Celsius

Sharline smiled from her spot in the back corner near the door as Isaiah commanded everyone's attention. Even though the sergeant was persisting with his hard-ass act, she saw the effort in a different light now. Talking in the rec room had almost completely changed her viewpoint of the soldier. He was so genuine – not the party hardy frat boy he'd first impressed upon the recruits, or the stone-cold commander he was channeling now. Earlier this morning, Sharline had felt helpless, indignant – like a pawn in James Declan and the Council's grand chess board. Now, it was as if something was shifting. These were people she wanted to help.

After Isaiah finished his address and the squad had asked their questions, the sarge turned his face in the analyst's direction and nodded. She hesitated. That's right, I forgot to introduce myself earlier...the whole Ren thing. The brunette took a couple seconds to gather her words together.

“Good morning,” Sharline spoke up, louder than usual to get the group's attention, but not as loudly as Isaiah. She left her perch by the door and strode around the right side of the room, stopping a few feet from their commander. “Corporal Makarov, Corporal Williams, and Specialist Bauer...on behalf of the Celsius Corporation, I'd like to welcome you to Project Epsilon,” the young woman smiled. “I'm Sharline McGovern. I was formerly a researcher in Epsilon, but I've been reassigned as your squad's analyst. I'll be accompanying you all on this mission...” her voice trailed off as she got to the sketchier details of the situation. Sharline had no qualms telling Isaiah that the Republican Council had almost exclusively funded the program, but she didn't think it was wise to broadcast it either. “There are – some people in high places, who have been generous enough to fund Epsilon into a reality. Our benefactors would like some hard, qualitative data of how the SIRENs operate in live combat,” Sharline's tone relaxed again as she decided that sounded as respectable as possible, given the suspect nature of the dealings. “Several of my colleagues have also been assigned to Epsilon units, so this isn't that unusual,” Dustin and Myra's faces appeared in her mind. She couldn't remember which unit Dustin had been paired up with, but Myra's – the Juan Carlos Alvarez unit, top-ranked in the program – seemed positively shady. Weasel.

“...In any case, it's nice to meet you,” she looked back to Jens, Richard, and Drake, and forced a half-smile. “I know it's not necessarily in my job description, but I hope I can help you all during this mission.”

Re: The Thanatos Effect: Chapter One - Arrival

Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:00 am

'Yeah, help us fail.' Teo's face had twisted into an expression of tired confusion as he listened to Sharline. "What? You're being sent along on a dangerous mission when you've had no experience on the battlefield just because some sponsors want data? And it's not unusual? All right." The young man's face returned to his typical look of bored disapproval as he shook his head in disbelief. "Ignoring how fucking stupid that sounds, you'd think these high tech sirens would have some way to record and send data automatically," he muttered at a barely audible level. Teo yawned and took a sip of the coffee Drake had given him. 'No wonder we're dead last. We got a bunch of idiots making decisions around here.'
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