One Thousand and One AUs

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Post by Death is... kinda hot on Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:37 pm

It's a really good thing I'm wearing mascara that's (basically if it weren't for the glitter) clear or it would be leaving colorful tracks down my face rn

Also, what about "Don't Wait" by Joey Graceffa?

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Post by no mom its ironic on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:36 pm

i think i'd reserve that for the 'disgustingly sweet' playlist but still yes

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Post by Death is... kinda hot on Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:21 am

Oh there are multiple? Multiple is good.

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Post by no mom its ironic on Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:24 pm

*KICKS DOWN THE DOOR*

XIAVENGERS REBOOT FT. ALIENS

Prologue

“As you know, some time ago, we lost a Source while conducting our usual scans, an infant. It was a shameful mistake that we knew could have terrible repercussions, no matter how small the probability. So, we searched far and wide for the Source, but unfortunately, it was never located. Eventually we gave up, deciding that the chance of the Source ending up somewhere it could have an effect was too low to waste our resources looking for it.”

“You yourself said I already know this. Get to the point, Overseer.”

“Blunt as always, Mercenary. Recently, we found something unusual while conducting our scans. The Source was an infant when it was lost. With luck, it would have landed in a suitable environment to grow to maturity by now… or close enough to have a noticeable effect, in any case.”

“So what you’re saying is, it’s been found. Why are you telling me this? You want to retrieve it, don’t you? That’s a job better suited for an Investigator than a Mercenary like me.”

“Retrieving the Source is only one part of the problem. Sources generate energy--that’s exactly what we use them for, after all. However, this Source had no way to get rid of its energy. As Sources are unable to utilize their own energy, it instead released the excess energy into the area around it. This could have dramatic effects on the area affected. An Investigator would work for retrieving the Source, but a Mercenary is what we need to make sure there are no traces of the Source left.”

“I see. What kind of area am I dealing with here?”

“It’s a relatively small city, so it should be no problem for a veteran Mercenary such as yourself. There are a few obstacles, but they should not be too much trouble. First of all, due to the Source’s interference, we are unable to determine its exact location. Before you begin your work, you must find the Source. Well, I say you. You’ll be accompanied by an Investigator, who will be seeking out the Source and retrieving it.”

“Is that it?”

“There is the possibility that you may encounter opposition from the Source, but it only generates energy, it can’t use it. Unless someone on that primitive planet it’s landed on has somehow managed to figure out how to use a Source’s energy, which I doubt, the only real problem should be identifying the Source.”

“It should be easy, shouldn’t it? What do the typical inhabitants of this planet look like?”

“The Source has likely adapted to fit in, so you may not be immediately able to tell it apart from an ordinary ‘human,’ as the most intelligent species of the planet are known. You and the Investigator will be given instruments that will allow you to identify it. In addition, you will both be equipped with disguises, identities, and translators to allow you to blend in. Though the city is small, it has a large enough population you may be there for some time. That concludes the briefing, unless you have any further questions, Mercenary.”

“I do not, Overseer--actually, I do have one. When will I be meeting with the Investigator that is going to accompany me? And when are we departing?”

“The answer to both of your questions is right now.”

“What?”

“Greetings, Mercenary Brutaer. I am Investigator Zinvis. As I understand, we are to accompany each other on this mission to retrieve the Source and eliminate any traces of its presence from Earth.”

“...Zinvis, huh? Aren’t you a new Investigator?”

“If that is intended as a slight against my abilities, then I assure you that I am perfectly capable of handling my part of the mission.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve worked with an Investigator, forgot how formally you all speak. Anyway, I was just wondering why they’d send an amateur with a veteran like me.”

“I am not an amateur.”

“You’ll have to prove it to me, Zinvis. In any case, we’d better stop arguing and head off before the ship leaves without us. Introductions can wait till then.”

“The ship won’t leave without us.”

“Do all Investigators take things so seriously?”

“It’s part of our allotment. You’ll have to get used to it.”

“Suppose I will.”

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Post by Death is... kinda hot on Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:00 pm

oooooooooh

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Post by no mom its ironic on Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:08 am

here is a Golden Moment from chapter one

“Ow!” One of the other boys hissed in a pained breath, flinching visibly and falling onto the ground. “Fuck!”

Guy winced sympathetically, stepping back with his hands held in front of him. “Shit, sorry Andy I wasn’t trying to--you’re okay, right?”

“I am alive but I wish I was not that hurt a lot holy cow” was the hurried answer. Andy blinked a few times, and then sniffed. “...I think you singed me, Guy.”

“Um. Singed you?” Concern and confusion were battling for dominance on Guy’s face as he studied Andy to see if he had caused any permanent damage.

The brown-haired girl, looking curiously at Andy, sniffed the air a few times and then waved her hand in front of her face while making an odd expression. “Yeah, that is definitely the smell of singed Andy,” she agreed.

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Post by no mom its ironic on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:04 pm

Very Happy

Chapter One: Show-and-Tell

Orange and yellow and red, the hungry wisps of flame leapt and grew, sparks falling to the ground and extinguishing harmlessly against the concrete floor of the empty warehouse. Several faces were illuminated by the fire’s warm glow; first and closest was a young man with a grin on his face that lit up his hazel eyes as well. He lifted his hand up, the flame moving with it, hovering just a few inches above his skin. Pleased with himself, he turned slightly to look at the others who were with him, staring mesmerized at the flame as well. Their reactions encouraged him to make the flame grow despite the sweat beading on his brow, beneath black hair.

Standing closest to him was a teenage boy with brown hair that had obviously been messed up and never put back in place, brown eyes wide and mouth agape with awe. Speechless with shock and a measure of apprehension, his eyes shifted between the flame and the proud smile, struggling to take it all in.

To the boy's left was a short, Asian girl with short black hair curling inwards to end at her chin. Her mouth was a thin line, lips pressed hard against each other with a furrowed brow and narrowed, dark brown eyes forming a thoughtful expression. She focused on the flame, studying it, considering the spectacle in front of her.

Beside her stood another, taller girl, her brown hair slightly longer. She seemed more concerned and confused than anything else, her grey eyes constantly looking from the flame to the young man's hand and then his face to be absolutely certain that he was alright.

On the right of the others was a taller boy with curly brown hair that had in all likelihood never even glimpsed a hairbrush. He was surprised and excited by the event, blue eyes sparkling with enthusiasm. A grin not dissimilar to the young man's was on his face as he looked between the others as if to ask, 'are you seeing this?'

Finally, to his right another boy with significantly longer, dark brown hair seemed to only be mildly impressed and somewhat curious. His face was mostly impassive, hiding anything that he might have been thinking or feeling. Unlike the others his eyes were not narrowed or wide but half-closed, only a section of greenish-hazel irises visible.

Apparently satisfied, the young man, evidently the oldest of the group, paused for a second. Just like that, the flame disappeared. The warehouse became dark without any other light source but the moonlight streaming in through the window. "So." The young man's grin did not falter for a second. "You see, I've, uh, got these weird... 'powers' too."

"Is that all you can do with fire?" the black-haired girl asked somewhat absentmindedly. Hearing herself speak, she hastily corrected herself, waving her hands through the air. "Not to say that's not plenty, I just. Y'know. Just curious? Like, fire’s hella, if a bit, uh, contrived, since you’re Dragon, I mean really how much more obvious can you get? Fire? Dragon? Did you even try?" She paused, hands frozen in the air. “I’m rambling, answer the question, dude.”

Dragon made an odd sort of face as he placed his hand on the back of his neck. “Well, I only discovered the powers this morning, and I didn’t really want to burn anything experimenting. I might be able to do more, I might not.” He sighed and leaned against the wall, glancing around at the others. “Anyway, I guess we’d all better show off what we can do, not just me.”

Several looks were exchanged between the group, until the blue-eyed boy stepped forward. He coughed into his fist and fidgeted for a moment before hesitantly stating, “You should probably… move back. Just to be safe.”

At that, the black-haired girl raised an eyebrow. “Damn, Guy, what the hell you got up your sleeve?”

Guy gave her an unimpressed look. “Elder. Do you want to get hurt.” His voice was flat, the question more of a statement than anything.

Elder averted her gaze with a sheepish expression as she responded, “...no.”

“Then back up.” Elder did so with reluctance, at which point Guy stretched out his arms and breathed in deeply. He wiggled his fingers slightly, and then--

“Ow!” One of the other boys hissed in a pained breath, flinching visibly and falling onto the ground. “Fuck!”

Guy winced sympathetically, stepping back with his hands held in front of him. “Shit, sorry Andy I wasn’t trying to--you’re okay, right?”

“I am alive but I wish I was not that hurt a lot holy cow” was the hurried answer. Andy blinked a few times, and then sniffed. He made a befuddled kind of face, glancing down at himself and then back up at Guy. “...I think you singed me, Guy.” he said slowly after some period of confused silence.

“Um. Singed you?” Concern and confusion were battling for dominance on Guy’s face as he studied Andy to see if he had caused any permanent damage.

The brown-haired girl, looking curiously at Andy, sniffed the air a few times and then waved her hand in front of her face while making an odd expression. “Yeah, that is definitely the smell of singed Andy,” she agreed. “I kinda missed what happened, though. What exactly were you trying to show us?”

“How do you know what singed Andy smells like, Max?” Dragon asked, voice half a laugh. Max just looked at him and smiled, which seemed to creep him out somewhat and shut him up. Andy coughed into his fist to get everyone’s attention.

“It might help if we had some light, actually,” He offered helpfully, still seated on the floor and not appearing like he would get up anytime soon. “Dragon’s fire was the only thing lighting this room up and, uh, now it’s… pretty dark. Kinda hard to see anything.” He gestured vaguely around him. The pale moonlight coming through the windows of the warehouse made for dramatic lighting, certainly, but it didn’t actually illuminate much. All that could be seen of anything was slightly lighter and darker shades of black.

“The night tends to be dark, Andy,” Elder deadpanned, but turned back to Dragon anyway. “Could you make another fireball thing so we can see better, Dragon?”

Before Dragon could respond, a warm yellow light appeared out of nowhere, lighting up the area around the group. Everyone traced it back to its source--the long-haired boy, who held what resembled a miniature yellow star between his fingers. While the others gaped, he stated calmly, “I got it handled,” glancing over at Guy.

Guy gave him a thumbs up before stretching his hands out in front of him again. “Okay,” he said, breathing in, “I’m gonna try this one more time. Step back a little more just to be safe.” Andy, not wanting to experience any more pain, finally stood up and moved back several feet.

Blue-white streaks of electricity leapt from Guy’s fingertip, automatically going for the ground, where the lightning bolts seemed to diffuse harmlessly. With a grin, Guy judged the reactions of the others before ceasing the lightshow and straightening. “So it’s, uh, kind of not the easiest to control, sorry Andy again, but--lightning!” He waved his hands excitedly through the air. “And Bloons has lighting, heh.”

Elder’s soft, unimpressed “bruh” was quickly followed by Bloons smirking and flinging the little star up into the air. “Well, I mean, that’s not all I can do.” The star stretched out into a thin spike, then sprouted a hilt, which he grabbed onto, swinging the blade back and forth experimentally. “I can do stuff like this, and…”

The light went out.

Now, in his hands was a black so dark it was just pure darkness, seeming to suck in the little natural light they had from the moonlight. “Light and darkness,” he explained, looking at the dark orb with some sort of pride, then sighed and added disappointedly, “No time powers, though.” The blackness diffused until Bloons’ hands were empty and he looked back up at the others.

Max looked straight back at him and asked, “Well, can you put the light back now?” She gestured around her at the others, and the warehouse in general. “If we’re all doing show-and-tell it might be helpful if you can actually tell what we’re doing instead of just seeing vague dark shapes moving around.”

Bloons shrugged but formed another little orb of light, which hovered a few feet in front of him in the air. “Go ahead.” Max nodded appreciatively and then took in her surroundings, tapping her chin with her finger thoughtfully.

“Alright, let’s see… for a warehouse, this place is pretty empty, isn’t it?” She frowned slightly, still looking around for something.

“Well, it is abandoned,” Dragon responded. “That’s why I picked it as our meeting place, after all. Wouldn’t want someone walking in on a bunch of teenagers showing off superpowers.”

“What are you looking for, anyway?” Elder asked, already looking through the pocket of her grey sweatshirt. “I’ve got my phone and earbuds with me, but that’s all.” She held both items out in front of her as Max studied them.

“I don’t want to break your phone--” at this, Elder gave Max a concerned glance-- “but the earbuds should work fine, I suppose.” Hastily, Elder stuffed her phone back in her pocket and handed over the earbuds. As soon as she had them in her hand, Max put the earbuds on the ground and stared intensely at them.

As if gravity had suddenly chosen to ignore them, the earbuds rose into the air, stopping about a foot off of the ground. A smile broke out on Max’s face as they began to untangle themselves and hang down in the air, moving left to right as she looked this way and that.

“Telekinesis!” she exclaimed excitedly in response to the other’s impressed looks. “Not sure exactly how much I can lift, but those earbuds are easy.” Right on cue, they jerked and changed direction, zooming over to Elder and then promptly dropping in her instinctively outstretched hand.

“Can you lift people?” Elder mused as she put the earbuds back into her pocket. “Just saying, that
would be pretty awesome.”

Max looked down at herself, then at the others, a thoughtful expression on her face. “I haven’t actually tried that yet.” She paused, the thoughtful look changing to one considerably focused, and then lifted a few inches in the air--

only to drop with a startled yelp.

“You okay?” Andy immediately asked, stepping forward a little. Max held out one hand to indicate she was alright.

She smiled sheepishly. “Might need some practice before I try that again. But I do think it’s feasible, which is neat.” Although a bit shakily, she stood and brushed herself off. “Yeah, that does that for my powers, leaving Andy and Elder!”

Elder started, waving her hands in front of her as she stepped backwards with a less than enthusiastic look on her face. “Not me!” she practically squeaked, her eyes shifting over to Andy pleadingly. “Andy, you go first! Okay?” Stunned, Andy nodded. “Okay! Nice to know we all agree on this particular subject.” Stuffing her hands into her pockets, she tried to play it off like she hadn’t just freaked out or anything.

Andy gave her a weird look, but said nothing, shrugging it off. “So, I still haven’t really figured this out yet… sorry in advance.” He shifted from foot to foot, breathing in deeply a few times before running forward and straight up disappearing.

Dragon blinked. “Wha--” he began, only for Andy to show up again a second later. His hair was sticking up oddly, even more messed up than before, and he was grinning.

His gaze settled upon the dumbfounded looking Elder. “Elder, give me a math problem!”

“Uh…” Elder also blinked a few times, but obliged. “Twenty-nine squared? Thirty-seven times… um… seventy-three?”

“Eight hundred forty-one and… two thousand seven hundred and one!” Andy exclaimed triumphantly, quickly followed by, “Super speed! Apparently mental too.” He tapped his head a few times for emphasis.

Still looking completely dumbfounded, Elder pulled out her phone and tapped away on it for a few seconds. “You’re right, holy shit.” Phone still held in her hand, she looked over at Guy. “Next time you need to calculate how many materials you need to build something in Minecraft, ask Andy, not me.”

Guy shrugged noncommittally, then pointed out, “It’s your turn to show off your power now, isn’t it?” Elder’s face paled just as she put her phone back into her pocket.

“Why are you just assuming I have a power?” she shot back defensively. “I mean maybe I don’t!” Her speech sped up noticeably as she gesticulated wildly. “Maybe I am still a normal human being who just came here because all her friends were going too and I do not possess some kind of weird creepy supernatural power like controlling fucking blood because I mean how fucking weird and creepy and messed up and kind of ironic would that shit be?” Her eyes widened as she realized exactly what she had said.

There was a long silence.

“Oh,” Guy more whispered than said.

“Oh,” Elder repeated sarcastically, running her hand through her hair. “No sorry I… I should demonstrate too, it’s only fair.” She sighed and closed her eyes for a few seconds. “And by the way if you are wondering how I discovered this shitty-ass power then it was completely on accident, I tripped and I cut my elbow and I panicked and then suddenly weird shit was happening.” To prove it, she rolled up the sleeve of her sweatshirt to show a rather ugly-looking scab. “Scabbed over right then.”

“Anyway,” she continued, “turns out I don’t actually need an open wound. I can just--” Vaguely, she moved one of her hands, and suddenly a liquid blob of crimson appeared, suspended in the air. With several further hand gestures it shaped itself into a sharpened spike and then shot off, embedding itself in the ground. “Voila.”

Everyone watched as the spike de-solidified and became a rather unpleasant puddle of blood on the floor. “Yeah, that kinda happens,” Elder muttered, folding her arms across her chest and quite resolutely staring away from it. “Guess I am now Worst Ability Guy. Woo.”

“Um, can you?...” Andy gestured vaguely at the puddle. Elder shrugged.

“I mean, I can’t really put it back as far as I know but I can move it around and stuff.” The liquid shifted, clumped together, and then lifted off of the floor, forming into a perfect sphere. It floated back over to Elder, where it stayed suspended in front of her as she made a face. “I don’t believe I can actually do the same things as Worst Ability Guy, which is probably a good thing if I’m honest because eugh.” She shuddered, then paused, looking as if she was thinking. “Actually…”

“Yeah, that would be unpleasant,” Andy agreed, not hearing the last word Elder said as it was nearly inaudible. “But what exactly are we going to do with the--we can’t just leave a puddle of blood on the ground, they’ll think we murdered someone.”

Without warning, his head jerked to the left. He blinked. “Um… what?”

“Okay that is creepy as hell, I mean potentially useful but creepy as hell, I just did that?” Elder winced sympathetically as Andy shook his head a few times, confused.

Bloons raised an eyebrow. “You just made him move his head to the left?”

Elder nodded, scratching the back of her head with one hand while she gestured with the other. “Y’know, I was thinking like, can I control people’s blood when it’s still in their bodies, could I potentially do stuff like, like bloodbending I guess? Sorry about that that was probably weird as hell and man just sorry okay I am not doing that again.”

“Probably a good idea,” Max agreed, then looked at the others. “So that concludes our show-and-tell session, huh?”

“Yeah.” Dragon paused, then announced, “We should probably practice these weird powers and get a handle on them, that seems like a good idea. And then, uh, we should figure out why we have them in the first place.”

“That would also be a good idea,” Bloons stated matter-of-factly.

“But seriously.” Guy looked genuinely concerned. “Radioactive spiders? Radioactive stuff in general? Maybe maggick.”

“Maybe maggick.” Elder grinned at that. “Night sky still look the same?” she asked, giving Andy a mischievous look.

Andy looked at Elder with a ‘are you serious’ kind of look. Her grin widened as she shrugged, completely unabashed. “Hey, just asking.”

Max clapped her hands together. “We’d better head home now. It’s probably--what--eleven at least?”

Elder checked her phone again. “Eleven twenty-two. Yeah, that’s the best idea. Anyway, we can chat to each other tomorrow.” She looked up from her phone and waved with her other hand as she put it back into her pocket. “See ya.” The others muttered their goodbyes as she turned and walked out of the warehouse.

Agreeing to talk to each other more about the oddity tomorrow, the others departed as well. Though it was certainly concerning that they had gained superpowers, as far as they could tell there didn’t seem to be anything really bad happening. Really, the odd supernatural abilities were entertaining more than anything.

It was weird and unexplained but also cool, so there was nothing to be really concerned about.

*~*~*~*

A teenaged boy woke up in a cold sweat, eyes glowing white, mouth forming words that never got out past a choked sound. He put one hand to his forehead, trying to control his breathing and calm himself down. He couldn’t remember what he’d been dreaming about or if he’d been dreaming about anything in the first place.

“What’s wrong with me?” he whispered to the air, trying not to think about the fact his arm was illuminated with that odd white glow emanating from his own eyes. The empty room said nothing back.

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Post by no mom its ironic on Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:44 am

chapter two more like elder your alien obsession is showing

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Post by no mom its ironic on Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:50 am

no but really

aliens!!! are so cool!!!!! you could literally do like anything with them!!!!!!! they can have really weirdly structured societies!!!!! they can do all this weird alien technology shit that is actually kinda creepy tbh but thats the point!!!! aliens!!!!!

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Post by Andrew on Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:58 am

Worst Ability Guy lives on

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Post by no mom its ironic on Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:21 pm

Worst ability guy is dead to me

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Post by Andrew on Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:20 pm

Considering how he was left with
Spoilers for Darker Than Black:
a dagger in his heart, I'm pretty sure he's dead to everyone

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Post by Death is... kinda hot on Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:13 pm

Who the fuck is Worst Ability Guy

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Post by Andrew on Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:22 pm


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Post by Death is... kinda hot on Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:30 pm

WOW. That reminds me of "What are you going to do, bleed on me?" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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Post by no mom its ironic on Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:55 am

naH OKA Y guys i kinda had an idea for xiavengerS????

i mean first off i have a way to potentially make FOONCY COSTUMES actually feasible but

nonbinary alien kinda-protags??? kinda???? i mean not rea l ly but like Zinvis and Brutaer ain't really the antagonists? kinda? but like?????

look what's the likelihood of us basically using this opportunity to larp superhero rp? bc i mthinking p high

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Post by no mom its ironic on Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:30 am

aND, if we were larping superperpeeprhero rp with these superpowers of ours, who dya think would be the villains n heroes?

bc i mean bloons would obv jump for the opportunity to villain, or at least ~brooding antihero~ and then i just kinda *gestures vaguely, continues to vaguely gesture*

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Post by no mom its ironic on Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:25 am

One Thousand and One AUs - Page 25 RWeZUIX

Andy if you can look me in the eyes and tell me with that costume you wouldnt go full brooding antihero I will be incredibly impressed and also still not believe you

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Post by no mom its ironic on Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:11 am

yknow what better idea has been had ignore everything I said

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Post by Andrew on Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:21 am

elder wrote:One Thousand and One AUs - Page 25 RWeZUIX

Andy if you can look me in the eyes and tell me with that costume you wouldnt go full brooding antihero I will be incredibly impressed and also still not believe you
Holy shit I would go full brooding antihero in a heartbeat

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Post by Death is... kinda hot on Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:24 pm

I would probably be one of those Batman or Daredevil-type antiheroes that beats up the bad guys and is scary in general but doesn't actually kill people or hurt good guys.

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Post by no mom its ironic on Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:32 pm

max ok so costume n color scheme idea i guess? bc yeah i... yeah *finger shotguns*

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Post by no mom its ironic on Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:35 am

the op has been somewhat updated? i feel like ive probably forgotten something but on the other hand i haven't been really productive in a while so i might not have

anyway if i have pls remnd me

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Post by Death is... kinda hot on Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:27 pm

elder wrote:max ok so costume n color scheme idea i guess? bc yeah i... yeah *finger shotguns*

Black and purple, lots of body armor and some sweet biker boots sound like what I'd go with.

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Post by no mom its ironic on Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:09 am

it is DONE

after like

two months

or something

idk but its been a long time christ

Chapter Two: A Good First Impression is Key to a Good Professional Relationship

Arthur Belnz stared blankly down at the PADD in front of him, reading the same three words over and over again as if they would somehow change if he just willed them to enough. He couldn’t believe what was happening to him.

He didn’t have any choice whatsoever regarding his First Officer, Science Officer or Medical Officer. Usually he would’ve trusted Starfleet to make a good decision for him, at the very least, and be quietly displeased. But he’d tough it out. Though not a social butterfly, Arthur thought himself able to befriend practically anyone.

It figured that when he was rejoicing over assuming command of Citadel, a famous ship, something would happen to ruin everything.

This something was the name on his screen—three words, Saivel Mei Athess. Even if Athess hadn’t been an uncommon name, it mentioned in her file that she was definitively the daughter of Veren Athess, an honored admiral and the last captain of Citadel, and Ambassador Rhea Athess. It also mentioned that she had a tendency to act without thinking and a hesitant addition from someone noted alcoholic tendencies, something to keep an eye on in the future.

In all honesty, he wouldn’t have been nearly as distressed if they had some sort of safer, more stable assignment. Of course, Citadel couldn’t be relegated to something like that. No, no, the famous ship had to do something more exciting than that. They were exploring where no one had explored before, of course they were, where their safety was never entirely guaranteed, where they had only rudimentary ideas of what could be past the next corner.

If Saivel Athess died, or got severely injured, Arthur had a sickening feeling that he would be blamed, whether or not it was actually his fault (and it probably would be, to some extent). He did not want the wrath of Admiral Athess or Ambassador Athess on him. That would fuck up his career catastrophically.

Still, there was nothing he could do about it. With a sense of trepidation, he decided to look at who the hell his Medical Officer was going to be. Hopefully it wasn’t another kid of an admiral, or Arthur would locate the nearest cliff and jump off of it.

As it turned out, Kaime (no last name was provided) was not the kid of an admiral.

No. They were an alien ambassador.

Arthur threw his PADD violently at the floor the moment he realized what he’d just read, and only slightly regretted it.

*~*~*~*

The PADD sat on the floor, face-down, for many hours before Arthur even thought about picking it up again. He settled for glaring at it whenever he spotted it out of the corner of his eye, and then turning back to reading his old paperback book (an oddity, he supposed, but he liked the feel of them in his hands) until guilt finally settled in. Even so, he twiddled his thumbs and sat there for several minutes before he put the book down and got to his feet.

At that point, he made himself a cup of coffee and sat down again, then got up again to go to the bathroom, and then sat down again and stared at the fiendish thing while sipping his coffee.

To be fair, it wasn’t really the PADD’s fault. It was Starfleet’s fault. Don’t shoot the messenger, he thought to himself with a grimace. Seriously though, who thought it would be a good idea to send an alien ambassador on a potentially very, very dangerous expedition into the unexplored reaches of space? What good was an ambassador on a starship that far away from, well, a place where they did the ambassador… thing?

(Was there a word for it? Arthur thought it over for a few minutes before deciding that no, there probably was not, and he was just trying to make up excuses not to pick up the PADD and finish reading through the files.)

(…he really did not want to pick up the PADD and finish reading through the files. Was that reason enough? No, it wasn’t, of course it wasn’t.)

Arthur debated whether or not he could read a few more pages of his book before picking his PADD up until it started to beep a message alert. Leaving his coffee behind, he dashed over to the PADD and snatched it up quickly, flipping it over to see it unharmed, or at least as far as he could tell. Admiral King had sent him a message.

Anger forgotten, he immediately opened it and read the entire thing. And then read it again.

Completely bewildered by the admiral’s message, Arthur turned back to the information he’d received on his assigned officers. Skipping over Kaime for the moment, he moved on to Aaron Frye, his Science Officer.

He… had a criminal record that Arthur couldn’t see?

The file was short, too short—Arthur apparently wasn’t allowed to see… what, half of it? Probably more than half of it, even. All he was left with was the basics; name, age, gender, etc., etc., etc.

Now Admiral King’s letter suddenly made a lot more sense. Arthur went back to it and read it for the third time.

‘Arthur:

You’re probably receiving this later than you ought to be, but that’s bureaucracy for you. I only just got free to write this out, and I don’t have that much time before I’m going to have to meet with someone else about something-or-other.

I expect you’ve probably read up on who your assigned officers are by now. First off: apologies for the whole ‘assigning you officers’ thing. Despite what you may think, a certain admiral was actually quite against it, as I was. However, the others came to the consensus that a ‘sensitive mission’ such as yours necessitated it.

I also expect you to have several questions about exactly who your assigned officers are, especially Aaron Frye. I assure you that, although you may be suspicious, Mr. Frye is completely trustworthy and qualified for the position. Actually, he’s probably overqualified, and could do us more good here on Earth than out in space. Once again, that’s bureaucracy for you.

There are perfectly good reasons as to why you can’t see the entirety of his file, as well. Don’t worry about it. (I know you will anyway, but at least make an effort.)

As for the others, I’m sure that Miss Athess will be more than capable of being a First Officer, and Kaime is a brilliant doctor. You could have done far worse.

-R.K.’

Although, to a certain degree, Admiral King’s message was comforting, Arthur couldn’t help but be unnerved by the fact that he had an officer he knew nothing about. Why did Citadel’s mission ‘necessitate’ Aaron’s presence? What was so ‘sensitive’ about it? Arthur frowned at his PADD, his fingers drumming thoughtfully against its surface. Admiral King had left him with more questions than answers.

Well, maybe if he met some of these officers he’d been assigned, that would answer some of those questions. That seemed like a good idea to Arthur; he began to compose a message to the three officers, tapping his chin thoughtfully as he thought up how exactly to word it. He didn’t know any of them at all, really, so eventually Arthur came to the conclusion he should go with a formal message.

He typed out the last paragraph at least three times before he decided that he should stop being indecisive and hit send before he could stop himself. The next several minutes were spent staring at the screen, unsure whether he regretted his decision or not.

*~*~*~*

It was immediately obvious to anyone that, at the moment, Saivel Athess was not very receptive to conversation. Fortunately, Kaime knew that one only needed to persist and soon enough she would be forced to listen. “Saivel,” they began, clearing their throat unnecessarily to try and get her attention.

Saivel’s eyes flickered over at them, maintaining her gaze through the mass of tangled black hair in front of her face for an impressive total of three seconds before she looked away. She made some kind of unintelligible dismissive sound as a lackluster response.

Kaime set their PADD down on the table the two were both sitting at, albeit on opposite sides. They leaned forward slightly and set their arms on the table. “Saivel,” they repeated, with a stronger tone.

Another dismissive sound. “Saivel, this is important.”

“How important?” Saivel croaked, blowing her hair out of her face with a peeved look. “Life or death important? Cause if not, then it can wait.” The last few words were interrupted by a loud yawn she made no effort to conceal.

Pleased that she had responded with actual coherent English, Kaime leaned back and picked up their PADD once again. “Your position as First Officer on Citadel important.” At that, Saivel straightened up immediately, a humorous sight with her hair still a tangled mess sticking up in various places. “It may be in your best interest to check your messages.”

“Just show me, dude.” Saivel rolled her eyes, muttering something under her breath, before she got up out of the chair with a grunt. She made her way over to Kaime slowly and with a great deal of reluctance, finally arriving at their side a few moments later. As she reached for their PADD, Kaime sighed and handed it to her. “Thank you.”

They gave her some time to read through the fairly short, but nonetheless polite message from Captain Belnz, detecting surprise, faint confusion, and a great deal of leftover irritation from her hangover. Eventually, Saivel finished reading and handed the PADD back to Kaime. She blinked a few times, the metaphorical cogs in her brain somewhat rusty and reluctant to start moving.

One hand rose into the air, Saivel’s mouth open with a yet unspoken question, still thining. “Wait, okay,” she began, her other hand raising up to join its companion as she gesticulated. “Two o’clock on Tuesday at…”

Saivel turned to Kaime, who answered her question before she could ask it. “Today is Tuesday, the second of January. It is ten thirty-three.”

She sighed, relieved. “Okay, I was worried that I might be late or something. But I got time!” The exclamation, and accompanying fist pump, made her head hurt. “Ow.”

“The hangover medication has not yet taken effect,” Kaime informed her helpfully without looking up, scrolling through the other messages they’d received.

Even as she was wincing and holding her head in one hand, Saivel rolled her eyes and muttered, “Yeah, I knew that, Kaime, thanks.”

*~*~*~*

“Two o’clock, Tuesday… sure, I can make that,” Aaron Frye remarked to no one in particular. He tapped a finger against his cheek thoughtfully. Do I want to, though?

It would be a massive understatement to say that Aaron was less than enthusiastic about being on the Citadel. The task was something he’d accepted only after a great deal of bargaining and complaining and several one-sided ‘compromises.’ First of his many problems with the task was the fact that it required him to be on a ship for quite some time.

His exact words had been fairly scathing: “Call me old-fashioned, but I really, really do not like floating around in space in a giant hunk of metal. Makes me uncomfortable.” The reply he hadn’t bothered remembering, though to his recollection it was pretty harsh as well.

Second of all, he was Science Officer. Not to say he wasn’t up to the task; Aaron was smart, just unmotivated and arrogant, to put it bluntly. He didn’t want to be Science Officer. It was that simple.

Finally, he didn’t want to be part of a crew. Hell, he wasn’t really sure why he’d been assigned to this in the first place. The higher-ups had refused to give him any of the finer details, assuring him that he’d be informed by the reason this whole thing had come about in the first place. Ambassador Kaime. Why an ambassador would need someone like Aaron around was a mystery.

Once again, Aaron’s thoughts came back around to the meeting with Captain Belnz. He’d also sent the message to Ambassador Kaime and Admiral Athess’ daughter. It stood to reason that they’d also show up.

What the hell, why not, Aaron thought as he hit ‘reply.’

*~*~*~*

“Hey.”

“Hello, Admiral King. Are you occupied? It is not urgent; I can wait until later to speak with you.”

“No, no, I’m free right now. What is it?”

“Thank you.”

“…hmm?”

“Thank you. I am aware that my… tale seemed outlandish. Most would have immediately dismissed it as nonsense. Thank you for believing me, and for arranging all of this.”

“Well, when someone manages to draw a perfect image of your wife and son without ever having seen them as far as you know, they’re either a stalker or they’re telling the truth. And I am more than certain that it’s the latter and not the former. Certain enough to do something like this.”

“Was it much trouble?”

“Not at all. But, ah…”

“Yes, Admiral King?”

“You’re… sure about this?”

“…yes, Admiral King. It has been only a short time, I am aware. Even for—your standards. I regret it could not be longer. But I remember quite clearly, Admiral. I know that things can be changed. I know that this is how they have to be changed.”

“What will change, then?”

“That, I do not know. Purity for this long has gotten us many things, but not the ability to look into the future, Admiral. Things are different, now, than they were. I do not know how that will affect things later. But I do believe, at the very least, he won’t have to go through that. I would do anything in my power—”

“I never experienced it for myself—thankfully—but I agree with you. If you need anything else, then tell me, alright?”

“Yes, Admiral. Goodbye.”

“Good luck, Kaime.”

*~*~*~*

Fortunately for him, all three people had replied to Arthur’s message saying that yes, they could come, with varying degrees of length and politeness. Aaron Frye’s message had easily been the… bluntest, consisting only of a single sentence that barely qualified for sentence-hood at that. Saivel’s had been only slightly better. Ambassador Kaime’s, on the other hand, was as long as it was polite, formal and respectful. Arthur felt flattered just reading it. He supposed that was part of being an ambassador, really, which once again made him wonder why Ambassador Kaime was on Citadel in the first place.

Any thoughts about that were immediately forgotten as two people strode towards him, one significantly taller and thinner than the other. The black-haired girl Arthur immediately recognized as Saivel Athess, who seemed to be laughing at some mysterious joke. To her side was Ambassador Kaime, looking significantly less amused. Not that they were frowning at Saivel’s antics—they were simply maintaining a neutral expression with only the slightest hint of a smile.

Aaron was nowhere to be seen, but Arthur decided that it was nothing to worry about. At least the other two had shown up, and even if his reply had been brief, to say the least, Arthur believed Aaron would appear soon enough.

As it turned out, Aaron appeared seated at the table without a sound. Arthur happened to glance over in his direction and immediately reacted with a completely dignified yelp, almost falling over backwards in his surprise. Aaron snickered, looking smug, while Saivel erupted into laughter as she approached the table, Kaime trying to calm her down as she very nearly doubled over.

Once he’d stabilized himself on the table, Arthur gaped at Aaron. “Christ, you scared the shit out of me! How did you do that?”

Aaron’s silent smirk was the only answer he got. Saivel looked him over appraisingly. “Probably a ninja or something. Though, I admit, you don’t look Japanese. Foreign ninja.”

“Because I’m not.” Aaron rolled his eyes. “I’m Aaron Frye, though I suppose you already know that.”

“Arthur Belnz.” After considering it for a moment, Arthur decided not to extend a hand to Aaron. Something told him that he wouldn’t accept the handshake.

Saivel leaned on her considerably taller companion, grinning. “I am Saivel Athess, and this beanpole here is—”

Interrupting her gently, Kaime concluded, “My name is Kaime.”

“Just Kaime?” The look on Aaron’s face was almost suspicious, but Kaime did not seem at all perturbed by it.

“Just Kaime,” Saivel confirmed.

Satisfied that there would be no more interjections, Kaime offered their own hand to Arthur. “Pleased to make your acquaintance, Captain Belnz.” After a few seconds of staring dumbly at Kaime’s hand, Arthur came to his senses and shook it, a smile slowly spreading over his face.

“Likewise.”

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