EOTI

Pirates. She Wuvs Arry. Oh, and Saelze too.
 
HomeCalendarFAQSearchUsergroupsRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Neon

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
AuthorMessage
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Mon 22 Feb - 12:31

Immediately upon entering the hangar, Nathan felt the strongest sense of disorientation imaginable. Indeed, he was surprised he managed to stay on his feet as his head spun at the sight of all of the broken and mangled mechs. The patches of paint were scratched and flaking, exposed wires gave the impression of vital organs hanging precariously from gouges in the skin. And all of it thrown together into irreverent heaps to rest not in peace, but in poses of agony. Underneath a pile in a near corner, Nathan spotted a gleam of crimson and bronze, and his legs buckled. He was staring at the mortal remains of Blaze.

“Don't hold back. I won't be doing so either.”

Steel's voice was cold and removed. He seemed unfazed at the monumental meaning of the corpses of metal lying around them. And that thought, more than any other, unlocked Nathan's mind from his horrified daze. Steel was lying. All of them, lying. It was a test among tests. There was no way this graveyard went unobserved. His diagnostic tests would not take place without supervision from the brass. And, above all, Steel's stupid little show about the Kanjo being above orders, above discipline, now appeared weak and pathetic. He began to wonder how many Kanjo truly fell from cracking... and how many were simply murdered. Not, of course, in the physical sense, but by being ripped from their mechs forever.

These thoughts flew through Nathan's mind from where he knelt on the ground before Steel. Steel had chosen this place to unhinge him. To destabilize him. And it had worked. Now, all Nathan had to do was turn it to his advantage. The rage within would fuel him. Without rage, he would be nothing compared to this Kanjo—perhaps younger than he, but trained in combat and measuring at least a half a foot taller than he was.

With the speed of a striking snake, Nathan launched himself up from the ground and straight into Steel's midriff. Once on the ground, the Kanjo would be at his mercy.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Mon 22 Feb - 17:57

So, anger it was, then?

Direct, full-force, and without hesitation Nathan took Steel to the ground with relative ease, despite the younger soldier outclassing him in almost every sense of the word. It was interesting for Wild to witness the very different ways their captain assessed them, but if she was going to give anything away it wouldn’t be through her expression. Still, while Steel hit the ground with a huff and pulled his arms defensively around his head, she knew exactly what was about to happen.

A high-tier military graft, direct cerebral upgrading, and years upon years of training and experience meant that Steel, even with his back to the ground preparing for the flurry of blows that were sure to follow, had a such a small chance of losing that it was practically negligible. This wasn’t a struggle intended to designate a winner or loser, however, nor was it as black and white as a sparring match. Everything Nathan did said something about him, and it was that which Steel wanted to bring to light. Every choice, every movement, every motivation.





_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Mon 22 Feb - 23:01

Nathan's anger did not allow himself to be surprised by how easily the Kanjo had gone down. It masked all thought except that of punishing Steel. He didn't need to win this battle, he didn't need to prove himself for some test... he needed to avenge Stephen in some small way. And at the moment, beating the senses out of Steel—a surviving Kanjo—seemed the best option available to him. Especially since Steel had offered it.

Nathan landed on top of Steel, straddling him as the Kanjo raised his arms instinctively to protect his face, head, brain. His first punch took Steel on the forearm, his second knocked Steel's hands from his face, and then Nathan's fists rained down upon Steel's face, aiming for the maximum damage. Nose, jaw, cheekbones. All of them would crack under the fury of his blows. And still the soldier put up only a token resistance.

Though he had not yet undergone the Kanjo surgery, Nathan felt no fear for the consequences of this fight. Neither fear for himself, nor for Steel. There was only anger for the tricks used to lure him to his brother's grave.

Between punches, he swore at Steel, each curse harsher than the last, but hoarser as he lost breath. And he was loosing it quickly. Men from the Outer edge of Noir were not known for their stamina or their skill. Only for weak and grudging persistence.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Mon 22 Feb - 23:24

Blow after blow, Steel remained, unable to block every hit but protecting himself just enough to endure without blood being drawn. The punches that did get through, however, stung just enough to churn a sense of nostalgia in him that he rejected almost immediately. He was already in a less than ideal emotional state, and any loss of control in his position was unlikely to turn out well for Nathan who was tiring with every strike.

Needing to keep up the adrenaline, it wasn’t long before a true show of retaliation came, and when it did, both Wild and Whisper cringed.

Dodging his head to the side just in time to watch Nathan’s fist slam directly into the oil soaked dirt, Steel drove his knee square into his gut. What happened in the brief aftermath was inhumanly quick, for by the time Nathan could so much as flinch, Steel had rolled out from under him, gripped him by his leg and collar, and tossed him an easy thirty feet against a large, flat, metal panel.

Rubbing at his brow which felt as if it might develop a slight bruise, there appeared to be little concern in Steel’s pale eyes though he watched Nathan closely. Having restrained himself, he was certain most of the damage would be superficial, but he cared little about the physical reaction. Would Nathan come roaring back towards him? What would he do when he was proven to be outclassed?

As the echo of the collision faded, a tinier clatter took its place. Albeit unplanned, Wild tossed a sharp steel pipe towards Nathan’s landing place, insinuating with her silence that he could do with it what he will to which Steel, with slight hesitation, nodded and prepared.

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Mon 22 Feb - 23:35

The wind had barely been knocked from his lungs when Nathan felt himself being picked up by the scruff of his neck and his leg like a rag doll, and thrown a good ten yards. He twisted in mid flight and landed with a ringing shock on his left shoulder. Pain lanced through his arm, but the adrenaline coursing through him allowed him to ignore it. With a snarl, Nathan rolled off the scrap metal he'd landed on and nearly slipped on the metal pipe rolling to a halt at his feet.

Don't hold back, Steel had said. I won't.

The ease with which he'd flung Nathan across the hangar should have given Nathan pause. But that was simply not within his ability. Reckless or not, dangerous or not, smart or not, Nathan no longer had the luxury of time. His decisions were quick and uncompromising. At midnight he had signed away his life to the Kanjo. Nine hours later he'd chosen his suppressions. And now he would fight Steel to the death if he could.

Stooping down, Nathan swiped up the pipe and charged towards his antagonist. Holding the pipe like a baseball bat, he drew back and swung with all of his might, straight for Steel's skull.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Mon 22 Feb - 23:49

On some level Steel had hoped for more, but were he capable of empathetic consideration towards Nathan’s fury he might have understood fully why, while he put up no apparent effort to save himself, the man would put all of his might into a swing intended to kill. It was emotion driving him, of that there was no doubt, and for a second Steel was grateful to be what he was - in control. More so than his red-blind opponent, anyway.

Were it not all happening in an instant, Wild might have attempted to step in and derail their young commander from the fate that he seemed determined to meet, but in a fraction of a moment before the pipe made contact he acted. Before then he wouldn’t have known for sure, and only then would Nathan be beyond denial in his intent.

Again, moving with only precision, the weapon had been knocked from Nathan’s hand and embedded in a nearby heap giving Steel just enough time to step aside as he stumbled past, undoubtedly enraged further. It hardly mattered, though. Nathan would reach his breaking point well before Steel would break a sweat.

“And if you had killed me there - what then?” He asked as casually as one might ask for a light to their cigarette.

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Tue 23 Feb - 0:09

Once again, Nathan found himself on the ground. This time, though, it was his own clumsiness that had put him there. The pipe failing to make contact with its intended target, had spun from his hand, and Nathan had tumbled to the ground. With a snarl of rage, he rolled to his feet and turned back to Steel, only to find the Captain standing there laxly, relaxed as a party-goer. And, indeed, it did nothing but to enrage Nathan further.

This time, though, Nathan did not charge head on right away. Instead, fists balled, he answered Steel's question.

“So much the better, you strutting cock.” His hand waved vaguely behind him. “Then everyone would know the truth. You're no better than we are.” He spat on the ground.

The rage had not subsided, nor had Nathan given up hope of besting his opponent, but the rash, headlong assaults were to be no more. He hung back a moment, eyes narrowing when Steel made no move towards him. Irritation itched at the back of his throat. Steel had said he wouldn't hold back. Why, then, would he not attack?

Nathan retrieved his pipe, never taking his eyes off Steel. The Kanjo seemed to be waiting for the third assault. Again, with the speed of a coiled snake, Nathan plucked a jagged sheet of metal from the rubbish and hurtled it towards Steel like a discus before charging in again, pipe raised to strike, this time at Steel's shins.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Tue 23 Feb - 1:29

There was as little cockiness in Steel’s posture as there was aggression, and though his words had been delivered in a way that sounded insultingly nonchalant, his tone was no different than most any other time they had spoken. It was simply how he was, Wild thought, and it had infuriated her at first too, just like the way he navigated touch, painful situations unflinchingly. At first she’d been convinced that he was intentionally trying to get a rise out of her, and more than once she’d considered that he might really be that oblivious, but in the end both turned out to be true. The fact was, however, that neither were his goal.

“Speaking broadly I fully concur,” Steel answered back calmly, swatting aside the distraction just in time for him to turn his carbon fiber coated shin towards the blow; By the time it glanced off, Nathan had already been kicked aside.

“however I am not the one charging and flailing like an angry beast.”

Indeed, one of Nathan’s greatest fears seemed to be crossing the line and breaking. If he was lucky, death would take him first or one of his comrades would deal him that mercy, but if he was unlucky… he should know better than even the Kanjo themselves where that led. Even so, he was closer to breaking than anyone else in the room, and if he was to have any chance surviving through to the next week, he was going to have to be as ready to face the brink as they could make him.

With a quiet snap of the clasp he removed the combat knife from his hip and tossed it at Nathan’s feet, embedding it point down in the soil.

“Your… brother,” The word fumbled from his mouth as if it were foreign. “gave me the only scar whose origin I remember with that blade. And it was here, in fact, just over there -” He motioned to yet another distinct pile, this one a mix of dark greens and blues, his gaze constantly pinned on Nathan.



_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Tue 23 Feb - 14:53

Nathan stumbled from the kick dealt to his stomach, but kept his feet this time. Sweat ran in rivers down his face and neck, while Steel had breath enough to keep up a calm conversation. He passed over Steel's comment comparing him to a flailing beast without batting an eye; over the years he had been called much worse at the political rallies. But when Steel spoke of Stephen, it was as though Nathan's previous rage had amounted to a smoldering volcano. Now, the volcano erupted.

Ignoring the small knife tossed at his feet, Nathan found himself another bludgeon from the carnage around them. He advanced again, but more slowly this time—not out of fear, but careful calculation. Steel stepped lightly, calmly back to dodge the first swing. The second and third he deflected with armored forearm. And the fourth he caught with an adamant grip of the hand. With a gentle tug, Steel wrested the pipe from Nathan's grasp and sent him sprawling to the ground once more.

Couched in a mass of twisted metal, Nathan felt vaguely aware that he was slowing, that his weak body would not allow him to continue much longer. The coup de grace must come now, or not at all.

Rising from the ruined heap, Nathan advanced with a last burst of speed, wires trailing in his slipstream. Once more, he lunged to tackle Steel to the ground, where he would slip the cords around the Kanjo's neck, strangle the life from that taunting face.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Tue 23 Feb - 15:35

Shoulders aimed forward, knees at an angle roughly %5 steeper than a regular sprint, lower back muscles tensed - Nathan’s movements were reduced to biomechanical statistics before he’d even begun his assault. He’d been given the chance for an open dialogue, but had chosen aggression instead. Either that was going to change quickly, or he would be written off the squad the moment they left the room regardless of whether or not he survived to inherit the title of the first Level 5 Kanjo.

The wires, likely meant to strangle him, were the first thing Steel went for after bracing himself and brunting tackle without so much as a stumble. He wrapped them around Nathan’s wrist before he could let go, swing him around, and pinned his back first against the rubble which shifted under the impact. A split second later, and Nathan would find himself with the cold metal of a gun poised under his chin, drawn from where it had been tucked into the back of Steel’s belt.

“Do you understand what just happened?” He asked, the subsiding echo fading out leaving only Nathan’s heavy breaths.

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Tue 23 Feb - 15:59

For what Nathan instinctively knew was the last time, he found himself on the ground. This time it was Steel who had pinned him down without taking so much as one step backward in the face of Nathan's attempted tackle. In less than a second, he had gripped Nathan's wrists in his own iron fists, twirled the wires against him, and pushed him down like a dummy.

The silence rang. A sharp sheet of metal dug into Nathan's back. Steel's knee dug into his gut. The sound of a gun being drawn from its holster. And Nathan lay still, the only sound in the room his ragged breathing.

“Do you understand what just happened?” Steel asked. His voice was still as calm as ever, but this time Nathan detected a hint of something more—of expectation, perhaps. But Nathan's mind was blank, and he could no better answer the question than he could take his eyes off the barrel of Steel's gun.

The silence stretched out to an almost unendurable point, when finally, Nathan closed his eyes. “Exactly what was always going to happen,” he said in a whisper. This had not been so much a diagnostic test of fighting skills as it had been a street brawl without rules. He could hardly cry unfair, though Steel was larger, stronger, and infinitely better trained than Nathan. Not one man equaled another, and science served to further divide the distance between the strong and the weak. The only thing Nathan had revealed was his stupidity, attempting an insurmountable fight and an unbeatable foe.

He lay quite still under Steel, knowing that the Kanjo would not pull the trigger, but hoping that he would.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Tue 23 Feb - 19:28

He wasn’t getting it.

The struggle, his loss, the futility of having even tried in the first place - all of it was very real, and were very much so lessons in themselves, but where they stood under the severe shadows of the flickering lights it all amounted to a catalyst for what Nathan was either oblivious to, or determined to ignore. A little of both, Steel suspected, but while he had him in a moment of fragility there was a chance that he might bring some to light; anything that might keep Nathan alive on the operating table, and worth keeping alive once he came out the other side.

“This was never about the fight.” He started, hoping that Nathan had come to the conclusion himself. “And yet with nothing truly on the line, you would have killed someone you hardly knew with a rusted pipe, bludgeoning them again and again across the skull until your hands were covered in blood and you were the only one breathing.”

The mental image was one that he let linger for a moment continuing carefully only once the silence became heavy.

“You broke.”

The word had become muddied through the media, urban legends, and occasional truth that came out of the Kanjo, but the idea of a mental break had existed long before. It was a terrifying thing that had been made even more terrifying.

“You broke,” Steel repeated, tightening his grip on Nathan’s arm. “and might have killed someone if you could have. What might have happened if you had done so with a gun in your hand? With the strength to break bones with a squeeze? In the cockpit of a mech with enough weaponry to turn a hundred city blocks into ash?”

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Tue 23 Feb - 22:25

“I've been broken nearly as long as Stephen has been... if this is what it means,” Nathan answered slowly, after what seemed like an age. He was not surprised to learn that this had never been about the fight, was not even the so-called fighting diagnostic. It was a test designed to test his mental stability before operation. And the circumstances had all been carefully calculated to induce maximum stress. The lack of sleep, the impending surgery, the graveyard, the casual mention of Blaze. Steel knew his mark.

But the bitter taste in his mouth was not regret for what he might have done. It was for not having been able extract revenge before going under the same knife Stephen had. The moment when that had been possible was past. Now, his focus would be on surviving long enough to make a tidy sum... enough to keep Lexis and Jackie … and Stephen.

Finally stirring, Nathan pushed aside the gun and attempted to sit up. “If we don't want a repeat, then I suggest you keep your memories of my brother to yourself.”
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Wed 24 Feb - 0:03

“Same goes to you.”

Her eyes glancing first off Steel and then on to Nathan, Wild played off any urgency she might have felt on her way over despite that her gun holster was clearly unclasped and Whisper was still over near where they had been sitting. She trusted Steel well enough just like many of the others did, but they were nothing more than good acquaintances yet. Rumors that the young captain was finally showing cracks were almost as believable as those that pegged him as cold and inhuman as his namesake, so much so that even she hadn’t yet formed a clear picture. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust him, but it was hard to believe in the stability of someone who was fresh out of one of the few battle stories that no one in the building cared to recall.

“Look, I’m not the sentimental type, but what little white-hair here is trying to tell you is that you’re going to lose people and you had better get used to it. If you lose yourself, however, you’ll be taking them with you. When you leave that name of yours behind, you’ll know that all you’ve got left is us.”

While Steel tied up his boot that had become unlaced and brushed himself off, she crouched down and picked up the bolt at her feet, brushing it clean with her thumb.

“We brought these here, sometimes losing even more people in the process. This,” She held it up before tucking it back into the hole it must have fallen out of.

“Closest thing we get to a real gravestone.”

---

Several yards off and wandering with her ears on the conversation but her mind elsewhere, Whisper ran her hand along a rough panel in which she assumed there was a gouge having pricked her finger on a raw edge. She had already been told everything they were telling Nathan now, but there was something surreal and sobering to return not as the Saya that had preceded her, but as Whisper, a member of the family whose graveyard in which they stood.

The sight had weakened both her knees and resolve, but there was something inherently eerie about being there, in the dark, with only outlines and memories to draw from. Perhaps it was a subtle blessing, she thought, the constant throbbing of her arms making her nauseous. Imagining the pain the pilots must have felt was less tangible when the mounds of rubble were reduced to smooth, cold surfaces, dotted with patches of rust.

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Wed 24 Feb - 0:23

“Well. No one will miss him when he goes,” Nathan said to Wild, indicating Steel with a cold glance. It was true. He would need to get used to the fact that everyone he met from this point on was going to disappear. Most of them before him, if he was unlucky. Loosing Stephen had not inured him to loss. The only comforting reality here was that he would mourn none of the Kanjo as he had Stephen. What raw solace.

“If you'll excuse me, I would like to rest up before tomorrow.”

Before he left, he paused, scrutinizing Steel. A few choice remarks were on the tip of his tongue, but he held them back. Economy of speech.

Although he had planned the whole rest of the afternoon and evening, from touring the building to sitting down to read in depth the contract he'd signed, Nathan was now completely drained of any energy or motivation to do anything else before his coming operation. Mental and physical exhaustion had set in, and this might be his last chance for rest in a great while.

Without another word, Nathan departed from the hangar and returned to his quarters. He met the curious gazes of those he met in the corridors evenly, but without otherwise acknowledging them. Once safely alone in 412, he fell upon the bed without undressing, stared up at the ceiling, and worked to clear his mind until nothing remained but the calm, even breathing of a sleeper.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Thu 25 Feb - 20:46

No one will miss him? Steel certainly hoped so.

On some level he understood the insult for what it was, but the implication that had meant to sting had bounced off of him like rain while he watched Nathan disappear back into the scrap labrinth.

“He’s not going to make it.” Wild let out, half-sighing, half cursing. None of their time together had gone well, and though she knew their young commander had meant well, it was fairly obvious what had happened: he was experienced, talented, and unquestionably qualified, except that he didn’t know people. He was preaching something he’d learned, but didn’t understand. Everyone knew that the young man was a walking military encyclopedia who lived and died by protocol not because of some sense of pride in his position, but that he knew nothing else - including how to deal with people. It was more of a quirk than anything, but it was becoming increasingly clear that Nathan was too much of a challenge at too early a stage, and no one was going to benefit from it.

Still, Wild knew that she was no leader, and if the choice was hers the moody new recruit would be tossed out of the pavement with a broken nose and shredded contract. After all, as Steel had said, it was almost more frightening to imagine him spinning out of control with the unknown power of a level 5.

“He’s gone?” Whisper asked, wandering over.

“Yup.” Wild answered, unimpressed.

“It’s… tough.” She knew she didn’t have to explain, in fact she felt out of place saying anything of the sort when their combined years of experience amounted to more than her overall age, but something optimistic needed to be said. “Especially what he’s trying to do.”

Dusted off and back in his jacket, Steel promptly set off for the door soon after with both Wild and Whisper following in suit without so much as a hint of his opinion.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to let the chips fall where they fall, kiddo.” Wild said, wondering internally if Steel would agree.

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Thu 25 Feb - 21:21

Nathan slept solidly, all through the day, night, and mid-morning of the next day. It was sorely needed, for he could not remember his last night of uninterrupted sleep. He dreamed vividly of bronze and crimson mechs, begrimed children sitting in the cockpits, and rows upon rows of satellites, space pods, fighter jets, and all other manner of spacecraft imaginable lined up as if preparing for one gigantic interstellar game of chess.

When he woke, he remembered none of these dreams.

At 0900 hours, Nathan had changed into a new white undershirt and slacks. He shaved carefully with the military standard razor left in his room, and then sat on his bunk and stared at the wall. It was difficult not to wonder how Stephen had felt at this very moment when he'd enlisted. Was there fear? Excitement? Regret? Indeed, Nathan was so occupied in thinking about his brother that he forgot to wonder how he felt himself. A bit hungry, perhaps, but there would be no eating before they put him under for the operation.

Ironically, he had not a thought to spare for Steel or the rest of the team while he waited either. If he had, he would have mentally wiped clean his hands of the blood he'd intended to spill, and thought no more of the test. Steel, he knew, wouldn't hold it against him any more than it concerned his place on the team. To a Kanjo, nothing was personal.

At 1100 hours, Nathan stood, straightened his shirt and rubbed the creases out of his slacks, and left his quarters. He headed straight for the appointed office where he would meet Dr. Gelrik one more time before the operation.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Fri 26 Feb - 18:37

If there was anything special about the day, the state of Dr.Gelrik’s lab room and the coffee splatter that still dotted his lab coat hadn’t received the memo, the only difference from the day before being the content of the monitor displays. It was a little less lively populated only by Marx himself, but otherwise just another day at the office, drastically changing one life at a time.

“Nathan, good, and on time, too!” The lanky doctor called with a wave over his shoulder, finishing off a string of text with a dramatic tack of a button before turning round with his signature awkward grin.

“Well rested? I hope Steel didn’t work you too hard.” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Speaking of which, Wild and Steel will be late, but Whisper is already in the observation space in the operating room. A bit early, but you have to admire the show of support.”

It was probably more information than he needed, but Marx wasn’t a fan of the quiet; surprisingly so for one who more or less lived alone in a room full of humming computers.

“I’ve just got to set a few more things up. In the meantime, feel free to take a seat.” Sometimes walking, other times skidding across the pockmarked concrete floor in his wheeled chair, he spoke in whichever direction he happened to be facing, bouncing from station to station to enter a few keystrokes or examine a file before moving on. It was sporadic, but suited him - just like the crooked glasses that he adjusted constantly.

“I’d offer you coffee, but you know how it is - no unnecessary intake before the operation. If you have questions, though, feel free.”

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Tue 26 Apr - 15:53

It might have been awkward, the way Nathan sat in relative silence while the dishevelled doctor flowed from one computer station to the next, but the tack of keys and humming of the machines kept the lingering tension just barely at bay. In fact, if Dr. Gelrik was at all off-put by the circumstances it did not show. Many men and women had sat where Nathan was now, each with their own coping mechanisms that had ranged from fury to despair and everywhere in between. He was not a heartless man, but if there was one lesson he’d learned as the orchestrator of their last hours as the self they knew, it was that his words of comfort and reassurance meant nothing in the end. They would find their own peace one way or another, or that peace would come abruptly and permanently in the operating room.

“well, that’s that; I’m ready if you are.” Tucking his tablet computer under his arm like a clipboard, Marx gave Nathan one last opportunity to voice his thoughts, but when nothing came he simply nodded and lead them out and two rooms down the hall to a set of imposing steel doors marked in bold reflective lettering as the operating room. Inside, a series of small rooms for decontamination and sterilization, the second of which saw the two of them go their separate ways - Gelrik to the left, and Nathan to the right where the preparatory team would see him through and out to the main room clean, in a gown, and already slightly dazed from a tangy pill placed under his tongue.

Instructed to take his place on the bed in the middle of the blindingly white room while the team fiddled with the multi-million dollar equipment that surrounded him like wolves of steel and polished plastic. Under the lights he looked like the eye of a rising storm from where Whisper, now on the other side of the observation room glass, watched with an expression that had no description, tracking what movement she could catch. She could still clearly recall the bitter taste of the pill, the pinch of the IV needle, and the way the plastic bed cover stuck to her clammy skin, but most of all she remembered every bolt on the whirring machines, every flicker of the lights, and every subtle movement of the nameless people who had looked at her with veiled indifference. Two with deep brown eyes, one a burning hazel, and Dr.Gelrik with complex, compassionate green. It was the last scene her eyes would ever take in, and yet it filled her with a horrible sense of unease not for herself, but for Nathan. He didn’t seem to be like her who, once on the operating table, had already begun to mourn what she was about to lose, and yet there had been something so inherently human about how she had felt in that moment that it was difficult for her to believe that he could feel anything else - if he could bring himself to feel anything at all.

“Whisper,” Steel nodded in greeting as he entered, Wild in tow. The sudden hiss of the opening door might have startled her if she hadn’t heard them coming, but it did draw her attention away from her thoughts.

“Steel,” She responded back. “Wild.”

“You can see me?” Wild asked, sounding ever so slightly different than usual. Less cold, more present.

“Your boots, they sound very distinctive. Like the tread is wearing out.”

An impressed huff. “Don’t tell the Captain here, he’ll make me file for a new pair.”

Steel shifted on his feet as if about to prove Wild right, but instead took his place on Whisper’s left where he folded his arms and cast his gaze down into the room below. Evidently his lack of a comment was unusual given the way Wild shrugged and followed suit, pulling up a chair with a screech and turning it backwards before sitting down.

Minutes later when the machines had positioned themselves above Nathan and Dr. Gelrik had entered, covered head to toe in white garb, things began to settle, and yet the three felt nothing but unease. It was the location of the one pivotal point in their lives - the end, in fact, of their previous selves - and yet it was not something any of them were proud to have in common.

Wild, with her posture as casual as ever, might’ve seemed apathetic if her quiet distance hadn’t given her away as being lost in thought. Her third time in the room, it was neither new nor uncomfortable, but just as it had twice before, her mind had taken the rare opportunity for worry without fear. As a one-er, worry in battle was never without fear, and therefore more or less beyond her grasp. This, however, had little to do with fear, and more to do with respect. Nathan’s chances weren’t great - especially after the night before - but whatever his reasons, he was going to see it through. That sense of purpose hadn’t found her until long after she’d awoken, and even if he was clearly confused and she sincerely hoped it would see him through. After all, anyone could go under the knife, but to make it to the other side alive and sane would make them comrades.

Steel, however, thought only of Blaze. His heart could not twist the way his mind urged it to, but a sense of guilt washed over him nonetheless. Would he hate him if Nathan died? Would he hate him more if he survived? Blaze was gone, Steel knew, and even if there had ever been a time where he could have guessed how he might have felt, it was irrelevant now. Stephen, the man that had once been and the shell that remained, was all that remained.

“Ready to begin when you are.” Marx’s voice crackled through the intercom from where he stood beside Nathan on the table, amidst monitors, machines, and wires. Steel did not look to the others for confirmation.

“We’re ready.” He said, his voice echoing in the room below. “I won’t wish you luck, there’s no such thing. We’ll see you in a few hours.”

“Breathe deep, relax, and don’t fight the sedation.” Marx spoke directly to Nathan, engaging the first round of burning fluid from the screen on his wrist. The second round, much colder and viscous, caused his eyes to droop and jaw to slack.

“One blink, and we’ll be done.”

---

The operation had gone as smoothly as it could for two flatlines and nearly four hours of constant, meticulous work, leaving Nathan in relatively stable but unpredictable condition. In a near comatose state one day and a restful sleep the next, it wasn’t until the fifth day that he was confirmed to have survived - at least physically. Capable of dreaming by the third day, his brain had recovered and was functioning, but as the rest of them knew, mental stability was not something that could be wholly observed through graphs and numbers alone. He would wake, but when he did his new reality would not meet him kindly.

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Sat 7 May - 13:25

He woke.

His head ached as if he had been struck repeatedly, with a rain of pebbles. He was acutely aware of the blood rushing through his ears. Great, cushioned millstones seemed to weigh his eyes so that he could barely find the strength to roll his eyes around beneath the closed lids, let alone open them. The pungent smell of disinfectant invaded his nostrils. And his tongue still burned with the tangy pill, the last sensation he had known before closing his eyes on the operation table. A pillowed weight fell again on his conscious mind, and he slept again.

When he next woke, he was aware of his heavy arms, the prick of IV needles, the pinch of something on his index finger, the tug of taut bandages. And then nothing.

This time he realized. Something was quite different. What was it? What was...

His mind was picking up speed. He could feel himself reasoning, thinking, expanding beneath the layers of brain tissue that still ached. He was on the verge of realization, and impatient to reach it....

Now he was aware of the passage of time. How long had he been aware of the trapped puzzle his mind was trying to unlock? Hot anger washed through his veins, rushed to the head, tore through the soft, healing lobes of pink matter. This was an animal hunger to know and understand such as he had never before experienced.

This time he did not remember waking. Did not remember the transition. Only knew that somehow, miraculously, he could see the dull white ceiling of the sterile room he lay in. The overhead lights were turned off. There was the rush and whir of machines just out of his sight line. He drifted in a sea of white sheets.

How many times he woke and slept, he did not know. Sometimes he woke drenched in sweat, but in the next moment he was completely dry. His gown somehow changed, the sheets laundered. He had not yet seen anyone, but there were phantoms coming silently in and out, seeing to his needs, and this... this triggered a memory. The fact that he was a person. That the hunger he wanted so madly to sate was this. The hunger to see a person from the past. To tell him he had survived. To tell Nathan he had survived....
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Sun 8 May - 19:12

Were it not for the worn hardcover book in her hands that kept at least some of her focus, Wild might have stormed up to R&D herself to ask why, for all of their complicated science and miraculous technology, they hadn’t yet found a way to stop the lights from humming so incessantly. The sterile room with its white everything and cleanly, almost unsettling perfect setup was not the sort of place she frequented, and whether she was in the bed or beside it, there wasn’t a good memory to be found there. Still, the other two had been in and out just as much, and she was nothing if not dedicated - bleach smell be damned.

Furrowing her brow after a third failed attempt to retain what she had just read on the page, the book found itself promptly shut and placed on the bedside table, forcing her to take a deep breath of the reality at hand again.

A week was not an uncommon amount of time for a high level Kanjo to wake albeit on the longer side, but for all the tossing, turning, and occasional bouts of consciousness that Nathan had showed, they all knew better than to wade in too deep to the pool of optimism shared between them. Even Marx - in and out, nodding at the readings he jotted down and honest with his reassurances that things appeared to be going smoothly - knew that waking Nathan up would be the easy part. From there it was an uphill struggle unlike any other; a personalized, internal struggle with no easy fix and no going back.

Wild doubted anyone forgot the first few days after they opened their eyes, but she couldn’t recall the last time it have even been brought up in open conversation. As a one-er her recovery had gone much smoother, yet despite having set herself on the operating table two days before with what she thought was complete fearlessness, all she could remember about her first few hours back in the world was the indescribable, searing pain in her skull. Fear, one of the most basic human emotions, had been much more difficult to control than she’d first thought, but the lessons came fast and ruthlessly.

Fear, pride, anxiety, shame, and apathy - They weren’t gone from Nathan any more than fear from Wild herself, but when the mind sought them out and found itself rewired, it was going to contort and react in ways that medical science didn’t even have words for yet. The only hope was that he would learn to avoid those emotions and learn to work with his suppression before it killed him outright or drove him mad; the former being much more kind.




_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Sun 8 May - 20:33

All told, it was one day short of two weeks from time of operation to the moment when Blazon opened his eyes and experienced anything amounting to conscious thought. For the first time in thirteen days, his head turned on the thin, uncomfortable pillow, and he gazed through bleary eyes at the woman sitting beside him. The vibrant teal of her willful hair burned in his memory. She looked tired, bored. And yet... Wild.

She was the only splash of color in this deathly sterile room, but still a picture struggled to draw breath, struggled to be known...a memory of her in a very different setting. Wild in a jungle of dust and dirt ground into the fabric of a moth-eaten couch, of stale sweat and piss, and of rotted meat and buzzing flies. He had seen her first through the razor thin crack of the door. And he had hated her.

The revulsion was just as strong now. Or maybe it was the pervasive smell of bleach. Blazon leaned over and retched.

Nothing came out but a thin thread of spittle. Nutrients were being pumped in through the IV needles at the crook of his arm. He had not eaten anything solid in two weeks.

Weakly, he reached up and wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his gown, then twisted his head at a rather awkward angle to look up at Wild. “How'd I do?” he rasped.
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Sun 8 May - 21:11

Convulsions, delirium, panic, angry outbursts - all of them and more were among the list of possible outcomes when a Kanjo awoke for the first time, some more dangerous than others. They’d been ready for it all and more despite the fact that after nearly two weeks in a bed he wouldn’t be able to do much damage to anyone but himself, and that was if the medication or post-op side effects didn’t settle him down first. It was this that had Wild leaning carefully forward, scanning Nathan’s clammy, pale face when he finally woke just in time to heave a few times and - to her surprise - pull back from it and speak.

“Well you’re not dead.” She answered with a smirk, only half-joking. “Assuming you’re not crazy, there’s a seven out of ten already. Look like you woke up with the worst hangover of your life, though, and you’ve been drooling on yourself these past two weeks, but I’ll bump it up to an eight for the occasion.”

Glancing over at the camera embedded not so subtly in the ceiling, Wild wondered if the medical team was already on their way to poke, prod, and send the good news up the chain. Steel had made his request early for them to give him space before the media began to pull him one way and the deployment staff the other, but the answer had been shaky at best. They would back off if they had to - it wouldn’t do anyone any good to push their luck - but it was all they could do to hope that the nigh masochistic pace Nathan had gone into the operating room with had died along with him. That, or he would learn fast and learn early the pitfalls of his new self.



_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Pirates

avatar

Posts : 215
Join date : 2011-02-24
Age : 25
Location : Minnesnowta

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Sun 8 May - 21:57

“An eight, eh?” Blazon said, his smile more of a grimace. “How generous.”

And he certainly felt like he was hung over, his head swimming in some sort of thick, foggy stew. Falling back upon the hard pillow, Blazon allowed his tensed muscles relax. He exhaled, and felt substantially emaciated—physically as well as emotionally. Five severed emotions concealed in thousands of synapses. They would reroute now, bend to new purpose. And what would he do without them? Though the human brain itself was plastic in nature, no so the human mind. No longer was there any way for his mind to process the fear he would feel. No longer any outlet for pride, acknowledgment of anxiety, recourse to shame, refuge in apathy. He must find a way to avoid all of this...or destroy himself in the process.

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of the camera nested in the ceiling above him, and knew reflexively that any and all footage of his recovery was available for governmental use. It would be the beginning of a new line of propaganda featuring Kanjo Blazon, L-5 special operative. A queasy feeling like that of shame rose in the pit of his stomach, but Blazon shoved it aside and channeled the feeling into something much more productive, much more safe—anger.

Blazon offered the camera a rude hand gesture, then levered himself back up and swung one leg out of bed. Then the other. One hand grasped the pole on which his fluid bags hung, and his toes searched for purchase upon the cold floor. He muttered, half to himself, half to Wild as he worked to right himself. “...rather puke up my intestines than stay...this bloody room.”
Back to top Go down
Padawan the Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-02-23
Age : 25
Location : Canadiana-land

PostSubject: Re: Neon   Thu 12 May - 18:33

He wouldn’t make it more than a few steps before his face joined his rubbery, unstable feet on the ground, but Wild wasn’t about to stop him. She groaned under her breath at the immediate reappearance of his unnecessary anger, though it was unfair to fault him. It was an easy, natural response - at least to those who were still capable of it when they came to - but it wouldn’t serve anyone, least of all him. She was no grade school teacher, though, and as a thick-skulled, stubborn soul herself, she decided to let him take his own lumps. For now, at least.

“Better haul ass, then.” She poked, just the right balance of sarcastic encouragement to feigned disinterest. “Looks like the good doctor and crew will be here in ten… nine…”

The little blips on her comm device moved steadily from the main control room towards their wing, three in total with Dr. Gelrik sure to be at the front. He wouldn’t make things any easier, Wild was sure, but it was both necessary and to be expected. Level 5 Kanjo or no, he was far from out of the woods yet.

_________________
*CONFETTI*
Drink coffee, do stupider things faster and with more energy
Back to top Go down
http://eoti.canadian-forum.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Neon   

Back to top Go down
 
Neon
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 4 of 5Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
EOTI :: RPing-
Jump to: