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    A Time to be Alive (Solo)

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    Chesha

    Monetary Credits : 2,000
    RPC : 40
    Posts : 75
    Join date : 2017-03-13

    Character sheet
    Name: Chesha
    Team: The Guild
    Primary Zoid: Gun Sniper

    A Time to be Alive (Solo)

    Post by Chesha on 29th March 2017, 00:59

    ’So bright…’

    Impossibly green grass spread before her, all the way to the expansive lake. Still waters reflected Dalmatian mountains in the distance, the king in height standing before its smaller brethren as snow hid most of the dark rock. A breeze struck the field, causing water to ripple and the vibrant blades to turn into ocean waves. This was her favorite part.

    How would it feel though? Did the wind compare at all to the small gusts of the AC units? What about the smells? What did grass smell like? What would it feel like to reach those mountains and touch “snow?”

    ”Preparing Zoid model: Blade Liger. 20%...40%......80%....preparing load out, code: XX101. Inserting into simulation…”

    Voices managed to probe through the headgear ever so slightly. Somewhere in the ether the people worked, causing her world to shimmer and distort. Though the girl’s body rose she remained acutely aware of the lack of force: elevators held more effect than the sudden appearance of her “Zoid.” A screen and console manifested, further blocking her view and turning that moment of nature into little more than a pixelated image. Fingers rolled around the joysticks of the chair she sat in, eyes watching the replicas perform the same feat within this illusionary world.

    ”Uploading formation…”

    Words flittered in and out of focus for her, ears curious and yet eyes focused on the beautiful delusion before her. What would it be like to walk in that field of grass?

    ”Are you ready Alice? Alice?”

    ”Yes…”

    Her voice sounded faraway though whether due to the muffling of the gear or her wandering mind the girl couldn’t rightly choose. The large earmuffs certainly didn’t help, their voice coming through the communication system within the helmet.

    ”We need you to concentrate Alice. These tests are very important.”

    Were they? They never struck her as particularly important. What did defeating ghostly visages accomplish? The test conductors went so far as to pair her up with different zoids each time, though there seemed to be some sort of set rotation as some of the opponents never came up as options on the roulette. She wouldn’t mind testing out one of those ones with the gun tails or even one of the fliers. ’Then again…’ Swimming beneath the surface in a Warshark might’ve made for an interesting time as well, or even the water itself. So far due to limitations she’d only fought them in desert simulations.

    A loud buzzing noise jarred the girl’s senses back as they began the test. True to the harsh landing of zoids and firing of shells the scenery lost any final traces of peacefulness. Water flew into the air with reckless abandon, clumps of grass fleeing to different spots on the battlefield as claws left marks in the dirt. A symphony of roars rang out as reptiles and mammals waged war against her, declaring their challenges and soon crying out for forgiveness. Whenever one of the enemies pounced or even a bullet struck the fantasized Blade Liger, her chair would jitter and jolt – she supposed according to the harshness of the blow. Each time her mind compared it to times past: where one zoid might prove sturdier another held the advantage of a swift recovery or better chance to avoid it as long as she reacted in time. However sometimes the sturdier ones proved a little more unwieldy in her hands, the girl often frustrated by their inability to move according to her whims.

    The fantastical beast roared in victory as the leg of a foe hit the water, eyes fascinated with the undulating movements of the surface even as spray jumped for joy…or fright. They always got mad at her when she tried to replicate these moments in a sink, complaining about the inevitable mess.

    ”Very good Alice, you may remove the headset now.”

    Men in dark uniforms would escort her back to her room while the ones in white robes would chatter amongst each other, analyzing everything in depth as they usually did after these tests or…anything really. Those people really liked talking with one another and ever minutia of detail might hold the utmost important data. The ones in dark rarely spoke to her at least, and even with one another often stuck with concise, purely business-like statements. Occasionally – on rare – moments of freedom she might catch them conversing a little more casually, but she hadn’t yet figured out why these instances existed.

    Inside her room sat one of the few people the girl cared to properly interact with, the bubbly blond bouncing a little where she sat on Alice’s bed. Had it been surprise at the door suddenly opening? Alice found it hard to decipher, mind blindly grasping at other possibilities and settling for her first idea in the end.

    ”How did testing go?”

    ”Okay. The wave might’ve died a little slower today, but I didn’t trip up in this one as much as last time’s choice. Then again I suppose four legs tends to be a little easier to wield than two…”

    Silence enveloped the room as the girl walked to the sink in her room and washed her hands: by the end of the tests a small residue of sweat always built up. She supposed it fair as it happened during exercises and as the tests tended to cause adrenaline rushes and increased blood pressure…but other thoughts stole her attention. Piercing yellow eyes shot into those soft, green ones and thin, black eyebrows narrowed. She didn’t miss the way the woman swallowed thickly, nervousness gripping her as the child asked, ”What is grass like?”

    ” ‘Grass?’ “ the blond squeaked, blinking a few times as the question properly clicked, ”Oh! Grass!” The realization brought about a small flurry of giggles, a hand delicately curling in front of her mouth in a gesture Alice couldn’t fully comprehend. It seemed instinctual. A smile spread across her guest’s face though, features softening in a way Alice always appreciated and she soon found herself sitting next to the woman in the white coat.

    The woman’s face screwed up for a moment, frowning as she sought the words before things smoothed out aside for a small crease between her eyebrows, ”It’s…hmm…it’s a bit odd to describe honestly…grass is…sometimes soft…and sometimes kind of scratchy? Yes, it’s odd like that since it can change depending on how much water it receives, the type, and I’m afraid other things I don’t know. But it’s color can vary too depending on similar reasons! Sometimes it’s really short and other times it can go as high as people’s hips and ribcages! Err…at least…I think that’s still grass?” Again she frowned in thought, not entirely sure, ”Though…as long as it’s not too dry it can be really nice to lie on and stare at clouds or the stars, or can sometimes feel cool to lay on in the shade when it’s hot out. Erm-“

    ”What does it smell like? Sound like?” Alice interrupted, watching as she struggled to find more ways to describe it.

    ”Well it’s a distinct smell, especially when you freshly cut it…though…I’m afraid I don’t know how to describe it. Tart maybe? Bitter? It’s very recognizable at any rate. Mmm it rustles very nicely when wind blows through it as long as it’s long enough and I do enjoy the way it can crunch under my feet…” Alice watched as her eyes closed, legs stretching out as she likely delved into her most recent memory of touching it.

    Processing this information – even the lackluster smell knowledge – curiosity took a firm grip of her. It almost choked her throat, the question croaking a little as her eyebrows knit in concerned questioning, ”When will I get to experience ‘grass?’ “

    ”Oh…sweetie! Arms wrapped around the small girl, one hand cradling her pitch black lockes, ”I know…I know it’s not fun here. I know it’s no fun being cooped up in this room…but…it’ll be a little while yet before you get to see real grass. We need to be sure your body is ready for the world and can handle things it might throw at you. I want you to experience the world, but I don’t want to see you suffer for it either…but…” here she pulled away from Alice, watery eyes locking with unsure gold, ”I will do my darndest to be there when you get to see and feel and smell grass for yourself for the first time! And snow too! I promised to teach you how to make a snowball after all! It might be locked behind a few more rounds of immunizations, but I’m sure that day will come!”

    Another thing to add to her list of things to “look forward to someday.” Clouds, sky, and so many other “trivial” things sat upon it, and yet unlike the other scientists this woman never made the girl feel silly about it.
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    Chesha

    Monetary Credits : 2,000
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    Posts : 75
    Join date : 2017-03-13

    Character sheet
    Name: Chesha
    Team: The Guild
    Primary Zoid: Gun Sniper

    Re: A Time to be Alive (Solo)

    Post by Chesha on 29th March 2017, 04:33

    The world long since withered away, leaving the child with a sense of floating. Nothing existed around her beyond clouds of dust, colors slowly blooming in each and yet no solid images appeared. Not yet. They warned her that she might see things and yet so far so good: nothing. This was her favorite part of the test when the pain and world ebbed away completely and before the disorienting experiences to come. She figured it something akin to a loading or menu screen, when she could enjoy some of the ambient music, close her eyes to imagine what might happen. She could enjoy the myriad of possibilities.

    Something prodded at the back of her mind, sounds attempting to break into this world before creation and she enjoyed it all the more: their obnoxious voices couldn’t reach her here. This was a world for her, and her alone. Their demands for her to concentrate fell on deaf ears, their whims and wishes little more than chancy possibilities. Sometimes, for brief moments she imagined getting lost in this world, free from their expectations. Rules and commands would become little more than fantasy whilst she floated in this world, content in merely being. It was a haven created by that creature for her, or so the girl liked to imagine.

    Finally the first inkling in the dive tickled at her fingertips, a moment of falling grasping the child. Gravity pulled her towards one of the clouds, dazed eyes watching wisps of black hair dancing about as a dim light surrounded her. These visions often came to her like watching TV through a murky tank, the picture impossibly blurry and the voices far too static to grip much. One moment they shouted with that echo-like undertone and the next too distant, as though the entities whispered a hill or more away from her. The purposes of these exercises tended to escape Alice most of the time, unsure even the scientists fully understood what they wanted out of them.

    Sometimes though, despite the blurry blobs of color and impossible voices, sometimes she could understand the…emotion of the scene? Even that remained a bit beyond her grasp, but the girl understood how they left her feeling by the time she departed a cloud. When the voices became vehement and almost incessant she could tell from the tones and frequency of shifts the moment came with a tenseness. Unconscious fists formed and teeth grit, and yet went unnoticed until she’d disconnected from that odd moment in time, left a little breathless as if she’d done the shouting herself.

    Other times – and perhaps more rarely – she’d experience other sensations. Tense, wary, suspicious, anger, disgust: these ones came more often. Those times that serenity and a general sense of peace filled the girl stood out like gemstones amidst the rubble. Occasionally even a hint of tenderness or…perhaps affection came with that left her wondering all the more. Why had these times somehow been saved compared to the more volatile ones that outnumbered them so heavily?

    Over time Alice could nearly conjure a guess behind things, the hypotheses on the tip of her tongue. So close she’d come to comprehending the feelings behind these connected moments and the subsequent emotions, and then these peaceful ones jarred her away. They left her so unsure and yet…so comforted. Their pure existence confused her and yet their siren allure kept her agreeing to these tests if only to try and find those pockets of peace again. Anything to bask in them and forget the world she currently lived inside. This current world barely offered such reprise outside of her chats with that one woman.

    Perhaps the creature found a way to save these moments for her? For what reason she could only catch the barest dregs of right now, an inkling she couldn’t form into words.

    Still time pressed on, forcing her from one bubble to the next and she held some vague notion of wires suction cupped to her body and taking vital signs. Fingers curled and uncurled, muscles twitching and teeth gritting on and off with the scenes. Always she returned to that nothingness between the bubbles, the dust from each cloud flittering off her body and lost to the depths before she entered the next.

    Memories.

    They wanted her to obtain these memories. Why? What purpose would this serve? What would this solve or accomplish? Did they hope for her to become the person in these hazy bubbles? Did they wish for these emotions and moments to impress upon her and forge some being trapped within the beast’s veins? Did they hope that by keeping her empty of other experiences this person would rise within her like a phoenix and take her place? Alice…

    She didn’t want to disappear.

    The realization struck her one day when one of the clouds proved a little less fuzzy than the time before. For the first time since they’d begun letting the beast drive that needle into her spine did she become someone else. Yet it still felt like her at the same time, just alien. Alice hadn’t been permitted in the outside world, raised in a place filled to the brim with white tiles and walls. They wrote off the way she looked longingly at any pictures of the outside world, assuring her it wasn’t as “grand” as she made it out to be and she’d come to likely despise parts of it. She’d never been outside.

    She was outside.


    Hands soft and pristine found themselves replaced with nicks and scratches, one of them sporting a small cut she could feel a sting from when she flexed. Gone were the plain clothing the technicians gave her, replaced with more intricate and designed pieces bundled together to function in this environment. Hard rock surrounded her, the girl – taller than she felt before – found herself in a ravine. Not so much as a lick of green to be found and yet despite the inklings of being in a desert the sky overhead remained overcast, cool winds whistling through the area with promises of a downpour. She could taste it, and it was wonderful. She wanted more and yet her body refused to move in the ways the once-child-now-adult wanted it too. It was like she held another purpose here than to explore.

    Fingers idly played with the hem of the cloak, mentally noting the softness and lightness of her clothes beneath to cushion with the more durable layer. She very much wanted to peer into a mirror, curious beyond belief and yet not granted such favor. She had to wait after all. Others were coming.

    Others.

    Who?

    It would rain soon so a thought distantly flowed through her mind, ’I hope they get here soon,’ that didn’t feel quite like her’s. Alice’s primary thought was to ditch them, not this other…person’s?

    Panic jittered under her skin until it forced her from the memory. The once peaceful blackness blew away into a blinding light. Only moments later did she become aware of her flailing limbs and people trying to constrain her, voices shouting into ears beginning to return to this plane. All at once her senses hit full throttle, her own breath deafening as lungs worked over time from adrenaline, body trying to send her rocketing off. Nothing they spoke made sense to her, only further fueling her reaction. Enemies. They were enemies that’d captured her. Inherently she knew this to be an alien thought and yet it felt true. None of these faces came as familiar or recognizable. Who were they? What did they want with her?

    Hours ticked by in her mind as she continued to fight. Fatigue caught up however, her ability to fight these burly men impossible in her suddenly much smaller body. Someone stood before her by now, repeating something over and over until it started making sense where it’d been an alien language before.

    ”Alice, Alice! Wake up Alice, you’re free, you’re out of the test! Alice!”

    Worry leeched out of every pore of this person’s voice. The familiar sound though finally seeped past her confusion until the gasping girl focused wide eyes on the blond woman. Vaguely she realized part of her back and neck hurt, becoming a little bit more prominent by the passing minute. As the last bit of energy left her – though arms continued to cuff her arms and legs – she came to recall this woman as the same one who often talked and visited her. Always answering Alice’s questions to the best of her abilities.

    ”It’s okay Alice, you’re done for the day, it’s okay. You’re okay,” finally the franticness left the woman’s voice, a hand caressing Alice’s cheek as she spoke with relief, ”We’ll take you to the medical wing to rest, all right?”

    Already she could feel her eyelids beginning to close, no doubt related to the slight pinch in her arm she felt a second ago. They’d likely removed the beast during the midst of her attempt to flee as she couldn’t hear any sounds from it. Though…she held the curious notion…that it might’ve been worried…anxious…

    Everything turned black and this time she went without dusty galaxies of memory forming around her.
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    Chesha

    Monetary Credits : 2,000
    RPC : 40
    Posts : 75
    Join date : 2017-03-13

    Character sheet
    Name: Chesha
    Team: The Guild
    Primary Zoid: Gun Sniper

    Re: A Time to be Alive (Solo)

    Post by Chesha on 30th March 2017, 08:30

    Today she’d seen another one.

    Recently she nearly fell into the eternal darkness during one of their “connection” tests. The sudden expulsion from that world left her brain muddled for a day and only one woman stayed with her through most of that time. It was the usual one they sent to talk to her, keep her company, the nurses and doctors flitting in and out yet never staying for fear she’d panic again. A fair notion as the occasional whim or reflex to jab them with the needles caused a flinch here and there on her part. Fearful of stress and overworking her though they’d kept the girl held up in a hospital bed with minimal exercise – more so at her desire, she’d never cared much for bed pans – and refrained from even returning her to her room. If not for knowing they locked the door on their way out she might’ve considered an attempted escape, though without a map or some real knowledge of the place’s layout that remained little more than a dream….

    Then she spied something that kept her interest piqued throughout the rest of her stay. A boy.

    It’d been his hair that caught the pair of golden eye’s attention, that flaming red impossible to ignore amidst the almost-painful-at-times white walls. Locks strayed this way and that, bouncing as he walked behind a pair of scientists with a pair of guards behind him, and a man with perfectly coifed brown hair at his other side. The coifed gentleman seemed to be talking to him, hands moving intermittently to keep pushing his glasses back up as gravity pulled them down, forced to look down in order to properly speak to the young man.

    The escorted boy kept his sights forward, hair bouncing lightly with each step. From this distance she could just make out the fact he wore a similar, plain white shirt like her’s, though where her skin stood out pale his held a slight, yellow tint to it, though briefly she wondered what it might be like if he received a bit of sun…though she had yet to know how her porcelain features might fair under the sun’s rays as well. Would he tan? Would he “burn” as her personal caretaker mentioned some suffered from?

    As if hearing her mental quandaries the boy’s head turned. Molten gold met cat’s eye yellow in that moment, the girl feeling her eyelids part further as she watched his do the same. A jolt shot through her even if she would fail to explain why, breath sharply catching. Abruptly she shut her mouth, watching him until the boy’s attention snapped away from her. Feline eyes shot up in time to catch a disapproving look from the man walking next to the boy, hand adjusting his glasses for the umpteenth time. For the first time in a while it sent a shiver of unease down her the way the light caught the lenses and flashed, unable to see those piercing eyes for a moment. All too soon they disappeared from view after that, having never broken stride.

    What test were they going to run? Did they ever use the same rooms? Vaguely she felt that must be the way to the simulation rooms, but she felt a little turned around in this room and so couldn’t be fully sure. He might’ve simply been on the way to a routine checkup or going for a vaccine update, or a myriad of other little things they had them do here and there. Once she could grasp the relation to her room the girl might get a proper idea.

    But who was he?

    That thought continued to tumble in her mind on endless rotation. Alice could barely listen to her caretaker’s complaints – yelled at about something – as she closed the curtains and began setting up a meal in bed for her. A hazy sense that she knew him flittered in and out, and yet remained elusive. Never before that moment had Alice seen another “child” in that facility, let alone anyone who appeared to be around her age. Adults filled her world, many with lab coats and others with the thicker, sturdier clothing often escorting them or watching doors and corridors. Never before though had the girl considered once there might be more than simply her at this place. It struck her as logical in hindsight, but such was the nature of hindsight. Just by spying the one the notion of more than just them blossomed in her mind. Would she gain the same feelings if she saw them? Were they all the same age?

    Did this have anything to do with her marker?

    It set her as the “fourth Alice” from her understanding, meant there’d been three others before her. That meant three failures before her. That thought lead to the question of whether or not the others failed alongside her or were they on different numbers? Could that mean she’d seen one older and simply thought nothing of it at the time due to age? Perhaps others existed at younger ages and so she didn’t seem them as they existed in a “pre-testing” stage of life? How many lived in this facility? How many were there in total?

    ”Who is he?” came the faraway question, eyes glued now to the curtains blocking her view of that other corridor. How did she gain that feeling of knowing someone she met for the first time that day? Or rather saw, she supposed.

    ”Eh…? Who-oh, him,” blatant confusion switched to nervousness, her caretaker having been on a completely different subject. Judging from the nerves perhaps that’s what she’d been yelled at, Alice vaguely recalling such mentions in her lost thoughts. Watching the kind blond struggle, Alice experienced a moment of pity even if she couldn’t aptly name it, ”He’s…well, he’s a lot like you I suppose. I’m not sure how to explain it exactly…but if things go well you’ll get to meet him someday.”

    The notion caused a flutter in the girl’s chest, the sensation just as curious as the sad tone of her caretaker’s voice. Why would meeting someone be bad?

    Fatigue thickened her tongue, unable to question the older woman further as each blink became longer than the last. ’Sleep food…’ she guessed. For whatever reason they wanted her to rest early, whether related to the boy or in the hopes of a speedier recovery she couldn’t rightly say.

    ”Have pleasant dreams…Alice…” Alice felt a soft sensation against her forehead.


    That night she dreamed of a very different world, a larger one. Plains expanded into endless seas, patches of grass speckling the dusty lands as rocks jutted from the ground in mounds. Somehow, inexplicably she knew a large lake existed behind her and the mountain rocks she stood upon, surveying the land before her. A rich forest spread beyond that, a place where birds twittered and other woodland creatures might manifest like ghostly visions if one sat still long enough. Wind rustled through the area, causing the grass to shimmer as the sun continued to set lower and lower. Within the next few hours it’d dip below the horizon and completely ensconce the place in shadows. Already she could feel a chill nipping at her, one hand moving to rub the arm buffeted by the fluctuating winds.

    A hand landed on her shoulder, fingers gently squeezing before relaxing in place, an arm radiating warmth resting along her shoulder blades. Despite her usual dislike of the gesture, in this fantastical realm it hardly bothered her. Out of the corner of her eyes the woman spied fiery red dancing in the breeze and a brief shimmer of gold. It only served to make her smile before the woman’s gaze swept back out to the expansive plains standing before them. Some feeling of foreboding dwelled in the pit of her stomach, as if she held some inkling of their future, but for now Alice felt as though she could simply enjoy this moment.

    ”I promise, someday we’ll be free…”

    Even as everything faded away the feelings of comfort remained, Alice sure she was smiling to the bitter end.
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    Chesha

    Monetary Credits : 2,000
    RPC : 40
    Posts : 75
    Join date : 2017-03-13

    Character sheet
    Name: Chesha
    Team: The Guild
    Primary Zoid: Gun Sniper

    Re: A Time to be Alive (Solo)

    Post by Chesha on 26th April 2017, 07:27

    Caedis fascinated Alice.

    Stuck somewhere between living creature and machine Alice couldn’t quite figure out how to classify her. People sported varying skin colors, but they all shared an important factor: soft flesh. Skin stretched and contracted, pimpled when it chilled and produced salty water when warmed. It could burn and tear sadly easy to the point Alice sometimes wondered how they survived. People seemed to be…delicate with the ways her caretaker described their composition and yet they proved hardy enough.

    Machines she could understand too. Hard, they required force to mold and shape as one pleased (or under one’s fury, sometimes with a tool required). They refused to give beneath a soft touch unless they’d been specially outfitted with separate pieces intended for movement. They could perform a myriad of things dependent upon the purpose one built them for – Alice familiar with the virtual reality equipment especially among other testing devices, the work out equipment, and she’d witnessed some of the things “computers” could do with the pressing of keys and clicking of a mouse (something she still found amusingly named). Machines created shortcuts so humans could skip multiple steps at a time and perhaps save a little on paper (despite the loads of notes they seemed to take regardless, but the computers compiled it in ways they liked).

    Caedis however sat somewhere in between these two different spectrums.

    A tough and unforgiving carapace hide a softer, more malleable metal that stretched and bent with her movements – erratic as some of them may be at times. Despite the unnecessity of it, if Alice should hold food in her possession near the mechanical beast then jaws and sharp teeth eagerly sought out chances to bite it. At first such actions alarmed her, having been told of how electronics especially hated “liquids” and “gunk” hitting their circuits. If she were anything like the coffee that “accidentally” spilt on a computer…well the little girl didn’t want anything to happen to the beast. And yet any bite of rich apple or juicy peach brought little to no reaction beyond her little “triumph” dances.

    She stood out amidst most of the equipment, her exterior closer in color to the cables that could be spotted here and there as well as the strength equipment and simulator machines (used in order to get a feel of a cockpit they said, though most battles were performed in the VR sometimes simpler ones were performed in these odd bubbles). Compared to any of those machines though Alice liked her more, the way her dark gray armor shone under the artificial lights with an almost liveliness about it, the lighter claws and joints just as mysteriously cared for though it sounded like she didn’t take kindly to being manhandled too much. Small ridges of spikes jutted from the back of her skull and paused mid-back where her wings could manifest and restarted at her lower back, continuing the length of her tail. Though they could cause damage even to the metal walled rooms given a fit, they looked like little more than decoration. A few spikes jutted out from her head, almost feather like in shape if nothing else, giving her draconic horns and features alongside her saurian ones.

    The wings though: Alice really liked the wings and her eyes.

    Scientists mentioned how beasts like Caedis (or subject 006) seemed to sport varying types and ways of flying. Sometimes boosters of some sort, sometimes a style of wings, and other times well…who knows? Organoids generally held some capability to rocket into the air and enhance a Zoid’s capability in some way or another. Caedis owned a set of wings not unlike an avian’s, a glassy looking metal set in varying sized feather shapes. Despite their see-through nature the things packed a wallop, the people in the long white coats always nervous when they popped out. Alice liked them though as they made her think of flying out of this place and into the big ocean that overlooked people. As far as Alice cared, by the description of ocean and sky…the sky sounded like an upside down ocean, and thus just as wonderful.

    Those green eyes gave Caedis her sense of “life” though. In all their meetings – some longer than others – Alice noted how they might brighten and dim depending on moods. The more excited she became the lighter they turned until sometimes Alice wondered if they mightn’t turn another color completely. Calming her down in these situations always seemed to befall the young girl while the others became nervous. Hearing the clicks of guns tended to set her on edge, the raven-haired child forced to ignore the rest of the world to try and curb that feeling while attempting to calm her…

    Organoid?

    Friend?

    They certainly weren’t strangers by far even if the creature had been far more excited to see her that first time than Alice had been to meet the beast. Sure she’d been curious, but a cautious kind of curious. Discerning the purpose in meeting this mechanical wonder completely eluded the young child at the time and yet that impossibly tall (at the time, though growing only mildly diminished her size, the organoid dwarfing even the mountainous guards) dragon might as well have been a kid given a treat for all the happiness it exuded at seeing her. That one meeting turned into many thereafter, the purpose set as “bonding” so that she could partner with the mechanical creature.

    During one of those meetings she’d first witnessed how dark those eyes could turn, likely capable of glowing in a dark environment, but in the lit room appeared almost black. It happened purely because of a small fit on Alice’s part. She’d been “selfish” and “childish” by their later lectures. As far as the Alice of today could recall though it’d likely been born from the relaxed nature of those meetings. They wouldn’t do anything, well, nothing important. Alice could draw, read books (aloud or quietly to herself), and more or less anything she wanted whilst in Caedis’ company. As long as a pillow sat between them she could even lounge against the organoid as it watched over her. Back then Alice never noticed the way the organoid sometimes turned watchful towards the other occupants of the room, like a mother on guard against predators. Those times were so relaxing compared to check-ups, activities like swimming back and forth in a pool (among other things she later realized were beginning work out sessions), and schooling. They became quickly more enjoyable than when they’d finally let her rest in her room, though by that time the child usually found herself too tuckered out to fully enjoy that “alone time” for what it was worth.

    So when they suggested it was time to leave she did the only thing that felt right: she declared, ”No!”

    She never saw that scientist again after that, though down the road Alice figured he likely never regained full use of that arm again. Even if he did more than likely pains might flare up every now and then. The guard she felt pretty sure showed up here and there in the facility, noted purely by the way he always seemed to suck in more air when she passed by, but he’d never been actively assigned to the girl again. Probably by request, possibly because of the incident, who knows?

    Those “meetings” eventually morphed from playtime to worktime. Only towards the beginning did they offer the pair a moment to greet each other – Caedis offering a nuzzle and Alice hiding a smile against that hard exterior as a hand traced the curve of that smooth jaw – and then it was down to business. The first time the golden eyed girl dove into that deep realm proved a great shock. Before the calm there came a moment’s pain, her pearly whites gritting as muscles stiffened, and remained that way even as the pain ebbed away. Soon her vision evaporated into darkness, body gaining a curious weightless sensation. Close she came to jerking, as if experiencing a sudden fall. Stars burst around her, expanding ever further out of reach even as fingers sought them out. So close and yet so far…

    When they pulled the plug and forced Caedis from the room it took the child a moment to realize she’d been crying. Voices around her inquired what their experiment saw only to receive a few shuddery sobs and incoherent mumbles. How could someone so young explain the myriad of things that’d suddenly been forced upon her? So many things nibbled at the edges, quickly forgotten in the sudden waking like many dreams in the past, but a few sensations stuck with her even as they locked her back in that room. Tucked into bed the girl was left to lament the loss of possibly one of the best sensations she’d experienced to date: the loss of freedom.

    Through every joining thereafter Alice never forgot the being that gave her – even briefly – that precious feeling.

    ’So why won’t they let me dive anymore? What went wrong last time they’re putting it off now…this isn’t the first time I’ve ended up in the medical ward after a session…’

    Staring at the drawn shades, the girl sighed, left to ponder what became of her precious friend after the recent test.

      Current date/time is 25th July 2017, 09:55