Atlantis Arising [M] [Most Original 4Q '11] [Best Veteran 1Q '12]
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February 15th, 2012 (1:39 AM).
Butcher of the Sands
River Beleren – Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England
River watched as one by one her new recruits approached the buffet table and gathered food before joining her at the rather large circular table she occupied. First to approach was Michael, followed by Oakley, Christian with Antonia following quickly behind him and finally Chrysta taking up the rear. It was only a couple of minutes after they had all taken a seat at the table and started eating that Justin and most of his quad bike crew turned up, and with a brief contact of eyes with River, Justin guided his group to a table away from theirs. River surveyed her table; Oakley sat as far away from the group as she could at the other end while her brother Michael sat only one seat away from River. To her left sat Chrysta eating slowly and sullenly by herself while two seats away from her, Christian and Antonia were chatting about random topics. All in all, they didn’t seem too shocked by the previous night’s events; the most being Chrysta who was more shocked about having to leave her family. They were all safe now. River watched as one of Justin’s crew members glanced over to their table, excusing himself to join River’s table, sitting next to Oakley. Justin looked at River, but she gave him a nod of approval; not to worry.
River recognised the boy as Kieran, one of the recruits Blayze had gone to pick up in Germany when he had unfortunately met a possible informant whom soon became a living bomb, destroying much of Berlin and becoming a catalyst for the Atlantean Registration Act. Kieran had somehow miraculously survived the explosion while his parents perished when their hotel room had been destroyed in the blast. By the time the backup crew had arrived he was muttering something about a younger brother, but they had no record of him ever having a sibling.
She watched him take a seat next to Oakley, his jacket unzipped revealing a black shirt with the logo of some band printed onto it. He carefully positioned his arms; his right arm lying flatly on the table while his left which was closer to Oakley was slung over the back of his chair. They soon began to talk after Kieran introduced himself, eventually pulling up his leather jacket sleeve to reveal his ability to Oakley. Here they could be open with their abilities without the fear of adverse reactions from others; no one here was different for having an Atlantean ability, they all had one in one way or another. A brief glance over at Michael showed that he wasn’t overly pleased about Kieran’s interaction with Oakley.
River turned back to Kieran, his ability was an interesting one. In a week since they had revealed themselves from amongst the public, he had grown twin blades of bone alongside the outer edge of his arms. They were attached to his arms through three pieces of bone that stuck out little more than a centimetre from his skin while the blades themselves stretched from one tip ending just past his elbow, the other end finishing at his wrist. Despite being bone, the blades were extremely calcified; meaning they were both as strong as steel and as sharp as any blade out there. The skin had all but healed around the bones that connected the blades to the bones inside his arm, leaving red rings around the base. From what she had heard from other sources, Kieran’s bone swords had pushed outwards from his bones, through the muscles and lastly the skin; a somewhat excruciatingly painful process.
River turned her attention away from Kieran and back onto the group as a whole, clearing her voice as they all turned to listen to what she had to say. “Now that we have eaten, it is time we continued on to the Orientation. For you all sitting here today, this will be your new home. I understand that you have parents, siblings, families, but as long as you are with them, they are in trouble.” She made sure to make eye contact with them one by one.
“At this point of time, there are three main players in this secret war to hoard a new resource; Atlanteans. What happened in Berlin was a catalyst created by a secretive organisation called ‘The Syndicate’. Essentially they train Atlanteans to become spies, mercenaries for hire to anyone who has the money. Behind them is the Atlantean Unification Project, while their motives are unclear at this point, from what we can deduct, they wish to unite all Atlanteans as a singular race, separating themselves from the outside world as an exclusive, select group.” It was adamant that they knew recruits needed to know the opposition they were up against. “We, the Atlantean Royal Family, on the other hand want to train you all to better control your abilities. We work slowly to train as many people as possible, so that Atlanteans and humans can coexist in a world together.”
River looked around at them all, feeling sorry for the kind of world they were being thrown into. Unlike her, they hadn’t been trained for their whole lives, but incoming events had forced them to come out to the public.
“If you have any questions, feel free to ask them now before we move on, there is much to get done.” She gave a little smile hoping it would lessen their apprehension a bit. In the end, she had their best interests at heart.
Michael Cale – Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England
Michael watched out the corner of his eye as the person who had given Oakley a lift walked over to their table and joined Oakley with breakfast. The two began chatting, the guy eventually revealing the blades on his arms to Oakley as his Atlantean ability. Michael felt a pang of sadness inside; this guy could connect with Oakley more than he could, his ability was an offensive version of her own, but the fact that the two had abilities that would never go away was something they had in common. Something Michael did not share with Oakley. He inwardly curse himself for not having better control over his ability, not just that but for also having such a useless ability. Back in the Registration facility, River had talked about them all being useful and apparently powerful, but being able to see through objects was just as useless as being normal…..being human.
Michael felt like ditching, running off to go cry somewhere alone by himself, but River had other things planned for them, something to do with orientation, not that he was listening to her words at all, they just seemed to never reach him. Oakley was his only family now, and even that seemed tenuous given their past of separation, he had no one close to him, no one he could miss, and no one to love him.
When River had finished talking, he remained silent, ready to move on to the next part of the Orientation River had planned out for them. No doubt some of the others had questions to ask, and it was almost as if on cue the American girl raised her hand, ready to ask a question. Like the Italian girl, Michael had not seen any display of her ability, and her separation from the others made him think that she was yet to display it.
“Will we get to see our parents again?” she asked through a shaking voice, obviously she had been split from her parents, which made Michael slightly angry that they had decided they had the authority to do that to people, but also envious that she had parents, people who loved and cared about her.
River’s reply was calm and collected; it almost made Michael angry that she even said it. “In due time, you will be able to return to your parents with greater control over your abilities.” The American merely nodded before returning to chasing the remains of her cereal around the bowl with her spoon.
Michael was starting to regret even going to the Atlantean Centre in the first place, his ability was so insignificant that he could have easily continued with University life without having ever met his sister. Getting drunk with his flatmates, hanging out with his friends and flirting with girls in his lecture theatres sudden seemed better than living in a remade hostel learning to control a weak ability.
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