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The Story of XVI

Level 26
Level 26

Posts : 3300
Join date : 2012-08-19

Character sheet
Title: The bookworm
Primary Role: Assassin
Sub-role: Alchemist

The Story of XVI Empty The Story of XVI

Post by ClerxhaXVI

Part I: The Fire.

Her somebody was born into a royal family. Perhaps royal was not the proper term, since the government had been transformed into a democracy-of-sorts nearly two centuries prior. But they were wealthy and kind- still even retaining their noble titles until a few generations before her somebody was born. That young girl was killed in the fire that swept the lives of her entire family.
But in her place, the darkness left Clerxha.
A nobody.
A person of neither darkness nor light.
It’s no wonder she didn’t fit in.

Thunder clapped as lightning struck the half-wooden manor. Within minutes, a conflagration had erupted, easily consuming the wood structure. There was smoke billowing from every crevice, but the stone supports prevented a complete collapse of the building. The stone walls also prevented ventilation, leaving the air thick with smoke.
An hour later, almost everyone had died, either crushed by scorching wood or suffocated by the gray ash that floated through the air. A young girl, a somebody and the daughter of the household, had managed to survive the intense flames and falling debris by staying in a stone part of the house and filtering air through an old cloak.
“Mother? Father?” the girl called out, her voice echoing through the halls that reeked of charcoal and burnt flesh. “Where are you…?”
There was no sound, no response. Not the slightest intimation of a living soul in the wing of the manor. The ash-covered girl pressed on, searching for a safe pathway out of the house. The rain that had quenched the fire was finally lightening.
The door to the library was halfway open, and the young girl bolted towards the door. She knew that there was a door to the courtyard through the treasure trove of books that were now burnt paper. Her favorite haven had been destroyed; even the stained-glass ceiling had collapsed, leaving shattered glass on the carpet. The pitter-pattering of the rain could be heard against the wooden bookshelves, and the girl pulled the cloak around her shoulders and over her head.
“Is anyone here?” she called out again, her voice clear because the rain had ceased.
There was no response, and she looked up at the sky that was quickly clearing. She started to cry, finally realizing that she was alone. She was unable to hear the creaking of wood over her own sniffling and sobs.
With a loud cracking sound, a heavy structural support beam fell from above. The young girl noticed too late, and the beam hit the floor next to her with a loud noise. Time seemed to pass in infinitely longer seconds as the wood teetered before tipping towards the girl. She did her best to move out of the way, but it was as if she were paralyzed. It glanced off her head, causing a deep wound.

Why did this have to happen? She thought bitterly. Her vision began to fade as blood trickled down into her left eye. Unable to keep herself standing, the girl collapsed onto her back. The stars seemed to be teasing her with their infinite possibilities as she lay there. I’m not going to die. I can’t die. Not yet.

And then there was the darkness.
It felt as though she was splitting apart, but she was unable to scream, unable to do anything in the pitch-black darkness.
The darkness swallowed the pale-faced, soot-covered girl. And in her place, there was another similar-looking child. Almost identical, in fact. They would have been doppelgangers if it hadn’t been for the scar that crossed the left side of the new, sleeping child’s forehead.

"And I'll watch from the shadows until the time is right." -Me
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Post on Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:21 pm by ClerxhaXVI

Part II: Awake.

“Miss! Miss?!” The voice of a man woke the girl. “She’s alive! She’s alive.” There was a sense of relief and surprise in his voice.

“Who are you…?” the girl asked, looking around blankly. The only person she could see was a dark-haired man, who was clearly a fan of the mechanical inventions that had recently been discovered.

“Me? I’m… a doctor,” the man said. “What happened here?”

Her face scrunched up as she tried to remember what had happened. But she couldn’t. There was the lingering feeling that she should be able to, but no memories surfaced. “I-I don’t know.” She put her head in her hands as she sat up woozily. There was a sound, like that of gears moving, but she thought it was just something that had survived… whatever had happened. She looked around, but the entire scene was unfamiliar, from the books to the shattered glass. Everything was a blank slate, or so it seemed.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t be asking that,” the man said. But there was the hidden tone of ‘at least not yet’ hidden behind his words. He changed his expression to a more caring one. “What’s your name, child?”

“I’m…” she searched for her name in the empty memory bank that was her brain. “I think my name’s…” she opened her mouth to say something, but stopped as a look of confusion crossed her face. “No, that’s not it… Cler..x..ha?” she paused for a moment, silently mouthing the name she had given. She could see the word in her mind, but pronounced it differently than one would expect. “Yeah, Clerxha, that sounds good.”

The doctor watched her carefully, as if in disbelief that she was alive. “We can take you someplace safe.” He extended a metallic hand to her. “If you want, that is.”

“Okay.” Clerxha replied, taking the offered hand. There was no reason to stay or go, but she chose to go. She didn’t know how to survive on her own, and who else would willingly take in an amnesiac child?

The man’s hand was cold, and it took her a few seconds to realize that the whirring noise was from his arm- he must have gotten gears installed at some point. Five others dressed in white lab coats had similarities- weapons or materials consisting of intricate machines.

She didn’t understand, but it was okay.

She had decided to go with them.

Post on Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:23 pm by ClerxhaXVI

Part III: Home-of-sorts.

She didn’t know where she belonged. Nothing ever felt right, and the doctor and his team of gear-wielding scientists somehow had fixated their attention on her. At first, it was normal healing- bandages and the occasional painkiller. But then the experimentation began. A year had passed since the fire, and she had shown no signs of growth, no signs of normalcy. It was as if she was frozen in time, at least, physically.

Sometimes, she’d get mad at the so-called-doctors for injecting new medicines or for forcing her to take endless tests. She found solace in watching the clockwork gears that were littered around the hospital-like mansion, through music and cooking, and in the library that was filled with books. But on a rare occasion, she would get mad and fight the doctors.

It was then that they began to teach her meditation.

It was then that she decided she needed to escape.

After many failed attempts, she resigned herself to the fact that without any aid, she was incapable of escaping from the prison-like building.

On the bright side, something had changed in her and she was beginning to grow like a normal person again. It probably was the drugs they forced her to take.

Her room was a bleak off-white that, more often than not, seemed to be a muddled mess of white with some browns and blacks mixed in. The rest of the building was the brick-red of the materials used to build the facility. As she sat on her bed, she frowned. “There’s got to be a way out of here,” she whispered; her nine-year-old was voice barely audible despite the ever-present silence. “I can’t be stuck here forever.”

She switched up her formerly monotonous lifestyle. She began researching and plotting when she stayed in the library.

A year later, she received a black leather-bound journal. “It’s for you to keep your thoughts. We’ll never look at it, so long as you don’t get mad and lash out again,” the metal-handed doctor explained.

Brown eyes searched the cold green ones of the doctor. But there was no intimation of a lie- he didn’t look away like he would normally whenever refrained from telling the truth. Clerxha gently took the thick journal. “Thank you… why?”

“We figured that this would be equivalent to your tenth birthday. Normally you would receive an heirloom, but there were few things salvageable from the fire…” The man gestured to the book. “Open it.”

She opened the book slowly. There was a drawing of a girl who looked physically identical to Cler being held by a woman who was looking away from the viewer. It looked like a sketch, a very accurate sketch, but not a picture. There was another underneath- a picture of her from a month or two prior. The scientists had discovered how to capture images from life and print them.

“Thank you,” she said, beaming childishly. “I’m glad.” She held the book to her chest. And now I have a way to keep my thoughts and plans.

The man observed her critically. “Are you certain you don’t want anything else?”

She tilted her head to the side. “A friend my age?” Maybe he would fall for it after years of pleading.

“You know that we cannot. It is for your own safety. You are treated well here. You have all the books you could dream of and you have us to talk to. I thought you considered us to be friends.”

“I had said my age,” she said sadly. “It was worth a shot.”

And none of you are my friends. Grudgingly, all of you are my guardians, but there is no way that I would be as delusional as to call you my friends.

I will get out of here, and I will find people who genuinely care.

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