Recent Statuses

1 yr ago
Current Why am I bothering to update the status anyway? No one's gonna care
2 yrs ago
"Remember to look at the stars not down at your feet." Inspired me ever since. Rest in peace Professor Hawking
2 yrs ago
I don't know why, but the boredom is killing me slowly
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Welcome to my crappy profile front end. I hope you will enjoy your stay here.

To be honest, I haven't had much experience in RP, since I just started recently. But to reassure you, I am a writer, and my fic has received a bit of attention now, and so you don't have to worry about grammars and spellings, just rules of roleplaying.

I have written many types of stories and I am confident to say I can fit in into any categories when I switch to RPing, but my favorite genre is probably fantasy and science fiction. Currently so, I am taking part in a few of the RP, and is still looking for more. Hopefully we can find a common interest among them.

Thank you for reading (it's quite short really, but I don't have anything else to say)

Most Recent Posts

”Oh nevermind, she’s here.”

Save a lot of convenience for the sappers.

Despite the looks of it, the Vinland girl wasn’t the last of the squad to arrive. She was the last among the attacking sappers to arrive, but they weren’t yet up the headcount just yet.

”I think there are still a couple of escort troops that still aren’t here yet, but all the sappers are here.” Michael turned a bit, giving clear view of the two other sapper of company D. ”Yes, we only have this many...”

“Don’t be a defeatist.” The boy beside Anna suddenly spoke, seemingly dissatisfied by Michael’s unenthusiasm. “There must be a reason they only assign so few of us. It mu-.”

“Owen.” His sister sternly cut him off. Just like what she had feared. ”We just have to do with what we have.”

They have had the entire night to dwell on it. It had grown boring already.

”Anyway.” The Richelieu siblings, led by the older one, stepped forward to greet the Vindander. ”I’m Anna. And this is Owen. We’re your partner in this tunnel mission. How are you today?”

”I’m Reyna. And I’m tired.” Reyna offered a sheepish smile as she started to finally wake up. “I’ll manage, don’t worry. What about you three?” Reyna looked at the three other sappers with a small amount of interest. Slowly, Reyna kept nibbling on the cracker, halfway through with it. The very act helped with her nerves and kept her from thinking about other more stressful topics.

“Oh we’re ready for this! Right sis?” The younger boy was just waiting for this moment. The power of youth. He wanted to prove. It was usually combined with bad knowledge, leading to undesirable consequences, but thankfully his words were pretty benign. On the contrary, it was an up to the spirits of the other three, who seemed to be dead tired to be awake before the sun.

”I’m doing good, thank you Reyna. I’m honored to be cooperating.“ His sister couldn’t help but nod in his stead.

”I’m doing good too, a little sore but good. Thanks.” Michael followed.

Reyna’s smile grew a little wider as she blurted out to Michael “Did Lucia cuddle you a little too hard last night?” Once the words left Reyna’s mouth, she realized what she just said and mentally slapped herself. Why did she say that? It must be because she was tired, but she hoped she didn’t make Michael mad or anything.


Oh, she didn’t know. The dwarf of the nobleman has a mistress? But she wasn’t too surprised. But still.

Michael found the surge of embarrassment rushing up his face, as soon as he heard his friend from company struggling to stymie a laugh. That last time she jumped on Michael’s back and then swung around him made his popularity too well-known. Or the fact that she stayed with him the entire time in Amone. That was probably the reason Middleton knew. A little depressing too, that because of it, she was forcibly dragged away from the squad.

Just as Anna was stopping her laugh, Michael stopped, or tried to, prevent his face from turning into a tomato. He cleared his throat twice. His attempts clearly highlighted otherwise.

”Whatever suits your likings, I guess.” He admitted it. Sort of...with a passive aggressive remark down the line. ”If you want my version of the story: I was down the street hit by the shell to rescue some survivors of that shell.”

So that is what really happened to Michael. Although embarrassed herself that she blurted out something so adorable she couldn’t help but giggle a little at Michael’s response. That’s something that she could tell Lucia later, how easily embarrassed he is anyway. Aside from that, the grim thought of the shell was not something Reyna wanted to think of, and so she decided to believe her own version a little more, if only in imagination.

“Sorry...but I’m glad you’re ok.” She quickly apologized to Michael. Reyna’s face was slightly tinted red, the laughter from Anna not helping not to mention the cute image she had in her mind. They now probably thought she went around telling secrets now, which was untrue. In fact, Reyna didn’t think many knew much about her due solely to the fact she normally kept herself in places where fewer people were around and she certainly didn’t make it her mission to speak to everyone, even though she did speak to others every so often.

She’s glad that he’s ok. That’s sort of eerie when he was the rescuer instead of the one being rescued. The one who saw hundreds of people being ‘not ok’ in that street. But for the sake of good will, he didn’t voice his victimizing complaint. Just a nod to accept her apology.

”I think I’ll be handling it just fine though.”

Let his spirit carry this battered body forward. If he did not collapse after this whole debacle, it’d be a miracle.
“Big sis, looks like our guys are calling us.” Owen tugged on Anna’s shirt

”Oh?” She looked over in the distance. A soldier waving at her and making hand gesture telling her to get going ”Looks like my squad is ready to go. I guess we’ll make our departure.”

She extended her hands both to the sappers of the 15th Atlantic Rifle.

”Good luck to you both.” Then to Michael specifically. ”Remember our scheduled time?”

”Yeah, but unfortunately I lost my watch in one of the Amone fight.” Michael replied, to which Anna considered for a few seconds.

”Then use this.” She pulled from her shirt pocket her own watch. ”I’ll share with my little brother. Return it to me once you’re done, ok?”

The Edinburgh sapper nodded firmly in reassurance, as she placed the silver watch onto his hand. The slick streamline design was really timeless when combined with the silver glow of the metal itself. A rather classic design for the upper class who value some good simplicity, though unfortunately it was still victimized by the dirty war.

Michael turned back to Reyna. He knew it might be foreign hearing what they just exchanged. He knew that he still hadn’t communicated the plan over to Reyna yet, which was something that he shouldn’t do, but it was easy to understand. Or at least it should be. If anything, he can just lead the way until then.

”I’ll explain when we are getting there.”

Reyna was indeed unsure of what just transpired, but she recognized valuable objects when she saw them. The watch was exquisitely detailed enough for the upper echelons of society yet did its intended job. Noting this, Reyna nodded to Michael and the other two before that. She didn’t pretend to know about the relationship that Michael had to the other two sappers, but nor did she really ask.

“Ok.” Reyna replied simply to Michael. It was the best response she could think of, with Reyna just now feeling the urge to eat more food. It was a good thing she prepared a little water in advance to quench her thirst. She turned her head to a noise to the right of her, spying Senja and another soldier she was not familiar with. Even Senja she only knew barely by name, but the accent she had was very distinct, probably especially so in the Atlantic Rifles. Hearing the question Senja asked, Reyna raised her hand with a nod in reply. Then again, Reyna was always hungry it seemed. With a small smile at the thought of food, Reyna finally said “Yes. Thanks”

”Oh Senja. It’s lovely to see you again.” Michael’s attention turned from the watch to the two final guests of this sortie. And to his surprise was Senja, along with a girl that he didn’t really know. Nevertheless he didn’t spare them his greeting gestures.

”Is your injury ok now?” And his concern for the injury Senja suffered the day before due to Michael’s hasty but arguably good intentioned decision. And also for the food she gave him.

”Thank you very much Senja. I appreciate it.”

A little breakfast could really help with the upcoming tough fight

Once the little break for some breakfast had ended, the tunnel strike force departed as soon as the sun was visible on the horizon.

”Ok I’ll get on with what I have been planning to do.” Michael spoke as they were halfway along the quiet, eerie sight of devastation. Hopefully it would both give Reyna the information and avoid the distraction of contemplation. There should be none of that now. ”You still have that map I gave you before coming into Amone?”

“Yeah, I got it right here.” Reyna pulled out the map Michael gave her at the beginning and held it out to him to take and use.

”May I have that for a moment?” He took out the pencil in his shirt pocket and marked a few spots on the paper. The most important one, the medical bay, he circled, and he did so more boldly than others.

”It’s gonna be easy to remember. We’ll enter at this exact time, and then exactly by the seconds ten minutes later, we will set the charge right here, to coordinate with the other team. We’ll cut their potential reinforcement from within. ”

Then he pointed at the other spots in which he marked differently with an X.

”Then we will blow these areas up. We can go together or split up, that’s one thing I want to ask you. I kind of want to make it fast by splitting up, so we can leave faster, but you may have a better idea”

Reyna looked at what Michael drew on the map, listening to him and asking small questions to clarify information. Finally, she nodded to Michael. “I agree. I’ll be fine on my own, but we need to have longer fuses so that both of us can get out of there.” Reyna observed. “Little concerning we’re detonating near a medical bay, but I see a barracks that leads right into it and then to only one exit if we destroy the tunnels here.” Reyna pointed out the points connecting to the medbay. “It don’t lead to anywhere but their above-ground barracks so if you wanted to we can give the wounded a chance if you’re feeling moral.” Though probably not ideal to the higher ups, Reyna was more than a little moral even in this hellish war.

”Well, we can’t really collapse the other exit anyway, so I don’t have any objections to that.”

Now that he realized it, the tunnel actually has three exits, but one of them was accessible directly from their above-ground barracks, so it made no sense entering from there. And who knows, maybe that can attract soldiers to actually enter the tunnel that way instead of the two ways that the Federation task force would attack, thus delaying them significantly. Every seconds count here. But essentially, it really counted as two exits.

How about longer fuses then?

Michael leaned his head a little on his shoulders, pondering. The tunnel was indeed quite deep, and the charges must be at the correct location, or else the entire tunnel could collapse and burying everyone. He wasn’t sure how tough these tunnels were. These charges were designed for a heavy demolition, so to be safe, 40 seconds may be a little too short of a time. It would be totally fine if the tunnel was empty, an ideal situation that probably no one ever had in a fight like this.

”That can be a good idea.” Michael’s eyes look up the sky for a few seconds. ”Though the first charge is still the same fuse. We want the timing to be exact. For the subsequent one, you can use longer ones. How long though? Two minutes is sufficient, do you think?”

“Yes. That will work. Can’t be too long or there is more potential for them to disarm them.” Reyna nodded, feeling a little relieved. They won’t have to murder a bunch of people who can’t even defend themselves and still proceed with their objective. Middleton can cry later especially if it works out for the better for all she cared.

“Unless something happens, I’ll take the farthest storage room when we split up if you don’t mind?” Reyna pointed at the storage room in question. it was not considerably further than the other, but still further.

”That’s fine by me. Then that leaves me with this clustered area on the other side.” Perhaps the kitchen or the ration area or something. ”And this small path here, on the same branch.”

”In case something happens though, that you can’t attack conventionally. Just do what you must. If not then just retreat. We’re not mandatory for a total destruction.”

It’s better to do so, but it’s not really a must.

”But then what about this room here?” He pointed out. It’s the one closer to Reyna’s side, but it’s not that further into her side of the tunnel branch.

“Hm, I’ll secure that room then keep moving to the storage room. After the storage is done I’ll set another charge in there.” Reyna replied after a bit of thought. “It’ll also make a good shelter from the storage room explosion if I have to use a shorter fuse or run into some trouble.”

”Well…” It looked shallow enough to be a susceptible shelter. Not too deep, but then again heavily reliant on how it was built in the first place. If anything, he’d wait until he got into the tunnel for the proper assessment, but for now. ”Yeah I’m alright with that. We’ll see if the plan holds when in the tunnel, but or now I guess we have a plan.”

He gave her back the map she gave him, now marked with clear objectives. It was just a matter of waiting for the big moment. Was there anything inherently, or perhaps not so inherent, bad about the plan? Probably, if he thought hard enough. But going back would probably make it more complex and shatters the certainty of it. It wouldn’t help, so he let it go. He had done his best. Let the Lord decide his worth of life.

Nodding and taking back the map, Reyna took Michael’s response as a solid plan formed. Nothing to do but wait and see what happens now, and succeed. “Yeah, we will.Well, we still have a little bit of time to kill before it is time to go so what do you want to do while we wait?” It didn’t bother Reyna she was with Michael. In fact, Michael was a saint compared to…..well the likes of Diana...or Ines...or Victoria…. Those conversations with Diana and Ines, while interesting, were very embarrassing and Victoria....well Victoria was Victoria.

What could they do? Well, they’re walking, so there’s not many options to do things. But they could talk. In fact it could be an interesting talk, if not the last they’d ever have.

”Not much, but we haven’t talked much, have we?” Lucia and Jean’s constant influence may have affected that. ”You’re from Vinland, if I’m not mistaken. How’s life there? Is it as colorful as people think?”

“That is correct. I am from Vinland. Father and momma own a company and so we are really well off back home. The countryside is really beautiful and as colorful as some say it is.” Reyna did not expect such talk to occur, but it was a welcome change from the business talk they had before. And so, with the memories that came to her Reyna had a small smile as she spoke. “There’s horses, forest, rolling hills and a nice little town back home.”

”That sounds like a peaceful area to live in.” That’s a rather different perspective she said. From what he had heard and previously described by his dad on his trip abroad, it was an industrial powerhouse. Skyscrapers really scraped the sky there. A place of bustling activities throughout the entire day and night, so it was a rather unique experience from the side of nature. Perhaps a countryside person, but from what she had mentioned and described, she is from a well off family. But well-off doesn’t mean being in a metropolis.

”I’ve been living in the city for long, since my father works at a university in Tyrella, Edinburgh. I’ve actually toured the countryside of Edinburgh, but it’s no comparison to living by nature.” He couldn’t help but remember the old times, a distant smile grew. ”Say, if you don’t mind sharing, what does your parent do?”

“Dad is the CEO of Hall Industries, the company he built from the ground up. It makes industrial machinery and other things. Momma usually stays home, but is a great florist and cook.” Reyna kept smiling, rather proud of her family. “He’s gone to Edinburgh too. He made a few business trips and told me it’s nice. And that explains how you’re soundin’ like you know what you’re talkin’ about.” She couldn’t imagine Michael being really dumb now. University professors, she heard, really pushed their children to going to, well, universities. It came as no surprise to Reyna.

“The city is a little different in Vinland, but it’s nice enough I guess? I don’t know, I haven’t visited many cities.”

”My father had been there. If you aren’t a fan of crowded places, or fast-paced life, it probably isn’t a place for you. But it is a sight to be seen. From what I’ve heard from my father’s story, going up the high towers of these skyscrapers can be breathtaking.” He said, his fondness of the stories about his father’s first trip to Vinland was deep in his mind. ”Also the place he met my mother too, but that’s another story.”

But being a CEO’s daughter, and being the Hall Industries no less. He had heard of it a little, but that did not diminish her as being less than an average upper class.

”So is it why you’re in the sapper role here? Because I do partly owed that to my own education as well.”

“Ya. I went to a private school and have a university already arranged for me myself. My parents were really adamant about making sure I was ready when I decided to join the military and putting me in the best place possible and, well, made me go through a month with McGriffin, so sapper it was.” Reyna thought for a moment before speaking again. “I wanted to fight the Empire and choose to do what I wanted to do, so here I am.”

He may have a lot more in common with Reyna than he thought he did. Though her in the army is rather voluntary, not forced like Michael. Ahhh, if only the university had sent their confirmation of enrollment just a few days earlier! While it could be argued that he had indeed grown a lot throughout the war, it was still worse than a minimum wage job, or being homeless, or whatever. Totally not worth it.

”That’s nice. I was also about to be in university myself, but country calls.”

It’s also rather convenient that she had some special training. Honestly, he didn’t really care if she had a prior advantage. She’s gonna be his teammate, so anything helps.

”I wasn’t really into the whole war business myself, but at least I get to know you guys. It is a nice change of atmosphere to be talking like this.” He nodded. Moments like this could really be a factor in making this hellhole a bit less of it, or more so. ”Say, after this, if we make it, do you want to have a tea party later? I’ve been longing for the taste of your tea the other day back in the inn. Its reputation is well-deserved.”

A big grin showed up on Reyna’s face as she nodded “Of course! Thanks for your compliment too! It’s honestly just a more sophisticated version of what most Vinland women make for their tea. I uh...unfortunately had to work with what I had at the time so it wasn’t my best.” She loved getting praised for her tea, but Michael forgot one little detail in his words that she should correct. “Also, don’t you mean girls? From what I have seen, most of the notable people and those in the squad around are women.”







She got a point.

Though he couldn’t really discredit the other guys though. Thomas, god rest his soul. Franz. Jean. But he couldn’t deny that the ladies play a much more prominent role in shaping him, so it was still a valid point. Huh, it’s a bit funny how that happened to him. It was as if fate dealt him a hand that was probably supposed to be dealt to someone else.

”Yeah, it’s no denying that, now that I think about it.” He curled a smile of both amusement and curiosity. Unlike last time, he was now more tolerant of these things hurled at him ”I guess I should return the favor somehow.”

“You really should.” Reyna snickered. “Sometimes I think Jean starts to want us all given how much of a romantic he is.” She spoke in a very light tone and giggle, while Michael’s was quite indistinguishable. It was....very amusing behavior on his part.


He concurred.

Senja's advances were sudden. Michael was still concerned over Senja's safety that he didn't expect her delicate hand laying on his cheek, chin and torso. And then she leaned closer. A soft touch of the lip rested on his right cheek for a few seconds. A moment in when time slowed down. A gesture of affection worth a thousand words.

But the intimate moment between the two of them ended quickly as the gravity of the situation pounced on them. The fact that in their place, dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of people were in the ground zero of the blast. Aside from the fact that these people are dying, the infrastructure of the site was probably in ruins. And Senja was the one to realize that first.

The sapper nodded firmly as he watched the Nordic huntress speed off toward the shell site. She was a kind and beautiful soul. It would not be the last time of the day that Michael would see her. He followed her soon after the utter devastation.

Contrary to the atmosphere at the camp, this was an apocalypse and anarchy in the making. Weak cries for help haunted the air. In the corner, a soldier, who were caught heavily in the blast, whom Michael could barely identify, was just sitting listlessly. His face was charred by the ashes, his mind screaming for help but his body and mouth gave in. And there he was simply soldiers were scrambling around the collapsed buildings, trying to save whoever they could still save.

He's gone before his body could. His eyes toward the sky sent a wrench into the Cruxian's guts. Eyes to the sky for the last time in his life.

"May God be with you..."

Michael approached the dying soldier. Those painful eyes looked over, as the man uttered the words.

"...through the storm of life,"

He gently placed his hand on the man's shoulder.

"a safe haven, voice of calm reassurance, healing balm;"

A cross drawn on his chest.

"and when the storms are over..."

Michael could feel the soldier's energy slowly limping away.

"...bring you safely home."

Not before long, he was gone. A bright soul ended in just a matter of minutes. The windows of opportunity for his future and possibly his country's and the world's slipped close as Michael slowly closed his eyes for the very last time.

Knowing that he couldn't really give the rescuers anymore works than they were overloading themselves, Michael carried his body over to the makeshift lines a few blocks away. Just another statistics.

This wasn't just a few dozens or a hundred. This was near the thousands. And it could very well break the record, as many more were still trapped beneath the rubbles. This many helpers were barely enough. Michael knew he had to help. And Senja's words rang with him. He knew he had to ask for more people to come over for help.

Michael briefly returned and went a few rounds through the camps. Unfortunately, his search for helpers went futile. The impact of the shell was as psychological as it was physical. People were listless in the horror of what could be facing them ahead of their iron sights. What monstrosity were they expecting to be ripping their carcasses in the next upcoming days? And among those who managed to reel in their sanity, they were distracted by the other event that plagued the day. Jean's scouting party had returned. And along with them...


The respected soldier who fought with him, whom he just had interesting conversations with the other day, is dead. A pale, amputated corpse was what remained of a lean, macho and energetic fellow. His warm, funny, charming voice was forever silenced. His only instances of life now only observable as distant memories. And it was like that: another person Michael knew personally one moment was dead in the next.

What was he supposed to feel right now? Like those shedding tears beside his remains? Or those chanting ideological slander over there that attempted to bargain for grounds for Thomas's death. And the head of that distasteful speech was no other than Luke. And without long, the disatisfied Ines lunged insults at him, which almost turned into a fist fight if it hadn't been for the few soldiers who held him back, or the calm defusal of the situation by Isaac. While he was grateful to them being the calm rationale of his NCO, what energy left that survived that shell blast that should have been reserved for the rescue and the comforting of the victims had been wasted on fighting ideological warfare with each other out there.

He's on his own now. The life of those who still lives in the blast is on him.

Leaving the bickering and the mourning of Thomas's death behind him, Michael set off back to the site of the shell. The screams of the wounded, trapped, calling out for the faintess light in the dark sky continued to batter his conscience as soon as he arrived. And he knew that once he steps in, there would be more to come. More people he couldn't save. More people he could've saved but was forced to abandon for the majority. More people on the brink of salvation only to perish only a matter of minutes or even seconds from rescue. And the burn would leave a mark for decades to come, or maybe even until he was in the wooden box.

It was worth it anyway.

Like some of his squadmates today, Michael also found it difficult to leave his bed. But the struggle was also a physical matter. The rescue of the trapped soldiers rolled steadily into nighttime, with no end insight. Throughout the entire day of the day before, Michael's only two locations aside from the destroyed street was the kitchen, where he briefly stopped by twice to eat, and the restroom. His fears of a counterattack, of another gigantic shell of this caliber were continuously swept aside by the cries for help beneath the rubbles. He barely even counted how many he did save, or did save successfully. It was just too many, and the raging muscle pain kept his rationale away from that. The pain that carried over to today.

"Oh my lord..."

His initial twitch of his limbs were pitiful. The fear of rushing pain prevented him from making any drastic movements. But eventually, he did force himself to get his body up from his bed. Michael had done these sorts of labour before; being a sapper is pretty demanding of that. But to do it from morning till night was, to be honest, even a little much for an experienced construction workers. Now, it was taking its toll on him. And he still had a mission to do

Today is the tunnel mission.

A dangerous road laid ahead. And there were only two outcomes for him. One would be the all too familiar grim reaper. The other would be Michael completely exhausted by the long hours of physical torture. Both are just as undesirable as the other. The only difference was the period. May the lord grant him the strength to grit through all of this.

Again, he was quite early for his mission. And by that a bit too early for anything. Perhaps the tension of the life gamble had brought him up before the sun. But if anything, he didn't find much point hanging around in the rain for too long, so decided to remain within the boundary of his bunk, hoping that the crawling nervousness did not overwhelm him before it all began. A death sentence hanging by a thread; Michael'd need a distractor.

Out of the blue, the reminder of the letters flew through his mind. Oh yeah, he hadn't replied to his mother's letter just yet. Funnily enough, it wasn't the norm that he did so. He had never let her letters go unanswered for at most a day, but he attributed this to the shouting showdown he had the other day with the accursed Captain Middlefinger. Thankfully he still had some time to compose a letter.

While thoughts of the worst news possible was dreadful to think about, that he was indeed writing in case of his death, the words Michael wrote today echoed none of that.

"Looks like you're ready for this."

Michael turned his head around, to realize that he had finished the letter, wrapped it up and was already about to deliver it to the soldier in charge of the mail. And the voice that brought him back to Earth was his companion for today: Anna. And coming along with her was this particularly young fellow. Except for the inheritance of her bluish hair color, he emitted the aura completely different from her. The wild and predatory sky blue eyes looking at Michael without batting away, it was as if he was going to gobble him if it hadn't been for Anna before him, telepathically holding him back. He seemed honestly curious over Michael's identity, but the gaze wasn't a desire to learn new things or meet new people. It was...something. Something that only resided in the energy of specific types of youth. He was also wearing sapper gear, so apparently he was also his to be partner for this operation. Well that leaves only...

"Reyna's not here yet..."

"Oh? Your partner?"

Michael nodded. Now that he thought of it, he hadn't known Reyna that well. She was mentioned often by the romanticist NCO Jean, and he had interacted with her briefly before Amone and inside the inn, but that was it. He hadn't worked with her or anything; this is the first time. A great opportunity to get to know the girl, and perhaps why Jean likes her that much, but might not be a great time for this mission that required a high level of team coordination. Well, if she knows what she's doing, that would relieve a lot of his worries.

"Well, we still have time. I'll wait here for you."

Merja “Mer” Aaltonen & Phillip Leonhart

Evergreen Hallway || Friday Afternoon

It took Mer about a minute and a half to pack up her stuff and head towards where she saw the fedora-wearing boy disappear. Frankly, it was rather amusing that the time and place she’d first see him again was after school at some random corner rather than between classes during school in the main hallway. She wasn’t about to complain, though, just smile about the coincidences as she walked over.

Turning the corner, she expected to see some sort of confrontation happening because that’s what Alex would probably do if he saw Hakuro again, Ava or not. Instead, she found herself staring at a very familiar boy, and it took her a moment to place him. Another moment and she realized that he was looking at her, and she swallowed, then smiled and waved hesitantly.

“Hi Phillip!” she said, walking over. When he didn’t immediately respond, she jumped at filling the silence.

“It’s Mer, from the library? Nice to see you again, and I hope your day’s going well. But, by the way, did you happen to see Alex and Ava pass by? Or a boy in a fedora?”

He’d seen enough stupid people for one day.

Mikhail’s sudden disappearance did just go right above his head the moment Phillip had that thought. As he turned around the corner, he pondered to what he needed to do for the next upcoming days. Assignment 2 for ENSC? Well, he already laid the groundwork. All it takes now is a file to compile them all. Not so difficult, he could do it tomorrow or the day after.

While he circulated the thought, he turned the corner, to be suddenly greeted by someone. Someone he didn’t know? She definitely wasn’t among his social circle. But her rather joyous smile and nervous wave, and the fact that she uttered his name like she was his childhood friend, made him have second revisions. That height, and her distinguished sky blue irises. It was a recall to his misfortune the other day at the library. But hey, at least she wasn’t a part of it.

”Hello.” He waved back, though much less enthusiastic and more curious. His fame seemed to carry on a little further than he had anticipated. ”Yeah, I remember you, thanks.”

And she asked about Alex and Ava. She probably didn’t realize that he didn’t know those two. But the guy with a fedora? A sight to be witnessed at Evergreen. Though unfortunately…

”Sorry, I don’t seem to recall Alex and Ava in my list of acquaintances. I probably know the fedora kid, but I don’t know where he is as well.”

“Oh, sorry, um.”

She floundered for a second, mentally questioning herself about how she could forget something so simple. Of course Phillip didn’t know Ava, and of course she shouldn’t have expected him to remember who Alex was.

“Um, Alex, he was there at the library? I think he introduced himself before you arrived, but he’s the boy who left with me. He, um, isn’t angry all the time, though, and I hope he didn’t upset you or anything. He just got pretty… worked up that day.”

She smiled apologetically.

“And alright. Huh. This is a pretty long hallway...”

Trailing off as she leaned to one side, she looked down the empty hall, a frown on her face. Maybe if the Asian boy ran? But for Phillip to miss him, he’d have to be a pretty quiet runner, and as Phillip had said, he didn’t tend to blend in.

Still, nothing else made sense, and Mer dropped her frown. “Well, I guess I missed them,” she said, sighing. “Back to studying it is.”

She paused, glancing at what Phillip was carrying. Then, after a moment of consideration as she pressed her lips together, Mer decided she’d go out on a limb today. After all, Phillip seemed like a reasonable person, if not nice, and being near him and his accomplishments would probably encourage her to focus.

“Um, by the way, are you headed to the library? I usually go there after school, so do you want to study together?” she asked, then backpedaled. “Well, not together together, but near each other. Having people around me tends to encourage me to stay focused,” she said, smiling sheepishly.

Hmm. Strange or not. He didn’t see that guy either. Oh well, who knows where they are.

Mer then proceeded to ask Phillip on a study together. Feels kind of odd to be studying with someone he only knew for like a glance. But she was nice when she asked, so it’s a little difficult to reject. After all, he wasn’t in anything urgent, just dicking around in Evergreen recently.

”Hmm, if you insist…”

Maybe he could finish that assignment for good, then he could have the entire week for himself.

And so they departed towards the library together. On the way, Phillip’s curiosity continued to grow as he walked alongside the Finnish girl.

” do you get acquainted with that guy Mikhail? Did he pressure you for whatever he’s doing?”

Mer perked up at the yes, beaming. Fear of rejection was one of the many reasons why she didn’t ask people to study together, but it seemed that Phillip really was a nice person.

“Great,” she said, hoping she didn’t sound too delighted. It’d been so long since she made a friend she’d almost doubted if she could.

At Phillip’s question as they walked, Mer furrowed her brows. She knew that he didn’t get the best impression of Mikhail in the library, and she didn’t want to upset him, but she didn’t want to make Mikhail seem like a bad person either. As someone with a strong personality, Mikhail had made a poor first impression in the library, and Mer knew how hard it was for people to look past that. Frankly, she’d been nervous talking to Alex at first too, and she’d been correct in giving him the benefit of the doubt.

“Oh, he, um, he—he didn’t pressure me,” Mer said, stumbling over her words, then realizing that her stumbling wasn’t helping her case and stumbling even more as a result.

Taking a breath to think over her words, she tried again.

“I met Mikhail that day in the library too. He’s in my chemistry class, so I guess he thought I could help him.”

She shrugged, then looked at Phillip, frowning. “Did you decide to help him though? Trying to make an antidote—I don’t think he’d be able to manage that alone.”

He probably did…

Ayyyy. He had already emphasized it enough, but that Russian kid really needed some help. Not scheme-wise, however. That ‘plan’ of his whether you can actually call it that, was so horribly constructed that he didn’t know if the greatest mind of this era could even salvage it.

”No” Phillip replied bluntly to her question, initially unaware of the frown she wore on her face that he may have gotten it worse. But he soon realized that attitude.

”I just find it too poorly thought out. Even if I can afford to look past his victim mentality, I did not find an ounce of groundedness in whatever he’s trying to do.” He tried to sound like he had a reason instead. Well he did have reasons. It’s just that the mentioning of Mikhail and his craziness seemed to have triggered some wires on his head to respond crudely to whatever he says. ”I could list out a hundred thing he hadn’t considered, but I think you probably could figure it out.”

He probably should turn back before he got too worked up on that guy.

”Anyway, no more about that guy, if you don’t mind.” Phillip quickly switched topics.

Mer nodded slowly as she listened to Phillip. His reasoning made sense, and she couldn’t fault him for his decision, however badly she felt for Mikhail. After all, Mikhail had outlined a rather ambitious plan, and frankly Mer doubted if he even had access to anyone who could help them, much less be able to approach them and ask. Maybe it was for the best that Mikhail was getting rejected early since he’d be able to change tracks before he got too invested. Considering his strong personality, Mer figured he’d be able to bounce back. He’d been through worse and lived, and that attested to his resilience.

“Alright,” she said quickly when Phillip closed the conversation on Mikhail. They walked in silence for a few seconds after, and she racked her brain for something to say. Asking about his homework was an option, but that was liable to be a dead end if he started talking about concepts she didn’t understand. So, ideally she’d ask about something non-intrusive and easy to keep up with.

“You, um, won competitions, right? How are those? Are you thinking to enter more?” she asked.

Competitions. Well, that was his prime indeed. A truly fun times. Funnily enough at the time he didn’t really think that his achievement would have given him that much of a reputation. He thought he just won something cool, and nothing else. A silver medal, at the time he felt like a sportsman, participating in the Olympics and winning those medals for his country. Well, it is that, just less muscles and more brains.

”Yeah, I did win those. If you’ve heard Physics Olympiad before. If not, then it’s just the Olympics, but for academics instead of sports.” He explained. ”I got second place, apparently a huge deal for the country. The press coverage was a little claustrophobic I would say, but at least I got a nice medal.”

But from that point on was the time he was plunged into a series of ‘press it until it deflates’ moments. Once people knew him, they continued to ask him many things out of him. Things that got transparent in the misconceptions of geniuses in a commoner’s eye. Things that now made him turn against the things he once loved.

He sighed as he was to answer her next questions. ”Well, no plans on that. That was for high-schoolers. I don’t know much about adult competitions, but in honesty...I’m kind of just looking at a more normal life after that.”

He just didn’t know the fire deep within him.

“No, but that sounds really cool,” Mer said, eyes wide as Phillip spoke. He seemed to be rather familiar with explaining the subject, and Mer picked up trace amounts of exasperation around the topic, which told her she’d do well in not asking too many surface questions about it. Save the simple questions for later when she could look them up and all that.

“That’s understandable. You’ve already done a lot,” Mer said when Phillip cited his desire for normalcy. To be honest, she couldn’t imagine how someone so smart could lead a normal life since they could do so much so easily, but she supposed she was thinking too much of it. She was looking at the situation through her own lens: the lens of someone normal, of someone who struggled with school. She couldn’t imagine pushing herself to compete in intellectual Olympics, and she probably wasn’t imagining the situation in its entirety either.

As they sat down at the library, pulling out their materials, Mer felt relieved that she could finally let the silence sit. Though she’d enjoyed talking to Phillip, trying to keep the awkwardness from settling in as they walked had taken a chunk out of her energy reserves, and she still had work to get through.

“Good luck,” she said as she picked up her pen. “Hopefully we get everything done.”

"Hey Richelieu, here's your letters."

The passing soldier tossed the stack of envelopes onto the two sibling's table, his gaze of envy wandering in his line of vision. The letters were numerous, some of which a couple were from the same person. But as blinded by romance by the young, energetic and naive the soldier was, he didn't even bother to read under the line, but rather only glances through names and the embellished envelopes, his jealously was completely off the mark.

"Thank you Daniel. Have a good day."

Those letters almost entire went under one name: Richelieu.

"Heh, looks like elder brother's enjoying the water of the channel." The young boy next to Anna sneered, both in jealously and petty wish-fulfillment. "Let's see if he'll enjoy it once he gets back to the front."

"Owen." Right then and there was Anna's sharp glare. "Stop it. He's your brother."

"...But I can't stand the fact that he's boasting about how good his vacation is." The boy, his hierarchy, quickly turned sullen, before waving the piece of paper before her big sister. "Just read the letter!"

Oh yeah. He did sound a little snobbish when he wrote this. It appeared like he was just trying to piss Owen off rather than sharing a happy moment and wishing the others all the best. He did wish for Anna's well-being though, so that's at least something else.

'Aaayyy, guys...'

Really, they ought to learn to work together more often. She knew they were brothers, so fighting among them are almost inevitable. But seriously, their jealousy with each other were intolerable from time to time, and being the only female of a male dominated family, her job as the rational voice and the calm face amidst the chaos was like in a crow's nest. Even when they were hundreds of miles apart, they still somehow found ways to duke it out at each other.

It didn't even help her the fact that her parents were almost entirely away throughout her whole life. As beautiful as the family looks from the outside - a rich and hard-working parent, five healthy and lovely young children - the reality of her whole life had been entirely hollow. Their parents weren't parents at all. They were just offspring producers, pumping out children in the fear that their genes would be extinct, after generations of some branches of their family going heirless for one sickeningly unfortunate reason or another. After that, they didn't care. Their only presence in the sibling's worlds were just to give some crucial information about education, accommodation or whatever. Their care belong to the servants instead. And they were paid. Ohh, the beauty of capitalism. Their only drive to care for the young kids were if they get a raise from their sweet sugar parents, though in this case it's not a romantic relationship. Anna's just one of those victims. Growing up without those parental love that every kid around her got, her brothers were the only ones she had. She didn't want to lose their love too, or see their love for each other dwindle. But apparently, that latter half were under serious doubt.

"...I get it. But it's not a reason to respond with a spiteful tone that intends to turn the table." She scolded. "If you keep being angry at each other, when will you be caring toward each other. You're brothers."

"But why am I supposed to be the one defusing it? He's the one who started it first!"

"I will say the same to him as well, but continuing a fight is not a sign of a man, Owen - it's to be the one to stop it."

Her calm rationale seemed to have broken through to the young soldier. But youngsters will always be youngsters, and teenagers will still be teenagers. He sullenly pouted, tossed the envelope onto the stack before heading off somewhere else - a typical sign of defiance. Oh well, it's just a phase. He'd grow out of that soon.

She was thankful that she didn't bring him over to meet with the sappers of 15th Atlantic Rifle the day before. It would've been demoralizing and a total embarrassment if he displayed his childish face to the squad. She didn't know the other sapper, but especially to Michael, who apparently is a person of upper-class too. Who knows what negativity could be circulating in his head if he saw it?

Anna simply just forgot about her idiotic younger brother, letting him have his own time while she read over the remaining letters from her two older brothers. Mostly about their break, but they also mentioned about how their platoons were also planning an assault, a pretty big one at that, so they would have to return to the front a little sooner than they expect. They were pretty excited too. A liberation perhaps. Whatever brings the Feds closer to the end of the war, she guessed.

But all of a sudden, a huge thump erupted, shaken her out of her thoughts and back to earth. 'What the hell was that?' she mused. A period of silence ensued, before the whistling danger of an incoming object siren her senses. Combat training basic, Anna immediately leaped from the table onto the dirt, covering her head and curling her torso a bit upward, leaving a bit of space between her chest and the ground.

And without long...


The deafening roar of combustion blasted through her ears, even when she had already covered her ears somewhat. She was expecting shrapnels to pierce her fragile mortal body, or at the least a huge shockwave to rock her senses to its limits, but thankfully enough, it was not that bad. The shell probably landed a bit further away from where she was, so she was totally fine, aside from getting a little dirty from instantly jumping onto the ground instinctively.

She was safe. But her brother...

"Owen..." Her thoughts came right to her younger brother. Was he caught in the blast? Or did he remember not to keep his chest too closely to the ground? "Owen!"

Anna immediately got up and paced around the camp ground, forgetting even her rifles and the letters, trying to look for even the slightest of her brother's look. Scenarios of what could happen began to run inside her head, as she passed through soldiers that were still listless from what just happened. That maybe that moment when he crudely tossed that envelope to her would be the last time she ever saw him alive. She ought to have gotten used to it as a soldier, but she couldn't. It was way too strong to be desensitized.

But thankfully, it wasn't that. Owen was easy to be found, as he was standing right there in the open.

"Owen, thank god." The first thing he felt when he turned around to the call was his sister's warm embrace around his shoulders. He could tell she was sickened worried, even for just that tiny harmless shell, she was already dying to look for him.

"I'm fine sis. It's ok." He couldn't help but smile, but wished that she didn't need to be this tight. "Don't worry. Those Imps don't have a chance at hurting me with just that!"

"I know you're strong, but..." She sighed. The encouraged attitude was endearing in a normal scenario, but Anna wasn't impressed. "Remember to follow what is said, alright?"

The sapper nodded enthusiastically. Whatever if that's just to reassure his lovely big sister, or he really did keep that in mind, it did its job. Anna let go of the boy, sighed in assurance and patted him on the shoulders before going back for her belongings and her gears, before someone took it away in mistake, letting the upper-class boy do whatever he wanted. She needed her own time

An hour passed, and Anna had finished her lot of letters to be sent back to her two older brothers. Having it carefully folded and sealed, she was on her way to deliver them to the mail soldier when she saw a crowd suddenly gathering over the camp barricade. A lot of talking jumbled over one another, which Anna found it difficult to decipher what they were referring to, before a clear, firm and loud noise dominated all of them.

She couldn't see him clearly, but what was uttered were so familiar to her. That's right: the same thing that drew her family in and kept them completely devoted to this...'thing'. The all too well-known "Federation rocks" and dehumanizing patriotic speech of the enemy. Making your enemies look like pig dogs may seem like harmless fun now, wait until some innocents die over a brainwashed maniac who listened too much of propaganda and given a dangerous weapon. Or even better, when you blame your own faults on those demons you create, and then they get mad and start the next Europan war. It took more than that to impress and motivate people like her.

Seeing that many people fawning over such a speech, Anna didn't know what to think of the situation. On the one hand they were motivated, but one the other she felt sad that they were so hypnotized by the blatant and overused media tactic. And looking even closer, she could see that her very own brother too had fallen into such a camp of people.

'Just forget it...'

She didn't forget what she had to do.
Phillip Leonhart

Friday Morning - Evergreen Sociology Corridor

Projects, projects and projects. They are big big decorations to an engineering student's resume when he is finally out there in this working world. And in this case, Phillip's greatest achievements, as a perfect model with pretty much a dreamlike grades for an average student, along with achieving a reward for an international competition, wouldn't haul his asses into these big companies so easily. They don't care if you're a genius or not. They care if you can work for them, have the necessary experience so that they don't have to drill them into you themselves. This is something that Phillip didn't have, so he ought to take this seriously, even if there were no teachers or deadlines nagging him on.

But even if he's taking this seriously, there was no fun to enjoy.

Even if there were no obligations for him to do this project, he felt he needed to. To take this seriously and do this project properly. To get this engineering degree done, and get a job at some big shot company, make some good money and be happy with his life. That was the goal right? But he asked himself again. Would getting good money would make him happy? Now this was no philosophical debate of money equals happiness. That the man had already settled years ago with the fact that despite not meaning everything, it still played a major part, and would still be up to the person's definition of happiness and their inner desires. Is being financially successful what he truly wants in life? Or something else. Or worse, is he following engineering because he wants to, or is he following it just and only just to satisfy some people in his life?

The question hung over his head as he exited the Evergreen lab and passed the prep room for professors. To his surprise and thankfulness, his mind was given a short break when just as he was about to pass by the room, emerged one of his old teacher and now a conversational friend, Dr Brower.

"Hey Phillip! How're you doing?" He immediately greeted the moment Phillip made eye contact with him.

"I'm doing good, thank you." Phillip returned his old professor a friendly smile before he matched his pace in a casual stroll. "How's everything going?"

"Hmm. Nothing significant I'd say." He replied. "I'm still up for the schedule, a stable 9 to 5, doing the things I love: teaching philosophy to bright minds like you."

"Hah, I'd beg to differ, but thanks for your compliment." Phillip laughed a little.

"No no I'd be dishonest if I said you aren't." The professor said. "There aren't many students who were attentive enough with philosophy. Even critical thinking, one of the courses I teach up at St Paul and arguably the most practical of philosophy courses, many students were already falling asleep halfway. You being engaged in class is already a reward to me, and an achievement for you, so it's alright."

Curiosity did get people everywhere. It made him feel a little sad though that it was so underappreciated nowadays. People aren't curious in anything.

"So anyone else in particular that you've taken an interest in?" Phillip asked out of the pure curiosity he just thought about.

"Hmmm..." Brower hummed for a while, still walking across the corridor of Evergreen, browsing through his piles of lectures to find an outlier. "I do remember this guy in Sixth Form. Quite knowledgeable with these stuffs, poses some interesting questions too. Though he's a bit...weird."

Phillip's eyebrows were up.

"I usually catch him walking around the corridor multiple times while heading to my other classes. It feels like he's living his own separate world." Phillip wasn't that surprised to be honest. He was like that sometimes. However...

"Wait, is that him?" Brower tried to zoom in on the sight before him. Two guys bumped into each other, both on the floor. And one of them was the delusional conspiracy theorist Phillip had the misfortune of running into the other day. And the dude was just about to punch the other student, before something stopped him. Seriously, he could have just ended up being a delusional kid like before, and Phillip would be all than willing to dismiss it as a phase in his life. High school - people can do a lot of edgy stuffs then. But now he was trying to act violently against someone over merely bumping on him? This guy had some serious issues that need help IMMEDIATELY. This guy could be a threat to society.

"My my." On the other hand, Brower confirmed the other student's identity. Yes, it's that guy he was talking about earlier on. The professor wished internally that the guy was ok before turning over to Phillip. "Oh well, I have to head to my next class. It was nice to see you again today."

"Thanks. I hope I'll catch you in the hallway sometimes."

The two exchanged them goodbyes before Dr Brower headed the other direction down the corridor, whereas Phillip turned back to the whole commotion. The guy his former professor had mentioned was now heading down the hall toward the so called genius from St Paul. Phillip observed his somewhat passive and non-existent aura before gently giving him a brief reminder his way as he was passing by him.

"You may want to look around a little. You're spacing out."

Oh, ok. Interesting. Michael didn't know dogs were a part of the army. Apparently, it looked like it was a long part of Isaac's companionship already, so it was safe to assume that it was just Michael not knowing things. He learnt something today.

Having enough of Rikes and Isaac, Michael remembered why he was here in the first place. He headed over to where the garlic breads were placed and grabbed a couple more, thankfully before the next batch of hungry soldiers finished them off. Then he headed back to where Anna was sitting to hand her her favorite dish. Upon seeing Michael, carrying her nostalgia ticket, the sapper couldn't help but beam with sparkly eyes.

"I'm really gonna taste garlic bread?! Thank you Daunte for taking your time!" She squealed

"You're welcome. And please feel free to call me Michael, if you are insistent on using your first name." Michael chuckled a bit at her response. Is this really a thing among Francians to squeal at good food? Francian cuisines indeed are worth it, but really? But at least she responded with much less of second-handed embarrassment, and to be honest Michael found it kind of cute

"Hmmm..." She seemed to be lost in pleasure right now, of perhaps impeccable taste. "Ahh...Such a change from the usual rations we have."

Michael nodded in agreement. Not that garlic bread was his favorite dish, but it sure was a good change to the bland and tasteless rations that were made just to keep soldiers alive. If talking about cuisines, then seafood paella would be his personal favorite, then dumplings, though that one wasn't easily accessible, as it was like at the other side of the planet, in some far away colony of Edinburgh. But eh, those were the luxury of peace that Michael was supposedly fighting for and toward. Now, anything but rations would suffice.

Once dinner had been served, it was free time. One could supposedly take that well-fed stomach of Britta's love and care and call it a day, ending it with a high note. But the two sappers had a couple of other things to discuss. Plans for the tunnel assault.

"I apologize for the inconvenience, but we're gonna have to bundle up on this small piece of paper." Michael said as he took out the folded paper from his pocket to be laid out on the table before him.

"What is it?" Anna went to sit beside Michael. "Is that a map or something?"

"Yeah the tunnel map." He said. "I happen to capture this during the briefing."

"Oh that's so nice. Makes our lives much easier."

"There are two entrances to this tunnel, the north and the south." Said Michael. "The north is a little far away than the south from here, but it's not much of a big deal. We ought to take both routes in to make this faster."

"Split up?" Anna was a little skeptical.

"Well, we probably have no chances even if we are together anyway, so I expect this to be a secret attack. The faster we blow it up, the faster we can get out, and the easier we can get out alive."

"Ok." She seemed convinced. "We'll depart as soon as the sun rises the day after tomorrow, so we ought to arrive at the location around eight. Let's make it eight thirty as the marked time. We'll enter at once when the clock strikes."

"Agreed." Michael looked over the map and marked two spots on the map. "I've been studying this map earlier today. I think we can spare a couple of explosives for these areas. They're the medical bay, so many soldiers would be in the area. If we can block their exits, we'd essentially take out a majority of the men we may have to fight."

But in exchange, these men...

"Hmmm, that seems like a pretty good idea on paper." Anna said. "These areas have two exits like the entrance. So we'd have to blow them up at almost the same time. Is it even possible? We can't talk with each other when doing it."

"Then we'd just have to arrange the time for it. We should attack this first, to cut off their reinforcements, then ammunition and whatever storage we could deal with later."

"Then make it eight fifty to reach the area. We'll commence the attack at that time sharp. But, in the case you or us fail to make it..."

"We'll just have to do whatever we can, and only whatever we agreed on." Michael admitted the painful possibility. "If I can't do my part, you don't have to finish it. Just do yours and leave."

"Fair enough." Anna couldn't really disagree. If a part of the tunnel was destroyed, it wasn't like they didn't try for the other intact ones. And frankly enough, Anna was already heavily opposed to such a risky operation already, she'd take any exits she can. "But to think these soldiers will be buried alive if we manage to pull it off..."

The thought was already cruel enough, not just for Michael but Anna too. But they'd likely have to. Facing that many soldiers at once is a huge risk. But that wouldn't make it any less immoral however. Was this the sort of things that commanders and officers would have to make everyday? If that's the case, then Michael would have had a more sympathetic look to them. Hopefully that justified some of their decisions. That they were doing it in good faith instead.

"I know my heart is going to tug me for long." Michael sighed. "But we have to do it."

"After the initial attack, we're on our own then. Me and my partner should attack these areas."

And the roles were then split. Anna and her company would proceed to demolish the northern part of the tunnel, where the ration storage were located, whereas Michael and Reyna would attack the heavy ammunition area to the south. There would be no deadlines after the eight thirty and the eight fifty time. After that, it would come down to merely each individual's courage and responsibility to their duties.

September 27th

It had been a good night sleep. One that did not involve pain, hunger nor thirst nor misery. Instead, he was fairly relaxed after the good meal the day before. Although quite far-fetched, he did wish for more days to be like this. He was up quite early though. Last night he had taken the opportunity to sleep early and catch up on the sleeplessness that he accumulated ever so slightly ever since the White Hart trip. Nevertheless, the awakening was also partly due to habits that had been drilled onto him for long, perhaps even longer than military life, so even if he wanted to sleep more, he couldn't.

Quickly getting out of bed, Michael proceeded to have a bit of a stretch exercise around the camp ground, before heading over to the kitchen area. Even if there was nothing to feast on in the morning, watching the sun rise would still be a thing worth seeing. Especially when it's so peaceful and quiet right now. One could lose himself in such a spectacular view, when majority of people are still asleep, to momentarily erase the horrible gory of war and enjoy what nature perhaps really wanted us to do.

'May God have his eyes on us tomorrow, and bless all who deserved his blessings." The Cruxian mused his prayer quietly within, before drawing a small cross with his finger on his chest. Perhaps a simple and crude prayer, but the Cruxian God that Michael had chosen to believe in, should be ok with it. If he really was the all-loving God that people of his faith said so, then he should need not colorful prayers. He did find colorful prayers a little too superficial, but not like he objected to it anyway. Cruxian is a pretty obscure religion after all.

However, for some particular reasons, Michael found another one of his kind that belonged to that camp. A dazzling lady with beauty that seemed to transcend this world. Her strange and wild gem-colored hair went in a yin-yang relationship with her uptight collared military uniform. But the most striking feature that dictated her similarity in Michael's impression would be the crucifix worn around her chest. The same sort that Michael had in his pocket. At first glance, Michael was a little taken aback, before she finally spoke to him, with manners that befits what she had just displayed.

"Ah, yes. You're more than welcome to." He replied, still somewhat curious about her. "If you need any help with the squad with the squad, I'll answer as best as I could."
Phillip Leonhart

Does he think this is some sort of anime? Kids changing the world. Against an oppressive imaginary empire that isn't even there. Sure, Phillip would admit, even the British governments had some shady stuffs going around, and distrust is a common thing to do. But distrusting all the scientific community, the one formed by millions of established scientist around the world, each with non-intersecting and even conflicting interests and biases is just equivalent to the modern movements of conspiracy theorists nowadays. One of Mikhail's statement even go as far as offending the St Paul student.

"I go to St Paul because I want to, not because of some of your distrust theory bullshit." A rebuttal escaped Phillip as soon as it formed in his head, though the man half-regretted it being blurted out. It was rather not very polite of him to say that, in front of whoever he didn't care.

He closed his eyes a little, trying to calm himself down while trying to compile a response to what he said next.

"And how much of the antidote do you know is useful? Is this some sort of pandemics? Do people just carry around these antidotes in case the Russian governments decide to use it, which in chances are like extremely rare? Not to mention the cost of research, manufacturing. Not to mention the Russians can simply use another method of assassination, disclaiming that drugs don't work like a magic bullet. Too many variables left out of your naive conspiracy theorist minds who doesn't think things through."

With that, Phillip turned around to the door of his library room, hoping to mop this pointless debate up. He's sick of this.

"If you think having ambition is enough to get you anywhere in this world, then you are sorely mistaken. Ambition without knowledge is like birds without wings. You will very soon crash."

And he closed the door. Even if his words didn't get to Mikhail, Phillip's fine with it. He never appeared to be someone deserving of help, and he didn't deserve one with that demeanor. No one's gonna spend time for you if you're always angry and complaining.
@Letter Bee
Phillip Leonhart

'Oh my fucking god...'

Seemed like it was a huge mistake in hindsight to walk out and correct these people themselves. That Russian kid was looking for HIM directly. Upon realizing how Phillip was such a sensation back then - surprised that he still was even after all of that had died down - the guy immediately unleashed all the roses, all the red carpet he could think of from the top of his head to try and seduce the apparent genius in his eyes to come to his cause or something. The pompousness and cheesy dialogues made Phillip want to vomit. In fact, he was vomiting internally at the moment the dude was spewing them out, while attempting to keep a cold unfazed demeanor, hoping that he would stop this as soon as possible.

And it worked, eventually. He lowered the curtain after a while talking, though everything he revealed is nothing different from what Phillip had overheard a while ago, albeit barely even a part of it. It really made him wonder if the guy was specifically trying to limit the information flow to his side. What about the whole curbing down the Great Power that he boasted so confidently a while ago? It was made out of an emotional outburst, for sure, but curiously he didn't say it when talking to Phillip. Was he trying to make himself sympathetic?

According to the other girl in the group, Merja, the Russian guy's name is Mikhail, and he seemed to have coerced her into the cause. The guy, whom Phillip remembered back in that tree incident, began to talk logically for once. Although he sounded pretty rash for a person with thin skin, Phillip must admit, he had a lot of points correct that he internally thanked the man that Phillip need not repeat the same point. Though apparently, one of the fact that him being involved in the Chekhov incident is somewhat validated, thooouuggghh by a tabloid made by journalists that does not cite ANY sources whatsoever. Chances that it is the result of false information is quite problematic, but hey, even if it's the truth, it wouldn't make his goals any believable.

"If things are taken at face value, things would have been too simple." Phillip finally spoke. "Intent is very hard to measure. I cannot take the benefit of the doubt that it's for a greater good just because you said it. But let's just give it anyway."

He probably wouldn't leave until Phillip break this to him, so he will.

"If you don't trust scientists, then why do you trust a son of a scientist anyway? You know that I am, do you?"

That was in fact pretty unsettling that Mikhail knew a little too much.

"In addition, how do you know so certainly that the antidote has never been made. In the years ever since, assuming it's the first case of using that poison, how do you know if the scientists haven't figured it out already? If somewhere in the archive there already exists the antidote, you are wasting a good chunk of your time." Phillip put his index fingers on his chin, breaking down all of Mikhail's scheme coldly. "And finally, even if you manage to create a sample antidote, then how do you know if it actually work perfectly, or rather just a delay of the symptoms? And guess who will verify that your antidote works? The scientists and authority that YOU distrust. All the scientific progress in this universe in the last few centuries are verified through thorough peer-review process done by those people you intentionally not place your trust in."

With that he crossed his arms while facing Mikhail face to face.

"And I haven't glossed over your wild ambition with politics yet. You should think this through before approaching me again young one."
@Savo@Typical@Letter Bee
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