Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

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Orph
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Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

Post by Orph » Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:42 pm

⛯ Apex Staff Hub : Encryption Status-98.2%
✉ Messages [1]|✪ Alerts|Logged in as: Ulysses▾|Log out
Secure Communications Log
Users:
Ulysses
Beowulf

Timeframe:



10/7/20

Viewer Permissions:



Read-Only (Archive)


Beowulf:

Doctor Hammond.
.
There's been a breach at Site Six.

Ulysses:

Did we lose any of the children?
.

Beowulf:

Four subjects are unaccounted for.
.
I'll send you the subject files.


Beowulf uploaded four files.

subject02_melody.pdf
.
subject03_remote.pdf
.
subject07_hypnos.pdf
.
subject09_wallflower.pdf

Ulysses:

How unfortunate.
.

Beowulf:

I take full responsibility, sir.
.
Say the word and I'll tap one of our contractors.

Ulysses:

That won't be necessary.
.
We don't need Red River to clean up our messes for us.
.
Contact Asset Retrieval and have them send a team.

Beowulf:

Understood, sir.
.

Ulysses:

Minimize their exposure. No witnesses.
.
And make sure they are careful.
.
I need the children alive and undamaged.

Beowulf:

Yes, sir.
.
We'll get it done.


thanks to reyn for the code
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Re: Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

Post by Annasiel » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:56 pm

How long did they have to run? How long until they'd stop looking?

Maybe they'd already stopped. Maybe they'd cut their losses, decided four kids weren't worth the energy to pursue, or didn't even notice they were missing at all. No, that wasn't likely. Wasn't possible. They were going to look for them, they were going to find them, and - when they did - they'd all get sent to The Dormitory.

And so Judith kept running. Any time she stopped was distance that could be closed, and any distance closed was a step closer to being sent back there. They weren't free yet. They couldn't be free. She ran until her legs ached, her lungs screamed for air she couldn't breathe fast enough to pull, until she nearly stumbled on a wayward root and finally, shakily, allowed herself to lean against a tree. She looked at the others. All familiar faces - some more than others.

"Are... they... gone?" she panted, daring a quick glance back. Nothing but empty woods. "They... I..."

There was an undercurrent of anxiety and tension in the group, which didn't really help her pounding heart. She held at her chest, drawing a deep a breath as she could manage, trying to slow its frantic hammering. If her hands weren't clenched so hard against her body they probably would've been shaking.

Another deep breath.

Calm.

Calm.

She thought about the circle. A little trick one of her therapists had taught her, one of the only ones that managed to stick. With every breath in, imagine a circle growing. With every breath out, shrinking. Focusing on the circle, turn your attention to your senses. What you feel. What you smell. What you hear.

She felt - the cool wind. The roughness of the bark. Underneath her feet, the soil was loamy and soft. Her fingers tingled. Her chest still burned. The air smelled sweet, like oak, mixing with the earthiness most forests seemed to have. Crisp and mildewed, like an old book. She heard the rustling of leaves, other lungs panting besides her own, and the distant call of a bird. Sitting up a bit, she opening her eyes. The image of the circle still echoed in her vision, for a moment after, before fading into the midday sun.

She was calm.

"Is... is everyone okay?" she asked, voice hushed. "Nobody... nobody hurt?"

The quiet tone - and something else - made the question easy to overlook. If nobody answered, that was okay. She was used to it. Shivering slightly, Judith folded her hands into her sleeves, offering Madeline a soft, wordless smile. She was scared, too, just like Judith. Scared and lost.

They all were.
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

Post by illirica » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:47 pm

They’d gotten away from the main encampment. Madeline knew better than to confuse this with the idea of ‘getting away.’ They were in the woods, and she’d been there often enough in the last several years she’d been here - especially early on. Any time she’d break one of the rules for civilized people, they’d send her out here by herself until she was ready to act like she deserved to be in camp with the other kids again. The first few times, it had been terrifying. She was from a city - she was used to streets and alleys, not trees and plants. Sometimes, she still had nightmares about the trees, from those early days, even though she wasn’t afraid of them any more.

She wondered what the others thought of the place. Three of them, besides her, including Judith. Most people didn’t include Judith, because they forgot about her. Madeline wasn’t going to forget her, though. Judith was... a friend. The first one she’d had. Madeline smiled back, though she never lifted her eyes. Usually, when she was around others, she wrapped a strip of cloth around her eyes, to keep everyone protected - but she couldn’t run through the woods blind, so she just had to remember to keep her gaze down and not to look at the others.

They all knew, though. If there was an accident, one of the others would break her gaze - but it could take time, and sometimes that was a problem. Madeline looked backwards, over her shoulder. No one following them, not yet, but she didn’t trust it. It was terrifying, being out here with others. The camp was... home, really, or as close to one as Madeline had ever had - but she couldn’t let Judith run off by herself. Judith was too sweet. Too... Madeline didn’t know the word for it, but Judith was used to relying on other people for things. Madeline didn’t think she’d ever gone hungry - not before the camp, anyway.

Judith wouldn’t last out here by herself - and everyone else would overlook her. That was why Madeline had to be here, even if she was scared. Even if she wanted to go home. “If you want to leave camp, we need to keep moving,” she said quietly. “They know the woods pretty well. They have to, so they can come bring people back after they’ve learned their lessons.”

If they got caught out here, they’d all have to learn a lesson about that - and Madeline didn’t think it would be the sort that was taught by getting thrown out in the woods alone. No, it would be... worse than that. Madeline knew about the worse things, too. She’d been through a lot of them, when she was still learning to be... civilized.

She still had nightmares about that, too.
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Re: Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

Post by Quirbles » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:28 pm

Bobby could not fucking stand the forest.

Hated it enough when he'd used to go out with dad, hunting for whatever fucking creature was in season-- no, no, Bobby, we can't get food from the grocery store like normal people, we have to fucking kill it because I enjoy watching the life bleed out of an animal's eyes after I've shot it. He combed a hand through his bangs, pulling the hair out of his eyes. Seeing as he was doubled over, however, the hair fell right back down again, matted hairs twisting together and crackling softly in his ears as the knots broke with every pass of his fingers. Why was he fixating on his fucking hair, right now? Was this what shock felt like? No-- no, shock was absurdist, almost, like there was an absence of meaning in the mind because of trauma. He was still painfully aware of what was happening around him.

"I think I sprained an ankle." He muttered in reply to Judith, nearly missing the question with his hands still pressed upon his knees as he caught his breath. What a fucking wonderful idea this was-- escaping a God-damn... whatever the fuck the place they came from was. Were they the only ones that escaped? Really? Maybe it was all a sick joke-- make them think they were getting far, turning it into some sort of fucking lesson. The fucking handlers always loved their lessons, and they were never the kind Bobby liked-- piano lessons, cello lessons, those were all bearable, and usually didn't involve deliberate mental breaking on the behalf of the instructor.

"God, we're the animals now, aren't we?" He muttered, reaching the realization of his earlier memory at an almost comedic moment in time. His face melted into something approaching laughter, and he let out a dry chuckle underneath his heavy breathing. "God, we-- we are... so fucked it is not even funny, holy... shit. We are... so fucked."

Regardless, he straightened himself, and began to move. His ankle was slightly sore, but he was fine. Shit, he had to be fine, or else he would be far worse if the fucking psych-ward-hospital-staff-whatever-the-fuck got their hands on him again. Bobby shook his head one last time to remind himself of the immense futility that lay before them, and looked back at the group.

"You gonna fucking blend into the trees and hope they don't see you?" He asked, realizing that one of them very well could probably have that very fucking ability. Regardless, he gestured with his hand, and moved-- this time, breaking out into a slight jog. They needed as much ground between them and the fucking facility as they could manage.

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Re: Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

Post by Annasiel » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:05 pm

Madeline was right. They needed to keep moving. As long as they were still inside the fence, they needed to keep running - and maybe even after, too. Those people were able to find them in the first place. They'd be able to find them again. And after seeing what happened to the kids who just talked about running away, she didn't want to see what happened to the ones who actually succeeded.

Legs still aching, Judith pulled herself up the trunk of the tree, wrapping her arms around her chest and drawing a long, jittery breath. The boy - Robby? Bobby? - mentioned a sprained ankle, and she winced. Something about the way he felt. Like laughing in the face of fear, not because you found it funny, but because you had no other way to handle the it. Because you had no other way to react. Focusing on his emotions almost sent her hyperventilating again, so she focused on what he said instead.

"My - my horse sprained her ankle once," she offered, unhelpfully. "The vet made a splint for it. Maybe if we... find sticks or something... oh. But we wouldn't have any string to tie it."

She fell silent once again. It was painfully obvious how useless what she said was, how she'd wasted seconds by simply saying it. They were moving again, this wasn't the time to talk, and from the way the boy was jogging, he didn't seem too hurt, anyway. Wincing, Judith forced herself to follow, trailing a bit behind in a jog of her own.

Mustering up a bit of optimism, she spoke again, words cut between pants of breath.

"We're going to... make it out. Don't say we're f... we're screwed. We just - just need to... get to the fence, and then... we're free." She didn't quite believe it, and the lack of confidence in her voice made that obvious, but saying that out loud did make her feel a little bit better.

Hopefully, it would for the others too.
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

Post by Lord of Nothing » Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:38 am

It was fun at first. Running through the woods. Moving freely. His parents always told him to never go outside at night.

Running. Was hard. Different from flying or floating effortlessly through everything.

And as per usual Alphie was left behind by the group. Because they all had sense. And were way better at running than he was. At this point he couldn't even blame them. He was going to go at his own pace. Which had at this point turned into a walk.

The best thing to do seemed to drop down. Funs over. There was no way he could escape. That was only the stuff that happened in movies. Better to go to sleep. Go to a different time. A different place. One where was free and unimportant. Not trapped and always given that annoying bit of attention. Nobody stopped and talked to you. There was never any pain. And he never got tired. He could fly around and do whatever it was that he wanted. Not like here -- where he was limited by own spindly, burning legs. His chins aching. His chest tight as he struggled every moment to draw in a comfortable amount of air.

The air felt good at least. And the night was neat. It wasn't well lit like the other place. He was fumbling in the dark. Which was fun for a little while. But eventually became frustrating. He didn't have the faintest idea of where he was going. No wonder mom and dad said not to go into the woods at night.

"This. Sucks."

At this point it did seem best to just give up. Find a nice little tree to lean on and look at the stars while one can. Enjoy the sound of all the wildlife. The crickets never sounded so close. He swore that when he looked down -- he could hear find one. Barely spotting it in the moonlight. The boy could barely conceive of how a creature so small could make a noise so large.

The thought did also come up that: If he wasn't out here -- it never would cross his mind to ask such a question. It would be really nice if he could ask someone. They never really answered those questions. Only asked him about what he saw. The last time he was ever in a place like this, it wasn't exactly quiet. There were people with knives on the rifles. And different trees. It was kinda scary and cool at the same time. No crickets there though.

It hopped away. Darned it.

However he heard something else. Voices. They sounded kinda familiar and he wasn't that tired really. At least not anymore. So Alphie thought he might as well. Managed pretty well to not step on any branches. He wasn't exactly sure what to do if he'd come across some guards but, there wasn't much point in thinking about that until he saw them -- was there?

He squinted to try to get a good luck at them.

There was a brief rustling through the bushes. A boy who'd made the mistake of thinking he could lean on shrubbery. And he received a mouthful of dirt for his troubles. That's what he gets for gasping on the way.

He spits out a little bit of soil. "Ow ow ow!" And then pulls out some thorns from his shirt. A few scratch by his legs. And then it tears off a shoe lace of all the damn things. Once the dirt was out of his mouth he looked up with bright blue eyes and well maintained skin. His form a bit visible in the moonlight as he walked forward. "Heya everyone. I found you."

Hanging out with them seemed way better than chasing crickets. The same went for seeing the guards. So he moved to catch up with them.

"You look kinda hurt. Need some help?" He looked at one of the kids. He was the only other boy there -- Bobby.

He wasn't sure why but it felt like the right thing to do.
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Re: Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

Post by illirica » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:50 pm

Madeline knew better than to glare at people, even when they really deserved it. She turned away, picking up a stick and poking the dirt with it. “Just because people live differently doesn’t make them animals. Fucking prick.” She wasn’t supposed to talk like that. It wasn’t civilized. She jammed the stick into the dirt, annoyed. People had called her a lot of things when she’d first gotten to camp. Things like animal. Just because she hadn’t lived in a fancy house and didn’t have ‘table manners’ or whatever else they thought was important. She’d figured it out - camp gave her no other real option - but it was still a sore spot, one that didn’t like being poked by someone who thought he was too good to be out here.

For someone who thought he had a ‘sprained ankle’ he was walking on it just fine - but she supposed there really wasn’t any choice about that, was there? Not unless he wanted to go back.
“And don’t swear. Judith doesn’t like it,” she added, as an afterthought, ignoring the fact that she’d just called him a fucking prick - that was different. He’d deserved it.

A rustling in the forest alerted them to the presence of someone else. Madeline gripped her stick, just in case she needed to hit someone with it, but it was just another kid. He was probably pretty, under the dirt, which meant another well-off kid whose parents gave him everything and who didn’t know a thing about forests. Madeline sighed. This was going to be a lot of work, wasn’t it?

She supposed he could help the other boy. Between the two of them, maybe they’d become competent. Madeline looked down at the broken twigs, the space in the dirt where she’d been poking with the stick.
“Judith? I don’t suppose you can um... make our trail less... important?” She wasn’t quite sure what the limitations would be - most of the kids had only vague ideas of how their powers could be used, at least, before they went into the Doom Room. Judith was getting pretty good, though. Better than she let on, Madeline thought.

She wondered why.
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Re: Gifted and Talented [CLOSED]

Post by Orph » Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:19 pm

Division: Asset Retrieval.
No. of operators engaged: 4.
Live ammunition: Y/N.
APEX SOLUTIONS.
Solving problems from the top of the food chain.
Jason Levitt didn't miss field work. Not one bit. He'd been a good cop, back in the day- even broke a few precinct arrest records. But whenever he'd been in a particularly tense situation, he'd always been a little too quick to pull the trigger. It'd gotten him in trouble more than a few times. Luckily, the boys in blue looked after their own. What might have resulted in an indictment had instead been a six-week suspension, followed by a move to administrative work. And that was where Jason's true talents had begun to shine through.

Working as a SWAT coordinator had turned out to be the best of both worlds. He could experience the visceral thrill of a firefight through the screen, without having to worry about putting holes in the wrong person by mistake. And he could be useful, even be the one giving the orders. Eventually, even that got boring- SWAT got deployed a few dozen times each year, in the city where he'd worked prior to joining up with Apex Solutions. Now, every day was a deployment day.

Today, though, the thrill was lessened. It wasn't like supervising a drug bust or a shootout with a gang. He was helping Site Six's Asset Retrieval team track down the missing subjects. A high-stakes operation if there ever was one. His job was on the line, both if they let the kids get away, and if any of them got hurt in the process. Bearing that in mind, Levitt was glad he wasn't the one holding the rifle. He would have probably accidentally killed one of the little brats if they made a sudden movement. Even sitting in his chair, watching through the helmet feeds of the four operators who were searching the woods, his heart was hammering in his chest.

Jason wouldn't really have blamed them for opening fire on one of the little freaks, though. Their 'gifts,' or whatever the scientists wanted to call it, were unnatural. Some sort of genetic mistake. He'd seen firsthand what some of those kids could do to a person. Unfortunate staff members at the camp, or even other kids. That was why they'd put the blinders on the one with the messed-up eyes. If Jason had been in charge, he'd have kept them all in cells. But Apex saw some value in pretending to run a fake school for the little monsters, and he wasn't paid to ask too many questions.

For the most part, Jason was silent, watching the Asset Retrieval team work. He wasn't as familiar with them as the other members of the team. In the day-to-day, he interacted almost exclusively with the Security division, who he was officially in charge of. Asset Retrieval was a separate division, but they fell under his command by default, since their deployment here was small. Only around if Security fucked up and let some of the kids let loose. Which they had.

For all his faults, and Jason knew he had them, he'd never had a problem admitting when he fucked up. When he'd accidentally put a round in a kid's spine by mistake, he'd been able to admit that it had been an accident, though obviously only in private. And now he'd let four of the subjects get loose. Even worse, four of the most promising, according to whatever metrics that was measured by. One of them had been next on the list for intensive study, and Levitt had been preparing to have one of his teams drag the kid over to be poked and prodded, before they made their escape attempt.

With any luck, an attempt was all it would be. Taking deep breaths, Jason focused in on the feed. Asset Retrial was moving slowly, trying not to alert the escapees of their presence. That was pretty difficult, considering they were all wearing full body armor, night vision goggles, and several more pounds of gear. No live ammunition, but the magazines of their rifles were filled with rubber bullets, packing enough of a punch to put out an eye or bruise a rib. Kids were too fucking fragile.

One of the operators paused, and looked down at his feet. It took Jason a moment to realize what he'd spotted- a broken branch, having clearly snapped where someone stepped on it.

"They must have gone that way," he said, speaking into the microphone on his desk, its neck angled up towards him. Then, a little self-consciously, he muted the thing. His only solace was the fact that the Asset Retrieval operatives were too professional to say 'no shit, Sherlock.'

Certain that they were all rolling their eyes at him, Jason watched the operators move forward, each covering a different angle. Having one man watching their six felt like overkill, considering they were hunting kids, not guerillas, but he wasn't about to question their methods. They were all actual soldiers, not just ex-cops. Levitt had always wanted to be Special Forces.

The one in the lead held up a fist, and the rest of the unit stopped moving. Jason strained his ears, trying to hear something through the screen. The mics on the cameras were pretty shitty, but he supposed the guy in the chair didn't need to hear as well as the ones in the field did. Faintly, he heard what they were hearing- voices. Distant, but loud enough that they were unmistakable. Kids' voices.

There was a chance that it was the wrong set of kids. As punishment, the camp staff liked to take the kids' things away and dump them in the wilderness to fend for themselves. Some sort of test, to make sure they were up to surviving whatever experiments that the researchers wanted to run on them. But Jason was pretty sure that they'd just hit the jackpot. Spitting out a chewed-off fingernail onto the floor of his office in the camp's administrative building, Levitt turned his mic back on and cleared his throat.

"Move in. Hit 'em with a flashbang, then secure them once they're down."

If, as Jason was afraid of, there was any resentment at his backseat quarterbacking, it wasn't apparent in the Asset Retrieval operator's voice. He responded quietly, so as to prevent the kids from hearing him. They seemed to still be some distance away, but Levitt couldn't fault him for being cautious. Rushing into danger had landed him in hot water too many times to count.

"Understood. Moving in."
A myth where ultimate evil turns its gaze on humanity and humanity gazes right back and says "Gotcha."

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