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Post by Peyton Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:26 pm

A chubby hand wrapped around Peyton's pointer finger. A soft smile crossed her features as she felt the soft flesh against her own. Anja, innocent and helpless three month old, cooed softly as she gripped her mother's finger. Peyton had her set up in a bouncy seat near her desk at work. Anja's baby sitter had bailed once again, causing Peyton to bring Anja to work today. Peyton pondered why on Earth she even paid that woman if she hardly did her job. Although while Peyton hated the thought of causing someone misfortune, she really did need to fire her sitter.

"Hmm, you're so cute~" Peyton cooed and nuzzled her hand against Anja's cheek. Anja gave a toothless smile and a little laugh. "Hehe, yes you're mommy's special girl." Peyton had always been quite the doting parent. Anja was her pride and joy, and the only real source of happiness she got out of her life at this point. Peyton was broken hearted, single, a cripple, an orphan, and basically just alone in all of this. Anja, and her research, kept her going. Some people think it was a bad decision for her to have a baby at such a young age, thinking that she could be out doing other things like partying. Peyton didn't regret it for a second.

With a soft sigh, Peyton carefully unwrapped Anja's fingers from her pointer finger. She replaced it with a stuffed monkey and looked down at her research. Over the two months she had been working at the labs, she had gotten quite a bit done. And it had gotten accomplished much faster than when she was doing it independently. The decision to join the military's labs had been a good one, despite her worries about it before.

Peyton's eyes scanned over the paper which contained the notes she had managed to write today. Admittedly, she had hit a bit of a wall in her research. But, that happened to everyone now and again; she should be able to pull out of this funk soon. She raised her hands into the air and stretched out her back, feeling a few pops. Peyton made a small sound as they popped, enjoying the feeling of the relief she felt in her back. Then she slid out of her chair, walked over to the filing cabinet, and bent over to search through the bottom drawer.
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Post by Guest Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:50 pm

Oh, how he positively HATED these visits to Central. So filled with the petty bureaucracies and the hoops to jump through, all the meetings, all the bullshit, all the pleasantries that had to be disposed with before they could get to the meat, the utility of the matter. He was a Major General! He was a sterling soldier, a fine exemplar for the alchemical forces of Amestris! He was one of the leading authorities in alchemy in the entire nation, thus his appointment as head of the department underneath the Chancellor himself! And what did they have him doing?

They had him going to fucking meetings.

The audacity. The sheer audacity of it all. One of their greatest assets and soldiers, or so he'd been told, a true prodigy who'd ascended from the rank of Major up through to Major General in little time, and they made him, of all people, the decadent alchemical warlord, the monarch of murder, drive back and forth to meet with the Chancellor, simply to report. It made him almost physically sick.

So that's why, in the past couple of weeks, Ayden had come into a new habit, upon his having some time to kill either before or after a meeting with the good Chancellor himself. This new habit was wandering through the halls of the HQ itself until he found the alchemical research laboratory, and by simply dropping his position, they were always happy to guide him round for a little visit. In truth, the Major General was simply looking for objects or studies of intrigue, but science had always served as something of an interest: so it wasn't a bad way to spend some of his spare time whilst he was waiting for the bureaucrats.

However, this week, the assassin hurried down the corridors of the headquarters with a spring in his step and a wide grin upon his face, licking his lips at regular intervals. It was earlier than usual, and he seemed to be making a beeline for the research lab: because, the perceptive man he was, having put his ear to the ground, he'd discovered that the lab itself had received a complete staff cycle, with a new young prodigal research team leader having been brought in, one Second Lieutenant Wynter Geist. He'd never heard of him - apparently wet behind the ears, barely a child in the military's eyes - but Ayden figured, given his position, it was fit that he met him for a quick evaluation of whether he'd be an asset, an object, a plaything, or a viable cohort. The last of those four was the most unlikely, and something the murderer was somewhat skeptical of, but nevertheless, he kept his mind open.

"...yes you're mommy's special girl." As he neared the research lab, from within, he heard a gentle, cooing voice and the gurgling of an infant from within the otherwise silent expanses of the laboratory. Most interesting. Not bothering to waste a moment, the grin on his pallor only widened as he ever-so-gently pushed open the door, and made his best attempts to sidle in completely inaudible, surveying the lab.

Whoever would normally inhabit the reaches of this scientific palace, this new alchemical frontier were clearly not here, aside from this one youthful mother, with a head of reddish-tinted hair turned well away from him. Well... it seemed today was going to be far more interesting than usual. Silently, he made his advance, skirting through the labs and moving with the disciplines of stealth he'd learnt from Heart many a year ago. As he neared the young woman, he noted that her uniform was that of a scientist indeed: garbed in a bleak white lab coat and looking between her infant child and what appeared to be her research notes, Ayden calmed himself and put another mask over the top of the stacks of them he already bore, a faint, reassuring smile on his face.

Who was he today? The reassuring leader? The enigmatic co-worker? The ice-cold senior officer? Or perhaps his usual murderous self? In truth, Ayden hadn't worked through his multiple facets and facades in something of a while, and was just positively itching to exercise his charisma and his dramatic skill, to become an actor upon the grandiose stage of life once more.

And with that, he calmed himself... and let the curtains fall.

The assassin cleared his throat with a cough. "I do hope you have the appropriate permits for bringing a child to the workplace, Miss...?" Oh, this would be... interesting.

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Post by Peyton Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:26 pm

Peyton nearly jumped when the sound of a cough filled the room, followed by a harsh and cold voice. Peyton paused, nervousness and anxiety racking through her body and brain. Nobody had told her she needed a damn PERMIT to bring her daughter to work! "U-uh.." Peyton quickly found the file she was looking for, focusing her attention on that for the moment. She stood up straight and opened it, quickly retrieving the blood samples from it and popping the folder back into its respective place. After carefully sliding the drawer shut, she dared to look back at the man who had caught her red-handed.

A frightful sight met her gray eyes as she stared at the tall man, looking to be of muscular build. His face had a large scar running through the middle of it, only increasing her unease. His dress was intimidating as well, dressed in all black and leather. His hair color was odd as well. Silver was an interesting choice in hair dye, and one would have to wonder why a grown man in the military would choose such. Then again, everyone has their own reasons for doing something.

"I-I apologize sir.." Peyton choked out. "I wasn't aware that uh, I needed one. My um, supervisor said that it was alright to bring her with me when I needed to... I didn't h-have anyone to watch her today s-so I was forced to take her with me..." Since he seemed to know of the regulations, he probably wasn't a civilian. That was why she bothered to explain herself. "M-May I ask who you are..?"

Whilst waiting for a reply, Peyton walked over to another table in the room. It had small vials on it full of the red liquid of life called blood. Each was labeled differently. One had "sickle-cell anemia" on it. Another had "Hemophilia". The others had different labels as well. The one thing they had in common was: they were all defects of the blood. Her samples had just come in today. They were all extracted from people with the labeled defects.
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Post by Guest Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:42 pm

"I-I apologize sir.." Ayden blinked. This should be interesting. Between the stutter and the choking in her voice it appeared the woman was far shyer than he'd first envisioned. Perhaps this came with the territory. Was it just him, or were all research assistants introverts? "I wasn't aware that uh, I needed one." The assassin stood stalwart and silent for but a moment, before he broke into a slow, lurching, and almost harrowing chuckle.

"You don't. I'm simply playing around with you." He looked at her, and though his tones were soothing, quiet, and generally orthodox, but there was something underneath them that would be unsettling to generally perspective individuals. Something... unfitting about the nature of his tones no matter how reassuring and gentle he tried to make them. Some people got a bead or a hunch from Ayden which was closer to the truth than his many facades even lead them to believe - and here, he was pretending to be... well... a number of things. All to confuse her. Ah, such fun...

"My um, supervisor said that it was alright to bring her with me when I needed to... I didn't h-have anyone to watch her today s-so I was forced to take her with me..." Ayden arched an eyebrow, looking down at the infant once more as it gargled. It was... well, it was a child. A blank slate, something that reminded him of himself in a sense. Well, now, perhaps it was time to test the mother's defensive instincts.

"And your supervisor is...?" With that, he walked forwards, moving over to where the child was, sitting in a small bouncy seat by her desk. He crouched down, and looked to the child, scanning her with those cerulean eyes. Slowly, he moved forward and ran his gloved hand over the newborn child's scalp, rubbing through the fuzzy makings of infant hair that remained there. "Aren't you just... precious..." He murmured, smiling off towards the child.

"M-May I ask who you are..?" Ayden looked around towards Peyton, before standing up again and smiling down at her, brushing a few flecks of dust from his otherwise-immaculate and glimmering leather coat. He looked down with a slightly gentler tone in his voice, and scanned the woman proper. She was young; he could see it in her face, barely into her twenties, if at all. No wrinkles, no lines of exhaustion, a fresh, gentle pallor, and more than a full foot shorter than him.

"You can ask, but it might not get you particularly far," He stated matter-of-factly in response, and silence hung between them for a moment, filling into an awkward void before Ayden broke it with a sharp, chirping cackle, shaking his head as he sighed the last of it away. "Major General Ayden Derocha. Head of Alchemical Advancement for Amestris." He cocked his head. "You're new, yes?" He didn't need to ask the question. He knew she was: prior to a couple of weeks ago, he had almost every member of staff in the labs and their Polaroid portraits etched into the back of his mind out of sheer practice - and her, and a handful of new portraits were unfamiliar. He hadn't had the time to commit all of them to memory. Aside from Second Lieutenant Geist, that was. "You might not require a permit to have an infant in here, soldier, but you should salute your senior officer when he enters the room." The assassin remarked coldly. That rang true especially for an individual as high-up as the murderer was. Rule of thumb. She was new. That much was obvious.

"She's a beautiful child," He nodded, before smiling brilliantly at her, baring his teeth like pearl-white daggers. "Yours, I presume?" He looked to the baby, maintaining the constant grin, before turning back with a haunting giggle, prompted by seemingly nothing. "I can tell. She has the same eyes." The perceptive nature of the Blackskull Alchemist was something the scholar was particularly renowned for. He tilted his head, looking back down upon her ominously. "What's her name?" Ayden paused. "And yours, too, whilst we're at it, soldier?" The term didn't really fit the young woman, barely an adult, but, technically, research aid or not, she was under the branch of the Amestrian military, and worked for Central City Headquarters. And whilst she did so? She was as much a soldier as he was.

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Post by Peyton Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:34 pm

Peyton felt a small relief wash over her when he said he was just playing. She hated when people did that though, making her worry for nothing. She was high-strung enough without people doing that. While he was asking about the name of her supervisor, her eyebrows furrowed when he went over and touched Anja. Ooh, that just made Peyton pissed. She didn't like this man, he seemed incredibly threatening. And when threatening people touch a person's children, that just makes the parents angry.

"Second Lieutenant Wynter Geist," she muttered as she went over and scooped up Anja. The man then revealed his own name. Major General Ayden Derocha. Shit. This was the man that her own Boss answered to, as did everyone else did in the lab. She was at the mercy of this creep?

"You're new, yes?" She heard him ask. She gave a small nod and gently rubbed Anja's back. "You might not require a permit to have an infant in here, soldier, but you should salute your senior officer when he enters the room."

"Ah.. I-I'll remember that next time sir." Peyton was hoping there wouldn't be a next time. She just wanted him to leave, and to never show his face again. But Peyton knew that with his position, that wouldn't happen. His voice went sweet and charismatic again, complimenting Anja. Telling Peyton that they had the same eyes. She could see right through his facade though. He asked for their names, and Peyton almost let out a sigh. She hated telling military personnel her name.

Her father, when he was still in the military, was well known. But.. his claim to fame wasn't favorable. He was best known for his ability to turn people into stains on the floors and walls. He'd boil their blood from the inside out. This led to his undoing eventually. Now, Peyton was trying to take his research on the properties of blood and turn it into a positive thing. A cure for all blood defects. "Her name is Anja, and my name is Peyton Powers.."
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Post by Guest Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:51 pm

Walking through the halls, Wynter rubbed at his head slowly. How long had he been out now? Two hours? Three? The bathrooms were certainly no place for a nap, but in the end he couldn't help himself. The slouching young man had curled up on a toilet seat and fallen asleep. Work was tough, especially when you sacrificed what rest you'd be permitted to continuously do research.

Making his way back to the lab, he heard an unfamiliar voice inside. Listening from the doorway, he tensed as he heard the man present himself. Ayden Derocha? This was the alchemist who would be overseeing his State Alchemist exam. He was here already? Oh no. No, no, no, this was bad. Wynter hadn't prepared himself for this in the slightest.

At the mentioning of his name, the Second Lieutenant slowly made his way inside, looking the tall man over from behind. Grey hair, an air of greatness presented in his motions. Something the young man would expect from a State Alchemist, and the head of Alchemical Advancement.

"S-SSSir." Wynter gave a solute, straightening his posture. Luckily, he'd followed dress code today. That was one bullet dodged. "Second Lieutenant W-Wynter Geist. It's a p-p-pleasure to meet you."

His eyes were wider now as he waited for the official to take notice of him and allow him to be at ease. A bead of sweat dropped from his cheek, and the introvert blinked several times, wishing to move the hair that had fallen into his face a bit. He hated it when his slightly curled locks decided to be unruly, but, even so, he never found the time to cut his hair. That and he usually just forgot when he planned to.

"W-What brings you here, ssssir?"

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Post by Guest Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:43 pm

Instinctively, the redhead had ducked down to pick up her child almost as soon as Ayden had approached it - inside the eye of his mind, the man released a wicked, silent cackle. He was testing her, pushing the boundaries, finding her limits: so, later, he could break them as best he could. "Her name is Anja, and my name is Peyton Powers.."

His eyes glimmered, half-bathed in the pale light of the laboratory and half something just maniacally twinkling within that striking azure gaze. "A pair of beautiful names for a pair of beautiful women." He smiled as pleasantly as he could muster. For as much as the grandiose delusion did amuse him so, sometimes these facades truly made him want to vomit for as disgustingly, contemptuously pleasant he was being.

Ayden drummed his fingers along his chin, before holding them out into the air ever-so-slowly. "Just a moment..." He murmured, as facts aligned themselves and he processed age-old information. He vaguely recalled seeing Peyton's name on the dossier that some anonymous suited bureaucratic servant had handed him, but that wasn't of significance. Powers. Why hadn't he recalled that name before? Of course he knew it. Of course. When he'd developed transport systems for his alchemy - primarily the Bloodbomb variant he'd coined as a murderous, messy signature of his - a handful of the notes - amongst others, but, still - he'd used were of a different Powers. An older, male Powers. From two or three decades ago. And these were... so remarkably... vivid... for such a timid, reclusive young woman.

He grinned at her in an ominously cheerful manner. "Powers... I do believe, young girl... that I've used some of your old man's notes in my own research..." His face lit up in true revelation. Oh, how fun this was going to be! "Wasn't he the..." Jabbing his head forwards and letting his gaze tarry for just a moment on Anja before flickering up to Peyton, the grin only widened, pearlescent white and gleaming in the cold light of the laboratory. "...blood boiling alchemist?!"

"S-SSSir." As if on cue, they were to be interrupted. Recoiling in an unsettling and serpentine manner, Ayden pivoted on his heel and cocked his head, surveying the new recruit, whose face he recognised in but a moment from the case file he'd received. "Second Lieutenant W-Wynter Geist. It's a p-p-pleasure to meet you."

Well, now. Wasn't he interesting? He'd heard things... things about a reclusive prodigal mind in the halls of Central's research lab, but he was... a mouse. Tiny, introverted, stuttering, trembling... messy. Ayden grimaced on the inside. He despised mess. But in spite of it all - today, he was playing nice, and only bordering on psychopathic before he'd blow it all away in a grand crescendo. "At ease, Second Lieutenant," He murmured, before grinning, and diving forward, grasping the man's slender, bony hand and shaking it vigorously. "I've heard things about you, young man. Heard that you're to take this division's research to..." He paused. "...new frontiers." The General whispered before breaking into a cackle and rearing back.

"W-What brings you here, ssssir?" Why, wasn't that just a perfect question?! What just was he doing here? Random spot-check? No, that wasn't in the General's nature. Inspection? Of course not! Such petty tasks would be deferred to the common officer. End-of-month evaluation? Still a couple of weeks away. Boredom? Without a doubt.

"Well, for starters, Mr. Geist, I was just discussing your aide's namesake with her, and her father, a truly great man when it came to the foray of alchemical research in this nation's name." He paused. "But, truly, I was just..." The assassin halted in his speech once more, staring off up into the distance of the laboratory's ceiling and sighing gently. Finally, he let his head, lurching forwards, creep back on a mechanical twist into Wynter's view. "...a touch bored." Silence struck the pair of them, before the assassin reeled back yet a third time, throwing his head back and barking sharp laughter into the air. "PYAHAHAH!"

A moment later, he sighed the cackling off and shook it away, looking back down to Wynter. "No, my dear Lieutenant, I was simply in the area - and thought I'd come take a gander at some of the research the ladies and gentlemen of Central are underway with." Not like he couldn't do any better on his own, of course. One man army in the name of scientific advancement, so Ayden Derocha thought. "So, that in mind," He clapped twice sharply. "Get to it!" Another eerie giggle.

"And, Mr. Geist," He paused with an addendum, walking forwards until he was but within a step of the smaller, meeker individual who thought himself worthy as a scientist. Bah. "You'd better show me something worthwhile..." He lowered his head like a crane, mechanical and with near-surgical speed and angling, before growling a veiled threat in the scientist's ear. A little motivation, was all, near-on subsonic so that the petty little thing he called his aide wouldn't hear. "...or there'll be hell to pay." With that, he gave Wynter a deft slap on the back, rolled to the side, and made a quick gesture, waving his hands in a grandiose circle, indicating the pair of them should begin their display.

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Post by Peyton Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:03 pm

Peyton opened her mouth to retaliate against the Major General's orders, seeing that some of their work was still in the research stage. She was stopped from speaking any words by Anja's whimpering. Anja was making a sucking motion with her mouth and starting to fuss. Lunch, of course. Peyton hadn't realized the time until now.

"... You'll have to e-excuse me for a moment sir. I need to feed my daughter. Uh, in the meantime, perhaps you could just read over my notes instead. It would help you get uuh, a better understanding of what I'm trying to do." Peyton gave a quick salute before heading into a different room and shutting the door. She, unfortunately, was in such a hurry to get out of there that she had been careless and didn't quite shut it completely. Not that she realized this though.

With a soft sigh, she sat down on a chair and unbuttoned her shirt. She was thinking of all kinds of things to say to Wynter after the Major General left as she began to feed Anja. She felt incredibly bad about having to leave the poor man with that creep. Peyton knew how nervous and easily manipulated he was around those kinds of people. Hopefully he wouldn't hate her... that would make home life a bit awkward, now that he was living in her apartment.

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Post by Guest Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:28 pm

Wynter's eyes widened a great deal as the man came closer to him. His words stung into the young man's body, like needles of ice digging into his skin. This man was much more than he had thought before meeting him. He was either insane or simply toying with him. Possibly trying to institute fear as a means of inspiration? Either way, Wynter didn't like it. Fumbling past Ayden, trembling now, he shakily grasped a vial of sand from his coat sleeve.

"S-Sir, I w-w-would be glad to show you how far my research has come, b-but..." He paused, spilling the sand upon the table in front of him. "...but I c-c-cannot show you the combat functions of my alchemy h-here. I'd f-fear for the st-state of the room afterward, as w-well as your safety." Removing his marker from his pocket, he begins to draw the necessary transmutation circles upon his palms and nods to Peyton as she leaves the room. Maybe he could make a good impression on the Major General in her absence. He could only hope so.

"B-But I c-c-can show you a simpler end to my st-studies." Clapping his hands together, he places one above the small pile, the sand twisting into a glass cube. Then, quickly removing his hand, he places the other in its place, the reverse process happening quickly. As the sand flowed off the edges of the table, Wynter swallowed and turned back around.

"A-As you can ssssee... I've m-mastered both processes f-fluidly a-a-and efficiently." Picking up a stack of notes, he holds them out to Ayden. "I can e-even turn glass that I've n-n-not created back into its b-base elements."

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Post by Guest Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:29 pm

"... You'll have to e-excuse me for a moment sir. I need to feed my daughter. Uh, in the meantime, perhaps you could just read over my notes instead. It would help you get uuh, a better understanding of what I'm trying to do." Ah, of course, motherly instincts. The baby was hungry; the mother fed it. Inside, Ayden winced; to him, children had almost seemed somewhat... parasitic. As hypocritical as it was - for he himself had been raised on the benevolence of a man who had no blood ties to him whatsoever - he knew that his case had been a special one. Regardless, for the moment, it was in his best interest that he respect the cultural inclinations of motherhood, bowing his head gently as she made to leave.

"I'm sure that Lieutenant Geist here can easily entertain me for the duration of your absence. Gyaha!" His laughter came out in a short and sporadic burst, seemingly spontaneous and spasmodic, like a bodily eruption or a reflex he had no control over. With that, he turned to the white-haired man and grinned widely at him. "Seems it's just you and me now, boy. As you were." With a handwave, he gestured for Wynter to begin.

"S-Sir, I w-w-would be glad to show you how far my research has come, b-but..." God, he really did stutter, didn't he? Ayden held back a snarl and let it rage in the vengeful pits of his stomach. This individual was irritating at best. Perhaps, if his research wasn't that great, the assassin would take him on as yet another plaything to join Miss LeClair and most likely his research aide. "...but I c-c-cannot show you the combat functions of my alchemy h-here. I'd f-fear for the st-state of the room afterward, as w-well as your safety." Oho! His safety?! He feared for his safety!? Perhaps this man did not know of the assassin, Major General Murderous, as some had chosen to dub him! Grandiose, impossible, and certainly capable of defending himself.

Seriously, that took all the fun out of it. Ayden genuinely considered putting on an expression not dissimilar to that of a disappointed, underwhelmed child. All this suspense!? Everything he'd been told of this boy's being an alchemical prodigy?! And now he wasn't going to show him what was undoubtedly the only useful application of this alchemy. This trip had been a waste of time, truly. The silver-haired individual's expression tightened in a potential facade of disappointment, frowning ever so slightly and shrugging. "Well, get on with it anyway!" He barked, getting bored of all this beating around the bush.

"B-But I c-c-can show you a simpler end to my st-studies." Ayden let a tiny, nigh-on subsonic growl escape from between his lips. Really? Simpler? Well, it was an end all the same, and new scientific avenues for investigation did always tend to pique his interest, provided they weren't boring; when it came to alchemy, the genocidal artist was often considered to have something of a rose-tinted view on things. Every new pursuit - whether applicable in combat or not - was still another potential street for this diverse scientific branch to be pursued. And, whether he was manic, demented, and/or truly insane or not, this was why he headed off alchemy for Amestris.

What was that on his hand? Marker pen? Any true scientific devotee didn't bother with such menial things. His fingers twitched inside their leather guards, waiting, yearning to be released, the inky tendrils etched upon them testament that his life, his soul, his body was a living, breathing scientific scripture, the destruction alchemist's bible. That showed true devotion. Much like all the others, it was quickly becoming apparent that Mr. Geist was much less a scholar and much more a novice.

That said... Ayden's eyes did widen ever-so-slightly as the alchemy's visual display came into question. It was something truly... intriguing... to watch sand swirl upwards into a glass cube, and, moments later, melt back down again; he kept something of a facade over, but wonder twinkled in those azure orbs of his and he grinned. "A-As you can ssssee... I've m-mastered both processes f-fluidly a-a-and efficiently. I can e-even turn glass that I've n-n-not created back into its b-base elements."

CLAP. CLAP. CLAP. "Bravo, Lieutenant," The assassin murmured, before jabbing his head forwards. CLAP. CLAP. CLAP. The slow, resounding, semi-sarcastic applause echoed throughout the laboratory. "A truly... visceral... display..." He slowed the leather clapping and rose a finger to his chin in false consideration. "But, I wonder... what use is your little glass cube when a Drachman grunt rushes at you with an AK-101 rifle or an alchemist flings a fireball at you?" The madman grinned. "Glass melts. It's not defensible in the slightest. And so your "combat" applications here are very obviously not simply for shielding purposes."

"So..." With that, he pressed his head far past Wynter's and whispered. Tendrils of temptation, seductive sound, slid from the man's tongue, through the air in the most dastardly and quiet of ways. One phrase. A single subsonic command. "...show me..." Direct order of a senior officer. "...how you kill." No backing down now.

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Post by Guest Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:40 pm

((Peyton has given me permission to post before her, seeing as she's unsure whether or not she'll exit the thread with her last post.))

His entire body tensed as the order came next to his ear. Wynter wouldn't be leaving here without giving a demonstration of combat utility, and that caused his stomach to clench inward upon itself. Stilling his breathing and closing his eyes, he tried to find the spot in his mind where he was most comfortable, where no one from the outside could contact him if they tried. He couldn't let himself be afraid. Fear was nothing in comparison to a life without his work. His eyes slowly opened back up, a strange glimmer streaking across the grey orbs.

"AK-101, firing rate of ten rounds per second." The Xingese he spoke came out clearly, in an eerie, nearly robotic, tone, his stutter having dissolved under the sort of trance he'd put himself into. Wynter pointed to the other side of the table. There was no one there, but in his head he could visualize the Drachman soldier Ayden had described. In one fluid motion the boy rose his leg, and, just as the imaginary militant ran forward and threatened to squeeze the trigger of his gun, he kicked his foot downward upon the edge of the table. Quickly bending his knees and squatting, he could hear the gunshots ring out in his ears, but that wasn't the problem he had to deal with next. The sand on the edges had flown up with the table, directly in front of Wynter. He had to make sure he did this perfectly.

"Sand." The young alchemist clapped his hands together as the first grains met his line of vision. "Into glass." Thrusting his hand forward, it made contact with the falling droplets of his base element. An electrical jolt seemed to dart from his palm, as well as a thin line of his own blood, as a glass spear punctured the table. In his mind's eye he could see the soldier fall, the glass having split diagonally through the wood and punctured his face between his eyes.

Grabbing his palm, the young man wobbled slightly before inspecting the wound he'd brought upon himself. Not too deep this time. He was making progress, even in the field his alchemy had entered that he didn't quite approve of. Still, he was bettering the world with his work. He was doing what he needed for his country.

"I a-apologize for my sloppiness, Major General Derocha..." He was back in the real world now, but dared not look at the man who'd issued his orders. "S-Sometimes sacrif-f-fices must be made though..." Walking over to the eyewash station at the far end of the lab, treading through the papers that had spilled to the floor from his little show, he ran his bloody hand underneath the steady stream of water that flowed out as he turned the dial on its side, before reaching for a roll of bandaging and wrapping a length from it around his palm.

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Post by Guest Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:59 pm

Something changed in the boy. Ayden could see it from afar. He'd seen it before, in so many. In Alaina. In Daigoro. In Chalybs, by the side of that crater pool, relative aeons ago. "AK-101, firing rate of ten rounds per second." The tone was mechanistic. Controlled. As if he was being possessed, some cosmic puppetmaster standing over Wynter Geist and pulling the strings. He had seen it before. It was the strain. The strain that he was so fond of, watching people squirm and push and roll and fight against their boundaries; before they finally broke.

Ayden would have said that his specialty was perhaps alchemy or murder, but arguably second to those was actually people. Manipulation; for oh how he loved to see the rodents beneath him squirm and wiggle underneath a mental vicegrip. "That... sounds correct." He wasn't a massive fan of automatic rifles. Too clunky. Too... same-y. Made him part of the common rank and file.

"Sand. Into glass." THWUNK. Ayden's eyebrow arched, and slowly he nodded as the great translucent spindle of glass pierced the wood with absolute aplomb, no resistance whatsoever. Silence hung between the pair save for the echoing of Wynter's robotic breathing and the assassin drew up his hands, staring with cerulean orbs at the white-haired child's handiwork - before he started to clap.

"Truly wonderful!" Ayden said, topping off the sentence with a childlike giggle of expository glee. "Oh, how delectable to see the spear simply pierce the wood like it were the soft flesh of another Drachman peon! Perfectly excellent!" With that, he spun ecstatically, grinning. There was another idea to file away. These glass spears - as tapered as they were, evident from Geist's washing his hands - had... well, though sacrificial and somewhat demanding... applications. And here he'd thought this boy no more than another plaything...

Oh, no, he was much more than that. Ayden leant back against another desk and silently surveyed him like a superior hawk. "I a-apologize for my sloppiness, Major General Derocha..." The Major General in question held up his hand, shaking it away. Somehow, the white-haired boy had managed to surprise him. Even impress him. For breaking the mould and showing there was something there. Something underneath. Something worthy. Something malleable. "S-Sometimes sacrif-f-fices must be made though..."

"Oh, Second Lieutenant, I agree," He murmured, stepping forward ever so gently. "Believe me." The words rolled from his tongue like a silvery whisper, ethereal, ghastly, and wraith-like upon the wind, so smooth and sensationally pleasing. "When it comes down to it, I completely agree."

With that, he pulled open his jacket in front of the child, momentarily revealing the extent of half of his arsenal, and from within an inner pocket produced a thick manila envelope with a bulge at the bottom. For a while, he had been carrying this around; had things been... acceptable... in this visit, he was considering evaluating Wynter as a surprise, later in the day. But now that he had seen that he was not simply formidable, nor exactly a plaything; no, Mr. Geist could fulfil what so many had failed to do. The Diablos woman - that foul heathen of a whore - had left behind a space in her admiration that didn't so much need replacing as just left a part of the assassin's life somewhat... emptier.

He needed a new... project.

"That display, however, Lieutenant, very much impressed me." He shrugged, waving the envelope in front of his face, something weighted and bulky clunking within. "I hadn't thought you for such a... pragmatist. Gyehehe..." The assassin trailed off into an eerie giggle, before letting the side of his jacket fall flat, reaching forwards, and tearing off the end of the envelope in a single deft movement with his gloved hands.

With that, he leant down, and tipped the contents out onto a desk - a single sheet of paper, and a silver pocketwatch. Not just any silver pocketwatch; the silver pocketwatch. The silver pocketwatch of the Amestrian military. The silver pocketwatch of the State Alchemist. "Welcome to the family, Mr. Geist." He turned to him, grinning, and tossing the empty envelope over his shoulder with something devilish twinkling in that azure above his face. "...or, should I say... The Glass Arm Alchemist."

With that, he turned on his heel and threw up a lackadaisical hand behind him, heading for the door with a sigh. That was certainly one way to end things, on an enigmatic note. The documentation had filed; he'd read over earlier drafts of Geist's thesis, and everything was all in order. The potential was there; and this meeting had far exceeded his prior expectations of the boy. Before he elegantly pressed the door open with a single hand, he shot a final look over to Wynter, with a demonic grin on his face and a gentle giggling undertone lying just beneath his voice. "I'll be in touch." And with that, he disappeared into the labyrinthine, Daedalean complex of the Central HQ.

His pallor dropped from a amiable smirk to a determined grin - demented and possessing all the attributes of a sociopath, now he was left alone to his devices. This meeting... it had been... so... interesting...

Something, though, was truly evident.

There was more to Wynter Geist than met the eye.

[EXIT THREAD]

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