Quote Originally Posted by OrchestraHc View Post
The Day I Was Born

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Suddenly Consciousness! Anticlimactic? Maybe, but I challenge you to describe a sudden burst of self awareness as anything else. Most people can’t remember the first few years of their life, so they have no idea what it’s like to just POOF exist.
The world was an immediate overload of sensory information. My sight was entirely blinded by white and I was deafened by noise. Eventually it calmed down, and I was able to make out what was around me. I was in some sort of laboratory. A magician’s lab lit up by a river of magma flowing through the ceiling. I was standing up, leaning against a hard metal surface. Standing in front of me was an old man, bald, mutton chops, and a wrinkled old face full of boredom. As my first act, I reached out my hand, which I discover is skinless, to make contact with him. He proceeded to beat my hand away with a thick, hardcover book.
“Don’t you touch me, cretin!” he said, swinging at my head.
“Hey!” I yelled, covering my head in defense. “What did I even do?”
“You stuck out that filthy, cold, bony, hand. That’s what you did! Don’t think you can ever touch me, filth!”
“Wait! Wait.” I said as his blows stop. “Filth? I thought my name was Cretin.” That sent him into something of a swinging frenzy for a few seconds.
“Of all the stupid- To even- ARGGH!” When he gave up, he opened the book, and I saw him scroll down the page with his finger. “You are designated Number Seventeen. Janitorial duty.” He waved his hand and a mop flew from a corner in the room to his hand. “Here. You’ll find some robes outside the door. I put a rune of fire on you so I wouldn’t have to waste the effort to replace you if you fell in. I did not for the mop. Lose or destroy it and you will be punished severely. Understand?”
“Yes sir!” I said, taking the mop without thinking. I stood for a few seconds, waiting to see if he would continue speaking.
“What are you waiting for?!” he started screaming. “I have dozens of others to do today! Do you think I have all day to waste on you?! Get out and get to work!” He started swing his book at me, and I discovered just how quickly my new legs could move.
I liked it, thought it was pretty funny.

Quote Originally Posted by happyturtle View Post
Elaine de Vere Stevenson
Wild

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As a de Vere, Elaine was blessed - or burdened - with all the advantages and expectations of wealth and nobility. She understood the importance of propriety and so it surprised her as much as anyone else when she began to turn out wild.

It started with her first ball, when she was sixteen. She didn't remember how it happened, but she found herself in a cloakroom with George Cavendish, behaving in a manner that was not at all appropriate and quite enjoyable. Similar events followed, and it always seemed that she didn't quite know how it happened.

The de Veres hushed things up as well as they could, but rumours still spread about their youngest daughter, and her wild streak. It was important that they get her married off as soon as they could, to a respectable man of good fortune and high rank. Elaine made no objection, as she desperately wanted to crush this wild part of her before it got her into trouble. A suitable man was found, negotiations entered into, the couple were introduced and seemed to get along well.

That's when Elaine disappeared for the first time. No expense was spared in searching for her. Her trail led about a mile from home, and then went cold. She was seen at Ford's, looking at gloves for the wedding. Mrs Ford had said that she seemed distant and confused, asking the same questions several times. Mrs Ford had gone to the back to bring out some different samples, and when she returned, Miss de Vere was gone. As far as anyone could tell, Mrs Ford was the last person on earth to see Elaine de Vere.

It was while Mrs Ford was in the back of her shop that Billie - though she had no name then - opened her eyes for the first time. She looked around at all the linens and haberdashery, the ribbons and worsted yarns, and the selection of gloves spread out on the counter. Her first conscious thought was that this was the most boring place imaginable, and that she needed to find some excitement.

So she did.

More than six months later, Elaine found herself again. She was lost in the streets, drenched with rain, frightened, and utterly confused. Something had happened. The wildness inside her had escaped and gotten her into worse trouble than ever. She knew that much, but that was all she knew. She stepped into the nearest shop, a watchmaker's, simply to get out of the rain, and met Henry Stevenson.

An hour later, she was sitting by his fireside, wearing dry clothes that belonged to his maid with a blanket around her shoulders, and sobbing out her troubles as she drank hot soup. A week later, they had eloped. A month later, she finally had the courage to tell her family, and was promptly disowned for the scandal she had brought on the de Vere name.

For many years, it was a popular subject of gossip, how the youngest de Vere daughter had run away from her engagement to elope with a tradesman. But what could you expect? The girl had always been quite wild.
I liked this too. I've been very interested in this character overall, and enjoyed this bit of insight.

So, I'm going to throw my hat into the proverbial ring. Please be merciless in your criticism.

Boris Krestyanov
Just Another Day

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As he fell onto the cold, hard, snow-covered ground, Boris pondered exactly how he'd gotten here. Was it just his serving in the Russo-Chinese War that earned him his medal and a recommendation into Spetsnaz? Sure as hell didn't feel like it. The bruises and cuts that he'd received since arriving in Siberia told him that he needed to have done a lot more before he deserved this position.

This training was brutal, to say the least. This fight ring was probably one of the better parts of it. Up until today, Boris had been poisoned, stabbed, exposed to tear gas, and had an arm and both his legs broken. And yet he persisted, because he knew that this was what he wanted out of life. He was going to become a Spetsnaz soldier, even if he died in the process. Perhaps this was the reason Boris staggered up, wiping at the mud, snow, and blood that caked his features. He glowered at his opponent in this fight, a man bigger, stronger, and faster than he was, in addition to being his trainer, Captain Degtyarev.

“You can quit any time, Krestyanov!” His opponent shouted. It was mostly an attempt to rile him up, but it was also honest. This was the eighth time Boris had been knocked down, and he was bleeding profusely from his eye and mouth. He was pretty sure that a few of his ribs were broken. It was something of a wonder that he hadn't blacked out yet. The spectators who had already fought had gone from cheering to a stunned silence. Boris ignored it all. The only things that were in his thoughts right now were his breathing, his heartbeat, and every bit of pain coursing through his body.

Sure, Boris had the option to quit. But was he going to? Of course not. No Russian worth his salt would dare quit. Still, when he raised his fists into a guarded position and took a few steps toward Degtyarev, all he got out of it was a bit of an eye roll from his opponent. Boris had been aggressive previously in the fight, but with his injuries, that strategy was a death wish now. Instead, he kept his distance, watching all of Degtyarev's moves.

Eventually, Degtyarev stepped forward and aimed another one of his devastating jabs at Boris's head. Somehow, Boris managed to duck that. To an even greater shock, he managed to score a hit on the Captain, a quick hook to the torso. It caused very little harm, of course. Though he wanted to believe that despite all the blood that's spilled out of him, he was at full strength, Boris knew that he had already lost this fight. All he could really throw now was the last few desperate punches of a half-dead man.

His last efforts were cut short, though. When he threw that last hook, he was unaware of his latest rookie mistake: he'd left his face unguarded. That became apparent when his good eye became the lucky winner of another punch from Degtyarev. Boris stepped back in pain, and any sympathy he might have received came in the form of a kick to his ribs. He fell to the ground, short of breath and in more pain than ever.

Still, he wasn't about to give up. Boris managed to turn himself over, and tried to push himself back up. This time, though, it didn't take. He just fell back down when he got on his knees.

As his senses began to take leave of him, he heard Degtyarev say, “Take him to the infirmary, and make sure he doesn't die.” Then there was nothing.