Interview with a Cyborg

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by taerKitty on Tue 18 Nov 2014 - 0:39

She's lively and sharp, with a wicked sense of ... humour, I hope.  I like the additional framing sequence at the beginning so Valentina isn't just a name.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Tue 18 Nov 2014 - 6:32

@PSVT wrote:Adamo spent the next few moments scrawling some sort of note. Despite her best efforts to peer at the sheet of paper, even going so far as to edge as close to the man as she dared try, Eleonora could not make out what he had written.
It's doctors' handwriting too. She'd be lucky to be able to decipher anything even if she could see it.

Elenora sounds like she could be a handful at times.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by PSVT on Wed 19 Nov 2014 - 14:52

@taerKitty wrote:She's lively and sharp, with a wicked sense of ... humour, I hope.  I like the additional framing sequence at the beginning so Valentina isn't just a name.

Well, the first time Eleonora was serious, especially when she noticed that Dr. Adamo was a much younger man than she had anticipated. After being told off, the rest was just her messing with him. Probably just as well, for his sake.

Beyond that, I'm glad you liked the little bit of banter between Valentina and Eleonora. I plan on adding a similar segment at the end of Valentina's interview, when the two reunite, to link the two interviews together. Though, at this stage, it's less of an interview and more of a full-on short story. Not only that, I have this ambitious plan to make the interviews at least semi-canon to my own story canon.

@Alfisti wrote:Elenora sounds like she could be a handful at times.

Oh, you'd better believe it. Though, if Giancarlo was being honest with himself, dealing with Valentina, especially early on, is far more of a struggle than dealing with Eleonora. Then again, having to wrangle a precocious thirteen-year-old with an almost magnetic attraction to boys is among any dad's worst nightmares.

Anyway, many thanks to you fine gentlemen for your comments. Very Happy

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by tremec6speed on Thu 20 Nov 2014 - 21:43

“I’d like to die on the very last day of my designed lifespan..."
That sounds so sad. Great read! Smile

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by PSVT on Fri 21 Nov 2014 - 1:04

@tremec6speed wrote:“I’d like to die on the very last day of my designed lifespan..."
That sounds so sad. Great read! Smile

Well, it's melancholic at best, but she makes a very good point. It also shows that she knows exactly what she is--she's under no illusions about being anything more than a cyborg, and that she has a very limited time to live. Anyway, I'm glad you liked it! Very Happy

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by PSVT on Fri 21 Nov 2014 - 2:02

So, as I promised earlier, here's part two of the two-shot story... er, I mean interviews. But, I absolutely love this format. Yes, it's a bit of work, but it's extremely useful. I hope other writers with OCs here who haven't done interviews for said characters decide to do them in the form of a story instead of a list. (Then again, I'm not at all forcing anyone to write stories for the interviews either.) Anyway, enough rambling. sweat On with Valentina's second posted (and third actual) interview.

--------------------------------------------------------------

“Okay, Valentina, you can come in now.”

She almost did not hear her name, and even the recognition of it did not elicit from her any visible response.

From Ferro’s vantage point, the young blonde remained as motionless as a statue, crouching with her back against the wall. A better view of the cyborg’s eyes would have revealed a minute shift in their focus, but from where she stood all she could see was Valentina’s back and side. Still, the lack of an apparent response left her confused. She followed the girl’s gaze toward the wall, but beyond dark oak paneling set into beige-painted drywall, she found nothing of interest. With eyes narrowing and an expression of annoyance falling across her features she tried again, this time with a more forceful tone.

“Valentina.”

“Oh, sorry Signora Ferro.” Valentina swiveled her upper body around toward the woman. “I was doing some reading and you caught me off guard.”

The excuse would have seemed strange had it come from anyone else, given Valentina’s empty hands and the lack of any books—paper or digital—in view. However, Ferro was extremely versed on the cyborg’s unique capabilities, so she paid that omission no mind. She did, however, use that knowledge to press the issue further. A frown pulled at her lips as she stood with arms akimbo.

“And listening to music as well, I take it.”

Her head and shoulders slumped forward in shame, and she answered with a whisper. “Um… maybe a little classical. That’s all. It wasn’t all that loud, I swear. I wasn’t trying to ignore you.”

Ferro turned her head downward and sighed. “Well, anyway, you should hurry up inside. Dr. Adamo is waiting on you.”

Valentina nodded and, with a single motion, leaped to her feet. Her innate speed ensured that she made the trip in seemingly no time at all. Yet she didn’t move quickly enough to conceal from Ferro the seismic shift in her mood. Short of displaying any embarrassment, her grin and widened eyes exuded a sense of anticipation if not outright joy. For all her serious nature, Ferro couldn’t help but to sport a similar, if not more muted, smile.

Upon entering the room, Valentina could see her interviewer staring at a few papers attached to a clipboard. His mumbling, followed by a muted sigh and miniscule shake of his head, hinted at feelings of disappointment. The smile on her lips faded, replaced by a grimace. Surely, the doctor had spotted something in his records on her that sprouted doubt and dissatisfaction in his mind. Surely, it would be something that would make Giancarlo angry at her.

“No, I can’t think so negatively.” Valentina shut her eyes tightly and inhaled a deep breath. “Papa told me to try to stay positive and to not let the negative thoughts take over my brain.” A sense of calm engulfed her as she slowly exhaled. “That’s right. I didn’t do anything wrong, not today. Besides, Papa even told me earlier today that he was proud of me. I want to keep making him proud of me.”

Hearing the whoosh of air alerted Dr. Adamo to the cyborg’s presence. He slid the clipboard underneath his desk and replaced it with a nearly identical board, save for the papers attached to its surface.

“Ah, Valentina. I’m glad to see you again.”

For all its low-rent plastic, flimsy appearance, and loud squeaks and squawks, the chair accepted Valentina’s weight with ease. Then again, the fact that she was among the lightest cyborgs helped immensely.

“Hello, Dr. Adamo.”

He nodded in reply to hers before gazing down at his clipboard, quickly muffling a cough in the process. “Now, I’m sure your name hasn’t changed anytime soon and that your mission is still gathering intelligence.”

“Well…” For a brief moment she tilted her head slightly to the right and looked upward at the ceiling. “There’s a bit more to it than that now, since my last interview with you. But, I’m not allowed to tell you about it. Papa said only those with sufficiently high security clearance can know everything about what we do.”

“I guess I can understand that.” Then the confusion arrived, warping his features into a questioning stare. “Wait, your father? You’re talking about your handler, right?”

“Yes, sir.” An enthusiastic nod accompanied her reply. “Who else could it possibly be?”

“Hmm…” He went to write a note. Yet his only movement of the pen was to lift it from the paper without making a mark. “Oh, I see now. I guess that hasn’t really changed either.” His eyes narrowed slightly at Valentina. “So, would it be correct for me to assume that you like your handler a lot?”

She had no interest in stifling the brilliant smile her lips soon formed. “Yes, sir.”

“Could you describe in a little more detail your relationship with him?” The doctor tapped his pen against the side of his cheek. “Beyond your consideration of him as your father, that is. I recognize that the relationship between the two of you hasn’t always been so pleasant.”

Silence dominated the next few seconds except for the continued tapping and Dr. Adamo’s occasional cough. Nearly imperceptible scratching of cotton against skin soon joined it, the result of Valentina rubbing her upper arms with her hands. Her discomfort might have come from the room being slightly cool, yet such reasoning failed to explain why she found the floor a lot more interesting than the doctor’s gaze.

“Um… It wasn’t all that bad once I found out it he wasn’t really at fault for that. Papa, he’s…” Her head snapped upward, and he could see desperation in her glassy, wide-eyed stare. “It wasn’t him. That’s not how he is. You have to believe me. His sadness at the time and the alcohol made him hit me and say those terrible things to me. But, I know he doesn’t actually hate me, or else he wouldn’t have gotten hurt trying to protect me.”

“Relax, Valentina.” Sensing her billowing agitation, he raised his hands palms outward in front of his chest. “I’m not accusing Giancarlo of anything. The record clearly shows that he is… well, rather fond of you. So, please try to calm down.”

Only when his words had finally sunk deep into her consciousness did she realize she was hyperventilating. It was at the same time that she felt moisture on her cheeks. A quick swipe of her eyes with the back of her hand knocked away some of the latent tears. Fortunately, they were not replaced. About a minute later of slow breathing allowed her to find her peace, at least for the moment. She heard the doctor speak again.

“Are you’re feeling well enough to continue?”

“I’m very sorry about that, Dr. Adamo. I know that all happened a while ago and everything’s different now. And, honestly, the only thing that upset me in recalling that was the fact he got hurt.” She wiped her face once more and then slowly nodded. “A-anyway… yes, I’m fine now. Please go on.”

“Alright.”  He continued to stare at her for a few moments before glancing down at the paper in search of his next question. “We went out of order, but that should be fine so long as we get through all of the questions.”

“I’ll try my best.”

His tenure with the agency wasn’t terribly long, and his exposure to the cyborgs was limited to performing the interviews and occasional assistance during maintenance. He knew that much. Even then, he nearly fumbled his pen upon witnessing the raw determination scrawled across Valentina’s features. It was as though he had stumbled across a time machine and traveled to an alternate universe where the previous minute had never occurred.

“Anyway…” Another damned cough. He brushed aside from his mind the bitter irony of being sick as a doctor with a shake of his head. “I don’t imagine you have any idea about your conditioning levels.”

She shook her head. “Papa says all I need to do is take my medication every week and I should be just fine. But…” So deep was her contemplation, she never noticed her tongue peeking out one corner of a slightly opened mouth. “Hmm… If I really think about it though, I don’t think my conditioning is all that much compared to some of the other girls. I would feel absolutely horrible if I couldn’t remember what I did with Papa even within the last few hours, let alone days, weeks, or months in the past. So, I’m happy that I probably don’t have to worry so much about that.”

“You really should be happy to be so fortunate.” A dismal tone, one borne from her very reference, belied his reassurance. He slowly exhaled a deep breath. “Moving on, now that you’ve performed a whole spectrum of missions now, could you tell me which types you really liked and which types you didn’t like all that much?”

“I absolutely love the missions where I get to use my special capabilities to the fullest.” Though it merely was a coincidence of physics, her eyes seemed to illuminate as they widened with her excitement. “Oh, just like this one mission with Papa where…” Utter silence. Then, with frightening speed, her mouth clamped shut and her gaze shot askance. “Right, you’re not allowed to know.”

“A real pity if I may say so. You’re making me so curious about what you actually do.” She shrugged, and he sighed. “Anyway, what about the missions you dislike?”

“The ones where Papa and I had to fight I hate the most.” A melancholic mood laced words spoken in a whisper. “I always try my best, and I did save his life that one time, but it turns out I’m not all that good at combat.”

“Then again, you’re not designed for that sort of mission.”

“Yeah. You’re right.” Her tone lightened immensely, bringing a smile to her lips. “That’s one reason why I like Nora so much. I don’t have to worry so much about protecting Papa. I mean, I still do worry all the time about that, but I know she’s there to help me.”

Dr. Adamo leaned across the table to close the distance slightly between the two. “By that, I would assume you have other reasons for liking her?”

“She’s just so cool and energetic and awesome to be around. That, and she doesn’t see me as a complete weirdo. Well, the other girls don’t either—not anymore—but she never thought that of me. It allows me to show her stuff and not feel strange and uncomfortable while doing it. She also doesn’t mind my music, or when I play my guitar. Sometimes I can even get her to sing with me, despite the fact she doesn’t like doing so.” Her joyful grin morphed into the faintest of smirks. “I mean, what else can I say about having little sister besides it’s a whole lot of fun?”

“Uh huh.”

Again he just stared at her for several moments while sporting an expression that all but shouted Oh, really? Yet she did not wither under his close inspection. He smothered a cough and wrote down a quick note before continuing.

“So, it would be fair for me to say you’re enjoying your life in the dorms now when compared to last year?”

“Yep!”

He leaned in closer still. “Does that mean we don’t have to look forward to replacing any more items destroyed by your tantrums?”

“Um… well…”

Another nerve lay struck. Her enthusiasm faltered as a result. At that moment, the blue streaks in the white tile flooring seemed extraordinarily interesting to her. So did twiddling her thumbs. Speaking coherently and without mumbling, not so much.

“Papa keeps telling me that I’m doing very well at the things he asks me to do, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way to me. I know I’m not supposed to hit things, and I guess it frightens the other girls when I do, but I just can’t stop myself.” At some point during her deep sigh Valentina had found a new source of determination. No longer did fear of the doctor’s opinion avert her eyes. She spoke forcefully, if not eagerly. “But, I’m getting better every day, especially with Nora around.”

Another scrawled note was appended to the record. “As long as you maintain that level of improvement, then we should have nothing to worry about. I won’t press you further on that topic. So, let’s move on to food. Namely, your opinion of the agency’s dining hall.”

“I absolutely love it.” Not only did she give him a fervent nod, but she added in a surprisingly airy giggle as well. “There’s so much food there. And, they’re open pretty much all the time so I can just go in and get whatever I want. Oh, except for very late at night and early morning, but I just try to make sure I get enough before then.”

Compared to her earlier gloominess, Valentina’s levity was downright infectious. Still, Dr. Adamo managed to stifle any expression bar a faint grin. “Have you managed to find a favorite food by now?”

“No, I still like everything they serve there, even the strange stuff where it’s clear they’re experimenting.” She giggled a second time. “Papa usually isn’t so picky, so it’s funny to see him try to choose what to eat on those days. He usually gives up and takes me out with him to eat. I don’t mind it at all ‘cause it means I have a snack for later that night.”

Experience told him that his next question stood a good chance of destroying her ebullience, so he did his best to prepare. “Just so you know, this is a question I have to ask you.” He grumbled and coughed a few times, then took a breath. “Beyond just food, is there anything that you find especially disturbing?”

“I…”

Dr. Adamo felt the muscles in his back and neck tense during the lengthy silence. He just about could feel the pain growing in her expression, even as she continued to point a contemplative stare back at him. Then she opened her mouth. He hoped he braced himself well enough. Then she closed her mouth, sending waves of confusion through the poor doctor. When she finally decided to speak, her whisper was accompanied by a deep frown.

“It’s the same as before, so I hope you don’t mind if I didn’t say it again.”

He shook his head and jotted a quick note onto the paper. “I think we don’t need to go down that road if we don’t have to. Let’s move on to something you really want to do, but your handler won’t let you do it, shall we?”

She frowned again, though this time it was more of a childish pout than a fearful grimace. “Papa still won’t let me have an actual pet. I mean, I love Marcello dearly, but a box turtle’s not quite the same. He’s not very attentive unless I’m feeding him, and it’s hard to get him to play. Every time I ask Papa for a dog, he tells me no, that I won’t take proper care of it. I know I’m very busy most of the time, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t make time for Massimo.”

“Massimo?”

“It’s the name of my next pet, if I’m able to get one.” A playful smile replaced her pout. “I’ve had the name picked out for the longest time. I think it’s very pretty. But it’s no good without a dog to give the name to. Okay, maybe I don’t have space for a dog in my room. Cats don’t need that much space. But I don’t like cats all that much because they can be pretty selfish.”

“For what it’s worth, I’m a dog person as well.” That confession earned him another lively giggle. “Anyway, is there a place where you would like to spend your next vacation, and have you ever been there before?”

“I have gone to, um—” in her abrupt hesitation, she shifted her gaze sideways and blinked a few times—“places with Giancarlo, but it’s always been for work. We’ve never gone on a vacation before. I don’t know what I would even do if I we went somewhere but I wasn’t allowed to do what I love to do most.”

“Give it time. Even the busiest agents at the agency occasionally take time off.” After her nod, he said, “Now, I’m pretty sure you’ve managed to get a glimpse of Triela’s teddy bear collection by now, right?”

“Yes, I have.”

“And what did you think of them?”

With a stony expression and nary a hint of vacillation she uttered, “I think they’re stupid. Yeah, I do. In fact, I told Triela to her face that I think her bears are stupid and that she’s stupid for collecting them. Don’t know why she had to punch me for telling the truth?” She lowered her head and exhaled a sigh. “That’s why I’m not allowed within twenty meters of her anymore.”

“Wait…” His flicked through the sheets of paper attached to his clipboard with impressive speed, but the nervousness in his voice didn’t disappear when he reached the end. “I… I don’t see…” The reason for his faltering voice originated from the snickering he heard from across the table. “You weren’t being serious, were you?”

Her chuckling exploded into full-borne laughter. “Wow! I can’t believe I got you so easily.” It took a short while for her amusement to subside. “I collect computers, so I can’t blame her for collecting bears. Not only that, I think they’re actually very pretty.” She lowered her face into her arms and giggled again. “But, still, I’m amazed that you believed any of that from me.”

Dr. Adamo took a moment to wipe his brow with a handkerchief, hoping to recover a little lost pride during that interval. When he regarded her once more, it was with a glare. “I’m struggling to determine which of you is worse, you or Eleonora?”

“I’m still learning from her, but I hope to catch up soon.” She punctuated her statement with a mischievous grin and a wink.

In his thoughts he thanked every possible deity that he didn’t have to deal with the younger blonde again for a year. Outwardly, he groaned and shook his lowered head. “Right. Anyway, do you have a favorite color?”

“Nope. I still like them all the same. Though, to be honest, the visible spectrum is kinda boring anyway.”

“Fair enough.” He muted a cough with his fist. “Outside of your handler, is there anyone inside this agency or outside whom you admire?”

She tilted her head sideways and spun her gaze upward, humming for a few seconds as she searched her mind. “Well… if I had to say, maybe everyone who my Papa worked with before, or anyone who came before him in our field. In a way, I wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for them.”

His narrow-eyed stare matched his somber mood. “Okay, last question. If you could choose—”

“On my own terms.”

Her forceful interjection startled the doctor, driving a shiver up his spine. “What was that?”

“If I had to die, I would want to do so on my own terms. I might not be able to, but that’s what I want.”

He might have needed a second, but a full appreciation of her unstated reference brought forth a nod. “I think I understand what you mean. In a way, we all desire such a fate.” His final note was extremely short, and after writing it he pointed toward the door. “Thank you, Valentina. It’s very illuminating to see your progression within the agency.”

“It was nothing.” Right before she passed through the threshold, she turned around and smiled at Dr. Adamo. “I’ll see you again next year.”

Valentina hummed to herself as she walked out the door and around a corner. Her happy tune stopped along with her feet, but only so she could greet her sister. The older blonde casually leaned against the wall, one hand resting on her hip. A wry grin came to her lips.

“Ready to go back to the room, Tina?”

The intensity of Valentina’s smirk equaled Eleonora’s. “I got Dr. Adamo pretty good.”

“Really? Hmm…” She cocked her head sideways and narrowed her eyes into a questioning stare. “What’d you do?”

“You know the question about Triela’s bears?” Outright enthusiasm filled her voice. “I got him to believe that I actually hated them—and Triela, for that matter.”

“Pretty good.” With a chuckle, she pushed away from the wall and slid an arm around Valentina’s shoulders. “It’s not nearly as good as what I did to him though.”

“Oh? What did you do, Nora?”

Eleonora uttered a seemingly pensive hum as she started to walk, gently leading Valentina alongside her. Then, she turned her head and winked. “I’m not sure I can tell you now since this is grown-up stuff and you’re just a kid. That just wouldn’t be a responsible thing for me to do as your older sister.”

“Hey!” She snapped her head around and fired off a fierce glare at her counterpart. “I hope you know that I’m actually two years older than you, my dear little sister!”

And thus began yet another skirmish in their seemingly eternal argument.


Last edited by PSVT on Fri 19 Dec 2014 - 22:45; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by crazyidiot78 on Fri 21 Nov 2014 - 8:49

While I don't have an OC cyborg and the closest thing I have to that is Tea.  I had a nice long one written out earlier but LMI happened and erased it.  So here is the shortened version.  This takes place after great escape and sometime during world tour.  Katerina is doing the interviewing to see what Tea's life at the agency was like.

1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
        I was the only full time maid at the agency and something of a personal assistant to Lorenzo

2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
        Basically non exsistant since I was supposed to be decommissioned, and my body was not nearly as modified as my little sisters.  I'm only at gold medal olympic athlete level and they are super human level.

3. How do you feel about the handlers? What is your relationship with them like?
         Jean is completely absorbed in his work and revenge but didn't go off the deep end because Ferro is in love with him.  Why I'll never know but to each their own.
          Jose is an odd ball who for the longest time couldn't decide what he wanted, and Elenora really need to jump him in a broom closet since the man is clueless.
          Marco needs to lighten up, but his reactions are somewhat understandable as someone who almost lost his adopted daughter.  I hope he gets back with Patricia since Angelica deserves a happy family.  I caught her once calling them mommy and daddy in her sleep.
           Raballo he really tried to do the right thing and paid the price for it.
           Hillshire, is a prudish German stick in the mud, who really needs to get laid, but he really does care for Triela like his own daughter.  Now if only some of his tendencies weren't rubbing off on her, but I think her aunts will help a lot.
            Bernardo is a bleeping idiot, but he is our idiot and has a big heart.  I really who gives a girl Japanese Manga to teach her the birds and bees.  No wonder Beatrice is so odd.  And explosives really I don't know how the both of them haven't been blown up yet.  Who the hell wakes people up with fire crackers.

4. What are your favorite kinds of missions?
          Well I never went on official missions, but I like shopping for presents for Lorenzo's grandchildren, and clothes for the girls.

5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
            Lorenzo had me observe some of the handlers before they were brought into the fold and the newest one just before everything went to hell was a real piece of work.  Sandro is a gigilo and if he touches my but again I'm going to rip his arm off.

6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
             Sure the dorms weren't a five star hotel but the girls made it home, and home is where the heart is.  They never did figure out I was the one who gave the girls pans to go sledding down the stairs or who helped in all of their sleep overs and midnight raids.  They were just to cute to turn in.

7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
          I didn't have a room-mate but I would spend a couple of nights with each of the girls helping them adjust to their new life.  Those were always the hardest helping them with nightmares I hope they never remember.  Rico slept soundly but was horrified by the brief early morning paralysis she suffered on the first few days.  Henrietta would scream and trash at invisible enemies.  Triela whimpered in her sleep until the blond angel saved her.  Beatrice cried for a lost sister she never new, Bernardo stayed just outside the door and came in whenever she had trouble.  Its why despite everything I love the nutbar.

8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?
        As long as it tastes good and it's not some kind of weird fusion food I don't care. 

9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
                 Horse meat, Mongolian bacon, some of Priscilla's more interesting cosplay outfits, and some of the doctors new ideas they never got to implement, boob missiles really.....

10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
                  Clubbing, going to the beach, and going on a date...  Angelica is so lucky she found a boyfriend... he is a hunk

11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
          i want to go to the beach with my sisters and spend the day having fun, maybe austrailia because everything there is trying to kill you so maybe it will keep anoying people away... what its not like some random animal is going to be able to hurt us

12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
          Very cool, she even lets me help her dress up the bears  sometimes.. I'd love to get some but they are expensive..

13. Do you have a favorite color?
           white and green

14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
           Don't know but Hillshire's family is cool, as are Claes and Angelica's roommates.  Eva had really good fashion sense and is really smart to and she stood up to that second gen cyborg.

15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
             Peacefully surrounded by family as an extremely old lady after making the world a better place.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Fri 21 Nov 2014 - 17:09

Tea is fun and serious at the same time. The added character and involvement in the girls' early lives you give her is interesting and heartwarming. Some of her answers make a nice tie-in with your stories, as well.

I believe Alf created an 'Interview' thread for staffers and support personnel, like the cyborg and handler ones. Maybe this post should go there; the thread could certainly use some beefing up.

Horsemeat? Mongolian bacon? Where on earth did that come from, I wonder?

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by crazyidiot78 on Fri 21 Nov 2014 - 18:28

TSM those came from my own experiences to spice things up a bit

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by topgearbrzgt86 on Sat 9 May 2015 - 0:07

Alright, so this is a revised version of Jim's interview, now that he's a bit more fleshed out.


1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
My name is Jim Eligino, and I’m a field operative/transportation specialist of the Loeb Fratello, partnered with Frédéric Loeb and fellow cyborg and partner Jamiebel Angkahan.

2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
I believe my conditioning is somewhat light - I can’t really confirm that for sure; our handler has me and Jamiebel go through a thorough training regiment with my senior, Alpha Lautani.


3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
Ahh, Frédéric. What. A. Guy! (laughs) He’s easily like the father I would have had - and in fact, he’s the father I want! 

Teaching me how to shoot, drive, and essentially, all his tricks of the trade - I’d say I’m lucky to have a guy like him.


4. What are your favorite kinds of missions?
Hmm, good question. Definitely ones where I can go to different parts of the world, and forge new friends.

5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
Put simply, I hate missions that go wrong.


6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
It’s awesome. The people here are absolutely ace - and I just can’t help but have a big ol’ smile on my face like Daniel Ricciardo! (laughs)


7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
Jamiebel is my roommate - she and I knew each other for a long time, so easily, yes! But I feel as though this question is too simple. Allow me to expand on my relations.

Alpha Lautani - he’s my brother-in-arms, and we share some cool talks. He’s got that air of his former “partner” around him; I think that’s why I can bond with him so well - Frédéric did say I reminded him of him when he was young, and he and Alpha’s partner were like boyfriend/girlfriend...if my memory serves correctly. 

I could call Alpha my friend, but I’d rather call him my senpai. I also hang out with Liesel, and she’s pretty amazing, especially when she and I are with Alpha. I can see why she likes him, of course. Wink Someday, I could be on their level, but not right now.

Allison McDonnell - A girl who really lives her life to the fullest. I love her company anytime, anywhere. She may be my rival, but she’s a bigger friend.

Jay Valentine - Fellow guy, and we have lots of fun together. I also learn quite a bit from him as well.

Kristal “Kay” Mayfair - She really can make friends almost easily. I just love having conversations with her; it’s almost as though we understand each other.

Jamiebel Angkahan - My roommate, my best friend, and my friend-with-benefits...for now. I want to protect her, and just help her, like how she helped me in the past.

Charlie Montagne - A guy with skill. He is just so funny to be around, and he really can do the biz when the time comes. He’s one I can trust with my secrets and one with all the right keys to help me woo Jay-bee when the time comes.

Crystal Evans - Someone I can spend bull sessions and have a pint or two of the golden liquid with. She’s got that air of confidence around her, like she can one-up anyone. Plus, she teaches me the way of the Cockney. Wink She says she’s a bad influence - I’m not seeing any of that cheese! (laughs)

Elly Rönnholm - One funny girl. If anything, she’s someone who just has that air of comedy around her; like it’s just her luck or whatever. Razz

Yuki and Ai Harunami - The Harunami twins are cool to hang around with; Ai moreso, what, with her claiming she’s like her sister, but with a personality. Yuki, I feel, may have a crush on me, but she doesn’t want to admit it - probably because she’s a tsundere. Razz  Incoming! I kinda doubt she does, though.


8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?
It’s fancy! I think, with Tea and Becky supervising the kitchen, the food is absolutely to die for. I don’t really have a fave food, though.


9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
Dunno, actually. Maybe gore? (chuckles)


10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
Go pro in racing or sports. That’s obvious! (laughs) That, and partner Alpha on missions.


11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
Japan. Maybe France or Belgium - and no, I’ve never been. Very Happy

12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
It’s cool! Who says you can’t have a collection? I used to collect toy cars when I was young.


13. Do you have a favorite color?
Well, if I go down the Alpha/Liesel route, I’d say ‘black’ - they have a good point; black can almost go with any color; even black. 

Maybe I’ll go with red, navy blue and black-white two-tone.


14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
Too many to list! Move on!


15. If you could choose, how would you like to die?
I want to do it as I protect those that I love. I care for them too much, and I don’t want them to die in front of me.

And if I survive the ordeal, I’d like to die peacefully and on my death bed, smiling for all of my friends and family, knowing that I did my job. The first one may sound a bit too shounen manga-like. Razz

topgearbrzgt86

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Forum Posts : 452

Location : Santa Maria, CA

Fan of : Top Gear, Initial D, etc.

Original Characters : Jim, Jamiebel, Davina, Bernan, Frédéric. (More to come.)

Comments : You have to leave the space. All the time you have to leave the space!
-Fernando Alonso

Registration date : 2013-03-29

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by CJ Spencer on Fri 15 May 2015 - 5:09

1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
I'm Stella, i'm one of the first Generation 3 Cyborg. I'm 11 years old, and according to my Fratello's words i came from the afghanistan. Now it's explained why i'm so different from the other girls. Only triela nee-sama it's similar to me, but my skin is even darker then her. I'm an assassin. My master teached me how to kill an enemy before one can find out my presence
2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
I don't remember anything about my life before arrive in Italy. Gabriel-sama always says that's better, and if he says this then must be true. Apart this, i'm relatively free. I can speak directly to my Fratello, but if i want, apart from the missions, i could even disobey him, but i never did it.
3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
He's... special. He teached me all i know, he's kind and cute. But he's always so sad. In order to make him a litte more happy, I asked Claes onee-sama to teach me to play the piano. I've even learned to sing. He loves the opera, so when we're alone I sing for him. I've learned many Operas by heart: Turandot, Aida, Traviata, Pagliacci. One time I sang for all Section 2, and they clapped for me. I felt so proud. But when we're in mission, Gabriel-sama become so strong, so determinated. I follow his orders with no objection, and we're always able to complete the mission without difficoult. I'll protect him with all my strenght, forever.
4. What are your favorite kinds of missions?
As an assassin, my role is to snake near an enemy while the other girls lure his bodyguards' attention. My fratello was a Lagunare, an italian Navy Seal. He taught me to swim, and infact my mission often implies to approach the enemy by water. I like swim. I could reach a boat 50 miles from the nearest shore, sneak aboard it and kill an enemy with no problem. I've already done it. In order to learn to swim feeling no fatigue, i've swam across the Messina's Straigt, from Piombino to the Isola d'Elba, and even across all the Gulf of Taranto, from Leuca to Crotone. I don't like gunfights. I prefer the knife, and kill with a single, precise attack. But i feel some sort of uneasiness when i come back from a mission and Amedeo-san always watches me in a strange way looking my scuba suit wet through and pushed against my skin. Gabriel-sama calls him "porcéo" (venetian dialect for Pig), and maybe he's right.
5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
The gunfights. I'm quite expert with the rifles and the guns, but as I said I prefer the knifes. The master bought me very special russian ballistic knifles, so if necessary i can shoot the blade against my enemy, but i try to use them only if necessary. Fortunately, often are Triela onee-sama and the others to fight in first line, allowing me to complete the mission with a single blow. Don't misunderstand, I'm not a coward. Simply, I feel something bad when I hear gunshots or I see a gun. Plus this, as my Master always says, i've been trained to be an assassin, not a soldier. My job is as much important as my friend's, if I fail to kill or secure the objective all mission failes. It's already happened, in my first mission, but fortunately Triela nee-sama completed the task in my place. From that moment, I swore to myself to never hesitate.
6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
It's not so bad to live here. I have all I need, and the people living here are all so kind and sweat. I spend many time with Triela onee-sama, training in martial arts to become stronger and stronger, or caring the garden with Claes nee-san. Clase also gave me the access to her library, where I found many music books and sheet musics, which i take to my room in order to learn them. The training and the checkes are quite hard, but if Gabriel-sama it's with me i feel always better. It's good spend time with Henrietta-chan and the others. Sometime they come to see me during my trainings in the swimming pool or in the lagoons outside Rome. So, in conclusion, I think that it's a good place to live.
7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
For now I don't have a room-mate, since I'm the first Generation 3. But sometime i slept with Gabriel-sama, during our missions. To be honest, when this happens I'm so nervous that I cannot sleep. So, I guard him while he sleeps. When he's awake he is so strong, so rough, bue during the sleep he seems so powerless, and so... sad. I'd like to ask for him about this sadness, but I want respect his privacy.

8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?
Yes, I like it! One time Gabriel-sama prepared his favourite food, the Bigoi in Salsa (Spaghetti with Pilchards, a typical venetian pasta), just for me. They were delicious! I've asked to Priscilla-san to teach me to cook, and I've learned to prepare some typical plates from my master's homeland, but I'm not so good yet. One time I've prepared the risi coi bisi (rice with green peas, an other typical venetian food), but the rice was too undercooked. Despite this, the master ate it as well, and he said it was really good. I felt so happy, and from that time I prepare the Bigoi and the Risi once for a week.
9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
The strange expression of Amedeo-san when I'm dressed with the scuba suit. I feel a bad sensation looking into his eyes, and a strange itch comes to my hands, followed by an incredible desire to point my knife in his throat. Fortunately the conditioning prevent me from harm someone from the SWA.
10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
As I said, out from the job my Fratello is incredibly cute and forgiving with me, and Jean-san often scolds him about this. But since I love to swim, I'd like to come to sea more often. Sometimes, after a mission, the Master allows me to swim freely, but I'd like come to a beach one day. However the are not beaches near the SWA's HQ, and sometimes the swimming pool is so boring. I hope to go to a beach one day.
11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
Whatever i'll be able to swim in the sea. But I'd like also to see my master's hometown, Venice. Rico and the others visited it, and they said it's magnificent.
12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
They're so cute! Triela nee-sama's teddy bear collection is incredible! She even allowed me to suggest a name for her last teddy, but he laughing refused my suggestion: why? My master's name is a good name, doesn't it?
13. Do you have a favorite color?
I like Triela nee-sama's hair color: so shining and beautiful. I'd like to have hair like hers.
14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
Excluding Triela nee-sama? Well, I've met an aged man from the Italian Secret Service, agt. Massimo Carlisi. We worked togheter in Milan and some other occasions. He is kind and cool, always joking about his trobulesome past with his commander, the Col. Antonio Mosca, that appearently semms don't like it. Those two appear like dog & cat, but despite this col. Mosca recognizes and respects agt. Carlisi's ability, and this is a very good thing.
15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
Honestly I've never thought about it. But surely I'd like to be buried in the sea. I've heard that much of my master's ancestors died in the sea following their duties, so there will be noghing strange if the same thing will happen to me also.

CJ Spencer

Male

Forum Posts : 9

Location : Italy

Fan of : Gunslinger Girl

Original Characters : Agent Joe Radoni

Comments : I' m impatient to join to the SWA

Registration date : 2015-04-27

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Fri 15 May 2015 - 8:39

Stella sounds entirely too sweet to be a ninja cyborg assassin. I like her. Your adult OCs sound pretty cool as well. You're pretty good at describing character relationships.

A few spelling errors, nothing serious. The grammatical oddities are easily explained away in this format, since the text is essentially a monologue. Narration may be a different story.

All in all, a nice start, Spencer.
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Thescarredman

Male

Forum Posts : 1888

Location : Toledo, Ohio, United States

Fan of : Rico, Bice

Original Characters : Kristal & Verotrois / Doc; Angel / Jack Keaton; Tiffany/Stefan

Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
.
Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
.
Sofia was pregnant. It would have been a boy.

Registration date : 2012-02-04
Your character
OC genger: 40

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by PSVT on Tue 15 Dec 2015 - 22:07

Here's Rachelle's long overdue interview... or at least an attempt at one. Make that two, actually. You'll see what I mean when you read it.

| 1 | 2 |

It was a very heavy sigh that Frederico Adamo heaved at the tiny room’s back wall. To his right, just peeking into his peripheral vision, was mirrored glass, beyond which he knew Ferro stood in silent observation. Or maybe she displayed just as much frustration as he did at the moment. He couldn’t tell, but he certainly wouldn’t blame her if indeed that was the case. Opposite the glass were his desk, a simple folding chair, and the source of his current vexation. Maybe it would have been better to term it a symptom, but given the fact he continued to battle a cold he didn’t feel all too charitable at the moment.

“Okay, Rachelle.” Like clockwork, the tickling in his throat signaled yet another cough. And so he did, muffling it behind a raised forearm. Once satisfied he had a moment to speak again, he spun around in his seat and leveled a flat stare at his cybernetic companion. “You are aware that this is an interview and not necessarily an interrogation, right?”

“Yes, sir.” Her voice, much like for every question that preceded it, was a dull and slightly low-pitched monotone.

Fighting the urge to shout, he leaned across the table, his eyes narrowing even further as he did so. “Then, you do understand that—” away went his intended effect in a haze of a coughing fit; God damn that cold—“Anyway, you understand that you are allowed to give more than a ‘yes, sir,’ ‘no, sir,’ or restatement of your name in reply to my questions?”

She hesitated for a few seconds before opening her mouth to speak. Under the heat of his glare her pupils widened and her gaze flicked upward. It was a minute transition, but even though he wasn’t particularly trained in that art he could spot it plain as day.

“Y-yes, sir. But, I can’t.”

This time Adamo could not suppress his urge to grumble aloud. “I assume this has something to do with…” Considering the potential complications that would arise from completing his sentence, he let it die right there. “You know, I think it’s fair enough to say that we’re done with the interview for today. You’re free to leave. However, don’t expect to stray too far from campus for the next few days.” He peered down at the desk. On it was an assortment of papers loosely arranged in a manila envelope, and from that pile he pulled one out and proceeded to stare intently at it. “I was informed by the medical staff just prior to your arrival that they feel the need to perform an additional set of maintenance tests on you. I’m not sure what their concern is, but it’s nothing that should worry you. Your handler should also be aware of this update by now.”

Wavy strands of brown hair spilled over Rachelle’s shoulders as the girl slowly rose from the chair while seemingly doing her best to inspect the tile floor. Eventually she did manage a swift yet unenthusiastic nod toward the doctor before she ambled toward the exit. After waiting for a series of sharp coughs to finish racking his chest, Adamo laid his head down upon folded arms. That pose didn’t last very long as the door opened yet again merely a few seconds later.

“I am not aware of any further testing or maintenance needed regarding Rachelle.” Before the man could cobble together a response, she stepped through the threshold and closed the door behind her. “However, that’s different from saying she doesn’t need it. I know she’s on an alternate conditioning regimen, but her behavior just then worries me.” Ferro’s hands found her hips, and her brow furrowed slightly as she gave Adamo a more intense look. “At the same time, I think Signore Bernard might be playing games with us. I’m curious to find out exactly what.”

“You and me both.” Again, he coughed, and it brought a grimace to his face. “Ugh. Anyway, that’s why I recommend we try to keep her around, and away from her handler.”

Ferro also winced momentarily in sympathy with Adamo’s discomfort, but she continued on. “I figured you weren’t exactly being honest with Rachelle when you told her about the extra testing. Knowing James, he will want a clear idea of exactly what might be the problem with his cyborg, and it’s not like we can tell him that we suspect it’s him or the conditioning he and Doctor Belisario had concocted for Rachelle.”

“I’m certain Doctor Bianchi would go along with whatever excuse we invent. He’s just as frustrated as I am with the lack of feedback we have been receiving on Rachelle’s ongoing behavioral development from either her or James himself.”

A faint grin appeared on Ferro’s lips as she nodded. “I think so too. James probably won’t see through this little ruse, but if he gets suspicious, it might help if I were to inform Lorenzo of Rachelle’s issue. You know, frame it in the context of optimal cyborg efficiency and the like, and the obvious dangers of sitting right in the heart of Padanian territory while knowing that his girl might be faulty. Lorenzo wouldn’t dare risk losing a handler due to such carelessness.”

| 1 | 2 |

Same setting, and same people, yet the passage of three days seemed to create an entirely different dynamic among the major players. Adamo had since recovered from his illness, for one. Talking no longer seemed like a chore for him, for which he felt grateful. Far more striking was the change in his subject’s willingness to speak compared to their initial meeting. However, whether that much was a blessing or a curse had yet to be seen.

“So, Rachelle,” Adamo began, leaning forward slightly to level a friendly gaze with one that didn’t quite match, “how are you feeling this morning?” With an open hand he pointed toward a pitcher full of water and pair of paper cups sitting on the table, items that did not exist the last time. “Would you like something to drink?”

Rachelle nodded slightly, then turned away from the man to examine the ceiling instead, a sullen frown ever slightly tugging on her lips.

“It’s…”

Whatever she had wanted to say died right there on her tongue. Her eyes strayed downward from the ceiling, first to find the pitcher and then trailing up along the outstretched arm to Adamo once again. She felt an unusual feeling of warmth within her body, and yet she couldn’t help but to shiver.

“I… um…”

She swallowed, and found her throat thoroughly parched. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all? She extended an open hand, ready to accept the offered cup.

“T-thank you, sir.” It came out as a hesitant whisper.

Adamo filled the two cups and handed one to the cyborg, a few drops spilling over the lip and harmlessly onto the laminate surface as she took it. After waiting for the girl to initially sip from the cup, then nearly swallow water and cup whole. He couldn’t help but to chuckle. “Would you like a refill?”

For several seconds all Rachelle did was stare blankly at Adamo, as though she couldn’t quite figure out the answer to his question. Then she gently placed the cup down onto the table and shook her head. “No, sir. At least, not right now.”

“Very well.” Shuffling of papers within Adamo’s hands signaled the true purpose of their meeting that morning, though the doctor was intent to delay the inevitable for just a little while longer. “It’s right here if you want some more later on. Feel free to help yourself.” The corners of his lips turned upward in a slight grin. “However, you still haven’t answered my original question.”

“Sir?” Given her artificial eyes she didn’t need to blink, yet she still did.

“How are you feeling, Rachelle?”

Dark-brown irises contracted ever minutely upon hearing the question. “I… I’m doing well, sir. I don’t feel like I have anything, um, amiss.” She stared down at her arms and chest, which were covered by a very plain white smock supplied to her by the Agency. Flexing and contorting first her right arm, followed similarly by her left, she eventually nodded slowly in satisfaction. “Yes, everything seems to work.” Mild confusion was replaced on her face by a hint of dismay. “R-right? I mean, is there a problem with me? Is that why I had to spend so much time in the medical wing?”

“Calm down, Rachelle. It was purely a precautionary check, and Bianchi told me that everything is fine with you.” Adamo spoke in calmer tones than during their first interview attempt. “However, that does give us an opportunity to talk—that is, if you’re feeling amenable to speaking with me.”

Rachelle grimaced as she tugged at the hem of her smock and proffered an apologetic half-shrug. “I am, sir.”

“Good.” Adamo flipped open a manila folder and peered down at the paper contained within. “By the way, you don’t have to address me as ‘sir.’ Doctor Adamo works well enough. I just want to keep our chat here somewhat casual and relaxed. I wish we could hold this in a different room, but our options were rather limited.” Rachelle nodded her accedence, to which he gave her a minute grin in reply. “Anyway, you’ve been working with James for three years by now. Would you say that your role within the Agency is still the same or has it changed since you’ve started?”

“It…” Rachelle swallowed heavily during a sudden bout of hesitation. Suddenly, it seemed extremely difficult for the cyborg to maintain eye contact with Adamo, and the floor seemed more interesting to her. “Nothing has changed, Doctor Adamo.”

There was no way Adamo could have missed something so blatant, and his furrowed brow indicated his heightened curiosity. “So, am I to take it that heavy-weapons assault at close quarters against entrenched FRF operators remains your sole duty?”

“Y-yes.” Uncertainty melted away in her suddenly harsh tone. “Why are you asking me that?”

“A lot can change during the course of two years.” By comparison, Adamo managed to maintain his composure, and for good reason. He and Ferro would have gained nothing a careless mistake on his end made Rachelle clam up. “Anyway, you’re right. And my records indicate that you’ve done an excellent job at that as well.”

Looking upward once again, Rachelle could see her reflection in the glass. So her flushing cheeks did correspond with an abrupt feeling of warmth. “Thank you.”

Adamo responded with a quick nod before peering into his folder once more, taking a few moments to scribble some notes. The next two questions were about her conditioning levels and her relationship with James. A sigh slipped past his lips as he scanned further down the page. In the end, however, it was a very easy decision for him to make.

“Let’s talk more about missions, or rather your opinion of them.” He shifted in his chair to adopt a slightly more casual pose. “What mission types do you generally enjoy performing?”

“I… err…” Once again confusion reigned upon Rachelle’s features. “I… don’t think, sir, I can do anything other than what James tells me to do.” Wrinkles appeared around her scrunched up nose and narrowed eyes, the apparent product of ever intensifying contemplation. “And… I want to make James happy with me. I really do.”

Her response drew a pensive hum from the man. “True. And that’s good. Still, I understand that you have no say in which missions you’re assigned, or how you go about completing them, but that can’t possibly mean you don’t have any preferences—that you don’t enjoy certain tasks more than others.”

“Well…” Fingers fiddled with her smock as the proverbial wheels evidently churned within her mind, stoking Adamo’s curiosity even more. When she spoke, it was as though she directed her answer at her lap and not the man in front of her. “I, um… actually haven’t done a whole lot… different… really… so, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“That’s quite alright, Rachelle. I’m not forcing you to say anything in particular.” It wasn’t quite sigh that Adamo exhaled right then as he wrote, but the sentiment behind it was the same. “So, do you have any opinions on what mission types you dislike?”

A shrug punctuated the silence. Eventually the girl worked up the nerve to speak, shoving wayward brown strands away from her face as she turned her gaze upward. “Those in tall buildings.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just…” Sucking in and holding a deep breath did little to assuage her trembling. “I’m not afraid of anything. Really, I’m not. It’s just that I don’t… like, being very high up and all. Especially with windows.” Another heavy breath seemed to steel her resolve this time around. “But, even if I don’t like it, that doesn’t stop me from doing my job for James.”

Scratching noises made by the pen tip as Adamo scrawled it across the sheet echoed about the room. “That’s very admirable of you,” he eventually said upon lowering his pen.

“Admirable?”

Rather than ignorance or naiveté, Rachelle’s questioning tone reflected severe reluctance. Sensing this, Adamo turned a warm smile to her while nodding, though not merely to provide her reassurance.

“Yes. Very much so. I imagine James would be proud to know how diligently you work for him despite not favoring the particular conditions he forces upon you.”

He noticed Rachelle’s muscles rapidly tense, causing her to flinch hard enough that she leapt slightly within her seat. That accompanied the dilation of her pupils and beading of sweat upon a face that just screamed of shock, despite her attempt to hide it from his gaze. They all fed into her overall anxious demeanor, and it meant he had struck a nerve within her. He didn’t need to be a trained psychologist to recognize even that much. Neither did Ferro, he surmised. He merely hoped her unforeseen reaction didn’t derail any further conversation.

“Rachelle?”

After a few seconds of nothing more than loud, deep breaths, she finally acknowledged his presence with a muttered apology. “I’m sorry, Doctor Adamo.”

“Do you think you need a break right now?” He spoke in soft, compassionate tones, careful to not further upset the poor girl. “I wouldn’t mind if we were to take a few minutes to just stretch and get some more water, if nothing else.”

“I…” Her throat parched even after drinking so much water earlier, she found it made no sense to reject his offer. Further, it would give her an opportunity to stop hyperventilating. So, after a few more seconds, she acquiesced with a slow nod. “I can use a break right now, Doctor Adamo.”

Watching Rachelle stand from her chair to slowly meander about the tiny room brought to Adamo’s mind two thoughts. First was just how remarkably pretty she was to his eyes, despite being such a physical presence. It didn’t help matters that he had a preference for brunettes, and her dark hair and eyes provided a perfect match to her slightly tanned skin tone. He stifled a sigh. Too bad she had to be so damned tall. Still, it troubled him to see a beautiful girl as her sport such a dour expression, and after displaying such startling nervousness to boot. Part of him wanted to reach out, to see just what he could do to comfort her, despite the obvious trouble it would cause him. At the same time, he knew that finding the root cause of her anxiety was far more valuable despite her immediate pain. Tapping his pen lightly against the table, he wondered just how much he could learn when so much of her mind remained trapped beneath the spell of her conditioning, despite his and Ferro’s efforts.

“I think… I think I can continue now, Doctor Adamo.” There remained some hesitation in Rachelle’s speech, but compared to her state minutes earlier it showed a vast improvement. Her steady, if not forceful, gaze provided further confidence.

“Very well.” While continuing to meet her gaze, he idly shuffled the pages around within his folder. “Now, I figure it probably won’t make much sense to ask you the next few questions since you spend so little time here as part of your mission, but I guess for some I can rework to make them more applicable to you. Such as, what are your living arrangements when out in the field and what do you think of them?”

“It’s…” If Adamo believed asking such a simple question would go smoothly, Rachelle was about to give him quite the surprise. “Do I have to answer that?”

“Hm?”

Though forceful, her tone started to waver once again. “If you don’t mind, Doctor Adamo, I really… don’t want to answer that question.”

“I, uh, assume that’s classified information to which I’m not privy.”

Hair swished about Rachelle’s cheeks as she shook her head. “No. It’s not. It’s just a standard apartment. But…” She took a deep breath in a desperate attempt to stop trembling yet again. “I still don’t want to answer, Doctor Adamo. So, please don’t ask me to answer that.”

Now Adamo couldn’t help but to sigh. What in the world was going on with that girl? He had some suspicions and they worried him to no end, but any attempt to verify them would be tricky to do without subjecting the obviously hurting girl to more pain. However, he lacked both time and any better options.

“Rachelle,” he said in a low voice, one only slightly louder than a whisper, “I don’t know what’s wrong, but—”

“There’s nothing wrong.”

Even without shouting it was an incredibly harsh and angry interjection—and it was a sign he just might be on the right track. Adamo slowly leaned forward across the table, intensifying his stare as he closed the distance.

“If you tell me what’s wrong, I can begin to help you. But only if you open up to me.”

“Go away. I don’t need your help.” The fact she pulled her knees up into her chest and wrapped her arms around them, as though to squeeze herself into a ball and hide, seemed to contradict her words.

Silence reigned for several seconds before Adamo spoke again. “Does it… Do whatever problems you’re trying to conceal have anything to do with your hander? With James?”

Rachelle’s eyes opened as wide as saucers and her jaw fell slack, so great was her shock. Every nuance of her appearance and demeanor screamed to him that he had hit the jackpot. Whether it was worth what would happen next was an open question.

“N-no…”

“Tell me, Rachelle. How do you feel about James?”

“I-I…” By now, Rachelle shivered so violently that it was a minor miracle the chair could stay upright. A frightening pallor enveloped her, and with the glistening of sweat it was blatantly obvious that she wasn’t doing well. “I… I… ha…”

A thud echoed about the room as Rachelle collapsed to the tile floor. The shallow rise and fall of her chest indicated that she continued to breathe, but consciousness had long since left her. A knocked-out cyborg was far from the greater immediate problem, however, as Adamo peered at the splattered mess covering the floor immediately surrounding the girl. Even ignoring the putrid smell, he knew he the clean-up task ahead of him would be brutal.

“Makes me wonder how Giancarlo does it,” he muttered.

The door opened, revealing an equally dismayed Ferro. “I guess we got what we were looking for.” She motioned for the doctor to follow her out into the hallway, to which he complied without delay.

“At the very least a hint.” He shook his head as he crossed the threshold, allowing Ferro to close the door behind him. “I think it’s safe to say that Rachelle’s relationship with James isn’t all that great.”

“James is a very important piece of our strategy, but I can also see where he may be, shall we say, off-putting at times.” She paused briefly before adding, and with a telling smirk, “Okay, he can be a pretty major ass to people, to the extent that most of the handlers are rather happy that he’s primarily stationed away from Rome. And that’s coming from those he sees maybe once a year. I can’t imagine it being any better for Rachelle, especially since he’s a constant fixture in her life.”

Adamo scratched the back of his head while heaving a sigh. “Still, I’m very curious about what and why. Clearly it’s something James doesn’t want anyone else to stumble upon given the effort he went through to frustrate our initial interview with Rachelle. At the same time, I get the feeling she wants to tell us, but her extreme conditioning levels, despite our attempts to flush out her system, prevents her from doing so.”

Ferro started a slow procession down the hallway with Adamo walking alongside, their heels echoing off the tile with every footfall. “We really need to keep a close eye on James. I think Chief Lorenzo will agree with my sentiment as well once he learns about this. However, we’re better off being discrete about this else he’ll end up shoving whatever he’s hiding further under the rug.” She suddenly stopped short, prompting the doctor to do the same. “It’s awfully ironic, though.”

“What’s that?”

A faint hum emanated from Ferro’s lips as she shook her head. “A fratello exists to counter the threat posed by Padania. To spy on them, or hunt them down; whatever task we need to do to eliminate them we assign upon them.” Those same lips soon pulled themselves into a wry half-smile. “Yet the greatest threat to the concept of fratello always seems to come from within. Funny, that.”

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The perfect might be the enemy of the good. Then again, so is the mediocre.
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PSVT

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Fan of : Triela, Claes

Original Characters : Giancarlo Rossi and his cyborgs Valentina R. and Eleonora R.; James Bernard and his cyborg Rachelle

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Bathduck monster on Mon 21 Mar 2016 - 12:53

Hello people, I'm invading this topic to give you the interview for Santa(who is unfortunately not in story yet but I am working on it, slowly).  Enjoy this(or try to) until I get a proper intro story up.

1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?

1: H-hello, Enzo named me Santa.  *Uncomfortably*My role is sniping and communication monitoring.

2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
2: It's light.

3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
3: Enzo is a great handler!  He's fun when we're not working and tells things exactly how they are without making them better or worse than they are.

4. What are your favorite kinds of missions?
4: S-stakeouts and sniping missions

5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
5: Missions where I get s-shot at

6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
6: I like it-the rooms are comfortable and the other girls are nice(mostly).

7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
7: Bella?  She's..different.  But in a good way!  She's totally cool!

8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?
8: Anything I can make a mess with, like spaghetti(don't tell Enzo!).  Unless it's spicy(Yuck).

9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
9: Messy floors.  Stepping on old dirty things  *shudder*

10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
10: Dodgeball.  We play in the compound occasionally but the teams are always so small-I want to play with big teams.

11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
11: With Enzo.  Of course, he's my handler.

12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
12: Totally cool.  Her names are too severe though.  (don't tell her I said that!  Hissy fit )

13. Do you have a favorite color?
13: Sky blue.  Like Enzo

14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
14: Rico!  She's the first generation cyborg I was built to be an improvement of.  I've asked Enzo and the dorm about Rico's missions and she sounds so cool in all of them!

15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
15: Can I choose not to die?  I'd rather be with Enzo and my friends.  And I don't want them to die either!
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Bathduck monster

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Mon 21 Mar 2016 - 13:50

Santa sounds like a sweet kid, very 'first-gen' and Rico-ish (Rico is one of my faves).

Does she have a stutter, or is she just shy? If the stutter is chronic, is it a conditioning glitch perhaps?

Likes, dislikes and things she wants to do ... any backstory there?

'Bella'... sounds like you have a second cyborg team floating around in your head.

So she thinks Trielas's names for her bears are 'too severe'... I presume she's talking about the ones named for the Roman emperors, not the ones named for the Seven Dwarfs. Razz
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Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Bathduck monster on Mon 21 Mar 2016 - 14:13

She wouldn't say bad things about people the way I have her characterized right now. Very Happy
For the stutter-I was going for shy, maybe I'll be able to do it better in the story.

Backstory-I have the tragedy part(I think) but some of the personality details from it need to be filled in still-likes /dislikes/habits/weird phobias/etc.

Bella is actually a minor character who appears in Prof. Voodoo's stories once or twice(including Marisa 5: One Long Day).  She's one of the four bomb-squad girls.

Yep-the emperors.
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Bathduck monster

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Tue 22 Mar 2016 - 7:32

Dunno mate, if you're operating in the same general universe as Voodoo then there should be a veritable army of OC cyborgs floating around... I reckon you could get some pretty sizeable dodgeball teams out of that. I'm sure Marisa would be up for it.  Razz

Out of curiosity is she actually first gen? Or, as TSM noted, is she simple first gen-ish?

Looks like a fun and interesting character anyway, I would be curious to see her handler's interview as well... see if Santa's (dread to think what sort of presents she brings) view of her handler, and what he is actually like, align or not. Very Happy

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Alfisti

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Location : A Town by the Sea, NSW Central Coast, Australia

Fan of : Triela, Hilshire, Priscilla, Ferro

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Comments : If in doubt, overdress.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Bathduck monster on Tue 22 Mar 2016 - 9:41

Oh yeah, there are a lot of story threads posted.  sweat
Even with all the missions and people not wanting to play it should be possible.....Maybe I should revise the interview at some point.


Our wiki(tried to give the link but the site says i'm too new, not my fault!) actually seems like it would consider her 3rd gen (comm listening ability going under enhanced senses).
I hadn't actually considered the gen while creating her until I saw the descriptions on the wiki so if I've gen-locked myself I'm not aware of it yet.
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Bathduck monster

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Tue 22 Mar 2016 - 16:01

Eh, "Third Gen" is a... hazy... concept at best, and not a canon one either. Where the line gets drawn between that and second gen is pretty much the individual author's perjogative. While having an idea of what generation the particular cyborg is can be helpful in shaping there responses (hence the comment about Santa seeming "first gen"), and in working out where they fit in the great grand scheme of things, if you've not decided that I wouldn't sweat it too much. Write the character, see how she seems to be developing, then figure out what fits her best later. Monty (whose wiki page is horribly out of date... should do something about that), was pretty nebulous in that respect for ages.

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Alfisti

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Location : A Town by the Sea, NSW Central Coast, Australia

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by tremec6speed on Thu 24 Mar 2016 - 23:06

Cool character Santa, enjoyable read. Smile
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tremec6speed

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Bathduck monster on Thu 24 Mar 2016 - 23:41

Thanks.
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Bathduck monster

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 25 Mar 2016 - 21:18

@Bathduck monster wrote:Bella is actually a minor character who appears in Prof. Voodoo's stories once or twice(including Marisa 5: One Long Day).  She's one of the four bomb-squad girls.
Okay, I'll have to incorporate that if I ever get back on the horse and start writing again; Santa is Bella's room mate.
I was built to be an improvement of.
Now that's interesting.  Do I detect a note of conceit in her?  That would make for a good scene:  Santa innocently lets slip that she considers the later models to be "better" than the First Gens.  The newer model is always better than the old ones...right?
While she meant no offense by this it rubs the others the wrong way...but each in their own manner.
Triela gets in a huff about how no Second Gen has come close to matching her achievements.
Claes counsels her to learn a little bit about the history of the Agency before considering the others obsolete.
Henrietta just doesn't like being thought of as a "model", something mechanical, not human.
And Rico just gives zero fucks.  She's cool with whatever.

@Alfisti wrote:dodgeball
I'm sure Marisa would be up for it.
Marisa: Only if we get to play with 6 kilo medicine balls!

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I saw a werewolf drinking a Piña Colada at Trader Vic's. His hair was perfect.
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Professor Voodoo

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by topgearbrzgt86 on Fri 25 Mar 2016 - 22:40

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:dodgeball
I'm sure Marisa would be up for it.
Marisa: Only if we get to play with 6 kilo medicine balls!
Jim: Whoa, there, Duracell, let's back up for a second. Perhaps we ought to start with 3 kilos. Six might be a bit much for now (grimaces at the last time he played dodgeball with 6 kilo medicine balls).

topgearbrzgt86

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-Fernando Alonso

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Bathduck monster on Fri 25 Mar 2016 - 22:49

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Okay, I'll have to incorporate that if I ever get back on the horse and start writing again; Santa is Bella's room mate.
And assuming I can get my fratello's establishing story out before then.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Now that's interesting.  Do I detect a note of conceit in her?  That would make for a good scene:  Santa innocently lets slip that she considers the later models to be "better" than the First Gens.  The newer model is always better than the old ones...right?
While she meant no offense by this it rubs the others the wrong way...but each in their own manner.

Guh?  Unintentional characterization, woohoo!  Awesome!
Definitely not intentional for either of us(because I didn't think of it and Santa wouldn't think of it in an 'i'm better than you' way-more like 'my mechanics were made based off what the tech people learned from you') But now I can have a scene/chapter revolving around it affecting Santa's relationships with people so I'm going to keep it.  Evil 

I'll gladly participate in writing a dodgeball chapter as long as people don't expect Enzo to try to catch a ball with his face.  Smile

@Jim: Were you a super strong and resilient cyborg assassin the last time you played dodgeball?  (though the handlers might agree with you.)
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Bathduck monster

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by topgearbrzgt86 on Fri 25 Mar 2016 - 23:32

@Bathduck monster wrote:
@Professor Voodoo wrote:Okay, I'll have to incorporate that if I ever get back on the horse and start writing again; Santa is Bella's room mate.
And assuming I can get my fratello's establishing story out before then.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Now that's interesting.  Do I detect a note of conceit in her?  That would make for a good scene:  Santa innocently lets slip that she considers the later models to be "better" than the First Gens.  The newer model is always better than the old ones...right?
While she meant no offense by this it rubs the others the wrong way...but each in their own manner.

Guh?  Unintentional characterization, woohoo!  Awesome!
Definitely not intentional for either of us(because I didn't think of it and Santa wouldn't think of it in an 'i'm better than you' way-more like 'my mechanics were made based off what the tech people learned from you') But now I can have a scene/chapter revolving around it affecting Santa's relationships with people so I'm going to keep it.  Evil 

I'll gladly participate in writing a dodgeball chapter as long as people don't expect Enzo to try to catch a ball with his face.  Smile

@Jim: Were you a super strong and resilient cyborg assassin the last time you played dodgeball?  (though the handlers might agree with you.)
Jim: Good question, sir Bathduck. I am indeed a cyborg assassin, yes, but someone (glares at Marisa, with a menacing smile, turns back to Bathduck with a straight face) clocked me in the head with said 6-kilo medicine ball, and I got knocked out for about three-and-a-bit-hours. Woke up with a terrible headache.

(to Santa, with a friendly smile) Welcome to the madhouse, my friend. I think you'll like it here, for we have cookies. Very Happy

topgearbrzgt86

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Bathduck monster on Thu 7 Apr 2016 - 20:56

Was reading a few of the other interviews and I had a thought:
Santa's interview pointed out that Santa inherits Rico's sniper role(along with whoever else does sniping too, but not the point here).

Caterina's interview points out her expectations for her successor(her answer to, 'How would you die?')
I took the thought backwards (sort of) and realized that Santa is unintentionally a comm tech predecessor for Caterina.

Small world it seems.  Smile Coolz
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Bathduck monster

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Fri 8 Apr 2016 - 15:21

Write fic write fic write fic write fic


All of you.
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Thescarredman

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Location : Toledo, Ohio, United States

Fan of : Rico, Bice

Original Characters : Kristal & Verotrois / Doc; Angel / Jack Keaton; Tiffany/Stefan

Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
.
Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
.
Sofia was pregnant. It would have been a boy.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Bathduck monster on Fri 8 Apr 2016 - 17:20

Me, myself, and I are working on it bit by bit.
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by San and Flo on Wed 11 May 2016 - 12:33

1. My name is Letice. I am a cyborg in SWA, Section 2.

2. Well, apparently, I am a special case. I can perfectly remember my past and the conditioning doesn't work. Not even the doctors know why...

3. Mr. San is like a father to me. He is very strict, but I know that he loves me. We are like father and daughter. Though, occasionally we are like Drill Sergeant (him) and Screw-up Private (me). My entirety revolves around him.

4. Where I get to be with Mr. San.

5. The one where Mr. San gets injured.

6. It's good. I get to have fun with Henrietta, whenever I invite her to airsoft using P90s.

7. Yes.

8. I. Love. Mangoes.

9. I don't know.

10. Get into a relationship with him. I want to marry him.

11. Japan. No, I haven't been there yet.

12. Cool.

13. None.

14. None.

15. With Mr. San holding me in his arms, hugging me and crying, while my 20mm-riddled body is hugging him, too.
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San and Flo

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Fan of : Beatrice, Henrietta, Rico and Triela.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Wed 11 May 2016 - 13:44

Yoiks. Good answers. She's a girl of few words, that one, but each one counts. Kind of like a sniper with bullets.

For anyone who's forgotten and is too lazy to scroll up, here are the questions:


1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
4. What are your favorite kinds of missions?
5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?
9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
13. Do you have a favorite color?
14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
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Thescarredman

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Forum Posts : 1888

Location : Toledo, Ohio, United States

Fan of : Rico, Bice

Original Characters : Kristal & Verotrois / Doc; Angel / Jack Keaton; Tiffany/Stefan

Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
.
Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
.
Sofia was pregnant. It would have been a boy.

Registration date : 2012-02-04
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by San and Flo on Wed 11 May 2016 - 23:50

Deleted-


Last edited by San and Flo on Sun 15 May 2016 - 23:29; edited 1 time in total
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San and Flo

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Thu 12 May 2016 - 5:37

She seems quite... obsessive. That last answer is almost scary in a way. Razz

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Alfisti

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by M240B on Sat 11 Jun 2016 - 10:18

Figured I'd try this out for my new cyborg, Marzia.

1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?


*shifts uncomfortably in her seat* Oh, uhh, my name is Marzia Bianchi, and I'm...umm...I think my handler said something about counter terror something something. So...yeah.


2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?


What's conditioning? *raises an eyebrow*


3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?


*eyes light up* Oh, well...heh....he kinda reminds me of...*spaces out momentarily, before snapping back* He's cool! He knows tons of stuff, and he sometimes brings me over to have dinner with his wife...oh crap...I wasn't supposed to mention that....umm. 


4. What are your favorite kinds of missions?


I'm still training, but I hear that direct action, or whatever he called it, sounds neat. That, or recon.

5. What kinds of missions do you dislike?


Assassinations seem...weird. All that work for one guy? Guess I won't know til I try. *nervous chuckle*

6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?


I like it! I have a nice view, and it's not as small as I thought.


7. Do you get along with your room-mate?


I don't have one yet...*frowns*

8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?


Oh, it's neat. I just wish they had some of that homemade pizza Marcello sometimes gives me.

9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?


Dogs. They slobber and they lick you and it's... *shudders*


10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?


I'd love to go out and just...walk around by myself. I don't think he'll let me, though.


11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?


The Alps seem nice. I..don't know why...but I remember skiing a long time ago.


12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?


*holds up a small stuffed fox she had hidden in a pocket* If I can have Mister Vulpe, I think Triela can have as many as she wants....whoever she is.


13. Do you have a favorite color?


I like blue...and orange....and silver....do I have to pick one? *fake frown*


14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (Agency or outside) that you admire?


Marcello's wife is nice. Her name is Norma. 


15. If you could choose, how would you like to die?


Umm....*looks into Mister Vulpe's eyes and sighs, as if something was trying to make itself known, but she couldn't guess what*...can I even die?

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M240B

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by San and Flo on Sat 11 Jun 2016 - 21:59

Letrice: She's okay for a newbie.

Onyx: Hey, wanna play hot potato?

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San and Flo

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Forum Posts : 121

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Fan of : Beatrice, Henrietta, Rico and Triela.

Original Characters : San and Letrice, Lawrence and Onyx

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Sun 12 Jun 2016 - 3:52

A cyborg who has made it to the cyborg dorm and doesn't know who Triela is? She must be very shy indeed... or is she after Triela's time?

Certainly much less talkative than her handler was (though she seems to have already picked up swearing from him Razz ), by her speech she seems like quite a timid kid... though if she's been off campus I'm guessing she's been around for at least a little bit by now? Some of the slang (for want of a better term), suggests she has a least been active long enough to pick that up.

Did you intend to give her a roommate at some point? Or was that a concious decision to isolate her (or is it simply leaving that one open if required later)?

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Alfisti

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Sun 12 Jun 2016 - 6:50

Marzia sounds like a first-gen: no preprogrammed knowledge, absolute faith in her handler ... how old is she?
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Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Sun 12 Jun 2016 - 7:33

@Thescarredman wrote:Marzia sounds like a first-gen: no preprogrammed knowledge, absolute faith in her handler ... how old is she?
I think she was 13 from memory?

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Alfisti

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Sun 12 Jun 2016 - 7:53

Yeah. Read this before I read the handler's interview.
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Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
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Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by M240B on Sun 12 Jun 2016 - 7:58

Marzia's 13, yes.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by M240B on Sun 12 Jun 2016 - 8:00

I dunno who I can give her for a room mate though. As for how long she's been here? At the point of this interview, she's been training for two weeks.

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M240B

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Sun 12 Jun 2016 - 8:53

@M240B wrote:I dunno who I can give her for a room mate though. As for how long she's been here? At the point of this interview, she's been training for two weeks.
Well, there's always the four named canon Gen 02s, or get a few chapters under your belt to get a feel for her character and come up with someone who can act as a bit of a foil. Other than that, you can always ask around here and see if anyone's OC is looking for a roommate.

Leaving her on her own is always a feasible option as well of course.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by M240B on Sun 12 Jun 2016 - 9:40

@Alfisti wrote:
@M240B wrote:I dunno who I can give her for a room mate though. As for how long she's been here? At the point of this interview, she's been training for two weeks.
Well, there's always the four named canon Gen 02s, or get a few chapters under your belt to get a feel for her character and come up with someone who can act as a bit of a foil. Other than that, you can always ask around here and see if anyone's OC is looking for a roommate.

Leaving her on her own is always a feasible option as well of course.

I'll give it a few chapters and see what sticks.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Bathduck monster on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 11:03

Now that I have my first scene out I have a revised interview for Santa including her speech quirk(which I promise to explain in scene 2).

1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
A: *Looking everywhere but interviewer*H-hello, Enzo named me Santa.  *Uncomfortably*My role is sniping and communication monitoring.

2. What can you tell us about your conditioning?
A: *Looking down and twiddling fingers*  It's light

3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
A: *Looks intently at interviewer's shirt*Enzo is a great handler!  He's fun when we're not working and tells things exactly how they are without making them better or worse than they are.

4. What are your favorite kinds of missions?
A: Stakeout and sniping missions.

5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
A: Missions where I get shot at.  *Curls up on chair*

6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
A: I like it, it's comfortable and the others are nice.  *Uncurls and resumes looking around room*

7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
A: Bella?  She's..different.  But in a good way!  She's totally cool!

8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?
A: Anything I can make a mess with, like spaghetti(don't tell Enzo!).  Unless it's spicy(Yuck).

9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
A: Rubber ducks and their human-like eyes.  Anything with human-like eyes is super creepy.  *Wraps arms around self and shivers*

10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
A: There isn't.  *Looks away from interviewer*

11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
A: With Enzo.  Of course, he's my handler.

12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
A: Totally cool.  Her names are too severe though.  (don't tell her I said that!  Hissy fit )

13. Do you have a favorite color?
A: Sky blue, like enzo

14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
A: Rico!  She's the first generation cyborg I was built to be an improvement of.  I've asked Enzo and the dorm about Rico's missions and she sounds so cool in all of them!

15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
A: Can I choose not to die?  I'd rather be with Enzo and my friends.  And I don't want them to die either!
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 12:55

Shy and heartbreakingly innocent. I like the way she comes out of her shell a little as the interview progresses. Let's see some short fic.

Question 12: guess nobody told her the names of the first seven. Wink
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Thescarredman

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Location : Toledo, Ohio, United States

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Original Characters : Kristal & Verotrois / Doc; Angel / Jack Keaton; Tiffany/Stefan

Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
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Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Fri 22 Jul 2016 - 22:39


From left to right: Monty, Raych, Odile

I don’t think I’ve ever actually done this for Odile and, since it was about time to do closeout versions for both Monty and Raych, well… better late than never right? Monty has, of course, done this twice before already and, reading back through her previous responses, I think she has grown up and matured somewhat since 2012. Raych has sat on the interview stool once prior to this.


Timeframe wise, this is probably immediately post the events of Six Degrees.


ODILE’S 15 QUESTIONS
Hearing the interview room door open, the interviewer glances up, and stops as the girl walking inside also comes to a halt. Dragging eyes to her face, the interviewer only then realises that she looks thoroughly embarrassed. Equal embarrassment rising they clear their throat and invite her to sit.


Doing so she continues to blush, fingers trying to pull a too-short skirt lower over her thighs.


Making sure not to get distracted on the way, the interviewer looks her in the eye again, forcing themselves to relax and smile. She returns it, seeming to relax slightly in return as the first question is uttered.


1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
Umm, my name is Odile. Florentino’s cyborg. Do you know Florentino?

Pausing to consider how best to answer that, the interviewer is saved the effort by her continuing to talk.

I’m sure you know Florentino, he’s only new, but he’s really experienced, and the best handler here. He used to work for AISE, you know, the international spy agency. That’s why they hired him, we’re supposed to take over from the Blackers and work internationally as well, you know, gathering intelligence and stuff…

Her face falls.

…but, umm, we haven’t done that. But I’m sure we will soon! Florentino knows exactly what to do… I just, need to, you know… catch up. It’s okay though, the SWA also really need Florentino here, they’ve been getting him to teach the other handlers how to be a spy. Not all of them are from intelligence backgrounds, and the SWA think they need to know some… I think it was called field craft? Florentino is really important like that.


2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
Umm, not really? I heard Monty’s is really light, she’s Jethro Blacker’s cyborg, the one I’m supposed to do the same job as. So maybe mine is light too? I don’t know, I know we’re supposed to be like the Blackers, but Florentino doesn’t like how they do things, so I might not be like Monty either. If not, I’m sure has his reasons. She’s been doing this a lot longer than I have though, so maybe having light conditioning is a problem? I heard she and Mr. Blacker don’t always do what the SWA wants them to, or don’t always answer the SWA. Florentino says that’s not the way things should be done. He’s already talked with Lorenzo and Mr. Croce about how he is going to operate.

Actually, I think I might have heard Florentino mention that my conditioning was average for a Generation two cyborg? Whatever that means, but I guess that’s how Florentino would have wanted it? Actually, since you’re in the medical department, do you know? Are any of the other cyborgs on average conditioning as well? It would be nice to find something else in common. Can you tell me about their conditioning? Or… shouldn’t I be asking those questions?


The interviewer glances down at their notes to get away from the wide, earnestly staring, eyes before them.


3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
Florentino’s the best isn’t he? He’s really good at his spy job, that’s why the SWA got him over here from AISE. And they gave him more money and a care and things, and he’s handsome and…

Despite this task obviously being one given to new recruits, the interviewer has dealt with a few cyborgs before and, having a rough idea how the rest of the spiel is going to go, quickly cuts her off…


4. What are your favourite kinds of missions?
Coming tumbling to a halt mid-gush, Odile stares at them blankly for a moment, apparently needing time to process the interruption. Finally, she blinks.

Umm, I don’t know really, we’ve not done many and most have been with someone else. Florentino though says he can’t wait to get outside Italy without any, I think he called them ‘hangers on’? So I guess I would like that, and I’m definitely looking forward to getting away with Florentino together but…

She looks furtive for a moment, voice lowering.

…umm, but… I don’t know, that sounds a bit, you know, like, lonely. I like everyone here, most people are really kind, and helpful. The other cyborgs are really helpful, I mean… the adults are nice too, but they seem, I don’t know, distant? Not all of them, but some of them. Mr. Hilshire seems really quiet, but Triela I think is the senior cyborg, and she’s really helpful. Mr. Olivetti doesn’t even seem to notice me, and Mr. Rissi he makes me, I don’t know, he me makes me feel weird. Like when I walked in…

She cuts off, turning red again.

…Umm, I’ve not met Mr. Blacker yet. Well, I have, but only briefly, for work, we were doing a briefing with Mr. Blacker, and Monty, and Priscilla and… some other man, I can’t remember his name. They didn’t say much to us though, and Florentino seemed really annoyed. I wonder what Mr. Blacker is actually like? Marisa and Kara seem to like him, but Florentino doesn’t. I’m sure Florentino will do a better job though, I mean, the SWA did pick him specifically after all.



5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
Umm, I don’t know. I mean, I haven’t done many yet. We did go to Trieste one time with Triela, I can’t remember what for, but that was boring, or it was boring for a bit. We sat around in Mr. Hilshire’s car, I think Florentino said it was a Mercedes? He has a new one now though, not as good as Florentino’s car, he has a BMW X6. It’s Red, he bought it from the dealer in Rome, but Mr. Hilshire’s old car was destroyed. That was really scary, I didn’t like that much. Florentino got hurt, and then…

The interviewer cuts her off again. Bianchi might have something to say about that later, but there are limits… the bloody girl doesn’t shut up.


6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
Living is the dorm is great! There’s always someone to talk to, or ask questions if I don’t know what to do. Umm… Florentino says I shouldn’t get used to living there though, but everyone else seems to act like that’s my permanent room now. I know Monty is away a lot, and she doesn’t sleep in the dorm… that sounds really lonely. Maybe when I can go with Florentino overseas I can keep that room for when we come back? I think we are supposed to come back fairly regularly, and I would like to stay in the dorm again, I mean, it would be nice to keep doing that. I mean, if Florentino wants me to go… wherever they put Monty, then I can do that too. Everyone else says she’s really good but… maybe Florentino will want me to be different? I don’t know.

I would like to stay in the dorm though.


7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
Odile looks momentarily downcast at this.

I don’t actually, umm, I don’t actually have a roommate yet… but I would like one! I think that’d be great having someone to talk to. I mean, I can go around to any of the others’ rooms any time I want, but they’re not always in. I mean, someone is usually around, Raych is rarely away long, though Kara goes away longer, that’s her roommate. Her handler is Mr. Pagani… I heard he was friends with the Prime Minister! I wonder if Raych hears anything about that frim Kara? I bet you get to know someone so much better sharing a room with them. I don’t know if Florentino likes Mr. Pagani either, he doesn’t really say much about him… I wonder what Mr. Pagani thinks of Florentino though.

Umm… I don’t think Florentino wants me to have a roommate though. I don’t know why, I think it would be really cool… but if Florentino thinks I would be better without a roommate than I probably shouldn’t have one. I wonder why he doesn’t want me to have one though? Do you know? I mean, I’m not the only cyborg without a roommate there, it couldn’t be that difficult to move someone in with me could it?


8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favourite food?
I really like it! I mean, I don’t have much to judge it against, but there’s lots of food there, and there’s always snacks and stuff as well. The cooks must work really hard. I really like the ossobucco they do, and the lasagne… and when they change it for moussaka, that’s always on the same day of the week. I actually don’t mind Wacky Wednesday either, though the dining hall is quieter then, so there’s not so many people to talk to. Oh! and then there was the week they tried kofta balls! I hope they do that again, and the pea curry… there was some sort of different dressing with the salad that day as well, it might have been yoghurt? I don’t know, but it was really tasty. I really like those sorts of foods but, if I had to pick a favourite… I don’t know if it would be one of those, or something else. I mean, I don’t know if I’ve tried everything yet, but we do get a lot of Italian food.

There was something, I think Florentino called it… was it Mongolian beef? That was…


9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
Umm, I don’t know, umm… I really don’t like having to crawl through mud at the obstacle course. Even if I’m really careful I wind up muddy, and there are slugs and things. Oh! and when I’m there I get really sweaty under… under…

Odile suddenly goes bright red again, motioning vaguely at her bust, before lapsing into total silence, and the interviewer decides to move things on quickly as the cyborg briefly starts talking again, as if trying to cover her error.

…and I don’t like coming back dirty either. I wind up with mud everywhere and through the dorm.


10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
Umm, I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve asked him about anything. Maybe some different clothes, you know for… but what Florentino got me is fine! I mean, I like these too… and Marisa is always talking about scuba diving, that sounds like fun, I wonder if he would let me do that? I wonder if Monty can dive, it might be something I need to learn anyway…

…oh! And I did ask him about learning to drive, like Kara and Allison. Did you know Allison has her own car? It’s old though, not as good as Florentino’s, and Kara only drives Mr. Pagani’s cars. But I did ask Florentino, and he said it wasn’t something I needed to know, so I guess I don’t?

Umm, that’s about all I can think of, right now at least. I guess I’ve not been activated long enough to think of anything else. I’m sure that Florentino will let me try things though.



11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
Umm, not Trieste? Florentino has been teaching me history and geography… or, I mean, Mr. Hilshire has been teaching me history, but Florentino ensures I also learn about things from outside Italy. That’s going to be really important when we, you know, when we become fully operational.
I don’t know, I haven’t been many places yet, but I think I would like to see the Florida Keys, and the Great Barrier Reef looked interesting. Maybe if I learn to dive we could do that, just as long as Florentino is there but… umm, I don’t really know, sorry. I know the Blackers travel a lot, so I guess I will see more… I was given some of their reports to read, you know, to get an idea of what I was supposed to be doing… but all the place names, people, and descriptions had black bars across them.


12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
Aww, I think they’re really sweet. It’s cute. I mean, she always comes across so serious, but the names she’s given them too: Dopey, Sleepy… I mean, who comes up with names like that? I mean, I get the emperors, but I don’t even know where the other ones came from. I wonder what she will do when she runs out of Romans? I should ask her, do you think she would mind?


13. Do you have a favourite colour?
Umm, I don’t know really. Florentino’s car is red, so I guess I could like that, but it’s, I don’t know, it’s a bit bright for me. Pink is softer, yes, maybe pink, but, you know, not a really bright pink, like a softer one, like the lip gloss Florentino got me…

She looks down, fingering the metallic fabric of her top.

…but Florentino also bought me this, and I quite like the gold as well. Is gold even a colour? Or does it count as yellow? Maybe yellow is better than pink actually, like, it’s still bright and sunny, without being as, you know, as in your face as red is… but then again, I’m blonde, and yellow tends to wash out a bit on me in large quantities, so maybe not. But Florentino does give me a lot of gold. I think he likes gold and he says that looks good on me, so maybe gold isn’t yellow? Orange then, that looks good against blue as well… though I don’t think I own many blue things, so it’s difficult to tell… maybe blue isn’t my thing. But a blue sky is always refreshing to look at so…

The interviewer cuts her off again…


14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
Odile looks blank for a moment.

Umm, aside from Florentino, I don’t really know. Umm, Mr. Croce and Ms. Ferro are kind of scary… maybe Mr. Pagani? Most of the cyborgs seem to speak highly of him, and Chief Lorenzo, I guess.

Her voice lowers for a second, and she leans in.

Umm… is Florentino going to read this?

Thinking quickly, the interviewer shakes their head, eyes resolutely meeting hers.

Then, umm… Monty too, and Mr. Blacker. I mean, Florentino doesn’t like them, but they are doing what we are supposed to, and successfully. It just sounds really… exciting, and the time we met them Monty seemed really mature, like one of the adults… and Priscilla, and the other man there, they treated her like one as well. I mean, I don’t know if that’s what Florentino want’s from me, I think he wants to be treated like they were though and, well… I still get reports with everything important blocked out don’t I? I, umm… I think it would be nice to be trusted.

Suddenly, she brightens again.

Oh! And Priscilla too I guess. She runs the whole intelligence department for Section 2, and she’s really nice! Triela… well I guess she’s not an adult is she? So not Triela, but I admire her too, and Kara as well, and…

As is becoming routine by now, the interviewer cuts her off again…


15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
The cyborg’s expression goes blank once more.

Umm, I don’t actually know, to be honest. I mean, I hadn’t really thought about it up until now… umm… no, I don’t… can we talk about something else?


The interviewer shakes their head, motioning that they’re done instead and that she can leave.




RAYCH’S 15 QUESTIONS
A heavy set girl enters through the door, pausing as it closes behind her as if waiting for the next instruction. This one looks a bit more familiar than the last and, glancing down at their notes sheet, the interviewer nods: ah yes, Olivetti’s cyborg.


Motioning for her to take a seat, the girl does as instructed, apparently suddenly and absolutely enthralled by her own shoe laces. Figuring that’s about as good as they’re going to get engagement wise, the interviewer starts.


1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
Now the girl looks up, albeit only briefly, eyes not meeting the adult’s before dropping to address their clipboard instead.

Umm, my name is Raych, C. Raych. I’m a Generation Two cyborg, but Danilo says I’m supposed to do general combat, the same things as the Generation Ones. I think he is right too.

I’m supposed to be heavy support as well, I think Danilo keeps a ready bag for me in his room.


2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
Umm, not really, sorry.


3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
I do like Danilo, I would not want any other handler. I hear the other cyborgs talking sometimes, they… think Danilo is hard on me, but I don’t think so. He just wants the best for me, and he always makes sure I have everything I need… and if I do what he tells me, everything will be fine.

Now, she bite her lip, as if considering her next words.

I… in a mission… he got hurt, because I was not there, because I was following his orders. But Danilo said that was okay that… so long as I was following his orders… the consequences of that were for him to worry about, not for me, and he doesn’t ask me to do anything I should not be able to, and sometimes he gets really annoyed when... He doesn’t want me to worry, or feel bad. I think that’s… nice. 


4. What are your favourite kinds of missions?
Raych seems to brighten at this, finally looking into the interviewer’s face.

I like assault missions, and raids… short missions, I guess? Ones that are over quickly, and where I can stay in front so Danilo doesn’t get hurt. I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I have always wanted to try some intelligence work too but…

She trails off.


5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
The brighter mood immediately disappears.

Anything where Danilo gets hurt!

Seemingly realising what she has just blurted out, her eyes drop again.

Umm… I… umm… I guess I don’t like anything long. Stakeouts, or anything where we are waiting a lot. I, umm, I think… it’s difficult to keep concentrating that long, and Danilo says you need to concentrate. After the, umm, after the Rome manhunt they tried to teach me to be a sniper but I… I was not very good at it. Danilo doesn’t seem to mind though, so I think that’s… okay?



6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
I like it, I guess? Everyone’s really nice, and I have friends there. I know the generation one and two cyborgs do not mix much, but I used to…

Her voice falters again

…it’s very quiet on the Generation One floor these days.



7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
Kara? She’s really nice, and helpful… she helped when I wanted to see… to see Monty in the hospital wing. Umm… I think I got us in trouble, though… but Kara was great there. I wish I could be that confident. Mr. Pagani is really nice too. I think he’s really nice to all the cyborgs actually, and he bought everyone gifts at Christmas, even for the cyborgs who are not his.

I got a stuffed dog. He’s called, umm… he’s called ‘dog’.

She lapses into silence again, looking embarrassed.


8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favourite food?
I quite like it but, I mean, I don’t have much to judge it against... I know some of the other handlers take their cyborgs to nice restaurants, but the only things I have had outside the Agency compound is fast food. Normally we are not away long enough, and Danilo normally takes something with us.

I do like the pastries though. Umm, I think I like those the best?


9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
Umm, did I say anything last-time?

The interviewer flicks through the cyborg's file, before shaking their head.

Oh, umm… because… because I can’t really think of anything. Still. Sorry. I know Kara doesn’t like spiders though.



10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
Umm… I don’t know I, I guess I have never really asked him. I, umm, I don’t think he would want to try being a spy though, but I would like to try wine.


11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
I, umm, I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it… I don’t think Danilo is really one for holidays. I know Mr. Pagani has a yacht though, and I think the Blackers have a chalet… somewhere… those sound nice.


12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
I like them!

She suddenly looks slightly panicked.

But I like just having dog, having that many stuffed animals takes up a lot of space, and I don’t think Danilo approves. He said something about ‘miniatures’ at one point but, umm, but nothing seems to have happened with… whatever those are.



13. Do you have a favourite colour?
Umm… Danilo likes black…

Nothing more seems to be forthcoming, so the interviewer moves on.


14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
I, umm, I don’t really know anyone outside the Agency, but Major Salles seems like a really good fighter, and the SRT but, umm, but caporalmaggiore capo Bianchi scares me a little… Mr. Martinello seems nice though.

I, umm, I think maybe the caporalmaggiore capo might be less scary if I was, umm, if I was more outgoing. I wish I could be more confident, like Kara, Marisa, Allison, Triela or – her voice trails off – or like Chiara… was. Or like Monty, she always seems confident and… glamorous, I think travelling would be nice… but I don’t think Danilo would approve of that. I mean, I like Danilo, and what he needs is for me to follow orders but I… I wish I could be more like that. Sometimes.


15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
I think helping Danilo, or helping someone else. That’s what a cyborg is for aren’t we?



MONTY’S 15 QUESTIONS
Watching Raych go, the interviewer makes to look down at their notes to see who is next, but is saved the trouble as Ms. Blacker enters, expression that of one resigned to the fact that they’re not getting out of this, but whom can still think of far better things to be doing right at this moment.


Wasting no time she sits, cocking an eyebrow. Obviously she has been here before.


1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
I think this question is becoming rather redundant, and the answer has yet to change.


The interviewer says something, and Monty’s eyebrow remains in place.

Fine, I’ll humour you. My name is Monique Blacker, or Monty. My… partner… Jethro Blacker, and I gather intelligence for the SWA, primarily beyond Italy’s borders. Some we pass back to Rome, some we act on ourselves should circumstances permit. Sometimes Rome will pass information back our direction, or give us something specific to do.

The interviewer looks like they want to say something else, but keeps their mouth shut. Obviously they’ve been told to keep the questions straight down the line. Monty, however, ignores them and continues.

Recently we were pressed into domestic work, and I understand the brass have been attempting to replicate our particular skill set in the aftermath, albeit without much success. Fortunately we have not needed to be directly involved.

Her expression becomes dry.

Possibly we are considered a corruptive influence.

The interviewer again looks like they want to say something, but instead glances down at their sheet of notes.


2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
Again a somewhat redundant question, I am sure you’ve clearance enough to read the file: it remains light and, to my understanding, on the lower end for a Generation Two. I am not as strong as the other Generation Twos, but I can go longer between maintenance and doses than most others, though it has been pointed out, in no uncertain terms, that the practise is not recommended.


3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
He is my partner - her voice becomes dry - though frankly his management is more akin to corralling a small child.


Monty’s face remains impassively blank, slipping into stony silence, and the interviewer appears to once more thing better of pushing the point.


4. What are your favourite kinds of missions?
Those away from here.


5. Umm… What kind of missions then do you dislike?
All the rest.

Monty pauses, before appearing to relent.

Let me put it this way: ultimately the job is the job, whether I like doing it or not is irrelevant. If your question is, however, what can render a particular job more vexatious than another, that generally entails the higher ups, in their wisdom, sending us something far better suited to another, available, team, wasting our time, or endangering our cover for some triviality they believe more important. Our process is slow, because we work from scratch, but that does not make it any less easily disrupted than a half hour raid.


6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
I presume you are new here?

The interviewer nods then, feeling the need for some reason to justify themselves, mumbles about wanting to confirm rumours…

Alright then, yes, I could not tell you about the cyborg dormitory as I sleep in the handler accommodation when on campus, though I suspect you will not find anything officially written down about that arrangement. It is an issue of convenience, and personal sanity.

Looking for something to say in reply, the interviewer moves quickly to the next question…


7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
Unfortunately the words are out before they realise what it is, and the response is as unimpressed as could be expected.

Oddly, I do not have one, though you may refer my comments about Jethro.


8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favourite food?
It serves its purpose, but it would not be my first choice of dining and, while there are flavours I am partial to, I could not say I have a favourite food either. I do, however, have go-to orders.

The interviewer waits a moment for her to elaborate but, when nothing is forthcoming, glances down at their notes again.


9. Umm… what really grosses you out (not just food)?
*Deadpan* Jethro drools in his sleep.


10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
Not particularly. We’ve been together that long now that I suspect we have both given in.

There is another pause as the interviewer studies her face, looking for any signs that there may be more to tell, that’s what they have been told to do… and they have heard the rumours about the Blackers. Monty is, however, a blank slate and, catching her gaze again, they look away.


11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
We have a mountain chalet available to us, yes we have been there before.


12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
It’s not my thing, but she is free to do what she wishes and I shall certainly will not judge her for it. Triela and Victor are well past the point of needing to prove themselves to anyone. At least it’s quiet.


13. Do you have a favourite colour?
Whatever works on the day.


14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
I don’t know if “admire” is the correct term, but there are certainly people I respect. Aside from some met through work [probably referring to Algy – A] Alboreto was a legend in the SIS, and Ferro deserves a medal in herding cats, as does Jean.

The interviewer’s eyebrows raise, and Monty’s eyebrow cocks again, her tone dry.

I presume hearing that from someone other than Rico is a surprise, but I said “respect”. “Respect” and “like” are two spectacularly disparate concepts. That said, while I may not always find Jean’s decisions to my taste, the man has a job to do like everyone else here, and he seems to have learned to leave us well enough alone.


15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
That answer remains the same: painlessly and without fuss.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.
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Location : A Town by the Sea, NSW Central Coast, Australia

Fan of : Triela, Hilshire, Priscilla, Ferro

Original Characters : Jethro + Monty

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Chronic Guardian on Tue 23 Aug 2016 - 22:59

@Thescarredman wrote:Concur with Voodoo; I like this thread, but I like it better when it's presented as a fic rather than a script. Your interviewer is as creepy as some of the cyborgs, and I'm sure I'd never tell him something I wanted kept a secret. Dina's abortive 'di Tomassi' was cute and heartbreaking to someone who knows how much she longs to be part of a family; her fear of smoke-filled spaces as well. All told, a very good read.

Well... if I profess to be a fan and follower of your style then I guess I'll have to ditch the simple interview and write a story. Overly angsty Dual Trigger scene, activate!
}§{


The door opened gracefully. It wasn't just smooth or practiced, it glided back and forth like a wavering candle as it admitted the girl into the room. She turned just long enough to ensure the door came to a silent rest before releasing the handle and turning to again face the room's only occupant: a man sitting at a desk.

For a moment, she entertained the thought that he was somehow related to Dr. Bianchi, as if this man were a genetically dictated brother of the one they usually sent her to. Of course, the closest connection her mind could eek out was the mirroring opposition of the two men. This one had darker hair and lighter skin; he wore big, round glasses that flashed in the room's fluorescent light and made his eyes seem small and squinty; even the patch of beard beneath his sour lips was thinner and more pointed than the man he should have been.

The girl allowed her head to tilt, wondering why this time it wasn't Bianchi. A few easy answers to the question bounced at the back of her mind, insisting they knew the truth, but easy answers had rarely suited her in the past. Instead, she would rather sort through the actual people hiding behind the first impressions.

The man at the desk looked up for a brief moment, poking at her with a sharp flick of his eyes before again consulting the page in front of him and removing a pen from his breast pocket.

“Hello,” he said, without much friendly conviction. The girl understood it to mean the greeting was mandatory and that the man would rather get right down to business. She understood. She didn't like being forced to say things she didn't mean either. “This is an interview that will be used strictly for internal purposes,” he continued. His voice fell in a measured drone as he moved through the script. It wasn't an entirely unpleasant voice, but it sounded tired, like a drooping lily that hasn't been given enough water. “I will ask you fifteen questions and you will answer them to the best of your abilities. Before we start, is there anything I should know; comments, questions, or concerns?” His eyes shifted up to look at her again as he finished the last line. Like his voice, his eyes seemed like they would be good eyes when they weren't being used with her.

“...May I have a seat?”

The man paused for a moment, then frowned as his gaze flicked between the four-legged stool in front of the desk and the girl. “Yes, yes of course,” he said, getting the words out quickly. “I apologize, I didn't realize you needed—”

“It's alright,” she assured him. Inside, she wondered why she would even dare to play tricks like that with him. He thought she needed his permission now. That was partly true, there were things that she wouldn't do if she knew she wasn't allowed. Sitting on the stool wasn't one of them. At times, killing people wasn't either.

The room was the same setup in Bianchi's office. In fact, had she not walked there herself she might have mistaken the man for a squatter in the good doctor's place. There were the same boxes full of books and folders, little pictures on the wall framing people she would never know, and that large mirror taking up almost the entire left side of the room. The girl looked at it, matching eyes with her reflection and wondering what other eyes were joining in. When she was satisfied, she down and again addressed the man who wasn't Bianchi. “There is one other thing I'd like to know though,” she said. Usually, cyborgs weren't supposed to dictate the flow of the conversation. The girl considered herself a special case.

The dark haired man dipped his head and made a slight rolling motion with his fingers in response to her words..

“...How will you know if I lie?”

Again, the man paused. His eyes did not raise to meet hers. She looked to his hands for a response. They were still, not shaking. That was good, at least. She scanned the rest of his body, looking for signs of tension. His shoulders were a little stiff, but they'd been that way when she walked in. He wasn't afraid, just confused.

Finally, he nodded his head slowly and looked back at her. “Do you intend to lie to me?”

Part of her recognized that the question wouldn't work in any other setting than with a compliant subject. If she was going to lie, she could just lie about lying. Of course, in her case, it wasn't so much that she wanted to lie, just that it happened and no one seemed to notice. She was beginning to suspect they thought she was incapable of it. The thought was frightening.

Still, that wasn't what the man had asked. “No, signore,” she said, giving a little smile. “I don't.”

“Good,” he acknowledged. His eyes drifted back to the paper on his desk and the question seemed to sink away into the floor. “Question one: Tell me your name and a little about your role in Section 2.”

The girl nodded and wondered why they would need to ask such an obvious question. Perhaps it was just a test to catch liars. The thought made her wary of the remaining fourteen questions. “My name is Terra,” she answered, making sure not to speak too slowly. If her voice dragged, they might think there was something wrong with her conditioning. “I am a general purpose fratelli agent. I work with Signore Garamonde on assignments to neutralize armed dissenters of the Italian government with violent intent against her constituents and officers. My standard equipment is a Glock 17 handgun and OKC-3S bayonet for most encounters. I am also commonly deployed with a Dragunov SVU, automatic variant, bullpup sniper rifle for heavy mid-to-long range combat. I have training in marksmanship, breaching maneuvers, interrogation techniques—”

“That's enough, thank you,” the man held up a hand and made some notes on the paper in front of him.

Terra wanted to react to the sudden interruption, to say that they wouldn't know she was telling the truth unless she matched all the key details, but the part of her that was always waiting just behind the conditioning told her to let it go and push forward. “...Yes, signore.”

Terra grimaced. This was not a good beginning.

“Now,” the man said as he crisply lifted his pen from the paper. “Would you tell me a little about your conditioning?”

Terra's eyes flashed. She knew he caught it. This was her chance, this was the moment she could tell them. Before the other part of her could intervene, she grabbed the words and shoved them out of her mouth. “It's broken.”

“Broken?” the man frowned. He seemed to do that a lot. “How do you mean, 'broken'?”

“I mean I don't...”

“You don't follow orders?” he cut in. His dark eyebrows were swooping down like two angry ravens about to fight over a kill.

“It's… hard to explain,” she sighed, looking down at her hands. “The conditioning is supposed to stop us from thinking about the wrong things. It makes us listen to our handlers and do whatever the Agency asks us to. When we try to go against it, it hurts. It makes sure we feel wrong about things that are wrong.”

The man leaned forward a little and squinted, as if looking through a microscope and trying to bring a preserved cell into focus. “And your conditioning doesn't do that? You don't feel—”

“I do!” Terra put in impatiently, but then winced. “I… I just… I'm sorry signore, I didn't mean to interrupt.”

“Most cyborgs wouldn't,” he allowed softly. The man nodded to himself and leaned back in his chair before consulting his papers.  

“Are you making a note for reconditioning?” she asked him.

The sound of his pen scrawling across the page stopped, but he didn't look up. “...No,” he answered at last, and finished his note.

“Signore,” she addressed him gravely. “Please be honest: do you know when I lie to you?”

“You already asked that,” he reminded her calmly. “I have a little girl at home about your age. She's sweet, but she still gets into mischief. Trust me, a father knows when a child lies.”

Terra gave him an apologetic smile and brushed back her sandy bangs. “For both our sakes, signore, I think it would be better to acknowledge I'm not a child anymore.”

The man blinked at the statement, then opened a drawer on his desk and lifted out some papers. He scanned through a few lines before lifting the document for her to see. “Is this you?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.

Terra stared back at a miniature picture of herself on a page with her name at the top and various fields marked out with her specifications. She didn't find anything new that Cyan hadn't told her already.

She nodded and waited for the next question.

“Do you know how old you are?” the man at the desk asked.

“Cyan and I agree to think I'm fourteen,” she told him, wondering if this was a standard question for the interview. Did most cyborgs not know their age? ...Did most cyborgs even care?

The man looked back at the papers again and frowned. “But if you're not a child...”

Terra suddenly caught on to what he was wondering about. “I'm not an adult,” she assured him. “I probably won't even grow out of this body. I didn't mean that. I meant I'm a cyborg, your daughter is not.”

The man stroked his chin thoughtfully and consulted the picture again. Terra thought she caught a glimpse of something in his eye. “...I see.”

They went into a respectful lull as the man continued to see and Terra patiently waited for him to want to see more. Finally, she decided it would be best to take matters into her own hands.

“Signore?” she prompted him.

The man flinched and looked two and fro, as if coming out of a trance. “Mmm?”

“May we take the next question?”

“...Yes, yes, of course.” He put the papers down beside the questionnaire and began taking notes again. “Next, question three: How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?”

Terra silently noted that the age question had not thrown off the numbering and tucked her shoulders closer as she tried to figure out how to explain Cyan. He wasn't a very open man. Sometimes she felt he was at odds with the Agency. If they were trying to get her to talk about him because they wanted to know more, something he didn't want to tell them, then she didn't really want to say anything either.  

“Terra?” the man at the desk prodded gently.

“He's a good man,” she answered, as if nothing had happened. “He's stern, and strong, and he's always trying to help me get better at my job. I think he's a good fit for the Agency.”

The man's head bobbed as his pen weaved circles and lines across the page that probably only he could read. “Good, and how do you feel about him?”

“...I like him a lot.”

“Would you go so far as to say love, even?”

Terra blushed. “It… it's not like that, signore,” she said, trying to not sound too rushed. “I just… I guess that's not a very good answer. All of us cyborgs like our handlers, at least a little. I just… I don't know how to say we're different.”

“Are you different?”

She should have seen the question coming. Didn't everyone want to think they were different, special? In a way, that just made them the same. Really, she was a general purpose agent who did her jobs and didn't ask questions for how to go above and beyond. They had generic written all over—
That's not what he asked, she stopped herself. He only asked if your relationship is different than any of the other girls.

Terra sighed and shook her head. “...I don't know.”

“Thank you, Terra,” the man concluded, as if she'd given him an actual answer. “Next: What are your favorite kinds of missions?”

Pushing down the sick feeling that they'd just cut off a crucial thought, Terra nodded and tried to comply. “I'll do anything, really. Whatever needs to be done, I'll find a way to do it. Cyan taught me to be ready for anything.”

A slight smile played at the interviewer's lips. “Yes, but do you have a favorite?”

There was a squeeze in her chest and she knew they were pushing on something the other side of her didn't want to discuss. She tried to think about her missions, about the places she'd been, the feel of the trigger under her finger, the smell of lead, hot holes in warm flesh, breaking bones, death— “...No,” she said simply.

“I see,” the man murmured. It was a good response, the kind of thing you could say just to fill space and move on. Some things in the world didn't need to be lived constantly, they only needed to be glimpsed. “Following that, what kind of missions do you dislike?”

“Signore?”

“Yes?”

“Have you ever seen more of a person than you wanted?” she asked slowly, carefully trying to find just the right words for the thought. “Have you ever had to just watch and get closer even though you knew something awful was going to happen, because it was your job to keep looking and not look away?”

The man huffed up a single wry chuckle as his fingers rubbed his pen back and forth between eachother. “...Yes, Terra. I believe I have.”

“Then you know the missions I dislike.”

The answer was followed by a beat of uncomfortable silence before the interviewer cleared his throat. “Question six,” he read, keeping his voice steady. “How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?”

“It's nice,” her mouth moved automatically while her mind tried to figure out how they could be less than halfway through. She'd never liked interviews. Being stuck in a room alone with someone and not being allowed to leave felt dangerous, wrong even. She missed her weapons. Who was on the other side of the mirror? Her mouth kept going. “The windows face the sunrise over the Apennines, and I have plenty of room to keep my equipment and prepare for work. I'm allowed to keep a small wardrobe and Cyan sometimes gets me clothes for special missions. Someone down the hall, one of the other girls, I think, she bakes often so it always smells nice. It feels… safe.”

“Safe?”

Safe? Terra blinked. Who said that? Was it her? Was that really how she felt? “Uh...”

“Never mind,” the man waved it off. “We'll move on to the next question.”

Terra was beginning to feel the man didn't know how to do his job.

“Seven,” the man pronounced. “Do you get along with your room-mate?”

“I think we get along alright.” Better than the other girls do with her, anyway, Terra added silently. “Lauro originally wanted Elsa to room alone, so some of us thought she might have problems.”

“Does she?”

Again, Terra had the feeling that the man's questions were creeping under a sacred trust she'd established. Elsa didn't like talking. Terra felt that part of that was what Lauro said and the other part was what Elsa thought Lauro wanted. They'd made the best of it though. Terra never disturbed her roommate with so much as a “goodnight” after that first evening and Elsa never prodded into Terra's broken conditioning. Neither of them had much in the way of personal belongings and they both did their part to keep the room clean. Over all, Terra thought it was fair to say she could have done worse.

“...She's a cyborg, like the rest of us,” she answered at last. Yes, that was the best way to put it. “She does her job and goes to bed on time. I don't think she's ever kept me up late.” Although she has woken me up early once or twice…

“Good, I'm glad that's working out,” the man said, nodding. “Now, question—”

“Signore?”

He looked up, a little put out that she had broken the flow. In her head, she apologized and assured him this was necessary. “...Yes?”

“Remember when I asked if you knew when I lie to you?”

He didn't look happy to be reminded. “Yes, I remember.”

“I think you should know that even if you can't tell when I lie, I can tell when you do.”

His eyebrows knit together; he probably thought it was a challenge.  

Terra sighed. “You don't have to say things you don't believe,” she explained. “You don't have to pretend to care about me.”

“...Question eight,” the man said pointedly. Terra noted that he didn't challenge her observation. Perhaps he felt it would weaken his position… “How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?”

For once, the question didn't seem to need any additional thought. Terra smiled and went right into it. “The dining hall does what it's supposed to, it makes food and it serves it on time. As for favorites, Cyan likes seafood.”

The interviewer closed his eyes and rolled his fingers. It seemed like an odd place in the interview to ask for more. Perhaps they were looking for comments to pass to the culinary staff.

“He also like it when we get English dishes, his favorite is—”

“Terra?”

“—Shepherd's pie. Yes, signore?”

“What about you? What are your favorites?”

“Whatever Cyan's having.”

“Of course,” the dark haired man didn't look particularly thrilled with the answer, but he let it stand.

It briefly occurred to her that not all cyborgs took lunch at the range. Of course, most cyborgs' handlers hadn't asked for permission to bring their cyborgs meals outside of the dining hall either. She always made sure the dishes made it back, so the arrangement had worked out so far. Really, she wondered why she didn't see more people doing it.

On the other hand, she enjoyed having lunch alone with Cyan.

“Question nine, what really grosses you out?”

“Signore,” Terra gave a suppressed smile. “Is that really one of the questions?”

Something lit up in his eyes and for a moment they looked less tired. “I thought you said you could tell when I was lying?”

“Yes, you're right...” she said, still holding the smile. “I was trying to give you an out. I'll be more explicit for you then: do you really want to ask that question to a combat cyborg?”

“It might reveal an abnormality in your conditioning,” the man offered. “It might tell us something about your previous life, or give us an early warning sign about mental deterioration.”

“...Signore,” she said evenly. “I haven't had the luxury of being 'grossed out' by blood, brains, body fluids, or anything else. To me, the world just happens. It's frightening, and I hate it sometimes, but hate is not disgust.”

“So if you saw your handler, say, naked—”

“I have.”

“...”

“When dressing his wounds in a bathtub in Eastern Europe during the search for Dottore Estheim,” she explained. “We were cut off from any other support, so I had to do it. The burns went down from here to here.” She tapped the side of her own ribcage and thigh to demonstrate. “Cyan is in very good shape for a fifty year old man, by the way.”

“I see...”

“...Are most cyborg's disgusted by their handler?”

“It was just an example,” the man assured her. He shifted in his seat and refused to meet her eyes. “Ten: Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?”

“Not really,” she said wistfully, deciding to leave out that Cyan had ordered her not to interfere with Lauro de Sica's training methods. Cyan had his reasons. “Next?”

Surprisingly the man took the bait and didn't press for more. Perhaps knowing she was hiding something was enough.

Perhaps the man simply wasn't good at his job.

“Eleven: Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?”

“Vacation?” Terra gave him a tilted look.

The man sighed and made the rolling motion with his fingers again. “Time off, extended leave. When you're not on missions and you're not training, where would you like to be?”

“Is that what happens after we finish the Padania?”

“...I take it Cyan is a real slave-driver.”

Terra shrugged and forced herself to not react to the insult. “Cyan is good at his job. When I have time off, I'm usually reading about our next assignment, or cleaning my gear, or—”

“—Talking with your roommate?”

Terra stopped. No, not talking with Elsa, she thought. Not yet.

“...To be honest, signore, I don't think there's anywhere else I really want to go. Everything I need is right here.”

“Well...” the man shifted in his seat and tried to give her a warm smile. She felt like reminding him about what she'd said about lying. “If the answer changes, let us know.”

Terra gave him a funny look, the one she liked to use with Cyan on the rare occasion that he made a joke. “Will I have to take this test again?” She hoped not. She would have to ask Cyan about it after she got out.

The man pursed his lips and shifted his eyes towards the mirror. Someone on the other side might be looking back at him. Sometimes, Terra wondered if cyborg eyes had been made to not see through the mirrors and only adults could do it; other times she convinced herself that they were just as blind as she was. “No, I don't think so,” he said, adjusting his coat as he looked back at her. “But you can send your answer to my desk and I'll file it for you.”

“Thank you, signore, I'll consider it.” From what Terra could gather from Cyan, that was the more polite way of saying “No thank you.”

The man's eyes moved back to the page and he smiled as he read the next question. “Tell me what you think of Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?”

Terra stared blankly back at the man.

“...Terra?”

“Triela has a… bear collection?”

“Yes, she collects teddy bears as gifts from her handler. What do you think of that?”

“What are teddy bears like?”

“...Perhaps we'd better move on to the next question,” the man at the desk surmised. He seemed a little disappointed with her response. Terra filed it away and told herself to ask Cyan why the question was meant to be interesting; and, while she was at it, what exactly a teddy bear was.

“Thirteen: Do you have a favorite color?”  

“...Red, I suppose,” she answered. “The color of courage, valor, and love. It's a color that doesn't like secrets, it always must tell you exactly what it is.”

“Very good,” the man said without further pursuing the choice. She was surprised he didn't bring up that it was also the color of blood. Maybe he was making a note of it and planned on sharing it later. At any rate, they were almost through. Perhaps he'd grown tired of questioning her and was rushing to the end. That either meant he'd found what he was looking for or he thought he was wasting his time. Terra hoped it was the latter.

“Number fourteen. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?”


“Signore,” she returned respectfully, “what do you think a machine like me values in life?”

“This questionnaire isn't for me, Terra,” he reminded her. Terra suspected the words were just as much for himself, though. “Are you saying no?”

“...I admired a man we killed once,” she said after a moment. “His name was Leo Cristophe, and he was not afraid to pay for his crimes. There are many criminals in the world, Signore, and many of us realize what we are. But very few of us are willing to be punished for what we've done.”

“...Fifteen,” the man went on in a controlled voice after he finished his notes. In a way, it was odd that he hadn't pressed after the incident with Cristophe. Whatever he was curious about, apparently her explanation was enough. “If you could choose, how would you like to die?”

Terra took a deep breath and tapped her leg against the stool. “...I think an unforeseeable malfunction would be best. No one gets blamed, nobody has to feel regret over not saving me. It's not their fault, so they can move on. Yes, that's probably best, I think.”

“You know...” the man sighed and removed his glasses. He began cleaning them on his shirt as he shook his head and looked anywhere but at her. “...Most people want to die peacefully, in their sleep.”

She stopped and frowned at him. “People die that way?” That was strange. Somehow she had assumed that people only died when they were killed.  

The corners of the man's mouth tugged up into a sad smile as he put back on his spectacles and began finishing his notes. “Does that make you want to change your mind?”

“...”

“Terra?”

“...I don't think that's how cyborgs are meant to die, signore.”

His mouth slowly opened, as if there were a secret sixteenth question he was meant to ask, before her closed it again and simply stared.

“But, yes…” she went on, giving him a sad smile of her own. She didn't want him to think she hated him, or that she was being difficult on purpose. Sometimes, it just seemed people didn't understand how different her world was from theirs. “I think that sounds nice.”


}§{


...So, there we are. Perhaps not all that original, but they say it's all in the execution. So if the execution sucks, then you're pretty much screwed. Am I screwed? Probably, but you can't get better without trying. Thank you for giving me the opportunity and the challenge to try.

Regards,
-CG


Last edited by Chronic Guardian on Tue 23 Aug 2016 - 23:10; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Formatting Transcription Correction)

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...Was that too lighthearted?
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Wed 24 Aug 2016 - 13:56

clapping

Tres creepy, as promised. Terra is definitely a first generation, isn't she? I wonder if her conditioning fuels her paranoia somehow. For all that, she's plenty smart and observant. The interviewer seems to be pursuing an agenda of his own; be interesting to see him in your fic.
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Chronic Guardian on Wed 24 Aug 2016 - 14:30

Oh, why thank you! Again, it's hard to feel confident when following up acts of the masters (Yes, Alfisti, I did just call you one of the masters). Soo... success!

Terra is a first gen girl, most the DT cyborgs are. The latest they get is Quistis, who is kind of 1.5ish gen, and Aria, who follows shortly after.  Is this purely related to my reluctance to validate second gen cyborgs? No, no it isn't. There are plot reasons backing it up. Suffice to say, the focus is more on the earlier iterations simply because that's the time CG wanted to work with.

Terra has a sort of stilted intelligence about her in DT. Because of the way her magitek interferes with her conditioning, she's left bright and open to ask all kinds of questions and follow thoughts that cyborgs aren't generally allowed to think about. As you noted though, she is very paranoid, partially due to her past (which is all integral DT plot stuff), and is not always correct in her judgments. She is also among the more solemn cyborgs, being very melancholy, and doesn't easily mix with the rest of the crew (as we see by her ignorance about Triela at this point in the interview).

The interviewer here is Doctor Gast Faremis, father of Aerith Faremis, a doctor at the SWA researching the effects of magitek against conditioning. He dies fairly early in the Aria/Vincent plotline, but he does indeed hold some plot significance beyond that. He probably won't show up for another interview though. 

Anyway, thanks as always for the support! This longform interview really takes it out of me though... it might take a while before I attempt that again.

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...Was that too lighthearted?
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by PSVT on Thu 25 Aug 2016 - 22:08

Definitely an excellent and enjoyable read CG, and a great job in portraying Terra's creepy nature. Yes it's a lot of work, but the long-form interview allows for a lot more interaction and ability to tease out details of a character's personality than a mere flat list ever could. As for Terra herself and her conditioning "issues"... very interesting indeed. I imagine few if anyone outside of her handler knows about it, which leads to the observed tension during the interview. Terra being a first gen cyborg, with all the associated baggage of that type, certainly doesn't make it any easier I imagine. Overall, she seems like she could be a handful (putting it mildly), and it compels me to check out your Dual Trigger stories when I get the time.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Alfisti on Fri 26 Aug 2016 - 8:39

An excellent bit of writing mate. Terra comes across as observant and intelligent, though perhaps with a tendency to overthink things? Sometimes her assumptions about the good doctor seem to be on the money, sometimes not... she seems to come up with a lot of options without extrapolating a conclusion from them?

Even for a gen01 she also seems very handler-centric, going by how her replies for favourites and the like tend to revert to Cyan's tastes rather than her own. She's an interesting one, that's for sure.

Either way, a very well crafted and enjoyable read.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Chronic Guardian on Sat 27 Aug 2016 - 1:30

[To PSVT]: Eh... no more creepy than most first gens. Although, to be honest, this is more a case of false symptoms than the actual first gen conditioning. Terra was a child soldier pre-conversion, so it's mostly baggage from that. It's a life that's left her pretty skittish, as evidenced in her various pre-emptive strikes throughout the conversation. Of course, if I have to explain that then I suppose the real issue is weak writing/lack of context. Either way, the picture should clear with time.

To be honest, Terra's refined character concept is largely shaped by conversations with the honorable taerkitty. When I first started approaching the GsG fandom, I was one of those starry-eyed fix-fic writers who just wanted to make everything right again. Then I read taer's stuff and came to a few different conclusions: happy endings are only worth something if you've got to work for them and it's entirely possible the Agency is just doing the best it can. Sure, the conditioning drives the characters into terrible situations, but what did a cyborg without conditioning really look like? When you don't have a mental block telling you it's okay to shoot, how do you cope with your job as a murder weapon? It's partly because Terra has to engage these thoughts and come up with her own answers like an adult that she's sort of in self-exile from the rest of the girls. A conscience is an awfully inconvenient thing to have in her line of work...

Ah yes, Dual Trigger. Terra is actually featured in the latest extra story, "Apologia," and is slowly being wound up into her own adventure in  "Soto la Pelle", which will deal with the Estheim incident mentioned in this interview. With any luck, she won't disappoint.

[To Alfisti]: Yes, that sounds about right. Terra's previous life has left her a little on edge. She's used to being left out of the loop and having to fill in the holes for herself so she's sort of developed a passive aggressive assertive side. That, and a lot of her character theme has to do with multiperspective thinking. Overall, she's kind of erratic now that I think about it. sweat

Perhaps Terra is a little fond of Cyan, but it's not quite in the same way as most. Her bond is forged by battle, not conditioning. She trusts Cyan as a comrade in arms, someone who won't stab her in the back. Considering her usual (previously justified) paranoia, that goes a long way.
As for favourites, the subtext to the favourite food question was "Cyan brings Terra lunch at the range, so she just learns to enjoy whatever he chooses for her... which happens to be what he chooses for himself." It's not so much because he likes it as it is because it's what's on her menu. Now that I look at it, I suppose I could have written that a little more clearly... In my defense, her answer to "favorite color" is entirely her own. Terra hates deception, particularly because she sees a lot of it in herself. As she says to Dr. Faremis here, she doesn't intend to lie, but she's more or less running on automatic half the time because that's just part of the trauma coping a cyborg with broken conditioning has to sort through. Needless to say, it's very frustrating for Terra because she then feels she's accountable for all misunderstandings and that just serves to alienate her further from the rest of the community. Although technically she's has the same specs as the other first gens, emotionally she's in a league of her own (and not necessarily in a good way...).

And again, thank you. I've been sitting by for so long, I'd hate to mess up the introductions now!

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by topgearbrzgt86 on Sat 20 May 2017 - 1:29

1. Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in Section 2?
My name is Jamiebel Angkahan, and I am a field operative/transportation assistant/communications assistant of the Loeb Fratello, partnered with Frédéric Loeb and fellow cyborg and partner Jim Eligino.

2. Can you tell us about your conditioning?
Apart from our training with Alpha? It’s light.

3. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?
Frédéric is a person I can feel truly comfortable around; I can be myself with him, and he seems to treat us pretty fair.

4. What are your favorite kinds of missions?
Oh, geez… um, I’m not sure if I have a favorite.

5. What kind of missions do you dislike?
The ones that go really pear-shaped.

6. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?
Never a dull moment, I can tell you that.
 
I’ve developed a bit of a recent reputation of being the new “big sister” of the younger cyborgs, because of my friendships with Marzia [Bianchi] and Santa [Cassano], and how I treat the pair of them like I was the big sister.
 
I don’t mean to take that reputation away from Téa, but if everyone says so…

7. Do you get along with your room-mate?
Jim is my roommate. We bicker and argue, but in the end, we are family. I do get along with him, if that’s what you want.
 
8. How do you like the dining hall? Do you have a favorite food?
Love it, and any food for me is good food - just as long as it’s cooked right.

9. What really grosses you out (not just food)?
I’m really squeamish when it comes to gory horror and stuff like that.

10. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?
I dunno… Maybe not? I’ll get back to you on that one.

11. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?
South Korea. I hear the cherry blossoms bloom more beautifully there. That, or Japan.

12. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?
I say it’s cool. However, if I thought it was geeky, I wouldn’t judge.

13. Do you have a favorite color?
Purple. I feel as though I’m drawn to it.

14. Aside from your handler, is there an adult (agency or outside) that you admire?
Michele Pagani (for his reputation) and Marcello Moretti (for him being so akin to Frédéric).

15. If you could chose, how would you like to die?
“Atashi-te hounto baka--”* AS IF!
 
Oh, sorry! Um, if I were to die… I’d like to die without regrets. I want to know that I did everything I can in my life to live to the fullest. And I’d like to be buried in the Philippines, too.
 
*“I’m such an idiot” - Jamiebel quoting Sayaka Miki from Madoka Magica.

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Sat 20 May 2017 - 16:39

Been wondering when we'd see this...

I expected her to have a bit more to say about her relationship with Jim, but I guess she's a more private person than I thought.


The answer to #2 is cute, and shows how little the cyborgs really think about the regimen that keeps them alive and directs their minds.

Sounds like she's in a little competition for Cyborg Class President. The comment about the Princess's collection was very diplomatic. I imagine all the first-generation cyborgs seem kind of geeky to the Seconds.
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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by topgearbrzgt86 on Sat 20 May 2017 - 19:17

@Thescarredman wrote:Sounds like she's in a little competition for Cyborg Class President. The comment about the Princess's collection was very diplomatic. I imagine all the first-generation cyborgs seem kind of geeky to the Seconds.
During Cyborg Class President campaigning days...

Jim(with a megaphone and sign saying: "Don't be a Stupid Idiot! Vote for Jamiebel!") Vote for "The Face that Runs the Place," Jamiebel Angkahan! No other girl has better qualifications than this one right here!

Jamiebel: Jim, not so loud. You know that the Cyborg Class President thing is just a popularity contest... Kara's bound to win it, anyway.

Jim: Come on, Jay-bee... who here calls Kara their bigger sister? Not Marzia or Santa, that's for sure... you're a lot more responsible than Kara is; you're more attentive than Monty; don't even get me started on athleticism or studies... and who would want to say 'no' to that face of yours?

Jamiebel: Fair points... but I'm not getting my hopes up, you hear?

Jim: Deal. (with the megaphone, back to his advertising) Vote for Jamiebel, my fellow cyborgs! Vote for someone you can rely on!

Jamiebel: (facepalms) Ughhhh...

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Re: Interview with a Cyborg

Post by Thescarredman on Fri 27 Oct 2017 - 20:56

Antonio Salles made his way back to his office, thinking about the unexpectedly pleasant luncheon he had just had, and about possibilities for the approaching weekend. The dining hall had been unusually crowded this afternoon, and he had found himself sitting across from Ferro Milani. Chief Lorenzo’s girl Friday had been as aloof as ever, but the new girl from Legal whom she’d been showing around, Carlotta Mariani, had been more receptive to his attempts at conversation. She was something of an airhead, but easy on the eyes, and new in town; Antonio liked his chances. Sometime before the end of the workday, he should stop in at her desk and offer to take her to the theater or a museum…

He swung open his office door and stopped, transfixed.

A young woman – to Antonio, she looked about twenty - sat in the guest chair at the table he used for a desk. She looked as if she had stepped from the pages of a fashion magazine: light brown hair and eyes, flawlessly done; skirt and button-front blouse, perfectly fitted; necklace, earrings, wristwatch and bracelet, all made of the same glittering white metal – he guessed platinum. Her posture and poise as she turned his way spoke of careful schooling. She said in English, “Please tell me you speak English.”

“Of course,” he said, as he shut the door. He wasn’t good with accents in foreign languages, but he didn’t think this girl was British. And, somehow, she sounded younger than twenty, perhaps much younger. Could she be… Antonio eyed the doorknob and jamb: unmarked. “I was sure I locked that door.”

“It’s not a very good lock. Really,” she went on at his look. “All I needed was a credit card.”

So much for security, he thought, eying the stacks of files on the table, and the privacy of my reports. “Why did you break in?”

“I’m supposed to keep a low profile while I’m here,” she said. “It seemed a better idea to wait inside than out in the hallway.” She added, “Not that it looks like this corridor gets much traffic.”

She was an American of some flavor, he decided; from her clothing, he guessed she was a big-city girl from one of the coasts. And poised though she was, he was now almost certain she was a cyborg. Do we have a branch in the States, I wonder? Or… He offered her a smile. “You do rather stand out, Miss…”

She stood, giving him a look at her rather short skirt, nylon stockings, and expensive-looking shoes with ten-centimeter spike heels. “Keaton.” She offered a hand. “Angel Keaton.”

“Antonio Salles.” He took her hand, which was rather smaller than his own. Even in her tall shoes, the girl had to look up to meet Antonio’s eyes, though he wasn’t a tall man; he guessed that in bare feet she was no more than one-fifty-five. “And what can I do for you?”

 “Well, if I’ve come to the right place, I’m supposed to do some kind of interview,” she said. “It’s an exchange of favors. Mister Lorenzo said to tell you it was for the ‘SL’ file, whatever that is.”

Antonio pushed down a twinge of irritation – did the Director assume he was so idle that he could conduct interviews without scheduling them? As another puzzle piece fell into place.

The ‘Leggere Solo in Loco’ file was restricted to an even smaller circle of readers than the rest of the interviews – specifically, to SWA members with authorization from Monica Petris. There were several reasons for this. Some of the cyborgs, and no few of the handlers, were so aberrant that their interviews were useless for promotional purposes. Other fratelli had assignments which required that their very existence be kept close, like the Blackers.

But a few were not Section Two agents at all, belonging instead to one of a handful of foreign powers which fielded cyborgs, and with which the Agency co-operated. He seemed to recall that one of the other staffers had interviewed a cyborg from the Agency’s American counterpart, though the details escaped him… What sort of business would a cyborg team from America have in Italy, and why would they come to Section 2 for a favor? “I see. Well, the ‘interview’ is just a list of casual questions one might discuss at a party. You won’t be asked to give up sensitive information.”

She scoffed. “You can get an awful lot of sensitive information out of people at a party.” But she sat down again, waiting.

Antonio rounded his desk, sat, and reached for a ‘cyborg’ questionnaire, then hesitated, contemplating the embarrassment that might ensue if he had guessed wrong about this lovely little creature. “Ah, signorina, you are a cyborg, yes?”

The girl’s face lit up, and she smiled wide, showing dimples. “You know, I thought you weren’t sure. And a man in your job must meet cyborgs all the time. I’m flattered.”

He smiled in relief and picked up the questionnaire and a pen. “Well. You’re very adult-seeming, with your clothing choices and such. And your speech seems very grownup as well.”

“It’s something of a job requirement. It’s usually easier to blend in when you’re in public, if you can pass for an adult. And I’d say it’s also due to my everyday environment. My handler and his associates are mostly old enough to be grandparents,” she said. “And Estelle… I think she must have run a girl’s finishing school before she became his housekeeper.”

Intrigued, he said, “Well. Shall we begin?” He read off the question. “Hello, can you tell us your name and a little about your role in …” He paused over the words Section 2. “Your organization?”

“My name is Angel – Unit 0501-151, of the Rehabilitation Branch, under the Department of Homeland Security umbrella,” she said. “From what I can see, it’s a close equivalent to yours. A large, government-funded health organization for a front, which takes in kids with missing limbs and such and rehabilitates them using cybernetic implants and prosthetics. And behind it, another well-funded organization that creates living weapons for covert and direct-action missions against its country’s enemies.”

“That … was rather well put.”

“Rehearsed, you mean.” She smiled again, briefly. “I figured I’d need to say something about where I come from.” She shifted, crossing her legs under the table. “Actually, I’m sort of on detached duty. My handler isn’t really part of the organization. He’s more of a … contractor, I guess. They come to him for odd jobs off the books.”

“I see.” Actually, he didn’t: he had never heard of a Section 2 cyborg being given to a handler outside the Agency, or any of its operations not being handled in-house. The Americans must do things rather differently. “Two. Can you tell us about your conditioning?”

Angel hesitated. Antonio said, “If you’re not supposed to tell -”

“No, not that. I just wasn’t expecting this one. I need to think about it.” She laced her fingers together on the table. “I take a couple of pills every week. Little white ones in a foil blister packet, twenty-four to a box, like cold medicine. When they run out, I need to go back to one of the Branch’s facilities for resupply. While I’m there, I get a full checkup and a skills evaluation, sometimes a little training.” The corner of her mouth twitched, but not in amusement. “And program updates, I suppose, but they never talk to me about that.”

At this chill reminder of the nature of the little creature seated across from him, Salles dropped his eyes back to the sheet and cleared his throat. “Three. How do you feel about your handler? What is your relationship with him like?”

The girl paused again, a troubled look in her eyes. “Do you really think this is cocktail-party conversation, Mister Salles?” She drew a breath and let it out in a heavy sigh. “Our relationship is complicated. One big problem between us is our age difference. Another … well, let’s just say he has a harder time forgetting I’m a cyborg than I do.”

Salles looked across the table at her, and decided there was another reason for her trying to look and act as mature as possible. He swallowed and said, “You don’t need to elaborate if you don’t want to. Many of the girls give answers to this question that … might be embarrassing later.”

“I told him I loved him, once,” she said, looking at the table between them. “And then I told him I was ready to prove it.” She raised her eyes to meet his, to make sure he understood her.

“What did he…” Antonio paused, unsure what to say next.

“He dismissed my offer, gently but very firmly,” she said. “I’m sure he thought it was the conditioning. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t.” She leaned towards him. “Mister Salles. Do you think everything cyborgs think and feel comes from our conditioning? Honestly?”

“Well…” He cleared his throat. “I think it depends. Watching most of the first generations, it would be easy to convince yourself that’s true. The second gens are more independent, but I think conditioning influences them as pervasively, just more subtly.”

“First generations?”

“Yes, the…” He paused. “Do you have cyborgs that are younger, say, ten or twelve?” At her head shake, he went on, “Apparently your program benefited from our mistakes. The first-generation girls accept as a law of nature that they love their handlers. And the character of that attraction sometimes seems … inappropriate for a ten-year-old.”

“Oh.” She said quietly.

He let the silence stretch for a long moment – or perhaps it only seemed long - then returned his eyes to the paper. “Four. What are your favorite kinds of missions?”

Angel came back into focus. “I really only have one mission. I’m Jack’s bodyguard. I’m an expert with a pistol, pretty good with a rifle or automatic weapon, and a terror at hand-to-hand, so I’m told.  I train and practice whenever I can to keep my skills fresh. I’m supposed to stay close to him and be his final line of defense, if somebody gets past all his other security.”

“That’s a common enough role,” Salles said. But only among unimaginative drones whose handlers expect no more from them. Surely this girl’s handler could make better use of her than that…

She head-shrugged. “But, too many times, he goes places and leaves me behind. My handler is a retired arms dealer, and also a retired spook. Only, I don’t think he’s all the way out of either of those jobs. That’s one reason he’s useful to the Branch, but that also makes him hard to fully trust, I guess. He’s a very secretive guy - actually, I don’t even know if that’s his real name - and he travels all over the world, and he knows people everywhere. Jack thinks the real reason the DHS insisted on assigning him a cyborg wasn’t to protect an asset – he thinks I’m a two-legged bug they planted on him. He’s sure that when I come back to Section Four for my quarterly checkup, they put me under the helmet and pump me dry for information – where he goes, what he does, who he sees. He told me once, ‘I trust you with my life. But four times a year, you’re questioned for hours under hypnosis by people I don’t trust at all.’” She looked blankly for a moment, then said, “The favorite part of my mission is when I’m with him, especially when it’s just us two, and he’s not doing anything else. Someplace relatively safe and secluded, like when we’re on his boat for a weekend.”

It seemed to Antonio that this ‘cyborg interview’ had given up more information about Angel’s handler than his cyborg. She’s got it bad, this one. He gave her a nod, for lack of anything to say in response, and went on. “This is probably redundant, but … Five. What kind of missions do you dislike?”

“Waiting for him to come back,” Angel said. She smiled. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not like a dog lying by the door, waiting for his master. I have a life without him. Estelle is like a mom to me, and I have friends at every safehouse on our circuit. I even have a cyborg girlfriend or two I can call, and if we happen to be staying nearby, sometimes their handlers will cut them loose for a day so we can hang out.”

Salles frowned. “Hang out what?”

She shook her head, smiling. “That’s slang. I mean, we just spend time together doing regular stuff.”

He smiled as well. “Like what?”

“Oh, you know, lunch, or shopping. Hit a movie. Target practice, sparring. Normal stuff.” She lifted her hand and twisted her wrist, making her bracelet dance and sparkle. “He gives me a ton of money, and Estelle helps me spend it properly. I know he feels guilty about leaving me behind – which is kind of nice, considering he didn’t really want a cyborg in the first place. And spoiling me makes him feel a little better about it, I think, so I try to spend it all, otherwise he gets kind of moody.” She grinned. “Every teenage girl should have my problems, right?”

You’ll be a teenage girl until you die, he thought. Which will probably happen before I have to replace the shoes on my feet. He smiled. “How long have you been here at the Agency?”

“We flew in just this morning.”

“Then this next question isn’t going to be relevant, I’m afraid.” He said, “Six. How do you like life in the SWA dormitory?”

Angel’s mascaraed eyes widened prettily. “The girls live in a dormitory?”

“Most of them, yes.”

“What about their handlers?”

“The handlers have basic accommodations in another wing of the building,” he said, suddenly uneasy. “But they generally live off-campus.”

“And then, what, they pick up their girls when they have something for them to do?”

“Well, I’m … sure that some of them take their cyborgs out for other reasons.” He added, “From time to time.”

She let out a little breath. “And I thought I had it bad.”

“They have a social life. It’s more like a girls’ boarding school than a barracks,” he said, rather defensively. “They often work in teams as well, which I gather you don’t.”

“Right. Different strokes, I get it.” She added, “I doubt we’ll spend the night here. If Jack’s business at the Agency keeps him overnight, which doesn’t seem likely, we’ll stay at a hotel. Otherwise, we’ll probably just jump on a charter flight back to the villa in Spain.”

Charter flight. Villa in Spain. He appraised the girl’s clothing and jewelry again: certainly worth more than his monthly salary, possibly more than he made in a year. “The next question has to do with life in the dormitory as well. We can just skip it.”

“No, please don’t. I’d like to hear it, at least.”

“Very well. Seven. Do you get along with your room-mate?”

“Hm.” Angel looked thoughtful. “I wonder what that would be like, sharing a bedroom with another girl. Do they get bunk beds?”

“The first generation girls do. The Seconds get rather larger rooms, with twin beds I think.”

“Is trouble between roommates common?”

“Well, not outright hostility,” Antonio said. “But the handlers are a diverse bunch, and their quirks and idiosyncrasies are replicated to some degree in their cyborgs. It leads to friction sometimes.”

She nodded. “When we’re staying in a safehouse, I’m with Mrs. Cox – Estelle. She’s been with Jack for years and years. She’s supposed to be our housekeeper, and she does keep house, but I think she just slipped into that role after she moved in. I don’t really know why. But she’s great, just like a mother to me, and it’s good to have her around when Jack leaves me to go off doing whatever he does.”

“I take it she’s a widow?”

“I think so, but I don’t know. Everything I know about her is learned kind of in passing, offhand remarks and such.”

He nodded. “Have you eaten lunch?”

Angel raised an eyebrow. “Is that an invitation?”

“Er, no. I just wondered if you’ve had a chance to eat at the dining hall. It’s part of the next question.”

“No. But I love Italian cooking. Uncle Jack takes me to restaurants sometimes, but you wouldn’t believe what a man with his money eats when he’s at home. Microwave meals from the freezer and scrambled eggs, seriously.”

He smiled. “Well then. Eight. Do you have a favorite food?”

“Not really. I like a lot of things. What would you recommend at the dining hall? I might be taking dinner there.”

“It’s buffet style,” he said. “I really couldn’t single anything out.” Antonio thought the food rather bland, but he remembered hearing that Americans’ palates were generally unsophisticated. And just how fussy were cyborgs about what they put into their mouths? “Nine. What really grosses you out - not just food?”

Angel stroked her chin with a finger. “That’s a tough one. I generally don’t get exposed to anything unpleasant. I guess I have to take a pass on that one.”

“All right. Ten. Is there one thing you would really like to do, but your handler won't let you?”

She said quietly, “I think we covered that earlier.”

The interviewer felt his ears warming. He cleared his throat and returned his attention to his paperwork, though he had asked these questions so often that they were graved in his memory. “Eleven. Where would you like to spend your next vacation? Have you been there before?”

She looked thoughtful. “We’ve been over half the world together. Sometimes a place can be exciting, and the next time deadly dull – it depends on what you do there, and who you’re with. Truth, I once had more fun in a Laundromat in Buena Vista than I’ve ever had on the French Riviera.” She brushed two fingers across her temple. “He has some odd ideas about money; I think he must have grown up poor. If I could choose, I’d like to go with Jack to visit his family. I want to see what they’re like and how they raised him.”

“What sort of ‘odd ideas?”

“Well… he values money for the ability to do things that it gives him, but he doesn’t have any fun spending it. I’ve told you what he usually eats. He owns properties all over the world, probably worth millions, but to him they’re just places to stay when his work takes him that way.” She touched the same two fingers to her lips. “On the other hand, he seems to think that young girls like nothing better than to spend money. Whenever he does something to upset me, he always tries to make it up to me with an extravagant gift or a shopping spree. I can’t be angry with him for trying to buy me off, not after I see the pleading in his eyes.”

Antonio thought that conditioning might have more than a little to do with Keaton’s cyborg’s inability to be angry with her handler, but refrained from speaking the thought aloud. “Well. Question twelve. Triela's teddy bear collection; cool or geeky?”

“Triela?”

“Yes, one of the cyborgs. She collects Steiff bears. Her handler buys them for her.”

“Really.” The girl seemed genuinely interested. “New, or antique?”

“I’m not sure. I know that he gets them from all over, even out of the country. Is that important?”

“Depending on their age, their rarity, and their condition, a Steiff bear can be worth thousands. If he’s looking that hard for her bears, he’s picking up good ones. Is he rich?”

“I think he lives on his salary.”

“Half his salary, if he buys her more than a couple a year. Sounds like Triela’s handler may be feeling guilty about something. Anyway, my verdict? Cool. Anything a girl and her handler do together is good by me.”

He nodded. “Thirteen. Do you have a favorite color?”

The girl stared into his eyes. “What a mundane and innocent-sounding question. Do the answers ever surprise you?”

“On occasion.”

“Maybe not this time. My color preferences are on a par with my weapon preferences – whatever suits the occasion. I own clothing of just about every color and hue.”

“All right. Fourteen-”

“How many questions are there?”

“Just fifteen. We’re almost done.”

“All right.”

“Fourteen. Aside from your handler, is there an adult - Agency or outside - that you admire?”

“‘Admire,’ as in ‘want to be like?’ There’s Estelle, of course. She mothers me, and she taught me everything I know about clothes and makeup. But I don’t really know many adults all that well. I only see Agency personnel about two weeks a year, and the doctors are pretty impersonal. The guys who train me in hand-to-hand are nice, mostly, but I’m the boss’s niece and jailbait besides, so they don’t get too friendly. And of course, I’ve never met any of the people Jack does business with.” She considered. “There is somebody. Another independent contractor for the Branch, like Jack. French, I think. She came to our place in Virginia once to talk with him about a job, and spent the night.” Angel raised her eyes to the pipes overhead “God. I was so jealous. She’s so poised and beautiful. I made sure her bedroom was as far from Jack’s as I could put her. But she’s just too nice to be angry with. And she always seems to get her way with people. I think I’d like to be like that.”

Antonio nodded. “Last question. If you could choose, how would you like to die?”

“Who in their right mind would ever like to die?” She scoffed. Then, thoughtfully, “How often does a girl say, ‘protecting my handler,’ or something like it?”

“It’s probably the commonest response,” he said.

“Thing is, I’m my handler’s last line of defense. If I get killed protecting him, it probably means he’s still in danger. Which means I’ve failed him.” She shook her head. “No. when I die, I want to die knowing he’s safe forever. And if it’s not too much to ask, in his arms.”

Antonio Salles thought that worth a moment of silence. Then he cleared his throat and said, “Well.  That concludes the official series of questions. But Signorina Keaton, if I may ask. You mentioned an exchange of favors. If you think you shouldn’t say, I understand, though I do have quite a high clearance-”

She scoffed, a birdlike little coo of sound. “The favor is personal, not professional. Jack and I go diving together. But he won’t let me use SCUBA gear; a snorkel is all he’ll allow, and he watches me like a shark the whole time I’m underwater. The techs at the Branch told him that deep diving can be fatal for cyborgs, but they were a little fuzzy on the details – something to do with the conditioning drugs reacting adversely under pressure. Jack recently found out that your Section Two has a handler with experience training cyborgs to deep dive. He made a couple of calls and struck a deal. He gets a consult from your Mister Alboreto, and you people get an interview with a cyborg from the Branch.” She smiled. “Like I said, he’s given to extravagant gestures.”

Keaton was waiting for her in Section Two’s enclosed parking lot. “How did it go?”

“Easy peasey,” Angel said, leaning against Jack’s rental, a disappointly mundane two-door. “I’m sure I learned more about The Social Welfare Agency than he did about the Branch. The questions were Reader’s Digest stuff. He actually asked me about my favorite color.”

The handler lifted an eyebrow. “Did he think you were a bit overdressed?”

“For a cyborg, you mean? You’re not the only handler with money, Uncle Jack. I heard one of them here is a Ferrari engineer when he’s not doing cloak-and-dagger. He buys his girl designer fashions, one-of-a-kind stuff.” I bet they tool around in a nicer car too, she thought.

He unlocked the car’s doors. “Maybe we should upgrade your wardrobe while we’re here.” He got in and settled behind the wheel.

Angel slid in beside him. “With a tank and regulator?” She asked eagerly.

Jack started the car and turned down the drive toward the back entrance they had used to enter. “They don’t use the same meds here as the Branch. The stuff they give you at Fort Detrick might be perfectly safe, or it might kill you at half the depth. There’s only one way to know, and we’re not going to risk it.”

“Well, what did they do to make it safe? Can’t we do the same thing?”

He shook his head slowly. “They made it possible for a cyborg to dive by reducing her meds to absolute bare minimum, and putting up with all the side effects. Elio tells me his girl suffers sudden mood swings and unpredictable behavior, and sometimes has trouble with her motor control. With training, she’s learned to avoid the worst of it, but…” He looked at her sharply. “No. If keeping you under control was all your meds were for, you’d never swallow another of those damned pills again. But they’re also keeping you alive. Section Two is willing to risk shortening a girl’s life by cutting back her antirejection drugs in order to fit her to a specialist role and complete her missions. I’m not about to do that so you can explore shipwrecks.”

They reached the gate, stopping at the swing arm across the road. A guard stepped out; Jack surrendered his and Angel’s visitor passes, and they waited silently while the man made a phone call. Moments later, the arm lifted, and the car rolled through on its way to the highway.

 “If you’re looking for an argument, you’re not going to get one,” she said. “My master has spoken.”

“Good,” he said, though he didn’t sound relieved. The car reached the road, and he turned left, toward Rome. “What say instead of flying straight back to Vilanova, we spend a night in Rome? I’ll take you to a restaurant fancy enough for your clothes. Then we’ll do some shopping, put you in some Italian fashions. What do you say?”

“If you want.” The instant the indifferent reply was past her lips, she wanted to take it back, but it was too late. Angel glanced at her handler: Jack stared stone-faced out the windshield, his hands flexing on the wheel.

After several kilometers she said, hesitantly, “Jack?”

“Yes?” He didn’t look at her.

“I wanted to ask … Never mind.”

“What?”

“You’ll think I’m being a silly little girl.”

He turned to look at her. “Tell me.”

“Well…” Angel looked down into her lap. “There’s a girl at the Agency. She has this amazing collection of stuffed animals. It made me think about starting one of my own.”

“I don’t think that’s silly,” he said gently.

“I don’t even know what they cost. Do you know anything about Steiff bears?”
 

 

 

 

 

    
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Thescarredman

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Location : Toledo, Ohio, United States

Fan of : Rico, Bice

Original Characters : Kristal & Verotrois / Doc; Angel / Jack Keaton; Tiffany/Stefan

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Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
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Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
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