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Project SOUL [M-LV]


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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][CENTER]Esther?s motorbike skidded to a halt outside her father?s house. She quickly jumped off and brushed the light snowflakes from her coat, her raven hair tucked messily under a woolly hat. She knocked on his door quickly and stepped in as soon as he opened, startling the old man ever so slightly.

[B]?My dear Esther, so good to see you!?[/B] he hugged her and kissed her cold cheek, smiling down at her with those watery blue eyes of old age. Esther smiled in turn and squeezed his hand, leading him into the living room as she tugged off her hat.

Her father looked at her coat and turned his head to the side, [B]?Aren?t you staying??[/B]

[B]?No, father, I?ve come to get something from you?then I have to go. It?s starting, and you know it.?[/B]

Her father sighed and lowered himself into a chair, bringing a hand up to press his fngers into his temples.


[B]?You once told me about a glitch in the SOUL chips, something that only you picked up on.?[/B] She was sharp and it hurt her to see the shocked expression in her father?s face, but Esther pressed on.

[B]?Please, tell me everything you know.?[/B]

The old man raised his greying head and looked at his only child. He rose slowly and crossed to a cabinet across the room, tugging out a laptop from under a pile of research books. [B]?In this laptop is a programme I developed?one designed to detect, if there ever was, a glitch in SOUL chips.?[/B]

Esther sat and waited, listening patiently with a section of her lip caught between her teeth. Her father continued, [B]?The other scientists were so pompous, they didn?t even look at my technology. They claimed there would never be a glitch with the chip-?[/B]

[B]?So the government doesn?t have this technology??[/B]

Her father held up his hand and closed his eyes, as if in thought.

[B]?No, they don?t even know it exists,?[/B] his daughter looked relieved. [B]?I?ve been testing it out lately, and it?s come to my attention that there are five people whose chips have malfunctioned. I have called them ?Defectors?.?[/B]

Esther brightened up and moved to take the laptop from her father. He passed it to her, along with a small disk.

[B]?I didn?t want to look into it too much, but you should be able to find out every detail about these people. Now, I?m afraid to ask, but why???[/B]

[B]?I?m going to find them. All of them. And make them see how lucky they are, and that they should help free the rest of the human race from the governments militant control.?[/B]

Her father didn?t even look up, he knew protesting would be no use. [B]?I don?t want to lose you?? [/B] he muttered. Esther merely smiled confidently and leant over to kiss his forehead.

[B]?I?m your daughter, it isn?t a total loss.?[/B]

[SIZE=1]Right, this is how things are going to go:
As Esther is in England, her search will begin with one Jake Preston. Each chapter will detail the finding of each Defector, one by one. I don?t want the introduction chapters to be very long; maybe three or four posts at most. If your character is going to be difficult (as I can see some will be) then instead of doing lots of small posts, rather do a longer post detailing Esther?s attempts to persuade, and I?ll do the same. Just to be clear, everyone will end up joining her in their intros, but it just depends on how much convincing it takes. When once person joins her cause, Esther then travels with them to the next Defector.

[B][U]The order will be as such-[/U][/B]
Jake Preston-[B]Wraith[/B]-England
Wolfgang Mann- [B]Unborn Lord Xion[/B]-Germany
Sakura Valtentine-[B]Sakura[/B]-Japan
Miranda Smith-[B]DeathKnight[/B]-USA [South]

[B]SunfallE-[/B]I believe I told you in a PM, but your character won?t have a chapter to herself, you?ll just start off with in a chapter with Esther and co. Though I imagine I?ll put that chapter from the Gvmt. POV.
[B]Outlaw-[/B] As I told you, you'll post along with SunfallE.

[U][B][CENTER]Chapter One-Jake Preston[/CENTER][/B][/U]

[CENTER]In this chapter Esther travels to find Jake. It takes her a while and at first he finds it hard to believe that this woman is actually speaking the truth. She shows him her laptop and he?s shocked to see that she knows intricate details about his life. Instead of reacting in a harsh way, he believes her, and the two discuss their plans for what to do next. Jake is obviously hiding his emotions with regards to his past, and Esther finds herself able to trust him. Esther seems to be at a loss when it comes to planning ahead, and Jake gives her a first hand example of his powers.

I have plans for certain characters, Wraith, yours is one of them. I feel that Esther and Jake are the type of characters who?d be able to trust each other and talk about things, but still managing to dodge more touchy subjects. I?m considering making him a much more central character. If you want to discuss anything with me, feel free to add me to MSN. (Unfortunately, my AIM isn?t working).

Wraith, the first post goes to you.[/CENTER][/SIZE]
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[size=1]Jake shivered as he walked down the street, his breath clouding in front of him, his cheeks turned bright red from the biting wind. His eyes began to water as the wind became stronger and colder, and finally he allowed himself the small weakness of needing to duck into a pub somewhere.

He almost threw himself through the door of the nearest pub he could find, and at once became overpowered by the intoxicating stench of tobacco smoke and liquor. He felt himself become slightly light-headed, and took a seat before he fell over and made a fool of himself.

[b]"Hey!"[/b] he shouted to the bartender, [b]"Can I get a drink, mate?"

"Sure," [/b]replied the bartender, [b]"What can I get you?"

"Anything to warm me up. Have you been outside lately? Its like the bloody Arctic out there."

"I'll have to watch out for that, sir," [/b]said the bartender, casually managing to ignore everything that Jake had said. He poured a large glass of some strong-smelling liquor, and handed it to Jake.

[b]"Watch out," [/b]he said, [b]"Its pretty strong stuff."

[/b]Jake smiled at him and threw back the entire glass without so much as a shudder. He winked at the bartender, whose jaw dropped, and asked for a pint this time. He was given the drink, and he swivelled his barstool round to observe the clientele.

There were men and women of all shapes and sizes, all races, religions, with a variety of heights, weights, and body shapes. But, out of all the people in the bar, one person caught his eye. A woman, sitting in a cubicle in the far corner, her laptop out, looking completely out of place in a place like this.

She was not especially pretty, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, her hair was tied into a braid which hung down her back. She seemed to be hard at work, as she was staring intently at the computer screen. There was something about her, however, which caught Jake's attention. He watched as she finished her drink, a Diet Coke as far as Jake could tell, ordered her another, and walked over to her cubicle with her drink in one hand and his own in the other.

[b]"Can I sit here?" [/b]he asked, smiling at her. She looked up and nodded. He took a seat and handed her the drink.

[b]"I got you a drink. Though you might be thirsty," [/b]he said.

[b]"Thanks, Jake,"[/b] she replied with a smile. Jake took a double take at this.

[b]"How do you know my name...?"[/b]

(OOC:PM me if there's anything wrong, Imi)
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[SIZE=1]Esther merely smiled as Jake sat opposite her, his face, still rosy from the cold, was frozen in a momentary expression of shock and bewilderment. Of course, that's what she had expected; after all, he?d never met her. However, she felt that from reading his information, that he would be very accepting of what she was about to tell him.

[B]"Jake, you have to listen to me when I explain this. I'm a scientist; my name is Doctor Esther Hadely."[/B]

[B]"Hadely as in Professor Seamus Hadely?"[/B]

Good. The young man still had his voice.

[B]"Yes, that's my father. He's a researcher."[/B]

Jake nodded and Esther pressed on.

[B]"The reason I know your name is because I have access to a top secret data base."[/B] she checked Jake's face for any hint hat he thought she was insane. He seemed to be taking this all on board and thinking about it as she went on.

[B]"My father was researching something known as the SOUL chip. The public do not know about this, as it is a Government operation. However, there has been a glitch."[/B]

Jake didn't say anything, but his brow wrinkled as he tried to take this information on board. He clearly wasn't too confident in Esther's sources, but he politely let her continue.

[B]"I know it sounds absurd, but...here."[/B] Esther typed some short commands into her laptop and spun it around for Jake to see. His eyes widened in shock. She'd pulled up information about his past that the SOUL chip had recorded. Only a simple thing, but it was because of the simplicity that Esther knew Jake would believe her.

[B]"I...don't really understand."[/B] He looked up at her with a frown on his face. Esther nodded and smiled reassuringly as she pulled her laptop back toward her.

[B]"It's okay, I'll explain everything to you."[/B] she paused and smiled a little more brightly, [B]"Would you care for lunch?"[/B]

Jake managed a small smile and he nodded. The two ordered their meal, a typical Pub lunch, and Esther explained everything she knew. She was incredibly happy that Jake was willing to listen to everything she had to say, and he questioned her without sounding the least bit angry. He believed her, it seemed.

When the pair had finished their lunch, and Esther had finished explaining her story, she looked up at Jake as he finished off his pint and opened his mouth to speak.

[B]"So there are five of us?"[/B] he questioned,[B] "Defectors, that is."[/B]

Esther nodded and wrapped her hands around her glass of Coke.

[B]"It doesn't surprise me, you know. I have been feeling quite different lately, though I didn't know why. You've explained that much to me, at least."[/B]

Esther smiled at him and nodded, [B]"I'm glad I could help. And I'm very pleased to have you with me, too."[/B]

Jake put down his glass and stared thoughtfully out of the window for a second. [B]"Would you like to see what I can do?"[/B]

Esther practically jumped as he said this and her eyes seemed to spark momentarily.[B] "That would be...fantastic."[/B]

[B](OOC: Right, Wraith. You'll probably want to take our character out of the Pub now. If they could travel to Esther?s flat where Jake shows her his ability, that would be great. I'm going to end the chapter after that so we can move on to Wolfgang. If there's any little bit of info you want to add, now's your chance.)[/B][/SIZE]
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[b][size=1]"Where can I show you that would be safe?" [/size][/b][size=1]asked Jake, [b]"I don't think displaying my abilities in a pub is the best idea."

"No, I don't, either," [/b]replied Esther, [b]"I suggest we go back to my flat. There's enough room there for if your abilties need it, and we have all sorts of equipment back there."

"Sounds good to me,"[/b] said Jake, following her out of the bar. They walked a short distance, then took a bus.

[b]"So, firstly, I need to ask you, what would your opinion be of Project SOUL from what you've seen and heard?" [/b]Esther asked.

[b]"Well, I would think that the information you've given me is pretty biased, and as I have only just heard of this Project SOUL, it's pretty hard for me to make up my mind. But from what I know so far, I have to say I'm disgusted at the government. I mean, who do they think they are to try and control the masses? Its taking away free will, something which should never be done," [/b]replied Jake, with a small look of disgust forming on his face.

Esther didn't say anything. She merely smiled and leant back in her seat. After a few minutes, she pressed the bell and they got off the bus, walking a few hundred metres to Esther's flat. Once they got inside, Jake pulled off his jacket and hung it on a hook. Her apartment was pretty large, but not overly furnished. There was plenty of space in the area, definitely enough for Jake to move around in.

[b]"Ok, when you're ready, show me your talents," [/b]said Esther, taking a seat. Jake nodded, and closed his eyes for a second, concentrating on what he needed to be doing. Then, in one fluid motion, he flipped forwards onto his hands, then back onto his feet. He did this a few more times, completely silently, before attempting a more outrageous movement. He flipped the top half of his body backwards, placed his hands on the floor, and twisted his legs up into the air, before pushing off the ground with his hands and grabbing onto some of the piping that ran across the ceiling, then flipped his legs up and flipped off the pipes, landing gracefully, and almost completely silently, ont the floor.

[b]"Very impressive. Superb acrobatic talent, would probably have been used for covert infiltration missions, possibly stealing weapons secrets or other such valuable information," [/b]said Esther into a small dictaphone, before standing up and walking over to Jake.

[b]"Is there anything else?" [/b]she asked.

[b]"There's one more thing. Do you have any firearms in your flat? Just small arms, handguns, that kind of thing?" [/b]he asked.

Esther nodded and went to a different room, coming back after a few moments with a tray full of assorted handguns and other weapons. Jake took a handgun, an H&K USP, and took it apart in lightning speed, before reassembling it and aiming it, managing it all in a matter of seconds.

Esther raised the dictaphone again.

[b]"Handgun disassembly and reassembly, as well as aiming at extremely high level. Almost definitely used for military purposes."

[/b]Then she turned the dictaphone off and said to Jake:

[b]"If you're willing, then I'd like to say: Welcome to the team!"
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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray]Two days after Esther and Jake had met; they were booked on a flight to Germany. Esther had planned as far as which countries she would visit, creating her own notebook on each Defector, and looking into flight times. She wasn't quite ready to book everything, however, and was starting to realise that flights alone could cost more than she bargained for, let alone all the other expenses that would come with these trips.

She sighed in the Taxi and Jake looked over to her questioningly.

[B]"You all right, Esther?"[/B] he asked quietly. The woman turned her head and nodded in reply, rubbing her temples slowly. [B]"Just thinking."[/B]

That seemed enough for Jake and the pair lapped into silence again as their driver pulled into Heathrow Airport. They collected their bags and entered, a normal looking pair to anyone who cared to glance their way.

Esther had made sure that they'd have weapons when they arrived in Germany. Nothing illegal...well, not very. Esther may have been a drab scientist, but she?d met some characters in college.

Three hours later, the plane already well into the flight, Esther pulled out her laptop. She brought up the information on Wolfgang and let Jake see the screen.

[B]"He?s our next Defector; Wolfgang Mann."[/B] Esther gulped slightly, this would be difficult. [B]"Seems he's some sort of tough guy, according to the information recorded. Likes to cause riots and the like." [/B] she rested back as Jake read the rest of the information. A tough guy. Fantastic.[/COLOR]

[SIZE=1][U][B][CENTER]Chapter Two--Wolfgang Mann[/CENTER][/B][/U]

Esther and Jake arrive in Germany and after booking into a Hotel, go to find Wolfgang. As they arrive at his house, Esther decides she should be the one doing this, considering Wolfgang's character, and gives Jake the address of a warehouse where a shipment of weapons is waiting for her. He leaves in a rented car and Esther confronts Wolfgang.
He doesn't find it hard to believe her, but is cocky and gives her a tough time, obviously not too confident in the small woman?s abilities. He eventually agrees to join up, mostly due to the fact that Esther promises him a good fight with lots of guns.

Wraith, I'm giving you pretty much free reign on your character in this. Meet up with who you want, even have a fight along the way if you wish. At the end of this chapter we'll all meet up again.

ULX, you have the first post, starting with Esther arriving at your house. As a note, and this is for everyone, you don't have to stick exactly with my chapter details, if you feel your character would react in other ways, by all means, feel free to write it.[/SIZE]
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[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1]Wolfgang Mann was stretched languindly across a battered leather couch when the knock came. He lifted the arm off his eyes, looked over at the door, and willed the people behind it to just leave. They didn't, and they knocked again. He sighed, as if standing up were the biggest trial in the world, and walked over to the door, reaching up to wrench it open and narrow his eyes at the person who had disturbed him.

[B]"I was sleeping,"[/B] Wolfgang growled in his native tongue. [B]"What do you want?"[/B]

The woman on his doorstep looked bewildered. Probably a foreigner, he decided. He looked her over quickly, deciding that she was pretty, but nothing special. She pursed her lips before replying to him.

[B]"Er...Do you speak...English?"[/B] she asked in that annoyingly slow tone everyone took on while trying to communicate with someone in a different language.

[B]"Ja, ja, I speak English,"[/B] he said, waving his hand airily. He knew enough of 23 languages to get him by in most normal situations, and she thought he might not know English? [B]"What do you want? It better have been important to disturb my nap."[/B]

[B]"I need to talk with you. It's important."[/B]

A businesswoman, probably, he decided. Or maybe a scientist. Or, unfortunately, an accoutant. She had that clean, professional tone about her.

[B]"Alright, come inside...unless you're an accoutant. Are you an accoutant? If you're an accoutant, you can just go, because I'm not talking to one. Ever."[/B]

The accoutant-doctor-businesswoman took a step back, looking, again, bewildered. She shook her head as if to clear it, then stepped back up to the door.

[B]"No. I'm a doctor. Now, can I please come inside."[/B]

[B]"Ah, alright. Doctors, I can handle,"[/B] he said, with a bit of a jaunty grin as he stepped aside.

She sighed. [B] "Doctor Esther Hadely,"[/B] she said, and stook her hand out.

Wolfgang stared at it.

[B]"...Shake it?"[/B]

[B]"I don't shake hands."[/B]

Esther sighed again. This was going to be a very long afternoon.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[SIZE=1]A light flush crossed Esther's cheeks as she passed over the threshold into Wolfgang's house. Great, so he didn't have any manners, either. Figures. She guessed he already hated her, or was well on his way to feeling that way. Perhaps a direct approach would be best?

[B]"There's something I have to tell you, but I'm not sure how easy it will be for you to understand..."[/B]

Wolfgang's venomous stare told Esther that this had certainly been the wrong approach. The woman almost wilted under it and she shrank back to the wall, keeping her hands clasped together tightly.

[B]"That is...I mean..."[/B] she fumbled for the words as her mouth became dry, Wolfgang still staring at her, his glare becoming colder as Esther stuttered.

[B]"Spit it out, woman. I don't have time for you messing me around."[/B] The brunette's accent seemed to get thicker as his anger increased, and Esther finally managed to find her voice.

[B]"You...you listen to me! I'm here to help you, and like it or not, I'm a scientist and I know a lot more than you do."[/B]

Wolfgang twitched.

[B]"...in certain clinical matters."[/B] Esther finished nervously.

After about ten minutes of nervous rambling, Esther had Wolfgang seated with a Whiskey in his hand, actually listening to what she told him with the occasional nod of his head to show that he was understanding properly. He laughed at some of the things she told him; things about his past, but at least Esther had gotten through to him.

By the time she had finished, the raven-haired woman was a little less nervous than she had been before.

[B]"Um...may I have a drink, please?"[/B] she ventured, still sounding timid.

Wolfgang finished off his drink with a final swig and stood, nodding. [B]"Ja, of course, you've kept me entertained,"[/B] he smiled awkwardly, [B]"Don't sound so timid, woman, you seem to be onto something quite scary here. Weakness wouldn't be your friend. That is, if you?re telling me the truth."[/B]

Esther nodded a little and tried a smile, only succeeding in her mouth hitching up a little. Soon, a cold glass was pushed into her hands, and warm whiskey filled her throat. It brought tears to her eyes, but God knew it was what she needed.

[B]OOC: Wraith, if you'd like, you can post whenever you want. ULX, another post from you detailing Wolfgang actually joining with Esther and a show of his abilities would be nice, sankyuu~[/B][/SIZE]
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[size=1]Jake hailed a cab, and asked, in fluent German, to be taken to the address Esther had given him. The driver nodded, and drove off, not bothering to make any small talk on the way.

[i]A week ago, I'd never have imagined this, [/i]thought Jake, [i]I never thought I'd be joining a rebel group fighting against the government, let alone become one of the founding members. Three days ago I was going to work as normal, but now this. Unbelievable.

[/i]After a little while, the cab pulled up at the waterfront, where a block of warehouses, cold, grey slabs of concrete, where Esther's weapons were to be picked up. He paid the driver, and asked for him to come back in an hour or so and pick him up. The driver agreed, and drove off.

Jake looked at the slip of paper with the address on it. [i]Warehous Number 5, Waterfront, [/i]it said, so he went over to the warehouse marked [b]5 [/b]and walked through the door.

[b]"Hello?" [/b]he shouted, his voice echoing around the room, [b]"Is someone there?"

[/b]There was the sound of a large number of guns being cocked, and the lights came on, effectively blinding Jake. He blinked a few times to get rid of the spots that had appeared before his eyes, and then looked around.

There were twenty or thirty men, all with handguns of various sizes and shapes, all standing around, aiming their weapons at Jake. He smiled at them.

[b]"Is there a problem here?" [/b]he asked, again in fluent German.

[b]"Ja," [/b]replied one of the men, who sported a thick, bushy moustache on his upper lip, [b]"We were expecting a Ms. Esther Hadely. You are not a woman, nor are you named Esther. Therefore, you are not the the one who we are expecting. Therefore, we have orders to shoot on sight."

"There's a mistake. I've been sent here by Ms. Hadely. She sent me to pick up a shipment of weapons, and I was sent here."

"But we were told only to deal with Ms. Hadely. You are not Ms. Hadely. Therefore, we are ordered to kill you."

"Fine," [/b]said Jake, [b]"But be aware of the consequences of trying."

[/b]He dodged in towards the head honcho, grabbing his weapon and twisting it from his grasp. He fired a shot into his kneecap, sending him to the floor, screaming in agony. Blood gushed from the wound, and created a torrent of scarlet across the floor of the warehouse.

[b]"Shoot him!" [/b]shouted the man between torn, ragged breaths, [b]"Shoot him now!"

[/b]The rest of the men, previously astounded at their leader's easy defeat, turned upon Jake, but he was already gone, leaving only his coat behind.

[b]"Where the hell is he?" [/b]cried one of the men, before being taken down by a gunshot to the arm. Several others were dropped with various non-lethal injuries, and within moments there was widespread confusion and chaos. No-one knew where to shoot, or who to shoot, or even where the man they were supposed to shoot was.

Jake walked from the shadows into the light again, aiming his handgun at the leader's head.

[b]"Now do you believe Ms. Hadely sent me?" [/b]he asked. The German nodded, and pointed him to a stack of crates, supposedly full of weapons.

[b]"Thank you."[/b]
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