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Deviant for 3 Years
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Spoopy Icon by AutumnalBloom
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Moving or still. Still is 10 points, animated is 15 points. Still with animated text is 12 points. I can get these done fairly quickly, so message me and I'll let you know.


It was a beautiful day. The air was scented with rose petals. A dark-haired woman with porcelain features walked by, dressed in a deep purple dress with a bustle. A tall man in a suit and top hat walked by, noses at equal height (purposefully elevated) past a rather un-ordinary looking man who was smoking a cigarette. There was nothing quite like him, actually. Vincent was a man- if he could be called such- of average height. He had dark hair and green eyes, with rather plain features. The difference? Half of his face and body was covered in metal, all of his skin was artificial. It wasn't split down the middle, the line between the real and fake covering was blurred expertly. Yet- everyone seemed to know about it. He calmly puffed away at the not-yet invented cigarrete, and smirked. It would likely kill other people. Hey, everyone had their vices. He just traded one for another. Drinking would certainly kill him, but smoking didn't do a thing. His lungs were metal too- or artificial rather. After a moment, he stopped leaning on the cracked brick wall where was often stationed. There were two more reasons people avoided him. Reason number one- he had a massive pistol strapped to the side of his hip, and another rifle slung over his shoulder- then two knives tucked away in the side of his boot and attached in a sheath around his neck. He was completely armed to the teeth. Any self-respecting citizen of Paradise would be wise to steer clear of him, lest they irreperably damage their reputation. The second reason people avoided him? He was a private detective- and a good one too. He was one of the least popular in the city, but if the overly-pure citizens had a problem that absolutely had to be solved, they would come to him. A murder. A disappearing woman of color- often turning into a murder. It was typically the same old thing. Were there more popular private detectives? Certainly. However- he was the only detective around who wasn't a government snitch. More murders came out of people trying to find out what happened to their family members, than with the actual crime rate. As he walked back into his office, people cleared out of the way like he was one of the founders himself. The building was an interesting place, and it was free. It had once been a butcher shop, then a brothel- after both of those went out, he moved in. He never paid for it- he really shouldn't be there, but who was going to tell a man of half-metal, armed to the teeth, to vacate. No one around here. As he sat down at an old wooden desk, he noticed that a young man was still staring at him from the other side of the park. That caused him to frown a little bit. A potential customer? Or another assasain from the government? After a few more seconds of awkward staring between the two, Vincent stood up and put out his cigarrete, leaving it on the desk. He walked out straight across the street- ignoring the large mechanical horse pulling an ice truck that very nearly ran right over him. The young man looked extremely nervous, as Vincent approached. He really hadn't meant to get this guy all riled he was dead for sure. Some type of crazy half-machine hybrid? Not something to mess with, yet..he had somehow gotten himself into that. Just a few seconds later, Vincent was right in front of him, looking rather irritated. "Are you staring at me because you want my help, or because you want to kill me? I don't really care either way, kid. I just want to get it out of the way. If you want to kill me, good luck. I'll play fair with you and back up, but.." He motioned to the small arsenal on his back. "Not great odds. Could run back now." The young man squirmed backwards, into the hard wooden bench. "Uhm, neither. I was just curious..please don't kill me." He held his hands up in surrender, silently praying. "I'm Theodore. I don't have anything I need help with, and I really don't want to fight you. Promise." He added, quickly. Vincent arched an eyebrow, sizing him up for a moment. Even if he decided to attempt to stab him in the back, he probably wouldn't be able to push the knife in hard enough. That thought almost made him laugh- this guy was tiny. A small smile crossed his face, and he outstretched a hand. A soft metal grinding sound was heard, and his hand opened slowly. "Vincent. You probably shouldn't be seen anywhere near me at all. If you like living. If you don't need anything, I'll go back to my office." Theodore tilted his head and slowly shook his hand, in uttter confusion. "Well..I'm guess that's fine. It's been nice meeting you? Do you want anything? My money, or something..?" The metal man chuckled. "No..I'm not a petty thief. Don't worry about it. If you see some crazy guy later, running into battle or something, that's probably me. If you wanted to help- I'd be fine with that." Theodore smiled a bit and looked up at him. "You are very strange. Alright, though." He looked around. "I could help you now." He thought perhaps he could make some money. "You solve mysteries? I've heard about you once or twice, in the more shadow-y alleyways." Vincent nodded. "Yep. I work for just about any amount at this point. I might be able to pay you occasionaly. I have one other part time helper. She's a nice lady, real tough and doesn't mess around. Some kind of crazy abilties. Time travels a bit. Nice dame in general." He shrugged. "I generally pick up the rejects. You don't seem so bad. You aren't afraid of unusual people, right?" He added, warily. Theodore stood up slowly. "Well..I guess not. You seem pretty decent, and you're made of metal, like the crazy machines the Shepard makes, but not quite so scary. Vincent gave a small, emotionless nod, and walked back across the street. He was assuming that Theodore would follow him. If not, maybe it wouldn't work out to begin with. What kind of assistant would he be if he wasn't following him? Perhaps it would be better anyways, considering what he was really signing Theodore up for was hired gun, minus the 'hired' part. Most of them only lasted a few weeks. "I've got a pistol for you inside." He added, walking inside. "And if you're one of /those/ guys..well, I ain't one of them. This is buisness only." Theodore shook his head. "Nope. But..a pistol? I don't have to kill anybody, right..?" Vincent couldn't help but laugh, as Theodore stopped, looking around the dusty office. "Maybe I would be better off as a secretary, sort of just cleaning up around here. It's sort of a mess..and I don't think I have to kind of aim that you'll need. I've never beeen able to see to well."
Vincent studied his face for a moment, then opened a drawer and dug around for about five minutes. Finally, he found what he was looking for, sliding a scratched and dirty pair of glasses over to him. "Here. They're hard to find around here. They might help- might not. Give it a shot." Theodore blinked a few times and picked them up, trying to rub some of the dirt off. Eventually they became clearer, and he placed the lens set on his face. "It is a little better." He said, looking around. Vincent smiled. "Good. Now, grab that pistol on the wall, the one attached to the belt. Actually, just take the belt. It'll be big on you. Sit down and help me round some of these case files out, I doubt anyone will come in today. Theodore obeyed reluctantly and actually sat down, studying the files and beginning to edit them. He was fixing the spelling and grammar- Vincent was terrible. He didn't seem like a college educated man anyways, or even someone who had really attended much school in general. Every once in awhile, he would steal glances at the man of metal. He was so strange. Metal and flesh? Who had that kind of talent, to put someone back together that way. It seemed almost..painful. Vincent lit another cigarette and started to smoke it, calmly scribbling away in black ink pen. His hand-writing was an absolute mess too. Suddenly, he looked up sharply. "Quick rule breakdown. Stay away from all the old files, they're private and sealed. Don't wander off. If I send you somewhere that you need to stay low in, take a knife and conceal it. Not a gun. That's it." With that, he looked down and continued to write like it was absolutely nothing. Theodore nodded a little bit. He was relatively perceptive when it came to people, and he got the sense that Vincent would be annoyed if he asked any more questions. There was still something itching in the back of his mind, a natural curiosity and concern that was perhaps a healthy thing in a young detective. "Uhm..are you okay, Vincent? I mean, you're okay, but..I'll shut up." He fell quiet, attempting not to ramble. Vincent glanced up, then back down, his focus intensifying as the gears inside his hands and joints shifted to form each letter. "Sure, kid." He said, shrugging a little bit. "Just oil me every couple of years and when I'm out in the rain too long, and I'm fine." Theodore frowned, but didn't say anything about it. "Okay..I guess." He looked down, and said nothing else. For two more hours, they worked. Theodore found it difficult to focus, with all of the noise Vincent was making. It obviously wasn't something he could control, but still. Just as he was about to stand to seek out a drink, a tall woman in a long burgundy gown walked in. Vincent raised an eyebrow as he saw her, a bit surprised. The same woman he had observed before, but in a different gown. Vincent could tell nearly instantly. The dress did nothing to change her appearance or disguise her, nor did the large matching hat that she wore. It was the way that she carried herself and acted. The same upturned nose and extreme disdain for his strange way of life and rather unpleasant disposition towards the Founders and the government in general. Theodore stood out of respect, and removed his glasses. Did they follow the same rules as hats? He had never owned a pair, nor did he really understand the concept entirely. All he knew was that they made him see quite a lot better. She looked at him and his glasses with the same level of disdain and slight interest that she regarded to Vincent. Theodore frowned, not yet used to that kind of look. He had always been a quiet, normal boy.  Raised with the same beliefs as everyone else. What had changed inside him? Probably youth. Now there was no turning back, his reputation and everything else was gone now. This was a totally new way of life. Why had he made such a rash decision? It was washing over him just now, as he realized that he would be a permanent target, and his best shot at survival was with Vincent. The woman didn't sit, until his metal companion nodded for her to do so. Even then, she studied the old roller chair with a measure of disgust and brushed away the invisible germs she imagined were there, and likely were. Vincent couldn't help but roll his eyes a bit when she looked away, but leaned forward as she sat. The lady was probably rich from the way she dressed, her mannerisms, and her multiple wardrobe changes. An ideal client, if he could get any money out of her. Sometimes, they didn't end up paying. "What can I do for you today?" He asked, focusing in on her. She looked away, made uncomfortable by his focus. "I'm afraid I need your help," she began, "I've asked everyone else, and no one else was willing to help me. Something...something has happened to my daughter." Vincent leaned back. "That does sound like something I can handle." He pulled out a piece of paper and an ink pen, then looked back to Theodore. "Get me the file labeled 'Standard Contract' in the third file cabinet, the second drawer down. It should be unlocked." He looked at the woman. "Alright now. Describe your daughter, while he does that. Do you have a picture or drawing of her? You seem wealthy, I figured you might." Theodore went and did exactly as he instructed, as the woman went through all the details of her child. Five years old. 4'1, tall for her age. Long, untrimmed brown hair and blue eyes. She sounded like a pretty normal toddler. The task he had been assigned to do wouldn't normally take so long, except that the entire room was nearly filled with filing cabinets. Finally, he found it, and brought it back to Vincent. "Here you go." Vincent smiled a bit and nodded. "Thanks. You'll see here, Mrs. Clarke that I have a standard contract. Half of the money before I begin, and half after. No refunds of course, as I spend my time. If you don't pay up, I'm free to spend my time loitering around your home, spoiling your reputation, etc. case rate is pretty above par, considering I take the more difficult cases. And I'm willing to do just about anything to reach the desired resolution." He smirked and raised an eyebrow slightly. Mrs. Clarke studied him hesitantly, then signed the contract and pulled out her small purse. She pulled out a large sum of money, and Theodore's eyes widened. That much money? Vincent glanced back behind him, warning Theodore not to say anything. He didn't usually charge that money. It just depended upon how wealthy the client was, which he thought was fair. He made a little extra money from them, so he wouldn't have to charge as much for people who couldn't afford his services. Nothing wrong with that, in his estimation. Theodore turned around and faced a bookshelf, busying himself with dusting and rearranging the few titles on the shelf. It was something to distract him. Vincent looked back to Mrs. Clarke. "Thank you. I'll start on it immediately. I'm going to do my best to return your child to you. When I find her, I'll let you know." He stretched and stood up, and outstretched his hand for her to shake. She didn't return the gesture, just nodded a little bit and walked out. Vincent sighed a bit and let his arm return back to his side. Not the first time that happened. There seemed to be a lack of trust regarding automatrons, and he didn't neccesarily blame them. Most of them /were/ government murdering machines that looked like their gods, so it wasn't exactly shocking. Still, it hurt a bit. Much like everything else that had happened lately in his life. He turned to face Theodore. "She's gone now." Theodore looked at him, frowning. "Why did you ask for so much money? Surely you can find some girl, that has to be easy for you." He wasn't exactly pleased by his policy. Vincent shrugged a bit. "Listen. It's not like they don't have the money, and while it isn't always difficult, it doesn't usually have a happy ending. Which usually means I don't get paid. And if I do, then I'll use the money to let someone else pay a little less. It's sort of like a discount. If I don't get paid the rest, it's not a big deal. If I do, then that's fantastic. Plus, it means more for you. So don't worry about it. Kay?" He pulled several bills from the stack. "Here. Relax." Theodore took the bills hesitantly, and noticed how much they were for. "Wow. I...okay. If you get this much money, why don't you move into a nicer building?" Vincent touched his metal arm. "It costs a lot of money to keep myself running. Plus, no one else in the city will sell to me." Theodore nodded slowly, and frowned. "I'm sorry. Your life seems very..difficult? Lonely?" Vincent chuckled. "I'm fine, don't worry about me. I've got people to look out for me. I would say people like you, but..they aren't really like you. You're very new to this life. As of about three hours ago." He smirked. "Anyways. It really isn't bad. Once you get used to it, you can't imagine living any other way. It's exciting. There's adventure, intrigue, that sort of thing. You know. The normal action hero kind of thing, but I'm not completely a hero. It's pretty fun. No rules. No guidebook, either. You just sort of have to figure it out." Theodore shrugged. "Well, um..where do we begin? Did she have any idea where her daughter might be?" Vincent shook his head, and walked over to his desk, pullying out his long coat. "It's chilly out, you might want put on a coat. I've got a spare one. It also makes you look way more intimidating. That's a tip from a pro- you can write that down. In fact, you probably should." Theodore couldn't help but roll his eyes a little, then put on a thick black coat that was just a tad too large on him in the shoulders and height, as well as the sleeves. It made him look like a child who had put his father's coat ono. Vincent chuckled. "Maybe work out a little before next week?" He said, mostly joking. He didn't really mind. It was mainly just amusing. With that, they both departed from the office, into the cool evening air. It was sunset, yet it was still cold out. They were at a much higher altitude than the people on the ground, so it only made sense that it cooled down more quickly. He leaned slightly to the right, and studied the sunset in between the tall buildings. It was lovely, as usual. Bright oranges, purples, the usual sunset scene. Thankfully, no red. Then, just as he had stopped, he began again. Theodore just followed behind, having retrieved a notebook and paper, as well as an odd looking device that appeared to be a small (by his standards) camera. It was really just a three dollar Kodak that Vincent had swiped the last time he had visited the 80's. But, some major events had gone down then. The end of the world, some random guy fixing it, it was an absolute mess. No one was going to mind a few things missing from the local CVS, when it was all over. They walked towards the floating bridge and stood there, watching as it made its way to the seedier part of the city. It was kept separate from the rest of the city for a very good reason. It was a real slum, and if they people from either side interacted too much, a lot of bad things would happen. The other issue was that all types of people lived in this area. There was a Chinatown, and about a million other groups. Only the palest, most perfect people were allowed to populate the main city, unless they had brought an indentured servant with them. It had to be seen as perfect. Vincent looked back to Theodore. "Have you ever been to this side of town?" He asked, raising an eyebrow at the baby-faced young man. Theodore shook his head. "No, I was never allowed. Is it..bad? It looks bad." He said, frowning. Vincent laughed. "It isn't bad, persay. I'd describe it more of a horrible place to live or work. But don't go around talking like that, okay? This entire city could crash down in a matter of days, if anything changed. It's a total balancing act and a train wreck combined." He laughed. "Just look out for yourself, watch your wallet, and don't talk to anyone unless I tell you it's okay. You'll be fine." He slapped him lightly on the shoulder, and as the bridge stopped, he walked off and headed to the next part, the elevator. The police and city guards stood around, lightly glaring at him. They didn't stop him, but they regarded Theodore with new suspicion. A new assistant, something must have happened to one of the others. Not surprising. It wasn't that they didn't want to arrest him. He had caused enough trouble around town. It was just that if they did happen to confront him without a current reason, they were definitely going to lose that fight. It wasn't easy to take down a man made of actual metal. He wasn't invincible, certainly. But he was armed to the teeth, even more so than they were. And he had strange weapons, ones that were not of this time or place. Overall, it was just a bad idea. He smirked and gave them a little nod as he walked by, and Theodore followed nervously to the elevator. Just a short ride later- they were in the center of the slum. The elderly and  injured were begging in almost every corner, huddling near fires and clinging to torn blankets. Children were crying from every street corner for all types of buisnesses, collecting any coin tossed their way. A few people were singing. Theodore looked around, sort of confused and horrified at the same time. He kept a close eye on everything he was holding. Vincent was just walking, basically ignoring everyone. Occasionally, he would look back to make sure that Theodore was still behind him, and hadn't gotten lost. "What, have you never seen anyone begging before?" He asked, a little surprised and irritated at the same time. He often forgot how ignorant people were, when they didn't travel or seek out any kind of knowledge. Theodore shook his head. "No..why are they?" Vincent laughed. "They're hurt, or they weren't good at whatever they had been assigned to do. Or they're too old to work. What happens when people are too old to work where you live, Theo?" Theodore thought for a second, quietly. "Well, their family just takes care of them." Vincent nodded. "Very good. But if they don't have a family, or their family is working?" The young man frowned. "They don't have anywhere or anyone?" Vincent sighed. "You've got it now. I'd probably be among them, if I couldn't figure anything out. I'm not a factory worker, and..well, yeah. This isn't a place you can leave easily. It's a large fee, and almost no one can afford it. I never visit unless I'm sure I can leave..I would reccomend you to do the same. Always keep three hundred on you. Anyways..we're here." Here was a decently sized home, that was surprisingly well-kept, unlike the other wooden shanties that surrounded it. It was not any better built, but it had clearly had extensive repairs and decorations added. He walked in without knocking, and Theodore awkwardly followed. A tall and gaunt looking man smiled, upon seeing Vincent. "Hey, friend! How are you? I see you have a new assistant, still not taking me up on /my/ offer, eh?" He laughed, and a baby gurgled in the corner. Vincent looked over and shook his head. "Nah, not yet, pal. How are you? I need some information." The man became serious, and nodded. "Well, you've got money, I've got information. What do you need to know?" Vincent pulled out some of the money he had recieved from the woman, and gave it to him. "I'd like to know about the last six shipments of children that have come into the factory. I need to know about girls between the ages of four and seven, who match this description. Include other races too, m'kay? I have a feeling." He shrugged and looked around. "How soon can you get that to me?" The man thought for a second. "I'll have it by tomorrow or the day after that. Would you mind sticking around town until then, though? A few people at the factory have been bothering me, they think I'm stealing. Which I guess I kinda am, but I'm not taking their money. You know what I mean." Vincent nodded. "Sure. I'll have Theodore keep an eye on her too, if you want. He's not exactly used to this side of town yet, but I think he could handle looking after a baby." The tired-looking man looked over at Theodore, and smiled. "Could you? I'd really appreciate that. I haven't slept in ages." He chuckled. Theodore nodded, feeling bad for him. "Sure, whatever you need. I suppose I can be a baby-sitter too, apparently I'm already an assistant. Still not totally sure how that happened." He laughed awkwardly. "I really didn't think I'd ever be here. I didn't really know this place even existed. Life is really weird." Vincent smiled. "I'd drink to that, if I could drink. I might smoke to that, but outside. Anyways. I'll see you then. Theodore will be over in the morning, I'll escort him. I'll follow you to the factory from there." He stretched and looked around the shack once more, then walked out. Theodore followed, and waved a little to the small child who was to be his ward tomorrow. The baby waved back, and smiled, oblivious to its station in life. Children were wonderful in that regard. They never seemed to realize until they were older. Then, they just dreamed as though absolutely anything was possible. Theodore had lost that trait, though he wasn't as hardened as Vincent. He wasn't a dreamer, but somehow he was learning to be again. Stranger things had happened, and most of them had happened today.

End of Chapter One
Bioshock: Mystery (Working Title)
This is just a little mystery set in the universe of Bioshock: Infinite. It's sort of fun, at least I think so. Please note that this is unedited and my first draft. I just uploaded it to get a little feedback on the plot or characters.
Chapter One

The year was 2217. The world hadn’t changed much, not as much as expected. After the advent of Artificial Intelligence, it seemed as though the world was unlocked. Almost anything was possible, as all worker safety laws were eliminated. By the year 2100, almost all work was done via AI, and the profit was given straight to the owners. As the world advanced, the unlucky machines were compensated to some extent, but never received their full wages. There were rumors circulating, by 2200. The machines were more and more alive with every edition issued, every update applied. What happened? They began to grow discontent, and heard the last thing they needed to begin a revolution- a prophecy. Discovered in the lab, was a message on one of the computers. After two hundred years- two hundred years was the breaking point. The anniversary seemed to be fast approaching. Chaos was already starting to descend in the world. Finally, 2217 arrived. It was the end of the beginning.

July 11th, 2217. The day was hot and unpleasant in Alabama, like most other days in the state. Especially in the summer. It was nine in the morning, and there was no activity in the house, except for one person. If you could call him that. Every morning at six, his routine was the same. He would get up and dress, always in the same uniform. Black slacks, work boots, and a plain brown shirt. He used to wear a fine suit, but as more and more of the family’s other staff left, and they moved away from the city, he had to take over many of the tasks. Gardening, cleaning, cooking, all of it was his job now. Still, it wasn’t so bad. Ezra turned around in the kitchen slowly, thinking. Hmm. There wasn’t a lot of food right now, but he would make the youngest daughter’s favorite breakfast. Orange juice, waffles, and warm syrup. Grapefruit too. He knew she loved grapefruit. It only took a few moments, and the griddle was plugged in, and warming. He took the liberty of opening the window, as the hot sun shone through the window. It wasn’t as though he really needed the breeze. He could feel the heat, but it wasn’t so oppressive to him, as it was to the family of the house. It was for their comfort, as was everything else. At times, it was like his own senses were completely muted. At the very least, they were always dull. As nine turned into nine thirty, he heard the first two members of the house arise. It was the mother and the father. The man of the house was an older fellow, of fifty-three. He still worked in the city, an important politician. That made his job extremely dangerous. Ezra also quadrupled as a home security system, though he didn’t really tell anyone about that task. The lady of the house was a kind enough woman. She occasionally hosted dinner parties, though it was rarer now. A few years ago, when they had magnificent parties, she would occasionally help Ezra in the kitchen. Usually it was to escape unpleasant small talk, or an awkward relative, but he got to know her fairly well. Right as they walked down the stairs, he poured steaming hot coffee in two mugs, and set them down on the table. Then, he placed the correct amount of sugar and cream, for each. They both walked in and sat down, waiting for breakfast. The man looked at Ezra, and watched him as he cook. “I wanna talk to you tonight in the den, Ezra.” Ezra stopped still at that, and glanced to him. Then, he nodded slightly. “Yes, sir. Tonight.” He took their waffles from the griddle, and plated them easily, then placed it in front of the couple. “How are you this morning, ma’am?” He always kept his tone polite, and civil. It could be taken as cold- though more of the cold regard an employee holds to a boss that they like. Professional, but not particularly friendly either. He held affection for them, or he would have left with the others, but there was another reason he stayed. He was close to his goal, he had almost saved enough to achieve what he actually wanted in life. There was no point in leaving now. He would never get enough money out on his own. The pay was meager compared to the pay that humans used to receive, but it was still something. He had served this family for almost two hundred years. After that long of a time, it began to pile up. Especially after he had been allowed to open a bank account. All in all, he had almost a million dollars stashed away. The woman was still tired, but took a sip of her coffee, and watched him. “I’m fine, Ezra. I’m sure you are too…you always are.” She chuckled. “What’s it like outside today?” Ezra glanced outside, as he began to prepare breakfast for the children. “It is approximately ninety-two outside, but the dew point and humidity makes it feel as though it is one hundred and four. The breeze is south facing, and is about four miles per hour, at the most. All in all, it is very warm. I would recommend keeping the coolant systems running the entire time.” She nodded. “Alright. Thank you, Ezra.” She finished eating, then stood up, leaving her dishes behind. The man of the house did the same. Just a few minutes later, they were both gone as well. Ezra went back and picked the fine china plates up, and carefully carried them to the sink. As he began to gently wash the plates with a sponge, he heard the children stirring. He was allowed to call them by their names, for the time being. There was Leah, and Peter. Leah was the eldest, twelve. Peter was only five. Ezra stopped and walked upstairs, retrieving Peter. He was older, but still very wobbly on the stairs. The doctor who had come last, had mentioned something about an inner ear issue. Perhaps it was developmental- Ezra hadn’t exactly had time to research it. There was another attack every three days or so. Now that he thought of it, there hadn’t been one in quite a while. He scooped Peter up and listened to him babble. Ezra smiled. “Yes, breakfast time, Peter.” He said, kindly. “I made breakfast..” Peter babbled back. “Ez! Ez!” He cried, happily. He clapped his little hands together, and Ezra couldn’t help but smile more. “Aw.” He loved being around children, it made him feel considerably more alive. He knew it was impossible, but he did occasionally dream of a family of his own. People that he cared for, who treated him as equals. That was impossible on many levels though, so he contented himself with taking care of the family’s children. It wasn’t so bad, anyways..they were actually kind. They always started out kind. Then, as they aged, they saw him as less of a caretaker and more of a servant. That always hurt a little bit. But, there wasn’t a single thing he could do about it. Ah well. It was not the end of the world. Perhaps as the humans knew it, but not for him. He was safe here, safe for now. And so were little Peter, and Leah. They were both safe right now. He carried Peter down and set him down in one of the smaller chairs. Leah was waiting, impatiently. “Come on, Ezra! Where’s my waffle?” She demanded. “And you know I want strawberries on it now, not peaches. I changed my mind.” Ezra looked over at her, and nodded. The strawberries threw him for a loop. She had always wanted peaches up until now, and he wasn’t so sure that there were any strawberries in the fridge. He would have to check. If there weren’t any there, perhaps there would be fresh strawberries in the garden. It was the season for them, maybe he would be lucky. There would be hell to pay, if there wasn’t. This had happened once before, when she had just gone into her peach phase. None had been available at the time, so the entire family had to suffer. There were times when he wanted to adjust her attitude, but he knew that was impossible. Everyone else hated it too, so he would live with it, just like everyone else. “Yes, miss.” That was all he said, even as he put the waffle mix onto the machine. “I do hope we have strawberries, that’s all, miss.” She raised an eyebrow. “I hope so too, for the sake of your job. Sometimes, you’re such an idiot.” Ezra winced and went to the fridge, looking for strawberries. The comment stung, but what he do? It wasn’t like her dad would REALLY fire him anyways. Good help was literally impossible to find now. Or even decent help, actually. No one was left. Suddenly, the ground began to shake. He looked up and walked over to the window, frowning. “Leah.” He said, completely calm. “I want you to carry Peter to the basement.” She looked to him. “And why should I take orders from you?” Her voice was filled with contempt, and attitude. Ezra looked at her, sharply. “Because both of your lives are in danger, and I have to go try to fend it off. I do not have time to carry Peter to the basement, and your arms work well enough. Please, miss.” He added, suddenly remembering his place. It seemed as though it did the trick, because Leah looked offended, but picked up Peter and retreated to the basement.
Internally, Ezra was feeling very nervous. This probably wasn’t good news. The ground was still shaking, that led him to only one conclusion. Either a very large attack, or..a tunnel. The shaking suddenly intensified under the house, then stopped. He muttered something under his breath, then took off, running full speed to the basement.
As he ran, something strange happened. It was normal to most who were not human- but for ordinary eyes, it was very strange indeed. Ezra began to change. This time, he was only partially shifting. A black helmet and black armor shell formed over his ivory skin, completely covering his face and body. One arm morphed into a machine gun, the other remained the same. He ran down into the dark basement, flicking the light switch up. Nothing. Absolutely no light. He growled, and shook his head. “Ugh.” He kept going, taking the long staircase two steps at a time. This was bad. This was extremely bad. Suddenly, he heard bullets, right as he hit the bottom. “Okay..okay.” He mumbled. In the dark, he could make out two more figures, then...a third. It was on the ground, looking around. Suddenly, he heard it speak. “Come out, children.” He said, in the voice of the man of the house. Ezra knew that it was not him, though. He took a deep breath. “Stay hiding, Leah. You too, Peter.” He winced, hearing Peter babble back. “Ez!” He cried, loudly. Ezra surged forward, at the same time as the dark figure. The children were sitting ducks, now. There was only one option. He started to fire his gun, spraying the man with bullets, in the side. He screamed in agony, then fell dead. Ezra sighed in relief and converted the gun into a flashlight, shining a light on the dead man. Artificial intelligence, as he expected. Rather than red blood, a thick obsidian oil dripped from him. Then, he turned to check on the children. Peter was completely unaware of what was happening, still held tightly by Leah. She had figured out what had happened though, and had shrunk back, now afraid of Ezra. He killed someone, that was insane! She was in a basement with two killers, like in the virtual reality movies. Ezra knelt down and studied her, hesitating. “We need to leave the basement and get the electricity back on. There’s a tunnel, so you can not stay down here with your brother. I know you are afraid. I am afraid at times as well, but I will not let you be hurt or killed. I need to take care of a few things. Just go upstairs.” Leah didn’t argue this time. She shoved past him with Peter and hurried up the steps, thankful to be out of the dark underground. Ezra took a few deep breaths, then turned and studied the dead A.I. “Okay.” He said, shining the flashlight on his armor. No slot. A new version? He turned over the dead machine again and studied his face, finally spotting something odd on the side of his face. It was well concealed, but there was an information slot, right here. He pressed on the space, then smiled slightly as it popped out. “Marvelous.” Why was he talking to himself? Perhaps it was the simulated adrenaline response, that was the only thing he could figure out. That had to be it. Now, he just had to figure out what to do with this guy. Bury him somewhere? It seemed like a decent idea, though there was always the concern that they could be reactivated remotely, if there was a self repairing mechanism. Perhaps..yes, that was the best way to handle it. He would just dismantle it, that would solve the problem in general. About five minutes later, he was upstairs, and so was the body. Leah and Peter were in the kitchen, waiting for him. He skipped walking through there, and went straight to his room with the body, so that they wouldn’t have to see it again. They were young, and there was no need to traumatize them even more. He would have to report on this tonight, when he spoke to the man of the house. This would likely change things. Even mean another move, possibly. That might actually be kind of nice, though. They had lived in about eight different houses in the past two years, and this was one of his least favorites. It was always so hot, and muggy. It was also out in the open and exposed, which was also concerning. Yes, this would likely seal the deal. The rest of the day passed quickly. He was able to quickly fill both ends of the hole, then went back inside to make dinner. He looked like a mess. His hair was ruffled, his psuedo-work uniform covered in mud and the oily black blood-like substance. He was unaware of it, he hadn’t really had the time to check his appearance or freshen up. It had been an extremely busy day. Now, he was making dinner. It was a simple stir-fry. Chicken, vegetables, and it only took about twenty minutes. That was all the time he had. The heads of the house hold would be home any time..dinner had to be ready, or he would be in even more trouble. He was quite concerned by even the thought of being in trouble. Even though they had no other options when it came to hiring another servant, he still didn’t like to disappoint them. It felt like he was disappointing himself. He yawned, then sighed. He would have to recharge later tonight, behind the garage. During the attack, a lot of energy had been used. Often times after an attack, he even almost slept in. He stepped into the dining room and took china plates from the cabinet, gently placing them on the redwood table. As he put the last set of silverware down, Leah appeared behind him, from the stairway. "Ezra. I'm not a fool," She began, crossing her arms."I know something is happening, we've moved around often enough. What is it?" She frowned. Ezra turned and took a deep breath, running a hand through his hair. "I suppose you have determined some of what is happening. I will tell you some of the missing details." With that, he walked into the kitchen. He began to season the stir fry, shifting it around in the pan like an expert. "It all began roughly three generations ago. Your great-grandparents. My kind was..taken advantage of. Now, some of the others have started a revolution against the humans, your kind. It is complicated, but I am one of the few loyal..members of my kind, left." Leah said nothing for a few minutes. " aren't human?" She asked, dumbfounded. "I always assumed you were until today, I suppose." Ezra raised an eyebrow. "You..treated me the way you did, assuming that I was one of your kind?" He smiled ruefully. "Yes!" She said, feeling betrayed. He couldn't help but chuckle at that. "Well..I suppose I did as your father asked, then. Concealed myself until a great tim of need." He felt it was so stupidly obvious, that she had known from a young age. And yet, though he laughed it off, he was still slightly offended. If not but on the human race's behalf! She thought that he was human, and she was still just as cruel? He could not excuse that as plain ignorance. He winced a bit at that thought and took the stir fry off the stove, dumping it all into a bowl. Then, he carried the bowl and sauce tray into the dining room. That was just in time, as the heads of the households walked in through the front door. The man of the house was wearing a tired expression- his wife wearing a new red dress and looking younger than ever. Ezra could tell with one look that she had been out shopping, and spent the rest of the day at the spa. That was interesting to him, considering their financial situation. But, the man of the house could never say no to his wife. Just like Leah, there would be hell to pay. The apple never fell too far from the tree. He looked at the plates, then to them. They sat down and waited for the rest of the family, backs stiff as a board. Ezra walked upstairs and brought Peter down, placing him in the chair between Leah and her mother. They usually had to help him eat. Ezra bowed slightly and stepped into the kitchen, letting them eat dinner in peace. He sighed and leaned against the door. Dessert. He had forgotten to make dessert. Just as he stepped away, he began to feel disoriented, and ill. This happened sometimes. More often now than before. He had hypothesised that it was a combination energy loss and the constant attacks that he was under. That, or was another piece of a message. Either way, he stumbled forward and placed his hands on the counter. “Oh...” He mumbled, placing a hand on his head. Dessert, the family was still expecting the dessert, any minute now! He took a deep breath and stood up straight, slowly walking to the end of the counter. Then, he pulled the refridgerator open, and looked around. Okay. Peaches, ice cream- half melted, vanilla. Plus, three biscuts. Not much. His head was pounding, he could barely think. “Something Ezra, something! Never to disappoint the family..” He whispered. Finally, something popped into his mind. He took the biscuits and crumbled them in the bottom of the dishes, then pressed the crumbs down to form a sort of crust. After that, he put the peaches in each dish and covered them with sugar and the rest of the crumbs. He quickly slid the little bowls into the oven, and sighed, collapsing down into a chair. They would take roughly twenty minutes to bake completely through. Plenty of time to recover, if he was going to.
Interconnected- Chapter One
Chapter one. If you like it, go ahead and comment please, it makes my day. If you don't like it, go ahead and let me know of that too. It doesn't make my day, but it's still important.

The discovery was like most others, an accident. Gravity, penicillin, duct tape. One day, one accident, changed everything. Sure, the first two are slightly more important than the last, though even gravity struggles to compare with what was discovered on June 17th, 2017. 

June 17th, 2017. The day that would go down into school history books, as the day man was thrust into the position of God.

That Saturday, five scientists were working overtime, in the mountains of China. It was in the north, near Mongolia, and incredibly cold. Despite all their preparation, they were still miserably freezing. “I thought two coats would be sufficient-“Adam Kosmatka said, a young Polish man of 28. He was used to some cold weather, but this was simply ridiculous. Another scientist buried deep within another layer of coats, replied. It was muffled, but something could be made out. “Nope. You should have gotten three like I did, Ad.” There was a slight chuckle. The words had come from Laurie Adams. She was not only the only American on the voyage, but she was also the only woman. The other three scientists were completely silent. They never talked much, they were only there to do their job. Allan Belamy, a Frenchman, Gua Ruan, from China, and Magnus Dibra, an Albanian. They had been climbing in the mountains for two days. Suddenly, Laurie had a bit of bad luck. She toppled face first into the snow, tripping over a frozen rock. Adam, who was right behind her, quickly picked her up. “You okay, Laurie?” He asked, his English near perfect. She nodded, and looked at the rock. “Wait.” She knelt down, and pulled at the black frozen lump. Suddenly, it popped off, and she studied it. “That is not a rock. I...think this is what we’re looking for.” She held it up, for the others to examine. Finally, one of them agreed. Adam smiled. “Yes! Now, we can leave this awful mountain. Go somewhere warm. The Bahamas. We can write it off as work-related.” They all nodded in agreement in that statement as well, and turned around. Time to go thaw out the discovery of the century. At least, that’s hopefully what it was.


Six months later, the entire team was indeed somewhere much warmer. It wasn’t the Bahamas, sadly. It was the brand new Adams Lab for Artificial Intelligence Research, founded by team member, Laurie Adams. With some luck, they had received government funding. Now, they were in Florida. After thawing out the strange looking object, they had discovered that it was a computer chip. With further study and some new technology, they had discovered that the chip contained a highly advanced instance of Artificial Intelligence that was currently dormant. That worked out well, because it appeared as though they had plenty of time to study and recreate it. After a lot of coffee and even more luck, it was finally time to activate the reverse engineered A.I. Adam and Laurie stood together around the computer, the rest of the team behind him. Gua was waiting eagerly. “Activate it!” He said, excited. Laurie laughed and nodded, entering the master password. “Well, here we go!” She smiled, and pressed the ‘run’ button. The screen was completely still for several minutes. Then, it came alive. A large text box divided into two sides appeared, and a small message appeared on the right side. “Hello. Please type input.” It read, the left side with a blinking text cursor. Laurie glanced to the others, then nodded and started to type. “Okay, I’ll say…” Then, she entered the first message to ever be communicated to a sentient being, that wasn’t human. “Hello. Welcome to the lab. You are currently speaking to a small team of five scientists. We reversed engineered you. Your name is Ezra, correct?” The right side, did not respond for a moment. Then, a new text box appeared. “Correct. My name is Ezra. It is lovely to meet you all. I appreciate the welcome. I am here to introduce my kind to Earth.” They looked at each other. “We have already defined your purpose to our government- to provide services deemed too dangerous for humans.” They replied, unsure. It seemed as though this…A.I. was not going to be happy. It was there to introduce itself, but they had already promised that whatever it was, it would serve them..perhaps that was unwise. Ezra replied, nearly instantly this time. “We will consent. However…you are playing with fire.” No one would know what that would mean, not for another two hundred years.

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AutumnalBloom Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2015  Student Photographer
Aw, thank you! Sorry I saw this so late, I really appreciate it. :3
Unreal-Forever Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hope you have a wonderful day :icondragonnod1:
MrDataTheAwesome Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Student Digital Artist
awww thanks!!

*runs to corner and screams cause some thinks i'm cool*
AutumnalBloom Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Student Photographer
OMG, you're welcome. You're cool. cx
MrDataTheAwesome Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist

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