Title: The Offering
Description: ChaosHawks' Great American Novel
ChaosHawk - January 10, 2005 09:34 PM (GMT)
Well, like Wavehawk, I have decided to copy my story over here as well. I'm working on Chapter 4 currently and hope to have it done soon. I hope everyone is enjoying this and if you haven't read it yet, I encourage you to do so.
As Silver Albright felt herself being laid gently back onto her bed, she looked up into the eyes of the man that she loved with every fiber of her being. She felt warm, wet kisses trail down her neck and as he reached her chest with his lips, the warmth within her own body and soul threatened to overwhelm her. A strong masculine face gently nuzzled her breasts while soft, wet lips kissed parts of her that were, at that moment, making her moan in pleasure. As he kissed further down, she realized what his ultimate destination was and while she felt herself go red with embarrassment at the thought of such a personal, private and ultimately erotic moment, it was nothing compared to the warm hue that had long since washed over her skin. It could have been a moment later, or a century later, she wasn’t sure which, that he finally came to the end of his journey and at first, there was nothing, just him and her. Shortly thereafter, she felt it, a slow warmth, that was building in her most private of areas. Then it began to spread, moving up and down her slowly, then faster, and faster yet again. It was not long before the warmth began to change, to grow, to become something that she had never felt, had always yearned to feel and yet, somehow, had always known. She felt herself arch her back, curl her toes and she began to moan, low and deeply, then louder and then even louder again. It was there in that moment, that she felt the release coming, the breaking of the wave. She was there, on the very edge of it and when she went to call out his wonderful name, she heard a phone ring.
Snapping her eyes open, Silver Albright, sat up in her bed and clutched her black sheets to her naked body. Looking around, she realized that there was no one there, no phenomenally handsome man, no lover, husband…even her cat was sleeping in the next room. She was alone…like usual. Then she heard it again, the electronic ring of a modern day phone. Looking at her night stand, she saw the clock, glowing a deep neon blue in the darkness of her room. 3:13 A.M.
“Who in the hell?”
Looking at her phone, she saw the number was unlisted, which in her line of work was not an uncommon event. She picked up her phone.
“Somebody had better of died, Jesus had better be back or Elvis better be back alive for whoever this is to have woken me up right now!”
“Good morning Silver.”
The deep voice coming out of her phone instantly made her sit up. The last foggy wisps of her dream quickly faded. The man whom she was talking to at the moment would have a pretty damn good reason for calling her at this hour.
“I need you to come in Silver.”
“Sir, what is it?”
There was a pause, her green eyes went wide in panic, the womanly part of her that instinctually knew when the worst had happened was pinging…big time
“It’s Cerberus Silver, it was breached as of 10 minutes ago. They are coming. We need to get Anjora initialized…immediately.”
She never heard what he said next though, Silver was already halfway dressed and running out of the door, red hair streaking behind her, like the fate of the world depended on how quickly she could make it to work.
Ironically enough……….it did.
Hinata City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Roughly 45 miles west of Tokyo
“Shimada-sensei, you have a visitor.”
Hearing his name called, Akira slowly opened one eye.
“Who is it Charles?”
“I do not know sir. He say that he in an American and that he needs to speak with you. He is fairly important looking. He said he is representing the United States Government but nothing beyond that.”
“Where is he?”
“He is waiting in the south garden sir. Would you like me to take a message and till the gentleman you are occupied.?”
“That will not be necessary Charles, I will meet with him.”
“Very good sir.”
With that, Charles bowed, turned promptly on one heel and walked back down the hallway. Standing up from the cross-legged position in which he had been meditating, Akira began making his way to the south garden of his families estate. The Shimada estate was a huge compound, one of the largest estates in Japan. The main house, a large structure designed with a mixture of both Western and traditional Japanese architectural styles, was famous in the local area. Akira’s father had been educated in the west, as had Akira and it showed in everything they did. You could walk into one wing of the Shimada estate and see nothing but the usual small rooms with the rice paper walls and mats on the floors that were the staple in any Asian country and then if you walked over to a different wing, you came across huge rooms, with couches, arm chairs, book cases, chandeliers, paintings and tapestries and many other items that were traditional of the west, where space was an abundant commodity. The family used the different rooms depending on their moods and if they had guests. If his father was entertaining a fellow business partner from the Unites States or England he used the western style rooms and vice-versa for his Asian business partners.
The gardens on the east, west and south sides of the house were each a mixture of trees and flowers from across the world. In one part of the garden you might have a small collection of cherry blossom and bonsai trees, both distinctly Japanese and then if you walked to a different area, you would see a grove of palm trees with a pool underneath them, giving it an oasis feeling. Even the food the Shimada’s ate was a distinct mixture of cultures. Akira’s father had made it a point to have a cook hired to his staff that was capable of making a good pepperoni pizza, something that was unheard of in Japan for the most part, but was common in the United States with it’s high mixture of cultures. When Akira’s father had attended school in the U.S., he had fallen in love with the Italian cuisine and still ate a hot pepperoni pizza with extra cheese every Friday. Akira had quickly discovered that he had a weakness for French fries and to this day he had his private chef make him a batch of the golden brown delicacies for him every so often.
Reaching the southern end of his house, Akira walked out of the back door and onto the covered walkway that led to the wall of green that was the southern garden. The garden itself was actually surrounded on one side by a large wall of pine trees, so it gave the impression of simply being a large bank of trees, however once a person entered through a small break, you came across a huge layout of trees, flowers, statues, waterfalls and pools. As he walked down the path, many of the servants, gardeners, maintenance hands, cooks, maids and butler who were employed by the Shimada’s all bowed deeply as he walked by, as was the traditional Japanese custom when a person of higher station, a “noble as it were” walked by. Akira kept walking and acknowledged each of them in turn. As a young boy, his mother and father had instilled in him a deep sense of humility and kindness.
Actually, he though to himself with a smirk, they sort of beat it into me. When Akira had been about 5 years old he had once told one of his hand maidens to get out of his sight, because she hadn’t brought him his lunch quick enough. The poor women, fearing for her job, had left in tears, bowing profusely and apologizing over and over again. When word of the incident had reached his mother and father, they were enraged. Akira still winced when he remembered the hours long lecture, the quick and painful lashings with the bamboo cane and the embarrassment he had felt when they had made him personally serve lunch to the hand maiden for the next month. He could still hear his mothers voice,
“Remember Akira, you live a life of privilege because of others, not because of yourself. Everything we have, everything we are would not have been possible had it not been for the loyal and wonderful people who had supported your father in his company all of the years. Without them, you are nothing, remember that and treat people as such. There is honor in humility my son.”
After that, he had gone and apologized again to the maid and to this day, every once in awhile, he made a point of going and having lunch with the women, whom he had long since become very good friends with.
Reaching the garden, he walked through the opening in the wall of trees and looked around for his visitor. It was not long before he saw him. The man was large, even by American standards. He was Caucasian and looked to be about six foot six and probably in the neighborhood of 270 pounds. A short military style haircut sat atop a severe, no nonsense face. Dressed in a grey business suit with a tie, he was sitting on a bench looking into one of the koi ponds. When he saw Akira, the man stood up and walked to meet him. The man walked with the kind of fluid grace that one would normally find in a martial artists or a trained soldier. Even at his size, Akira guessed the man probably knew how to throw his weight around, or so the western saying went. When he reached Akira, the man placed his hands together in from of him and bowed deeply but not before Akira noticed the ring on his right hand,
“Konichiwa Shimada-Sama. Watashi wa Dorian Wright desu.”
Akira was slightly taken aback, although he did not let it show. The man’s Japanese was perfect, with no hint of the stuttering or accent-cross over that normally came along with someone who was using a second language. After the man, apparently a one Dorian Wright, straightened up, Akira took a step forward and offered his hand to the man.
“Hello Mr. Wright, I am Akira Shimada.”
If the man was surprised at all with Akira’s English, he did not let it show and he took Akira’s hand and shook it with a powerful grip.
“It is very nice to meet you Mr. Shimada. Please forgive me but I’ll cut straight the point. I suppose the first question you have to ask is why am I here and who am I?”
“Call me Akira please and yes, I was wondering why a representative of the United States government was asking to speak to me?”
Akira saw a shot of steel flash through the mans green eyes. It was the kind of subtle change that someone made to themselves when they went from being serious to being deadly serious. All of a sudden, Akira got a very weird feeling that something was not right.
“How much do you know about what your parents company does?”
For the second time today, Akira was taken aback. Akira’s family owned the Shima-Tech conglomerate, the largest weapons designer in the Pacific Rim. Akira’s father, Tatsuya, had come from a poor family, but with hard work and lots of luck, he had landed himself a scholarship to attend Tokyo University on an engineering scholarship. After completing his first four years of study, Tatsuya had found a job in the U.S.A in California and while he worked, he had attended Cal-Tech and had eventually graduated with a PhD in engineering. While there, he had met an American born Japanese women named Mutsumi, who was also a graduate student in the field of physics at Cal-Tech and they had fallen in love and eventually married. Deciding to travel back to Japan, they had started out with very little money and had taken out some massive loans to start a company that worked with the Japanese and American governments on new weapons and forms of power. They had nearly gone bankrupt when Akira’s parents had made some kind of breakthrough and to this day, no one knew what it was. Shortly thereafter however, the United States government and the Japanese government had jointly purchased the project from Shimada-Tech and the sum they gave his parents had been enough for them take the company to where it was today. Tanks, airplanes, guns, tracking systems, artillery, anything and everything that had to do with weaponry and technology, Shimada-Tech had a hand in it. Needless to say, many of the projects that his parents company worked on were classified and so Akira never really knew exactly what it was his parents did every day, only that they ran the company and still aided in the design of many of the most important projects. Looking back up at the man, Akira shook his head,
“Very little, why do you ask?”
“You do know that your parents have been away on business in the U.S for the last week correct?”
Akira nodded. He could still remember talking to his mother before she had boarded their families jet.
“Be good son, remember, I love you.”
She had kissed him on the cheek. He could remember shoving her away playfully and giving her a hug. She had whispered in his ear.
“We will only be gone a week, so don’t worry about anything.”
He could remember thinking that her comment had been odd but before he could ask her about it, she had parted from him and was going up the ramp to the plane. He could still smell the lotion his mother always wore, a sweet mix of Jasmine and some other flower he had never been able to identify. Akira’s father was already on board and had waved to him from on of the windows. Akira had waved back and given him the thumbs-up sign, indicating that everything would be fine. His father had returned it and then they had taxied off and were gone. That had been 3 days prior.
“Of course I knew they were gone. Is everything all right?”
Wright looked suddenly disturbed, as if he had something to say but couldn’t quite get it out. Akira took a step forward and looked the man dead in the eye,
“Mr. Wright, what happened to my parents?
“Akira, as of 1:32 A.M this morning, your parents went missing.”
Hinata City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Roughly 45 miles west of Tokyo
“Missing…………what do you mean missing?”
“I mean Akira, that as of earlier this morning, the United States government lost complete track of your parents. They were staying at the Watergate hotel. At 17:00 hours they left their room to go eat and run some errands. They were tracked by our people until they went back to the hotel. They retired to their room for the evening last night at 22:00 hours and at 01:30, the bodyguard standing over their room heard some kind of disturbance in their room. When he went inside to investigate, they were gone.”
Akira was beginning to feel himself go numb. He sat down on the ground and Wright sank to a crouching position next to him. That cold feeling when you know something bad has happened but you are still trying to fight the acceptance of it had taken hold. How could they be missing? I just saw my parents…..they can’t be missing…… For some reason, at that exact moment, the memory of the smell of his mothers lotion welled up in him. Feeling his throat tighten up, he looked at Wright,
“Who took them?”
“We don’t know that for sure yet but we do have some ideas. There is already an international search going on and every federal officer in the United States has been notified.”
Akira nodded but it did nothing to ease the pain. They might be dead already….or tortured or God knows what. Then something occurred to him.
“How did they get my parents out of the room if there was a bodyguard there? Surely he saw something.”
Wright then stood up and extended his hand to Akira’s. Akira took it and Wright helped him off the ground. Akira began to brush the grass off of himself.
“That was the exact question that we asked ourselves. Before I elaborate any further though, I need you to come with me Akira.”
“Go with you……to where?”
Wright stepped forward and put his hands on Akira’s shoulders. Looking down at the boy, he had a deadly serious expression on his face.
“How would you like the chance to get your parents back Akira?”
Akira looked back at him in disbelief,
“What do you mean get them back, what can I do?”
“Just answer the question, do you want to get your parents back?”
Akira was beginning to become frustrated,
“OF COURSE I DO!, WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT?!?”
Wright let go of Akiras shoulders and began to walk out of the garden,
Akira started walking and fell in behind the man. “Wait, where are we going?”
“I can’t tell you that right now.”
Akira stopped dead in his tracks and felt his face go red with anger,
“If you don’t tell me, I’m not going. As of 30 minutes ago, my entire world was the way it always had been and then you, a person I have never even heard of in my life, show up to tell me that my parents have gone missing from a hotel in another country. Then you won’t answer my questions as to the details of their kidnapping and you ask me if I want to get them back? OF COURSE I DO, WHAT CHILD WOULDN’T! NOW TELL ME WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?”
Wright turned around and walked back to Akira. Reaching into his suit jacket pocket, he pulled out something small and white and handed it to the boy. Akira took it and it did not take him but a moment to realize that he was staring a photograph. Suddenly a realization came over him that he had seen this photograph before.
Akira was about five years old the last time he had seen this picture. He had come home from school and had made his way into his dads home office, hoping to show him a project he had finished at school and had done well on. When he went into the office however, there was no one there and he assumed that his dad had stepped out. Pulling himself up into his dads chair he had sat in it for a few minutes, pushing himself off the desk with his legs and spinning around in the chair. After he bored with that he had started looking through his father desk for things to play with.
Pulling the bottommost drawer open on the right side of the desk, he had discovered a manila envelope laying on the top. Curiosity getting the best of him, as it would most five year olds, he had opened it and looked inside. All that was inside was a single photograph. In the picture were his parents and he smiled when he saw them. His parents looked much younger than they did now and he decided that the picture must have been taken immediately after they had been married. They did not have the wrinkles and work lines that had begun to plague them in their more recent years.
His mother was standing in the front of the picture and she was wearing her work clothes and had a lab coat on. His father was standing behind her, arms wrapped around her waist and hands locked on her stomach. He was resting his chin on the crown of her head and they looked to be very much in love. It was the object behind his parents though that had really caught his attention.
The picture had been taken in a lab somewhere. In the background, you could see other people in lab coats, most of whom were carrying clipboards or looking at papers. There was a walkway running the wall on the other side of the room and it appeared from the photograph that the room was probably an octagon or some other even geometric shape. In the center of the room, just behind where his parents were standing was a raised platform of some kind. On the platform, was one of the strangest looking things Akira had ever seen.
It was a stone of some kind, probably 8 or 9 feet tall. The color and consitency of it reminded him of the pictures that he had seen of Stonehenge in Scotland. The most notable feature of all though, was the strange writing that was all over the front of it. Whatever alphabet that was, Akira had never seen it before nor since. That sometime bothered him to this day. He had been educated at Oxford and had been exposed to most forms of writing. He also spoke 5 languages fluently and could understand even more. Still, that writing eluded him.
It was not 15 seconds that he had been staring at the picture when he heard his father clear his throat. Akira had been startled and has dropped the picture on the floor and looked up at his father. The look on his dads face was not a pleasant one and Akira instantly sensed that he was in trouble. He tried to apologize,
“I’m sorry daddy…..I didn’t mean to look at it….I just came in here to show you something. I’m sorry”
He hung his head and waited for the lecture. Strangely, it never came. His father had merely walked over, reached down and picked the picture up and off of the floor. Putting it back in the folder, he placed it on his desk, picked Akira up, sat down in his chair and placed Akira down in front of him.
“I thought I told you to stay out of here if I wasn’t here.” His fathers voice was dead and montone. Akira felt a himself wince.
“I know. I shouldn’t have looked through your things. I’m so sorry.” The stinging pain that a child feels when he knows he disappointed a parents and is truly sorry for it began to build its way into his chest. He felt tears well into his eyes and was trying to blink them back when a hand had lifted his chin up. Looking into his fathers face, wiped his tears away and had waited for his fathers verdict. Suddenly though, his dad smiled and tousled his hair.
“I’m glad that your sad Akira, that means you are sorry for what you did and you know that you did something wrong. In the future, see to it that you stay out of here unless I’m in here. There things in here that you do not need to see or know about. Do you understand me?”
“Good, now go find your mother, tell her I want my dinner and I want it pronto.”
Akira saw a teasing smirk on his fathers face and he felt a smile blossom onto his own face.
“You know shes going to come in here and hit you.”
“I’m counting on it. Now get out of here.”
As he turned around to leave, he had looked back at his father,
“Why do you always like to tease mom?”
A strange kind of smile had then passed over his fathers face and it would be years before Akira had understand the motivation behind it,
“I’ll tell you when you older.”
With that Akira had left the office and was so happy that he had not gotten in trouble that he had pushed the photograph out of his mind for the time being. However, here it was now, in his hand and in the possession of someone who shouldn’t have it at all.
“Where did you get this?” Akira felt his hand shaking. Seeing his parents there in the picture was bringing the searing reality of what was going on back into his mind.
“I promise you Akira, that as soon as I can, I will tell you everything that you need to know. But for right now, I need you to trust me. I want to get your parents back almost as much as you do. I’ve been a colleague of your fathers for many years.”
Akiras head snapped up and he looked Wright in the eye,
“You know my father…how?”
Sympathy played out in Wrights blue eyes and he met Akiras gaze,
“I’ve worked with him and your mother on many projects that they have overseen in the United States. Your dad is a good man and your mom a wonderful women. I’d rather die than see harm come to them and I swear you that I am going to do everything I can to get them back here quickly and unharmed. To do that though, I need for you to come with me. I need you to trust me. You are going to play a more important role in getting your parents back than you think. I promise you that I will tell you everything you need to know in good time.”
“If I come with you, it will help get my parents back? How do I know that I can trust you” Akira looked at the man in suspicious disbelief. He wanted to trust him, wanted to go with him.
“Look at the picture again, at the far right side in the back, just above your moms right shoulder.”
Akira looked at the picture again and about fell over. There, holding a clipboard and dressed in a lab coat, was what could be no other than Dorian Wright. He looked a bit younger than the man standing in front of him but there was no mistaking that it was the same man. Akira looked back up at Wright and saw a smile on the corner of the mans lips.
“You were there with them.”
“As I said, I’ve worked with your parents for quite a few years. They are some of the best people I know. Now, will you come with me.”
Akira looked at the photograph one more time and then looked back at Wright. Handing the photograph back to the man, he stated in a confident voice,
“Lead the way sir.”
Wright smiled and turned to walk away,
“I’m glad you’ve chosen to come with me Akira. I promise you, not only will we get your parents back but I would also say that you have one hell of a ride ahead of you.
“Up next on 103.6 the Heat, we’ve got the “Way Back Oldies Hour”. Be sure to stay tuned for some of your favorite oldies, including “Hey Mama” from the Black Eyed Peas, “Running Away” by Hoobastank and “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence.”
“No thank you.” Rachel reached over and turned the radio in her car off, choosing instead to ride in silence.
Listening to the music that my father use to listen to is NOT on my high list of priorities. Rachel drove the rest of the way home reflecting back on her morning. Her routine had been no different than it ever was. Get up, eat breakfast, shower hurriedly and make it out the door in time for her 9:00 class. This morning though, had not shaped up to be a good one. She had overslept, which had forced her to sacrifice either her shower or her food and given that she generally bathed before she went to bed nightly, she chose to forego the shower. Having just enough time to throw a pair of sweat pants and an old t-shirt on, she tied her hair back and crammed a piece of toast down her throat before launching herself out the door of her small apartment. She had bee-lined through traffic, nearly hitting an elderly woman who had been going about 20 miles below the prescribed speed limit and had made it to class just a few minutes late.
Unfortunately, that few minutes had proven to be enough to give the professor, a one Dr. Chandling, enough ammo to jab her a bit when she had tried to sneak into the back of the room unnoticed. Cheeks red due to the run she had made from her car to the classroom, she had heaved herself into her seat, breathing heavily and trying to pull her textbook out of her bag when she heard Chandling’s decadently refined voice.
“Having problems this morning, Ms.Hunter?”
He was standing at the front of the classroom, looking at her over his glasses and wearing, what Rachel could swear, was the shadow of a sarcastic smile.
“No sir, just running a bit behind. I had a late night at work, I do apologize.”
“Be sure that you set aside the appropriate amount of time to prepare yourself for my class Ms. Hunter, after all, one should never assume that you are a special case. Many of us here work and made it to class on schedule. Why, I myself, worked a full-time job through graduate school and managed just fine.”
A fact that you choose to remind us of regularly, you overbearing, pompous dickhead. I did not sign up to graduate school so I could listen to stories of how hard the teacher’s lives were!
“Yes sir, Dr. Chandling, again I do apologize and I swear to you it won’t happen again.”
“See that it doesn’t Ms. Hunter”
With that, Chandling lowered his gaze back to his book and began lecturing again.
“As you can see by the example on page 364, Schrödinger theorized, using his cat in the box example, that once you opened the box, the wave function collapsed and….”
Rachel tuned the man out, as she normally did and sat patiently through the rest of the class. At the time of enrollment, basic Quantum Mechanics had seemed like it would have been a good class to take for someone going after their PhD in mathematics. She had quickly come to realize that had been a mistake. It was an irrefutable fact that graduates school professors tended to fall into two different varieties of professors. There were the professors who took an active interest in all of their students, were open, friendly, tough in work but not needlessly so and easy to talk to. These were the professors that young doctors, researchers and other graduates would turn back to for help and guidance, or perhaps a recommendation to get into a higher level school or as a job reference. Rachel had a few of these mentors and thoroughly enjoyed their classes, often getting into friendly but heated intellectual debated with these men and woman, meeting them for lunch on campus or assisting them with research projects.
Unfortunately, Chandling and several of her other professors did not fall into this classification of teacher. Chandling belonged to the group that seemed to be perpetually bitter about the fact that they had to work hard throughout school and it was their perpetual mission in life to make their students lives as difficult and hassled as possible. They seemed to have a sort of “I put up with this !@#*, so you have to as well” mentality, which was one that annoyed Rachel to no end. She herself had been holding a waitress job at a local Red Lobster for the last 4 years. She had worked full-time since the first day she had walked into college and had long ago accepted that as a part of life. In fact, at this point, she would have had it no other way. Working had taught her to manage money and a checkbook, how and when to use a credit card and even what her priorities in life were. Every time she clocked in at work, although she did enjoy her job, it reminded her that she did not want to do this for the rest of her life, which kept her motivated in her school work. It had also allowed her to move out of the dormitories at school and get a small apartment, which was a luxury she thoroughly enjoyed.
She waited until the class was over, wrote down the homework assignment and then got up and left. Walking out of the science complex, she took a moment to gather her surroundings and take a look at the school. The Teiu Private Academy was home to one of the most prestigious private science and math schools in the world and it was a point of pride for Rachel that she had been accepted into the school of mathematics to pursue her PhD.
The school itself was situated atop a hill and spread out into the surrounding community. The city, Lawton, had been built around the school and had eventually just sort of merged with the school grounds. Anymore, people hardly differentiated the two entities and in fact, the only way a person could tell if you were on the school or the city was by looking at the group of people surrounding you. Very few of the students were from the local area and as such, most lived in the dormitories of the school. The younger children were not allowed to leave the school without the escort of an older student or another adult, so if you looked around and saw that children surrounded you, there was a very good chance that you had stumbled into the school grounds. There was also a third division to local area, in the form of Ft. Sill, an artillery base for the United States army. No civilians were allowed on the base though, so a person could practically forget it was there if not for the groups of soldiers that wandered around the city, shopping or running some errands and the constant thundering boom of artillery rounds going off. When Rachel had first moved to Teiu, it had been unnerving to have the walls and windows shake every couple of minutes if the soldiers were in the field doing fire mission but eventually a person just got use to it.
No different than the earthquakes back home…and a lot less deadly. That’s assuming they never miss of course. Rachel pushed the though of a wayward rocket spiraling into the city out of her mind and started walking for the coffee shop. Walking down the side of Renius Ave, she looked at the buildings and smiled to herself, remembering how she had gotten her and the first time she had walked these streets.
At 21 years old, Rachel was young in getting her bachelors degree. An accelerated course of study through high school in conjunction with full-time college classes through the spring, summer and fall had allowed her to graduate earlier than most of her peers. She had made the decision early on that she wanted to go on and get her PhD and then go back to teach math at a university. Her decision had been one that had made her parents endlessly proud.
Rachel’s father was a man who had worked hard his entire life to get what he wanted. A laborer by nature, he had worked in construction, been a plumber, electrician, mason, he had even bailed hay at one point that Rachel could remember. Nicholas Hunter was man to whom family came first and last and there was no other way to go about it. He had married his high school sweetheart and after several years of trying, they had been able to have Rachel. It had been a troubled pregnancy though and Tracy Hunters doctor had determined that it was lucky they had even been able to have Rachel. He also broke the terrible news to them that she would no longer be able to have children after Rachel. With Rachel being their only child, her parents had thrown their lives into assuring the future of their daughter. Mrs. Hunter had decided to stay home and raise Rachel, always making sure she did her homework and watching after her with a close eye. Her father had worked himself to the bone day after day but he always came home with a smile on his face. For him, the fact that his baby girl was warm, safe and provided for was all the motivation he needed to get out of bed every morning.
Then, in the 2nd grade, Rachel’s teacher informed her parents that Rachel was showing aptitudes for mathematics and science that were far beyond the level of the other students. She was gifted and if upwardly motivated, would be capable of doing just about anything she wanted in life. Rachel’s parents had taken this to heart, wanting better for their daughter than they had, so they pushed her as far down the academic road as they knew how. Rachel could remember her father coming home with armloads of books for Rachel to read. Classic literature, math, physics, biology, philosophy, anything and everything that she could get her hands on academically she absorbed like a sponge. While she knew she was gifted, it wasn’t until her 10th grade year that Rachel knew exactly what it was that she needed to do with her gift.
She had been out with friends, riding around and enjoying a Friday night as usual. She had left that night thinking that her mother was in bed and that her father had gone out to have a few drinks with friends, something that was a rare occasion for the man. Rachel’s father rarely took leisure time for himself as he worked almost constantly. They had gotten hungry and decided to stop at a McDonalds near her house to get something to eat before dropping her off. When they had gone inside, Rachel felt her heart stop when she saw who was working behind the counter. When her father saw her, he smiled and waved her over.
“Hey baby. What are you doing here?”
She stammered for a moment and then collected her thoughts.
“Dad…. I thought you were going out.”
He smiled sheepishly and tousled her brunette hair,
“Yeah, I guess I did didn’t I? I’ve actually been working here nights for the last couple of months. It’s been kind of hard to find anything better lately around here and…. money is money. Besides…were in a recession and I needed to make a little more to put in your college fund.”
Rachel felt tears well in her eyes when she realized what it was her father was doing. Here was a 38-year-old man who had worked his entire life to support her and he was flipping burgers by night to keep doing so. Her mother and father barely saw each other, she knew that and it hurt her even more. It struck her then, more than any other moment in her life exactly what all the sacrifices her parents had made for her meant. She had vowed then and there, that she would do everything she could, she would use every bit of the intellect she had been blessed with to ensure that there would come a day when her parents never had to work again.
When her dad had gotten home that night, Rachel was waiting for him in the kitchen. He came in, already changed into normal clothes and wearing a confused expression on his face.
“Rachel, what are you doing up? It’s late sweetheart, you should be in bed.”
Standing up, Rachel walked over and stood before he father for a moment, looking up at his green eyes, the same eyes that she herself shared. A moment later, she threw her arms around him and bawled into his chest.
Taken aback, he paused for a moment and then wrapped one arm around her and stroked her hair with other hand. Resting his chin on the crown of her head, he whispered,
She cried for a minute a moment more and then managed to choke out between sobs,
“I’m sorry Daddy, I’m so sorry. I promise that someday you and mom won’t ever have to work again.”
She felt her fathers strong hands grip her shoulders and he gently pushed her away from him. Kneeling in front of her, he wiped the tears out of her eyes with the back of one calloused hand. He then looked at her and smiled,
“Rachel…always remember that have worked this hard all these years because I wanted to. It’s the same reason you mother decided to stay home and help raise you. We did all of it by choice so we could give you the best life we could. Your happiness and success are all we need in life.”
She shook her head defiantly and looked him in the eye, a cold shot of steel working its way into her deep green eyes.
“I’ve decided that I’m going to try to be a teacher at some big university. I’m going to teach math and I’m going to be the best professor they have ever seen in their lives. I’ll make sure that when I do they give me the highest damn salary they have ever had to pay anyone, before or since. [font=14]I’m going to move you and mom wherever I am and I’m going to hire people to rub your back, pour your drinks and chew your food if you want. You’ve worked too hard to have to flip burgers nightly. God gave me this brain and I intend to use it.[/font=14]”
A sleepy voice came from the hallway,
“When you do all of this, do you intend to hire someone to control your volume level as well?”
Her mother was standing in the door jam from the kitchen to living room, leaning against it and tightening the belt on her robe.
Rachel realized that she had been yelling and lowered her volume level,
“I’m sorry for waking you Mom. I just……….I want you two to have a good life for once.”
Her mother smiled sheepishly and walked over, grabbing Rachel from her father and wrapping her in a tight hug.
“You do that then. Go on and make us proud. Go as far in life as you can.”
Her father stood back up and wrapped the both of them in bear hug. He got a coy grin on his face and looked at his daughter,
“You can keep the people to chew my food though, I can handle that well enough on my own.”
Rachel giggled and felt herself being lifted off the ground. Her father was a large man and years of laboring had honed his physical strength greatly. He had picked up both her and her mother and dragged them to the floor, tickling them the whole way. She had ended up wrestling with her father for a bit and her mother had escaped and started making breakfast. They had eaten and spent the rest of the morning discussing the details of Rachel’s newfound plan in life.
After that, Rachel had thrown herself into her schoolwork, becoming more and more motivated as the academic world continued to open itself up to her. After scoring a 33 on the ACT and a 1559 on the SAT, she practically had colleges begging her to come and study with them. She ended up graduating valedictorian of her class and had gotten her bachelors degree from UCLA. She had been debating where she wanted to go to graduate school, when the call from Teiu had come. They wanted her to come out and tour the campus. She could remember her excitement as she had disembarked her plane at Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City. There had been a car waiting for her and a young woman named Janet Mathis had driven her down to the Academy. They had talked the whole way about Rachel’s life and what California was like. When they approached Lawton though and Rachel saw Teiu for the first time, she knew that was where she wanted to go. She had toured the buildings of the university block, the dormitories, the natatorium, the gyms, the cafeterias and so much more. She could remember being fascinated than by the magic of Teiu and still was to this day.
The campus itself seemed to be a place set apart from time and nature. Everything had a surrealistic feel to it, like you were living in a dream. Even the buildings seemed like something out of a novel. Built in a traditional European style, all of the main buildings had large columns lining the front of them and large staircases led up to all the main buildings. In fact, the math and science buildings in the university area were surrounded by staircases on all sides, making one feel like you were entering the den of some important congregation. Rachel had no doubt that the original designers of the school had probably intended this as it cause one to feel subconsciously humbled as they entered the hallowed halls of leaning. Ornate banisters lined all the staircases as well and were often capped at either end by a statue of some kind. It was often an angel or other variety of cherubim that held this duty but occasionally flowers in large permanently affixed stone pots were the decoration of choice.
The plant life was yet another fascinating part of the ambience of the Teiu campus grounds. Trees and plants that had no business growing in the midwestern United States seemed to thrive in abundance at Teiu. The school was home to the largest collection of Cherry Blossom Trees in the US, an honor that Rachel had previously thought was held by Washington D.C. They lined the streets of Teiu and in depending on what time of the year it was, the streets were either shaded by a glorious pink shade or there was a rain of the beautiful leaves falling from the skies. Rachel would often walk at night down these roads, viewing the school in a foggy night. The 18th century English lampposts that lined the streets made one feel as if they had stepped into a Sherlock Holmes novel. Even the bathhouse had several small oases of palm trees growing in them.
Rachel had been taken aback when Janet had shown her the floor of the massive female dorm tower that was dominated by a single, huge bath. Laid out like a large swimming pool, small artificial islands dotted the pool and waterfalls fell from random outcroppings. Showers lined one wall to actually bathe with and there were smaller tubs to be found lining the walls if one wanted to relax and soak in private. Overall, the entire room made one feel as if they had fallen into some kind of tropical aquatic playground. The water in the pool was kept hot enough that it steamed and it was favorite place of Rachel’s to relax in. Even after she had gotten her own apartment, she came back here often, not to bathe but rather to relax and soak away her troubles.
She could remember asking Janet on the tour,
“What’s with all the Japanese influences on the school?”
Janet had smiled and gestured out over the campus,
“Teiu is actually the third of a trinity of school to be built by one man. He was a Japanese gentleman named Toko Motosuwa and he had been commissioned by the Japanese government to build schools to teach the academically elite during World War II. There were two campuses built in Japan, Mahora Academy and Yamamoto Academy. Both of those school were finished by the mid to late parts of the war but after the Japanese lost the war, they stayed open as private academies for the academic elite and the wealthy in Japan.”
Rachel was still confused,
“Why build one dead in the middle of the United States though?”
Janet got a perplexed look on her face,
“Actually, no one really knows why he came and built this school. I’ve heard rumors that some independently wealthy financier commissioned to have this school built but no one really knows for sure.”
“One last question.”
“How do the cherry blossom trees stay alive? It’s way too hot here for them to thrive. The ground is way too dry as well?”
Janet got an almost devilish look on her face before she answered,
“You have just asked a question that people have been asking for over 60 years. The cherry blossom trees were imported from Japan for the opening ceremony of the school and weren’t expected to survive. They were to be a part of that ceremony and nothing more. After they died, the school was going to replace them with cottonwood or juniper trees, something that would thrive in this area.”
Rachel looked the woman in the eye, confusion running through her eyes,
Janet looked at her with a mischievous smile on her face,
“No one knows. That’s one of the great mysteries of this school. The trees never died. They survived and grew. Some of them should have rotted and died long ago but they didn’t. They are still here and hopefully always will be. That’s why the cherry blossom tree is the main part of the school seal. It’s said that as long as these trees live, so does Teiu.”
Rachel had been fascinated with that. The mystique and magic of the school had captured her and ultimately she decided that this was where she wanted to go to graduate school.
Shaking herself out of her reverie, Rachel turned to the sound of her name called and groaned when she saw who was coming. Of all the people that she did not want to run into this morning, Louis Skipmore was probably one of the highest on her list. The boy had seemed to have a crush on her since she had arrived at the school. The whole thing had started when the little dweeb had accidentally gone into the wrong gym locker room and had gotten an eyeful of Rachel showering. Since, he had following her around like a lost star struck puppy. She has eventually gotten use to him though and he came in quite handy when she needed help with her quantum mechanics homework. At a lanky 6’2” and maybe 150 lbs the young man perpetually looked like he was tripping over himself. Acne covered a face that was protected by thick glasses. A ceaselessly uncontrollable mop of black hair topped his head. He was however, one of the few people at the Academy who put Rachel to shame in the area of academics and she often went to get help from him when she needed help in Chandling’s class. Quantum theory seemed to come naturally to Louis, which clued at an intellect that Rachel suspected was probably far more potent than even her own. He caught up to her and looked down at her, panting to catch his breath,
“Hey Rachel, where are you off to?”
“I was just going to get some coffee Louis, would you care to join me?”
He visibly swelled at the invite,
“Sure, I’d love to.”
“Good and can you tell me what is going on in pages 364-375 of Chandling’s book? Something about Schrödinger, a cat and a waveform function that I’m having problems with.”
Wavehawk - January 11, 2005 05:19 AM (GMT)
Now waiting for Part 3. ^_^
musashi - January 11, 2005 05:27 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Wavehawk @ Jan 11 2005, 12:19 AM)|
| Now waiting for Part 3. ^_^ |
And I'm waiting for yours...and the "other" one too...
Myu,Me - January 11, 2005 11:06 PM (GMT)
ChaosHawk - January 11, 2005 11:11 PM (GMT)
No, Wavy had made mention of another project at some point and I believe that is what Mush is referring to. Either that or the CSIesque alternate take on my story.
Deviantspy - January 11, 2005 11:49 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Myu @ Me,Jan 11 2005, 06:06 PM)|
| Mine? |
Of course not Myu,Me, and do you know why?
Well here is a list:
* You have no writing skills
* You can't have spell s**t
* and oh yeah, you're f**king boring
You're nothing compared to ChaosHawk and WaveHawk.
Myu,Me - January 11, 2005 11:52 PM (GMT)
Edited out of respect for Choas, and others
Srry bout that.
Deviantspy - January 11, 2005 11:53 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Myu,Me @ Jan 11 2005, 06:52 PM)|
| Hay DIP SH*T did i ask for you f***king bitching....NOOOO|
So the next time i ask soem one else a f**king question and you answer i will spam you into oblivion.....
Now either you back the f**k down or jsut watch yourself.....
I am getting tired of this bull sh*t from you.
Srry bout that.
go f**k yourself fatty, you started this whole charade remember?
Can't you get in your big fat head?
musashi - January 11, 2005 11:53 PM (GMT)
Oooookkkk, you two clam it down. Theere is no need to do those things. if its a joke its a joke please dont make the Forum God get his fury on us again...
Myu,Me - January 12, 2005 12:12 AM (GMT)
Srry, didn't mean to psot that in this thread... i will edit it to remove.
I think both of your gusy stories are cool, can't wait to see whats next.
And this deal with deviant....well i will lay off if he stops runnin his mouth.
musashi - January 12, 2005 12:21 AM (GMT)
No problem, Myu,me. Oh and you did have your own fic right? well you can post it and create a new folder in the bar :) I remember our two writers did gave you some tips ^_' just keep it up! check much how the two writers wrote, you'll get the idea how they do it. (frankly speaking I still getting hard time getting Wavy's writing style *LOL*- awe heck! dammit , Jim! I'm an artist not a writer! *LOL*)
Deviantspy, please stop the bad comment ok? and respect others , alright?
cHuDa-SaN - January 12, 2005 03:07 AM (GMT)
Musashi is right, just DROP cussing at each other, it's getting rather annoying to see you two argue <_<... and the magic mod thing Myu, i hope it's just for kicks >_>...
Well anyways, lengthy story Chaos, too bad i have no time to read it >_>...
Myu,Me - January 12, 2005 03:27 AM (GMT)
Ok to clarify what Chu said, yes every mod i do is for kicks..... The ones of Deviant were actually maid lat night, but i chose to post them today casue i didn't haev time last night.
Wavehawk - January 12, 2005 03:43 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Myu,Me @ Jan 11 2005, 10:27 PM)|
| The ones of Deviant were actually maid lat night |
(Thinks about Deviantspy being surrounded by dozens upon dozens of cute anime girls in french maid costumes the other night)
musashi - January 12, 2005 03:44 AM (GMT)
YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)
Myu,Me - January 12, 2005 06:07 AM (GMT)
*Austin Powers plays over and over again in Myu,Me's head*...
MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!
musashi - January 12, 2005 06:31 AM (GMT)
ok..Billy Idol's Song with those maid it can be only:
"Boom, boom boom, let's go back to my room and do it all night!"
Wavehawk - January 12, 2005 07:14 AM (GMT)
Ako: (Maid Costume) "Kiyaaaa! I can't! I'm not ready yet!!!"
musashi - January 12, 2005 07:37 AM (GMT)
Kai - January 12, 2005 08:52 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Wavehawk @ Jan 12 2005, 06:14 PM)|
Ako: (Maid Costume) "Kiyaaaa! I can't! I'm not ready yet!!!"
In response to the intercourse thing on the other forums...
Negi: I'm not ready to but lets do it anyway!
And please continue with the offering. Offer us money in the next episode! And put me in as a begger somewhere! >.>
ChaosHawk - January 12, 2005 08:16 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Deviantspy @ Jan 11 2005, 06:49 PM)|
|QUOTE (Myu @ Me,Jan 11 2005, 06:06 PM)|
| Mine? |
Of course not Myu,Me, and do you know why?
Well here is a list:
* You have no writing skills
* You can't have spell s**t
* and oh yeah, you're f**king boring
You're nothing compared to ChaosHawk and WaveHawk.
I appreciate the compliment believe me but I hope that we can all just get along. The two Hawks may be the writers of the forum(although Wavehawk has me beat in character interaction and development handsdown) but Myu and Kais additions were definetly worth reading. Myu does need some grammar help but Wavy and I are also older than both of them and better educated as well. Last I heard, the two of them were in high school. Wavy is in graduate school and Im in my junior year. That helps alot....believe me. More experience...more shit to fall back on. Anyway, I just hope the arguements are done.......otherwise I'm gonna have to call down the Chaos and you wont like it. B)
ChaosHawk - January 12, 2005 11:48 PM (GMT)
Here is Chapter 4. I need to do some editing but I hope everyone likes it. You get to see more of Rachel again and I hope I opened her up as a character for everyone. Oh and I'll give a cookie to whoever can figure out who she is supposed to look like and posts a pic in a thread.
Pulling into a parking space, Rachel parked her car, rummaged through the backseat, grabbed her backpack and made her way up the stairs that led to her apartment. Going inside, she tossed her things down onto the couch and made a beeline for the bathroom. She got there, flipped on the light and fan and immediately reached into the shower and turned the water on as hot as she could get it to go. It wasn’t until she saw herself stripping in the mirror that Rachel paused and took stock of what had gone on that morning.
After coffee with Louis, which had turned out to be a fairly boring lecture of string theory and redline equations, Rachel had excused herself and made for her car. She felt bad not giving Louis more attention than he really deserved but she just didn’t have time right now. She knew that he wasn’t so dense as to not realize that she didn’t have the same feelings for him as he did for her but nonetheless he still helped her when he could and had always been nothing but the nicest to her. She did pay the favors back occasionally, in small lunches and walks through the school but nothing had as of yet come close to the blind adoration he paid Rachel.
“One of these days I’m going to have to sit him down and tell him that I’m just really not interested. If he wants to be that friendly with me afterwards, then I guess that’s on him.”
Peeling off her clothes, Rachel stopped and took a moment to look at herself in the mirror. The image that looked back at her was one that still surprised her.
Having spent her developmental years with her nose buried in textbooks, Rachel has paid little attention to what was going on around her, at least from a social perspective. While all of her female peers were becoming more and more aware that they were making the transition from girls to women, the fact passed Rachel by with scarcely more than a thought. She had her first period at the late age of 16 and had approached it from a very business like mindset. She had sat down with her mother, they had talked about it, she went to Wal-Mart and bought what she needed to and that had been the end of it. Bras had been something else that had come with little ceremony for Rachel.
She had been in her room reading one day when her mother had walked in with a plastic bag. She had pulled out a training bra for Rachel and laid it on the bed next to her. Looking at her daughter, she had asked,
“You know what this is right?”
Rachel had looked at the thing for a second, sat up and laid her book down next to her leg. Pulling her shirt off, she had put the bra on with very little trouble and when she was done, laid back down and looked up at her mom.
Tamara Hunter had looked at her daughter with obvious shock on her face.
“Where did you learn to do that?”
Rachel had looked up at her with a puzzled expression on her face,
“Mom…. I’ve watched you put them on many times…it’s not that hard.”
After that, her mom collected her wits and had left the room. Nothing else needed to be said it seemed. It had not been long after that she had needed a new bra as the training bra had quickly become far too tight. Rachel’s body had grown and changed and as far as she had been concerned, it was nothing more than an annoyance. While all of her friends were giggling and passing notes to each other about how some boy or another had been looking at them and their increasingly tighter shirts, Rachel had decided that baggy clothes and sweat pants would rule the day. Tying her hair back, wearing thick glasses and no makeup had insured that members of the opposite sex left her alone.
Despite her best efforts though, nature took its course and Rachel had changed. At the age of 15 she was a short rail thin girl with stringy brown hair, thick glasses, freckles and slightly uneven teeth. However, her hair had thickened and a hint of curl had come into it. Her glasses were later changed into contacts and two years of braces had fixed her teeth. Her height had not changed but thanks to the deepening curves at either end of her torso, that had quickly gone from something negative to a huge plus. She didn’t know when the exact day was that she had made the change from short to petite but it happened. Even her freckles had faded and now, with a bit of makeup she could cover them completely.
The moment that she realized that she had become a woman truly and an attractive one at that was the day she had to give a speech to her graduating class. As valedictorian, she had been expected to give a motivational and commencement speech at the scholarships and awards ceremony the day before graduation. Rachel had planned to give the speech dressed in some kind of business orientated attire, a skirt and blouse perhaps. When she had met with the events coordinator for the school however and had been informed that she needed to wear a dress, Rachel had frozen. The last time she could remember wearing a dress had been at her cousins wedding…12 years prior.
She had done as tradition required though and had gone out that night to find a dress that fit her. They had found one, a backless black affair that clung to her in a way that was attractive enough to be sexy, yet refined enough to be appropriate. She and her mother had gotten up early the next morning and had done her hair and makeup. Her mother had fussed over her like an old hen, pulling here, fluffing there and complaining about Rachel’s makeup job the entire time.
“Rachel, you rouge is uneven.”
“MOTHER…I’M 18…. GET AWAY!!”
They had swatted at each other playfully the whole time, neither ever becoming truly irritated. In the end, they had managed through getting Rachel ready. She had gone to school that day with her face done and normal clothes on and noticed a change in the people around her. More boys seemed to be looking her way than ever before. She could remember blushing and not knowing why. When the time for the assembly had come, she had changed in a stage room in the back of the auditorium. When she was done, she had stepped out in front of a full-length mirror that ran the wall of the changing room. What she saw took her breath away.
Standing in front of her was a woman…. a beautiful woman at that. The person she was looking at didn’t have stringy brown hair but a waterfall of thick chestnut colored hair that ran in a twisting braid down her back. Her eyes, once hidden by thick glasses, now stood out like twin emeralds set into her face. Her teeth that had been uneven and strange, now stood even and straight and when she smiled, they glistened in the light, white as pearl. Her freckles were only slightly visible and only added character to a face that was a strange mixing of the best of her mother and father.
Backing up, she got a better look at her body and much to her surprise; she found she no longer recognized it. At some point in her life, her body had come to look much like that of an hourglass and Rachel turned even redder when she looked at her chest. As her breasts had developed, she knew they were getting bigger but she had never paid any particular attention to them. They were there and that was the end of it. Now though, they had a different look to them. The large swell of flesh that pushed at the top of her dress seemed an alien thing to her, as did the curves at her hips. Turning, she found she liked the view from behind as well.
“Damn…I have an ASS!”
Rachel’s back, a smooth and supple slope, ended with an ample behind that took her by surprise. Smooth and well-shaped legs left the dress and ended in what ended up being a very nice package. Walking out onto that stage had been one of the most satisfying moments of Rachel’s life. It was made even more satisying when she heard someone in the audience mutter,
“Who the hell is she?”
“Dude…that’s Rachel Hunter. She's the valedictorian remember?”
“THAT’S RACHEL HUNTER!? Wow…talk about a diamond in the rough.”
She had given her speech, nothing more than the usual garbage about the places that they would go, the things that they would do and so on. The crowning point of the morning however, had been when the ceremony was over and she saw the throng of males waiting for her outside the auditorium. She was not looking forward to making her way through them all, despite the attention when she saw one man in particular at the back of the hallway and her heart took a leap. Running through the crowd, she jumped into his arms,
He had lifted her off the ground into a big hug and congratulated her on the plethora of scholarships she had been awarded.
“Good job sweetie, I’m so proud of you.”
Rachel’s father was not a small man and when all of her male peers realized who he was, they backed off in due accord. The fact that as Rachel was hugging him, he had looked up and shot them all one of the most malicious looks in the world, the look a father protecting his daughter, probably aided in their decision to retreat. It had not been until later, when her mother, who had seen what Mr. Hunter had done, had informed her of what had happened that Rachel had slapped him on the arm and called him a jerk. No look could stop what had been sent in motion that day though and in short order; Rachel had become one of the most popular girls in the school. Phone numbers, e-mail addresses, invites to movies and dinner had come swarming her way and Rachel basked in the attention.
Later that summer though, Rachel had gone off to college and away from everyone that knew her. She was smart enough to realize that there would be plenty of time for love after school, so Rachel had reburied herself in her studies. Occasionally though, she would put on some makeup, do her hair and dress well enough to make people noticed. She had gone on a couple of dates throughout college but nothing had come of them. Dinner and a movie was often the way the evening went and when it ended, she left them on her doorstep with a kiss on the cheek and a heartfelt thank you. She had no time for a relationship and none of them had interested her that much. She still stayed in contact with many of her dates and had made some good friends out of them but nothing more.
Shaking herself out of her thoughts, Rachel realized that the mirror was beginning to fog up. She finished undressing and got in. The water was the right temperature and felt good on her stiff shoulders. Teiu Academy did not follow the same academic year as most schools and her most recent term had begun in June, not August. Midterms were coming up and she had Chandling’s class on her mind. The man was infamous for giving difficult tests in a subject that was difficult anyway. On top of that, the he did not allow for any kind of interpretation of the source material and he did not encourage independent thinking or theorizing.
To Rachel, quantum theory was something that needed to be discussed among a group of people with different perspectives. As the subject breached into many other concepts, including mathematics, traditional physics, biology, chemistry and even theology and philosophy, it was something that on a fundamental level different people reacted to in different ways. Since the ultimate goal of the men and woman pioneering the field was to find the “UTOE” or Universal Theory of Everything, a single unifying equation that could explain the creation and existence of the universe but also WHY the universe was in fact created and did in fact exist, it affected people on a very personal level. Rachel had seen this made very clear the second week of class.
Chandling was an avid atheist and to him the universe was nothing more than a set of equations and laws that needed to be balanced and formulated. Life was chance and you might as well enjoy it while you’re here. Rachel had no religious conviction one way or the other to this statement, as faith was always something she had avoided and worried about later. However a young woman who was sitting next to her and who was every bit as intelligent as Rachel and as it turned out a very faithful Christian had raised her hand and pointed out to Chandling that some of the most famous quantum physicists of our time, Hawking and Einstein among them, had admitted that their work had a massive amount of gray area in it and that even they still have very little idea of what is actually going on in the universe.
Chandling however, had not taken kindly to this infringement of his lecture and had blasted the girl with an oratory of equations and theorems that had not yet been covered and told her to keep her mouth shut and listen. The young woman had left in tears and had dropped the class the next day. Rachel’s dislike for the man had increased greatly that day and had not improved since.
Trying to push Chandling out of her mind, Rachel raised her head and allowed the steaming water to run down her face and front. Reaching for the shampoo, she washed her hair and conditioned it. The process was no small feat, given the length of her hair, which ran down the small of her back but once she was done, she squeezed some gel soap onto a sponge and began to wash her body. She started thinking about what else it was that she had to get accomplished that day. There was a report due in another class but she was almost done with that and would finish it later that night. She didn’t work that day so it seemed like she had the rest of the day to herself.
Finishing her shower, Rachel toweled off and combed out her hair. Wrapping her towel around herself, she opened the bathroom door and walked across the hall to her bedroom. The cool air licked at her skin and hastened her pace. Throwing her towel on the bed, she opened a dresser drawer and contemplated which pair of underwear to put on.
“What the hell, I need to go to the mall anyway, might as well look the part.”
She chose a skimpy black lace thong and an associated bra that she had bought recently. A pair of tight khaki caprice and simple black blouse finished off the affair. She braided her hair and let if fall behind her. A gold necklace, little more than a simple chain and a pair of gold ear rings were all the jewelry she allowed herself and the simple elegance of it pleased her. She did her makeup and by 1:30 she was ready to go. Stopping and looking at herself in the mirror, she smiled and twirled on one foot, getting a better look at herself. Bending over, she was pleased to see that he shirt allowed for some cleavage but not too much. She looked at her face, winked one eye and smiled,
“You still got the looks girl. They haven’t beaten that out of you.”
Turning back to her bed and picking up her towel to put it back in the bathroom, she stopped to insure that her parrot had food and water. Aoi was sleeping peacefully on a small log that hung from the roof of the cage, head buried in her left wing. Rachel smiled and thought about how he had come by her sleeping companion. Having contemplated getting a pet before to keep her company, it had been in the back of her mind one day when she had gone to a garage sale an elderly woman down the block was having. Parading through her things, Rachel had seen the cage and bird resting off near the back of the garage.
“Excuse me…maam. How much for the bird?”
The woman had squinted at Rachel, as if taking stock of her. She was elderly that much was to be certain. Time and osteoporosis had hunched her over and made her walk with the aid of a cane. White hair was tied into a bun at the top of her head. Asian in descent, it looks like she had probably been a very pretty women once. Time though, changed everything. I wonder if I will look like her…I hope not, Rachel though as she looked at the woman. Immediately though, she regretted ever thinking something like and felt herself flush in shame.
The woman, as if sensing what Rachel was thinking, smiled knowingly to herself and nodded her head towards to bird’s cage.
“For a pretty young woman like yourself…$20.”
Rachel was dumbstruck at the price. She had seen parrots in pet stores and she knew they sold for thousands of dollars.
“$20…maam, there’s no way. I can’t take it for that much.”
“Don’t worry about it. She’s my bird, I can set the price as I so choose. Her name is Aoi, thanks to her color. I’m Japanese and aoi means blue in my native tongue.”
Indeed the name was fitting. The bird was covered in a rich coating of deep blue, save for the head, which had mottled yellow spots on it. Overall, it was a gorgeous animal and definitely would do for a college student’s apartment pet. Small, relatively easy to maintain and not very long living. Or so Rachel had thought. As she was putting the bird in her car, she had asked the woman how long she had owned the bird.
Scratching her head, the woman had thought for a moment. She squinted her eyes when she did so but when she opened them again, Rachel swore she saw mischief playing its way in those dark pools.
“Oh…I’ve had her for about 27 years now…. give or take a year.”
Rachel sat there dumbstruck.
“27 years…HOW LONG DO THEY LIVE?”
“Oh…that breed, if they remain healthy they can live upwards of 80-85 years, longer sometimes. She’s got at least a good 60 years left in her I think.” With that, she had begun to walk away.
As Rachel had stood there for a moment with her mouth gaping, calculating how old she would be when this bird died, she saw the woman look over her shoulder and smile,
“Cheap parrot: $20.
New pair of clothes to impress the boys: $100.
New set of lingerie to impress the boys further: $150.
Trading your looks for the wisdom to be able to read people and teach them lifelong lessons: Priceless
Rachel realized that she was standing there with her mouth gaping open. The
crone had not only known exactly what it was that she had been thinking but she also decided to make teach her a lesson about it. Driving home that day, Rachel knew that the moral probably should have been something about “Looks are not everything” or “With age comes wisdom” and quite possibly “Don’t take for granted what you have now, it won’t last’. Unfortunately, the only thing that she had been able to glean from the entire transaction was, “Don’t screw with old people.”
In the end though, it had all worked out for the best. Aoi had turned out to be a good friend and companion, which was exactly what Rachel had needed some nights when she was studying. She would occasionally let the bird out of its cage and often, when she did, it would flap and jump its way over to her, climb up her and rest on her shoulder, eventually falling asleep. The soft whistling noise that she had come to understand was the avian equivalent of snoring came to be a reassuring and almost relaxing part of her study sessions. Also, birdseed and fruit, which were the main parts of Aoi’s diet, were cheap enough and her cage was relatively easy to clean. Even now, she felt that old woman had done far more for her that day than just teach her a lesson.
When she was satisfied that Aoi was taken care of, Rachel made her way to the living room, put her shoes on and took a last look at her apartment, ensuring that all was in order. Her apartment was a modest affair; large enough to suit her needs, yet small enough to be financially and domestically practical. The living room was spacious enough to house a couch, entertainment center and bookshelf. She had her T.V, a modest hand-me down 52” LCD flat panel against one wall. It was a hand-me down from one of her friends but for $300, she could not complain. Her computer was sitting adjacent to the electronics and it served her purposes for report writing and Internet surfing. When she felt like relaxing and acting like a kid, she would sometimes play her Playstation X3, again a hand-me down from a friend.
A small kitchenette, bathroom with a stall shower and a bedroom with a walk-in closet finished off her apartment and considering that she paid less to live in the apartment that she would to live in the campus dorms it worked out well with her. The dorm rooms were posh and well furnished, that much was to be sure. The massive dormitory block of Teiu was one if it’s proudest areas, reminding her more of a five star hotel at times than a college dormitory. The only part of the schools domestic facilities that she used were the decadent baths and that was only occasionally, when she felt like she deserved a treat.
Walking out of the apartment, she turned and locked the door, then made her way down the stairs and out into the parking lot. It had turned out to be a nice day, or at least Rachel though so. Grey clouds filled the sky, threatening rain but as of yet, the heavens had not let go. It was warm outside, not hot but warm enough to be comfortable and humid enough to really feel it. It was dark too; darker than it probably should have been this early in the day but all it did was lend character to the impending storm. A wind was blowing from the west, keeping the air fresh and making the world feel alive and moving.
Rachel got into her car, a green 2030 Honda Civic that she had bought used when she had arrived here. When she had moved to Lawton to attend Teiu, it had become blatantly clear to her that she needed an automobile to function in daily life. The running back and forth between school, the library, work and home had made it difficult to coordinate a bus schedule and taxi’s got expensive quick. Riding a bicycle was out of the question as well, as during the winter it got blisteringly cold and she had no intention of catching pneumonia on her way to work. Fortunately, thanks to the soldiers at the nearby military base, the restaurant business in Teiu was a lucrative one and come and the first and fifteenth of every month, the Red Lobster she worked at would boom. She had come away some nights with two or three hundred dollars in tips and that alone would make her car payment and insurance. Often times those tips also came with slips of paper that had phone numbers on them and she had made it a rule to leave those on the table for the bus boys to clear off.
Making her way to the mall, Rachel parked, made we way inside and decided which store she was going to try to make it to first. She decided to make the bookstore her first stop and was in mid transit when she heard a voice behind her,
Turning Rachel looked through the crowd to see who it was. Immediately she saw the almost unnaturally tall girl who was heading her way. Vanessa Michaels was one of the first friends Rachel had made upon her arrival to Teiu. It had been her first day at Teiu, her first class in fact and Rachel had been sitting in the back of the class, talking to no one. All new students were made to take an introductory course into the history of Teiu, which seemed strange to Rachel but it was free as part of enrollment so she did not complain. It had not been her intention to be unsociable; she simply hadn’t known anyone and it was not in her nature to randomly introduce herself to people. She was waiting for the lesson to begin, when girl walked over and said,
“Hi, I’m Vanessa. Your new here aren’t you?”
Looking up, Rachel had to stop for a moment and take a look at this young woman. Vanessa was easily 6’2” and therefore towered over the other females at Teiu and a good percentage of the men as well. Long blond hair, pale skin and pale blue eyes were the crowning points of her face, along with perfect, snowy white teeth. A tall, lithe and well-toned body was easily evident through the t-shirt and gym shorts she was wearing. She wasn’t nearly as curvy as Rachel but was still highly attractive in a different way.
“Yeah, just got here. I’m Rachel.”
They shook and Vanessa took a seat next to Rachel.
“So what grade are you?”
“I’m actually in the graduate school. I just recently got my B.S in mathematics and I’m pursuing my masters now.”
Vanessa’s eyes had gone wide at that.
“Wow…. I guess your pretty smart then huh?”
Rachel felt herself blush and tried to come up with a tactful way of responding. She knew she was bright but it would not do due flaunt the fact to people she had just met.
“I’m….motivated more than anything. What’s grade are you?”
Vanessa reached into her notebook, pulled out a sheet of paper and handed it to Rachel.
“This is my first semester of college. I graduated from high school last year and was accepted here on a basketball scholarship.
Rachel looked down at the paper and recognized the list of classes that were common among freshman. English composition I, college algebra and United States History were among the list of classes the girl was taking. Also at the bottom of the schedule was a 4-hour block set aside for basketball practice after she was done with class. Rachel handed the schedule back to Vanessa.
“So you must be pretty good at basketball to be on a full scholarship?”
“Yeah, I made the all nation team this year in the high school division. I was voted second most valuable female player as well. I’ve been playing basketball since I was little and it’s pretty much the entire reason I’m able to go to college. I’m not really all that smart, so I work with what I have.”
The tall girl looked forlorn for a moment and then as if somebody had thrown a switch, she brightened back up and looked at Rachel with a smile on her face.
“All right, fair is far, I showed you my schedule, let’s see yours.”
Rachel hesitated for a moment but decided fair was indeed fair. Reaching into her notebook, she pulled out a folded piece of paper and handed it to Vanessa. As the girl scrolled down her schedule her eyes got wider and wider at the list of classes Rachel was taking. Quantum Mechanics, Honors Calculus IV and a smattering of other math and advanced science courses were her list for this semester and it was obvious to Rachel that Vanessa was not only impressed with the list but probably had no idea what half of the classes were anyway.
Handing the paper back to Rachel, Vanessa looked at her and smiled,
“Well, I guessed right, you are really smart. I guess if I need help with school, I’ll come and ask you.”
That had turned out be the basis of Rachel and Vanessa’s friendship and it blossomed from there. Vanessa would bring her homework to Rachel when she needed help and Rachel would help her through it. Vanessa, it turned out, was one of the most bubbly and happily sociable people Rachel had ever known. She would take Rachel to the mall, school functions and anything else to get Rachel out of her house and homework. They played off each other well and the dynamic had made for a lasting relationship.
Vanessa caught up to her and looked down at her friend.
“What are you doing here?”
Rachel looked back up at her friend. Given that Rachel was all of 5’0’ and Vanessa 6’2” Rachel had always felt dwarfed next to her friend.
“Oh, I was just going to do some shopping and look around. I don’t have to work today so I’m just killing time.”
Vanessa moved next to her friend and took her by the arm.
“Good, there’s someone I want you to meet.”
With that she pulled on Rachel and they started walking towards the food court.
“Vanessa, I need to go the bookstore. Who are you taking me to meet anyway?”
A sly grin covered her friends face.
“Oh….no on, you’ll see.”
Rachel tried to stop and pull herself out of Vanessa’s grip but that taller girl was much stronger than Rachel.
“Oh no, I swear Vanessa, if this is another guy you think I need to meet, I’ll never help you with your algebra again.”
Vanessa was completely different from Rachel in one very important aspect. The girl was a flirt and made it a sport to see how many guys she could get to see her in a day. Given her height and looks, it was hardly a challenge and at any given time, Rachel would see the girl surrounded by a squad of soldiers or college students. At some point, Vanessa had decided that it was in Rachel’s best interest to go on dates and try to meet new men, something that was definitely not on Rachel’s list of priorities.
The grin on Vanessa’s face got wider as she dragged her petite friend.
“Now would I do something like that?”
Rachel tugged harder to no avail.
“Yeah…that’s exactly like something you would do. Now let go of me. Vanessa……..VANESSA………..”
Myu,Me - January 13, 2005 12:57 AM (GMT)
You did an excellent job, There are soem points where you missed a letter, but it is realyl good. Good job and good luck with the rest of it
musashi - January 13, 2005 01:04 AM (GMT)
Wohoo!!! great! great chapter, so more info on Rachael VERY nice...um.....oh..bra...uh...bra....*LOL* justing kidding, nice full vital stats too! And Vanessa...."Basketball" hmmmmm...where do I heard that before ^0^ b .
Its good seeing each character you made have its infot o the readers and their past background, impressive!!! one thing fer sure, Chaoshawk..can you make some grusome death fer stupid Chandling?? pretty please! he is one JackA--- :angry:
Keep up the good work!
Myu,Me - January 13, 2005 01:06 AM (GMT)
I wonder if the Achrodinger theroy actually works *throws chandling into box and electrocutes it*Finds chandlign dead*
musashi - January 13, 2005 01:09 AM (GMT)
If something like "things in the dark" would grab and drag him and mock his stupid theory before killing him, I WOULD be VERY happy!!!
Sorry, I get very sensitive on characters who are trash--frankly good description shows how good writing bout a character,and what reaction to readers.
like Wavy's Rayearth Fic before (YOU KNOW THAT, WAVY!!!)
ChaosHawk - January 13, 2005 01:20 AM (GMT)
Lol, Chandling will not be going anywhere quite yet. He may even have a different part to play. I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it. We'll be revisting Akira in the next couple chapters, a new character will be revealed and Silver will show back up.
musashi - January 13, 2005 01:36 AM (GMT)
ChaosHawk - January 13, 2005 01:40 AM (GMT)
I do have a question though. Descriptive detail is one of the big things I'm trying to hit on here and I want to make sure I'm getting that through well. Can you guys see all the stuff I'm talking about. Her, the apartment, the weather?
musashi - January 13, 2005 01:48 AM (GMT)
my part, yeah I can "picture" it in terms of reading a fic or novel :)
Myu,Me - January 13, 2005 03:33 AM (GMT)
I don't quite understand you question, but your descriptions are very visual and are very well done. They are critical to what you are writing
Wavehawk - January 13, 2005 06:01 AM (GMT)
Arggg....feel...automatic writing coming along...
"As to my experience, there are two types of aethists," the writer began speaking into his recorder, smiling almost contentedly as he watched the professor arrogantly work at his valued equations. "The first are those who simply disbelieve that a deity exists. The second..."
The writer adjusted his sunglesses a moment, to better fend off the glare of sunlight. "The second type believe that, by denying god exists, they are actually punishing him for abandoning them so long ago in life," he cracked a cruel smile. "It is the latter type that make such loud, boisterous steps to boast of their aethism, and take such perverse pleasure in belittling others who do not share these beliefs."
He paused to watch the professor write on the board with clear, heavy strokes of chalk. For some reason, he felt a laught that needed stifling; the brilliant professor, man of science, had an inferiority complex. Why else would he take such great pains to worsen his tasks?
"It is my belief that this physics professor is of the latter breed. The type for whom god is to be ignored in spite--rather than using any form of scientific method to prove or disprove his existence," he clicked pause, sweepign back his long, blonde locks. They gave him much difficulty, the long hair he preferred to flaunt, despite it being more trouble than their worth. "I'll have to remember not to give in to vanity someday."
With a sigh, he once again clicked the recorder on. "I would be quite interested in seeing the possible result of this man's encounter with the non-scientific, if not miraculous, situations that occur outside of his Ivory College tower. I would safely bet that, given his demeanor, the dear professor would be..." Again, he fought back cruel laughter. "...indisposed to accept that which does not fit in with his neat, textbook belief system. I am again certain..."
He glanced as the professor, oblivious to the man watching him, continued his tirade against those cursed to be younger than he.
"...that the man will go delightfully, sumptuously insane with terror."
ChaosHawk - January 13, 2005 06:37 AM (GMT)
Well...that was unexpected.
musashi - January 13, 2005 06:38 AM (GMT)
*Twack Wavy* Hey!!! no crossing side-story on a on going fic!!! :lol:
Its interesting but I would suggest no to pop it too often^^;
Its an invasion!!!!!! oh noooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o
musashi - January 13, 2005 06:45 AM (GMT)
If Wavy did something to do with "slimy noise and errie unearthly chant, walking shaodows that is alive and about human sanity to madness..".......(puts a helmet) Chaoshawk...brace yerself!!! :blink:
ChaosHawk - January 13, 2005 06:46 AM (GMT)
FEEL....RESPONSE.........CANT....STOP...IT(BTW, that was very good. I can't figure out if you liked my story or not but I appreciate that your reading it.)
The man walked out his front door, the sun blinding him and the wind caressing his hairs like a lovers hand. It was a gorgeous summer day, the kind of day that reminded you of your youth, the kind of day that made you feel invincible again. The man was troubled though, as he looked up to the sky. His whole life he had believed he had everything under control, that he had everything figured out.
Then, as if some great writer had come down to rewrite the script of his life with a dark and horrible quill, everything had changed. One minute, she had been there, the next, she was not. It had not taken long and in a way, that scared him more than anything. An entire history, an entire life had vanished, like the sun dipping below the horizon at twilight.
He remembered then, remembered how she always wore jasmine, her touch and her soul. He rememberd when they had met, when he had looked in her eyes and when they had become one. He remembered their children, their life, their love and their memories. It was all so long ago and would never come back.
Up till now, the man had thought he had everything figured out. He thought he knew how it had all started and how it all ended. As he had sat in the hospital cooridor, weeping at the inevitablilty of it all, a stranger had walked up and taken his hand. What he said had taken his breath away and shaken him to his very soul.
"You feel now, like shes gone and will never come back. You feel like you know that for a certainty. Remember one thing my son, we are but a small people on a small planet. We have no answers, no certainties. Every answer we find raises yet another thousand questions. Think about that....and ask yourself...what do you reall know?"
With that, the man had walked away from him and by the time he had been able to collect his thoughts and try to follow, the man was gone. Now though, as he stood in his driveway and looked up at the sky, he realized for the first time how little he truly understood. Closing his eyes, he inhaled and for a moment...thought he could smell jasmine.
Moral of the story......do we really know anything at all?
musashi - January 13, 2005 06:49 AM (GMT)
WOHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :blink: WTF!!!! who the hell is THAT guy!!!!!. this is great! another new character, Chaoshawk???
ChaosHawk - January 13, 2005 06:52 AM (GMT)
No..I didnt look at Wavys as an invasion of my story so much as his own thoughts on atheism..which seem the echo mine greatly....do we really have a clue at all. That last post really had nothing to do with my story, it was something short I wrote real quick to explain my own vire point.
musashi - January 13, 2005 07:01 AM (GMT)
Ohhhh I see..well its a good short actually bit a surprise who the guy pops out then dissappeared^^ ehehehehe.
So it has no prob on Wavy then :D *pat Wavy's head*
Wavehawk - January 13, 2005 09:10 AM (GMT)
I dunno, I just read your chapter today, the next thing I know, I'm writing on automatic. That happens with me sometimes (writing idea out of the blue), and I try as much as possible to save it orwrite it down somewhere in case I can use it later in some story or other. It just so happens I went autopilot on this one... O_O;;;
I'm wonderign what happens next. :P