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message 1: by War* (new)

War* (warr) | 136 comments

Wʜᴇʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴀᴍᴘ sᴜᴘᴘʟɪᴇs ᴀʀᴇ ᴋᴇᴘᴛ, ᴀ ɢᴀᴜʀᴅ ɪs ᴏꜰᴇɴ sᴇᴇɴ ᴘʀᴏᴛᴇᴄᴛɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇᴍ

message 2: by War* (last edited Jul 23, 2018 12:40PM) (new)

War* (warr) | 136 comments

The sun was low in the sky by the time Jonathan had returned to camp, and the dark-haired scavenger just wanted one thing: sleep. He had spent the better half of the day far past the walls, making various trips back and forth for both the engineers and botanists, and he now found himself exhausted. Stifling a yawn behind his hand, Jon dragged his feet over to the supply tent to drop off extra parts he had found while out. With a small nod to the guard that was on duty, Jon slipped under the tent’s flap and walked inside. Glancing around the makeshift supply room, Jon found himself making a noise of displeasure at the meager supplies the base camp currently had. The crash had ruined much of the provisions that the ISC supplied them with, and they were having a difficult time finding anything useful on the ground. The 300 years they were gone had irrevocably changed the Earth.

Dropping his bag to the ground with a soft clang, Jon started the tedious job of sorting out the parts he found into their correct placements inside the supply tent. Tools went with other tools in color coded bins, while large hunks of scrap metal were stacked in the corner where it would eventually either be used to repair the drop ship or melted down. While Jon was usually quick at his job, he found himself effected by his lack of sleep, his hands moved sluggishly as he striped and sorted parts, often dropping small parts on the floor with a frustrated groan following. In an attempt to keep himself awake, He hummed slightly to himself, something he had picked up from his father while back on the Ship. He was about half way through sorting his bag when Jon decided to just dump the small bag’s contents to the ground in the center of tent in an attempt to speed up his work. Grabbing a large gearbox from the pile, Jonathan walked over to the back of the tent to set the part in the correct area, unbeknown to him that a small photo fell from his bag. The photo had a hard crease down the middle from Jon folding it in half countless times and the paper was beginning to fray at the edges, but the image was still recognizable despite its age. It was a younger him with his parents, all smiling towards the camera. It was one of the last family photo Jon could remember taking while his father was still around, it had to be at least 18 years old at this point, and despite the hate he still held towards his father, it was the one thing Jon made sure to take with him always. The last remaining symbol of the family Jon once had, and the happiness it had brought him.

message 3: by Max (new)

Max | 32 comments Luke had spent almost his entire day in the sun and was now taking refuge in the warm but shady supply tent. Back before he went to earth, people had always told Luke he had a sunny disposition. He knew that was a compliment, but having never seen the sun he didn't really know what it meant. Now that he was down on earth he was beginning to understand, although to him it didn't feel at all like a compliment anymore. The first day of coming down here, Luke had spent most of the day with a sprained ankle under a makeshift tent they had put up. He had really enjoyed the sun then, but now he was learning the evils of it. With his Irish descent, his fair skin had quickly been burned to a crisp from scavenging all day his cheeks were a constant shade of burned by now. Of course, that didn't stop him from going out each day to look for more metal or wires that could help the engineers. After a long day though he was relieved to be out of the heat and let his burned skin rest for a little while.

Currently he was behind a huge pile of metals, sorting them by type as best as he could with the unfamiliar metals surrounding him. He didn't even look up as someone came into the tent since people were constantly coming in and out. Before he had always turned to talk to people but now he had gotten into the groove of his work and was lost in his own little world of sorting. Once everything was neatly organized, he brushed his metallic smelling hands off and stepped around the piles, grabbing a bag to load some of the salvaged stuff to bring to the engineers. He grunted slightly as he pulled the heavy metals onto his slim shoulder and began to slowly walk towards the exit to the tent. There was a guy in the back of the tent putting some stuff away and Luke offered him a big smile as he walked by.

As he made his way out of the tent, skirting the pile of stuff in the center, he noticed a picture lying on the ground a few feet away. He let the bag drop to the ground and went to go pick it up. If someone had lost this photo, they would probably be thrilled to get it back. Many people had lost mementos or reminders of loved ones they had left back up in space in the crash, and Luke couldn't miss the chance to make someone's day by finding the picture of their special one. But when he looked at the photo, he quickly realized that these were his special ones. Or at least it was his father, he didn't recognize the other people in the photo. He stared at it for a long time as though waiting for it to change into someone else. But of course, it stayed the same as any picture should. Turning to look at the guy in the back with a frown he walked over and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Did you find this photo?" He asked, holding up the old picture for the other guy to see. Luke too had brought down a photo of his parents but it was not that photo and he knew it.

message 4: by War* (last edited Jul 25, 2018 12:15AM) (new)

War* (warr) | 136 comments

After dropping off the gearbox, Jonathan walked over to a pile of different color wires that were tangled into a large mass. Careful to not snap or break any of the wires, Jon began to unwind the different cables from the tangled mess, often starting to work one free then having to move to another to loosen the first. It was long and tedious work that Jonathan actually enjoyed since it gave his mind and hands something to do while not requiring a great deal of concentration. He had heard talk about a locked bunker a couple of scouts found yesterday that was proving to be more difficult to open than originally thought. It had all the engineers working around the clock to solve, and it meant Jon was given extra request for parts. A current theory for opening the bunker involved something about magnetic locks that went completely over Jon’s head. All he knew was that the engineers had placed an order for copper wires, which he was currently working on.

Deep into his work, Jonathan didn’t even realize that another person was inside the tent with him and was completely startled when he noticed one of the younger scavengers filling an order for the engineers. “Hey” he answered quietly, giving Luke a small nod when he went past. While being quite a bit older then other scavenger, Jon liked the kid’s typically upbeat and happy personality. It was quite the nice change from the typical attitude from other Legacy crew members. Glancing at the kid, Jon couldn’t help but smirk at the red tint to his skin, especially around his forehead and bridge of his nose and cheeks. Clearly someone forgot the medics warning of the sun’s radiation, stronger now they weren’t protected by the Ship. However, Jon also understood Luke’s struggle, similarly cursed with pale skin that seemed to burn within minutes and knowing the annoying pain that often accompanied the color.

Standing up from his large scattering of wires that he was in the midst of sorting, Jon walked over to his pile of seemingly junk from his bag. “Luke, right?...” he asked the other scavenger while digging through the pile, eventually Jon found whatever it was he was looking for. Pulling out a pair of small jars, one white and other deep green, Jon took another few steps over to Luke. “Here, the white is burnroot oil the medics gave me for the sun. Put it on before leaving camp and it should help with the burn. The other is aloe, should keep you from peeling” Jonathan spoke quietly, handing over the pair of jars. Being one of the older scavengers, Jon tended to look out for the others, often picking up their overloaded routes or simply checking in on them, knowing that survival was hard pressed here on earth without someone watching your back. And it seemed his tiredness made him more open.

He was on his way back to his wires when Luke tapped him on the shoulder, causing him to turn and glance at the photo. His green eyes widen for a moment seeing the photo in Luke’s hand, fear at how close he had come to losing it filling him. He shook his head in answer to Luke’s inquiry before speaking “No, it’s mine from the ISC”.

message 5: by Max (new)

Max | 32 comments Most of the people here were quiet as mice, working hard without any time for conversation. So, when Luke met someone who finally did like to talk and/ or was willing to bear his constant conversation he latched into them. Had Jon known this, he probably wouldn't have said hi to Luke in the first place, cause now he was going to have do deal with a constant barrage of words coming from Luke. Taking the little jars from the man he inspected them with a curious look in his eyes before slipping them into his pocket and turning the full force of his smile onto the man once again.
"Yeah, you're Jon, I see you around a lot." Luke replied, voice full of confidence. He had learned practically everyone's name in the first few days down here and he was proud of himself for it. Considering his social nature he felt a need to get to know everyone at least by name so he could start conversations a little bit easier.
"Thanks so much, that's awfully nice of you." He said with a smile, patting the pocket that now held the little jars. He could tell that with the other guy's skin, he must have the same problem.

Looking back at the photo he frowned slightly. He was sure that was his dad. Even in the faded photo, that much was obvious. Luke could see the look of fear filling Jon's eyes and quickly passed it back to him. Part of Luke wanted to keep it, after all it was a reminder of his dad. The person who had loved him, and smiled at him and been so proud of him. Luke loved his dad, no matter how little he got to see him back on the ISC.
"Why do you have a picture of my dad?" He asked amiably, with pure puzzlement in his eyes. He figured there must be an explanation to this. Whereas most people would have found it suspicious, Luke was easy to trust others and he simply figured that Jon and his father had worked together. Or maybe considering Jon's age, he had interned with his dad. It was still a bit weird that they had a picture, but maybe they had been close friends or something, whatever it was, Luke was sure there was a good reason for it.

message 6: by War* (last edited Mar 14, 2019 11:22PM) (new)

War* (warr) | 136 comments

Jon was glad when the younger boy took the pair of jars and he echoed the boy's smile with a curt nod of his own. Although, at the mention of his kindness, Jon wrinkled his nose slightly, that certainly wasn't the impression he wanted to give people. " Yeah, no problem." he brushed off. Being nice had too many expectations, aloofness better suited Jon's nature. Even still, something had compelled him to help the other scavenger out, something he was not quite sure of just yet.

As Luke questioned him, a wide range of emotion cycled inside of Jon, but he eventually ended on confusion. This kid must be mistaken, it was the only way this situation could be true. It was an old picture and maybe the faded nature obscured some of the features. "This is / my / father..." Jonathan insisted a moment later. It took a great deal of self control to not snatch the photo from Luke's hands, and once the photo was offered back to him, Jon's shoulders fell harshly, not realizing how much tension he held in his body for his only worldly possession. Once the photo was back in his hands, Jon's thumb brushed gently over the women's face, green eyes darting from his father's features to Luke's."See?" he continued, flipping the photo over to unveil the neat writing on the back as he read it aloud. "Lily and Julius Roman with son, Jonathan age 8". A dark and sinking feeling taking hold of his chest.

message 7: by Max (new)

Max | 32 comments Luke looked up at Jon with total innocent puzzlement. If Jon was beginning to realize something, Luke certainly wasn't. He didn't know anything about his father's life before him and his mother and he didn't even know that there had been a life before his father and his mother. If someone had told him that his father had been in love with someone else, he wouldn't have believed them anyways. He didn't get to see a lot of his parents when he was younger. They were both engineers and they were always busy. He had mainly been raised by his older brother. But when he did see his parents, he had always seen them as a joint force. They always worked as a team. If they were home for dinner, they always made it together. When Luke imagined his parents, he always saw his father's arm wrapped around his mother's waist as they moved around the apartment. They were in love and no one could make him believe otherwise.

Despite all the evidence that was beginning to stack up to show that perhaps Jon wasn't lying, Luke still doggedly ignored the facts. He simply didn't understand how this was possible. He was a smart kid. Sure, not academically smart, but he was pretty good at figuring tough situations out, but in this case his mind wouldn't allow him to think of any situations involving his father and another kid.
"There must be some confusion." He told Jon quickly. He had total confidence that this was just some strange coincidence that would be figured out.
"My father is Julius Roman. I took my mother's last name." He added since that sometimes confused people. He had never really known why he had taken his mothers name rather than his fathers, but it hadn't been too strange. He hadn't understood why so many people automatically took the father's name, why not take the mothers?
"I mean, can't you see the family resemblance?" He asked in a joking tone. he had gotten a lot of his features from his mother, such as his slim face and freckles. But his eyes and skin he got from his dad. It was impossible not to see the similarities between father and son. When he looked back up at Jon though, he realized that the man's eyes were the exact same colour.

message 8: by War* (last edited Mar 15, 2019 07:59PM) (new)

War* (warr) | 136 comments

In all of the infinite futures Jonathan could find himself in, the cruel mistresses of fate chose the one that hurt him most in this moment. The feeling in his chest quickly spread across his paling skin, a cold sweat creeping up his back. " How...How old are you?" he questioned, stammering in his shock, as a vague memory flashes behind his eyes.

He was only 11 when he made the foolish choice to follow his father that fateful morning, he was only trying to give his father a forgotten lunch when he saw the undeniable proof of his father's transgressions. The swollen stomach of another woman that Jon did not know or understand. His parents had been high school sweet-hearts, and spent over a decade in love, but in that moment, if Jon wanted to be truthful, even as a child he noticed the love was rapidly cooling between the pair of them. As much as he wished it wasn't so.

Suddenly the room came back into focus as Luke spoke again, causing Jonathan to take a step back, his tall frame jolting into the bench where he was working earlier and causing a box of parts to crash to the ground. His body wanting to physically remove himself from the realization that his mind came to in that instance. Jonathan was never good with emotion, often having to bottle it away during those long years on the ship, always more suited to working on machines then with people. And right now he was feeling every single emotion under the sun, waiting for one to rear its ugly head. And this time, like many times before, was won by anger. "Yeah, Julius Roman always does leave his mark" Jonathan huffed in reply, remembering a night when his...their father lost his temper and shattered a lamp that cut his mother's cheek. It may have been only a single moment of anger, but Jon never forgave him for it.

Jon forced himself to take a breath, he had hoped that the earth mission would be a way to rebuild and separate himself from his past, but now he knew he was foolish and arrogant to believe life could be shaped in such a way. He turn his eyes away from Luke, his gaze being caught by the shiny surface of the metal desk, his attention on the pair of green marks reflecting on the surface that he came to hate in every mirror, ones now shared with Luke. A forgotten half brother that Jon had purge from his memory over fifteen years ago, a ghost now realised.

Jon was silent while his mind ran wild, he found himself at a lost for words and eventually decided on plain and blunt. "I'm assuming Julius never told you about his first wife?"

message 9: by Max (new)

Max | 32 comments Luke was beginning to feel a little unsettled. Maybe it was just because he felt that way sometimes down here. Everything was just so new, running water, trees, sunlight. Once and a while he would just get the feeling that something was totally wrong because he'd never seen it before back home on the ship. More likely though, it had to do with the way Jon was staring at him. Like he was some rabid animal that just appeared at his tent door (yes, Luke had some experience with violent animals by now).
"I'm 16." He answered with narrowed eyes. His hands went to his pockets were he pulled out a length of wire he had found. His hands moved about the wire, pulling it and shaping it and then pulling the shape out and restarting. It was a nervous habit of his that he had recently picked up.

Luke looked up to his father like he was a superhero. True, his real superman had been his older brother, Phoenix but he had still looked up to his dad Julius as a role model. His father was everything he wanted to be. He had a successful job, he was smart and he had a genius wife who he was utterly in love with. It was the perfect life, the type of life Luke wanted when he was older. Occasionally he heard the whisper of something bad about his father, a rumor or just casual gossip. The ship was small and gossip was a way to pass time. But one of the only times he ever got angry at people when if they insulted his parents. He thought that Julius was totally without fault, even though his father had practically left him to be raised by his older brother. He couldn't even imagine a world where Julius had been married to someone else.

"First wife?" He asked, pale-faced. It was so pale that he practically blended straight into the white boxes of bandages that were collected behind him. He was already pale, so now he looked like a ghost.
"My dad wasn't married before.... he and my mom are in love. They've always been in love." He said, his green-blue eyes wide and nervous. Glancing behind him he looked around before finding a collection of empty boxes that looked sturdy enough. Stumbling back a few stunned steps, he practically collapsed onto the boxes, digging the heels of his palms into his eyes. What was Jon talking about? His dad... married? It was too much for him to take in.

message 10: by War* (new)

War* (warr) | 136 comments

Jon watched quietly as the younger boy stumbled away from him, and nearly collapsed from the weight of the situation the pair found themselves in. He wasn't sure of anything in that moment, what to do, what to say, what not to say, there was no training on the ship for things quite like this. He could tell you a hundred ways to wire a circuit, but nothing about the delicate pathways of emotion.

Wanting to lessen the pressure in his chest, and give the other boy a moment alone with his thoughts, Jon took a few steps away. He moved over to the desk and righted the overturned box, quickly tossing a few of the fallen objects back into their place. Taking the moment alone to pull a few extra breaths into his worried lungs, the heaviness of the tent's air suffocating him. Staying where he was, still knelt on the ground near the box, Jon did something he hadn't in a long while, he prayed. Not to any certain god or deity, Jon didn't have any faith in that, but to his mother. The one bright light in his ever dimmed world, he swore he could still feel her presence on nights where he felt alone. A guiding touch here, or a wave of silent calm there. He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, the scent of lilies filled his nose and Jon knew he wasn't alone. Righting himself once more, Jonathan lifted the box and replaced it on the table. He had no doubts in his mind that this boy was his brother, however, Jon didn't know what that meant. For him, for his future, for Luke, or If he had shattered this boy's perception without any reason or purpose.

Jonathan wrapped his hand around the back of a chair and pulled it away from the sorting desk, moving it over to the pile of boxes that Luke had claimed for the moment. Setting it down a few inches in front of other scavenger, Jon settled himself down into the creaky chair, knees almost touching Luke's. Jon was quiet as he watched his...brother, a strange feeling overtaking him as he noticed the palms of Luke's hands digging into his face, like he was trying to physically keep tears at bay. " Hey...." Jon started unsure, not wanting to upset Luke further. He shifted in his chair, gently bumping his knee against Luke's in some sort of merger attempt at comfort. "Love's a complicated thing..." he continued sheepishly, not really wanting to have this conversation. Almost wishing he had kept his mouth shut about Julius and ran when he still had the chance. Jon took another glance at the photo that he was worrying with between his fingers, no longer recognizing the boyish youth and large grin on his face. When suddenly, on some strange whim, let the photo fall from his fingers and flutter to the ground.

There was no point in dwelling on a long gone and tainted past, when a new beginning was staring him in the face.

message 11: by Max (new)

Max | 32 comments What do you do when everything is crashing down around you? What are you supposed to feel when your entire life as been a lie and the people you love most in the entire world are the ones who lied to you. Most importantly, what do you do if you can't answer those two questions? Luke was currently in the unlucky position of having no answers to anything. If someone had asked him how he was feeling in that moment, he wouldn't have been able to answer. Suddenly everything seemed to bright and too loud and he wanted to run away to where it was quieter and darker. He wanted to go all the way back home, with mom and dad. Over the past few weeks, he had experianced the occasional bout of homesickness but never before had he experianced the feeling he was feeling right now. The heart wrenching, stomach turning feeling of just wanting to go home. As though nothing mattered right now because he couldn't share it with his parents. Nothing here belonged to him. He didn't own anything here, he was nothing here. Just another person sent to earth as an experiment. Back home he was someone, even if no one knew that, at least he knew that. Back home he had his own room, no matter how small it was and he had his own history and his own parents. But now it seemed that even his parents weren't his anymore. Or at least his father wasn't. He wanted to go and ask his dad if this was all true. But he couldn't so he just burried his face in his hands and took a long quivering breath.

He felt something bump again his leg and carefully looked up between his fingers. When he looked up he saw Jon staring down at him cautiously. That's what really set him off, started the waterworks. Luke had always been a sensative person. He felt hard and fast, so while he was almost always a bubbly happy person, it didn't take much to make him cry. Jon and his older brother Phoenix looked almost nothing alike. But they shared that concerned expression. The one Phoenix only saved for Luke when his younger brother had hurt himself or something. And suddenly Luke was crying. Tears rolling silently down his face. He didn't even realize that he was crying until he felt the salt against his lips.
"I'm sorry." He sniffled softly and tried to wipe away the water in his eyes. The eyes that looks so much like his new brother's.
"I'm just... I'm just a little shocked is all." He tried to explain feebly and then without a second thought, leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Jon, for a moment able to pretend that he was Phoenix. Luke knew that he wasn't, but maybe he could be the older brother Luke had lost so many years ago.

message 12: by War* (new)

War* (warr) | 136 comments

Jonathan had never regretted taking the drop-ship assignment, the idea of a fresh start on the newly reclaimed earth seemed like a godsend after every terrible memory that haunted the hallways on the ISC ship. But in that moment, Jon realised all he ever does when things get difficult, is to run away. He ran from his father, ran from the idea of a half-sibling, ran from his mother's death, ran all the way to earth. But now, things were catching up to him and he was tired of running. He took in the sight of the boy in front of him, the subtleties to his features highlighting their shared father now that Jon allowed himself to see all of them. It was strange to now have a name and face for the sibling he ran from. He shifted again in his chair, planting his feet firmly on the ground, he was done running. Luke was the last bit of family Jon had left, and Jon didn't know how much he missed that. Having a family.

Jonathan swore lightly under his breath when Luke fell into tears, that was exactly what he didn't want to happen. It was almost like a light had gone out in the other boy, and Jon had no idea how to turn it back on again. He was worried that he had broken the happy go-lucky kid he had seen around the drop-ship or out scavenging. Jon had a knack for ruining the things he touched, he didn't want this new relationship to be another.

Jon rubbed the back of his own neck as he watched the tears roll down Luke's face, his eyes darting around the room in a panic, trying to remember how his mother would have comforted him. "We both are, to be honest" Jon spoke quietly in reply. He was still grasping for anything to help, maybe a cloth to wipe his eyes? But then, Luke made the choice for him, and Jon was grateful once the shock of the action wore off.

Jon was a stoic man, often good at pushing away any emotion that crept up on him, except the utter anguish he felt when Luke barreled into his chest. It took him seconds to respond, but he eventually did, raising his arms to firmly enclose the younger boy. "I'm sorry too..." Jon whispered, not exactly knowing what he was apologizing for, perhaps it was for running away sixteen years ago.

Maybe, somehow, with a little elbow grease or hard-work, the pair of them could work this out.

message 13: by Max (new)

Max | 32 comments The last time someone had hugged Luke had been before he had left on the dropship. His mother had pulled him into the tightest hug in the world, so hard that he couldn't breath. In the moment he had felt smothered and like she was treating him like a child. He had wanted to be treated like a responsible adult. Now, he would give almost anything to be back in her arms again. No matter how much he liked being talked to and treated like he was an adult, the truth was he was still a teenager. A teenager who needed support sometimes because he couldn't always be happy or energetic. Sometimes, he needed his parents. But he hadn't really had parents for most of his life. Of course he had lived with them, but mostly he had been raised by his brother (although was Phoenix even related to him? And if so... how). Phoenix hadn't come down to earth with him, mainly because he was dead. So even more than he needed his parents, he needed his brother. Jon certainly wasn't Phoenix, but he was someone and maybe they could work this out.

So, he just held on for a little longer, burying his face into Jon's shoulder. He felt like a little kid again. It had been so long since he could act like a little kid. Back on the ship, he could be a little boy. But here, it was different. He wasn't one of the youngsters who could spend the day chasing each other around in this brand new wide world of theirs. He wasn't like the babies who got to open their eyes for the first time and see the open sky above. He wasn't like the older people, the ones who after passing on the last of their experiances would get to die with memories of clean air and bright sunlight. He wasn't even an adult, who had lived a full life on the ship and still got to live another down on earth. He was the strange middle, not quite ready to grow up but forced to.
"I'm not sorry that I met you though." There was a smile evident in his voice, even though his face was still hidden.

Luke always tried to find the positive, the good in the bad.
"Why did my dad leave you?" He finally asked quietly, pulling away from Jon so that only their knees were touching again. His hands reached into his pocket and took out a string of wire, twisting it over and over again in his hand, untwisting and then restarting. His hands in a constant state of movement.

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