This is going to be a bit longer than what most of my posts have been the past couple months. This month I’ll be doing a series of stories following a group of characters on their adventures. Today’s piece focuses on introducing everyone. The whole concept needs some fleshing out, so feel free to comment. Hope you enjoy!
“Why does it have to be raining?” groaned Red, running a hand through his ginger hair as he stared out of the window at the grey and black storm that had consumed the entirety of the outside world. Meanwhile, his own soul felt just as stormy as the world outside, unable as it was to partake in its desired activities.
“Hey, can you stop storming in here? I’d like to keep the rain outside,” said Nero, one of his friends.
Red turned toward the rest of the living room, the heart of the facility that he called home. There were three doors, one for each of the walls not made out of floor-to-ceiling glass windows, each leading off to a separate part of the facility: the boys’ rooms, the girls’ rooms, and then the common rooms, like the kitchen. Midmorning though it was, only some of the facility’s inhabitants were awake at this time; Red himself had only risen recently, but the other three in the room – cheerful Aurus, dark-haired Nero, and blond Albus – had been awake for a while.
“Anyway, plants gotta drink some time,” replied Aurus from the large couch in the center of the living room.
“Yeah,” Red persisted. “But why can’t it be during the night, when everyone’s asleep?”
“It’s a conspiracy, Red,” Nero answered from one of the chairs scattered across the wall. His dark eyes glanced up from the book he had been reading as he continued. “The world’s trying to deprive you of your fun.”
Red frowned. He could almost imagine some government operative looking out at them from behind the trees, through the rain. But maybe it was just a trick of the light. He turned around, just as the door to the girls’ side opened.
“Is it seriously raining?” said Cheng, the shortest member of the group, stopping abruptly when she saw the window. “This ruins all my plans!”
“Oo, what did you have in mind?” asked Albus, looking over the back of the couch.
“Yes,” added Nero. “Please inform us what new obsession you’ve gotten yourself into.”
“It’s not an obsession!” Cheng insisted. “It’s just that Antonio said that he had Warspear 4…”
“That again? You’ve been playing the first three so much this last week, you’ve hardly stepped out of your room.”
Cheng rolled her eyes. “Well, I guess I have to take a break, thanks to this stupid rain.”
“Tell me about it,” sighed Red.
“Is there something we could do inside?” asked Albus. “As a group, maybe?”
“We could watch some TV,” Aurus suggested, picking up the remote from the coffee table and causing the screen to lower in front of the window.
“Oh! Go to the Spacecraft channel!” Cheng said, running up to the couch.
“What about the sports channel?” asked Red.
“Spacecraft is a sport,” Cheng insisted.
“Not really,” Nero contradicted. “Anyway, there was a movie I’ve been waiting for a rainy day to watch.”
“That horror film?” exclaimed Aurus. “I think it would be better to watch a comedy or a drama.”
“Well, we play a board game if we can’t decide on something to watch,” said Albus.
Red’s eyes lit up. “I’ll go get some!”
He rushed out into the common wing, off to the library where they kept all their games.
Cheng sighed. “Why can’t we ever play video games?”
“We don’t have enough controllers,” Aurus pointed out.
“Anyway, they end up really boring, because you and Red always win,” added Nero. “The only reason board games are any fun are because everyone can play at once, and because everyone else has a fair chance. Especially Vi or Rina or I, since we do really well at the whole tactics thing. Come to think of it, though, I’m not entirely sure I even want to participate in any games unless they play too.”
“Oh, come on! Do you have to be so difficult?” exclaimed Cheng.
“Well, as they say, the more the merrier,” said Albus. “I’ll go wake Giovani too, see if he wants to join us.”
“I’ll join you.” Aurus jumped off the couch and hurried over to the girls’ door with Albus.
There were nine doors in the main hallway: one at the end that led outside, and was barred shut with wood planks and metal bars; one other led to the common bathroom; the other seven were bedrooms, though only two were occupied. On the immediate right of Aurus and Albus was Cheng’s room, which displayed her name in about two dozen different languages. On the other side, in a very flowery script, were the names Violet and Adrina.
Of all the rooms in the house, this was by far the cleanest – with good reason. Violet’s head would explode if she found even a scrap on the floor, and no one wanted that to happen again – especially after how long it took to put her head back together last time.
As Aurus and Albus entered the room, two pairs of blue eyes peered out at them from the bunk bed against the far wall.
“Oh, hello, Aurus, Al,” said Adrina on the bottom bunk, closing the book she had been reading.
“What do you want?” Violet snapped from the top bunk. Her rings clattered against the low wall as she gripped it and glared over it
“We were hoping you might want to join us for some board games,” Albus informed them.
“Sure,” Adrina answered calmly. “Why not?”
“Red and Cheng are playing, right?” Violet asked. “Right, I guess I’ll have to put them in their place.”
She climbed out of her bed and slid down the ladder to the floor. She was wearing a thin nightie, and she quickly shooed the boys out of the room. “We’ll be out soon.”
The door clicked behind them as they hurried out of the girls’ wing. In the living room, Red had returned with a couple armfuls of games, which the three present were sorting through.
“The girls will join us,” Albus told them.
He and Aurus continued over to the boys’ wing. This was set up like the girls’ wing, only with more rooms occupied. There were no bunk beds on this side.
Violet and Adrina’s room was the cleanest, but Giovani’s was by far the messiest. Finished food packages were scattered all over the floor, along with dirty clothes, so that it was impossible to cross over to the bed at the far side without stepping on something. Giovani was asleep, or at least pretending to be so – his green eyes blinked open rather quickly when Aurus shook him.
“Whutimizit?” he groaned.
“We were wondering if you wanted to join us for some board games, seeing as we can’t go outside today due to the rain.”
“Oh.” Giovani sat up, showing off his bare chest. Although he ate a lot, he was still one of the skinnier members of the group (his ribs were quite visible); some of the group thought he ate so much to make up for the first ten years of his life. “Well, I’d like to get some breakfast first, but I guess I’ll join you afterward. Who else is playing?”
Aurus and Albus hurried back into the living room as Giovani got dressed. It seemed that the three here had almost decided on a game to play. As Aurus and Albus approached the coffee table, the door to the girls’ wing opened. Adrina wheeled into the room, quickly followed by Violet.
Violet’s gold necklaces glittered briefly from the lightning as she bent down to push Adrina over to the coffee table, the wheelchair gliding smoothly across the floor. Red looked up briefly at the two girls, smiling at Adrina, who returned the gesture.
“So what are we playing?” asked Violet.
“We’re trying to decide between Monopoly and Oranges to Oranges,” Cheng replied.
“I vote for the last one,” called Giovani, who had just entered the room.
“Everyone else alright with that?” said Red.
A communal affirmation told him they were.
“Alright, then,” he continued, grinning. “If you’ll just prepare yourselves for losing…”