Time sure flies, when there’s work to do. Anyway, just wanted to let you know, I’ve added short explanations for stats and wrote a short team scene for practice (and to get a better grip on character dynamics, I suppose.)
The Captain arrives (From Six’s perspective)
From the beginning, she had known him as the younger brother of Eleven. Truthfully, their siblinghood was hard to miss with the same wild black hair, high cheekbones and light pale skin. At a first glance, Seven was a carbon copy of his brother, only that he was the louder, prouder and bulkier version of the two.
“What is it?” Even at the tender age of 16, Seven was already on his way to becoming one of the better recognised members on the future Unit A, not as much for his skills, as for his er, big personality.
Six shrugged with a smile, but before she could formulate a reply, a stranger strode into the lounging space of Hunting Division, drawing the attention of every single hunter present. A hush fell onto the unit, all eleven heads turning to the newcomer.
“Who’s the kid?” Seven muttered, studying the arrival with a confused frown.
To Seven’s misfortune, his words caught his brother’s attention, causing Eleven to pinch his nose in annoyance.“Is your short term memory acting up again? Nine literally just said our Captain is coming today.”
Seven barred teeth in response to Eleven’s snarky tone.
Boys, Six thought, placing a comforting hand on Seven’s elbow to prevent what was sure to be a biting retort. Under her touch, Seven relaxed, letting out a frustrated puff. Six allowed her eyes fall to the supposedly new Captain of their unit.
The kid, as Seven so eloquently put it, seemed to be close to them in age. Yet, the way they moved spoke of stone-cold assurance and deadly grace, usually found in experienced hunters. Curious, Six reached out into the bond.
Unlike others in the network, their light was silent, glowing with steady white energy.
How strange, Six thought, circulating around the new light. Usually minds weren’t that quiet or still and this light was …
“Empty,” Seven finished her thoughts for her.
Yes. Their new captain’s light was void of any particular sensation usually be associated with minds; there was no taste, no touch, no smell, no feel. It just was.
The person themselves didn’t seem to be moved by their exchange, eyes sweeping across the waiting hunters, doing a quick inspection of their own. At last, they spoke. “As you are well aware, you have been selected from the handful of candidates to become the new unit A.”
“To be granted the title of A is an honour not be taken lightly.” The Leader shifted, gaze sharpening. ““Slacking on the job will not be tolerated.”
Then their light expanded.
If she wasn’t already sitting, Six was sure her body would fold under the immense pressure radiating from her Leader. It was as if the gravity itself leaned on her back, locking her in one place. From the corners of the eyes, Six saw Seven’s jaw clenching, but he too was trapped by the weight of their Leader’s first order.
“If I find your efforts lacking, I will personally ensure you lose your hunting permits for good.” The person in the middle of the lounge continued, as if they hadn’t just placed the rest of the hunters under a mental lock.
The next moment the pressure was gone, as if it was never there. “Our next meeting is tomorrow at 5 a.m. on the training grounds. Do not be late.”
With that, the newly appointed Leader of their unit turned on heel and left as silently as they have come.
Six exhaled. Using mental bonds to assert command was not unheard of, but actually being on the receiving side was a completely different experience; one Six was not eager to repeat.
“You okay?” Tilting her head, Six met the worried eyes of her companion.
At his concern, something inside her loosened. “I’ll be fine.”
“What were they thinking, using bonds against us,” Seven’s brow furrowed, his eyes fixating on the spot where their Captain has stood. “That was a low blow.”
Despite his words, Six could tell Seven was not impartial to the Captain’s display of power.
“I presume our Leader just wanted to make sure we were as serious about the job as they.” Nine stretched his hands from his position next to Eleven, before giving them a serene smile. “From what I can tell, their message was received clearly.”
Seven didn’t look fully convinced. “What if this will be the regular practice to keep us in place or something?”
Nine’s shoulders rose in a shrug. “It will be, what it will be.”
“I’m sure our Captain realizes utilising mental commands all the time would be counterintuitive,” Six interrupted, locking her hands together. “Hunting teams need to build trust manually in order to work together seamlessly. Especially, if we hope to link minds in the collective consciouss. Using force would be useless in this case.”
“I sure hope so,” Seven muttered, but some of the apprehension drained out of him and he slumped back in his chair.
Strangely, Eleven remained quiet throughout the exchange. “As pleasant as this was, I have to get going.” Nine stood up from his chair and swung his satchel over his shoulder. Eleven rose to follow, a conflicted expression on his face.
“Ta, ta!” Nine chirped cheerfully and waltzed out of the room.
Seven watched them go, arms folded loosely on his chest. Six noted he looked a bit lost, but Nine’s unique personality did the trick of pulling Seven out from the doubts swirling in his head.
“Weirdo.” While his words might have been harsh, Seven’s tone was tinged with amusement.
“Nine is definitely special,” Six agreed, glancing around. Somewhere along the line, the rest of her team had disappeared, leaving only the two of them behind.
“I’ve never thought I’ll say this, but I’m happy we are on the same team,” Seven suddenly confessed, head stubbornly turned away.
Is he embarrassed? The thought made her giggle. His pout was adorable.