SHARE
TWEET

Untitled

a guest Jun 19th, 2017 47 Never
Not a member of Pastebin yet? Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
  1. {Note: this is, indeed, a draft. Yes, I usually type my drafts. It’s in small type because I’m saving paper, yo~}
  2.  
  3. There were many laboratories in the manor of Ansem the Wise. Though the city-world of Radiant Garden didn’t have an official mayor, Ansem (who, like most other residents, had a mysterious lack of surname) seemed to take the position, being the most widely known of the relatively insignificant world. Most of the man’s fame came from his occupation – there weren’t an awful lot of scientists who called that place home, and the five others who did all lived with him, as apprentices. There was Aeleus and Dilan, the two who appeared to be blessed with both brains and brawn; Even (pronounced ‘Evan’), the closest that any of the apprentices would ever get to a stereotypical mad scientist, with the personality to match; Braig, the rather cocky sharpshooter who managed to slack off more than anything else; Xehanort, the amnesiac who had been taken in by Ansem’s huge heart and turned out to fit in perfectly.
  4.  
  5. And then there was one.
  6.  
  7. He could be found loitering around in the shadows of the others, usually Even or Aeleus. He could be found stalking the multiple extensive libraries Ansem boasted on his grounds. He could be found running around the lab with everyone else, scribbling notes down on one of their late night test-fests. Perhaps he wasn’t as social as some of the others, but that could be excused. He had a good mind, that one.
  8.  
  9. The problem with Ienzo, see, is that for a scientist’s apprentice, he fit the bill perfectly. For a nine-year-old boy, on the other hand, he didn’t. Not by a long shot.
  10.  
  11. …That was all I knew about the kid. I had been sent in on behalf of the Child Services department of the Radiant Garden Police Force. They were a little concerned about the tests that Ansem and company were running, so naturally, I was shipped off to have a nice long educated discussion with a nine-year-old. It wasn’t the talk itself I was concerned with – after all, if he was capable enough to keep up with the pseudo-mayor’s work then he was certainly capable enough to have an honest discussion – but getting the child to even speak to me.
  12.  
  13. Here we were, sitting together in a room. Though he was only a boy, his hair was a strange silver color, and it seemed intent on forsaking the laws of gravity and falling over one side of his face. By this point it had gotten down to his chin. His one visible eye was a stormy gray, and it was staring at me with the single most terrifying deadpan I had seen in a long, long time – it was somewhere between a death glare and a microscope, giving me the feeling that he was analyzing everything about me with an uncomfortably bitter mindset for a child of his age. His clothes, plain to see, weren’t the best… that was my first problem. Even if he was being cared for by a collaborative effort between Ansem and his apprentices (who were all scattered in their own little way), there wasn’t a single garment on his sticklike frame that wasn’t at least four sizes too large. The mandatory lab coat I could understand – those things were expensive, and they didn’t exactly have the greatest size range – but his pants folded down around his feet, and the v-neck tee shirt dangled uncomfortably low on his chest.
  14.  
  15. “So,” I said with false cheerfulness. Even if he was such a somber boy, a kind demeanor could do only good.
  16.  
  17. “…Yes? I was told… that you were deployed to interview me…” He had finally succeeded in speaking, despite the fact that it came out more like the mumble of a church mouse. One could practically hear the ellipses peppering his speech.
  18.  
  19. I nodded. “That’s right, Ienzo. I’m here to discuss your living conditions.”
  20.  
  21. His expression didn’t move an inch, but it was clear that he was considering this carefully before speaking. “…They are fine as they are…”
  22.  
  23. “Oh, I’m sure you’re alright,” I said, despite the fact that I wasn’t sure in the least. “Really, this won’t take too long at all, you know. I don’t have a lot of information about you anyhow, so I’ll need you to elaborate on some other things, such as your personal history… this includes anything you know of your… um…”
  24.  
  25. “…Passing of parental responsibilities,” offered Ienzo robotically.
  26.  
  27. “Yes, thank you, passing of parental… wait, what?” Of all the things I had expected to come out of that boy’s mouth, an eloquent summary of my thoughts was most certainly not one of them.
  28.  
  29. There was no response.
  30.  
  31. “…My parents,” he said finally.
  32.  
  33. “Yes.” Although I didn’t want to be, I felt somewhat relieved; at least he could say the word. Heavens knew what deeply traumatic things he could have associated with that… I readied the portable pack of Kleenex in my back pocket. No doubt he would be needing them soon. “If you can, and if you know anything, I would like you to tell me about… what happened to them. In your opinion, I mean. This is all about you.”
  34.  
  35. “…Both of my parents died in a war when I was about four,” he stated in the same deadpan voice he had been using all through the interview. “I did not trust the authorities to be able to do something decent with me… so I left. …I was acting like a fool… but Mr. Ansem found me anyhow. He and the others took me in.”
  36.  
  37. …Er, well, so much for the Kleenex, then.
  38.  
  39. I sat back further in the (admittedly comfortable) plush loveseat I was perched in; Ienzo was sitting on an armchair with his legs crossed, shoes on the floor next to him. Whenever I looked at the boy, he was always there to stare directly back at me, and despite my better knowledge I had to admit that it was quite unnerving. Everything about this child, actually, was unnerving. But even so, I couldn’t let that stop me – I was charged to get a good summary of this boy, and how his time in this strange, completely inappropriate environment had affected him, and I was going to do just that.
  40.  
  41. Even if the person I interviewed was made out of stone.
  42.  
  43. “…So,” I said, bringing back the chipper overtones. He didn’t look impressed. “What are your thoughts on some of the other people here?”
  44.  
  45. “…Such as?”
  46.  
  47. “Such as…” I flipped through my mental book of people who lived here, trying to remember if any one of them had mentioned anything about having a special meaning to Ienzo. When that failed, I picked a random one. “…Even. Let’s use him first, all right?”
  48.  
  49. “…Even is something like a mentor to me.” His face remained stoic – I had to wonder if this strange behavior was really a result of being in such an unusual environment, or whether it was just natural for the poor child to act this way. “Oftentimes he loses his temper, but that’s normal; he does it to everyone. Regardless, he tolerates me for the most part, and frankly I don’t expect much more of him… but I do respect him. I think he knows what he’s doing.” Again, not the response I was expecting, but I suppose that he didn’t have to like everyone…
  50.  
  51. “Alright. Braig, then?”
  52.  
  53. “A slacker,” he muttered. “Almost everything he does is loaf around or practice with those pistols of his.” Pistols? What pistols? There shouldn’t be any pistols around a… “…oh, don’t take the gun thing to heart.” Ienzo shifted slightly in his seat, having apparently sensed my concern – a very acute child. “I haven’t seen him fire them at anything except targets.” The first time he had shown any discomfort at all, and it was to prevent me from making a bad mark about a person he didn’t even like that much? Interesting.
  54.  
  55. I noted this on the blank paper I had been provided with. I had scribed quite a few things on the boy already, and looking over them very quickly, I had to admit that they weren’t inspiring. It was difficult to make heads or tails of the boy, but I intended to find a way to do it anyhow.
  56.  
  57. “…So, how about Aeleus?” I didn’t expect great things from this pair. Aeleus was tall and silent and basically shunned all human contact – I’d be willing to bet that he was too creepy even for the Creepy Child himself to handle. I had assumed that now was the point that he would break down, start to look more and more like a child after all – fear, being afraid. Genuinely afraid. Surely he wasn’t completely at ease among these strange housemates?
  58.  
  59. “I don’t exactly understand Aeleus yet,” was all Ienzo said.
  60.  
  61. …Evidently, yes, Yes he could.
  62.  
  63. “Don’t understand?” I asked. “How is this?”
  64.  
  65. “He always seems uncomfortable around me,” the boy explained. “Not a malevolent uncomfortableness… there’s just something about my presence that seems to unsettle him. I think I know what it is, but…”
  66.  
  67. “What? What do you think it is?” I leaned forward now, eager to get some kind of peek into this strange boy’s mind.
  68.  
  69. Instead, he recoiled from me and shook his head. What he said next I couldn’t make out, but it sounded suspiciously like “…forget I said anything…” Any pushing or prompting, any at all, and he would dart back into his shell… and just when I thought he was opening up to me, too… I resisted the urge to grind my teeth in pure confusion. How does this boy tick? Clearly not like most people his age – or most people my age, for that matter. That made it hard to get much past the very bare basics. He felt that he needed to be on the defensive twenty-four-seven… why was this, though? I couldn’t help but wonder about what he had said before, about his parents…
  70.  
  71. Ienzo was staring at me again. The expression was unusually piercing, even for him.
  72.  
  73. So ensued one of many awkward pauses. I fidgeted in my seat; this wasn’t how it was supposed to go! If anything, the kid I was talking to was supposed to be squirmy and uncomfortable, not me… I was a professional… yes, a professional… uhhhm…
  74.  
  75. “…Do you need a glass of water or something like that?” asked Ienzo concernedly. “You look flushed… here…” Without another word he sprung from his seat and swept out of the room towards what I assumed was the kitchen, his oversized lab coat swooping in his wake. This left me just as startled. Up until now he had been apathetic as a child could be, and now… he was running off to get me some water? Just like that?
  76.  
  77. I repositioned myself in my seat and took the time alone to look over my notes on the boy… and found myself sighing. There were so many mixed signals… and when he had left – assuming what he had said was true – then he wouldn’t have had much of an opportunity to develop a personality anyway. But it was clear that well-rounded young individuals needed to be cared for in a safe, warm environment – nothing like this castle, which practically radiated eccentricity! It wasn’t the best place to raise a child, and look at how he turned out. Introverted, jittery, uncomfortable and tactless around strangers… something had to be done.
  78.  
  79. …And yet…
  80.  
  81. Glancing over the notes again, I noticed something quite distressing. All of these observations… none of them were positive. Not a one. From what I saw… the child was bright. Perceptive, certainly, wise beyond his years. But he had obviously shown a distaste towards me – why? I had treated him properly. I had treated him like a child of his age group should have been treated.  And frankly, I had seen these apprentices, and they looked like they were treating him all wrong! Putting too much pressure on the boy, obviously, talking to him like he was an adult. That must have been the reason why he was so withdrawn, because everyone else was expecting too much of him! A textbook case! But then… I was treating him properly… so…
  82.  
  83. …oh.
  84.  
  85. I shivered involuntarily. I had been treating him as a child of his age group should have been treated… but clearly he responded negatively to that. He respected Ansem and all the others (more or less), and to me, he had been rather unresponsive past common courtesy.
  86.  
  87. This boy… did he want to be treated like something he wasn’t? Did he just want level ground?
  88.  
  89. Actually, come to think of it… he had been gone quite a long time. What I had taken as an act of kindness… was it just an excuse to get away from me? A concerning thought, that – a ‘ploy’, as it’s called, didn’t seem like the sort of thing he would do… unless it was towards me. Of course.
  90.  
  91. I stood up, looking around the area. “…Ienzo? Ienzo, where did you go?”
  92.  
  93. A shadow made itself present in the door. “…here… I’m over here… did you need something else…?”
  94.  
  95. “Oh,” I gasped, relieved. “O-oh, no, Ienzo. Thank you.”
  96.  
  97. Nodding, he slipped into the room with a sort of gait that suggested that he truly didn’t want to be seen, and placed a glass of water on the table before standing next to the chair he had previously occupied. “…Are you going to continue?”
  98.  
  99. “I… no,” I said. “No. I think I’ve gathered enough about you, thank you… I’m done here.”
  100.  
  101. He nodded. I got the feeling that something was weighing on his mind, despite the fact that his expression was blank as always, and eventually he did give up the ghost and went to ask. “…Are you allowed to tell me what your final judgment on me is…?” He looked genuinely concerned – the child obviously didn’t seek to leave. Because really, he knew what would happen; he had likely known what would have happened when he was just four. Someone would misunderstand him and rip him away from still another home, a place where he had only just begun to plant strings, place him somewhere else… again.
  102.  
  103. I know he wanted to be treated like an adult, but even adults shouldn’t need to do that.
  104.  
  105. “…No,” I said. “No I’m not. Because I haven’t come to a final decision. But… I think things are looking up for you. Right now I believe you’re safe.”
RAW Paste Data
Pastebin PRO Autumn Special!
Get 40% OFF on Pastebin PRO accounts!
Top