tales of the activated

chapter 26

chapter 25chapter 27

NSFW; possible triggers

Johann entered the holding cell. The silver-haired boy lay with open glassy eyes over the solitary wooden bed. Those eyes saw nothing after the short fight with Rowan. He grabbed for the oboe and played a long melody. Ren’s jaw slackened and drool trickled out from two edges, as his glazed eyes rolled upward.

“So you think you’re somebody now, huh, Sereno of northwest?” Johann snickered. “You’ll always be weak. That’s why Ely liked to pick on you. Sit up, Ren.”

The silver-haired young man slowly sat up on the bed, eyes glazed and mouth drooling.

“Give the names of the programs you know.”

“Straight Blast,” Ren droned.

“Just that?”

“The others help me walk. Internal programs,” Ren explained with a flat drawl.

“Show me the Straight Blast.”

Ren mindlessly raised his right arm. “Range: 1 meter. Force: Medium. Encode Straight Blast. Activate.” A quick burst of energy came from his hand and hit the wall.

Johann played the tune again to strengthen the trance. “What is your relationship to Eloise of the capital?” he asked.

“My tormentor,” Ren replied flatly, staring straight at the wall.

“You will tell me the truth. What did you do to Eloise?”

Ren answered without skipping a beat. “I let her know how I felt about her all these years, that’s all. I let her feel it in the blows I gave to her head, the punches I gave to her cheek. Then I let her feel it how much stronger she made me, right here.” He thrust forward his groin. “Incidentally, I don’t know much about things, but even I could tell hers was loose.”

“Loose!”

“Easy to get into, you know.” He sneered with a blank gaze. “I wasn’t the first one, and you’re not the first either.”

Johann knocked him to the wall. “How you could say that about my girlfriend!”

“How could you just watch your girlfriend while she messed with Rowan!”

Johann removed his hands from Ren’s shirt. “How….how did you know?”

“I don’t. I just know she claimed responsibility for taking Rowan against her will. And you did nothing to stop her! You call me weak? Look who’s talking!”

“Fuck you, weakling! Go fuck yourself!” Johann exclaimed.

The blank gaze returned. Ren calmly opened his trousers and lowered his underwear. He placed a hand to his groin.

With glazed open eyes Ren milked and rubbed his member, first slowly then with increasing vigor, as Johann looked on, surprised but regretting nothing. Johann watched as Ren moaned and squirmed in rhythm to the rubbing, as the member lifted and stiffened. He watched as the boy shuddered impulsively.

That is how Marceau found him.

“Release the trance, Johann,” Marceau said sternly. “Or I will lock your trance programs effective immediately. You’ve placed a level 8 trance. You’re being very dangerous. You will stop, now.”

“Who’s stopping me from trancing you?” He glared at her.

“I’m a futuretell programmer. I work in trance programs. I know when one is coming and can counter it. So don’t try anything on me, program trainee.”

Johann frowned.

Marceau gestured for the guard to open the cell. “Release the trance, Johann,” she repeated.

Johann sighed. He raised the oboe and played a quick melody. All of Ren’s movements suddenly halted, and the boy lay flat over the bed, his member still stiff and raised. Johann then backed away.

Marceau immediately placed some cloth over Ren’s nose and mouth. Soon the silver-haired boy noticeably relaxed. Johann could smell the strong anesthetic from where he stood. Marceau then clamped tight metal bracelets over the boy’s wrists. This was the first time Johann saw program diffusers up close. They were placed on prisoners, disabling their programs.

Marceau faced the guard and turned her back on Johann. “Clean up the boy. Keep an eye on him until I get back. You, trance program trainee.”

“I am a music program—“

Marceau spun around and raised his face up to his. “As of this moment, you will be transferred from music training to futuretell training. I will inform the faculty of basic program training.” Johann dragged his feet, watching the green springy curls bounce and swing angrily in front of him. “Level 8! I should keep you here!” Marceau murmured as she walked the hall. “Someone should lock you up here and teach you as a futuretell programmer!”

“Please don’t take me out of the music hall,” Johann weakly said. “It was hard enough to convince my parents to agree to this, to any program training at all…”

“It’s either I lock your trance programs, or I take you out of music hall. Choose.”

“Don’t take me out of music hall.” He looked at her with all the desperation he could muster at a moment’s notice. “I’d be grateful if you don’t lock the trance programs, yes, but locked or not, please do not take me out of music hall.” He took a deep breath. “That’s your answer, Miss Marceau.”

Marceau looked well at his eyes, and softened. “I won’t take you out, but you’ll have to take extra classes for the trance programs. You will not graduate from advanced programming without them, I will insist. Your skill should be controlled, and properly.”

He nodded, his back to her.

He began to walk through the hallway, whistling a bitter tune.

…………………………..

Ren woke up on a stiff bed, wearing a thin and itchy new shirt, and trousers of the same fabric. His groin ached. His head pounded from the inside. He tried to lift his legs, and found them unable to obey him. His arms felt heavy. He raised them, and found tight metal things around his wrists. He knocked the back his head onto the bed. Once, twice, thrice. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Caught. Shamed. Again.

He sort of expected this, actually wondered why it had taken so long to stop him. It was sort-of fun while it lasted, but for the most part it all passed through him in a blur, in a long wakeful dream. He lived from emotional rush to emotional rush, living on the surge of victory while defeating people with unquestionable success. He never really saw who it was who fell under his straight blasts, who cried for mercy at his feet. All he saw was the moment. He was feared. He was fearsome.

A part of him was relieved when someone knocked him out at last.

But now he had program diffusers. He would not be able to use his new programs. He was back to being a cripple. He was back to being a useless weakling. He did not even have crutches now. He was back to going nowhere, to being nobody.

He was better off dead. He wished he were dead.

“You do not mean that,” a quiet voice said near him.

Ren lifted his head. He scowled. “Lan.”

The redhead stood past the iron bars. His scarred left cheek was freshly sore. He leaned heavily on the bar he held.

“What do you want…sir?” Ren asked, the respectful address an afterthought.

“You do not mean what you said,” he repeated.

Ren sighed. “What do you care?”

“You merely want a reason to live.”

Ren fell back on the bed. He stared at the ceiling, at the small lamp that barely lit the room.

“I need your help, Sereno.”

“You’re looking at me, aren’t you?” Ren said bitterly. “You’re asking the wrong person. Go find someone else.”

“No mistake,” Lan said. “I need your help, Sereno of northwest.”

chapter 25chapter 27

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