The Voluntary

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The Voluntary

Post by Terenia » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:38 pm

A/N: So, I thought I'd give my fanfiction a try over here on AFF. I'm listed on, username Terenia (difficult to remember, I know :P ). This story is complete, so if you like what you see you're welcome to check out the full thing over on, but in the meantime I think I'll just post a chapter every few days here. Let me know what you think!

Synopsis: We always knew that they existed. Voluntary hosts, willingly sacrificing their freedom. But why do they exist? This story follows a young man named Christopher and the events that led to the ultimate sacrifice. His freedom.
Chapter One: Background Noise
Beep. Beep. Beep. !!!

The alarm clock broke into my dreams with a vengeance. Groaning, I slammed my hand onto the snooze button. I lay there for a minute, letting the fog of sleep dissipate from my mind. Finally I gave myself up to consciousness and rolled out of bed.

Gray morning light cast an eerie haze around my room, making me stumble over strewn clothes and books as I half-heartedly shoved my stuff into a worn book bag and pulled on what I hoped was a clean shirt. Almost falling over my guitar case, I made it to the bathroom in more or less one piece.

I didn't turn the light on, choosing to brush my teeth in the gloomy gray that filtered through the blinds over the glaring florescent lights. As a result, my reflection in the mirror was hazy, almost surreal looking. My normally pale skin looked almost tan, and my blue eyes were almost indistinguishable from the whites. I shivered and looked down, brushing my light brown hair back. It was a strange, ethereal sort of image. It didn't suit me.

As I made my way downstairs I noted that the house was eerily silent. The floorboards creaked uneasily beneath my feet. No sound came from my mom's room. I wondered if she had come home the previous night or not. I hadn't waited up to find out.

I ate my cereal slowly, still not fully awake. I was in no hurry to get to school. The seething mass of students, gossiping and laughing and enjoying life made me nauseous. I didn't look forward to another day of slipping by in the background.

The walk to school was about as dreary as my mood. The gray clouds hung low overhead, sucking the air out from under them like a vacuum. Big fat raindrops fell around me, and the wind sliced through my shirt. I actually felt a little relieved when I entered the blindingly bright warmth of the school. That is, until all of the noise surrounded me like a tidal wave.

Laughter, indignant shouts, the slamming of lockers. All of it amplified by the high ceilings and narrow corridors. Instantly I felt myself slouching down, struggling to avoid the gaze of my fellow students as I made my way hurriedly to my locker.

"Heya Chris!" Alicia, one of my few friends, came up beside me as I threw my book bag into my locker.

"Oh, hey." I responded, glumly slamming the door.

"What's wrong? Didn't sleep?" She said. I shrugged in response. It was still far too early to expend energy talking. Alicia rolled her eyes and reached up to tousle my hair playfully. I pulled away, irritated.

"Oh come on, grumpy." She taunted. "You know, you need a pick-me-up. What are you doing after school today?"

"Nothing." I said gruffly, wondering how someone could be so perky at seven in the morning.

"Well, I'm going to a meeting of The Sharing. Wanna come?"

"No." I gave her a sideways look. "You know that isn't my thing."

"Yeah, I know I know." She sighed melodramatically, as if my dislike for organized groups was an epidemic or something. "You could at least try though. I mean, I know you don't like the whole community service thing, but it isn't just that. We hang out. Have fun. You remember fun, don't you?"

I had to crack a small smile at her sales pitch. How Alicia and I managed to be friends was beyond me. She was the exact opposite of me. Where I was withdrawn and uninvolved, Alicia had a slew of close friends and participated in dozens of activities. She was constantly trying to pull me into her circle – a place where I felt vastly uncomfortable.

"I don't think so, Alicia." I replied.

"Please?" She gave me a pouting look. "We aren't even doing any service tonight. It's just a normal meeting. We're going to hang out, maybe play some pool. Eat."

"Oh yeah, that sounds like my kind of place." I said. Alicia looked disappointed, and I sighed heavily, running my hand through my hair.

"Karen and Tom can't come, though." She said, looking a little glum. "I don't want to go alone. I still don't know too many people there."

I raised an eyebrow quizzically. It wasn't often Alicia was without a companion. It would give us some time to hang out without her other friends buzzing around her like so many wasps. We rarely had that opportunity these days. We had been friends since we were in diapers, but the entrance of high school had very different effects on each of us. I had felt awkward and lost in the sea of students, while Alicia flourished.

"Alicia!" As if she had read my thoughts, a bleach blonde grabbed Alicia by the arm. "Hey hun, did you do your Spanish homework?"

"Um…" She looked up at me apologetically and turned to her friend. I stood there for a moment, feeling awkward as they talked. When it became clear that they weren't going to finish their conversation on the imperative-tense-and-that-cute-boy-who-sits-behind-so-and-so I decided it was time to leave.

"Hey." I tapped Alicia on the shoulder. "I'll think about it, okay?"

"Great!" She said, beaming at me before she returned to her conversation. I hesitated a moment longer before heading off down the hall.

The Sharing was a relatively new organization in our neighborhood, which was probably why Alicia didn't know too many people. A lot of faculty members were promoting it, and fliers had been up around the school for a few weeks now. From what I understood, it was just another community involvement group. Except this one went even further than the typical school-based program and aimed to include anyone and everyone. Girls, boys, kids, adults. Anyone was welcome. It was supposed to be a "safe place" where people could go and, no matter who they were, could find a place where they fit in.

Which of course, was probably a load of bull. It didn't matter how safe and clique-proof you tried to make a place. The groups always separated themselves out, like oil and water.

Then again, Alicia had nothing but good things to say about The Sharing since she had joined. She said that it had done well in other cities, bringing together communities that had been in shambles. I gave myself a mental shrug as I slid into my homeroom seat. There was no harm in going for Alicia's sake.

Who knew, maybe it would lead to something.

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Re: The Voluntary

Post by Luna May » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:54 pm

Woah, this was the first Ani-fic I ever read. And the one which always kept me going.
I LOVE it.
Thanks, thanks, thanks for posting it here. ^^
This is epic.

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Re: The Voluntary

Post by Terenia » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:07 pm

Awww thanks! I'm only over a year late on posting that! Anyways....chapter two. I'll try not to take another year for chapter three. :P
Chapter Two: The Sharing
I decided that one afternoon of misery was worth it for Alicia's sake. We met up after school and walked to the community center together. The weather had improved somewhat. At least it wasn't raining anymore. The sun still hid behind ominous clouds, though.
"I'm really glad you decided to come with me," Alicia was saying brightly.

"Well, it's only this once." I said, not committing. The last thing I wanted was for Alicia to begin expecting me at every meeting. "So, how come Karen and Tom can't make it?"

"Oh, Karen is grounded. And Tom is doing something with his family." She waved it off unimportantly.

"Ah" I said. An uncomfortable silence fell over us. It was a weird and out of place kind of silence. Alicia had seen me when I still wet my pants on occasion, and now I felt awkward around her? It was as if there was a wall between us which had never been there before.

"This is it." Alicia said ten minutes later, breaking the silence. We were in front of a rather unremarkable building. It was a single story, dull red brick. There were few windows, and the scruffy grass in front hadn't been cut in ages. Above the door there was a sign bearing the words "The Sharing" in bright print.

"This?" I raised my eyebrows. "You would think they'd have something a little more…I don't know, nice?"

"Chris! They're new, remember? They haven't set up a permanent place yet. This is just rented property." She flipped her ponytail and walked ahead. I hesitated before following her. My stomach was twisting weirdly in my stomach as I crossed the threshold.

It was like I was stepping into a whole new world. Like in one step I had gone from the dingy streets of my home town to a glorified hang out. The first thing I noticed was how bright it was. Despite the lack of windows, or maybe because of it, bright lights were everywhere.

The noise hit me next. It was a little like being back at school. A really cool version of school. School with ping pong tables and dart boards and an endless supply of chips and soda. Yeah, a cool version of school alright. But that fact didn't make me feel more like I belonged there. If anything, I felt more out of place.

"Come on Chris." Alicia led me to a table which was directly blocking our path. Behind it, groups of teens and adults of all ages were talking and laughing together. Adults and kids, talking together like they were the best of friends. Weird. Way weird.

"Well hello Alicia, welcome back." The lady at the desk said, grinning broadly. "And who might this handsome young man be?"

I felt myself flushing and grunted "Christopher" under my breath. If I hadn't felt awkward, I certainly did now.

"This is my friend from school, Chris." Alicia said, clarifying my mumbles. "Its his first time tonight."

"Excellent! Well, just write both of your names down on the attendance sheet and make yourselves a name tag. Then enjoy yourselves!" The lady smiled once more, before turning to talk to a balding man next to her. I picked up the pen, hesitating before writing down my name on the attendance sheet and a blank name tag.

A few moments later Alicia and I were standing against the wall near a pool table. Alicia looked anxious, and I knew that she was unhappy with my silence. I was busy trying to be as invisible as possible. It had worked, so far.

"Chris!" I looked up at the sound. Oh great. My old Assistant Principal was heading towards me, smiling like we were old friends.

"Vice Principal Chapman." I shook his hand awkwardly, "How are you?"

"Quite wonderful actually. How are you enjoying the high school? Staying out of trouble, I hope?"

"Yes, sir." I masked an inward scowl. I had spent my fair share of time in Chapman's office when I was in middle school. Probably more time than I had spent in an actual classroom. Back in those days I had decided to express my father's frequent absences and my mothers habit of going out all night with anger. I later realized that you got bothered much less if you just remained invisible.

"Well I'm glad to see you here, son. Enjoy yourself." He strode away quickly, probably looking for another student to talk to.

"See, that was nice." Alicia said. I rolled my eyes.

"Alicia, I spent so much time in his office in middle school that he practically started charging me rent. He's probably just glad I'm not in jail or something."

"Well, whatever. I thought it was nice. Come on, let's air hockey or something. Please?"

There was an open table, so I agreed reluctantly. We played silently at first, but then..


"Oww!" I grabbed my fingers, which were red from the impact of the puck, "Do you mind?"

"Sorry!" Alicia looked mortified. My cry had drawn some onlookers.

"Yeah, yeah." I muttered, "Just get ready to be massacred."

I put the puck back into play and it banked off of the wall, heading towards Alicia's goal. She deflected! I quickly blocked my goal and sent the shot back towards her.

"Yes! Goal!" I cried, grinning. Alicia gave me a sour look.

"Enjoy it, buddy. It's the last one you're going to get." We had definitely drawn a crowd now, but I didn't care. This was me and Alicia, acting as we always had. This was the most normal I had felt in ages.

"C'mon Alicia!" Some kid cried.

"Go new kid!" Another one responded. I ignored their voices. It was a tie game. Game point. We volleyed it back and forth for a little while until I found just the right angle, lined it up, hit! Alicia moved to block it, but she was too slow. The puck slid in the goal. I had won!

"Great game!" Some kid I didn't know said, patting me on the back. I couldn't help but grin back. Suddenly I realized how many people had been watching. It was a strange feeling. I wasn't used to being the center of attention. Certainly not for something good. Alicia smiled and came around to my side of the table.

"Good game." She said. I smiled back at her.

"Thanks, you almost had be there."

"Nah, you beat me fair and square. See, I told you the whole group thing wasn't that bad."

"No…" I said, choosing my words carefully. "It really isn't.."

"So you'll come back?" She looked hopeful. I hesitated. So far, the meeting had been fun. I had gotten time to hang out with Alicia, and several others had actually spoken to me. Even some kids who in school never looked my way were nodding at me in a friendly manner. It was all a bit overwhelming, but in a good way.

"Yeah." I decided. "I think I will."

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Re: The Voluntary

Post by War Prince Arleal-Breeyar-Fangor » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:00 pm

I didn't think I would like it, but it's pretty good so far. I'm too lazy/busy (LoGDs) to go find it on FFN, so I'll read the rest when it's posted here. Good job.

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