Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/44674319/
General Pastebin: pastebin.com/u/TaskForceKaz
Two days later, the doctors give you a clean bill of health and you’re discharged from the Task Force hospital. During your stay, you were given a starter kit by one of the secretaries. The box itself contains your own ID card, a set of barracks clothing, a personal laptop, and a sleek new cell phone for Task Force business.
At least, that’s the cool things that you got. The rest of the items are textbooks and manuals, including a dictionary-thick set of rules that the Task Force swears by. You’ve still got some reading to do before boot camp starts. That’s one thing you can definitely be sure about.
It takes an aid to guide you through the veritable maze of corridors, secret passageways and hidden elevators in order to make it out of the headquarters and into the civilian offices, Burroughs Pharmaceutical. With a cheery wave, your guide bows and disappears through the wall as the bookshelf slides back to cover the entrance.
Your car is in the public garage where you last remember parking it. With a deep breath, you pop your keys in the ignition and drive out of the building. Who would’ve thought that a secret society made its headquarters right underneath a plain-looking office building?
The drive back up to Montgomery County is relatively uneventful. The D.C. landscape zips by in a blur as you gather your thoughts. You're now working for a secret organization to fight demons. It still hasn't fully sunken in yet. Wow. You aren't dreaming. This is actually happening.
Your mind is somewhat on auto-pilot until you make it back into the neighborhood where you spent your childhood and adolescent years.
You frown and sigh heavily as you park the car in the driveway. This is not a discussion you’re looking forward to having with your family, especially your parents. How does one even prepare for this kind of thing anyway?
But at any rate, they’ll be happy to see you. You haven’t been up to visit since the school year ended. Finding a job for the summer and settling your student loans in order have been your primary focus. At least you've got some good news to bring home.
You stick your keys in the front door and twist, only for the wood to burst forwards and surprise you with…
>A veritable army of laughing ankle-biters that tackle you to the ground.
>The sloppy kiss of a mid-air black furball.
Had to go help my dad chuck out the Christmas tree and move some furniture out of the family room. Mea culpa, mea culpa.
There (was) a tie at the time this was typed up. The choices...shall do the fusion dance.
The sloppy kiss takes you by surprise, as well as the massive weight that accompanies its approach. You make an audible “OOF” noise as all the breath goes out of your lungs, and the smelly maw in your face does you no favors in recovering your breath. With that said, you somehow manage to stand on your feet despite the one-hundred plus weight of dog fur clinging to your body.
High-pitched giggles signal the end of it all as four more weights crash into your body. There’s no saving yourself now.
You fall flat on your back with a mighty crash, momentarily stunned as your head smacks against the rubber WELCOME mat. For a moment, you’re content to lie there and stare up into the evening sky as you’re slowly crushed under the weight of your loving dog and rambunctious younger siblings.
“Oi,” A drawling voice calls from the second floor. “Get off of him before he suffocates. Mom and Pop aren’t gonna be happy if our big brother dies before he gets a medical license. Hannah, that means you too, ya daft dog.”
There’s a chorus of “aw mans” and “boo” intermingled with the sound of your dog whining as your younger brothers and sisters roll Hannah off your body. You shoot a look to your savior as she descends from the stairs with an exasperated look on her face.
She hasn’t changed much. Sophia is still the same up-and-coming teenager of fifteen years about to turn sixteen before the school year starts. If anything, her humor seems to have gotten drier. Must've gotten it from Mom. You got your Pop's witty humor.
>“I would hope that Mom and Pop would mourn me even if I died without my doctorate.”
>“Thanks for the save. How’ve things been on your end?”
“Thank’s…for the save,” You manage to wheeze out as you prop yourself back up on your feet. “How…how’ve things been on your end?”
She makes that pensive expression on her face with the tip of her index finger pointed at her lips in a faux-introspective manner. “Well, aside from the massive project my AP History teacher wants me to do for next year,” she began, ticking off fingers with her other hand, “The two guys that tried hitting on me at the mall, and the cashier at Starbucks that misspelled my name…I’d say that things have been going relatively well for the most part.”
You snort. “Aren’t you the bundle of optimistic sunshine…”
“Oh please. I have enough sunshine in my life with all these brats running around.” Cue tittering laughter from the aforementioned brats. “Either they’re gonna go supernova or I’m going to go deaf before the end of the summer. Mark my words. It’s going to happen one way or another.”
You roll your eyes before moving on to greet your younger siblings. Jack’s the tallest in his class, almost coming in at five-two in sixth grade. No matter how hard she tries to reach up for your shoulders, Madison’s only able to wrap her arms around your waist. Peter scrambles out of your hug and somehow gets on your shoulders, all the while shouting his exultation over the rest of the group. And little Katherine won’t let go of your shin no matter how many times you pat her head.
“So where’s Mom and Dad?” You ask as you
“They’re still out getting food,” Sophia replies without looking up from her phone. “You know they’re busting out all the stops right now? That phone call you made earlier…something about a job? From the looks on their faces, one would think you got the Congressional Medal of Honor.”
>mfw my parents want me to go out and see my sister's basketball game and won't budge on the issue.
Please keep the thread bumped until I return.
"Yeah managed to get a position at Burroughs Pharmaceutical. Had to fight for it, but I think it will pay off."
...and suddenly, Mom took off without waiting for me. The hell. She wants me to go to the game and then she ditches me saying that she knows I don't want to go even though I'm getting ready to leave?
At any rate, I'm still here, but I can anticipate the massive bitch fit she's gonna throw when I get back.
“Yeah, I managed to get a position at Burroughs Pharmaceutical,” You say, and you grin as the next sentence comes out of your mouth. You can’t help yourself. It’s futile to resist. “Had to fight for it, but I think it’s gonna pay off in the long haul.”
She makes a weird look in response to your grin. “Never heard of ‘em, but considering how much money that kind of place can bring in, I can see why they would be excited. Though why they would hire you…please tell me that you didn’t get a job as a janitor.”
“Hardy har har to you too. But it’s gonna keep me away for a long time. Probably won’t get too many vacation hours, but the pay’s definitely worth it.”
“Oh really now…hold on,” her face turns into one of horror. “You aren’t doing anything underneath the CEO’s desk are you-”
“Aaaaannnddd there are kids in the room so shut your face up right now.”
“Bleah,” Sophia sticks her tongue out at you. “You’re no fun.”
You set Peter down from his position on your shoulders when Katherine demands a ride from you as well. You just can’t say no to those puppy dog eyes. Madison pulls at your belt. “What does that mean-”
“I’ll tell you when you’re older,” You quickly reply, shooting Sophia a death glare, who pretends not to have seen it or heard your younger sister's inquiry.
“So what’re you gonna do for this… company?” Jack asks as he hold’s Hannah’s collar with a firm hand. The dog is really keen on rushing you again. “You said that you were working up to that surgeon doctorate. How’s that gonna fit in with these guys?”
>”They want me to save the world.”
>”I’m going to be interning until my degree.”
May as well tell the truth. “I’m going to be interning with them until my degree. They’ve got…a lot of benefits that’re gonna help me work towards that.”
He looks confused before shrugging. “If you say so. But when you say that you’re going to be away for a very long time…”
“It means that they want me to move in on their property with the rest of the interns for the foreseeable future,” You finish for him. “And that’s for at least a year. On the plus side, I’m getting paid. There’s a silver lining somewhere there.”
“So does that mean we can finally have your room to ourselves?” You’re not sure who said that first. Madison and Peter’s voices blended together too quickly to be indistinct from one another.
You give them a dry smile. “You mean to tell me that you want to use the bunk bed more than you want me home?”
“Yes!” They say shamelessly. That sends Sophia into a series of convulsing snickers.
Jack gives you a sympathetic look. “If it makes you feel any better, I will miss you-”
“Because I’ve been your carpool to and from school for the last three years of med school.”
At least he has the gumption to be somewhat embarrassed.
You hear a set of footsteps on the front porch. “Hey, who left the door open – Adrian!”
In spite of the fact that she’s carrying groceries, your Mom manages to maneuver towards you with a speed that doesn’t compliment her age whatsoever. With pin-point precision, she deposits (read: tosses) the groceries on a nearby table before giving you a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek. “How’ve you been? When you told us that you were going to be staying at a friend’s house for the past two nights, I was worried that something happened to you. Are you alright?”
“Mom, I’m fine,” You say as you extricate yourself from her near-death grip. “I just needed a place to crash after my interview, and Kevin happened to be close by. It’s been…stressful, to say the least for the past few days, but now I’m feeling well-rested. That place just doesn’t accept anybody.”
She gives you a quick looking over before exhaling in relief. “You didn’t spend all of the time playing video games, did you?”
You roll your eyes. “All I did was catch up on some reading and get some well-deserved rest. The test B.P. put me through really had its way with me on an emotional and physical level. But it’s over now, and I’ve got a job.”
“…okay, but promise me you’ll tell us all about it over dinner.” She points to one of the bags. “We’re making carbonade flamande tonight! Kids, go get ready for dinner. Adrian, be a dear and help your Father out in the driveway, please?”
A chorus of “yes mom” comes from your siblings’ lips as they all scurry off towards the kitchen. You make your way back outside to see your Father by the trunk of the family Sedan, overladden with groceries.
“’bout time you showed up,” he exhales as you take half the load off his arms. “Do you know that the only store that has Belgian beer is at least an hour’s drive away? No son of mine is going to drink some weak American brew in celebration for landing a big job with a big company.”
You smile. “Thanks, Pop. How’s your knee doing?”
“A little bit better. The brace really helps keep the ache away. And, son, as much as I appreciate your concern, I’m going to need you to help me bring this stuff back into the house.”
“Oh, yeah. Sure, no problem.”
After emptying the van of groceries, you return back inside the house to the smell of something good being made in the kitchen. While dinner is being prepared, you decide to spend time with…
Had to go grab some food.
Spending time with the old man can’t do you nothing but good. It’s been a while since the both of you talked anyway, just one-on-one. Dinner isn’t going to be the ideal kind of place for a heartfelt discussion.
You quickly move through the busybodies of your mother and siblings and swipe something from out of the drawer. When you return to your Father, you pass him one of the beers from a nearby six pack. He raises a critical eyebrow at the bottle in your hand.
“Gotta whet our appetite, you know?” You say with a grin.
He says nothing for a few moments before holding out a calloused hand. “Pass me the bottle opener.”
Two carbonated hisses later, and the both of you raise you beers in a toast. “To your/my future.”
Belgian beer is the best kind of beer, especially when imbibed with relatives and family.
“Somethin' on your mind?”
“Hmmm?” You turn to him, confused at the question.
Your Father sighs. “Boy, you’ve got that faraway look in your eye. It’s always been that dead giveaway that somethin’s weighin’ on your mind and whatever it is, it’s got ya worried for the future. The last time you had that look was before your college exams. So level with your old man: what’s eatin’ you?”
I'M STILL ALIVE
“…I guess I’m just anxious,” you admit. You aren’t lying here. It’s the honest truth. You are considerably nervous about working for a demon-slaying organization. “This job at BP isn’t easy from what I hear, but I gotta make the most of it.”
Your Father takes a swing of his beer before he replies. “Understandable. I felt just as nervous as you where when I was gettin’ a job for the first time. No more comfort zones, no more limits. Everything feels like it’s all closing in on ya and you can’t escape. That how it is?”
“More or less.”
“Now look here, son.” He stares into your eyes with the most level expression he can muster. “I might not know squat about the wonderful world of medicine, nor how the Tylenol I take every morning is made. But what I do know is that you’ve got one hell of a start of it better than I did at your age.”
You wince. “Pop…that’s because-”
“It’s alright. There isn’t any bad blood between you and me. The only one I’m angry at for my situation is the nasty sunovabitch that ran out on yer grandma and I, and even then, it’s pleasantly stewed over to the point of being negligible.
“But what I’m trying to say is that…you’ve got this. I’m not terribly bright outside of workin’ as a plumber, but I know for certain that whatever it is that those bigwigs are gonna have ya do…yer gonna give it everything you’ve got. And if you fail, then that’s that. All that makes me rest easy is that you gave it all with the old Brown try.”
Now there’s a saying that you haven’t heard in a long time. “Brown try, huh?”
“Never forget who you are, lad,” he says as he tosses the empty bottle into the can. “They can make you do all kinds of things, but at the end of the day, you’re one of us, and you’re my son. Nothin’ you say or do is ever gonna change that. I'm proud of you for surpassin' me in every way.”
You quickly pull him into a tight hug. He seems surprised at first, but then returns the gesture. “…thanks, Pop.” You’re surprised that the words don’t choke up as they exit your throat. It’s good to hear someone other than Fitz or Brady or the others have faith in you.
He gives you a smile and claps you on the back. Hard. The beer must’ve loosened him up. “Alright. I think we’ve had enough saccharine, heart-to-heart for the season. Why don’t we head back indoors and brave your mother’s cooking?”
“I think I’d love that.”
Dinner is a lively affair, with everyone upbeat and chipper since that you’re home and that there’s delicious food on the table. After chewing and making small idle talk for the majority of twelve minutes, Sophia decides to break the silence.
“So earlier you said ‘interns’, right?” She asks as she pours herself a glass of juice. “So who else got into the program besides you? Didja meet any cool people, cute girls? Y’know, that sort of thing.”
“They’re…” You pause to swallow a bit of stew, “They’re all fairly unique people. But if you must know, then yes. I did meet a few girls and a few guys when I took the test. They seem fairly alright, especially the British guy. He’s an absolute riot.”
“I’m surprised that so many of you got into the program,” Mom says. “Most of the time, people fight tooth and nail just for a single slot. Certainly was what happened to me when I applied for internships in my college years.”
“Trust me when I say that this was a very…specialized test,” You don’t want to talk about the Task Force any more than necessary. You're not nervous at all as much as it is you're worried about leaking too much information. “So how’s school been going for you little chuckleheads?”
>Roll d100 Social to deflect the question to your siblings.
That looks fucking good, now I have something to add to my "make this eventually" list.
Somehow, you manage to pull it off. Sophia raises a questioning eyebrow, but doesn’t do anything more than that. Madison starts animatedly going over how her class is starting their times tables, while Katherine runs to her backpack and shows you a crayon drawing of the neighborhood.
You smile. It’s so quaint and innocent of them to get excited over mathematics and refrigerator art.
Jack’s friend got into a fistfight with another one of the classmates over a girl, and both had to do community service. Peter presents a report he wrote that managed to score a gold star out of a gold star.
Nothing much had changed on this end. They were just like him when he was their respective ages.
“So you’re going to have to move into the building?” Mom eventually asks over desert. “It’s not unusual for interns to have residency with the businesses they’re working for, but you normally wouldn’t see it in the medicinal field until after your doctorate.”
You shrug as you spear a piece of waffle. “It’s an intensive program that they’re gonna have all of us do. We’ve got some hands-on training that all the interns have to complete before they actually have us get to work.”
“And you’re getting paid for this as well?”
“So I’ve been told. Not to mention that they’re gonna put me on the fast track to get my license.”
“Seems like someone really was impressed by your performance,” Sophia says with a waggle of her eyebrows. “I for one wouldn’t have expected the benefits to be that good. But you never really told us what the internship actually wants you to do in exchange for all those things.”
“I’m sure that it’s private business,” Your Father cuts in. “Pharma companies are very tight-lipped when it comes to business practices.”
“I’m not asking him to leak the secret formula for Chemical X. I just wanna know what they Adrian to do as their employee.”
>Goes to verify Captcha.
>Select all the images with waffles.
You shrug. You were able to pass on half-truths, so this wasn’t going to be too difficult. “They want me to mostly patch up injured people and test new things, especially when it comes to experimental products. But that’s all I can really say, unfortunately, unless you want me to recite the Professor’s ingredients to make the Powerpuff Girls: sugar, spice and everything-“
“Smart a-” Your sister is quick to hold her tongue with a quick glance from your Mother. “-aaleck. Maybe you should’ve went into comedy instead of medicine. You’d be a real smash hit with the crowd.”
“More likely to get my head smashed in is what you mean,” You retort. “But hey, I’ve got a British guy on my intern team. Maybe we’ll run a little sideshow whenever we’re not on duty.”
With that, dinner devolves back into idle banter and small talk. Within a few minutes, all of you are already cleaning up the table, with your younger siblings trying (and failing) to dodge kitchen chores.
You pause mid-way through loading the dishwasher when you hear your phone go off. It isn’t your brand new phone, but the one that your parents gave you before you went off to medical school.
“Gimme a second to take this, okay?” Your Father nods and you make a quick dash towards the porch. You pull your cell out of your jeans pocket. The one calling you at this late hour is…
It's Victoria because I already typed this with the other three votes. Even with the deleted vote, everything was still tied at two per person.
Victoria? Why would she want to call you?
You shrug and answer the phone. “Hello?”
“Hi, Adrian!” You’re halfway tempted to move the phone at least two feet from your ear. Her bubbly personality is spilling through the headset. “I heard that you got out of the hospital today! I wanted to call you earlier, but the shop was suuuper busy this afternoon and I only got off a few minutes ago. How’re things on your end? Is your arm feeling better?”
It takes a moment for you to blink and process what just came to you at high speed. “Uh…yeah. Hi to you as well, Victoria. My arm’s much better, thanks for asking. I can move it without any pain at all. It’s like nothing ever happened to it.”
“Good to hear!” She seems genuinely pleased to see you in good hale and health. “I was worried that you weren’t going to be able to do training in a few days. I heard from one of the secretaries that everyone has to do it, regardless of what you do. Even the nurses said they went through it as well!”
You make a wry smile. “Well that’s probably gonna take the wind right out of Brady’s sails.”
“You should have heard the expletives that came out of his mouth when I told him! My father doesn’t speak too much English, and even he was red in the face but impressed at the slurs he could string together.”
Good old Brady.
>“Thanks for checking up on me. How’s things on your end?”
"Thanks for checking up on me," you reply. "How's things on your end?"
She seems to respond positively to your inquiry. "Otousan and kaasan are very happy that I got the job! They're a little sad that I won't be able to help with the shop anymore, but they can't complain about the money I'm bringing in."
"Well that's good to hear that you've got your folks'...erm, blessing I suppose. And you're feeling better? I'm sorry I didn't ask you this back at the hospital, but you're no longer under the weather from the infection?"
"Oh that? I've got..."
You hear the sound of a bottle being opened, and its contents being poured out into the palm of someone's hand.
"Ichi...ni...san...three more days of pills just to be safe! Nurses wanted to make sure that all the yickum was flushed out of my system. Something about being safe rather than being sorry? I dunno. I took engineering courses in college.”
“That’s the gist of it,” you confirm. “Most if not all doctors will have you on antibiotics even after you’re feeling better just to be sure that the bacteria are gone.”
She audibly sighs over the phone. “Unfortunately, the side effects leave much to be desired…”
“That’s usually the same reaction I have when I’m eating sushi.” You laugh, internally wincing at the bad memories of stomach cramps and long hours on the toilet.
“Nani?!” She seems to be so shocked over your blatant comparison of antibiotics to sushi that she went back to Japanese for a moment. “How can you not like sushi?! It’s considered to be a delicacy in my country. Your gaijin stomach is too weak to contain the majesty of the raw fish!”
If anything, her intermingling of Japanese words with her English sends you into another fit of chuckles. “Either that, or all the places I go to eat aren’t making their sushi right. Because how you react to antibiotics is the same way I react to sushi.”
“I would hope that they aren’t!” She declares imperiously. You’re not sure if she’s hamming it up or if she's being dead serious in her statements. In her tone of voice, it's completely impossible to tell. “So I can one day show you the true might of authentic Japanese sushi made by professional, trained hands, and not by some uncultured gaijin or crude processing factory!"
>“…are you asking me out on a date?”
>“Unless you’re some kind of bio-chemical engineer…”
>Roll d100 Perception.
"Sure, I'll have to take you up on that sometime."
“…are you asking me out on a date-”
It’s tiny, but you can definitely hear the sound of wood squeaking against wood. You whip around to see the porch window slightly open, with a few familiar faces staring at you and surprised that you heard them in spite of the dull ambience of the neighborhood.
Most of their faces are innocuous and curious, like Madison, Peter and Katherine’s. They display nervous grins at being caught by their big brother.
But it’s Sophia and Jack that have the shit-eating grins on their faces, and look completely unashamed of being caught in the act of eavesdropping- hold on. Are their phones recording you?!
That aside, you can hear the blush in Victoria’s voice. “D-date?!” She half-stammers, half-shrieks into the speaker. “N-no, it is not a date! This…this is clarification of error! C-culture lesson for uncultured gaijin! It is not date-----!”
You can’t help but get one last poke in. “Sure, sure. I’ll take you up on that offer. But I’m going to have to say good night for now. I’ve got some education in polite manners to give to my siblings.”
The last word you manage to hear from the headpiece is a very pronounced “B-BAKA!!!” even though the speakerphone function isn’t turned on. Wow. That’s quite the impressive feat on her.
Digressing from that…
“You guys are so gonna get it!” You roar as you sprint back into the house. “Get over here you little shi…stinkers!”
Within seconds, pandemonium fills the Brown house as you begin chasing your errant siblings. Even though your cheeks are slightly red and it takes every ounce of self-control not to toss Sophia and Jack into a river, you sport a grin on your face.
You’ve missed this even more than you realize. This stuff right here? As annoying as they are at times, they’re the ones that have a place for you to come back to.
It’s good for the soul. Good for the heart.
Now all you have to do is get the videos deleted before Mom starts asking about potential daughters-in-law. The woman’s tenacity in wanting grandchildren causes no small amount of anxiety in you. It never ends, not even in high school or the first four years of undergrad.
Every girl that was a friend, or just a casual acquaintance…no one was spared from her inquiries.
"Don't listen to what they're saying!" You shout through the house as Peter and Katherine start singing that idiotic "sitting in a tree" song. "It's lies! Nothing but lies, I tell you!"
Let's call it a night. Again, this was a pretty dialogue-heavy thread, and one that was pretty comfy at that. Next time, though?
We start bootcamp.
And now for the usual stuff to end the thread with...
Gonna archive it in 20 minutes.
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Hope y'all have a good night/morning/day/afternoon wherever you based anons are.