Chapter One
Vacillating

Name: Unknown
Codename: Dissident
Sex: Female
Age: 16/17
Known Affiliations: The Schismatics , "Murder Scene", Multiple Unconfirmed Possibilities
Skill Set: Expert Gunman (With Sights And/Or Contacts), Seduction, Document Forgery, and Leadership Qualities
Weaknesses: Limited Flexibility, Her Team, and Worse Than Average Eyesight
Place of Birth: France (Otherwise Unknown)
Current Residence: United States (Otherwise Unknown)
Background: Moved To United States At Young Age (Early Childhood Otherwise Unknown); Petty Criminal During Early Teens; Known In "Murder Scene" For Four Years; Leader Of A Schismatics Division For Two Years.

In order for there to be order, there also has to be chaos. Our regulation is the government and its many organizations. They rule our lives; they make it easy to do the right thing because there is only the right option. Because… what if someone made a wrong one and it ruined any chance of a future? We are the pandemonium of an otherwise perfect nation. Internationally wanted criminals for high treason, harassment, assassination of multiple government officials, forgery of personal documents, and armed robbery. We are more commonly known as the Schismatics. Internationally famous group of lawless renegades that seem to be impossible to catch. We may not be strictly proud of either, but that's just who we are… because we made a choice for ourselves. It was worth it. "Hey Dissident, Sucker Punch's being an asshole!" Emil's usually like that except to Arval, but it's hard for Alex to except that I think. He just wants to be everyone's friend while Emil wants to be no one's. I can't change either of them, so I'm stuck with opposing forces constantly colliding and sparking. It's annoying to say the least.

"Tell him to knock it off!"

"Already have." Alex storms into my room and huffs moodily. I start to open my mouth and end up having to close it when he starts to continue. "It's like that guy doesn't have an off button. Jesus Christ!" I let him complain to me for a bit, but if he has a problem, he should just go to Arval. Not only does he seem to understand Emil's motives, he's an expert listener and is the closest thing to a shrink we have.

"Get Arval to shut him up." I suggest like I was going to before he started to rant. (I don't think Alex has an off button either.) "Common sense."

"Yeah – uh sorry for talking so much Danette." I know he's sincere because he doesn't use my street name. He sincerely wants my forgiveness when he does that.

"S'okay Alessandro." And he knows I'm serious because I'm using his full name. "I'll try to calm Emil down so he doesn't turn on Arval or anything."

He chuckles. "Sucker Punch wouldn't do that. Loves the little guy too much." His smile might be confident, but his eyes aren't. He knows how Emil is – dark and sarcastic and bipolar (and something more). One of these days, a trigger's gonna blow his sanity apart. God knows he's crazy enough as it is. He sees the look on my face. "Right? I mean you wouldn't have pulled him outta the psych ward without knowing right?"

"Solitary – there's a difference… and Alex, leaders make mistakes too. I just worry about him sometimes. He needs new meds." That last part slips out before I can stop myself. Emil's trust is hard-won, and he's sensitive to that kind of thing. And he could care less if it was an accident. I'm not sure whether or not he would attack me or kill me or get back at me like he got back at the people who landed him in jail.

Alex covers his mouth and swears. "Oh God… I'll go get Arval right now." Before he's completely out my door, I grab his shoulder.

"You can't let him know that you know. Don't tell anyone what I just told you. That's an order." I'm the only girl in the Schismatics, but I'm still the commander-in-chief. Everybody listens to my word because even in our rebellious world, my word is law. Unless he sees it as a need-to-know thing or I give him the go-ahead, he won't disobey and spill the beans. Instead of actually responding, he nods once. Then, he's out the door mumbling to himself. I catch something about 'leaders definitely make mistakes' and sigh. Obviously, he doesn't understand why I decided to keep this just between me and him. (He lives in the present, and I live in the future. Both are curses but not like Emil's – who lives in the cell that is his own mind.) I follow shortly afterwards towards the roof which is Emil's favorite place to escape to. (I pray that he never jumps.) HQ is pretty big, but most of it is underground so the roof's not that high off the ground. That's reassuring. "Hey Emil." I tread lightly, knowing how easily he can snap.

"Heh Dani," he acknowledges my presence but makes no move to start a conversation. If I didn't know how twisted he was, I think I would have a school girl crush on him – the good girl with an unknown side falling for the trouble bad boy. Piercings are in his lips and in his ears; he has a few tattoos scattered all over his body. His hair is long and shaggy in a sleepy lazy way but not unattractive by any means, falling over dark eyes accented by eyeliner that he basically paints his whole face with sometimes. (Usually when he feels an episode coming, he does it – like a warning.) His mouth is a straight line that when he smiles arches perfectly, and his nose is just the right size for his face. His fingers are elegant and long. It's a shame his pretty face went to waste. Finally, he speaks up, "You here to yell ah-t me too?" Despite all of us being foreign, he's the only one with an accent probably because he didn't move to the US until a few years ago when he was on the run. It's not as thick as it was though – almost nonexistent by now. With that perfect arch, he lowers his voice. "Or are you here to tell me the good news?" I smile sadly; I wish I could help him for real instead of merely humoring myself.

"Sorry, I just –"

"Eh know, eh know. You can't yust take a vanted fugitive to ah hospital." I wish he could at least be able to smile about it, but he can't because he's not that into it. I'm not the one battling their emotions, so I shouldn't want him to do anything in all honesty. Subconsciously, I glance at his wrists and wince. He struggles, and we all know there's something wrong with him other rapid cycling bipolar disorder. He knows it too. (Emil tried to kill himself once; that's when I got him the medication.) He hears footsteps and tenses up; I follow suit. HQ's top-secret but there's nothing stopping the FBI or something infiltrating. Nothing is guaranteeing our survival to tomorrow.

"Hey Emil." Arval's voice is light and airy. He's a nice looking piece of eye candy too though for different reasons. His eyes are innocent and big, further dilated by a thick line of black eyeliner. Although he was born in the Wales, his mom was Japanese, and he takes after her. After seeing his hero – literally – get some, he got a couple piercings but not nearly as many; there's one tattoo on his arm that he downright refuses to tell the story behind. I think he may have told Emil, but those two simply click for some reason. I know for certain that some people read into them more than necessary just walking by them on the street. It's actually kind of funny especially since there isn't anything to read into. "What's up with you?" He sounds worried, and it warms my heart to know that Emil's not shutting out everybody just yet. Alex looks me into the eyes and nods once.

The minute we've closed the door to the roof, he turns on me. "Were you planning to keep that little piece of information hidden forever?" he asks, sounding hurt and confused.

"Quiet," I hush him and drag him by the hand back down to my room. I shut my door as silently as allowed. Then, I turn to glare at him. "Are you aware how hard it is to gain that guy's trust? Even after busting him outta jail, I had to work for it. That wasn't supposed to come out at all, so yeah unless it became really desperate, I was planning to keep that to myself." I'm begging him to understand because Emil and Arval may be the lookers, but he's the only one I have can trust to have my back more than anyone else. "Don't you understand? I'm trying to avoid an episode! He's legitimately insane, and he's worse than just bipolar. I don't know about you but I don't want to what else is going on in that messed up head of his. So yeah, unless it turned into something really desperate, I was planning on keeping it to myself." His eyes narrow at me suspiciously. Secrets aren't something we celebrate here; we just keep them and hide them away. "Don't you understand?" I'm desperate, and I think that if it would help the situation, I would yell it out to the world. "Just give me some time… please. We'll need to get moving some time again anyway. I'll look for something then, okay?"

"I don't care when you do it, Dissident, you just need to get it done before he goes off the deep end 'kay?" His eyes soften a little. "I understand where you're coming from, honestly I do, but it's just not going to work out in the end." Alex's persuasive, but he learned that from me; he shouldn't expect that insistent tone and those eyes to work on me. I sigh. Sometimes, I feel like the world is crushing me, grinding me down to nothing. Maybe I'll tell Emil that. He's a poet and a book of secrets all in one; he takes the ugly and makes it beautiful. Then again, he's seen so much demented stuff, what I tell him is pretty tame and pretty.

"Can you just go? Give me some time to think? Take a shower?" Mentioning the bathroom and me naked in it makes him scurry off like a startled deer. As soon as he's shut my door, I strip down to nothing. I slide out of my clothes, letting them lay in a crumpled heap on the floor. Then, I disappear through the bathroom door, turn the lever, and take a tentative step under the cold spray. Immediately, my hand makes a move for the soap, and I squeeze a large portion onto a towel and scrub myself clean. While Emil is may be the most marked, I'm definitely the most tattooed. I first got into the "murder scene" as it's called through a boyfriend. At the time, not only did it only guarantee appreciated looks and attention (daddy issues), it made me seem tough and hard – respectable even. His love of tattoos is pretty common, so I never lacked in company even after we broke up. Now, they make me look forlorn and dusty – like an old trophy you shove to the back of your trophy cabinet. Sighing softly, I massage shampoo into my scalp. I twist my neck as I wash it out along with the dirt and the grime. I step out of the shower onto the fuzzy rug I'll miss when we leave. I wrap my hair up in one towel and dry myself off with another. Making sure to keep myself wrapped in the towel in case one of the boys comes in, I open the bathroom door connected to my room. I tiptoe to my dresser and dress as usual. After glancing at my wall calendar, I scribble an 'x' on the 20th; we'll leave then.

I grab my phone and click on the Schismatics exclusive application our tech expert designed that allows us to chit-chat on our own server or something like that. I actually don't know the specifics. Basically, it allows us to communicate without rising suspicions, and to top it all off, Emil made it undetectable. He's a genius, but it seems like a lot of psychos are. (Is it caused by their intelligence – thinking too much – or is that caused by genetic insanities – naturally enhancing themselves to keep the hysteria away?) I shake it off and avoid investigating any further. Evicted at end of the month. ~Dissident I tap the send icon on the touch screen and wait for the replies. D-Day's in only a couple of days, so we'll start preparing now. That in mind, I stuff a couple changes of clothes, a handgun, and a few extra miscellaneous things into my duffel bag. Knowing that Alejo is out getting food and water – grocery-type items – I pray he got the message. He's a bit of a part-time player and is liable to get sidetracked by a cute girl. Despite the seriousness of the situation, I smile and chuckle lightly. Between all of them, I get pick of the litter. Arval's the sweet and quiet type while his idol is a twisted boy you just want to make right again, and Alex is the heroic one. Then, Alejo is the hot player that every girl wants but only you get. I'm not exactly shy around and about guys, so I might have even taken up on the offer only I know what baggage comes with them. (Not interested.)

A little over thirty-eight hours later, we leave HQ 39 behind. The views there are nice, but the place was a bad omen. I won't miss it. We're dressed in ways that aren't unfitting for our bodies and markings but not to stand out. I have on a white tank top, jean jacket, and regular tennis shoes. "Car right there. Mini-van – we're going incognito folks. To Germany!" I ignore how nervous the rest of the Schismatics look. They're worrying over nothing. Besides, we'll only stay in Europe long enough to get the government off our tails. "Okay, here's our covers. This time we don't know each other," I announce as Alejo hotwires the car, "Emil you're now Eduard Gottschalk. German immigrant with parents at age fourteen. You're going to visit your grandparents back in Germany; your parents are coming shortly afterwards. They want you to spend some quality time with them." I hand him the fake ID and hope nobody recognizes his face. Out of all of us, he's the one they really want, so we have to tread carefully. He grabs it and glares at it, examining for any flaws in my work. Knowing I didn't mess up, I continue, "Arval, you are Adam Lane. You are going to Germany with your older sister who will be played by me. I'll handle as much as I can. I'm Katie Lane alright?" Someone usually needs to team up with him because he'll stress out over the cover story and might get it wrong because of that. He's an accident waiting to happen. He grabs his ID out of my hands and smiles nervously; going to Germany is putting him edge. It's putting everyone on edge, and it's starting to tick me off. "Alex – you're Keith Smith. Just cruise on by. Don't talk to anyone; be a jerk. Say 'none of your business' to people, harassingly flirt, whole nine yards. Alejo, Henry Jacobs… going with friends to Germany for pre-college trip." I hand them the proper IDs. "We all clear?" He morphs into implied rich jock perfectly with a tangible arrogance and swagger. I nod. "Now Alex." He hops out of the van and instantly stops smiling; he reminds me of Emil on a bad day (not episode bad though). "Emil, stay outta view and remain an unknown. Keep calm."

He grins sardonically. "No promises."

I wince. (Why do I keep humoring myself instead of actually fixing things?) "I'll get some meds – I promise." (I'll stop eventually… right?)

"Do not make versprechen[1] you cannot keep," then to mock me, he adds, "no?"

"Just go."

"Ja." In the blink of an eye, he's out of sight. True to form, he disappears and covers his face with his hood. Once, I've seen him go through the airport entrance doors, I leave and take Arval with me. I grab both of our duffels and make for the doors. I glance behind me at the van and smile, and I have to admit when the police pulled up to a report of a stolen vehicle, I had to stop myself from laughing my ass off right in the middle of the parking lot. I hold it inside and take a step onto the premises. My ink earns me a few odd looks, and Arval's scared and timid eyes earn him some too. I spot Alex across the room and get out my phone. I open up the chat app and start texting. All clear ~Dissident I receive three 'all clears' in reply and I heave a giant sigh of relief. Their uncertainty rubbed off on me. Happy they were all A-Okay, I saunter over to the ticket lady. I buy tickets and have to have a real nice conversation with the woman behind the desk. She asks if 'Adam' ever talks and I explain to her, as any caring older sister would, that he's painstakingly shy. He blushes, and she coos obnoxiously; I have to stifle the urge to sic Emil on her. Emil would get rid of that blood boiling sound once and for all, but then, I would have to deal with getting him outta here. That would suck.

"I really have to get going; I am just dying of thirst right now, and I'm sure Adam is too. It was nice talking to you," I quickly glance down at her name tag, "Shelley." I smile as realistically as an annoyed person possibly can and get the hell out of there. Once I'm out of ear-shot, I mumble, "Well she was chatty." I roll my eyes, and Arval looks abashed and angry all at once.

"She thought I was twelve! I'm not that small!" His shout is the equivalent of a usual person's normal tone of voice, and he's adorable like a puppy – all big-and-dreamy-eyed. Sometimes, I think he looks like the world hasn't touched him, but it has. If you look hard enough, you can even see the signs despite the cute exterior. He has a tattoo whose story wasn't forgotten in the morning, and he's a paranoia-driven person who hero-worships lunatics. He's still puppy-ish though. I smile a bit at that. (Too bad the nervous wreck imprinted on the car crash.)

Deciding to just embrace the sister act, I tease him. "You are too." To take it one step further, I ruffle his hair affectionately. He tenses, but then, catching on, he leans into my hand. "Not really," I whisper. We both hear a loud crack and look up from our fluffy family moment. This is basically where the shit hit the fan. (Their uncertainty didn't rub off on me enough it seems.)


AN: Since sadly I am broke, this was written as a Christmas present for nobody01 so Merry Christmas...? Anyway, this was inspired by her, a dictionary, a thesaurus, and Motionless In White's music video for "Devil's Night." So blame them for this. And yes all of the characters' names are foreign because they are foreign. They have meaning too which I will get to later. Hope all of you (whether you're a friend or not) enjoyed reading it. It will be updated irregularly since my dad's actually here to use the computer now... xD...

[1] German for 'promises.'