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Steknik, Arizana

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Steknik, Arizana

Post by Arizana Steknik on Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:06 pm

...........................................................................
CASE FILE: Alchemist/Amestrian Militant

"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purified light."
...........................................................................

       FULL NAME:
       → Arizana Steknik

       AGE:
       → 19 20

      SEX:
       → Female

       BIRTH PLACE:
       → Orlando, Creta
       
       DEPARTMENT:
       → Naval Security (Basically a soldier/guard)

       RACE:
       → 1/4 Ishvalan, 1/4 Amestrian, 1/2 Cretan

       DATE OF BIRTH:
       → August 9, 1993


       ...........................................................................


       HEIGHT:
       → 5' 7 1/2 in."

       WEIGHT:
       →  120 130 pounds
       PICTURE:
       →
Spoiler:

      DESCRIPTION:
       → Ari has long, flowing hair that is quite dark brown, a few shades from raven black. The pattern is wavy, but she likes to wear it straight when she can. However, her locks are almost always hidden within the oversized beanie that she wears day in and day out; they have been ever since she started dressing as and acting like a boy. One of the things that may betray her attempt at masculinity are her large, tear-drop shaped eyes, which are almost as dark brown as her hair. They are framed by long, thick lashes, set below equally thick eyebrows which she never grooms. Her bangs are situated to hide as much of her eyes from view as possible. She often finds this irritating and itchy, hence why she often tosses her head to ease the discomfort. Her nose is rather round with wide nostrils and a short bridge; her lips are pink and in the middle of the fullness spectrum. She has a rather long, oval-shaped face with a rounded chin.

The young woman's body is thin and slender, with a light peachy skin tone that was once a bit more tanned, sporting modestly sized breasts. Not much curve is found as it dips down to her torso, nor along her hips. Her legs are long and slim, stretching down to rather large feet; a size 10, to be exact. She used to keep her nails long, but they are mere stubs now. Her arms are toned but thin. The aforementioned features are usually hidden underneath a light hooded sweater and cotton drawstring pants in the warmer months, substituted for a heavy jacket and jeans during winter. If she were to go to the beach, she could get away with wearing a tank top- so long as the material would be thick enough to hide her chest- and shorts. She never shaves her legs. Pretty much any color on the spectrum is fine with her in terms of clothing, except for perhaps something solely burnt yellow or green, but she usually defaults to wearing neutral, dull colors. Her movements are rather stiff, strides quick and long, and she tends to drag her feet. Though she may start out with a good amount of energy, she gets weak quickly.

Her voice was rather deep even before she made her identity switch, but when she's shy, nervous, or excited, it can go extremely high. At the same time, when enraged or just joking around, she can get it quite deep. It puts a strain on her throat to pull off a true soprano singing voice; rather, she manages pretty well as a mezzo-soprano. Often, she speaks quickly and in a mumbled fashion, and she is often asked to repeat herself.

Ari has since ditched the beanie, as well as a considerable portion of her tumbling locks, which now fall a little below her shoulders. Rather than wear often sweaty, baggy clothes to hide the bulge of her chest, she wraps her breasts, so now she wear pretty much whatever she wants. Her style is rather more fashionable now, though she still doesn’t follow trends and mixes things up her way. Polo shirts and graphic tees; khakis, white shorts, and the occasional slacks, are among her favorites. She wears jackets often, preferably leather or denim material, to make her shoulders look bigger. That isn’t to say that she hasn’t bulked up. Her once scrawny figure shows new promise along her arms, abs, and legs. Her strides are more purposeful and confident, as well as her speaking voice. It still has a rather quiet, mellow tone to it, but now it’ll take a lot to make her stutter.



       ...........................................................................


       PERSONALITY:
       →Ari, by nature, is a very shy and reserved girl, preferring to stay to herself, not bothering anyone and hoping others will do the same. This does not mean by any account that she always wishes to be alone.  When it is needed, she can be a very adaptive person. Sometimes, it seems like she can change from one kind of person to a completely different one given the situation, which confuses and even alarms the girl. She often worries if she's doing or saying the right thing, what others are thinking of her, and in general believes that she tries so hard for nothing. While this feeling has greatly improved from previous years, it continues to linger and affect her.

With this lack of morale has come a decreased capacity to focus and function, particularly where studies and academics come into play. She has always been one to soak up any knowledge on topics she enjoyed like a sponge, and prided herself in becoming well-versed and intelligent as possible. She thinks that the majority of humans beings are idiots who do not understand nor appreciate the vast wealth of material given to them, as well as the capacity granted to be able to retain it. That is why it hurts her so much to not be able to study like she used to. She still tries to stay bright as possible, and lately her thoughts have strayed to psychology. Chances are she would never study it in-depth; rather, she looks to understand how people feel the way they do, act the way they do, and why. It has become surprisingly easy, whereas it was all but a mystery to her in the past. Ari strongly believes that a deep level of human compassion and understanding are all we really need to get along, co-exist, and be happy, and she tries to show this in everything she does. She always tries to do the right thing.

And yet, sometimes, it simply seems impossible to do that. Just the light side of her personality has grown and expanded, so has the dark. When you've had to hold your tongue your whole life, trapped inside, things are bound to explode sometime. Annoyance, confusion, desperation...they all erupt in a flurry of screamed voices and harsh, devastating words. The more time passed on, the worse her temper became, sometimes turning physical. Afterwards, she is always left with a sinking feeling of guilt and worthlessness, wishing she could turn back the clock and take back the scars she created, both physical and emotional. Many a day has come where she wished that her eyes would never open upon the morning.

But we cannot help but make progress. It is in our nature to make strides, move forward, and rise above, even if we can't seem to realize it, even if we refuse to see it because staying in the darkness is the place we know the most, the place we are "comfortable" with and afraid to leave. And Ari has done just that. Despite her tendency to be moody- especially upon just waking up- sarcastic, stubborn, uninterested, and sometimes blunt to a fault, she is not without good traits. Despite all that's on her mind, she tries to keep it to herself and not bother anyone with it; if she does, she worries that she's just annoying them. She is a loyal friend, and has promised to lay down her life for anyone in need; in fact, it is her preferred method of going out, the way she wishes to die. Whether it be petty or life-threatening, she will always try to help someone through their problems, even if she herself is mentally and/or physically spent. She can't stand it when nothing she does seems to help; she'd rather be alone in the darkness than have someone else join her there. A person who accepts her for who she is, who listens to her and makes her feel special, will be as if they were her own family. She will return the favor to them, sacrifice her hesitation and shyness, and occasionally erupt into the hyper, vibrant girl she once was, sharing all her secrets. And if you ever insult one of her friends, prepare to get your feelings hurt right back. When she speaks of something that she holds passion for, her eyes light up, her spirit soars, and she could ramble on for hours if allowed. Perhaps the one thing that she most reveres, most seeks after, is the truth. Amidst all the confusion she has seen, she is determined to find the knowledge, wisdom, and strength, to know the truth in people's actions, in what is right and wrong, in everything, because that is the answer TO everything. She has hope that one day, it will be all right.

Outwardly, Ari has become much more laid back. While she still enjoys a good amount of alone time, it’s not so much of a hassle to hang out with others anymore. She’s not the most vocal in a bunch, so group conversations can still be awkward. Her self-confidence has improved, to the point that she’ll occasionally flirt with girls and boys alike. It never goes anywhere, and sometimes it’s more for her amusement to see their reaction than anything. Her rage issues have greatly improved, and she can often brush off an otherwise angering remark with a sarcastic rebound.

And yet…in losing some of her fire, she also seems to have lost some of her spark. The eagerness she used to have for certain things, including her art, has vanished. Whenever she sets out to do something, she does it with a silent oath rather than blazing determination. Even her feelings over the fate of her parents have diluted to the point that it becomes…bothersome. In addition, the lines of her gender identity are becoming more and more blurred. She’s become quite comfortable in the shoes of a young man, yet she often sees things when walking down the street or surfing the web that appeal to her as a girl. “That is the cutest Banana Republic ensemble I’ve seen yet…that purse could hold all my stuff, a book, and a little poodle or something…this dress would go really well with my body type…would those shoes make my feet look smaller?"

Is she subdued, or just…cold? Is she a boy, or a girl? Both? Neither? Something else? More questions run through her mind than ever, and while she tries to just brush that aside, the part of her remains that always searches for an answer, to truly understand something. Sometimes…often, she needs a little help pushing those thoughts into the back of her mind. Thanks to the influence she picked up from her new role model, Spade Aeries, she can usually pull that off. Whenever she needs to mellow out, she’ll light up a sig or go for a drink, so long as that drink happens to be butter beer. Her system was intolerant to the stuff at first, but for the most part it’s gotten over it. Still, Ari isn’t one to hold her liquor that well. One pint turns her into an extroverted, giggly chatterbox, two reduce her to stumbling around and hitting on anything that moves, and shortly after she hits three it’s lights out.


       LOVE:
       → Animals, writing, drawing, manga and anime, novels, her laptop and the Internet, her parents, the night sky, eating, MMOs, music, basketball, cooking, working out, clothes.

       HATE:
       → Alcohol, smoking, drugs, people repeating themselves, fighting, loud/obnoxious/talkative/cocky people (except for Spade) , trolls/bullies, feeling trapped or stuck, male chauvinist pigs, feeling left out, being wrong, loud noises, gangs, death.

       DEEPEST SECRET:
       → Ari is afraid that she'll never find who she truly is. She's changed so much and continues to, that she doesn't know if she's doing it simply to adapt, to fit in, to cope, or if its just natural, or if she's going crazy or what. She fears her life will always be a tumultous whirlwind of confusion and climbing so high just to be knocked down again. She's absolutely terrified that one day, everyone will up and abandon her, and she'll die with her memory forever erased from the world. She's also scared that she'll one day snap from the pressure, go insane and do something unforgiveable.

      IDOL:
       → Steve Irwin. Even though her focus has strayed from wanting to work with animals, he was always a great source of wonder and inspiration to her. She strives to be as brave, perserverant, compassionate, and determined as he was.

The passions of her past have slowly begun to fade away. Left in their wake is one man who was there for her from the start, someone so different and more powerful than her, yet whom treated her like an equal. Someone whom she gives the utmost respect, yet still sees as a bosom buddy. That man is none other than General Spade Aeries.


       ...........................................................................

       HISTORY:
Oh...the swans weren't eating the grass she'd picked. Just as well, she'd have hated for their beautiful white feathers to turn green. Arizana stood with her parents, Ellise and Danzan, watching the water fowl swimming and dipping and waddling about, giggling with sheer delight. She was three years old, and this was her earliest memory. At this time, the greatest joys in her life were animals, mommy, her dolls, and of course, sweets. Such a simple, happy time...her future was already planned out. She would become a veterinarian, take care of all sorts of cute critters, and buy a huge house big enough for her entire family to live in together. As she stared at the ripples made by the paddling of the swans, the diving of the geese, the streaming of the water from the marble fountain, and even from her breath as she peered into the pool, how could she have possibly known that waves much like these would crash through her life? Some events spread close together, some far apart, some lasting for a while and some flashing by like a ghost...just like the ripples in the water. Just like the powers she would one day call her own.

Skip forward five years. Curious about the world as ever, Ari had grown particularly fond of Xingese culture. So how lucky it was for her that a Xingese New Year celebration was being held at the zoo! Snacks, activities, animals, and people dressed as though they had emerged from a fairy tale...what more could a little girl ask for? Perhaps something new and completely foreign to her altogether. As she walked with Mom and Dad, her attention was diverted from the otters' squeaking and splashing to a stage lined with maidens whose clothes seemed to have been snatched right from Mother Nature's most beautiful, delicate works. They were hanging lanterns to add to the ambiance...but what blew Ari away the most was how the illuminated paper works were created. A line of children stood in front of a man in a mask, who knelt before a circle with several markings drawn on the stage. They placed the drawings they had done at a table nearby onto the drawing, and he placed his hands on the edges of the circle. A bright light ensued, and when it cleared, a perfect lantern with the child's drawing on front was born. Needless to say, it was alchemy. But little Ari knew nothing of this, nor did she have a chance to ask or watch the rest of the show. She only caught a small bit before her father pulled her along after him. But as he would learn, hiding the truth from Ari only made her that much more determined to find it.

And indeed, she soon found out all about the strange, not-so-uncommon phenomenon. She positively fell in love. But as were many great romances, this one was forbidden. Danzan, Ari's father, was half Ishvallan, and while he had somewhat assimilated to more common ways of thinking, his beliefs on alchemy remained firm. It was not to be learned, discussed, not even thought of. His ways of thinking in general clashed with those of her Cretan mother, and when Ari was 12, her parents divorced. Her mother gained custody, and Danzan moved back to Amestris. Ari had been practicing alchemy here and there in secret before, but now her studies could truly flourish. And so they did; not only that, but she found a practical use for them. Her mother had to work two jobs to ensure that they had a decent life, and she often came home with various aches and pains that sometimes made moving unbearable. Ari had also been practicing the flute, another thing she greatly enjoyed, and had thusly been looking for a sound-related application of alchemy. By lowering the pressure in the air, she was able to create ultrasound which she then applied over the affected areas. The two grew quite close over this time, and Ari couldn't have been happier.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Three years later, Ellise was murdered by a serial killer who claimed that Doomsday was nearing. His method of saving humankind? Kill seven people who he found to embody the seven sins. And what better way to do that then by getting close to people of interest, like a certain woman who cheated on her husband with him before finally divorcing the man? The killer turned out to be her own boyfriend. He was caught after the murder- or sacrifice, as he called it- of Ellise -of Lust- but at the greatest price possible to Ari. She barely ate enough to survive, often going two days without eating, all the way up to the funeral. On the plane to Amestris, she all but passed out. But before she had a chance to get settled at her new house, Danzan made her pizza with cheese and barbeque sauce, her favorite that Elise always used to make. Ari ate half of it, then retreated to her room and cried herself to sleep.

It took her a long time to warm up to her father again, but the two overall got along peacefully. He made enough money for them to live comfortably, and she spent a while getting herself back together, trying to piece back her future. It was during this time that Ari discovered art as more than just a hobby. Once a way to pass the time as she was little and a means of airing out her toxic emotions out in more recent years, it had become a passion. Whenever she improved, whenever the image on the paper grew closer to the image in her head, a now-rare smile lit up her face, and she felt new hope all over again. Yes...she would chase this dream the rest of her life.

But of course, no one was likely to hand her an illustrator or director position on a silver platter. So when Ari turned 17, she began to search for a job. She hadn't bothered to enroll in high school once she got to Amestris, and she got her certification early. Still, in a big place like Central, employment wasn't the easiest thing to find. So she was grateful for the break when Danzan took her to the Central City Festival. Everything was so colorfully decorated, people were bustling everywhere...just like that day back at the zoo, when she had first discovered alchemy. She wondered if she would ever tell her father the secret she'd so carefully kept from him. For now, she tried to focus on having fun. After eating a burger or two and a bit too much cotton candy, they boarded the Ferris wheel. Squeezing in with the giant, blue plushy bunny he had won for her at the ball toss, Ari sat next to her father and stared out the window. The car's slow ascent was a little nerve-wrecking, but the view was worth it. A butterfly fluttered past, a child's balloon drifted into the air to soar who knows how high, a man went flying past...wait, what? By the time Ari got over the soreness of hitting her head on the ceiling and had gotten the bunny's fuzz out of her way, Danzan was staring down at the ground, wide-eyed in disbelief.

Before either had a chance to speak, a series of loud explosions rocked the Ferris wheel to its very foundation. Her father quickly wrapped his arms around her, pulling them to the ground and away from the open end of the car. Screams sounded from below, and the rattling was getting worse. "Stay put," he said firmly, peering out once again. His breath hitched in his throat. A tornado. A massive, swirling vortex made of ice. Danzan grabbed Ari without a second thought, hoisting her over his shoulder. "Hold on tight."

"W-what are you doing?!" Ari screamed as her father gripped the door of the car, leaping like a panther 10 feet through the air. He took off running the instant he landed. Ice shards were flying everywhere, breaking through windows and human flesh alike, so he pulled Ari into his arms, using his body as a shield best as he could. Though he had put some distance between them and the tornado, he felt something tugging him back, something exponentially stronger. He turned to see a void ripped into space in the path of the tornado. Impossible...it couldn't be...all he could do was run faster.

The ice shards embedded in his back and shoulder were the least of his concern when they got home. He paused to wince in pain only once as he tore through his closet, taking out clothes and stuffing them into a travel bag. "Amestris has been taken over by demons," he addressed Ari, who was insistent on mending his wounds. "We're leaving, on the next possible boat, train, plane, station wagon, I don't care."

"But Dad, you're hurt! You need to see a doctor first--"

"I said, now. While I pack, go online and find the quickest route to Xing."

And so it was that twelve hours later, Ari found herself on a boat, sailing into the land of her dreams.

Who knows how long they drifted across those salty currents, but when Ari's tired eyes flickered open, she woke up faster than she ever had in her life. The tops of modest yet architecturally rich fang zi situated on a hill poked through a veil of thin fog as they pulled into port. She leaped down from the boat before the landing ramp was placed, causing Danzan to open his mouth in protest, then close it and facepalm. She'd gotten it from him, he supposed. As he made some arrangements, Ari explored the area with awe and wonder radiating in her eyes. For a moment, she felt like a little kid again...no worries, her only responsibility absorbing each and every new sight and cherishing it.

All too soon, it was time to go. They would be staying in a house just down the river for an indefinite amount of time. As they set out walking through the mist, Ari could've sworn she saw a figure slipping away from behind a sakura tree that was, one by one, losing its petals to the wind.

That evening, Ari must've eaten at least three bowls of rice with fresh stir-fried chicken. She slept surprisingly well on the rather hard bed provided for her, and she rose early as possible to take in the sights. Not, of course, before devouring some congee and yu za kuei for breakfast. Full and content, she wandered out to that same sakura tree, laying out on the grass with her arms spread behind her head. It was nothing but her and the rustling of grass, the trickling of water, for the longest time. This place was everything she had imagined...hell, so much better than she'd imagined. The scenery, the food, the guy standing over her--

Ari stumbled back so quickly she nearly fell right into the river. A soft tug on her thin robe pulled her back, accompanied by a soft yet serious pair of brown eyes. "You're pretty...brave to be out this close to the other side of the river," said the young man, keeping his grip on the front of her garment.

Jerking back, Ari pulled her clothes tighter around her. "G-get away from me, you pervert!" she shouted, backing away from him.

"Oh, my sincerest apologizes. I forgot I was a necrophiliac, guess I should've let you fall in, right?"

Ari blinked, then grunt, rubbing her arm. "Thanks," she mumbled. She was lost for words- as usual, it seemed- so the girl just stood there silent for a short while.

"Well then, if the only Xingese you learned is how to tell creeps off, which usually doesn't work by the way, I guess I'll be going."

"Hey! Who says I'm not Xingese myself?"
she asked, proudly puffing out her chest. She'd been practicing the language diligently ever since she was a child, and she rather thought she'd gotten it down.

"Please," retorted the young man with a wave of his hand as he studied her closely. "Anyone who listened hard enough could easily pick up your Cretan accent. And when you're quite used to distinguishing fakers, it becomes all the more simple. So...just what were you doing out here anyway?" He narrowed his eyes slightly.

Ari folded her arms, trying to look just as tough as him. Her heart was probably beating loud enough for him to hear. "What does it look like? Just relaxing. Don't you know what that is, or are you people more hard-working than I'd heard?"

He chuckled slightly. "Ah, a joke. I get it. I'll be on my way." He turned to leave.

Ari groaned, running her hand over her face. She hadn't meant it like that..."My name's Ari. Arizana if you wanna be technical about it." She rubbed the back of her neck, looking slightly away.

His back stayed turned to her. "Jianguo. And believe me when I say that I will live up to my name."

Ari crinkled her nose, an exasperated expression crossing her features. Didn't that mean "build the country"? Great, so he was rude AND cocky. "Uh huh...that's nice."

Suddenly, she found his face in hers again. "And you...let me guess." He sat there staring at her for what seemed like forever, making her sweat and turn pink as the petals fluttering around them. "Arizana...sensitive, unstable, full of desire, perceptive but often misunderstanding, self-conscious, a lover of music, art, and the outdoors...often aloof and removed, with a tendency for quick and sudden weakness. You can stop me whenever I'm wrong here."

Ari just stared at him incredulously. How had he even--

"I'm also guessing you can't fight, is that right?"

"Uh...no?"

"Right then."
In a flash, he had grabbed Ari's sleeve and begun pulling her along with him.

"H-hey!" she shouted, flailing madly. Well, surely Dad would realize that she was g--no wait, hadn't she told him that she'd be gone all day? Lovely.

After much struggling and protesting, Ari found herself plopped down on a wooden floor in a room lit with a few low lamps. She crossed her arms and huffed, trying to look tough so he wouldn't see that inwardly, she was positively terrified. "Is this how you welcome all tourists...?"

"Hmm...nope. Around here, getting robbed at knife point seems to be the trend."

Ari gulped. Well...she'd always wanted to learn how to fight. But this guy could have ulterior motives himself. "What were you planning on getting in return?"

The young man stroked his chin, arching an eyebrow as he stared her down yet again for several seconds. "You know, if you're not interested it's fine. I'll just find some other way to use all this excess dough for dumplings before it goes bad."

Ari perked up like a puppy. Who knows how long she'd been asleep, it was probably lunchtime anyway...maybe she'd stay for one lesson.

Months passed, and Ari slowly grew accustomed to her new training regimen. Some days, Jiangou didn't show, so she would use that time to explore, practice her alchemy, or just lie around the house. It was one of those days again, so she was hoping to play her flute for a while. But when she opened its velvet casing, she discovered it missing. Who...no, it couldn't have been.

But it was. A few hours later, Ari found herself staring in disbelief at the shiny instrument held between her shifu's long fingers as he polished it, whistling a little tune. "Oh. Hello, Ari. I was wondering when you'd show up."

Ari paused. "H-HOW THE HELL'D YOU GET INTO MY HOUSE?!"

"What was that, student?"


She meeped, flopping onto her knees. "Good evening, Master." The bottom of her eye twitched slightly.

He smiled, nodding and moving to crouch next to her, holding out the polished flute. He'd done a rather good job, actually; it had never gleamed so brightly. Popping her on the head slightly, he said, "Was that so hard? Come now, I'd like you to play something for me."

Ari grunt softly at the gesture, glancing up at him before she reached to take the flute--

A metal blade shot out from the mouthpiece, stopping less than a centimeter from her throat. Another had emerged from the opposite end. She remained perfectly still for a moment before making a tiny squeaking sound and scuttling away. "S-Shifu, what the hell?!

He flicked a switch on the side of the flute, and the blades retracted. Tossing the instrument turned weapon to Ari, he whipped his shirt aside, letting it flutter to the ground. "I said I wanted to play, didn't I? Your combat's still been rather sloppy and I've figured out why. You need something else to deliver the brunt force of the attack so you can focus on form and dodging. Let's try it out, shall we?"

Ari snatched the flute from the air, blinking and looking away slightly. She never would get used to that..."Shifu, I've never even used a weapon before and--"

He gave her no time to think. He lashed out with a flying kick, which Ari snapped to block with the blunt side of the flute. "Hmph...not bad." Next thing Ari knew, she was flipped onto her back, kicking her feet up and backflipping out of his grasp while delivering a rather strong kick to his stomach.

The fight carried outside, fists punching, blades flying, minds reveling. Ari swooped around a sakura tree, grabbing some of the petals that were floating in the air and tossing them at him. Her hair bristled in the wind, her robe whooshed around her body, and for just a moment, Jianguo stared...

"Gotcha." The young man blinked down in a combination of shock, disgruntlement, and pride. A blade was just inches from his throat, wielded by a very cheeky-looking Ari.

"Beginner's luck," he mumbled, rubbing his neck and looking away.

"Come on Shifu, admit it! I got you!" She beamed.

Jianguo sighed, turning back to her after a moment. There was silence between them as the moonlight reflected in their eyes, as their eyes reflected in each other. "I have nothing more to teach you. If I continue drilling techniques into your head, you'll slip up somewhere trying to figure out which best to use instead of going on your instincts." He grinned. "I should know, I've watched you play MMOs."

Ari made a face at him, but that soon turned into a look of understanding and reverence as she bowed low to him. "Thank you, Shi--ah, Jianguo. I promise I will use your teachings for good and only good, and I will bring honor to your name."

He blinked again. And then, he slapped a hand to his forehead, laughing loudly. "Good grief, make it any cheesier and you'll have a pizza! And you know how much I hate that stuff." Ari was about to make another face and retort, but his arms around her, bare chest pressed against her, effectively stopped her words...and her breathing for a moment. "A teacher always seeks to see his fledglings off into the world. It is...a joyous time. One that such a person lives for." His arms tightened around her. "But...I don't want to let go. Not just yet."

A searing blush sprung to Ari's cheeks, and she looked up to him once again. His face was red, too.

For the remainder of their time together, the nature of their relationship was not spoken of, not even amongst themselves. Rather than sharing kisses, they shared secrets and stories and interesting things they found along the riverbed or in the field. Their intimacy was made in staring at sunsets and cooking each other's favorite (and least favorite) dishes, in exploring the city and the countryside, in making faces behind each other's backs and tackling each other to the ground, engaging in a tickle war that they knew neither would win, laughing until they were out of breath and rolling over like fat penguins to hold each other. Everything was right in the world.

But on the night that Ari awoke three months later, it was not. She could feel it in the air. Quietly as she could, she snuck out of the house, carrying her flute with her. Her feet took off running, carrying her as fast as she could go. And then, they screeched to a halt. Blood splatters led to a staggering Jianguo, who was gripping a sickly red shoulder. It looked to be dislocated. Surrounding him, five neatly dressed men turned to Ari. "Well, what do we have here?" said the leader. "I do think it's the country raiser's little lotus. Tell me, have you...taken her petals for yourself? We could always do it for you, since I'm betting you weren't enough of a man to even do that..."

Jianguo's teeth grit, and he lunged at the man, clearly in no position to fight. "SHUT YOUR DAMN MOUTH, PHU!!"

The other simply chuckled, lining up for a strike that would likely render him unconscious. That was when everything changed.

Everything moved so quickly, yet so slowly at the same time. Ari shot forward to intercept. The blade of her flute sliced through his wrist, and he staggered back, yelling in pain. Jianguo yelled at Ari to stay out of it, but even if she had listened it was too late to turn back now. The others stared in disbelief, then lunged at Ari. Her flute flew to her lips. A brilliant white light shone up from the ground, illuminating an alchemic marking drawn on the instrument's slick surface. Jianguo instinctively covered his ears, while the others reeled in pain as Ari's air pressure specialized alchemy squeezed the oxygen from their bodies and assaulted their eardrums. She glared at them, lowering the pressure more and more, until she finally stopped. By now, they were writhing on the ground, all but pleading for the pain to stop. She took Jianguo's good arm to lead him away...

Only to see her father standing just a few steps away, watching, with an expression that was more pained than she had ever seen before.

Without another word, he walked away. That had given the thugs just enough time to slip away unnoticed, leaving she and Jianguo alone. She sighed deeply, pinching the bridge of her nose before grabbing his arm again. "Come on, we've got to get you somewhere safe and..."

He yanked free of her grasp. "It's over."

Ari stared at him, not understanding. "Don't be stubborn, you're hurt. And don't worry about me, I can handle myself--"

"What in the hell possessed you to think it was a good idea, charging in here and making me look even less of a man than they already take me for?"


Ari's fists clenched, and she looked down. "Jianguo, I'm sorry...please, just tell me what's going on..."

He turned his back to her. "There's nothing more to say. Period." A pause. "You'd better not come looking for me. I mean it."

Ari's eyes widened in disbelief, eyebrows creasing. "What did you say not too long ago, about not wanting to let go? What happened to that?"

Jianguo turned to her, a look of determination in his eyes that was calm and fierce at the same time. "Fly away, Arizana. And don't ever come back."

Ari's mood was lethal when she arrived back home, wanting nothing than to drop onto her bed and cry her eyes out.

"Ari."

That single utterance of her name, spoken by Danzan, the man who had driven her mother away into the arms of a murderer, who had passed judgment upon her for the simplest things, who stood there in the midst of a battle and could only think about how disgusting she was for practicing alchemy...it made her snap. Grabbing up one of her alchemy books, she stormed to where he was and threw it right at his head, hitting it square on. "WHAT, DAD? WHAT. ARE YOU JUST GOING TO RAMBLE ON ABOUT WHAT YOU BELIEVE, THE GOLDEN RULE FOR EVERY GODDAMN BODY, OR ARE YOU GOING TO SIT THERE, JUST FOR ONCE, AND ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT HOW I FEEL?!"

Danzan simply rubbed his head where the book had hit, staring at his daughter's huffing and puffing. There was a knock at the door, and a woman in healer's garb peeked in nervously. "Should I...come back?"

"Give us a moment."
Walking into the adjoining room, he beckoned with a glance for Ari to follow. Danzan sat down on the couch, his arms loosely folded. His daughter, still angry but already feeling bad for hurting him, sat on the opposite end. He glanced to her, then took a deep breath and sighed. "Ari," he began. "The incident in Amestris was only an excuse for me to come here. I felt as though God was giving me an allowance for what I am about to tell you." He paused. "For some time now, a tumor has been growing in my brain. I would have let the disease take its course, under normal circumstances. But I sought treatment under Xingese alkehestrists. I knew I  had one last purpose to fulfill." That pained look returned to his features, but it was softer and more sad. "I had to protect you. I had to make sure you were all right."

The tears had begun as soon as he told her of his condition. Now Ari was doubled over in a heap, sobbing uncontrollably into her hands. With another sigh, Danzan wrapped his arms around her. "You are naive, inexperienced, quick to anger and unable to foresee or deal with the consequences of your actions. You cannot be on your own." Another pause. "At least, that is what I thought until I saw you earlier. So full of strength, not once doubtful of your actions...you are nineteen years old now. I cannot tell you how to live your life, especially with mine hanging in the balance." He moved to put his hands on her shoulders. "You must leave me. Go back to Amestris, or wherever it is you wish to go. You have the trust fund I set up for you, use that sparingly for your needs until you are able to support yourself." Her hair slipped between his fingers. "Embrace your strength, Ari. Go, and never look back."

Despite her adamant protests of wanting to stay and nurse him, Danzan refused. It would only do her harm to sit around brooding after his death, so it was better to never know if he recovered or not. He sent her out on the next boat to Amestris, staying to see her off. As she waved goodbye one last time, she noticed someone standing behind that first sakura she had seen, a familiar silhouette with a familiar expression that, while subdued, was completely revealed in his eyes. Ari bit her lip, then turned away towards the sea. And she never looked back.

Back in Amestris, Ari stared at the house that she and her father had lived in together, a place that she never thought she could find happiness. And yet...she had. The memories were so bittersweet that it was almost too much to bear. The same went with returning home to Creta, even moreso. He had called her strong...and she believed that. To a point. It needed something else, though. More fuel, more discipline, more training...she wanted to prove his faith in her abilities to the fullest extent. As she sat outside on the front steps, pondering, a flyer blew by in the breeze. It was advertising recruitment for soldiers at South HQ.

A sunny, warm place surrounded by beautiful, sparkling seas...it was everything she imagined it to be and more. The waters brought back more memories of her travels, but...blue was such a beautiful thing to be around, it actually made her smile. She took a deep breath as she stared up at the intimidating walls of the military base, dressed in clothes that wouldn't give away her gender and the beanie that had become a sort of security blanket for her. This was a new beginning. A new life. The old Ari was no longer, she had been reborn into this body. This Ari wanted neither a pretty face to look at or a pretty face to look at her, she only wanted to move on and become stronger, more self-sufficient, more true to her father's vision. But maybe, just maybe, she would find an opportunity to return to Xing, to tell a certain someone that they had been right all along. And it wouldn't hurt to see the country that he had raised along the way.

Rising, and falling. Just like the waves that imitate the very flow of life itself. If only she had known that a mere day after she left, the same gang returned, looking for she and Jianguo. They were members of the Mang clan, banished from their lands after they dishonored their family to form an elite and dangerous group that was no stranger to homicide. Their control and terrorization of the other clans had blazed across the countryside like wildfire, but come to a screeching halt just at the other side of the river where Jianguo lived. Perhaps one of the greatest threats to the security of that nation, they had all been removed from power permanently by a single hand. A single hand that was stained with blood, stretched out and twitching with the unrequited will to live. Fluttering brown eyes watched the last sakura petal drift from its branch, flying out over the sea. "I don't want to let go..."


 

       ...........................................................................


     TRIVIA:
       → Her first language is Cretan. She learned Amestrian and Xingese when she was young, and is fluent in both. Her father taught her some Ishvallan, enough to carry a basic conversation. She continues to study it here and there.
       → Manatees and dinosaurs are her favorite animals.
       → Ari enjoys classical, reggae, Dubstep, and golden oldies music. She also enjoys some pop, especially if it's from the 80s.
       → Though the process is more tedious, she prefers to write with a pen and paper on the first draft rather than beginning on the computer.
       → Though she thinks of her as an idiot for her decisions, she'll never miss anyone more than Ellise. She is often haunted by the fact that her parents met tragic ends, that there was nothing she could do about it, and that the same could easily happen to her.
       → As far as Ari is concerned, pizza, chocolate milkshakes, and burgers and fries are the most heavenly foods on earth. She also has a palette for more fancy things.
       →  Mystery and sci-fi are her favorite genres of fiction. She can never seem to solve the cases though. If it's got "Star Wars" on it, chances are she'll read it.
       →   She swears one day she's going to be a high-leveled MMO pro, but so far no luck. Just don't get in her way when she's gaming.
       → Peaceful by nature, but when she snaps it's hard for her to control herself.
       → Has a tendency to spend her money quickly, and can be easily swayed into buying something more expensive. Especially if it's food.
       → Ari chooses to ignore the various cultures she was born into, in terms of tradition, and just does what pleases her.
      → Depending on the light, Ari's eyes can look brown, red as true to her Ishvallan heritage, or a combination of the two.
      → Ari still carries the large plush bunny her father won for her back at the fair.
     

       ...........................................................................


       ALIAS:
       → Ari

       OTHER CHARACTERS:
       → First character

      CREATOR'S COMMENTS:
       → Orz Okay, so this turned out a bit more angsty than I had intended. But I hope it's all right and not a mushy pile of crap ^^; Also, I made a change to Ari's design but haven't had the time to draw it yet, hope to post it soon. The quote at the top is from the second to last episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, if I'm not mistaken. MDA is the best RP group I've seen to date, and I can't wait to join you all! ^^

Ari’sgoingtohaveamentalbreakdownisn’tsheaaahahahaperfect

     CUSTOM RANK:
       → Official Food Tester

     OFFICIAL TITLE:
       → White Noise Alchemist

       ...........................................................................


Last edited by Arizana Steknik on Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:01 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Revision ouo)
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Re: Steknik, Arizana

Post by Csilla Angelis on Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:28 am

{REVISE}

Welcome to MDA! I'm loving Ari so far, but I've got a few things! ^^

Basic Info:
As you're going to be in the military, we need a department. If you haven't decided on one just yet, leave it blank, but I've added it up there so it can be filled in.

Weight:
Being about the same height as Ari myself, her weight kind of concerns me. That is very much on the low side for that height. The description implies she is thin but relatively fit. Maybe toss a few more pounds on her?

Love/Hate:
I'm loving the extra descriptions in there, but that needs to be a list rather than bullet points. So: "Manatees, dinosaurs, etc"

History:
At the beginning, fowl* instead of foul.
Couple other minor spelling errors, but no big deal. However, it is Ishvallan*
Also, can you please add spaces between your paragraphs in the history? Keeps it from looking chunking.
The only other thing is that we've got at least two Han clan characters on MDA. I might suggest talking with Vi (alias, Rebecca, among others) before using her clan as a bunch of evil people. It might not vibe with how they've been created.

Trivia:
You need to color your languages. See what's in my signature for some examples. You can use whatever colors you want!


Make those changes and then post here when it's done! In the meantime, you can post in the Amestrian classifieds and create an alchemy app. You'll also want to create a custom weapons app since Ari's flute is a literal weapon and is used to complete her alchemy.

.....................................................................................................................................



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Re: Steknik, Arizana

Post by Arizana Steknik on Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Thank you so much for your help! I was able to go back and make several more changes in addition to your request, and I'm quite happy with the result ^^ I'm so sorry about the whole clan mix up, I really should have studied the profiles a bit more carefully >< I had no intention of involving another person's characters or plot in my story, so I did a bit of research and chose a name that fit more, that I saw was not used on the forum. I hope that clears things up ^^; Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to make the app better, I really appreciate the guidance as I'm still learning XD Also I'm s glad you like Ari o;u;o
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Re: Steknik, Arizana

Post by Csilla Angelis on Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:30 pm

{APPROVED}

Fantastic! (Just note that South City is by a lake and not the ocean... BUT, still lots of water so it works, haha)

Don't forget to make those apps! Welcome welcome! =D

.....................................................................................................................................



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Re: Steknik, Arizana

Post by Arizana Steknik on Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:31 pm

I had wanted to draw a new picture of Ari, but I see I'm already over the time limit so...done editing ^^;
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