Art by Seabby
See his stories: New Beginnings (AU) ♦ Your Memories
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He doesn’t remember much. It’s as if his life was a story he read a long time ago, so long that he only recalled it in dreamlike segments. His first bike ride, a family vacation or two… The memories were but blurs to work around. Yet the one that always returned with aching clarity was his arrival at the facility.
It was late spring, warm. Finals were just ending at school. He didn’t have any on the last few days, unlike his classmates. It was one of the reasons that he got a summer job sorting files at some cryogenics place. Not particularly interesting work, but at least he didn’t have to worry about offending the customers. And so he indulged in his curiosity.
It was while passing by a room where the bodies were kept that Balder stopped to test the door. He was in no hurry and it was unlocked. That’s how he found out that the chilled crypt was dark, despite his expectation of sharp, sterile lights. His hand crept along the cold wall, images of frozen heads gracing his thoughts, until he found a switch and flipped it.
He found nothing so mundane as a frozen head. Balder discovered the preserved remains of failed experiments, gruesome and nightmarish, no longer human in any sense of the word. The folder fell to the floor as he turned to run. Faster than he ever had in his life, an attempt to put what must be a lie behind him, and he very nearly made it.
If not for his false co-workers, he would have. They had greater strength, better speed, and a handful of other powers that he had no hope against. From start to finish – when he was turned in to Leader, when it was decided that he would be a subject, when he went on the table, right up until he began training to better understand how to destroy – Balder didn’t stand a chance.
Beaten psychologically to hide all emotions, obey every order, and show no mercy, he was secretly desperate to please anyone by the time he was to be trained… He was fifteen then, but he acted as if he were years behind.
His memories now are of learning how to control his powers. The fights against dummies, other young experiments, failed experiments, the resulting injuries healed by Yua back when she was practicing, and the brief moments with Leader where he dreaded repercussions and beamed inwardly at praise. His first assignment took place when he was sixteen, with a couple of scientists and their children as his marks.
They were dealt with in cold, brutal efficiency. And whatever his life was before, it was derailed. It slipped from his memory, allowing him to become someone else entirely. He was Balder Holt in name only and regardless of his wishes, he belonged to Leader.
At a quick glance, Balder is the perfect image of a hitman. When he’s not following orders, he’s waiting on the next command – one he will carry out with ruthless proficiency. Even when in the presence of other experiments, he is quietly watchful. No one is truly an ally, save for his leader. What more could one want from a murderer?
But upon a closer look, one will notice that something is off with his heartless facade. Whether it be a volatile outburst of rage or a hesitant, naive moment, Balder cannot always keep his thoughts and feelings in check. When he is alone, he cautiously indulges in them, but in front of others… He does everything he can to stay in control and still doesn’t always succeed. In his eyes, it’s a vulnerability to show emotion before someone he is not about to kill.
Strangely, his victims are the people he trusts most, the ones he knows very well. He knows their habits, their friends and family, their history, and exactly what they will do when he tries to kill them. This is what makes up the bulk of his social life. Needless to say, he has a bit of a time interacting normally. At 20, he is just starting to understand what a joke is. In a few years, he may know how to respond to one.
Although he’s a far cry from a tall, dashing hero, Balder does look like one – only shorter. He’s barely average height with a sturdy, toned build. Capable of strength and maneuverability, the former more so than the latter. Despite the advanced technology, he still has two dot-shaped scars from the nanotech injection sites: one above each high point in his tailbone. That and some jagged scarring along his left ribcage.
His brown eyes are deeply emotive, screaming what his expressions whisper. Fortunately for him, they’re rarely seen behind the sunglasses he wears routinely. His clothing, more like a uniform, reflects these glasses in being entirely dark. Aside for the dark blue zippered jacket, he wears entirely black from the double holster to his cargo pants.
The nanotech he has allows him to destroy things on a microscopic level. Hands-on contact is required with whatever it is he’s trying to destroy. Depending on the type and amount of material, this can be done in a few seconds or in half a minute. Whether it be a vehicle or the human body he’s attacking, it rarely takes more than that to put an end to his target.
He has no tolerance for them. If something unexpected does come up, he typically reacts with excessive violence. He doesn’t think about doing it or not, Balder instinctively eliminates whatever doesn’t fit into the plan set out before him. After these flare-ups pass, he knows he has done something that he shouldn’t. As much as he would like to believe that he will stop himself next time, he is never quite sure he will. Or if he even can.
Place of Residence
His assigned room in the lab. A single bed and a closet with sliding doors. The bureau has nothing on it except for when he sleeps. That’s where he puts the sunglasses at night. But beneath the bed, against the back wall, there’s a shoe box. Inside are his mementos, the old lollipop sticks and pictures from photo booths and dusty knickknacks of the people he’s killed.
Yua Maki –
Because of his assigned job, he sees this natural healer on a regular basis. This is both a blessing and a curse because Balder is thoroughly in love with her. She gives him hope, a reason to believe that he can be a better person, and lastly, the distant belief that destruction is not the only thing he’s good for.