Author Topic: fitter, happier, more productive — elysian .  (Read 1152 times)

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fitter, happier, more productive — elysian .
« on: October 27, 2020, 08:06:24 AM »
u rock !
BENEDICT ROYS STALLARD
❝ BETTER HUMANITY. BETTER VITALITY. BETTER PRODUCTIVITY...

BETTER LIVING. BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO S- ❞


The tips of two fingers twisted the dial sharply to the left, the small off-white radio silenced and making way for booming chatter in the background. That goddamn slogan was so overused that the very words left a bitter taste in Benedict's mouth and a heavy pit in his stomach. Every single time. Gage would tell him countlessly that the radio was a good-for-nothing piece of shit; all of the Better Living slogans and jingles that plagued their ears after every single song or news report. He even tried to point out that all radios from the city had been bugged for the government's prying ears, and that the rebels could so easily be traced by radiolocation and apprehended against their will.

Well, it hadn't yet happened in the three years Better Living were at the helm of the city, so Benedict could only question the validity of Gage's conspiracies.

At the table Benedict sat at also sat his mother, Lisbit. Hair like a dark confiture, if her skin were any lighter then she may have seemed to be likely indisposed. But, like Benedict, her face was sun-kissed from her many days out in the decaying world that she chose to survive in. The city wouldn't maintain the four walls of a traitor, buildings growing more fragile with each passing year. Their front door no longer locked and Benedict would have to pull all of his weight backwards if he wished to shut it from the inside. Lisbit would always point out that the wood had swollen because Benedict's father had never treated it before he left. It was some feeble attempt to do what he thought was right - head to the city and provide for the family. Little did he know that once Better Living had gotten a hold of his mind, he'd no longer remember the love he had at home.

Lisbit was slowly nearing her golden years at the ripe age of fifty seven, but she was not the old woman that one would feel pity towards with her feeble bones and sunken in features. She was the kind who could run an army if given half the chance. It was no surprise to find where Benedict's tenacity came from. Together, the two of them were more similar that they'd ever give each other credit for.

❝ I think they're ready for you. ❞ She pointed out matter-of-factly, Benedict's eyes searching his mother's features before he used two hands to push himself up away from the table. ❝ Come with me. You know they love you. ❞ Benedict held his hand out, brows raised expectantly towards her before Lisbit swatted his hand away. ❝ They're here to see you, not me. Now go - I'll be in the crowd watching. ❞ Slowly, Benedict lowered his hand, a soft smile of affection sat on his lips as he was met with the most loving eyes a mother could muster before he turned and left their makeshift pole tent.

Chatter turned into passionate chants as Benedict climbed assorted crates to reach the scaffolding that allowed for him to see every face in the deficient crowd. The movement was still young, many people still hesitant to fight for change. But, with every meeting like this, and every step they took to prepare for this crusade, the crowd swiftly began to grow. Old faces and new faces, Benedict met the gaze of many as he looked at them. His eyes were like fire within ice as he searched the fervent rebels. The passion in icy blues, in the same way the hottest of fires always burned blue. The crowd of rebels slowly simmered into quiet whispers of anticipation, Benedict wrapping his hand around the scaffolding to keep his balance on rickety placed crates before his voice rang through the air.

❝ The revolution is coming in hot. We can see it in the way the Swine are so frantically trying to reinforce the city. They anticipate our arrival, but they do so with fear in their hearts because they know that what they are doing is wrong. Sickening. ❞ Lip curled with disgust as Benedict slowly shook his head. The crowd agreed with a plethora of shouts of agreement. ❝ There may be more of them than there are of us, but they fear us all the same - as they should. As they fucking should! ❞

Cheers erupted in the rowdy crowd, Benedict looking at the faces of the revolution proudly. Until his eyes landed on Rowan. Like a mouse in a pride of lions, Rowan would continue to stand in the most unassuming of ways. He was a whisper whilst the others were a shout, and it only caught Benedict's eye even more. Eyes lingered on him for a second too long before Benedict continued to scan the crowd. He was a person that Benedict could only wish to trust, but no one deserved that faith one could have in another from Benedict anymore. He'd been betrayed one too many times, his heart shattered and trust misplaced on enough occasions that trusting another meant nothing to him anymore. Rowan was a stable presence ever since the birth of the revolution, but merely a man that Benedict could half-rely on to see him stood among the rest of the rebels.

❝ Next thing on our agenda - seize the Bliss reapers on the New Haven Route 20. Lets burn all of their Bliss pills. Hell, lets film it and get it on every single big screen in the whole fucking city! ❞ With a crinkled up nose and a subversive grin on his face, Benedict watched the excitement of the crowd as they cheered for society's freedom. Without their Bliss, the Droids would eventually snap out of the reverie that they've been living in. Without their Bliss, Better Living would collapse. Drugs were their power, so Benedict would do everything in his power to disarm them. ❝ The next reaping unit arrives this afternoon. The Swine have weapons, but we do too. Lets fucking dust 'em all! ❞

The rebels roared with great vehemence as Benedict jumped down from the stack of crates he stood upon, checking his phone to view once more the text message that Gage had sent him earlier. The dubious agreement to attempt to hack into the city's billboard media streams. Anything to get the word out to the city that the revolution was coming. Gage was far more technologically advanced than Benedict could ever be, but always so goddamn flaky and undependable. He could help Benedict with the revolution for as long as he would refrain from cowering away from the fight.

Rebels looked up to Benedict in awe as he walked by the crowd, the revolutionary giving a couple of them a simple greeting or pat on the shoulder as he passed. Until his gaze landed on Rowan once more, this time stood right in front of him. ❝ Are you ready for this afternoon? ❞ Benedict questioned earnestly, brows raising as he searched Rowan's features. He then raised a hand, grabbing Rowan's shoulder before he added, ❝ You know... I actually need you to do something for me. ❞
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 08:44:28 AM by trick-or-truce. »
I'M BURNING BRIDGES, I DESTROY THE MIRAGE
ALL VISIONS OF COLLISIONS, FUCKING BON VOYAGE — truce.#1303

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Offline elysian.

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Re: fitter, happier, more productive — elysian .
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 10:16:18 AM »
ROWAN PIERS SULLIVAN
a
“ BETTER LIVING . BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE -  ”

rowan closed his eyes tightly as the radio continued to play, grimacing subtly with distaste. everyone was pushing for this new company’s promise; they promised a new horizon for humanity; they promised happiness… at times, rowan couldn’t help but wonder what for. what was in it for them, yeah? he tapped his foot against the dining room linoleum, gaze only lifting up at the gentle clink of a plate being set down in front of him. “you’re making that face, again.” careful eyes turned up to stare at ashton. the eldest pursed his lips tightly together, lost for words as he found his seat. the youngest brother picked up his fork, starting to pick at his food. he couldn’t bring himself to eat with the sick taste that plagued his mouth.

“you know…” rowan’s fork stilled. he always dreaded the moments his brother tried to talk to him about this. this company was still so new, yet it felt like his brother had argued about this very same thing for ages already. “like i said, what they’re trying to do is good. they’re going to change everything for us. i don’t understand why you-”
“because you don’t know that. ash, you can’t say that they-”
“imagine how we’d be now if this had happened earlier. if they had come back when mom and dad were still around.” ash huffed in stunned awe, gesturing around the empty room absently. “imagine how different life would’ve been for us, rowan. imagine!”

his throat felt tight. leaning forward, he acted preoccupied with his food. the brothers never talked about their parents, anymore. it was a taboo, a subject the brothers both silently agreed to never talk about. a cut that still bled. it felt painful that ashton was bringing them up as some sort of leverage to his point. swallowing hard, then clearing his throat, he shifted in his seat before quietly uttering, “nothing they can do can bring mom and dad back.”
 “but-” his brother had rowan right where he wanted him. he leaned forward with interest, pointing a finger at rowan. the wonder in his eyes at this new prospect left an upset in his stomach. ”they can help us not hurt anymore.” he paused, let the words settle in. “after all we’ve been through… we’re not happy anymore, rowan. either of us. and it’s- it’s been so long since we’ve been happy. i... can’t even remember what it feels like to-” he paused, searching for words. with another awed huff, he shrugged, “to live without a care in the world. do you, rowan?”

silence. rowan’s head was spinning. on one hand, nothing about it sat completely right with him. something inside him pleaded with him that bliss wasn’t the best answer. on the other hand - slowly, he shook his head in response to ashton’s question. on the other side, his brother was right. his brother laughed jubilantly, impressed with himself he was sure. “it’s right there on the pill! bliss. don’t you want that? don’t you want that for us?” sliding his arm across the table, ash held out his hand. rowan met ash’s sincere gaze as earnest lips softly asked, voice just barely louder than a whisper;

“don’t you want to be happy?”

his gaze wandered to his brother’s outreached hand. sitting in aching silence, nothing but the radio softly playing in the background yet another better living jingle. don’t you want to be happy? the voice echoed woefully in his head. slowly lifting his hand, he reached out towards his brothers hand as if to take, trembling fingers outstretched --

he slammed his hand down on the table. pushing himself up swiftly, he sniffled quietly to himself as he hurriedly uttered, “i have to go.” pushing his untouched food towards ash, he uttered, ”thanks for breakfast.” as he turned to leave, his brother called desperately after him. fearful. fearful that his brother would make the wrong choice. fearful that rowan would choose the road of rebellion rather than the road of better living. conflicting feelings sat tight in his throat as he walked, unsure of where he was going and what he would do once he got there.

it felt like a blur and an invisible downward spiral once he found himself in benedict’s presence, unsure of what brought him to carry his feet all the way there in the first place. he looked composed yet shaken, gnawing on his thumb nail being his only visible sign of the complete turmoil he felt inside.

“i should just do it, you know,” he blurted, anxious conviction making his lips gently tremble. eyes were like saucers as they wandered helplessly towards benedict’s icy blues. he looked at him as if a part of him was begging ben to change his mind.

“i should just take bliss.”



rowan sat alone at an empty table, chewing silently on the last bit of his breakfast. most days he was reminded of just how empty the mornings were without his brother around anymore. nothing ever tasted the same as ashton’s cooking. nothing tasted as sweet as the man’s strawberries and pancakes. he lips downturned, brows furrowing as he pushed the finished plate further away from himself. nothing tasted as bitter as the reminder that he would never cross his brother’s mind in the same way. he most likely never crossed ashton’s mind at all. it was a harsh pill to swallow, but it was an easier pill to swallow than taking bliss itself. he was surrounded with like-minded individuals, with revolutionaries and rebels all alike. this was where he was meant to be.

he felt ashamed that at one point he had thought any different.

pushing himself up from the table, he headed out the door and towards the passionate chants echoing down the worn-down city. he stood among them as the crowd waited in excited anticipation - and then, as benedict appeared, voices were booming so loud that row wondered why the fragile walls of the city hadn’t collapsed by now with each growing number. the crowd continued to chant and yell passionately as benedict climbed the crates; rowan never had the fervor to yell like the others, instead uttering along with the rest of them.

he was one of the long-time rebels, here since the very beginning of this revolution alongside benedict. although he wasn’t the loudest, the most brazen, he still stood as unwavering as he always did. nobody dared question his loyalty to the cause; he had given up everything he had in favor of it. everyone had.

the crowd started to settle down, the energy still buzzing as their revolutionary took his place. benedict surveyed the people. his icy blues looked throughout the crowd with passion so hot it could melt glaciers. there was a reason he was unanimously known as the voice of the people. each word spoken brought on another wave of uproarious cheers. there wasn’t a single other people that managed to loom quite as large as he did. people hollered and shouted feverishly, hanging on to each word.  there wasn’t anyone else that could command a room quite like he did. their eyes met briefly, for perhaps even a moment too long. one side of rowan’s lips threatened to twitch upwards.

the revolution was so close, he could just about taste it. he applauded with the rest of them as benedict jumped off the stack of crates, observing as everyone rushed to greet the man as he passed by. he watched with absent, observant eyes until benedict stood in front of him, addressing him this time. “are you ready for this afternoon?”

eyes gazed into benedict’s before he started to nod, agreeing with a certain, ”of course. everything is falling right into place, yeah?” this plan seemed to be so perfectly hatched that it was almost too good to be true in some ways. rowan’s fingertips tingled with anticipation at the thought of it alone.

ben’s hand on his shoulder, he took the moment to step aside from the rest of the crowd, opting to walk along with ben instead. as often as ben asked a favor of him, rowan often found himself feeling great pride in such an act others would often think nothing of. perhaps that was because others weren’t nearly as aware of benedict’s shattered trust; they weren’t aware to be as grateful as they should be. the fact that benedict trusted in rowan oftentimes left a soft spot inside of him feeling weak. his heart trembled in grateful anticipation most every time. “what do you need?”

rowan tried not to disappoint.

Offline truce.

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Re: fitter, happier, more productive — elysian .
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2020, 04:17:28 PM »
u rock !
BENEDICT ROYS STALLARD
---
Little by little, the world that Better Living had constructed was slowly crumbling away with the birth of the revolution. And, little did they realize that all the pieces of what they'd once built up would soon come down on them, piece by piece.

❝ Everything is falling right into place, yeah? ❞ Rowan asked for confirmation and, without hesitation, lips curled into a purposeful grin. From all of the intel that the rebels had gathered over the months, their plans worked like clockwork. Better Living was nearly as robotic as the people they’d brainwashed, their eerie routine of transport so meticulous that Benedict could correctly guess the location of any reaping truck in the near vicinity of the city. The reapers would drive right up to their subsequent doom with little retaliation before the rebels could neutralise them. It was human nature to predict patterns, something which no robot with a faulty code could ever pick up on.

❝ Oh, as always. ❞ Benedict confirmed eagerly, soon grabbing onto Rowan’s shoulder and stepping aside with him. There weren’t many people that Benedict would choose to place his trust in — hell, this was barely a sign of trust — but Rowan was certainly one of the most reliable men Ben had ever had the fortune of knowing. Perhaps it came from their background, the mere fact that Benedict had known Rowan for years prior. The Sullivan boys, the young orphans who barely made ends meet at the end of the street. Lisbit was always so kind as to offer her help when she could, and the young Benedict would merely watch upon the conversation as the older Sullivan would kindly decline most help. They were all right on their own, he’d say. They could manage.

Rowan was always the more resilient one of the two.

❝ I need you to film something for me. You got your phone on you? ❞ He slowed the pair to a stop, Ben revealing his own mobile phone before showing Rowan the text message from Gage. ❝ Film the attack when it happens, send it to Gage, and look at what he’s going to do. ❞ A proud smile sat on his lips as he envisaged the looks on the government officials’ faces once they saw the video streamed across the media. Ben wanted to be known. He wanted the city to know that he truly meant business.

Head lifted as he heard a man call in the crowd, ❝ We got half an hour! Still gotta barricade the road! ❞ Benedict looked over his shoulder towards an approaching rebel, eyes darting across his face before he called, ❝ Lets go! I got space in the pickup! ❞ Ben turned back to look towards Rowan, then adding, ❝ Get in the passenger seat. ❞ And, with that, he began to stride with triumph towards his pickup truck as everyone prepared for the takedown.



❝ That’s them. ❞ He whispered. Silence lingered in the air. ❝ Here they are. Everyone get ready! ❞ Behind the barricade, Ben stood with a flag by his side, a clear sign of what side they were on. The reaping truck approached the barricades, soon sputtering to a stop several feet away. This confrontation could go any way, but Benedict knew for certain that he wasn’t here to purposefully harm any of the reapers. If they were to initiate with hostility, then the rebels would fight back - otherwise, this confrontation could go down as smoothly as Ben would have wished for. He wasn’t here for the reapers’ throats; he was here for their supplies.

Eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly as he watched the two reapers in the truck deliberating before Ben nodded towards the truck, ❝ Surround them. ❞ The rebels barely hesitated before they encircled the vehicle, makeshift weapons and armour in hands, as Benedict slowly leant the flag against the barricade. ❝ Hey Row, ❞ Ben hummed as he pulled the dark gaiter up over his nose as he peered over towards the other man. ❝ Get this on camera. ❞ Eyes dazzled with a look of triumph as Rowan began to film, stepping into the camera before he spoke into it, ❝ Better Living. How’s this for being the change we wanna see? ❞ He nodded towards Rowan to follow before he strode over towards the driver side of the truck. ❝ Someone get ‘em out the vehicle, yeah? ❞

He watched determinedly as the reapers were dragged out of the truck, choosing not to retaliate with their weapons. Wise choice. Face to face with the driver, Benedict raised his brows before he said, ❝ You best get running. It’s a long way from home. ❞ He spared the man no time before grabbing him by the shoulder and shoving him away from the truck, the reaper stumbling before looking back at the rebels briefly. Once the other reaper was at the driver’s side, the two of them began to run away, Ben slowly shaking his head. ❝ Pathetic… So… Let's get to it. ❞

With little more than a wave of a hand, uproarious rebels began to chant and cheer boisterously as they returned to the barricades, soon to return with cans of ethanol. Benedict began to step back as they doused the vehicle in the pungent liquid, a slow laugh passing his lips with joy. It was another success on their part, and a monumental one at that. They didn't even have to harm anyone to get to their goal. Slowly, he dipped his hand into his pocket, soon pulling out a box of matches. Matches - hard to come by these days but this success was worth lighting a match for. Scratching the end against the pack, the match hissed to life, the rebels all backing away as Ben allowed the anticipation to linger for a couple of seconds. A deep inhale. A deep exhale. And then, he flicked the match onto the driver's seat.

The truck combusted to the sound of the rebels' cheer, Benedict taking a small step back before watching in all of the glory. It was a beautiful sight to see; watching their world slowly crash and burn. In the flames would rise a better life, one of truth and liberation. It would be a life where dad would no longer be enslaved by a happy pill. A life where Benedict would be reunited with Wells. A life where society may no longer seek perfection but instead relish in the flaws of autonomy.

Nostrils flared as the heat of the flames burnt at his skin, and then Ben pointed back towards their own vehicles. ❝ Let's get outta here. ❞ As Rowan finally lowered the phone, Benedict removed his gaiter before he looked towards the other man with a look of pride riddled across his face. As they made their way back towards the pickup truck, Ben said, ❝ I don't care how long it takes, how many trucks we have to burn or how many fights we have to fight; we will win. I can just... God, I can just feel it! ❞

He grabbed Rowan's shoulder as he walked, squeezing it proudly before nudging him away and climbing into the driver's seat of his pickup.
I'M BURNING BRIDGES, I DESTROY THE MIRAGE
ALL VISIONS OF COLLISIONS, FUCKING BON VOYAGE — truce.#1303

WRITING &. PINTEREST &. SPOTIFY

Offline elysian.

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Re: fitter, happier, more productive — elysian .
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 01:57:25 PM »
ROWAN PIERS SULLIVAN
a
careful eyes peaked from over the barricade, following the reaper truck as it made its way down the road. he inhaled deeply through his nose. this was it. the moment they’d all been waiting for. anticipating. his brows furrowed gently as he stared down at the phone held steadily in his hands. odd. he figured his hands would’ve been trembling with anxiety, terrified of what could go wrong, what could happen to them… yet his hands were steady. and, aside from the gentle race of his heart, he felt a rush of ease. calm. they were ready for this. it was hard to feel anxious for something they were so well-prepared for.

the air around them was so silent that one could hear a pen drop. slowly raising the camera up, he glanced around as others started to surround the vehicle. “hey row,” he turned his gaze towards ben, blinking gently. “get this on camera.” his lips dared to turn into a smile as he focused the camera on him, pressing record as everything started to go to plan.

it was unbelievable. everything was going off without a hitch. he followed after ben, trying his best to keep a steady hand as they chased off the reapers from their truck. he glanced around at the other rebels around him.

rowan was often overlooked. it wasn’t as though he could particularly blame others; he was used to it. actually, in most ways, rowan agreed with them. he didn’t have the loudest voice, and he didn’t carry himself with the natural charm others around him possessed. at times when benedict always seemed to know exactly what to say, row was more soft-spoken and at a loss of words. it made him wonder what benedict and the other rebels even saw in him, if they even noticed him much at all. who would have much expectations for someone that appeared so unassuming?

the man didn’t want things to stay that way, though. little as others thought of him, rowan at least had hope. not just in the movement, but also in himself in some ways. he wanted to rise to the occasion. blow everyone away. the pain he endured growing up couldn’t have been for nothing. no- rowan wouldn’t let it. for the young orphan boy that barely managed to make ends meet; the vivid memories of the sound of the growling of his stomach keeping him awake most nights, soon to be drowned out by the sound of uproarious rebel cheers. everything young rowan had once thought was impossible was unfolding right before his eyes…

a large fire erupted from the truck. his lips started to pull into the faintest hint of a smile as he looked at the screen, the lens focusing on the rebel leader stood silhouetted by the fire and smoke. with benedict, it all seemed possible.

the hopes and dreams of everyone in this group felt in reach with every course of action they took. each plan, each meeting… all of it would one day make all of the fear and dark times worth it. even if they got knocked down a hundred times and even more, they would find a way to rise up and come back. rowan was sure of it. rebellions were built on hope. and if rebellions were built on hope, then rowan could help build a strong foundation with everyone.

perhaps that was why he and ash both went down different paths. hope. even when the brothers were going through the worst of times, the young mousy-haired boy always had hope that things would get better. it was the only thing that would keep him going some days. and this revolution… this rebellion only ignored the hope he had for better days. beyond this dark era.

lowering the phone, he clicked to re-watch the footage. he didn’t have long to review it before ben caught his eye, the two sharing a brief moment before they both turned to walk towards the pickup. rowan felt at a loss of words the entire walk there. “i don't care how long it takes-” ben started, “-how many trucks we have to burn or how many fights we have to fight; we will win. i can just... god, i can just feel it!” he grabbed rowan’s shoulder, squeezing proudly. rowan shook his head and briefly clapped a hand onto ben’s upper arm proudly. ben always knew what to say. he huffed as the other man gently nudged him away. he climbed into the passenger seat.

his arm rested just outside the truck window as they drove back to their makeshift homes. his hand absently raised from time to time, fingers splaying apart just enough. as if to catch the wind in the palm of his hand. thoughtful eyes narrowed gently in contemplation, wetting his lower lip.

“so you feel it?” he said suddenly, pausing before he turned his gaze towards the driver’s seat. “that we’re going to win?” the idea was enough to make his heart pound loud enough to ring in his ears, chest feeling tight. hopeful. he turned to look outside at the world around them once again, resting his head back against the carseat.

“do you think-” he paused, as if searching for the right words in the distant skyline. “they’ll still be the same as before once this is all over? when we last saw them.” he didn’t think he’d have to say who exactly “they” were in order for benedict to know. the two of them had lost so much from this better living; their pain was a heavy burden they both had to wear. he blinked rapidly and released a short, heavy sigh. how could the pain they endured be so different, but also in other ways the same?

the wind gently ruffled through his hair as he gazed outside, turning his hand absently against the soft gust. “don’t you want to be happy?” ash’s last words rang woefully in his ear. so clear he would’ve thought the man was sitting right with him again. ”or do you think it’s naive to ask for so much?” to hope.

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Re: fitter, happier, more productive — elysian .
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2021, 02:09:51 PM »
u rock !
BENEDICT ROYS STALLARD
---
Sometimes, rebellion was the only thing that could keep a man’s blood pumping through his veins. If he had nothing to stand for, then he’d have nothing to fall for; life was not made for men like Benedict to remain stationary. No, it was made for the rises and the falls only a revolutionary could conduct with such a fiery finesse. In the driver’s seat of his tattered, rusted-over pickup, the engine roared to life before the convoy set off back to their ramshackle homes. One hand on the steering wheel, Benedict twisted the rear view mirror to look back at the vehicle fire disappearing into the distance as they drove away.

❝ You should probably sent that video to Gage. Wait, show me it first. ❞ Like a school boy overjoyed by his latest prank, Benedict was practically beaming with an exuberance — a determination so commanding that he could shake the city around him with the will of those desperate for change. People like Rowan, people like Lisbit and all the men and women that supported every step they’d take to get closer to liberation. Benedict glanced over to peer at the video as the cars scorched along the empty highway, dust being cast into the air. Lips twitched as he rewatched the events, soon humming with amusement before looking back at the road. ❝ God… Better Living are gonna hate us. ❞ He pointed out nonchalantly.

It was exactly what he wanted.

The ride was quiet, Benedict drumming his fingertips on the center console before clicking the radio on. ❝ I love this song. ❞ He commented, soon growing quiet as he wordlessly appreciated the music. ❝ So you feel it? That we’re going to win? ❞ Brows pinched together thoughtfully, watching the road as he listened to Rowan before glancing towards him for a brief moment. ❝ Well, don’t you feel it? ❞ He opened that line of thought, then looking back at the road. Benedict gave himself little opportunity to think otherwise; either they'd dive headfirst into this civil war or they'd arrive halfheartedly to a fight that they'd simply just not win.

His tenacity made him an enemy of the state, but the only hope to its people.

❝ Do you think they’ll still be the same as before once this is all over? ❞ Benedict’s heart sunk at the very thought, features unwavering as he contemplated Rowan’s words. Many people looked up to Benedict for answers, but even Benedict was only a man. Sometimes, things would have to be left unanswered. What would they be like once all of this was over? He wondered what Wells and Dad were doing right now — were they trapped in a nine to five office job with mechanical smiles on their faces? Once this was all over, would Benedict and Lisbit even be able to snap Wells and Dad out of that android-esque trance? Were they even still alive?

These questions nobody truly knew, but Benedict would someday find out for himself. One of these days, he’d get his family back.

❝ I really hope so, Row. ❞ He answered with a short sigh, turning the steering wheel to pull up and park outside where the rebels tended to congregate. But, Benedict wouldn’t hop out of the truck just yet, instead turning off the ignition and leaning back in his seat with slumping shoulders. Head leaned back against the headrest, brows furrowing together until he said, ❝ I wish Wells was here. ❞ The mere thought of Wells trapped within the big city ate at Benedict every waking moment of each day. The way that the Swine detained Wells and whisked him away in the back of a pristine white SWAT vehicle.

Did they beat him for answers? Force feed him the chemicals that they would revolt against? Did they watch the life drain from his eyes as he’d live on as a mindless zombie? Did they even spare him his life, or did they do him for treason?

Benedict clenched his jaw, staring out the window as he watched Lisbit emerge from outside their home, their sweet hound Priam scampering passed her to greet Benedict outside. A look of hope in her eyes. A hope that today’s events would mark a revolutionary change for the history books. ❝ It’s not naive to have hope, you know? ❞ He spoke, tipping his head to the side to look over at Rowan. As if he needed to tell himself the very same thing. ❝ Just shows they’re worth fighting for. ❞

With that, Benedict climbed out of the truck, greeting Priam with a pat on his side before he wandered over towards his mother.

❝ And? ❞ She asked with a raised brow, a proud smile curling at Benedict’s lips before he said, ❝ We did it. ❞ Lisbit started to laugh with joy, then throwing her arms around Benedict’s shoulders. Benedict matched her joy, hugging her back as he rocked her from side to side.

This was worth fighting for.
I'M BURNING BRIDGES, I DESTROY THE MIRAGE
ALL VISIONS OF COLLISIONS, FUCKING BON VOYAGE — truce.#1303

WRITING &. PINTEREST &. SPOTIFY

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Re: fitter, happier, more productive — elysian .
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2021, 03:17:26 PM »
ROWAN PIERS SULLIVAN
a
”it’s not naive to have hope, you know?” the words played through rowan’s head often. a vivid picture of benedict tilting his head as he met his gaze. gave him that look as he then uttered, ”just shows they’re worth fighting for.” eyes would wordlessly follow benedict as he headed out of the truck, enveloped in a proud embrace by his mother. the sight would have been enough for anyone’s lips to twitch just the slightest bit. rowan would find himself looking downward, thumb gently brushing over his phone, the paused video of the inflamed truck illuminating the screen. hope.

it was nothing new to rowan. ever since he was a kid, it had been all he’d had. he would look towards his brother with big, forlorn eyes like saucers from where he sat, observing him slumped helplessly at the dining room table. the sight of a boy struggling to make ends meet for his younger brother when he was in some ways still just a kid himself. a teen that gently refused help whenever lisbit from down the street would offer for help. even on the nights when they struggled to bring food to the table, where sometimes the sound of their growling stomachs could lull them to sleep, row still clung to the idea that they would make it through it. he clung to it because it was all he had. ashton had a different outlook. hope, ash thought, was a dangerous thing. a lie people told themselves to make themselves sleep better at night. he couldn’t bring himself to indulge in rowan’s mindset that they’d get through it, day by day.

he never was the same after their mom and dad passed.

hope was a dangerous thing. and yet, it was the very foundation that the rebellion was built on. brick by brick. the mortar that held everything, everyone in this rebellion together. each person stood unafraid of this ‘danger’ that hope was made out to be. each person held on because they knew their belief wasn’t a falsehood, some naive thought meant to make themselves sleep better at night. they weren’t afraid. if they were, at least they weren’t alone.

hope was a dangerous thing. so what if it was?

rowan chewed the inside of his cheek absently as benedict drove them out through the desert. windows down, the gusts of wind tousled his hair. fingers tapped gently upon the leather under his fingertips as he gazed out the truck, taking in the dusk of twilight that painted the sky in dark purples, pinks, and blues. stars starting to appear as the later stages of twilight fell upon the sky. rowan inhaled a deep, unbothered breath. with the stress of their recent plans coming up, the drive felt more than welcome. much needed. he spared benedict a quick glance as he drove, listening absently to the music playing on the radio. his lips briefly twitched before he looked out the window again. he always preferred these drives. he didn’t care where they went, or whether ben actually knew the answer to that either. it felt like one of the few times where he could finally stop and manage to catch his breath.

ben always knew when one of these drives was needed most.

as the truck started to slow, he straightened. curious eyes peered over towards the man in the driver’s seat as the truck slowed to a stop. “why’d you stop?” it didn’t take long for him to step out of the truck in suit of benedict, watching as he lowered the tailgate. it wasn’t until he looked further out that his questioning stopped. rowan paused to take in the sight. the city lights. illuminating the sky amid the dusk of twilight. he hesitated only a moment further before he slowly brought himself to the back of the truck bed, slowly settling down on the tailgate. hands folded gently in his lap.

“it’s beautiful,” he spoke softly, sparing a quick glance towards benedict before ultimately looking back towards the cityscape. lips twitched upwards briefly as he huffed a short breath, shoulders shrugging gently. he took the few moments of peace between them to relax his shoulders, feeling the jitters for tomorrow’s big event slowly wash away in waves. eyes squinted thoughtfully at the distant city lights, gently exhaling through flared nostrils.

“every time i look at the city, i think about him. you know.” the admittance was quiet and soft, as if even in the company of two, it was words meant just for ben to hear. just for ben to understand. a silent grief that he was so used to carrying on his shoulders. “what he’s doing. if he’s alright.” lowering his gaze towards the ground, he sighed to himself. “he was always worrying over me when we were younger, so.” rowan was often so soft-spoken, a man of little words. with ben, it was always much easier to speak his mind more freely. shaking his head, he looked back out towards the beautiful skyline. “it feels different, being the one worrying about him instead.”

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Re: fitter, happier, more productive — elysian .
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2021, 03:55:57 PM »
u rock !
BENEDICT ROYS STALLARD
---
Benedict could still remember the first time he discovered this spot. He would be lying if he at all claimed to have been the one to find it in the first place as he was only fifteen at the time. Wells was behind the wheel after dad had eventually given in to Wells’ incessant lamenting that he was desperate to drive dad’s car. The Stallard family shared all that they had because they could never afford more than the bare necessities. Unknown to them, poverty had in fact been their safety net all along, and their hunger to survive was ultimately what led to Wells and dad’s subsequent capture. Jobs in the big city were nothing more than a lure, Benedict had quickly come to learn, and to this day he was clear in warning outliers of this very truth.

Wells had technically stumbled upon this route when taking Benedict out for a spin in dad’s old pickup, that signature smug grin sat lazily upon his lips as if he truly believed that he’d forever enjoy the world at his own leisure. Being the older brother, he always had a way of inspiring Benedict to definitely act older than his age. Having the cool older brother influenced Ben in more ways than one. Eager to come across even only half as sharp as Wells was, Benedict would lay his arm over the opened window, allowing for the balmy breeze to run against his skin as the vehicle powered down the highway. ❝ And there it is. ❞ Wells pulled over and switched the engine off, soon hopping out the truck so that he could marvel at the sight in the horizon.

Swiftly following suit, Ben clambered out, arms wrapped around his lithe frame as he followed to stand beside his taller brother. ❝ The city. ❞ Lips parting ever-so-slightly, Ben watched the twinkling lights of the city adorn the dusky desert sky. Wells twisted his head to look down at his little brother, ruffling Ben’s hair before he asked, ❝ Whad’ya think? ❞ Squinting an eye, Benedict peered up towards his brother, huffing at him before he began to grin, So cool. ❞ With a short huff, Wells leaned back against the truck. ❝ Yeah. Thought so too. ❞

One hand resting on the steering wheel, Benedict drove the truck down the very same highway, free arm dangling out with a practiced ease. Of all the people who could have accompanied him tonight, only Rowan’s presence felt right in the peace of the evening. Whilst the masses tended to stir Benedict into action, Rowan was the calm that he needed to wind him down and ease his mind, especially in preparation for tomorrow’s fight. He was so fixated on this romanticized vision of a new world that he often overlooked the smaller, more simple things in life. Rowan was humble and inspired an inner peace that allowed Benedict to reflect more calmly what his priorities were in his life.

Lisbit, Priam, Wells, Elias, his best friend Rowan. Benedict didn’t have much, but they were enough for him to fight on until the end. What could he do with all of this hope? All of this future? He would travel far across this world to find his life’s purpose, never quite strong enough to acknowledge that maybe he was always meant to be lost. The car glided down the empty highway, music sounding from the car radio as he bobbed his head heedlessly along to the familiar tune. The road was one he travelled down many times before, soon pulling over to the side and switching the engine off. The quiet was enticing, crickets softly chirping and white noise hanging in the air across the desert plains. ❝ Why’d you stop? ❞ There it was; the question Benedict hoped to hear.

 ❝ Because. ❞ Benedict responded abruptly, hopping out the truck with the expectation that Rowan will soon follow. After all, Benedict wanted Rowan to feel those same feelings as Ben had when he first marveled upon the views in the horizon. Those same feelings of awe and wonder once looking at the city lights that were so deceitful and cruel, and yet so comforting all the same. After all, it was a reminder that somewhere out in the city Elias and Wells were there. Perhaps they were nothing but a vacant shell of what they used to be, but that was Ben’s dad and brother there. Somewhere. The city lights gave Benedict a reason to fight.

Lowering the tailgate, Ben climbed up to take a seat, dangling his legs over the edge as he quietly admired the view. ❝ It’s beautiful. ❞ Rowan was gentle as he spoke with wonderment, Benedict’s lips curling into a smile before he tipped his head to glance across at him. ❝ I thought so too. ❞ He agreed, gaze softly wandering across the relaxed features of Rowan. It was exactly what he hoped to see, not only for Row’s benefit but for his own, too. They both needed this in light of tomorrow’s expected events. The reminder that this was worth fighting for.

Benedict looked back towards the cityscape, lips pressing together to form a firm line at Rowan’s next words. It felt as if the words could have passed through Ben’s own lips and held all the same emotion and meaning behind it as well. His brother often crossed his mind. He missed Wells with every fibre of his being, and Benedict barely felt like himself without the influence of his older brother. Wells would have been proud of what Benedict was doing here — He had always told Ben that he should fight for what he believed in. Like Benedict, Wells was a firm advocate for freedom, wishing to rebel against Better Living for the corruption they inflicted upon the population. It was out of sheer misfortune that he had been captured one day, losing all liberty and freedom for life.

Lowering his gaze away from the city skyline that broke his heart on the daily, Benedict raised his brows with agreement before he opened up as well. ❝ I understand, I do. It’s not easy, never knowing if they’re all right. If they’re alive. ❞ Benedict released a shaky breath, finally lifting his head again to look back towards the city. ❝ We’ll meet them again some day. I know it. ❞ He allowed the duo to linger in the silence for several long moments, sighing gently before he admitted, ❝ Wells introduced me to this place… Long before all of this shit with Better Living. I still come here whenever he’s on my mind. It feels nice for a moment, getting to relive those memories even after he’s gone. ❞
I'M BURNING BRIDGES, I DESTROY THE MIRAGE
ALL VISIONS OF COLLISIONS, FUCKING BON VOYAGE — truce.#1303

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