FORDE, SOREN Nov 5, 2013 6:27:44 GMT -5
Post by Soren Forde on Nov 5, 2013 6:27:44 GMT -5
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SOREN ALEKSANDER FORDE
The first thing anyone ever noticed about Soren was his fear. Everyone in Vardo called him coward and thought that he would never get anywhere in life. This, however, is far from true. Soren’s defining feature may have been his thalassaphobia, but despite that he is truly a brave person. Despite the years of bullying he was always able to get back up and his resilience is what has kept him alive for so long. He takes everything to heart but he never lets it hold him down for the long run. Instead, he uses words aimed at him to try and improve, and to help him find new strength. He has always been afraid of the ocean but that’s the only fear he would ever let control him. On a more subconscious level, he has a fear that everyone will one day leave him, or no longer love him. Not even he realises this, but his personality has been moulded around this fear, and has led to him becoming attached to those he believes to be his true friends.
For these true friends, Soren would give his own life without question. It takes a lot of effort for him to make lifelong friends and so when he does finally find someone like that, he believes it’s his duty to ensure their safety. He would stick his neck out for any friend if he believes they deserve a fair chance, a sure sign of his selfless behaviour. Some call this foolishness, due to the difficulty in the M when tied down by friends, but often there is strength in friendship. Perhaps it’s simply because Soren struggles to make friends, so when he finally does he believes he must keep them close so he doesn’t lose such a precious bond.
After years of bullying Soren retreated into his shell. He became very quiet and reserved and preferred to keep to himself instead of conversing with others. For hours he hid away and refused to seek company. Because of this he often comes across as the big, gruff giant who just grumbles about all day saying nothing. It takes a lot of effort and time to draw Soren out of his silence. He prefers not to talk about his past, or talk about anything really, and enjoys the pleasure of his own company. Secretly he believes that people would judge him, just as they had in his hometown, and he thinks if he stays quiet no one will have the chance to make their assumptions.
As well as not liking to talk, Soren hates the idea of having to talk about his feelings. To him, he has no feelings. He simply feels numb as he goes about his day-to-day life. Talking to a therapist and counsellors often helped, but he honestly thinks they did nothing except rejoice in the fact they were being paid. Feelings, to him, are a mystery and he never truly understood how to put them into words, or why anyone would want to put them into words. He believes that feelings should just stay within a person, and not be talked about as though they are commonplace. Feelings only end up getting you hurt. But don’t be mistaken, Soren does feel, and his anger is evidence enough of that. The blinding rages that he finds himself in are uncontrollable and impossible to predict. Above all, Soren fears his anger, and that’s why he is so quiet. He thinks that if he just doesn’t talk to anyone, he won’t be overcome by intense hatred and do something he might regret.
Rebecca Williams had been backpacking in Europe for two months prior to her visit to Norway. During her brief stay in the small Norwegian town of Vardo, she met Angelo, and one could say they fell instantly in love. Rebecca was only meant to stay in Vardo for a few short days, but soon the days turned into weeks which turned into months. After two years of romance, Angelo proposed and Rebecca couldn’t possibly refuse. Though her family was sad to farewell her from her native home in Australia, Rebecca had decided to stay in the small town with her new husband. Rebecca learnt Norwegian and she and Angelo welcomed their first child into the world after two happy years of marriage.
Soren Aleksander Forde was a happy addition to the family. Vardo was a small town and everyone there knew about the child. From a young age he spent most of his time wandering around and stopping off at each neighbour. Even in the main heart of the town everyone was used to the boy running around the streets and walking into each of the shops. Soren had the habit of running off whenever his parents took him to town, but he was always returned with no harm to himself thanks to the kindness of the townspeople. Growing up, Soren was fluent in Norwegian but also become fluent in English, albeit with a strange accent.
He was two years old when he was first taken on a fishing boat by his father. Rebecca had expressed her displeasure in the idea that her young son would be on such a dangerous trip, but Angelo assured her that all would be well. Unfortunately, the storm said otherwise. Soren was too close to the edge of the boat just as the storm took hold and none of the men quite realised until it was too late. A large wave knocked the young boy from his seat and he was tumbling amongst the water. Soren was under for what seemed like a lifetime, certain that he would never surface again. Finally he was pulled back onto the boat, and CPR brought him back to the land of the living. Soren, however, was not quite the same. Vardo was a village known for its fishing, and it was really one of the only professions in the town at all. The mere two thousand people spent their whole lives on boats, near the water, perfectly accustomed to its wild nature. But Soren would not have any of it; the ocean was a monster to him, threatening to drag him into its depths with each menacing wave. Angelo kept telling Rebecca that he would grow out of his childish fear; it would just take him some time.
Five years into his life, Soren found his world turned upside down. He had never asked for a younger sister, nor did he want one. A brother would have been a lot more preferable. Still, he was stuck with little Amelia and there was nothing he could do about it. Just like when he had been born, the whole town was thrilled to see another baby, and all attention shifted away from the boy. Soren didn’t seem to mind that quite as much though because it gave him more time to himself. People stopped annoying him or bullying him about his irrational fear because they were too soaked up in congratulating his parents on their newest child. Soren also started school that year, but friends were not easily found due to his quiet nature and the rumours of his thalassaphobia – fear of the sea. Sometimes it extended into a fear of water altogether, but mostly Soren was just frozen with fear when forced near the docks or onto a boat.
The other children at his school would often laugh at him, and they picked on him with all the usual tricks of a schoolyard bully. Soren, however, never dared mention it to his parents. His father had built up a reputation as one of the most skilled fishermen in the town and Soren could never tarnish that willingly. So instead he simply suffered in silence and turned the other cheek. Soren had been raised in a Christian household, and majority of the town went to church every Sunday. Throughout his childhood years at school, Soren tried his best to turn to God, apologising for being so afraid all the time. He prayed continuously that he could get past his fear and that everyone would accept him again. Though his prayers were never answered, his faith never faltered.
Despite their shaky relationship, Soren tried his best to look out for Amelia. Rebecca wouldn’t let the young girl on a boat, just in case she met the same fate as her brother. However Milly had always loved the ocean, and she gradually started to resent her parents for their strict rules, also coming to blame her brother. She assumed it was his own fault he was so afraid of the ocean. Amelia never thought that it all could have been a terrible accident because her parents chose to never mention it. Soren, of course, never bothered to correct her, and took her harsh words like arrows to the chest.
Soren turned to reading as a means of escaping his small town and his lack of friends. He whipped through books with ease and found solace in their pages. He almost gave up talking altogether and withdrew into his peaceful shell, not caring for the company of others. At age twelve, his parents decided it would be a good idea to send him to a therapist. They thought that there was something terribly wrong with their son, and they were worried about what might happen to him. Of course, word got out, as it often does in a small town, and Soren was further alienated by his peers. They started calling him crazy, among other things. Amelia started school and she too felt the painful sting of being related to someone like Soren. Rebecca had to deal with her only daughter coming home in tears as she too was ruthlessly bullied.
Meanwhile Soren also began to spend his time dabbling in activities other than reading. He went for daily runs, gradually going a little further each day. His father also caved to his quiet requests and bought him all kinds of gym equipment. Slowly the young boy grew into a muscular, tall being, but still remained quiet and timid around others. Whilst he had little words, Soren developed lots of strength. Angelo continued to use this to try and convince his son that he was more than capable on a boat. He nearly got so far as getting the boy onto a boat again. But as Soren neared the docks he found himself frozen in place as he watched the deceptively calm water before him. The poor boy turned tail and ran, hiding for hours near the forest until he felt calm enough to go back home and deal with the embarrassment.
Things only got worse from there. Amelia completely stopped talking to her brother. She was ten now, perfectly old enough to be on the boats with her father and helping him fish. But her mother wouldn’t let her near the docks. Rebecca had been unable to protect Soren, and so she made it her mission to protect Milly. Soren blamed himself for everything and he started to refuse to talk to this therapist. Therapy had almost started to help but he found it useless talking about his feelings. As far as he could tell, no one really cared about how he felt. All that mattered was keeping up appearances, and fishing. Everything always went back to fishing and his father’s precious reputation.
Soren was now one of the bulkiest and tallest in his class. The bullies still thought it would be a good idea to pick on him, calling him crazy and a wimp and reusing even the most cliché remarks. At age sixteen, Soren finally fought back. He came to blows with the ringleader of his aggressors and as he finally let go, his anger took over. When he finally realised what was happening he staggered away with only a bloody nose, but he barely recognised the boy that now lay on the floor beneath him. Rebecca and Angelo didn’t know what to do with their son. They didn’t understand how everything had turned so sour. He had always been such a quiet and peaceful boy and no one had ever suspected that he could be filled with such rage. Soren barely remembered laying a hand on the other boy, and would continue for many years to try and recall when he had lost control and what he had done that day.
A decision was eventually reached, and it was a decision that would define the rest of Soren’s life. Norway had escaped all kinds of inspections by UNIT. The superpower instead turned their mind towards larger countries that were confirmed to house the mysterious creatures. Small towns like Vardo were of no consequence to the all-powerful UNIT. And Soren would have remained safe there. But his parents decided it was best for him to leave the fishing town. Relieved, Soren thought they would send him perhaps to a desert, where he would never have to lay eyes on the ocean again. Unfortunately this was not the case. Soren was sent to live with his maternal grandparents in his mother’s hometown of Cairns, right near the Great Barrier Reef. It meant yet another ocean, and Queensland was known for its spectacular beaches and surfing industry. At least Soren knew how to fish, even if he never did so; he had no clue or motivation to surf.
Soren had only met Claire and Morris a few times on their brief visits to Vardo. The boy had never even been outside his town. His English had become poor and he was forced to pick it up in order to interact with the other teenagers at his new school. Soren stayed very quiet, and was forced to go to counselling sessions twice a week, but at least no one knew anything about him. The girls all seemed to be incredibly intrigued by his mysterious nature and peculiar accent. The boys were more than happy to take him under their wing; teenagers in Queensland were much more laidback than in Norway.
After only a few months living in Cairns, Soren had somehow happened upon a group of friends who didn’t even blink when he declined their invitations of going to the beach. They were happy to go to the movies or even chill at a park with him and they never questioned his clear displeasure whenever they talked about the ocean. His English improved drastically and he even started to teach a few of his friends some phrases in Norwegian. He had just turned seventeen when he decided to get a tattoo. Soren dared not tell his grandparents but two of his mates were more than happy to take him to a contact to get the tattoo done. The Jesus fish on his wrist was both a heartfelt dedication to the Lord that he still followed, and an ironic message to his aggressors back in Vardo.
A few of his friends also went to church, and he regularly attended youth group every week. During high school Soren had joined the rugby team and his coach continued to tell him that he was good enough to make one of the state teams. After finishing high school he was given a rugby scholarship, and though he knew it would require even more training, Soren was determined to succeed. His parents had not come to visit but he spoke with them on the phone every few months. Soren’s grandparents were more than supportive and it seemed that he was finally turning his life around. He had become slightly more outgoing and talkative, but he still enjoyed the pleasure of his own company and his books.
University was a great experience too and Soren made a great deal of new friends. He had just turned twenty one when things went bad once again. His university friends had been joking around about dragging him out to the reef, and Soren had continued to say no. One night however, they managed to get him incredibly drunk, despite the fact that Soren believed it was against his beliefs to drink too much. Still, he blacked out and he woke up the next morning on a boat by the reef. His friends were laughing and having a great time but Soren freaked out. He froze and he felt his heart pound heavily in his chest. He felt like he couldn’t breathe and he started staggering about on the boat.
Someone thought it’d be a funny joke to push him in. The water rolled above his head and Soren made no attempt to move; he had never learnt how to swim. But then something changed and he felt different. Soren had no idea what was happening to him, but he couldn’t feel his hands or feet. It took him a little while to realise that he was no longer human. One of his friends had jumped into the water, trying to look for him. Instead he came face to face with a tiny bluespot butterfly fish. The fish was far from home and the man thought it would be a good idea to try and catch it. He had managed to get it in a small cup filled with water but Soren was still freaking out. His heart jumped around and as he was being lifted back up into the boat he shifted back.
Soren was lucky that the man tipped the cup over as he saw the fish start to shift; he could have ended up with multiple broken limbs otherwise. Lying startled on the deck of the boat, one of Soren’s mates looked him up and down and told everyone to keep the incident quiet. Everyone agreed, despite the looming threat of UNIT, because that’s what friends did for each other. And that friend that spoke up, Mike, explained everything to Soren in the following weeks. Unfortunately, Soren would not agree to going back into the water and practising his shifting ability. Despite being a fish shifter, he was still terrified of the ocean.
Instead the pair practised their combat skills. Soren was taught how to wield an array of weapons, as well as simple hand-to-hand combat. He didn’t understand why such skills were necessary but he let Mike teach him nonetheless. The two continued to build up their skills, and as they did they gradually became closer, sharing with each other their most intimate secrets. And as with most their age, one drunken night things got steamier than usual. Soren was never particularly clear on his sexuality. He knew what the Bible said about it all, but he also knew that God loved everyone. Saying he had a boyfriend came perfectly normal to him, and he and Mike spent almost every day together over the next year.
Nothing can ever last. After one perfect year everything started getting more dangerous. UNIT knew all about the shapeshifters and they had finally spread their search to Australia. Mike told Soren that they would be fine, and that they would be able to survive without being discovered. Unfortunately, one of their friends spoke out. He was worried for his own safety if he remained silent about Soren’s nature as a shifter. Mike had been with Soren when they came to his house. His grandfather tried to tell UNIT to leave, knowing exactly what they wanted with his grandson. UNIT was in no mood and Soren heard the gunshots ring out even as he stood training with Mike in the backyard. Suddenly there were guns pointed at them and Soren found himself frozen still. Mike, however, was in his lion form and lunging at UNIT officers with the ferocity that Soren had come to love. Two darts later and both men blacked out.
Twenty-two years old and Soren’s life had completely fallen apart. He hadn’t seen his parents or sister since he was sixteen, and now his grandfather was dead and he and his boyfriend were thrown into a strange new world. The Rings were on the brink of war and the two men were lucky enough to be picked up by two Carna scouts. Once the scouts recognised their combat skill and saw them as an asset, they were taken in by the Ring, happy to be in a safer environment. Mike always said there was safety in numbers, and so the pair stayed together at all times when in the Carna. Their skills were further perfected until finally it was time for war. Soren had learnt about the anthropomorphs during a brief fireside conversation with another Carna. They were strange mutated creatures that could no longer shift. Instead they remained caught between their human and animal forms. Too afraid to speak out, Soren accepted their harsh view of the strange creatures and he and Mike vowed to fight. In those few days, Soren managed to have a few moments to himself every now and then, and he once again remembered how much he liked the peace and quiet of his own silence.
The war was brutal. Carna were forced to retreat, but at least the Bestia had been obliterated. Soren had been taken up in a huge rage, and he could barely remember what he had done. He was simply covered in blood by the end of it. But when he came to, he felt Mike’s head cradled in his lap. The dying man had only enough breath to whisper three important words before he shuddered and was finally still. The next year passed like a blur. Soren retreated into himself again and barely spoke a word. He helped out around Carna, training tenderfoots and guarding and hunting, but he felt like an entire piece of him had been cut out and burnt to ashes. An entire year was spent in silent mourning as the man tried to make sense of his life.
Another poison dart whilst out hunting and Soren’s world went black. The first time Soren woke up he was in a small cage. A few other shifters were in cages around him but Soren did not speak to any of them, or even listen as they spoke to him. He was aware of being dragged into a room and tied down to a table. Then there was immense pain and needles everywhere and a strange tingling sensation. He felt his eyes burn and he tried to claw at his face. Screams filled the room but the scientists only laughed at his pain. Even as he was stinging they led him to a small pool and pushed him in. Soren froze and he felt his body morph, but then he still had hands and he didn’t know what was happening. There was hair all around him then, and even in his terror he reached for his head and felt tufts of his brunette locks fall out in his hands. Then he couldn’t breathe and he was gone.
Soren awoke in another cage, this time in a different room. He had on pants but no top and something felt incredibly strange. In a moment of panic he felt for his head and sighed in relief when he felt that his hair was still there. Then there was another Keeper. He explained to Soren that he had undergone rigorous testing over the past six months; why couldn’t he remember that? Each needle had been a separate day or time, but they all merged into one long period of pain in one small day. He had been pushed into multiple pools over so many weeks, but he only remembered being submerged once. His last test had been three days ago, he had almost drowned and passed out for nearly three days.
After a few days of peace, Soren was once again removed from his cage and thrown into another room. The hall of mirrors presented him with a face and body he barely recognised. His hair was yellow and all hint of brown had disappeared from it. His eyes were bright blue, so much brighter than they had been before. And across his face. Soren gasped and reached up to stroke the strange pattern that ran from his hairline to his neck. It was akin to his shift. Then he saw in another reflection the patches on his lower back and between his shoulders. What was this? He knew though; he knew. Those creatures that he had fought and murdered in cold blood; he was now one of them.
The following months brought about more tests. The first gifted him with newfound strength. The Keepers forced him to hone this skill and he was trained for weeks on end. Next he found that he was no longer tiring as easily, and he knew it could certainly be used for his advantage. The third ‘gift’ was one that he discovered after the Keepers showed their true cruelty once more. Pushed into the pool again Soren felt his muscles contract. Closing his eyes he tried to force himself to not be afraid. He couldn’t do it, but he soon noticed that he was not struggling for breath as he usually did. After this realisation though, he was struck by new fear and the panic attack that took hold stole his breath from him. The Keepers pulled him out once more and revived him.
The experiments finally stopped a few short months after Soren’s twenty-fifth birthday and he was released back into the Menagerie. His first thought was to go back to the CarnaRing and rejoin his ringmates and friends there. However, he was no longer himself and he was no longer a shifter. Soren secretly cursed the attack on the Bestia; he had helped to wipe out the species that he was now a part of. For an entire year he spent life as a rogue, not talking to anyone else unless fate interrupted his peace. Slowly but surely he withdrew from the world, not caring for anyone but himself and using his new skills to his advantage. He remained as far as he possibly could from any traces of water, his old fears still fresh in his mind.
It was a year later that he heard rumours of the Bestia rising again, this time under a new name. From his hideaway in the Speakeasy, Soren listened to the shifters talk about the anthropomorphs and their new home. He knew exactly what he had to do. It was impossible to make it to the Nakoma District without crossing Carna territory but he managed it anyway. Once again he was in the company of others, but it was a strange feeling to be among those he had so badly hurt. Thankfully, none of them recognised him from the battle that had happened years before and Soren wasn’t about to remind them. He found his place as a warrior, thinking that he owed it to anthros to protect them now. He still remains with them today, a year after his joining, and he is slowly beginning to emerge from his shell. Only time will tell where he will end up, but he has vowed to atone for his crimes and protect the Nakoma with every ounce of strength he has.