Istina: Zima. What did you do?
Zima: *Sits up on the medical bed.* I fought a rotisserie chicken.
Zima: The rotisserie chicken won…
The Peterhelm Theatre was quaint. That was the best word for it. There were around a hundred seats in the theater, some clearly meant for the enjoyment of nobility or high-ranking parents given the fine leather the chairs were fashioned with. The stage itself wasn’t even that large, only able to hold up to twenty people.
It was never meant to hold the collective student body of Chernobog, and it couldn’t. It hadn’t stopped Mephisto from squeezing as many people as he could for his first presentation, and it hadn’t prevented him from doing it for the second time. Luckily his friend hadn’t asked for any oil, but Faust was unable to relax. A sentiment shared with every other student sitting in the seats and the Reunion members standing guard at the doors and on the second floor.
A floodlight turned on and a single person was revealed on the stage.
“I’d like to thank you all for coming once again.” Mephisto started, smiling as his green eyes raked across the room. He put his palm on his chest. “As a lover of democracy, it brings warmth to my heart that you all were able to so quickly elect a representative to bring your interests to me.”
Because you threatened to flay them alive if they didn’t, Mephisto. Faust thought but kept his silence from where he was hidden to Mephisto’s left. His men had reported multiple incidents where the meeting room had nearly come to blows only for one of Mephisto’s Possessed to pass by. It’s thundering footsteps and pained howls enough to cow the children into submission.
Faust was taken from his thoughts as Mephisto snapped his fingers. “Ursine ladies and gentlemen, give it up for your Student Council, President Natalya Andreyevna Rostova."
Another stage light was turned on, revealing what had to be a seventeen-year-old Ursus Girl. She was dressed in a White Peterheim School uniform; she bowed to the student body. The only sign of fear was her trembling fingers.
"I said, clap!” Mephisto shouted, saccharine voice becoming venomous.
Thunderous applause broke out as each student tried to outdo the other. Faust still kept an eye on the students whose clapping was more restrained. The ones who could think were always the most dangerous.
Natalya, to her credit, kept her fake smile and bowed. The clapping came to a sudden halt as Mephisto thumped the stage with his staff and inclined his head towards the new Student President.
“Everyone, thank you for electing me as your student council president. I know these are trying times.” She began with one of the biggest understatements Faust had ever heard. “But it is my belief that the Ursus student spirit is resilient and through cooperation with the Reunion Movement that we will come out of this…whirlwind of events stronger than ever. However, to do so any troubles you feel with our new teachers must be brought to me.” She finished bowing once again and ceding the floor back to Eno.
Mephisto bobbed his head twice towards the poor girl, clearly pleased at her mediocre acting skills, and took back control. “Thank you for your kind words, Ms. Rostova.” He began to inspect his fingernails, displaying the black veins on his hands to the whole student body. “However, there is a problem.”
Natalya’s smile was frozen in place, and Faust could feel the tension in the room rocket back up. He raised his crossbow up just in case.
“You don’t have any cabinet members.”
Mephisto shrugged, “It’s important to elect a leader, but no one man or woman is an island, but given recent events, I understand and forgive your mistake. In fact, To ease your burden a little. I’ve already chosen most of your cabinet. Come on out, girls."
Faust watched as four girls walked from the back of the stage to the front. He’d assumed Mephisto wanted to make examples of them, but clearly, he had been mistaken. Two of them had been roughed up while the blue-haired one and yellow-haired one were practically curling in on themselves at the situation they had found themselves in.
"I’d like to introduce your new Student Body General Zima and Student Body Lieutenant Leto,” Mephisto said. He gestured to a brown-haired girl with red highlights in her hair and a girl wearing a uniform with yellow highlights. The Former glared at Mephisto, both her eyes bruised, and Faust resigned himself to killing her. The latter waved with her one good hand, the other kept in a makeshift cast.
Mephisto began to walk around the four girls. “These two already have quite the reputation and will be dedicated to ensuring Ms. Rostova’s instructions will keep order. In fact, they’ll be in charge of the fight clubs which I’ve heard are all the rage these days. And I do so hope they do a good job. Because if they don’t, my big friends will have to take matters into their own hands, and while I’m sure they’ll try their Originium ridden hearts out, they aren’t the most delicate."
The whole student body couldn’t nod fast enough.
Mephisto came to a stop behind the yellow-haired girl. She practically leapt out of her skin when Mephisto’s hand landed on her shoulder. "Well, don’t be shy. I’d like the new Student Council Head Chef to introduce herself."
"Hello everybody” The girl meekly began.
“Louder,” Mephisto ordered.
“Hello everyone, my name is Lada. I’m a long time member of the Ursus Youth Scout, and I’m going to be in charge of making sure everybody remains well-fed here,” The girl shouted, with the fakest cheerful voice. Everybody saw her trembling.
“I’m sure you’ll give it your all.” Mephisto’s piercing green eyes flicked to his side, and Faust flashed a signal to his men.
Two bodies with bags over their heads fell from the ceiling before snapping taut as the ropes around their necks caused them to swing from side to side.
Faust heard a few boys and girls panic, but the sounds of Crossbows being cocked and the growls of Possessed made them quiet down quickly. Faust’s nose flared as he picked up the smell of urine. It was the newly appointed head chef.
Mephisto’s smile was all teeth as he began to speak. “These two cooks were a disgrace to your school and tried to steal food from you. Since it was their first offense, they had the pleasure of dying quickly. Any other repeat offenders won’t have such a luxury. And I’m sure little Lada over here is going to try her best to ensure you all stay fed.
"I will, I promise, I promise.” The girl screamed tears in her eyes.
“Good” Mephisto muttered, rolling his eyes before he moved over to the last girl in line. She was the youngest and had a hair full of blue hair. She clutched a large book to her chest. Faust’s traitorous eyes briefly replaced her with a young, innocent boy with kind green eyes, and he shook his head to banish the illusion.
“Now young Anna has a vital job. In fact, I’ve hadn’t even told her what it is."
She was insurance. Zima had frozen in place, the murderous rage in her eyes being replaced by fear as soon as Mephisto walked over to the blue haired girl.
Mephisto leaned forward like he was eager to share a secret. "She’s going to be my personal assistant. School administration is such a hard job, and my talents make me more medically inclined.” He turned to the newly appointed student council. “Ms. Rostova, you stay up here. All you other good girls can take your seats at the front."
Once they were seated, he clapped his hands, the sound breaking the sudden quiet that had fallen over the room. "I know that this student council is unorthodox, but it’s simply a fact we live in unorthodox times."
Most of the positions were clearly made up, and Reunion was ransacking the city. Yes, Mephisto, that does count as unorthodox. Faust thought but once again kept to himself.
The theatre shook as two Possessed brought forward a chalkboard of all things. It was covered with sections of time "It might surprise you to know this, but one of our dear leaders in Reunion cares deeply about the educational welfare of the Ursus student body.”
Patriot definitely hadn’t had this in mind when Mephisto had gotten control of making sure the students were isolated. Faust was sure of that, but it could be worse. He glanced at just the two dead bodies still swinging from the rafters. So much worse.
Mephisto gestured with his staff against the chalkboard. “I’ll leave it to Ms. Rostova to elaborate."
"Everyone, there will be three meals a day. All students will be scheduled into blocks that they will stay with. Lessons in Math, Arts, and Science will still be taught by the remaining faculty. However, a large portion of the day will be dedicated to physical exercise taught by Mr. Faust.”
They what? Fausts couldn’t stop his mouth from falling open. The girl was looking around the room, her confusion minimal to his. What was Mephisto doing?
Mephisto sighed before walking over to where Faust was hidden under the illusion and clapped him on the shoulder.
“You’ll have to forgive my friend. He’s very shy.” His best friend said smiling warmly at Faust.
Faust dropped the illusion. He lowered his chin so that his face was hidden by his black sweater and raised his crossbow slightly. His friend elbowed his side, and Faust glared at him before sighing. “I will ensure all of you will be in the best physical shape possible."
"Wonderful, Mr. Faust; I’m thankful we are in your care,” Rostova said. And Faust resisted the urge to spit at her blatant flattery.
Mephisto took the praise in stride, rewarding the girl with a smile that lacked his usual malice. “Yes, Faust is…Faust is my best friend. I would have died many times over if it weren’t for his wisdom and protection. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that he’s the most important in the world to me…Other than big sis Talulah of course.” He tacked on shocking Faust.
“And it’s because of that, that if I hear one word of any of you skipping his classes. I’ll skip stripping you of your meals and go straight for flaying you alive or making you my Possessed."
Mephisto’s green eyes landed on Rostova, whose skin was almost as pale as her hair. "Am I clear?"
"Yes, Dean Mephisto.”
“Ha,” Mephisto barked in laughter. “I’ll leave it to the council to inform the rest of the student body of our policies going forward. Faust and I are going to set up your new lesson plans.”
He turned on his heel and left. Faust hands flew through signals that ordered his men to keep him updated on the theatre situation and followed his friend out of the room.
They walked through the schools winding hallways passing by classrooms packed with students before arriving at an office. The placard read “Nurse’s office” his friend held open the door for Faust to enter, locked the door behind him, shut the blinds, hopped on the bed, and patted a spot for Faust to sit by him.
The second Faust joined Mephisto, the white-haired Ancient sagged onto Faust’s shoulder. He froze at the sudden contact. Mephisto had always been fond of doing this when they were younger, but ever since their discussion about Talulah, these moments had become fewer and fewer.
“Go ahead, ask your questions."
"How am I supposed to teach a bunch of kids?”
“Just teach them what the Flag Waver taught us."
Faust stared at his friend. "You want me to teach a bunch of children, guerilla tactics.” Faust was proud of the way he kept his tone neutral. It was a bad idea- no a terrible idea, but Mephisto hadn’t been this open or restrained in weeks. In fact?
“What happened, Eno” Sasha asked his best friend.
Eno stiffened, “What do you mean?"
"You’re hardly sleeping, and when you do, you wake up screaming. And…I didn’t think this was how you were going to run this lockdown."
"You thought I was going to burn their food and leave them to fend for themselves. Let them experience an ounce of our childhood."
Fausts silence was answer enough.
"It’s tempting,” Eno admitted. “But we need the students."
Faust ran his fingers through Eno’s hair. "Why?"
"Sasha, Talulah’s different.” Faust froze. The words were so quiet, but they thundered in Fausts’ ears all the same. “I’m a monster and a coward. But I think I’m ready to choose."
Sasha continued to stare down at Eno, unwilling to even breathe. Was he dreaming? Was this happening?
Eno looked up at Sasha, and Sasha couldn’t even breathe at the fear within those eyes.
"Sasha, would you leave Reunion with me?”
It was treasonous, stupid, and a thousand visions flashed through Sasha’s mind of them dying horribly.
But…But they had promised each other to suffer through life at each other’s side, and for the first time in a long while, it didn’t hurt to follow that promise.
Zima: You could’ve spent more time with me today.
Istina: What do you mean? We sleep together, we shower together, we eat together. What else do you want me to do?
Zima: Rot in hell, crap face!
Zima: Also, I love you and I treasure you and you bore me.
Rosa: God…you’re being so mean. Do it more.
Zima: I hope you die.
Rosa: *Satisfied noises.*
i’ve been informed I look like Zima from Arknights……this is all I will be talking about for the rest of time. thank you.
Don’t underestimate Zima
A Reunion member, snorting at Zima: isn’t it past your bed time??
Zima, brandishing her axe menacingly: isn’t it time you die?
Zima: glasses are so unattractive.
Istina, offended: damn, okay, I’m just tryna see
Zima: Hey Doctor, did you know you can threaten Jessica with a spoon and she’ll do whatever you say?
Doctor: I thought I told you to stop doing that!
Zima: Nah, last time you specified that I need to stop threatening her with an axe. Never said shit about spoons.
Ursus Student Shenanigans
Zima: you think you’re smarter than everyone else!!
Istina: no, I don’t think I’m smarter than everyone else.
Istina: I know I am.
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I’m so happy my favourite’s finally home i could cry ToT
she’s so good i love russian bear ryuko
Who is this? :v
Zima, from Arknights. A high school gang leader girl / sukeban from apocalypse bear-russia who founded a student revolutionary body / militia to protect their people from the abandonment of their corrupt government and the destruction of their home. She’s voiced by Ami Koshimizu; best known as Ryuko Matoi and you can clearly see the inspiration resemblance here. She’s basically Ryuko as a lesbian bear with an axe.
She chugs vodka, parties out to rock music, disrespects authority, and is generally a bad ass motherfucker. I love her dearly, she has still yet to drop for me despite my heinous whaling on her banner before it expired, and I crave little more in life right now than for her card to show up in my deck.