Milieu woke up with a pounding headache. He slowly opened his eyes and looked around. He sat up quickly and immediately regretted it as the sudden movement made him dizzy. He blinked a couple of times and, after making sure he wasn’t going to suffer anymore dizzying spells, he got off the unfamiliar bed. He looked around the room he was in, trying to figure out what happened. He went to the door and tried the knob. It was unlocked. Cautiously, he stepped into the hall. He was very confused, how did he get there? Where was he?
He heard a slight sound coming from the room next to the one he came from. This door was unlocked too. Probably all of them were. He opened it quietly and peered inside. Even though it was dark, he could still make out the form of the person lying on the bed. It was the douji of generosity, Service. He was thrashing and whimpering in his sleep, apparently having a nightmare. Milieu watched him for a moment before quietly closing the door and checking the other rooms. Yes, it was just as he had suspected. He wasn’t alone, all of his brothers were in this house too, every single one of them sleeping at the moment. He walked down the hallway until he found some stairs. He frowned while he descended. He had to find out where they were.
When he reached the bottom he saw that the house looked normal enough, of course it was really big considering that it had now 16 inhabitants. He found different rooms that were apparently furnished according to each douji’s liking and abilities. There was a soundproof audio/music studio that would appeal to Rage, an infirmary for Pardonner, a rather large, well-stocked kitchen for Ultimo, who loved to cook, and Edile, who loved to eat, a huge patio that would make energetic Service go crazy with excitement, a library, and right in the middle of the house a living room with more bookshelves, a large kotatsu and a television.
As the sudden realization of who was possibly behind all this stuck him, the rest of the douji woke up from their own sleep. As each one of his brothers wondered out of his room, the tension between both Good and Evil douji was palpable. He grew anxious as he heard a heated argument start before it ended abruptly. He started thinking of a possible explanation to give them once they got to the living room and saw him there. He knew that they didn’t trust him or even like him, so the fact that they could assume that their current predicament was some sort of plan he thought of was really bad. He could take on any one of them if they decided to strike out, but he knew that they wouldn’t hesitate to attack him simultaneously, especially the Evil Douji Branch. He tensed as they drew closer, but managed a stoic expression as they grouped in front of him.
Ultimo was merely surprised to see him there, his green eyes shining with curiosity. Vice on the other hand was glaring at him with pure hatred. The saying ‘If looks could kill’ flashed across Milieu’s mind when he saw it. He looked at the rest of the douji. Both Pardonner and Jealousy wore their trademark poker faces, Jealousy’s betraying him slightly with the quick shift of his eyes, displaying his unease at being in an unfamiliar place without knowing how he even got there. Rage looked completely disinterested, occasionally throwing warning glares at Avaro. Slow, along with Edile, Désir, and Sophia, was looking around the room curiously. Regla and Avaro were staring each other down, no doubt that those two were the ones who started arguing upstairs, Rage’s current actions indicating that he was the one who stopped the argument before it escalated further. Paresseux, unsurprisingly, looked about to fall unconscious on the floor at any second while Service stared uneasily at the floor, the after effects of the nightmare he had. Orgullo and Goge were quietly observing him.
Milieu’s nonchalant attitude changed radically once he noticed something else. They were in their human forms and, after seeing the look of Jealousy’s barely contained anxiety and a quick check, he realized that their abilities were strongly nullified. They couldn’t turn their hands back into gauntlets, and were as powerless as humans; the only indication that they were robots was their strangely colored glowing eyes, the inhuman strength and heightened senses such as hearing. When the other douji saw that his expression went from serious to wide-eyed worried, they shifted their attention towards him.
Finally, Vice, fed up by the silence and the tension, decided to get some answers.
“What the fuck’s going on here?! Where the fuck are we?!”
“As surprising as it is, I for once agree with Vice, what is going on? Why are we all here?” Ultimo timidly asked.
Milieu stared at them while he thought of an answer, then he lowered his head sighing.
“I don’t know, honestly. I woke up the way you did. I checked this house for clues, but all I’ve found is that it seems to have been specifically designed for us. There is probably an energy field blocking our powers as well.”
“An energy field?” Rage asked, this time with actual interest.
“Yes, try to change back your gauntlets; you’ll see what I mean.”
When they all confirmed that changing back was impossible, Milieu continued.
“This house is very large and like I said before, it seems to be designed for us.”
“Do you have any idea of who sent all of us here? Or how did they do it?” Sophia asked
“Well, considering the fact that the person apparently knows everything about us, I believe it was Dr. Dunstan. Why he did it in the first place is what I have problem understanding. He never mentioned anything to me, and I never saw anything suspicious until now.”
At that moment, as if on cue, the television set turned on. When the static cleared, it revealed a two way communication screen with Roger Dunstan on the other side.
“Well, well, well, this is a pleasant surprise. I thought that only Milieu would be awake, but it’s good to see that all of my children are present.”
“Since you are all here, it saves me the trouble of having to repeat myself to each of you. By the look of your faces, you are wondering where you are. Well, let’s just say that I had bought this house before I made you and had not found any use to it other than a vacation home until now. You don’t get along so well and it’s partially my fault of course, so I must correct that. I searched some information and found that one of the most effective ways to get siblings to like each other is to spend some quality time together. Since I know that you wouldn’t do it willingly, it would have to be done by force.”
‘Siblings? Correct the fact that we are enemies? That’s the whole point of being created in the first place, he said it himself! What the fuck’s wrong with the old geezer?’
“You will live in that house together for four months. Don’t try to escape, I’ve done all of the necessary adjustments so that you wouldn’t be able to use your abilities.”
When Edile and Avaro took a quick glance at their hands, Dunstan smiled.
“Yes, those too have been made powerless. You are now as normal as humans. I have added a fully stocked medical wing not only so that Pardonner can have a familiar place to spend time in, when I say ‘as normal as humans’, I mean it. Try to not be so reckless, you will get injured. Let’s keep any injuries at a small scale, shall we?
That is all for now. I will contact you from time to time to make sure you are acting civilized towards one another. I expect progress. In your rooms you will find cameras with which you should all make video journals detailing your point of view regularly. You will send me those recordings by the end of each week starting today. Expect a call from me two weeks from now.”
And with that the screen went blank, leaving them standing there in a mutual feeling of uncertainty.