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Feb 23, 2020 8:02 PM
Aquaman in 1990s Possession
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Since 1982, Her Majesty's Armed Forces have allowed volunteer servicemen to take part in the British Military Warping Program. Those who sign up willingly give up their sanity or the privacy of their bodies (depending on who you ask) to the Bute Warp in the hope of obtaining supernatural abilities.

When Arthur Peterson comes to the recruitment office in Cardiff, after his medical and aptitude tests, he is asked whether, should the results of his history checks be good, he wants to be one such volunteer.

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Arthur is eighteen, fresh out of college, and just found out last week that he was adopted as a baby.  

"Absolutely!" 

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And so, a month later, he receives a letter reminding him of the Uniform Code and asking him to come to Cardiff to be sworn in and to depart for Bute.

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He shows up promptly, not quite impeccably dressed but certainly within the bounds of the Uniform Code. He's not even hungover, and wasn't that a fun conversation to have with his d—with Derek.

Almost as fun as the screaming match when he told Derek he'd signed up for the Warping Program. Admittedly, most of the screaming was on Arthur's side, and he's not particularly proud of playing the 'not my real dad' card. But it was the look in Casey's eyes that really made him feel like an arse. His—well, not his older sister, but try telling her that. 

No time to think about Casey now, or how much she claimed to miss him. It's too late to back out even if he wanted to. 

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And he and the other volunteers are presented to the queen and asked to swear before Almighty God to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors, and as in duty bound to honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and to observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over him.

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Arthur repeats the words along with everyone else, although he does at least try to pay attention to what he's saying.

He doesn't particularly care about the God part, for all Derek's efforts to raise him as a good Christian, but the Queen? Yeah, that's an authority he can get behind. 

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And he is taken to Phase 1 Training, and over fourteen weeks of constant hardship taught to fight and trained to obey orders without question, kill without hesitation, and take pride in being a soldier in the Warping Program.

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He's tried dozens of sports over the years, both team and individual, but none of them ever felt quite satisfying enough.

Fighting—the shooting part, a little, but especially the hand-to-hand—feels like coming home. He excels in training and even starts helping out and directing his fellow trainees. 

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His fellow trainees appreciate this.

Eventually they complete Phase 1 Training and are flown to Bute. In the compound surrounding the Warp, they meet the soldiers who are joining the Warping Program after engineering training, and are instructed on how to report their waking up after possession, what information they should and should not share with their possessor (Never share your identifying codes, suspicions of treason, possessor policing protocols. Don't share non-mission-critical information likely to make your possessor sympathize with the enemy. Share everything else mission-relevant unless specifically ordered otherwise; normally stuff your possessor shouldn't know will be kept from both of you, as some possessors are able to read their hosts' minds), to report any powers as a precaution against possessors trying to conceal them, and how to report if they notice or suspect treason on the part of their possessor.

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...wow. It has maybe only just properly sunk in that there's going to be a whole other person living in his head for the rest of both their lives. 

Another person. In his head. Maybe even reading his mind. 

Some people would be scared off at this point. Arthur doesn't blame them—but he isn't one of them, either. He signed up for this, and he'll see it through. 

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And now the new privates wait to be sent through the Warp one at a time.

In the edge of one of the yards, one of the army engineers is sitting alone, looking distressed and scratching the ground with a stick.

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Arthur is bored enough that he wanders over to see what she's doing. 

"Mind if I join you?" 

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She drives the stick into the ground hard enough that it breaks and growls.

"If you like."

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"Does that help?" he asks, indicating the stick. 

He sits down a safe distance away, just outside arm's reach in case she decides she wants to hit something. 

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"No."

She resumes scratching the ground with one part of the stick.

"I don't want someone else in my head."

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"You know you can still back out, right? I'm pretty sure it's illegal for them to make you do this."

It's only been drummed into them several hundred times over the last few months. Something something informed consent; he wasn't really listening after the first couple of repetitions, secure in his certainty that he wasn't going to take the option to back out. 

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"Yeah, as far as the brass is concerned I can back out. Doesn't mean God's okay with it."

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Arthur sits back and makes himself comfortable in his impromptu seat before attempting an answer to that

"I'm no expert, but...no God I'd worship would want you to go through with something this big if you didn't actually want to do it. Mixed feelings are one thing, and maybe that's all it is. But if you've thought about it and decided the benefits aren't worth having to have someone else in your head, or you think you'd find it horrible enough that you couldn't do your job afterwards anyway..." 

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She snorts.

"You think God cares what I want? Why do you think God made the Warps if he doesn't even want technicians to go through them?"

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Well, she's determined, he'll give her that.

"Maybe you'll do more good some other way. He can't want everyone to be Warped, we all have different callings, right?" 

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"Yes, people have different callings. That doesn't mean we just get to do whatever we feel like. I can still do good some other way once I'm warped."

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"So you still think being Warped is your calling," Arthur concludes. "Alright, fine."

He stands. "I think that's about as much effort as I want to put into convincing you not to do something you don't want to do." As he walks away to rejoin the other recruits, he tosses a "Good luck!" over his shoulder.  

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The first of Arthur's unitmates to enter the warp, Brown, crawls out missing a leg after a day and a half and is granted medical discharge.

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Arthur watches, and maybe paces a little, and waits for his turn. 

"...that doesn't happen often, does it?" he asks whoever's meant to be supervising them. 

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That would be a Major Reed.

"It's not typical, but it's not unheard-of."

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"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir." 

Back to pacing. How much longer until he can do this and get it over with?

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