A Series of 9 One-Shots by Digitaldreamer

Prologue: Purpose



So I thought I was done with fanfiction. I've been on this site for seven years, I figured it was time to hang up the towel. I thought I was done. No more crazy one shots, no more huge novel-length things written about things that don't belong to me, no more drabbles, nothing.

Oh, how very wrong I was.

I saw 9. And I loved the characters. I don't know why. Perhaps it's because the movie provides us with so little that I can't help but fill in the dots. I tried to resist, but my boyfriend kicked my inspiration bug into gear and well... here we are. I actually ended up starting with a crack one-shot, which you can all find easily enough. Now I'm here with my original idea, oh dear. I have many more plans, which definitely can't be good. But I came originally to write character-centeric one shots because I'm a sucker for getting into characters heads, and darn it that's what I'm going to do!

So yeah... ah. Hopefully this won't be too awful, I apologize in advance if I took any characters the wrong way. I also apologize if the writing isn't very good, I'm rather rusty after a good year spent away from such things. Here's hoping things aren't so bad!

Reviews are greatly appreciated! Please tell me what you think and critique my writing, I could definitely use pointers!

TL;DR: This will be a series of one-shots centered on each stitchpunk, meant to study each character and "get into their head" if you will. Exciting times.

Disclaimer: I don't own 9. I'm sure if Shane Acker saw this he would cry and wonder why his brainchildren are being sacrificed to fangirls.


He was tired.

In that first instant between waking and sleep, that was all the scientist was aware of. He was so very tired, exhausted in a way that made him feel as if his very bones were fatigued. He would have considered that perhaps this was how a mother felt after giving birth, but the implications of that thought were just a bit too awkward to think about.

It was an awkward thought, but he supposed it was somewhat accurate. These creations were, in a way, his children. His last work, perhaps his greatest technological invention. To give something life... it was something that could only have been dreamed of before. If the world weren't in such a sorry state, he would certainly have received awards for his accomplishment.

This thought, like the previous one, was laughable. It was his fault there was no one left to appreciate his creations, and had he not caused this mess in the first place, he had to wonder if "they" would even have come to exist. It was likely they wouldn't have been, when it came down to it. But there was no more point in musing on "what if".

All that mattered was them now.

He had made them each with a purpose. An overarching hope to make his wrongs right, to keep life on this tiny planet. This was a selfish wish when it came down to it. He had caused this mess, and no act could atone for it, this was something he was well aware of. He could still hope to do something, however.

Unfortunately for his conscience,the hopes of a dying man didn't matter anymore. What was important now was them and what they were, what he had made them to be.

1 was the leader. As the first, it made sense. After all, with such stubbornness, what else could he have been? He'd been made to survive, to be wise, to make the hard decisions and continue to press them all forward through stubborn willpower. He was made to understand the dangers around them and keep those in mind. He had his flaws, as any leader does, but it was the scientist's hope that he would do his duty well.

After 1 had come 2, the inventor. 1 had been made to lead, to make harsh decisions in a dying world. While 1 had been made with survival in mind, 2 was made to inspire. 2 was made to see this world as more than a dying wasteland, 2 was meant to see possibilities.

3 and 4 were meant to hold what was left of this world's story. Often the power of important things like research, like history, were forgotten in troubled times. Those times were the times when such things were most important, and this case was no different. He could not afford for his past mistakes to be forgotten and thus the twins were created.

5 had been something new. The others had sped along into life, but 5 waited. He listened, which was a strength the scientist hadn't expected. It was more of a quiet sort of strength in comparison to the others, something that would probably go unappreciated but it was important to note. 5's purpose was to be the follower, and often the strength it took to follow was one that was too easily taken for granted.

6 had been something else entirely. While the others had fit in naturally, 6 did not. 6 was gifted with something odd. He clearly saw things differently... yet in spite of this when one considered the others this unnaturalness almost seemed natural. The others would see this chaotic world as it was. It would be 6's purpose to direct them to what they couldn't see.

7 had been made to balance them. While the others did seem to naturally drift toward each other, her instinct was different. She was strong, independent, brave. Unlike the others, she was a warrior. She would be distanced from the others, being the only woman, but in a way that suited her. She had to be different to provide that balance, to hold them all together.

8 was the protector. The others in comparison were small, feeble things, even 7 by comparison to the bundle of muscle that was 8. He was not meant to be bright, for there were others for that. His job was just as important, however, and it was the scientist's hope that when he released the bulky creature that he would understand that. The world was a dangerous place, and 8's muscle would be needed.

Eight creatures so far. They were created with something in mind, with a purpose. It was his hope that they would all realize that and stay together, would understand that as pieces of him they could only survive when combined. However, it wasn't his place to tell them this. A large part of life was discovering things for oneself, and if there was anything he had learned over his life, it was that words rarely truly taught anything. If they were to learn, to survive, they would have to do it all on their own. It was nerve-wracking to think that his last hope was no longer truly in his hands, but there was nothing more that could be done.

They were his legacy. Whether they were his last gifts to a dying world or whether he was simply forcing a tarnished inheritance on unfortunate souls, he wasn't sure. He would like to think it was the former, but the pessimist within him said that realistically it was the latter. It was a harsh thing to think and it wasn't terribly fair to them, but it was unavoidable at this point. What was done was done, and there was no more time to reflect on the world he'd shattered.

All that was left now was the aching in his limbs and the work table that he knew was waiting for him.

It was with that thought that he forced himself to rise from his bed one final time, to ignore the way his joints ached and his muscles spasmed. He shrugged the blanket aside and ignored the way ice seemed to crawl back into his body, well aware that no amount of insulation was going to help at this point. Heavy, exhausted footsteps shook through dead air, temporarily blotting out the ringing silence in his ears.

He was so very tired, but he couldn't rest just yet. They weren't complete yet. And whether it was selfish or not to force one more creature to inherit his disgusting mess, the scientist intended to finish what he started. With that in mind, he sat down. Numb fingers reached out for the last scraps of dingy burlap and he began to work.

There was one left.

1 had been the leader.

2 was the inventor.

3 and 4 were the teachers.

5 was the journeyman.

6 was the visionary.

7 was the warrior.

8 was the guardian.

When he finally rested, 9 would be the hero.