conjuring oneself out of zilch. june 5th

Rex is ten when Providence finds him.

He is skinny limbs exploding into metal and out of soldiers' grips, kicking and screaming and not knowing why. He is black hair, just long enough to get in his eyes. He is torn, burnt jeans and a sooty red tee shirt. He is not, however, Rex. Not yet, and it doesn't bother him. He's a bit busy fighting for his life at the time, but he also just doesn't exactly understand that people come with names, histories, bloodlines. Television and experience will teach him this later but, for the moment, he is unable to define either. Rex does begin to wonder though when a man with glasses looks down on him like the angel of death, nods his head to the soldiers who finally capture him, and asks him his name.

Unable to answer, he steps on the man's toe. It's the first and only time Rex will ever get a hit on Six.

Rex is twelve when he first leaves the base.

He has vague memories of the outside, or he thinks he does. Mostly they're created, out of books and magazines and movies. It's only when he leaves that he realizes the world is not the concrete and stone lines of New York with random sprouts of jungle. In fact, the world doesn't exist at all for at least an hour and a half trip away from the base, not that he gets that far. It isn't about seeing the world though, not really. For that one hour, no one knows where he is. Sand shoots up around him; the sun is blazing strong. There's not another soul around and he feels amazing. He begins to think that one day, maybe this is what it'll be like, when he's not some little kid Six feels like he has to cart around. Someday he'll go out on his own, curing EVOs and reporting back to Providence on his own time. Someday, he'll be free.

It's what makes Six yanking him up by the shirt into the helicopter all that more embarrassing.

Rex is fourteen when he hates everyone and everything.

His clothes come to him in shiny looking shopping bags but in all the colors he hates. His room is a barely converted broom closet. The petting zoo stopped being fun about six months ago, Bobo's being an obnoxious little brat, Six is riding him even harder than normal, and the new hot doctor is on vacation. His voice is changing too, which is mortifying to a level where he almost wishes it'd stay high pitched and squeaky forever. He puts up a sign that says "Home Sweet Hole" and swears not to talk to anyone until it's over. He doesn't want to see them anyway.

Always up for a challenge, Bobo throws rocks at his head until he swears. Years later, he still gets a little angry thinking about it.

Rex is fifteen when he gets a pair of goggles.

It's his birthday. Not his actual birthday, of course; it's not even the aniversary of when he came to Providence. It's the first day his records shift from "EVO: Mechanical" to "Rex" according to the computer, and Dr. Holiday thinks that makes it as suitable a day as any other. He supposes she's right; he feels weird giving an opinion. He's been a jerk for at least the past month and he knows it, for one, but he's also just not sure what he's expected to do. Before Dr. Holiday got here it's just never been an issue. While he loves it, he really, really, really does, he's not sure what to say, especially when she hands him a laptop. She says it's bought off Providence funds but he doesn't really believe her. He has to keep it though, and so he will. He doesn't however get to keep the machine gun Bobo presents him, which is annoying. So what if he doesn't actually need it? He's more used to things like that and it's just plain cool-he'll have to figure out a way to retrieve it later.

Six is the one who gives him the goggles. It's the smallest of the three packages, hidden underneath, so Rex almost doesn't even see it. There's no name attached and no hugs or laughs, but he doesn't expect either and wouldn't want them. He slips the goggles over his head and he's a little surprised that he doesn't even have to arrange the strap. It fits perfectly-it is perfect, and he says so. It's like he's never realized how naked his head's been all these years, how lacking his reflection in the mirror has been. For just a second, it's like he's ten again, playing superhero in the petting zoo, and he has to admit, he likes the feeling; likes remembering a time when the pieces seemed to be coming together instead of blowing apart.

He doesn't take them off.

Generator Rex does not, and will never, belong to me. This fic is written for pleasure, not profit, with full respect to the correct copyright holders.