I was asked by a fellow author to include his OC into my story. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it for two main reasons. I wasn't sure if I could get it right, and I was scared it would take away from the story. I hope I've managed to at least introduce him well because the character description is coming up soon, rest assured. Anyway, just wanted to explain the title a little bit before you read, and I'd also like to say that this is not something I plan on doing much in the future. I might put out an alert later on saying that I'm accepting OCs, but for now, the suggestion box is closed. Hope this pre-word wasn't too long, haha. Enjoy!

Chapter 8: A New Challenger Appears!

Morgan and Laura got their food, and sat down.
"So, Laura" Morgan started, "Do you have any special interests"?
"Vell" Laura wasn't sure how to answer. She didn't really have many hobbies, a by-product of her upbringing, but she did have one.
"I really like knives" she finally answered.
"Well that's utterly terrifying", Morgan thought to himself
"I guess I'd better stay on your good side" he half-joked.
Both he and Laura laughed nervously. Well I guess this is going nowhere, Morgan thought.
Try asking about her past, Angel told him, People always like to talk about themselves.
But most people don't like to talk about their past,Morgan countered.
Well ask her anyway, Angel retorted, What other ideas do you have?

Morgan gave up, and asked his German friend, "So, Laura, tell me about yourself".
Laura hesitated before asking, "Vut do you mean?".
"Well, what was your childhood like?" Morgan responded.
She wasn't sure how to respond. She didn't really have a childhood to speak of or at least not one she wanted to talk about much. Adding to her confusion was the fact that it had only been recently that people had started taking an active interest in her, and while she was starting to get used to it, Laura was still slightly shocked that people cared about who she was.
"Vell, um" she started; debating how much to tell him, "I vas raised in Germany".
Morgan laughed.
"I think I might have figured that out" he joked.
Laura was visibly hurt by his comment, and Morgan quickly stopped smiling and apologized, "Oh! I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings".
"It is fine" Laura assured him. I should tell him, she told herself, It does not seem like he vill run away if I do.

With that, Laura started again with newfound resolve, "I vas part of an experiment to create di perfect soldier".
Morgan was shocked by her statement, and listened in amazement as she went on.
"I vas genetically engineered to be an apex predator of di battlefield" she continued, "I vas a vorld-class marksmen, und my fitness vas comparable to a grown man's, but ven di IS vas invented, I became obsolete."
"In an effort to adapt my body to di IS" Laura said as her hand moved to her eyepatch, "My left eye vas transplanted vith nanobots to help me manage di IS' performance". As she finished her statement, Laura removed her eyepatch; revealing her golden eye to Morgan, who was totally engrossed in her story. He continued to sit and listen in silence as Laura explained her past.
"However, it did not vurk as expected, und I vas branded a failure" she said, "But ven Ms. Orimura became di German IS Instructor, I became an Apex Predator again".
"I developed a thirst for power seeing my mentor's immense strength, und ven she left Germany to come here, I followed in order to convince her to return. It vas here dat I first met Ichika, the supposed source of my mentor's strength, but I could not accept that her strength came from such a weak boy. I hated him, und promised to destroy him, but he vas able to beat me vith di same strength dat my mentor used: the desire to protect those dear to him. From that point on, my life changed. My name vas no longer a pseudonym. It became my name, und I developed friendships dat are very dear to me now."

Laura finally finished with, "That is my past up until dis point". They both sat in silence for a minute with Laura thinking, I shouldn't have said dat much, while Morgan was taking it all in.
There are far too many damaged kids here, Angel, Morgan told his figurine friend.
Yes, but we both know that the IS is a life-changing thing, Angel shot back.
After thinking about that statement and what Laura had said, Morgan started, "You've had a very hard life".
Laura looked up at him, and nodded; surprised that he still wanted to talk to her.
"I'm really sorry" Morgan said.
Laura was even more shocked now. Even with her new friends, sympathy still came as a surprise.
"I-It is not your fault" she stammered.
"I'm still sorry that you had to go through it" Morgan replied, "My life hasn't been easy either, but it doesn't even compare to yours".
Laura was happy that he hadn't rejected her, but cautiously asked, "V-Vut vas your life like".

Morgan hesitated before opening up. He didn't think it was quite fair to have Laura tell her story, which was much more dramatic than his, and not tell his own story. So he told her the exact same thing he'd told Charlotte the night before; included everything from his chance encounter with the IS to the total dismemberment of the life he had known and loved. He made sure to tell her about his government's control over his life because he realized the connection they shared, and seeing Laura's understanding face when he mentioned it comforted him.

After he was finished, Morgan saw Laura's sympathetic face, and he felt his burden lift a little.
"So I guess we're both children of circumstance" Morgan concluded, "Neither of us were intended to pilot an IS or even be here, and yet here we are".
Laura smiled at him, "Yes, here we are".
Morgan smiled back, and looked outside.
"Oh Christ, it's almost sunset" he exclaimed.
Laura looked outside to confirm this, and saw the rim of the sun as it started to kiss the horizon. The two had lost track of time while they were talking, and the world had moved on around them without them noticing. They quickly cleaned up their supper, and walked back to their rooms.
Morgan walked Laura to her room, and realized that he had been there the night before too. He made a mental note of Charlotte and Laura's roommate arrangement before bidding Laura good night, and telling her that he needed to catch up on his sleep.

Laura closed her door, and turned to see Charlotte sitting up in her bed; rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She had just woken up from her nap, and was slowly realizing that she had woken up while the world was going to sleep.
Laura walked over to her, and said, "I have a great story to tell you".
Charlotte sat quietly and listened while her friend relayed all of the day's post-class events, and when her roommate had finished, she said, "Sounds like you two really connected".
Laura was practically bouncing with joy; asking her roommate, "Do you think he think's I'm cute".
Charlotte had no response other than a short, "I don't know".

Laura was caught up in her own world, and entertained herself until she went to sleep.
Charlotte layed in her bed; thinking about what a jerk Morgan was for playing with her feelings, but she was unaware that when Morgan had gotten into his room, his mind went straight to her...

Morgan walked into class full of energy the next day. He said , "Hi" to Houki, Rin, Laura, Cecilia, Ichika, and Charlotte, but he was disappointed to see that when he greeted Charlotte, she gave a very apathetic reply without making eye contact, and turned away; pouting slightly. He hoped that he hadn't done anything to offend her, but he still had to go to his desk as class started.

Ms. Yamada called for the class' attention before starting an announcement that had become far too familiar.
"I'm happy to introduce a new transfer student today" she said.
She beckoned for a figure outside of the door to come and introduce themselves.

A tall figure walked to the front of the class, and turned to announce its existence to the room.
A name flashed in the holographic screen as the figure said in an Irish accent, "Hello, my name is Luke Lincoln, and it's nice to meet you". The boy's accent made Ichika turn back to see how Cecilia would react. He also had short, golden-brown hair that hung on his head in a jumbled mess, and deep, forest-green eyes that hypnotized most of the girls in the room. He had a medium brow, and a strong jawline, but the outstanding feature that kept Morgan's attention was the fact that he was a boy.
You know what, Morgan told Angel, I'm beginning to think that my being a boy is not really as special as I was told.
Yeah you're right. Now you're only one of three, Angel replied sarcastically.

"Would you like to tell us about yourself, Luke" Ms. Yamada asked.
"Well I'm the Representative Contender for Ireland" he started, "And I'm a huge science geek'.
The class waited a few minutes for him to say something more before Ms. Yamada asked, "I-Is that it".
The boy quickly replied, "Yep. That pretty much sums up my entire being".
Morgan and a few other's laughed at his remark, and Ms. Yamada told him he could sit down. He looked around before making a bee-line for the desk next to a girl with floppy sleeves and a pikachu hoodie. Morgan recognized her, but it took a minute for him to recall her name: Honne Nohotoke. Morgan's desk was near the back so he also realized that the new boy had a black scar on the back of his neck. He wondered what could have caused it for a while before focusing his attention back on the teacher.

Class continued as usual after that, but after explaining an IS "shift" to the class, Ms. Yamada asked everyone, "What are the only two IS to have ever made a shift". Only two hands went up while the rest of the class looked confused: Luke's and Morgan's. She called on Morgan first.
"Well the Byakushiki is one" he replied.
"Excellent" Ms. Yamada exclaimed, "Can you name the other one, Luke?"
Luke replied, "The Silver Gospel".
Ms. Yamada was thrilled that both students knew the answer, and went back to teaching the class.

Meanwhile, Morgan was talking to Angel. I'm surprised he knew that, he said, That's the kind of trivia that they ask on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Maybe you've finally found a chess buddy, Angel joked.

The remainder of class went by with Morgan staring at this new, mysterious boy as he quietly conversed with Honne, and Morgan started wondering just who this kid was.