Ren Nakano

Ren Nakano





He was eight years old when he realized there was something wrong with his father.

It wasn't obvious at first, just small things that were off. Not memories but sometimes the cadence of his voice or how he moved. It was just enough to notice, just enough to make him wonder. He'd asked his mother about it, speaking quietly in Japanese one night since his father had never learned it due to being adopted (nor had any interest in learning) and she had taught him. She had told him that it was merely stress from his new job he had gotten at an up-and-coming tech company.

Ren had not been convinced.

So he had watched and kept notes in the back of one of his little notebooks from school (it had a dragon on it, apt for keeping secrets). Then one day he walked to the library instead of going straight home from school and got on one of the computers to try and find answers since he was no further on his own.

He found Yeerks .

Everything he found was terrifying, every bit more so than the next. Especially the Yeerks themselves, which seemed like they explained exactly the oddities with his father's behavior. Yet he still wasn't certain about it. That was when he found the chatroom on the site.

Before he'd started acting strange, his father had always warned him to be careful on computers and never give away his real name. Ren made up something random - Gump8293 - and he just went for it and commented his fear after watching the chat for several minutes. I think my dad is a Controller . The response was a mix of belief and disbelief and he went home with his stomach in knots.

Not my dad, was what kept going through his mind. Not my dad.

The next day a magical, talking wolf spoke to him at his school during recess. Or so it said.

His parents had never been one for fairy tales or - as his mother put it - flight of fancy. It was all sensible things in their house. So he hadn't believed for one second that this was magic. It was certainly something though and he believed it. Just the same as he believed that his father had an alien slug wrapped around his brain controlling him.

The 'wolf' told him to not go to the chatroom again, to not talk about Yeerks to his father, and to not trust his father. He just nodded, knots in his stomach again because this was big, and reached out to pet the 'wolf' as he whispered, "I know." It seemed crazy, but he thought it looked utterly heartbroken at his words.

So he'd never talked about it again. That didn't mean he stopped searching or listening. It was never much that he learned but it was enough to confirm over the years - his father was a Controller.

Ren stopped searching on the Internet until he could learn two main things - how to not get caught and how to hide his tracks. He borrowed his father's programming books and devoured technical books in the book store, sitting in a corner with his backpack after school most days with a book on one knee and a notebook on the other. Then, when he was, sixteen and in high school, his mother (who was still unaware and, so far as he could tell, still free) bought him a laptop to help with his schoolwork. Sure, he used it for that, but he also started putting some of what he'd learned into effect as well as expanding his knowledge thanks to the Internet.

The day he stumbled across resources focusing on hacking and building viruses, he knew how he was going to try and fight. Not yet then. He needed practice and more knowledge. Needed to be as best equipped as he could if he was going to try this.

The night before he went to college in Los Angeles, his father tried to get him to come to a 'fun' group with him. As soon as he heard the word Sharing, Ren's stomach dropped right down to his feet. The thing in his father's head wanted to make him a Controller. He'd managed to beg off, claiming he was supposed to meet up with friends for one last hurrah before they all went off on their separate ways.

That night he sat up in bed awake, tense and shaking with fear that something was going to burst through his bedroom door and drag him away. Drag him down that underground area described on that site so many years ago, with its liquid metal pool roiling with the bodies of the Yeerks within. The pool his father had had his head shoved into so many years before, hopefully against his will.

He hoped his father hadn't been willing to give up everything.

The years following were tough as he went through school, learning about computer programming for his degree while continuing his 'extracuricular' knowledge on the side. He tested his skills on campus on occassion with simple things at first: taking down one of the computer labs, breaking into school records, and once seeing if every teacher would notice grade changes from the first part of the semester. Right before graduation he even broke back through the campus network security, made notes of all of the vulnerabilities, left a fun surprise or two for the on-campus IT staff, and turned in his notes anonymously to the main office.

He hopped between jobs for a while, mostly trying to find one that would give him the ability to do what he wanted as well as give steady pay. Eventually he ended up on staff IT at the Los Angeles Times, which he thought was perfect. He could keep track of what was going on in the area since L.A. was only two hours or so away as well as some of the greater parts of the country and get done what he wanted to do.

That was when he started looking for Yeerks.

That was when he found the Resistance.

Terion / HYDE / Central / Discord (Terion#7636)


I love seeing 'Gump' getting some focus! Ren is a really cool character, and you've given him a lot of depth!

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