Art by, Artem1s
Age: 46 years
Size: 5'7" ft tall
Job: αlpha Notail Leader
Likes: Working, Being alone, αlpha notails
Dislikes: Being idle, Unsolicited assistance, Notail society
Notable contributions: α-Quiet is the current elected leader of αlpha class notails, and so is responsible for setting up support programs for notails leaving society as well as keeping society notails from interfering with αlpha life too much.
Original Creator: Artem1s
It would be quite difficult to pick α-Quiet out of a crowd. His build is perfectly average, not too tall or too short, and his dark skin and dark hair are similarly ordinary. Perhaps his sickle-shaped antennas or simple white cat mask could be considered odd - unlike many notail faces, it lacks a mouth, instead making do with a simple ^^ expression - but even then, it isn't exactly the strangest mask out there. One could not be blamed for wondering if this plain person could really be the leader of the αlpha class after all.
Except, of course, for the smooth white cane in his hand.
α-Quiet has a severe vision impairment, able to distinguish between light and darkness and not much else. This is due to a genetic disorder that would normally have had him D-classed as a child, but through sheer dumb luck, this condition managed to slip under his B-class's radar and he was allowed to live a normal life instead of being sent to the labs.
If asked if he's happy that his B-class was so negligent, α-Quiet simply barks out a laugh and says nothing more on the subject.
If α-Quiet's appearance is surprising to some, his demeanor is even more so. He speaks little, almost never starting a conversation and typically giving short responses even when pulled into one, and for the most part avoids non job-related social interaction outside of a select few people. He isn't outwardly friendly, or social, or open at all, in many ways coming off as cold and uncaring and nothing more.
It's a bit surprising, is all. As displeased as he would be at such a descriptor, one could not be blamed for expecting the αlpha leader to be a bit less, well...notail-like.
But, once one moves past the initial impression, they would find that α-Quiet isn't. Despite his seemingly aloof demeanor, many who have spoken to him claim that he is surprisingly kind for someone so inexpressive, if perhaps in a somewhat stilted way; his response to a visibly upset person may be a stiff "It will be okay, ^^", or an offer to hold their hand until they feel better, and in a conversation with him it quickly becomes clear that his chilly aura is less coldness so much as that he is, oddly enough, somewhat shy.
And it is clear that he cares a great deal about the αlpha cause; even though in most circumstances he will keep his statements short and to the point, if asked about how he feels about notail society and the difficulties individuals face in escaping it, α-Quiet is likely to launch into a lengthy, impassioned - by his standards, at least, his tone remains level even in this situation - spiel discussing exactly how low his opinion of both things is.
As hard as he is to read, it is evident that α-Quiet does care.
One should note that α-Quiet loathes people offering him help without him asking first. Anyone attempting to perform a task on his behalf may find him pointedly snatching back whatever work it was, and anyone who grabs his arm in an attempt to guide him up some stairs or across a street might find their hand physically wrenched off. Most do this only once; though α-Quiet isn't exactly capable of staring anyone down, the aura he gives off in such moments is intense enough that many have described it as nerve-racking even when they themselves were not the target of it.
When asked why his reaction is so intensely negative, α-Quiet says, "How would you feel? ^^"
α-Quiet describes his life as starting off normally enough, for a notail; his time in the woods was unremarkable, and his time as S-class similarly so. He didn't mind his job, where for the most part he simply took blood and ran tests on it while training to be a hematologist; it may have been dull work, but this was what he had been raised to do, and he was content to quietly go along with it.
For a time.
It started with the headaches, which were easy enough to trace back to mere eye strain. Perhaps it wasn't the most common thing in notails his age, but nothing disastrous. The fix was trivial; α-Quiet simply adjusted the settings on his mask's screen, and all was well.
At least for a few months. As time passed, α-Quiet found himself needing to perform this fix again, and again, and again, but it was never so much of a hassle as to incapacitate him. It was not until this fix of his stopped working altogether that he realized it may be time to seek another opinion.
His chosen specialization was in blood, not eyes, but the S-class he saw whose specialty was eyes was not much help; α-Quiet was simply told his eye exam showed up normal, advised to come back in a few months, and sent on his way. α-Quiet, for his own part, accepted this; the headaches and the squinting were an annoyance, but a small one, and he could live with it. What he didn't consider was that this was not the end.
Time passed, and more and more of α-Quiet's vision dimmed. It went from squinting to read labels on bottles, to squinting while reading signs, to difficulty distinguishing colors, to black blurs where his peripheral vision used to be, and so on. After a time, he was no longer able to ignore his declining sight, and went to see the S-class again. This time, the verdict was much grimmer; α-Quiet's optic nerves were essentially rotting in his head, and the only course of action was to replace them.
So he did. α-Quiet had no fear of surgery, and the nerve transfer was simple enough. It worked, too; for the first time in a very long time, α-Quiet found himself free from the headaches and the blurring and the black spots, and all was well. Finally, he hoped, this would be the end of it.
A short while later, his vision began to deteriorate again.
He immediately sought medical attention for this issue, and further exams showed that he had a rare genetic disorder that caused his own body to destroy his optic nerves over time. α-Quiet would have been D-classed instantly if it had expressed itself in his childhood, but as luck would have it, it did not, and so he had been permitted to live a normal life up until then.
Unlike many D-classable conditions, this one was quite stubborn; a replacement could temporarily fix the problem, but never stop it, and this disorder in turn made him a terrible candidate for transplants over other notails whose problems could actually be solved instead of merely delayed. So, α-Quiet would simply have to deal with it.
He did try.
Never the overemotional type, when he learned that he would be unable to fix his issue at this time, α-Quiet made do. When he lost the ability to read cabinet labels, he added a pattern of sticky notes he could feel and distinguish between. When he lost the ability to read the small print on labels, he bought a magnifying glass. And, when he started tripping and bumping into things, he acquired a cane.
The cane was incredibly helpful - gone was the insecurity of needing to memorize an area's layout if he didn't want to bump into anything, curse the Neo if anyone rearranged anything - but it did bring one drawback: visibility. Suddenly it was incredibly obvious to any onlooker that α-Quiet was blind, that he had something wrong with him.
That he was a mistake.
"Let me help you with that! @u@", "Are you sure you should be walking home alone? lwl", "Don't worry, I'm sure the B-class who let you through was fired instantly, :>", "Have you gotten your soul back yet? Because...8)" and on and on and on. It felt as though wherever α-Quiet turned, he was pelted with pity and condescension. If he had trouble completing a task, it was dismissed as the inevitable result of his faulty genes. If he showed any kind of hesitation when working, a coworker would instantly take over and complete whatever duty it was for him. Even doing something as innocuous as climbing stairs slowly would often result in his arm getting grabbed if some notail decided to offer their unsolicited "help", which according to α-Quiet, nearly always messed up his balance to the point of sending him tumbling down the steps on at least one occasion.
All of this, on top of the genuine difficulty he had with adjusting to his sight loss, weighed on him heavily in ways he didn't even fully realize at the time. Suddenly α-Quiet found himself making more and more excuses to go out less, more and more excuses to stay home more, and more and more excuses to avoid others as much as possible. It was simply easier to withdraw from the world rather than deal with the comments and the staring. Later on, he would describe the quips as leaving him without even the time to adjust or to grieve; defending himself simply occupied too much of his energy.
He did manage, until he didn't, and one day α-Quiet's supervisor approached him and asked if he had ever considered transferring into the G-class. α-Quiet was speechless.
The transfer paperwork was processed quickly enough. Notailkind could always use another cashier.
α-Quiet himself describes this period as easily his lowest point. Gone was his purpose, gone was the path set out for him, gone was everything he had worked for up to this point. Though he speaks now about the class system being restrictive and cruel, α-Quiet does admit that it is so hard to fight back against specifically because there is some level of safety in knowing who you are and what you're meant to do, and at the time, losing that certainty was devastating. But a G-class still had duties, and he did his best to complete them.
The comments didn't stop. The weight of his shame grew heavier and heavier.
One day, one of α-Quiet's former coworkers entered his new workplace, though α-Quiet was unable to recognize them as such until, as he bagged their groceries, they asked if α-Quiet would be willing to meet once his shift was over. He agreed.
This former coworker picked up groceries from this market fairly regularly, something α-Quiet's deteriorating vision had left him totally ignorant of. They had seen how miserable α-Quiet was. So, they offered a solution.
To α-Quiet, the weight of the syringe was nothing new, and surely he could recall how to find a vein? Most of it was by touch anyway. He didn't even need to ask if the dosage the other S-class provided would be enough. He could already guess.
α-Quiet did not slap the syringe out of the other S-class's hands. α-Quiet did not swear at them, nor hit them, nor deny he would ever take such a route. α-Quiet did no such things; he simply placed it in his inventory, thanked his former coworker, and went home.
The worst part, he would say later, is that for the rest of the night, he lay awake in bed unable to think of a reason not to go through with it. The next morning, he left.
α-Quiet had never been outside notail space in his life, so the experience was something of a shock. If he felt life as a G-class left him robbed of purpose, his experience as a fresh αlpha notail did so to a much greater extent. Later he would describe it as, for someone who had grown up a cog in a machine, being left machineless is the greatest culture shock of them all.
It was hard. He had difficulty finding work with his condition; though several fully blind species exist in the universe, α-Quiet himself had yet to fully acclimate to his declining vision, and its very nature as a degenerative condition meant that as time passed, he was forced to adapt around less and less usable sight. Several times he wondered if he had made a mistake after all, if he shouldn't have left, if he had overreacted.
Several times he wondered if he had made a mistake after all, if he shouldn't have left, if he should have taken his former coworker's offer.
(α-Quiet has asked that the Cosmosdex, at this point in his story, note that there are support groups for αlpha notails and any αlpha reading this entry who can empathize with these feelings of hopelessness should seek them out as soon as possible).
This despair did not last forever, as much as he thought it might. Over time, α-Quiet made friends, and over time, those friends helped him get back on his feet and gave him the space and resources to really relearn how to deal with the world minus an increasing chunk of his sight. The deterioration did slow down, eventually; it was only after he no longer had any usable sight, sure, but. Ah well.
But simply adapting to the vision loss wasn't enough to deal with quite everything troubling α-Quiet.
All his life, he had been taught that notails were the greatest race in the universe and that all other species were out to get them. Survival of the fittest, so notails would simply need to be the fittest, no matter what the cost may be. Even though α-Quiet had been driven out of society by the way notails had treated him, up until this point he had never truly stopped to question everything he had been taught all his life.
Even when this ideology worked against him, α-Quiet didn't understand enough to question it. The seemingly more logical conclusion was that the world still ran on survival of the fittest, and if he himself wasn't fit, perhaps he simply wasn't meant to survive.
One day, as he stared out a window - as good as staring out into space, when all his aching eyes were capable of detecting was the dimming light as day bled into night - his friend asked him a question.
"Why are you so convinced that you just weren't good enough for them? They're horrible people! They weren't good enough for you."
That wasn't the easiest pill to swallow, at first. A friend quietly suggested he find an αlpha notail support group, to make it easier, but.
Well, the last contact α-Quiet had with notailkind involved isolating himself before eventually leaving altogether, all to escape the feeling that he shouldn't be here, that he was a mistake. As a result, α-Quiet found himself somewhat hesitant to head into a situation where he would be surrounded by them yet again.
But. He did go, eventually.
It was...something of a learning experience. α-Quiet's hesitance had caused him to avoid such places before, but what he found was, well, people like him. People who notail society had left behind, people who realized they had no place in it any longer, people who left.
That was a key realization: notails had wronged him. Notails had wronged other people - notails had, in fact, wronged a lot of other people, and as bad as his situation had been, it was nowhere near the depths of cruelty notailkind was capable of.
α-Quiet wasn't the mistake. His entire society, rotten to its core, was, for more reasons than he had ever been able to imagine back when he was a simple S-class worker.
He kept going to the group.
Over time, α-Quiet involved himself further with the αlpha notail community, eventually running for αlpha leader. His first term was successful enough that he was recently elected to serve a second term, despite rumors of notail attempts to tamper with the election.
No suspicions fall on α-Quiet for this, however; after all, the notail machine has no use for a defective cog.
Eye of Fear: α-Quiet rarely expresses emotions like anger. However, anyone who crosses a boundary - maybe by grabbing his arm, or trying to do something for him, or otherwise being overly helpful if he didn't ask first - may quickly find themself on the receiving end of a bizarrely intense glare for someone who is not only blind, but wearing a mask. His aura in these times has been described as so chilly that everyone in the room can feel it, even if they had nothing to do with whatever provoked his ire.
It is quite simple; if he did not ask for help, he will not accept it.
• α-Quiet's name on his official paperwork on the planet he currently resides is not, in fact, α-Quiet, but instead xOxO_qu137_sh4d0wZ_XoXo. Commenting on this seems to be one of the few things that can provoke a visible emotional reaction from α-Quiet, as he will react with mild embarrassment and mumble that a tweep friend picked it out.
• Despite officially working together, α-Quiet and ß-Melody seem to share a mutual distaste for the other. This is unsurprising on α-Quiet's part, given the rumors about ß-Melody's true nature, but ß-Melody's hatred for α-Quiet is less understood.
• α-Quiet has requested that contact information for αlpha notail support groups be added to his page, as well as links to resources and information for any society notails who are thinking about leaving but are currently undecided. However, due to pressure from the notail government, the Cosmosdex has been forced to remove both of these things.
No art currently, maybe you can help.