Unknown; Estimated Early July 2010 - age 20.
Rae was never afraid of heights like Vivian was. She was the weird kid who used to climb into trees and up the fences on the baseball field at school until several teachers would somehow manage to get her down. So, naturally, she had no problem when they ran out of money to pay rent and got kicked out, ending up on a roof of an old apartment complex that was being demolished in a few weeks time. The building itself was too hazardous on the inside - which was the argument Rae used since she was not going to sleep in a room that sounded as if it would collapse on her at any moment - but the roof seemed fine. So far.
They lived like urchins, stealing and begging where they could. It was not a preferred lifestyle, obviously, but she dealt with it. She dealt with the glares as the two of them slouched on the sidewalk, waiting for someone to divert their attention. Both of them dealt with the disgusted glances on the days where they hadn’t been able to nick some new clothes or sneak into a set of showers at a local gym. They dealt with the disappointed stares because they both appeared to be fine young women who could’ve been doing nicely elsewhere. She and Viv still attended college - thank God for scholarships and some leftover money from Tyler and Linnette before they moved out that just barely covered it - because education was still quite important. Education could get them a job - no matter how shit the pay was - and they’d be able to work their ways back into a permanent living situation. Despite being homeless, they still had some things: a few pairs of clothes, their laptops (like hell they were going to show up to class with the reek of the city on them and an obvious appearance of a street urchin), and a few other necessities. Their phones had already gone after they were unable to pay the phone bill shortly before getting kicked out. But it wasn’t as if they needed to contact anyone, anyway - all they needed was each other.
Tyler and Linnette had rushed to their aid after hearing that Rae and Viv were incredibly low on money, but - to no surprise - they refused the help from their aunt and uncle. It was like a sort of determination to prove that they could survive on their own, instead of staying in the penthouse after high school graduation like their uncle had suggested. It was a pretty stupid way of thinking, but it wasn’t as if the two sisters were known for making rational decisions.
Rae’s feet pounded on the sidewalk, almost stubbing her toe at a particularly sharp corner. She made a mental note to snatch some new shoes whenever they next decided was safe to shoplift again. The repetitive pattern of either her or Vivian slipping into a store and disappearing without a trace was probably very noticeable, and Rae wondered if Tyler - being a police officer - was aware of what his nieces were up to. Sometimes, when they spotted an officer patrol car, they’d quickly duck behind the nearest cover, afraid of being discovered by their uncle. He was part of the law, a loyal enforcer, and they were breaking it over and over and over. She was actually surprised that Tyler hadn’t hunted them down to ground them for life in jail already - but, then again, they didn’t have active phones so he had no way to contact them.
Angry shouting came behind her, and she cursed her luck to hit a drugstore where an officer was just coincidentally shopping as well. Rae had been careless; she hadn’t glanced around before nicking what she need, but her mind had been elsewhere. It had been a stupid mistake.
But, still, she got away. A quick turn into an alleyway, and she fell through the dark portal she had already conjured seconds earlier with her powers. The nausea came as she landed abruptly on her back, her breath escaping with a low “Fuck!”. Rae wasted no time in recovering, though, and glanced around to make sure she had gotten her location right. Once she affirmed her doubt, she clambered up the fire escape, picking up her pace as her thoughts wondered if the officer had sent out an alert or if someone would stumble into this alleyway and see her heading to the roof and follow, suspicious. Reaching the top, she braced herself for the run. That was one of the things she hated most about that stupid old building - the place was literally falling apart. The elevators inside didn’t work anymore, obviously, and the staircase creaked dangerously. Even the fire escape was gone, ripped down by wear and a few storms over the decades. Given all of that, it required a jump from the nearest building to get to the roof. Rae, while not afraid of heights, did pretty mediocre with jumping and any physical activity. She never did any sports - although they were under her interests - and didn’t have a body for such.
Her fingers brushed the ledge, gripping tightly the moment contact was made, and lost her breath for the second time in the previous half hour as her body slammed against the brick structure. Fuck. She managed to get her other hand up on the ledge but began panicking when her left hand started slipping, the digits losing circulation. Her heart raced, and she closed her eyes preparing for what would hopefully be a miracle. Her left hand scrambled for more of the ledge to hold onto, but the little feeling she had remaining gave her a pathetic attempt that only sent her a bit closer to slipping. Her feet dangled in the air, searching for footholds, but there were none where a fire escape formerly stood.
I’m gonna di- Her left hand slipped.
But, at the same time, another hand snatched her wrist and held on. Her sister’s face appeared, peering over the edge. “You fucking idiot.” It was a great thing to be greeted with. Not.
“Please don’t let go.” she muttered in a strained tone.
“Never.” Vivian’s tone carried with her the same irritation it gained a few years back, but at the same time, there was an underlying hint of that sister bond that had been stretched since they left high school.
Her sister dragged her up with a grunt, and Rae plopped on the roof, her eyes fixed on the sky as she regained her breath. She refused to meet the angry gaze of her sister and yanked out a bottle of medicine, offering it to her with a huff, “You’re welcome.” The bottle was snatched out of Rae’s hand and all she got in response were irritated words. “I thought I told you to-” Cough. “Not sneak off.” Rae shrugged, “You’re getting worse.”
“Yeah. And you’ll be looking terrible and feeling terrible for the whole time. This makes it better, y’know?”
Vivian didn’t respond, and Rae sat up, “So, what we were talking about before you coughed yourself to sleep this morning…”
Her sister scowled, “We’re not gonna do… that-” Cough. Sniffle. “First thing. I don’t care how much money it gets us. You’re, you’re not gonna go into that kind of… business.” Vivian said ‘business’ like one said ‘swine’. Rae shrugged, “Figured you’d say that.” She was relieved, really. It had been a suggestion, but she wasn’t too eager to get into bed with strange men or women just to get food and nick more bucks than paid from their wallets and purses.
“And the second thing?”
Vivian pondered and thought, “If, uh, if we can get ourselves into that, yeah. There’s lots of profit.”
“Lots of easy ways to fuck up.”
“Well, it was your suggestion.”
Rae exhaled then a thought crossed her mind, “Viv?”
“What?” She hated that sting that the irritated voice gave her.
“You got my back, right?”
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
“I’ve got your back, too.”
July 17th, 2010 - age 20.
“You said you’ve got my back!”
They looked like fucking weirdos, screaming at each other in the middle of the street. Rae took a step away from her sister; Vivian took a step forward.
“You’ve got my back, don’t you?”
She ducked her head in shame, remembering her words from before, and muttered, “But this… it’s different.”
“No! It’s not different, Rae! Goddammit.”
Her fists clenched, “But-“
“Are you with me or not?” Vivian’s tone was demanding. Controlling. Manipulative in ways that Rae hated but at the same time couldn’t resist because her sister knew just how to get her to lose the fight.
“I… Fine.” Her body sagged with defeat, and the hint of a triumphant smirk flickered across Vivian’s features. A business card was shoved into her hand, and Viv gestured at the payphone a few feet away.
She approached the thing, inserted the money required, and swallowed down a bout of fear as the other side rang.
“Miss Edison.” Rae recognized the voice of the man who had mysteriously approached them two days ago.
Vivian had said yes immediately; Rae said no; Vivian quickly corrected her at the man’s half-angry, half-disappointed look and said, “She meant she’d think about it.
“Your sister did say you needed some… persuasion.” She shuddered as she thought she heard a mocking tone in his voice. “So, do you have an answer for me, Miss Edison?”
Rae glanced at the business card in her hand.
“Do you have an answer for me or is your answer yes?”
She could almost hear the man’s smile over the phone, imagine it on his features, unfaltering and triumphant.
“Excellent. Welcome aboard to Nexus Corporations, Miss Edison.”