2 Starters I've created, to give an idea of writing expectations within a storyline. The first was made for Italy and is within the 'Hetalia' verse. The second is for Terra and is WW2 AU, not really within Hetalia verse (just a bit of borrowing the character).
Starter for Italy.
Thunder rumbled outside the cavernous room he stood in. This room was familiar, but he couldn't begin to fathom why such a place would be embedded in his scattered memories. He didn't know the name of it, but judging by the ornate crosses that decorated the pulpit and entrances- it was an ancient cathedral in European. The architecture was purely gothic in design, the framing massive and the windows open and colourful. There was no sun streaming through them, now- only strobe-flashes of lightning, and the interior was lit only by a small army of candles whose flames flickered in a breeze he couldn't actually feel.
Rows and rows of pews formed a long aisle down the center of the room, leading up to the altar and a central source of candlelight. Looking around, he saw no lightbulbs or switches- odd, he couldn't really remember much of a time where electricity wasn't around. This place seemed completely devoid of it. Actually, it was devoid of any modern amenity he'd grown accustomed to- even the cathedrals he could remember being in had electric lighting and outlets available. He furrowed his brow in confusion and readied himself for a more thorough exploration of this place and why it might strike a familiar cord with him. Just as he made his way toward the extensive line of pews two distinct things became very clear; he was much smaller and he wasn't alone.
He stood only about as tall as the seats themselves which drew his immediate curiosity, prioritising his new size over the whimpers he could hear behind the large altar on the opposite side of the room. He stretched a hand out before him and wondered at its chubbiness. His eyes scanned the room once again, unable to find a reflective surface low enough for him to get a view of himself, before looking down at his attire in hopes of discovering some sort of answer. He wore a thick black robe and boots, both of which felt incredibly homemade rather than from some sort of factory. The stitching was solid but not uniform and the material was fresh and scratchy against the palms of his hands. He could see white cuffs at his wrists and the scratchiness was apparently separated from his skin by some sort of undershirt. His face, too, felt much different. His cheeks seemed rounder as he outlined them with his fingertips and the skin was infinitely smoother.
He was most certainly a child.
Unable to find a means of entirely satisfying one curiosity, he moved onto the next- the whimpering behind the podium on the dias. He made his way down the lengthy walkway between pews with more courage than anyone as lost as he was had any right to display. He had no memories of being a child himself, who was to say the body he inhabited now wasn't fragile and too weak to fight if danger awaited him here?
The source of the whimpers however, turned out to be anything but dangerous. Under the massive altar was the girl from other dreams he'd had in the past, smaller than even he was now, huddled in terror. She'd pulled the white cloth from above to wrap herself in and had her eyes screwed tightly shut. At each new crack of thunder, she flinched, whimpered, and tried to pull the cloth even tighter. 'Hey,' he muttered and reached one of his chubby hands out to her. 'What's wrong? Are you afraid of the thunder?'
Without opening her eyes, she gave a quick nod.
'There's nothing to be afraid of. The thunder can't harm you, you know. It's silly to be afraid of it.' He kept his voice just loud enough to be heard over the intense storm raging outside. She peeked a single eye open and gasped at him in more fright than she'd shown at the sound of thunder. He paused, unsure of what to do. Both of her eyes opened, amber and round as tea saucers. She shook her head and backed away from him as far as she could, pressing herself against the polished wood. 'What?'
Just as he'd uttered the word, the loudest crack of thunder resounded and startled him. It was followed by a set of overly bright flashes of lightening, revealing the source of her new terror. His robes had vanished and in their wake lay his bare skin, covered in a roadmap of scars. His kin looked as if he'd been Frankenstein'ed together from various other bodies- some shades of the skin even different from one another. He pressed his palms to his cheeks, the skin feeling rougher there, as well. He shook his head in utter disbelief. What had happened to him in such a short time? He glanced back at the little girl, now sobbing in absolute horror and looking more and more like a trapped animal the longer he stood there. He wanted to comfort her, to tell her that he meant her no harm, but the moment he reached for her once again she said the only words he'd ever heard her say in all the years she'd come to him in dreams.
'Don't touch me!'
Ludwig gasped awake and pushed himself up from his pillows. A grunt of displeasure sounded from his left side, causing him to jolt once again. A head of very familiar auburn hair had slid from his shoulder to his lap and he gave a silent sigh of relief despite the uncomfortable feeling of drool cooling the fabric of his t-shirt. He placed one hand, gently, through the ever-soft strands of the other's man's hair as a means of apology for disturbing his sleep and pinched the bridge of his nose with the other. His heart was still beating against the cage of his ribs hard enough to make him feel slightly nauseous. A flash of lightning seeped through the thin split between the curtains covering the single window in the room and the sound of thunder rolled in the far distance. Light drops of rain tapped against the glass, but it was nothing compared to the storm in his dream.
He drew deep, measured breaths, counting 5 second intervals to bring his heartbeat down to something a little more tolerable. It'd been many years since he'd had a nightmare, not since the end of World War 2. Even then, he found Feliciano's determination to sleep at his side a comfort- not that he would ever admit it. Without thinking about it, the fingers in Feliciano's hair moved to stroke the sleep-mussed mop of hair down. Honestly, he could probably do this all day. It was calming and... and, he didn't dare to let himself think anymore on it. The last time he let himself overthink Feliciano... well, it hadn't ended well for Ludwig. He still carried the burden of that rejection, decades after the unfortunate incident. Even afterward, Feliciano was relentless in his friendship and attachment, a small mercy Ludwig would forever be grateful for.
Starter for Terra. (WW2 AU)
Wires snapped and sparked at him, as if they were the sole watchdogs of the laboratory, giving no glory to the uniformed men that stood hour after hour at the doors, ready and willing to take the life of anyone that dared to trespass. The floor was littered with the vicious wires, ranging in size from a few millimeters thick to as round as his own forearm. They seemed to connect to everything in the room he and Dr. Schneider stood in. Ludwig's pale gaze trailed along the mess, wondering why the senior officers allowed such disorder in any of the offices when they were so strict about order everywhere else, including personal quarters. A sharp snap rained a shower of sparks over them, starting Ludwig just enough to whip his head in it's direction and hunch his shoulders. The few personnel staring at various screens were completely unbothered by the noise, content with whatever meaning the bright windows of light held for them.
'Ah, don't let the wires bother you, Herr Beilschmidt,' Dr. Schneider offered in a soothing tone. 'We have to update the security at a rapid pace, since the subject seems to adapt in a fairly short amount of time. We don't have time to store the wires properly before they need to be reevaluated and reassembled. But, have no fear, the asset is quite secure.' There was a sense of pride in those words that Ludwig couldn't help but admire. He'd always appreciate a job well-done alongside missions completed.
'The Fuhrer has done well to place his trust in you,' Ludwig managed to reply over the chaos of sparking wires all around. He was led to a wall constructed from a variety of metals- it looked as if new metals were quickly adhered to old, rather than completely replaced. It gave it a haphazard look that only seemed more fitting in a place like this. He was led to a door cut into the metal wall and secured with a combination that Schneider kept protected, even from him. When it was opened, it led to a brightly lit room that starkly contrasted with the one they'd just walked through. Schneider gestured for Ludwig to precede him through the door and closed it behind himself as he followed. The room was much quieter and more organised than the other, with clean white walls and only a gentle beeping noise to serenade them.
'This,' Dr. Schneider said with a wave toward a cluster of machinery, 'is our pride and joy. The source of our control over the asset, if you will.' Ludwig watched as a plunger in a tube moved rhythmically, pressing and pulling oxygen into the room on the other side. Beside it seemed to be a bag of what Ludwig could only assume was actual blood, somehow connected but not mixing with the larger oxygen tube. He tilted his head from one side to the other, trying to work out the mechanics of the device, only to have a set of small vials come into view behind them- held to the actual wall with a metal bracket. This time, moved closer to it all and reached a hand out to inspect it. 'I wouldn't do that,' Schneider warned and Ludwig dropped his hand back to his side immediately. 'The bag of blood changes colour, allowing us to monitor how the oxygen levels are working. You see, we've learned the asset has a biological reaction to lowered oxygen. With just enough time, the body will compensate and allow her to maintain a good portion of her strength. Now, we've learned to fluctuate the flow of oxygen, preventing the body from growing accustomed enough to compensate correctly.'
Ludwig only understood the very basics of biology granted to him through his own life and the many occupations he's held over the centuries, but he understood the blood's reliance on oxygen enough to nod his head in approval. 'And, the vials?'
'Ah, samples. There IS a purpose for the asset, Herr Beilschmidt.' Schneider gave him a knowing look, something Ludwig wasn't entirely sure he understood well enough. He knew there were plans, naturally, to weaponise this... creature. He already possessed biological weapons, but intelligence refused to specify whether this asset was meant to produce similar or a new kind of weaponisation altogether. He'd never heard of a person or animal being contained in such a manner as all this and certainly not treated with such confidentiality. Everything about this particular asset was strictly classified, even he had limited access to the information- not that he'd understand all of it even if he could see it. At the end of the day, however he could understand the necessity of 'samples,' so he simply nodded. 'Even the blood seems to be volatile, I wouldn't recommend handling it without the proper... attire.' The doctor gave him an obvious once over, taking in the perfectly pressed uniform, yet Ludwig got the distinct impression that he disapproved of something. 'Would you like to see her? She's absolutely marvelous to watch.'
The doctor's tone intrigued him. It was as if he were speaking of a lover, there was an undertone of possessiveness about it. He spoke the last words as if they were meant to be whispered into that lover's ear. It sent a creepy shiver along Ludwig's spine, but he gave a curt nod in response and was guided to a large door with a vault lock. Ludwig swallowed hard, unsure about what might be on the other side of the door- he'd only been passively informed of this inspection and what to expect, but there was no picture painted of the creature in captivity. What would it look like? How did they know it was female?
Doctor Schneider unlatched and lifted a narrow metal flap and gestured for Ludwig to peer through. It was like trying to catch a glimpse of something through two slabs of wood and Ludwig couldn't help the confused look that crossed his features. 'This is how you watch... her...?' He'd been to other research facilities, full of large glass walls, giving the scientists ample watching room- but, he hadn't seen any other means of observing the creature inside on the way in. The room they were standing in was small, too cramped for more than 2 people to work in, surely they didn't use it as the sole means of observation, too?
The doctor shook his head. 'We have these windows in carious places. We have to keep them small so she hardly notices when we're looking. Glass is rather fragile and, as you can see,' he gave a wave toward the door they'd come through earlier, 'we can't afford to have many breakable things as part of this facility. Ludwig nodded in understanding, as he stepped up to the small opening to peer through. 'You see, the asset is extremely intelligent and equally powerful. Hard to control and feisty as hell,' the doctor muttered close to his ear. 'She's the key to this war, Herr Beilschmidt, but if we don't stay on our guard with her, she'll destroy us before we can even figure out a proper way to use her.'