"What do you mean, different?" - 1993
It wasn't the most encouraging thing for a young boys mother to say. Most of the exchange between the development/behavioral pediatrician went over young Elliotts head. He heard 'autism', 'spectrum', and 'different' a lot. None of it really mattered all that much to him, but it seemed to terribly upset his mother. Elliotts attention was mostly taken up by the simple wind-chime that was outside the doctors window, winding up and unwinding a pendulum in the cool Canadian sea-breeze that was blowing in off the east-coast. He was always fascinated with such simple things, wondering how they could be. It was jarring when his mothers hand settled on his shoulder, disturbing the deep rabbit hole his mind had started down as she gave him a shake and told him to pay attention to what they were saying. It was important.
His blue eyes flitted forwards to the kindly smiling woman across the desk, the doctors own gaze tempered with one of... gentle concern. Pity even? Elliott didn't really care, and his gaze soon swiveled up to the familiar taut expression of his mother. She was strained; it wasn't easy being a single mother in poverty. Even less so now when she learned that her son was different. He does truly try to pay attention, and for a short few minutes he manages it. Before too long his gaze has wandered back towards the window, and is raptly locked on the spinning pendulum, and the softly muted whirring sound it produces even through the glass.
"Pay attention!" - 1999
The substitute's teachers voice cracked across the room, and her piercing gaze was lingering on Elliott. Not even in his teens yet, the boy struggles in school. Concepts that come easily to the other children soar over his head unnoticed, and on the other side of the coin he excels at things some of the other students find utterly baffling. Mathematics came to him as easily as breathing, and he could recite by rote with hardly a thought the entire multiplication table... as well as numbers far higher then that. But Elliott struggled to make friends; he was gangly and walked funny and young children are all too ready to pick on and lay into those with any differences. His heavy stutter and speech impediment was another thing that landed him at the receiving end of countless barbs, despite all the money his mother was spending on his speech therapist. One of man specialists that he sees on the side, one more expense that his mother struggles to afford. She lets him know that whenever she is particularly low, or needs to outlet her frustrations. Elliott appreciates all that she does for him.
"And now please welcome your valedictorian; Elliott Arsenault!" - 2007
Elliott had grown out of his awkwardness. His stutter only manifested when he was particularly flustered or stressed, and he had learned how to cope with it. Many of his 'unusual' tendencies could be lived with. Once he was aware of them, it just took a little effort to stop doing it. To be normal. He understood what normal meant now, what his mother was afraid he would never be. Long hours had gone into this, into understanding why he was being picked on and bullied. It wasn't until his final years of high school that Elliott had shed the shell of his shy former self, and manifested into a young man that was confident, and finding his footing in the world. Bullies were growing older and more mature, finding other outlets or realizing that they had been pricks in their younger years. His class had rallied around him, making him a sort of unofficial mascot. He was the Valedictorian; top of his class. He might not have participated in many sports, but his school district and the province he lived in had a robust quiz and trivia competition between competing schools. Elliott had joined it in his first year of high school, and ever since he had led the school to back to back undefeated victories. Anything that Elliott read, anything that Elliott saw, he good regurgitate it with near pinpoint accuracy. Math, formulas, history, he excelled at unusual anecdotes and small talking points, as well as math on the fly.
It is what led to his full scholarship at the University of New Brunswick, leading the young atlantic Canadian on a free-ride through his post-secondary education that his mother was incredibly grateful for. A fluent speaker of french and english, Elliott did as well in his studies at the University as he did in high school.
"A robust salary." - 2013
This was the promise of what all the work in school was for. A career. SNC Lavalin was a large world-spanning consortium of contractors, engineers, and industrial specialists. They were headquartered in Quebec, only a few hours of a drive away from where Elliott had grown up his whole life. As the highest scoring student in his university class, they had swiftly plucked him out of the myraid of candidates received; It also helped that he was differently-abled. Political correctness run amok had led to companies needing to meet a quote of people with special needs to escape public scrutiny, and the fact Elliott seemed quite competent with his work was another positive for bringing him on board.
His course had left him with the designation of an Electrical Engineer. After four years working with SNC Lavalin, he was officially a registered P. Eng.: Professional Engineer.
"It should only be a few months." - 2017
With his official designation and title, as well as the pay-raise that went along with it, Elliott was handed his first job as an engineer. Travel to the Chernarus and complete the contract SNC Lavalin had to help upgrade the turbines at the Pobeda Dam, near the town of Svergino. He was to oversee the process as well as help the local engineers and foreman understand and work through any complications that may arise. This was a task that was fairly straight-forwards for him, and he was more then happy to travel to wherever his company wanted to send him. Elliott was loyal to a fault, and the perfect ripe newbie to be torn up and used by the corporate gears.
No one could really have guessed what would have happened that very same year, stranding Elliott in a foreign country where he does not speak the language, and knows no one.