It's a bright day, and the sound of the birds chirping would be just lovely. Yet within the halls of the Blind Path College the birds cannot be heard, not over the din of metal-on-metal. The day started right the wrong way as some form of construction is going on and the noise echoes through the halls
Yet life must, however, go on. And the students, faculty and researchers go on with their day. Currently we follow Serenity as she goes about her assignments, today she was supposed to help supervise a Force Gear prototyping, either one of the most boring or exciting things in the world
The pounding echoes of the construction work grate on your ears as you head towards the testing lab- You're intercepted in the hallway by a woman that seems to be in her late fifties, wearing the faculty uniform with a red band on her left arm- She's part of the medical staff "Hey there"
Serenity‘ stops, giving her a look. She wasn’t supposed to bring anything to medical, right…? "Uh. Hi."
She smiles at you with a motherly smile and puts a hand on your forehead "Have you been feeling well lately?"
Serenity: "Yes. … Who are you again?"
JayM: "Sorry, sorry, i'm Veritas part of the new staff-" she looks closer at you "I've been recieving a lot of complaints today so I decided to do a quick patrol"
Serenity‘ scrunches up her face, brushing the woman’s hand away and looking slightly annoyed. "Probably wanna harass the jackass that doesn't understand how the power drills work, then."
JayM: "Power drills?" she blinks "Oh, right, they're replacing the old water piping. Didn't even notice that"
Serenity: "…The complaints weren't about the noise?"
She stops to think for a moment, her stare is distant. She pulls out a folded sheet of paper from her clothes "No, it was about headaches, and some feeling a little woozy. I think the chemistry department may have something to do with this" she pulls out a pencil and writes something on it "Anyway i'm sorry for interrupting" she salutes you and runs off
JayM: Which is odd, you really don't remember anyone having the habit of saluting here in college, but alright
Serenity: "Ex High Guard maybe…?"
Serenity‘ mumbles to herself as she rubs at her temples, before resuming her treck to the testing grounds.
Serenity` stops a bit later, tilts her head back over her shoulder at the rifle slung over it. "Was that you?"
The testing grounds, an indoor area with armored walls on the inside and various measuring devices on the outer area. This time it’s set up with a long sort of runway, as if you'd expect someone to run. There's a target dummy at it's center and heavy reinforced glass blast walls at the back, about fifty centimeters thick and enahnced with ragnite for protection making them slightly blue-inted
Serenity: "Guess not. Odd for it to be talking with no prompting though." Serenity lets out a sigh, glancing around as she enters, looking for the prototype. "Was it you?"
Currently sitting on a table is a tall man, dark skin and youthful in appearance, dressed in the school uniform (that isn't enforced, but some people like to wear) and on top of it a vastly disassembled Force Gear, metal plates hanging from his body armor's half-disassembled state and all the tubing disconnected. He wears gauntlets whose tubing connect to the part on his chest, at the floor are metal boots, tubing also visible and connected to the chest assembly.
Working at the prototype the man wears is an older woman with striking crimson hair parted to one side and a her companion, she seems almost like an armadillo in how scrunched up and curled she is over the gear, her large glasses almost comical "I hope not because this Force Gear ain't active yet" says the older one
Serenity: "Spook's aren't usually talkin' when they're blowin' stuff up anyway."
The man in the prototype waves his right hand at you, Exceter is his name, his family is of Orsis refugees of some sort, he's the famous exchange student of his class. The movement of waving causes some of the assembly the glasses girl is working on to move and she jumps back startled, tumbles over her seat and falls over
You recognize the younger one, Selia, from the later years. A bit accident prone but very intelligent. The older woman is Francisca, of the faculty, who happens to be staring at Selia's prone form with a hand on her forehead
Francisca: "Really…" she looks back at you "Anyway, did anyone tell you about the prototype?"
Serenity‘ is basically just ignoring it. "Not really? Some new older lady stopped me in the hallway asking about headaches, then I’m pretty sure some spook starting talking but I'm not sure where it was coming from. Nothing about whatever hunk of junk you're working on though."
Serenity‘ rolls her head around her neck. "I’m assuming it's a strength booster from the set up though?"
Serenity: "Maybe barrier generator device."
Francisca nods "Exceter's going to use the new Boxer. It's a little bit different, it doesn't boosts strength directly, but it boosts vectorial and angular force. Basically gives you a lot of momentum"
Serenity: "That seems so much easier it's almost cheating. I approve."
Exceter: "Yeah! We actually managed to get our hands on the Force Gear used by one of the rissan attack cats! This thing goes really fast"
Serenity: "Do I want to know how…?"
Francisca stares at Exceter "I'd appreciate if you kept that detail to yourself" she sighs "Anyway- Reverse-engineering stolen tech"
Serenity‘ tilts her head to the site, looking at the tubing. "Need… what?" She holds a hand out, sort of wiggling her fingers in the direction of the ragnite.
JayM: "Basically want you here to watch how it goes and take notes and measurements. He’s going to take a few laps, and then give the dummy there a good punch…?"
Exceter tenses
Exceter takes a few deep breaths, his left hand grasping tightly on to some piece of paper
Serenity‘ shifts her eyes from the tubing to Execter’s face, before locking eye contact and giving him a flat stare.
The tubing jerks a little bit as the system starts up, but disassembled as it is it does nothing "O-oops. I think I may have accidentally hit the activation trigger"
JayM: "Those things you do kind of spook me a bit…"
Serenity: "Not really any weirder than your goofy shamans, is it?"
Francisca: "Exceter please be careful"
Exceter: "I wouldn't know, didn't really get a chance to meet any of them"
Serenity: "Fair enough."
Serenity: "The spook is scared of you, by the by."
Serenity: "So have fun with the test I guess."
Serenity‘ goes to find a seat and something to write with.
Francisca sighs "Okay, enough mysticism, I want it written down for later, however. Selia please finish the assembly. Serenity, get the report forms ready. I’m going to adjust the sensors and we can start
Serenity: "Uh-huh."
Selia silently continues with the assembly as you're given a seat behind the blast window. Something looks al ittle odd, however, as the you notice the final assembly (that looks like light armor) has the High Guard emblem on it. It's really uncommon for prototypes to have branding yet.
While she works on the assembly you see what Exceter was holding in his hand- Seems like a letter, that he's reading over and over as he gets set up
Serenity: "…Why is the prototype branded? That seems kind of innane and pointless."
Francisca looks at Serenity, looks at the doorway "For…"
JayM: "I don't really know, however, if I can make a guess"
Francisca: "Immediate deployment"
Serenity: "Yeah that's not going to end poorly. Oh well not my problem."
Francisca: "Which is a little worrysome. I've been told we're running the test and then handing the prototype and results to the High Guard, I don't think they'd be dumb enough to drop a barely-tested prototype in the field but…"
Exceter closes his eyes and crumples the leather in his left hand, putting it in a pocket "Sure isn't"
Serenity‘ gives francisca a look. "Ah yeah, gotta get the super speed armor gets ups out to deal with the rough and tumble streets and manages those major crisies with overlaping bake sales from rival old ladies."
Selia nods quickly to herself as she finishes assembly and heads back behind the blast wall, Francisca comes right behind, putting some other papers on the desk, apparently the testing orders
Exceter heads over to the running track and kneels down ready to start running
Serenity: "Hey Exceter."
Serenity: "I’ll give you a dollar if you tell me what the letter said."
Exceter shakes, loses balance and almost falls… "It's… Nothing to worry about"
JayM: "Just my grandparents… Wishing me well"
Serenity: "It's bugging *you* and the spook is getting agitated, which is annoying *me*, so."
Serenity: "Talk about your stupid feelings, or whatever."
Exceter: "It's nothing"
Serenity: "Or run around in circles real fast and get over it, either way."
Exceter gets in position again "Alright, eyes in the gauges" Exceter tenses and closes his eyes. You see the flow of ragnite on the few exposed tubes, he dashes forward
Serenity‘ lets out a breath, glances over at Francisca. "Is there a war sparking up in Orsis or something?"
Serenity` then turns her focus back to the measuring devices.
He runs a while in circles- It’s fast but not as fast as promised. For a while at least. "Engage, accel drive" with a command there is a sudden burst of speed- Faster than the eye can see- But the devices trigger showing him perform a full lap in the span of a single second- He stops in front of the dummy
Francisca: "There always is. That place's a barrell of ragnite dust waiting to go off at any time…"
Serenity: "Aha."
Francisca: "Hate gossyping but, Exceter's family used to be almost slaves in a ragnite mine until they ran away. Exceter's scholarship got them a residence here, actually"
Serenity: "Oh, they're in Masharas?"
Francisca: "Just his parents, they live just down the street… Actually speaking of which wasn't-"
Exceter grits his teeth "D-Roll, strike!" he delivers a single measured and practiced boxer punch- Except it surges with so much, so much angular momentum everything in the room is thrown spiralling- The blast wall protects you mostly, but thepapers are sent flying
Exceter: "It works…"
There is no dummy anymore
Serenity‘ groans, leaning back and slumping into her chair enough that she can reach her arms to the ground to pick stuff back up.
Serenity: "Hey Exceter."
Exceter turns around to look at Serenity, he looks… Tense
Serenity` pulls herself back up.
Serenity: "Are you a spy?"
Exceter closes his eyes… He tosses you the letters from his grandparents "I’m sorry, Serenity" he turns around "Really sorry… Engage, accel drive" he dashes- there's a massive wave of impact- And there's a hole in the wall
Serenity: "Oh my goddddddddddesssssssss."
Serenity: "Are you stealing the force gear or trying to kill people?"
Serenity: "Because I care a lot more about one of those than the other."
Exceter has broken open a hole in the reinforced wall with his right first, he's breathing heavily- He runs at the corridor- Another burst of speed- The sound of breaking glass- He's out the window
Serenity: "Motherfucker."
Serenity: "Francisca, go get in contact with the repair people, something's fucked up with the pipes and the rangnite down there."
Selia is shaking like jello in an earthquate, Francisca has already broken into a run. The corridor is in disarray, faculty is running to see what's happened
Francisca: "Pipes?" she nods "Roger"
Serenity: "Selia, tell whoever asks there may be sabotague going on with our water lines and Exceter is being forced into doing some inflitration and spying shit because his family's being held hostage.
Selia's shaking, wildly. She nods meekly
Serenity‘ sighs, pushing out of her chair and jogging out of the giant hole in the wall, scanning the horizon for Exceter while unslinging her rifle. "Spooks, give me a location to shoot."
Serenity: "Yeah I figured on all counts."
Serenity: "Ugh I guess I should go find him so someone else doesn’t put a bullet in his stupid ass."
Exceter is nowhere to be seen, but the tracks on the ground of his dash are. The tracks head towards the west wing, should you follow you'll see- They vanish at a point, maybe he went upwards. But there's a jacket thrown in the ground, a faculty jacket with a red band
Serenity: "Maybe not so Ex after all…?"
Serenity‘ glances up, squinting her eyes.
JayM: Broken tiles in the old roofing- Towards the street
Serenity: "Wait a pain in the ass."
Taking the subtle hint, you find in the streets the marks on the ground of his dash, the stone floor is cracked and it heads down- But you see something in the distance
Serenity‘ starts running a bit, since it seems like she might be able to catch up if the gear is breaking down.
You come closer and you see… Exceter, who seems exhausted and possibly hurt. The nurse from before, but now without her jacket and some different kind of Force Gear on her, a large backpack with gauntlets attached to it. Around her waist a different gear, the ragnite in it’s tubes flow purple, the telltale sign of Ars Porto
Serenity: "Who do you actually work for, lady?" Serenity's rifle is in her hands, and the ragnite is alreayd flowing through its tubes.
She turns to you as you close in, thrusts both hands forwards and puts them together- Something fires out of the gauntlets… Ragnite in gel form, but particles so tiny they float in the air, fired forward with immense pressure. In contact with air they solidify- Solidify in such a manner the entire cloud turns into a quickly accelerating projectile
JayM: "Not for you to know! Child stand up!"
Exceter stands up with difficulty, she grabs him by the arm
Serenity‘ jumps to the side quickly, groaning.
Serenity: "Why does everyone insist on making my life so fucking difficult?"
Serenity: "Exceter is this the bitch blackmailing you?"
You jump to the side- The projectile impacts the ground and shatters- You feel the heat… Ragnite can be unstable…
Out of nowhere a shadow- Someone jumps in the way between you and the explosion- The force of the explosion is enough to send you flying, damage nearby walls as well
Serenity: "Grah!"
Using the distaction of the explosion the not-faculty triggers her teleport Force Gear, a violet sphere enveloping her and Exceter before they vanish
Serenity: "Don’t even fucking start with me, I tried."
The person who shielded you wound up on top of you, dressed hardly in anything, a dancer or something? Bleeding profusely but something seems wrong about her, maybe the flash impaired your vision
Yet right before your eyes she vanishes in nothingness
Serenity: "Although a warning someone else was after him would have been … ni… what the actual fuck?"
JayM: "Geez, I underestimated my physical capacity" a voice comes from behind you
Serenity‘ rolls her head to the side in confusion.
Dressed in, honestly, old almost hobo-like clothes is a woman whose face is covered by a hood, although you do see a white stick coming out of her mouth "Are you alright, Serenity?" she walks over
Serenity: "I’m fine, who the hell are you mysterous interloper number two?"
The woman pulls out a bottle of healing potion and hands it over to her "They're out of reach right now, don't worry the water system on the college has been isolated from the city's over two weeks ago" she also offers her a letter "Just a messenger"
Serenity: "I'm in a pretty shooty mood right now so maybe actually answer the question."
She chuckles "Come on, this is almost too obvious" her voice is actually a little muffled by whatever's in her mouth "But you're welcome in my home, in fact come meet me soon. That's a formal request" she waves the letter
Serenity‘ stares at the woman, taking the letter with one hand while punching her in the arm with her other hand.
As you pick up the letter- Suddenly there’s birds, a flock of pidgeons who were nearby decide to scatter away right this moment, getting in the way of just everything. And when you have your bearings again, the woman's gone
JayM: You look down and notice you knocked a pidgeon out
JayM: So that's a feat you accomplished today
Serenity: "Fuck everyone."
JayM: Never liked those things
Serenity‘ rips the letter open with exactly zero grace.
The letter has the seal of the church. And if you read it… A formal invitation to the Grand Chapel, to meet with the Divine Oracle and the Pope themselves… You’ve nominated… A Fatebreaker
Serenity‘ sighs, looking down at her force gear.
Serenity: "They couldn’t of gotten here a minute earlier and maybe actually helped that stupid idiot?"
Serenity: "Whatever."
Serenity: "Lets go punch the Pope, spooks."
Serenity` picks her her rifle, slings it over her shoulder, then starts wandering towards the chapple.
As Serenity walks away, nobody witnesses what has just transpired, aside from the rainbow of colors of the flowers in the streets

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