A shining day outside, yet here you are, in the study. This little base that can hardly be called a 'base' is the intelligence headquarters of the High Guard, this old and tall church library has been converted to serve as the housing for central intelligence
Today, Hughbert is somewhere within it- A classroom of sorts, after all even the men of the high guard need to brush up on their knowledge. It's just a form of maitenance course to keep your wits sharp, the class itself ended about an hour ago
The instructor, a scrawny thing with the nickname Firefly whose name you never really caught, is currently dealing with some papers in the podium, he asked you to wait behind for some reason, and that was an hour ago. He has yet to tell you what's wrong
Hughbert sits at a desk, reading through an extra book he brought with him. Having reached the last page after the considerable wait, he puts the book down and starts absentmindedly looking out of a window instead.
There's a loud noise outside, a rumbling and instant sound, gunfire? Some other form of explosion? Yet still he stands in silence, until he frustratedly drops his papers on the podium "I guess there's no other way around it"
Firefly walks over to you, he puts down a folder "I've been trying to make heads or tails out of this, to be honest i've been told to directly hand this over to you for analysis, but I hate cold transfers, I thought I might give you a heads-up on what this is but I can't, i'm sorry"
Hughbert shifts his attention to the instructor once he gets up, then reflexively picks up the folder, examines the outside, and opens it up. "Ah, hence the delay. The effort is appreciated, sir. What have we got here…"
It's cryptic, the folder seems to contain a variety of maps, as well as what seems to be the deployment orders for two rissan Black Stinger units, one in Orsis and one in Terchuan. Nothing else but that
Firefly: "The major herself gave me those, she seemed a little frustrated, so I figured this came from the Divine Oracle. Want cryptic stuff that makes the major have a migraine, ask her. None of them seems related, nor do those seem related to us, aside from one of the maps being of a nearly unclimbable zone in the Divine Aegis"
The maps, aside from the one in the Divine Aegis, are of plateus in mountains, pretty detailed topographic work
Hughbert: "This impassible area," he says, pointing to the unclimbable section of the Aegis, "I wonder if their predicted route passes through it. It wouldn't be unthinkable for a Black Stinger to pull the climb off with enough effort. More importantly, I can't help but wonder where in the Divine Aegis you could find a plateau like this."
Firefly: "Hrm… As far as we're aware it doesn't have any."
Hughbert: "I'm sure there's a mountain shaped like this one-" he points to one of the topographs "- but it is no plateau. Unless…" He frowns a little and crosses his arms.
Hughbert: "If this IS from the oracle, it could be a prediction. I'll have to ask the major if we have any information on the Stingers or their employers developing Warmachines that target not our soldiers, but rather… the Aegis."
A strong gust blows open the window- It sends your papers scattering- Firefly's reaction time is amazing as he catches them midair. But one paper that wasn't there was apparently blown in and lands right in front of you.
A loud booming voice comes from outside "GODDESS'S LEFT NIPPLE!" a rather burly looking woman comes barreling towards the window, apparently chasing after the wayward sheet
The sheet… Contains information about a special kind of explosive used for mining and terrain manipulation in general. But the interesting part are the scribbles, they look like material manifests and include machinery parts, ragnite, gun parts… What draws your attention most are some axles that you know are used for balancing large scale weapons in uneven terrain because one of your classmates in this class couldn't stop blabbering about those when he became fascinated with their concept
The woman finally stops her run when she hits full body against the wall waist-high wall, coming in right through the window- What idiot forgets momentum exists?
Hughbert holds one hand on the paper, as a precaution against another breeze causing the name of Her Most Holy Right Nipple being invoked, then slowly looks from the sheet up to Firefly. "What fortune, to have my answer brought to me." He then turns to the owner of the sheet, offering her a hand to pick herself up once she tumbles inwards. "Are you hurt, ma'am?"
She stands up slowly with your help "N-no, i'm fine" she has a heavy and muscular build, hair the color of the setting sun, even at a low tone voice like an avalance "I saw one of my report pages coming right this way, did you see it?"
Firefly has an eyebrow up, looking at the two of you, looking at the paper "Fortune has a name in this country…" it's either to you or to himself. He goes over to the window and closes it, and puts the latch on it
Hughbert: "This one?" He hands her the page, "I'd like to know where you were headed, if you'd be willing to divulge…?"
She rapidly snatches it out of your hands "Oh just- The second floor office to turn it in"
Hughbert takes a quick look at the woman's uniform to intuit some details- rank, name… "Ah, I don't believe we've been introduced before. Lieutenant Hughbert Marcel, 2nd Platoon, I and R corps."
JayM: "Ah, i'm Lieutenant Iria Gainsborough, fourth platoon of logistics"
Hughbert adjusts his glasses a little, seeming to ruminate over a detail for a moment… "I don't envy you, lieutenant. I've heard it's tough working under colonel… colonel…" He taps the side of his frames, exuding a bit of pressure, "What was the colonel's name again…? Slipped my mind."
She falters for a moment "Elaine, wasn't?"
Hughbert nods slowly. "Right, Elaine Nomer. She's got a bit of a reputation, but I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that. I was just on my way to the second floor myself, Lieutenant. I'd be grateful if you were to accompany me," he says with a smile.
She looks around, with only her eyes. Firefly looks at you, steps out of the way. "Sure, no problem" Iria says
Hughbert: "After you," he says, opening the door. He wait for her to step out first… Before leaving the room, he looks at Firefly, taps a clipboard on the wall containing the day's guard roster, then points upwards- hopefully communicating to him to have someone ready to take Iria into custody when they arrive at the office.
Firefly raises an eyebrow as you move, or maybe it never went down. You can't know wether he understood it or not, but you have the feeling he did
Iria heads out first, but you see she's tense. The hallway is… Surprisingly empty as you head for the stairwell.
Hughbert keeps his books, including Tactical Front-Line Arts, under his arm as he goes. The glow of his Force Gear waking up from standby is hidden by his jacket sleeve- as a backup plan, of course, he'd rather not need to use it. "Awfully nice weather today, isn't it." He makes some chatter to mask any hum it might have made in the meanwhile.
Iria's own little glow isn't as concealed, however. "Bright and sunny" It was an attempt, but not a good enough one, even in the brightness of the day the very light violet tint under her clothes can be seen… Violet glow can mean only one thing, Ars Porto. But you know that intel HQ has a suppression force gear against exactly that, so why is she- A light clinking sound on the floor as you head up the stairs. It's awfully empty here
Hughbert: "You wouldn't have guessed there was a rainy spell earlier this morning." One of the puddles left over from the drizzle seems to be following behind the two, just behind the corner, compressed and ready to leap at a moment's notice. "Quite strange. Turning in a report is a task made much more difficult when no one is in to receive it, wouldn't you say?"
There's a sudden movement- Iria dives forward and you realize what the clinking sound is a little too late, an explosive device of some sort. Something strikes against your body, moving you out of the direct conflagration- It's not an explosive, but the loud noise and brilliant flash would have left you very disoriented if whatever that something was didn't interpose itself. You hear the noise of glass shattering- Things are happening too fast, but you've been given a little bit of reaction time, what to do?
Hughbert throws his right arm out in Iria's direction, trying his best to aim at her hand despite the interference. If he can, he'll either hit her or destroy the report with a Pressure Stream, ideally both.
You don't know what you did, not yet, as the action resolves. You wind up in the floor, someone is standing in front of you, a woman wearing… Very little, a dancer of some sort? Her image seems wrong somehow- And then she just vanishes. You hear steps coming from below, but you also hear a body hit the floor outside. If you look out of the window you will see Iria on the floor, your shot seems to have hit her hand which was holding a grappling hook, wherever she fired it missed, the report was also destroyed. She quickly stands up with a flip, throwing a knife that was concealed at you using her other hand before breaking into a run
Hughbert picks himself up as soon as his arms respond, then shouts as loud as he can manage to anyone who can hear, "SPY! DON'T LET THAT WOMAN ESCAPE!"
A voice comes up from behind "Don't worry, right now, she's meaningless" it's an oddly muffled voice, like someone talking with their mouth full, a woman
Voice: "What is meaningful, however, is whatever you just stopped her from doing. Any idea what it might have been?"
Hughbert: "…I wasn't seeing things, then." He turns around to face her - taking a moment to yank the dagger out of his arm and apply a healing Pulse to it, before the beeping of his experimental Empty Body Damage Suppressor indicated the suppression period was ending. "She had some intelligence she was trying to steal, and I sent her home empty-handed. My apologies, I'm still off balance, may I ask your name?"
The woman is wearing old clothes, kinda beat up, almost like a hobo. She has a hood covering her face, but you can see something white on her lips, like a stick or something. She walks over to you and hands over a letter "You'll find out soon enough, but this is for you"
Woman: "Surprises me she was the only one here, you'd think they would be stepping up their game at this point"
Woman: "I suppose I should give you guys more credit than I do, which is already a lot"
Hughbert accept the letter and examines it for any writing or seals right away. "Even so, I can't call this outcome a great success. I would have much preferred to capture her and find out what she knows."
The letter holds the seal of the church, and it's addressed to you. When you're done examining the exterior if you look back up… The woman is gone
The letter itself… It's an invitation, an invitation to the Grand Chapel. You have been assigned a new post- Now, you are a Fatebreaker
Hughbert looks thoroughly perplexed throughout the room. "…I suppose this envelope holds the answer to this mystery… I should return to my quarters to read this in private, but it'll be a while until I finish reporting on the situation, so…" He opens it up right now anyway.
Hughbert: "How strange. Fate… Breaker." he mumbles to himself, full of questions. He tucks the envelope into his jacket to pore over it some more later… Before descending the stairs and preparing to clean up the mess he was left with. "I wonder if she really thought there WAS a Miss Nomer."
And yet, of this whole exchange, the only witnesses were the colorful petals of the flowers, blown in by the wind.

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