Disclaimer: I don't own this and I'm not making any money off it. Lawyers be gone.
Prolog: The beginning of the end…
Assistant Director Tenchi Masaki looked up in confusion.
His boss, Director Washu Hakubi, was staring at her computer screen intently. Director Hakubi was not exactly what you would expect from the greatest scientific mind of the twentieth century. Her unusually short stature, ankle-length fiery mane, and child-like features combined to give her an almost innocent appearance. Only her attitude and the cold, calculating gaze in her vibrant green eyes belied her true age.
"This one. I want her for the project."
Tenchi rolled his chair over and looked at the data on her screen, his brow knitted together in confusion.
"This girl? We just barely profiled her yesterday. She doesn't score very high in her tests, and barely passed her last grade. She's not very impressive as a candidate. Why do you want her?"
Washu leaned back in her chair. "And this is why you're the assistant and I'm the director. Do you remember the national exams?"
Tenchi frowned. "Well of course…" Everyone knew about the National Standardized Qualification Exams. They had been instituted by the government almost twenty years ago. Starting in the first year of high school, every student was required to take a three day long exam at the end of each grade that determined what their skills and talents showed they could do. Students that showed more promise were given greater opportunities while under-performing students were pushed to build their skills. What very few people knew was that Washu was on the committee that had designed the exam. "She barely passed above average on the last test, her first one I believe, what about it?"
Washu pointed out a certain entry. "Look at her scores on the special evaluation section."
He knew about that particular section of the exams. It was a series of unusual and seemingly random questions that appeared to have no meaning. Strange questions like 'why is the sky blue' or 'why do babies cry' or even 'what do emotions mean and why do people have them'. No one in the public understood why questions like these were in the exam and many students ignored them or gave half-hearted answers. Only a handful of very high ranked members of the government knew that these odd questions were part of a hidden test inside the exam, one created by Washu herself. These questions were graded differently and given a separate score.
Tenchi looked at the data and reread it carefully. As he read, his jaw dropped in shock.
"This…This is unbelievable! A final score of 486 out of 500?! Nobody has ever scored that high!"
Washu grinned smugly. "Including her, there are just five candidates who scored above 200. Only seventeen in the last twenty years." She tapped the screen. "This girl scored the highest and broke the last record of 344. Still think she's not impressive?"
Tenchi sat back, flabbergasted. "I can't believe I missed this. You were right; I shouldn't have doubted you, Director Ha…" He stopped mid-sentence, wilting under her intense glare. "…sorry, Washu-chan."
Washu shrugged and turned back to the screen. "Apology accepted, now send a secure courier with her acceptance and bring her here. We don't have time to waste."
Ignoring her assistants' mad scramble, Washu leaned back. "Thirty-five years, I've been searching, and now I've finally found you." Her grin could have split her face in half.
"If anyone in the world can make 'Project ARCHANGEL' succeed, it will be you…Ranko Saotome."
End of Prolog.
I'm still alive!
I will try to finish this, but Real Life is catching up to me.
Reviews are welcome. Flamers will be ignored or banned. Questions will be answered. Blood will be spilled. Lives will be lost…wait, scratch the last two…