Rebel 9 : Glimpse of the Past (Part 2)
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A tall, red mechanical humanoid approached the cloaked man from behind and held one of its arms out. He picked up the item it held, and a grin spread out under the mask covering the upper part of his face. "Well done, Ignis. With this, we can track her, and get her back."
One of the lab personnel ran up to him. "S-sir, what of the damaged equipment? We'll need to have at least half the lab re-equipped to be back up to the barest minimum."
The cloaked man merely shrugged his shoulder. "That isn't my responsibility. Have someone file a request to the Disbursement personnel."
"B-b-but sir, this area is directly under your supervision!"
This earned the white-garbed man a glance from the taller, masked personage in the middle of the room. "Again, I tell you, that is not my duty. You are a capable man, by your own right; I would expect that you will have enough clout to get things done here, without my approval."
The lab engineer's jaw tightened. "With all due respect, colonel, sir, I would have already packed the place to the roof with the best of the goddamned best technology and magic that Earth has to offer, if it were only up to me. We can't afford to fall behind schedule now, especially when we're so close to getting results..."
A sigh was heard as soon as the other man finished speaking. "A shame, a shame indeed that men with fire and resolve like yours are very few and far between."
"I don't mean to sound assumptive, sir, but our department's top projects are riding on the results of that research. We really have to have the lab equipment back, at least half of what was lost, to be able to get the minimum computation power requirements."
Something in the glance that the masked man threw in the lab engineer's direction made him flinch. "Admirable resolve and will in such a situation. And you also have the courage to speak in such a manner. Truly, an intriguing specimen."
The lab engineer took a half step back as the mysterious man faced him fully. "Ignis, you know what to do with him." The masked man merely snapped his fingers, and in a flash the red mechanoid's arm was holding the struggling engineer's head by his face. The engineer's callused and burned hands flew up, futilely trying to pry the clawed hand on his face loose. "Now, instead of wasting your life slaving away pointlessly in this hole... Why don't you give much more meaning to your existence and show me the value of your soul."
The last thing the engineer's colleagues saw and heard was their workmate's cut-off scream, his face (or what little of it was visible through the clawed hand that gripped it) an excellent portrait of fear, while the red humanoid - Detonator Ignis - and its owner, the man known as the Mad Puppeteer, Colonel Relius Clover of the Novus Orbis Librarium's R&D, disappeared.
"To put it simply, I got captured, was about to be used as an experiment by a man known as the Mad Puppeteer, but I found a chance to escape. I was trying to find a way out of the maze-like labs when I ran into a room with some strange machinery running. I didn't notice it was already on... By the time I realized it, I was already flying through the air, straight at this very window," Makoto pointed to the open window a few feet away.
Glynda blinked a few times, trying to process what the squirrel girl said. "... Basically, what you're telling me is that you went through time, and possibly space as well." The blonde professor sighed and adjusted her glasses. "I'm sorry but I find that difficult to believe, Miss Nanaya."
Makoto leaned forwards slightly, putting her arms on the bed as support. "I know that's a bit hard to believe... But I don't find any trace of seithr around, and judging by that beastkin's reaction earlier, the heirarchical cities are no longer as well. It could only mean one of two things, ma'am: it's either I'm somewhere in the past or future of Earth, one that doesn't know the effects of the Black Beast, or I'm in another world." Makoto shifted slightly, extending her legs outward as if stretching for a warm up.
"P-professor G-Goodwitch," the rabbit Faunus started, "p-please could you tell me w-what exactly is the Black Beast? Is that some sort of e-extinct Grimm?"
"I'll answer that ma'am," the squirrel beastkin volunteered, raising her hand energetically. She then turned to the other brown-haired girl in the room, face wearing a serious look. "The Black Beast is - was - a gigantic being that appeared one day out of nowhere, and started attacking for no reason. It wiped out whole countries at once, and not even nuclear weapons could kill it. It also gave off seithr, a poisonous gas that can easily kill a normal human."
"Nu... Clear...?" Velvet tilted her head slightly, wondering what the word meant.
"Yeah, nuclear weapons. They're reaallly dangerous things to begin with, but not everyone can get 'em since they were so expensive." Makoto now crossed her arms in front of her ample chest with her eyes closed, nodding her head at the same time. The action served to prop the squirrel beastkin's, uh, assets up, making the bunny Faunus blush.
"Now, since Professor Kokonoe herself would think it's possible, but unlikely, for anyone to be able to go to another world, the more probable choice is that I'm still in the same earth I knew. Only problem now, is figuring out if I'm ahead of or behind the Black Beast's rampage. Once we have the answer to that, the next logical question is to find a way for me to get back to my own place and time."
The squirrel girl's tail swayed happily as she chattered almost nonstop. "Or, at least that's how I think Professor Kokonoe would go about it," she added as an afterthought.
Silence descended on the three as each one tried to process all that was said. Velvet blinked a few times before asking, "Y-you did take a breath before and in between sentences, right?"
A grin was the first answer the squirrel girl gave. "'Course I did!"
Glynda took off her glasses and gently pinched her nosebridge, feeling an oncoming headache. Something tells me I am not going to get that two-day leave I personally requested from Professor Ozpin.
Ren, Jaune and Pyrrha looked at each other. "I have a very bad feeling about this," Jaune thought out loud as he sheathed his sword and extended a hand towards the red-eyed girl. "I'm Jaune Arc. Can you explain that a bit more? I think most of it went over my head."
Rachel chuckled a bit as Jaune extended his hand. She gave a slight curtsy before speaking again. "Ever the ladies' man, Knight. I do hope you have had your courage proven, for I believe that a knight in shining armor is one who has not had his mettle tested."
Ren pointed towards the direction of the school. "I think it would be better if we spoke inside, instead of out here in the open."
Jaune sheepishly pulled his hand back as Cardin and his team grunted, walking ahead of them. Nora, being her hyperactive self, bounced around Rachel, who seemed to be floating while the rest of them walked. "So, uh, how did you know us?"
Rachel softly sighed. "It is quite a long story, and I do not have the luxury of time to tell you now in detail. Suffice to say that it was not difficult to identify who were your progenitors were. All I had to so was observe the lot of you."
"So... How'd you know our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- *gasp* great-great-grandparents?" Nora asked breathlessly.
Everyone exchanged glances. "Nora's right. How did you get that information? You don't look any older than me," Ren raised a hand to his chin in thought.
Rachel stopped just as they crossed the rear gate of the school. "Gii, check if the headmaster is now with Valkenhayn. I and Nago will follow shortly."
"On it, princess!" A high pitched voice made the Hunstmen- and Huntresses-in-training look up. A rather plump red bat was now flying off in the general direction of the cliffs.
"Miss Rose means our guest," Ozpin answered from behind the two, startling Ruby and making her jump. Blake, meanwhile, calmly turned as if she had already expected it to happen.
"Gyaaaah!" Ruby almost literally flew behind her cat Faunus teammate. "Professor! You nearly gave me a heart attack!"
The headmaster merely chuckled. "You are far too young to die in such a manner, miss Rose."
Blake cleared her throat. "I don't mean to interrupt, sir, but do you know where Weiss is? I can't seem to find her."
Ozpin raised his other arm, revealing a partially unwrapped energy bar - coffee-flavored, Ruby and Blake noted. "She would be in Beacon Cliffs now, if I correctly recall what Miss Alucard said."
Somewhere in Ibukido...
"Tager, come in! Can you hear me?"
All that could be heard was intermittent static across the silence.
"Hey Tager! Damnit where the hell are you? Can't you move to a location with better reception?"
Static crackled loudly for a long while until a voice started to come to life in the speakers. It was barely audible, drowned out by the static. "Tag... here... Re... ion... ly... ad..."
"Dammit Tager! About time you responded! What took you so long?!"
There was a delay before the voice crackled to life again, along with static. "I'm... rry... konoe... ere... much... eith... edi... area..."
The bespectacled woman felt a vein start to throb in her temples. "Tager, this will be the only time I am going to say this. Haul your ass outta that place and get to somewhere we can actually communicate, or I swear I am gonna repurpose your entire body for something else and leave your head as a vacuum cleaner. Trust me, it's gonna suck, and I mean that both ways."
Several long minutes pass, then the voice comes back to life. "I hope you didn't mean that, Kokonoe."
"Damn right I do mean that, every letter of it." The pink-haired woman unwrapped a lollipop and put it in her mouth, starting to type quickly on the keyboard. "Anyway, Makoto disappeared from my tracking screens. I can't find her anywhere."
"Could it be that Relius found the bug on Makoto?"
Kokonoe was silent for a few moments. "No, I don't think so. If he did find the bug then he would leave it on her, and wait until we moved in. This isn't like him."
"Do we really have to go to such lengths to keep tabs on Relius Clover?"
Kokonoe's face darkened. "Yeah. Or else we're gonna be in really deep shit."
Silence reigned for another few minutes.
The nekomata's voice was positively dripping with venom as she broke the silence. "I know what that asshole is thinking. He wants to be able to take Ignis into another level of perfection, and to do that he's gonna bring that sonuvabitch Terumi back. And that's just for starters."
Woops! So sorry for the long wait. Apart from having TONS of trouble with my old micro SD card, having a new job with a major wireless provider (go guess which), AND dealing with every day life, I only managed to complete this a few hours ago.
So, with that in mind, I am formally announcing that this story WILL BE ON TEMPORARY HIATUS.
At least until I can recover my BB:CSE save data. I've also spotted BB:CP available, but I can't afford it yet... So maybe wait a month or two, buy it, then play away...
Until then, this is SanguisAnima, temporarily signing off.