Chapter 8-Anarchy's Wind
Sword training was really just like everything else Knight's Assent: Gear would yell at me, telling me what to do almost like an insult, and I'd do it right the first time or mess up a few times before getting it down. The only difference was that now I had a sword to do it all with. The sword's details were very intricate: Several symbols probably of the Arbiter's design were put almost everywhere on the sword, including a design of something Gear identified as the universal symbol of justice, an upside-down triangle with three perpendicular bisectors jettisoning from each point, and a circle around the intersection point. If you don't know what a perpendicular bisector is, think of a straight line coming down from an inside corner of a triangle, dividing the triangle into two.
It was nearing Christmas, unto which I was surprised Volteers celebrated. The holiday spirit was abounds, talk of various stuff to do on the holiday was discussed along the military personnel that I passed by on the way to the training room. In fact, coincidentally, I was finishing the whole of Knight's Assent on Christmas. That's a Christmas gift in itself.
I woke up to Gear's usual military-style yelling. It seemed slightly softer, but I got up as fast as I usually did-very fast.
However, I wasn't expecting that everything here would be given a Christmas touch. Gear was grinning, standing near a Christmas Tree. There were only two or three presents, but I think that It was enough.
Gear cheered with a smile, as he walked towards my bed. I looked confused as I changed from the PJs into the clothes I usually wore.
"Ah, can't remember what Christmas is, can ya?"
said Gear. "Christmas is a time for giving. Here's what I'm giving you-an extra hour to open whatever's here, and good news: With the fast progress you've made so far, you'll be finishing up Knight's Assent today, if you're quick enough."
Gear added. "Your presents are in the boxes. Open 'em up!"
he said, gesturing to the boxes.
I walked up appearing nervous, as if the boxes was booby trapped or something. I wasn't really nervous, of course. I opened one quickly-specifically, one book-shaped. Inside was a journal.
"That book's blank. You can write what you do day-to-day in it. Neat, huh? It's called a Journal."
I opened the next box, which was slightly larger. Inside that was a pack of Pokemon toys, with a small screw to wind them up. There was a toy of Palka and a larger, more intricate screw inside the box as well, separate from the package. I looked at Gear, totally puzzled.
"They're all the rage, them Pokemon figures!"
exclaimed Gear. "They're popular among folks that don't really have the cash to actually raise Pokemon. I'm not sure why they use screws to wind 'em up over a switch to activate them, but they're really lifelike!"
Gear added. "Some clever folks used some spatial distortion and some light tricks on some regular Pokemon toys, and the result were these!"
I looked at the Palkia toy. There was a number on it's back. The number was 3437. There was also some small text below it that subtly yet proudly declared 'Rapid Fire+.'
"The larger key makes the figures larger, but don't ask me how. Oh, and that Palkia is absurdly rare. Don't lose it."
Gear warned. "The instructions are in the package, so open that up too!"
I tore apart the cardboard with a little less hesitation, still looking semi-confused. Inside was a Pikachu (The number was 347, no words beneath it), A Oshawott (The number was 354, no text), a Charmander (The number said 400, no words), and a Glaceon (The number was 839, and text that said 'Up Ghost'). A paper fell out too, detailing all the specifics to the figures that I ever needed to know.
I noticed the third package, and this time opened it up without a prompt. Inside was a wallet, packed with paper currency that certainly wasn't the dollar bill.
"You have to have money. There's no doubt about it."
said Gear, rubbing his goatee.
"It's nothing. Nothing at all."
Gear said. "No, seriously, compared to the money-buster that most Christmas’s are, this was impossibly cheap."
I smiled politely.
That was probably the last truly good thing Gear did for me under no unwilling circumstance.
The winter decor mother nature brewed up continued to be peppered upon Cavix from the heavens, as I walked outside. I had completed Knights Assent (Thank God), and had been told that I should go to the Cavix Orphanage.
However...I already had a different plan.
"Look, I already knew that you want those Arbiters absolutely destroyed, but giving that kind of info to a Terrorist Group?! You don't know what they'll do with it!"
"And that, Latries, is the only doubt I have too: Unpredictability. The news would no doubt do something, and hopefully something constructive, but until it happens, we've got no clue what kind of action they'll take."
The conversation between me and Latries on the Monorail, with use of thinking my answers back to Latries over speaking them, was simply about what would happen. It was all I could do. I had to keep my ears peeled, however, for the whereabouts of any of their hideouts; the only thing I needed to give the whole Terrorist Group the Intel all at once.
Of course, secrecy was the reason why the Terrorists Groups were still surviving.
My eyes caught a man. This man seemed to have every last muscle beefed up to the largest size possible, and this man was wearing some kind of necklace of iron balls just to add on to his strength. I had caught notice of a symbol on his shirt, almost completely hidden from view by a vest he wore too: A symbol of a ring. Inside this ring was a crescent moon, and a lightning bolt connected the tips of this moon...
He caught notice of me, and adjusted his vest so that the symbol was completely out of view, then ceased eye contact.
I found a Terrorist Group's member.
A slight jerk announced the train's stop, and the Terrorist left the monorail, and had it not been for his massive muscle, he would have blended into the crowd perfectly. I followed in a calm manner that wouldn't show signs of following somebody's tail.
His next destination was to the Markets, where even more people abounded, but that only made him stand out more. It was like finding a black cow in a massive flock of white sheep. I kept an even pace, as did he-nobody would expect that the muscle man would be related to terrorism, nor that I was following him.
He turned sharply into an alleyway, and I followed with a little more speed. I made it around in time to see which door he entered: A kind of tavern. There was also a convenient trash can to transform behind.
I ran to the trash can, and transformed into the Half-Latries form. I turned invisible too, and popped out from behind just in time to see somebody else with the same symbol as the muscle man: Someone that was barely twenty-one, with the symbol stitched into his jeans, though it was very tiny. He opened the door, and I slipped in.
The Tavern was filled to the brim with guests drinking their hearts out, and the young man I tailed was just interacting with the barkeeper. I caught sight of the several kinds of alchaholic beverages on the menu: It included everything from something called 'Alchemy's Wine' to 'Lloyd's Mead.'
"A pint of Anarchy's Wind."
Said the young man, almost totally muffled by the rest of the bar. The receding barkeeper was reaching for the tap labeled 'Alchemy's Wine,' when he caught, out of the corner of his eye, three taps on the table with the young man's ring finger.
"Sorry. We're all out." Said the barkeeper.
"It's no problem."
Said the young man, getting up from the seat he so briefly occupied, and heading towards the men's restrooms.
I followed, thankful that when I did accidentally brush by somebody, they mistook it for the person nearby. I slipped in the bathroom just before the door closed.
There were four stalls and three urinals, the latter seemingly controlled by motion sensors. The young man activated the third urinal from the left, but didn't do his business in it at all, and walked away, letting it flush. He then walked into the fourth stall on the left, into which I slid in. I wasn't letting him out of my sight.
I was surprised that nobody noticed a giant gaping hole in the wall, save me and the young man. Where it led was totally blacked out, save the first few inches. The young man stepped in, and I followed.
The instant the Young man took three steps deep into the barely-illuminated cave (I barely got my whole self in), the hole repaired itself silently and without warning. I was immediately discomforted by the lack of light.
Then two torches lit up with odd green flames, revealing a ladder that led directly down. I practically threw myself down the hole, for the young man was out of sight.
The ladder ended a few yards down, revealing another section of the cave, with two other green torches and a door. The door had the symbol that the young man and the muscle man both sported. Engraved under it was a title:
Winds of Anarchy, Blades of Truth
There didn't seem to be a trick to this at all...Then the young man reappeared from the ladder above.
"Hell, I swore it was 'Blades of Truth'..."
The young man said. The text under 'Eon Sky' was instantly removed. The young man engraved in different text.
Winds of Anarchy, Death of Corruption
The young man re-entered the door, walked inside...Then reappeared on the ladder again, only now, the flames turned yellow.
"F*** this S**t!"
The man cussed. "Did they change it again?!"
Someone on the other side knocked on the door, and opened it halfway, to reveal the muscle man. "We haven't. It's 'Winds of Anarchy, Demise of Liars,' you idiot."
He said. "It's been that for four days now."
The young man cussed under his breath, a look of downright rage on his face, as he walked inside, and as I slipped in before the muscle man closed the door.
It was the mirror image of the room with the ladder from before, no changes, minus the yellow flames over the green ones. The muscle man got on the ladder and slid down, as did the young man. I followed their suit, getting on and sliding down.
The ladder fell even further down, to a room with another ladder, same as the last one. Do I need to explain?
However, when I reached the bottom of this ladder...
This time, I was led into a place that suited a post-apocalyptic army bunker build underground, with about a hundred people, either chatting, smoking, drinking alchahol, cussing, looking at a rack which held a lot of weapons and pointing, and other various things. Two green flames were placed at the bottom of this ladder, but otherwise, the lighting was the same kind of half-electric half-Volteer distortion that didn't differ in design from your everyday light. There was a stage, opposite me, that the muscle man was heading directly too, whist the young man mingled with the others.
Once the large man hit the stage, everything stopped. Even one of the smokers put out the cigarette in his mouth and trashed it.
"Brethren of Eon Sky, our brief worries about being discovered can now be dispelled! We have not been compromised!"
The Muscle man declared. "Teal has protected our location from Avonu and his unwitting pawns!"
Everybody cheered. Whoever Teal was, it was good that he protected their location...For them.
"However, we must still wait before we attempt another full-scale raid, and we must still keep our identity secret!"
The muscle man commanded. "This delay is a small price to pay for our continued existence, and future strength!"
More roars from the crowd-but now it was mingled with a few boos.
"Now, onto our next business...It's been kept secret long enough. Teal had already picked a new member long before any of us knew it, even the person he chose. However...From what I can get at, Teal also notified me he also shares our beliefs, has seen Avonu's true colors right under Voya’s nose, and is incredibly powerful!"
The muscle man said.
A general 'huh?' was issued around the room. Even I couldn't get at why this Teal guy chose someone to join a Terrorist Group without telling him or most of the Terrorist Group.
"Teal did conveniently note, however, that this new member just so happens to be invisible, and would be right in front of the entrance-today."
he said, revealing a remote within his pocket and pressing it.
Everybody's heads somehow managed to turn directly to me, even though I could still look through my hand, and at the same time, a metal wall slammed down just behind me-I was trapped.
In the shock of being discovered so easily, and swearing that the muscle man said I'd be the next member (that came out of the blue), I forgot to retain invisibility, as I instead focused more of my efforts to fighting off the all-sides attack.
I was aiming with reckless abandon, but every last blow was a hit because of the sheer amount of people...However, just when I thought that I might just be the last one standing by some miracle, the muscle man caught me off-guard by slamming into me from behind.
He was strong enough to hold me firmly in one arm, leaving me to helplessly struggle. Gear had never told me how to do anything to a person that was not only flat-out stronger than you, but also gripping you around the chest, rendering arm-based attacks impossible.
"Easy! I'm not gonna hurt you!"
said the man. "I've never seen this guy before, but I'll check in the back room anyways. Don't disturb me!"
he said to the rest of the terrorist group.
General passing of gossip ran from mouth to ear for every terrorist in the room, as I was helplessly dragged back, deciding that at least I'd get my chance to inform him of the truth about Avonu...Though a little suspicion already told me they knew before I did.
Now, I had been taken to a more private back room, where there were a few chairs. I was put in one of them, and the muscle man sat himself down in the one opposite me.
Answer me calmly...Do you know Avonu Voya's an Arbiter?"
This was worthless. I had no idea that there was a chance that anybody could have learned of this news before I did.
"What's your name?"
"Touch this orb. It won't hurt you."
he said, holding his hand out and conjuring a blue orb inside it. I touched it.
"...You've got to be kidding me."
the muscle man said as he removed the orb. "Are you only twelve?"
I transformed back into my 100% human form. The muscle man was briefly startled, but I didn't move. However, he slapped himself when I replied: "Yes..."
"If I EVER see Teal again, I'll kill him for this. I will."
said the muscle man.
"Whatever...Teal said that I HAD to let you join without any fuss...Meet back here on the twenty-seventh, four-o-clock, side entrance. The Tavern's name is 'Iron Goblet,' in case you didn't notice. I'll get you in."