The Goldmar Incident: A Superhero Role-Play { Accepting Applicants via PM }

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Must be slow on the forum. This got way too many submissions.

Asclepion:
Must be slow on the forum. This got way too many submissions.

My previous thread, Battlegrounds, got thirty applicants. Goldmar will close in the next couple of days, if not sooner.

CounterAttack:

Asclepion:
Must be slow on the forum. This got way too many submissions.

My previous thread, Battlegrounds, got thirty applicants. Goldmar will close in the next couple of days, if not sooner.

Must have been slow then, too.

Asclepion:
Must have been slow then, too.

I don't know what you mean. Could you please elaborate?

CounterAttack:
I don't know what you mean. Could you please elaborate?

Getting 30 character sheets isn't normal. I don't understand why people would do that when half of them are going to be turned away, and half of the remainder will participate beyond the first page. At least, that's the pattern I've seen.

Asclepion:
Getting 30 character sheets isn't normal. I don't understand why people would do that when half of them are going to be turned away, and half of the remainder will participate beyond the first page. At least, that's the pattern I've seen.

People like to take their chances, I guess. As for people not posting, that's why I include a commitment clause in the rules sections of my threads. So far no-one has dropped out of Battlegrounds, though some people do post less often than others.

Asclepion:

Getting 30 character sheets isn't normal. I don't understand why people would do that when half of them are going to be turned away, and half of the remainder will participate beyond the first page. At least, that's the pattern I've seen.

Don't think I can necessarily speak for anyone else, but I like the activity of making and fiddling with characters as a proses in and of itself. Sure I'd like to get accepted and take part in the RP, but even if I don't; I've already had some fun, gotten to think about new things in a different light, etcetera. So, ya' know, there's that.

Fishtie:

Don't think I can necessarily speak for anyone else, but I like the activity of making and fiddling with characters as a proses in and of itself. Sure I'd like to get accepted and take part in the RP, but even if I don't; I've already had some fun, gotten to think about new things in a different light, etcetera. So, ya' know, there's that.

I understand :3

Asclepion:

Fishtie:

Don't think I can necessarily speak for anyone else, but I like the activity of making and fiddling with characters as a proses in and of itself. Sure I'd like to get accepted and take part in the RP, but even if I don't; I've already had some fun, gotten to think about new things in a different light, etcetera. So, ya' know, there's that.

I understand :3

I'll agree with all the above, and Asclepion pretty sure somethings catch more interests then others, you have to admit there isn't a bunch of interesting things on the forum.

Announcement:

The following characters have been accepted into The Goldmar Incident:

CounterAttack:
Lisette Gray

NeoAC:
Kai-Huei "Kayla" Lin

Lambi:
Christine Harper

Fappy:
Noel Brandt

Pm0n3y:
Dominic Salazar-Tate

socialtangent:
Brent Foster

elementsoul:
Marcus Wickliffe

Baldrek:
Amanda Zegers

Grim327:
Ryan Grayson

Dogmatic99:
Adam Chambers

RatRace, my co-GM, is currently without a computer as I have said previously. He will likely join as a late entrant.

The accepted characters will be edited into my reserved posts accompanying the opening post. Once that has been completed, I shall make the necessary arrangements on Skype, then begin work on the opening in-character post. As with the other two role-plays I am currently running, there will not be a second thread for in-character posts. Everything will be in the one thread for simplicity's sake.

Those who wish to receive commentary on the character they submitted, and/or an explanation of why their character was not accepted, may PM me asking about this if they wish. However, I request that the manner in which one asks be civil and polite. I don't want to be involved in any fights over my decisions, and will not respond to aggressive messages.

Thank you all for your interest and the questions you have posed.

aww :( oh well, have fun ya'all

I assume you have something against russians, or (understandably) didn't want to put up with a terribly cheesy russian accent.

Have fun!

Well shoot.

My apologies for not informing you earlier, but I dropped out and was going to announce it on this thread, but shit got real.

Hope it works out, though, as it sounds ripe with potential.

The Goldmar Incident

Prologue: Pieces Falling Into Place


From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Mr. Edgar Reynolds, world-renowned geneticist. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of biology and genetics, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.

The email had been in Lisette Gray's inbox yesterday when she had returned to her apartment from work. Genetics, eh... biology was an avenue that she had yet to explore. She had arrived at the university rather early: it was 9:30 AM on a Thursday and a lot of people were walking around with coffees in hand. All of them would have been purchased from the mini-trailer permanently set up outside Goldmar's Visitors Center.

Another semester was drawing to a close. Lisette had already completed the course that she had enrolled in, an introduction to journalism. It was an interesting topic, but... she didn't know if that was what she wanted to attach herself to. Just like everything else she'd tried. It was a mite concerning, how she hadn't figured out her career path after all this time. Her parents were supportive, but they too wanted her to find a subject and build a career on it. So Lisette was finding topics that looked good, registered for the appropriate introductory course, and given it a shot. All of them had been... well, average, once she'd gotten started. She persisted, though, and kept trying over the years.

That was why she was attending this new biology presentation. Lisette had tied her hair back this morning, and was wearing a plain shirt, pants and shoes with a slight heel to them. She made a point of looking somewhat formal for unique occasions like this. She hadn't entered the hall just yet, as she hadn't seen anyone else go in: she hated sitting alone in an empty lecture hall. For now, she waited on a bench outside in case someone else showed up, her satchel resting on the ground by her feet.


It had taken years of effort, an immaculate disguise and cover, a lot of money spent on bribes and deals, and a healthy dose of luck, but finally the project was ready to begin. The emails had been sent out, each one tailored to the recipient's choice of study, or lack thereof, and the hall booked for the appropriate time. If he was lucky, he would have a packed hall full of new test subjects.

Of course, getting the students to the hall relied on the gamble that they would actually take up the offer, especially since some candidates weren't tied down to one specific field of study, but it would work on at least some people. One subject was better than none.

These were the thoughts the suited man was going over as he sat behind the desk at the front of Lecture Hall Three, occasionally checking a laptop computer for updates. A large, three-foot-tall and two-foot-wide object occupied most of the desk, covered by a black cloth and protected by a prominent 'Do Not Touch' sign set up in front of it. If anyone approached the device, he would redirect their attention elsewhere.

From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Mr. Edgar Reynolds, world-renowned geneticist. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of biology and genetics, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. It is vitally important that policy makers today stay up-to-date on profound scientific discoveries and this your chance to get one step ahead! Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.

"Expresso, please," Noel greeted the cashier with a grin. Although obviously exhausted, the cashier forced a smile in return and began blending her drink. Noel checked her phone. 9:31. It honestly felt like noon already. "Thanks!" Noel said cheerfully as she was handed back her credit card and sent on her way.

She hadn't originally planned to attend this presentation, but a gap in her schedule formed when it turned out they wouldn't need her help at the animal shelter today. Thankfully she still managed to get up early enough to do her hair and don a grey suit. Slightly more business than casual. She headed towards the lecture hall sipping her drink when her phone began to ring, "Noel speaking. Oh, hi Mark."

It was one of her fellow student senators. Another morning person. Noel thought he was nice enough, but he was far too opinionated for her taste, "Yes, yes I know," Noel sighed. "I know."

He had been trying to get her to come to his side on the Green Initiative they were enacting on campus, but she honestly couldn't care less about the finer details of the issue. She had far more pressing issues she'd have preferred to address. As she listened to Mark blather on she searched the area for a place to sit. The lecture wouldn't start for another 25 minutes.

She noticed another girl sitting on a bench right outside the hall. Noel smiled at her as she sat down, "No, listen Mark. I know you're passionate about," He was getting pretty fired up. Noel frantically turned the volume down, so her new neighbor couldn't hear him. "Mark. Mark! Listen! Fine, go on," Noel shook her head and rolled her eyes.

From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Mr. Edgar Reynolds, world-renowned behavioral psychologist and body language analyst. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of criminal psychology and law enforcment, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.

BUZZ!-BUZZ!-BUZZ!-BUZZ!

"myeeeehh..."

Adam swung his hand at the alarm clock, only reaching as far from the covers as he had to. He mashed the buttons on its top and rolled over to take a look, the bright red numbers said 08:00 AM. He cursed his morning routine and stared intently at the clock as if he could will time to reverse, all the while thinking up half hearted reasons for him not to get up. Come on! You made a commitment and you're going to stick to it. Now get up.

Half an hour later he crawled out from under the covers and squinted in front of the mirror with bloodshot eyes as he brushed his teeth. He had to admit it was times like this that he was glad he didn't have a room mate. After making himself look presentable, most of which involved trying to scrub the club stamp off of his hand, Adam was left standing in front of his open wardrobe. Looking at things plainly, he didn't have enough time to get his usual morning run in and make it back to get his things in time for the lecture. He could always do it later, it looked lie a nice enough day, no doubt the weather would hold up.

"Later it is then." He said to the room, putting on his favorite blue plaid shirt and a pair of jeans.

Adam's dorm was close to Lecture Hall 3, giving him time to grab a cup of coffee from the trailer by the visitor center first. He sped up and managed to get to the hall with time to spare. He rounded the corner, his backpack slung over one shoulder, and saw a pair of students taking up the bench outside the hall entrance.

Funny, he hadn't seen either of these two girls in any of his lectures before. Maybe they were therapy or just regular psych majors. He lent against the wall and took the time to take a good swig of his coffee (which was much easier to do now he wasn't moving). He made eye contact with the girl who wasn't on the phone and gave her a friendly nod. Had he seen her somewhere before?

Expectantly, the study hall Dominic Tate occupied was quiet, and practically vacant. It was considered the best time to get homework done, and he wasn't gonna let the opportunity pass up. Or, at least he usually wouldn't. But today was different, it seemed. If going by the e-mail he received sometime yesterday, he would have to postpone the homework's completion if he were to catch that presentation. Maybe he could finish it during the presentation? No, that was definitely out of the question, he was gonna take notes during it.



From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Lt. Edgar Reynolds, Head of SHPD's Homicide and Forensics unit. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.



Dom read the e-mail from his phone for a second time, making sure he was reading the time and location correctly. "Don't wanna pass this opportunity up. Can't forget." He mumbled to himself. He turned his attention back towards the homework before him, not wanting the lingering sensation of anxiousness take over his concentration. He took a sip from his coffee cup, and answered another math problem. Geometry II, a General Education elective he decided to hold off on until he needed it to pass. And with his fourth year coming to a close, it was now or never.

After powering through another gaggle of questions, He took a quick gander at his watch. "9:45. I should head to the Lecture Hall now so I can get a better seat. Hopefully this ends before 1:00, t'would give me some extra time to finish this up before class." He thought aloud, finishing off what was left of (would most likely be) his first coffee of the day. Tucking his textbook, calcualator, and notebook into his dingy brown knapsack, Dom collected his navy blue sport coat before departing, throwing the empty cup in the nearest trash receptacle as he exited the large area.

The cool breeze of morning greeted the student, causing him to put on the jacket. "Hmm, the hall shouldn't be too far from here..." Actually, he could very visibly spot the establishment from where he stood. With a pep in his step, he started for the building, and noticed others lounging about the entrance as he closed in on their position. Arriving not to far behind a more casually dressed male student, Dom was starting to feel a little underdressed (even if he was wearing a form fitting ensemble consisting of a dress shirt, tie, sweater vest, and loafers) as he got a good look at the two girls waiting outside the hall.

"Maybe I should've wore dress pants instead of slim jeans today...and shaved..." He thought, giving a greeting nod towards the trio of students before stepping inside. The hall was still relatively empty, save for the one man casually pacing behind a desk near the head of the hall. The fairly large, shrouded item adorning the desk caused Dom to raise a brief eyebrow before shrugging it off. "S'probably some new thing the school's implementing into their classes. Maybe he's going to introduce it here or something?" Dom soon found a seat along one of the halls many rows of seats, aiming for one of the rows closer to the front.

Brent Foster rolled out of bed to silence his cell phone's alarm.

9:00 AM

A little bit later than he usually woke up during the semester. Even with the extra hour of sleep. Brent felt groggy and tired. He slid into a pair of jeans and threw on a green t-shirt before heading to his dorm's modest kitchen. It was big enough to house a small fridge, dishwasher, sink, microwave, and coffee machine. The coffee machine was by far the fanciest appliance in the kitchen. It was one of those fancy models that brewed cup-sized proportions in proprietary sealed "pods," but in a pinch could brew coffee grounds. It was a Christmas gift from Brent's parents, and a very welcome one at that.

On the ramen wrapper-littered counter was the can of coffee grounds. His roommate Eric must have left it out before leaving for God-knows-where. In any case, Brent removed the filter, cleaned it out, and put in enough to brew a cup. He waited patiently as the machine filled his mug with coffee in a steady trickle. After that was done, he gave his drink a healthy dose of vanilla creamer and prepared two slices of toast. Not much of a breakfast, but he wasn't going to be out long. While drinking his coffee, Brent pulled out his phone and checked the saved folder on his email account. The message he was looking for was right where he left it.



From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Edgar Reynolds, a Senior Software Engineer for Microsoft Corporation. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of Computer Science, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.


Brent had promised himself that he would start seriously investigating career options at the end of the semester, and this was as good a start as any. Although a bit skeptical, he figured that going to this presentation was worth a shot. By the time Brent finished his meager breakfast and browsed his usual websites, it was already 9:36, so he threw on a black suit jacket, fixed his hair, and went out the door.

It took him about ten minutes to walk from his dorm to the lecture hall. He was in no real rush, so he took his time. The Goldmar campus was rather peaceful when it was empty like this. At least, relatively empty. There was still small amounts of activity, students going to makeup finals and staff members scurrying around to do...whatever they did at the end of the semester.

With plenty of time to spare, Brent entered the lecture hall and picked a seat towards the back. There were already a few people taking their seats, but he paid them no mind as he pulled out his phone and plugged in his earbuds. He put his music library on shuffle and made his Internet rounds again. Maybe there'd be a funny article or two to help kill the time.

Chris had woken up easily around an hour before the presentation would start. It was a fairly peaceful morning. No one was at home, so she had the place to herself until she would leave. She went for a quick shower and opted for wearing something casual to the presentation. An orange tank top, one of her many white zipped sweaters, green shorts and one of her pairs of sandals. She never liked wearing socks while in her sandals. Not that she had anything to hide, really, her feet looked normal enough. She'd also be taking her sketchbook and pencil with her in her little handbag like she always did, just in case inspiration struck her.

Chris went to the kitchen to find herself something to eat before going. There had to be something she could get for herself, and sure enough, she found some bread and an open jar of marmalade. "Oooh, nice. Just what I need in the morning~" she mused to herself as she put some marmalade on two pieces of bread and ate them after putting the bread and marmalade back into the fridge. While eating, she felt the need to check over the email again, pulling out her smartphone and checking on the email again.

From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Mr. Edgar Reynolds, a very talented artist with an up-and-coming career. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of art, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.

It had greatly interested Chris, especially since one day she wanted to be a famous artist, or at least be able to draw whatever came to her mind as she imagined it, which was something she couldn't always do.

Once she finished eating, she headed out, locking the door to her family's house behind her and heading towards where the presentation would be held at. It was a bright and sunny day today, which was the main reason she had opted for shorts and sandals instead of jeans and sneakers.

When she arrived there, Chris found that there were a few people who had arrived already. "Good morning~" she said to them in a musing and soft manner. She found a seat amongst the front rows and sat down beside a tan skinned man who looked quite serious to her. She gave him a smile as she sat down and looked in front of her like he did, towards the object obstructed by a black cloth. Is that some kind of sculpture? Ooh, I can't wait to see~ She hummed a cheery tune to herself as she waited for the presentation to start.

From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Mr. Edgar Reynolds, world-renowned professor of economics. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of Business Economics, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.

The email had been waiting for Amanda back home yesterday, when she had luckily asked her roommate to borrow her computer to check some of her notes on the intranet. One of these days she had to set aside money for a small computer of her own, but with her current finances that wasn't a possibility, not unless she started working part time again. Next time such an important mail was sent she might miss it if she didn't have ready access to her mail and the internal network however, so there might be no way around it.

Amanda was also lucky in that she didn't have any classes at the time when Mr. Reynolds' lecture would be held, she'd be in a bind if her schedule collided after all, and while this might cut into her study time in the library it would be well worth it to hear Reynolds speak. It would give her more direction in her work, and that wasn't frowned upon by her, she needed to make her time here at Goldmar count, every minute of it.

Today she had gotten up early, gotten groomed up for the day ahead using her finer clothes for the occasion, and set off to the reading hall for some early morning study. It would be important to make a good first impression on a potentially new contact, at least that was something that her brother had kept telling her last time she had visited home, and that meant her good clothes and a bit of pre-lecture preparation.

She had spent the better part of two hours in the reading hall constructing a list of questions for the lecture ahead and reading up on a summary of what they had gone over in both Macro- and Micro-economics to prepare herself. She had also tried to find some information about this Mr. Edgar Reynolds, but searching for him had proved fruitless, a little bit odd, but hardly surprising to her.

Seeing that the watch was nearing 9:40, she packed her books and supplies as she got ready to leave for the lecture hall, better to be early than late.


Arriving at the hall with several minutes to spare, judging by the people still assembled outside, she made a beeline for the hall and went straight towards the front of the hall, nodding occasionally in greeting to people she recognized, or who seemed to recognize her. Sitting down at the front a few seats from another student she got out her notebook and pencil from her pack as she got ready to take notes from the lecture. It was still a bit of time until it started but she liked to be prepared, gave her some extra time to go over her questions for the Q&A session as well. That, and she felt a bit more secure about asking her questions in a hall full of other students if she knew exactly what to ask about. It made her feel less foolish about asking if they were well thought out, which she was pretty sure they were at this point.

From: jsilvani
To: me
Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Edgar Reynolds, a Senior Software Engineer for Microsoft Corporation. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of Computer Science, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.

6:30

Ryan finished his morning work-out at the gym and came back to his dorm to grab a welcomed shower. When he got out and dried off, Ryan put on some casual clothes and headed to his dorm's small kitchen to grab breakfast. A small, simple fridge, microwave, and simple coffee pot made up the appliances. All Ryan needed though was the milk in the fridge and a bowl for his cereal. After making his breakfast, Ryan hopped on his computer. Sadly his roommate was still asleep, so he couldn't open the volume up too loud. So he grabbed his headphones, plugged them in, and opened an online music player and began checking his usual sites. When Ryan opened his email, he saw the email he read last night and remembered the lecture, he scheduled himself to go to. However, there was still plenty of time before then, so he finished his breakfast and used most of the rest of his time to finish homework or take notes on the next chapter in his reading.

9:40

As Ryan was pulling on some nice jeans and a polo shirt, he tried to look at his phone to see what time it was. When he saw the time, Ryan sped himself up to make sure he got to the lecture hall in time. He slipped his sneakers on, and grabbed his book bag. He forego-ed coffee instead for a bottle of water, and headed out the door. Ryan saw that the college day was trying to start with students and faculty milling about. As he reached the lecture hall, Ryan saw that a small group of students was beginning to form near the doors of the hall. Hm, not entirely surprised that this lecture would be this popular, Ryan thought to himself. With book bag slung over his left shoulder, Ryan walked up to the group and cheerily said, " What's up, guys?"

As the early morning sun was still rising and peaking through the windows of the quiet three story apartment complex on Larchwood Avenue, the young woman inside had been up to match it, taking the opportunity to study up while she prepared her breakfast. That was one thing she learned early in her life. There is always time to study. While waiting for the omelette to set, Kayla read through another pair of paragraphs in her Methods of Theoretical Physics textbook. Once finished she moved back to the stove, sprinkling the crumbled feta cheese over the still soft egg mixture. The sliced up sliver of green pepper followed, and a quick flip sealed the ingredients inside. Sliding it onto the plate, she moved back over to the table, to her book and her laptop.

As she ate the fruits of her labor on the stove, she continued to read through the chapter. I should probably check that e-mail again. It was in Lecture Hall 3 right? Hitting the bookmark for her uni-mail inbox, the message was right on top.

From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Mr. Edgar Reynolds, world-renowned particle physicist. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the field of Physics, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.

"10AM?" A quick check of the time indicated that Kayla half an hour to finish her breakfast and get down there. "Shit!"


After doing a disservice to her omelette by wolfing it down in record speed, Kayla hustled to the campus building where the creatively named Lecture Hall 3 awaited. As she hurried inside, Kayla cursed herself for losing track of time. Can't even grab myself a coffee. I know that line-up would make me at least 8 minutes late. She snuck in the doors, averting her gaze from the students that had set up shop outside as she moved in. Upon entry, she was disappointed. So few people here for this? And no one I know? Great. She slunk into the first chair availble in the front row, away from the other cluster of students that had gathered.

As she brought her laptop out to get ready to take notes on what the assumed Edgar Reynolds at the deck would care to offer, she took a closer look at the people in attendance. I don't think any of these people take Physics. At least not in my year. Are they from other schools maybe? Would Western Michigan really be that proactive? I wouldn't think that one pony school would bother with something like this...

From: jsilvani
To: me

Dear Student,

You have been invited to a presentation by guest speaker Mr. Edgar Reynolds, a senior partner at Plante & Moran Accounting Firm. Mr. Reynolds will be speaking on career options in the fields of accounting and auditing, and will host a Q&A session afterwards for those inclined to stay.

Location: Lecture Hall 3
Time: 10:00 AM tomorrow morning

Registration for a holiday workshop led by Mr. Reynolds will also be available after the presentation's conclusion.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Goldmar students. Hope to see you there!
Janina Silvani, Goldmar Chief Administrator

Please note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply directly to this email.

Marcos reread the email and yawned. It was two in the morning and he was just shutting off his computer when he noticed that he had a new email in his in box. With class over for the semester, Marcus had gotten into habit of sleep for most of the day, and waking up in time to eat dinner and go hang out at night.

He yawned again as he turned off his computer, set his alarm for eight o'clock, and left his roommates a note to wake him up by nine twenty just in case. Plante &Moran was one of the top Accounting Firms in Michigan, and had been on Forbes list of the top 100 companies to work for, for a number of years. Missing this presentation would be something that he couldn't afford.



Marcus heard his alarm go off and looked over at the clock. He had set his alarm to go off so that he could enjoy the guilty pleasure of the snooze button six times before he actually had to get up if he didn't want to rush in the morning. Quickly he shot his hand out to his alarm clock and hit a button. The alarm disappeared and he fell back to sleep instantly.


The sudden presence of water being poured over him woke Marcus from his sleep. "If that is your bong water again I'll throw you out the window," Marcus said half muffled as his face was still partially buried in his pillow. The act of defenestration was an empty threat, which Marcus often forgot, since their apartment was on the first floor of the building.

"Chill. Just tap water. Tommy still has a bruise from the last time he thought that would be funny. Now if you don't wake up you'll be late dumbass," Justin, Macrus' other roommate, said to him as he left the room.

Macrus looked up from his pillow and saw that his alarm clock read 9:22. In a rush, he quickly got up, showered, brushed his teeth, put on a suit and tie, (as was standard when you were going to see a presenter, or if you were presenting anything in an accounting program) and finally grabbed some raw Pop-Tarts to eat as he ran to catch a bus to campus.


Marcus got off his bus and ran it to Lecture Hall 3. He quickly pulled out his phone and checked the time as he turned it to silent. Two minutes to spare. Damn I'm lucky. Slowing down to a walk as he reached the Lecture Hall Marcus quietly entered and noticed the hall to be mostly empty. He chose to sit in a seat in the middle of the room, a few rows back from the front.

So I'm either in the wrong place, or most of the people in my program have either gone home, or couldn't make it here with that last minute notice. Here's to hoping that it will be option number two and that I'll be able to get some good words in with him from the Q&A to follow.

A few people were gathering near Lisette while she waited for the hall to fill up a bit more. She recognised one of them from work: Adam, she thought his name was, though she couldn't remember his drink of choice. Within a few minutes more and more people began to file into the hall; it was getting close to the presentation's starting time. Lisette got up and collected her satchel from the ground, gesturing to the others nearby that they should head inside.

Lecture Hall Three was a rather basic affair, featuring pretty much the standard in designs and equipment: projectors and screens, elevated seating, and a large desk at the front of the room. Lisette chose a seat a few rows back from the front, though she didn't get her laptop out or anything. This was rather like an introductory lecture, she reasoned, as she had no knowledge of the subject on which Mr Reynolds was about to speak.

Soon the clock on the wall struck ten, and stragglers were the only ones coming into the hall. Once the last seat had been taken, the suited man at the desk stood up and took a place in front of the large covered object. "Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for making the choice to be here today," he began. "I say 'the choice' because you could have chosen not to come. And what a pity that would have been." Some members of the audience laughed a little, Lisette included.

As the man spoke, he began to use his hands expressively and walk back and forth in front of the desk, almost as if he were playing a part upon a stage.

"Today, my students, is a momentous day. One that will transform your lives forever. You will transcend the boundaries of your present-day lives, and become something more than your peers could ever hope to be. Together, we shall test - ah, I forgot something. Lock the doors!"

Before anyone could get up, a dozen men materialised out of nowhere, three at each of the four entrances to the lecture hall. They wore black, white and grey body armour, full-face helmets and scientific-looking rectangular packs on their backs. Each carried a silver, rifle-like weapon in both hands. One of the men at each door set to sealing the doors from the inside, while the other two raised their guns in case anyone tried anything. They looked and acted like well-trained soldiers.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there has been a change of plans. Edgar Reynolds will not be attending this presentation," the suited man continued, as if nothing had happened. "Instead, I - Nefarious - will be conducting an experiment. And you have all been chosen to be my test subjects."

"This is bullshit! You can't hold us here - " a man near the back of the seats shouted as he got up, fists raised. The closest soldier trained his weapon on the protestor and fired. A pulse of orange light shot from the end of his weapon and blasted straight through the man's chest. There was no blood spatter, just a circular hole burnt clean through his chest. The man fell, dead before he hit the desk in front of him.

Screams erupted in the lecture hall, and many tried to huddle under their desks. The man in the suit, Nefarious, shouted to make his voice heard above the cries of terror. "QUIET!" It took a while before the screams quietened down to whimpers. Lisette was trying to make herself as small as possible, panicking in her seat. Who were these people? Why had they hijacked the presentation? Would she be next to be shot? She didn't want to die... she could feel herself starting to cry, afraid for her life.

"No-one else will be harmed as long as you all remain calm and quiet, listen to what I have to say, and do not interrupt me again," Nefarious explained. "It is a shame that Mr. West had to die, but he refused my invitation after hearing me out. My condolences to his girlfriend. But I digress!" He spun around and whipped the cover off of the object on the table.

It was a large device with a mobile phone connected to it. The majority of the object was a glass tank with a thick green gas inside, and a steel cap on top. Nefarious spoke again. "This, my students, is the key to your transcendence. It is a genobomb, a biological tool devised by yours truly for one specific, non-lethal purpose. What that purpose is... well, now that would be telling. You will find out in due course." He picked up the phone and dialed a number. In response, the device produced a series of beeps and the steel cap opened up on hinges. The gas began to emerge from its container, spreading to fill the area surrounding it. Then it began to expand outwards. Nefarious seemed unfazed by its presence.

"And with that, my students, it is time for me to depart. We shall meet again, in time. Gentlemen, time to go." Eleven of the twelve armed and armoured men vanished in bursts of light and crackles of electricity. The twelfth casually punched the fire alarm to trigger it, then strode to Nefarious. The suited man disconnected the phone from the genobomb, gathered his possessions and placed a free hand on the soldier's shoulder. Then they too were gone.

The audience began to panic again. Many resumed their screams of terror, wailing for help from anyone who would listen. It was no use: the lecture hall was soundproofed, just like the others in Goldmar University. Some charged for the doors at the back of the theatre, hoping to bash through the wood, metal and glass. Their attempts to break free were ineffective: the doors had been fused to their locks and hinges. Others tried the same thing on the doors at the front of the room, but the green gas cloud soon enveloped them. Unable to avoid breathing it in, those caught in the cloud collapsed to the floor within a minute or two.

Lisette grabbed her bag and tried to run for a door, aiming to shove past the others who were already packed in the aisles. She tripped and fell on the stairs, curling herself into a ball and crying in earnest now. She wanted out, she wanted to go home... then she felt a tingling sensation in her mouth, nose and ears. Everything had gone green, and she felt herself getting a little dizzy... her head flopped back down to the floor as she slipped into unconsciousness.


Ten minutes later, a Silverhollow Fire Department crew broke open one of the fused doors to find the lecture hall full of unconscious - or dead - students: the genobomb's gas had dissipated harmlessly into the air. Evacuation orders were issued, the area cordoned off, and the students carried out and transferred to Elixir Hospital, Silverhollow's best equipped medical facility. The empty and inactive genobomb was confiscated by the SHPD after a team had checked both the device and the lecture hall for dangerous materials.

It was all going according to Nefarious' plans. Within a day or two the genetically compatible survivors would wake: within a week the first signs of change would theoretically start to show themselves. Some of those exposed to the genobomb would not survive, but there would be a healthy crop of new subjects to test. And he looked forward to that.

Project Transcendence Log Update: Goldmar subjects have been exposed to the genobomb. I shall have to wait a few days, probably a few weeks, to see the results for myself. Certain subjects will display the changes more prominently than others: send scouts to keep watch on everyone as per the plan.

Personal Entry: This will be an interesting time. The virus' results are often different for each individual. And I have no idea what each of the subjects will become: the best challenge is one that is overcome without knowing what it is.


Lisette stirred and tried to open her eyes. It felt like her eyelids were weighted down by something. Fuzzy voices were speaking nearby.

" - none of them seem to be experiencing anything in particular... clean bills of health, apart from anything they might have had prior to the incident... Doctor Haley! Another one is waking up."

With what felt like a colossal effort, Lisette forced her eyes open and tried to look around. The world was a blur: someone had removed her glasses. She could feel something pinning her down to... whatever she was lying on. Human-like shapes were standing a short distance away. She tried to speak. "Huh... wha's going on?"

Two of the people-ish things hurried over. "It's okay, just try and relax. You're in the hospital."

"Ca... can't see... where's my..."

"Here." Lisette felt hands on either side of her face, and saw a familiar pair of glasses moving into place. The room came into proper focus. Doctors... ceiling tiles... curtains... generic bedsheets. She was in a hospital ward. She never enjoyed visiting hospitals, and had never had cause to be a patient herself.

"You've been unconscious for almost a full day," one of the doctors explained. "You were transferred here after something happened at Goldmar University. We'll get your details and contact your family once you're properly awake. For now, just try to relax and get your bearings. Alright?"

Lisette nodded, trying to do as the doctor said. She had a bit of a headache.

After sitting down near the back of the lecture hall Noel had remained on the phone up until the last possible second. Mark just wouldn't let it go. She didn't hang up on people very often, if ever. She managed to silent her phone just as the man on stage began to speak. As he began his presentation Noel noticed something... off about him. Noel smirked at his joke and was somewhat amused at his theatrical nature, but the nagging feeling that something was wrong wouldn't subside. And then suddenly... she knew why. The moment he shouted, "Lock the doors!" the worst case scenario began to play in her head and was immediately confirmed when armed men appeared out of seemingly nowhere.

They were standing with weapons trained on the crowd. Directly behind her.

Did she have a fighting chance or was this it? Was this the end? Noel pulled her legs in close to her chest and buried her face in her knees trying to will them away.

The man next to her took notice and in what must have been an chivalrous act of naive courage, spoke out against the man who called himself Nefarious. Noel looked up just in time to see his expression go from that of anger to fear. He slowly turned his head as a high pitch buzz began to sound behind him. Noel never got a chance to see what scared him so much, but she did see the look on his face the moment he took his last breath. His expression would be burned into her mind for the rest of her life.

As his corpse collapsed onto the desk in front of him Noel clasped her mouth as hard as she could screaming and crying. She was convinced that she was going to die. This was the end.

Nefarious continued his presentation but his words fell on deaf ears. Noel was trapped in her own mind. She kept her eyes locked on the dull, lifeless eyes of the student next to her. She would be like him. She would die like him.

And then... they were gone. The gas spread throughout the room causing the students to go into a frenzy. In a situation like this Noel would have thought she'd be able to coordinate an escape. She thought she'd be able to save everyone. She never imagined how helpless she would feel. She noticed that, among some of the students who were throwing themselves at the doors, a few were making phone calls. They were saying goodbye.

Noel frantically reached into her laptop case for her phone and hit speed-dial. Saya didn't pick up and Noel could feel her consciousness fading as her voicemail began to play. She was barely holding on before she heard the beep sound, "S-Saya... I... stay strong, I..."

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************

She woke with a dull throbbing in the front of her skull. It took a few moments for her vision to acclimate. She was alive... SHE WAS ALIVE!

Once she gathered enough strength Noel sat up in bed to notice she was in the room alone and immediately started calling for a nurse. She had to tell her father and sister that she was okay as soon as possible. She couldn't let them worry.

As the presentation started, Kayla was paying rapt attention. It seemed like it was going to be a good lecture, light-hearted but serious. Then the doors locked. The cold grey commandos appeared. One of the other attendees at the back of the room came down with a bad case of bolt to the chest. Things had escalated quickly.

What is this? Some kind of cartoon plot? Who calls themselves Nefarious? What is that thing?

When the biological bomb was brought out, that's when the first signs of panic really set into Kayla's mind. What? No! No, he can't do that here! It can't end like this! As the unknown man disappeared with his footmen, Kayla bolted to the front door near where she was sitting, trying to force it open, but it wouldn't budge. Why can't I move this? Why is this happening? This doesn't make sense! Then the only sense she had was green. It filled her eyes with a viridian haze, and her mouth began choking down the gas. There was no escaping it. As Kayla slumped against the unmoving door, her last thoughts were of befuddled attempts at comprehending the screwed up logic of the world. Just like the rest of her, they came up short.


There were noises. Oddly-timed beeps not following much of a pattern. Shuffling steps moving on tiles. Her head moved and the darkness was no longer pure black. As her eyes started to flutter open, Kayla stared up and out the window that brought that shade of grey into her mind. What...what happened? Where am I? She looked around and tried to make eye contact with something underneath the brightness that composed the left side of her view. It was tough without her glasses. She tried to move but something had kept her glued to her bed. She couldn't move any part of her body other than her head.

"Someone's awake!" What? "Bed 6!"

A couple of blurs started to come into focus, getting bigger, colors more defined. "Hello!" one of them said. Male. Sounded slightly muffled. "Can...you...un-der-stand...us? Do...you...speak...ENG-a-LISH?"

Kayla never took too kindly to insinuations she was stupid in any way, but getting the whole English treatment really grated on her nerves. "Yes," Kayla answered, annoyance present in her voice. "I can understand you fine." Racist idiot. "What is going on?"

One of the blurs moved closer to her left side. "There was an incident at the university yesterday," the female voice told her. "You and the others in this room were exposed to something during a lecture and most of you have been unconscious here for the past day." A whole day?!? Unacceptable! "We don't what exactly the exposure was to at this time, but we are working on it. We're trying to get in touch with any family to see if-"

"Please don't," Kayla requested. "I'd rather they not be told of such a thing." Like they'd care anyway. Not at Harvard. If I really want them to know I'll email them on my...where are my things? "Um, where's my stuff? Where are my glasses? My laptop?"

"Your glasses are right here." The blur moved slightly, and then as she felt her glasses slide onto her face, Kayla could make out the brown-haired woman in the lab coat. "Your other belongings are down at the police station in a contaminant-free zone."

"What?!? No, I need them!" Kayla started struggling to get out of the bed, but someone twice her size would have the same amount of luck trying to get out.

"Hey!" the lady doctor said. "You'll get your stuff in due time. For now, just rest. We can't help if-"

"Doctor Haley! Another one is waking up."

The crowd around Kayla's bed plummeted to zero as they moved on to a different person. Kayla tried one more time to get free, but it was all in vain. She dropped her head back down onto the pillow, slightly knocking her glasses askew with the sudden movement. This is great. At least one day wasted and more to come. Things can't get any worse.

Adam took his seat in the lecture hall and started unpacking his things. He scribbled a few lines on a back page of his notebook, making sure that his pens were still working and fidgeted in his seat in an attempt to get comfortable. He laughed politely at the joke and looked around at some of the other attendees. He really couldn't recognize any of them and what was the girl from the bar doing here?

Then things started to get weird.

"Lock the doors!" What!?

He spun round in his seat and saw the collection of men in made-for-TV sci-fi costumes blocking the exits. Everyone was gasping or grumbling in disbelief, Adam wasn't even fully listening to the man at the head of the hall.

"Instead, I - Nefarious" Who the hell CHOOSES to call themselves Nefarious?

That solved it, this was a prank. One of the drama clubs had too much time and money on their hands and had decided to take it to the next level. All he had to do now was spot the cameras and wait for the flash mob to start up. He had to admit the costumes were pretty good for a student budget and the Nefarious thing was fun in a corny 70's way. All he had to do now was sit back and try to avoid any audience participation.

Somewhere at the back someone was making a fuss and yelling at Nefarious. Adam couldn't quite decide if he was a plant or just pissed off about getting up early for a prank.

Then they were shot through the chest.

"JESUS CHRIST!" Adam screamed. He gawped in abject shock as he stared through the gaping hole in the man's chest, the smell of burnt flesh filling his nostrils. He ducked for cover behind his chair as the hall was filled with screaming and panicked shouts of fear.

Over it all he could hear the man who called himself Nefarious calling for silence and going on about something else but it was no good, Adam was gone. He just looked around him numbly as people cowered for safety or scrambling for the doors. Everything seemed to be happening so slowly but there was nothing he could do. Adam's mouth was dry and he felt like his body was weighed to the spot. There was some more talking, some bright flashes of light and then... and then there was a big cloud of green. Adam may have only been half listening but it didn't take a genius to work it out.

"Ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap."

He sprinted for the nearest door and pulled with all his might. When that didn't work he took a few steps back and tried barging it open with his shoulder. That just resulted in a bruised shoulder and heavy breathing. That was when Adam first tasted the acrid green gas seeping towards him. He pulled his shirt over his mouth and nose but it did little good. It was all around him now, stinging his eyes and burning his throat... dragging him down.

*****

The light was blinding.

"gruuuhggh..." Adam groaned.

His head was beating like a damn drum and his mouth felt like sandpaper. It was all the joy of a hangover without any of the pain of partying... wait that wasn't right. He rolled over and tried to block out the florescent light. Outside of his bed, people in white and green - not green not green - were rushing about and talking among themselves.

The guest lecture... "I've got to get to the guest lecture..." Adam groaned.

With unsteady feet he slipped out of the bed and wobbled to his feet. He shuffled along the floor in a daze, blinking against the blinding light. Were people yelling at him?

"This isn't my room..."

Amanda gave who she presumed was Mr. Reynolds he undivided attention as the lecture began and he started of with a little joke on his part, at least she thought it was a joke based on the reaction of some of the other students, but she herself sat silent, only lifting her face into a little smirk out of courtesy. It seemed like an odd thing to start a lecture with, telling people they had a choice in coming here. And his theatrical act of grandeur didn't help her rid herself of the feeling, was this person really Mr. Reynolds, renowned professor of economics?

It didn't take long for her slight feeling of unease to blossom into full blown fear however. With a command that took everybody by surprise he ordered the doors to the hall locked, and armed soldiers materialized to carry out his will. What was this? This was insane. Why was he doing this? Her mind seemed full of questions as she crouched down in her seat to present a smaller target to the armed people in the back. She barely registered that Mr. Reynolds introduced himself as Nefarious, and rambled on about them being his test subjects.

She did however hear the protest of one of the other male students, and the way it was abruptly cut off as an orange beam lit up the hall in brief moment. The panic that ensued told her the rest, they had killed him, he was dead, they were all going to die. The rest of Nefarious' speech didn't register with her, she kept raking her brain for a way out, keeping herself slumped over in her seat, too scared to move. Tears were welling up in her eyes, kept at bay only by the fear that the merest twitch could make them kill her.

Then he escaped, leaving behind some vile machine spewing forth a green mist, people were flocking to the doors, banging on them for dear life. But Amanda just sat there, her body frozen up as she wished herself away, she wished that she was still in Bismarck. She wanted more than anything to still just be working at a coffee shop in Bismarck, miles and miles from here. Regret filled her mind as it grew hazy and her consciousness slipped into the green.


The first sensation was a dull throbbing pain, it permeated her entire being, growing in intensity as it pushed the green away. The pain seemed so real, after an eternity of green nothingness, and after a while it started to take shape. In her minds eye the dulled pain became her body, it mapped out her head, her torso, her limbs, as if letting her know that it was all there. She drew breath, an action repeated so often in everyday life that one could say that it went unnoticed, but now it filled her, unmistakeable proof that she was alive.

The pain was violently showed from her mind as he forced herself to think, to reason once again. Slowly, her sensations returned to her body as she remembered how to move it, use it. Her arms stirred, her hands clenched at soft fabric, and her eyes finally opened to clear the green.

The florescent lights shone on her from a white and otherwise featureless ceiling, blurry, but there. With tremendous effort she raised her right hand in front of her eyes to shield them and confirm that she was still alive, still herself.

"Doctor! Another one has woken up!" She heard a male voice cry out as she shifted her eyes to look around, white everywhere, sterile, a hospital? Of course it was. For her there was a moment of blissful silence, where her mind was still getting up to speed. But as the doctor came to examine her she was sitting up in her bed, clutching her knees and crying, emptying the tears that she hadn't allowed herself to cry, allowing all her pent up fear, distress, and relief to come flowing out of her.

Dom awoke to the sound of his heavy, stifled breaths. "Huh? Whu...I..." Naturally, confusion began to set as he tried to sit up and got a good look of his surroundings. A plain, white, quiet, sterile room. Fluorescent light fixtures. Medical equipment. The gentle, repetitious beat of an electrocardiogram was was heard not too far from him. Tubes were planted along his chest and wrists. He seemed to have been in a hospital.

"...How did I get here? How long have I been out?" He questioned to no one. A dull throb racketed through his head, a sensation that grew sharp as he turned his head. He placed a hand to his head instinctively, and realized that the left side of his head was adorned with wrappings of gauze and bandages. His offhand curled into a fist. He remembered how this happened.

"W-we were attacked." He began to ring for a nurse. Somebody needed to know, if they didn't know already. "Terrorists...a bomb..." he groaned to the best of his ability. A nurse rushed in after awhile, reassuring him as she gave him a quick checkup on his condition. "D-did anyone call the police? There was...an attack at-"

"Goldmar University. It's alright Dominic, there's been constant news on the event since yesterday. The city's quite rocked by the whole thing...Either way, you suffered a bit of concussion. We had to stitch up the point of impact."

"Are there any others, that made it out alive?" Dominic asked. "We haven't received official numbers yet. Or at least, I haven't. There were a lot of you guys in this hall, we're probably still picking people up. Last I checked, there were abouuuut...fifty-eight? (fifty-nine?) of you guys actually here at the hospital." She hesitantly told him as she tried to get all her facts together. As the nurse informed him on current events, he put a hand to his head again. The nurse eyed him quizzically as he did so. "How did that happen?" She asked. Dom sighed, bits and pieces of the incident beginning to sort out at the head of his mind.



Everyone else laughed at the lecturer's words. Dom only raised an eyebrow at the joke. He didn't find it all that funny. He didn't find his next few words humorous either. "...One that will transform your lives forever. You will transcend the boundaries of your present-day lives..." Dominic was beginning to think he was in the wrong place. "Did I get the lecture hall number wrong? Maybe the e-mail had a typo. Eh, I'm sure he won't mind if just excuse myself-""Lock the doors!"

"Oh shit." The level of urgency in the man's voice told him that whatever was gonna happen next wasn't going to end well for anyone involved. High tech guards materialized into the room, and stood at the ends of every row of students, with one of the guards standing immediately to Dominic's left. The emotion in him that instilled after surprise was anger. As the man talked, he decided that he didn't want to go down without doing anything.

As a student in the back voiced his opinions, Dom forcefully reached for the guard's weapon, in some hope to wrestle it out of his hands. The student near the back was cut down within a matter of seconds, and the guard was proving to be much stronger than Dominic was anticipating. In hindsight, such a move was naively foolhardy.

What little grasp Dom had on the weapon was ripped from him. Shoved back into his seat, the guard swung the gun at the boy's head with fierce, malicious intent. Such an attack connected with a wet, crunching WHAM!, using enough force propel the student from the seat. Dominic collided into the ground with force, eyes blinking rapidly as he struggled to stand. He could feel the blood trickling down his face as he began to fade in and out of consciousness. He couldn't see the man from his position, but he could definitely hear the words.

"...the key to your transcendence. It is a genobomb, a biological tool devised by yours truly for one specific, non-lethal purpose..."

"...You will find out in due course..."

"...We shall meet again, in time..."

Dominic made sure he didn't forget the man's name, or face. Blood began to pool as his eyes fluttered shut.



"...That's all I remember. The guy had said his name was Nefarious." He told the nurse lastly. The grogginess had past once the nurse gave the bed an incline, and it was becoming easier to speak clearly. "It's okay, it's fine. Concussions will warrant a loss of memory." The nurse reassured him again. "You seem to be in a good enough condition to be visited, would you like to see your mother? She's been here since this morning." Dominic smiled weakly as he managed to nod. "Yes. Please."

Minutes later, Maria rushed in about as anxiously as the nurse, not hesitating to hug her son. Dom manged to calm her down as she babbled through overjoyed tears and gestures. "It's okay mamma, it's okay." Maria sniffled some as she managed to maintain some composure. "I just...didn't want to lose you like I did your father. I didn't want it to happen to my baby boy!" Dominic sighed again, still in his mother's embrace. Those last words sunk into him.

The lecture started pretty much on time, and the man who Chris assumed to be the one named Edgar Reynolds started to speak. She giggled lightly at his joke along with some of the others there. But that soon turned ugly as he ordered for the doors to be locked. W-wait, what's going on? Chris thought as she started to panic.

Someone objected to whatever was going on, but he didn't stand long as he got shot and his body slumped over onto his desk. Chris screamed along with anyone else who did so as well when the shot was fired, and the guy who had sat beside her had tried to wrestle a gun out of a guards hands, but hadn't succeeded and was bashed on his head for it. Chris couldn't think of anything else to do immediately as the man on the stage told everyone to be quiet.

The man introduced himself as Nefarious and removed the cloth to reveal some sort of device she couldn't recognize or understand what it was or what it was for. Not that she had to wonder about that for long as Nefarious explained it to them. A g-genobomb?! F-for what purpose?! Nefarious wouldn't say as he activated the bomb and finished talking, then left with his guards as the green gas from the device began to leak out into the room.

Chris was panicking, and didn't know what to do. How would they escape? She saw some try to open the doors to no avail, and then she noticed again the guy who had been knocked down onto the floor. "O-oh god! You're bleeding! You're bleeding badly!" She wasn't thinking entirely straight at the moment, but she hoped that whatever she could do would be enough. She took her sweater off and started to apply pressure to the wound on his head with it. "Could someone help me?!" she called out to everyone else, but it was too late. The gas was hitting everyone in the room, including her. It filled her senses, making her cough, whether or not it was actually caused by the gas, and soon after she collapsed beside the tan skinned man.



A headache was the first thing she felt when she started to come back to her senses. Soon after, she started to feel for other parts of her body before opening her eyes, a blinding white everywhere around her. She blinked a few times while her eyes were still adjusting to the brightness. She rubbed her eyes to help with that before a nurse who came to check on her called for a doctor. One came shortly thereafter along with the nurse.

"Good to see that you're awake now." the doctor said, a man in a white coat whereas the nurse was a woman in a white nurse outfit. "W-where am I? What happened? How long was I out?" Chris asked once she could muster the strength to do so. "You're in a hospital. We're not quite sure what happened at the Goldmar University, so we'll need to ask you what happened there soon. As for how long you were out, about a day or so." the doctor told her. Chris just looked at him, shocked that she had been out for a day. "A-a day? Are you sure?" she asked him in her soft voice, though right now it was more due to just how little strength she had to do so.

"Quite sure, I'm afraid. You just woke up, so it would be best if you lay down again, relaxed and tried to get your bearings. We'll need to get your information, personal and what happened at the university, but we're not going to ask for it until you're in a better state to do so. Once that's all done, your family can come to see you." The doctor and the nurse stayed by Chris' side as she held her hands against her head, focusing on trying to relax, which wasn't really working too well, but it was working somewhat. One thought that crossed her mind was whether the tan skinned man she helped was alright, but she didn't think to ask the doctor and the nurse right away.

Brent turned off his music and put his phone back in his pocket as Edgar Reynolds (or at least, the guy he assumed to be Edgar Reynolds) arrived. The man carried himself with a theatrical flair that reminded Brent of his Music Theory instructor. Energetic, enthusiastic, and most definitely eccentric. He began the presentation with a bit of a verbose introduction and finished on a joke that got a mild reaction from the audience. But as he continued, his speech took an odd turn, with talks of "transcending boundaries."

'Don't tell me he's one of those New Age nutjo-'

"Lock the doors!"

'Wait, WHAT?'

At least a dozen armored figures appeared out of thin air, carrying weapons that looked like they belonged in a Star Trek film. Several had their weapons trained on the audience while others worked to lock the doors.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there has been a change of plans. Edgar Reynolds will not be attending this presentation. Instead, I - Nefarious - will be conducting an experiment. And you have all been chosen to be my test subjects."

Experiment? What on Earth was he talking about, and what kind of name was 'Nefarious'? There was no way he was going to be some freak's lab rat.

"This is bullshit!"

Another student stood up in defiance. "Yeah!" Brent added. "Who the fuck do you think you are doing thi-"

One of the guards fired his weapon. An orange beam of energy speared the student through the chest, leaving a large, smoking hole. He fell over, dead. Another student was struck over the head with a rifle butt. Brent slouched back into his seat in terror.

"QUIET!"

"Fuck...fuck...fuck..."

Nefarious gave a half-hearted eulogy for the slain student and unveiled the device on the table before him. A large glass tube...with some kind of green gas. Brent's heart dropped. Was that chlorine gas? It was the only gas he knew of that was green, and it was quite lethal. Was that what this was? A terrorist attack?

"This, my students, is the key to your transcendence. It is a genobomb, a biological tool devised by yours truly for one specific, non-lethal purpose. What that purpose is... well, now that would be telling. You will find out in due course."

There he was, going off about "transcendence" again. And this was non-lethal? Somehow, Brent didn't believe this man.

"And with that, my students, it is time for me to depart. We shall meet again, in time. Gentlemen, time to go."

The soldiers activated the fire alarm and vanished, taking Nefarious with them. The device on the table activated, releasing its green gaseous payload into the room. Panicked murmurs turned into screams and shouts of terror as students began running every which way. Panic took hold of Brent. He sprung out of his seat and made a break for the back of the room. There was no way he was going to die now. Not like this.

Several students were trying to bash the back door open, but it had been welded shut. Brent lent his strength to the effort, but the door wouldn't budge. The gas was drifting ever closer. Several students were beginning to succumb and falling over. That wouldn't be him. "NO!" he roared. "OPEN, YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT DOOR!" He pounded and slammed the door, but he could feel the dizziness setting in. Green haze started to fill his vision. Brent struggled to stay up for as long as he could, but he finally lost his balance and fell to the floor. He spent his last moments of consciousness staring up at the ceiling. He could hear the muffled thuds of the last students hitting the floor before he finally blacked out.


"How does he look?"

It was a distant, muffled voice. A male one.

"He's coming to, Doctor. He has a slight fever, but otherwise his vitals are stable," added a second, distinctly feminine voice. Sounds slowly came back into focus. He could hear the sounds of hospital machinery and the chatter of nurses.

Brent opened his eyes, fighting the weight of his eyelids. Bright white light stabbed his retinas, but soon dissipated as they adjusted to the hospital lighting. The doctor and nurse were watching him carefully. "Where...where am I?" Brent managed to ask weakly.

"Elixir Hospital," the doctor replied, carefully and slowly. "Please, try to rest. You've been through a lot."

"How long have I been out?"

"About eighteen hours."

Brent sank into his bed and looked up at the ceiling. "What happened? What was this all about?"

The doctor shook his head sympathetically. "I wish I could tell you. The feds been tight-lipped about the whole thing. Between you and me, I'd expect to be questioned when you're fit to leave." He managed a grin. "So feel free to take your time recovering."

It wasn't much, but the moment of levity made Brent chuckle quietly.

"Just make sure to let me or the nurse know if you need anything," the doctor added before leaving, likely to attend to other patients.

The boost in mood didn't last long. Brent let his blank gaze drop to the wall and buried himself in his thoughts.

Ryan was sitting in the middle of the lecture hall when Mr. Reynolds began speaking. He chuckled at the man's joke, but Ryan began wondering something, If this man is a Senior Software Engineer, then where is his equipment for a presentation? He then turned his gaze to the mysterious cube on the table. Maybe that's a new type of projector or computer or something. However, when Mr. Reynolds went on about "transforming our lives," and "transcending boundaries," then Ryan began thinking that maybe he was in the wrong lecture hall.

Lock the doors! Ryan's attention snapped back to the doors behind him, and saw what looked like science-fiction characters pop out of nowhere and began sealing the doors shut. "What the hell is going on!?" Ryan shouted. His question didn't seem to be answered directly to him though. This "Nefarious" guy seemed like trouble, but Ryan didn't know what to do. A student tried to lash out at Nefarious but he was quickly given a dose of orange light through his torso. "Oh, fuck!" exclaimed Ryan. He began to tremble with terror. Ryan wanted to do something, but what exactly he didn't know. QUIET! Nefarious seemed to say, but Ryan didn't exactly pay attention to him anymore.

What the hell am I gonna do? I mean someone's gotta do something. Ryan thought to himself. When Nefarious lifted the veil on the mystery object, Ryan saw the green gas inside. Oh god, a poison?! Nefarious called it a "genobomb" and said that it was the key to our transcendence. When Nefarious opened up the box, the whole room exploded with screams and shouts of terror, among them was Ryan. Ryan watched as Nefarious took his leave, and the green gas slowly crawl toward the growing group near the doors.

Could someone help me?!" Ryan heard down the aisle from him. He looked over towards a fellow student trying to give aid to someone who must have been hit in the head. He instinctively made his way over there, but before he could reach them, the burning gas entered his lungs, nose, and eyes. He fell down to his knees, and tried to crawl the rest of the way, but soon after fell over unconscious.


Pitch black was all that Ryan could see. He felt like he could hear people talking nearby, but he wasn't sure. Where am I? Am I dead? Ryan willed his eyes to open and through blurry vision saw light all around him. That's it, I must be dead. However, as his vision cleared he could make out ceiling tiles and fluorescent light bulbs. He slowly turned his head sideways and saw a female figure standing by his bed checking some monitors. "Wh- where am I?" was all that he could muster. The woman quickly turned towards him, "You're awake? Oh, that's wonderful," she said, "You're at Elixir Hospital, something happened at Goldmar University and you were a part of the incident."

Ryan soon recovered some more strength and was able to lean up some. "Goldmar? Ya, I remember. Some nut-job tried to kill us. By the way, how long was I out?" Ryan said.

"Oh, a little over a day." a day?! "Look, before you start jumping around, you need to rest some more. We have informed your parents, and when your strength builds back up, we will let you call them. And I imagine the police are going to want to talk to you as well, but for right know take it slow and easy." With that, the nurse walked off, and Ryan laid his head back on the pillow, left to his own thoughts.

Marcus had sat in his chair and was waiting for the presentation to start. The large covered object had him intrigued to the point where he was questioning if he was in the correct lecture hall. He looked around and saw a sign above one of the doors which confirmed that it was the correct lecture hall so he stayed in his seat and waited to find out what it would be.

Soon enough the man situated behind a desk, that looked like he was dressed for the role of a firm partner making a presentation, stood up and started his speech off with a joke. Some of the crowd laughed, but Marcus didn't find the line particularly funny.

At least the partners come off as a people you would be expecting to run a Forbes top 100 companies to work for list. The expressionism is a little much, but still at least he's not a boring old prick in a suit that helped write one too many convoluted tax laws.

"Today, my students, is a momentous day. One that will transform your lives forever. You will transcend the boundaries of your present-day lives, and become something more than your peers could ever hope to be. Together, we shall test - ah, I forgot something. Lock the doors!"

And here comes the classic uplifting speech before he breaks into his main topic. Wait what?

After the armed men materialized in front of the doors, Marcus quickly slipped his phone out of his pocket and started to record the events. Either the event was a practical joke that would be best to show rather than explain, or it was something so insane that videos evidence might be required to prove what he was saying wasn't bullshit.

"I have no clue what's going on here, but these guys just appeared out of nowhere," Marcus quickly whispered as the video recorded some of the men worked on sealing the doors, while the others stood watching over the audience.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there has been a change of plans. Edgar Reynolds will not be attending this presentation. Instead, I - Nefarious - will be conducting an experiment. And you have all been chosen to be my test subjects."

Marcus turned back to the presenter, "Nefarious," as he began to talk again. "Well no shit you aren't, and what kind of name is Nefarious? Wait did he just say test subjects?" Marcus asked himself as he started to narrate his thoughts to his ongoing recording.

"This is bullshit! You can't hold us here - "

Marcus turned again to find the sound of audience member who started to shout out in protest. The video caught the pulse of orange light as it blasted through the man, killing him. "What the fuck was that!?" Marcus yelled in shock before quickly shutting up at Nefarious' call for quite.

"No-one else will be harmed as long as you all remain calm and quiet, listen to what I have to say, and do not interrupt me again."

"Bullshit," Marcus quietly whispered to himself as he turned himself and the video back to Nefarious.

Suddenly Nefarious revealed what was below the large covered object. It looked like a gas bomb to Marcus. Silence filled his head as he tuned out Nefarious and only clicked back in once he heard the cellphone on the bomb beeping.

"I'm...I'm going to die," Was all Marcus could utter out as the thick green gas exited from the large device.

In what seemed like a flash to Marcus, Nefarious and his men disappeared just as fast as the armed men had appeared. The moment they were gone Marcus quickly dashed for door farthest away from the object and joined in with the others trying to break it down. As the gas approach he realized that the doors would break open and moved away from the group; Marcus realized his phone was still recording.

Marcus looked back and the gas was almost at him and there was no place else to run. Might as well tell them that I love for everything that they've done one more before I die.

Marcus turned to phone around so that he was facing the camera at what he hoped was a proper angle showing his face; unfortunately it was only showing his eyes and the space above his head.

"Dontez I'm sending you this since dad doesn't know how to work his phone properly," Marcus stopped for a second to laugh at the thought before he saw the green gas in front of his face and knew he had to hurry. "I don't know what happened here, but this isn't a joke. I'm not sure if I'm going to die. I just. I just want to thank you and dad for everything and want you to know that I love you both."

There were tears pouring from Marcus' eyes, partly due to his fear of dying in the moment and partly due to the gas. His head was feeling light and he stopped the recording. An option to send the video appeared and he selected it; contacts, Dontez, send. The last sight Marcus say before he passed out was the loading bar on his phone that showed his video was being sent to Dontez.


It was a bit after three AM when Marcus had woken up. He had found himself handcuffed to his hospital bed, when he awoke in a dazed fury. The handcuffing wasn't an outlandish action, as Marcus had a noted history of waking up violently as a teenager when put under with anesthesia; the currently known effects of the gas lead to the good belief that such occurrences could happen in this situation as well.

After a brief wake up period where Marcus calmed down and the doctors explained what happened, Marcus was uncuffed. Quickly Marcus found his bearings and had the hospital get in contact with his brother who arrived soon after.

"Some digs and McDonalds. You're a savior bro," Marcus said as he hugged his brother when he entered the room with a bag of clothes and some food.

"Well I saw you were wearing your get-up in the video and thought that you would want some street gear to wear home, plus we both know you'd be hungry when waking and hospital food tastes like shit. But seriously both me and pops were scared shitless for a while. I'm just glad that you didn't die. Who said college was safer than Brightfields?" Dontez replied as he hugged his brother back, before letting go of him and giving him both bags once they sat down in some nearby chairs.

There was a moment of silence invaded by chewing noises as Marcus scarfed down the fries in order to quickly calm his hunger. After he finished he left a moment of actual silence in the air before turning to look at his brother with a completely serious look.

"You know that video. If you haven't started to show people, I'd like you to keep it off of the radar. I'm not sure if you can tell, but they were able to appear out of nowhere and disappear the same way. Not to mention whatever that weapon was. Whatever it is, they're over your head and I don't want you to risk drawing their attention." Marcus said to Dontez not sure how his brother would take it.

"Ya. I get what you mean, which is why I've been holding off on it. I'm going probably show it to a few guys to see if they know anything, but it will definitely be low key. I don't expect to find anything out though.

You on the other hand need to stop looking so serious. You just survived whatever the fuck that was and need to be a little happier. So stop worrying about this and focus getting out of this place sooner," Dontez said not sure if he was lying about the poking around he was going to do or not. In the end he left the conversation and started to poke a little fun at his brother and get poked back as they waited on word on anything regarding Marcus being released.

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