|A Harsh Future|
|Series||Vestige of Legends|
|Arc||Coming of Tripedal Arc|
|Air Date||September 21, 2011|
Welcome to Phoenix Fireheart
The Griffin, Atrax
The Chore Board
"Urgh...crap..." Atrax grumbled as he got out of bed, "It's too early to hold a guild meeting...no one's gonna stay awake, anyway..." He walked over to his clothing cabinet and changed into his usual attire. When he was done dressing, he walked lazily over to the door of his room, opened it and walked out. As he made his way down two flights of stairs he noticed that everyone else was already gathered around the chore list. Since the members actually reside in the guild building they each have a cut of work to do each day, but the jobs for each one shifts daily.
"I always dread looking on this list," Atrax mumbled as he stood behind the crowd.
"Hm..umm..uh what was that?" Masson struggled to say as he was holding back a yawn.
"Oh, forget it...," Atrax responded.
"I wonder what this meeting thing is going to be about..." Masson said, changing the subject, "Maybe we'll have enough funds saved for burgers..."
"As if, morning meetings are never something good like that...If it were about dinner, that could wait until later in the day."
"Damn, you didn't need to crush my spirits..."
"I just don't want you disappointed..."
The crowd finally made way for Atrax and Masson to see what their chores were
"Dammit, I gotta mop the corridors? That includes the bathrooms!" Masson complained.
"Groceries..." Atrax said quietly, seeing his name listed under grocery duty.
"Drakōn got lucky though,..." Masson said as he saw Drakōn's name listed under 'Free.' "Oh wait, did you say 'groceries?' I overheard Master Ennoia saying that whoever got grocery duty would need to be especially careful this time around."
"Why? I already know that the citizens can't find out I'm Unorthodox. What else could be a problem now?"
"I dunno, but hearing him say that gave me a bad feeling. You know that the Master's always optimistic."
"True...thinking about that gives me a bad feeling too."
The members of Arcanum Phoenix gathered in a large room that was located below the first floor. The room is surprising bright for an underground portion of the building, as well as surprising clean. It was also, technically, the largest room in the guild. It was packed with several chairs, though the guild's few members only took up a small amount, not anywhere near the total occupancy. It is supposed that the size of the room is based on the prediction that more members will join the guild. In the front of the room was a stage. Ennoia was on the stage levitating in the chair with a giant magic screen set up so that everyone could see. At the moment, nothing had started. The guild members were loudly conversing with each other. Atrax and Masson walked in last and found a couple of seats next to Drakōn and Nukumi who had an entire isle to themselves.
"Alright everyone, quiet down, if you please!" Ennoia said into a microphone at the front of the stage, "I'm about to start the meeting."
Ennoia appeared to be typing into a magic keyboard he created with his Archive magic. At that point, the giant screen up front gave off an image of a loading bar in a buffering process. When the screen finished loading, several images of collapsed buildings and fires appeared next to an article titled, "The Deviants reign terror on Fiore"
"I'm afraid this meeting is not about anything good..." Ennoia started, "I am afraid to say that the town of Foglia was found in ruins two days ago."
The guild members, in the shock, started conversing once again. The room echoed with the noise they made.
"Quiet, Please!" Ennoia said to the members through the microphone, "There are more details to cover. Not a single structure in Foglia Town was left unharmed, as you can see in these images. Furthermore, the number of casualties totalled around 9,000 of the 17,000 residents. But the most important detail is that the Magic Council believes, in almost undeniable certainty, that Unorthodox Mages were responsible for this destruction."
The members then began to talk amidst themselves once again. This time louder than before. Atrax and Masson were looking around at all the commotion the members were making.
"Who could've done this!?" one member shouted.
"It could've been someone in here!" another one yelled.
"A traitor!?" shouted a third member.
"EVERYONE, QUIET!!" Ennoia shouted into the microphone. The microphone followed with a high pitch screeching noise that rang in everyone's ears. The crowd stopped, silent. Ennoia waited a moment, making sure there were no signs of another sudden outburst.
"There is no proof that anyone from this guild did anything that would harm Foglia Town. I will now open the floor to discussion, but please, only one person speak at a time." Ennoia said, "Atrax, you can start."
"Thank you, Master," Atrax said while standing up from his seat, "I believe it's safe to assume that it was Dark Unorthodox Mages. But, in order for them to stage an attack on such a scale, they would need to be working in collaboration with other Dark Unorthodox Mages. There's no way they would destroy an entire town and not have backup in case they were found out."
"I see, you make a good point, Atrax," Ennoia responded, "I had also made the assumption that Dark Unorthodox Mages were at fault. And why do you think they would attack an entire town?"
"Perhaps to give a warning," Masson said, standing up from his seat, "I think they expect to get something out of Fiore by threatening the kingdom."
"Excellent point, Masson," Ennoia said, "Unorthodox Mages always attempt to hide their identity while in an urban environment. But the Magic Council found out quickly that they were Unorthodox. Therefore, we can assume that perhaps that detail was not an accident, but a part of their plan. Now what would it be they're planning?"
"An uprising," Drakōn spoke this time, also rising from his seat. "They're planning a revolution..."
"A revolution, you say? What made you assume that?" Ennoia said.
"When we think about it, all Unorthodox Mages want the same thing. To be a part of the very society that rejects them. If they made it clear to the Magic Council that Unorthodox were at fault, then it's most likely because they want them to know that they are the ones that will overthrow them, and gain the power to regulate magic in all of Fiore..." Drakōn said to make his point clear.
"That makes sense, if they were to gain the power of the Magic Council to approve and disapprove the uses of certain magic and guilds, they could make Unorthodox a part of the norm..." Ennoia said to simplify the point to the other members.
"Then that would be good for us!" said one member standing up from his chair, "We would be accepted!"
The members started conversing again. This time, it wasn't out of shock or anger. The idea of being accepted made them feel excitement.
"But that wouldn't be the right way to do it." Nukumi spoke, getting up from her seat. "Killing innocent people and forcing our power on them wont make them accept us. They will fear and hate us more."
"I concur," Ennoia said, "True acceptance can only come when the civilians genuinely do not fear us, or hate us. It's the only way we can truly be part of society."
Everyone quited down again. Some of them felt ashamed that they got excited at the planning of these Dark Mages.
"The meeting is over, you all may go," Ennoia said, "Atrax, come up front so I can speak with you."
All the members began to walk out of the meeting room. They had started conversing again. Though it was to be expected. There was alot to take in after hearing that there are evil Unorthodox out there, and that they destroyed Foglia Town. Atrax was walking in the opposite directing, strafing through the torrent of members walking out of the room. He stepped onto the stage to meet with Ennoia, just as all the magic programs created by Ennoia's Archive was closing.
"Atrax, I need you to be careful when you head out today..." Ennoia started, "Without Foglia Town, Magnolia is the closest town to pick up the goods we need. However, the population there is larger than the one that was in Foglia. As well, those who escaped Foglia are moving to Magnolia."
"I understand, Master Ennoia," Atrax said in response.
"The most important thing is that everyone in Magnolia is now on edge after they heard about Foglia Town. They are worried for the safety of their own home. Fairy Tail is the only guild that resides in Magnolia. Their strength is formidable, and their members total around 100. If you are found out, Fairy Tail will be your biggest problem."
"I've heard alot about Fairy Tail. Mostly the unnecessary destruction they cause. But they also have some pretty strong mages too. Their Master is one of the Wizard Saints. As well there is Titania, Erza Scarlet; The Demon, Mirajane; and the Salamander, Natsu Dragneel. Those members alone would be a handful, but I will refrain from being found out." Atrax said.
Visit to Magnolia
Atrax comes out of his room once more, this time in a black hooded cloak. As he walks past the commons of the guild, many of the members look towards him, knowing that with Foglia Town destroyed, Atrax is in greater jeapordy when he's outside. When Atrax makes his way to the door, a voice calls out at him.
"Atrax!" It was Nukumi, who was running through the commons over to where he was. When she made her way a few feet from where Atrax was standing, she said, "Be careful..."
"Don't worry...I'll be fine," Atrax said, simultaneously turning the knob on the door and pushing his way out of the guild.
When he was outside, he pulled his hood over his head, and then began to walk in the direction of Fiore. Nukumi was holding the door open, watching as he departed. While she was there, Masson walked over to her.
"He'll be alright, he's our ace, remember?" Masson said.
"Yeah..." Nukumi responded, silently.
The travel to Magnolia wasn't long. Because Foglia Town had been destroyed, no one was around. It was safe for Atrax to use his speed magic through the outskirts and the ruins in order to get to Magnolia faster. When he was getting close, he stopped using magic, so that no one would be able to tell immediately that he was even a Mage, let alone an Unorthodox. Atrax walked through the town, making his way closer to the center. He then stopped when he noticed a large structure standing before him.
"What is this building?" Atrax said quietly to himself in amazement.
"That is Kardia Cathedral," a resident walked up to Atrax, "It's the largest church and oldest building in all of Magnolia. Pretty amazing isn't it?"
Atrax almost looked towards the gentleman, but realized he was still trying to keep himself hidden. He then pulled the ends of his hood further in front of his face.
"Hm...yeah..." Atrax said quietly, and then walked off to find a merchants' guild. He was looking for a small one. He didn't want to go into one where there was too many people.
"There are too many large merchant guilds in this town...I guess because it is a merchant city..."
Atrax kept walking through the town, passing by several merchant guilds along the way. Eventually, one caught his eye. An small and apparently new merchant guild that was open in the southwest part of Magnolia. He walked in to find he was the only one inside, other than a lone merchant sitting at a desk on the far end of the small building. On the inside, it was clear the guild was new, as technically, it isn't much of a guild without the members. Atrax walked through the isles, picking out cheap bread and some fruit. Ennoia had given him a bag with half of the guild's funds in it, not that it was alot. When Atrax placed his goods on the counter, the merchant greeted him.
"Well hello there. How are you today?" The merchant asked.
"You seem to be in such high spirits. I didn't expect that with Foglia Town being gone."
"That was truly a tragedy. But isn't it all the more reason to be thankful we're still here."
"I'm afraid I don't see it. Not in such a cruel world..."
"It's all dependent on one's outlook and perspective. If you keep that negative attitude, you'll just remain pessimistic and upset. You have to look at what the world has given you and can offer you, even if only once in a while."
"I don't know...I just can't be happy with anything right now..."
"Well I'll start you off by saying maybe it is your lucky day," The merchant said putting extra bread and fruit on the counter, "First customer gets his goods free."
"Just take it. Now you have something to be happy and thankful about."
"You're very kind, sir."
"Just make sure to come by again."
With that, Atrax walked out of the building. He tugged on his hood once more, making sure it still kept his face at least somewhat hidden, and then began to walk in the direction of the outskirts, holding five bags of bread and fruit.
"To be thankful and happy that I'm still here, huh?"
To be continued: Chapter 4: The Griffin, Atrax