"This prophecy has been obscured... and it appears as if it's going to be fulfilled very soon." A voice quietly spoke. "Damnit... that's no good."
The figure attempted to activate their aura with the Telepathy Board.
"Ugh... I can't bring it back unless another prophecy is obscured?!" The voice swore. "Ugh, and most of these are all about the near future... that's just great.
The figure listened to a prophecy from the Telepathy Board.
A man's despair turns to rage, He enacts return; then End engage. Sifting shadows have set the stage: On land of Ludus, the war will rage! Invite the clash of Stone and Sand! The lords will die by a fated hand! Invite the clash of Sand and Stone! Tears and blood will stain the throne! The time will come and bring the Rapture, And fateful hearts the name will capture. The final hour brings the final breath, The Sign will come, along with death. First the Doctor, then the Lord, Then the Slayer with the sword. The servants hand to masters will, For brother's death, he shall kill. All shall quake by the star's left crater, And all shall fall, by the name Dark Traitor
"... here, this one is pretty far away. It's not going to start for about three months? I'll bring it back before then... but this one's a more immediate doom." The voice sighed.
The figure's aura then shone around the telepathy board.
"There we go... now, I'll try to make a note to bring it back when the right time comes. Until then... I need to enjoy the season."
However, the prophecy would be forgotten, until it was too late for those it was meant for to seek guidance for it.
Around three months later...
A soft, exasperated sigh escaped his lips. "I guess... go ahead and call up Revvy, he'll definitely be a big help. Oh, and Lazzy, too. He's been around with us a few times."
"Attention! This is an urgent message :" The CEO's voice echoed throughout the speakers installed all throughout the LDZX building. "Revelian Zeronius and Lazro de Gridmasque, please report to my office on the forty-third floor. I repeat, this is an urgent message, Revelian Zeronius and Lazro de Gridmasque, please report to my office on the forty-third floor!"
Mister Zachary Isles had carried a sense of worry and urgency in his tone, enough to turn a surprising number of heads from the desks that they had been staring down at before. However, only a few did report to the office as instructed. Therefore, as a result, only these few did more in action to the building's rumbling and shaking than simply shrugging off the events as sudden earthquakes and aftershocks.
A dragonkin male sat behind a dark red desk. His form was mostly monochromatic and almost archaic, in a sort of iconic way. His hair was spiky, messy, and a jet-black shade. His skin was mostly a grayish colour, and covered with scales. Large, white, and angelic wings protruded from his back, currently inert from lack of use. His snout protruded forward from his face to a very noticeable extent. Bones and parts of his spin poked out from his back, and stretched out in form to be longer than that of the average gridmask spine, which formed a lizard-like tail. Besides these features, however, he held a highly gridmaskian appearance, with a fit build, and a height of roughly six feet, which may have been brought to full fruition if it were not for his slight slouch.
However, his wardrobe seemed to mismatch his natural appearance otherwise. He wore a black T-shirt with an indigo symbol on it, which seemed to be the letter "X" with an extended "Z" through it. He wore what appeared to be a greyish-purple coat fashioned from a soft fleece, which remained to have none of its buttons buttoned up, or its zippers zipped. He wore a pair of dark jeans, which were tucked into his black boots, fashioned differently from that of the average gridmask foot due to the wider and flatter shape of the average dragonkin foot.
Such an outfit was, of course, very expensive, as almost no dragonkin existed to this day from which clothing brands could be made and stylized to their average body proportions, and of the small number of Ludusian dragonkin who did still exist to this day, only perhaps a couple among them had made themselves known to the population of Ludus. As a result, outfits for this man either needed to be recovered from whatever ruins of the dragonkin society that could be uncovered on Ludus to this day (which were exactly what he would receive every birthday and Chanukwanzaa in a parcel labeled "aunt Lucy"), or they needed to be custom created for him. The latter, of course, was expensive; however, as the co-CEO of the most successful business that had ever made itself known across the face of Ludus-Prime, it was not a worry to him in the slightest.
Of course, he also did have other things that served to worry him more than just in the slightest, especially at this moment in particular. Zachary Isles looked over his office. A number of chairs and couches had been set up for the new company of the room, who he had recently called over in the explanation of urgent business.
"Ludi, Sam, Lazro, Revelian..." Zachary nodded to the other occupants of the room. "Thank you guys for all coming on, well, such short notice."
Zachary was half-aware of his attempt of putting on a show of professional attitude. He tried to maintain a person of seriousness as he could, and held many other qualities of good character and leadership as well, though there was a sense within him to otherwise skip from formalities into casual and friendly ramblings, as he would on any off day with his colleagues. However, this was in the midst of a dire situation right now. As much as Zachary would like to have been as inviting and friendly as he could to entertain his friends, he knew--or, at least, he felt--that the role of a guardian and protector that had been attributed to a number of LDZX officials called for seriousness.
And, with this knowledge, there was a bit of a wish that his other colleagues would follow suit with his behavior. However, the mass of them truly did little of noticeable action to try and alter their behavior in correspondence to dire events. For the most part, though, this had served as but a very minor annoyance, as his co-workers were usually not unreasonable or ever went off subject commonly to the point of it posing a problem.
It was, however, a bit more than a minor annoyance, what with the banging of a hammer on his recently-kicked-off-its-hinges office door.
The man responsible had a similar style to that of Zachary Isles, though with less of a dragonic motif and more of an angelic one--despite his continued explanations of being not related to the species. He was more gridmaskian than Zachary, almost to the extent of which he could be easily mistaken for one. That is, if it were not for the large, pure white wings that came from his back, the smaller-yet-similar "hairwings" poking out of the sides of his head, the halo-like golden circle floating above his head, his white-as-a-cloud skin, and, of course, the apparent lack of all facial features, with the exception of eyes.
These are, of course, the standard features befitting a serrangio, though Ludicrine in particular also held features different from the average serrangio. Of the physical variety, there was the fact that he was perhaps one of the shortest members of his species, standing less than five and a half feet tall. In addition, there was the fact that one of his eyes was gouged out and covered by an eyepatch (he explains "it's a secret" when questioned as to how this came to be).
As mentioned, he does have a similar style of iconic form mixed with simple wardrobe. As common for him, he wears a black t-shirt with the light green image of an anchor printed on it, along with a dark grey coat that appears to be a size or two too big for him, a pair of blue jeans, and black-and-white sneakers.
However, there were features more than just of the physical variety that made Ludicrine a very unique person by nearly all standards. He was introverted and independent at heart, and gave very little mind (if at all) towards what he standardly said and did. Though such nonstandard behavior may have been a bit too much for the average Ludusian (and the many poor interns, rest their souls, who were cursing his name from beyond the grave), his playful and simple nature was usually to the enjoyment of his friends, and only worked to have them hold Ludicrine in higher view as a friend.
In serious situations, however, his nature was less than appreciated by his closest friends. He thankfully didn't need to take all too long to understand and enact that which was needed of him in a serious situation.
"All done." Samuel seemed to have wiped some sweat off of his brow. As he turned to face the others, he was greeted with one cyan eye of irritation, and two dragonic eyes of mild concern. Samuel frowned at the sight in a bit of disappointment, though the cartoonish manner of his face's contortion failed to help his case of meeting standards of seriousness expected from him. "Uh..."
Samuel was not a gridmask in the purest sense; he was one of the few Splationians who had traveled to the planet some time ago. While very close in appearance to the average gridmask in a young-teenage state, his head was much larger and far more round than the average gridmask. As well, his frame was thinner, and his eyes appeared as black beads on his face, which appeared to lack some standard gridmaskian facial features, though not as many as the average serrangio seemed to lack. Samuel currently adorned a casual outfit of a striped cyan t-shirt, dark blue shorts, dark blue socks, and dark blue shoes which had been modified to fit with small wheels.
Samuel may have been thought to be the least trustworthy in nature among those present in the room, due to a young age and childish appearance, though he was truly far from it. As he was slightly more intellectual than the average young-adult gridmask, his maturity could very well surpass that of many of his other colleagues by quite a bit. This was not to say that he would fail to be any less fun-loving than any of them, though; he would just as commonly engage with friendly conversation, and provide a plethora of humorous antics to lighten the moods of those around him.
Being a good friend of Ludicrine, he was well-versed in his tactics and behaviors at this point. In more of an obsessive sense at which Ludicrine had wished to keep the colours of the building a monochromatic one with more focus on the colour white, Samuel had wished to repair any door he found that Ludicrine took it upon himself to kick off the hinges.
"... Anyway," Zachary began, shifting the focus of the room back to the issue at hand, which he had yet to address, "I think you guys have all heard about the recent reports of attacks that have been on the news lately, right?"
"Heard of it? More like lived it!" Revelian spoke up, with a clear irritation lining his tone, "You know how many times our facilities have been attacked? Power plants, food sources... a lot of our pets and our workers were there when they were attacked by... whatever the fuck it is that's turning things into sand.</font>"
Revelian's appearance was less iconic or natural than his other colleagues. His skin was a dark purple color, and consisted of some substance that was far different from flesh. The entirety of the substance was shaped, smooth, and tangible to Revelian's will, save for one sphere that took space in Revelian's head, and shone a circle of light through his face that appeared as one glowing cyan eye. His hair seemed to be less than smooth, due to its spiked-up style, appearing almost similar to a dark purple flame, though it could contort to his will nonetheless. He wore several garments, including a rectangular visor, a red bandana, and a grey suit, fitted with linings of yellows and blues and reds, as well as shoulderpads and a cloak-like cape. He also wore some golden jewelry, fitted with stones not nearly as precious or rare as the one he held close to his core, but worth something nonetheless. He was more than seven feet tall, which was accompanied by a bit of a muscly yet thin build.
Revelian was revered as more powerful than all of his colleagues, which, along with his tendency of a temper and quickness to fury, attributed to his reputation as a threatening force working at LDZX Corporations. It was questioned as to whether his high ranking at the company was due to his great skill at almost any task he could be given, his high standing as a friend to most other high-ranking LDZX officials, or his ability to hold those above him in a state of fear and reverence. However, all were equally viewed as qualities of Revelian's character, even if the latter quality was not true to most senses.
"Yes, I'm guessing that's part of the reason why we were..." Zachary paused. "Well, I guess I have to tell you about it before I say that, so... we've recently been getting information on the attacks from the government."
"Stamped and signed by the big guys themselves." Ludicrine piped up.
"So, I'm guessing..." Zachary let out a sigh. "They must want us to get involved with it. And I mean, more than operating just for surveillance, resource, and service directly under Commander Alden and the Emporer." (Lazro lifted his head for a moment at the mention of "Emporer") "More than just collecting all the research we can, sending off defense forces whenever there's something on our property to fight, and... well, I guess we weren't really allowed or advised to go out personally and attack terrorist forces, but we can't deny there was some serious looking the other way going on whenever we did."
"There's been some heavy talk about stuff like, direct attack forces," explained Ludicrine, "and units of anti-terrorist folks who go off on their own, pretty much, that are supposed to consist of LDZX and whatever we can muster up."
"Wait, really? Revelian gave a look of surprise, before then giving a grin that caused his teeth to poke at his bandana. "Hell, it sounds like you're saying we've just been given the go-ahead to get up and take action whenever we want to."
"I don't think it's really that simple... I mean, will there not be a lot of controversy with us going in and acting like another branch of the military. I mean, we're already suspicious enough as it is, aren't we?"
"Hey, it's not like people haven't trusted non-military local defenders before." Lazro piped up. "I can guess that we've got the clearance from Taku well enough. And if the public's going to hate us after we've pretty much saved the planet twice, there's no way we're gonna get them on our side." Lazro exhaled boredly, before sinking back into his seat.
Lazro was the only Ludus-born gridmask present in the room. It would be fair to attribute him to looking like the average Ludusian gridmask in a sense, with the exception of qualities he held that varied greatly among gridmasks. He had soft, short black hair, and yellow-green eyes. He had a fit build that was similar to Zachary's, only his body was not as wide or large as that of the dragonkin. His skin was a fair shade of light pink. His outfit was as casual as most of the others around him. He wore glasses with square lens, a bright red hoodie that covered a white t-shirt with a yellow hairpin design on it, blue jeans, and black tennis shoes.
Lazro could fairly be compared to having the playfulness and humorous nature that was held by Ludicrine and Samuel alike, and it would be fair to attribute him to his habits of hanging around the two as partners-in-crime. However, he did stand out to an extent due to the rather unorthodox and extreme nature of his unexpected behavior. In another sense, it would be fair to compare his acts of determination and readiness to that of Revelian, Zachary, or perhaps even his "ancestor" Emporer Taku.
"... besides that, there is looking at it from a moral and logical standpoint. I mean, we've never before went out and acted without first knowing all that we could. If we just go charging off into battle under the reasoning of "because we got permission to", we could end up walking into some big trap because we don't know what we're doing, and we could really get hurt because of that." Zachary sighed, his breathing visibly fluttering. "Gods forbid if one of us ended getting hurt because of that... and even if we know we're prepared for something, there's still the issue of, well, who we're fighting. What if we're out one day, apparently looking out for some terrorist overlord, and after we've already done the deed we found out that we've got the wrong guy, or that whoever got the boot was innocent?
"I'm not saying that's never going to happen to us eventually, but if we get too far into a habit of taking matters into our own hands without knowing anything that's going on, then..."
"Lots of bad things happen." Ludicrine finished.
"That's right. Thanks, Lud. So... I trust you guys well enough for you to know about this, and to know that if you do get involved with it, you won't end up getting yourselves hurt." Zachary cleared his throat. "Besides, I know that you guys specifically have had friends and family suffer because of the recent attacks, so you deserve to at least know what's going on, and have a chance to help stop it." Zachary narrowed his eyes, and looked down at his desk. "That family includes the monsters whose safety we ensured when we first put them up for adoption, and then adopted, right in this company. I honestly think... even if we can't pull this off, we owe it to them to try."
"I at least feel like I owe it to them." Ludicrine narrowed his eye, mirroring Zachary's action. "... I mean, good ol' Freo somehow got involved in this. And he has kids of his own..." Ludicrine trailed off.
"You can count me in." Revelian spoke up. "Whoever's behind all the sand stuff is also behind that satellite disappearing, and my old home getting destroyed, right? Yeah, definitely count me in."
"It sure beats the same-old, same-old." Lazro gave a shy smile. "And if both the old man and my old man are on board with it, I'm up for it... if we have a chance to change the fates of future victims... I say we take it."
"Well, if I can help out, then I'd be happy to." Samuel stood up, after having his back leaned against the newly-fixed office door. "And, well, if you guys really trust me enough to tag along, I'd like to be there to have your backs." Samuel gave an earnest smile.
Zachary returned the determination in the room with a smile from joy of accomplishment. "Alright. It's good that we're all on board with this. Now, to be clear, I'm hoping that only Luds and I can be the ones to give orders for going out on missions. Hank and you guys are next in line if we're absent. Don't get me wrong," Zachary quickly explained himself, "I trust your guys' judgement, but I think it's best if we can leave the decision making to us, like we have before. We'll always be sure to take your opinions into account."
Zachary then stood up from his desk.
"So, with all that in mind, I think I should tell you guys about the man who's behind the recent attacks." Zachary was silent for a moment, as his throat had dried, following a sense of fear in him. "His name is Doctor Jekyll Sand..."