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RWBY: Team CILK Intro: Chapter 2

Written by darkness on October 19, 2014
Da-dum da-dum da-dum

The sound of drums poured into his ears, his daily alarm emanating from his scroll. With a groggy blink and a bitter yawn, the unkempt, black-haired youth slowly rose from his bed. Fumbling with the adjacent desk, he managed to turn off the wake-up call, slowly becoming more aware of his surroundings as he blinked his orange eyes a few more times.

He was in a jail cell. Once the closed steel-plated doors held criminals of untold terrors, but ever since then the prison lost funding—and changed ownership more than a few times—before it finally fell back into the hands of the government, this time as a makeshift multipurpose barracks of sorts. But with a crew of three, the expansive three-story barracks/penitentiary was often still as a tomb. It was far too much space for anything short of a platoon to occupy, but at least the automated maintenance system kept the place spic-and-span whether it was packed or hollow as a rotted tree.

But those were not the first things on the mind of Chromali Magnum as he shuffled toward his daily routine.

As he reached the bathroom, he opened the mirror to produce a small pillbox. With a glass of water in hand, he downed one of the small capsules.

Just daily routine.

He continued to go through his paces, grabbing his glasses, a dark hoodie and a pair of cargo pants from a closet, a light sandwich from the small fridge at the canteen, and his scroll. Taking a seat at a nearby table—stacked with papers, electronic equipment, test tubes and other scientific equipment and miscellaneous doodads—he took a bite out of the sandwich as he pored through to look at his next assignment.

A search and rescue for a missing girl? How hard can it be…

Lily woke with a start. The sudden movement sent a sharp jolt into her head; she cringed at the pain, trying to shake it off, her sight blurring from the shock. As the pain subsided, her vision began to clear.

She was behind bars, it seemed, a detention center; however, she was not handcuffed. She instinctively reached for her weapon, only to find it missing.

“Your gun’s over here.”

She looked up. A young man with muddy brown hair in a lab coat sat behind a nearby desk, glancing at her with dull, uninterested red eyes. A sophisticated-looking door loomed to his left, buzzing with electrical energy humming through its circuits. The man, though weary-eyed, seemed to be enthralled with something on his scroll as he tapped away at it while simultaneously scribbling something on a nearby notepad. The desk itself, however, seemed more important to Lily; the front had the Atlesian decal printed on it, and perched on top was her gunblade.

“Gimme back my gun!” She pouted.

“Don’t worry,” the disheveled man said, slowing down his work to respond. “You’re not in trouble.” He smiled tiredly at the discontent prisoner. “We just didn’t want you to make a mess during your stay.”

“What d’ya mean by that!? Where am I!? I want my Cortana Rights read to me! You can’t lock me up! I’m innocent, I tell you!” She whined.

“Pipe down,” the man retorted, the edges of his calm demeanor fraying slightly. “You’re in our detention center.” He explained. “Your father called us when you didn’t return last night. He’ll come around tonight to pick you up.” He motioned toward his scroll, which unraveled to show bits of vital information: a picture of Mr. Valkyrie, garbed in a proper attire and clean-shaven; a small photo of Lily; and other bits of data pertaining to Lily.

“Okay…” Lily muttered, unconvinced. “But why am I in a cell?”

“Like I said,” responded the tired scientist, “we’re holding it because we were told you might not cooperate.” He sighed with exasperation. Kids these days…

Suddenly, the door parted to reveal an orange-eyed, bespectacled man with a hoodie. [Ah, Kaolin.] The words seemed to materialize out of thin air: holographic text. The newcomer had not uttered a single word. [Our little guest is finally awake.] He gave a similar warming smile toward Lily; again, she didn’t buy it. Attached to the man’s belt were a pair of sharp hook blades; their presence did not comfort her.

“Yea, just woke a few minutes ago.” Kaolin replied. “Though I kinda liked her better when she was asleep.” He grinned sheepishly.

“Hey,” Lily shouted, “I’m still in the room, you know!”

The man chuckled at Kaolin’s little joke. [That’s enough. You can take five.]

Kaolin sighed with relief, shrugged, picked up his scroll, stood and walked through the door from which the new man arrived, barely caring to acknowledge Lily on his way out.

[You’ll have to apologize for my comrade’s behavior.] The man reassured, still smiling. [He’s not one for guard duty, but you had been out cold for so very long.]

“How long have I been out?” Lily asked, cautiously curious.

[Oh, about…] The man looked at his scroll. [8 hours, and that was only the time since we found you this morning.] He extended his hand in courtesy. [My name is Mal, by the way.]

“Eight hours!?” Cried Lily, ignoring the gesture. “But that means it’s nearly nightfall!”

[Yes,] continued Mal, [I suspect your father shall be arriving soon to pick you up.] He retracted his hand to look through his scroll at the information that was compiled. [Your father suspected you might have gotten into some trouble, and he was correct in his assessment.]

As Mal sifted through his scroll, various bits began cropping up in holograph.

[Lily Valkyrie]

[Weapon: Helschpammer] A moving 3D schematic of her Tommygun-turned pike showed up on display.

[Semblance: Rush. Effect: allows user to manipulate a person’s metabolism, increasing it for a limited time, although consequent recovery after-effects have been shown.]

[Aura level: low.] Various charts and graphs of superfluous data compiled to “explain” the assessment. To Lily, it was little more than a bunch of numbers and pictures.

As more and more information flooded the room, she receded slightly into her cell, clearly disturbed by the sheer, almost invasive amount.

“…Why do you know so much about me? Who are you!?”

The images flickered away, leaving the still-smiling man as the only attendant in the room. [I am the leader of this small team that escorted you here. I like to learn, and I take my research seriously. That’s all.] The smile seemed to take on a faintly haunting look to Lily. Again, Mal extended his hand for a handshake, though after time told that the girl would not return the gesture, he withdrew and took a seat where Kaolin had just been moments ago.

The movement snapped Lily out of her frightened stupor. “But if I’m not a prisoner, why can’t I have my gun back?” She implored.

Mal picked up the weapon and gave it a cursory look. [I’ve been told you have a habit of leaving a bit of… detritus in your wake. I only wish to minimize any damage that may occur. A safety precaution.]

Nothing about the man’s demeanor assured Lily—not his lackluster clothing, not his behavior, probably not the omnipresent grin, and certainly not the deadly hook swords strapped to his hip. Even if what he said was true, she thought, he’s probably just going to ransom me to dad, just like last time…

Suddenly an alarm began blaring; lights began to flash red, and the room was suddenly bathed in an urgent red haze. Mal’s smile disappeared as he got up from his post, his scroll in hand.

Kaolin’s face suddenly appeared on the small screen. “Hey boss!” he yelled, “we’ve got company! And I don’t think they’re friendly!” The sound of gunfire and men screaming can be heard in the background. The angle was poor, but Lily could see some of the intruders. They don’t look like papa’s usual employees… she thought.

His smile faded slightly. [I was hoping they wouldn’t come. But we can’t have everything our way, can we?] He looked up at his inmate for a second, before refocusing on Kaolin. [Meet up with Ignia. Defend the barracks. We can’t lose our visitor.] Kaolin acknowledged the order with a nod as his screen flickered away.

Mal turned slowly toward Lily; she would shrink back again, but she had already pushed herself into the corner of the cell, eyes wide with fear. “What are you…” She quivered.

The hoodied man tossed Helschpammer into the cell; moments later, the bars separated open.

She sat, frozen and bewildered at the gesture for a second, before instinctively grabbing the gun, hugging it close and aimed clumsily at her “warden”. “Why did you…” She stuttered, still eying him warily.

Mal once again smiled, and for the third time, extended a hand toward Lily. [It seems that we have guests. Shall we receive them?]

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October 19, 2014
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