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The single clock in the center of the room softly ticked with each passing second. The ticking was synchronized with the tapping of the enigmatic man's shoe as he walked to the back center of the dimly lit Victorian-style room. His face was covered by an elegant mechanical crow mask and on his head sat a top hat. "Live by the wing…" The man said. He raised his hand to his followers. "Die by the talon." They answered in eerie unison. His followers as well wore mechanical crow masks, although theirs were slightly less impressive.
"I bring to order this meeting of the Corvi Machinæ." The leader announced. His voice boomed throughout the room. "We only have one order of business, but it is by far the most important we've ever had. We must decide the fate of Ookami." As he said this, hushed whispers were heard around the room. "He is a dangerous threat that must be eliminated." The leader said promptly.
"Pardon my intrusion, master, but would it not be more advantageous to use him in the experiments?" One of the members said. The master stared at him through his crow mask. "An interesting thought you propose, Adrian." Although their faces were covered, the master knew each and every one of them through their voice. "It is unlikely that the tests would reject him, given his nature and bodily composition. He could be useful to us, you're right..." He gave it some thought and replied, "I concur with the previous inquisition. He must be used in our trials. Any ideas on how to go about this?"
"A simple inducing of amnesia. We lock away his memories and use him in our trials." Another piped up. The master began to pace around the area. "A thought occurred to me, my brethren. He might just be the final subject we need to perfect the experiment. With his explosiveness and his powers, he may have just what we need… Yes…" He smirked from underneath his mask. "Benedict. When this meeting is adjourned, prepare the Universitas Permetior Machinæ for use." He gestured to a member near the bottom left. "Yes, sir." He simply replied.
"I myself will work on containing his powers and preparing the catalyst." The master told the rest of the murder, "Since everything is in order, I will close the meeting preemptively… Live by the wing," The murder answered in unison, "Die by the talon."
"Meeting adjourned." He said to them. He walked off of the stage towards the laboratory.
Benedict met him there. "I will prepare the machine immediately." He said, his face now unmasked.
"Excellent. I will meet you there in approximately five minutes. There's something I need to…check on." The master replied enigmatically. They both rushed off: Benedict to prepare the machine, and the master elsewhere.
The master rushed into his secret laboratory, where he almost ran to the back of the room. Protected by a glass dome, a colossal automaton stood, partly finished. "Soon… soon you will be complete… my masterpiece." The master said in a hushed tone. The automaton was magnificent. Gears and clockwork were intricately laced in the optimal pattern. Steam came off in small bursts where excess heat had to be released. The ticks of the clockwork came off in beautiful melodic tones- at least to its creator. It was a beauty of modern mechanics. He grabbed a couple of… necessary items off of the cluttered work area and rushed back to the primary laboratory where Benedict waited.
"Everything is ready." Benedict said without looking at him. The master nodded and approached the machine. "Thank you Benedict. For this mission I will be going alone. No sense in bringing anyone else along." The master's voice was hurried and informal. He had changed his manner of speaking since the meeting. "If I do not return within two hours, expect the worst and inform the others." He said, nearing the device. "Yes, sir." Benedict answered, "The machine has been set for Ookami's approximate location. All you have to do is reactivate the device once you've found him."
"Understood. Thank you, Benedict." The master sat down in the chair and placed the helmet over his head. Gears began to turn and the whirring of the machine became louder and steam shot out of the release pipes. There was a blinding flash; when Benedict looked back, the master was gone. The whirring of the gears slowly came to a stop.
The master reappeared in what seemed to be the middle of a forest. Light shone through the dark green leaves of the trees and not a sound could be heard. "He's somewhere around here…" The master said to himself. He began to search around the area for some sign of the boy. He soon reached a clearing where off in the distance, he could see the figure of a human, silhouetted against the light of the sun.
The master began to walk towards the figure. He found it odd that the figure appeared to just be standing still, however. As he approached closer, he could make out the figure's appearance. It was a boy with long black hair down past his shoulders. He wore a simple black shirt with jeans. Clothes such as the ones the boy was wearing were very uncommon- almost nonexistent in the master's world.
The boy seemed to be meditating. The master was within fifty feet of him now. When he was within twenty feet, he suddenly vanished in a burst of shadow. Before the master had even known what had happened, he was on the ground with a sword to his neck. "Who are you?" The teen asked, "Why have you come here?" The master knew one wrong move would mean death, so he had to try and seem friendly.
"Calm down! I'm just a passing traveler. I didn't expect to find anyone else in these woods!" The master tried.
"With clothes like yours? Don't try to lie to me. If you do, I'll kill you right now." The teen answered.
"You're Ookami, aren't you?"
"How… how do you know my name…?" Ookami faltered a bit, enough to give the master enough time to escape the sword and stand up in front of him. "I'll get straight to the point then, enough with the friendly talk." The master's voice turned slightly sinister, "My name is Regulus Arcanum, leader of Corvi Machinæ. We have need for you in our experiments. You're coming with me whether you like it or not!"
"Stay away from me." Ookami warned. Flames of shadow appeared in his hands. "I can kill you in an instant."
"You'll not be killing anybody today. You're coming with me." Regulus repeated.
"Like hell I will!" Ookami yelled. He rushed towards Regulus and blew him backwards with a shadow pulse. He materialized right next to him and held the sword to his neck, drawing a little blood. Using lightning reflexes, Regulus slipped out of the hold once again and knocked the sword out of Ookami's hand.
Regulus pulled out a syringe that held the amnesia serum. "Don't worry. In a few seconds you won't be able to resist anymore." He held Ookami down and activated the device that allowed him to return. "Enjoy your amnesia!" Regulus yelled as he brought the syringe down. As the serum entered Ookami's bloodstream, he let out one last yell and released a tremendous burst of shadow energy that engulfed them both.
The energy caused both of them to fall into unconsciousness. The machine would activate automatically, so Regulus had nothing to worry about. However, unbeknownst to Regulus, the energy had messed with the inner workings of the machine and caused a sudden change in coordinates, causing Ookami to be transported far away from the laboratory. Regulus however, returned to the precise location where he had left.
When Regulus returned, a surprised Benedict quickly laid him on a bed to rest. When Regulus awoke, he was furious. "How could he have escaped?! You said that the machine was flawless!" He slammed his fist down onto the table and Benedict jumped back. "I'm sorry! I triple-checked it and everything worked perfectly!"
"I could have you KILLED this very instant!"
"Please sir, it was an honest mistake!"
"Find him! Take whatever measures necessary but find him!"
"Yes, sir!" Benedict rushed out of the room to escape the rest of Regulus' wrath. Regulus slammed his fist down again. This was getting aggravating. They needed to find Ookami. "He can only do so much damage with amnesia." Regulus said to himself. Unbeknownst to him however, their troubles with Ookami were only just beginning…
Translation key: Corvi Machinæ- Crows of the Machine
Universitas Permetior Machinæ- World Traversing Machine
I'm sorry if the translations are inaccurate… I don't exactly know Latin yet, so I have to rely on online translators.
Just a notice: I will try and post a new chapter every week if I can. I look forward to sharing my work with you all! Please remember to leave reviews below.