"I…took my own daughter, attempted to force her to become the very epitome of my beliefs against her will, using mental conditioning and ADAM to turn her from a spirited, innocent child to a…to my idea of a saint, with no real…I killed her father in front of her eyes…and what does she do? She…forgives me, saves my life…In a way, it's worse than any punishment I could think of…now, I must live with the fact that I was wrong, just as corrupt as the tyrant I railed against…and that Eleanor is everything I wanted her to be, but not because of me. Not because of my moral conditioning or my…poor example. Because of the father I slain…twice…"
The meeting room had a spectacular seafloor view of the city. Casey stared out at the place in sheer wonder. A school of Remoraid swam by, not noticing her or the room she was in…a plain place, with a table, many scattered seats and a screen. There weren't any posters or other signs of Rapture's past…Arbiter wanted this room to be for the league and the league alone. So compared to the rest of the city, the room itself was very boring. Probably why the fish didn't look. She was still wearing the t-shirt and jeans from the burglary. It seemed like an eternity ago now. Lara said that other clothes would be provided…Casey guessed they wouldn't be leather.
Casey glanced around at the people inside the room, who were more interesting. The man in the bodysuit was there, fully recovered and glaring viciously at her and Jimi. Jimi sat on his mistress' lap and sneered back, but Casey silently cautioned him against more trouble. There was also the woman who had allowed her on, Lara. A man in an orange bodysuit and glasses was silently typing out something on his computer, completely oblivious to her presence. Finally, a young man in a green tunic was drumming his fingers by his sides, waiting.
Casey gave the green one a good long look. He was roughly the same age she was…and pretty handsome. Very good bod. Casey stroked Jimi for luck and decided to introduce herself.
Casey walked up to the young man. "Hel-lo, handsome."
Apparently he didn't think that meant him, and didn't respond.
Casey, getting a little irritated, flapped her hand in front of his face suddenly. "Helloooooooo?"
The lad suddenly noticed her, and looked up. He smiled a bit sheepishly, but didn't speak.
Shy, Casey noted mentally. "You talk, right?" He nodded. Casey gave him a look. "…yes." He answered nervously.
"Great." Casey thrust her hand out. "Casey Lynch. You?"
"Link." He eventually responded, slowly taking up her hand. Casey shook it a lot more energetically than he would've liked.
"Weird name. Oh yeah, this is Jimi." The Pikachu hopped onto her lap as Casey sat down right beside Link. He shifted a little uncomfortably.
"…Hello." He said. Apparently he was more comfortable petting Jimi than shaking hands with a girl.
"Careful, Jimi…" Casey began, but noticed Jimi was smiling a little. "Huh, think he likes you. Jimi doesn't let a lot of people pet him so easy." Link smiled slightly. Casey began again. "Listen, who's that guy? The one who's pissed off? Never got his name."
Link looked up and figured Casey meant the scowling man. "Snake." he answered.
"Really. How 'bout Mr. Computer?"
"Gordon, I think."
"Thanks." Casey noticed Arbiter walking in with someone else, a woman.
"And who's that broad? I saw her on some of the posters."
Link looked at the woman. "Sofia."
The woman looked at Casey. Sofia Lamb's eyes fell upon the girl so hard that Casey nervously scratched the back of her neck, trying to look away from the piercing orbs behind the glasses. Sofia breathed in her cigarette smoke and spoke to Arbiter.
"Is that her?"
Sofia put her hand under her chin in thought. "I cannot say that is who I would choose…"
Arbiter impatiently growled. "You wanted a Chronicler. Providence has provided us with one. Do not complain, Sofia Lamb."
"I wasn't." Sofia answered dryly.
Arbiter gave a sigh of contempt just as a loud scraping from behind another door drew everyone's attention. The door opened and Pyramid Head came in, ducking under the low way and dragging his colossal blade right behind him.
"HOLY-" Casey exclaimed and clambered over her seat to get as far away as possible. Her sentiment was shared by most of the room with the huge creature in the room. Jimi began sparking, but Casey stopped him.
"Stop there." Arbiter commanded. Pyramid Head looked at him, as if he was only acknowledging him grudgingly. Nevertheless, he did stop. "Stay put." Arbiter stared hard at the creature. It obeyed. Arbiter was very glad that it at least responded to his orders.
Sofia Lamb approached Casey and handed her an empty audio diary. "You are the chronicler, and the briefing is about to begin. Turn this on…"
"…and do not turn it off until the briefing is complete. And don't speak unless we tell you to. Do you understand?"
"Very good. Arbiter, you may begin. Gordon, dispense with that computer, would you kindly?"
"Ahem. You are likely all wondering why you all brought here. Allow me to explain from the beginning. During the Halo wars, of which I was a part, the governments of this world were forced to form a coalition, in order to maintain order and to fight back the…aggressors. The war is over, and this world is victorious."
"Don't tell me we've been dragged down here for a history lesson."
"Snake, please be quiet."
"As I was saying…The war is over. But the coalition remains. Simply because a war has been won does not guarantee peace. There are still factions who wish to dismantle this coalition…to secure their own power. Some are merely deluded fools, hardly worth concern. Others are well-organized, genuine threats to the peace, people, and structure of this world.
"WE are the hand of the coalition. We will preserve the peace, people and structure, at any cost. This…league was formed for this express purpose. The coalition commands us, and we will do as they command. We are a secret. No-one knows of this group…yet. We will serve the coalition for the sake of this world and others."
"And how are we supposed to do that?"
"Snake, be quiet."
"I am about to explain. Around the world are several items and individuals that have…significant power. Power enough to challenge the peace if it fell into the wrong hands. Our mission, for the time being, is to capture and contain this items and individuals…one way or another."
"Course, we can't touch the nukes…"
"Snake, shut up."
"Hmph. That…is all I have to say. Now, for the matter of this base. Sofia Lamb, you have the floor."
"Thank you, Arbiter. There is… little to say regarding what will be your home for the time being. Arbiter and I are in control of the access to the surface. Only we will decide who stays and who goes there. That being said, you are free…within reasonable limits, to move throughout the city. These commlinks, which all of you will be required to wear, will allow us to track you and speak with whenever the need arises. You are free to explore. That being said, realize that this city is not entirely without danger. We have rebuilt and repaired, cleaning out as many of the remaining threats as possible. However, this is a big city, and we are still repairing portions of it. And to be frank, we may have missed a few…problems. Use caution and common sense at all times. Windows and pipes can still be broken. We have already contained the explosives provided in a special room. Weapons such as pistols or…swords, you are permitted to carry BUT anyone who harms another of the league or backup soldiers will be…reprimanded. That is all I have to say."
"Very well. All of you are free to leave. Meeting adjourned."
"OK, I'll just turn this off then…"
-Recorded by Casey Lynch
With the meeting over, everyone wandered off to wherever. Arbiter sent the two colossal Hunters to escort Pyramid Head back to his room. Casey looked at Jimi. "Ok, now what?" Jimi shrugged and Casey agreed.
Sofia approached them both, still looking carefully at them.
"Follow me, Ms. Lynch. I suppose you want to know where you will be sleeping."
"Yeah, I guess."
Walking through the ruined grandeur of Rapture, Casey and Sofia heard a strange rattling noise. Sofia and Casey looked around them in vain. Just more torn posters and rusted walls…and an alter to the 'Lamb of God'. With a detailed portrait of Sofia Lamb in the centre.
"You were the savior?" Casey smirked.
"That was a lifetime ago. And no." Sofia muttered grudgingly.
An air vent with a large hole was covered with blue butterflies and white cloths. Spray painted over the carved vent was the words 'Give yourself unto her'. Pictures of people who had given themselves unto 'her' covered another wall. Casey glanced at it briefly before walking away with Sofia. Jimi looked at it curiously. Those vents were how he was able to get to Casey…and he had heard a rustling as well. What else was in there?
Casey and Sofia suddenly heard a thump behind them. When they turned around, there was nobody there. But a guitar had been dropped onto the floor right in front of the vent, seemingly out of nowhere.
Casey smiled and grabbed the guitar without question. "This was how I'll stay sane while I'm here" she responded when Sofia inquired why. Sofia didn't say anything…just staring at the air vent with an odd look on her face. Soon, the three people just walked away, Casey eager to get to her room, having been burned out by all the recent events. Jimi stared back at the vent, having seen…something but unable to say anything about it.
The rustling in the vent giggled quietly. That present was well-received…Maybe more were in order. This was gonna be fun.