OOC and Sign Ups c h a p t e r |o n e BLACK OUT Ariana stood there as patiently as she could as her instructor pointed out the workings of the BPC and explained what each component did and and how it worked. The room she and the rest of her class were in was hot and stuffy from the heat the machines were throwing off and without much ventilation they were left to bake. The tinkerer tugged at her clothes in discomfort, finding it unbelievably hard to focus under such conditions. While Helsigo Academy was well known and praised for the hands on experience and unethical teaching techniques it offered its students, Ariana, for once, wished she was in a normal classroom learning all of this. "Any questions?" the man asked the gathered students, clasping his hands together and rubbing them. It was a quirk Ariana had noticed within a week under his wing and made itself known when he was eager it move on. "Yeah, when can we get the hell out of here?" The wise cracker of the group piped up from somewhere in the back, eliciting some laughs. Their instructor allowed himself a smirk and couldn't help but to say, "No pun intended?" He was about to say more, when the red lights suddenly cut off and the room was left in silence. The group of aspiring mechanics and engineers mumbled among themselves and their instructor called over them, "Alright, alright, settle down. In a calm manner, get out your BP lights and file out of the room. Watch the machines. They might be off, but they're still hot to the touch." Ariana frowned and reached for the electronic device on her utility belt when everyone's walkie-talkies crackled to life all at once, "Calling all mechanics, be advised, we have a situation in the cylinders. I repeat, we have a situation in the cylinders." The class froze under the soft blue glow emitting from the BP lights everyone now held and turned to their instructor. The cylinders were what they called the public area a great number of people used to traverse the academy. They held within them E-vates, hovering platforms powered by blue plasma that utilized a duo system. By standing on one E-vate, another would activate and spin around it and the user had control over where and when the second E-vate stopped. This allowed for free mobility across the room along one singular plane. "Copy that, over," Mr. Fulna replied before returning the walkie to its holder. "Alright, you know what to do. We'll be handling floors four to one in Charlie." As the students filed out of the engine room, the emergency lights kicked on for the basement levels. Cylinder C, or Charlie as most took to calling it, was located nearest to them and didn't take long for them to reach it; however, the cylinders didn't reach the basements and they took the emergency staircases. "Alright, I want at least one person at each panel, the sooner we can get these moving again the better," Mr. Fulna instructed. The class spread out and Ariana eventually ended up on floor four. The last three upper floors were covered by another class. Thanks to the cylinders being made up of mostly glass, a lot of natural light escaped into the room and allowed the students to see what the were doing. Ariana flashed a smile as one the students stuck on the suspended E-vade before kneeling down and working open the panel for it. "So how's your day going?" As she tinkered with the wiring in an effort to find the Blue Plasma cell powering it, a small commotion caught her attention. She stopped and looked up with a quirked eyebrow. "What--" "These aren't going to fall, are they?" a near by strandee demanded. "No. E-vates have two Blue Plasma cells, one to keep them aloft and another to propel them forward. When we have situations like these, the second powers down to conserve energy while the first continues to keep the E-vate--" The E-vates she was working on wobbled once more and the stranded students and faculty began to grow concerned. "Mr. Fulna, we have 401 at E-vate 4-9. I repeat, we have a 401 at E-vate 4-9." Questions were thrown at the mechanic student and she did her best to keep everyone calm. Finally, there was a clap from behind her. "Alright, everybody, listen up," Mr. Fulna yelled over the talking. "We're going to initiate a full evacuation. Those who can 'port I would suggest you do so now." Ladders were being brought up and slid across the large gaps between the level they were standing on and the E-vates stuck in hover. "The rest of you are going to have to walk across these lad--" The E-vate under the 401 wobbled again and light emitting from the center flickered before going out completely. Ariana acted without thought, sprinting across the ladder and diving after the falling student. Once she had a grip on their arm, she grabbed the grapple hook from her utility belt and shot it at the extended ladder. It all went by too fast yet too slow all at once as she watched the metallic claw torpedo toward the only thing it had to grab on to and bit into the wooden frame. The two snapped to a stop and for a terrifying split second, she almost lost her grip on the gun. Down below, the E-vate continued it's decent, clattering into a newly evacuated one and causing it to buckle under the force. Both were sent crashing to the bottom. The ring was deafening. For a long moment the cylinder held its breath, Ariana shook from adrenaline, and then, "Hey, Ari, how's the weather down there?" Ariana wanted to laugh and choke their wise cracker all at the same time. "Great, you should try it some time," she managed to quip back, a slight shake to her voice. "Clever, how strong is your motor?" her instructor asked from his position on the fourth level. "250 cpi." "Great, let's bring her home, yeah?" "Aye-aye captain." A button was pressed on the gun of her grappling hook and the two suspenders started their sluggish ascend.