"While there are countless realms contained within corporeal reality, there are those that exist in a Contained State. That is to say these realities exist in states of alternating stagnation and flux, depending on the whims of their Moderators. These Moderators are appointed to oversee the data-flow of a world, ensuring a consistency in events leading to a suitable conclusion. Contained State Shards are fragments of one overarching reality, at several different points throughout its timeline. Often, to initiate a state of flux and observe the possible outcomes the Moderators will cause slight differentiations in their provided parameters. Contained States and Contained State Shards exist within a dias, presented before the Moderators. The Contained State or Contained State Shard that is currently being explored and observed is moved to the center of the dias, while the others orbit around it. When a Contained State, be it a Shard or the original, is in orbit it is frozen at a point determined by the Moderators. Possibilities are explored in the Augury, which is the center of the dias. When in the Augury, Moderators are powerless to change any unfolding events; forcing their observer routines to initiate. At this moment, outside of corporeal reality, Contained State Shard 0023 is being observed. In their silent realm, the Moderators stare into their scrying dias with a great sense of muted anxiety. It is the first time in their long existence that they have been unable to remove a Contained State Shard from the Augury. " -0racle. The morning had deeply kissed the crown of Bridge City, casting the city in golden hues that danced and shifted with each passing vehicle. Ryobi had taken the sidewalk, rising from a daze outside of the Electric Mall and immediately setting on his way. Each step brought him closer to alertness, the pale grays of a monochrome reality giving way to a world alive with sensations and promise. Buildings had taken their proper shapes, with the full opening his eyes and slowly things were coming into focus. Slowly, he stopped, turning and rubbing at his temples; suddenly staring into two shadow smothered faces. "Do you know what today is, young sir?" It was supposed to have been their first meeting. Ryobi Tsunoda gave them his usual, friendly smile, allowing his eyes to close for a brief moment. They were dressed in long coats, indigo in color and bright enough so they could not be missed in any kind of crowd. He envisioned it as he stared through the shifting hues of light burning through his eyelids; the expression on their faces when he gave them an answer. "Why, my dear friends," he said, slowly opening his eyes, already the confusion was setting in, their mouths, the only immediately discernible features beneath the stark shadow of their hood were turned up in slight apprehension, but just barely, "today is the day of our lord. A Wednesday, September thirteenth and the day predicted by Aquinas," the concern became plain and they eyed the boy from behind their cowls, "today is the day that the end begins and the veil is drawn back." It was their speech, albeit paraphrased in Ryobi's own taste for cutting away unnecessary details. "There is no changing the past, but the future can be changed! The future built on this very city must be realized!" Ryobi slowly lifted his hand to the sky, letting his fingers clasp the distant Sun as he smiled a small, crooked smile; they were watching him now with something bordering on open awe, even though his performance had been largely sarcastic. He had felt it, before, the last time he had been here; nearly fifteen years ago. It was a breaking in the resonance of the world, a brief moment of silence where the distant waves broke and unseen lines converge to form a glimpse of fate. Still, even with the familiarity, it was exciting to experience the vast, thriving aftermath of a collapsing inevitability. The cultists of Dies Irae stared at him, then at one another and offered him a bow. "We are sorry to have disturbed you, brother, may your work be blessed in Aquinas' name," and with that, they simply turned back to their business of spouting vagaries at those who passed by; drawing in the unwary to indoctrinate them. Ryobi smiled at their backs, tipping an imaginary hat as he took strides down the busy street; genuinely starting to enjoy the day. "No need for that, pawns of Dies Irae, keep your blessings" he whispered, walking away, taking slow strides down the street; passing by storefronts and bustling citizens. Ryobi cast his eyes about, searching amidst the crowds. "Ah, there they are." Other familiar scenes. A girl wearing a black hoodie spray painting, mostly out of view from the street, long strands of pink hair hanging out from beneath her hood. Hoodlums, pressed together smoking cigarettes; casting glances over their shoulders. A minor car accident. Distortions that lingered and sang between breaks in the resonance that blanketed Bridge City. They were all arrayed in their proper place, but he couldn't stop to observe if there were any differentiations in their actions or habits. No, he had much work to do. Though he had cut away several useless encounters, it would seem that he would still arrive late to class...and that was where he needed to be, right now. Bridge City High lingered in the distance, a lopsided outline of clustered buildings and breezeways. Ryobi yawned, loudly and began making his way forward again. "Aquinas would like to place the blame on a malfunctioning Resonance Beacon and, therefore, onto me. The truth is far more disturbing. I have betrayed Dies Irae and caused an apocalypse. Regardless of the reason, the outcome will be the same. They will arrive here, soon. Upon their arrival I will be killed. This is nearly an inevitability. I seek to circumvent this course of action and utilize my worst mistake to preserve my chance to correct the future. Data-feeds to the Resonance Beacons were disturbed at the time of Weaponized Unit 0's impact, creating a brief window that allowed for the result of this 'malfunction' to slip away unrealized. That was not before it exerted its will. Where this exertion exists, in the form of lignering anomalistic flux, there is a rift between corporeal reality and an unknown space. I am sorry about this. It would seem that this distortion in the Augury and, thus, our world is directly the result of my ambition. I have removed myself from Aquinas' detection. Without my technical prowess, there are none in Dies Irae who will succeed in tracking me. Not where I plan to go. For this, too, I am sorry. May we meet again in another life, 0racle." "Alright, the first sanctioned matches of this school year begin in twenty minutes," the voice was shrill and feminine, stripping away the layers of dizziness that enveloped the green haired girl, "so you've got a little bit of time to stretch or get some water, or whatever it is you feel like doing in these twenty minutes!" Peace Hayder opened her eyes, drifting back in from a warm haze. She remembered shuddering when the prospect had been proposed, though whether it had been with anticipation or dread she could not immediately discern. Bright, fluorescent light filled her eyes; the fires of synthetic angels drifting down on wings of ruination. Her stomach was full of butterflies and her heart fluttered into a cacophonous rhythm of roaring tides. Slender shoulders tensed and eager fingers sought the grip of her Dense Battlefang. She found it, swinging at her hip and steadied her swaying when her digits found solid purchase. There had been an announcement by their teacher, a voluptuous woman named Yukimura, the shrill voice from earlier, that Peace had been waiting for since she had first been handed her gray Ranking Jewel. That's what the feeling was! She brought her hand to her forehead and pressed her palm hard against it. I almost passed out! Yet it was true. That dream was finally coming to fruition. Her first bout as a Fighting School Network combatant. The taste of it lingered on her tongue, fresh and sweet. She briefly feared that she may begin sweating, but forced her now blushing face into a stoic scowl; despite the errant trembling of her lips. Around the room, others were scouting out their potential opponents even now. She considered them all, from behind a curtain of fervor. Everything was so new and sharp and ripe for taking; Peace felt invincible and ready to fight against the very current of the world. So, she smiled, wide and satisfied and started taking a slow stroll around the room. "It seems that many important things have been misplaced, but those that are worth noting appear to be completely intact. What troubles me are the new variables, these small ripples in the resonance of Bridge City that promise an upheaval of the established order. Tantalizing, yes, and utterly terrifying. I can not promise the coming days will be easy, but I can assure you that everything that is going to happen, no matter how terrible, will be for a greater end. It disgusts me how much I am starting to sound like Aquinas." -0racle. "Do we really have to fight right now, brother," Ceridwen Auttenberg queried from behind the thick cover of an archaic tome, "is it required or can I simply take this time to pray?" She knew he would be rather upset about the question, so she lowered the book as a preemptive calming factor and turned to him; eyes alight with concern as she glanced beyond his profile to see the others already breaking into groups and easing in to conversation. "Perhaps I should ask the teacher?" Her fingers gently pressed against the old book, feeling the uneven and leathery texture of it and relishing the scent of dust it seemed to produce. It seemed so easy for her peers to mingle with one another and she longed to join them, quietly standing to pursue this odd goal. Ceridwen had come here to fight, surely and to prove herself to her brother, but that did not mean that there did not exist time for idle chatter. She felt, somewhere in her core, that these kinds of interactions were necessary.