The heavy breathing and splashing of puddles resounded through the empty city street as a boy sprinted along the sidewalk, a look of terror across his face. He was wearing a black hoodie, with the hood pulled over his head, and was wearing a wireless headset, which was set to its noise-cancelling setting. The boy was wearing cargo shorts, but all of his pockets were empty, and in his hand was a short, stout metal pipe with a few drops of wet, red material on it. The boy hastily pulled his left sleeve up, still looking around, then quickly peeked down as he ran. "There's no way," he gasped. "1509" was written in minuscule numbers on the small, LED screen. "I'll never make it!" As he turned a corner, he noticed that the street up ahead was busy. "WHAT?" he gasped, fear and shock filling his chest, "HOW?" It was the exact place he just came from, but mirrored! The boy continued running, speeding up in his shock. "No, I can't stop! I have to..." he gasped, then he turned the corner, looking behind himself to make sure he wasn't followed, and immediately continued sprinting forwards. He heard a quick squeal in front of him, then shot his attention forwards as he tried slowing down. He noticed a girl about his height and age wearing black and pulled his pipe back, raising his off-hand up to try to gently get the lady out of his way. His expression of fear was still on his face, but he was too focused to speak. He merely thought the words, "I have to run faster or I'll never get back to my home in time!" as he brushed past the girl, then immediately sped up, swinging his arms faster to counteract his more aggressive pace. The boy ran down the street until he reached the cross signal, then turned the corner and continued sprinting once more. There were more pedestrians, but he was now paying more attention to them, having brushed past the girl. He continued sprinting along, hoping that he would be fast enough. After a few feet, he checked his watch again..."1509" -The next day- The boy woke up in a small room and looked around in surprise. He turned off his headset and checked the battery before taking a closer look around the room. "Darn, almost out." he observed, putting the headset back on and resuming the noise-cancelling function. He looked around, searching for the charger for his headphones. After unearthing a few books, scattered clothes, and empty backpacks, the boy finally found his charger. He plugged it into the wall, but thoroughly searched the room for other people before taking his headset off again. "All clear," he commented, turning his headphones off. Immediately, he was assaulted with the sound of pounding on his door and loud honking noises from outside. "S-Sorry, just a second!" he shouted, rushing over to his charger. After a few lectures from his landlady, the boy left the building and quickly rushed over to his favorite early morning food store - McDonalds. He found his wallet in one of his many pockets, the one he always stored valuables in, and offered the cashier an exchange. "Two pancake meals, please!" he asked, "and I'm in a rush!" The cashier gleefully took his money and offered him a receipt so that he could get his food once it was ready, saying "Thank you, have a nice day!" then switched tasks to talk to the next person in line without a second thought. The boy was satisfied with his exchange once he received his food, but he was not able to eat it in the McDonald's building. He quickly shoved the food into a bag and sprinted out the door, running back to his apartment. Once he was inside his room once more, he checked on his headset, and was surprised to find that the battery was only half full. "Well, it'll have to do for now." He unplugged the headset, put it around his neck, and shoved the charger into his pocket as hastily as he could. He then sprinted back out of his apartment, breathing heavily from all of his activity. After locking the door, he ran down the two flights of stairs to street-level and rushed out the door. Once he reached the sidewalk, he reached into his pocket with his free hand and pulled out a slip of paper. "I can't trust him........I know I can't...." the boy commented, staring intensely at the paper. "Bryerwood Academy - 1245 Elysium Ave" was written on the paper in a sloppy cursive. He soon noticed a man staring at him, and quickly apologized to the man before running off towards his destination. He continued to run up until he reached the first necessary crosswalk, then eagerly waited for the light to change. His impatience was visually apparent as he shifted from side to side, occasionally looking around at other people as if he was being chased. When the light finally turned green, he attempted to look somewhat less suspicious by speedwalking across the street, but immediately started running again once he reached the other side. He continued this process for the next ten minutes until he crossed onto Elysium Avenue. "Certainly would have thought that it'd be more fancy with a name like that," he thought, looking down the street. It was a street in a residential district, so the lots were expensive, but had plenty of space. He could almost see ahead far further than he could in the section of the city near his apartment. In fact, he was certain that he could see a large group of trees in the distance, which was slightly unnerving to him. He kept his nose in the sheet of paper between sudden bursts of suspicion and looking around, and kept walking along the sidewalk towards his destination. "He's probably scheming something." Once he reached 1243, he looked up ahead to the next lot down the street to see what kind of place he was directed to. "What? A school? Why?" He had to walk around the perimeter of the brick wall surrounding the large perimeter of the school, then walked in through the designated entrance. There was a rather large front section, with a nice pathway leading up to the school, paved with a smooth concrete and covered, in some sections, with large mirror-panels. He almost felt as if he was walking towards a science lab. Once he reached the entrance to the school building, he opened the door and was immediately assaulted by a gust of warm air. He jumped back out of the doorway, but immediately regained his composure and continued walking, feeling a blush on his face. He looked around for a few seconds in the huge first room, attempting to memorize the layout in a short span of time. With the vast number of windows, the gigantic staircase in the middle of the room, and the wide array of study areas, Niko was not sure that the room he was in was part of a school any more. "More like a university," he commented, making his way towards a directory board on a bulletin a few feet across from the entryway. After finding the location of the administrators of the building, he started to wander around in search of the aforesaid room. Despite its architecture, the building was well designed and rather easy to navigate through, as Niko quickly found the nameplates and room numbers as he walked around. He also noticed that there were a great many windows everywhere, and few undecorated walls. He did not particularly like the large number of windows, but the natural light was very refreshing, compared to his apartment. Once he reached the administrator's office, he knocked on the door a few times. "It's unlocked, come in!" shouted a strong female voice from the other side, her tone professional yet friendly. Niko turned the handle and walked into the room to find a very neatly-organized and clean waiting room, with sofas on either side of the door and between doors around the room, with various tables in front of each chair, housing magazines, classic books, plants, and even a few puzzle objects. Niko couldn't help but look around for a few seconds after entering the room, allowing the door to shut behind him. The lady who called him in looked up from her desk in the room ahead and suddenly looked concerned. "Is something the matter?" after realizing that she did not recognize the boy, her expression became much more friendly and she immediately continued, "Oh! You're Niko, aren't you? Welcome to Bryerwood Academy, please come and sit down! I have many things to tell you." Niko, feeling much more like a sheep than a student, obeyed the lady, his expression of confusion and reluctance growing stronger by the second. He continued to listen to the lady as she talked to him, answering her seemingly pointless questions as she asked them and accepting various gifts from her, such as a notepad, and a student handbook. Niko felt as if he was being interrogated at one point, but the lady did a very good job of appearing friendly and providing information about the building and why he was there. All the same, the boy was thoroughly confused by the time the lady was finished talking, mostly due to his own thoughts. The lady ignored Niko's expression and, at long last, said, "My apologies for talking for so long, I really love to meet new students! Your schedule is already printed on the first page of your student handbook, so please go to your first period class now! I will tell your teacher of your arrival. And...don't forget, you need to start wearing the uniform you ordered...that outfit simply will not do." Niko hastily made his way to the door as the lady was talking, almost ignoring what she said. He then rushed back over to the directory and looked for the second period class on his schedule. "Hrm, "Advanced Art 1" eh? Why?..." he thought, making his way over to the large staircase. There were only a few other students wandering around, most likely as a result of the start of the next class. Niko was glad that there weren't many people there to obstruct his view, as he was still trying to get a grasp of the layout of the school. As he reached the classroom, he frowned, his eyes filled with uncertainty. He cautiously opened the door, and was immediately greeted with the sounds of pencils on paper. "Ah, he's here! All right class, eyes over here!" a rather rugged-looking man in the back declared, rising from his desk, "the person in the doorway is a transfer student from New York. Please make him feel at home here at Bryerwood!" The teacher paused for a moment, then looked over at Niko and hesitantly asked, "Would you like to introduce yourself?" Niko stared at the teacher in disbelief for a few seconds, then looked around at the other people in smocks. He felt butterflies in his chest and his face went pale, but he mustered the courage to mutter, "Y-Yeah, umm, h-hi. I'm new here. Hope I don't get in the way..." then quickly started to walk back towards the door. The teacher noticed this and quickly walked towards him. "Oh come on, don't be a stranger! Go ahead and join us. You took a few art classes before, right?" Niko frowned, his uncertainty still plastered across his face as he started to speak. "N-uhh, i-is that what the administrator lady said?" The teacher chuckled a little after hearing Niko's question, missing the boy's increased confusion as he did so, "well, to get into advanced art, you needed to pass beginning art first! I just wanted to know if you had experience drawing still lifes." Niko looked around at the students, who were now focused on drawing once more, some more hurredly than others. He noticed that they all had multiple pencils and erasers, and there were piles of objects in certain places around the room which they directed their attention to. They sat in stools instead of desks, and some even drew on easels which were set up next to themselves. The boy nodded briefly to the teacher, determining that going with his backstory was the best option at that moment, then looked over to see the teacher bending down and picking a shirt out of a basket on the floor. "Well then, get your supplies and get drawing! Try adding as much detail as you can, and ask me if you need help." Niko put the shirt on over his, noting that that was what the other students did, then picked random pencils and erasers from a box on a shelf of art supplies, which was next to the basket of extra shirts. He set up a position in the middle of the room, somewhat nearby a few other students, and started drawing a random arrangement of fruits. He started scribbling furiously on the paper, attempting to capture the shading of the piece without first sketching it out, and, by the end of class, had captured the apples the cluster of grapes with almost perfect accuracy, then began to shade the face of the platform they were positioned on as well. Once the bell rang, the teacher called, "Same thing on Thursday class, take your easels to the corner of the room and stack your sketches on my desk." Niko obeyed the teacher's instructions, then put the extra shirt back in the basket and stared at his schedule for a few seconds. "And just what room is lunch supposed to be in?..." he grumbled to himself, placing his notebook back in the bag with his pancake meals. He determined that someone had heard him, and quickly looked around with a nervous expression until he spotted a girl who happened to be looking at him. He became even more nervous as he recognized her face, and backed up a step, as if to start leaving the classroom.