“The city of Lux was supposed to be a joint effort between the great powers of the world so that they could show the people that they could cooperate with each other. The city was founded in a completely neutral zone, on a large, empty island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, in the year that is now referred to as the Year of Foundation. Many thought that this city would encourage tolerance, acceptance and cooperation, and for the first few years, they were right: Lux was a small, but very-well managed city, which treated its citizens with respect and equality. Naturally, people started flowing into Lux, and that was when the problems started. The sudden, rapid explosion in the city’s population could not have been handled by its current government, not to mention the infrastructure. Thus, the city came close to the verge of collapse in just a few months, but the great powers interfered, restoring order and safety to Lux in a matter of weeks. Known criminals were banned from entering the city, the recently-appearing slums were cleaned up, and equality was restored. However, during the crisis, Lux’s government established a regular army, and granted the police force extraordinary authority. Of course, none of the great powers would have that, so Lux’s army was disbanded, the police force’s rights forcibly re-defined, thus forcing many people out of their jobs. However, it was at this time that Lux’s slow rise to being one of the great powers begun, as it announced its university project. Lux, with the permission of the great powers, established six universities, and gathered the greatest minds from around the planet to start developing new technologies, and teach a new generation of engineers. The project was a huge success, as in a few years’ time, students of Lux’s new universities surpassed any other in both theoretical and practical knowledge. Slowly, but surely, Lux became the educational centre of the whole world, then the centre of technological development for any country or company that could afford its prices. The city continued to grow, and soon, talks begun about the city declaring complete independence of the nations that funded it. The great powers agreed after much negotiation, since they decided that Lux would be unable to function without their funding, and thus, still held a great amount of control over the city. That turned out to be a mistake. Within months of declaring independence, Lux secured enough funds to keep itself going without support from other nations, effectively establishing itself as a self-sufficient and considerably powerful state. Naturally, the great powers did not like the idea of their investments going to waste, thus they attacked Lux in the only way they could: using their army. The takeover was presented to the masses as if it was for the benefit of Lux, to defend it against other aggressors, but the university students of Lux knew the true reason, and begun planning how to restore Lux’s independence. The solution came with the Image Materialisation System, or IMS, a new weapon, which could turn even an untrained soldier into a war machine. Although the six universities developed slightly different versions of the weapon, each of them was equally effective. When the day of the revolution finally came, Lux was liberated in a matter of days, in no small part due to the strength of the IMS, but instead of being sung as heroes, Lux declared IMS to be an unethical weapon because of its method of construction, and outlawed its use. A more traditional military was established, and IMS-users who wanted to keep their powers went into hiding. It is now 104 After Foundation according to the Lux calendar. Ten years have passed since the aforementioned events, and tensions are growing high again. Lux has cut itself off from the rest of the world, refusing to engage in political matters, and stopping all emigration or immigration. The great powers of the world are trying their best to cope with the gap that the loss of Lux has left in their educations as advanced machines starting to fail rapidly around the globe, starting a crisis. It seems like once again, the power of the IMS, and the Guardians of Lux will be needed to set everything right.” It has been ten years since the so-called Guardians of Lux were founded, and liberated the city from its oppressors. This highly secret organisation consists of those who are, or were, members of the six universities of Lux, and invariably share a common trait: they are all in possession of a device called Image Materialisation System, or IMS. Despite its potential as a weapon, the use of this device was banned by Lux’s government, however, these people chose to keep them, fearing that the power of the IMS might be needed again. Luckily, the IMS have been built so that they can be disguised as everyday objects, but this also prevents the Guardians of Lux from recognising each other. While some members have even worked together on the project, and thus, are aware of each other, others only know of the organisation’s existence, and many members are not willing to identify themselves as such. Needless to say, this is a double edged sword, as while it prevents the Guardians of Lux from recognising each other in public, it also prevents government interference if one of them is discovered, as using an IMS is comparable to treason according to Lux’s laws. The IMS The IMS itself is a device built to manipulate energy, and has a small fusion reactor as its power source. It attempts to replicate whatever image its user has in mind, and create effects accordingly. While the machine can interpret images on the spot, this takes time, and makes the user vulnerable. Therefore, the Guardians of Lux have created programs, which generate pre-determined effects, and are only associated with a specific phrase, gesture, or a combination of both, thus they do not require much concentration. Effects generated by programs will appear instantaneously, and the IMS will never interpret a command associated with a program if it is out of context. Certain defensive programs can be activated by the IMS itself to protect its user, and a defensive program will always take precedence over an offensive program. However, the main weaponry of the IMS consists not of programs, but rather, of so-called Channelled Weapons. These weapons are designed to work with the IMS, and help to focus effects generated through images or programs. They range from melee sabres and simple pistols to Gatling cannons and anti-tank rifles. They are also one of the few devices that can harm an IMS-user that can be carried by a single person. An additional function of the IMS is that it comes with a large subspace storage, which can store equipment associated with the IMS. This includes Channelled Weapons and light-weight armour designed to fly, and work with the IMS. However, it should be noted that the armour, while it can withstand continuous fire from most kinds of anti-personnel weaponry, is to be considered the last line of defence that is standing between an IMS-user and a horrible death. Also, every item carried by the IMS may be summoned independently of each other. It should be noted that the six universities have created six different versions of the IMS, which are considered equally powerful. These are the following: Tiresias University: The IMS developed by this university is focused on tactical and strategic management, meaning that it has an easy-to-comprehend battle interface, which automatically highlights possible threats, vulnerabilities or situational advantages. It is geared towards outsmarting one’s opponent. Odysseus University: The IMS developed by this university is focused on speed and manoeuvrability, meaning that it is able to adjust the acceleration, velocity and direction of its user nearly immediately, allowing for seemingly impossible moves. It is geared towards hit-and-run operations. Helen University: The IMS developed by this university is focused on the strength of attacks, meaning that it has an extraordinary amount of control of its Channelled Weapons, capable of maximising the effectiveness of every attack, and surpass the limits of other IMS. It is geared towards endurance. Antigone University: The IMS developed by this university is focused on defence, meaning that it has the ability to create very strong defensive barriers, reinforce the strength of any material, and generate wide-area protective shields. It is geared towards defensive operations. Helios University: The IMS developed by this university has the ability to disrupt the operation of any device near it, including other IMS, and has a built-in stealth system that hides the user from the eyes of almost any kind of detection. It is geared towards espionage. Selene University: The IMS developed by this university has the ability to absorb a small percentage of any kind of energy that comes near it, meaning that it can reduce the strength of incoming attacks, or disrupt the coherency of any material its user comes in direct contact with. It is geared towards support. The city The city of Lux is divided into several sectors. These are the following: Tower Sector: The most iconic sector of Lux, and the symbol of the whole city, this sector is located in the centre of the city, and is dominated by a single skyscraper, which is over one kilometre tall. This skyscraper is called “The Tower” by the people of Lux. It houses the administration facilities of the city, so it is protected by many checkpoints, a large security force, and the presence of the military. While this sector is considered the safest place in the city, it is also heavily monitored. University Sectors: These sectors belong to the universities of Lux. There are six of these sectors, each of them belonging to a university, and they are governed completely independently of the city. They have their own security force, and enforce a strict “no violence” rule on their grounds. Anybody caught using physical force on the university grounds will be immediately excluded from the university. However, defending oneself with physical force is allowed, if physical force is used against them. Also, each university has its own colour, which students must display on their person in some form: Tiresias’ is blue, Odysseus’ is yellow, Helen’s is red, Antigone’s is green, Helios’ is white, and Selene’s is black. Residential Sectors: Residential areas are defined by their relatively pleasant atmosphere. Instead of blocks of flats, residential sectors are made out of large, multi-storeyed complexes with small gardens on every level. However, there are also some traditional houses with larger gardens. Residential areas near the six universities are also home to the dormitories, but are not considered a part of the university. Industrial Sectors: Highly industrialised sectors filled with factories, but what really makes them special is their transportation system. These sectors have the best public transport in all of Lux, and are connected to every single residential sector in multiple ways, and other sectors in at least one way. If one wants to lose one’s pursuers, they should seek one of the industrial sectors, for the transportation system of any industrial sector is a literal maze. Agricultural Sectors: Large, artificially fertilised plains located both on the surface and underground, with light redirected towards them at all times using various methods ranging from satellites with reflective mirrors, to ground-based mirrors, and stored light particles. The light supply of these sectors only gets cut during night-time, or when it would impair the natural cycle of plant growth. The roads here are built so that agricultural machines can navigate them easily, and thus, these sectors are a bad place to hide. Financial Sectors: Sectors dominated by huge skyscrapers made out of concrete, metal and glass. Many buildings often contain reflective surfaces, and the streets are crowded during the rush hours. However, in other hours of the day, traffic is not as big as in other sectors, but still it remains a relatively easy place to hide in. Military troops are also rather squeamish about entering these sectors, as a bad shot can easily injure innocents in the crowd. Research Sectors: These sectors are where most of Lux’s research takes place. Normal citizens are not allowed in unless they have special permission. However, university students and professors are allowed to observe unclassified experiments with supervision, and if they have permission, they may assist or take part in researches. Military personnel may request the cooperation of these sectors, but require permission to enter the actual sectors except in cases of emergency. Military Sectors: Simply put, sectors dominated by a military base. Only members of the military are allowed in these sectors without special, explicit permission, and they are protected extremely well. Monitoring devices are present in every area surrounding military sectors, recording any activity. It is recommended to avoid these sectors and the immediate areas around them unless one has urgent or critical business. University students and professors are especially distrusted in these areas because of their connection with the IMS-users. Forbidden Sectors: Not much is known about these areas, except that only very few people are allowed to enter them. They are usually guarded by a large military force, and appear to be completely empty. Regardless, citizens who come too close to these areas may be subject to questioning by patrols and random searches. Character Sheet Name: Age: (Please keep in mind that IMS-users are university students at least.) Gender: Appearance: (Your character’s everyday appearance) Personality: Backstory: IMS Sheet Type: (Which university developed your IMS?) Container: (Tell us what everyday item contains your IMS.) Armour: (Tell us what your battle armour looks like.) Channelled Weapons: (Maximum four) Programs: (I will not put a limit on this, but please be reasonable) Other equipment: (No weapons here, please) My character: Name: Akiko Mizushima Age: 21 Gender: Female Appearance: She is of Japanese heritage, and thus is shorter than an average person. To make up for that, she is more muscular than your average person. She has shoulder-length, black hair, brown eyes, and a round face. She keeps her hair out of her face with a black hairband at all times, as that is what she uses to represent her university. She is usually seen wearing comfortable and practical clothes as she does not like to show off her body. Personality: Akiko can be best described as friendly and cheerful. She makes friends easily, and has a wide area of interest, so she can talk about almost any topic. She places great value on her friends, and is usually there for you if you need her help. However, she is not afraid to challenge you if she thinks you have done something wrong, and has a tendency to jump to conclusions. She is also too honest for her own good, and can sometimes come across as invasive. Backstory: Akiko’s father was a well-known professor at Selene University, and naturally, he wanted his daughter to follow him in his footsteps. Thus, her life revolved mostly around studying and staying ahead of the subjects in school, and she had little time for herself, or her own interests. As a result, in her early years, she was a bit shy, but started gradually coming out of her shell, and paying less and less attention to her studies. Her grades started dropping sharply, so her father increased her workload, which did not alleviate the problem, however, then came the invasion of Lux. As her father was involved with the IMS project, Akiko was more free than she ever was, but after almost failing a year in school, and her father gave up on her, telling himself that there was no hope. As he fought for the liberty of Lux, though, Akiko started gathering herself once again, and by the end of primary school, she was studying again, with better grades than ever. When she got accepted into Selene University, her father passed the burden of the IMS to her, saying that his time was over, but instead of accepting the responsibility, Akiko rejected her father. She even considered reporting him to the authorities, but found that she could not do it, and after a year of continuous pressure, she finally caved in to him. She hopes that she will never have to use it, though. IMS Sheet Type: Selene University Container: A small, barely noticeable, metallic bracelet on the left hand. It is thicker than an ordinary bracelet, and is hard to remove. Armour: A white-coloured armour with a black, rose-like symbol on its chest. It has rounded edges with no sharp surfaces, and is unisex, thus hides the user’s gender. The joints are covered by overlapping armour plates, which limit the user’s range of movement, but not by much. It has large wings attached to its back, with four boosters. Channelled Weapons: 2x Heavy assault rifles: Modified from standard issue military rifles, these weapons have had their magazines removed and replaced by IMS-compatible systems, so they are not capable of storing traditional ammunition. However, their barrels have been modified to be able to accommodate any programs, not to mention that they are significantly lighter, and thus can be wielded in one hand. 1x Bulletbane: Large calibre, slow-firing, shoulder-mounted siege weapon. Due to its extreme size, this weapon can only be fired on the ground, and takes several seconds to properly set up. It requires its own ammunition, and is not compatible with all programs, but has supreme devastating power. However, the recoil of the weapon is so powerful that it can cause serious injury even when set up properly, and can be outright fatal in other cases. Programs: Heat burst: Both Heavy assault rifles are charged with fifty heat bullets. Heat bullets vaporise everything in a straight line towards the target, melting through most kinds of armour. However, while the effect of heat bullets is instantaneous, they also heat up the assault rifles, and can eventually melt the weapon if fired too rapidly. Grinder burst: Both Heavy assault rifles are loaded with a single traditional bullet taken from subspace storage, and their accelerator coils are overcharged. When the trigger is pressed, the bullet explodes towards the target with supersonic speed. While not quite as powerful as a heat bullet, this ability can be used more often. Perpetual grinder burst: A variant of the grinder burst which does not overcharge the coils of the rifles, and automatically reloads both weapons after each shot so they can be fired rapidly, but each shot is less powerful. Lance burst: The air around the user is charged with electronic energy, and the Heavy assault rifles are charged with a single, focused laser shot capable of ionising the air. The laser beam serves to guide the electronic current towards the target. While this attack can be very powerful, it takes time to set up, and has a short range. Heat storm: Projects an area of extreme heat in front of the user. The heat vaporises any traditional projectile that comes into contact with it, and the sudden localised change of air pressure scatters the particles harmlessly. Electric lock: Creates an extremely potent electromagnetic anomaly in the path of an incoming projectile, which deters the projectile from its course. This program may be activated by the IMS in case of danger. Bullet catcher: Using the special properties of Selene University’s IMS, the energy of any incoming projectile is absorbed by the device, causing them to fall on the ground or lose their power. Because using this program strains the IMS, it can not be used frequently, however, it may be activated by the IMS in case of danger. Stabilise the nightmare: The command used to automatically set up the Bulletbane without interference from the user. Prepare cartridge: The command to load the Bulletbane with a standard, unmodified bullet, and lock the weapon onto the nearest target. A small impact barrier is also set up around the user, and all safeties are enabled to protect from any injury. Purge: The command to fire the Bulletbane without any modifications, launching a huge projectile at supersonic speeds. Devastate: Both Heavy assault rifles and the Bulletbane line up towards the same target. The Heavy assault rifles fire two heat bullets each, and the Bulletbane launches its projectile simultaneously, without any restrictions enabled. While the power of the weapon is increased, the knockback also increased, thus using this program is just as dangerous for the user as it is for their opponent. Other equipment: Ammunition for both the Heavy assault rifles and the Bulletbane. If anybody has any questions, feel free to ask them in the thread. List of characters, IMS types and codenames: Akiko Mizushima (Lstorm), Selene, Codename: Yami Dayton Dowl (Timbolonian), Antigone, Codename: Skyline Talos Kin (Ashaekin), Helios, Codename: Hellstorm Isaac Frandle (Stohlen), Helios, Codename: Ghost 42 Lusio Altaran (unanun), Tiresias, Codename: Minerva Serena Talbot (The Returner), Odysseus, Codename: Light Important Rules: 1.) You are not combat experts. No, seriously, you might know a little bit of it, but you are bound to make a lot of mistakes. 2.) You may know each other, but no one knows that the other is a Guardian of Lux, and your identity as one should be your most guarded secret. If your identity gets revealed, expect to get at least a life sentence in prison for treason and the use of unethical weapons. 3.) There are no slums or slum-like areas in Lux. The whole city is very high-tech and maintained with excessive labour. While there are poorer sectors, the police keep a very strict order, and even the worst-looking sectors are decently maintained and cleaned. 4.) IMS devices are able to communicate with each other with a very secure, text-only method. You can use this to contact another Guardian.