A Pirate’s Life for Me
Part 1: Called to Sea
The yordle hurried down the hallways of the Institute, with the officious bearing of an official League messenger. Despite her short stature and the cupcake crumbs on her official Institute robes, the yordle’s paws made an unusual tap tap tap on the marble floor, signifying her affiliation with Zaun through her hextech augmentations. Knocking on a door, a somewhat mechanical voice answered.
The messenger entered the room, which appeared rather spartan in nature, yet obviously lived-in. Sparsely furnished, the clutter around the room had the atmosphere of ordered chaos with which the occupant was intimately familiar. The bed in the corner was unmade, with various papers strewn about on it, and every flat surface was covered in various documents. Spare Summoner’s robes were splayed over a chair, a jar of dark sand was situated at one corner of the desk. A light and several cybernetics lay at another.
“A message for you, sir.”
“Thank you. Pardon my asking, but did you notice anything…different on the way in?”
“No, sir. Nothing out of the ordinary.”
“Thank you. That will be all.”
The yordle proceeded to salute the Summoner in the fashion of the Glorious Evolution, and proceeded to exit the way she came in.
Excellent, thought the Summoner. Now to extend the detection field outward. I’m sure SpecOps will be pleased with my progress.
At a glance, the Summoner known as Janus Medlen seemed an unlikely acolyte of Viktor’s Glorious Evolution. But upon hearing his metallic voice and seeing the distinctly Zaunite gleam in his eye, it became clear that this was a Summoner who was accustomed to the corporate world of Zaun. Some who knew him would tell you that he was an incurable eccentric, sometimes throwing about non sequiturs and references to research into dimensions beyond the Void. Others, however, would describe him as a consummate professional, who worked diligently towards the vision of the Glorious Evolution. Regardless, he carried the air of someone split between worlds, never quite alone with himself. Temporarily halting his work on HexKorps weapon augmentations, he opened the message that had been delivered.
Recipient: Summoner, Designate X41kX01c.
As you may have heard, the inhabitants of the Yordle moonbase have discovered a new landmass to the west. Unfortunately, due to surely unfounded suspicions from other nations following the Shuriman conflict, Zaun has been prevented from receiving permission to travel to this new continent. As a result of this development, you and several of your compatriots have been reassigned, with instructions to be delivered shortly.
For the Glorious Evolution.
Summoner X41kX01c chuckled to himself, turning the paper over and activating function Sigma of his optical enhancements to read the true message.
The Council has spoken. Make the necessary arrangements.
For the Glorious Evolution.
Well then, at least the pirates pay well; this should be quite profitable for me, thought the Summoner. And if I’m going to sea, I’ll need a ship. Not an airship, for once. Setting aside his calculations, the Summoner placed another sheet of paper upon his desk. It’s got to have guns. Big guns.
Three weeks later, a figure in purple robes climbed a ramp onto a ship in northeast Valoran’s massive bay. As he walked, he admired the oversized cannons poking out at ready position, as per his request. Reaching the deck, he approached the navigator.
“Set a course for Blue Flame Island.”
Turning, the Summoner smiled as he prepared to enjoy The Last Joke‘s maiden voyage.
Part 2: Not as Planned
And things had been going so well… Janus scowled, obviously unhappy with the situation. The meeting with the other Summoners of Bilgewater had not proceeded well; many of the native Summoners had been up in arms about the newly infamous “Lack of Jurisdiction” trial, which in turn influenced their decision-making regarding the Krocylea incident.
Damn Swain and his show. Damn the Freljord and the Shadow Isles. If they hadn’t gotten us mixed up in this, we wouldn’t be in this mess, and I wouldn’t have to deal with reporting it! The meeting had gone on for hours, with Summoners taking sides, backing off, and nearly reaching the point of reconciliation before some new issue tore them all apart again. After the vote was held, the situation did not end up in Janus’ favor. He and many other Summoners had lobbied relentlessly, but to no end. Now, he walked with Summoner Wizard 99^6 toward the location specified for his report.
“At this rate, we’re going to end up with more enemies than we can afford,” Janus complained.
“I am acutely aware of this possibility, but there is a chance that we will be able to recover our position,” replied Wizard 99^6. “despite the…less than optimal circumstances we find ourselves in. Regardless, I wish you luck. If I had more information regarding the Council’s inner workings, I would provide you with odds of success. Unfortunately, I cannot.”
“Thanks anyways, Wiz.” As Wizard continued down the hallway, Janus stopped in front of an aging, nondescript door. Pressing his cybernetic palm against the center section of the door to unlock it, he proceeded inward.
The room inside was unnecessarily dark. Janus appreciated the Special Operations Council’s theatricality, but was simultaneously annoyed by it, due to his position on the receiving end. As he proceeded to the center of the room, Janus adjusted his optical filters, but was annoyed to find that the Council had blocked his optical controls upon his entry. The five sensefilm cameras set up around the room transmitted live video to each of the Council members’ secure locations, and were fitted with modified vocal augmentations, which would act as audio transmitters.
“Welcome, Summoner Designate X41kX01c,” a tinny voice greeted Janus from the central camera.
As Janus relayed the results of the Krocylea incident, the Council was silent. When he neared the end of his report, he became apprehensive, anticipating their wrath.
“…And so, Bilgewater has cut all ties with the Shadow Isles.” Janus braced himself for the impact, “Apologies for any difficulties this might pose in our plans.”
“Thank you, but these new developments are likely to prove beneficial to us.”
What?!? Janus, taken aback, began to stammer, “Y-yes, but did not our instructions tell us to pursue a path of…of nonaggression? Won’t this attack against the Isles create a political firestorm?”
“Perhaps. However, it has come to our attention that Emperor Azir of Shurima desires to rebuild his civilization. Considering our current jurisdiction over Shurima, we have an…interest in the situation. We must demonstrate to the world that we can be trusted with weaker civilizations, and Krocylea proved to be an excellent opportunity to have our Summoners participate in a “benevolent” operation. Fear not, Summoner. You have not failed. Some of your colleagues have already been informed of our new plans. For the Glorious Evolution.”
“Thank you, Council.” Janus exited the room and sighed in relief. He was glad the Council was content with the current circumstances. He might as well return to the other Summoners. They had much to discuss.
Part 3: End in Sight
Janus sat in a Stormhaven tavern, the Creaky Plank, visibly tired. The Battle of Stormhaven had been unexpected, and served as a reminder that relations between Bilgewater and the Shadow Isles had changed since their joint expedition to Sannig Kloster. Alone in the tavern, which had, mercifully, been spared any major damage, Janus quietly battled with a mix of emotions, an activity largely alien to him. On the one hand, his support of the Shadow Isles made it difficult for him to fight against them, especially given his friendship with several of the Summoners sworn to their cause. On the other, his newfound loyalty to Bilgewater, and more importantly, Stormhaven, had forced him into action when Aatrox’s undead horde had attacked the Nyrothian port.
The battle, while brief, had come as a shock to the inhabitants, and Janus had been rudely interrupted in writing a report on the effect of pyrikhos on Nyrothian automata when the attack came. For a minute, Janus had sat shocked, unbelieving that the Shadow Isles would attack the most important Valoranian presence in Nyroth. What followed was a blur of action as Janus had wielded his blade and boltgun against the undead, occasionally catching glimpses of Champions doing battle, or even the Summoners he had fought with and against on and off the Fields.
Seeing Aatrox being eaten by the Kraken Stormhaven had unleashed was truly a shocking sight, to the point where Janus had nearly been ripped to shreds, so entranced he was by the view. But in the end, Janus’ mixed reactions led him to reconsider his position in the Nyroth dispute.
Where do we go from here? Janus had been disappointed by the results of the controversial Yoroth tourney, but knew that whatever happened at the central nexus, Bilgewater would have little influence on the matter. I guess I should follow my own advice. Drop involvement a bit, let fate play out. It’s all but out of our hands anyway. Better to just cut our losses and take what we’ve got. Nevertheless, we should keep trying. Better some chance than none.
Sitting up, leaving payment for his meal and leaving the tavern silently, Janus began walking back to his quarters, a small apartment he had purchased near the warpgate, in case he was recalled back to Valoran on short notice.
There’s still plenty of time, after all. A lot can happen in the time left for the dispute. Regardless, there’s work to be done, and I’d better get back to it. No sense wasting time. Stormhaven’ll stay standing after today, and that’s what matters, isn’t it? In the end, we got what we came for. We’ll just keep striving for even more.
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