Previous Update: Hextech Revolution
by Montesque64 (edited by Agrofox and CupcakeTrap)
No appreciation for genius!
A harried looking yordle stooped over her work table. The air was hazy and smelled of ozone. The room was lit only by the two hexglobes she had managed to sneak in. The administration had told her to make due with candles, as hexglobes were “an unjustifiable expense”. Candles!
She moved a sigil slightly to the left, and inspected the new pattern it formed, squinting in the dim light. “No immediate practical purpose, low chance of successful resolution.” That was what the notice had said, informing her of her eviction from her laboratory, and her new station in the Academy’s basement. Now her former workspace housed some young upstart’s hextechnical carriage, for all the chance that had to do any good!
She knew what the sand was now. Pyrikhos, they called it, but she knew it was both more, and less than they thought. Simply Void tainted sand…but such promise! Its magical properties were undeniable, but unpredictable and badly understood. Ziggs had been excited by its quick combustion, but even he had failed to make the black sand react reliably. Well, to be fair, so has everyone else, she thought, as she moved another glyph into a slightly different alignment.
They had all given up, everyone from Heimerdinger down to the lowest research assistant. Everyone save her. She knew there had to be some way to stabilize pyrikhos. She had tried matrices, containment fields, countervailing explosions, and more, but still the pyrikhos reacted in unexpected ways, and slowly, steadily, her support in the Yordle Academy of Piltover had eroded, leaving her safely out of the “real” scientists’ way in her basement cell.
Merricurry stared at the array of runes in front of her. It was her 2,958th array. It would almost certainly work exactly as well as the others had. Just well enough to invite further mockery and disdain. She had once had everything she’d wanted. A prestigious post at the Academy, Heimerdinger’s respect, research assistants who looked up to her, and an almost unlimited amount of funding. Now, she had nothing, except the imminent and predictable failure of what should have been her greatest work.
With a growl of frustration, the yordle struck her fist into the array, scattering the runes about. Her head sank to the table, as bitter tears fell from her eyes.
Suddenly, she became aware of a glow. The scientist’s brow creased, and she raised her head. In front of her, the pyrikhos glowed with a purple light, arcing from one glyph to the next in a controlled cascade. The instruments around her lit up, as power from the runic array began to flow into them, and her eyes widened. As if a voice spoke within her mind, abruptly, she knew the answer, knew why her efforts, and those of her colleagues had always failed. It was all so simple! At last, Merricurry smiled, her face bathed in the otherworldly glow of her triumph.
In another land, another room, also beneath the ground, an identical purple glow bathed the walls of the room and the people within it.
“Watch, please, as I apply the Ooze to this rat, found in the sewers of Zaun. Perhaps of much the same sort as produced my respected colleague, Twitch.” The hunched figure of Singed, the Mad Chemist, stood before the podium and nodded towards one of the figures in the front row of the audience. The audience member cackled from somewhere amongst its heavy robes.
Singed coughed, and took a swig from the fiercely glowing red flask at his belt. He turned towards the switch on the complex mechanism in which the rat was held. With a slow flourish, basking in the held breath of the audience, he flipped the switch. The purple liquid, byproduct of the Void invasion, flowed into the captive rodent. The creature shrieked, shuddered, and then lay still, purple liquid dribbling from its eyes and mouth.
The Mad Chemist motioned to his side, and one of his assistants, face a mass of scar tissue, brought another rat forward. Singed strapped the new subject in efficiently, and turned back to face the audience. “As we know, approximately 57% of test subjects display this reaction. The other 43% display mutations of varying severity and utility, with 89% of surviving subjects mutating in such a way that they are incapable of continued life.”
Taking a massive syringe from behind the podium, Singed injected the reservoir of ooze full of pyrikhos. The purple glow intensified, bathing the chemist and his audience in shifting shadows.
“Now, witness what happens when the ooze is laced with the substance recently discovered in Shurima desert. The black sand which the Piltoverians call “pyrikhos.”
Again, the machine whirred, and another rat was pumped full of the Void ooze. This rat as well shrieked and quivered, but it did not lay still. It twisted, and bucked, and snarled, and began to grow. Spikes began to pierce its skin from within its body, and its eyes began to bulge, but also to look about the room with a growing spark of light, as if intelligence was amassing itself within the rat’s very skull. Abruptly, Singed deactivated the machine. He nonchalantly tossed a small pill into the rat’s containment apparatus, which exploded into a small cloud of gas. The rat’s flesh sloughed from its bones, and the bones themselves began to erode before the gas dissipated harmlessly.
“With the injection of Pyrikhos, the survival rate is 85%. Additionally,” the chemist smiled widely, shadows dancing across him from the purple glow from behind, “The beneficial mutation rate is similarly high in survivors.”
Across Runeterra, news spread. A revolution was breaking, and Hextech would never be the same.
Next Update: Trouble, Right Here In Bandle City!