Previous Update: Breakthrough!
Trouble, Right Here In Bandle City!
“And I say he’s a traitor!”
An uneasy murmur filled the chamber as the assembled yordles of the Admiralty Board reacted to the small, blue yordle testifying before them. Grand Admiral Vink cleared his throat. The murmuring continued unabated. Lowering his bushy brows, the Grand Admiral banged his swagger stick three times on the table. “Order! I will have order!” He glared at the assembled yordles, who looked back at him levelly. “Now then, Rumble, Professor Heimerdinger is well respected amongst all…well…almost all of yordle-kind, and I’ll not have you levelling unwarranted accusations at him!”
“Unwarranted?” cried the small figure before them, who was even now bouncing with barely restrained frustration. “A yordle discovers a new power source, in his yordle-run academy, and he refuses to share the process with us? I’ve warned you all I-don’t-know-how-many times that Heimerdinger cared more for his scientist friends in Piltover than his own people. And now he’s just proving it!”
Another admiral, an elderly woman, interjected. “Hold on there, son. the Professor has been very clear that he doesn’t know the process. If anyone, it’s Doctor Merricurry you should be upset with, not Heimerdinger.”
Rumble gritted his teeth, and closed his eyes, ears blurring as he twitched them. Excuses! Always excuses for the Golden Professor. Why can’t they see what he’s doing to us? If he had his way, we’d all be lapdogs for the humans! His eyes opened again, and he glared out at the assembled Admirals. “Right. Because there’s no possible way that he could find out the process which was invented by one of his colleagues, within his own Academy. We don’t even know if he’s done more than ask nicely yet.”
Fur ruffled throughout the chamber, and the eyes of many of the Admirals grew angry. The Grand Admiral spoke again, “Do you mean to imply that the Revered Inventor should steal Merricurry’s research? That is…I don’t…I mean…Outrageous!”
Rumble crossed his arms and waited for the expected tide of shouting and recrimination to die down. “Done? Good. No, ideally he wouldn’t have to steal it. But there’s no reason she should be able to keep the secret of the process to herself, either. We can offer her money, prestige, whatever she wants, but that process should…no, needs to belong to Bandle City.”
The Admirals’ recriminations receded, and the looks they gave him now were more thoughtful than angry. Not one of them hadn’t thought about the great strides that pyrikhos energy could lead to in hextechnology. It was an open secret that many yordles, on and off the Admiralty Board, even hoped that it might hold the key to reactivating the Mother Ship.
Taking a deep breath, the small blue yordle finished, allowing a note of pleading to enter his voice for the first time. “All I ask is that we send emissaries to Professor Merricurry, directly, rather than trying to go through Heimerdinger. We need to find out what she wants, we need to give it to her, and we need to have the process for ourselves. For all we know, Zaun has already given her whatever she wants, and is developing technologies beyond our wildest nightmares as we sit here talking about it! Is that so unreasonable?”
“Well…” began the Grand Admiral, then hesitated as all eyes in the chamber swung back to him. “I suppose not. The Board will draft a letter to Merricurry, authorizing the beginning of negotiations for the nature of her pyrikhos refinement process. So it is agreed.” He banged his stick upon the table one final time, and the sound echoed throughout the silent chamber.
Merricurry sat in her bed chamber, looking at the four letters spread before her. Piltover had requested that their representatives be taught the process, as it had been discovered in their Academy, but offered nothing in return. So nice of you to ask, but you’d already cut off my funding before I suddenly became your golden girl.
Bandle City was open to negotiations, and also appealed to her feeling of fellowship with yordle-kind and her duty to it. Fat lot of good all those ideals did me when Heimerdinger pitched me into the basement.
Demacia didn’t want her formula. They were much more interested in ordering her to cease and desist all experimentation with pyrikhos and all other void material. Surely any good it might do would be outweighed by the costs to the souls of those exposed to it! Half-wit luddites. I’ll bet they sing a different tune if Noxus starts getting its hands on my tech.
Zaun, now … Zaun had been tempting. Not only had they offered her a truly staggering amount of money, but a prestigious position as the head of a Zaunite research lab. Apparently there had been significant casualties in the fight to determine which one, exactly. I guess you can be more generous when you’ve got no pretenses to legal ownership of me or my formula.
In the end, she’d known she couldn’t accept any of the offers, even had she wanted to. Not even Zaun’s. Not until she could find out more.
As she had suspected, when she had tried the array again a day later, with the position of the runes unchanged, it had failed. So had three similar arrays, with equal power balances. But then, when she had collected all the runes and thrown them into the array, activating it once they had settled into place…success.
The Void is chaos! The Demacians cried.
Well. They aren’t wrong, she thought. The harmonic matrix of the pyrikhos shifted at a hexatomic level over time, but seemed to automatically align under randomized circumstances. No array would work twice in two days the same way, but would have to be reconfigured, randomly, to function and produce stable power.
She needed to know more, though. Merricurry stuffed the four letters into her pack and hoisted it onto her shoulders. She needed to understand pyrikhos. And to do that, she needed to go to the source, and find out what process, precisely, created it. She needed to go to Shurima.
Next Update: Opening Moves