THE MASKS ARE GONE.
[Gordon is in his lab, and if the thunderous introduction doesn't give it all away, then the shattered glass cases still dripping with fluid should put everything into context. The camera whips around to his face. He's... never had that expression before. Maybe he should have gotten one of the larger predators from the woods to be his spokescritter; they would show a greater sense of openness and compassion on their fanged faces, than anything that he's showing right now.]
I don't know who the hell did this, but chances are they're listening in on this feed. Now normally I'd be the good guy and give you an hour to bring them back with no strings attached, but no. Not this time. You know EXACTLY what you've taken from here. We need those masks to figure out what the hell is going on in the clock tower. You've taken what might be our last chance to survive this catastrophe, and you'll be treated as such.
Consider this an all-points-bulletin, and a request for security to start searching. Also I'm going out myself.
Whoever you are, I hope they find you before I do.
A quick note to the security team: would you all mind coming to the office for a meeting? Now, more than ever, I feel we need to discuss and plan for what's going on.
[Never mind that Harpuia isn't even on the security staff and acting like he's in charge of the whole thing. Acting like he's in charge is kind of just what Harpuia does.]
Anyone who has any information that may be of use or feels they can be of service is welcome to attend, as well. We're in no position to turn down anything that could help us prepare for what's to come.
[Indeed, Harpuia is already waiting in the security office, looking over a map of the area he picked up from an FDC tourist center then immediately covered in notes and circles.]
[Normally Gordon's little messages to the school at large are brief. Terse, is a better way to put it. A quick flick of the switch and a message that inkling ink may be non-toxic but that doesn't mean you should paint the lab specimens with it (For example.) and a quick flick of the switch off again.]
[Not so today. The feed comes on and he stares at the camera, raking a hand through his hair and starting to mouth three silent beginnings to three different sentences before he actually finds one with a voice. There's something he wants to say, but no permutation of words will make it easier to hear.]
I've, uh... Students, faculty. No doubt you've noticed that the moon hasn't gone out of full for the past week or so, and in fact looks even bigger now. I've been taking some readings. The shift in the center of gravity of the moon-planet binary and parallax measurements tell me that it's... not just an optical illusion.
The moon has, somehow, left its orbit.
I only mentioned this to the security chief before now, because I wanted to be absolutely certain of my suspicions and of where the moon was actually headed. I would like to say that it'll just harmlessly slingshot around us and into the sun. I really, really wish I could say that, in fact I spent several nights trying to make the numbers work so I COULD say that... but I can't. There's no other way to plot the trajectory, other than directly at us.
[He picks up some papers, eyeballing them on the camera, making sure he this part straight.] Now... Apparently this has happened before. A world by the name of Termina actually survived the event, but they had four guardian giants that awoke and... [A mistrustful squint at the paper.] physically shoved the moon back into orbit. [He puts the paper down.]
Obviously we're a little light on sleeping giants. As a matter of fact, I have no damn clue how to fix this, or even if we can. The four masks are involved--and there ARE four--but it's anyone's guess as to how they are. What I do know is, if we don't do something, the moon will strike the earth, and every single living creature on this planet down to the last microbe might be eradicated.
If anyone knows anything about this or has ideas, now's the time to step up. You might just save more than just the school. Also... in the event that we CAN'T stop it, I advise everyone to start making plans for quick evacuation back to your homeworlds. If you know someone who doesn't have a homeworld or can't reach it, then consider taking them with you. They may have to start all over but trust me, if that moon hits, then any place will be better than here.
[Private, to Skull Kid]
Kid... I know you were there. Your student file is hazy on the details, but I know you were there in Termina when this happened the last time. I didn't mention your name earlier and I don't intend to, because when people are panicked they can do some awful things when names are dropped. But, we still need to know everything you know if we're going to keep this planet in one piece.
So what exactly happened there?
Okay, two things.
First, something business related. I'm not sure how common unscheduled training in the school's stadium is, but it seems like the kind of thing that we should have some kind of system to manage, to ensure we know someone's there and to make sure they don't get hurt. I've messed around in it a bit- it seems like the kind of thing where someone could easily program in something dangerous.
Second, is someone going to be organizing a non-underwater expedition sometime soon, or am I going to have to step in here? I'm getting sick and tired of waiting. Being this passive doesn't suit a fighter like me.( [Private Things] )
[While the network post was aimed at his fellow security guards, it wasn't private. Zero knew full well that there were people among the student body and faculty who also actively protected the school, so there was no reason to keep them out of the message. Maybe he was just being overly cautious, but that was part of his job.]
That earthquake still needs investigating. I'm not leaving that to chance... not while the water level's also changed.
I want to investigate if there's any new activity in the underground bunker. Even if most of the shadow bugs have relocated, it still poses a security risk. If there's no one else who can navigate to the bottom of the lake, I'll check that out too.
Fefnir, Wave: if you're not concerned, I can handle it alone. Harpuia: consider this notice, since you've been organizing our shifts.
= = =
[Zero can also be found in the stadium, testing out the weapons left behind by the now absent Samus. It was strange - he barely knew her, and yet it felt like he had some kind of bond with... him? Her? It was hard to say. His memories were still fuzzy over the whole thing. All he knew was that Samus had some pretty good taste in weapons, and he was grateful to have them. There were pistols, batons, even a whip... the reploid could adapt to any weapon with ease. All of Zero's own were designed specifically to destroy - with so many humans at the school, a non-lethal paralyzer was a blessing.]
[There were certainly several options for where to explore first, upon waking up. The forest was certainly more than a little strange, considering natural forests had ceased existing completely where Harpuia came from. The floating island up in the sky was even more unusual, and with his flight system still functioning, exploration was probably possible. But the unfamiliar city seemed like the wisest place to start; civilization seemed like the best place to get his bearings, and he was still damaged: finding repair facilities would have to be his biggest priority. Fefnir and Leviathan, if they were around, would likely have the same plan; if they were around, he'd have the best chance of finding them there.
So there are a variety of ways to encounter Harpuia, if encountering Harpuia is something you're jonesing for.
Harpuia didn't have high hopes he could use the secure communication channels he'd used as a Neo Arcadian -- even if he weren't somewhere unfamiliar, he was a traitor to Neo Arcadia now, and could no longer rely on those sorts of conveniences. Instead, he did his best to jack whatever he could. If you have a radio, walkie-talkie, Pokegear, or a cool communicator built into your awesome space helmet, you may just happen to stumble onto his attempts at contact.]
Fefnir...? Leviathan? If you can hear this, answer me. My whereabouts are unknown, but I'm alive. Hello...? Can anyone hear me?
You might spot a hovering green robot while you're out and about in the city. He's kind of hard to miss, on account of the green and hovering thing. Whatever he was doing before he got here clearly damaged him; occasionally, his flight system falters and he bobs ominously. His asking around about robots that look like him has been nudging him slowly but surely closer in the general direction of the school. The closer he gets, the more time he spends on foot, sparks beginning to jump sporadically from the "wings" on his back.]