I walk briskly through the wide entryway of the Academi. My loud footsteps fall harshly against the web of gold, silver, and bronze flooring and I’m almost positive I’m leaving shoe prints in the weaved, multi-metal finish.

Demetri and Sato fall to either side of me, their own hurried footsteps blending in perfect synchrony with mine as they move with equal urgency.

Moments later, we’re walking into the Command Center, and all the Reapers I’d requested less than thirty minutes ago are already gathered here, standing at attention and saluting me as we approach them.

“Zarek, I need an image,” I say, addressing the Head Information, Energy, and Metalchemy Technology specialist tapping away furiously at the main control station.

Zarek is one of the most skilled and knowledgeable IEMT soldiers you could find, second only to Zedekieh, and one of the few official Metalchemy administrators of the Reaper Academi. He’s unconventional by anyone’s standard and occasionally a pain in my ass but, simply put, invaluable and indispensable to the Reaper Army.

A set of large, translucent, holographic monitors appear before me a second later, surrounding us in engulfing semicircles and filling our view as the Golden Reaper pulls up current satellite images and isolated schematics of the Earth’s Atlantic Ocean.

Or at least, what’s left of it.

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