🧙‍♂️Chapter 4 : The Academy

In the far-flung reaches of space, many years after humanity's tumultuous departure from Earth, there was a young student by the name of Red, who resided in the prestigious Academy of the Order of Epoch.

This cunning and resourceful student was secretly building a mini PET in her quarters, a prized possession of every member of the Order across the galaxy.

Red was a marvel to behold, highly skilled and determined, having been trained by the Masters of the Academy to become a worthy candidate. Her brother, on the other hand, was quite eccentric, always seeking adventure and thrills.

Despite the strict rules of the Academy, which prohibited candidates from hacking into Academy hardware, Red was resolute in her decision to prove to her brother Kyle that she was better than him at hacking. Her quarters were filled with various pieces of broken equipment, droids, and cybernetics, all scattered around the workbench situated next to the window.

She had always admired the breathtaking view of her quarters, situated in one of the north towers of the Academy, which overlooked the mountain pass and the vast forest by the lake.

The Order of the Epoch had long existed before Red's time, founded to safeguard the galaxy against the forces of darkness. The Academy's castle was situated on the planet of Torsus and could only be accessed by Order members, thanks to the cloaking technology developed by the Grand Master. This mechanism kept the Dark Entity at bay, allowing humanity to colonize other planets while remaining hidden from the perils of the unknown.

The Academy of the Order of Epoch had grown and expanded over the years, becoming the headquarters of the Order and serving many purposes. It was a place of learning and experimentation for a select group of talented younglings from all corners of the galaxy, who studied the magical arts and honed their skills in the use of PETs.

The Academy had been founded by the Masters of the Order of Epoch, a group of skilled and powerful individuals who had survived the Battle for Earth. Each of the founding Masters possessed unique talents and abilities, and they had dedicated themselves to passing on their knowledge to the next generation.

At the heart of the Academy was the Grandmaster himself, a wise and powerful leader who had played a crucial role in the growth and development of the Order. It was thanks to his leadership and guidance that the Academy had been able to expand to such a grand scale, providing a home and a place of learning for those who sought to defend the galaxy against the forces of darkness.

As Red worked on her mini PET, she couldn't help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the Academy and its founders. She knew that she had been given a rare opportunity to learn from the best and to contribute to the noble mission of the Order. With each passing day, her skills grew stronger, and her understanding of the magical arts deepened.

The other founders of the Academy were Master Talia, Master Ya’zz, and not-so-significant members.

Master Ya'zz was the Master of War. A fierce warrior, and general of the human army that was left on Earth during the final days of the humans. Now, leader of the Order of Epoch battalions around the galaxy.

And though the galaxy was filled with dangers and unknown perils, Red felt a sense of purpose and belonging within the walls of the Academy. For she knew that she was part of something greater than herself, something that would endure long after she was gone.

The Grandmaster was the driving force behind humanity's survival in the vast, empty expanse of space. With his advanced technologies, he created habitable environments on previously barren moons, allowing humans to colonize the far reaches of the galaxy. These colonies had grown into bustling trading hubs and eventually developed into sprawling megacities.

Red had been born in the greatest of these cities, the crown jewel of human civilization, D'adana. It was a place of wonder and excitement, where people from all corners of the galaxy came to trade and explore. But Red's childhood had been cut short by tragedy, as her parents had died unexpectedly, leaving her and her brother alone in the world.

The Order members had taken them in and given them a home at the Academy, where Red had grown up and honed her skills. But despite her success as a student, Red could not shake the nagging feeling that there was something missing in her life. She longed to know more about her parents, to see their faces and hear their voices, but all she had were unanswered questions.

As she worked on cracking the hardware in the solitude of her room, Red couldn't help but feel a sense of longing for the life she had never known. She wondered what her parents had been like, what had led to their untimely demise. And though she knew that the answers were likely lost to time, she could not help but dream of a day when she might finally uncover the truth.

Red knew the importance of the Order's mission and was determined to play her part in safeguarding the galaxy against the forces of Lilith. She wanted power to face the challenges ahead and emerge victorious in the battle for the fate of humanity.

But just as she was about to try another method to break the encryption, a voice rang out from an Order Droid, reminding all candidates in the tower that their class on Cyborg Anatomy 201 was about to begin.

It was Master Thalia's lesson. She was the wisest among the Masters, possessing an unparalleled understanding of medicine and cyborg anatomy. And as the leader of the Order of Epoch’s R&D team in biotechnologies, she was at the forefront of Shadow matter experiments and gene editing.

Red was one of her most promising assistants. Unlike her brother, Red had a deep love for the teachings of the Academy and relished every opportunity to learn from the legendary Order Masters, such as Doctor Talia, Master Ya’zz, and the Grand Master himself.

The class covered everything from the ways that the Shadow Matter infects brain cells to create cyborgs, to the various species of cyborgs and their computer parts. Red was fascinated by the gory details of it all, and even stayed in Master Talia's lab after class to observe all the interesting things stored there, including limbs of captured cyborgs, tubes filled with Shadow Matter, and a secret lab where dark things were kept in a forbidden part only accessible to the Masters.

But as Master Talia explained to Red, the exact process of how a cyborg is born remained a mystery, and cyborg experimentation was some of the most complex and dark technology one could encounter in the galaxy. Red, however, was undeterred, and even played with the tube containing the Shadow Matter, hearing whispers emanating from it.

Master Talia cautioned Red that the Shadow Matter was a dangerous thing, and that it should only be communicated by experienced masters with great caution. But when Red revealed that she had been hearing the voices even as a young candidate, the Grand Master himself requested that Master Talia investigate the connection between Red and the darkness.

Despite her reluctance to begin the experiments, Red was excited to learn more about her connection to the Shadow Matter. But before she could start, an emergency meeting was called, and Master Talia was called away, leaving Red to ponder the mystery on her own.

As she walked back to her room, she heard loud noises coming from the academy entrance, and suddenly felt a sharp pain in her stomach. Her brother had left the academy on a mission with the Grand Master, and she feared the worst. Rushing to the courtyard, she discovered the Grand Master badly injured, being carried inside by medical droids.

But when she tried to follow, an Order member stopped her, explaining that an emergency meeting had been called, and all candidates were to return to their rooms until further notice. Red was devastated, wondering if her brother was among the transports spotted on the radar. She looked up at the rainy evening sky and wondered, "Where is my brother?"

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