Date: 9 December, 22 CLE
Vi bounces impatiently in front of the double doors that lead to the testing chamber, oversized Hextech gauntlets resting on her hips. She tries pushing open the doors, apparently sick of waiting. Although seemingly cumbersome, she holds her giant fists with a deceptive level of accuracy over her shocking pink hair. She pulls a face and talks kindly to the door “please open”. Her attitude belies her intense frustration however, that boils just below the surface. She taps her feet for a moment.
A disgruntled look appears on her face as she sizes up the door, mashing her hands together and cracking her neck; she is resolved. “I asked nicely”. A hiss fills the anti-chamber as she powers up her hextech gauntlets and with a sudden lurch throws herself at the door. The force from a single punch blasts the doors apart opening the way forward. She laughs, “That’s what you get for making me wait”. With the entrance laid bare, she steps forward into the darkness.
Vi stood in what she roughly guessed was the middle of the chamber. A whooshing sound caused her to turn as the busted doors reformed themselves plunging her in complete darkness. The sound only increased however and she turned hopelessly as it increased more and more. Was this part of the test? Just as it felt as if she was being lifted off her feet a bright light flashed and she was gone.
She awoke to the noises of shouting, finding herself dumped on the ground in the middle of a street. Vi blinked. Well that was interesting, she thought. She made to stand and froze in horror at her surroundings. The carefully crafted streets were all uprooted, buildings that once contained the best and brightest were levelled and in various states of destruction. She slowly stood and gazed up at the central part of the city, it was burning. She was in Piltover…and it was in ruins.
Racing along the streets only made her feel that something was terribly wrong. I’ve got to find Cait , she realised. As she made her way to the Sheriff’s Office a giant machine threw itself into her path. Were these responsible? She dodged a blow and swung in with a vicious upper cut that rended a great hole in its chest. Vi grabbed the inside of the hole and tore the thing apart.
One down, how many more to- a noise spins her around at the last second as she comes face to face with a man with a gun pointed straight at her chest. “Down wiv’ Piltover” he shouted. Vi knew her best bet was to dive for cover but was there enough time for that? Just as the man raised his gun to her head a blamp shot through the air and he crumpled to the ground.
Vi looked up wildly as Caitlyn jumped down for her vantage point to see her. Vi felt relieved to see her. “Cait, tell me partner, what happened?” Up close she could see the Sheriff was worse for wear, at some point she had lost her hat and she looked drained and sounded tired as she spoke. “It all happened so quickly, all the gangs rose up at once.” She cringed. “They were equipped by Zaun, I’m sure of it now; there was nothing anyone could do, nothing I could do.” Vi comforted her as best she could, this wasn’t like her at all.
Vi looked around. “What now?” Caitlyn rearmed and motioned down a street. “There are still people who have boarded themselves up against the uprising. We have to help them, and get them and word out about Zaun when I just get a little more proof” she continued as they ran. “How did you get here so fast anyway?”
“The League got me here Cait, I was in the middle of being tested, just like I wanted to.”
“Oh yeah? What was yours like?”
Vi chuckled, “Oh, you know, they were just having me beat up some bad guys” Vi threw a few air punches, “show off my skills”. She grinned.
They stop beside a torn up workshop as Caitlyn nodded her approval. “Well then, if they think that’s sorted”- she began to joke but too late, Vi noticed a shadow dash out from an adjacent building. Caitlyn tuned around just to have the man bury his axe into her chest. “Caitlyn!” Vi screamed. She seized the man in a single fist, crushing him with a bone splintering crunch and threw his body dashing against a wall as hard as her powered gauntlet would allow.
Vi turned back and sank to her knees next to her fallen partner to assess the damage, she was already covered in blood. As carefully as she could she lifted Caitlyn up in her Hextech Gauntlets. “It’s going to be OK cupcake, I’ll get you help.” Vi look around, all she could see was destruction, where could she take her?
“V-Vi” Caitlyn’s eyes had flickered open, her voice slurred with blood as she spoke. “You must s-save the people, get the word out”.
“Shhhh…I’m on the case partner, don’t you worry.” Vi’s heart slammed in her chest as she realised what Caitlyn was saying. “I’ll start with you, I’ll get you to the hospital and everything is going to be OK”. Caitlyn shook her head slowly “Vi, there is nothing you can do for me now”, she said with shallow breaths. “Please do as I ask…but j-just promise me-” her vision unfocused and she fell limp in her arms.
Vi stood for several moments in a state of shock, feeling moisture fall down her cheeks. Despite their constant jibbing, Caitlyn had been the first person who she had considered to be like family since leaving behind her life of crime. She would have to be buried, Vi realised. She wasn’t going to leave her for someone to pillage, or worse. Vi lay her down carefully and began to judge an appropriate place to scoop out a hole when a noise behind her made her spin around.
What she saw made her choke; it was the man with the axe standing in the middle of the road. Impossible! She thought. Although his body appeared broken, his voice was somehow crystal clear. “Hey, hey you!” he called over to her. “You were a master criminal once, why not be so again?” He paused for effect.
“I saw what you can do, most impressive, but you should not listen to your friend. This city is in ruins and everyone worth saving has already fled, your friend just refused to leave as defeat closed swiftly in around her. This city’s self-righteous defender is in hiding, the source of his power has been destroyed. Demacia will not send help, either, for what use is a broken city to them and Zaun promises that it shall strive forward in memory of Piltover for the benefit of all!”
“And this place”, he raised his hands around him, “shall become a city of criminals, a city based on fear. Law has no place here any longer and there is nobody left to save and yet you would continue to fight?”
She closed her fists and moved into the center of the road, taking a few steps towards the crippled man. “There will always be people who need protecting.” She responded. “Good, innocent people who get in the way of schemers like you and get hurt. I may have failed Caitlyn but mark my words.” She took in a deep breath and looked the man dead in the eyes “No matter what it takes, no matter how many get in my way or how many I have to fight I will enforce the law -” her gauntlets groaned as she tightened her clench “- one punch at a time.”
The man dropped his arms as he held her gaze and his voice rang clear. “Very well”. She wasn’t sure whether it was a trick or more tears that caused her vision to blur and her world to fade around her.
All of a sudden she was in the dark chamber again with her blood pounding in her ears. Two doors flew open and bathed the chamber in light. Vi lifted a gauntlet against the blinding light and as she approached, she noticed a robed figure standing nearby, his hood thrown back.
Vi gestured back to the chamber, the movement overly exaggerated by her gauntlets. “That was some experience man” The figure nodded. “You have allowed us into your mind and have passed the test, go forth champion. We do however, prefer the name Summoner” His voice sounded familiar and on closer inspection Vi was shocked to see he was a much older version of the man with the axe.
So, Vi figured as she advanced through the doors, that was a test after all. She was feeling pretty worked up about it. I might even have to punch off some steam, she thought. Whatever was on the other side of that light then had better be prepared.
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