Chapter 5.3: Astral Alexandria Daamon

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"Master Mathers and Lady Daamon to see Chief Warrant Officer LaRiviere," Mathias greeted the administrator with a small nod. Astral mimicked Mathias but found herself distracted by the one of the attendees who was in the process of finalizing the registration process with a student. The student put her hand through a large opening of a round apparatus. Hundreds of little lasers lit up, creating a pattern of light against her red skin. The machine set to work, imprinting the security data onto her arm, leaving a thin silver residue embedded in something resembling a cross between a tattoo and a bracelet. "It'll fade come winter break. In the event you choose to leave us, you will be required to go through the data cleansing process. Failure to do so is punishable by law," the attendee told the student who rolled her eyes, uttering 'whatever' and taking her tablet.

"Astral?" Mathias' voice pulled her back to her current task. She nodded in acknowledgement, taking in the sight of their retreating attendant. They followed a few feet behind their hurried guide, who had, on several occasions, stopped to allow them the brief opportunity to catch up.

Astral kept pace with the Master Hunter, who had intentionally slowed his pace to match her usual casual stride. It was his silent order to appear relaxed. The thought crossed her mind that maybe there wasn't a threat on the academy and that this whole thing was a setup to send her to school. Sure, her people skills were lacking, and she preferred the company of her stuffed teddies and grandfather's old books to that of people. She was pretty sure that she didn't need to be tricked into attending an Academy.

She narrowed her eyes at thought. 'Damn, he's good.' One day, she might be just that good. One day, she could use her own visual cues to tell one story when another one was really taking place.

They caught up with their guide at a series of elevators. Like most else in the hall, the lifts were made of a combination of glass and steel. The steel was weaved into intricate designs resembling a tree when the doors closed.

"For security purposes, non-registrants aren't allowed passed the registration hall," their guide informed them once the glass doors slid shut. He didn't elaborate. He didn't say a word as the group rose to the third floor. The doors slid open, and their guide resumed his hurried pace.

They followed him along the walkway, overlooking the floors below. The top floor maintained the open concept appeal of the lower levels. Banisters worked their way around the parameter of several walkways that served as a quick connection between one side of the building to the other. It was quieter than the chaotic chatter of the lower floor and significantly warmer.

There were six areas, each with six seating circles, all along the elevator side before breaking off into walkways, suggesting a quick access point for the newly arrived. The public area to the left lead to elaborate displays of historical artifacts, people of importance, and large scale maps depicting successful campaigns. The area to the right, lead to a wing full of trophies, celebrating three hundred years of champions.

Astral spotted single students dotting the casual meeting areas. Each one maintained a near comical distance from one another as though to make sure that any onlooker wouldn't make the mistake that these random students might know each other. There were six casual areas set in a circular sub floor. Comfortable seating was set along the interior of the wall, with facing seating running along an inner circle whose center bore tall leafy foliage. Each area had a coloured theme.

They were lead to the north side of the building, toward a series of offices. A large twelve foot desk manned by an a young woman served to impede their progress, suggesting that walking around the imposing feature would be unwise. She glanced up from her work as their guide introduced them. She nodded. "The Chief Warrant Officer is expecting you, please see yourselves in."

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