Shards Case Files

Tasren Breslett is an agent for Goarhind, an organization responsible for investigating and controlling strange happenings around Pyrihd. While most of them are somewhat mundane - fire elementals causing fires in Yann, a series of robberies no one can solve - lately there have been a lot of reports coming in of even stranger happenings. Sent out to investigate, Ren finds that small pieces of glass imbued with an ancient magic are the cause of these events and is assigned to the case full time along with her mission commander - Fidal Lancet. As they collect the shards, they begin to piece themselves together to form a strange orb, an enormous and seemingly endless power source.

But Goarhind isn't the only one seeking the Shards. Someone else seems to have their eye on them, too.

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1. Wake me up when 8 A.M. ends

         “I have a new case for you.”
         “Can’t this wait at least fifteen minutes?”
         “Not really.”
         Ren sighed and sat up. “It’s seven in the morning,” she protested. “I haven’t been able to sleep in for two weeks.”
         “Yeah, that was before this got slammed on my desk two hours ago.”
         She picked up the headset and slipped it on over her ears. The small, transparent screen slipped over her left eye and the picture became more clear. An older man, approximately in his late forties, looked back at her.
         “Mornin’ sunshine,” he said with a grin.
         “Shut up,” Ren grumbled. She stood up and gathered her clothes. “Turn off your camera. I need some privacy.”
         “You know I can only see your head, right?”
         “Just do it, Fidal.”
         “Fine,” he grumbled. “Now, before I brief you, let me remind you how valuable an agent you are to the organization.”
         “Skip the flattery and just tell me the case no one else wanted,” she stated, slipped on some clean pants.
         “That’s why we love you,” Fidal responded. “Now, there’s some strange things going on around the world, and we don’t know what’s causing them.”
         “What kind of strange things?” she asked, slipping a shirt over the headpiece. She threw on some socks and went in the kitchen to heat up some coffee.
         “Well, for starters, reports have been coming in of a beast attacking Landingham.”
         “They’re always reporting weird animals eating their sheep. I think it’s still just wolves.”
         “The reports have increased ten-fold since last week, so the bossman thought it was worth checking out.” He typed something into his computer. “Yeah, there’s another sighting just now. Apparently it’s big and green and really loves cows. We need to take a look before cows start turning into people.” She chuckled and he realized what he had said. “You know what I mean,” he said gruffly.
         “Alright, fine,” she sighed.
         “Meet me at mission control in thirty minutes,” Fidal instructed. “I’ll give you all the details.”

         The office was just as messy as she had remembered it the last time she was here. That was over a month ago. The the new Daylight Mimic bulb at least improved the windowless office a bit, making the near-baldness of his scalp shine even more.
         “Do you ever get anyone to clean in here?”
         Fidal started, almost spilling his coffee. The bags under his eyes had turned purple, as if he hadn’t slept for a week. With his workload, she wouldn’t have been surprised if he hadn’t.
         “Oh, hey,” he said, looking up at her.
         “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” she said apologetically. “You look like you need a nap.”
         “Havn’t been sleepin’ well,” he admitted.
         “Trouble with the wife?” she asked, setting a stack of papers on the floor to make room on the chair.
         He glared at her for a brief second, then sighed. “Let’s not talk about it right now. I’ll tell ya later.”
         She leaned forward and put a hand on the back of his, adopting a mock sympathy expression. “You know I’m here for you.”
         “Shut it, Breslett,” he growled. “Here’s the details about the attacks. Read it through and then ask questions.”
         She grinned and took the papers, catching a small grin he had tried to hide. She said nothing of it, but knew she had at least help him feel a bit better.
         The report explained there had been a lot of livestock bodies found at the edge of the woods near Landingham, but nothing was ever left except a few bones. The thing ate nearly the whole sheep. The first appearance was about three months ago, and it only took a few sheep a week. But in the last few hours, it had increased to entire flocks. Landingham’s economy was highly dependant on the products from sheep, goats, and cows, so it was safe to say this was an emergency.
         “So what am I looking for? A giant green wolf?” she said, looking up.
         Fidal frowned at her. “I don’t know, Breslett! That’s what you’re gonna find out!”
         “Okay, okay, no need to get all snarky.” She grinned and plopped the report back on his desk. “Maybe you can get someone in here to clean up this mess,” she added, standing up.
         “I know exactly where everything is,” he stated, looking back at his monitor.
         “Where the report from the Jones case?” She grinned and waited for his answer.
         Fidal paused, she glanced at a pile of papers next to him. He shuffled through them quickly, then not finding anything, searched the pile on the floor. Still not finding what he was looking for, he grumbled.
         “What was that?” she asked, leaning in as if she couldn’t hear.
         “I said I can’t find it! But that’s not the point! There’s a clean suit for you in the locker room with a fresh headset and a new pistol. The pack has some REM’s and a sleep suit.”
         “A new pistol?” she blinked. This was big news. The organization never gave out new weapons unless someone complained a lot.
         “Yeah, Agent Lancer wrote a novel to the president and demanded change,” Fidal explained, rolling his eyes. “The organizations response? New pistols.”
         “Did that shut him up?”
         “At least for now.” He typed something, and the machine chimed. “Oh, there’s also a new Grap.”
         “It’s like Christmas morning,” she said, widening her eyes and throwing her arms in the air in mock joy.
         “Get going, Breslett,” he growled, shooing her away.
         
         The locker room door squeaked as she opened it. She was pleased to see it was empty. She wasn’t too much of a fan of changing with other people, even if they were other women, watching. She slipped into the pocket-ridden khakis and tight black shirt. It wasn’t so much as a fashion statement as practical wear for most missions. Occasionally, she did have to wear something a bit nicer, depending on the mission, but for most days, this was her preferred wear.
         You never knew when you might need an extra pocket, she reasoned as she exchanged her current headset for a charged one in the locker. The old one plugged itself into the wall in the back of the locker.
         She also checked the pack before slipped it over her shoulders. Three ready-to-eats, a drawstring bag the size of a wallet, and a small gun-like divice with a grapping hook at the end. She took it out and it increased in size about fifty percent. She blinked, still forgetting the bag had a Relative Field inside it that shrank everything. While it was a shock for new agents, it allowed for more space for long missions. She tossed the Grap back into the bag and closed it. The zipper beeped softly, recognizing her fingerprint. Now only she would be able to open it.
         There was one more thing in the locker. She pulled it out and gasped as the shiney new metallic casing of the X-TEEM 5400 glinted in the buzzing yellow lights of the locker room. This was top-shelf technology. Only the highest ranking agents got this stuff. The solar-powered battery bar indicated it was fully charged, but the setting was set to stun, just in case some idiot decided to set it off in the locker room. It had ten settings that could only be changed but the person it was registered to.
         “Please state name,” a computer-generated voice said from the weapon.
         “Tasren Breslett,” she answered.
         “Please place index finger on the ID pad,” it responded. A small, green, square lit up and she did as instructed. It beeped its approval. “Please provide DNA sample,” it instructed.
         She blinked. “What?”
         “Spit on it,” she heard Fidal say through the new headset. She slipped it on and his face came into view. “Spit on the green square.”
         She shrugged and did so. The pistol beeped its approval.
         “Registered to Tasren Breslett,” the device confirmed.
         “Now, get goin’,” he commanded.
         “Fine, fine,” she sighed. “I’m going.”

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