“What’s happening?” I ask one of the other people. They don’t know either. I start worrying, but then I hear a voice in my head. Everything is okay. Do not panic. Prepare for your Initiation. I want to keep worrying, but this thing tells me not to, so I physically can’t.

A woman with long hair tied in a bun on the top of her head walks towards us. She looks at us sternly, then directly at me. “Edward Terrell.” She names off the rest of the recruits, including a girl no older than me with a long braid - Mesa Wyatt - before looking at all of us collectively and stating: “Welcome to the Luminescent Republic, recruits.”


“Oh god. I’m one of them.” I think.

Yes, isn’t it wonderful? You’ll be very happy here.

“Please follow me to the top deck, where we will take an airship to The Academy of Illumination, where myself, and others, will teach you the ways of our world, and other important things you need to know as members of the Republic. Keep in mind, you are now all my wards, and will do as I say. Disobedience is punished by time in The Tank.” the lady with the bun explains, and begins walking out of the room.


We all walk in a straight line and I finally get a good view of the Luminescent Republic. It’s a forest of white buildings stretching for what seems like hundreds of miles on end. The sky is full of what looks like the barges that took me here, containing hundreds of people on the average. For a second I forget myself and my suspicions about this place, simply because of how beautiful it is. I step on a barge and it slowly departs as the stars in my eyes begin to fade.

They completely vanish when that girl Mesa walks over to me and places a hand on my shoulder. She says only one thing, and she says it in a whisper I can barely hear, but that one thing makes me trust her more than anything else.

“They’re putting on a show for us.”


When I don’t say anything, she continues. “So we trust them. Plus, these people love to put on a show from what I’ve heard.”

I still don’t say anything. “Hey! Snap out of it!” she hisses in my ear.

I stumble forward, and fall on the floor. The woman with a bun snaps around and looks down at me. “Miss Wyatt, please do not push your fellow recruits on the deck. As funny as it is.” the woman smirks and turns back the the edge of the airship.

I stand up and face Mesa. “Sorry, I’ve been through a lot in the 3 years since I disappeared from my home. My metal state isn’t the greatest right now.”

“I understand that. So does everyone of us recruits. We were human, but now we’re whatever these guys call themselves. Close enough to angels, so that’s what I call them.”


“Mesa,” I said, “Don’t you have just some sort of sneaking suspicion that something is off?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she says, but she nods her head yes, clearly not wanting to admit her feelings in front of the Luminescent Republic official. “I just can’t tell if they’re showing off like NYC shows off or if they’re showing off like Pyongyang shows off.”


“Right. And they were so overly cheerful about turning me.”

Mesa nods. “Let’s see what this academy is about. Maybe someone there can help us out of this mess.”

“Everyone, please look this way! We have arrived at The Academy of Illumination!” our mentor shouts.

“Perfect timing.” I mutter, and turn around.


The Academy is a building made purely out of what appears to be lens flare. It takes my eyes a while to adjust to the lights, but when they do, I see the Academy as a bright, white, glowing college building. The woman with the bun gestures towards the grand entrance and three people step out through the doors.

One of them is Kiran, adorned in an extravagant uniform. The woman with the bun introduces him as Kiran Soleis, Director of Recruitment.

The second is a short-haired woman wearing a lab coat, who the bun lady says is named Ethea Chen, Director of Science.

The third’s face is hard to make out, but I can tell it’s a man with scars all across his face. He’s wearing a military uniform and staring us all down. The woman with the bun calls him General Vynr, Director of Military.

The woman with a bun finally concludes her speech with saying that her name is Natya Kal, Director Of Education, and that she welcomes us to the Luminescent Republic as - since we’ve undergone the procedure - Luminescents. “You’re one of us now,” Natya says.


My head begins to scream in pain, and without meaning too, grab Mesa’s arm and dig my fingers into her skin. “Hey! Stop that!” she hisses, a little too loudly.

Natya turns her stern gazes directly at us. “Do not worry Miss Wyatt. The transformation from human to Luminescent can leave the brain in a sensitive state. This is all very normal. But, if you would be so kind, release Miss Wyatt’s arm Mr. Terrell, we can get on with the tour.”

With a pained gasp, I detach my arm from Mesa and stand up straight. “Thank you. Now, recruits, please follow me, Sir Soleis, Madame Chen, and General Vynr. We will show you the Academy.”

A thin walk way slides out from the deck and lands just above the ground. Natya walks down it with grace and ease. She jumps off it and onto the ground with the same skill. She is followed by a tall, lumbering boy, Caiden Easton, who ends up face first on the ground.


Mesa lets out a small laugh before both of us fall over as well. When I get up, I offer my hand to help Mesa up as well. She reluctantly takes it, smiling, but I can see the suspicion in her eyes. It’s almost like she’s speaking in my brain: “What are you hiding?” Natya ignores us and guides us through the front gates of the Academy.

“You’ll learn more about the war in your classes, but what you need to know is that there were two brothers, our benevolent ruler Light Tang and the wicked Dark Low. When the two brothers were granted control of the world, Dark Low wanted it all for himself, so Light Tang fled with his people into the sky and founded this place.” Natya is a great tour guide, and I lose myself in the story, but I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something she isn’t telling us.


(This is a long one. I had too many ideas.)

We pass a large staircase, covered in pale blue carpet and stop in front of a glass wall. “I want everyone’s attention here, now!” General Vynr shouts.

He and the 3 other adults we were following are standing in line in front of the glass. Behind it are at least 50 suspended animation tanks. Most are empty, but inside some are other students. “This is The Tank. Disobedience to Miss Nayta, missing classes, being late for class, missing homework assignments, and any rule or law breaking is punished by time inside. Depending on the severity of your betrayal, your time will either be short or long.” Madame Chen explains.

I can hear gasps from the other recruits in my group. Kiran nods gravely. “Natya, let’s continue with the tour.”

Natya nods and begins to continue down the hallway, but is stopped by a man with incredibly unkempt brown hair. “Now, now dear. Don’t you think you should tell your wards about young Miss Kassandra Oliver?”

He gestures to the center most tank, which holds a girl who couldn’t be older than me and Mesa. Her bright blue eyes are open, and full of shock and resentment. Her black hair is spread out behind her, framing her head and torso in the clear gel-liquid. She is, without a better word to describe her, stunning.
The only thing off about her is her left arm, which is covered in a black substance up to the elbow. Natya sighs and takes her place back at the front of the group.

“Miss Kassandra Oliver came to us, wounded and broken down after being kidnapped and tortured by Dark Low himself. We thought we had cleared her off all the infection he has plagued her with, and that any care for the darkness she might have gained would have been destroyed with it. But we were terribly wrong. She was placed under the care of a woman named Helena Leigh, who now is a high ranking official in the army. Kassandra attended The Academy like all new recruits. Then one night, about a year after she arrived, it was discovered that she had been trading secrets about the Republic with Dark Low in exchange for transformation into one of his kind. That is the highest offense to Light Tang, and the Republic. She is in suspended animation until the time when she would graduate, and when that happens, she will be transferred to the highest security prison we have. That is her story, and her fate.”


I don’t want to sound paranoid, but I feel Kiran staring directly at me when he says this. I grab onto Mesa’s hand and hold it tightly. “There’s more to the story,” we both mutter at about the same time. “There’s always more to the story.”

“If we were to commit an act of defiance,” Mesa said, “it would be here. We’d break her out. But…” Mesa’s voice trails off. “It’s out of the frying pan, into the fire, right? From one evil to another. Isn’t it?”

“I guess so,” I respond.

“Now, onto the shrine for our glorious leader -” When Natya says this, Mesa and I both look at eachother and laugh a little -“Light Tang!” Natya leads us down a long hallway into an extravagant room.


The room is decorated in an almost Roman style, with columns rising to a high ceiling. One wall is entirely made of glass. This huge window looks onto a stately building across a wide street. People are about in front of it.


Kiran looks at the crowd. He seems somewhat irritated by them. “They should have left already,” he mutters.

“We have to wait for the delegation from the Southern province to leave before we can go to the Great Hall,” she says. “You should become familiar with the Great Hall. We will convene there on important days.”


(Let me guess - photo from North Korea? I’m liking where we’re going with this)

Mesa pulls me aside for another comment. She says nothing, just humming the North Korean national anthem. I offer her a nod of agreement and wait along with the group.

“So what was your life before all this?” Mesa asked me.


“Well, I lived in an apartment, in Calgaire. There was my friend, John… Then there was my sister… Helena…”

I wondered if they could, somehow, find a way to cure Dark Helena. I’d forgive them all the totalitarian iconography in the world for that.

"I… I got into a fight with John. It turned out the Government was planning something I hadn’t known about when I joined the party.

Say, is that the Aegukka you’re humming?"

“I thought it fit the aesthetic,” said Mesa.

“You have a good sense of humour, Mesa,” I said.


“Well,” Mesa said, “I was raised in a cult. My father ran the administration and my mother was… his wife. It was just this abusive environment with all these rules. As a girl, I wasn’t even allowed to speak without asking a man for permission. It was BS.”

I wait for her to delve into Tumblr-esque mysandry, but that’s not where she goes. Instead of condemning all men as evil and screaming something angry, she starts crying.

“It turns out their apocalyptic predictions weren’t wrong, just… off. Our compound was completely destroyed by a hurricane three days before the apocalypse was predicted to start. I was fifteen. Then, I don’t know what happened, but somehow I ended up here. Wherever here is.”


Before I can reply, we are both ushered by our guides towards a large staircase across the room from the window. “These are the dormitories. Your name is on the door of your room. We will alert you via the intercom when the Great Hall is clear. Now, find your rooms.” Natya tells us.

We scatter and begin to check each door. There are 3 plaques on each. 1 for the room number, 1 for the name of the occupant, and 1 with the name of the occupant’s mentor. Startlingly, I recognize many of the names. Students from the school I attended back on Earth, as this basically felt like another planet, seemed to have also been captured and brought here.

Finally I find my room and open the door. Now, room was a bit of an overstatement. It was more of a closet with a bed, desk and chair, dresser, mirror, and attached bathroom, which was also tiny. The bed was hung from the wall by gold colored chains, and the desk was seated under it. The dresser and mirror were across the space. But, once again, I was shocked. Some of my belonging from home were strewn about the room.

“Of course. Trying to make it feel like home.” I mutter.


“Why are there so many people here from the Academy of the Excelled?” I asked Kiran. He simply smiled and replied with, “That… thing. The ‘deep freeze’. We’re saving them.”

(Okay. Give me a summary of the plot on Old Wattpad. I can’t access it 'cause it’s dead and the Wayback Machine hasn’t preserved it.)


Edward Terrell (though he wasn’t named at the time) breaks into his ex-best friend John’s house to take back his notebooks, which contained a bunch of embarrassing things that happened to John during middle school. A fight ensues between him, John, John’s cat, and Helena (though she was only known as Helen at the time). John and Helen die are brought back to life again and again.

Edward then finds himself in a room with statue-like men. One of them, who later reveals himself to be a death dragon, hits on him. (I can’t remember for certain, but I think it was theDrowLordWhitman who added that bit). The man transforms into the dragon, and then Ed blacks out.

He up out in a room with walls covered in pictures of Pearl from Steven Universe. It has a single window, and no door. He peels back the pictures from the window and sees a creepy lab looking room beyond. A blonde girl then slams her fists into the window, and mouths to him that he was going to die. Then he passes out after being injected by his medic friend Phoenix. She works for the man who is in charge (or second-in-command) of the deep freeze. He fights Phoenix, and then it picks up on here.


If I forgot anything important, theDrowLordWhitman might know


Okay, I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am for that! :smiley: I’ve been waiting to know what happened. Also, is it just me, or does the plot of the New Forums story make more sense (relative term, I guess) than the part of this story on Ye Olde Forums? I’d like to think I played some part in that…