I was awakened by a sharp tapping on my window pane. I groggily turned over and glanced at the clock on my bedside table. It was almost midnight. I sat up, wondering for an instant where I was and why didn't I hear automaton steps in the corridor. I rubbed my face and remembered, I wasn't at the Academy anymore. I got out of bed to investigate that blasted tapping. It was Lukas throwing pebbles against my window. I threw a dressing gown over my nightshirt an peered outside. I would have to craft myself a proper nightgown later, for now, I should see what Lukas wants. I opened the window and asked, "What is it, sir?" He called up to me,"It's time, lassie." I raised my eyebrow at the man."Time for what exactly?" He glances around nervously, "I can't exactly say, but I think you'd better get dressed and come down as quick as you can." I shut the window and almost scoffed at the man below. Why should I go off at this time of night when all decent, law-abiding people were asleep. I smirked at myself, I'm not exactly a law-abiding citizen anymore. Thankfully, I found some ladies' clothing in a few boxes. I changed into an Aviator's attire before joining Lukas in front of my house. He glanced around again before beckoning me into an alleyway. I followed mostly out of curiosity. Once we were in the shadows, Lukas took out a strange, gold-colored device. I was about to ask him what it was for when he suddenly turned his back to me. Before I could demand to know what he was doing, a massive airship appeared low in the sky above us. I squinted through the darkness, it seemed somehow familiar. A long rope ladder descended from the airship and Lukas motioned for me to climb. I got a little way upwards before I noticed that Lukas wasn't on the ladder. I called down to him, "Aren't you coming?" He smiled, "Nah, I wasn't invited." My eyes widened as I continued my ascent. If I had been invited, who had invited me?" The airship suddenly gained altitude and the ladder was hoisted upwards. I clung tightly to the rungs not daring to look down. Still, I continued to rise into the air. I tentatively opened one eye. What I saw made me open both eyes in wonder. I was being lifted above the Fog. I was now higher than the clock tower of the town. My increase in altitude did allow me to realize where in Aethasia I was; a little blot on the map called No Man's Landing, only significant for the Isle Fog Mine off its coast. From my rising position, I could see the moon, waning a little since the night I'd seen it last. I smiled at its kindly face. The moon was the first thing to ever smile on me. My teachers had never truly smiled on me; my peers at the Academy had tried not to even look at me; not even Zaul Grimm had smiled at me. Automatons couldn't even smile. I sighed, Lukas had smiled at me. Perhaps everyone in the Resistance was like that. Perhaps they were all kind to others the way autofficers could never be. With a grinding of gears, a hatch opened above me and I was hoisted into the mysterious airship. Once inside, the feeling of familiarity grew, but something was different. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, so I tried to ignore it so I tried to ignore it as I ascended a nearby ladder. The ladder went up to the bridge of the airship where the feeling that I knew this place grew almost unbearable, until it was suddenly quenched. What quenched it was a presence; a presence that seemed to smother everything around it. The Aethermeter around my neck began to pulsate furiously as I stood transfixed at the scene in front of me. Moonlight streamed through the tall windows illuminating the figure at the helm. He was very tall, powerfully built, hooded, and carried Himself quite regally. Suddenly, he turned and spoke,"Welcome aboard Aethasia's Blessing." My mouth suddenly went dry and all I could manage was a croaking whisper."Who are you?"
"I am the Scarlet Man." He said as if no other explanation was needed. "What is your name?" I swallowed hard, "I am Eerie Coppernight." My legs trembled as I realized the full gravity of what I had said. I sank to my knees and sobbed like a child. I had not merely given Him my name, I had confessed what I was. Eerie, a freak that withdrew to the shadows, scorned her fellows, and maintained a reputation that would keep them away. Who delighted in weapons, poisons, explosions, and psychopathic schemes. Who built an illusion for herself to hide the fact that she was desperately lonely. Coppernight, an autofficer born, bred and raised. Trained to be ruthless, cunning, and to follow Imperial commands without question. I lifted my teary eyes to find that the Scarlet Man was kneeling in front of me. "Sir," I asked in a hoarse whisper,"why did you rescue me? I'm an Imperial Autofficer. I was born and raised your enemy." He wiped away my tears with His gloved hand before rising to his feet. "Do you recognize this ship?" I glanced around the bridge before stammering out a reply. "I,I, I might, Sir." He clasped his hands behind His back before facing me once more. "It was once known as the Emporer's Reach, now it is Mine and it is called Aethasia's Blessing." He stood in front of me. "That is what I want for you, Eerie. I want to make you My agent; to give you a new purpose." I stared up at Him in wonder. "What do you want from me?"
"Just follow Me." He said
"To the ends of the earth." I replied.
Right in that moment, I thought that I should do something to show my allegiance. My mind went back to the graduation ceremonies that I had witnessed at the Academy. The students always recited a pledge to the emperor. Somehow, that seemed too little. The words seemed too cold and formal. It was simply not enough for the Scarlet Man. Not knowing what else to do, I flung myself at His feet and kissed His boots. He bent down, took my hand in His, and set me on my own feet again. "Now, My agent, this is your mission."