The mages were gathered in the smoldering ruins of their beloved city--the same city that only days ago was their prison. Now it was home, and they were free. At least for the moment. The Archmage was addressing those that shared his affliction, those cursed with the ability to manipulate mana. The man's voice was filled with passion, and the mages drank it up, cheering and screaming and beating their chests. They were free. "However, do not think the fight ends here," the Archmage said. "We have won the freedom of our beautiful city, Arcania, but we have not won our freedom yet. We will continue to be hunted, and thus we must be ready. Already a group known as the 'Inquisition' has set their sights on us. Starting tomorrow, you will all be assigned to teams. Every day your team will completely training exercises. It is not my wish to militarize our new nation, but under current circumstances we have no choice." Even those who normally were pacifists cheered. Several among the crowd remained silent; some inquisition spies, some mages. One in particular was half mana-powered machine. His name was Lucan, and he remained motionless and quiet, arms crossed and stoic. His artificial eyes glowed blue, the ligaments in his mechanical limbs dimming. "Our freedom," he muttered bitterly. "You preach it, yet still we have none. You try to guarantee it, but there are no absolutes." The young man's voice was bitter. Next to him, a silver-haired Asian girl scoffed. "We're fighting to earn it, dumbass. Of course we have none yet. Sure, it sucks that a lot of our comrades will die before mages gain their true freedom, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight. It means we shold fight even harder!" Lucan smirked. "Perhaps," he mused. "Maybe it's all senseless. But who am I to object? It's this sovereign city-state that gave me a new body." The girl sneered at him. * * * Even after the previous day's announcement, Lucan still couldn't help but feel caught off-guard at the whole forced squad idea. The girl he'd spoken to the previous day ended up on his team, and so here they were. So here they were, waiting for the other members of their team. The training room they were sent to was a large, subterranean chamber with a high ceiling. The floor was made up of large panels that looked like they could flip over, bringing up any number of surprises from nowhere. In fact, Lucan was willing to bet on that, since they were at a training event with absolutely no information of their teammates of any kind. He didn't necessarily want to talk to the silver-haired pyro that was to be his new comrade, even though she tried to start a conversation. He mostly answered with dead-end statements, and didn't ask her anything in return. Eventually she gave up. "You know, there's going to be three other people here," she stated, hands placed on her hips. She glared at Lucan. "They're probably going to want to talk to you too. At least tell them your name." She maintained her stare, even though the pulsating blue man's closest thing to a response was running a mechanical hand through his long, wavy hair. The girl huffed indignantly. "You haven't even asked for my name. Hell, you haven't told me yours!" she cried. A pair of artificial blue eyes turned towards her. "Lucan." he responded grumpily. "Now see? Was that so hard?" she goaded. "I'm Lily. Lily Fukushima." Lucan just looked at her with a bored expression. He managed a non-committal grunt as a response. Lily just moaned angrily.