Well, I'm currently a bit in a rut in terms of fanfiction writing, but I have prepped this chapter earlier, in the hopes of posting it once a bit more interest had been generated. But, to ease the wait before the next chapters of VfB, PotK and/or another new story - I know, starting up this many stories may mean that some of them may be left out for some time... Anyway, I'm going to post the first proper chapter of the story now, where the events of the game start to kick off...
Chapter 1: Lost Luggage, Lockdown Found
T- 5 hours, 45 minutes – Quadwrangle Estate, Auro's House
The next morning, I yawned as I woke up to see the sun high in the sky thanks to my attic-like bedroom, on the top floor of the house I was living in. Mainly as the manor had been converted so that there wasn't that much living space. Sadly, the wifi and phone line doesn't extend to my place, so I have to rely on a digital clock and the sun to tell what the time was… and when I saw that it was past midday, I started to panic a bit. There was no way I'd be able to get dressed, have brunch, and get there with enough time to help out my father with the final tuning, but I had over an hour and a half until my brother was due to be dropped off.
So, with that in mind, I got ready for the day ahead, getting smart and clean clothes on, having a hearty Full English – which I cooked myself – and then just before I left my place, I put on the glove which was tailored to fit my hand. I knew what it would allow me to do, but hopefully I wouldn't need to use it much, barring helping to demonstrate to my brother the invention we were going to show off this time. Hopefully, it would be much more successful than most of the other times…
The first time he was sent here, when my brother was only one, the Prof tried to show off Joan the Jett Pack, only to burn up the dummy which my brother had by accident – meaning I had to get a replacement one for him before he left – and… well, the hover function of the jetpack had some major bugs. The next time, when my brother was only three, the Prof showed off Freezey Ray Vaughan… although some of the ice impaled the stuffed bear which he had. After three more visits, my mother chose to send him to us every year, rather than every other year… which resulted in last year's invention being a bit rushed. Thankfully, it kinda worked… however, it had grafted to both me and my brother's legs, meaning we can fall much further than a normal human and survive… as long as we land on our feet. That was one of the other reasons why we needed the phone installed – so that if any complications arose with my brother's legs, we would know as soon as possible.
Anyway, by the time I entered the manor, it was nearly 2PM… and there was no sign of my dad. And so I waited…
T- 4 Hours (2PM) – Quadwrangle Manor, Main Entrance
…And on the stroke of 2PM, the door opened, and with a strong shove, my brother was pushed through the door, before his luggage was tossed in. And, before I could call out to my mother, the door shut.
…Typical. Despite the instillation of the phone, she refuses to enter the manor except to pick up my brother on the Sunday right after dropping him off, giving us two days with him.
Anyway, once he saw me, he ran up to me and gave me a hug, muttering, "Big bro!"
"Hey little brother. Are things going well back at school?" I asked.
My brother nodded. True, he was shy, and didn't like to talk much…
"Make any new friends?" I then asked, to which he shook his head.
"Ah, I see… Well, hopefully Dad'll be here soon…"
T- 3 hours, 50 minutes
After a while, which was about ten minutes, give or take a few seconds, I sighed, before tapping something on my glove to turn on the comm system in the entrance hall, and then I heard the familiar voice of my dad, working on something.
"…see here, if I configure the transdimensional velocity regulator at approximately nought-point-eight-eight-seven microseconds past the…"
I cleared my throat. "Dad…"
"Oh! Don't tell me that he's here?" he replied, a bit shocked.
"Yes, dad, he's here now."
"Really? Oh, how time flies! Anyway, I have the most incredible invention to show you this visit," the Prof noted. "But, I'm a bit…"
And then there was a crashing sound, combined with my dad going 'Oomph!', before he carried on with, "…indisposed at the moment. Anyway, Auro'll help you take your luggage into the foyer, and I'll be with you as soon as I can."
I sighed, before picking up my brother's luggage case. "Well… I guess you know how to get in by now?" I asked him.
He nodded, before walking up to the door and pressing the button, opening it up. And then, the two of us walked into the hallway leading to the foyer, before my dad cursed, "Ah! You confounded machine!" And then the ground shook a bit, with another 'Oomph!' from the prof, before he questioned, "What was that?"
I shrugged. "I don't know – felt like some kind of tremor, though," was the response I gave.
"Oh, how entirely frustrating! Anyway, there should be a safety release for the door up there somewhere," the Prof noted, and I noticed where it was – which was out of reach for my brother to press. So, I went and put the luggage down, but then my brother pointed at the luggage, and then at the corner.
"…Wait, are you thinking…?"
He nodded, and as soon as I put it down, and my father noted, "Now where on earth did I put that…" my brother jumped onto the luggage, and then jumped into the air, just about being able to hit the button.
As soon as the button was pressed, and the door to the lobby opened up, my father noted, "Wait a minute… Something doesn't feel quite right here." And… Well, I had a bad feeling as well, as if something bad was about to happen, as we walked into the lobby.
And then… "Oh! No no no, no no no no no… NO!"
"DAD?!" I cried out.
"DAD! Are you…?!"
But before I could finish the sentence, I felt it – a Quantum Shift – and for a short while, the stuff all around us started to rise into the air, as if gravity had reversed. And then, another Quantum Shift caused time to slow down, before a third turned everything fluffy. And then a fourth turned everything into metal, and then a fifth turned things back to normal… except the luggage I was carrying before the Quantum Shifts happened was… gone. And then, another two waves of five shifts happened, before the shutters of the mansion triggered.
"…Great, we're in lockdown now," I noted, before hearing something from my glove.
"Wait… What just happened? Because I'm… not entirely sure where I am right now… But, the security uplink still seems to work, so I can still see you two and…"
"Yeah, we can hear you, Dad."
"Ah! It seems like I can still tap into the Intercom system."
"Um… You're talking through my Device, dad. Not the Intercom system…"
"Well… I guess that's better than nothing… Anyway. What in the world is your brother doing here? Was he supposed to be here today?"
"Yeah, he…" I started, before my dad cut me off.
"No matter – because judging for the current underwhelming amount of light in this room, we're still on backup power."
"Yeah… Anyway, how are you dad?" I then asked, worried about him and what happened.
"Urg… My head is killing me… It seems as though I now possess a rather large epidural hematoma."
"A bump on the head? Well, if I knew where you were, I'd try and help out…"
"Anyway… Do us a favour, and head to the Main Hall."
"You want me to try and restart the power grid, dad?"
"Well… It's the only way to end the lockdown."
"True that. Come on, brother, this way," I replied, before showing him towards the Main Hall.
As we did so, Fitz mused, "Last I remember, I was in the new technologies sector, and then… I don't know. But I do think the fail-safe was tripped accidentally."
"Yeah, right(!)" my brother replied. The sarcasm was literally dripping in his voice.
Eventually, we entered the Main Hall, and I went into Fitz's office, with my brother following me. I then pulled the lever on the breaker switch, and…
"Well… That wasn't as effective as I'd hoped," my dad noted, as only a few lights activated from flipping the breaker. "It looks like you'll have to reactivate the generators in each sector to lift the current lockdown. Just… ugh, give your brother the glove in the container, and tell him to put it on."
"Wait, you can't be seriously…?!"
"Yeah. I wish you could see my facial expression right now, as I am not pleased."
"True that. Anyway… That is an early prototype of the Inter-Dimensional Shift Device, like the one I'm wearing right now – or IDS Device for short," I explained, as I passed the Device over to my brother.
"Thanks for that help," my dad replied unamused. "Anyway, it's one piece of my latest invention which should come in handy."
I groaned while my brother put on the device on his hand. "Dad… Enough of the puns for right now. Anyway, where's the nearest generator which we can access?"
"Well… It seems as if the breaker unlocked the Blue Wing, at least – so you two might as well start there first."
"That's a good idea. Start with what we have unlocked, and work our way through until we reach the generators at the end of each wing."
"Yeah… Oh, and you might want to turn on your own IDS Device's Quantum Whiteshift function, just in case," he added.
"True that. I mean, we don't want to accidently end up no longer able to help…" I noted, before flipping the switch for the Whiteshift function on.
"Um… What's that?" my brother asked.
"Hopefully, I won't need to tell you," I explained, before we walked out of the office and towards the now-open door to the Blue Wing. "Anyway… Let's go and find that generator."
Author Explanations for this chapter:
Explanation regarding the chapter title - This chapter title plays on the name of a place where lost items go, the Lost and Found - and in this case, the Protagonist (Auro's little brother) lost his luggage... and found out that moments later, that a Lockdown came into effect.
The most recent invention, barring the IDS Device, is used to handwave the fact that, later on, the duo can fall huge distances without being harmed. At least Fitz won't have to worry about them splatting onto the floor when it comes to entering Only a Minor Setback Part II.
'Quantum Shifts' are what Auro calls the (mainly uncontrolled) shifts between dimensions.
Also, from now on, 'room sets' may be named after the title of the puzzle which took place in it during Quantum Conundrum.