Almost immediately after placing in regionals, the group began to prepare for nationals. To do well in nationals, they needed to provide some key components:
- A physical demonstration of their project
- References from the science community backing their work
For the physical demonstration, they decided to build a small remote controlled airplane. They started engineering their new engine and the plane right away.
Wade’s father came home looking a little drunk with glee. Wade avoided him for the most part, and the next morning, he told Wade that things are going to get better now. Wade was not entirely sure what he meant.
The next day, Wade was approached by another student named Bodai. Bodai told him to follow him out to his car. Wade was caught a bit off guard and went with him, entering an extravagant fleet of limousines.
Inside the limo was Bodai and The Speaker. The drive was silent for quite some time, until Bodai opened up the sun roof and stood up. The Speaker urged Wade to do the same. As they stood out of the car, countless sakura leaves blew throughout the sky and a large warehouse was visible in the distance. Lining the entire road there were people dressed in very nice clothes.
Once inside the warehouse, there was a fancy raised platform with an elaborate coffin resting on it. Bodai left the limo to attend a funeral service. He appeared to feel ambivalent about the event.
Wade was then left alone only with The Speaker. He started to explain the situation.
“Bodai’s father died last night. Although the official story is that he died of cardiac arrest, our first responders believe the true cause to be food poisoning. (He strongly implied that Wade’s father was responsible) Due to the fact that Bodai’s father was abusive to say the least, the murder will be forgiven. However, we cannot reconcile the amount of debt your father has accrued.”
The Speaker continued to explain to Wade that he would be responsible for paying off his father’s debt by working at Bodai’s side. He reluctantly threatened to force Amerka to pay for it if Wade was unwilling.
From then on, Wade became involved with The Omerian Mafia. While studying and working on SOAC, he made time to tend to the mafia’s wishes. His focus was on corporate extortion.
While researching remote control planes, Calico crashed a small RC plane through the second story window of a large mansion. She couldn’t see any signs of anyone being home, so she decided to go get the plane back. She tried climbing a nearby tree, but the branches turned out to not be strong enough and she scratched up her hands.
She then tried the front door, which was oddly unlocked. After yelling hello multiple times, she dashed to the room where the plane was. After recovering the plane, she noticed an odd smell and began to search around the mansion. She eventually broke into the basement, and while she was searching around, she placed her hand in some Strange Liquid. The liquid was a blue-green color, definitely the source of the odd smell, and it was all over her cut-up hand. She removed the container the liquid was in, only to see a large bio hazard symbol on it.
After washing the liquid off, she went to the hospital, taking the liquid with her. The doctors confiscated the liquid, and after some testing, they told her that they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. She was instructed to come to the emergency room if she starts feeling ill.
The group was hard at work, and they were getting very close to a finished physical product. Areana and Yuko went to talk with Dr Xyn about getting scientific references for their presentation. Xyn said he may be able to put them in contact with some people. However, he once again warned both girls of the danger of the SOAC project, but they remained determined. He put them in contact with Dr Svenson from Emis. Svenson was scheduled to visit and see a personal demo in a couple weeks.
The group had finished building their plane, and were in the testing stages. They cashed in their favor from the government to get a top of the line military grade fuel kit.
During their demo to Dr Svenson, Chet saw a vast dark landscape with two large pillars. On one pillar, was their super engine, quickly gathering energy. On the other pillar was a ball of fire, also gathering energy. He started to see hands waving on either side, causing the energies to grow. The electrical energy and flame energy dashed towards each other, taking on a human form. As they were about to come into conflict, they froze in place, as Chet got a clear view panning over both of the people controlling the energies. On the left, was an epic version of himself manipulating the engine energy. On the right, was an epic version of Terrance Lex manipulating the fire energy. The entire scene lit up with a bright flash, and Chet came to. Chet’s friends got control of the plane before it crashed.
Dr Svenson observed the flight and the readings. He was impressed be the power and efficiency of the engine. It looked as though they weren’t even using 5% of their engine’s capacity due to the limits of radio control. Dr Svenson gave them an impressive reference letter, and said he would be following their presentation at nationals.
With their project polished and ready to go, the group, along with Bakers took a plane out to Metro Cirkon to compete in nationals. They arrived a few days early to prepare their projects after travel.
While there, before the day of the competition, Kesten handed out fake IDs to the men in Bakers and Cerebral Landscape. They proceeded to attend a strip club. Several of the men left with ladies. Chet made a point to leave with two.
While waiting outside his shared room (like a good friend would), Wolan heard an argument brewing in one of the rooms. It sounded like one of the strippers was threatening Koban at knife point. Koban refused to turn over his wallet, and the stripper attacked him. Wolan intercepted and the stripper ran off. Koban ended up only with a cut on his cheek.
The next day, Kesten mentioned that DB went to talk to that stripper’s pimp and that everything was taken care of.
Nationals was a three day event. The group presented well, with part of the group on stage, and the other part flying the RC plane to demonstrate the engine. They managed 10th place, which was enough to move on to internationals. Bakers and Fire Lex also placed high enough to move on to internationals.
The group started their improvements for internationals as fast as possible. They only had a month and a half to prepare this time, and after getting such a low place in nationals, they knew they had to kick it up a notch and really impress to place in internationals.
They started making improvements to turn the RC plane into a manned plane. After that was successful, they organized a test run. Dr Svenson was able to clear some airspace for them, but he requested that they use more of the output of their engine and attempt to cycle the planet.
Chet boarded the newly manable plane, and began to fly off. Not far off into the flight, he unleashed the full force of the engine. He made it around the world in 15 minutes and decided to keep going for a second run. He eventually made it around 3 times in the 30 minute timespan that was alloted. Dr Svenson was overjoyed, and the rest of the group was quite impressed as well. Once landed, one of the plane’s wings fell off, and the group knew they had to get to work.
Internationals would be a three week process, and Dr Svenson assured them he would pull some strings so they could go on the last week, giving them plenty of time to repair their plane. Cerebral Landscape did some research online and in the media, discovering that their plane had been spotted in many countries, however no one was able to identify what it was. It was given many names, but when translated from their native languages, they all came out as The Blur.
Cerebral Landscape and Bakers traveled to Ankostin, Emis. They arrived a week early and worked on the finishing touches of their project onsite.
Their presentation went well. They opened up referencing the media coverage of the blue, as Chet started up the plane and punched out of site. It was revealed to the audience that this phenomenon was indeed a SOAC project. During this run, Chet managed to cycle Kyuka four times, the last cycle clocking in at 3 minutes.
The group left internationals with third place. Bakers took seventh. They headed back home; only one month was alloted to prepare for the voyage.