((Taking place during the end of both "be careful what you wish for" and "Breaking Points"))
It was a late night and Jaggie sat quietly alone at the top of the staircase, dangling her feet through the railing. Lost in thought and idly tugging at one of the necklaces tied around her neck, she would occasionally look to her left to see if anyone might have been sneaking down the hallway of the barracks and making an attempt to startle her from behind.
Nope. No one was there.
She looked bored, tired, and most of all, lonely. She turned her attention to the tiny, purple sliver of a gem that her thick fingers had found. It was connected to her necklace of grey marble stones by a thin metal loop of silver and a small backing of wood. Her right eye glowed softly in the gem's reflection and she let herself drift away between the stone's fluorescent strands of pinks and blues. For all the troubles it seemed to cause her, it was a pretty shard.
For the most part it was nothing more then a worthless, chipped up piece of rock but occasionally, and rarely at that, it would pulsate, shimmer, and glow. This was one of those occasions, and in its dull light Jaggie slipped down into memory lane to a time of wood and steel. To a place of grit and thick yellow smoke that hung heavy in the air. A place filled with the continuous sound of shouts and whistles and hums of large foundry machines.
Seven Years Ago
"Unit Seven, go fitch Master Kenotto and have him come to examination room 1-6H. Unit Four and Eight, with me."
Without turning her head, Unit Eight, Jaggie, caught a curious glance from her forge brother Four, Kaolinite. His pale white eyes and tiny frame were so unlike her tall heavy build and bright yellow eyes. This was the first time they had seen each other since emerging out of the explosive wreckage of their creations pods, hardly a week ago. They where both still very young and only just learning their way around the foundry grounds. Soon they would undergo combat training though that was still several weeks to come.
Of the ten surviving warforged of their creation pod, most of them had been kept together during the majority of the studies and tests performed on them. Only now and again would one or two of them be periodically called away for separate experimentations by Cannith artificers.
Jaggie thought nothing of it when one of their trainers entered the barracks and sent her and Unit Seven down to examination hall. She had already undergone a number of examinations by artificers who hoped to gain an understand of how her plating had developed a strange rough jagged texture- the reason and where her name had came about- during the creation process. These 'jaggy' edges were beginning to flake away now, revealing a smooth, rich, coppery colour to her plating.
Other studies were also performed to try and figure out why these ten forged lacked the most common feature of every other known warforged. The ghular - the 'cosmetic' and unique mark that all warforged developed on their brow during creation. A mark that no two 'forged, supposedly, ever shared the same of.
No ghular, or mark of any kind, could be seen nor found on any of these ten warforged. Thus they became referred to as the Markless Units, each one given a number and identifiable by their model type, size and plating colour.
Jaggie, Unit Eight, was a custom designed infantry model, while her forge brother, Unit Four, who stood well near a foot shorter then her and whose faint flickering white eyes and white plating that wrapped around him like a poorly bandaged mummy was designed for quickness of foot and spell casting. A front line runner who's future training would lean towards providing medical aid to injured troops---
"Unit Eight? Markless Unit Eight, do you hear me or are we going to have to check your hearing for repairs again?!" Jaggie's attention snapped back to her trainer, realizing he and Unit Four were already walking far ahead of her.
"Hai. Command given. Follow." She moved forward, obediently following behind her forge brother and her trainer, though questioning in her mind why forge brother Four had not been checked on by an artificer to fix his continues head twitchings and slight spasms of his hands.
Master Kenotto entered through a side viewing room. "You can begin when you are ready Pilat," his irritating voice wormed its way threw a speaking stone inbedded in the glass window that separated the examination room from the viewing room.
Jaggie watched Kenotto, a rather old human who kept his peppered beard very short and neatly trimmed, sit down to observe today's experiment before turning her attention back to her trainer.
Pilat stood directly infront of Jaggie while Unit Four sat on the opposite side of the room. His eyes were covered by a odd looking helmet made of wires and glowing gems. Unit Seven waited by the door, arms to his sides standing perfectly at attention.
"Unit Eight," trainer Pilat said, placing several objects before the curious 'forged and allowed a moment for her to study each item. He then placed a blind over the items so that the only people that could see these items were himself, Kenotto and Jaggie. He bent down and adjusted the items into a random straight line. "You will look at each item in order. Is this understood?"
"Hai. Command given. Look at items in order." Jaggie nodded and looked down at the objects. A slap on the brow made her look up, stunned that her trainer had slapped her.
Jaggie looked down at the objects again, 'slowly' looking at each one. A wooden block, a green apple, a dagger with a broken hilt - "Orange ball, silver key, linked chain, gold coin from 932 with two bite indents on its outer edg-"
"Enough Unit Four," the trainer ordered. The unit instantaneously stopped spewing out the list of items at the same time that Jaggie had stopped looking at them. Each item that Four has said was exactly in the order that Jaggie had seen them.
"Unit Eight is wondering how this experiment is working...." Four tilted his masked head at Jaggie, his voice becoming difficult to hear under the steady humming of the pulsating crystals of his helm.
Jaggie looked down at the objects infront of her then to her trainer. "Unit does not understand. Information required. Please provide command."
"Very good Unit Four." Pilat, ignoring Jaggie's request, lifted the blind and sent Unit Seven to remove the objects. "We will begin again. New items will be placed down, you will look at each item in its order. Do you understand Unit Eight?"
"Hai. Command given." Jaggie looked down at the new objects-
"wooden wand, three stones, spool of string, beaded necklace, leather strap.." she had hardly gotten a chance to even look at the items and already Unit Four was spewing them out like some kind of grocery list.
"Very good Unit Four."
Jaggie looked on in confusion, watching as the trainer ordered Seven to remove the current set objects and place new ones down. "Unit does not under-under-stand," her head began to feel fuzzy with the buzzing sound in her ears. "Information required. Please provided co-co-co-"
"Unit Eight?" Jaggie could hear the trainer calling her name but couldn't respond.
"Unit Four, stand down!"
She could feel herself tilting to one side has gravity took over, sending her crashing to the ground. "-co-c-rur." She was looking at the ceiling but she swore she could see Unit Four, white eyes flickering under a swirl of dancing pulsating lights.
Several minutes past before the pain subsided. Jaggie found herself curled up on her side, cradling her head and chest. Unit Four was spasming on the other side of the room with Unit Seven pinning down his legs and arms while their trainer was attempting to physically remove the crystal helmet from the warforged's head. Master Kenotto was no where to be found but the sound of a blaring alarm could be heard through the open door of the glass viewing room.
The following day, Jaggie and Unit Four where at it again. Pilat, sporting a bruised eye, stood infront of Jaggie holding out a dozen or more card stock pictograms for her to look at. Unit Four was strapped down to a chair with the same crystal helmet covering his eyes while Unit Seven stood directly behind him, ready to hold his forge brother down should another episode take place.
"Unit Four, you may begin."
"Unable? Explain," Pilat huffed in irritation, wanting nothing more then for today's experiment to be completed.
"Unable to establish link," Four twitched, the crystals of his helm barely glowing.
"Unit Eight, are you looking at the cards?"
"Hai. Following current command."
Jaggie felt her head jerk to the side. "Unit Eight is lying," Four's voice hummed as Jaggie felt the cold, hard stare of her trainers eyes looking down on her. "Connection established."
"Eight.... Look at the cards."
Her eyes flickered to the cards and then back at Four.
"Unable," Fours voice popped and crackeled<*static*>
"Unit Eight, look at the cards."
"Hurt..." Jaggie whimpered, an expression she had never made before 'til yesterday when she had pulled herself off the ground. <..out>
"Look at the cards." Pilat's irrataion was turning into downright frustration.
"Hurt..." she shyed away, unable to look at her trainer, or the cards, or her forge brothers. <out....>
"Look at the C-!"
"Enough Pilat." Kenotto spoke threw the speaking stone. "Unit Eight, explain. What hurts?"
"Hurt..." She reached up to touch her head and then her chest, her eyes tilting upward, trying to lock onto Unit Four.
"Pilat, shut off your machine and see to it that this unit is checked for damages."
Another day. Back in the same room with the exact same set up. This time however, Jaggie had a helmet that was similar to Unit Four's on her head. The flickering lights of the gemstones that covered her eyes bothered her as much has the constant buzzing and humming of the machinery within the helm.
"Look left. Now right. Left again. Up. Good. Test is ready to begin. Unit Eight, locate Unit Four in this room."
"Unable." She looked up, towards the location that she thought her trainer was speaking from. She had no idea where Four was located in this room. Perhaps if she took the helmet off... She considered this but came to a conclusion that this was not the solution Pilat wanted. .
"Try again. Unit Four, establish link."
Both Jaggie and her forge brothers head twitched at the same time. Four's helmet automatically lit up though Jaggie's helm only flickered then went out again.
"Unit Eight, locate Unit Four in this room."
Sighing, "Unit Four, locate Unit Eight."
"Unable." Unable, unable, unable. Nothing was going to work in Pilat's favor.
"Fifth lvl trainer, Pilat, you've wasted three days of perfectly good training time on these warforged and worse off, wasted three days of my time. Either prove to me that these warforged have some sort of 'special' telepathic link, or- "
"Hold on sir." Pilat fidgeted with Jaggies helmet. "Try again. Unit Eight, locate Unit Four."
Her eyes flickered under the helm. "Unit Four intends to cause permeant damage to this Unit. Please provide alternative command." She would not let her brother gain entrance, no matter how much pressure she could feel from Four pounding on her mind. Something was hurting in her chest though. Like something that had been broken and then left to heal incorrectly.
"Bloody Flame... What is wrong with this unit?" Pilat kicked her, distracting her from holding up her presses protective mental wall.
A sound came from Unit Four like a snarl has he found her weak spot and drove a nail threw it. Blackness then reigned surpreme. Her memories became a flood of noise and heat. Jagged things and shattered glass. She was having a nightmare and she twitched and flailed-
"Jaggie! Jaggie wake up!"
She felt herself being shaken.
"Jaggie... hellooooo? Wakey wakey."
"Huh?" Her hand jerked "Hi... sorry. Must have been dreaming. I..." she looked down in shock, seeing the empty socket of her necklace. "My stone, my gem. Where is it?!" Panic took over as she fled down the steps and scored the whole bottom floor for her lost soul gem. For all the trouble it seemed to cause her, she refused to let it go so simply.