Haafiz padded softly through her kitchen. In another hour, the sun would be up, but she had training to do. She had training to do every day. Such was the life of a Weapon-Wielder. She made her usual breakfast of Bánh cuốn, with extra mushrooms, just like her mother had made, and washed it down with a glass of chilled water.
Once sated, she headed to the bathroom for a brief shower and did a quick nude workout in front of her bedroom mirror. Then she got dressed.
She looked at her reflection and frowned. She looked perfect, but she had a feeling today was not going to go well. That was not a woman’s intuition. She had been summoned in front of the board, and she needed to be there in an hour. Her record was exemplary as far as she knew, but that may mean nothing if she had crossed someone politically important.
There was no way to know but to go find out, so she reluctantly left her apartment and made her way north to the headquarters of the Weapon-Wielders.
She was greeted, as per usual, by an unknown guard at the front door. They rotated out daily to prevent familiarity breeding. She showed them her ID, stood in front of the scanner, and waited.
The guard, kind of, smiled.
“You are to be escorted. Please stand by the yellow line.”
This was new. Twice before, she’d faced the board, both times for reviews, but she’d never needed an escort.
A short while later, a green-clad monster, as big as two Cat Punks, greeted her warmly.
“Good morning Haafiz, I am Duong, and I will be your escort.”
He motioned her ahead of him, and they began walking towards the elevators that would take them to the board room. As they got close, she felt his hand on her shoulder.
“No, turn left.”
That led to a part of the building no regular Weapon-Wielder was allowed. It was where meetings with City-Runners, and occasionally the Awakened, happened. Far from being concerned, now she was curious.
After several turns down unfamiliar halls, he stopped her. There was a nondescript door bearing a banal sign which read, “Visitors Conference Room.” The apparent normalcy of it all chilled her to her bones. She looked at the giant, and he just smiled and pointed to the door.
She opened it and stopped cold. There were two Awakened, three City Runners, and half the board seated around a massive conference table. There was one empty chair at the head. The behemoth smiled, pointed to the chair, and closed the door behind her.
She tentatively crossed the long expanse and sat down. Inside she was quivering like a child, but she hoped her exterior appeared calm.
One of the Awakened stood.
“Welcome Haafiz, we apologize for the secrecy, but this requires the utmost confidentiality. Everyone in this room has seen the evidence, and we have unanimously agreed upon its implications. We need you to right a terrifying wrong before it impacts Paw City and every Cat Punk within its walls.”