i had nothing to do tonight(because i can't get deus ex: invisible war to work and i beat the first one(and also because solo queue sucks)), so i actually did something i should have done ages ago!
also who's excited for otakon I SURE AM
(looking over this again, i probably should have put more annie in it)
((one day i will actually do one of these ten thousand requests))
It was a summer morning like any other. Annie took her time savoring her mom's eggs--her favorite breakfast. Tibbers' face was firmly implanted into a bowl full of berries and dried meat. The birds sang cheerfully outside, and the bustle of the village began to fill the air. Not a single thing was at all unusual or out of place.
Except for, of course, the glowing metal man bursting through Annie's front door.
"Annie!" He shouted. "I have to tell you something! It's not too late yet!"
Annie looked over the man with her mouth agape, her fork having fallen forgotten to the floor. "Ezreal, why are you a robot?"
"I'm not a--" Ezreal caught himself and sighed. "PEARL, power down."
"Pulsefire systems powering down." A woman's voice spoke out from nowhere. Ezreal's gleaming armor chipped away into thin air revealing a much more familiar looking set of clothing underneath. It was very magical looking, but Annie couldn't feel any magic in the air.
"Anyway, Annie," Ezreal clapped his hands on her shoulders with an uncharacteristically serious face, "Swain is going to take over Noxus."
"That, uh..." Annie trailed off and shot a sideways glance at Tibbers. "That already happened."
Ezreal's eyes narrowed. "And then the world."
Tibbers pointed out that Swain taking over the world would be an issue for the village. Annie nodded in response. "But Ezreal, uh, how do you know this?"
"I was there." Ezreal answered in his most dramatic voice.
Ezreal sat at the table and began to explain. It all started when he was exploring some deep ruins, and discovered a magical artifact. As he reached for it, the very fabric of time itself tore around him, and he fell for what seemed to be both years and moments. When he came to, he was on a war-torn plain. He scrambled to the closest town he could find and gathered information. The important things: he was dead and Swain had taken over the world.
Annie's eyes widened a bit. "You -died-?"
"That's not the worst of it." Ezreal continued on. He explained that after Swain took hold of Noxus, he alloted national funds to Zaunite researchers. It was shortly after this that Professor Stanwick had a breakthrough--a sort of super armor that made the normal soldier almost indestructable. Swain quickly and quietly ordered the armor into mass production, outfitting large sections of the Noxian army almost overnight. He then marched on the League itself.
The summoners of the League fought valiantly, but Stanwick's armor was highly resistant to magic. Those who weren't slain or taken captive were forced to flee towards Demacia. Without the League to exert control over the continent, Swain and Noxus had free reign to war against anyone they wished. Stanwick's armor also ensured victory in their wake. At some point, Viktor and his acolytes--declaring the armor to be a cheap alternative to the true progression of man--attacked Stanwick's lab, determined to prove the superiority of augments over armor.
The attack failed, however several of Stanwick's armed guard were slain in the battle. Instead of ordering Viktor executed, Swain instead decided to force him to work on an improved model of armor.
One by one, the city-states fell, until all of Valoran was under Swain's control. It was not, however, enough to sate Swain's thirst for power. He began looking towards Lokfar, the Shadow Isles, and even The Void itself. The remnants of the Demacian Army, volunteers from every city state, and former League champions and summoners bound together in what they called the World Resistance.
"This is where I came in." Ezreal added. As it turned out, Viktor was secretly working with the Resistance to give them their own form of armor. Except this armor would not only be resilient, it would be highly intelligent, providing its wearer an edge over Swain's army. Ezreal helped the Resistance, sneaking into secret bases to steal technology and plans, buying time for the armor to be developed before Swain inadvertantly destroyed the world by invading The Void.
"Let me tell you, when Kassadin and Malzahar work together, you know things are bad." Ezreal continued his story. The plan came to a head when Viktor sent the message that the suit was complete. All they had to do was steal it before Stanwick discovered it. Ezreal volunteered to retrieve the suit. Then, things went south real quick: Stanwick knew about the plan all along. What was supposed to be a simple retrieval turned into a full on skirmish of Stanwick's personal guard against the whole of the World Resistance. Ezreal managed to make his way to Viktor in the chaos.
The Machine Herald was already lying in a pool of blood and oil. He informed Ezreal of where the armor was kept, and that it was not only intelligent, but it contained a living entity within itself.
"That 'entity' would be me." PEARL chimed in.
Ezreal raced to the armor and donned it. He charged into the battlefield and made quick work("'We' made quick work," PEARL corrected.) of the remaining guard... but it was too late. Too many of the Resistance lay slain to have any chance against Swain now.
"And that's when I went back to the ruins that threw me there in the first place and came back here." Ezreal leaned back in the chair, a heroically smug grin on his face.
"So, um." Annie tilted her head. "Why'd you have to tell me this again?"
"Oh." Ezreal's face darkened again. "I forgot to mention what happens to you. You see, Stanwick invented this device that just sucks the magic right out of a person, and--"
"Ezreal." PEARL interjected. "There is a recording in my database of the interaction between one Annie Hastur and Jericho Swain."
Ezreal nodded. "Alright," he lifted his arm and a cannon formed around it. He aimed it at the table between them. "Display the recording, PEARL."
Light shot from the cannon and two images formed on Annie's table. The first was Swain--he looked mostly the same, but there was some monsterous quality to him. He definitely wasn't the same Swain that Annie knew. The second figure was a taller lady with red hair who made holding a teddy bear look exceptionally cool. Annie realized this was herself, except older. A strange sense of self-pride swelled in her chest.
"Swain!" The image of the older Annie pointed at Swain. A great ball of fire began to swirl at the tip of her finger. "I thought I told you to never come here again! Am I gonna have to punish you?" Older Annie gave a crazed but still ridiculously stylish smirk. Annie's blood felt strangely hot and she made a mental note to practice that look in the mirror later.
Swain cackled. "Now, girl, this isn't a time for fighting..." Swain pulled a device from within his robes and pointed it towards the sky. A crystal at the top of the device glowed, and sucked Annie's fireball straight into it. The device glowed more and more, and the Older Annie slowly fell to her knees. Swain's uproarious laughter filled the room as the images dimmed and faded away.
"W-W-" Annie's lip quivered. "What happened next?"
"Records show that..." PEARL paused. "Annie Hastur was next seen as Jericho Swain's personal maid."
Annie shrieked. "No! Nooooo!" She pounded the table. "I don't wanna be a maid!" She stood so quickly that she knocked the chair to the ground. "Ezreal, we have to stop this!"
"So you believe me?" Ezreal looked relieved.
"Of course!" Annie shouted. "There's no way you're smart enough to make up something like this!"
"Yeah, exact--" Ezreal coughed. "What was that?"
"Come on!" Annie pulled on Ezreal's arm and began to pull him out of the house. "We have to save the world!"
"Wonderful." PEARL's voice seemed strangely chipper. "There is a smudge on the left pauldron that could use a scrubbing."
"Ezreal," Annie frowned, "your armor is a jerk."