“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” —Coco Chanel
Welcome back to Novel Fashion Week! I'm so glad you could join us. This hour's designer is House of Joanne Kershaw presenting her Collection: Elora & Aaron on the vanguard training uniform, by way of London!
The Runway Song
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OBSERVATION RECORD #28374
SUBJECT: Elora Walker, First Year Recruit
FOCUS OF OBSERVATION: As top of her graduating class in high school, Recruit Walker is of special interest to us due to the recent emergence of unusually strong and well-controlled powers. Principal Hashkin, along with Vanguard Superior McCann, have asked for ad-hoc and remote observations to take place to enable them to more closely monitor her Awakening and take any measures necessary to protect her and the recruits around her.
LOCATION: The courtyard, Nikolai Compound
OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION: Recruit Walker is discussing a homework assignment set for her by Mistress Laughlin, her Social Awareness instructor. The focus is on identity. Walker is observed alongside Recruit Aaron Lewis, second in her class and her best friend, along with vampire recruit Teya Navell.
Elora Walker: Vanguard uniform has been part of our non-identity since the inception of our race.
Aaron Lewis: (Laughs) That’s what you’re going with?
EW: What do you mean? I’m trying to insightful.
AL: (Still laughing) Non-identity. Sounds like you hate it.
EW: I do. This assignment is ridiculous. I have no idea what Laughlin is trying to get us to do.
AL: It’s a test. Everything here is a test. Stop over-thinking it and give her the answer she wants.
EW: If I knew what it was, I would.
AL: Okay, what do we know about Vanguard uniform.
EW: It’s black. Everything is black.
There is a pause and it is clear that Walker is considering Lewis’ question.
EW: To keep us hidden. And to be functional.
EW waits for a response from Lewis but non is given. The impression we are given here is that Lewis is comfortable challenging Walker, he is not afraid of her despite the recent changes in her skill set.
EW: When we are in training, like we are now, our uniform is very similar to that of an active Vanguard. Black t shirt and shorts underneath black combat-style trousers and long sleeved black jacket. There are numerous pockets that can be zipped closed. We are also issued with a belt that allows us to wear a selection of sheathed weapons as required, though that is only for specific classes whilst in training.
AL: So how is that different to when we’re pinned?
EW: Well, there’s a pin for one. The black is darker, somehow, the uniform has crisper lines and there is a circular patch on the left breast for the pin to be attached to. The belt is thicker, heavier, as the use of weapons is more frequent.
AL: And there’s silver on the active Vanguard uniform.
EW: You can get that on the training one too.
Lewis nods at this and the mood is more sober suddenly. It is Lewis who breaks the mood.
ACTION: Monitor mood and attitude of Recruit Walker.
AL: How do the uniforms identify us? How do they change us?
EW: (sighs) Even when in the training uniform, our purpose is clear. At the end of the day, or night (laughs a little), our purpose is to work from the shadows to protect the Ignari from the evils of the Dark Seekers. We live and work within their world to protect the Ignari world. We need to blend into the darkness, into the shadows, and both uniforms allow us to do that.
Thinks for a moment.
EW: When we’re pinned, our identity changes because we have to. The little silver acknowledgement that we are qualified to hunt and capture—even kill—creatures, without the need for supervision, is a heavy burden to wear. It means that we’re on our own-
AL: There are four of us in a quad, El, we’re not alone.
EW: But we are. Even in a quad, we each have our own responsibilities, our own fears. To me, the active uniform symbolises that I have to live with those. Let’s not forget that our uniforms are enchanted. Each capture or kill marks us with a silver fleck on the sleeve. Just a few and it seems okay, hundreds and it tells others you are either damn good at your job, or really lucky. Either way, we will have to take lives.
AL: So what I’m hearing is that you are afraid to wear the active uniform.
EW: Oh no, not afraid to wear it, afraid what wearing it means to me and those around me.
Teya Navell: (interrupting, joining the pair) Hey, what’s going on?
AL: Elora is worried what wearing an active Vanguard uniform says about her.
TN: It tells me that you are controlled, powerful and that you know what you’re doing. What’s to worry about?
EW: Nothing, really. But everything we do is bleak and dark. Maybe I’m a closet sun worshipper? Take Matthew, for example. As a Magicae he wears white—all the time. That constant presence of light in his life, through his power and his ability to turn into brilliant essence, it makes him seem different to us. I miss having that sort of light in my life.
AL: I’ll grant you that wearing any other colour would be a change. But black does one thing that no other colour can.
EW: What’s that?
AL: It hides the blood.
The group is silent for a moment as each seems to contemplate Lewis’ suggestion. EW then excuses herself and heads for the library. Lewis and Navell speak to each other for a moment but their words were very quiet—and personal—and it was felt inappropriate to record them here.
The Novels HighlightedForetold
by Joanne Kershaw
Paperback, 2nd edition, 346 pages
Published April 5th 2013 by Xchyler Publishing
Vanguard Recruit Elora Walker doesn’t know who demands more of her: her mother, or herself. But more than she wants to make Nina proud of her, she wants to know the truths buried deep in their mutual past. Haunted by the memory of her long-dead father, tormented by a psychic link to a faceless stranger, Elora learns to rely upon her friends and her newfound warrior skills to protect not only the Ignari from Dark Seekers, but the world from an ancient family secret that can destroy it.
Vanguard Legacy #2: Reflected
by Joanne Kershaw
Paperback, 370 pages
Published March 28th 2014 by Xchyler Publishing
Vanguard Legacy Book #2
An ugly family secret laid bare, a mortal wound inflicted by her twin sister, betrayed by the love of her life—her supposed “soul mate”. In the wake of the battle with her evil father and his Dark Seekers, Elora Walker fights to recover from them all. Together with her Vanguard, Magicae, and Vampire friends, Elora races to gather ingredients for the spell of spells, bury the curse, and defeat the prophecy which has tainted her life since birth. To save the world, can she deny the yearnings of her heart? Or, will she succumb to the temptation of love, and plunge them all into Eternal Darkness.
The Door Prize
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