Leo waves a hand at a field of grass that’s chest high on a tall man, the waves of long supple blades blowing gently in a shockingly pleasent breeze. It’s only been a few hours since they left the beach, following a night of sleep, food, and a morning of Leo trying to scavenge from the wrecks of the bots that attacked them, leaving a small pile of ‘for later’ parts where they had camped. The forest is thick, the terrain none to gentle with deep ditches in odd and random locations and sudden jutting earthen walls of stone like giant’s steps that geology could never explain, all cutting through their mapped path. It’s annoying, labor intensive, tiring, but not dangerous in anyway beyond ‘don’t twist an ankle in that trench’ kinda way. If anything, it’s actually shockingly pretty, a forest grown thick with life that for whatever reason isn’t trying to kill them. It’s actually refreshing. Except for Captian City Boy there, who on more then one occasion has blasted a fern with a gout of flame only to mention the way it was looking at him as a motive. Now there are here. Sorta.
“I’m telling you, it’s supposed to be right there.” his hand waves again at the large open expanse of improbably high grass that is also devoid of trees of any kind. A… perfect square of grass in face. “I mean…” he holds the map up and then slowly turns it around, checking to see if he had it upside down. Pause. Stare. Back around it goes, thankfully, and he nods, “Yup. Right there. Big building. I’m counting something like eight stories in these blue prints, most of which appear to be administrative office space, but still!” he frowns at the field, “I am vexed.”Aiden stares out into the empty field. There is self evidently nothing there. It is possible to hide things with magic. A sufficiently powerful psychic might be able to trick them into thinking there was nothing there too but if that’s the case here then it’s incredibly powerful.
As it stands, he’s got his money on ‘field is empty.’
“Alright. Soooooo?” There hadn’t been any other defensive drones, for which he heartly thanks the Powers Above. All the same those drones had him expecting something would be here. Those things didn’t look cheap.
Out loud, that is.
Behind the amber visor of his helmet (concealing his face completely), the Cyber-Knight glares over at Leo. The Techno-Wizard might even sense that glare — it’d be in Ted’s body language anyway.
“It’s greener than ah expected,” he mutters.
It had been a night of //some// sleep – they’d taken it turns to keep watch. Or at least, Slaine had sat up for part of the night, peering out into it.
By the time they reach the empty field, she’s ‘glowing’ and her hair has been pulled up onto her in a messy twist. “Uh Leo…?” she says quietly as she stares as well… “There’s nothing here. Are ye sure ye read that map correctly?” After all, Captain City Boy.
Still, the Mystics eyes glow as arcane energy crackles at her hands and she sends the faintest of magical probes out … is it protected by Magic? If it’s Dogwood build, likely not, but you never know.
Leo frowns at the field again and rolls his map back up and stuffs it into his satchel, “So it should be here.” he reaches up to his poor newly holed hat and taps the side of it. Nothing. Taps it harder and a pair of optics drop down from inside it to cover his eyes, they make a plaintive mechanical whine that has Leo sighing heavily. “I don’t detect any runes or glyphs, no invisibility charms I know of would be strong enough to cloak a building that size. I mean… it would be like making a town disappear and that takes serious juice.” the lenses go through a few colors before he shakes his head and taps the hat again. Nothing. Harder. Nothing. He ends up just pushing them back up into the hat with a finger irritably. “It has to /BE/ here!” Slaine’s probings come back with the same lack of magic that Leo’s own specs showed him.
Leo frowns and licks his lips, “Fine.” he says after a long moment, “Maybe it’s technological. I have a way to check for that too.” And he raises his right hand and hooks his middle finger against the pad of his thumb and applying tension. He says a single word in whatever crackling odd language he uses to cast spells and flicks outward with the digit, as if he were ‘kicking’ a paper football. A fireball the size of a fist arc out into the center of the field and lands with a soft WHOOMP! and a tiny mushroom cloud of smoke. The fire doesnt’ last long, given the greenness of the grass and the lack of dry fuel, but the smell of burnt vegitation is clear. “So uh… it’s not a sheild of some kind.” because the fireball woulda bounced off of anything that were there. “A whole building doesn’t vanish. Spread out, see if we can find out if it was destroyed or, I dunno! Taken away or something.” he says as he himself begins to stride out towards the center where his fireball landed, muttering under his breath.Adien eyes Leo sidelong and there’s a ripple in the air next to him that indicates a body field going up. It’s subtle. But then telekinesis defenses tend to be. Until they’re not.
The psy warrior heads, uh, left. It’s a direction picked not quite at random but spreading out is spreading out. He reaches down to loosen the pistol on his left thigh in it’s holster. If this goes wrong it’ll probably go really wrong. He also keeps an eye on where that fireball went. Because if that fire didn’t completely die…
Well, it’s winter anyway. Ground’s wet. That’ll help.
Making use of the HUD displayed by his visor, Ted stalks away through the grass, pushing it away with one hand after another. “Ain’ nothin’ here but grass…” says he, to no one in particular. “‘N mo’ grass,” he goes on. “Grass… grass, ‘n mo’ gr — !”
Ted suddenly disappears from view, having caught his foot upon something on the ground — and subsequently faceplanting onto a surface of what appears to be concrete and steel. “Uh…” he sort of calls out as he pushes himself up onto his hands and knees. “Reckon ah found some’in! Get yo’ asses over here…”
“No’ sensing any magic illusions or the like.” Slaine murmurs and then winces as the fireball goes out, watching it carefully. “Alright then…”
She decides to the left as well, spreading out from Aiden and treading carefully. It wouldn’t do to tumble or roll an ankle right now. She’s not using any sort of defense at the moment – as usual she’ll rely on keeping as far from the action as she can and magical defense as it’s needed.
Teddy’s call has her feet turning in his direction “What have ye found, Ser Mercier?” She peers at the concrete and steel. “The buildings’s been buried?”
Leo stops walking the direction he was going and turns towards the sound of Teddy’s voice and frowns, “This grass is almost as tall as me, I can’t see shit. Raise your arm and wave or something!” he says annoyed, spinning first one way then the other. After a moment he just chooses to go the general direction he can see Aiden’s head bobbing in. “Who makes grass this tall? It’s unnatural, that’s what it is.” he mutters as he struggles through the blades.
What Teddy’s face has found is a slightly raised platform of sorts, or more accuratly, a concrete box about a foot high. Over grown by weeds and covered in green growing things, it takes time to pull enough of it away to show the untarnished steel doors beneath with their black and yellow striped pattern. They’re large double doors, made of metal stamped with an odd criss crossy pattern on them, and writing to faded to read etched lightly across a white sticker who’s yellowed edges have long since curlled up then cracked adn flaked away. Leo stares down at it and then turns to glare at Teddy as if he had hear the knights inner grumbling earlier, “Told you it was here.” he offers a smug smile. “Heh.” he grins and perks up, his smile more genuine all the sudden, “We’re on a treasure hunt, with a map.” he points, “And it’s buried. This is just the best week ever.” BEAM.“Is it a gopher hole?” Because from a distance, what with the long grass, it looks like Teddy has found himself a gopher hole.
Still, the ex soldier jogs on over. Anything’s better than looking at grass even if it’s just a cyber knight with his foot stuck in a gopher hole. Which it turns out not to be.
“I thought you said ‘building’. Not ‘bunker’.” The grey eyed man says to Leo.
Those doors look solid. He might be able to cut through them… or force them open… but…
The helmet retracts, revealing his face, and he points a gauntleted hand down at the bunker. “Looks like Leo’s crazy hunch — or whatever intel he’s usin’ — was right. Or… some’in.” It’s definitely ‘some’in’, as Ted would say — but whether or not it’s the ‘some’in’ they actually //want// remains to be seen. Glancing over at Slaine, the burly man shrugs.
“Ah kinda just… walked right into it. Got a talent fo’ that… sorta.” Then he walks around to the front of the opening — beside Aiden — and crouches down to help lift the door aside.
“I hope ye don’ expect me to try and open that…” Slaine mutters as Teddy glances at her. “Unless ye want me to me magik it open.” Seriously, the Mystic is 5′ 1″ tall and not built to lift heavy things.
Sighing, she takes her place at the hatch and at the mens direction, gives aid.
Leo spits into his gloved hand and rubs them together before moving over to join the group of people who’er pulling on th-And then one of the doors explodes open as Aiden and Teddy just wrench the thing with a metalic scream of metal on metal, causing it to pop open like a champagne cork and slam open wide after it’s initial resistence. Leo, who never touched the door, strikes a flexing pose, “See that? Was afraid I’d have to get in there and get all physical with it.” he says, nodding sagely to the lot of them before peering down into the inky black hole beyond, “So.” he says, eyeing the darkness, “Who here is glad I brought a rope?”
Leo starts with pulling an odd stone from his pocket and blowing on it gently, the rock seems to glow gently before he drops it down the hole, letting it fall… About fifty feet where it CLANGS off of something metal and bounces about for a bit before stilling, it’s faint light showing them their ‘floor’. “So. Rope.” and from his satchel begins pulling out a coil of distressingly thin line, which seems oddly woven with something silk like and something that glints in the sunlight. Maybe it’s not so bad having a Technowizard on an adventure. He hands it to Teddy to secure, “Who’s first into the lightless Golden Age under ground treasure trove that is most certainly /not/ guarded by a dragon or something?” he asks, looking around to the other three faces expectently.Aiden wasn’t even pulling on it. He’s got a brain for lifting heavy objects. Work smarter, right? It’s a good question how he’s in as good a shape as he’s in though. Since it doesn’t seem to bear terribly on his //actual// physical abilities.
“Right. I’ll go. Anchor the rope off. on this end.” Slaine and Teddy may have some idea what he’s about to do but since the fall isn’t that long, all things considered, Aiden just takes the free end of the rope and jumps.
He’ll be fine. Really. Get that thing tied off and he’ll make sure folks have a nice steady line on the other end.
Then he waits. He’ll be the last one down, by whatever means.
Slaine’s knocked back as the door opens, ending up on her ass in a heap. Leo’s heroic pose gets a death stare from the Mystic as she picks herself up. “Won’ be lightless…” Her mutter is followed is by indeciperable words, fingers etching blue energy in the air.
A magelight appears above Aiden and follows him down. Two more appear in quick succession – one for Teddy and one for herself. Leo, she assumes, will have some gadget.
As the rope is secured at both ends, Half Pint pulls on a pair of thick gloves before stepping to the hole “I ain’ wastin’ good magic on gettin’ down there. Somethin’ tells me it’s goin’ to be needed.” Magelights are one thing but controlling her decent in a hole?. Either way, the small redhead shimmy’s her way down the rope.
It won’t be pretty.
It’s likely even comical. And she might not land on Aiden as she does this.
Leo watches Aiden jump down the whole holding the rope and turns to eye Slaine and Teddy, “And people say I’m cracked in the head.” he deadpans. “Never see me just jump down in a hole like that. I mean, I’m not /crazy/.” As Slaine heads down the slow and steady way, Leo watches her and slow blinks a few times, “Okay, and that’s just boring.” he states, yawning slightly before turning back to Teddy, “Crazy is better then boring,” then he pulls his right glove off with his teeth and with a flick of his wrist wraps a single loop of the rope around the metal skeleton claw the glove usually hides from view. He winks once at Teddy, “right?” he says before leaping out into the dark and making a little woop! of joy as the rope audibly hisses through his grip. He comes to a sudden stop at the bottom, his momentum turned into a bit of a swing as he lands with a tromp of boots on the metal ‘floor’ beneath them and puts his glove back on all in a single flourish, hiding the hand away again. “That was fun.” he says with a grin.
The bottom of the shaft has absolutely no doors out, and Leo lifts the glowing stone over his head like a torch to make sure. Yup. Smooth concrete walls, metal… stomps his foot and listens, hollow metal floor. He looks down and spots a second hatch, this one considerably smaller, and sighs. “What’s with these people and hatches?” he asks, yanking it open and bending down inside to peer around, “Looks like some sort of lift box or something.” he says, his voice muffled by the fact that he’s bent double into a hole in their floor. His legs flip down in after him, “Don’t worry, it’s like a two meter drop, and there’s a … doorway? Half a doorway anyway, down here.”That would explain the sudden drop, to be sure. Aiden peers into the lift box. He waits for the other two to touch down and indicates where Leo had gone to them. Not that it’s easy to miss.
“Elevator. I think.” The fact that Aiden knows what an elevator even is would be something of a minor miracle. It’s not like they’re common any more. Chalk it up to him having spent some time in an actual city.
The psychic warrior slips on down as soon as there is room and peers at the other door. “I think I can make that gap. It’ll be tight though. Slaine won’t have any problems.” Leo likely won’t either. He’s wirey. He and Ted though… “Maybe you two should go first. Might take us psychics a moment to squeeze our massive heads through that gap.”
Teasing? A little.
“Ah ain’ squeezin’ mah ‘massive head’ through that gopher hole,” he mutters to himself. Standing up, he takes a step back and stretches out a hand.
In the centre of his gloved palm, a glowing amber light appears. Tendrils emerge from it, stretching out, twisting and twining about each other until they form a complete, curve-bladed psi-sword. Ted reverses his grip upon the psychic weapon and remarks: “Might wanna stand back,” as he approaches the hatch again. His intention is clear:
He’s going to cut a wider hole for his and Aiden’s ‘massive heads’ to fit through. Simple.
“Uh, elevator, right.” Slaine mutters, magelights bobbing around their head. If it hadn’t been for her time in Vanished Point, she’d not have a clue what Aiden was talking about. “Is it a bunker or building?” she wonders aloud as she follows the others down and in.
“Of cours’ I’ll make that, I jus hope the drop isn’ too great.” Eyeing the hole and then the two taller men, she frowns. “Could ye lift it up, Aiden? Give ye’self more room?” Half Pint thinks he could do it, but is it worth expending the energy, given they still don’t know what they’re dealing with. But then Teddy’s addressing the issue “Or that…”
When Teddy’s done, the redhead takes a deep breath in “I don’ like goin’ into a place we can’ see fully.” Those drones on the beach might have her worried. Without asking for assistance, Slaine sits at the edge of the hole and … slides herself forward. All the while, holding her magic to her.
If there’s something waiting for them, she wants to be ready. Ready, if she can.
Leo smirks back at Aiden, “I wasn’t going to say anything about your head, but now that you mention it…” and then he’s slipping down and sliding through the gap with a serpents ease. City Boy or not, this is clearly not the little crafters first rodeo. He lands on the floor inside and the stone begins to glow brighter still, “Empty, open area. Concrete walls and floor space. Hold on, lemme get the blueprints, see where we are.” there’s the rustle of paper as he wrestles with the prints. Eventually he just shoves the stone into Slaine’s hand, “Hold this.” and he soon has them laid out.
He glances at a giant number painted on the wall by the doors they came through, and checks the prints, pulling one out. “We’re on the…” he blinks, “Oh. Top floor. Huh. That’s a bit of a brain fucker ain’t it? Underground top floor. Heh. Anyway! We’re here,” he points with a finger, “We need to be,” he shuffeles a few pages through and pulls out another, “here.” he points anew. “What really worries me, is that.” he points over his head up at the ceiling where most people would never bother to look. Above them there is the clear signs of charring, directional charring. The kind that energy weapons leave. “We know Dogwood was here. We know they mined their beachhead with bots. We know they’ve not been back because these doors were grown over. So.” he eyes the charring overhead, “Something chased them outa here and they were shooting at it. You think it might be dead by now? Old age?” he sounds hopeful.
Slaine’s words catch up to his train of thought and he shrugs, “Why can’t it be both?” he asks curiously. “It was the Golden Age, technology was rampant, everyone had it. So if you were working on something special, something amazing even for that time, you would wish to hide it, yes? A bunker, to protect it’s location, and to stop others from destroying it from above. A building, to house the workers, scientists, and guards who made it their home. So,” he waves a hand at the prints, “both. Elegent solution to the problem, assuming you have the resources to see it through, which they obviously did.” He grins at Slaine, “Isn’t it /exciting/?!”
He hops back as Teddy starts to cut his way into the room with all the subtlety of a charging elephant and blinks, “Oh. I want one.”Aiden politely waits for Teddy to finish widening the opening and then slips in after the cyber knight, listening to Leo’s spiel as he does. He casts his gaze around. Yeah. Fighting. Laser rifles. Possibly ion weaponry. And those blast marks are pretty precise. The only people he knows in this area who are that well trained…
“Bunkers are expensive.” He finally says. “So, government or corporate. You don’t build something this big unless you need it, so whatever was here was dangerous. Dogwood knew. They were here. So the question is… did they find what they were looking for?”
Slaine eyes the scorch marks and the area with unease as she settles in between the Cyber Knight and the Psychic. She’s not stupid, if something goes down she wants these two around her – she can protect and aid them and maybe avoid the direct stuff.
Fumbling the rock, nearly dropping it as Leo shoves it at her, she’s thankful she’s not removed her gloves. It’s Aidens words that get her nodding “… and just what were they doin’ in here… Which way, Leo.” No. It’s not exciting. It’s dangerous and the Mystic kind of wants to get in and get out.
Leo shakes his head at Aiden, “No, the question is whether they /got/ what they were here for. Finding it, well, /we’re/ gonna find it, but much like a prison I’m betting the hard part isn’t getting into the treasure cave, it’s getting out. Least, that’s the way it is in all the stories. Finding the damned things always seems the simplest part, like they want to be found.” As Teddy joins them he rolls the print out on the floor, “Okay, this floor is administration, top floor is always the bosses. So we’re looking at a lot of office type work, scribes and their minions, prolly some guard types once upon a time. We need to get to here.” he flips a few pages around until he finds the one he wants agian.
“This room has more security measures then you can imagine. I’m looking at… wire cages, bars, steel and titanium doors, an honest to god vault that’s the size of my entire warehouse back in Vesper, it’s a madhouse of possibility. To get there,” he lays out each large sheet of paper in a row, “we have to navigate down at least ten levels.” he eyes them, “This place is massive. But I think we only need to search the bottom three for anything really valuable, everything above that is various levels of dormitories, recreation areas, a hydroponics bay, the works. Stairwells here, here, here, here, and here, any of which seem to get us to our location. So long as we skip the stuff we prolly won’t want to poke around in, we have a short path. We pick a stair well, we head for it, we get down to it’s bottom, then we start collecting toys.” he looks from one to the next. “Good?” he nods when he gets his afirmatives, “Good. Then lets just hope whatever was in here is dea-” and the lights in the floor come on suddenly.
There is no slow flicker to life, no dimming up from a dead darkness, just LIGHT, and the soft hum of electricity suddenly bringing a building to life. <Welcome to Stormbridge Industries.> a cheery female voice says from everywhere, <Entering the facility places you under a legally binding nondisclosure agreement and under the full inumerated powers of Stormbridge International. Please follow the rules in your briefing packet so as to avoid misunderstandings!> she sounds down right cheerleadery in her bubbly joy. <Please choose a destination for the beginning of your tour!>
Leo blinks and looks to each of the others in turn, trying to get his eyes to adjust, “So.” he says flatly, “Who here thought this building was a she?” he asks curiously. “I need to stop making binary gender assumptions, it’s a character flaw.”
Leo's little band of explorers have some trouble finding the city he mentioned...
February 20, 2410
A Field - Golden Age Ruins