Transmigration 9: Brave New Worlds

Pan-fandom, SciFi, and Screwed-Up

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meat_mooks wrote in trans_9
The Tapestry had spoken. Not in words, but in ideas and images, ciphers and cryptic nonsense that had been laboriously deciphered, interrogated with spells and technology, pieced together from scrap. They had led here.

Planet Designation: AST994-III
Status: Terrestrial, K-class.
Non-sentient life: None.
Semi-Sentient Life: None.
Sentient Life: None.
Water: None.

Climate: Desert/barren.
Landscape: Rocky crags.
Air: Normoxic concentration: 29% oxygen, 60% nitrogen, 3% xenon, 6% trace gases, such as hydrogen, krypton, and argon.

Air Pressure: 14.352 pounds per square inch.
Sky: Red. Cloudless.
Sun: Class A star.

Warnings: Information from Tapestry indicates significant underground population. Subsurface information not available. Use caution.

Mission: ?

Somewhere down there, an object valuable and vital to the mission lay in wait, something so important that its existence was encoded into the Tapestry itself. Whatever it was, they needed to get it.

The only problem was, how to get in? The subterranean world had no access to the surface, and to physically breach it would not only be prohibitive, but catastrophic to the point of apocalypse to that underground world. Science could not solve this problem; thus, the crew turned to magic. The Tapestry had provided what were, after some analysis, unquestionably teleport coordinates. Five of them, for three people each.

To ensure the crew members were not lost, nor left behind without help, contingent spells were laid upon them, to return them to safety and help should they become injured, or should they find the item.

Without further ado -- with no natives to meet and negotiate with, no further preliminaries to make or plans to be made -- each of the five groups, with their supplies and equipment, were taken to the start.

[OOC: Don't worry too much about posting order. I will jump in where a response from the mysterious sky narrator is needed! Going with this, if you feel you're getting lost or outraced in posting, let me or the group know and we'll slow it down. The explicit purpose of this plot is for everyone to have fun, so please speak up if there's anything anyone can do to make that happen better!]

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Group 1: Howard, Tarrant, and Cowabunga

The teleport took them to an immense and mighty cavern, shrouded almost completely in darkness save for whatever lights they had chosen to bring (though in Tarrant's case, none were necessary; both earth and dark fae flowed with intense strength and power here). The cavern itself was unworked, unshaped by any intelligent hand, but to say it had been ignored by the denizens of the underworld would be a lie. Creatures of some sort had clearly been here; they had left behind bones. Countless bones, in fact, that littered the floor almost to the point of covering it. Strewn in between them all were arrow points, sword blades, scraps of armor, frames that had once supported shields. The walls of this cavern bore countless scars from violent assaults by lightning or fire.

This was a killing field.

On one side of the cavern, an immense portcullis blocked off further passage, its graceful metal bars rising from the ground as if they had been sung out of the rock and shaped by light and laughter. On the other side, massive metal doors bristled with spikes and menace. Approach them and writing on the doors began to shine with magical light, in a tongue that Cowabunga might recognize as something close to Goblin.

Which way? And how?

Re: Group 1: Howard, Tarrant, and Cowabunga

A flashlight clicked on, and Cowabunga swung it about to get a better bearing on their current location.

The Tauren walked up to the metal doors, studying the writing "Goblin. Well, Goblin-ish. Don't suppose either of you can read it?"

Re: Group 1: Howard, Tarrant, and Cowabunga

Tarrant didn't answer; now that they were actually on the ground, he was busy studying the currents of the earth fae for information. About whatever enemies they might be facing, about what they might be searching for, about who had left these bones here... and about the earth itself.

The portcullis and doors came last in his investigation. For now, he kept his weapons at his side.

Re: Group 1: Howard, Tarrant, and Cowabunga

Howard's busier studying his comrades than the surroundings (he's already got a first impression about all the bones: BAD NEWS TURN BACK NOW). "Goblin? Heck no. I didn't even know they had a language."

Somehow, while the portcullis looks all pretty, every instinct in Howard's body suggests that it's a trap. It's too pretty. Too obvious.

The earth fae flowed from the portcullis towards the gates, and past. Thus it was simplicity itself to Divine the nature of what dwelt beyond that liquid metal barrier: elves. Dark elves, at that, whose magical aptitudes showed clearly in their effect on the currents.

Downstream, of course, was much harder to read. Goblinoids, just as the group had surmised.

Group 2: Ian, Grif, Veronica

The teleport took them, quite ominously, to the edge of an underground cliff. They could see it clearly because this section of the subterrane was lit; glowing jewels has been set into the wall in regular intervals, providing light no worse than they'd get in a modern building indoors. Such light was inadequate to illuminate the depths of the chasm, though a constant echoing roar hinted at what might be below. Across the chasm, a great iron drawbridge stood upright, while harsh markings on the near side showed where it clearly descended to.

All was not hopeless, though, for behind them, a narrow tunnel led away from the cavern. Perhaps their goal, or at least an answer, lay in that direction instead. Could they be so lucky?

When he landed, Ian looked at their surroundings and then down into the cavern. "I don't fancy going down there." The drawbridge looked tempting, if there was a way to get it down. Although perhaps it would be better to take the easier path on this side, before trying the more tricky option.

"Okay, that was weird..." Veronica muttered through the speaker of her armor, patting herself down after materializing in the cavern. After making sure that everything seemed like it was in order, she took a look around the area.

"Well, those are handy," she says, noting the luminescent jewels. "And from my experience, the way that's the most trouble is the one that leads to the good stuff." That said, she approaches where the drawbridge lands, to investigate if there's any way to get it down from here.

The drawbridge showed no sign mechanisms on this side of the chasm. It was not advanced technology; a pair of chains stretching from the wall held it up. Sever them and it would fall (with an immense, alert-everyone-around crash). But they were mighty, solid chains almost entirely protected by the bridge itself, so damaging them might prove easier said than done.

Yeah... Veronica's not gonna waste ammo on trying to sever them with her laser rifle. She turns around toward the others, hands on her hips. "Probably better off going the other way, though. Just because it's the most trouble doesn't mean it's necessarily worth that trouble."

Group 3: Cassie, Sofia, Hawke

The teleport dropped them into what was -- there was no way around this grim acknowledgment -- a tomb. The very depths of a tomb, to be precise. They stood at the base of an immense staircase, though the stairs were too shallow and narrow to be comfortable to a human's stride. It led up to a dais, on which stood two massive statues: dwarves, straight from a fantasy novel, with hammers upraised and shields clasped, as if they were guarding the coffin which rested between them.

A single, large flame lit this massive tomb, constant and bright where it burst up from a large fixture at the base of the coffin. Beyond that, another staircase stretched upwards behind them, presumably towards the rest of the tomb and the exit. It was not lit.

Well Sofia had plundered her share of tombs during her adventure in her homeworld. This would be no different. For now, she pondered if taking the torch would cause something to come out of the tomb or bring the statues to life.

"My sword and my spells are ready, should we need them," she told the others.

Cassie felt like an invader as she looked around the environment in which she and the others with her had been dropped. This was another's resting place... did they have any right to enter? But what would happen if they didn't? They were presumably here for a reason. What should she do?

She nodded in response to the warrior's words. "Thank you. I'm hoping that we won't need to fight, but it's good to know that you're ready," she answered honestly. Should she morph now? In wolf form she could both act as a guide in the darkness and fight if needed, but she was also hesitant to reveal her abilities. Foolish... if they hit trouble then she wouldn't be able to hide what she could do and it would put her as well as her current companions at a disadvantage. Morphing took up precious seconds and that was something that could hurt them in a conflict.

Still, she hesitated. Maybe they wouldn't run into trouble. It was possible at least.

Edited at 2012-01-14 02:29 am (UTC)

Hawke didn't care much for the particulars of why they were in a tomb and what it was for and who was buried here. It was a mission, and his goal was to get in and out as quickly as possible. Sure, they didn't quite know what they were looking for, but he was confident they'd figure it out soon enough.

Nevermind the fact that he'd been dumped here with two teenaged-looking girls. The one had a sword, at least.

He was predictably silent for the first few moments, hand on his chin, taking in every nook and cranny of the room. When he was satisfied with his observations, he put a hand on his gun.

"The stairs."

A closer investigation of the flame would reveal that there was, in fact, no visible sign of fuel. This was an eternal flame, sustained by a natural gas vent that had been cunningly worked by skilled hands.

That still left the problem of light, given that darkness rapidly descended not far up those stairs.

Group 4: Billy, Rimethiel, Jaime

The teleport put them directly in the middle of a massive field of squares, carved rigidly on the ground in all directions. This cavern was far too massive to have been shaped naturally, though not so large as for its ends to be beyond the limits of sight. A sourceless light illuminated it all, though the only features of note were that pattern of squares and a mighty tower far ahead of them, stretching from floor to ceiling.

Beneath them, the squares they stood on shone brilliantly.

Billy had turned the extremely limited information in his head over and over since they'd been called. They were moving straight into a populated underground world. Nothing more was known. Here he was, standing in a wide open space with few features.

When they landed, he looked at his feet as he usually did when feeling lost. The glow there seemed unnatural, and he wondered. Was it some sort of pressure sensor? Glancing back at the two strangers he'd been assigned to, he wondered. "This could react to movement, but where are we moving?"

He hadn't yet looked up to see the tower.

Rimethiel narrowed her glowing eyes. She'd fixed her vision on the tower, for the moment, but looked down at the young human's words. Her lips pursed, and she let the breath out slowly.

"There was a place on my world, a tower such as this, called Karazhan. I have been inside it but once. My brother has led expeditions within many a time. It is a place of traps. If nothing else, I would use caution, both without, and if we gain within as well."

The elf looked over the tiles, brows furrowed. "None of the others are glowing. I wonder if the glow will follow us, or if it will show where we have been?"

From the direction of the tower, a ball of smoke shot towards them like a comet. Alarming though the sight might be, the smoke seemed inclined to pass over them rather then slam into them.

It did neither, though. A dozen feet from them it stopped so abruptly than the smoke itself shot on ahead, leaving behind what appeared to be a ball made of tightly-wound strips of rubber. No sooner was that ball revealed then it began to unfold, the seeming strips unraveling to crawl across each other.

Now they faced what appeared to be, of all things, a smiling, oversimplified face. "Good morning, travelers, and welcome! We've been expecting you. Welcome to the Testbed! Are you ready for your first challenge?"

Billy instinctively dropped to the ground at the sight of the smoke, covering his head. He was ready to morph if the situation required it.

But they were safe for the moment. He slowly straightened, staring at the face.

"The Testbed?" They had been expected. That wasn't good.

Group 5: Kaya, Celena, Erhart

The teleport took them to, oddly enough, what appeared to be an altar-room. A single block of stone dominated the middle of the floor, covered in fine cloth set with gold and jewels; atop that sat a statue of abstract but magnificent representation. Torches burned brightly in wall-sconces, showing every sign of being dutifully replaced to keep the room in constant light. Before them, a broad set of double doors led onwards, if they dared to venture forth.

Forgive the wizard who teleported them a private moment with Celena, please. But once that was over and he left them, somewhat reluctantly, to their task, the mission had begun.

Re: Group 5: Kaya, Celena, Erhart

Kaya had been from the Northern Water tribe, so she at least understood, in some sense, that this was a sort of room meant for prayer, or at least adoration for a sort of god? She couldn't know for sure, but she did want to try and get to the bottom of their mission, however ominous it seemed. Much like when Shodan had invaded, her bending would be of little use with no actual water around: for this reason, she had the sword her master had given her slung over her back, just in case.

She would wait for the moment, though, before they went any further: whatever information the wizard gave to them would be useful.

"At least the way is brightly lit," she said, trying to dispel some of the dread creeping into her.

Giving the Wizard in question a nod before he left before casting her gaze about the room in which they now found themselves. It was clear that it was an altar room but for what particular purpose was yet to be seen. One however that appeared well maintained however, suggesting that there were others who cared for the room recently indeed.

"Indeed, even if it weren't we wouldn't have much issue," she commented in her usual cheerful tone, seemingly unaffected by any sense of dread, and after all she could light up a room as well as the torches or better even.

Her attention drawn to the large double doors however, with but a gesture toward the large doors she used a slight bit of telekinesis to open and push them open. As long as they weren't barred or locked that is.

Erhart just glowers at the others, moving along in the back, a sulking superhuman knight, utterly annoyed at being stuck with at least one apparent sorcerer.

He passes the time by checking range on his bolt pistol, and adjusting his helm's visor to high contrast in the slightly lower light of the underground passage.

The doors creaked openly readily, well-oiled and well-maintained. They opened into what appeared to be an antechamber, itself mostly empty in turn. Very little in the way of finery or opulence here; this seemed to be more of a waiting room. Benches sat snugly against one wall, and on the other a broad fountain poured a stream of water into a basin. Next to that fountain, several golden robes that seemed to be sized for children hung on the wall.

Perhaps alarmingly, the doors leading out of this antechamber were only some five feet in height.

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