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In the Deep: Atlantis
(2013-06-22 - 2013-06-22)
No description.
Zia The party who made their way to Atlantis has had a sparce chance to enjoy it before things seem to take a turn. Their arrival heralded many questions from the guardians of Atlantis. The danger of the Heartless is still relatively new to these people, and the news is daunting. Secreted away, here, they've kept themselves safe, but now - once again - the people of Atlantis are in danger.

The word had come early, with a team of guards having returned to the city with a few of the strange masked rodents in tow. Heartless activity has increased. In the tunnels, the great roar of some creature can be heard as it tries to find a way through. The only hope of holding them off is to cave in some of the more precarious tunnels closer to the city. There may still be other ways in, but none quite so direct.

The guards produce a bag of what appears to be modern explosives, with the explination that they were salvaged from the wreckage of a set vehicles in the caves. It's the first sign of the crew that Whitmore had sent them to find, but not enough to account for all of them. Perhaps, then, some of them still remain. That's hope enough for Zia to report back to the old man.

For now, it's time for those who have visited to make their goodbyes. As soon as they are gone, the tunnel they took into this realm will be sealed behind them. It's a temporary measure, and surely, there will be a time when people will need to rally larger forces to defend Atlantis, but this must do for now.

Zia clasps forearms with a slightly taller gargoyle who looks quite similar to her, except for her odd tribal robes and blue tattoos. "Ah'll find a way back." She promises, which draws a smile from the female opposite her. "We'll be waiting." As she releases the gargoyle's hand, Zia looks to the others gathered. "Alright, we need te be goin'. It's up te us te head off the Heartless 'n make sure they've got a damn good reason te stay the hell away from here for a good long time."

Since when did Zia really play the part of a leader? Well, strange times change people, and right now, her priorities are two fold: Get them all out of here safely, and protect the people that they are leaving behind.
Avira The previous night was spent without sleep for Avira, hours and hours passing as Avira and her rediscovered mother exchanged stories. Zia and Skoll were both welcome to stay as long as they wanted, accomodated by what Avira later learned were the grandparents, uncle and aunt, and nephew she never knew they had. A nice dinner of those strange, fiesty lobsters was shared by all.

As fortuitious as it all was, she knew she needed to leave. She couldn't leave these people in danger. If her mother remained here, she would be infinitely safer. Goodbyes were exchanged, plus promises to return one day. There was no small amount of pride in her mothers eyes as they parted ways once more.

The scarred huntress only shows slight sign of sleepiness, adrenaline surging through her system at the hint of impending danger. More than ever these people needed to be defended from the encroaching darkness.

The Spine is already held out in her hand. "Yeah, bring 'em on. We'll school them so hard, they'll drop out."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart forces herself to be cheerful as usual. Its never been very hard for her either. She had time to meet several people, and learn how they live here, and even trade some knowledge. So as long as the city is down here there will be a way to come back to see them. She's positive as always "We'll see each other soon, there's so much more to discover and learn from each other." She smiles, waving to the newly made friends before following the others up the tunnel toward the exit.

"It bothers me a bit that there's so many heartless around here... There must be something attracting them, I understand the plan... but will that really stop the heartless you think?" She voices her opinions, but not to worry the people they are leaving behind.
Percival Ever since meeting Telan he'd been away from the remainder of those who travelled with them. Perhaps it was because he felt a kinship with the guardians of Atlantis, their strange philosophy, and their way of life. And he spent much of that time learning their ways...

And even more time training, every part of him ached, despite the long stretches of refreshing sleep that were common to his kind. In the end, he never did have the chance to cook the ill-fated lobstrocity for Zia. It was a peaceful sojourn away from the world despite the vigorous groundwork that he was required to learn in such a short time.. and that is why it did not last.

It never did.

The Heartless activity increased, and the time approached when they would have to leave, in the short term. He truly did not want to say his farewells, as some part of him hoped that their time down here would never end. And yet.. while the crew was setting up the explosives, he understood that this was not the end.

He too clasped arms with another Gargoyle who was larger in stature than himself, carrying a similar blade at his side. He had angular features and a set of short horns. Like the others, he had white hair, but his skin was olive green which distinguished him slightly. It was Percival who spoke to him.. his farewell surprisingly optimistic, "Until we meet again, Rokalesh Telanishkin." The other Gargoyle stated in reply, "Ancestors watch over you."

And then they parted, that was all that was required between them, before he gave Zia a wry look, "We'll make a clan leader out of you yet, at this rate..."

His tone teasing, as he starts to follow her away, before giving Avira a second look, this one a little more cheerful, "So I heard some of the good news on the Agency's radio. I'm happy for you."
Skoll Ulfang Skoll is... well... Skoll. It's impossible for him not to follow the others. He actually spent quite some time telling Avira's 'great deeds' to her mother. And when he wasn't doing that, he was learning and teaching some new recipes, or resting in his and Zia's temporary little stone hut. But now, he stands there with a series of big bags hauled over his shoulders. It looks like he's carrying some large parts of the dynamite.

"If things go wrong with the dynamite, I am the most likely to be okay." He pointed out to Zia and Avira - but didn't explain this logic to anyone else. It's not like him being an Unlimited is public knowledge after all. "Think you can keep the heartless off of me though? Just in case." The youth then looks over to Avira and Zia. After all, they have to put behind a /very/ important part of their lives here. Had it been a few months ago, he could have helped them come here once more. But for now...

For now, they had to say goodbye. It makes him sad, in a ways.
Zia After the night spent with Avira's family, Zia had been left feeling as if this place touched more than just her heart. It's the sort of place that you don't come away from quite the same. She had a lot more to think about, and a lot more to protect. Her tail twitches at her side, doing her best not to look back. It's a feeling that tugs at her, and the last thing she wants to break her focus is any hint of waterworks.

With a glance to Tifa, Zia nods her head, "It willnae keep them at bay for long, but at least they'll havete find other ways in. The crystals seem te protect these people well enough, for now. At least we can buy them some time while they prepare." It's an unsettling feeling, knowing that the Heartless are quite so close. She'd have to hope that the massive tunnels confuse the Heartless, and that the warriors can keep the few that get through at bay.

Avira's enthusiasm is contageous, and she offers the bone-bearing woman a smile and another nod of her head. Percival gets smirk, and she nudges the other gargoyle with her arm. "Och, lad, tha' the last thing we want. All leave tha' the the likes of our young warrioress over there, or te our boy wi' the animated hair." Reize is around somewhere with Violet. Maybe they're just bringing up the rear of the group - who knows.

There is a worried look given towards the explosives. "Ah think ye just need te set them at intervals along the path. They've cleared out our chipmunk friends, so it should just be us. Get te the end, light the fuse, and get the heck out of there." It sounds easy enough... right?

"Alright. Here we go." So, Zia leads the way, heading across the rope bridge over that well of lava beneath, and off into the tunnels they had taken while fleeing the heartless. Just as the guardians had reported, the tunnels are empty, making them feel more like ruins than the first time they'd come through.
Percival No, Atlantis was definitely not the sort of place that you came away quite the same. It had marked him, whether it be his heart, or his soul.. he wasn't sure which. All he knew is that he felt more at peace than he'd been in some time.

A single bony protrusion on his brow arches at Zia, and he grins, nudging her back, "Are you certain? If you have a better sense of direction then it'd probably be far from the /last/ thing we'd want... it might even make the top twelve list of things we /do/ want."

Easy enough, right? He offers a wry smirk to Zia, "Sounds simple enough, now you're a clan leader and demolitions expert both." Beat pause, " just like blowing things up, eh?"

/Someone/ had to play the role of Vinny after all, in any journey to and from Atlantis. Fourth wall be <GOOSEHONK>ed.

He follows after Zia, hand playing lightly upon the blade in its scabbard. He had a renewed respect for the weapon after his time here, and he intended to put it to good use before the day was done.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart sneaks through the tunnels along with Zia and the others, glancing back to the ground. Avira, Skoll... Wasn't Reize with them then they arrived? He must have gotten out first, right? He gets lost so easily, he might still be somewhere in these caves.

She carefully moves "The heartless are nearby, right?" She looks at the empty halls... She has a pretty bad feeling right now. She knows they got chased in, so... probably going to have some company on the way out... So preemptive spells sounds like a good idea. Some power and some speed can come in handy. She offers it over to Skoll and herself, being two of the physical fighters.
Avira Avira looks pretty darn resolute right now. Who knows if the recent experience in the darkness still weighs on her mind in light of the spectacular news she just learned, "Did you, Percy? Good." She smiles thinly, "Then you know that we definitely can't mess this up!"

Skoll gets a look. Sure, she knows that due to the whole 'Unlimited' thing he'd be more likely to survive. But judging by that look on Avira's face, she doesn't exactly approve of this particular strategy. She'd rather that NONE of them get themselves blown up. "I think we can, if it comes down to it. We'd much rather have you fighting by our side."

Reize and that Violet girl were there earlier...but perhaps still in the city somewhere. Well, maybe without Reize around their luck will be better.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll nods his head at Zia when she speaks to him. "I can do that." He declares and then heads across the rope bridge first, and starts to lay down the explosives one by one, slowly unwinding the fuse that runs between them all. He has some matches with him to set off the fuse when he's done. You will have to appologize him for being a tad distracted -- or rather, really darn focussed on his job. Probably a good thing really.

Still, Avira does get a smile shown her way. As if telling her; 'Things will be alright! I'll be safe.'
Zia While they had dispatched a large number of Heartless on the way in, the guardians had reported seeing some in the tunnels. Strangely, though, as they start moving through, they seem conspicuously absent. There's no sign of life at all, leaving the pathway through to be vaguely lit by a few lanterns as they head out. Something doesn't seem right. Not at all.

"Och, nae lad. Ah'd rather be well far 'n clear of tha' stuff. Ah'll be quite happy te be back home where the only things Ah tend te blow up are monsters in video games, 'n sometimes salvaged electronics." Percival had probably seen her do wonders with the scraps she'd found - including making a working television and video game system for the tower, but she'd also fried out a few things in the attempt.

With a nervous glance to Tifa, the gargoyle shrugs her shoulders. "Should be. Makes he wonder where they've all gone off to. Almost like... there's somethin else more interestin for them." Now seems as good a time as any to close the way to Atlantis, but it begs the question - where /are/ the Heartless.

It seems to take less time than it did before to get back out into that center atrium. The insects are gone, but the eerie light from above still remains. "Let's run the wires through the crevice we came through. It's a tight fit, but Ah think there's less chance of gettin trapped in a cave in if we're on the other side of it." Nothing wakes, nothing stings or stinks. Everything remains to be quiet. Too quiet.

For now, Zia doesn't say a word, not wanting to jinx it. Instead, she focuses on squishing through the close set walls of stone.
Skoll Ulfang "Right." Skoll acknowledges Zia's words and gets to work, carefully stuffing the explosives into tiny crevices here and there on the way, so that the tunnel is more likely to properly collapse on the way. It doesn't take long for him to find the 'original path' they took. He's a wolf, he knows his way around this place a little, now that he's walked it once before. You know - in that way that if you take a dog walking once, they'll start dragging you the correct path the second time already.

"Still... this whole thing with the heartless not being along the road so far is kind of... starting to make me worry. There's only one thing that worries me more than an army of heartless. An /invisible/ army of heartless."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart looks toward Skoll "I don't think they are invisible... But they could pop out from anywhere... yet, it does feel like something is amiss... they aren't usually smart enough to lay down elaborate traps, so I'd go with the idea that something else got their attention..." She glances down the tunnels "... I don't think that makes it any better though, this is nerve wracking..."
Percival Percival remembers what she did to the toaster. Gargoyles may not dream often in their stone sleep, but if they did, it would have haunted them. He just grins slightly, before looking away and giving an audible gulp. Best not to let her see him sweat.

"Right, noone use the Q word. Or say anything about their feelings for this." That would almost assuredly guarantee an ambush after all, a large one.

Percival sucks in his gut, and follows Zia through the narrow crevasse.
Avira As they move, Avira's ready, expecting Heartless to jump out at them at any minute! Yet such a thing did not happen which was extremely confusing. She's grown used to being somewhat of a magnet for Heartless trouble. Get her and enough of her friends together and suddenly, HEARTLESS. But right now... "It's quiet here. A little too..." She trails off when Percival speaks up.

As they walk along, she's expecting those insects again. Though when they don't appear, she's not nearly as disappointed. Those weren't Heartless, after all. "Maybe they found another tunnel?" she tenatively suggests to Skoll. Avira's obviously on edge. There was too much at stake here to mess up the defense of this city. She wanted to get it right.
Zia "Aye, the thought tha they might be after somethin else doesnae set m'mind at ease." Zia sighs to herself, squishing in her belly as she exits out into the small beach where they'd initially made camp. Even here, everything seems eerily silent. The only sound is the water splashing up along the walls, and the echo of their own voices.

The feeling of nervousness increases as the others come through, and it's no relief when Skoll exits with the fuse. This should be easy sailing from here, right? Of course not.

Maybe it /is/ Avira's hint to that age-old saying that causes it, or maybe timing is just far too perfect, but the moment that the scarred woman finishes speaking, there is a ROAR that causes the floor beneath their feet to rumble. Yet, it doesn't seem to be nearby. Whatever it is, it's somewhere in the tunnels, and it is /angry/.

"Skoll, maybe we should set tha fuse 'n get goin. It sounds like we're goin te run inte trouble on the way out."
Percival He exits out of the breach in the wall, looking about.. And then..

The Gargoyle's neckbones literally creak as Avira speaks those words, much like a door in a horror movie. He's just staring at her. That a roar comes afterwards is /no/ surprise whatsoever. He just sighs, rolling the back of his hand across his face. "Avira.. coming from our world, I would have thought you'd have known better."

Sometimes being genre savvy is a curse.
Skoll Ulfang "Fuse. Gotcha. Everyone, move move move!" Skoll calls out, setting the last of the charges and waits for everyone to get past. He waves his hand to try and speed things up. "We don't want to get trapped between the heartless and the explosion if we can help it!" The werewolf then quickly glances up at Zia. "I'll be right behind you... I promise." He whispers... and waits for the rest to make some distance, before finally lighting the fuse...
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart isn't going to stand there alright! She moves toward the exit as fast as she can, but not without making sure she's not leaving anyone behind either. Except for Skoll, that's part of the plan though "You be careful Skoll!" She pats Zia's back too, moving her out of the way.
Avira "THIS IS NOT MY FAULT!" Avira suddenly blurts out shortly after the roar sounds in the tunnels from a place that's clearly far away but feels a lot closer. She shoots Percy the possible pincher a look before turning to look at Skoll. Her gaze lingers for a few moments, clearly conveying that worry.

That werewolf better come back.

Avira runs ahead, putting distance between her and the impending explosion. She's a human. Those don't do so well against explosions!
Zia Something about leaving Skoll behind after all the fighting that was done to get him free feels wrong to Zia, then again, that could also just be her personal feelings for the wolf getting in her way. She shoots the wolf an intense look, but then nods her head. When it comes down to it, she trusts him to come back. "Stay safe."

Zia reaches into one of her pouches and plucks out a small orb, which appears to contain water-breathing magic, tossing it above the heads of the party so that it takes effect on them all. "Alright, inte the water. Let's go find out wha the Heartless have te offer."

Then, it's a race for the waves. A short distance later, the sound of the explosion echos through the water, rumbling the caves around them and causing a few heavy rocks to fall, sinking beside them but luckily avoiding the adventurers.

The path of the Trench takes them back towards the entrance, but it soon becomes clear that there are others already there. As our heroes come around a bend, it's to the sight of others already engaged with two huge heartless. One appears to be a large octopus-like creature with multiple limbs, all bearing weapons of different sorts. The other is more eel like, with large, claw-like fins.
Percival The echoes of the explosion are only starting to fade when the Gargoyle mutters, "Well at least she used the appropriate response." A stream of bubbles emit from his mouth as he lets out a long-suffering sigh.

Well this wasn't his first battle underwater. He wasn't that comfortable in this environs, but he at least had some experience manuevering. Flaring his wings, and using them as a second set of appendages, he brought himself in the midst of the eel swarm in short order.

Only then does he slide his runed blade out of his scabbard. Running his hand along the flat of it, he allows himself to concentrate...

Happier times, memories of those who came before...

Snapping the blade into a spin, a ripple effect appears within the ocean's waters. At first it is only sort of like a background buzzing. A hum of energy.

This becomes a blue shockwave of energy in three hundred and sixty degrees, which coruscates outward, creasing the waters.. and attempting to strike the slippery Heartless in all directions.
Percival That was.. more exhausting than he thought it'd be.

But it was his first time actually trying that outside of his training with Telan. Practical application was yet another thing. He was astounded at least by the effects, as if in disbelief of what he'd managed

Which is when he caught sight out of his peripheral vision of the Eel about to ram him. Being unable to manuever effectively here, he just spun around, the edge of his blade crackling with the last vestiges, the echoes of the energy he'd previously unleashed, as he raked it's edge just slightly against the creature.

It cost him dearly, as the eel's headbutt managed to knock the wind out of him, and turning him around on his head underwater. He choked back burble of pain, which manifested as another stream of bubbles from his mouth.

Alright. Something a little less flashy and a little more practical this time.

Running his hand along the runes of the blade's edge, he raised the blade, another low hum of energy manifesting only as a blue aura limming the edge blade.

He let's Zia do her thing, before rushing forward to strike at the eel's leathery skin upon it's angular underbelly, multiple times. A moment later, he creates a similar shockwave as before, except it's more narrow in focus, carrying it just into and through the creature if it doesn't get out of the way.

This scene contained 23 poses. The players who were present were: Skoll Ulfang, Tifa Lockhart, Zia, Avira, Percival